The Latest

Sep 11, 2014 / 2 notes

Mona Kuhn

Acido Dorado

September 11-October 18, 2014

Edwyn Houk Gallery, New York

Mona Kuhn’s (German, b. Brazil, 1969) photographs of nudes aim to show the human body in its most natural state. Stripping away the distraction of material adornment, her subjects become timeless and free from cultural and/or generational stereotypes. A sense of comfort permeates each photograph; the subjects feel safe and at ease, allowing a genuine conveyance of emotion. She begins each series with a specific color palette in mind, followed by an emotion. Then she chooses a location, and lastly her subjects. Working intimately with a group of friends, she considers each photograph a collaboration. The subjects’ postures mirror their environments and each series flows like a lyrical ballad, opening up a dialogue about the human body’s interaction with the setting. Classically trained, Kuhn’s compositions are painterly studies, each photograph thoughtfully arranged. Each image is multi-dimensional with a careful selective focus, giving the viewer the opportunity to only enter specific areas of the frame and leaving the remainder up to the imagination. 

Mona Kuhn’s newest body of work is Acido Dorado, set inside architect Robert Stone’s secluded golden palace in Joshua Tree National Park, California. In this series, Kuhn explores her close friend and collaborator Jacintha, interacting with the American desert. Shallow pools, mirrored ceilings and glass walls frame sandy colored hallucinations filled with dreamy light leaks and seductive reflections. 

www.monakuhn.com

www.houkgallery.com/exhibitions/2014-09-11_mona-kuhn/

Aug 12, 2014
Jun 22, 2014 / 8 notes

Joanna Piotrowska 

FROWST

‘Every activity in the relationship with a father allows “I” to develop, and at the same time destroys “I”. I find the father everywhere, where I think it’s me. There is no landscape without father.’ Franz Kafka, Letter to His Father

Joanna Piotrowska’s uncomfortable album, a series of staged family shots, insists upon the fundamental anxiety at the heart of the family: its system of relationships, adamantine bonds that are equally oppressive and rewarding. Her images display intimate family scenes – cosily paired bodies, meeting and converging, in images which teeter on the verge of a dysfunctional moment. In one snapshot, two adult brothers lie together on a Persian carpet wearing only white briefs; in another, the black-clothed bodies of two embracing women merge, suggesting the atavistic overlap of mother and daughter. The title itself, which denotes a warm or stuffy atmosphere, captures the paradoxical nature of the family: frowsty spaces are both cosy and claustrophobic, intimate and airless.

The images are carefully staged: Piotrowska asked her family subjects to pose in almost sculptural gestures, re-enacting moments of intimacy – repeating spontaneous instants of tenderness, in performances which are imbued with a plethora of new meanings. Influenced by the philosophy of the German psychotherapist Bert Hellinger, Piotrowska integrated movements and gestures from Hellinger’s therapeutic method Family Constellations, which attempts to expose and heal multi-generational trauma. Her black-and-white images, intentionally nostalgic for lost moment of happiness, are shrewd observations of the tension of self that pervades every family dynamic.

Joanna Piotrowska is a Polish photographer who recently completed her MA at Royal College of Art, London. She has exhibited her work internationally in Ireland, Spain, Poland, Russia, France, Latvia and in the UK. Works from FROWST have been included in Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2013, and in the exhibition ‘Jerwood Encounters: Family Politics’, curated by Photoworks.

more: http://joannapiotrowska.com/

order the book here: http://www.mackbooks.co.uk/books/1035-Frowst.html

Jun 12, 2014

Larry Clark is selling his snapshots at £100 a pop

According to the director, this sale is for ‘all the kids that come to my shows and could never afford $10,000 for a print’

When Larry Clark turned 71 this January, he found himself staring at thousands of one-of-a-kind prints he’d accumulated over his career. Behind-the-scenes snapshots from iconic films like Kids; outtakes from his calendar shoot for Supreme; portraits of ragtag gangs of skate kids and street hustlers – what was he going to do with them? 

As it turns out, the answer wasn’t donating them to an archive or sell them off to a wealthy collector. Instead, Clark is selling the one-of-a-kind images – many of which were printed at pharmacies and one hour photo shops – to the public, all at the (relatively) low price of £100 an image.

In his words, the sale is for “all the kids that come to my shows in their thousands and could never afford ten to fifteen thousand dollars for a print… This is a pay back to all the skate rats and collectors who would like a souvenir so I can die happy”. 

The 4x6 inch and 5x7 inch colour prints were photographed between 1992 and 2010, when the filmmaker was working on movies like Kids (1995), Bully (2001) and Ken Park (2002).

For one week in July, Clark is shipping over a large wooden crate stacked with his photographs to the Simon Lee Gallery in London, where fans will be able to rummage through his archive and score an exclusive print at a fraction of what it would usually cost. The London sale follows on from a similar initiative in New York. 

Jun 12, 2014

Larry Clark 

Tulsa

Teenage Lust

13 June-12 September

Foam presents two renowned and controversial projects by photographer and filmmaker Larry Clark. Tulsa (1971) and Teenage Lust (1983) are Clark’s earliest bodies of work and reveal a youth culture, which at the time was totally unknown to the greater public.  Images of sex, violence and drug use permeate both series, which were also published as books. At the time of their release, both projects caused a great deal of commotion due to the rawness of the images, but the truth of what they revealed also gave way giving them an iconic status. Being shown alongside the photographs, Tulsa (64 min) is a 16 mm film that was shot by Clark in 1968;  he made contact prints from a section of the film, but didn’t do anything with the rest of the footage and put it away.  The film was rediscovered by the artist in 2010 and is a fascinating precursor for his later cinematic oeuvre.

Larry Clark established his reputation in 1971 with the Tulsa series and the eponymous book, which he worked on between 1963 and 1973. The book became an instant classic and launched a true revolution in documentary photography. In graphic black-and-white Clark showed confrontational, autobiographical images focusing on the violent underworld of Tulsa. The use of hard drugs, explicit violence and sex play a prominent role. Tulsa was shot in a new documentary style: subjective, alienated and completely free of any social agenda. It became the prelude to raw, unpolished photography that was not based on objective observation by an outsider but instead came from the experience of those directly involved. Based on Tulsa, Clark received a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to realise his next project. This, however, took ten years, due to Clark’s heroin addiction and a prison sentence.

He finally finished his second extremely innovative project, Teenage Lust. In the book that appeared in 1983, his interest in the drug culture had been replaced by sexual obsession. Clark’s own troubled life and that of his friends form the background for the images in this series. Clark combined self-portraits and photos from his youth in Tulsa with images of young male prostitutes he met in Times Square in New York in the early 1980s. It is an incisive document spanning a period of thirty years about a group of youngsters who made a different choice than the typical American Dream.

More info: http://www.foam.org/visit-foam/calendar/2014-exhibitions/larry-clark

May 19, 2014 / 2 notes

Bob Mazzer has spent over 40 years commuting on the tube, armed with his trusty Leica M4, an eye for real life and a fascination with human behaviour. He’s amassed thousands of photos from his years spent on London’s underground service documenting the lives of others – transitory souls committed to camera that Mazzer never saw again.

While working as a projectionist in a porn cinema in central London during the 1980s, Mazzer began photographing on the tube during his daily commute and the photographic social history remained unseen and unexhibited for years. The results are extraordinary – an intimate insight into the lives of commuters and the sprawling tube network itself.

I`ve posted about Bob Mazzer before (sep. 15, 2013) and now there`s a book coming out with his great work about the London underground. You can pre-order it at:

http://spitalfieldslife.bigcartel.com/product/underground-by-bob-mazzer-published-by-spitalfields-life-books-on-12th-june

Dazed & Confused made an interview and to preview more photographs:

http://www.dazeddigital.com/photography/article/19879/1/beautifully-intimate-photos-from-londons-underground

May 10, 2014 / 4 notes

DEUTSCHE BÖRSE PRIZE

11 APRIL – 22 JUNE 2014

Since being established in 1996, each year the Prize has celebrated the best in photography, whether a publication or exhibition. It is one of the largest art prizes in the UK, proving a pivotal point in many photographers’ careers.

This year’s nominees are Alberto García-Alix, Jochen Lempert, Lorna Simpson and Richard Mosse.

Alberto García-Alix (b. 1956, Spain) is nominated for his publication Autorretrato/Self-Portrait, La Fabrica Editorial (2013).

The book features black and white self-portraits which offer an insight into the artist’s life over nearly four decades. These include the upheavals at the end of Franco’s dictatorship in the early 1970s through newly gained liberties in the mid-1980s and on to the present day. The works reflect a life of both intimacy and excess, where photography is used to mediate experiences, fears, neuroses and inner battles. His tense and lyrical images blur – visually and metaphorically – the line between self-reflection and staged portraits. In his wider practice, García-Alix also combines photography with writing and video work.

Jochen Lempert (b. 1958, Germany) is nominated for his exhibition Jochen Lempert at Hamburger Kunsthalle (22 June – 29 Sept 2013).

Originally trained as a biologist, Lempert has been using photography since the early 1990s to study humans and the natural world. His approach is scientific and poetic as well as humorous. Always working in black and white, his work engages with a diverse range of subjects and genres, ranging from everyday views to abstracted details. Photographic series alternate with single pictures, highly contrasted images with almost blank papers, through which multiple links and subtle associations are woven. 

Lorna Simpson (b. 1960, USA) is nominated for her exhibition Lorna Simpson (Retrospective) at Jeu de Paume, Paris (28 May - 1 September 2013).

Simpson’s work links photography, text, video installations, most recently archival material and found objects. Emphasizing a conceptual and performative approach, she explores themes of gender, identity, culture, memory and body. Simpson works within the charged duality of past and present, word and image but also plays with the interplay between still and moving images.

Richard Mosse (b.1980, Ireland) is nominated for his exhibition The Enclave at Venice Biennale, Irish Pavilion (1 June – 24 November 2013).

Mosse documents a haunting landscape touched by appalling human tragedy in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, where 5.4 million people have died of war related causes since 1998. Shot on discontinued military surveillance film, the resulting imagery registers an invisible spectrum of infrared light, and renders the jungle warzone in disorienting psychedelic hues. At the project’s heart are the points of failure of documentary photography, and its inability to adequately communicate this complex and horrific cycle of violence. 

On Monday evening they will be announcing the winner of this year’s Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2014. 

May 7, 2014 / 1 note

Legendary Japanese photographer Daido Moriyama reveals his sensual approach to the urban landscape in this edifying short.

A film by Ringo Tang:  ringotang.com/

Apr 30, 2014 / 1 note

"If I had been born one hundred or two hundred years ago, I might have been a sculptor, but photography is a very quick way to see, to make a sculpture."

Robert Mapplethorpe

In an interview given in 1987, just two years before his death, Mapplethorpe explained that photography in the 1970s was the perfect medium for a fast-paced time. He did not really choose photography; photography chose him. In many ways, Mapplethorpe was a sculptor at heart, a plastic artist driven by the question of the body and its sexuality and obsessed by the search for perfect form. 

Two concurrent exhibitions showing in Paris, one at the Grand Palais, the other at the Musee Rodin, state this point even more clearly, in visually arresting fashion. The first show is a retrospective covering Mapplethorpe’s entire career, which ultimately strives to make the point that Mapplethorpe was a great classical artist who happened to work in photography. Like Man Ray, Mapplethorpe wanted to be “a creator of images” rather than a photographer, “a poet” rather than a documentarist. The second, at the Musee Rodin, even more explicitly draws parallels between Mapplethorpe’s art and sculpture by comparing the former’s photographs with Auguste Rodin’s sculptures. Despite the two artist’s surface differences, their work is brought into dialogue by the exhibition’s stirring curation. 

more info:

http://www.grandpalais.fr/fr/evenement/robert-mapplethorpe

http://www.musee-rodin.fr/fr/exposition/exposition/mapplethorpe-rodin

Apr 25, 2014

The BEATS - Larry Fink

In the late 50s after an unsuccessful stint in college, master photographer Larry Fink dropped out and began an odyssey of hitchhiking through America. Starting out in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and moving on to Chicago, Larry travelled eastward through Cincinnati and finally back to his native soil on Long Island where his family waited with dismayed but open arms.

Clearly Long Island was not an optimal place for young Fink to remain. Striking out on his own once again, but this time for nearby Beat mecca, New York City, Fink settled down on Minetta Lane with a chap who fancied himself a poet.

Larry was quick to hit MacDougal Street where he met Turk, Mary, Bobbie, Motha, Ambrose, Randy, and Mike Stanley, not to mention Hugh Romney (a.k.a Wavy Gravy), LeRoi Jones, and so many more. Photographing, singing, and smoking weed scored in small brown paper bags on the avenues of the Village, Fink was living with internal rage, infernal optimism, and oh so many new freedoms. Just a kid, Larry yearned to get out and fight the revolution and to photograph while doing so.

The crew lived all together in the sub-basement of the Sullivan Street Theatre. Being next to the Village Gate, a now legendary jazz club, they dug their way to the rear of the club brick by brick to listen to their princes of expressive freedom: John Coltrane, Charles Mingus, and Art Blakey.

Fink, a Marxist and red diaper baby, didn’t immediately fit in with Turk’s crew, but they needed a young, drug-fueled, jazz-loving (and playing) photographer to document their visionary plight. So, it was decided that Larry sign on—they soon left New York to cross America for Mexico—in search of the soul of the Aztecs, the freedoms of the road, the compulsion of speed, the needy thrust of exaggerated adolescence. They moved fast and hysterically forward…

“It was my fate to be aligned with the Beats because of my propensity for drugs, anger, and poetry. Since they were second generation, without the same sense of immortal obsession such as the like of Kerouac and Ginsberg, they had a distinct need to be documented. Perhaps that is why they tolerated me. We were not a happy marriage and got our divorce in Mexico City. The pictures, made in 1958 and 1959, come from MacDougal Street in New York City all the way down to Mexico, and on the road in America.” —Larry Fink

get it here: http://www.powerhousebooks.com/?p=17484