The last couple of weeks have been quite exciting ones for fans of all things Jansenesque………moving away from his photography for a moment (if I may be so bold) and focusing instead on his music, there’s the news of the impending release of the live Jansen/Barbieri album ‘lumen’ (with ‘instant gratification’ track – and who doesn’t LOVE those two words when placed together?), plus the digital re-issue of ‘kinoapparatom’, with 3 additional, brand-spanking-new Jansen tracks, followed by the faint whisper that more is to follow, which has given us all a massive boost. Steve has also recently set up a ‘soundcloud’ page, where he has uploaded some snippets of music including alternative versions of the ‘sleepyard’ Nissan advert.
Not to mention the fact that much of Mick’s back catalogue is to be re-released; well, it’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas round these parts, I can tell you.
Coupled with this marvellous news, I had the rather wonderful experience of checking the blog stats this week only to see that it has now attracted 10,000 views. That’s 10,000 views folks. If I hadn’t already been sitting down, I think I would have needed the aid of smelling salts and possibly a stiff brandy to recover. When we first came up with the idea of this blog, it was a very low-key, small-scale plan; at no point did I imagine that, a mere 4 months down the line, we would have anything up to 800 people reading each post. During the first few weeks, we were attracting around 40 people per day which I thought was fantastic, so for it to have become so widely read, by people from over 50 countries, is quite incredible. Obviously, a big part of the appeal of the blog, is that Steve has been so generous with his time, offering answers and giving the ‘back story’ to many of the photographs, with such good humour and patience. So, a huge thanks to Mr Jansen……
In celebration of both the excellent news of the blog’s success, and the impending re-releases of some of Steve’s finest musical work, tonight we are presenting a re-mixed, re-mastered version of Becky Olenchak’s post about her purchase of a Jansen print way back in 2006. Becky was one of the imageshop’s first customers, way back when it was launched over 8 years ago, so it seems fitting that we re-post this piece……..
1081 – Sylvian in South Kensington home (2)
It was Christmas 2006 that I bought myself a signed photo print by Steve Jansen.
Looking through the thumbnail shots of the various images available by this talented man, I could easily see myself being the proud owner of so many of them. But in the end, it was number 1081 (the 5th of an edition of 250 now hangs above my bed) that I chose. It depicts Steve’s brother, David Sylvian, holding a glass of orange juice as he leans against the stove in his kitchen, with a framed print of Marilyn Monroe by Andy Warhol on the wall behind him. It is the true ‘slice of life’ nature of this particular picture that caught my eye then and now; an ordinary moment captured for posterity on film. I enjoy the subtle, lovely details of everyday life evident here: the cereal boxes, the kettle, the cartons of juice and milk and so on. I see David’s bowed head and pensive expression as he gazes through his spectacles into his glass and I wonder anew what is going through his mind as he pauses between sips of his juice? Is he planning his day, his next song, his next album? Or is it something else entirely, perhaps he is pondering that morning’s news headlines, or thinking of a favorite passage in a favorite book or a scene in a favorite film? Or maybe it is something as simple as mentally itemizing his grocery list? The possibilities are endless really, no? And why on earth did David decide to hang his Warhol’s Marilyn in his kitchen beside his stove, I wonder? Was he making a commentary, did he too think it would be a humorous place for it or did he also see the very Warholian-in-itself touch in hanging an expensive piece of art in a kitchen? Maybe the colors in the print and the colors on the wall and appliances all simply blended well together, and that was it? I ponder what words may have been spoken between the brothers – artist and subject – immediately before and after this image was caught on film? And I wonder if David ever actually finished that juice, or if it wound up just being poured down the drain? All of these random thoughts cross my mind as I gaze at the print.
In the end though, all I know for a fact is that I really love this photograph. No matter how many more Jansen prints I eventually acquire (and I do hope to acquire more!), number 1081 will always be special to me both as my first and as a wonderful pictorial moment in time.
You can order this limited edition, signed print from here: http://www.stevejansen.com/imageshop/1081_sylvian_in_south_kensington_home_2.html
Information about the digital release of ‘kinoapparatom’ can be found here:
Information about the release of the jansen/barbieri live album ‘lumen’ can be found here:
Steve’s ‘sonicyard’ soundcloud page is here: https://soundcloud.com/sonicyard