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  photo-eye Gallery   Creativity and Turmoil, Part 2    Anne Kelly, Amanda Marchand, David Trautrimas       Is turmoil fuel for an artistic process?

Throughout history, people have suffered physically, emotionally, and spiritually during pandemic and quarantine, and through these shifts, many great works of art have been made. Recently, Gallery Director Anne Kelly asked a few photo-eye Gallery artists their thoughts on the belief that having a little turmoil can be used as fuel in the artistic process. 

In part two of this series, we hear from artists Amanda Marchand and David Trautrimas.  

Amanda Marchand

“Death cannot harm me more than you have harmed me, my beloved life.”  
                                                                                            — Louise Gluck
We’ve grown to accept the myth of the “suffering artist,” Van Gogh who cuts off an ear, the young Francesca Woodman who jumps from a window at 22, and Kurt Kobain, as a trade-off for “great” works of art. This question of having “a little turmoil” as fuel is universally accepted. While there are many examples of artists past and present who suffer for art’s sake, I think this idea does a disservice to creatives today. The artists I know are all wearers of many hats — and emotions. They are generally incredibly hard workers who have their act together and create from a place of pain as well as contemplation, curiosity, passion, joy, humor, intelligence, compassion, and intuition. If creatives feel life’s intensity to a greater degree and work from that place, I think it’s likely that they’ve simply given themselves the space and time to feel.

Right now, 2.5 years into a global Pandemic, with massive inflation, various democracies on the brink, women’s universal rights denied now even in the U.S., and glaring racial inequity, we are at a pretty intense point in history. For me, making art is utterly personal, intuitive, experimental, and from the heart, but taps into societal undercurrents. My work has always come out of an emotional register first, before anything, compelling me to create (photograph, edit, write, tape, cut, sew…). Sometimes I am working from a place of deep calm and contentment. I have been exploring breath and meditation as a creative path for the past few years. But the path of creation contains galaxies. So yes, drawing on a range of sources and emotions, “a little turmoil’ also fuels my practice, though I would never seek it out.

An upheaval or shock, a difficult truth, can be a galvanizing force: My mother’s terminal cancer, for instance, propelled me to make a body of work in her garden at night. The harrowing fact that we are losing 150 species a day on the earth, set in motion a project I am working on, a contemporary Field Guide to endangered birds, ferns, and flowers. Similarly, Trump’s inauguration, causing such radical divisiveness and upheaval, revealing a new world, gave way to a new way of working photographically for me — abandoning the camera to work camera-less. And again, the sudden pandemic generated 2 pandemic projects (still in progress), and then a third isolation-born long-distance collaboration, all a response to the heightened urgency and alarm we’ve been collectively experiencing.

As I spend more time making art, I see the importance of balance, nurture, self-care, and slowing down, as being simple but radical acts. I use art/photography and its many processes as a tool to —counter turmoil— in its various forms. What is so important and incredible about art, and throughout history, the way humans are drawn to it, is that it can be a register through which we synthesize, understand, or emote, pain, longing, beauty, loss, fear, and love. It’s a channel. Turmoil may go into the funnel or it may not, but something entirely different and often extraordinary will come out on the other side.

Amanda Marchand, Henslow's Sparrow, Unique archival pigment print, 2020, 18x15", Edition of 3.

As part of our video series photo-eye Conversations, Gallery Director Anne Kelly interviewed Marchand. They discussed her photographic practice, the process of creating The World is Astonishing With You In It, and other bodies of work, like The Lumen Circle Project. Watch this enlightening conversation in the link below. 

Portrait of artist Amanda Marchand
Amanda Marchand is an award-winning, Canadian, New York-based photographer. Her work explores the natural world with an experimental approach to photography. 
Recently, Marchand has been working with an unpredictable, camera-less process also known as sun-prints or photograms. Each particular paper brand, photo finish, and paper type, combined with different exposures, produces a spectrum of colors. Because the lumen colors are fugitive, the exposed papers act as negatives which are fixed by scanning, although they also continue to change color/darken due to the light of the scanner. 

Marchand began this work by using objects and ephemera from her studio as the tools to block light— starting with utilitarian photo boxes and envelopes; then moving to reference books and artist monographs -- as visual cues. She approached each exposure as a measure of time, a meditation; in turn, the exposed papers are then cut and re-assembled into collages of multiple panels. The fundamentals of this fugitive process are an important point of departure from the documentary qualities of camera-based photography and mark an embrace of a materials-based approach that combines early photographic methods with new technologies. 

David Trautrimas

If I was asked this question a few years ago I’d find myself on the side of disbelief, convinced that turmoil was a wet blanket tossed onto the fires of creativity. But as they say, the only constant is— change, and like solving for ’X’ in a math equation, context is everything for calculating meaning.

That’s not to say I haven’t endured turmoil prior to the last few years, but to get through those challenges I did everything I could to put a wall between those experiences and my creative pursuits, leaving the latter as a place of escape. That trajectory continued relatively unabated until late 2019…

At the time I was working on a series of new works titled The Fun Never Spoils. The plan was to exhibit these works at the ‘No Name Biennale’, a group exhibition in Hamilton, Canada that playfully undermines high-value art culture by taking its name from a popular Canadian discount food brand. The idea for my contribution to the show was fairly direct: create a still-life of plastic, laser-cut discount foods.

But not long after I began work on this series, Covid-19 started its troubling sweep around the world and everything shifted. In relation to the sourcing and collection of food, grocery store panic shopping took hold. Regular food items became scarce, people started buying in massive quantities and any sense of food security was shaken. Within this context, social isolation became the norm with many aspects of our lives grinding to a halt, and my thinking around my playful 'foodstuff, still-life' completely changed.

Striving to keep a sense of normalcy I found myself still working in the studio on a daily basis, fabricating more and more laser-cut foods. The continued creation of these objects was no longer just about making a playful still-life. They become an anchor point amidst this capricious Covid landscape; an emotional self-portrait that represented my desire for certainty in that time of intense precarity.

That body of work opened the floodgates to embracing turmoil as an engine of creativity. My most recent and ongoing series, Rest Onwards, is a meditation on the traumas I’ve experienced: life-threatening injuries, loss of loved ones, and mental health challenges. In these works I use distorted objects and spaces as stand-ins that carry these injuries, providing a place for these wounds outside of my consuming thoughts. Demonstrating their burden, these stand-ins have been extended, bonded, confined, made redundant, or dangerous. And although the subjects carry a personal meaning they are nearly universally recognizable, providing room for the viewer to relate to the work without requiring the exact narrative of my own experiences.

Going forward I don’t think everything I do creatively will be connected to turmoil, personal or otherwise. But what I’ve learned in the past few years is how to open myself up to its creative potential, allowing space for all manner of plants in the walled garden of my creative space: the weeds with the roses.

David Trautrimas, Night Sweats, 2022, Archival Pigment Print, 9x13", Edition of 5, $900 

A few months ago, Gallery Director Anne Kelly sat down with Trautrimas for a conversation! In this episode of photo-eye conversations, they talk about modernist architecture, materiality, and conceptual flexibility. View the video and learn more about David Trautrimas below!

>> David Trautrimas | photo-eye Conversation <<

Portrait of artist David Trautrimas
David Trautrimas is an artist/photographer/all-around maker hailing from Toronto, Canada. Here at photo-eye, we know David for his series Habitat Machines, wherein the artist dissembled and photographed household items before using these components to digitally create architectural spaces. The importance of space continues to be important in Trautrimas' newest series, which turns the focus inward. Using Cinema 4D and the digital toolbox that comes with it, Trautrimas has spent the pandemic crafting uncanny, entrancing images of his own interior life that resonate across Western culture. 

Print costs are current up to the time of posting and are subject to change.

To learn more about these and other works by Amanda Marchand or David Trautrimas
or to acquire specific prints, 
please contact photo-eye Gallery Director Anne Kelly or Gallery Associate Jovi Esquivel.

1300 Rufina Circle, Unit A3, Santa Fe, NM 87507
Tuesday– Saturday, from 10am– 5:30pm
You may also call us at (505) 988- 5152 x202
Book Review Al Rio / To the River Photographs by Zoe Leonard Reviewed by Laura Larson "Zoe Leonard’s two-volume project, To the River, opens with a sequence of color photographs of the turbulent surface of the Río Bravo/Rio Grande..."

Al Rio / To the River. By Zoe Leonard.
Al Rio / To the River
Photographs by Zoe Leonard

Hatje Cantz/MUDAM, Luxembourg, Belgium, Luxembough, 2021. 592 pp., 350 color illustrations, 9x11".

Zoe Leonard’s two-volume project, To the River, opens with a sequence of color photographs of the turbulent surface of the Río Bravo/Rio Grande. Air bubbles mark its current, yet the river impersonates flesh with its corpulent folds. The close-range framing of its waters, eliminating all contextual information of place, feels both intimate and immense. Waters that can carry a body and consume one. The book catalogs a selection of the project’s approximately 500 gelatin silver prints and fifty C-prints. Produced over four years, Leonard followed and recorded the river’s course with attention to the tributaries of geological, historical, and imperial time. To The River’s second volume, edited by Tim Johnson, assembles writings from artists, poets, and scholars on the river’s history, borderland culture and environmental issues — companion texts that flow alongside and through Leonard’s archive.

The river is designated the Rio Grande in the U.S., meaning ‘big river’ while in Mexico, it’s known as Río Bravo, ‘wild river,’ a name evoking its temperament. This ancient, unruly waterway was taken as a border during the U.S.’s geopolitical expansion in the 19th century and remains a weaponized site of the political debates around immigration policy. Leonard’s photographs quietly trace the river’s approximate 1,900-mile length through an array of terrains. She zooms in on foliage then pulls back — landscapes and horizon lines materialize. Highways line the river and bridges cross it. The river fills the frame then is dwarfed by mountains. Its entropic force is corralled by engineering, narrowed and redirected through concrete beds that transform it into a trickle. Floods. Along its banks, I see farms, development, homeless encampments. On the ground, she gazes up at birds in the sky. And helicopters. Surveying topography and traffic from above, she inhabits the perspective of the drone.

Everywhere: the architecture of the border. Chain link fences give way to monumental walls and their on-going construction. Leonard soberly documents these violent barricades. In a suite of three images, its vertical pylons are echoed in a white picket fence in the foreground. A sign strung up on its façade, WE BUILD THE WALL, announcing the organization that solicited millions of dollars to build private sections of the Trump Wall. (Its founder, Brian Kolfage, was convicted of fraud. Steve Bannon, its Advisory Board Chair, was pardoned by Trump.)

These landscapes yield evidence of its human history, although figures are rarely depicted. There are tangles of barbed wire torn down like bodies lying prostrate on the ground, lines of tire tracks in the dust, the remnants of the border patrol. Humble memorials to the people who died crossing the border. When bodies do appear, they are typically at a distance. There’s an understanding of their place in the environment and formal reserve decisively refuses the racist idioms of immigration reporting. A family swimming in the river is a reminder that the river is also a site of play and community. This is a living document — paradoxically, a voluminous snapshot of faceted time. Often, Leonard works in sequences to track the movements of water, humans, and the state. I see an affection for 19th century photography in these sequences — the desire to see clearly, born of a belief in photography’s power of witness.

Leonard attends to her subject with care — all that the river touches is a detail to behold. There’s cumulative precision in this lyrical atlas, slow knowledge that takes the river’s history as a guide. To The River’s politics are as much felt as declared. Leonard subverts the single lens reflex camera’s association with the iconic to produce an expansive and embodied space of witness. There’s urgency and humility in the work, eschewing the deadlock of Democratic-Republican debate, that invites the reader to consider geologic time alongside the human impact of the border crisis.

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Laura Larson
is a photographer, writer, and teacher based in Columbus, OH. She's exhibited her work extensively, at such venues as Art in General, Bronx Museum of the Arts, Centre Pompidou, Columbus Museum of Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, SFCamerawork, and Wexner Center for the Arts and is held in the collections of Allen Memorial Art Museum, Deutsche Bank, Margulies Collection, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Microsoft, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, New York Public Library, and Whitney Museum of American Art. Hidden Mother (Saint Lucy Books, 2017), her first book, was shortlisted for the Aperture-Paris Photo First Photo Book Prize. Larson is currently at work on a new book, City of Incurable Women (forthcoming from Saint Lucy Books) and a collaborative book with writer Christine Hume, All the                                                               Women I Know.
Book Review Martín Chambi: Photography Photographs by Martín Chambi Reviewed by Edward Ranney "This publication of the photographs by Martín Chambi in the Jan Mulder collection, Lima, is a welcome addition to books dedicated to this Cuzco photographer, who lived from 1891 until 1973..."
Martín Chambi: Photography
Photographs by Martín Chambi

Editorial RM, 2022. 194 pp., 170 illustrations, 9½x11¼x¾".

This publication of the photographs by Martín Chambi in the Jan Mulder collection, Lima, is a welcome addition to books dedicated to this Cuzco photographer, who lived from 1891 until 1973. This nicely printed collection of over one hundred photographs is organized in three sections: The first thirty photographs are devoted to Inca archaeological sites, with some twenty focused on Machu Picchu. A second group, also of thirty pictures, is predominately focused on well-selected views of Cuzco. The third sequence is then dedicated to mostly portrait work, with fifteen of these pictures being self-portraits.

Particular attention has been given in the book’s production. Numerous vintage prints are reproduced with the warm tonalities associated with materials used in the early twentieth-century, when most of Chambi’s images were made. This strategy is particularly successful in rendering his large plate views of Machu Picchu and Cuzco. It is to Mr. Mulder’s credit that he has chosen to emphasize these well-chosen vintage works, and to the publisher, Editorial RM, for committing the resources to give readers the pleasure of seeing these early prints in convincingly appropriate tonalities.

Chambi is quoted as being especially concerned with making the legacy of the Inca remains known to the general public through his photographs. This book goes a long way to emphasize his personal, even spiritual, identification with the legacy of Inca culture. But an equally strong case should be made for his commitment to documenting the Quechua culture of which he was a part. He began serious documentation of indigenous life in the early 1920s, supported in part by his role as graphic correspondent for Lima publications la Crónica and Variedades. Over the next thirty years, he continued to photograph native Quechua people, their villages and festivals throughout the Cuzco region. These pictures comprise a unique and irreplaceable archive of Peru’s Quechua culture, and much work still remains to be done in organizing and publishing them. Unfortunately, only a handful of ethnographic views appear in this book, causing a very important aspect of Chambi’s work and personal life to be only passingly referenced.

One unusual aspect of Chambi’s archive featured in this book, however, is a selection of self-portraits that he made throughout his life. It has been known for some time that he took great interest and pride in recording not only his expeditions, exhibitions, studio work and gatherings, but also in portraying his own personality and personal activities. In the book’s final essay, Horacio Fernandez examines Chambi’s self-portraiture within the context of an engaging and well-informed discussion of his life and work. He explains how many of Chambi’s self-portraits were precisely staged and executed, how some required a collaborator, and how some emphasized important aspects of his personality. Fernandez writes, “As we have seen, he synthesized his life story as a pilgrimage in search of Quechua culture in contemporary life, colonial fusions, and Inca ruins. In addition to these themes, there were also the characters, the roles — traveler, explorer, Indian — he played for the camera in other self-portraits.”

Juxtaposed against some telling examples of Chambi’s commercial studio work and some ethnographic pictures, these self-portraits give us a vibrant sense of Chambi himself and his relationship with the world in which he lived and worked. Fernandez also addresses important issues, such as our contemporary impulse to define an artist’s agenda based on only a few selected images. He has picked up on the need to distinguish Chambi’s work from that of his contemporaries, particularly of his colleague Juan Manuel Figueroa Aznar, with whom he worked at Machu Picchu in 1928. Almost all of their pictures published in the 1934 book Cuzco Histórico, for instance, were reproduced without author attribution, resulting in a confusing scenario for understanding each photographer’s work. He also does not shy away from discussing the cultural complexities associated with the now well-known pictures of Cuzco Indigenous subjects by the celebrated New York portraitist and fashion photographer Irving Penn, who worked briefly in a rented Cuzco studio in 1948.

Other texts in this book provide additional, informative back matter, but nearly every text page is marred by a design strategy where a number of the words ending a paragraph are not aligned with the left text margin. The appearance of these words, centered and floating below blocks of text, is both confusing and unattractive. Mulder’s introductory text outlines his growing fascination as a collector with preserving and understanding Chambi’s work and Peru’s photographic legacy. Andres Garay’s assessment of Chambi as “A Photographer Made to the Measure of Cuzco” gives us an authoritative summary of the beginnings of Chambi’s career in Arequipa and his successful early work upon settling in Cuzco. As one of Peru’s leading photo-historians, Garay’s commitment to investigating Chambi’s work and early 20th-century Peruvian photography exemplifies the kind of serious research into the country’s photographic history that has been sorely needed. The contribution by the Ecuadorian writer Francois Laso, “The Silent Progress of Martín Chambi’s Photography”, does not match the qualities of the two other essays, but does provide an appreciative eye regarding different aspects of Chambi’s work as seen from a neighboring Andean country.

The pictures, of course, are the enduring reason for this publication, and the layout and tonal quality of the prints will hold attention over many viewings. In particular, the four-page fold-out of Chambi’s stunning panorama of Machu Picchu, made circa 1940 with two joined 18 x 24 cm glass plates, is especially impressive, and even though cropped slightly at the top of the image, is a remarkable, unprecedented achievement in the publication of Chambi’s work.

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©Krista Elrick
Edward Ranney visited Peru in 1961 and returned on a Fulbright Fellowship in 1964-65 to study literature and anthropology. Entranced by the landscapes and archaeological sites he saw, he exchanged his academic studies for photography and has returned to photograph in Peru for over 60 years. His exquisite large format photographs of both famous and little-known Inca sites, earlier Chimú architecture, and the mysterious Nazca Lines evoke a sense of beauty and fresh awareness of time.

Maggie Taylor’s vivid photomontages are awash with whimsy, story and symbolism. In this month’s Gallery Favorites segment we each chose one image from Taylor’s exhibition Internal Logic that personally speaks to each of us, and detail what we find intriguing and delightful about each work. For this post, we are pleased to have Maggie share her favorite as well. 

We hope you enjoy viewing our favorite prints from the exhibition, and please reach out if you have questions about any of the selected artworks — Maggie Taylor’s Internal Logic is currently on view in the photo-eye Gallery, and the newly signed monograph, and limited edition that includes a print, is available through our bookstore- HERE.

Anne Kelly selects If I Had a Boat

Portrait of Gallery Director
Anne Kelly
One of the challenges and joys of collecting photography is deciding which artists to collect, and which images by that artist to select. When it comes to prolific artists, such as Maggie Taylor, the image selection process may seem daunting. My advice is to let the process be fun and organic and not let it intimidate you.

My first rule of collecting is select images you love, even if you can't yet identify why. You will have plenty of time to discover what about the image spoke to you. If you are looking for a more conscious strategy, try making a selection that contains a visual element that you have a personal connection with. I believe that art and music, have the power to stir the imagination and assist in revisiting fond memories. Images that have that transformative power are, in my opinion, rewarding and joyful to live with.

In following my advice, the image that I have selected from our current exhibition is "If I had a Boat". When I was growing up, my grandparents lived on a lake and my grandmother owned a small butterfly sailboat. Some of my fondest memories are watching my grandmother sail, and, as I got older, taking sailing lessons. When I focus on this image, I am temporarily transported back to those carefree Summer days on the lake...the sun on my skin, water splashing, the smell of sunscreen, and perhaps even my grandmother's voice in the distance.

Maggie Taylor selects The Game

Maggie Taylor, The Game, 2021, Archival Pigment Print, 15x15", edition of 15, $3,200

As is normally the case, my personal favorite image is the one I most recently finished. “The Game” started with an intriguing pair of dogs, painted at different times by different artists. I added in a third character — a combination of a baby elephant skeleton I photographed at the Natural History Museum in Oxford, England, a few years ago and a small painting of Napoleon I found at an antique sale. Since there was no person to interact with these creatures, I added the woman who exists in a different dimension, but still has the ability to play with the dogs. Probably the most fun aspect of working on this image was exploring all the possible color palettes and outfits for each character.

Jovi Esquivel selects The Gathering

Maggie Taylor, The Gathering, 2021, Archival Pigment Print, 15x15", edition of 15, $3,200 

Portrait of Gallery Associate
Jovi Esquivel
Within a cloud of aqua, a group of small boats carrying small animals, wearing paper crowns, circle a woman floating in a body of water; at the center of the photograph with her arms and hands open towards receiving, her soft, calm, gaze meets mine as I examine the fleet surrounding her. 

Throughout history, the open palm has been associated with truth, honesty, and openness; in this image, I'd like to think of it as a surrender to a sense of wonder. 

I grew up in Southern California, not in a coastal city, but the thirty-minute drive to my favorite beach made it an easy place to escape to. The view offered by HWY 1 (PCH), heading south toward the state park was the first gift of promise. Now, as a meditative practice, I try to recall as much detail as I can— the range of aqua between me and the horizon while I stand on the shore, the salty breeze, the shock from the touch of cold water that seems to wake every fiber in me. If you've been in the Pacific Ocean, you know it isn't an easy body of water to enter, but I've learned to respect its nature and in turn, it has taught me how to trust myself and follow my intuition. Submerging into its wildness reconnects my soul to my body.

The vivid colors found in Maggie Taylor's The Gathering reconnect me to the moments I have spent standing at my favorite shoreline, bracing myself physically to accept the gifts that come from surrender.

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Internal Logic — Photographs and Art by Maggie Taylor
Maggie Taylor's Digital Creations are built layer by layer, and object by object, through a disciplined studio process of trial and error.

Internal Logic highlights Taylor's sense of what makes an image 'work' and offers insights into the shape and contours of her inspirations.

*The Limited Edition contains one 8"x8" Archival Print.

photo-eye Gallery is proud to represent Maggie Taylor.

Print costs are current up to the time of posting and are subject to change.

To learn more about these and other works by Maggie Taylor, or to acquire specific prints, 
please contact photo-eye Gallery Director Anne Kelly or Gallery Associate Jovi Esquivel.

1300 Rufina Circle, Unit 3. Santa Fe, NM 87507
Tuesday– Saturday, from 10am– 5:30pm
You may also call us at (505) 988- 5152 x202

photo-eye Gallery A Peek at Our Current Exhibition - Internal Logic Maggie Taylor, Anne Kelly & Jovi Esquivel In this Gallery Favorites segment we each chose one image from Taylor’s exhibition Internal Logic that personally speaks to each of us, and detail what we find intriguing and delightful about each work. For this post we are pleased to have Maggie share her favorite as well.
Book Review Red Flower Photographs by Mao Ishikawa Reviewed by Robert Dunn "Mao Ishikawa’s Red Flower is a photobook that I’ve found myself reading as a novel, turning pages from the front, getting to know the characters, their singular world, the range of their experiences and emotions..."

Red Flower by Mao Ishikawa.
Red Flower
Photographs by Mao Ishikawa

Session Press, New York, USA, 2022. 112 pp., 80 black-and-white illustrations, 9x13".

Mao Ishikawa’s Red Flower is a photobook that I’ve found myself reading as a novel, turning pages from the front, getting to know the characters, their singular world, the range of their experiences and emotions. It looks like the tightest of girl clubs, intimate black-and-white shots of young Japanese women hugging each other, putting their hair into huge plastic rollers, doing each others’ lipstick, showing off their bare breasts, gazing off toothless and bemused, then firing off a smile of glee and delight. They’re pictures of exceptional humanity. That joy? Unbounded. That despair — and, oh, there’s profound despair, in lost, haunted, perhaps drugged-out eyes — is without bottom or end.

Then a new set of characters appears. The first, a tall, pork-pie-hatted Black man with his arms around a stubby Japanese woman. Next photo: We’re on the street, a Black man to the left with a big smile, in the shadows to the right a couple, another Black man with a Japanese woman in bell bottoms.

A slow dawning. The women are consorts, the men African-American servicemen on leave. Their world? The bars and bordellos of Okinawa right after the official end of U.S. occupation in 1972; a place to this day a center for U.S. military bases in Asia and, apart from fewer bell bottoms and Afros (many of the ’fros on Japanese women), it’s most likely a similar scene there today.

Miwa Susuda’s Session Press published Red Flower: The Women of Okinawa in 2017, and is now rereleasing it in 2022 to commemorate fifty years of independence from U.S. occupation. This is another of those current 50-ish anniversaries that seem as relevant today: think back to the beginning of the environmental movement in 1970; also this moment's Black Lives Matter movement that harmonizes so well with the early ’70s Black Power movement that is so visible in Red Flower.

The photos in the book capture universal tales of love, ardor, lack of inhibition, profound personal freedom, and a beautiful commingling of souls. And yet they’re also a product of a unique moment in history. As Mao herself recollects, “Black soldiers and white soldiers wore the same uniforms and worked together, but once they changed into their civilian clothes and went out into town, there was trouble and endless fights. I have heard that that is why the entertainment districts for U.S. troops were segregated into white and Black districts. However, I don't really know if that is true.”

True or not, the young women who journeyed to Okinawa to be part of the scene and make a living (and a life!) with the soldiers had to choose. Many, like Mao herself, went to where the Black soldiers were. There the newcomers found other women “from mainland Japan who liked Black music from when they were little, found a lover at a club that Black soldiers frequented, followed them to Okinawa when they were deployed and lived there.”

As a novel, Red Flower is a truly tight-focused tale. We follow lots of ups and downs, and finally reach a sweet ending: The bar girls marry the soldiers, and loving, playful families follow.

As a photobook, Red Flower is full of brilliant, telling pictures of a singular demimonde, like Larry Clarke’s Tulsa and Nan Goldin’s The Ballad of Sexual Dependency, in which the photographer is also a participant. That’s where Mao was, living her life with the soldiers as she kept snapping away.

Yet what makes Red Flower essential is not just the fascination of its hidden world, or its unique, engrossing tale; it’s truly the quality of the photos. There’s deep expression and feeling in every powerful, timeless photograph. Together in a book? A classic.

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Robert Dunn is a writer, photographer, and teacher. He has published widely, including work in The New Yorker and many novels. He’s an Associate Professor at The New School University, where he teaches the course Writing the Photobook. Recent photobooks include Woodstock 2020 and Searching for Infinity. Many of his books are in the permanent collections of MoMA and ICP.
photo-eye Gallery New Work by Mitch Dobrowner photo-eye Gallery Artist Mitch Dobrowner realeases three new images.

Mitch Dobrowner, Supercell Swirls and Lightening, Clayton, New Mexico, 2022; 20"x30", edition of 25, $2,500

is pleased to announce new photographs 
by Mitch Dobrowner!

"This year marked my 11th year traveling the United States photographing storm systems with my guide and friend Roger Hill. Over that time I have traveled over 200,000 miles and have seen things I could only have imagined when I picked up my cameras again in 2005. In 2022, with all the drama in the world today, I felt a quietness come over me this year while photographing, a more tranquil state that I truly appreciate. I hope that feeling is reflected in this new work."  
Mitch Dobrowner was born in 1956 in Long Island, Bethpage, New York. Worried about Mitch's future and the direction his life would take, his father decided to give him an old Argus rangefinder to fool around with — little did he realize that it would become a significant gesture for Mitch. After doing some research, and seeing the images of Minor White and Ansel Adams, Mitch quickly became addicted to photography. Years later, in early 2005, inspired by his wife, children, and friends — he picked up his camera once again. He now lives with his family in Studio City, California. 

Working with professional storm chaser Roger Hill, Dobrowner has traveled throughout Western and Midwestern America to capture nature in all its fury; making extraordinary images of monsoons, tornados, and massive thunderstorms with the highest standard of craftsmanship.

Dobrowner's Storm Series has attracted considerable media interest (National Geographic, Time Magazine, and the New York Times Magazine, among others). In August of 2022 a print of the image Rope Out, from a private collection, has been acquired by the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Other museums that have acquired Mitch's work include The Center of Creative Photography, Tucson AZ; The National Gallery of Art, Washingon D.C.; The Museum of Fine Art, Houston TX; Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleaveland OH; Portland Museum of Art, Portland OR; Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Santa Barbara CA; and the Middlebury Museum of Art, Middlebury VA. 

Mitch Dobrowner, Farm House and Shelf Cloud, Beach, North Dakota; 2022, 20"x30," Edition of 25, $2,500

Mitch Dobrowner, Cloud with Wings, Burwell Nebraska; 2022, 20"x30," edition of 25, $2,500

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photo-eye Gallery is proud to represent Mitch Dobrowner.

Print costs are current up to the time of posting and are subject to change.

To learn more about these and other works by Mitch Dobrowner, or to acquire specific prints, 
please contact photo-eye Gallery Director Anne Kelly or Gallery Associate Jovi Esquivel.

1300 Rufina Circle, Unit 3. Santa Fe, NM 87507
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Book Review The Quarry Photographs by Madeleine Morlet. Short story by Vivian Ewing. Reviewed by Odette England "The Quarry refers to both place and victim. It’s not a photobook as such, rather, a newspaper, and it contains less pictures than one might expect from either. There are a sweet sixteen of them, around which wraps the story of teenage girls who return home a week apart for their first summer break from college..."

The Quarry. By Madeleine Morlet & Vivian Ewing.
The Quarry
Photographs by Madeleine Morlet
Short story by Vivian Ewing

Self-published, 2022. In English. 20 pp., 13.75x20".

Quarry. A large, deep open-air hole from which slate, limestone or granite is extracted through digging or blasting. It’s also a word used to describe prey, the aim of an attack.

The Quarry refers to both place and victim. It’s not a photobook as such, rather, a newspaper, and it contains less pictures than one might expect from either. There are a sweet sixteen of them, around which wraps the story of teenage girls who return home a week apart for their first summer break from college. But the pictures are not sweet and nor is the story. They are dark and light and beautiful and tragic. Photographer Madeleine Morlet and writer Vivian Ewing twist elements of myth-making, murder ballads, psychological horror and romance novel in broadsheet form, a shrewd choice as broadsheets tend to be more solemn and less sensationalist than tabloids.

Morlet depicts with rigor and love the community of young friends who live in the picturesque but ominous coastal Maine landscape to which she relocated from London in 2017. Even without Ewing’s words, divided into nine sections and which I only read after several weeks of looking, Morlet’s pictures feel weighted with rocks. They are implications, and what heightens their effect on me is the extreme care taken in pairing and sequencing. The pairs are like besties, any flaws or differences serving to make each other stronger. The images, all color and made during the summer of 2021, appear meticulously crafted while maintaining an innocent snapshot quality. Sometimes the best photographs are like having good fashion sense: it looks effortless but is almost insanely hard. It’s not about having the coolest equipment or a big budget, it’s about being an expert and generous observer.

When I ask Morlet about the work she describes “feeling a kinship with the adolescent experience” and writes of “domestic departure and return.” I dwell on domestic, the idea of the local and internality but also family. I learn that Morlet and Ewing, who completed her undergraduate studies in Maine, came to know each other through this project, collaborating for six months and talking almost weekly.

More than half the photographs are close range or taken from atypical angles, either low to the ground, or looking up, along or through something. Faces and especially eyes are often protected, blurred or concealed. Though our eyes are wondrous things, they have limits as do photographs, and when we can’t see our brain steps in and fills in the blanks. That’s what I found compelling about The Quarry: I was continuously anticipating what I would see or feel next. Where parts of images are obstructed through shielding or cropping, I still had a specific expectation of what the ‘story’ would look like in the end (I was wrong). Morlet’s lush photographs are like a collection of stills from a coming-of-age movie trailer. They tempt, like the quarry and its abandoned equipment and intense cold water Ewing writes about. Morlet herself describes them as “a call and response to Vivian’s writing” which “permeated my thoughts…and brought an element of fiction to the experience of capturing my subjects as themselves.”

The photographs don’t look like the ones printed in my local newspaper that I used to clip and stick to my walls — Morlet’s are finer — but as she points out, it’s less common practice now. Teenagers favor scrolling over buying newspapers or magazines, something I think about in noticing the two images with cell phones in The Quarry. But technology and contemporary life are present: false eyelashes, vaping, Reeboks, nose rings, a Subaru, a padlock-as-pendant and a letter bead necklace that spells out O-W-N quiver octaves below the trees, flowers, ropes and siding that dot the landscape around the quarry.

Every town has a place of legend and danger. Often it involves water. Think of all the books, songs or films you know where water is the backdrop for an atmospheric thriller. What makes The Quarry special is how Morlet and Ewing mine the aches and dreads of being a teenage girl and merge them with the exquisiteness of desire and freedom and the costs thereof. Their use of water as both character and characteristic. And the undercurrent of the pictures suggesting that what we can’t see can’t hurt us.

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Odette England 
is a photographer and writer based in Providence, Rhode Island and New York. Her work has been shown in more than 100 museums, galleries, and exhibition spaces worldwide. She has two photobooks out this year: Dairy Character, winner of the 2021 Light Work Book Award; and Past Paper Present Marks: Responding to Rauschenberg, her collaboration with Jennifer Garza-Cuen, which received a $5,000 Rauschenberg Publication Grant.