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Posts tagged: portrait photography

Honoring Animals Who Have Died, in Images

© Emma Kisiel
Sylvilagus Floridanus 6, 2012
Inkjet print

© Julia Schlosser
Syringes used in euthanasia procedure (These are the needles that were used to euthanize my cat Sebastian on 2/27/2017. Sebastian suffered from multiple health issues for many years, and finally when he had lost so much weight and stopped eating, I decided to have him euthanized. He was 17.), 2017
Archival digital pigment print from scan, 20 x 26.67 in.

Emma Kisiel
Toxostoma Rufum 2, 2012
Inkjet print

In one of her classic children’s books, the author Margaret Wise Brown tells the story of a group of kids who find a dead bird. They try to find a heartbeat, but they are unsuccessful. “The bird was dead when the children found it,” she writes. “The children were very sorry the bird was dead and could never fly again.” Like the characters in the book, most of us learn about mortality when we’re young through the death of an animal. It’s sad and frightening, and it usually marks us in some essential way.

Magical Photos of Japan’s ‘Decorated Truck’ Subculture

Junichi Tajima runs a waste disposal company in Japan, but he’s not a regular semi-truck driver. He’s one of an estimated six hundred remaining dekotora drivers in the world, and he owns three extravagantly decorated vehicles. Think: chandeliers. Hand-painted murals. Blinking neon lights. Louis Vuitton upholstery.

Portraits Recall Harlem in the 1980’s

In 2018, you might find your mind casting back, reminiscing on the way things were when Harlem was black – long before the cultural imperialists crossed the Hudson River and took to these shores, bringing with them a culture that systematically displaced natives and erased their legacy in its promotion of all things beige.

You might find yourself thinking of Harlem of yore, when it was abandoned and left for dead under the systemic plagues of “benign neglect,” crack, and AIDS: when the landscape was littered with the rubble of decimated buildings and abandoned lots, when buildings were taken over by drug dealers as crackhouses, when every day was “Night of the Living Dead.”

When the murder rate reached an all time high and suddenly the violence of the 1970s seemed eerily innocent.

Childhood, Loss, and Redemption in the Photos of Cig Harvey

In her third and latest book, the photographer Cig Harvey remembers studying art history at the age of eighteen. She attends class two days a week, and she’s so bored, she falls asleep at her desk. “It’s all just so beige,” she writes. You An Orchestra You A Bomb is a rebellion against the tedium, a frenzied, color-fueled exploration of the everyday, and an antidote to sleep.

New Photo Book Breaks Down Stereotypes of Muslim Men in the UK

“We are all in this together. And in the long term, revenge and violence will not work against extremists. Terrorists want us to huddle in our houses in fear, closing our doors and our hearts. They want us to tear open more wounds in our societies so that they can use them to spread their infection more widely. They want us to become like them: intolerant, hateful and cruel.” -Deeyah Khan at TedxExeter talk ‘what we don’t know about Europe’s Muslim kids.”

I look to the blurb of You Get me? for an introduction about what I am about read and the photographs I am about to look at; in gold, capital letters reads “MUSLIM THUGS BURN POPPIES. Sickening scenes on British streets—Daily Star, 12th November 2010. This headline is followed by many others like it. Is it any wonder young Muslim men often feel disenfranchised?

British-born artist Mahtab Hussain’s new photobook You Get Me? provides an introspective portrait of the community of young Muslim and/or Brown men caught between two worlds. “In the UK they are constantly stopped and searched, labelled as a terrorist or an extremist, and told England wasn’t their home. When they returned to their homeland, they were told they didn’t belong there either. “In a way, You Get Me? is all about hiding,” explains the artist, “pretending to be someone else, something else and then having to face the reality of who one truly wants to be.”

Alec Soth’s Iconic ‘Sleeping by the Mississippi’ 13 Years Later



Alec Soth, ‘Peter’s houseboat, Winona, Minnesota’ from Sleeping by the Mississippi (2017). Courtesy of the artist and MACK

Alec Soth, ‘Maiden Rock, Wisconsin’ from Sleeping by the Mississippi (2017). Courtesy of the artist and MACK.

“Over and over again I fall asleep with my eyes open, knowing I’m falling asleep, unable to prevent it. When I fall asleep this way, my eyes are cut off from my ordinary mind as though they were shut, but they become directly connected to this new, extraordinary mind which grows increasingly competent to deal with their impressions.” -Charles Lindbergh, aviator (epitaph to Alec Soth’s Sleeping by the Mississippi)

“I live near the beginning of the Mississippi and have always felt a pull to it,” Soth tells writer Colin Pantall of the British Journal of Photography. “I used to run away when I was 5 or 6, pack a suitcase with books and run away from home. I’d only get a few blocks but it was the whole Huck Finn process, where the north is home and the south symbolises the exotic.”

A Glimpse at Life in Kyrgyzstan

“Today, no one has time for feelings, they’re all out making money. The discovery of money hit us like an atom bomb…”

Svetlana Alexievich, Secondhand Time: An Oral History of the Fall of the Soviet Union

The citizens of former USSR belonged to one of the most powerful forces in the world, and now they don’t. The Russian language, and the Soviet culture that accompanied it, were all many of them knew. As the USSR dissolved, changes came fast, leaving many feeling lost in the new world in which they found themselves, mourning the world to which they were born. In his latest series A Shaded Path, Parisian photographer Elliot Verdier portrays the generational disparities between those in Kyrgyzstan who are nostalgic for the abolished USSR, and the youth who are forging a new cultural identity for themselves.

The Rohingya Crisis: Beyond the Numbers

“We are citizens of Burma. Aung Sung Suu Kyi can save our citizenships and keep us in our land but she gave power to the hands of the Army Chief Min Aung Hlaing, and in doing so gave him the power to kill us. When the military find us in the open, they shoot brush (indiscriminate) fire at us, old people, children, women, everyone gets hit by the bullets. They raped them. They raped the women. They burnt our villages to the ground. The villages are gone. We are Rohingya, our home is Arakan. We will only go back if they (the Burmese government) can accept us as Rohingya.” – Noor, 32

“A while back the Burmese government gave us assurance that they will give us citizenship rights, but they lied. We demanded that the citizenship rights should be granted to our Rohingya identity but they denied it and they tortured us cruelly for it. We cannot have our Rohingya identity in Burma, but others outside accept us as Rohingya. Burma has always been our home. And now as we ask for the right to our identity again, the government launches attacks on us again. They burn our villages, they force us to leave our land, even Aung Sun Suu Kyi does not accept us our rights despite supporting her in previous years.” – Nur, 72

“The Burmese military burnt my house down and then told me that Burma is not my country. They told me to get out of their land, but I don’t know anywhere else that is home. Now me and my family don’t know where else we can go.”

Over half a million Rohingya men, women and children have fled their homes in Rakhine, Myanmar, since August this year. They have poured into Bangladesh in large numbers, numbers that have dominated every news report since then. Tens of thousands, half a million, hundred thousands – all words that gradually grow abstract with each new statistic detailed. The Rohingya, as we refer to them, are a group of people, that comprise of individuals, each with their own real story of loss, fear, violence, persecution and discrimination. It maybe impossible to hear all these stories, but one photographer decided to attempt to document their voices, their words, and not just the portrait of a people in a major crisis, or a major humanitarian emergency, in the words of a UNHCR statement. While it is crucial to understand the scale of this horror, it is equally important to go deeper and hear their voices.

This Photographer Captures the Beauty and Uniqueness of Marginalized Communities

New York based photographer Justin French captures people and their beauty in a raw and beautiful way, usually directing his lens towards those whose identities are created by the intersections of different experiences, making their very existence inherently political.

Current sociopolitical events have shifted the way many people were thinking about the world and the way they were living in it, which resulted in many artists voicing their concerns and disagreements with the way governments and other institutions have operated in the past and are operating today. As a way to contribute to the conversation and maybe just as a natural reaction to his environment, the message and significance behind a lot of Justin’s work can be traced back to a lot of the sociocultural issues of his time. Issues of racism, police brutality and the representation of LGBTQ folks are therefore things that Justin speaks about with his work, sometimes even unconsciously. The photographer explores race and gender through portraits telling the stories of fictional and surreal-looking characters living in worlds in which their identities and the way they express it do not hold as much weight and gravity as it does in ours. Still, many of the stories Justin tells remain reflective of the real-life experiences of many, making his photographs even more compelling.

We asked Justin French about his work, the messages behind it and the necessity for artists to create work reflective of the times they live in.

The Man Who Photographs Dogs Like People

San Gimignano, Italy

Kolkata, India

London

London street photographer Alan Schaller looks for special dogs the way he looks for special people. It’s the “cheeky” ones, the “lonely” ones, the “shy” ones who stop him in his tracks. There are, of course, some differences. “I find dogs are in general more consistently friendly, unpredictable, and amusing than humans,” the artist admitted.

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