News From November 2011

Anniversary trip: Paris, part 1

We were then off to Paris, France to see Paris Photo and a slew of exhibitions.
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One of Paris' famous landmarks, the Notre Dame cathedral. We always go in to see the hunchback.
Fun fact: 1450: The Wolves of Paris are trapped and killed on the parvis of the Cathedral.
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Seeing the Diane Arbus retrospective (that we already saw in LA) was on our list of "to-do's." It was at the Jeu de Paume museum (which the Nazi's used as a warehouse for their looted artworks) at the corner of the Garden Tuilieres, across from Musee Orangerie, and The Louvre, and on the square called Place Concorde, where the giant Luxor Obelisk stolen from Egypt stands and where many people, including Marie Antoinette was executed by the guillotine. It's also at the end of the famous Champs-Élysées where the Tour de France ends. (click all links and win a prize!)
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Sucks there was a line to get in.
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What do we have here with an official seal of the USA?
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Mr. and Ms. Ed Templeton.
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Charles H. Rivkin Ambassador of the United States of America and Madame Susan M. Tolson (his wife) Pray (?) Make them (?) the pleasure of attending the exhibition "Open See" by Jim Goldberg, Magnum photographer, during the occasion of Paris Photo. Exposition followed by a cocktail. At the residence of the Ambassador, 41 Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honore, Paris. (!!!!)
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We were told we needed our passports to get in. Heavy. We took the metro to the area and started walking towards the Ambassador's house. An armed guard came out to shoo us off the sidewalk when in a Wayne's World style we held up our invitations. The security guy said, "I thought you were tourists." And I said, "We are." I think most attendees were dressed much more fancy than us, and probably were arriving by car. We were ushered in and our passports were checked and our names checked off the list. We then had to go through a metal detector to get into the courtyard to the massive palace that is the Ambassador's residence. This street, Rue Saint-Honore is like the Rodeo Drive of Paris, real fancy. We were entering high society.
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After we checked our coats at the Ambassoador's private coat check we walked into the opulent old and very fancy rooms. (Click here for a history of this house.) But those rooms had been transformed into a Jim Goldberg show. (Jim is a friend of mine, and one of my favorite photographers, and he's the one who got us on the list.)
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Check out the ornate wooden detail work. The artwork had to be hung on wires, to protect the lush fabric wall-coverings. It's like walking around inside a wedding cake.
Video of this exhibition!
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This is Todd Hido and Bruce Davidson's assistant whose name I heard, but would certainly spell it wrong.
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Todd and me...
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Me and Todd with the Guest of Honor, Jim Goldberg.
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Legendary photographer Josef Koudelka took a liking to Deanna. He kissed her on the forehead, and kept proclaiming, "I'm Sebastio Salgado!"
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Koudelka! I'm not sure you guys can comprehend how epic this dude is.
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And Speaking of epic. Bruce Davisdon.
Posted November 29th, 2011 by Legendary seers...
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Anniversary trip: Gent, part 5

Possible overkill about how nice Gent is, but oh well.
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More from Gent. We woke up every morning and walked out into the chilly morning air and could not get over the fact that we were walking ancient streets studded with castles and cathedrals. How Californian of us.
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And we marvel at the public transport that every city has in Europe, and the lack of barricades as the poeple criss-cross across the very tracks that trams come barrelling down. It's so much more logical and beautiful.
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Graslei canal again this time in the morning, the color coming out slowly with the sun that may get a small chance to pry through the clouds.
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Following the canal yields many nice views, especially when the waters are still and mirroring.
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Loved this corner house. which is located mere yards away from the famous painting inside this cathedral to the right, St. Bavo's.
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The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb by Hubert and Jan van Eyck. It has been stolen SO MANY times that they had to build this secure and guarded cube around it. I'm reading Art historian Noah Charney's book right now. He describes the altarpiece as "the most frequently stolen artwork in history," the object of thirteen crimes over six centuries, including six separate thefts. Napoleon stole it, Hitler stole it, locals stole it. One priest had the Adam and Eve removed and replaced with more modest paintings. Both the original and the fakes are on display. Only one panel is still missing and still a big mystery talked about to this day. This painting marks the beginning of the Renaissance and is an early example of an artist using oil paint. It was such a trailblazing work of art that many of the masters of art made pilgrimage to Gent to see the painting. I snuck a photo for you guys.
Posted November 29th, 2011 by Natalie Portman had to have hair removed from her heel
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Anniversary trip: Antwerp part 1

We took another day trip from Gent to Antwerp to visit with Tim and Elke from the Tim Van Laere Gallery.
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Antwerp, Belgium at night.
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Antwerp is also a beautiful, old, yet hip city. Very fashion-forward.
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Antwerp means Hand-Toss. There is a statue of a guy tossing the hand of a giant that used his hand to block the river before it was cut off and tossed by the hero.
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With Alain from Lomdardia vegetarian restaurant. The best home-made vegan whipped cream in the world. Tim and Elke arranged a private dinner for Deanna and me! After Lombardia closed we went there and knocked on the closed gate which opened up to an empty restaurant, and the lively owner Alain was there preparing food for us and regaling us with celebrity stories! What a special treat! Thanks you guys!
Posted November 28th, 2011 by Tomorrow I shoot Fashion for New York Times...
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Anniversary trip: Gent, part 4

Back to Gent before going to Antwerp for a day.
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Shitty movies, shitty conspiracies, drugs and drug imagery. No wonder the spiral is tight.
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One Euro equalls $1.30. Hey kids!
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Gent's main square at night.
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It's like walking around in one of those miniature Christmas cities your grandma had.
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The night was rife with wasteland life.
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The Limo driver.
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Taking a smoke break.
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A quiet still possesed the water, and the carefully placed lights did thier job casting light up the noses of the old wedding cake houses. We have a real soft spot for Gent.
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Went to the SMAK museum, where I did a show. They bought this piece behind me, and it was on display curently.
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And the limited edition poster I made for the show showing Roman Polanski fucking an underage girl was up on the print wall.
Posted November 25th, 2011 by pepper spraying people away from your black friday sales
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Anniversary trip: Bruges, part 2

Or Brugge, however you want to spell it.
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The candy shop ads some sugar to this and then dips it in chocolate. Voila! Happy Thanksgiving!
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Look at cute lil' Deanna over there.
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Bruges can be surreal at times. A fried foods stand next to the Jan Van Eyck statue.
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This guys rips.
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Lots of great detail in these European cities, you have to always be aware or you will walk right by it all.
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Toy Machine Cig machine. The kids have it easy in Europe.
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Teenage girls in candy shop.
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The fecundity is rampant in this statue in Bruges.
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Deanna and I will be having Vegan Thanksgiving at Native Foods.
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If you're not sure you are in Belgium, just check a vending machine. If there are Belgian waffles in there, you're in Belgium.
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NEW legislation! Vending machines can no longer sell beer to under 16 year olds. Kids have it easy in Europe.
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Getting on the train back to Gent.
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Lurking out the window.
Posted November 24th, 2011 by It's Thanksgiving: I'm thankfull for my grandparents.
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Anniversary trip: Bruges, part 1

They spell it "Brugge" when you're there, Bruges is the french way to put it.
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In the train station in Brugge I found a magazine with Spanky in it.
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"Against Nazis" sticker.
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Getting ripped apart by horses was the equivalent of the electric chair today. You had to take the guys clothes off first, so the onlookers can see his legs and arms ripping off unobstructed. I wonder what this guy didn't believe in?
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Brugge is also very pretty. But word on the street is that they build new buildings in an old style to keep the place feeling old and quaint. It did have a sort of Disneyland feel to it.
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The famous town square.
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A very old and medieval church.
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This is the interior of that church.
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They have pretty canals too, with great trees reaching into them.
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We went on a day the museums were closed, and in doing so missed a great deal of must-see paintings while in Belgium. Van Eyck's and the like. A bummer. But it was just a day trip for us from Gent, so we would have rather stayed outside walking and seeing the place. Next time we'll see the art.
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"Have we so soon forgotten those four years of terrible carnage, the greatest war of all time; forgotten the millions of men who gave their lives, who made the supreme sacrifice and who today, beneath the soil of France and Belgium, sleep the eternal sleep?" -Frank B. Kellogg
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"Notice that the stiffest tree is most easily cracked, while the bamboo or willow survives by bending with the wind." -Bruce Lee
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The canal was mostly clean, but I did find some fascinating flotsam.
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A boatload of tourists, literally.
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Forgive me for trying to "get artsy" with my shot. Deanna's little body lends a sense of scale.
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This photo was two steps to the left of that last photo. This place is crazy.
Posted November 23rd, 2011 by Killing some tofu may be only slightly more humane
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Anniversary trip: Gent Part 3

The city of Gent is beautiful, charming, and just small enough.
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I Google translated this: "So there you gay fag" What a cover blurb! Apparently "flikker" means queer or fag.
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"I'm half-Irish, half-Dutch, and I was born in Belgium. If I was a dog, I'd be in a hell of a mess!" -Audrey Hepburn
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November is a great time. Cold enough to scare away most tourists, but not cold enough to bum you out. And if you miss the rain, you are in for a quintessential time.
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"A good wife is one who serves her husband in the morning like a mother does, loves him in the day like a sister does and pleases him like a prostitute in the night" -Chanakya
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I'm coming up!
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Here is Deanna's view.
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Yes.
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Gent in the evening. This is a bell tower for one of the two cathedrals right next to each other.
Posted November 22nd, 2011 by Coming in hot: Turkey Genocide
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Anniversary trip: Gent Part 2

Continuing with Outsider Art at the Guislain Museum.

Where Deanna is part of a photography exhibition.
Posted November 21st, 2011 by The husband of a great photographer
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Anniversary trip: Part 1 Gent

On occasion of our 20th wedding anniversary Deanna and I decided to go to Europe to visit Paris Photo, and spend some time in Belgium and in London. We started in the city of Gent, Belgium. Some spell it Ghent.
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After the flight from LA to London, we took the train from St. Pancras station through the Channel Tunnel into Belgium. This is waiting for your train in London after a long flight, it's 5AM back at home and your body is shutting down, the last thing you want to be doing is lugging bags onto a train. We slept all the way to the continent.
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Gravensteen Castle in Gent, complete with moat. One of the best vegan restaurants in Europe, Avalon, sits right across from this.
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I'm not sure, but that boy mannekin looks like he's wearing a "Boner Suppressor" (I'm copyrighting it as we speak...) A boner sheath that will keep you from pitching a tent in a critically inopportune moment. He also has a belly girdle and a neckbrace for good measure.
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"In olden days a glimpse of stocking was looked on as something shocking but now, God knows, anything goes." -Cole Porter
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"A severed foot is the ultimate stocking stuffer." -Mitch Hedberg
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The trees were shedding their solar panels which had turned a briliant orange in a miraculously beautiful wilt. Dried up an turning from splendid colorful ground cover to grey dust within weeks. It's this phase of Fall, the colorful one, that gets Deanna happy, but she can do without the chilly bite in the air nipping at her ears.
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Sadly Vittel, in an attempt to gain cool points, you somehow succeeded in achieving 5,784 points into the negative with this advert. Instantaneous minus 5G.
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Punctured Bicycle.
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The town square by the train station in Gent is a bike graveyard, er, parking lot.
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One of Deanna' photographs was included in a big photo exhibition called Dangerously Young at the Dr. Guislain Museum in Gent. Right next to a Nan Goldin and a Larry Clark photo, not bad!
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Extension...
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The Guislain museum has all sorts of other cool stuff too.
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Posted November 20th, 2011 by Willem Van Genk
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Away from the beach and the Pacific

But not too far from that mighty ocean.
Posted November 10th, 2011 by tried and true JGonz and S Van>?
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Civil War in Suburbia?

There's a yearly Civil War re-enactment in Huntington Beach.
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The Gettysburg Address.
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My friend Kevin Christy was not feeling this Abe Lincoln. Too short.
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"A woman is the only thing I am afraid of that I know will not hurt me." -Abraham Lincoln
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"At a civil war reenactment. Feels like a mock gang fight for readers." -Kevin Christy
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The Civil War still divides certain people. This guy was flipping off the Union soldiers! Not my only racist of the day.
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"I wish the South had won." -This guy.
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"Am I not destroying my enemies when I make friends of them?" -Abraham Lincoln
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I'm sorry, but a Burzum shirt sends me some signals. And being at an Orange County Civil War re-enactment? I feel the hate.
Posted November 5th, 2011 by 20 year anniversary trip.
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Halloween in Suburbia 2011

No adult-style partying for us. Just trick or treating with our 9 year old niece Sophia and her family.
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The pumpkin has wilted and now resides in the trash.
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My lovely Deanna still fits into her 8th grade graduation dress and uses it as a fairey costume...
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Ready to trick or treat the tract...
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Sophia went as a dirty hippie.
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Dude this photo blew this kids' mind.
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Future hippies of America practice your light twirling, it will pay big when you are 25.
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Kerrie was ghoulishly hot.
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The pirate house was nailing it with soundtrack and full bags of Skittles.
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Candy apples and razor blades...
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An ocean of kids in fantasy land.
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Drunken Pumpkin.
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The streets are ours!
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Sprinkle some pixie dust over here lady.
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America.
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Happy Halloween in retrospect.
Posted November 1st, 2011 by going away to Europe for 2 weeks
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