Saturday, December 27, 2008

Just A Reminder...

That the deadline for submissions for the 4th issue of The Exposure Book is quickly approaching. Interested photographers have until January 5th to complete and send their submitted work.

You can find the specifications for submission here.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Adam Bach

My good friend Adam Bach sent me the link to a new series of images he's been working on. The photographs read like hyperbolic, color Rorschach tests, or studies in the nuances of color and texture. Hope you enjoy them!

All Images © Adam Bach

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Bertien Van Manen's Give Me Your Image

I've been looking at Bertien Van Manen's proect Give Me Your Image quite a lot lately, as, in certain fundamental ways, it relates to the work I'm currently doing on my heritage. Her photographs of photographs explore fragments of familial and cultural history through the pairing of antiquated imagery and contemporary environments.

The images do suffer, however, from a tension between the images Van Manen photographs and the final images she produces. As it was astutely noted in a review for Van Manen's monograph over at 5B4:

"I was initially seduced by this work but after repeated viewings I’ve started to find it lacking for a few reasons. First and the most obvious is that, in most of these photographs, it is the photo in the picture that is most interesting. Van Manen often fails to make a more interesting image out of what she is looking at."

From Top To Bottom:

Prague, 2004

Munich, 2004

Sofia, 2004

Stockholm, 2004

Moldova Man, 2004

All Images © Bertien Van Manen

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Matthew Monteith's Cars

Matthew Monteith's project Cars strongly utilizes Photography's powers of transformation. His examinations of contemporary automative design effortlessly walk the line between banality and monumentality. Monteith possesses the distinct ability to infuse even the most pedestrian subjects with a kind of formal seductiveness. As his statement confirms:

"Cars have been removed from their purpose of transportation, as they grow larger and less fuel-efficient. The experience of traveling through a place becomes the experience of traveling in a car. Intended as an extension of the family living room, the interiors of cars are designed to be banal and functional, but exhibit a latent eroticism. These vehicles represent a transformation in society as the global economy becomes more and more consumer driven, suppressing human emotions and contact and replacing them with hyper-designed representations of desire."

All photographs from the series Cars

All Images © Matthew Monteith

Daniel Shea's Untitled (Baltimore)

Daniel Shea's ongoing Untitled (Baltimore) project is a wonderful look at a city through the examination of its people. The series does contain some landscapes, however, the portraiture strikes a more emotive and humanistic chord. As Shea explains:

"Demystifying a place is easier than implied. Despite what one might have heard, Baltimore is like many other places.

I left Baltimore recently. As my time shortened, I felt a decisive urge to make new images of my home. I decided to default in my photographic process. That is, walk around, interact, and make pictures."

All photographs from the series Untitled (Baltimore)

All Images © Daniel Shea

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Website Updated

I just wanted to let everyone know that I completely overhauled my website and updated it with new work from my series The Family Dig. I would love hear any feedback, critique, etc. on the work or the site construction. Let me know what you think!

Desk Sign, 2008

Ben Alper

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Adam Krawesky's In Stride

The new issue of MakingRoom Magazine features a slideshow of images from Adam Krawesky's series In Stride. Below is an excerpt from the interview conducted for the MakingRoom piece:

MR: There is a strong narrative trend that runs through most of your work. You're a writer as well as a photographer so do you see the two as informing each other or are they quite separate processes?

AK: I wrote much more before I began photographing things, but the writing has waned. I do write from time to time about something that happened while I was out making pictures, so there one does literally inform the other. The physical act of being stationary and writing is the opposite of walking the streets to make photos, but the creative act has more in common, at least for me. Writing for me is a form of wandering, a chosen path through a maze of possibilities, and so is roaming the streets with a camera. Both are tedious and physically taxing, occasionally interrupted by a surprise of discovery.
I’m not sure that I try to create a narrative in any picture that I make, instead I hope to make a picture that engages someone else to make their own narrative out of it. I think the same can be said for good writing, something that strikes a balance between vagueness and comprehensive description in a way that draws the reader in enough for them to want to create their own story to fill the gaps.

All photographs from the series In Stride

All Images© Adam Krawesky

Friday, December 12, 2008

Photography On Film At The MFA

The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston is currently screening a series of films entitled Photography On Film. Unfortunately, I only found out about this series yesterday; it's been ongoing since November 13th. The screenings that still remain are listed below:

Eloquent Nude: The Love and Legacy of Edward Weston and Charis Wilson
Saturday, December 13, 2008, 10:30 am & Saturday, December 20, 2008, 10:30 am, Remis Auditorium

Harry Callahan and Aaron Siskind: Making Pictures
Saturday, December 13, 2008, 12 pm, Remis Auditorium

Manufactured Landscapes
Saturday, December 13, 2008, 2 pm & Thursday, December 18, 2008, 2:30 pm, Remis Auditorium

Karsh: The Searching Eye
Sunday, December 14, 2008, 1:30 pm & Thursday, December 18, 2008, 4 pm, Remis Auditorium

By the Ways: A Journey with William Eggleston
Sunday, December 21, 2008, 10:30 am, Remis Auditorium (Trailer)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Photographic Typologies: Jon Feinstein

Jon Feinstein e-mailed to to share some images from his wonderful project Fast Food, a typology which explores the fine line between temptation and repulsion in fast food culture. As Feinstein notes in his statement:

"Since the 1950's fast food has become so globalized that its icons are often as recognizable as popular historical figures—its image heavily branded into the public periphery. "Fast Food" is a typological exploration of the food on its own. Burgers, french fries, chicken nuggets and "specialty" sandwiches are presented on stark black backgrounds, isolated from their common context, without name recognition, nearly floating in space. Under austere, uniform lighting; stripped of logos, packaging and iconography, the food takes on a disgustingly ethereal and scientific quality. These images investigate the love/hate relationship that many Americans have with fast food and, like many other aspects of popular culture, its ability to be simultaneously seductive and repulsive."

From Top To Bottom:

8 Grams

29 Grams

11 Grams

13 Grams

42 Grams

All Images © Jon Feinstein

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

MoMA's Streaming Audio

The Museum of Modern Art is stockpiling an impressive audio component on their website. Comprised of lectures, commentaries, conversations and visual descriptions, these streaming podcasts provide diverse insights into a variety of both canonical and contemporary artists. Below are a few examples of some of the podcasts I listened to:

Robert Smithson. Corner Mirror with Coral.1969

Claes Oldenburg. Giant Soft Fan. 1966–67

Nicholas Nixon. The Brown Sisters. 1993

Marlene Dumas. Chlorosis (Love Sick). 1994

These are just a few of the examples of available podcasts on the MoMA website. I would highly recommend checking out some of the other content here, here and here.

Christopher Stweart's Insecurity

I discovered Christopher Stewart's project Insecurity today via an old issue of Seesaw Magazine. To my surprise and excitement, Mike Davis, the preeminent urban theorist and sociographer, wrote a wonderful essay to accompany Stewart's images. Davis observes:

"From our adolescent readings of Orwell's and Huxley's great dystopian fictions, many of us saved a question. 'How, exactly, would we know when Brave New World and Big Brother were on our doorstep?' Would a society of total surveillance and order arrive big bang fashion, in black uniforms and jackboots, or would it creep toward us like a fog, slowly enveloping our daily routines and indiscretions? And who would sound the alarm? Would anyone bother to listen or, as the case may be, to look?

Christopher Stewart's powerfully disorienting photographs detonate our Orwellian anxieties. Are they the warning from the totalitarian future that we have always dreaded? Or simply a reflection on the current sordid state of middle-class paranoia? Possibly they are both. Preliminary studies in the banality of dystopia.

These photographs, enigmatic and visceral are more than vaguely threatening. They are also disturbingly specific, impregnated with a sinister familiarity, like snapshots from an habitual nightmare. They evoke a feeling of discomfort, of wanting to be somewhere else. But this is the dilemma posed by Stewart's dossier, a realisation that there is no somewhere else to escape to which doesn't look uncannily like one of the places in his photographs."

All photographs from the series Insecurity

All Images © Christopher Stewart

Samantha Contis' Between Rivers and Roads

I found the work of Samantha Contis today. Her project Between Rivers and Roads, a collection of portraiture and landscape photographs, possesses some formally, well seen images. The emotional substance of the work, however, left me feeling slightly ambivalent.

From Top To Bottom:

Anna, 2007

Old Growth Forest, 2007

Grain Elevators, 2007

Backyard, 2007

All Images © Samantha Contis

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Photographic Typologies: Verner Soler

I discovered Verner Soler's work in the new issue of Fraction Magazine as part of their Typologies: A Group Show. The images below exist as part of his series Heads, a typological examination of extended family members in Switzerland. In the statement for this work, Soler asserts:

"I try and visit my family once a year, and every time I brace myself for the shock of seeing them age in yearly increments. Seeing my parents age this way especially, has been a painful experience as it is an unmistakable reminder of their (our) mortality. This realization was the impetus for making a definitive record of them that will endure.

The ensuing typology includes over seventy relatives spanning three generations so far. Their faces are photographed straight on, from each side, and under the same exact lighting conditions, achieving an objective comparison of facial features."

All photographs from the series Heads

All Images © Verner Soler

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Yann Gross' Horizonville

I found the work of Swiss photographer Yann Gross today. His seris Horizonville explores a culture of people in the Rhône Valley who deeply sympathetize with the American Dream. As Manfred Schmalriede observes:

"Here in Switzerland the Wild West myth has the characteristis of the life of former American pioneers transposed into the modern world. Thus the contemporary and the histrorcally-oriented way of life clash. Industrial buildings as the ambience for rustic architecture, and on top of this the guarantores of mobility, mobile homes, trucks, cars and motor bikes rebuilt for all possible events, compete with horses, nostalgic clothes, symbols, tattoos. The paradigms are treated generously as too are obviously the activities derived from them. Everything evokes the impression of bizarre absurdity. Yet, espescially in the portraits, the photographer gives the people the possibility of consciously showing themselves in a discreet way. Something which initially strikes us as being alien to all the norms of our society thus receives a touch of normality. Using photography obviously makes it possible to document differences in our view of life and to interpret them so that we learn to understand and respect them. In my opinion, with this documentation and interpretation Yann Gross has proved that a photographer really can combine the position of distant observer with the understanding stance of a transient participant."

All photographs from the series Horizonville

All Images © Yann Gross