Tag Archives: Portraiture

Success Stories: Candace Gaudiani

I first met Candace Gaudiani at the Fotofest reviews in Houston about six years ago.  She is a striking woman–elegant, self-possessed and smart.  Candace was sharing work from her series, Between Destinations, about her many train travels across the United States.  Since then, I have had the pleasure of seeing Candace at other photography events over the years, and traveled with her in China at the Lishui Photography Festival last fall, where she exhibited her wonderful train work.  I am thrilled to share that Candace now has a monograph of Between Destinations, published by Kehrer Verlag, which includes an extensive essay by Alison Nordström and an interview with Jane Reed and is available through photo-eye and Amazon.

Candace is currently on a book tour and will soon be pulling into Boston on May 30th for a book signing at the Panoptican Gallery, in conjunction with a group show, Planes Trains and Automobiles which runs through July 9th.

Opening in New York City on June 22nd at Photoville, Candace will be exhibiting photographs from 4 train trips.  Viewers will be able to experience her work in a more monumental scale as the exhibition is housed in a shipping container.  She will continue her lectures and book signing into 2013 and her schedule can be found here.

Candace was born in Boston and grew up in Wisconsin and Maine. She holds a B.A., cum laude, in English Literature, and an MBA from Harvard University. Gaudiani studied fine art and portraiture at University of California, Berkeley, and print-making with the print maker for the late Eugene Smith. She lives and works in the San Francisco Bay area.  She has exhibited widely in the U.S. and Europe and her work is held in numerous collections




LENSCRATCH INTERVIEW


What drew you to photography? 

As a child in small town Wisconsin, I drew pictures and storyboards
and spent time alone looking at the world through my bedroom windows. By the
time I was in second grade, my father got me a Yashica camera to match his
Rollei (he was a scientist and amateur photographer). Early on, I learned to be
an observer, to look and see, living in a neighborhood without other children,
and also enjoyed riding for hours on my bike through swampland and countryside.
Being behind the camera was a perfect vantage point for me to see the world.


How long have you been working on this project and how many train trips have
you taken?
  

 When I took up photography seriously again
seventeen years ago – to see what I could do with it before the lights
went out, I told other people’s stories as they told and showed them to
me. My first two series explored the secretive world of body builders and then
the intimate conversations of ordinary people. Seven years ago, I was drawn to
tell my own story directly. My familiar ground involved journey and travel, as
I had been through all forty eight states by the time I was twelve years old,
with my family mostly by car, but some by train. I had traveled extensively as
an adult, too. To see those familiar memories with new eyes, I started
retracing the routes I had been on much earlier, in an
America from the 1950’s. My
journey evolved, as I initially explored photographing from cars (running off
the road several times, negotiating the steering wheel and the camera) and from
planes. None of that produced what I hoped for. So, I boarded trains and, over
the course of those seven years, discovered new ways of seeing and produced
four distinct series. In that evolution, I reinterpreted pictures through train
windows in black and white and in color, in sizes ranging from intimate cards
to larger than life windows on the world. In each case, the nature of the
object impacts how the viewer sees and interacts to the story. In most cases, I
do not include place names or text, as I want the viewer to populate the
pictures with his or her own story and memories and to accompany me on a new
journey. And I realize that as I change my art, my art changes me.
I have
been on over 20
extensive or cross
country train trips and many car and plane trips.


While you are a passenger, are you continually engaged in what’s out the
window, or do you shoot selectively?
   

When I began, I photographed what
caught my eye, out the passenger window, up track and down track, rather
passively. On my recent rips, I work very hard, covering two stories of the
train, shooting out different windows from varying vantage points, packing a 25
pound backpack and working two cameras. I always work alone, as I want to focus
on what I am seeing out the exit door/dining car/observation car/passenger
seat/hallway windows. It is intense and exciting – what discoveries
lie around the bend? Before trips in recent years, I
preplan, with an eye to filling in what might be missing from my series to date
and to capturing new vistas. For instance, I look at the map of the rail route
and compare it to timetable and geography. At what time will I be at point X?
Will the sun be to my west or east? Will that glare prevent me from shooting
out an east window? What side of the train will the train’s shadow be on?
What will the weather be? –
if it is sunny, the
mood will be one way, if rainy, another. And so on.


What has been your favorite train trip?  
I think my favorite train trips are my very first one and
the most recent one! Each one has covered many states and presented its own
discoveries. I will say there is something special about waking up in the
middle of the night in the desert and seeing more stars than I ever could have
imagined and going back to sleep with the rocking of the train slipping quietly
through the night.


After completing this project, would you still consider train travel?
 

Always! I like the concept of being
free on the train, yet yielding up to where it is going. A train is always
between destinations, and so are we all in life.

Tell us how the book came about? 

About
six years into this project, I met at several photography portfolio reviews the
acquisition manager of Kehrer Verlag, a highly respected small art publishing
house in Germany.
As my work progressed and the four series developed, Kehrer expressed an
interest in publishing all of my train pictures, both black and white and color.
That happened in April, 2011. I thought I had one to two years to complete the
book, but the acquisitions manager emailed me three weeks later and asked
“How about publishing in January 2012? And, by the way, we need
specifications, a title, and cover art in three weeks for our catalogue”.
Of course, I said Of Course! Those three weeks were among my most intense
creative efforts. The whole experience with Kehrer was positive. I went to Germany
to be pre press and on press, with guide prints for every image in the book
– all of which were crucial to the outcome for the book. And it is
beautiful, even better than I hoped.


What can you share with emerging photographers about getting their work out
into the world?
 


Always make time to do work. Be clear and present and see clearly and well when you work. Build from what you are familiar with but see it with new eyes. Always follow what you are drawn to – you will have something of yourself in whatever photo you make, and it will be stronger. Every portrait or photograph is a self-portrait. Move beyond sharing with family and friends to put your work in front of industry experts through portfolio reviews and local colleagues. Mess around. Always do something that scares you. Just when you think you cannot continue a particular photo shoot, hang in there, because that is when the best photos are made. Talk with industry consultants when you feel you are ready for a next step but don’t know how to get there.


What event took your work to the next level?  
 I think there were different events at different stages
and different people. In my book, my Acknowledgments section honors many who
made a difference to me over time. But what in general took my work to the next
level?
Seeing with new eyes, setting aside my accustomed ways
of looking at things, and getting advice from wise colleagues and friends.


What’s next?  

Well, it’s too
early to talk about it, but it might include circling back and supplementing my
earlier series on body builders, titled “Do I Measure Up?…” I remain passionate about storytelling and
photography and issues of impermanence, intimacy, place, and memory.


And finally, what would be your perfect day? 

After checking email, I would take a walk with my dog in
the California
hills, come back and quietly look at and edit new work. I would plan an
upcoming trip. Mostly alone, but a connection with friends,
too.

Mike Rebholz, Hardin Road (Montana 87)

Mike Rebholz, Hardin Road (Montana 87)

Mike Rebholz

Hardin Road (Montana 87),
Billings, Montana, 2006
From the American Beauty series
Website – MikeRebholz.com

Mike Rebholz (b.1954, Milwaukee Wisconsin). Is an architectural photographer living and working in Madison, Wisconsin. He studied at the Milwaukee Center for Photography and has taught at the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design. His photographic interests are vernacular architecture, the built landscape and portraiture that explores the confluence of shelter and American culture . His projects range from documentation of ice fishing in Wisconsin. the changing Midwest landscape and vernacular architecture as a reflection of idiosyncratic individuality. His solo exhibitions Speaking in the Vernacular and 10 Weeks: Ice Fishing in Wisconsin have exhibited at the Michael H. Lord Gallery in Palm Springs California and the work from 10 Weeks is represented in the Chicago Project at Catherine Edelman Gallery, Chicago Illinois. His current project American Beauty is a examination of the intersection of industrial scale agribusiness, energy production and existing American land culture and the resulting changes in the American way of life.

Photobook: C Photo: Posed / Unposed

c-photo_10.jpg

Book spread from the photobook “C Photo: Posed/Unposed”
Left: Untitled, 2010. Hester Scheurwater Right: Untitled, 2010. Hester Scheurwater:
From Both Sides of the Mirror.

The volume C Photo: Posed/Unposed outlines the field of tension between the entirely spontaneous and unposed on one hand, and the striving for a perfect pose on the other, depicting a variety of approaches from photojournalism or amateur snapshots to advertising, portraiture and fashion photography. SEO Experts search engine marketing . See more images, from many photographers, in Lens Culture.

Photographers published are Rico Scagliola & Michael Meier, Jacques Henri Lartigue, Thomas Struth, Pawel Juszczuk, Federico Patellani, Edward Quinn, Hester Scheurwater, Garry Winogrand, Guy Bourdin, Jules Spinatsch, Ghislain Dussart, Slim Aarons.

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

Men in Black: The Secret Service Photographed by Christopher Morris

Men in dark suits stand in strange places—still, emotionless and focused against a backdrop of an urban garage, an airfield, a tall splash of dead marsh grass. The U.S. Secret Service agents of Christopher Morris’ photographs seem like ethereal beings—possibly of the vengeful variety—fallen to earth.

“I call them ‘men in black,’” said Morris, a contract photographer for TIME since 1990 (focused on politics since 2000) whose career has included everything from capturing the war in Chechnya and the designs of Chanel.

“If you’re assigned to the President, to me it’s one man in a suit and if you do this very long, it gets a little old. So it’s nice to turn away your camera from the President and look at what’s around him. And the Secret Service detail, it’s quite intriguing actually,” Morris said.

The intrigue around these agents tasked with protecting the nation’s leaders has grown in recent weeks to include a major sex scandal. More than half a dozen officers have been pushed out of the agency since the news broke over 12 agents allegedly hiring prostitutes in Cartagena, Colombia, during a mission to prepare the Caribbean city for a visit from President Barack Obama.

Morris said such behavior would be unimaginable for the elite cadre of agents he has encountered among the presidents’ immediate security detail, whose nearly every moment is consumed by the job.

For Morris and other White House photographers, there’s also a distinct advantage to this group of agents’ singular devotion to security. They make good subjects to photograph.

In slide nine, an agent traveling with President George W. Bush in 2004 mutely stares ahead sweating in a hot room, zeroed in on his task, unable to acknowledge Morris and the multiple clicks of his shutter.

“If I see a business man on the street, I can’t approach him with a camera and start photographing him without causing him to react a certain way, ” Morris said. “With the Secret Service they maintain their posture, they maintain their pose.”

Christopher Morris is a contract photographer for TIME and represented by VII. See more of his work here

Natalie Krick

I recently reviewed portfolios of photographic educators at the SPE National Conference in San Francisco. This week I am featuring some of the terrific work I got a chance to see….

Natalie Krick has captured some terrific portraits. On the verge of completing her MFA from Columbia College Chicago in May of 2012, she continues to explore the idea of portraiture with her new series, Natural Deceptions. Natalie was born in Portland Oregon and grew up in Fort Collins, Colorado. She earned a BFA in Photography from School of Visual Arts in 2008 and have been exhibiting in national and international exhibition, and has recieved numerous awards for her work.


Mom wearing lipstick in bed

I asked Natalie about the experience of photographing her mother and this was her reply:
“The photographs of my mom are often my favorites. She lives in Colorado, so I have been flying back a few times a year to photograph her and spend time with her and the rest of my family. We have also made a few of the photographs in Chicago when she comes to visit me. She participates because she knows it is important to me, but I wouldn’t say that it is any where close to her favorite thing to do. She does not like to wear a lot of make up (and I usually have her wearing heavy make up for the photographs). I am rather slow when I photograph but we spend most of the time laughing until she gets fed up with how long I’m taking. I think what is considered beautiful and flattering needs to be examined. My mom understands my point of view but since she is the one in front of the camera the experience is different for her. The photographs harshly reveal the fact that she is aging and I know that this is difficult for her. We have conversations about the emphasis our society puts on appearance and although we are able to critique and analyze culture, this desire to be desirable and attractive still remains.”


Mom in gold

NATURAL DECEPTIONS: The colorful seductive nature of cosmetics act to mask, conceal and deceive while drawing attention to the surface and the superficial. By emphasizing both the façade of glamour and the physicality of the body I am interested in what can be revealed through these surfaces.


Mom with skittles in her shirt

The women depicted in my photographs perform certain tropes used to visualize female beauty and sexuality. These photographs expose an awkwardness and tension in being looked at and scrutinized while also implying a longing to be seen as desirable and beautiful. By creating images that can be perceived as both garish and seductive, I question the fantasy of idealized beauty and what culture designates as flattering and desirable.


Mom in front of the shower curtain


Mom with her finger on her lip


Mom on a gold couch


Mom as a virgin


Mom as me


Mom in a blue robe


Mom on the red stairs


Mom as a blonde


Mom’s neck

Photo Show – Phil Fisk captures Everyday People CircusFest 2012 at The Roundhouse London

© Phil Fisk

Phil Fisk’s Everyday People – a series of commissioned portraits of circus performers  – is on show in the foyer at The Roundhouse for the duration of the CircusFest (29 April). Fisk puts a spin on contemporary circus performers and portrays them in unusual, everyday settings, for example, the contortionist spilling out of a washing machine in a Brixton launderette.

© Phil Fisk

If you’re heading to the north London venue or passing by, drop in and take a look. The private view is tonight with a performance by Compagnie Rasoterra.

© Phil Fisk

For a behind-the-scenes look at the work, including a post on the hanging of the 80-inch prints in the foyer, visit Fisk’s blog.

Filed under: Photographers, Photography Shows, Portraiture Tagged: circus performers, CircusFest, Everyday People, Phil Fisk, portraits, The Roundhouse

Composed: Identity, Politics, Sex

Israeli Soldiers Playing Cards, 1997 © Collier Schorr

Exhibition on view:
December 22–June 30, 2012

The Jewish Museum

1109 5th Ave at 92nd St
New York, NY
(212) 423-3200

The politics of desire, in public and private, and the search for national, ethnic, and sexual identities are investigated throughout Composed, a permanent exhibition at The Jewish Museum. The show features seven photo-based contemporary artists. Using conventional forms of photography including, portraiture, photojournalism, and online profile pictures, the artists illuminate the complex identities of a wide range of characters, emphasizing stereotypes, in order to obscure individual differences.

Artists featured: Marc Adelman, Gloria Bornstein, AA Bronson, Debbie Grossman, Adi Nes, Collier Schorr, and Rona Yefman.

Collier Schorr appeared in Aperture issue 202 and The New York Times Magazine Photographs.

 

Israeli Soldiers Playing Cards, 1997, © Collier Schorr

Exhibition on view:
December 22–June 30, 2012

The Jewish Museum

1109 5th Ave at 92nd St

New York, NY

(212) 423-3200

The politics of desire, in public and private, and the search for national, ethnic, and sexual identities are investigated throughout Composed, a permanent exhibition at The Jewish Museum. The show features seven photo-based contemporary artists. Using conventional forms of photography including, portraiture, photojournalism, and online profile pictures, the artists illuminate the complex identities of a wide range of characters, emphasizing stereotypes, in order to obscure individual differences.

Artists featured: Marc Adelman, Gloria Bornstein, AA Bronson, Debbie Grossman, Adi Nes, Collier Schorr, and Rona Yefman.

Collier Schorr appeared in Aperture issue 202 and The New York Times Magazine Photographs.