Magazine


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This arresting feature was guest curated by Louisa Curtis of Chatterbox Enterprises.

"I met photographer Art Murphy a few years ago when he was also working as an accomplished retoucher and printer in New York. Fast-forward a few years, add in a life-changing move from the city to the Catskills, and an already-existing interest in things past, and we have a new fine art project, inspired by nature, studying 380 million year-old fossils that are found in abundance around his home. Art has created an exquisite body of work that one minute transports us into feeling we are truly underwater, exploring for hidden treasures at the bottom of the inland sea, and then another that might remind us of ancient life forms, marine invertebrates that existed all those years ago. The images have a softness and subtlety of color that seem unlikely for such crusty remnants of old age. They are, quite simply, beautiful. Last year, prompted by an exhibition opportunity, Art's work was presented as a one-of-a-kind art book in the style of an old Catskills scrapbook, where a link was examined between the painters of the Hudson River School of Art and the earliest geologists who explored the country. To see more about the project, the book and the images, please visit his website." - Louisa Curtis

"My images are an attempt to focus on the intrinsic beauty of these early life forms and provide the viewer with a more visceral and emotional interaction - a connection between the distant past and the present, what is buried all around us as part of the evolutionary trail of life here in the Hudson Valley. As I see it, this work tends to bridge a gap between art and science. The visual manifestations of science and nature contain an often-overlooked wealth of aesthetic experience. I have the good fortune of living in a most beautiful area, tucked in the woods between the Hudson River and the eastern edge of the Catskills. Thanks to its unique geologic history, fossils abound, specifically invertebrate fossils from the Devonian Period. In many locations it sometimes seems that every other rock contains a fossil. They can appear to be so commonplace that, aside from schoolchildren hunting for them on science field trips, most of us stumble over them with barely a notice. Not long ago, I took the time to look a bit closer and was amazed at what I found. The images that appear here are part of a long-term project, a decidedly unscientific one that reflects the intrinsic beauty of these creatures from an incomprehensibly distant past. In removing any reference to suggest scale, they appear as beautiful sculptural objects seeming to grow out of the surrounding rock.

I have often said that, while the Hudson River painters hiked the area they carried hammer, chisel, and sketch book, I carry hammer, chisel, and digital camera. I shoot while out in the field, particularly when I find something too big to carry back to the studio. Most often, though, I carry bags full of rocks home. Some of the fossils are free-standing. Most are buried in rock. Once you become familiar, you can tell that certain rocks will have greater or lesser possibility of containing fossils. I carefully begin cracking them open and then the fun begins. Cracks in the rocks will often lead to well defined fossils and then I explore the patterns and designs that emerge with the camera. Sometimes a single large rock can have me busy for days." - Art Murphy

Thanks to Louisa for her work on this story. View the full screen magazine photo feature.

Fossil ©  Art Murphy

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London-based Katie Ell is a colleague of aCurator-featured photographer Michael Corridore who kindly directed her to the magazine, prompting her to submit 'A Piece of My Mind', the latest collaboration by Katie and Creative Director Paul Alexandrou.

"From the wildly irreverent to the deeply heartfelt, the series documents the different words and messages people choose to have tattooed on their bodies. Collected over a nine-month period, the project explores the power of language, the line between public and private, and the universal need to share what's on our mind."

An exhibition opens in London at Tapestry, 52 Frith Street, W1, from January 10th to March 10th, 2011.

View the full screen magazine photo feature.

Katie is a commercial photographer shooting celebrity portraits, fashion and art projects. A trip to her website is a good time.

Sparky © Katie Ell

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This hooded man kicking in a door led the submission from Nashville photographer Chris Hollo. "The Door Project began as an idea on a return flight. It occurred to me that you never really know what to expect when you answer the front door." The concept tickled me. Having spent the first half of my life in the suburbs of London, I could relate, but as a resident of New York City I have a techno-tune video intercom and a doorman (whose intercom ring is reminiscent of an 80's novelty car horn) at the entrance to my apartment building, and a spy-hole at my front door. As aCurator, I sometimes crave a bit more humour in the submissions, so I thank Chris for helping start the new year with a dose thereof. 


I was really pleased when Chris told me that he is an adjunct at Nashville State Community College and he references aCurator in one of the classes he teaches, Special Topics, a project photography class where the students get to declare a project, write up a project statement and then spend the semester working on it before exhibiting it publicly. You can see some of his students' work here.

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aCurator is pleased to begin a new year with an artist whose work I have admired for some time. 

Jen Davis' photographs have been widely exhibited since she graduated with her BA in 2002 (she subsequently gained an MFA in Photography from Yale University School of Art in 2008), and I have seen them in many, varied locations, most recently as part of FlakPhoto's 100 Portraits series. Brian Clamp introduced me to her photographs some time ago. It wasn't until I met her at Aperture's Snap! Benefit* in November, that I worked up courage to press her about a feature. She kindly pulled the images together during the holidays and here we are. Thanks to mutual friend, photographer Adam Krause, for endorsing me.

View the magazine full screen photo feature.

Untitled No. 34, 2010 © Jen Davis

*click through for a great pic of Jen at the event!

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Urszula Tarasiewicz is a graduate of the Polish National Film School. She says she occupies her time with "large format prints, making modern photo murals with minimalistic landscapes, pictures for interior decoration and film, theater and television scenography." She's currently working 14 hours a day on a movie set.

Her latest body of personal work is 'New Urban Legends', a project featuring local children dressing up as heroes and villains from their neighborhood. Here we present a selection from 'Firemen'.

Urszula shoots on a Hassleblad, on film.  

View the magazine full screen photo feature.

Check out some of Urszula's books.

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As of today, December 13th, 2010, a repeal of the heinous 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' act looks to be beyond hope. The act prohibits any homosexual or bisexual person from disclosing his or her sexual orientation or from speaking about any homosexual relationships while serving in the United States armed forces. Any person supporting this inhuman, impractical and absurd effort, rooted in religion, makes me about as mad as anything. I am humbled to publish a selection from Jo Ann's series 'Proud to Serve'.

'Proud to Serve' is a portrait project featuring Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) American service members who served their country in silence or were discharged under the current law, 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'.

There are roughly 65,000 gay service members currently serving in the armed forces. Since 1994, nearly 14,000 service members have been discharged for being gay. There are more than one million gay veterans.

Documentary photographer Jo Ann Santangelo is putting a human face on the statistics of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'. Over the last two years she has visited the homes and documented the stories of these men and women. More than half of the portraits featured in 'Proud to Serve' took place on Jo Ann's recent, twenty-eight day, 10,167-mile road trip around the United States. All images are available in a self-published eighty-two page, full-color, limited edition photography book.
 
'Proud to Serve' is currently on exhibit at The LGBT Center 208 West 13th Street, NYC.

View the full screen magazine photo feature.

Corporal Robert Potter © Jo Ann Santangelo

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Robert Herman is a true New Yorker with a body of photographs to prove it. The many images he's made for his upcoming book "The New Yorkers" are a great insight into the past 20+ years of culture, fashion and the changing environment in the metropolis. But Robert went to South Africa recently and I was interested to see how he'd report back.

"This was my first visit to South Africa and I fell in love with the country and its people, feeling welcomed and very much at home.  The 'revolution' is still fresh here and going on a road trip through the southern Cape inspired me. The people have not become cynical as of yet, but it is a complex land with many obstacles to overcome. Although it is a country with abundant natural resources, the wealth is in very few people's hands. The tension of economics and race is something that I find extremely compelling to try and capture. I find many parallels to America's past and present in South Africa. Empathizing with all sides, I look forward to witnessing, on a return trip, their continuing attempt to make a fair and unified country from the promise that was the end of Apartheid." - Robert Herman, December 2010



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Untitled, 2009, from the series 'Detroit' © Ian Willms

With a powerful spread of talent working around the world, Boreal Collective is an example of a small group of enlightened photographers coming together with their own voices and their own brand. With agencies disappearing and editorial assignments of any import few and far between, I expect to see more like this in the future.

In this feature, images from:

Ian Willms: "The photographs in 'Detroit' were made with a $30 plastic camera, manufactured en-masse in the 1980s for working-class families in China. The camera uses 120 format film and is equipped with a single element plastic lens. The body of the camera leaks light and scratches the negatives, while the primitive lens blurs and distorts the images. This camera was the absolute minimum amount of equipment available for me to create this series of photographs; anything less would have been ineffective and anything more would have been excessive."

Jonathan Taggart: "Ninety per cent of ecovillages and intentional communities don't make it past the planning stage or fail within the first year, and it is easy to see why: environmental ideals come in a variety of strengths and focuses, and the shared goals that initially unite members can later widen the rifts between them. While Whole Village has moved steadily towards its goal of sustainability since its founding just a few years ago, the success of the community rests as much on achieving social sustainability as environmental sustainability."

Rafal Gersak: "On a Friday afternoon... many can be found spending time with friends at a local pool, flying kites or visiting a nearby lake. For some there are even dog fights and the country's only golf course is located on the outskirts of the city. In these moments, the conflict seems a very distant thing. But reminders of war's long-held grasp on Afghan society are hard to miss."

Brett Gundlock: "The powerful, violent moves intimidate at first; but the rawness of the arm swings and chest pops is the voice of the dancer. This story is about a group of friends, each from a completely different background, brought together by Krump."

Aaron Vincent Elkaim: "Aaron specializes in editorial photography and has prioritized his personal work focusing on documentary photography with a cultural investment. He believes that the greatest photography is open ended; he doesn't believe in a beginning middle or end to a photo story but simply wishes to illuminate it, urging the viewer to ask questions rather than simply providing answers."  

View the magazine full screen photo feature

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Dave Land is a British-born, Berlin-based photographer, who was first inspired to create by the photographs of O. Winston Link. With an exhibition on in Berlin right now, aCurator presents a selection of Land's images of decay and destruction. They are taken in and around Berlin and capture what is left of history - slowly deteriorating and subject to vandalism. You can see the show at Galerie am Rathaus, Berlin-Schöneberg, until November 25th.*

"I first need a motif which I know will enable me to create something unique. Often, I will revisit a location to improve the shot if necessary. I use layers quite a lot, but hopefully subtly. I have some custom layers which I will apply to an image, sometimes all over the image or maybe just in one small area - it depends. I may work on an image for a day or two, sometimes a week. I try various ideas out until I have something I'm happy with and often that never happens! Each image that I do finish though is unique."

View the full screen magazine photo feature

*Exhibition extended by popular demand, through November 28.
Stage Left © Dave Land

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Another accomplished youngster. I'd seen one of Argentinian photographer Alejandro Chaskielberg's images illustrating a fiction piece in the New Yorker earlier this year. More recently, when I saw he was part of the Brighton Photo Festival, I visited his website and was just as thrilled by his work as I was the first time I saw it. I am particularly drawn to this series, 'Borders'; as Alejandro puts it, he is working with photography "in the border of the reality. Creating fictional scenarios with real people and situations." Chaskielberg shot on 6x6 positive film with a Rolleiflex.

Other projects include a unique series on the Argentine financial crisis in 2001, and more recently his ongoing project 'The High Tide: Native Islanders and the Community of the Paraná River Delta' which documents the Guaraní culture, and for which he received the 2009 Burn Emerging Photographer Grant. Chaskielberg was included in PDN's 30, 2009, 'Our Choice of New and Emerging Photographers to Watch'. And speaking of watching, here's Chaskielberg being interviewed in Brighton.

View the full screen magazine photo feature.

© Alejandro Chaskielberg

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