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Gallery and Photographer's Showcase Artist Update: Photolucida's Critical Mass

Photolucida has just announced the Critical Mass Top 50 and photo-eye is thrilled to report that three of our photo-eye Gallery artists and five of our Photographer's Showcase artists are among the group.

From photo-eye Gallery:
Tom Chambers:
"Twenty-five years ago I traveled freely throughout the Mexican countryside where I relished a warm, welcoming, and slow-paced style of living. I was heartened by the physical beauty of the landscape and the simple, pure lifestyles shared by both the Hispanic and indigenous people of Mexico. A sense of spirituality and magic were imbedded in their religious practices, crafts, art, dance, and literature. Recently, I returned to Mexico where I experienced a country teetering on the brink of change created by increasing political and economic challenges, and exacerbated by the trappings of global consumerism. The Mexican people appeared handcuffed by demands largely outside of their control and threatened by the potential loss of their cultural richness. Sensing that little time remains to photograph the beauty of Mexico, I have created the series "Dreaming In Reverse" to express both my concern for cultural loss, as well as my appreciation for the inherent loveliness of Mexican life."

Read the photo-eye Blog interview with Chambers on Dreaming in Reverse
See Tom Chambers' work at photo-eye Gallery

Mitch Dobrowner:
"The images produced in this series represent the beginning of a new project, inspired by the beauty and power of Mother Nature and the severe weather systems she creates. Since I was a kid I've always loved being caught in a storm…… so what the heck. Much has been written about the storms of the Great Plains. The goal is to capture the structure of supercell thunderstorms, the feeling of standing in wind gusts breaching 50mph, the lightning, the rumble of hail. I’ve never seen anything like these storms before."

Dobrowner's Storms series has also just been featured in Audubon Magazine. Check out the article here.
Read the photo-eye Blog interview with Dobrowner on storm chasing
See Mitch Dobrowner's work at photo-eye Gallery

Jamey Stillings:
"How a structure and its creation are documented greatly impacts how it is remembered in history. Construction of the bridge downstream from Hoover Dam is unique both for its historical importance, by its proximity to the dam, and for its technical achievement, bridging the Black Canyon over the Colorado River with the longest concrete arch span in North America. The bridge challenges us to examine the juncture of nature and technology on a scale that is both grand and human. When I first encountered the bridge at Hoover Dam in March 2009, it immediately captured my imagination. Watching the bridge's construction, especially at night, is both inspiring and magical.The photo essay, which is evolving from this initial encounter, allows me to meld photographic and aesthetic sensibilities with a reawakened sense of childhood curiosity and awe. Photographically, the bridge as subject is creatively and technically challenging, dynamic and transitory. Over the past year, I have returned to the bridge again and again. As it evolves, each visit requires fresh perspectives and visual inquiry."
See Jamey Stillings' work at photo-eye Gallery

From the Photographer's Showcase:


Thomas Alleman:
"I began making “urban landscapes” with a medium-format Holga---a $17 toy camera---in September of 2001, in the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. My heart was shattered then, and my career was momentarily ruined. In that upside-down time, I truly had nothing better to do than walk all day, every day, in Los Angeles’ many strange neighborhoods, shooting with a camera that couldn’t see straight. The Holga’s many laughable failures are well known and all-encompassing: focus, exposure and parallax are effectively un-controllable, and the plastic lens is always aberrant, cloudy and vignetted. Much to my surprise, however, the freaky results of that technical dysfunction resembled precisely the pictures I’d been dreaming of in those nightmare days."
See Thomas Alleman's work on the Photographer's Showcase

Rania Matar:
"As a mother of a teenage daughter I watch with awe her passage from girlhood into adulthood and I am fascinated with the transformation taking place, the adult personality shaping up and an insecurity and a self-consciousness now replacing the carefree world she had live in so far. As I observed her and her friends I realized how much those girls were aware of each others' presence, and that under an air of self-assurance, those young women were often fragile, self-conscious and confused. While their bodies were developing fast into women bodies, they were still young girls in so many other aspects. From there, emerged the idea of photographing each girl alone. I originally let the girls choose the place and was welcomed into their bedrooms, an area that is theirs, which they control and personalize."
See Rania Matar's work on the Photographer's Showcase


Justine Reyes:
"Taking inspiration from Dutch Vanitas paintings, these photographs incorporate personal artifacts within the traditional construct of still life. Pairing objects that belonged to my grandmother with my own possessions speaks to the concept of memory, familial legacy and the passage of time. The incorporation of modern elements such as Saran wrap, plastic, sugar packages etc, as well as the use of photography itself add an additional layer of nostalgia and irony when viewed within the historical framework of Vanitas painting. Both the decomposition of the natural (rotting fruit and wilting flowers) and the break down of the man-made objects, reference the physical body, life’s impermanence and the inevitability of death."
See Justine Reyes' work on the Photographer's Showcase


Jeff Rich:
" A common misconception of a watershed is that it’s all about the water. While water does play a large part, the land plays an even larger role by directing the water to a common point, such as a river or ocean. Thus human impact on the land directly affects the water that runs over it. With this project I intend to highlight this relationship between the land, water, and man, within the microcosm of the southeastern watersheds. The French Broad, and the Tennessee watersheds make up the southeastern quarter of the Mississippi watershed, the largest river basin in North America."
See Jeff Rich's work on the Photographer's Showcase

Tim Simmons:
"I am a UK based photographic artist producing large-scale landscapes. Working with a large format camera and artificial lights to give the images a quality that is beyond immediate recognition. This illusive atmosphere inspires quiet reflection, invoking a sense of the spirit of the earth, and prompting questions about mortality and our place in the world. The work that I have entered here is from a trip to Iceland in 2009. It is a unique landscape which reveals the true composition of the earth. The landscape is like an open sore on the surface reminding us of the delicate balance of our occupation. During our lives we all experience many painful events. Most seem so unnecessary making it hard for us to comprehend. Over time the accumulation of these events changes our levels tolerance as we each try to get on with life whilst coming to terms with them."
See Tim Simmons' work on the Photographer's Showcase

Congratulations to all! See the complete list of winners here.

In other news, Photographer's Showcase artist Jon Edwards just added new images to both his A Life and A Way of Being portfolios.
Quinn Warf -- Jon Edwards
"After practicing civil rights and environmental law for over twenty years, I have spent the last seven years photographing inhabitants of islands off the coast of Maine. These individuals live simply, and demonstrate dignity and tenacity when, by choice or lack of opportunity, they are forced to survive under either the harsh economics or isolation of island living, or an increasingly difficult traditional way of life. They reside in remote or isolated beauty, and maintain a direct connection with the natural environment."

See Jon Edwards' work on the Photographer's Showcase

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