Summer Re-Runs…this post first ran in October 2009…
After photographing the denizens of New York for the last 40 years, Arlene Gottfried must feel like she’s seen everything NYC has to offer. She travels from Harlem to Coney Island, not just as an observer, but as a participant and champion. For her series and book, The Eternal Light, Arlene discovered the Eternal Light Community Singers in an abandoned gas Station on the Lower East side. Eventually, she joined the choir and became an intregal part of the Jerriese Johnson East Village Choir. For her series, Midnight, Arlene documented a nightclub dancer through his journey of schizophenia, and remained his friend and confidant for 20 years. The most recent book, Sometimes Overwhelming, was published in 2007, with images from the 70’s and 80’s, and showcases New York at it’s most outrageous, during the disco era–from the beaches of Coney Island to the West Village on Halloween.
Born in Brooklyn, Arlene graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology and then began freelancing as a photographer for The New York Times Magazine, Fortune, Life, and The Independent in London. Eventually her personal work found it’s way into a myriad of museum collections and exhibitions. She is the recipient of numerous awards including the Berenice Abbott International Competition of Women’s Documentary Photography.
FotoWeekDC’s 5th Annual International Awards Competition is looking for extraordinary images – we’re looking for yours! The 2012 competition will honor professional and emerging photographers from our region and from around the world.
Cash prizes totaling $20,000
Winning images will be exhibited and/or projected during FotoWeekDC, November 9-18 as well as online.
Winners will be selected by a distinguished panel of world-renowned judges
Winners will be notified on or about October 5, 2012
I have a really full fall, teaching in Los Angeles at the Julia Dean Photo Workshops, but also teaching and reviewing at a variety of photo events around the country, so thought I’d share my schedule in case you happen to be in the area! The expansion of photography festivals only reflects our growing community and lucky for us that we can benefit from the exposure, the education, the ability to share work and make new connections.
I will also be at the Santa Fe Workshops next spring (I believe the 3rd week of March), again teaching, The Big Picture. Details to follow.
In San Diego, from September 6-8th, the inaugural launch of the Medium Festival Of Photography will kick off with a keynote lecture by Alec Soth, speaking on Sept 6th. The festival includes workshops, lectures, artist lectures, portfolio reviews, and exhibitions.
Filter Photo Festival takes place in Chicago and is a week long festival with lectures, workshops, portfolio reviews, exhibitions, and connections. The keynote speaker will be the compelling, Brian Ulrich, on Thursday, October 18th.
“Filter is an organization dedicated
to producing the Midwest’s premier photography event, the annual Filter
Photo Festival. The Festival’s ongoing mission is to connect emerging,
mid-level, and professional photographers from across the country with
gallerists, educators, curators, editors, and other elite photo
professionals, focusing particularly on those of the Midwest.”
I will be reviewing at the event and teaching The Art of Presentation: Showing your work to the fine art market(presented by the Santa Fe workshops)on Wednesday, October 16th, from 9am-1pm. This workshop will get you ready for reviews and help you contextualize your work in the fine art world. There are also terrific workshops in addition to mine, lectures, portfolio reviews, and lots of connecting and celebrating of photography.
I will be giving an artist’s lecture, will have a solo exhibition at the Center for Fine Art Photography, will be giving a workshop, and participating as a reviewer for SPE. SPE events are open to ALL photographers, and they are incredibly informative and interesting.
Foto DC is a week long event from November 9-18th that is filled with exhibitions, workshops, lectures, and portfolio reviews.
On Sunday, November 11th, I will be teaching a workshop for emerging photographers on how to create a fine art portfolio.
PhotoNOLA is an annual festival of photography in New Orleans, coordinated by the New Orleans Photo Alliance in partnership with galleries, museums and photographers citywide.
The 2012 festival will take place from November 29 – December 2
with broad ranging photography exhibitions on display throughout the
month. The lineup includes portfolio reviews, workshops, lectures,
demonstrations and a kick-off gala at the Musée Conti Historical Wax
Museum. Many events are free and open to the public.
Portfolio Review registration will open on September 5, and the reviewers list will be announced in August.
I will be teaching a workshop and reviewing at PhotoNOLA this year. Dates and details to follow.
Lust is an intense appetite, craving, or untamed desire. We lust for an array of things—money, power, objects, sex, or just living life. Love is a powerful
affection or personal attachment and comes in a variety of forms, which
can encompass romantic, sexual, platonic, narcissistic, or even religious feelings or attitudes. And sometimes love and lust overlap. Show us your interpretations. Who or what do you love or lust for?
What images capture these emotions for you?
fashion, editorial, landscape, documentary, conceptual, or any other
genre is open for consideration. Color, b&w, iPhone, or alternative processes are all eligible.
Book Title: Open to interpretation
Theme: Love + Lust
Judge: Aline Smithson, LENSCRATCH
Submission Fee: $40 for 5 images, $10 additional
Deadline for submission: January 10, 2013
Results Announced: January 23, 2013
Results Posted Online: February 6, 2013
Awards: $1,000 Cover Image + $500 Judge’s Selection Award
Challenge the Way We Look at the World FotoWeekDC’s 5th Annual International Awards Competition is looking for extraordinary images – we’re looking for yours! The 2012 competition will honor professional and emerging photographers from our region and from around the world.
Cash prizes totaling $20,000
Winning images will be exhibited and/or projected during FotoWeekDC, November 9-18 as well as online.
Winners will be selected by a distinguished panel of world-renowned judges
Winners will be notified on or about October 5, 2012.
Back by popular demand—People’s Choice Award!
Your entries will be judged by a distinguished panel of industry experts, who will select the top 3 winners in each category. Now, by voting in the People’s Choice category, your friends and fans will have a say too. The top 20 images with the most number of votes across all of the categories will win extra recognition, and will be seen by an even broader audience.
The People’s Choice Award Prizes:
One free FotoPage Annual Subscription for each winning photographer and online exposure through a top 20 feature on FotoDC.org’s People’s Choice Gallery.
In June I was invited to give a talk to photo degree students, across all years, at Norwich University for the Creative Arts (NUCA), and in the afternoon, I looked at third-year students’ portfolios.
Some of the students took the initiative to speak to me afterwards and contact me by email with feedback and some questions. One of the photographic briefs given to the students was to enter the D&AD student awards with a task set by celebrity and portrait photographer Rankin, who took the black-and-white portrait of me that I use for social media purposes.
Congratulations to NUCA student Simon Bell who scooped the Best of Year Award. “This is something like a Special Commendation,” Bell says, “and is awarded to work that has taken a particular aspect of the criteria and developed it to a point of excellence making it worthy of a special mention.”
This year’s brief was “to find a way of making a 2D image appear more 3D” and to create an image that “doesn’t appear flat – which has depth, texture, life – it jumps out of the page at you”. The international competition is open to students and was judged this year by Rankin and Nadav Kander. D&AD‘s remit is “to inform, educate and inspire those who work in and around the creative industries”.
Of his working practice Bell writes: “Having had a mostly scientific and mathematical educational background, prior to university, I find my work and photographic interests centre around the themes of geometry, order and shape. These themes I translate into visual elements of pattern, line and space to create geometric and abstract images.
“Whilst maintaining these ideals within all of my work, I exploit the subject matter of my surroundings in an attempt to attribute new meaning, to otherwise dull situations.”
Last month TIME contract photographer Yuri Kozyrev and I went to Rabat and Casablanca to report on a story about the rise of Political Islam in the countries of the Arab Spring. As with Tunisia and Egypt, free elections in Morocco have brought to power an Islamist party, the Justice and Development Party (PJD). But these, as we discovered, are not your father’s Islamists. They defy the Western stereotype of bushy-bearded, wild-eyed religious fanatics: Morocco’s Islamists are not seeking to take their country back to some ancient golden age, they are trying to figure how to bring it to the 21st century without losing its religious moorings. In this, they are similar to Islamists now heading governments in Tunis and Cairo. The pursuit and attainment of political power have forced these parties to abandon radical ideas and distance themselves from their lunatic fringes. Instead, they are moving to the political center.
Morocco has drawn tourists for centuries, and to most visitors cities like Rabat and Casablanca are a pleasant combination of the modern and the ancient. In this set of images, Yuri captures both aspects of the country.
The grim factory towns of the Ural Mountains, such as the outpost of Kurgan along the Trans-Siberian Railroad, are among the only places left in Russia where Prime Minister Vladimir Putin could still count on the people’s firm support. The air tastes metallic here from the belching smokestacks, and most of the workers are massed in crumbling apartment blocks left over from the Soviet Union. But life is predictable, the average wage is enough to get by and the locals are grateful to Putin for that.
So his bid to win a third term as president—which he won on March 4—focused on places like Kurgan, which he visited on Feb. 13 to tour a provincial school. It was a safe place for a campaign stop, far away from Russia’s biggest cities, where the vibrant middle class has begun to protest by the tens of thousands to call for an end to Putin’s 12-year rule. Outside of School No. 7 in Kurgan, he was greeted by a crowd of supporters who waited for four hours in the freezing cold to have a glimpse of the man they call “our leader,” or sometimes even, “the czar.”Such towns are still home to the vast majority of the Russian population, and they were likely the ones who handed Putin a mandate to rule for six more years. The middle class will then need to wait to see much political change.
Simon Shuster is TIME’s Moscow reporter. Follow him on Twitter @shustry.
Yuri Kozyrev is a contract photographer for TIME and was just named the 2011 Photographer of the Year in the Pictures of the Year International competition.
The routines of gymnasts are precious ones—a matter of inches separate a perfect performance from a complete disaster. From landing back handsprings on a four-inch-wide balance beam to sticking triple twists within the white border of a floor mat, gymnasts must balance aerobatics with precision.
An international competition at the North Greenwich Arena in London that runs through Jan. 18 is giving Olympic hopefuls one final chance to qualify across all three disciplines—artistic, trampoline and rhythmic—for this summer’s Games. It also affords Olympic photographers a chance to perfect their angles and hone their artist approach at a venue where qualifying athletes will perform in London this summer. Herewith, TIME presents a gallery of images from this week’s event, which creatively captures the power and grace that merit a perfect 10.
What seems like a lifetime ago, I spent a quiet afternoon down the rabbit hole of looking at photographs and came across the work of Angela Bacon Kidwell. I think I was on Flickr or some photo sharing site, and I discovered imagery that was powerful, unique, and compelling. I contacted Angela immediately and over the years, we have become friends and supporters. I have featured Angela’s work several times on Lenscratch, but when she recently shared her new work with me, I literally got the chills. Her work was breaking new ground and I knew it was time to highlight Angela’s many success stories.
Having a ringside seat at Angela’s trajectory, I have watched her professionalism, her artistry, and her thoughtful approach to the photographic journey take root and soar. Her photographs have fans around the world; she has garnered award after award, most recently, winning First Place in the Texas Photographic Society International Competition, is one of the ten finalists for the John Clarence Laughlin Award, and has been nominated for the Santa Fe Prize for Photography. Her work is exhibited all across America and featured in numerous magazines. Born in Dallas, and now living in Wichita Falls, Texas, Angela draws inspiration from her life and experiences, her family, and surroundings. She’s a thinker, a dreamer, and a true artist.
Her new series, Traces of Existence, combines emotion, travel, the unknown, and the new, all mixing into new ways of working and seeing.
from Traces of Existence
The motive in this body of work is to mend the tension and tragedy created when conflicting emotions meet. Walking through the highs of my recent travel to China and the lows of significant personal loss, I have been searching for a visual level of communication that would unite traces of my existence. I have become increasingly fascinated by how tenacious life is and yet how in a moment survival ceases. The fragility of life is represented in this work by a personal language of symbols. I want all my images to have real meaning for me, even if it is not easily read by the viewer. By working more abstractly, the dissimilar images connect to one another in unexpected ways causing a thought or idea to evolve. The juxtaposition of death and despair, represented by skeletons, old age and holes connected to a joyous life filled with children, birds and Ferris Wheels examine the complicated and chaotic ways in which life contracts, expands, converges and divests in our personal journeys. By stretching the image to near disintegration by burning, freezing and submersions I seek to release my emotions and give respect to a life that has been fully lived. The emotions I sought to bandage together resulted in a somber, but completely liberating experience.
Process: Numerous layers of hand painted photographs, drawings and resin make up a single image. The final results are a complex layering process and not complete digital manipulations. The image is printed and re-photographed under various conditions in one final effort to heal the tender wounds that bind my own existence.
You state that the work was created as a way to “mend the tension and tragedy created when conflicting emotions meet. Walking through the highs of my recent travel to China and the lows of significant personal loss, I have been searching for a visual level of communication that would unite traces of my existence.” Has the process of creating the work been therapeutic for you?
The short answer is yes, but let me give you a little background on how the work evolved and share a simple quote I stumbled across while in China that helped lead me in producing this body of work. “You cannot prevent the birds of sorrow from flying over your head, but you can prevent them from building nests in your hair”. — Old Chinese Proverb
Over the last several years, I’ve been working on a series that address the complex stages of grief after a death. During this time, of searching and gathering my ideas I was simultaneously processing two events in my life: First, the joy of my travels in China and second the loneliness that followed significant personal losses. I decided to take a detour from the new series and move in closer to some of specific events and emotions in my immediate space. The decision I made was to limit myself loosely to the photographs I took in China, personal effects from my grandparents’ home and images my son and I took the last day we occupied their home. My vision was to create a new object that would tie and seal my recent experiences into a single ambiguous memory. And, to keep those nests out!
The process of creating the work became therapeutic because it forced me to work abstractly with the subjects and that helped to create order, distance and a bridge between my internal and external worlds. The work took a considerable amount of time and energy to create, and the more layers an image embodied the more “new” life it took on. The long process of creating each image allowed much time to pass, and you know the saying “time heals all wounds”. It helps.
Did your trip to China change how you see and how make work?
My trip reinforced by belief that images have power beyond what we are able to communicate verbally. There was clearly a barrier in my communications with the people in China but our understanding of visual language provided an alternative to the lack of verbal ability. We are all much more similar than different. This reaffirmation helped me to explore a new way of creating and I sensed that the work would be able to communicate universally. At least I hoped it would.
Your approach is totally unique—hand painting, resin, photographing…can you describe this process?
Once I decided to shape the photographs and objects into a new story or expression the path became quite clear. I wanted to experience an emotional release with each layer of the image. I felt like many times creating the work I was going through certain stages of grief. There are many stages of grief, and they don’t follow a systematic order. They are messy, and this work was messy to create. I printed hundreds of images and began to deconstruct them by cutting, tearing, layering other objects, drawing and painting. The assemblage of the work allowed me to experience different emotions: the tearing and cutting was aggressive contrasted with the painting and drawing that was contemplative. There was a dance that I went through with each individual image- pushing it to near disintegration and then rescuing it again till I was finally ready to let it be. The final stage consisted of defrosting images, and at times allowing my son to interact with the melting image, submerging an image in water for days while adding oil to the water and watching it move, and burning the image. I re-photographed the images going through a new metamorphosis before the image would cease to exist. The final step was a visual and emotional closure.
Was there a reason for working in Black and White?
Honestly, I never considered approaching this work in color. I saw it in black and white.
How does living in a small town in Texas, without the influences of a metropolitan experience and an active physical photo community, affect making work?
I was raised in Dallas, Texas and even though that is a large city I always felt I would move to a larger city such as LA or NY to pursue the arts. Instead, thirteen years ago I moved to Wichita Falls, Texas and this city has boosted my artistic spirit. I do believe that I could be creative anywhere, but I feel where I live is truly conducive to the way I work. I’m a receiver type of personality, and I absorb the energy that is going on in my immediate environment so high energy cities tend to drain me over a period of time. I’m much more productive and peaceful in a small town. The city I live in has a rich, and talented artistic community, and many of my early mentors live here, and that brings about a feeling of safety for me which helps keep me centered.
Your son Bleu has been integral part of your image making. How does he feel about being part of you photographic journey?
Since the moment, he was born I knew I would no longer create in solitude but with a partner. The last six years with Bleu have been nothing short of amazing for me, and I’ll take it so far as to say he has had a pretty interesting, creative childhood.
But, I’ll let him answer that question for himself.
How do you juggle your ever growing success and the demands of motherhood?
Without a doubt, my husband and son are my biggest supporters-on a good day. No, honestly my husband although not a creative being and I know I drive him crazy at times is always in my corner. He understands me and my need to create and explore. He calls me the “white tornado” because I have a ton of energy and I’m rarely still. I can get a lot done! My focus the last eleven years has been on my work and family and one would not succeed without the other. They work in tandem so to speak. I feel very blessed and thankful and would not change a single thing about my life.
What advice can you give emerging photographers, especially on presentation, on networking, on consistently producing excellent work?
The best advice I can share is to attempt to be in a constant state of graciousness. We all have so much to be thankful for, and if you can believe that where you are at the present moment is exactly where you are supposed to be then you are free to create and enjoy what is around you in the present. I started out sharing work via different photography, and social networking sites and my involvement with this media allowed me to gain exposure. The feedback I received from all around the world was crucial because it gave me a boost in confidence to present my work to reviews and competitions. I know networking via Facebook etc… is relevant, but it is also crucial to devote the majority of your time to your own creativity and sometimes too much networking steals precious time. I feel I’m getting closer to my truer self in recent years, and that comes from having a quieter mind and, tweeting etc… is not harmonious with peace. I also think that if you are being honest with yourself then the people that can help you show up in your life at just the right moment without enormous effort on your part. You did that for me years ago, Aline. Thank you!
To be consistent at anything in life you have to keep trying different avenues of expression- it’s all in the doing and doing a ton that produces better work and better work attracts a larger audience. It is a numbers game.
What opportunity took your career to the next level?
Without a doubt, Photolucdia and Review Santa Fe in 2008 opened up some wonderful doors for me and allowed me meet some amazing fellow artists. I think it is also very important to surround yourself with a few caring individuals that support you and your vision. Even one is fine.
Do you ever have periods of self-doubt and feel creatively unmotivated?
Yes, but I don’t focus on those feelings. Every fiber of my being is about creating so I paint something, make something, do something. I’m never without a creative project going on in my life even if it has nothing to do with photography the act of making always impacts the next artistic endeavor. Most people think that being a creative person and living a creative life comes easily but it is a ton of actual work. Of course, there are moments of unique vision but those are fleeting- it is work and for unknown reasons it must come out of me. Annoying sometimes but I wholeheartedly accept it.
And finally, what would be your perfect day?
Finishing this interview is a nice day. Now back to doing. If, the doing goes good today than it is a perfect day!