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Posts tagged: street photography

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.

A Timeless Portrait of the Many-Splendored Faces of New York

Man with the Black Hat, 2016
Archival print mounted between dibond aluminum and anti-reflective acrylic glass
59 x 59 inches (150 x 150 cm)

Etienne Rougery-Herbaut Harlem Twins, 2018
Archival print mounted between dibond aluminum and anti-reflective acrylic glass
31.5 x 31.5 inches (80 x 80 cm)

French photographer Etienne Rougery-Herbaut marks his U.S. debut with Cornerstone, a selection of photographs made on the streets of New York that present a timeless portrait of the people who embody the spirit and soul of the city.

As the country’s most epic point of immigration with no less than the Statue of Liberty to welcome new arrivals to these shores, New York has long been the point of entry for people from all around the globe. As ethnic enclaves generations deep have nestled throughout the five boroughs for centuries, a new scourge presents itself in the form of gentrification.

The systemic whitewashing of New York has had a devastating effect but as Rougery-Herbaut’s portraits attest, they preserve perhaps simply because they are New York. In Cornerstone, the inaugural exhibition at Brannan Mason Gallery in Los Angeles, Rougery-Herbaut paid tribute to the people who represent the heart and soul of the city, despite all efforts to eradicate their presence.

Here, Rougery-Herbaut shares his journey with us.

Pioneer Artist & Model Ming Smith Reflects on a Life in Photography

Ming Smith. Grace Jones at Studio 54, 1978
archival pigment print, 30 x 40 inches

Ming Smith. Sun Ra Space II, New York City, NY, 1978
archival pigment print, 40 x 60 inches

In 1974, at the age of 23, Linda Goode Bryant opened Just Above Midtown (JAM), a non-profit New York arts organization dedicated to showing the work of artists of color in the heart of 57th Street, then the capital of the art world. Rent was a astonishing $300 per month, the 70% discount a testament to Goode Bryant’s negotiating prowess.

Like Goode Bryant, JAM was a revolution unto itself, with the intention to burn the art world down to the ground. JAM pioneered the works of now-renowned Black artists including Dawoud Bey, Norman Lewis, Senga Nengudi, Lorraine O’Grady, Howardena Pindell, Lorna Simposon, and Ming Smith — all of whom are being show at Frieze New York (May 2-5) as part of a special tribute to Linda Goode Bryant’s JAM Gallery from the 1970s.

The 2019 Frieze Stand Prize was awarded to Jenkins Johnson Gallery for their presentation of the work of photographer Ming Smith, whose contributions to the medium have recently come into clear focus. Hailing from Columbus, Ohio and educated at Howard University, Smith moved to New York in 1973 to live as an artist. To support herself, Smith joined the ranks of Grace Jones, Bethann Hardison, B. Smith, Sherry Bronfman, and Toukie Smith as the first generation of Black women to break the color barrier in the fashion and beauty industries,

Looking at San Francisco Through Hamburger Eyes

Mark Murrmann

Ted Pushinsky

Back in 2001, brothers Ray and David Potes were putting out photo zines the old fashioned way. Ray would edit and art direct while Dave ran copies while working in a college copy department. The one titled Hamburger Eyes really stood out — and began attracting photographers who wanted to share their work.

Ray, who was living in Hawaii at the start, moved to San Francisco where David was, and the city became home base for a vital street photography culture that recalled the glory of Garry Winogrand and Joel Meyerowitz.

Hamburger Eyes that quickly became a cult sensation in the photo underground, as the classic black and white format made the strange and mundane scenes of daily life all the more profound. In its back to basic approach, Hamburger Eyes elevated the photo zine into a work of art.

Over the years, Hamburger Eyes has gone on to publish 37 issues, as well as over 200 titles by artists, as well as two books — their latest SF Eyes: The Continuing Story of Life, Loss, Tragedy, and Triumph in the City of San Francisco as Captured by the All-Seeing Lens of Hamburger Eyes Photography Magazine just released by Hat & Beard Press in conjunction with a documentary film produced by Aaron Rose.

SF Eyes is a picture perfect postcard of San Francisco, when it was punk AF by crew members Jason Roberts Dobrin, Kappy, Dylan Maddux, Alex Martinez, Mark Murrmann, Ted Pushinsky, Andrea Sonnenberg, Stefan Simikich, and Tobin Yelland, among others.

Hamburger Eyes spent its formative years in San Francisco, becoming an integral part of the scene. With the sweeping changes to the city, and to photography as a whole, most of the crew have decamped, but the love for the town never grows old.

To celebrate two decades of San Francisco street photography, we have brought together some of the artists at the core to share the continuing story of Hamburger Eyes.

Dave Heath’s Breathtaking Dialogues with Solitude

Dave Heath. New York City, 1960 

Dave Heath. Washington Square, New York, 1960

At the age of 16, Dave Heath was paging through a 1947 issue of LIFE magazine when he came upon “Bad Boy’s Story: An Unhappy Child Learns to Live at Peace with the World,” a photo essay by Ralph Crane that explored the life of an orphaned by growing up in Seattle.

Heath, who had been abandoned at the age of 4, immediately felt seen. Living in foster homes and an orphanage, Heath saw himself in both the protagonist and the journalist at the same time. Heath had already been participating in a camera club and recognized that photography could become a lifeline between himself and the world.

It was a commitment to which he would give his life, using the camera to document the political, social, and cultural events of the time, while simultaneously creating an investigation of the photograph itself. Largely self-taught, Heath made it his business to learn the craft, theory, and history of his chosen medium in order to create for himself.

Remembering the Life and Legacy of Patrick D. Pagnano, Street Photographer

On October 7, 2018, the photographer Patrick D. Pagnano died, leaving behind a treasury of classic American street photography and documentary work made over more than 50 years.

While attending Columbia College Chicago, Pagnano developed his “stream of consciousness” approach to street photography, a narrative technique inspired by Robert Frank, Garry Winogrand, and Walker Evans. Pagnano strove to capture the essence of the moment while simultaneously indicating a larger story beyond the photograph, creating a dynamic exchange between the subject and the environment in each photograph.

In 2002, Pagnano published Shot on the Street, a collection of his color work made during the 1970s and ‘80s that evokes the visual poetry of Helen Leviitt and the intimacy of Joel Meyerowitz.

In the preface, Pagnano writes, “’Shot on the Street’ refers not only to the images having been taken on the street, but more importantly, to the psychological effect of the street. It is a place where races of people and social classes converge and vie for space and mobility with ever increasing urbanism. It can excite, anger, defeat, and inspire. The street’s influence and energy never ceases.”

That electric energy comes alive in Pagnano’s work, whether capturing candid scenes of daily life on the pavement or taking in the pleasures of Empire Roller Disco, his series documenting the legendary Brooklyn skating rink. Here, Kari Pagnano, his wife of 44 years, gives us a deep, heartfelt look at Pagnano’s life and legacy.

The Extraordinary Life of Inge Morath

Inge and Ernst Haas during their first reportage for Magnum Photos
Capri, Italy, 1949, photographer unknown.

Venice in the rain, 1954.

It was a rainy day in Venice back in November 1951. Inge Mörath was visiting the city with her then-husband Lionel, and was so struck by the quality of light that she phoned Robert Capa with an idea. He needed to send a Magnum photographer to capture the city as it was. Capa suggested Mörath take the pictures herself.

Mörath just so happened to take along her mother’s Contax camera, and had the store clerk load the film. Then she set a 1/50 exposure at f-stop 4, and posted up on a corner to watch the world unfold, a kaleidoscopic panorama of pedestrians and pigeons, stone streets and brick walls — and immediately knew she had found her calling.

Inge Mörath: Magnum Legacy – An Illustrated Biography by Linda Gordon (Magnum Foundation/Prestel) chronicles the illustrious photographer’s extraordinary life. Born in Austria in 1923 to a pair of traveling scientists, the family flourished under the Nazi regime, moving to Berlin in 1938. But then the war began, and nothing would ever be the same.

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.

3 Photographers Will Get $500 to Shoot Their Dream Projects

Since we launched our international project The Print Swap in 2016, photographers around the world have taken part. Spanning six continents and all genres, they’ve inspired us with their unique points of view, so over the course of about two months, we invited all participating Print Swap photographers to pitch us the projects of their dreams. It was a limited-time opportunity, and we received an overwhelming number of inspiring ideas from artists and journalists all over the world. We ultimately selected three photographers to receive $500 each to bring their projects to life: Ashraful Arefin, Tori Gagne, and Julien McRoberts. Here’s a brief preview of what each of them has in store. All of the photos featured here are part of The Print Swap.

#ThePrintSwap Is Coming to Sydney in a Stunning New Show

Holy River © Pravin Tamang (@pravin_tamang), New Delhi, India

Winter Sunset © Danielle MacInnes (@daniellemacinnes_photography), Stratham, NH

An afternoon in the street of Jaisalmer © Ashraful Arefin (@ashrafularefin), Dhaka, Bangladesh

The Print Swap, the worldwide project by Feature Shoot, is heading for The Other Art Fair Sydney next month! Curated by Carly Earl, Picture Editor at The Guardian Australia, our tenth international exhibition features 21 images from photographers all over the world. Selected photographers hail from locales throughout the United States, Brazil, India, Bangladesh, Singapore, Finland, Sweden, Spain, Russia, and France.

There is no fixed theme for this exhibition, and the collection is left open to interpretation. Perhaps one theme that does emerge, however, centers around the precarious relationship between nature and humankind. The sea becomes a recurring motif, as does the man-altered landscape, as seen in Stas Bartnikas’s aerial landscape and Emmanual Monzon’s roadside scenery. The fragility of the wild comes to the fore in the works of Tiina Tormanen, who photographs a dead fish, and Aurélien Calonne, who captures Skaftafellsjökull, a melting glacier in Iceland. And still, despite all this frailty, these twenty photographers find beauty in the earth, whether they’re exploring the remotest wilderness or walking the bustling city streets.

Presented by Saatchi Art, The Other Art Fair Sydney is now in its fifth year. Join thousands of visitors for the fair at Australian Technology Park in Eveleigh from March 14-17. You can purchase tickets here.

As a reminder, photographers around the world are welcome to submit to The Print Swap by tagging their best images #theprintswap on Instagram. Submissions are currently open for our Paris exhibition, opening for five days at Studio Galerie B&B this spring. The photographer and gallery co-director Elise Prudhomme will be our guest curator. All Print Swap photographers give a picture and receive one from another inspiring photographer somewhere in the world, regardless of whether or not they are selected for our offline exhibitions. As always, it’s free to submit, but selected photographers pay $40 per image to be part of the swap. Learn more at our website and follow along at @theprintswap for updates.

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