Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper recently announced a new crossing over the Detroit River which will connect Windsor, Ontario to Detroit will be named the Gordie Howe International Bridge in honor of the 87-year-old Red Wings legend.
I met Samantha Geballe at Photolucida last April and I was impressed with her ability to speak about her incredibly intimate photographs, at her young age. She has a wonderfully frank attitude, and both I and two of my fellow reviewers, who will be thrilled to see the work here, were knocked off our feet.
Our hero of the fantastical, Bear Kirkpatrick, has kindly rolled out a new set of eye-popping images in his Wall Portraits series, with a new solo exhibition of the prints opening next week at Daniel Cooney Fine Art in New York City.
"In his studio, Kirkpatrick applies feathers, dead bugs and other assorted materials on his subject's skin and hair as he listens to their stories. They reveal their experiences and he uses his imagination to see what lies below the surface. He imagines a history and another level of consciousness that might exist beyond our own."
It is barely 18 months since I first saw this project and it has been wonderful to watch it develop, and yes, now the be-all and end-all: a solo show in NYC. Props to Daniel Cooney for knowing great stuff when he sees it. Breasts or no breasts, right Bear?
Fantastic series from Sultan Al Rubayq, from Saudi Arabia, who is graduating from the MFA in Photography program at the New York Film Academy this spring. I am thrilled to share his images from his thesis project.
"Tafeet" is a game of car-drifting that sort of looks like fun but is obviously highly dangerous. According to Sultan, although it is illegal "It is still rampant in the public roads in my country and that means it continues to create reasons for people to die in accidents, whether the drifters or just mere spectators. My sole purpose in showing this documentary is to be a medium of exposing the dangers and threats of this to innocent victims."
While looking for the photograph Karsh took of Canadian PM William Lyon Mackenzie King, talking to John Buchan aka Lord Tweedsmuir, US President Roosevelt and his son, I discovered that Karsh had photographed Billie Jean King!
Every day with Karsh is a gift.
Tweedsmuir, King, Roosevelt, and Roosevelt's son, Elliott, 1936
Berenice Abbott was one of my very first photo crushes. A story about her in today's New York Times promoted me to post Mr Karsh's late portrait of her. She is standing in front of one of her scientific images, "Van de Graaff Generator, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1958"
"Berenice Abbott spent two years at MIT creating photographs that memorably document the principles of physical science - mechanics, electromagnetism, and waves. She often developed innovative techniques for capturing scientific phenomena, including one for very detailed, close-in photography that she called Super Sight."
Photolucida would prove to be the portfolio review event everyone claims it to be when before even reaching the hotel, I was already talking to a fabulous photographer - one of the many lovely volunteers who dedicated a whole lot of time to looking after us all. Based in Portland, Oregon, Erika Plummer is a multi-talented portrait and landscape photographer, who lit up while telling me how she got into chasing the Aurora Borealis - and I lit up when she sent me the pics!
"I saw them the first time in 1998 while camping MI and have been in pursuit ever after. The onset of DSLR cameras and the advancement of high ISO capabilities have made it easier to capture on our sensors what we can't see with our naked eye. The colors are there, the lights are dancing and our cameras prove it."
"These images from Montana, however, I saw very easily without my camera and that makes it more wonderful. There are a handful of us insane photographers who will drive hundreds of miles looking for clear dark skies and a chance to catch the very elusive Aurora. When she makes her appearance it's worth every failed trip."
Tabitha Soren has spent a dozen years delving into the realm of American baseball, exploring tradition, success, and failure. Using the tin type process to photograph some of the live action, she gives a nod to the history of both that process and baseball itself - coming to popularity at around the same time in US history. Embedding herself in the drafts, she uncovered the truth behind the glamour - that a small percentage ever make it to the Big League.
"FANTASY LIFE is a series that explores the fantasies that define America: Manifest destiny, the romantic idea of the restless wanderer, the hopeful idea that failure is just a step on the road to success, the notion that the pursuit of fame and fortune is also the pursuit of happiness, the belief that to secure one's identity, one must seek to stand apart from the community."
"￼Out of the thousands of players that are drafted into Major League Baseball each year, only a tiny percentage - about 6% - go on to play in 'The Show,' the big-pay, high-stakes galaxy of thirty teams that we all know, love and hate."
"Some of my subjects became well known, respected players at the highest level of the game. Some left baseball to pursue less glamorous work, such as selling insurance and coal mining. Some have struggled ￼with poverty - even homelessness. But the common thread among them all is that they had a shot, and they literally put their bodies on the line for the sake of the game."
It is very hard to do this deep project justice online, so you can go see it now at Kopeikin Gallery in LA, through June 6, 2015. The live exhibition includes:
A mixture of C prints and Selenium toned Gelatin Silver prints;
A wall of memorabilia from the 23 players I followed for 11 years (everything from kindergarten age baseball cards to arthroscopic x rays from knee surgeries);
A wall of comparison portraits showing that only 5 of the 21 subjects made it to the major leagues;
Tintypes of action shots from games;
Two sculptural elements: a vitrine of 40 bone spurs (many taken out of the players during surgery to improve their game) and an acrylic 4 foot high tower of shelled peanuts, with 6% of the peanuts at the top painted gold.
Better known for his aerial photography, Floridian Bill Yates recently revisited a box of negs and prints from two seasons of photographing at the Sweetheart Roller Skating Rink in the 70s. Editing 800 shots could not have been easy - I've had a hard enough time choosing what to publish in the magazine. Thanks to Bill for making the effort to get this fabulous body of work digitized and out there. An exhibition showed recently at Gallery Kayafas in Boston, and it was just announced that images from the series have won a place on The Fence in Atlanta and Houston later this year. An exhibition will also be opening at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art in New Orleans, on Oct. 3rd, 2015. Expect to see more!
"I had just purchased a medium format, twin lens camera and, as usual, I was out riding around looking for something to shoot. I happened upon an old wooden structure built in the 1930's in the Six Mile Creek area of rural southern Hillsborough County, Tampa, FL. The sign on the building read "Sweetheart Roller Skating." The owner was just driving up. "Mind if I shoot some pics?" I asked. "Sure, but if you want some good ones, come back tonight - this place will be jumpin'." That weekend in September 1972, I ran eight rolls through the camera. After that I photographed nearly every weekend until late spring of 1973. I was twenty-six years-old.
"That first weekend I was met with curiosity and suspicion by the skaters. The next weekend I returned with proof sheets which I stapled to the wooden siding of the rink's interior. For some, complete disinterest in the images. For others, it was as if they were staring at themselves in the mirror for the first time, as though they had rarely seen photographs of themselves -- they couldn't get enough. The skaters became like actors parading their bodies, confronting one another, competing for an audience -- the camera. Though the skaters may not have thought of themselves on a stage, they were no less explicit and physical in their stagecraft. Some of the scenes were unapologetically theatrical. Young men aggressively wrapping arms around their girlfriends' necks, gesturing uncomfortably for the camera -- a sexual come-on, an uncensored performance. Yet others were deadpan. I soon became wallpaper -- I was there, but I wasn't -- just snapping the shutter." Read more on the Sweetheart website.