Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Photographers whose work I like - No35/ Jeffrey Stockbridge

Jeffrey Stockbridge is a photographer based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. His documentary photography series and self-published book, Kensington Blues, which was released in 2017 has received wide international recognition. And rightly so.

Kensington Blues is a heart-felt confrontational body of work which you can't turn away from. The pictures are superbly seen and crafted with an amazing use of light and a colour palette that is just right for the job. And the chilling portraits are simply stunning. Clearly this series has been a labour of love for Stockbridge, made with persistent hard work over many years and a conviction that this was a story that had to be told.  

Stockbridge says this about Kensington Blues - "Kensington Blues is a portrait photography project of the down and out residents who live along Kensington Avenue in North Philadelphia. During the nineteenth century, Kensington was a strong working-class neighbourhood, a national leader of the textile industry and home to a diverse population of immigrants. Like many rust belt cities, industrial restructuring of the mid twentieth century lead to a sharp economic decline including high unemployment and a significant population loss.

Today, Kensington Avenue is infamous for drug abuse and prostitution. The Ave runs 3 miles through what is now a dangerous and crime-ridden neighbourhood. Women, some as young as twenty years old, and others who’ve been on the Ave for decades, populate the neighbourhood in great numbers. Prostitution has become a social norm. Drugs such as Heroin, Meth, Crack and Xanax are sold out in the open. Addicts sell clean needles for a dollar a piece. Five needles equals a bag of dope.

With the roaring El train overhead, Kensington Avenue is in a state of perpetual hustle. Working with a 4×5 camera, I chose a slow photographic process in order to literally slow down the rapid speed of life as it happens along the Ave. The focus of my work is portraiture. I want to tap into the state of mind of those who are struggling to survive their addiction. I ask those I photograph to share their stories so that others may learn from them. I record the audio conversations or ask participants to write their thoughts in my journal. The goal of my work is to enable people to relate to one-another in a fundamentally human way, in spite of stereotypes and commonly perceived differences. The truth is, addiction can happen to anyone.

In 2017, over 70,000 people died of drug overdose in the United States, approx. half of which were due to Fentanyl. That’s 191 deaths a day. In my home town of Philadelphia, over 1200 people died from overdose in 2017. As a citizen, I am deeply concerned that not enough is being done to help those suffering from substance use disorders.

The work I’ve been doing in Kensington over the past 10 years is in a way a collaboration between myself and those I photograph. Together, through photography, audio recordings, journal entries and videos, we are working to highlight the voices and stories of those who suffer from substance use disorders. By sharing the intimate details of their plight, those I photograph are effectively humanising addiction and challenging the stigma that all drug addicts are morally corrupt."

You can go to Jeffrey Stockbridge's website HERE.

Friday, January 18, 2019

10th Kassel Dummy Award 2019 – Registration now open!

Dieter Neubert and his team are pleased to announce the 2019 10th KASSEL DUMMY AWARD. Again this year invitations go to photographers worldwide to take part and to send them their unpublished photobook mock-up for the KASSEL DUMMY AWARD contest. In the first round, the best 50 books will be shortlisted by a jury at the end of April 2019. These books will be exhibited at several international photo events. From the shortlisted titles, 3 winners will be chosen by an international jury during Photo España in Madrid in June 2019. In cooperation with the Fotobookfestival Kassel, the book that wins will be produced and published by our new festival cooperation partner MAS, the leading Turkish photobook printing and binding house from Istanbul. There is a charge of 36 € per entry and book, with options for sending back the books entered. Entries must be submitted by by 24 April 2019!

You can enter HERE.

The Fotobookfestival Kassel is a charitable foundation that has been engaged with the artistic medium of the photobook and has presented it in all its facets, since 2008, in a festival program of international standing. The annual festival shows works by renowned artists and promotes established and emerging talents, publishers, designers, printers, curators and booksellers on an international platform. It was the first festival of its kind dedicated to the photographic book and has founded two novel book awards: The KASSEL DUMMY AWARD for the best photobook mock-up of the year has awarded emerging talents a complete photobook-production since 2010; the KASSEL PHOTOBOOK AWARD assembles the best photobooks of the previous year nominated by international experts in the field. Books entered for both awards are showcased regularly in travelling exhibitions at international festivals and photography events. These two awards are unique in their formats and have been role models for other international festivals and events. Based on the commitment of the founders of the Kasseler Fotoforum e.V., the Kassel based photographers Michael Wiedemann, Thomas Wiegand and Dieter Neubert, within 10 years a small local initiative has developed into an unequalled institution that receives widespread acclaim. The festival has been managed by Dieter Neubert since 2010 as a non-profit, charitable organization (Kasseler Fotografie Festival gUG). It operates independently of commercial interests and is financed through its admission fees, book sales, and sponsoring, as well as by donations and contributions. The Fotobookfestival Kassel does not receive any regular public funding and pays the standard local rates for its festival venues. Besides its main festival location Kassel, the festival has also been held in cities like Paris (Le Bal) 2012, Beijing (Three Shadows Photography Arts Centre), 2016, Istanbul, Moscow and Lodz, 2017. The festival shows work by internationally distinguished photographers such as Daido Moriyama, David Goldblatt, Martin Parr, John Gossage, Susan Meiselas, Viviane Sassen, Paul Graham and Alec Soth, as well as artist talks, lectures, workshops, reviews, print- and book-exhibitions, special book-events and book markets.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Zoe Leonard at The Museum of Contemporary Art LA

Running until March 25, Zoe Leonard: Survey is the first large-scale overview of the artist’s work in an American museum. The exhibition at MOCA looks across Leonard’s career to highlight her engagement with a range of themes, including gender and sexuality, loss and mourning, migration, displacement, and the urban landscape. More than it focuses on any particular subject, however, Leonard’s work slowly and reflectively calibrates vision and form. Using repetition, subtle changes of perspective, and shifts of scale, Leonard draws viewers into an awareness of the meanings behind otherwise familiar images or objects. A counter-example to the speed and disposability of image culture today, Leonard’s photographs, sculptures, and installations ask the viewer to re-engage with how we see. 

New York based,  Zoe Leonard (b. 1961) is among the most critically acclaimed artists of her generation. Over the past three decades, she has produced work in photography and sculpture that has been celebrated for its lyrical observations of daily life coupled with a rigorous, questioning attention to the politics and conditions of image making and display. 

Leonard has exhibited widely since the late 1980s and her work has been included in a number of seminal exhibitions including Documenta IX and Documenta XII, and the 1993, 1997 and 2014 Whitney biennials. She has spent most of her adult life living in New York City, whose built environment has been the subject matter of much of her work such as sidewalks, storefronts, apartment buildings, chain link fences, graffiti, and boarded up windows. From her earliest aerial photographs to her images of museum displays, anatomical models, and fashion shows, much of Leonard's work reflects on the framing, classifying, and ordering of vision. She explains in a recent interview: "Rather than any one subject or genre (landscape, portrait, still life, etc), I was, and remain, interested in engaging a simultaneous questioning of both subject and vantage point, the relation between viewer and world — in short, subjectivity and how it informs our experience of the world."

You can go to the MOCA website HERE.

On November 6 2016, New York's High Line Art hosted an afternoon of readings and performances in response to Zoe Leonard’s "I want a president" (1992), which was on view on the western pillar of The Standard, High Line, through March 2017. 
In the video linked HERE Zoe Leonard reads her text I Want a President (1992).

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

onestar press, Paris, presents new works from Daniel Gordon

The ever inventive, not to mention ground-breaking, Paris based onestar press present a series of 31 new photographs from New York based artist Daniel Gordon. 

onestar says this: Objects as seen through the prism of Daniel Gordon’s lens are never as simple as they appear. The NY based photographer teams with onestar press, presenting 31 new works in a series entitled Au Bon Marché, literally hand-picking a selection of his sculpted paper fruits, vegetables and objects and isolating each to highlight their singularly crafted details. It is evident from first glance that these 31 new works go beyond photography with the artist’s ever constant triangulation of painting, collage and cut out; they are digitally sourced, printed, sculpted and analogue photographed before re-emerging as digitally composed images that are pigment printed and paired with watercolor stained wood frames. From Cezanne, to Seurat and Matisse, Daniel Gordon emerges from his photographic practice with a new way of looking, removing the glass that separates a viewer from the photograph to define a new, unique tableau conceived as a whole also including the colored frames as components of the works. The title of this new series Au Bon Marché was inspired by the artist's recent visit to Paris and the history of Le Bon Marché, one of the first modern department stores that was inaugurated in 1838. 

Daniel Gordon is best known for producing large colour photographs that operate somewhere between collage and set-up photography. His work, as described by The New York Times, "Involves creating figurative tableaus from cut paper and cut-out images that Mr. Gordon then photographs. In addition, he seems motivated by a deeply felt obsession with the human body and the discomforts of having one." He has exhibited his work in solo exhibitions at Zach Feuer Gallery, Wallspace, and Leo Koenig, Inc., Projekte in New York City and Claudia Groeflin Gallery in Zürich, Switzerland. Gordon has been included in exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art, the Saatchi Gallery in London, Gallery 400 at the University of Illinois, and he was included in MoMA PS1's Greater New York 2010. He is the author of Portrait Studio (onestar press, 2009) and Flying Pictures (powerHouse books, 2009).[10] His work is in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gordon was a guest lecturer at Sarah Lawrence College in 2009.

You can go to the onestar press website HERE. And Daniel Gordon's website HERE.

Monday, January 14, 2019

Bill Brandt at Michael Hoppen Gallery, London

There is still a chance to see BILL BRANDT VINTAGE WORKS which shows at Michael Hoppen's London Gallery until January 19.

Bill Brandt [1904 - 1983] was a German born photographer who immigrated to the UK in 1933. Although he travelled throughout Europe he adopted Britain as his home and it was here that he produced his finest work. Known for his incisive depictions of the British, both high society and the working class, his distinctive, highly contrasting portraiture and landscapes were frequently shown in magazines such as Picture Post, Lilliput and Harper's Bazaar where he was a regular contributor. His early photojournalism work gave way to a more abstract vision as his career developed. Brandt's influence on the photography world started in the 1960's when he embarked on a journey to find a new visual language. By using a wide-angle lens often with a distorted foreground he was able to produce a series of remarkable graphic images of both interior and exterior nudes on the Sussex and Normandy coast. Brandt's signature photographic style of highly textural objects contrasted with the flattened perspective of the images created a uniquely oblique approach.

 In 1976 I learnt how to retouch a black and white photograph with a pencil, a magic marker and some beer. My teacher was none other than the photographer Bill Brandt who was a regular visitor to his friend John Hedgecoe who was head of department at the Royal College of Art. I was at the college and asked to bring some prints to a pub opposite the photography department in South Kensington. I will never forget Bill showing me how he retouched his prints using the simple items above.  I have long been an admirer of his work.

And though I knew most of it well having bought most of Brandt's key books - Perspective of Nudes - Shadow of Lights - London in the Thirties, etc.. I was delighted and honoured to be given the opportunity to work within the Brandt archive and curate an exhibition of works that are maybe less well known. Within this time capsule, we found wonderful early prints and nudes, which highlighted Brandt's inquisitive mind and his energetic search for a new way of photographing these well-trodden subjects.  

 Brandt is one of the few British photographers whose work has been widely seen and collected around the world. His substantial shows at the V&A (2004) and at MoMA in NY (2013) cemented an already illustrious reputation as a fine art photographer and great documentarian. His street photographs of the industrial north of England, his sublime winter landscapes and his insightful studies of the English at Home placed a spotlight on a country that had produced few photographers of this calibre.   

With this exhibition we will be offering some rare and beautiful vintage prints directly from Brandt's family collection. With this carefully selected body of work we are providing experienced collectors an opportunity to view photographs never previously offered for sale and at the same time giving new collectors the opportunity to acquire masterpieces which rarely come on to the market. - Michael Hoppen 

Michael Hoppen Gallery,  3 Jubilee Place • London • SW3 3TD / Website HERE.

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Bára Kristinsdóttir - Life is Everywhere

Icelandic photographer Bára Kristinsdóttir kindly sent me her bookwork It All Has a Story which was self published last year in an edition of 300 copies. The book is in memory of Elias Guomundsson (1937 - 2017) and the pictures were made in the workshop of Nylon Coatings in the Icelandic district of Garðabær. The book is beautifully conceived and photographed, the reader is left with an overwhelming feeling of the impermanence of all things.

Bára Kristinsdóttir says this: The pictures in the book are symbolic of a vanished world... The screw, the snagged, worn chair - all have a story. But who should tell them all? And where do the stories that are never told go? Things we have around us but rarely give attention... We hardly see them, yet they have roles, they matter. And someone has built these things, with care... The person who has built them matters, and has a story. This story has to be told. Screw, snagged, worn chair. And the man. It adds something to our life...thinking about all the people who have been sitting in the worn chair. And gradually, we realise that life is everywhere. There is something really good about that thinking. 

Bára Kristinsdóttir studied photography in Gothenburg. She has had several solo exhibitions and participated in numerous group exhibitions both in Iceland and abroad including the Reykjavík Museum of Photography, Scandinavia House in New York and Frankfurt Kunstverein. Bára has also worked regularly for the New York Times. She is the founding member of the Association of Icelandic Contemporary Photographers, FÍSL. Bára founded and has run Ramskram, which is an exhibition space for contemporary photography.

You can go to Bára Kristinsdóttir's website HERE.

Friday, January 11, 2019

John Gossage and Guido Guidi at SAGE Gallery, Paris

If you happen to live in Paris or plan on visiting, there is still a chance to see the Gossage / Guidi show at SAGE Gallery. The show opened in November and runs until February 9.

Sage says this: We are proud to present an important group of vintage photographs by John Gossage and Guido Guidi which is part of a 25 years dialogue between the two friends. As Guido claims, John Gossage and him are brothers who, as neither of them know the language of the other, speak only "photography".  When you look at their work you immediately understand why. Their work is always about the importance of what goes unnoticed, about what remain unseen until they call your attention to it. They both resonate with a rare emotional, esthetical and poetical purity. As Guido Guidi said : « The spirit lies in simplicity not rhetoric.

SAGE Paris 1 bis, avenue de Lowendal, 75007 Paris, France. Gallery website HERE.