Monthly Archives: September 2017

New Zine Release – These Windows Are Tinted To Help You Sleep, Michael Ast (Sept. 2017)

Happy to announce the publication of my zine These Windows Are Tinted To Help You Sleep, printed in an edition of 50. Now available.

Info & Ordering

These Windows Are Tinted To Help You Sleep, Michael Ast, zine, Cuba, Vinales, road trip, low-fi, self-publish, photozine, black and white photography, visceral, stream of consciousness, driveby, tinted windows, zine cover, cover, front and back, retro car, chevrolet, Ford, Chevy, Pontiac, michaelast

Living Image Exhibition, Oct. 6 – 29, 2017, Gravy Studio (Philadelphia)

Excited to be one of the selected artists for this upcoming exhibition, showcasing my photo etchings at Gravy Studio & Gallery, Philadelphia.

Living Image, Halide Project, Gravy Studio, Gravy Gallery, Philadelphia, philaarts, analog photography, analog, printmaking, photo etching, photopolymer, photogravure, Michael Ast, photo exhibition, call for entry, The Print Center, John Caperton

“Juried from an international open call by John Caperton, the Jensen Bryan Curator of The Print Center, the works on view in Living Image demonstrate the breadth, depth, and delight of contemporary analog photography. Showcasing an array of traditional and alternative photographic methods, Living Image brings together artists from the region, across the county, and beyond.” (Halide Project)

Opening reception & juror talk on Saturday, Oct. 7, 5:00 – 9:00 pm. Exhibition runs from October 6 – Oct. 29, 2017.

These Windows Are Tinted To Help You Sleep – Proof Approved, Michael Ast

These Windows Are Tinted To Help You Sleep, zine, self publish, self-publish, Michael Ast, Vinales, Cuba, Havana, low-fi

New zine / proof. Some small changes made and the go ahead to print an edition of 50 on 100# smooth Mohawk paper has been approved. The images in These Windows Are Tinted To Help You Sleep were made during a bus trip to Viñales, Cuba, out a dark window, in an R.E.M. state of consciousness, after 4 long, hot Havana days and nights. An 85mm lens pressed against the window at f1.2. I like exploring and illustrating the psyche amid landscapes unknown.

More info and portfolio to come in coming days.

Cuban Spirit – A Week of Surprises in Havana (Aug. 2017)

Habana Vieja, old Havana, Havana, Egrem Studion, Cuba, cabaret, dancer, fan, yellow, Afro Cuban, Cuban, Estudios Areito, Michael Ast, journal

Dancer / Habana Vieja © Michael Ast, 2017

I miss the surprise and energy of what I experienced last month in Havana so much. I won’t go into a tirade on my boredom with the U.S. and its overarching dismal character pervading the airspace. We all know, this ship is anchored in mire. Instead, I’ll tell a story.

We had just gotten downstairs after witnessing a Cuban jazz recording at Egrem Studios, notorious for the multitude of international acts from Josephine Baker to the consummate sessions led by Ry Cooder, producing his all-star Buena Vista Social Club cast of ambassador musicians. It was to be a surprise like so many that spontaneously occur in the beat of a second in Havana. Tony Leal Rodriguez, current trombonist of the Buena Vista Club, had invited us the night before at dinner to come watch how things are done. Feelings of being in such a sanctuary are inexplicable. In any case, the gentleman at the bar next door, who unlocked the door to let us in earlier, and up the 3 flights of stairs, was now gone. No trace of anyone to let us out of the building. Vira wandered off in search of assistance down a circuitous hallway. A couple minutes later, “I found someone! I found someone!”, she exults from down the hall. She rounds the corner. “Wow!!! You really found someone!”, I blurted. Urszula, Britt and I erupting into praise of beauty. Another surprise. The radiating dancer of course is happy to strike a quick pose for some pictures. She was in the middle of a cabaret performance. She hailed the club manager. He comes. He motions to follow him. We pass nondescript doors, seemingly apartment efficiencies. He unlocks a door. There’s a crowd in a dimly lit room around small tables mesmerized by the choreography of dancers. The four of us stay with the lady in yellow and the manager, cutting through the performance, and led to another door behind the stage. Bright light. Rum, beer, drizzle, afternoon locals on the bar terrace, where we first began our dip into Egrem. Salida. Entrada. A microcosmic moment of the Cuban way. How one doesn’t long for more of such to escape the daily muck? I plot already my return.

Habana Vieja / Viñales (Aug. 2017)

Havana, Habana, Habana Vieja, Havana Vieja, Cuba, Old Havana, tool sharpening, grinder, fedora, Michael Ast

Habana Vieja © Michael Ast, 2017

Habana, Havana, Havana vieja, Habana Vieja, retro car, Chevrolet, Chevy, broke down, Cuba, 50's, spare tire, Michael Ast

Habana Vieja © Michael Ast, 2017

Vinales, Cuba,Viñales, cigar, tobacco, smoke, Cuban cigar, Michael Ast

Tobacco Farmer, Viñales, Cuba © Michael Ast, 2017