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Art Photo Collector

Posts tagged American Photographers:

"…once the needle goes in, it never comes out."—Larry Clark 

A lot has changed in American culture since the publication in 1971 of Larry Clark’s classic photobook, Tulsa. Today, these images, while still unsettling, have gone completely mainstream. In the world of 2014, one can see the entire series now on display, along with “Celebrating Smokey the Bear,” at the Chrysler Museum in Norfolk, VA. I’m sure Mr. Clark would be pleased.

For over 40 years Tulsa has been a touchstone for aspiring photographers and documentarians. It will stand the test of time because the depiction of the truth will always connect with each generation exploring photography and storytelling. Critical acclaim and analyses will come and go as fashions and ideas change, but Tulsa will continue to remind us that the human capacity for sharing self-destruction and excess never goes away. Each generation lives and learns its own lessons.—Lane Nevares

"Memory believes before knowing remembers. Believes longer than recollects, longer than knowing even wonders."—William Faulkner

For the past ten years, SlowExposures has offered a satisfying insight into what is happening in contemporary, rural, southern American photography. Centered in Pike County, Georgia, the juried photo exhibition and festival combines workshops, portfolio reviews, and a wonderful mix of folks getting together to celebrate photography and the South.

This year’s SlowExposures, begins this Friday and highlights a diverse and well-considered selection of work. Outside of the juried competition, however, there will be lots of other goings-on, including a pop-up gallery in an RV trailer. The show titled “Hay Now,” produced by the “Pitchfork Posse,” features one of my favorite artists, Ann George—along with four of her contemporaries: Anne Berry, Bryce Lankard, S. Gayle Stevens, and Lori Vrba. If the lights are on, go on in, say hello, and make yourself at home. —Lane Nevares

"I’d say most of my inspiration was drawn from old-school American values mixed with a little punk-rock idealism."—Mike Brodie

Mike Brodie’s new monograph, A Period of Juvenile Prosperity has just been released in time for his two forthcoming solo shows: one in LA and one in NYC. For a diesel-engine mechanic who thinks of photography as a “hobby,” this is mighty impressive. 

Many will look at these images of young travelers living free and criss-crossing the USA as something raw and exciting, but like many things in life—“Riding the Rails” isn’t anything new. In fact, during the Great Depression more than 250,000+ homeless teenagers were doing the same. The excellent documentary, Riding the Rails, tells the story of these young people and the effect that experience had on the rest of their lives.

Brodie’s images, however, tell an American, 21st Century story that is about freedom, possibility, and opting-out from society’s dictates. These young people (who may be fleeing tough circumstances themselves) are choosing to live a different way of life. Brodie’s friends, lovers, and fellow travelers show us the rough, the real, and the nitty-gritty of life on the move.

Self-taught, Brodie is an innately talented photographer with a great sense of light and composition. This series is strong, sensitive, authentic, and will be one of the important photography shows to see in March. I am looking forward to seeing the exhibit and buying the book. (I am also including this show on my upcoming gallery tour.) Brodie’s photographs have made me eager to discover other artists, especially those outside of the States, who are living and documenting life on the road. —Lane Nevares 

"The road must eventually lead to the whole world."—Kerouac, On the Road

"Photography is, first of all, a way of seeing. It is not seeing itself."—Susan Sontag 

Looking at Thomas Allen’s photographs, one is tempted to think these are photoshopped or digitally manipulated in some way. Instead, Allen carefully cuts, crafts and stages these three-dimensional scenes which are then shot on film using a large view camera and tilt-shift lens to achieve the special depth-of-field look. Allen is entirely self-sufficient and a confessed, “dyed-in-the-wool purist,” regarding his working technique. Everything must be as the camera captured it.

This latest series, “Beautiful Evidence,” inspired by his 8-year old daughter’s scientific curiosity, is currently on exhibit at Foley Gallery here in New York. The show ends on Sunday, but for a broader understanding, it’s worth visiting Allen’s site to discover more of this talented artist’s way of seeing.  —Lane Nevares