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Posts tagged: portrait photography

A New Photo Book for People Who Love Cats

Midcentury Kitty on the Red Chair, 2015 © Sue Abramson

On the cover of PhotoCat., Schilt Publishing’s new ode to feline-kind, you’ll find a portrait of Sacha de Boer’s longtime companion– a picture simply called “Julius, tuned out, January 2008.” Julius casts his eyes down, inhabiting his own little black and white world. He might be falling asleep, or maybe he’s thinking about something important. In any case, he’s vulnerable in a way that cats rarely are.

A Quintessential Road Trip In Search of ‘America’

The United States is built on myth, dating back to the earliest days of the republic, when Thomas Jefferson wrote, “All men are created equal,” without any self-awareness. A slaveholder claiming equality — what kind of world could spawn such profoundly pathological cognitive dissonance?

It is “self-evident” as Jefferson would say: one that considered itself “enlightened” enough to use reason and logic to uphold irrational beliefs; to craft holidays like “Thanksgiving” that celebrated the wholesale slaughter of Native Americans and whitewash history; to name cities, towns, and counties after Christopher Columbus, the architect of the Transatlantic Slave Trade — to do all these things and play innocent.

The myth of “America” has appealed for hundreds of years. “Give me your tired, your poor, / Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, / The wretched refuse of your teeming shore” wrote poet Emma Lazarus, whose words were placed on the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty in 1903. “Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me.”

Unforgettable Photos from One of the World’s Last Matrilineal Societies

Pema Lamu (73) from the village Zhashi. Faces and hands of most Mosuo women are marked by the daily working hours in the fields. There is a clear division of labor between men and women. Women are responsible for household duties and farmwork and men for heavy labor and funerals. Usually, it is the Dabu who is working the hardest.

Du Zhi Ma holds a photograph in her hand, a portrait of her, which was taken about 35 years ago. In the photo, she carries one of her three children in her arms.

In order to get to China’s Lugu Lake, where the Mosuo people live, German photographer Karolin Klüppel traveled by road. That road, she says, has only been around for one or two decades. Before then, the area was relatively remote, sheltered from curious outsiders. Today, there’s not only a road but also an airport. Tourists arrive by plane a few times a week. Life is changing for the Mosuo, especially the women.

The Overlooked Value of Motherhood Revealed in Photos

Hidden Mother: Eileen

Hidden Mother: Jenn

“I come from a long line of matriarchs and feminists,” New Mexico photographer Megan Jacobs tells me. “Both my grandmother and my mother were fearless in their times.” Now a parent herself, the artist drew inspiration from old images from the Victorian era to create Hidden Mothers.

Electric Portraits Touch on the Nuances of the African Diaspora

Philadelphia-based photographer Shawn Theodore has had an incredibly inspiring and productive year– between a successful exhibition in Philadelphia last June titled Future Antebellum, a feature in Apple’s MacBook Pro commercial, and more. To sum it all up, Theodore has seen his work reach new heights, and deservingly so.

Known for his bold use of vibrant colors and clever shadow play, the Philadelphia artist is now taking his work to New York City in his very first solo museum exhibition titled Church of Broken Pieces, at the Richard Beavers Gallery in Brooklyn. Described by the artist as an “homage to an ever-changing, ever-moving diaspora of cosmic afropolitans who remain unfettered and unburdened,” this series is faithful to Theodore’s usual mastery of the light and contrast seen in the way he captures his black subjects.

The Sorrow and Grace of Abandoned Cats, in Photos

“I remember having the clear feeling that I was taking photos of people,” Italian photographer Sabrina Boem tells me of her first encounter with stray and abandoned cats. “I remember human eyes that talked to me. I loved those cats, their eyes, the way they looked at me.”

A Look at Emerging Photography Coming Out of Russia

© Alexey Bogolepov

© Irina Zadorozhnaia

Each of the ten photographers included AMPLITUDE No.1 has twenty-eight pages to share their perspective, their experience, their vision. AMPLITUDE is a periodic project by FotoDepartament, a non-profit devoted to representing and promoting photography in Russia. The hard box volume contains ten volumes for ten photographers, each with his or her own soft-cover book. All the books are the same size, twenty-eight pages, though what’s on those pages varies profoundly from one volume to the next.

Painful, Beautiful, Unforgettable Photos from the ACT UP Community

Jon Greenberg (1956-1993), ACT UP Alternative and Holistic Treatment Committee, 2/16/1992

Porchlight (Jay Funk & Mark Harrington), Saugerties, NY, 7/24/1993

In May of 1988, the great activist Vito Russo gave his speech ‘Why We Fight’ at an ACT UP (the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power) demonstration. Throughout, he compared living with AIDS to living through war: every week for the previous four years, he had attended two funerals a week.

In the end, he concluded, it was “worse” than a war because the public and the government didn’t “give a shit.” In 1989, 14,544 people were killed. Policy-makers remained silent. Some actively opposed the spread of awareness and educational tools. Russo died the following year.

After joining ACT UP in 1989, the photographer Stephen Barker witnessed the crisis firsthand. He was part of the life-saving (and once-illegal) needle exchange program in New York City. Looking back, he describes himself and his colleagues as “foot soldiers” for the cause.

The ‘Illegal’ Project Sheds Light on the LGBT Community of Nigeria

The new generations of African creatives have been able to offer a more authentic, accurate and multifaceted version of Africans who, despite their strong ties to their history and cultures, remain connected and in conversation with the rest of the globalized world.

While a lot of contemporary African photographers are driven by a need to move away from the stereotypes that have always existed in Africa since the “discovery” of the continent by European colonialists, a lot of the same photographers also have made it a point to also criticize the oppressive systems within their own communities. Corruption, political oppression, gendered violence and homophobia are things that African artists like Ousmane Sembene or Zanele Muholi have talked about through their work in the past, sometimes to the point of said work being banned due to controversy in their respective countries.

Today, more young artists aim to contribute in a similar way. Daniel Obasi is a young Nigerian artist who, despite still being early in his career, already has an impressive resume. He worked with some of Nigeria’s most talented and sought-after fashion designers (Orange Culture and Maxivive, just to name a few) and has been published in publications like Hunger Magazine. In an editorial he shot and styled for the African luxury retailer Oxosi, Obasi comments on the discrimination faced by the LGBT community in Nigeria and the policing of sexuality and identities in the country.

A Photographer and Her Muse Re-Stage History’s Iconic Photos

A tribute to Diane Arbus, A Young Man in Curlers at Home on West 20th Street, N.Y.C., 1966

In the beginning, Looking for Masters in Ricardo’s Golden Shoes was just a game played by a pair of old friends, the French artist Catherine Balet and the costume designer Ricardo Martinez-Paz, when they decided to replicate a famous portrait of Pablo Picasso by Robert Doisneau. It was a private little theatrical moment, with Martinez-Paz playing the role of Picasso and Balet casting herself as Doisneau.

Quickly, however, Balet says it became a kind of obsession. The two of them have since painstakingly reproduced some of the most recognizable images in photographic history, with the costume designer embodying the essence of the various subjects, spanning ages, genders, and backgrounds— from Avedon’s “beekeeper” to Capa’s “falling soldier.”

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