Thursday 27 December 2012

Portrait de Serge Armand, SF 87

                       Image ©Lalo Borja

To this day I still ask my friends to stand in front of my camera for a portrait that will render present the past as it evolves from now to yesterday. This portrait I have found in my files and it brings back the unruly days spent mostly by night in San Francisco, the cave on Fulton Street, where many of us met and drank and talked into the wee hours discussing the beginning and the end of the world.
Our worlds were many and different. Serge came from Aix-en-Provence and had a wild though well controlled streak in him. Loved salsa and Spanish and lived among Brazilians down Mission way.
And then of course there came a time to split, to get back on the saddle and head on down or up the sunset to where our next station in destiny dictated. Serge ended up in Havana in the early nineties and some of us moved away to Paris, to Cali, to God-Knows-Where, and lost touch with each other. Us, who thought full of illusion that our nights and verb were indestructible. Not such luck.
In short, this portrait is to pay homage to the passage of time and to friends we met, photographed and lost, amid the endless rumour of our daily lives. Amen.

Friday 7 December 2012

Foto robada del blog de mi hija

La fotografía como extensión de la pintura siempre se expresa de tal forma que reproduce su origen.  Vemos entonces que toda actividad fotográfica tiene el colorido, la tinta, de una ceremonia visual, al ser fotografiada. Toda fotografía habla de su fuente primordial: la pintura.

Tuesday 27 November 2012

Layered Lion

This one is part of a series of Acrylic Smears I have produced recently. The idea is to shield the photographic image behind an acrylic curtain, a protective film that gives the printed image its strange and not altogether unattractive final characteristics.

Friday 16 November 2012

Portrait of Olivier Jean Robert, Photographer, San Francisco, California

I seem to remember and it must have been 1990 when Olivier and Lee lived just around the corner from the Museum of Modern Art in San Francisco, on MacAllister Street. Black cloth and a window was all that was needed. As times passes even faster than previously experienced I remain for ever grateful to the images that I shot in those days when my life was in a constant flow as I searched for images to be recorded for posterity.

Friday 2 November 2012

Dark Moonlight

Madrid, the Equestrian Past

In the Garden at Rodin's House, Paris

Some photographs take me back to a time in which I wanted more than anything to become a photographer. Life has taken me there and, nowadays, far from such long gone longings I still take refuge on the images of my past.
Taking a retrospective gaze to much of what I endow relevance, in my work, has the look of those movies seen and dreamt about during my years of secondary school.

Wednesday 31 October 2012

Rome Inverted

After a ruinous trip to Rome, where all my medium format film was trashed in-camera, there comes a time for strategies to try and rescue some of it.
My formula is simply to make callotypes and let the chips fall where they may.
That way I relinquish all responsibility and rational thinking to the spirits of the unknown streak of light and heavy spots pretending to resemble a crazy moon. Voilà.

Tuesday 30 October 2012


Some images are better remembered by being totally untraceable and hard to define.
They seem to come out of nowhere and materialize before our eyes in no time.
This is one of them. Its source is undefined and its purpose more so. It resulted from an illogical step by step using two unseemly negatives.
The result is an intriguing photograph rich in ambivalence, hard to pin down.
I cannot keep my eyes from it and that is enough.

Scene From Somewhere

In the past few years I have intensified the recording of segments, or parts thereof, in the lives of my children. Impossible task as we all know. I try perhaps in vain to commit to visual memory as much as I can. Sometimes there show in the negatives one or two images that raise my pulse. This one in particular, taken ten minutes out of school a week ago, rendered something absolutely beautiful. A moment in time which extends itself to enter the visual lore of noir mischief. I may have seen this scene somewhere in a cinema house in my past. Maybe eastern European. Most definitely English. Kent all the way, with its relentless beauty even under severe grey skies and some hint of desolate earth. And a bit of sun, miraculously.

Sunday 28 October 2012

Acrylic Smear

                                                                   Acrylic Smear
The present project shows the interaction between two radically different mediums. On the one hand there is the traditional negative-derived imagery, and on the other the free flowing untamed smear of the acrylic, used to coat over parts of the established positive.
The resulting images can neither claim to be photographs, though they are, nor paintings, as they are not. They are hybrids borne by complementary associations.
I call them “smeared” images. The smear taken as a superimposition both in tone and flow produces a resonant echo. It also acts as a denial that pretends to obscure their visual definition by force of the layers of colour imposed upon them.
Thus accepted the resultant pieces acquire a derivative truth by assimilating two visual currents, not always necessarily happy in conjunction with each other, but not altogether unpleasant, in this particular case.

Nature Mother of All Metaphors

Tuesday 23 October 2012

Arte Condenado a la Ignominia del Olvido - The Vatican Gardens

Rigidez, gracia, elegancia y dulzura en la arquitectura

La Atracción de la Altura... (Capilla Sixtina, El Vaticano)

Este tipo mira hacia arriba como lo hacen millones de otros cada mes del año. Imposible no hacerlo ya que la atracción principal es patrimonio de la historia de la humanidad. Los frescos de la Capilla Sixtina atraen gente de todo el mundo y esto ha originado una polémica en el Vaticano.
Se estima que los humores, el sudor, la respiración de tanto turista encajonado y arreado como si fuera ganado camino de la feria, hacen sufrir la eterna obra de Miguel Ángel. Es muy probable.
Lo peor no son los sudores y sí más bien la falta de respeto de quienes van allí, no a admirar en silencio una de las más grandes riquezas del género humano, sino a sentarse a botar caspa mientras descansan cinco minutos antes de proseguir "acumulando galerías", para luego salir despavoridos a buscar el MacDonald's más cercano.

Saturday 13 October 2012

Passage of Life

This is what I wrote five years ago in this blog:

Quebec City, summer of seventy four, my first camera and first wife. A small room in a provincial town with wonderful light streaming in from the outside. One never thought of preserving memory, it was all about photographing, not keeping records. But in the end that's what happens. It is a record kept for thirty odd years, of a time inexorably lost.
I must be thankful for the negatives so well preserved. There would be no memory without them.
I must confess, on the other hand, that, having given the image a tinted look it makes it speak of another era, and it can only mean that my mental association with the place evoke visuals bathed on that ineffable sepia glow...

This is what I wrote today:

Five years ago, going through my old prints, I found this image of my first wife, Margaret Thurlow. It recalled pointedly those early years of my life as an immigrant in Canada, my attempts at being a man in love with photography and the very first vacation that I had ever taken as an adult.
It was a wonderful time, with wife on board and the fantasy at hand to do whatever came to mind while free of duties and a camera nearby.
A few months ago I received the sad news that Margaret had passed away, in Santa Cruz, California, and of course the dark clouds of reality started to gather over my head. Age and the diminishing probabilities to do what needs to be done before our turn at the head of the queue all came cascading forth. So it goes.
These few sentences and the accompanying portrait should suffice to pay homage to the  woman who taught me photography and was a very good human being all of her life.

Friday 5 October 2012

Roma; la cama sin tender, la calle en movimiento

Quién sabe qué sucede detrás de las ventanas de un cuarto piso, cuando la noche se esparce y los neones y las luces de la calle comienzan a alumbrar nuestros pasos. Tantas veces me he hecho esta pregunta: quiénes se aman detrás de esas ventanas; qué seres se estremecen despechados en pequeños lechos de una sola vía, abrazados a una almohada solidaria que ensordece el llanto pasivo de amores  sin destino...?
Afuera, en la calle, la noche romana recién empieza y suben hasta el piso, la estrecha camita destendida, los zapatos tirados al desgaire, los ruidos de cafés y discotecas vecinas, anunciando el inicio de una noche más de farra y la alegría impostora del vino y el eterna soledad una vez más, sin rumbo y sin memoria.

Green Room, Madrid

Morning sunlight through the door

By Jack Peilow, ten years had passed since...

This shot was part of a series that young Jack did at the time and was entirely related to beards.  Jack went around town asking men to pose...