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After Out Magazine saw M. Sharkey's feature 'Queer Kids' published in aCurator magazine, Sharkey got a call asking if they too could publish the images. Then I got a call from the Big Issue, London's magazine that supports the homeless, asking the same thing. He told me yesterday over a delicious home-made lunch that the Advocate also picked it up. And then he told me to pick out a print! (I chose the fabulous Brandon) Thank you dear!

The 'Queer Kids' project is a work-in-progress. For information about supporting its continuation contact the photographer via his website.

Brandon © M. Sharkey
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Thanks to Rob Haggart again, this time for his post on the Museum of Bad Art ("Art too bad to be ignored"). This video of Louise Reilly Sacco, Permanent Acting Interim Executive Director, is brilliantly entertaining.

After all, without bad art, there wouldn't be any good art.
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Lynn Goldsmith has been a constant in my life for almost 20 years: a massively prolific, legendary photographer, she's pals with my business partner Michael Putland and was running her photo agency in New York while I ran Retna, until she did the prescient thing and got out of that industry in the late 90s. We haven't laid eyes on each other since we don't know when, so imagine my surprise to look up from a reviewing table this week to see her beaming face. Splitting her time between Colorado and New York, Lynn is working on a book of her self-portrait series 'Looking Glass'.

In honor of the official start of summer here in New York, here's Carly Simon at Martha's Vineyard, 1981.

Carly Simon © Lynn Goldsmith

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Opening June 3rd is a group show curated by Jeffrey Walkowiak at La Mama La Galleria in New York's East Village.'To Believe' asks questions regarding the turn to faith many people experience during times of uncertainty, death and disease. Walkowiak cites an article in the NY Times stating that when the economy began to plummet, psychics and clairvoyants experienced an increase in business. The show includes Bede Murphy's work with the fascinating Unarians and a host of other multimedia artists exploring the metaphysical.

The show benefits the organization Visual AIDS which "utilizes art to fight AIDS by provoking dialogue, supporting HIV+ artists, and preserving a legacy, because AIDS is not over."

From The Unarius Project © Bede Murphy

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Rapper King Kaiow

Max Colson is a London-based "digital photographer with an eye on photojournalism". He submitted some work and we began an email exchange about his use of stills within video, his attitudes towards documentary photography, the weather (we are both British after all!) and since he had submitted an eloquent artist statement, we decided he should tell his story.

"I began making serious attempts at documentary photo projects at the tail end of 2008, so it's safe to say that I am an incredibly young photographer. Over 2009 I gained more experience documenting not only the participants of the UK's full contact fighting scene, but also the rappers involved in London's underground rap scene [in two separate projects]; by the end of the year I felt that I taken my two projects as far as they could go. I was completely wrong.

Although I was not quite conscious of it at the time, my aim was largely to go in and take 'great pictures' in quite a show and tell fashion. More than anything else, I took photos in order for people to understand that I was a photographer, and that I had the so-called 'eye'. Looking back on these photos now I can see that perhaps it was my personal quest for the dramatic which was often the overriding factor in my work.

I think the reasons behind why people take documentary photographs is an incredibly important area in photojournalism today. I speculate that the influence of commerce conflicts with representing things as they really are and I think that the demands of commercial news creates a tension in any profession which has appointed itself as a recorder of history. I am currently producing a video which deals with this topic, and uses my images."

For more on Max, visit his website. I learned something new on his blog.

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All images from RAW: The London Rap Scene © Max Colson


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In one order or another, I saw Jaimie Warren's monograph (published by Tim Barber's Tiny Vices and available from Aperture) and a wonderful wall of small prints with Higher Pictures at the Association of International Photography Art Dealers show in New York, and she stuck firmly in my head. Perhaps there's just not been enough joy in the photography I've seen in recent years, so I am delighted to present a sampling of her self-portraits and humorous observations.

Jaimie Warren is a curator, performance artist, photographer, and co-founder of a non-profit community arts program and faux public access television show called 'Whoop Dee Doo'. With a website titled 'Don't You Feel Better' you know you've been set up for a good time.

View the feature.

© Jaimie Warren

aperture_prize.jpgaCurator is proud to support Aperture Foundation.

The purpose of the Aperture Portfolio Prize is to identify trends in contemporary photography and specific artists whom we can help by bringing them to a wider audience. In choosing the first-prize winner and runners-up, we are looking for work that is fresh and that hasn't been widely seen in major publications or exhibition venues.

First prize is $5,000. The first-prize winner and runners-up are featured in Aperture's website for approximately one year. Winners are also announced in the foundation's e-newsletter, which reaches thousands of subscribers in the photography community.

The entry period for the 2010 Aperture Portfolio Prize begins Friday, May 14, 2010, and the deadline is Wednesday, July 14, 2010, at 12:00 noon EST. All entrants will be contacted with final results by November 1, 2010. For more information, see the Guidelines and FAQs pages.

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The 2010 Annual Karsh Lecture took place at the Boston MFA this week with the lovely Mario Testino. He talked about his roots (Peruvian yes, llamas in the living room, no), his earlier years deciding what to do with his life, and his climb up the fashion ladder having settled in London. Mrs Karsh's warm and insightful intro made Mario feel special (being compared to Karsh would make anyone feel even more special than perhaps they already are) and he proceeded to truly entertain a mixed audience with his openness and warmth. The following morning Mrs Karsh invited us to breakfast at the fabulous Taj on Boston Common where I picked the brains of Testino's retoucher Guillaume Dulermo and Mike chatted to Testino about living in London (it's OK if it rains all the time, Mario's only home 90 days a year). 

Fabulous.

Back row: Jerry Fielder, Karsh curator; Mike Hartley, bigflannel; me; Jason Christian, Karsh fine art liaison; Mario Testino.
Front row: Lois who put on the lecture, MFA; Mrs Karsh; Anne Havinga, Yousuf and Estrellita Karsh Curator of Photographs; Janet Blanchard.
Seated: Emily, Anne Havinga's assistant.

Photograph by Guillaume Dulermo
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© Ryan Donnell

Here in NYC on polling day, lucky kids get to stay home and the grown-ups go to their schools to vote. But in Philadelphia all sorts of establishments are temporarily repurposed for the electorate. Ryan Donnell has been photographing these locations for the last couple of years, and is out in the rain today for the primaries. Visit the Philadelphia Polling Place Project to see lots more.

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All images © Ryan Donnell

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View the feature.

Guest curator Brian Clamp's preview of Burke's exhibition at ClampArt.

The intertidal zone is the ground that is exposed to air at low tide and is under water at high tide. It is an intermediated place where opposites commingle and coexist. Jesse Burke's series 'Intertidal' addresses the ambivalent domain between the heroic ideal of masculinity and the true reality of being male. Through the juxtaposition of photographs, Burke constructs an autobiographical investigation of the incongruousness of the fragility of masculinity.

Burke writes "I photograph my life and the lives of the men in my social and family circles in an attempt to understand from where our ideas of masculinity originate. I am most drawn to the moments that are representative of vulnerability or emasculation; where there is a presence of a rupture or wound inflicted in some way, whether it be physical, emotional, or metaphorical. I employ concepts such as male bonding and peer influence, masculine rites and rituals, homosocial desire, physical exertion, and our connection to one another as well as the landscape that we interact within to expose these instances."

Burke sets his subjects against the backdrop of his native New England, both embracing and critiquing his own absorption and assimilation of the masculine ideal and his ultimate construction of self.

Jesse Burke is an instructor at the Rhode Island School of Design where he received his MFA in photography in 2005. His work has been exhibited in such cities as New York, Tokyo, Milan, Stockholm, Madrid, Miami, and Los Angeles. The exhibition at ClampArt is complemented by the artist's monograph of the same title from Decode (Seattle, Washington, 2008) with an essay by critic Nate Lippens.

© Jesse Burke, "Father", 2006, Courtesy of ClampArt, New York City

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