Tag Archives: Parking Lots

Review Santa Fe: Yiorgos Kordakis

Over the next month, I will be sharing the work of photographers who attended Review Santa Fe in June.  Review Santa Fe is the only juried review in the United States and invites 100 photographers to Santa Fe for a long weekend of reviews, insights, and connections.  

Greek photographer, Yiorgos Kordakis, lives and works in Greece and New York. He attended college in Italy and London, which reflects why his work has such a universal appeal and focus. Using 4×5 Instant Polaroid and Fuji film, Yiorgos captures the world with a bleached out, timeless approach that evokes feelings of memory and time passing.  I am featuring two of Yiorgos’ series, 10,000 American Movies, where he rediscovers the US landscape stimulated by memories of American movies, and Global Summer.
Images from 10,000 American Movies
10,000 American Movies: I always find it to be a unique experience
when I touch upon US soil. I call it familiarity. I am acquainted with
everything. I have been here before. Perhaps I even grew up here. In a way, I
think I did. And that’s because of the thousands of American movies I have been
watching since I was a little kid. America feels like I am on set on its own
and I am the action. I’m racing through the endless highways of the State of
Texas, I book myself in cheap motel rooms on the road, I eat pancakes at desert
diners in small desolate Mid West towns, I seek parking lots cramped with old,
faded, street mural advertising all in search for the America that I know. The
country that I saw flickering across the screens of movie theatres and TV back
at home in Greece.
For the past four years, I have been driving
across the country reliving each American 
movie scene I had in my mind. I thought I was
the action, but I learned that I was becoming the direction. I started to
physically explore America.
My images represent thousands of little movie
moments, which are deeply rooted into my memory. I am not looking for a movie
location. I’m looking for the reflection of reality in the mirror of film. In
my eyes and lens, this is a country that seems like an endless movie set.

Images from Global Summer

Andi Schreiber

Andi Schreiber is what one might coin as a domestic Martin Parr. She turns her camera on her life, her children, family and friends with a glaring lens that is full of color, reality, and the details of our humanness. There is humor and pathos in her seeing, and her skills as a photojournalist bring domestic life into sharp focus.

Andi graduated from the University of Michigan with a BFA and was a photojournalist in Boston Before moving New York City to work as a magazine and newspaper picture editor. In 2002, she traded in city life for suburbia and lives in Westchester County, New York, with her husband and sons.  Recently Andi’s work was featured in the Kiernan Gallery’s exhibition, Family Dynamics, and she was an award recipient in PHOTO/arts Magazine’s book and online exhibition, My Own Wilderness.

In 2010 and 2011, Andi’s books Lush Light and WonderLust were each awarded Honorable Mention in Blurb’s Photography Book Now competition.

WonderLust is a visceral response to my immediate surroundings – a world where I’m at home yet hovering on the periphery, an insider and outsider at once. Through these images I find my place within my family’s framework and that of a larger existence.

A sense of wonder and thrill of attraction is at the core of this project. These photographs are made at home, at poolside, at parties and in parking lots, of family and friends, and people unknown to me. They are pieces of my world and a manifestation of inner life. I fight the urge to pre-visualize; my process is random. I’m struck by the accidental image: a flash of color, a passing gesture. Details make me tingle. I need to experience deeply what is here, right now. The camera enables me to vanish into moments before they are gone.
This ongoing body of work, WonderLust, embraces sensation and a passion for what’s unseen. It’s as if I have no choice but to turn that irresistible desire into something tangible, into a photograph. I want to seduce the viewer to feel as I do – to know pleasure, to be alive.


Clothing as Artifact: David Zimmerman’s ‘Last Refuge’

Though he’s spent over a decade photographing at-risk landscapes, some of the most unique topography photographer David Zimmerman has seen is found in the folds of fabric.

Zimmerman, a landscape photographer based in New Mexico and New York, began his project Last Refuge, in which he photographed piles of clothing and remains from an off-the-grid community, almost by chance. As the economy took its toll on broad swaths of American life, Zimmerman increasingly saw groups of people who had either lost their jobs or houses, and were, as the photographer describes, “increasingly desperate to survive.” These aren’t drifters who might be expected to live a transient lifestyle, he says, but teachers, firefighters, musicians and other blue and white-collar professionals.

Though sleeping on out-of-the-way dirt roads and parking lots is nothing new for Zimmerman—he’s lived and worked out of his camper truck while on the road, throughout 15 years of making images—the increasing number of people doing the same thing caught his attention. ”It really startled me, to be honest with you,” Zimmerman says, despite having read countless stories of similar communities who were often functioning without electricity or running water. “It didn’t sink in entirely what [was] going on out there, until I saw it for myself.”

As Zimmerman spent time talking to and even photographing members of these marginalized communities throughout the American southwest, it wasn’t their portraits or their poverty that resonated with him in a visual sense. Rather, it was their clothing. ”Whether it’s [being] homeless, or lacking a car,” Zimmerman says, “the clothes end up being the very last thing that you and I and they will own. When it absolutely becomes desperate, that’s the final thing that we will own.”

And so the piles of leather jackets, sweaters and coats—found at a 20-person community in northwestern New Mexico—form a descriptive landscape of their own. The entire series is actually shot on the roof of one man’s house, a retired firefighter in his seventies that came to live out in the desert about 25 years ago. He built his shelter underground, and used abandoned clothing to insulate the “roof” of the structure which now litters the desert floor.

Isolated from their surroundings as well as their former owners, the images of clothing are stark reminders of life on a subsistence level, and seem to encapsulate the difficult trajectory of the lives of their owners in their tattered seams and frayed edges. So what began during trips to photograph the natural landscape morphed into a project spent documenting its human counterpart—“the human aspect of the landscape is just as important for me as the physical landscape itself,” Zimmerman says. Last Refuge becomes a sort of typology of different textiles representing a human “dilemma,” as the photographer calls it, as well as a visually isolated reminder of what’s left to lose. ”That’s how it spoke to me, as opposed to just being about one person,” Zimmerman adds. “It was a very big problem, a nationwide problem.”

Last Refuge is on display at Sous Les Etoiles Gallery in New York from Dec. 8-Jan. 28.

David Zimmerman was recently shortlisted for the Terry O’Neill Tag Award, and won the Sony World Photography Awards L’Iris D’or Grand Prize in 2009. More of his work can be seen here.

Gian Paolo Minelli – Playas

Gian Paolo Minelli’s series “Playas,” depicts empty parking lots in downtown Buenos Aires. More specifically, it depicts the canvas netting that provides shade and protects cars from the occasional hail storm.

© Gian Paolo Minelli from the series "Playas"

When I first saw the series a couple of years ago, I thought the subject matter was cheesy and obvious. Actually, I still feel that way. What’s changed is that now, really looking at the series again, I realize the photos are subtle and finely composed shots of light, pattern and shadow. I think in the end all subjects are cliche at some level. Execution matters most. Here are more jpegs from Minelli’s site. You’ll have to trust me when I say that the 1 meter-sized prints look marvelous.

© Gian Paolo Minelli from the series "Playas"

© Gian Paolo Minelli from the series "Playas"

© Gian Paolo Minelli from the series "Playas"

© Gian Paolo Minelli from the series "Playas"

© Gian Paolo Minelli from the series "Playas"

Previously I wrote about Minelli’s work on Villa Lugano, which I really, really like. Also, I was reminded of Fernando Di Sisto’s work which I recently wrote about.

Tomas Cochello – Antarctica

I came across Tomas Cochello’s photos of Antarctica while browsing through Revista Lunfarda, an online-only fashion and art magazine focused on [only] Argentine artists. Looking at Cochello’s photos I’m reminded of Werner Herzog declaring at the beginning of Encounters at the End of the World, his documentary about the continent, that he will not make a movie about fluffy penguins, but instead follow his whim and curiosity. Cochello’s photos show a similar whimsical, omniverous and beautiful spirit.

© Tomas Cochello

© Tomas Cochello

© Tomas Cochello

I was also taken in by Cochello’s photos of Buenos Aires. Avoiding cliché when depicting a city is a huge challenge, even more so when using subject matter (homeless people, pigeons, parking lots) which are themselves cliché in photography. Somehow Cochello manages to thread the needle.

© Tomas Cochello

© Tomas Cochello

© Tomas Cochello