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© Rob Hann

In his seventh aCurator feature, Rob Hann whisks us away to three new states. In continuation of his series 'I Dream a Highway' he went to Oregon, Idaho and Montana with his usual keen eye, kindly sharing his tour with me, a fellow Brit with a love of the American landscape. I'm always excited to see what he comes back with and think this could be the best series yet.

View the full screen magazine photo feature.

"In October 2001 I took my first American road trip with a camera. When I got home and looked through the pictures I'd taken I felt I had the basis of a photo book. I thought I needed to take one more trip to have enough material. Almost 15 years and many trips later I feel the time has come to take positive steps towards making that book. The photographs here are from my most recent trip in Oregon, Idaho and Montana. I can't imagine it will be the last." 
Rob Hann, February, 2016

You can see Rob's art in person - he is in New York's Soho several days a week selling his affordable prints on Prince Street. 

Go on Rob's past road trips -
Deserted States of America
Tucson to Tucumcari 
Lone Star State of Mind 
Sleeping on Strange Pillows 
14 Days of Solitude  
Faraway Eyes 

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Nude Reagan © John Brian King
 
Using the weird and wonderful Fujifilm Instax Mini 8, John Brian King photographed 23 models each wearing only this Ronald Reagan mask. Making the photos in an empty office, the women posed however they liked. The resulting images are an ironic reflection on the American right wing's much-loved conservative leader. 

Tits to you and your memory, Ronald.

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The mini-roids are collected in a book: Nude Reagan is out now from Spurl Editions.

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All images © John Brian King

"John Brian King is a Los Angeles native who graduated with a degree in photography from the California Institute of the Arts. He designed the film titles for over thirty films, including Boogie Nights, Punch-Drunk Love and The Ring. He wrote and directed the feature film Redlands, an examination of creativity and horror in relation to photography." Read more over at Spurl.

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© Tom Price

"Stories of survival, joy and despair from a 141-year-old institution."

Tom Price is a British photographer who is currently living and working in India. His work "...is people-centred, with a focus on inequality and empowerment, especially in women and children." And he's jolly busy at it, too. 

'Pass between the front of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation and the huge bowler hat that perches on top of the gate to Charlie Chaplin Park, take a right onto Hogg Street and curve round until you get to the narrow entrance of what appears to be a darkened alley. Step inside, you've just entered the 141-year-old Sir Stuart Hogg Market, known locally as New Market.'

According to Wikipedia "By the 1850s, British colonists held sway in Calcutta and displayed increasing contempt for the "natives" and an aversion to brushing shoulders with them at the bazaars. In 1871, moved by a well orchestrated outcry from English residents, a committee of the Calcutta Corporation began to contemplate a market which would be the preserve of Calcutta's British residents." 

Despite two fires and regular flooding the market continues today, with 2,000 stall holders selling everything from furniture to flowers.
 
Tom is also a pretty great writer - check him out on Medium.

Also don't miss his weekly "postcard

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All images © Tom Price

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© Kasey-Lynn Rodriguez

Words by Kasey-Lynn Rodriguez, edited by Efrem Zelony-Mindell

You've probably seen memes floating around about The Bronx. I have two personal favorites. The first is Superman being interviewed saying "I fight crime everywhere, except The Bronx, fuck that!" The second is the scene from The Lion King where Mufasa and Simba are talking about everything the light touches is their kingdom, instead Mufasa says to Simba when he asks "what's that shadow area?" Mufasa says, "That's the Bronx, you must never go there unless you're about that life."   

The Bronx has lots of culture, Puerto Ricans especially. PUERTO RICANS LOVE TO SAY THEY'RE BORIQUENA. AND I MEAN WHO CAN BLAME THEM?! I'M PROUD TO BE A BORICUA FROM THE BRONX. They love their island but they make due in the Bronx. There's a lot of representation of the immigration from Puerto Rico to the Bronx. My grandma came to the Bronx from Puerto Rico when she was 15 years old. And without her there would be no me.

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The Bronx has been having some gentrification issues. They'd like to change the name of the South Bronx, to "the Piano District." I mean, what the fuck are we in the Hunger Games or something? like come on. Don't tell me you wanna change the name as if we're out here playing piano keys on every corner instead of dominoes during the summer.  

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Young Adults of The Bronx have dreams. Celebrities like Regis Philbin and Billy Joel were raised here. Former United States Secretary of State, Colin Powell, grew up on Kelly Street, which is a couple blocks away from my house. Fashion Designers Calvin Klein and Ralph Lauren were born and raised in the Mosholu Parkway area and look where they are now. Most importantly the one who coined the term "Jenny From The Block," Jennifer Lopez. It honestly gives hope to a young Latina like myself that dreams are possible. I want to be able to share my art. 

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That's my dude Sam in the blue, he owns the store and never fails to call me sunshine. He was cool to let me take his and his cousins picture. He even let me set up a fake hold up of his store with girls in a bejeweled mask and nerf guns for another project. He's definitely about that life. 

St. John's Church was built in my neighborhood in 1899. When people refer to The Bronx, they usually refer to the quote "The Bronx is burning" The Bronx used to be filled with burnt down buildings, rampant crime and empty lots, that children like my mother used as playgrounds. These images are to be seen as an observation of my environment and myself. There are plenty of old buildings that still have the original architecture from when they were built. What's funny about them now is they're used as Planet Fitness, a McDonald's or a liquor store. Too many of the Bronx's historical buildings are being torn down instead of restored to help community revenue. I think neighborhoods need to see these abandoned buildings as stages to create a voice for the community.

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I've had the opportunity to make my own set of friends that have reintroduced me to my hometown. As a child I didn't have friends around here and I wasn't able to explore on my own. I've gotten a lot of flack for being a Bronx Native that didn't really look like I belonged in the Bronx. I wanted to create these images not just for myself, but to prove that regardless of where I'm from or where you're from that there's something that could be discovered about our places. This is the place that raised me. I fell in love with the rawness and realness of my neighborhood and the people around here. This place isn't perfect but I wanted to show that it isn't inferior. 

Under it's tough exterior; the Bronx is beautiful. 

Actor Al Pacino, who you'd be surprised to know is from The Bronx said an interesting quote when asked by a journalist about his lack of security, he said "I don't need no bodyguard, I'm from the South Bronx. I can handle it!" 

I'm extremely proud to be from the South Bronx. I'm tough, I'm loud, I'm Boricua, and I'm here behind my camera to bring it.

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All images © Kasey-Lynn Rodriguez 
Words by Kasey-Lynn Rodriguez, edited by Efrem Zelony-Mindell

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Morley Safer, 1977 by Yousuf Karsh

Sad news! Morley Safer has died at the age of 84. Karsh photographed him in 1977, and on the Karsh website is an entertaining video from 60 Minutes with Morley Safer of Safer with Karsh, together they recreate the famous Churchill photo. "I'll be Churchill" says Mr Safer. 

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Girl Anachronism © Rocio De Alba

Rocio De Alba quit booze and took up a camera in order to regain control of her life and mental health. Having suffered from an excruciating irrational fear since childhood, and self-medicating in order to cope, this artist finds photography to be a savior. Independently productive, Rocio's concentration is on the frank portrayal of modern families, relationships and structures.

View the full screen magazine photo feature.

Then, check out the amazing "Miracle Baby" story... it must be seen to be believed. 

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Paulo and Andrew © Kris Graves

Words by Efrem Zelony-Mindell.

Kris Graves portrays color; color of light and color of flesh. The boundaries of his contemporaries expand a conversation of self, race and culture. Graves' men are of their parts; their eyes, their noses, their mouths. They are the hair on their heads, their clothes and jewelry, and the glasses resting on their ears. They are not idealized. They are documented. It is this blatant presentation that allows them to be human. It's not a photographic truth as much as it is honesty. Down to the the bone beyond the flesh Graves' photographs are deeper than stigmas or preconceived ideas. They tell a story that regardless of where you come from, each individual's part is universal. As is light. There is an interconnectivity that creates a sense of equality in the work and in its realization.

You can catch a solo exhibition of Graves' work in Cypress Hills, Brooklyn, opening on June 4th, 2016 at NorteMaar.

Find out more about the Testament Project here.

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Frank 

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The Artist 

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Keith 

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Jacob

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The Producer  

All images © Kris Graves

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© Adam Reynolds

Documentary photographer Adam Reynolds has focused his attention on the Middle East and here brings us a glimpse at the ubiquitous Israeli safety shelter.
 
"Since its creation in 1948, the State of Israel has felt itself isolated and beset by enemies seeking its destruction. This collective siege mentality is best expressed in the ubiquity of the thousands of bomb shelters found throughout the country. By law all Israelis are required to have access to a bomb shelter and rooms that can be sealed off in case of an unconventional weapons attack. There are over 10,000 public and private bomb shelters found throughout Israel and the Occupied Territories."

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I was reminded of stories about London in the Blitz - the London Underground was my parents' bomb shelter. No beauty treatments or couches down there. 

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Besides his photojournalist qualifications, Adam holds a Masters degree in Islamic and Middle East Studies. Smart!

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All images © Adam Reynolds

Also check out A Visual History of Arab Israeli Peace.

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From The Disturbance © Rayhannah Ali

Wonderful work from a young woman I met at University of Wales Trinity Saint David in Swansea in the UK last year. Generally, the students were working on fairly mature, worldly projects. Rayhannah Ali says of her imagery "My work is about family and using collage to express different feelings of situations and meanings reflecting back to a South Asian culture." Unable to choose, I went with two projects. UNUNDERSTOOD is an embrace of and homage to the graphic imagery of Shirin Neshat while The Disturbance uses mixed media and family photos for a provocative experience.

View the full screen magazine photo feature.
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"I'm a SAD GURL because I am a mermaid that has been stranded on land, and on top of that I'm being forced to "grow up" when that's clearly a terrible idea." - Annie © Sam Lichtenstein and Jess Williams // SAD GURLZ 

 On a cool Friday night in April, in Brooklyn, myself and a bunch of my photo cohorts gave up another evening for the greater photo cause - this time for ASMP's student reviews. There was a variety of photography to look at, and only 10 minutes to talk about it with each person so I was concerned when two youngsters sat down to be reviewed together. But Jess and Sam, aka the founders of the SAD GURLZ project, lit me up with their refreshing attitude, their confidence, their looks, and their collection of SAD GURLZ who have been invited to submit a statement about a particular reason they haz sad, and have some of their bits and pieces photographed. 
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"I'm a SAD GURL because my cognitive psych professor said that if aliens do come to visit, they'll kill us." - Haley

It can be tough reviewing students, especially when they are from all different schools and at different levels, with some not seeming to have been given any guidance. I was convinced during my first review that Taylor Swift must have been standing behind me as the young man's eyes wandered incessantly.
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"I'm a SAD GURL because I'm such a fangirl at heart but The Beatles and the Beach Boys broke up so I have nothing to take my top off for." - Paulina
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"I'm a SAD GURL because I want to go to Med School but I spend all of my time drinking Budweiser and sleeping with NYU frat boys." - Carlie

Jess and Sam seemed far from sad as they showed their book and beamed about their project. They are infectious and besides which, the series is an insight into the minds of today's young women. I have spent much time thinking what I would have said to them.
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"I'm a SAD GURL because love doesn't exist. It's not just sunshines and rainbows. It's all fucking heartbreak." Original SAD GURL Jess
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"I'm a SAD GURL because at this point, it's easier to be single than deal with fuckboys." Original SAD GURL Sam.

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Not so SAD! Jess and Sam © aCurator

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