Daw Thaw Yin with her machete, and daily cheroot, Myanmar, 2011. From "The Machete Project" © Vanessa Ahlsborn
In 2006 Vanessa Ahlsborn bought her first knife as a memento whilst traveling. Since then her interest in the utilitarian tools has led her around the world producing this simply wonderful personal project. I think Vanessa is destined for greatness!
"The Machete Project
is an ongoing portrait and object archive that showcases the diversity of this blade style and the beauty of its users. Despite their fearsome reputation in western news media and popular culture, the machete is an extremely versatile and commonplace asset for many people across the world. By documenting the everyday user for whom the machete is an invaluable tool, the project seeks to question the viewer's assumptions about the machete, and by extension, the people who use it."
is a photographer and graphic artist. In his latest body of work, "The Space Between," he presents New York's architecture in an imaginary, yet hyper-real way.
Marc sees things differently; we talked about him having almost synesthesic moments as he walks around New York. His photographs are a result of his vision and precise post-production, and invoke a nostalgia that on the whole, New York has no time for (though I believe the new mayor is being lobbied to create a listed buildings register for those over 75 years old.) He adds more depth by layering images over antique textured paper.
"I'm drawn to the majestic details and materials of classical historical buildings, many of which are hidden from view, tucked behind new architecture. In these instances, a mere sliver of old, of history, is there to be photographed, leaving me to recreate the rest of the building to make it whole again."
There are 21 photographs in Marc's upcoming solo exhibition at ClampArt
in Chelsea, New York, which opens April 3, 2014.
is a photographer who enjoys modeling for other artists. But Michael has suffered a plethora of serious health issues during his lifetime and as the effects of multiple disorders increases, he has found this posing becoming increasingly challenging. To help process that, he made a series of self-portraits, saying: "I became intrigued with the idea of photographing myself in this process of decay, both on a personal level and displayed on the modeling stand in a predetermined pose and time interval." Michael tries to maintain half-hour exposures to capture all his tics.
I see strength in his photos,and ownership of his situation, and admirable braveness!
"Today an experience seems to be truly lived only if with a chance of sharing it in order to obtain approbation, and this is the next step of a consumer society. We are overwhelmed by images, and the internet is the place where this huge amount is left after receiving few or many likes/views/comments.
"This work aims to present a new socio-cultural trend describing it in a provocative way, showing instead Google earth's photo icons. The main touristic destinations thus become a sort of digital landfill, and it lends to considerations of different nature, including the hypothetical conflict between amateurs and pros, or between tourists and locals."
Something gentle to see you into your weekend, from George Holroyd
, a US-born photographer, currently living in Hungary, by way of Paris, France. In his current adopted country, George is working on some new diptychs. I love George's consistently tranquil style.
"My photography is a form of personal documentary. It is an investigation into those elements that occasionally coalesce in ones awareness to foster a sense of belonging or alienation. I attempt to illustrate these phenomena in my work, presenting images to the viewer that are consistent with my recollection."
All images © George Holroyd
See a previous post
with some of George's diaristic earlier work.
I published Walt Stricklin
's gorgeous composite panoramas "Made in China
" in the magazine almost three years ago now. Walt has stayed prolific in the meantime. Based in Alabama, Walt's been photographing rural churches and composing them thusly:
I love Walt's statement on the series:
"Being the son of a hell fire and brimstone Southern Baptist preacher and growing up in country churches across the South and southwest, this project would seem to be a natural fit. Unfortunately, my father and I never quite saw eye to eye on religion and for the most part, my religious views have not changed or softened. But, rambling through the backroads of the rural south has brought up feelings I had not expected.
I have had a conversion, not religious, more of a societal conversion. I started seeing things with the softer eyes of age. There is something special about rural church buildings. I am starting to understand the strength, comfort and sense of community they bring their congregations. Even the architecture seems to ground the soul in the common sense ways in which they are built. They have the feeling of country grandeur without overwhelming the sensibility of the rural lifestyle."
I know Charles Traub
as the founder and chairperson of the MFA Photography, Video and Related Media department at School of Visual Arts in New York so it's a pleasure to get an insight into his own, 50-year archive.
His book Dolce Via: Italy in the 1980s
is published by Damiani next month. "This volume is the first comprehensive compendium of his vivid color photographs made in early 1980s Italy, from Milan to Marsala. Characteristic of Traub's imagery is a candid intimacy that combines humor and spontaneity, which makes us long for an Italy that maybe only once was. Brilliant blues, reds, and yellows engulf the baroque posturing and gestures of strangers and ordinary people who become fond archetypical caricatures."
is a second-career photographer (he trained to be a geologist) whose work is often mysterious and eery, exploring man's, and time's, influence on nature. In this emotional project he explores the desolation of the beaches that are the destination of so many hopeful immigrants.
"In 'Touch Ground
' I photographed beaches, harbors, cliffs: places where, in recent years, migrants went ashore (or just attempted to arrive) from North Africa. It's an exploration project on a firm ground, a coveted place, object of hopes, tragedies, happiness, disillusion, and sometimes, death. Places that at night appeared full of meanings and in which I perceived absences that have influenced me, as indeed as a whole a migration of epic proportions has done. It is then, once again, a work on the borders, in this case between sea, land and men. Seascapes, and yet "places of the present", places of contemporary history, theaters of tragic events for some, simply "sea" for all of us.
"Living in Sicily, I could not but be impressed by the size of the migration phenomenon and I got in touch with some immigrants who arrived in 2002, and who are now living among us. I wondered how the 'ground' is for those who see it after weeks at sea, those more fortunate than the others. Anthony told me, in an uncertain Italian, "Sea, sea, sea, fear, fear, fear." Then, finally, a light, a landing. A possible salvation but only for those who are really lucky." Massimo Cristaldi.
Joel-Peter Witkin's Developer Tray, © John Cyr
Go full screen for this second feature from the series, and let your imagination develop your favourite images from each photographer.
NY locals: there is a book launch and talk on Tuesday, March 18th, 2014, at the Powerhouse Arena, in DUMBO.
Here's another photographer I met at PhotoNOLA
portfolio reviews. Bruce Morton
studied photography, spent a year in the UK as a visiting artist (we did, as one always can, bond over British weather) but he took up landscaping and only returned to photography a few years ago. Bruce's positive personality and open nature is reflected in his imagery.
His lovely book, 'Forgottonia
,' is rich with a local's perspective of an isolated community, and is currently in its third printing. With a foreword by Aline Smithson
and editing and book design by Paula Gillen
"[Forgottonia] is actually the nickname for several counties in far west central Illinois. The reason for the nickname started in the 1950s and 1960s when the interstate highway system was being designed and constructed. Many times a route from Chicago to Kansas City, which would run through the heart of this region, was considered but never built. The people in power believed such an area did not need the infrastructure. Education and manufacturing also suffered with lack of funding and promotion. One college closed its doors and moved to Wisconsin. Trains, which moved goods from one small community to another, ceased to operate. Jobs were all related to the farming and cattle business. Many of the graduating seniors from local schools could not wait to leave this forgotten land. I was one of those.
Life has changed here but not necessarily for the better. Young people still hope to leave to find a better future. The overall population has steadily declined and the only jobs are still farm related. Small farmers are succumbing to the larger operations. In 2007 I decided to return to my homeland and photographically document this area that I once considered to be the most boring place on Earth. I am excited to be back with new eyes to hear old stories from long past friends and look forward to the new ones yet to be told. This book of photographs is a story about the life cycle of those who live, love, and die here."