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Wild Ginger © Jim Fike

I just love James Fike's series of photogram-like plant portraits.

"These edible plants grow all around us, in yards, alleys, ditches, and empty lots. Each testifies to our symbiotic evolution with all of life, and functions as both poetic metaphor and concrete proof of our intimate tether to the natural world. It is my hope that this art foments contemplative wonderment by offering viewers both information and insights that if realized kindle a reconnection to the natural world and a mystical counterbalance to scientific objectivism.

"I envision this as a thoroughly inclusive catalogue that will result in hundreds of photographs. The aesthetic consciously combines empirical and visionary traditions, by taking advantage of digital imaging's capacity to create rhetorical shifts in the photograph. The resulting images are elegant, layered, historically aware and able to evoke mystery, amplify interconnectedness and offer a critique of classical taxonomy." J.W. Fike

Delicious!

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"These photographs portray people whose lives have been changed by accidents, medical malpractice, and defective products."


Hoping to reach some people who love this sort of thing, here's the story:
"Collin LaFleche and Bonnie Briant have been working with the photographer Bob Walden to put together a book of his photography, culled from his 20-year career as a legal photographer in and around New York City. He worked as a freelancer, hired by law firms to photograph accident victims or accident scenes for civil negligence cases (although he did work on a few criminal cases). Some of his photos were used in major legal cases - for example, the crane collapse a few years ago - but for the most part, he was working on low-level cases that would never make the news."

These guys are running a Kickstarter campaign to fund publication of a book - read more over there. Please spread the word.

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Images © Bob Walden
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Jana Cruder's "Great Expectations" ran here in the blog a couple of years ago. Through a series of vignettes, shown on two side-by-side films, Jana explores the societal and relationship roles through the icons of Barbie and Ken while creating a unique individual viewer experience: In order to display the series Jana built a replica Viewmaster stereoscope. This beast/beauty is now up for sale!

"Jana Cruder's 'VIEWMASTER' titled "All that Glitters is Gold" a piece that combines the artist's mild obsession with nostalgic nuances with her increasing curiosity of the moving image. Jana's golden VIEWMASTER is an exact replica of a 1956 Bakelite VIEWMASTER. This sculpture stands 5' 4" and spans over 36'' wide. This hand built, carved and sanded piece is meticulous in its execution. The golden reflective automotive painted finish gives the piece a real 'plastic' feel."

Check out the stop-motion film, and take a closer look at the Viewmaster below. If you're in the market, you can reach Jana via her website.

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Wendy at home, Havana © Mariette Pathy Allen

More on the topic of gender (see Jill Peter's lovely Hijras in the mag).

Daylight Books is proud to announce the publication of Mariette Pathy Allen's wonderful long-term project TransCuba. 

"For more than 30 years, New York based photographer and painter Mariette Pathy Allen has been documenting transgender culture worldwide; in 2004 she won the Lambda Literary Award for her monograph The Gender Frontier. In her new publication, TransCuba, Allen focuses on the transgender community of Cuba, especially its growing visibility and acceptance in a country whose government is transitioning into a more relaxed model of communism under Raúl Castro's presidency. This publication therefore records a cultural watershed within Cuba. In addition to color photographs and interviews by Allen, the book also includes a contribution from Raúl Castro's daughter, Mariela Castro, who is the director of the Cuban National Center for Sex Education in Havana. In 2005, Castro proposed a project, which became law three years later, to allow transgender individuals to receive sex reassignment surgery and change their legal gender."

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Charito at home with one-week-old piglet, Camaguey

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Alsola, Santiago de Cuba

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Amanda at home, Havana

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Laura at home, Havana

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Nomi and Miguel watching television. All images © Mariette Pathy Allen
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Eleanor Roosevelt, 1957 © Yousuf Karsh

The Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery in Washington DC launched the second round of a Karsh exhibition, as curated by Ann Shumard with Estrellita Karsh who generously donated over 100 vintage prints. The exhibition is on the ground floor and round one received between 250,000 and 300,000 visitors. 

This classic image of Ms Roosevelt is in the show, and has just been licensed by the National Parks Service for use in materials at the Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site in New York. I thought I'd like to publish the other frame that not so many people are familiar with.

Non-Americans: she was an absolute powerhouse, it's worth looking her up. "Roosevelt was a controversial First Lady for her outspokenness, particularly her stance on racial issues. She was the first presidential spouse to hold press conferences, write a syndicated newspaper column, and speak at a national convention. On a few occasions, she publicly disagreed with her husband's policies." Can you imagine??

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Eleanor Roosevelt, 1957 © Yousuf Karsh

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Wadi Zitoune Battlefield, Tobruk perimeter, Libya. © Matthew Arnold

"During a visit to Egypt in 2008, Matthew Arnold became enamored with the profound silence and enveloping isolation of the African desert. After a conversation with Steven Hamilton, a North African battlefield expert, Arnold was convinced that together they could trace the movement of Axis and Allied forces along the northern ridge of Africa.

"Over the course of the next two years, Hamilton and Arnold journeyed to discover undocumented World War II battlefield sites; they used cryptic wartime maps to identify locations within the landscape and uncover their historical significance. These maps transformed craggy hills strewn with desert detritus into the Bir Hacheim battlefield in Libya or the Sbeitla battlefield in Tunisia. 70 years have not yet eradicated traces of the fightin - campsites can still be foun - evident by the amount of ration tins, trench systems and pill boxes that still carry the marks of battle. Unexploded shells, barbed wire and mines still litter the landscapes of North Africa and occasionally claim yet another victim, as if the very land itself is reminding us of the tragedy of war. These photographs depict the peaceful landscape that it is today, so very different from yesterday."

Widely exhibited in the States, 'Topography Is Fate: North African Battlefields of WWII'  has also been published as a monograph by Kehrer Verlag. It includes a foreword written by Hilary Roberts, the Head Curator of Photography at the Imperial War Museums in Britain.

Arnold was recently awarded a 2013 Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Traveling Fellowship for this project.

Learn more about this project over at Matthew's website.

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Designer Toby Mott talks about laying De La Soul on the floor for the 3 Feet High and Rising album cover.

Photos of the band are by the ridiculously fabulous Steve Pyke.

Snap Galleries hosted the launch of designer Mott's limited edition print of the album artwork at their space in London. The print is 20x20 inches in an edition of 60, for £480. Noice!
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© Rahul Talukder

I am deeply humbled to have received communication from Shahidul Alam regarding the exhibition 1134 Lives Not Numbers, a group show dedicated to the lost garment workers of Bangladesh, which opened yesterday at Pathshala South Asian Media Institute in Dhaka. 

"This 24th April will mark a year of Rana Plaza collapse and death of a thousand workers, thousand dreams. To observe this day, Artist practicing in different mediums including Photography, Installation, Performance Art, Sound, Film, Theater & Music will be holding a group exhibition." 

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© Rahul Talukder

A CBS news article said today "...promises of compensation for survivors of the disaster and the victims' families have been only partially kept, according to Human Rights Watch. The non-governmental organization says a financial trust fund, chaired by the International Labour Organization, was targeted to receive $40 million from global companies that purchased products from the Rana Plaza factories. However, only $15 million has been contributed so far. 

"The group also says none of the 15 international retailers whose clothing and brand labels were found in the rubble of the factory by journalists and labor activists have donated to the fund."


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Bangladeshi garment worker Mariyam, 30, who worked on the 6th floor of Rana Plaza, with her sister at Enam Medical College, in Savar, near Dhaka, Bangladesh. Mariyam had her right arm amputated to free her from the rubble when she was rescued nearly 72 hours after the building collapsed. © Suvra Kanti Das

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Bangladeshi garment worker Aroti, 16, who worked on the 5th floor of Rana Plaza, at Enam Medical College Hospital, Savar, Bangladesh. © Suvra Kanti Das

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© Suvra Kanti Das

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Siraj Uddin and Majeda Khatun, parents of New Wave Style factory's worker Shirin, 18, have found their beloved daughter's dead body in the morgue after 12 days. © Taslima Akhter

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Poly Akhter's mother, Shahana, grieves for her. Her other daughter, Dalia, also worked in the factory complex but did not go to work on the day of the collapse. © Taslima Akhter

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"Day 9: I was waiting on the backside of the building when demolition started with heavy machines and rubbles were removed then suddenly I saw few bodies were hanging." © Tushikur Rahman

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© Abir Abdullah

Please share the news about this exhibition.
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A bonus further to Jill's feature on the Hirjas, I am just blown away by this. See the stills and more on Jill Peters' website.
Photographers | Permalink |



Harsha © Jill Peters

Jill Peters is a critically acclaimed photographer whose portraits explore identity, sexuality and culture, past and present. I am thrilled to publish her gorgeous portraits of the stunning Indian hijras she met on her travels.

"On my first trip to India in 2007, I was intrigued by the sight of what seemed to be a group of male cross-dressers in saris walking towards me on a bright beautiful afternoon in a New Delhi market. They were giggling and flirting with the men as they made their way through the narrow street lined with small shops. The man selling leather sandals groaned when he saw them approaching, embarrassed when they turned their attention toward him. He said something to them, one retorted, and they all burst out laughing. He turned red. I asked my guide who they were. Hijras, he said. Chakkas. There are many names for them; some of them not so polite. Then he rolled his eyes, "Stay away from them, bad news," he said.

"On my next few trips to India, I began to photograph the hijras I met on the street. As we became closer, I learned that most hijras lead a very difficult and transient life. As soon as I befriended one group we would lose contact when they moved on, got new cell phone numbers, changed cities, and disappeared. Each story would begin the same way - a little boy from a small village who felt different at an early age, cast out by his family when everyone realized he was not like other boys. Each of their stories is unique and offers a glimpse into the lives of people who are in turn marked, judged, condemned and sometimes eventually accepted by those they love."

"My intention was simply to portray them as the subjects of beauty and grace they so desperately wish to be, as if their path to nirvana had not been impeded by a century and a half of prejudice and intolerance."

Since working with Jill on this feature, India granted its "third gender" full legal recognition. An article in the Guardian states: "The change follows similar legislation in Nepal, Pakistan and Bangladesh. This means that now, for the first time, there are quotas of government jobs and college places for hijras. The decision has been cheered by activists, who say that, despite its distinguished history, the community too often faces violence and harassment."

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