Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Jeff Otto O'Brien's Cache Creek

Jeff Otto O'Brien e-mailed me the other day to share his new project Cache Creek. This general statement of purpose from his website speaks with accuracy to the work from Cache Creek:

"My photography is an examination in process. I am interested in documenting the relationship between humans and the constructed environment, and the constructed moment that occurs within this interaction. In a sense, the Schrödinger's Cat of photography: the construction of the photograph and the mere act of taking the photograph dictate the event captured by the photographer. To photograph is to be seen."

All photographs from the series Cache Creek

All Images © Jeff Otto O'Brien

Monday, March 30, 2009

Sam Falls

I discovered Sam Falls' work via I Heart Photograph today. There is no written accompaniment to Falls' images on his website, a choice that ultimately serves the work in the end. Writing can be essential, it can also, however, overdetermine the meaning of the photographs. That being said, I did find an insightful interview that Johanna Reed conducted with Falls for her blog This Is That. The passage below is excerpted from their exchange. You can read the interview in its entirety here.

"TisT: You touch on an uneasiness in photography—the fact that it's so ubiquitous in advertising, in addition to having a kind of pomp surrounding it in the fine art gallery. You mention that you want to make "people feel at home with photography." It struck me that this kind of approach might never be applied to a medium such as painting or sculpture; I'm not entirely sure, but there might be something inherent in the medium itself (perhaps its relationship to "technology"?) that lends itself to this. Can you talk a bit more about how you see photography making people feel outcast, or even, as you say, "alienated from the present moment"?

SF: I think you're right in pointing to photography's technological element as playing a large role in its cold and impersonal relationship to the viewer—the classic pitfall of its mechanical reproduction. With painting and sculpture for instance, along with writing, their is an inherent acknowledgment of the time the author spent producing the final product, which therefore serves as a much more intimate medium of exchange between the viewer and the creator. Photography on the other hand only depicts the surface of time, namely the miniscule, cropped moment available only to the lens of the camera. The time the artist spent in the depicted space framing the scene, and later developing the film and printing, is both figuratively and literally washed away and lost in the final product. So the viewer really only has their own frame of reference relative to the image at hand, without any sign of the artist's emotion or interaction with the object—something readily apparent in painting and sculpture where texture and material manipulation reveal the artist's interaction over time. This is not always negative I think, because the viewer is left alone to their own interpretations, but I think art is really valuable when the viewer gets to know the artist and where they are coming from. This is where a photographer must relate their subjectivity to the viewer through content and composition. This is perhaps why I've really begun leaning toward photographing the people, places, and things that hold lasting personal value to me. I used to think this was something reserved for amateur photography and photo albums, but now perhaps it needs to be reinstated in a fine art context in today’s image-based world where meaningless images are omnipresent. I mean any advertisement created by a nameless photographer of a model casting a blank stare away from the camera just tells the viewer "I don't care," and I think just saying, "This is what I care about, and you have things you care about," is now a very interesting concept to me."

All Images © Sam Falls

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Kudász Gábor Arion's Tourists In Environment

Hungarian photographer Kudász Gábor Arion's Tourists In Environment explores the intersection between leisure culture and crowd mentality. Somewhat inherent in photographs of large crowds is the alienation of the individual at the hand of a more complex social construct. In his statement, Arion asserts that:

"Man is a social animal, but a crowd is not company. Somewhere the group ends in which every participant has a perceptibly formative role, and another, larger-scale organization begins. Social loneliness is a common occurrence in a crowd, as is voluntary uniformity and frustration. On this scale, the personal interaction of members loses its natural quality, becomes noise that hinders homogeneity, an unwanted manifestation of poor organization. It is replaced by thinking along rallying cries that answer simplistic questions. The crowd sets an obstacle to dispassionate dialogue, which is why it is favoured by dictators and whoever likes to fish in troubled waters."

From Top To Bottom:

Beach, Csopak, 2007

Reichstag, Berlin, 2007

Tepid water, Csopak, 2007

Cavalry Days, Romania, 2007

Summit, Pietros, 2003

All Images © Kudász Gábor Arion

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Noel Rodo-Vankeulen's Karst

Noel Rodo-Vankeulen e-mailed me yesterday to share his new book project Karst. In discussing the work, Noel explains:

"Karst, a geological term to describe how water erodes limestone, is both a metaphorical title and a stepping-off point for a meditation on wandering, dreaming, and memory. The process forms caves, sinkholes, underground rivers, and fissures in rock, mimicking not only concepts of the mind, but how collected experience is fragmented, twisted, and continually altered through time. The photographs in Karst are a conceptual prelude to a trilogy of work that investigates the presence of images. Taken in and around an area known as the Niagara Escarpment, a cliff capped plateau both familiar and alien that spans the heart of the Great Lakes, the images become a brief collective overlook of myth, legend, and experience - an intersection of society and nature commingling to form ideas of the present and past."

Noel plans to release Karst sometime this summer, so make sure to check in with We Can't Paint for further information.

All photographs from Karst

All Images© Noel Rodo-Vankeulen

Monday, March 23, 2009

Exposure Project Website Updated!

Hey Everyone,

I wanted to take a moment to let you all know that we just launched the updated Exposure Project website. The site now contains work from all the photographers who will appear in issue 4 of The Exposure Project Book.

Additionally, our talented friend Maura Murnane recently designed us a project logo. We have wanted a more defined design presence for some time now and honestly couldn't be happier with the results. Maura has a wonderful website, which is well worth exploring if you have spare moment.

So, visit the Artists page to check out the new work and let us know what you think!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Nymphoto Presents at Sasha Wolf Gallery: Call For Entries

Jane Tam e-mailed the other day asking me to spread the word about the most recent Nymphoto call for entries. They are selecting submitted work for an exhibition at the Sasha Wolf Gallery. So, if you meet the one submission requirement (being a woman) you should take advantage of this opportunity by sending them some work! You can find the guidelines below.

"Nymphoto is looking for the best in female contemporary and emerging photography. Work will be curated by the core members of the collective, in conjunction with highly respected curator and gallery owner, Sasha Wolf. Works selected will be included in "Nymphoto Presents at Sasha Wolf Gallery" and be on view from May 23 to June 6, 2009. Sasha Wolf Gallery is located in lower Manhattan, conveniently located and easily accessible from both Chelsea and Dumbo, two of New York's artistic centers."


Any woman working in photography.

Call For Entries Deadlines

Entrants may enter their image selections online via www.nymphoto.com anytime
between March 27 through midnight (EST) on April 3, 2009.

Submission Guidelines

Submissions are accepted via an online form on www.nymphoto.com. A submission fee of $19 for up to 2 images, and $26 for up to 5 images, must be paid through PayPal upon submission of your work. Accepted artists will be notified via email by April 8, 2009. There will be an additional hanging fee of $25 for accepted artists. Framed works, ready for hanging, must be shipped/delivered to the gallery by May 15, 2009. Details will be provided to participating artists upon acceptance.

You will need the following information available to complete your submission.

* Your contact information
* Link to your website, if available
* Brief bio & artist statement (optional)
* 2 - 5 images ready for upload - JPEG format, 700 pixels wide, 72 dpi, no more than 500 KB each
* Caption information for each image - title, dimensions, medium, year

If you have any problems with uploading your submission or other inquiries, please email questions to contact@nymphoto.com.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Kevin Van Aelst

Kevin Van Aelst's work appropriates everyday artifacts to recontextualize geography, mathematics, astronomy and cell division. In his statement, Van Aelst expounds:

"This work calls upon historical tenants of conceptualism and minimalism. Conceptual art has shown that the ideas behind a specific artwork can be more important than the aesthetics or visual appeal of the piece itself. The serial process, showing each successive permutation of a fractal pattern, refers to minimalism. Equally important to this body of work is humor—via odd juxtapositions of sophisticated content with banal subject matter.

This Body of work is about creating order where randomness is expected, defying natural probabilities, so that lint stuck to a sweater forms an accurate star chart of the summer sky over New England, and milk spills from its carton into a logarithmic spiral. I use common everyday objects and foods to illustrate timeless and lofty ideas. While the subjects of the photos are artifacts of modern culture, the content of the photos, such as the Golden Mean, are often ancient and revered notions."

From Top To Bottom:

Right Thumb, 2007

Summer Constellations (lint and thread on sweater), 2005

Cardboard Box, 2008

Hawaii, 2007

Logarithmic Spiral, 2004

All Images © Kevin Van Aelst

Friday, March 20, 2009

Phil Jung's Windscreen

Our good friend Phil Jung's MFA thesis exhibition Windscreen is quickly approaching. I've been lucky to catch glimpses of the work around school over the last year and can say with confidence that this show is not to be missed. Every photography lover in the Boston area should show their support by stopping by Mass Art and seeing the show!

April 13 - April 23
Reception: Thursday, April 16th from 6-8 pm

Monday – Friday 10am – 6pm
Saturday 11am – 5pm

Sandra and David Bakalar Gallery
Stephen D. Paine Gallery
621 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02115

Photograph from the series Windscreen

Image © Phil Jung

The Eternal Sunshine of Fred & Anne

The vernacular photography website Square America has so many wonderful archives that I was having trouble deciding what to post. That is, until I found The Eternal Sunshine of Fred & Anne, a cryptic and fragmented family album depicting "a 1910's - 20's Iowa couple in which all evidence of former loves has been imperfectly, and often violently, erased." As the site declares:

"A great number of photos had either had faces cut or scratched out or had been removed altogether and all those photos appeared to be of women. Not all the women in the album had been removed but in each case where there was a name attached to a removed photo it was a woman's name. Now I have lots of photos where faces have been cut out to be used in lockets or in album pages like the one at the top of this page but these were far too crudely removed to be of any artistic use. Clearly, someone went through the album and systematically, and sometimes apparently violently, removed photos of women."

Photographers Unknown

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Mathew Scott's Coexist

Mathew Scott recently updated his website with a new series entitled Coexist. Not dissimilar to the Suburban explorations of Alan George or J. Bennett Fitts, Scott's photographs explore the uneasy cohabitation of human beings and nature. The only written accompaniment for this project on his website consisted of these two quotes:

"Of substances no one has any clear idea, farther than of certain simple ideas coexisting together. -Locke

So much purity and integrity...coexisting with so much decay and so many infirmities. -Warburton"

All photographs from the series Coexist

All Images © Mathew Scott

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Call For Submissions: 2009 New York Photo Festival

The 2009 New York Photo Festival, taking place May 13-17 in DUMBO, Brooklyn, is currently accepting submissions for their annual Photo Awards. Anyone interested in submitting work has until May 1st to do so.

"The New York Photo Awards 2009 will once again honor talented photographers from all over the world whose exceptional work breaks new grounds visually, intellectually and aesthetically. The Awards will give these visual artists the opportunity to reach key decision makers in the photographic community and the editorial, fine art and commercial worlds. Submissions will be accepted starting March 2nd through May 1st, 2009. The Award winners will be announced in May during the second edition of the Festival."

Photography Submissions

-JPEG format saved at level 10 compression
-Images must be no greater than 1600 pixels on the longest dimension
-Images must be saved at 100dpi
-Maximum file size: 5MB
-Color Profile: Adobe RGB (1998)

Short Film/Video Submissions

-Maximum Length: 5 minutes
-Maximum file size: 30 MB
-File type: Quicktime (.mov)

Image File Names & Category Codes

Prior to uploading please rename your image files as follows:

Individual files should be titled with the Photographer’s last name, a sequential image number (whether for multiple submissions in a single category or for a series submission), and the appropriate category code - see below.

Editorial - Single (Category Code: ED)
Editorial - Series (Category Code: ES)
Short Film/Video (Category Code: SF)
Fine Art - Single (Category Code: FA)
Fine Art - Series (Category Code: FS)
Advertising (Category Code: AD)
Photo Book - Published or Unpublished (Category Code: PB)
Social Documentary - Essay (Category Code: SD)

For example:
A photographer whose last name is Smith and is submitting a series of 3 single editorial images should name his files as follows: smith1ED.jpeg; smith2ED.jpeg; smith3ED.jpeg
A photographer whose last name is Smith and is submitting a series of 4 fine art images as part of a series should name his files as follows: smith1FS.jpeg; smith2FS.jpeg; smith3FS.jpeg; smith4FS.jpeg

For more info or questions on the submission process, please contact awards@nyphotofestival.com

Monday, March 16, 2009

Katrin Schacke's Parcours

I found Katrin Schacke's work via Ian Aleksander Adams' Blog today. Not unlike the photo sculptures of Alejandra Laviada, Schacke's photographs reflect the fluidity that can come out of interdisciplinary practice. The images that ultimately work the best for me, however, are those in which neither medium is foregrounded, those that are independently realized as both photographic images and sculptural installations.

All photographs from the series Parcours

All Images © Katrin Schacke

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Michele Abeles

Michele Abeles got in touch with me today to pass along the link to her website. I've been meaning to post some of Michelle's photographs for a while now, so it was serendipitous to find an e-mail from her in my inbox. The wonderful surreality that exists in Abeles' images seems always heightened by the way her photographs relate, or for that matter, don't relate to one another. This dialogue is akin to a photographic stream-of-consciousness, a continuous and uncensored story without a plot.

Doug Rickard, founder of American Suburb X, had this to say about Abeles' work:

"Michele’s “something”… her photographs… are images from a kaleidoscope lens- a turning wheel that spins and stops at a spot… disconnected shards that are taped together as fragments along a leather whip… the whip is swaying side to side… motionless but moving… held by a gloved hand and whipped with a thud against the dark night cement. Humans mixed with textures mixed with animals mixed with death. Death mixed with hair mixed with cement mixed with earth… tension brewing violently underneath it all… all of it interconnected and yet, all of it knowingly separate. The “something” is like a kink or ripple in the reality… something is warped, causing a bend in the reality… something broad and running under the surface of Michele’s created world… all of it affected by this warp, waves move across all... all of it is bent under the force of this curve."

All Images © Michele Abeles

Friday, March 13, 2009

Call For Submissions: F/Stop - 3rd International Photography Festival Leipzig

Moritz Arnold of F/Stop - the International Photography Festival in Leipzig, Germany got in touch to spread the word about this year's festival. They are currently accepting submissions from photographers worldwide for the 3rd installment of the festival, which will be held from July 1st - 7th. As their press release states:

"The theme of our 3rd F/Stop competition 'Where do we go from here?' asks questions about the coordinates of our existence. From what perspective do we look at the “whereto“? Is it a place, a mood? Where do we fi nd the impulses that show us the way? And on what does it depend, our here and whereto? The international photography festival F/Stop is looking for ambitious single or serial photgraphical works that deal with the 'unknown whereto.'

A select jury of curators, gallery designers, and art critics will choose the best works that are going to be presented at the festival. The winner of the competition will have the opportunity to present his or her works in front of professional critics at the portfolio reviews of the Houston/Texas-based FotoFest in 2010."

Here's what you need to know...


Please fill out the application form completely.


Apply with at most 3 single works or 3 series. Submit your images on a CD with a maximal size of 1280 × 1024 pixels (jpeg format). Please make sure that all works are labelled with the exact title, size, technique/method and year of production.


Please include a short description. In which way does your work resemble the theme of the competition? Characterize your work.



Please include a € 20 processing fee for each submission.


Entries will be accepted until Monday, April 6th. Submissions received with postmarks after April 6th cannot be considered. Overseas contestants: Please make sure your application is being shipped ahead of time. All participants will be notified about the results of the contest by the first week of May.

You can download the submission form here.

Karin Apollonia Müller's On Edge

I stumbled upon Karin Apollonina Müller's website today. Her series On Edge falls within one of contemporary photography's most explored relationships, the one that exists between the constructed and natural world. Nevertheless, Müller possesses a sensitivity toward her subjects that results in images which contribute something interesting to the discourse of what man's encroachment on nature really means. In her statement, she succinctly asserts:

"In “Edges” I am interested in how the earth crumbles away and how in our desperate attempt we are trying to control or hide the subtle invasion of nature in cultivated space."

All photographs from the series On Edge

All Images © Karin Apollonia Müller