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Book Store Interview Personal History Photographs by Carole Glauber Interview by Blake Andrews For the first thirty years of their lives, Carole Glauber photographed her two sons using a simple 1950s Brownie Hawkeye camera. Her new book Personal History, published by Daylight, collects a selection of her pictures, along with essays by Elinor Carucci and her sons Ben and Sam. photo-eye’s Blake Andrews took a moment recently to chat with Glauber about the book and process behind its creation.
Personal History. By Carole Glauber.
https://www.photoeye.com/bookstore/citation.cfm?catalog=IG050
Personal History
Photographs by Carole Glauber

Daylight Books, USA, 2020. 112 pp., 6½x9½x¾".

For the first thirty years of their lives, Carole Glauber photographed her two sons using a simple 1950s Brownie Hawkeye camera. Her new book Personal History, published by Daylight, collects a selection of her pictures, along with essays by Elinor Carucci and her sons Ben and Sam. 

photo-eye’s Blake Andrews took a moment recently to chat with Glauber about the book and the process behind its creation.

The following interview has been edited for clarity and brevity.

Blake Andrews: When did you first become interested in Brownie cameras?

Carole Glauber: I lived in San Diego for 4 years where I was very active at the Museum of Photographic Arts. I began my self-taught studies of the history of photography and learning to identify early photographic processes. The museum was new and I ended up creating the system for cataloguing their permanent collection, although I had never done anything like that before.

My oldest son, Ben, was born in San Diego. Around the time when he turned one, we moved to Portland. I knew only one person, was not familiar with the area, and there was not a Museum of Photographic Arts. My Pentax broke so I took it in for repairs. I was feeling a little lost. On my shelf was the Brownie Hawkeye camera from a thrift shop. I have no idea why, but I had the idea that I could use that camera if I could find film for it.


BA: The camera was on your shelf already?

CG: Yes, the camera was on my shelf at home.

BA: A subconscious fulfillment. There's a myth in some traditions that when you are ready to learn, the right teacher will appear. Which sounds like the Brownie. It was there on your shelf the whole time, just waiting to teach you whenever you were ready...

CG: Evidently! Who was using plastic cameras back in 1987?

BA: There was a small Diana wave in the 1970s into the early 80s. But it fizzled.

CG: Yes, but I think for the most part I was an anomaly. I went to the camera shop and learned I could buy 620 film for it, so I bought 10 rolls to see what would happen. The person behind the counter gave me some take-up spools, or I don't know what I would have done!

I should also mention that while in San Diego, I was asked to shoot portraits of people in the Hebrew Home for the Aged who were being interviewed about coming through Ellis Island. Around the same time, I started doing street photography. All of that created a platform for what I did next. I was always thinking about photography through the prism of history.

My first photograph was the one of Ben that is now on the cover of the book — at least that was the one that made me realize I had something potentially special and unique going on.

BA: What attracted you to the Brownie at first?

CG: I have no idea. But I do say that being a little lost can be a good thing. It created a state of vulnerability that needed to be filled.

BA: When you say you felt lost and vulnerable, are you referring to the way the Brownie is unpredictable? It doesn't record with fidelity. Instead, it interjects focus artifacts, light leaks, etc. Is that why you were drawn to it?

CG: No, I was feeling lost when I came to Portland. I left behind 4 years of my life and I had nothing yet in Portland. I was home with my 14-month-old son, still a new mother.


BA: Did you also take photos of your young kids with "normal" cameras? Or did you switch completely over to Brownie when you had Ben?

CG: Yes, I did make “normal” photos of Ben with “normal” cameras, the kind everyone does. I sent them to family members and made albums.

BA: What about the Brownie photos? Did you send those to family members too? What was the reaction?

CG: I am sure I did not send them Brownie photos. For one thing, they would not have understood. Also, it was new for me too. I had a lot of failure with the Brownie camera. Too much light, not enough light, too much movement, or not interesting.


BA: That's interesting. You shot one set of family photos for public sharing. And another (Brownie) for yourself? Is that an accurate assessment? Did you share your Brownie photos with anyone else? Other photographers?


CG: I exhibited them at the Blue Sky Gallery 20th anniversary show. I took the camera with me when we traveled around Oregon, around the US, to Europe and Israel. Nowadays there are a gazillion people using plastic cameras and there are many competitions and exhibitions. It is mainstream.


BA: What about the new book? Have you sent that to family members? What is the reaction now?

CG: One of the nice things about my book is that it is something anyone can relate to on some level. People use the words dreamy and nostalgic to describe it. People have told me they wished they had done something like this of their kids.

BA: Something like what?

CG: Something besides the usual family photos where they line the kids up and asking them to smile. My years of street photography and portraiture came in to use here. I was always watching and waiting as I would when making portraits or street photos.

BA: I thought Ben's comment in the book was interesting. He wrote, “I have mixed feelings about these photos."


CG: Yes, he is a very private person. In my essay, I wrote about the vulnerability of being in a photograph — where a private moment suddenly becomes potentially public, or at least available for others to see. When I gave him a copy of my book and he looked through it he was very happy with it.

BA: There are delicate issues around sharing photos of minors with and without consent, and who controls the photos or what rights the subject has to their image, etc. I think about that a lot with my own photos of my kids.

CG: Yes it is an important issue now.

BA: What happens?

CG: Parents posting photos of kids on the internet, Facebook, etc. I did ask my sons’ permission for every photo I used in the book.

BA: To quote Ben, I have mixed feelings on that issue.

CG: That is why my kids each have an essay in the book. I wanted them to have a voice. Ben said he had mixed feelings about it and I said that was ok. He is 34 years old and married now.

BA: It sounds like you always had a camera in hand when around your kids. Did you ever encounter the classic photo/parent dilemma, when there was tension between the urge to take a photo and the need to parent? I guess another way to ask that is, how did the act of shooting your kids or looking at them with a photographer's eye affect your parenting?

CG: Let’s say that I did not photograph my kids bleeding, or crying, or distressed. It never occurred to me.

BA: Well that's an extreme example. But what I was thinking of more is the typical photographer mindset, which requires some objectivity. Personally, when I view things through the photographer’s eye (pretty much 24/7), it removes me mentally from the scene in front of me. And with parenting, that's a potential pitfall. Because direct presence is often required. It's something I wrestle with. I'm just curious how others resolve it.

CG: As I recall, your photographs of your kids were fun… that is your skill.

BA: Thanks. Your kids are adults now on their own. Do you still photograph them when you see them? Or is the series done?


CG: I consider the series done. I don't think they would appreciate me following them around with a Brownie Hawkeye! I felt that I was pretty much done when Sam was getting older and I was not making photos that were really new. But I did continue and I am glad I did, although because they were no longer living at home the photographs are at wider intervals. I am glad those formative years are behind me. Now Ben is always looking after us!

BA: Did the final book turn out roughly as you'd expected? Or were there some surprises along the way?

CG: There were no surprises. Ursula Damm is an excellent book designer. We emailed and talked on Skype so there was a lot of discussion about how it could look and we worked together on that.

BA: Were you limited by pandemic restrictions and the inability to travel?

CG: Every negative needed to be scanned. I had that done professionally. Luckily I started that process way ahead of the deadline, so it was done before the first lockdown and the business had to temporarily shut down, as did everyone. So I spent the lockdown preparing the scans for production, working with Ursula, writing and editing,

BA: You probably couldn't have timed the shutdown any better.

CG: I was never bored!

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Blake Andrews is a photographer based in Eugene, OR. He writes about photography at blakeandrews.blogspot.com.
photo-eye Gallery New Images by Edward Bateman photo-eye Gallery
As part of his prodigious series of staged photographs Yosemite: Seeking Sublime, a project produced during the ongoing pandemic and crafted on the artist’s kitchen table, Bateman continues to create enigmatic and alluring images using innovative techniques and unexpected materials.
 
Edward Bateman, Yosemite Eclipse, El Capitan No. 1, archival pigment print, 2021, 8 x 11 inches, edition 8, $800

photo-eye Gallery is thrilled to share new images from artist Edward Bateman.

As part of his prodigious series of staged photographs Yosemite: Seeking Sublime, a project produced during the ongoing pandemic and crafted on the artist’s kitchen table, Bateman continues to create enigmatic and alluring images using innovative techniques and unexpected materials – including geographical data, 3D printer, a fog machine, fiber-optic lighting, and powdered sugar.

The work is inspired by a need to understand the concept of the sublime through representations of the majestic landscapes of Yosemite National Park.
 
We reached out to the artist for some additional insight into the making of these new images. Below, Bateman was generous enough to share a short statement detailing his thought process and inspirations surrounding the project.
 
 
Edward Bateman, Half Dome with Wild Sky No. 1, archival pigment print, 2021, 8 x 11 inches, edition 8, $800

 
Edward Bateman, Yosemite with Snow, archival pigment print, 2021, 8 x 11 inches, edition 8, $800

 
Edward Bateman, Yosemite Eclipse - Half Dome No. 1, archival pigment print, 2021, 8 x 11 inches, edition 8, $800

"On New Year’s Eve this year, I was photographing the fireworks over Yosemite as the clock struck midnight. It seemed an appropriately odd thing to do to at the end of a very odd year. Of course, there were no fireworks over Yosemite – and El Capitan was on my kitchen table. But I did want to share an image from my imagination with friends to start the new year.

 

From Edward Bateman's Instagram account: Fireworks, New Year's 2020
 

I had already photographed winter in Yosemite… the mountains dusted with snowy powdered sugar. I think that we are all hoping that there are new possibilities in this year. So I imagined being able to photograph a rare total eclipse over Yosemite – a once in a life time experience. For the sun, I used a fiberoptic light source (often used for science and microscopy) placed in the frame; illuminating the still snowy mountains. A bit of fill-flash to freeze the rapidly moving clouds. The next day, I thought that I should have photographed Half Dome… the round lunar disc over the sun possibly echoing the roundness of the iconic peak. So it became a twice in a lifetime experience. I have never been to Yosemite — but I do have a sense of its orientation. I first tried the sun in a place that could conceivably be possible for the winter sun. But I have never tried to fool people that these were real images of the real thing… more of a tribute to these times when so much has been denied to us. In my microcosm, I was free to place the sun wherever I wanted it to be. 

These images felt like dreams to me. Which makes sense — they are certainly more from my imagination than a real place on earth. And I found that to be calming. In a time that has been so chaotic, it is nice to know that there are still a few things under my control that can give me joy, hope, and wonder. 

The clouds from my fog machine have a life of their own. They move and change so fast! Sometimes they create a total white-out. And at other times, surreal swirls that follow the subtle air currents that flow around my miniature mountains. These are even more like an image from a dream. They are chaotic in a way that only nature can be – but still having a sublime beauty that is always waiting for us in nature. Chaos and beauty intertwined; a good reminder for these times." 
 
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For more information, and to purchase prints, please contact Gallery Director Anne Kelly or Gallery Assistant Patricia Martin, or you may also call us at 505-988-5152 x202

 

All prices listed were current at the time this post was published.

 


 
 

Book Review The Locusts Photographs by Jesse Lenz Reviewed by George Slade "Throughout The Locusts, homo sapiens share the stage with various creeping, running, hopping, and airborne species. Our collective presence in these pictures has a very light touch..."
The Locusts. By Jesse Lenz.
https://www.photoeye.com/bookstore/citation.cfm?catalog=ZJ550
The Locusts
Photographs by Jesse Lenz

Charcoal Press, Ohio, 2020. 144 pp., 9¾x12¼".

For photographers of the teeming, public world — sometimes labeled street photographers, social documentarians, or photojournalists — a challenge exists: How small can something be in the photographic frame while still functioning as the nominal subject? Robert Capa advocated for proximity — "if the photograph isn’t good enough, you’re not close enough” was his refrain — while others, like Helen Levitt, Henri Cartier-Bresson, or Garry Winogrand, kept their distance and offered contextual tableaux instead of spotlights.

The issue expands beyond the photographer’s fascination with the thing itself. In the case of Winogrand’s project leading to his book The Animals, while photographing animals in a zoo, he inevitably captured people in the pictures. Humans, in fact, often appear closer to the observer than the animals. The title hints at the truth of “both/and” — both humans and zoo occupants are animals, and our behaviors bear comparison. Ultimately, the story is about the porous relationships between species.

Such a continuum energizes Jesse Lenz’ The Locusts. One might even consider the similarities of the titles and compare how the relative sizes of animals and insects increase the stakes of the game; contrasting humans with insects instead of larger quadrupeds implies a new calibration. Locusts, individually, are difficult to make large in the frame without either a macro lens or post-exposure cropping. And the world around this family seems very expansive. Most of the humans to come appear just out of reach, the photographer maintaining a respectful, curious remove.

Throughout The Locusts, homo sapiens share the stage with various creeping, running, hopping, and airborne species. Our collective presence in these pictures has a very light touch. Often the ostensible subject of a photograph is nearly imperceptible. Some examples:

A beehive, or a squirrel’s nest, is little more than a baby pea suspended in a mesh of brush and saplings. An arch-necked crane that would be imperceptible if not for the white ‘S’ contrasting the marsh. A deer, dashing across the far edge of a field, hovers mid-leap against the arboreal dark. Children roam across broad expanses. The clutch of a black-cloaked young woman, raven-esque and approaching us, seems to float over the ground. An infant stuffed in a snowsuit resembles a spacewalker lifting off from the floor. A slightly older child disappears into a snowbank that resembles a cumulus cloud. In one image, a riff on Gill’s Pillar conceit, a bird of prey lifts off a fencepost. Within the frame, the bird appears as little more than a forsythia petal, an avian bit of dandelion fluff carried away by the wind. 


Light flows in from behind many of the subjects, leading to overexposed backgrounds that imbue the images with airy haze. (One might be pardoned for seeing “Lenz” flares.) The natural light surrounding these bucolic spaces is a glorifying light. Not god-like, exactly; not like the clouds parting to usher heavenly spotlights earthward. Nonetheless, there is gratitude in the light, an admission of comfort within the chaos. 

Lenz mingles “lux et levitas”, grace with gravitas. (Pardon my truly lighthearted pun on Yale’s motto.) Only dead things — a chicken’s head, a cat in a casket, a skeleton decaying into the dirt, a still glistening placenta — are notably weighted. The existential extension of that heaviness is surprisingly pervasive. Faces of children are often somber or pensive — as in the tipped-in image on the cover. A primitive deer stand, inked against the open sky, looms at the edge of a field, awaiting the aforementioned airborne whitetail that appears two pages later.

As many radiantly backlit images as there are in The Locusts, memento mori and existential angst are in ample supply. Dave Heath’s lyrically despairing A Dialogue with Solitude (1965) filters through Lenz’ photographs. A solitary house, presumably the family residence, glows in a darkness that is either dusk or storm. A dozen sheep, heads down and foraging, spot the middle ground. Roofs of outbuildings glint in arboreal shadow.


Lenz made these photographs over a three-year period, finishing in 2020. The sequencing and design of this book effectively jumble any easy reading of this family’s emotional landscape. Because the book’s sequence isn’t chronological, and because three years is a long time in the lives of children, we lack the luxury of certainty. The cast of characters swim in and out of focus before us. Infants become toddlers, tweens attain puberty and approach drivers’ ed classes. Lenz embraces these scenes fondly and gently, sometimes swooping within arm’s reach, sometimes standing apart, sometimes projecting into deep space to capture a fleeting expression of nature. All the while he tests the significance of bonds, examines relationships of scale as measured in proportion and wonder, and uses photography to express something like love.

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George Slade, aka re:photographica, is a writer and photography historian based in Minnesota's Twin Cities. He is also the founder and director of the non-profit organization TC Photo. rephotographica.com/

Image c/o Randall Slavin

photo-eye Gallery Sunrise Eagle Nest Lake | Handmade Artist Book by David H. Gibson photo-eye Gallery
photo-eye Gallery is excited to revisit one of our favorite accordion-style books by Dallas based photographer David H. Gibson, Sunrise Eagle Nest Lake.

From left to right: 1) Sunrise, August 24, 2003, 7:12 AM, Eagle Nest Lake, NM 2) Sunrise, August 24, 2008, 7:40 AM, Eagle Nest Lake, NM 3) Sunrise, August 26, 2008, 8:26 AM, Eagle Nest Lake, NM. The above images are available as 13.4 x 4" toned gelatin-silver prints, they are part of an edition of 25, and are $400 each.

photo-eye Gallery is excited to revisit one of our favorite accordion-style books by Dallas based photographer David H. Gibson, Sunrise Eagle Nest Lake. Painstakingly constructed by hand from gorgeous archival materials and printed to gallery standards, this exquisite book takes the viewer on a magical journey through time, starting from a single vantage point. 
 

Gibson's artistic practice often revolves around how light and atmosphere render an environment over time. He employs the camera to permanently record these ephemeral effects in sequence. The artist's process truly shines in Sunrise Eagle Nest Lake a captivating scene at a lake, viewed in chronological order and at an intimate distance, is lent a sense of enchantment from something as common as a sunrise.

To learn more about David H. Gibson's project on Eagle Nest Lake check out the interview with him below.


This book is presented in a clamshell box and contains 17 images that are printed using archival pigment ink. Signed and numbered as part of a limited edition of 15 with 5 artist proofs, the accordion-bound book is fabricated using 100% cotton rag mat board covered with a book binding fabric produced in Japan by World Cloth Company Limited.
 
 
 
 

» See more work by David H. Gibson


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All prices listed were current at the time this post was published.
 
For more information, and to purchase prints, please contact Gallery Director Anne Kelly or Gallery Assistant Patricia Martin, or you may also call us at 505-988-5152 x202


Book Review On Photographs Text by David Campany Reviewed by Brian Arnold "My interest in the new book by David Campany, On Photographs, stems precisely from this. It is clear and accessible enough for beginner students, and yet full of insights and information beneficial to photographers of any maturity..."

On PhotographsBy David Campany.
https://www.photoeye.com/bookstore/citation.cfm?catalog=RH100
On Photographs
Text by David Campany

The MIT Press, 2020. 272 pp., 6¾x8½".

I’ve been teaching beginning and intermediate photography to undergraduate students for 20 years. In the early stages of photographic education, I always try to impress upon my students how to read photographs as much as, if not more than, how to make them. So, in putting together a curriculum for an early photographic course, I’ve consistently looked for a text that helps students understand the incredible history and complexity of the medium, while also serving as a primer for the critical traditions that have grown with it.

My interest in the new book by David Campany, On Photographs, stems precisely from this. It is clear and accessible enough for beginner students, and yet full of insights and information beneficial to photographers of any maturity.

On Photographs is structured very much like Szarkowski’s classic, Looking at Photographs, with a 1:1 image-text relationship, one picture with a short essay on the facing page. I appreciate this form for writing about photographs, as it helps the reader focus on an image and specific details. As stated by Campany in the introduction, On Photographs can also be read in a couple of different ways. One can simply flip through and read the essays randomly — each is a complete idea in and of itself. And it is intuitive to read passages as you stumble upon pictures that capture your attention. But the book is also incredibly well-organized, with each essay building one on top of the other, so by reading it through sequentially you can get a clear idea of how different concepts and ideas overlap and intersect. 


The strength of the text lies in the eloquent ways Campany prompts the reader to engage the pictures. He uses a variety of different strategies for deciphering them, including approaches grounded in a rigorous understanding of photographic theory, biographical studies of the photographers, formal critiques, and investigations of the historical importance of individual photographs. The book provides a fantastic introduction to some of the essential critical theory that has helped shape our understanding of the medium today. In repeated references to their work, he gives clear and thorough introductions to pioneering critics like Walter Benjamin, Roland Barthes, Gisèle Freund, and Susan Sontag (the title of the book is a deliberate reference to Sontag’s On Photography, and the idea for it was developed years ago when Campany met the legendary critic while he was still a student).


Campany focuses on the second half of the 20th century to the present day, but also looks at its early roots, offering a glimpse into the development of the medium over the last 200 years. Many legends of photography make appearances — Gregory Crewdson, Rineke Djkstra, Bill Brandt, and Robert Frank, to name a few — but there are no images by Winogrand, Weston, or Arbus. In their place are pictures by engineers, anthropologists, and obscure South African journalists. A change I found refreshing.

On Photographs deserves high praise, but I also have to point out a couple of criticisms. It’s not uncommon when reading a text-heavy book to find a couple of typos, but there are enough in here to genuinely surprise and annoy me (Baldessari threw the balls, not through them). Much more importantly, in developing his argument Campany emphasizes the importance of photographic tools and technologies, mostly in addressing the importance of screens, cameras, and the printed page.


Photography is a technical medium, and we experience this so much more broadly than Campany acknowledges. More than just images, photographs are also objects. There is no denying that the screen is the primary way each of us experiences photographs now, but there are reasons wet plate remains so popular today, and why processes like platinum or cyanotype have stuck around for decades. How a photograph exists as an object is part of how it conveys meaning, and I think Campany fails to address this facet. There is important contemporary work by artists — think of Alison Rossiter, Sally Mann, and Meghann Riepenhoff — who have made the materiality of the medium an essential part of their vision, understanding that the passage of time on the physical presence of the image is part of how we make meaning from photographs.

Campany ends his book with an interesting musing about the evolution of photography from its inception to the present, and, strangely enough, with a pair of images — a negative and positive print — made by William Henry Fox Talbot’s wife, Constance. It’s a simple image, more photogram than photograph, made by contact printing the text of a poem. Campany turns this picture into an opportunity to reflect on how photography has developed since Constance made the print. His ultimate conclusion is that it hasn’t changed much; that photography was conceived with all that we know of it today. Herein lies the success of On Photographs. Simply and clearly, Campany shows us the incredible complexity of a medium that has both baffled and consumed our lives, one full of possibilities and contradictions from the very beginning that we are still trying to understand.

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Brian Arnold
is a photographer and writer based in Ithaca, NY, where he works as an Indonesian language translator for the Southeast Asia Program at Cornell University. He has published two books on photography, Alternate Processes in Photography: Technique, History, and Creative Potential (Oxford University Press, 2017) and Identity Crisis: Reflections on Public and Private and Life in Contemporary Javanese Photography (Afterhours Books/Johnson Museum of Art, 2017). Brian has two more books due for release in 2021, A History of Photography in Indonesia: Essays on Photography from the Colonial Era to the Digital Age (Afterhours Books) and From Out of Darkness (Catfish Books).
Book Review INDIA: Fragments From the Constellation Photographs by David Samuel Robbins Reviewed by Brian Arnold "Robbins is a photographer’s photographer, meaning his ideas are the result of a rigorous engagement with the camera and visual experience rather than working from a preconceived conceptual framework..."

By David Samuel Robbins.
https://www.photoeye.com/bookstore/citation.cfm?catalog=ZJ504
INDIA: Fragments From the Constellation
Photographs by David Samuel Robbins

Self-Published, 2020. In English. 
128 pp., 70+ color illustrations, 14x12".

Photographer David Robbins has made a career of wandering and photographing unique places around the world, working for magazines like the New York Times Sunday Magazine and National Geographic Traveller, as well as leading workshops for photography students in countries as diverse as Jordan, India, Myanmar, Bhutan, Morocco, and Nepal. His new self-published book, INDIA: Fragments from the Constellation, is a 3-year compilation of street photographs made in India. These images represent the culmination of a career spent exploring the world’s cultures in search of new experiences and opportunities for making pictures.

INDIA: Fragments From the ConstellationBy David Samuel Robbins.

Robbins is a photographer’s photographer, meaning his ideas are the result of a rigorous engagement with the camera and visual experience rather than working from a preconceived conceptual framework. His pictures radiate light, color, and precision, and are executed with flawless technique and understanding of the medium. The book itself is beautifully produced — amply sized, with an embossed black linen cover depicting a constellation or cosmology of sorts, an ouroboros in the middle (a snake consuming its own tail), and the four corners containing Tamil (a language native to parts of Southern India) inscriptions, translated as birth, death, creation, and destruction.

The book is divided into three basic sections. The bulk of it is a portfolio, full of large photographs documenting the best of Robbins’s engagement with India. The pictures are full of twists and turns. Robbins takes us to familiar destinations only to show their unlikely corners — imagine a grimy room, housing statues of Hindu deities and kings, one charging an iPad on its lap, and a beautiful look into a day in the life of a turmeric grinder. Towards the back are two small chapters — or perhaps better characterized as appendices — identified as “Side Projects.” Each of these sections — “The Idol Makers of Kumartuli” and “Kushti: The Ancient Art of Indian Wrestling” — offers a small selection of photographs with a brief description of the project. The first of these, “The Idol Makers of Kumartuli,” takes a quick look at a district northwest of Kolkata (formerly Calcutta) populated by potters and artisans dedicated to making elaborate sculptures of Hindu deities and mythology. The section of Kushti, a form of Indian wrestling, looks at men dedicated to learning the discipline of the sport.

INDIA: Fragments From the ConstellationBy David Samuel Robbins.

Any kind of genre photography is characterized by its own visual vocabularies. Street photography requires a spontaneous engagement with the flow of life, an acute sensitivity to be in the “right” place, and the lack of compunction to put the camera in the middle of it. Travel photography, on the other hand, is characterized by a different set of mythologies grounded in genuine wanderlust and romantic dreams. It requires the determination to hike to remote temples and a willingness to emerge oneself in foreign customs and experiences. A closer look makes it clear that the distinctions between street and travel are as murky as any; Robert Frank pioneered them both in London, Peru and even The Americans. Robbins’s approach offers a similar hybrid, giving us a colorful look at India, full of a genuine love for the region and mixed with surprising grit, humor, and insight. Within his layers is a history full of complexity, conflict, and hope.

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INDIA: Fragments From the ConstellationBy David Samuel Robbins.
INDIA: Fragments From the ConstellationBy David Samuel Robbins.

Brian Arnold
is a photographer and writer based in Ithaca, NY, where he works as an Indonesian language translator for the Southeast Asia Program at Cornell University. He has published two books on photography, Alternate Processes in Photography: Technique, History, and Creative Potential (Oxford University Press, 2017) and Identity Crisis: Reflections on Public and Private and Life in Contemporary Javanese Photography (Afterhours Books/Johnson Museum of Art, 2017). Brian has two more books due for release in 2021, A History of Photography in Indonesia: Essays on Photography from the Colonial Era to the Digital Age (Afterhours Books) and From Out of Darkness (Catfish Books).

photo-eye Gallery From the Flat Files: Domestic Landscapes photo-eye Gallery
Over the past few months, we have been going through our collection and sharing some of our favorite photographs by the many great artists we represent. This week, for our installment of "From the Flat Files," we introduce a selection of works devoted to life at home.

Over the past few months, we have been going through our collection and sharing some of our favorite photographs by the many great artists we represent. This week, for our installment of "From the Flat Files," we introduce a selection of works devoted to life at home.

While this selection makes no attempt at sociological objectivity, we believe that the many styles it spans have much to say about the different perspectives on the settings, rituals, and moods of the American domestic landscape.

For instance, within this genre, we can find the staged pictures of Julie Blackmon, Jennifer Greenburg, and Patty Caroll. In Blackmon’s Play Group, a mother and her children gather in a chaotic and cramped entryway — toys and children rest equally scattered on the floor. In Napping with Floyd by Greenburg, a woman (the artist in character) naps on a couch with a siamese cat sitting on top of her. In Caroll’s Bookie, a figure poses, engulfed with books in a home library in disarray. Reworking the domestic cliches of popular imagery, these artists examine the role culture, media, and history have in shaping private lives. Although their approach to the domestic landscape is different, they share the conviction that something important is going on — external forces are playing out in the private sphere of the home.
 
Patty Carroll, Bookie, archival pigment ink, 22 x 22 inches, edition of 20, $1500
 
Some of the domestic landscapes we revisited are charged with feeling, such as those captured by Cig Harvey and Keith Carter. In both artists’ work, the domestic experience is described not from the detached viewpoint of the documentarist, but from within. Captivating photographs, such as Red Jacket (Hanging) by Harvey (a bright red jacket hanging from a pink peeling wall) and Ofrenda by Carter (a dreamy photograph of a bird on a plinth, flanked by lamps and heavy curtains), are rendered with an intimacy that only an insider could possess.
 
Keith Carter, Ofrenda, 1998, toned gelatin silver print, 15 x 15 inches, edition of 50, $1800

Between these divergent styles, a photographer like Tom Chambers blends reality and fantasy, provoking viewers to imagine the stories behind his pictures. In Chambers’s Glass Flower / Flor de Vidrio, a deer stands on top of a dining table while a young woman seems undisturbed, or not aware, of the surreal scene — our sense that this moment has been concocted only draws us deeper into its drama.
 
Tom Chambers, Glass Flower / Flor de vidrio, archival pigment ink print, 20 x 20 inches, edition of 20, $1200
 
Other artists working within the genre, such as Richard Tuschman, revisit the domestic myth from the perspective of painting, cinema and theatre. In the painterly Woman with Book and Letter (part of the artist's series Hopper Meditations), a woman sits at the edge of a bed absorbed in thought, perhaps thinking about the person who authored the letter. The theatrical and cinematic image, evokes nostalgia, the loss of a time long gone. 

Richard Tuschman, Woman with Book and Letter, 2013, archival pigment ink, 24 x 18 inches, edition of 9, $1500
 
Enjoy our selection! And please contact us if you would like more information about the photographs above.
 
 
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All prices listed were current at the time this post was published.
 
For more information, and to purchase prints, please contact Gallery Director Anne Kelly or Gallery Assistant Patricia Martin, or you may also call us at 505-988-5152 x202