Posts tagged: fine art photography

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 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.

A Moody Portrait of the Manhattan’s Intoxicating Wilderness at Twilight

At the northernmost tip of Manhattan, an oasis lies: a natural preserve that takes the form of Inwood and Fort Tryon Parks. Located to the north and south respectively of Dyckman Street, the parks are hidden gems nestled deep within the neighborhoods known only to locals.

When American photographer Adam Pape moved from rural southeastern Virginia to Harlem, he discovered a new world, which he has captured in the stunning monograph Dyckman Haze (MACK). The photographs, made after the sun goes down, cast the landscape of upper Manhattan in a mystical, ethereal light, wherein all sense of the New York you thought you knew slowly slips away. In Dyckman Haze, Pape goes off the grid and disappears into another world, one filled with local inhabitants that gentrification has not yet removed. It is a portrait of New York that natives know, that curious netherworld between day and night where nothing is quite what it seems. Here Pape takes us on a journey into the heart and soul of Manhattan’s outer limits.

The Complex Dynamics of Family Life Revealed in Photos

Charlotte and Sophia Holding Hands

Girls on the Couch

Those closest to us are often the people who bring out the best and worst in us. Whether it’s a mother, a brother, or a partner, it’s the intimate relationships that allow us to truly find out who we are. Significant Others is a series created by the Brooklyn-based photographer, Ilisa Katz Rissman. It explores the nuanced traits we demonstrate in our deepest connections.

The Magical World of Puppetry, in Photos

The connection between a puppeteer and a puppet runs deep, and the Berlin-based photographer Benita Suchodrev has captured this mysterious relationship up-close. Her project Puppet Masters features students from the Academy of Dramatic Arts Ernst Busch, each accompanied by their own make-believe characters. Some might reign over a menagerie of beasts, and others have a single lonesome companion, but they all emerge from a background of pitch black.  

3 Photographers Will Get $500 to Shoot Their Dream Projects

Since we launched our international project The Print Swap in 2016, photographers around the world have taken part. Spanning six continents and all genres, they’ve inspired us with their unique points of view, so over the course of about two months, we invited all participating Print Swap photographers to pitch us the projects of their dreams. It was a limited-time opportunity, and we received an overwhelming number of inspiring ideas from artists and journalists all over the world. We ultimately selected three photographers to receive $500 each to bring their projects to life: Ashraful Arefin, Tori Gagne, and Julien McRoberts. Here’s a brief preview of what each of them has in store. All of the photos featured here are part of The Print Swap.

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