New York, New York (Brooklyn Bridge), 1979. © Tseng Kwong Chi, Courtesy Muna Tseng Dance Projects, Inc., New York

Coming soon to a very fortunate New York City, at the Grey Art Gallery, New York University, 100 Washington Square East, to be precise, is an exhibition by Tseng Kwong Chi. Known for his self-portraits and photographs of New York's wild 70s and 80s scene, this promises to be a fabulous trip into New York's recent but so-different past.

"Combining photography with performance, personal identity with global politics, and satire with farce, Tseng Kwong Chi (1950-1990) created a compelling body of work whose complexity is belied by its humor and grace. Born in Hong Kong, raised in Vancouver, and educated in Paris, Tseng moved to New York in 1978, where he quickly became a key documentarian of Manhattan's vibrant downtown scene. He also began crafting the performative self-portraits - "selfies" avant la lettre - that form the backbone of his artistic practice, exploring the questions of personal and political identity that preoccupied many artists of his generation. Remarkably, Tseng made virtually all the works on view here in the course of just ten years, before his untimely death from AIDS-related complications at the age of 39."


Andy Warhol, New York, c. 1986


Keith Haring, New York, 1988

Bill T. Jones, body painted by Keith Haring, London, 1983


East Meets West Manifesto, 1983


Art After Midnight, New York, 1985


New York, New York (World Trade Center), 1979. All images © Tseng Kwong Chi, Courtesy Muna Tseng Dance Projects, Inc., New York

This exhibition will travel but for now, it's running from April 21st - July 11th, 2015, with an opening on April 20th. See you there! 
Exhibitions | Permalink |


Boston-based super-shooter and lovely man Lou Jones will exhibit images from his important series "Portraits from Death Row." If you're in the Boston area you have two weeks to go see the exhibition. Jones photographed inmates on death row across the US, and a book was published in 1996. Emerson College hosts the show, at Huret & Spector Gallery.

At the other end of Lou's career, are his breathtaking photographs of dancers (among many, many other subjects). See his previous aCurator post and visit Lou's website
Exhibitions | Permalink |


Young boy reading comics with dog, New York City, 1944. Time Inc./Nina Leen/Courtesy of Daniel Cooney Fine Art 

Nina Leen (d. 1995) was one of the first female contract photographers with LIFE, working with them from the 1940s until it ceased its weekly printing in 1972; she contributed some 40 covers alone. Edward Steichen included two of her photographs in "The Family of Man" exhibition. But still, Leen has not had enough recognition to-date, so we're pleased to see that Daniel Cooney has curated a fabulous exhibition of her work. It opens on March 26, 2015, at Daniel Cooney Fine Art in New York and includes a lovely variety of vintage prints from the Time/Life archives. 


Members of the Young Women's Republican Club of Milford, Connecticut, 1941


Teenage boys heckling girls at a hen party, Des Moines, Iowa, c.late 1940s


Choreographer Valerie Bettis having ice cubes put on her eyes, 1948


Man holding a block of ice, 1942


Teenager Helen Honey tests lipstick shades and color, 1945


Teenager Barbara Nelson tests lipstick shades and color, 1945

"One of Nina Leen's most famous photographic essays documents Tommy Tucker, an orphaned and celebrated trained gray squirrel owned by Zaidee Bullis of Washington D.C. who dressed Tommy in a variety of over 30 homemade outfits including Red Cross Nurse and a Dutch-girl dress with apron and bonnet."



All images Time Inc./Nina Leen/Courtesy of Daniel Cooney Fine Art

Read a fabulous article over at Glitterati Incorporated

See Nina Leen: Lenslady, at Daniel Cooney, March 26 - May 16, 2015.
Exhibitions | Permalink |


Harvesting rice © Damyoma Isaac

Giving cameras to farmers in northern Ghana has not just resulted in increased awareness of their development needs and more control over their lives - an enthusiastic volunteer with Christian Aid dropped me a line to tell me about "My Home, My Farm", a wonderful project she has been helping to develop into an exhibition in London.

From the press release: "We believe that the future of international development lies in utilising modern and innovative communication methods. Ghanaian farmers are faced with the problem of having little or no access to market information. This forces them to sell their produce at the roadside to tradesmen and middlemen at very low prices. 

Christian Aid partnered with Youth Harvest Foundation Ghana (YHFG) to develop the MyPharm project. This supplies the farmers with mobile phones and weekly text messages informing them exactly what their produce is worth. To record the progress of the project Christian Aid and YHFG partnered with PhotoVoice to give the farmers cameras and photography training. The result is a collection of beautifully honest photographs." 


"Water is life. This is our source of water. It is about half a mile from my house. Many people who depend on it live further away." © Apam Apamlea


"The whole community has to use this one borehole, and it is hard to get enough. It takes a long time and everyone, young and old, has to wait to get what they need for their family. Sometimes this causes quarrels about who should take water first."
© Jonas Awinpala

"This photograph was exhibited at the Chief's Palace of Anafobisi where it caught the eye of community water and sanitation staff. They were so moved by the image that they have now provided an additional borehole for the community. Jonas Awinpala has also brought business into the community. He photographed baskets that people in his community had weaved and sent the images to an entrepreneur who has now entered into a contract with the community. Jonas has made approximately £192 from his photography."


A couple uprooting grandnuts on the field. © Linda Atibilla Lariba

These snapshots of Ghanaian life through local eyes will be exhibited at Kahaila café in London's Brick Lane, from April 2nd to May 5th. Go see!
Exhibitions | Permalink |


"After Gibson" © Chuck Samuels, courtesy of ClampArt, New York.

You see now this is how to pay homage to the Greats in my opinion: in marvelously good taste, and with a statement to make about gender (especially in comparison to the hideously awful Sandro Miller/John Malkovich repellent bunch of knock-offs which is still pissing me off).


"After Mapplethorpe"

"For this early body of work being presented at ClampArt, Samuels created twelve astonishingly faithful reconstructions of portraits of nude women from the history of photography by such modern masters as Paul Outerbridge, Man Ray, Edward Weston, and Richard Avedon, among others. However, in place of the female subjects, Samuels has staged himself "before the camera."


"After Belloq"

Between seeing these in person, and the superb press release (nice work, Brian Clamp) I am over-excited! Samuels prints and presents the photographs in the same size and style as they were originally displayed.


"After Newton"


"After Weston"

"...Samuels caps his deconstructive statement by asking women to click the shutter release on the camera, finalizing his gender inversion. While everyone is aware of the ubiquity and violence of female objectification in Western culture, by parodying these iconic art historical images with his own body, Samuels establishes himself as an erotic object, confusing a typically implicit male gaze. As Deborah Bright writes in her groundbreaking book "The Passionate Camera": "Samuels' photographs expose the consistent heterosexist underpinnings of elite culture and taste as he vamps and camps through official photo history. Even better, he overtly homosexualizes those master photographers whose signature styles remain carefully preserved."


"After Man Ray"


"After Avedon"


"After Outerbridge"
All images © Chuck Samuels, courtesy of ClampArt, New York.

"Chuck Samuels: Behind the Camera" is on view through March 28, 2015, at ClampArt, 531 West 25th Street, NYC.
Exhibitions | Permalink |


 © Ellen Jacob

Ellen Jacob's photographs of her friend Kay in the final stretch are currently showing at Soho Photo, here in New York City. In a personal yet completely relatable journey for the photographer, and following Kay's journey to the end which reflects so many inevitable others, she produced a quiet series, showing how her friend held herself dealing with terminal cancer. 


"Life and death, the fragility of human connections, the certainty of the end; all are joined to what our spirits manifest as we confront our greatest losses, whether in our past, future or the elusive boundary between them - this precise moment.

"Waiting Room is a foray into this territory we all share. We know death is waiting; yet we persist. This work explores the waiting, the persistence and the places we live while dying. Places largely separated from life.

"Waiting Room project is about Kay. She was 54. She was dying of cancer. She soon found herself partly paralyzed. I visited her often. Everyone approaches death differently. Kay had an amazing dignity that grew from her acceptance of her situation. She knew she was dying; she could barely move. She knew her life was circumscribed by a bed on the 12th floor of a Manhattan nursing home.

"Sometimes Kay was happy, sometimes sad, sometimes angry. Dying, she remained very much alive. Waiting Room is the story of Kay's time at the boundary between life and death and the place where she spent that time. Through Kay's story, I tell the story of all of us." Ellen Jacob.




All images © Ellen Jacob
Exhibitions, Photographers | Permalink |


© Nancy Baron

Coming next month from Kehrer is a cracking-looking book of photographs by Nancy Baron made in and around Palm Springs, a desert resort city about 100 miles east of Los Angeles in California.

"For most people, Palm Springs evokes images of a resort town of exquisite homes, glittering swimming pools, lush palm trees, and stunning golf courses where the rich and famous go to relax and retire. For others, Palm Springs signifies a town that has faded with time along with the passing of a long procession of A-list celebrities that flocked there during the mid 20th century from Hollywood elite like Bing Crosby, Lucille Ball and Bob Hope, to Presidents from Eisenhower to Ford to Reagan."

According to Wikipedia, Palm Springs has one of the highest concentration of same-sex couples of any community in the United States. Aren't any of them working as interior designers?


There will be a solo show at the dnj Gallery in Santa Monica's Bergamot Station from September 6 - November 1, 2014, with an opening reception and book signing September 6, 6-8pm. 




All images © Nancy Baron
Books, Exhibitions | Permalink |


When his meds allow, Tilney1's creative outlets are poetry and drawing. They help him process the ongoing stories racing around in his head. © J A Mortram

In case you still haven't heard of J A Mortram and his series "Small Town Inertia," (where have you been??) Jim photographs people living in and around his local community in East Anglia, UK. Or rather, Jim spends time with his fellow humans, engages with their mostly-difficult lives, helps, supports, and makes photographs with, his neighbours.

A new exhibition opens on August 29th, 2014, at Camden Image Gallery in London, with a private view on the 28th. If you care about me at all, and you live in London, you will go see it.

Jim is also a member of Aletheia Photos, an independent collective of documentarians.


David was recently blinded in a freak bike accident. Then his mother, on whom he relied, passed away.


From a story on social housing


Carl struggles daily with bullying. His mother died when he was very young and now his grandmother is sick.


Helena tries to cope with mental, physical and sexual abuse


The Peoples' Picnic give a sarnie to Grant.

All images © J A Mortram
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© Valdir Cruz

Whilst not trying to wish away the coming few weeks of summer, this is something to look forward to in New York in September. Throckmorton Fine Art will open documentary photographer Valdir Cruz' sixth exhibition at their gallery. It is the culmination of a thirty-year-long photographic essay: 'Guarapuava,' about the photographer's hometown in Brazil. 

"I could use my photography to honor the people and the landscape of my youth. I like to think that their part in the history of Brazil is now a little more visible."

Valdir Cruz' bodies of work are so rich, you should check out more on his website.


The blurb:
It has been said that Cruz's interest in photography began when he first viewed some of George Stone's photographs in National Geographic magazines in the 1970s. "Stone was a master teacher and it is thanks to him that I became a photographer." Cruz adds that it was George Tice who helped him become a good printer. At the Germain School he studied photography, but he gained technical skills from George Tice at the New School for Social Research, in New York. He later collaborated with Tice in the authorized production of two important Edward Steichen portfolios, Juxtapositions (1986) and Blue Skies (1987) before focusing largely on his own works. Valdir Cruz developed a deep understanding of how 20th century photographers such as Edward Steichen and Horst P. Horst expressed their creativity in photography. He says, "Mr Horst was not only a great photographer, but a gentleman. I remember the 80's with affection. Those were years of learning and growing tremendously in my vision -  and photography - and in my life!  Those were the years dedicated to New York City...and learning photography."  Valdir Cruz's work has been the subject of more than fifty solo exhibitions.

'Guarapuava' is on view at Throckmorton, 145 East 57th St, NYC, from September 18th to November 1st, 2014.




All images © Valdir Cruz
Exhibitions | Permalink |


"How do you sleep at night?" © Vincent Lawson

News from the south: September 12th, 2014, marks the opening of an exhibition of photographs by Mobile, Alabama-based photographer Vincent Lawson, at the Mobile Arts Council. Add Vincent to the list of lovable artists I met in New Orleans last year; I wasn't able to review his portfolio but we connected regardless. Look Vincent in the eyes and you can sense he's going to be invested in producing photographs like this.

"It is my goal that this project will help those who have little or nothing, whose dreams have been shattered, who think that no one cares for them, who think that they don't matter. If this project can change one person's way of thinking it will be a success."

Sorry I can't make it - share with someone who you think can!


"These photographs also ask a question: if you see another human being in need, will you pass them by or help them? The two choices: Empathy / Apathy." - VL.



All images © Vincent Lawson
Exhibitions, Photographers | Permalink |

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