May all our future children be so encouraged! In 2007, Lindsay Morris began attending a summer camp for gender-creative kids where they could have the freedom to be as fabulous, or not, as they wish, whilst partaking of the usual summer activities. Over the years, Lindsay has made a wonderful series of intimate and real and loving photographs, which appeared on the cover of the New York Times Magazine in 2012, and which have subsequently been widely published. Many have been collected into a book: 'You Are You' is out now from KEHRER.
A new generation has arrived and is ready for acceptance.
You can catch an exhibition in San Francisco at RayKo, beginning mid-May, and in New York, at ClampArt, in July. Or, if you're on the other side of the pond, the work will also be on show at the Hamburg Triennial, also in June. And visit the You Are You website.
In Natan Dvir's beautifully composed series, "Coming Soon," the effrontery of New York's mammoth advertising hoardings, garishly peddling their goods to a seemingly captive audience, is juxtaposed with the daily life that obliviously potters on beneath them.
"This new series of pictures continues to explore the relationship between the near-future illusions and physical reality. While new and advanced ways of consuming information create a growing world of virtual, mobile, and personalized ads, the city itself becomes an advertising medium. The immense billboards gradually permeate the whole city, from SoHo to Time Square. Always in the peripheral vision, these ads turn pedestrians into passive spectators. People inhabiting the space underneath are pulled, unaware, into a staged set, as the reality of the street merges with the commercial fantasy of the advertisements."
Images from the series have been widely exhibited and published and their popularity is not wavering. Catch the latest show at Anastasia Photo, in New York's Lower East Side, on now through April 30, 2015.
Italian photographer Stefania Notizia is educating us this week. The Turkish Yörüks live in the eastern part of Macedonia. The Yörüks are referred to as nomadic tribes of Turkmen origin who had emigrated from the steppes of Central Asia to Anatolia, and from there, in several waves, settled the eastern part of the Balkans. Their name derives from the Turkish verb yürü-, which means "to walk".
According to an essay by Elizabeta Koneska, ethnologist at Museum of Macedonia, Skopje, they were first noted in the Balkan region by the end of the 14th century. Their gradual immigration went on during the 15th century, it intensified by the first half of the 16th century and concluded by the end of the 16th century. "The opinion prevailing among most researchers suggests that the migration of these nomadic-farming tribes mostly had to do with the conquering ambitions of the Ottoman Empire."
Prolific portrait and music photographer Justin Borucki adopted the old wet plate collodion process to record changing New York. With his necessary mobile darkroom, Borucki has embraced this tricky* process to make magical images of the city he loves. We've been colleagues over many years since he signed up for representation at the photo agency - props always to Kellie McLaughlin, now of Aperture. It's a pleasure to see how photographers progress and change with the times, coming into their own.
*Wikipedia: "Collodion process" is usually taken to be synonymous with the "collodion wet plate process", a very inconvenient form which required the photographic material to be coated, sensitized, exposed and developed within the span of about fifteen minutes, necessitating a portable darkroom for use in the field.
A small round-up of portraits that Giles Clarke made in 2014. Giles is a social documentary photographer based in New York City who is known for his work, among multitudinous other topics and places, in Haiti, Bhopal, and with the Occupy movement. Just lately he has been producing for UNHCR, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, as well as being a Featured Contributor to Getty Images Reportage.
These portraits will take you on but a portion of Giles' journey through last year.
In September 2014 a young woman was molested and her boyfriend beaten up by 10 fellow students of Jadavpur University, Kolkata. The general student body demanded an unbiased investigation but were denied. Protests followed in Kolkata, and other cities. The police were called in and beat the protesters. Avinandan Sthanpati is in Kolkata and recorded one of the demonstrations.
"...The general students' body of the university demanded an unbiased investigation committee. They continued to stay at the campus until the university authorities wanted to talk to them but all in vain. Instead of that, the Vice Chancellor of the university called up the police into the campus at night, who in turn beat up the students mercilessly, irrespective of male and female. Several of the female students were infact molested in the hands of the police. Several students were arrested and taken to the police station.
"But the police had no idea how this action of theirs could backfire on them. The students got united and within an hour, massive numbers of them went outside their campus and sat on the roads just in front of the Jadavpur Police station. With time, their number grew exponentially and students from other universities also started to join them.
"Rapid Action Force were summoned by the police and things were just going to get ugly when the student representatives took a mature decision and decided to go back to the campus only after the arrested students were released from the police custody. The police thought that this was over. They forgot that students were like seeds. They cannot be suppressed by throwing them on the grounds.
"The next week, almost 40,000 students gathered and started a protest march towards the Governor's house , demanding the resignation of the Vice Chancellor. The Governor had a closed door meeting with a few student delegates and assured them that he will look in to the matter on a serious note.
"Three months have passed after that assurance but alas, nothing has been done from his end. Tyranny is still present inside the university. But the students are getting more and more organised day by day and vouching for a revolution on a massive scale.
"This series is a collective of the photographs of the students from the night when they showed protest in front of the police station and also on the night of that historic march.
"I name this series "Hok Kolorob" - "Let's make some noise" (or "Let there be noise" - ed) in accordance with the name that was given to this protest movement. I, along with scores of people all across the world, am in soliditary with "Hok Kolorob.""
A perfect project statement from Indian-born, New York-dwelling, SVA grad Supranav Dash, about his pensive series 'Marginal Trades':
"Trades and professional practices have always been intertwined with the caste system in India. Each caste and its sub-sets would stereotype an individual and dictate their occupational practice. Since the early 1800s, people were not allowed to deviate from their fixed professions or they would be outlawed by society, which at the time, social morals reflected ignorance and strong attachment to orthodox beliefs."
"The tradition of professions and trades being passed down the line from father to son, continued for generations until recently when globalization and rapid socioeconomic change resulted in the problem of enculturation and automation. At that point, many of the age-old practices faded out, while others are currently on their way to extinction. The modern Indian generation refuses to stick to their ancestral professions and trades; they have become more daring and switch to the more lucrative business possibilities.
The abandonment of the traditional practices also result from insufficient incomes, a desire to escape the caste stereotypes, the constant neglect of the privileged classes of the society these people serve, and a government that is not open to social reforms.
Global trends are constantly changing; therefore, in these frantic times, it's very easy to forget our past, culture and traditions. I am not opposed to modernization, but at the same time, I want to slow things down, force one's self to recognize and remember the beauty of these analog practices.
As a photographer, I want to use my craft to pay respect to these tradesmen and bring them to light.
When photographing the Tradesmen, I note down how much they earn in a week and tally it with the number of family members they support; which brings up a political dialog about exploitation, deprivation, neglect and lack of social reforms. India chooses to overlook the plight of these helpless masses who earn below the minimum wage mark and are rapidly falling below the poverty line.
The images are informed by the works of Eugene Atget (Les Petit Metiers), Irving Penn (Small Trades), August Sanders (People of the Twentieth Century), and by the Indian ethnographic images of Sir John F. Watson and John W. Kaye (The People of India, 1868-75)." - Supranav Dash.
Storyteller Francisco Salgueiro captures both the backstage banality and the front-of-house excitement at circuses across Portugal. This prolific Portuguese photographer, and beloved author, has been spending many hours at the circus, and after we published two blog posts of his images there was so much attention we decided to go full screen with a feature in the mag.
Recently selected on more than one occasion by Vogue and well published and exhibited elsewhere, here's to a good year for Francisco!
This is a wicked series of newly mashed-up photos and graffiti brought to you by the ever-styling photographer Janette Beckman and a host of similarly cool graffiti artists, as Janette opens up her 80s & early 90s archives for remixing, something she has said she's always wanted to do.
After launching the series earlier in 2014 as a pop-up art event, the originals, made with Janette's vintage prints, are traveling as an exhibition, and reprints are available.
Alice Mizrahi "I started spraying in 2005 but I already had a studio practice and was formally trained at Parsons. Merging the two was a natural progression. I had been immersed in graff and hip hop culture as a young girl through my brother. The first official mural I painted was in 2005 for The Meeting of Styles in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Before that, I remember catching tags in my neighborhood as a teenager along a trail by the tracks we called the 'Go Path.'"
"I chose the Beastie Boys photo because I grew up listening to them and they were a huge influence in my work as a young artist coming up. I also love the red color in the photo and the live vibe I got when I saw it."
Cey Adams was the founding creative director of Def Jam Recordings and is known for his work with Beastie Boys, Public Enemy, LL Cool J, Run DMC, Jay-Z, and Mary J. Blige. "I was 16 or 17 when I first started writing graffiti. The first place I really wrote was my room. My parents used to get so angry."
"I was lucky enough to work with a lot of Janette's subjects. Keith was a really special guy and he always made you feel special when you were around him. I used to love going to his studio, this photo takes me right back to that time."
David "Chino" Villarente "The first tags I ever took were on the bathroom walls in my elementary school towards the tail end of the 6th grade, but I didn't start writing on trains until 1983, I was 15 years old."
"I chose Janette's photo of Stetsasonic posing in front of Stetson's Hats. I grew up downtown Brooklyn, not far from the Fulton Mall. In the mid/late 80's I was involved in a cross-out war with another graffiti writer. Several of my crossed out tags appear in the background of the photo I selected. The Stetsasonic photo was published in either Word Up or Right On magazine, this was the first time I saw my name in print."
Claw Money "I started writing in my early 20's - I was late to the party! The first wall I ever painted was in Jonone's studio in Paris in 1990. I think?!?!?"
"I chose Salt-n-Pepa. This was all about female empowerment and I loved these girls for it!"
DOC TC5 "I picked up my first spray can in 1977, I was 13 years old. I painted the bleachers in the handball court in Cypress Hill's Projects."
"I chose this photo because I couldn't let anyone else paint on Dondi White's face because I was one of his last students."
Dr. Revolt began his practice in 1977 as an original member of the historic New York City graffiti crew, The Rolling Thunder Writers (RTW). He contributed to classic hip-hop films "Wild Style" & "Style Wars" and created the 'YO! MTV RAPS' logo.
"I started writing too long ago - the 70s. First place I wrote? Wherever it was it was "funky." I didn't choose the Ultramagnetic photo, it was given to me. All the other good ones were taken. Actually I was inspired by the magnetic properties thereon."
Eric Adams "I started writing when I was a kid. As far back as I can remember trying to recreate everything I saw my Dad (Cey Adams) do. It just came to me naturally as time went on. I can't say I did a wall but the first thing I remember doing was a piece for my school back in 1996 for a play we were doing based on hip hop."
"The reason I chose the Flava Flav photo to do my piece on was because of my father and his connection with Def Jam and Public Enemy. I can remember plenty of photo shoots where I met the group and I even had the chance to take a photo with Flav when I was a kid. (One of my dad's favorite pictures) So I figured it would be awesome to do something on Janette's photo of him."
Faust "I was drawn to this photo of Afrika Bambaataa because I loved his pose and boombox, emblematic of the era, but also the brick wall was apropos for the collaboration. The ideal surface for a graffiti artist. I wrote the words "hip hop" in the background since he's often regarded as the Godfather of Hip Hop. The first time the term "hip hop" appeared in print was in a Village Voice interview with Bambaataa and he was also instrumental in the spread of hip hop culture worldwide."
Jester (credited as the originator of the 'Bubble' lettering) "I started writing at the age of 13 in 1971. I continued till I was 19, I only stopped because my daughter was born in '78 and I needed to put down the spray cans and pick up the diapers. First wall or first train? I'll go with first train, back in '71 I went to the 4 line layups one Saturday afternoon and jumped down on the tracks and did some tags on the side of the train. It was either 170 St or 176 St. What a rush!!"
"I chose EPMD photo, simply because they were one of my favorites from back in the day. I love their raps and have at least 3 of their tapes (yup tapes, remind me to transfer them ASAP)."
Morning Breath "We chose the image of Slick Rick because of its iconic impact, and felt it would work best with our style of graphics. It gave us the negative space to collaborate and bring something to the image without overpowering or making the figure insignificant in any way. We usually have done this style using a central illustrated image. it was nice to switch it up with a photographic element for this collaboration."
MRS "I started writing graffiti in high school, I think I was 16. I think the first place I wrote on illegally was a broken down fence in my neighborhood. I used fluorescent pink and black Rusto paint. It was very sloppy, very transparent, very poorly constructed all around but still as great as any of my most perfect pieces because it marked a new chapter of my life."
"I chose the image of Melle Mel because I was attracted to its energy. The brick wall behind him felt like a familiar canvas and a good place to start. My brother introduced me to his music when I was younger and I've been a fan ever since, this is also why I really wanted to work with this photo."
Muck "Long before this project, I started writing in Greece mid 80's behind a potato storage shed on the island of Lesbos, 93/94, I tagged the word "unity" and a globe blowing up."
"I chose the LL Cool J image cause I painted a green version of it once from a photo I found on the internet."
Part One "I began writing when I was 11 years old in the 7th grade. My first wall I painted was a school yard in my neighborhood of Spanish Harlem, I was 12 years old."
"I chose this image because I've always admired Eric B & Rakim for their contributions to the culture, especially Rakim for his acknowledgment."
Queen Andrea "I always loved to draw as a kid, but really began to consistently practice graffiti lettering when I was about 14, it was the first art form that truly fascinated me and I immersed myself in practicing tagging and letters. I was hellbent on learning how to do burners! My first real piece was on the outside of Lucky Strike restaurant on Grand Street in Soho, Manhattan, where I grew up. I was 15 years old."
"I started listening to RunDMC in 1984 when I was a little kid, with my older brother. They always had some of the most original, witty and hard hitting lyrics. They're still one of my all-time favorite hip hop groups."
Sharp "My connection to Janette as a photographer is deeply rooted, many of the images she captured in the golden age are moments that represent the formative years of my evolution of life into manhood. These photos are like forgotten postcards to my youth."
"I chose the picture of Donald Dee and Bronx Style Bob as it is a reflection of a period of time which holds a special place in my heart, in 1989 Los Angeles was 'the place'. This photo was more than likely taken in the parking lot at the video shoot for Donald Dee's debut album F.B.I.; I may have been standing a few feet away, I passed by that day to chill during the filming of the video."
T KID "I started writing graffiti at 12 yrs old when I was drafted into the neighborhood gang. My first tag was king13 at 16 yrs of age (1977). After getting shot due to gang violence I changed my name to Tkid170 and became a king of subway graffiti. I tagged the park I played in, it was on Morrison Ave and Watson Ave, south Bronx. Then it was nothing but subway cars."
"I chose the picture of Fab 5 Freddie from 1982 cause it was part of the wild style movie and since I'm an original member of the wild style gang I thought it would be appropriate."
Trike "I was just 10 years old when I started writing in the early 1970's. My first wall was in Red Hook, Brooklyn, all the way down at the pier."
"This photo of Dr Dre reminded me of the time when I was catching crazy throw ups in LA in 1981. So it was perfect. I thought if I was in South Central what would I have done? Obviously a quick throw up and get the hell out!"