Hot off the Mac Pro tower (well, hot off the Mac Pro tower yesterday), our latest film – Eddie Martinez Whistles While He Works.
I have to admit – shooting the material that forms the heart of this film, an afternoon in Eddie Martinez’s studio in Greenpoint, Brooklyn – was one of the more intense, enlightening, and privileged shoot experiences I’ve had on location for the New York Close Up project.
It was our second shoot day together. The crew showed up – just myself, the very gifted camera man Rafa Salazar, and a compact HDSLR camera package – at the studio and Eddie immediately dived in to a new painting. I really mean dived in, spray painting before the primer had time to truly set. Before the shoot, Rafa and I had talked about a handheld, stalking, almost predatory approach. The operative metaphor was a boxing match, and we were Eddie’s opponent, bobbing and weaving in and around Eddie as he in turn boxed against his painting. I knew from previously shooting with Eddie that I wanted to visually dramatize Eddie’s very physical process with our own kind of pointed movement.
As promised this Friday’s release is a double premiere – it’s the first film featuring one of New York Close Up’s eight new artists as well as the first film featuring artist Mika Rottenberg. So may we present Mika Rottenberg & Jon Kessler Wanna Make You Sweat.
One of the nice things about this blog is we get the chance to talk about stuff that we just can’t fit into our final films. And this episode in particular definitely represents just the tip of a much larger narrative/backstory iceberg. The biggest submerged part being the stories of the rather extraordinary range of folks that collaborators Mika and Jon cast for their Performa-commissioned performance/ installation work SEVEN at Nicole Klagsbrun gallery. And I was the lucky producer who got to hang out backstage and talk with the performers.
If we haven’t already given you enough reasons to vote for New York Close Up for Best Documentary Series in the upcoming Webby Awards — and in general dig on the project — we’re giving you, faithful viewers, another one: the premiere of our next film, Lucas Blalock Gets a Little Help From his Friends.
OK, we’re making it all official with our press release. And if we’re going drop a document like this on you, you know we’re not kidding about being nominated in the Best Documentary Series category of the 16th Annual Webby Awards. (And Vote for us for the People’s Voice award while you’re there.)
And even though it’s only two days after the nomination announcement, we’re already getting nostalgic here at Art21. So we’re also posting the original reel we submitted to the Webby’s way back when. Please, kick back & enjoy a quick tour thru the (very recent) New York Close Up past.
Along with having a new New York Close Up film release yesterday – LaToya Ruby Frazier’s Moving Pictures – LaToya Ruby Frazier has got some other things going on recently. She’s part of the line-up of artists at this year’s Whitney Biennial. Big Congrats to LaToya. It’ll include other Art21 heroes like Charles Atlas & Mike Kelley and opens March 1. And she also got to wear a very cool jacket for a recently posted New York Times Style Magazine piece. Better yet, they included a slide show of recent work (above is an example.) And there’s yet another LaToya NYC-area event in the works for the Spring, but I can’t tell you yet. I’m not even sure I can drop hints. Sorry. But once it goes public, we’ll post it here.
CAPTION: “Jenny Holzer’s Truism,” from LaToya Ruby Frazier’s portfolio “Campaign for Braddock Hospital (Save Our Community Hospital),” 2011.