Sunday, August 29, 2010

Risa Morales submits Zeke Berman

Zeke Berman was one of the photographers Libby mentioned on our first day in class.  The string orchestration photos that she pulled up for us were intriguing, so I decided to go back and take a deeper look at his works.  What I found was a curious intellect and a deep understanding of perception.  Berman's photos play with perception and perspective in an almost obsessive and dizzying manner.  Not only had he spent time setting up complex worlds compromised only of string, but he also takes simple things and makes the viewer consider them anew (like in the photo above).

Technically, his prints are lovely.  Each image has a tonal range that really brings out the details in the subject matter, giving you enough information to illuminate the concept and leave hints at mysterious or half-recognized backgrounds. He plays with light... allowing it to caress his subjects (as in his 2005 image, Ferns) or to create expectancy and mystery (like in Fog Lamp, 2004). (both of which are located on his website...)

For the most part, his older work leaves me craving to see it in it's true form, instead of as pixels on a computer.  It tends more towards the dramatic, drawing upon the subtleties and starkness available from black and white images.  I get the feeling of intense exploration from these works, many have a certain roughness, a crudeness, to their setup due to weathered wood, or loose string ends, or the finger strokes left in paint or wet clay. From 1999-2002, his work starts to show greater delicacy, and less dramatic, stark contrast.  It still exhibits a fascination with perspective and perception, but has a more gentle approach... many of these images almost seem to glow.  But always, he shoots constructed worlds, making a fantasy of reality.

Unfortunately, I was unable to locate an artist statement of any sort, or find anywhere Berman's own opinion on his photos.  I think they are imaginative to the point of obsession, and that sort of thing deeply appeals to my own obsessive exploratory tendencies.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Brittany Kennedy submits John Davis

John Davis currently has a show at Joan Grona’s gallery downtown entitled “Whiteout series”. These paintings are a mixed media of collage with credit card statements and selected personal statements in which he white outs the text of information along with the combination of digital images of comic strips. His formal composition is very minimalist staying within the shape of a box or rectangle. The color palettes chosen range from a combination of cool colors with deep blues contrasted with purples etc. His mixed media paintings are brilliant bringing in digital images which provide the paintings with depth and content that draws the viewer in. The images of the comic strip are so recognizable yet juxtaposed with the familiar speech bubbles that are a blank space filled with white paint. This draws the viewer in to converse with the piece and conclude the conversation in the overall paintings. These paintings are strong as the mixed media’s draw one in and intriguing content and concept on the “American society” and their ways of consumerism.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Brittany Kennedy submits Richard Warren

Richard Warren is a photographer based in NYC from Houston Texas. I came across his website while browsing at fashion photographers and found him interesting because he is the first fashion photographer I have come across to post their personal work on their website. This led me to believe that his interest are not in just fashion but also in photography as fine art. The fashion influences still present themselves in his personal work in terms of using live models however his attraction or focus seems to be on textural elements that the human figure hosts. Some of his work was not accessible to provide images however his most interesting series to me is his "Silver Series" where he explores the "silver chromatic experience" through the female form and the alphabet. It is very interesting to me and allowed me to think in this style for my own work "Consumerism-Objectification of Women series"....mmmmm the mind is brewing with ideas :-) The above images are all of his personal work. You can view more of his work at

Susan Ranjel submits Ralph Gibson

I thought I would include this photographer because even though the pictures are great, they are somewhat boring. They do not interest me and I believe some are too simple. Ralph Gibson is an American art photographer best known for his photographic books.He has won many awards. The image as a whole is not inspiring, even though it is a good photo. I want more out an image. I feel like it is dated.

Susan Ranjel submits Gregory Crewdson

An untitled staged photograph from the book Twilight.

American artist Gregory Crewdson creates scenes for his photos, but I found it interesting that he is so involved in the staging that an article in Time explained,
"photographers who make staged images have virtually become directors" and "like a good director, he doesn't even always get behind the camera himself. He's directing--somebody else can click the shutter." I can definitely go for that. It is a lot of work to set up a scene. Isn't art all about the idea and vision anyway? The labor is optional I like to think... even though it is not my reality. Love the color and light flowing through the room, and I'm sure he used a fog machine.

Read more:,9171,1592850,00.html#ixzz0vopxtwJ8

Susan Ranjel submits Irving Penn

He was among the first photographers to pose subjects against a simple grey or white backdrop and used this simplicity more effectively than other photographers. Some subjects photographed with this technique included Martha Graham, Marcel Duchamp, Pablo Picasso, Georgia O'Keeffe, and Marlene Dietrich. I enjoy a good backdrop but the look seems a little dated...or not...many photographers still use a basic black or grey backdrop and nothing else to do portraits.

Susan Ranjel submits Brassaï

Brouillard, Avenue de l'Observatoire,1934

Brassai's camera, tripod, and lighting equipment required him to be bold rather than inconspicuous. His nighttime photographs are so motivating for me. I really enjoy these types of photos more than most others because of they have a particular mood only night scenes evoke. The predominance of black and dark in these low key photos is alluring. Libby, I want to eat these photos up.

Susan Ranjel submits Galen Avery Rowell

Punkatassett Woods, Concord (Massachusetts, 1991)

Galen Avery Rowell was a noted wilderness photographer and climber. Born in Oakland, California, he became a full-time photographer in 1972. He was never formally trained as a photographer. He pioneered a new kind of photography in which he considered himself a participant in the scenes that he photographed. The use of color in these landscapes makes them appealing.

Susan Ranjel submits Charles Peterson

This image captures the action and moment in time when live bands were the ultimate in Seattle. Great documentary style photo. The anticipation of his descent into the crowd is energizing. Charles Peterson (born 1964) is an American photographer well known for his work with the independent record label Sub Pop. Known for his trademark full-frame, non-cropped image. His photos are presented in the movie Kurt Cobain: About a Son. Peterson's photographs have appeared in publications and galleries throughout the world, most notably a one-man exhibition at The Chrysler Museum, February - May 2005.

Susan Ranjel submits Herb Ritts

Djimon with Octopus, Hollywood, 1989

Herb Ritts

Beautiful and lush black and white images. Herbert "Herb" Ritts was an American fashion photographer who concentrated on black-and-white photography and portraits in the style of classical Greek sculpture. He became interested in photography when he and friend Richard Gere, then an aspiring actor decided to shoot some photographs in front of an old jacked up Buick. The picture gained Ritts some coverage and he began to be more serious about photography. He photographed many famous individuals as well as directed several music videos such as Chris Isaak’s Wicked Game music video shot in black and white. I enjoy when talent in photography is used in other visual media.

Derrick Rutledge presents: Katy Gray

I don’t like wedding photography. I don’t enjoy looking at other people’s “perfect day” all reminiscent of a set formal way of photography. ...However, when you do it as well and interesting as Katy Gray... you can’t help but notice. For once while looking at wedding photos, I’ve been completely interested and intrigued. Unlike traditional wedding portraits, these are great! Composed as though they are a fine art portrait. Upon discovering her photos, it turns out she does other styles that are just as captivating.

Susan Ranjel submits Cindy Sherman

Cindy Sherman
‘Untitled Film Still #21′

This is one of my favorite photographers. I can appreciate the work that must go into shooting the image with her in it. Love the expression in her face and the city in the background. Sherman is best known for her conceptual portraits, which she clearly states are not self-portraits. She was the recipient of a MacArthur Award. Her work raises questions about the role and representation of women in society and the media; issues that are still very relevant.In her landmark 69 photograph series, the Complete Untitled Film Stills, (1977–1980) Sherman appeared as B-movie, foreign film and film noir style actresses. I'd rather direct someone else as a model for sure!

Derrick Rutledge presents: Mary Ellen Mark

Mary Ellen Mark is an American photographer from Pennsylvania who is known for her photojournalism, portraiture, and advertising. Mark began taking photos of major cultural events including Vietnam War demonstrations, women’s liberation, and the transvestite culture. She later began taking production stills for major motion pictures and many celebrities’ photos. The most fascinating photos to me are her series from the Mexican Circus, Indian Circus, and Vietnam Circus. The difference in the “American” perception of the activity “circus” and the rest of the worlds’ now differs greatly. The subjects captured are like no other.

Derrick Rutledge presents: Michael Ray

To many people, nothing is better than sitting down to a well presented, great tasting meal. To me, being the one to cook that meal may even be better than eating one. To be able to then photograph is another task all together. Michael Ray is a highly respected commercial photographer that I find takes some of the most remarkable photos of fine cuisine. Michael Ray has a way of making your mouth water from a photograph as though the food is being presented right before you. Not only is he a food photographer, Michael Ray also dives into HDR images and people in location, such as work fields.

Derrick Rutledge presents: Kirk Tuck

Currently residing in the Hill Country west of Austin, Texas, Kirk Tuck has been a photographer for international clients for over 20 years, is an author and photographer of four books, and has taught at the university level. Tuck’s main focus is on people and product; portraits are always interesting, but it takes great photographs to sell products. I am most attracted to his location shots that suspend a moment in time and display people in their everyday activity enjoying life, many of which play out as portraits as well.

Derrick Rutledge presents: Ervine Lin

As a self taught photographer from Singapore, Ervine Lin began taking photos during travels around the world later compiling them into a personal collection. He loves the subject of spaces and places of architectural interest that are highly structured compositions. My favorite part of his work is that he goes out of his way to never have people his main focus although their presence is often felt, leading to a very somber tone. His images are often high contrast, high saturation and fill the frame as much as possible.

Derrick Rutledge presents: Geof Kern

Geof Kern is a Dallas, Texas based photographer who has been described as a surrealist because of the lack of better describing what he is doing. His works create a cinematic feel in an imaginary world through the “judicial” use of computer imaging capturing dramatic moments, telling a story in a single image. Kern originally had his heart set on film and then switched to still photography to make a living after school and has photographed for Diesel, Neiman-Marcus, Sony, Vanity Fair and Fortune. All of his techniques make all of his works quite appealing to me.

Susan Ranjel submits Weegee

Marilyn Monroe (plastic lens), c. 1960
Here Weegee distorts the image of Marilyn with a plastic lens. This was his art.

Much of Weegee’s work documented scenes of urban life, crime, injury and death. Weegee published photographic books and also worked in cinema, initially making his own short films and later collaborating with film directors such as Jack Donohue and Stanley Kubrick. Most of his notable photographs were taken with very basic equipment. He was a self-taught photographer. Weegee had a very interesting personality. In 1943 five of his photographs were acquired by the Museum of Modern Art. These works were included in their exhibition entitled, Action Photography.
Great article ….

Susan Ranjel submits André Kertész

The Fork, or La Fourchette, was taken in 1928 and is one of Kertész's famous works

American photographer André Kertész creates unexpected compositions from everyday subjects. He created picture essays for various popular magazines. Kertész favorite subjects are commonplace objects and situations. I really enjoy the clarity and simple nature of the photo of a fork. This was the first photographer ever to have a one-man show and appeared in countless exhibitions around the world. Good photos don’t have to have elaborate scenes.

Susan Ranjel submits Joel-Peter Witkin

The Fool, Budapest, 1993

Joel-Peter Witkin
In his work, Witkin makes pointed references to the history of photography by including fragments of familiar images. I enjoy the manipulation of the photographic surface to make it appear aged. I think the images are very morbid but invite the viewer to explore. Issues of morality are central to his work. I think it is extremely gross, but Witkin uses dead bodies or body parts in the creation of his work. I wouldn’t want to be there when he’s setting up the scene.
Witkin studied at the Cooper Union School of Art and Architecture, New York (BFA, 1974) and the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque (MFA, 1986). His work has been featured in numerous international exhibitions, including solo shows at The Brooklyn Museum, New York; Interkamera, Prague; Picture Photo Space, Osaka, Japan; Museum of Modern Art, Haifa, Israel; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; and in a major retrospective at The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York.

Angie Restrepo submits Fernand Fonssagrives

Once one of the highest paid photographers in the world, he was ambivalent about the acclaim he received in his chosen field, preferring to remain anonymous. Little was written about him, even at the peak of his success. He was linked to the early ‘Design Laboratory’ classes of Alexey Brodovitch, and was a key member of the close knit group of photographers now celebrated as ‘The New York School. I think he is more known as a fashion photographer. His most memorable work traces the unique partnership he had with his first wife, legendary model Lisa Fonssagrives, a former dancer who went on to marry Irving Penn. A major influence and inspiration to both men, Lisa was responsible for Fonssagrives picking up a camera. The nude photographs are beautiful and I really appreciate the patterns & play on light, texture with the human form.

Susan Ranjel submits Jerry N. Uelsmann

Symbolic Mutation-1961

Jerry N. Uelsmann (born June 11, 1934) is an American photographer.
Uelsmann is a master printer producing composite photographs with multiple negatives and extensive darkroom work. He uses up to a dozen enlargers at a time to produce his final images. His contribution to photography as an art was his ability to master techniques that produced surrealist imagery in a flawless way. Although many of what he does can now be done with digital cameras and Photoshop, Uelsmann was considered to have "magical skill" when working with his photos in the darkroom. Uelsmann sometimes used three to ten enlargers to produce the final photos.
I especially am drawn to his work because I am very interested in surreal images and the ability to create images after taking photos that are not awe inspiring in and of themselves. When asked about the digital world of photography he stated, “I am sympathetic to the current digital revolution”. Still he prefers to work hours on his photos in the darkroom. His photographs are in the opening credits of the television series The Outer Limits (1995), and the illustrated edition of Stephen King's Salem's Lot.

Articles and photos can be found at…..

Brittany Kennedy submits Richard Avedon

Richard Avedon was another fashion photographer who was from NYC. Avedon got his first break when he was working as an advertisement photographer for a department store. He became recognized by Alexey Brodovich who was the director for Harper's Bazaar. Avedon became the chief photographer at Bazaar where models had typically been photographed in an expressionless manner. He believed that portraiture captures personality and the soul in which his photographs embodied these elements through laughter, emotion, and actions. Many people have regarded his work to have a very minimalist formality. He also did some fine art photography. I find his images to have a conversation between the figure and the camera. There is a sense of commotion in content that is delivered in ways that as a viewer places me at the scene where I can hear and experience the audible actions. This is interesting because as a fashion photographer his images have a sense of fine art nostalgia that really speaks to me and causes me to truly forget the purpose of the images in commercialism. His control of lighting and contrast is GORGEOUS and gives the viewer a true black, and white with all the ranges and variations of gray tones in between. LOVES IT!!! In addition, Avedon photographed mental hospitals for a while....(Bianca!!!). He also photographed the civil rights movement as well as the Berlin wall. He also had a book titled "The American West".

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Angie Restrepo submits Alexey Brodovitch

Russian-born art director, typographic designer, teacher and photographer who moved to the USA in 1930. He was an immensely influential designer and was the artistic editor for ‘Harper‘s Bazaar‘ - a position that he held for twenty five years. This position allowed him to encourage and hire many influential photographers including Man Ray, Herbert Bayer and Henri Cartier-Bresson. Through his teaching, he created a generation of designers sympathetic to his belief in the primacy of visual freshness and immediacy. He was fascinated with photography, he made it the backbone of modern magazine design, and he fostered the development of an expressionistic, almost primal style of picture-taking that became the dominant style of photographic practice in the 1950s. Between 1935 and 1937, Brodovitch photographed several ballet companies, including the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo during their visits to New York on world tours. Although at the time he claimed the photos were only meant to be souvenirs, they evolved into something greater. The style in which Brodovitch photographed deviated from the sharp, straight photography popular at the time. According to one colleague, which sounded kind of obnoxious was, his images "spat in the face of technique and pointed out a new way in which photographers could work. I enjoy how graphic his images were and how the lines of fashion, theatrics, graphic design & photography all come together to produce such visually engaging images.

Ryan Kirby submits Slim Aarons

In the life of beautiful people there could possibly be beautiful settings with little beautiful things on the side. I have no idea what they are but I certainly know they are beautiful and attractive. American photographer Slim Aarons started out as a combat photographer, but eventually went from shooting war to shooting celebrities. He made every effort to portray the rich and famous as glamorous as possible as opposed to today’s photographers who try to catch them in bad moments. All of his photos are full of color and feel as rich as the people they portray. I would at first want to say his photos show the excess of the rich, but I soon realized that the photos themselves were surprisingly bare.

Bianca submits Toni Hafkenscheid

Toni Hafkenscheid is a photographer based in Toronto but originally from the Netherlands. (Seems like the Netherlands is providing us with some crazy cool photographers!) Toni has a strange way of presenting his subjects. I would consider them uncomfortable in a creepy sort of way (portraiture) and then uncomfortable in a perspective manner (landscapes). I find it fascinating that this is the 2nd photographer from the Netherlands(3rd I have found) that creates an almost miniature world for us! You would need to go into his website to see the more "strangely uncomfortable" pictures-- I didn't think I should post them. ha! But I really enjoyed all of them! He has also used the toy camera to come up with some interesting architectural imagery. The use of perspective in any of his works is what might set him apart from many other photographers. In every picture there is a sense of narrative. Check out his website!

Andrea Huerta Bruce Barnbaum

Bruce Barnbaum is a photographer that lives in Granite Falls. He earned a Master's degree in Mathematics from UCLA in 1967 and began working in photography as a hobby. He wrote a book on Photography in 1999 that is a complete illustrated textbook on photography. His work has been shown in various galleries around the country. He is also an environmentalist. His work expresses his love of nature and I think that that is why his work inspires me. He is celebrating nature in his work and that is something I strive to do as well.
The photograph that I am drawn to is titled, "Lot River, France," from his New Landscape series. It is of a beautiful landscape that contains a castle that seems to be squeezed in between the trees. Some of the trees leaves appear white giving the photograph as sort of dreamlike and airy feel. I like the combination of the soft billowy trees against the round building with doors that look like eyes in between the trees. It seems to be from a fairy tale where strange things are about to happen. I want to capture such places in my photographs that are full of mystery and that combine nature with what man has built in it.

Andrea Couture submits Andrea Modica

Andrea Modica creates photographs that at first glance just look like documentary/portraiture photographs but after looking further into her work you get a sense of whimsy, fantasy, and even a little mystery. In many of her photos there is a sense of anticipation of the unknown. Many of her photos include children which makes me think that much of the anticipation is about the future and becoming an adult. There is also that sense of naivety that children have about their situation. I also really enjoy the technical aspects of her work; she seems to have great print quality and many dynamic compositions.

Here's her website: