A sweet, thoughtful project by Giovanni Savino morphed into a personal effort to preserve a piece of local history.
"A couple of years ago, in a small Dominican town near the Haitian border, I met and became friends with Georgette Michelen and her family. Georgette lives in a beautiful, enormous wooden house her father built at the beginning of last century: 'The House of the Sun.'
"The house has thirty-three external doors and it shines in a decayed, almost surreal beauty, replete with a long, fascinating oral history, virtually embedded in its walls. With Georgette's blessing, I embarked on a completely self-financed project: an extensive photographic exploration of the house, for nearly two months.
My work was primarily motivated by a sense of impermanence I shared with Georgette; a feeling, perhaps a certainty, that this house and the marvelous mnemonic capsule it embodied wasn't to last much longer due to Georgette's age as well as to a brutal agenda of urban 'modernization,' quite rampant in many Dominican cities nowadays.
While brainstorming with Georgette on how to save and protect the house in a bleak-looking future, I promised her that I would try to edit the best shots as well as some of her thoughts and recollections, derived from the many audio recordings, into a book. Two years and many working hours later, on my own and with the help of several friends of mine, both a self-published book and a website now exist: my humble contribution to preserve at least some of the images, sounds and memories associated with this wonderful building, if not the building itself.
I recently had the immense pleasure of traveling to see her in the Dominican Republic and present her with a copy of the book. As she turned the pages, almost in disbelief, her face glowing, she would only stop smiling to thank me over and over again for all my hard work and commitment. Hopefully, through the book and some web presence we will find someone interested and able to help preserve the incredible house her father built."
Photographer Tom Griscom teaches at The Nashville Art Institute. These images are a selection from his recent location lighting class, which contains just six students. Tom says "I created this class as if we were a working studio. I booked a bunch of shoots, we scouted the locations, came back and looked at the clients' past photographs as well as samples of similar shoots. We designed the light and tested in the studio, then on the dates the shoots were booked, we went on location."
They spent three days photographing The Roller Girls and their coaches and refs - 40 people in all, and they will get to use some of the students' images for promotion. I wish I'd had more opportunities to photograph things like this when I was in school, it all seems very dull in hindsight.
This is the kind of teacher I wish I had. "I cannot stress how immensely proud I am of this group. I am entering my 7th year as a teacher, and this is probably my most memorable class as well as being one that is probably going to transform my whole approach to the classroom. The Roller Girls are an amazing bunch of ladies. It is interesting, theirs and our story is very similar. I stressed to the students that when it comes to working in the world of photography, that this type of work is so dependent on being a team. It is somewhat analogous that we became a team while photographing an amazing team." Tom Griscom
The gallery says "In Tabitha Soren's photographs, archetypal figures struggle to escape or arrive - the viewer cannot be sure. Uncertainty, chaos and vulnerability infuse Soren's universe. These are elemental fears made visible. Movement provides an opportunity for loss of control, un-self-consciousness. A theater of the absurd unfolds as she describes our shared instinct to survive. Her figures stumble, grimace and lose composure. They are both wounded and heroic."
Go see! The exhibition, erm, runs from April 13 - May 18, 2013.
"From the first, I insisted that Minor be only a man and not the larger-than-life legend that he had become to so many. 'Who the hell are you, Minor? Will you take off your mask?'" Abe Frajndlich, from Lives I've Never Lived: A Portrait of Minor White published by Arc Press, 1983.
Abe Frajndlich was 24 when he first attended one of Minor White's photography workshops, in Cleveland, Ohio. Soon after, Abe became one of White's several live-in students, entering a somewhat ascetic, somewhat mystical, but thoroughly amazing world; a place where he would live on-and-off until White died, in 1976.
After his third heart attack in what would be the final year of White's life, he and Abe embarked on a book project which would be a series of portraits of White that Frajndlich made in and around White's home, 203 Park Avenue, Arlington Heights, Massachusetts. Lives I've Never Lived: A Portrait of Minor White includes Abe's recollections of his six years studying under White, sharing some of his most intimate moments. White died on June 24th, 1976. The book was published in 1983.
Minor White was a highly influential photographer and teacher; he founded Aperture Magazine in 1952 with fellow photographers Ansel Adams, Dorothea Lange, and Barbara Morgan, and edited the magazine until 1975.
Much-adored, multiple-award-winning, all-singing, all-dancing, writer-speaker-educator-photographer Louie Palu made this great broadsheet recently. It is extremely well executed, if you'll pardon the expression.
"This is a concept newspaper; it has no headlines, competing articles or advertising. Instead, it is an editing project that uses photographs from Mexico. These photographs were taken during fieldwork and research on the drug war in Mexico. The newspaper can be dismantled and reedited to your view of what you thin the story should look like. It is also an exhibition that can be displayed anywhere you choose, You are the editor and curator. On one side of each page there is a drug- or violence-related image and, on the opposite side, is an alternative view of Mexico covering a broad set of subjects. Explore the possibilities. This concept was inspired by Will Steacy's 'Down These Mean Streets.'" Louie Palu.
20 year-old Hungarian student David Nemcsik emailed me with some of his work and I liked these the most, but don't let that detract from some of his other projects, like the Levitation Project, apparently featured by Samsung, Discovery Channel, and more (is he really only 20?).
I like these a lot. They remind me of the first time I saw an image printed onto something unusual; I think it was Adrian Boot's portrait of the Eurythmics, printed on a large stone, and it sat in the office of the agency in London where I worked, back in 1990.
"I take portraits on 35mm film then develop them. After that I 'paint' black and white photo emulsion on the skateboard. After it dries it works just like a single photo paper. Then I put the film and the deck to the enlarger and develop the deck as a black white photo. After I dry them and pour some chemical on it to be sure to fix it; it is finished." - David Nemcsik.
It would be hard to be anything but moved by Joshua Lutz' latest project, "Hesitating Beauty," in which Lutz tries to convey the far-reaching impact that his mother's extreme mental illness had during and after her lifetime.
"Blending family archives, interviews, and letters with his own photographic images, Lutz spins a seamless and strangely factual (yet unflinchingly fabricated) experience of a life and family consumed by mental illness. Rather than showing us what it looks like, "Hesitating Beauty" plays with our conceptions of reality to show us what it feels like to grapple with a family member's retreat from lucidity." ClampArt.
This is the first book review from guest contributor Elyse Weingarten, a freelance writer living in New York.
From Schilt Publishing, photographer Louisa Marie Summer's book, 'Jennifer's Family,' is an intimate offering, capturing the experiences of twenty-six year old Jennifer, a second-generation Puerto Rican, her partner, Tompy, and their four children, at their home in South Providence, an urban area rife with poverty, crime, and high levels of unemployment.
Summer spent over a year with the family, and the results are confounding; in photographs of highly concentrated colors, it is not so much the stark details of the family's life that come into view, but the domestic heroism of Jennifer and Tompy, with their hands-on parenting and ability to survive economically, while often supporting other family members and friends.
With a few exceptions, the photographs in 'Jennifer's Family' were taken in the family's apartment, and at times, there seems to be little variation in theme. In photo after photo, children run through the apartment's cluttered rooms. This is one of the ways in which the book triumphs: life in the domestic realm is repetitious, and its recurrence only adds to the book's rightful claustrophobia. We can see how hard Jennifer and Tompy fight to give their children childhoods, and see how much they hope that if they fight hard enough, they can leverage their children into the next generation's middle class.
With 64 images and text by Mairead Bryne, this book is good for multiple viewings.
(I met Louisa Marie at an ASMP portfolio review two years ago, and I am thrilled to see this book as a result of a project that she had completed with such spirit. - Ed.)
Wow, wow and more wow. Jacques Lowe's negatives were destroyed in the World Trade Center collapse in 2001. Jacques himself had died earlier that year. However his contact sheets were stored elsewhere and the Newseum has managed to clean them up and make prints. It is amazing and beautiful what we can do these days. I had the opportunity to represent Mr. Lowe, my agency licensed his gorgeous jazz photos and his surprising, delightful pictures of children; I remember my right-hand, Kellie, going to hang out with him while he signed prints, books, he was packing away the whisky I believe, and they got on famously.
Jacques Lowe was larger than life, and it's only right that his work on one of our largest politicians should be rejuvenated. Visit the Newseum in DC, opens April 12th.