Magazine


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Harold Ross' series 'Night' is other-worldly, uncanny, ethereal, and rooted in his childhood fear of the bogeyman.

Harold is a practitioner of light painting: a specialized technique which requires working in a completely dark environment, opening the camera for an extended period of time, and 'painting' the light onto the subject. This reveals greater shape, texture and color, and is very much sculpting with light. What you see in his work cannot exist in nature nor in one moment in time. Instead, it's the result of a 'merging' or 'gathering' of light.

"When I was young, I often went camping in the mountains of southern New Mexico. One of the strongest memories from those trips is being absolutely terrified of whatever was beyond the light of our campfire. It didn't help that my older brother, Norman, and his friends told me horrific stories! During those sleepless nights, I was convinced that some murderous renegade or rabid coyote was just waiting to pounce on me.

I'm sure this has something to do with why I started this project. In some ways, I think that I'm dealing with the childhood fear of being out in nature in the dark. As it turns out, the first image I shot in this series (Quaker Cemetery Wall) was photographed in a place you would have never found me as a kid! I'm not afraid anymore, at least not when I have a helper with me...

One of my motivations in making these pictures is curiosity. I'm curious about just what will be revealed by the very descriptive lighting techniques that I employ. I don't really start shooting projects at the beginning, but somewhere in the middle.

The details that are present in these images can't be seen normally, as the lighting is built up over time. Normally, when using artificial light, especially light painting, one tries to be consistent with direction of light in order to make the lighting appear as natural as possible. In this landscape work, I'm not overly concerned with this, and, in fact, I'm interested in the interplay between the reality of the scene and the purposeful artificiality of the lighting." - Harold Ross, February 2011.

Two images from the series were selected for the 10th Annual International Photography Competition at Fraser Gallery in Bethesda, MD, on view through March 5th, 2011.

View the magazine full screen photography feature.

Get info about Harold's Light Painting Workshops in PA.

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Brian David Stevens is an excellent photojournalist, based in London, who's been in touch with his various consistently great series over the last few months. I ran his portraits of WWII veterans 'They That Are Left' in the blog last year, and was fascinated by this new project on the British artist Billy Childish.

Stevens spent the day with Childish (aka William Charlie Hamper, Bill Hamper, Bill Hamper-Childish, Guy Hamper, Jack Ketch, Gus Claudius, Danger Bill Henderson) at Childish's home in Kent. I not only love Brian's photographs but am excited to have been introduced to the intense world of Mr. Childish. Be warned: if you go there, you may not return.

View the full screen magazine photo feature.

Listen to some noise.

Billy Childish © Brian David Stevens


01_Mikael_Kennedy.jpgMikael Kennedy told me he spent the first dozen or so years of his life convinced he was going to die, and that when he didn't, he began seeing the world differently, wanting to experience everything he could. These photographs are a sampling from the results of Mikael's recent years of domestic and international "wandering around" with his Polaroid camera: couch surfing; sleeping on beaches, in vans; nomadic. Ambivalent at first about a feature, unsure about the format, the photographs have grown on me. I've found myself daydreaming, enjoying a vicarious moment.

Mikael has a new limited edition book available for pre-order, 7 in his series 'Passport To Trespass'. More info here ; heads-up - all volumes sold out, with volume 6 going in four weeks. Hunt them Out' is a limited edition booklet printed in conjunction with the release of these 20 Polaroids for sale through a special online exhibition of the prints available only through Peter Hay Halpert Fine Art Gallery in NYC. Read the back story on Mikael's wanderings.

View the full screen magazine photo feature.

Melaena, Cayos Cochinos, Honduras 2009 © Mikael Kennedy

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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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