Frederic Weber lives and works in Nyack, New York. His photographs have been reproduced in publications including Art + Auction, Aperture, Flash Art, The New Yorker, The New York Times and more recently, The Unseen Eye: Photographs from the W.M. Hunt Collection (Aperture, 2011). Weber’s artworks are represented in several museum collections, including the Whitney Museum of American Art, the George Eastman House, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Museum of Fine Arts Houston, as well as many private collections such as Manfried Heiting, Bill Hunt and Fred Bidwell.
Youth culture, through revolt, unabashedly asks us to question and confront our historical and cultural traditions. In post-war Japan, the explosion of the taiyozoku or sun tribe—a term for the youth sub-culture that emerged in the 1950s—was seen by the older, conservative generations as crude and violent. Flooded with new imagery from the West, there was a break in the connection to the past and thus a rejection of traditional values. Affected by the nouvelle vague Western youth and media, the taiyozoku were pictured as promiscuous and nihilistic, throwing their cares to the wind.
Arriving in Tokyo in 1961, Daido Moriyama began photographing the seedy streets of Shinjuku, a ward ravaged during the war. Although the Shinjuku of today is best known as the economic and commercial center of Tokyo, it still retains a revolutionary spirit that started in its post-war bars and red-light district. Moriyama’s high-contrast, gritty depictions capture the energy native to the neighborhood, creating a visual history of Tokyo’s youth throughout one of its most combustible phases in history. It is this power that shapes Moriyama’s work, creating an unfolding visual testament to the cultural landscape of post-war Japan.
A new exhibition pays tribute to Moriyama’s four decade relationship with Shinjuku, which serves as a photographic act of memory and desire. In Fracture: Daido Moriyama, opening at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art on April 7, these notions are explored through a selection of prints and books, as well as recent color work. Moriyama began his career in Tokyo assisting the photographer Eikoh Hosoe. Hosoe was a member of the influential artist collective VIVO, which served to capture the significant cultural and structural changes within Japanese society. In line with this method of working, Moriyama began to roam the streets of Shinjuku and, since the early 1960s, has been witness to the ever-changing and expanding post-WWII landscape—a fractured, strange world that oscillates between time and space, reality and fiction.
Fracture: Daido Moriyama is on view at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art from April 7 through July 31.
- LensBlog explores why Rodrigo Abd‘s photograph of a young Syrian boy expressing grief over the death of his father landed on the front page of three of the most prominent national papers in the United States.
- Time magazine’s photo blog Lightbox celebrated it’s one year anniversary, revisiting their first post and the continuing saga of War is Personal by legendary photojournalist Eugene Richards, of the controversial 1994 Aperture monograph Cocaine True, Cocaine Blue.
- Conscientious, GalleristNY and LVP Magazine weigh in on Cindy Sherman’s retrospective at MOMA and on the “unanimity” among critics in New York reviewing it.
- One year after a devastating tsunami hit the coast of Japan on March 11, 2011, The New York Times does a “Side-by-Side look at Distruction and Renewal.” The Big Picture at Boston.com, Huffington Post, National Geographic, and The New Yorker ran similar posts, as did Time’s Lightbox, featuring a slideshow of photos by James Nachtwey, whose work is in The New York Times Magazine Photographs (Aperture 2011) edited by Kathy Ryan.
- NPR prompts the question: “You know Ansel, But Who is Robert Adams (And Why Should You Care)?” Bob Adams, of the recently reissued Aperture monographs The New West and Summer Nights, Walking, has a traveling retrospective The Place We Live now on view at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
- Sarah Palmer was just announced winner of the Aperture 2011 Portfolio Prize for her series As a Real House. Read her 2009 review of Eirik Johnson’s Sawdust Mountain, Robert Adam’s Summer Nights and Joel Meyerowitz’s Legacy, from when she was editor at Metropolis Magazine.
- Finally, Jonathan Blaustein‘s intensely personal column on APhotoEditor.com reviewing Donald Weber‘s beautifully put together photobook Interrogations is one of the best-written posts we’ve read all week. Interrogations will also be reviewed in the upcoming second issue of The Photobook Review.
Retrospective exhibits, while an enviable chance to create a cohesive story from a lifetime’s worth of work, can be a curator’s nightmare: pieces have to be gathered from all over the world, selected at a distance, organized before they even get to the gallery. Not so the new retrospective of the work of Robert Adams, the photographer famous for documenting the people and landscapes of the American West—both natural and manmade—who is approaching his 75th birthday this May. The show, which opens at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) on March 11, was put together at the Yale University Art Gallery (YUAG) from the master set of thousands of prints donated to the gallery by the photographer in 2004.
“We had time to work with originals and precisely strike a tone that we thought the overall exhibition should have,” says Joshua Chuang of the YUAG, who worked with Adams to curate the images that the show comprises. Adams had preserved the best prints of his work throughout his career and he was instrumental in sculpting the retrospective, which will travel for two years following its time at LACMA. “It’s a very special artist indeed who is the best editor of his own work,” says Chuang. “Adams is really exceptional in that way.”
The resulting show is not intended to be merely a collection of over 300 pictures that happen to be the work of one artist, but rather a single, epic piece of work. It includes each of his major projects, dating back to 1964, and dozens of photo books that he has produced. LACMA’s installation also includes a multimedia reading room and a variety of related programs, from a botany-themed tour to talks with local artists who have been inspired by Adams’ work.
Chuang says that, taken together, the pictures in the show demonstrate how, even though many people think that a camera captures a literal version of the world, the art of photography is one of fiction. “The way that fiction functions is very tricky because it’s using facts to tell a fiction, and it has the appearance of fact,” he says. Robert Adams’ particular devotion to those facts, especially when it comes to capturing the precise look of light that may be flat or boring or dim, was so extreme that the photographer, viewing prints of a photograph taken decades before, was able to describe to curators the exact feeling of standing in a particular spot thirty years ago, and how that feeling ought to come across in the image. Chuang says that such fastidiousness about light means that Robert Adams’ work probably captures the West more accurately than that of the other chronicler of that region, Ansel Adams. But that faithfulness doesn’t mean a lack of artistry. Robert Adams’ skill at capturing nondescript light conjures up an experience—whether it’s in a Target store or the desert—with unexpected intricacy.
“He makes smog in California look ethereal and beautiful,” says Chuang.
And because of his relationship with that state, the photographer’s series of Los Angeles photographs will be highlighted in the show’s LACMA incarnation, in order to allow visitors to compare the environment of their daily lives with the one captured on film, says Edward Robinson, LACMA curator.
“It will be great for people to see this extraordinary photographer’s understanding and exploration of the area, to see how changes in the built environment have been reflected in the landscape,” says Robinson, “and what even the trees can suggest about the use of the land over time.”
Kelli Connell’s photographs seem to be everywhere these days, and soon they will be in Los Angeles, opening on February 25th at the Kopeikin Gallery. The exhibition, Double Life, will run through March 31, 2012. I have been a long time fan of her constructed realities, executed to perfection and visually charged. Only recently, I discovered that it is not Kelli Connell in the photographs, but a long time collaborator. No matter who the subbject, Kelli ‘s work is a powerful investigation of identity, sexuality, and gender roles and in some ways, the truest sense of self portraiture. She forces the viewer to explore their own identity and the process can be slightly unsettling.
Kelli received an MFA from Texas Woman’s University and currently lives and teaches in Chicago. She has exhibited widely and her work is held in many collections including Microsoft, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Columbus Museum of Art, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Museum of Contemporary Photography, The Haggerty Museum of Art and The Dallas Museum of Art. Her monograph, Kelli Connell: Double Life was published by DECODE Books in Fall 2011. Kelli will be at the Kopeikin Gallery for a book signing on Thursday, February 23, 5:30 – 7:30.
I’ve always seen identity as something that is very fluid and as such I usually shy away from labels altogether. Still, a larger part of this work explores the nature of identity formation. In my own personal history, the process of questioning my sexuality was confounding, because the conventional categories, and even the need to categorize in the first place felt like…something being pushed on me. Meanwhile the internal experience of my sexual and gender identity was quite natural and yet not a static thing at all. Perhaps this work is trying to figure out why we rely on categories and labels the way we do.
These images were created from scanning and manipulating two or more negatives in Adobe Photoshop. Using the computer as a tool to create a “believable” situation is not that different from accepting any photograph as an object of truth, or by creating a story about two people seen laughing, making-out, or quarreling in a restaurant. These photographs reconstruct the private relationships that I have experienced personally, witnessed in public, or watched on television. The events portrayed in these photographs look believable, yet have never occurred. By digitally creating a photograph that is a composite of multiple negatives of the same model in one setting, the self is exposed as not a solidified being in reality, but as a representation of social and interior investigations that happen within the mind.
This work represents an autobiographical questioning of sexuality and gender roles that shape the identity of the self in intimate relationships. Polarities of identity such as the masculine and feminine psyche, the irrational and rational self, the exterior and interior self, the motivated and resigned self are portrayed. By combining multiple photographic negatives of the same model in each image, the dualities of the self are defined by body language and clothing worn. This work is an honest representation of the duality or multiplicity of the self in regards to decisions about intimate relationships, family, belief systems and lifestyle options.
The importance of these images lies in the representation of interior dilemmas portrayed as an external object – a photograph. Through these images the audience is presented with “constructed realities”. I am interested in not only what the subject matter says about myself, but also what the viewers response to these images says about their own identities and social constructs.
I often think that we create work at such a fast pace, that we really don’t have time to revisit and digest the plethora of images in our photo reserves. Loretta Ayeroff has recently had the good fortune of revisiting her work from the early 1980’s, finding a new audience and fresh appreciation for imagery that is 30 years old. The work is being celebrated in the new exhibition, Backyard Oasis: The Swimming Pool in Southern California Photography, 1945-1982 in the Annenberg Wing of the Palm Springs Art Museum. Four of her images from her project, Motel Series, are being featured in company along with image makers such as Sim Arrons, Diane Arbus, John Divola, David Hockney, Bill Owens, Ed Ruscha, and Garry Winogrand.
Loretta is a former editorial photographer, having worked for the Los Angeles Times, New West, and Westways magazines, amongst other publications. She has taught photography since 1983, at UCLA Extension and Otis College of Art+Design, the Continuing Education Dept., where she also ran the AFA Photography Certificate Program for several years. Currently, Loretta teaches digital photography at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
These delicious color images from The Motel Series were captured on Kodachrome Slide Film, 64 ASA, using an Olympus XA Camera.
Submissions due: January 16, 2012 11:59pm (pst)
Best of Show – 1 year membership in SPE and conference registration to SPE’s 49th national conference in San Francisco
This competition is open to artists holding current membership in Society for Photographic Education (SPE) and is organized in conjunction with SPE’s 49th national conference, Intimacy and Voyeurism: The Public/Private Divide in Photography, March 22-25, 2012 in San Francisco, California. The exhibition will be on view at RayKo Photo Center during the SPE national conference and feature an opening reception open to all attendees of the event. The RayKo Gallery offers over 1600 square feet of exhibition space and presents eight to ten shows annually featuring nationally recognized artists.
JUROR: Todd Hido is a San Francisco Bay Area-based artist whose work has been featured in Artforum, The New York Times Magazine, Eyemazing, Metropolis, The Face, I-D, and Vanity Fair. His photographs are in the permanent collections of the Whitney Museum of Art, the Guggenheim Museum, New York, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, as well as in many other public and private collections. He has over a dozen published books, the latest monograph being A Road Divided, released in 2010.
Untitled, 2005. © Florian Maier-Aichen
Exhibition on view:
September 13 – October 29, 2011
2 Rue Isidore Verheyden
+32 2 512 92 95
The work of German born artist Florian Maier-Aichen is currently on view at the Belgian gallery, Baronian Francey. Combining drawing, painting, and photography, Maier-Aichen creates rich, abstract landscape photography. Highly saturated in both color and concept, his photos play with the contradictions of landscape photography as a genre for both documentation and fiction. He has studied and worked in Europe and the U.S. and his work is included in the collections of many museums including the Hammer Museum, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and the Whitney Museum of American Art. Maier-Aichen’s work was published in Aperture magazine issue 187, and the compendium Photo Art: Photography in the 21st Century. He will also be at Aperture Gallery on November 22nd for a free artist talk at 6:30pm.