Photographers


Nicholas_Pollack_19.jpg


This is a sweet and gentle observation by Nicholas Pollack, a recent MFA grad whose project featured here, 'Nothing Gold Can Stay' was nominated for the 2016 ICP Infinity Award. He is also a contender for the upcoming Featureshoot Emerging Photographer Award.

"Nothing Gold Can Stay is a body of work about the fleetingness of youth. My photographs of the boys of Branch Brook Park in Newark, New Jersey describe this ephemerality, and through these photographs I intends to access a sense of memory and vulnerability to create an experience of love amid life's chaos and uncertainty."

Nicholas_Pollack_03.jpg

Nicholas_Pollack_21.jpg

Nicholas_Pollack_.jpg

Nicholas_Pollack_05.jpg

Nicholas_Pollack_07.jpg

Nicholas_Pollack_18.jpg

Nicholas_Pollack_08.jpg

All images © Nicholas Pollack

_Caroline-Tompkins_01.jpg


Images play different roles in and of themselves as windows and even - dare I say - as individuals. If a photo can be individual - I think it can. The awareness of that window is important to each person who's looking. Caroline Tompkins and I chat at length about the hope that people might take that time with photography. "Here's a thing you need to see," she tells me, explaining the how of her photographs. Her images and language are interesting to interpret, as is she. The word demure may seem accurate at first but the truth is Tompkins has, well - balls. There's nerve in her, and within her reserve is an inquisitive and engaged fight. Not a fight of fists or words but one of reflective intellect and tenderness.

_Caroline-Tompkins_02.jpg
© Caroline Tompkins

Tompkins has a different sensibility; it's probably something about Ohio where she's from, and a certain sort of projected quietness in her tone and her hands. Her photographs are beautiful in a noncritical way; they are absurd and situational. It would be easy for viewers to find themselves laughing with a Tompkins image. There is something intrinsically photographic happening in Tompkins imagery. It rouses a charming engagement of reflective and coy peculiarity. It's all very quaint at the surface; it's after those first few moments when you realize something deeper is engaging the imagery and the photos are not just pretty things, idealized places, and pretty people. 

_Caroline-Tompkins_03.jpg
© Caroline Tompkins

There's time to reveal secrets and invent a good amount of trickery when traveling around with a camera. Tompkins' imagery has a lot to unmask and explore; her photographs are of getting away or moving on, from one place to another. They are wide and precious in scope but pressed with observation and hugely aesthetic. It isn't outwardly obvious, it is wonderfully seductive in its matter of factness. It's like breathing - she tells me she's always had a camera in her hands. Eight years old and taking pictures, she didn't so much have a lighting bolt moment that drew her to photography as much as she just always had this extra appendage. Tompkins knows the camera the way she knows herself.     

_Caroline-Tompkins_04.jpg
© Caroline Tompkins

She, Tompkins, is a hard working lady. She is hugely respectful and strikes me as the type to go into the wilderness and leave only footprints. I don't mean to romanticize her; I mean to point out something hugely loving and human about the person who presses the eye to her camera. She reflects in her images as they speak back about her. The work doesn't get lost on Tompkins; the world she interacts with is important but there isn't a sense that she is her own subject. Caroline is far more interested in the everything and all around. Pieces and parts she photographs like a collector of unexpected bric-a-brac's of all kinds of wonderful odds and ends. There's a rhythm that reads like a hymn in her warm compositions. Elusive beyond what they literally are, the only thing they ask is a few more moments for your viewing pleasure.

_Caroline-Tompkins_05.jpg
© Caroline Tompkins

_Caroline-Tompkins_06.jpg
© Caroline Tompkins

_Caroline-Tompkins_07.jpg
© Caroline Tompkins

_Caroline-Tompkins_08.jpg
© Caroline Tompkins

_Caroline-Tompkins_09.jpg
© Caroline Tompkins


918 by Santolo Felaco

Do something funky with your photos! This cheered me up on a dull day. Thanks to Italian artist Santolo Felaco for making me happy. (You might want to turn the volume down a smidgen.)

"The office is the place where many people spend at least a third of their day; where human relationships are established, anxiety developed, and the need to escape created. This photographic project took place in an office and in outdoor spaces adjacent to it. What results is an apparent altered representation of reality because the images do not directly describe the environment but they use a metaphorical language to tell what else lurks in regard to this microworld.

Each quadtych is made up of a combination of minimal pictures that are almost like words, they are linked to each other to compose a message. One of the objectives was to leave the viewer a lot of freedom of interpretation. Many quadtychs are designed and combined to communicate something specific, maintaining a polysemantic feature. I often played on the indoor and outdoor relationship, of what I call "the escape instinct": often you want to escape as soon as possible from the workplace, sometimes even just for a break. The office and the outside world that immediately surrounds it bind almost to form a continuous space. 

These and others are the issues dealt with, but I think I've already said too much, if I preferred words to pictures, I would have become a writer rather than a photographer."


001 matthew_leifheit_A-Dozen-Roses-(for-TOny).jpg

A Dozen Roses (for Tony) © Matthew Leifheit


In all forms, languages, cultures and creeds love is expansive and transformative. It can be a beginning as easily as it can be an end. Love signifies all sorts. Sometimes it is intimate, literal, and exacting, at other times vague, eclipsing, and abstracted. Talking with Rachel Stern, curator of LOVE 2016, she never wanted love to be a definitive thing, she always wanted this group show to be a way to reign in the new year. And why not? After all love is not limited, it is a vast wonder place for imagery and imagination. The show, LOVE 2016 - currently on display at Columbia University's LeRoy Neiman Gallery - brings together a vast group of image-makers from all over. These makers were asked by Stern to either show old work, new work, or respond to the shows concept in a way to look towards the future. "This is a show I wanted to see." Stern tells me with an excited smile. She is as lovely and accommodating, as one would expect form a curator of a show about love.

002-Hobbes-Ginsberg-self-portrait,-los-angeles-June-2014.jpg

Self-Portrait, Los Angeles June 2014 © Hobbes Ginsberg

"Responding to love is like responding to air." Stern is like talking to an intelligently insightful romance poem, she is full of these wonderful isms. The passion is apparent. The show at first glance can almost seem flippant; it is not. The gallery space is instantly atmospheric. The walls - adorned in a not so symmetrical system of lush roses - hit you and suddenly you're in the center of a bull-fighting ring. These icons of exaltation envelope the shows desire, driving its diversity, while also holding its thread. Looking through the show and its images, beyond love, what speaks so clearly is the sense of community. "I'm always constantly wanting to make the most for my community with my community." It is this visual camaraderie Stern shares that engages and binds these works that could easily fall prey to distance from each other. There is an elusive tether; something about them together is almost supernatural.

003-Marc-Swanson_Untitled-(Danny-and-Lawrence).jpg

Untitled (Danny-and-Lawrence) © Marc Swanson

The works themselves run a gamut from portraiture to conceptual - darkroom prints to sculptural and physical objects. They're plural and unexpected; they come from artists of all ages and walks of life. The show is inclusive and there is a sense of equality and identity that speaks to a larger envelope that is not hung up in specifics and titles. These people are the dreamers of dreams, the magic makers and the paupers of a new generation. They are not as bohemian as much as they are willing to experiment with visual language. Pushing at the possibilities and boundaries of photography and its preconceptions. There is as much recollection of history as there is spontaneous contemporaneity. The show is a striking success of awkward unusual bits, always poetic, coy at times, and highly definitive at others. It's clear, LOVE 2016 is what love looked like, looks like, and sets a temperature for the future of its interpretation. 

"The show isn't done." Stern tells me with a good amount of restrained excitement. Her eagerness reads in her face, behind those comforting eyes. It reads in the effort and love that's been put into the curation and presentation of the show as well. What's the future? LOVE 2017 hopefully! For now this show will stand. It is an epically created environment, it banishes the notion and expectation of white walls and stuffy spaces. It's reinterpreting history, bouncing off its echo and allowing viewers to be filled with love or sadness, or whatever they want. It has many feels, and maybe the best part is the open-ended ability for individualized interpretation. These ideas stretch - vast not weighted down - and go beyond statements or judgments. There is a brilliantly subtle revolution brewing in the range of this broad show.

LOVE 2016 is on display at Columbia University's LeRoy Neiman Gallery through February 17th.

Checkout LOVE 2016's publication here.

004-Kent-Rogowski_You-and-Me_Final_11x17.jpg

You and Me Final © Kent Rogowski

005-Micahel-Buhler-Rose_(L)Men,Mango-Leaves-&-Dates_(R)Woman-&-Lychees.jpg

(Left) Men,Mango Leaves & Dates (Right) Woman & Lychees © Micahel Bühler Rose

006-martin_gutierrez_Suits.jpg

Suits © Martin Gutierrez

008-Signe-Pierce_American-Reflexxx-Still-1.jpg

American Reflexxx (Still from video) © Signe Pierce & Alli Coates

009-tm_davy_Family-Portrait.jpg

Family Portrait © T.M. Davy

010-bryson_rand_Untitled-(Brooklyn).jpg

Untitled (Brooklyn) © Bryson Rand


William_King_Barge_04.jpg

"I was drawn to Red Hook with its edgy, worn landscapes, its ubiquitous rust, and the extraordinary quality of its light. Some years ago, while taking pictures there, I came upon an old barge moored in a small inlet in the harbor." And so begins William King's story of a Brooklyn man and his barge.

William_King_Barge_05.jpg

"This photographic portfolio focuses on the maritime activities and maintenance performed by Captain David Sharps with the aid of friends and volunteers aboard the Lehigh Valley barge. The story highlights float repair, spinning the barge, and barge assessment regarding dry-dock mandated by the US Coast Guard."

William_King_Barge_03.jpg

William_King_Barge_06.jpg

"The 101 year old Lehigh Valley barge is a historic landmark and working museum. Due to the efforts and dedication of Captain David Sharps, with his many friends and volunteers, the Lehigh Valley is the last remaining example of the Hudson River Railroad barges."

William_King_Barge_07.jpg

William_King_Barge_08.jpg

William_King_Barge_01.jpg

William_King_Barge_02.jpg

Words and images © William King 


This barge museum also holds music and other events. Check out their schedule.
Also: don't miss William's "Brooklyn Trolleys"

Leland_Bobbe_Carlos-Alonar.jpg

Carlos Alomar, guitar with David Bowie since the 1970s © Leland Bobbé

Veteran New York photographer Leland Bobbé is making a series of the unsung heroes of music - the back-up musicians. Portrayed in simple, frank, black and white portraits, it's a glimpse at the poor drummer who's never seen, and other hard-working jobbers you might vaguely recognize.

Let's give them some props!

Leland_Bobbe_Liberty-Devitto.jpg

Liberty Devitto, drummer with Billy Joel for 30 years

Leland_Bobbe_Lenny-Kaye.jpg

Lenny Kaye, guitar player with Patti Smith since the 1970s

Leland_Bobbe_Ricky-Byrd.jpg

Ricky Byrd, guitar with Joan Jett & The Blackhearts, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee

Leland_Bobbe_Gene-Cornish.jpg

Gene Cornish, guitar and vocals from The Rascals, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee

Leland_Bobbe_15_05_06_carmine-appice_001.jpg

Carmine Appice, father of heavy metal drumming with Vanilla Fudge. Played with Rod Stewart and Jeff Beck. Co-wrote the Rod Stewart hits, "Do You Think I'm Sexy?" and "Young Turks."

All images © Leland Bobbé

Be sure to also check out "Half Drag," Leland's fabulous and well-loved series of half made-up drag queens. 

Jess-T-Dugan-Alex,-2012-01.jpg

Alex, 2012 © Jess T. Dugan  


Think of a man - I mean a real dude kind of guy. Masculinity drums up a certain image, specific ideas and blunt mannerisms. A portrait of that man can strip away assumptions and allow for a much more fleshed out identity. Most of gender is read through parts of a person's body. That body becomes fleshy and naked in its insecurity, or maybe not, it can be in a persons mind and the pieces arbitrary. Jess T. Dugan's project and new book Every Breath We Drew deals with these issues. What is gender? How is masculinity defined? Through Dugan's subjects she is able to establish intimate relationships; each individual bares their experience, there's a huge sense of comfort. Dugan's portraits build; some of the subjects have been totally marginalized by society, many of the people in the photos are given new voice, they are dynamic.

Jess-T-Dugan-Bucky,-2013-02.jpg

Bucky, 2013

Every Breath We Drew is a collection of people of all different sizes, shapes, backgrounds, orientations and identifications. Dugan is fascinated by masculinity and capturing what she refers to as "vulnerable masculinity." "I find all of my subjects myself. It's hard to say exactly what it is that qualifies them. Something about my initial reaction to them." The process every step of the way is about this kind of personal intimacy. Dugan is very involved and an integral part of the photographic narrative. She uses self-portraits throughout the body of work; they become a constant. With Dugan as the familiar face throughout the photos she turns into a representation of the identifiable self. Dugan becomes anyone, in this way the viewer is interjected into the narrative through her. Suddenly her subjects are more noticeably looking at you. The conversation evolves, as the viewer is able to take control of the portraits.

There is a huge sense of community given the nature of the images. How does a person come into their body while also connecting with others? The source of this inquiry can be open ended; after all, it's highly individualized and deals in the self. The images keep pushing on a desire to seek a genteel masculinity. Dugan stresses that there is a need to redefine; masculinity is more expansive than commonly understood. The self is a starting point, as the subjects allow their comfort to creep in, more information is revealed. Light and pose play into these peoples places. All of Dugan's images are crafted in the subject's home where they could be most susceptible to allowing an authentic moment to play out. Dugan's frames are slow, the thinking and consideration to the environment is evident, and each moment retains a charged emotion.    

Jess-T-Dugan-Colby,-2012-03.jpg

Colby, 2012

Jess-T-Dugan-Ryan-and-Josh,-2013-04.jpg

Ryan and Josh, 2013

Every Breath We Drew has a very concise interest, however it's crafted by a broad pressing of intent. The portraits are full of unexpected juxtapositions. People are somber, they are gay, they are with child, and without specificity. A person is a glorious hairy mess. And even though the work is very interconnected to the LGBT community the feeling of the work goes deeper than assumptions, conditions, or titles. It should be said that it doesn't matter who these people love or how they love, it's how they pose themselves that allows them to be themselves.

Jess-T-Dugan-Herb,-2013-05.jpg

Herb, 2013

Jess-T-Dugan-Taan,-2012-06.jpg

Taan, 2012 

Jess-T-Dugan-Kim,-2014-07.jpg

Kim, 2014

Jess-T-Dugan-Tim,-2014-08.jpg

Tim, 2014

Jess-T-Dugan-Self-Portrait-(hotel),-2012-09.jpg

Self-Portrait, 2012

Jess-t-Dugan-Elle,-2012-10.jpg

Elle, 2012
all images © Jess T. Dugan
 

Jeff_Alu_Lucerne_02.jpg


Fabulously simple series with a strong impact! Jeff Alu's been waiting patiently for this blog post.... thank you Jeff! According to his bio, he once spent a number of years working at the Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena, CA. As one does.

"The Lucerne Valley in drought-stricken California is a unique desert location containing not only many abandoned buildings, but also a housing project/golf course site that was halted mid-construction due to funding problems."

Jeff_Alu_Lucerne_05.jpg
 
"These shots were taken on a single visit, during a passing storm which allowed for varying lighting conditions."  Jeff Alu

Jeff_Alu_Lucerne_07.jpg

Jeff_Alu_Lucerne_11.jpg

Jeff_Alu_Lucerne_16.jpg

Jeff_Alu_Lucerne_15.jpg

Jeff_Alu_Lucerne_09.jpg

Jeff_Alu_Lucerne_13.jpg

Jeff_Alu_Lucerne_12.jpg

All images © Jeff Alu

According to Wikipedia, Lucerne Valley is a census-designated place located in the Mojave Desert of western San Bernardino County, California. It lies east of the Victor Valley, whose population nexus includes Victorville, Apple Valley, Adelanto and Hesperia. The population was 5,811 at the 2010 census.


Just 15 minutes, to remind you of what's important.

Pacifico_Silano-13.jpg

Images by Pacifico Silano. Article by Efrem Zelony-Mindell.

Pacifico Silano is a BAXTER ST 2015 Workspace Resident. His new body of work, Tear Sheets - currently on view at BAXTER ST Camera Club of New York - pushes conversations that, as he puts it, "are my history." The images in his new body of work deal with issues of gender, identity, HIV/AIDS awareness, abstraction and photography. Silano is a photographer of photographs; a historian in many senses, and his work challenges the stigma of both the camera and HIV/AIDS. The images in the show are cultivated appropriations of historic queer ephemera, psychiatric literature like Martin S. Weinberg's 'The Male Homosexuals: Their Problems and Adaptations,' as well as various porno mags from the 70's - 80's. Magazines are favorites of Silano: Blueboy, Torso and Honcho These weren't just the cum rag, boy blasted, flip throughs of their day, they were also a platform of activism, nightlife, awareness, and gay rights. Historically these things were used as a way of illuminating secrets. The images in Tear Sheets add to a new context of queered identity - what it is and what it is capable of becoming.

Pacifico_Silano-1.jpg

The world has changed for gays since the AIDS crisis - the death of many. Today, there are new developments in medicine, technologies, and there are new rights - HOORAH. Never before has this powerful interconnectedness been so accessible and so present; so able to bring together as well as divide. The advances of our times are exciting and contradictory. Silano's work is a reflection of these juxtapositions. The world spins forward, and we look back in commemoration - to learn and reflect, to see new. From this inquest of space and history there is discovery and invention. Here the parts come together - for Silano. The images he makes are inescapably contemporary for all their awareness and sensibility. 

Pacifico_Silano-12.jpg

The wrecked savagery of sex and print are salvaged by the treatment of Silano's compositions. "The work comes from boxes of scraps that for a while I couldn't think of what to do with," he shares. The removal in the work happens as an affect of his excavating his archive. The work plays out before us. His appropriations become void and lucid, highly suggestive and pensive. 

At their most basic, the photos are abstract. They posses a quality of recognition and a hunger to delve deeper - to learn more. His images are at times figurative, always sculptural - becoming almost architectural. Depth and space are a tricky deception in a photograph. Silano plays off these sensibilities and discomforts. His iconography is one of a picture's generation - an aesthetic of elimination, down to a single idea. This suggests a sense of the sublime in nature.

Pacifico_Silano-2.jpg

Silano is as much a historian as he is an archivist. When I offered him a friend's VHS porn collection a few years back, he jumped at the offer. He's a collector of things, moving, still, tactile and articulated. These parts fuse in his practice - and the images are just as much photographs as they are collage. Cutting and tearing appropriated images - placed precisely - there is gesture, and the hand is always present in front of his camera. It's interesting however to note the use of negative space, huge fields of white, sometimes black. The edges of the appropriated image, or object, casts a shadow on the voided space. Suddenly, the photos teeter in a questioning way. Depth and object are brought into the flat surface of the photo. There is a sense of forgetting, of something lost. But then, he builds on top, next to, tucked behind - overlapping so as to become something new, or at least, changing the meaning of where it began. Reinterpretation blossoms from Silano's metamorphoses. 

All these pretty words for such pretty things - the facts are the facts - the work is engaging for a multitude of reasons.

Pacifico_Silano-4.jpg

Douglas Eklund, Exhibition Curator of the Department of Photographs at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, has put it best in regard to The Pictures Generation and how they, "worked at the intersection of personal and collective memory, rummaging through the throwaway products of their youth... in search of moments that both never existed yet were indelibly stamped in the mind." The scavenging of Silano's photography is addressing this history of indelible making. Some of these are before his time, but there's always a yearning to know what happened just before you got here. The work in Tear Sheets is a way of capturing and reanimating something that's been lost. 

I'll give you an example: Six of the seven original members of The Village People are still around. It's a desire like that, to find out, to know that something isn't gone, and now is full of potential in its anonymity. Anyone can search for a sense of culture that seemed important at a certain time, but now is so vague, it's almost antique. Capturing that hazy memory - remembering it - and allowing it to become what it wasn't before, is Pacifico Silano's most powerful asset as an artist.

The work is great and it's on view at BAXTER ST CCNY till January 16th. - Efrem Zelony-Mindell

Pacifico_Silano-8.jpg

Pacifico_Silano-15.jpg

All images: Pacifico Silano

Recent Entries

Categories

Links