Friday, June 08, 2018

Scent of smoked ham south past Juarez way.

Sometimes living in the third world is like not cleaning your ass for a while, the funky odor nice as smoked ham until it starts to itch.

Definitely wouldnt pay 350k or 1 million dollars for an apartment here. Unless I had 10 million plus. It seems a questionable idea after I leave my carefully scrubbed and bleached hideout (except for the occasional sewer gas) and get on a former US school bus, now operating as a municipal bus, I could have ridden as a boy in Oklahoma over 50 years ago. We passengers bang around like rocks in an old garbage can to the grocery store, due to stiff suspension and rustic paving stones of the road, arriving sweaty and a little dazed, after just 3 miles. 

This is what first world xenophobes are worried about. That the USA and Europe are to become dangerous Johannesburgs on the Mississippi, Missouri and Rhine Rivers.

I am an optimist, so choose not to imagine bad outcomes; better to imagine how to avoid them and get busy helping the less well off out of poverty.

At this point, the USA might annex Mexico, if they agree. We get poorer in the north and they get richer down here. Our infrastructure deteriorates for a while as theirs improves. And then maybe the new border creates something better for all 500 million of us.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

2 Questions Answered for Shutterstock Blog about My Desert Photography

"Old Gas Pump in Desert" Available at

1. What's the story behind this photo and the desert where it was taken?

This desert is quiet and hot, extremely hot in the summer. Since there are so few people, and little vegetation, it’s a good place to sweat out the noise of the city and concentrate. Vast spaces extend in every direction and peaceful solitude guided this artist into a creative trance. I was overtaken by my own inspiration into a self-confident process. Here, no one is watching, approving or disapproving. Nature is your only mute companion. However, I did take care to watch out for and avoid rattlesnakes. This flat, salty landscape is along the Sea of Cortez in Northern Mexico. While roaming in my car I accidentally discovered it. It was an unplanned surprise that became a working retreat for a few hours. Nature and I bonded in a romance. I consider desert a modernist, introspective environment. It’s so simple; an incredibly flat plane with the bare minimum of natural decoration. 
Back home in the city, reviewing the results of this shoot and another in a favorite café, my emotions settled on nostalgia. I decided to add to the foreground an antique, weathered gas pump from the other adventure in a different part of the Sonora Desert, in Arizona. On that adventure I was driving up a rural dirt road far beyond the last suburb of Phoenix and suddenly saw an old abandoned gas station. Apparently, that forgotten road had once been the main one between two destinations.
2.   What tips would you give to other photographers who want to photograph in the desert? These tips can be anything you can think of, like how to find cool, out-of-the-way places or what to pack in your bag. What do you wish someone had told you before you started traveling to and photographing the desert?
Photography in the desert might be the easiest place for landscape photography. There are so many possibilities and so few people to interfere in your project. Basic practices apply, shoot away from sun, unless you’re going for a sunburst effect. Colors are juicier in the afternoon. I’ve found the best way to get emotional content I hope for in an image is to art direct it, that is, combine elements in the studio. Nature doesn’t always arrange the scene with objects in the best place relative to each other. An artist can do that. Find a background you like and simplify it in the studio if it needs it, the same goes for the foreground. Simple shape concepts have impact. As for equipment, the less the better for me, so I can focus on what inspires me. Accept your limits, financially and emotionally, and get started. There will always be a place for you if you can do that. The sooner you do, the closer you’ll be to finding and revealing the message inside you. And it will evolve.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Twentynine Palms

"Twentynine Palms" print. It is the result of driving through the Mojave and Sonoran deserts between Phoenix and Palm Springs at least 30 times over the last 6 months, affected by the empty landscapes and isolated settlements.

ClearMojave Desert town at Sunset. Available at Redbubble in a variety of products.

Also available at Society6

Sunday, November 19, 2017

The Envious Weakling

Last nite at spanish group we started talking about books weve written, and i couldnt keep quiet and bragged I wrote a book too.

Four people out of 6 at our end of table have written books and traded title information. I was being competitive. I looked at my Amazon rating just now and it reflects a sale. it worries me that one of those people might learn all about me. Or my sister could have bought it. And read my hateful opinions and resentments, my ugly prejudices, my neurotic fear of HIV, and enthusiasm for mexican bathhouses, my rage against religious and straight people and closet cases and critique of moral scolds regarding homosexual men. My small dick fear and hatred of everyone!!

i suppose if i see some hateful comments about the book then ill get used it and the thought of them will cease to scare me. If comments are posted on Amazon, well, i guess they are there forever or until I delete the book from Amazon. Until then, I'm innocent and virgin, so to speak.

My book is no. 97 in LGBT Memoirs category today, between James St James (famous club kid in NYC in the 90's and friend of a notorious gay murderer) and Dan Savage (from Seattle advice column). Of course their books have lots of comments, mostly good, which must give them a sense of intelligence and confidence in their talent. Their books don't dissapear from the list in an hour like mine will. They aren't feeble weaklings. They dodge bullets and are clever enough to fire back with aplomb! 

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Xiva in San Francisco around 1979

Xiva (Don Wright) in a portrait from around 1979. He looks like a gangster. Actually, he was a gentle person, mildly effeminate in his speaking voice and body language.

Xiva at the "Bunkhouse" Apartments on Ivy Street in San Francisco around 1979

Xiva (Don Wright) laying down on the tile in my bathroom at 419 Ivy Street in San Francisco around 1979.

Xiva (San Francisco around 1980)

I met Xiva (Don Wright) around 1980 at Cafe Flore on Market Street in San Francisco. I made photographs of him in my apartment on Ivy Street. According to him, times were changing and he didn't feel comfortable anymore visiting the Castro Street Area dressed in "Hippy Girl" drag as he called it. The popular style was levis and plaid flannel shirts, commonly known as the outfit for the "Castro Clone". He passed away from AIDS before the treatment "cocktail" had arrived. We had lost touch by then as I had left San Francisco and lived in New York. This collage was a project I did in 1993 at Fashion Institute, where I worked in the Macintosh computer design lab.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Joseph Durant on Ivy Street in San Francisco around 1982

Joseph Durant in my apartment on Ivy Street in San Francisco around 1980. We met at Cafe Flore on Market Street a couple years earlier and became good friends. He began the Aids Quilt with Cleve Jones. The following fragments about Joseph are from an interview with Cleve Jones by PBS show "Frontline":

""I was with my friend Joseph Durant, and I remember saying: "I wish I had a bulldozer, and I'd knock these buildings down. Maybe if this was a meadow with 1,000 corpses rotting in the sun people would see, and they would understand, and if they were human, they would be compelled to respond." …
So the night of the candlelight march, Joseph and I had stacks of cardboard, lightweight cardboard placards and sacks full of magic markers. We asked everybody to write down the name of one person they knew who had been killed by AIDS. People were ashamed to do it. They would put initials or just the first name, and then finally one guy took two pieces of paper, taped them together, and in big block letters wrote, "Thomas J. Farnsworth Jr., my brother -- he's dead."

Then I hadn't seen Joseph in a while, the fellow who was with me when we were putting up posters for the candlelight march. I hadn't seen him in a few months, and I saw him on the street, and he was skinny, and his skin was gray, and his eyes were yellow. I asked him, "Are you OK?," and he said: "I don't want to talk about it, but it's time for you to get off your butt and start that quilt. It's a good idea." He was still working part time in I think a theater supply company, and he stole a couple of bolts of fabric, and I went down in the basement and found a box of spray paint left over from Ronald Reagan's last visit to San Francisco, and we went in the backyard, and we made the first quilt panels. I made mine for Marvin Feldman, and Joseph made his for a man named Edward Mock.

That's how it started. It grew slowly, because it was very difficult for people to visualize it, even though I had this picture in my head that was as clear as a photograph and drove me quite crazy for a long time, because I could just see it so clearly, but I couldn't communicate it verbally to people.

Dianne Feinstein, who is now a U.S. senator, was mayor of San Francisco at the time. At that point Joseph and I made I think 40 panels for friends of ours, and a couple of other people had contributed some, and we were permitted to hang those from the mayor's balcony at San Francisco City Hall during the Lesbian and Gay Pride Parade. I believe there were about a million people that day who saw it, and then they had the visual understanding of how this could work.""

Saturday, September 09, 2017

Zacatecas (With Black mat and frame from Imagekind)

Striking Monochrome Design in Vivid Red. Fill your space with heart energy! This would make a good printed mural for a wall in a store, office, or home. Shop for it at Imagekind: