Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Barbara Ess- by Monique Alonzo

Barbara Ess

        Barbara Ess is an American photographer who is known for her use of  a pinhole camera. She works with large scale images and often creates images that leave a lot to the imagination of her viewer’s. To be honest, Barbara Ess’s work is what inspired me in my own work with the 4x5 camera. Her images are often seen as vague, unresolved and sometimes rather eerie. It leaves a lot to the imagination and leaves you feeling like you are walking the thin line between the dream realm and reality. Her use of just one color is also very successful as it lets you focus on just the image. In her book, “I Am Not This Body.” Barbara Ess focuses on ‘the ambiguous perceptual boundaries’. Her images in this series often leaves a stir of emotions that is very effective. 

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Flor Ameira Reviewing Todd Hido

     Todd Hido's images make me want to be born in the 60's ( 60's? 70's? not quite sure) just to be able to grow up in one of these houses and come back 30 years later to feel that my nostalgia -for these places/images) is justified. He takes THOSE kind of  pictures. The ones that you think of taking them whenever you are going back home at  night or waking up early morning but you think " it's too cold" or " it's not going to be as good as it is in person" and BAAAAM he does it. His work involves photographs of urban and suburban housing. He also has a collection of found objects and images.  His use of light is so metimes minimal and I believe very successful. “ Homes at night” are a series of images that, as the name states, are exteriors and interiors at night.  The images are shown in different times of the year, day, night and weather. His use of light stays consistent with the street light or the indoor of the homes he shoots, but the weather conditions or the time of the night plays an interesting role in modifying the scenario in a natural way. When shooting interiors, the source of light may come from the technology in the room , creating an atmosphere that most of us can relate to. He also utilizes natural light from the outside revealing a particular time of the day.

Flor Ameira Cig Harvey

Cig Harvey

Cig Harvey’s photographs remind me of the kind of imagery I once was attracted to before becoming interested in photography. Bright colors, square compositions and pretty scenarios. I do not know how to feel about her work. A part of me loves the scenarios, the colors, the brightness and joyfulness portrayed in her images even in those with darker tones. Another part of me, is somewhat doubtful of the content that each one of her images beholds. I do not doubt or question the beauty of these but I do the content. Her images often make me wonder " Why does this matter ? " to her, to me. On the other hand, photographing for 10 years and putting it all together in a series of images that go well with one another might be where the power resides.  I think her compositions are well thought, her use of light is vital, and the awareness of the space she has often lets the viewer a space to breathe. Her main subjects are her family and everyday surrounding giving us a sense of familiarity yet wonder thanks to her often ways of cropping the human face.  “Cig Harvey’s deceptively simple photographs tap into the universal elements of the human experience: love, loss, longing and belonging

“ Gardening at night” and “ You look at me like an Emergency – act I , act II and act III “ are the works she is more known for. 

The Lamp, Self Portrait, 2005, San Francisco, California
The Cut Apple and Gingham Dress, Self Portrait, Clark’s Island, Maine, 2003The Hope Chest, Self Portrait, Rockport, Maine, 2007The Pink Living Room, Self Portrait with Doug, Camden, Maine, 2006

Friday, December 9, 2016


            Josh’s Quigley’s Untitled from his series A Shameless Longing explores the ideas of intimacy in which there is a juxtaposition between two types of photographs in the series: family photographs and stranger photographs. Expectantly, his family photographs are more intimate because of the personal connection and access to the subjects. On the other hand, the stranger photographs are less intimate because of the lack of connection to the subject. Although the stranger photographs may seem just as intimate, there is not enough of a relationship in order to fulfill the narrative alone. Further, he explores the suggestions of intimacy in the home and how the concept is hidden from the world as if the world sees intimacy as inappropriate. Quigley views the home as, “anonymous dwellings are swallowed up by the surrounding landscape, their facades exposed to the elements while protecting their inhabitants secrets. These inner sanctums have become the last vestige, a respite from the gnawing public eye as well as a physical shelter from the outside world. The homes are being obliterated by the camera lens, by fire, or being taken over by nature and shadow. There is the element of danger looming, its law of the jungle, survival of the species. Inside the stage is set, and “we” the characters, uninhibited, can act as we please. Sexuality abounds, depicting individuals, couples and families in intimate and vulnerable moments. Outside of the public’s gaze, guards are down, and traces of a primitive ancestry reveal themselves within our domesticated caves”. Some scenes are more intimate including bedroom scenes. Other images of the outside of homes are less intimate and more observant. Some images include family scenes with children. Some even suggest that the two varieties of photographs be their own separate projects but Quigley was drawn to the juxtaposition. The series has been in the process or years with no clear direction until after Quigley completed graduate school. Now they are the version we know today as A Shameless Longing.


            Michael Corridores aims for the viewer to create their own story from their own experiences. At first glance, Corridore’s images from his series Angry Black Snake appear to be an environmental issue of pollution or the occurrence of a natural disaster. Using the full extent of ambiguity, the figures and images are difficult to identify because of the particles in the air. The environment creates a heighten sense of drama and curiosity. During a burnout competition, angry black snake refers to when a car overheats, blowing up the engine resulting in the radiator hose up into the air in a snake like form. From instinct, there is a natural human reaction to the smell and the physical smoke. Some have a face of wonderment, some curiosity and some of distress. For instance, one guy throws his hands in the air in excitement, embracing the scene while one girl has her hand over her head trying to observe from afar and another girl turns her back and covers her face from the smoke. These human reactions display the different kind of people and how each individual reacts in different ways. The smoke is a natural mask to the story. Corridores sought out crowds in moments of excitement and his goal is to use the environment as a way to abstract the context of the event, thus creating a dreamy space. Further, he aims at creating fiction from reality rather than documenting real life.


            Izima Kaoru’s Untitled [Airport Corpse] is apart of series, Landscape with A Corpse in which women are stage corpses. Kaoru hires models to create the ideas by imagining their scenarios of death, including setting and wardrobe. Initially a fashion photographer, the fashion of the corpse, which is what the individual wants to be wearing when they pass, is just as important as the idea. Then the models actually get to live out their ideal death scenes by posing as the corpse. Some scenes of death appear more peaceful such as Kimura Yoshino wears Alexander McQueen #484,2007, with a close up of a woman with her eyes open. Other scenes such as Hasegawa Kyoko wears Yves Saint Laurent appears more gruesome with a women left in an alley by a dumpster. Interestingly, most of the women have their eyes open and are in fashionable clothing. Also, the death scenes include indoor and outdoor scenarios. These visions while intriguing challenge the ideas of high fashion and produce contrasting feelings toward death than usual. These scenarios design viewers to imagine and construct their own version of their deaths. Although this process may appear morbid, staging your death can make the idea of death seem less frightening. In the Huffington Post, Kaoru shares one of the goals of this series, “And I thought [‘Landscape with a Corpse’] could open the door more widely for the Japanese who tend to turn their backs on the taboos of death”. Perhaps even influence enough to stage their individual landscape with a corpse.


            In History’s Shadow, David Maisel uses a fresh medium of an x-ray as art to discuss themes of history. Not originally Maisel’s photographs, he has re-photographed this work in order to call it his own. Although the use of an x-ray is common in the work of art historians, the use as an artwork creates a new perspective of the tool, the mundane becomes innovative. Images such as GM3, 2010 show the detail orientation of the x-ray in which the inward shapes of the horse can be seen forming together. Time as a theme and idea is evident in that these images span over different time periods and are now apart of the contemporary world. The combination of the photographs and the x-ray creates a sense of space and depth due to the sharp contrast with only black and white and no middle gray. Forming a new image through the x-ray includes GM2, 2010 and GM5, 2010 through the overlaying image of the front and back of the head due to the transparency of the medium. “The x-ray has historically been used for the structural examination of art and artifacts much as physicians examine bones and internal organs; it reveals losses, replacements, methods of construction, and internal trauma that may not be visible to the naked eye.” The realism of the x-ray image allows for the images for instance GM21, 2010 of a hand to seem as if it has veins and bones. Ultimately, this project makes the invisible, visible.