Wednesday, November 30, 2005

"The Tribe: An Unorthodox, Unauthorized History of the Jewish People and the Barbie Doll ... in About 15 Minutes"

If you happen to be in San Francisco, or going there soon, the Herbst Theater on Van Ness is playing a film called " "The Tribe: An Unorthodox, Unauthorized History of the Jewish People and the Barbie Doll ... in About 15 Minutes" on the irony of a Jewish woman designing an American icon who meets an Aryan ideal. You can read the article at the San Francisco Chronicle website here.

And as soon as it's official-official, I'll be posting some news about my own Barbie escapades.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

"i found your photo" Show Opens Dec. 5

Totally and shamelessly lifted from James at Black Cat Bone :

Exhibition Opens Monday, December 5, 2005.

Unique Art Exhibition of Found Photographs Will Raise Money to Fund a Photography Scholarship for an At-Risk High School Senior Aspiring Photographer From the Washington, D.C. Area to Attend Art School

You are cordially invited to the attend the opening reception for "i found your photo" at the University of Phoenix Northern Virginia Campus on Friday, December 9, from 6:00 - 9:00 pm. For directions see the League of Reston Artists web site.
For more information about “i found your photo”, see the project web site .

Reston, Va.) Have you ever walked through a flea-market and seen one of those beat-up, badly abused and long-neglected family photo albums with yellowed cellophane pages filled with old photographs spilling out of it and wondered about who that album originally belonged to and what the lives of all the people pictured inside it were about?

Experimental photographer, James W. Bailey, a native of Mississippi who currently resides in Reston, Virginia, has long been fascinated with found photographs and believes that these missing photographic objects rise to the level of fine art. In December of 2005 and January of 2006, Bailey will present a unique curated art exhibition in Reston featuring a donated collection of these lost photographic treasures titled, “i found your photo”.

According to Bailey, this exhibition will feature donated found photographs submitted from across the country by both artists and non artists who have discovered or found a photograph somewhere that interests them: “Earlier this year a national call for submission was issued asking people to donate one found photograph to the exhibition. Donors of the found photographs were also asked to include an index card with their submission that offers a personal statement about where the photograph they submitted was found and what meaning it holds for them.”

According to Bailey, after the exhibition closes at the end of January 2006, the original found photographs, index cards and other curatorial items from the exhibition will be collected and placed into a one-of-a-kind handmade photography book. This book will be designed by the photographer and handmade photography book artist, Melanie De Cola, of Reston, Virginia.To complete the project, the book will be auctioned on Ebay in early 2006. The proceeds of the auction will be used to fund a photography scholarship through the League of Reston Artists, a not for profit 501(c) 3 artist collective based in Reston, for an at-risk high school senior aspiring photographer from the Washington, D.C. area to attend an accredited fine arts college of art school.

Bailey explains his source of inspiration for this exhibition: “My philosophy for this project is motivated by my deep belief in the concept and practices of Littoral Art. Littoral Art is concerned with using art in creative approaches and projects to address critical social problems. Basically, Littoral Artists believe that art can and should move out of the traditional institutional structure of contemporary art museums and galleries and into the real world of real concerns by real people for the purpose of positively addressing the serious issues that confront us as a society. I want to demonstrate through this project that it is possible to involve a wide audience of people who might normally never be interested in attending or participating in an art exhibition and to engage them in a creative way to help raise money for an issue of importance: the issue of creative at-risk youth who have limited opportunities to pursue their creative dreams.”

Bailey says that found photographs are compelling to both the finder and the viewer because they beg questions of deep personal interest in unmasking the identity and meaning of the photograph and how that identity and meaning relates to the identity and understanding of the finder of the photograph, as well as that of the viewer.

“Found photographs generate an endless loop of probing questions that all come back to the missing identity and mystery of the photograph in question: Who took the photograph? Where was it taken? Who is in the photograph? Who did the photograph belong to? When was it lost? Where was it lost? Why was it lost? Who found it? Where was it found? Why did the finder keep it after they found it? What does the photograph mean to the finder? What does it mean to the viewer? What does the viewer think about the finder of the photograph? What does the viewer think about himself or herself when looking at the photograph? Is somebody out there still looking for their photo?”

Bailey also believes that found photographs challenge the viewer to confront fundamental concepts of fine art photography because these photographs were never intended to be the product of a specific art process; nor were they intended to be placed into the public arena of an art gallery.

“Because we don’t know who is pictured in a found photograph, or who took the photograph, we are forced to confront our biases and prejudices about the imagery of other people. Since we don’t have the comfortably reassuring cultural compass of a known and recognized photographer to rely upon to help direct us toward a meaning or interpretation, as with a traditional photograph, we must reach outside the familiarity of the defined fine art experience and tap the uncomfortable boundaries of our prejudices, stereotypes and misconceptions about other people in order to orient ourselves to the culturally and artistically disconnected imagery we see in a found photograph.”

WHO: The League of Reston Artists and James W. Bailey.

WHAT: The League of Reston Artists presents, "i found your photo", a benefit art exhibition of found photographs curated by experimental photographer, James W. Bailey.

WHEN: The “i found your photo” exhibition will run from December 5, 2005, to January 27, 2006, at the University of Phoenix Northern Virginia Campus in Reston, Virginia. An opening reception will take place on Friday, December 9, from 6:00 - 9:00 pm. For more information about “i found your photo”, see the project web site .

WHERE: The exhibition "i found your photo" is located on the 2nd floor of the University of Phoenix Northern Virginia Campus at 11710 Plaza America Drive, Reston, Virginia 20190. For directions, please see the League of Reston Artists web site.

This is how I amuse myself

I'm working on paper #3 of four, the one on clothing and textiles in American colonial portraiture as a means of asserting a new independent identity. I've been pouring over thirty pages of colonial economic history. The only people who can make me feel better right are my mother and David Bowie. And, given that my mother is asleep and I've never met David Bowie, I am forced to amuse myself. Thus, I have written two haikus which summarize the two papers I finished. Enjoy.

Barbara Kruger's Art-Ads as a Semiotic Deconstruction of Advertizing:
System-breaker gal.
Makes ads to breaks ads; post-mod.
The chick has big balls.

Images of Judas with Red Hair as Symbols of Anti-Semitism in Northern Renaissance Christian Art:
Iscariot: Hell!
Devilish Jews; we see red.
Not really mentioned.

Yeah, that second one kinda stinks. It's a complicated topic. I'll talk about it later.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Hunting for New Models (Please?)

OK, so this is what I've decided. Craigslist makes me feel dirty--the bad kind of dirty. I'm also reeeeeally uncomfortable with the idea of meeting up with complete strangers I met over the internet. I'm sure there are plenty of nice people out there, but I currently lack the patience to filter through the nice people and the morons who figured that even though I mentioned SEVERAL times that there wouldn't be any sexual contact between myself and the models, they figured I must have been kidding. Or those who don't believe I really am a college student with little money ("so yeah, we'll come out from chicago and pose for you if you pay for our airfare and hotel room. can we have a couple of signed prints, too?") Or those who basically needed a blood test to prove I really am who I say I am. Grr.

Sorry, I'm a little cranky. Papers do that to me. I'll be peachy in a few weeks. But I digress.

So back to this decision. Because I don't like or trust CL all that much, not to mention the resounding support I've received of the word-of-mouth technique, I'm going to go back to pleading with anyone who will listen to me. If you know anyone, ANYONE, who might want to work with me, please pass my name along. I'd prefer couples/groups, but I'll also work with solo women who could really get into things. I'd rather not be alone with strange men, so nothing personal. I don't have a lot of money, but I can offer a disk with all the pictures, or a few small prints. Penetration is not necessary, I'm just looking to capture raw yet intimate sexual contact. I'm a nice person. I promise I won't make you/them feel uncomfortable as long as you/they don't do it to me. Having said that, please don't hook me up with anyone who might attack/rape/murder/scare me.

Merci Beaucoups. Or as we joke in my family, "mercy buckups"

A Word to the Obnoxious 15-Year-Olds Making Out Behind Me at "Chicken Little", a Wholly Unarousing G-Rated Flick


Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Website: Updated

I added some new pictures to the website. One to "Medium", three to "Hot", and one to "Plastic". Just my favorites from the new work I posted about a month ago.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Your Opinion, S'il Vous Plait

Once upon a time, not too long ago, I posted on craigslist in search of couples who would work for me. Alas, I received one response, who then never returned my follow-up emails. So here's the question: should I post an ad in the "erotic" section, the section where people post ads looking for people to get freaky with? My ad clearly states several times that there will be no sexual contact between myself and the models, so I feel a little badly about posting an ad that promises no sex, but I think I'll have better luck finding couples in the "erotic" section than the "artists" section. Thoughts?

Question: Nudity vs. Sexuality

I haven't made any effort to hide my....."lack of enthusiasm" for traditional, static, posed nudes in photography. Yeah, I guess the pictures are pretty, but I'm not entirely convinced they MEAN anything. I mean, why bother? What are you trying to SAY? But I digress.

So this is my biggest issue with them: why on EARTH are these types of pictures included in shows/books/etc based on "sexuality"? Sexuality is a facet of a person's identity. I'm not entirely sure how "glorified" Playboy shots a representative of sexuality. To me, the only thing a picture does is identify the SEX of the model (not gender or sexuality). And even then, it promotes a binary order to the sexes, man or woman (yes, there can be more than one. go to the library). With pictures like these, all we can see is the exterior. We have no idea about that person on the inside, physically, psychologically, or sexually. And, there's nothing that says that picture addresses a particular person. Part of the problem here is that sexuality is hard to define, almost like art. Thus, because sexuality isn't altogether definitive, the relationship between sexuality, nudity, and art can't be either.

I'm not looking for anyone to change my mind, but I do want to hear what other people think. Do traditional nudes belong in exhibitions about sexuality? How does nudity express sexuality?

Because this is such a sensitive subject, please respect other opinions when responding. You are, of course, allowed to disagree, and I encourage you to speak your mind, but I WILL delete any post that seems to attack a particular person or uses hateful language. This is a post about sexuality in art, art being the operative word.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Panera Says I'm Not Porn. My Mother is So Proud.

So as part of a shameful attempt to avoid working on my Pre-Reformation Devotional art paper (red hair being an anti-Semitic tool in Northern Renaissance Christian art), I went a-blog-hoppin’. But when I went to, I read that James had attempted to go to from inside a Reston Panera, but couldn’t, because said Panera had deemed the site to be pornographic. Ironically, my site and work, which some people say IS about porn, was fine. So I went to Grammar Police to see what all the fuss was: a rather amusing yet tragic picture of a portly naked man, covered in body paint so that he looks like Spiderman. But yeah, you can see his penis. On my site, all you can [currently] see are breasts. So what, breasts have so infiltrated everyday imagery that they’re no longer deemed off-limits or taboo--it's ok to throw them around willy-nilly? Penises are still sacred? Yeah, FUCK THAT.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Interview Update

Ok, so I actually had more time than I thought, so I've included some more thoughts on the questions Bailey asked me during the cell interview.

1. On Nekkid With A Camera NOT being included on an international list of art blogs:
While I object to his reasoning behind why that didn’t include my blog (my work is smut and therefore not art), I don’t disagree with his decision to not include it; Nekkid with a Camera isn’t a great blog. At least, not right now. It’s too self-serving. I started it to show work I couldn’t show elsewhere, which, at that time, was everywhere. It lacks a focus and commitment that I think it vital to a really fantastic blog. I think in time, after I graduate in December, I might retool it, post more work, post some written work, and such. It has potential. But right now, its not so hot, no pun intended.

Going back to this man’s reasoning, there are a lot of people, I’m sure, who will immediately write off my work as “smut” not worthy of any artistic merit. I’m not saying that to defend myself, but to defend smut. I think people who have opinions about pornography do so in response to what the pictures symbolize or communicate, rather than the pictures themselves. When I started the project, I ignored all that. I just wanted to focus on the aesthetic, to see the pictures as pictures. If you cut away all the social elements, the stigmas, the money, the intent, and just see these pictures as photographs, what are you left with? It’s a model, usually a woman, posed, impeccably lit and made-up, and the “merit” of the photograph comes from capturing her figure. How is that any different from traditional fine art nude photography? Photographers who work for magazines like "Playboy" or "Hustler" are still photographers. Heck, Helmut Newton shot for "Playboy", and we see him as an artist.

2. On a gender bias towards myself and my work:
Of the criticism that I’ve heard, I don’t think there’s a gender bias because there hasn’t been enough. The only thing that stands out to me was a three word review by a blogger I don’t really care about, who said my work was “cropped, cramped, and graceless”. Whatever-consider the source. I’m not that bothered by it. But I don’t think that comment had anything to do with the fact that I’m female. For the comments that surely exist that I HAVEN’T heard, if they’re anything like what that photographer said, then obviously, there is. But I can only speculate.

I’ve received a lot of praise, which I’m incredibly flattered by, but even those comments don’t fixate on my sex. If anything, they mention how young I am--I’m only 21. That’s not to say that people can’t approach and read my work from a gendered or feminist perspective. One COULD think about the sexual hierarchies I “circumvent or undermine or attempt to dismantle”--I’m a woman “objectifying” men rather than the other way around, or I'm a female artist doing a job dominated by men capturing a subject associated with men. One COULD argue that because I’m a woman, I show sympathy towards my female models, and thus I’m not really exploiting them or their sexuality. One COULD argue that by being a female working with a subject that has a history of objectifying women, my work is a form of empowerment-disempowerment. None of this is new and exclusive to my work. These are things that have been said about nearly every female artist at some time or another. They’re tired arguments. I wasn’t going for any of that. I just wanted to focus on natural sex, raw or intimate. But I know I can’t escape those kinds of comments because I’m female. Think male artists who captured tradiaitonally “female” subjects experienced the same thing? Probably not.

Internet Audio Interview

James Bailey, experimental photographer and gentleman eccentric extraordinaire, wanted to experiment with the new audio posting software through Blogspot, and asked to interview me about my dirty pictures. How can a girl refuse? So after many weeks of technical difficulties, scheduling conflicts, and a minor international incident (sorry, Sweden), the interview has been posted. You can go to James' blog,, to hear everything. The each post could only be five minutes long, which is actually surprisingly short. It was fun, but I suspect I was a bit preoccupied with time crunch, and I didn't get a chance to say everything I wanted to, nor was I especially articulate. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but someday soon, I'll post some more thoughts on the questions.

Someone in Kentucky Likes Me

"Orgasm #2" has been accepted to "Nude International 2006" at the Lexington Art League. So, if you need an excuse to go to Kentucky, beautiful land of.....Kentuckians, now you have one.

Oh! Don't they have bourbon, too? You could get drunk off bourbon and go look at some naked people. Fun for the whole family....

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Alice Neel @ NMWA

The National Museum for Women in the Arts will be hosting "An Afternoon with Alice Neel and Friends" on Saturday, Nov. 19 from 12:30-4:30. There will be four lectures, including one by Dr. Mary Garrard, a prominant D.C. feminist art historian (and one of my profs @ AU--nifty lady). She will be speaking on her experience of being painted by Neel in the 70s, as well as the interchange between artist and subject during the rise of feminist art.

The Skinny:

"An Afternoon with Alice Neel"
National Museum for Women in the Arts (1250 New York Ave)
Sat, Nov. 19

Carolyn Kinder Carr: "Introduction: Knowing Alice"
Pamela Allara: "A(Not So Objective) Observer"
Mary Garrard: "Alice Neel and Me"
Denise Bauer: "Defining Activism in Alice Neel's Portraits"

General: $15
Aged 60+: $10
Students: $5
for info or reservations, call 202-783-7370 or email

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Pervy Podcast

I completely forgot: I'm in a podcast. Violet Blue (sex educator, not the porn star) featured my work alongside, well, the podcast itself. I can't get it to open, but I'm supposedly in "Open Source Sex 19" from Nov. 5.

New Old Work (or Old New Work)

sorry for the delay, but i've been very busy. as of today, i graduate in 40 days (last exam is monday, dec. 19, from 530-8, therefore i graduate on the 20th), after which point, i will try to take as many pictures as i possibly can. maybe go back to portraiture, meet some new, kinky friends for more sex pictures, etc. in the meantime, i will be working on one of the following 10-15 page papers:
1. barbara kruger's money-themed works, empowerment-disempowerment, and the dismantling of a binary division of art and advertizing.
2. colonial portraiture as a means of asserting independence
3. comparitive paper of the eroticism of child photographs by julia margaret cameron and sally mann (don't read anything into this....)
4. passive-aggressive anti-semitism in northern renaissance painting before 1550.