New York

There’s something about flowers that are just past their prime, on the cusp of beauty and decay that’s really attractive to me (is it because I am, myself, in Shakespeare’s words, about to “mellow and drop into the rotten mouth of death?”)

Technical addendum: I shot this with my portrait lens (56mm f1.2). The top image is stopped down to f8, so is mostly in focus. For the bottom image I wanted to focus on just a few of the front flowers and let the rest de-focus a bit so I opened up to f2 – I’m not sure why that had such a pronounced effect on the background color which is more accurate (but less neutral) in the top image.

Perfect Pie

Hales Gallery, 20th St and Eleventh Avenue, New York

Last weekend we went down to the Zwirner Galleries to see Hilton Als’ exhibition on James Baldwin, long a hero of mine for The Fire Next Time and Go Tell It on The Mountain. Watching old YouTube videos of him in debates or on talk shows is another good way to see his rhetorical brilliance displayed and enjoy watching his white interlocutors squirm. Unfortunately we went down on the last afternoon and the place was packed (with old white people) making it almost impossible to appreciate the exhibit. In particular it was hard to get to the tiny explanatory placards here and there to understand the context, so we abandoned it and went into a number of other Chelsea galleries.

I confess to a certain Philistinism when it comes to this kind of work (Richard Slee’s Perfect Pie at Hales Gallery).