Tag Archives: Museum Collections

Frederic Weber, Ab Ovo

Frederic Weber, Ab Ovo

Frederic Weber

Ab Ovo,
, 2012
From the Gravitas series
Website – FredericWeber.net

Frederic Weber lives and works in Nyack, New York. His photographs have been reproduced in publications including Art + Auction, Aperture, Flash Art, The New Yorker, The New York Times and more recently, The Unseen Eye: Photographs from the W.M. Hunt Collection (Aperture, 2011). Weber’s artworks are represented in several museum collections, including the Whitney Museum of American Art, the George Eastman House, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Museum of Fine Arts Houston, as well as many private collections such as Manfried Heiting, Bill Hunt and Fred Bidwell.

Summer Re-Runs: Arlene Gottfried

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.

Images by ©Arlene Gottfriend

Jonathan Blaustein

We all feel possessive about the things we own — our homes, our cars, our belongings, but we often have to share those spaces and items with other life forms, life forms that intersect our lives in large and small ways.  Many of us don’t consider the dust mites or the silverfish or the occasional raccoon as interrupting our spaces, but in the case of photographer Jonathan Blaustein , he has lots to consider. Living in New Mexico on a property that sits squarely in the natural world, he has had to think about what else is occupying the land. His new series, Mine, explores the plant and animal life he encounters, life forms that could be missed in the pastures of New Mexico, if he didn’t take the time to witness their presence.

Currently living in Northern New Mexico, Jonathan received a degree in Economics and History at Duke University, and an MFA in Photography at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn.  He has exhibited widely and his work is held in many significant museum collections.  His projects, Value of a Dollar and Mine, have both been published by the New York Times.  Jonathan also writes about photography and culture for A Photo Editor blog.

MINE: I live in
a horse pasture at the base of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. I own the land:
it’s MINE. But I share it with the animals, and
things that don’t move. Every night, when I go to sleep, they have the run of
the place.

It’s theirs.

Only a creature as arrogant
as a human would claim ownership over his dominion, while living for such a
short period of time. The rocks o
n my land are all much older than I am.

Artists are more infatuated with immortality than most people. We make marks, build things, and snap photos, all in the hope that we’ll be remembered when we’re gone. Deep down, we all have a dark desire that the art will be preserved, along with our name, and that people will look at it in a hundred years or more. Because the alternative is bleak. An eternity of nothing. Ashes to ashes. Dust to dust.

I’m no different. I want my life’s work to mean something. I don’t want to disappear forever. But I also don’t think that my land belongs to me, any more than I belong to the land. I’m just part of this world, run by a simple rule: Survival of the fittest.

With that in mind, I decided to objectify my land, to leave my mark. Because I could. In so doing, I was able to investigate my territory, to sift through the dirt, to crunch up the snow, and then share it with others.

Once I harvested the objects, I took them to my studio to fashion temporary sculptures: Art pieces meant to satisfy my unquenchable desire to symbolize the world around me. I photographed the sculptures to memorialize them, just as we take pictures every day to remember what was there.

And yes, I killed the dead baby mouse. I killed his whole family. They were living in the trunk of my car, and they just wouldn’t leave. So I did what I had to do.

Frank Armstrong

There is something remarkable about a photographer who has been looking through the lens for almost 60 years.  Frank Armstrong has a heightened way of seeing – capturing the nuances of found tableaus and exploring objects that have patina and remain to tell a story. He looks at the ordinary and sees beyond it and brings a beauty and poignancy to a landscape that many would overlook. At 77, he is truly a treasure in our photographic community.

His portraits reveal a sensitivity to humanity and the quiet dignity of simple moments of being.

Frank spent much of his life in Texas, but found himself on a small island near Alaska while serving in the Navy.  It was there that he picked up a camera in order to share his experiences with his family.  Frank has had a long career, in and out of academia (currently “in”, teaching at Clark University in Massachusetts), and rubbing shoulders with photographers who inspired and encouraged him along the way, including Russel Lee, Garry Winogrand, Oliver Gagliani, and most recently, Stephen Di Rado.  He was awarded a double Paisano Fellowship, has created three monographs, and has work in significant museum collections across the county. Though Frank lives and teaches in Massachusetts, he still prefers to make work in familiar territory: the southwest and Texas.  He currently has work in the exhibition, Trains, Planes, and Automobiles, at the Panopticon Gallery in Boston.
I am featuring select images of Frank’s color work from his series, Color.

My perfect day, week, month, or more, is to load the cameras into the truck and head out.  I’m in search of images that speaks of man’s influence on the landscape, and the effects of time.  My subjects are at times whimsical, obscure, and transitory.  They are not hidden, but they are seldom noticed by the passer-by.  I seek that which has been abandoned and allowed to decay with the passage of time.  

Through these symbols of man interacting with the ever-changing symbols of nature, I find a rather enigmatic representation of life, a study of our culture past and present; what Walker Evens called modern cultural artifacts.  I am incurably curious, and many of my images come from things that make me do a double-take. 

I question what I’m seeing and feeling, and try to answer those question by making an image.  I want the viewer to have some measure of my feelings and thoughts when I first viewed the scenes represented by my images.

Garie Waltzer, Shanghai / Overpass #1

Garie Waltzer, Shanghai / Overpass #1

Garie Waltzer

Shanghai / Overpass #1,
, 2001
Website – GarieWaltzer.com

Garie Waltzer was born in New York City and received her BFA in painting and MFA in photography from State University of New York/ Buffalo. She is a recipient of numerous artist grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Ohio Arts Council, including the 2011 Ohio Arts Council Award for Excellence in Photography, and most recently, the 2012 Cleveland Arts Prize. Waltzer developed the photography program at Cleveland’s Cuyahoga Community College where she chaired the department and taught for many years. Her work is included in the numerous private, corporate and museum collections, including the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Robert B. Menschel Media Center, and Houston’s Museum of Fine Art. She is currently working on Living City, a project examining the cultural landscape of urban civic spaces.

Boston Week: Stephen DiRado

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

Boston Photographer, Stephen DiRado, knows how to take a compelling photograph…again and again. For the past two decades, he has created many fascinating long term documentary series that capture the human experience in a truthful and revealing way.

Stephen is a Photography Senior Lecturer in the Studio Arts Program in the Visual and Performing Arts Department at Clark University and his work can be found in museum collections across the country, including the MFA, Boston, MFA, Houston, DeCordova Museum in Lincoln, MA and the Currier Museum in NH. An interview with Stephen can be heard here and Alec Soth interviewed him in 2006 here.

I am featuring work from two series, With Dad, and Dinner Series. Both give us a window into human dynamics with a narrative that is both timeless and time specific. Stephen captures the poignancy of his father’s descent into Alzheimer’s with the love of a son and the skill of an artist as a remarkable participant observer, and a variety of dinner celebrations that become fascinating tableaus of shared experiences.

Images from With Dad

Images from Dinner Party

Robin Schwartz, Elijah’s Tail

Robin Schwartz, Elijah’s Tail

Robin Schwartz

Elijah’s Tail,
, 2010
From the Amelia’s World: Animal Affinity series
Website – RobinSchwartz.net

Robin Schwartz earned a Master of Fine Arts in Photography from Pratt Institute and her photographs are held in several museum collections, including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Museum of Modern Art, The Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C., and The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. The Aperture Foundation published Schwartz’s third monograph, Amelia’s World, edited by Tim Barber. Images from this series were exhibited in Various Photographs, an installation curated by Barber for the New York Photo Festival and 100 Portraits—100 Photographers, a digital exhibition of current portraiture. Schwartz was a finalist at the Hyeres 2010 Photography Festival in France. She recently presented the Amelia Series at The National Geographic Magazine’s Annual Photography Seminar in Washington D.C.

Walter Martin & Paloma Muñoz

When I was in New York recently I happened upon an exhibition by
Walter Martin & Paloma Muñoz at the PPOW Gallery in Chelsea. I have always loved their collaborations of snow globes and photographs. Their new work, Night Falls, is as equally as magical as their earlier Travelers work.

Walter Martin and Paloma Muñoz have been collaborating since 1993 and have exhibited internationally. Their work is in numerous museum collections, including the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia in Madrid, the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art in Overland Park, Kansas, and the KIASMA Museum of Contemporary art in Helsinki, Finland. Recently their work was featured in group exhibitions at the Bellevue Arts Museum, Bellevue, Washington; the Museum of Art and Design, New York, NY and the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Concurrent with the exhibition at P.P.O.W the artists are participating in the exhibition “Fairytales, Monsters and the Genetic Imagination” at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts in Nashville, Tennessee.

Installation images from Night Falls

“For Night Falls, Martin & Muñoz have chosen night as a back drop. Fires, flashlights and moonlight puncture the dark to expressive effect. Important details and aspects of the narratives are lent a dynamic chiaroscuro where the interplay of light and dark shape both the mood and contour of the subject. Some of the images and snow globes depict a sort of dystopian Kinderland. This is a place where children have no parents, a place where adults appear only as an opposing tribe. Some of characters depicted and developed in this group of photos include: a giant black dog, a band of rogue tree children and a nefarious priesthood.”