Portrait of Fred

BlogImage - SatoriCircleDotCom - March 25 2017

“Fred Armisen” (2017)  |  Anthony Satori

One of the goals of a portrait is to capture a glimpse of the spirit within, to create an image that expresses some essential aspect of the subject’s nature.

Fred Armisen is an actor, writer, comedian and musician.  He is best known for his work on Saturday Night Live and Portlandia.  He is easily one of the funniest and most talented performers working today, but also, to my experience, he is one of the nicest people in the industry.  Watching Armisen’s improv and character work on screen you get a feeling of genuine warmth, intelligence and humor, and these traits come across even more in person, when he is just being himself.


Silverback Gorilla

BlogImage - SatoriCircleDotCom - June 4 2016

“Silverback Gorilla”  |  Anthony Satori

I’ve had the good fortune to photograph silverback gorillas on a number of occasions, and they are nothing less than amazing, majestic creatures. When you look into their eyes — and they look back into yours — it is impossible not to feel that there is a soul behind them.  Intelligence, consciousness, self-awareness, compassion — it is all there, in remarkable dimension.

In honor of these awe-inspiring great apes, I have produced a full-sized wall poster featuring the artwork above.  If you would like to see it, please click on the image.  Share in the wonder of these beautiful animals.


Gary Snyder, Zen Poet

“Gary Snyder,  Zen Poet”  |  Santa Barbara, California, 2015  |  Anthony Satori

“In the mountains, there you feel free.”

— T. S. Eliot

Campbell Hall, UCSB, California, November, 2015

It is an odd juxtaposition to watch a poet whose primary subject matter is nature, mountains and wilderness put on a tie, stand at a podium, and talk about his work in one of the least wilderness-like places conceivable: a university lecture hall.  You get the feeling of a creature out if his element, a proverbial fish-out-of-water… handling the environment with admirable aplomb, yet periodically, and involuntarily, gasping for air. 

The evening began strangely enough, with Snyder delivering a seemingly unprovoked 20-minute lecture on how we (the audience) were all inept at water conservation — although arguably from a place of authority, since he does live on a self-sustaining commune. 

This was followed (thankfully) by some enjoyable, yet seemingly random, readings of poetry from some of his more obscure collections (oddly excluding both the entire “Beat Generation” era and his most recent book release). 

The event then proceeded to attain new heights of awkwardness upon the introduction of an inexplicably antagonistic interviewer. To paraphrase a sample exchange:  Interviewer: “One farmer said that he grew the best oranges by looking at everyone around him and doing exactly the opposite of what they did.  Is this essentially what you are doing on the commune?”  Snyder: “No.  We’re not that dumb.”  Ouch. 

Almost regardless of venue, however, to hear a veritable institution of literature speak, read and discuss poetry and articulate his views on writing and life is a worthy experience.  Up until now, Gary Snyder has inhabited the status of an almost quasi-fictional Beat Poet/Zen Madman character to me, someone who existed only on the pages of Jack Kerouac novels and in my imagination.  Now, by virtue of this experience, his glowing apparition has been immortalized in my mind, and has, simultaneously, been made real.


Dive Bar Messiahs

"Dive Bar Messiahs" | Anthony Satori

“Dive Bar Messiahs”  |  Anthony Satori

The Dive Bar Messiahs headlined last Saturday night at the Lookout Bar and Grill in Channel Islands, California, and they took the house down.  With each individual band member boasting an impressive resume, this newly-formed power trio blew the roof off the place with songs by the Doors, the Beatles and the Animals, and packed the dance floor with tunes such as their unstoppable rendition of Wild Cherry’s “Play That Funky Music.”  Against the backdrop of the Channel Islands Harbor and playing to a diverse crowd, this show was a blast for everyone attending.  Be sure to check out the Dive Bar Messiahs’ Facebook page  and find out where they’re playing next, so you can join the party!   https://www.facebook.com/divebarmessiahs


Bright Like a Diamond

"Portrait of M"  |  Anthony Satori

“Portrait of M”  |  Anthony Satori

“The light of the sun seems to be poured down, and to be poured, indeed, in every direction, but not poured away; for this pouring is an extension, and that is why the sun’s beams are called ‘rays’ (aktines), because they are extended (ekteinesthai). 

“And what kind of thing a ray is you can readily see if you look at sunlight entering a darkened room through a narrow opening.  For it stretches out in a straight line and comes to rest, so to speak, on any solid body that intercepts it, cutting off the air that lies beyond; and there it rests, neither slipping off nor falling down.

“The pouring forth and diffusion of our understanding should follow a comparable pattern, and by no means be a pouring away, but rather, an extension; and it should not make a forcible or violent impact on the obstacles that it encounters nor sink down, but stand firm and illuminate the object that receives it, for that which fails to welcome it will deprive itself of light.”

– Marcus Aurelius

Trumpet Like Satchmo

"Wail, Man, Wail"  |  Anthony Satori

“Wail, Man, Wail”  |  Anthony Satori

A portrait of musician Chantz Powell.  This performer is a true triple-threat: singer, dancer, trumpet player.  He’s been on the scene for years, and I recently got to see him put on a show on the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica, California.  Crowds gathered, the energy was high, and music was in the air.  Some performers just bring it, no matter where they are, and Chantz is one of those.  If you find yourself in the Santa Monica area this holiday season, keep your eyes and ears open… you might just get lucky and catch a performance.  If not, you can always catch up with him at chantz.com.