Father’s Day, 2017

Father's Day, fatherhood, children, pool play, Summer, hair toss

Fathers, Day, 2017 © Michael Ast

Trying to Find the Ocean at Urbanautica Institute, Italy

Trying to Find the Ocean, Michael Ast, Urbanautica Institute, photobook, self-publishing, black and white photography

Happy to have donated a copy of “Trying to Find the Ocean” to the recently inaugurated Urbanautica Institute, under the command of curator, editor and art director at large – Steve Bisson. U.I. has opened its doors in Asolo, Italy (just north of Venice), where Steve has transitioned his excellent art journal into a dedicated gallery, bookshop and library.

Check out Urbanautica HERE

Morning Coffee – Dirk Braeckman, Sisyphe

Morning Coffee . . . Dirk Braeckman’s “Sisyphe” (published by Xavier Barral, 2014, in conjunction with exhibition at Le Bal, Paris).

Braeckman is a fine means to which escape an exhausted headspace. Always.

Dirk Braeckman, Sisyphe, Xavier Barral, Le Bal, photobook

Bedminster (Handmade Book, 2006)

Returning to Bucks County work from a decade and more past. Conscious of my home region’s changing landscape resulting from encroaching suburban sprawl, I applied an edit to my first attempt at a leporello book.

Michael Ast, leporello, Bedminster, Pennsylvania, Bucks County, handmade book, artist book, changing landscape, altered landscape, PA, artist photography book

Bedminster (Handmade Book, 1/1) © Michael Ast, 2006

Michael Ast, leporello, Bedminster, Pennsylvania, Bucks County, handmade book, artist book, changing landscape, altered landscape, PA, artist photography book, historical ruin

Bedminster (Handmade Book, 1/1) © Michael Ast, 2006

A Return – Bucks County, Pennsylvania

Nearly 2 decades have gone by, as was somewhat intentional, without paying much attention to this contained photographic work. The overarching theme, which I used these cameras to achieve (and a couple others), was a depiction of my home region of Bucks County, Pennsylvania and its changing landscape . . . . a vanishing rural area, finding itself long ago at the center crossroads of the Revolution, caught in the metropolitan outreach of Philadelphia and New York City. Another 2,000 slides and negatives sit in a closet, in safe darkness. It’s time for a return and output to come.

Michael Ast, Bucks County, Pennsylvania

The Month Before Trump, Harvey Benge

Exciting package from New Zealand, from the consistent, inquisitive photo eye of Harvey Benge. “The Month Before Trump”, self-published, 2017, edition of 50 (with 4×6 print). I really dig Harvey’s self-published works created in his own independent making. Always, he offerers up an existential, probing vision that navigates through the ominous nature of modern society, in city centers, delivering photographic juxtapositions and compositions that are enlightening and sometimes cinematically threatening. Here, Harvey is exploring the urban realms of San Francisco & New York City in the lead up to Trump’s election. Rightfully so, there’s a touch of the apocalyptic. Ultimately though, it’s entertaining and exciting color photography handled with austere attitude. Good stuff!

Harvey Benge, Trump, self-published, zine, The Month Before Trump, color photography, photobook

The Month Before Trump, Harvey Benge, © 2017

a musing from the rocking dock – Dashwood Books

Signed copies of a musing from the rocking dock are now available at Dashwood Books, NYC.

a musing from the rocking dock, Michael Ast, photobook, Dashwood Books

Look/Purchase

Calendar Feature – a musing from the rocking dock

Pleased to be featured in the Spain printing house La Imprenta’s 2017 “Hello Photography” calendar for the month of August.

Michael Ast, a musing from the rocking dock, August, Santa Barbara, Arroyo Beach

from “a musing from the rocking dock” (calendar / August) © La Imprenta, 2017

Squall, Spinnerstown

View from kitchen Window this morning . . . daylight savings time succeeded by 12 inches of hard snow.

squall, blizzard conditions, snowstorm, spruce, storm, windstorm, Spinnerstown, Michael Ast, flakes, flash

Squall / Spinnerstown © Michael Ast, 2017

Back to Printmaking

An 8-month hiatus from the printmaking studio was a bit too long. Happy to get back to etching plates.
This photo etching here, originally photographed in Costa da Caparica (Portugal) in the Fall, proved difficult in transposing to a plate. Rather than trash, I overpainted it with watercolor. Food for thought moving forward.

Michael Ast, Costa da Caparica, Portugal, photo etching, photopolymer, intaglio, printmaking, overpainting, watercolor, analog photography

Costa da Caparica (overpainted photo etching) © Michael Ast, 2017