Posts tagged: Rania Matar

Don’t Say Cheese: Why Do the People in Contemporary Art Photographs Look So Blank?

Rineke DijkstraBeth, Liverpool, England, December 22, 2008 by Rineke Dijkstra, courtesy of the Marian Goodman Gallery

The A Smith Gallery isn’t in New York, London or Berlin. The town of Johnson City, Texas, where the gallery is located, is an hour’s drive from Houston and has a population of under 1,500. It’s a homespun place where people greet each other by name, and the art community there—three galleries, one of which opens sporadically—is modest. Yet last March, gallerist Amanda Smith did something fairly radical by contemporary-art standards. She mounted a photography exhibition called Smile.

Top 15 Photo Books of 2012

New York NightsNew York Nights / James and Karla Murray. The best selling authors of the popular photo book Store Fronts offer a stunning look at New York’s vivid nightlife as they visit a unique selection of bars, restaurants, music venues, and shops, all complete with historical significance and after-dark aesthetics. Published by Ginko Press. Available through Amazon, $38.50.

Rineke Dijkstra: A Retrospective. This is the first comprehensive monograph on Rineke Dijkstra published in the U.S. Included is her early work of new mothers and bullfighters, a selection from Beach Portraits, and works from her long-going series Almerisa, which documents a young immigrant girl as she grows up and adapts to her new environment. Published by Guggenheim Museum. Available through Amazon, $34.65.

Teenage Girls Photographed in Their Decorative Bedrooms


Rania Matar currently works full-time as a photographer and teaches documentary photography at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design. Of her series, A Girl and Her Room, she writes:

‘As a mother of a teenage daughter, I watch her passage from girlhood into adulthood, fascinated with the transformation taking place, the adult personality shaping up and a self-consciousness now replacing the carefree world she had known and lived in so far. I started photographing her and her girlfriends, and quickly realized that they were very aware of each other’s presence, and that their being in a group affected very much whom they were portraying to the world. From there, emerged the idea of photographing each girl alone in her personal space.’