Photographers


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© Troy Colby

Troy Colby shared this intimate project during the PhotoNOLA portfolio reviews in December of last year. Troy brought so much emotion to our meeting both through the photographs of his little boy, and through our conversation. Struggling to make sense for himself and his kid, he's been making these loving but painful portraits; he worries his kid is not keen on his dad making photos while he is suffering, but I hope that sharing them might help other families dealing with migraine.

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This will pass, I promise you.

"The nights are long and our days are short. Sometimes the moments slip past us. Other times they move so slow that you are unable to hold still. Your determination keeps you going until your body is tired and hurting. This frustration of having to stop is tough and I know that it puts a pressure on you that we are unable to see. Same for your migraines, I know that it is frustrating. No child of your age should have this pain or feel this way but yet you keep on.  You have always felt the need to always keep moving and busy. I am sorry you have picked up this trait from me, if I could change it I would.  I am still learning to deal with and handle your mood swings from total excitement to the sudden changes of fear, anger and sadness."

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"For me as your dad, I wonder many times where and what did I do wrong? I know this is not necessarily the case. It leaves me searching and wanting to understand. I picked up my camera really not knowing where it would lead. I know you do not want your image taken and for that I am sorry. I have found in using my camera in capturing these moments, I am able to approach this with a new level of understanding and peace. It allows me to be in a state where I can be a better dad for you during this time. I hope that all of this will pass as time goes on for you."

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All images © Troy Colby

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Check out these lovely portraits from Jonah Meyers. They are a record of his visit to Lombok Island, Indonesia. Go full screen for full appreciation.


(Lombok sounds pretty nice!)

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Interview between our outstanding contributing editor, Efrem Zelony-Mindell, and "badass" photographer, Patrice Helmar.

EFREM ZELONY-MINDELL: Excited to be talking to you about your work from Reykjavík. Why don't we start by telling a bit about the why and what of the work we are looking at here.

PATRICE HELMAR: I first went to Reykjavík in 2012 to attend a workshop with Mary Ellen Mark. At the time I was a public school teacher, and bartender living in Alaska. I'd never had the luxury of devoting all of my time to making photographs. I fell in love with Iceland, or more accurately Icelanders. Being there was familiar and foreign at the same time. Iceland has so much culturally and politically going for it that I wish for as an Alaskan - as an American. Northerners share certain traits: strong mythologies, love of drink, resilience, an understanding of darkness and light - both in our physical world, and within. 

EZM: Your practice of people is personally fascinating to me. You make first interactions personal; it reads in the work. Is there a most important part for you in gaining peoples' intrigue?

PH: No matter what we do as people, or photographers, our intentions in regard to others are clear. Very few people are able to hide how they feel. If I can avoid inserting myself, I do. It's not that I'm invisible, as some photographers describe themselves. I'm there. I show myself. I'm like a bull in a China Shop, hard to miss. A better door, than a window. I generally just smile, or nod - in New York, most people are so busy it's a non issue. If someone asks why I'm photographing them, I'm honest about it. Thomas Roma taught me that - if you think someone's beautiful, it's okay to say that. It works if you mean it.

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© Patrice Helmar

EZM: Do you find lasting relationships with these people? Maybe lasting isn't even important, passionate may be more significant?

PH: The photographs I made in Iceland, I spent days and nights with people. I'd follow folks home from the bar, and we'd spend evenings walking around the city together - or I'd find myself at an after hours party. I returned in 2014, two years later and met back up with people I'd photographed, and met new characters. My friend Dyrfínna is someone I met in my favorite bar in downtown Reykjavík. We're still in contact. I photographed her on both trips. We say, "I love you" to each other. 

Passion is possible, but it isn't always relevant. It's about making the work. The anecdotes don't matter - the photographs do. I'm not always going to be around to talk about them, and that's something I keep in mind.

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© Patrice Helmar

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© Patrice Helmar

EZM: If the photograph is most important then why the people? Is that just happenstance? 

PH: What I meant was my personal anecdotes don't matter. Recounting my experiences or feelings, and doing a song and dance to try to make someone care more about my work is cheap. It's in the photograph. Happenstance is important. Being ready to meet chance, yes that's part of it. I prefer the word luck, and that doesn't come often without a good amount of work. 

EZM: Are you excited about anything right now? Where's your luck looking these days?

PH: I wouldn't say I'm excited, but I'm hopeful. I keep making photographs, and that's life affirming. Luck is like the weather. I'm superstitious, and try not to talk about it. I grew up fishing in Alaska - if someone commented on it being nice out on the water, it was tempting fate. I'm always afraid of the other shoe falling.

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© Patrice Helmar

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© Patrice Helmar

EZM: I'm of the opinion that music and literature is pretty important to you. I also think it's pretty important to photography in general. I'd love to close by sharing a favorite ending that makes me think of your Reykavik work. I'll share mine, if you'll share me yours. Mine comes from John Logan's play RED.
 
Rothko: "You need to get out there now, into the thick of it, shake your fist at them, talk their ear off...
Make them look. When I was your age, art was a lonely thing: no galleries, no collecting, no critics, no money. We didn't have mentors. We didn't have parents. We were alone. But it was a great time, because we had nothing to lose and a vision to gain. Okay?"

PH: "It is a curious emotion, this certain homesickness I have in mind. With Americans, it is a national trait, as native to us as the roller-coaster or the jukebox. It is no simple longing for the home town or country of our birth. The emotion is Janus-faced: we are torn between a nostalgia for the familiar and an urge for the foreign and strange. As often as not, we are homesick most for the places we have never known." - Carson McCullers

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© Patrice Helmar

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All images © Patrice Helmar

Patrice Helmar is a graduate from Columbia University's MFA program. She lives and works in New York City where she teaches and lectures. Helmar has shown her work domestically and internationally at various institutions and galleries including the Jewish Museum, National Museum of Iceland, Houston Center for Photography, Fisher Landau Center, and the Anchorage Museum.

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David McIntyre's several years of wandering the 13 mile length of Broadway are waiting to be collected into a book. You buy one, one gets donated. Win-win!

"Pushing back against the voices of intolerance by celebrating the beauty and strength of New York's diversity."

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"This project aims to publish a hardcover book of social documentary photographs taken on Broadway, not the theater district but the 13 mile long street that runs through the entirety of Manhattan. The collection is a meditation on the city's diversity and the tolerance that holds it together. 

"I'm launching this in this moment because I want to be proactive and push back against the intolerant voices that are overpowering the conversation and sowing the seeds of division by presenting a celebration of the great strength that comes from embracing diversity. New York's success over the years, it's growth into one of the worlds capital cities is proof of this. 

"In a desire to spread the word beyond the 'bubble' of Manhattan and other urban centers I'll going to match every backer by donating a copy to free to a school or college."

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All images © David McIntyre


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The "Ruffle a Summer Soire" dress, à la kale. Tea-length, naturally. Accents include turmeric and quinoa belt, 
lime, and turmeric shades, and tomato and red quinoa corset heels to elevate the overall presentation.

Images © Evelina Reinhart

A fabulous new project from Evelina Reinhart, a photographer whose work with food brought us The Joy of Eating, a photo series-turned-book about food for acid reflux sufferers that she made as her thesis project at SVA. Next up is 'Our Appetite for Trends.'

"They come and go as quickly as the next runway show. Technically, perhaps, they're comestibles, but what we're devouring are trends. If it's not in Vogue it's not going into our mouths."

Read all the color stories over at Evy's website, and see prints this week at Gallery 128, as part of The Fun Food Show, opening December 1st, 2016. Private reception, December 9th, 2016, 6-9pm. 128 Rivington Street, NYC.

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Evy tells me it took about 30 hours to create one image. She's a fantastic food stylist. "The canvas was large, 30 x 35 inches, and it was filled with real food and then photographed." 
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Being on the receiving end of all sorts of submissions each day is a privilege I do not take for granted. Blaise Djilo is a photographer in the Cameroon who sent over an email upon discovering aCurator. Here is a small sample of his photographs of the everyday. You should also check out his photographs of Japanese dance Butoh performed in Africa.

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This series and story from Martin Adolfsson had me sitting up straight! I know Martin through having worked on the "Photography and Architecture" blog a couple of years ago, and he keeps in touch with fab new work. 
 
Here he talks about this project. "In the middle of the Utah desert, lays America's largest nation for American natives (Navajo Nation). During the last decade in this otherwise windblown and red-stoned area there has been a total change. Out of the sand, silhouettes of beautiful architect-designed houses will undoubtedly catch your eye in the wild sunsets."

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"Every year a team of architectural students from the University of Utah take their pencils and move down to the nearby village Bluff, where they choose a family of four, or maybe a married couple or a single poet, native Americans who will receive an environmentally friendly house of their dreams."

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"The architects become the builders in this unique experience of architectural innovation. At the same time, Utah is a state that wants to eliminate homelsessness, and Design Build Bluff intends to make one house for every family on the reservation."

See more of these fabulous homes at Design Build Bluff.

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All photos © Martin Adolfsson

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 Give it up for Aunt Doll! Sharing her Aunt's realness with the rest of us in a rather fabulous fashion, Michelle Maguire, a photographer and prop stylist based in Columbus, Ohio, has published a "small-edition artist's book featuring eye-popping, hand-printed images of my blunt, funny, completely unimpressed Italian-American great-aunt, Doll, with colorful Aunt Doll anecdotes by my husband Aaron Beck."

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"Aunt Doll, age 84, has lived in Canton, Ohio, her entire life. She cusses, loves cured meats, knows more about the NFL than you do, plays strip mall slot machines with her vegetarian hairdresser of 42 years, isn't trying to be funny but is, worships the sun from her concrete-slab patio, and frets about nothing except her beloved Italian bread causing her to pack on the pounds."

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"Aunt Doll makes the most if it. The gist of her story: enjoy every chicken wing while you holler at the Browns on your gigantic analog TV, because we aren't here forever. She'll cuss you out in one breath and in the very next, offer you a salami sandwich."

Definitely good value and Michelle is also making the most of it over on her website in the Salami Dreamin' pages.

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All images © Michelle Maguire

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"Stories of survival, joy and despair from a 141-year-old institution."

Tom Price is a British photographer who is currently living and working in India. His work "...is people-centred, with a focus on inequality and empowerment, especially in women and children." And he's jolly busy at it, too. 

'Pass between the front of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation and the huge bowler hat that perches on top of the gate to Charlie Chaplin Park, take a right onto Hogg Street and curve round until you get to the narrow entrance of what appears to be a darkened alley. Step inside, you've just entered the 141-year-old Sir Stuart Hogg Market, known locally as New Market.'

According to Wikipedia "By the 1850s, British colonists held sway in Calcutta and displayed increasing contempt for the "natives" and an aversion to brushing shoulders with them at the bazaars. In 1871, moved by a well orchestrated outcry from English residents, a committee of the Calcutta Corporation began to contemplate a market which would be the preserve of Calcutta's British residents." 

Despite two fires and regular flooding the market continues today, with 2,000 stall holders selling everything from furniture to flowers.
 
Tom is also a pretty great writer - check him out on Medium.

Also don't miss his weekly "postcard

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All images © Tom Price

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Paulo and Andrew © Kris Graves


Kris Graves portrays color; color of light and color of flesh. The boundaries of his contemporaries expand a conversation of self, race and culture. Graves' men are of their parts; their eyes, their noses, their mouths. They are the hair on their heads, their clothes and jewelry, and the glasses resting on their ears. They are not idealized. They are documented. It is this blatant presentation that allows them to be human. It's not a photographic truth as much as it is honesty. Down to the the bone beyond the flesh Graves' photographs are deeper than stigmas or preconceived ideas. They tell a story that regardless of where you come from, each individual's part is universal. As is light. There is an interconnectivity that creates a sense of equality in the work and in its realization.

You can catch a solo exhibition of Graves' work in Cypress Hills, Brooklyn, opening on June 4th, 2016 at NorteMaar.

Find out more about the Testament Project here.

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Frank 

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The Artist 

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Keith 

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Jacob

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The Producer  

All images © Kris Graves

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