Thursday, September 29, 2011

La Lettre De La Photographie

I am very thankful to Elizabeth Avedon for this post about my work on La Lettre!

Stephen Mallon is 38 years old and comes from Britain. In the past he has traveled everywhere from Africa to Brazil, searching out artificial landscapes and industrial footprints. Now living in New York, he photographs industrial structures. Most people look at work sites and machinery and see nothing more than concrete and steel. Stephen looks at them and sees both a surreal beauty and the wonder of their engineering.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Stephen Mallon on David Schonauer's Blog

Posted on September 19, 2011 by 
How I Got the Picture:
Stephen Mallon's Working Class

A Bridge Delivered from stephen mallon on Vimeo. To view, enter the password 300002011

The Willis Avenue Bridge in New York City was originally constructed in 1901 to span the Harlem River, connecting the boroughs of Manhattan and the Bronx. In 2005, the New York City Department of Transportation decided to replace the aging structure, which had become too costly to maintain. The old bridge was sent to Jersey City, where its steel was melted and its concrete turned into landfill. A new bridge was built at Port of Coeymans, on the Hudson River 136 miles north of New York City. At 350 feet long, 65 feet high, and 77 feet wide, the new bridge required two tugboats to move it down the Hudson. It was taken first to Jersey City and, on the morning of July 26, 2010, it was towed up the East River to its final destination. The bridge, which cost $612 million, opened for business on October 2, 2010, the latest piece of New York City’s vast network of roads, tunnels, and bridges, a physical symbol or urban connectedness.

What some saw as infrastructure, however, Stephen Mallon saw as art, and a symbol of America at work. Mallon is a Brooklyn-based photographer who has built a promising career by focusing on the industrial landscape. He has created art projects by documenting the salvage of U.S. Air Flight 1549 from the Hudson River and the delivery of a Concorde supersonic airplane to the U.S.S. Intrepid museum in New York. (His work, represented by The Front Room Gallery in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, has been featured at the Verge and Fountain art fairs in Miami.) He has also shot commercial and editorial work for clients like Maytag, Microsoft, Forbes, and Fortune magazines. He is repped by Working Artists.

Mallon’s work harkens back to the heroic industrial landscapes of Margaret Bourke-White and Charles Sheeler, who glorified American steel and found art in its industrial muscle and smoke during the Great Depression. That particular sense of beauty—a celebration of daring, and design—has during recent decades largely been relegated to corporate annual reports. Today, with a U.S. unemployment rate of 9.1 percent and political crisis of confidence over the nation’s economy, Mallon’s imagery offers a decidedly uplifting viewpoint. In his pictures, American industrial muscle is back—in a modern way.

A New York City subway car being recycled as an artificial reef

The abstract beauty of an oil refinery

“It shows the muscle, without being obnoxious about it,” he says. Mallon has documented the building of a Coney Island roller coaster and the recycling of New York City subway cars to build an artificial reef in the Atlantic Ocean, as well as oil refineries and huge warehouses.

Documenting the salvage of U.S. Air flight 1549 from the Hudson River

Flight 1549's control panel, photographed during the salvage

Among his influences he cites the industrial landscape photography of Edward Burtynski, but one can sense the differences between the two. Burtynski’s images–vast Chinese factories filled with faceless armies of workers, black mountains of discarded tires, bright rivers of industrial runoff—are cautionary tales of man’s industrial footprint on the natural world. Mallon’s work is a more hopeful view of what used to be called “progress.” At its best, the imagery reflects the grit and ingenuity of a people and a nation whose work is also a mission.

Bridge Work

That sense mission is certainly on display in the project Mallon created about the Willis Avenue Bridge. Mallon conceived the project after consulting with executives at Weeks Marine, the company that brought the new bridge down the Hudson and up the East River. (Weeks also salvaged Flight 1549.) But he realized early in his planning that the project was an opportunity to update a traditional photographic documentary into something new.

“This came about because of the pressure of changes in the market where everyone is pushing for video content,” says Mallon. “I wanted something to help my transition from still photography into motion.”

Working with a crew of 12, Mallon positioned digital 35mm SLR cameras at 22 locations along the bridge’s route. “I drove to every single location and set up the camera–here’s the lens to use, here’s the shot I want. And using GPS on our cell phones we could schedule a crew to be there to shoot as the tugs towed the bridge past the camera,” says Mallon. “And with a couple of the shots, I would tell the cameraman to pan 90 degrees as the barge passed, following it, get it going away.”

Over the course of the bridge’s journey, Mallon and his crew shot some 30,000 still images, all in RAW format, which he then processed in Adobe Lightroom and output at QuickTime clips. “The file sizes were gigantic—you’re looking at something with the resolution of an IMAX film,” says Mallon. He then turned the material over to Brooklyn-based film editor Princess Hairston. She and Mallon worked for five days to construct a four-minute cut.

The film, titled “A Bridge Delivered,” is being featured in a number of festivals this year, including the 24 fps Film Festival and the Woodstock Film Festival on September 21. Such are the rewards of work well done.

Click here to go to David Schonauer's blog

New downtown Brooklyn hotel boasts artwork from more than 77 local artists


New downtown Brooklyn hotel boasts
artwork from more than 77 local artists

Tuesday, September 20th 2011, 4:00 AM

Linda Rosier/News
The Brooklyn Arts Council selected some of these artists to create works for the new Hotel 718 on Duffield Street in downtown Brooklyn.

A new downtown Brooklyn hotel is decking itself out entirely in art by Brooklyn artists.
Hotel 718, set to open later this year on Duffield St., is sinking more than $100,000 into original art for hallways, building walls, the lobby and even the roof.
"You see art in every hotel out there, and all of them are working with just generic art supply companies," said Daniel Reznik, director of operations for V3 Hotels, the chain that is developing Hotel 718.
"We have no reason to go outside our own borough to supply art," he said. "We have a wonderful opportunity to tap into a very artistic and energetic community."
They've picked out 77 pieces so far out of more than 600 submissions to line the corridors in 17 of the building's 19 floors - everything from paintings to photographs to etchings and collages.
"It was an overwhelming response," Reznik said. "We just wanted to give the artists a blank slate for anything and everything."
They're still sifting through submissions for a dramatic piece for the lobby and a metal creation for the roof, and looking for someone to paint a massive mural outside. "We're still on the hunt," Reznik said.
There are also plans to develop an iPhone app that will give more information about each work of art and a biography of the artist.
Ramona Candy, 59, of Clinton Hill contributed a dreamlike photo etching called "And Their Language Turns to Song."
"It's fabulous that they're using Brooklyn artists," Candy said. "It's called Hotel 718 - why would you use anybody else?
"It's showing how much art and creativity has always lived in Brooklyn, even when Brooklyn wasn't the most popular place to live or create," she said.
Sheila Goloborotko, 52, of Boerum Hill had two of her prints made with aluminum plates and gold leaf selected. She said she's excited to have her work displayed for visitors from around the country and the world.
"I never imagined when I moved to Brooklyn that this was going to be an international neighborhood," she said. "It's an amazing thought that we now have hotels built, one across from the other.
"Brooklyn has incredible talent," she said. "When you put real art in hallways of a hotel it gives you a feeling that you are home. It's not the poster you see in every Holiday Inn."
Click here to read more.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Closing Party and Woodstock Film Festival

Visual Arts Center in New Jersey
Closing party on September 23rd

Next Stop Atlantic is a photographic series by Stephen Mallon documenting the New York City Metropolitan Transit Authority’s recycling program that builds artificial underwater reefs from old subway cars.  Taken over the course of three years along the Eastern seaboard from Delaware to South Carolina,
these photographs track the final passage of hundreds of decommissioned subways cars as they make their way to their last stop: the Atlantic Ocean. The photographs dramatically capture the moments before, during, and after these subway cars are dropped into the sea to spend their “retirement” as a new home for undersea life.

Next Stop Atlantic closes on September 25th
Curated by Mary Birmingman

Closing party FRIDAY, September 23rd 6 - 8pm
The Visual Arts Center of New Jersey
68 Elm Street, Summit, NJ 07901


Woodstock Film Festival
screenings Friday September 23rd at 1pm,
Saturday September 24th at 8pm
Click here to buy tickets!

Using stop motion filming, over 30,000 still photographs were compiled into an animation that recorded the journey of the new Willis Avenue Bridge in New York City. At 4,8000,000 pounds and 350 feet long, it was floated, dragged, pushed and pulled through over 100 miles of waterways and under iconic bridges as it made its way into the city. Assembled just south of Albany, the bridge was filmed from over twenty locations both from afar and on the bridge itself, as it traveled in the current of the East River before reaching its home at 125th Street over the Harlem River.

See you there!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

my heart is hurting

i  remember, i feel it, i look at other people's pain, i see it, i didn't shoot any photos because of my feelings about not making money on people's suffering.  I remember it,  I lost a member of my family line that I never met ten years ago, i hurt from this tragedy, i remember it, I am sorry and saddened for everyone who has been hurt by this act of hatred.  Almost 3000 people were killed ten years ago and thousands more since due to people's inability to accept a different faith.  It is a religious war, oil fueled religion in some of the invasions, but a religion non the less.  My uncle was killed in a religious war more then a decade ago, he was killed for working for what was considered the enemy. I am asking everyone who reads this to think about not judging people but working on how to understand them.  you don't have to agree, but think about how to understand so we can all learn how to live with each other.
sept 11th, 2011

Friday, September 9, 2011

things to ask a publisher- pipe dreams at the beach on facebook

a pipe dream just came up about getting a book published of my recycling images.  Its not soo much that the images  or my career isn't ready , its just my delussions of grandure kind of play out in funny ways in my head about how things will unfold.  I have been working on a recycling project for almost 4 years, have gotten some amazing press and awards for the latest projects, so why not right?    Im back on dry sand for a few minutes and i would love to hear some feedback / ideas/ research notes from people!

reading/ research material

Mary swanson's  how to publish your photo book (DUH!  ordering right now)
art works-  ( already reading this)
ask elizabeth avedon all of these questions!
ask all your friends who have had a book published already

questions you should ask  the publisher

print run?
size of book?
paper/ cover stock?
schedule for book?
who and where is going to be printed?
who is writing the introduction?
who is the designer?
who is the eidtor?
print on demand/ digital versions?
URL for the book?
Who is handling the PR for the book?

questions you need to ask yourself

i've got none
what's my budget?
this isn't going to make any money most likely, its just going to be an amazing promo piece if i do it right
what's the realistic schedule for a book?

what you need to know before walking into a meeting with a publisher

probably have answers for all of the above questions

what should be in the contract

look at all the questions above for the publisher!

what press requirements do I have

book tour- nyc of course, where else?  book fairs?

if you have content or comments  you would like me to add to this post please send it along!