Friday, April 30, 2010

On View Now: Carrie Mae Weems

Carrie Mae Weems

Slow Fade to Black

Jack Shainman Gallery
513 West 20th Street
New York, NY

-through May 22, 2010

Thursday, April 29, 2010

A Conversation with Jennifer Ray

Fruit, Dentures, and Viagra, 2008, from Go Deep Into The Woods, © Jennifer Ray

This week we're proud to showcase Jennifer Ray as part of our Conversations series. Jennifer's series titled, Go Deep Into The Woods, investigates the human presence after sexual encounters in public wooded areas. She used information gathered from online communities to trace the aftermath of sexual encounters. These photographs remind me of the 1970s infrared photographs of Japanese photographer, Kohei Yoshiyuki, where he followed people into the park and caught them in the act. Jennifer's take is not of the act itself, but of the evidence that remains after a seemingly private act in a public space.

Under the Willow, 2008, from Go Deep Into The Woods, © Jennifer Ray

Nymphoto: Tell us a little about yourself.

Jennifer Ray: Growing up in North Carolina I spent a lot of time wandering around by myself in the woods. My mom had a rule that my brother and I had to spend a certain amount of time outdoors every day. We were supposed to stay within earshot of the house, which is actually pretty far, so I had a lot of autonomy. I used to climb this one particular tree – it was the taller than all the others – and I would just sit up there for hours at a time, swaying in the breeze and watching the animals go on with their business down below. I grew up feeling connected to the natural world and experiencing it on a really intimate level.

Entwine, 2008, from Go Deep Into The Woods, © Jennifer Ray

Although I loved much about North Carolina I didn't like the politics, so I left to do my undergrad at Oberlin College in Ohio. It’s a liberal, freethinking sort of place - very different from my hometown - and I came away from it with a profoundly different understanding of the world. It uprooted some of my most deeply held assumptions – beliefs that were so ingrained that I didn’t even realize they were beliefs. In particular, Oberlin introduced me to new ways of thinking about sexuality and gender, which has had a direct impact on my current project, Go Deep Into the Woods. Nothing was taboo there, and my courses, conversations, and experiences chipped away at calcified ideas I had about what is natural, and by extension, moral. Beliefs about these issues are vitally important, affecting what behavior we criminalize, what rights we grant, and who we persecute.

Impression, 2008, from Go Deep Into The Woods, © Jennifer Ray

Tommy, 2009, from Go Deep Into The Woods, © Jennifer Ray

How did you discover photography?

JR: I think I’ve always been an observer, possibly a bit of a voyeur, so when I first picked up a camera on a family vacation when I was twelve, photography felt natural to me. I photographed obsessively after that, and my dad taught me how to use my grandfather’s old manual camera, a Canon AE-1. During my first semester in college I took a photography class on a whim, and everything fell into place. I had intended to major in politics, but art appealed to me in that I didn't have to locate myself within one particular ideology and it allowed me to respond to the world on a personal level. I had an amazing professor, Pipo Nguyen-Duy, who is still a great friend and mentor to me, and who taught me to take photography seriously as an art and as a means of communication. He always told us to make ‘seductive’ images, and I still think about that every time I make a picture.

Shelf Fungus, 2008, from Go Deep Into The Woods, © Jennifer Ray

NP: Where do you find inspiration?

JR: I’ve had a lot of crazy experiences while shooting: I’ve been taken into police custody on suspicion of planting a bomb, I’ve chatted with undercover cops, and I’ve paid a prostitute when I inadvertently scared away her customers. I’m a boring, nice girl from the South with a rock collection, and I love that photography gives me a reason to be impulsive and brave and maybe a bit reckless. Those experiences fuel my work, even if they don’t show up in it explicitly.

Totem, 2008, from Go Deep Into The Woods, © Jennifer Ray

I want to make pictures that make people a bit uncomfortable. When I’m shooting, I often know that I’m on the right track if I’m uncomfortable myself. I choose subject matter that forces me to confront my own assumptions, and my attitude toward my subjects tends to shift over the course of a project as a result of my experiences. I try to reveal things that many people are afraid to look at; by doing so, I hope to coax out a moment of self-reflexion from the viewers.

Iced Over Porn, 2009, from Go Deep Into The Woods, © Jennifer Ray

The act of photographing is a means of learning about something; it’s an excuse to poke around in something that isn’t your business. I try to keep my eyes open, literally and metaphorically, and notice when I see things out in the world that strike a note of resonance with the things I’ve heard on the radio or read in the newspaper. It’s incredibly important to me to make work that contributes something to the cultural dialogue, and I hope that my work is both complicated and engaging.
Beneath the Cottonwoods, 2009, from Go Deep Into The Woods, © Jennifer Ray

NP: How do your projects come about?

JR: I constantly explore, and my projects are always a result of my natural curiosity; they are a way of processing the world I find myself in. I began Marginal shortly after I moved to Chicago and was a bit taken aback by the rough city I encountered. I found these remnants of lives lived on the edges and margins of Detroit, Gary, and Chicago. In a strange way, the places I photographed reminded me of my childhood spent in the woods, of finding comfort in the crook of a tree or in the protective obscurity of dense foliage. I think it's possible to photograph things that are foreign to you without being a tourist, and the pictures in this project are a record of my subjective experiences and efforts to understand, on a personal level, what I saw.

Go Deep Into the Woods
follows quite a similar framework and emerged directly from observations I made while working on Marginal. I was wandering around a park that I had never been to and started to notice condoms and porn scattered around the bases of several trees. I did a little research and realized that I had stumbled onto a cruising ground, a place where men went in search of semi-anonymous sex. The Larry Craig scandal was fresh in my mind (the Idaho Senator arrested for 'toe-tapping' in an airport bathroom stall), and cruising brought up questions about sexuality that I didn't know how to respond to. As it often does, the ambivalence I initially felt motivated me to pursue the subject.

Blue Hanger, 2007, from Marginal, © Jennifer Ray

I’m just about to finish my MFA at Columbia College, and I’ve learned to be disciplined in my approach to building projects. One of my mentors, Dawoud Bey, often advises students to stand in one spot and dig a deep hole, rather than digging a bunch of little holes. It’s easy to start a project and then abandon it when you reach an impasse, but you get somewhere much more interesting if you can stay with it for a while. I can’t say that I’ve always done a great job of applying that advice - I tend to get restless - but it’s something I always keep in the back of my mind.

Frosty Suitcases, 2007, from Marginal, © Jennifer Ray

NP: What’s next?

I’m three weeks away from finishing grad school and I’m both thrilled and terrified! Work from Go Deep will be up in several exhibitions in Chicago in the next few weeks including New Insight at Art Chicago, New American Landscape at Las Manos Gallery, and my thesis exhibition at Glass Curtain Gallery. I’ve got a list of projects that I haven’t had the time to work on, and I can’t wait to get started on them. The end of grad school brings a lot of things I’m not looking forward to, like student loan bills, but I’m dreaming about the freedom to do exactly what I want with myself, at least until the money runs out.

Mattress and Pillow, 2007, from Marginal, © Jennifer Ray

Thank you Jennifer! For more information, please visit

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Friday: Transplants - Emily Shur, Liz Kuball & Others

click to enlarge
Transplants. A photography show in conjunction with MOPLA.

4.30.10 – 5.14.10.

Opening night – 4.30.10 7-10PM.
This 3rd show is co-presented with the good people from MOPLA (Month of Photography Los Angeles). 10 renowned and award winning photographers, living and working in Los Angeles but born and raised elsewhere.. in other words 10 Transplants:

Adam Amengual.

Aaron Farley.

Amanda Friedman.

Sian Kennedy.

Liz Kuball.

Chris McPherson.

Scott Pommier.

Ryan Schude.

Emily Shur.

Claire Weiss

Jeremy Weiss

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Yanina Manolova on WIPNYC

from WIPNYC:

For more powerful images by Yanina Manolova, head to And thank you to WIPNYC for continuously introducing us to and showcasing a roster of amazing work.

Monday, April 26, 2010

VESTIGE - Works by Justine Reyes and Sonja Thomsen

from 58 Gallery:

VESTIGE - Works by Justine Reyes and Sonja Thomsen
Through May 2nd
Closing Reception May 1, 7-10pm
58 Gallery
58 coles st jersey city nj. 07302

Justine Reyes:
These Last Things consists of large-scale color photographs of the interior of four drawers. I took these drawers out of my uncle's dresser after he passed away. The title refers to the Novissima or the Four Last Things that every man must face; Death, Judgement, Heaven and Hell. I chose this title not only because my uncle was Catholic and very religious but also because it refers to the things we leave behind when we die. These drawers are the last physical trace or vestige of my uncle, left untouched in his memory.

Sonja Thomsen:
As the word lacuna references both intellectual and physical gaps, the temporal installation titled lacuna is a metaphor for memory and aging. 70 small images hang on the wall, some in stacks of reproductions waiting to be peeled away. Throughout the duration of the installation the images are removed, fade and reveal an impression in plexi of the image that was once there. Place and person become symbol and impression in the work creating an emotive narrative suspended in the gap between; a man straddling dementia, a boy in his teenage prime, hands cradling the last harvest of raspberries.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Exhibition Lab Open House

from The Exhibition Lab:

6:30-8:00 PM
Come join us and see what it's all about...
Or just have a beer and hang out.

Gallery owners Michael Foley and Sasha Wolf are thrilled to announce the formation of The Exhibition Lab, a new study center for fine art photography.
The Exhibition Lab will provide a vibrant modern-day salon for artists, scholars and others who are interested in engaging the world's diverse and vital photography community through the gateway of New York City.

Classes, in the form of seminars, workshops and semester-long courses, will be offered on subjects geared to practitioners of the medium (i.e., Critique Levels 1 and 2, Book Publishing and Photography Blogging), as well as to those in the academic community (i.e., The Art and Ethics of Documentary Photography and The Philosophy of Being an Artist). The Lab will be a significant contributor to the photography community for a number of reasons. Located in central Chelsea in a new space shared by Sasha Wolf Gallery and Foley Gallery, the Lab will function as a hub for the study of photography outside of traditional academic venues. Its impressive list of committed artists and scholars who will be teaching classes and seminars for the first session speaks for itself. Working in collaboration with Foley and Wolf, these teachers have been encouraged to design their classes and seminars based on their unique expertise and interest.

Contact Information
548 West 28th Street, 2nd Fl
New York, NY 10001

Friday, April 23, 2010

Annie Leibovitz opens new museum of contemporary photography in Stockholm

courtesy Fotografiska

(from Fotografiska)

Annie Leibovitz (exhibit) opens new museum of contemporary photography in Stockholm

World's largest museum dedicated to contemporary photography opens in Stockholm on May 21st. "Annie Leibovitz: A Photographer's Life, 1990-2005" will open the museum as the main exhibiition. Premiering exhibitors also include Vee Speers "The Birthday Party", Joel-Peter Witkin "Bodies" and Lennart Nilsson".

Located in the Stockholm harbor, Fotografiska is the new meeting point for influential contemporary photography.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

A Conversation with Sara Applegren

Candace and I were introduced to the work of Sara Applegren when we were invited by Tema Stauffer and David Andrew Frey to guest curate an issue of Culturehall; for that feature - titled Framed- we included images from Sara's series View of a Passing Landscape.
Sara's work is a fresh and modern as her name and we are delighted to present this conversation today.

© Sara Appelgren

NP: Tell us a little about yourself.

SA: I was born in 1975, in Nyköping, Sweden, and now I'm living and working in Stockholm, Sweden. I got my Master of Arts at Konstfack (Stockholm University College of Arts Crafts and Design) in 2004 and since then I have been freelancing as an artist and photographer.

© Sara Appelgren

NP: How did you discover photography?

SA: I started taking lots of personal pictures of myself and my friends during my teens, so I actually started learning photography and darkroom techniques fairly early on, yet during my first three or four years of art studies I focused almost entirely on sculpture and drawing. It wasn't until my studies at Konstfack (1999–2004) that I started to seriously incorporate photography in my art. There I learned more about lighting and advanced camera techniques, and how to use it all in a more controlled and conscious way. So ultimately it took me several years of art studies to kind of shift into photography, and to this day I suppose I approach my work in a kind of sculptural manner.

NP: Where do you find inspiration?

AG: I'm very interested in how experiences are created; and I'm easily inspired by situations where experiences are the main focus, for example concerts, shows, movies, stories, sporting events and so on. I find it really interesting to contemplate all the parts that are in play in these kinds of situations, and especially all those things that aren't in the spotlight but still has such a great impact on our experiences. I've been focusing on the spectator for quite some time now, and I find that solely contemplating any given audience often give birth to new ideas. I also find it interesting how we position ourselves against others at social events, how we communicate (or not) and how we approach others in various situations – myself included, naturally. Pictures from outside the arts and culture scene might also inspire, like news photos or instructional pictures. One of my first photo projects “Scenes” 2002–2003 is based on pictures from self defense books.

© Sara Appelgren

Pictures meant to communicate one particular thing or point of view have always fascinated me, everything from religious icons to illustrations in classical fairy tales, and lately all sorts of propaganda. I find propaganda's extreme simplification of complex issues interesting, as well as how it uses such overblown drama and black and white thinking to reinforce it's message. It could be argued that propaganda is a kind of aggressive extension of the essence of scenography – influencing and persuasive, a one way communication.

© Sara Appelgren

NP: How do your projects come about?

SA: Timewise, the actual photo shoot is a fairly minor part of my work process even though I usually end up taking a huge amount of pictures to achieve the end result of any art project. I typically lose myself in a subject doing some form of research for an extensive period of time, like collecting pictures and texts related to any particular subject. I often begin a process without a clear idea of what the end result will be, and I seldom fit an entire concept in one single image. I have a spatial approach to my ideas and I always take the viewer into consideration early on in the process. Nearly all of my work revolve around various aspects of scenography and experiences, particularly from the spectators point of view. I often set out from one specific situation or occurrence to provide some sort of frame for a project to make it easier to handle, but the point of origin isn't always relevant to the end result as I often strip so much out of the pictures that they end up approaching something else entirely or at the very least become quite ambivalent. I'm not interested in telling a story that can be read in one way only. There is no definitive key, I feel more like I'm providing the viewer with a space to project onto.

© Sara Appelgren

Most of my works are closely related conceptually; one work often leads to another. In “Portraits” you can see an audience's fascination and presence, and the following work “Settings” focuses on the space of expectation: the foyer – the space we're in before and after a show. In “Mingle” we meet the spectator as a social and mingling being that's both watching others and being watched. The environmental depictions of fairy tales play an integral part of “Telling Stories”. The first part of the ongoing project “Stage” shows the stage prepared for a concert. I suppose it's all some form of deconstruction, disassembling a greater whole into it's elemental parts and giving all the parts the same significance.

© Sara Appelgren

When I've worked on public commissions I've based them both spatially and conceptually on the specific places for the final works and created a sort of scenographic photo installation for them. With “View of a Passing Landscape”, a commission for a long corridor in a psych ward in Stockholm, I created a condensed train trip in the form of a number of train windows with various views from actual train rides. Each view can be seen as scenography for widely different moods. The choice of depicting views from a trip also emanates from the idea of how traveling relates to longing, searching and expectations. A trip is always a forward motion, regardless of whether the destination matches our expectations or not. We leave something behind to meet something new. It's like life itself – a trip with a variable view.

NP: What’s next?

SA: I've just started working on a new series of portraits based on rituals in front of a mirror in preparation for a night out, or before a show or concert. I am interested in the preparations themselves in combination with the expectations for the evening, but I'm perhaps even more interested in the rituals moments of introspective concentration where we meet our own gaze in the mirror – unavailable for anyone else. I'm providing some samples of the first few photos in the series.

© Sara Appelgren

N: Thank you so much!

To see more of Sara's work please visit:

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

In San Fran: Klea McKenna Opening @ Rayko

SLOW BURN [recent experiments]
by Klea McKenna
Reception: Sunday April 25th, 4- 6 pm

Rayko Photo Center
428 Third Street (at Harrison St)
San Francisco, CA 94107

Exhibition dates: April 25th - May 30th 2010

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Picture(s) of the Week: Sarah Sudhoff

Suicide with Gun, Male, 40 years old (I) © Sarah Sudhoff

Illness, Female, 60 years old © Sarah Sudhoff

Suicide with Gun, Male, 40 years old (II) © Sarah Sudhoff

Heart attack, Male, 50 years old (III) © Sarah Sudhoff

This week we are sharing some images from Sarah Sudhoff's new series At the Hour of Our Death. While confrontational in nature, these fluid stained surfaces are somehow poetic as they linger in your thoughts. Here's a snippet from her statement.

These large-scale color photographs capture and fully illuminate swatches of bedding, carpet and upholstery marked with the signs of the passing of human life. The fabrics which are first removed by a trauma scene clean up crew, are relocated to a warehouse before being incinerated. It is in the warehouse that I photograph these fragments stained with bodily fluids. I tack each swatch to the wall and use the crew’s floodlights to illuminate the scene. The images are my attempt to slow the moments before and after death to a single frame, to allow what is generally invisible to become visible, and to engage with a process from which we have become disconnected.

You can read more about this body of work here and here. Sarah's work can be found on and At the Hour of Our Death can be seen on her blog

Monday, April 19, 2010

A.I.R. - Call for Artwork

(from A.I.R.)

"At Her Age" - Call for Artwork

Curated by Martha Wilson, artist and founder of Franklin Furnace

An open call for artwork by women artists that address women, age and sex to be exhibited at A.I.R. Gallery.* The exhibit will examine how women view their changing bodies. A.I.R. welcomes an open interpretation of the theme.

DEADLINE: May 14, 2010

This call inaugurates A.I.R.'s new yearly CURRENTS exhibition series that addresses issues that warrant expanded critical attention in the art world.

For more info, to apply online or to download an application click HERE

Or mail SASE to A.I.R. Gallery, 111 Front Street 3228, Brooklyn NY 11201

*All self-identified women artists world-wide are invited apply

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Go-Go Gadget: Model Release Forms Go Mobile with New iPhone App

Model Release Forms Go Mobile with New iPhone App
For $9.99, you can replace paper release forms with an app that incorporates industry-standard legal language that is accepted by the world's leading stock photo companies.

Read more at: http:

Friday, April 16, 2010

Alison Brady & Others @ Kopeikin Gallery

© Alison Brady

4 x 4: four figurative photographers, four images each
Alison Brady
Mandy Corrado
David Schoerner
Martynka Wawrzyniak
Kopeikin Gallery
8810 Melrose Ave, west of Robertson Blvd
Los Angeles, CA
April 24th - June 5th
Opening Saturday April 24th from 6 - 8 pm

revisit our conversation with Alison Brady, by clicking here.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

A Conversation with Amanda Marsalis

Amanda Marsalis was first introduced to Nina and myself many years ago, through Hank Willis Thomas. She has participated in Nymphoto shows in the past and has established a very successful commercial photography career. Her work exhibits a superior command of the use of light and her portraits intimately tell a story you want to listen to.

Nymphoto: Tell us a little about yourself.

Amanda Marsalis: I was born in San Francisco, California. I grew up in the East Bay of San Francisco and then the suburbs of St. Louis, Missouri, where I graduated from high school. I returned to the Bay area for college where I went to California College of Arts and Crafts, which has since been renamed California College of the Arts. My mother was a flight attendant and my father a pilot. I was a very independent child and I guess the word is willful. I started traveling on my own as soon as I could. About the same time, I also began going to see punk bands play and eventually, had the bands touring through St. Louis put on shows in my mother's basement. Having access to that music scene and then to the world, since I was able to fly for free through my parents, was a large influence on my life. Today I travel constantly for work, and also because it is what I love to do. I live in a house with a fig tree in the garden, that I am always happy to come home to. I have been in Los Angeles for a little over 5 years. I am anxiously awaiting the return of Polaroid.

© Amanda Marsalis

Edgar © Amanda Marsalis

NP: How did you discover photography?

AM: My high school in St. Louis had a large darkroom as well as black & white and color classes. I used to skip my other classes and spend as much time as I could in the dark room. I first used an SLR of my mother's she bought in Japan, before I was born. Then I bought a Nikon F3 at a camera show and took it with me everywhere. I went from high school to art school to life as a photographer. I often joke that it is the only skill I have since it sometimes feels like the only thing I have ever done.

© Amanda Marsalis

© Amanda Marsalis
NP: Where do you find inspiration?

AM: That is a hard question to answer. My first instinct is to say light – even to say love. When I love someone or something, I want to take a picture. When the light is beautiful, I want to take a picture. I would put Joan Didion on my list of inspirations, along with great meals, bands I love, the Met on a Sunday afternoon. It is so open though. I love that about being inspired, you never know where it will come from.

© Amanda Marsalis

© Amanda Marsalis

NP: How do your projects come about?

AM: I do not really create a project and then shoot it. Mostly I shoot what I see, and then in the editing it will come together as a cohesive project. When shooting for myself, I usually photograph my friends and loved ones. So when I am working too much and spending not enough time with those people, my personal work suffers. I am working at finding the balance. I have a feeling it is a life long process. I am ok with that.

© Amanda Marsalis

© Amanda Marsalis
NP: What's next?

AM:I have just self-published a book of my Polaroid’s titled Lost At Sea. It is my first attempt at putting my images together in book form. I am happy with the results. It is a very personal and close to my heart project, images of loneliness and love. I just had a birthday so as I write this I feel as if it is a new year, a clean slate, and anything is possible. I am going to hold onto that feeling for as long as possible.

© Amanda Marsalis

© Amanda Marsalis
NP: Thank You Amanda!!

To see more of Amanda's work, please visit her website:

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Opening Reception Tomorrow: "Thrills and Chills" at Griffin Museum

Images from Thrills and Chills, © Isa Leshko

(via Griffin Museum of Photography)

Thrills and Chills Photographs by Isa Leshko
April 8 through May 9, 2010
An opening reception is April 15, 6-9 PM. All are welcome.

While some people see pure fun in amusement park rides, photographer Isa Leshko explores "the fantastic and sinister place these rides hold in my imagination."

Thrills and Chills, a series of her photographs, is featured in the Griffin Gallery of the Griffin Museum April 8 through May 9. The exhibit is sponsored in part by Panopticon Imaging in Hingham, MA. An opening reception with the artist is April 15, 7-9 PM.

"Amusement park rides are vehicles for enacting fantasies for both children and adults alike," Leshko says. "They simulate flight, daring sea adventures, and encounters with other worldly creatures. From the moment we strap ourselves into our seats, we surrender ourselves to these giant machines and the physical release they provide. The experience combines elation with fear; thrills with chills."

She says when creating some of the images, "I suspend disbelief and embrace the underlying fantasies of these rides. With other images, I examine the tensions that exist between fantasy and reality. I am fascinated by the range of emotions - from anger to shock to disenchantment - that people exhibit in pursuit of the amusement these rides are supposed to provide."

Leshko says she uses a Holga camera to give her images "a vernacular feel and a sense of immediacy. I print these images deliberately dark to reflect the murky realm I envision these mechanical beasts inhabiting."

Leshko grew up in an industrial town situated off the New Jersey Turnpike. She received a bachelor's degree from Haverford College in Pennsylvania, where she studied psychology with an emphasis on neurobiology and cognitive science. She spent the 1990s working for startups as a project manager and software engineer, before discovering her passion for photography.

She studied at the New England School of Photography and the Woodstock Center for Photography and completed the Artist's Professional Toolbox program sponsored by the Arts and Business Council of Greater Boston. Her work has been exhibited widely.

After 16 years of living in various New England communities, including Providence, RI; Portsmouth, NH; and Salem, MA, she moved to Houston, TX, in October 2009.

Be sure to also revisit our conversation with Isa here: A Conversation with Isa Leshko