Tuesday, June 30, 2009

A Fabulous Night at Starlette and the Rainbow Flag

Friends or Lovers? at Starlette!, PRIDE 2009.

"Friends", PRIDE 2009.

Red Ruby Photography my new Gay, Lesbian, Transgender, and Bisexual event photo business proved to be another great success the night of PRIDE.

Women were everywhere and finally, we made the choice of what images to choose to put up on the blog.

I am also proud to announce, Lush Life Photography for everyone else. We do weddings, private parties and all that fun stuff for both businesses. The website will be up and going to full force speed ahead soon.

Check out both blogs.

We just want to include everyone!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Juliana Photographs at Starlette on PRIDE Night at Angels and Kings


The Lovely Ladies of "Red Ruby Photography"


Come celebrate pride with us at Angels & Kings' Starlette Sunday on June 28th! Let our all ladies Red Ruby crew provide you with an amazing image to commemorate PRIDE Day, NYC 2009.


Wanda Owner of Starlette at Angels and Kings and the Super Famous, Marga Gomez., 6/09.

Just take a seat on the a stunning red velvet couch, covered in tasteful plastic. A beautiful rainbow flag behind you! Now all you need to do is sit with your sexy MAMMASITA OR BIG DADDY or better yet, pick up the girl or boy of your dreams and make a fun, very fun memory!!!

This an opportunity for all gender orientations to support the purpose and meaning behind PRIDE. So, welcome! Come away with a keepsake. I've been known to pull out a Sharpie and sign the 4X5" print in front of your face...heee, heee.

Doors open at 7pm till ? !!!

Red Ruby Photography Serves the Gay, Lesbian and Transgender Community in the Tri-State Area. We are available for private parties, club soirees, weddings, bar/bat mitzvahs, etc.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

"Eyes of Salamanca" at Daniel Cooney Fine Art Gallery

"Two Cowboys #2", Yucatan, Mexico, 2006.

Please join me for the opening of...

I will be showing images from "Eyes of Salamanca", Mennonites from the Southern Yucatan. You can check out some of the images and read some info about this project on
American Suburb X, a super fab blog.

Featuring the works of Juliana Beasley, Felix Cid, Bradley Peters and Rebecca Schrock

511 West 25th Street, #506
New York, NY 10001
212 255 8158

See ya'' there!
Opening Reception: Thursday, June 25th from 6-8pm
Exhibition Runs: June 25-July 31, 2009 (Hours 11-6, Tuesday-Friday)

Friday, June 19, 2009

When it Wasn't Raining A Month Ago

"Ma #1", Rockaway Park, NYC. 5/09.

I went out to my favorite place. The place that has become my second home and also a second, if not a first family to me. I did the usual. I stopped into the Kerry Hill Pub and sipped on a double Jameson straight. This is the ritual, I have followed on and off for the last six years, on and off, as a prelude to my shoots out in the Rockaways. I feel acclimated to the environment. Not necessarily high but part and parcel of the once "Irishtown" that Rockaway Park was and is still is.

A strange afternoon, I don't recognize anyone in the pub. On the way, to the pub, walking down and past the retail stores, some closed for business, some hanging on, the blown up dinosaurs and dolphins are hanging from shops, inviting tourists to spend their money. Streams of adolescents with beach towels wrapped around their bellies, a folded beach chair in hand, a arm around the shoulder march up 116 towards the beach. This is their purpose. Summer season alas is almost here.

Then the stream stops for a half hour. I can see it from the Last Stop Diner and then again the beach goers persist from the subway station up the avenue.

I run into several people, I know in the neighborhood. There is Evelyn dressed head to toe in baby blue and white, always so careful in what she wears. She lives at Belle Harbor Residence and in the afternoons takes up residence at the Cash and Carry to hustle change and dollar bills from passers by.

I like her and vice verse...she has chutzpah, a mission towards fashion panache, and a fabulous Jewish NYC accent.

Like so many of the Rockaway Park residents, their dialects and voices...the folklore of years past is dying out. It frightens me and I suppose now, that I am older, these things really matter to me. I can't accept this change of all the beautiful uniqueness and color of the Rockaways. I want to suck it in and embrace it deep in my lungs, but death is death and you are left with ephemeral glances, voices, smells, and tastes of the past. Maybe, you catch a snap shot memory. I try to string them together and make a film.

The pieces are so keen in your mind and in your being and before you know it, the your mind catches onto the next coincidence in and the moments all is gone.

"Last night, I cried in bed. My father was standing at the kitchen screen door, opened slightly. He wore a beaten up Fruit of the Loom v-neck t-shirt. Streams of smoke trailing between the sliver, from his mouth through the crack in the door held steadily ajar with the side of his foot. I could smell the Pall Malls burning the thin paper down. With every drag, he seem like he was inhaling a deep thought.

He dragged on the on the cigarette mid-way down. Rubbing the ashes upon the stoop, holding the half cigarette in his hand. He held onto the rest, saving it for a later smoke. Other times, in the dark of night, he would walk across the Philadelphia flagstones in the backyard, rub the last bits of tobacco in two hands and throw it into a compost heap of rotting vegetables and fruits that decayed under our cherry tree. He was considerate and cheap."

When I watched him from the kitchen table through the screen door, his walking figure slowly disappearing into obscurity.

"Are you coming back?"

"Don't worry." he said, "I'll be right back".

I have come out on a sunny day. Just a day out there and just not enough for me. I'm sad that I will have to return to my home in Jersey City. There are times that I miss this place and the people. The photos will always be my own keep sake, no matter whom sees it.

Was it the last sunny super extraordinary day in Spring before the rains began?

I had photographed at this boarding house before--a hairy chested man last summer sitting with his dog on a hot day. His eyes glowed through his grit and sweaty filth.

I climbed the steps.

"Hey, how you boys doing today. Gorgeous weather, right?"

A group of 3 men sit under a covered front porch.

Grubble, grubble and a couple of crude pot shots at the photographer with a funny old camera.

Jazmin, my intern and I spend a couple of hours there. And somewhere into the shoot, I realize that several years ago, I had tried to photograph in the same decrepit house.

At the time, I walked in the foyer and a man, noticing my camera and pointing his finger down the hallway towards a door,

"You betta' ask the super. I don't know if you can take the pictures in here."

He was in his room. I knocked on the door and asked politely,

"Can I photograph here in the hallway?"


What had changed in his mood from several years ago to a month ago...I don't know for sure. But, maybe it was the summery day or the fact that he wasn't in a lonely drunken stupor hiding alone behind the door to his room with the t.v. blaring. Or maybe because it was because me and my Jazmin had been accepted into the clan on the front porch before entering the parched white painted building.

This time, he was excited to pull out a shredded old picture of John Lennon. A photographer was in the house.

"Do you think you can make this look good. Someone suggested that I rephotograph it."

The poor poster looked like it had been through a paper shredder and taped back together.

I realized the scary man was just an older chubby Hippie dude with greasy hair with a drinking problem. He offered me and my intern a coca cola three or four times, until, neither a drinker accepted his over zealous offer.

"Abe and Lennon", Rockaway Park, NYC, 5/09.

We were invited into the room of an older very skin lucid man. I forget his name. Could it have been Charles? I know so, many out there. The room was large enough to fit a twin bed, a fridge, a hot plate on a dresser, a small sink in the corner of the room. Sitting on top of his fridge, leaning up against something--I don't know what--his last will and testament is written with a red Sharpie and housed in a manila envelope.

The bathrooms are always at the end of the hall. They pay around $500. at most to live here. Down the street is a beautiful beach. Like all of this out here...none of this makes sense. I didn't come out here to make sense, but ultimately, I had to understand more.

"Pencil Portrait", Rockaway Park", NYC, 5/09.

"Hot Plate #1", Rockaway Park, NYC, 5/09.

We fell in love with "Ma". Her childish demeanor is bundled up in a dirty pilling red dress gown. Her sweet grandma smile and one tooth gives even this broken building a feeling of a home. Everyone living here calls her "Ma". She smiled and smoked her cigarettes and didn't speak one word or if she did it was not on my sonar level. Her tight-lipped demeanor makes me wonder how she managed to get cigarette smoke down her wind pipe.

Now, I must wait for the warm weather.

This might be my last summer out in the Rock....the thought makes me miserable. I am so emotionally connected that I find it hard to finish this project. I will though. As hard as it was to motivate me some days to go out there, find my creative center, and go into the chaos without being the chaos, I found a home.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Sandra We Love You!

Last night, I was one of the fortunate few females who got to see Sandra Bernhard perform at the Town Hall in N.Y.C.

Need I say the audience was packed with 40ty to 50ty something gay men in dashing garbs?

A one night only affair folks and girl, she can rock and groove. My favorite piece when when she made fun of the cup cake craze in NYC and I assume in other USA city's. Unable, to buy over fifty cup cakes from a disgruntled Magnolia Bakery chef with a tear drop tattoo in her eye crease wearing a dirty bandana on her head, she gave her the good ol' fuck you. She marched on over to D'Agostino's and bought a Duncan Hines cake mix, whipped it together with organic eggs and pleased a roomful of tweens. Yep, that's how it used to be before you bought a mini cupcake for 4-5 dollars and it was still fluffy.

Geez, you should have been there. We love you, Sandra.

By they way, to my friends Gome and others...I'm working my ass over here just like Sandra. I would love to spend a peaceful week sitting at the computer and writing my stories, but I can't do it! And if that upsets you, imagine how much it upsets me. I get a lot of pleasure from this.

I'm not super woman, after all. My dishes didn't get washed until the end of the week and I betta' get it together because come August, I have a roommate coming, who G-O-D willing will pay more than half the rent. Sure, I don't have kids, like this super duper photographer or the other...but, you got to draw the line on sanity somewhere, right?

Even with six interns and dear friends at my side...it ain't easy. Gome, I bought into your guilt. And from the get go, I have never forgot about you once about finishing my Rockaway Park Christmas story.

I haven't forgotten any of you...You all make me feel so good! So, right!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

I Hate Photography!

"Ballad of Solitude on Via Cavour #1", Rome, Italy, 2009. (Self-portrait in stairwell in hotel.)

Being in Rome is fabulous. Staying for 3 days is a mean tease.

The quote of the Photo Festival of Rome at the Palazzo delle Esposizioni is when Nan Goldin spoke and said,

"I hate photography." Very dead pan as if she had lost any personal affect and might possibly had been escorted to her chair in a strait jacket.

The same photography that put her on the map. The photo lovers who loved her for her disaster life and for documenting it, sat in the audience obedient and ready for the brazen stings of deep cut lashes upon their love for her. More for her known work as more a photo artist than as a multi-media artist.

Basically, she took a dump on her adoring public. Although, I did not make it to the end of her talk, I can imagine everyone applauded. We will always love the mother of "fuck you" photography? She might have well been a Nancy Spungen but without the super high IQ of 150-160.

I felt like Nan might piss on my head next...so, I left the auditorium and walked back to Via Cavour, got in my jammies and called it a night.

I spent most of my time in the hotel...and so, the following is my "Ballad of Solitude".

"Ballad of Solitude on Via Cavour #2", Rome, Italy, 2009. (Yummy colored faux velvet chairs at hotel on Via Cavour)

I would be wrong to say if I didn't have the same sentiments of despising photography like Nan. Some days and some days even more.

Why have you held me in your grasp photography? Am I your slave girl? Do you leave me forever hungry for more celluloid and pixels? What kind of delusions have you told me over the last twenty years? Is there any truth to the people I photograph if the shutter speed is some fast? Or is it what I want it to be a truth between the subject and myself?

Your, Juliana...well, she did one thing that was positive. She made it through her lecture, with a construction workers tag on pinned to her breast (they did not give me a formal one with my name as there was not one made) got up with a translator and instead, just did her talk in Italian to an audience of maybe 12 members of the audience. Great publicity, right? And yes, I felt so very important.

If anything, I was reacquainted with my love for Italy, reminded of the asinine bureaucracy, and my fantasy of living in Rome was reawakened.

No, I never made it or had the time to go to the Spanish steps. Returning to Jersey City was a bummer, a reminder of the lists of work to be done. And yet, I am very thankful for the dear friends around me--they really do stand behind me.