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Disappear with us into the odd, enchanted world of Bear Kirkpatrick. 

Bear Kirkpatrick and I bonded, over his portfolio at the PhotoNOLA reviews last December, and thereafter. This is my favourite of his series and the images have grown and grown on me the more I examine them. Playing around in the studio, the photographer found that covering a model's usually visually dominant hair, he could create a wild yet ethereal image. 

I'm really pleased to present these portraits in full screen. Prints, they look gorgeous, but I'm particularly loving these back-lit in the mag.

Bear is a poetic, astute and highly amusing sort of chap. In the past, he has gone to great lengths to create his multifaceted imagery; the Wall Portraits were more of a happy accident (and remind me of Yousuf Karsh's story of pulling down the curtains to make his gorgeous portrait of Betty Low.) 

Aged 5 Bear was diagnosed as deaf; his hearing was repaired, and he says "I have been transfixed, fascinated, and frightened ever since by things that reveal their power to change shape or that contain multiples within." 

I can't really say it anywhere near better than Brian Kubarycz writing on the photographer's website:

"This madness to hazard contact with the wild is constantly acted out in the art of Bear Kirkpatrick. His project is to experience and question what it means not merely to bide time in the worldly state, but far more actively and intimately, to have and to hold an only world, unto death, but in the expectation of new living creatures of awful energies. Kirkpatrick's art, from its first conception to the full arrival of its finished form, explores the ongoing adventure of creation one must take up and sustain in order to inhabit a world of one's own, the sole world worth inhabiting."


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© Paul Batt, "Untitled"

Lots of interesting series on Australian photographer Paul Batt's website, of strange spaces and odd portraits. I especially enjoyed these simple abandoned couches, from 2011. Paul has been widely exhibited and published both in Australia and abroad. 

"My primary interest in the 'Abandon Series' is the apparent state of flux and contrast the subjects exist in. These once intimate, comfort giving, interior objects have become surreally out of place, in the exterior world. Although their utilization is over, clues remaining of human habitation in the cushions and armrests formed to unknown bodies, over countless hours. It is this play between the interior and the exterior environments and the traces of human presence to absence that has informed the series as a whole."

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All images © Paul Batt


Because I can not get enough.

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We love interdisciplinary artist Riitta Ikonen. Images from across here work were included in a feature in the aCurator magazine a couple of years ago. I'm thrilled to see Riitta keeping her images fresh and out there. Share with your Norwegian friends!

The Young Photographers Alliance inspires and educates aspiring photographers with an impressive list of mentors, scholarships and programs. The YPA will hold its first annual benefit gala this year at New York's beautiful Morgan Library. Alongside cocktails and entertainment there will be an exhibition of some of the best works of YPA's scholarship recipients and mentoring participants of 2013. Click here for details.

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All images © Karim Shokair

Karim Shokair and much of his imagery are exuberant, joyful, to say the least. Karim is from Cairo but is currently in Florence honing his photo skills. To quote him from his website "Your level of GRATITUDE will usually define the outcome of your day."

Karim has had a photo selected to be part of the 'Love' exhibition & catalogue at the Darkroom Gallery in Vermont, USA, which opens on February 4th, 2014. Congrats!

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© Estate of Leonard Freed - Magnum Photos (Brigitte Freed)

This Is the Day: The March on Washington, was published by Getty Publications to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the march which took place August 27, 1963. Magnum photographer Leonard Freed traveled to Washington that day and photographed the event that culminated in Martin Luther King's "I have a dream" speech.

'Black in White America,' an exhibition of Freed's work, is on now through February 22nd, 2014, at the Leica Gallery in Soho, New York.

View the full screen magazine photo feature.

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Cardinal © Joyce Lopez

The photographers I met at PhotoNOLA made me break all my own rules! "No dead birds," I said, but Joyce Lopez' project touched me. (See below for my compromise on "no children."

"Climate change is affecting migratory birds, others succumb to accidents, changes in available food, disease, etc. These birds are warning us about our impact on the environment, and to take responsibility." 

Images from the series will be exhibited at the Kiernan Gallery, Lexington, Virginia, opening February 7th, 2014.

News out of the UK this week: Cameron to rip up green regulations. As my old man commented, "Moving forward in leaps and bounds."

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All images © Joyce Lopez

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© Susanna Gaunt

aCurator has a wide open submission policy but I do not publish pictures of children, horses, dead birds or religious iconography. Usually.

Susanna Gaunt, a photographer based in Duluth, Minnesota, made me laugh aloud with a wry look at her kids, when we met over a portfolio reviewing table in New Orleans last December.

PhotoNOLA was good value for me and the attendees.

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All images © Susanna Gaunt

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Facility 183. From the series 'Prison Map.' Josh Begley

A couple of years ago, the amazing Pete Brook of Prison Photography successfully crowd-funded a cross-country trip "8,000 miles across America, interviewing photographers and prison experts who've documented and witnessed the era of mass incarceration." (I backed the project and as a recipient of the mixtape reward, can vouch for Pete's musical taste as well as his drive, as it were.)

Pete has now curated an exhibition which opens in Philadelphia this weekend. "Prison Obscura presents rarely seen vernacular, surveillance, evidentiary, and prisoner-made photographs, shedding light on the prison industrial complex. Why do tax-paying, prison-funding citizens rarely get the chance to see such images? And what roles do these pictures play for those within the system? With stark aesthetic detail and meticulous documentation, Prison Obscura builds the case that Americans must come face to face with these images and imaging technologies both to grasp the cancerous proliferation of the U.S. prison system and to connect with those it confines."

Presented by the John B. Hurford '60 Center for the Arts and Humanities with support from the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program.

The exhibition opens January 24th, 2014, with a talk by Pete Brook at 4.30 pm. I strongly recommend you go if you can.

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Clinical contact holding cage, Administrative Segregation Unit (ASU), C-Yard, Building 12, Mule Creek State Prison, California. August 1, 2008. Brown v. Plata.
Photographer Unknown

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Untitled, Green Hill School, Chehalis, WA. Steve Davis

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Tameika Smith, 22 February, 2013. From the series Take A Picture; Tell A Story. Robert Gumpert

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Proliferation, Paul Rucker

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