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American caricaturist Al Hirschfeld photographed in 1990, by Yousuf Karsh

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© Yousuf Karsh

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© Joe Quint from his project "It Takes Us"

On May 23rd, 2014, news came of in a series of murders committed by a young man in Isla Vista, California, near the campus of University of California, Santa Barbara. Gun violence is a daily occurrence in the United States, but something about this incident tipped Joe Quint over the edge: he launched "It Takes Us."

"I happened to glance at that week's issue of People. The cover story was about some Kardashian wedding and there was a little blurb in the upper right corner about the shooting... with a subhead saying 'How could this happen - again?' Now, setting aside the disproportionality in importance of these two stories, I was struck by both the naivety and borderline irresponsibility of that subhead. 'How could it NOT happen again?' was my immediate reaction - why should we be surprised when - despite some small gains made in recent years by the gun violence prevention movement, there had yet to be anything remotely resembling a collective shift in our consciousness on the subject? 

"I became increasingly frustrated by inaction - my own, and the inaction of my country. I could no longer simply pay lip service to the importance of reducing the over 32,000 senseless and preventable deaths that take place every year. I want to show how the crisis extends far beyond the typical media narrative of urban violence to include domestic abuse, suicide, children being injured or killed by unsecured guns in their homes, and so many more tragic cases." Joe Quint
Photographs and audio will be on exhibit June 18-20, 2015, at Howard Scott Gallery in Chelsea, NY. 



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Lissa Rivera came strongly recommended by none other than photography expert, author and educator Katrin Eismann, who is program chair of MPS Digital Photography at New York's School of Visual Arts. When Katrin calls, you listen.

Between them, Lissa Rivera with her partner and muse, "blur the borders of masculinity and femininity... the photographs tap into deep-seated narratives about gender, desire, freedom and taboo." 

For me, this lovely series is beguiling. Embracing genderqueerness, using fantasy to explore identity.

"Posed within the relationship of subject to photographer, and the public relationship of the photograph to its viewer, the camera transposes the private realm into public space, converting a private moment into public performance. The fantasy of dressing up transforms the experience of being photographed into one that fuses identity-creation with image-creation. By blurring the borders of masculinity and femininity the photographs tap into deep-seated narratives about gender, desire, freedom and cultural taboo." Lissa Rivera.


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The Long Term Survivor Project exhibition opened at San Francisco Camerawork on June 4th, in celebration of annual Pride month and in honor of National HIV / AIDS Long Term Survivor Day, which was June 5th. 

SF Camerawork brings together works by Hunter Reynolds, Grahame Perry and portraits from our pal Frank Yamrus' series, A Sense of a Beginning, to address the experiences of HIV survivorship. 

Go see if you are SF-based!

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"Frank Yamrus' "A Sense of a Beginning" is a series of solemn and stately portraits of long-term HIV survivors. Through this series Yamrus tells the story of survivorship as manifested not only in the lines and physical attributes of his subjects' faces, which bear subtle testimony to the effects of HIV medications, but also as a factual declaration of presence. Each person depicted in the series is alive today thanks to a complex regimen of medication and years of struggle and determination. Long-term survivorship is a story of countless physician appointments, blood draws, continually shifting drug regimes and constant monitoring of T-cells and viral loads, in the midst of untold grief watching friends and loved ones die. Through the peak years of the struggle against AIDS may have faded into recent memory, survivors live on, bearing the impact of AIDS in their everyday lives."

"By 1991... we were on the front lines of war. We volunteered at various AIDS organizations, joined support groups, and attended fundraisers and many funerals. I became a Shanti Project buddy, helping and witnessing young men die, and worked at the Mt. Zion HIV Clinical Research Center with young men who sacrificed their bodies to help find a cure. As I recall our first decade in San Francisco, I cannot remember much that did not gravitate around AIDS. The words and acronyms that were so foreign to me not long before became embedded in my vernacular. Around this time, my photography transitioned to work about loss as it became the language I knew best. Like others, I analogized the pandemic to war and the early images I made romanticized death as a coping mechanism to deal with overwhelming grief.... 

"After countless physician appointments, blood draws, continually shifting drug regimes and constant monitoring of T-cells and viral loads, after untold days protesting and untold nights watching friends die, these courageous men and women allow us to examine the aftermath. Gone is the romanticized idea of battle and loss. In its place: the stark reality of years of struggle and fight. This series does not attempt to capture the tenor of those times or the great strides that have been made since. It simply documents survivorship - the physical, psychological and emotional turmoil AIDS has caused over the last 30-plus years." Frank Yamrus.

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All portraits © Frank Yamrus

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Imagine my surprise when, upon arriving at Thierry Goldberg Gallery in NYC's lower east side to meet my fellow judge for the Parson's BFA graduate show, it turns out to be Vince Aletti, photography critic for the New Yorker Magazine. After I got over my intimidation, I was thrilled and humbled to chat with Mr. Aletti about the more than 60 graduating artists' work, and even more thrilled when we were in agreement about much of the work on show. 

We nominated our winners and each selected a Juror's Choice - mine is A. Retina Stewart. (Her fabulous real name!)

A. Retina Stewart is Houston-born, now living and working in New York. Her short documentary is a classic; it explores the lives of underground hip hop musicians, their goals and personal endeavors. Stewart highlights the young men's struggles against the pressure to be hyper-masculine and portray a young-black-male stereotype. 

"Selling drugs is NOT part of our culture. That's the situation we were put in. If we could have went to Yale, we would have. People move drugs into our streets. We are survivors. We didn't get the same opportunities... we made it work."

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Genesis Iver, 2014

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Carpe D, 2014

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Frank McFly, 2014
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Jevon Doe, 2014

"Male African­-American hip hop musicians are notoriously perceived to uphold hyper­masculine standards; which creates a commercialized persona. Through an intimate interview in each artist's bedroom, Stewart explores them on a more dimensional and nuanced level, delving into their ambitions, insecurities, and fears." A. Retina Stewart

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Josh, 2015

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Frank McFly, 2015

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Donteze, 2015

All images © A. Retina Stewart

In a piece on Afropunk, Stewart proudly, rightfully states "I have mastered the art of finding gold within people, and that's a jewel that school can't teach." 

Follow Stewart on Instagram: _arstewart

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"Vertumnus" © Klaus Enrique

Klaus Enrique's own exuberance is evident in this series of photographs in which he pays homage to the Italian portraitist Arcimboldo in spectacular style. Referencing both the 16th century master's own works as well as updating his subjects to reflect cultural and political concerns, Klaus' images are highly detailed, impassioned, and splendidly executed. 

Klaus grew up in Mexico City. He studied genetics at the University of Nottingham, UK, and received an MBA from Columbia Business School, US. Most of his working career was spent as a freelance IT consultant before he turned to sculpture and photography, which he studied at Parsons and at the School of Visual Arts, in New York. We met at the outstanding Photolucida Portfolio Reviews in April, 2015. Klaus had the foresight to email me beforehand, and included one of his images, saying he was looking forward to meeting me. Simple things like this make me happy, especially when the work is this compelling!

Take your time to appreciate the full screen magazine photo feature. These are really, really good value.

See several more of these fantastic portraits over on Klaus' website.

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Bonus Gandhi! © Klaus Enrique

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aCurator and Klaus Enrique under a triple rainbow. April, 2015, Portland, Oregon. Thank you Photolucida!

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Artist Terri Gold explores "universal cross-cultural truths," and for this chapter of her ongoing series "Still Points in a Turning World" she headed to Niger.

Terri says: "There has been no tourism in Niger for six years now. There were just four of us. The woman leading the trip, Leslie Clark has had a foundation there, The Nomad Foundation. We were the only guests at the festival amid thousands of nomads - being nomads there is no fixed date or location we had to patiently search and were thrilled to finally find their annual gathering. 

"There was nothing done on our behalf, this was the most authentic experience I have ever witnessed. We had 18 armed guards which the government insisted we travel with. All had Kalashnikovs and there was a 50 mm machine gun on each truck. One ahead of us and one at the rear. I have never traveled like that before. We were graciously welcomed by the nomads but right after we left al Qaeda spilled over from Nigeria and we would have had to cancel the trip.

"In this remote corner of northern Niger indigenous tribes are holding on to their way of living: in tune to the rhythm of nature, treading lightly on Earth, leading their beloved animal herds to precious water sources and staying true to their traditions. Surviving in these sunbaked landscapes, each tribe has created a richly unique identity. Yet the timeless past will soon meet the imminent future. What will be discarded and what will be treasured?  If we appreciate the mysteries of every realm, we may gain a deeper understanding of that which lies both behind and ahead of us." 


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I can help you get the best out of your photographs, improve and develop your work and how you present yourself. 

I am a consultant and curator who has been in the photography industry for 25 years. If you are looking for help with editing; sequencing; your website, or online presence; help with a contract, or to talk through a project or concern, I can help.

In 1992 I moved from London to New York to run an international photo agency representing 400+ photographers. I left in 2006 and took the archive of Yousuf Karsh with me to continue clearing rights for his iconic photographs. I edit and publish aCurator magazine, and aCurator blog, which was cited both by the British Journal of Photography and LIFE in their reviews of influencers and taste-makers. For two years I was associate director at ClampArt fine art gallery. I now consult and review work for photographers of all levels and styles.

Selected Interviews
The Click My life in photography
Shutterhub Where I came from and how I got here
Miss Rosen Interview from the 2010 launch of aCurator Magazine
The Heavy Light How aCurator's Curator Curates

Selected judging, reviewing, curation

LA FRONTERA: Artists along the US Mexican Border Curated limited edition box set, and traveling exhibition, by Stefan Falke
Hegemony or Survival by Hector Rene Membreno-Canales
Small Town Inertia, by J A Mortram
Center for Photography, Woodstock, "Photography Now, 2014" Eight artists selected for the annual show
Photoville's "The Fence" One of the judges for this annual installation
The International Fine Art Photography Award Judge for the Paris-based competition
ASMP Image14 Curated the photo annual
PhotoNOLA Curated their annual exhibition, and portfolio reviews
Photolucida Portfolio reviews
Photo District News "The Curator" One of the judges for this huge competition
 

Testimonials

"Julie was extremely helpful in editing and sequencing my project. She has an incisive eye, a forthright manner and a wonderful sensibility. She clearly addressed all of my concerns, and she gave me valuable advice for improving my project statement. Talking with her on the phone was the best part of the process. Julie went above and beyond in her efforts, and I'm delighted to give her my highest recommendation." Stan Raucher, photographer. 

Image Troopers. I mentor two fabulous women who live in Norway. We met up in London for two 3-hour sessions and they blogged about it.

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"Really, not to sound overly gushy or anything, but you are my favorite reviewer... so much fun, such great energy, so much information to generously share in such a straight forward and honest manner. Some people just get it when they look at work, and then they have the confidence to trust their instincts. You are one of those rare few. Thank you!!!" Stephen Tomasko, photographer

"Grahame is a curator with a flawless eye and, in her assessment of the work she presents, an immediately trustworthy, no-frills tone... aCurator's triumph is a clarity of purpose wedded to a keen intelligence, and a willingness to let its stunning photographs largely speak for themselves." Life.com

"The aCurator blog is a prime example of how bloggers can serve as curators, as taste makers." Joerg Colberg, British Journal of Photography.

"I have worked with Julie for a number of years and consider myself very fortunate to have her as a colleague. Everything she takes on - small or large, simple or complex - is done with an efficient mix of good judgement, humor, and competence. I am happy to recommend her without any qualifications." Jerry Fielder, Curator and Director, Estate of Yousuf Karsh

"I never knew what a bad editor I was... I am truly grateful for all your insights." Anon.

The basics
$175: Edit and sequence up to 100 images
For your website, call for entries, book layout, etc. 
I can help determine how many images should be in your final edit.
Add 10 minutes phone or Skype for an extra $25.

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An hour can be very productive. 
Clients often return for a second hour after taking on suggested tasks or revisions. 

Basics don't fit your needs? With 25 years in the photography industry under my belt, I bring a variety of experience. 

Repeat clients can contact me for reduced rates. 

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Jan Cook was purveying her photographic wares at the portfolio walk during PhotoLucida last month. I stopped in my tracks to explore her wild-looking prints and enjoyed a really fun few minutes chatting with Jan and her husband and son. Wonderful people. I had never heard of this chromoskedasic alternative process before - the prints were gorgeous. Here's the deal for any other ignorami:

"In this body of work I am using chromoskedasic painting to produce unique gelatin silver prints. The photographs are manipulated with chemistry during the black and white development process. This creates a range of subtle colors as well as a silvering out of the photographic paper. The process can be unpredictable and difficult to control as you canʼt see the effects of the chemistry until after the marks develop. It does not allow for the same kind of detail as traditional painting."

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"Manipulating photographs allows me to work with several elements that are interesting to me, making marks on paper, altering a photographic image and integrating another medium into the surface of the print. Visually, I am interested in pushing the boundary between where the photographic image begins and ends."

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All images © Jan Cook

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India-based Rohit Saha sent in these photographs taken after the recent, massive earthquake in Nepal along with his own stirring poem.

Donations to the Nepal effort will need to continue. I support Médecins Sans Frontières, and Kids of Kathmandu.

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I can't explain how it feels.
It's dark here.
I had no idea what an earthquake does to a place.

Thousands of bodies are being burnt, the sky is filled with smoke.The air smells of death, of an unimaginable devastation that has come upon Nepal.

Bhaktapur, the ancient Durbar square, one of the Unesco world heritage sites have been completely devastated.The smell of the place, the coldness with little mountains of rubbles. A broken comb, a pack of cards and a phone just popped out from the rubble.

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Just overheard from the brave rescue teams that a four month baby was found alive after 4 days. Hope.


I am staying beside the crematorium ground, near the Pashupati temple. Mass cremations are grim, any death is.
Millions of people have been left homeless, stranded without a roof. Relief camps have sheltered thousands of people, trying to live through the tough times, together. They have nothing but their family and many don't even have that.That fear is still there,but still they manage to laugh.

Sankhu, a small village uphill from Kathmandu is lost. Most of the houses in this picturesque hamlet are gone.

What remains?

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Family photographs on the wall and cupboards. Empty sofas and tarpaulin walls of relief camps. Sniffer dogs and international rescue teams try to bring out the dead from under the rubbles. They found a woman, dead in her courtyard, buried under her own house. I saw her face before they covered it, and wrapped her in a white plastic sheet. I could see her face. I won't ever forget.

Nepal is holding herself strong and beautiful.

Life is the most precious thing.
If you don't stay then nothing stays. What remains? - Rohit Saha, May 2015

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All images © Rohit Saha

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