Photographers


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From 'Deep in a Dream' © Michael Massaia

Jörg Colberg reached out to some of us photo bloggers asking if we would nominate photographers for an initiative to show those "who have demonstrated an openness to use new ideas in photography, who have taken chances with their photography and have shown an unwillingness to play it safe."

I've been watching Michael Massaia for at least a couple of years ever since his work was recommended to me by photographer Baron Wolman. Before deciding when and what to publish, I eyed him as he produced several quite gorgeous and diverse series, each photographed on film on a large format camera in the middle of the night. A humble character, as an artist who spends hours alone both shooting and developing his own, large platinum prints might have to be, Michael's dry humour creeps in to the otherwise-quiet work - for an artist who produces such considered, serious photographs, his emails have me in stitches. Michael is genuinely self-effacing, but he is a discerning and determined self-promoter, who I feel is as-yet under-appreciated.

My nomination is not so much about new ideas, rather the complete opposite of so much photography that dashes past our eyeballs daily. Who else these days would say their photography is about "managing failure"? Massaia is married to "the importance of creating something from start to finish, by hand." He is lonely when the sun comes up and the joggers come out, preferring to be harried by rats, hassled in the Rambles, threatened in the suburbs, or wading into Central Park pond at 4 am. Truly an off-line, analog guy, unwilling to play the games of the 21st century.

Check out the other people in the network writing about their choices over at Colin Pantall's blog. See Michael talk about his art in a recent post. More here later this week.

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Kurt Hollander submitted some work recently. His blurb said that he's from NY but has been living in Mexico City for 20 years, and quite prolific, too: "...edited Poliester, a contemporary art magazine of the Americas, from 1982-2000, wrote and directed Carambola (2005), a feature film starring Diego Luna, am the author of el Super (rm 2006) and Sonora: the magic market (rm 2008) and have exhibited my photos in galleries and museums in Mexico City and recently at Rotunda gallery in Brooklyn."

As more avid followers know, I actively dislike a small number of subjects, including religious iconography. So I wanted to see what else Kurt had other than "Holy gore" - Mexican loos hit the spot! Enjoy!

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Kurt_Hollander_21.jpgAll images © Kurt Hollander



Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. The night-stalking young master of film and printing, Michael Massaia.

Here's Michael's aCurator magazine spread featuring some of the scenes shown in this video interview.

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Gerbera © Fong Qi Wei

Whilst I loved Fong Qi Wei's 'Exploded Flower' series, I was curious to see what he would come up with next. Here we are with 'Floral Swirls.'

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Pompom

Qi Wei says "'Floral Swirls' is a series where I delve into sub-theme of colors in flowers. Just as art wants an audience's attention, flowers have evolved to demand attention from pollinators like bees, humans, birds and so on. A main feature of flowers are their colors which are distinctive and conspicuous. The set of images abstract out the colors of various flowers from their intricate structure (as investigated in my 'Exploded Flowers' series). As you look on this series you should find your attention being drawn to a select few, and perhaps ponder why that certain color combination is attractive to you."

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Protea

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Iris

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Sunflower. All images © Fong Qi Wei

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Citroen © Jean-Baptiste Courtier

We have to keep smiling somehow and photographers like Jean-Baptiste Courtier give a big helping hand!

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Cheval touquet

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Le sourire du plombier

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L'equilibriste

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Machine à laverAll images © Jean-Baptiste Courtier

The one, the only, the super champion Bruce Davidson.


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#icedHoffee Photo of the Hoff © David Harry Stewart

Oh Happy Monday! A welcome opportunity to publish a photo of David Hasselhoff and this hysterical news item.

David Harry Stewart from the Casey stable made a photo of David Hasselhoff holding an iced coffee for Cumberland Farms. After it was sent into stores as a cut-out to highlight their yummy iced coffee, patrons started stealing David's Hoff and posing with him on Twitter. 550 have been stolen with only 20 left. The story went viral and here we are, 2012, with Hoff still making headlines.

Here's what David had to say about David.

"Working with David Hasselhoff is a blast. Super fun, super professional, and able to turn on The Hoff character on command. He closes his eyes, pauses for a moment, then Hasselhoff the man turns into meta-Hoff the character. It's amazing to watch. I would ask for more of a smile, or a surprised look, and he would just start riffing on it through his Hoff character. In between takes we would chat about surfing or Baywatch, and then when it was time to shoot, out of the skin of this really quite regular guy came the HOFF.  Such a comedian at his own expense. Love him.

The Hoff-Cumberland Farms campaign is like nothing else I have ever done. In an age where people are worried about internet copyright theft, here we have people loving these images so much, they're actually stealing them out from stores. I love it! To go into a Cumberland Farms and run out with a stolen ad shows, real dedication. Never in all the ad campaigns I have done has there been anything like this. I'm so happy that people will be able to enjoy The Hoff in the privacy of their living rooms for years to come. It is enormously flattering."

There's a long piece in the Guardian this weekend 'If we have to go with the Hoff to pay the rent, let's go with the Hoff' and below is my personal favourite Hoff moment.

Thanks to Alex Geana and the Casey crew for submitting this. You guys made my day.



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Vivienne © Leland Bobbé

Leland Bobbé's half-drag series is getting published around the world! The aCurator favourite (see here and here) has developed a community around this work and people just love it.

"These images are part of an ongoing series of portraits of drag queens in half-drag. With this series my intention is to capture both the male and the alter-ego female side of these subjects in one image. Through the power of hair and makeup these men are able to completely transform themselves and find their female side while simultaneously showing their male side. These are composed in camera and are not two separate images joined together."

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Pusse

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Sabel

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Honey

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Roxy. All images © Leland Bobbé

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© Marika Dee

Marika Dee submitted her latest personal project. I myself have learned something...  "In recent years, several thousands of people, many belonging to the Roma, Ashkali or Egyptian (RAE) community, have been forcibly returned to Kosovo by western European countries. Germany is one of the countries expelling RAE families that have been living there for a long time, often 15 years or more. The deportations take place in the framework of a "readmission agreement" that Germany concluded with Kosovo, the latter being under political pressure to accept. The deportations were heavily criticized by several NGO's, the Council of Europe and UNICEF.  Most of the children were not only brought up in Germany but were born there as well. In Kosovo the families fall into a marginal existence and the children feel uprooted. In the coming years an estimated 12,000 people will be returned by Germany, half of them children.

Over the course of last year I traveled several times to Kosovo to document the precarious daily life of a few of these families."

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All images © Marika Dee

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© Demond Meek

More fabulous personal work: Demond Meek's series "Slum Beautiful" was photographed around his home town of St. Louis, Missouri. 

In my opinion, this compelling and haunting series is a taste of the current and impending state of the States.

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All images © Demond Meek

In May, Instagram featured the series and it was really well received - follow Demond @dmeek.

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