Thursday, April 26, 2018

Kelly Cuevas>>Loretta Lux

Lux is known for her portraits of children. While most people find older, black and white photos scary, there is something unsettling about her pictures. They have color and children, but there is no life in them. The majority of the colors are muted, which gives a more dream like landscape. It seems that the heads in the majority of the photos are un-praportionally bigger then their bodies. The seriousness in their faces and the stillness of their eyes is both captivating and uneasy.

Loretta Lux studied painting at Akademie der Bildenden Kunste, Munich in 1990 to 1996. She has participated in many solo exhibitions and even more group exhibitions. She has also received the Infinity Award of Art from the International Center of Photography in New York.

Image result for Loretta Lux photos

Image result for Loretta Lux photos

Image result for Loretta Lux photos

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Jesusa Vargas reviews Magda Kuca

Grandmothers by Magda Kuca

I’m trying to make a point using today’s artistic language—alongside old processes—as a way to extend the borders of the photographic medium.
—Magda Kuca

Wet plate collodion processes requires photographic material to be processed within a span of 15minutes, this process would require a portable darkroom to be used. The process dates back to 1851.

Magda was born in Skarzysko-Kamienna and obtained her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Arts in Poznan, Poland. Her photographic approach, combining contemporary contexts with historical processes, makes her images interesting because of the process it undergoes and the striking compositions she creates. 

In this series, Magda’s focus was on Slavic rituals, how people co-exist with nature and rhythms. She uses her grandmother as the subject as well as her cultural heritage to convey an artistic perspective of past traditions. 

In the first two photographs, the darks tones grab my attention. There is a sense of mystery and a creepiness to the image. In comparison, the third image lacks the dark contrast and creates a flat image that seems over exposed slightly and, in my opinion, does not hold my attention and interest. It does not draw me in closer for further inspection as much the previous two. I think the images could benefit from darker shadows that will create a dimensional feel to the portrait.

However, Magda's photographic series has striking appeal overall and worth the time to review. Her website holds her collection of photographs using various other processes and photographs in bold colors representing Magda's culture and influences. 

Jesusa Vargas reviews Darcy Padilla

Darcy Padilla is an American photographer and taught photography at the San Francisco Art Institute. Her long-term photography projects focus on contemporary issues in a documentary and photojournalistic approach. Darcy has received awards from the Guggenheim Fellowship, Getty Images Grant, and many others. According to her website, Darcy is currently living in San Francisco and a member of the Agence Vu in Paris. Agence Vu is a photography agency that produces and sells books, photographs, holds exhibitions and has its own gallery.

I came across Darcy's photographic series called Family Love (1993-2014) through Her photographs are published in this book that tells a true personal story of a young mother with HIV and homeless. I found this images portraying a fragile and intimate story of this person's struggle and pain through black and white imagery.

I feel the monochromatic approach makes these photographs less distracting and allows us to dial in to the subject matter within the composition, the people and environment. The dark contrasts within the shadows and natural light highlighting the subject in the photos establish the mood of the situation being presented. Darcy documents this person's personal life and death without holding back the gritty and nasty details. The images appear to be taken as the events unfold with little, if any, direction from the photographer. Even though the main character, Julie, is the focus in the series, the photographer includes important people that come in and out of Julie's life. The photographer includes a small view of the other person and hints to the part they play in Julie's life.

I invite you to take time to read through the captions of this collection that Darcy has that highlight the social issues surrounding HIV.

Julie falls ill. She refuses to eat. Julie makes a grand effort to say what might be her final words to her family as she lies in hospice care. © Darcy Padilla / Agence VU'

Place: Palmer. Case number: 10-92362. Type: Natural Death. On September 27, 2010, at approximately 7:02 AM, the Alaska State Police received a call from Palmer. Investigation revealed Julie Baird, aged 36, local resident, to have died, from natural causes. The family was present at the time of death. No criminal act is suspected. The corpse has been left for the family. © Darcy Padilla / Agence VU'

Julie is now 24. She met Jason at a rehab center. He is 22 and also HIV positive. Julie and Jason have been condemned to 9 months in prison for endangering their children. © Darcy Padilla / Agence VU'

Jesusa Vargas reviews Fernando Aceves

“I really led the first generation of concert photographers in Mexico. At that time the concert industry was still emerging, so I had no other competition."
                                                            Fernando Aceves

Fernando Aceves was born and raised in Mexico City and was introduced to photography through his mother. In the late 1980’s, concert photography was not popular and Fernando found an opportunity to take photographs of musicians when famous bands from the United States and Europe began touring in Mexico. 

Fernando’s use of digital photography allowed him the ability to photograph some of the most profound and famous artists at any time without worrying over lighting or loading film and missing shots. He is able to share different perspectives of famous people that fans hadn’t seen. 

A photography series titled David Bowie: Among The Mexican Masters has previously been exhibited at the Forest Lawn Museum in Glendale, California. David Bowie had visited cultural landmarks in Mexico City as well as historical sites. These photographs certainly share a narrative that peaks interest in any viewer of Mexican culture.

In the photo above, David Bowie appears to be “immersed in study” just as the mural’s title suggests. His side profile is taken; he is not centered in this composition, perhaps strategically so, exposing the people in the background that are painted in the murals. Bowie becomes a part of the imagery, a part of the mural, and carefully and seriously studying the artwork.

In this photograph, Fernando shoots Bowie centered at the bottom of a Mexican Pyramid. His stance appears to be praising the sun god; Bowie stands in a dark shirt, which contrasts with the tan pyramid behind him. His body and stretched out arms mimic the pathways leading up and across the pyramid. 

Another photograph, not part of the Bowie collection, is taken at a pyramid. In this photo, Ozzy Osbourne stands similar to Bowie with his arms stretched out. Though he is not centered in front to the pyramid, the horizontal lines in his vest mimic the same horizontal levels that appear in the background on the structure. 

Jesusa Vargas reviews Fernell Franco

Fernell Franco was a Latin American photographer from Colombia. He died in 2006 but continues to be a key documentarian of Colombia’s history. He had a talent for taking photos of seemingly ordinary scenes and, using shadow and light, creating visually intriguing and stunning photographs. His photographs contain themes of urban settings and prostitution. 
Fernell’s chiaroscuro style allows for dramatically enhanced gradation and division of light and shadow in his compositions. It is in this way that he sets a mood, draws in the audience for closer inspection, and creates dimension within his works. 
 Untitled, from the series Prostitutes (Sin título, de la serie Prostitutas), Colombia, ca. 1970. Collection Leticia and Stanislas Poniatowski. © Fernell Franco.

Série Prostitutas, 1970-1972 (collage)© Fernell Franco, Courtesy of Fundación Fernell Franco Cali / Toluca Fine Art, Paris
In the two photographs above Fernell has taken photos of prostitutes, allowing for the “male gaze” perspective. The women are laid out, some nude, others in their undergarments. In the collage, the four images of women on a floral bed, the models suggestively stare directly at the audience. The intentional tinting of the images creates an interesting gradation on the wall behind the women. The highlights and organic lines in the first photo provide a sensual and mellow composition; our eyes look to find lines that flow across the image, illustrating nude silhouettes of the 3 women. 

Série Pacifico, 1987

I personally enjoy the grain within the dark contrasts of the street image above. This effect creates a mysterious and somber visual. 

"Franco’s highly experimental, pioneering work crossed the limits between media at a crucial moment in the history of photography, transcending the paradigm of photography as a documentary element and the photographer as merely a documentary agent."
                                    ~Wills Londoño

Friday, April 20, 2018


            Obviously, color and geometry are an integral part of the series Geometry and Color. These images are created through an exploration of place and waiting for the critical moment, when the elements combine naturally. All images except one includes one figure creating a sense of isolation. Unknowingly, the people are interacting with the environment and these interactions are the most captivating part of this series. For instance, Orange is the New Black, the painter seems about to be consumed by the paint itself. In another instance, Geometry of Waiting, the cluster of black chairs breaks up the geometrics of the floor. In Lost in Blue, the red shirted figures are submerged in blue paint from wall to floor. Similarly, Geometry of Swimming in which the culmination of blues in different shades and shapes is hypnotizing and is slightly contrasted by the orange ball. With Hinomaru or Geometry of Dreaming, the figure feels small (not only in size but as a human being) compared to the giant red dot on the wall. The colors interact beautifully together whether contrasted or close together on the color wheel. The perspective of some of the images creates flatness and additionally creating a new world that is in between the natural and supernatural.

Orange Is the New Black. From the series "Geometry and Color" © Jolanta Mazur. Finalist, LensCulture Street Photography Awards 2017.

Geometry of Waiting. From the series "Geometry and Color" © Jolanta Mazur. Finalist, LensCulture Street Photography Awards 2017.

Lost in Blue. From the series "Geometry and Color" © Jolanta Mazur. Finalist, LensCulture Street Photography Awards 2017.

Geometry of Swimming. From the series "Geometry and Color" © Jolanta Mazur. Finalist, LensCulture Street Photography Awards 2017.

Hinomaru, or, Geometry of Dreaming. From the series "Geometry and Color" © Jolanta Mazur. Finalist, LensCulture Street Photography Awards 2017.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Jamie Salazar Profiles Jerry Uelsmann

Have you ever had to take a double take at a photo or work of art …?

Well my friends Jerry Uelsmann is the epitome of just that, known as the “Master of Photo Montage
He has taken the constructed print to the highest art form.  Utilizing a vast assortment of darkroom techniques to create some of the most intense and intriguing works of photography anyone has ever seen.

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These types of works will fool your eyes and at the same time asking the artist for more.

The Detroit born artist, could have never expected how popular his works could and would become.  He gained a large amount of education in the mid west, earning not only a B.F.A., but a M.S. as well as a M.F.A.  All of that education also earned him a grand fellowship from the Guggenheim in 1967,as well as one with the National Endowment of the Arts in 1972.

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There are very few artist today who can create these type of prints without the use of Photoshop or other computer aided programs.  Uelsmann uses conventional Gelation Silver Prints and creates these magical works through his print and film processes.

Find Out More About these works:      &