Category Archives: photography

ART: Why I Stuck with a Junkie Jazzman

By Laurie Pepper (2014)
Art Pepper told his sexy, sordid, and exciting true adventure stories to his lover, Laurie, who put them in a book. She quizzed him (and those who knew him) unrelentingly over seven years, editing and structuring a narrative to which she dedicated all her energy. Straight Life by Art and Laurie Pepper was published in 1979. It was a critical success and remains a classic of its kind, the subject of college literary and music studies. Laurie went on to marry Art and manage his resurgent career, touring the world with his band. ART: Why I Stuck with a Junkie Jazzman describes her marriage to the deeply troubled, drug-addicted, madly gifted artist. “That marriage was the making of me,” says Laurie. “Some people go to grad school or join the Marines. I married a genius who valued and inspired me and challenged me to use MY gifts. We had a difficult, powerful partnership. I had to tell that story.” She says she also needs to set the record straight and clarify her role: “People think I was some kind of little wifey-saint who rescued him. And Art encouraged them in that. But he knew how truly crazy I could be. We rescued each other.”

Posted in autobiography, counterculture, jazz, music, photography

Whereishere

WhereishereBy Scott and Laurie Makela (1998)
What is driving communication and what are the real challenges facing designers today? Whereishere presents a radical new take on both these issues, breaks from the orthodox approach to understanding two dimensional design. Leading graphic design studios are represented including Bruce Mau and Cranbrook Academy of Art.

Posted in art, Cranbrook, design, education, media, photography, typography

Illuminations

IlluminationsBy Walter Benjamin (1969)
Studies on contemporary art and culture by one of the most original, critical and analytical minds of this century. Illuminations includes Benjamin’s views on Kafka, with whom he felt the closest personal affinity, his studies on Baudelaire and Proust (both of whom he translated), his essays on Leskov and on Brecht’s Epic Theater. Also included are his penetrating study on “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction,” an illuminating discussion of translation as a literary mode, and his thesis on the philosophy of history. Hannah Arendt selected the essays for this volume and prefaces them with a substantial, admirably informed introduction that presents Benjamin’s personality and intellectual development, as well as his work and his life in dark times.

Posted in art, culture, history, language, media, philosophy, photography

Image, Music, Text

Image, Music, TextBy Roland Barthes (1978)
Roland Barthes, the French critic and semiotician, was one of the most important critics and essayists of this century. His work continues to influence contemporary literary theory and cultural studies. Image-Music-Text collects Barthes’s best writings on photography and the cinema, as well as fascinating articles on the relationship between images and sound. Two of Barthes’s most important essays, “Introduction to the Structural Analysis of Narrative” and “The Death of the Author” are also included in this fine anthology, an excellent introduction to his thought.

Posted in art, culture, language, media, photography, semiotics, theory

Forest Of Signs: Art in the Crisis of Representation

Forest Of Signs: Art in the Crisis of Representationby Ann Goldstein, Mary Jane Jacob, Anne Rorimer, Howard Singerman, and Richard Koshalek (1989)The thread of representation ties together the work of the 30 artists included in the book, encompassing such issues as allegory, appropriation, and commodification, the role of the artist, and the functions of authorship and originality in vesting meaning in art. Much of the work is provocative, challenging the way we look at art, the way we talk about it, where we see it, and how we buy it.

Posted in art, culture, exhibition, history, language, photography, semiotics, theory

Prints and Visual Communication

Prints and Visual CommunicationBy William Ivins (1969)
The sophistication of the photographic process has had two dramatic results–freeing the artist from the confines of journalistic reproductions and freeing the scientist from the unavoidable imprecision of the artist’s prints. So released, both have prospered and produced their impressive nineteenth- and twentieth-century outputs. It is this premise that William M. Ivins, Jr., elaborates in Prints and Visual Communication, a history of printmaking from the crudest wood block, through engraving and lithography, to Talbot’s discovery of the negative-positive photographic process and its far reaching consequences.

Posted in art, history, media, photography, printmaking, technology