Oli Sexačová, the one and only! A happy naughty Russian woman in Prague that enchants people with her smile and laugh wherever she goes. She is continually researching life, multi-talented and always has the best ideas and philosophy! I went to an art opening of Daniel Vlcek in Prague and saw the enchantress Oli. I took one look at her tattoos and saw the colour of this wall and starting photographed her. The magic of Oli created this photo! Thanks you Oli for being you!
Saint David LaChapelle relaxing after his successful opening at Rudolfinum in Prague December 6th 2011. I had the pleasure of attending the opening and taking these photos and also enjoyed meeting David and many other special people. David is one of my favorite photographers and certainly an influence. I could certainly write a lot about him and his work, but if you are interested please click on his name above which will take you to his website and click on David afterwards which will take you to his wikipedia profile. I highly recommend seeing the exhibit here in Prague. It is from the beginning of his work when he worked in his darkroom producing highly charged other world religious... saint-like photos. The exhibit then goes through his different periods up to the present time. Some of the photos are the familiar fashion photos that then transcend to other realities of glamour, fashion, celebrity, sexuality and desire. The end of the world photo series are incredible and hits you. The cut out photos come out of the wall and the floor to actually create a new feeling of image, art and photography. I appreciate Saint David LaChapelle because he really does have original ideas and is not afraid of doing what he believes in. The following photos are captured moments at the opening and the after-party. Please click on links of people below for further information.
Above, Prague performance artist Darina Alster looking up at David LaChapelle's heaven.
Another age looking at another age.
Above, Talented Prague music composer and artist Vladimir Franz atteneding the opening. The photos below were all taken at the after-party at Rudolfinum.
Elis Unique is one of a kind as her name applies. She is a multi-media artist and performer. She was one of the organizers of the Prague Biennale, the director of SPAFI the association for support animation and film in Prague. She also writes her own Elis blog and is a an emerging talent in Prague. I am pleased that we have been collaborating together and I hope we do more work together. She was recently at a great group gallery show at the Prague National Gallery curated by Mark Divo Utopia on the Abyss. Please click on the links for further detailed information.
October 15th 2011 Occupy Prague/Occupy the world/Occupy Together. Guy Fawkes is everywhere now. We are everywhere. Occupy, I hope this is the beginning of a new awakening.. We will see.... It started in Tunisia, then in Egypt in Tahir Square. These were revolutions that spread throughout the Arab world and is still happening, Libya, Syria.... The uprising in Spain with the Indignants movement to Occupy Wall Street in New York and now October 15th demonstrations and outcry throughout the world. The media, politicians, banks and corporations try to dismiss it as a temporary thing, but this is a movement of people who have had enough throughout the world of being abused and used. The banks and politicians who made the economic collapse happen carry on as they did before. This movement needs to go on until things change. The 99% against the greed and corruption of the 1%. Please click on the highlighted words for more detailed information.
I met Shalom Neuman a long time ago in New York. I was introduced to him by writer Michael Carter and brought into the world of fusion art and the writer's group The Unbearables. I walked into his gallery on Stanton Street one night, the Fusion Gallery and my senses were bombarded with colours, talking metallic fusion art robots, writers reading, and crazed nude wacky art be-ins. Unfortunately his New York gallery is now history, but it is slowly trans-mutating a fusion arts museum. Shalom Tomas Neuman was born in Prague, Czechoslovakia. He is the last surviving male of a large Jewish family, most of whom perished in Nazi Germany’s Holocaust. His family escaped from Prague towards the end of the war and emigrated to Haifa, Israel where he spent his childhood. The family emigrated to the U.S. when he was 12. He has lived in New York since the 60s' and has been a participant and witness to the transforming art movements in New York and the transformation of New York. He now makes his home in both New York and Prague.
Shalom Tomas Neuman has now returned to the city of his birth for a series of solo exhibitions focusing on his multidisciplinary/multi-sensory artwork. These exhibitions, which will include special guest artists from other countries, will take place from August through November, 2011. The six art spaces exhibiting Shalom’s artwork in Prague are: National Gallery in Prague - Veletžní palác, American Center, Galerie La Femme, Franz Kafka Museum, TINA B Contemporary Art Festival and NOVITO artitic pottery. Shalom asked me to film several events for a documentary film about Shalom and fusion art. I put together a film crew and we went to work. First at the opening of his major Prague exhibition: TALKING AT YOU - PROMLOUVÁNÍ at the National Gallery - Veletžní palác. It features more than 50 artworks from his Amerika series. The exhibit will run from 19.8. - 18.9. 2011. The opening night August 18th was quite amazing. All of his fusion face portraits talk to you. Some are done with motion detectors, so when you walk past them the fusion faces talks to you with one of the writers voice from The Unbearables. Other facial fusion portraits are activated when you push buttons on the surface. The exhibit also includes some of Shalom's controversial religious pieces. The opening night included a special guest French composer/musician Jean Voguet. Shalom worked various lights as Jean played his computerized synthesis compositions. We captured the night on film and were pleased with the results.
To describe the show better: The title of this series of artworks is a nod to Amerika, the early unfinished novel by Franz Kafka. This series of faces, described by international art critic and lecturer Robert Morgan as “...less portraits than archetypes - composites of much of the weirdness that the artist
encounters in human beings who hang-out around the vicinity of his studio in Brooklyn...” are created from modeling paste, acrylic paint and found objects surrounded by little plastic figures. There is the added dimension of sound in this series as each piece has either a set of sound chips or mp3 players with motion detectors that when activated, give each “Amerikan” a voice of his or her own.
To quote Shalom: “... As an artist I want to bridge the existing barriers between all disciplines such as painting, sculpture, light, sound, performance theatre, video and digital art. I want to make these individual genres indecipherable from one another by fusing them into a new genre of multidisciplinary and mulitisensory art that has endless creative possibilities...” Please click on highlighted names above and below for further information.
The next shows that we filmed was in September when various members (writers and performers) of the Unbearables from New York flew to Prague to perform with Shalom's art and unleash their Unbearable creativity on the folks of Prague. They were joined by some performers and writers from France and the Prague writer PEN group. We filmed the entire week at various locations and we all then ended up back at the Prague National Gallery for Shalom's Be-In, where the writers and performers for 45 minutes read and performed. They all interacted with Shalom's fusion face art portraits talking as loud as they could, which all reached a crescendo that sensitized the people who attended the be-in. I think we captured these as events in a special way and are looking forward to the making of this film. I put most of my energy into filming, but managed to take some photographs in between of some of the moments and of the special people below. I apoligize that I did not and could not include photos of all performers and writers that particiapted. To read Shalom's artist statement please go to: http://shalom-art.com/section/158402.html
The New York based singer and performer Carrie Beehan flew to Prague to attend and perform at Shalom's Be-in. She was a visual and singing treat out of another world and time. She sang, performed and filmed at the same time at the Be-In. I have included Carrie's bio and information:
Carrie Beehan: Singer/Songwriter/Performance Artist/Painter/Video Artist and resides in New York City - an established artist and performer in New York,
Germany, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, with a vocal and paint performance style that combines songs, sound-scape and paint media with performance and video. Her music pseudonym is Trystette. She performed at the BE IN Prague the pre release of two music art-videos in her upcoming Monarch Music Series and recently at Berlin's home of Techno -Tape Club - Tape Art Moderne Series, electronic cabaret Alt-Dis-Ektro at The Rover Soho in Manhattan, including a retrospective of her fused art and music from Berlin and New York , curated Solcycle Fusion Opera, New Ideas Festival - the New Museum, New York - and is featured in the 2011 Underground Howl of Menagerie II 'artist series'-
Her music videos are featured in curator Doron Polaks shows and educational institutions in Israel. She collaborates with Shalom Neuman regularly combining her mixed media skills with his filmic visions and is a regular performer at FusionArts Museum.
A marrionette musical is currently in production featuring Trystette music and performance with Vit Horejs from the Czechoslovak-American Marionette Theatre. She exhibits regularly in New York Galleries and venues, often performing costumed as a character from her music videos/paintings she records viewer's response and interaction-further embedding this in the art through audio and video.
With drama, film and music education in London, Sydney and Berlin, Carrie's technical background had her working as a news and documentary editor for German television in Berlin during 1986-1992. During this time she realized "I can’t change the world and that I was too sensitive and emotional about all the tragedies. I needed to step back and sing and paint out all the pain and suffering I had seen in life in order to find beauty in the world again".
Applauded by the press for her unique vocal and lyrical approach to the break beat dance genre and coolly dramatic voice with her '98 debut album Tryst/Tryst (BMG/Universal) and the front woman of former early 90's satirical Berlin band Cadillac Crooning, after over a decade in Berlin, Germany, Carrie departed from the renowned Berlin Chamaeleon Variete Theater in the late 1990s lauded as "an exceptional artist whose high-class talent as singer and performer made it a joy for us to engage her". Featured on MTV and international radio with her first electronic Cocteaux Twins flavored album "Tryst" in '98, she left her Berlin home and gravitated towards the USA. An early member of New York artist's creative epicenter FEVA/HOWL festival she has merged her cabaret and electronic past with the funk of NY's finest musicians to present original, sensual and rocking melodic songs with extraordinary collisions of pop, electronic, funk, soul, fractured break-beats and cabaret. 2006 saw the release of Deepest Part of My Soul - performed together with the legendary bassist TM Stevens (Shocka Zooloo, James Brown, Pretenders, Joe Cocker, Billy Joel, Tina Turner) with veteran guitarist Gerry Eastman - played with New York notables like The Count Basie Orchestra, Frank Foster and Stanley Turrentine. The BE IN Prague also featured one of their music video collaborations for Shalom Neuman's RoboCat. The Monarch Series DVD and Cd is currently in production in New York.
These are two guitarists that played throughout the Be-in night meshing with assorted sounds and music. I will write more when I get information about who these musicians are.
One of the Pen writers reading along with the chatter of Shalom's talking sculpture portraits. I will write more about this woman when I receive information about her.
Now the Unbearables reading: The photo below is of Steve Dalachinsky. The New York downtown poet giving his rapid fire delivery of his poems. He lives in New York and is active in the poetry, music, art and music- free jazz scene. Please read more details about Steve by clicking on his name.
Another Unbearable conducting his fellow Unbearables is Ron Kolm. He is a poet, editor, activist and bookseller, based in New York City. Please read more about Ron by clicking on his name. In the background is a Czech PEN writer reading her work. I will write more about her and Ron with more details soon.
Unbearable writer and publisher Jim Fleming reading along with fusion pieces talking at you. I will write more about him when I receive the information.
Unbearble's Bonny Finberg entrancing a woman by her reading. I will write more about Bonny when I receive the information about her.
Maria Clark participated and performed silently moving on occasion to the various sounds all over the gallery room. The installations, videos and performances of Maria Clark are concerned with the problematics of frontiers - mental, physical, géographical. A work marked by an obsession with compartmentalisation.It develops themes of separation, gender (human/animal), line, in-between, territories, nations, borders, walls, obstacles, immobility, interzones, free space…
Her own body is the main medium she uses. Please click on her name to be led to her website.
Jean Voguet is a French composer and musician and came to Shalom's exhibit opening to play his music compositions. To find out further information about him, please click on his name which will take you to his website.
And finally above and below on the left is the exquisite Jana Tomaskova. With the help of Jana, Shalom's exhibit and events were made into reality. This was all made possible through her hard work and dedication to supporting his creativity She has an artistic management company called IAM Unlimited. They are providing services of artistic management, booking, productions of concerts, festivals, dance performances, workshops, events and PR including all relate services. She is also a damn good dancer!
Below Jana, Trysette and Shalom after the Be-in recovering.
Marika Provokator lives up to her name as Provocative angel or as provoking devil. She is the lead singer of the band Super Pilot. A band that is described as dirty punk. When I first saw them I was reminded more of high energy bands like Iggy and the Stooges. Marika lives up to the high energy performance ala Iggy. Marika and her band makes Prague their base. Marika has her hands in other pots stirring things up. She is one of the main forces behind Provokator Magazine an independent English, Czech and German language DIY media, arts and music publication based in Prague. They focus on Prague and Berlin culture and politics, supporting creative interaction and community worldwide, blurring the borders of genre and media concentrating on music, art, culture social and political commentary literature, film photography and all forms of new media. Their mission is to cross boundaries one border at a time. You can find Marika roaming the Prague streets at night going from one alternative dimension to another being sure to provoke wherever or whoever she can!
Comtesse started with the second session of the Bohemian Nudes photo series. Please read about the history and explanation of the Bohemian Nudes series in the Rebeca photo below. I went to the Colours of Ostrava festival in Ostrava, Czech Republic last July. I went there to mainly see Iggy and the Stooges. (Comtesse´s favorite band. Mine too!) I had always wanted to photograph Iggy and the Stooges and I finally had the opportunity. I went through lots of trouble and managed to get a photo pass. I was under the stage and clicked away thinking I got the most amazing photos of Iggy and the band. I went out to celebrate afterwards. (little did I know, but later I found out, something was wrong with my camera and it all screwed up and most of my photos did not turn out at all. I did not know it at the time. I should have checked the camera as I was shooting away, but I was too carried away by the moment. When I found out a few days later I was destroyed. It was the curse of Iggy! Which I will have to explain when I have the nerve to post the surreal abstract images which I can say I did purposely to be artistic. To be continued at a later posting) Off I went to hit the bars with the help of the bad influence of Chris Hughes. I was kind of drunk when I saw the towering figure of a blond haired amazon. I struck up a conversation and mentioned about the photo series I was doing called Bohemian Nudes. To my surprise Comtesse agreed to do it. She lived in Pilzen and would make a point of coming to Prague to do a session.
Comtesse finally made it to Prague and we met with fellow Bohemian Nude Rebeca and went to a pub to talk. We did not manage to do the photo session that night. Comtesse managed to drink both of us under the table. The important thing was that we all bonded and that was the intention. We learned a lot about each other and what I remember is this: Comtesse as young as she is, is a master tattoo artist. She worked at her mother´s tattoo parlour in Pilzen, helping to run it and also to do tattooing. She never seems to get enough tattoos and I am sure when she is older she will have 100 tattoos on her. She was born on a rainy afternoon in 1990. She was twelve years old when she got her first tattoo and decided to be tattoo artist. She carries on with the spirit of sex, drugs and rock'n'roll, mixed with a bit of doing fire shows. She loves to spit out fire. She draws comics, plays the bass and drinks absinthe. She is slowly creating leopard patterns on her body. She is a model and generally living and learning life.
We finally did get together and do the photo session. We were originally going to go to abandoned buildings to take the photos, but we came across a mutual friend that had a projector with lots of colours to play with. Rebeca, Comtesse and I decided to take the idea of duality with various colours, light and dark to see where we could go with it. With the help of shared ideas between the three of us, we had a really productive session with satisfying results. This photo is one of them. There are more detailed photos with colours and nudity, but I thought it best to show this photo of Comtesse and Rebeca´s photo below here on the site and to have the more explicit photos specifically for gallery shows and for those that are truly interested in the collection. I am doing it this way, first out of respect for the models Comtesse and Rebeca, for their work and images, also the photos are very special and not to be broadcast all over the place. The photos would lose their magic for me, if that makes sense. I hope that it does. I like this photo. In some ways it reminds me of a painting with a bit of Bohemian magic. Comtesse is now working with her mother in Liverpool. Her mother has a new tattoo parlour there. Comtesse plans to travel the world and experience life to the fullest as soon as she can.
Last June I put out a casting notice for a photo series I was doing called Bohemian Nudes. It all happened because I was doing some film work in Vienna and I went to an exhibit of Egon Schiele at the Leopold Museum. I loved his work and was very inspired. I started to study his work. I learned that he had a strong connection with the Czech Republic. His mother was from Český Krumlov. He went to her abandoned house to escape Vienna and to retreat with his muse Wally. Egon was very content to paint and live a quiet life with Wally. They managed to live a peaceful existence there for awhile until he was accused of painting pornographic images by the outraged locals. He was swiftly thrown in prison and put on trial. He was found guilty of course. When Egon and Wally had a peaceful quiet life to themselves, Egon was quite prolific and accumulated a large collection of some of his best work. The police confiscated all of the paintings. After being found guilty, Egon was led to the town square where the public servants stacked the paintings in a huge pile, threw petrol on them and lit them on fire to the cheers of the crowd. Egon Schiele was led away to prison and stayed there another month. After he was released he went back to Wally and life in Vienna, never to step foot in the Czech lands again. The town of Český Krumlov now has a museum dedicated to Egon Schiele. It is 100 years later and I felt the need to do something in his honour. I was strongly influenced by Egon Schiele´s work and wanted to do a series of photos inspired by his paintings and drawings. I wanted to explore these ideas and see where all this would take me.
I never worked in this style before. I have mostly concentrated on doing portraits of people who inspire me in some way because of their creativity and uniqueness. First I had to find a suitable muse to work with to make this work. I decided that this would be a creative process where the model and photographer would inspire each other as equals. All of this led me to Rebeca Pla. I put out the word along with casting notices. Rebeca showed up at the casting and I was quite surprised. She was an image of extreme asymmetrics. She had long hair on one side of her head and on the other her head was shaved. After speaking to her, I found out that one side of her body had hair on it, arms, pubic and legs. On the other side, the left if I am not mistaken, she was all shaved. She told me that she was originally from Spain in the Catalonia region. Several years before, she was somewhat conservative and started working for a company in Dublin. Burned out from too much work, overnight, she decided to throw off the shackles of the work ethic, moved to Edinburgh, Scotland and got involved in the arts. Her specialty was nudity. She was a live model for artists and photographers. She appeared in the Edinburgh Fringe theatre hit Nic Green´s"Trilogy", where over fifty naked women of all ages and sizes, danced and performed for three hours. She continued with her own art and performance. She was attracted to the mysticism of Prague and ended up here. It was only natural that we would meet and do a project like this. If I was going to explore these ideas of Egon Schiele with anyone, it had to be with her. So we ventured forth throughout the summer doing a series of photo sessions and produced amazing results.
Looking at this photo you might ask, "Where is the nudity and what the hell does this have to do with Egon Schiele?"
Yes, I asked myself the same thing in fact and I answered myself, " Well it is all a journey and one never knows where one is going to end up, so we might as well make the most of it!"
Actually there are a lot of nude portraits that we did with a strong Egon Schiele influence and we are both quite satisfied with the results. I do not intend to show these here on the website. I feel that I have to give these photos the respect that they deserve. I will only exhibit them in gallery shows or show them to those interested upon request. The two photos that I show here came out of a long extended session where we explored the ideas of duality with colours/light/darkness, emotions of sadness/happiness, life/loss and much more. This photo looks as if it has the sensation of disco lights, psychedelia, drugs,and actually it is not that at all. If you look at Rebeca´s eye, well, it speaks for it itself. You tell me.Click on any highlighted names above to be led to sites for further information.
Phil and I are now very good friends once again. I went to see his bands and was inspired by both. In fact I was so inspired, I have been making a documentary film about his Berlin based band Fatal Shore for three years now. I am in the process of going through all of the footage on tapes for editing. I have over 50 tapes, which means over 50 hours of looking for the best bits for editing. My eyes are tired, but I am looking forward to completing this film. It was because of meeting Phil on that fateful day in Prague I got to know so many inspiring people. I hope to do justice with the Fatal Shore film for Phil, Chris Hughes and in respect and Honor for the incredibly talented Bruno Adams, who passed away in 2009. I filmed Phil´s band and interviewed him for Richard Lowenstein´s documentary about Rowland S. Howard. I would write Phil´s bio information, (I always do the writing about people, but I make an exception in this case) but fussy Phil would find some objection to it I am sure, so I will let write Phil Shoenfelt introduce himself in his own words. Click on any highlighted names above and below for information, it will take you to the specific site.
Phil Shoenfelt is an English musician/singer/songwriter/author who has lived in Prague since 1995. He is a veteran of the UK and New York punk and post-punk scenes, and during the early 1980’s was the front man and principle songwriter for the New York-based band Khmer Rouge. In the five years the band was together, Khmer Rouge was a favorite on the NY club scene, and toured in the USA supporting such acts as The Clash, Tom Verlaine, Alan Vega, Nico and Billy Idol. Returning to the UK in 1984, the band did two UK tours with The Fall before finally splitting in 1986.
Phil then began his solo career. His first single was released on Mark E. Smith’s Cog Sinister label in 1989. A support slot with The Fall followed, as well as several concerts supporting Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds on UK tours in 1990 and 1991. Two solo CDs were released on UK independent labels in 1990 and 1993. After a Czech tour in 1994, Phil decided to move to Prague on a full time basis. Since moving here, he has recorded several more CDs, both with his Prague-based band PHIL SHOENFELT & SOUTHERN CROSS and with the Berlin-based Australian band FATAL SHORE. Although Fatal Shore ended with the death in 2009 of founder member Bruno Adams, Phil continues to play regularly with Southern Cross at venues across Europe. To date, he has had a total of 13 CDs of his music released on various labels in the UK, USA, Czech Republic, Germany and Greece. The latest is Golden Vanity, a collaboration with the late Nikki Sudden, which was released in 2009 on the UK label Easy Action. At the moment Phil is mixing the new PS & Southern Cross CD, which will be released in October 2010 by Easy Action.
As well as these musical activities, Phil has had two books published to date: Junkie Love (a fictionalized autobiography) and The Green Hotel (poetry and song lyrics). Junkie Love was first published in Czech translation in 1997 (as Feťácká Láska) by Maťa Books of Prague, and has become something of a cult book for young Czech readers. The book was published for the first time in English in 2001 by Twisted Spoon Press, and went on to win the Firecracker Alternative Book Award (NYC, 2002) for best book in the Drugs Books section. Since then it has it has been translated and published in Italian by Fazi Editions of Rome. A Greek translation is being prepared for publication by Electra Books of Athens, and an extract has appeared in Erotika – Drogen und Sexualitat by German philosopher Wolfgang Sterneck. In 2006 Junkie Love was licensed to Ebury Press/Random House for UK and Commonwealth distribution, and this new edition was published in July 2007. Phil’s writing has also appeared in literary magazines such as Gargoyle (USA/UK), Garageland(UK), the Prague Literary Review, Optimism (Czech Republic), Hele (Czech Republic), Blatt (Czech Republic), Apple Of The Eye, (Greece), Morgana (Germany) and Vlna (Slovakia). He is also included in the The Return of Král Majeles, a recently published anthology of post 1989 Prague writing put together by the Philosophic Faculty of Charles University. At the moment Phil is working on a new book (Stripped), an autobiographical novel set in downtown New York in the years 1979-84.