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photo-eye Gallery photo-eye Conversation: Reuben Wu on NFTs Anne Kelly
photo-eye Gallery Director Anne Kelly speaks with represented artist Reuben Wu about what NFTs could mean for photographers, and provides a general overview of what this digital asset really is.
Reuben Wu, XT1876, Archival pigment print, 22 x 30," Edition of 10, $2400 

This week at photo-eye, we're premiering the newest installment of our photo-eye Conversations series! Listen to Reuben Wu and Gallery Director Anne Kelly discuss the finer points of NFTs

What is an NFT? It seems like they appeared out of thin air in early 2021 — and now everyone is talking about them! The truth is that NFT’s (non-fungible tokens) have been around for about a decade now, but it wasn't until recently that they entered mainstream discourse around art and technology. How and why did they go mainstream? Most people credit the Beeple NFT sale at Christie's this March; there, Beeple (who is also known as Mike Winkelmann) sold "Everyday: The First 5000 Days" for $69 million at auction. At this price point, the story spread like wildfire, but, again what actually sold? What is a non-fungible token, and what could they mean for the art world?  There is no question that they have entered the mainstream market, but even so, a lot of people are still confused about what they are and what they mean for the art world…  

After receiving some encouragement from other NFT artists, In the Spring of 2021, photo-eye Gallery artist Reuben Wu decided to give it a try!  Since then you may have heard his name pop up in conversations about NFTs as one of the first image-based artists to utilize this digital space. In this installment of photo-eye Conversations, Reuben Wu and Gallery Director Anne Kelly offer some insight into the world of NFTs. Reuben shares the story of how he came to “mint” his first NFT, what the result was, his current opinions, and where he thinks NFTs are going. 

Spoiler Alert — Wu believes that NFTs are here to stay, but no need to fear, Reuben has no plans to stop making prints (on paper) anytime soon. 

>> View Reuben Wu’s work here! <<


Watch the illuminating conversation between Anne and Reuben below, and check out our glossary of NFT terms below, for reference!


NFT: Non-Fungible Token is a unique piece of the blockchain that is truly one of a kind. It isn’t fungible (replaceable). Think about it this way — two mass-produced reproductions of the Mona Lisa are fungible, but the original Mona Lisa painting is non-fungible.

Blockchain: A blockchain is a secure digital ledger that tracks the transactions involving and ownership of an NFT or a cryptocurrency. Since NFT’s live on a blockchain, all of their changes in ownership and value can be quantifiably tracked! In an art world context, you can think about the blockchain as a way of keeping track of an NFT’s provenance.

Cryptocurrency: A cryptocurrency is a digital or virtual currency that is secured by cryptography, which makes it nearly impossible to counterfeit or double-spend.

Ether (ETH): The cryptocurrency native to the Ethereum platform with which most NFT’s are bought and sold.

Ethereum: A decentralized, open-source blockchain platform that allows for secure storage of both currency and information. 

Gas: This is, essentially, the fee that you pay to make a transaction on the Ethereum blockchain, where most NFT’s live. Since ETH is mined in finite supply, these fees rise and fall in step with supply and demand.

Metaverse: A world shared between the physical and digital realm. Though this concept originally belongs to science fiction, due to the increase in popularity of cryptocurrencies and NFT’s alongside the prevalence of the internet in daily life, the term can be used to mean now.

Mine (mining): The process of adding small bits of cryptocurrency to the blockchain through complex computer methods that verify and validate transactions.

Mint (minting): Minting an NFT is the process of authenticating that original file (be it an image, a video, a music file, etc) and formally adding it to the blockchain. This can’t be done without paying gas fees.

>> More photo-eye Conversations <<


>> More work from Reuben Wu! <<


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photo-eye Gallery is proud to represent Reuben Wu.

For more information, and to purchase prints by Thomas Jackson please contact Gallery Director Anne Kelly or Gallery Assistant Delaney Hoffman, or you may also call us at 505-988-5152 x202


Book Review Vanishing Points Photographs by Michael Sherwin Reviewed by Blake Andrews “Epiphanies come in all flavors. Archimedes in the bathtub. Newton under the apple tree. For photographer Michael Sherwin it was a strip mall. On a visit to Suncrest Town Centre in his home of Morgantown, WV, Sherwin was rocked by the realization that he was standing atop a former burial ground of the local Monongahela..."

Vanishing Points. By Michael Sherwin.
https://www.photoeye.com/bookstore/citation.cfm?catalog=IG077
Vanishing Points
Photographs by Michael Sherwin

Kehrer Verlag, Heidelberg, Germany, 2021. 172 pp., 9½x12x¾".

Epiphanies come in all flavors. Archimedes in the bathtub. Newton under the apple tree. For photographer Michael Sherwin it was a strip mall. On a visit to Suncrest Town Centre in his home of Morgantown, WV, Sherwin was rocked by the realization that he was standing atop a former burial ground of the local Monongahela. Adding insult to injury, the remains had been exhumed during the mall’s development, then shipped for safekeeping to the wrong tribe, the Seneca in New York, a traditional enemy of the Monongahela.

Such an indignity is a sadly typical oversight, adding to the continuing horror of the native genocide spanning four centuries of American history. Native cultures have been decimated but many physical artifacts remain. They scatter the land in various forms, from murals to mounds to sacred grounds. Sherwin set off to photograph what he could find of such places, view camera in tow. The results of his nine year cross-country project have now been published by Kehrer Verlag as Vanishing Points.


Photographing native cultures presents a basic dilemma from the start. How does one illuminate a “vanishing point”? The book’s title states the crux directly, and Sherwin makes an admirable stab at follow-through. He picks around the edges of ancient sites and tribes, and hints at their presence indirectly. A picture of tire tracks winding into the distance puts a secondary twist on the title, while alluding to bygone nomadic predecessors. Depictions of natives in murals, petroglyphs, and reconstructed teepees are more concrete. There may no longer be active tribes gathering at Shiprock, Devil’s Tower, the Badlands, and Canyon de Chelly. But the photographic force of such natural wonders still creates a solid impression. It’s no wonder such places are considered sacred.

Natives engaged with these sites and many more (and still do in many places). In fact, it is tough to find any location in North America which doesn’t carry some native connection. For the contemporary photographer, that leaves a lot of latitude. One can point the camera just about any direction and capture something of importance, a fact which Sherwin leverages to an advantage. Vanishing Points collects a diverse range of raw material. The photos span the US — albeit perhaps more concentrated in northern Appalachia and the Great Basin — and vary widely in subject matter. There are plant closeups, cemeteries, interiors, rivers, small towns, and sweeping horizons. In many of the pictures the native connection is not visually apparent, and one must read the captioned rear index to fill in historic context.

One type of relic which has lasted into the present, and features prominently in Vanishing Points, is the burial mound. These rounded hills are found in all sizes throughout the country, rising up occasionally to great heights and imposing presence. Over the centuries many have become overgrown or fenced off or bypassed. At this point most appear indistinguishable from natural landforms. They might be mistaken for incidental hills, but to someone who knows what to look for — i.e. Sherwin — they are quite noticeable. He’s transformed them into the centerpieces of several nice pictures, tracing a loose thematic undercurrent of native structures still extant. The mound pictures close with a clever visual rejoinder, a photo of a sand pile near a golf center in Ohio. Looking very moundlike, but also so ephemeral it might blow away the next day, the photo offers a blunt take on cultural endurance, and the merits of forward-looking ethos. Earthworks built in the 1700s are still around. But for a contemporary sandpile, the prospects are more precarious.


Sherwin hits a similar note of historicism with another book motif, a series of modern detritus interjected at regular intervals as dreary still lifes. A smashed beer can, a party shaker, a foam ball, insect killer, a tarp fragment, and so on. All of these items — collected at native historic sites — seem rather disposable, especially in the context of great geologic forms and ancient relics. To their credit, they have endured, some with a layer of rust or grime to show for it.

It’s hard to shoot such grievous material without moralizing, and Sherwin pulls no punches. While his photographs are somewhat neutral — most of them well centered and static — the captions reveal traumatic backstories. One describes a gold mine and driving range on land promised to the Lakotas. Another describes a settler massacre. There is no way to sugarcoat the brutality of the so-called “Indian Wars”. Sherwin’s photos are powerless to change the past. But they can at least point a finger at the visual history. For him the lessons go past the epiphanic, touching on the deeply personal. “My spiritual views more closely align with those of Native American cultures and Eastern religion,” he writes. “We have gotten out of balance with our earth.” Borne of such rueful sentiments, Vanishing Points has a message of societal prescription. There is a grain tragedy in these photos, yes. But they have a redemptive quality. If these pictures trigger historical awareness, and perhaps the occasional epiphany, it’s one small step.

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Blake Andrews is a photographer based in Eugene, OR. He writes about photography at blakeandrews.blogspot.com.
photo-eye Gallery From the Flat Files: Thomas Jackson's Emergent Behavior Delaney Hoffman
photo-eye Gallery takes a deep dive into Yarn no.2 from Thomas Jackson's series, Emergent Behavior.
Thomas Jackson, Yarn no.2, Chester Springs, Pennsylvania, 2012, Archival pigment print, 20x25," Edition of 3, $2500

This week at photo-eye, we’re taking a deep dive into one of our favorite images by Thomas Jackson, Yarn no. 2, Chester Springs, Pennsylvania, 2012.

The constructions of Thomas Jackson, despite their appearance, are slow. Though their subject matter is literally explosive, Thomas Jackson’s images from the Emergent Behavior series are painstaking. Armed with his 4x5 camera and occasional assistant, Jackson installs his constructions in their setting prior to photographing. Yarn no. 2 is no exception.

Thomas Jackson, Yarn no.2, Chester Springs, Pennsylvania, 2012, Archival pigment print, 20x25," Edition of 3, $2500

The central burst of activity animates the image, with a cluster of lines that seem to expand ever outward, mimicking the experience of watching something grow, but only by doubling back on itself first. Ultimately, expansion feels inevitable; when I look at this image, I know that the neon web will bounce and bounce in perpetuity, even if I’m not sure what that means for me just yet. The randomized chaos of Jackson’s branch-bound installation almost makes me feel claustrophobic, but then I realize that I can see fishing line. Suddenly, there is a visual element that draws my eye away from the bustling center and into the gentle woods behind it.

Detail from Thomas Jackson's Yarn no.2

This composition, despite its straight lines and glaring palette, has been forced to slow down; it has forced my eyes to wander, to consider its points of origin. Suddenly, it is apparent to me that everything is meticulously tied and staked, and in noticing the detail present in the lush, green foreground, I also remember that this is a 4x5 photograph. My initial perception of this image was that it must have been digital, despite knowing how it was made. Maybe this is because this random explosion of string feels like it could have occurred spontaneously over one or multiple attempts. Maybe it is because I have been conditioned to think of contemporary work shot on film as striving for neutrality and balance, and the digitally printed, fluorescent web of yarn staring back at me is antithetical to that; however its objectively analog methods of construction place Yarn no. 2 in the uncanny space in between the real and the rendered. It is an image that makes us look twice.

Detail from Thomas Jackson's Yarn no.2

The Freudian definition of the “uncanny” — that which is familiar yet strange — is one that Thomas Jackson embraces and hopes to incite through the imposition of his sculptural works onto the landscape. This feels appropriate for Jackson, who began Emergent Behavior, the overarching series of which Yarn no. 2 is a part, by engaging with the idea of the “swarm.” A cloud of gnats in the summertime is not that much different from an ant colony, which is not much different from our very connected human world, if you think about it through the lens of the hive mind.

Hear more from Thomas Jackson about this idea by exploring his 2015 interview and talk on the work at the link below!

>> Thomas Jackson on Emergent Behavior <<


• • • • • 

photo-eye Gallery is proud to represent Thomas Jackson.

For more information, and to purchase prints by Thomas Jackson please contact Gallery Director Anne Kelly or Gallery Assistant Delaney Hoffman, or you may also call us at 505-988-5152 x202
Book Review Visual History Afghanistan 1980–2004 Photographs by Ed Grazda Reviewed by Brian Arnold "I think one of the most important histories of photography is the highly acclaimed trilogy compiled by Gerry Badger and Martin Parr, The Photobook: A History. I have, however, a list of titles that feel like great oversights, books of such originality, insight, and significance that they should have been included in this history but were overlooked. One of those books, on my list, is Ed Grazda’s Afghanistan: 1980-1989, published in Switzerland by Verlag Der Alltag in 1990..."

https://www.photoeye.com/bookstore/citation.cfm?catalog=ZJ822
Visual History Afghanistan 1980–2004
Photographs by Ed Grazda

Fraglich, Austria, 2021. 124 pp.

I think one of the most important histories of photography is the highly acclaimed trilogy compiled by Gerry Badger and Martin Parr, The Photobook: A History. I have, however, a list of titles that feel like great oversights, books of such originality, insight, and significance that they should have been included in this history but were overlooked. One of those books, on my list, is Ed Grazda’s Afghanistan: 1980-1989, published in Switzerland by Verlag Der Alltag in 1990. For this book, Grazda traveled with and documented mujahideen crossing from Pakistan into Afghanistan to fight in the jihad against the Soviet Union, the resulting book being part personal diary and part cultural document. Thus, I was excited to learn that Ed Grazda is making another book about Afghanistan.

His newest book, Afghanistan: A Visual History, produced by Fraglich Publishing (a small publisher in Austria that specializes in photobooks about Central and Southeast Asia), is again equal parts cultural history and personal record. Illustrated with images Grazda collected and produced during his engagement with Afghanistan between 1980-2004, the book reads more like a handmade artist book than it does a traditional history and is composed of image/text collages that provide a tremendous insight into the remarkable complexities of a troubled and difficult nation.


As a cultural history, Grazda presents many of the major turning points in the recent history of Afghanistan — the invasion by the Soviet Union and the start of the jihad against their acts of imperialism; weapons and money pouring into the country through Pakistan, all from Ronald Reagan’s initiatives during the Cold War (“the stinger missiles were a turning point in the war,” we are told); the eventual defeat of the Soviet Union and the resulting collapse of the Soviet Block; the rise of the Taliban and their theocratic state; 9/11, the War on Terror, and the American invasion; a 24 hour newsfeed brought by CNN and the West, produced to provide a mass education in the region and an ongoing documentation of the American military; installing Hamid Karzai to oversee the government and a new political era in Afghanistan; and finally the open elections of 2004. Grazda pieces this all together with photographs made during his travels, a collection of recruitment posters and other materials made by the mujahideen, newspaper clippings, and other visual ephemera, all tied together by short written statements based on his experiences working in the country.


As a personal history, this book details Grazda’s connection with and commitment to Afghanistan for decades. Those familiar with Afghanistan: 1980-1989 will recognize many of the photographs in this most recent book. And like in his first book, Grazda includes a great deal about his relationships and friendships with Afghans, including some of the mujahideen, seen in fragments of letters and conversations held with some of his subjects. This is essential for understanding Grazda’s work and accomplishments. Rather than being just another foreign reporter, Grazda became a sort of colleague, not only making a concerted effort to understand the lives and ambitions of the mujahideen, but to empathize with and even support something of their cause. He developed important, trusting friendships that helped him provide a clear, honest record of a history poorly understood by much of the world. The text includes emails Grazda received from mujahideen fighters (by the basics outlined in the Patriot Act, Grazda must have been tagged by the CIA), newspaper clippings, and his own memories about his time in Afghanistan.

The design of the book is primitive, with the cover made from unadorned, grey bookbinding boards, with the title and two maps (one a mujahideen montage of archival photographs) appearing as though hand-cut and glued to the boards. Each page is composed as a collage, with the text written out on a typewriter (or at least in a typewriter font), and then mounted on or next to the photographs, complete with misspellings (he repeatedly uses Buddah instead of Buddha) and words x’ed out. This seems like a deliberate strategy to make the book feel like a scrapbook, and to help give it a quickly produced, urgent feel. The reproductions are somewhat crude, with the darker tonal registers often looking muddy or blocking-up. With so many luxurious and richly produced photobooks today, there is something I love about this presentation — it somehow emphasizes the content of the book, to render it bluntly rather than lavishly — but there is also something about it that seems too self-conscious, a deliberate genre specific design (think of the books Bill Burke made in Southeast Asia, or even works by Peter Beard and Max Pam), resulting in a more romantic narrative.


The release of Afghanistan: A Visual History couldn’t have been more well-timed, as suddenly Afghanistan is part of a global discussion again. There are so many important facets to understanding contemporary Afghanistan, and America’s involvement reaches back far deeper than 9/11 and the War on Terror. Grazda isn’t shy about pointing out important and challenging truths, like that time and again the United States has failed Afghanistan. Or that, like it or not, Afghans deserve the right to self-determination, and that they have repeatedly demonstrated a strong will, patience, and tenacity. Grazda’s work brings an important, humane perspective on the subject, and reveals an imperiled nation full of people grappling with ways to make meaning from such a complex and violent history, on both personal and cultural levels. Looking more at Fraglich, they have now published several interesting and important books looking at Afghanistan, including The Disaster of War by Khalid Hadid, the photographic autobiography My Name is Noor Mohammad, and more lightheartedly, Box Camera NOW. Collectively these books have a great vision, highlighting the incredible complexity and resourcefulness found in Afghanistan.

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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).
photo-eye Gallery New Ltd Edition Books from David H. Gibson Delaney Hoffman
photo-eye Gallery presents two beautiful new books from gallery artist, David H. Gibson.

 


David H. Gibson, Sunrise, December 24, 2019, Texas Gulf Coast #3756, 2020, 13.5" x 24," Edition of 25, $900

photo-eye Gallery is thrilled to announce new images and two new limited edition books by David H. Gibson, Mullein Along the Shore and Reeds and Morning Light.

David H. Gibson works with time, light and the natural world to build photographic portraits of a place through patience. Gibson’s images are ethereal, casting the natural world as a magical character in its own story, though it is the translation of these photo projects into book works that separates David H. Gibson from other landscape photographers in the same camp.

Cover of Mullein Along the Shore, Eagle Nest Lake, New Mexico, August 27, 2019, 2020, Edition of 5, $5000

Mullein Along the Shore, Eagle Nest Lake, New Mexico, August 27, 2019 is housed in an archival handmade box and consists of seven panorama photographs, though none of these are presented in a way that would be thought of as “traditional”. Through the design of the box that the images are housed in, Gibson offers the viewer a compelling and tactile experience with each of the photographs, with four of them opening up and out of the box as an accordion and one of them unfolding as a four-panel, hinged image.

Mullein Along the Shore interior view with included panoramas partially unfolded

By allowing the viewer to engage with the work in such a material way, David H. Gibson prompts his audience to mirror his own gradual experience of looking and photographing; utilizing a method that merges the material with the conceptual.

Reeds and Morning Light, Texas Gulf Coast, December 24, 2019, photographed in one of the artists’ favorite places, provides a meditative series of photographs documenting a sunrise along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico. Exploring Reeds and Morning Light, like Mullein Along the Shore, offers the viewer a plethora of opportunities to intimately engage with Gibson’s photographs. The box accompanying this volume is made with equal immaculate care and contains four accordion books with a compartment for each.

View of Reeds and Morning Light interior with booklets and panorama, 2020, Edition of 5, $5000


Documenting the natural and inevitably changing world with a meticulousness that rivals that of Bernd and Hilla Becher produces stunning results for David H. Gibson. Engaging with these portfolios mimics the universal experience of watching the day begin, of feeling an early morning chill work its way out of your system while the winter sun works its way into a frozen world, of watching a place that puts you at peace truly come alive.

View more images from Reeds and Morning Light below, and explore more of David H. Gibson’s work here:

David H. Gibson, Sunrise, December 24, 2019, Texas Gulf Coast #3758, 2020, 13.5" x 24," Edition of 25, $900


David H. Gibson, Sunrise, December 24, 2019, Texas Gulf Coast #3680, 2020, 13.5" x 24," Edition of 25, $900


David H. Gibson, Sunrise, December 24, 2019, Texas Gulf Coast #3691, 2020, 13.5" x 24," Edition of 25, $900



• • • • • 

For more information, and to purchase prints or books by David H. Gibson, please contact Gallery Director Anne Kelly or Gallery Assistant Delaney Hoffman, or you may also call us at 505-988-5152 x202


Book Review Sasuke Photographs by Masahisa Fukase Reviewed by Christopher J Johnson "Everything she does is done with the seriousness of a grape juice stain. She’s never been to the zoo or on a train (Sasuke had experienced both). She thinks kisses are bites or that bites are kisses; I kiss her nose, she bites my nose. She has several names: Littlest, Xyla, Spidermouth — these are interchangeable, and she is just as happy to reply to one as to another..."
https://www.photoeye.com/bookstore/citation.cfm?catalog=ZJ775
Sasuke
Photographs by Masahisa Fukase

Atelier EXB, 2021. 192 pp., 7¼x10¼".

Everything she does is done with the seriousness of a grape juice stain. She’s never been to the zoo or on a train (Sasuke had experienced both). She thinks kisses are bites or that bites are kisses; I kiss her nose, she bites my nose. She has several names: Littlest, Xyla, Spidermouth — these are interchangeable, and she is just as happy to reply to one as to another.

After about 6 months Littlest never got any bigger, so she’s called Littlest. She’s got wood-hued splotches, so she’s called Xyla. Spidermouth… that name needs no explanation.

This is what it is to have a pet, in this case a cat. It’s a personality in the house. A character in your life different from other characters, but not by species — rather by choices, actions, the endearments of time and interpersonal relations, observations: joy, fury, sleepiness, and, even, sorrow, anger etc. Littlest is no laughing matter.

Character might be something built purely by interaction, just as much as it is of coding or upbringing. We seldom, if ever, speak of the ‘character’ of those who are strange to us; strangers are somehow neuter — characterless; and this is an aspect of their stranger-ness. We often imagine strangers as something easy to guess at, transparent bodies that we can see right through; while those we know are more likely to be mysterious by choices we never could have guessed them to make.

Spidermouth/Xyla/Littlest is mysterious and exact both, because she’s familiar. 


So, why ramble about a cat who is, after all, in no book whatsoever? Because I want to talk about two cats who were infuriatingly and endearingly close to the photographer who brought them up, loved them, and ultimately captured something of their spirit and of his own; are we not reflections of those with whom we have invested our time? Human or other form of animal; living or dead? I think very much that — yes, we are.  

Sasuke and Momoe. Siblings by upbringing. The book Sasuke covers both cats’ lives. We see them daringly climb to impossible heights. We see them attacking pencils. We see them yawning. We see them stuck to the window screen like an odd bat. We see them with a routine of human-inspired faces: angry, confused, sleepy, overanxious, frightened, complete passed out. Fukase, like a loving parent, captures all their moments. And, that’s just what’s curious about the series. Curious and wonderful. The cats aren’t presented like animals, but like children; their every moment a development, a movement forward, a memorable experience — an annal of the family Fukase.



We anthropomorphize our pets. We lay our emotions about them as if they will seep into their intelligence, and then demand that they exhibit aspects of our way of thinking and expressing. But, this is senseless — senseless as trying to understand anyone: dog, crow, person, or even entities like schools, communities, and companies. We see them as we are, making the choices we’d make or defying those choices and weigh them constantly against our own selves (or, perhaps, our presumed selves).

The anthropomorphizing is, I think, an effect of volume, but Fukase seems to defy this, as any parent would. This is a family album. A document of familial love. In experiencing these two cats throughout 180 pages, you can’t help but make them tiny, fury people choosing their choices, making faces based on their desires to express themselves and, maybe they are — or at least as much so as Fukase, to them, was a cat doing cat things very poorly.

I am reminded of Montaigne who I paraphrase, Do people ever appear more insane than when talking about their pets or their kids. Sasuke is a book of paternal mania. A chronicle of obsession. A printed form of talking too much. But, this is a good thing. Sasuke is two very rich character sketches. It is also, and I’ve seen so so so many of them, the best cat-as-subject photobook in memory.

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Christopher J Johnson is a poet and writer living in Santa Fe. He is the author of &luckier, from the center for literary publishing. He is currently manager of photo-eye’s Book Division.


photo-eye Gallery New Work: Chaco Terada Delaney Hoffman
photo-eye Gallery presents a portfolio of recent works from gallery artist, Chaco Terada.
Chaco Terada, Nishiki 3, 2021, Sumi ink and archival inks on silk, 13 x 10," Unique, $1800

photo-eye Gallery is ecstatic to present new works from represented artist Chaco Terada.

Chaco Terada creates dynamic, beautiful compositions made up of images printed onto silk that are then layered and marked with Sumi ink. This process has roots in the practice of traditional Japanese and Chinese calligraphy, which Chaco has engaged with since she was a small child. The marks that Terada adds to the images are poetic, both in their origin as texts but also in the gestures that the artist uses; her artwork is imbued with a life all its own. 

Chaco’s meditative, expansive practice allows her to translate everyday observations into unique, dynamic objects that mimic the experience of feeling in their dimensionality. The artist allows you to step into her world and share in her experiences of love, loss and joy through the dynamism and literal depth of her artwork. 

When asked about her thematic influences in a 2018 interview, Terada stated that, even in all of the specificity of experience that influences her work, the common thread could simply just be “life.” As the artist says: “All of [her] mystery, wonder, and excitement are there.”

Chaco Terada, Brake, 2021, Sumi ink and archival ink on silk, 14x10.5," Unique, $1800


Chaco Terada, The Moon Lay 1, 2021, Sumi ink and archival inks on silk, 9.5 x 7,"
 Unique, $1800



When Terada stretches her silk frames, she stretches the world itself. She gifts the viewer a window into her own emotional, interior world. She has built these objects in a way where the depth of the physical image brings you in and allows you the freedom to explore; to try looking from a different angle, in a different light, for longer than you may engage with a flat image on a wall. 

To encounter Terada’s work is to encounter an outstretched hand inviting you to be still, take a breath and think for a while, which is something that we all could benefit from, perhaps.

>>View the new portfolio in its entirety here.<<


• • • • • 

For more information, and to purchase prints, please contact Gallery Director Anne Kelly or Gallery Assistant Delaney Hoffman, or you may also call us at 505-988-5152 x202


Book Review Weathering Time Photographs by Nancy Floyd Reviewed by Blake Andrews “Meet Nancy Floyd. Every day since 1982 — when she was just 25, a recent college graduate — she has taken a portrait of herself. I know what you’re thinking. Everyone takes selfies, welcome to the club. But Floyd’s project is distinct from the duck lipped, phone-tilted headshots flooding social media. She seems less driven by narcissism than typological obsession. Think Bechers, not Kim Kardashian...."

Weathering Time. By Nancy Floyd.
https://www.photoeye.com/bookstore/citation.cfm?catalog=ZJ516
Weathering Time
Photographs by Nancy Floyd

GOST Books, London, UK 2020. 257 pp., 7½x10¼".

Meet Nancy Floyd. Every day since 1982 — when she was just 25, a recent college graduate — she has taken a portrait of herself. I know what you’re thinking. Everyone takes selfies, welcome to the club. But Floyd’s project is distinct from the duck lipped, phone-tilted headshots flooding social media. She seems less driven by narcissism than typological obsession. Think Bechers, not Kim Kardashian.

Floyd’s long-term self-portrait series covers impressive range, history, and a disconcertingly frank degree of self-exposure. Its entirety is beyond the scope of any single book, but her new monograph from GOST takes an honest stab at it. The thick purple tome includes roughly 1,000 of the 2,500 photos in the project. Its title, Weathering Time, is a good summation of Floyd’s interaction with her camera over the course of four decades.

The book begins on day one, 23 November 1956. Floyd’s birthdate is the only text on the cover. The interior photographs commence with two prefacing shots from that very day, capturing the newly born Nancy Floyd in her hospital crib, followed by a quick snapshot from 1958. Then a short series documenting Floyd’s childhood home and family at scattered points between 1960 and 1998. Watching the house exterior fall into disrepair over decades, the phrase “weathering time” seems applicable. If the title page doesn’t quite cement it in the mind, the initial self-portrait series will. Underwear shows Floyd in her skivvies over the course of 16 pictures shot between 1982 and 2020. In each photo Floyd stares back impassively, shutter cable clutched in one hand. Pictures of women in underwear have long been associated with the male gaze, glamour, and sexiness. Perish the thought. Floyd’s initial series blunts any such impulse with quotidian functionality.


Underwear
is the perfect leadoff series, setting the tone for all to come with its absurdist chapter title and direct, honest recording. In the pages to come she takes a turn as a laundry worker, daughter, wife, friend, niece, ex-girlfriend, pet owner, and more. We see her in shorts, trousers, dresses, good hair, interesting hair, engaged in various hobbies and professions, on the phone, in the darkroom, watching tv, vacuuming. Each series is carefully organized into its own thematic chapter, sometimes with a text intro. Sample headings hint at the bewildering variety: Birthdays, Carpentry, Holders, Success, PJ’s, Craigs… Elements, tasks, and people come and go. The only constant is Floyd, centered quietly within each vertical frame. Slowly but surely they form a mental image of her presence in the reader’s mind. What must she be like? Surely patient and determined, for starters. To treat her daily visage with the calm indifference of someone brushing their teeth or making eggs for breakfast, well, that’s dedication.


A long term project like this generates a lot of material, just by its nature. Wrangling all of it into book form is a challenge. Weathering Time takes a mass-volume approach, packing up to nine gridded photographs into every single page. Small captions are added along the margins. This strategy allows the book to cover a ton of territory, but perhaps some depth has been sacrificed for the sake of breadth. Even with excellent resolution and reproduction values, a 3-inch tall photo has its limits. It’s hard to probe too deeply into individual details or tonal subtleties. But for the purpose of the book — geared more as project survey than hi-res exhibition — it seems an acceptable tradeoff.

As for sequencing, GOST must have been tempted to order the work chronologically, in the order it was made. This has been the display approach of other daily self-portraitists such as Noah Kalina, Karl Baden, and Tehching Hsieh. The decision to organize into themed chapters was contrarian, but proved shrewd. Floyd photos have a natural playfulness that comes through in chaptered arrangements. One can study the course of people and objects over time. And of course, Floyd herself changes in ways that might be less obvious in a strict chronology.


“You’re still a fa├žade when you’re standing in front of the camera,” she told Dazed Digital, “but I’m not trying to make myself look better or prettier, all those things that come into play when we’re making photographs. Photography is so full of lies, it’s interesting to see pictures of people when they’re off guard.” Taken as a whole these off-beat moments form quite an extensive self-portrait, a long-term self-study on par with Rembrandt, Friedlander, or perhaps Vivian Maier. Floyd must have a finely tuned sense of her appearance by now, its minor tics, scars, and shifts. With the book, she’s bravely opened her persona to outsider scrutiny. It’s a bold step, to weather time in public. Few photographers could take the same leap.

As a photo professor at Georgia State University, Floyd had some financial independence to pursue Weathering Time on her own schedule and without outside pressure to monetize the work. The benefits of this approach are obvious, but the other side of the coin is that the project took a while to find its audience. Floyd has organized scattered exhibitions over the past decade or so, and the occasional online profile, even as more photos were being added to the series. These outlets have kept the project simmering. But what put it on full boil and launched the present book was the inaugural ICP/GOST First Photo Book Award, won by Floyd last year. GOST’s publication is a fitting capstone to the project, well worth seeking out for photographers interested in portraiture, typology, or self-analysis.

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