Friday 26 September 2008

Photolucida Critical Mass 08

Just in case you have been floating outside the blogosphere this week and haven´t heard, Photolucida´s Critical Mass 08 has recently opened for registration!I strongly urge you to get involved and get noticed. Read on.

"The aim of Critical Mass, and all Photolucida programming, is to provide participants with career-building opportunities and to promote the best emerging and mid-career artists working today.

Critical Mass is a program about exposure and community. The idea is simple- photographers (from anywhere) submit a 10 image portfolio for $75. This work then gets pre-screened by a committee of 25 great jurors and from there, 175 top finalists are determined. These top finalists then pay an additional submission fee and their work goes on to a jury of approximately 200 of the world's best curators, editors, and professionals who have agreed to vote on these finalists. From these votes, two or three photographers receive book awards and once the monographs are published, everyone who enters and reviews will receive copies of the books.

We are pleased to continue to give scholarships to pre-selected photographers by geographical region. In 2007, we gave scholarships to Polish photographers, this year the focus will be on photographers from Mexico. "

Registration will stay open until October 6th so don´t pass up on this amazing opportunity to get yourself out there. You only have to look at the list of jurors to see that in entering your work will be seen and voted on by nearly 200 professionals in the field of photography thta includes esteemed gallerists, curators, editors, journalists, bloggers etc. I am honoured to be on this year´s panel and would like to thank you all in advance for feeding my hungry eyes. Best of luck guys!

Thursday 25 September 2008

Manuel Vazquez

All images ©Manuel Vazquez

Manuel Vazquez has been on my list of people to write about for ages but for one reason or another I just haven´t got round to linking him until now. A recent graduate on the MA in Photography and Urban Cultures from Goldsmiths College, London this Colombian-born photographer´s work "researches the visual traces that are left in public spaces. In our daily lives we dwell in public places, where our journeys are filmed and stored as CCTV records. The omnipresence of the gaze of surveillance turns the city into a spectacle, and us into actors. Traces looks at the city as a theatrical scenario created with those visual codes , a “theatrum mundi”. Here, each image is a montage of single photographs where the “mise en scene” is deliberated, composed, and where the deep black canvas is an allegory to the city where commuters are continuously under the spotlight."

Jan von Holleban

All images ©Jan von Holleban

A little something arrived in the post a month or two ago and has had me charmed to no end ever since. It came in the form of Jan von Holleban´s recently published book Dreams of Flying 2. They are really enjoyable images that are easy on the eye, neat in their composition and quizzical in their humour.

Here is the press release from the project:

"Crossing the desert on the back of a dog, or searching for lost treasures on the bottom of the ocean. Inspired by classic childhood books as well as modern superheroes von Holleben’s photographs allow children to make their dreams come true. His focus on the visual representation of childhood, 'Child-History' and concepts of 'Playing', come from his teacher training course and he combines these theories with his personal experience and childhood memories.

Jan von Holleben spends his time between Berlin and London and his homeland in South East Germany where he produces the majority of his photography. Involving his local neighbourhood kids and their friends with his playful and adventurous ideas. 'Dreams of Flying' is his most acclaimed photographic project to date and was published as a special limited edition board-book.

Born 1977 in Cologne and brought up in the Southern German countryside, von Holleben lived most of his youth in an alternative commune environment. At the age of 13 he followed his father's photographic career by picking up a camera and experimenting with all sorts of ‘magical’ tricks, constantly developing his photographic skills with friends and family. Following a professional photographic apprenticeship with a commercial photographer and learning all about the technical side of the art, he moved to England aged 23 to study at Surrey Institute of Art and Design in Farnham. After his graduation he became submerged within the London photographic scene where he quickly set up two photographic collectives, became involved as picture editor and photographic director for magazines and agencies and won several prestigious awards a year with his own photography. Jan von Holleben’s work is now widely published in magazines and books and he has had solo exhibitions in New York, Berlin and Paris."

Also featured here is a little animation experiment for The Postal Service's "There's Never Enough Time," inspired by the photographs of Jan Von Holleben. Consider it the unofficial music video. Hope you like it!

Wednesday 24 September 2008

Rob Ball

All images ©Rob Ball

"In December 2006 the hospital in which I was born closed after 97 years of service. The site was bought by a property developer and will soon consist of over 800 new dwellings, in an effort to meet the governments target for 3 million new homes by the year 2020. The resultant large format photographs show the functional spaces as the last user left them, from the maternity block to the morgue. All the images are taken from inside the hospital in an effort to compound the claustrophobia I often feel in institutional spaces. The title is taken from the original name of the hospital when it started life as a convalescence home for children before the First World War."

This is the blurb from Rob Ball´s eerie project The Grange. While the work very much follows the well-trodden territory marked by cold and clinical depictions of sterile spaces whilst drawing attention to the presence of absence etc, it is still very well executed and contains some stunning shots.

Rob Ball was born 1977, England and graduated with an MA in Photography, University of the Arts, London 2006 and an HND in Photography, Norton College, Sheffield 1996.In terms of employment, he has worked as a Scene of Crime Photographer, Forensic Photography Teacher, Picture Editor and Sports Photographer.

Exhibitions include Breathe, East Thames Gallery, Stratford, London July - Oct 2008 Humble Arts Group Show no.15 July 2007, The Redemptive Beauty of Life After Death, Bonnington Gallery, Nottingham, Feb 2007, Magenta Foundation - Emerging Photographers, Toronto, Nov / Dec 2006, LCC MA Final Show November 2005, LCC MA Interim Show February 2005 and LondonArt, Workhouse Gallery 2003.

Thursday 18 September 2008

Victor Cobo

All images ©Victor Cobo

"This work is about dreams, love and the desire to battle loneliness and isolation from society. I want to capture the horror, emotional tension and hidden beauty that can be found in these individual exiles. Lost souls who crave ever lasting love. When someone's life is void of this, memories and dreams are held onto the dearest. This series pays homage to these important moments. Memories of longing are held for safe keeping, in which there are visual contrasts between the real and the surreal. It is often this world that borders on fiction that keeps us searching for love and happiness throughout the rest of our lives."

These are the words of Victor Cobo, whose fantastic series of photographs entitled Remember When You Loved Me was sent my way which I am happy to share with you all. Victor was born in Melbourne, FL (1971)but lives and works in San Francisco, CA. His one person exhibits include "American Dreams," Blue Sky Gallery, Portland, OR (2007)and "The Migrant Trail," Michel Novelozo Gallery, Davis, CA (2005)and he has also participated in numerous group shows such as "Masterworks of American Photography," Curator: John Rohrbach-Amon, Carter Museum, Fort Worth,TX(2008), "Photo Forum," Curator: Anne Wilkes Tucker-Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX (2007), "Sub-text," Randall Scott Gallery, Washington DC (2007), "The Only Human Exhibit," Academy of Art University, San Francisco, CA (2007), "Cruzando," Fifty Crows Gallery, San Francisco, CA (2006), "Center Awards," Juror: Sarah Greenough-National Gallery of Art, Center For The Photographic Arts, Carmel, CA (2006),"Countdown 2000," National Juried Exhibition, (3rd Place), Juror: Lawrence Rinder-Whitney Museum of American Art, 1078 Gallery, Chico, CA(1996.)His CV also boasts a plethora of grants, awards & honors and it comes as no surprise to hear his work has been snapped up by many a private and public collection.

Tammy Mercure

All images ©Tammy Mercure

The work sent was sent by Tammy Mercure from the project Big Rock Candy Mountain, of which she writes:

"I am photographing the tourist towns that accompany the natural beauty of The Great Smoky Mountains. The most notable of the towns are Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg in Tennessee and Cherokee in North Carolina. The pure spectacle of the towns brimming with shopping, all-you-can-eat buffets, and pure entertainment, stop some visitors from even seeing the nature up close and unmediated. The attractions fascinate me as they speak to our deepest desires, like being close to wild animals and being transported to new fantastic places for escape. I am also interested in capturing the symbols of the area, like Dolly Parton, bears, and Indians."

Tammy Mercure has exhibited nationally in the US, including solo shows at Chicago Cultural Center in Illinois and group shows at Catherine Edelman Gallery in Chicago. She has received numerous awards and grants, including a Polaroid Art Support Grant and several CAAP grants from the City of Chicago. Her work is included in the Midwest Photographer's Project at the Museum of Contemporary Photography. Images from Wonders were published in the book "Place, Art, and Self" by Yi-Fu Tuan. She was the Digital Imaging Facilities Coordinator (1999-2007) at Columbia College Chicago where she received her B.A. She is currently residing in Johnson City TN where she is pursuing her M.F.A. at East Tennessee State University.

Wednesday 17 September 2008


This is a video from ABC Australia about the recent exhibition at The Australian Center for Photography in Sydney. The exhibition features work from "Hijacked Volume One: Australia and America," a book edited by Mark McPherson & Max Pam. Hijacked aims to create cultural and artistic networks of exchange between contemporary Australian and international photographers, the results of which are just stunning and reflect a myriad of different perspectives. Really enjoyable little documentary this!

Joachim Lapotre

All images ©Joachim Lapotre

"Portraits du quotidiens/Everyday Life Portraits" is 13 still lifes expressing the complexity of our time. By portraying my own life in these works and subsequently, the time period in which I live, these still lifes become relics both personally and universally, in order to gain perspective on our modern everyday life. Maybe this is the purpose of art, to bear witness.

I was a senior freelance art director for more than 10 years. I worked mainly in the luxury domaine (Chanel, Dior, Loreal,...). So, I am familliar with advertising aesthetic codes/language. In advertising, still lifes express eternal life through abondance and shiny reflections. This, I believe, is the lie of advertising and so one of the biggest problems facing consumers. With this series, I am expressing how one could own an object without making a purchase. When the object is attached to a moment in the owners life affectively, it so then becomes a relic of everyday life. And so the mythology begins."

Joachim Lapotre has aquired solid notoriety in Paris where he was born in 1978. His work is known for its falsified visibility, ambiguous propoganda, corporate icons and deceiving photorealism.Lapotre is an expert on how to make an ad without the product, leaving the viewer with an idea on which to meditate instead of merely an object to purchase.

More of his work can be viewed here on Flickr.

A week with Charles Fréger

A week with Charles Fréger
from November 23rd until November 30th 2008

© Charles Fréger / galerie les Filles du Calvaire

Atelier de visu is organising a workshop directed by Charles Fréger. The workshop will take place in Marseille.

Content of the workshop:

> defining each participant’s photographic project.
> shooting sessions.
> editing sessions, each participant will create a coherent series
of images.
> creation of a slide show.
> opening night at Atelier de visu’s gallery and projection of the images of the participants.

L’Atelier de visu will also be doing portfolio reviews.

Price of the workshop: 500 euros
Maximum number of participants: 10
Accomodation can be provided at Atelier de visu. (depending on availability)

For further information, please contact Atelier de visu
19 rue des Trois Rois 13006 Marseille
téléphone: 04 91 47 60 07

Thursday 11 September 2008

Aaron Schuman

All images ©Aaron Schuman

Aaron Schuman is a truly prolific writer on photography and every time I pick any one of a number of my favourite publications on the subject be it FOAM, Aperture, Hotshoe or BJP his work seems to be everywhere. It is no surprise really since his is one of the most incisive and intelligent voices evaluating the medium today. In fact, his name will probably ring a bell with many of you as the founding editor of the brilliant online photography magazine, SeeSaw but it is his own personal photography to which I would like to draw your attention today people. Not that long ago, he sent me a small sample from his most series, Once Upon a Time in the West which really got my creative juices going.

I´ll hand over to the man himself and let him explain whats going on behind this project. Here is his artist statement:

"The following photographs were made on the eroding sets and locations of Sergio Leone’s celebrated 1960’s ‘spaghetti Westerns’, deep in the Almerian deserts of southern Spain. For several years I have pursued work concerned with the propagation of American myths abroad, as well as notions of how the ‘American vision’ has been applied to landscapes and cultures throughout the world. Recently, I became fascinated by the notion that a fundamental American archetype – the Wild West, and its associations with freedom, rebelliousness, brutality, morality, honour and so on – had been transposed by an Italian film director onto the landscape of Franco’s Spain, and subsequently came to define this ‘quintessentially American’ genre in itself. Furthermore, I was particularly interested in trying to discover what these sets – flimsy, worn and weathered, but still standing forty years on and curiously continuing to attract a surprising number of visitors – might insinuate about the state of America, its ideals, reputation, ambitions, visions and illusions today."

Be sure to check out his website and take the time to browse through the different portfolios, they make for a richly rewarding viewing experience. I am particularly fond of his photographs from the Walker Anonymous lot and must book an appointment to see them in the flesh sometime soon. Enjoy!

Alex & Cocco

All images ©Alex & Cocco

Alex & Cocco just uploaded a new body of work named Taxi to the `space´ folio of their website - as with all of their personal work, these images are presented 'as shot' without cropping or post production of any kind. You will find lots more of this type of material on there too, I for one have really enjoyed checking out the work but wish the navigation of the site was a bit more user-friendly!

Wednesday 10 September 2008

Seba Kurtis

All images ©Seba Kurtis

Thanks very much to Seba Kurtis for sending me a selection of images from his series 700 Miles, a striking and passionate look at illegal immigration in the States. In his accompanying essay to the work, he manages to shed a little on the extent of this phenomenon. He writes,

"There are currently 45 million Hispanics working or living in the USA, (particularly from Mexico) of which 12 million are suspected illegal. This diluting of their race breeds insecurity in some American citizens, fearful of the face of America being changed. An anti-immigrant crusade has developed to prevent illegal aliens from crossing the southern border. In 2006 President Bush authorised the fencing of 700miles of the US-Mexico border of the states of California, Texas and Arizona. This $2.2 billion project is yet to materialise, but has been compared to the Berlin Wall.

Patriotic Americans have given up their free time to become vigilantes “Minutemen”, who secure the border themselves and report any infiltration to border police from 24hour video cameras in their own home.

I was living as an illegal immigrant in Europe for more than 5 years, so this body of work is based on an understanding of being a man with no rights."

Tuesday 9 September 2008

Chad Muthard

All images ©Chad Muthard

Chad Muthard, who lives and works in Philadelphia, sent this interesting work my way a while back now admist the mayhem that ensued prior to getting the second issue of 1000 Words out, but I neglected to give him a mention. So, without further ado, here is his statement:

"Lost In Thought, the body of work submitted attempts to document periods of time spent with other individuals. The photographs are less about the actual experience and more about how those experiences shape your day to day and come to be in a constant state of circulation within your own mind. While you drift off to sleep or daydream at your job, the people you share your life with help to construct your own thoughts, aspirations, and ideals. "

"The correlation between breaking down the photographic plane of the image as an object and the dissection of the shared experience through over analysis produce an image which creates a platform for a furthered understanding of both areas."

Chad Muthard (born 1983 in the town of Catasauqua, PA and currently residing in Philadelphia, PA) received his BFA degree from Tyler School of Art and has since exhibited work in both Philadelphia and New York City, most notably Jen Bekman’s HHS Fall 2006 exhibition and Photo Image 07 selected by Katherine Ware, Curator of Photographs at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

You can check out more images from his series here. Well worth a butchers!

Julia Baum @ NY Studio Gallery, New York

"Johanna", digital c-print, 2008

A Rare Breed
A Portrait Series on Redheads
works by Julia Baum

September 4th-27th, 2008

Artist's Reception: Friday September 12, 7 - 9pm

NY Studio Gallery wrote to me and told me how pleased they are to present: A Rare Breed - A Portrait Series on Redheads by Julia Baum. A redhead herself, Baum uses her insight as a photographer and interest in the photographic portrait to investigate elements of what makes the red haired person so unique.

The project was initiated by a widely printed rumor that redheads are going extinct. While the rumour proved to be false, Baum began documenting her red haired subjects both as an exploration of portraiture (Baum had until then been a landscape photographer) and as a way of documenting and preserving the legacy of redheads.

The artist states, "As redheads, we are used to being one in a crowd and regularly noted for our appearance. Experiencing life in this way from infancy through adulthood influences who we are. As a natural redhead, I know our hair color affects more than just our appearance. As only 1% of the entire human population, our distinctive coloring is a relevant topic from day one."

Throughout the series, while the red hair gene is constant, each coloration and personality within the series exemplifies a unique manifestation. In A Rare Breed, Baum takes advantage of the radiant light of her daylight studio – to examine the outward appearance and inner character her subjects present. While photographing individuals in front of a simple white background, Baum allows us to examine the nuance of each shade of red in a provocative and entertaining series of intimate photographs.

Her complete series can be seen on her blog she maintains here. In the meanwhile, here are a small selection that will be sure to leave you with a thirst for more.

All images ©Julia Baum