Saturday, October 22, 2011

"In a Blog Eat Blog World, We'd Like to Turn Your Attention To..."

The Daily Edit on A Photo Editor--Rob Haggart's great blog on photography that we just discovered. 

Rob recently featured Bill's recent cover story in Bon Apetit magazine--a magazine that's taking some chances and looking quite beautiful of late thanks to Alex Grossman, Creative Director and Alex Pollack, Director of Photography. 

Friday, October 21, 2011

A Photographer's Album

A week after his lecture in Athens, Bill spoke to the Bedford Historical Society at the magnificent 1787 Courthouse in Bedford Village.  The lecture opened the Society's Antiques Weekend which really was the last thing Bill ever thought he'd be approached to open.

Signs announcing the lecture were posted through the village including one which read, 'See the World with William Abranowicz'.  It made us think about Shackleton's expeditions and slide presentations by photographers like Frank Hurley which were done in a similar way, so maybe a talk to the Historical Society was not too far fetched as it turned out, it was great fun.  

The talk, entitled A Photographer's Album Recollections of Published and Personal Images included a review of over 30 years of images from around the world and benefited the Properties Fund which is used to preserve the historic buildings and landmarks in and around Bedford Village.

Bedford looks as beautiful as it does thanks in great part to the BHS.  It's efforts over the last 95 years to preserve our history continues with some great plans for the near future that will combine new technology with this beautiful history. 

Special thanks to Peter Michaelis, BHS Board Chair, for his photograph and Lynn Ryan, BHS Exec. Director for organizing the event.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

If The Times Says So, It's True

This morning's New York Times brought us a wonderful story on Eve Ashcraft, the color master we wrote about a few months ago.  If you have not seen the story, you can read it here.  We've been slowly implementing Eve's recommendations for our house and will be finally done in December.  It will be a massive change for us.   And watch for Eve's new book The Right Color coming from Artisan next month.  It features many of Bill's photographs.  Also from Eve this month is a new line of paints from Fine Paints of Europe.   We told you about Eve but if it takes the Times to fully convince you...

The photograph is from the Greenwich, Ct. Barn mentioned in the Times pieces.  One of Bill's images from a story on James Turrell's installation for German Architectural Digest.

Monday, October 17, 2011

THE WAY HOME / Jeffrey Bilhuber

The Way Home / Reflections on American Beauty is Jeffrey Bilhuber's new book from Rizzoli featuring Bill's photographs.  We think it creates a new vocabulary within publishing's interiors and design category.  While there's been a movement to the 'completely unstyled' room, The Way Home maintains an elegance and beauty.  It continuously references painting and history and the storytelling of each of the twelve families' home is without domestic fictions or desired lifestyles -- it's truthful, personal, and full of Jeffrey's wit and zeal.

It was an honor to have photographed The Way Home and we wish Jeffrey the absolute best of luck with its success.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

That Fabulous Demos Family

I just returned to my hotel room from a great day at The Athens House of Photography.  It's wonderful to see a new venture in Athens.  As of today, AHOP gets added to my short list of things to do in this great city.  Aurleia and Iason Demos along with Nina Stavropoulos have created something I can only describe as an ICP like exhibition and learning space where photographers including the highly esteemed, John Demos, Constantine Manos, Nikos Economopoulos, Herbert List and George Giorgiouo have been exhibited.  Giorgiou is currently part of the MOMA New Photography exhibition in NY but AHOP had him first.  The space is 10 months old, is lovely and the plans for the future bode well for the (very much alive) photography community here.  It's an honor to have been exhibited and lectured here.  I hope to be back to visit again very soon but any visit to Athens will now include AHOP.

Alixandra Fazzina

I met the photographer Alixandra Fazzina at my Athens Center of Photography opening the other night.

Alix is a photojournalist with a fine art background and one look at her work reflects that.  She lives in Islamabad, which immediately struck my suburban New York, news-junkie sensibility--A British woman choosing to live in what to me seems to be one of the most intense cities on earth.  Her award winning book, A Million Shillings Escape From Somalia chronicles the exodus of people along the smuggling routes from Somalia to the Arab Peninsula.

Her new project follows children as young as 12 who escaped Afghanistan by themselves for very inhospitable cities like Athens and London.  When I think of our 15 year old daughter, it floors me to consider such a plight.

To paraphrase Alfred Stieglitz, I am glad Alixandra Fazzina is out in the world.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Music That Terrified Me When I Was a Child

Our son, Zander, posted a new show featuring Greek Orthodox Music.  He writes:

I distinctly remember the type of sounds you are about to hear from my childhood. Walking down ancient streets at night with my family during the summer, we would hear these alien sounds emanating like ghosts from Greek Orthodox churches, the sound of cantors leading hymns and melodic prayers, propelled by the unearthly acoustics of these sacred structures.

I would tell my parents that I was terrified of this music–but it was not true fear, now that I think of it. It was, in fact, a feeling that I was witnessing something of the supernatural. No human, I thought, could produce these rich, deep tones. Religious music often is designed to have this effect. A feeling of spiritual transmigration through sound.

This mix features recordings new and old, from a variety of sources. The first half of the show is devoted to modern recordings of hymns from various annual feasts, and the second half delves into some more obscure, Byzantine chanting which is sure to inspire in you a similar feeling of awe as I felt when I was a kid.
You can listen to the show here.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

In Athens

Just as I was leaving New York for Athens yesterday, I heard a report on CNN about new, large protests against the Greek government's austerity program--taxis, the metro and airport had been shut down.  Thousands of people were in the streets.  The announcement, brought chills to me, was I about to board a flight for a hornet's nest?

The announcer said the protests had gotten violent and were the largest seen since the tragic protests of two years ago when 4 people were killed.  The continually looping video accompanying the report showed a single scene of  protesters shaking a barricade-- hardly violent.  Then, the announcer got a local reporter on the phone live from Athens who stated the protests were very large but peaceful marches but that CNN had no doubt gotten a single clip of tensions, called it violence and was showing that clip over and over.  I felt anger but thankfully the local reporter called out the network on live TV.  

Greeks have been asking me how the world now sees them.  Without Athens and its enlightenment, the Arab Spring would not have happened, that the movement Occupy Wall  Street would not be happening and that as Louis de Bernieres writes in the introduction to my book, Hellas, "...economic crises come and economic crises go."  It can't be soon enough for the Greeks.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Athens Exhibition, Signing and Lecture

If you are in Athens, the show at the beautiful Athens House of Photography features 25 years of work from Greece.   The opening is Thursday, October 6 at 8pm and the show runs through December 4.

Bill will be lecturing and signing copies of The Greek File and Hellas there on Saturday, Oct 8 at 5pm.

If you can't be in Athens, Bill will be lecturing in Bedford NY on Saturday, Oct 15.  Details to follow.