Street Hipstography: Where Voyeur Meets Social Media

April 24, 2014

This article was originally published in The Times of Israel.

Bruce (photo credit: Sheldon Serkin)

Bruce (photo credit: Sheldon Serkin)

If you are in New York, don’t be surprised if you appear in one of Sheldon Serkin’s photographs. But there’s no way to know he’s taken your picture: He never holds his camera up to his face, and he never makes eye contact — let alone speaks — with his subjects

Serkin is part of the growing mobile phone street photography trend in which images are surreptitiously captured of daily lives, oblivious to the lens pointed at them. It’s a democratic kind of photography, enabled by the advent of the iPhone and digital photo apps that let anyone try their hand at becoming the next William Klein, Henri Cartier-Bresson or Robert Frank. The genre is often referred to as hipstography, after the Hipstamatic app, which became popular in 2010 and gave the trend a huge push.

“I like being able to do it undercover. I like that I don’t draw attention to myself, because I don’t like confrontation,” Brooklyn-based Serkin tells The Times of Israel.

Click here to read more.

© 2014 Renee Ghert-Zand. All rights reserved.

Katy Perry the Yiddishe Papa

April 24, 2014

This post first appeared in The Times of Israel.


It’s time yet again for another Katy Perry video of questionable taste

In February, more than a few Muslims were offended by the pop singer’s “Dark Horse” music video, which featured her (dressed as Cleopatra) incinerating a character wearing an “Allah” pendant.

Now, with her imitation of a bar mitzvah MC in a promotional video for her new “Birthday” single, it’s the Jews’ turn to complain… maybe.

Click here to read more and watch videos.

© 2014 Renee Ghert-Zand. All rights reserved.

New Spielberg Film About Jewish Boy Seized By Church

April 23, 2014

This post first appeared on The Arty Semite blog at the Forward.


Director Steven Spielberg has several new projects in the works, including a film about the kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara.

The movie will recount the true story of how in 1858 a young Italian Jewish boy was taken from his parents by authorities of the Papal States after a housemaid claimed to have given him an emergency baptism. The incident led to international attention and controversy. Many believe that the kidnapping was instrumental in convincing the public that the Papal States should be conquered, and thus ultimately helped bring about the modern Italian state.

Tony Kushner will write the screenplay as an adaption of the 1998 book, “The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara” by David I. Kertzer. In the past, Kushner collaborated with Spielberg on “Munich” and “Lincoln” — both of which received Oscar nominations.

Click here to read more.

© 2014 Renee Ghert-Zand. All rights reserved.



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