Photographers


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When Manjari told me about this project I was really moved. She talked of the many trips she took with her family to visit Hindu temples and the ubiquitousness of imagery of deities in India, and that when she relocated to the States, art galleries and museums became her pilgrimages.

As commonplace as paintings and sculptures of Hindu deities are, there are no photographs. Manjari intends to change this by creating a series of photographs of specific gods and godesses, with every detail included, created from scratch. Just take a look at what she achieved for Maa Laxmi. Manjari's Kickstarter campaign is already 25% fulfilled; there are plenty of rewards available so why not consider helping to fund this project and we can all go see the enormous results in a gallery near us soon!

Maa Laxmi © Manjari Sharma




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"I thought that if I was gay, I couldn't have kids." El Segundo, 2009.

Another important series, this from Stefan Jora: "The Gay Families Project". Stefan is hoping to expand the project to Washington State. If you're feeling fundy, you can easily support the project here. Benefits start at only $1.

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Leaving for work. El Segundo, 2009.

"The Project has as an objective the creation of a photobook featuring American families with parents who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer. Informed by the past, while drawing from the present, and looking to the future, the book has the potential for creating awareness about the commonality of such 'gay families', especially for viewers in parts of the world where ill-informed homophobia is prevalent. Thematically, I am interested in exploring the intersection of the mythical, homosexual, and political in American culture, and am aiming for a book that will contribute to the discourse on what constitutes the proverbial American Dream in the 21st century.

I have been working on this project for close to two years, and have thus far met with and photographed over twenty families in California. With your support, I plan to photograph families living in Washington state this summer, which will give me a better idea as to whether I need to expand the Project to other U.S. states in the future, or continue and complete it in the Golden State alone.
"

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 In bed with the egg donor. San Mateo, 2010

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HIV-positive parents. San Francisco, 2010

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Heading to the playground. Mill Valley, 2010

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.

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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.


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

SVA_Liz_Arenberg.jpgyou see me © Liz Arenberg




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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.

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All images © Dina Litovsky

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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."

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All images © Miriam O'Connor


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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.

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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
ges

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

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





All images © Anne Arden McDonald

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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

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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.

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All images © Michael Massaia

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