I met Boston-based photographer Lou Jones at Fotofusion in West Palm Beach, Florida, last year. He is a soft-spoken sweetheart of a man with a most fascinating and prolific history, not least of all having photographed 12 consecutive Olympics. Lou's website can tell you more. I fell for his images of dancers and he kindly agreed to let me choose some.
A diary of images "made in collaboration with the artist's most faithful companion, a progressive neurological disorder known as Essential Tremor."
"Several years ago, I was diagnosed with Essential Tremor, a progressive neurological disorder which can cause debilitating tremors and loss of coordination, when the symptoms that I have had since adolescence eventually worsened to the point that I began experiencing difficulty in performing simple everyday tasks."
"The series, 'And I,' is a diary; a collection of glances which illustrate a reality distorted by frustration, embarrassment, and a growing sense of social isolation. It serves as a visualization of the impact that Essential Tremor has on me and my closest relationships as I continue to come to terms with the new realities that I am presented with."
In her unsettling yet beautiful work, Tara Sellios creates images that "articulate the totality of existence, focusing heavily on the broad themes of life and death." Sellios works with large format film and produces sketches in advance that are themselves works of art.
This young artist (b. Boston, 1987) says "Death has always possessed a significant presence within the history of art, ranging from altarpieces to the work of the Dutch still life painters. Manifesting melancholic themes with beauty and precision, as these artists did, results in an image that is seductive, forcing the viewer to look, despite its apparent grotesque and morbid nature. Through these images, I aspire to make apparent the restlessness of a life that is knowingly so temporary and vulnerable."
[241 3205 825 81221 364097+210 1200 120 00010 011100= A woman who talks to herself]
Pure, simple enjoyment from Conrado Sarid-Maletah - part of a project he did two years ago in Mount Carmel, Israel. I dare you to not enjoy this series. Conrado is a talented artist, check his website for some interesting work in different media.
Perhaps you may try to work out what the cryptic captions are all about....
[59 21 31058 715 593161+ 01 10 12001 120 010010= This is the woman who escapes.]
[221314581 45 59698019+ 110100110 00 011010121= the caller of spirits]
[241 3205 825 21921+210 1200 120 00010= A woman dances, she moves her body to the beat of the waves of some sea]
[241 3205 825 995 1 210 42250+210 1200 120 100 0 101 12001= She is a woman who laughs at sugar clouds]
'The Rooms' is a personal project from New Yorker Jason Homa. In it Jason "...explores the meeting spaces of Alcoholics Anonymous, without any people in them. It seeks to show the diversity of its members through the spaces but also to unify them with a common spiritual element."
I knew next-to-nothing about AA. Now I know their meetings mostly take place in churches, and that there's no saving of seats.
"I tried in every way possible to visually/graphically make the environment come to life in its most lifeless moments."
'Afterlife - New Jersey Shore' is a seven-year project that Michael Massaia has basically brought to an end since Sandy devastated the area. You can read an interview with Michael on the North Jersey news website, or hear his dulcet tones and watch him work below.
Flood the Art Market, a charitable organization geared toward helping artists directly affected by Superstorm Sandy, will present Artists Helping Artists, a silent auction featuring work by some of New York's most coveted artists and hosted by Cey Adams, Kathleen Hanna, Adam Horovitz, Tara Kelly, Hally McGehean, and Clams Rockefeller at Manhattan's Cristin Tierney Gallery on January 28th, 2013.
My fantastic friend, eminent copyright lawyer and photographer Rupert Grey and his wife Jan have always been explorers. Now they are driving their vintage Rolls Royce thousands of miles across India, and Rupert is telling their stories via his website - it's thoroughly enjoyable reading. Here's a taster:
"...One of the Chowkidars, by one of those agreeable chances that life on the road confers, was a Rolls Royce mechanic. His name is Prabhu. He is 75 and has one word of English. I mentioned to the Raja of Alsisar, with whom we dined a couple of nights ago, that the Rolls had developed a bad cough in the mornings. Prabhu, he said, was the man. He used to look after his grandfather's Rolls 40 years ago. Prabhu appeared, smelled the exhaust fumes, changed a spark plug, adjusted the carboretter and we went for a test drive.
His word of English came into play: "SPEED", he shouted. I sped. At 55 mph we raced down a strip of tarmac barely wider than the Rolls. Flocks of goats parted like the Red Sea for the Israelites, bullocks pulling carts looked up in alarm, Camels sniffed resentfully. Armed with the Raja's implicit authority and the loudest hooter in Rajasthan, I became Toad of Toad Hall during his brief moment as King of the Road."
Rupert's 1936 Rolls Royce on the Brahmaputra river
Of course, Rupert will tip up for the Chobi Mela International Festival of Photography next week and I will wish I were there. Meanwhile, for those of us who would like to be intrepidly exploring but who are home-based for now, let's enjoy a little vicarious thrill.
Here's another feature by a Czech photographer. Since 2007, photographer Evžen Sobek has been documenting life on the banks of the Nové Mlýny reservoirs in the South Moravia region of the Czech Republic. The vacationers are ex-caravanners who have embraced a more stationary life in these man-made environs.
A selection from Evžen's charming series "Life in Blue" is on-view in an exhibition at ClampArt in NYC until February 16th. Several more are collected in a book of the same title, a fine 12" square format which includes a big bonus poster. With the radio photograph on the cover, it feels a bit like an LP. It's full of more of the same, each an enjoyable, curious vignette in its own right.
Sobek is founder of the Brno Photography School and the Fotoframe competition and his work is represented in numerous private and public collections, including the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the School of Visual Arts, Osaka; and the Museum of Applied Arts, Prague.