Archive for November, 2008


Posted in Photography with tags , , on November 13, 2008 by Thomas Allen


While in NY last month, Michael Foley took me to meet John McWhinnie of John McWhinnie @ Glen Horowitz Bookseller, a buyer and seller of rare and out of print collectible edition books. John purchased one of my prints, REFLEX (2004), as a gift for artist Richard Prince. After graciously accepting our cold call, John told us the story of how someone else (the name slips me) bought Prince the same print! John also shared a sampling of recently acquired novels with racy covers!

Just as we were about to leave, I caught sight of two framed Richard Prince collages sitting on the floor (similar to the one above). Made from covers torn from nurse novels and pornography clippings, the assemblages had my jaw dropping in awe. Simple in their concept (leading me to wonder, “Why didn’t I think of that?”), they are objects of compositional and color perfection. In fact, I feel they are superior to his Naughty Nurse paintings (see below) and cannot stop thinking about them. They definitely fuel my desire to make more nurse pop-ups (see my Update post) for my show at Thomas Barry Fine Arts in Minneapolis in February.



Posted in Commissions, Freelance, Photography with tags , on November 11, 2008 by Thomas Allen


A clear and an almost-naked version of this image will appear in an upcoming issue of Men’s Health. They called me last month and asked if I would be interested in doing something with two different editions of The Joy of Sex by Dr. Alex Comfort (the original 70’s version and the ultimate revised edition that is being released on January 6, 2009). To answer my answer with a question—”Who wouldn’t?” 

With knife, nimble fingers and glue stick, the hirsute woman from the first edition ditches her yeti-looking partner for the pleasuring touch of a smoother, clean-cut lover from the 21st century! 

On deck: An editorial piece for MORE magazine (Toronto).


My Lucky Day

Posted in Photography with tags , on November 9, 2008 by Thomas Allen



I spoke to Michael Foley’s class at SVA (School of Visual Arts) in NY last month. If I’m not mistaken, this was my 4th appearance! This time around, Michael brought along a stack of catalogs left over from my show at Foley Gallery last year (which sold for $5). After my presentation, Michael announced that (a) catalogs could be purchased for $1 and that (b) I would be more than happy to sign them! Picture, if you will, a mad rush of students and a flurry of arms waving one dollar bills in the air! I felt like an old-school Tiger Beat/16 Magazine idol (ie Shaun Cassidy, Donny Osmond, Bobby Sherman, etc.) asked to sigh autograph books. I was shocked, flattered and humbled by the enthusiastic response. Little did I know that this my first surprise of the day.


After signing my last catalog, I heard, “I was a student in your class at Penland”. I looked up, exclaimed, “Kat!” and leapt from my seat to hug her. In 2003, I quit my job as a Digital Imaging Specialist for American Express Financial Advisors (now Ameriprise) to teach a 2-month-long photography workshop at Penland School of Crafts in NC. Kat was one of my star students. It was such a pleasure to see her AND to see her at SVA!



The perfect end came as I was signing out to leave at the security desk.

“Are you Thomas Allen?”

I turned around to see a young woman beaming and holding my book close to her chest.

“Yes I am.”

” I didn’t know your talk was today and a friend of mine just called me so I raced over and…”

“Would you like me to sign your book?”

“Yes, if you wouldn’t mind.”

“I would love to.”

It’s moments like this that make me feel very fortunate and should be a lesson to all artists—be kind, personable, approachaable and treat those who follow and find inspiration in your work with courtesy and respect.

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