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[The following is an excerpt of an hour long interview I did with Dave Karr (Left Foot Forward Photography) about his upcoming art show, “Grunge Turns 25”, which will be officially opening September 19th at Dave’s Detour in Dave Grohl Alley–Warren, Ohio.]

(Dave’s words are in bold)

The questions I have come up with are in no particular order, so I/ll just get right into it. The name of your operation, Left Foot Forward Photography. I was told that it was named that because you noticed your left foot was always forward whenever you took a shot.

Yeah… when I get into the zone, so to speak.

What even made you think of a name, or start-up your own production unit.

I was taking so many pictures, playing around with them, editing, & I just wanted to display them in a place where people could see them. I felt that putting them on my own page would be only my friends seeing them. So I created its own place where people could start following my work.

Do you do any portrait photography or is it all fine art?

I/ll do portraits. I/ve done portraits for people. But they aren/t traditional. It always has a little tweak. My own stamp on it. I/m not going to do an Olan Mills portrait. It/s not satisfying for me.

Where do you see Left Foot Forward in five years? Ideally…

I have not even thought about it really.

Do you think you will just stick to photography, or will you branch off into other mediums?

I have a lot of different interests. I don/t know. Photography gives me a creative outlet that I feel comfortable with. It allows me to create things as I envision them. So I don/t know if I/ll explore anything else.

What I like about you is the purism. You just make your art & if it does this it does that. What comes, comes. That is rare.

Thank you.

Did you go to school for photography?

No…no.

How did snapping pictures even start?

Really, just taking pictures of my own family. I had a couple people say I had an eye for photography. At first I thought it was just a couple lucky shots that I took. Then I had a couple of friends that did photography, Lori Caldwell & Eric Lough, I started picking their brains, & got a lot of encouragement from them both. I started taking pictures of anything I could. Trying to get a feel for what kind of photography I liked, what my style was, my calling.

What kind of photography do you like?

It took me awhile to discover what I truly felt at home with. What I got the most enjoyment out of doing is what I call grunge photography. Rough edges. Unclean. Kind of dark. That is how I see the world. I could make a better picture doing that than any other way, because it is already inside me.

It/s more honest.

Yeah…

Rough edges, that is certainly the world around us. You bring up grunge a lot, which was a big connection for me to art. It was a get away from the fake bullshit music that was going on before it. It felt real.

Right. I/m passionate about the grunge culture. I love the music. What drew me to it weren/t guys that could shred a guitar.

Yeah, they weren/t larger than life virtuosos.

Yes. Seventies & eighties had some really talented musicians that studied music in school. A lot of them had music backgrounds. Grunge was more out of passion than formal training. It wasn/t about how many notes you hit, or how many licks you knew.

Shit, some of the best songs from the grunge era were barely squeaking out three cords.

It was just sitting down & writing a good song with the most basic of elements. It had a filthiness. A filthy sound. Whether it was a scream out of tune, or a note out of tune, it doesn/t matter because it was just simplicity. A lot of beauty can be found in the unrefined. To me, the most beautiful thing is a rusty sign. A rusty sign against bricks. A dirty sidewalk with a rusty can. Some think it is blight. I think it is beauty.

What you are saying is grunge photography to you, is what I consider street photography to me. The rough edges. The unrefined. The world as it is. We are definitely on the same page. Let/s get into Dave Grohl. You just got to see the intimate Foo Fighters performance at the Record Connection in Niles right?

Yeah. My wife told me about it first. I thought it was a hoax.

You/re really into Grohl right?

Oh yeah, the Foo Fighters are my favorite band. I love Nirvana too. It is hard to say if both were in existence at the same time…

The concert was only a hundred & fifty people, right?

Yep. The new Foo album was basically the ticket.

How long was the show?

An hour.

Where was he even playing at? The place had never hosted anything like this.

Well, they built a stage. It was actually held a couple of spaces down from the record store. It was small. He went from end to end of the stage tapping hands & all I had to do was reach out & tap him.

Sweet. So you had your camera in there?

Yep.

Did this whole event re-inspire you?

I already wanted to put something in my show of the Foo Fighters. I couldn/t believe I had the opportunity to take actual photos of them. My show is about images inspired from the whole grunge movement. It was really fucking cool to have those pictures to add to it. I am definitely going to use a few of them.

Back to GRUNGE TURNS 25, this is a show celebrating a 25th anniversary of?

Yes. But it is a hard time to pinpoint it. When do you want to call it? Do you call it in 88-89 with Andy Wood & Green River? Do you say it started when Nevermind blew up? When Bleach came out? There is really a two to three-year period you could argue about all day. But I feel safe calling a date anywhere from the beginning of 2015 to the end of 2016.

It is so cool that you caught Grohl at this twilight of grunge. It seems to have dwindled back to the mainstream. But it falls in patterns. People put up with manufactured sounds for only so long.

The Foo Fighters are the last great American rock band. In my opinion.

So, how about some quick questions to close this out. What do you do to pay the bills right now?

Work at Craftmaid.

Making cabinets?

Yes.

Why not just make cabinets? Why do the photography?

Because I have a need to be creative. I/ve explored creativity my whole life. When I stumbled upon photography it satisfied that need. I do it because I don/t sleep well at night as it is. If I didn/t do it, I wouldn/t sleep at all.

It sounds like therapy.

It is.

We let love go
for sex and violence
exchanged dreams
for minimum wages
lost our way
to sit on a couch
sold our souls
for imperfect bodies
now our smiles
stretched by pills
we only stop
to smell
genetically
modified
daffodils.

ZeN on the Run

Posted: August 26, 2014 in Uncategorized

It is easy
to love some body
for the pretty things
the shiny things
that are fading
& you can
keep on dreaming
but when you can
take the bad
with the good
you/ve found your self
some thing special.

Social Media

Posted: August 13, 2014 in Uncategorized

Images
frozen across 
blinking screens
digital
facsimiles
humanity
technology
either doom
or save thee
please remember
there/s human
beneath the skin
we know not
our limit
we know our end
can not begin
so we let
ourselves be
enslaved to
pass the time
not realize
truth that/s been
before our eyes
that life is
beautiful
it heals itself
we do not need
bureaucracy
strongholds of
theology
restricting
spirituality
nor do we need
private-interest-
-militaries
providing
thought security
so let these
circuits pulse with
electricity
galavanize
liberty
we can be
free we/ve been
utilitarian
totalarian
too long it is
time we stand
for the one
the sick ones
the poor ones
like the sun
that doesn/t care
where it shines;

twitter, facebook,
whatever…

let these new
toys become
tools that open
up our minds.

Lost Causes

Posted: June 24, 2014 in Uncategorized

I am what I was
& what I was
I never knew
these things
that I say
they must stay
between us
things are complicated
these feelings can/t be
replicated
wound-up
devastated
we think the better
to be alone
than left blue
only trust
each other
when we don/t
think things through
we break to pieces
contrive glue
beyond years
folds & creases
war ain/t over
till the fire ceases.

 

ZENspeak finalSTREETedition

Posted: April 28, 2014 in Uncategorized

The book is finally completed:

 

http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/deadBEATpoetry

 

http://www.lulu.com/shop/carl-paul-henneman/zenspeak/paperback/product-21600694.html

Not smart enough.

Not straight enough.

Not fake enough.

Not big enough.

Not poor enough.

Not rich enough.

Not gay enough.

No label.

Pressure pounding,

get in where you fit in.

Feel a freak.

EMPTY

ALONE

DIVIDE

CONQUER

Addiction always accepts applicants.

We DEAD

We EASY

Never mind pharmaceuticals

on every corner,

every billboard,

every commercial,

smiles for tears.

Never mind the food industry

your dinner full of chemicals,

years upon years.

Did they really think this wouldn/t change things?

Not alter physiology?

There is a disenfranchised army

of genetically altered mutants

wandering the streets these daze.

Terrifying the machine.

They can start it.

They can contain it.

They can lie to us about it.

They can throw us in

PRISONS.

But they can not

CONTROL

it.

PHENOMENOLOGY.

You are a small part

of a great-big

divine consciousness.

Do not ever forget:

WHO YOU ARE.

WHO YOU WERE.

WHO YOU CAN BE.

Maybe 2012 was the end,

of a programmed-bullshit-commercial-reality,

fed to us intravenously,

ALPHA WAVES

permeating pores.

There are no beginnings without ends

END…