Contemplating landscapes is oft the practice of San Francisco-based photographer David Gardner. Follow him as he discovers fascinating and varied examples of humans, over centuries, making a point, whatever that point may be, in this series 'Marking Our Place in the World'.

"As humans we must communicate - it is what we do best. We seem hardwired from birth to do this via a complicated system using signs and symbols. But removed from our normal settings and tools, how do we compensate? What does it look like when we turn our communication skills loose on the landscape around us; why are we compelled to 'leave our mark' upon landscape, whether or not others understand its meaning or semiology?

In my photographic investigation of these ideas, the marks themselves are more relevant to me than the particular landscape they inhabit. I am interested in how our interventions impact the landscape, both natural and urban, in ways that are permanent as well as changed by time and nature. I explore themes of history, language and communication, while observing the dynamic of personal and group expression as it plays out on the landscape. We imagine mythical figures in the stars; we see the Virgin Mary in the knots of a tree; we are both compelled to make marks as well as to decipher their meanings. By looking at how we have marked the landscape through time, we can gain insight into our personal and collective history. To decline such a study is to leave to others the control of the world of meanings in which we inhabit." - David Gardner.

View the magazine full screen photo feature.


Chinese poem carved into the barrack wall at the immigration station/detention center at Angel Island:

Detained in this wooden house for several tens of days,
It is all because of the Mexican exclusion law which implicates me,
It's a pity heroes have no way of exercising their prowess.
I can only await the word so that I can snap Zu's whip.
From now on, I am departing far from this building.

All of my fellow villagers are rejoicing with me.
Don't say that everything within is Western styled.
Even if it is built of jade, it has turned into a cage.

Images © David Gardner


© George Tice

AIPAD Photography Show is something I heartily enjoy and have been going for as long as I can remember, spending hours browsing vintage and contemporary work and seeing friends and colleagues. The move to the Armory was a huge bonus, not least of all because you can now get an espresso and a decent (albeit $10) sandwich. 

My first stop was with Paul Amador. I smiled drolly at his 19" print of Arnold Odermatt's 'Buochs, 1965' while we nattered, then turned my back for five minutes and he'd sold it. Paul also had some of Robert Voit's equally-entertaining 'New Trees'. 

I loved Mark Seliger's large sexy platinum prints at Steven Kasher. Robert Morat Galerie had Richard Renaldi's ridiculous 'Smashed Water Tower' and a major highlight for me in the shape of 'Sound Affects', Christian Patterson's stunning series of bright colour photographs of Memphis, Tennessee. I'll take a dozen. Always great to see Chris Killip's and Graham Smith's Britain in the 1970s, at Eric Franck.

June Bateman had three stunning prints by Michael Massaia and I overheard people wondering about his technique - the platinum prints literally sparkle. 

There are always vintage classics in abundance and I could spend days just rifling through the stands for Doisneau, Abbott, Winogrand, Bresson - images of which I never tire. I was embarrassed to not have been familiar with Builder Levy's work on New York and the Boroughs in the 1960s-80s. Mapplethorpe was the first photographer I fell in love with back when I was in my late teens; I adore his portraits and his flowers and would have happily taken home Patti Smith curled up against a radiator.

Just as exciting as all the eye candy is running into lots of interesting people. I represent the Estate of Yousuf Karsh as a member of the American Photography Archives Group and count wonderful people such as Mary Engel (Ruth Orkin, Morris Engel) and Victoria Haas (Ernst Haas) among my associates. Both of them were in a flurry. Jennifer and Lisa Tice were there and introduced me to their sprightly dad, George Tice, who was standing in front of a large gorgeous print of his, 'Petit's Mobile Station' from 1974, at Peter Fetterman. It was the first time I was meeting Mr. Fetterman and I learned we share a home town in North London. 

More APAG people there and I ran into the walking resource Leslie DiRusso who was with Barbara Nitke, so that was a thrill. Then there's always the formidable ladies who are my Karsh associates at the Boston MFA leading a large group of people in a tour of the galleries. Another flurry. I managed to punctuate the flurries with a lunch with my favourite Missouran photographer Mark Katzman, a successful commercial shooter and photographic-process-fetishist and font of knowledge, and a cuppa with compatriot Louisa Curtis, old mate, photo consultant and industry vet.

The most bizarre thing I saw was a woman with a huge shaggy dog. One gallerist quipped "She must be very wealthy."


© Richard Renaldi


© Arnold Odermatt

© Robert Mapplethorpe

© Michael Massaia


"Aperture Gallery and sepiaEYE present 'Wind', a solo exhibition by internationally acclaimed Korean photographer Jungjin Lee featuring twenty-five stunning panoramic landscapes. A limited-edition artist book, as well as the artist's first trade book, co-published by Aperture and Sepia, accompany the exhibition. Beautiful in their composition and physical execution, Lee's images present metaphors for an interior state of being and the forces that shape it. Lee's landscapes are imbued with an elemental vastness, at once powerful and serene. The Wind exhibition will coincide with the annual Asian Contemporary Art Week (ACAW) festivities held in New York. Museums, galleries, curators, and artists will be involved through the ten-day run of the festival."

Opening reception, March 24th. aCurator has the hots for this piano photograph, if you're buying.

David_Joseph_01.jpgSometimes simplicity is just as refreshing as a hot cup of coffee. David Joseph showed me his work at a portfolio review explaining how the series of forgotten coffee cups was inspired by David's donations to auction for the Design Trust for Public Space in NYC. 

"I realized that New Yorkers, no matter their socio economic status, were leaving their tags all over the City. This is the new graffiti, and whether it is City Bakery, Starbucks, or Jacques Torres the city is covered in beautiful litter left by multi-taskers who always think they can do one more thing. I hope these images, like all of my images, challenge people to reconsider what they see everyday."

Better known for his luxurious and rich architecture photography, these are light relief and a statement on the nature of our lack of interest in our environment. We all live so up close and personal in NYC, how is it we care so little about litter?

All images © David Joseph


Gorgeous, stunning, monumental. Michael Kirchoff's photographs will be on exhibit at Wildfire Gallery in LA, opening March 18th, 2011.

The ongoing series 'An Enduring Grace' "is a fulfillment of distant childhood curiosities of Russia... Michael now approaches these dramatic scenes with the same feeling of wonderment he had as a child..."

The photographs on show were made over the course of multiple visits since 2007.


Road to Red Square and Naval Cathedral © Michael Kirchoff


In November 2010 David Goldman took a trip to Addis Ababa with Salaam Garage, an organization that partners with international NGOs and local non-profits to "create and share independent media projects that raise awareness and cause positive change in their online and offline social communities." Immersing himself in the challenge of portraying hope, he returned with this positive story - a tale of renewed life for two young women who had been needlessly suffering for years. Thanks to some missionaries, the women were both taken to the Hamlin Fistula Hospital for treatment.

"This is a story of love and faith. Love because I fell for these two young women, watching them support each other; and because there are two villages full of family and friends that gave these women the courage to take a journey to the unknown in hopes of being healed. Faith, they simply must have, or they would have given up a long time ago.

The women are both from a remote area in Ethiopia known as the Bali Mountains; both lost their babies and suffered from the same affliction: an obstetric fistula. Both women were left incontinent for more than four years, and their social value had dropped with their inability to function as normal, contributing woman of the tribe. Like the thousands of women that arrive at the gates to the hospital each year they are not turned away regardless of whether they can afford to pay, and of course they cannot, they cannot even pay for a bus ride to Addis Ababa."

David decided to take them home himself.

Click through for more information on the Hamlin Hospital and how to donate.

View the full screen magazine photo feature

Getting home © David Goldman


Martin Brink has a piece in Illiterate Gallery's The Big Picture show, now on in Denver. The print is from his new series 'Trash in Grass' which reflects Martin's usual brilliantly tongue-in-cheek observations of what's immediately in front of him.

He's been busy so there's also an interview with Urbanautica, and his book 'The Daily Round', images from which previously seen here in aCurator, is featured at Various Points.



All images © Martin Brink


"Here you have my heart" he said, and he took me away.

Brandan Gomez is a photographer based in Santiago de Compostela; his transcendent photographs are rooted in the spirituality of his location which is a medieval pilgrimage route dating back to the 9th century. He is interested in "religions, the sacred, superstitions, and how that can be translated into images."

"It all began in a very small coast village in the North of Portugal called Costa Nova. This place has such a special light because it has the Atlantic Ocean on the west and a water channel on the east, this land is like a needle that penetrates the sea, there is always some mist floating in the air, water acts like a mirror, light reflects in every object and somehow blinds you enough to see what has never happened."

View the full screen magazine photo feature

The sacred © Brandan Gomez


I round out my week being most proud to have been included in Gabriela Herman's Blogger Series. Gabriela has drawn tons of press and praise, and I'm in exceptionally good company.

Portrait of aCurator, February 2011 © Gabriela Herman

Karsh_Williams_Tennessee.jpgTwas a busy week for Karsh licensing. It is the centenary of the birth of Tennessee Williams and Newsweek used this great portrait to illustrate their article. I personally had not known that Williams "choked to death on a bottle cap in a drug-fueled haze" prior to reading the 2 page spread.

Williams portrait from 1956


The stunning Princess Grace of Monaco is being used by the Smithsonian Cooper Hewitt Design Museum here in New York to promote 'Set in Style: The Jewelry of Van Cleef & Arpels' which is on now through May.

Grace portrait from 1956


There's always good old Mother Teresa to be licensed. This time she's adorning an educational poster for a group in Pennsylvania.

Mother Teresa portrait from 1988


It's also the centenary of the birth of Marshall McLuhan. Via Wikipedia - Marshall McLuhan was a Canadian educator, philosopher, and scholar - a professor of English literature, a literary critic, a rhetorician, and a communication theorist. McLuhan's work is viewed as one of the cornerstones of the study of media theory, as well as having practical applications in the advertising and television industries. McLuhan is known for coining the expressions 'the medium is the message' and 'the global village' and predicted the World Wide Web almost thirty years before it was invented. He was a fixture in media discourse from the late 1960s to his death and he continues to be an influential and controversial figure. More than ten years after his death he was named the 'patron saint' of Wired magazine.

McLuhan portrait from 1974   All images © Yousuf Karsh

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