Rapper King KaiowMax 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
All images from RAW: The London Rap Scene © Max Colson
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
aCurator 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
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).
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
© 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.
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.
Opening this month, 'Paris Insolite', or 'unusual' Paris, features the work of Meredith Mullins, an internationally exhibited American photographer currently living in the City of Light. If you're fortunate enough to be there, go see 'Le Tango' and more at Greenlane Gallery
, Rue des Deux Ponts. On view May 25th to June 6th, 2010.'Le Tango' © Meredith Mullins
We've had a bit of stick about aCurator
Magazine being a Flash website. I'm really happy that anyone would be that upset they can't view the mag on their iPad! Without getting into a game of comment tennis, I'm writing this entry to point my readers to Adobe's latest statement on Flash
and creative freedom.
"At Adobe, we believe that the open flow of creativity, ideas, and information should be limited only by the imagination. Innovation thrives when people are free to choose the technologies that enable them to openly express themselves and access information where and when they want. Everyone loses when technological barriers impede the exchange of ideas."
At the New York Photo Festival yesterday I was looking forward to a panel discussion on the future of story telling. 4 photographers nominally had 5 minutes to show their work and talk about the future. Elizabeth Biondi moderated. Only, it started late, was disorganized; Biondi hardly got to say a word; we watched videos by Lauren Greenfield and Gillian Laub which were wonderful but made me wonder whether everyone thought video had just been invented; Jeff Jacobson subjected us to stills of a road trip that we thought would relate to Obama's election but didn't seem to, with someone reading a poem over the slideshow; and Rob Hornstra made it clear he didn't like either video or audio. Conclusion? Stills, and maybe video, and maybe audio, or maybe text, are the future of story telling.
What I was excited to learn about was Rob Hornstra
's and Arnold van Bruggen
's The Sochi Project
. These Dutch photographers are looking for private donors to help them travel to Sochi twice a year through 2014 to document the run-up to the Olympic Games.
"In 2014, the Olympic Games will take place in Sochi, Russia. Never before have the Olympic Games been held in a region that contrasts more strongly with the glamour of the Games than Sochi. Just 20 kilometres away is the conflict zone Abkhazia. To the east the Caucasus Mountains stretch into obscure and impoverished breakaway republics such as Cherkessia, North Ossetia and Chechnya. On the coast old Soviet sanatoria stand shoulder to shoulder with the most expensive hotels and clubs of the Russian Riviera. Between now and 2014 the area around Sochi will change beyond recognition. The Sochi Project will be a dynamic mix of documentary photography, film and reportage about a world in flux; a world full of different realities within a small but extraordinary geographic area."© Rob Hornstra, The Sochi Project
"Rock for MS is the major fundraising event for MSFriends, conceived under the leadership of VisionWorks Foundation president Amelia Davis, and inspired by Jim Marshall.Most of the attendees are young trendsetters with a passion for music with the secondary audience being in Jim Marshall's large network of celebrities and professionals in the music and photography industry."
Amelia is looking for donations of photographs of (very famous) musicians with their cars. If you'd like to donate a print, please leave a comment with your name and the musician you have and I'll forward it.Read more
.Miles Davis and his Ferrari © Baron Wolman