Ozzie Sweet: To my various interlocutors who are anxious for me to treat of Ozzie Sweet: I regret to say that, until I was introduced to him by a kind correspendent several weeks ago, I had never heard of him. That is mere ignorance, and mea culpa; any photographer eulogized in the Times is obviously a gentleman of renown. I apologize that Yr. Hmbl. Host cannot be a commentator on his life or passing, but for some things you must turn elsewhere.
The 2014 Mazda 6: Back at the Milwaukee Auto Show yesterday (for four hours of solitary happy wandering and poking about), I tried to support my comment about the Mazda 6 being a particularly good-looking new modern sedan (translation into English: saloon). I photographed it from all angles (the battery in the Dragoon was depleted, so I took the OM-D), and discovered something odd: it doesn't photograph well.
I'm sure many of the professionals in the audience are aware of the fundamental mystery of models...namely, that the camera "loves" some people and is not so kind to others. Well, the same is true of cars, apparently. I compared my visual impression of the Mazda 6 to my photographs of it again and again, and there's no doubt: it looks better in the sheet metal than it does in pictures. I tried, but all of my attempts fell short (and some fell flat). See it for yourself when you can; it's a standout.
The color, by the way, is "Blue Reflex," and it's also lovely. And also not quite reproduced here accurately, but that's my fault.
Local news: Not only has "Color Rush: 75 Years of Color Photography in America" opened at the Milwaukee Art Museum, but I learned recently that MAM has moved quickly in replacing departing photo curator Lisa Hostetler, whose major show "Street Seen" was such a success. (The excellent book, Street Seen: The Psychological Gesture in American Photography, 1940-1959, which we wrote about a time or two, is out of print but still available.) "Color Rush" is in part her parting gift. (I'll be touring the show in March with a most excellent guide. Also, a book is upcoming from Aperture. It's available for preorder now, for an April availability date, and can be purchased now at the museum.)
Our new curator is Lisa Sutcliffe, who joins us from SFMoMA. Local photo people are of course using the inevitable shorthand "old Lisa" and "new Lisa," like that television show about the Christines, but in fact both are young. Lisa H., whose departure was described as "a kick in the stomach" by the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, is the new McEvoy Family Curator for Photography at the Smithsonian Museum of American Art in Washington, D.C.
We welcome Lisa S. and wish her well, and are hopeful her tenure here will have as much vitality as her predecessor's.
Minimalist masterpiece: I'm in the middle of streaming the surviving hour+ of Dennis Johnson's 1959 minimalist composition "November," lost for many decades and resurrected recently by the yeoman efforts of Kyle Gann and others. A tip from my friend Bobby B Bobby B of course. It's at Irritable Hedgehog. Have a listen if you're interested in Ur-minimalism, and read the fascinating tale.
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Karl: "From a Coastal Homes magazine interview with Ozzie Sweet: 'Ozzie Sweet is the Babe Ruth of Photographers,' said Chuck Solomon of Sports Illustrated. 'Ozzie is the DiMaggio of his craft; he makes it look easy when in fact, there were none like him,' said Marty Appel, baseball author, historian and TV producer. And I agree. He was the best photo illustrator I've ever seen. I first noticed his work on the cover of Reader's Digest if I remember correctly; a shot of kids on a toboggan in mid-air flying over a hill with expressions out of Norman Rockwell. He was my benchmark for how good photo illustration could be when done really well."