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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

Purchase Book

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


See more Book of the Week picks

Spook Light Road, 2012 - Lara Shipley and Antone Dolezal

photo-eye Bookstore + Project space is pleased to host Devil's Promenade with photographs by Antone Dolezal and Lara Shipley in its new location at 376A Garcia Street, the former location of photo-eye Gallery. The opening and reception will be held on Sunday, June 29th, 2014 from 3-5 pm with a talk by both artists beginning at 3:30 pm. The artists will be signing copies of their new publication Spook Light Chronicles, volume II. The exhibition will continue through August 16th, 2014.

Books In Stock at photo-eye: Signed on Sale Four signed titles from Benjamin Lowy, Ron Jude, Koji Onaka and António Júlio Duarte.
Iraq | Perspectives
By Benjamin Lowy
$44.95 SALE $34.95 — Purchase Signed Book

Selected as a Best Book of 2011 by:
Susan Burnstine
Larissa Leclair

"Whether shooting through the interior frame of a Humvee or gazing through eerie green military-issue night goggles, Lowy captures Iraq in a truly unique, candid and at times heart-pounding manner. This brilliant perspective allows us to view the theater of wartime Iraq in a genuine, unflinching manner." —Susan Burnstine

Read Sarah Bradley's photo-eye Blog post on Iraq | Perspectives



Book Review The Return By Adrain Chesser Reviewed by Blake Andrews America is a country rooted in Utopianism. We can do it better. That's the driving Mantra. And while it may not always be true — in fact most Utopian communities fall far short — it hasn't stopped people from trying. Almost from the moment the Pilgrims disembarked from the Mayflower, side communities have splintered off in search of greener pastures. But these haven't been mere dead ends. They've structured the nation.

The Return. By Adrain Chesser.
Daylight Books, 2014.
 
The Return
Reviewed by Blake Andrews

The Return
By Adrain Chesser
Daylight Books, 2014. 144 pp., 72 color illustrations, 9x10¾". 

America is a country rooted in Utopianism. We can do it better. That's the driving Mantra. And while it may not always be true — in fact most Utopian communities fall far short — it hasn't stopped people from trying. Almost from the moment the Pilgrims disembarked from the Mayflower, side communities have splintered off in search of greener pastures. But these haven't been mere dead ends. They've structured the nation. Jeffersonian Democracy imagined a nation of independent agrarian outposts, and the pastoral ideal was later legislated as prescriptive social engineering in the form of 40 acres and a mule courtesy of Uncle Sam.

Until the 20th Century the Utopian equation was simple: Go West, young man. But the frontier has long been closed. California now has 38 million residents. The pioneering edge has been forced back on itself, sometimes circling many times before finding a home. One place it has found refuge is the Great Basin region. The intermountain West may not pose a physical frontier but the frontier spirit is alive and well there. In recent years it has caught the interest of photographers Alec Soth, Mike Brodie, Lucas Foglia, and Bryan Schutmaat, among others. Now Adrain Chesser joins the fray with The Return.

The Return. By Adrain ChesserDaylight Books, 2014.

The Return documents the members of Coyote Camp, a loose tribe of idealists practicing a pre-industrial lifestyle largely reliant on hunting and gathering. In his brief introduction Timothy White Eagle explains that most come "from the disenfranchised margins of mainstream America. All believe that major shifts are needed in at the way modern society interacts with the natural world." Modern day Pilgrims.

Well duh. Industrial civilization — Heart Eater Monster, to use Eagle's term — is destroying the planet. It's the sort of connect-the-dots realization that hits most adolescents at one point or another. But unlike most young people, these folks have actually taken the lesson to heart and followed through. They've gathered friends, dropped out, and are practicing the deep ecology habits that are probably necessary for planetary sustainability. Whether they've created a true Utopia or not is an open question. Paul Shepard and John Zerzan might say yes. Industrial apologists — and that includes most of us — would say no. Most will satisfy any Utopian cravings with a week of Burning Man or Rainbow Gathering before returning to convenience. For Coyote Camp, the commitment is lasting and total.

The Return. By Adrain ChesserDaylight Books, 2014.

Judging by Chesser's photos they live a hard, rugged life. It's full of dirt and blood and woodfires and walking. It involves sleeping outdoors and killing animals and foraging for berries and other societally obviated skills. These ordinary challenges are exacerbated by the fact that the tribe is nomadic. They follow "the hoop," an ancient nomadic circle sweeping through four states. 40 Acres and a mule would be a problem for these folks. 40 million acres might suit them better.

The Return. By Adrain ChesserDaylight Books, 2014.

If all of this sounds slightly familiar it might be from reading accounts of Native Americans. That's no accident. Coyote Camp consciously models its habits on nomadic pre-Columbian societies. Teepees, skins and totems appear regularly in the photographs, and even their communication has taken on the character of native verse. Timothy White Eagle's text is written in the archaic, earthy, and slightly fluffy language of true believers consumed by a separate path. "…and the heroic youth / will be the first to walk this path / this tribe and others will begin the great Un-Spinning…" That sort of thing. It's not exactly evangelical but it has the tone of ancient scripture. Unfortunately, White Eagle occasionally over-reaches. To claim that "The First People" supposedly lived in The Garden "without intrusion" is wrong and smacks of romantic primitivism. The world is slightly more complicated than Noble Savage vs. Heart Eater Monster. But I suppose that's a minor quibble. Generally the text performs its task, which is to set a Native American mood for the photographs.

The Return. By Adrain ChesserDaylight Books, 2014.

Ah yes, the photos. They're quite entertaining. Chesser counters between formal portraiture and set pieces in an entertaining mix. He mixes straight landscape and human activity, and along the way manages to convey the story of Coyote Camp, or at least some of it. His use of light is exquisite. If it's sometimes overly sentimental, that can be excused by the subject matter. This is the new Utopia remember, the great un-Spinning. It must be presented as Heroic. Most importantly the photos convey an intimacy dependent on exclusive access, as Chesser had to track down the tribe and then live among them for many months to capture these scenes. The investment pays off with the photographs. There will be inevitable comparisons to Lucas Foglia and Mike Brodie. Some of the photos here might pass unnoticed in A Natural Order or A Period of Juvenile Prosperity. Some manage to pass unnoticed in various other projects by Chesser. But for The Return they've been sharply edited into a meaningful work.

The Return. By Adrain ChesserDaylight Books, 2014.

The layout and reproductions are excellent, but I'm not a fan of bare cardboard binding. Why go to the trouble of making beautiful pages, only to wrap them in the equivalent of a cheap cardboard box? And no bookcover? Maybe this is just a personal thing. Perhaps cardboard is in, and I'm just old fashioned. In any case my fresh copy of The Return already has dinged corners, and I suspect it may not age well on the shelf. But that may be by design as the book follows the spirit of nomadic culture. No plastic, no artificial permanence. Every object is inherently e phemeral including this book, including the Utopias.—BLAKE ANDREWS


BLAKE ANDREWS is a photographer based in Eugene, OR. He writes about photography at blakeandrews.blogspot.com.

photo-eye Gallery Portfolio & Interview: Antone Dolezal & Lara Shipley's Devil's Promenade We are happy to announce a portfolio of images from Lara Shipley and Antone Dolezal titled Devil's Promenade. The Photographer's Showcase portfolio coincides with an exhibition at the photo-eye Bookstore + Project space, as well as a book signing and talk on Sunday, June 29th from 3-5pm. Shipley and Dolezal stopped by photo-eye Bookstore to talk about the series with photo-eye's Melanie McWhorter.

Off the Beaten Path, 2013 by Lara Shipley and Antone Dolezal
30x37" Image - 1/10 - $1600

We are happy to announce a portfolio of images from Lara Shipley and Antone Dolezal titled Devil's Promenade, a series looking into the folklore and legends surrounding the phenomenon of Spook Light in the Ozarks. The Photographer's Showcase portfolio coincides with an exhibition at the photo-eye Bookstore + Project Space, as well as a book signing and talk on Sunday, June 29th from 3-5pm. Vol. 2 of Shipley and Dolezal's series of books, Spook Light Chronicles, has also just been released. Spook Light Chronicles Vol. 1 is sold out.

Shipley and Dolezal stopped by photo-eye Bookstore to talk about the series with photo-eye's Melanie McWhorter.
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Review Santa Fe Review Santa Fe Event Schedule Review Santa Fe happens this weekend with a number of wonderful events open to the public.

Review Santa Fe Public Events
Photography lovers are encouraged to attend the events happening during the internationally renowned annual Review Santa Fe weekend conference including:


Book of the Week Book of the Week: A Pick by William L. Fox Director of the Center for Art + Environment William L. Fox selects The Last Road by Anne Noble as photo-eye Book of the Week.

The Last Road. By Anne Noble.
Clouds, 2014.
This week's Book of the Week pick comes from Director of the Center for Art + Environment William L. Fox who has selected The Last Road by Anne Noble published by Clouds.

"New Zealand photographer Anne Noble has traveled to the Antarctic as a visiting artist with both New Zealand and American government programs, and from those visits generated a body of work that effectively builds upon, extends, and then ultimately counters images made during the Heroic Age of Antarctic exploration of the early twentieth century. Her first book of Antarctic photographs, Ice Blink, was a witty undermining of the numerous ways in which the Antarctic is depicted in museums, tourist shops, and other decidedly non-heroic venues. Her recent and second installment in the series, The Last Road, presents portraits in series of quotidian items such as heavy equipment, shipping containers, and the 'piss poles' around which workers relieve themselves in order to contain contamination of the ice by urine. Noble is picturing the backside of civilization at the ends of the earth, and unlike most other photographers who have worked on the ice, she has taken a direct look at our relationship to this landscape not through the lens of the sublime, but rather through that of the constructed reality that is allowed to live and work there, albeit for only brief periods of time." —William L. Fox