All material in this blog falls under the laws of Copyright. Each Artist represented retains their own copyright to their images.Reproduction without their written consent forbidden by law.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Featured Artist...Jamie Durling

From the last post of human intimate moments, we turn to one of human voidness with this week's Featured Artist, Jamie Durling in his ongoing series "Things We Left Behind"
"Inspired by my love of post apocalyptic novels and films I am creating a series of images which show a world void of people but littered with the detritus of their presence. I have shot beaches, shopping centres, cinemas and caf├ęs eerily empty and disused in a post-human world. I want the viewer to see the 'Things' in the images as useless, redundant relics of humanity and as traces of our relatively fleeting existence. Retrospectively I can see an element of the influence the work of Eugene Atget had on me in my 'formative' years as a photographer; his empty Parisian streets fascinated me. Though his streets weren't truly empty, but rather the long shutter speeds his process required meant that people weren't around long enough to leave a trace on his images."

Residing in Weston-super-Mare, a small seaside town, in the South West of England, Jamie begins his career after graduating in 2009. Relatively new, his work shows a continuity of statement of an idea visually expressed. 

"Sometimes I like to spend several days thinking about the photograph that I am going to take, even before I've picked up a camera. I normally keep a camera on me, just in case I see something that I like, because sometimes I enjoy taking photographs spontaneously."

Looking at this work, I think of the wonders that Rome, Egypt, the Mayans and all the great civilizations left behind that we now uncover with amazement, trying to decipher their meanings and usages. Will tomorrow, long after we are gone, uncover what Jamie shows us, and wonder what their usages were and how did we live, truly? If an event occurred that would wipe away all records written or recorded in any form leaving behind things represented in these images, what will they say of us? 
Art is questionable by us but when it questions us directly it is to me art on a different level.
More of his work can be seen

Jamie is also a fine writer as evidenced
read Truth/Untruth.. my favorite.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Featured Artist...James Friedman

Art defines itself in many ways depending on who is viewing it. For some Art is beauty captured in nature, human form, colors, presentation to name a few. For others it is a cohesive concept that presented as a body of work, speaks and makes you return to look again.

"The Pleasures and Terrors of Kissing" is one of those projects, by James Friedman, inspired by his mother's passing.

"...I do not remember any kissing between family members as I was growing up.  It wasn't until my mother was hospitalized for eight months, unable to speak, that we began to kiss good-bye before I would depart for the day after visiting her. These newly discovered displays of affection were imbued with genuine caring and profound sadness as we both know she had only a short time to live. Our relationship in my mother's final months inspired my photographic project."

A difficult time period, no doubt, yet James reaches deep inside and finds a meaning to explore. Perhaps it's times like that when one goes or is driven way inside that we see what would be normally apparent to our eyes but seen differently through our souls and brought to life by the artist within. 
There is a beautiful line in Ashes and Snow by Gregory Colbert..."..Ever since my roof burned down, I can see the moon more clearly."

James started very young, at five, with his Brownie Hawkeye camera. Self taught his interests continued till college where he earned an B.F.A. degree with distinction in photography. Later, while earning an M.A. degree in photography from San Francisco State University, he worked as an assistant to Imogen Cunningham, one of the preeminent figures in the history of photography.

As a teacher, curator, picture editor, and as a fine art, portrait, architectural, commercial and personal documentary photographer, he has enjoyed a wide-ranging career in photography. His work has been exhibited internationally and been published in numerous books and discussed in Artforum, Arts, Afterimage, The Boston Globe, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Village Voice and The New York Times. Selected from 800 international applicants, James was awarded the Aaron Siskind Foundation Individual Photographer's Fellowship and has been the recipient of seven Individual Excellence Awards from the Ohio Arts Council. Winning the 2011 Governor's Award for the Arts in Ohio, he was honored as an individual artist whose work has made a significant impact on his discipline nationally, regionally or statewide. In 2008, as an independent photographic educator without institutional affiliation, he was nominated for the prestigious Excellence in Photographic Teaching Award, which recognizes outstanding international teachers of photography.

 James has many projects. Among them all this one can be found here..

Monday, January 17, 2011

Featured Artist...Deon Reynolds

This week we come back to the U.S.A. and take a look at the West through the eyes of Deon Reynolds who captures its essence with his panoramic views in his series
"Where the Cowboys Once Roamed".

"...I began exploring ideas and images for ‘Where the Cowboys Once Roamed’ when I was creating scenic
photos for the coffee table book ‘NEVADA’. Originally, I was captivated by the beautiful landscapes of
the high desert".

From seven years old his interest sparked by his brother using dad's camera, a Hasselblad, he took his first lessons. On his father's advice together they built a pinhole camera out of Kodak Film boxes and learned his craft in the darkroom.

Educated in Portland at the then "Museum Art School" he began his career shooting catalogs and advertisements until he realized this was not what he really wanted to do but afforded him the freedom to pursue the artist in him.

" I began exploring ideas and images for ‘Where the Cowboys Once Roamed’ when I was creating scenic
photos for the coffee table book ‘NEVADA’. Originally, I was captivated by the beautiful landscapes of the high desert. Though, during my travels through the state I found evidence of an era gone by and realized it was deteriorating rather quickly. Around that same time, I began playing with Kodak Funsaver Panoramic 35 disposable cameras and found the format complimented the landscape while the low-fi camera quality evoked a sense of history creating the perfect look for my new found,disintegrating subject matter". 

 For those of us who have had the opportunity to have been out west, we have experienced what these images how well...wide open spaces with freedom to roam in a big sky country. Deon lives today with his wife Trish in Eureka in an 1880s bank building where they operate the Eureka Gallery 

More of his work can be seen here

Monday, January 10, 2011

Featured Artist...Massimo Siragusa

Most photographers have an assortment of interesting assignments and inspiration to draw from. Massimo Siragusa had good one...The Vatican and Pope John Paul ll, for the Vatican's news. Working through the Contrasto Agency in Rome where Massimo resides, his assignments have graced a myriad of magazines along with some major advertising campaigns and corporate clients. In his personal work he turns to social and cultural issues.. from his viewpoint..

"...I am focused on contemporary social and cultural issues: my photography questions and the gives a personal interpretation. In the last years I have been focused on architecture with the firm intention to make a common places the symbol and protagonist of an issue. This is the reason why the human has disappeared from my pictures".

Born in Catania, Italy  then later moving from Milan to Rome where he resides today, Massimo teaches photography in various schools while still finding time to publish several books.

His clean well composed images shows the attention to detail, a bright color palate makes one see the plain in an extraordinary light in contrast to his earlier works rich and darker in colors.   

"...I now work with a medium format digital back PhaseOne that has replaced the large format. I have a keen interest in the study of the colours that I believe I can control better than the black and white. The only “trick” of my photos is the overexposure of each single shot to give to the image that watercolour feeling, softness and elusiveness".

He is currently represented by Polka Galerie in Paris;Forma gallery in Milan.

More of his work can be seen here.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Featured Artist...Marc Burden

It's New Year 2011, the mark of a new decade. Janus the two headed Roman god , for whom the celebration was given, faces opposite directions to look backward on last year and forward to the new one. I can't help feeling like him, sitting this weekend exhausted from last year's bittersweet moments, voided and exhilarated from the struggle, both personal and career wise, now in its depleted room to be filled by the new set of challenges future rounds bring.

Darren Guisha
The work of our current "Featured Artist", Marc Burden , says all of that to me in the faces of these cage fighters from his series "The Sitting". His portraits taken just after the fight show men who whether or not they have won or lost, have paid the price for what they love.

"...My photography explores this psychological space within the portrait, and the notion of the photographer’s and the medium’s ability to pierce the causal representation of that which sits within it. If the screen is the mediation of its relational structure, can the screen be pierced,
can a glimpse be elicited of what lays beyond "? 

For me art is best described as the ability to talk in whatever medium, to the one who listens with whatever sense. It's not always about beauty nor grandeur and often not what was meant by the one speaking. It's simply communication on a deeper level.

Kev Reid

"...The Sitting operates at the confluence of the oft-conflicting desires, and the gazes of the
camera, the spectator and the subject, interrogating the portrait as being analogous of a
screen. In most cases the screen is seen as protective, or it is used to obscure and conceal,
at its most opaque the portrait separates by a process of exclusion, the camera’s scrutiny
eliciting a self-conscious projection to deflect its gaze - what Lacan termed the ‘Mask’- the
projection of a second skin employed to deflect the gaze of other(s) acting as a surface onto which the image and the power of the gaze are deflected or are reflected mirror like.But the screen can be translucent too allowing glimpses - if only for the briefest of times - that hint at what may be beneath and beyond, moments when that protective layer slips or is not consciously in play ". 

Steve Dossett

"...The series takes as its subject those practised in the projection of the mask: fighters, specifically cage fighters for whom the mask is a shield of intimidation, invincibility and is devoid of emotion, the nature of their combat though, drains them both mentally and physically. The camera acts as a barrier visually and mentally, a screen divorcing contact and interaction between the photographer and the sitter, the images document moments that are emporally random and un-decisive, the absence of interaction leaving the exhausted sitter
isolated. By eschewing the intimacy and mediation conventionally associated with the portrait the images explore the visual psychological states in unconscious compositions that dislodge and disarm the surface before the scrutiny of the camera. The resulting portraits reveal not the conscious projection of an identity but a space between that and their unconscious; the isolated figures are seen in liminal moments characterized by ambiguity, openness, and
indeterminacy ".


More of Marc Burden's work can be found here