Monday, September 30, 2013

Found Objects #2: Photos of Jackie

These three photos are my first rolls of film. I took them as part of a photography class assignment. I was using a box camera at the time. 

My composition of the negatives was poor, no sense of depth of field and the weeds in the foreground were blurry.  I got a D+ for the assignment. Yet this would set the stage for my later becoming a photojournalist and having my work published. I would also meet and work with well known photographers over the years who would greatly influence my work.

My model for this particular shoot was Jackie Cox, my girl friend from Littleton, Colorado. We were attending Colorado State University. 

What is this for again?

How long this going to take?

We done yet?

Found: three 2 1/2" x 2 1/2 negatives
taken between 1966-1967
City Park, Ft. Collins, Colorado

I found these negatives in a box sitting squashed underneath several pounds of paper layered with dust. I nearly tossed them into the trash, but then decided to get the negatives developed. I am so glad, because the result was a lasting and wonderful memory.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

6 Reasons Why I Grudgingly Admire Vladimir Putin

Putin the Apparatchik

I have written previous blog posts about Vladimir Putin’s lack of compassion with his government's cruel treatment of the Pussy Riot Girls, who are in their second year in a remote Russian gulag. This is Vladimir the KGB thug.  

But then I read Putin's opinion piece in the New York Times. It revealed a side to the man that is rarely seen. He is erudite, charming and cheeky. Other reasons I admire this new Putin:

#1. Russian president Vladimir Putin is a martial artist in judo. He used this in a body slam to the Americans with his piece in the TimesHe illustrated a clever way for a world leader to deliver a message. 

#2. Putin does not play golf, a game of the American bourgeois. He is by nature short, smaller than the legend he has artfully built. He hunts and fishes. He is a student of English. He wears his heart on his sleeve when he is around beautiful women. Sometimes, he’s just being a guy.

#3. Putin’s remark about American exceptionalism was as calculated and practiced as any judo move. He articulated what many world leaders feel but won’t say in public. (I agree with Putin's assessment because I came from a generation of men who know exceptionalism by its real name: imperialism.)

#4. As a life long apparatchik, Putin does not miss much. If not judo, his every move is a calculated chess move. He would not play this game if he didn't think he could win. So far, he’s made a splash. I hope he keeps writing opinions about America. Our freedom of speech might rub off on him.

#5. Putin has attracted the admiration of American ultra-right Republican toadies. It will be interesting to see how Putin plays the capitalists stupid then spits them out.

#6. As a Russian, Putin thoroughly understands irony and paradox. It's refreshing to see complexity in a world leader who is not so easily flummoxed. He is all about composure. He exudes his power. At international summits he emerges as the only adult in the room.

 Putin understands his time in the limelight is limited. He is enjoying his celebrity on the world stage. Maybe, just maybe he might be able to meet fellow Russian, Irina Shayk.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Found Objects: Curating a Life of Lost Art

This is a story of a man who felt abandoned by his Muse, his talents, his metaphorical lovers. Over the course of a turbulent departure, and a very long interval in a foreign land, he eventually returns to find new inspiration from what he had left behind. After all, it was he who abandoned his very self. 

Now he finds he is curating his own life from the found objects secreted in boxes he once felt had no worth. 

He discovers new dimensions of himself in the array of his gleaming treasures – the un-produced screenplays, the unpublished novels, the un-blogged blogs… the countless short stories / plays / poems / lyrics / photographs / paintings…  These are his personal works of art and artistry, his mind and heart, his true loves.

This is a story of a man who realizes, in the process of finding himself, an unintended consequence of these treasures: his work has taken on more than a newly inspired meaning; it has become an exhibition of priceless worth.

Watching Paint Dry- M.Shandrick

Found Object #1
Watching Paint Dry
*       10 ½” w X 13 ½”
*       acrylic
This worn canvas was found underneath a pile of papers in a box, some 20 years after it was painted. It had survived several moves and storage facilities before its discovery in 2012.