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Posts tagged: fine art photography

Haunting Visions of the Sprawling American West

French photographer Emmanuel Monzon thinks living in the United States is like living inside a painting. In his meticulously crafted American scenes, all humans have vacated the premises, leaving behind only the background they once inhabited.

The Forgotten History Of The Koreans Of Mexico And Cuba

To many it might come as a surprise to learn that there are Korean-Mexicans and Korean-Cubans, though with this revelation it becomes imperative to come to terms with the largely forgotten tragedy which befell their ancestors. In 1905, 1,033 Koreans boarded the SS Ilford to Mexico. It was imagined and portrayed as a journey towards prosperity in the new world—a departure from what was then an impoverished country, and in the same year was already falling into the clutches of Imperial Japan. The reality that awaited these migrants was a life of indentured servitude in the Henequen plantations of Mexico, harvesting an agave that was then known as “the green gold” of Mexico. Many fled to Cuba with dreams of getting a foothold in the then lucrative sugar cane industry, though by the time they arrived the industry had already plummeted. Their homeland already a Japanese colony, they were again destined to hard labour in Cuban henequen plantations.  Argentinian-American-Korean photographer Michael Vince Kim pursued this story as a natural progression from his previous work focusing on language, identity and migration, entitling the series Aenikkaeng, (Korean for ‘Henequen’).

Visions of Iceland from a Remote Sheep Farm

In her remote corner of Iceland, photographer Marzena Skubatz makes her home in a sheep farm and weather station.

A French Photographer Finds Magic in the Streets of China

French photographer Marilyn Mugot longs for dépaysement. The word doesn’t have a direct English translation; some dictionaries define it as “disorientation” or “a change in scenery,” but the artist describes it simply as “this feeling of being far away from home.” And she found it in China.

All the Things Refugees Left Behind, in Photos

Fabric doll with vinyl face collected 21 May, 2016 © Gideon Mendel

Fifty-four toothbrushes Collected 21 May, 15 September, 27 October and 28 October 2016 © Gideon Mendel

In many ways, it all started with three words: “You fucking photographers.”

South African photographer Gideon Mendel was at the refugee camp in Calais, France, sometimes referred to by the media as the “Jungle.” As he snapped a few frames, one individual confronted him about the ongoing media presence: “You come here and you take our photographs, and you tell us that it’s going to help us, but nothing changes.”

Empowering the Black Female Body in a World That Denies It

La leçon d’amour, 2008 © Mickalene Thomas, courtesy Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA)

Quanikah Goes Up, 2001/2005 © Mickalene Thomas, courtesy Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA)

The artist Carrie Mae Weems once asked Mickalene Thomas about the difference between the male gaze and the female gaze. Do women objectify their female subjects in the same way men do? Thomas responded, “Could a man have made these images? No, not my images.”

The exchange, pulled from Muse: Mickalene Thomas Photographs (Aperture, 2015), says a lot about Thomas as a photographer.

The Power and Paranoia of Washington, DC, in Photos

A white van on the National Mall, Washington, DC. © Mike Osborne

The residence of Dick Cheney, McLean, VA. © Mike Osborne

Global conspiracies, secret dossiers, Russian hackers, terrorist plots; if the United States seems like it’s experiencing a nationwide panic attack right now, its most fervent hyperventilations might be best observed in Washington, D.C., where power and paranoia live in close proximity, reinforcing one another’s potency.

“I don’t think I’d be alone in saying there’s kind of a collective meltdown taking place,” says Austin-based photographer Mike Osborne, whose series White Vans & Black Suburbans serves as a kind of funhouse mirror for this sensation, reflecting the nation’s psychosis back on itself in a manner that’s by turns amusing and disturbing. Osborne moved to D.C. to teach at Georgetown University in 2012, but didn’t start taking photos in the capital and the surrounding area until two years later. Once, as he set up his tripod in a Crystal City parking lot to photograph a nondescript building he’d noticed near Reagan Airport, two camouflaged security officers confronted him. Did he know he was on government property? Did he know that his car, had it been laced with explosives, could bring down a nearby hotel, and by extension, the building they were guarding?

Uncanny Photos Taken in the Dead of Night

Sapersteins, 2015 © David Allee, courtesy Morgan Lehman Gallery

Ball Court, 2016 © David Allee, courtesy Morgan Lehman Gallery

Time passes differently at night; it halts, speeds up, moves backwards. Photographer David S. Allee visualizes the strange eternity of darkness in Chasing Firefly, now on view at Morgan Lehman Gallery.

Ghostly Relics from the Soviet past lost in the snow

Headquarters of Communist Party, Bulgaria, Yugoiztochen region, 2015

Looking at Moscow-based Danila Tkachenko’s photographs that constitute Restricted Areas is a chilling experience. Technological feats that were once regarded as innovative and futuristic during the Soviet rule lie eerily forsaken surrounded by the snow that disorientates; utopian ideas and monuments denoting imperial ambition are cast aside as their creators realize their inherent flaws. The artist elaborates: “I tried to create a metaphor of the post-technological apocalypse and show the other side of the technological progress which often leads to the failure and brings about destruction”.

Inside the Colorful, Vibrant World of Jay Maisel

© Jay Maisel

© Jay Maisel

“There’s nothing I’m not interested in shooting,” photographer Jay Maisel said in a 2011 documentary by The Big Picture, “I have no agenda.”

As part of Month of Photography Los Angeles, Blazing Editions and ChromaLuxe have put together a Maisel retrospective at Space15Twenty, featuring 30-plus images spanning six decades of his iconic career.

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