Monday, February 18, 2008

(sub)Urban Succulents

Where do I start? Contrast? Jealousy? Parody? Or is it just plain flattery? Honestly, I don't know.

In terms of contrast, well, let's just say that I like Maplewood about as much as I like Chicago. Neither is my home town, but both are appealing. Jealousy? This is interesting. My friend Eliot Crowley out in California has made a series of images he calls Santa Barbara Succulents and they're beautiful. My kind of pictures, really.

Then my other friend, Mark Harmel, also in California, did something very similar. I'm not certain that he's even aware of Eliot's pictures, in fact I don't think the two know each other..... but, again, my kind of pictures!

Flattery? Parody? I want to make pictures like that too, but I don't have a cactus garden handy. I do have a back yard..... well, I call it a back yard but it's really an alley.

I live in the urban part of a New York suburb, right in the center of the village, on the third floor of an apartment building on the main street. I'm, technically, in a leafy burb but in reality I live smack in the middle of an urban jungle. So I have an alley in the back of my building ("where the people congregate in shame") and rather than beautiful plants I have old screens, broken gates, decaying brick, etc, etc.

Even though I'm scenically challenged, I want to make images of succulents too, so I've taken the liberty of reinterpreting the art form with a decidedly ce-ment point of view.
(sub)Urban Succulents.

Urban decay, decrepit structures, peeling paint, dirty floor mats from the restaurant kitchen, discarded ice cubes laced with cigarette butts, too many parked cars, body parts. We've got it all here in Maplewood, and we've got it all stashed in the alley behind my place.
All above: Canon EOS-5D, 50/2.5 Canon Compact-Macro Lens EF, ISO 100


Blogger Mark Harmel said...

Eliot and I do know each other and I'm aware of his Holga succulent series. In fact, I'm a big fan.

Your photos of Maplewood make me want to live in Eliot's back yard in Montecito, CA!

3:00 PM  
Blogger Joe P. said...

Forget my photos of Maplewood, I want to live in Eliot's back yard.

3:45 PM  
Blogger Eliot Crowley said...

You guys flatter me. My back yard is nothing compared to my front yard. You are both welcome here anytime.

Joe I'm flattered to be mentioned again in your blog.

5:17 PM  
Blogger Joe P. said...

not to mention the link?


7:13 PM  

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