I wouldn’t go so far as to say that summer is my favorite season, but aesthetically, there’s something about it that strikes a strong chord in me. It might be that I grew up in perpetual summer in Southern California, or that I like swimming and reading (two favorite activities synonymous with my childhood summers). For whatever reason, it sticks with me. For the past four years I’ve put together a summer themed art show called Endless Summer and one of my most effective ways to gear up is to stare at images of bathing suits, juicy fruits, sun-bleached color tones, butts, pools, sandbars, coke cans, popsicles, flamingos, and palm trees, etc. So when the kids at Wandering Bears asked me to help out with their 500th post, I couldn’t think of anything more celebratory. I love emailing with photographers I admire and have gained new friendships contributing to WB. In that spirit, I emailed a few folks and asked them to tell me a little bit about the image I selected. Enjoy!
I used to live in a little compound of 10 bungalows off a busy street in Echo Park, Los Angeles. All our doors opened onto a tiny garden walkway, and if doors were left open, especially in the summer, then neighbors would just walk in and out. This was my neighbor Mona, who would wear whatever she wanted while hanging out in the walkway. It was definitely summertime if Mona was wearing this.
The photo was sort of a random thing. I went up to the Griffith Park Observatory for sunset and I saw this pretty old car parked up there for no apparent reason. There were a lot of people there that night, but nobody seemed interested in taking a picture of this car that was so perfectly placed in the foreground of the Los Angeles skyline. I think I lucked out with the time I went, the light was nice and soft and there weren’t any people in the frame. It was also strange that I had my camera with me, I don’t normally carry a camera around. It has a cinematic quality to it, I feel like it could be a still from a movie shot in LA in the 70’s.
This image is inspired by an image I took in 2010 outside of Mexico City. The street vendors have this amazing way of carving and presenting their watermelons on the side of the highway. I was never happy with that image, but the visual stuck with me and lead to the image you see here.
I was just sunny Sunday afternoon. My nieces bought these roller-skates a while before and it was good opportunity to try them out. This photos shows the process of putting them on and just having some fun.
This is an instant photo of a bouquet of peonies and lawn chair in my back yard. It’s part of a series that I was working on at the time (and still am, but I guess it’s on a bit of a hiatus) of pictures of flowers all dedicated to my friend Brent. Brent is absolutely in love with flowers in this very scientific way. He buys seeds over ebay or smuggles them into Canada whenever he can, and grows all sorts of plants in his apartment, to the point where he has no more room left for other things. At this point when I was working on the series, he was almost obsessed with this whole process. And I absolutely love his dedication for these really beautiful things. It’s a terrific compulsion, but a really beautiful thing through and through. It was inspiring, and made me want to follow suite in my own way, so I decided to make a series on flowers and dedicate them all to Brent. I like the idea of me giving another guy flowers — normally something considered to be romantic, but in this case, it’s rather about the niceness and beauty of the gesture and of the yield of Brent’s hobby. And so the eventual plan is to make a small publication of these flowers, which would be the counterpart to another book of super sexually and sentimentally charged photos of my girlfriend at the time of these flower pictures.
I was visiting Austin, Texas one weekend. Summer had come early. Living in Portland, Oregon, the sun had yet to really appear. I was hiding in the shade as I watched the pool. Everything lined up perfectly. Suzanne had covered her face to block the sun. It had unintentionally become one of my self-portraits.
This was shot at Pfiefget Big Sur State Park. We had been on the lookout for swimming holes on our camping trip and came across this amazingly clear river with the coldest freshest water. The place was pretty magical.
(From the author:) I picked this image because it reminds me of summer camp and being young. It reminds me of a summer that started with the last day of school and ended with back to school shopping. I think of the chlorine smell of swim lessons, getting our first puppy, and feeling homesick. I also love the lighting – it feels like late summer here when the sun hangs lower and the air gets thicker. I can feel that all here in this image and in the expression of this girls face.