Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!

Overland Park, KS
Overland Park (Postcard from Home)


I wish everyone a wonderful, inspiring and creative new year, full of amazing, unexpected and beautiful experiences - may they continue into the next.

Thank you all so much for your support, enthusiasm and continuous inspiration.

It is a wonderful world.

I wish you all my very best.

Cheers - with love

Simon X

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Scattered Self Part 3 (Finding Myself On The Road)

Self (with second sight)
Self (with second sight)



Chicago, IL
Self (high & on the edge)



Self (In-Security)
Self (In-Security 1)



Target, KS
Self (as Zombie target)



Moab, UT
Self (with shadow)


Continuing my on-going series of occasional self portraits titled 'Scattered Self' (finding myself on the road), here is a selected, end of the year round up, of a few places I have caught that glimpse.

This series began last year after JPG magazine.com ran a 365 day portrait theme and asked members to make a self portrait every day for a year. I took up this challenge, but unfortunately I only managed to make an average of 1 or 2 images a week. Here are just a few of the images. I will still continue this search for myself - as, when and where ever...

Parts 1 & 2 of this series can be found in earlier posts on this blog here:




Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Remains To Be Seen

Precious Moments Chapel







Jenny, KS








For a while now I have been working on a personal project called 'Never / Together' which I have now recently re-titled 'Remains To Be Seen'. It has involved a direct exploration and an awareness of what photographer Harvey Benge referred to in his wonderful Photo-book 'Vital Signs' as the "I-ness in Other-ness". It is a recognition that when photographing we bring our entire personal histories with us when making pictures and that we see not only with our eyes, but with our minds also.

For me this project has been a kind of ghost hunt.

This difficult new series of what are actually psychological landscapes constitutes a search for an understanding of one particular aspect of my own personal photographic vision and some of it's roots.

The images which make up this series are almost now complete and it rests uncomfortably as an incomplete document of psychic markers gathered here in the present, yet separated by 7 years and thousands of miles. My intention is, when finally edited, is to make a book which will both include these images and also a selected scattering of recently discovered poems and personal snapshots, which were brought with me to America and some other documents which were written at the time of the events it explores.


In my memory
Your image
Hangs in my heart
Like a beautiful
And timeless
Oil painting.

It is lit by candles
In a dark room
To which I have
The only key.

My expression
Is drawn
And flickers
In the low light
Of my fond
Recollections.

Yet the shadows
It casts distort
And make strange
Your features.

Sometimes.

A truth all the same
That I dare not describe
For fear of tainting
Your spirit which is
Captured in this portrait,

Which unlike you
Was beautifully
Executed.


More images from this series can be seen in previous posts on this blog or search 'Never / Together' here:



Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Season Greetings from ASA


Kansas City, MO




Kansas City, MO


Season Greetings from Altered States of Agoraphobia.

I wish you all the very best

Cheers

Simon

Monday, December 20, 2010

Overland Park, KS (XI) Central Library
















Continuing my project about Overland Park, where I live, these images were made at the Central Library, located on 87th street and a 5 minute walk from my home. The library is a place I often visit and I almost always seem to make one photograph when I am there. Other images made at this library can be seen in previous Overland Park posts.

Overland Park has been consistently ranked in the top 10 best cities to live in the United States, by CNN/Money magazine. Additionally, the city was ranked one of the ‘best places to raise your kids’ and also ranked 3rd for ‘America’s 10 best places to grow up’. As a photographer this news comes as an inspiration and something of a shock to me and I have decided to explore what it is that gives Overland Park this status.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Altered States of Agoraphobia Flickr Group

Chuck Patch


A Kochanowski


Jim Hart


Aaron Noah Graham


Don Hudson


Tim )ezra(


Alexis Gerard

For some time now I have contemplated extending my own personal photographic work to involve the work of other photographers and artists and last month I started the Altered States of Agoraphobia Flickr group as a response to this. These photographs presented here are only a tiny selection of the 1000 plus images which have already been submitted to this group.

This Flickr group, much like my own on-going work, could be described as a psychological, geographical and cultural investigation into the United States of America today by what I call its ‘Resident Aliens’. It is a contemporary photographic exploration into both the psyche of the artist and also a document of the world in which he inhabits and the forces acting on both. It is a journey which explores the destination with the aim of eventually creating, collectively, both a personal and also universal portrait of America by its residents.

It is an experiment which I hope is full of insight and discovery.

My intention with this group is to link some of the images submitted there to my blog in the form of edited sequences, artist’s features and for the purpose of exploring ideas, notions, observations and trends made by artists who are tuned into the subtle energies at work internally and externally in America today. The ASA members are psychic agents. A national artistic collective of like minded photographers with a certain outlook and of vision who are interested in making insightful and sensitive observations. It is a place where 1+1=3 .

Please follow this slideshow link to view, join or submit an image to Altered States of Agoraphobia Flickr group:

I have also set up a separate blog to platform some of the work submitted to this new project. Altered States of Agoraphobia (II) which can be found by following this link below:

http://alteredstatesofagoraphobia2.blogspot.com/


Monday, December 13, 2010

Glore Psychiatric Museum

















A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to visit the creepy but extremely interesting Glore Psychiatric museum in the city of St Joseph in Missouri. St Jo is also a beautiful city which I have plans to visit again and explore with my camera soon

This is what their Glore Psychiatric museum website says about it:

In 1968 the Glore Psychiatric Museum was started in an abandoned ward of the St. Joseph State Hospital by George Glore. He had been collecting historical psychiatric treatment devices as well as interesting items made by the patients of the hospital for over 40 years.

The original set up featured full size replica exhibits of 16th, 17th and 18th century "treatment" devices that resemble the torture devices used during the same period. These were created by George for a mental health awareness week celebration. The public loved them and he was encouraged by superiors to expand the exhibit. More mental illness treatment items were soon added and the museum had begun.

The museum was relocated to it's current location in 1997 when the asylum campus was converted to a correctional facility. Being located just off the main campus, the building was spared destruction by the project but is shadowed by the fence of the newly constructed Western Reception, Diagnostic and Correctional Center. Luckily, the building is still historical and maintains its ties to the past, it was built in 1968 - the year Glore first put together the exhibits - and was used as a clinic for the patients of the asylum.

Glore continued to develop one of the largest collections of mental health historical items until he eventually retired from the Missouri Department of Mental Health

Glore Psychiatric Museum
3408 Frederick Avenue (One Mile West Of I-29, Exit 47)
St. Joseph , Missouri 64506
816-364-1209 or 800-530-8866

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

'Get the Picture': New Book

Kansas City, MO
Kansas City



Downtown, KC
Kansas City



Kansas City, MO
Kansas City



Kansas City, MO
Kansas City, MO (Sprint Centre)


This week 'Get the Picture' photo agency, based in Paris, France published a limited edition book.

With a print run of only 200 this wonderful sixty page collection contains a broad selection photographs from six of its members, including myself and edited, designed and produced by Damien Lafargue, who has done a beautiful job putting it together.

From the Introduction:

"Get the Picture is a cooperative which provides a platform for a group of like minded photographers with the common objective of fostering mutual support, gaining exposure and a following for their personal and conceptual work.

This diverse group consists of a broad and distinctive range of ages, locations and experiences. Despite stylistic differences all are wanderers, and each in their own way share the need to make sense of a strange and often hostile world. These bodies of work take place in an intimate theatre of elaboration, in a completely personal time frame. The different series presented here explore a range of approaches each with it's own identity and particular narrative, random collections of signals and signifier's. Although each individual follows his own rules, this selection of works demonstrates how much they cross over."

The book contains work by these photographers:

. Harvey Benge
. Pascal Fellonneau
. Simon Kossoff
. Paul Kwiatkowski
. Damien Lafargue
. Philippe Taris

This book is available to buy at a reasonable price from 'Get the Pictures' website, where a preview can also be seen.






Thanks so much. I wish you a happy Thanksgiving.

Simon

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

39th St, Kansas City





39th St, KC



39th St, KC



39th St, KC



39th St, KC



39th St, KC



39th St, KC


Here are a selection of image made on Kansas City's 39th St.


The 39th Street West business district and its surrounding neighborhoods offer some of Kansas City 's richest history. Once a vineyard supporting a winery, 39th Street West rapidly became home to some of Kansas City 's most stately, stone and brick homes, destination restaurants and boutique retail.


One of the earliest suburban neighborhoods to flourish in Kansas City's turn of the century expansion, 39th Street West was served by two light rail lines: a single-track streetcar line running to Rosedale, and the "Strang Line" providing a direct connect to areas further south, like Olathe.

"39th Street is a colorful neighborhood district offering a fun mix of fine dining, casual & ethnic specialties. An eclectic mix of shops, bookstores & coffee houses." ~ AOL Cityguide


Monday, November 1, 2010

The King And I at Get the Picture

Thrift Store, MO
Lawrence, KS



Carthage, MO


Lawrence, KS
Lawrence, KS


Tarry Westley (II)
Liberty, MO


This is another selection of images from my series 'King and I'.

On my travels in the USA Elvis began appearing to me like some religious/cultural vision in a wide range of places and in the strangest of circumstances. From New York City to rural Kentucky and Virginia to the desert towns of Arizona. He has appeared in Shopping Malls and Thrift Stores and everywhere in between. Elvis has become one of the many ‘psychic coordinate points’ which I mention in the introduction to this blog and I have often orientated myself culturally around his scattered presence.

This series has naturally come to a conclusion, or perhaps the end of a chapter, after the inclusion of my recent portraits of Tarry Westley which were entered into Alec Soth's Flickr group From Here To There: Assignment #2. For chapter two and three of this series I intend to make portraits of Elvis impersonators and to also eventually travel to Graceland.

The complete series, including the portrait of Tarry Westley has now been published at my agency website 'Get the Picture' which can be found here:


Thursday, October 21, 2010

Damaged Goods (II)

Las Vegas, NM


Thrift Store, MO


Lawrence, KS


Overland Park, KS


This is another selection of images from my on-going series 'Damaged Goods'. More images from this series can be found in an earlier post to this blog or by visiting the website Aamora where I was a guest contributer in March of this year.

Aamora's excellent website can be found here: http://www.aamora.com/?p=1889