Alfredo De Stéfano was born in Monclova, Coahuila, a city in the northeastern Mexican desert and has a bachelor´s degree in Communication Sciences by the Universidad Autonoma de Coahuila. He is considered one of México´s most important contemporary photographers. He has a passion for the landscape and especially the desert, an environment to which has has traveled countless times, performing art interventions in it and photographing it. His photographic series include Of places without a future (1992), Remains of paradise (1996), Replenishing emptiness (2002) and Brief chronicle of Light (2005). Since 2008 he is working in his new series Storm of light: All the deserts are my desert, which take place in different deserts from the world. His work has been exhibited internationally and are included in public and private collections in México as well as abroad.
Throughout its 60-year history Aperture has never turned away from its hallmarks: an abiding respect for photography as an artistic medium and a tireless encouragement of the free exchange of ideas. From its founding in 1952 through the present, the foundation has always attracted the leading image-makers of the day, and it is only fitting this anniversary serve as a time to reflect on the past. In the celebratory exhibitionAperture Remix, this instinct towards nostalgia is focused on a reflection of photographic influence.
Curator Lesley Martin invited ten contemporary photographers to look back on past Aperture publications, choose a personally influential example and pay artistic homage through appropriation and modification. Martin went to great lengths to select artists explaining, I was looking at a range of people who could represent the directions that photography is moving in now, the way documentary is shifting, and the way digital is being incorporated into photographic practice.
The diversity is apparent, and artists selected span both space and time. Japanese artist Rinko Kawauchi drew inspiration from American photographer’s Sally MannsImmediate Family,created more than a continent away. Meanwhile,Alec Soth selected Robert AdamsSummer Nights, which he reinterpreted into a video, Summer Nights at the Dollar Tree, 2012. When explaining his reasoning for working with Robert Adams past publication he says, Over time, you begin to understand influences and the nuances of what makes your own work different.The other artists commissioned to create work include Vik Muniz, Taiyo Onorato & Nico Krebs, Martin Parr, Viviane Sassen, Penelope Umbrico, James Welling and Doug Rickard, who chose to remix Stephen Shore’s Uncommon Places.
While the initial assignment could be read as encouraging passive appropriation, Rickards approach to Stephen ShoresUncommon Placesis an example of how remixing encouraged unexpected results. Instead of physically intervening with the publication, Rickard decided to analyze the influences that affected it to create his expansive homage. After reading several interviews and text on Shores work, Rickard honed in on postcards as a source of inspiration forUncommon Placesthrough their unique and plain depictions of America. Reminiscent of the great American road trip, Rickard took a digital road trip on eBay to scavenge hundreds of thousands of postcards for his re-imagining. From this wide edit he narrowed down to a smaller set of candidates he felt had the appropriate ingredients that would yield imagery most reminiscent of the original 8 x 10 photographs in Shores publication.
I spent hundreds of hours doing it because his book is so iconic, and I felt homages or anything that is connected to something iconic is always tricky,” Rickard says. “It was important that I did something that was worthyand fitting of this era toowhich is the digital era.
Although the outcomes are decidedly mixed, the assignment uniformly challenged each artist to wrestle through the issue of influence. In an age of image abundance, it may seem easier to ignore icons for fear of looming too close to previous conceptsbut to process and pay tribute is equally demanding. The moral of the story could be dont try anything ever, but figuring out how strong each contributing artists voice is within all their layers of consideration is what makesAperture Remixsuch an engaging exhibition.
Curator Jennifer Shaw (dynamo Photo Nola organizer and a photographer in her own right) has just curated an exhibition on family for the HomeSpace Gallery in New Orleans. I’ll Be Your Mirror, opening October 13th and running through November 8th, is an exploration of family through the eyes of seven contemporary photographers:Angela Bacon-Kidwell, Laura Burlton, Warren Harold, Aline Smithson, Gordon Stettinius, Phil Toledano and Alison Wells. “All document a creative collaboration between family members and all are bound by a profound intimacy. As fathers, daughters, mothers, sons, these seven brave photographers reveal the beauty, chaos, heartbreak and humor inherent in family relations.”
Jennifer states: When Kevin Kline invited me to curate a show for HomeSpace I decided to use the opportunity to have a conversation about family, a topic both universal and entirely personal. I’ll Be Your Mirror brings together the work of seven photographers I deeply admire. It has been a pleasure and an honor working with each of the contributing artists.
with My Father” documents the relationship
of parenthood, from the perspective of a single father.
“Daily Sums” narrates one summer‘s worth
of daily adventures with her son Bleu.
“Time Flies” features small
and intimate portraits of her son and twin daughters, rendered in wet-plate
Dreams” explore the fleeting moments and dreams of childhood – sometimes
filtered through a Grimm’s-like lens – in a collaborative process with her
Portraits of the Photographer’s Mother “ re-imagine Whistler’s Mother in a
series of unlikely costume changes, created in collaboration with her mother.
Photographers the world over need no introduction to Robert Frank’s seminal 1950s work The Americans, an exploration of the American ideal from his outsider’s perspective as a Swiss émigré. Taken on a series of road trips around the country, the resulting intuitively-sequenced images —produced with funding from a Guggenheim fellowship—reflect both the dark undercurrents and poetic beauty of American culture.
Originally published in Paris in 1958 and the U.S. a year later, the book’s hallowed pages—containing a mere 83 images—have become one of the most referenced and revered photographic works. Many of the individual frames reside firmly in the collective memory of contemporary photographers who consciously and subconsciously reference the images on a daily basis.
Three years ago, an extensive retrospective exhibition at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art provided a fascinating and exhaustive insight to The Americans. The show, entitled Looking In, also inspired and facilitated photographer Jason Eskenazi’s recently published appreciation, The Americans List.
In 2009, Eskenazi—himself the recipient of a Guggenheim fellowship—was working as a security guard at the Metropolitan Museum in New York. Every day for two months, even on Mondays when the exhibition was closed to the public, he stood in close proximity with the work, studying it compulsively, attending special events and asking questions of MET curator Jeff Rosenheim.
While guarding the show, Eskenazi started to ask photographers he knew—famous or not—about their favorite images from the show. Over the next two years, Eskenazi compiled their answers, along with their explanations and thoughts about the work. His compilations eventually evolved into his own book, published this month by Red Hook Editions. In the foreward, Eskenazi writes:
“The Americans is probably the one book that connects more photographers than any other, so while guarding the show, I saw many photography colleagues enter. I began asking them what was their knock-out favorite image. Though many said it was too hard to choose and many images were important to them I insisted. I discovered that many of the answers revealed much more about the photographers themselves.”
The Americans List assembles selections by 276 photographers from Joel Meyerowitz (Canal Street – New Orleans. plate #19) and Joseph Koudelka (Covered car – Long Beach, Califonia. plate #34) to Eskenazi’s own personal favorite (Men’s room, railway station – Memphis, Tenn. Plate 52). Eskenazi considers the book a present to the photographic community and a homage to a great living photographer.
Guarding the exhibition also afforded Eskenazi the opportunity to meet the legendary photographer, first at the exhibition opening and then at Frank’s house in New York City, where he asked Frank to confirm the long standing rumor of his own favorite photograph from The Americans (San Francisco. Plate 72).
Eskenazi quit his day job at the end of the Looking In exhibition and has since returned full time to his life as a photographer. “I became very intimate with the work,” Eskenazi says. “It brought me back to life. And Frank was very moved by the book when he was recently given a copy in Nova Scotia.”
Jason Eskenazi is a Istanbul based photographer. See more of his work at JasonEskenazi.com.
The Americans List is published by Red Hook Editions and available through the photo-eye bookstore.
HomeSpace Presents:Ill Be Your Mirror (New Orleans, LA) HomeSpace Gallery is proud to present an exploration of family through the eyes of seven contemporary photographers. Ill Be Your Mirror features work by Angela Bacon-Kidwell, Laura Burlton, Warren Harold, Aline Smithson, Gordon Stettinius, Phil Toledano and Alison Wells. Web Design Tewkesbury . Blog Commenting . carrera de fotografia . Curated by Jennifer Shaw, the images include a variety of stylistic approaches, ranging from candid glimpses to staged allegories. All document a creative collaboration between family members and all are bound by a profound intimacy. As fathers, daughters, mothers, sons, these seven brave photographers reveal the beauty, chaos, heartbreak and humor inherent in family relations. The exhibition will be on display October 13 – November 18, 2012. An opening reception will be held on Saturday, October 13th, 6-9pm. Several of the contributing artists will be in attendance. HomeSpace is located at 1128 St. Roch Street in New Orleans St. Claude Arts District and is open Saturdays 12-5pm, Sundays 12-3pm, and by appointment.HomeSpace is proud to present an exhibition exploring family through the eyes of seven contemporary photographers. Featuring: Warren Harold – Alternating Weekends Laura Burlton – Chalk Dreams Alison Wells – small & intimate wet plate collodion portraits of her children sample attached belowAline Smithson – Arrangement in Green and Black: Portraits of the Photographer’s Mother Phil Toledano Days With My Father Gordon Stettinius sepia toned images of Walker growing up Angela Bacon-Kidwell – Daily Sums (new series) OR selection from Traveling Dreams (TBD by Monday)
“As a photographer with unofficial authority I discover, I observe, I clandestinely stalk.” Boris Mikhailov
“As a photographer with unofficial authority I discover, I observe, I clandestinely stalk.” Boris Mikhailov