Tag Archives: Image Makers

David Weinberg

When I was in Chicago this fall for the Filter Photo Festival, I attended the opening of the festival’s juried show, Light, that was held at the David Weinberg Gallery. Jurored by Matthew Avignone and David Weinberg, it was a terrific exhibition of contemporary image makers and it was a treat to meet many of the artists.  During the course of the evening, I found myself in David’s office and asked him about the exquisite images hanging on the walls.  He told me that they were his photographs, and that he was not only a gallery owner, but a photographer himself.

image from Mr. Wild’s Garden

Chicago photographer, David Weinberg, didn’t start off the way most photographers do. David was a business man for 35 years working for Fel-Pro, Inc., the Skokie, Illinois-based
gasket manufacturing company his family ran for generations. The company was famous
for its generous benefits and even-handed treatment of employees and was even
recognized as one of the top ten companies to work for in the United States. David
worked his way up to co-Chair of Fel-Pro, taught his personnel methods to graduate
students at the University of Illinois, and lectured at numerous universities and
government agencies. Today the same methods inform his collaborative approach to
working with his subjects.

Although David only made the switch to photography 10 years ago, art has always been a
part of his life with a mother as a successful commercial potter and a father who maintained a private art collection and ran a California-based sculpture center and
art gallery. David
actively exhibits his work and has shown in numerous galleries and museums and won
national photography awards over the last decade.  I am sharing two of his series, Mr. Wild’s Garden and Spent.

Mr. Wild’s Garden

When I was a child, my family lived next door to a mysterious, 90-something year-old man named Mr. Wild. Although I was only 6 years old at the time, I still vividly remember our neighbor’s dilapidated house and yard of towering, treehigh weeds. I remember wondering what an adventure it would be to play in Mr. Wild’s weeds and whether he’d try to “get me” if I did.

A bit later in life, upon reflection, I realized that Mr. Wild was entirely isolated from the community and that no one had ever seen him speak with another person. And looking back now, at the age of 66, despite the persistent memory of this man, I still know next to nothing about him.

It is my enduring memory of this man, coupled with my curiosity, that inspired my photographic series, Mr. Wild’s Garden. In the series I explore who he may have been by looking at the world through his eyes. My attempt to see the world through his eyes only adds more questions, while widening the possibilities and deepening the mystery of just who Mr. Wild was.

Spent

Energy and strength have a capacity, an upper
limit. When we reach our maximum effort at the end of our struggle, we are
spent. Weary in action and conjecture, we physically endure and prevail thru
the stress of life. For years I have observed these contorted expressions
surface while lifting weights in front of a mirror. Our faces, the organs of
expression reveal themselves like a whistling teapot under pressure. Kinetic
energy builds to a climax through the body to form the grimace of strain. I am
fascinated with these expressive moments because they are both telling and
mysterious.

 The series Spent is about the tipping point where
we tangibly exhaust ourselves through enormous effort and the daily grind
forward toward complete depletion. I am interested in the differences exhibited
by different people. These portraits demonstrate a variety of uniquely
evocative individuals. From the youth who disguise their vulnerability, to the
manual workers exhausted by continual labor and life in general, the expression
is the betrayer of the inner struggle.

Jacqueline Roberts

It is with great pleasure and excitement that I introduce Jacqueline Roberts as next week’s guest curator and writer.  She will be sharing the work of six contemporary European photographers over the course of the week, exposing us to image makers an ocean away. Today I will be celebrating her wonderful work that beautifully explores children and childhood.

Jacqueline is a Spanish photographer born in Paris and now lives and works in Wincheringen, Germany, with her husband Gareth and their children Madoc, Malen and Emrys–making her a perfect European ambassador of photography. Her work has been shown in France, Spain, Germany and Luxembourg and has won various international awards, including the International Photography Awards in New York and the Prix de la Photographie in Paris. Jacqueline works with different photographic mediums, both digital and analogue, as well as with photographic techniques from the 19th century. She has published two books with editor Galerie Vevais, within the collector’s series Werkdruck and she is currently preparing her third monograph Kindred Spirits, which will be published next year.
 Kindred Spirits is a celebration of childhood and by extension life, tinged with nostalgia; a constructed memory for the future… a family album, simply. At a time in my life where my children are growing up and my parents are ageing… a reminder of the trace of time and fleeting nature of life.
 images from Kindred Spirits

Triptychs is primarily a tribute to my children, all born on the same day, which consists of three triple triptychs. With this series of portraits I wanted to emphasise the connection between them, the fraternal bond, the communion almost, that exists between them. Three distinct individuals yet connected. It was relevant therefore to present the work as triptychs, for the religious connotations it confers to the images but also to embrace the symbolism of the number three in a wider cultural realm. Three represents the triad of family: male, female, and child; the triad of the cycle of life: birth, life, and death; the triad of time: past, present and future; the triad of human nature: mind, body and soul and the Holy Trinity: The Father, The Son and the Holy Spirit… like an allusion to the sacred status of the child in our contemporary western societies.

images from Triptychs

Remixed, a New Take on Aperture Classics

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.

Aperture Remix is on view at Aperture Gallery in New York from Oct. 17Nov. blog comment . 17. See more informationhere.

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

Update on 500 Photographers

Dear readers & followers,

After a silent period I thought it was time to let you know what is going on at 500 Photographers so you know what to expect the coming months and ofcourse to let you know when the remaining 45 photographers will be posted.
500 Photographers has been asked by Guatephoto, a photo festival in Guatemala city in November, to create a projection that will be shown at the new gallery of La Fototeca. In the converted movie theatre they will be placing four large screens projecting the work of this website and three other well respected and known websites simultaneously. Currently I am curating and producing the projection to make something that should make some jaws drop. Throughout the city there will be exhibitions including work from acclaimed photographers as Roger Ballen, Maleonn and Erwin Olaf.

At the same time I’m looking for the remaining 45 photographers that will be featured on this website to complete the list as well as creating things to be done after the website is completed. If you still want to suggest yourself or someone else you believe should be included: now is the time. Check the suggestions page and send me an e-mail. Make sure the photographers you suggest are truly special image makers with a clear signature.
As quality has been my highest priority throughout the process of creating this website, I’m not yet going to pinpoint the exact moment when the photographers will be posted on here, however, it should not be too long from now. I’m excited about the festival in Guatemala, and excited to be finishing 500 Photographers.

To make sure you don’t miss the moment when 500 continues you can subscribe to the rss feed above or like the facebook page.
For those people going to Guatephoto: it would be wonderful to meet you.

Friendly greetings, Pieter Wisse

John Stezaker Awarded the 2012 Deutsche Börse Photography Prize

For more than 30 years, artist John Stezaker has used found images as his primary medium. In his compositions, black-and-white studio portraits become surreal two-faced beings; elsewhere, a woman’s face is replaced by the crashing white waves of an illustrated postcard. These collages, which use classic movie stills, vintage postcards and book illustrations, are sliced and re-arranged into entirely new forms—they’re simple constructions, but Stezaker’s eye for the uncanny makes them powerful.

On Sept. 3, Stezaker was awarded the 2012 Deutsche Börse Photography Prize, which recognizes a significant contribution to the medium of photography through exhibition or publication, for his presentation of photographic collages last year at the Whitechapel Gallery in London.

The £30,000 prize (about $48,000) is organized by The Photographers’ Gallery in London. “Stezaker’s work has been influential on a new generation of image-makers,” said Brett Rogers, the Director of The Photographers’ Gallery, in a statement. “Within the vastness of today’s image flow, Stezaker has managed to resurrect the power and uncanny mystery inherent in the still image using traditional photographic strategies, most especially collage.”

Stezaker’s exhibition at Whitechapel showcased work from the 1970s until today.

“I am dedicated to fascination—to image fascination, a fascination for the point at which the image becomes self-enclosed and autonomous. It does so through a series of processes of disjunction,” Stezaker said in a statement from Whitechapel.

John Stezaker is a London-based artist. See more of his work here.

An exhibition of the artists shortlisted for the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2012 is on display at The Photographers’ Gallery, London until Sept. 9.

Review Santa Fe: Daniel W. Coburn

Over the next month, I will be sharing the work of photographers who attended Review Santa Fe in June.  Review Santa Fe is the only juried review in the United States and invites 100 photographers to Santa Fe for a long weekend of reviews, insights, and connections.  
When I first started writing about the genre of Photographing Family some years back, there were only a handful of image makers capturing the pathos of domestic interactions in a significant way.  Phillip Toledano, Doug DuBois, and Elizabeth Flemming, to name a few, brought a sensibility to telling stories that were at once personal, yet universal.  Photographer Daniel W. Coburn is following in those footsteps with his beautifully executed project, Next of Kin.  Daniel gives us a sense of place and of people. His proximity allows for an ability to be a participant observer where he is able to capture the intangible essence of family, interpreting those he loves with a lens that honors, explores, and understands.

Daniel received his BFA from Washburn University and is currently an instructor and graduate student at the University of New Mexico.  His work his held in public and private collections, and he has published and exhibited widely.
In Next of Kin I use craftsmanship and beauty to engage my viewer in
a dark family narrative.  After a
yearlong hiatus from my hometown, I returned to reexamine my relationship with
immediate family. I use the camera to describe the powerful personalities of my
parents, and the complexities of their relationship. I photograph the children
in my family to revisit my own childhood, which exists only as a set of
fleeting, enigmatic images in my aging memory.

 Next of Kin records the interaction of a working-class family living in Middle America, and the anxiety that occurs within the confines of suburban dystopia. The viewer is encouraged to contemplate the complexities of these relationships in dialogue with their own family experience. How the imagery functions in conversation with the viewers personal family narrative becomes paramount and its value is ultimately determined by its transformative potential.

Boston Week: Paul Giguere

While I am enjoying the Focus Awards hosted by the Griffin Museum and the Flash Forward Festival hosted by the Magenta Foundation in Boston this week, I am re-running some earlier posts about Boston photographers, today with Paul Giguere.

Images from Anonymous Lives

Paul Giguere has had a camera in hand from an early age when he began to document his family from a 8-year-old’s perspective, and now he does the same from an adult one. Paul has a busy life, working full time, raising a family, and still finds time for his passion of fine art photography. On top of that full plate of activities, Paul is the host of Thoughts on Photography, a series of audio podcasts available on his site and on itunes. His podcasts cover myriad of photographic subjects, presented in a thoughtful and timely way, and in addition, TOP includes many interesting interviews with image makers. It’s time to add these to your ipod.

I am featuring work from two series, Anonymous Lives and Seasons Running. The first addresses the alienation of our commuter lives, that out-of-focus zone that we often find ourselves in as we move through the day. His blurred black and white images work as a way to capture our warp speed lives in a timeless way. The second series, Seasons Running, taps into Paul’s passion for documenting family and the ever changing moments in childhood.

Images from Anonymous Lives

Images from Seasons Running