Sunday, May 6, 2012


Prompted by my friend Sally, I went to see an amazing photography show at the Saatchi Gallery on Friday. It featured hallucinogenic landscapes, high-definition depictions of the beauty and chaos of artists' studios, abstractions that explored the line (if there is one) between photography and computer technology, and some incredible portraits. Katy Grannan's "Boulevard" project really blew me away -- a series of large, almost forensically detailed portraits of characters from the streets of Los Angeles and San Francisco. Every wrinkle, flyaway hair and blot of smudged mascara is visible on the faces of the addicts, senior citizens, bikers, cross-dressers and others that Grannan chose as her subjects. Are they beautiful or grotesque -- or both? I took some photos of the photos, but I couldn't begin to do them justice. If you'd like to check them out, some accompany this article about her work.

After seeing the show, I walked home from the gallery through Chelsea and Kensington. I stopped at a cafe for cappuccino and an unremarkable square of raspberry lemon cake, and then took photos all the way back.

In fact, it's been a weekend of small pleasures. Yesterday Dave and I took it easy, watching "Saturday Kitchen" on BBC and then going for massages at our neighborhood spa. I still smell like minty, spicy massage oil.

In the evening we had Taco Night and watched the really terrible movie "Dune." I hadn't seen "Dune" since right after its release in the mid-'80s and I'd been wondering whether my memory of it was accurate -- could it really have been all that incomprehensible and tedious? Did the special effects really look like they were produced in someone's basement? The answer, on both counts, is yes.

(Photo: A lonely-looking potted plant behind a building that I think is part of Royal Brompton Hospital, in Chelsea.)


Reya Mellicker said...

What a beautiful piece of writing today, Steve. Wow.

That potted plant does indeed look lonely and I am smiling thinking of you smelling like minty massage oil.

yeah, Dune stunk. Tedious is the perfect adjective.

Hope your Sunday is as nice as the rest of your weekend!

The Bug said...

I was sad that Dune was so bad - the books were fascinating (well, until he turned into a giant worm - that was just disgusting. Ha!).

I checked out those pictures - I've decided that they're beautiful. But I wonder if I'll feel the same way when I'm 80 & my face looks the same as these ladies (although one of them was a man - transgendered - right?).

Ms.M said...

Your weekend sounds wonderful.

Love the pic of the potted plant.

Ms. M