Via Gallery Hopper, I found the newest work of the great Michael Kenna, a series of New York City that was exhibited at the Robert Mann Gallery (images here) in New York. It is wonderful to see the unique “Kenna” style, with dark shadows, high contrast and clean lines. His work provides a distinct look of “perhaps” the most photographed city in the world. Few weeks ago I had the opportunity to see some of his prints and I have to say that if you ever get the chance to see a print from Michael Kenna prepare yourself to turn breathless. They are so amazing.
Archive for the ‘Exhibits’ Category
It is my great pleasure to introduce a guest contributor, photographer and blogger Doug Stockdale [Singular Images], who is now in China. He provides in this post a very interesting snapshot of his experience while visiting the fine art scene in Sanghai, at the heart of the M50 district, where modern art and fine art photography is flourishing. It is good to learn more about this amazing country and get a first hand experience on how fine art photography is getting momentum there.
This book [The photographer’s eye] is an investigation of what photographs look like, and why they look that way. It is concerned with photographic style and with photographic tradition: with the sense of possibilities that a photographer today takes to his work.- The Photographer’s eye, by John Szarkowski, 1966.
The Museum of Photographic Arts in San Diego (MoPA), California, celebrates its 25th year anniversary with a unique exposition based on the landmark exhibition at The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York City, in 1964 and later published in the historical book “The Photographer’s eye“(1966), by John Szarkowski , the former Director of the Department of Photography at the Museum.
Martin Schoeller did what looks impossible to achieve. He created “Big Heads” that look astonishing, beautiful, unique. The faces, in a way distorted from the perspective of the close-up and shallow depth of field, look at you with penetrating eyes reveling a subject that could look familiar but at the same time different. Subjects that look with deep eyes to connect with the viewer but simultaneously appear to be lost in their own world and thoughts.
I purchased his book Close-up a while ago, a compilation of 75 of his images that went from magazine covers to create a “Big Book of Big Heads”, a book that is certainly one of its kind and I highly recommend. The reason I refer to his work now, is because there is a new exhibition at the Hasted Hunt gallery in New York City, that just started few days ago and will run until February 23th. If you are in the area, it should be interesting to see “Big Prints of Big Heads”.
Of course, Martin is a great photographer that not only creates Big Heads, but has also very interesting editorial photography … and from what Rob Haggart tells over at his blog “A Photo Editor” part of Martin’s successful career is perhaps helped by being a “very nice guy”.
Given that his portraits are different and unique, one may wonder how can he achieve this unique perspective, this unique lighting and expression? … here there is some information … unfortunately I could not find info about the film type he uses neither the lens to get the close-up perspective with his medium format camera. I find the palette of the colors of the film he uses very attractive. If you know these technical details and like to share, please do so. [Edit: Alexandre in the comments share some additional information: “I believe he uses a RZ67 loaded with Fuji pro 800Z print film”]
In “a Close Up” setting, he waits for that off guarded moment, which he elicits by constant conversing with the person he’s shooting. In the case of a celebrity, he gets familiar with their movies, music, sports or political background, so that conversation flows easily. He often prefers shooting those with which he has an affinity.
Here’s how he works. He uses a Kino Flo light source for his portrait sessions, and strobe lighting for everything else. He sometimes uses his loft for his shoots, and also employs quite a roster of experts to assist him. These include a studio manager, full time assistant, and retoucher. Many shoots take 3-4 days, factoring in setting up the lighting, location, stylist, make-up, and hair. Things can get complicated as sometimes up to 40 people can show up if a celebrity invites friends to the shoot.
Martin is a loyal believer in film based cameras, and thinks that he’ll go digital, only when the film disappears entirely. He believes that the look and longevity of film is better, and the images, when enlarged, fare far better with film. – from Mary McGrath’s review of Close-Up.
Pablo Lopez is a photographer from Mexico whose work is now on show at one of the newest galleries in New York City (opened in October 2007), Sasha Wolf Gallery.
The Terrazo series was photographed in Mexico City and surrounding areas between 2004 and 2006. The images are quite impressive, they have three dimensionality in the composition. I did not have the chance to see the real prints, but given the dimensions (40×40 inches) and the vast spaces they represent I can sense the captivating experience of this exhibition [thank you Kelly Kingman for the reference].
Gerda Taro by Robert Capa
In 1933, the photographer then known as Andre Friedman met Polish photographer Gerda Taro in Paris. They created the identity of American photographer “Robert Capa,” and sold Friedman’s work under that name. The newly-created Capa travelled to Madrid to cover the Spanish Civil war in 1935, and took this photograph of Taro during the battle of Brunete in 1936. Taro was killed in Madrid on July 25, 1937.
Interesting article in the New York Times on the exhibition at the International Center of Photography [New York City] of the work and life of Gerda Taro, photographer and partner of Endre Ernö Friedmann [Robert Capa], that has on her the credit to “create” the name that will become a historic figure in photojournalism, Robert Capa. On her own, she had a short career that consisted almost exclusively of dramatic photographs from the front lines of the Spanish Civil War, becoming a casualty of war during the conflict.
She died on 27 July 1937, the day after being severely wounded on the front, when a Republican tank collided with her car during the retreat from the Battle of Brunete. On August 1, on what would have been her 27th birthday, the French Communist party gave her a grand funeral in Paris and buried her at Le Père Lachaise Cemetery.
Born Gerta Pohorylle in Stuttgart in 1910, she left Germany in 1933 after being held in custody for associating with anti-Nazi activists. In Paris she met Capa, born Endre Friedmann in Hungary but calling himself André after moving to Paris (by way of Berlin). In spring 1936 the pair invented the persona of Robert Capa, whom they promoted as a “famous American photographer,” and she changed her name to Gerda Taro. Driven as much by political sympathy as by photographic ambition, they traveled south in August of that year to cover the Spanish Civil War for Vu magazine. – from the New York Times.
Gerda Taro. Photographer unknown.
This year the winning image of the World Press Photo of the Year Award is different from the past. Yes, it is about war, but rather than just showing a tragic scene of human suffering it conveys the contradiction and stupidity of war conflicts. The conflict between Israel and Hezbollah achieved nothing and will not stop the progress of the Lebanese society nor will bring peace to the Middle East and Israel. Kudos to the jury of the World Press Photo (see the names of the jury members bellow). You will find other winning images here.
Description of the Image: Affluent Lebanese drive down the street to look at a destroyed neighborhood August 15, 2006 in southern Beirut, Lebanon. As the United Nations brokered cease fire between Israel and Hezbollah enters its first day, thousands of Lebanese returned to their homes and villages.
“It’s a picture you can keep looking at. It has the complexity and contradiction of real life, amidst chaos. This photograph makes you look beyond the obvious.”- World Press Photo jury chair Michele McNally
Like each year the images will tour the world. See sites and dates here.
Spencer Platt is a contributor to The Digital Journalist. If you have time to read more these are two interesting articles by Spencer with examples of his work: “A Pair of Eyes“, “Media Boot Camp“, “Bolivia“, “Bunia:Congo” and “State Funeral“. (more…)