Posts by: Miss Rosen

Alex Prager’s Sunny Scenes of Los Angeles Noir

The Big Valley: Eve, 2008

The Big Valley: Susie and Friends, 2008

Hailing from Los Angeles, Alex Prager is a true photograph-auter. Her cinematic sensibilities are perfectly at home in the single image, expertly making use of the imagination’s inimitable ability to construct fantastical narratives when provoked. With the eye of a director allowing a tale to unfold, Prager stages each photograph with the precision of a blockbuster Hollywood film.

Silver Lake Drive, Prager’s mid-career retrospective currently on view at The Photographer’s Gallery, London, through October 14, 2018, traces the artist’s career over the past decade, exploring the ways that her work crosses the worlds of art, fashion, photography to explore and expose fascinating scenes of human melodrama concealed within some of the most mundane moments of life. The exhibition is accompanied by a book of the same name, published by Chronicle in the United States (on sale October 9) and Thames & Hudson in Europe.

Prager takes us on a masterful romp through scenes that evoke Hollywood luminaries like Alfred Hitchcock and Douglas Sirk. The exquisite grandeur of Prager’s images belies a haunting anxiety: here beneath the luscious trappings of artifice something sinister lurks. An intangible presence can be felt throughout her work, the all-seeing eye that invites the viewer in as an accomplice.

Form Follows Function in These Pipe Dreams

Mr. Gray. In the Garden of Weed(en).
Photography by Scott Southern, Collection of Greyspace.

Banjo. Optimus Prime, 2013. Photography by Alex Reyna @areysocal.

Some folks smoke joints or vape on street corners and be done with it; but not all cannabis connoisseurs are nearly so informal. There are a self-selecting group of smokers who prefer the accoutrements the herb calls for, finding pleasure in hand crafted glass pipes that are as complex and compelling as the drug itself. Both an object unto itself and a vessel to the promised land, pipes have evolved into highly intricate designs by artists who live the life.

This is a Pipe: The Evolution of the Glass Pipe and its Artists (Nicholas Fahey & Brad Melshenker/INSTITUTE) chronicles the history the underground scene that began 40 years ago with the Godfather, Bob Snodgrass and follows the evolution of an art that takes Louis Sullivan’s maxim of “form follows function” to a new high.

Inside the Southside Nightclubs of Chicago in the 1970s

Between 1975 and ’77, Michael Abramson (1948-2011) created an extraordinary body of work documenting Chicago’s Southside nightclubs as the subject of his Masters thesis for the Illinois Institute of Technology. Abramson made the rounds, carrying a camera and strobe light to catch all the action going down at Perv’s House, Pepper’s Hideout, The High Chaparral, The Patio Lounge, and The Showcase Lounge.

The sound was afterhours, featuring the funky, soulful vibes of blues artists like Little Mac Simmons, Bobby Rush, Lady Margo, and Little Ed. But Abramson wasn’t checking for the musicians on stage — he came for the crowd on the dancefloors and the bars, shooting half a dozen rolls every night inside this rarely seen milieu. “It was a living self-contained theater,” Abramson said of those heady nights.

Stanley Kubrick’s Early Years as a Photographer at Look Magazine

Stanley Kubrick, from “Life and Love on the New York City Subway”, 1947.

Stanley Kubrick, Stanley Kubrick with Faye Emerson
from “Faye Emerson: Young Lady in a Hurry”, 1950.

At the tender age of 17, Stanley Kubrick sold his first photograph to Look Magazine. The year was 1945, and the war was coming to an end. For the next five years, Kubrick would document New York during a pivotal period of transition as it rose to become the capital of the globe in the 1950s.

As a Look photographer, Kubrick captured slices of life that took him to nightclubs and sporting events, to the beaches and the boardwalks, the racetrack and the paddy wagon. Now the Museum of the City of New York presents a selection of more than 120 photographs from his archive for the exhibition, Through a Different Lens: Stanley Kubrick Photographs, on view now through October 28, 2018. The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue from TASCHEN bearing the same name.

Curated by Sean Corcoran and Donald Albrecht, Through a Different Lens provides a powerful look at the passions of Stanley Kubrick during his earliest years behind a camera. Corcoran gives us a fantastic tour through these formative years in the young artist’s life, as they form the bridge between him and the stunning filmmaking career yet to come.

Intimate Portraits and Stories of Trans Women

Vanessa, entertainer

Mara, software engineer

“Anybody who knows anything of history knows that great social changes are impossible without the feminine ferment. Social progress can be measured by the position of the female sex,” Karl Marx wrote in a letter to Ludwig Kugelmann in 1868.

A century later, Marsha P. Johnson, an African American trans woman, would kick off the LGBTQ Liberation Movement when she set off the Stonewall Riots at 2:00 am the morning of June 28, 1969. Now, nearly 50 years later, trans women remain at the forefront in the fight for equality, visibility, and representation.

In Female (Daylight Books), Chilean photographer Pilar Vergara shares the portraits of trans women from across the United States, who share their personal stories in a series of interviews that reveal the profound depths of their life experiences.

Brassai, the Eye of Paris, Returns

Extinguishing a Streetlight, rue Emile Richard c. 1933

Bal des Quatre Saisons, rue de Lappe c. 1932

Born Gyula Halász (1899 – 1984), Brassaï took his famed French pseudonym in honor of his hometown of in Brassó, Transylvania. The young artist moved to Paris where he intended to paint, but took up photography when he recognized the camera’s inimitable ability to capture the light in the dark, and the way it revealed itself n silver gelatin paper.

In 1933, Brassaï published Paris de nuit (Paris by Night) to immediate acclaim – one that has not diminished in the intervening years. Here in the dark maze of lamplit streets, prostitutes and lovers, workers and revelers go about their business in café and bars, in smoked filled dancehalls where anything goes.

These images, which earned him the title of “the eye of Paris” on an essay by Henry Miller, gave Brassaï instant entrée to café society and the haute monde, to the glorious glamour and decadence that was Patis between the wars. In this fleeting moment of history, Brassaï captured it all. Here, the worlds of theater, dance, and art mingle and merge, and glow alongside portraits of his colleagues and friends, people such as Picasso, Dali, Matisse, Genet, and Giacometti.

‘Photography on the Margins’ Offers a View of Another Kind of Life

Pieter Hugo Abdullahi Mohammed With Mainasara, Ogre-Remo, Nigeria 2007
From the series Hyena and Other Men © Pieter Hugo.
Courtesy of Stevenson, Cape Town/Johannesburg and Yossi Milo, New York.

Paz Errazuriz From the series La Manzana de Adan (Adam’s Apple), 1983
© Paz Errazuriz / Courtesy of the artist

The fringe photographs well. The drama, passion, and intrigue of lives pushing past boundaries, past definitions and social coded respectability naturally lends itself to the photograph, always offering a glimpse into something beyond the square lives of the mainstream.

In Another Kind of Life: Photography on the Margins (Prestel), author Alona Pardo, Curator at the Barbican Art Gallery in London, brings together an impressive collection of work that takes us inside worlds we might never otherwise see. Here, artists including Diane Arbus, Jim Goldberg, Danny Lyon, Mary Ellen Mark, Daido Moriyama, Pieter Hugo, and Larry Clark bring us into other worlds rarely seen, the realms of junkies and hustlers, trans women and street youth, gangsters and hippies, Rockability cats and Teds.

The Photographer Creating Posed Snapshots as a Reflection of Self


Black Eye

While attending the Yale School of Art for her MFA in photography, American photographer Danna Singer would spend her weekends photographing friends and family in her hometown of Bellcrest, a working-class neighborhood on the Jersey shore. As she shot, a series began to emerge, one that impresses viewers with a profound sense of alienation, pain, and numbness that came about as a result of generations trapped in a cycle of addiction, abuse, teen pregnancy, and lack of education and opportunities. Singer titled the series If It Rained an Ocean.

Inspired by the work of artists like Sally Mann, Diane Arbus, and Gregory Crewdson, Singer dives into the deep end and creates extremely intimate images where the facades have been stripped away and what remains is the pure, raw psyche of her subjects. In each of her photographs, there is a sense of a story so devastating it is eating away at the souls of all it possesses. There is something enormous yet hollow and so tender to the touch that you begin to imagine that there is much more than meets the eye in these photographs.

The Elegant Vulnerability of Rineke Dijkstra’s Portraits

Odessa, Ukraine, August 7, 1997

Marianna (The Fairy Doll) 2014 (videostill)

Dutch photographer Rineke Dijkstra is a relentless formalist, always cool to the touch, bringing a taste of August Sander’s skillful psychology to her portraiture. In June 1992, she traveled to Hilton Head Island to begin Beach Portraits, a series of full-length photographs filled with awkward glamour and quiet grandeur, provoking a response, a sense of evaluation waiting to happen in the moment. Do you like what you see? Want to know more? Each photograph reads as an invitation beyond the moment into something infinitely richer and more complex.

A master at capturing the interior lives lurking just below the flesh, Dijkstra uses the camera as a way to capture both the outer appearance and inner realities, show the ways in which they complement and contrast one another in a quiet moment in time. Using a 4×5 camera, Dijkstra creates, “A space where things can happen. The people I shoot really have to open themselves up to me. And I have to open up, too. It’s an interaction.”

Honoring Radical Latin American Women Behind the Camera

Sandra Eleta (Panamanian, b. 1942), Edita (la del plumero),  Panama
(Edita [the one with the feather duster], Panama), 1977,
from the series La servidumbre (Servitude), 1978-79.
Black-and-white photograph. 19 × 19 in. (48.3 × 48.3 cm).
Courtesy of Galeria Arteconsult S.A., Panama. ©the artist.

Paz Errazuriz (Chilean, b. 1944), La Palmera (The palm tree), 1987,
from the series La manzana de A
dan (Adam’s Apple), 1982-90.
Gelatin silver print. 15 9/16 × 23 1/2 in. (39.5 × 59.7 cm).
Courtesy of the artist and Galeria AFA, Santiago. ©the artist.

Radical Women: Latin American Art, 1960-1985, the phenomenal survey of Latin American artists, enters its final weekend at the Brooklyn Museum, where it will be on view through July 22, 2018. Accompanied by a catalogue of the same name published by DelMonico|Prestel, the exhibition is a stunning tour de force through a quarter century across the Western hemisphere showcasing an extraordinary group of women who experimented with photography, performance, video, and conceptual art to explore the issues of autonomy, oppression, violence, and the environment.

Photography plays a pivotal role in Radical Women, examining how it is both a work of art and a piece of evidence. Here archetypes and iconography are pushed to the edge as the artists featured here subvert expectations and stereotypes, offering fresh and empowering new perspectives for consideration.

Guest curator Andrea Giunta, who co-curated the exhibition with Cecilia Fajardo-Hill, shares insights into the ways artists used photography to raise awareness, expose, and explore the issues facing Latin American women during a tumultuous and transformative time in history – issues that are as pertinent then as they are today.

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