“Seeing is not enough; you have to feel what you photograph.” – André Kertész

As much as I love Los Angeles, sometimes I just need to get away for a bit. I decided to take a short road trip down the coast of California. I ended up in La Costa, a beautiful resort town near the ocean. When I got here, people were raving about a local photography exhibit at the Cannon Art Gallery, so I decided to check it out.

I had no clue what to expect when I wandered into the minimally publicized exhibit of  André Kertész’s photography. I had never heard of Kertész before my visit to the small gallery. I was really blown away by the photos. They were all of people reading. They were shot all over the world during the 1920s-1970s.

Here is a short bio from the exhibit:

“A prominent member of Henri Cartier-Bresson’s circle in 1920’s Paris, André Kertész created a series of photographs in Europe and the U.S. over a 50-year career, examining the power of reading as a universal pleasure…..André Kertész  (American, born Austria-Hungary, 1894-1985) began taking photographs in Budapest in 1912. He was drafted in the Austro-Hungarian Army where he volunteered for the Polish and Russian fronts. Wounded in 1915, Kertész returned to Budapest before moving to Paris in 1925. Kertész circulated among avant-garde literary and artistic groups and embraced the deep culture of Paris between the world Wars…”

Here’s a few more photos from the exhibit:

If you can’t make it down to Carlsbad to see the exhibit, you can check out André Kertész “On Reading” in the form of a book available on Amazon. I’m totally inspired by the photographs. It’s amazing how many different people Kertész was able to capture reading.

“A photograph draws its beauty from the truth with which it is marked. For this very reason I refuse all the tricks of the trade and professional virtuosity which could make me betray my canon. As soon as I find a subject which interests me, I leave it to the lens to record truthfully.” – André Kertész

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I found out about The Public School a few months ago. I’m just now getting around to writing a post about it.  The Public School is supported in part with grants from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and the Annenberg Foundation.

From the About Section:

THE PUBLIC SCHOOL is a school with no curriculum. At the moment, it operates as follows: first, classes are proposed by the public (I want to learn this or I want to teach this); then, people have the opportunity to sign up for the classes (I also want to learn that); finally, when enough people have expressed interest, the school finds a teacher and offers the class to those who signed up.

THE PUBLIC SCHOOL is not accredited, it does not give out degrees, and it has no affiliation with the public school system. It is a framework that supports autodidactic activities, operating under the assumption that everything is in everything.


Los Angeles is not the only city with The Public School. Apparently, you can find this school in New York, Chicago,  Philadelphia, Brussels, and Paris.




Where is the Public School located?

Classes can be held anywhere, but they almost always happen at 972B Chung King Road.
For more directions visit: http://www.telic.info/about.html

Who can go to classes?

Classes are open to anyone. In most cases, the classes do have a small fee associated with them. If you find the fee prohibitive, there are several alternative options available.

Why aren’t classes free?

Much like a magazine, there are certain costs that are required to keep the Public School running. We try to make the total class fees collected for a month match up with the amount of money that we are spending in a month.

So what kind of classes are offered?
Anything from basic, practical classes like: Preparing a Cash Flow Statement to
artistic, ambiguous classes like:The Fucked Up Drawing Party (Warhol would be proud!) and Intro to Latex Mold Making.
I’ll probably be signing up for the latter two!
More on TFUDP below:


The Fucked Up Drawing Party

This class focuses on: drawing, collaboration, interpretation, catharsis, relational aesthetics, subversion, perversion, mobility, negotivity, comics, head shots, etc. etc.

All show sign up for the one night class will be invited to draw and collaborate as stated (or not) in the following manifesto:

Nude models will be on site.


The purpose of a Fucked Up Drawing Party is to get fucked up (i.e. intoxicated) and draw things that are fucked up (i.e. disturbing). What constitutes a Fucked Up Drawing is different for everyone. Some people discover the Fucked Up in aberrant sexuality or perverse violence, for others it may be politically charged. Styles range from abstract mark making to soft-core realism- being eccentrically overt or delicately subtle. The ultimate test is that when you look at a drawing, you think to yourself, “that’s fucked up.”

Fucked Up Drawing Parties are for everyone, including “non-artists.” No one is pressured to make a “good” drawing in the conventional sense, meaning: perspective, accurate anatomy, composition, chiaroscuro, crosshatching.. such skills are not required. Collaboration is encouraged, especially between “artists” and “non-artists.” The resulting collective momentum ensures that each individual has a network of creative support. With this momentum, Fucked Up Drawing Parties can happen anywhere.. the alley, the foyer, or Texarkana. And while these events are considered “parties,” production of drawings is essential.. and of course getting fucked up.

Ideally, the Fucked Up Drawing Parties create a space where all types of people can gather and feel free to indulge their deepest, darkest, most inappropriate fantasies with out fear of castigation. This creation of abject imagery, and our exposure to it, disrupts the hegemonic flow of mass media. The affects of a Fucked Up Drawing Party can be seen in the residue of drawing and inebriation the morning after. To exit a Fucked Up Drawing Party is to embark on a walk, not of shame, but of revitalization towards your freshly fucked up life.

January 16, 2010 at 8:00pm
The Public School
Robert Summers
$5 per class or membership
Other information
BYOB and BYODS (Bring Your Own Drawing Supplies) Some Drawing Supplies Will be Provided and Live Models

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I didn’t think anyone REALLY understood Marcel Duchamp….But this website (run by Andrew Stafford), provides insight into many of Duchamp’s aesthetic and artistic ideas via a timeline of his life.

I love art that plays with the viewer’s sense of humor.  Duchamp was great at that!

Below are some of my favorite tidbits of info from the site.

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