Nanette Rae Freeman
is an inspiration this week. She submitted this series of still life photographs of blown-out tires that she made, which helped deal with the death of her husband of 25 years in a road accident. Big respect to you, Nanette.
"My husband was killed on July 18, 2011, on a motorcycle speeding down the Dan Ryan Expressway on his way to work. In the wake of this unfathomable loss, I began to find fascination in the remains of blown out tires on the expressway. One day the violent energy of a blow out jolted me to the point that I felt compelled to stop and retrieve it. I finally had something tangible that evoked feelings of trauma, violence and even death. I found a surprising comfort in the physicality of the mangled tire. It connected me to my husband, Fred, whose body and mind I lost in this harrowing accident."
"For this body of work, I've been employing found blown-out tire shreds to document them as a photographic material. I photograph them in a way that exemplifies their physical features which helps me interpret and transform them. The rendering of rich textures aims to inspire memories of skin, hair and other humanizing elements - elements torn and obliterated from their former shape, which is very much like the relationship I now share with my husband."
British photographer Mark Griffiths
photographed eight children from Belarus taking a month-long recuperative trip to Pembrokeshire in Wales, U.K., thanks to Life Line
children's charity in Chernobyl.
The 1986 Chernobyl nuclear plant meltdown was the biggest nuclear catastrophe in world history. Now apparently "85 per cent of Belarusian children are deemed to be Chernobyl victims: they carry "genetic markers" that could affect their health at any time and can be passed on to the next generation. A vicious cycle that unfortunately could continue for hundreds if not thousands of years."
Mark told me "Clean air and uncontaminated land can reduce radiation levels in their immune system by up to 68 per cent which helps fight illnesses and diseases and can add years to their lives."
Since they started in 1992, Life Line
has brought 46,000 children over to stay with host families.
"Before this tragic event, Belarus was known as the breadbasket of Russia, with a stable economy. Now the people live with radiation all around them. They drink contaminated water and wash with it. There is very little to eat in Belarus and what there is, has a high chance of being contaminated. The compromised food chain means that they now have to import a high proportion of their foodstuffs. The most disadvantaged have no option but to eat crops grown in the contaminated earth - a vicious cycle.
The Chernobyl Children's Life Line looks after children who are ill, organising respite breaks to Great Britain to give them a chance to live in a "clean" environment and eat uncontaminated foods for a month. During their stay all of the children receive medical attention such as dental care and having their eyes tested."
was among my reviewees at the wonderful Photolucida portfolio event in April, 2015. His wistful, and sometimes puzzling, photographs from "What's Left Behind" are made at estate sales.
"Estate sales are commonplace in America. They frequently take place in homes once lived in by the elderly, who have since died or moved on to a nursing home. Their children hire companies to catalog and sell their parents' possessions," saith he.
"After getting past the massive arrays of dishes, furniture, and jewelry, one can find poignant mementos of strangers' lives. Reminders of life's finite cycle are present everywhere. They make me think of my parents and the possessions they left for my sister and me.
"I take pictures during the sales themselves. At first I was self-conscious about shooting, but after a while I realized no one seems to mind. Shoppers and sellers are much more interested in buying and selling. I also sometimes purchase items at the sales and photograph them in another setting with better lighting and background."
Norm plans to continue with this series, and I think people will be fascinated, and relate to the photographs. Perhaps they may make a person reconsider how much stuff they are holding on to, and how whomever is left behind will have to cope.
British photographer John Paul Evans
' bodies of work take a sideways look at traditional representations of marriage - "performative responses to the history of the wedding portrait in western art" - and feature himself and his husband, Peter.
You can see some of Evans' photographs right now, as part of the Pride Photo Awards
at Foam Museum of Photography in Amsterdam, July 31st to August 20th, 2015.
Evans is pretty prolific - check out lots more over on his website
's portrait series features sons and daughters of gay parents. The Kids
get a chance to tell their stories as part of the project - some of them are pretty surprising, some are funny, all of them are interesting. Gabriela began the project before the US Supreme Court ruled on same-sex marriage, addressing this strange question about whether it is in kids' interest to be raised by two people of the same sex...
I asked 'Are you gay?' and he says 'Well, I haven't had any experiences to be sure.' And I think the next words out of my mouth were, 'Dad, I'm pretty sure you're gay.'
Read and hear the rest of their stories here
Props to Gabriella and the "kids" for their collaboration, and my personal props to my dear friend Jenny Laden
, one of the founders of a camp for children of gay parents some moons ago; I believe their chosen collective noun was "Queerspawn"! Read Jenny's story here
Another photographer scored at Photolucida
portfolio reviews. Bangalore-based Archana Vikram
asked women between the ages of 35 and 55 to bring her five objects that hold important memories for them.
Vikram says: "The series seeks to convey the deeper connection betweens the "things" we hold dear and who we are. The nuances depicted by each object in a frame and how and why it was one of the five things treasured by each subject were fascinating. The essence of each personality isn't the object or group of objects in each frame but its significance to the subject or the memory or experience it calls to their mind."
What would you choose?
Los Angeles-based Mallory Morrison
's beautiful underwater dancers are photographed so delightfully. Mallory was a dancer herself for many years.
She shoots fashion in this style as well as making fine art prints. Let yourself float away!
If these references are lost on you, decipher them here
© Kirill Kovalenko
made these images on the beach in Crimea over the last year - a complicated time for the Republic. Kirill talks about
how "...there is the feeling of a lack of time, as if all those people to come and do what they do solely by inertia or habit. Has already clearly left a past, unknown future, but this all goes on, as if there were no first and second, neither before nor after. What really want these people from life? for the sake of what they live?"
Exploring how people relax during times of such conflict, Kirill has a mischievous eye.
Imagine my surprise when, upon arriving at Thierry Goldberg Gallery in NYC's lower east side to meet my fellow judge for the Parson's BFA graduate show, it turns out to be Vince Aletti, photography critic for the New Yorker Magazine. After I got over my intimidation, I was thrilled and humbled to chat with Mr. Aletti about the more than 60 graduating artists' work, and even more thrilled when we were in agreement about much of the work on show.
We nominated our winners and each selected a Juror's Choice - mine is A. Retina Stewart
. (Her fabulous real name!)
A. Retina Stewart is Houston-born, now living and working in New York. Her short documentary is a classic; it explores the lives of underground hip hop musicians, their goals and personal endeavors. Stewart highlights the young men's struggles against the pressure to be hyper-masculine and portray a young-black-male stereotype.
"Selling drugs is NOT part of our culture. That's the situation we were put in. If we could have went to Yale, we would have. People move drugs into our streets. We are survivors. We didn't get the same opportunities... we made it work."
Genesis Iver, 2014
Carpe D, 2014
Frank McFly, 2014
Jevon Doe, 2014
"Male African-American hip hop musicians are notoriously perceived to uphold hypermasculine standards; which creates a commercialized persona. Through an intimate interview in each artist's bedroom, Stewart explores them on a more dimensional and nuanced level, delving into their ambitions, insecurities, and fears." A. Retina Stewart
Frank McFly, 2015
In a piece on Afropunk
, Stewart proudly, rightfully states "I have mastered the art of finding gold within people, and that's a jewel that school can't teach."
Follow Stewart on Instagram: _arstewart