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Book Review Oasis Hotel By Nicolo Degiorgis Reviewed by Colin Pantall Every weekend I go and eat an ice-cream in the square outside the abbey in my hometown of Bath. I sit with the tourists and watch the world go by. My favourite thing is to watch the Falun Gong lady. She stands against the walls of the abbey in a yellow t-shirt against a backdrop of Chinese language posters detailing how followers of Falun Gong have been beaten, tortured and had their organs harvested.

Oasis Hotel. By Nicolo Degiorgis.
Rorhof, 2014.
 
Oasis Hotel
Reviewed by Colin Pantall

Oasis Hotel
By Nicolo Degiorgis
Rorhof, 2014. 92 pp., 176 color illustrations, 9½x6¼". 


Every weekend I go and eat an ice-cream in the square outside the abbey in my hometown of Bath. I sit with the tourists and watch the world go by. My favourite thing is to watch the Falun Gong lady. She stands against the walls of the abbey in a yellow t-shirt against a backdrop of Chinese language posters detailing how followers of Falun Gong have been beaten, tortured and had their organs harvested.

photo-eye Gallery Nick Brandt - Behind the Photo: Lion Before Storm II - Sitting Profile, Maasai Mara, 2006 In early May, Nick Brandt began posting the stories behind his beautiful and evocative portraits of African animals to his Facebook page. Brandt has graciously given us permission to reproduce them on photo-eye Blog. This week, Lion Before Storm II - Sitting Profile, Maasai Mara, 2006.
In early May, Nick Brandt began posting the stories behind his beautiful and evocative portraits of African animals to his Facebook page. Brandt has graciously given us permission to reproduce them on photo-eye Blog.

Lion Before Storm II - Sitting Profile, Maasai Mara, 2006 — Nick Brandt

Book Review Until the Kingdom Comes By Simen Johan Reviewed by Sarah Bradley I typically watch movies and TV shows on the screen of my laptop. It's not the best resolution and really only ideal for personal viewing, so when a friend recently suggested watching a CGI heavy TV series on the super fancy HD TV at a place she was house sitting it sounded like fun.

Until the Kingdom Comes. By Simen Johan.
Yossi Milo Gallery, 2014.
 
Until the Kingdom Comes
Reviewed by Sarah Bradley

Until the Kingdom Comes
By Simen Johan
Yossi Milo Gallery, 2014. 64 pp., 26 color and 2 black & white illustrations, 12½x15½". 


I typically watch movies and TV shows on the screen of my laptop. It's not the best resolution and really only ideal for personal viewing, so when a friend recently suggested watching a CGI heavy TV series on the super fancy HD TV at a place she was house sitting it sounded like fun. About half way through the episode I was so distracted by the digital manipulation that I started shouting "green screen!" at the television every time I noticed it, which was often enough that I now don't really remember what happened in the episode. I can kind of be a jerk about these things.

To be fair, I only really run into problems when I’m asked as a viewer to accept a hyperreality and the edges are showing. I find myself more willing to suspend disbelief for work that doesn’t seem insistent on being perceived as real. Which is precisely the case with Simen Johan’s Until the Kingdom Comes, so it doesn't really bother me when the seams of his digital manipulation are visible. Instead, Johan's work seems intentionally balanced on the edge of judgment, combining clearly constructed images with others that have been only lightly manipulated, and some that are reportedly not altered at all. Johan's work thrives in the grey zone between credulity and doubt, at the extremities of believability.

photo-eye Gallery photo-eye Gallery News News from Photographer's Showcase artists Ben Marcin, Luigi Fieni and Bear Kirkpatrick, as well as an update from photo-eye Gallery artist Jamey Stillings.

Camden, NJ by Ben Marcin
Ben Marcin has been busy heading up three exhibitions of his work across the United States this summer. On July 14th, four of Marcin's photographs from his Towers series will open in the show Summer 14 at the C. Grimaldis Gallery in Baltimore. The opening reception is July 16th from 6-8pm and the exhibition runs through August 23rd. On July 10th, seven photographs from Marcin's Last House Standing and A House Apart series will appear in the exhibition Home: Human = Cafe: Cockatoo, curated by Cheryl Harper, at the 2014 Artscape Festival. The show runs through August 9th with an opening reception on Saturday, July 12th from 2-4pm. Finally, the Griffin Museum of Photography in Boston will feature Camden, NJ by Ben Marcin (above) as part of the Peter Urban Legacy 20th Annual Juried Exhibition, curated by Aline Smithson. The exhibition runs from July 10th through August 31st with an opening reception on Thursday, July 10th at 7pm.

Book of the Week Book of the Week: A Pick by Antone Dolezal Photographer Antone Dolezal selects Dead Man's Hand by Jonah Samson as photo-eye Book of the Week.

Dead Man's Hand. By Jonah Samson.
Self-Published, 2013.
This week's Book of the Week pick comes from photographer Antone Dolezal who has selected Jonah Samson's Dead Man's Hand.

"Upon opening Jonah Samson’s Dead Man’s Hand I knew I had unsealed a puzzle. The box functions as an evidence file for an unsolved crime. Loose plates of crime scenes, pin-up ads and criminal arrest records are stacked on top of one another as the only proof left of a brutal act of violence. It all hints at a nostalgia for mid-20th century crime photography and the limitations the medium had for solving these violent offenses. It also begs the viewer to put together the vague pieces and come to their own conclusions of the characters portrayed in this book.

The artist doesn’t try to hide the fact that this is all one big fabrication. He blends a mixture of mediums, even constructing his own dioramas of the crime scenes and photographing them with an old Speed Graflex. It’s a refreshing approach to the genre of evidence driven photography that has come into vogue over the last few years. It’s fiction, but the artist’s puzzle hints that it could be real and the only conclusion that matters is your own."—Antone Dolezal


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Dead Man's Hand. By Jonah SamsonSelf-Published, 2013.
Dead Man's Hand. By Jonah SamsonSelf-Published, 2013.


Antone Dolezal is a photographer and writer whose work explores the American social landscape and its relationship with history and folklore and is often accompanied by vernacular imagery, found objects and fictional literature. His work has recently been exhibited at the Santa Fe University of Art & Design, Rayko Photo Center, among other venues and is slated for exhibition this fall at 555 Gallery in Boston. Antone’s photographs have been featured on National Public Radio, Oxford American, Photo District News and Mossless Magazine and his prints and books are held in various collections including the British Library (London), Marion Center for the Photographic Arts (Santa Fe) and the Museum of Contemporary Photography (Chicago).

Lara Shipley and Antone Dolezal's Devil's Promenade is currently on view at photo-eye Bookstore + Project Space at 376A Garcia Street. Signed copies of their new publication Spook Light Chronicles, Volume II are nearly sold out; copies of the limited edition are still available. Read the interview with Shipley and Dolezal here.

Book Review Hidden Islam By Nicolo Degiorgis Reviewed by Colin Pantall There are millions of Hindus, Christians and Buddhists working in Saudi Arabia, but not one recognised church, temple or chapel to accommodate their beliefs. You can’t send a card at Christmas, or light a candle at Diwali in public. You’re allowed to have your beliefs, under sufferance, but in no way are you allowed to express them.

Hidden Islam. By Nicolo Degiorgis.
Rorhof, 2014.
 
Hidden Islam
Reviewed by Colin Pantall

Hidden Islam
By Nicolo Degiorgis
Rorhof, 2014. 90 pp., 132 black & white illustrations, 6¼x9½". 


There are millions of Hindus, Christians and Buddhists working in Saudi Arabia, but not one recognised church, temple or chapel to accommodate their beliefs. You can’t send a card at Christmas, or light a candle at Diwali in public. You’re allowed to have your beliefs, under sufferance, but in no way are you allowed to express them.

photo-eye Gallery Nick Brandt - Behind the Photo: Petrified Fish Eagle, Lake Natron, 2012 In early May, Nick Brandt began posting the stories behind his beautiful and evocative portraits of African animals to his Facebook page. Brandt has graciously given us permission to reproduce them on photo-eye Blog. This week, Petrified Fish Eagle, Lake Natron, 2012.
In early May, Nick Brandt began posting the stories behind his beautiful and evocative portraits of African animals to his Facebook page. Brandt has graciously given us permission to reproduce them on photo-eye Blog.

Petrified Fish Eagle, Lake Natron, 2012 — Nick Brandt

Video Richard Tuschman on Hopper Meditations Photographer Richard Tuschman discusses his exhibition Hopper Meditations currently on view at photo-eye Gallery in Santa Fe, NM.
Photographer Richard Tuschman discusses his series Hopper Meditations currently on view at photo-eye Gallery through July 19th, 2014.

Book Review Pikin Slee By Viviane Sassen Reviewed by Allie Haeusslein Stephen Shore has often said, “[w]hen I see that I'm repeating myself, or acting habitually, I ask new questions.” This seems to be what Viviane Sassen has done with her most recent publication, Pikin Slee. Often lauded for her distinctive approach to the human form and dynamic use of color, Pikin Slee signifies a bold venture into largely untried territory.


Pikin Slee. By Viviane Sassen.
Prestel, 2014.
 
Pikin Slee
Reviewed by Allie Haeusslein

Pikin Slee
By Viviane Sassen
Prestel, Lakewood, 2014. 120 pp., 110 illustrations, 60 in color, 9½x11".


Stephen Shore has often said, “[w]hen I see that I'm repeating myself, or acting habitually, I ask new questions.”* This seems to be what Viviane Sassen has done with her most recent publication, Pikin Slee. Often lauded for her distinctive approach to the human form and dynamic use of color, Pikin Slee signifies a bold venture into largely untried territory. Sassen acknowledges this transition, explaining how she “longed for a simpler kind of photography” that would “re-set the eye: back to basics.” The result: a book largely comprised of black and white photographs of the everyday — vignettes of the landscape and commonplace objects – with an occasional portrait and flash of color.


Book of the Week Book of the Week: A Pick by Lara Shipley Photographer Lara Shipley selects Blackdrop Island by Klara Källström as photo-eye Book of the Week.

Blackdrop Island. By Klara Källström.
B-B-B-Books, 2011.
This week's Book of the Week pick comes from photographer Lara Shipley who has selected Blackdrop Island by Klara Källström published by B-B-B-Books.

Book Review The Waiting Game By Txema Salvans Reviewed by Karen Jenkins As with those expectant protagonists in a spaghetti western, with their hot desolation and feigned control, for the players in Txema Salvans’ The Waiting Game, absolutely nothing is happening, until it is. The prostitutes who work along the stretches of isolated road and highway interchanges along Spain’s Mediterranean coast are depicted in the times in between; waiting for the car to pull over, the client to appear.

The Waiting Game. By Txema Salvans.
RM, 2014.
 
The Waiting Game
Reviewed by Karen Jenkins

The Waiting Game
Photographs by Txema Salvans
RM, 2014. 88 pp., 40 color illustrations, 13x9¾". 


As with those expectant protagonists in a spaghetti western, with their hot desolation and feigned control, for the players in Txema Salvans’ The Waiting Game, absolutely nothing is happening, until it is. The prostitutes who work along the stretches of isolated road and highway interchanges along Spain’s Mediterranean coast are depicted in the times in between; waiting for the car to pull over, the client to appear. Their practice is legal and not especially rare along these routes, finding its fraught place among other amenities of travel. Over the course of six years, Salvans hid in plain sight to create his thematic landscapes with their solitary embedded figures. Had he been in an urban setting, he might have more easily photographed these women unawares, but in the middle of nowhere, he assumed the disguise of a highway surveyor to earn their disregard. There’s nothing especially prurient or personal about these images, which are neither intimate social documentation nor portraits. We see little of the women’s faces in order to surmise their state of mind, and so must look to body language and the trappings of their work environment for some narrative or conceptual juice.

photo-eye Gallery Nick Brandt - Behind the Photo: Gorilla On Rock, Parc Des Volcans, 2008 In early May, Nick Brandt began posting the stories behind his beautiful and evocative portraits of African animals to his Facebook page. Brandt has graciously given us permission to reproduce them on photo-eye Blog. This week, Gorilla On Rock, Parc Des Volcans, 2008.

In early May, Nick Brandt began posting the stories behind his beautiful and evocative portraits of African animals to his Facebook page. Brandt has graciously given us permission to reproduce them on photo-eye Blog.

Gorilla on Rock, Parc des Volcans 2008 — Nick Brandt

Book Review Early Black and White By Saul Leiter Reviewed by Adam Bell For most photographers, Saul Leiter (1923-2013) needs no introduction. Although Leiter has received increasing critical acclaim and attention, for a long time he typified the ‘photographer’s photographer,’ an awkward moniker, but one that recognizes that he was, and is, greatly admired by peers who knew his work, but who operated largely outside the radar of the fine art and photography world for most of his life.


Early Black and White. By Saul Leiter.
Steidl, 2014.
Early Black and White
Reviewed by Adam Bell

Early Black and White
Photographs by Saul Leiter. Introduction by Martin Harrison.
Steidl, Gottingen, 2014. 416 pp., 280 tritone illustrations, 8x8".


For most photographers, Saul Leiter (1923-2013) needs no introduction. Although Leiter has received increasing critical acclaim and attention, for a long time he typified the ‘photographer’s photographer,’ an awkward moniker, but one that recognizes that he was, and is, greatly admired by peers who knew his work, but who operated largely outside the radar of the fine art and photography world for most of his life. Best known for his painterly color work, Leiter also shot a great deal of black and white photography. Although included in a few anthologies, this work is less well known than his rightly celebrated color work. The two volumes of Leiter’s highly anticipated Early Black and White collects a largely unseen trove of remarkable black and white work from the late-40s and 50s. Divided into two volumes, Exterior and Interior, the books contain nudes, portraits, still-lifes and street photography brimming with elegant beauty and understated grace.

photo-eye Gallery Photographer's Showcase: Amy Friend's Dare alla Luce photo-eye Gallery is pleased to announce Dare alla Luce by Amy Friend, new to the Photographer's Showcase. Friend's series explores the reclamation of found photographs and the family snapshot.

Amy Friend, It Seems Unreal – Archival Pigment Print
13"x19" Edition of 10 – $675
photo-eye Gallery is pleased to announce Dare alla Luce by Amy Friend, new to the Photographer's Showcase. Friend's series explores the reclamation of found photographs and the family snapshot. Friend gives these objects new meaning by piercing the original photograph and then re-photographing them with light coming through each of the tiny holes. They are then reproduced as archival pigment ink prints and available in small editions.


Book of the Week Book of the Week: A Pick by Jonah Samson Artist and collector Jonah Samson selects Wildlife Analysis by Bryan Graf as photo-eye Book of the Week.

Wildlife Analysis. By Bryan Graf.
Conveyor Arts, 2014.
This week's Book of the Week pick comes from artist and collector Jonah Samson who has selected Wildlife Analysis by Bryan Graff published by Conveyor Arts.

"For his series Wildlife Analysis, Bryan Graf photographed natural spaces in New Jersey using analogue techniques which highlight the beauty of light leaks and double exposures. The resulting technicolor photographs take us on a hallucinatory trek through nature. Part of the allure of these images is in their ability to record both the visible and the invisible: Graf photographs in black and white, but also captures the ambient light onto color film by exposing it without a camera, then layers the two in the darkroom. At times joyous, and sometimes sinister, these nature photographs are beautiful without being overly romantic. Flipping through the book is like meandering through a dreamy countryside, and since each copy has been randomly sequenced, each book offers a unique journey. Graf's images combine the best of serendipity and technical control, and are a welcome reminder of the magic that still lurks in the darkroom." —Jonah Samson

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Read the review by Blake Andrews


Wildlife Analysis. By Bryan GrafConveyor Arts, 2014.
Wildlife Analysis. By Bryan GrafConveyor Arts, 2014.


Jonah Samson is an artist and collector whose work has been exhibited across Canada and the U.S., as well as in Turkey, France and England. Last year he self-published Dead Man's Hand, a series of photographs of scale-model crime scenes. A book of his found photographs called Another Happy Day was recently published by Presentation House Gallery in Vancouver. He currently lives on Cape Breton Island in eastern Canada.
www.jonahsamson.net


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