The Other Sides of Sydney: 52 Suburbs Photo Exhibit

Originally published on We Blog the World.

Close your eyes and imagine Sydney, Australia. What comes to mind? For most it’s Bondi Beach, the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the iconic opera house – images so commonly associated with Sydney’s magnificence one doesn’t need to have actually visited to conjure. But any Sydneysider (or frequent visitor) will tell you that Sydney (population 4.5 million) is a sprawling metropolis, made up of more than 600 suburbs (similar to the way Los Angeles is made up of neighborhoods, districts and incorporated cities).

Louise Hawson has conducted an extensive exploration of Sydney beyond its top sights, a blog project called “52 Suburbs” that has morphed into a photo exhibit at the Museum of Sydney through October 9.

Hawson has lived and worked in Sydney for 30 years, but had never really thought much about her local surrounds until she discovered digital photography, and went on a hunt to find inner beauty beneath, as she writes “the old and faded or revitalized and repurposed.” Sydney’s suburbs, with names as ordinary-sounding as Auburn, Eastwood, Penrith and Glebe are home more often than not to those who don’t resemble the latest Australian Olympic swimming champion or surf bunny, but more likely young and old, and immigrants from countless Asian and Middle Eastern countries celebrating a multitude of cultures.

Hawson’s year-long (one suburb per week) blog project is part anthropological study. The photo exhibit has cleverly boiled the blog down to approximately 5 or 6 shots per ‘burb, often using diptychs to place seemingly dissimilar objects side-by side. A brick apartment block named “Utopia” next to an outdoor sea pool or multi-colored cakes next to an elderly woman’s hair being set in matching multi-colored rollers.

The people, the foods, the rituals exposed and juxtaposed showcase Sydney’s ethnic, age and architectural diversity like no guidebook can. For those who can’t get to Sydney in time to take in this exhibit, visit the 52 Suburbs blog. Not only will it change touristy perceptions of Australia’s largest city, it will change the way you look at your own backyard.

More than 15 Minutes: Andy Warhol Statue on Display until October

Originally published on We Blog the World.

If you’ve always thought of the Union Square section of lower Manhattan as Andy Warhol territory, your pop culture sensibility has been confirmed in chrome, temporarily at least. On display from March this year until October 2, “The Andy Monument” by artist Rob Pruitt re-creates Warhol as a 10-foot tall 20th century icon, complete with Polaroid camera around his neck and Bloomingdale’s Medium Brown Bag in hand.

Passersby in the ‘70s and ‘80s often encountered the artist/publisher right outside his Factory (located in the Decker Building at 33 Union Square West/860 Broadway). He often stood on the street distributing copies of his latest issue of Interview magazine which he carried in the Bloomingdale’s bag. Polaroid was Warhol’s medium for snapping subjects that he would later immortalize in his famous silk screens.

For the artist who once said “In the future everyone will be famous for 15 minutes,” having a statue erected in his honor for just 6 months seems fitting. (Read the rest on We Blog the World)

Photo by KazzaDrask Media.

Happy Birthday, Barack! Generation X Turns 50

Originally published on OpenSalon.com.

I’ve always been a bit of a trailblazer, a leader because I hate sitting around waiting for someone else to do something, a firstborn. That’s why I knew, from the first days of 1961 that I was of a different generation, not the one into which I was just born, but a new one. One that was just getting started – Generation X.

Argue with me if you must that I’m just another aging Baby Boomer clinging to the last shreds of my youth by pushing the start date of Generation X back a couple of years. But bear with me for a few paragraphs if you can. Gen-X is more a state of mind than something you need a birth certificate to be a part of. Its end date is defined by the launch of MTV, which was 1981, or 30 years ago this week. Unless you didn’t have cable until 1982, or maybe 1983.

By which time Barack Obama (and me) were in our early 20s. (Read the rest on OpenSalon.com)

Note: Photo taken by Lisa Jack. Reprinted in Time Magazine.

MTV Turns 30, Rebroadcasts Epic Launch

Ah, those were the days. When radio came to your TV. Before video set out to kill radio stars only to have it turn ugly with reality stars ultimately killing the the music video – on TV at least. MTV launched (complete with space shuttle footage) a year ago this week. Where were you? Were you born yet? Did your parents have cable?

Source: Stereogum.