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photo-eye Gallery Interview – Karen Kuehn: Maverick Camera Associate Lucas Shaffer spoke with Karen Kuehn about the incredible start to her photographic career, what it was like to craft Maverick Camera, and what's next from her. photo-eye's Maverick Camera exhibition Opening, Artist Reception, and Book Signing is this Saturday, Feb. 25th from 3–5pm.

Cher – © Karen Kuehn

The story of Karen Kuehn's early career is fascinating. Raised in the Californian suburb of Los Alamitos Kuehn volleyed between Art School and Ranging in Glacier National Park during her early 20's before landing a coveted internship with National Geographic in Washington DC in the mid-1980's. By 1985 Karen hits New York City and an incendiary scene lit by the energy of punk rock, Interview Magazine, and Andy Warhol's The Factory, among a myriad of other factors, and grabbed gigs at The New York Times Magazine, Saturday Night Live, and Spy Magazine during her 16 years in the city.

Kuehn's 2016 monograph, Maverick Camera, is primarily centered around her time in NYC. The monograph is a memoir of sorts filled where touching recollections and reflections pertaining to the images are interspersed throughout the book's progression. The Bookstore Project Space Exhibition of the same name, Maverick Camera, features 13 celebrity portraits from the late 80's and early 90's including Cher, Tom Hanks, Robin Williams, Elvira, and David Byrne. 

Associate Lucas Shaffer spoke with Karen Kuehn about the incredible start to her photographic career, what it was like to craft Maverick Camera, and what's next from her. photo-eye's Maverick Camera exhibition Opening, Artist Reception, and Book Signing is this Saturday, Feb. 25th from 3–5pm.

David Byrne • 1991 • NYC • Request Music Magazine – © Karen Kuehn

Lucas Shaffer:      Tell me how you got started and where your interest in photography came from.

Karen Kuehn:      Let’s see. My interest kind of stemmed from my step-father who had a camera, and he was always shooting, and we're all part of his subjects. My Grandfather, too. He would have little Instamatics. When we would go to Yosemite, he would always give me my own little camera.
When I transferred to junior college to take classes they had a photo class. I took a class at Cypress College in California and John Sexton, who was Ansel Adams first assistant, was one of the teachers there. The faculty liked that I was applying ideas to the technical aspect of the zone system photography.

LS:      Where were you living at this time? Were you still living at home, or already on your own?

KK:      I was living at home in Los Alamitos, California. It was like a Doris Day bedroom community. It still is the quintessential suburban neighborhood.

At one point, I turned my bedroom into a darkroom, and I don't know why my parents let me do that, but I put plastic over the beds, and I had my darkroom enlarger on my desk. I would develop everything on my bed because there was no table in there. Then, I would rinse it in the bathtub, which was right around the corner from the bedroom.

About age 20 through 25, I worked for the park service. I was part-time, Seasonal Ranger, and decided that "I don't just want to be a seasonal ranger. I wanted to be a back-country ranger because I really felt akin to horses, I wanted to be in the back-country, I wanted to hike and fish and camp. That's the way we grew up, camping.

LS:      What park were you rangering for? Was it different parks? Was it all in California?

KK:      I went to Yosemite because that's where I kind of spent a lot of my childhood, so I started there and eventually transferred to Glacier NPS. It was awesome. I loved my life. I had no intention of going to New York City, ever. That was not part of my personal plan, having lived in a cabin and hiked a lot of my life and camped, so the last place in mind as a young woman is to live in New York City if you're an outdoors girl, you know?

LS:      How did that take place then? How did that transition happen?

KK:      It was sort of a basic and logical process of getting one’s education. I begged my parents to pay for me to go to art school. I wanted to go to Cal Arts and would have gone the fine art route if it was a little less expensive, but the cost was enormous. I ended up going to Art Center.

Thank You's, 1st Dollar, and Photographic Credentials from Karen Kuehn's National Geographic Internship. Feature in the background is from Kuehn's first assignment covering the Mountain Men of Kluane National Park. 

LS:      It sounds like, even at junior college, you stumbled into an amazing pedigree with John Sexton.

KK:      I did just stumble into Cypress College to do the general education program and the photography classes hooked me. John didn't really put me under his wing. He had a lot of people. He's an absolute, perfect instructor. I think what he does best is teach.

I went through that whole process of learning the zone system and then getting a BA in photography. I was graduating, and I thought, "I'll just go back to the park's service." Then, my classmates were all like, "You've been there, done that. You need to go on and get on with your career."

So I applied for an internship at Rolling Stone and National Geographic. I saw myself at both places. National Geographic called me and awarded one of their coveted internships. Rich Clarkson was stepping into that position, so he's really the person who gave me that opportunity with Tom Kennedy, who was The Assistant Director of Photography.

I went out there for three months, two days after I graduated from school.

LS:      How did your parents feel about the internship?

KK:      That was the moment that validated paying for art school – they're like, "Oh, my God. She is going to be a photographer." We went out and celebrated at my mom's favorite restaurant. Two days later, I'm in D.C. as an intern.

Images of Karen Kuehn, and an excerpt of her personal journal from her early days in New York City. 

LS:       Wow, that is a big change; what was it like?

KK:      I had three months at National Geographic, and when winter came I was like, “Where am I going?" people at Nat Geo said, "You have to go to New York." I said, "Can you keep me here a little longer?" And they did. They let me there another three months. Then I made all these connects and used that internship to walk me into offices.

I arrived in New York with a backpack, a sleeping bag, very little gear, cowboy boots and high heels, a leather mini skirt, and jeans. I really didn't have a lot, but I had 1,000 bucks in my pocket. It wasn't easy. It wasn't really where I saw myself, but I had an amazing journey.

I originally saw myself doing fine art projects and installations, but I needed to have money and sustain myself. Nobody was giving me a trust fund, you know?

LS:      Did you just start freelancing while you were in New York or did you work for an agency?

KK:      For the first year, I just went knocking on doors. New York Magazine was my first job and Nan Goldin was my assignment. That's in that book. It's the first picture in the book. I was fresh off the turnip truck looking like a real farm girl and Nan was lower-east side heroin chic. I had no idea. I was a foreign object to her, and she was a foreign object to me.

Nan Goldin • 1985 • NYC • New York Magazine – © Karen Kuehn

LS:      That’s an incredible first assignment – you show up in New York City, and here's quintessential New York City photographer Nan Goldin, and you're photographing her.

KK:      Yeah. That's kind of how everything happened. Every week I would go out, I would get a call. "Hey, can you go photograph this band, or this person, or project?" I stumbled through it; I figured it out.

I like people, so it was fun relating to another person; I wasn't really a nature photographer. I would welcome that now, but it wasn't really what I went after. I kind of had this connection with people. I can figure out people quickly.

LS:      Looking through the portraits in Maverick Camera, it seems like you connect with your subjects. What is it like to build rapport and that kind of connection with your subjects so quickly, especially when they're celebrities?

KK:      I think it's like ... It's like cooking to me. You have to have all the ingredients in front of you to create something. For me, I always research everybody I photograph.

It's also important to allow them to be part of that process, whereas, I know a lot of photographers just document somebody. I think about the details. I like telling a story. I like it to be accurate. I like to co-create it with a person so I'm always trying to run ideas by them.

Bill Murray • 1989 • NYC • New York Times Sunday Magazine © Karen Kuehn

LS:      How did Maverick Camera the book come about, and as you were working on it, what was it like putting it together – to go through, 25 years of pictures?

KK:      It came about because of a friend of mine Larry Mitchell, a guitar player. He's always like, "Why don't you have a book out? You should have had a book out years ago." I just didn't play that game. Larry finally prodded me enough and in 2009, I started pulling images. As I pulled it together, and it became like nine books – I have 25 oak wooden file cabinets full of negatives from my career in New York City.

I just started pulling and separating everything. "Here's the Saturday Night Live book. Here's the musician book. Here's the writer book."... "Here's the pregnant book." There were 50 pregnant women shots. After a while, I started to zero in like, “I think I just want to talk about my New York years because I don't think everybody gets to go to New York." I think what happened to me and how I made it kind of work was really a pretty amazing experience.

LS:      The way your career began sounds almost storybook.

KK:      ... It was storybook. I look at Maverick Camera, and I'm like, "I don't even know that person now." That's a whole other person. I'm glad I am who I am now. That book and all those experiences got me to this point.

Sean Penn • 1987 • NYC • Saturday Night Live – © Karen Kuehn

LS:      Can you talk a little bit about that? What was it like for you when you were putting that book together – was it complicated to look at your past?

KK:      Yeah. I mean … I'm a task master, and this comes from my mother.

My son and I both agree that we're a lot like Grandma. We just go get it done. I'm a big fan of making a list, manifest, go down that list, achieve what you need to do, grow and move forward. My whole life has gone that way. I just started pulling images. I made this journal, and I wrote about each image.

LS:       How long did it take you from start to finish. The project started in 2009 and the book was published in 2016, so that's what? Seven years?

KK:       Yes, 2009, and in between, I published five other books about Burning Man.

LS:       When you started putting the final edit together, how did the reflections start? Had you decided early on to write about each photograph or did that decision come out of the editing process?

KK:      I just had my list of pictures and I was saying, "Wow, I hope I can remember all this accurately enough." I thought, "Well, I better do this now because I probably won't in another ten years. So, I wrote.

Excerpt from Maverick Camera with an image of Spike Lee and recollection about the experience. 

LS:      To be consistently creative and execute those ideas under tight time constraints is pretty special.

KK:      Well, it's a ... Why else are we here? To me, it's all just in the pot. Everything inspires me. I probably work outside so much just to relax my brain, otherwise, my brain is just on all the time, I need nature. I prim roses like Edward Scissorhands. I'm in there.

LS:      Why did you end up leaving New York?

KK:      I need the smell of grass. I need green all around me. I need roses. I wanted my kid to grow up somewhere besides a library or a pool hall.

I just wanted to be outside, and we achieved that. Was it a career move? I don't know. Maybe in ten years, it will be when I get to another level, but for me, it was a healthy move on a lot of levels.

Maverick Camera is a big chapter in my life, definitely... it’s 16 years of my life, and flying by the seat of my pants. I wasn't really living in the past or in the future. I was so in the moment. The phone rings, "Hey, do you want to go to Maine and do a story on Camden." And you go.

Steve Martin • 1987 • NYC • SNL – © Karen Kuehn

LS:      What’s next for you?

KK:      I probably could have marketed my career bigger with my name over the years, but I didn't. I think my ego has stayed intact and humble, but I want the work out there. I have other projects to do. I have projects that I want to do that are about animals. I need people to be more aware of animals and their energy and that their sentient beings.

I'm in the local 600 Union. I'm doing promotional and still shooting on films because that's what's happening in New Mexico. At the same time, I also have artistic ideas that I want to make happen in the next ten years. Every day is anew and the phone rings and I go. Always something to do and create.

– photo-eye

Karen Kuehn's Maverick Camera is on view at photo-eye Bookstore Project Space through April 29th, 2017. Karen will be on hand to sign copies of her monograph from 3–5pm Saturday, February 25th during the exhibition opening.

14 x 14-inch Archival Pigment Prints from the exhibition are available for purchase for $500, and Silver-Gelatin prints are available starting at $1500. Signed copies of the Maverick Camera book are available to order for $100.

For more information, and to purchase prints, please contact Lucas Shaffer at 505-988-5152 x 114 or

Purchase a SIGNED copy of Maverick Camera

Book Review Message from the Exterior By Karen Jenkins Reviewed by Karen Jenkins “Ruwedel has a keen eye for the potential in absence. He has long honed in on the faded traces of human presence and intervention in the landscape, manifesting the humble remains of our aspirations and disappointments. "
Message from the ExteriorBy Mark Ruwedel. Mack, 2016.
Message from the Exterior
Reviewed by Karen Jenkins

Message from the Exterior.
Photographs by Mark Ruwedel.
Mack, London, England, 2016. 184 pp., 6½x9¼".  

photo-eye Gallery Now Representing Maggie Taylor photo-eye Gallery is thrilled to announce Maggie Taylor as our newest represented artist. Taylor constructs what she terms “dreamlike worlds inhabited by everyday objects.”

Cloud caster, 2013 – © Maggie Taylor
photo-eye Gallery is thrilled to announce Maggie Taylor as our newest represented artist.  Taylor constructs what she terms “dreamlike worlds inhabited by everyday objects.” An early adopter, Maggie Taylor has been utilizing digital technology to build her evocative and elaborate photomontages for more than 20 years. These whimsical narratives often begin as pastel background drawings with additional components such as 19th Century photographs, drawings, vintage toys, seashells, feathers, and taxidermy scanned and meticulously arranged over time to complete the scene. Working instinctively, Taylor crafts a surreal alternate reality rife with curious peculiarities and rich in symbolism.
"I work very spontaneously and intuitively, trying to come up with images that have a resonance and a somewhat mysterious narrative content. There is no one meaning for any of the images, rather they exist as a kind of visual riddle or open-ended poem, meant to be both playful and provocative. " – Maggie Taylor
Poet's house, 2015 – © Maggie Taylor
photo-eye is pleased to debut an online portfolio today including 20 works by Taylor in her signature style. We are also excited to announce that many of these pieces will be available to view in person at photo-eye Gallery’s booth during Art Palm Springs 2017.

Limited edition archival pigment prints are available:

8 x 8 inches
Edition of 15

15 x 15 inches
Edition of 15

22 x 22 inches
Edition of 10

36 x 36 inches
Edition of 9 or 5

For more information, and to purchase prints by Maggie Taylor, please contact Gallery Staff at 505-988-5152 x 202 or

A tale begun in other days, 2016 – © Maggie Taylor

photo-eye Bookstore Project Space Bookstore Project Space Exhibition – Karen Kuehn: Maverick Camera photo-eye welcomes Karen Kuehn to our Bookstore Project Space for an Exhibition Opening and Book Signing from 3 – 5pm on Saturday, February 25th.

Maverick Camera

Saturday, February 25th, 2017 3–5pm

photo-eye Bookstore Project Space
376 Garcia Street
Suite A
Santa Fe, NM 87501
505-988-5152 x 201


photo-eye welcomes Karen Kuehn to our Bookstore Project Space for an Exhibition Opening and Book Signing from 3 – 5pm on Saturday, February 25th. Kuehn will be present to sign copies of her latest monograph Maverick Camera, a collection of color and black-and-white photographs released in 2016 by FARMHOUSE Girl Productions. A selection of works by Kuehn from Maverick Camera will be on view in the Bookstore Project Space through Saturday, April 29th, 2017.


Maverick Camera is a collection of Karen Kuehn’s work primarily centered on her time as a professional photographer in New York City. Previously a Ranger for the US park service in Montana, Kuehn arrived in NYC in the late 1980’s just as The Factory, Interview Magazine, and Punk Rock were exploding on the scene. Maverick Camera is a memoir of sorts, where personal recollections and anecdotes mix with images lending an intimacy to the book while giving readers insight as to how a particular model or experience affected Kuehn. Karen’s beliefs, desires, and interests are delineated in her poetic text but also illustrated in her images, as Reid Callanan of the Santa Fe Photographic Workshops states:

“…Karen is one of my favorite portrait photographers because her portraits express an unwavering belief in the goodness of people. Her portraits reveal as much about her worldview as they do about the person sitting, standing, leaning or jumping in front of her lens.” 

The Bookstore Project Space exhibition includes black-and-white celebrity portraits from Kuehn’s time working in New York City, including Bill Murray, Brian Eno, Cher, The B-52’s, James Taylor, Robin Williams, and Tom Hanks among others.

Cher, 1989 – © Karen Kuehn

Tom Hanks, Saturday Night Live, 1987 – © Karen Kuehn


Karen Kuehn is a photographer with a knack for seeing with a unique point of view. The past 25 years and her images have appeared in Vanity Fair, Time, Newsweek, Reader’s Digest, People, The New York Times, National Geographic, and numerous other publications. In her personal projects, she is committed to documenting and preserving aspects of Americans, viewing each as an individual. Karen lives and works on a small farm in Peralta, New Mexico.
For more information, and to purchase prints, please contact Lucas Shaffer at 505-988-5152 x 114 or

Book of the Week Book of the Week: A Pick by Christopher J Johnson Christopher J Johnson selects Lost Territories Wordbook Designed by Ania Nałęcka-Milach as Book of the Week.
Lost Territories Wordbook.  
Designed by Ania Ania Nałęcka-Milach. 
Sputnik Photos, 2016.
Christopher J Johnson selects Lost Territories Wordbook Designed by Ania Nałęcka-Milach from Sputnik Photos as Book of the Week.

"Sputnik Photos has shown over and over again their dedication to a sense of place, to the onus, “what does it mean to belong to or to be from a place.” Specifically Russia and the Former Russian states or affected regions of what had been the USSR.

Wordbook presents about one hundred very brief narratives on subjects that relate to the former USSR; the subjects are disparate, but hinge on a sort of Joe Brainardesque, “I remember…” set-up in that the idea is how things have changed, what was and doesn’t exist anymore or still exists, but as a more shadowy presence than its former life of importance in the USSR. The topics range from Russian manufactured cigarettes, the Holodomor, apartment balconies and Eastern European camera models to Leninism and Soviet Bookshops.

The narratives are provided by twenty-one different authors writing in Russian, Ukrainian and Polish (all translated into English) who had lived, often as young people or children, during the collapse of the Soviet Union and are, so it seems, now fully mature and advanced in their writing careers. A total of twenty pictures accompany the texts from Sputnik’s official collective of: Andrej Balco, Jan Brykczynski, Andrei Liankevich, Michal Luczak, Rafal Milach, Adam Panczuk and Agnieszka Rayss (all photographers familiar to the readers of photo-eye’s blog).

The result of the presentation style is something like reading Svetlana Alexievich’s books (photobook bibliophiles will recognize her as the author of the text featured in 7 Rooms), there are a variety of voices and concerns, but all are centered on a single theme and all are also intimate explorations of their subject.

Wordbook is a wonderful companion to the work that the collective has put out so far. In fact, I might go as far as to say that it is the most essential volume as it takes as its subject the voices of those that these photographers have captured again and again in their images. — Christopher J Johnson

Purchase Book

Lost Territories WordbookDesigned by Ania Ania Nałęcka-Milach. Sputnik Photos, 2016.
Lost Territories WordbookDesigned by Ania Ania Nałęcka-Milach. Sputnik Photos, 2016.

Christopher J Johnson lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He is a resident writer for the Meow Wolf art collective. His first book of poetry, &luckier, has been released by the University of Colorado. He is Manager of photo-eye’s Book Division.

Book Review One Sun, One Shadow. By Shane Lavalette Reviewed by Antone Dolezal The American South is a region marked with a rich photographic history, one eclipsed by the legacies of Walker Evans and William Eggleston and contrarily plagued by an over-saturation of contemporary work. To understand the South is to understand America.
One Sun, One ShadowBy Shane Lavalette. Lavalette, 2016.
One Sun, One Shadow. 
Reviewed by Antone Dolezal

One Sun, One Shadow.
Photographs by Shane Lavalette. Text by Tim Davis.
Lavalette, Syracuse, New York, 2016. 124 pp., 61 color illustrations, 8½x10½".

photo-eye Gallery Local Eight: Works by New Mexico Artists - On View Feb. 7th – April 22nd photo-eye Gallery is pleased to announce Local Eight a group exhibition of photographs featuring eight represented artists from Santa Fe and Northern New Mexico. On view at photo-eye Gallery beginning Tuesday, February 7th, an Opening and Artist Reception will take place on Friday, February 24th from 5 – 7 PM in correspondence with the Railyard Art District’s Last Friday Artwalk.

Works by New Mexico Artists

February 7th – April 22nd, 2017
Friday, February 24th 5–7pm

photo-eye Gallery is pleased to announce Local Eight a group exhibition of photographs featuring eight represented artists from Santa Fe and Northern New Mexico. On view at photo-eye Gallery beginning Tuesday, February 7th, an Opening and Artist Reception will take place on Friday, February 24th from 5 – 7 PM in correspondence with the Railyard Art District’s Last Friday Artwalk.

Northern New Mexico and Santa Fe is home to a vast, varied and thriving artist community. Local Eight’s collection of works showcases not only the diversity of style within the area’s photographic community but exhibits the wide-ranging conceptual and material practices represented by photo-eye’s artists.

Subject matter in the exhibition runs the gamut, covering topics such as climate change, dreams, American highway culture, and landscape all while expressing these ideas utilizing an impressive array of photographic materials, including the albumen print, platinum, traditional silver gelatin, as well as the ubiquitous archival pigment print.


Motel, Highway 66, Holbrook, Arizona, 1973 – © Steve Fitch
•      Steve Fitch — Pena Blanca based photographer focusing on American Highway Vernacular and topologies including the American Motel, the Drive-In theater, and Signal Towers. Most recently Fitch released the monograph American Motel Signs published by The Velvet Cell, London.

Bottle with Sharon's Seeds, 1998 – © James Pitts
•      James Pitts — Santa Fe-based studio photographer creating delicate and expressive floral still-lifes. Pitts primary focus for 20 years was creating hand coated platinum prints from large format negatives.

View Additional Work by James Pitts

Read More About James Pitts

View Arizona Pitt's self-published 2015 monograph

River Lune, Cumbria, England, 1981 – © Edward Ranney 
•      Edward Ranney — Santa Fe-based internationally recognized photographer working with the natural and man-altered landscape for over forty years. Ranney's latest exhibition with photo-eye, Two Landscapes: England and Peru, opened in the Fall of 2015 and showcased work never before seen in the United States. A few of those works, including River Lune, Cumbria, England pictured above, are featured in Local Eight.

View More Work by Edward Ranney

Read More About Edward Ranney

Purchase Books by Edward Ranney

#10292, 9 September 2015, Bisti Badlands, New Mexico – © Jamey Stillings
•      Jamey Stillings — Santa Fe-based landscape photographer working with issues of sustainability and a special focus on renewable energy development and water. San Juan Basin aerials are included in the exhibition. Stilling's 2015 monograph, The Evolution of Ivanpah Solar published by Steidl, received numerous Book of the Year nominations and Stillings himself received the 2016 International Photography Award for Book Photographer of the Year.

Purchase Books by Jamey Stillings

Cloud No. 3655/3652 (diptych) – © Laurie Tümer
•      Laurie Tümer – Espanola-based photographer who’s ongoing cloud series is a healing meditation on beauty and sublimity that lessens everyday ills by looking outward. Tümer recently self-published a monograph of the series, aptly titled Clouds, and copies are available to order during the exhibition.

Cross-Pollination, 1992 – © Jo Whaley
•      Jo Whaley – Santa Fe-based photographer Jo Whaley’s series Natura Morta draws from 17th Century Vanitas still-lifes to craft scenes that expose ironies between urban culture and nature.

Purchase Books by Jo Whaley

The Glass Wall #12, Santa Fe, NM, 2010 – © Brad Wilson
•      Brad Wilson – Santa Fe-Based, Brad Wilson is most well known for his strikingly detailed animal portraits aimed at exhibiting similarities between species and promote empathy through relationship; Wilson's AFFINITY was photo-eye Gallery's most recent exhibition. For Local Eight, Wilson showcases work from two earlier projects, The Glass Wall, and Relics.

View Additional Work by Brad Wilson

Read More about Brad Wilson

Purchase Wild Life by Brad Wilson

Fledgling, 2016 – ©  Zoë Zimmerman
•      Zoë Zimmerman — Taos-based studio photographer utilizing metaphor to subvert the Everyday and provoke the viewer’s subconscious. In 2015, Zimmerman released her first monograph, Of Men: Strength and Vulnerability, a three-part series examining fraternal intimacy and physicality among men. Images in Local Eight include new work from Zoë's Her Dream series.

Local Eight is currently on view at photo-eye Gallery and runs through April 22nd, 2017.
For more information and to purchase prints please contact Gallery Staff at 505.988.5152 x 202 or

Book of the Week Book of the Week: A Pick by Martin Parr Martin Parr selects Survivor: A portrait of the survivors of the Holocaust. by Harry Borden as Book of the Week.
Survivor: A portrait of the survivors of the Holocaust. 
By Harry Borden Cassell, 2017.
Martin Parr picks Survivor: A portrait of the survivors of the Holocaust. by Harry Borden from Cassell as Book of the Week.

Book Review Will By Reiner Riedler Reviewed by George Slade "Will is a disturbing catalogue, an uncanny assemblage of parts. On a figurative level, Riedler’s photographs present compelling evidence of humans’ insatiable desire to meddle in our own affairs."
WillBy Reiner RiedlerLa Fabrica, 2016.
Reviewed by George Slade

Photographs by Reiner Riedler. Text by Paul Wombell.
La Fabrica, Madrid, Spain, 2016. 144 pp., 100 color illustrations, 8½x11¾".

Start with this detail: an image of a human heart, cast in glass. Add this: the “Alderson phantom,” a metallic human head, eerily echoing an x-ray, sliced laterally and topped with a knob that might twist the slices apart. “Untitled,” “uncatalogued,” “undated,” “experimental prototype,” and “found object,” all captions attached to photographs of other humanoid models that arise alternately from J. G. Ballard’s Crash, an astrological acupuncturist’s study, and H. R. Giger’s biomorphic monsters.

Other items in the book have firmer positions in known, Cartesian space. A Melanesian skull, for instance, dated 1899, sitting on an elegant wooden tray pulled from storage in Vienna’s Natural History Museum, familiar in all regards except for the big hole in the forehead which for all the world resembles the socket for one’s third eye. A pair of prosthetic hands, their thumbs and first fingers aligned, are reassuringly “flesh” colored until you pass the second knuckle, when they reveal their metallic, functional form. Westworld leaves the screen and meets its real world counterparts.

WillBy Reiner RiedlerLa Fabrica, 2016.

Will is a disturbing catalogue, an uncanny assemblage of parts. On a figurative level, Riedler’s photographs present compelling evidence of humans’ insatiable desire to meddle in our own affairs. These images capture both things and, to apply the book’s title, the will to conceive, build, and incorporate them.

WillBy Reiner RiedlerLa Fabrica, 2016.

A curious blend of attraction and repulsion surfaces as one regards this book. It is a blunt object, page after page laying out the evidence, largely against decontextualizing black backgrounds. The spot-lit objects hover in front of you. The shifting scale disorients you. Example: A computerized tomography device, a donut-shaped CAT scanner in which a prostrate human fills the hole, appears the same size on the page as the aforementioned heart and skulls.

WillBy Reiner RiedlerLa Fabrica, 2016.

Riedler has dedicated a significant chunk of time and travel to compile these disquieting glimpses into our bionic, vulnerable selves. We have sought interventions, material and divine, for a long, long time. Before we invented and implemented pacemakers, iron lungs, and anesthetics, we looked to the outer world to help us comprehend and shape our destiny. A set of oracle bones, inscribed flakes of organic material that sought information about destiny’s intentions in ancient lives, are arrayed in Riedler’s photograph to resemble the tattooed talons from some primordial creature.

To read Will is to engage in an extended act of anthropomorphizing in which the objects rest in a membrane between us and our vanities.—George Slade

Purchase Book

GEORGE SLADE, a longtime contributor to photo-eye, is a photography writer, curator, historian and consultant. He can be found online at

Read More Book Reviews

photo-eye Gallery photo-eye Gallery at ART PALM SPRINGS 2017 photo-eye Gallery is heading to Palm Springs, California for the 2017 ART PALM SPRINGS Art Fair at the Palm Springs Convention Center, February 17th – 19th.

photo-eye Gallery is packing our bags and heading to Palm Springs, California with some of our favorite work for the 2017 ART PALM SPRINGS Fair.  The 6th annual Fine Art fair will return to the Palm Springs Convention Center, February 17th – 19th, coinciding with Palm Springs Modernism Week. The fair will exhibit over 60 galleries from around the world, specializing in post-war and contemporary art. photo-eye Gallery is thrilled to be joining in 2017, and will have work on display by the following represented artists:

We are proud to also announce three of our artists have work included in this year's new Art Palm Springs SELECTS, which highlights pieces chosen by noted curators, designers, and critics.

Pool, 2015 © Julie Blackmon | Archival Pigment Print, 22 x 31.5", Edition of 10, $4,000
“I love photography and this suburban pool has a great look. Can’t tell if it’s a random shot or setup but it’s fun and compelling.” 
-Beth Rudin DeWoody 
Art Collector, Curator, and President, Rudin Family Foundations

Hillside Fence, Study 6, Teshikaga, Hokkaido, Japan, 2007 © Michael Kenna | Gelatin-Silver Print, 8x8", $4,000
“I could stare at this piece for hours…the fact that it is a photo enhances the mystery of discovery, how a simple Zen-like image can be recognized and translated. Simply magical.”
-Jeff Jurasky
Principal, Jeffrey Jurasky & Associates  

Mammatus, 2016 © Mitch Dobrowner | Archival Pigment Print, 20x30", Ed. of 40, $2,500
“A reminder to never stop seeing”
-Lance O’Donnell
Architect, o2 Architecture

Opening Night is February 16th with a benefit for the Palm Springs Art Museum. Come say Hello to photo-eye Founders Rixon Reed and Vicki Bohannon and Gallery Director, Anne Kelly at booth 215, and join us for one the year's most anticipated events for collectors, curators, artists and tastemakers around the globe!

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For more details about the fair and represented artists, please contact the Gallery at 505.988.5152 x202 or