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Art Photo Collector

Posts tagged female photographers:

"What’s left after what ‘one isn’t’ is taken away—is what one is.”—Diane Arbus

If the “selfie" reflects the current zeitgeist, then hard-working artists like Austrian photographer, Flora P., show us beyond its possibilities. A professional model and self-taught photographer, Flora P. has amassed a considerable body of self-portraiture work (and media attention) exploring her body’s relationship with light, nature, and her camera.

What impresses me about Flora P. is her commitment to doing the work. It takes energy and fearlessness to create, to expose oneself and to put your efforts/art/passion out for public consumption. Say what you will about the quality of her photography—and I think it’s fair to critique—but in the end, I always agree with the writer Brendan Behan: "Critics are like eunuchs in a harem; they know how it’s done, they’ve seen it done everyday, but they are unable to do it themselves."—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

"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

"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 want to sing like the birds sing, not worrying about who hears or what they think.” —Rumi

The Tehran-based photographer, Newsha Tavakolian’s, conceptual series “Listen” and “The Day I Became a Woman” are now on exhibit at LACMA, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. This series focuses on Iranian professional female singers who have been unable to perform solo or to produce their own music since the revolution in 1979. Tavakolian brought these singers to a private studio, and filmed/photographed them performing in front of a chintzy ‘70’s-era backdrop to an imaginary audience. The power of the series lies in the absence, the silence of their passionate performances. In “The Day I Became a Woman,” Tavakolian explores the rite of passage for young muslim girls, who at age 9, transition into women in the faith.

In addition to the portraits of singers, Tavakolian also created these fictional CD covers (which metaphorically remain empty) that portray her own interpretation of Iranian society. Tavakolian writes, “For me a woman’s voice represents a power that if you silence it, imbalances society and makes everything deformed. The project ‘Listen’ echoes the voice of these silenced women. I let Iranian women singers perform through my camera while the world has never heard them.” For anyone interested in hearing more from Tavakolian, here is a brief video interview.

Like Shadi Ghadirian and other contemporaries, female Iranian photographers prove that despite the odds, contradictions, constraints, and milieu in which they work, there is always hope for art. Sometimes what is not said is the most important thing to hear. —Lane Nevares

"We tremble at the feelings we experience as our sense of wholeness is reorganized by what we see."—Emmet Gowin

The Finnish-born photographer Sirkka-Liisa Konttinen is once again garnering the attention she merits. Experiencing something of a notoriety renaissance for her “Byker” series beginning in the late 60’s (currently on view at L. Parker Stephenson Photographs until May 11th), it’s exciting to see Ms. Konttinen reaching new audiences. 

Konttinen’s images, taken within the communities of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, sought to capture the humor and dignity of working-class Geordie culture as they, like other poor neighborhoods in the north of England, saw their homes devastated by developers keen to tear down the “slums” and replace them with architectural and planning fantasies that bore no connection to the people actually living there. Konttinen and friends, as part of the the still extant Amber Collective, lived in Byker from 1969-76 and documented the impact over a ten year period until 1980. These photographs should, therefore, be understood for their political and social undertones.

Aside from their didactic message, Konttinen’s images possess the power of intimacy and connection. The wonderful compositions and tonal ranges add to their beauty; however, it is the emotive energy in the images that sets them apart. I, for one, feel the love. —Lane Nevares

"The question is not what you look at, but what you see."Henry D. Thoreau

Along with many others, Hurricane Sandy was not kind to the Chelsea Arts District in New York. It’s unfortunate that many galleries suffered damage and that things have been sorely disrupted for many. The Andrea Meislin Gallery, which was/is hosting Michal Chelbin’s new exhibit, “Sailboats and Swans,” is currently closed. 

Michal Chelbin’s latest project and recent monograph depict her work over the last six years shooting portraits in seven prisons in Ukraine and Russia. This latest work is true to form for Chelbin: gorgeous light and enigmatic subjects. I am deeply impressed at her ability to conjure portraits that are singularly hers.

Much has been written about her work and the excellent blog, Time LightBox, has a slide show featuring more from this series. (Highly recommended viewing.) Chelbin is an outstanding photographer who is underestimated, and I suspect that as time goes on and her work evolves, this will no longer be the case. —Lane Nevares

"I find my muse behind the mystery of youth." —Natalie Obermaier

Quality work should always be recognized.  Natalie Obermaier’s poetic series, “Cloister the Mews” is featured in the latest issue of Fraction Magazine.  (full disclosure: Nevares Fine Art represents Natalie’s work.) 

Natalie’s work captivates.  With a Hasselblad camera and black & white film, she reveals a sensitivity in her subjects that is a pleasure to encounter.  View her work carefully and the subtleties of light and shadow will resonate. In this brief video Natalie discusses her work and how the muse guides her. Inspiring.  —Lane Nevares

"One often wrongfully compares photographs to paintings. This is nonsense. The image does not refer to painting but to something alive through which passes silence…"—Lise Sarfati 

Tomorrow night, Lise Sarfati’s latest exhibition, On Hollywood, opens at Yossi Milo Gallery here in New York. Sarfati, already well known as a Magnum Photographer, chose, unconventionally, to use Kodachrome 64 transparency film to create this latest series. Kodachrome 64 film stock was originally used in the early Hollywood films of the 1940’s and there is only one lab left in the States where it can be developed.

Sarfati’s decision to use this type of film is significant. For a photographer not to have immediate feedback (on a digital display screen) of their work, means that they’re trusting their instincts, never knowing until much later whether they have captured the image they sought. It also means that our eyes see colors and light through a medium that is no longer readily available. And for Sarfati, it references the old glamour of Hollywood alongside the reality of life for these women in today’s Hollywood.

I am curious what others think of this work. I have always found that Sarfati’s European background strongly informs how she sees American culture. Her point-of-view is distinct. While I find references to other great photographers in her work, there is no doubt that the alchemy she creates between photographer and subject is compelling.—Lane Nevares 

"My work is ultimately about emotion. It is about capturing a moment or a memory."—Deborah Parkin 

The photographer and mother, Deborah Parkin, tell us that "September is the Cruellest Month."  This is also the title of her latest series, forthcoming monograph, and new show opening next week in England at the beautiful “Theatre by the Lake” in Keswick, Cumbria. 

I discovered Parkin’s portfolio recently through Aline Smithson’s excellent photo blog Lenscratch. I immediately sensed the power of the work. Parkin’s portraits are deep, poetic and emotional—and all the more so when you understand that these historically processed, large format images are of her own children.  

Parenting itself is an unbelievable emotional journey.  Along the way, Parkin is documenting her own experience and trying to capture those fleeting moments that always pass too quickly. As the kids go back to school, and the summer slows to an end, maybe Parkin is right: September is the cruelest month.  —Lane Nevares

"The camera is in itself a frontier, a barrier of sorts that one is constantly breaking down so as to get closer to the subject…" — Martine Franck

Martine Franck has been a member of Magnum Photos since 1983, and before that a member of two other photo agencies. In a world dominated by men, she has long distinguished herself as a photographer of grace and elegance. I have always admired her work for its sophisticated compositions and defining moments of beauty. Many of her images are iconic and familiar, even to those who are unsure of the photographer.

The Howard Greenberg Gallery in New York is currently exhibiting her work, “Martine Franck: Peregrinations,” until early August. This is an excellent opportunity to see some of these amazing prints first-hand and to reconsider Franck’s pioneering role in Photography’s history. Her work has influenced many. For those who would like to know her better, this Magnum-produced video of Franck discussing her life and her work is not to be missed. —Lane Nevares