Photographers


toledano_Steve_RGB_new.jpg"I'm interested in what we define as beauty, when we choose to create it ourselves. Beauty has always been a currency, and now that we finally have the technological means to mint our own, what choices do we make?

Is beauty informed by contemporary culture? By history? Or is it defined by the surgeon's hand?

Can we identify physical trends that vary from decade to decade, or is beauty timeless? When we re-make ourselves, are we revealing our true character, or are we stripping away our very identity?

Perhaps we are creating a new kind of beauty. An amalgam of surgery, art, and popular culture? And if so, are the results the vanguard of human-induced evolution? As a race, is this the beginning of a new direction?"

Image and text © Philip Toledano

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The Specials played in New York last night. Janette Beckman, who last photographed the Specials on their 'Seaside Tour' in 1981, when she was terribly young, gives her review.

"The Specials played to sold out crowd at Terminal 5 in NYC last night. Quite a few sentimental old souls had a tear in their eye as the band was just as brilliant as in the old days - in spite of not having Mr Dammers. The crowd went wild - I observed some serious skanking and a few fights going on. The skinhead look has always been a good one and pork pie hats and suspenders were definitely the thing last night."

© Janette Beckman

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Outstanding documentary photographer Peter Turnley is collaborating with Mike Johnston of super-popular blog The Online Photographer to 'publish long form photo essays with a personal edit on a site seen by a worldwide audience'. Their latest publication is 'The Faces of Semana Santa, Seville, Spain' which Turnley photographed in conjunction with one of his student workshops this year during Holy Week.

Priest kissing statue, 2010 © Peter Turnley

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Really wonderful news out of the UK, our fellow community of shouty photographers has managed to defeat Clause 43 of the Digital Economy Bill - it was to be a hideously vague orphan works clause. Back in the 80s, Boy George cut a track called "No Clause 28" - it was about a rather different issue - 'promoting' homosexuality - but the tune's been in my head as the Brits fought this from being washed through parliament without fair hearing. I haven't read the details yet but I'm ready to celebrate anyway.

Updated update: more details Stop 43

Boy George © Janette Beckman

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I had the great pleasure of being a portfolio reviewer yesterday with the APA. I met some new photographers, an amazing FIT student, and a couple of people whose names I knew but hadn't yet met - one of them was Keith Barraclough who works with my mate Louisa Curtis of Chatterbox Enterprises. His project "Blackboard Writings", where students write their thoughts on a board and are photographed with them, really floated my boat. Keith recently moved to NYC from DC and is looking to continue the project so let's hook him up with some local teachers, and a book publisher!

From "Blackboard Writings" © Keith Barraclough

Greenberg_AltarBoy.jpgDictionary definition of holy? Morally and spiritually excellent.

Here's to the ever-irreverent Jill Greenberg.

© Jill Greenberg




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Met Zandy Mangold's best mate yesterday quite randomly and so got back in touch with this photographer after several years. Apparently he's well into running - just like his parents from what I recall - but he's bust his foot and is taking drugs. He's a great photographer, high on pills or otherwise, I'm sure. Looks like he's been traveling the world quite a bit, images from the Sahara and Gobi deserts and more on his site.

Ultramarathon Sahara Desert, 2009 © Zandy Mangold

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It's always busy in Leonard-Land (despite Herman being 86!). "Legends of Jazz Photography" at Fahey/Klein Gallery in Los Angeles features the work of Herman Leonard, William Claxton and William Gottlieb, April 1 - May 15, 2010 / "Jazz Giants: The Photography of Herman Leonard" is at the Jazz Heritage Center in San Francisco, April 5 - May 16, 2010 / June 1, 2010 sees the release of Heather Pinson's book for the University of Mississippi Press, "The Jazz Image: Seeing Music Through Herman Leonard's Photography" / And the Jazz at Lincoln Center exhibit "In the Best Possible Light: Herman Leonard's Jazz" has been extended until June 19, 2010.

Aside from his historic music photos, Herman also worked in fashion.You can read about his time in Paris in the 50s and 60s in ZOOZOOM.

Ella Fitzgerald singing to Duke Ellington and Benny Goodman, NYC 1949 © Herman Leonard Photography, LLC
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Having just been avidly reading about Lithuanian photographer Rimaldis Viksraitis in my colleague Charles Taylor's magazine, Hot Shoe, the next day I was happy to see a few prints by him at AIPAD. Viksraitis won the Discovery Award at Les Rencontres D'Arles last year, and Martin Parr presented the body of work "Grimaces of the Weary Village" at the festival, calling the images "slightly insane and wonderfully surreal". I say fascinating.

Grimaces of the Weary Village © Rimaldis Viksraitis
MP_new_age_women.jpgThis has always been a really popular Putland image. Michael photographed the women in Kensington, London, for New Musical News and it was quite unusual to get such an assortment of musicians together. Referring to this photo, Pauline Black recently hosted a half hour segment on BBC Radio 4 and talked to Viv Albertine and Poly Styrene about what it was like to be a woman on the punk and rock scenes and what impact strong women in rock have had.

Chrissie Hynde, Debbie Harry, Viv Albertine, Siouxsie Sioux, Poly Styrene and Pauline Black, 1980 © Michael Putland

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