Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Playwright Taylor Mac, 2009

The Playwright Taylor Mac, 2009

pswb©2011


"The Lily's Revenge"

song lyric.



LILY
The floating down
a flower free
to be
to be

as tears descend, decree
the cheek
home
but with the weight of all they learn
must cling then fall
and seek to
roam
disperse upon the earth
adjourn from yearning
tomes

A flower falls
much faster than a wish
and so my longings lay
are late
lost
and I am left to know my fate
to land
to lose.
This ache, the cost of being what you’re not
and I will die upon the grating frost.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Playwright Portrait, Dan O'Brien, Excerpt from The House in Hydesville


The Playwright Dan O’Brien, 2007
©pswb 2010

The House in Hydesville
 
MAGGIE
It upsets people. They cry. They seem overjoyed by it, somehow. Even though sometimes we
say such upsetting things . . .
And—the less I think about what Spirit will say to me, the more I listen and let the
words come to me, as if through me . . . the more people seem to believe that all I say is true.
And—I’m faking it always, like you said. But sometimes I forget, and I know what I
don’t know. —I say what I can’t possibly be thinking.
The truth is it feels good sometimes: it doesn’t feel like me.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Playwright Portrait, Kirk Wood Bromley, Excerpt from The Welcome Mask




The Playwright Kirk Wood Bromley, 2008
©pswbell 2010

 
The Welcome Mask

one of three plays in the trilogy, Three Dollar Bill – Plays on Being Queer and Conservative


Mom- Hi, son.
Son- Hi, mom.
Dad- Don’t you see, mother?
Mom- See what?
Dad- On his face?
Mom- I see nothing on his face.
Dad- Tell her what it is, son.
Mom- No! Let me guess. A carpeted jellyfish.
Dad- Can’t you see the mucous mysteries,
The bleak expositorial crevace,
The impractical tools, the fluffy wibbles?
Mom- A watermelon raised by wolves?
Dad- Can’t you see the plaguey clitoral hood?
Mom- The pancreas of an inside-out barber?
Son- It’s a vagina, mom.
Mom- Is it really?
I can’t say I’ve ever seen one of those.
Dad- Now you can, cuz it’s right there on his face!
Mom- It’s not as blurry as I’d pictured it.
Son- I got it from this goofy dude who lives
In a fit of grief.
Mom- Is the vaginamum
Related to the chrysanthemum?
Son- It’s a sex organ, mom.
Mom- What, like a piano
That gets softer the harder you pound it?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Playwright Portrait, Caridad Svich, Excerpt from Iphigenia Crash Land...


The Playwright Caridad Svich. 2009
©pswb2010

Iphigenia Crash Land Falls on the Neon Shell That Was Once Her Heart (a rave fable)

 
Iphigenia:
"Crash. Everything part of me is breaking. But I'm all right. Give me your hands, Cause you're wonderful."


Sunday, November 21, 2010

Playwright Portrait, Arthur Kopit, Excerpt from Wings


The Playwright Arthur Kopit, 2008

Wings
 


MRS. STILSON
 
... all around faces of which nothing known no sense ever all wiped out blank like ice I think saw it once flying over something some place all was white sky and sea clouds ice almost crashed couldn't tell where I was heading right side up topsy-turvy under over I was flying actually if I can I do yes do recall was upside down can you believe it almost scraped my head on the ice caps couldn't tell which way was up wasn't even dizzy strange things happen to me that they do!

What's my name? I don't know my name!

Where's my arm? I don't have an arm!

What's an arm?

AB—ABC—ABC123DE451212 what? 12345678972357 better yes no problem I'm okay, soon be out, soon be over storm … will pass I'm sure.

Always has.

Add Image

Monday, November 15, 2010

Playwright Portrait, Tony Kushner, Excerpt from Hydriotaphia



The Playwright Tony Kushner, 2010
©pswb 2010

Photographed at the Great Hall at Cooper Union at the podium where Abraham Lincoln delivered The Cooper Union Speech on February 27, 1860


From Act IV of Hydriotaphia, or The Death of Dr. Browne




DR. BROWNE (Glaring at Pumpkin,trying to make him squirm:)

I want to be buried deep. Very deep but...not too deep. Apart from the mob, but not in a lonely place. Avoid the usual cliches, no willow trees, though I’d like a view, for summer evenings. No pine box. Flimsy. Use that urne. Toss out the previous occupant, or better yet, throw me in there with him and let us mingle. (Little pause) No markers, or, well, maybe just a little unpretentious stone. Maybe... “Here lies Sir Thomas Browne, scientist.” “Here lies Sir Thomas Browne, who made his wife miserable.” “Here lies Sir Thomas Browne, no grandchildren ... BUT A GENIUS! SHAKESPEARE HAD NOTHING ON HIM!” (He is now bellowing at Pumpkin with wild hatred and immense pride:) Or maybe an obelisk! Or a pyramid! A pyre! A sea-burial, or...
GET OUT OF HERE!

PUMPKIN
I han’t following dis, Dr. Browne.

DR. BROWNE (Great delirious newfound certainty!)
I don’t need you, wretch! I’M NOT GOING TO DIE. It isn’t... conceivable! I can’t ... IMAGINE it.
IF I DIE... THE WORLD ENDS! And... (The certainty is dissipating, the hatred of Pumpkin remains:) And we’ll have no need of gravediggers then.

PUMPKIN
Ef dat happens, Dr. Browne, I findet another job.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Playwright Portrait, Neil LaBute, Excerpt from The Mercy Seat




The Playwright Neil LaBute, 2008
with Edwin Booth as Hamlet
©pswb 2010

The Mercy Seat


Ben Harcourt: Jesus…you think I was born this way, like some cut-throat pirate of the high seas? Huh? Hell, I’m just trying to muddle through, that’s all, just muddle my fucking way through to middle age, see if I can make it that far. You like trivia so goddamn much, well here’s a little tidbit for ya…I’m faking it. Okay? Totally getting by on fumes. I put my game face on and go out there and I’m scared shitless. (BEAT) I’ve screwed up every step of my life, Abby, I’m not afraid to admit it. Happy to, actually, I am happy to sing it out there for anybody who wants to hear. I always take the easy route, do it faster, simpler, you know, whatever it takes to get it done, be liked, get by. That’s me. Cheated in school, screwed over my friends, took whatever I could get from whomever I could take it from. My marriage, there’s a goddamn fiasco, of which you’re intimately aware. The kids…I barely register as a dad, I’m sure, but compared to the other shit in my life, I’m Doctor-fucking-Spock. No matter what I do or have done, they adore the hell out of me and I’m totally knocked out by that. What kids are like. Yeah… (BEAT) And you, let’s not forget you. Us. Okay, yes, I haven’t done all that I’ve promised, said I’d do, I fuck up along the way. Alright. But I’m trying, this time out--with you, I mean--I have been trying. Don’t know what it looks like, feels to you, but I have made a real go of us and that is not a lie. It isn’t. And so then, yesterday--through all the smoke and fear and just, I dunno, apocalyptic shit--I see a way for us to go for it, to totally erase the past… (BEAT) And I don’t think it makes me Lucifer or a criminal or some bad man because I noticed it. I really don’t. We’ve been given something here, a chance to…I don’t know what, to wash away a lot of the, just, rotten crap we’ve done. More than anything else, ...that's what this is. a chance. I know it is.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Playwright Portrait, Gina Gionfriddo, Excerpt from Beck Shaw


Gina Gionfriddo, Playwright 2010
pswb©2010

a quote from the play, "Becky Shaw."
performed @ second stage nyc 2010



SUZANNA: Iraq is not your problem, Becky is not your problem...
MAX: That's right. They're not. And I make no apologies. Unless you're Ghandi or Jesus, you have a limited sphere of responsibility. You have a plot of land and the definition of a moral life is tending that plot of land--
SUZANNA: You need new material. I've heard the "plot of land" speech.
MAX: Becky Shaw is not on my plot of land! You are. And I tend my plot. I will always tend my plot.
SUZANNA: You make me sound like an obligation. Am I more than that to you?
MAX: Yes! If I didn't want you on my plot, I would rip you out and compost you. I want you on my plot.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Playwright Portrait, Christopher Durang, Excerpt from Laughing Wild



The Playwright Christopher Durang, 2010
©pswb 2010


Laughing Wild

And think about God. You know, it was nice to believe in God, and an afterlife; and I’m sometimes envious of the people who seems comfortable because they still have this belief. But I remember when everybody won Tonys for “Dreamgirls,” and they all got up there thanking God for letting them win this award, and I was thinking to myself: God is silent on the Holocaust, but He involves himself in the Tony awards?

 
- The Man in “Laughing Wild”
---
I want to talk to you about life. It’s just too difficult to be alive, isn’t it, and to try to function? There are all these people to deal with. I tried to buy a can of tuna fish in the supermarket, and there was this person standing right in front of where I wanted to reach out to get the tuna fish, and I waited a while, to see if they’d move, and they didn’t – they were looking at tuna fish too, but there were taking a real long time on it, reading the ingredients on each can like they were a book, a pretty boring book, if you ask me, but nobody has; so I waited a long while, and they didn’t move; and I couldn’t get the tuna fish cans; and I thought about asking them to move, but then they seemed so stupid not to have sensed that I needed to get by them that I had this awful fear that it would do no good, no good at all, to ask them, they’d probably say something like, “We’ll move when we’re goddam ready, you nagging bitch,” and then what would I do? And so then I started to cry out of frustraton, quietly, so as not to disturb anyone, and still even though I was softly sobbing, this stupid person didn’t grasp that I needed to get by them to reach the goddam tuna fish, people are so insensitive, I just hate them; and so I reached over with my fist, and I brought it down real hard on his head and I screamed: “Would you kindly move asshole!!!”
    
- The Woman in “Laughing Wild”


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Playwright Portrait, Gregory Moss, 2010


The Playwright Gregory Moss, 2010

Orange Hat, and Grace
Directed by Sarah Benson

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Portrait of Kalob Linzy, 2007


Portrait of Kalob Linzy, 2007
©pswb2010


For Out Magazine, working with photo editor Joey Tang.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Portrait of Wynton Marsalis - first portrait, 2007


Portrait of Wynton Marsalis, 2007
©pswb 2010
 
This is the first of two portraits I did of Wynton Marsalis for Vital Magazine.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Sunday, June 13, 2010

The Artist Terry Winter, 1986


The Artist Terry Winter, 1986
©Peter Bellamy 2010


Terry Winters photographed in his studio on White Street - he retained a kind of elegance that was unsurpassed.  His palette for grinding and pounding tempera reminded me of altars described in the Old Testament.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The Artist Brice Marden, 1984


Portrait of the Artist Brice Marden 1984©peter bellamy2010


Here is Brice Marden in the 80s at his fighting weight as fame was beginning to gather momentum; his studio was above the Cocteau Theater on the corner of Bond and Bowery.
I walked into his studio and he was standing there in the light like a bobcat caught in his lair ready to strike.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Cindy Sherman, 1983


The Photographer Cindy Sherman, 1983
copyright Peter Bellamy 2010

I wanted to create an idea that it was just Cindy Sherman. The time before some reach the pinnacle of fame is the best, for they do not yet have their guard up.

There is a kind of sadness and loneliness to Cindy's work, a kind of isolation.  Her muse is really herself.  It is like a search for something she will never find.

 
She was simply wonderful and warm and the one time I met her later in Buffalo at Charlie Clough's show at the Knox Museum, she kissed me on the cheek.


Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Louise Bourgeois May 31. 2010 ...last dance


click to enlarge
Louise Bourgeois Dec. 25. 1911-May 31, 2010 L
ast Dance
Copyright Peter Bellamy 2010

Louise Bourgeois seen here dancing through her lair on her way to the life beyond,
passing though the webs of light, disappearing into the air. Only her art remains now, her spiders, and she-wolfs, their lairs and rooms, figures and sculpture and

Her shadow, for ever watching, seeing all.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Louise Bourgeois Dec. 25, 1911-May 31. 2010


Louise Bourgeois Dec. 25, 1911-May 31. 2010
copyright Peter Bellamy 2010
RIP

Friday, May 28, 2010

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Last Photo of Andy Warhol Alive


Andy Warhol, 1987
copyright PeterBellamy 2010

I was walking down Central Park West when I saw Andy Warhol being visited by the angel of death.  She opened the door and got into the limo and they drove off and the next day I read that he died.


Sunday, May 23, 2010

Louise Bourgeois and the Spider, 1995




Louise Bourgeois and the Spider 1995
copyright Peter Bellamy 2010


I was Louise’s photographer from 1985 to 1995.

I waited in the shadows for ten years for this shot, shooting Louise’s work. Through the eighties, and into the nineties.

Countless hours, days, nights, weeks, months, years, I spent shooting her work from 85-95, this the time of her rebirth into greatness,

I shoot only a couple of portraits during this period because she would never pose.  She was much too distrusting of uncomplimentary untrue images.

One day some visitors came and Jerry (her devoted assistant) posed every one by the spider for a shot, I set up a simple soft light and the camera hung barely in focus.

Louise was the last to pose and was very nervous, the more Jerry posed her, the more awkward the situation became.

Exasperated, she looked at me and said, “Say something, Tell me you like me.”

I said, “Louise I love you, We all love you very much”

She smiled from the heart and said, “Thank you Peter."

I realized that is what her work is about to some degree, the search for and the containment of love.

And that is the art of portraiture! Endless patience and the perfect understanding of the subjects needs at the given moment. Love is always the strongest emotion between two people. It is divine

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Painter Gretna Campbell, 1986


The Painter Gretna Campbell, 1986Copyright Peter Bellamy 2010
 
This is one of my favorite portraits because the art speaks.  It was a beautiful painting and Gretna was an accomplished painter, She painted taught lived was married exhibited and so forth.  I liked that there was just the art, no fame, and no ego, just art. Women artists could be like that - that they had a kind of beauty by not really appearing to care about the trappings of male ego art. They were just faithful to the brush and the canvas.  Gretna put me in touch with Robert DeNiro, Sr., the painter and father of the actor, who I photographed but have never published.

Monday, May 17, 2010

The Painter Louise Fishman, 1983


The Painter Louise Fishman 1983
copyright Peter Bellamy 2010


.

The Painter Gerald Jackson, 1987


The Painter Gerald Jackson 1987
 copyright Peter Bellamy 2010 


Gerald where are you now? Are you alive? Are you well? Can you still have that loft on the Bowery?   Here, you are an abstract artist in the 80s and lived on the Bowery above or near CBGBs.  You painted this coat and came out all Superfly for me.

Friday, May 14, 2010

The Painter Margrit Lewczuk, 1985


The Painter Margrit Lewczuk 1985
copyright Peter Bellamy 2010


This picture was taken when she and Louise Fishman painted in the meat packing district, when they held out in lofts and the area was deserted except for the meat and hookers,

The buildings were old and dank, not at all like today.  There was something murky about the studios, filled with old wood, oil paint dust, and turpentine.  Rents were cheap.


The painters drank and painted and formed a community - they struggled with survival and the moral courage to keep painting, drawing strength from only the art itself.

As real estate pressure grew they were forced to move from the meat packing district by intimidation, violence and suspicious fires.


Margrit lost her studio to a fire with many of her great paintings.  She paints now, I believe, in Williamsburg with her son, and Bill forming a loving family and creating more beautiful paintings.  Margrit Lewczuk is Bill Jensen’s life companion and a wonderful painter; similar in values and approach to him and others, such as Louise Fishman. She was friends with Connie Reyes and Ronnie Bladen and moved in this circle.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Artist Connie Reyes, 1983


The Artist Connie Reyes 1983
copyright Peter Bellamy 2010

The Artist Connie Reyes 1983
married to Ronnie Bladen
published in the Brooklyn Rail

There was Connie Reyes A Tribute to Connie Reyes-Corrigan (1929–2006) by Margrit Lewczuk, Bill Jensen,

THANK YOU. CONNIE
You showed us that a cat’s life was not so bad.
You said everything you do is about art.
You gave us all the courage and permission to be ourselves.
You could always see the absurdity of this life.
ou taught us the Umbrella Dance.
You made your sculpture move to the Tenor of the Time, Freedom and counterpoint.
You taught us to laugh in the face of Tragedy.
You showed us that in Big Business a small fly can make a difference.
You helped us remember the price of a skill saw blade.
You did not pass us the Torch, you threw it at us.
With You went a great era. We will carry on.

by Margrit Lewczuk Bill Jensen

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Sculptor Ronnie Bladen


The Sculptor Ronnie Bladen 1984
copyright Petter Bellamy 2010

He died in 1988 from cancer.  Ronnie Bladen came from Canada and was a mentor to Bill Jenson, He lived in a kind of purity of his artistic soul.  Kind of like an anchor or centerboard in a sailboat. A definite father figure.  This piece was going to Saudi Arabia or Dubai or something and this was the only chance Ronnie was going to have to see it, because he hated to fly. We all piled into old Volvos to go take this photo to the foundry where the piece was being fabricated. It rained that day.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Playwright Portrait, Neil LaBute, Excerpt from The Mercy Seat


Portrait of the Playwright Neil LaBute with Edwin Booth as Hamlet
copyright PeterBellamy 2010


Excerpt form the play The Mercy Seat




Ben Harcourt: Jesus…you think I was born this way, like some cut-throat pirate of the high seas? Huh? Hell, I’m just trying to muddle through, that’s all, just muddle my fucking way through to middle age, see if I can make it that far. You like trivia so goddamn much, well here’s a little tidbit for ya…I’m faking it. Okay? Totally getting by on fumes. I put my game face on and go out there and I’m scared shitless. (BEAT) I’ve screwed up every step of my life, Abby, I’m not afraid to admit it. Happy to, actually, I am happy to sing it out there for anybody who wants to hear. I always take the easy route, do it faster, simpler, you know, whatever it takes to get it done, be liked, get by. That’s me. Cheated in school, screwed over my friends, took whatever I could get from whomever I could take it from. My marriage, there’s a goddamn fiasco, of which you’re intimately aware. The kids…I barely register as a dad, I’m sure, but compared to the other shit in my life, I’m Doctor-fucking-Spock. No matter what I do or have done, they adore the hell out of me and I’m totally knocked out by that. What kids are like. Yeah… (BEAT) And you, let’s not forget you. Us. Okay, yes, I haven’t done all that I’ve promised, said I’d do, I fuck up along the way. Alright. But I’m trying, this time out--with you, I mean--I have been trying. Don’t know what it looks like, feels to you, but I have made a real go of us and that is not a lie. It isn’t. And so then, yesterday--through all the smoke and fear and just, I dunno, apocalyptic shit--I see a way for us to go for it, to totally erase the past… (BEAT) And I don’t think it makes me Lucifer or a criminal or some bad man because I noticed it. I really don’t. We’ve been given something here, a chance to…I don’t know what, to wash away a lot of the, just, rotten crap we’ve done. More than anything else, ...that's what this is. a chance. I know it is.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Playwright Portrait, Lisa Kron, Excerpt from Well


The playwright Lisa Kron

Excerpt from WELL.

Kay: Do you know what the problem is with being sick? It’s that you’re sick. People who are healthy think they know how you could get better because when they imagine what your life is like they imagine having your sickness on top of their health. They imagine that sick people have all the resources they do--and they’re just not trying hard enough. But we don’t. I don’t. I know my sister is only trying to help me but I can’t help it, I think: You suffer for just one day the way I do; I want you to feel like this for just one day. Then you tell me how to get better.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Paywright Portrait, Shawn Hirabayashi, Excerpt from Floating


 
The playwright Shawn Hirabayashi 2007
copyright Peter Bellamy 2010
Excerpt from "Floating.

(AT RISE: The sounds of seagulls. The lights are hot. ACHILLE, dressed formally, stands on a large piece of deep blue silk.)

"ACHILLE"

Hail, tugboats. What do they call you? Hm? Hm? You probably know what they call me. One of the ships that has been here for the past four days must have told you what they call me. One of the ships holding the men watching me burn, waiting for me to sink. Perhaps the one holding my captain. My ex-captain. Tell me, what do you think you know? Have you heard the talk of the men? Hm? What do you think you know?
I am an ocean liner. 23,479 tons.

They used to call me something different. Before Achille Lauro. Something Dutch. I only remember the meaning: “floating bell.” Isn’t that lovely? Yes? No?

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Playwright Portrait, Zakiyyah Alexander, Excerpt from 10 Things To Do Before I Die


The Playwright Zakiyyah Alexander 2007
copyright Peter Bellamy 2010

excerpt from 10 Things to Do Before I Die


VIDA: Hello, it’s me and I am leaving you a message. You know what I hate? What I hate about you? I hate the fact that you drip sweat all over me, it’s disgusting, not sexy. I hate that you say the word fucking while you’re fucking me. I hate it when you go down on me. I lie there and wait while you think you’re actually doing something, then I pretend to come cause I’m worried that I might hurt your feelings. I hate that you don’t call me enough, that you don’t think about me enough, that you don’t love me. And, I hate the way I feel when you walk out the door. I hate you for making me hate me.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Playwright Portrait, Matthew Maguire, Excerpt from Luscious Music



the playwright Matthew Maguire
copyright Peter Bellamy 2010

excerpt from Luscious Music


Clea: If you ain't ready to walk, they got your ass in a sling, you hear me, babe?

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Playwright Portrait, William Electric Black, Excerpt from My Boyfriend is a Zombie




William Electric Black 2007
copyright peter bellamy 2010


excerpt from My Boyfriend Is A Zombie



Paula Rhinestone:
I know other boys are handsome hunks
And play on the football team
But my gruesome guy is my maggot pie
Yeah, he knows how to make chicks scream

He’s kind of shy
Do
esn’t drink or smoke
And always slurs his wordsWho could ask for more
From the creature I adore

Does that make me somewhat disturbed

My boyfriend is a zombie
Though he’s gooey, creepy, freaky
He really charms me
My boyfriend is a zombie

Though he’ll munch someone for lunch
He’d never harm me

Monday, April 26, 2010

The Artist Jack Goldstein, 1986



Jack Goldstein 1986
copyright Peter Bellamy 2010


“The man committing suicide controls the moment of his death by executing a back flip.”
Jack Goldstein

Jack Goldstein was one of the torch bearers of appropriation.  His success would rise and fall and ultimately he was a giant.  To this day, his suicide causes despair amongst those who looked to him for inspiration.  He is pictured here with his dog, who he said was the brother of Man Ray, William Wegman’s dog, in his loft deep in Brooklyn.