Tag Archives: Auction Spotlight

2011 Benefit and Auction Spotlight: Rachel Barrett

Kale Road (2010, printed 2011) © Rachel Barrett

Immediately following the 2011 Benefit Dinner and AuctionSNAP! New Collectors Program Benefit Party will kick off with live jazz by DW-40, spinning by Japanster, and a Fuji Instax Cameras Photo Op. This event is co-chaired by artist Jowhara AlSaudPeter Berberian of Gotham Imaging, Emily Bierman of Sotheby’s, and actor Ken Triwush. The party’s main event will be an exciting Emerging Artists Auction including up and coming photographers such as Rachel Barrett whose piece Kale Road (above) will be up for bidding. Rachel Barrett writes, of her work:

“In recent years I have shifted attention to iterations of communal life among my peers for whom there is a resurgence of back to the land ideologies. Initially I was intrigued by the social and political significance of this movement and wanted to investigate further, exploring the ways in which individuals shape their own understanding of self within the context of coherence among others and among the land. This photograph is from my series “Bolinas” which delves into the small, unincorporated and largely off-the-grid community of the same name in Northern California, resting precariously on the coast of the Pacific. Dirt roads with hand-painted signs mark the pathways between a notoriously reclusive population with a rich cultural and agricultural history dating back to the 1920s, with a flowering in the late 1960s after the Summer of Love. A collective effort to clean up after an oil spill brought the people of Bolinas together, and the desire to live an intrinsically shared existence with one another and closely to the land on their own terms is how they decided to stay.

There are no longer any true communes in town but that same sharing mentality of perpetual exchange and engagement persists. My point of entry and access to the town was through a friend who started sharing a home with seven others in late 2008. Created over two years during many extended stays in which I lived in their house, I was struck by the intricacy and complexity of interconnectedness, the near seamless relationship between humans and nature, the invisible web binding moments together. I was interested primarily in the dynamic between the young women in the house and in town and the spiritual, perhaps even near religious connection they have with the landscape of this mystical place straddling two geographic plates, the past and the present, and two worlds.”

Rachel Barrett (b. 1981) received her BFA in Photography & Imaging from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts in 2003 and her MFA in Photography, Video & Related Media from the School of Visual Arts in 2008. Her work has been featured in the New York Times, PDN, Russian Esquire and other publications. She is represented by the Jennifer Schwartz Gallery in Atlanta and Gallery Stock in New York and London.

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2011 Benefit & Auction Spotlight: Jane Hilton

Pat Meinzer, Cowboy, Benjamin, Texas 2009 © Jane Hilton/ Nailya Alexander Gallery

Jane Hilton is one of the many great artists featured in our 2011 Benefit and Auction. Her photograph Pat Meinzer, Cowboy, Benjamin, Texas will be up for bidding during the evening’s Live Auction. Inspired by a commission in 2006 to photograph a 17 year old cowboy, Jeremiah Karsten, who traveled 4,000 miles on horseback from his native Alaska to Mexico, Jane set off on her own four year pilgrimage, criss-crossing the cowboy states of Nevada, Arizona, Utah, Texas, New Mexico and Wyoming to capture America’s 21st century cowboys which has culminated in her recently published book – Dead Eagle Trail. This particular image was nominated for the 2010 Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize and exhibited at The National Portrait Gallery as a runner up. She writes, of the image:

“This portrait is one of a series of cowboys I photographed in their homes, from the buckaroos of Nevada to the cowpunchers of Arizona and Texas. The paradox of photographing a cowboy at home, and showing their obsession with the lifestyle was much more fascinating to me, than photographing them on a horse.

A window acts as a constant reminder to the outside world. All of them were shocked that I wanted to go inside their houses, and sometimes even their bedrooms where they spend the least time. But it was much more interesting to see them in less familiar territory, revealing their softer and possibly more feminine side. They were always immaculate despite the harshness of their working environment. It is the contradictions that are infinitely more enlightening.

Pate’s bedroom clearly demonstrates a feminine touch by his wife, with their wedding photographs and religious icons on the walls. Most of the cowboys I photographed had a strong sense of spirituality. As one cowboy told me, “I don’t need to go to church. My horse is my church and I am out with God everyday.”

Freedom is a cowboys’ life. Most were brought up on ranches where it was always hard work and never particularly profitable. Even today a cowboy can expect to earn only a few dollars an hour, but this is not what drives them. Real cowboys boast of never having met a stranger, most can’t swim. All of them have a John Wayne story they love to share. This series is a celebration of The West as it is now. Nobody can predict whether in a hundred year’s time the cowboy will still be around.”

Jane Hilton is a photographer and filmmaker living in London. The contradictions in American society and the American dream are recurring themes in her work. She filmed a documentary series for the BBC, “The Brothel / Love For Sale,” as well as a series of exhibitions on desert landscapes, pimps and prostitutes. Jane’s work is regularly published in The Sunday Times Magazine and The Telegraph Magazine.

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2011 Benefit and Auction Spotlight: Honoree Bruce Davidson

Boys at the Lake, Central Park, 1992 © Bruce Davidson/Howard Greenberg Gallery

Benefit Honoree Bruce Davidson‘s photograph Boys at the Lake, Central Park is one of the many exciting items up for auction at this year’s Benefit. The black and white image depicts four boys climbing on overhanging branches, starkly silhouetted against the Manhattan skyline. The photographer writes, of the image, “I discovered these young children swinging on low branches of trees over the lake. They seemed very free to me and comfortable as I made a few panoramic exposures. I thanked them and continued walking along.”

“The layers of life are very deep within Central Park, and no one will ever finish photographing Central Park. […] I used a panoramic camera with a rotating drum scan for much of the work in the park because Olmstead saw the park as a proscenium that moved, like during a carriage ride, or strolling, so I needed that 150 degree view.”

Bruce Davidson (born in Oak Park, Illinois, 1933) is considered one of America’s most influential photographers. He began taking photographs when he was ten, and studied at the Rochester Institute of Technology and the Yale University School of Design. In 1958 he became a member of Magnum Photos, and in 1961 he received a Guggenheim Fellowship to document the civil rights movement. After a solo exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in 1966, followed by a National Endowment for the Arts grant in 1967, Davidson spent two years photographing one block in East Harlem, resulting in East 100th Street. A solo exhibition of this work was curated by John Szarkowski for the Museum of Modern Art in 1970. In 1980, after living in New York City for twenty-three years, Davidson began his startling color series of urban life in Subway. Davidson received a second National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in 1980, and an Open Society Institute Individual Fellowship in 1998. He received this year an Honorary Doctorate in Fine Arts from the Corcoran College of Art and Design. His work has been shown at the International Center of Photography, New York; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Palais de Tokyo, Paris; Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.; Museum Reattu, Arles, France; Burden Gallery (Aperture), New York; Parco Gallery, Tokyo; and New-York Historical Society.

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Click here to see Bruce Davidson’s new edition of his classic book Subway, to be published by Aperture this Fall

2011 Auction Catalog Now LIVE! Auction Spotlight: Sasha Rudensky

Aperture’s 2011 Benefit and Auction catalog is now online and open for bidding! This year’s catalog features many talented artists, from emerging to established photographers. You can bid online through our website, and at the event on Monday, October 17th. The proceeds from our 2011 Benefit, Auction, and SNAP! Party—our most important fundraising event of the year—are essential for Aperture’s publications, exhibitions, and public programs, which provide unmatched exposure for artists and scholars working in photography.

In this clip, auction-featured photographer Sasha Rudensky explains how her work is related to her personal history. She describes her practice as being in between documentary and staged photography in a “loose way.” Rudensky also speaks about the polished, aesthetic style that emerges from the reGeneration2 artists, and her experience being a part of the group.


Rudensky’s image Red Square is part of our SNAP! Benefit Party Emerging Artists Auction. She writes, of the image:

Red Square was taken from a friend’s window in January of 2010. Initially I wanted to climb out on the roof deck in order to shoot from outside but due to heavy snowfall, the door has been barricaded. As it often happens, limitation became a source of strength, so when I set up to have the view framed by the window I realized it clarified the ideas behind the work. The iconic glitter of the red square presented as a projection, rather than a real space, sets up for the underlying theme of the project, an interweaving between illusion and fantasy as well as every day reality in post-Soviet Russia.

Stay tuned for weekly blog posts giving insight into select items from our Benefit’s Live, Silent, and Emerging Artists Auctions!

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