Masks in general are not part of our culture any longer. The various European carnival festivals aside, masks were also used in ancient Greek theater (just like Japanese Noh theater uses them). And there probably are many more occasions where masks were used. As it turns out, masks still play a fairly significant role in Africa.
Archive for October, 2010
My pictures force me to go close to people. I´m curious. A photograph is born out of life and exploring it. I imagine where people are going and how they live. An old woman must be lonely and that´s why she´s carrying a big bag of doughnuts, only to lie about coming visitors. A man walks to his hangout bar every day to sit and watch people without saying a word to anyone. It would be romantic to think that he must be a writer, but probably he´s just a lonely man. A child dangles a cat from its tail without anyone telling the child not to. A fashionable woman in the perfume department looks at me with contempt, I feel like laughing.
This is the result of the night views of Toledo in which 50 people were coordinated to paint with light throughout the city.
The Nikon International Small World Photomicrography Competition recently announced its list of winners for 2010. The competition began in 1974 as a means to recognize and applaud the efforts of those involved with photography through the light microscope. Peering into the small worlds of animal, plants and minerals using many techniques and different instruments, this year’s entries brought us images of crystalline formations, fluorescent body parts, cellular structures and more, valuable for both their beauty and insight.
The TED conference, the California lecture series named for its roots in technology, entertainment and design, said on Tuesday that it planned to give its annual $100,000 prize for 2011 — awarded in the past to figures like Bill Clinton, Bono and the biologist E. O. Wilson — to the Parisian street artist known as J R, a shadowy figure who has made a name for himself by plastering colossal photographs in downtrodden neighborhoods around the world. The images usually extol local residents, to whom he has become a Robin Hood-like hero.
At a time when street art is being embraced not only by the art world but also by branding interests, J R, who dislikes being called a street artist, preferring the term “photograffeur” (graffeur is French for graffiti artist) has become known for rejecting corporate sponsorship offers and other outside help. He said that he reinvested most of the money he makes by selling his art in galleries and at auction — one piece went for more than $35,000 at Sotheby’s in 2009 — into creating more ambitious projects, and that he would use the TED prize money for the same purpose.
“If there’s one thing I’ve always taken care of with my work, it’s that it’s never an advertisement for anything other than the work itself and for the people it’s about — no ‘Coca-Cola presents,’ ” he said, speaking in English. “I think the TED people knew that that was one of my main concerns, and I feel pretty sure that we can come up with a project that works that way.”
Most of Abelardo Morell’s photographs are digital, but a lot of his gear is, conceptually, a millennium old. Morell is among the few contemporary masters of the camera obscura, the ancient method of projecting an image on a wall (deployed by Renaissance masters, like Leonardo da Vinci, and possibly used as a painting aid). All it is, really, is a room with a tiny hole in the wall or roof that acts as a lens. Previous Morell portraits include a Times Square hotel room enrobed in an image of Times Square itself. For his new hybrids—on view in twin shows opening this month, at Bryce Wolkowitz and Bonni Benrubi—Morell photographs vivid cityscapes projected onto unexpected surfaces, like the gravel rooftop seen at right. “It involves a huge amount of work to create something my daughter could make in Photoshop in two seconds,” he says.
Medium: Large format Polaroid photography of multimedia constructed installations.
Joachim Knill built his own Polaroid camera to take pictures of worlds he builds himself. That’s a lot more building than most artists undertake! These giant Polaroids are technical masterpieces, but to really get into the work, you must forget how they are made and just look. The story of each piece unfolds slowly and beautifully. No one interested in photography should miss seeing his work in person. The lusciousness of the Polaroid film is enhanced by Knill’s lighting of his scenes and choice of materials to include. Some of the scenes are fanciful, some are political, some are social commentary, all are thought provoking while still somehow retaining an essential feeling of hope and kindness.
“I have been building dioramas and photographing the results since the early 1990s. As I’ve working through various bodies of work, from Accidentally Kansas, Lost and now The City, my fabrication skills have improved and my subject matter has become more complex. With The City series I have moved indoors, creating architectural interiors. This has proven most difficult yet most rewarding. Currently it takes about seven months to build a scene and two to three weeks to shoot the final image.”
A new exhibition featuring some of the world’s best marine wildlife photographs is set to go on display in Bristol. The images, which will be showcased at Bristol’s Blue Reef Aquarium from Monday, feature everything from coral reefs and sea turtles to walruses, polar bears and orcas, and all have an environmental message.