Posts by: Julia Sabot

Chris Sisarich’s Desolate Desert Landscapes


Dark Portraits Explore the Never-ending Quest for Youth and Beauty


As our role models become ever younger and more idealized, we are so afraid of aging that the quest for youthful preservation generates an almost pathological obsession with our bodies. As we align our sense of self-worth with self-image, the psychological and emotional consequences are tortuous. The one thing we do know for certain is that our body will always, in the end, betray us.
Zed Nelson

Love Me is a series by London-based photographer Zed Nelson that explores the insidious power of the global beauty industry and reflects on the cultural and commercial forces that drive pathological obsessions with youth and beauty. Shot over the last five years in 18 countries across five continents, the series brings into question our place within a culture that compels us to endlessly judge, and be judged, by our appearance.


Offbeat Portraits of Young Russian Women in ‘The City of Brides’


My country is very big and multifaceted, but a lot of the cities look identical. I asked myself: ‘What unique feature does my city have?’ There is a legend in Russia that says everybody can find a bride in Ivanovo, because there are so many young and beautiful girls there. It all started in Soviet times, when the city was the center of the USSR textile industry and a lot of young girls came there in pursuit of employment. Most of them are grannies today, but everybody in Russia and ex-Soviet countries still believe and remember it as “The City of Brides.”—Alena Zhandarova

Photographer Alena Zhandarova grew up in Ivanovo, a former textile center in Russia. Her series The City of Brides, the nickname for her hometown, was inspired by a legend from Soviet times that boasted “anybody in Ivanovo could find a bride.” Zhandaraova creates her own interpretation of the legend in a series of unique portraits of young women in Ivanovo adorning themselves with various household items that seem to take on a life of their own.

Photos of Men in Speedos Lounging in Front of the Freedom Tower


After spending nearly three years in Argentina, photographer Ali Kate Cherkis returned to NYC and reluctantly settled back into the grind. But she felt different somehow—she still felt like an expat, an alien in her own land. Having just observed America from the outside, she found it to be incredibly loud. She recalls, “And then, suddenly, there was this giant phallus staring me in the face saying, ‘Look at me, I am the most powerful.’ Dominating the Manhattan skyline, the Freedom Tower is a symbol of supreme hubris—the middle finger, the massive cock of America—and a tremendously profitable real estate venture.”

Portraits Capture the Hypnotic State of Subjects Watching TV


Dormant is about an alien state, one that is commonly visited but not often seen. These people are not actively growing, but still protected inside of their houses, their beds, and their TVs. The quiet and submissive state would regularly indicate sleep, but instead we are confronted with views of people with light in their eyes. What we find is a moment of intimacy between the viewers and subjects through means that are typically distancing.—Michelle Norris

Michelle Norris, a BFA photography student at the University of Georgia, created the series Dormant not as a critique of entertainment culture, but rather as an observation. Her portraits capture the static state of fully disconnecting from the world and watching television—here she gives us a myriad of frozen stares on faces glowing from the screens in front of them.


Mark Mahaney’s Portraits of his Grandmother After the Death of Her Husband of 67 Years

Mark_Mahaney_PhotographyGrandma sitting down for lunch after Grandpa’s funeral

After 67 Years is the moving series by Bay Area photographer Mark Mahaney created after his grandfather’s memorial service in 2011. Mahaney took a moment to capture images of his grandmother in her home, the absence of the departed evocative. Below, Mahaney shares his words about the experience.

During the last few minutes of February 28th 2011, my grandfather passed away at the age of 89. His son, my father, passed away in 2006 and the understandable sadness of outliving his child created a steady decline in his overall health. I’m now the only male left in my family.

Claire Rosen’s Striking Portraits of Birds


Birds of a Feather by NYC-based Claire Rosen, is a portrait series of live birds ranging from the common Parakeet to the exotic Hyacinth Macaw. The birds are posed against complimentary vintage looking wallpaper to encourage optical illusion and visual blending.

Nicola Kuperus’ Haunting Hitchcock-Inspired Photography

nicola kuperus

Musician and photographer Nicola Kuperus constructs beautiful, unsettling images with her hometown of Detroit, Michigan as her backdrop. One half of the eletronic band ADULT., Kuperus’ early videos and performances for the band are haunted with the same macabre, Hitchcock-esque imagery. In her series Dark, Colorful World, Kuperus further plays on dislocation and suspected violence as she poses her models in cropped, stiff, and awkward positions. With the buildings and green suburbs of Detroit present but never obvious, the staged images evoke a feeling of discomfort and unknown.

Photos Humanize Syrian Refugees Living in Jordan


Denver-based Benjamin Rasmussen and Salt Lake City-based Michael Friberg came together to collaborate on their latest project By the Olive Trees, a series that looks at the experiences of some of the 500,000 Syrian refugees who have fled to Jordan. Rasmussen recently told us more.

Fascinating Photos from the 150th Anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg


Brooklyn-based photographers Eva O’Leary and Harry Griffin have wanted to collaborate for some time. Devil’s Den, their forthcoming book, started as a conversation on a road trip they took from Florida to Pennsylvania. They began to imagine the epic scale of the Battle of Gettysburg. Something about the ‘act of reenacting’ struck a chord, both the theatricality of the battle and the popularity of sensationalized violence. As they drove from the south to the north, many questions came up. What does it mean to reenact a battle without the gore, avarice, and blood of war? Is it a celebration of the birth of the country as we know it, or an escape from a national environment of deep-seated uncertainty, division, and debt? They say of the project, shot during the 150th Anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania:

There’s something fascinating about the spectacle of this event, the collision between old and new. With 300,000 tourists and 15,000 reenactors, it’s a huge commercial draw for the small town (pop. 7,000). When you’re there, the battlefield almost feels like a replacement for a huge sports stadium, fully equipped with grand stands and concessions. The town revolves around 1863, and survives on the economic bubble of war tourism.

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