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Archive for 2010|Yearly archive page

Favorites: “Best of the Best” Emerging Fine Art Photographers of 2010

In Black and White Photography, Photographer on December 31, 2010 at 12:08 pm

 

Susan Burnstine, “In The Midst”

The past year has been an unusual blend of many cross-currents in monochromatic fine art. The talent for documentary and creative post production intensive photo art continues to evolve at a rapid pace, no doubt due to the growing flexibility of digital technology . But a respect for alternative print processes, simple “toy cameras” and traditional view cameras keeps whole segments of artists well rooted in legacy techniques.

After 220 articles this year detailing exhibits, galleries, events, collector strategies, artists and technology we will attempt to summarize “the best of the best” of 2010 in a series of articles starting  today with a list of the top emerging fine art photographers we witnessed this year. These artists range from being early in their careers to mature artists, still expanding their audiences.

Rather than offer commentary on each, we will provide click through links to examples of their work so that you the reader can judge the merits of the imagery. These artists were identified from hundreds of photographers by on site visits to exhibits, major art fairs, virtual galleries or portfolio reviews in Los Angeles, Houston, Atlanta, Washington, DC, Philadelphia and New York.

In no particular order:

Congratulations to the Best of 2010!

Notable: End of a Year, End of An Era “Kodachrome 1935 – 2010

In Article, Black and White Photography on December 30, 2010 at 9:29 pm

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Steve Hebert for NY Times

The obituary for a technology of light, color and memory was written and presented today by the New York Times:

That celebrated 75-year run from mainstream to niche photography is scheduled to come to an end on Thursday when the last processing machine is shut down here to be sold for scrap.

The status of lone survivor is a point of pride for Dwayne Steinle, who remembers being warned more than once by a Kodak representative after he opened the business more than a half-century ago that the area was too sparsely populated for the studio to succeed. It has survived in part because Mr. Steinle and his son Grant focused on lower-volume specialties – like black-and-white and print-to-print developing, and, in the early ’90s, the processing of Kodachrome.

In the end, it was determined that a roll belonging to Dwayne Steinle, the owner, would be last. It took three tries to find a camera that worked. And over the course of the week he fired off shots of his house, his family and downtown Parsons. The last frame is already planned for Thursday, a picture of all the employees standing in front of Dwayne’s wearing shirts with the epitaph: "The best slide and movie film in history is now officially retired. Kodachrome: 1935-2010."

For more: NY Times

On Site: Christian Cravo, “ In The Gardens of Eden”, Throckmorton Fine Art, NYC

In Black and White Photography, Exhibits, Gallery, Photo Print Collector, Photographer on December 28, 2010 at 3:27 pm

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Christian Cravo
Saint Michel de Atalaye, Haiti

The power of contrasting tonality on silver gelatin is to be found here in an emotional display of Haitian culture by Christian Cravo. Primal religiosity and deep relationships are the stuff of any sensitive artist’s imagination when viewing a foreign yet familiar heritage. Cravo has captured that milieu with grace in his photos.

Christian has established himself as one of the premier photographers of Brazil, all the more notable because his father, Mario Cravo, was, until his untimely death last year, the country’s preeminent photographer.

Christian is a living homage to his father. Christian established himself with a series of penetrating yet mystical photographs of the poor, northeastern region of Brazil, infamous for its droughts. This region has long captured the attention of Brazilian intellectuals and artists (including film directors).

It is not a surprise thus that a young, talented Brazilian photographer should be drawn to the country in this hemisphere with the most concentrated African heritage-Haiti. Christian lived in Haiti and was drawn to religious celebrations in two, natural, sacred locales: waterfalls and caves. His powerful, black-and-white photographs from this series push the medium of photography right to the edge of its capacity to engage emotional display, including, here, religious rapture.

Through January 8th …

For more information: Throckmorton Fine Art

Notable: The Conceptual Work of Clare Strand

In Article, Black and White Photography, Photographer on December 27, 2010 at 9:50 pm

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Aperture, Photo by Clare Strand

Just catching up on our photography magazines and the cover of the Fall edition of Aperture heralded a nice piece on Clare Strand.

Over the last ten years, dissatisfied with the often complacent values of the photography world, Clare Strand has assembled a body of work that is both subversive and celebratory in its approach to photographic conventions. During this period Strand’s art has developed through a series of increasingly interesting and unique projects that have explored various photographic genres, from Victorian portraiture to crime scene and forensic photography. In these series she has dwelt on the oddity of photography’s strange backwaters, its utilitarian functions and its infiltration of every corner of our lives, to make us question the value and complex meanings of photographic images. This might be simply quirky and strange, but in Strand’s work it is resolved through photographs of incredible quality and genuine originality.

For a look at some of her video work in Black and White: Vimeo

On Site: “Selections From A Collection”, Gitterman Gallery, NYC

In Black and White Photography, Exhibits, Gallery, Photo Print Collector on December 23, 2010 at 6:09 pm

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Clarence White,The Kiss (The Reynolds Sisters)

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Aaron Siskind,
Terrors and Pleasure of Levitation

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Harry Callahan, Michigan

A holiday present is in store for you at the Gitterman Gallery. The selections in this show are excellent bringing the viewer master photography in different styles, ages and forms in an exciting assemblage.

In addition to the classics above there is work by W. Eugene Smith, Tasker, Meatyard and more …

Drop by after shopping the Upper East Side or visit via the Web.

Through January 29, 2011.

For more information: Gitterman Gallery

Emerging Artist: Kevin Spreitz, Fine Art Photography

In Black and White Photography, Photo Print Collector, Photographer on December 20, 2010 at 8:40 am

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Kevin Spreitz

It is said that environment is a key factor in producing art. For Canadian Kevin Spreitz, it is evident that his travels around the world have produced varying portfolios that allow him to creatively apply a unique vision based on time and place.

1. What were you trying to accomplish with the New York portfolio?

New York City is one of the most photographed places on earth.  So I approached it as I do most of my work; to move through time and place with a good handful of images at the end of it. I think I am an adventurer at heart, and a close observer of life, intensely curious about everyone’s story in this world, so when I am walking with my camera, it is not only an instrument, a compass that points toward beauty, but a magnifying glass and journal as well. I wanted to have a collection of images that reflect that, and while they may not necessarily shout "NYC", they may whisper it.

2. You travel quite a bit. How does that impact your photography?

I see myself as a photographer who travels a lot, rather that a certain type of photographer. Being a stranger in a strange land always brings inspiration.  So travel allows, the fresh eyes, a sense of wonder, curiosity, a a deep appreciation of how beautiful the rhythms of life can be, wherever I am, whatever the subject, and whether it is more of a fine art or documentary nature.

3. What are your goals for your coming European sojourn?

Quite simply, I hope to continue to develop my work and my presence in that area of the world. I hope to meet a lot of great people, see a lot of great photography and other arts.   And yes, one of my goals is to become fairly fluent in Italian. I like the thought of not knowing what is around the corner, or what new muse I will find. I just consider myself so lucky to be living on what I absolutely love to do.

4. Your Black and White work seems quite different from your color images. What do you look for in Black and White subject matter?

While my preference is for Black and White, I tend to use colour when the subject is undeniably colour, or so integral to the image that it must be there. But as for Black and White, I mainly like a strong or compelling composition, and the narrative can be either ambiguous or very direct. I hope that viewers will put a bit of themselves in an image. The magic happens not in the photograph, but in the space between.  As I tend to say, I document the world’s light, beauty, people, stories and issues, so whatever my heart and eye see, I am a helpless to that. I only want it to be compelling, to reflect my aesthetic at this moment, and it means nothing if people don’t get some sort of pleasure or joy out of it.

Visit Kevin’s site to see more of what he is talking about: Kevin Spreitz Fine Art

Preview: Three Masters of Photography at the Met “Stieglitz, Steichen, Strand”, New York

In Art Museum, Black and White Photography, Exhibits, Photographer on December 19, 2010 at 11:13 am

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Edward Steichen by Paul Strand

“Stieglitz, Steichen, Strand” is our destination this week in NYC. An early Christmas present indeed. For a preview guide please read the article by Ariella Budick in today’s Financial Times then take the time to look at the the online catalog of the Met exhibit.

According to the standard narrative, Alfred Stieglitz came to the medium in the late 19th century, determined to pry it from the clutches of Sunday amateurs and enthrone it next to painting and sculpture as one of the fine arts. He and his fellow pictorialists imitated the gauzy, atmospheric paintings of Whistler, the compositions of Japanese woodblock prints and the steamy cityscapes of the impressionists. But by the time of the legendary Armory Show in New York in 1913, Stieglitz had rejected the symbolist style in favour of a modernist orthodoxy,
insisting on sharp focus with no visible retouching, and commanding a kind of latent abstraction from his followers. With the fanaticism of a new convert, he condemned the manipulated print for its fraudulence and artificiality.
Formalism now ruled, and Stieglitz even reinterpreted his old pictures to conform to his new ideas. “You may call this a crowd of immigrants,” he famously said of “The Steerage”, taken in 1907 but not exhibited until 1913. “To me it is a study in mathematical lines, in balance, in a pattern of light and shade.”

The exhibit runs now through April 10, 2011.

The FT article: Financial Times

The Met CatalogMet Online

The Met exhibit information: Stieglitz, Steichen, Strand

Notable: Mad Day Out with the Beatles, Images by War Photographer, Don McCullin

In Art Fair, Black and White Photography, Photographer on December 15, 2010 at 6:12 pm

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Don McCullin

A bit of holiday nostalgia and some great photographs by Don McCullin in Time magazine:

In the summer of 1968, as they were recording the songs that would appear on the “White Album,” the Beatles invited famed war photographer Don McCullin to photograph them. The purpose of the shoot was to provide LIFE magazine with an image it could use on its cover, but McCullin and the band did far more than what the job required, as John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr posed and goofed around in a variety of locations. The shoot has become known in Beatles lore as the “Mad Day Out.” A Day in the Life of the Beatles, published by Rizzoli, collects 100 images from that day.

The photographs were taken at a time when the fissures between the four band members had started to widen. McCullin writes, “I think everything Lennon did was a protest. Every statement he made seemed to come out of anger. There were many contradictions to him. He could write about peace and love, but deep down he was forceful and aggressive. Paul McCartney was much warmer.”

For more photos: The Beatles

Notable: The Fine Art Photography of Linda Mann

In Art Fair, Black and White Photography, Photographer on December 13, 2010 at 5:00 pm

Framed WoodsnowyEveningfor Web Page

Linda Mann, “Snowy Woods Evening”

While visiting an art fair recently, we encountered the work of Linda Mann, a talented artist with a great sensibility for classic Black and White images.

1. What is your objective with your photography?
My current objective is I want to create images that are artful, unique, and possess an emotional depth or feeling.  I enjoy using metaphors and try to show a bit of mystery or something that is not quite clear or complete. Although I do make images mainly for myself, I hope my photographs help other people see something in a different way, think or feel something in a deeper or clearer manner. I believe I have another objective: helping others clarify their feelings and see new ways of observing, being, and expressing themselves.

2. Do you have a favorite topic or subject?
From the beginning of my photographic career, I have only been interested in Fine Art. I am not a photojournalist and have no interest in commercial work or doing weddings or portraits. So my favorite topics and subjects are very traditional. I work extremely slowly so I have always said that I want subjects that do not move, like landscapes, mountains, sand dunes, large rocks and old buildings. As I age, I become more and more fascinated by the texture and patina that objects acquire with the aging process.

3. Who are you influences?
My father, Ralph Neunlist, was a serious amateur photographer who gave me my first camera and lots of encouragement.
I like Ansel Adams, all the Westons, and Edward Curtis. Then I studied the work of women photographers: Imogene Cunningham, Margaret Bourke-White, and Diane Arbus. A current photographer whose work I admire is the Florida based Photographer, Clyde Butcher.

4. What are you trying to accomplish with Black and White?
I shoot and show both color and black and white photographs but I prefer Black and White and knowledgeable people who have seen both, tell me that my Black and White images are stronger.  I prefer it for many reasons. I think that it helps me to feel linked and connected to the traditional  masters of the past who worked mainly in Black and White. Also I like Black and White because it is more removed from reality. It is more abstract, composed more of values and composition, than just the subject. I also think it is more moody and mysterious, again those qualities that I like to convey.

Visit Linda’s work at: Linda Mann

Notable: The Pictorial Nostalgia of Irina Dakhnovskaia-Lawton, Verve, Online

In Black and White Photography, Exhibits, Gallery, Photographer on December 11, 2010 at 12:02 pm

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Irina Dakhnovskaia-Lawton,”Winter Icon”

In a very sensual portfolio “Wondering About Pictorialism”, Irina Dakhnovskaia-Lawton adopts the turn of the century lens view of the romantic photographer Alfred Stieglitz. The mood of each image is enhanced with a hazy sepia veil achieving the look and feel of a Victorian era photo collection.

Looking at earlier copies of the "Camera Work", that encyclopedia of pictorial aesthetic, took me on a long journey reflecting on concepts such as approaching a story in one image and the significance of narrative within a small intimate space. Both are rather uncommon ideas in the visual vocabulary of modern photography. Disconnected from political or social subjects, inspired by the narrative poetry of nature and human existence, these images strive to convey a lyrical story within one frame.

Since then I have been exploring the Pictorial style in my own work looking for timeless, nostalgic subjects. In this project, by emphasizing the small image scale along with a pictorial language and the particular printing techniques, I was trying to create intimate connections between an image and a viewer. I am striving to let the viewer experience the reality, as recorded by the meniscus lens, that becomes for me a meditative refuge, a way to communicate the subtle poetic qualities of everyday being.

To view the exhibit: Verve Online Emerging Artist

Her website: IRINA DAKHNOVSKAIA-LAWTON