POV: Steps.

POV ("point of view") is a series that addresses many of the same themes covered in my Equals Record column: growing up, saying yes to adventure, learning to embrace a quarter-life crisis. While my previous column focused largely on ideas, POV focuses on moments - glimpses, glances, tiny stories 

I took a friend’s baby daughter to the park earlier this spring, on a morning too cold for bare legs. I covered mine with a sweater and spent an hour drawing chalk rainbows and winged horses at the eye level of an 18-month-old.

Though she’s not yet talking, we communicated fine: when I said the word “swing,” she pointed; when I mentioned a helicopter, she knew to look to the sky. Then, there was a rustling in the bushes beside us — a gentle pecking, the flitting of paper-thin wings. Bah, said the baby — the beginnings of bird.

Non-Career Advice: Chris Prioleau.

Non-Career Advice is a series that asks people - young, old, and in a range of occupations - for words of wisdom unrelated to work, career-building, dollars, or getting ahead.

Chris Prioleau / Writer 
Also: Critical thinker / avid chill-er / amateur clairsentient  
Age: 28

Change happens — let it. "At the end of Outkast’s Speakerboxxx/The Love Below, there’s a stripped-down song called “A Day in the Life of Benjamin AndrĂ©.” It tells AndrĂ© 3000's story — how his life has taken him in so many different directions and how he’s changed along the way, and there’s a parable he sets up at the end that means a lot to me. He talks about being given an old car as a teenager and giving it all his time, because it’s all he thinks about — and then the following summer, he’s not interested anymore. He wants something else.

To me, that’s a reminder of how much we change — and that what’s important to us changes, too. I remember years ago, I thought I knew exactly what I wanted. I knew what city I wanted to be in, what school I wanted to go to, what kind of writer I wanted to be. Years later, I got to a point where I’d completed those goals and I'd become that person  — but what was truly important to me by then had nothing to do with any of those things. As 3000 says in the song, my wants and needs grew.

Just like you encounter all sorts of different people in life, you’re going to encounter all sorts of different selves. That’s scary, but it’s exciting, too. There’s another rap song that I could reference now, by 2 Chainz. The chorus says: “Live long enough / it’ll happen to you.” I like that — nothing about you is permanent. So many things, good and bad, are going to surprise you. That’s a wonderful thing."

Thank you so much, Chris. More from the Non-Career Advice series, here

Recommended Reading / 32.

Every Monday (or in this case, Tuesday), words to start the week. 

This week: striking self-portraits from a series Polish photographer Karolina Jonderko calls Self-portrait with my Mother. Each image shows the artist dressed in secondhand clothing that once belonged to her mother, who died in 2008. "Some say that what one wears is a part of creating one's identity," she says. "My mother, all her life, wore clothes that she hadn't chosen."

Each outfit, put together based solely on Karolina's memory, is accompanied by stunning snippets of remembrance. Of the azure dress pictured at top left, she writes: The departure day. Crowd on the platform. I am clasping my mum's and sister's hands. Suddenly I am rising. It's my mum passing me to my dad through the compartment's window. I am followed by two suitcases. My mum and sister somehow join us. It's crowded and stuffy and like that for the next 14 hours. However, 2 weeks of seaside holidays are a worthwhile prize. Mum has prepared sandwiches, hard-boiled eggs, tomatoes and tea in a 'Wyborowa' vodka bottle; we have 'Happy Minutes' (a children's puzzle magazine in communist Poland). She loves the sea. She travels lost in her thoughts. I think she can already smell the sea and hear the waves and screeching seagulls. Her blue dress may be made from cheap material, but it doesn't crease and dries in 2 minutes — perfect for such journeys.

Read more, here.

A few more, just because:
-"Equality, that's all we're voting for."
-Gems from poet-turned-art-critic John Ashbery.
-Ceviche, rarebit, and other breakfasts from around the world.
-Beautiful words from Russian composer Stravinsky: "I haven't understood a bar of music in my life, but I have felt it."

More recommended reading, here. Have a wonderful Tuesday.

Grounded in Stillness.

Words for the weekend, from Pico Iyer's TED book The Art of Stillness (which was the first book I read this year, and one of the most memorable): "At some point, all the horizontal trips in the world stop compensating for the need to go deep, into somewhere challenging and unexpected; movement makes most sense when grounded in stillness. In an age of speed, I began to think, nothing could be more invigorating than going slow. In an age of distraction, nothing could feel more luxurious than paying attention."


Wishing you a very happy holiday weekend. I'll be back next week with new Non-Career Advice, Recommended Reading, and a POV — thanks so much, in the meantime, for your patience and support as I've shifted gears here a bit. I'm now posting 2-3 times per week instead of five in an effort to be more thoughtful about the material I'm sharing (and to accommodate what's become a busier work schedule) — it's an evolving adventure, and I'm so grateful to have you along on it with me. Thank you so much, as always, for reading!

Photo by Max Wanger.

Henry Hargreaves on FvF.

Very happy to share my latest interview for Freunde von Freunden, which spotlights Brooklyn-based food artist Henry Hargreaves. Henry — whose work includes a photographic documentation  of prisoners' last meals; an Instagram feed showcasing the world's best disposable coffee cups; and a portrait of the queen reconstructed in 1400 slices of toast (pictured below) — has this to say on overcoming the fear of how a creative project might be received: "I've learned not to pay so much attention [to that]. That's one of my strengths: I've got a book of ideas and I'm good at making them happen. I figure, if it sucks, it sucks. Some of the most exciting things come of situations where it's a disaster or it just doesn't work out — that's where the fun stuff happens."

Select photos are also featured on ZEIT Online, under a headline that Google translates quite charmingly to "Art is through his stomach.") Find the interview in its entirety, here.

Visit Henry Hargreaves's website, here. Photographs by Brandon Schulman.

More FvF interviews:
-Huy Bui
-Dez'Mon Omega Fair
-Elizabeth Beer and Brian Janusiak of Project No. 8.

Thanks so much for reading!

POV: Heard.

POV ("point of view") is a series that addresses many of the same themes covered in my Equals Record column: growing up, saying yes to adventure, learning to embrace a quarter-life crisis. While my previous column focused largely on ideas, POV focuses on moments - glimpses, glances, tiny stories

Many people who live in New York will tell you, eyes aglaze, that the city speaks to them. If they leave for the summer, it’s the brisk, buzzing air and sidewalks strewn with crimson leaves that draws them back, trance-like, in the fall; at night, it’s a warming cocktail of sirens and subway tremors that delivers them blissfully into the arms of slumber. “I tried moving away once,” someone told me last weekend, “but the sadness I felt when I left wasn’t normal. It was like my fucking wife had died. So I came back.”

Abandoned Love.

New POV to come Saturday; in the meantime: shots from Abandoned Love, a series by 20-year-old photographer Peyton Fulford. Fulford turns snippets from anonymous journal entries and text messages (submitted to her from participants around the world) into spray-painted banners that she posts on abandoned buildings in Columbus, Georgia.

"I sorted all of the messages into categories, and realized that love was the main subject of the majority of the quotes," she writes. "Ultimately I wanted this project to bring light to...feelings that are usually shared privately, behind closed doors."

See more at Abandoned Love. See also: Things I Told the Internet, But Didn't Tell My Mom, a wonderful (and similar) project by Anna Ladd.


So much has been said about the bonds between mothers and daughters (this past week especially, with Mother's Day just behind us), but Rania Matar's portraits communicate what can only be depicted in the shifting of eyes, the angling of chins, the grasping of hands. Rania, whose previous work has focused on women at all stages of life, writes that the photographs reflect both "spoken and unspoken conversation," and the complexities of relationships that grow and change as we do — they are, as Rania describes the series itself, works in progress.

Visit Rania Matar's website, here. Thanks to Lens Culture for the introduction.

Recommended Reading / 31.

Every Monday, words to start the week. 

This week, courtesy of BBC News: exploring "glass delusion," a condition that causes those afflicted to believe their bodies are made of glass and therefore susceptible to breakage. Cases were reported as early as the late Middle Ages, but it's not unheard of these days, either. Psychoanalyst Adam Phillips tells the BBC that the delusion makes sense "in a society in which anxieties about fragility, transparency, and personal space are pertinent to many people's experience...of living in the modern world." Read more, here.

A few more stories, just because:
-The Museum of Shit.
-Subtleties of haha's and hehe's and hoho's and heh's.
-Beautiful pastries made by Brooklyn baker Ayako Kurokawa, whose Instagram captions suggest a possible second career as a poet — next to a photo of a glazed black cat, she writes, "It is a / hazelnut cake. / evan it looks as an animal."

And a couple posts elsewhere:
-On Refinery29: an interview with Justina Blakeney on her book The New Bohemians.
-For Conde Nast Traveler: global interior design trends, and a profile on an installation that asks international designers to share how their respective cultures welcome guests.

More recommended reading, here. Have a lovely Monday. Photos by Max Wanger.

Non-Career Advice: Julia Robbs.

Non-Career Advice is a series that asks people - young, old, and in a range of occupations - for words of wisdom unrelated to work, career-building, dollars, or getting ahead.

Julia Robbs / Photographer
Also: Bikerbird watcher / baked goods buff
Age: 28

Quality over quantity in all things (including non-things). "If I've developed any sort of motto in life, it's quality over quantity. I'd rather have less and love what I have, than fill my life with things that don't mean ultimately mean anything. That applies to everything: my husband and I invest in what we call 'forever pieces' for our apartment, and we'll hold out on buying things if they aren't just right. I wear the same pair of shoes every day, but I love them. And friendships? In my earlier twenties, numbers mattered more — I wanted to be friends with everyone, but in the end, I wasn't cultivating rich relationships. I recently moved from Brooklyn to San Francisco, and finding my place in a new city has been an interesting challenge. Part of me wants to get comfortable as quickly as I can — but building friendships and finding a community takes time. All worthwhile investments do."

Thanks so much, Julia. More from the Non-Career Advice series, here

Birthday Suits.

Thanks to brilliant Kateoplis, I now know that Lucy Hilmer, a photographer and poet who recently turned 70, has shot a portrait of herself in nothing but underwear and her shoes and socks on every birthday for the past four decades. (You can find them here.)

There's a book and a film about this project currently in the works, which, Lucy writes, "will reveal how a woman who came of age before women's lib used her camera to peel off society's 'pretty girl' label and define herself from the inside out." Hero.

 Visit Lucy Hilmer's website, here.

Recommended Reading / 30.

Every Monday, words to start the week. 

This week, courtesy of Slate: a glimpse into a series of portraits by fashion photographer Jean Pagliuso, who chose chickens, raptors, and owls as her subjects for nostalgic reasons — her father, now deceased, handled show chickens. Says Pagliuso, "I don't see it as any different at all from photographing people. It's exactly the same to me. I look for the same things. I look for form and the way the frame is filled."

(See also: Angora rabbits — or, as The New York Times calls them, "impeccable living pillows" — as photographed by Andres Serrano.)

Three more, just because:
-The best butter.
-Doors built for babies, packrats, and those backed into corners.
-An oldie from Jim Jarmusch: "Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds, bodies of water, light and shadows. Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul. If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic. Authenticity is invaluable; originality is non-existent. And don’t bother concealing your thievery - celebrate it if you feel like it. In any case, always remember what Jean-Luc Godard said: It’s not where you take things from - it’s where you take them to."

More recommended reading, here. Have a wonderful Monday.

Primary Things.

For Friday: hypnotic words from Eileen Myles (whose book The Importance of Being Iceland is currently sitting on my windowsill), accompanied by equally mesmerizing images from Julia Robbs (whose collages for #the100dayproject have been the highlight of my Instagram feed these days).

Though on the boat, I write, I shoot. On the boat, let's face it, I'm held. In its waves, its vagueness, in its water. I see only water. Water doesn't answer. No land ahead. Just water. So my dilemma shrinks to secondary and abstract. How will I live. I want to stay in this primary thing that moves. (Thanks, Cassie.)

Wishing you a wonderful weekend, wherever you may be. Happy May!


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