Tag Archives: Immediacy

Europe Week: Salva Lopez

Guest editor, Jacqueline Roberts shares a week of European photographers, starting with Salva Lopez. A huge thank you toJacqueline for her insight and efforts. Her statement for why she selected the photographers follows: 


 I chose these photographs because they move me. They are portraits of people, young or old. They tell a story, maybe theirs, maybe ours. Some speak softly, hushing over us like in Lopez’ muted portraits of old people. Others exude exuberance and vitality, like in Laboile’s family life. Some are languid portraits, others raw pictures of a sore existence. Some stare right back at us, like in Videnin’s photographs; others gently lower their gaze. Yet for me, they all share that essential quality that turns a good photograph into a great one: immediacy. We know a good photograph when we see one. When I look at these images, I relate to them immediately, to the people they portray, to the narrative. They have their own language, a language that speak to me, a language that I understand. There is an intuitive connection that synchronises our own experience with a photograph. A reciprocal flow. An empathic exchange. 


I was at Getxophoto this summer, an international photo festival near Bilbao (Spain), and it struck me when two passers-by paused in front of a photograph and remarked: “Oh that’s very nice, but what does that mean? What was the artist trying to tell us?” searching for answers. Images carry meaning, they do; but in my case, it is the quest for questions that I relish when looking at a photograph. To me, these photographs tell us about loneliness, joy and pain; about dreams, beauty and hopelessness; about search and loss… Vehicles for meanings, emotions and thoughts. Stories of bodies and souls… ultimately, metaphors of life and what lies underneath.–Jacqueline Roberts


image by Salva Lopez


Salva López (Barcelona, 1984) trained as a graphic designer but when he discovered photographers Stephen Shore, Joel Sternfeld and Alec Soth, he realised that photography was what he wanted to do. Since then Salva has gained recognition in Spain as an emerging talent, winning many awards (e.g.Fotoactitud, Photoespaña) and showing his work in exhibitions and photo festivals.

Salva is currently working on his project “The Green Curtain”, about the mount Montjuïc in Barcelona. He is also co-editor of the blog “Have a Nice Book” about photography books that he edits with his friend and also photographer Yosigo.

Roig 26 is a project that I have carried
out bit by bit through observation, reflection and from my experience of living
with my grand parents, Marina y José, for five years in their modest apartment
on Roig street, in the Barcelona “Raval” district. An apartment that
has been the stage of their relationship for more than 60 years. A whole life
inside these same walls and these same fears.

With Roig 26 my intention was not to draw a true portrait of their own reality, but rather to recreate one, through what I have experienced with them.


What does your cultural heritage bring to your work?

It is difficult to know which type of cultural heritage has influence my work. Obviously I have my own cultural references, my region, my surroundings, Catalonia, Spain, the Mediterranean and Europe. But in a global world, my influences come also from the United States, through their movies, their music, their literature and particularly through their photography. William Eggleston or Stephen Shore have had an impact on me from the start. 

What difference do see between work created in Europe and in the States?

Ummm… I would say that in the United States a formal approach often predominates along with a more intuitive and visual narrative. I believe that in Europe we perhaps make it more intellectual, we try to find a concept for each photographic work. The ideal work, for me, would that which is visually strong and has an intellectual dimension, that is interesting but not necessarily explicit. In my work, there are days when I wake up as a European and others as an American. Here in Europe we too often “split hairs”.

What is the state of photography in your country (how is photography perceived in the art scene, is there support, are galleries selling, etc.)?
As everybody knows, Spain is going through a massive crisis and the first budget cuts have affected cultural activities. Most grants are gone now, and what is left will not last long. I am not too familiar with galleries so I can’t really say, but one thing is sure, sales have fallen dramatically.
Having said that, I think that Spanish photographers are getting better and we are gradually reaching European levels. People are very motivated and there are more and more groups that support young talented photographers. I know quite well the world of photography books and I can see the progression. Publishing houses are publishing very interesting things and photography books are now making the Top 10 list for best books. Last year for instance, Ricardo Cases with ‘Paloma al aire’ and Julian Barón with ‘CENSURA’ were among the top 10. And it is very likely that Cristina de Middel’s book ‘Afronautas’, will make it this year. 
There is still loads more to do, support and funds are scarce, but luckily and thanks to the Internet it is now much easier to access information and promote your work. The intermediaries who were once indispensable are less so today.

Brad Wilson

Brad Wilson knows how to take a portrait. His site is filled with stunning commercial and editorial portraits of a wide array of sitters, each captured with dignity and respect. He brings these same qualities to his fine art work. Brad’s soulful images of animals are quite remarkable and reflect an intimacy rarely seen in animal photographs.

Chimpanzee #4, Los Angeles, CA, 2010

Brad began his studies in art at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and continued on to study at various workshops and work with notable photographers until he began his own career in 1996. He now lives in Santa Fe, is published around the world, which includes images on over 400 book covers around the world, and numerous advertising campaigns, annual reports, and music packages. He has numerous European exhibition slated for 2011, in Switzerland, London, and Belgium.

ANIMALS: There is something appealing about a purely instinctual, intuitive existence. Perhaps it is the common human longing for a simpler life, or the desire to be fully present in each moment – largely free of our recent past or imagined future. For me at least, animals embody this special type of immediacy. Not long ago I began to wonder what it would be like to work with them in a studio environment without cages or scenic landscapes or any other distractions. What would they reveal and what could I create? This whole complex project was really born of those few basic curiosities. A few months and many, many phone calls later, I was standing in front of a chimpanzee, then a tiger, and later an elephant. My journey into the unknown had begun.

Chimpanzee #2, Los Angeles, CA, 2010

The first thing I learned was that I was not really in control, nor was I going to be. For the most part, the animals did what they wanted within the confines of the photography set. Waiting and patience quickly became an integral part of the project. So in the middle of what I can only define as a gentle and unpredictable chaos, I tried to find a specific moment – a moment where mood, composition, and stillness combined to create something uncommon, something unexpected. I was looking for a final image that could stand completely on it’s own, regardless of context, and that also transcended the obvious beauty and power of my subjects. This series of photographs is the result of that exploration.

Chimpanzee #1, Los Angeles, CA, 2010

Bull #2, Los Angeles, CA, 2011

Cheetah #1, Los Angeles, CA, 2011

Cheetah #3, Los Angeles, CA, 2011

Elephant #1, Los Angeles, CA, 2010

Elephant #4, Los Angeles, CA, 2010

Giraffe #3, Los Angeles, CA, 2011

Lion #3, Los Angeles, CA, 2010

Orangutan #1, Los Angeles, CA, 2011

Orangutan #3, Los Angeles, CA, 2011

Tiger #1, Los Angeles, CA, 2010

Zebra #2, Los Angeles, CA, 2010

Zebra #3, Los Angeles, CA, 2010


SNAPSHOT: Alex Webb

Interview by Anna Carnick

Alex Webb, self portrait in Hong Kong while on press for The Suffering of Light.

Picture 1 of 12


Aperture is pleased to introduce “SNAPSHOT,” a new series of interviews with photography’s luminaries, inspired by the Proust Questionnaire. For our series debut, we spoke with the always thoughtful, ever-surprising Alex Webb.

Webb’s latest photography collection, The Suffering of Light: Thirty Years of Photographs by Alex Webb, is available now through Aperture.

AC: How do you describe your personality?
AW:
Obsessive, persistent––maybe even Sisyphean––but with a sense of humor.

What is your idea of happiness?
I suspect pure happiness is only attainable for brief periods.  Creative fulfillment, however, seems like a more sustainable goal––taking the work one believes in to its ultimate end.

What do you believe is your greatest achievement as an artist so far?
If I’ve made some sort of contribution to photography––and that’s not for me to say––I think it’s about having discovered a way of working in intense color in the tropics with an eye towards the enigmatic, the unexpected, and the sometimes paradoxical.

I also think that Rebecca Norris Webb and I have made a small but unique contribution to the history of photographic collaborations with the Violet Isle project, a project which created a more complicated portrait of the island––and its people and animals––than either of our individual visions could have done alone.

If you weren’t a photographer, what would you be?
Perhaps a novelist, though I am quite sure that I would have failed miserably at it.  I think I need the immediacy of the experience of the world for inspiration.  I think I do much better walking the streets and responding with a camera than staring at a blank sheet of paper in a room.

Who is your favorite artist, of any genre?
Blues is my favorite kind of music, and I love Buddy Guy’s music––though I think Stevie Ray Vaughn’s version of Little Wing is pretty special . . .

What is your favorite photograph?
I have a lot of favorite photographs, but I’ll mention one that has lingered in my mind for many years: Robert Frank’s picture of the back of a hearse-like vehicle in London.  I love the open-ended questions that Frank’s photograph poses:  Is that a hearse? Where exactly is that child in the fog running––and why?

The last book you really enjoyed?
I recently read Vargas Llosa’s The Way to Paradise, a novel that interweaves the lives of Flora Tristan, a nineteenth century social activist, and her grandson, the painter Paul Gauguin.  The depiction of the latter is particularly compelling.

Name a person—living or dead—you’d really like to meet.
I wouldn’t even know where to begin. . . . I suppose, if I spoke Russian, I would have liked to have met Tolstoy–especially on his estate.

What qualities do you appreciate most in friends?
I think probably a good-natured sense of humor, especially the ability to laugh at yourself.

Your favorite motto?
I love the following from the sculptor Henry Moore, from late in his life:

The secret of life is to have a task, something you devote your entire life to, something you bring everything to, every minute of the day for the rest of your life. And the most important thing is, it must be something you cannot possibly do.

 

Anna Carnick is a Brooklyn-based writer and editor. Previously the editor of both Graphis Inc. and Clear Magazine, she has been an Aperture editor since 2010. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times Style Magazine (The Moment), Photo District News (PDN), PopPhoto.com, Dazed & Confused, Casa Vogue, Dwell.com, Coolhunting.com, and others.

 

 

 

Critique: Kiki in graphic detail.Catel’s quick-fire sketches illustrate the life of a Surrealist icon

I had some reservations about Kiki de Montparnasse, a new graphic biography of the artists’ model and muse, painter, singer of bawdy songs and celebrity, who came to fame in Paris in the 1920s, writes Rick Poynor in Eye 79. The woman herself is fascinating. I thoroughly enjoyed her autobiography, Kiki’s Memoirs (1929), banned in the US and finally made available in English in 1996. But the graphic style of Kiki de Montparnasse (SelfMadeHero) drawn by Catel Muller and written by José-Louis Bocquet, is not one I would normally go for – I prefer a sharp line and a tightly constructed page – and graphic mood is crucial in a narrative that runs to 370 pages.

IMG_KIKI_2_EYE_79

Long before I was halfway through, Catel’s delicately skating pen had me completely charmed and convinced she was the perfect artist to handle this story. The immediacy of her graphic style captures Kiki’s personality to a tee: lively, amusing, generous, irrepressible, quick to stick up for herself, a natural entertainer who never failed to grab the opportunity to have a good time.

IMG_KIKI_3_EYE_79

IMG_KIKI_4_EYE_79

This is an extract from ‘Kiki in graphic detail’, Rick Poynor’s Critique in Eye 79.

More details on the publisher’s website.

See also: Rick Poynor’s two-part essay on Surrealism. Part one (article from Eye 63) and part two (article from Eye 65).

Eye is the world’s most beautiful and collectable graphic design journal, published quarterly for professional designers, students and anyone interested in critical, informed writing about graphic design and visual culture. It’s available from all good design bookshops and online at the Eye shop, where you can buy subscriptions, back issues and single copies of the latest issue. The latest issue is Eye 79, a type special.

Ignacio Iasparra Solo Show on View at John Jones

Ignacio Iasparra Solo Show on View at John Jones

Nacho Iasparra

Nacho Iasparra

Presented by Lodeveans Collection and John Jones, Argentine photographer Ignacio Iasparra’s debut show in the UK opened with great success last Friday. This remarkable series of images made between 2003 and 2008 depict what Isparra describes as various ‘moments of light and colour,’ shot in different settings throughout Argentina, including the forests and woodlands of the Tigré and Paraná Deltas.

The series offers the viewer a speculative experience, revealing subtle and endless variations of light, colour and shadow. Each image effectively becomes dislocated from any specific sense of place, as Iasparra‘s photographs present ambiguous and only partially defined environments. A fragmented subjectivity, achieved through the act of framing, creates an impression of disruption and estrangement, as well as a sense of immersion and immediacy.

I realized that on each occasion the place mattered less. I was not looking for images of a certain place, but for sensations. My intention was to confront clear images with vague sensations. I thought it was important that the elements of the image were recognizable, that it didn’t turn into pure abstraction. After all, they are photographs…My search was for an almost abstract estrangement and sense of wonder.
Ignacio Iasparra, 2010.

Born in 1973 in a rural town near Buenos Aires, Iasparra continues to work in Argentina. He graduated from the Escuela Argentina de Fotografia, where he studied under Ricardo Torosian and Fabiana Barreda. moisturiser . He has had a number of solo exhibitions in Buenos Aires, and his work has been part of various seminal group shows.

In 2005, Iasparra was elected Photographer of the Year by the Argentine Association of Art Critics. free guitar lessons . He has works in the Museum of Modern Art in Buenos Aires and MALBA’s Colección Costantini. He continues to explore the array of photographic possibilities of Argentina and beyond, through the ongoing development of his artistic practice.

Special thanks to John Jones, the Lodeveans Collection, the Argentine Embassy in the United Kingdom, Sarah Toplis (Curator) and Yinan Zhang (Exhibition Assistant).

For more information please visit John Jones and Lodeveans Collection.

Original post

Bela Doka

© Bela Doka

Bela Doka is a Hungarian photographer that is releasing a new limited edition book, “The Sundays in Life“, distributed by Schaden. I could not find images from that series of work but I wanted to refer to his photography in this post. What I find most fascinating about his style is the ability to present people in ways that are intimate and causal but striking. His images have energy and passion, immediacy and originality.

© Bela Doka

© Bela Doka

© Bela Doka