Beautiful Children Smoking — A Photographic Series

April 2, 2013 at 1:11 pm | Posted in artist, contemporary art, photography | Leave a comment
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young black girl dressed in black cape smoking a cigarette

young white girl with blond hair blowing smoke rings

young black boy in a jacket smoking

girl dressed in pink against green wall smoking cigarette

young black girl about to smoke a cigarette

young boy with blond hair smoking

Smoking Kids.

I too was part terrified and part intrigued at first glance of these glamorous looking youngsters in a pondering state, holding a lit cigarette. It immediately reminded me of Maria Marshall’s infamous video of her own child puffing away on a cigarette in an endless loop. But the photographer of these images, Frieke Janssens drew her inspiration from a far more upsetting scenario — a YouTube video that had gone viral of a tubby Indonesian boy with a 40-a-day smoking habit (see video here). The child became a tourist attraction in his country until Child Protective Services found out about it.

Janssens, a Belgium based artist wanted to explore how her audience would react if smoking were removed from its adult context. So here she staged these young and innocent faces, but dressed them in costume from a bygone era which our society often references giddily with smoke filled rooms in cinema scenes of the roaring twenties or the ‘Mad Men’ days. There’s a sense of nostalgia despite the horrifying idea that children could be puffing on a cancer stick as they are pictured above.

Well, cigarettes were actually not allowed in Janssens’ photo shoots of her subjects (ages 4-9 years old). They held a candle or incense as a prop, and a cigarette was later inserted in post-production (phew). But the interesting quandary here is the massive ban on smoking that is sweeping across the globe versus the constant glorification of smoking in movies and television. I’ll admit, it’s sexy to me too, though I’m not a smoker. What do you think: Are we making smoking a forbidden act by promoting it in our everything-vintage-is-cool culture? Or is it really just a thing of the past?

Here’s a slideshow of more smoking children from Janssens’ show at Ingid Deuss gallery.

See other S+D posts:
Javier Bardem smoking hot.
Kurt Cobain’s daughter Frances Bean puffing beautifully..
Robyn Twomey’s medical marijuana portraits.

We are all under the same moon. — A mobile art installation.

March 27, 2013 at 11:59 am | Posted in contemporary art, outsider art, photography | Leave a comment
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I was drawn to these photographs the moment I saw them. Russian artist Leonid Tishkov has built his own mobile art installation that he travels around the world with. When he chooses a spot, like on top of an apartment building with a perfect view of the Eiffel Tower, or in a rural area of The Arctic, or an unnamed city in China, Tishkov collaborates with photographers to document a calm moment with the illuminated crescent moon displayed prominently, watching over the scene. Tishkov said “the moon is a shining point that brings people together from different countries, of different nationalities and cultures – and everyone who gets in its orbit does not forget it ever.” His statement resonated with me. For there are so many people that remain close to my heart, yet I don’t see them often enough. When I’m missing them, I’ve always remembered that no matter how far apart we are, we are always under the same moon, and for that, I feel just a little closer to them.

Go see the Ai Weiwei exhibit at the Hirshhorn!

February 22, 2013 at 9:30 am | Posted in architecture, contemporary art, DC, outsider art, photography, Washington | Leave a comment
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We took a family field-trip in the middle of a weekday afternoon to The Hirshhorn, our favorite Smithsonian museum. The Hirshhorn has an incredible modern and contemporary art collection, something that remains dear to me. We want to have Jack exposed to as much art and music as possible at this early age, so that he will grow to appreciate it. I had heard nothing but rave reviews of the Ai Weiwei exhibit and it did not let us down one bit. I was drawn to the show’s black and white photography, many of which are politically charged (middle finger toward government buildings). Weiwei has remained an outspoken critic of communism and government in general and has faced a ton of oppression from his home country. He was the mastermind behind the Chinese Olympic stadium, known as the “Bird Nest.” There was an entire wing dedicated to the design and construction of the structure which lined the museum wing’s walls and ceiling! So much to see. Sometimes I forget our lucky we are to live in a city where all of this is no more than a couple miles downtown.

The Ai Weiwei show closes this Sunday, February 24th. Don’t miss it!

My Family.

February 19, 2013 at 9:11 am | Posted in life, photography | 1 Comment
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artistic-black-and-white-family-portraits-02Daddy & Son
artistic-black-and-white-family-portraits-03The siblings
artistic-black-and-white-family-portraits-04A family
artistic-black-and-white-family-portraits-05Mom and baby
artistic-black-and-white-family-portraits-06These moments
artistic-black-and-white-family-portraits-07My mom and the kids
artistic-black-and-white-family-portraits-08Doting grandparents

One thing that blows my mind and scares me a bit is time. It’s escaping me and I almost wish I could make it stop. I look back on my life and I think of my sister and brother, and my mom and dad, and our life growing up. All of those years we spent every waking moment together. I see my sister and brother and can’t believe that we are adults! Like, jobs, relationships, lives, bills, real things; and all of that blows my mind so much. Where did time go? How did we get here so quickly? My sister, Claire has lived abroad for the past 10 years so we get to see her once or twice a year. Her arrival brings the family closer, it helps us stop what we’re doing and re-connect as a unit. This year, before my sister flew back to France, my mom planned a fun dinner and a photo shoot in my parents’ art studio. It was my mom’s idea to have black and white photographs with the seamless background (yes, seamless background — they literally have everything), and my mom’s wonderfully talented photographer friend Erick Gibson took the photos. The result: Us. In a moment together, arms around one another, goofing off occasionally, we created another memory. The evening my complete family got together to celebrate nothing more than what love is and family is.

Special thanks again to Erick Gibson for bringing his giant soft box and camera and spending the evening with us.

Lena Dunham photographed by Terry Richardson!!!

January 3, 2013 at 9:21 pm | Posted in magazine industry, photography, pop culture | Leave a comment
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There she is! Hello Lena! You are currently rocking my world, looking fantastic in your pixie cut and leotard in front of Terry Richardson’s lens.

Read the short and juicy feature on Lena in the latest issue of V magazine. She’s so funny and just doesn’t seem to try and impress anyone—I don’t think it’s an act either. I cannot wait for the new Season of GIRLS (Jan. 13th on HBO) and I love so much that she’s Terry Richadson’s latest muse!

Terry Richardson photographs OPRAH!

October 17, 2012 at 12:05 pm | Posted in magazine industry, photography | Leave a comment
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Ha! I would not have put money on Oprah being photographed by Terry Richardson, but they came out really good under Richardson’s bright lights on the set for Harper’s Bazaar magazine. I love how Oprah completely surrenders to Richardson’s direction and gives the thumbs up and finger point. I wonder if there’s a shot of her in Terry’s shades in the outtakes. :) Lookin’ good Winfrey. Lookin’ real good.

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