When I met Nadine Hutton last October, my first thought was this: She's what I would have been, if I were South African, a woman, had far, far fewer hangups, and more talent. Of course, that's a complete fantasy. I know -- heck, you know -- that no matter how South African, female, footloose, and fancy-free I manage to become, I'll never be as cool as Nadine.
Nadine's an artist and photographer, not a musician. But, as the second video clearly shows, she's sure 'nuff funky. (The first video is an introduction to her wide-ranging work.) She's in Los Angeles right now, where for the next few weeks, she'll be an artist-in-residence a the 18th Street Arts Center. That's reason enough to celebrate.
Nadine's one of my favorite photographers. I love her portraits -- for instance, two images that she made of the great Hugh Masekela. The first makes me happy; the second blows me away. You can see them here and here.
I'm also a big fan of an ongoing series of photographs that she's making with an iPhone, in which she's exploring, as she says, "a personal, often ironic and humorous vision of home, Johannesburg." You can see these wonderful images here.
Nadine's documentary photography is as strong as her more purely artistic work. "I Have Fallen," an essay on poor whites in South Africa is an example. As both photography and journalism, it's probably the best work I've seen on the subject. (I've discussed some recent photo essays on poor whites here and I've looked at the historical backstory, here.)
A Funky Friday without music? Not a chance. Play that second video, again. It will make you want to dance.