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Posts tagged: portrait photography

“In the Park” with Diane Arbus

Diane Arbus
A young man and his girlfriend with hot dogs in the park, N.Y.C. 1971

During the late 1960s, a shift began to occur as New York City underwent the rapid effects of deindustrialization. As business left the city, a void took its place. But nature abhors a vacuum and new cultures began to emerge, one that could make something out of nothing at all.

As the counterculture took root, seeing possibility in the collapse of the middle class and the repeal of respectability politics that it used as overt measures of social control, a New York emerged from the fringe and found its way on to the city stage. The parks were the best place for those who did without, offering a place to socialize as well as to sleep.

For Diane Arbus, the park was the place where she could happen upon the most unlikely encounters with the most random of souls. She began photographing in Central Park in 1956, at the very beginning of her work as a serious artist. For the next fifteen years, she returned time and again to Central and Washington Square Parks for a fresh dose of the unexpected.

Portraits Revisit the New Romanticism Movement In the UK

Duggie Fields b.1945
The artist Duggie Fields is celebrated for his large- scale canvasses featuring bright blocks of colour and razor edged outlines. Gwinnutt photographed Fields in his Earls Court flat, in front of his painting Lakshmi, a tribute to the Hindu goddess of good fortune. Fields’s forelock of hair is neatly encased in the lines of his painting, a subtle detail that transforms the photograph into a play of shapes and tones, with a flatness that is characteristic of Fields’s work.

When Swinging London collapsed, the Pop-optics faded away. The bright cheerful colors of promise became muted, grubby, and grey as the city fell into created desperate times. The rising tide of unemployment, set against an on-going recession, brought the conservatives to fore, and through them a new leader was.

In 1979, Margaret Thatcher became the first woman to assume the mantle and she went hard: deregulating the financial sector, privatizing state-owned companies, and reducing the power of trade unions. She spoke for the elite and was largely unpopular until victory in the 1982 Falklands War.

During those intervening years, a new generation was coming of age, embracing the D.I.Y. ethos of punk and taking it far beyond the reaches of the known. The scene, which came to be known as the New Romantics, was centered at the Blitz, a nightclub in the Covent Garden section of London.

If ever there was a fitting name, it was this. At the Blitz, a fantastical coterie of artists, musicians, designers, filmmakers, and performers came dressed to kill, wearing handmade pieces that could best be described as Ziggy Stardust on acid. The Blitz Kids, as they were known, took that art of the poseur to the next level. The donned costumes and makeup that blurred gender lines, sometimes going so far as to erase the human element in the search for an identity that spoke to the moment.

British photographer David Gwinnutt was one of the creatures of the night, getting to know the curious and compelling personalities that sparkled under the strobe lights. He had taken up photography after discovering the work of Diane Arbus and Robert Mapplethorpe in the London studio of artist Brian Clarke. David Bailey was a frequent visitor, sharing stories and scandals that enticed.

Moments from Everyday Life at a School For The Blind in Calcutta

For his on-going photo project, The Sixth Sense, Calcutta-based photographer Sutirtha Chatterjee captures moments from the everyday lives of blind children at a school.

In India, almost three million people develop cataract each year, half the cases are curable, but are often left unattended and this leads to complete or partial blindness. There is also a major shortage of donated eyes in India owing to religious prejudices. Some believe that organ donations lead to deformities in the next birth. Any efforts to encourage eye donations must combat such superstitions and practices.

Prison Inmates and the Dogs They Love, in Photos

In 2014, Travielle, an inmate at California State Prison Los Angeles County, sat down and wrote an application essay to Paws for Life, a program that would allow a small group of incarcerated men to work with homeless dogs inside the prison. “I understand what it’s like to be caged up,” Travielle wrote, “Paws for Life gives me the chance to give back, to do something for someone else, to give back to a society that I cheated.”

At the time Travielle was writing his essay, photographer John DuBois was on the other side of the Paws for Life initiative, volunteering at Karma Rescue, an organization that pulls dogs from crowded high-kill shelters and saves them from euthanasia.

When the Paws for Life program was introduced, the prison and the rescue invited DuBois and his partner Shaughn Crawford to document the first group of five dogs who were set to enter the prison. They spent six days with the men and their dogs, inside the Maximum Security facility.

Haunting Photos from the World’s Northernmost Town

“This place is so detached from the rest of the world,” Polish photographer Dominika Gesicka says of the town of Longyearbyen in Svalbard, “You can leave your problems behind.”

Longyearbyen is the world’s northernmost town, with just over 2,000 residents. Gesicka’s first journey to the Norwegian archipelago in 2015 was the first trip she ever took on her own. “Without thinking too much, I bought a ticket and just went there,” the artist tells us.

Heartfelt Photos of At-Risk Shelter Dogs (Available for Adoption)

Lady Bell is an energetic and smart girl. She loves to give and receive affection (especially belly rubs). Lady Bell loves to play with toys. If you put out five toys, she will rotate through them and play with each of them as if she has never seen them before. She doesn’t like being cooped up in a kennel. Having another fun loving, active dog to play with is also important. She doesn’t like being an only dog. She is already spayed, microchipped, and up to date on her vaccinations. If you’d like to learn more about Lady Bell or want to meet her, please contact her foster mom at [email protected]

This soft-headed pup is Beeny. Beeny has been in the shelter without a break since February. We had a great time at Landfill Park, and I have come to the conclusion that she must have some French Bulldog in her. She has the French swagger down, and her chin and body shape are quite French. In any case, whatever she is made of, Beeny is all good. She is gentle, walks well on a leash, loves to run in short bursts, and really enjoys affection. Beeny is heartworm positive, but she has $250 in sponsorship. Beeny is available for adoption at the Wake County Animal Center.

Bumpy Capone, aka Frodo

In 2014, North Carolina photographer Mary Shannon Johnstone met a dog named Bumpy Capone at the Wake County Animal Center in Raleigh. He was playful and loving— once, volunteers even found him hiding inside the toy box at doggie playgroup.

Celebrate the Legacy of Irving Penn with “Centennial”

Irving Penn, American, Plainfield, New Jersey, 1917–2009, New York.
Pablo Picasso at La Californie, Cannes
1957, printed February 1985 Platinum-palladium print
Image: 18 5/8 x 18 5/8 in. (47.3 x 47.3 cm.) Sheet: 24 15/16 x 22 in. (63.3 x 55.9 cm.) Mount: 26 x 22 in. (66 x 55.9 cm.) Overall: 26 x 22 in. (66 x 55.9 cm.)
Promised Gift of The Irving Penn Foundation IP .123

Irving Penn, American, Plainfield, New Jersey, 1917–2009, New York.
Three Asaro Mud Men, New Guinea
1970, printed 1976 Platinum-palladium print
Image: 20 1/8 x 19 1/2 in. (51.1 x 49.6    cm.) Sheet: 24 15/16 x 22 1/16 in. (63.3 x 56 cm.) Mount: 26 1/16 x 22 1/16 in. (66.2 x 56 cm.) Overall: 26 1/16 x 22 1/16 in. (66.2 x 56 cm.)
Promised Gift of The Irving Penn Foundation IP .154

“Photography is just the present stage of man’s visual history,” Irving Penn (1917-2009) sagely observed, recognizing the infinite possibilities of the human animal to create technology that would advance our ability to document, represent, and re-envision the world. As a master of the form, Penn understood that the only thing that limits us is imagination.

For seven decades he worked, becoming a master of studio photography with the ability to craft pictures of anything he wished. Here was a man who could transform his very first commission for Jell-o pudding into a resounding success, even though, as Penn realized, it was, “a abstract nothing, it’s just a blob of ectoplasm.”

Yet with that formless glob of goop crafted in a laboratory, Penn was able to entice consumers to buy and serve the product en masse. It’s precisely this ability to transcend the particulars that made Penn a master of whatever form he chose to shoot, be in portraits, fashion, still life, food, nudes, or flowers. He understood that the photograph was an invitation to engage, to gaze upon the world without actually having to interact with it.

Eerie, Fantastical Photos of Wildlife and People

Calgary photographer Philip Kanwischer’s wild subjects never stick around for long. The deer, the moose, the owls, the bears, and all the inhabitants of a feral landscape are ephemeral; they appear one moment and vanish the next. Only in photographs can he stay close to them.

Discover the People Behind the “Strictly Platonic” Ads on Craigslist

Vegan bestie – w4w
body: fit
height: 5’6″ (167cm)
status: single
age: 26
Looking for an intelligent, vegan, self starting woman who wants to explore vegan food together.

Naked cleaning by man – m4w
body : athletic
age: 36

Man for hire: cleaning house or apartment without clothes. Man: white, 5’8″, 165 lbs, athletic

In a city of 8.5 million, for some New York can feel like the loneliest place on earth. The irony of the crowd is the way it depersonalizes life; when everyone is a stranger, it can exacerbate antisocial tendencies. Add to the increasing dependency on digital communications, where three dimensions are reduced to two and people cease to act in real time and space, creating representations that they use to seek attention, albeit positive or negative.

For those with particular hobbies and tastes, or simply more inclined to introversion and risk adverse, making friends can be a challenge all its own. Craigslist understands this and offers “Strictly Platonic” personals. Here, people can say exactly what they want outside the context of a sexual or romantic exchange (although this is something of a grey areas, as many ads blur these lines).

Photos Offer an Unflinching Look at Modern Russia

“We tolerate today for the sake of a good tomorrow,” Russian photographer Alexander Anufriev said when I asked him about the country he calls home, “but tomorrow never comes.”

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