Tag Archives: Art Fashion

Jena Cumbo

Brooklyn photographer, Jena Cumbo, is an engaged observer, whether shooting her fine art, fashion, lifestyle, or commissioned work. Jena received a BFA from the Hartford Art School  and received an MFA in Photography from the State University at Buffalo. After graduation, she began working as an assistant to many established photographers, including Lauren Greenfield, and in 2009, went out on her own.



Her on-going series, Prom Project, is the telling of an age old defining night of high school, between the time of what was and what will be, and Jena was there to capture the anticipation and drama. Her images reflect the excitement of that special dressed-up night, where the ending has yet to unfold, and hope is still palatable.



Prom Project: In 2010, I met a group of girls who were interested in having professional photos taken of them getting ready for the prom. I gladly accepted the job. Since then, my work has moved ever-deeper into the realm of youthful fashion and light-hearted lifestyle photography. 

Rites of passage and young girls coming-of-age are topics that have been photographed seemingly ad infinitum, yet this subject matter seems to be an endless source of fascination in the media and art worlds. 

This 2012 prom season I decided to embark on a journey to find a variety of young women in the NY city area with different backgrounds and identities to photograph as they prepare for and take part in the experience of prom.

I photographed a variety of girls getting ready for prom, two actual proms, and an after prom party. Every girl and experience was truly unique. I was fascinated by how ritualistic the getting ready process had become. Everyone I photographed did not attend school the day of or the day after prom, most started getting ready early in the day for evening dances. 

While the styles and looks differed immensely from girl to girl the bonding experience between the friends was a thread that wove throughout the series. 

Senior prom is a very definitive right of passage for high school students. Fashion can be an incredible outlet of self-expression, prom in such becomes the perfect platform for young people to display and flaunt their personal style and identity. Prom is truly their time to shine and an experience that’s meant to be photographed and remembered


Photographer #380: Marcel van der Vlugt

Marcel van der Vlugt, 1957, The Netherlands, is a fine-art, fashion and commercial photographer based in Amsterdam. Once he was finished with his studies at the School for Photography in The Hague he went to Düsseldorf, Germany to assist an advertising photographer. Although his school was largely focused on the technical aspects of photography, Marcel managed to create bodies of work that, although technically perfectly executed, are multi-layered in context. He works on a large-format camera, shooting polaroids to keep control on his final image and to engage the models in the process. The images, autonomous or commercial, are often sensual, poetic and carefully composed. Between 2007 and 2010 he released four monographs. The book A New Day, released in 2008, simulates an imaginary cosmetic clinic where instead of liposuction and nosejobs, the patients get implants of flowers. The blossom is a metaphor for youth, new life and fertility. His work has been exhibited mostly in the Netherlands, but also in other European cities and in the USA. The following images come from the series A New Day, I Like… and Der Kommisar.

Website: www.marcelvandervlugt.com

Photographer #380: Marcel van der Vlugt

Marcel van der Vlugt, 1957, The Netherlands, is a fine-art, fashion and commercial photographer based in Amsterdam. Once he was finished with his studies at the School for Photography in The Hague he went to Düsseldorf, Germany to assist an advertising photographer. Although his school was largely focused on the technical aspects of photography, Marcel managed to create bodies of work that, although technically perfectly executed, are multi-layered in context. He works on a large-format camera, shooting polaroids to keep control on his final image and to engage the models in the process. The images, autonomous or commercial, are often sensual, poetic and carefully composed. Between 2007 and 2010 he released four monographs. The book A New Day, released in 2008, simulates an imaginary cosmetic clinic where instead of liposuction and nosejobs, the patients get implants of flowers. The blossom is a metaphor for youth, new life and fertility. His work has been exhibited mostly in the Netherlands, but also in other European cities and in the USA. The following images come from the series A New Day, I Like… and Der Kommisar.

Website: www.marcelvandervlugt.com

Still life: Philip-Lorca diCorcia’s breathtaking and outlandish fashion photography for ‘W’ magazine

Here he talks psychology, surrealism and serendipity with Edward Helmore
Original Post by independent.co.uk
Dancers from the Tropicana club pose in a dilapidated house. The image was published in the March 2000 issue of W

COURTESY OF PHILIP-LORCA DICORCIA AND DAVID ZWIRNER, NEW YORK
Dancers from the Tropicana club pose in a dilapidated house. The image was published in the March 2000 issue of W

In 1997, the celebrated New York artist Philip-Lorca diCorcia received an invitation to shoot for the fashion magazine W. Well known in art circles for a brand of surrealistic imagery both acutely controlled and dependent on improvisation, the artist collaborated with W’s creative director Dennis Freedman for the next 13 years, pulling off 11 shoots in locations from Cuba to Los Angeles, Bangkok to Cairo.

Two dozen of the images are currently on display at David Zwirner in New York, and the entire collection of 150 images will be published in ELEVEN: W Stories 1997-2008, out next month. Collectively, they form a survey of a moment in fashion photography that unleashed it from its primary purpose †to create a show-and-tell for clothes †and allowed it to tell almost entirely random stories, often with dark psychological undertones. If every magazine has a photographic template †Guy Bourdin and Helmut Newton for French Vogue, for instance, Irving Penn and Richard Avedon for the US edition †diCorcia established W’s art-fashion credentials. longboard complete . The series came to an end in 2008, a year before W was set back on a more conventionally commercial path.

Thai transvestites in a surreal after-dark street scene shot in Bangkok, for the September 2001 issue of W

The model Nadja Auermann is found in a Bangkok sweatshop; a male model who later turns out to be a hustler showers in front of prim Park Avenue women; the designer Marc Jacobs sits on a bed as a man sleeps; a woman in a wedding dress climbs a stepladder in Sao Paulo; three Thai drag queens pose in sailor suits behind plate glass; a woman (the supermodel Kristen McMenamy) stands in a glass house in LosAngeles.

Fantasy scenarios are nothing new to fashion, but these are distant cousins to the model-with-happy-tribesmen template. In many, fashion seems to have been forgotten altogether. The psychological story, however, is always apparent †“being a little obvious is not a bad thing in this particular realm,” the artist remarks, surveying an image of a woman with a blank expression standing in a suburban house and garden †the quintessential spiritual void. “The environment is meant to reflect a psychology †in this case she’s a prisoner in a sterile world. She didn’t need much motivation †I think she was that.”

He continues: “I think of these people as characters and every character has a psychology. I don’t photograph models in the usual way, with all that prancing and jumping, so inevitably they ask me what to do. I don’t want them standing there looking glum; I want them to understand the narrative arc of what we’re trying to get at even if we don’t understand it ourselves.”

There are echoes of Caravaggio and Goya, painters who used light for symbolic meaning, in diCorcia’s central (and much-immitated) innovation; mixing ambient and artificial light in still photographs. After receiving an MBA in fine art from Yale in 1979, he began to establish a reputation as a photographer.

Initially diCorcia placed his friends within fictional tableaux. Then, using lights secreted in the pavement, he began illuminating anonymous strangers against populous street scenes. The sense of detachment which is key to his work was sustained through each of his early series †Hustlers, Streetwork, Heads, A Storybook Life, and Lucky Thirteen. “I did the first series and missed it when I wasn’t doing it. Most people don’t pay attention, but I found it fascinating standing there on the street.”

Despite the technical control of the photographs, it is surprising how much of diCorcia and Freedman’s decade of adventure fashion was left to chance. As the artist explains, “We were always supposed to have some kind of concrete programme, but the concrete programme is only good til the first day you get there.”

Some of the strongest shots in the book, such as the society ladies lunching with the hustler in the Windows on the World restaurant atop the Twin Towers, came about through luck. “We’d built a set in a studio and after a couple of days I was getting claustrophobic and wanted to break out. Someone knew the manager of Windows on the World so we went there.”

There’s a certain decadence to the images. W is now a different animal and its personnel have dispersed. Commercial magazines, now highly focused on the bottom-line, no longer have the freedom from advertisers or the budgets to indulge these exercises. The introduction of digital photography has replaced paper and chemicals, but perhaps something has been lost in the process. Hyper-reality has in a sense become the norm, and not necessarily for the better in diCorcia’s view.

“One of the things about [traditional] photography is that it happens in a fraction of a second. I cannot predict and don’t really know what I’ve done.” With the image instantly under review on a computer screen, there’s been a shift in the emphasis and perhaps romanticisim, irrespective of the tricks employed in digital post-production.

It’s is perhaps remarkable that diCorcia and Freedman were permitted to roam so widely and free for so long.

“I held them to ransom. This is the way it has to be or I’m not doing it,” the artist recalls of their initial understanding. “And Dennis knew that †what’s the point of doing something that just looks like somebody else?”

Philip-Lorca diCorcia: Eleven W Stories 1997-2008, edited by Dennis Freedman, is published by Freedman Damiani in April 2011

Original Post by independent.co.uk

The Dutch Masters Series Workshops

Interesting workshops from Cesuralab

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A new decade is upon us and we want to make sure we start it well. This spring Cesuralab will host The Dutch Masters Series. 5 Weeks with 5 different photographers all coming from the Netherlands. We would like to give photographers (aspiring and professional) the opportunity to explore new boundaries through the teachings from some of world’s groundbreaking photographers working today.

Over the last two decades the Dutch soil has been raising a large breed of exceptional artists who use a camera as their medium. Every one of them having their own individual style and visual language. Five of them will be coming to Italy.

The Dutch Masters Series will start mid April and ends the third week of May. Art, fashion, portraiture, bookmaking, documentary photography, editing, and much more will be subjects of discussion and assignment. Each photographer will have their own specific way of teaching their workshop, but all will be promising and full of content and insight. Spring in this village in northern Italy is sunny, quiet and carefree, to be enjoyed with delicious food and wine.