Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Lady Wistful

Sorting through this year's photos, I stumbled upon this one.

She was selling antiques at a market in Wroclaw. I was struck by her mix of sassiness and melancholy, and asked to photograph her.

Her: "Why?"
Me: "I like your style."

She led me to a green patch behind her stall, tore off some leaves and looked at me.  

Friday, 23 December 2011


1 - Edita Vilkeviciute
2 - Kate Moss
3 - Saskia De Brauw
4 - Saskia De Brauw
5-  Guinevere van Seenus

Mario Sorrenti for the 2012 Pirelli calendar.

Let's plunge into the year as ethereal anorexic-athletic goddesses.

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Nouvel Bath

On Sunday I voluntarily went to Le Havre. Not to take a ferry to England or photograph urban desolation - but to take a bath.

Les Bains de Docks were designed by Jean Nouvel and might actually be worth the treck out. There are 6 indoor and outdoor swimming pools (heated in the winter), saunas, steam rooms, and a mega slide for children (and childish twentysomethings).

Le Havre felt like post-nuclear Fukushima and there was virtually no place to eat, but facing the bleakness was kind of fun. 

The Paris Wallpaper Guide also recommends this as a schmancy day trip from the capital. Not that you can't just go swimming there.

Thursday, 15 December 2011


I'm clearly suffering from summer nostalgia.

Today I reminisced about how I went to Portugal for a well-behaved weekend with my parents.

I was borderline bored for most of it, apart from reading  "The Beautiful Fall: Lagerfeld, Saint Laurent, and Glorious Excess in 1970s Paris"  (crucial) and telling my parents to stop the car at randomly surreal places between desert and soulless villages.

Like these.

(Don Quixote)


Sunday, 11 December 2011

Sunday Observer

In early November I went to Rome. The last days of Indian Summer.
On a Sunday to myself, I took a stroll and followed the natives.

This trio walked along the Tiber. It's around 11 o'clock, they come from a nearby market. I'm above, catching up with their shadows.

Signora is waiting for bus in a deserted part of town. It arrives, she gets up. I keep on walking.

The best-dressed Romans are the clerics. In the center, this tiny Sorella is marvelling at the window of a shoe shop. I follow her until the end of the street.

Intimately and overexposed, at Termini station. I press the release and hurry off for a pizza. 

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Who is Jill Scott?

When I was 16 I recorded a Diva Sing Off on VH1 with my MiniDisc player. The whole thing was like a pre-mortem tribute to Aretha Franklin, and pretty much every gay icon was there: Mariah, Celine, Gloria, Shania...

But there was also Jill Scott. She seemed like the most Aretha-like, though more jazzy-poetic and 21st century. I bought her first album "Who is Jill Scott?" and haven't stopped listening to it since.

Last week I went to see her in concert at the Brixton Academy, and she blew me away as much as back in 2001. I think Jillly might be on my MiniDisc player (or iPod) for another ten years. At least.

1999, Jill Scott + the Roots, "You Got Me" (which Jill wrote)

"A Long Walk" (classic) + "Golden" (2004)

"He Loves Me" - a LOT of pathos

"Cross my Mind" - Grammy award winner

"Gettin' in the Way" - You better chill girl

Friday, 2 December 2011

Versatile Viviane

For over a year I've been seeing Viviane Sassen's images around the block, without connecting the dots. This week I realised who she was, and I'm won over by this Kenyan-raised Dutch stunner. There is something very intriguing about her photos - slightly surreal, with a seeminly accidental fashion spin, yet earthy and African.

No surprise then, that she not only makes it to MoMA New York or the poster of Paris Photo, but also onto the pages of high fashion magazines.

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Sad Paris Photo

So the other week I went to Paris Photo, the world's largest photo fair.

Here some unfortunate photos. I blame Jessops' mediocre chemicals for their funeral joy quality. Or are Parisians really that miserable at exhibitions?


Sunday, 20 November 2011

A Very Bourgeois Orgy

A young man appears in  the villa of a Milanese industrialist family. One by one, he seduces the maid, the son, the daughter, the mother, and finally the father. After his departure the family implodes amidst psychosis and promiscuity.

Pasolini's Teorema (1968) had me positively gasping in bed this morning. And it works (or confuses) on many levels.

In full on YouTube (but only in Italian)

Thursday, 17 November 2011

A Polish Education

Last night I went to a concert of the Marcin Wasilewski Trio as part of the London Jazz Festival. It was great, and the right pitch after a long day. My dad reminded me that the band collaborates a lot with Polish jazz titan Tomasz Stańko, who in turn worked extensively with the late Krzysztof Komeda, author of the soundtracks of Knife in the Water (Roman Polanski's first feature film) and Rosemary's Baby.

                                                                                                  Rosemary's Baby, Komeda + Anna Jopek

Rosemary's Baby - Lullaby (live recording)

Rosemary's Baby (1968) Trailer

The Knife in the Water (1962) Trailer

Knife in the Water - Cherry

Knife in the Water - Theme

Tomasz Stanko - Suspended Variations II (2004)

 Marcin Wasilewski Trio - Vignette (2008)

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Mexicanas francas

Candid eyes, dug out from a pile of August shots.

1 - Smiley bag, Oaxaca
2 - Saturday breakfast
3 - Lady knitter, Mexico City

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Andy's Factory

The other week I went to an incredible 20's Halloween bash organized by “Die Freche Muse” (German: The naughty muse). Now the London collective is organizing a night in hommage to Andy Warhol's Factory.

I'm expecting big things. 

26th November, Adam Street Vaults.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

The (Un)Broken Worry

Ever since I came across Sophie Calle I have been intrigued by her quietly disarming work.

So the first thing I bought with the salary of a city pig was a limited edition of her glassplate Souci at the Whitechapel Gallery. Souci (English: worry) refers to the last words Calle's mother spoke before she died - "Ne vous faites pas de souci" (don't worry). Last year, different versions of the Souci glassplate figured in an exhibition in the Palais de Tokyo which focused on Calle's mother and included photos of her grave and a video of the last 15 minutes of her life. 

The other day my Souci fell from the wall and broke into a hundred shards. I was tempted to wail out in pain (OK, I did), but the irony did not escape me. I decided to see the fragile memento mori as a lesson. I took some photos of the remains and binned them along with my regrets.

When at the Frieze Art Fair a couple of weeks later (see article) I got talking to a lady from the Whitechapel Gallery. I mentioned the incident in passing and was stunned when she offered me a free replacement. She emailed me days later saying that my new edition would be number 140/150 (the only one she had left), when I realised my broken plate had been number 14/150.

I am not sure what, but I think Ms Calle is trying to tell me something.