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Here's another young, raw photographer whose work and attitude I find exciting: Harry Gould Harvey VI is a self-taught 19 year-old high school dropout based in Newport, Rhode Island. We've been emailing for a few months, talking about punk music, wealth disparity, Occupy Wall Street and discontent in general. In between first contact and the publication of this feature, HGH has been on the road with his own hardcore band, Convulsions. I really appreciate the value that this young artist put on connecting with me, saying how hard it is to otherwise access "the world of contemporary photography." This is part of an ongoing series, a sarcastic, social commentary that is meant to be alarming and disconcerting, to convey a sense of anger, and is shot in and around the mansions of Newport.

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© Harry Gould Harvey VI

Also worth a look: HGHIV and his partner run The Amerikants, a project that "has been created to showcase the artwork of people who are involved in the hardcore/punk/metal scenes around the world. The ideas and art that will create this site are all based around the DIY ideal, and it is an opportunity to expose work with peers having similar interests."



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© Leslie Jean-Bart

Another interesting find at a portfolio review, Leslie Jean-Bart was sent to me by a fellow Brit so I could see his tea-stain photos, which I really enjoyed.

I was also drawn to his colorful, abstract series. For this ongoing summer project Leslie spends hours at Coney Island, studying the sea, the sand, the boardwalk, the people, their interactions. His goal is "to get back to 'seeing', to a kind of pure photography not driven so much by narrative or issues, but by light, by color, shape and form. I am completely at the mercy of the elements since the sand and tide move at times faster than a mosquito flying by one's ears in the summer."

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Samples from the 'tea stain' series

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All images © Leslie Jean-Bart

Fellow northern hemisphere dwellers: It's only 5 weeks till the shortest day.

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Bir Nabala, Palestine, West Bank, 2010

Quiet work betrays a bold personality: when complaining on Facebook about a photographer who didn't follow up on my offer of publication, Berlin-based Benedikt Partenheimer cheerily suggested I publish his work instead. After a look through the different series on his website, making an exception to my "no horses" rule, I was most taken by 'Expiration' for its cool, calm look at the West Bank city of Bir Nabala, once a commercial center but now sealed off from Jerusalem by the Wall.

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© Benedikt Partenheimer

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Based in Montreal, Ben Pobjoy is a producer, a creative director, a publisher, and still a young, hungry photographer. His photographs are straight-up, somewhat reflecting his tongue-in-cheek attitude: the latest issue of his brilliant photo newsprint publication 'The Tourist' features 40-pages on Justin Beiber by Alex Sturrock; the accompanying blog demonstrates why The Tourist and aCurator hit it off. "One of the early motivations for founding the Tourist was our collective desire to establish a platform for long-form photo essays." I find Ben's varied activities refreshing, and love his attitude - he offers high-res files of some of his images: "Bare walls are sad walls, so make some prints and spruce up your place."

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Louise Dahl-Wolfe, 1988 © Abe Frajndlich

aCurator proudly presents images from a brand-new book by an old friend and supporter, Abe Frajndlich; 'Penelope's Hungry Eyes: Portraits of the Master Photographers' just debuted at Frankfurt Book Fair. Here we touch briefly on the dozens of portraits that Abe has made across three decades. The book is not just packed with the greats but tells a tale of a young photographer, eyes opened by the unique gig of organizing Minor White's library in 1970, finding his place in history.

"The saga began in 1988 when Peter Howe, the picture editor at Life magazine at the time, asked me to photograph the 'Grandes Dames of Photography,' influential figures like Berenice Abbot, Barbara Morgan, Louise Dahl-Wolfe, and Ruth Bernhard. In the middle of the shootings I began to feel that Howe was exercising reverse sexism, by excluding the 'old boys,' and so he gave me a green light to photograph Aaron Siskind, Harry Callahan, Manuel Alvarez Bravo, Andreas Feininger, Alfred Eisenstaedt, and others; and I was on my way."

The book is in US stores as of November 1st, and on December 7th the New York Public Library will be host to a discussion between Abe; Henry Adams, author of the introductory text; and Duane Michals, one of the 101 photographers in the book.

Update: OUT NOW: Get yours

The title references Homer's 'Odyssey'

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Head of Medusa, after Rubens


Look carefully and discover the world of Chadwick Gray & Laura Spector.

These two artists have been working with museums for many years, gaining access to storage facilities, working with the curators to find paintings (mostly 19th century female portraiture), documenting them, and Laura Spector subsequently recreating them on Chadwick Gray's body. The painting process takes between 6 and 18 hours, is then photographed and printed up to the size of the original art work, sometimes a large mural.

Employing the illusion of multistable perception the final photograph often keeps your eye wandering around and around the frame.

"The recreated paintings of these historic portraits recapture the subjects in their own moment in history. The resulting photographs reveal a unification of art combining antiquity, history and technology in a contemporary context."

Most museums seem to not want people viewing their hidden treasures. Then there's examples such as New York's Metropolitan Museum who claim they don't have a storage facility. Now, as Chadwick says, somewhat ironically they themselves have a body of work that hasn't been seen by the public. So the two award-winning artists are putting together an exhibition which will be shown initially at the Pratt MWP Arts Institute in Utica, NY and it is for this they are looking for crowd-funding to produce and frame the works. Information is available over at Kickstarter. Incidentally, Chadwick & Spector are offering one of my favorite rewards: for a pledge at a certain level, wine and cheese via Skype!

There's a TEDx lecture that's fun to watch, which includes a time-lapse video of a 15 hour painting, compressed to 45 seconds.

View the aCurator magazine full screen photo feature.

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Laurel Aitken, aka The Godfather of Ska, at home, Leicester, 1980 © Janette Beckman

I have known Janette Beckman since the early 90s when I had the pleasure of being invited for a good rummage in her basement to unearth her colour trannies from the 1980s, which were then duped for resale at my agency. Over the years I've been amazed by the number of times I've said "JB shot that??" as I read the credits on an album cover or picked up an old copy of the Face. 

For her second aCurator feature, Janette wanted us to focus on Style. She generously scanned a selection from her negative archives, some frames of which have never been published before.

"In 1979 I was living in South London, working for a weekly music magazine. Taking the bus to work through Brixton I would see the local youths, West Indian-style suits, narrow highwater trousers and trilby hats, hanging out by the underground station. At night I would shoot bands like The Specials, Dennis Brown and The Clash. Black culture had a big influence on the punk and skinhead scenes. British youth loved Soul, Rhythm & Blues, Reggae and Ska and combined the dress styles of the musicians with their Dr Marten boots, braces, Harrington jackets and loafers. For British working class youth trying to find an identity, clothes, fashion and music went hand in hand."

After much harassment by those who know what gems she's sitting on, Janette finally caved in and became a blogger this year. Visit "Archive of Attitude" for a peek at her shots from the past three decades which she posts alongside her current work.

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"I might even show you my photograph album. You might even see a face in it which might remind you of your own, of what you once were. You might see faces of others, in shadow, or cheeks of others, turning, or jaws, or backs of necks, or eyes, dark under hats, which remind you of others, whom you once knew, whom you thought long dead, but from whom you will still receive a sidelong glance, if you can face the good ghost. Allow the love of the good ghost. They possess all that emotion... trapped. Bow to it. It will assuredly never release them, but who knows... what relief... it may give to them... who knows how they may quicken... in their chains, in their glass jars. You think it cruel... to quicken them, when they are fixed, imprisoned? No...no. Deeply, deeply, they wish to respond to your touch, to your look, and when you smile, their joy... is unbounded. And so I say to you, tender the dead, as you yourself would be tendered, now, in what you would describe as your life." Harold Pinter from 'No Man's Land' requested by Pinter to be spoken at his funeral. Via Steve Pyke

Los Muertos, Mummies of Guanajuato, opens at Art Jail, 50 Eldridge Street, NYC on September 23rd, 2011, with a reception on Thursday 22nd - hope to see you there.

Full the full screen magazine photo feature.

Read the story behind the photographs on Joerg Colberg's Conscientious.

© Steve Pyke

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Onion ©
Ajay Malghan

Ajay Malghan hadn't been in touch since last year, when I looked through some very different, very personal work of his. I had been impressed with his attitude towards a grave diagnosis followed by multiple surgeries (see his light-hearted statement here.)

Studying hard in the interim, and taking advantage of rapidly-disappearing resources (a photo store going out of business; the impending removal of color darkrooms from his school) Ajay produced this camera-less series of fruit and veg - his statement on humans' modification of the natural world around them.

"Naturally Modified deals with how our intake has forced us to modify our crops in order to keep up with our methods of consumption. By altering genes and modifying these crops we're altering nature without fully understanding the consequences. There's a reason the cycle of corn (and other crops) takes as long as it does and I think we're opening up a Pandora's box by speeding up the process.

Nature has developed its cycles over thousands of years and we've managed to alter (them) in the last couple of decades... Our imposition on nature is distorting the line between what is needed and what we construct to support our needs. This is why (in this series) a lemon is purple or an onion is red; because with genetic modification, pesticides and fertilizers, they're no longer what we thought they were." Ajay Malghan

Ajay plans to make this body of work his thesis and aims to present large, mounted prints.

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Tiny Ropes of Misery, 2008. Collaboration with photographer Anja Schaffner

Riitta Ikonen is a self-described "interdisciplinary artist creating visionary images through costume and collaboration." Working across different media, Riitta produces delightful work, insightful work, political work or a combo thereof. Everything on her website is enjoyable (try 'Fantasticology'); she's done some really cool things ('Mail Art') and won some wicked awards (Shortlisted for the London 2012 Olympic Bridges arts commission).

Riitta was born and raised in Finland, and now lectures at the University of Brighton in England.  She has exhibited worldwide regularly since 2004 and been involved in a myriad of creative ventures. Hat tip to photographer Janette Beckman for the intro via her pal, artist Ian Wright.

This was a tough edit to make so better visit her website and see what else you might enjoy.

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