Daily photographs by HANS VON RITTERN, with humorous, artistic and social commentary on life in the big city.

Archive for May, 2014

Photo of the day: ‘EMPTY’ BY HANS VON RITTERN, 9 days left to see 5 Pointz’s “Whitewash”

EMPTY©

Photo of the day: ‘EMPTY’ BY HANS VON RITTERN – Don’t let June pass you by with that “Empty” feeling. Only 9 more days to see our ‘Whitewash” exhibit!

This photo is one of my 16 photos on display and has already been sold to one of the men in the photo. The photo was taken the day of the whitewash, I noticed these two guys where just standing there for at least a half an hour, silent, motionless – just dumbstruck by the vandalistic act. The title ‘Empty’ says it all, how we felt, they felt and we all still feel to this day.

If you would like to see more expressions by great graffiti and street art artists on canvas and in photographs (mine included) this weekend – come to the Jeffrey Leder Gallery this weekend and view the brilliant art by artists: Auks, Cortes, Hans Von Rittern, Jerms, Just One, Meres One, Poem, Shiro, See TF, Topaz, Zimad, all brilliantly curated by

Marie Cecile Flageul!
The Jeffrey Leder Gallery: 2137 45th Road, L.I.C.
#G subway stop to Court Square. #7 train is not running this weekend but shuttle service is available from #N/Q trains at Queensboro Plaza. One block away from 5 Pointz and PS1 Moma. Admission is free, open 12-6.
Leder Gallery:
http://www.jeffreyledergallery.com/whitewash.php


Photo of the day: LET’S GO RANGERS ! ! ! !

LET'S GO RANGERS! ! !

Photo of the day: LET’S GO RANGERS ! ! ! !

Photo of the day: DEBBIE HARRY, CHRIS STEIN, BLONDIE, EARTHA KITT AND HANS – 35 YEARS LATER – or “How a Russian, an old concert ticket and Eartha Kitt got me to meet Blondie”

BLONDIE

Photo of the day: DEBBIE HARRY, CHRIS STEIN, BLONDIE, EARTHA KITT AND HANS – 35 YEARS LATER – or “How a Russian, an old concert ticket and Eartha Kitt got me to meet Blondie” – Last night one of music’s most influential and iconic duo, Chris Stein & Debbie Harry of “Blondie” gave a very rare 90 minute audience participation interview about their lives and the formation of “Blondie” the new wave group that we all know. All you need to hear is Debbie’s “oooohh oh oh-oh” from “Heart of Glass” and you recognize it instantly. The venue – The 92nd Street ‘Y’.
I brought with me my 1979 Blondie concert tickets from Asbury Park’s Convention Hall for the then expensive price of $8.50. ‘The Laughing Dogs’ opened for them. On the day of the concert my friend Susan and I begged the promoters not to tear our tickets so as to preserve them and they obliged! In today’s times that would never happen. So, I showed up at the ‘Y’ stage door last night at 5:30 for the 8:00 show. The Ebayers all started showing up. “She doesn’t like to pose with people.” OK, I thought, a photo is out, autograph is the main goal then.
One of the security guards saw that I had a very rare French 12″LP of ‘Sunday Girl’ with me and was eager to see it. He winds up showing me his record collection on his iPhone, proudly exclaiming he knew all the songs on his records and that they are in mint condition. “Do you have this one?!” “Remember that one?” The last one he showed me was Eartha Kitt’s first lp “That Bad Eartha”, I told him that I had been friends with her and the stories she had told me of making that first album, well…that sealed the deal. “Come back after the show,” he said.
At 7:20 a black town car pulled up and she emerged. Hair in curlers, radiant as can be. Rushed right in. Her driver told me she was exhausted, fighting a cold and was unnerved that she did not know who the interviewer was.
A few moments later Chris Stein pulled up willing to sign a few autographs. The Ebayers pressed forward. The ‘record collector’ security guard made room for me. I showed Chris my 1979 concert tickets and he laughed and said ‘you deserve an autograph after all this time!’. In he went.
Debbie’s driver and I wound up being all alone at the stage door and he started to tell me about his life. He is a Russian scientist who immigrated here in 1989, became a Wall Street trader but lost it all in the stock market crash. He decided to take his knowledge and educate his daughter on the principles of science and economics. She is now graduating with a Masters Degree in physics. We spoke of politics, America’s influence on music, only to discover he sold his piano and bought and electric guitar and knows the riffs to all the hard core rock bands of the 60’s and 70’s and starting playing air guitar for me – Blondie’s chauffeur is playing air guitar for me – surreal !
The interview was conducted by Anthony DeCurtis, co-author of Clive Davis’ autobiography. Chris in his white hair, all black suit and boots, wearing blackout shades he evoked the 1980’s all over again. Debbie looked stunningly radiant. Her now coifed hair had transformed her into a luminescent modern day Marilyn Monroe, same color, same tossed soft curls. She was dressed in a white cotton blouse with parachute style yellow shawl, tuxedo pants and combat boots. Total Blondie.
Speaking of clothes, they explained their original look came from the thrift shops of New York in the early 70’s. “Disco was big lapels, bright colors and we wanted to be the antithesis – the early Beatles black suits with the narrow lapels, secondly also because that shit was the cheapest in the stores and nobody wanted it, now it’s all gone. No one looked like us, we would get stared at in the street in those days.” Debbie laughed.
Debbie’s voice actually has a Marilyn quality, soft spoken, she takes a moment to think before she speaks, and just answers the question, short and to the point yet often reflective. When asked about being the first breakthrough rap recording artist (who happens to be a white female) with the song “Rapture” (the man from Mars is eating cars!) and how did it come about she explained, “I didn’t know the word ‘reggae’ but Chris heard there was this festival going on up in Harlem and we went. I loved that the music and that it had a message, told a story and so connected with the people, I loved the rhythm. We basically stole/copied their style…the rest is history.”
But their influences came from the opposite direction as well, “Dreaming”/(Eat to the Beat) is blatantly lifted from Abba “not enough so I could get sued” chuckled Chris. Debbie said, “yeah I listened to them, but I could never get past that polka-like sound that crept into their music.” She grinned and laughed.
When Debbie laughs or reflects she leans back and pulls her hand through that platinum ‘Marilyn’ hair and as the evening progressed and as the hair became more tossed – she morphed more and more into a 68 year old radiant Blondie/Marilyn.
When asked what rock group from the CBGB era to you feel should have been more recognized, Chris instantly and angrily said “The Ramones, I mean come on, their were fucking brilliant, they should be up there today with the Beatles and The Stones!” What was so great about CBGB’S? Debbie answered: “No one watched you, we just did shit, if we fucked up it didn’t matter and that’s how we evolved, we were not under a microscope.”
How does she feel about being such a music icon? Was she harassed? “It felt great. We weren’t thinking of the future, we were just in the moment. I mean I did wind up becoming a feminist mainly because of Billie Holiday and Janis Joplin. I wanted to get even for those ladies, I felt so sorry for them. ‘Here world take this!’ and here’s to you Billie and Janis. I was never harassed because I was with Chris, the band didn’t lay their hands on me because I was ‘Chris’s girl’. At one point though it did become us versus them, but we got past that.” On meeting Warhol: “We met in passing at Studio 54 and became friends. He was determined to photograph me in 1979, he did my hair for the shoot! He used to shoot with these crappy Polaroid cameras, I mean like the oldest archaic models, so we used to look for them in thrift stores as we toured and would give them to him,” said Debbie. That happened to be the 1979 poster advertising the Warhol Blondie issue that I had brought with me to be signed.
They have just released a new double VINYL lp with re-recorded classic hits as well as 12 new songs. The double albums has two titles “Blondie 4(0) Ever/Ghosts of Download.” Sadly they did not have a signing afterwards. They plan to tour “with festivals” in Europe later this year and tour in the USA in 2015! Chris Stein’s book of awesome photography will go on sale in August. Many of the photos were shown in a slide presentation and they both humorously reminisced about the ‘old times’. Audience questions were taken during the last 20 minutes and were very insightful.
At the show’s end I ran to the stage door already besieged with Ebayers and fans. Luckily the her driver and the security guard placed me near her car door. As Debbie noticed the Ebayers had pressed forward she didn’t want to sign anymore but her driver and the guard steered her towards me and both the guard and I said simultaneously “He’s/I’m not an Ebayer!”. Debbie looked, warmly smiled at me, squeezed my hand and signed her full name unlike the initials she had dome for the others. I floated on an ‘Atomic’ cloud all the way home. Here is my incredibly awesome rare signed treasure above – 35 years later!!
BLONDIE 1979 Village Voice ad

BLONDIE 1979 Village Voice ad

           Warhol’s Interview, June 1979 -Illustration by Richard Bernstein. Bernstein created more than 120 portraits for Andy Warhol’s Interview magazine in the 1970s, including this one of Blondie’s Debbie Harry.

“Rapture” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pHCdS7O248g

“Dreaming” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fOnv8lXDzhg


Photo of the day: PHOTOGRAPHING THE EMPIRE STATE BUILDING

PHOTOGRAPHING

Photo of the day: PHOTOGRAPHING THE EMPIRE STATE BUILDING – Someone always has a different view.
(My 14 German Memorial Day guests.)

Photo of the day: BEACH SEASON IS OFFICIALLY OPEN!

LIFEGUARD

Photo of the day: BEACH SEASON IS OFFICIALLY OPEN! – Coney Island, your life is “guarded.”

Photo of the day: THE WORLD WAR II VET

WORLD WAR II VETERAN

Photo of the day: THE WORLD WAR II VET – In 2012 I spotted this old veteran outside Penn Station. He had the most determined walk and I loved his unique flair, so I followed him with my camera till he eventually got lost inside the cavernous train station. I approached him to ask if he needed help, he kept telling me he wanted to go to Central Ave in South Orange, New Jersey. So we looked for the train together. Everything about him touched my heart. His tattered clothes, the scraps of cloth he had tied as kerchiefs, he hadn’t shaved very evenly, his inside-out t-shirt and his perfectly tilted beret which was absolutely covered in (his favorite) cat hair, but his medals were perfectly polished and cared for. I just fell in love with him. He told me he is a lecturer on wars, esp. WWII in which he served. He was very spry, I believe he was at least 85 years old yet still filled with such gentille determination. We reached the Jersey bound train platform but no personnel in Penn Station knew of the address he wanted to go to, but I luckily found a kindly conductor who promised me he would look after our vet. I finally helped him get on the train and off we went, each our separate ways. . .

Photo of the day: NEVER FORGET – Happy Memorial Day.

FADED GLORY

Photo of the day: NEVER FORGET – Never let this glory fade. Happy Memorial Day.

Photo of the day: FROZEN by SHIRO, 5 POINTZ WHITEWASH EXHIBIT THIS WEEKEND

SHIRO

Photo of the day: FROZEN by SHIRO, 5 POINTZ WHITEWASH EXHIBIT THIS WEEKEND – One of the most beloved 5 Pointz artists is Shiro of Japan. I am delighted to also call her a friend. Two of the most iconic figures that represent 5 Pointz to this day are Meres One’s iconic light bulbs and Shiro’s Japan girls. For our current Whitewash exhibit, artists decided to represent their feelings in one of two ways – either to express their feeling through expressive paintings or to simply recreate one of their 5 Pointz murals. Shiro aka Shoko Mikami has decided to do both in recreating some of her iconic Japan-anime figures. The only thing now different is they are frozen and violated, the mermaid has been caught and chained, the geisha girl has been raped and the nurse has been poisoned. This is how most of us feel about the destruction of this iconic place.

If you would like to see more expressions by great artists on canvas and in photographs (mine included) this weekend – come to the Jeffrey Leder Gallery this weekend and view the brilliant art by artists: Auks, Cortes, Hans Von Rittern, Jerms, Just One, Meres One, Poem, Shiro, See TF, Topaz, Zimad, all brilliantly curated by Marie Cecile Flageul!
The Jeffrey Leder Gallery: 2137 45th Road, L.I.C. #7/G subway stop. One block away from 5 Pointz and PS1 Moma. Admission is free, open 12-6.
Leder Gallery:
http://www.jeffreyledergallery.com/whitewash.php

SHIRO has been expressing her own vision of the world and for life through her original characters. Her colorful artwork is a reflection of her love for true graffiti and hip-hop. Over the years she has been touched by the essence & soul of hip-hop culture and old school graffiti styles. Her devotion to graffiti art afforded her the opportunity to work with many great graffiti artists. She decided to stay in NY and develop her talent as an artist. From 2002 to 2004, she lived in Brooklyn and Queens, and could be found painting in the city on a regular basis. Today she lives part time in Brooklyn and hopes to stay in NYC permanently one day. She has performed in various live painting events, participated in international gallery art shows and been a part of graffiti crew gatherings in the world. She also participated in community awareness murals and other large-scale graffiti projects all over New York City and Japan. In Japan, Shiro has worked with people in the hip-hop industry, organizing graffiti shows and live painting events in her hometown of Shizuoka and participating in painting events in surrounding areas. In addition to her murals, she has worked on canvases, illustrations, and has designed and produced original theater stage decorations. She happens to work as a nurse in a hospital, caring for people who need assistance in critical parts of their lives. Through her work within the medical field, she witnessed many dramas which motivate and stimulate her. With these experiences which strengthen and broaden her perspectives on life, she continues to express this message through her artwork: “We exist RIGHT NOW, RIGHT HERE!”

 

 


Postcard story from New York – “MEMORIAL DAY 1931, THIS IN MEMORY OF OUR FOLKS WHO HAVE GONE AHEAD”

MEMORIAL DAY 1931 collage

Postcard story from New York – “MEMORIAL DAY 1931 ~ THIS IN MEMORY OF OUR FOLKS WHO HAVE GONE AHEAD”

Endwell, New York, June 1, 1:00pm, 1931

Woolworth and Municipal Bldgs. from Brooklyn Bridge, New York.

To: Mrs. H. A. Knapp

Waverly

Pa.

“Memorial Day 1931 This in Memory of our Folks who have gone ahead. How sweet to think of them! The day’s Celebration here has been a trail of planes from the Endicott landing place. Sure “Love can never lose it’s own.” H.K.__”

The card is addressed to Mrs. Henry Alonzo Knapp, actual name Anna Dutilleul (b.1870, d.1954.)

Her husband Henry A. Knapp (b.1851, d. 1931 the year this card was written) started as a filing clerk in Pennsylvania and rose to become a prominent lawyer who, in 1899, established the borough of Vandling in Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania. As of the 2010 census, Vandling has a population of 751.

The ‘Endicott landing-place’ refers to a landing strip that was to become the Tri-Cities Endicott Airport, established in 1936.

The poetic quote: “Love can never lose it’s own” is from a poem entitled “Snowbound/Firelight” by influential American Quaker poet John Greenleaf Whittier.

“…Yet Love will dream, and Faith will trust,

(Since He who knows our need is just,)

That somehow, somewhere, meet we must.

Alas for him who never sees

The stars shine through his cypress-trees!

Who, hopeless, lays his dead away,

Nor looks to see the breaking day

Across the mournful marbles play!

Who hath not learned, in hours of faith,

The truth to flesh and sense unknown,

That Life is ever lord of Death,

And Love can never lose its own!”

To read the full fitting Memorial day poem “Snowbound” click: http://www.bartleby.com/248/222.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snow-Bound

 


Photo of the day: SOME OF MY BEST FRIENDS ARE COLORED

1968 Celestial Arts, Robert Lewis

1968 Celestial Arts, Robert Lewis

Photo of the day: SOME OF MY BEST FRIENDS ARE COLORED – I just scored this brilliant vintage 1968 blacklight poster by artist Robert Lewis on Ebay! The poster was produced by Celestial Arts, P.O. Box 1594, San Francisco, CA 94101. Poster #CA27, printed in the USA by Orbit. As a poster collector, this is now one of my favorites.
(It reminds me somewhat of the logo from the musical “Follies” and that wonderful pop art of the Beatles ‘Yellow Submarine’ psychedelic era.)
FOLLIES

"Yellow Submarine"

“Yellow Submarine”

"Yellow Submarine"

“Yellow Submarine”