Tag Archives: Photographic Portrait

Helen Sear

Helen Sear has two new series, never seen in the United States, currently on exhibition through October 26th at the Klompching Gallery in Brooklyn: Sightlines and Pastoral Monuments.  The work follows a thread of her earlier projects, Beyond the View and Inside the View, where the artist is considering concept, photographic process, historical reference, and visual seduction.  I am sharing two images from her earlier work to understand her visual progression.

 ©Helen Sear, Beyond the View, No. 6, 2007
©Helen Sear, Inside the View, No. 5, 2007

Helen’s photographic practice has developed from a fine art background of performance, film and installation work made in the 1980’s. Her photographs became widely known in the 1991 British Council exhibition, De-Composition: Constructed Photography in Britain, which toured Latin America and Eastern Europe. Her work is included in Face—The New Photographic Portrait (Thames & Hudson) and has been featured in several publications including Arts Review, Hotshoe, Guardian Review, Art Newspaper, Portfolio, Aperture and Arts Monthly amongst others. Her artworks are represented in several notable public and private collections including the Victoria & Albert Museum, Ernst & Young, British Council (Rome), Paul Wilson Collection and Virgin Communications Collection. In 2010 Helen Sear was awarded the prestigious Major Creative Wales Award and more recently, the National Eisteddford of Wales 2011 Gold Medal for Fine Art.


Sightlines is partially concerned withideas about the unique object and the copy. The images themselves depict a portrait of a woman whose face is obscured by a mass-produced, but hand-painted figurine of a bird. Sear alters the final photograph through the application of several layers of white primer—gesso. The images, then, are also about photographing paint and painting photographs. This convergence of the unique and/or the copy is further implicated by notions of her concern with identity. Through obscuring the face of the woman, Sear interrupts the gaze of both sitter and observer. The spectator of the photograph is unable to know the sitter’s identity, in a similar way that she/he can’t know the
identity of the person(s) who hand-painted the bird.

 
Sightlines, Untitled 16 ©2011 Helen Sear  Image: courtesy Klompching Gallery
 Sightlines, Untitled 2 ©2011 Helen Sear  Image: courtesy Klompching Gallery

 Sightlines, Untitled 20 ©2011 Helen Sear  Image: courtesy Klompching Gallery

 Sightlines, Untitled 21 ©2011 Helen Sear  Image: courtesy Klompching Gallery  
 Sightlines, Untitled 4 ©2011 Helen Sear  Image: courtesy Klompching Gallery
 Sightlines, Untitled 6 ©2011 Helen Sear  Image: courtesy Klompching Gallery
Images from Pastoral Monuments

Pastoral Monuments, expands an underlying theme of the real and the re-presentation of it. In this case, Sear references the historical photographs of the botanist and photographer, Mary Dillwyn, whose photographs from the early 1850’s depicted wild flowers arranged in domestic crockery. Sear has sourced more than 80 wild flowers from the same Welsh field and photographed them in jugs and vases from around the world. Through handling the resulting prints and rephotographing them—evidencing this handling—Sear believes that “the flowers and their containers become connected in a material sense, across the surface of the image.” Further, we see in the photographs familiar ideas associated with flowers—youth, beauty and mortality. In some ways, these photographs become monuments to flowers.

 Pastoral Monument 1, Myosotis Arvensis ©2012 Helen Sear  Image: courtesy Klompching Gallery

 

Pastoral Monument 5, Angelica Atropurpurea ©2012 Helen Sear  Image: courtesy Klompching Gallery 
 Pastoral Monument 6, Daucus Carota ©2012 Helen Sear  Image: courtesy Klompching Gallery

Pastoral Monument 9, Malva Sylvestris ©2012 Helen Sear  Image: courtesy Klompching Gallery

Spencer Murphy


All images © Spencer Murphy

Spencer Murphy’s name should ring a bell thanks to his editorial commissions which has seen his photography published in such places as The Guardian Weekend, Telegraph Magazine, New Statesman, and the FT Weekend. He has also been included in the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize no less than five times!

Here though are extracts from a personal project, a delicate and visually understated series entitled The Abyss Gazes Into You. It offers a gentle and thoughtful glimpse of Murphy’s use of the landscape as inspiration and as a means to discover something within him.

“These images are a reflection of something inside myself – a feeling of both being trapped and floating endlessly in time and space, a mixture of hope and despair, desolation and beauty,” says Murphy.

“The sense, perhaps, of what it is to live a finite life in an infinite universe. They are pictures that, to me, hint at the unfathomable scale not only of the universe, but of life itself. They are instances in which, by accident or design, I have found myself staring once more into the abyss, and the abyss has momentarily returned my gaze.”

Lofty themes and grand claims, but does the work bear the weight of these words? Check out more from the series here and decide for yourselves. We are giving him the benefit of the doubt.

Born in 1978, Murphy grew up in the Kentish countryside and studied photography at University College Falmouth, graduating in 2002. Murphy now lives and works in London.

Photo News – Portrait Salon calls for unselected photographs from entrants to this year’s Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2012

PORTRAIT SALON 2012
Portrait Salon is planning its second annual ‘Salon des Refuses’ for the unselected photographs from the well-known international Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize.

So, if you have one, two or a few of the 5,280 unselected images from the 5,340 images received by 2,352 photographers, then you can re-submit your images to Portrait Salon via the submissions page. If you don’t feel like doing the maths, this means that 60 images are shown each year. This year, if you have a betting inclination, the odds were a 1:89 chance of getting an image shown.

“Portrait Salon is a type Salon des Refuses – an exhibition of works rejected from a juried art show – which has a long tradition as a fringe way of showcasing artists’ work that may otherwise go unseen. Devised in 2011 by James O Jenkins and Carole Evans, Portrait Salon aims to show the best of the unselected entries from the 2012 photo portrait prize.

“Portrait Salon will celebrate the best of the rejected work in the form of a projection and newspaper launch in November. In order to maintain a high standard of imagery, the projection will be curated. This year, we are delighted to have the help of Open Eye Gallery curator Karen Newman, Hat Margolies from Lucid Rep and photographer Dan Burn-Forti.”

Filed under: Photographers, Photography Awards & Competitions Tagged: Carole Evans, competition, James O Jenkins, National Portrait Gallery, Photography, Portrait Salon, Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize

Awards, Grants, and Competitions | Deadlines and Recipients 6 July 2012

Deadlines

Pride Photo Award : July 7

Apply for the Young Photographers’ Alliance / YPA UK Mentoring Programme : July 8

Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2012 : July 9

William and Winifred Bowness Photography Prize : July 13

The International Photography Awards : July 16

Ian Parry Scholarship : July 20

The Firecracker Photographic Grant : July 22

The 1000 Words Award : July 23

FRANCE 24-RFI Web documentary Award in partnership with Visa pour l’Image : July 25

The Times/Canon Young Photographer of the Year competition : July 31

The Joan Wakelin Bursary 2012 : August 1

Alexia Foundation Women’s Initiative Grant : August 15

CGAP Photo Contest 2012 : September 3

Photo © Chloe Dewe Mathews

BJP’s 2012 International Photography Award  : September 15

CDS/Honickman First Book Prize : September 15

Format Festival 2013 : September 19

Carmignac Gestion Photojournalism Award : September 30 | Related: Carmignac Gestion Photojournalism Award’s director speaks of prize’s importance

Recipients

Photo © Andrea Bruce

Andrea Bruce, former Washington Post photographer, honored by Chris Hondros Fund (Washington Post) Also in Lightbox and NYT Lens

Photo © Carl De Keyzer

Prix Pictet 2012 shortlist – in pictures (Guardian)

Foam Talent 2012 (Foam)

The Emerging Photographer Fund 2012 Winner (burn)

The Lumix Festival for Young Photojournalism Winners (Festival website)

Maciek Nabrdalik wins Pierre & Alexandra Boulat Grant (BJP)

Photo © Frank Hallam Day

Leica Oskar Barnack Awards 2012 Winners (Leica blog) From BJP

Leica Oskar Barnack Award 2012 – Finalists’ portfolios (Leica blog)

Photo © Isadora Kosofsky

Isadora Kosofsky wins Inge Morath Award (BJP)

Px3 Photo Competition Winners (competition website)

Photo © Yusuke Harada
Honourable Mention in Foto8 Summershow 2012

Foto8 Summershow 2012  : Best in Show and Honourable Mentions (Foto8 Dropbox) Article on BBC

Awards, Grants, and Competitions | Deadlines and Recipients | 6 June 2012

Deadlines

Rory Peck Awards 2012 : June 11

2012 AnthropoGraphia : Human Rights through Visual Storytelling Award : June 15

IdeasTap Photographic Award :  for photographers aged 23 to 30 : June 15

Class of 2012 : June 20

The Ian Parry Scholarship : June 30

Prix Virginia : July 2

Pride Photo Award : July 7

William and Winifred Bowness Photography Prize : July 13

The Firecracker Photographic Grant : July 22

Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2012 : August 3

CDS/Honickman First Book Prize : September 15

Carmignac Gestion Photojournalism Award : September 30

Recipients

American Photography 28

BOP Winners (NPPA)

BOP winners (NYT Lens)

National Magazine Awards 2012 Winners Announced

Flash Forward – Emerging Photographers 2012

KL Photoawards 2012 : Winners

Open Photo Winner: Ilan Godfrey (OPENPhoto)

London Festival of Photography  Prize 2012 shortlist (LFPH)

Mitch Dobrowner wins 2012 Sony World Photography Awards title (BJP)

‘Passengers’ Wins the Fifth International Fotobook Festival Dummy Awards (Lightbox)

New York Times Wins BOP Best Use Of The Web (NPPA)

Photographer Annie Leibovitz honoured by LA gallery (BBC)

Hope for a Healthy World Photo Competition Winners

Photo Shows – Group show I LOVE YOU opens at Tenderpixel London and Mahtab Hussain’s Building Desires on show at mac Birmingham

©EJ Major, Marie Claire RIP (2004-2007). photograph courtesy of the artist.

Today two shows, one opening this week in London and another that has already opened in Birmingham. I LOVE YOU is a group show curated by Richard Ansett at Tenderpixel in London. The show runs from Friday this week until 16 June. One of the series on show is EJ Major‘s Marie Claire RIP (2004-2007), see photo above.

©Mahtab Hussain from Building Desires show. Photo courtesy of the photographer

Already on show and running until 10 June in Birmingham, Mahtab Hussain shows his series of portraits Building Desires at mac Birmingham. Go see, go look, go ponder identity in contemporary British society as explored through the lens of Hussain, who describes himself as a British Pakistani Kashmiri, and asks the question: What does it mean to be a British Pakistani male today?

I LOVE YOU
A photograph is a secret about a secret…the more it tells you the less you know. Diane Arbus
Major says of the series: ”Marie Claire RIP is based on an article published in Marie Claire magazine in 2002 featuring police mug-shots of the same woman taken over a fourteen year period. The article revealed that not long after the last picture was taken the woman was found dead. Marie Claire RIP is a re-staging of these images using the artist as subject.

“This piece was motivated by a desire to memorialise an unnamed person, a woman who had already died and had no control over the use of her image. At the same time the piece is intended to be non-specific in terms of the nature of the character’s demise.. While the piece challenges the veracity of the photographic portrait it also finds an authenticity in a notion of self-portraiture that involves acting. It is me and it isn’t her and yet it is her and it isn’t me at the same time.”

I LOVE YOU also includes work by Grace Brown, Natasha Caruana, Pete McGovern and Andre Penteado. I have to admit though that I am a bit stumped by the accompanying text to the show and how exactly it relates to the title and theme of the show. I leave it with you, dear readers, to follow the link and enlighten me as to how it applies. I get the gist and I can understand some of the references but am not sure how it relates. That said, I will pop along to the opening on Friday briefly as I am back on UK terra firma.

And on the topic of I Love You, here’s a link to the short video mash-up to Lionel Richie’s Hello that I posted in February but feel like linking to again.

BUILDING DESIRES
Hussain’s project – created over the last four years since he was at Goldsmiths studying for a BA in Art History – introduces three key elements of masculinity; the young boy bound by cultural and religious constraints, the teenager who begins to form a new identity on the streets away from the security of family, and the contemporary Pakistani male who has adopted desirable mainstream ideals of what it mean to be man living in the UK.

For Building Desires, Hussain is also engaging with the local community in Birmingham and has created a live working wall where the audience can answer his key question about identity. “I also add an interview (text format) that I have conducted with an individual each week, talking about masculinity and identity and also an image of the week.” I saw some of Hussain’s portraits from the ongoing series quite a while back and was impressed by his gentle approach to both the individual photographic subjects as well as the topic of identity, as a whole. However, I’ve yet to see the recent portraits.

See more from the project…

©Mahtab Hussain from Building Desires show. Photo courtesy of the photographer

©Mahtab Hussain from Building Desires show. Photo courtesy of the photographer

Filed under: Documentary photography, Photographers, Photography Shows, Visual Artists, Women Photographers Tagged: Building Desires, EJ Major, I LOVE YOU, london, mac Birmigham, Mahtab Hussain, Marie Claire RIP, portraiture, Tenderpixel Gallery

Minor Characters: Paolo Morales, Ana Lerma, and Emily Holzknecht

I thought I’d celebrate some terrific thesis portrait work that recently opened in Boston. Paolo Morales, Ana Lerma, and Emily Holzknecht all explore their own interior relationships as they search for a photographic relationship with strangers. Inconsequential characters take on leading roles in their exhibition, Minor Characters.

Minor Characters is a BFA thesis exhibition on view at the Art Institute of Boston Gallery at University Hall in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Ana, Emily and Paolo are three portrait photographers in search of connections. Lerma’s photographs strangers on the streets of Boston and New York in search of a reflection of a photographic encounter. Holzknecht’s portraits of strangers as well as those close to her explore a relationship between the photographer and the photographed. Morales’ pictures of acquaintances physically interacting explore relationships of struggle and power. The exhibition is on view from March 20-24, 2012.

Paolo Morales is a photographer and BFA candidate at the Art Institute of Boston. He has exhibited work at the Detroit Center for Contemporary Photography, Kings Highway Library, C Street Gallery, Trevor Day School and Gallery 44, among others. His editorial work has appeared on the cover of College Magazine. In 2010, he curated a show entitled Select Gender at the Farmani Gallery in Brooklyn. He lives in New York and Boston.

Emily Holzknecht was born and raised in northern New Jersey and is currently a BFA candidate at The Art Institute of Boston. Her interest in humanity and narrative lead her to develop a strong interest in the photographic portrait and its power to simultaneously reveal and obfuscate. Her work has been exhibited at the Photographic Resource Center and Laconia Gallery in Boston.

Ana Lerma is a contemporary photographer. Raised in the suburbs of Las Vegas, NV she moved to Boston to pursue a photography degree at The Art Institute of Boston at Lesley University.

Portrait Salon shows a selection of National Portrait Gallery 2011 Portrait prize rejections tonight

© Nick Dolding

© Paul Statham

PORTRAIT SALON SHOW TONIGHT
It’s time to get your fill of portraits – and not just colour but black and white too – courtesy of a screening by Portrait Salon where a projection of 75 unselected entries from the National Portrait Gallery Photographic Prize 2011 will be on show tonight at the Roxy Bar and Screen in London from 7-11pm.

Devised by two portrait photographers, who are both based in London and are professionally involved in the cityʼs photographic community, Portrait Salon made a call for submissions from the 5,973 unselected entries and retrieved over 600 images from which it then made its selection.

© Zed Nelson, British Shipbuilders (Part of the series Disappearing Britain)

© Martin Usborne, Frank Bruno

The projection will be accompanied by a publication showcasing all the selected works, with an essay by Wayne Ford and a Q&A I did with the dynamic duo. This will be on sale at the screening.

As I say in the press release: “Looking through the rejected entries has been an eye opener – it was a rare chance to see some of the images that are discarded, to ponder the question of portraiture in the 21st century, and to discover some top-notch portraits to boot. The National Portrait Gallery Photographic Portrait Prize 2011 is a prestigious international prize, however, there is a lack of feedback given to entrants and it was surprising to find that there is some confusion as to what constitutes a portrait – many images simply didnʼt fit the criteria. Portrait Salon is a new venture and should be viewed as a positive addition to the photo competition arena as all entrants are being given another chance to get their work seen on screen and in print at no extra cost.”

Filed under: Uncategorized Tagged: london, Martin Usborne, Nick Dolding, Paul Statham, Portrait Salon, Potraiture, Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize, The Roxy bar and screen, Zed Nelson