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Art Photo Collector

Posts tagged NYC:

"What appears in the pictures was the subject’s decision, not mine. I took what they presented—delicate moments—unadorned and unglamorous, yet tender and exquisite. —Ray Metzker 

Belgium isn’t a land of sunshine and smiles, but there is a no-nonsense, hardworking attitude that I’ve always respected. It’s this commonsensical approach to life that I see in the work of Belgian photographer, Jacques Sonck, who is currently on exhibit at L. Parker Stephenson Photographs here in NYC. Sonck, who trained as a photographer, did the practical thing in life: he got a job shooting images at the Culture Department of the Province of Antwerp. For 35 years he photographed their exhibition catalogs and earned a living, while doing his own personal work on the side. 

Looking at his images, we can conjure the influences of Arbus and Penn, but Sonck’s images are not derivative. He is straightforward and unapologetic about what he’s doing. He’s a skilled photographer who has no personal interest, at all, in the lives of his sitters. Indeed, he often doesn’t even know their names. What he’s after is the transcendence found in any great portrait. That is, the notion that through the alchemy of photographer and subject, the photograph, itself, elevates their brief experience into something greater that we can engage and project ourselves onto. They are looking at us, we are looking at them, and we are all looking at each other. —Lane Nevares

“Youth is happy because it has the capacity to see beauty. Anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty never grows old.”—Franz Kafka

Mark Cohen, born in 1943, is a native of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. To a 21st Century audience, he’s perhaps not as well known, but for over 40 years he’s been documenting his local community and building a foundation from which many photographers (consciously or not) have tread upon. As early as 1973, John Szarkowski recognized his talent and showed his work for the first time at MoMA. Now, in 2014, the Danziger Gallery in New York is representing his work and giving him a new solo show that opened last week.

Cohen’s flair for using strong off-camera flash, a wide angle lens, and avoiding the viewfinder (while shooting with the camera away from his body) bring an immediacy to his images. Like Bruce Gilden, who’s no stranger to the close, flash-in-your-face approach, Cohen’s surrealistic style is reflective of his personality. This video shows him in action, moving, shooting, talking and constantly on alert for the next frame.

Now in his 70’s, Mark Cohen has kept his ability to see beauty and to remain young. Any photographer who creates work this good (not to mention his superb color work), merits all the attention he receives. The show is up until June 20th and a must-see. Never grow old. —Lane Nevares

"The walls are the publishers of the poor."—Eduardo Galeano

You may not know the names Leticia and Stanislas Poniatowski, but these collectors own the most important private collection of Latin American Photography in the world. Major works from their collection will be part of the ICP’s new exhibition, Urbes Mutantes (Mutant Cities), opening on Saturday here in New York.

This show, featuring over 200 images, draws from photographers across the continent, exploring the city as nexus between society’s cultural and political forces. Curator Alexis Fabry writes, "As the 20th century progressed, amidst struggles for social justice and in defense of democracy and freedom, the city became a setting for uprisings and revolutions. Images became as important as the stories covering the events that shaped these Latin American nations.” 

My ignorance of Latin American photography makes me keen to discover more about this significant photographic history. We often read or hear about the events, but we don’t always get the chance to appreciate the artists behind these struggles, to learn who they are and what their contributions mean. Too often it is through the prism of American image makers that we see the world. “Urbes Mutantes” is of the people and for the people, and like a city, may change how we see ourselves. —Lane Nevares 

"The exercise of democracy begins as exercise, as walking around, becoming familiar with the streets, comfortable with strangers, able to imagine your own body as powerful and expressive rather than a pawn."—Rebecca Solnit

The photographer Richard Renaldi isn’t afraid to talk to people. For nearly seven years he has been approaching strangers throughout the United States and asking them to pose, along with another complete stranger, for his large format 8 x 10 camera. This ongoing series, “Touching Strangers,” is now a new monograph from Aperture, with an exhibit opening tomorrow night. 

In these images, body language reveals everything. We look at these folks looking at us and understand that we’re all sharing a moment. Once the shutter’s released, the magic is frozen. Yes, we know it will never happen again, these individuals will probably never again meet each other, but what remains is the touch. And most importantly, the idea that we are, despite the negative aspects of our culture to dictate otherwise, humanly connected. —Lane Nevares

“Throughout her life, she behaved as if she had never heard anyone suggest that a woman couldn’t do entirely as she pleased.”—Francine Prose

Motherhood. The Israeli-born photographer Elinor Carucci is no stranger to laying it on the line. In her latest monograph,”Mother”, Carucci takes us on an open journey into being a Mom. As with her other projects, “Mother,” is an affecting chapter of self-revelation. The images will please and upset, but there’s no getting around a search for the truth. 

Parenting, for men and women alike, is a transformative experience. For a photographer like Carucci, balancing the worlds of teaching, shooting commercial work, and staying true to one’s artistic aspirations, motherhood became her muse and her connection to all other mothers. Moms and Dads who view her work will feel it most.

Elinor Carucci’s show opens tomorrow night at Edwynn Houk here in New York, and will be up until the 3rd of May. Carucci will be in attendance and signing books. Looks like it’ll be a “Mother” of a show. —Lane Nevares

"I was stunned and amazed, my childhood memories, slowly swirled past like the wind through the trees…"—Chrissie Hynde

The photographer Todd Hido's latest show, ”Excerpts from Silver Meadows,” opens tomorrow at Bruce Silverstein Gallery. The show coincides with his latest monograph of the same name published by the estimable publisher, Nazraeli Press.

Todd Hido grew up in Kent, Ohio, and as a Midwesterner brings a particular sensibility to his interpretation of suburban American culture. Excerpts from Silver Meadows, named after his old neighborhood, is a collection of memories and loose narratives that let us glimpse into the artist’s own psyche. In this video, Hido tells the tale, especially why creating a book is important to his work, and why he believes, as Lewis Baltz once remarked, that Photography uniquely occupies a profound space between Literature and Film.

Hido shoots analogue. He adores light and embraces its possibilities to convey mood and emotion—though dark and uncomfortable they may be. While his portrait work is even more impactful than his landscapes, Hido’s work transcends the ordinary, because let’s face it: in our world of image saturation, how many artists make work that is instantly recognizable as their own?  Way to go, Ohio. —Lane Nevares

"Those were the reasons and that was New York, we were running for the money and the flesh…"—Leonard Cohen

The Hotel Chelsea has a storied history. It has witnessed the comings and the goings of generations of men and women who have believed in the independence of their minds and their abilities to create.

The artist, Linda Troeller, knows the Chelsea. For twenty years she’s documented and lived in its interiors. Her most recent book, “Hotel Chelsea Atmosphere: An Artist’s Memoir,” takes us into the history and the inhabitants of the famed hotel, where we get to meet the denizens and, revealingly, read their “Dear Chelsea Hotel” letters.

Troeller’s photographic work is varied and rich, often exploring intimate and difficult themes. She pays wonderful attention to light and color, while maintaining an understated sensitivity that infuses her images. She is, “exploring the fragility and elegance of sustaining atmosphere.” 

Photographs from this series will go on exhibit in Baden-Baden, Germany at the State Kuntshalle’s upcoming show Room Service. For those who can’t make it, it’s worth taking the time to explore Troeller’s work online and, given what is slated for the future of the property, to “remember you well in the Chelsea Hotel.” —Lane Nevares

"Obey the principles without being bound by them."—Bruce Lee 

I came across the work of Michael Mapes quite by accident via the BBC. Seeing it for the first time online, however, I was struck with intense curiosity. How were these portraits constructed, and how much work went into creating them? On the off-chance, I sent Michael an email. We later spoke on the phone and arranged to meet in person to chat and to view his work.

Referencing Dutch Master portraiture, Michael Mapes,”specimens” deconstruct and painstakingly re-construct how our eyes interpret. It takes a particular artistic vision to manifest work that takes you somewhere new. Vials of hair, resin, sequins, thread, photos, jewelry and more—all (at the end of a pin) go into making these “dimensional collages.” The result is a portraiture unlike anything I’ve seen before. 

For now, Michael Mapes may be relatively unknown, but if his work continues to follow, and not be bound by, the principles of good art—authenticity, resonance, and a yearning for beauty— his work will not remain so. This guy is onto something. —Lane Nevares 

"I dream of an Africa which is in peace with itself."—Madiba

Jackie Nickerson’s solo exhibition, Terrain, opens tomorrow at the Jack Shainman Gallery here in NYC and will run until the 15th of February. Nickerson is a skilled commercial photographer who, in 1996, accepted an invitation to visit Zimbabwe. Like many others, she was captivated; three weeks turned into four years and a life-long connection with the country and the continent.

I am new to Nickerson’s photographs, but immediately sense the integrity, and the yearning for beauty. These portraits, which like any good work, are collaborative and emotive, have a soft-spoken and quiet richness that reveals itself subtly. For anyone who has had the good fortune to travel in southern Africa, Nickerson’s lovely attention to the land and the light will make you smile. Her subjects are everyday people, and so are we. —Lane Nevares

"Being a father is by far the hardest thing I ever did. I used to think it was hard being an artist. Forget it. It’s duck soup." —Danny Lyon 

If you live in the NYC area and want to meet one of the greats in American photography, Danny Lyon will be on hand at Edwynn Houk gallery this Saturday the 11th for a reception with the artist honoring his latest show: Murals and Montages.

The exhibition opens earlier on the 9th and will feature for the first time thirteen large-scale, 30 x 40 inch gelatin silver prints produced from the original negatives and in conjunction with his master printer and fellow teacher, Chuck Kelton. The photographs will span Lyon’s 50+ year career and be an opportunity for collectors to purchase iconic images in a new size and edition.

My admiration for Danny Lyon’s work is infused with his mission for social justice and equity in society. His writings and personal history reveal this passion clearly. The man behind the viewfinder is more than just a bad-ass photographer, he’s “reaching out to others in the darkness.” —Lane Nevares 

"In photography there is a reality so subtle that it becomes more real than reality."—Alfred Stieglitz  

It is one thing to have an idea, and quite another to realize it. The artist Lori Nix sees the world her own way. In fact, she constructs it. These images may look like post-apocalyptic, photoshopped phantasms, but they are each painstakingly and time-consumingly made, with each diorama taking up to 7 months to complete.

By shooting these handcrafted sets with an 8 x 10 camera, Nix is able to reveal, in camera, the considerable detail in her work. In these scenes void of humans, Mother Nature’s irrepressible power slowly reclaims what’s left behind. And in doing so, Nix reminds us of our own deleterious impact on the environment, and what our future could hold. —Lane Nevares

"It is better to live your own destiny imperfectly, than to live an imitation of somebody else’s life with perfection"—Bhagavad Gita

Mumbai-born and Brooklyn-based photographer Manjari Sharma's project “Darshan" shows us how "practice, faith, and devotion" can reveal the sublime. Originally funded as a Kickstarter campaign, Sharma raised the necessary money to research, design, and craft these elaborately staged sets. By eschewing photoshop and painstakingly maintaining the integrity of the classical depictions of the nine Hindu deities, Sharma invites us to reconsider the photograph, rather than sculpture or painting, as a medium for spiritual engagement.

For a behind the scenes revelation of the extensive work involved in creating these images, this video is helpful. For those interested in hearing from the artist, Sharma discusses her project here. For those of you in New York City, “Darshan” is on view at Clamp Art until October 12th. And for those of you who have read this far, good on you. —Lane Nevares

"I gotta roll, I can’t stand still. Got a flamin’ heart, can’t get my fill. …Didn’t take long ‘fore I found out, what people mean by down and out."Led Zeppelin

Philip-Lorca diCorcia was awarded a prestigious National Endowment for the Arts fellowship in 1989. He took the $45,000 grant money, his 6 x 9 Linhof camera, an assistant, and headed to Los Angeles to create, what has since become, one of his most memorable series, “Hustlers.” These dispassionate portraits of male prostitutes, including a forthcoming monograph from Steidl, are now on display at David Zwirner gallery in New York.

This important exhibit marks 20 years since diCorcia’s first solo show in 1993 at the Museum of Modern Art. The new show offers 40 photographs (along with 15 newly produced works) each notably captioned with the name, age, hometown, and the amount of government-sponsored money diCorcia paid for the hustler’s time.

More than twenty years later these classic, diCorcia images still resonate. What’s different, however, is that now in our 21st Century of universal, instantaneous information, the transaction cost for human flesh is widely understood. —Lane Nevares

“I think of my work as documentations of transformation and performance. While gender is undoubtedly always a question in my work, I don’t see it as a boundary.” --Martín Gutierrez

As we know, things aren’t always what they seem. The artist, Martín Gutierrez, explores this ambiguity and the Real Doll phenomenon by casting himself into domestic scenes that float somewhere between suburban bliss and the Stepford Wives.

I am always inspired by artists who challenge convention, and in the case of Gutierrez, completely own their work. While these images may, on first glance, appear superficial and banal, there is far more going on. Gutierrez is responsible for everything in his images/videos: producing, directing, writing, casting, posing, styling, original music, and shooting the scenes. For this series, he casts himself as a “Real Doll”, and in doing so, creates a world that both disturbs and allures.

His first solo show, Martin(e), opens on the 11th at Ryan Lee Gallery in Chelsea. I am curious to see whether these small 8 x 12 inch images command attention, or whether they beg for a large-scale experience. —Lane Nevares

"Photography is one of the channels through which the present penetrates into the future, just as the art of the past got inside us. For me photography is a means to express systems of opinions and values, the author’s ideology."—Nikolay Bakharev 

The Siberian-born photographer, Nikolay Bakharev, isn’t particularly well-known in the States, but the Julie Saul Gallery and Dashwood Books in New York want to change that. Reared in an orphanage and largely self-taught, Bakharev began taking photographs in the early 1970’s and through the final days of the former Soviet Union. At at time when the State controlled everything, it was actually illegal to photograph the nude, much less engage in private commercial enterprise creating and selling one’s photographs. These photographs, therefore, were never meant for public consumption. They were intimate (even illicit) private photographic sessions between sitter and artist.

Bakharev’s single-minded approach to his work differed greatly from his clients’ expectations of their portrait session. While the sitters hoped for photographs that made them look beautiful or special, Bakharev states, "From my point of view, I expose the nature which people do not want to admit to, if it does not fit their notions of themselves." This tension between Bakharev and his clients is what makes these images simmer.

Dashwood Books has recently published a soft cover monograph of his work, Amateurs & Lovers, (here’s a video preview), and on the 10th, the Julie Saul Gallery will open Bakharev’s first US solo show also titled, “Amateurs & Lovers.” It will be interesting to see how an American 21st Century audience, with disparate recollections of the Soviet Union and its legacy, responds to this work—Lane Nevares

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