This summer I took a road trip to South Dakota and attended the Badlands Astronomy Festival. Three nights of planet and star gazing was surreal coming from the bright nights of NYC. The photo below was photographed at the ranger station and used for the just released Dead Heart Bloom album. The title, State of Mind seemed fitting to go with this image.
Opening reception September 8th 7pm-10pm
Speaking engagement with the artists Sept. 21 8pm & Sept. 22 11am
The Clemente presents “basic necessities,” an audio/visual exhibition by Michelle Repiso. “basic necessities” documents three individuals and the mechanisms they employ to sustain their humanity while incarcerated. This exhibition demonstrates man's need for communication and connection within our environment no matter how harsh.
Repiso’s work documents the highly personal objects Shane Ennover crafted out of household materials that people ordinarily use and discard. Toilet paper was a material Shane could transform into a rose and send as a memento to keep his relationship thriving while he was away. Mini bars of soap became sculptures that were given to family members as gifts during visitation. Juan Howard used pen and paper to write stories, poetry, draw and create music so that he could have genuine and authentic communication with others while he was incarcerated. Coss Marte maintained his strength by reading the Bible, motivating others with fitness training and making prison burritos as a way to bond with those around him. All three men served time for the crimes they committed and sought communication and normality to help better themselves.
Every piece that is photographed derives from an object that was created while incarcerated. All three men are trying to right their wrongs despite the stigma they carry from being formerly incarcerated. Each of them made more of the situation they were in and can now be recognized as a vehicle for change. Repiso addresses the importance of understanding the person, not just seeing the environment that he or she was a part of.
This spring I had the great privilege of facilitating a photography class in Red Hook. JustArts Photography accepts students from neighborhoods across Brooklyn, New York to participate in a digital photography class. Everyone gets to keep a new camera, has their work printed in a book, submits work for a final exhibition, AND receives a small stipend after completion of the course! Invaluable time was spent in the classroom and we visited Pioneer Works, ICP, NY Public Library and Red Hook Labs.
Excerpt from the book: "We Are One - A group of photographs from teenagers living in New York"
Teaching Artist Michelle Repiso, in collaboration with staff of the Red Hook Community Justice Center, facilitated these workshops in which the students in this internship have created their own community and this book represents their introduction to the professional world. The JustArts: Photography Program was presented by the Red Hook Community Justice Center in partnership with Red Hook Labs, Brooklyn Arts Council, and United Photo Industries. This program was made possible by public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) with additional support from the New York City Council and the Robin Hood Foundation.
The goals of this program were to empower participants to develop their personal voice as artists, teach participants to explore the power of visual imagery, introduce participants to industry professionals, and learn what it means to pursue photography as a career.
The book is out! I had the pleasure of photographing Coss Marte for his bodyweight only approach to fitness book. We photographed in his studio, on the streets of the Lower East Side, and braved a tenement rooftop on a cold winter morning. This book is more than just about exercise, it also highlights the resiliency, strength, and determination that one person overcame on his own while incarcerated. I am excited to share this book with friends and with the incarcerated youth that I work with. If the desire is there, change can happen. Conbody: The Revolutionary Bodyweight Prison Boot Camp-Born from an Extraordinary Story of Hope. Coss Marte with Brandon Sneed.
Video inspired and created from an original piece written by the talented Rubin Kodheli for a performance on February 4th at Museum of World Culture, Gothenburg, Sweden. Second performance in Dublin, Ireland February 10th at the Spike Cello Festival.
The entire video will be played along with a performance from Blues in Space and Garrett Brown.
My local florist generously donates his week-old flowers that he plans on replenishing from hotels and other establishments...the beauty is still there.
Honored to be invited back on Sunday for a one-night performance of music and projections with the electronic collective, Tiger Mountain, and many other talented musicians.
New York City, Sunday, 11/12, 7pm
Tiger Mountain plays Sunday, November 12 at 7pm at The Church of the Holy Trinity in New York City as part of the Musica Trinitatis series, and co-presented by Ephemeral Arts. Joining us will be Janel and Anthony, an experimental ambient duo from Washington, DC, and Brooklyn instrumental project Live Footage. New York based visual artist and photographer Michelle Repiso will be providing multimedia visuals for our performance. This should be a great night and we'd love to see you there. Also... free show!
Sunday, November 12, 7pm
The Church of the Holy Trinity
213 W. 82nd Street
New York, NY 10024
This Sunday was the continuation of "Pivotal", a project that started a year ago. I am so thankful for the time and energy put forward by the parents and young dancers from Brighton Ballet.
Or is there?
What started off as sheets of paper became colorful sculptures and works of art. Tonight at Gilda's Club we created sculptures out of construction paper and we added reflective mirror boards in the center. As one little girl mentioned, "When I look into the mirror it will tell me what outfit I need to wear for the day."
Manhattan Neighborhood Network will be airing a show I was able to produce and direct using their studio and equipment. "Tiger Mountain Performing Live" is scheduled to air on MNN2 (channels Spectrum 56 RCN 83 FIOS 34 and livestream on www.mnn.org click on MNN2) on the following dates--July 2 at 7pm and July 5 at 1:30 pm. It will be rebroadcast on July 7 at 5:30pm--MNN5 (channels Spectrum 1993 and Fios 37 livestream on www.mnn.org click on MNN HD).
I was honored to participate on a panel with smart, confident and powerful women. We spoke about our respective fields and discussed all the positive and negative experiences that accompany what we do. ILEANA MENDOZA works as a Community Coordinator for the New York District Attorney's Office, EVA TURNER is a Social Worker and passionate about education, mental health and creating safer spaces, and OFFICER RAMONA GOMEZ is a strong and compassionate police officer always willing to go above and beyond. It was incredibly inspiring and uplifting to see all the enthusiasm and potential in all the young girls at Grand Street Settlement.
photos by Scott Percelay
On Sunday I was in great company with amazing musicians. "Collaborations" - Boris Skalsky, a concert series at Holy Trinity Church in New York on April 23, 2017. Boris Skalsky collaborated on several works with musician Paul Wood, cellist/composer Rubin Kodheli, musician Zdanna Krawciw-Skalsky and visual artist Michelle Repiso.
It was a fun Saturday afternoon as Juan and I set out to shoot on the East River. The music and photo concept is loosely based on a dream he had about a space pilot stuck in orbit, GOLD (his new visual album release) is an extrapolation on displacement, environmentalism, and most importantly how to feel at home in your own skin. Check out his work at http://www.thisiswamoo.com.
On a very chilly January morning, Coss Marte and I ventured out to his rooftop to finish the other half of his exercise book which is set to be released later on this year. I had the privilege of meeting and getting to know Coss this past summer and his will to succeed is inspiring. Coss developed an exercise program without the need for any equipment while serving a sentence in his 9x6 prison cell. Now he owns and runs his own studio, gives lectures around the world and transforms the lives of others. To hear his story check out: conbody.com.