Saturday, December 31, 2016

Photographers who deal wih the World's issues...

Annie Tritt

Arsty, my go to and favorite online art resource reports and suggests we follow: Those 20 Photographers who Understand the World’s Most Important Issues.

They say this: As our quest for authenticity grows by the day and trust in official media outlets wanes, some are looking to get their information directly from the original source. Instagram continues to be a valuable platform on which some of the year’s news events have been photographed by those closest to their core—before news cameras have arrived—and as such offers some of the most genuine depictions of key struggles facing our world. With the help of insight provided by Instagram’s community team, we surveyed the year’s biggest events and issues, and those that we’ll face in 2017, to pick out 20 accounts to follow to keep up in a rapidly changing world.

The piece is well worth a read you can go there HERE. And get following...

Here are some of the photographers:

Abbie Trayler-Smith
Mark Peterson

Brittany Greeson

Camille Seaman

Matilde Gattoni

Devin Allen

Ronny Sen

David Guttenfelder

Friday, December 30, 2016

Melbourne Art Book Fair - March 16 - 19, the first art newspaper on the net reports:
The Melbourne Art Book Fair returns to the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia, from March 16-19, 2017, with London-based Self Publish, Be Happy making their Australian debut as keynote guests. Formed in 2010, Self Publish, Be Happy assist young photographers in self-publishing their own photobooks. The inaugural Melbourne Art Book Fair took place in 2015 and has since attracted more than 29,000 visitors, making it the most well-attended publishing event in the Asia-Pacific region. The third Melbourne Art Book Fair in 2017 will bring together international and local publishers and practitioners in a weekend of free talks, book launches, performances, and stalls featuring art, design, architecture and photography publications from around the world. The 2017 Melbourne Art Book Fair will also feature a large-scale architectural commission by Sydney-based paper artist Benja Harney, and a full-day International Symposium on Typography featuring globally acclaimed practitioners Sara De Bondt and Radim Peško. The Symposium will be the third in a series presented in collaboration with the RMIT Design Futures Lab. Coinciding with the NGV Festival of Photography featuring solo exhibitions by William Eggleston, Bill Henson, Patrick Pound, Zoe Cröggon and Ross Coulter, the Fair will include a focus on photography and explore the medium and artistic practice through a range of public programs and forums. Keynote guests at past Melbourne Art Book Fairs have included Printed Matter, the creators of the New York and Los Angeles art book fairs, and Berlin/New York-based independent publisher Sternberg Press. Previous exhibitors have included Italian publishing house and art gallery Corraini Edizioni; esteemed German art book publisher Hatje Cantz Verlag; London-based art book publishers Open Editions and MACK; New Zealand publisher Ilam Press; and Swiss art book distributors Motto. 

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Alex Llovet - Faraway so Close, the stronger the light, the darker are the shadows


Barcelona based photographer Alex Llovet recently sent me a copy of his new bookwork Faraway so Close. The book is in a edition of 400 copies with monochrome images rendered in deeply satisfying blacks on a luscious satin paper stock. Many of the photographs resonate with unanswered questions, formulated from the photographers past life experience and what is unmistakably his quest to find meaning. This is a passionately personal book and that's all to the good. The simple images come from the heart, a place where I feel the best work usually comes from. There is no clever artifice here, just pictures that hum with promise.

Alex Llovet says this about Faraway so Close: This is the diary of a journey. In 2009 I became a father. Overnight, and with no idea of what was in store, I saw my wife give birth to our first daughter. A deep love towards that tiny person slowly inundated my life. But the stronger the light, the darker are the shadows, and becoming a father sent me back to dark episodes of my own childhood. You cannot be a father without the memory of being a son, so five years later, I aim to fuse these two roles through photography in the search for my own identity: I go into the woods, sometimes alone, sometimes with my daughter, because that is where my memories lie, and where realities resonate as distant in time and space as they are near emotionally. And this exercise inevitably describes the limits between reality and fiction (like my pictures, some of them “found” and some “staged”), because the passing of time pushes the truth into forgetfulness and maximizes the imagination.

You can see more on Alex Llovet's website HERE.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Friday, December 23, 2016

J. Paul Getty Museum - Breaking News: Turning the Lens on Mass Media

Ron Jude - Alpine Star 2004 - 2006

J. Paul Getty Museum have just opened a show - Breaking News: Turning the Lens on Mass Media.
The museum says this about the exhibition: Over the past 50 years, artists have increasingly turned to newspapers, magazines, and televised news programs as rich sources of inspiration. This exhibition explores how artists have looked at and commented on news images, from the Vietnam War in the 1960s to the so-called “War on Terror” in the 2000s. Much of the work is political; all of it is personal. Through photographs and videos, these artists have juxtaposed, mimicked, and appropriated media elements to transform ephemeral news into lasting works of art.

The show includes work from among others: John Baldessari, Martha Rosler, Sarah Charlesworth, Catherine Opie, Alfredo Jaar and Ron Jude.
You can see more on the Getty site HERE. The show runs until April 30, 2017

Ron Jude - Alpine Star 2004 - 2006

Ron Jude - Alpine Star 2004 - 2006

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Paris Photo 2016 - some thoughts on showing up!


Without a doubt Paris Photo is the preeminent photography art fair. Anywhere. This years event at the Grand Palais was the fairs 20th incarnation, it followed the disastrous terrorist attacks last year which left 130 people dead and 360 injured and lead to the weekend closure of the fair. There was therefore a lot hanging on the 2016 event.
This year saw the impact of the new Paris Photo director Florence Bourgeois,and new artistic director, Christoph Wiesner, both have given the fair a fresh look with an increased emphasis on quality. In 2016 the number of exhibitors increased to 153 galleries and dealers, plus 30 book publishers. Also, there were exhibitions in the upstairs Grand Palais spaces, one The Pencil of Culture showed ten years of photography acquisitions by Centre Pompidou, another with works from The JP Morgan Chase Art Collection.
Attendance was up 8% from last year with 62,000 people passing through the doors. Overall dealers reported solid if not spectacular sales, in part, that due to Brexit and Trump.

Paris Photo has something for everyone. I suspect there would be as many agendas and priorities as there are attendees. My focus is not so much looking at the work on the walls but connecting with people. Auckland, my base, is isolated, and that's no bad thing. The chance to meet photo friends, and forge new connections, people I'd never meet in NZ, is paramount. And a pleasure. Paris Photo is a magnet, I saw Martin Parr, John Gossage, Paul Graham, Todd Hido, Susan Meiselas, Joel Meyerowitz, Antoine d'Agata, Roger Ballen, Pieter Hugo, Anthony Hernandez, Darius Himes, to name a few, the list goes on.
The photo world is very small and everybody seems to know everybody else. And in the end galleries, publishers, whoever, tend to work with people they know, like and respect.
Then there is the business of luck... a lot happens purely by chance. It's about showing your face (I won't even say work) and surprising opportunities can crop up when you least expect it. I'm often asked what's my over-riding philosophy, relative to my practice. I'm prone to quoting Woody Allen who say that 90% of life is showing up. And it''s true. My advice to any photographer who is determined to expand their practice internationally is to go to Paris Photo and keep going. Every year. Take the long view and if your work is up to it, good things will happen.
Paris Photo 2017 runs 9 to 12 November. Put the dates in your diary now.

As an after thought. If you're into photobooks Paris Photo is photobook heaven. Then there is Polycopies on the boat on the Seine and OffPrint at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. What more is there to say!

More about Paris Photo on their website HERE.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Monday, December 19, 2016

John Maclean - HOMETOWNS

Hometown of Takashi Homma, Ottowa, Tokyo

It was a pleasure to meet photographer John Maclean at OffPrint in Paris this last November. John showed me his recent bookwork Hometowns and pleasingly agreed to a book swap. What immediately stuck me about Hometowns was how well it worked. It was clear that John had got it right on every level. The concept is strong, demanding even and requires some work by the reader to decode. Yet the work is not conceptually leaden where you simply want to give up before you've got it. With its simple unobtrusive design the book works as an object, it looks good and feels good in the hands.
And last, the pictures are stunning. You can see John's distinctive voice apparent in his image making while at the same time he hits so many different visual notes. This makes for a surprising read, leaving the reader wanting to figure out the rationale behind the making and the sequencing. Nothing is too obvious and that's a big plus for me.

In a footnote to the book John explains his thinking behind Hometowns. Essentially how we all, subconsciously or not, pay homage to our own group of cultural ikons. In my case Eggleston is  a point of reference and so he is to John Maclean. John's list includes many of the artists who are also on my list and I guess that's one of the reasons why I like Hometowns so much.

JM says this: While the creative desire is always to look forwards, "original" art is always, at least in part, an encoding of work from the past. Hometowns takes a reflexive look at the process of encoding. It began with a line in my notebook: "Photograph the hometowns of your heroes" - an idea for a layered investigation into the places that influenced those artists whose work has coloured my own.  Two years later, that line has become a sixty-five-image, photo-homage to a unique group of artists who have been my own mentors-by-proxy, and an endeavour to untangle the strands which connect me to their work. 

Although born in Buckinghamshire, England, John spent most of his childhood in Canada and the United States. He began using a camera at the age of fourteen when he discovered the book American Images, featuring the work of Lee Friedlander, Lewis Baltz and John Gossage. After studying mathematics, physics and geology he changed direction and studied photography at the University of Derby (UK) under Olivier Richon. He subsequently worked at The Royal College of Art for four years. John has been a London-based, independent photographer since 1998. His 2010 exhibition Two and Two was a solo show at Flowers Gallery. John has had work published in Camera Austria, The British Journal of Photography, Source, Photoworks, Yet Magazine, 1000 Words, SeeSaw and IANN Magazine to mention a few. He has published nine photobooks; New Colour Guide received two ‘Best Photobooks of 2012′ awards. His project Hometowns was exhibited at Unseen, Amsterdam in 2015. Hometowns was also awarded Best International Photobook of 2016, judged by David Campany, Dewi Lewis and Lucy Moore. It will be exhibited at Format Festival, Derby 2017. Print sales through Flowers Gallery.

Hometowns was published in an edition of 400 copies. Still available at PHOTOBBOOKSTORE UK HERE.
And while you're at it you can check out John Maclean's website HERE.

Hometown of Rachel Whiteread, Muswell Hill, London

Hometown of Robert Cumming, Mattapan, Massachusetts

Hometown of Robert Frank, Wipkingen, Zurich

Hometown of William Eggleston, Sumner, Mississippi

Hometown of Robert Rauschenberg, Port Arthur, Texas

Sunday, December 18, 2016


Ratik Asokan at ARTFORUM reports: These photographs, shot between 1988 and 1992 in Grapevine Branch (a small community in West Virginia) were made collaboratively. Not wanting to rehearse the old narrative of “poor isolated rednecks,” Susan Lipper involved her subjects in the storytelling process, visualizing their personal myths. It’s surprising, then, that her work features those familiar tokens—guns, Klan hoods, bibles, booze—that decorate the liberal’s imaginary tableaux of the rural South. How did these props end up there? And, more to the point, what is it that is so unsettling about the results?

Susan Lipper - HIGHER PICTURES,  980 Madison Avenue New York, NY 10075 until January 14.

Read more of the ARTFORUM review HERE. HIGHER PICTURES site HERE and Susan Lipper HERE.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Top 10 photography shows of 2016, a view by Sean O'Hagan of the guardian

Diane Arbus

From Elton John’s ravishing collection to the early days of Diane Arbus and the beautiful worlds of Paul Strand, the guardians arts critic Sean O'Hagan gives a perceptive overview and his take on the top ten photography exhibitions of 2016.
I had the pleasure of seeing two of these shows, the Elton John collection at the Tate and Diane Arbus at Met Breuer. What these shows had in common was the small scale of the works, which to me heightened the experience of looking and underlined the quiet authenticity of the works.

1 Paul Strand: Photography and Film for the 20th Century
Victoria and Albert Museum, London

2 Provoke: Between Protest and Performance (Photography in Japan 1960-75)
Le Bal, Paris

3 Gregory Halpern
Webber Represents, London

4 Feminist Avant-Garde of the 1970s
The Photographers’ Gallery, London

5 Eamonn Doyle: End
Les Rencontres d’Arles, France

6 The Radical Eye: Modernist Photography from the Elton John Collection
Tate Modern, London

7 Diane Arbus: In the Beginning
Met Breuer, New York

8 The Image As Question Michael Hoppen Gallery, London

9 Performing for the Camera Tate Modern, London

10 William Eggleston: Portraits
National Portrait Gallery, London

Sean O'Hagan's comments are well worth a read, you can go to the guardian site HERE.

Man Ray

Friday, December 16, 2016

London in November, first pictures


After Paris, a week in London, here are some pictures... at top my daughter Zoë lying on the floor of the Turbine Hall at Tate Modern.