Posts tagged: fine art photography

An Exquisite Study of the Sacred Feminine Realm, in Photos

For Mona Kuhn, the female nude is a vessel, a path, a portal to transcendence between the physical and spiritual planes. Liberated from the earthly draw of desire, it transforms from object to subject, to a state of becoming that is only possible when one is the protagonist of their own story and their own lives.

In She Disappeared into Complete Silence (Steidl), Kuhn takes Paul Nash’s Landscape from a Dream (1936-38) as her departure point and delves into the realm of photography to explore the surreal, symbolic realm of the California desert landscape, her model Jacintha, and elements of architecture to organize chaos. It is here that Kuhn embraces the space where light and shadow engage in exquisite interplay across a myriad of surfaces so that air becomes perfumed and potent, almost tactile itself. Light moves through these images like the hand of God, liberating us from the demands of the world and allowing us a moment of peace in our noisy and tiresome world.

Magical Photos of Childhood Summers in a Small Austrian Village

Alena plays with a cat and a cow. Merkenbrechts, August 2013

Victor is enjoying his mother’s legs. Merkenbrechts, July 2018

In her project I am Waldviertel, Dutch photographer Carla Kogelman travels to the Austrian region of Waldviertel to the small village of Merkenbrechts, population less than 200. Here, Kogelman transports us into an eternal moment of fleeting childhood summers, a moment where time eclipses in that it is both fast with outdoor adventure, and slow with restless boredom—imagination and play often being its only respite.

An Exhibition of Portrait Photos with a Surreal Twist

Time Dilation © Amelie Satzger

Femme Fiction #1 © Lauren Menzies

In conjunction with the Fourth Annual Feature Shoot Emerging Photography Awards, United Photo Industries (UPI) in Brooklyn, NY is showcasing the work of two awardees: Amelia Satzger and Lauren Menzies. These two artists were selected by Laura Roumanos, who is executive producer and co-founder of UPI and one of the jurors for the award. With United Photo Industries having a mission to exhibit thought-provoking and challenging photography, Roumanos has certainly chosen two artists whose work encompasses the organization’s ideals in ways that are both complimentary and striking in their contrast.

The Brooklyn Artist Reconnecting with Her African Roots

Blue Like Black, Argentina, 2018

Still from video short “the cleanse” 2017

Born in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, Adama Delphine Fawundu is the only first first-generation American of her siblings. Her brother and sister were born in Freetown, Sierra Leone and lived there until 1975, when Fawundu and her mother returned to bring them to the United States.

Fawundu would not return again until 1992, at the age of 21, during the Christmas holidays, during the first year of a decade-long civil war. Though she was unable to return to her homeland, Fawundu traveled the continent, visiting South Africa in 1995, early in Nelson Mandela’s presidency, as well as Ghana and Nigeria. And when she finally could come home, she brought two of her sons, then ages ten and seven, to create the foundation for a lifelong connection to the motherland.

Embracing the power of connection, Fawundu takes an expansive, inclusive approach, personifying the water spirit that connects Africa and its Diaspora using photography and film. In The Sacred Star of Isis, now on view at Crush Curatorial in New York through April 6, Fawundu travels the globe to create images from the New York State forests and the waters of the coast of Freetown, Sierra Leone, to cities within Argentina, a place known to systematically attempt to erase its Black presence.

The exhibition includes “the cleanse,” Fawundu’s first film — a glorious celebration of rhythm and ritual contained in the moments when Fawundu places her perfectly pressed tresses under the shower and begins to wash her hair, an incantation filled with magic, power, and wisdom. Here, Fawundu shares her journey creating The Sacred Star of Isis.

Behind-the-Scenes with a Photographer Who’s Helping to Reshape the Industry (Sponsored)

In our increasingly image-saturated world, Carmen Chan‘s photographs feel like a breath of fresh air. Before settling in Los Angeles, the photographer worked in New York City and Hong Kong, refining her aesthetic and her voice across the fashion and editorial world. While tackling projects for major brands and publications, she sets herself apart with her effortlessly clean and natural style. Her approach to color and form results in images that feel breezy, uncluttered, and full of energy, and she has a way of tapping into the most authentic aspects of her subjects, whether they’re models and celebrities or interiors and cities.

As a leader in her field, Chan understands the importance of carving out a better future for other artists, and she’s not afraid to speak up about the need for more diversity in the industry. Today, the award-winning photographer has established herself as a force to be reckoned with, both as an artist and a businessperson, landing coveted assignments and supporting her peers along the way.

Chan’s Squarespace website reveals an eye that is at once modern and classic, whether you’re browsing her travel journal or a collection of her intimate portraits. She also created a blog to take us behind-the-scenes on some of her shoots and a quarterly newsletter to keep clients and followers informed about new projects. We talked to Chan about her online presence, her favorite kinds of projects, and her advice for emerging photographers who hope to follow in her footsteps.

Tabitha Soren Traces the Trails We Leave on Touch Screens

Emailed JPEG Kiss Goodnight. 30″ x40″, 2014

thegavoice.com/community/features/pride. 30″ x 40″, 2018

In our increasingly pixilated world, we are known by the trails left behind — the smudges made by incessant pawing at our digital devices all day and night. With the quick whip of the wrist, we wipe all traces away before starting anew, our attention glued to the images and words illuminated by a flickering light that sends us down endless rabbit tubes.

Time slips away until we surface once more, the remains of our journey reduced to mere streaks — subject in and of itself that fascinates photographer Tabitha Soren. In Surface Tension, the former television journalist positions herself on the other side of the camera and looks at the very apparatus of content consumption itself — the screens our fingers feast upon as we travel at the speed of swipe.

Now on view at the Davis Museum at Wellesley College in Massachusetts through June 9, 2019, Surface Tension is a curious, lyrical ode to one of the most visceral of all senses we hold. Here, touch is both sacred and profane, a base, coarse reminder of our physicality and a symphony of gestures made over a period of time, indicating a desire for more content, more stimulation, more entrée into an invisible, nebulous realm that we can never know beyond the appearances we voraciously consume.

In advance of her April 17 artist talk, Soren shares her insights into the nature of the image and the ways in which it adapts to the plasticity of a digital world that feeds on our desire to look.

The Artist Using Photography and Book Making as a Tool of Recovery

For photographer Lorena Turner, art is a path to transformation and transcendence that lies in wait, forever ready when we are. With the camera as her guide, Turner began to tell a story of discovery out of the darkness and towards the light.

Turner’s adopted mother was an alcoholic who verbally and physically abused both her husband and daughter. On September 26, 2016, her mother – also named Lorena – awoke, drank wine all morning and vodka all afternoon, then battered her husband until he called the police. Two officers arrived, removed her from the home she had lived in for 25 years, and put in an assisted living facility for people with dementia, where she currently lives.

Turner, then 47, had been estranged from her parents for 30 years. Following the incident, Turner started rebuilding her relationship with her father, who she now sees once a month, and visits her mother, who does not recognize her but tells her that she loves her. At the same time, Turner came upon Gregory Halpern’s photo book Zzyzx, and became inspired to create A Habit of Self Deceit, a book that looks at the landscapes, people, and objects of life that we may see as mundane, if not downright ugly. Here, Turner shares her insights and experiences creating this quiet, intense, and powerful book.

The Death of a Parent, Captured in Photos

“Sometimes I feel like I am in a bad dream.”

“Everything is aimless and hopeless. I have lost my direction and I don’t know where to go.”

“Your dad was suddenly lying there in a hospital room. The man I loved.”

The photographer Argus Paul Estabrook remembers his mother calling him from the hospital, and he remembers flying from Seoul to be with his family in the United States. But much of his father’s battle with pancreatic cancer remains a blur. By the time he was diagnosed, it had already reached Stage 4, and when it was all said and done, Estabrook‘s father would live for only three more weeks. “Time was really jumbled like that one drawer where nothing is in the right place,” the photographer admits. “Memories become fractured and mixed together.”

This Is Not an Exit is a poetic recounting of his father’s illness and its aftermath. Initially, the series wasn’t meant to be anything more than a way of coping. It was his father who had first introduced him to photography early in life, and documenting his final days was almost instinctual. “During that time, everything was happening so fast,” he tells me. “I was just trying to hold on to something. That turned out to be my camera.”

The Artist Decolonizing the Idea of Africa

The search for knowledge, wisdom, and understanding lies in the process of distilling fact from fiction, truth from lie, meaning from myth. It is the sifting through appearances where deception flourishes, in search of the source of authenticity and integrity upon which existence takes root.

“One consequence of Eurocentrism is the racialization of knowledge: Europe is represented as the source of knowledge and Europeans, therefore, as thinkers,” photographer Gloria Oyarzabal observes, recognizing the systems of power profiting off this misinformed belief.

These systems of power feed off a form of colonization that extends beyond the centuries-long rape, pillage, and enslavement of the people and the land — it is the colonization of the mind, a far more insidious programming that is more difficult to detect and eradicate, for its forms are multifarious, moving like a virus from one person to the next.

The programming runs so deep that many will fight to defend its dastardly deeds before doing something so honorable as change their mind. Often times, the programming only ends when one finds it is too foolish and disgraceful to hold irrational thoughts. Then it becomes a process of decolonizing the mind of the bankrupt ideologies and logical fallacies one has been fed throughout their lives, and do the work of self-education, recognizing that blind spots will be revealed.

In her series, Woman go no’gree, Oyarzabal has done just this in a photographic exploration of gender, history, knowledge-making, stereotypes, and clichés of Africa. Using a mixture of archival colonial images mostly found in magazines, street photos taken with a digital camera, and studio photography found or made during her artist residence in Lagos in 2017, Oyarzabal employs a visual language that subverts and spellbinds in equal part, leading us into a silent realm of symbol and iconography. Here, Oyarzabal shares her journey with us.

Colorful Photos of Fabric Floating in the Sky

Medusae, 2018

Falling, 2017

For 30 years, American photographer Sally Gall has captured the mystery and majesty of the natural world, but it wasn’t until one fateful day in Sicily that color came to her–in the mesmerizing contrast of freshly laundered garments hanging on the line, wafting and waving in the late summer breeze against the vibrant blue skies–that Gall found inside the camera world she had never known before.

From that day, Heavenly Creatures was born, a series of color works recently on view at Julie Saul Gallery, New York, and in book of the same name, to be published by powerHouse in June. Evoking the spirit of abstract artists such as Joan Miro, Wassily Kandinsky, and Georgia O’Keefe, Gal’s Heavenly Creatures are mesmerizing meditations of the spiritual realm, an ethereal essence that exists within all things, no matter how pedestrian, humble, or mundane. Here, Gall shares her journey into a world where representation becomes more than the thing itself, but a space for the possibility of transformation.

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