Tag Archives: Gestures

It’s Personal: 13 Photographic Visions

For the last twelve years, it have had the pleasure to teach at the Julia Dean Photo Workshops in Los Angeles, under the leadership of the amazing Julia Dean. Starting in January at JDPW, I began working with a group of thirteen talented Los Angeles photographers–all established image makers with solo shows, books, and numerous awards under their belts.  For nine months,  we came together for critique, feedback, and mentor ship as the photographers created or continued significant photographic projects.  The result is that each has developed a new portfolio of work, with a printed component to compliment the photographs–from newspapers, to zines, to books, and an exhibition titled, It’s Personal,  that opens this Friday, September 28th, at the Julia Dean Gallery in Hollywood, CA.

Needless to say I am incredibly proud of their efforts, their breakthroughs, and their ability to articulate the world around them through imagery and thought. The exhibition, It’s Personal, reflects personal explorations of subjects that are meaningful to the artists. A big congratulations to all.

Here are the featured 13:

Nancy Baron’s Walking in LA is a series of photographs, which document hiking culture in Bronson
Canyon in Los Angeles. Baron’s lush gold-and-green-toned images capture the natural beauty that lies
minutes from urban streets. Titles reflect overheard conversation at the site.

 Can I Get Closer to The Hollywood Sign? © Nancy Baron

 She Dumped Me as Soon as We Signed the Lease ©Nancy Baron





Marjorie Salvaterra’s Her is an examination of the psychology of age and gender. Marjorie’s self reflection on her many roles and expectations as a woman are redirected through surreal interpretations and exaggerated gestures, in portraits that are evocative of Italian cinema. Marjorie has created photographs that reflect the universal idea of womanhood and assure HER that she is not on this path alone.
Eve Unraveled, 2012 ©Marjorie Salvaterra






The Weight of Water, 2012 © Marjorie Salvaterra


Marian Crostic’s Ethereal Paris is a continuation from her popularTimeless Paris projects and books. Shot
in early winter to early spring at the break of dawn, Marian captures a sense of stillness within the
hustle bustle of the City of Lights. Ethereal Paris focuses on the grandeur and geometrical shapes of
gardens, particularly Le Jardin Des Tuileries and Le Jardin Du Luxemberg.

 Big Wheel, Paris ©Marian Crostic

 Windows, Jardin Des Tuileries ©Marian Crostic

Noelle Swan Gilbert’s Wide Awake and Breathing is a series of landscapes and scenes in muted colors
and tones that captures the feeling of waking up and learning to breathe again after living through a
grieving period.

 Taking a Break  ©Noelle Swan Gilbert

Wide Awake © Noelle Swan Gilbert





Bootsy Holler’s The Visitor reinterprets intimate family snapshots while exploring time and blurring boundaries and as a way to comprehend her heritage by placing herself into each photograph. She has begun to have an understanding of how she was created over generations.
©Bootsy Holler


©Bootsy Holler



Cathy Immordino’s Another World is a reflection on Cathy’s feelings as an outsider in the world she lives in. Transforming landscapes found here on earth into other worldly realms. She challenges the viewer to think outside the truth of their reality. A second project, Fuck Hollywood, looks at the double edged sword of life in Hollywood.
Other World ©Cathy Immordino

Meta Hollywood ©Cathy Immordino



Jamie Johnson’s One World combines her two worlds of photography into one. On one side she is
a family and child portraitist, on the other she is a world traveler exploring other cultures through a
lens. Within her vast inventory of images Jamie has discovered a universality of human nature and
experience. One World features two photographs captured years apart and without connection but
showing similarities that speak a powerful truth about who we are. None of the photographs were staged to reflect another image.

Nomad Mom/Soccer Mom ©Jamie Johnson

Teenage Girl, Cambodia/Teenage Girl, California  ©Jamie Johnson

Gray Malin’s A La Plague, A La Piscine captures the essence of the world of pools and beaches.
Shooting from door-less helicopters, Gray has used the dynamic vacation destinations of the United
States, Brazil and Australia as his canvas, creating a visual celebration of color, light, shape – and
summer bliss.

©Gray Malin
©Gray Malin

Claire Mallett’s Drawn By Color is a love letter to the European Masters using the female figure.
Using window light in much the same way as the painters did centuries before. Each portrait uses a
predominant color to evoke a particular mood and atmosphere of self reflection.

 Dune ©Claire Mallett
Ochre© Claire Mallett



Bob Bright’s Big Sur has transformed his recent trips to Big Sur into breath taking landscapes that impart the sense of wonder that greets him each time he finds a spectacular view. Bob encourages everyone to visit the Carmel, Monterey area and to see Point Lobos.
 ©Bob Bright

©Bob Bright
  

Lisa McCord’s A Southern Family is a reflection of her growing up in the south. Which she remarks,
is very different than growing up anywhere else. The unique social norms of the south colored our life
with richness that made us who we are.

Granny playing [email protected] Lisa McCord

Granddaddy in [email protected] Lisa McCord




Ashly Stohl’s History Will Absolve Me, challenges the perception that Cuba has been frozen in time
since the embargo. She seeks to capture the decline of a once flourishing culture and convey the
human cost of the tensions between the United States and Cuba.

© Ashly Stohl

© Ashly Stohl



Alison Turner’s Bingo Culture is series of portraits taken in Bingo halls all across America. Alison
doesn’t photograph strangers she photographs new friends, she takes time to connect with her
subjects, “I truly care about each person I meet and I enjoy listening to their stories”. She realized she
was looking at a cultural phenomenon that will be lost in order to make way for new technologies in
gaming and social interaction. Once these dedicated players pass on, so will the bingo halls as we see
them today.

Christmas Bingo in Colorado 2011©Alison Turner

Woman with a Bingo Card Stack, 2010  ©Alison Turner

Land of Stories and Myths: Yaakov Israel Photographs His Homeland

The land upon which the nation of Israel sits is steeped in stories and myths. It’s ancient, holy; all three major faiths that took root here see salvation in its domes, its olive groves, its cracked earth. It’s a land where people still seek the messiah. In one Orthodox Jewish messianic tradition, He will return riding a white donkey. On a blistering summer’s day in 2006, Yaakov Israel peered through the heat waves and saw, emerging in the distance, a man atop a white donkey. “He materialized,” says Israel, a photographer based in Jerusalem, “like a fata morgana,” a mirage.

Israel’s book The Quest for the Man on the White Donkey will be released in the U.S. this fall.

This man on a donkey was no illusion — nor, most would contest, was he the messiah. Instead, his arrival from the desert and into Israel’s lens gave the photographer a guide for a photo project he has worked on for the past decade, crystallized in a new book, The Quest for the Man on the White Donkey. Israel’s pictures are the product of years of wanderings in Israel, in the Occupied Territories and in the spaces in-between, seeking to document a vision of its people and landscapes away from the noise of an intractable political conflict and the rumbling news media that watches it.

In the spirit of U.S. photographers who chronicled their journeys through the American vastness, Israel would wake up early in the morning and head off in a direction, photographing what he saw and whom he encountered along the way. Of course, unlike in the U.S., Israel, traveling in the country that bears his name, would invariably run into one or two political borders by nightfall. And so his gaze dwells on the quiet of certain moments — “the small clues for me that exist in each image,” as he puts it — that tell a story of daily life in a land whose deep history and uncertain future are woven through with gestures that are at once religious, political and inescapably human.

A girl wades into the Sea of Galilee, her arms held wide as if choosing between crucifixion and baptism. Spools of barbed wire are followed in the book by tangles of thorns and a sea of dandelions; men with guns look on, at times curious, at times detached. A backpacker sleeps. The hills glow and soak in sunlight.

Israel emphasizes the everyday nature of his subjects — “these are people I’m just bumping into every time I go out.” Often, they would go out of their way to accommodate Israel, posing patiently, introducing him to family and friends, pointing to new vistas for his camera. In one scene, a pair of Arab workers who had intended to go to work choose instead to hang out with Israel and share their breakfast with him. “These episodes of human courtesy happened again and again,” says Israel. “For me, these small things tell another kind of political story.”

The man on the white donkey, a Palestinian farmer, was no different. In 45 degrees Celsius heat, he agreed without hesitation to participate in Israel’s project, desperately trying to keep his steed still until an image became clear.

Yaakov Israel is a Jerusalem-based photographer. See more of his work here.

The Quest for the Man on the White Donkey will be available in the U.S. this fall. The project recently won the PhotoEspaña Descubrimientos (PHE12 Discoveries) 2012 Award.

Review: Roberto Schena, SP 67

The road trip is one of the primal photographic gestures. It has given rise to some of the most celebrated series of photographs as well as to countless clichéd and forgettable pictures. Thanks to—or maybe even because of—Robert Frank’s ten thousand mile drive across America which led to The Americans, it also feels like a quintessentially American exercise. The term also has an epic quality: it conjures up the idea of a seemingly never-ending journey. With his book SP 67, the Italian photographer Roberto Schena has played with the mythology of the road trip to explore a short (13km) stretch of road running through the mountains in northern Italy.

The books cover sets the mood: the landscape is wintry and barren and the air seems to be heavy with moisture. This is a book that is all about atmosphere. Although its title and endpapers (a reproduction of a map of this mountain road) seem to place importance on the particular location that Schena has chosen for this project, its subtitle, La strada della tramontana scura (The road of the dark north wind), is more revelatory of its nature. The book is structured like a drive from East to West along the SP 67, one almost entirely shrouded in a thick fog which only allows for glimpses of the surrounding landscape.

Most of the images in SP 67 are technically landscape photographs, but they reveal very little… the odd curve in the road… the foliage that surrounds it… always obscured by the incessant fog. This unsettling visual backdrop is punctuated by the odd animal apparition. This is what gives the book its rhythm: a pig running along a ridge on the horizon, a closeup of a horse’s head, a goat or some dogs picked out of the darkness by the car’s headlights. This creates the sense that this world belongs to animals rather than to men. This road seems to run through a parallel universe, a place that we recognise but where space and time are distorted and unfamiliar (another reviewer compared Schena’s world to that of a Murakami novel).

While Schena has undeniably created a heavily atmospheric world with this work, I found it to be a little too impenetrable. SP 67 is a slippery book that left me with a lingering sense of frustration. Like a dream that you awake from feeling unsettled, but, no matter how hard you try, you just cannot remember.

Roberto Schena, SP 67 (Rome: Punctum, 112 pages, 51 colour plates, 2012).

Rating: Worth a look

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Aline Smithson: Converging Conversations

Sharing a work-in-progress series titled, Converging Conversations. I tend to make work that tells stories, but I have been also shooting images that are non-specific, more about color or gesture or emotion–I have been thinking about those moments when you are lost in thought, yet not really thinking about anything…

Converging Conversations is a series about juxtaposing unrelated images in order to create a new conversation or narrative. It is a conversation that is a convergence of ideas and associations, open to personal interpretation. The result is something completely separate from the original intent of the image making.

My initial focus in creating many of these photographs was to capture a sense of disconnectedness, a sense of day dreaming, and in some cases, a sense of nothingness–images that capture moments or gestures, moving back and forth between a place that is tangible and a place on the periphery of my memory and experience. By combining these images, a new narrative begins and the photographs become animated in conversation.

Photographer #430: Rinko Kawauchi

Rinko Kawauchi, 1972, Japan, is a fine art photographer based in Tokyo. She studied at the Seian University of Art and Design and graduated in 1993. She started as a photographer on a freelance basis from 1997. In 2001 she launched herself into the photographic world with the simultaneous release of 3 books, UTATANE, HANABI and HANAKO. Since then she has released a large number of monographs of which the latest addition is Illuminance. Her images seem simple, but they evoke primal emotions within the viewer. By paying attention to tiny gestures and incidental details within her environment she finds the extraordinary within the mundane. The editing within her books is crucial to her work and the stories she wishes to tell. The photographs show a large range of emotions and fundamentally adresses life itself, from the good all the way to the bad. Her work has been exhibited extensively in solo and group shows around the world and is in several public collections as the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Phtography and Huis Marseille in Amsterdam. The following images come from the books Illuminance, AILA and Cui Cui.

Website: www.foiltokyo.com & www.rinkokawauchi.com

Siri Kaur

Siri Kaur lives in Los Angeles, spends her summers in Maine, and when she’s not teaching photography, she travels the world. She brings a unique tool belt to photography, having received her MFA from CalArts, her MA in Italian Studies and BA in Comparative Literature from Smith College. Her work is varied and intelligent, with a number of projects that explore portraiture in significant ways.

Siri is about to open an exhibition, Know Me For the First Time, at Blythe Projects in Culver City (Los Angeles) on October 29th and runs through December 17th. This new project of unrelated, yet connected images, is a personal exploration of people and places, gestures and moments that allow for a personal narrative.

Images from Know Me for the First Time

Barn

Blonde

Burning a Mountain

Noah

Forest House

Gyrfalcon

Goat

Bonfire

All of a Sudden, I Miss Everyone

Hawk

Radishes

Angela

Otto

Solstice Cave

Window Sill

Brittany

Martin Seeds

Martin Seeds is a visual poet. He comes from Belfast, Northern Ireland, but is burrently living in Brighton, England where he completed his BA(hons) Photography at the University of Brighton. In his final year, Martin received the Tom Buckeridge Photography Prize. He is co-founder and contributor to the publishing venture ‘where will you spend eternity‘.

He is a wonderful writer, someone who explores his inner reaches and uses imagery to tell his tales. He looks for connections, for history, for a path to a place only he understands, but he brings a beauty to that journey. It’s a less linear way of making photographs, that leave room for interpretation and gestures of connection. I am featuring his project, I have troubles(…) below.

I have troubles[…]

I never set out to document anything. It was more of a search, an investigation. I wanted to understand more of myself. To find others like me. I needed to be sure that I wasn’t the only one.

But there must be others. I’m sure we, the ones from over there, all get asked the same questions. And therefore some of those others, like me, must also doubt their answer. There are those, the numbers of which are unknown to me, although I suspect there are many, that do not answer or give a faux “…it doesn’t matter…”. So much is buried in such a dismiss. For many don’t want to begin on that tiresome road of “…going into that nonsense…”.

I am convinced however that there exists within us all a deep sense of origin. It is stronger in some cultures, less deeply buried perhaps. To be clear I’m not talking about nationalism, no, that is something else. That’s wrapped up in political ideals and tied to legal boundary posts. What I’m referring to is more a primeval notion of origin. An unconscious reference point which influences, without politics, much of our choices. For we as humans have need of a reference point – a beginning? We require that ‘A’ to start from and ‘B’ to arrive at. You see I think we like straight lines, they are easy to negotiate and are convincing in their simplicity. History has, for example, a habit of being drawn as a straight line for that very reason.



Well, I read the history; several versions of it. And yes, each drew its own straight line. And I got sick of the sight of it to be honest. It wasn’t telling me anything I wanted to know. It told me someone else’s story. So I went back there. I went back to find my own ‘A’.

This work is the result of my experience.

Rinko Kawauchi and Lesley A. Martin on Illuminance

In this clip, Japanese photographer Rinko Kawauchi speaks about the work from her Aperture monograph, Illuminance, with Aperture publisher and editor of the book, Lesley A. Martin. Kawauchi explains how she is interested in revealing the universal cycles of life through the ordinary existence of her family. She also touches on the sequencing and the palette of her images, how they express her own half-awake, half-asleep reality. Finally, they discuss the collaboration process in making this hybrid book combining both Japanese and Western influences.

This excerpt is edited from a conversation between Rinko Kawauchi and Lesley A. Martin which took place at Aperture Gallery on May 18, 2011, on the occasion of the release of Kawauchi’s monograph, Illuminance.

Rinko Kawauchi’s work has frequently been lauded for its nuanced palette and offhand compositional mastery, as well as her wonder-inspiring, deliberate attention to tiny gestures and the incidental details of her everyday environment. In Illuminance, Kawauchi continues her exploration of the extraordinary in the mundane, drawn to the fundamental cycles of life and the seemingly inadvertent, fractal-like organization of the natural world into formal patterns.

Click here to purchase the book Illuminance

Click here to view and purchase Kawauchi’s limited-edition print