The Opening Wednesday

The Opening

Saturday night saw the opening of my show, Juxta-Pose at one of the local establishments.

It was interesting for me because I spend every Thursday night in this place. I suppose one might call it a pub, as it is not really a bar (allows kids in) and not really a restaurant (due to the fact that the bar counter takes up almost a quarter of the floor space.

I had reserved space for a number of peolpe and arranged for munchies to be brought out at relatively regular intervals for the three-hour period of the opening, to show my appreciation for my guests.

And so many people came out!

Certainly I knew that a good number of folks would be attending, but there were many surprises during the evening.

Right from the get-go I was treated to a visit from my uncle and some of my cousins from Rochester (Em’s boyfriend in tow)…


Uncle Rui: Nice work, Jorge
Jorge: Thanks!
UR: These are all very good.
J: [Trying to be funny.] See that one up there? [Points at a chalkboard above the Kitchen window that has the name of the establishment on it.] That one’s not mine.
UR: Oh. That’s too bad because I was actually going to buy that one.


As the evening progressed, more and more friends poured in. During events like this, it’s always tough to manage to sit down with any one person and have a meaningful conversation, but I always try. Mrs. J is really good at making sure that I don’t miss anyone by getting caught up in any given conversation for too long.

A lot of people besides my friends went through the place, checking things out. I saw some taking notes and actually received some really nice compliments from people.

A few people bought me drinks (Thanks Dar & Reay), and others bought my work (Thank you Giles’ and Wendy!).

I just wanted to express my gratitude to all who attended, and invite those of you who have not to check it out. You can read the details here. I will not be there all the time, but I should be there every Thursday this month.
If you can’t make it, or missed reading the booklet that explained all of the photos you can click here.



Wednesday

Dave was over on Wednesday. It was the first time he’s ever been out to see any of my work, what with him holed up in the O-Dot.

I was a little nervous, as Dave is quite the talented wordsmith and I deeply respect his opinions. There was no need, though, as Dave seemed to really enjoy the exhibition. Mrs J. and Reay joined us for dinner after which we skidaddled back to our place and watched House and Lost.

Reay ended up taking off after that. Mrs J. bid us a good night and left Dave and I to our own insidious plots.

We ended up watching old home movies involving us creating stupid fight scenes and odd backwards-moving dancing. I don’t think I’ve laughed so hard in a while.

We also ended up playing Gamecube for a few hours, starting off with some recently-released games and then moving onto the retro 80’s video game disc.
It’s amazing how much technology has advanced in the last twenty years. Some of the games we used to play look horrible by todays standards, but are still fun to play. Back then, when the graphics and sounds weren’t so fancy, one had to rely on making simple and addictive gameplay to keep us entertained.
It’s always good to hang out with my friends. Dave lives quite far away, but I would say that we are much closer friends these days then we ever have been in the past.

Full Contact

Full Contact

I finished the website for my show coming up in May.

You can check it out here.

Now all that remains is the actual framing of the photographs.

If anyone is interested in attending, please let me know.

I have to ensure I set aside enough seats for the opening.

Contact Question

Contact Question

So, the photography festival (in which I have an exhibit) is coming up in May, and I am having a big problem deciding what to do.

I have too many ideas as to what to put up on the wall, so maybe you all can help me out.

The idea is to stick to the theme of globalization and the erosion of cultural borders. Rather than coming up with some twisted interpretation as to how the shoe-in nature photos convey this message, I am instead relying on other images and presentation ideas.

For example, I was thinking of using this photo of kids playing soccer on the streets of Lisbon, and pairing it with a photo from Lisbon…



The kids are Portuguese, playing soccer with what is most likely a ball from Pakistan, wearing shoes that are probably from Taiwan with a foreign movie poster in the background.

What I would ask you to do, my friends, is to go to my photography page and let me know what you think are images that demonstrate the theme and why. I already have some choices, but I have not sent them to print yet.

Let me know!

Thanks in advance,

Jorge

Contact Things and Other Things

Ready? Contact!

I received word that I made it into the Contact photography festival this year (a second time for me).

It should be a great event, as the theme is challenging and it will be the first year that I will not be relying on my nature shots to carry the show. It will also be the first time that I am going to be going larger than 8×10. This is a little scary for me, as it costs more and I’ve never blown anything up to that size. I’m not sure how good the images will look.

I will be showing at a local restaurant. As of right now, I don’t know exactly what will be going up on the walls. However, I will keep you all posted.

I can share with you that it will be running all through May, and I believe the opening will be on May 6th.



Things My Friends Say

When it comes to sage sayings, my friends quite often hit the mark.

This is one my pal Mike came up with…


We seem to be pissing directly into the winds of change.



That is awesome.

And eerie in it’s accuracy.



Other Things My Friends Say

A group of us e-mail quite frequently. We enjoy witty banter and can sometimes be merciless in our taunting of each other.

It’s all in good fun, of course.

One day I was picking on Reay* and Shatton made a priceless observation (click to see)…




Shaun is the man with the plan, I always say.




* – Incidentally, Reay actually gave me his permission to post this. He’s an awesome writer, a stand up fellow and an all-around cool guy. You should be checking out his blog. Now.

Photo Finally!

Fun With Photos

Quite a number of people that have visited my exhibitions usually take a card and visit my photography webpage.

I have to admit that, while I am proud of the general format I created, the galleries were a bit thin due to the time constraints of getting it up and running before a show.

There were originally twenty-seven photos in the galleries (not including the ones I use as the backgrounds for my various menus).

So, now that I have some time between shows, I figured I’d beef up the number of photos in there. I’ve taken each of the three galleries, and created sub galleries in each. By the time I am finished I should have at least a hundred and fifty photos, all representing different aspects of what I can do.

Hopefully, this broader spectrum of photos will appeal to more people.

Due to the number of shots, though, it’s going to take a while to complete this project. As of last night, I have finished six of the twenty-one new galleries.

If you fine folks could take a look and provide feedback, I would very much appreciate it.

Again, this is not a fishing expedition. If you like what you see, it would be beneficial to me if you would explain why. The same goes if you find something wrong. Just to let you know, there will be some empty slots in the galleries until I am finished (Actually, Gallery 1 is the only gallery that has been modified at this point).

Constructive criticism is the best tool available for something like this. You can leave me a comment or e-mail me here.



Finally!

The Best of Barking Space list is complete. Special thanks to Dave who took pity on me and sent in a pity vote.

Another Heart Window Nut

Another Photo Exhibition

The Salvador Darling show is closing today. I’ll be heading over there this evening to take down the photos from the walls, only to send new ones along to Sunnyside Sundays (Portugal Pavilion).

It takes place on Sunday, August 21. It should be a great day.

The only unfortunate part is that I won’t be present, but there will be all kinds of vendors and fun. Check it out if you can!

One day only.



Gorilla My Heart

I love the Toronto Zoo. I realize that not everyone agrees with the concept of a zoo, but in my opinion there are some Zoos that do great work for conservation and preservation of species, and the Toronto Zoo is one of them.

One of my favourite exhibits is the Gorilla exhibit. I’m not sure if it’s their grace, or strength that draws me to them. Perhaps the similarities between us and them make it more fascinating? Either way, a trip to the zoo would not be complete without visiting my lowland brethren.

Today, I will tell you two tales of why Gorillas are better than people.

You will be amazed…



The Window

Before the Gorillas got their new spiffy environment at the Zoo, they had a relatively plain one. There was an outdoor component, and an indoor one (these were visible to the zoo patrons).

The outdoor component has all kinds of ladders and ropes and things for the Gorillas to use for exercise, and the inside was essentially a large space with various open-concept rooms. The visitors were separated from the Gorillas by a thick layer of clear Plexiglas, so that observation of the Gorillas would be unhindered.

On this particular day, the Gorillas were inside, as the weather was quite hot and humid and inside was much cooler. Consequently, a lot more people were inside than usual as well.

There was a crowd along the Plexiglas wall about five people deep. The line closest to the Plexiglas window was made up mostly of kids, but there were also some older teenagers and young guys.

The older boys were leaning right up to the glass, making faces (which was entertaining for all of us, I’m sure, including the Gorillas).

Given the number of people, things were surprisingly calm. Charles (the patriarch of the Gorillas), was sitting near one of the females, who was watching her baby playing in the soft straw of the enclosure floor. The other females were also close by, and there were two adolescent males goofing around with some of the toys and stealing glances at the face-makers.

The problem started when some of those older boys started smacking the glass.

This caused the baby to jump a little and irritated the adolescent males.

Charles looked around and appeared to be communicating with the young male gorillas. When he spoke, they would calm down slightly.

However, this did no good when the teenagers started smacking the glass hard, over and over.

Some of the kids in the front row were getting nervous as the young male gorillas started pacing close to the Plexiglas. The teens kept pounding.

Suddenly, one of the adolescents smacked the wall as a reply, shaking the Plexiglas. There is no doubt in my mind that the barrier would hold, but I’m sure it ruffled a few feathers in the crowd.

Given the level of response, you would have thought that the humans would quit pounding on the glass, but they kept going.

Soon the baby gorilla became upset and made an awful wailing noise.

At this point Charles got up (you have to realize that this guy is huge), picked up the baby Gorilla and nestled him to his torso to protect him. He then made a sharp hissing noise to the other Gorillas, and motioned to the door to the outer enclosure. The rest of the Gorillas followed him out, heads bowed.

The humans, in the mean time, were still making whooping noises and pounding on the glass.

Now think about this picture for a moment, and you tell me who the real animals are…

Gorillas: 1 Humans: 0



Charles and The Nut Thrower

I used to go to the Zoo a lot more than I do now. I used to be a member, which was more cost effective than paying admission several times a year.

One thing about zoos that really bug me is that there are a lot of stupid people. Among my favourites are…

  • Girls who insist on wearing clubbing clothes to the zoo
  • Guys who go there to cruise for chicks
  • People who don’t pay attention to where they are going
  • People who think feeding the geese and birds is a good thing


The most annoying person of all, though, is the nut thrower.

I was standing at the barrier of the outdoor enclosure watching Charles chill in the shade.

Picture a rather large (obese) man, with Weird Al Yankovic‘s Hair and moustache, a really big baseball cap, and an ugly Hawaiian shirt draped over his torn jean shorts. He was loud and obnoxious. He essentially shoved his way up to the enclosure and started telling people how stupid and slow Gorillas were.

This guy had a bag of peanuts and he was throwing them at Charles (the head Gorilla). The peanuts were flying all over, as this guy didn’t have the greatest coordination. The ones that actually hit Charles would just harmlessly bounce off of his furry hide, apparently doing no harm.

Even so, it was quite annoying…


See how stupid he is? He’s just letting me throw shit at him. Hahaha. This is hilarious.


Did I say annoying? I would also like to add embarrassing!

I was about to say something when Charles himself silenced the perpetrator with a simple action.

Peanut guy wound up and whipped a peanut that was going right for Charles’ face. It’s as if the world stood still except for that peanut. People gasped that the guy would throw it so hard.

But it was nothing to Charles.

Quick as a flash he caught the peanut between his strong thumb and forefinger and slowly looked up at the obnoxious man. Meeting his gaze, Charles then crushed the peanut into dust.

The peanut thrower became visibly shaken, and dropped his bag of peanuts as he backed away very quickly and took off.

Charles then collected the peanuts around him into a pile, put them on his belly and enjoyed the rest of his day.

Gorillas: 2 Humans: 0


Conclusion? Humans can be jackasses.

Thanks! All Everyone Needs is a Zealot!

Thanks To All

I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone that came out to the show at Salvador Darling last night. No pieces were purchased, but there were lots of signatures in the guest book. Many smiling faces came to greet us and much merriment seemed to be had by all.

I enjoyed it quite a lot, and a lot of your compliments were most welcome and wonderful.

Special thanks to Tanya, owner of Salvador Darling, for all of her help and for the space to display our art. Also, thanks goes out to Mark for being the other half of “Town and Country”.



Everyone Needs a Nemesis

When I was studying Capoeira, I met a guy named Tien. Tien was very skilled (he had been doing Martial Arts for a long time), and he was also relatively pain-resistant. His speed and agility, as well as his strength were a great challenge to deal with when playing aggressive games. And so he became my nemesis (consequently, that’s just a nickname. Tien is a good friend of mine).

Tien is one of the reasons I missed Capoeira when I left my old academy.

I joined Karate later that year. I wondered what kind of challenges I would face from the sensei, as well as the other students.

And in walked my new nemesis…

Steve was his name, and he had studied Goju-Ryu before. He is a big guy, quick on his feet and pretty strong. When we sparred for the first time, I remember opening up a bit in terms of impact, and he answered in kind. One of us is always pushing the envelope. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Last night, Steve came out to the exhibition. Unfortunately it was close to the end of the night, but he put in an appearance none the less (our friend Vinnie also came out). While all the compliments were great to receive that evening, Steve’s touched me the most for some reason.

Why?

Maybe one develops an emotional attachment to someone they get into fistfights with on a regular basis…


STEVE: Your stuff is great, Nemesis.
JORGE: Thanks, Nemesis.
STEVE: [Pointing to a black-and-white photograph titled Reaching Out. It’s a landscape shot of a cliff with a deciduous tree growing out on a strange angle. It looks like a hand reaching across a fog-filled valley.] This one is my favourite. This one…is awesome man.
JORGE: Wow, Steve. Thanks!
STEVE: Yeah. I really like that one.
JORGE: I picked it because it reminded me of you.
STEVE: Because it is weak, and fragile? Because it’s about to fall apart?
JORGE: Yes.
STEVE: Excellent, Nemesis.
JORGE: Yes.


Honestly, it did remind me of Steve. Only because of the fact that the tree is so tenacious. It’s reaching for the sky even though it’s not firmly planted in solid ground. Steve is like this.

He’s from Newfoundland. You’d hear some people say Steve’s from the Rock.

But I say he’s cut from it.



Religious Zealots and Other Commentators

Today I received a comment on my site from someone in Portuguese (at least I think it is Portuguese). As near as I can figure, it’s a long-ass poem about how God is always there, patiently waiting for us, no matter where we are or what we are doing.

Maybe it’s something lost in translation, but to me it makes God look like some stalker, hiding outside your house in the bushes.

Honestly, I mean no disrespect to those of Christian faith. I am not a religious person so much as a spiritual person. While I may not believe in the same things that other people do, it doesn’t mean that I don’t respect their views. That being said, I think it’s rude to push things on other people.

I offer my own opinions on my blog. If people do not wish to read them, that is up to them. When I leave comments on other’s blogs, they are related to the content of the entry that I am commenting on. I don’t leave idiotic comments or chain-letters.

I visited some friends blogs today and saw the same comment on their latest entries. This made me feel like a bag of crap, because this person obviously found them through me.

I visited this person’s page this morning, and told them to leave the propaganda off of people’s pages that didn’t ask for it.

This type of idiocy ranks up there with those morons who leave negative comments but no e-mail or blog address to trace them to.

Anonymity is for those who fear the truth, my friends.