May 4, 2013
March 7, 2012
I'm a fan of images of inbetween places so I-Hsuen Chen's project "Nowhere in Taiwan" is tailor made for my taste. The project which was just featured on Culture Hall is part of a series of projects all centered around finding moments of intimacy.
January 30, 2012
Carl Van Vechten, and Iowan, was a music critic, photographer, and patron of the Harlem Renaissance. He's best known for his studio portraits of artists, writers, actors, and musicians. Yale's Beinecke Library holds a large Van Vechten's kodachrome cache full of unusual images of well known African American performers (this tough and intimate Billie Holiday portrait was new to me). More images from Yale's collection can be found here. (found via It's never summer)
Note: The Library server seems to fail regularly, so browse
December 14, 2011
I'm a big fan of Mexican photographer Livia Corona. Her most recent project titled "Two Million Homes for Mexico" was just featured on Culturehall. The project name comes from a promise that Mexican president Vincent Fox made in 2000 to build two million homes during his term. The homes were indeed built at a rate of 2500 per day, and now a decade later Corona explores what they've become.
December 5, 2011
November 7, 2011
I enjoyed going through Yale MFA student Thomas Gardiner's project "New York Is Big But This Is Biggar" documenting small towns in Western Canada. As a Saskatchewanian friend always says, "You know we're the same, but a little different."
September 25, 2011
Richard Mosse's project Infra documents conflict in the Congo using Kodak Aerochrome, a discontinued infrared film. The film which renders foliage bright pink, heightens the surreally of an impossible to comprehend war (the Guardian reports 400,000 rapes in a single year and 5.4 million deaths over 10 years) and forces us to re-examine conflict images. When I first heard of this project (without seeing the images) I dismissed it, but the images are powerful—they would be without the exotic film stock. Mosse is a thinker who gives eloquent explanations for his choices. Ultimately Mosse does what good photographers always do, he forces us to look closely and reexamine what we think we know. (via Aperture Magazine)
July 28, 2011
I'm a sucker for a good beach picture. Love this one by Guggenheim fellow Greg Miller which is part of his series Primo Amore.
Need to get myself to a beach soon...
July 4, 2011
Mike Sinclair always makes somewhat iconic 4th of July pictures (in a way all his pictures are 4th of July pictures), this year is no exception. Click through for the full sized image.
June 7, 2011
I have a couple of books of Dayanita Singh's work and am a big fan so I was excited to hear that Radius is publishing a new book titled House of Love. The press release says "House of Love is a work of photographic fiction that takes the form of nine short stories." I've not seen the book yet or the work, but am looking forward to grabbing a copy.
May 18, 2011
p.s. This photographer's work reminds me a bit of 木格's (Mu Ge's) work who is also from Chongqing. Friends? Do they influence know each other? Maybe even the same person?
Are there any Chinese photographers out there who can shed more light on on the great work coming out of these Chongqing natives?
May 17, 2011
Strict ethnographic portraits are deeply out of favor in academia and yet it's hard to deny that they are compelling. Phyllis Galembo specializes in these portraits very much in the style of 19th century ethnographer's without modern overlay, comment, or idiosyncratic technique; their power is their subject matter.
May 15, 2011
Newsha Tavakolian is a well known photojournalist, but her work has gradually become more metaphorical. She has many projects that challenge assumptions we might have about Iran and Iranian women in particular.
Interesting interview with Ms. Tavakolian from last year where she speaks of being inspired by Naser al-Din, an early Sha of Iran and, apparently, a photography buff.
May 11, 2011
May 6, 2011
I love Julia Gillard's Series American Holidays. This one is titled "Labor Day, Detroit Michigan". I wish there she introduced her portfolios. I'd like to hear more about the thinking behind the images.
May 2, 2011
I'm a big fan of this short set of images by the New York based Belgian photographer Clémence de Limburg on Mali. Her images leave me wanting more, and to dust off my traveling shoes...
April 16, 2011
Rona Chang is a Queens based Chinese photographer working on several ambitious projects investigating man's control (or lack of control) of nature. She writes, "It is the intersection of human, climatic, and geographic realms that are contemplated in my photography." Her image sequencing disorients us (intentionally I believe) by juxtaposing images connected by ideas rather than location. This is work I'd much rather see in person than on the web. Show please.(via flak)
April 7, 2011
These are a few things I know about Léon Gimpel.
1. He loved machines.
2. He was obsessively curious.
3. He dreamed of flight.
4. He loved the dark as much as he loved the light.
March 29, 2011
Yeondoo Jung has been much blogged for his series wonderland where he makes photographs based on children's drawings, but my favorite body of work is his Location series in which he creates environments on stage sets.
Of this body of work he writes:
Ⅰ. Do not try to distinguish between the real and fake landscape in these pictures.
Ⅱ. If you must, do it just for fun as if you are breaking a puzzle. The cost of this will be the fun of appreciating the real thing.
Ⅲ. See the details and appreciate the fact that the space we live in is an assemblage full of clich?s and many different objects.
Ⅳ. Reflect on how much ‘awkwardness’ can be found in the things that we took for granted; the movie scenes are that once we dreamed about, the landscape of far places that made our heart flutter, the romantic lyrics of the pop songs that we used to sing along.
Ⅴ. Amuse yourself with all the fakes, imitations, performances that are audaciously set before the real landscape. The real reality is here for you.
Ⅵ. Pay a tribute to the artist who created, assembled and directed all these fakes, imitations and performances. Thanks to him we were able to take a glimpse on the fragments of the shell that holds our slightly upside down world.
Ⅶ. Be aware. Think how confident the artist must be to hide the real as fakes and visualize fakeness so audaciously.
To quote a line from a trendy soap opera, “Let’s say that the real is disguising the fake as the real. In a situation where the real is acting as the fake as a substitute of the fake, how threatening the fake real must be! It must be indeed a matter of truth and genuineness.”
December 8, 2010
In my own photography I often try to make images that show the past and the future simultaneously. I think Ruben Reyes' images of an isolated community in northern Mexico do exactly this... This NYTimes piece gives a bit of context.
October 23, 2010
João Silva's photography is easy to spot in Times, it is almost always startling close to something terrible. Covering wars in Africa, The Balkans, Chechnya, Iraq, Pakistan, and Afghanistan he has seen more tragedy than most of us can imagine. Silva is also also a solid writer. The Bang-Bang Club: Snapshots from a Hidden War is a harrowing portrait of war in South Africa and In the Company of God is an intense portrait of Iraqi Shiites during the war.
The New York Times reports that João was seriously injured when he stepped on a mine Saturday in Kandahar province. He was evacuated to a military hospital. There has been no update on his condition.
Update: The Times reports Mr. Silva will lose his legs. Many testimonials and tributes can be found here.
August 4, 2010
Liu XiaoFang's was one of the photographers chosen for reGeneration2, a selection of "50 photographers of tomorrow" curated by the Swiss Musée de lElysée. One of her images graces the cover of the Aperture foundation catalog of the exhibition. I don't know much about this photographer and have only seen her work online at the 789 Gallery. I was wondering if anyone out in internet world had a better link. I find the work striking but cold and would like a bit more context to see if it warms me up.
July 25, 2010
Oscar Fernado Gomez is a cab driver in Monterrey, Mexico. He shoots fast and raw with an eye for the absurd. I can't wait to see more. (via fotoregia)
July 22, 2010
Every few years I find myself back at Peter Garfield's portfolio site admiring his Mobile Holmes project. It helps to know that no photoshop was involved, and also that it's not exactly what you think. (via William Lamson)
June 21, 2010
Today all this has changed. Siem Reip, or rather the nearby ruins of Angkor Wat are on the global must-see tourist list. The population of the city has increased 20 fold and is circled by 5 star hotels filled with foreigners on package tours. Thai phtographer Miti Ruangkritya's project On the Edge views the city at a distance from the vantage point of someone approaching (or perhaps momentarily escaping) the city... The effect is a sort of a topsy turvy South East Asian version Tati's film Play Time, a film about Paris, but in which Paris is only seen in distant reflection. The pictures are both familiar and foreign, and loaded with a dusty melancholy of seeing the underbelly of an encroaching world. (via HHS)
April 15, 2010
Anne Hardy's images of empty imaginary rooms are one part photography, one part performance art, one part sculpture. Of her work curator Francesco Manacorda writes
"she meticulously turns her studio into a theatre set entirely constructed for the camera’s eye only. Imaginary rooms are given three-dimensional temporary presence only to be translated into two-dimensional records and then destroyed. Always empty, they are full of the residues left behind by the fictional actions of a character or a group of people who have seemingly just left them. Comparable to the effects of the absent ball in the mimed tennis game, her photographs aim at the fictionalisation of the world around her through the construction of sets that rotate entirely round absent actors."
While one could argue this could be said about any good still life, the suggestion of absent characters who have just stepped out is especially strong in Hardy's work and infuses it with an air of mystery.
Of her physical process of making her work she writes
"The whole space is structured around the position of the camera. It's put together as a photograph, rather than an installation. Sometimes I go back and reshoot things, moving something 10cm this way or that. The actual moment of taking the final photograph can almost seem - not an anticlimax, but such a tiny thing."
April 5, 2010
Egyptian photographer Youssef Nabil uses the forgotten technique of hand coloring silver gelatin photographs to create images evoking an instant pang of nostalgia. For me they recall Mexican wedding photos from my parent's and grandparent's era (also my own Mexican baby photos), and Mexican movie promo photos, I distrust my instant attraction to the work and yet feel compelled by the technique/images nonetheless.
April 2, 2010
I'm a huge fan of Asako Narahashi's work. Her book Half Asleep and Half Awake In The Water is one I've turned to many times over the last two years (my copy is was signed by the artist at an opening here in NY, but ironically was waterstained by one of my kids a few hours later). Ms. Narahashi is now showing a new related body of work titled Coming Closer and Getting Further Away which she bills as the "oversees version" of Half Asleep. These photos taken in Dubai, Paris, Korea, Brooklyn, Taiwan, and Germany are infused with her signature lyricism, but unfortunately the full project isn't available online. You can see some images from Dubai here and from Korea here. (via japan foto info)
March 17, 2010
Gross' website houses a number of bodies of work (everything from an imagined modern day life of Czech composer Leos Janacek to stories of deforestation in Brazil) and deserves exploration. (via Colin Pantall's photography blog)
March 9, 2010
Mike Brodie who goes by Polaroid Kidd, primarily photographs what he calls travel culture — some might call it domestic backpacking culture, or modern hobo culture. Whatever the name, he makes plenty of compelling images, including the one above which probably has nothing to do with travel culture.
Brody's Gallery can be found here.
If travel culture interests you, also check out the work of Todd Seelie who is often out there on the road and having more fun than most of us... He also has more websites than most of us: Blog, , Portfolio Site, & Of Quiet.
February 2, 2010
Talked to a photographer friend today who had never heard of Yasuhiro Ishimoto. A situation I feel I had to correct:
Ishimoto was born in San Francisco, moved to Japan at 3, and then moved back at 17 only to be put in an interment camp a few years later. After being released he lived in Chicago from the late 40's to the 60's where he made many iconic photographs. While he returned to Japan in the 60's and has been there ever since, his his best known for his Chicago work. You can get a small taste of Ishimoto's sharp eye by scanning this gallery (unfortunately on an aggressively awkward-to-navigate website). A few images can be also seen at the Museum of Contemporary Photography. To really give Ishimoto his full due you have to grab one his books. A Tale of Two Cities is a good place to start.
January 29, 2010
I love this image by Hanna Pierce-Carlson. Hannah and her husband Michael recently moved Taiwan and she's obviously been inspired by the place. Hannah blogs about the transition on insig.ht, a group photography blog. It will be exciting to follow the work and see where it goes.
January 17, 2010
I've always been something of a space geek (Many of my childhood bookplates are signed, Raul A. Gutierrez, Future Space Pilgrim) so Vincent Fournier's Space Project hits me squarely in the solar plexus. Fournier travelled to space centers worldwide including the Yuri Gagarin Space Research Center, The Mars Desert Research Station in Utah, The Guiana Space Center, and the Atcama Desert Observatories in Chile and came back with a set of pictures that tells me Vincent is a pretty big space geek himself.
November 18, 2009
It seems that more and more photographers are working at night these days often for no good reason, but partially, I suppose, because over the last few years it's become much easier to work at night because of faster films, and higher ISO digital cameras. I know I've been guilty of this. And much of the night photography out there looks like the work of the handful of photography stars who have made a name for themselves shooting in the dark.
I like Astrid Kruse Jensen's work because rather than reminding me of any specific photographer, Edward Hopper's paintings comes to mind. And pretty much any photographer whose work evokes Hopper has my number.
October 15, 2009
I've been a fan of Andres Gonzalez' work for some time. He just posted a new work in progress project titled Golden State featuring work taken around his home town of Chino. I'm eager to see how this one develops.
September 28, 2009
The longer you live in a big city, the more the city becomes your own, specific to the people in your circle and the paths you frequent. One of the pleasures of living in a large city is discovering the work of artists who experienced different versions of your city. Good work— whether it contradicts what you know or fits neatly into your schema— always forces you to look at the city with new eyes. I've found this phenomenon to be especially true in Los Angeles which in it's vastness seems to only be comprehensible in small bites. I was there for 10 years and never got a handle on the place. I think you'll enjoy visiting Patrick Romero's LA and I love the evocative title of his project Earthquake Weather..or Stranded in Los Angeles.
August 28, 2009
"I am Peruvian by blood and birth, but I've grown up an American. In the US, and in most places, I feel like I am in a city, region, or nation—those intangible creations of people. But in Lima, I felt not like I was in a city, in Peru, or even South America, but atop the Earth herself."
His recent one man show just closed. I'm sad I missed it.
August 14, 2009
Jason Florio's portfolio site is full of top notch reportage. The image above is from a set titled Beijing Artists. I also especially like a set he titles "The Poets of Bagdhad". He writes in his bio:
"Over the past nine years I have been arrested by the Taliban and enjoyed a tea with them, I have ridden into far-flung Afghan valleys in search of nomads with mujahideen as my security, dressed as a woman to cross a border, was at the foot of the Twin Towers as they collapsed, enjoyed the ‘comforts’ of a Cuban hospital, hunted bats in Surinam, chatted with Somali pirates over Coke and biscuits and danced like a fiend in Beirut nightclubs…..........among other things."
That's about what I expected from the photos.
August 10, 2009
In 2007 Margareta Kern travelled around Croatia and Bosnia & Herzegovina documenting old woman preparing the clothes in which they wish to be buried (via belencerezo). Kern kept a blog while making the project.
July 17, 2009
There is something pleasantly old fashioned about Guido Castagnoli's photographs of provincial Japan. The image above from his Korea set has the same quality. Find his images online on his portfolio site or, better yet, ask to see his work in person at the Sasha Wolf Gallery.
July 14, 2009
One of my favorite photography books of the last few years was Greg Girard's Phantom Shanghai. Girard, who is based in Shanghai, has recently updated his site with a set of knockout portfolios he collectively titled "Far East / Far West 73-86".
"Far East / Far West 73-86" features sets of images taken before Girard was a professional photographer. Of the work he writes:
"From 1973-1986 I photographed the familiar and unfamiliar parts the city where I was born, Vancouver, and made my first visits to Asia - when it was still more commonly referred to as the Far East, eventually living in Tokyo and later in Hong Kong. These are the photographs of an amateur, unschooled except by early exposure to Popular Photography magazine and the novels of Graham Green, Peter Handke and Paul Bowles, and inspired by the imagery and stories of films of the 70s. "
What strikes me about these images is not that they are unschooled but that they are all so consistent, the product of someone with a keen cinematic vision... and that the photographs, whether they were made in Vancouver or Tokyo or Las Vegas, each hold something of Shanghai within. So perhaps Shanghai was beckoning Girard all along and these images are a kind of visualized déjà vu, pictures of a place he already knew, but had yet to experience...
July 5, 2009
I've known for a long time that Nadav Kander was a photographer of broad and varied talents but I don't think understood how broad or how varied until I sat down to go through his website thoroughly tonight. From his always sharp editorial work (Obama's People) to large scale art projects (Yangtze, the Long River), to small personal projects (The Parade) Nadav produces striking picture after striking picture. It is curious that his projects while internally consistent lack a signature style. I don't think I've ever seen a specific image and said, "Oh that must be by Nadav." He reminds me of those filmmakers of the classic era like Howard Hawks who could direct a stylish gangster picture followed by western followed by a sci-fi flick and get them all right. All this is a long winded way of saying, spend some time getting to know Nadav's work because even if you think you know it, there is probably much more you are unaware of.
June 7, 2009
I love photographers who see beauty in the mundane and then make you see what they see. Mike Sinclair is one of those photographers. I blogged one of his images 3 or 4 years ago and was pleased to come across his work again while helping judge the most recent Hey, Hot Shot! competition.
May 8, 2009
The photographer collective still-dancing highlighted the work of Azerbaijani photographer Rena Effendi today. Effendi's most compelling work takes us into places most of us would have no access to, showing us the facade presented to the outside world, and then digging deeper and breaking down stereotypes and mythology in the process. As a jumping off point check out her portfolios House of Happiness and Twenty-something in Tehran, you won't be disappointed.
April 15, 2009
I'm excited we're releasing 2 prints (not the image above) by Michael Lundgren on 20x200 this afternoon (the prints can be found here and here). Michael is a photographer who works in the grand tradition of American landscape photographers who roamed the West in the late 19th and early 20th centry... He writes of his work:
I once read that "the twilight is the crack between the worlds." When dusk comes, a grayclarity permeates the air. It is a dark that one can see into. As Emmet Gowin once said, it is here that one can "participate in the game of feeling the unknown."
That's what I like so much about Lundgren's work... he works in the shadows and in those in-between places...
His recent book Michael Lundgren: Transfigurations strikes me as an instant classic.
April 11, 2009
Benedikt Partenheimer was one of the winners of the Hearst 8x10 Biennial. His winning entry was a series of portraits of famous artists and photographers taken from behind them as they were (presumably) engaged in the act of looking/contemplation. While many fo the artists are surely posing, the series still works.. and it's interesting how the viewer's relationship to the series shifts after reading the titles of the pieces. Take a look at the pictures above and note youfrresponse to them without knowing the subjects (one of them should be known to all photography nerds)... then click through to Partenheimer's site and find their names...
April 2, 2009
March 27, 2009
Whether he's shooting in Asia or India or the Middle East, Peter Bialobrzeski takes his 4x5 out in the world and makes evocative images. When he's shooting on the street and including people, because of their long exposure times and subject matter, the images evoke 19th century photography. But when he's shooting from a distance especially when he's shooting around Asia's megacities his work evokes Blade Runner using the same technique. It's a tension I like and find fascinating. Bialobzeski's site is actually a collection of links to other sites that showcase his work... While most of the images are presented too small you get a sense of how spectacular they could be as prints. Also of interest is Bialobrzeski's early work which is shot in a completely different documentary style. Fascinating to see what happened after he found his calling.
Recommended Bialobrzeski's books: XXX Jouney - Journeys into the Spiritual Heart of India & Heimat
March 27, 2009
The Kominek Gallery in Berlin is opening a show and selling a few precious copies of the cult classic book by Pekka Turunen, Against The Wall. I've loved this body of work for years and would be thrilled to see it in person (Tickets to Berlin anyone?). The website only shows a small fraction of this project which unfortunately isn't available anywhere I know of online. Turunen is in good company in this gallery which also shows Joakim Eskildsen, Misha Kominek, Andrew Miksys, Birthe Piontek, and Simon Roberts. An impressive crowd.
March 5, 2009
I've been a big fan of Birthe Piontek the photographer and the person since seeing her work a few years ago at Review Santa Fe. She's just released a new project titled The Idea of the North, full compelling environmental portraits and quietly emotional landscapes.
The project was shot over three months in a small community in the Yukon, Piontek writes:
I experienced first hand the mystery and fascination of life above the 60th parallel, and met people who came here as part of their quest for the idea of North.
I’m not the first observer to be simultaneously intrigued, yet remain a visitor. Glenn Gould, whose work inspired the title, wrote after visiting the North briefly, "I've read about it, written about it, and even pulled up my parka once and gone there. Yet like all but a few Canadians I've had no real experience of the North. I've remained, of necessity, an outsider. And the North remained for me, a convenient place to dream about, spin tales about,” and in the end, return South.
February 21, 2009
Li Wei is a Chinese photographer born in Inner Mongolia (part of China). He documents the region of his birth in a project titled simply The Earth. I've travelled through the region several times and have a great affection for the harsh emptiness of the land and the warmth of the people. His photos bring some of that back to me.
January 27, 2009
Tomoko Yoneda is a Japanese photographer based in London whose books I've been studying lately. I'm intrigued by her quiet photos that reveal histories hidden in plain sight. In one portfolio she shoots the locations of foreign spy rendezvous, in another she documents the indirect impressions we make on houses (discolorations from radiator heat for example), and in another she photographs banal landscapes that were the scenes of battles and historical events (a pretty sea view at night turns out to be the location where Dr. Mengele drown himself for example). Her portfolios are little puzzle poems, and reminders that we are all surrounded by ghosts.
January 19, 2009
We're featuring the Lyon based, Portuguese photographer Christian Chaize on 20x200 in the next few weeks. I can pre-announce because the cat's already out of the bag (Our Chaize image, not the one above, was featured in the Febrary Domino magazine). Chaize's images have an easy appeal, are also interesting studies on time and group dynamics, and are the perfect antidote to a cold winter's night.
January 7, 2009
South African photographer Pieter Hugo has produced yet another intriguing punch-you-in-the-gut project titled Nollywood. It's a collection of portraits of actors in the Nigerian Film Industry recreating typical scenes from Nollywood movies which are produced by the thousands often direct to video. I haven't seen many Nollywood films but what I have seen reminds me very much of pulp-filled Mexican cinema of the 60's of the 70's which were filled with stories the extreme and the macabre. I grew up on the Santo series for example in which El Santo a masked hero would battle vampire women, martians, the blue demons, and of course (always) the armies of the undead. There were similarly extreme Mexican westerns, telenovelas (soaps), musicals, and science fiction. All were making movie magic and capturing the popular imagination of millions of people with the slimmest of budgets and improvised props. These were not mainstream films, but rather pulp shown on late night TV and later distributed by video. The pulp Nollywood films I've seen are similar. If you had undertaken an analogous photography project in Mexico 30 years ago you would have ended up with many similar archetypes— images influenced by Western cinema, but made uniquely local and encoded with popular mythologies.
Pieter's work also always brings up questions of race, identity, and of the photographer's gaze and this project like so many of his projects provokes questions, demands attention, and is at once intriguing, maddening, and exhilarating.
Related: Stefan Ruiz and Pieter Hugo worked together at Colors Magazine for a few years and intentionally or not they seem to influence each other. Check out Stefan's project called Telenovelas in which photographs the stars of telenovelas on the Mexico City sets of their shows.
January 5, 2009
Via my work with 20x200 and Hey Hot Shot I see the portfolios of hundreds if not thousands of photographers, and I'm struck by is how very few photographs—even photographs by very good photographers—are truly memorable. Juliana Beasley has a knack for taking memorable photographs often of subjects who live in the underbelly of society (drunks, strippers, the insane, and the unloved). When I first encountered Beasley's project "Rockaways" a few years ago I think my impression was that the images were striking but that the work showed little compassion for their subjects. But over time the portraits of broken men and hard weary women photographed in harsh light worked their way into my subconscious. I realized my original assessment was completely off base. I mistook her bracing clarity for sarcasm. Many of the images are simply unforgettable. They stick with you. I've since been impressed by the range of Beasley's work and her ability to tell stories most people don't want to hear. She recently started a blog and I'll definitely be following along.
Note: The image above is from Beasley's series on Cambodian land mine victims, it came to mind today while watching this tangentially related but equally courageous story on Cambodian Sex Slavery by Nicholas Kristoff in today's New York Times.
December 23, 2008
While browsing the brand new Radius Books website I came across a a photographer named Debbie Felming Caffery whose work I did not know, but now feel I should have known. She's a super story teller. The images above are from a portfolio titled Night Life in a section of her website titled Other Worlds.
December 18, 2008
Christopher Handran, in his project Happy Birthday To Me rephotographs his own birthday snapshots using macro lenses he modifies himself. The results are intriguing and evoke Gerard Richter's candle paintings. At the risk of sounding arty, for me they also speak to the gauzy uncertainty of memory and the mutability of time. I like 'em.
December 5, 2008
Virtually every traveling photographer I know takes pictures of the roads on which they journey, but some do it better than others. Bert Teunissen has a great little show right now titled The Road, that is simply that, pictures of roads he followed while shooting Domestic Landscapes... The show can be seen here in New York at the Wizenhausen Gallery or online at Bert's website.
I've met Bert a few times via 20x200 and he seems to have fashioned a rich life for himself. As I say around the house about people I admire and respect, "He's my kind of human being."
December 3, 2008
Mu Ge is a photographer from Chongqing living in Chengdu. I think his work is super. (via erebung)
. . . . .
On another China related note, I was pleasantly surprised to see one of my favorite photostudios (the one in the sidebar) photographed by Le Monde's China blog. Looks like the studio has had an upgrade! (my version, my picture taken in the studio, and more pictures taken in this studio and similar studios by local Chinese photographers...)
Lot's of interesting imagery on this blog. I love this picture of a restaurant in Yarkland... in fact I'm pretty sure I've eaten there.
November 29, 2008
I have great respect for artists who successfully produce minimalist abstract photography, because this kind of work is so darned hard to do well (Ever try to take a decent picture of snow?). But with the right person behind the camera, the results can be spectacular. Nicholas Hughes, is a mid-career English photographer whose work is rigorous but never feels forced. He titles his many of his portfolios as 'verses' and indeed they seem to be verses of some epic poem. I'm a fan.
November 14, 2008
Istanbul based Mexican photographer Andres Gonzalez recently sent me a short preview of his new project Tarlabashi, photographed in the Kurdish neighborhood he calls home. It's a promising start. Gonzalez' website contains several more projects taken along roads that inspire deep wanderlust, a reminder that the world is too vast and beautiful to be left unexplored.
November 7, 2008
I am not particularly a fan of the genre of photography that covers abandoned buildings or of the subgenre that covers abandoned amusement parks. Photographers are drawn to these places (myself included) because of the easy analogy to death and the perverse beauty of decay. Like many subjects imbued with easy emotional shorthand (unmade beds, grandparent's houses, strangers staring into the middle distance, gas stations at night, etc) the very attraction of hordes of photographers to abandoned theme parks turn most images of these things into tired clichés. But of course the thing about clichés is that they are also challenges. A good artists will take a cliché and turn it on it's head, or they will take an image so iconic that it becomes the defining image of the genre, or they will find subject matter so extreme in it's beauty that it forces us to consider it outside the context of the banal stream of other similar less beautiful images.
Argentinean photographer Pablo Cabado's 37*57'35"S 57*34'47"W is one of those projects that breaks from the pack. It's not just a bunch of pictures of a beautiful old abandoned amusement park, it's a self contained world gone topsy turvy. Large pigs roam the amusement park grounds only to be butchered by a band of rough looking men one would never like to encounter after dark. It's dark and heady stuff.
Also check out Cabado's much praised book, Cuba the 90s (Coleccion La Vista Gorda).
As a side note Cabado's bio notes he drives a 1971 Ford Falcon and anyone who drives a 71 Falcon is cool with me.
November 4, 2008
One of the special thrills in photography is coming across a photographer who has travelled some of the same roads you have travelled, looking at their images, and saying 'I have stood right there, I have seen those things.'
I know nothing about Chinese photographer Eris Yo's life, but I know we've walked some of the same paths, and I love the way she's seen things along the way.
October 30, 2008
I was thumbing through a months old copy of the NY Times Magazine in a doctor's office this morning and happened upon Sara Stolfa's project titled The Regulars which documents the patrons of McGlinchey's tavern in Philadelphia (where she worked as a bartender). It's a fascinating study in loneliness.
Stolfa was also in the band The Delta 72 (now defunct). She played organ. How cool is that?
Related: NY Times Article
October 24, 2008
Dave Jordano's project documenting storefront African American churches titled Articles of Faith, just made made my otherwise blah Friday. Storefront churches have long been a source of fascination for me. (found via Andrew Sullivan who also links to this super interview)
September 30, 2008
I recently saw the Beate Gütschow image above in person. She creates large scale idealized collage landscapes from scores of electronically grafted together images. The results are both seemless and unreal. For me the images evoke classic landscape painting more than they do other photographs and in thinking about this I realized that her process is probably not much different than tradtional landscape painters who generally either sit out in nature and take in a scene going from detail to detail or they sit in a studio culling details from memory. EIther way the result is idealized nature in which each element recieves more scrutiny than it would normally... These images are part of show/monograph by Aperture titled LS/S which features pastorals like the one above as well as similarly artifical black and white cityscapes. I haven't seen the book yet so I'm curious to see how the seemingly very different bodies of work work together.
More on Gütschow's work can be found on 52 photographers.
September 9, 2008
In 2007 at Review Santa Fe I got a chance to check out a new body of work by Ferit Kuyas. The project, a series he had been working on for some time on the city of Chongqing had just been renamed City of Ambition, a play on the iconic Steiglitz body of work documenting New York's rising skyline. The images stuck with me and I've come back to them many times. There are scores of photographers trying to capture a rising China, but Kuyas has a poet's feel for the place. His images feel like Chongqing to me. Anyway I wanted to report that Ferit's website has recently been revamped and he now has a full set of images from this epic project online. Even better, if you happen to be in London, you can see his beautiful prints in person at Photofusion where he has a solo show running. Also he will be speaking at the gallery on September 18th.
September 5, 2008
I noticed that one of Bertien Van Manen's photos, Couple and Painting, Grooves Bar - Shanghai, 1998 (not the image above), is available as an edition via MOCP. If you don't know about the MOCP store you should check it out, MOCP offers prints from a super lineup of contemporary phtographers. Couple and Painting led me to revisit Van Manen's website which has several more pictures from that project which expertly evokes a certain stratum of urban life in late 1990's China. More images as well as other projects over at Yancey Richardson
August 21, 2008
I first came across the Bianca Brunner's work at Aperture's ReGeneration show a few years ago where the image above from her Limbo series was prominently featured. Google Brunner a Swiss born photographer living in England and most of the top results are bloggers wondering where they can see more of her work. A bit of digging reveals work from both her Limbo and Hotel series on commentart.com (text here). Another enigmatic series titled Wood is also online. Enjoy.
August 13, 2008
Sure Olafur Eliasson is famous for his blockbuster art projects like Waterfalls that currently graces this fair city, and sure his big museum installations are thought provoking and spectacular, but I am most moved by this artist's photographs which are usually presented as series in a grid. They are simple and soulful and for me at least are humanizing. There are several photo series on the official Eliasson website, although they are shown in horribly small image sizes. If you are interested you are better off seeking out his books.
. . . . .
Note to artist's everywhere. Show decent sized pictures of your work online. It's 2008, time to size up.
July 9, 2008
It's hard to image a more hostile working environment for a Western female photographer than a Pakistani brothel, and yet photographer Kate Orne has managed to make a series of compassionate even tender photographs in red light districts there. Powerful stuff.
July 8, 2008
Portuguese photographer Virgilio Ferreira's portfolio Daily Pilgrims is one of those projects that sort of snuck up on me. I looked at it a week or two ago and have kept coming back to it. I'm not sure if this will make sense to you (it does to me), but the portfolio evokes the memory of the memory of stepping off a plane into a new and foreign city full of too many new sights and sounds to be processed. When you remember back everywhere there were fleeting glimpses of untold stories, but in being a memory of a memory wires get crossed—in the overload details blur leaving an evocative impression without actually describing the specifics of the place.
(via his Hey, Hot Shot! entry)
June 17, 2008
Finnish photographer Markku Lahdesmaki's high profile editorial work doesn't do much for me, it's too finished and perfect in the way the editorial world demands, but I love many of his personal portfolios, especially the ones taken in Chinese Space Museums and in the Finnish countryside. (via my friend Tina who I've been trying to have lunch with for over a year even though we run into each other all the time)
June 7, 2008
A reader named Mu Qian turned me on to the work of Zhuang Xueben who travelled the Tibetan regions of Amdo and Kham in the 1930s. I don't think it's just my history in this region that makes the pictures so fascinating. Anybody have any more good Xueben links or book references outside what is easily googleable?
May 22, 2008
Seyeon Yun is a Yale MFA student with several knockout projects. Incomplete Journey is a astute wander through Korea... The portfolio is split into three chapters and, as the title suggests, it feels that more chapters are on the way. Homecoming is an equally powerful project delving into the lives of war veterans. Yun is part of the Yale MFA group show at Danzinger Projects opening on May 27th.
May 17, 2008
Mark Powell is a prolific maker of compelling enigmatic images. If you hang out with Mark for any time you realize his world follows him around. Strange things happen. He has kind of a force field that creates mystery.
I hadn't checked in on his website for a while and found that it is full of new work.
May 16, 2008
If you happen to be at the New York Photo Festival be sure to check out Andrew Miksys' show called BAXT, an exploration of the Gypsy community of Lithuania. The exhibition coincides with the release of a book of the same title. Baxt is the Roma word for Fate. Many of the images on the web don't do the prints justice. For example one of the signature pieces of the show is a portrait of a crying bride. On the web you can't see that she is crying which mutes the impact of the image. The show is on display at the Nelson Hancock Gallery through July 5th.
May 14, 2008
Sometimes all it takes is a slight shift in perspective to make an ordinary photograph extraordinary.
If you have ever been to Ahmedabad in India you know it's characterized by it's crazy chaotic street life. It's a dense warren of a city, home to 5.6 million people, that has been around since the 11th century, so to see it empty is something. Frederic Delangle made a series of photos of Ahmedabad at night which exposes the city beyond the people. (via one of my favorite photography blogs, Hippolyte Bard)
May 9, 2008
I received a nice email the other day from Alejandro Cartagena, a Dominican born photographer, who has lived for many years in the city of my birth, and the city closest to my heart, Monterrey, Mexico. Cartagena was a researcher on one of my semi-obsessions, a book titled Nuevo Leon, Imagenes de Nuestra Memoria and he is also responsible for a photo project I've been meaning to post titled Lost Rivers . If you've spent much time in that part of the world you know the significance of the often empty river beds that lead off into nowhere. In fact Monterrey itself is split in half by a lost river, the Santa Catarina, that is a chaotic mix of sand, overgrown palms, squatter homes, markets, and soccer fields. But you don't have to have experience in Mexico's northern states, to appreciate the melancholy of photographs of rivers vanishing into the dust; some photographs speak for themselves.
May 7, 2008
Have you ever stood on a beach and looked out over the water to some distant boat on the horizon and wondered about the people out there? I have, which is why I enjoy Mårten Lange's project The Sea so much. The little boats give scale to the sea's vastness, humanize the incomprehensible, and provide a space for your mind to fill with a story.
Lange is an editor at Farewell Books which specializes in delightful (but cheaply constructed) photo books.
May 3, 2008
The American tendency is to associate any display of skin with sex and because of this I imagine many here would have a hard time wrapping their minds around the traditional Japanese sentos (public baths) and onsens (hot springs) you find all over Japan. In the most traditional village sentos families, neighbors, and co-workers bathe together, male/female, young/old with everyone gloriously and unabashedly naked. During my visits to Japan I was sometimes invited to join friends for baths after work and was always struck by the family atmosphere in these places—everyone with their little washcloths resting on their heads washing, gossiping, and just enjoying the warm soak.
Hiroyo Kaneko's series titled Sentimental Education gives us a bit of the feel of these places. When I compare these nude figures to the contrived "we're all so so naked and we don't care!' figures in Ryan McGinley's recent work I'm reminded that often the best way to showcase someone's humanity is by catching them in the middle of their most ordinary daily rituals.
Related: Sento at 6th and Main by Gail Dubrow.
April 17, 2008
I was lucky to see Raimond Wouda's show School last year at FOAM in Amsterdam, but didn't had a hard time finding the photographer's images online. Happily that has changed and Wouda now has created an eponymous website featuring School and several other projects. The image above is from one titled On Scale. Scale is an important aspect of Wouda's work. He shoots hyper detailed large format images and displays them at wall size. His revamped website only hints at the impact these prints have in person. (The prints are immersive without being monumental and self important.) I hope some smart New York gallerist hooks him up with a show. I'd love to have a chance to commune with the prints again.
April 14, 2008
I got to know Gail Albert Halaban's work while hanging around Gabe Greenberg's print studio and came to be a big fan of her highly stylized slightly offkilter peeks into the world of upper crusty New Yorkers.
For her new project titled Out My Window NYC she invites New Yorkers who see their neighbors only through the window and have an interest in connecting with them, to contact her. She states, "I would like to photograph you looking into their place and them looking back at you."
She's posted a few early images from the project and the results are promising. Be sure to click on the images to get a nice large version of the image.
April 14, 2008
Alexy Titarenko is best known for his long exposures of Russian commuters like the one above. The grim loveliness of that project speaks to both photography's early history and to more recent Soviet reality. ( You can here Titarenko speak about this series on the lens culture website).
Titarenko has a new show at the Nailya Alexander Gallery titled simply Venice. The photos are a nostalgic look at Venice. The images are as pretty as all of his photography is, but I found them to be misleading in the way tourist board postcards are misleading. They hide the ugly overcrowded overtouristed reality of the city today. This seems to be a missed opportunity as Titarenko's technique would have lended itself well to both showing Venice's teeming tourist masses and commenting on the nature of the city itself, instead we get images that evoke an empty romantic Venice that exists primarily as fantasy. This comes off as fluff.
April 6, 2008
The phrase that came to mind while looking through Christopher Talbot's portfolio titled Transformational Light was "backwoods, Crewdson light". Sounds horrible, but it sort of works, at least for me. Reminds me of East Texas.
March 24, 2008
I'm a fan of Brad Temkin's project titled Relics. The Illinois based photgrapher shot the image above Iceland which features regularly (and for good reason) in the portfolios of landscape photographers.
March 18, 2008
I like photographers who work in places with history.
I like photographers who use natural light.
I like photographers who get out there in the world.
I like photographers who shoot with a specific point of view.
Bert Teunissen has done and continues to do all these things traveling around the world shooting what he calls Domestic Landscapes. His photographs are a vivid protest against the prefab readymade corporate world that seems to encompass more and more of our lives and are vivid arguments for living life connected to a specific place. In interviews he estimates that 90% of the locations featured in Domestic Landscapes no longer exist.
I've blogged about Mr. Teunissen before, but he is doing an edition with us tomorrow at 20x200.com so I've posted again as a heads up. If you want to purchase a print, the best way to get notified is via the 20x200 mailing list which give you a bit of a jump on the edition.
Teunissen has blogged about Domestic Landscapes over at Aperture.org.
March 7, 2008
I have a soft spot for photography made in the world's more visceral places. Davin Ellicson is working on a long term project documenting rural life in Romania where according to his bio he lived and farmed with a peasant family for a year in the Maramures region. He knows the people he's covering and it shows.
March 1, 2008
While I don't necessarily understand some of the editing choices he has made, the portfolios of California based photographer Victor Cobo contain some compelling images full of narrative delight and mystery.
February 28, 2008
John Chiara by using archaic techniques and hand built cameras has become of photography's most innovative landscape photographers. Working with giant truck-sized cameras that he actually crawls inside of while creating an image he produces one of a kind prints that manage to evoke not only the grand tradition of making landscape pictures but also of the essence of photography itself.
If you happen to be in New York, there are only a few days left to visit his exhibition at The Von Lintel Gallery. Go See the works in person as they demand to be seen.
This short video (real player format) of Chiara shows something of his technique.
February 25, 2008
John Davies is on the short list of four finalists for this year's Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2008. His large scale prints are best seen in person as they contain an incredible amount of detail. They're currently in a show of prize finalists in London. Of course any British readers of this blog have probably already seen the exhibition.
The Photographers’ Gallery
5 & 8 Great Newport Street
London WC2H 7HY
January 22, 2008
Unlike many photographers who visit to Pyongyang, North Korea only return with images of the Potemkin Village spectacles put on for tourists, Charlie Crane manages to capture the some of the stark emptiness and weirdness of the place. Crane's recent Welcome to Pyongyang is one of the best of the recent spate of North Korea books and has been widely hailed as one of the best photo books of 2007.
We have a Charlie Crane print available on 20x200 this week!
January 9, 2008
Next Thursday here in New York Nicholas Nixon will be opening a show titled Patients which is a must see... It features arresting images of terminally ill patients. Nixon turns the photographic cliché of shooting the dying it's head by making savagely beautiful almost sensual portraits that are at once sculptural and delicately, tragically human. Most of the images from the show aren't online yet, but I expect they will be soon.
Nixon became part of the modern art photography canon for his Brown Sisters project, but his portfolio is wide ranging. I wish galleries/phtographers would realize the value of putting up older projects online. Nixon's Photos from one Year for example is a no brainer for the web.
January 4, 2008
Long time readers of this blog know that I have something of an obsessive relationship with snow, a product of a largely snowless childhood in a hot corner of Texas. Simply put I love snow. It makes me a little bit crazy, so I guess I was predisposed to be a fan of Lisa Robinson’s Snowbound, photographs taken over several years of snows. Her landscapes remind us of the thrill of being the first to tread on new snow and the wonder of discovering a world made new. The understated images achieve power through subtlety which is a hard trick indeed given the challenges of shooting and of printing such images.
This work deserves to be seen in person as digital files viewed on screen don’t do the prints justice, so make the trek over to DUMBO and check out the show at the Klompching Gallery, it’s up through February 29th.
Tangential: And while we’re on the subject of snow and photography why not re-read Alec Soth’s snow-tagged posts. Of all the blogs that have come and gone over the years, his is the one I miss reading the most.
January 3, 2008
Stefan Ruiz is a San Francisco born photographer of Mexican-Italian descent. His wide ranging portfolios cover everything from African refugee camps to the sets of Mexican telenovelas, to Cuban Psychiatric hospitals. They give us much to chew on.
His book, simple titled People features portraits from many of these projects presented in sequence.
December 28, 2007
As a response to yesterday's post a friend asked if I had ever seen the work of Mikiko Hara. I haven't seen it in person, but I recently read a nice post on Hara on Japan-Photo.info, one of my favorite photography blogs. Hara's work is quiet and poetic, a rare quality in street photography. Works for me.
Update:Lesley Martin, who always writes incisively about photography has written a nice piece on Ms. Hara in the Winter 07 issue of Aperture. I've met Lesley a couple of times while sitting on Jen Bekman's Hey Hot Shot Panel, she also happens to be swell in general.
December 27, 2007
Hiromi Tsuchida always included on the short list of great Japanese photographers for his books Hiroshima and Counting Grains of Sand. He's recently released New Counting Grains of Sand, a continuation of the original project. It's a delightful book and worth tracking down (you can find it on PhotoEye .)
If you don't visit Tsuchida's website for the photography, go for the 20 year timelapse of his head... I have a weakness for time based projects...
And if you happen to be in London you still have a week to see some of Tsuchida's prints in person. They are part of a show titled The Eyes an Island: Japanese Photography 1945-2007.
December 10, 2007
In interviews Melanie Schiff often references music. "You hear a sad song and you feel like it's your experience, and I wanted to make art like that, to make photos like that." And many of the images in her current portfolio literally reference music. There are still lives with skulls and cassette tapes, another of light bouncing off cd cases, and a self portrait with a Neil Young album. It might sound silly when described but it all just works. The image selection is eclectic and personal and for me it does play like a very good album.
More of Schiff's work can be seen at the Kavi Gupta Gallery.
December 9, 2007
If you've ever found yourself in a taxi roaming a part of the world far from home, you'll appreciate Stefan Rhoner's essay from Morroco "The King Is Coming"...
November 21, 2007
This morning I was reminded of this exhibition of photographs of South Africa from 1998 by a friend who attended with me. Then this evening I got an email about an upcoming Goldblatt show. If you don't know his work you should check it out. The photographs are quiet but powerful, especially in person.
October 23, 2007
If I were in a band I'd want my album cover to be photographed by Michael Schmelling who is known for his atmospheric band portraits. He also has a terrific set of personal stories online. The image above from his series titled El Paso.
October 18, 2007
Today I came across the website of Dinu Li a Hong Kong born artist whose family emigrated to England when he was a young child. His work from China/Hong Kong is especially remarkable, and strike me as the images of someone both looking for himself and trying to picture a past that doesn't necessarily exist anymore.
I should note I found this work via Asian Photography Blog which is fast becoming one of my favorite daily reads.
October 12, 2007
After writing a post about Hendrik Kerstens' Dutch Masters-inspired photos, a friend recommended I check out the work of Pierre Gonnord who also makes portraits heavily influenced by Vermeer Rembrant and the like. This time the photographer is a Frenchman who lives in Madrid. My bet is that he uses simple lighting setups-one big diffused light or a big northern facing window-to achieve this look.
September 28, 2007
If you have to be born into a national artistic tradition you could do worse than being born Dutch. The love of natural light, the emphasis on quiet emotional portraits, and the long history of reverence of the everyday interiors gives the modern artist much to chew on whether working within the tradition or in opposition to it. I remember seeing Bert Teuissen’s Domestic Landscapes series for the first time and my first thought, was, "ahh he must be Dutch"- the national DNA is just so embedded in the work.
Another fascinating unmistakably Dutch artist is Hendrik Kerstens. For the last 12 years Kerstens has been almost exclusively photographing his daughter Paula creating photographs that consciously evoke Vermeer and other Dutch masters and yet are unabashedly modern. He’ll make a photograph of his daughter in an archaic hairstyle and in a classic pose, but then you notice her arms peeling from a sunburn. A hoodie will substitute for a 17th century bonnet, and so on... The play between the contemporary and traditional as well as the natural tensions between the photographer and his daughter give the series an unsettling frission and make it worth keeping on your radar.
September 13, 2007
Celine Clanet is a versatile photographer with a wide ranging set of portfolios covering editoral and photojournalistic work, but I'm most drawn to her personal portfolios. Check out her sets titled Maze and Une mélodie japonaise.
September 2, 2007
I've mentioned Dylan Chatain on this blog before... he recently updated his website... there are no new images, but the edit is somewhat different than before and it's fascinating to see how a new edit can dramatically change the mood of a particular project... The work on the site was culled from thousands of images taken during some very long road trips in which he did nothing but shoot film for days on end....and from what I've seen there are several projects in there just waiting to be curated...
August 29, 2007
Like many young photographers Miranda Lehman's portfolio is full of moody pictures of couples in bed, but the photograph on her site that hooked me is one above that evokes classic Pre-Raphaelite Ophelia imagery..
August 26, 2007
I'm almost always a fan of photography of interiors of places that look well lived in... the type of photography that people like Bert Teunissen or Seth Thompson do so well, so I was pleased to come across a team of Polish photographers who work in this subgenre. Their projects can be seen here or (in bigger sizes but with fewer images) here.
August 21, 2007
It is much too late to be looking at photography but these images by Asako Narahashi from her series half awake and half asleep in the water matched my mood perfectly. Indulge yourself.
More can images can be found on the artist's website.
August 14, 2007
Donald Weber is a Guggenheim fellow and a Lange-Taylor prize winning photographer based in Moscow. His portfolios whether they be from the Ukraine or Turkish Kurdistan or Chad are reminders of just how muscular and illuminating photography can be when in the hands of a fearless observer... Please stop wasting your time here and click over to his site right away.
August 11, 2007
The image above is from an Austrian artist named Lois Hechenblaikner who shoots the "iconography of mass tourism". This series is part of an exhibition of 21 Austrian artists titled '21 Positions' at the Austrian Cultural Forum here in NY (pdf catalog of the exhibit). It's a nice lineup of artists most of whom were new to me...
As an aside, and I know this is completely unfair, but when I heard about an exhibition of Austrian artists my head instantly went to that scene in the film Before Sunrise where the two characters meet a pair of non-professional actors on a bridge:
August 6, 2007
I always like hitting up my photo minded friends for the names of photographers to watch for.... today a friend forwarded the above image and recommended I check out Neil Rough's Tunisia Portfolio which she described as "mysterious and enigmatic"... It is indeed. "Who are these people," I kept asking myself. "People he met along the way? Guests at a party?" They seem to exist outside of normal time. This is the kind of portfolio I love.
I should also note that Mr. Rough does a great self portrait.
July 31, 2007
I first heard about Denis Dailleux from an Egyptian friend who said the photographer 'gets' Cairo like no other photographer she knows. Later I found a few of his images in the Aperture book Nazar: Photographs from the Arab World (more info on the Nazar show on the 2005 Fotofest site). Now I've finally found a few of his images online. While he has several portfolios of other subjects, Cairo seems to be where his heart lies.
July 14, 2007
I generally refuse to browse photography sites with hover based navigation because I find that convention so darned annoying, but I really like Katie Murray's photography so I suffered through her site... I especially like her series on Queens which I've always found to be New York's most impenetrable borough... A few more images can be found on Jen Bekman's site.
July 7, 2007
In response to my previous post a friend sent along a link for Rachel Hope Feierman's site with the promising beginnings of a project on kids hanging out in parking lots. As someone who grew up in a small town where this was the only form of entertainment on a Friday night, I instantly connected with these images. I also like the way the photographs have been laid out on the page. The juxtapositions lend a cinematic quality the images might not have had on there own. Somehow though the project as presented feels incomplete to me, I hope there is more to come.
Feierman is recent SVA MFA graduate from an impressive class.
June 29, 2007
I received an email the other day about a new exhibition from South African photographer Pieter Hugo and, as usual, it's provocative and inspiring work. Pieter is on my very short list of contemporary photographers whose work brings me back over and over again for repeated viewings. The new project is called Messina/Musina and was taken in an around a colonial town on the northern border of South Africa. The gallery site also points to an interview with Hugo about the project that will be included in a forthcoming book.
Update: Someone just emailed that Amy Stein wrote an almost identical entry to this one complete with the same title yesterday. Except that she one ups this post by noting she has one of Pieter's prints hanging in her house. So don't listen to me, listen to Amy who is doing great work of her own and delve into Pieter's portfolios!
June 26, 2007
Laura Letinsky has gained art world fame for her evocative still lives, but of her projects Venus Inferred is still probably my favorite. She talks about these projects and others in this 2004 interview with mouth magazine.
June 13, 2007
Date: Thu, 14 Jun 2007 09:04:52 +0800
Subject: From the oil painting studio
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June 7, 2007
About a month ago I pointed to a set of photographs from Eastern Europe by my friend and gallerist Nelson Hancock. Now Nelson has put up a new set of images, this time for an upcoming exhibition called Kamchatka, Photographs from Russia's Far East. As he notes, "Most people in the US have only heard of Kamchaka because it was an important territory in the old board game Risk..." His portraits from the Kamchatka River valley both bridge the distance and add to the mystery of this far away place.
The show opens June 14.
June 6, 2007
I'm a fan of the portfolios of Yale MFA student Kathryn Almanas... She mastering the hard trick of mixing images rooted in reality with imaginary tableauxs to create projects with emotional heft...
May 28, 2007
I was going to blog these all separately but it would take forever, so here are a few more portfolios I saw at Review Santa Fe that caught my eye:
I've mentioned Birthe Piontek on this blog before. Meeting her in person and discovering her to be modest, sensitive and funny made me like the work all the more.
Paula McCartney showed a portfolio of fake birds in nature. Not sure if that description sounds appealing, but I assure you the prints had a touch of magic to them. She also handcrafts jewel-like artist's books.
I noted the work of Ferit Kuyas before heading out to Santa Fe and his work did not disappoint. While his website is still down it's worth checking back in to look for his project on Chongqing. One of the things that came out of the review was a name change for the project. The working title was Double Happiness which was a deeply personal choice (his wife is from Chongqing), but during the course of one of the reviews he realized a more apt title would be City of Ambition riffing on Stieglitz... I like the new title and love the images from the project.
Daniel Traub was also showing work from China. His project called The City's Edge an especially relevant in a time where Chinese cities are growing at an almost unfathomable pace. Daniel lives in Shanghai and was just selected to be in Jen Bekman's spring Hot Shots show (full disclosure I was on this Hot Shot's Reviewer Panel)
Rachel Herman was another photographer with really beautiful prints. The web doesn't do them justice.
Sarah Wilson is a photographer for Texas Monthly which is known for it's deeply researched stories and sharp photography. Her photographic essay on the murder of James Byrd in Jasper Texas reveals the ripples and scars left by the events of that night nine years ago.
Finally I hope you visit the work of Kay Lynn Deveney who presented a project called The Day to Day Life of Albert Hastings, a Welshman she she met while in graduate school. For each of her photographs she had Mr. Hastings write a caption and the images were presented together with his text. A book of their collaboration will be available soon from Princeton Architectural Press.
May 24, 2007
One of the nice things about a portfolio review is that you get to look at a broad range of work outside of your own specific interests. I rarely seek out industrial or architectural photography, but at the review I got a chance to look at several excellent portfolios in this genre including the work of New York based Israeli photographer Shuli Hallak. She makes big powerful prints of the world's largest cargo ships and factories and so on... Ms. Hallak was also a pick in PDN's 30 emerging photographers for 2007. The portfolio worth checking out even if this isn't normally your kind of thing.
May 22, 2007
I'm back in New York and have nothing but good things to say about Review Santa Fe...
For the next few days I'll highlight work from photographers I met at the review...
First up, Karolina Karlic whose portfolio of images from Detroit was notable not only for the loving handling of her subject matter but also for her luscious prints. Karolina now lives in Minneapolis home to a strong community of smart young photographers.
May 14, 2007
The other day I mentioned a photographer named Li Yu in passing and said his portfolio on the Beijing Fotofest site suffered from lack of explanation. Thomas Wain of Stoke-on-Kent, England who saw one of the photos on Tim Atherton's site wrote me asking if I knew of a web page that had those explanations (the images are recreations of scenes from local newspaper crime blotters)... indeed I do.
The portfolio is called 13 Months in the Year of the Dog and contains English translations. In describing the work Li Yu writes:
"A boy was riding a bicycle with a girl on the backseat in the street. Many passers-by accused them of violating the traffic rules, which forbade bikers to have anyone on the backseat. Instead of following their advice, the boy rode faster. All of a sudden, the girl shrieked in alarm. Her skirt was tangled up into the wheel and completely torn up. Soon the boy fell onto the ground with the bicycle while the girl stood aside, blushing and only appearing in her underwear. This was a news story I read in high school and it still remains vivid in my memory. The extremely critical writing of the reporter who wrote the story severely condemned certain uncivilized phenomena in the society and met the needs of his readers.
The year of 2006 was the year of the dog according to the Chinese lunar calendar. It consisted of 13 months and four Valentine's Days, totaling 385 days. In the same year, Liu Bo and I launched an art project entitled "13 Months in the Year of the Dog." We picked out two local news stories from newspapers in Wuhan, restaged the reported scenes, and shot large photographs of them. During this process, we brought our own imaginations and other everyday experiences such as the secondhand experiences we had obtained from films, TV and news photos into this project.
Our selection of the news stories was inspired by the early-mentioned news report. But nowadays, the magic power and literary value of news has far exceeded our anticipation and even films: deceit, murder, eroticism and violence…so striking and unimaginable. How can one decide whether these stories have truly happened or not simply relying on written words? Maybe it's not important, at least they have truly existed in the papers. But as for the readers, these stories are as eye-catching as the blushing girl in her torn-up skirt. That's the so-called media truth. The life of today is the history of tomorrow. Someone says that history is like a girl ready to be dressed up by anyone. Now, let's put the girl with the torn-up skirt back into another beautiful outfit."
May 10, 2007
I love this picture by Luo Dan of a performer waiting to go on stage... It was included in the photographer's portfolio for Fotofest Beijing. Luo Dan has a nice touch, many of his images are infused with quiet lyricism and hints of narrative that draw the viewer right into the work... The fotofest portfolio was a short selection of images from his project National Highway 318. (National Highway 318 is longest east-west highway in China stretching 3314 miles from Shanghai to Tibet ...) Many more images from the project can be found on Luo Dan's personal website. This is a link to the actual images.
The fotofestbeijing site is worth checking out on it's own for it's varied portfolios by Chinese photographers of all stripes. Some suffer from lack of explanation, for example I think it helps to know that Li Yu is recreating stories found in local crime blotters... but even without text there is plenty of food for thought here...
May 6, 2007
One of the many things I love about early photographs of seemingly empty street scenes is the slight blur that comes from the people who were passing by during the long exposures. Michael Wesely does modern versions of those long exposures taking the technique to the extreme sometimes leaving the shutters on his custom constructed cameras open for months or even years at a time. In the longest exposures people vanish completely, but the sun and moon leave streaks in the sky...
The image above was taken over two years during the reconstruction of Potsdamer Platz... (via Pruned)
related: PBS interview
May 5, 2007
I had a dream last night in which I looked out the window and kept seeing Peter Garfield's mobile homes flying through the air... Luckily a detailed Peter Garfield website exists with many of his flying house pictures as well as lots of behind the scenes info to fill my waking hours...
vaguely related: Dreams (an mp3)
May 3, 2007
Talking about his project Be Yourself Tonight in which he rephotographs images from his family photoalbum Norwegian photographer Dag Nordbrenden says, "[this project] very much deals with the sadness of returning home... there is the experience of returning home to something that appears to be exactly as it always has been, but at the same time confirms that things have changed, since you have changed. The family photo album is in a way a celebration of the family - a celebration of the family that used to be. It is both something very private, but still something that one is eager to show in social gatherings to resent the official image of the family. But still photographs of holidays and celebrations will never guarantee that family members actually know each other."
(via Foam #7)
May 1, 2007
My gallerist Nelson Hancock is a fine photographer in his own right (and also, for good measure, a trained anthropologist). He's known for his sumptuous large format landscapes, but I also love his medium format portrait work... He just updated his gallery website and on it has posted a set of portraits taken around the eastern fringes of Europe in the early 90's. They are wonderful.
April 26, 2007
One of the great evocative travel experiences of my life happened in a dingy windowless room in a Rajastani guesthouse. I was bed-ridden with both dysentery and giardia and had not been outside in two or three days. I wanted to change rooms but was literally too weak to move. There were a tiny pinholes in the wall letting in shafts of light and a dim 5 watt bulb overhead which only worked a few hours a day. Hours were spent watching the ceiling fan circle ever slowly around and around and killing flies... so many flies. The nights were absolute black which was actually a relief as even the flies would stop buzzing.
One morning (at least I think it was morning as time had little meaning in there), when I awoke I noticed a dim but unmistakable image projected on the opposing wall... actually several images. There was the inverted village and the red hills, a tree with a swing, the train... dusty blue skies and clouds... The pinholes in the wall were turning the room into a natural camera obscura... They had been there all along but I had been too sick to notice. It is hard to express what comfort those images gave me and I think they were the boost I needed to get well enough to get out of there. I've never seen the camera obscura phenomena in any room since, although I've often dreamed turning a room of our house into one for a while.
I was thinking of those days in Rajasthan today which led me to revisit the work of Abelardo Morell the great creator of roomsized camera obscuras... His work is a reminder all rooms have secret lives as silent witnesses not only of the comings and goings inside but of the world beyond... and this is as true in the great rooms of New York City as it is in some miserable flyblown guesthouse on the Udaipur to Jodhpur railway line.
April 6, 2007
Perhaps it's the vestigial art historian in me, but I love still lives with fruit. I like them precisely because they are so mundane. Artists have been attempting them for something like 3000 years and so often they fail which is why a good one jumps off the wall.
'Portraits of fruit' as I refer to them were one of the first impulses of photographers. Daguerre himself took many. For the next hundred years most photographic still lives were primarily lush 'our bounty overfloweth' type images taken by painter/photographers like Roger Fenton (the image at the beginning of this post is one of his from 1860) or vanitas of decay (again usually taken by photographers schooled as painters).... After almost 100 years of this the surrealists finally punched life back into the form starting in the late 20's.
(In my fantasy art collection I would own this little Man Ray peach from 1931)
Anyway this is all a long winded way of saying making an interesting still life is a tough artistic challenge so when I see one I like, I immediately pay attention. Eva-Fiore Kovacovsky has a series of still lives taken in her freezer. She says the images "to show the condition things are in when they are photographed," but I read them as vanitas. She lives in Holland—so definitely vanitas whether she knows it or not. For me they = instant happy.
March 29, 2007
I have seen some of Rinko Kawauchi's images around the web but had never explored her work until today when I got a chance to check out two of her books, Cui Cui ("a family album for 13 years") and Aila on births and deaths. Both are beautiful intelligent explorations of sharply focused themes. While many individual images are stunners (the shocking birth portrait for example) the books make it clear these images were meant to be seen together and viewing them any other way (on the web for instance) is like taking a single line from a long poem. Many have deemed Aila an instant classic and rightfully so. A few more images can found here and here.
March 27, 2007
I love straightforward beauty of so many of Vancouver based Birthe Piontek's photographs. Her project Sub Rosa on teenagers at the cusp of adulthood was selected as a "Juror's Choice" for this years Project Santa Fe (now known as Center) Competition by New York Times Magazine photo editor Kira Pollack.
March 15, 2007
Jennifer Trausch has been traveling around the country with the legendary 20x24 Polaroid camera shooting black and white portraits of people she finds along the way... Her brand spankin' new website features a few shots from this ongoing project as well as many images from Skateland which was shown last year. My interview with Jen is up Andrew Long's Daily F'log which is highlighting polaroid photography this week. (Polaroid Week has already produced many fun articles including a Michael David Murphy's interview with Mike Slack, check it out.). If you've ever seen the 20x24 in person it's a thing of beauty and being so in awe of the camera itself most of my questions were about process...
March 11, 2007
Working in the formal language of late 19th century and early 20th century photographers such as George Barnard and Paul Strand, New York born MacArthur Fellow Fazal Sheikh tells stories people forgotten by the rest of the world, people often misrepresented by popular media. Several of his books are now available in abbreviated online editions. I recommend starting with "The Victor Weeps". (As a side note the book is available for only $17 on Amazon.)
February 28, 2007
February 27, 2007
The new Jeff Wall show at MOMA has managed to stir the soup pitting those who admire Wall against his detractors. Here's a roundup of show reviews and blog posts (most from the last couple of days).
The New Yorker show review.
The Tate mounted Wall retrospective last year. The Tate site includes many images... good to check out for a bit of perspective.
An article on the Vancouver art scene and Wall's place in it.
Of course there is a wikipedia entry on Wall.
The Landscapist says he likes some of Wall's work but is annoyed by the underlying premise of the work...
Paul Butzi on Wall and 'nowhereness'.
Jon Anderson muses on Wall's constructed images as compared to found images
In Wall's work Dan Ng sees some redemption for creative people in advertising.
Doug Pummer is of two minds on the work...
As for me, I respect Wall. His recent images almost never hit me in the gut as did his earlier ones (sometimes I see the seams of the photoshop trickery which is a turnoff), but he's an important artist with something to say and I pay attention when he makes art... I appreciate the pure richness of his large lightboxes and enjoy decoding his art historical allusions. Much of the criticism of Wall comes from other photographers who find his work somehow threatening. I believe the opposite is true, and that his work has enlarged the range and scope of what people accept as art photography. I'm excited to see the show.
February 24, 2007
Weng Fen is an artist from Hainan Island in China. Many of his projects—'Bird's Eye View', 'On the Wall', 'Staring at the Lake' and so on—feature figures, usually schoolkids, with their backs to the camera staring out over the landscape. To my eye they recall Casper David Friedrich's The Wanderer. It's compelling stuff especially when viewed in multiple. I'd love to see a exhibition of his one day. Anyone know if he's ever been shown in New York?
Weng Fen's personal website (with installation photos)
found via Moca Taipei
Update: Speaking of Freidrich, the Sunday Times today has a nice article on Justine Kurland who admired Friedrich so much that she named her son Casper. Her monumental landscapes with their tiny figures owe something to Friedrich but more to 17th and 18th century European painters who used their tiny naked figures to suggest something of the fecundity of unspoiled nature. I am most compelled by her work that keeps that distance using the smallness of the figures to emphasize the vast scale of the land. When she gets closer to her subjects and they are photographed from a few feet away all the uniqueness of the work falls away and they just become pretty nudes... well at least to my eyes. You can see examples of both types of kurland's images in her current show which runs through April.
February 12, 2007
I'm always surprised when my fellow photographers don't know the work of Romualdo Garcia. After Manuel Alvarez Bravo and Agustin Casasola he's one of the icons of early Mexican photography. Garcia was based in Guanajuato where he ran a busy portrait studio for almost 60 years. Unlike most studio photographers who toil in obscurity his mastery was recognized in his own lifetime and he won the bronze medal at the 1889 World Exhibition in Paris. Despite his fame, he never travelled outside the city of his birth, always giving the excuse that there were too many clients waiting, too many portraits to take.
There are several Spanish language books on Garcia. The best is probably Romualdo Garcia, un fotagrafo, una ciudad, una epoca.
February 6, 2007
I discovered Dorthe Alstrup's photography via her entry in Jen Bekman's Hey Hot Shot competition more than a year ago. Her body of work is full of evocative imagery suggestive of fairy tales or short stories. Look at this one for example... or this one or this one... oh hell, they're all great, just go browse yourself. I hope someone gives her a show here in New York soon. I'd love to see these as prints.
February 5, 2007
For years I've tried to find a cheap copy of Ugo Mulas' The New York Art Scene to no avail. I saw the book for the first time 15 years ago at house of one of my friend's parents. I didn't really get far through it as I was grabbed by the cover which seemed almost criminally perfect. It's an image of two New York City cops watching over a gathering at Warhol's Factory. Can an image capture a cultural moment? That one seemed to. A few minutes into my book browsing, I had to leave never to return.
Anyway today I discovered a Mulas web site maintained by a foundation that bears his name (he died in 1973). The site is surprisingly rich complete with long texts and a portrait archive of 60's art world figures like Giacometti, Duchamp, Jasper Johns, and so on.
The book keeps going up in price. When I first started looking for a copy you could find a first edition for $100 which seemed outragous to my 25 year old mind. In recent auctions good quality copies have been going for 3 to 20 times that. Grrr.
January 27, 2007
A friend of mentioned I might like the photography of Linn Schröder and indeed I do.
Making Room did an interview with her a while back and features a gallery of her series "Sind Sie ein echter Frosch". The image above is from a series titled A Play (sometimes translated "A Piece"). One or two more shots from this series can be found on a page called The Art of Being German which is chock full of interesting photography.
January 25, 2007
If you have ever tried to make photographs in the New York City subway system, you know what a difficult task it is. The lighting is terrible. People are wary. It's hard to get a clear shot because of the crowds. Etcetera. And yet Travis Ruse has managed to take countless beautiful candid shots in the subway, day after day, year after year.
Tonight a show of his subway photos will open at 6:30 at Redux Gallery (116 E. 16th St. 12th Flr). I happened to see several freshly printed images over at Gabe Greenberg's studio and they look spectacular, so much more alive than any image on a screen could ever be, can't wait to see them on the wall. The show runs through March 9th.
Related: Bruce Davidson's Subway
January 18, 2007
If you've ever wandered the streets of Tokyo you've no doubt wondered what was going through the minds of all those Japanese salarymen in their identical suits... Click through to the world of Yamasaki, a salaryman with a camera to find out...
January 12, 2007
The online magazine Polar Inertia is featuring a set of images of wonderful Soviet era bus stops. Good stuff. You used to find similar bus stops (and bus stations) in rural china featuring exuberant off kilter designs. Sadly most have been modernized out of existence.
January 7, 2007
Mark Powell is a photographer who never fails to delight, intrigue, and challenge his audience (he also happens to be a great guy). His book of photos from Mexico City and Detroit titled V.I.P just came out and is reviewed by Michael David Murphy who also provides a link to purchase the book. Note that right now the only place to buy the book is via a Mexican online bookstore so you need to be able to read Spanish to order (this said the store is reliable). I'll update with links to American stores when the book becomes available here.
Update: Mark just put up a mini book site with more info.
December 28, 2006
I've been a fan of Dylan Chatain's photography since I saw a few of his prints at the Jen Bekman Gallery last year... He's recently posted more work online from project The American Imagination. When I saw his prints lat year and when I checked his work online, the phrase that kept floating into my head was quietly evocative... but instead of reading a description, why not just look at the pictures...
December 20, 2006
Mexican crime photographer Enrique Metinides' work often leaves viewers unsettled. He is compared to Weegee because of the macabre subject matter and yet Metinides work strikes a darker chord. We look at Weegee's dead mobsters and think they got what they deserved, but when Metinides shoots a kid floating on bottom of a pool the tragedy is palpable...this could be someone you know. Reviewers always compare Metinides photos to film stills maybe because he shoots wide tableaus including bystanders—passersby frozen in a moment of contemplation—this gives the images a larger than life reality that competes with the unreality of the subject matter and distinguishing the images from common tightly composed flash-bulbed newspaper pulp (as an aside it's an effect many art photographers especially those from the Yale school of photographic thought keep trying to replicate). Many of the pictures are hard to look at and yet you are drawn to them. This is not exactly rubbernecking, it's a more primal pull. These are views of death that carry the shade of hard reality. We viewers become bystanders ourselves.
532 West 20th Street
related: another good article on Metinides
Other shows I want to check out this weekend:
December 11, 2006
Jonathan Moller spent ten years in Guatemala photographing rural Mayan communities at war with the government. The stories he tells are tragic, heartbreaking, and beautiful. A monograph of this body of work is titled Our Culture is Our Resistance. (Note the images on Moller's personal website are presented with lots of compression. Slightly better quality images are viewable, although without context, here.)
December 2, 2006
One of the most compelling recent trends in blogging has been the artist interview. This Simon Norfolk interview on his war photography (and much more) by blogger-extrordinaire Geoff Manaugh is a prime example.
November 27, 2006
The pictures that have made Gregory Crewdson famous, his large scale tableaus, don't do much for me. I admire their artistry and recognize why they have created such a stir in the art world, but having worked on movie sets, they look familiar, and I always wonder, why not just make a movie?. Add star models and that feeling/question is heightened. For me the big cinematic images lack the kind of emotion and truth I look for in photography...
...but the mark of a great artist is someone who is willing to take risks and exhibit work not normally associated with his signature style and Crewdson has done this in a small and lovely show titled simply Fireflies now showing uptown at Skarstedt Fine Art. According to the show notes the pictures were taken over two months of nights outside a cabin in Becket, Massachusetts in 1996.
Crewdson writes about the night of the show opening in this article.
Because these images are so subtle and dark seeing them on web doesn't don't do them justice. If you aren't near NY, you might be able to find a copy of the current issue of Blind Spot magazine which features work from the show on the cover and has semi-decent reproductions. A book with all 62 images is also forthcoming.
I don't know why these images took 10 years to come out, but I'm glad they did. Each is like a small poem infused with sweet smell of summer evening. Seeing them on the wall is something special.
related: nice review in the Village Voice
November 23, 2006
I just discovered this video of photographer Ed Burtynsky discussing his 'manufactured landscapes' as part of last years TEDTalks conference. If you haven't discovered it yet, TEDTalks has a fantastic video archive of lectures of world class artists and innovators. You can also grab these via their blog or itunes (search for TedTalks in the store). The itunes versions are higher quality.
November 17, 2006
One small goal of mine (which will now never be reached) was to make portraits with one of the famous 20x24 polaroid cameras. A few months ago I was hanging out in a print studio with Jenn Trausch, a 20x24 camera operator (and a photographer in her own right), when she mentioned that Polaroid would stop making 20x24 film effectively retiring the camera forever. But before the camera was to be mothballed, she convinced Polaroid to let her go on one last photographic adventure. Images of Jenn (and the camera) in action out on the road can be found here and here.
November 13, 2006
One of my favorite recent photography discoveries is of the work of Seth Thompson who happens to be represented by my gallery. Seth's work includes scores lush interiors of homes in rural Mexico and Cuba shot with medium format cameras. The work recalls Eliot Porter's Mexican Churches series which came out of an extended trip to Mexico in 1956. Seth recently added many images to his website which he groups under the project name Poco Luz. Poco Luz which means 'little light' (almost all his images are long exposures shot in dim natural light). Perhaps it's something about those long thirty second to several minute exposures that saturate the silver because his images are drenched in almost unbearably beautiful color. The bedrooms, kitchens, churches in these pictures leave me with a visceral sense of lives lived simply, but well and with passion. If you like what you see on the web, you'll be floored by his big, finely made prints which you can view by appointment at the Nelson Hancock Gallery.
November 2, 2006
Livia Corona produces a wide range of work from commercial illustrative images to art photography. If you're someone who grew up going to bullfights in Mexico you'll understand the appeal of her Enanitos Toreros series... to me it feels distinctly Mexican...
October 27, 2006
This evening I heard photographer Holly Lynton speak about her current show Solid Ground. We happen to work with the same printer (Ben Diep at ColorSpace Imaging on 20th Street) so I had seen some of her images a few months ago around the print studio before I knew anything about the show. They are luminous prints, each one exotic and yet familiar. Taken together they put the viewer in a distinctly feminine and mysterious dreamworld full of blossoming life but also full of hidden dangers and even death. Looking at the images and having heard they had all been taken in the artist’s backyard, I formulated what I thought was a strong theory about the motivation behind the work. I was certain that the artist was trying to show us a child’s perspective where the back yard is indeed the entire world. The low angles, tight crops, short focus and subject matter all seemed to confirm my theory.
For me the work recalled the deep forest I remember behind an apartment that was our home for about a year in the 70’s. I was 5 then and would go exploring with my 3 year old brother. Each journey like all good adventures was fraught with giddy joy and perceived danger. Would there be trees to climb, wild blackberries, or kidnappers and snakes? The trips often ended with us running full tilt, simultaneously laughing and yelling at the top of our lungs, back home.
A few years ago I returned looking for the forest and was puzzled to find only a grouping of tightly bunched thin trees. Convinced the forest must have been leveled I looked back at old photographs to find the scene virtually unchanged, a small stand of trees behind a parking lot ... and yet even with irrefutable proof, it is hard to resolve the memory of the deep dark forest dimly illuminated by occasional shafts of light.... endless.
All this is a roundabout way of saying I had convinced myself I knew what the artist had intended... and of course I was totally wrong. In her talk this evening she said the series had been inspired by a trip to Tanzania shortly after September 11th. In Africa she found death and beauty lurking all around in a real and visceral way. The unresolved feelings the trip inspired, as well as returning during a time when imagined boogiemen were being touted daily led her into her backyard searching for the kind of beauty and danger she experienced in Africa... and to this project...
And yet like that stand of trees, even knowing the truth, it is hard to resolve my original conception of the project. Both narratives remain in my head and both seem equally true.
October 25, 2006
Rineke Dijkstra is photographer whose work always makes me stop in my tracks. I was reminded to look up her work from this post on MAO. Her portraits of bullfighters who have just left the ring are new to me. I don't think this show ever made it to New York.
also: her foreign legion series
October 16, 2006
I've only spent a very short time in Finland, but I found the place and it's people to have that rare quality of simutaneous seriousness and silliness. Pekka Turunen's photography catches a bit of that. The online galleries available don't show his work well (there are some bad scans, odd edits), but some of his images can be seen here and here.
I was reminded of Turunen by this post on fellow Finn, Tiina Itkonen today.
Related: Tiina Itkonen
September 22, 2006
The Michael Stevenson Gallery has posted a number of galleries of Pieter Hugo's work. I hung out with Pieter a few months ago here in New York. He perfectly embodies the image of the brash hard drinking photographer. In conversation he is often dismissive of the art world and indeed of photography itself, but his work speaks for itself. Powerful stuff.
I look forward to his upcoming book.
Related Post: Hyena Men
September 19, 2006
Krisanne Johnson tells powerful stories with her pictures.
September 2, 2006
Brian Lesterberg's photographs from North Dakota strike me as unmistakably and viscerally American. I love the clarity and sensitivity of his vision.
August 18, 2006
I've only been through Wisconsin twice (and then on road trips), but Christian Patterson photographs it just as I remember it: here's part of his continuing On Wisconsin series. His show Sound Affects shot in Memphis opens here in NY on October 25 at Yancey Richardson.
August 12, 2006
Don't miss Baldomero Fernandez' lush set of photographs titled "Santiago De Cuba" taken on his first visit back to his native Cuba.
August 9, 2006
July 9, 2006
One of the best photojournalists out there, Stephanie Sinclair, has photo essay on Afghani child brides in this week's New York Times magazine. The writing accompanying the article is a bit annoying, but the pictures are, as always, extraordinary.
Her personal website was recently updated to include a number of new stories.
July 2, 2006
Sigh still I don't have the underlying problems fixed on this blog yet, so I've been spending my nightly blog time working on getting the issues fixed as opposed to writing... In the meantime here are a few photographers portfolios pointed to me by friends...all well worth the clicks...
Paul D'Amato - via Daniella.
June 19, 2006
In searching for more work from photographer Tina Iltkonen (listed below), I ran across the work of fellow Finn Ville Lenkkeri which is also worth checking out. Images on Fotofinlandia and 30 by TaiK: the Helsinki School.
June 12, 2006
June 9, 2006
I've noticed the photography of Aaron Ruell before but I never never noted the photgrapher's name. Today I discovered his website.
May 11, 2006
I recently asked a friend of mine who is a fairly serious photography collector about artists who have caught his eye recently. "Rut Blees Luxemburg," he answered, and showed me a few prints of her images from Dakar. I found them intriguing. You won't find one site with a good catalog of her photographs, but a google image search will find many of the better known images.
May 3, 2006
I love the camera in this image from Afghanistan by photojournalist Sergey Maximishin. More images from Afghanistan from Mr. Maximishin can be found on the stories section of his website. Be sure to check out his recent North Korea set.
April 25, 2006
I noticed an image by Brian Ulrich in a magazine some time ago. Tonight I finally tracked down his website. Of his many projects, the one titled Copia really gets me.
Via Mr. Ulrich's site I discovered Greg Stimac's work, The project titled 'Recoiled Portraits' is the vision of Americans held by most Europeans I meet these days. In polyglot Brooklyn it has the shock of the foreign and yet for me all the images are familiar. These are the Americans of my teenage years in East Texas.
April 15, 2006
Mr. Apagya is photostudio photographer based in Accra in Ghana. He takes studio portraits in front of hand painted backdrops. I find the text in the accompanying article a both mildly patronizing and silly (and obnoxiously all in lower case), but ignore the text, enjoy the images. More images here and here.
Photostudio portraits from other places can be found in the flickr photostudio group. BTW if anyone who loves photostudio portraits should watch the Burden of Dreams, a Werner Herzog documentary about his epic Fitzcarraldo and wait until the very end when you can see a the entire process by which a local Amazonian photographer makes his beautiful black and white prints. I would kill to have some of those... almost worth a trip to the middle of the jungle. The documentary is running on some of the independent film channels this month...
April 11, 2006
April 6, 2006
I discovered the photography of Andrew Moore a few days ago and keep going back to his site for more. His Russia portfolio is magnificent, a visual feast.
April 3, 2006
A few years ago I caught wind of an exhibition by photographer Yto Barrada documenting life in Tangier. As Tangier is on my "I want to experience before I die" list it piqued my interest and I wasn't disappointed. The image above was from that previous show. The new exhibition is titled A Life Full of Holes and it should be interesting. I'm sad I'll be out of town.
Friday April 7th, 2006
6:00 to 8:00 PM
Cocktail Reception for the Artist
at The Kitchen, 512 West 19th Street
April 2, 2006
I stumbled upon the work of Michal Chelbin today. Her photography is one part Balthus, one part Arbus, made stranger by being set in the Russian hinterlands. The images are creepy, beautiful, and foreign. The site suffers from an awful flash interface, but if you can get past it, there are some compelling images to be had.
March 30, 2006
One day if you are lucky, you will travel across the the Taklamakan desert of Xinjiang. And on the journey you will stop in the small oasis towns along the way. And if you do find yourself in this situation, if you are the type of person to find yourself in the middle of the Taklamakan, inevitably you will walk to the outskirts of those villages where the irrigation ends and the desert encroaches, it is here you will find holy sites marked with prayer flags, a practice perhaps borrowed from Tibetans or perhaps inherited from distant Sythian ancestors. Lisa Ross has visited these places and stood there and photographed them. Her fantastic new show is called Traces of Devotion. It opens tomorrow and if you are in Dumbo you should check it out.
March 22, 2006
I've tinkered with making Polaroid panoramas, but I've never done it as well as Paul Schiek.
More of Mr. Schiek's elliptically delicious work can be seen at the Stephen Wirtz gallery site.
March 22, 2006
Check out Chilean Photographer Marcelo Montecino's incredible collection of vintage latin American photographs.
March 6, 2006
Ever wonder what it feels like to hang out in Hanoi? Check out Thinh Le's Hanoi Panoramas.
February 2, 2006
Landscapes generally don't have much impact on me, but Sze Tsung Leong's work is something special.
January 29, 2006
Tonight I attended an opening for Seth Thompson at my friend Nelson's gallery in Dumbo. Mr. Thompson's show is titled "Interiorismo Popular" and features images of Mexican homes and churches taken with a 6x7 camera and natural light. Beautiful work. This image of a church was one of my favorites as it reminds me very much of the church in which Jenn and I were married. Don't judge the image by the website jpeg which is washed out. In person these photographs are spectacular. The show will be up until March so I recommend heading over to Dumbo to check it out.
update: Another Seth Thompson link. (annoyingly also with washed out jpegs!). Mr. Thompson your work is fantastic make some better scans!
January 28, 2006
Want to see photography that will knock your socks off? Check out South African photographer Pieter Hugo's series The Hyena People of Nigeria.
January 23, 2006
A few months ago I posted a link to some of Sedou Keita's (the great Malian photo studio photographer) work. Last weekend the New York Times ran a long story on Mr. Keita and the convoluted tale of how his photographs went from being small images meant to be mailed to rural families in Africa to wall sized images sold in the Gagosian Gallery.
December 14, 2005
My friend Gabe got me all jazzed about seeing the new Edward Burtynsk show at the Brooklyn Museum. I've been a Burtynsky fan ever since I saw his shipbreakers show a few years ago. My plan is to make it out there this week. Do any of my photo geek friends care to join?
December 8, 2005
Striking images from a local photostudio in Mali by Seydou Keita.
October 28, 2005
I've been a big Tomoko Sawada's amazing self portraits ever since I saw a show of hers in Osaka in 1999. Tonight I happened upon her website. Check it out.
April 25, 2005
Go check out Dylan Chatain's site. Beautiful and evocative photography over there.
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Totally unrelated but also cool is unphotographable.
April 9, 2005
If you feel you feel the need for some concentrated visual eye candy, head over to Dumbo and check out a show of John Hinde's work at Wessel + O'Connor Fine Art at 111 Front Street. Hinde was apparently a postcard photographer for English Holiday resort camps. His deep focus minutely detailed images are gorgeous and weird and worth seeing blown up. The phrase that came to mind while viewing was "Hieronymus Bosch, but jolly and English, and at camp." A book of his work is available on Amazon, it's called Our True Intent Is All For Your Delight (a large sign at one of the resorts).