In 2007 Chicago 26-year-old real estate agent (and president of the Jefferson Park Historical Society) John Maloof walked into an auction house and placed a $380 bid on a box of 30,000 prints and negatives from an unknown photographer. Realizing the street photographs of 1950s/60s era Chicago and New York were of unusually high quality he purchased another lot of photographer’s work totaling some 100,000 photographic negatives, thousands of prints, 700 rolls of undeveloped color film, home movies, audio tape interviews, and original cameras.
Over time it became clear the photos belonged to a Chicago nanny named Vivian Maier who had photographed prolifically for nearly 40 years, but who never shared her work during her lifetime. Since the discovery Maier’s photographs have received international attention with collections touring in cities around the world as well as the publication of a book. Now, a documentary called Finding Vivian Maier directed by Maloof and Charlie Siskel is nearing completion and the trailer above is a tantalizing preview of what promises to me a fascinating film. Can’t wait. (via gapers block)
I’m really enjoying the perspective and mood in these oil paintings by Valerio D’Ospina. Born in southern Italy but now living and working in Pennsylvania the artist paints gritty scenes from industry including ship yards, trains, and factories as well as broad “urbanscapes” that are captured from a dramatic, almost blurred perspective. His most recent solo show was at Hall Spassov Gallery back in October. (via cosas cool)
Artist Kelvin Okafor took the time to photograph over 50 steps as he drew his latest portrait titled Mana. I love seeing how artists create such detailed work, especially with portraiture drawings like this. You can see many more images of his work over on Facebook. (via booooooom, it’s nice that)
Polish photographer Marcin Ryczek snapped this once-in-a-lifetime photograph of a man feeding swans and ducks from a snowy river bank in Krakow. The trifecta juxtaposition between black/white, water/snow, and person/animals is simply astounding. You can download a desktop sized version of the photo here, and check out more of Ryczek’s photos in his portfolio. (via stellar)
Without the use of a camera Portland-based artist Jim Kazanjian sifts through a library of some 25,000 images from which he carefully selects the perfect elements to digitally assemble mysterious buildings born from the mind of an architect gone mad. While the architectural and organic pieces seem wildly random and out of place, Kazanjian brings just enough cohesion to each structure to suggest a fictional purpose or story that begs to be told. You can see much more of his work over on Facebook, and prints are available at 23 Sandy Gallery.
Photographer Hengki Koentjoro (previously) was born in Semarang, Central Java, Indonesia in 1963 and later graduated the Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara, California where he studied video production and minored in fine art photography. He now lives and works in Jakarta where he takes these breathless, surreal photographs of the Southeast Asian landscape in locations like Java and Banten. Via his artist statement:
Photography is not just a way of expressing his most inner soul but also creating a window to the world where through his pictures the unseen and the unspoken can be grasped. Driven by the desire to explore the mystical beauty of nature, he develops his sense and sensibility through the elements of fine art photography. His freedom of expression is more reflected in the elaboration and exploration of black and white.
When looking at Koentjoro’s images and processing technique I find myself unable to believe such profoundly beautiful places exist in reality. You can see much more of his work on Flickr and Behance. Prints are available by request.
Photographer Christoffer Relander (previously) just finished a new series of photographs titled We Are Nature using double and triple exposures that incredibly are all done in-camera with a Nikon D700. I love the direction his work is taking. See more on Behance.
I first discovered the gripping portraiture of accountant turned self-taught photographer Lee Jeffries back in December and have been following his journey ever since. His gritty and powerful portraits, most often of the homeless, have since appeared on CNN, Time and the Independant, and he’s even landed behind the camera from Olympian Sir Roger Bannister. Most recently he has a great interview over on 500px. I enjoyed this question:
Most of your portraits are closely cropped to reveal just the subject’s face. Can you explain your decision behind that?
It’s true… my images can be biased to front on views that closely frame the face. Processing in black and white reinforces the contrasts and shapes in the portrait. Infused with light and shadow, I make a conscious effort to place the emphasis on the relief of the face and the strength of the photograph lays in the emotional connection to the subject. I try to magnify the character… tell their story so that it is no longer possible for the viewer to remain indifferent. My photographs become an intimate and personal document which narrates a myriad of emotion.
Jeffries also has a number of prints now available through YellowKorner.