March 2009 Archives
March 31, 2009
Earlier this week, I had the good fortune to meet Japanese artist-photographers Aki Lumi and Yuki Onodera in the studio they share in Paris. (Thanks to Korean photographer Han Sungpil for making the introductions.)
Aki and Yuki have each made remarkably diverse bodies of work — all rooted in photography yet taking fanciful, philosophical and intellectual flights of imagination. I'm pleased to present here one of many series that I admire quite a bit. Check back soon to discover some more art by each of these artists.
Here is an excerpt of an essay about Aki Lumi's work, written by Linn K:
The “traceryscape” works might be called singular “event photographs,” which arise through the careful layering of two photographs: the “real landscapes” of the outside world and those of another dimension that exists in parallel to them – the dimension of “imaginary lines and shapes” taken from the expanses of our awareness.
Be sure to check out the high-resolution slide show and some of the detail photographs. Cheers!
March 30, 2009
Helen Levitt, a pioneer of color photography and street photography died this week in New York at age 95. You can see a sampling of 24 of her photos here in Lens Culture. There's also a great article about her and her life in The New York Times.
She will remain an inspiration for so many of us.
March 23, 2009
Photo courtesy Fifty One Fine Art Photography.
Lens Culture is thrilled to share a transcription of a very warm and personal interview made with Malick Sidibé in 2008. Here is an excerpt:
At night, from midnight to 4 am or 6 am, I went from one party to another. I could go to four different parties. If there were only two, it was like having a rest. But if there were four, you couldn't miss any. If you were given four invitations, you had to go. You couldn't miss them.
I'd leave one place, I'd take 36 shots here, 36 shots there, and then 36 somewhere else, until the morning. Sometimes I would come back to parties where there had been a lot of people.
Afterwards I had to develop the photos and print them out. Sometimes, right up to 6 in the morning, I would be at the enlarger. For the 6 x 6 films there was a contact printer, but the 24 x 36 had to be enlarged.
So you had about 300 or 400 photos to print out. You could work in the morning, but, by Tuesday, the photos had to be ready for display. The proofs were pinned up outside my studio. Lots of people would come and point themselves out. "Look at me there! I danced with so-and-so! Can you see me there?"
Even if they didn't buy the photo, they would show it to their friends. That was enough for them. They had danced with a certain girl, and that was enough. I wasn't happy, though. I wanted them to buy these photos!
See the photos, and read the complete interview, here in Lens Culture.
March 21, 2009
I admit, I'm getting pleasantly addicted to Twitter, where I'm discovering all kinds of gems out there in the web. This short clip is a delight. Via the click, Thomas Hawk's Digital Connection, and Mark Silber's Studio blog. You can follow all of my twitter picks and pointers at http://twitter.com/lensculture. Cheers!
March 16, 2009
Korean photographer Myoung Ho Lee, who was first featured in Lens Culture in July 2007, has really hit the big time. He will have his first solo show in the US this week at Yossi Milo Gallery, NYC. Myoung Ho Lee's real-surreal conceptual series of Tree portraits have been featured in many international magazines and hundreds of blogs and other websites in the past 18 months. You can download a PDF of the 16-page feature article about Myoung Ho Lee's Tree series that appeared in the Dutch photography magazine FOAM.
Lens Culture has only a few remaining prints in the specially priced, signed, limited edition series that Myoung Ho Lee has created exclusively for Lens Culture. Due to the terms of our agreement, the prices of the Lens Culture editions will increase to coincide with the exhibition in New York. If you have been thinking about buying one, or several, for your collection, this is your last chance to purchase them at the incredibly affordable original prices, before the prices go up on March 19.
We are very happy for the success of Myoung Ho Lee, and we're grateful for the opportunity to share his stunning, unique prints with the readers of Lens Culture.
To purchase these prints, as well as others, please visit Lens Culture Editions.
March 15, 2009
Each year, the photography world is treated to an in-depth look at four remarkable, and often diverse, artists who have used photography to create outstanding books or exhibitions in the previous year. The big winner of the Deutsche Borse Photography Prize 2009 will be awarded 30,000 GBP (about $42,500). Full details, and more photos from the finalists, can be found here in Lens Culture.
March 11, 2009
Wow. Captures the excitement of 3 fun weeks in NYC. Crazy cool way to make a video, no?
Thanks to James Powell for the link!
March 8, 2009
For me, photobooks are one of the best ways to enjoy photography and the unique visions of far-flung artists from other cultures and other times.
Books are personal and intimate, and often offer more rewarding experiences than seeing framed prints on a wall at a crowded exhibition. Books establish a rhythm and flow that can be like cinema or visual poetry. And with the demise of practically all photography-rich news magazines, books seem like one of the best ways to communicate in-depth photographic stories.
Despite my love of books, and photobooks in particular, I never seriously thought about publishing a book of my own. However, the advent of high-quality low-cost personal publishing services, like Blurb.com, has changed my mind. I’ve published four silly, personal books so far, and I’m surprised at the sense of pride and accomplishment I feel when holding one of these books in my hands and flipping through it. (Much more satisfying than looking at my photos on my computer.)
So, Lens Culture is pleased to be one of the sponsors of a new photobook contest, Photography.Book.Now., that offers a $25,000 prize for the best self-published photobook this year. This seems to raise the stakes even more. A challenge!
According to the press release:
Photography.Book.Now is a celebration of the most creative, most innovative, and finest photography books – and the people behind them. Now in its second year, this international juried book competition is an opportunity for photographers of all stripes to showcase their work to a world-renowned panel of judges, and take a shot at a $25K grand prize.
Photography books have become a natural extension to the photographic process, and are shaping the future of photography as we know it. Long gone are the days where only professional and internationally renowned photographers could publish their work. With print on demand technologies, all photographers can create bound collections of their work, while retaining full control of the creative process – forever changing the face of publishing.
March 7, 2009
"A portrait is not merely a resemblance. As soon as an emotion or a happening is translated into photography, it ceases to be a happening and becomes an opinion. Inaccuracy does not exist in photography. All photos are accurate. None of them show the truth."
— Liza Fetissova, from the text for her exhibition, "Look Me in the Eyes: Russian Photographic Portraits"
See this eclectic mix of contemporary portraits, and read the full text, here in Lens Culture.
March 4, 2009
We are pleased to announce special limited edition offerings of four great contemporary photographs. American photographers Dan Nelken and Juliana Beasley have both agreed to offer editions of their original photos at very affordable prices, exclusively available for Lens Culture readers. We're honored to have these modern masterpieces for sale in our young and growing online gallery.
Juliana Beasley takes you in close to people and places you might not otherwise approach with such intimacy. Her unflinching gaze and personal fearlessness are matched perfectly with her tightly cropped compositions and celebrations of gaudy man-made colors and every day consumer kitsch.
At first glance, one would be tempted to link her work to that of Martin Parr – the images have that same kind of lasting intensity and punch. But Beasley’s work is less judgmental, and much less prone to jab fun at her subjects. Beasley shows us people and things exactly the way they are — heightened by her artist’s eye attuned to nuance and prepared to capture the decisive moment.
Beasley’s work is the cover story of the Winter 2009 issue of the excellent European photography magazine, View. Her work was shown in 2008, in Paris, New York, and Houston Texas; and will be presented in early 2009 at the Roma Photo Festival in Italy. She lives and works in the New York City area, and was recently awarded a prestigious New Jersey state-sponsored artists prize. Lens Culture is honored to be able to offer three of our personal favorites from her recent work in very limited editions and at very affordable prices. More info about Juliana Beasley can be found here.
Photographer Dan Nelken has captured the innocent, fresh-scrubbed exuberance of the people who compete each year in county fairs across America. This work has earned him numerous awards and international exhibitions — and a beautiful large-format book published in Europe in 2008.
“This series is one of those rare bodies of work that combine a surface ease of viewing with a passionate depth of character… Look deeper, past their record of faces and animals and through their delightful wit you will be moved by the spirit of these participants and the complexity of the seemingly simple events in which they are engaged.”
— Roy Flukinger, Senior Research Curator at Harry Ramson Humanities Research Center, The University of Texas at Austin
Dan Nelken's work is being featured right now at the Mexico Biennal of Photography, and in a few weeks at AIPAD in New York.
More info about Dan Nelken is here.