Awash in Photographs

One result of this blog is that I am constantly bombarded by offers to help sell my art. I receive several emails a day with offers. Most are crap. The most common scheme is a contest that results in a gallery show. Often the show is at a prestigious art fair, like the Venice Biennale. Yeah, right. An online contest is going to get you into that fair.

But on reading the fine print, it’s at the same time as the Venice Biennale and it might even be in Venice, in a gallery located on an alley on the mainland. Or maybe not. Sometimes it’s just an online gallery. Wow. A web site. What a prize. And it might be if they get results. But there’s never any mention of results and there is usually a hidden fee. Hinted at, never explicitly stated, and not revealed until after you win.

But the world is awash in photographs and it’s hard to get noticed. Are any of these outside web sites real?

I’ve had a portfolio at Art Photo Index for years. Billed as a serious art photography site and run by a reputable photography gallery, as far as I can tell no one uses it. While the quality of the art is generally high, the web site itself is hard to use. Many features don’t work. Their “contact the artist” function didn’t work for more than a year. Not going to get many sales that way. It works today. I just tried it.

Last week I made an account at Saatchi Art. A photographer friend told me she sold something there and the business model is correct for an organization trying to promote sales: they make their money on commissions on sales and there are no upfront fees. I posted a dozen prints there to test the waters.

Talk about being awash in photographs. There are 21,965 nude photographs on the site. Some general observations: prints are large, exorbitantly expensive, and there are a lot of attractive women out there.

If you are looking to buy art, how do you find what you want in that. The site has search functions based on categories and key terms and size and price and it goes on and on. Lots of filters to chose from.

I tried “abstract” and got lots of photos of cute nude women standing in a room or outside. Maybe I don’t understand the word. Here’s what I think abstract looks like:

I’ve become a grumpy, old man.

Another thing I don’t understand

Artist’s Statements. I mean why? If the artist has something to say, shouldn’t you see it in the art? And if not and you need an explanation, maybe the art isn’t very good. That’s what I always thought.

Or maybe I was just too lazy to write statements. Or maybe I just don’t know enough words. I certainly don’t pay attention to grammar rules.

And who reads the statements anyway? Just pretentious gallery denizens. (Look at that, a big word.) After reading some Artist’s Statements, my brain feels like mush for days. Well a few minutes anyway. If I even get through them.

But at the Portrait of America show at the Seattle Erotic Art Festival, people kept asking me for one. Regular, normal people. Oops, I guess they’re a real thing. People want some sort of explanation for the art and it’s my job to supply it. So I posted the introduction to the book. People were happy.

I’ve gone wild. I now have Artist’s Statements on my web site. There’s one on the main page. Maybe it’s the start of my memoir. And there are some others throughout. For example, there’s one on the Dune page. You can read it there if you like. I’m going to look at the photographs.

Not mobile friendly?

Every now and then, Google sends me email telling me that they don’t like one of my pages. They said that this site had been down ranked in search results because it was not mobile friendly since three pages had content that appeared outside the boundaries of their simulated phone screen.

The pages on this site adapt to the size of the browser window so I was surprised. Wide like a laptop or tall and skinny like a phone, it’s all supposed to work. But you know, maybe I made a mistake, so I checked.

I looked at the pages as recorded by Google. I didn’t see anything wrong. Then I looked again. Still nothing. There’s no hint as to what they think is wrong.

But there is a button you can press to get your pages reevaluated after you have fixed the problem. I pushed the button. Google now says the pages are great! No, I didn’t change anything. Maybe they were lonely and just wanted me to talk to them.

So what was the problem? I don’t know. Maybe they were afraid she was going to slip and fall out of the frame.

Legs, legs, legs …

New images posted on the Legs page.

I’ve been working on these images for a while. Slowly adjusting the size and color to create a consistent look across the set of images. In case someone wants to buy them all and display them on the same wall.

I think I have it right. But I don’t know, the colors may be completely off. They might even be green and I wouldn’t have the foggiest.

Here’s a sample of dancing legs:

Two weeks in a row. Right on time. Is it a new trend, or an aberration?

More popular than Man Ray …

and Irving Penn and Horst P Horst and Howard Schatz. Not as popular as Francesca Woodman. And equal to Minor White. According to these auction results.

But what an auction. Selling items described as “Photo litho” and “Heat Wax Mounted on 8.5×11 Conservation Board”. What the hell does that mean? I think it is a page ripped out of a book and glued to a piece of cardboard. Really! I wonder what they put in the COA?

Good to know that my work has reached the exalted level that it is stolen and sold by the scumbags of the world. I guess. Maybe. No, not at all.

If you want to see the real thing, it is here:

Portrait of America goes to Seattle

The Portrait of America show is going to the Seattle Erotic Arts Festival next weekend, October 29-31, 2021. Yes, that’s Halloween. Everyone is going to be wearing masks. What fun!

This will be the full show. 24 full-size images displayed in an oval about 15 feet by 25 feet. If you’re going to the festival, we’re located just to the left of the main stage.

The show looks like this:

The costumes at the festival will probably be a little more exotic. Since alcohol is served, the only nude people will be on the walls. The government says that alcohol and nudity can’t mix.

Maybe I should change the name of this blog, to “The Bi-Annual Nude”.

Portrait of America show this weekend

The Portrait of America show is this weekend. I’ve started to hang the prints.

This show is part of SF Open Studios, so it’s taking place in my studio, otherwise known as the garage. And like a typical garage, it has a big door that faces the street and opens on the sidewalk. I’ve been told I should be discrete, so I’ve done most of the work with the door closed.

This afternoon I had the door open for a couple of minutes just when a young woman walked by. Like most people she glanced in the garage as she passed. Usually people get to see me making pieces of wood into smaller pieces of wood. But this time there were a lot of very nude people on the wall.

She did a double take and came back for another look. She said she’d like to get naked and join them.

There you have it, the first public review of the show.

Preview is Friday, 25 October 2019 from 4-7pm. Wine, beer, and snacks.

Regular shows are Saturday and Sunday, 26-27 October 2019 from 11am to 6pm.

Hope to see you there.

Portrait of America Show

Later this month I’ll be showing 20 Portrait of America images in my studio. The full size, fully nude images are arranged in an oval with the viewers in the middle surrounded by nudity.

A couple of years ago, Michael A. Rosen and Charles Gatewood served as props to demonstrate the scale of the installation. The show looks the same, except there’s more.

Here’s the official (censored) show announcement postcard. The show is uncensored. Nude images where the people are actually nude. What a shocker!


Big prints, small prints, books, postcards, and t-shirts available for purchase. Buy direct from the photographer. No dealer markup = half price.

Hope to see you there.

Internet companies will be the death of art

A little more than 200 years ago some far sighted people created a constitution that guaranteed the people freedom of speech and the press. You could say or publish anything, free from government interference.

Of course, that wasn’t really true in the 18th century (it was more aspirational as some politicians might say today), but over time, government restrictions have been chipped away and today, we pretty much live in that state; there is virtually no government interference with free expression in this country.

So having solved that problem, along come the big Internet companies. They are restricting speech right and left. But only concerning nudity. Anything violent or hateful is given full, unrestricted distribution, but a nipple causes apoplexy.

Some might say they are private companies so they can do what they want. I say they are ubiquitous in everyday life, so should be subject to the same rules as government.

This blog and web site have been removed from “safe search” results. Yes, that’s right I no longer exist. Or do I?

On most search engines, my web site simply disappears if the safe search setting is enabled. Google is somewhat different. If you enable safe search there, my website drops from position 2 to about position 20. Apparently, Google believes if the user is willing to look a little deeper, they should be allowed to see less safe things. Scary stuff lurks in the depths of the search results. Me!

Or else they have a bug. I’m becoming more and more convinced that there aren’t any great algorithms in the Internet companies’ repertoires, just a bunch of hacked together and very buggy software. I can’t otherwise explain the mysterious results. Sometimes things work; sometimes they don’t.

For example, California instituted new water conservation rules for plumbing fixtures in January 2019. Showers can only drip once a minute or something like that. Last month I easily found the rules with Google. Today when I looked again, Google could only find the 2016 specifications. Time quake!

Here’s an image to help cement my reputation as a master of things unsafe. Or maybe not, there’s no nipple.

Next post, we’ll look at my recent experience on Instagram. That company has the most confused policy about nudity that I have ever seen.