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Posts tagged: fine art photography

Dreamy Pictures of Life on the Seashore

All That Is Above Me and Nothing That Is Below

Endless Season

“When I’m on the beach and faced with the blue horizon, wide-open sky, and a miles-long expanse of sand, sometimes my mind starts racing,” the Seattle-based photographer and digital artist Tony Nahra tells me. “Usually, I’m looking for a figure in a minimalist scene… on the sand, in the waves, or on a dune.” His images are an ode to the sea, its benevolent and violent whims, and the sense of solitude we find on its shores.

Stunning Photos Tell the Story of Gay Men in Swaziland

Unidentified 85, 2018 © Kyle Meyer / Yossi Milo Gallery, New York

When artist Kyle Meyer began photographing gay men in Swaziland, or eSwatini, five years ago, his subjects were initially wary about the exposure. Their concern was justified: Same-sex relationships are against the law there, and people who are suspected of being gay risk unemployment, ostracism and even violence.

“The LGBT community is pushed into a corner,” says Meyer, 33, whose series “Interwoven” explores sexual and gender identities in the southern African country. Meyer, who is openly gay and lives in New York, was forced back into the closet when he began traveling to Swaziland. “I could have easily ‘disappeared,’” he says.

Despite their anxieties, the men who agreed to have their portraits taken for the project, on view this month at the Yossi Milo Gallery in Manhattan, seemed to relish the idea of finally being seen for who they are. Inspired by the vibrant colors of Swazi wax cloth, Meyer asked them to pose wearing elaborate headdresses in patterns each man chose from fabric collected at a local market. Because the style is traditionally associated with Swazi women, the photo shoots offered a rare chance to play with gender norms and celebrate each man’s individual sense of beauty. “They just wanted to be heard,” Meyer says.

After every visit to Swaziland, Meyer returns to his Hudson Valley studio, where he prints the images on paper up to seven-and-a-half feet high. He then shreds the photographs and the fabric from the head wraps, and, using a technique he learned from Swazi basketmakers, spends as much as 60 hours weaving them together.

Read the rest of Amy Crawford‘s article and see more of Kyle Meyer‘s photographs over at Smithsonian Magazine.

A New Book to Change the Way You Look at Photography

Dorothea Lange: The Road West, New Mexico, 1938. Library of Congress.

Daido Moryama: Stray Dog, 1971. Courtesy Daido Moriyama Photo Foundation

Photographers on Photography, the newest book from the author Henry Carroll, is out now by Laurence King Publishing. In its pages, you’ll find more than a century’s worth of words and images from the past and present, with contributions from William Henry Fox Talbot, Ansel Adams, Dorothea Lange, Irving Penn, Lisette Model, Gary Winogrand, Daido Moriyama, Alec Soth, Olivia Bee, and many more. As a follow-up to his critically acclaimed series Read This If You Want to Take Great Photographs, Photographers on Photography takes a philosophical approach to what Carroll calls “the most enigmatic art of them all.”

One Photographer’s Poignant Reflection on Self-Injury

“The first instant when I self-injured, I was acting on impulse to try and dissipate some of the overwhelming emotions that I had as a young person,” the London photographer Daniel Regan tells me. “It wasn’t until I had been doing it for a few years, in my late teens, that I felt able to describe why I was engaging in the behavior.” His latest project Threshold pulls back the curtain on an often-misunderstood subject, revealing in pictures what he once struggled to put into words. The work is now on view as part of a major exhibition on addiction (and addictive behaviors) at the Science Gallery London, titled HOOKED!

The Horrors of the Illegal Wildlife Trade Revealed in Photos

Zebra Bookend, 2018

Stacked Turtles, 2018

Bear Gallbladder with Bosc Pears, 2018

Take a look at Christine Fitzgerald‘s still life with pears, and you might mistake it for an antique; after all, it was created using a 19th century photographic process. But if you dig beneath the surface, you’ll find something unsettling about this particular tintype: one of the “pears” isn’t a pear at all. It’s the gallbladder of a bear. “Bear parts, including paws, gallbladders, and genitals, command great prices on the black market,” the Canadian photographer tells me. Her series TRAFFICKED takes a fresh and unlikely approach to the horrors of today’s illegal wildlife trade, bringing us face-to-face with the objects confiscated by the Wildlife Enforcement Branch of the Canadian Government.

Ethereal Photos from the Shores of the Dead Sea

For years, the Israeli-based photographer Alexander Bronfer returned to Ein Bokek beach regularly, searching for moments of poetry and silence long after most people had left. “Over generations, people have entered into state of tranquility visiting those ancient shores,” he says. “It’s difficult find the right words to describe it. This is the mystery of the Dead Sea.” He titles this body of work Sodom, after the nearby mountain and the rumored site of the biblical city by the same name.

The Humanity Of Wildlife, In 150 Photos

In 2017, Randal Ford’s animal photographs were awarded first place and best of show in the fine art category in the International Photo Awards competition. Nearly a year later, Rizzoli New York published his first monograph, The Animal Kingdom: A Collection Of Portraits. Over five years in the making, the book features 150 up close and personal animal portraits, from a pensive chimpanzee to a fierce spotted leopard. Proceeds from the sale of this book benefit Project Survival’s Cat Haven, a park dedicated to the preservation of wild cats.

Of Loss, Longing, Love, and Fear in the Work of Vivane Sassen

Eudocimus Ruber, 2017.

And Tango Makes Three, 2017.

Over the past two decades, Dutch photographer Viviane Sassen has created a singular body of work that weaves together a spellbinding phantasmagoria of luminous scenes of life. Her relentless independence from the limits of reality, in search of the multi-layered experience that exists beyond the known places Sassen in the realm of poets, mystics, and magicians.

In Hot Mirror (Prestel), we delve deep beneath the still surface of the images, into another realm, one that unfolds page by page as Sassen weaves a tale titled The Eye of the Eucalyptus Tree. Here, we travel between sections from the artist’s most notable series that take us from a remote Maroon village in Suriname in Pikin Slee to Flamboya, in which she returned to Kenya, her childhood home.

A Sassen photograph is not just an image of what lies before the camera, but something more; it is an ode to the medium of photography itself. Like a symphony conductor carefully leading an orchestra, Sassen creates luminous, layered images that belie the power of the visual world.

The Enduring Allure of Artificial Reality, in Photos

Ice Cream Calamity

In our never-ending quest to fix what isn’t broken, we have developed a sweet tooth for the chemical burn that comes whenever we add saccharine. This insistence on artifice is driven by an obsession with perfection, one that believes our ideals superior to the miracles nature reveals each and every day – one that has us writing ourselves out of existence quicker than we’d dare to allow ourselves to believe.

But here, in that moment before the dam breaks, we cross the tipping point without looking back. We cast our faith in illusions designed to sell us on an idea, a service, a product – any number of highly desired sources of escape. It is in this fantastical utopia that American artist Jason DeMarte creates fantastical landscapes that tap into our limitless capacity to consume.

In his series, Adorned, which was chosen for the Critical Mass Top 50, DeMarte digitally combines images of fabricated and artificial flora and fauna with commercially produced products to give us what we want – and more of it. DeMarte takes our cravings to their logical conclusion, a place where beauty becomes gooey, and yet it still appeals. These memento mori could not be more prescient of what is to come, as we step into a brave new world where AI, climate change, and late capitalism become the defining forces of our time. DeMarte shares his insights into this extraordinary body of work.

A Photographer Finds Peace in the Vast Emptiness of the Altiplano Region

When Vancouver-based photographer Chiara Zonca started her Moon Kingdom series, she already knew how to lose herself in isolated locations. She had been exploring what she calls “the switch”—an emotional process that occurs when she is surrounded by a landscape so surreal that it feels like a dream. In a month’s time, she travelled with her husband to “alien-like” locations in the Altiplano region that separates the border of Chile and Bolivia.

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