The Walker Art Center asked me to come up with a top ten list for their blog. I decided to go with half photography, half other stuff:
Lobbyist in Green, by Tim Davis
1) Photography (book): My Life in Politics by Tim Davis
Tim Davis is too smart to be a photographer. But his eye is too good to be anything else. A great book.
2) Photography (exhibition): Peter Hujar at PS1
One of my favorite photographers at one of my favorite places to look at art – does it get any better? Actually, yes. Stephen Shore’s American Surfaces was exhibited across the hall.
Hymenoplasty Cosmetic Surgery, Professional Association, Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The hidden patient in this photograph is a 21-year-old Arab woman living in the United States. In order to adhere to cultural and familial expectations regarding her virginity, she had her hymen reconstructed.
3) Photography (editorial): Taryn Simon: New York Times Magazine
Sometimes I come across work that is so good that it makes me downright jealous. This happened with the recent New York Times Magazine portfolio of new images by Taryn Simon from her project, An American Index of the Hidden and Unfamiliar
4) Photography (website): Conscientious
Why does an astrophysicist in Pittsburg have the most comprehensive information on new photography? Assuming astrophysics is more demanding than being a Starbucks barista, where does Jöerg Colberg get the time?
When 2nd Lt. James Cathey’s body arrived at the Reno Airport, Marines climbed into the cargo hold of the plane and draped the flag over his casket as passengers watched the family gather on the tarmac, by Todd Heisler
5) Photography (single picture): Reno Airport by Todd Heisler
Heisler’s picture of a Marine being removed from a commercial plane beneath the gaze of fellow passengers was published in 2005 but not seen by most until 2006 when his project, Final Salute, won the Pulitzer Prize. This remarkable image is perhaps the best portrait of America in 2006 – the year we finally looked out the window (and in the mirror).
Storm, by David Bates
6) Painting: David Bates
In a year when dozens of fine-art photographers exhibited work from Katrina, the best art to come out of the disaster was made by a painter.
7) Radio: The David Johansen Mansion of Fun Show on Sirius Radio
I do a lot of driving. I listen to a lot of radio. The former New York Dolls singer David Johansen is the best D.J ever.
still from Sweet Land, by Ali Selim
8) Film: Sweet Land
Over the last year I only saw one movie in a theater…but it was a really good one. After 16 years of preparation, the Minnesota writer/director Ali Selim shot this film in 24 days. Unafraid of sentimentality with a real-life pace, this is a film to be savored.
9) Music: Solomon Burke, Nashville
Is Burke’s voice a moan, a wail, or a croon? Whichever it is, I understand why he sings in Valley of Tears, “People stand in line just to hear me cry.”
10) Fiction: The Road by Cormac McCarthy
This year I listened to two audiobooks by Cormac McCarthy: The Road (2006) and No Country for Old Men (2005). In both books McCarthy takes the ‘thriller’ and strips it to the bone. The raw and urgent writing (along with the gravely voice of Tom Stechschulte) drives the listener into an almost subterranean universe. I don’t think I’ll ever get The Road out of my system.
- See some other excellent Top 10 lists from the Walker here