Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Greg Gabrisch review Al Magnus

Al Magnus is a physics and chemistry scientist but on the side he creates some great photographic images. I find it very interesting that a scientist would also be an artist, especially an artist of his kind. Magnus creates very imaginative images that give the viewer a feel of a fantasy world. Most of his photos contain small children in a world with ladders that reach the moon or the moon tied up like a hot air balloon. This gives us a sense of a child’s imagination, which I think is great because it reminds me of my childhood and it makes me wish I could still think like I could as a child. Magnus states “for me, science means the joy of discovering, a permanent false naivety, and above all putting oneself in a mental state of to be surprised at any time. These conceptions definitely can be seen in my pictures. But I could also add doubt and uncertainty. I have such an approach to life in general and I believe the imagination you see is the result.

David Alvarez reviews Jeremy Week

Jeremy Week

Photographer Jeremy Week is actually a software engineer by trade, but it was being cooped up at the office feeling the need to escape that pushed him towards photography. Week was featured in the spotlight section of Color magazine, which by chance this month came as a part B&W. Although the few photographs that were featured in the article were definitely nice to look at, it was the one entitled We're Almost There that pushed me to further into this artist and visit his website.

We're Almost There, according to the organization of his website, is a part of his abstract landscape series. Though all of his series are based off his escapes from the desk job into nature and the outside world, it is his abstract landscape series that (to me) begin to create this sense of escape. The way in which he abstracts the image reflects the way the impressionist of the 19th century saw the world; a few of them even seem to pay homage to Monet's water lilies.

Like the impressionists, Week really just lets the pictures happen, by panning the camera in various motions he lets the forms of nature become the main part of the image.

David Alvarez reviews Arthur Ransome

Arthur Ransome

Self-taught Baltimore photographer Arthur Ransome stumbled across a goldmine location to produce beautiful and emotionally stirring photographs, when he moved to Maryland in 2005. The place was Forest Haven, an abandoned juvenile and mentally challenged facility that was closed by federal decree following claims of patient abuse in 1991. The images posted above are just a few that he have been created during his exploration of the facilities; which has sense been closed off to the public.

I found this artist featured in the newest issue of B&W; and in the article Ransome stated that the place was 'rich in eerie visuals created by the ravages of time and neglect, and his challenge would be to somehow avoid the clichés. It seems that, in my opinion, the artist accomplished his goal. On his website there is an excerpt from one of the patient files that he found strewn about the hospital; the article helps bring even more content and emotion to his already powerful imagery.

Heesun Park reviews Sophie calle - Photographs and performances
- Please check Video

Sophie Calle, a French artist who has been described as a voyeur, an artist-stalker, and a photo-terrorist. Her works share not only narrative but scientific conventions she gathers data, often covertly, then, thrusting herself into provocative and even potentially dangerous case studies, watches to see how others will react.

Heesun Park reviews Eleanor Antin

The Golden Death, from " the last Days of Pompeii," 2001

Eleanor Antin revisits historic cataclysms and injustices to provide an allegorical reading of the present through the past.

The Golden Death, presents a mountain of gold coins under which a group of inebriated aristocrats lie, apparently asphyxiated by their greed.

- from Art Today

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Blair Bodden submits Grace Weston

Grace Weston is a Portland photographer that uses constructed imagery to create her art. Weston creates staged vignettes and narratives that use an assortment of props address a variety of emotions. Weston states that “she constructs sets as well as fabricates and finds props and characters to express her inner world, creating these vignettes that incorporate narration, humor and a sense of psychological tension.” Weston again goes with the narration and story telling theme that I have posted in most of my blogs. There is still a sense of looking at the imagery with Weston’s work and the ending or filling in the gaps of the narrative is up to the viewer. She completely constructs the images she will capture which in my opinion could be considered another example of alternative process for photography. She combines the best of both worlds in my opinion, photography with a sense of sculpture even if it is on a small scale.

Heesun Park reviews mark hogancamp's "Marwencol"

I had to chance to see his documentary from TV. it was very interesting . " Marwencol" is a documentary about the fantasy world of Mark Hogancamp.

After being beaten into a brain-damaging coma by five men outside a bar, Mark builds a 1/6th scale World War II-era town in his backyard. Mark populates the town he dubs "Marwencol" with dolls representing his friends and family and creates life-like photographs detailing the town's many relationships and dramas. Playing in the town and photographing the action helps Mark to recover his hand-eye coordination and deal with the psychic wounds of the attack. When Mark and his photographs are discovered, a prestigious New York gallery sets up an art show. Suddenly Mark's homemade therapy is deemed "art", forcing him to choose between the safety of his fantasy life in Marwencol and the real world that he's avoided since the attack.

After what happened to him , he
close the his mind . Some people think he is just crazy or weird but I understand why he is doing this. Some people did not respect his art work, but the art work is in him. He real life is in the art work. He found out himself from the doll.

Blair Bodden submits Tami Bone

Tami Bone interest began later after college. She has continued her photographic education with formal classes, workshops, and continuous self-education. Bone images are creations of her imagination with an emphasis on storytelling and personal expression. I am finding that there is a great number of photographers that work in a story like manner where they create and start the story and we as viewers are active in finishing the story in our mind. Bone is working on a new project that uses fragments her memory and figments of her imagination to construct stories that are fact and fiction.

David Alvarez reviews Gerardo Montiel Klint

Gerardo Montiel Klint

Hispanic photographer Gerardo Montiel Klint, like his brother Fernando Klint (whom I've blogged about previously), is also a practitioner of staged photography. As mentioned in the blog over Fernando, I stumbled upon this artist during the same exhibition during FotoSeptiembre last year at SAMA.

While his brother explored the use of stage photography to explore the external forces that drive materiality, Gerardo focuses on the internal forces of consciousness. His images tend to feature a single figure alone in seemingly large environments.

The exhibition at SAMA featured a few images that belonged to two different series; one being The Mundane, Homage to Vermeer and the other being the Desireto or Desert. It was the second, his Desert series, in which I was mostly attracted to; the two images above are from this series (the left is entitled The imminent fall of the blind and the right is entitled Man overboard). The photographs of this series both reflect the artist knowledge of previous art masters, as they are homage(s) of works by other artist/photographers, of as well as evoke a sense of spiritually and enlightenment. The figures of this series wander alone in a vast desert atmosphere in search of what is perceived to be inner spiritual understanding. The desert, can be perceived, as a metaphor for the vastness of the mind.

David Alvarez reviews Filip Przewozny

Filip Przewonzy

Polish photographer Filip Prezwozny, born 1985, uses his camera and the photographic image to create dreamlike atmospheres. The amazing thing about his images is that, after closer evaluation of his photographs, one can see that they are simply images of ordinary objects or people doing mundane activities. That is to say he seems to bring a whole new reality and meaning to each of his images; they began to seem horrific and nightmarish.

By emphasizing the graininess of the film and stark darkness of black and white photography he begins to create his alternate realities. The effect is finished when he abstracts the image by blurring and obscuring the scene so things are no longer in focus and only an impression of what the object might be remains.

After finding him featured in the spotlight section of an Issue of Black and White magazine, I can safely say that Prezwozny is, in my opinion, the most intriguing artist that I have blogged about this semester. His images, to me, just evoke this hallucinogenic and dreamlike state that pushes you into your inner most consciousness.

David Alvarez reviews Luke Pellatt

Luke Pellatt

Australian photographer Luke Pellatt uses his camera to give life and emotion to random found objects that wouldn't normally hold too much attention. Pellatt is another artist I stumbled upon last summer in an issue of Black and White magazine under the spotlight section. He began taking pictures in high school and continued on studying the subject at the Tasmanian School of Art in Hobart.

Pellatt's father can be credited as the person who inspired him to get into photography, as well as the person who helped recognize the potential of even the most mundane of objects. In their explorations of the Australian outback, his father would point out different objects and create a story for each. The experiences his dad taught him in his youth can definitely be seen in the photographic images he produces.

Take the pair of scissors in the right image above (entitled Found Objects 6, Tasmania-2004) : The content of the image itself is simply a ordinary pair of sheers; however, the way he treats the image and presents the object begins to create a story. In my opinion, one begins to wonder how the scissors became a part of the environment in which they are found; it seems timeless.

Greg Gabrisch reviews Geof Kern

Geof Kern is a very successful commercial photographer from Dallas. He creates great photographs for many different magazines and ad agencies. Even though he is a commercial photographer he still seems to have a great grasp on artistic and conceptual photography. Geof states that he has been inspired by post-modernist painters. What I really enjoy about his work is his use of photo manipulation and that each of his photographs tells an imaginative story. What is really great about him is his versatility he creates beautiful still life work and fashion photography amongst many other styles. He is described by many as a surrealist, cubist, and post-modernist. Each of his photo’s are unpredictable.

Blair Bodden submits Susan Dunkerley

Susan Dunkerley creates her images by producing photographic still-lifes. She accomplishes this by using material gathered from nature and then she combines them with domestic household items that would be associated with woman’s work. The materials are placed in her window using it as the frame and then shot with whatever natural is available. This process makes this combination of natural and man made come to life like small characters. All the artists that I submit use photography in some alternate manner to achieve there images. I think Susan Dunkerley is a good representation of this

Blair Bodden submits Dornith Doherty

Dornith Doherty combines detailed photographic realism with over exaggerated still lifes in this series Constructed Landscapes. Doherty explored the line between nature and pretence in order to explore her interest in the human presence in the environment. She states that as an artist she is “fascinated with the tensions inherent in a “wilderness” that is circumscribed, managed, and manipulated by humans.” Doherty achieves this by photographing landscapes of national parks and preserves and then she projects these images onto natural history specimens taken from their environment. Once this is done she then re-photographs to achieve a completely new landscape that exists in an image.

Blair Bodden submits Andrea Galluzzo

Andrea Galluzzo’s Center at the Crossroads is a selection from the Know Myself in All My Parts series. Galluzzo states that she was inspired by the process of life and the moments of discovery that are uncovered when encountering struggle and challenge. The artist incorporates texture, drawing, and symbolism into the work she creates to invoke an emotional landscape. Each image supports both sides of a coin. This displays a sense of beauty, empowerment, and vulnerability with an essence of hope. She has also incorporated fear, pain and a longing to find something within her work. The artist has chosen to use the same model throughout the series so that each piece is brought together to form a complete series of growth and self empowerment.
She portrays a push and pull with lose and hope though this narrative of her mind. As viewers we take in different perspectives than other individuals viewing the same imagery. Since this occurs we make our own endings to close the gaps that are left by the photographs. We do this by relating them to our own stories of our lives and past events that have left us with this vulnerable yet hopeful feeling. Galluzzo created these works for the viewer and herself so that we may reflect on our own life’s short stories.

Salina Ellis presents David Maisel

David Maisel’s website is what an artists website should look like. His home page summarizes his projects nicely, and upon entering the site his projects are each given equal attention and introduction.

My favorite project of his is Library of Dust, 2005-2006. Approximately 3500 copper canisters, each containing the cremated remains of a patient from Oregon State Asylum, were photographed. The patients died between 1883 and 1970. These are the remains that were never claimed by family.

The copper canisters are covered in chemical and organic growth. The result is hauntingly beautiful. The canister itself is a strong reminder of our own mortality, but when you observe the magnitude of the unclaimed remains, one can’t help but wonder at the fate of humanity in general.

His most recent series, History's Shadow, photographs xrays of artpieces from museums archives.

Salina Ellis presents Joanne Teasdale

Joanne Teasdale began her career as a photorealist painter. She eventually moved into photography. Beginning in 2009 she began incorporating kiln formed glass into her work, which is fascinating. Her productions incorporate images of objects like chairs, dresses, rooms, and little girls. She is interested in exploring the traces that we leave behind, evidence of our existence.

Teasdale uses light to create a ghostly quality, emphasizing the residual left behind by the owners of the objects she photographs. On the kiln formed glass she uses fusible film to lend a transparency to the work.

Salina Ellis presents Sherry Karver

Sherry Karver uses black and white images colored with oil. Her two most recent series are most interesting to me. The most recent, “Urban City”, uses images of people taken in public places and city streets, like Grand Central Station. She incorporates text over the silhouettes of some of the figures, giving the people fictional biographies. Her images are layered with glazes of oil paint, combining the traditional with the modern. The final image is coated with resin to give it is polish.

Karver describes this series as “... a metaphor for our journey through life - A journey where we are "collectively alone".

Her second series “Surveillance” includes a series of images taken from internet webcams in public places and city streets, like New Orleans, New York, and Israel. The series also includes suitcases converted into lightboxes with X-ray imagery over them. The X rays are actual images taken from airport screening, which she superimposes more volatile imagery onto.

I think she her work is very creative, especially the fictional biographies she creates for her Urban City series. Check out her website for images of her Surveillance series.

Salina Ellis presents Mitch Dobrowner

Dobrowner received a camera from his father when he was in his late teens. He enjoyed playing around with it for many years until he moved away from home. In 2005 he picked up a camera again at the encouragement of his wife. He began showing his work in 2007. He credits Minor White and Ansel Adams as his great influences. He works digitally.

His current series Tropospheres (referring to the lowest portion of the earth’s atmosphere) is done in in black and white, some work appears to be infrared due to the dark sky. The way he describes his process seems almost spiritual.

"Whenever I shoot a ‘quality’ image, I know it. At those moments things are quiet, seem simple again – and I obtain a respect and reverence for the world that is hard to communicate through words. For me those moments happen when the exterior environment and my interior world combine. Hopefully the images presented help communicate what is visualized during those times." - Dobrowner.

Greg Gabrisch reviews Sarolta Ban

Sarolta Ban is a Hungarian photo manipulator I recently came across while looking at different artists on the internet. I instantly became very interested with Sarolta’s images, mostly because they are similar to the style and technique that I prefer to work with. Sarolta uses up to a hundred layers to produce these surreal photo manipulations. The images contain things you may see on any normal day but are arranged in the composition in a way that create a very interesting and imaginative dream like feel. Each image seems to tell a strange and interesting story that could be interpreted by each viewer very differently. Sarolta’s photos take you into another world so far from our own reality and that’s what I find so great about it. Sarolta says “I like using ordinary elements and by combining them, I can give them various stories, personalities. I hope that the meaning of my pictures are never too limited, are open in some way, each viewer can transform them into a personal aspect. So I’m happy if different people find different meanings in my images.”

Monday, April 25, 2011

Blair Bodden submits Ann George

Ann George’s Misguided part of her The Three Chapters of Illumination: God Calling is her current project which was created during a period of uncertainty and loss. George used certain symbolic references in her images that toy with old fables. She uses the wolf to represent the state of fearfulness, the young girl to represent innocence, and the women (which is seen in other images) to represent all those who will or have made this journey. This series allows the viewer to take a symbolic journey from burden through knowledge into a feeling of free.
In this particular image the young girl who imitates Little Red Riding Hood is being led by the wolf into the forest. This is completely out of context for the original storyline of Little Red Riding Hood with this juxtaposition of this traditional bedtime story the viewer has to finish the narrative in there own mind. This is the connecting theme between these artists a sense of something familiar with gaps in the story along the way which then this creates a bond with the viewer to finish the story as they feel it relates to there own experiences and trails in life. Again this artist has used techniques to give her the push and pull between beauty and horror, the consciousness of the mind, and the possibility of hope. These techniques are created with a digital camera and layering techniques in Photoshop.

Blair Bodden submits ParkeHarrison

ParkeHarrison’s Reliquary from The Architecture’s Brother is created by the fabrication of using photomontage and painting techniques. These photographs tell stories of loss, struggle, and personal exploration within landscapes scarred by technology and over-use. The world in which he creates mimics our own world where you find that nature has been domesticated and controlled. The character he portrays in these images display futile attempts to save, patch, or revive nature back to its original form. In Reliquary, this is a container for relics, he placing part of the earth almost back into the earth. The reliquary he has chosen is not made of gold or a metal that will stand the test of time but fabric that will decay and rot at a given point.
ParkeHarrison has created a story for us to view upon and leaves it up to the audience to fill in this fractured narrative. This artist developed a self contained world to act out his leading role. It is a story that portrays loses and also hopes. There is a push and pull of subconscious and conscious, factual and fable, and beauty and decay.

Blair Bodden submits Blue Mitchell

Blue Mitchell is an artist, publisher, and founding editor of Diffusion Magazine. Mitchell is a big a supporter of alternative photography. The Mythos series that Mitchell composed has always resonated with me as a photographer. He depicts dreamlike fabrications that when the viewer stands in front of them questions whether they are awake or sleeping. Mitchell is quoted as saying, “His intent is to capture a world that’s been subverted by intellect. He goes on to say that as children, we are acutely aware of the moments and experiences that shape out understanding of our lives and events. Overtime, that view becomes polluted by culture and society and those extremes blend reality and fantasy that as adults, we tend to visit only in our dreams.” Mitchell portrays this beautifully with the processes that he uses in his photography. His images are not displayed matted or framed; they are transferred to wood panels and covered with uv gloss varnish instead of glass. I assume that he uses an acrylic lift for this process but I am not sure. The technique he uses provides the images with a soft dreamlike state where the images are suspended in time.

David Alvarez reviews Greg Mettler

Greg Mettler

Greg Mettler is a photographic artist I found under the 'spotlight' section of Black and White magazine during the summer of last year. His beautiful, yet somehow eerie, photographic images begin to push the boundaries between painting and photography. Mettler's creates surreal photographic compositions that mimic the expressive brushstrokes found in painting. To accomplish this, he hand paints photographic -emulsion on either canvas or wood before exposing his photograph.

Although his process does reference painting, as seen in the visualization of the artist hand in the expressive application of the photo-emulsion, it doesn't really break away from the physical aspects of photography past that; it's still just photographic medium. The application of the emulsion with long brush strokes across the entirety of his compositions , in my opinion, does however seem to change the content of his images. For example the portrait of the women pictured in the image on the right above (Shallows) might just become another boring portrait without this process. Using his photo-emulsion practice, however, Mettler transforms this ordinary portrait into an extraordinarily disquieting photograph of a women being consumed by the atmosphere that surrounds her.

David Alvarez reviews Fernando Montiel Klint

Fernando Montiel Klint

Fernando Montiel Klint is an artist whose work is primarily focused in the contemporary art practice of staged photography. I stumbled upon this artist while walking the halls of SAMA during FotoSeptiembre last year, and was immediately drawn in by his work. Beginning as preliminary sketches Fernando's pieces advance to large photographic images that seem to mark the artists confrontation of the external forces of materially.

I predominantly drawn to his series entitled Espacio Confinado or Confined Space. I was drawn to the photos in this particular series by the way he exposes the impact of popular culture and it's affect on urban living in the twenty-first century. The photograph entitled Salamanca, is perhaps my favorite piece in the Confined Space Series. In this particular photo he creates an overwhelming feeling of media overload, he achieves this by cramming ten people into what seems like a small hotel room, with a few of them passed out from excessive drinking. Their overly dramatic poses and clothing also help expose this effect of mass media on urban living. I read the photograph as if popular culture has overwhelmed us to the point that a few of us just can't take much more.