Archive for August, 2009


Posted in Exhibitions, Photography on August 29, 2009 by Thomas Allen


This exhibition (14 new images) will close the book on my work with vintage/pulp paperbacks.

Hope to see you there on 9/10.


Standing Ovation

Posted in Photography on August 29, 2009 by Thomas Allen


Back in May, I received an email inquiry from an exhibition group wanting to know if I would be interested in teaching a number of workshops in Hong Kong. In the letter, they offered me a stipend, accommodations at a 4-star hotel, per diem and round-trip airfare for me AND an assistant. I no sooner posted a query on Facebook when Jared Janderwski—a friend and student from Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University—sent this reply (complete with disclaimer for his lightning fast response): “I’ll go—I’m not stalking you. Really!”.  If I’m not mistaken, Jared applied for a passport the very next day—just in case!

As the days and emails back-and-forth from Hong Kong passed, the offer took on the characteristics of an ice sculpture—solid and beautiful at first and then gone! After submitting my compensation requirements (to teach 6 workshops in 10 days ) along with a ‘rental’ rate for my work, I was told, “There will be no need for your person to be present.” At first I thought this meant Jared, but there was a language barrier that I misinterpreted once before, so I wrote back for confirmation.

Yep, they didn’t want me either!

Instead, they only wanted the work. To be more specific—a selection of the actual books that I had deconstructed and photographed—no prints (the first of  my language misinterpretations). The organizer also wanted to know if the original ‘rental’ amount would be lower since I was no longer traveling. All email correspondence ceased when I answered, “No”.

At that point, I was tired of all the hoop-jumping and relieved that the deal was off. However, I still had the painful task of telling Jared and felt like a total jackass when I finally did. Fortunately, he was very gracious and understood.

I recently got the chance to make it up to him.

Several weeks ago Jared posted a status update on Facebook and “hinted” at wanting a copy of PAPER: TEAR | FOLD | RIP | CREASE | CUT by Raven Smith for his birthday. At the time, he was not aware that I am one of the artists featured in the book so I signed copy and sent it to him. The picture above appeared on Facebook  (and Jared’s blog) today along with this note: A simple thank you didn’t seem like it would suffice. I got the book yesterday and I love it. Thank you!!

That’s one of the nicest THANK YOU’s  I’ve ever received and a perfect way to close the book on such a ridiculous ordeal.


Posted in Photography on August 9, 2009 by Thomas Allen


Foley Gallery in NY has just announced THE SUMMER SHOW PROJECT – an opportunity for 12 emerging photographers to participate in a group show in 2010. I, along with 5 others photo professionals, will curate the project. Go to the SUMMER SHOW Project site for further details.

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