May 31, 2010

Grant Willing

2009 Graduate from Parsons New School of Design in Photography, Grant Willing has since been exhibiting worldwide and has co-founded, a project that showcases new, young photographers. In an interview with Jonathan Feistein, the curatorial director of from NYarts mag, Willing says that anyone with a digital camera and flickr account can be a photographer these days. With, Willing and girlfriend Alana Celii created an online venue to exhibit young photographers that they respect and admire. This online community blew me away. Be sure to check it out. 
A lot of Willing's work is quite dark and almost cult-like. His black and white photographs remind me of Alfred Hitchcock frames. Maybe I am part of this cult following though, because I really like his collections. 

Images from Grant Willings website and artslant. 

May 30, 2010

Wolfgang Tillmans

After endless days of browsing hundreds of Wolfgang Tillmans' photographs, I narrowed his diverse collection of work down to four images. This post will likely be altered many times before I am satisfied. Tillmans' work is most powerful and affecting in exhibition and book form; therefore, out of context, his photographs seem to have a discontinuity as a whole collection. However, in installation form, Tillmans "has used not only the content but also the traditions of arranging vernacular photography to assert informal imagery as art (Penny Martin, Shoot- Photography of the Moment by Ken Miller)."

Wolfgang Tillman's installation archive is the perfect example of how different a photograph can look hung up against the white walls of a gallery. I love the white cleanliness of contemporary galleries. It's like fresh laundry.
Checkout Tillman's newest collections and website @
Images from Christie's Art Auction, Artnet, Andrea Rosen Gallery, and Dateline Jewish Art Museum Online

May 28, 2010

George Awde

"Through the narrative of homeland, the nostalgia for the places of our youth, or the imagining and longing for the future, home is ultimately an individual struggle to identify a secure and satisfying place in the world." I can completely relate to this quote by George Awde. Im in awe of his work (no pun intended). 
George Awde and Justin Leonard were in the same grad class in the Yale MFA program. 

Check out the rest of his works @

Justin Leonard

Justin Leonard is a Yale University MFA Photography Grad Student of 2009. At the students final exhibition at Gallery 339 in Philadelphia, Leonard stated that he was "interested in adopting a condensed working method combining his own visual language with his environment in unanticipated ways."

Images from Yale University MFA website

May 26, 2010

Stephen Shore

At the age of 9, Stephen Shore began teaching himself photography. By 15, he was working at Andy Warhol's Factory in New York, capturing black and white photographs of the group. From his All the meat you can eat collection, to his sites in small town Amarillo, Texas, Shore became known for observing banal life in colourful snapshots. Shore's playful approach significantly contributed to the upcoming pop movement of the time. Like William Eggleston (who I blogged about recently), Shore's exploration of colour photography, as a vehicle for artistic expression, opened possibilities previously unknown to modern photographers. 
His early photographs are welcomed nostalgically. Although taken in the 1970s, they remind me of camping with my family in the 90s. I suppose you could check out his new photography, but up against his early works, they seem commercial and hyperrealistic. Let me know if you can spot them.

Check out Stephen Shore as a Master of Photography here.
Images from nytimes,  masters of photography and bill charles collection. Information sourced from The Photograph as Contemporary Art  by Charlotte Cotton.

Richard Avedon

"If a day goes by without my doing something related to photography, it’s as though I’ve neglected something essential to my existence, as though I had forgotten to wake up."
Richard Avedon initially earned his reputation in fashion photography in the late 1940s, but became world renowned for reinventing a contemporary genre of portraiture. His ability to capture his subject's entire essence in a single shot is outstanding. Void of distractions such as props or backdrops, Avedon's portraits are intimate and straight to the point. The details lie in the wrinkles, facial features, and gestures of the famous celebrities, artists, poets and so on. This said, his initial interest in fashion is very  present in many of his portraits.
I fully appreciate his use of black and white film and play of light and shadow to expose innermost expressions.

Image from Artnet

May 25, 2010

William Eggleston

The first page of any comprehensive contemporary photography book worth reading will mention William Eggleston. In an essay by John Szarkowski from 1976 (yes very dated, but nevertheless timeless), Eggleston is noted as the first photographer to break the mold of 'traditional photography'. Not unlike a slideshow of uninteresting family photographs, Eggleston's photographs display ordinary people, doing ordinary things. Or so he'd have us believe. "We have been told so often of the bland, synthetic smoothness of exemplary American life, of its comfortable, vacant insentience, its extruded, stamped, and molded sameness, in a word its irredeemable dullness, that we have come half to believe it.."(Szarkowski), however, we are exhilarated to see this familiarity in photography. Of course, by now, we are used to photographs recording daily routine. But, when these photographs were taken in the mid1960s and 1970s, Eggleston's style was novel and refreshing. To me, it still is. I find Eggleston's work humourous and timeless. Its the perfect record of America in finest form.

It's interesting to read essays about how photographers isolate a particular scene and present it however they want the public to view it. Because, in a way, thats what I am doing here. Eggleston has hundreds of brilliant photographs, but I chose these ones in particular because of how I want you to view him. I want you to like what I like about him. Eggleston through my eyes.

See him through your own eyes here @ (all images and sources from his website)

May 24, 2010

Philip-Lorca diCorcia

Tableau photography presents an entire narrative, however complex, often in a single shot. Thus, the artistic process prior to taking the actual photograph, is equally as important as the end product. Such is the case for American photographer, Philip-Lorca diCorcia. His narratives are mostly comprised of simple portraits or scenes that leave much to the imagination of the viewer. The lighting and shadows emulate film sets where movement of actors is implied, but captured at the specific moment. The combination of natural and artificial lighting of the subjects create suspense and drama within each image. The titles of diCorcia's Hollywood series tell you the name of the person, age, where he/she was born, and how much diCorcia paid them to pose on the street. Because of this formality, the narrative and thoughts surrounding each scene is rather ambiguous.

To become a diCorcia buff... click here.

Images from artnet

Bill Owens

World renowned for his American Suburbia Collection from 1972, Bill Owen's photographs present a quintessential study of culture and society in the rock and roll era. 

Check out an interesting interview with Robert Hirsch and Bill Owens on Photography the Suburban Soul from 2005 here.
Images from

May 23, 2010

Richard Prince

Richard Prince's Spiritual America collection is the most comprehensive exploration into the celebrity cult phenomena of the Marlboro Men and tawdry nurses from cigarette advertisements. Prince's cowboys portray twentieth century stereotypes of ideal American masculinity. He does so through rephotographing and appropriating the original Marlboro ads. The act of rephotographing the ad questions the authenticity of the original advertisement, the media, and the social values portrayed within (Especially considering the nature of the ads in the first place). 
This rephotograph, Untitled (Cowboy) from 1989, broke world auction records for the sale of any photograph, selling for $1.248million at Christies in New York in 2005. Arguably, this makes Prince the most successful photographer alive. This thus begs the question of success. Personally, the cost of the art is rather irrelevant to me, probably because I can only afford to gawk at them hanging in galleries, but if the art speaks to me, like most of Prince's work does, then I consider it successful. 

On the back of the offset heart lithograph above, Prince inscribed "For the Val Day What I Do". I like this. It reminds me of an oversized valentines card that I was given this year. 

For the sake of my blog somehow becoming a solely photography blog, I am not including his paintings or other media. What a shame. Check out his newest show at
Images from and

May 22, 2010

Eve Arnold

American Photojournalist, Eve Arnold was born in Philadelphia in 1912. She became one of the first woman photographers to join Magnum Photos in the 50s. Although she is best known for her photographs of Marilyn Monroe on the set of the 1950s film The Misfits, she photographed all over the world and captured artistic portraits of Queen Elizabeth II, Malcolm X, and Joan Crawford. In 1980, she was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Society of Magazine Photographers. More impressively, in 1995 became a fellow of the Royal Photographic Society and was elected "Master Photographer", which is apparently the world's most prestigious photographic honour. Good work.

"If the photographer is interested in the people in front of his lens, and if he is compassionate, it's already a lot. The instrument is not the camera but the photographer." - Arnold., images from magnum photography @.

Juergen Teller.

“Most fashion photography is done by gay people finding women sexy,” Teller says, “which is sort of not sexy at all, at least to a heterosexual man. She’s so retouched, so airbrushed, without any human response at all, and, well, you don’t really want to fuck a doll. Juergen Teller is one of the most influential fashion photographers today. He was born in Germany in 1964, studied photography at the Bayerische Staatslehranstalt für Photograhie in Munich, and is now based in London. In an interview between Teller and New York Times journalist, Cathy Horyn, he stated that he's photographed Marc Jacobs' advertisments for eleven years, did not get paid in the beginning, uses a 35mm camera and refuses to go digital. Most of his shoots for Marc Jacobs, Missioni, Yves Saint Laurent, Vivienne Westwood, Louis Vuitton, and so many more designers, were done by himself, with the help of his one assistant.

Juergen Teller uses a raw flash and leaves the original soft and muted colours from the 35mm film. Most fashion photographers do the opposite, by over saturating the colours afterward and bleeding the images off the edge of each page. My favourite thing about Teller is that he never retouches the images. Anyone can be a photographer these days with photoshop. “I’m interested in the person I photograph,” he says. “The world is so beautiful as it is, there’s so much going on which is sort of interesting. It’s just so crazy, so why do I have to put some retouching on it? It’s just pointless to me.”Teller's subjects are almost completely surrounded by white space, and he's known to leave blank pages in a shoot. There is a raw harshness to his photographs. Although his subjects are undeniably sexy, they can be slightly repulsive. Often Teller's models are distant tiny figures, which ironically makes the fashion redundant.
Images from Artnet, W Magazine Dominica photoshoot, Horses think blog, TrendLand & juergenteller.tumblr

May 12, 2010

Aaron Huey

National Geographic and Freelance photographer, Aaron Huey's Pine Ridge and America collections, as well as his Yemen, Afghanistan and Iraq collections, all reveal social hardships and oppression interspersed with beautiful depictions of the "traditional" cultures. 

All images from Visit his website @ 

Check out his older website @