Raised in Long Island, Dobrowner struggled with his identity and purpose as a teenager. In response to this apparent lack of direction and sense of self, his father offered him “an an old Argus rangefinder to fool around with.” After researching photography and tinkering with his camera, Dobrowner was hooked. Shortly thereafter, at the age of 21, he left home and embarked on a journey to explore the American Southwest–a theme that which would eventually materialize as a major motif in his oeuvre.
After meeting his wife in California, Dobrowner set his photography aside in order to settle down, raise a family, and operate a business. Although his photographic career reached a plateau lasting several years, he was inspired to reacquaint himself with the craft again in 2005. Rather than stagnating his zeal or hindering his success, however, his break from photography, if anything, added fuel to his fire. He explains:
“Today I see myself on a passionate mission to make up for years of lost time – creating images that help evoke how I see our wonderful planet.”
And, with his snapshots of swirling storm clouds, harrowing canyons, and towering landmasses, both his passion and perspective remain undeniabily apparent.
Nicolas Kennedy Sitton‘s Twisted series uses photographic manipulation to distort the architecture of San Francisco. The photographer adds concentric circles to the images to form new shapes, with the buildings seemingly folding and toppling into themselves.
Raphael Saadiq”s video for Good man is a great example of how to tell a story through music. So much music these days is just a bunch of nonsense with nothing behind it but Saadiq has hit a home run.I don’t even really like R&B and I love it!
Dana Tanamachi brings the art of dynamic turn of the century typography to the medium of chalk drawing. Her elaborate drawings are not anything short of amazing with some coming complete with QR codes drawn in chalk! Now that’s what I call a mix of old and new! More typographic goodness after the jump!
Australian artist Ben Frost’s Lost in the Supermarket (now showing at Bout, a reference to The Clash song, remarks on the over stimulation, confusion and daily hypnosis we are trapped by, as we struggle to stand still on a buzzing psychedelic landscape of brands, identities and social demands.
The songs are heartfelt and powerful with Lee’s fragile and beautiful voice as the centerpiece, and the recordings are an instantly engaging blend of high and low fidelity, mixing lush studio productions, featuring keys, guitar, violin and banjo, with clattering homemade percussion and found sounds. While the album is certainly Lee’s brainchild, the recordings are very much a collaborative effort featuring contributions by friends and others met along the way.
Mutual Benefit is currently on a US tour with European dates to follow. Check out his video for Advanced Falconry and then catch him live this Tuesday, January 28th at the Center for the Arts Eagle Rock in Los Angeles. He’ll also be playing some East Coast dates in early February before heading off to Europe.
Louis Jacinto‘s series “Floating Away” is at once alien and familiar, like Norman Rockwell from space. His photographs are of the most mundane objects we see every day in our lives: signs, usually connected to buildings and rooftops, drifting away. One photograph features a water tower, suspended in mid-air like a Midwestern siren call. Unmoored from their surroundings, the objects seem to contain some kind of portent, like a surreal rapture of modern design.
Jacinto’s photographs of big company logos are particularly evocative; devoid of branding, advertisements and the adoring gaze of consumers, they seem almost lonely. There’s a nostalgia to Jacinto’s photographs. They’re haunted by ghosts of icons from the past.
According to a statement by the artist,
“I expected so much growing up in the 1960s. My home always included discussions of the day’s events and politics. I saw how people struggled, fought and died for what was right. I thought by the time I was grown, the world was going to be beautiful and wonderful. I see we are still getting it backwards. I do everything I can so that my own ideals don’t float away.”