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In one order or another, I saw Jaimie Warren's monograph (published by Tim Barber's Tiny Vices and available from Aperture) and a wonderful wall of small prints with Higher Pictures at the Association of International Photography Art Dealers show in New York, and she stuck firmly in my head. Perhaps there's just not been enough joy in the photography I've seen in recent years, so I am delighted to present a sampling of her self-portraits and humorous observations.

Jaimie Warren is a curator, performance artist, photographer, and co-founder of a non-profit community arts program and faux public access television show called 'Whoop Dee Doo'. With a website titled 'Don't You Feel Better' you know you've been set up for a good time.

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© Jaimie Warren

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Guest curator Brian Clamp's preview of Burke's exhibition at ClampArt.

The intertidal zone is the ground that is exposed to air at low tide and is under water at high tide. It is an intermediated place where opposites commingle and coexist. Jesse Burke's series 'Intertidal' addresses the ambivalent domain between the heroic ideal of masculinity and the true reality of being male. Through the juxtaposition of photographs, Burke constructs an autobiographical investigation of the incongruousness of the fragility of masculinity.

Burke writes "I photograph my life and the lives of the men in my social and family circles in an attempt to understand from where our ideas of masculinity originate. I am most drawn to the moments that are representative of vulnerability or emasculation; where there is a presence of a rupture or wound inflicted in some way, whether it be physical, emotional, or metaphorical. I employ concepts such as male bonding and peer influence, masculine rites and rituals, homosocial desire, physical exertion, and our connection to one another as well as the landscape that we interact within to expose these instances."

Burke sets his subjects against the backdrop of his native New England, both embracing and critiquing his own absorption and assimilation of the masculine ideal and his ultimate construction of self.

Jesse Burke is an instructor at the Rhode Island School of Design where he received his MFA in photography in 2005. His work has been exhibited in such cities as New York, Tokyo, Milan, Stockholm, Madrid, Miami, and Los Angeles. The exhibition at ClampArt is complemented by the artist's monograph of the same title from Decode (Seattle, Washington, 2008) with an essay by critic Nate Lippens.

© Jesse Burke, "Father", 2006, Courtesy of ClampArt, New York City

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John Angerson lives and works in London. His photographs illustrate several books including 'St. George's Crypt. Entertaining Angels' about a homeless centre in Leeds, and the fascinating 'Love Power Sacrifice' about Britain's Jesus Army, an evangelical religious sect. I recommend 'Sustain' on John's website, a beautiful project on dying and displaced fishing communities.

Sleeping Rough: Living on the streets of Britain.

"The latest local government homelessness statistics suggest approximately 80,000 households in England are homeless. With this in mind, photographer John Angerson spent a year engaging with a group of society that is often considered problematic for image-makers.  The most common depiction of this marginalized group is imagery of people with weather beaten faces living in extreme conditions. Rather than depict the despair of being homeless Angerson wanted to convey a feeling of what it is like to live on the streets and it was this concept that gave him the impetus to create landscape images at night.

After conducting interviews with the service users of hostels and homeless charities Angerson began to build up a selection of locations across England known for being destinations for overnight sleeping. By using only the artificial light found at night he was forced to make exposures of up to 90 minutes for each photograph. This more oblique approach of documenting the dimly lit stairwells of shopping malls, or strange corners of tourist areas that would normally be packed with day trippers, invites the viewer into another world, evoking a sense of how it might feel to sleep rough."

Neville Street, Leeds © John Angerson

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Ingvar Kenne is a man with a keen eye and a sense of humor - the opener for his website might have you in stitches. He is a prolific photographer with an abundance of cool projects to enjoy. Born in Sweden and dividing his time between New York and Sydney, Australia, Kenne has been regularly exhibited worldwide since he graduated in 1991. He has published 2 monographs, shot campaigns for Toyota, IBM, Sony and Microsoft, and produces breath-taking travel photography and portraits.

We decided to publish Karaoke, an ongoing project spanning several Asian countries.

"Karaoke bars and clubs are casual entertainment up front, and, sometimes, facades for brothels, drug dens and massage parlors with a happy ending out back. They play an important social role and are relevant to the positive makeup of the neighbourhood, but they also become places of despair, loneliness and injustice. These images try to move within the space where the two opposite emotions meet."

Kenne is repped in the US by Vernon Jolly.

Menlian, China © Ingvar Kenne

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"It's hard to believe that when I began this project in 2006 the issue of gay youth was just beginning to gain national attention, most notably with a cover story in Time Magazine titled 'The Battle Over Gay Teens' (Oct. 2005). The article stated 'Kids are disclosing their homosexuality with unprecedented regularity - and they are doing so much younger. The average gay person now comes out just before or after graduating high school. In 1997 there were approximately 100 gay-straight alliances (GSAs) - clubs for gay and gay-friendly kids - on U.S. high school campuses. Today there are at least 3,000 GSAs - nearly 1 in 10 high schools has one. In the 2004-05 academic year, GSAs were established at U.S. schools at the rate of three per day.'

Since then, in just four years, the issue has become a kind of fait accompli. Americans may continue to argue about teenage sexual expression, school sanctioned GSAs and gay marriage, but clearly all are here to stay.

The idea for this project arose from my own desire as a gay teenager to be given a voice. I desperately wanted to be made valid in the eyes of my peers. Coming out (and of age) in the 80's proved to be quite difficult for me and many others. I'll never forget being beat-up by a high-school classmate as I'm sure all the other kids who suffered because of their sexuality will not forget. It was precisely this kind of willful, painful defiance that I wanted to capture in these portraits. But what you may also see is the delight that is the domain of a new generation... the sheer joy of being able to stand up and be seen without shame." - M. Sharkey, Brooklyn, April 2010

So far, this project has taken Sharkey to New York, California, Colorado, Florida & Washington State.

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See more of the project.

DeMarques © M. Sharkey

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"I take a cultural documentary approach to my photography as a means to promote democracy."

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When we met, Ashok Sinha had just returned from two years photographing in Asia. "While working as a photographer on an extended trip to China, I became increasingly aware of the plight of the ethnic Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities that inhabit the northwestern province of Xinjiang. As a result of the government's efforts to assimilate the Xinjiang peoples' cultural uniqueness into the 'official' mainstream of Chinese society, the local culture was increasingly under threat and I realized I needed to document the traditional lifestyle of Uyghurs before it changed forever.

Uyghurs are a Turkic-Muslim ethnicity and one of China's fifty-five nationalities. Along with other Kyrgyz, Tajik and Kazhak minorities, Uyghurs have inhabited the Xinjiang region of northwest China for centuries.

The existing body of work from my first trip is an attempt to create a visual record of the Uyghurs' traditional culture and lifestyle as a testament to their unique identity. I hope to travel to Xinjiang to continue my work and revisit the Uyghur community in the aftermath of the latest developments of the last year and a half." - Ashok Sinha.

A Xinjiang family of Kyrgyz heritage © Ashok Sinha

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Dirk Anschütz, aka Knipser, is a sports, portrait, and landscape photographer - sometimes combining all three. 'Giddy Up' is a cool series which features BMX bikers Matt Beringer, Cam Wood and Tate Roskelley. Dirk felt there was a lot of images of these guys in a more urban setting, saying "Salt Lake City has quite a few top notch BMX riders. It was good fun to get them into the great Utah landscape to perform their tricks."

Dirk's launched a new blog, 'The Heavy Light', in which you can enjoy the back story on his recent film noir-ish photo story 'Louise Cypher's Suitcase'.

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"In 'The Deconstruction of the United States Dollar', I am depicting the front and reverse sides of the one hundred dollar bill.

Being the largest denomination that is in current circulation, the one hundred dollar bill once represented strength. However, on a global scale, this note no longer can keep afloat. With its purchasing power diminishing, the hundred dollar bill is becoming a mere diluted piece of paper in a falling economy.

I have created these images to illustrate the repetitiveness of the downward trajectory of the USD that has been plaguing America for the past eight years. The decline of the USD has affected the lives of many individuals from all over the world. As the currency of our nation has changed our behavior, I have changed our nation's currency.

Each piece is 20 x 48 inches, archival pigment prints on Hahnemuehle Photo Rag Satin paper." - Zachary Bako

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"The sun had set and the sky was a strange electric blue; here was just an empty patch by the shores of Lake Michigan, a small pier, a grove of trees shuddering in the wind under a glaringly bright streetlight, and a nondescript park building. It was November, and as the Chicago wind picked up, it was a challenge to keep my fingers warm enough to work my wooden field camera. I set up the equipment on that cold shore, and made a long exposure, encapsulating the icy nothingness that represented the approximate location where the largest pavilions of the Columbian Exposition of 1893 - the Agriculture Building and the Manufacture & Liberal Arts Building - had once stood.

My current body of work is an examination of how the sites and structures of world's fairs - conceived and built for a temporary, specific purpose - interact in today's unforeseen environment. Some of the most important architects of the 19th and 20th century were commissioned to construct fair pavilions, dazzling, unusual structures incorporating the most cutting-edge materials and engineering prowess possible at the time. Among them are McKim, Mead, and White, Louis Sullivan, Gustave Eiffel, Le Corbusier, Ando, Mies Van der Rohe, and the landscaping of Frederick Law Olmstead.

Tragically, these extraordinary structures are often immediately demolished, reappropriated for far less grand ambitions, or simply neglected. There is a seeming arbitrariness to what survives. In Philadelphia, two of the four remnants from 1876 are fair toilet buildings. In Paris, there are national icons such as the Eiffel Tower, the Grand Palais, and the Palais de Tokyo. In Flushing Meadows Park of New York, Philip Johnson's New York State Pavilion of 1964 sits in sad decrepitude, its stocky concrete support columns chipped and covered in ivy. I became entranced with the fantastical buildings overgrown with weeds, often neglected and ill-fitting among the sleek, modern high-rises looming around them. I use time of year and day - as well as a lush or stark color palette - to further convey the atmosphere of these sometimes-ghostly sites." Read the rest of Jade's statement.

New York 1964 World's Fair, "Peace Through Understanding," Airplane, 2009 © Jade Doskow

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Snap Galleries, specialists in rare and exclusive music photography, are hosting a
retrospective exhibition for acclaimed photographer Simon Larbalestier in April 2010. The exhibition brings together, for the first time anywhere in the world, two distinct yet complementary bodies of work by Larbalestier: historic studio based photographs that appeared on Pixies record sleeves from the 1980s and 90's, and new images created in South East Asia in 2008/9 specifically for the Pixies' box set project, Minotaur.

"Decay, isolation and the visual impression of time ravaged objects were key elements in Larbalestier's work, and photographs from this early period were created using what Larbalestier describes as his 'scientific approach'. This was characterized by elaborately staged sets, where images were shot mainly on black and white film on large static cameras, and then sepia toned later in the darkroom to add feeling and atmosphere. Early work such as Come on Pilgrim and Surfer Rosa were shot on Polaroid type 55 film, which yields both a positive print and a negative image that can be used in an enlarger. The distinctive patterned borders of type 55 film served to heighten the sense of decay and otherworldliness." - Guy White, Director, Snap.

The entire exhibition, with supporting commentary from Simon, is also being released as an iPhone and iPad app.

Snap Galleries Press release.pdf

Monkey Gone to Heaven, from 'Doolittle' © Simon Larbalestier

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