Wednesday, December 23, 2015

The absurd life of Félix Nadar, French portraitist and human flight advocate - The Guardian

"Another way is to look closely at his photographs. He had future generations in mind when assembling his portrait gallery of eminent contemporaries; he wanted to present posterity with a “convincing and sympathetic likeness” of the people he admired. Roland Barthes (who thought Nadar was the world’s greatest photographer) confessed that his own fascination with photography was “tinged with necrophilia … a fascination with what has died but is represented as wanting to be alive”.

We can’t really know someone by peering at a photograph taken 150 years ago (the same is true of a selfie taken 15 minutes ago). Yet the magic of Nadar’s portraits – their sincerity, their freshness, the unwavering faith they demonstrate in the possibility of capturing a piercingly accurate psychological likeness – tempts us to forget our scepticism, to look past the sepia tint, the old style hats and coats, and our doubts about the veracity of photographic images. We’re tempted, when we first see them, to trust the spark of recognition, that instant when we come face to face with a fellow being who’s alive and knowable."

The absurd life of Félix Nadar, French portraitist and human flight advocate - The Guardian

What your yearbook photo says about social evolution - CBCRadio - Spark

"A team of computer scientists has used deep learning algorithms on thousands of yearbook photos to perform a scalable historical analysis of large collections of images. Shiry Ginosar explains how these photos have helped us gain new insights into everything from fashion to the evolution of the smile"

What your yearbook photo says about social evolution - CBCRadio - Spark

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

The Year in Pictures: How We Made the Cut - NYT

"What is a Pictures of the Year photo? How do you define that?

Jeffrey: A masterfully crafted photograph. Use of frame, focus choices, compelling drama, the things that define great photography. Photojournalism, specifically.

Meaghan: There is a lot of variety in the collection, so it’s hard to isolate exactly what that iconic picture is. But it really needs to stand alone rather than in the context of some greater story or presentation."

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Last Chance - Allen Ginsberg’s Photos at National Gallery of Art - Review -

Last Chance - Allen Ginsberg’s Photos at National Gallery of Art - Review - Holland Cotter "The poet Allen Ginsberg, who died in 1997, adored life, feared death and craved fame. These obsessions seemed to have kept him, despite his practice of Buddhist meditation, from sitting still for long. He was constantly writing, teaching, traveling, networking, chasing lovers, sampling drugs, pushing political causes and promoting the work of writer friends.

In the early 1950s he began to photograph these friends in casual snapshots, meant to be little more than souvenirs of a shared time and ethos. Years later his picture taking — often of the same friends, now battered by life or approaching death — became more formal and artful, as if he were trying to freeze his subjects’ faces and energies, and to show off his photographic skills, for the history books."

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Saturday, September 11, 2010

Leader of the Pack - The New York Times

Leader of the Pack - The New York Times

Jim Lewis for the NYT, "Photography — like music and unlike, say, architecture — is a field that encourages prodigies; Davidson was one. When he was only 23, he was invited by Henri Cartier-Bresson himself to join Magnum Photos, and by the time he found the Jokers, he’d already produced an impressive body of work, including a series on the Lower East Side and a strange, touching portfolio of a dwarf who worked for a traveling circus. Dozens if not hundreds of assignments and projects were to come: pictures of Central Park, of the English countryside, of the civil rights movement and, perhaps most famously, “East 100th Street,” a Jacob Riis-like study of the infamous heart of a New York ghetto."

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Exhibition: Engaged Observers: Documentary Photography since the Sixties

Engaged Observers: Documentary Photography since the SixtiesFrom the exhibition’s introduction, “In the decades following World War II, an independently minded and critically engaged form of photography began to gather momentum. Its practitioners have combined their skills as artists and reporters, creating extended photographic essays that delve deeply into topics of social concern and present distinct personal visions of the world.
Engaged Observers looks in depth at projects by a selection of the most vital photographers who have contributed to the development of this approach. Passionately committed to their subjects, they have authored evocative bodies of work that are often published extensively as books and transcend the realm of traditional photojournalism.”
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Saturday, July 3, 2010

Exhibition: South African Photographs: David Goldblatt

From The Jewish Museum “David Goldblatt (b. 1930) is one of South Africa’s most highly regarded photographers. As both citizen and photographer, he was witness to apartheid’s infiltration into every aspect of South African life. The exhibition includes 150 black and white photographs by Goldblatt that focus on South Africa’s human landscape in the apartheid and post-apartheid eras. Very precise captions written by the artist accompany each photo in order to convey context and critical information about the image. His photos do not look at the large events or the public face of violence; rather they focus on the world of ordinary people and the minutiae of everyday life, illuminating the depth of injustice and the character of the people who imposed it and who struggled against it. Goldblatt’s Jewish identity is germane to his work. The anti-Semitism that he frequently experienced made him especially sensitive to the deep humiliation and discrimination suffered by blacks under apartheid, informing his artistic vision as well as his attitude toward his country.”
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