Raphie Frank :: business artivist

Yes Virginia, There is a Santa Claus

Brian Naughton
The Speed of Sound by Brian Naughton

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus! It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The external light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

By Francis P. Church, first published in The New York Sun in 1897.

Dear Editor—

I am 8 years old. Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says, “If you see it in The Sun, it’s so.” Please tell me the truth, is there a Santa Claus?


Virginia O’Hanlon

Virginia, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men’s or children’s, are little. In this great universe of ours, man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus! It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The external light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies. You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if you did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that’s no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.

You tear apart the baby’s rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived could tear apart. Only faith, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, Virginia, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.

No Santa Claus! Thank God! he lives and lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay 10 times 10,000 years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.

December 22, 2007 Posted by | Photography, Storytelling | Leave a comment

From Brooklyn to Down Under: The Eyes of an Artist


Untitled by Chrisseserville (New Zealand)

trishlet writes:
Chrisse’s stream has taught me so much about how life and art can be the same thing, how the lens can merge and translate them. I think it is not that her life is more beautiful than ours but that her sensibility is so closely attuned to all those subtle things that matter, all those things on which elegant sensuality depends. Thank you Chrisse for your eye and nudges toward all that might otherwise go unnoticed.

Caribeth Klemundt
Caribeth Klemundt & Alicia Robles by Raphie Frank

Flitter, Glitter, Jiggle & Jag
11 Compositions, Progressions & Impressions in the key of Z
for translation into sound, image, movement & light
choreography by Caribeth Klemundt somewhere in New York, Ohio or Oregon some time in the future…

Portraits of Uganda
Portraits of Uganda by Brian Reisinger (Brooklyn, New York)

The portrait says: Save the Darfur Puppy
Continue reading

December 17, 2007 Posted by | 1, Photography | Leave a comment

Tomorrow’s Melody: A Letter (not) Lost in Translation to Brian Naughton

Christine Lebrasseur
photo by Christine LeBrasseur (France)

Hello Brian,

Indeed, as you say, “the spaces between things are important i feel! the spaces between each musical note.” Think about it. What’s the present if not tommorow’s melody in the making? And what are all our yesterdays but a series of notes that guide us towards tomorrow’s composition? In other words, the space between the musical notes is right here and now, the choices you and I and everyone make at each and every moment are as infinite in their possibility as the universe.

Speaking only for myself, I’ve no desire to live life in a minor key. Do you?



Bonjour Brian,

En effet, comme vous le dites, “les espaces entre les choses sont importants je le sens ! Les espaces entre chaque note de musique.” Pensez cela. A quoi sert le prsent s’il n’est pas de mlodie des lendemains ? Et qu’est ce qu’hier sinon des sries de notes qui nous guident vers la composition de demain ? En d’autres termes, l’espace entre les notes musicales est juste ici et maintenant, les choix que nous faisons vous et moi chaque instant sont aussi infini dans leur possibilit que l’univers.

Je parle seulement pour moi, je n’ai aucun dsir de vivre la vie dans sur une note mineure. Qu’en est il de vous ?



Translation by PhotoPoetiste Christine Lebrasseur. Christine on Flickr.

Visit Picture Post: to observe the talented Editorial Eye of London Photographer, Musician & Humanitarian, Brian Naughton. Brian on Flickr

December 14, 2007 Posted by | Art, Photography | Leave a comment

Imagination Into Action

Olga Blowing Bubbles by Brian Reisinger

I said please, she said Yes, I said Thank you.

Please    View it
Yes    Do it
Thank You    Glue it.

That’s a clue to how the artists knew it.

Or to put it another way, the Boojummy went to the circus and was told to call the moon, and that is where he found his heart.

November 15, 2007 Posted by | Art, Photography | 1 Comment

Unlocked Bondage

kumbukumbu ya historia ya watumwa
kumbukumbu ya historia ya watumwa (Swahili: memory of the slaves), taken by Farl, Philippines)

That picture up there above gives a whole new meaning to the term “The ties that bind.” How about just replacing that aphorism with a phrase that cuts straight to the chase : “The chains that enslave”? Note the statue on the right? The chain is real, as is the sense of bondage, but there is no lock on it. The tension of the pull on the chain itself “serves” just as effectively to preclude movement.

Now. Think for just a moment. Who is “more” free? The slave on the left or the slave on the right? Wait before answering! It’s a bit of a trick question!

The woman (?) on the right can move neither forward nor backwards. She will suffocate. The man on the left, however, can simply take a step forward to free the woman.

So why does he not?

Well, what’s in it for him? She can just run away and leave him there all by himself! He may be AFRAID to be left alone, fearful of being taken advantage of, or maybe he too was once in a similar state and no one took that step for him.

The answer? Trust and faith and communication. She must ASK him to step forward or he must simply do so with hope and belief. And there is one more key to the puzzle. ACCOUNTABILITY.

This is the value of the “third” person in our little allegory. You and me and all of us. WE are the third eye and that is why photos such as this are so absolutely critical. We must show so that others can SEE. And we must speak so that others can HEAR. And we must ACT so that others may BELIEVE. To extend Hugo Ball, to be forgiven his merely three dimensional tendency — ball = sphere, after all…

The word and image and action are one.

As belly dancers are fond of conceptualizing it as they work their eternal bodies, we are nought but spheres of spirit moving through spheres of time…

Add in space to make it matter, and light to draw connections and you’ve Einstein, Jung and Hegel all. Pull the string to spin and curve it all around and you’ve got the triple spiral dialectic we call the Mind of God, the Celestial Dance, Islands in the Stream or the One Song called the Uni Verso called the Universe.

I say to that man on the left , “Step forward! I am free and I am watching. If you free her and she abandons you, I will be ready to show that picture also to the world. If she helps you, I will show that too so that others may have an example to follow.”

It’s not just that picture that matters. But what comes next… Observation, after all, changes the observed. Make no mistake. We learn from others’ inaction and silence far, far more than from their words and actions.

September 5, 2006 Posted by | Film, Philosophy, Photography, Politics, Storytelling | 3 Comments


Off-Guard” courtesy of the absurdly talented Mattijn

June 26, 2006 Posted by | Photography, Politics, Storytelling | Leave a comment

Drive Thru L.A. :: Pinhole 45 on Flickr

This photo is the work of talented photographer, filmmaker and writer Daryl Furr, my frequent fellow film lighting technician back in the day (i.e. Happiness, Empire) and co-administrator of Flickr’s newest Large Format Pinhole Photography Group Pinhole45, a photo pool, as Daryl puts it “devoted to those crazy enough to use the largest and most expensive film with cameras that don’t even have lenses!”

Take a gander at the group. There are some extremely talented photographers you’ll find there. In the future, Daryl and I will be pleased to highlight some of their work for you here and elsewhere upon the grand old WWW, assuming, of course, that is something that might interest them…

View Daryl’s Furr’s Flickrstream or take a break from the still life and view one or two of his motion graphic videos.

June 15, 2006 Posted by | Photography | 1 Comment

And I Haven’t Danced Since He Died…

little dancers 1
little dancers 1 by chrisseserville

a gift from Mariana to me in the form of a letter on the eve of her return to Croatia for just the second time in nine years…

I know I don’t have to tell you about consequences of war; I lost my cousin – who was like a brother to me – we grew up together and were of the same age. He was the one who taught me how to put eyeliner on and how to dance. And I haven’t danced since he died. His war lasted only 5 days.

He was found with 15 knife stabs in his body and 83 bullets.

The journalists who wrote about his death had to flee Croatia. His commander was found dead under strange circumstances. The young man who found my cousin and carried his body on his back to a ferry boat, on the bus, and then home — had to flee the country fearing for his life.

The five men who ambushed my cousin were Croatian paramilitary — my cousin was in the Croatian Military Police. Those who didn’t die in the war were found guilty of war crimes and sentenced. The military or the government (not sure which one) erected a monument for my cousin on the island on which he died. But his mother still keeps his room the same way as it was 14 years ago, and takes yellow Gerber daisies to his grave every day.

I am going to Croatia on June 11, the first time in 4 years, and second time in 9 years. Our house is 5 minutes away from the beach; there are no signs that forbid trespassing through the vineyards, olive gardens, or woods. Last time I went there, it was to mourn my father. I miss him so much, and that is enough said. In Croatia, there is my closest family (mother, sister, and brother) and relatives — many of them — I think the best point of reference I can give to describe a Dalmatian family is a Sicilian family; temperamental, impulsive, warm, loud, easily offended, nosy, generous, talkative, food and wine loving. They will suck up all the energy out of me, but I am just happy to be able to see them again, to open up my heart the best I can and let them know they are loved.

I will see my ‘old’ friends from college years — Damir — who saved my skin several times; Diana who got me in trouble many times with her lack of judgment and passion for adventure; Silar – who secretly loved me and wanted to marry me when I was already pregnant with my husband to be; Sebastian — who lead me onto a spiritual path and who is possibly the most lovable person on earth, and yet single; Ivo who made me laugh time after time doing private stand-up comedy gigs for me; Zeljka – my friend from 1st grade of grade school, together we dreamed of getting out of the province and doing something grand; Stipe — whom I held with my last power to prevent jumping off the 3rd floor and who was the only one who shared my passion for the grunge music; Ivan – my fellow poet – we used to stay up all night on two mechanical typewriters, making magic…

It will be a whirlwind; but of a good kind.

View Dalmatica’s Flickr Profile or visit her blog Dalmatica: Act Great.

June 12, 2006 Posted by | Photography, Storytelling | 8 Comments

Sam’s Stearman’s 7

brought to you by the 50fiftySHOULDBE Flickr group in cooperation with Boojummy

Sam’s Exotic Travels picks his top 7, oops, make that 8, pictures he believes worthy of 50 faves over on Flickr. By previous design, these pictures represent a mix of acknowledged and underappreciated Flickr stars.

Check out his picks of the pix folks, and if you’ve a think on it, drop a note to the photographers if you like their work or fave them if you are a Flickr member.

Sam calls himself an amateur. Take a look up above. That’s one of his “amateur” photos. Care to see more of his work? Visit his website at: Samsays.com. Oh… and PASS IT ON….


Sam’s 7 with commentary

A wonderful composition and story behind this photo and the series it is part of: only 26 favorites to date:

One more umbrella pic – this one a self portait shot in her bedroom window, very creative – this has 7 favorites:

This photo by one of my favorite mates from down under, has only 2 favorite votes – I really like the composition and subject:
(corrected link)

Niklens has some beautiful imagaes. I love this one, which has only been favored by 12:

Claude has so many pics, but this portrait must have escaped attention as it is stunning – currently at 21 favorites:

Wonderful candid portrait from India, with only 24 favorites:

This one from Mexico offers a different perspective, with great shadows. Only 14 favorites:

I know I have already picked 7, but how can I leave out this dark moody Iceland photo – it’s excellent – with 23 favorites

June 12, 2006 Posted by | Photography | Leave a comment

Paths With Heart

This question is one that only a very old man asks. Does this path have a heart? All paths are the same: they lead nowhere. They are paths going through the bush, or into the bush. In my own life I could say I have traversed long long paths, but I am not anywhere. Does this path have a heart? If it does, the path is good; if it doesn’t, it is of no use. Both paths lead nowhere; but one has a heart, the other doesn’t. One makes for a joyful journey; as long as you follow it, you are one with it. The other will make you curse your life. One makes you strong; the other weakens you.

– Carlos Castaneda

part of Boojummy & 50fiftySHOULDbe

June 12, 2006 Posted by | Philosophy, Photography | Leave a comment

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