Charles Darr’s Portrait Series, What He’s Still Doing Here “Amongst the Flat-liners”

Bucky Miller, Photographic Artist, 2013 
Bucky Miller, Photographic Artist, 2013
002
JB Snyder, Muralist, 2013
003
 Dayvid LeMmon, Photographic Artist, 2013
004 
Betsy Schneider, Photographic Artist / Educator, 2013
005 
Such, Muralist, 2013
006 
Morgan Parsons, Gardener, 2013
007
Alex "Djentrification", DJ, 2013
008
William Jenkins, Photographic Artist / Educator, 2013
009
Mo Neuharth, Photographic Artist / Musician, 2013
010
Eric Iwerson, Painter, 2013
011
Brad B, Musician, 2013
012
Bee Spiderman, Sculptor / Musician, 2013
013
Adam "Dumperfoo", Painter, 2013
014
Christian Michael Filardo, Intermedia Artist, 2013
016
 Andrew Almendarez, Photographic Artist, 2013 

015
Dusty "Pickster" Hickman, DJ, 2013

My first introduction to Charles Anthony Darr was hardly an introduction at all, but consisted of spotting him around my neighborhood, walking his dog and aiming a point and shoot at random objects. It wouldn’t be until many months later that I’d come across his work and appreciate his photographs. Until then, I only got the sense that he was doing something– something that amounted to more than just a leisurely walk.

When I spoke to him about his portrait series, he explained it to me in beautifully simple terms. It’s a series of people who do things, much like himself. The subjects are all artists of some medium and confront the perception that people “don’t do anything” or that “nothing happens here” in Tempe/Phoenix. Proving this perception wrong is one of the motivating goals for Phoenix Taco, so I’m glad to share this work from Charles, who like the figures in his series, “just keeps doing it, because that’s what artists do.”

“As an artist, you always have to return to your work. Everything else comes and goes. You can’t fully give yourself to anything else. It may seem selfish, but it’s not.  Your work is bigger than you,” Jesse Rieser explained to me.

There seems to be a notion that the local creative scene only serves as a launchpad for artists. You either take off from here and make it elsewhere, or you crash and burn. As one of few local natives, I have witnessed this atone-less climate melt the wings from more than one Icarus.

“What are you still doing around here, Charles? Aren’t you getting kinda old?” some early-twenties, already-a-burnout asked me a while ago. My initial response was laughter. Where would I want to go? I am getting by financially with enough free time from work to hang out, have drinks with my friends, goof off, and enjoy this city’s surplus of beautiful women. “You wish I’d leave,” I thought, “must suck watching me live your dream.” This interaction crossed my mind a couple days later and struck me in a much less humorous way. What the hell am I doing living a twenty-something burnout’s dream? Have I given up faith that I’m here to do more? Have I fallen so far that I’m now resonating with the flat-liners? What has taken over my dreams?

Embarrassing.

On the other hand, a slight shift in perspective made me realize what a beneficial circumstance I find myself in. Yep. I’m still here. But I’m still doing it, and I’m not the only one. Being born and raised in Maryvale and only making it as far away as Tempe, I have spent my whole life in the Phoenix area, and I’ve made lots of connections. My life has been blessed with genuinely interesting and gifted people. What a great opportunity I have to photograph these individuals who are here in the Valley, amongst the flat-liners, in the hellacious heat that is unforgiving of wax wings, and who don’t care. They just keep doing it, because that’s what artists do.

Charles Anthony Darr

You can view more from Charles at his blog here

Jonathan Alvira’s “Last Reminisce of a Culturally Thriving Downtown”

phx_2

phx_3

jonthanalvira_phx_14

jonthanalvira_phx_10

jonathanalvira_phx_12

Jonathanalvira_phx_11

jonathanalvira_phx_9

jonathanalvira_phx_8

Jonathanalvira_phx_6(1)

jonathanalvira_phx_5

jonathanalvira_phx_4

jonathanalvira_phx_1

jonathanalvira_phx_7

 Jonathan Alvira is a photographer and third generation Phoenician. Part of an ongoing series documenting Downtown Phoenix, these photos have been taken over a number of years. Jonathan explains,

I am just trying to document the last reminisce of what was a culturally thriving downtown Phoenix.  People are under the impression that Phoenix is nothing but a bunch of suburbs and hardly a city at all. I just want to show that there once was a thriving downtown and these are the few people and places that still exist in the decay of the real central Phoenix.

You can view more work, including this series at his website.

Stephen Gittin’s Exclusive Look Inside the Now Defunct Madison Jail on 3rd Ave

-1

-2

-2

-3

-1

-4

-3

-2

-5

-6

-7

-3

-8

-9

-12

-11

-1

The Madison Jail on 3rd Ave has been closed for seven years. When the jail was due to close, the inmates were given permission to draw on the walls before they were transferred to the new jail on 4th Avenue. Stephen Gittins, documentary photographer and owner of Capture12 Studios in Phoenix, has exclusive access to the jail and has shared these photos with me for public viewing.

Niba DelCastillo Showing in Carly’s Bistro for the Month of January

nibadelcastillo_carlysshow

Niba DelCastillo, photographer and Phoenix Taco contributor is showing his work inside Carly’s Bistro, located at Roosevelt & 2nd St, for the month of January. Check it out and see Phoenix through a different lens.

“Decipher”, Featuring the Artwork of Breeze With Photography by Niba DelCastillo, This Friday at First Studios

From the press release:

“Decipher is the exhibition that will focus on Thomas “Breeze” Marcus’ visual insights to large aerosol painting. These good-sized panels show magnified line work that feel like they were cut out of a larger mural and placed in this space. The new images from Breeze originate from graffiti, a world that has heavily influenced his artwork for over 15 years. Also, utilizing an inert traditional foundation Breeze’s interwoven forms closely resemble Native American (Tohono and Akimel O’odham) basket weaving. This combination profoundly impacts his style showing that he is amongst the distinguished muralists in Phoenix.

What is interesting about this body of work is the endless variety of designs. Slightly recognizable as letters yet not intentional, the organic layering of the lines gives a sense of perpetual movement. That energy, then, is illuminated with spray paint. The rich color selection amplifies the atmosphere within the black line. Here, Breeze gives the viewer a glimpse into infinity by “making something out of nothing”.

( . . . )

Niba DelCastillo is a photographer from Tucson that Breeze invited to participate in Decipher. He will portray a dozen pieces that document outdoor public murals and graffiti in Phoenix. These photographs will show the importance of these large-scale paintings and their relation to the community. Visual education better defines the artists and their murals creating a better understanding of our culture.

-Ken Richardson

Visit Breeze’s blog for more info

First Studios

Wayne Rainey’s “Vote!” in Java Magazine’s November Editorial

 

“Vote!” by Wayne Rainey, artist and owner of MonOrchid in downtown Phoenix

A Get Out the Vote inspired photo editorial for  Java Magazine‘s November issue.

Jeff Newton’s “Americano Mondays” Series ~ Lola Coffee

Lola Coffee for Jew Newton’s “Americano Mondays” series

Jeff Newton is a commercial photographer based in Los Angeles. His series, titled, “Americano Mondays”,  features imagery of coffee shops from around the country. To see our initial post on his first installment of Jobot Coffee Shop and Lux Coffee of Phoenix, click here.

To view the rest of his work, visit his website here.

Mr. Phoenix’s Dust Storm, August 11th

Photos by Mr. Phoenix

Jeff Newton’s “Americano Mondays” Series, featuring Jobot And Lux

Jobot Coffee Shop

Lux Coffee

Jeff Newton is a commercial photographer based in Los Angeles. His new series, titled, “Americano Mondays”,  features imagery of coffee shops from around the country. His first installments were on Jobot Coffee Shop and Lux Coffee of Phoenix, two shops well known to the independent coffee scene in the Valley.

To view more of Jeff’s work and the rest of his Americano Mondays series, check out his blog here

Niba ~ The Hive, Midtown

Phoenix Taco photographer Niba was featured in a show at The Hive back in April and currently has prints available at Por Vida Gallery. You can check out more of his work at at his flickr page.