She’s who tell my story

IMG_20150120_144811111shellydoty2015 I have 1,800 images stored in my phone and as an exercise uploaded a subset to my Yahoo, with plans to create a gallery here. The theme is “sex” which is Plastic Alto-lingo for gender, felinity and womanhood*. All these images are portraits of women, ok, mostly women there are incidentally a few children, girls. I’ve edited some of these to match the theme. The only ones I think of as portraits per se are of Shelly Doty, a Berkeley based musician I ran into for the first time in several years Thursday on Addison; Masako Miyazaki a grad student at Stanford whose prints Steve, Eric and I admired a week or so ago; Terry, my Terry, Terry Acebo Davis, who you can find voluminously here at Plasty, who generally complains that my candids are not flattering enough and Jessica Pineda Ortiz a recent acquaintance I put on the Earthwise payroll shooting our recent show (at the female owned Cafe Zoe, also named for a female).

artist at work

artist at work

These are not great shots, but they show, I think, a variety of approaches. I hope to gather thoughts about Masako per se, and toured Anderson again looking for handy com parables to her work. I shot several pics of Terry, but they are private. I hope to catch Shelly on-stage soon or at least by phone. She and I agree that she is a regional legend deserving more attention. (and I spent about 25 minutes just uploading and editing) 1. Shelley Doty, who played my Cubberley series at least twice, but years ago; she also appeared recently with Cris Williamson at Freight and Salvage, and again Super Bowl Sunday, as a side-person. She plays guitar, writes and sings. (see above) 2. Marilee Talkington, taking a bow, at Berkeley Rep, after “X’s and O’s A Football Love Story” hoping to review that soonly enough. The extreme crop omits four other cast-members. I met Marilee, who directs and writes, on a BART platform a few years prior. This is a ludicrous shot. I also violated the house rules by shooting the set, although I often claim that at least I didn’t shoot during the show per se. (I have a similar shot of the set of the Molly Ivans / Kathleen Turner event). I said after show — and I hope to write on this more fully — that I enjoyed the version of “Super Bowl Shuffle” by Marilee and cast more than the original that featured Walter Payton and William Perry.

3. musicbuildsfreight This is a sneaky portrait of one of the box office workers at Freight, but I was really going for the message on the marquee: MUSIC BUILDS COMMUNITY. The woman is adding calendars to a stand, at left. I cropped out a dude at right; sorry, dude. 4.

i tagged this one "her dogs plural" in that feet is a slang for dog, she was walking her dog; it spoke to me, woof

i tagged this one “her dogs plural” in that feet is a slang for dog, she was walking her dog; it spoke to me, woof

Likewise I was shooting this dog, in front of 7-11 in Palo Alto, but here, by synecdoche we have a woman, or her feet. (the set, if I get to it, actually has 37 photos, all of women) 5. zoedayofshowcrop I’ve already published this photo of Cafe Zoe, scene of an Earthwise@20 event Friday Jan. 30, 2015 but re-edited it for this exercise. It’s also a self-portrait, you can see. I don’t know the woman in the window. 6.

jerry and friends

jerry and friends

There are four people here I know well, plus the little girl (I have another shot of the girl and her mom). That’s Jerry Hannan performing. I have a bad portrait of Jerry’s partner Marika, blinking. I know the other dude here, as well. It’s more of an establishing shot of Cafe Zoe than group portrait of these woman and girls, in most circumstances. 7. viennaanna This one I shot as a type of note-taking. I would consider paying $150, mostly to get face-time with Anna Eshoo, who I felt kind of dissed me in the 2014 Palo Alto elections. What caught my eye initially is Vienna Teng (Cynthia Shih), who is given higher billing here, a fundraiser for Theatreworks, Feb. 7 (same day as Gunn-Paly basketball later that night) 8. jessicapinedaortiz I met Jessica Pineda Ortiz ten minutes prior to this shot, a month ago. She was shooting a detail of a storefront that I had shot previously. She shot some footage of the recent Earthwise show and is looking for a gig in the documentary world. This took four shots. 9. stanfordartists Terry and I went to a lecture by visual artist Alyson Shotz, interviewed on-stage at Stanford Alison Gass, but I shot the two of them from behind someone I take is another artist in residence. I posted on this previously, with an alternative version of this. 10. A close crop of the music panel I produced for PAHA that included the trumpeter Rebecca Coupe Franks rebeccasolo 11.

Masako Miyazaki, at Stanford Gallery

Masako Miyazaki, at Stanford Gallery

This is one of the only true “sitting” portraits although obviously the subject, Stanford MFA candidate Masako Miyazaki is standing. Her social media page has a lot more info, short essays, that contextualize what you can see at this show, on the Mall. I also strolled Anderson collection shortly after meeting her and shot some details of works by people like Clifford Styll that I thought might be comparable or possibly influences. There’s a second shot slightly more candid of her tending to the work like a preparator. This almost substitutes for trying to preview or review or link to and promote her show.

Rebecca Coupe Franks, Palo Alto, January, 2015

Rebecca Coupe Franks, Palo Alto, January, 2015


someday i will re-mount this piece ordering the pieces by their foxy-ness

someday i will re-mount this piece ordering the pieces by their foxy-ness

Pam Grier book cover “Foxy” 13.

I have shot Terry more than anybody, but she sometimes complains the photos are not flattering enough

I have shot Terry more than anybody, but she sometimes complains the photos are not flattering enough

Terry Acebo Davis, on bike 14.

she plays a virgin on tv

she plays a vrigin on tv

Gina Rodriguez in character, as Jane The Virgen note: tiny bit of sussing, I kinda prefer “Juana La Virgen” in the original Venezuelan telenovela:juanalavirgen

15. Mrs. Hughes, of Ada’s Cafe _20150119_202110 16. group shot, Paly v. Los Altos basketball

17. woman at CoHo — I was shooting Russell Wilson, on tv, above

18. detail from Hitchcock “To Catch a Thief” in Nice, France

19. Gunn spirit squad, as captured on CalHi Sports tv show

20. female basketballer in the low post, in coverage

21. Stevie Nicks on cover of Rolling Stone _20150202_141130 22. 3-shot of our dance partners at Bar Mitzvah, 7th grade, Cheryl Preising, Dana Boyd and Mary Laub;

23. RCF in action, at Cafe Stritch

24. mother and daughter at Stanford Shopping Center

25. amysungonbike realtor and mother Amy Sung on bike, after PAHA panel

26. relatives of TAD, looking at clownfish at Lucky Chance, Colma

27. author Dianne Lynn Coleman and her new car

28. Betty Peck, fairy godmother and educator, retired (shot by Mike)

29. Terry Acebo Davis, watching de-installation of Richard Serra

30. candid of a nearby restaurant I cannot seem to place

31. two women who happened by me at the She Who show; I was getting revenge because they included me in their pose in front of the Cantor, or pretended I was not there.

32. Christella

33. Dreamland II

34. screen capture of Katy Perry Super Bowl halftime

35. Mayor Karen Holman

36. crowd scene relatively speaking of my Earthwise show bonus tracks, a week lair I still have not finished pasting in my 37 most recent female portraits but when searching for the still from the Coen movie “A Serious Man” of a naked woman I also found this portrait of my friend and quasi-client Beth Custer the SF-based musician and composer. It breaks the pattern of recent files in my phone but is about 500 deep of the 1,500 or so stored therein: bethcusterheryard2014 And this one is the second here in the sub-series of dogs and feet of humans. Synecdoche means part for a whole but also simultaneous understanding. I shot this at the Gunn-Los Altos football game, the dog is with the parents of a Gunn cheerleader but I do not know if the woman’s foot is the same woman. My foot meanwhile encroaches at bottom: dogspausetwo At the same game I shot this of cheerleader, her boyfriend and mother: gunncheerleaderandherman I went to a St. Francis v. Sacred Heart girls’ tennis match and caught a few minutes of Sara Choy of Palo Alto dispatching her foe, although her team lost overall. I tried to speak to Mrs. Choy her mother but she, in my opinion, retreated. (They are actually my neighbors, live 3 doors down and we’ve met in the lobby or garage a half-dozen times; I suggested when Sara was at Terman that she follow the long line of CCS champs at Gunn; her team at SHP is actually overseen by Jeff Arons, a Gunn alum, I said hello to that day): sarachoyvstfrancis2014 2009 film, still captured in my phone for about 3 months, dredged up today apropos of the bounded primes math post:

Democracy reformist, law professor, candidate and talking head, Zephyr Teachout: zephyrteachout When in November I met Stanford senior Shelby Sinclair I was so impressed and inspired that today’s youth have a social agenda that I did something silly: I asked her to smile, I was projecting my joy. She thought that was odd, in successive takes, given the seriousness of their mission, regarding the violence in Missouri and other places, against young, poor and of color: shelbysinclair2014 If I ever finish this post it will be a long-y, and it also might include this pre-amble: i’ve worked with musicians, a fair number of them falling into a sub-category of woman musicians, and more seldomly as a self-conscious designation, for example to produce with Penelope Houston an all-female lineup of performers for an event called “Glad I’m A Girl”, for 20 years, as Earthwise Productions and, since 2002, as Earthwise Artist Management; in 2010 I started a blog, Plastic Alto partly about the arts –music, film, literature, restaurants, books, visual arts — but also about local and national politics — I’ve written about 1,250 posts, which range in depth from literally no words or just a headline — say three words — to 20,000 words, a long history of jazz in Palo Alto. Occasionally I ring someone and ask some direct questions, but usually not an extensive interview per se, one that I would publish a transcript — I also had a radio show or affiliation with KzsU wherein I would interview artists and musicians live on air, and sometimes they would play. I ‘ve produced many 10 or 12 hours of that. sometimes, like V. Vale(who is not a she, by the way), I publish lists of things to do or that I have merely peeked at. One could link to your website and or another secondary source and say “I_ has a collection of photographs of musicians, and it was written up in a pub recently and there was a Cris Willaimson show at F&S recently And Derk Richardson interviewed Cris the night before.” and be done in 10 minutes, but I thought I’d offer you a chance to chat. It’s pretty hard to enforce against people downloading and re-pasting your work. Unless they are selling your work and claiming it’s their own, there is really no harm. Generally if someone said “please take down the image I shot that you feature without permission in your blog” actually that’s probably never happened, although people say “don’t publish that photo of me you just took” — I would honor it. …. Just today I went to a show of female photographers from Arab or Muslim countries and was going to write about that, it’s at Stanford with a catalog from Boston MFA. I took photos of the photos, with quasi-permission – the guard was not enforcing any rules I didn’t see any signs. similarly, a woman from a muslim country she said who briefly worked at the gift shop of the Stanford museum claims that she shot some Jewish people in her country and then was beaten by Muslim extremists for being too sympathetic to Isreal – I wanted to either help her or write about her but opted out because it seems hard to publicize or laud her work without potentially drawing further harm her way, if her story is real. I tend not to court controversy. I met Cris Williamson briefly in Austin Texas thru the music producer Rachael Sage. Shelly Doty is nearly a friend, I had hired or a few times and put her in my shows — like the “Glad I’m a Girl” thing and did shoot her just the other day, and she played with Cris the other night. Sometimes I ask subjects to shoot themselves — a “selfie” and email me the result. Cheap content has its naive charm. She Who Tells a Story an exhibit of 12 female photographers (that I toured quickly this morning) is free at Stanford’s Cantor Museum thru May 12. Rania Matar Lebanese born in 1964 lives in Boston “Christilla” (with Marilyn Monroe reference); Pigment prints and collage(?) by Nermine Hammam (check that) born 1967 Egyptian lives in Cairo and London, especially Upekkha Buddhist “equanimity” photos of male soldiers at Tahir Square added to vintage postcard graphics, especially Dreamland II

Jessica Zack in the Chronicle had a brief interview with curator Kristen Gresh on the Cantor show.

the face that launched this post

the face that launched this post *”sex” in the meta-manifesto o f Plastic Alto: gender, has to do with females of the species, generally but not pruriently except in rare cases; feminism sometimes. I left “felinity” above, but no not like cats. What is the word for bad auto-spell funny accidents?

edit to add, later: there is a panel including Rania Matar and 2 others next Thursday, March 19 at Cantor I hope to go if I can keep my schedule clean.
She Who Tells a Story Artist Panel
Thursday, March 19, 5:30 pm
Cantor auditorium
This panel discussion, moderated by Iranian-Canadian artist Sanaz Mazinani (Stanford MFA ’11), features two artists whose photographs are included in She Who Tells a Story: Women Photographers from Iran and the Arab World.
Tanya Habjouqa, born in 1975 in Jordan, now residing in East Jerusalem, has six photographs from the series Women of Gaza (2009) on view in the exhibition.
Rania Matar was born in 1964 and currently resides in the U.S. The exhibition features six of Matar’s portraits of women photographed in Lebanon and the West Bank.

About markweiss86

Mark Weiss, founder of Plastic Alto blog, is a concert promoter and artist manager in Palo Alto, as Earthwise Productions, with background as journalist, advertising copywriter, book store returns desk, college radio producer, city council and commissions candidate, high school basketball player, and blogger; he also sang in local choir, fronts an Allen Ginsberg tribute Beat Hotel Rm 32 Reads 'Howl' and owns a couple musical instruments he cannot play
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