8/28/10

Critical Mass

Hallelujah, I've been selected as a Critical Mass finalist. I've had a rough go of it lately submission-wise--I was starting to think I might have to create work out of my rejections à la "It's Not Us, It's You." But as those of us in this tricky biz know, it's par for the course, and though it's easy to forget that basic truth, and even if you wake up in the middle of the night thinking about what you would do if you actually never again got into another show, something comes along and you can breath a little easier again.

I was a finalist last year as well and moving past the sad-sack poor-me paragraph above I'm very happy and frankly relieved to be included again this year. I didn't make the top 50 in 2009 so I'll be keeping my fingers crossed on that front (though I've got some stiff competition)--in the meantime I'll be going about my day feeling a bit lighter. A huge thank you to the pre-screeners, and congratulations to talented photo friends Jesse Burke, Katrina d'Autremont, Ben Huff, Isa Leshko, Jennifer Loeber, Stephen Mallon, Yoichi Nagata, Nancy Newberry, Justin James Reed, Michael Sebastian, and Manjari Sharma for their inclusion. (If I left anyone I know off here it wasn't on purpose, please email and I'll add you right away.) For the rest of the finalists go here, and good luck to all!

8/16/10

I'm back--briefly

© Matthew Porter

Hello world. I'm back for a moment to say hey, after which I'll be disappearing for another week due to heading off for a family vacation. I've actually been itching a bit to write, but when you take a chunk of time off there's so much to say it can be hard to know where to begin. Therefore it was nice to receive an email that has given me a place to start in getting back into my blogging habit.

Last week I heard from Stephen Pierson, publisher of Canteen Magazine, about an upcoming event (details in a moment). I had a subscription to Canteen when it first came out and enjoyed the mix of imagery and writing, including poetry and essays. Over the last year I let all of my subscriptions lapse (including, gasp, The New York Times) as a way to tighten the belt. I was quite excited then when Stephen very kindly offered to give me a comp on the next four issues when I mentioned I used to subscribe; I'm looking forward to catching up and exercising my brain, something that's been severely lacking this summer.

The event in question is described below; I wish I could attend but, as mentioned above, we'll be away. Here's all of the info you need should you be in town, sounds like a fun night out:

Naked Judging Exposed: The 2010 Canteen Awards in Photography at powerHouse Arena

Exhibition: August 4 – August 29 2010

Party: Thursday August 19, 7-10

(Brooklyn, NY) In too many photo contests it feels like the fix is in: the outsiders' entry fees pay for the insiders' prizes. Canteen is confronting this feeling head on. We exhibit the winning images alongside the comments of our judges, Brooklyn Museum director Arnold Lehman and photographer Matthew Porter—even when those comments clash. The exhibition will run from August 4 through August 29, with a party on Thursday, August 19 from 7:00 p.m. till 10:00 p.m at powerHouse Arena. The party will feature live music by the acclaimed Brooklyn band Hank & Cupcakes and cocktails courtesy of Bulldog Gin. Free with RSVP (rsvp@canteenmag.com), $5 at the door. In addition, artist Arthur Ou will be giving flash-portfolio critiques.

A special exhibition catalogue, available both at the show and in Canteen magazine’s issue #6, will offer a provocative sampling of Mr. Lehman’s and Mr. Porter’s methodology, their biases, and their disagreements with each other. The exhibition will feature work from contest winner Rowan James, and runners-up Bobby Davidson, Shea Naer, Tribble & Mancenido, Michal Kawecki, and Geoff Smith.

About Canteen: Canteen Arts Inc., based in New York and San Francisco, produces a biannual literary and arts publication that asks accomplished creative types (writers, artists, chefs, and even a CIA agent) to reveal their creative process—writing about their successes, failures, motivations, fears, drug addictions, and much more. Canteen Arts also runs a writing program for youth in Harlem, NY.