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Posts tagged: portrait photography

Thought-Provoking Photos of Children In Their Color-Coded Rooms

The Pink Project I – Jiwon (K) and Her Pink Things, Seoul, South Korea,
Light jet Print, 2014

The Blue Project – Kyungjin and His Blue Things, Gyeonggi-do, South Korea,
Light jet Print, 2017

Color is many-splendored thing — a bouquet of sensations we often take to heart. Color evokes emotion and desire, excitement and reserve. It is both curious and telling that color would be genderized, with pink and blue, two opposite ends of the spectrum, used to delineate the poles on the binary. Where pink was once the color of masculinity, drawn from the power of red, it was viciously emasculated on July 18, 1926 when the Chicago Tribune ran a notorious, unsigned editorial headlined, “Pink Powder Puffs.”

In it, the author attacked film star Rudolph Valentino, holding him to blame for the installation of a face-powder machine inside a public restroom for men on the North Side. It was a reach, one that was as bigoted and disrespectful as anything you would see today:

A powder vending machine!  In a men’s washroom! Homo Americanus! Why didn’t someone quietly drown Rudolph Guglielmo, alias Valentino, years ago?… Do women like the type of “man” who pats pink powder on his face in a public washroom and arranges his coiffure in a public elevator?… Hollywood is the national school of masculinity. Rudy, the beautiful gardener’s boy, is the prototype of the American male.

It was a sentiment that the American public loved, one that held fast as the color pink received gender reassignment. Blue, which was traditionally for girls, was given to boys, and once complete, the color/gender binary became the latest socially constructed fait accompli.

Because gender is assigned at birth along with sex, paroxysms of cultural hysteria follow in the simplest of terms, when the seeds of identity politics planted in something as inherently universal as color itself. It’s popular because it’s easy — and just a little too obvious.

But sometimes, you can’t see it until it’s arranged in such a way that the undeniable truth is taken to absurdist heights. In JeongMee Yoon: The Pink and Blue Project (Hatje Cantz), Seoul-based photographer JeongMee Yoon sets out to explore the striking intersection between color, gender, and late capitalism.

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.

An Elegiac Portrait of Jim Crow America in Black and White

At the age of 20, Hugh Mangum set forth on a journey as an itinerant portraitist working in North Carolina and Virginia. The year was 1897, and the future was bleak as the peace of Reconstruction was undone by the perils of a new evil on the horizon. Jim Crow, as America has named its system of apartheid and oppression, began, bringing forth the horrors of lynching and the arrival of the Ku Klux Klan.

Over a period of 25 years, until his death in 1922, Mangum created photographs of the American South during a time when laws like 1896’s Plessy v. Ferguson, legalizing segregation and local Black Codes that severely limited black people’s right to vote, education, property ownership, and movement. In the 1970s, Mangum’s archive was discovered inside an old tobacco barn that had been set for demolition and saved at the last moment.

With an open-door policy at his studio, all the world who could afford it donned their Sunday best and sat before Mangum. Using a Penny Picture camera, which allowed for up to 30 exposures in a single glass plate negative, Mangum delivered the classic fine, flat-field image with a graceful fall-off on the edges. The photographer engaged his subjects to reveal slivers of themselves with each new frame, capturing moments of unassailable emotional truth that speak to the human condition on the cusp of modernity.

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.

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.”

Picturing PTSD, the Invisible Enemy

DTI Derek and Phoenix

DTI Ken

DTI Hebert

Nearly two decades into the Afghanistan War, the death toll mounts in a battle on the home front. Every day in the United States, 22 veterans commit suicide, falling victim to an invisible killer: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

PTSD is a condition of persistent mental and emotional stress occurring as a result of injury or severe psychological shock, typically involving constant vivid recall of the experience, with dulled responses to the outside world. Once triggered, the mind becomes a harrowing trap where scenes of trauma replay themselves long after they occurred.

Recognizing the epidemic destroying the lives of veterans and their families, Susan J. Barron realized her duty to give them a voice in her powerful portrait series Depicting the Invisible: A Portrait Series of Veterans Suffering from PTSD, now on view at  The Army and Navy Club in Washington DC through April 15, 2019.

Here Barron shares the stories of veterans fighting against the enemy within the gates, a trauma that is sometimes amplified for women soldiers by the horrific betrayal of their male comrades who sexually assault them with impunity.

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.

Looking Through the Eyes of a Daughter of the American South

Rosalind Fox Solomon, ‘Chattanooga, Tennessee, 1976’ in Liberty Theater (2018). 

Rosalind Fox Solomon, ‘Hixson, Tennessee, 1975’ in Liberty Theater (2018). 

Rosalind Fox Solomon, ‘Scottsboro Alabama, 1976’ in Liberty Theater (2018).

Beginning in the mid-1970s, American artist Rosalind Fox Solomon traveled across the South creating a powerful series of photographs that reveal the state of the nation during the first decade following the Civil Rights Movement. It is here in Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, and South Carolina that we are privy to the complex interconnection of life rooted in the triumphs, tragedies, and traumas of the past.

At the time Fox Solomon started making these images, she had begun taking trips to New York to study photography with Lisette Model, a master of the human psyche laid bare in silver gelatin. Fox Solomon’s work bears witness to the power of photography to cut to the quick, to go beyond the luxuries and limitations of language by focusing solely on action, gesture, and expression to tell us more than word could ever say in a single, fleeting moment.

Fox Solomon’s photographs resonate with quiet grandeur, visceral eccentricity, and profound depth of ineffable emotion. Over the next two decades, she traversed the deepest reaches of the South to create Liberty Theater (MACK), an exquisitely nuanced portrait of the profound interplay of race, class, and segregation.

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.  

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