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Book Review #nyc Photographs by Jeff Mermelstein Reviewed by Blake Andrews #nyc is Jeff Mermelstein's multifarious, comic and heartbreaking survey of contemporary life as learned through overseen text messages.

#nyc. By Jeff Mermelstein.
https://www.photoeye.com/bookstore/citation.cfm?catalog=ZJ340
#nyc
Photographs by Jeff Mermelstein

Mack, London, England, 2020. In English. 160 pp., 5¾x7½".

Odds are that you are reading this review on your phone. Of course, the word “phone” is a bit of a misnomer — audio communication is just one minor facet of the tiny supercomputers we carry everywhere. Most information on a phone assumes a written form, and dialogue is more likely to occur in text than voice these days. Taken as a whole, the result is billions of messages flying around the world every moment. But, unless you are the NSA, these texts are typically private, invisible to the public eye.

For a traditional street photographer like Jeff Mermelstein this posed a dilemma. He’d spent over three decades documenting public life on the sidewalks of New York. But with an increasing slice of public interaction taking place on private screens, a large chunk of human behavior was inaccessible.

As often happens in street photography, his entry point into this new world was serendipitous. “In the midst of making pictures with my iPhone for [my book] Hardened,” he told the NY Post, “I saw a woman on Eighth Avenue and 46th, an older woman, and she was sitting on the edge of one of those planters outside a cafe. And she was typing on her phone. I went and made a picture of her screen, and after looking at my picture, I saw what was on the screen: It was a Google search about wills, and it had something to do with $6,000 in the attic. It was fascinating, and that kind of opened up a door of awareness.”

Mermelstein didn’t fully realize it at the time, but he’d just taken the first of what would become a prolific series. Over the next two years, his attention gradually turned to phone screens. He captured these screens following the methods of traditional street photography, candidly on busy pedestrian thoroughfares, using (what else?) an iPhone. But the substance of his photos was far from traditional. It was a glimpse behind the curtain.

Mermelstein shared his favorites in realtime through Instagram. Eventually, they numbered more than 1,200, enough to form the basis for a book. The recent publication #nyc (Mack, 2020) solidifies 160 of these ‘screenshots’ into physical form. The tidy book, not much larger than a full-sized iPhone, reproduces them as off-blue duotones, one per page.

#nyc. By Jeff Mermelstein.

Most random text messages are rather mundane. But Mermelstein has a sixth sense for peculiarities, offbeat moments, and comic permutations, and it’s this highly selective curation —developed over decades of street shooting— which makes #nyc work. Although the texts cover all subjects and interests, they tend to concentrate on raunchy sexuality and coarse language. To no one’s surprise, people reveal themselves quite openly in private conversation. One conversation compares the merits of young, beautiful dentists as “hotties with tartar scraping instruments”. Another describes a “nice pee at Starbucks” and a surprising password. A later message apologizes in passive-aggressive language for a trip to Shreveport with lying transsexuals. Question: What about “white people who desperately want to be cool and different.” Answer: “That’s strange…” Indeed, that response might apply to any screenshot from the book. Truth is stranger than fiction: the street photography mantra now extends to text messages.

While honest expression provides visual potency, it also carries a voyeuristic edge. The revelation of private fetishes, impolitic opinions, and the occasional deep family secret can be entertaining, as all tabloid journalists know. But Mermelstein’s photos have faced some backlash over ethical concerns. Mermelstein has addressed privacy concerns by cropping or blurring all identifying features; the conversion to duotone also aids the transformation from real conversation into an anonymous snippet. The blue wash “makes the photographs less about photography,” he told the Guardian.

Nevertheless, concerns linger, just as they have over street photography since its inception. The genre has always pushed the boundary between privacy and free expression, with no clear resolution. #nyc dances right up to the line, and sometimes over it, and some will find it invasive or creepy. But for me, those concerns are outweighed by the value of honest candor. If the job of a photographer is to manifest latencies, Mermelstein is on task. #nyc is a window into a previously unpictured universe, one in which we all participate. Without his efforts it would remain hidden.

“Maybe it’s more fun to think about [#nyc] as literature and how literature and photographic images can work,” says Mermelstein. With its back cover consisting of stream-of-consciousness text fragments, the finished product feels more like a book of poems or found fliers than photos. It might fit better on a bookshelf with Lunch Poems or Howl than Hardened. Ultimately #nyc is a meta-statement about our culture’s digital transformation. A book of phone screens, shot on a phone, shared originally on a phone — it’s a unique snapshot of contemporary life, rooted firmly in the late 2010s, and sure to take on a nostalgic edge as our digital tools evolve.

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#nyc. By Jeff Mermelstein.
#nyc. By Jeff Mermelstein.


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


photo-eye Gallery photo-eye Conversations: JP Terlizzi photo-eye Gallery
photo-eye is excited to welcome JP Terlizzi to the Photographer's Showcase and feature his brilliant series The Good Dishes.


Wedgwood Hibiscus with Red Onion, 2019, archival pigment print, 14 x 21 inches, edition of 10, $1,200


photo-eye is excited to welcome JP Terlizzi to the Photographer's Showcase and feature his brilliant series The Good Dishes.

Terlizzi’s The Good Dishes is a feast for the eyes. The exquisitely constructed tablescapes — with specially designed background textiles, inherited china sets, and unconventional food combinations — invite us to examine the representation of food and our appetite for such images. Drawing inspiration from classic still-life painting and social conventions around the table, Terlizzi explores the relationship of memory, family, intimacy, and beauty through one of the most popular and ubiquitous photographic genres — food photography. Terlizzi’s alluring and dynamic photographs finally prove that it is fun to play with food.  


Villeroy & Boch Artesano with Grapefruit, 2019, archival pigment print, 14 x 21 inches, edition of 10, $1,200

Recently, as part of our video series photo-eye Conversations, photo-eye Gallery Director Anne Kelly interviewed Terlizzi. They discussed his photographic practice, the process of creating The Good Dishes among other bodies of work, and cherries! Watch this enlightening conversation below or on Vimeo.






Royal Albert Gratitude with Cherry, 2019, archival pigment print, 14 x 21 inches, edition of 10, $1,200


Artist Bio:

JP Terlizzi (American, b. 1962) is a New York City photographer whose contemporary practice explores themes of memory, relationship, and identity. Born and raised in the farmlands of Central New Jersey, JP earned a BFA in Communication Design at Kutztown University of PA with a background in graphic design and advertising. He has studied photography at both the International Center of Photography in New York and Maine Media College in Rockport, ME. His work has been exhibited widely in galleries and museums nationally including shows at The Center for Fine Art Photography, Vicki Myhren Gallery at the University of Denver, The Griffin Museum, Tilt Gallery, Panopticon Gallery, Candela Gallery, The Los Angeles Center of Photography, University Gallery at Cal Poly, and The Berlin Foto Biennale, Berlin, Germany, among others. His solo exhibits include: Foto Relevance Gallery (Houston, TX), The Rhode Island Center for Photographic Arts, Cameraworks Gallery (Portland, OR) and Soho Photo Gallery (New York, NY).

 

• • • • •

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 Séance Photographs by Shannon Taggart Reviewed by Erika Larsen In 2001, while working as a photojournalist, Shannon Taggart began photographing where that message was received—Lily Dale, New York, home to the world's largest spiritualist community, proceeding to other communities in, for example, Arthur Findlay College in the UK.

Séance. Shannon Taggart.
https://www.photoeye.com/bookstore/citation.cfm?catalog=DT650
Séance
Photographs by Shannon Taggart

Fulgur Press, United Kingdom, 2019. 304 pp., 162 color, 8 black and white illustrations, 11¾x9¾".

"I realized the accidental photo was more psychologically true to the event then the photograph I intended to take." With this declaration Shannon Taggart sets the tone for her haunting and evocative portal into the world of spiritualism, titled Séance.

This is Taggart’s first photographic monograph and spans her twenty-year exploration into the realm of Spiritualism, an American religion founded in 1848. I would go so far as to say that Séance could be regarded as a bible for modern-day spiritualism. It houses a rare, archival, visual collection on mediumship accompanied with essays by notable Spiritualist Dan Aykroyd, artist Tony Oursler and curator Andreas Fischer as well as Taggart’s own words, unfolding a rich history underpinned by the profound visual journey set forth through Taggart’s images.

Séance
reveals Spiritualism’s influence on modern art, its importance in western esotericism, and its tumultuous relationship with the photographic arts. This book is a constant reminder of the influence photography has in our lives and our interpretations of experience. The camera wields power as a recording device, a communication tool, an evidence provider, and most powerfully, in my opinion, as a time machine.

Spiritualism classifies itself as science, philosophy and religion; Taggart’s images could be classified in all of these categories. Encased in this collection we see the camera dip into realms of documentation, investigation and research, time aberration, and physical deconstruction. With a mastery in this medium, Taggart forces us to see the things we want to believe, and then immediately reminds us why we doubt. Fear, confusion, intellect and knowledge all spin a web that crystalizes our gaze and separates us from our body, until Taggart turns on the lights and reminds us that we are home.

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Séance. Shannon Taggart.
Séance. Shannon Taggart.
Séance. Shannon Taggart.
Séance. Shannon Taggart.


Erika Larsen is a multidisciplinary storyteller who believes that photography is one of the most important ways to explore our understanding of time. She is fascinated by the way we communicate with nature and often focuses on people that maintain strong relationships to the natural world. Her monograph Sami-Walking with Reindeer, a reflection of her time living in the Scandinavian Arctic, was published in 2013.
Book Review Some Kind of Heavenly Fire Photographs by Maria Lax Reviewed by Shannon Taggart Inspired by her grandfather’s book Maria Lax combines her own photography with family archive and newspaper cuttings to pass on the essence of the bewildering stories relayed to her throughout her youth. Using these elements the book weaves together a delicate and ambiguous narrative, about a small town with a big secret.

https://www.photoeye.com/bookstore/citation.cfm?catalog=ZJ221
Some Kind of Heavenly Fire
Photographs by Maria Lax

Setanta Publishing, London, UK, 2020. In English. Unpaged, 8¼x11½".

Some Kind of Heavenly Fire is about ‘a little town with a big secret.’ The debut monograph by Finnish photographer Maria Lax revolves around a series of UFO sightings documented by her grandfather in the 1960s. In this petite volume, with an X-files feel, Lax remakes her hometown’s historical mystery by mixing her own work with her grandfather’s journalism. Using private and public material drawn from both past and present, she splices phosphorescent photographs of Northern Finland with eyewitness reports, press clippings, and family snapshots. The result is a photomontage of eras and impressions that questions whether we can access other dimensions in life and in art.

Lax’s twilight interiors, anonymous figures, and celestial nightscapes invoke the supernatural. In these scenes she confronts the countryside, as if petitioning the town to give up its secrets. Trained as a cinematographer, Lax credits her ‘inexperience’ and affinity for ‘old digital’ technology as the formula of her success. Surrendering control to her camera, she is in an unconscious conversation with the place and its past. Lax’s exposures suck up the atmosphere, allowing the ambient light to tell its own tale. This approach brings to mind the musician and composer Kim Cascone's concept of ‘Errormancy’: ‘In the hands of the right artist, a glitch can form a brief rupture in the space-time continuum, shuffling the psychic space of the observer, allowing the artist to establish a direct link with the supernal realm.’ Lax’s glow-bright photographs do manage to feel as if they connect to whatever happened long ago in that dark landscape.

Some Kind of Heavenly Fire. By Maria Lax.

Some Kind of Heavenly Fire was originally envisioned as a movie, and the book’s cinematic mood is consistent throughout. Lax transports the viewer to the extraterrestrial events of the 1960s through an aesthetic circa 1990, citing films such as ET and Jurassic Park as inspiration. Constructed like a scrapbook or storyboard, the book presents Lax’s otherworldly visuals alongside Finnish newsprint, cursive quotes, and B&W blow-ups, some of which are hand-tipped onto the pages with bright red tape. It’s a puzzling sequence that gives the sensation of entering into Lax’s thoughts and associations. It is appropriate that a sense of incompleteness and missing details pervades her sketch-up. Like any keen observer of the paranormal, Lax offers no definitive answers. Her cross-cutting edit amplifies the theme of unfathomable questions.

In the cult-classic ethnography The Trickster and the Paranormal, author George P. Hansen demonstrates that reports of supernatural experiences often accompany cultural points of instability. The incidents at the center of Some Kind of Heavenly Fire also play into this pattern. Lax notes: “The UFO sightings coincided with a time of great struggle for Northern Finland. People flooded from the countryside to the cities in search of jobs leaving abandoned houses scattered across this beautiful but harsh landscape. It’s no wonder that the UFO sightings embodied a fear of the future, the unknown and the inexorable shift in lifestyles and livelihoods going on around them. Some reacted to the mysterious lights with fear, some took them as a sign they were not alone.” Embedded quotes within the book bring to life the era’s angst: “In this town we have always waited for someone or something – God, a millionaire, or aliens – to come and lift us from this misery.” Our own era’s pandemic, social unrest, and economic uncertainty make Lax’s content ever more compelling.

Some Kind of Heavenly Fire is a supernatural saga that plays with the themes of time travel, outer space, and mind-to-mind contact. Although Lax was following in her grandfather’s footsteps, she was unable to seek his counsel, as he was suffering from dementia and died soon after she began the project. In her art, she merges multiple perceptions – her own, her grandfather’s, and those who witnessed the UFO mystery. One of the final spreads pairs Lax’s most radiant image with the quote drawn from her grandfather’s book that inspired the title. It ends the quest on a cliffhanger: “I don’t know what I saw that night, but it wasn’t from this world. It was some kind of heavenly fire.”

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*Some Kind of Heavenly Fire is currently Out-of-Print, at the time of publishing we have a few copies remaining. A second edition is also forthcoming.

Some Kind of Heavenly Fire. By Maria Lax.
Some Kind of Heavenly Fire. By Maria Lax.

Shannon Taggart is a photographer based in Brooklyn, New York. Her work has been exhibited and featured internationally and has been recognized by Nikon, Magnum Photos and the Inge Morath Foundation, American Photography, and the Alexia Foundation for World Peace. Her first monograph, SÉANCE, was published by Fulgur Press in November 2019 and was named one of TIME’s best photobooks of the year.

photo-eye Gallery Gallery Favorites: Mark Klett | Seeing Time photo-eye Gallery
This week the photo-eye Gallery staff were assigned with the seemingly-impossible task of each picking a favorite piece out of this powerful and awe-inspiring exhibition.


Seeing Time: A Forty Year Retrospective, an online solo exhibition by renowned photographer Mark Klett, is the first in a series of our Gallery’s major online shows that use photoeye’s revolutionary new VisualServer X website builder.

Held in honor of his new book Seeing Time (University of Texas Press, 2020), this exhibition presents selected photographs from thirteen different projects, some never before seen. An artist of singular originality and vision, award-winning landscape photographer Mark Klett has built a profound and dynamic career that captures the space and history of the American West while evoking notions of time, perception, and cultural memory. 

The online show showcases approximately 100 images. Also, a selection of this work is currently on view at photo-eye Gallery in Santa Fe, NM. Contact the gallery at gallery@photoeye.com or 505-988-5152 x121 to schedule your visit!

» Inquire about Purchasing Prints

» Purchase Mark Klett's Book Seeing Time


This week the photo-eye Gallery staff were assigned with the seemingly-impossible task of each picking a favorite piece out of this powerful and awe-inspiring exhibition. Read more on their selections below.

Gallery Staff Picks


Anne Kelly, Gallery Director:

Selecting a favorite image is always difficult, particularly when choosing from a brilliant artist whose career spans over 40 years, so I couldn’t help but pick two this time.

Image 1:


Mark Klett, View from the Tent at Pyramid Lake, NV, 2000, archival pigment ink print, 22 x 29 inches, edition of 50, $2400

A great photograph can have transformative power. I have developed a close relationship with this image over the past few months. Whenever I need a little escape, I take a moment with this image and imagine that I am waking up in a tent at Pyramid Lake at 9:45 am. A perfect little day dream to lift my spirits during a time when travel is uncertain.  

Image 2:


Mark Klett, Facing South, Sunrise at Black Rock, NV, 9/18/00, gelatin silver print, 16 x 20 inches, edition of 50, $3500

Having spent the past two decades hiking in the South West, I relate to this image. Much like the previous photograph, viewing this image transports me back to moments that make me feel truly alive. Taking in the view after a day of exploring.

This image is part of a series that began when Klett first moved to the South West in 1982 — naturally he started to explore his new home with his camera & Type 55 Polaroid film.

Patricia Martin, Gallery Assistant:


Mark Klett's Time Studies series is comprised of a group of small-scale photographs that have been described by the artist as "equations" that address the question about the connection between time and transformation.

Six quarter moons particularly stands out for me from the rest of the images in the aforementioned series. The photograph is a perfect blending of science and poetry. The composition plays abstractly with the technical possibilities of the still camera, capturing within a single frame moments of what our eyes would otherwise be unable to grasp — while the several delicate and bold golden lines formed by the stars and the waxing moon passing through the atmosphere read as if they were poetry verses. Like a celestial poet, Klett uses the light from stars and the moon to scribe lines across the sky. Six quarter moons is meditative similar to a Rilke poem. The image is a harmonious collaboration between artist, machine and the celestial.


Mark Klett, Peering Into the Window of a Small Sanctuary Near Villa de Ponte, 1995, gelatin-silver print, 16  x 20 image, contact for price

ARTIST BIO

Mark Klett was born in Albany, New York, earned a B.S. in geology in 1974 from St. Lawrence University and an MFA in photography from the State University of New York, Buffalo, in conjunction with the Visual Studies Workshop in Rochester in 1977. Klett has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, The Pollock-Krasner Foundation, and the Japan/US Friendship Commission. Klett’s work has been exhibited and published in the United States and internationally for over thirty-five years, and his work is held in over eighty museum collections worldwide. He is the author/co-author of fifteen books. Klett lives in Tempe, Arizona where he is Regents’ Professor of Art at Arizona State University.




Mark Klett: Seeing Time: A Forty Year Retrospective
On view through October 2020


For more information, and to purchase prints, please contact Gallery Staff at 505-988-5152 or gallery@photoeye.com.



Book Review Anne Brigman: A Visionary in Modern Photography Photographs by Anne Brigman Reviewed by Madeline Cass A much-anticipated look at one of the first feminist artists, best known for her iconic landscape photographs made in the early 1900s depicting female nudes outdoors in rugged Northern California.

https://www.photoeye.com/bookstore/citation.cfm?catalog=RZ351
Anne Brigman:
A Visionary in Modern Photography

Rizzoli Electa, 2020. 400 pp., 10x12½x1¾".

It feels both unsurprising and disappointing that I had not heard of Anne Brigman (1869-1950) until recently. She was never mentioned in my history of photography classes or textbooks. Thankfully, in 2018 The Nevada Museum of Art hosted a major retrospective of her work, providing some of the long-overdue acclaim she deserves. This book, A Visionary in Modern Photography, was published in conjunction with that exhibition. It is monolithic in stature — roughly 400 pages of beautifully reproduced images, poetry, and archival materials, such as personal letters and newspaper clippings.

Brigman’s work was primarily made within the tradition of pictorialist landscape photography. Many of her photographs are nudes, both of herself, her friends, and sisters, primarily in the Sierra Nevadas. These images feel familiar but unknown. They feel iconic, like something of a feverish and timeless dream.

Although “feminist art” didn’t exist until nearly seventy years after Brigman made her first photographs, she made nude photographs of herself — likely one of the first women to do so — at the turn of the twentieth century. This was perceived as an incredibly radical act, challenging the lingering Victorian norms of the day. Continually defying gendered social expectations, she found freedom by trekking deep into the mountains, with carriages, pack mules, and heavy photographic equipment in tow. An avid supporter of women’s rights, she married and divorced, never wanted or made children, and never required approval or permission from men. She publicly declared herself “emancipated from fear”. And she lived by these words, writing: “I slowly found my power with the camera among the junipers and the tamarack pines of the high, storm-swept altitudes.”

Rather than focus on expansive landscapes alone, her work reveals an intimacy with the landscape — an approach that male photographers of the time had not yet taken. By incorporating the body, her work rejects a false idea of “untouched uninhabited virgin wilderness”. There were people living there long before Brigman or her peers showed up.

Anne Brigman: A Visionary in Modern Photography.

Brigman’s photographs glow and ache with a kind of spirituality and environmental eroticism (perhaps she would have identified with the term “ecosexual”). She actively wrote poetry, which complemented her photographs. She had a particularly intense connection with trees; apparent through reoccurring images of arched, nude female bodies, intertwining themselves within the branches and trunks of the knotted, ancient trees of the high mountains. Perhaps she felt an attraction to the ways that bodies and branches accentuate the natural expressions of one another. She wrote of her “hunger for the clean, high, silent places, up near the sun and the stars”, and desire to “eat and sleep with the earth”.

Her attraction and need for wild places was intense and beautiful, which is eloquently transmitted through her work. Anne Brigman shows us how she touched the landscape and the landscape touched her.

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Anne Brigman: A Visionary in Modern Photography.
Anne Brigman: A Visionary in Modern Photography.

Madeline Cass is a native of Nebraska, and is currently based in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She earned a BFA in studio art with an emphasis in photography from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln in 2017. She primarily works within photography, poetry, and artist books. She is the author of how lonely, to be a marsh, published in 2019. Her work examines the multitude of relationships between art, science, nature, and humanity.

photo-eye Gallery From the Flat-Files | Prints We Love For Less Than $1000 photo-eye Gallery
As we settle in the new location, we have been revisiting the photographs that have lived in our flat-files over the years. Because we are lucky enough to represent so many outstanding artists, our list of favorites is quite substantial.
Tom Chambers, Tea for Two, 2018, archival pigment ink, 21 x 12 inches, edition of 20, $950
 
As we settle in the new location, we have been revisiting the photographs that have lived in our flat-files over the years. Because we are lucky enough to represent so many outstanding artists, our list of favorites is quite substantial. To give every image the attention it deserves, in this week's "From the Flat-Files," we focus on prints that are $1000 or less.

If you are a first-time collector, an excellent way to center in on purchasing the right piece is setting a limit, like a budget or a genre. Check out our Collecting Guide for some great advice from Gallery Director Anne Kelly. Also, if you have questions about the different print processes available to our photographers, here is another wonderful guide.

If any of the works speak to you, please reach out to us, we would love to tell you more about the images and the artists, or advise on collecting.
 
 
Photographer Tom Chambers (see the above image) was raised in the Amish farm country of Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Tom completed a B.F.A. in 1985 from The Ringling School of Art, Sarasota, Florida majoring in graphic design with an emphasis in photography. Since 1998 Tom has exhibited photomontage images from ten photographic series both nationally and internationally in twenty one solo exhibitions and over seventy group exhibitions and art fairs.
 
 



Reuben Wu is a British photographer, born in 1975 in Liverpool. He's also a violinist, keyboardist, DJ and music producer for the popular electronic band Ladytron. Wu is considered one of the most cutting edge, high-tech photographers of our time. 
 
For a deeper insight into Reuben Wu's practice, check out the following recent interview with National Geographic:
 
 
Also, recently as part of photo l.a.'s Virtual Connect + Collect, we hosted a live conversation between Wu and publisher Kris Graves. We discussed the process behind the artist's work and the books they have collaborated on. You may watch this inspiring conversation in the following link:
 

 
 
Steve Fitch, Harlowton, Montana; June, 1998, archival pigment print, 12 x 12 inches, $600

Steve Fitch documents the highway sights and out-of-the-way places of the American West in humorous, poetic color and black-and-white photographs. For his first project, published as the book Diesels and Dinosaurs (1976), he captured drive-ins, neon-lit motels, and truck and tourist stops edged along the two-lane highways of the region. “Today, with interstate highways and jet travel, the journey has been diminished,” he has said. “With my photography I have been interested in the ‘vernacular of the journey.’” In other projects, Fitch has focused on abandoned homes and prehistoric Native American pictograph and petroglyph sites in the Great Plains. He cites his undergraduate studies in anthropology as a shaping force in his work, explaining: “In some ways, I have thought of myself as a visual folklorist who uses photography to collect material.”
 
 
 
David H. Gibson is a primarily self-taught artist who possesses a reverence for place and light. This mindset fuels his black-and-white and color photographs of landscapes, nature, and places where the manmade abuts the natural. He remains devoted to the darkroom and to developing his own prints, which is reflected in his overall vision and the framing of his subjects. In America, Gibson hews to the West, photographing the landscapes of states such as Texas and New Mexico. He also travels abroad; in Japan, Gibson captured the fleeting pink froth of the country’s famous cherry blossoms and the patterns raked into Kyoto’s Zen rock gardens. Gibson is especially drawn to Eagle Nest Lake, New Mexico, as the changing atmospheric conditions intrigue him. “It is always a surprise and a gift to be at Eagle Nest Lake before dawn to see what is presented,” he once said.
 
 
 
 
Diana Bloomfield, Green Dress and Pomegranate, 2017, tricolor gum bichromate, 12 x 12 inches, edition of 10, $1000   

 
An exhibiting photographer for over 35 years, Diana Bloomfield has received numerous awards for her images, including five Regional Artist Grants from the United Arts Council of Raleigh, NC, most recently for 2015-16. Specializing in 19th-century printing techniques, Diana’s images have been included in a number of books, including Robert Hirsch’s Exploring Color Photography Fifth Edition: From Film to Pixels (2011), in Christopher James’ The Book of Alternative Photographic Processes (2015), and, most recently, in Christina Z. Anderson’s Gum Printing: A Step-by-Step Manual, Highlighting Artists and their Creative Practice (2017), to list a few. 
 

 

Angela Bacon-Kidwell

Angela Bacon-Kidwell, A Murmur of Wholeness, 2013, archival pigment print, 15 x 20 inches, edition of 30, $1000

 
Angela Bacon-Kidwell is an award winning photographer and visual artist that lives and works in Texas. Angela has a BFA from Midwestern State University, Wichita Falls, Texas, with specialization in painting and photography. Her work emerges from her journey of recovering a sense of self, strength and spirituality through an examination of her identities as daughter, granddaughter, wife, mother and artist. Her photographic work has received numerous awards and honors and has been exhibited and published both nationally and internationally. Recent awards and recognition’s include: nominated for the Santa Fe Prize for Photography in 2011, Finalist for the John Clarence Laughlin Award, First place in the Palm Springs Photo Festival, First Place in the Texas Photographic Society International Competition and 2012 lecture at the Annenberg Space for Photography in Los Angeles.
 

 

Edward Bateman

Edward Bateman, Leaf No. 39c2, 2019, archival pigment ink, 20 x 20 inches, edition of 7, $900

 
Edward Bateman is an artist and professor at the University of Utah. Through constructed and often anachronistic imagery, he creates alleged historical artifacts that examine our belief in the photograph as a reliable witness. In 2009, Nazraeli Press released a signed and numbered book of his work titled Mechanical Brides of the Uncanny, that explores 19th-century automatons as a metaphor for the camera, stating: "For the first time in human existence, objects of our own creation were looking back at us.” Bateman and his work have been included in the third edition of "Seizing the Light: A Social and Aesthetic History of Photography" by Robert Hirsch. His work has been shown internationally in over twenty-eight countries and is included in the collections of The Victoria and Albert Museum, The Museum of Fine Arts Houston, and Getty Research among others.
 

» Purchase Edward Bateman's Book One Picture Book #58



 • • • • •

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 False Lighthouse Edited by Yael Eban Reviewed by Kim Beil False Lighthouse: a false coastal light (or the extinction of a light) which lures ships onto rocky shores. Nautical legend has it that wreckers deliberately decoyed ships onto coasts using false lights so that they crashed ashore for easy plundering.

False Lighthouse. By Yael Eban.
https://www.photoeye.com/bookstore/citation.cfm?catalog=ZJ431
False Lighthouse
Edited by Yael Eban

Meteoro Editions, 2019. In English. 104 pp., 7x9".

Yael Eban’s False Lighthouse is a small volume, bound in black cloth, like a ship captain’s log. The title refers to misleading, on-shore lights spied by mariners. A false light might be a light accidentally mistaken as a beacon, or, according to Eban, it may be deliberately set up to lead ships astray, making them easy prey.

Eban’s sequence of found photographs, drawn from the collection of Peter J. Cohen (which has appeared in other photobooks, such as Dive Dark Dream Slow by Melissa Catanese), unfolds narratively at first. There are shifting perspectives, moving from ship to shore: a lighthouse amidst sand dunes, like a misplaced obelisk, an ocean view, framed by the mouth of a cave. Then, a tall ship in tatters, as seen from the beach. Soon, we’re back at sea, faced with the question, why this photograph? Why this horizonless expanse of ocean? Perhaps something vanished in the second it took for the shutter to open? These are the questions prompted by many found photographs, but Eban amplifies their mystery, not only through her careful arrangement, but especially through her inclusion of damaged prints and exposure errors. A blast of light in an overexposed image might read like an explosion, or, perhaps, a ghostly spirit, haunting the frame.

False Lighthouse. By Yael Eban.

Eban layers these photographs on top of each other, introducing a detailed image of dust and scratches on the surface of a print, behind a more representational view of a seascape. The arcing scratches seem to trace lines of longitude around the inky globe, like a star map.

Studying the images in her book, I’m reminded of the experience of trying to see in the dark. Especially by the seaside, where cresting waves intermittently catch the light, things seem to emerge from the depths. There is depth in darkness as much as there is a depth in the sea.

Slowly, the sequence of photographs begs the question: What is the truth of any representation? What makes a lighthouse false? I imagine the lookout; squinting from the crow’s nest, he attempts to discern blurry shapes on a dark and distant shore, struggling to distinguish a false lighthouse from a true one.

When looking at photographs, especially these, unmoored from their original contexts, I squint to identify what is real. Are the bright areas on the surface of these damaged prints the true lights? Or are they the result of darkroom accidents and a century of surface damage? Photographs are their own kind of false lighthouses; they promise access to a former reality, but they trick us with their flat surfaces and imagined depths.

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False Lighthouse. By Yael Eban.
False Lighthouse. By Yael Eban.

Kim Beil is an art historian who teaches at Stanford University. She is the author of Good Pictures: A History of Popular Photography.