Photographers


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 Following on from his series Gay Wildlife, Mickey "I'll get naked too, that's fine" Aloisio spent three months on the road photographing queer men and their communities across the country during the fall of 2016. 

"During this time, I found my subjects by going to the different safe spaces of that particular area. I would then arrange to go to their home to create art with them as two collaborators. I would also stay with these men, as I was not able to afford staying in hotels for such an extended period of time. I realized through this, what the strength of a community feels like, and how belonging to such, can afford us opportunities that otherwise may not be possible."

Mickey, could you be more frank? We made a reasonably safe-for-work edit. There is more fun to be had over at Mickey's website.

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All images © Mickey Aloisio

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Three years ago Jamie Johnson took a trip to Ireland to photograph a community of travellers.  "It is not an easy community to penetrate, they have faced such discrimination and racism they are very skeptical of outsiders. It was an amazing journey and I made connections with so many kind and generous families. They allowed me to photograph their lives and cultures. The children followed me around and took turning using my cameras.  I learned their traditions of being sharply dressed young boys and overly dressed young girls yet still very catholic, their goals of falling in love, getting married young and producing many children. and a strong sense of taking care of each other and family values and always respecting God."

She returned to photograph them in Limerick in 2015/2016, and I am thrilled that she submitted these photos along with her story (it's four years since we met at a portfolio review... It's important to stay in touch!) You can see there was an intimacy in these dynamics that makes all the difference in the resulting photographs.

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"Travellers are an indigenous minority who, have been part of Irish society for centuries. Travellers long shared history, cultural values, language, customs and traditions make them a self-defined group, and one which is recognizable and distinct. Their culture and way of life, of which nomadism is an important factor, distinguishes them from the sedentary (settled) population. The Irish Travelers are a nomadic population, living on the fringes of society. Often uneducated, this Catholic community is required to marry within their clan. There are an estimated 25,000 Travellers in Ireland, making up more than 4,485 Traveller families. This constitutes approximately 0.5% of the total national population. It is estimated that an additional 15,000 Irish Travellers live in Britain, with a further 10,000 Travellers of Irish descent living in the United States of America. Travellers, as individuals and as a group, experience a high level of prejudice and exclusion in Irish society."

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"I returned to Ireland last year and I felt a deeper connection with the wonderful people I met. They brought me up to date with family gossip and life events and welcomed me into their extended families where I spent time with Travellers of all ages. A group of family matriarchs invited me in each day, gave me a beer and told me all the stories since I had last visited. Who got engaged, married, who got arrested, who lost their caravan, who got a bigger caravan, a really genuine group of women happy to have a new American friend. They told me how sorry they felt for me that I only had two children, and my goals should be to have many. They were as interested in my strange Los Angeles life as I was of theirs. I was struck by the timeless quality of their faces and the deep connection to family. As when I photograph anywhere, it is always the children who draw me in.  

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"I love listening to their stories and thoughts on life. Growing up in this nomadic life style is all they know and they are quite proud people. The prejudice is hard to believe until you see it with your own eyes. An 11 year old friend wanted to look at new clothes and asked me to come with her to the shop on the high street as they most likely would not let her in. We went in together and looked at cute trendy clothes and the lady followed us around the store so closely I could feel her breath on my neck. I watch the police harass many of my young friends for just walking around. I heard well-dressed Irish women call them "trash" loudly as they walked by. These kids are sweet but tough as this is the only lifestyle they know. This warm generous family orientated community seeks good lives for their children, great hopes for their community and works to carry on their family culture and traditions through many generations by telling all the wonderful stories of their grandparents and great grandparents travels. They seek equality and hope to rid for the next generation the extreme prejudice that has faced theirs."

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All images © Jamie Johnson



Truls Nord is an artist I had the extremely great pleasure of meeting in Norway last year. Since then, in amongst the other creative things swirling around in his head, he's only gone and completed this fantastic project! 

Enjoy and share.

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Powerful images from a photo newbie. Leif Sandberg uses photography to examine life after a cancer scare. 

"The Ending project is my first major photo project, with its roots in panic, anxiety and the fear of growing old. After surgery for possible pancreas cancer in 2007, followed by a year's convalescence, I was faced with the inevitable question of what to do with the rest of my life. A second chance. An interest in art and photography has followed me since my teens, although that was not my choice in life. Until now."

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The photographs have been collected into a book, Ending, out now from Boecker Books, Stockholm. Check it out on Leif's website.

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all images © Leif Sandburg

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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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