27 Contexts by Mark Alice Durant (Saint Lucy Books)

I cannot put Mark Alice Durant’s book down. Evocative meditations and insight on photography that arrive poignantly in their telling through Durant’s intimate observation and acumen. The essays I’ve devoured so far, in one night, deliver their impact like a perfectly crafted short story. I looked up from the page at one point thinking “this is PG-13 Robert McCloskey!” Unlike the impersonal critical thinking too many books on art deliver, here we’re engaged with a trust and knowledge that entwines Durant’s immense smarts with a palpable curiosity that thrives on the personalities of great writing – courage, candor, humor, wonder, reasoning, with great sensitivity towards history and art. I’m trying not to devour it all in one sitting, but it’s proving difficult.

Mark Alice Durant, 27 Contexts, Saint Lucy Books, photography essays

The book can be ordered at Saint Lucy Books: “27 Contexts: an anecdotal history in photography”

Work Prints, Kinsey Series

Michael Ast, printing

Work Prints, Kinsey Series © Michael Ast, 2017

Walking at Dusk

Inherent sadness in the church bell tonight. Walking down Pond Road. Twilight in the puddles and the ravine on the dead leaves. Ambling along the mire, the crunch of stone and slush under my shoes, I stop to make a few pictures, pushing the ISO to a higher grain. Rain drops. Ice begins to patter the fence posts, the puddles, my jacket. Like mice feet scampering, the earth suddenly sounds like a snare drum concert roll, a soft symphonic dirge quivering in the dark from the pit. What is this sixth sense that stares back feral from the farm and field, where the late pumpkins rot? I reign it in. Seemingly befitting two days before this year’s end. I stand with it until dark in gratitude. To taste the failure of nature is utmost fortune. Turning back, it follows me home for a mile in the cold rain and veers off before turning down Dogwood, when the rain suddenly stops. Off. A fine pelting. I string the night walk onto my belt and hang my pants up to dry. December twenty nine.

Sintra, Portugal (Nov. 2016)

Michael Ast, Sintra, Portugal, doberman, overlook, wall

Sintra, Portugal (Nov. 2016 / © Michael Ast,)

Lisbon, Portugal (Nov. 2016)

Michael Ast, Lisbon, Portugal, Canon, Castelo de Sao. Jorge, Castel of Saint George, Moorish, moors, fortress, medieval, castle, Alfama district, Alfama

Lisbon, Portugal (Nov. 2016 / © Michael Ast,)

Lisbon, Portugal (Nov. 2016)

Lisbon, perched, pigeons, Michael Ast, branches, b&w

Lisbon, Portugal (Nov. 2016 / © Michael Ast,)

Costa da Caparica, Portugal (Nov. 2016)

Michael Ast, Costa da Caparica, Portugal, fishermen, sunset, dusk, seagulls, fishing, swarm, ocean, sea, beach

Costa da Caparica, Portugal (Nov. 2016 / © Michael Ast,)

Costa da Caparica, Portugal (Nov. 2016)

Michael Ast, Costa da Caparica, Portugal, fishermen, beach, ocean, sea, Portugese fisherment, Portugese, fishing net, fish catch, dusk, Atlantic Ocean, seagulls, flock, avian, tractor

Fishermen, Costa da Caparica, Portugal (Nov. 2016 / © Michael Ast,)

Costa da Caparica, Portugal (Nov. 2016)

Michael Ast, Costa da Caparica, Portugal, fishermen, break time, beach, ocean, sea, Portugese fisherment, Portugese, relaxing, break

Fishermen, Costa da Caparica, Portugal (Nov. 2016 / © Michael Ast,)

Yamamoto Masao – Signing “Tori” at ICP, (Dec. 2016)

Yamamoto Masao, ICP, photobook, Tori, book signing, International Center of Photography, poet

Yamamoto Masao Signing ‘Tori’ at the ICP, 12/9/16 (Published by Radius Books, Jan. 2017)

I stand before one of the world’s greatest visual poets . . . Yamamoto Masao signing advance copies of “Tori” on Friday night in NYC at the International Center of Photography. The event was organized by the great Spaces Corners bookshop. An absolute serene and transporting book awaits Masao fans. The corresponding exhibition “Tori” just opened at Yancey Richardson Gallery. The show is on view until January 28th, 2017.

Yamamoto Masao, ICP, photobook, Tori, book signing, International Center of Photography, poet, Radius Books, Japanese photography