Llyn Foulkes

Finally! I’ve been itching to share these from my visit with Llyn Foulkes for “art” magazine…… ( check  blog entry “Last cowboy standing..” for more details!)


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Diana Thater

I have been wanting to photograph Diana for quite some time. We only live 2 blocks apart but never run into each – especially since neither Diana nor I are jogging types, or dog owners, for that matter. It took a couple of years but we were finally able to meet up early December 2012  for an awesome little photo shoot. While I was mulling over a few locations, it suddenly hit me and I came up with a bit of a paradox idea. The old Los Angeles zoo! If you know Diana and are familiar with her impressive body of work,  it is a no brainer how she feels about zoos.  To say that she despises them is an understatement.

This zoo was built in 1912 and abandoned in the 60’s because it’s habitats were deemed too small. Another understatement.  When I first saw the place, I was reminded of some ancient temple ruins, but more in a fictional way. There’s a bit of a stagelike quality to it, somewhat eery and unreal.

The more I thought about it the more it made sense. Photographing Diana in that location was the way to go. Talk about some juxtaposition! And she totally rocked the place…..!



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Picture This!

Girl with succulents

Stripper urn, Hollywood Forever cemetery

Voodoo fetish, New Orleans

Voodo fetish

New Orleans Voodoo Queen’s Marie Laveau’s tomb

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David Hockney

Whew, was I excited when I was called upon by german “art” magazine to shoot some portraits of David Hockney!
Making time for a photo shoot proofed a wee bit difficult however, because of David’s busy schedule.

He suggested meeting at his studio on the eve of his departure for Europe after premiering a collection of film works for a very selective audience. ( Jeffrey Deitch and Florian von Donnersmark in attendance with about 25 other guests)

I didn’t mind to be among the chosen few so we all agreed.

After being introduced to David Hockney, I couldn’t shake off this thought: “Here’s a man that really digs his smokes!”
Interesting, that smoking once again conjures the image of a rebel.  Dressed in a dapper grey suit David graciously greeted his guests while smoking away.

He proceeded to showcase his latest works-  some charming light hearted pieces as well as some rather monumental works.  Our interaction was lamentably brief, cut short by circumstance.

Still, it felt pretty damn great to shake the man’s hand!

More images from this photo shoot are available upon request- Please inquire within!

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Secrets of the L.A. River

The first time I ever consciously laid eyes on the L.A. river or rather, lack of- was in Terminator 2, “Judgement day”, aeons ago, when terminator Arnold and John Connor were being chased by the evil cyborg.  I must have seen the river making ephemeral appearances here and there in movies before, but this time something stuck.  It was all this massive concrete, domineering over a completely dried up riverbed, void of any nature whatsoever.

Little did I know then, that the L.A. river is actually somewhat of a bird sanctuary further west and home to a small tribe of homeless people making the river their home.  The land jetting out into the water is minuscule, yet enough to form tiny little islands virtually hidden from people passing by.

On impulse I once ventured  into this area, climbing over fallen palm trees, making my way through tall grass and debris left behind from previous storms.  Someone had hung a punch bag from a tree, there were several pots and pans, and other traces of someone’s belongings.  A little uneasy, I left.

None of this was there anymore next time I came, just a fresh crop of plastic bags produced by the last flood.  Oily puddles and neon green liquids meandering about, glittering in the sun- a grossly beautiful spectacle. Foliage so dense, it muffled all city noise.

I had come to play. I randomly placed things into crevices, arranged and draped them, as if they had always been there, transforming the place into something new and sacred.

That day I came home with a nasty spider bite and covered from head to toe in sticky seeds from crawling around the swampy river bank, feeling elated and happy.

Yeah, the river and I are tight!



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Last Cowboy Standing: Llyn Foulkes

Last November I had the wonderful privilige to photograph the great Llyn Foulkes in his L.A. studio for german “art”magazine.
The story hasn’t run yet which is why I won’t be posting any of the pics just yet, but I wanted to share this video that I shot on my iphone( !)
After getting a tour of the studio, Llyn treated me to an inpromptu performance on the “machine”- I was floored! It totally made my day, and I have watched it many times since. You can actually hear me cheering at the end!

We hung out for a few hours just talking, before I even took out the camera. Llyn was extremely patient and gracious enough to let me shoot for a couple of hours- Maybe because of all the leftover Halloween candy that I had brought with me?

Ah, I had such a great time! One of the reasons why I love photographing artists: It’s never boring! Llyn’s studio really is a trip! I have a hunch I will be posting images from this session very soon. Even though Llyn is a VERY busy man and was in the middle of prepping for shows he was kind enough to indulge me. The result can be seen soon in “art”.

Llyn’s work will be prominently featured at the Dokumenta 2012 in Kassel, Germany, which opens on June 9th. Go See it!!!

The Great Llyn Foulkes from Sabina McGrew on Vimeo.

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Surfing the Mojave

Yup, that’s me, staring out into the desert, a whole bunch of nothingness. The void! Soothes my soul like nothing else. Ok, almost nothing.  Out there I always feel strangely connected- maybe because there is nothing much to connect with?

So, if you want to see what I see or care to check out some of the crazy shit that inspires me, consider yourself invited!

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