Posts tagged: portrait photography

Born to be bad: Brad Elterman, one of music’s most influential rock ‘n’ roll photographers

Brad Elterman

At just 19 years of age, he had already managed to photograph Bob Dylan and David Bowie, hung out with The Runaways, and had his work published in magazines all over the world. This is Brad Elterman, an artist whose work serves as a comprehensive visual history of rock ‘n’ roll.

If such a thing as reincarnation exists, I’d like to reincarnate as Brad Elterman. This is a man who seemed to have the very useful superpower of always being in the right place, at the right time.

One Photographer Captures the Resilience of Nature (Sponsored)

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Raised in Barcelona and based in Berlin, the photographer Silvia Conde has explored some of the most pristine locations on the planet. Scrolling through her portfolio feels like stepping back in time. From dreamy landscapes to analog portraits, her sun-drenched images remind us of our enduring connection to the environment and the importance of protecting it for generations to come.

Conde’s body of work represents a modern-day Garden of Eden. She’s created a beacon of hope for the environmental movement, a lasting tribute to the resilience of nature in a world where almost everything seems disposable. And with Squarespace as her website builder, she’s also created something else: a lush and dynamic digital space that captures the breadth and beauty of the natural world.

We spoke with Conde about her commitment to making art that makes a difference and the one-of-a-kind website she created to showcase it all.

William Klein pays homage to the medium of photography

William Klein – New York. Atom Bomb Sky, 1955.

William Klein – Tokyo.
Dancers interpret Genet’s Notre-Dame-des-Fleurs in street of small offices, 1961.

William Klein – Moscow. Bikini, Moscova river’s beach, 1959.

A William Klein photograph is immediate, visceral, and intense. It will have you rooted then falling through a rabbit hole in the space/time continuum, Sure you’ve seen these photographs before — how do they stay fresh? How has Klein mastered the form so profoundly that you can see the ripples of influence, his style so transformative and informative that it’s syntax has become common parlance?

The answer lies in Celebration (La Fabrica), his latest book. The photographer, now 91, looks back over his life’s work and selects his favorite works in homage to the medium he loves. Traversing New York, Rome, Moscow, Madrid, and Paris, Klein’s choices are a revelation of the man behind the lens, the one in search of the electric sensation of being alive and forever paying it forward.

“Here is my preface for Celebration, with photos like Proust’s Madeleine. Is that a good idea?” Klein asks, ever forthright, with the understanding that to venture backwards can offer a thousand sensations and memories, the least of all for the artist himself.

Poignant Photos of Rescued Farm Animals in Their Twilight Years

Violet, a potbellied pig, age 12. Born with her rear legs partially paralyzed, Violet was surrendered to a sanctuary because her guardian could not properly care for her special needs.

Blue, an Australian Kelpie rescue dog, was a companion for 21 years.

Babs, a donkey, age 24.

Babs, a donkey, spent seventeen years of her life at a cattle ranch, where ranchers used her for roping practice. “Roping involves electrically shocking a donkey to make her run, chasing her on horseback, and then tossing a lasso around her neck or rear legs to pull her to the ground,” the photographer Isa Leshko writes in her book Allowed to Grow Old. “Donkeys endure this practice repeatedly until they are exhausted, maimed, or killed.”

Celebrating the Beauty and Brilliance of Gender Beyond the Binary

Kay, ex Green Beret, 1983.

Carrie being made up for a drag ball in Harlem, 1984. .

Harlem Drag Ball, 1984.

The many expressions of identity that exist on the gender spectrum is a subject of tremendous depth and breadth, though it has largely existed underground in realms secreted away from the masses. It has given birth to a culture so innovative and rich that, 50 years after Stonewall, the underground has emerged and center itself with impeccable aplomb.

Over the past half-century, artists like Mariette Pathy Allen have been deep in the trenches, using their work to fight for dignity, respect, and rights — taking on the tyranny of ignorance, bigotry, and oppression.

In celebration, The Museum of Sex presents Mariette Pathy Allen: Rites of Passage, 1978–2006, a stunning survey of the artist’s archive that includes photographs, interview transcripts, personal correspondence, and materials from her career working with trans, genderfluid, and intersex communities over the past four decades.

Harlem Through the Eyes of James Van Der Zee

James Van Der Zee, Eve’s Daughter, c.1920
Gelatin silver print; printed c.1920, 6 1/4 x 4 1/4 inches

James Van Der Zee, Marcus Garvey with George O. Marke
and Prince Kojo Tovalou-Houénou, 1924
Gelatin silver print; printed c.1924, 5 x 7 inches

Picture it: Harlem, 1918. James Van Der Zee, 32, opens Guarantee Photo Studio on 135 Street just as the Harlem Renaissance was coming into bloom during the first wave of the Great Migration.

As northern Manhattan became the Mecca for Black America, Van Der Zee was there to record it all inside his studio and on the streets. James Van Der Zee: Studio, recently on view at Howard Greenberg Gallery, is a portal into the past, into a time when Black society thrived and set the pace for music, art, poetry, literature, dance — well, you name it.

Van Der Zee was no exception. He set himself apart by using painted backdrops and luxurious props in the studio to create elaborate tableaux for his subjects, and bathed them in sumptuous lighting to evoke a painterly touch, imbuing each photograph with the hand of the artist.

Exploring Andy Warhol’s Lifelong Fascination with Women

Andy Warhol. Ladies and Gentlemen, Circa 1974-1975
Synthetic polymer and silkscreen inks on canvas, 120 x 80 inches (304.8 x 203.2 cm)
© 2019 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Licensed by Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Tim Nighswander

Andy Warhol. Red Jackie, 1964
Acrylic and silkscreen ink, 40 x 40 inches (101.6 x 101.6 cm)
© 2019 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Licensed by Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Froehlich Collection, Stuttgart Courtesy Froehlich Collection, Stuttgart

Andy Warhol turned appropriation into fine art, perhaps the most profoundly American aspect of his practice. Where Dada subverted the known, Warhol exalted it, creating a pantheon of iconography that charmed, rather than challenged, the status quo – while simultaneously being edgy enough to avoid becoming camp, corn, or schmaltz.

Warhol is America looking back at itself, with a nod and a wink, taking art in the age of mass reproduction to the next level when he began making silkscreens in August 1962. Marilyn Monroe’s tragic death sparked it off. She was his first, perhaps his greatest, and far from his last, as he transformed The Factory into an art world machine.

Andy’s Marilyn is a Mona Lisa of sorts — her many incarnations and moods a psychic x-ray into the person none of us ever knew. Using a publicity photography by Gene Korman for the 1953 film Niagara, Warhol took the manufactured image and remade it into something beautiful and grotesque.

Celebrating the Women Who Photographed Hip Hop

Salt N’ Pepa © Janette Beckman / Courtesy of Fahey/Klein Gallery, Los Angeles

Salt N’ Pepa © Janette Beckman / Courtesy of Fahey/Klein Gallery, Los Angeles

Hip Hop embodies hypermasculinity in its best and worst forms – offering archetypes for emulation that have evolved over the years as the art form grew from a local phenomenon to a billion-dollar global market. In its earliest years on the streets of the Bronx, it was exclusively the realm of high school kids who wanted to throw parties in the park, the rec center, or at the gym.

When Sha-Rock joined the Funky Four Plus One, she became the first female MC, making it all the way to Saturday Night Live on Valentine’s Day 1981 when they became the first Hip Hop group on national TV. Over the next four decades, women would continue to find themselves as Miss Plus One, an integral yet peripheral figure to the history and evolution of the culture.

Photography, much like Hip Hop, has long been an all-boy’s club on both the talent and industry sides of the game. With male photographers making 90% of commercial work, the female gaze has long been underrepresented and undervalued in the iconography created and consumed – a telling reminder of the underlying biases that wordlessly reinforce a gendered point of view.

The Utopian Splendor of Tyler Mitchell’s Universe

Untitled Two Girls Embrace, 2018

Untitled Hat, 2018

Tyler Mitchell made history in 2018 as the first Black photographer to shoot the cover of American Vogue, at the tender age of 23. His subject was no less than Beyoncé, and their collaboration was unlike anything that had graced the fashion bible during its 126-year reign. But within Mitchell’s oeuvre, the series is perfectly in tune with the artist’s vision of a Black utopia.

It is the sensation of euphoria that comes from a place of inner peace, pride, and freedom — a state of being that is naturally grand, sensuous, and enchanting. It is a realm Mitchell composes in his photographs, portraits of friends, colleagues, and confidants that informs the mood and approach to create a powerful feeling of intimacy, joy, and community.

I Can Make You Feel Good, Mitchell’s first solo exhibition now on view at Foam Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam through June 5, 2019, brings together significant works and pairs them to with two new video installations: Idyllic Space and Chasing Pink, Found, which pairs images of leisure with crowdsource audio stories of Black microtrauma.

Alec Soth’s New Work Embraces the Grandeur of Intimacy

Alec Soth. Sonya and Dombrovsky. Odessa. 2018

Alex Soth. Nick. Los Anglese. 2017

After the 2015 publication of Songbook and a retrospective, Gathered Leaves, Alec Soth decided to take a hiatus from photography in order to reconsider his creative process. For more than a year, Soth ceased traveling and opted for the pleasures of solitude found in his farmhouse in Minneapolis. Here he explored new forms of art making and meditation, keeping open to questions rather than searching for answers.

“When I returned to photography, I wanted to strip the medium down to its primary elements,” Soth remarks in the artist statement for I Know How Furiously Your Heart Is Beating, Soth’s new exhibition at Fraenkel Gallery in San Francisco and accompanying monograph just published by MACK.

Rather than continuing to explore the epic narratives of American life, Soth turned inward, exploring the space in which people intimately connect and share a moment of mutual interiority in the creation of art. I Know How Furiously Your Heart Is Beating is a path to connecting across the divide, a reversal of Soth’s previous perspective as seeing photography as a means to separate himself from the world.

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