Archive for December, 2009

Youth Photography Exhibition: “Points of Departure”

A Call for Entries: Deadline January 11, 2010
Don’t miss the opportunity to have your photographs juried by a stellar panel of Canon’s Explorers of Light (Steve Inglima,
Clay Blackmore, Gregory Heisler, Eddie Tapp, and Joyce Tenneson) and exhibited at VisArts from February 5th to March 27th! VisArts is proud to showcase the work of youth photographers.download the PDF Flier. Questions? Contact Tim Hampton, Digital Arts Director, at digitallab@visartscenter.org.

Students may enter in the following categories: Grades 9-12, Grades 6-8, and Grades 2-5. Maximum two photos per student.

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Decade in Pictures

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MSNBC Slide Show

Showcase: Infernal Landscapes

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“Because China’s economy is moving so fast, the pollution is incredibly severe,” he told us Wednesday through a translation by Orville Schell at the Asia Society. “As I became aware of the pollution as China opened up the western area, I felt that people needed to know about this.”

Mr. Lu was born in 1961 in Zhejiang Province and was taking pictures before his 20th birthday, when he worked in a factory. He studied at the fine arts academy at Tsinghua University in Beijing from 1993 to 1995 and has concentrated on social and economic issues in his work since then. In 2003, his pictures of peasants in Henan Province who had been infected with HIV after selling their blood won the first prize for a story about contemporary issues from World Press Photo.

“The impact on me is very significant,” Mr. Lu said. “It confirms this work. The money will also allow me to do even better. Certainly, I’m not finished. There are many other places I have to shoot.”

LINK

Showcase: Emptied but Still Secret

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Society can be judged as much by what it abandons as by what it builds.

If one hears ghostlike murmurs while looking through Christopher Payne’s photographs in “Asylum: Inside the Closed World of State Mental Hospitals,” it may be because the people who once occupied these imposing and forbidding places are still among us. But they no longer dwell within the fortresses — or were they sanctuaries? — into which Mr. Payne now guides the reader.

“One must not be too romantic about madness, or the madhouses in which the insane were confined,” the neurologist Oliver Sacks wrote in his introduction to Mr. Payne’s book, published in September by the M.I.T. Press. He added, however, that Mr. Payne’s pictures “evoke for me not only the tumultuous life of such places, but the protected and special atmosphere they offered.”

Link to Full Article in NY Times Blog

Gentlemen of Bacongo

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Photographer Daniele Tamagni’s new book Gentlemen of Bacongo captures the fascinating subculture of the Congo in which men (and a few women) dress in designer and handmade suits and other luxury items. The movement, called Le Sape, combines French styles from their colonial roots and the individual’s (often flamboyant) style. Le Sapeurs, as they’re called, wear pink suits and D&G belts while living in the slums of this coastal African region.

The sapeurs engage the extremes between classes while injecting their individual perspectives into the conversation, establishing an identity within the larger social narrative they’ve helped construct.  

Tamagni’s photographs capture the style, the “contradictions and paradoxes” and tight-knit social networks of the Sapeurs. He highlights the proper use of cigars—”even if you don’t smoke you need to light it”—the strict use of color (only three colors may be combined in an outfit), and the deep spiritual and moral roots of Le Sape. “When the sapeur expresses himself through the harmony of his clothes, he is returning his admiration to God.”

Of course, the poverty and political instability of the Congo makes the profound admiration and respect for Parisian fashion all the more distinct.

Link to Article in Cool Hunting

Point, Shoot, Retouch and Label?

There is ralph-lauren-photoshop-disastera draft law in French Parliament that would require all digitally altered photographs of people used in advertising be labeled as retouched.  Some think such a law would destroy photographic art; some think it might help reduce anorexia; some say the idea is aimed at the wrong target, given that nearly every advertising photograph is retouched. Others believe such a label might sensitize people to the fakery involved in most of the advertising images with which they’re bludgeoned.

It’s a debate that goes well beyond France. In the United States, Self magazine, which champions accepting one’s “true self,” recently published a thinned-down photo of the singer Kelly Clarkson, with a headline pushing “total body confidence.” Lucy Danziger, Self’s editor, defended the photo as “the truest we have ever put out there,” but many disagreed. There was also a fuss about a bizarrely retouched photo of the model Filippa Hamilton, whose waist was reduced to the width of her head, for a Ralph Lauren ad in Japan.

Link to NY Times Article