Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Oliver Chanarin & Adam Broomberg Interview

There's a really interesting interview with Oliver Chanarin & Adam Broomberg in the new issue of Seesaw Magazine. For anyone who is not familiar with their work, this would be a great place to start.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Maury Gortemiller's The Natural World

I received an e-mail today from photographer Maury Gortemiller, currently working towards his MFA at the University of Georgia. I've posted work from his series The Natural World, although his other projects warrant investigation as well. Gortemiller's work initially reminded me of the specific sensibility of photographers like Brian Ulrich & Tim Davis.

From Top To Bottom:

Stove, 2007

First, We Do Research, 2007

Wreath, 2006

Restaurant, 2006

All Images © Maury Gortemiller

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

3030: New Photography In China

I received an e-mail from Andy over at Flak Photo today informing me of 3030: New Photography In China, a jointly sponsored feature that will run of the website in the coming weeks. In the description of the project posted to the website, it states that:

These images represent a wide spectrum of photographic practice that address new questions about identity and belonging in China as well as the practice of art-making itself. From fine art photography and photojournalism to guerilla image-making on blogs and personal websites, the project reflects the influence of tradition and politics as well as foreign media channels, growing consumerism and the development of a home-grown pop culture combining television, music, advertising and fashion.

Diversionist, 2006
Image &#169 Cao Fei

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Callahan & Metzker Evoked

I found this photograph in a thrift store in Philadelphia some time ago and was immediately struck by how reminiscent it was of the early Harry Callahan and Ray Metzker photographs. The stark contrast in tones, the exaggerated use of scale and the selective rendering of visible information are all at play in this photograph; all of which were prevalent qualities of the street photography of the 40's and 50's. For a moment I was convinced it was a Metzker photograph. After all, he does live in Philadelphia.

Unknown Photographer

Photographic Typologies: Jonathan Olley

Stan over at Reciprocity Failure e-mailed me to share the work of Jonathan Olley, a British photographer who's series Castles Of The North examines the structures used by the British government to maintain control over the people of Northern Ireland. Unlike other contemporary views examining power hierarchies in society (see Richard Ross' project Architecture Of Authority), Olley's photographs elicit a more inviting and less sterile quality.

All Images © Jonathan Olley

Friday, January 11, 2008

An Image A Week: Darin Mickey

Darin Mickey's project Stuff I Gotta Remember Not To Forget is a portrait of his father Ken, a man who sells converted storage space in abandoned mines and caves in Kansas. The body of work is as much an exploration of Midwestern banality and everyday life as it is an intimate portrayal of a business and family man. Mickey's photographs (in the great J & L tradition) are spontaneous but honest representations that expose the smallest wonders and affinities found in commonplace locations.

J & L Books recently released Stuff I Gotta Remember Not To Forget, which can be purchased here. In addition, they are also offering a set of limited edition prints which includes three 8" x 10" c-prints and a signed copy of the book.

Washing Dishes, Amarillo, Texas

Image © Darin Mickey

Brian Lesteberg's Places Of Worship

I was first introduced to Brian Lesteberg's work through his series Raised To Hunt, which explores the artist's intimate relationship with his hunting heritage in North Dakota. His series Places Of Worship, commissioned by the New York Times Magazine for a feature essay called “The Way We Live Now,” contains the same stillness and isolation as many of the photographs from Raised To Hunt. Unlike his photographs of hunting culture which adopt a decidedly American aesthetic, the images in Places Of Worship address a more diverse set of cultures and religions. Despite the differing subject matter, Lesteberg's vision remains sensitive and thought-provoking throughout.

You can find an article about Lesteberg's work here.

All photographs from the series Places Of Worship

All Images © Brian Lesteberg

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Katy Grannan Is Everywhere

During the month of January, Katy Grannan will be taking the photography world by storm with exhibitions opening in New York and in San Francisco. Both Salon 94 and the Greenberg Van Doren Gallery will be exhibiting Lady Into Water and Another Woman Who Died In Her Sleep respectively, two new bodies of work exploring:

"the uneasy relationship between fixed photographic portraiture and her subjects’ mercurial identities. The photographs are replete with ambiguity and contradiction: they are evidence of an invented, unknowable self, confronting undeniable, inescapable photographic description."

If you're in the San Francisco area, the Fraenkel Gallery just opened The Westerns, which comprises work from the two aforementioned projects.

From Top To Bottom:

Dale, Pacifica (II), 2006

Gail and Dale, Pacifica (I), 2007

Gail, Point Lobos, 2006

All Images © Katy Grannan

Sean Micka at Judi Rotenberg

For anyone in the Boston area this Thursday, painter Sean Micka is having an opening at the Judi Rotenberg Gallery on Newbury Street. Sean will be exhibiting work from his new series After Images, which I unfortunately haven't had a chance to see yet. Sean has been using Encyclopedia reference photographs as inspiration for his paintings, creating work that reinforces the close and specific relationship between these two mediums.

Sean Micka's After Images

Judi Rotenberg Gallery
130 Newbury Street
Boston, MA

January 10- February 2

Opening Reception:
Thursday, January 10th from 6-8]

Image © Sean Micka

Monday, January 7, 2008

Nathalie Mohadjer

Nathalie Mohadjer's series Blood Honey documents a Bosnian refugee camp more than 10 years after the devastation wrought by the war. The title of the series takes its name from the Turkish translation of the word Balkan: which literally translated comprises the words Blood + Honey. The camp depicted in Mohadjer's photographs (called Grab Potog) consists mainly of displaced agricultural farmers and their families who rely predominantly of food donations to survive. Social strife is prevalent in refugee camps and Grab Potog is certainly no exception. Abject poverty, drug use, cultural and ethnic displacement largely contribute to a life of instability and discord. Though some of these influences can be seen in Mohadjer's photographs, there also exists a strong sense of vibrancy and hope. Displayed in the faces and interiors of Grab Potog exists a perseverance that can only be found in the face of extreme adversity.

All photographs from the series Blood Honey

All Images © Nathalie Mohadjer

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Work In Progress: New Photographs By Anastasia Cazabon

All Images © Anastasia Cazabon

Alec Soth's Dog Days Bogotá

I just picked a copy of Alec Soth's Dog Days Bogotá at the Harvard Bookstore. In keeping with Sleeping By The Mississippi & Niagara, Dog Days is a beautifully assembled monograph that continues to expose Soth's diversity as a truly exploratory artist. He has made some distinctly different presentational choices with Dog Days, opting for a smaller, more intimate format and less descriptive writing to inform the images. Soth's decision to incorporate less writing is appropriate in this instance, not because the images speak more powerfully without explanation but because the creation as a whole feels more personal and less emotionally definable. The series was created in an effort to present Soth's adopted daughter Carmen with a visual document of her native culture. He writes:

Carmen's birthmother gave her a book filled with letters, pictures and poems. "I hope that the hardness of the world will not hurt your sensitivity," she wrote, "When I think about you I hope that your life is full of beautiful things."

For anyone interested, you can buy a copy of Dog Days Bogotá here. I highly recommend it.

From Top to Bottom:

Untitled 12, Bogotá

Untitled 05, Bogotá

Untitled 29, Bogotá

Untitled 07, Bogotá

All Images © Alec Soth

Friday, January 4, 2008

Taj Forer's Threefold Sun

Taj Forer's thoughtful project Threefold Sun explores individuals and communities that have found influence in the philosophies of Rudolf Steiner. I attended a Waldorf school for 9 years, so Forer's photographs spoke in a decidedly nostalgic and familiar way to me. The images themselves do not attempt to elucidate the theories set forth by Steiner; rather, they investigate the close and specific relationship that his followers have to the land. The straightforward compositions and subtle color palette mimic the simplicity of this unique way of life.

From Top to Bottom:

The Barefoot Farmer, Red Boiling Springs, Tennessee

Maypole in January, Carbondale, Colorado

Jeff and Mary by Long Hungry Creek, Red Boiling Springs, Tennessee

Kitchen table, St. Charles, Missouri

All Images © Taj Forer

Thursday, January 3, 2008

An Image A Week: Kate Peters

I found the work of British photographer Kate Peters via Flak Photo. She has a few projects on her website that peaked my interest, specifically Home & Stranger Than Fiction. The photograph below (from the series Home) examines "the traces of habitation, the process of an environment recording its own history" and "the marks we leave behind when we shed our skin and move on."

Untitled (Frank)

Image © Kate Peters