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Harlem Through the Eyes of James Van Der Zee

James Van Der Zee, Eve’s Daughter, c.1920
Gelatin silver print; printed c.1920, 6 1/4 x 4 1/4 inches

James Van Der Zee, Marcus Garvey with George O. Marke
and Prince Kojo Tovalou-Houénou, 1924
Gelatin silver print; printed c.1924, 5 x 7 inches

Picture it: Harlem, 1918. James Van Der Zee, 32, opens Guarantee Photo Studio on 135 Street just as the Harlem Renaissance was coming into bloom during the first wave of the Great Migration.

As northern Manhattan became the Mecca for Black America, Van Der Zee was there to record it all inside his studio and on the streets. James Van Der Zee: Studio, recently on view at Howard Greenberg Gallery, is a portal into the past, into a time when Black society thrived and set the pace for music, art, poetry, literature, dance — well, you name it.

Van Der Zee was no exception. He set himself apart by using painted backdrops and luxurious props in the studio to create elaborate tableaux for his subjects, and bathed them in sumptuous lighting to evoke a painterly touch, imbuing each photograph with the hand of the artist.

Call for Submissions: The Print Swap Exhibition at Foley Gallery, NYC

We’re thrilled to announce the Print Swap summer exhibition will open at the esteemed FOLEY Gallery in New York City’s Lower East Side in July! Launched in 2016, The Print Swap is a global project connecting photographers far and wide. Here’s how it works: all photographers are welcome to submit photos via Instagram by tagging #theprintswap. Our team of curators selects the best images to be part of the swap, and every participating photographer gives a print and receives one too. During our fixed judging periods, Print Swap photographers are also considered for our offline exhibitions. Submissions are open for the NYC show now through June 20th.

The renowned gallerist Michael Foley will curate the show, and the final exhibition will include twenty-five and thirty photographs from The Print Swap. Foley has been a leading figure in the fine art photography world for thirty years, serving at some of New York and San Francisco’s most prominent galleries for fourteen years before opening the FOLEY Gallery in 2004 with a focus on photography. As the “United Nations of the art world,” the FOLEY gallery now represents groundbreaking artists working across media and continents–photography, collage, drawing, cut paper, sculpture and more. Throughout his career, Foley has kept a keen eye on rising and emerging talents, fostering new generations of artists as an educator at School of Visual Arts and the International Center of Photography and as the co-founder of The Exhibition Lab, a study space for fine art photographers.

As a reminder, we invite all photographers to submit to The Print Swap by tagging #theprintswap on Instagram, but you can also email your submissions to [email protected] It’s free to submit, and selected photographers pay just $40 per image to participate. This covers printing and shipping in full. We’re also pleased to announce that going forward, photographers will be able to choose their prints. While it’s been exciting and fun mailing out your prints randomly over the last few years, we’ve decided to change things up and have you choose the photo you’d like to receive! To learn more, please visit our website, and follow along at @theprintswap for updates!

A Timeless Portrait of the Many-Splendored Faces of New York

Man with the Black Hat, 2016
Archival print mounted between dibond aluminum and anti-reflective acrylic glass
59 x 59 inches (150 x 150 cm)

Etienne Rougery-Herbaut Harlem Twins, 2018
Archival print mounted between dibond aluminum and anti-reflective acrylic glass
31.5 x 31.5 inches (80 x 80 cm)

French photographer Etienne Rougery-Herbaut marks his U.S. debut with Cornerstone, a selection of photographs made on the streets of New York that present a timeless portrait of the people who embody the spirit and soul of the city.

As the country’s most epic point of immigration with no less than the Statue of Liberty to welcome new arrivals to these shores, New York has long been the point of entry for people from all around the globe. As ethnic enclaves generations deep have nestled throughout the five boroughs for centuries, a new scourge presents itself in the form of gentrification.

The systemic whitewashing of New York has had a devastating effect but as Rougery-Herbaut’s portraits attest, they preserve perhaps simply because they are New York. In Cornerstone, the inaugural exhibition at Brannan Mason Gallery in Los Angeles, Rougery-Herbaut paid tribute to the people who represent the heart and soul of the city, despite all efforts to eradicate their presence.

Here, Rougery-Herbaut shares his journey with us.

Futuristic Photos from High-Rise Towers in the Paris Suburbs

As a child, Laurent Kronental walked past Les Tours Aillaud, a group of eighteen residential towers in the Paris suburbs, in wonderment. As an adult and photographer, the looming high-rises, home to some 1600 apartments, continued to haunt his subconscious. By the time he embarked on his first major body of work, Souvenir d’un Futur, he was visiting the area frequently, and residents sometimes invited him to see the tower interiors. The photographs he took of these apartments, and the view of the city from unusual windows, later evolved into a new series altogether, titled Les Yeux des Tours.

Russian photographer Dmitry Gomberg gives us a bucolic view of life in rural Georgia with his work The Shepherd’s Way

Dmitry Gomberg

Photographer Dmitry Gomberg lived for five years amongst a community of shepherds in the historic region of Tusheti in northeast Georgia. Beautiful, yet unforgiving, the region is located on the northern slopes of the Greater Caucasus Mountains, a world frozen in time, trapped between the ways of the Soviet Union and the new socio-economic conditions that came with its dissolution.

Each year, the shepherds go through an exceptional journey leading their massive flock from the winter fields to the mountains in order to ensure the animals’ survival.

California artist Kirk Crippens talks about capturing Big Sur’s year-long isolation

Kirk Crippens

“As I was composing and about to take a photograph, three birds flew through the frame.”

Big Sur, the scenic section of Californian coastline north of LA, is visited by millions of tourists annually. But in 2017, no tourists came following a devastating landslide that cut off the region for a year.

In his new book, Going South: Big Sur, artist and photographer Kirk Crippens details the isolation of this scenic area, which was cut off from the north after one of its main bridges on Highway 1 collapsed.

The Outsider Artist Whose Dedication Saved His Life

The call to make art isn’t so much a choice as a force compelling creation, no matter the price. Few can resist the possibility that lays beyond the sheer will it takes to render something out of nothing at all. For all that is given, the possibility of return is a draw: fame, wealth, and legacy.

But for the outsider artist, the reward is the act itself, creating a cycle of momentum nothing short of phenomenal. For Gustav Mesmer, the “Icarus of Lautertal”, as he came to be called, art was a way the medium through which he could express and resolve the conflict of being on earth and off at the same time. And that was enough.

A Powerful Portrait of Living Off the Grid in Northern Canada

A view of Yellowknife Bay from Jolliffe Island.

Ryan and Cheyanna on Jolliffe Island.

Deep in the Northern Territories of Canada, on the edge of Great Slave Lake lies a community living off the grid, on the fringes of Yellowknife, the capital city — home to photographer Pat Kane, a member of the Timiskaming First Nation.

The city of Yellowknife, named for a local Dene tribe, first colonized in the 1930s after gold was discovered. Early prospectors headed north, erecting shacks and shanties on the waterfront, which remained intact as the city was built around these settlements.

By the 1980s, the first houseboats appeared on the lake, and together, with the shacks, became home to a flourishing community who have chosen the solitude of nature over the conveniences of modernity. In his on-going series, Offgrid, Kane documents a colorful collection of characters from all walks of life — from musicians and artists to bureaucrats, entrepreneurs, and curmudgeons — whose back-to-basics way of life has become a vibrant part of the city’s cultural landscape.

Here, Kane shares his experiences photographing the people who live in this magical corner of the world.

Announcing the Winners of The Print Swap Show in Paris!

The fragility of her tales © Athina Souli (@athina.souli), Piraeus, Greece

Opaque Futures © Pablo Castro (@pcastrophoto), Madrid, Spain

Feature Shoot’s worldwide project The Print Swap are headed to Paris this spring! For the last few months, photographers around the globe were invited to submit images via Instagram using the hashtag #theprintswap, and twenty-five final images were selected by the photographer and gallery director Elise Prudhomme to be part of our milestone tenth exhibition. The show will take place at the stunning Studio Galerie B&B, located between Canal Saint-Martin and Gare de ‘Est. Selected photographers hail from around the world, with roots in France, Spain, Germany, Greece, the United Kingdom, Austria, Switzerland,  Norway, the Netherlands, Russia, the United States, Australia, and more.

Exploring Andy Warhol’s Lifelong Fascination with Women

Andy Warhol. Ladies and Gentlemen, Circa 1974-1975
Synthetic polymer and silkscreen inks on canvas, 120 x 80 inches (304.8 x 203.2 cm)
© 2019 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Licensed by Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Tim Nighswander

Andy Warhol. Red Jackie, 1964
Acrylic and silkscreen ink, 40 x 40 inches (101.6 x 101.6 cm)
© 2019 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Licensed by Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Froehlich Collection, Stuttgart Courtesy Froehlich Collection, Stuttgart

Andy Warhol turned appropriation into fine art, perhaps the most profoundly American aspect of his practice. Where Dada subverted the known, Warhol exalted it, creating a pantheon of iconography that charmed, rather than challenged, the status quo – while simultaneously being edgy enough to avoid becoming camp, corn, or schmaltz.

Warhol is America looking back at itself, with a nod and a wink, taking art in the age of mass reproduction to the next level when he began making silkscreens in August 1962. Marilyn Monroe’s tragic death sparked it off. She was his first, perhaps his greatest, and far from his last, as he transformed The Factory into an art world machine.

Andy’s Marilyn is a Mona Lisa of sorts — her many incarnations and moods a psychic x-ray into the person none of us ever knew. Using a publicity photography by Gene Korman for the 1953 film Niagara, Warhol took the manufactured image and remade it into something beautiful and grotesque.

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