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Photography

The Annual 'Women Street Photographers' Exhibition Highlights the Images Changing the Genre

March 30, 2022

Grace Ebert

Anna Biret. All images courtesy of Women Street Photographers, shared with permission

Since 2017, a multi-faceted initiative has celebrated hundreds of street photographers whose work develops and expands the boundaries of what’s historically been a male-dominated field. The project of Gulnara Samoilova, Women Street Photographers connects the widespread and deeply personal by highlighting the subtle, nuanced ways the world appears when viewed by different people. Broad in subject matter and style, the initiative’s collection ranges from Anna Biret’s intimate, shadow-laden portrait of a young girl in India to Debrani Das’s candid shot of children at play in black and white.

Women Street Photographers also function as a vital community for those working today, and in recent years, the project has grown from an Instagram account to an artist residency and book collecting a small portion of images. It also culminates each year in an annual exhibition, with the fourth edition opening on April 7 at ArtSpace PS109 in Manhattan. The upcoming show features the work of 79 photographers from 20 countries and will be presented alongside a collection by residency runner-up Maude Bardet. Similar to previous iterations, this year’s exhibition is an expansive consideration of the photographers working toward a more diverse genre.

See some of our favorite shots included in the show below, and visit the project’s site for a deeper look at the ongoing initiative. Samoilova is also curating a show by Women Street Photographers member Sandra Cattaneo Adorno, which opens on April 23 at Personal Structures.

 

Zeryaden Remini

Sonia Goydenko

Nina Welchkling

Karen Zusman

Heike Frielingsdorf

France Leclerc

Erica Lansner

Debrani Das

Britta Kohlboas

 

 



Art

Floral Arrangements Instigate Trivial Actions in Ethan Murrow's Meticulous Graphite Drawings

March 7, 2022

Grace Ebert

“Retreat” (2022), graphite on paper, 36 x 36 inches. All images © Ethan Murrow and courtesy of Winston Wächter Fine Art New York, shared with permission

In his solo exhibition Magic Bridge, Vermont-born artist Ethan Murrow (previously) overwhelms his subjects with sprawling floral assemblages that cloud their senses and judgment. The graphite drawings center largely on figures undertaking precarious and trivial activities to exert some form of control, often through futile underwater adventures and inexplicable actions atop wooden platforms.

On view at Winston Wächter through April 30, the meticulous renderings are tinged with parody and embrace the bizarre and indeterminate. In addition to the smaller works on paper, Murrow is also creating a large-scale mural in his signature imaginative style at the New York gallery—see the work-in-progress on Instagram. Each of the pieces “mull(s) the lines between logic and belief,” he writes.

A limited-edition lithograph of Murrow’s “Planting Time” is currently available from Deb Chaney Editions, and the artist also has works on view at Winston Wächter’s Seattle space through March 19.

 

“Garnering” (2021), graphite on paper, 48 x 48 inches

“Drumbeat” (2022), graphite on paper, 48 x 36 inches

“Harmony” (2021), graphite on paper, 80 x 46 inches

“Conviction” (2022), graphite on paper, 36 x 48 inches

“Glow” (2022), graphite on paper, 36 x 36 inches

“The Vaudeville Admiral” (2021), high flow acrylic on panel, 48 x 60 inches

 

 



History Photography

Street Photography by Juri Nesterov Documents Ukrainian Life Across Decades

March 4, 2022

Grace Ebert

Kyiv. 2020. All images shared with permission.

Photography, and street photography, in particular, has the power to preserve the fleeting, framing the brief encounters and dalliances that sometimes end as quickly as they began. This impulse to document the momentary permeates throughout Juri Nesterov’s body of work that serves as a visual record of those he’s witnessed within the last five decades. “When I look into the camera’s viewfinder, something inexplicable happens: thousands of images appear in my memory,” he writes.

Nesterov was born in 1954 in Krasnyi Luch, a city in the Luhansk province of what is now Ukraine. At the time, the area was part of Soviet Russia, and this shift in borders parallels the photographer’s practice, which often centers on the transient and ephemeral nature of the human experience.

 

Krasnyi Luch (Khrustalny). 1987.

Because of revolution, war, and collapse, Nesterov’s photos also chronicle life under the control of governments that have since dissolved, and the context of being surrounded by such inability makes his focus on the fundamental humanity of his subjects even more impactful. He says:

After a while, looking at my prints, I feel like the photos are electric. Most of the time I hear the question: “Where was this picture taken” or “What kind of camera? What lens?” I really want to answer: “in the world of people with their thoughts, disappointments, and hopes.”…Does it matter where exactly I pressed the camera button?… Look at the world, we all have the same starry sky.

Nesterov worked in journalism for many years and has exhibited his photos throughout Europe, although some of his prints housed at a Ukrainian museum were destroyed during shelling a few years back. Head to Flickr to explore an incredible archive of his photos that until recently, he was still developing in his kitchen in Kyiv.

 

Krasnyi Luch (Khrustalny). 1985.

Christmas ornaments. Kyiv, Ukraine, 2016.

Krasnyi Luch (Khurstalny). 1984.

Holiday village. Near Kyiv, Ukraine. 2018.

Makeevka. 1987.

Friendship. Kyiv, Ukraine. 2018.

Makeevka. 1987.

Kyiv, Ukraine, 2016.

Pereyaslav-Khmelnitski, Ukraine, 2016.

 

 



Photography

Sinister Storms and Twisters Disturb Rural Landscapes in Dramatic Black-and-White Photos by Mitch Dobrowner

February 17, 2022

Grace Ebert

“Lightning Cotton Field.” All images © Mitch Dobrowner, courtesy of photo-eye Gallery, shared with permission

Shooting solely in black-and-white, Mitch Dobrowner (previously) documents storm cells, tornadoes, and other menacing weather events at peak destruction. Funnel clouds plunge to the ground in spindly tunnels and churning clouds frame bright bolts of lightning. Photographed in the plains and rural regions, the images highlight a range of ominous occurrences on the horizon, a chaotic contrast to the tight rows of cotton and calm, agricultural landscapes in the foreground. To see more of Dobrowner’s storm-chasing excursions, visit photo-eye Gallery and Instagram and watch this interview for insight into his adventures.

 

“Vortex No. Duae”

“Funnel Cornfield”

“Tornado over Plains”

“Trees Clouds”

“Saucer Over Grasslands”

“White Tornado”

“Storm Over Sierra Nevada”

 

 



Photography

I'm Not a Look-Alike: Hundreds of Unrelated Doppelgängers Sit for François Brunelle's Uncanny Portraits

February 9, 2022

Grace Ebert

Do we all have a double? Montréal-based photographer François Brunelle has been intrigued by that question since he began his I’m Not a Look-Alike series back in 1999, which brings together two unrelated people who resemble each other so much that they could be twins. He’s uncovered hundreds of doppelgängers around the world since and taken minimal, black-and-white portraits of approximately 250 pairs in 32 cities.

Brunelle’s now-massive collection is a testament to the mysterious and strange phenomenon that’s captivated humans for centuries, which has roots in paranormal lore and continues to be the subject matter of a number of horror films and sci-fi series. The search for a “twin stranger” has also prompted entire online databases dedicated to finding look-alikes through facial recognition software.

It’s this enduring fascination that’s garnered Brunelle considerable attention for the now decades-long project, which has also sparked tangential endeavors focused on finding doubles exclusively in Colombia and Spain. At the core of the series, though, is the idea that people, no matter their background, are fundamentally tethered to each other. “The face is the ultimate communication tool that we have to establish and maintain relationships between us as human beings. No wonder we are drawn to the face,” Brunelle shares.

 

Focused on lighting and angle, the uncanny portraits are devoid of color to highlight facial structures rather than variances in hair and skin. The subjects are not exact doubles— “A very perfect pair of look-alikes would be boring,” Brunelle says—and it’s easy to identify their similarities and differences as they pose in such close proximity. He explains:

Of course, the look-alikes are not the same. They look-alike, not much more. But then, that’s what fascinates me. That someone, out in this world is looking at himself in the mirror and seeing more or less the same thing that I am seeing in my own mirror. Which brings us down to the question: Who am I exactly? Am I what I see in my reflection or something else that cannot be defined and is invisible to the eyes, even my own?

Brunelle is currently working on a book and companion exhibition for the project, and you can follow updates on that and see more from the I’m Not a Look-Alike series on his site and Instagram. (via Kottke)

 

 

 



Photography

Majestic Photos Capture the Dwindling Population of Madagascar's Ancient Baobab Trees

February 7, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Beth Moon, shared with permission

In the fall of 2018, one of Madagascar’s most sacred baobabs cleaved and crumbled. The ancient giant was estimated to be about 1,400 years old and offered food, fuel, and fiber to the region before its trunk, which spanned 90 feet around, collapsed. Known as Tsitakakoike, which means “the tree where one cannot hear the cry from the other side,” the baobab was also entwined with local lore and thought to house the ancestral spirits of nearby Masikoro people. Its loss was devastating to the community and an ominous sign of how the climate crisis is permanently damaging these centuries-old trees.

Bay Area photographer Beth Moon (previously) has been documenting the species since 2006 and traveled to the region when Tsitakakoike fell. There she captured the cracked, deteriorating emblem along with other baobabs in similar states of crisis throughout Madagascar, Senegal, and South Africa. Shot in dramatic black-and-white, the images are rich in texture and frame the baobabs’ wide, crackled trunks and branches that splay outward into massive tufted canopies.

An act of visual preservation, Moon’s photos show how the massive trees’ exposed roots sprawled across the ground, a sure sign of years-long droughts causing many to become so dehydrated they cave under their own weight. These devastating effects are common in the region, which has experienced significant water shortages and rapid reduction of the baobab population in the last few decades. Moon writes about her visit:

Astonishment and horror set in as Tsitakakoike comes into view. Half of the tree has collapsed; a portion of the sides and back of the trunk remain. Gigantic branches, larger than most trees, lay in disarray at the base of the trunk. The entire spectacle is about the size of a football field.

During her visit, Moon captured dozens of photos, which are on view now as part of an online exhibition through photo-eye Gallery and compiled in a recently released book available on Bookshop. You can see more from her travels on Instagram.