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From Boy to Man: Samuel Fosso’s Journey Through Self-Portraits

 

Samuel Fosso 70s series, by Samuel Fosso, c. 1976/1977

Samuel Fosso 70s series, by Samuel Fosso, c. 1976/1977

Samuel Fosso 70s series, by Samuel Fosso, c. 1976/1977

At the tender age of 13, Samuel Fosso set up Studio Photo Nationale, and began his career as a photographer. The year was 1975, and Fosso was working in the city of Bangui, located just inside the border of Central African Republic.

“With Studio National, you will be beautiful, stylish, dainty and easy to recognize,” Fosso promised. Here he works taking passport, portrait, and wedding photographs for the community—but it was his self-portraits that brought the artist global acclaim.

“I started taking self-portraits simply to use up spare film; people wanted their photographs the next day, even if the roll wasn’t finished, and I didn’t like waste. The idea was to send some pictures to my mother in Nigeria, to show her I was all right.,” Fosso told The Guardian in 2011. “Then I saw the possibilities. I started trying different costumes, poses, backdrops. It began as a way of seeing myself grow up, and slowly it became a personal history – as well as art, I suppose.”

See 40 Landscapes from The Print Swap at Black Eye Gallery

‘Ella as Dorothy’ © Cathy Ronalds (@cathyronalds), Victoria, Australia

‘Búðakirkja (Black church). Búðir, Iceland. November 2016.’ © Brian S. Lee (@brianslee_), Atlanta, GA

‘Dogs of Teotihuacán’ © Michelle Lorén (@fotoinfinitum), Pomona, CA

Since Feature Shoot launched The Print Swap, a worldwide project for photographers who want to share their work with one another, we’ve had repeated requests for exhibitions. This fall, The Print Swap is proud to present Ambient Landscapes at Black Eye Gallery in Sydney, Australia.

Mysterious Photos Inspire Us to Get Lost At Sea

Your Braid, 2006 © Dan Estabrook

Mesmory, 2010 © Lisa M. Robinson

Ribboned Water, 2015 © Diana H. Bloomfield

The pictures in At Sea, now on view at Panopticon Gallery in Boston, leave us feeling adrift. The ocean is endless, and when people do appear, they don’t look real.

Electric Portraits Touch on the Nuances of the African Diaspora

Philadelphia-based photographer Shawn Theodore has had an incredibly inspiring and productive year– between a successful exhibition in Philadelphia last June titled Future Antebellum, a feature in Apple’s MacBook Pro commercial, and more. To sum it all up, Theodore has seen his work reach new heights, and deservingly so.

Known for his bold use of vibrant colors and clever shadow play, the Philadelphia artist is now taking his work to New York City in his very first solo museum exhibition titled Church of Broken Pieces, at the Richard Beavers Gallery in Brooklyn. Described by the artist as an “homage to an ever-changing, ever-moving diaspora of cosmic afropolitans who remain unfettered and unburdened,” this series is faithful to Theodore’s usual mastery of the light and contrast seen in the way he captures his black subjects.

Behind-the-Scenes with Multi-Talented Photographer Caylon Hackwith (Sponsored)

 

Caylon Hackwith’s Squarespace website

Caylon Hackwith doesn’t have just one job title. He’s a photographer, an art director, a photo editor, a cinematographer. He straddles fine art and commercial fields. Hackwith’s background in the gallery realm, coupled with his current standing as a tastemaker for some of the world’s leading fashion houses, hotels, and brands, gives him a unique perspective on the future of photography as an art and as an industry.

The Sorrow and Grace of Abandoned Cats, in Photos

“I remember having the clear feeling that I was taking photos of people,” Italian photographer Sabrina Boem tells me of her first encounter with stray and abandoned cats. “I remember human eyes that talked to me. I loved those cats, their eyes, the way they looked at me.”

A Look at Emerging Photography Coming Out of Russia

© Alexey Bogolepov

© Irina Zadorozhnaia

Each of the ten photographers included AMPLITUDE No.1 has twenty-eight pages to share their perspective, their experience, their vision. AMPLITUDE is a periodic project by FotoDepartament, a non-profit devoted to representing and promoting photography in Russia. The hard box volume contains ten volumes for ten photographers, each with his or her own soft-cover book. All the books are the same size, twenty-eight pages, though what’s on those pages varies profoundly from one volume to the next.

The Grace & Magic of Rural Living, in Photos

Electric Current © Andrew Heiser, Los Angeles, CA

German Pastoral Study #1, from the series Divine Animals: The Bovidae © R. J. Kern, Minneapolis, MN

Dinner Time © Michael Knapstein, Middleton, Wisconsin

Last summer, Feature Shoot launched The Print Swap, a worldwide project for photographers. Here’s how it works: you can submit by tagging your photos #theprintswap. Every day, we curate submissions, and we notify photographers who have been selected. It’s free to submit, but winners pay a one-time fee of $40 per image. We cover shipping and printing, which is done by our friends at Skink Ink in Brooklyn, New York. Prints are then mailed out randomly across the globe, and every participating photographer receives a surprise print from one of their peers.

In recent weeks, we’ve been looking over The Print Swap archive and putting together online group shows with the pictures in the collection. In the past, we’ve explored themes like New Topographics, Seascapes, and the American West. Here, a collection of some of our favorite photographs of life in rural places.

Painful, Beautiful, Unforgettable Photos from the ACT UP Community

Jon Greenberg (1956-1993), ACT UP Alternative and Holistic Treatment Committee, 2/16/1992

Porchlight (Jay Funk & Mark Harrington), Saugerties, NY, 7/24/1993

In May of 1988, the great activist Vito Russo gave his speech ‘Why We Fight’ at an ACT UP (the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power) demonstration. Throughout, he compared living with AIDS to living through war: every week for the previous four years, he had attended two funerals a week.

In the end, he concluded, it was “worse” than a war because the public and the government didn’t “give a shit.” In 1989, 14,544 people were killed. Policy-makers remained silent. Some actively opposed the spread of awareness and educational tools. Russo died the following year.

After joining ACT UP in 1989, the photographer Stephen Barker witnessed the crisis firsthand. He was part of the life-saving (and once-illegal) needle exchange program in New York City. Looking back, he describes himself and his colleagues as “foot soldiers” for the cause.

A New Creative Collective for the Digital Age

Kinship © Benedict Adu / Sunday School

The rise of the digital age brought along with it a newer appreciation for photography, storytelling and other creative endeavors. Additionally, the growing presence of the Internet in most people’s daily lives has facilitated a new desire for them to create works and share them with others. Oftentimes, however, young creatives lack the skills or knowledge to accomplish what they truly intend to and what they initially imagined. In this current age ruled by a digital world in which sharing and creating has never been easier, collaboration and guidance are sometimes necessary. By providing a platform allowing creatives from different fields to create visually stimulating and inspiring visual stories, Josef Adamu’s Sunday School represents the creative hub par excellence and the future of visual collaboration in the digital age.

Modeling, creative direction, and styling among many other things are the areas in which the Toronto-based creative shine the most. Through Sunday School, a creative agency founded by Adamu last April 2017, the multi-hyphenated creative is able to use his many skills by collaborating with fellow creatives looking for a place to hone theirs. It is through photography, videography but also written content that Josef and the other members of the school aim to convert real-life stories into digital experiences.

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