"From the first, I insisted that Minor be only a man and not the larger-than-life legend that he had become to so many. 'Who the hell are you, Minor? Will you take off your mask?'" Abe Frajndlich, from Lives I've Never Lived: A Portrait of Minor White published by Arc Press, 1983.
Abe Frajndlich was 24 when he first attended one of Minor White's photography workshops, in Cleveland, Ohio. Soon after, Abe became one of White's several live-in students, entering a somewhat ascetic, somewhat mystical, but thoroughly amazing world; a place where he would live on-and-off until White died, in 1976.
After his third heart attack in what would be the final year of White's life, he and Abe embarked on a book project which would be a series of portraits of White that Frajndlich made in and around White's home, 203 Park Avenue, Arlington Heights, Massachusetts. Lives I've Never Lived: A Portrait of Minor White includes Abe's recollections of his six years studying under White, sharing some of his most intimate moments. White died on June 24th, 1976. The book was published in 1983.
Minor White was a highly influential photographer and teacher; he founded Aperture Magazine in 1952 with fellow photographers Ansel Adams, Dorothea Lange, and Barbara Morgan, and edited the magazine until 1975.
Much-adored, multiple-award-winning, all-singing, all-dancing, writer-speaker-educator-photographer Louie Palu made this great broadsheet recently. It is extremely well executed, if you'll pardon the expression.
"This is a concept newspaper; it has no headlines, competing articles or advertising. Instead, it is an editing project that uses photographs from Mexico. These photographs were taken during fieldwork and research on the drug war in Mexico. The newspaper can be dismantled and reedited to your view of what you thin the story should look like. It is also an exhibition that can be displayed anywhere you choose, You are the editor and curator. On one side of each page there is a drug- or violence-related image and, on the opposite side, is an alternative view of Mexico covering a broad set of subjects. Explore the possibilities. This concept was inspired by Will Steacy's 'Down These Mean Streets.'" Louie Palu.
20 year-old Hungarian student David Nemcsik emailed me with some of his work and I liked these the most, but don't let that detract from some of his other projects, like the Levitation Project, apparently featured by Samsung, Discovery Channel, and more (is he really only 20?).
I like these a lot. They remind me of the first time I saw an image printed onto something unusual; I think it was Adrian Boot's portrait of the Eurythmics, printed on a large stone, and it sat in the office of the agency in London where I worked, back in 1990.
"I take portraits on 35mm film then develop them. After that I 'paint' black and white photo emulsion on the skateboard. After it dries it works just like a single photo paper. Then I put the film and the deck to the enlarger and develop the deck as a black white photo. After I dry them and pour some chemical on it to be sure to fix it; it is finished." - David Nemcsik.
It would be hard to be anything but moved by Joshua Lutz' latest project, "Hesitating Beauty," in which Lutz tries to convey the far-reaching impact that his mother's extreme mental illness had during and after her lifetime.
"Blending family archives, interviews, and letters with his own photographic images, Lutz spins a seamless and strangely factual (yet unflinchingly fabricated) experience of a life and family consumed by mental illness. Rather than showing us what it looks like, "Hesitating Beauty" plays with our conceptions of reality to show us what it feels like to grapple with a family member's retreat from lucidity." ClampArt.
This is the first book review from guest contributor Elyse Weingarten, a freelance writer living in New York.
From Schilt Publishing, photographer Louisa Marie Summer's book, 'Jennifer's Family,' is an intimate offering, capturing the experiences of twenty-six year old Jennifer, a second-generation Puerto Rican, her partner, Tompy, and their four children, at their home in South Providence, an urban area rife with poverty, crime, and high levels of unemployment.
Summer spent over a year with the family, and the results are confounding; in photographs of highly concentrated colors, it is not so much the stark details of the family's life that come into view, but the domestic heroism of Jennifer and Tompy, with their hands-on parenting and ability to survive economically, while often supporting other family members and friends.
With a few exceptions, the photographs in 'Jennifer's Family' were taken in the family's apartment, and at times, there seems to be little variation in theme. In photo after photo, children run through the apartment's cluttered rooms. This is one of the ways in which the book triumphs: life in the domestic realm is repetitious, and its recurrence only adds to the book's rightful claustrophobia. We can see how hard Jennifer and Tompy fight to give their children childhoods, and see how much they hope that if they fight hard enough, they can leverage their children into the next generation's middle class.
With 64 images and text by Mairead Bryne, this book is good for multiple viewings.
(I met Louisa Marie at an ASMP portfolio review two years ago, and I am thrilled to see this book as a result of a project that she had completed with such spirit. - Ed.)
Wow, wow and more wow. Jacques Lowe's negatives were destroyed in the World Trade Center collapse in 2001. Jacques himself had died earlier that year. However his contact sheets were stored elsewhere and the Newseum has managed to clean them up and make prints. It is amazing and beautiful what we can do these days. I had the opportunity to represent Mr. Lowe, my agency licensed his gorgeous jazz photos and his surprising, delightful pictures of children; I remember my right-hand, Kellie, going to hang out with him while he signed prints, books, he was packing away the whisky I believe, and they got on famously.
Jacques Lowe was larger than life, and it's only right that his work on one of our largest politicians should be rejuvenated. Visit the Newseum in DC, opens April 12th.
'American Bagpipers' is Ashok Sinha's series of portraits of an Indian-American bagpipe band based in a Hindu temple in New Jersey. It seemed so odd to me at first but then I thought about the tones of traditional Indian music and now it seems obviously harmonious. Ashok says they play traditional Scottish music, traditional Indian, and Bollywood!
Geoff Green showed me this ongoing project at a recent portfolio review. He slapped the large prints on the table and offered me a pair of gloves in case I wanted to avoid touching them (I declined to wear them).
Geoff describes "A survey depicting the essence of street life on one block in Brooklyn by the remains discarded on its sidewalks and its gutters. It is an anthropological/archaeological approach to street photography and neighborhood dynamics."
"The object is taken from the gutter, photographed, and printed. The final print is then taken to the street to absorb the impact of the original environment, its weather, foot, and vehicular traffic. Each print becomes a unique object." He leaves the prints taped down until they eventually get dragged down the street. "Unfortunately, I do need to keep an eye on things so they don't get nicked."