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Coney Island, 1953 © Marvin. E Newman 2017, Howard Greenberg Gallery, courtesy of TASCHEN

Photobook: City of Lights – The Undiscovered New York Photographer Marvin E Newman

He’s 89 but he’s just got his first monograph – Marvin E Newman, a native New Yorker who’s been taking photographs since the 1940s. Born in 1927 in New York, Newman was one of the first people to graduate with a degree in photography from the Chicago’s Institute of Art and Design; heading back to NYC in 1952 he then became one of the first to shoot the city in colour. Building up a remarkable body of work there and beyond, he also shot sports photography commissions for magazines such as Life, Look and Sports Illustrated. Represented by the Howard Greenberg Gallery and lauded by Eastman House, MoMA, and the International Center of Photography, Newman’s work has been known to collectors for years, but first came to wider attention through the book New York: Portrait of a City, edited by former BJP editor Reuel Golden. The new monograph, which includes some 170 images from the 1940s-80s, is also edited by Golden, and includes an essay by New York-based writer, curator and critic Lyle Rexer. City of Lights: The Undiscovered New …

2017-04-27T16:22:41+00:00

Pingyao Photography Festival, 2016 © Patrick Campbell

Breakthrough Awards: 2016 winner Simone Sapienza has a spectacular year

Simone Sapienza won the Undergraduate series prize at the Breakthrough Awards 2016 with an astonishingly assured debut, Charlie surfs on Lotus Flowers. Shot in Vietnam, it explores a country that effectively defeated the US in an exhausting war, then adopted unbridled capitalism to become a new Asian tiger. “Vietnam was all built in my imagination but just thanks to the cinema, through movies like Apocalypse Now,” Sapienza explains. “I was curious to see what the country that defeated the US looked like.” It was a precocious start for someone just leaving university, but then Sapienza had already made inroads into the photography world the year before, launching the Gazebook Sicily Photobook Festival in 2015. It’s now in its third year, and has hosted photographers as well known as Martin Parr. After graduating from Newport, Sapienza returned to Sicily, where he joined the Minimum photo studio, which he runs with our other members. It’s an “atypical and transversal” place, he says, through which the photographers organise events and create new photo projects individually and collectively; it’s also based in …

2017-04-27T14:21:01+00:00

From the series 'The Honeymoon', Sensory Deprivation, 2016 © Juno Calypso

Breakthrough Awards: how to impress judges Diana Markosian, Juno Calypso and Hayley Louisa Brown

BJP

“I like it when you can tell they had fun making it, that they did it for themselves before anyone else,” says photographer Juno Calypso. “That criteria probably doesn’t apply well to documentary projects but I take pictures of myself in wigs and tacky lingerie, so what do I know?” She’s a fast-rising star in photography who launched her career with a series of self-portraits playing a fictional character named Joyce, but she’s also helping out as one of the judges of this year’s BJP Breakthrough Awards. She likes underdogs and “a photographer or a subject that isn’t already over-represented in the history of photography”, she says but, having been on the other side of the fence, adds that she knows how scary it can be to enter a prize. ”I know how it feels to place all your hopes into a single competition,” she says. “I don’t want to make lazy decisions [when judging]. What I will say though, is even if you do get rejected – keep applying or just do your own …

2017-04-26T10:44:43+00:00

Sabrina and Katrina, from the series Am I What You're Looking For? © Endia Beal

Endia Beal’s Am I What You’re Looking For?

“At Yale University, I found myself in a place of ‘double consciousness’,” recalls Endia Beal, citing the writer, sociologist and activist WEB Du Bois. Beal was the only black person in the 2013 cohort for the fine arts MA in photography, and also in her workplace – an IT department. “I grew up in one culture and now inhabited another, becoming a mediator between these two worlds,” she says. Upon learning that her hair, a red Afro, fascinated her colleagues, she turned the tables on them, allowing them to feel it but recording their impressions. “It felt like I was doing something I wasn’t supposed to be doing but wanted to do,” admits one of them, while others spoke of the moment being “uncomfortable”, “voyeuristic” or “awkward”, highlighting the inappropriateness of the question, “Can I touch your hair?” Beal’s work since has continued to question and provoke, often challenging the uniformity of corporate culture. In an amusing but no less incisive series, she styled seven white women in their forties with ‘black’ hairdos, then took head …

2017-04-19T16:12:34+00:00

From the series 1915, Movses © Diana Markosian

Breakthrough Awards 2017: getting the inside track from the judges

BJP

What does it take to win in the BJP‘s Breakthrough Awards? Now in their third edition, the awards have a great line-up of judges this year – Emma Lewis, assistant curator at Tate Modern; Diana Markosian, photographer at Magnum Photos; Emma Bowkett, director of photography at FT Weekend Magazine; Vivienne Gamble, director at Seen Fifteen Gallery & Peckham 24; Maisie Skidmore, online editor at AnOther; Juno Calypso (Artist), Hayley Louisa Brown (Founder & editor of BRICK magazine) and Lisa Farrell, head of exhibitions & events at British Journal of Photography. So what does it take to impress them? Four different awards are up for grabs, with prizes for single images and series, in both undergraduate and recent graduate categories. “A good project could be one of many different things,” says Vivienne Gamble. “Sometimes it will be the story that the photographer is telling that sets their project apart. The storytelling power of photography is one of the reasons that I’m most drawn to the medium. “I’m drawn to experimental projects, and to artists who are playing with or …

2017-04-14T11:08:25+00:00

Charlotte Cotton © Christian MacDonald

Any Answers: Charlotte Cotton

The British curator spent 12 formative years working at the V&A. And in the 12 years since, she’s done the opposite, moving from post to post either side of the Atlantic, including senior directorial and curator positions at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the National Media Museum and ICP. She has written numerous books, including two notable surveys, The Photograph as Contemporary Art (2004) and Photography is Magic (2015). This article was first published in BJP’s April issue, available from www.thebjpshop.com My first encounters with photography were through my parents, who are furniture historians and had a photo studio at home. I loved the precision and drama of the photo shoot, even when the subject was just a chair! My dad took me to see an exhibition of pre-Revolution Russian photography at Oxford’s MoMA when I was a teenager. This was when I fell in love with photography. I look back at my years at the V&A as a time of incalculable learning. I learnt how to communicate, how to be helpful, to …

2017-04-06T15:02:54+00:00

"Ice Skating, Lai Yuen Amusement Park, Hong Kong" (now demolished), 1997 © Wo Bik Wong

Festival: Look Photo opens in Liverpool this weekend

Liverpool – home of The Beatles, a passion for football and the unforgettable Scouse accent; Hong Kong – one of the world’s key financial centres, towering skyline, exotic cuisine and ongoing violations of human rights. It might seem unlikely, but there are parallels to be drawn. Both are historically part of the British Empire and both brazen a rich maritime past with large trading ports still used today – perhaps one reason why the northwest England metropolitan borough is home to the oldest Chinatown in Europe and some 10,000 Chinese residents. It comes as no surprise, then, that Liverpool’s biennial International Photography Festival, curated by Hong Kong-based Ying Kwok, hones in on this complex, age-old relationship for its upcoming edition – which opens on 07 April. Sarah Fisher, the executive director of the Open Eye Gallery, the central venue for a number of specially-commissioned exhibitions at the festival, explains that today’s 10,000 residents are a fusion of two communities – the second and third generation Cantonese speakers from Hong Kong, “whose parents established Chinatown”, and those …

2017-04-06T14:22:35+00:00

#BJP 7859, cover image from the Like a Stone series © Pinar Yolacan

#BJP 7859: Female Gaze

BJP

“Photography is an expression of power,” writes Charlotte Jansen in our cover feature this May. “The photographic act is often viewed as an assertion of masculine dominance; a predatory point-and-shoot action.” She argues that social media and the sheer power of the number of women getting behind the camera is changing all that, and affecting how we see things. Though it’s a contentious issue, Jansen confident that the female gaze is different to the male – that “they see the world differently – in just as much colour and nuance. We are beginning to see that world, everywhere we look.” Is she right? One magazine issue isn’t big enough to answer – but we have followed up her hypothesis by interviewing three women about their work. Endia Beal taps into the unwritten codes of the corporate ‘look’ in her work Am I What You’re Looking For?, for example, interrogating what it means to look ‘professional’ and the extent to which black women can fit those maxims. “At Yale University, I found myself in a place of …

2017-04-04T12:34:40+00:00

BJP's new office © BJP

BJP moves to a creative new hub in London’s East India Dock

BJP

Established in 1854, BJP is the world’s longest-running photography magazine, with a longevity built on innovation. We showcase the most important pioneers of photography, but we also keep on top of new trends ourselves, sometimes literally moving with the times to stay at the centre of Britain’s creative scene. Founded in Liverpool, the magazine moved to Covent Garden in 1864; in 2007 we moved to Soho, long at the heart of London’s media industry. In 2013 we settled in Shoreditch, an area then synonymous with art and creative businesses; but the area is changing fast so we’ve now moved again – to the up-and-coming East India Dock. “We are excited to be one of the first creative young businesses to be making the move to East India Dock, at the start of its transformation into a creative London hub,” says Marc Hartog, CEO of BJP‘s publisher Apptitude Media. “This is an exciting new chapter for BJP in the digital and social era and it is important to be in an environment which the team will enjoy and in which the …

2017-04-04T14:22:36+00:00

Home Instruction Manual exposed at Seen Fifteen Gallery © Jan McCullough, courtesy of the artist.

Breakthrough Awards: Jan McCullough one year later

Jan McCullough won first prize in the Graduate – Series category of BJP‘s Breakthrough Awards last year with Home Instruction Manual, an innovative project exploring the concept of the ideal home. The title came from a 1950s manual for military wives the Northern Ireland-based photographer found in a secondhand shop; renting an empty home for a month, she decorated it according to contemporary online advice, and photographed the results in a deliberately amateur style. Winning a spot in the Breakthrough group show in East London’s Truman Brewery, she decided to include a huge roll printed with this advice in her installation. Since then, the project has had a high-speed trajectory. “Shortly, after winning Breakthrough, I was really happy for my show in Seen Fifteen Gallery London to be nominated for the Deutsche Börse Photography Award, and my book shortlisted for the Arles Book Award,” she says. “I have been installing my work in several solo show and group shows [over the past year], such as the Format Festival in Derby, Landskrona Museum in Sweden, Belfast Exposed Photography Gallery and The Library Project in …

2017-03-28T10:39:48+00:00

BJP Staff