Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Ashley presents Joan Fontcuberta

In 1985, my birth year (so AWESOME!), the photographer Joan Fontcuberta created the explorer Dr. Peter Ameisenhaufen. The good Doctor is said the have traveled extensively in Africa and through those travels discovered many distinct creatures.

My personal favorite being the Centarus Neandertalensis, it is a centaur and baboon creation, there is also the Aerofants, flying Elephants. The most amazing thing about most of these images is the quality of them especially since they are darkroom. His website is in Catalan but the images are amazing so we should all check it out

Ashley presents Catherine Chalmers

While roaches freak me out and I am TERRIFIED of them Catherine Chalmers has taken a series of images with the American Cockroach that don't make my skin crawl. Around 2004 she did one of her roach series and the roaches are executed, so tolerable. The thing that I find most fascinating about these is the fact that roaches are so well adapted that even in death they still seem to prevail, no matter how much bug spray you use, they still come back as gross as ever. So to see them hanging and dead is just crazy. She also does other really creepy photographs with the roaches that I just cannot bring myself to look at again let alone post but if you would like to see them you can go to

She also took images of genetically altered mice and the fat one is just too adorable that I have to add it.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Katy Schmader submits SPE link

This is the link to the Society for Photographic page. Its a great way to be in the know of whats going on. Its the place to sign up for upcoming convention, or look up past ones. you can look up members work. Lots of inspirational material.

Katy Schmader submits Smithsonian Photography Initiative link

I believe this link is extremely helpful. The Smithsonian themes this site around how Photography has changed everything in society today. It provides articles and images and videos. The site focuses on who we are, what we do, what we see, where we go, what we want, and what we remember.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Salina Ellis presents Meridel Rubenstein

Rubenstein's work addresses the theme of place, home. How we are connected to it, culture, and how we are separated from it. These relationships are explored not only in photograph form but also in how she presents it.

She combines video stills, image transfers and prints of vellum. These compilations are exhibited in complex presentations. One included a pool of water with video shot onto the surface.

I think her images compliment the complexities of the themes she addresses quite well. The relationship of how culture is tied to land, people and how we as individuals may be separated from it, weather through displacement, natural disaster, divorce, or career is explored by overlapping disparate images, gallery placement, and display.

Salina Ellis presents Sara VanDerBeek

What an interesting artist. VanDerBeek appropriates images, some from art history books, creates sculptural assemblages photographs them, and then disassembles them. So then they only exist in the photograph. She was a cofounder of a now defunct gallery. Her curatorial background compliments her sculptural work.

Her father, film maker Stan VanDerBeek, died in 1984 leaving behind piles of work. She and her brother spent years filtering through the work and coordianted a show in 2008 of their father's work. She has stated in an interview that this experience has influenced her later work.

A great article about her is here.

A 2009 series "A Composition for Detroit" explores our current economic climate by focusing on one if it's great casualties.

Salina Ellis presents Michael Ta'Bon

While he may not be an artist, ex- convict Michael Ta'Bon's actions do fall into the realm of interventionist art. For the month of February Ta'Bon created his own jail in an abandoned lot in Philadelphia. He then served one month in his self made prison made of plywood and wallboard. He wears an orange jumpsuit and unshackled handcuffs.

He hopes to deter young people from venturing into a criminal life. On one occasion a police officer brought teenagers to meet Ta'Bon and hear his message. The students are listening. The experiences he relates and demonstration are causing the students to really think about their choices.

"He was speaking life," said sophomore Brandon Jiles, 16. "He made me think twice."

Ta'Bon does have permission from the lot owner for his performance. He did not obtain any permits and several have inquired about this. He hopes these inquiries will fade away.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Blair Bodden submits Jay Gould

Jay Gould is a Louisiana based artist and assistant professor of photography at Louisiana Tech University. He received his B.F.A. in photography from the University of Wisconsin and then his M.F.A. from the Savannah College of Art & Design in Georgia.
In his work he has decided to take his photography to a new level and integrate scientific topics which this has one him several awards. As a child he was actually more interested in science than photography. Gould has been quoted saying"The scientist will use a microscope or a telescope to see things because their natural senses can't look that small or look that far away," he said, "but a photographer or a painter uses brushes or a camera to envision something that also is a little bit beyond the tangible senses." Gould has been known to call himself a nerd who didn’t set down his tools in favor of photography instead he integrated them.
This artist inspires my artist nature he shows that you can combine subject matter and material to make the concepts more apparent and reachable to different audiences. Personally, for me I have always had a struggle between painting, sculpture, and photography. After viewing Gould’s work and actually having the pleasure of listening to one of his lectures last year it made it clear to me that I can combine my photography with the other areas of art that interest me. This has proved to make my concepts stronger and has opened a new area in my brain to work from.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Rebecca Villarreal reviews Loretta Lux

Loretta Lux is one of my favorite photographers if not my absolute favorite. She was born in Germany and attended school at Akademie der Bildenden K√ľnste there she studied painting with Gerd Winner. She gave up painting as her main medium and picked up a camera as the tool of choice. She was awarded the Infinity Award for Art in 2005 and has shown all over the world. Her work consists of these absolutely beautiful and eerily creepy portraits of children that stay with you in one way or another.

Her goal in her work is to use the children as a metaphor for childhood and innocence. She is meticulous every step of the way in creating her portraits. She has said herself that even though painting is not her medium of choice, that in composing every one of her portraits she goes about it like a painter would, blocking in the shapes and being aware of the color choices for both the subject and the background. Much of her work is digitally enhanced and retouched, but there is still a lot that comes from her and the camera. Many of the backdrops are either paintings she’s done herself in the past or from photos of her travel. She takes special care in her lighting to ensure there are no shadows in her photos, which in some ways gives the portrait a lack of depth, but in others you still can sense it.

One of the other things she is known for is the fact that she’s never really confirmed or denied how she makes her portraits aside from agreeing to retouching them. I love too how even though she’s made these portraits pretty generic in that you don’t really get a sense of the personality of the child she’s photographing, the viewer is still able to come up with some sort of narrative for the portrait.