Garden gnomes in the courtyard of the Doubletree Downtown in Houston, Texas. Unlike the photographer, I didn't even get to see these little fellas head-on, as I never once had an opportunity to descend into the courtyard during our brief breaks between reviews. (Used without the express permission of the artist, but I think he'll be ok with it.)
I am just back from Houston, Texas where I spent four days at Fotofest, reviewing portfolios and riding in charter buses like the one below. There is lots to say, but one doesn't know where to begin.
My overall assessment? INTENSE. 4 days straight of 14 reviews a day, plus tightly scheduled evening activities... it was overwhelming at times. In spite of the grueling schedule, I had a terrific time. It's like photography sleep-away camp for grownups. I got to spend quality time with a lot of fabulous people, and formed some strong (and what I hope to be lasting) connections with all kinds of photo world sorts - photographers, editors, curators and publishers were all in the mix.
I really enjoyed the international flavor - I saw great work from all over the world. The theme of this year's edition was Chinese photography, and I saw some fantastic stuff. I'd never really been interested in traveling to China, but now I'm trying to figure out how to get there and soon. There were also lots of European photographers, publishers and curators (I get the sense that this is always the case) as well as a big contingent from Korea. All the international visitors seemed as bewildered by Houston as I was. (It's a seriously weird city.)
My one major criticism is that there was just not enough unscheduled time. I had my best interactions with fellow reviewers and photographers while hanging out in the lobby and chatting over drinks.
The charter bus which carted us to destination upon destination. Sadly, it has no affiliation whatsoever with first class art blog Art Fag City.
I'll try to write more about it when I'm better rested, but right now I'm still reeling from Texas times two, plus last night's lovely opening reception for Ian Baguskas' exhibition of big luscious c-prints, Sweet Water. God the show looks gorgeous. Yes, I'm biased, but it's truly stunning.
I'm looking forward to a travel-free stretch from now until late-April, as is the otter who apparently missed me like mad while I was gone. (But has been decidedly blasé about my return.)
Two Structures, Death Valley, CA (2007) by Ian Baguskas (30" x 38.5" C-print | 1 of 5) is so much better in person. The sky has this wonderful buttery hue that you can only really coax out of traditional process c-prints. Any digital output would've been full of noise. Not so here - it's pure bliss.