I know Charles Traub
as the founder and chairperson of the MFA Photography, Video and Related Media department at School of Visual Arts in New York so it's a pleasure to get an insight into his own, 50-year archive.
His book Dolce Via: Italy in the 1980s
is published by Damiani next month. "This volume is the first comprehensive compendium of his vivid color photographs made in early 1980s Italy, from Milan to Marsala. Characteristic of Traub's imagery is a candid intimacy that combines humor and spontaneity, which makes us long for an Italy that maybe only once was. Brilliant blues, reds, and yellows engulf the baroque posturing and gestures of strangers and ordinary people who become fond archetypical caricatures."
Joel-Peter Witkin's Developer Tray, © John Cyr
Go full screen for this second feature from the series, and let your imagination develop your favourite images from each photographer.
NY locals: there is a book launch and talk on Tuesday, March 18th, 2014, at the Powerhouse Arena, in DUMBO.
Here's another photographer I met at PhotoNOLA
portfolio reviews. Bruce Morton
studied photography, spent a year in the UK as a visiting artist (we did, as one always can, bond over British weather) but he took up landscaping and only returned to photography a few years ago. Bruce's positive personality and open nature is reflected in his imagery.
His lovely book, 'Forgottonia
,' is rich with a local's perspective of an isolated community, and is currently in its third printing. With a foreword by Aline Smithson
and editing and book design by Paula Gillen
"[Forgottonia] is actually the nickname for several counties in far west central Illinois. The reason for the nickname started in the 1950s and 1960s when the interstate highway system was being designed and constructed. Many times a route from Chicago to Kansas City, which would run through the heart of this region, was considered but never built. The people in power believed such an area did not need the infrastructure. Education and manufacturing also suffered with lack of funding and promotion. One college closed its doors and moved to Wisconsin. Trains, which moved goods from one small community to another, ceased to operate. Jobs were all related to the farming and cattle business. Many of the graduating seniors from local schools could not wait to leave this forgotten land. I was one of those.
Life has changed here but not necessarily for the better. Young people still hope to leave to find a better future. The overall population has steadily declined and the only jobs are still farm related. Small farmers are succumbing to the larger operations. In 2007 I decided to return to my homeland and photographically document this area that I once considered to be the most boring place on Earth. I am excited to be back with new eyes to hear old stories from long past friends and look forward to the new ones yet to be told. This book of photographs is a story about the life cycle of those who live, love, and die here."
Michelle Dunn Marsh has been in the world of book publishing for 20 years. She and her partners have recently launched a new company, Minor Matters
, that is printing under a non-traditional model, sort of print-on-demand. Books are $50 and they only go into print once a minimum of 500 buyers have committed.
Why 500 people?
"We are interested in cultural resonance and in community. It is our belief that if we cannot generate a minimum audience of 500 people willing to commit $50 for the project to exist as a book, then the work may find its public life in other forms. A minimum of 500 orders at $50 is a break-even financial proposition."
In a recent interview
Marsh said "Aperture is the right fit for some, Taschen or Chronicle are the right fits for others. I'm not looking to do books that are going to sell 10,000 copies, frankly. We've developed a more boutique model. It's not about taking away from what those institutions are doing, it's about adding to it."
The first 500 people who purchase are even listed within the book and each title will be given six months to reach the target 500+.
'See What I See,' part of The Gambia Media and Design Project
, is "a collection of personal photographic insights into African life through the eyes of 18 Gambian students. The photographs are a result of several photography workshops that took place in The Gambia, organised and taught by Jessica Bishopp
. After the workshops all the students were given an open brief and a disposable camera to use over four days and 'See What I See' is the result!"
The photographs were exhibited in London in September 2013, the exhibition was funded by O2 Telefonica and the London College of Communication. The photographs are also published in a photobook, 'See What I See
' is £20 with proceeds to Gambian charities.
© Ismaila© Lamin
Photographer Editta Sherman (1912 - 2013) at 97 © Ellen Wallenstein
"I tried to improve my work each day, read books and photography magazines to become more proficient in my work. I have always been curious and interested in what's going on in the world. I enjoy conversing with other people who are creative also." (written to Wallenstein)
Journalist Ruth Gruber (b. 1911) at 99
Motivation: "The search for truth." Philosophy: "Never Retire!" Advice: "Let no obstacles stop you." (to Wallenstein)
Author Bel Kaufman (b. 1911) at 100
"Words of wisdom? Words of common sense: Provided you are healthy (a huge proviso) you can have a long and interesting old age. The problems and insecurities of youth are in the past, children are grown and on their own, this is the time to do not what you always had to do but what you want to do. You can be creative, productive, helpful, even inspiring or simply content to be privileged to live in a world which is changing every day." (to Wallenstein)
Actor and activist Judith Malina (b. 1926) at 84
"Tremble: your whole life is a rehearsal for the moment you are in now." (Quote)
Author Francine duPlessix Gray (b. 1930) at 80
"We write out of revenge against reality, to dream and enter the lives of others." (Quote)
Photographer Rosalind Solomon (b. 1930) at 80
"Artists must be in touch with life, create frame-works and find the freedom to express themselves within their personal structures. As long as I have eyes, ears, hands, feet and sanity, I will improvise and keep moving. I advise young artists to do the same. This is a matter of essence, not age." (to Wallenstein)
Painter Lois Dodd (b. 1927) at 83
"Be stubborn and follow your own voice." (to Wallenstein)
Photographer Rebecca Lepkoff (b. 1916) at 92
"Avoid trends. Think for yourself. Think of a project that you w ould like to concentrate on, and spend time developing it. Time passes. Will it be of interest 49 years from now?" (to Wallenstein)
Designer Jeanyee Wong at 90
"If you love what you do, you get better at it.... The more you learn the more interesting life is." (to Wallenstein)
Designer Eva Ziesel at 102
The pleasure of making things useful or beautiful involves your feelings as well as your thinking. When your original sketch evolves into a tangible, three-dimensional object, your heart is anxiously following the process of your work. And the love involved in making it is conveyed for those whom you made it." (Quote)
Painter Sylvia Sleigh at 94
"What do you think about rivalry between women? It's divide and rule anyway. I mean if you set women against each other, then you're going to be able to dominate them much more than if they're together. You see our strength now is to love one another and appreciate one another and defend one another." (to Wallenstein)
Pigeon Fright, Italy, 1956
'Europe in the Fifties. Through a Soldier's Lens' is a book of photographs by Bill Perlmutter, a soldier with the US army who traveled through Europe beginning in 1954. The photographs were presented for the first time earlier this year by the German house of seltmann+söhne who are thrilled to announce that the book just won silver in the prestigious Deutscher Fotobuchpreis. You can buy a copy of 'Europe in the Fifties
' directly from them, for 40 Euros. Nice Christmas present if anyone's thinking of getting me something.
G.I. baby, Germany, 1955
"It all started in December 1954, when the then 27-year old soldier boarded a troop carrier to Germany, to start his new assignment as a photographer for the U.S. Army magazine. The first images from Perlmutter's Rolleiflex originated during the rough Transatlantic passage. Even though he had never left his home country and was a bit apprehensive about his future, Perlmutter was "looking forward to photographing Europe and visiting all those wonderful places that I had read about and seen in the movies."
Almost 60 years after the images were conceived, they clearly document the photographer's sense of the special moment. Every single image becomes a lively piece in the puzzle of remembrance, reporting accurately on the historical period, but also capturing very personal encounters. His insightful work has a long lasting effect, way and allows those pictures to come alive. Again and again. Even after all those many years."
Street Musicians, Paris, 1955
Woman Reading in the Park, Paris, 1956
Open Wide, Germany, 1955
A Kiss on the Hand, Paris, 1956
Man With Dark Glasses, Italy, 1956
Bill Perlmutter was born in New York on September 5, 1932. He began his career with a Bachelor of Arts in Motion Picture Techniques from the City College Film Institute in New York. In 1954 after graduating from the United States Army Photography School, he spend two years in Europe as a staff photographer for the U.S. Army newspapers based in West Germany. Since then he traveled extensively all around the world as a free-lance photographer. From 1978-1997 he worked as the Vice President of Rainbow Chromes, a company specializing in photographic and digital retouching.
Many thanks to seltmann+söhne
for providing such great images for press. Glück!
make pocket photobooks - collectable little marvels, costing £5. One of their current releases, 'Ghost Ships,' features images made in artist Simon Jones' old house and "takes us on a voyage of discovery through frayed carpets and other domestic hazards."
Jones makes "photographic artworks about memory, which usually involves the creation of small dioramas captured on location with a single exposure."
Along side the books, Aglu offer small-run limited edition prints. They publish six books per year and are interested in submissions.
'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!
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.
Bengie inside the candy store © Bruce Davidson, courtesy Seven Stories Press
," (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.
Bengie combing his hair outside the candy store
Under the boardwalk at Bay Twenty-two. Left to right: Norman, Junior, Willie, Henry
On the beach at Coney Island
Bengie in "the hole" at Eighteenth Street and Eighth Avenue
Bengie's mother, Mary "May," across from the Holy Name church on Prospect Avenue
All images © Bruce Davidson, courtesy of Seven Stories Press.