Any year that I get to go to Japan once is a great year. Any year that brings me back to Japan three times is the stuff of dreams. My work with Kinfolk magazine brought me here in February and then again in June. Now, though, I’m here on my own steam, collaborating with the lovely Riley Messina with our brand new project named Overgrowth. I’ve been meaning to get to this post for awhile now, but we’ve just been so busy! Riley and I have been in Japan for almost two weeks now and we’re able to only just now sit down for a restful afternoon. Sheesh!
Overgrowth made its way to Japan through the help of some amazing friendships that Riley and I made during our last visit back in June. We first showed at Isetan in Shinjuku along with the Portland Pop-up shop thanks to the most awesome Daisuke Matsushima of Paddlers Coffee. In a few days, thanks to Megumi Inoue, we’ll be launching a gallery showing with a weekend of workshops at Gallery ROCKET in Omotesando. Lastly, in early October, we’ve been invited by Tokuhiko Kise to show at his amazing space at TRUCK in Osaka. All of our coordinating and translation has been headed up by the indispensable Tina Dhingra. And of course, we owe a debt of gratitude to our great friend Hideaki Hamada for helping to promote our dates. In any event, if you’re in Tokyo next week, or in Osaka the second week of October, we’d love to see you at our opening receptions! Or better yet, if you’re into flowers, come to one of Riley’s workshops! There are still a few tickets left.
Information on our workshop schedules and opening receptions are below. Tickets to Riley’s flower workshops, and very soon, prints, are available at http://overgrowth.bigcartel.com.
The Overgrowth logo was skillfully drawn by Joy Fitzgerald. All Overgrowth collateral was designed by Ben Biondo. All photos for Overgrowth were shot on Kodak Portra 160.
Today is a great day for two reasons. First, it’s my birthday. I’m now officially 29 years of age. Woo. Secondly, Kinfolk Vol. 7 has just been released and I had the honor of being able to shoot the cover for this one.
I think this is my favorite Kinfolk to date. And not just because I got to shoot the cover. This is officially the fourth issue of Kinfolk I’ve had the privilege of contributing to — a whole year’s worth of them, now. And each new issue brings with it greater and greater adventure. The juicing portraits for volume 4 are still some of my favorites ever. In volume 5, I was able to transform my garage into a herb cellar. For volume 6, I got to take photos from a helicopter, shoot in New York City, and road trip with my brother down the Oregon coast to visit a cranberry farm. For this volume, though, I was able to travel to New Hampshire, England and Italy. Shooting for issue eight has been even more epic (but I can’t talk about it yet)! And since there’s such a gap between the shoots and when they appear in Kinfolk (sometimes more than 6 months), each of these stories take on a very nostalgic tone by the time I see them in print. As I flip through the pages, I’m taken back to all of those trips that I’m finally able to really enjoy (who has time to properly take things in while working?). I feel incredibly blessed.
Now, Kinfolk Vol. 7 is all about Spring, and ice cream (also crabs). So I was once again able to partner up with Amy Merrick to combine those things together (minus the crabs). The result was ice cream flower arrangements. I must say that of all the things Amy and I have partnered on, this was probably my favorite. Simple and to the point. Different and kinda weird. Perfect. Please do check it out. The story looks a lot better in print. The whole issue, actually, is truly one of the finest yet from Kinfolk. It’s worth the dollar bills.
And now, if it’s alright, I’m off to eat some birthday dinner with my lady, my brother, and some of my favorite friends.
P.S. — Don’t eat hydrangeas with, on, or instead of ice cream. They look pretty but are mildly poisonous. You’ve been warned!
In my mind, every January opens a loop that we all move down and around, growing as the months unfold and the events of the year play out until it is closed in December, when everything gives way back to January and things begin anew. Thus, I see this as the season of finished circles and of endings and reflection. And in the spirit of reflection, I cannot think of photos more fitting to share than those which were shot all the way back in January.
In many ways, these photos set the tone for what the rest of my year would look like — quiet, composed portraits, improvised backdrops and a newly-formed appreciation for flowers. And, as the year has worn on and I’ve able to work with amazing people in awesome places, many of these photos have remained among my favorites. Even though I’ve partnered with Amy Merrick on numerous occasions, these stand apart from the rest to me as they were the result of our first cooperation. Perhaps that’s why I’ve thought them particularly orphaned as they’ve lain dormant for most of the year. We knew we wanted to submit them for publication somewhere, but weren’t sure what would be appropriate. Time got away from us, we shot other things (you may recall this story), and we found ourselves out of season for flowers. In the end, though, as with so much of my work this year, a number of these shots finally found a home in Kinfolk Magazine — and as the year began, so it ends.
So, with Christmas a mere 6 days away, and the year drawing to a close, the time is fast approaching where we all must (Mayans willing) begin another lap around the calendar. As I wind down the rest of 2012 with family, I reflect upon the year and all of the growth and friend-making and change it has brought with it. I hope that yours has been just as fulfilling. And as we look to begin 2013, I wish the utmost blessings upon each and every one of you, and of course, to all the most Merriest of Christmases!
Now lastly, some notes: flowers and styling were executed impeccably by Amy Merrick. Francesca Zmetra and Amy’s sister Micha were both kind enough to act as subjects. All photos were shot with either a Zeiss Ikon or Contax 645 using Kodak Portra 160. And please do check out the full story in Kinfolk Vol. 6! That’s all!
Okay, just a quick little thing I need to bring to your collective attentions:
A good number of months ago, a lady by the name of Jackie Luo, editor of Ache Magazine, contacted me wondering if I’d like to be interviewed and featured for their sixth installment, and of course I said yes.
Now, the trixy thing with something like this is the fact that there’s usually a considerable lag between when I sumbit a contribution and when the publication is actually released. I am an old man, and I tend to forget things. Also, worse, I tend to rush my way through interview questions and end up wincing when I read my own words three months later in print. Luckily, this time at least, no wincing was necessary. In fact, I was met with the surprise realization that Jackie ended up running one of my photos as the cover. Bonus points!
So yes, a pleasant affair all-round. Please do give me the honor of reading through Ache No. 6. The issue is full of amazing artists (so it’ll be fun for you; I promise), and I’m proud to be amongst them. Also, as a postscript, I can tell you that Issue 6 also includes a few hitherto unpublished photos that I am very fond of. So go see now.
Recently, I was able to follow Kinfolk out to Philadelphia in order to document their 5th dinner this year (out of twelve) hosted by the good folks at Terrain. Like most things that Kinfolk gets involved with, the dinner was something to remember (Julie Pointer is the resident master in charge of putting all of these things together). The food was amazing, the people were warm and engaging, and the space was such that it was hard to keep from forgetting that we weren’t somewhere in the English countryside.
Some bits of notable information: menus were illustrated by the ever-talented Anja Mulder. Also, a complete list of sponsors and partners can be found in the dinner section of Kinfolk’s website. Below are some of the photos from the afternoon. For more, you can go here. It should also be noted that the photos of yours truly from the event were shot by the lovely Amy Merrick. You should know, too, that the Gallos were there working magic as usual. Their video from the dinner can be seen here. Go watch!