At dusk Thursday, a miraculous scene accumulated in Milwaukee’s corner of our Earth’s atmosphere. It rained on one side of the street and not the other. Ten distinct clouds types formed simultaneously, as varying levels of pressure agitated water molecules aided by thermal fluctuations from the heat of light. A sight to behold, each cardinal direction projecting a range of emotive countenances.
In a final awe inspiring act, a bank of clouds swept across the Northern sky like the minute hand of a watch anchored over the breakwaters of Lake Michigan, countering the wisdom of time.
All those people who love mural style street art just got lucky. Sara Ede, Milwaukee-born photographer and bonafide globe-trotter, recently self-published a book capturing exceedingly impressive work of muralists in two of Brazil’s most glorious cities, Rio and Sao Paolo.
Brazilian Graffiti, Rio de Janeiro & Sao Paolo shows why the U.S. is falling behind globally. With urban officials there busy worrying about how to make cities livable, while growing their economies (rather than spending significant energy figuring out how to indiscriminately prosecute anybody carrying a spay-can), major metropolis’ in the Southern hemisphere like these bloom tremendous creativity, with no damage to the class or prestige of their communities.
Under pseudonym La Pajarita Frenetica, Sara Ede has displayed a tremendous eye for intriguing the lens with artistic landscape photography that picks out the scenes within a scene. If we keep getting lucky, maybe some of these works will eventually rest between bound pages as well.
Brazilian Graffiti, Rio de Janeiro & Sao Paolo by Sara Ede can be had in customizable 8.75″ x 11.25″ hardcover for a base price of $89 US.
We just got luckier, Sarah Ede also has available urban landscape and portrait photography projects entitled La Pajarita Frenetica, Retrospective 2010 and La Pajarita Frenetica (2011). Both works gorgeously share Ede’s ability to find highly attractive images and moments hiding within ordinary places and human experiences.
At the Milwaukee Art Museum, an intense collection of photographs that bring to life still images contained in Taryn Simon’s three major book releases hangs quietly. An absolute gem and highly recommended to photographers Taryn Simon: Photographs and Texts closes tomorrow on New Year’s Day, luckily the Milwaukee Art Museum is open all weekend.
In her first work The Innocents (2002) Simon takes acquitted defendants back to key places cited during their trials, all of whom spent significant time in jail until DNA or other evidence uncovered their innocence. The portraits displayed from this project are as big as life and the moments they represent in the lives of the accused and the victims, both of who ironically were victims to the American justice system.
An American Index of the Hidden and Unfamiliar (2007) and Contraband (2010) are two series of photographs that mostly speak for themselves. Contraband is particularly mind boggling in the post 9-11 world as Taryn Simon craftily convinced some U.S. Customs officials to let her photograph confiscated items that were on there way into the US, before being nabbed. The range of items makes you wonder why everyone does not get a psychological exam before getting their boarding pass. This installation also gives you another way to gauge just how big the world we live in is.
The display of scale-models for all-the-Calatrava’s-that-weren’t entitled Building a Masterpiece: Santiago Calatrava and the Milwaukee Art Museum also closes in the Galleria New Year’s Day. January 1st an all day event will honor the exhibit.
At The Hide House, the Milwaukee Art Beat street fair played silence between sets anticipating Fever Marlene . An old warehouse towered over everyone. Deep in the background next to the parking lot where mini-festivities took place, a few canopies stood on the lawn. The clothes rack I spotted could have been holding old towels, but my funky t-shirt intuition honed in without fail.
Whipping through the garments, I notice the iconic Wisconsin map outlined and, spelled with various syllable combinations, a cursive script printing the letters M-i-l / w-a-u / k-e-e / A-l-t. One item keeps my eye but I leave it on the hanger.
Other merch sits on the table, buttons, stickers if I recall. Noticeable photo prints come into view, I inquire and Suzy perks nonchalantly. A full-time free-lance photographer, Suzy’s Milwaukee Alt puts a brand on his work, however at its core Milwaukee Alt provides a concept for his image compositions.
Photographically capturing scenery of Milwaukee and adorning it with models of less mainstream urban style tribes, Milwaukee Alt brings social fringes into the fashion foreground. Ryan “Suzy” Laessig founded Milwaukee Alt to create a port-hole for vicariously experiencing deviant sub-popular culture. Recently, publishing his first book of photography entitled Milwaukee Alt to hardcover, Suzy crusades brandishing images that counter stayed culture.
Milwaukee Alt incarnates his artistic style, self-defined as Elegantly Anarchistic. Shades of glamour, vintage pin-up, fetish and erotica bleed through Suzy’s pieces in a tasteful way. Suzy achieves balance with his ability to even make statements with mundane moments framed in still.
Thoughtfully, Suzy adds to the growing fashion tradition that interprets beauty as something imperfect, forbidden and taboo. Over the past decade this aesthetic crept into high-end fashion, part of the spectrum of “edgy”.
After checking out Fever Marlene for a bit, I see the last of the artists breaking down their displays and that damn clothing rack still stands there. Fumbling through the last of my paper pocket change, I make a snap decision to go check on the t-shirt I was eying earlier. It’s still there. The Art Beat marked Suzy’s first public display and publishing of the Milwaukee Alt photo book, and he’s at least one re-purposed clothing piece lighter.
Local Trolley 2011 Honors!, http://wp.me/p1hPwN-13I
Milwaukee native and splashing photographer Sara Ede has long given up her residence here. She’s better suited to enjoy international adventures anyway (while propagating Milwaukee-ness without ever saying it). Armed with her trusty DSLR, Ede started eagerly documenting her traipse across the four corners of the world. If you have as much fun as she does, in as many noteworthy places, memories make good photos.
Like her being, now fully emerged from its shy place, Ede’s photography embraces the artist’s eye, the fearless intriguing abstruse perception that recognizes order in the strangest places. With her lens, Ede cuts edges off of the standard by capturing those moments that without a back story leave you wondering where it happened and how such timing could be possible. Hopefully, that’s a whole ‘nother chapter in another medium.
Ede’s Milwaukee art roots actually run pretty deep Milwaukee. Her uncle Craig Ede painted the vintage B-Boy mural on Capitol Drive. The mural dates well into the early 1980’s, so in context it’s a great piece and one of my favorites in Milwaukee.
Everyone must return to their source periodically, and that urge brought Ede back to The Good Land this past Winter. Adding to La Pajarita Frenetica’s collection, Ede snapped a few stills of Milwaukee for our fortunate eyes. Other notable work includes Ede’s Abstract Photo Set and Bike Lovers’ Photo Set. Documenting contemporary Street Art, mostly in New York, is Ede’s latest photo project addition.