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 It was in 2010 that Robert Rutöd first contacted me and made me smile with his photographs. Since then he has stayed right in the zone, consistently entertaining. So I'm happy to report the news that he has collected 50+ into a new book. 

Right Time Right Place is out now in a limited edition available from the artist.

"Being at the right place at the right time is usually associated with happiness and success. But what happens when we are at the right place at the wrong time? Do we even know that this is the right place? And what if it turns out that it is the wrong place after all? But the right time!"

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'Right Time Right Place' received several awards including the New York Photo Award, the Special Prize of the Czech Center of Photography, and most recently Artist of the Year at Dong Gang International Photo Festival 2015 in South Korea.

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All images © Robert Rutöd

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Firelight on Mobius Arch, California © Don Whitebread

 Don Whitebread is a self-taught photographer whose photographs have been widely exhibited and well published. He fell for the night skies when camping as a kid, are he makes these mainly in the sweeping American West. Don also now teaches others the art of night photography. Visit his website for magnificent flora and fauna and more.


Some of Don's gorgeous photographs made in Yemen, in 2010, were published here in the blog in 2011. Don was able to visit as Yemen was "on the cusp of political and environmental disasters that may soon put an end to the Yemeni's proud, traditional and ancient lifestyle."

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You've got to love a public installation! Emma Blau's Face Forward exhibition, on now in London, England, is an installation of supersize prints of locals with whom Emma collaborated to make these fabulous portraits.

"Face Forward is a public art exhibition created by award-winning photographic artist Emma Blau that utilises building site hoardings in the Church Street area of Westminster, which is currently undergoing regeneration. A resident herself, Blau's large-scale photographic portraits feature local people who will be affected by the huge transformations taking place in their neighbourhood. Face Forward is on display throughout 2016."


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The issue of gentrification is being addressed in photography quite extensively at the moment but Emma's project elevates the issue with its impressive installation. Not an easy challenge to host an exhibition in the streets - imagine the logistics!! Check out the installation photos.  

Emma will lead a tour of all three streets on April 27th, 2016. Head over to the official Facebook page for details.
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All images © Emma Blau / Face Forward

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Untitled, East Liverpool, Ohio, 2010 © Nat Ward


Romke Hoogwaerts is a guy you may not know. I get the impression I may embarrass him if I say he's quiet and may prefer to go a little under the radar. I don't mean to embarrass him, but he is quiet. He's also friendly, and an insanely driven and talented editor, curator, and advocate of photography. An all around good dude. His ideas and vision for photography and design are nothing short of totally new, and unlike most interpretations and concepts I see in the community currently. True there's really a lot of great stuff out there and hard working folks who are killing it. But Romke is so sincere and totally dedicated to imagery that he stands out. So does his magazine, MOSSLESS. He's a big photo nerd and I am crazy about him for it. Everyone should be.

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Untitled, near Gothenburg, Nebraska, 2013 © Alex Matzke

I sat down with Hoogwaerts to talk about him. It quickly became clear that the conversation would be more about mission and less about individual personality. Mossless magazine, which really isn't a magazine, is a chameleon; it's meant to be something that excites. It's currently in its third issue, with more on the way if all goes well. (Spoiler alert, work on issue four, MOSSLESS; Embargoed, with Charlotte Cotton is already underway.) No issue is the same and the publication explores the voice and breadth of all different kinds of photography and the state of sharing imagery and looking and seeing images. Hoogwaerts stresses to me the impossibility of Mossless were it not for the involvement of Grace Leigh, his partner at the time. Mossless is a huge labor of love and each page reads clearly in that mission and dedication to the images and the photographers.

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Untitled #10, Rutland, Ohio, 2009 © Morgan Ashcom

I'll let Hoogwaerts set the stage for issue three of Mossless. "Who is tasked with bringing the true nature of American culture to recognition in its own home? Some photographers can frame reality in one poetic snap, so long as they know the context truthfully and can find visual references for their experiences spontaneously." There is a whole big kind of American identity between our shores. Sometimes it can seem unclear yet defiantly defined. Mossless issue three is tasked to capture a nation through its possibility and cull through its image-makers to find it. This issue collects the photos of 118 photographers from all walks of life. The layout breaks rules. Spreads vary from single photographer profiles and featured images in certain places, to spreads that are an accumulation of different photographers images. This flexing of space and names creates an engaging hodgepodge sense of photo album. What could be more American?

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From MOSSLESS, by Romke Hoogwaerts & Grace Leigh © 2014 Romke Hoogwaerts & Grace Leigh

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From MOSSLESS, by Romke Hoogwaerts & Grace Leigh © 2014 Romke Hoogwaerts & Grace Leigh

Mossless is a beautiful publication put together by two young talents who love and care about photography. The publication creates an inclusive community. It's visually fun and knowing that there is more in the world leaves a sense of exciting insecurity. The mission of Mossless stretches outside of itself, and helps viewers realize that each of us has an influence. Something bizarre happens with this publication - it's worth trying new ideas. They will work.

Get your hands on a copy of this beautiful publication by clicking here.

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See Through Mine Shaft, California, 2014 @ Suzanna Zak

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Sisters, Missouri, 2012 © Lara Shipley

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Coolin Out At The Upper Deck, Virginia Beach, 2012 © Carl Gunhouse

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Sheep, Norris, Montana, 2010 © Nich Hance McElroy

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Abandoned Bank from and Earlier Boom, White Earth, North Dakota, 2012 (fracking related) © Terry Evans

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From MOSSLESS, by Romke Hoogwaerts & Grace Leigh © 2014 Romke Hoogwaerts & Grace Leigh

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Slick Rick grabbing his crotch © Janette Beckman

This original photograph is by Janette Beckman. Beckman photographed Slick Rick in her studio in 1989. When your photographs become iconic, other, less talented artists attempt to hitch their wagon on to your artistry. Let it stand for the record: this is © Janette Beckman. Accept no substitutes.

Here is the only remix of her original Slick Rick photograph that Beckman has endorsed:

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Slick Rick © Janette Beckman was remixed by Morning Breath and is available as a limited edition print.

Now you can own a limited edition shiny version! Selling like the proverbial hotcakes over at 1xRUN are "10 x 20 Inches Archival Pigment Print on Satin Silver Aluminum Sheet." Go!! 

Here is the original contact sheet from the photo shoot:

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Erika Huffman makes quietly beautiful, unfussy portraits. Sometimes with adults, sometimes with kids, always with peace. Until now, as she shatters the serenity with this portent of violence. 

aCurator fans know that it's unlikely for me to say this: Erika makes gorgeous photographs of her son. Check them. Also: Henriette.

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Gohar Dashti, Untitled #5, from the series "Today's Life and War," 2008, Chromogenic print, 27 5/8 x 41 3/8 in.; 
Courtesy of the artist, Azita Bina, and Robert Klein Gallery, Boston; © Gohar Dashti

She Who Tells a Story: Women Photographers from Iran and the Arab World opens at the National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA) in Washington, DC, on April 8, 2016, with an opening reception on the 7th, and runs through July 31, 2016.  The exhibition "challenges stereotypes surrounding the people, landscapes, and cultures of the region, and provides insight into political and social issues. The exhibition presents more than 80 photographs and a video installation. These provocative works - most created within the last decade - range in genre from portraiture, to documentary, to staged narratives." 

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Gohar Dashti, Untitled #1, from the series "Today's Life and War," 2008, Chromogenic print, 27 5/8 x 41 3/8 in.; 
Courtesy of the artist, Azita Bina, and Robert Klein Gallery, Boston; © Gohar Dashti

"The title of the exhibition is inspired by the Arabic word rawiya, which means "she who tells a story." It is also the name of a collective of women photographers based in the Middle East founded in 2009. Women worldwide have been pioneers in the mediums of photography and video since their inception. This exhibition demonstrates that the work of women photographers continues to resonate on a global scale."

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Rania Matar, Stephanie, Beirut, Lebanon, from the series "A Girl and Her Room," 2010; Pigment print, 36 x 50 in.; 
Courtesy of the artist and Carroll and Sons, Boston; © Rania Matar 

"Each artist in She Who Tells a Story offers a vision of the world she has witnessed. The photographers' images invite viewers to reconsider their own preconceptions about the nature of politics, family, and personal identity in the Middle East." 

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Rania Matar, Reem, Doha, Lebanon, from the series "A Girl and Her Room," 2010; Pigment print, 36 x 50 in.; 
Courtesy of the artist and Carroll and Sons, Boston; © Rania Matar 

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Newsha Tavakolian, Untitled, from the series "Listen," 2010; Pigment print, 39 3/8 x 47 1/4 in.; 
Courtesy of the artist and East Wing Contemporary Gallery

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Nermine Hammam, The Break, from the series "Cairo Year One: Upekkha," 2011; Chromogenic print, 23 5/8 x 23 5/8 in.; 
Courtesy of Taymour Grahne

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Shadi Ghadirian, Untitled, from the series "Qajar," 1998, Gelatin silver print, 15 3/4 x 11 7/8 in.; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Museum purchase with the Horace W. Goldsmith Fund for Photography and Abbott Lawrence Fund, 2013.571;
© Shadi Ghadirian; Photo © 2015 Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

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Boushra Almutawakel, Untitled, from the series "The Hijab," 2001; 
Chromogenic print, 47 1/4 x 39 3/8 in.; Courtesy of the artist and the Howard Greenberg Gallery

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Lalla Essaydi, Bullets Revisited #3, 2012; Triptych, chromogenic prints on aluminum, 150 x 66 in.; 
Courtesy of the artist, Miller Yezerski Gallery, Boston, and Edwynn Houk Gallery, NYC

Our friends at the MFA Boston organized this exhibition in 2013, and Mrs. Karsh gave the introduction for Her Majesty Queen Noor of Jordan.

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Tooele Army Depot Superfund Site, Tooele, Utah 1986 © David T. Hanson


The obsession with landscapes will undoubtedly be around as long as there are people to view them and capture them. The question is, why do we need any more of these wonderful, beautiful, idealized images? Landscapes change, the planet changes, people change, views and ideals affect how we see things philosophically, physically, and literally. The planet is in direct conversation with the land we see every day; it's around us and beneath us, the landscape. It's all consuming and reveals misdeeds; David T. Hanson's images expose this topographical understanding. Wilderness to Wasteland (Taverner Press) is a collection of images from across the country that raise a flag; they shout into the distance, "Look at what you're doing!"

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East edge of Atomic CIty, Idaho 1986 © David T. Hanson

Something very normal and recognizable begins Hanson's work - deserts, fields, tattered homes and boxy ranches in the central west of the United States. As the book progresses, something aggressive shifts in the imagery, as do the settings of the photographs. The landscapes become unspeakably altered, almost totally foreign. How can this be terra? Wilderness to Wasteland is a collection of images Hanson has pulled from his archive. It's interesting to note that the images, even with hints of 70's and 80's automobiles, somehow feel totally now, today. It's in the interruption of humans interacting with these environments. Those actions are unalterably timeless.

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Mt. Con Mine and Centerville, Butte, Montana 1985 © David T. Hanson

The book takes us through chapters, ebbing and flowing from ground views to aerials, from west to east  all over the United States. Progressively one becomes more and more aware of the reality and the ways in which sites used for testing, mining, and waste could be affecting everything outside the frame of the photographs. The social and ecological implications complicate the language of the photographs. The images are just as much about what's not in them as what is. There's a psychology of landscape that blends with technology becoming inseparable from nature. Nothing will ever be the same, always evolving with many signs signifying progress. With enough distance and with the right kind of eyes these places and photos read like "open wounds," as poet Wendell Berry puts it in discussing Hanson's work.

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New housing development, Rancho Cucamonga, California 1985 © David T. Hanson

Hanson's book doesn't feel like a period at the end of a sentence. In his own words, "These sites may be seen as monuments to the dominant myths and obsessions of our culture. Indeed, it seems likely that the most enduring monuments that Western civilization will leave for future generations will be . . . the hazardous remains of our industry and technology. Landscapes of failed desire, these sites become both arena and metaphor for the most constructive and destructive aspects of the American spirit." Hanson's photographs are a reflection of this apropos closing statement. It is this highly loaded atmosphere and unusualness that breathes an air of cautious beauty into the images. In Wilderness to Wasteland, Hanson has found a way to combine disbelief with the sublime.

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Waste slag and Irrigated Cropland along the Jordan River, Sharon Steel Corp. Superfund Site, Midvale, Utah, 1986 © David T. Hanson

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Yankee Doodle tailings pond, Butte Area Superfund site, Butte, Montana, 1986 © David T. Hanson

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Sunset on the California Coast [Union Oil Company of California, Richmond California], 1983 © David T. Hanson

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From Wilderness to Wasteland, By David T. Hanson © 2016 Taverner Press

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Betty Low, 1936 by Yousuf Karsh

Sad news from my Karsh colleagues is that dancer, actress, early Karsh subject and friend Betty Low has died. Betty performed with the Colonel de Basil's Ballets Russes de Monte Carlo as Ludmila Lvova, before appearing in several films, including "84 Charing Cross Road." This portrait was made in 1936 when Karsh, ever the improviser, took down the nets from the window and used them to make this beautiful photograph. I was fortunate to meet Ms. Low many years later in Washington, DC, as the National Portrait Gallery celebrated Mrs Karsh's donation of 100 original Karsh fine art photographs. She was as poised and beautiful as ever. 

Here is Ms. Low in "The Lesson" with Solange Gauthier Karsh, Mr. Karsh's first wife.  You can read more about Ms. Low's life over at the Ballets-Russes.

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The Lesson, 1940, Betty Low and Solange Gauthier, by Yousuf Karsh

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Robert Mapplethorpe, American, 1946-1989
Identical self-portraits of Robert Mapplethorpe with trip cable in hand, 1974
Gelatin silver print. Sheet (each): 9.3 x 11.6 cm (3 11/16 x 4 9/16 in.)
Gift of The Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation to the J. Paul Getty Trust and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Held at the Getty Research Institute, 2011.M.20.24
© Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation

The first photography exhibition I ever saw was Robert Mapplethorpe, in London, and I have always said it ruined me for life. In my memory the exhibition was at the Festival Hall, but the web won't support this and insists it was the National Portrait Gallery, 'The Perfect Moment' retrospective, 1988/89. Regardless, I remember staring endlessly at one of his highly sexual portraits and listening to the outrage of the person viewing next to me. I felt happy. 

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Robert Mapplethorpe
Ajitto, 1981
Gelatin silver print. Image: 45.4 x 35.5 cm (17 7/8 x 14 in.)
Jointly acquired by the J. Paul Getty Trust and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, with funds provided by the J. Paul Getty Trust and the David Geffen Foundation, 2011.7.13
© Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation

That Mapplethorpe-related happiness has carried me through my journey in the world of photography so I was beyond thrilled when a review copy of Robert Mapplethorpe: The Photographs (J. Paul Getty Museum, March 2016) arrived. What a book! 

Mapplethorpe's most recognizable and less-known images, both the graphic and the gorgeous, are drawn from the J. Paul Getty Museum's own collection, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art from The Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation, and Mapplethorpe Archive housed at the Getty Research Institute. 

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Robert Mapplethorpe
Grapes, 1985
Gelatin silver print. Image: 38.5 x 38 cm (15 3/16 x 14 15/16 in.)
Jointly acquired by the J. Paul Getty Trust and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, with funds provided by the J. Paul Getty Trust and the David Geffen Foundation, 2011.7.20
© Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation

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Robert Mapplethorpe
Thomas, 1987
Gelatin silver print. Image: 48.8 x 48.8 cm (19 3/16 x 19 3/16 in.)
Jointly acquired by the J. Paul Getty Trust and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, with funds provided by the J. Paul Getty Trust and the David Geffen Foundation, 2011.7.31
© Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation

"This publication is issued on the occasion of the exhibition Robert Mapplethorpe: The Perfect Medium on view at both the  J. Paul Getty Museum and at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art from March 15 and March 20, respectively, through July 31, 2016; at the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Montreal from September 10, 2016, through January 15, 2017; and at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, from October 28, 2017, through February 4, 2018."

Let it be known that the young me spent not inconsiderable time wondering if she could scrape together the £1,500 that a print was going for back then. They say one only regrets the things one did not do... But then, how would I have chosen?

Get your copy of Robert Mapplethorpe: The Photographs for under $60. Money well spent for a lifetime of Mapplethorpe mastery.

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Robert Mapplethorpe
Calla Lily, 1988
Gelatin silver print. Image: 49 x 49 cm (19 5/16 x 19 5/16 in.)
Jointly acquired by the J. Paul Getty Trust and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; partial gift of The Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation; partial purchase with funds provided by the J. Paul Getty Trust and the David Geffen Foundation, 2011.9.26
© Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation

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Robert Mapplethorpe
Derrick Cross, 1983
Gelatin silver print. Image: 48.5 x 38.2 cm (19 1/8 x 15 1/16 in.)
Promised Gift of The Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation to the J. Paul Getty Trust and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, L.2012.88.910
© Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation

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Robert Mapplethorpe
Flower Arrangement, 1986 
Gelatin silver print. Image: 49 x 49 cm (19 5/16 x 19 5/16 in.)
Promised Gift of The Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation to the J. Paul Getty Trust and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, L.2012.89.566
© Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation

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Robert Mapplethorpe
Self-Portrait, 1980
Gelatin silver print. Image: 35.6 x 35.6 cm (14 x 14 in.)
Jointly acquired by the J. Paul Getty Trust and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; partial gift of The Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation; partial purchase with funds provided by the J. Paul Getty Trust and the David Geffen Foundation, 2011.9.21
© Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation

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Robert Mapplethorpe
Self-Portrait, 1985
Gelatin silver print. Image: 38.7 x 38.6 cm (15 1/4 x 15 3/16 in.)
Jointly acquired by the J. Paul Getty Trust and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, with funds provided by the J. Paul Getty Trust and the David Geffen Foundation, 2011.7.21
© Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation

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