This will be the last post in the Blogger.com blog.. I have moved my blog onto my own server to take better control of it and expand it. Have a look at fourcornersdark.com for news, images, product reviews as well as featured artists each month.
Thanks for all that had a read here, and hope to see you there!
I got an email from Diana Soare who writes the 'Display Column' in the Romanian Magazine "Supplement of Culture" she came across the site on the web and wrote a very nice piece about me and my work, and I just wanted to extend a thank you to her and her readers. Here is a pretty close translation of the writeup , thanks again to Diana who sent over the English translation.... --------------------------------
Traslated from "Suplimentul de cultura," Romania.
An ordinary man and a cement cat
I like my name and it is always funny to find things baptized the same. I owned once a very long-lived hair dryer labeled "Diana"; when I first came to Iassy (that's the city I live in) I found a store called like that, probably after its owner. A butcher shop, some hotels, even a "Diana 5" gun rack... And now I see that "Diana" was also Nic Nichols' first camera.
People don't know much about the photographers. The pictures don't have a face behind, you just admire them in glossy magazines, maybe catch a glimpse at some gallery, but the camera seems kind of an "anonymous artist". Nic Nichols is not a star. He has probably never won a big award, he doesn't have worldwide exhibitions, he doesn't give interviews every day. But he is happy.
"I want to document the world. Every last bit of it. Not just the good times, not just the beautiful places, but the real, true world. Is that a farm in middle America? Is it the view from the Empire State Building? Or is it a family simply enjoying a meal together. It's all part of our life. Everyday, I see things completely unexpected that inspire me, that might be overlooked or ignored by most. I've developed a deep appreciation for the deconstructed world and the interesting and colorful characters that occupy it", says Nichols, and you only have to take a look at his pictures to believe it. He lives in Wilmington, Delaware. He chose photography because he didn't draw very well. For the past two decades, he never put the camera away, and last month his online gallery (nicnichols.com) celebrated its 10th anniversary. He uses "toy cameras", plastic devices that cost less than 20$. He buys expired film roles from eBay, impressed by the unintentional, but spectacular effects. For him, art is fun.
Art is giant living thing
His camera is always ready, the film rolls wait quietly. His images are being created in that very moment when the shutter is released, not in the lab. Nichols doesn't like conceptual photography because he thinks anyone can stage a setting. He prefers reality and he sometimes wanders around the world in search of strange places, such as insane asylums, abandoned prisons, and old civil war forts...
The pictures in the Eastern State Penitentiary series are among my favorites. In one of them, among debris, a white cat statue looks like an abstract poem. "When Eastern State Penitentiary was abandoned in 1971, a gentleman named Dan McClould came several times a week to care for the 40 or so stray cats that had made the complex their home. Linda Brenner, a sculptor, made 39 cement cats, and placed them around the prison to represent both the animals and their caregiver. While documenting the Prison, they seemed to follow me everywhere that I went, and when I put my bag on the ground to change film, it was almost as if they came up to watch me… I took a few photographs, and that image resulted is one of personal favorites. It represents the survivors, and those who cared for them."
Nic Nichols' happinesses are Holga, his camera, and Kristen, his wife. And he's sharing his secret to the others in short sentences: "Keep making art. Keep creating, no matter what. Don't worry about what others say, don't worry if no one ever sees what you do. Just keep doing it. Art is a giant living thing that requires each of us to keep feeding it everyday".
Thanks to Patrick McNeil, the guy behind designmeltdown.com, a site providing examples and discussions about web design and ideas. The site is a great resource for inspiration, and now a book! "The Web Designer's Idea Book" is available for pre-order, and nicnichols.com was selected to be published in the Photo Blog section. I get quite a few clicks a day from the site, so thanks to all the viewers as well for stopping by to have a look. Pre-Order the book HERE and you can get a t-shirt as well, Order quick and get free shipping!
Its always nice to get featured in foreign press, and thanks to some generous editors, motivated viewers (and emails begging to be published..) I have been added to sites around the world. Its always a great opportunity to do an interview and tell a few stories about how the images came to be. (My personal favorites are The NeoZine and StrangeFruits.nl) This week I got a link from a Newspaper in Romania (as best I can tell..) and hopefully they liked my work, because have no idea what they are saying. If anyone can get this to English shoot me an email!
I almost forgot that this month was the 10th anniversary of the site! So I added a few new galleries, changed the layout a bit and opened the online store. In cooperation with Milk Maid Press, you can now purchase limited edition prints from any image on the site. Editions will change around a bit in the next few months, and I am (really) putting the wraps on the book which we hope to have available in a few months.
Bored and have an iPhone? Check out the iPhone site for your mobile fix of Holga and Toy Camera images. Its a great way to kill some time when you are waiting for the doctor or something..
More galleries coming soon! Cheers + keep shooting-- N IC
So the arm is back together.. and I finally got around to updating the site. New galleries include a day spent with the crew setting up a County Fair (more cows, the chicken girl, and yes, cows.) An old Gas Station that we passed driving from Richmond to Dover- which was interesting enough to turn around, chat with the owners (who tried to sell it to me..) and take a few pics. Have you ever been to a tractor pull? This is how they do it without monster trucks.. and The first of several Forts along the Delaware river that I shot this fall.. more to come. Cheers + Happy Holidays-- NIC
I just got a few emails over the last month asking why I haven't updated the site, blog or published anything in the last few months.. so now that I can actually type, here is my really, really good excuse for not getting much work done... that mess up there is my new, improved right shoulder! I say right shoulder, cas those of you who know me well, know that I had the other one done a few years back. So I have been couching it for the last few months, but before that, I did travel and shoot quite a bit. So stop back at the site in a week or so, I am going to add galleries for the projects I was working on before the sudden shoulder explosion... we chased actual chickens and farm animals, toured a bunch of old Forts, travelled from Mass to Virgina and more... I will post up some jpegs of assorted stuff in a bit.. Until then- special thanks to all who helped out over the last 2 months, friends, family, surgeons, and especially my wife, who has the patience of a saint. New stuff soon! Cheers-- NIC
I am really honored to be one of the select few Artists to be featured on Strangefruits.nl, one of the webs best portals for art and design. Check out the interview here, and be sure to check out the rest of the work on the site as well. Thanks to the crew at Strangefruits for the chance to be 'exposed' as an emerging international artist. They had some really well thought out questions for me, so be sure to check it out!
---> New images and galleries online this week include a day in Lancaster, walking among the farms, cows and chicken coops, we had a great day and met some really down to earth folks up there... and just started is another long term project on the Forts along the Delaware river, which battled the British Armada, and later defended the North in the Civil War...
The first section of my long term project on Delaware's Route 13 is now online.. its been a while in the works, and will be four or five sections before its finished.. but you can get a preview now on its main page.
...and as always, there are some new bits on the main page!
A Big Thanks to Gabe and friends at Phase Magazine for the interview and spread in this months issue. If you have not had a chance to download it or check the site- do it now! Nine Artists from around the world make up this issue titled "Play" and I am honored to be a part of it.
Thanks to Kristen Hudson of MilkMaid Design, nicnichols.com has finally begun the long overhaul process! In an attempt to make navigation, news, images all easier to see and get to, we have restyled the page. News will be on the left, images in the middle, featured galleries on the right. Thanks for the great feedback that you have sent already- and keep checking back as we start to update the galleries to their new format as well.
Big thanks to NunoSoares and Cristina Correia of NeoZine Magazine from Portugal, for posting my work- and then catching up for an interview. While you are there, check out some of the other great Artists they are interviewed, and bookmark it for up to date news and links for tons of great sites. Click here for the link.
Is that you? Thanks also to reinvigorate.net's new Google map feature, you can track visitors by geographic location, among many other methods. Check out: reinvigorate.net
Every once in a while I get an email saying just how much someone loves my work in National Geographic, and that they cannot believe that I would go to such lengths to get an image... Well, I wish I could take credit for that, but that was another Nic Nichols. His real name is Michael, and he has been an idol of mine since I first picked a camera up- not because we share the same name, but because he is one of the greatest photographers to ever pack his bags and head into the jungle. Have a good look at his work here: I am certain that you will recognize the photos once you have seen them... (* on a side note, 1. My real first name is not Nic, I am a 'fourth' and we have all been called Nic, since 1886. 2. I am not a motivational speaker, but if I was, I would sure be Nick Nichols!)
Aside from that, thanks for all of your emails, really. Even the odd ones are amusing. Cheers to all my mates in London who remembered the May Day Riots.. Thanks to Juxtapoz magazine for giving me a feature, and to PixelSurgeon as well.
If you would like to purchase one of the limited 2007 print series, contact Irisf64, who will be representing me on all online print sales. Thanks to Brent and Trevor for taking me on!
And if you are wondering about the image up there.. well, I started a new long term project on Delaware's Route 13- and trust me, it's a shithole! Hookers, Used Cars, Junkyards, and that was just the first morning.. check back soon for part one of the photos and essay.