Saul Goodvan has a new engine! (Although when we visited him last, he did not have a face.) Our trusty (not so trusty) 2003 EuroVan has had its share of breakdowns, as is life in a van with almost 200,000 miles. We were set to leave Florida mid-February when Saul decided he had other plans and quit running. Since powering Saul like a Flinestone vehicle failed, off to the Volkswagen ICU he went. Here’s to smooth sailing from here on out.
While we’re on the subject, did you know you can buy us a beer, coffee, roll of film, or VW part through PayPal? Yeah. You totally can: www.tendencyto.com/support
In an interview with NPR, Tom Petty discussed growing up in Gainesville.
“I was in the redneck, hillbilly part. I wasn’t part of the academic circle, but it’s an interesting place because you can meet almost any kind of person from many walks of life because of the university. But it’s really surrounded by this kind of very rural kind of people that are — you know, they’re farmers or tractor drivers or just all kinds of — game wardens, you name it. So it’s an interesting blend.”
Gainesville, Florida. March 2018.
Dogs on bikes. Fresh (and matching) ink. Deplorable pride. Leather everything. Engines reeving and beer flowing. Throughout the week we’ll be highlighting portraits, scenes, and everything motorcycle from Daytona Bike Week.
One of the first people we met when we hit Daytona Beach was Gator, whose nickname comes from his love of the Florida Gators. Despite being married to a Georgia fan, he has a 5-foot concrete Gator statue in his backyard in Jacksonville. He’s retiring next year, and already let his wife know that he’s about to take a dip in that retirement account in order to finish his sleeve of Gator tattoos (he currently has three). Despite all the changes, Gator’s set up on A1A hasn’t changed for years - he’s a Bike Week regular.
Daytona Beach, Florida. March 2018.
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Last night we headed into Gainesville to pick up donuts and gaze upon the wonder of the Krispy Kreme neon sign. Along the way, we met Lunch Meat Larry - a fellow wandering soul, who is currently living in a monkey habitat in Florida.
Lunch Meat Larry played us a song he had written about life in the slow lane, a life where fishing when the fish are biting is more important than showing up to work on time. The song, he shared, was a hit with his boss; he debuted it one morning when he showed up late to work. Larry was full of wisdom, sharing with us why wearing a kilt has changed his life (he likes “air moving down there”), how he handles homophobia (another story involving his kilt), and his love of film photography.
We gave him a dollar for a pint of beer and headed into Krispy Kreme for a dozen donuts, fresh out of the oven.
Constructed Scenery – Three very different photographers find striking similarity in their visions
Opens April 6 5-9 PM, Studio 229, 450 Harrison Ave, Boston
Join Tendency to Wander at an opening reception. RSVP and see more details here.
Contact Mark Peterson - firstname.lastname@example.org - 617 458-9700
A year or so ago these three photographers began to notice one another’s pictures on Instagram. In the midst of the millions of random insta images they were drawn together by the style and subject matter that they seemed to share and by the sympathetic emotional tenor of their work.
Their resulting group show, Constructed Scenery, opening April 6, uses large prints in bold colors to capture an improbable elegance in often overlooked places. The images created by Mark Peterson, Lisa Guerriero, and Justin Hamel fit together pieces of infrastructure, advertisements, and neglected or under-designed buildings to create formal compositions which make these unlikely elements into a new and revealing whole.
Some people look to a natural landscape and see their photographic subject. Peterson, Guerriero, and Hamel survey the built environment to craft their compositions. In avoiding the more obvious city scenes and veering somewhat away from the documentary, they tend to find places on the edges—the neighborhoods left behind, the results of questionable design decisions, the not-so-desirable locales. Because of their affinity for bringing out hidden value, these settings are presented empathetically, proclaiming the aesthetic value that is underappreciated.
The three all relish strong colors drawn from improbable sources in the built environment and positioned against one another in the manner of montage. Stark lines are formed with the use of unexpected shadows and incidental elements: wires, signposts, street edges. This leads to both a strong melancholy feel and often also to an abundance of irony. Peterson likes to say that if the site is sufficiently banal and the composition sufficiently elegant, then the photograph may be very ironic.
One of Hamel’s favorite strategies is to find a famous tourist view and turn his back on it, pointing his camera instead at the splay of tourists and the background structures that support them. Peterson photographs within hours of sunrise to make the most of vivid shadows and to maximize the pale yellow light, which he feels intensifies the color. Guerriero often interviews the characters at the center of her scenes. She seamlessly blends captivating environments with portraits to amplify the connection between the story and subject.
Peterson has been printing his own for several years now. Inkjet printing fulfills, he says, a dream from his 20s and 30s when gave up on his black and white darkroom in search of some way to print the large, vividly colored images that he saw. Having found such resonance in Guerriero and Hamel’s work, despite being from dramatically different schools of photography and in various stages in their lives and careers, he recruited them to assemble a group show for which he would produce the prints.
In this age of screens, the end product of a printed photograph has drastically declined in popularity. Up against this trend, and in spite of the fact that their meeting was through shared Instagram work, they have decided to demonstrate the impact of their images on the wall instead of the screen.
The results will be up from April 6 to June 1 at Studio 229, 450 Harrison Avenue in Boston’s SoWa Arts District.
Studio 229 will be open for SoWa First Fridays and SoWa Sundays in May. Full dates and times:
Friday, April 6, 5 – 9 pm
Friday, May 4, 5-9 pm
Sundays in May 11-4 pm
Friday, June 1, 5-9 pm