Tag Archives: Young Guns

Carlo Van de Roer

I once had my aura read and having my energy analyzed was an insightful experience. The color of those energies is what Carlo Van de Roer looks at when making his unique and engaging aura portraits. Carlo is producing a book of these intriguing portraits and has created a Kickstarter campaign to bring attention and monies to the projectThe portrait of Miranda July, below, is one of my favorites.
Miranda July
Miranda July
Carlo was born in
Wellington, New Zealand. He received a BFA from Victoria University before
working and exhibiting internationally in the United States, New Zealand, the
United Kingdom and France. Carlo has received the ADC Young Guns Award, the APA
Silver to Pixels Award for Fine Art and the PDN Pix Award. He was named a Top
50 Photographer by Photolucida and received the Honorable Mention for the BMW
Paris Photo Prize in 2010. His work has been featured in the New York Times,
The New Yorker, INTERVIEW magazine, Vogue Italia, Wired Magazine and
NPR. Work from The Portrait Machine Project has been exhibited
at M+B Gallery in LA, Suite Gallery in NZ, Festival d’Hyères and Carrousel du
Louvre in France.

His Kickstarter campaign is featured in the video below. Consider helping him reach his goals by contributing here.


The Portrait Machine Project Book is a collection of polaroid
aura portraits of subjects ranging from my grandmother to Miranda July,
Terence Koh and James Frey. The 9.75 x12 inch, 96 page, full color,
hardcover book also includes the camera generated diagrams/descriptions
that accompany each polaroid.

This project started when I was making polaroid portraits here in NY. I was interested in the idea that a camera could offer an insight into the subject’s character or my relationship with them, especially if its a portrait of someone you know. The relationship between the camera, photographer, subject and viewer was something I wanted to explore. 
I started using the polaroid aura camera because of what it promised to do, it was invented in an attempt to record what a psychic might see. This seemed like a familiar idea to me — that a camera could provide an otherwise unseen insight.
The tension, or harmony, between the portraits and the people I was photographing was something I wanted to make accessible to you as the viewer, so I started including people that might be familiar.
The camera is built around an instant land camera, it gets attached directly to the subject by sensors which read biofeedback, that’s converted into information about the them and is depicted as color in the polaroid. The camera also generates a printed diagram and description which includes information about their character and how they are seen by others.

Example of how the camera generate the color seen in the image above.

Jesse Rieser

I thought it would be fun to use the opportunity of Christmas Eve to showcase Jesse Rieser’s wonderful project, Christmas in America: Happy Birthday, Jesus. Santa (and Jesus) has been very good to Jesse this year. Here are a few of the accolades he recieved in 2011:

2011 Art Director’s Club Young Guns 9
Top 50 International Emerging Creative

2011 PDN Photo Annual
Winner: Best Personal Work of the Year (Christmas in America: Happy Birthday, Jesus)

2011 American Photography Annual – AP 27
Winner: Best Personal Work of the Year (Christmas in America: Happy Birthday, Jesus)
Winner: Best Editorial Work of the Year (Phoenix Goddess Temple, Sex Church)

2011 Critical Mass Top 50
Best project of 2011 selected by 200 international curators, gallery owners, and publishers

Jesse has written one of my favorite bio/statements — take a minute to check it out. Jesse was born in Missouri and now lives in California working as a editorial, commercial, and fine art photographer, and undoubtedly 2012 will be another year of amazing achievements.

Christmas in America: Happy Birthday, Jesus
Beyond the glowing green and red lights, past the shimmering silvery tinsel, around the fragrant pine boughs, another Christmas lingers, a Christmas of contradictions.

This Christmas is complex and at times, uncomfortable. It’s awkward and sometimes bleak. But it is also sincere and celebratory, colorful and creative.

This is the Christmas I capture in this first chapter of a photographic exploration of the biggest event on the American calendar. I grew up in a secular home and at times felt like a Christmas outsider, never connected to the holiday’s religious importance, or its more extreme cultural trappings. But in these photos, I become a Christmas insider, working to discover and reveal what holiday magic, or mania, compels so many to devote thousands of hours to hanging lights, to carving and painting figurines, to building miniature villages, to converting their homes, yards, garages and cars into monuments to merriness.

Initially inspired by the absurdity of a five story inflatable Santa who appeared to be guarding a tree lot, I have launched this survey of uniquely American Christmas traditions. “Christmas in America” is an unvarnished examination of the ways people mark the holiday’s meaning.