Photography

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Photography

More Than 90 Archival Photographs Celebrate the Unpredictable in Magnum's Next Print Sale

March 15, 2021

Grace Ebert

Khalik Allah/Magnum Photos. From the 125th & Lexington series. Harlem, New York City, USA. 2018.

Next week, Magnum Photos (previously) is pulling more than 90 photographs from its archive for a print sale that pays tribute to chance moments and serendipity. The Unexpected launches March 22 with a range of compositions documenting more than seven decades worth of “under-explored issues, reporting of events unfurling in far-flung locations, or single frames capturing split seconds of levity.” All prints are 6 x 6-inches, signed or estate-stamped, museum-quality, and available for $100. See some of Colossal’s favorites below—including Ian Berry’s shot of children at play in Oman, Ernst Haas’s image of an energetic horse leaping on set of The Misfits, and René Burri’s wilting lotus flowers—and shop the full collection during the one-week sale.

 

Ian Berry/Magnum Photos. Ras al-Hadd near Sur, Oman. 2004.

René Burri/Magnum Photos. Wilting lotus flowers on Kunming Lake. The Summer Palace, Beijing, China. 1964.

Left: Steve McCurry/Magnum Photos. Flower Seller. Dal Lake, Srinagar, Kashmir. 1996. Right: Ernst Haas/Magnum Photos. “Leaping horse”, on the set of The Misfits. Nevada, USA. 1960.

Philippe Halsman/Magnum Photos. Tippi Hedren. Hollywood, Los Angeles, USA. 1962.

Constantin Manos/Magnum Photos. Daytona Beach, Florida, USA. 1997.

 

Lindokuhle Sobekwa/Magnum Photos. “Bhayi alembathwa lembathwa ngabalaziyo.” 2020.

Ruth Bains Hartmann/Magnum Photos. Shadows on sea and sand. Santa Monica, California, USA. 1979.

Harry Gruyaert/Magnum Photos. Gao, Mali. 1988.

 

 



Photography

'Ordinary Sacramento': A Photo Project Finds Playful, Unexpected Scenarios in the Familiar

March 12, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Enoch Ku, shared with permission

Suit-inspired landscaping, overgrown shrubs, and misaligned stripes are just some of the scenes that comprise Enoch Ku’s Ordinary Sacramento, an ongoing project documenting the visual language of the Californian city. Ku is adept at identifying humor and quirkiness among the otherwise mundane urban landscape, framing a street sign or bike rack in a playful manner. Generally taken during a quiet moment, the compositions are evidence of the photographer’s keen sense of awareness and ability to observe what others might not.

Prior to launching Ordinary Sacramento, Ku worked as an actor and wedding photographer, two jobs that required him to rush from one place to the next. The pace of that lifestyle, in addition to the performative nature of the work, sparked his desire to slow down and document the world through a different lens. He explains:

In an Instagram world of stylized photos, highly processed photography, advertisements, and emotional conditioning, I want to convey and elevate the beauty of the ordinary and mundane… Staying silent, going slow, and being present is going against the grain, and I want to encourage people that they can choose that. The world is a beautiful and funny place.

Prints of Ku’s photographs are available on the Ordinary Sacramento site, and keep an eye on his Instagram for his first book, My Neighborhood Rosemont, CA (우리 동네 로즈먼트), a visual love letter that’s slated for release later this year. (via Ignant)

 

 

 



Photography

Dozens of Photographs Connect Racial Justice and the Symbolism of Flowers in an Exhibition by The Earth Issue

March 12, 2021

Grace Ebert

Denisse Ariana Pérez (previously), “Boys and Water” (2019). All images courtesy of the artists/The Earth Issue, shared with permission

An online exhibition by The Earth Issue, an artist collective interested in the intersection of environmental activism and social justice, centers on the symbolic power and precarious nature of the flower. Considered both a sign of love and an offering to make amends, plants in bloom are often sites of cultural contradiction, a theme that runs through the dozens of photographs in Strange Flowers—the show is titled in reference to Billie Holiday’s anti-lynching protest anthem “Strange Fruit.”

“Beauty felled in its prime. Taken without consent, their stems ripped from the earth, their connection to life severed, petals pulled and crushed underfoot. Just like George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and countless other innocent victims of racial injustice and police violence,” says a statement about the expansive collection.

The Earth Issue is selling prints of each of the works in its shop through April 11, and a portion of the proceeds will go to BIPOC communities. See some of Colossal’s favorites below, and peruse all the photographs on the collective’s site. (via Juxtapoz)

 

Emily Hlavac Green, “Bird In A Cage” (2020)

Chukwuka Nwobi, “Ore” (2018)

Chieska Fortune Smith, “Back” (2018)

Jesse Crankson, “I Can’t Breathe” (2018)

Joachim Mueller-Ruchholtz, Marathonas, Greece (2019)

Left: Kay Ibrahim, “Flowerboy” (2018). Right: Kin Coedel, “Sky” (2016)

Tom Johnson, “Denis The Dancer,” Rio (2019)

 

 



Photography

A Hypnotic Short Film Rhythmically Spins Through 3,745 Masks from Around the World

March 11, 2021

Grace Ebert

Spiraling through ancient, painted faces, cartoon figures, and the now ubiquitous N95, the short film “Beyond Noh” by Patrick Smith (previously) sequences 3,745 masks in an entrancing rhythm. The individual images span multiple cultures and time periods and shift from one to the next with the beat of a hand drum.

A decades-long mask enthusiast, Smith photographed three-fourths of the works from museum archives, galleries, and his own collection, with the remaining segment submitted by folks around the world. “To me, masks are an interesting way to view humanity. It seems to me that every culture in the history of the world has participated in some form of mask making, whether it’s for performance, ritual, protest, or utility,” the director tells Colossal, noting that he finished the film just one month before the first outbreak of COVID-19 in the United States.

This month, “Beyond Noh” is screening at the Ann Arbor Film Festival, Stuttgart Animation Festival, Florida Film Festival, and Mecal Barcelona Animation Festival. Watch an excerpt edited exclusively for Colossal above, and stream the full film on Smith’s YouTube channel with a paid subscription. (Thnx, Marcin!)

 

 

 



Photography

An Expansive, Celestial Series of Photographs by Shawn Theodore Is Cast in Shades of Blues

March 11, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Shawn Theodore, courtesy of Paradigm Gallery, shared with permission

“To create in blue, one must first understand its powerful nature,” says Shawn Theodore in reference to Night Stars, an extensive new series of photographs that radiate the primary hue.

Shot using a variety of filters and lights, Theodore’s ethereal works are multivalent in aesthetic and affect. They evoke a range of references, spanning the color symbolizing an antidote to evil to the practices surrounding the 19th Century cyanotype, a medium with an archive that notably includes few Black subjects. Slavery in the United States also foregrounded the production of indigo, a cash crop that rice and cotton eventually supplanted. “There has to be a world that exists inside of the color. A spiritual process is happening that is begging us to look inside of it, and somewhere within it are answers,” the photographer says.

 

In an interview about the elegantly subversive series, Theodore shares that the original idea for the series emerged in 2016 and was inspired, in part, by the aesthetics of nature photography. Whether a portrait or more expansive shot, many of the works feature the sky, stars, and water elements that have deep and storied roots in African and African American traditions.

Along with his larger body of work, Night Stars is based on what Theodore terms “Afromythology,” a non-linear blend of histories and speculative futures derived from both real and imagined scenarios. This theme, in addition to the perpetual infusion of blue light, binds the individual works that otherwise encompass a breadth of Black experiences decontextualized from time and space. Theodore says about the intentionally broad series:

Featured in this collection are portraits made of bejeweled deities in the indigo-hued ether, the fervor of fête revelers, the quiet stillness amongst the dense foliage and haints of Low Country of South Carolina, possession in the Blue Mountains of Jamaica, and sunrise reverence at the edge of the Caribbean Sea. At the center is the viewer, who stands at the bardos of these seemingly disjointed experiences, their presence unifying the real and unreal.

Night Stars is on view at Philadelphia’s Paradigm Gallery both in-person and virtually through March 20. Find a larger collection of the Germany-born photographer’s works on his site and Artsy.

 

 

 



Photography

Right Up Our Alley: Striking Drone Footage Flies Through Minneapolis's Bryant Lake Bowl

March 10, 2021

Grace Ebert

After splitting from the nighttime cityscape, a drone descends into Bryant Lake Bowl in a fast-paced clip that rolls through the classic Minneapolis venue. The camera-strapped device trails a ball as it barrels down the lane and then winds past the gutters and into the bar and theater, picking up competitive banter and diving in the otherwise-unseen abyss that is the ball pit. Taken by Jay Christensen of Rally Studios, the footage is evidence of both how far technology has advanced in recent years and the adept piloting skills required to capture such a striking ode to the beloved alley and the game itself. (via Kottke)