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Photographer Rick Nahmias was recently interviewed by Mary-Charlotte on KSFR's Santa Fe Radio Cafe about his book Golden States of Grace: Prayers of the Disinherited. You can listen to the interview here. It's a thoughtful interview in which Nahmais talks about the origin of this project and its evolution, which changed in scope and focus as he explored his subject matter.  In Golden States of Grace, Nahmais captures marginalized communities at prayer, the religious experiences of the "other," the outcasts from society.  Calling it a contemporary visual prayer book, Nahmais decided to center his investigation in California, seeing it as a microcosm  for the rest of the country. Nahmais shares stories about his experience of taking this work on the road and connecting people through their personal experience of spirituality.

Nahmias also mentions a previous project that he discussed with Mary-Charlotte a few years ago called The Migrant Project. You can listen to that interview (from May 5th, 2008) on the Radio Cafe here.

Phantom City - a Novel, Photographs by Kim Bouvey 
Published by Pels & Kemper, 2010.
Phantom City - a Novel
Reviewed by Sarah Bradley
Kim Bouvy Phantom City - a Novel
Photographs by Kim Bouvey
Pels & Kemper, The Netherlands, 2010. Softcover. 224 pp., 150 black & white illustrations, 6-1/2x9".

Phantom City is a little mystery of a book. Subtitled "A Photo Novel," it is designed to mimic a small paperback novel and is divided into chapters with alternating pages of text and images, some with borders and captions, some full bleed, creating a lovely striped pattern along the book's outer page edges. The exterior masquerade is spoiled when lifted - the book's weight and rigidness give away its fine interior paper and lovely printing that capture the rich blacks and soft fog in Kim Bouvy's photographs, as well as the speckled half-tone of the newspaper images. The heavily annotated epilogue with a map denoting Bouvy's locations also features an itemized list of image locations and dates, as well as references for the rest of the photographs in her assemblage.
Phantom City – a Novel, by Kim Bouvy. Published by Pels & Kemper, 2010.
The book begins with text. An unnamed narrator awakens to discover the city changing. Amidst the sound of crumbling buildings, the narrator loses touch with a sense of time and place, and clings to an assemblage of photographic images that will now make up the memory of what the city once was. Presented in chapters, those images are not the depictions of cities that we are used to seeing. With few clear landmarks, they capture anonymous spaces of concrete and glass - tall buildings, layers of structural lines - asphalt makes up the ground and roofs constitute the horizon. They are well-packed spaces where structure upon structure fills the frame, at once dwarfing the viewer and creating a sense of claustrophobia. This is taken to its extreme in the handful of collages, at once terrifying in their haphazard construction but also somehow plausible in context with the other images. Even the older found images present a similar vision. The monolithic city emerges as the dominant character in the novel, despite the frequent appearance of the narrator. Throughout these pages, the buildings become giants, looming in their own shadows, mysterious, cold and foreboding.

Phantom City – a Novel, by Kim Bouvy. Published by Pels & Kemper, 2010.
As Bouvy states in her epilogue, the city in this book is a real place -- Rotterdam. I knew nothing of its history prior to picking up this book and a small amount of research helped bring the project into focus. The city center was wiped of its architectural past during the WWII German invasion of the Netherlands. Bombed to near oblivion, the city decided to re-envision itself rather than just rebuild - down to the subterranean infrastructure. What has resulted is a city of modern buildings and space for experimental architecture, but this status has generated arguments from urban planners who would like to see the city designed around people rather than architectural theory. It is a city in constant transition.

Phantom City – a Novel, by Kim Bouvy. Published by Pels & Kemper, 2010.
As for the experiment of a photo novel, the text occupies the awkward position of simultaneously being too cryptic and too expository. A nice exchange between text and image is achieved during some of the captioned sequences, but over all, the text and images occupy separate spaces in the narrative, never truly coalescing. The distinctions between the images in the chapters feel somewhat arbitrary, but Bouvy's take on the city clearly comes from a deeply personal relationship with it, and I suspect that this book will resonate more with those familiar with Rotterdam. For someone who knows nearly nothing of the city, this experiment creates an additional dimension of difficulty in accessibility. Even though the book speaks to the general nature of modern urban spaces, it is also highly site specific -- many of the images in the book are anonymous enough to be almost anywhere, but Bouvy makes it clear in the annotations that each image is Rotterdam. Though the central metaphor of the book is tangible, something about it continues to remain illusive. For me, this book is a bit unknowable, perhaps like the city itself.—Sarah Bradley

Sarah Bradley is a writer and maker of things currently living in Santa Fe, NM. She is a member of the Meow Wolf art collective and has worked for photo-eye since 2008. 
The Dancing Night,Photographs by Yasuwo Tsuji
Published by Tosei-Sha, 2010.


The Dancing Night
Reviewed by John Mathews
YASUWO TSUJI The Dancing Night
Photographs by Yasuwo Tsuji
Tosei-Sha, 2010. Hardbound. 96pp.,
57 black & white illustrations, 8x10-1/2."

The Dancing Night is made up of a series of dour, grainy, black and white cityscapes that are all shot at night. A majority of the images feature a range of excruciatingly mundane subject matter such as weeds, trash, leaves and asphalt. These micro urban terrain shots use very low or completely ground level angles, as if the photographer is literally crawling through the underbrush and city streets. There is an overbearingly dark atmosphere to these photographs that makes them difficult to engage with.

The Dancing Night, by Yasuwo Tsuji. Published by Tosei-Sha, 2010.

Scattered in between these ground level cityscapes are impromptu shots of lone figures that wander through desolate locations such as empty fairgrounds and stores. The hand held, shoot from the hip feel of these images creates a feeling that the photographer is stalking random people as he vainly attempts to find a coherent subject to latch onto. The fact that these figurative shots are predominantly taken from behind and never show any facial features also contributes to an atmosphere of detached desire and voyeurism. This ploy of isolating human forms is also evident in a small number of more intimate shots that feature a high-heeled shoe, a thrust out tongue and a nipple being caressed. These anonymous and sexualised images represent a sharp contrast to the stark and withdrawn cityscapes and add to the mood of underlying yearning within the book.

The Dancing Night, by Yasuwo Tsuji. Published by Tosei-Sha, 2010.

The Dancing Night, by Yasuwo Tsuji. Published by Tosei-Sha, 2010.

Like an imaginary detective novel The Dancing Night tries to instill a sense of dark mystery and urban isolation. It is as if the protagonist of this particular story is struggling in and out of consciousness and trying to claw their way home after some fracas or attempting to flee melancholy by plodding through the city with a disconnected air of abandonment. However the visual clues within this aimless and oppressive journey have a druggy haze to them that leaves the viewer disorientated. Overall the book feels like a meandering, disengaged, aloof and abstract nocturnal sketch.—John Mathews

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John Mathews is an artist and curator from Belfast, Northern Ireland.

First Wednesday Photography Salon
Artists presenting: Luis Sanchez Saturno and Ray A. Valdez
December 1st, 2010, 6:30 meet the artists, 6:45-9 salon
photo-eye Gallery, 376-A Garcia Street, Santa Fe, NM 87501
Contact: Anne Kelly
505.988.5152 x 121

First Wednesday’s December Salon will be held on December 1st, 2010, with the opening
reception starting at 6:30pm and the salon running from 6:45pm to 9pm. Photographers Luis
Sanchez Saturno and Ray A. Valdez will be presenting work. Saturno will be discussing a series
of photographs created with a photographic technique commonly known as “Painting with Light.”
Head producer of Zozobra, Valdez will discuss photographing Zozobra over the years, also displaying images from his photographic archive of the event dating back to the first burning of Zozobra in 1924.

December 2010 First Wednesday Salon Artists’ Bios:

Luis Sanchez Saturno, originally from Caracas, Venezuela, creates work that combines long exposures, sometimes as long as 90 seconds, with studio photography creating a mixture seldom seen in the photographic community. The technique allows him to use sparklers to draw objects and shapes that the subjects appear to be interacting with. The sparklers, leaving behind a fiery outline, become a ballerina's tutu or an angel's wings. For some even larger objects are created like a motorcycle or even an entire person. The work is a series of portraits inspired by his everyday experiences as a photojournalist. Saturno has been working as a photojournalist since 1996 and has collected many national awards in the process. In 2004 he was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize for his work documenting heroin addicts in Rio Arriba County. His work
has appeared in national publications such as The New York Times and Sports Illustrated. His work also appears daily in the Santa Fe New Mexican.

Ray A. Valdez was born and raised in Santa Fe and has loved both photography and Zozobra since he can remember. Valdez started collecting photographs and Zozobra memorabilia in 3rd grade and began photographing the event himself in 9th grade. In 1990 Valdez joined the Zozobra building crew, 1994 he co-produced the event, and by 1995 Valdez was the head producer and has been since. Producing Zozobra has given Valdez the opportunity to expand his boyhood collection, which has grown to an extensive archive of this historic event.

*images shown from left to right: Luis Sanchez Saturno, Ray A. Valdez,

We've just received five of the six yet published zines from Decathlon Books (we're waiting on stock for number 2 -- Sleep Talking by Todd Jordan).  Decathlon was started by Duncan Hamilton and Peter Sutherland to feature artists, designers and photographers they find interesting, and as the name implies, will ultimately publish ten zines in the series.  So far, the books are fantastic. These are the kind of zines for grown-ups -- perfect or staple bound, glossy covers and well laid out but produced on the cheap -- the newsprint interiors are a reminder of the xeroxed zines that many of the artists featured in this series have made in the past.

The series kicked off with Emportant News by legendary professional skateboarder and prolific artist Mark Gonzales.  Known for his drawings, zines, painting and poetry, Emportant News is comprised of a series of photographs shot by Gonzales on his Sidekick cell phone, represented here as black & amp; white images printed on green newsprint.  Some of the images are accompanied by phrases, creating an oddly funny interplay of visual images punctuated by strange verbal quips.  There's poetry in the arrangement of these images -- as weird and gritty as they are.

from Emportant News
from Emportant News

Number 3 is The Alaskan by painter/sculpture/photographer/maker of awesome things Misaki Kawai. Also printed on green newsprint, The Alaskan opens with a funny little interview with Kawai, questions asked by her mother.  It's a silly sweet conversation and sets the perfect tone for the images that follow. The images in the book feature Kawai's quirky images as well as documentations of her art work -- sculpture and drawings, and even a pile of the zines she hand produces (which are available on her website).

from The Alaskan
from The Alaskan

Number 4 is Fools on Hills by German artist Till Gerhard.  Named one of the best books of 2009 by Ron Jude and Danielle Mericle, Fools on Hills features assembled photographs from a variety of times and places, continuing Gerhard's explorations into the dubious human need for spirituality and faith.  Finding recurring motifs and using them to link the past with the present, Gerhard also weaves in a few images of his own paintings, creating a diverse and intriguing mix of images, eerie, and at times both unsettling and funny.  The book is prefaced by a great essay by Decathlon Books.

from Fools on Hills
from Fools on Hills

Number 5 is Parking Lot Hydra from photographer Estelle Hanania.  Documenting a traditional winter festival in Bulgaria, Hanania's images capture the participants in the interim moments, in process of setting up and taking breaks, adding an additional level of other-worldliness to the strangely costumed subjects. The costumes themselves are fantastic -- vast collections of fanned out feathers and vaguely human-shaped mounds of fur.  And plenty of masks -- some stunning in their elaborate decoration, others creepy in their haphazard construction.  The book opens with an interview with Hanania and Decathlon, giving background to the project and festival.  Also printed on newsprint, the images in this volume are in color, except for a few pages at the center of the book printed black & white on green newsprint.

from Parking Lot Hydra
from Parking Lot Hydra

Number 6 is a joint project, JAM -- standing for Jack And Maggie -- Jack Greer and Maggie Lee. Fellow Pratt graduates, Greer and Lee create a stew of photographs, drawings and collage.  Images are not distinguished by author, but two distinct voices do emerge often creating an engaging back and forth, other times talking across each other. JAM is a frenetic series of images capturing friends, crack pipes, street shots, assembled objects, messy rooms and more.  Lee is a veteran zine maker and currently runs the zine Frenching. Both her and Greer have blogs, creating and posting "little works along the way." JAM and its authors are introduced in a forward by Decathlon Books.
from JAM
from JAM

Check out all of the Decathlon Books here.

photo-eye is excited to announce the second publication of photo-eye Editions, Suo Sarumawashi by Hiroshi Watanabe.

Aikichi 2 from Suo Sarumawashi
Sarumawashi, "monkey dancing," has been in existence for over a thousand years in Japan. Initially it evolved as a form of religious ritual designed to protect the horses of warriors. Later, it developed into a popular festival entertainment, with monkeys performing throughout the countryside of Japan. Sarumawashi ranks alongside Noh and Kabuki as one of the oldest and most traditional of Japan's performing arts. The highly trained monkeys perform acrobatic stunts and comedic skits and are beloved by those who witness them. Hiroshi Watanabe remembered these performing monkeys from his childhood and traveled to Japan to rediscover them. Rather than making pictures of the performances, Watanabe instead chose to produce this series of formal portraits made in a make-shift studio on location in Japan. These pictures not only portray the monkeys with great dignity and respect, but are also a beautiful, quiet reflection of Watanabe's sensitivities and artistic soul.

This stunning limited edition portfolio is comprised of twelve pigment ink prints chosen from Watanabe's series of macaque monkey portraits made in 2008 and includes text by Watanabe and an official introduction from the Suo Sarumawashi Association. Limited to fifty copies along with three artist proofs, each is contained in an elegant anodized aluminum box. The pigment ink prints are made on 11x14 inch Hahnemühle photo rag baryta.

Limited edition print Fukunosuke's Hands from Suo Sarumawashi

The deluxe limited edition contains a thirteenth image, a gelatin-silver photograph, printed, signed and numbered by the artist. Limited to twenty copies and two artist proofs, the deluxe edition is presented in black anodized aluminum box.

View the entire Suo Sarumawashi portfolio here.

View additional work by Hiroshi Watanabe here.

For more information on Watanabe's work contact photo-eye Gallery Associate Director Anne Kelly.
Camille Silvy: Photographer of Modern Life.
By Mark Haworth-Booth. Photographs by Camille Silvy.
Published by The Getty Museum, 2010.
Camille Silvy: Photographer of Modern Life
Reviewed by Joscelyn Jurich
Mark Haworth-Booth Camille Silvy: Photographer of Modern Life
Photographs by Camille Silvy.  By Mark Haworth-Booth
The Getty Museum, 2010. Hardbound. 160 pp., 113 color illustrations, 8-1/2x10-1/2".
"Since all centuries and all peoples have their own form of beauty," Charles Baudelaire wrote in his 1846 essay, "On the Heroism of Modern Life," "so inevitably we have ours...There are such things as modern beauty and modern heroism!"

In this collection of over one hundred photographs, many from a private collection in Paris and published here for the first time, Mark Haworth-Booth, author of the first book on Camille Silvy, (Camille Silvy: River Scene, France) consistently though not always convincingly argues that the 19th century commercial photographer embodied many of the qualities Baudelaire ascribed to modern painters in his 1863 essay, "The Painter of Modern Life."

Modeled on Constantin Guys, Baudelaire's modern painter is an urban flâneur who portrays the fleeting beauty not of the Classical world but of "the world around him...the beauty of the present:" its fashion, its street life, its manners. During his highly successful but mere decade-long career (1857-67), Silvy never purported to document modern beauty or modern heroism, nor did he ever refer to himself as "modern," but his images reflect an elegant mastery in crafting and capturing the aesthetic pleasure of the everyday during a period when photography was not considered fine art. 2010 is the centenary of Silvy's death, and this book's publication coincides with a Silvy retrospective currently on view at London's National Portrait Gallery.

Photographer of Modern Life, by Camille Silvy. Published by The Getty Museum, 2010.
 The 19th century version of Facebook, Haworth-Booth points out, was the carte de visite (a small, photographic calling card) and Silvy was mid-19th century London's preeminent carte-de-visite photographer. Born in 1834 in a town outside of Chartres into an upper middle class family, Silvy studied Law and was a diplomat in the French foreign office. While posted in Algeria, he was commissioned to draw buildings and landscapes to encourage French immigration to its new colony. During the project, Silvy quickly favored photography's ability to replicate "exact views" over drawing's imprecision and began studying photography upon his return to France in 1857.

Photographer of Modern Life, by Camille Silvy. Published by The Getty Museum, 2010.
These few biographical details are in the book's first chapter and though organized chronologically with a photograph on almost every page, Haworth-Booth's text is far more the story of Silvy's images than of Silvy himself. He traces the photographer's evolution from his early images of Algiers to his last panoramic landscapes of the Champs-Elysée and reveals new elements in one of Silvy's best known images, La Valée de l'Huisne (1858), uncovering the photograph's illusions and composite techniques. Other chapters include his evocative light studies, street scenes, portraits of actors and actresses, cartes-de-visite and portraits of upper-class Londoners and their children.

Silvy's portraits of children are among the most striking images in the book. Mrs. Holford's Daughter (1860) shows the young girl with her lace dress suggestively pulled just below her not yet formed breasts, in a pose echoing one of Lewis Carroll's best known photographs of his model for Alice in Wonderland, Alice Liddell. In Alice Hall and Mrs. Hall (1862), the child faces the viewer, her face scrunched and pouty, as if on the verge of crying. Her mother's back is turned toward the viewer revealing the glistening ripples of her dress and the severe, perfect plait of her hair. It is an eerie portrait of mother and child, more post-modern than modern.

Photographer of Modern Life, by Camille Silvy. Published by The Getty Museum, 2010.
 Also remarkable is Silvy's Studies on Light: Twilight (1859), a mood study that combines four negatives and hand drawing on the negative to create an image contrasting defined foreground figures and blurred background landscape, revealing the nuances of light as day passes into night. Silvy's portrait proof sheets and postage stamp portraits, whose series of differentiated repetitive images not only recall photography's commercial power of mechanical reproduction but also its later influence on artists like Andy Warhol and Randy Hayes.

Haworth-Booth's prose possesses a spare elegance that deftly complements the quietude of many of Silvy's images. Yet some biographical omissions frustrate: he never mentions whether Silvy had any early ambitions as an artist and even more glaringly unclear is how and why Silvy decided in 1859 to leave diplomacy for photography - a sizable and strange omission. The reader learns the photographer was married only when Haworth-Booth references, more than halfway through the book, a letter Silvy wrote to "his wife," who remains nameless. And while we learn that Silvy became London's most successful carte-de-visite photographer, at his peak taking a portrait every twelve minutes and praised by contemporary Félix Nadar, Haworth-Booth never deigns to explain just how he did it.

Photographer of Modern Life, by Camille Silvy. Published by The Getty Museum, 2010.
 In 1859, the same year Silvy moved to London to open his portrait studio, Baudelaire wrote a scathing Salon review in which he warned the public about the "madness" and "extraordinary fanaticism" of those "buffoons, male and female" who equate photography with art. Photographers, he wrote, are little but peintres manqués, of "too slender talent" or "too lazy" to actually become painters. Photography, he wrote, will never transcend "external reality" and is therefore not an art but its "very humble servant," akin to printing and stenography.

It is therefore curious that Haworth-Booth, a noted photography historian who has written books on Lee Miller, Paul Strand and Bruce Davidson and is former Senior Curator of Photographs at the Victoria and Albert Museum, never mentions Baudelaire's famous critique. It is even more curious considering Silvy himself considered photography "industrial" rather than imaginative. "Fine Arts create," Silvy wrote to the Photographic Journal in 1862. "Photography copies."

Perhaps implicit in Haworth-Booth's association of the photographer with Baudelaire's modern painter is an effort to challenge Baudelaire's critique of photography by now defining Silvy's diverse, sometimes haunting and often meditative images as art, and Silvy as an artist. "Modernity," Baudelaire wrote, "is the transient, the fleeting, the contingent; it is one half of art, the other being the eternal and the immutable." Silvy is this modernity's photographer par excellence.—Joscelyn Jurich

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Joscelyn Jurich is a freelance journalist and critic whose work has appeared in numerous publications, including Bookforum, Publishers Weekly and the Village Voice. Jurich is currently a Fellow at the Writers' Institute at the City University of New York.
from the book Infidel

Infidel is one of the best photography books to come out that documents the United States involvement in Afghanistan. I would go so far to say that it is one of the most powerful photobooks to come out this year. Photographer and film maker Tim Hetherington's Infidel tracks a detailed account of one US platoon serving in the Korengal Valley -- their bravery and vulnerability all come forth in this brilliantly designed book. The book looks and feels like a journal -- adding an additional layer of  intimacy to what already comes through in the pictures -- that these men unavoidably shared everything with each other. The design aspects -- along with the revealing pieces written by the soldiers weaves together to make a strangely unique book. Somewhat of a companion piece to Hetherington's film Restrepo, Infidel mixes a series of portraits, battle scenes, tattoo designs and still-lifes into one detailed account of what war is for these men. The photographs are simply beautiful and telling.

This book doesn't form a political standpoint, it is a simple story of camaraderie and reality.... and it works. I wish more projects were approached as simply as this one... maybe the staying power of those projects would resonate in the way Hetherington's book does.

from the book Infidel

from the book Infidel

from the book Infidel

from the book Infidel
Purchase a copy of the book here.

Elizabeth Avedon recently posted an interesting piece on her photo blog entitled "Top 3 Selling Photography Books of All Time." Keeping the focus on fine art photography, Avedon posed this as a question to a number of her fellows in the photo world and received an interesting variety of titles, along with plenty of like-minded answers.  photo-eye's Rixon Reed, Melanie McWhorter and Eric Miles were among those polled for their opinions.

It's a difficult thing to gauge -- drawing the line between photobook and fine art photobook is tricky and statistics don't appear to be forthcoming.  Just out of curiosity, I checked for their current list of best selling photography books (which is apparently updated hourly), moving down it for the first book that would qualify as fine art.  At number 30, Take Ivy by T. Hayashida, a powerHouse reprint of the 1965 fashion classic, walks the line. At number 45 was Infidel by Tim Hetherington, published by Chris Boot, which some might criticize as being more documentary than fine art, despite its brilliantly powerful images and thoughtful layout and design.  At number 52 I found Revealing Mexico with photographs by John Mack, also from powerHouse.

Avedon settled on The Family of Man curated by Edward Steichen, The Americans by Robert Frank  and Looking at Photographs curated by John Szarkowski as the top three.  It's fascinating to see the responses (there are some great thoughts in the comments as well), which I suspect also reflect some amount of wanting. There will always be a long list of books that many feel should have been best sellers, but just never were (which would be another interesting list to compile). Avedon's post makes me wonder how a book can merge financial success with artistic impact -- though it is perhaps arguable how much the quality of the images inside have to do with overall sales.  There are certainly plenty of astounding photography books published every year, what is it that makes one a best seller? And just when does the commercial success of a book preclude it from being well received in the fine art world?

Read Avedon's blog post here.
Melt, Photographs by Simon Harsent. 
Published by Pool Productions PTY LTD, 2010.
Reviewed by Douglas Stockdale
Simon Harsent Melt.
Photographs by Simon Harsent.
Pool Productions PTY LTD, 2010. 100 pp., color illustrations throughout, 16-3/4x12".

After leaving the Midwest over twenty-five years ago for Southern California, I am now content to visit the snow on our annual ski trips. I have fond memories of the first snow or awaking with a fresh white blanket covering our yard, but I recall with equal feelings trudging to school with a wintry blast stinging my face or wading through the early cold spring slush. Thus the flat and melancholy photographs of icebergs in Simon Harsent's Melt stir conflicting memories for me.

My first impression of Harsent's documentation of various icebergs during their migratory pathway is that he is attempting to create a collective portrait of an iceberg. The difficulty that I have with this concept is the implication that if we were presented with photographs of a variety of people we might construct a portrait of a human. Thus after considering the cleaving, wasting away and eventual dissolution of these snowy structures, I sense an alternative symbolic narrative about mid-life crisis, old age, impermanence and eventual passing.

Melt, by Simon Harsent. Published by Pool Productions PTY LTD, 2010.

Harsent presents serial photographs of the life-cycle phases of an iceberg, a progression that begins with large looming structures that over time are reduced in size and reshaped by the sea, wind and sun. The structures appear to be in a slow kinetic morphing, assuming random changes in appearance, depending on the weather conditions encountered in their slow plodding transition to the iceberg graveyard.

Melt, by Simon Harsent. Published by Pool Productions PTY LTD, 2010.

Harsent's photographs are outward looking seascapes, a series of icebergs viewed from a distance with a mass of snow and ice rising just above horizon and filling much of the sky. The ocean usually appears tranquil, while the skies are dark, overcast and clouded and provide me with a moody and mysterious feeling. One result of the flat lighting is to compresses these structures into abstract surfaces and shapes. The chiseled and angular sides of the iceberg initially reveal the results of the cleaving, exposing the structures ancient inner core. The subsequent weather over the duration of their migratory path with the resulting wind, sun, melting and sublimation subsequent re-contour the surface lines, creating aesthetic windswept and flowing icy sea-sculptures.

Melt, by Simon Harsent. Published by Pool Productions PTY LTD, 2010.

These icy structures are frequently ambiguous as to their relative size and volume; without a fathomable reference point, I can not be sure how large these masses are. Harsent's sublime compositions early in the book hint at a massive size, such that they can not be retained within the boundaries of the pictorial space. Later in the book, when the icebergs have become more diminutive, they sit easily within the frame.

The beautiful horizontal color photographs are complemented by a classic layout in this large, oversize horizontal hardcover book.—Douglas Stockdale

Douglas Stockdale is a photographer, author and writer when not working his day job. His photographic projects and stories explore questions from our dreams, experiences and memories. His first self-published book is In Passing and he recently completed his latest photo-project Insomnia: Hotel Noir. He is a photobook critic with his own photo-blog, The PhotoBook, available at Douglas’s web site is and can be contacted at 
The current exhibition at photo-eye Gallery is the Cranach Series by Carla van de Puttelaar, but also on display is a selection of photo-eye gallery artists. I requested that each artist tell us a little something about their images that are included in this exhibition. If you live in Santa Fe or will be visiting, I invite you to stop by the gallery and take a look. If you are not in Santa Fe it is my hope that this blog post will allow you to experience this exhibit (virtually, anyway) and obtain a more personal understanding of each piece. Enjoy!

Tinkertoys -- Julie Blackmon
Julie Blackmon on Tinkertoys:
17th century painting continues to have an influence on my work. The idea behind this one, though, came from my own life growing up, when I would sneak in during naptime to wake up and play with the baby (one of my younger siblings). It never went over too well . . . with the babies. . . .or my mom.

The After-Party -- Julie Blackmon
Julie Blackmon on The After-Party:
This was also inspired by painting, specifically the "celebration of the birth" paintings done by Jan Steen and others. I liked the idea of creating this moment, where everyone had left the party (a drinking party in this case), so it's just the dad, the kids and the dog having their own little after-party. And the little smile I got from the baby was an unexpected bonus during the shoot.

As Blackmon's photographs are inspired by Dutch and Flemish paintings and as Carla van de Puttelaar is a photographer and Dutch art historian, we thought that van de Puttelaar might enjoy Blackmon's work. Here's her response to one of Blackmon's images.

High Dive -- Julie Blackmon
Carla Van de Puttelaar on High Dive by Julie Blackmon:
High Dive reminds me of a work by Peter Jacob Horemans and by Philips Wouwerman. There is another quality in the work of Julie Blackmon which is surrealism. This makes the work different, although in that she keeps a connection with Wouwerman. I can easily believe that suddenly someone will dive from the terrace as well, into the fountain below.

Winged Migration -- Tom Chambers
Tom Chambers on Winged Migration (2009):
This image was was inspired by artist Andrew Wyeth, particularly in the emotionality of the landscape, as well as the use of color and texture. Like Wyeth I was born and raised in Southeastern Pennsylvania where great value is placed on the natural world. The young girl with the migrating birds dashes across the meadow, in sync with nature. Both represent the seasonal passage of time in which they move and change with the winds and other untamed forces. Winged Migration was created from individual photographs taken in different areas of Virginia and then melded into a photomontage.

Baboons in Profile -- Nick Brandt
Nick Brandt on Baboons in Profile:
It's hard to get close to baboons, and as I don't use a telephoto lens, it means I need to come across some unexpectedly accommodating baboons. Baboons in Profile is in fact the only photo where I have ever been able to get close enough to baboons that I thought the image made the cut. Why these ones allowed me to, I have no idea. But every animal is different, just as every human is.

The shafts of light angling down between the baboons is a complete technical error during shooting on my part. Light got into the camera by mistake and caused this to happen, but in the compositionally correct place and angle. There's nothing quite like the pleasant surprise of a mistake making a photo better.

Spheres of Influence -- Jo Whaley
Jo Whaley on Spheres of Influence:
A still life composed of scattered books under a fig tree, upon which figs have dropped; some perfectly ripe, one overripe and sagging like an old man's testicle. Two of the books are ecclesiastical in nature, tattered and wrinkled but still pronouncing the glories of God. Meanwhile a comparison of skeletons glows from a 19thc Spanish medical book for women, which was found in a dumpster in the Mission District of San Francisco. Salvaged from its fate of destruction, it now offers instruction, of the differences that lie between man and ape and of the daring of Darwin. The Naked Truth. If nudity is too much to bear, take one of the fig leaves from the tree.

La Table Servie -- Laurie Tümer
Laurie Tümer on La Table Servie:
From the Glowing Evidence series, which began in 1998, La Table Servie is a loose historical re-enactment of one of the first fixed photographs, an 1826 work of the same title by Nicéphore Niépce. Borrowing a fluorescent tracer dye technique used in safety training for farm workers who apply pesticides, this photographic visualization charts the migration of invisible ubiquitous industrial chemicals into the food on our dinner table and into the products we use as practitioners of photography (traditional and digital). The series is a cautionary tale about the cost of these chemicals to our health and environment and the hungry industries that drive their use.

071557 and 092654 from Water Cascade -- David Gibson
Gibson H. Gibson on Water Cascade:
Watching a waterfall is a meditation. The elemental nature of water over rocks defined by light is mesmerizing. Several years ago I began a series of exposures to look at patterns formed in a moment. It was surprising to see the variety in these images. This discovery took me to the studio to look at water and light movements under controlled conditions. "Ephemeral Moments" developed from those studies. The current series is back in the land and full of the surprises of the unexpected.

Untitled #13, 2008 -- Ted Kuykendall
Ted Kuykendall (1953 - 2009) Untitled #13, 2008 was one of the final images created by Kuykendall, a unique image created while participating in the Roswell Artist-in-Residence Program.

"Authenticity, like artistic talent, is something innate; it can't be acquired intentionally. Authenticity and originality together is such a rare pairing that most of us almost never encounter it. Ted Kuykendall was perhaps the most authentic and original visual artist I have ever known. His work affects the receptive viewer viscerally and unmediated. The effect is powerful, if not always welcome, because Kuykendall produced work that stabs at the emotions while leaving the question of intention unanswered. His images are daring, palpably disturbing and occasionally baffling but never accommodating or predictable. This photographic work is also as unpretentious and unglamorous as was its maker."

Stephen Fleming, Director
Roswell Artist-in-Residence Program
October 7, 2009

Code I -- Chaco Terada
Chaco Terada on Code I:
This series is related to the works named "gate." The title "code" is another expression of the "soul of calligraphy."

This title "code" is the code to open a gate to enter a new world or an experience in our lives. This idea came from my own experience when I stood on the land of a foreign country far from Japan for the first time.

Nobody gave me a key to open the door. It took time for me to realize that the key was in me. That was not just a key but a code. Moreover, nobody could help me decode it. I was only one who had ability to break the code.

Calligraphy of the Soul V and Calligraphy of the Soul III -- Chaco Terada
Chaco Terada on Calligraphy of the Soul:
My art works in the past were composed by Japanese calligraphic lines. These brush strokes were produced by the energy in the moment -- when a word inspired by one of my photographs became a feeling in my mind.

My approach is slightly different in the new pieces.
The lines drawn are driven by the energy of emotion. This happens just before the impression from my photographs becomes a word in my mind.
I let my heart and body draw lines as they want without words. Words were the basis of my work in the past. To me, energy has more power and deeper meaning. At this time, I enjoy the unlimited tune my new lines play.

Sunburnded GSP#386(Pacific Ocean), 2009 -- Chris McCaw
Chris McCaw on Sunburned GSP#386(Pacific Ocean), 2009:
The simplicity of the ocean's straight horizon paired with the burned path of the sun is one of my favorite areas to work with. It seems like it would get redundant quickly but when you look at each work, they are all very different. With this piece, I wanted to do an extended burn and break it up between 2 negatives. Playing with the abstraction of this simplified landscape, I purposefully placed just a taste of a cliff on the far right. This little bit of landscape information grounds the piece as a landscape, but looking over the rest of the image it can become complete abstraction. This tension sums up some of the magic of the Sunburn series. The images can at times be completely abstract with no reference to photography. But in reality, these images are photographically based in landscape and made by a collaboration between myself, a simple machine, and the natural world.

If you have any questions you are welcome to contact me by email or at 505-988-5159 x121
---Anne Kelly, Associate Director, photo-eye Gallery