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Bri Hammond and ‘The Clams’ use water ballet as a form of feminist resistance

Bri Hammond, The Clams, Better Wetter

© Bri Hammond, The Clams, Better Wetter

Image © Bri Hammond, The Clams, Crimson Tide

© Bri Hammond, The Clams, Crimson Tide

Melbourne-based photographer Bri Hammond captures the refreshing spirit and story of feminist water-ballet group The Clams. A commercial and editorial photographer who has worked throughout Europe and Australia, Hammond uses her visual language and ability to connect with her subjects to illustrate a message of femme strength, confidence, and humor.

In this series, glossy and vivid reds and pinks dominate the compositions, infusing the members of the water-ballet group with elements of a fashion editorial. The members of The Clams put on performances that do anything but shy away from the all-to-relatable and stigmatized themes that many women deal with, such as body hair, periods, and female sexual pleasure.

Troy Colby photographs the fragility of being a father

Although filled with adoration, love and excitement, parenthood can be an equally nervous and daunting process. For Troy Colby, a photographer born and raised in a small rural farming community and now residing in Lawrence, Kansas, he presents his honest experiences of fatherhood in his ongoing series, The Fragility of Fatherhood.

Born to be bad: Brad Elterman, one of music’s most influential rock ‘n’ roll photographers

Brad Elterman

At just 19 years of age, he had already managed to photograph Bob Dylan and David Bowie, hung out with The Runaways, and had his work published in magazines all over the world. This is Brad Elterman, an artist whose work serves as a comprehensive visual history of rock ‘n’ roll.

If such a thing as reincarnation exists, I’d like to reincarnate as Brad Elterman. This is a man who seemed to have the very useful superpower of always being in the right place, at the right time.

Using the Female Gaze to Look Inside the Self

Arielle Bobb-Willis. San Francisco, 2017.

Vortex.

Arielle Bobb-Willis. NYC, 2016.

What we see is informed by how we look at it. What gets framed, by who and to what end are some of the questions that occur whenever an image is introduced. In the realms of Western art and history, access has been limited to a select few who hold the power to use iconography to influence and shape ideas about “truth.”

It is only in recent times that the question of intent and exclusion have been put to the pantheon, calling out misinformation and marginalization, over and over again. At a certain point, one ceases to argue and decenter the narratives foisted upon us. Rather than shadowbox with a lie, we can choose to change the paradigm writ large.

Curators Jon Feinstein and Roula Seikaly did just this with An Inward Gaze, recently on view at Blue Sky Gallery in Portland. Here, they brought together the work of Arielle Bobb-Willis and Brittney Cathey-Adams, two women who make sculptural, performative images that liberates representations of gender, race, and body size from the strictures of the white male gaze.

Sarah Pannell captures the beauty of everyday life in Iran

A man is laying comfortably on a Persian carpet – his arms folded gracefully, while the soft, hazy daylight peeks through the window. Another scene sees an array colourful fruits and bread artfully cut and spread out on a piece of linen.

Elsewhere, there’s a tree painted gold, a woman taking a selfie during a vibrant light display, and a landscape so beautifully stark that it’s surprising to see any form of the manmade, let alone a road rippling through the hillside like a fierce stream of lava.

These scenes are taken from Tabriz to Shirazthe debut book by Melbourne-based documentary photographer Sarah Pannell. On two occasions in 2016 and 2017, she went sofa surfing across Iran and collated a dynamic series of photographs captured during her journey.

Michael Wolf’s homegoing comes after sunrise

When German photographer Michael Wolf died in Cheung Chau, Hong Kong, on April 24 at the age of 64, he left behind a prodigious body of work that spans 25 years as a photojournalist. Wolf spent the majority of his career in Asia creating work that defies easy categorization. Rather, Wolf moved as an outsider would, discovering value in the overlooked, mundane details of life and uncovering a deeper symbolic connection to the larger world.

Best know for the series Architecture of Density, Wolf responded to Hong Kong’s skyscrapers as abstractions, finding the beauty that lay within these brutalist blocks of architecture. His was an understanding of life in the city and its impact on the way we see, think, and relate to ourselves, each other, and to the earth.

Wolf’s final book, Cheung Chau Sunrises (Buchkunst Berlin, released earlier this year, presents a series made over the bay in Hong Kong where he lived. The series offers a powerful couunterpoint to his previous work, which addressed the environmental and economic impact of mega-cities.

One Photographer Captures the Resilience of Nature (Sponsored)

This post is brought to you by our friends at Squarespace, the all-in-one web hosting platform perfect for photographers.

Raised in Barcelona and based in Berlin, the photographer Silvia Conde has explored some of the most pristine locations on the planet. Scrolling through her portfolio feels like stepping back in time. From dreamy landscapes to analog portraits, her sun-drenched images remind us of our enduring connection to the environment and the importance of protecting it for generations to come.

Conde’s body of work represents a modern-day Garden of Eden. She’s created a beacon of hope for the environmental movement, a lasting tribute to the resilience of nature in a world where almost everything seems disposable. And with Squarespace as her website builder, she’s also created something else: a lush and dynamic digital space that captures the breadth and beauty of the natural world.

We spoke with Conde about her commitment to making art that makes a difference and the one-of-a-kind website she created to showcase it all.

The red-blooded American male, redefined

AMARI, Mount Dora, FL, 33yo. Meet Amari. Amari has one of the biggest hearts of anyone I’ve met. He’s a family man and gave birth to two of his kids before transitioning. It was of equal importance to him to have his own babies as it was to transition.

THOMAS, Athens, GA 27yo. Thomas is strong willed and determined. We’ve spoken as length about a lot of the difficulties he’s encountered being trans and from a small southern town. From getting and holding down jobs to fair treatment from law enforcement, the struggles are real. Despite this, Thomas has fierce determination to continually rises above and channels a lot of his energies into his music and creative pursuits. He’s a beautiful soul both inside and out and has become a great friend.

RUFIO, Atlanta, GA 27yo. Rufio! What an amazing bundle of body building bear like brilliance! Rufio is so full of life and spirit. He’s also a staunch feminist, especially with his experience of white male privilege that came with passing.

“When I started to pass as a man and was stealth, I got white male privilege and I was pissed!” Rufio, 27, reveals in a quote accompanying his topless portrait in Soraya Zaman’s new book American Boys (Daylight). Appearing fully nude in the book after six years on testosterone, Rufio’s portrait fearlessly acknowledges the power that gender in all its complexity and nuance holds.

In a world where binaries are heavily enforced and rigidly policed, Zaman sees her subjects as they are, establishing a profound level of trust with her subjects who reveal their deep, inner selves in a series of portraits and personal quotes, which, when taken together offer a multi-faceted look at our ideas around masculinity in America today.

“I don’t think anyone on Earth is a man or a woman, it’s a reference point,” Elias, 28, says. “Language is a tool but we get so accustomed to using the tool that we start to think it’s dictum from God. It’s like first language existed and then we existed. But no, things exist and then we give them a name and in turn we get overly attached to their definition.”

William Klein pays homage to the medium of photography

William Klein – New York. Atom Bomb Sky, 1955.

William Klein – Tokyo.
Dancers interpret Genet’s Notre-Dame-des-Fleurs in street of small offices, 1961.

William Klein – Moscow. Bikini, Moscova river’s beach, 1959.

A William Klein photograph is immediate, visceral, and intense. It will have you rooted then falling through a rabbit hole in the space/time continuum, Sure you’ve seen these photographs before — how do they stay fresh? How has Klein mastered the form so profoundly that you can see the ripples of influence, his style so transformative and informative that it’s syntax has become common parlance?

The answer lies in Celebration (La Fabrica), his latest book. The photographer, now 91, looks back over his life’s work and selects his favorite works in homage to the medium he loves. Traversing New York, Rome, Moscow, Madrid, and Paris, Klein’s choices are a revelation of the man behind the lens, the one in search of the electric sensation of being alive and forever paying it forward.

“Here is my preface for Celebration, with photos like Proust’s Madeleine. Is that a good idea?” Klein asks, ever forthright, with the understanding that to venture backwards can offer a thousand sensations and memories, the least of all for the artist himself.

Carrie Mae Weems Presents a Visual Symphony in Five Parts

Carrie Mae Weems, Slow Fade to Black (Nina Simone), 2010. 

Carrie Mae Weems, Color Real and Imagined, 2014.

Carrie Mae Weems, Anointed, 2017.

When Carrie Mae Weems made The Kitchen Table Series in 1990, she centered the intimate lives of Black women on the world stage, asserting the importance and impact of these tender moments of family and self-love at the very heart of her photographic practice. Her self-portraits were constructions of intergenerational experiences rooted in knowledge of self and the power of identity when made visible and centered as the basis for a work of art.

Weems’s practice in one rooted in knowledge of self, of the visceral need to create art and share it with the world. It is something that is done for the act, rather than the ends — and in this way it withstands the test of time, never falling prey to fads or trends.

“I don’t make work for the market. I create out of necessity, and so in one strange way, if we were to look at how my work might be received at Sotheby’s or at Christies when it goes up to auction, there’s frankly very little interest in my work,” Weems reveals in an interview with canadianart. “It has been historically undervalued. I think that most people are interested in beautiful things that don’t necessarily cause them to think very deeply about any one thing.”

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