© Klaus Pichler

Klaus Pichler's photographs from 'Skeletons in the Closet,' his project made in the Museum of Natural History, Vienna, from 2008 - 2011, are entertaining and at times baffling. He got the idea to gain access to the storage areas after he caught a glimpse into the museum's basement one night where he saw "an office with a desk, a computer, shelves and a stuffed antelope."  

Klaus has now self-published a limited edition book of the work. Every page is a winner and I love its format: small, square, utilitarian grey cardboard cover, but with a round window and a bear peeping through. Just €35! 

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All images © Klaus Pichler

Be sure to check out Klaus' other work, not least of all 'One Third,' about food waste, and 'Dust,' which turns collections of fluff into beautiful still life photos.

Also check out Klaus' early aCurator feature, 'Middle Class Utopia.'
Books | Permalink |


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© Pezhman Zahed

Pezhman Zahed is an Iranian-born, UK-based artist who recently graduated with a BA in photography from Brighton University. "My practice incorporates economic data and examines the possibility of translating non-visual data into visual forms."

Pezhman describes his engrossing, ambitious project: "Growing anti-western sentiment stemmed from five decades of struggle with the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company and the reluctant involvement in two world wars, followed by a plot to topple the most popular government in Iranian contemporary history, resulting in the 1979 Islamic Revolution."    

"The photographs demonstrate excited fluids under the effect of sound waves with particular frequencies. The figures used to generate the frequencies correspond to the company's net profits, royalties to Iran and (if applicable) British taxes, in nine most critical years of the company's 42-year long activity in Iran prior to the nationalization. Accompanying the photographs are excerpts from declassified documents and found images related to the events immediately before and after Operation Ajax (the overthrow of the democratically elected Prime Minister, Mohammad Mossadegh, in a CIA/MI6-backed coup d'état in 1953)."

View the full-screen magazine photo feature.
Magazine | Permalink |


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Bengie inside the candy store © Bruce Davidson, courtesy Seven Stories Press

"Bobby's Book," (Seven Stories Press, 2012) is about the life of Bob Powers (aka Bengie), a skinny, asthmatic kid born into a large Irish family in Brooklyn in the early 1940s. Bob tells his graphic tales of growing up dirt poor to alcoholic parents; about the Catholic school that overlooked him; becoming a drug addict; marriages, kids; making millions from meth, hitting the bottom and climbing up clean to become a drugs counselor. 

Bruce Davidson met Bob and his gang in 1959 and began photographing them where they hung out making major trouble in South Brooklyn. Forty years after Davidson finished that project, he received a phone call from Powers, and ultimately, over the next ten years, Powers told his story to Bruce's wife, the adorable and brilliant Emily Haas Davidson. 

This book is an easy and extremely engaging read (I knocked it off in a couple of hours) even if the subject matter is sometimes tough going. Bob's redemption in his own eyes, and of those family members willing to forgive him, however, is entirely uplifting and in a perfect ending, his ability to help others escape their own entrapment is truly heartening.

Bruce Davidson is, well, Bruce Davidson.

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Bengie combing his hair outside the candy store

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Under the boardwalk at Bay Twenty-two. Left to right: Norman, Junior, Willie, Henry

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On the beach at Coney Island

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Bengie in "the hole" at Eighteenth Street and Eighth Avenue

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Bengie's mother, Mary "May," across from the Holy Name church on Prospect Avenue

All images © Bruce Davidson, courtesy of Seven Stories Press.
Books | Permalink |


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'Fifi' smokes an argileh water pipe at a cafe in St. Paul, MN, 2012. "I talk a lot when I smoke, but it's fun to do when we girls get together." Many parents don't approve of their daughters going out, but they find ways around the rules. © Alex Potter

Alex Potter is a young photojournalist from the Midwest living in the Middle East. She is currently based between Lebanon and Yemen.

According to her bio: Alex began her career in Minnesota, the land of 10,000 lakes. After growing restless with her nursing job, Alex picked up to document post-revolution Yemen, a land with zero lakes, but plenty of mountains to climb. In 2012, she was selected as a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar, and moved to Lebanon. 

Though she didn't study photography, Alex has attended the NYTimes Lens Review, Eddie Adams Workshop, and a VII Masterclass, which were much more beneficial than your average classroom. Since 2012 she has been chosen for the Chris Hondros Student Fellowship, Lucie Foundation Emerging Scholarship (2012, 2013), PDN Photo Annual, and American Photography 29, among others.

"Since the start of the war in Somalia, thousands of refugees have settled into bordering and western nations, part of the ever-growing Somali diaspora. One of these largest communities is in Minneapolis, Minnesota. This mid-sized city of 400,000 in the Midwest is home to an estimated 40,000 Somalis. It has been over twenty years since the first refugees arrived. Many were children at the time, now grown into a new generation of young adults, faced with the task of balancing tradition with transformation, heritage and a new identity.  

The community has faced many struggles: recruitment of young men to al Shabab, gang violence, and prejudice of a mid-sized city in the Midwest. Yet through it all, the youth have thrived, and the community is revitalized. They are mentors, artists, poets, and community leaders. Though their stories are different, their message is clear and united - Hanoolaato (Long Live) Somalia."

View the full screen magazine photo feature on Somalis in Minnesota.

Here's a bonus, a sample from Alex's work in Yemen:

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© Alex Potter

Yemeni women spray graffiti on barrier walls leading to the Presidential Palace, demanding the former president be brought to justice, Sana'a, Yemen, 24 December, 2012. The Arabic eventually reads, ليعدم عفاش, meaning "Afash (Saleh's nickname) to be executed"
Magazine | Permalink |



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© Adam Krause

An aCurator favourite, photographer Adam Krause sent in these photos of Brooklyn's Market Hotel and some of its residents.

"The Market Hotel opened in 2008 in Bushwick Brooklyn as a venue for punk rock shows and loft style living for about a dozen. Both activities being done illegally due to a lack of permits and incorrect zoning. The owner recently decided to make it a legal venue and continue to play punk rock shows, but in order to get the building to code, its current residents must move out. These are portraits and interiors of the residents during the final days of the Market Hotel." 

Thanks Adam! I love the collages!




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All images © Adam Krause
Photographers | Permalink |


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© Adam Walker-Smith

'Hide and Seek: The Dubious Nature of Plant Life in High Security Spaces by Adam Walker-Smith,' is a documentary photography project created by a paranoid photojournalist, the alter-ego of British artist Max Colson. Instigated by his discovery of the landscape design programme 'Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design' (CPTED), Walker-Smith's photographic research exposes what he sees as the 'suspect' plants of high security urban spaces.

Officially: Max Colson is a photographer from London who works with text, graphic design and most recently his intriguing alter-ego, Adam Walker-Smith. In 2013 Max was named as a UK winner of the Magenta Foundation's Flash Forward 'emerging photographer' award and was also selected by University College London's 'Urban Lab' to exhibit in their annual show at the Slade School of Fine Art; in 2012 he was exhibited as part of Photofusion's 'Annual Member's Salon'; in 2010 he featured in the 'A Luta Continua' exhibition at Newcastle's Side Gallery.

View the full screen magazine photography feature and increase your own paranoia.
Magazine | Permalink |


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Xhosa huntsman with lynx # I, South Africa © David Chancellor/INSTITUTE

Elyse Weingarten reviews the extremely impressive book Hunters, a photographic essay by David Chancellor (text by Bill Kouwenhoven. Published by the good people at Schilt, March 2013)

"If I am rabid, I am equal to what is outside." Paula Fox, Desperate Characters

Photographer David Chancellor's book, Hunters, explores the psychology of the hunter, documenting the safaris that comprise the big game trophy industry in southern Africa. The book is divided into two parts, the first containing over a hundred full-page photographs set deep in the African wildlife; among them, portraits of hunters and huntresses posing with their prey, in the instant after the kill. The reactions of the hunters are captured in the best photographs. It is this exigent moment - and the hope for what it could reveal - that propelled Chancellor to join hunting safaris with seasoned, lifelong hunters throughout his adopted country of South Africa, and Namibia and Zimbabwe. Each kill is a "trophy," and the rarer the species, the better.

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Bow hunters in blind, Eastern Cape, South Africa

The question this book begs is "why?" Why have these hunters come all the way from their home countries to hunt animals they know to be dangerous and endangered, and come back again and again? It would make sense that because killing is the ultimate freedom, with a guilt-free crime scene and taxidermy, death becomes the ultimate commodity. The absence of blood on the photographed hunters, except for the occasional shirt or the ceremoniously blood-smeared face, is conspicuous. In this very lucrative business, death is sanitized.

This is not the story being told in the second part of the book that includes Chancellor's exceptional photo narrative, "Elephant Story," taken near a national park in Zimbabwe. In this narrative, the thrill of big game hunting is replaced with the consumption of game meat by a local population. The twelve photographs of this series sequentially show villagers descend upon a dead elephant and skin it, collecting the flesh for meat until all that is left are skeletal remains and bloody chunks of unusable innards. The local population that crowds around the elephant's body is just another part of the natural environment; they do not shy from the blood of the animal. Here, in this landscape, death is not tidy. -  Elyse Weingarten

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Huntress, skinners and a nyala, Eastern Cape, South Africa

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Hunter and wife, game farm, Eastern Cape, South Africa

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Huntress with impala, Eastern Cape, South Africa

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Novice hunter with cell phone and blesbok, Eastern Cape, South Africa

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Novice hunter with recovered bullet, Bray, Northern Cape, South Africa

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Huntress with buck, South Africa. Winner of the Taylor Wessing portrait prize 2010, National Portrait Gallery, London

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Fallen giraffe, Somerset East, Eastern Cape, South Africa

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Elephant detail # II, Zimbabwe

All images © David Chancellor/INSTITUTE

David Chancellor, born in London, England, works and lives in South Africa. Many thanks go to David, to his agency INSTITUTE and to Schilt Publishing.
Books, Photographers | Permalink |


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Highway 160, Arizona, 2013, © Rob Hann

Road-trip addict and now aCurator's most-published, Rob Hann has kindly been out west again, satisfying my own near-constant hankering to be on the highway. 

"Since October 2001 I've been taking photographic road trips throughout America, mostly in the western states, building a large body of work under the title of 'I Dream a Highway.' I head out whenever I can, usually for about two weeks. On my latest trip I flew into Las Vegas and wandered through eight states before heading back to Vegas and flying home to NYC. I have no fixed route but drive from daybreak to dusk each day before finding a cheap motel to lay my head for the night." Rob Hann, June 2013.

View the full-screen magazine photo feature.

View Rob's previous trip, Lone Star State of Mind.
Magazine | Permalink |


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Felix Rodriquez, San Francisco Giants © Rita Rivera

'Speak English! The Rise of Latinos in Baseball' (Kent State University Press. Text by Rafael Hermoso) is a new book featuring images by Rita Rivera. Rita was introduced to me by my friend and colleague Mary Engel whose mum, Ruth Orkin, Rita used to assist. Mary works hard to maintain the archive of both her parents - her dad was Morris Engel - and I'm thrilled she hooked me up with Rita and introduced me to this project about the important role Latinos increasingly play in league baseball and the prejudice they still face. 

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Manny Ramirez, Boston Red Sox

Here's the blurb for you baseball fans.

"'Speak English! The Rise of Latinos in Baseball chronicles how much - and how little - has changed since the first Latino played in the big leagues in the nineteenth century. By the middle of the next century, the Alous, Vic Power, and Rico Carty worked to earn their place in the game amid taunts and ridicule. Today, even established players and stars may be told to speak English in clubhouses, eliciting cringes or shrugs from individuals who are seemingly still hurting."

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Vic Power

"Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig offers a foreword full of nostalgia and pride. The afterword by Omar Minaya describes his experience playing ball in Queens and being the first Hispanic general manager in baseball. Speak English! selects the stories of 45 players to illustrate the collective history of Latinos in baseball and is illustrated with photographic portraits of many of them."

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Wilton and Vladimir Guerrero

"Today, more than a quarter of all major leaguers are Latino, and most began as outsiders. Globalization unearthed baseball in San Pedro de Macoris, Caguas, and Maracay. American teams looked abroad for talent and cheap wages, carving baseball diamonds out of sugarcane fields. Players in their teens left their families. Those from Cuba knew they were possibly leaving for the rest of their lives, just for the chance to play in a country still struggling with diversity in the 1950s and 1960s.

Yet many Latino players still speak as if not much has changed. Far from perfect, their no-rules journey to professional contracts has increased the risk of taking improper shortcuts. Several players were implicated recently in the use of steroids and performance-enhancing drugs. Others admitted to shaving years off their ages, allowing them to compete with an advantage against younger players."

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Ed Figueroa, The Yankees

"The great Latino story is also one of glory, as some of the best players in major league history tell of their hard voyage to baseball's mainland. The tale is likewise one of realists, and readers will not find anything in these stories that does not exist in other walks of life. The story is not clean, but it is compelling. Like baseball, there's enough to love in it to keep coming back to it as generations learn from the ups and downs of the Latino role in baseball, and its rightful place in history."


Felipe Alou, San Francisco Giants

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Albert Pujols, St.Louis Cardinals

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Luis Tiant played with Boston Red Sox

All images © Rita Rivera
Photographers | Permalink |


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Stephen Tomasko stopped by to see me in my offline world at ClampArt and told me his good news: his project 'First Place and our Congratulations' was awarded an Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award for 2013. Here are some new images from the series, and a link to my previous post.

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All images © Stephen Tomasko
Photographers | Permalink |



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