Karaoke night at the Rotgut
life as i know it

and one for all my friends

The Rotgut is part bar, part living art-installation and experiment, that artist and friend Duke Riley opened up a year ago in Greenpoint with friends Annie Evelyn and Sully in his former tattoo parlor, East River Tattoo.  For one year, the secret social club has been open to the public on weekends, hosting karaoke nights, board game nights, and recently, late night baseball (that one, I can’t really explain). The Rotgut represents a lot of the things that I love about my community in New York – creative people who do creative things for no other reason than the creative act itself.  The Rotgut really feels like more than just a bar; maybe that’s because you have to know where it is (it’s unmarked and unlisted), you have knock on the window to get in, and when you are there you feel like you are getting away with something; I’m kind of amazed it was able to last even a whole year without falling prey to the authorities.  It closes forever this weekend, poetically, after one year of existence and I spent some time photographing the partners and bartenders who helped make it happen.

Duke Riley

Duke

Annie

Annie

Sully

Sully

Ragan

Ragan

Laura

Laura

Amanda

Amanda

Meg

Meg

Karaoke night at the Rotgut

So here’s to making our own culture in New York!

Like Mickey Rourke’s character in Barfly said (which I had the opportunity to view at the Rotgut a few weeks ago in a special screening hosted by Benh Zeitlin) “…and one for all my friends!”

 

 

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black light samples
life as i know it

shiny polished rainbows

Over the past month or so I have been working on a little story for a book to published next year. The book is called The Modern Manicure: A Visual History and is being written by the lovely Suzanne Shapiro and will be published by Prestel.  I’ve had the opportunity to explore some neighborhoods in New York I don’t usually make it to, including Jamaica, Queens and the Flatbush area of South Brooklyn. I met some amazing women who spend hours on a weekly or monthly basis at different salons while their nails are painted, polished, gelled and bedazzled.  It’s been an eye-opening experience seeing how expansive the world of nail art has become and how much time women spend inventing and researching designs.

Here’s a preview of some of the work I’ve done on the project…

Neon Nails

salon rainbow

Jennifer

jennifer's designs

polish wall

straighten and stripes

black tie nails

salon still life #1

magic maker

barry's beauty bar

tiger design

envy nails

black light samples

nail art designs

decals

jamaica salon

tawanna

jamaica nail artist

options

red

rainbow

 

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afterparty, life as i know it

Last One to Leave

I’ve been working on this series (called Afterparty) for a really long time.  I shoot interiors of party spaces, after the party has ended and the space is still a mess.  It’s always a test of endurance, because the chance to get the best shot is right after everyone has left, and before anyone comes to clean.  I have  often worked at these parties, usually as a bartender. I stash my equipment behind the bar, and patiently wait for the stragglers to leave before I set up my equipment.  Sometimes I get something great, often I don’t.  It’s hard composing at that hour and hard to see the beauty through tired eyes, but luckily there’s this thing called autopilot that allows me to still be able to use a light meter and to not fuck up my exposure.  So here are a few from the Red Lotus Room, taken after the Voluption party last weekend.  There are few other images from this series on this page of my blog from a few months back.

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life as i know it

meanwhile, back in the jungle…

Photos from the Desk Set’s annual Biblioball, a fundraiser to help provide books and support literacy for incarcerated teens.  My good friend the immensely talented Jean Loscalzo choreographed a tableau vivant with trapeze artists and dancers  – such a spectacle!  Pretty girls and dancing, yay!

gettin’ pretty.

Keep Looking Beautiful

In the dressing room…

The Love Generators

Bam I am!!!

Luisa

Mombuchaboogie.

Dena and Sara watching the show.

Jean back in the spotlight!!!! <3 <3 <3

Tableau Vivant!

Meanwhile, back in the jungle…

Autumn

no signal

Libby

post-performance Gorilla

We did it! Let’s boogie! Wheeeeeeee!

glitterlocks

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