Duane Michals - Photographer

"This photograph is my proof. There was that afternoon, when things were still good between us, and she embraced me, and we were so happy. It did happen, she did love me. Look see for yourself."

"I was lucky because I never went to photography school and I didn't learn the photography rules," he says. "And in not learning the rules, I was free. I always say, you're either defined by the medium or you redefine the medium in terms of your needs."  - Duane Michals

Dr. Heisenberg’s Magic Mirror of Uncertainty

Beard Self Portrait in a Bacon Mirror

Photograph by Peter Beard

Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror

"Even though restless, hearing raindrops at the pane,
The sighing of autumn leaves thrashed by the wind,
Longing to be free, outside, but it must stay
Posing in this place. It must move
As little as possible. This is what the portrait says.
But there is in that gaze a combination
Of tenderness, amusement and regret, so powerful
In its restraint that one cannot look for long.
The secret is too plain. The pity of it smarts,
Makes hot tears spurt: that the soul is not a soul,
Has no secret, is small, and it fits
Its hollow perfectly: its room, our moment of attention.
That is the tune but there are no words."
- John Ashbery

A System of Moments - Dennis Lee Hopper (May 17, 1936 – May 29, 2010)

'warhol with flower' by Dennis Hopper

There's a place on my dresser beside my bed where three books sit, they've become permanent fixtures for years one of which is A System of Moments, inside is Dennis Hopper's culmination of work portraying the rising art and LA culture of the sixties. Inside you will read an INVITATION TO THE VOID."For this creator the void is an empty place between films , jobs acting, writing - "a system of moments" frozen like the flick of a candle forever licking the darkness, the splatter of wet paint caught in a dry burst coming out of a great angst and pain having been denied work in my medium of choice: movies. The explosion - to fill the void between film work, a system of moments occurred, paint photograph, manufacture, tape, plastic, lights, sets, shadow, assemblage, motion, found objects, with a rope of history binding me to Abstract Expressionism, action painting and Marcel Duchamp (whom I met in 1963) Duchamp said the artist of the future will merely point his finger and say it will be art. I was a part of the California School of Assemblage and New Realism with Walter Berman, George Herms, EdwardKeinholz, Llyn Foulkes, Bruce Conner and Edward Ruscha, and one of the founders of Conceptual Art with Proof (1963), and 'Wilhold the Mirror Up'."

Dennis Hopper: System of Moments
MAK, Vienna, May 30 - October 7, 2001

"You can't separate Hopper the actor from Hopper the painter or photographer. A good writer pens what he knows. Hopper knows the film world and his art is a reaction to it.
His art constantly reminds us that an ‘image' is an illusion."
- Graham Hüner


This photograph is by Abbie Hoffman all other art is by Dennis Hopper.

Light Warriors

When I was a little girl my father would close the house like a tomb. So silent and dark I could hardly breathe. A stage for music, cinema and slide shows without ever letting the world in. On an occasional warm Sunday he would open one curtain to run a small air conditioner. The sunshine would spill into the room settling into a steady flow. I would slide my little body underneath the ray of light, fan my hair onto the carpet, only to catch it, that ever so warm and decadent feeling... Pulling at each strand, carefully combing with my fingers and counting the gold and red highlighted waves that would glisten from my dark mane... A youthful form of self adoration only beset to a child. I would reach up to the stream of slow moving dust particles just above my head gently poking and changing their path as I drift into a daydream with my father asleep in his easy chair only two feet away. The hum of the forced air would lull me to sleep and sweep me away from my siesta ritual.

All my life I never stopped reaching for the light. It was always there to bend it, to flirt with, to paint it... like an old friend. I will always be a lover to its illumination. To consider it a benevolent gift to give and one to be had. Just one very long day ago a dear friend, gentle and new, found me in a dark place... my eyes swollen with tears my head throbbing with pain. I don't know where she came from, she must have been an angel because she took me in her arms from the unknown and promised me light in the morning. A gesture I hold in my heart.

I've come to realize that light can be fleeting, for one to forever chase.
There to warm you from within... To shed all possibilities and at the same time perpetually breeding new life. I'm no stranger to what people think of me. Warrior is not the word that comes to mind for some... Perhaps, a sensitivity that can often be misunderstood, a sentimentalist at best. However, I like to think that strength comes from places far more complex than most people realize.

Joyce Tenneson

Noted photographer Joyce Tenneson's exemplifies the spiritual and visual aspects of a woman's life and her direct and indirect relationship with the light in her book 'Light Warriors'. "what fascinates me is life's complexities, the darkness as well as the light." Perhaps we are drawn to people as we are the illumination of light. The imagery she puts forth is quite strong and one can't helped but be moved by the portraits of these remarkable women who give themselves over to you. I know what draws me to people, the wonder of that person the way in which I was stirred and forever touched. I believe some people are like fireflies... they just aren't meant to be caught they illuminate you from within. That's why I know I will always reach for a source of light...of wonder and ultimately. . . well. . . the possibilities are endless don't you think?

Joyce Tenneson

All photography by, Joyce Tenneson
Written for Imeem, May 20, 2009.