Tag Archives: Intimacy

SW Regional SPE: Carol S. Dass

Sharing photographers that I met at the SW Regional SPE Conference hosted by the Center of Fine Art Photography in Fort Collins, Colorado….

Carol S. Dass has created a project, Mother, where she looks at the significant female figure in her life with a new perspective–not as the woman who raised her, but as a human being with her own history and dreams. As children (and even as adults) it is difficult to see our parents outside of our familial arena, but then again, it works both ways–as parents, our children will always be our children–people to be watched over and concerned about.

Carol was born in Oakland, California, raised in rural Missouri and she received her BA in Art from Northwest Missouri State University. She has lived in Colorado Springs for 30 years and has been an instructor of photography at the University of Colorado – Colorado Springs for the past 12 years. Carol’s work has been shown nationally and is in the collections of the Denver Art Museum, the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center and numerous private collections.

MOTHER 

Typed out in bold that word seems foreign to me. Partly because I have never been or will ever be a mother. As I move through this life, thinking about aging and one’s place in the world a lot of time has recently been spent with my mother. She has been alone for several years, and I have been seeing her with new eyes while listening to her history. It’s funny how growing up we tend to view our mother’s as just that “Mother”, unable to see beyond that role of the woman who carried me in her womb, raised me the best that she could, and will in many ways continue to view me as a child regardless of my age. 

My mother was forced to work to support us, went back to night school while working and taking care of nearby relatives. She was not at home to greet me with a plate of warm cookies when I came home from school asking after my day. I remember when I was an adult coming into my own finally seeing my mother as a “person”, a unique individual who had many adventures and stories to tell. 

The reasons behind perceived and real dysfunction became easier to understand. These images are a small documentation of “mother”, a reflection of what has occurred and what is ahead. 

John Blakemore at the Klompching Gallery

A wonderful exhibition featuring the work of British photographer, John Blakemore, has recently opened at the Klompching Gallery in Brooklyn and will run through December 22nd, 2012.
John is considered a national treasure of Britain with a career that spans 55 year years and a mastery of not only his photography and his craft in printing, but in his “knowing” of a subject.  He is concerned with the “ritual of intimacy, the sustained exploration of small areas of the world that interests him–whether working outside in the landscape or working in his studio. His work is held in public collections around the world and he has exhibited in a numerous international museums and galleries.
John has been fascinated with the idea of exploring landscape as a manifestation of energy, and the metaphoric potential of the photograph. His exquisite silver gelatin prints are a testimony to the excellence of his hand as an artist.  He shows us that a photograph is not taken, it’s made.  

Tulipa – After Jan Van Os (printed 2012)
Tulipa – Dissections No. 10 (1992)

The Garden – Fragments of a History (1991)

Ambergate Derybhsire from the ‘Lila’ series (1977)

I’ll Be Your Mirror curated by Jennifer Shaw

I’ve done a lot of writing and thinking about the idea of photographing family.  Never has the photo landscape been so rich with the genre of looking at family. As participant observers, living along side our subjects, we have to separate reality from artistic interpretation and the results are sometimes humorous, sometimes insightful, and sometimes incredibly poignant.  Even though these stories are personal, they are indeed, universal.  Photographer Phil Toledano has had millions of visitors to his site, Days with My Father, that looks at his father’s journey into dementia–a telling fact that we are hungry for visual stories about those under the same roof.

Curator Jennifer Shaw (dynamo Photo Nola organizer and a photographer in her own right) has just curated an exhibition on family for the HomeSpace Gallery in New Orleans.  I’ll Be Your Mirror, opening October 13th and running through November 8th,  is an exploration of family through the eyes of seven contemporary photographers:Angela Bacon-Kidwell, Laura Burlton, Warren Harold, Aline Smithson, Gordon Stettinius, Phil Toledano and Alison Wells. “All document a creative collaboration between family members and all are bound by a profound intimacy. As fathers, daughters, mothers, sons, these seven brave photographers reveal the beauty, chaos, heartbreak and humor inherent in family relations.”

Jennifer states: When Kevin Kline invited me to curate a show for HomeSpace I decided to use the opportunity to have a conversation about family, a topic both universal and entirely personal. I’ll Be Your Mirror brings together the work of seven photographers I deeply admire. It has been a pleasure and an honor working with each of the contributing artists.


Phil Toledano’s “Days
with My Father
” documents the relationship 
with his aging father over a
three-year period.
Gordon Stettinius’s images of his son Walker growing up capture the chaos and humor
of parenthood, from the perspective of a single father.

Angela Bacon-Kidwell’s
“Daily Sums” narrates one summer‘s worth
 of daily adventures with her son Bleu.

Alison Wells‘ 
“Time Flies” features small
and intimate portraits of her son and twin daughters, rendered in wet-plate
collodion. 
Warren Harold’s “Alternating Weekends” chronicle the post-divorce relationship with his young
son.

Laura Bulrton’s “Chalk
Dreams
” explore the fleeting moments and dreams of childhood – sometimes
filtered through a Grimm’s-like lens – in a collaborative process with her
daughters.

Aline Smithson’s “Arrangement in Green and Black:
Portraits of the Photographer’s Mother “ re-imagine Whistler’s Mother in a
series of unlikely costume changes, created in collaboration with her mother.

I’ll Be Your Mirror

HomeSpace Presents:Ill Be Your Mirror (New Orleans, LA) HomeSpace Gallery is proud to present an exploration of family through the eyes of seven contemporary photographers. Ill Be Your Mirror features work by Angela Bacon-Kidwell, Laura Burlton, Warren Harold, Aline Smithson, Gordon Stettinius, Phil Toledano and Alison Wells. Web Design Tewkesbury . Blog Commenting . carrera de fotografia . Curated by Jennifer Shaw, the images include a variety of stylistic approaches, ranging from candid glimpses to staged allegories. All document a creative collaboration between family members and all are bound by a profound intimacy. As fathers, daughters, mothers, sons, these seven brave photographers reveal the beauty, chaos, heartbreak and humor inherent in family relations. The exhibition will be on display October 13 – November 18, 2012. An opening reception will be held on Saturday, October 13th, 6-9pm. Several of the contributing artists will be in attendance. HomeSpace is located at 1128 St. Roch Street in New Orleans St. Claude Arts District and is open Saturdays 12-5pm, Sundays 12-3pm, and by appointment.HomeSpace is proud to present an exhibition exploring family through the eyes of seven contemporary photographers. Featuring: Warren Harold – Alternating Weekends Laura Burlton – Chalk Dreams Alison Wells – small & intimate wet plate collodion portraits of her children sample attached belowAline Smithson – Arrangement in Green and Black: Portraits of the Photographer’s Mother Phil Toledano Days With My Father Gordon Stettinius sepia toned images of Walker growing up Angela Bacon-Kidwell – Daily Sums (new series) OR selection from Traveling Dreams (TBD by Monday)

Greg Miller

Greg Miller is a photographer’s photographer.  He captures the American Experience with an 8 x10 camera, but also with pathos and realism and beauty. In 2008 Greg received the prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship and his website reflects why–he has numerous stunning projects that reveal a curiosity about a range of cultures and an ease with strangers that combine to create a feast of light and color and intimacy. And today just happens to be Greg’s birthday, so a little celebrating is in order.
Duck River,2008, from Nashville

Born in Nashville, Greg works as a fine art and editorial photographer, with work appearing in publications such as The New York Times Magazine, TIME, People, Fortune, Life, and many more.  He exhibits worldwide, teaches at the International Center for Photography in New York, and gives workshops across the country.  Today I am featuring his project, Waiting For, about that disappearing summer pastime in the back of a pick-up truck watching a movie with someone you love.
Images from Waiting For
Waiting For…
I found this project in my backyard, at the drive-in movie theatre near my house. While waiting for a movie, I fell in love with what has happening all around me: cars full of friends, kids on dates and married couples with children well beyond the romance of earlier years.

I photograph in the time before the movies begin.  By the time the projector’s silver light illuminates the night sky, my job is done.

Stephanie de Rouge

Some photographers are natural observers, and some take that curiosity to another level and want to open a few drawers and dig a little deeper.  French photographer, Stephanie de Rouge, is one of those visual investigators, probing into the pysche of how we humans function, especially in big city life.  Stephanie has traversed a number of approaches to looking at our lives–shooting New Yorkers in their bedrooms or on their rooftops, and with the work featured below, In Your Fridge, shooting what her subjects eat, or at least have in their refrigerators.

After 30 years in Paris, Stephanie now makes her home in New York, teaching at the International Center for Photography, works as a contributor for Le Journal de La Photographie and the New York Times, and is a freelance portrait photographer.  Her work has been featured in many publications and she has exhibited widely, with two recent exhibitions in Paris.


Through my travels, I have developed a fascination for big cities and their devastating energy.  Since I live and work in New York, I am more than ever wondering how humans survive those tentacular – always exciting – and often hostile urban spaces.  How they preserve their singularity and intimacy, where they find the soft, he poetic, the soothing, where they hide their secrets.

 Brookkyn, NY, Famille Englund

I started the project by shooting portraits of New Yorkers in their bedrooms (In Your Room) thinking it could be a good place for intimacy.  I was wrong. Or not exactly right.  The building walls don’t talk.  New Yorkers move all the time, share/sublet bedrooms…Not a good setting for a long term relationship with one self.

 Brooklyn, NY, Andrew et Framton

Quickly, my subjects whispered a few words about a place dear to their hearts: rooftops.  An outdoor space for intimacy? Why not…Let’s see…I discovered more than 40 of these urban shelters between earth and sky (On Your Roof), and as fascinated not by the amazing light, not by the phenomenal views, but by the real people I met up there and the very touching stories they shared with me.

 Brooklyn, NY, Fred

Then I got thirsty…Can I grab a juice in the fridge?

 New York, NY, John

Hmmm….what’s with the Barbie doll behind the salad? From Paris to New York, I opened more than 45 fridges and discovered quite amazing worlds.  Much more elaborate and revealing than I had expected in the first place.  But I knew I was at a milestone in my quest of intimacy on big cities when people actually started refusing to show their fridges.  As if something too personal was stacked between the cheddar cheese and the mayonnaise.  So…show me (what you eat) your refrigerator, I’ll tell you who you are? Maybe. Maybe no.

 New York, NY, colocataries

 New York, NY, Charmaine et Marc

 Paris, Aurore

 Paris, Famille Doucet

 Paris, Famille Reytier

 Paris, Famille Rouge

 Paris, Marie

 Paris, Monique

 Paris, Pierre

 Paris, Thierry

 Queens, NY, Famille Hamad

Rye, NY, Famille Fillion

Photo Shows – Debby Besford’s series The Boudoir of the Burlesque Performer on show at The Queen of Hungary Norwich

There is no particular order to the photographs. It is intended that the viewer spend time looking at the details of each interior, finding clues that only scratch the surface of the performer’s true identity. Debby Besford, The Boudoir of the Burlesque Performer

All photos © Debby Besford

Before I get accused of being London-centric, I’m delighted to let you know that photographer Debby Besford, who I met three years ago in Arles where I first saw this project, is exhibiting work from her series The Boudoir of the Burlesque Performer at theThe Queen of Hungary (what a fitting name) in Norwich. The show is open from 12-5pm and runs until 8 July. The work is also available as a book on Blurb.

In Besford’s artist’s statement she notes that: “These documentary photographs show the private interiors of the performers’ bedrooms. They play on the idea of what is real and what is fictional. The home-based domestic interiors are in themselves a theatre where the lives of the performers take on a different persona.

“Collaboration with these women has been a journey of immense trust and respect. I did not seek to deconstruct the female performer stereotype or their bedrooms but to explore how these women have taken on total responsibility for the acceptance of their image as well as the fantasies linked to public representation of their ‘acted bodies’.

“My work investigates a complexity of issues about the representation of the contemporary female, with emphasis on the Burlesque Stage Performer. This naturally led onto questioning both the idea of play between photographer, private space, intimacy, fantasy and the real, as well as the mystique of the performer.” From Besford’s artist statement

To see and read more…


“This body of work has evolved from a deep-rooted curiosity about female sexuality and how this can be expressed in a positive way. The New Burlesque Revival in the 21st Century could be seen as a reaction to women wanting to have fun with their sexuality and celebrate their femininity through a staged persona.

“The attraction for many of these women is that there is no dominant male structure behind these shows and full social and economic autonomy for these women is completely unlike a striptease artist. Both physical and moral integrity are preserved. Burlesque does not involve total nudity.”


All photos © Debby Besford

Filed under: Documentary photography, Photographers, Photography Shows, Women Photographers Tagged: burlesque, Debby Besford, documentary, Norwich, photo show, portraits, The Boudoir of the Burlesque Performer, The Queen of Hungary

One Morning at Home with John Irving

Whether on a grand-tour TV show or in an architectural magazine, it’s not too hard to see what a famous person’s house looks like. It’s also, thanks to paparazzi and tabloid photos, easy to see a picture of a famous person. But it’s less easy to capture iconic cultural movers and shakers truly at home—in both senses of the phrase.

That’s what photographer and videographer Shaul Schwarz aims to do with a new series of videos for TIME, debuting today with Schwarz’s visit to the home of author John Irving. “The environment sets you up to meet a person you already know,” says Schwarz.

The photographer asks his subjects what they do when they’re alone at home, really relaxing; for Irving, that question revealed a room devoted to wrestling, the author’s version of what Schwarz calls an “away-from-the-world zone.” Not that it’s automatically easier to access that intimacy when you meet a person in his own space. “Even if you have a new friend and you go to his home,” says Schwarz, “it takes a little bit to break the ice.” But when it does break, the end result is an intimate look at a celebrity, tending more toward a Sunday-morning-coffee-with-a-friend feel than a red carpet one.

“The location is, at the end of the day, some kind of reflection of the person. It’s all a vehicle to show a different look at the person,” says Schwarz. “We all know you can tell a little bit about a person from where he chooses to live.”

Read more about John Irving in this week’s issue of TIME: The Wrestler

Click here to see TIME’s archive stories about John Irving

Shaul Schwarz is an award winning photographer and filmmaker. Schwarz is represented by Reportage/Getty Images.