At the School of Visual Arts' MFA in Photography, Video and Related Media 2011 Thesis exhibition I saw a few interesting photographs and installations, one of which, Carly Gaebe's 'The Pattern of Your Ways', where the artist created performances to reconnect with her Czech great-grandparents' routines, necessitated the eating of fresh Kolache (a Czech pastry). A couple of the photographs in Liz Arenberg's 'you see me', a series about her relationship with her sister, were simply beautiful. I thought Chris Sellas' project 'You. I.' was interesting - Chris mailed 2 copies of the same photograph to people from his past; he'd commented on one and the recipient should comment on the other.

Kimo Kim's project was really, really entertaining. "As a student in New York, South Korean fashion photographer Kimo Kim found that her normally gregarious personality was stifled by language and cultural differences. In response, she invented a fictional fashion show set in New York and Seoul, which she planned and executed online with her best friend at home, Sodam Yoon. The video culminates with the fashion show, in which Kim sheds her timid persona to become a runway model let loose on the streets of Manhattan." It's a little long, but worth a watch.


You. I. © Chris Sellas Left: I feel like you never really let me in.
Right: You tried and tried, but the key just didn't fit.


Learning To Balance from The Pattern of Your Ways © Carly Gaebe

SVA_Liz_Arenberg.jpgyou see me © Liz Arenberg


Dina Litovsky's project 'Untag This Photo' consists of her photographs of New York City nightlife: clubs, lounges, bars, and parties - both private and public. Now that there's a common tendency to see what you're doing through the lens of whatever recording device you have in-hand, Dina noticed 'people partying' shift to 'people photographing the partying', and a change in the behaviour of women in these contexts.

"This project explores how social behavior and self-representation of women have been influenced by new technologies, specifically digital cameras, iPhones and social networking sites", Dina says in a smart statement. "The desire to reveal has transformed into a willingness to expose."

The project has just been chosen by Whitney Johnson of the New Yorker to be part of PRC Exposure 2011 Exhibition, opening in July.




All images © Dina Litovsky


Miriam O'Connor is my latest crush. Her submission of 'Attention Seekers' filled me with joy; it's refreshing, smart and humorous. I think her statement outlines this project best, but I will say to go to her website because each category is a gift in its own right. Relatively young still, Miriam's been exhibited in her hometown of Dublin and elsewhere in Europe. I hope she continues to get the exposure she deserves.

"In this work O' Connor's approach is best surmised as being concerned with the representation of scenes which appear to 'petition for attention'... Each of the scenes, while executed with a formal exactitude, exhibit ambiguous clues and mischievous impressions, where the interplay of color, form and sequencing are all-important signifiers in engaging with the series."






All images © Miriam O'Connor


Stifling, claustrophobic, oppressive, sweltering. I'm not talking about the tube's airless Circle Line or the subway's over-conditioned L train in rush hour but the unreserved general compartments of Indian Railways.

Kolkata-based Ronny Sen has worked for publications in both India and abroad. His works have been published and exhibited in many countries. Since 2006 he has been awarded by the Sony World Photography Awards, National Geographic Magazine, Shoot nations by the UN, Powerhouse, The Forward Thinking Museum, and The Lonely Planet Magazine. Presently, he is working on his long term project 'Documenting Death' which revolves around people who are dying.

Ronny waxes lyrical about this work-in-progress:

The apparition of these faces in the crowd,
Petals on a wet, black bough.
- In a Station of the Metro.

...unforgettable as an expression of a poetic experience of the highest order. The inexorable spell of these two lines by Ezra Pound weighs upon me whenever I catch sight of a typically Indian scene crammed with people. The lines recycle themselves into visuals as I scratch around for the right frame to showcase my perception of the Indian reality. Particularly when my camera chances upon the mess one finds so frequently in the unreserved general compartments of a railway carriage.

It is needless to remind ourselves that the lines have nothing characteristically Indian about them. Ostensibly, though, they depict the crowd in a station of the Metro. The pen-picture of the 'Petals on a wet, black bough' speaks clearly of a different clime. 'The apparition of these faces in the crowd' of the first line, on the other hand, keeps haunting you even as you try to escape.

Travel the length of the country. Board a train, thrust your way through the crowd to some messy corner of a general compartment and you start loosing your identity. One can safely predict a traumatic journey to the destination of absolute facelessness.

What the series seeks to capture is the chaos of a sick, thick throng gasping of air. It takes you straight into the heart of the muddle and the mess. It makes you listen to the muffled voice of individuality.

Ruthlessly robbed of your right to breathe, you are already there, sharing with the hapless masses the unbearable tightness of being---bearing with them the full burden of an inescapable Indian experience.






All images © Ronny Sen

VIV-ALBERTINE_Erica-Echenberg.jpgErica Echenberg is a name I knew from the little stickers we used to use on slides back in the 80s and 90s* - my agency repped her extensive archive in the US - and I only just met her in person recently. We will be working together over the coming months along with another important woman in the industry, Dede Millar, ex-Director of the Redferns picture library, on an exciting new project. Details will follow but in the meantime, having read and shared Viv Goldman's article in the Village Voice about Poly Styrene and other influential women in music Erica sent me a couple of recent shots of Viv Albertine, formerly of The Slits.

"The gig was at the 100 club in Oxford Street, and Viv Albertine was supporting Glen Matlock of the Sex Pistols. Viv... does a solo 30 minute set of quirky, sometimes amusing and very memorable acoustic-guitar backed songs about love, sex and boys. It's the same set that went down so well at the Rich Kids' reunion at the start of the year, and with the venue quickly filling for the main event she gets a great reception from the crowd." - Erica

Viv Albertine © Erica Echenberg

*see me for history lesson.

Anne_Arden_McDonald_sponges-print.jpgI had the pleasure of meeting the artist Anne Arden McDonald at a solo exhibition in Brooklyn recently. Anne works in a really wide range of media, including photographic prints that she makes both with and without cameras. The recent installation includes prints measuring up to 90" in some cases along with smaller prints that feature details. In intricate processes Anne makes contacts prints using various objects, bleaching and manipulating the resulting prints (in one case, painted with "medicines, spices and household cleaners").

As a person with almost no patience I am fascinated and in awe of Anne's work. Here are just a couple of examples of her photography and there are more series on her website.

Bone, 2011, 105 x 50 ins.
Bleach painting made with spon


Fragility, 2011, 126 x 50 ins.
Contact print of a pile of layers of glass and eggshells, exposed with a flashlight


Cells, 2007, 69 x 50 ins.
Contact print of circular and spherical objects

All images © Anne Arden McDonald


Talk about stumbling upon... I was asked to answer some questions for the Parsons School of Design MFA Photography Catalog and whilst browsing last year's I saw this and just had to post it.

Bobby Davison has some most intriguing work on his website, Untitled Proof, that you need to check out.

"Cromagnon, 2010" © Bobby Davison


Receiving an email from Michael Massaia whilst on the hoof this week, I first looked at these images on my silly little iPhone. They brought a big smile to my face, both because they remind me of the freedom of buying fireworks when I was a kid in London (they're illegal in New York) and because I love how he consistently produces these beautiful, dark, moody images across all his various portfolios.

'Quiet Now' is Michael's first still life portfolio; as with most of his other work he shoots on large format b/w film, develops in Pyro, then produces handmade platinum prints. Gorgeous.





All images © Michael Massaia

Laundry (5 of 31)Sivan Askayo.jpg

One might think of washing as monotonous, but Sivan Askayo's 'Laundry' series is a delight: sometimes sea creatures, sometimes notes on a stave. Sivan has been to Madrid, Barcelona, London and Buenos Aires, to snap anonymous smalls.

"Laundry project begun in the vibrant alleyways of Tel Aviv's Jaffa neighborhood and has become an ongoing project, taking me to Madrid, Barcelona, London and Buenos Aires to snap the anonymously displayed drying clothing. The project, that was named 'Intimacy under the Wires' reveals images of laundry both intimate and unconfined while their snoopy character makes laundry, a seemingly prosaic subject, all that more intriguing."

Laundry (1 of 31)Sivan Askayo.jpg

Laundry (3 of 31)Sivan Askayo.jpg

5Sivan Askayo.jpg

All images © Sivan Askayo

David_Joseph_01.jpgSometimes simplicity is just as refreshing as a hot cup of coffee. David Joseph showed me his work at a portfolio review explaining how the series of forgotten coffee cups was inspired by David's donations to auction for the Design Trust for Public Space in NYC. 

"I realized that New Yorkers, no matter their socio economic status, were leaving their tags all over the City. This is the new graffiti, and whether it is City Bakery, Starbucks, or Jacques Torres the city is covered in beautiful litter left by multi-taskers who always think they can do one more thing. I hope these images, like all of my images, challenge people to reconsider what they see everyday."

Better known for his luxurious and rich architecture photography, these are light relief and a statement on the nature of our lack of interest in our environment. We all live so up close and personal in NYC, how is it we care so little about litter?

All images © David Joseph

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