Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Surfland


Gary War - Good Clues








There's a not so new trend going on right now. And not just in music, either. All media. It's new and old at the same time. I know I'm not the first to point it out and I'm also a year or two late in doing so, but I'm doing it now because it's relevant to me.

There's a new exhibit at the Peabody Essex Museum right now called Surfland that features the photography of Joni Sternbach. Her work is focused on what I consider to be a dated pastime, surfing, and she uses a photographic technique that originated in the 1850s, the tintype. The photographs are portraits of modern day surfers from New York and California. The tintype process used makes the images look as old the process itself. There are so many layers to her work that it's almost easy to overlook just how stunningly gorgeous the photos are.

The independent music biz is currently thriving on the mixture of vintage and contemporary themes and techniques. I know that has always and will always be the case, but it feels to me that for the first time, everyone is taking their ideas from the 60s folk/garage scene and the disco-laden 70s. I know it's obvious but I'm only pointing it out because it seems so similar to what Sternbach is doing with her work.

You should really go visit Sternbach's first solo museum exhibition. Seeing the physical tintypes in person is absolutely amazing. It's going on until October at the PEM so you got some time.

P.S. Gary War is part of the Homegrown Fest going down at Church in July. He'll be playing Friday the 17th along with Sightings, Bobb Trimble, Infinity Window, Magic People, and a bunch more.

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