Photography

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Art Photography

Lorna Simpson Photographs Rihanna in an Elegantly Collaged Collaboration for ESSENCE Magazine

January 25, 2021

Grace Ebert

“Of Earth & Sky (Blue Cumulus)” (2020), collage and ink on paper. All images © Lorna Simpson, courtesy of the artist and Hauser & Wirth

An extraordinarily glamorous collaboration graces the pages of ESSENCE’s January/February 2021 issue. The print publication paired acclaimed artist Lorna Simpson and pop icon and businesswoman Rihanna for a striking interpretation of modern beauty.

Within the Of Earth & Sky series are 12 collages and the cover image, which features Rihanna, eyelids coated in bright blue, staring directly at the camera. A diamond collar drapes around her neck, and she’s adorned with a roughly textured crown of crystal derived from 19th-century lithographs.

Many of the superimposed collages feature the Barbados-born singer framed in archival imagery, from star-studded galactic coiffes to bright bursts of watercolor. Others in the collection stray from hairstyle transformations and instead position her against vintage backdrops, including one shot of Rihanna donning an elaborately feathered headdress and lingerie in front of the city skyline.

Brooklyn-based Simpson is known for her kaleidoscopic collages centered on Black women that pull imagery from back issues of Ebony and Jet, a treatment she applies to ESSENCE‘s first-ever commission. The layered works are paired with an essay by the artist’s daughter, actress and model Zora Simpson Casebere, about Rihanna’s lasting influence on her own career. For more of Simpson’s collages that intersect contemporary culture and retro imagery, head to her site. (via Artnet)

 

“Of Earth & Sky (Nebula)” (2020), collage on paper

“Of Earth & Sky (Cover)” (2020), collage on paper

“Earth & Sky #24” (2016), collage on paper

“Of Earth & Sky (Bivalve)” (2020), collage on paper

“Of Earth & Sky (Moving Planets) “(2020), collage on paper

“Of Earth & Sky (Bridge)” (2020), collage on paper

 

 



Art Photography

Explore Vermeer's ‘Girl With a Pearl Earring’ in Incredible Detail with an Interactive 10-Billion Pixel Panorama

January 21, 2021

Grace Ebert

Last year, researchers released records from nearly two years of analysis of Johannes Vermeer’s most-recognized artwork, “Girl With a Pearl Earring.” While their findings didn’t include the subject’s highly sought-after identity, they did reveal that the gray backdrop is actually a dark green curtain and that the figure has eyelashes only visible with magnification. Thanks to Emilien Leonhardt and Vincent Sabatier, of Hirox Europe, we all can study the intricacies of Vermeer’s elusive work and peer directly into the paint cracks with an interactive 10-billion pixel panorama.

The duo began the undertaking to determine the surface condition of the iconic piece after multiple restorations, measure the space between the fractured pigments, and elucidate the artist’s technique. Using a custom microscope, Leonhardt and Sabatier took 9,100 photographs of the painting that were then woven together into the massive panorama. It reveals particulars down to 4.4-microns per pixel.

Head to Hirox Europe’s site to explore the incredible intricacies of “Girl With a Pearl Earring” in both 2- and 3-D, and watch the video above for details into the technical aspects of capturing minuscule details. (via Peta Pixel)

 

 

 



Photography

An Intimate Photographic Series Glimpses the Lives of the Children Who Fish in Ghana's Lake Volta

January 12, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Jeremy Snell, courtesy of Setanta Books, shared with permission

Blanketing much of Ghana’s landscape is Lake Volta, an artificial reservoir with the largest surface area in the world. The enormous body of water spans from the southern part of the African country through the northern region and is contained by the Akosombo Dam, which generates much of the nation’s electricity.

Despite the stunning environment and rich surrounding landscape, the lake has a sinister side that photographer Jeremy Snell captures in a new book, titled Boys of Volta. “Thousands of children work in its massive fishing industry—and many of these children are trafficked into labor,” a statement about the project says. Through intimate and impactful shots, the Brooklyn-based photographer peers into the lives of young boys who wade into the tree-speckled water with swathes of fishing nets. Snell writes about the project:

The trafficking of children and child labor in this region has a lot to do with the complex economic and social history of the Ghanaians residing around the lake. Young children are targeted for fishing because of their mobility and small hands for untangling nets. This series hopes to capture some of the solitude and innocence of young children entrapped in this reality.

Individual prints and the book compiling Snell’s series are currently available from Setanta Books with ten percent of proceeds going to International Justice Mission, a global organization that strives to end slavery, police abuse, and violence against women and children. Follow Snell’s projects that document life around the world on Instagram. (via Creative Boom)

 

 

 



Photography

Interview: Photographer Jem Cresswell Speaks to the Intimacy and Humility of Documenting Humpback Whales

January 11, 2021

Anna Marks

All images © Jem Cresswell, shared with permission

For years, Sydney-based photographer Jem Cresswell (previously) has been diving into the ocean to document the otherwise unseen lives of humpback whales, a humbling experience he recounts in the latest interview supported by Colossal Members. He discusses what drew him to the mammalian subject matter and how collaborating with them during a long period has offered insight into their complex natures.

There is very little you can control underwater—you are at the mercy of the elements—and of the wildlife. You can’t force a natural interaction with a wild animal, which makes it all the more rewarding when everything comes together.

In this conversation, contributor Anna Marks speaks with Cresswell about the pressures of working underwater, capturing the unique personalities of individual animals, and building relationships between species.

 

 

 



Photography

A Massive Octopus and Floating Fish Comprise the Imaginary Universe in Ted Chin's Surreal Composites

January 8, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Ted Chin, shared with permission

In Ted Chin’s surreal dreamland, it’s not uncommon to see massive anglerfish swimming through the sky or a figure scooping up shooting stars. The San Francisco-based artist merges idyllic landscapes and outdoor scenes with fantastical details, choosing to upturn an evergreen in mid-air or position an oversized octopus underneath a floating house. Simultaneously uncanny and calming, the composites are eye-catching and rooted in imagination. “There are things in the world that inspire childlike wonder and awe, and it is my passion to recreate and share them with the world,” the artist says.

All of the digital works here, which blend stock images and Chin’s own shots, fall under the scope of Ted’s Little Dream, the fictional universe that the artist created years ago and continues to work within. “Storytelling has always been something that inspired me. When I was in grad school, I was not able to travel as much as I wanted to,” he says. “I’ve always dreamed about visiting different places, to see and experience new things, and to tell stories.”

If you’re a Photoshop user, you’ve probably spotted Chin’s cloudy flamingo work (shown below) as part of the 2021 Photoshop splash screen. To dive further into his meditative universe, head to Instagram, and pick up a print from his shop.

 

 

 



Photography

Screeching Roosters Make Their Most Aggressive and Passionate Moves in Heji Shin's Photographs

January 6, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Heji Shin, courtesy of Reena Spaulings, shared with permission

Heji Shin has ruffled more than a few feathers in her career through provocative and, at times, controversial photographs of infamous celebrities, crowning babies, and explicit scenes that display the rawness and vitality of her subjects. Born in South Korea, the German photographer recently turned her lens on a particularly antagonistic bunch of roosters in her series Big Cocks. Shot in her distinctly discomfiting and emphatic style, the photographs are strikingly masculine and aggressive, documenting the birds as they screech, splay their claws, and do karate-style leaps into the air.

In a recent interview, Shin writes that while the portraits exude passion, they stray from the more systemic and militaristic views of violence we often see. “The short-lived outbursts of angry cock energy look Hellenistic and virile,” she says.

The photographer is represented by Reena Spaulings in New York, where Big Cocks was recently on display, and you can view a larger collection of her work on the gallery’s site and her Instagram. (via Contemporary Art Daily)

 

 

 

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