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Intimate Portraits of LGBTQ Youth in the American South

Rian With Friends, 2017

Trevor, 2017

Annie In Their Bedroom, 2017

Photographer Peyton Fulford was raised in a religious household in the Deep South, in the town of Albany, Georgia, the quintessential conservative American small town. When her parents divorced, Fulford got a double dose of church, with her mother following the Sanctified Holy Church and her father a dyed-in-the-wool Southern Baptist — neither open or accepting of the LGBTQ+ community, to which Fulford belonged.

“For the majority of my life, I was unsure where I belonged in the world,” Fulford explains. “It was difficult to navigate the space I was growing up in because I could not relate to it or understand my place within it. I never felt like my truest, most open self when conforming to the culture and ideologies around me.”

Realizing college was a path out of the narrow strictures open to her at home, Fulford first pursued a degree in pre-med, before recognizing the only path that would give her peace of mind was to study art. While attending Columbus State University, Fulford embarked on Abandoned Love, her first series, exploring romantic love. Then she came to understand what was truly in her heart.

#ThePrintSwap Is Coming to Sydney in a Stunning New Show

Holy River © Pravin Tamang (@pravin_tamang), New Delhi, India

Winter Sunset © Danielle MacInnes (@daniellemacinnes_photography), Stratham, NH

An afternoon in the street of Jaisalmer © Ashraful Arefin (@ashrafularefin), Dhaka, Bangladesh

The Print Swap, the worldwide project by Feature Shoot, is heading for The Other Art Fair Sydney next month! Curated by Carly Earl, Picture Editor at The Guardian Australia, our tenth international exhibition features 21 images from photographers all over the world. Selected photographers hail from locales throughout the United States, Brazil, India, Bangladesh, Singapore, Finland, Sweden, Spain, Russia, and France.

There is no fixed theme for this exhibition, and the collection is left open to interpretation. Perhaps one theme that does emerge, however, centers around the precarious relationship between nature and humankind. The sea becomes a recurring motif, as does the man-altered landscape, as seen in Stas Bartnikas’s aerial landscape and Emmanual Monzon’s roadside scenery. The fragility of the wild comes to the fore in the works of Tiina Tormanen, who photographs a dead fish, and Aurélien Calonne, who captures Skaftafellsjökull, a melting glacier in Iceland. And still, despite all this frailty, these twenty photographers find beauty in the earth, whether they’re exploring the remotest wilderness or walking the bustling city streets.

Presented by Saatchi Art, The Other Art Fair Sydney is now in its fifth year. Join thousands of visitors for the fair at Australian Technology Park in Eveleigh from March 14-17. You can purchase tickets here.

As a reminder, photographers around the world are welcome to submit to The Print Swap by tagging their best images #theprintswap on Instagram. Submissions are currently open for our Paris exhibition, opening for five days at Studio Galerie B&B this spring. The photographer and gallery co-director Elise Prudhomme will be our guest curator. All Print Swap photographers give a picture and receive one from another inspiring photographer somewhere in the world, regardless of whether or not they are selected for our offline exhibitions. As always, it’s free to submit, but selected photographers pay $40 per image to be part of the swap. Learn more at our website and follow along at @theprintswap for updates.

Vulnerable Portraits of Men in the Nude

16 December, II

21 November, I

23 November, I

For twelve months, the Paris photographer Laura Stevens transformed her bed into a stage set for a series of portraits, and more than fifty unnamed men agreed to pose nude on a single white sheet. In most cases, she had never met her subject prior to the shoot, but after some tea and conversation, a new collaboration was born. “The shoots often seemed like a sort of hypnotic slow dance,” she tells me. “They lasted normally a couple of hours, or two albums of music. The same music each time: Bach: The Goldberg Variations and some Phillip Glass.” The sessions culminated in a project simply titled him.

The choice of the passive “him” as opposed to active “he” reinforces the photographer’s own role within these silent vignettes. The art critic John Berger famously wrote, “men act and women appear,” but in Stevens’s personal inversion, she, the photographer, is the onlooker, while he, the muse, is the one observed. “It felt natural for me to photograph men in postures of softness, quietness or passivity, it being how I normally like to photograph people in general, male or female,” the artist admits. “I suppose I find vulnerability beautiful.” We asked her to tell us more.

A Portrait of Love Among the Ruins of Post-Industrial America

October 23, 2010 birthdays

Tony in the dark bedroom, looking out the window

Dana nursing KyLanne the day before she took her baby home

In the dystopian mythos that fuels the American Dream, poverty is a mark of character upon which outrageous projections are made. Many, clinging to the illusions of living in a meritocracy, where everyone starts on a level playing field, prefer the ignorance of ideology above all, villainizing the victims of a system designed to create a permanent underclass upon which America’s Next Top Billionaire will assuredly feast.

Poverty, as it is presented to us, is a choice — the wrong one, the experts suggest. “If only these people would X, Y, or Z,” the armchair analyst adds without the slightest shame, from the comforts of their breakfast nook while scrolling the latest headlines on their news feed.

“X, Y, or Z” could be any number of conservative talking points that focus the minutiae of personal accountability while turning a blind eye to the crushing weight of living hand to mouth in country that has designed systems to profit off your demise.

Artist Brenda Ann Kenneally knows how the game is played better than most, and uses her knowledge and wisdom expose the truth — rather than perpetuate the lies told and sold. In 2002, she and author Adrian Nicole LeBlanc began collaborating on a magazine assignment in Troy, New York, a once-thriving city whose fortunes have gone dark.

One Photographer’s Adventures to Some of the Most Stunning Places on Earth (Sponsored)

In many ways, the Welsh photographer Andy Lee reminds us of the great landscape artists of generations past. In an era in which wild landscapes face unprecedented dangers, he’s witnessed true marvels of the natural world–from a breathtaking lenticular cloudscape to a mind-blowing murder of crows in flight. Because of his background in painting and film, he understands the importance of taking his time, and he revels in the magical and serendipitous moments that happen when he least expects them. But while Lee’s work has deep roots in the history of fine art and the sublime landscape, he’s certainly a photographer of the modern age.

Whether he’s working abroad with charities or finding new ways to incorporate his twin passions for landscapes and portraits, Lee consistently finds fresh and novel ways to create meaningful images. And to showcase them in the most powerful way possible, he’s created a website and domain using Squarespace. With more than a few viral photos under his belt, Lee maintains a flourishing online presence and a gorgeous print shop that would give any physical gallery space a run for its money. In an era that seems defined by short attention spans and “the next big thing,” Lee proves once and for all that beautiful, well-made work will always leave a lasting impression. We interviewed him about his travels, the evolution of photography, and the importance of a timeless website design.

The Life of One Young Lady with Down Syndrome, in Photos

When the photographer Snezhana von Buedingen first visited Sofie’s family at their farm in east Germany, she stayed for three days. She spent her waking hours shadowing Sofie, taking her time to soak in the details of her everyday life. With time, the pair forged a powerful bond; Meeting Sofie is the photographer’s ongoing ode to her friend and muse–a young woman who happens to have down syndrome.

Revealing the Fascinating World Beyond the Gender Binary

Pidgeon

Rain

Beyond the rigid, often inflexible, ideas that we are taught lies a realm of knowledge, understanding, and wisdom that awaits us. The complexity of existence can be attributed to the fact that until we adapt our paradigms to reflect reality, we will remain trapped within a false construction masquerading as truth, one that may be used to exploit, oppress, or otherwise marginalize the most vulnerable among us.

To paraphrase Rumi, we can become the change we wish to see in the world — by forgoing the need to rush to opinion as a way to avoid the discomfort of doing the actual work. In giving people the space and freedom to share their truth, we confront our own ignorance and bigotry, while simultaneously learning from those whose lived experience bears witness to realities that may be far beyond our immediate comprehension.

When American photographer Chloe Aftel first heard the term “genderfluid” in 2012, she became curious and began to explore a world she did not know; a space where the gender binary does not operate accordingly to the principles set forth by the heternormative community.

With equal parts respect and curiosity. Aftel set forth to document the lives of gender non-binary people from all walks of life across America. What she came to understand was simple enough: the paradigms that we currently use to describe gender are limiting constructs that fail to recognize its extraordinarily complex expression.

“Most people are not simply one thing,” Aftel observes. “They do not see themselves in a singular, stagnant way but rather enjoy exploring who they are in a deep, sometimes complicated and possibly contradicting ways via gender exploration of paradigms, stereotypes and generalities.”

In honor of those who share their stories and their lives, Aftel has created the phenomenal new book, Outside & In Between: Self Beyond the Gender Binary, released on January 27 in honor of Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Beautiful Photos of Japanese Cities Lost in Snow

The Chinese photographer Ying Yin initially boarded the ‘Wind of Okhotsk’ train in Hokkaido, Japan in hopes of seeing the the famous drift ice over the Sea of Okhotsk. Her first attempt, however, was cut short by bad weather, leading her to pursue a different subject. Following the general course of the train, she made visits to snowy cities, where she observed solitary figures going about their daily lives.

A Portrait of Brooklyn Before it Was Gentrified

John and Michael, 16th Street, 1980

John’s Caddy, 6th Avenue, 1975

Back in the 1950s and ‘60s, a movement was afoot. The media called it “white flight” and sang it from the rooftops. The cities were being abandoned as white families ran for the hills of suburban towns just as Black and Latinx populations were finding a foothold in northern climates following the Great Migration, Operation Bootstrap, and Operation Peter Pan.

By the 1970s, a new era had begun — one of fueled by urban decay that left only the most strident New Yorkers in place. It was a city of true grit, where only the strongest survive, a city filled with idiosyncratic characters that were simultaneously celebrated and vilified. It was, simply put, a new York in every sense of the word.

Brooklyn native Larry Racioppo headed west for two years before returning to his hometown in December 1970. He took a job at the phone company and a class at SVA, which inspired him to start photographing the world in which he lived. Then little by little, everything began to change.

These Eerie Photos Will Make You See the Planet in a Whole New Light

“My nights are full of silence and the occasional howl of coyote,” the photographer Reuben Wu tells me. His series Lux Noctis has taken him to some of the most isolated regions in the American West, as well as remote spots in Europe and South America, under the cover of darkness. He flies a drone to light his way, illuminating sections of the landscape at will.

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