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Posts by: Miss Rosen

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.”

Marvin E. Newman’s Spellbinding “City of Lights”

Broadway, 1954.

Feast Of San Gennaro, Little Italy, New York, 1952.

Coney Island, 1953

Now in his 89th year, American photographer Marvin E. Newman is receiving his due as one of the finest street photographers of the twentieth century. His self-titled monograph, just released as a XXL Collector’s Edition from Taschen showcases his vibrant collection of cityscapes made in New York, Chicago, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles—as well as in the Heartland of the nation and the outskirts of Alaska between the years 1950 and 1983.

Born in the Bronx in 1927, Newman studied photography and sculpture at Brooklyn College with Walter Rosenblum. He joined the Photo League in 1948 before moving to Chicago the following year to study with Harry Callahan and Aaron Siskind at the Institute of Design. “They taught you to keep your mind open and go further, and always respond to what you are making,” Newman remembered.

Words & Pictures Collide in Teju Cole’s New Book

Teju Cole, Brienzersee, June 2014.
Archival pigment print, printed 2017.

Description:
I opened my eyes. What lay before me looked like the sound of the alphorn at the beginning of the final movement of Brahms’s First Symphony. This was the sound, this was the sound I saw.

Teju Cole, Zurich, November 2014.
Archival pigment print, printed 2017.
Description:

A length, a loop, a line. Faraway wave seen from the deck of the ship. I think the Annunciation must have happened on a day like this one. Stillness. In the interior, she reads with lowered eyes, unaware of what comes next. A presence made of absence, the crossbar, the cloth, the wound in his side.

The relationship between image and text is one of the most challenging pairings to exist. They demand complete attention and so one must choose: to look or to read—and in what order?

Perhaps it seems deceptively simple: one simply does as they are inclined. Yet regardless of preference, they inform each other, infinitely. When we read, we see the picture in our mind. When we look, we write the words ourselves. Now we are asked to forgo our imagination and focus on the given context.

Yet few can bridge the gap that exists between the linguistic and visual realms, the distinctive forms of intelligence that operate independently and interdependently at the same time. Most often, we simply opt out somewhere along the line, wanting to return to the freedom to imagine for ourselves rather than listen to what we are told.

Self Portraits by Senegalese Photographer Omar Victor Diop Recreate Historic Paintings

Omar Victor Diop, Don Miguel de Castro, Emissary of Congo (c. 1643-50)
From the series: Project Diaspora 2014
Pigment inkjet print on Harman Hahnemuhle paper 47 1/4 x 31 1/2 in. Edition of 8 + 2 APs
In 1643 or 1644, Don Miguel de Castro and two servants arrived as part of a delegation sent by the ruler of Sonho, a province of Congo, via Brazil to the Netherlands. One objective of the journey was to find a resolution to an internal conflict in Congo. Original painting attributed to Jaspar Beck or Albert Eckout.

Omar Victor Diop, A Moroccan man (1913)
From the series: Project Diaspora 2014
Pigment inkjet print on Harman Hahnemuhle paper 47 1/4 x 31 1/2 in. Edition of 8 + 2 APs
Jose Tapiro y Baro was a Catalan painter. One of his closest friends was the painter Maria? Fortuny with whom he shared an interest for Orientalism. He was a master of watercolor painting. Original Painting by Jose? Tapiro y Baro.

The great African proverb wisely observes, “Until the lions have their historians, tales of the hunt shall always glorify the hunter.”

The lion has arrived in the form of Omar Victor Diop, a rising star in the photography world. Born 1980, in Dakar, Senegal, Diop has inherited the great traditions of African studio photography and takes them to the next level in his new exhibition, Project Diaspora, currently on view at SCAD FASH Museum of Fashion + Film in Atlanta, GA, through August 18, 2017.

Revisiting the Civil Rights Movement in New Photo Book by Steve Schapiro

Along the march for voting rights, Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, 1965.

James Baldwin joined the fight for equality in the South. Mostly, he offered a passionate voice for justice and a plea for a nation’s salvation. In Mississippi in 1963, he visited the NAACP’s Medgar Evers, who was slain later that June, following President Kennedy’s landmark televised address on civil rights. This photo was recently discovered in the photographer’s contact sheets.

James Baldwin penned fire to purify truth and liberate it from the lies that have clouded United States history ever since Thomas Jefferson wrote The Declaration of Independence. With every sentence, Baldwin burned away the toxic stench of injustice, oppression, and pathology that so many cling to until their dying day.

One of Baldwin’s greatest works is The Fire Next Time, a collection of two essays originally published by The New Yorker and subsequently published by Dial Press in 1963 in book form. The essays, “My Dungeon Shook — Letter to my Nephew on the One Hundredth Anniversary of Emancipation,” and “Down At The Cross — Letter from a Region of My Mind” address the issues facing African Americans during the height of the Civil Rights Movement, as they faced down the horrors of the past and present each and every single day.

Now, Taschen introduces James Baldwin. The Fire Next Time, a collector’s edition of 1,963 copies reprinted in a letterpress edition with more than 100 photographs taken by Steve Schapiro while he was on assignment for LIFE magazine. Schapiro was on the frontlines of the movement as it marched across the South facing down the system of apartheid under Jim Crow.

Thievery in the Redwood Forests of Humboldt County, California

Semper Virens

Coastal Drive, Southwest View

The redwood trees of Northern Pacific Coast are among the oldest living things on earth, with life spans that average 1,200 to 1,800 years. Also known as Sequoia sepmervirens, they include these evergreens include the tallest trees on the planet, reaching up to 379 feet (115.5 meters) in height and 29.2 feet (8.9 meters) in diameter. Simply put, they are majestic beings that have fallen victim to the greed of wo/man.

The First Peoples of American lived in the forest for thousands of years, able to create a symbiotic relationship with the land without destroying it. Their spiritual beliefs, combined with knowledge of the natural world, allowed them to cultivate the resources of the forest and live in harmony with the earth.

All of this changed with the arrival of an imperialist force that traveled across the Atlantic Ocean and took land that did not belong to them. As the descendants of Europe made this country their own, they ravaged the landscape without thought to the consequences of their actions. They began decimating the forests to build homes, tearing down trees with no effort to replace the forests they destroyed.

Love, Forgiveness, and Humility in the Photos of Adger Cowans

Al Pacino and Kitty Winn in Panic in Needle Park, from Personal Vision by Adger Cowans © 2017, published Glitterati Incorporated

Balloons of Colombus, Ohio, from Personal Vision by Adger Cowans © 2017, published Glitterati Incorporated

Photographer Adger Cowans hails from an historic American family. His great-great-grandfather was a Buffalo Soldier, the first all-black division of the U.S. Army formed after the Civil War. His cousin, Dr. Early Sherrard, was a member of the Tuskegee Airmen, the first all-black division of the U.S. Air Force that fought in World War II; his story was immortalized in the film Fight for Life starring Morgan Freeman as Earl.

“In the Park” with Diane Arbus

Diane Arbus
A young man and his girlfriend with hot dogs in the park, N.Y.C. 1971

During the late 1960s, a shift began to occur as New York City underwent the rapid effects of deindustrialization. As business left the city, a void took its place. But nature abhors a vacuum and new cultures began to emerge, one that could make something out of nothing at all.

As the counterculture took root, seeing possibility in the collapse of the middle class and the repeal of respectability politics that it used as overt measures of social control, a New York emerged from the fringe and found its way on to the city stage. The parks were the best place for those who did without, offering a place to socialize as well as to sleep.

For Diane Arbus, the park was the place where she could happen upon the most unlikely encounters with the most random of souls. She began photographing in Central Park in 1956, at the very beginning of her work as a serious artist. For the next fifteen years, she returned time and again to Central and Washington Square Parks for a fresh dose of the unexpected.

Portraits Revisit the New Romanticism Movement In the UK

Duggie Fields b.1945
The artist Duggie Fields is celebrated for his large- scale canvasses featuring bright blocks of colour and razor edged outlines. Gwinnutt photographed Fields in his Earls Court flat, in front of his painting Lakshmi, a tribute to the Hindu goddess of good fortune. Fields’s forelock of hair is neatly encased in the lines of his painting, a subtle detail that transforms the photograph into a play of shapes and tones, with a flatness that is characteristic of Fields’s work.

When Swinging London collapsed, the Pop-optics faded away. The bright cheerful colors of promise became muted, grubby, and grey as the city fell into created desperate times. The rising tide of unemployment, set against an on-going recession, brought the conservatives to fore, and through them a new leader was.

In 1979, Margaret Thatcher became the first woman to assume the mantle and she went hard: deregulating the financial sector, privatizing state-owned companies, and reducing the power of trade unions. She spoke for the elite and was largely unpopular until victory in the 1982 Falklands War.

During those intervening years, a new generation was coming of age, embracing the D.I.Y. ethos of punk and taking it far beyond the reaches of the known. The scene, which came to be known as the New Romantics, was centered at the Blitz, a nightclub in the Covent Garden section of London.

If ever there was a fitting name, it was this. At the Blitz, a fantastical coterie of artists, musicians, designers, filmmakers, and performers came dressed to kill, wearing handmade pieces that could best be described as Ziggy Stardust on acid. The Blitz Kids, as they were known, took that art of the poseur to the next level. The donned costumes and makeup that blurred gender lines, sometimes going so far as to erase the human element in the search for an identity that spoke to the moment.

British photographer David Gwinnutt was one of the creatures of the night, getting to know the curious and compelling personalities that sparkled under the strobe lights. He had taken up photography after discovering the work of Diane Arbus and Robert Mapplethorpe in the London studio of artist Brian Clarke. David Bailey was a frequent visitor, sharing stories and scandals that enticed.

Celebrate the Legacy of Irving Penn with “Centennial”

Irving Penn, American, Plainfield, New Jersey, 1917–2009, New York.
Pablo Picasso at La Californie, Cannes
1957, printed February 1985 Platinum-palladium print
Image: 18 5/8 x 18 5/8 in. (47.3 x 47.3 cm.) Sheet: 24 15/16 x 22 in. (63.3 x 55.9 cm.) Mount: 26 x 22 in. (66 x 55.9 cm.) Overall: 26 x 22 in. (66 x 55.9 cm.)
Promised Gift of The Irving Penn Foundation IP .123

Irving Penn, American, Plainfield, New Jersey, 1917–2009, New York.
Three Asaro Mud Men, New Guinea
1970, printed 1976 Platinum-palladium print
Image: 20 1/8 x 19 1/2 in. (51.1 x 49.6    cm.) Sheet: 24 15/16 x 22 1/16 in. (63.3 x 56 cm.) Mount: 26 1/16 x 22 1/16 in. (66.2 x 56 cm.) Overall: 26 1/16 x 22 1/16 in. (66.2 x 56 cm.)
Promised Gift of The Irving Penn Foundation IP .154

“Photography is just the present stage of man’s visual history,” Irving Penn (1917-2009) sagely observed, recognizing the infinite possibilities of the human animal to create technology that would advance our ability to document, represent, and re-envision the world. As a master of the form, Penn understood that the only thing that limits us is imagination.

For seven decades he worked, becoming a master of studio photography with the ability to craft pictures of anything he wished. Here was a man who could transform his very first commission for Jell-o pudding into a resounding success, even though, as Penn realized, it was, “a abstract nothing, it’s just a blob of ectoplasm.”

Yet with that formless glob of goop crafted in a laboratory, Penn was able to entice consumers to buy and serve the product en masse. It’s precisely this ability to transcend the particulars that made Penn a master of whatever form he chose to shoot, be in portraits, fashion, still life, food, nudes, or flowers. He understood that the photograph was an invitation to engage, to gaze upon the world without actually having to interact with it.

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