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Posts tagged: portrait photography

Malick Sidibé’s Mesmerizing Portrait of Post-Colonial Mali

Malick Sidibé. Un jeune gentleman, 1978.

Malick Sidibé. Nuit de Noel, 1963.

Malick Sidibé. Mon chapeau et pattes d’eléphant, 1974.

Malick Sidibé (1935–2016) was a master of the form, a singular visionary whose photographs tell the story of the liberation, self-determination, beauty, dignity, and pride of his native Mali in the heart of West Africa.

Born in the village of Soloba when Mali was still a colony of France, Sidibé hailed from a family of herders who worked the land. His natural propensity for art made him the first member of his family to attend school: the Institut National des Arts de Bamako, in the nation’s capital in 1952.

In 1955, be began an apprenticeship with photographer Gérard Guillat-Guignard; he opened Studio Malick in 1958. His timing could not have been more fortuitous for Sidibé and Mali were coming into their very own at the same time. As a member of the Mali Federation, which included Sengal and the French Sudan, the nations achieved independence from France on June 20, 1060, after a period of negotiations. On September 22, Mali left the Federation and was on its own.

The spirit of freedom is evident throughout Sidibé’s work. Honing in on the youth culture of the times, he captured the joyous energy of the first generation of liberated Malians on the beach, in the clubs, at sporting events, and in his studio. In every photograph he created he found the heart and the soul of his people and the result was nothing short of beautiful.

The Harrowing Floods of Bangladesh, in Photos

A rickshawala, with the help of his daughter, tried to cross a flooded road in Ramu.

“I am documenting what’s around me not only as a photojournalist, but also as a victim,” Jashim Salam says. In Chittagong, Bangladesh, where he lives and works, rising water levels during monsoon season have left houses and places of business below water. “It started very slowly, six or seven years ago,” he tells me. “The water is rising year by year.” Water World is his ongoing record of the people and lives affected by the floods.

Nan Goldin: The Beautiful Smile

Bruce in the smoke, Pozzuoli, Italy 1995.

Nan one month after being battered, 1984.

Nan Goldin’s photographs are filled with spirits and ghosts, becoming vestiges of lives lived, loved, and lost. They are evidence of we who once were and no longer are, here today, gone tomorrow ­– were it not for her art.

Over the past five decades, Goldin has created a body of work so iconoclastic and powerful that she has spawned generations of artists who follow in her footsteps, from Juergen Teller to Wolfgang Tillmans and Corinne Day. Goldin first picked up the camera in 1968 at the age of 15, using photography as a means to deal with life following her older sister Barbara’s suicide just four years earlier.

By 1973, she had her first solo exhibition in Boston, wherein she showed the world her travels through the city’s gay and transsexual communities in a series of black and white photographs that are stunningly timeless – yet prescient, as Goldin always is.

South Beach, 1974-1990: Photographs of a Jewish Community

Gay Block

Gay Block

Gay Block

Long before South Beach in Miami became a destination among the jet set, it was a thriving retirement community for Jewish Americans, who made their fortunes up north before cashing their chips in and heading to Florida to spend their final years in the sun.

During the 1960s, 70s, and 80s, when they came en masse, they decamped in the Art Deco wonder palaces that had been the perfect getaway for the likes of Frank Sinatra and Marilyn Monroe. Once they arrived, they brought their culture with them, a singular mixture of Yiddish Americana that exalts the gestalt of mid-twentieth century “Lawn Guyland.”

In celebration, HistoryMiami Museum presented South Beach, 1974-1990: Photographs of a Jewish Community, a group exhibition featuring more than 120 works by Gay Block, Gary Monroe, Richard Nagler, David Scheinbaum, and Andy Sweet.

Clever Photos Illustrate the Creativity of the People of Belarus

The Potato Picker

When the Belarusian photographer Alexey Shlyk was a child, he encountered a singular type of necklace handmade by his grandmother. She had used apple seeds in lieu of diamonds and rubies, stringing them together one-by-one before varnishing their surfaces. “It has always been an object that fascinated me,” the artist admits. The Appleseed Necklace is Shlyk’s tribute to the ingenuity of his people, who, during the scarcity of the Soviet Era, made do with whatever they had.

Courageous Photos from the Life of a Homeless Veteran

Bob Mulcahey (50) after his friend Drew, who overdosed on heroin, and died. Friends are always popping in and out of Bob’s life. The mills provide a transit point for many people who are homeless for one reason or another. But Bob has stayed for 3 years. 

Bob bathing in the Passaic River that runs along the derelict mill that he lives in. Collaborative caption written by Bob.

Bob helps his girlfriend Jackie, who suffers from a severe infection in her leg, into bed at her house near the mill where Bob lives. Bob dedicates several hours per day to caring for Jackie. Although Bob considers Jackie his girlfriend, Jackie does not feel the same way about Bob. Collaborative caption written by Bob.

Bob, an army veteran, has lived in the furnace of a derelict mill in Patterson, New Jersey, for three years. Other homeless people reside in the mill with him, but for the most part, they’re just passing through. “They consider themselves the ‘forgotten ones,'” the photographer Todd R Darling says of the community. Bob’s friends have named him Mayor of the Mill.

Behind-the-Scenes at a Hungarian Juvenile Detention Center

© Adam Urban

© Tamas Urban

It took time for the Hungarian photographer Adam Urban to earn the trust of the inmates at Aszód Juvenile Detention Center. Understandably, the young men were wary of “outsiders.” In fact, it took weeks for Urban to bring out his camera out for the first time.

A Modern Day Journey Through Native America

Juliana Brown Eyes-Clifford, a 23-year-old woman from the Oglala Lakota tribe, and her husband, Scotti Clifford, have formed the band, “Scatter Their Own” (which is the English translation for the word Oglala). They travel to various Indian reservations and other parts of the country to play their music. They are self-taught and play what comes out naturally from their hearts. Juliana is inspired to play for the youth and inspire them to branch out and learn about the arts and music which are topics not generally exposed on the reservation.

Mataya Harrison, 17, is a senior in high school. She has considered joining the Marine Corps post-graduation. “I’m very patriotic,” she says, “and being an Indian in the army makes even more sense. I don’t care about the fact that I might die.”

Sage Honga, 22, of the Hualapai tribe, earned the title of the 1st attendant in the 2012 annual pageant, Miss Native American USA. From that point forward, she has been promoting her platform encouraging Native youth to travel off the reservation to explore opportunities. In Native American culture, knowledge is power and the youth are encouraged to leave the reservations, get an education and then come home to give back to your people. Sage continues to speak to youth focusing on four fundamental principles: traditionalism, spirituality, contemporary issues and education. Sage is photographed at a sacred site of the Hualapai people and one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, the Grand Canyon. She wears a hand-made dress and natural make-up on her face, traditionally used by the Hualapai.

On a cold and unsuspecting December morning in 1890, the US Cavalry troops marched into a Lakota camp near Wounded Knee Creek on the Lakota Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in the Midwestern state of South Dakota in America. On that day, the regiment surrounded the encampment and carried out a massacre, killing over 150 men, women and children, records show hundreds died in the aftermath.

Joel Meyerowitz’s Magnum Opus “Where I Find Myself” is a Six-Decade Tour de Force

Bay/Sky, Provincetown, Massachusetts, 1987.

New York City, 1975.

Joel Meyerowitz: Where I Find Myself (Laurence King) is a pièce de résistance, a masterful feat of publishing that sets the bar as high as it can possibly reach. The photographer’s magnum opus opens in the present day, with his most recent body of work and unfolds in reverse chronological order, leading us through a spellbinding life in photography that is simply unparalleled.

“How did I get here? Living on a farm in Tuscany. Nearly eighty years old, and once again the force of photography provokes me to think about something I’ve never considered as being of interest to me,” Joel Meyerowitz writes in the first chapter, which introduces the still lifes he has been creating between 2012 and 2017, documenting the objects of painters Paul Cézanne and Giorgio Morandi.

“I’ve always been a street photographer, first and foremost, and though I’ve danced to tunes other than the jazzy tempo of the street, it’s where my native instincts for seeing first developed,” the East Bronx native writes. “Half a century ago, I was part of a duo that walked the streets of New York City almost every day, Garry Winogrand and me. We loved it out on the streets, loved the surprise of the unexpected events, and our shared appreciation of them after they happened, and how it charged our conversations with new ideas.”

A Rare and Intimate Look at the Lives of Irish Traveller Children

The Los Angeles photographer Jamie Johnson first gained access to the Irish Travellers through the children of the community. They were intrigued by the artist and her camera, and quickly, they accepted her as “the crazy American photographer.” Once the young people trusted her, the adults followed.

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