Larry Sultan: Here and Home

Remember that editorial photo of Paris Hilton laying on a bed in an average suburban California home back in 2007? The photographer who captured that photo was Larry Sultan, and it was actually taken in his parents’ former bedroom.

Larry Sultan

While familiar with the name Sultan, I had no idea who the photographer really was. Viewing his work, I realized that I had unknowingly been exposed to his editorial work many times in the past. I was in LA last week and was planning to go to the LACMA, which I try to do whenever I’m in town. I saw that they had a retrospective of Sultan’s work on display and made a point to go and see it.

Larry Sultan

I don’t know exactly why I felt so strongly towards the work, specifically his Pictures From Home series. Was it because of my personal connection to growing up in the suburbs in the 90s? Arguably the peak of suburban childhood living before video games and the internet really took hold. Maybe it’s because I still live in the suburbs now.

An underlying theme in all of his work is this delicate balance between realism and façade. Each scene being so perfectly set up that it almost doesn’t look real, yet so detailed that it seems impossible to be fake. How could every detail be just so at that exact moment? As if the image’s perfection was so unexplainable that it could only be justified as being fake. I left that show feeling inspired. So much so, that it’s difficult for me to put into words. If you get a chance to view his retrospective at the LACMA, please do. He left us with a virtually timeless body of work to study and be inspired by.

Larry Sultan

Larry Sultan: Here and Home is the first retrospective of California photographer Larry Sultan (1946–2009). The exhibition includes more than 200 photographs ranging from Sultan’s conceptual and collaborative works of the 1970s to his solo works in the decades following. Sultan never stopped challenging the conventions of photographic documentation, exploring themes of family, home, and façade throughout his career. Five major bodies of work are represented including: Evidence (1977), made collaboratively with Mike Mandel; Swimmers (1978–81); Pictures from Home (1982–92); The Valley (1998–2003); and Homeland (2006–2009). The show is augmented by a “study hall,” with documentation and ephemera providing a glimpse of Sultan’s modes of inquiry as an artist and a teacher.

Larry Sultan


Nothing To Be Scared Of?

Nothing To Be Scared Of?

I haven’t felt that scared/neutoric/anxious/panicked in a really long time. It’s the worst feeling in the world and is completely out of your control. You do anything to try and stay as calm as possible… but nothing seems to work. My mind just went on it’s own rampage to think about every ‘what if’ situation possible. It was horrible.

Context: in case you didn’t already know, I’m a cancer survivor. Besides the whole cancer thing, i’m a really healthy human. Yeah I go to a lot of doctors appointments, but they’re all just checkups to keep an eye on my baseline.

So the last time I went to see my oncologist she asked me if i’ve ever been to see a urologist before? (this being an area that was affected by my tumour in the past). I said no, and agreed we should have a look around in there just to make sure everything was all good. Logical decisions.

So my appointment comes around and I do a urine test, which was expected. The nurse comes by and causally tells me i’ll be doing a cystoscopy as well. Not knowing what it was, I googled it right away. Fuck. I instantly start to panic. In hindsight, it wasn’t that bad really. Like the nurse said, at least i’m not a boy. Boys have it way worse because it’s a much longer road to the bladder if you know what I mean.

Long story short, we watch the live stream (lulz) of the inside of my bladder on a screen and notice some abnormalities. It could be nothing, it could be something. We decide it’s a good idea to do a biopsy just to be sure. Down side, i’d have to go under for the biopsy. Up side, we’d know for sure what we’re dealing with cancerous or nah.

We made an appointment to have the procedure done and I’m out the door. The next few weeks leading up to my procedure was the biggest mind fuck of my life (so far). All the stress from the pre-op stuff I had to get done too didn’t help either. As much as I didn’t think any of this would affect me, it really did. Every possible scenario went through my mind and I was just super anxious and stressed the fuck out.

It’s probably nothing…
But what if it’s something?
What if I have cancer again?
It’s probably nothing…
Will I need a catheter?
I wonder if I can go to work the next day?
What if I become one of those ppl that has to carry a pee bag on the outside of their body all the time?
It’s probably nothing…
I hope the procedure goes ok
What if I get an infection post op?
Kidney failure is the fucking worst
There’s nothing to be scared of?

The end of the story is, everything was fine. It ended up being just a little inflammation and a totally normal occurrence. It was still the fucking worst time ever, and any invasive procedures will probably always feel like that. All you can do is keep going. On to the next one.


Capitol Hill Block Party 2014

Capitol Hill Block Party 2014

Yo, this post is damn late. I still want to write something about it so fuck it, here we go.

The Capitol Hill Block Party (CHBP) will always be special to me. As weird as this may seem, it was the first out of town music festival i’ve ever been to back in 2012 and it blew my fucking mind. It’s no secret that I prefer urban music festivals over the ones where you have to camp out in nature. Don’t get me wrong though, I love both, I just prefer sleeping in a bed over a tent. Honesty.

Reasons why I will always try to attend the Capitol Hill Block Party every year:

  • The programming is always on point
  • It’s pretty affordable considering
  • The people that attend this festival are dope (and nice to look at too!)
  • It’s so close by
  • It’s damn fun!

This year, the weather was perfect, the crowd was dope, the local food was great as always, and the headliner (Chromeo) was the perfect end to the night. See you next summer CHBP <3


28, Shmoney Eight

28, Shmoney Eight

Another year is coming to a close, which means i’m another year older. Sigh. I’m really liking this yearly thing i’ve been doing where I re-read last years post and reassess where I (think I) am in my life though, so let’s get into it.

I think i’ve done pretty well this year. If I really want to say something that’s not constructive to the conversation i’m in, I try to keep it to myself. I feel like i’ve grown from this exercise in verbal restraint and maybe even became a better person in the process? I’ll admit, this was a hard one for me. It’s so easy to harp on people’s faults and weaknesses, but that doesn’t make it ok. Live and let live.

Next year, I really want to work on myself professionally. I feel like i’ve kinda hit a wall over the past year, which totally bums me out. I want to lock down a serious mentor, specifically in the field of Marketing, who I can speak with on the regular and who can hold me accountable for stuff. I also want to do some better goal setting too, since I have some major ones that I want to achieve by 30.

On to the next one I guess.


Pemberton Music Festival 2014

Pemby Fest 2014

2 months later and im finally writing my recap for the Pemberton Music Festival. Oops.

What a time. It’s hard to believe I actually won both of my festival and camping passes in a random contest. What are the odds right?

Ok so this was actually the first festival that I’ve ever camped at, which was fun/horrible since I was mellow sick with this awesome cough that I picked up from Calgary. Yaaaaayyyy. Anyways, my sister and I decided to drive up to the grounds Friday afternoon, set up our camp by like 2 or 3pm and head straight to the grounds to soak up some tunes.

Pemby Fest 2014

The festival grounds were ginormous, but not in a way that made it terribly inconvenient to walk from here to there. The mountainous background was totally breathtaking on Friday when the sun was fully out. Overall, the weather held up for most of the weekend and only sprinkled a little rain on the last couple days.

The vibes were so strong out there too. Pretty much everyone was on something which generally put the crowd in a good mood at all times. By day 3 however, you could totally see the strain everyone was putting on their bodies. So many people were either on crutches or limping around the grounds from getting too turnt and falling and twisting their ankle etc. There were so many walking braces and crutches on day 3. So many.

All in all, it was an amazing experience that i’m really glad I got to share with my sister. Sasquatch next year anyone?

The Best Of Times:
– Seeing Schoolboy Q live on the first night with a cameo by Kendrick for Collard Greens
– St. Vincent is a super talented robot babe who played both lead and rhythmic guitar for her entire set
– Wild Belle
– The Bass Camp stage set up was perfection
– Flying Lotus’s late night set was a religious experience
– RL Grime
– Justice
– Outkast
– Frank Ocean was honestly the best way to end the festival

The Worst Of Times:
– The walk into camp was the Worst. Time. Ever. End of story
– Araabmuzik decided to play a trance set which was really unexpected, in a bad way
– 5$ showers (which I didn’t even bother taking)

Shout outs to Josh and the fam for saving us a spot at camp and to all the chill friends I saw up there! I wish I wasn’t so sick so I could’ve stayed up and hung out more. Till next time.