I recently came across an image by the hard-boiled artist and photojournalist Weegee (aka Arthur Fellig) that was unfamiliar to me. The photograph has to rank up there as one of the strangest yet most romantic pictures I've ever come across. A couple of space cadets, lost in love, probably at a loft party in the Greenwich Village of yesteryear. Good for them! The image can be found in the book titled "Unknown Weegee", published by ICP/Steidl, 2006.
Weegee of course came to national prominence with the publication of "Naked City" in 1945 by Essential Books. His gritty, after-midnight documentary photographs of New York City murders, nightlife, oddball citizens, social strata, and even romance inspired the 1948 film noir movie of the same name.
Among Weegee's most famous photographs are "The Critic", "Crowd at Coney Island", and "Their First Murder". But for me, Weegee really nails the human condition in "Life Saving Attempt", 1940. On a crowded Brooklyn beach, during a highly charged moment of life and death, a young lady takes the time to pose and smile for posterity. - PS
Wandering around Stanton Street on the Lower East Side, Pak and I came across a beautifully efficient sign for the Hat Restaurant aka El Sombrero. The food's supposed to be average at this New York Mexican standby, but the sign is fuel for a graphic designer.
It made me think of and pull out The Hat Book from my personal library. With photos by Rodney Smith and design by Leslie Smolan and Jennifer Domer of Carbone Smolan Associates, this whimsical publication is a winning example of classic 90s design.
Stylish hats have made a comeback in the fashion world in recent years. But seriously, can anyone rock a hat like the "Citizen in Downtown Havana", 1932 by American photographer Walker Evans? - AT
We officially begin our blog with a photograph of the Imagine mosaic (dedicated to John Lennon) at Strawberry Fields in New York City's Central Park. Although similar images are ubiquitous among the city's vendors and gift shops, it is still an important snapshot of the city to share. John Lennon wrote "Imagine all the people, living life in peace". But here we are, reflecting almost 30 years after John's death and well into the 21st century. For a multitude of questionable reasons, people and countries continue to become embroiled in war after endless war.
Here it is, for the record. It is estimated that well over 20 million people died as a direct result of World War I. An estimated 60-70 million people lost their lives as a direct result of the conflicts of World War II. Overall, it is estimated that over 160 million people died due to the destructive wars of the twentieth century. Where are we headed now? Who or what are you fighting for?
Pak So is an artist, writer, and the Director of Operations at the Howard Greenberg Gallery in New York City.
Anna Tan is an award winning Design Director who has successfully completed creative projects for major companies and clients in the travel, arts, entertainment, retail and publishing industries.
Pak and Anna are currently producing an upcoming title for Trips of Wonder on the business capital of Tokyo, Japan.
TRIPS OF WONDER
PAK SO STUDIO
ANNA TAN GRAPHIC DESIGN
Most of us want to reach an end, we want to be able to say "I have arrived at self-knowledge and I am happy"; but it is not like that at all. If you can look at yourself without condemning what you see, without comparing yourself with somebody else, without wishing to be more beautiful or more virtuous; if you can just observe what you are and move with it, then you will find that it is possible to go infinitely far. Then there is no end to the journey, and that is the mystery, the beauty of it.