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Adam Neese, Christian and Friends, Old Heritage Road

Adam Neese, Christian and Friends, Old Heritage Road

Adam Neese

Christian and Friends, Old Heritage Road,
Grapevine, Texas, 2012
From the A Known World series
Website – AdamBNeese.com

Adam Neese was raised in the suburbs of Fort Worth, Texas. Along with photography, he also has experience as a migrant farmer, a land surveyor, and a photographer’s assistant. Adam’s projects examine his childhood history within the North Texas landscape, the intersection of geography and photography, and commodification of the land. He holds his BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Currently, he is an MFA candidate at The University of North Texas, which he will receive in May of 2013.

Jean Laughton

I love all photographs about the west.  My father was a cowboy and though I never lived in Arizona, my heart is on the range.  There are lots of photographers making work about cowboy culture and the American West, but none are as authentic as Jean Laughton who lives it on a daily basis.  In fact, it took Jean awhile to send me images as she was busy with calving season.  Her commitment to her work is evidenced in this image:
Riding Drag on the Brunsch Ranch
Jean grew up in rural Iowa and spent a lot of time on her grandmother’s farm. She moved to New York City and began taking photographs.  In 1997, she had an overwhelming urge to venture across the country in search of disappearing Americana.  She met cowboys and country western legends and fell in love with all things western.  
After several more trips over the years, Jean eventually bought property, cattle, and a whole new way of life in South Dakota. She has since learned to cowboy from scratch and has been
ranching on Lyle O’Bryan’s Quarter Circle XL Ranch near Belvidere, South Dakota
while documenting her My Ranching Life series from horseback. Jean now manages
the ranch – riding and working alongside old time cowboy and mentor, Lyle O’Bryan
(age 78) while continuing to document the intersection of her life with the
The two consistent things in her life have been her love of photography and the glorious West. Jean write a blog about her adventures on the range, My Ranching Life.
I am featuring work from two series, Go West and My Ranching Life.
 Go West

I grew up in rural Iowa near the South Dakota border, on
the edge of the West. When I began this series I was living in New York City. I
was longing to GO WEST, back home and beyond, to photograph the people of a
region that so captivated me – to escape back to reality and wide-open spaces –
and travel across the vastness of the West on a journey that became not only a
photographic one but also one of personal discovery – finding links between
photo subjects and past family members, making friends with old bronc riders
from my great grandmother’s days – mingling with the past while documenting the
present as I looked to the future and the reinvention of my life.

I didn’t watch many Westerns but the fabricated reality of a scene from
John Ford’s ‘’My Darling Clementine” and so many from silent movies lit a
spark. I wanted to head West and document real people in their western
‘costumes’ of sort. Pull them out of their current reality into a constructed
one. So I left my then home of New York City, starting in 1995, for several
summers and meandered about the West in my Bronco loaded with backdrops and my
beat up $75 4×5 camera – stopping at selected rodeos and events. To me, this
was like walking onto a movie studio back lot with characters straight out of
Central Casting – but with the twist of naturally occurring authenticity. This
was the beginning of several years of experiences that would eventually lead me
to my current ten-year ranching adventure. What started as photographing the
myth with this series lead to me actually inhabiting it with my current series
MY RANCHING LIFE – stepping into a real life version of the backdrop scene and
going beyond the role of spectator.

GO WEST summers alone on the road were some of the best times – driving
throughout the cinematic landscape of the West as an outsider with no ties,
with a feeling of awe – watching a continuous ever changing ‘drive-in movie’ of
the West through my windshield. They were such days of discovery for me. And
the first time I actually stopped someone to ask to take their portrait.
Watching me set up my backdrop in the wind behind the scenes of rodeos and go
through the process of photographing each person with the 4×5 while talking at
top speed was probably just as entertaining as the rodeo itself and I liken it
to some sort of Buster Keaton silent movie scene from The Cameraman.  I mostly did one shot of the people I met in
Nebraska, South Dakota, Wyoming, Colorado and Montana.

When I asked each person to step in front of my backdrop, it transformed into a miniature movie set and they became the leading actor from the countless legends of the true and imagined West of the past. Their look, stance or clothing evoked many a character from many a movie scene and made me aware of movie characters based on real life and real life based on movie characters and the blur between the two. I shot most of the B&W images from this series with the beloved Type 55 Polaroid film – which allowed for a endless array of accidental blemishes and ‘instant’ timelessness.

What started my thousands of miles driving throughout the West was a
personal photography project that eventually morphed into me searching for
something. As with many from the past, I headed West to transform my life –
moving to the tiny Last Picture Show back
lot of a movie set Badlands town of Interior, South Dakota and stepping into my
current cowboying role.


My Ranching Life
I have always used my photography as a tool for attempting
time travel. And working on the Quarter Circle XL Ranch is a bit like stepping
back in time onto a Western movie backlot. The ranch was once home to Earl
Thode – first world champion bronc rider of 1929 and his family. It is quite a
thrill riding across the same land and the same White River as the cowboys from
the past. I feel as if I have stepped ‘inside the photograph’ – riding my Pony
around and photographing in a diorama of the West somewhere between the past and present – between reality and fantasy.

The area of ranches south of Belvidere, South Dakota is rich
with western heritage – with all cattle work done on horseback. Creating quite
the historical visual against the backdrop of the land and cyclorama sky. I
photograph these scenes from horseback, while cowboying, with a Noblex 120
swing lens panoramic camera I carry in my saddlebags. The Noblex gives me a
medium format negative suitable for large-scale printing. The panoramic format
lends a cinematic quality while also conveying the vastness of the landscape.
And the black & white film helps reverse time. My horse’s ears
intentionally appear in some of the photographs – announcing my presence as
part of the crew.

These photographs are a visual diary of what appear to be
‘film stills’ of some of the many scenarios I have been a part of while
learning to cowboy and eventually taking over managing the Quarter Circle XL
Ranch. I have had the pleasure of working alongside a crew of rugged
hardworking cowboys on the ten area ranches we ‘neighbor’ with. This allows me
to learn a lot, cover many miles of pasture on horseback and document within a
variety of landscapes. Offering an insider’s perspective of the beauty and
timelessness of present day family ranching. With photographs that, at first glance,
could have been taken during another era – depicting a profession that has
changed little over the past century. The land, as backdrop, has a permanence
all its own but the cast of characters are bound to change. I am proud to be a
part of it all.

I continue to ranch and photograph and am ever grateful to
Lyle O’Bryan for being my cowboy mentor. These are the years of my life I will
never forget. It has been quite the adventure so far.

Stan Douglas Named the Recipient of ICP’s Infinity Award for Art

Stan Douglas has been named the recipient of the prestigious Infinity Award for Art by the International Center of Photography. Tonight, he will be presented the award at a ceremony in New York City. Douglas works in various media including video, installation and photography. Here, Lightbox visits highlights of three projects from the artist’s prolific photographic endeavors.

What is real? What is unreal? In a world where reality and history can be recreated and manipulated to appear authentic in a photograph, it is imperative that we ask these questions. We, as a society inundated with visual culture, are trained to ponder the truth and meaning behind what we see—but what if a photograph was created to question reality? To question history? Stan Douglas creates images that catalyze critical analysis and force their viewers to revisit the scenes they depict. Douglas, in creating new images of scenes in history, ponders the truth within the medium of photography and the sociological issues that lie in the passages and stories illustrated in his photographs.

Based in Vancouver, Canada, Douglas approaches each image with epic, Hollywood-level production—tapping into his history as a maker of films and video. Demanding the most active viewer who questions, challenges and investigates all that he or she sees, each image is created to excruciating detail.

Linda Chinfen; Courtesy the artist

A production photograph depicting the lighting and building of the set of Abbott & Cordova, 7 August 1971, 2008.

Courtesy the artist

A 3-dimentional rendering Abbott & Cordova, 7 August 1971, 2008.

In producing Abbott & Cordova, 7 August 1971, 2008 (slide #4), Douglas built a set to recreate a scene of the actual intersection in Vancouver. The placement of the actors in the image was pre-envisioned in three-dimensional renderings to anticipate the actual photograph. Not one detail was left unnoticed—down to the products in the dressings of the windows and the scraps of paper that lie on the streets. The mural-sized image, which was composited from 50 different images from the same shoot, is one of four in his series Crowds & Riots. All the images in the series are large scale tableaux depicting vignettes from Vancouver’s history—reflecting on matters of the police, class and social order.

Gjon Mili / Time & Life Pictures / Getty Images

Multiple exposure stroboscopic shot of actress and dancer Betty Bruce doing a routine for Broadway show High Kickers

In his series, Midcentury Studio, Douglas took on the identity of a photojournalist working between 1945 to 1951 (a selection of this work is represented by slides #6 – #9 in the gallery above). Inspired by imagery from this time, Douglas created images that discuss the decisive moment in photography—as Henri Cartier-Bresson explained, the exact moment that the photographer makes the photograph by firing the shutter of the camera—that very moment which is creative. Unfolding on Cartier-Bresson’s expression, Douglas constructed and carefully created these scenes to capture this experience and illustrate the scrupulous amount of information and action that lies in each frame of a photograph. In Dancer II, 1950, 2010, Douglas created an image similar to one from our own archive shot by famed photographer Gjon Mili for LIFE Magazine.

In Douglas’s most recent series, Disco Angola, most recently shown at David Zwirner Gallery in New York City in April, he once again approaches the identity of a photojournalist. This time, he is one who travels between New York City and Angola in the 1970s. Each image in the series utilizes the nature of body language as insight into the historical moment—from the pensive waiting of the Portugese colonialist awaiting evcuation (Exodus, 1975, 2012), to the interracial-intercultural array of dancing people (Club Versailles, 1974, 2012), to the group of rebel fighters performing capoeira, the Brazilian martial art that originated in Angola (Capoeira, 1974, 2012). Disco, a source of escapism for New Yorkers from the nearly bankrupt city at the time, traces its roots to Africa. Connecting these two seemingly disparate places, separated by thousands of miles of ocean and cultural-political borders, Douglas traces subtle parallels between New York’s struggles and the emerging Angolan liberation fight for independence from Portugal—one which would ultimately lead to a decades-long civil war.

Douglas’s series Midcentury Studio is currently on view at Victoria Miro Gallery in London through May 26, 2012. More information about the Infinity Awards can be found here.

Interview: Philip-Lorca diCorcia

Charlotte Cotton: The Hustlers series brought the first art- world attention to your way of staging photographs. How was this series created?

Philip-Lorca diCorcia: It was made over the course of a couple of years, on five or six trips. I’d travel out to L.A. to shoot, staying in the motel where Janice Joplin had died. The meter was ticking all the time, and I had to be very efficient and try to get as much done as possible. I’d figure out what I was going to shoot, arrange the scene with an assistant, take a few Polaroids, go off and find the hustlers and approach them. Then I’d get them to come back and stand in the exact same position as my assistants had in the Polaroids.

CC: The cinematic or directorial approach is one that now enjoys common currency in art. But when you worked on Hustlers in the early 1990s, the idea of photographers choreographing their subjects, lighting a scene in a dramatic way, was something new.

Ike Cole, 38 years old, Los Angeles, CA, $25′, (1990-92)

P-L diC: The idea of the images being cinematic had a lot to do with the fact that we were in Hollywood. I thought of the people as puppets who were unstrung, mercilessly disempowered — not preyed upon, but living on the edge and not by choice. The fetishization of self-destructive behavior is only romantic if you have a choice. So it was interesting to set up scenarios that often didn’t portray the real circumstances.

CC: You once said to me that when you were making the Hustlers series, you were learning on the job. What did you mean by that?

P-L diC: Well, I didn’t have what is now described as my “technique” down; I was developing it as I did it. When I look back at them, many of the figures are slam-bang in the middle of the frame. If you drew an X through the pictures, you’d find the figure at the intersection. But that’s how I did it, which reflects that I was not working or thinking for a magazine layout. It may also have had something to do with working with a camera with a ground glass, where you are looking at the image upside down. I was learning on the job. Sometimes I’d screw it up technically, and sometimes I just had bad ideas.

Mike Miller, 24 years, Allentown, PA, $25′, (1990-92)

CC: “Bad ideas”?

P-L diC: Overdetermined ideas, with punch lines that shouted at you.

CC: What brought the project to a close? How did you know when it was finished?

P-L diC: As soon as it began to feel redundant. Sometimes you have to push past that feeling of redundancy, but in this case the project was already two years old, and adding more pictures wasn’t going to develop it. And I had the show coming up at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. It didn’t exactly receive a clamorous reception, and it wasn’t shown again in the U.S. for years after that. Most of the time, when my work is written about, it’s described as if the technique is the whole deal; it’s a bit frustrating. And I think that’s how Hustlers was received, through the facts of the situation: that they were male prostitutes, that they were paid, that the amount they were paid was included in the titles, and that the money came from the NEA [National Endowment for the Arts]. That superseded all other critiques of the work.

CC: From the way you describe the process of shooting Hustlers, people might get the sense that you’re a photographer who is meticulously strategic, approaching each shoot with a precon¬ceived idea—hence the way in which the photographs are made does take on a strong emphasis. But with projects like your book A Story Book Life, and now with theThousand Polaroid project, other tempos in your photographic practice seem evident, and we know now that you don’t set up every photograph you take. Does this mean that you work in more than one way and on more than one idea at a given time?

P-L diC: I usually do one thing at a time. There are satisfactions for me in my work, but not in the actual doing of it—I don’t really enjoy that. I think, strangely, that’s why I’ve continued to do fashion photography. I enjoy it being a big game; the stakes are lower. Whereas the consequences of failure in work like Hustlers and Lucky 13 — both personally and in terms of the responsibility to those who support me — are big. In those series, I’m putting myself in a situation where I am dependent on someone else to fill the gap that I have provided for them; sometimes they step into it, and sometimes they don’t. Every once in a while, some¬one in the Hustlers project would really get into it, so we’d do more than one picture, and it was more improvisational and closer to what fashion photography ends up being. In fashion, the more a model acts like a model, the less successful the pictures are for me. And it’s kind of the same with the hustlers and the pole dancers: the more self-conscious they are and try to give me what they think I want, the less interesting it is. The way I work is to decide that something is interesting and figure out how to make an image of it.

CC: But you don’t look at your photographs and think that they are executions of ideas, exactly.

P-L diC: But maybe they are. The point is that they are not didactic. Whether they are photographs involving a great deal of preconception or not, I think there is something in the way that I try to do it that does involve things that I don’t even understand. There are aspects to it that I know have some meaning; they have sublimated intentions and hidden motivations. That’s where the photographer’s personality comes in, if you’re the kind of person who sublimates things, that’s how it comes out in your work.


An interview with Philip-Lorca diCorcia about Thousand, a project completed in 2007 that compiles 1,000 of his Polaroid photographs Conducted by Charlotte Cotton LACMA’s Curator of Photography on February 14, 2008

Charlotte Cotton: Your Thousand project, recently published as a book and being exhibited for the first time as a gallery installation at LACMA, is an edit of exactly 1,000 Polaroids made by you. What was the concept, and when did you conceive it?

Philip-Lorca diCorcia: I think that the idea of 1,000 was the most primary: the fact that this was, when I conceived the project, a big number in photographic terms. It also came about before the juggernaut of digital photography got rolling and 1,000 became an easy number given that we speak in terms of and your loved ones. Are there other categories? For instance, the computer memory rather than a roll or sheet of film. I kind of landscapes in the book; they were a surprise for me. Something, and that something changed when I became conscious they are not that expensive, they are not that big, they are of what I was doing. There was a time when I was making grids of liked the absurdity of that analog amount.

P-L diC: The idea of the images being cinematic had a lot to do with the fact that we were in Hollywood. I thought of the people as puppets who were unstrung, mercilessly disempowered — not preyed upon, but living on the edge and not by choice. The fetishization of self-destructive behavior is only romantic if you have a choice. So it was interesting to set up scenarios that often didn’t portray the real circumstances.

CC: You once said to me that when you were making the Hustlers series, you were learning on the job. What did you mean by that?

P-L diC: Well, I didn’t have what is now described as my “technique” down; I was developing it as I did it. When I look back at them, many of the figures are slam-bang in the middle of the frame. If you drew an X through the pictures, you’d find the figure at the intersection. But that’s how I did it, which reflects that I was not working or thinking for a magazine layout. It may also have had something to do with working with a camera with a ground glass, where you are looking at the image upside down. I was learning on the job. Sometimes I’d screw it up technically, and sometimes I just had bad ideas.

Untitled (Thousand), 927

CC: What do you consider the qualities of Polaroids to be? What are the associations for you? Is it about their preciousness and small size?

P-L diC: Well, they only become precious if you save them!

One of their other characteristics is that they are instantaneous, and you can make your mind up whether to keep one of them, there and then. One aspect of film-based photography is that you end up with a lot of stuff that is extraneous in order to get what you want. In the case of Polaroids, it isn’t like that. You really can make a snap decision, and I think that this particular quality of Polaroid as an analog process has been forgotten because of the rise of digital. But when I started collecting the Polaroids, that was not the case: they were the most instantaneous, easily rejected, form of photography.

CC: Was there a clear method to what you saved and what you immediately discarded from the Polaroids you took?

P-L diC: Part of what creates the curiosity of the project is that the process was so simple it kind of became invisible. And I think that’s disconcerting. People want to see the rhyme behind the reason, or the reason behind the rhyme. The choices were often made for purely sentimental reasons. I don’t appear in any other body of work I have made, and in Thousand, I appear a lot, as do my son and my ex-wife and other people who have been in my life. They might appear more frequently than they represent chunks of my life—there is no relationship between how many times someone appears in the thousand and their importance in my life, but there is a relationship between what they mean in my life and the fact that I decided to keep their Polaroid. And that’s just the people part.

Untitled (Thousand), 921

CC: There are other reasons for the Polaroids aside from documenting yourself and your loved ones?

P-L diC: People seem especially interested in the Polaroids that were taken before and after some of my better-known photographs. They are not meant to be a guidebook to process, but people are curious about that kind of thing. That process of recognition is definitely part of the experience of the Polaroids project.

CC: What was the editing process for the book project, Thousand?

P-L diC: There were two parts of the process: the selecting of the thousand or so Polaroids to work with, and then the sequencing of exactly 1,000. Initially, that ordering was intended to be randomly generated. This was announced before the book was actually done. But in the end, it didn’t happen that way. I felt that if I couldn’t sequence randomly and stick to it, I should not stick to it at all, which is eventually what happened.

CC: So you have one section of the Polaroids that was made as part of your working process – to test out light and composition, etc.; and then you have another section of Polaroids that represents you and your loved ones. Are there other categories? For instance, the landscapes in the book; they were a surprise for me.

P-L diC: A Polaroid is not very big. The reason for the landscapes is often because of the fact that there is a reduction of vastness into a small image. Does that concentrate or dissipate the image? I was seeing what happens. In the case of the Polaroid, the fact of miniaturizing feeds into the reason for keeping them. Their disposability and lack of grandeur become factors—the very fact that you keep them is important, and they become precious because of it. I mean, what purpose do they serve? That alone is a reason to keep them, and a way for me to incorporate how I think photographically without being ironic.

Untitled (Thousand), 906

CC: There are Polaroids of clock faces that appear repeatedly in the sequence of Thousand, what do they mean?

P-L diC: If you don’t look at them too closely, they act like it’s always the same time, always the same feeling. Because of the way the clock faces are rendered, they also are about the passage of time, and that seemed to be a good reason to use them as a device, as a chapter heading in the sequence of Polaroids in the book. It may have been a convenience when I was trying to make sense of the thousand Polaroids. It was a fortuitous convenience, but in the end, I like the way they look.

CC: So we have landscapes, still lifes, people you know, Polaroids connected to your working process. What else?

P-L diC: Well, I used different cameras, including the camera that produces two images. With it, before you can develop the Polaroid, you have to take two separate images, which leads to an obvious temptation to make two images that relate to each other. And there are double exposures, which are very easy to do with the cameras I used because you don’t have to advance the film, just cock the shutter again. Both of these devices produce two images that play off each other. There are about twenty photographs in the sequence that are made as double or double-exposure images.

CC: That seems rather gimmicky for you.

P-L diC: That’s one of the things about producing so many images: you wind up leveling them all—the ones that might be considered precious are no more or less important than the ones that embarrass me.

CC: I remember the first time you mentioned the Polaroids to me, a couple of years back, and it surprised me, because I think of you as someone who doesn’t actually take that many photographs. There is a high degree of deliberation and production to the work that you are known for, and it’s not a kind of practice that has a regular routine to it. So, in terms of making the Polaroids, do you make them every day? How often and with what mind-set do they happen?

Untitled (Thousand), 919

P-L diC: I’ve now stopped myself from making Polaroids. This project was conceived years ago, which means that idea affected how I was working a long while ago. It didn’t really have a form, but there was a point when I realized that I was saving Polaroids for something, and that something changed when I became conscious of what I was doing. There was a time when I was making grids of the composites, just to see what would happen. There were too visually poetic, so I threw them back into the boxes with the other Polaroids, and it’s only now that they are kind of put back together.

CC: Do you think of Polaroids as having a poetic aesthetic, or an aesthetic at all?

P-L diC: In the sense that they have a suspended conclusion, yes. There is nothing absolutely definitive about good poetry that seems to allude to things on a nonliteral level. And there is something about the Polaroids when seen together that does the same thing. I don’t think they have that quality individually, but it’s one of the consequences of putting them together. They have a kind of suspended significance that is frustrating if you want to see an image in service to something, because I’m not sure that’s what you get with Thousand.

CC: What did it feel like to edit these pictures? Because you have emotional ties to the subjects of many of the images, was it a very different process of editing than it was for creating your known bodies of work?

P-L diC: The only other project that I edited in a parallel way was A Story Book Life, which seems to have ostensible similarities, and why I took so long to commit to Thousand. There are obvious connections being made between the Polaroids: Polaroids of the same person may be grouped together, and then there are basic formal groupings of circles and squares. You notice such things when the images are rendered small. I did not sit in a room with 1,000 Polaroids and sequence them. They were scanned in groups and came back to me printed on sheets in a reduced size, and that was when I noticed the visual connections between images. You couldn’t see the content of the images at the small size, but the formal patterns jumped out.

I did not choose the order in which they were scanned, and I began to think that this was an ordering that related to the way our minds work, that the connections between things are not necessarily lead by our conscious mind, and there are other ways in which we order things. Without consciously ordering them, it made a lot of sense, and I used it as a formal device to put Thousand together.

CC: For this exhibition, we are showing the original 1,000 Polaroids. What do you think will happen?

P-L diC: I don’t know what you mean by happen. The questions is, who will it happen to? The audience is not something that I can plan, but I assume a certain a degree of sophistication, not an imagined audience that responds to the work with, “My child could do this.”

Untitled (Thousand), 944

Part of the promise and the curse of photography is its accessibility, and I think that one aspect of doing a project like this in the context of the contemporary art world is to raise and question the idea of authorship. We live in a world where many artists don’t make their own work, and much of it is incredibly labor-intensive and impressive, in terms of its there was a point when I realized that I was saving Polaroids for production. With Thousand, it doesn’t take that much to make, they are not that expensive, they are not that big, they are not going to last forever, and the artist actually made them himself.

I wonder what the reaction is going to be, because so much art today is meant to overwhelm, and the Polaroids are, by definition, underwhelming.

CC: One of the reasons that you are a celebrated, feted contemporary artist is that your bodies of work such as Hustlers and Heads do have really strong authorship. I mean this in the sense that in this world, where photography is often seen as a medium that is terribly easy to use, what you get with your work is complex—whether all of it, some of it, or none of it is premeditated. Your authorship does not exclusively revolve around style or production values but with your ability to distill and reveal the sublimated forces and poetry that run through real lives. With the Polaroids, there is very little assurance in the individual frames that you are governing, perhaps authoring, the degree of profundity a viewer might experience.

P-L diC: When I say that there are no heroes in Thousand, I have to say that it appears from the responses that I am getting that everyone has their favorites. It’s expansive enough for everyone to have multiple points of view. Part of what I normally do is restrict what people are allowed to see and assume, without forcing through an obvious conclusion. It’s not a reduction of options but an opportunity. One of the strange aspects of working with so many images is that this quality remains. I don’t think Thousand is that different from other bodies of my work. I’m not telling people what to think; it’s still allowing people to draw their own conclusions.

From www.americansuburbx.com

Distorted Beauty, special event in NYC

If you are in the NYC area and are intersted in the intersection between fine art and fashion photography you may like to attend this coming event (read more here) with the reception and opening on April 8th, 2010 from 7-10p at Station Digital – 73 Franklin Street, New York, NY.

Normally, we try to focus our attentions toward the world of fine art; grotesque, whimsical, or otherwise undeniably eye catching. Over the past year, our exhibitions and entries have reflected this interest. This April we’re doing something a little different! Our very own, Danielle Ezzo, had the opportunity to create a unique exhibition that attempts to bridge often disconnected realms of art fine and commercial worlds – art and fashion.

Anagnorisis Fine Arts, Pixelspace, and Station Digital are pleased to announce the exhibition and silent auction, Distorted Beauty, a collaboration between artist and retoucher D Tyler Huff and a select group of cutting edge commercial fashion and beauty photographers, proceeds of which will benefit the Sex Workers Project at the Urban Justice Center.

– Don’t Miss these MoMA Exhibitions

For any readers in the NYC area, it might be worth your time and money to mosey on down to MoMA where quite a few exhibitions on photography are currently on display.

The Paul Graham a shimmer of possibility exhibit features multiple series of photos that Graham took while traveling across the US. The show’s strongest photos are part of a series of several images which lend themselves to the development of a story. Some of the photos cannot stand alone – a few try to and fail. It seems that Graham is trying to capture the mundane, everyday life and he certainly succeeds. However, he also hints at quiet social commentary – a few of the photos focus on individuals that appear to be homeless. These are much more meaningful to me than other shots (such as a man mowing a lawn) because they have the potential to evoke a sense of emotion rather than simply offering the passive perspective of a scene.

In the Tehching Hsieh exhibit, performance art and photography merge in a slightly unsettling museum experience. Throughout his career, Hsieh has pushed the limit of living out art to the extreme. He has focused on long-term pieces that are physically challenging – living outside for one year for instance. This exhibit recounts his year of living in a cage. He lived in prison-like conditions, never allowing himself simple pleasures like reading or watching television. A friend would bring him food and photograph him daily. The resulting photographs show him slowly passing the days away in stark black and white and include a stream of headshots which change slightly from day to day. The artistic production provokes a number of questions about time, the intersection of life and art and the solitude which is apparent in the austere images. Mostly the exhibit inspires wonder about the artist – and your own limitations.

Lastly, the museum has a show called The Printed Picture which follows the evolution of photography from the daguerreotype to today’s technological advances and how this relates to printing and color reproduction. There are an array of new and old photos and helpful explanations referencing the multitude of shooting and printing techniques that have been developed along the way. This is definitely an informative exhibit with a variety of photographic genres and processes represented.

a shimmer of possibility and Performance 1: Tehching Hsieh can be viewed until 18 May 2009; The Printed Picture runs until 13 July 2009. MoMA is located at 11 West 53rd Street (between 5th & 6th Ave), NYC.


This post is sponsored by Tickle. Luxury Pleasures for Couples . (Potentially NSFW.)