Saturday, May 31, 2014

Friday, May 23, 2014

Far, yet not forgotten

  I have some friends who I don't see as often because they live in Portland, or San Francisco, or Seattle…
Though, every time I do see them, it's like time hasn't passed at all. My last trip to Portland was very precious to me. My initial reason for going was to see Al and his show at Blue Sky. Here is the link to that beautiful exhibit. He will live on through his work, and through the people who knew and loved him. He was such a personality that I won't forget. In class, he would get so frustrated with us. He was a master black and white printer and took his craft very seriously. We were all young, and irresponsible twenty somethings who wanted to do things our way and shelve out work as quick and easy as possible (speaking for myself, and maybe a handful of others). I'm glad he was hard on us. It means he actually cared. He cared about his students. He snapped at me once when I introduced him as my former teacher. He wanted to be introduced as my friend. That made my day.

© Ava Alamshah / all rights reserved 

The portraits of Josephine are up on with you, today! This time, I decided to shoot film for this project. 35mm. I stayed with her and Dave in downtown Portland. Here is a photo I shot of her last year, in September. It was so lovely seeing them again. I got to see another side of Portland that I didn't the first time. We walked a lot. Went to the Willamette river, ate great food (oyster omelets are a thing of dreams), ( uh oh…NSFW warning coming up) Mary's……oh, let me tell you about Mary's. The murals depicting merchant seamen are spectacular and remind me of Tom of Finland.

"Painted with paint that glows in blacklight, the murals depict scenes that Roy thought the regular crowd would enjoy. There's a tropical scene with sailors loading a ship with bananas while an island beauty watches, a Cleopatra-like figure lounging with the Pyramids in the distance, a ship docked in a Portland-like harbor with Merchant Seamen working in the foreground, an exotic Priestess performing a sacrifice with a volcano behind her, and this scene depicting the Orient."

I also got to see this handsome devil again.
© Ava Alamshah / all rights reserved

Cherish the time you have with others. Always hug your friends, and tell them you love them (even if it gets super awkward). Time is strange and bittersweet. 

your friend,


Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Albert J. Winn

Albert Joseph Winn 
July 9, 1947 - May 20, 2014, 2:43 pm
Yahrzeit:  20 Iyar 5774

photo by Scott

Al passed away this afternoon. The photo above is the last time I saw him. May 1st in Portland, Oregon for his solo exhibition at Blue Sky Gallery. The work was a bittersweet monument to Al's life. He was a master printer of black and white photography when the art of printing was starting to fade into oblivion. I'm still processing the news of his loss.

Please take a look at his work. It is beautiful. 
My deepest condolences to Scott Portnoff. Al's husband of many years.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

The Huntington Library

Recently, my Mom and I spent time at one of our favorite places. This is my childhood. As long as I can remember, she's been bringing me here. This place is full of dreams. I remember rolling down the grassy hills near the cacti garden. Giant palm trees surrounding me. The same statue of a sea horse resides by the lily pond.

all images © Ava Alamshah / all rights reserved 

Two years ago we took some polaroids here!

I couldn't wait to share these photographs. I've been feeling a bit sad to be honest, and I know the reason why. I have this passion and I feel like I'm not doing enough with it. Zinefest was amazing and I got this natural high from creating. Making little books you could hold on to. This outlet has been great, but I have been craving the old school way of creating. I've started shooting a lot more with film again, and I love it. Now what to do with all this film? I want to produce books. Zines, and maybe eventually coffee table books. The portraits of Ema are a work in progress. There is so much more I want to do with those. I have a look book idea in the works for someone I truly admire, and I hope to get that started next month. I'm being awfully candid about my feelings. I'm glad I'm shooting a lot more. I suppose that's what counts. As long as I have the ability to do that, I'm happy. 

your friend,