Monday, March 13, 2017

Officer Rice was called in by Officer Sloan as back-up

40 years of Kroll model releases

Officer Rice was called in as back-up for officer Sloan towards evening March 11, 2017.
I was approached by Sheriff Sloan from inside my `corner’ Bashas at Kolb and Sunrise near Sabino Canyon. There was a report that I was photographing girls. I told her I wasn’t and showed her the last shot on my Leica M9 camera which was of two file boxes of model releases taken hours earlier in my kitchen.  My newly hired assistant, Shawna, had organized the releases by date, which had taken several hours. More than 35 years worth of dated model releases! I had had models sign releases since the mid seventies up through yesterday. Suspicious- not believing my word, Officer Sloan asked to see more images on my camera so I scrolled further back showing her shots I had taken of my platinum blonde friendTatum the day before. Officer Sloan asked her age and I told her 22 years old and that I had her signed model release back at my house. The officer proceeded to scroll through the entire set of over 100 images..not a single one taken at Bashas’.

The Pima country officer told me the management had told her to have me escorted off the property for photographing women!
Less than an hour earlier I had been sitting against the outside wall of Bashas reading the New York Times from yesterday. I noticed the Bashas’ platinum blonde adult female worker I had done a portrait of, months earlier. I wanted her to see what I had shot of Tatum

Tatum in rubber at the de Grazia

 which was still in my camera and approached her. She was being directed by one of her superior’s to go clean up a mess. I waited for her co-worker to disappear then approached the platinum blonde and showed her a portrait of Tatum which she acknowledged then I walked back to my table.

Two young men in matching blue shirts came over and sat nearby and wanted to talk. (strange) One asked what I did and I said, without raising my head, I photographed women. The other one made a snide remark and I fired something equally snide back at him. He implied that what I was doing was wrong then told me  he was a modern day Jesus. He then suggested I leave Bashas. Incredulous, I refused. The other guy said he drove an ambulance and saved people’s lives. I told the two civilians I wasn’t leaving.

Ten minutes later officer Sloan (badge #7840) approached me. She told, misspelling Bashas (Bashe’s), that Tom the manager had ordered me off the premises and gave me my case number #170312220, written on her card. Fortunately I had been on the phone with my artist friend Gail and she heard the entire incredible exchange with Sloan as I left the phone on and put it on a table between me and the officer.  Later, Gail said it sounded like a scene from George Orwell’s 1984.

Sloan made it sound like I had to defend myself and I pointed out I thought in America one is innocent until proven guilty. She had seen every image in my camera and knew the accusation that I had photographed a woman on premises was untrue. It didn’t matter, she had Rice follow me to my car while she got the case number.

A similar situation had occurred at the Whole Foods store at River and Craycroft years ago.
 I work on my photos in public areas where there is internet because I choose not to have internet at my house.  Often what I work on involves adult erotica.

 Helmut Lang, the popular clothing company, has just asked me to work with them as they have done with previous artists Robert Mapplethorpe, Louise Bouregoise and Jenny Holzer. They want to make 1000 posters of 3 of my images promoting our collaboration.
 Jocko Weyland from Tucson MOCA recently chose one of my photos for a group show at the museum. Tucson Weekly did a cover story on my photographs in the May 2016 issue written by Brian Smith.
 I don’t flaunt my images when I use the internet in public places. My screen and the images on the screen, are not visible to anyone.

I remind myself of Lenny Bruce at the end of his life when he would rant and rave and write about how the police harassed his niteclub act.

The freedoms of expression are being squished by the same general paranoia that is dampening the world. The police state is either here or coming. Robert Frank could not make his fine book, the Americans (1958), today. Anyone that knows me will attest that I am interested in recording all peoples of visual interest (I have a degree from the University of Colorado in cultural anthropology). Man or woman. I am attacked and attacked again.

I remind myself of Lenny Bruce at the end of his life when he would rant and rave and write about how the police harass him.

Stupidity and ignorance are winning out. If cancer doesn’t get one then narrow mindedness will. I’m no angel but neither am I Satan. I photograph adult women in a modern day fashion (my TASCHEN book, Fetish Girls, has sold over 250,000 copies world wide). I am NOT a child pornographer photographing children. I have two grown children, Leah and Willa. I co-raised them in San Francisco. I make photographs of people.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Shelter from the Storm

Anyone that knows me knows I shoot EVERYTHING...ALL THE TIME. I've been that way since college. Now, more than ever, that freedom of expression is being threatened by general paranoia. I can't imagine Robert Franck could have made his "America" photos now. I went to the Tucson rodeo as I have in the past and this time in line to buy my ticket, the mother of the family in front of me turned on me and said "you better not be taking photos of my daughter!"
I bought my ticket and went below the bleachers to the walk- way where the concession stands were and sat down on a bench. The crowd of walkers was back lit and easy to shoot. After a half an hour of shooting a middle age woman sat down next to me and said "why are you taking photos of children without there permission".
huh. I told her I was photographing everyone...not children. I told her it was a public event and I had every right to take photos. She insisted I was taking photos of children. To shut her up I showed her the last dozen photos in my digital camera. She kept going till I told her I had shot the rodeo for the Tucson Weekly in the past. Turns out she never heard of Tucson Weekly, mostly because she wasnt from Tucson. After a while a mother came and stopped to my left and I asked if I could shoot her son and she said sure.
Finally the unpleasant woman to my right left. wow but I dont think robert Frank could have done his fine photos of America TODAY. Damn!

On my way to the rodeo I ran into my friend and model Emily and I told her I wanted to do a shot in the Rillito wash in sunset and she agreed to meet me at Swan and the River and did a few spectacular shots.

there's a woman named Margo that has a party twice a year and everyone goes to it. One sits in the backyard and plays catch up with friends and new friends. I met Dave Sayre, his girlfriend and then his son. Dave is a former teacher and artist whose moving to Japan tuesday. I took some shots of him and his son and he wanted them to take with him so I went over to his Toole studio and swapped art books for jpegs.

note the starry night between the dad and his (fakery) grimacing son.

On a sad note the (f....) soulless home association cut down my mesquite tree next to my house because the villian said it might fall on my house. (Yeah, right, but I'd be dead before it fell)

the majestic shadow of the mesquite b4 it waas cut down.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Steve Romaniello , emperor and friend, celebrates his 70th birthday at the C.O.D. Ranch in Oracle

Saturday me and Bob Campbell drove up to C.O.D. ranchin time for cocktails on the veranda, then cheese and crackers by the fire and finally fabulous dinner cooked by the double "D's". The toasts. Then dessert./ It felt like  wedding and Steve was the bride. The next day I took a hike aka walk with Joann around the property then fab breakfast by the double "D's".
The highlites for me was meeting Malcolm, the notorious owner of COD ranch, beautiful Leah (not my daughter) that I had met but hardly knew, seeing Seline from Rancho Linda Vista, seeing Joann in a barn dress yellow dress, Nora and more.

Joann and her daughter Alexi Smith

from a morning walk with Joann around the ranch

the rock and gem show around COD ranch

the next day breakfast with Malcom, Charlotte and Joann

Leah (not my daughter) daughter of Steve and enjoying a birthday also

There were those that were my age (70's) and those that were Leah's age (33)

father daughter spy team

Imo and others over cheese and quackers

the morning light at C.O.D ranch


Katherine and Bob during cheese and crackers

Andy Rush, Imo Baird and Tim Fuller

Charlotte toasts

Robin Hiller defends herself ...against herself

Robin toasts

Robin puts me and her husband out of focus (in perspective)

Bob Campbell in his `love' tie speaks, Jim Reed listens

Romaniello takes no prisoners

Leah has SO much personality in her face I think of her as a movie star like Claudette Cardinale

Rory clears his throat to tell the tale of San Francisco bay, him and Romaniello in a kayak and their near death experience

Steve embellishes

and more embellishmentout hop

Leah birthday coming the next day, toasts her dad (I was envious)

Nora begins her remarks about H O P E

Karen and Steve long time partners

Tim Fuller toasts his good friend Steve

growing up together and toasting Steve

Charlotte, Margo, Katherine

not a prayer but a thoughtful moment, connected loosely to the horror of Trump, closed borders and thoughtless behavior by our President.

When I was a junior at Scarborough high School north of Ossining, New York, the small private school decided we should recite the Lord's Prayer at lunch time. I was choosen to recite but refused, The angry math teacher raced over to me screaming that I must learn the prayer. I told him I knew the prayer but I was refusing to say it in my secular school. Civil disobedience at a young age (1962). I remember poet Alan Ginsberg carrying symbolic sacks of dirt at the 1972 Democratic Convention, Russell Means of A.I.M. joining the drum in Washington D.C. , Shirley Chisholm, NY state congressional member, retiring in 1983 after a lifetime of fighting the good fight.

There is no such thing as peace in the world today.

We must all fight the good fight for human dignity, integrity, and honesty.

I miss Obama


Steve opening his presents as emperor (Brother Chuck to far right)

a worthy mesquite on the C.O.D ranch

kind, big Mr. D prepares the ribs

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Two Birthdays, a visit with Alfred Quiroz

My good friend, film critic Bob Campbell, celebrated his birthday in the special room of King Fisher where we had had the memorial dinner after poet Steve Orlen passed.

painter Gail Marcus Orlen looks on.

That was Saturday and Sunday Hether Grey celebrated her birthday at Saint Charles bar. Nadine brought the cake and a smile.

Heather gets serenaded

more warm love

Adam and Heather

a studio visit with the fabulous Alfred Quiroz

Alfred closes his studio to take me to dinner along south 4th avenue

Alfred needs not say a word ...but he does and that is fine.

a fantastic Alfred Quiroz I am busy buying.

Alfred and his extended family outside Temple Gallery. only name I remember is Helena.