Cherry Lips © Pacifico Silano

 Contributing editor to this blog Efrem Zelony-Mindell is not only a great writer, and artist, he is also a great curator. Never doing anything by half, Efrem put together a fascinating group show that is running now through September 23, 2016 at the Rubber Factory down on New York's lower east side - 29 Ludlow to be precise.

Untitled © Izaac Encisco

I credit Efrem for keeping me on my toes and making sure I don't get too comfy in my taste. There is such a variety of works here that the show feels huge but is in fact small and easily consumable. You can read a proper sensible interview on Humble Arts between Efrem and Stephen Frailey, head of SVA's photography program and founder of Dear Dave magazine, which is concurrently featuring the images from this show. 

Marital Troubles © Ilana Savdie

The full list of exhibited artists is: Thomas Albdorf, Ellen Carey, Alli Coates, Joy Drury Cox, Dillon Dewaters, Izaac Enciso, Aaron Hegert, Nico Krijno, Namsa Leuba, Ryan Oskin, Signe Pierce, Ilana Savdie, Pacifico Silano, and Quinn Torrens.

Untitled II, from the series "The African Queens" © Namsa Leuba


Mickey Aloisio may have the best tactic to banish the dilemma of how to make a nude subject instantly comfortable for the camera. "I'll get naked too, that's fine." He tells me it happens just like that. Everything's ok if you're naked together. Aloisio's body of work Gay Wildlife makes you comfortable. His passion for his community and his peers is instantly read in the photographs. There's something individual and unique about each subjects gaze into the camera. Aloisio and his subjects talk the entire time they're shooting; they share roles of dominance and submissiveness. That performance isn't one that happens in the photos, but there is something matter of fact and bare that results in the images from those interactions.

© Mickey Aloisio

"I love photographing the bear community because bears have this confidence about them. Maybe it's taken them a long time to achieve, but they understand the beauty of their bodies." The men in Aloisio's images give him something, but they are also able to take something from him. So do we as viewers. These photographs establish a connection and allow for the ability to be a part of a very significant and established history of camaraderie among certain types of men. The photos aren't just of naked men; they're about people. The men in Aloisio's images are more bare than naked, they tell us something about themselves. The playfulness of his imagery and the subject overcomes a very human feeling - nervousness.

© Mickey Aloisio

Sometimes it's incredibly difficult to be comfortable in your own skin and know who you are. Gay Wildlife is Aloisio's way of talking to these men who captivate him and finding out who they are, who he is, and what his community of peers is all about. These men come from all walks of life, and by photographing them in their private spaces their personalities shine through. The work is a collaboration. It'd be too easy to say these images are pornographic, position and environments are sexual, our bodies are simply the form of who we are. Just because we don't know these men doesn't make these photos voyeuristic. A huge part of any great portrait is not knowing who's in the picture. Aloisio just wants to allow these men a platform and voice to be heard, they are beautiful.

© Mickey Aloisio

© Mickey Aloisio

© Mickey Aloisio

© Mickey Aloisio

© Mickey Aloisio

© Mickey Aloisio

© J A Mortram

 Through his ongoing commitment to Small Town Inertia, Jim Mortram is dedicated to showing what life is like for people living in the margins of society. Basing his experiences solely around the area in which he lives, we see how the system is failing his neighbours and by extension the disadvantaged across the UK.

"Witnessing Tilney1's battle with Paranoid Schizophrenia over the course of the past 12 months, his medication changes, his endurance in isolation, his fight to exist and to navigate existence with and often without the regular support and contact with professional care teams, has been both terrifying and illuminating."

"It was as though watching a man drowning beneath the ice. I see him hitching for breath, chest heaving, eyes wild, fingers whipping at the indifferent, almost invisible, wall above.
I can do nothing but witness." J A Mortram, 2016

Film about Jim by Neale James
"This short film documentary introduces one of photography's more altruistic photographers and the people for whom his pictures have made real life impact."


Being on the receiving end of all sorts of submissions each day is a privilege I do not take for granted. Blaise Djilo is a photographer in the Cameroon who sent over an email upon discovering aCurator. Here is a small sample of his photographs of the everyday. You should also check out his photographs of Japanese dance Butoh performed in Africa.




© Leland Bobbé

Marvelous news in from Leland Bobbé that 18 of his photographs from 1970s New York City have been acquired by the savvy curators and collectors at the Museum of the City of New York. Congratulations and well deserved.


All images © Leland Bobbé

© Filip Wolak Courtesy MCNY

Our pals at the Museum of the City of New York and El Museo del Barrio announce this year's line up for their outdoor Wednesday parties celebrating summer and uptown NYC! Don't miss the tribute to Prince!

Wednesday, August 3
 The Museum of the City of New York | A Tribute to Prince
- Joey Carvello and DJ Woof spinning the Purple One's grooves
- Carlos Neto teaching street jazz dance moves

El Museo del Barrio | Bling it On
- DJ Oscar Nñ spins a blend of urban and virtual club sounds with latinx undertones
- Design your own fashion accessories
- Curator led tour of ANTONIO LOPEZ: Future Funk Fashion

© Filip Wolak Courtesy MCNY

Wednesday, August 10
The Museum of the City of New York | NYC's Greatest Hits
- Misbehaviour of Mobile Mondays! spins the Big Apple's most memorable songs
- Karen NG's dance troupe performs with trumpeter Omar Akil Little
- Book launch of Alan Bortman's Uptown & Downtown: Old Skool Paintings on NYC Subway Maps with an all-star crew of graffiti writers - get your copy signed!
El Museo del Barrio | Sew What
- DJ Riobamba returns with Digital Diaspora tunes!
- Weave your own textile using synthetic materials
- Live fashion illustrations by Steven Broadway and friends
Wednesday, August 17 | THE FINALE
The Museum of the City of New York | 80'S Dance Party
- Misbehaviour & DJ Boogie Blind of Mobile Mondays! spin Hip-Hop, Pop, and New Wave!
- Uko Snowbunny teaches Hip-Hop dance
El Museo del Barrio | Revista Fashionista
- DJ Oscar Nñ closes out Uptown Bounce
- Create your own fashion zine
- Curator led tour of ANTONIO LOPEZ: Future Funk Fashion

© Filip Wolak Courtesy MCNY

© Jamel Shabazz from "Back in the Days" coloring book, published by powerHouse Books

The press release tells you all you need to know about this brilliant new publication (August, 2016, powerHouse Books). If you aren't familiar with the wonderful archive of Jamel Shabazz, get busy. This book is a real treat, and affordable enough to get one for everyone on your holiday list. It's fun for ages 1 - 100! I asked the publicist for enough to fill mine but she not unreasonably sent me only one. 


"Straight from the old-school streets of NYC at the dawn of the hip-hop scene comes Back in the Days Coloring Book. Here is your chance to redraw the birth of old-school hip-hop fashion: hangin' in Harlem, kickin' it in Queens, and cold chillin' in Brooklyn. Based on the legendary and original street-style book, Back in the Days by Jamel Shabazz."


"Style with an attitude not seen in fashion for another 20 years to come, Shabazz's subjects strike poses that put supermodels to shame--showing off Kangol caps and Cazal glasses, shell-top Adidas and suede Pumas with fat laces, shearling coats and leather jackets, gold dookie chains, door-knocker earrings, name belts, boom boxes, and other 80s designer finery. Featuring 30 original drawings, now it's your turn to get in on the action. Pull out your Crayolas and markers and help everyone look their best by adding your own vibrant colors to these fly outfits."

What a brilliant and accessible way to keep your images out there!




All images © Jamel Shabazz from "Back in the Days" coloring book, published by powerHouse Books

Forrest Mars Jr. 1985 © Yousuf Karsh

Forrest Mars Jr. of Mars, as in Mars Bars, has died aged 84. Mars Jr. and his siblings maintained chocolate independence, so Mars is not owned by a petrochemical company. How refreshing.

I wish I were a "chocolate billionaire". Is it too late?


This series and story from Martin Adolfsson had me sitting up straight! I know Martin through having worked on the "Photography and Architecture" blog a couple of years ago, and he keeps in touch with fab new work. 
Here he talks about this project. "In the middle of the Utah desert, lays America's largest nation for American natives (Navajo Nation). During the last decade in this otherwise windblown and red-stoned area there has been a total change. Out of the sand, silhouettes of beautiful architect-designed houses will undoubtedly catch your eye in the wild sunsets."


"Every year a team of architectural students from the University of Utah take their pencils and move down to the nearby village Bluff, where they choose a family of four, or maybe a married couple or a single poet, native Americans who will receive an environmentally friendly house of their dreams."


"The architects become the builders in this unique experience of architectural innovation. At the same time, Utah is a state that wants to eliminate homelsessness, and Design Build Bluff intends to make one house for every family on the reservation."

See more of these fabulous homes at Design Build Bluff.

All photos © Martin Adolfsson

Chicano Park, San Diego, California © J Raymond Mireles  

aCurator contributing photographer* John Mireles recently embarked upon a journey to begin capturing the current face of America in intimate portraits. John has now completed the West Coast and will soon set off on a three-month cross-country road trip to complete the project.

In the meantime, Mireles brought the portraits live and large to his own neighborhood - check out the dedicated Neighbors website and you can watch Mireles talk about the series in his home town of San Diego in "Good Fences Make Good Neighbors"

Taylor Shellfish Farms, Shelton, Washington

Lost Horse Saloon, Marfa, Texas

Capitol Hill, Washington DC

AllWays Lounge, New Orleans, Louisiana All images © John Mireles

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