~PATTI SMITH & STEVEN SEBRING: OBJECTS OF LIFE
. . . trying to stay on top of the scene – and, its a downtime – relatively speaking for good ole NYC – is a loser’s proposition. first of all – ALFREDO MARTINEZ just made the NEW YORK TIMES, big time – our expat in CHINA !! and, more importantly – I find myself in the very same position Steven Sebring was in – a fleur on the floor – at her feet. I just can’t bear to edit any of this stuff – down !! what is it about this woman – that turns photogs to mush ? starting, I guess with Robert Mapplethorpe.
I stayed at the opening the whole 3 hrs. completely entranced. so, tell me the following needs a second edit.
as if !! I don’t know – but, no can do – with the same lovin’ hands – that hold this art baby’s camera.
at 63 – PATTI SMITH – still real and raw and wild. She wasn’t into having her photo taken, though I wanted to yell out – you look great . . . so I only took a few, of her – after all it was her night. and, she had been nice enough to answer my question about her Native American Indian ancestry. which was: “yes on her mother’s side – the Amagansett – but then they all moved to Canada”. She said they were just a farming tribe – that she wished they had been a warrior tribe – let me tell ya, Patti – there is no farming tribe – without the heavy-duty warriors – to keep the turf safe.
Patti seemed to be having the best time – when greeting pals, and taking them for tours of the show.
the current set of boots.
in the large back room installation – STEVEN SEBRING presented strikingly intense & extremely minimal photographs of 14 ‘significant’ objects belonging to Smith – blown up to huge proportions. more on that – later.
STEVEN SEBRING – ‘BLACK BOOTS’, 2008. archival pigment print. edition 1/3. 42 x 32 in. ($12,500)
ok – that’s the second and last time I am gonna try to get her face – I’m gonna lay low – and wait for a time when she isn’t looking . . .
STEVEN SEBRING. he had no problem being photographed – but I would say over-all he seemed on edge over the show.
I heard I wasn’t the only one who felt his documentary needed one last closer call – final edit. but when you consider what a hard case she can be – you can only wonder at his years of access – and, all the material he was on-board for. and all the beautiful still photos, and film footage – he took. and, that she let him.
case in point, one of the first photos you encounter – when you enter the show.
STEVEN SEBRING, ‘CONEY ISLAND’ 1996. archival pigment print, ed. 1/3. 40 x 32 in. ($12,000).
talking about legends, MICHAEL STIPE showed up, and of all her friends – she seemed the happiest to see him.
no wonder, he was keeping it real. as usual.
more legends. filmmakers JONAS MEKAS, and ALBERT MAYSLES (‘GIMME SHELTER’) – with STEVEN SEBRING and MICHAEL STIPE.
JONAS MEKAS – aka – ‘the godfather of American avant-garde cinema” – he worked with ANDY WARHOL, JOHN LENNON and ALLEN GINSBERG. very sharp radar – still !! and the nicest guy. very cool to a fellow photog (that would be me) with a super, make that – unrelentingly – curious mind.
see: JONAS MEKAS !!
ALBERT MAYSLES – he made ‘GIMME SHELTER’ (1970) – on the tragic 1969 Rolling Stones concert at Altamont Speedway.
see: ALBERT MAYSLES – rhymes with hazels !!
ok – here’s my best shot: PATTI SMITH and MICHAEL STIPE
… that woman on the right is JESSICA LANGE.
ANNE DEXTER JONES.
part-time actor and jewelry designer WARIS AHLUWALIA, and filmmaker CHIARA CLEMENTE.
KELLY CUTRONE – she is the coolest of them all, you know of PEOPLE’S REVOLUTION and the HILLS !!
you know – she was – LAUREN CONRAD’s employer !!
see: KELLY CUTRONE !!
up-date: KELLY CUTRONE’S own !! reality show, titled: ‘KELL ON EARTH’ – !! – will premiere FEB 1, 2010 – on BRAVO !!
ELLEN COHEN, senior editor at RIZZOLI.
RIZZOLI put out the definitive book on the film:
‘PATTI SMITH: DREAM OF LIFE’ – FILM BY STEVEN SEBRING
representing the downtown scene – DONALD SHERIDAN – silk screen printer for ANDY WARHOL – at the Factory – back in the day – and still running his own shop.
guitarist JOFF WILSON, of the hometown band – THE BOWERY BOYS – wearing a CBGB t-shirt.
He played on the KOSTABI show a few times, a few years back.
LENNY KAYE – long time musician with PATTI SMITH – he is cameo-ed in the film.
he is also the subject of one of the most haunting photos.
STEVEN SEBRING, ‘LENNY KAYE LAST NIGHT AT CBGB OCT 15, 2006’.
archival pigment print, ed. 1/5. 10-3/4 x 41 in. ($6,500).
detail, STEVEN SEBRING, ‘LENNY KAYE LAST NIGHT AT CBGB OCT 15, 2006’.
another really amazing photo – they were mostly of PATTI – was this one …
STEVEN SEBRING, ‘DIOR’, 2007. Platinum print, ed. 1/5. 20 x 16 ins. ($5,500).
detail, STEVEN SEBRING, ‘DIOR’. how he ever talked her into this, I do not know. she might not look very happy – but she looks straight-out gorgeous.
here’s one of Patti’s own photos – also very haunting – and yet, note – it’s from 2009 !!
PATTI SMITH , ‘AUTO PORTRAIT’, 2009. Unique Polaroid print, 12-11/16 x 11-9/16 in. ($3,000).
PATTI SMITH and STEVEN SEBRING, ‘PORTRAIT: MIXED MEDIA’, 2009
Albumen print with mixed media, 20 x 25 in. ($20,000)
detail, PATTI SMITH and STEVEN SEBRING – ‘PORTRAIT: MIXED MEDIA’, 2009.
there was also an archival poster from many years ago.
PATTI SMITH DRAWINGS / ROBERT MAPPLETHORPE FILM and STILLS / ROBERT MILLER GALLERY / JUNE 7 (1978)
there was a re-creation of her room, with early an MAPPLETHORPE loop running on the t.v. – it was hard to make out.
I preferred this offering of PATTI SMITH – poet – typewriter and books. aka ‘ephemera’.
on top – ‘JOAN of ARC’ !!
GREGORY CORSO, POE, WILLIAM BURROUGHS, WILLIAM BLAKE.
WILLIAM BLAKE – a big cornerstone for her. She talks alot about his influence in the movie.
GREGORY CORSO – ‘LONG LIVE MAN’.
Patti’s ‘gesture’ painting – featured in the film.
PATTI SMITH, ‘STRANGE MESSENGER’, 2004. oil, pencil and gauze on canvas mounted on board.
91-1/2 x 92-1/4 in. NFS.
detail. PATTI SMITH painting. sorry, nice novelty – but that’s about it.
and, no. you can’t have it – all !!
which takes us full circle back to that large back room – where the STEVEN SEBRING – monumental and most minimal photos I’ve ever seen – of 12 ‘significant objects’ – held court.
yes, her childhood dress – she holds it up in the movie – she really did come out of a time, the late 40’s – when young rural girls still wore these kind of dresses, handmade by their moms – she really did come out of the authentic American rural experience, growing up in factoryland South Jersey USA, and splitting for the big city – New York City – as soon as she was able.
American rebel to the core, ground roots up.
at an American life – rebel. icon. musician and poet. PATTI SMITH and MICHAEL STIPE.
OPENING PHOTOS – WED JAN 6, 2010 – PHOTOS BY NANCY SMITH
‘PATTI SMITH and STEVEN SEBRING – OBJECTS OF LIFE’
the show runs JAN 6 – Feb 6, 2010
ROBERT MILLER GALLERY – 524 WEST 26th ST – NYC