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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

From the series Cafe Lehmitz © Anders Petersen

Festivals: Alberto Garcia-Alix curates PHotoEspaña 2017

“Anders Petersen, Pierre Molinier, Antoine d’Agata, Teresa Margolles, Karlheinz Weinberger, Paulo Nozolino, Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin produce a work outside of orthodoxies where emotion is everything,” states Alberto Garcia-Alix. “They take their great strength from their capacity for transmission and empathy. “Like a spark. An intense current of excitement. We convulse. We fill ourselves with resonances. The comprehension of the universe as the last act. That is the great subliminal power that art has. The exaltation of the being.” The Spanish photographer, known for his raw portraiture and involvement with the hedonistic post-Franco La Movida Madrilene, has been given free reign to curate PHotoEspaña’s 20th edition, and has taken a radical approach. Celebrating “work that lives outside the norms because it feeds off what is most intimate and passionate in the author”, he’s selected cult and obsessive projects, many of which have an element of sexual subversion. He finds “exaltation takes flesh as a catapult for the senses” in d’Agata’s scenes of sexual encounter for example, and “fierce hedonism and independence” in Molinier’s fantastic and fetishistic …

2017-04-27T14:36:55+00:00

From the series How to Secure a Country © Salvatore Vitale, which won first prize and £7000 in the Photographic Museum of Humanity 2017 Grant

Awards: Salvatore Vitale wins the PHM 2017 Grant

“Salvatore Vitale’s extraordinary project How to secure a country is a forensic examination of national security in one of the safest countries on the planet. This work challenges the concept of power and control, shining a light on wider issues of mass migration and fear,” says Emma Bowkett, director of photography for the FT Weekend Magazine and a jury member for the PH Museum 2017 Grant this year. Along with Sarah Leen from National Geographic, Ihiro Hayami from Tokyo Photography Festival, and the photographer Alejandro Chaskielberg, she picked out the Italian photographer for the top prize, for his project exploring the National Security Program in Switzerland, his adopted home. Two years in the making, the series has been funded by a Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia grant, and Vitale has scooped £7000 by winning the PH Museum prize. “Salvatore Vitale has managed to gain access to one of the most difficult places to photograph; border control,” comments Hayami. “He tries to capture, or examine, the abstract concept of security through the fragments of scenes and successfully presents, …

2017-04-27T15:01:55+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 11.41 @ Michal Luczak, courtesy of the artist

Photobook: 11.41 by Michal Luczak and Filip Springer

At 11.41pm on 07 December 1988, a cold and snowy day, Armenia was struck by a 7 degree Richter earthquake. Some 25,000 people died and a further 514,000 were made homeless; the city of Spitak was worst affected, with a third of the population killed and all but one of its buildings destroyed. Since then very little has changed in Armenia, but the political landscape around it has been entirely reshaped. The USSR collapsed just a few years after the earthquake in 1991, with the disaster coming to symbolise its failure when Mikhail Gorbachev was forced to call for international aid to handle it. In Spitak the USA and Germany built small wooden houses for those who had been displaced, and the Soviet government promised more permanent homes would follow within two years. In 2013, when Michal Luczak visited, people were still living in the huts. The Polish photographer decided to delve deeper with a documentary project, and was soon joined by the writer Filip Springer. “We don’t ask about that day. They don’t talk,” they write in their resulting …

2017-04-27T14:55:08+00:00

Tokyo compression 18
, 2010. From the series Tokyo Compression © Michael Wolf, courtesy Prix Pictet

On show: Prix Pictet ‘Space’ at the V&A

Founded nine years ago by Swiss private bank the Pictet Group and Candlestar – the company behind Photo London, which opens a fortnight later – the prize draws attention to environmental issues but also reflects the strategies and approaches used by photographers to tackle socio-political concerns. The first edition, in 2008, was themed Water and was awarded to Canadian photographer Benoit Aquin for his photo essay The Chinese Dust Bowl, while Munem Wasif was commissioned to shoot a story on water shortages in his homeland, Bangladesh. Over subsequent years more conceptual approaches have been shortlisted in response to changing themes, which have included Power, Consumption and Disorder, won by Lucas Delahaye, Michael Schmidt and Valérie Belin respectively. “The intention was never to just feature photojournalism, much as we all love it,” says Michael Benson of Candlestar. “It was about opening up to all genres of photography.” This year’s Prix Pictet comes through on that promise, with a shortlist that includes a wide variety of work. Sergey Ponomarev’s series Europe Migration Crisis is classic photojournalism, for …

2017-04-26T12:49:09+00:00

Untitled from the series 'grass, peonie, bum' 2016 © Maisie Cousins, courtesy TJ Boulting gallery which will show it at Photo London

Photo London returns with a new, more edgy focus

Spring is in the air in London and for the first time this year the sun is shining on the courtyard of Somerset House. Michael Benson, one of the two founding directors of Photo London, sits in its centre, drinking a morning coffee and soaking up the rays. He could be forgiven for feeling a little smug but today he seems merely quietly content that later this month the art fair will be back for its third edition, its biggest yet. “We kept hearing from people that ‘there’s no market for photography in London, there’s no interest’,” says Benson. “These were people in the industry and they should have known better.” In fact, the fair established itself as a key fixture on the international photography calendar and soon this grand old courtyard and the labyrinthine rooms of Somerset House will be filled with gallerists, collectors, artists, curators and exhibitors once again. Last year’s edition featured 84 galleries from 19 countries, welcoming more than 35,000 visitors over its five-day run, with collectors and VIP photography professionals …

2017-04-25T13:11:53+00:00

On the streets help is sought, from the series SnakeFire © Arko Datto, courtesy of the artist

Exclusive: A sneak peek at Arko Datto’s new series SnakeFire

“During the daytime people are so busy with their lives, but during the night they are more truthful, this is what I want to capture in my walks,” says Arko Datto, who has just completed SnakeFire, the second chapter of the trilogy started with Will my mannequin be home when I return.  The Indian photographer, who was nominated for the Gomma Grant in 2016, started Mannequin in 2014, first using black-and-white then moving to colour to create a “more advanced, elaborate and a visually solid work”. Shot in India on a walk he repeated many times, it explores “what it means to be in direct confrontation with the night”. The project is open to several layers of interpretation, and includes fictional stories that run through the documentary images. SnakeFire – or, to give it its full title, What news of the snake that lost its heart in the fire – is based in Indonesia and Malaysia, and also explores the night. “Different places have their own characteristics,” explains Datto. “I’ve been going there for three years before to absorb the vibes of …

2017-04-24T15:02:39+00:00

From the series 'Whiteout', 2017 © Frederik Buyckx, courtesy of Sony World Photography Awards

Frederik Buyckx wins the Sony World Photography Awards

Frederik Buyckx has scooped Photographer of the Year at this year’s Sony World Photography Awards, with a series called Whiteout that explores how nature is transformed by winter.  “I have chosen a series of landscapes so that we may return to the essence of looking at photography,” comments Zelda Cheatle, chair of judges at Sony’s World Photography Organisation. “Landscape is often overlooked but it is central to our existence. I hope this award will inspire many more photographers to take pictures that do not simply encompass the terrible aspects of life in these troubled times but also capture some of the joys and loveliness in each and every environment,” she continues. Buyckx’s work, which was picked out from 227,00 entries by photographers from 183 countries, was shot in remote areas of the Balkans, Scandinavia and Central Asia, where people often live in isolation and in close contact with nature. “There is a peculiar transformation of nature when winter comes, when snow and ice start to dominate the landscape and when humans and animals have to deal with the extreme weather,” …

2017-04-20T23:03:13+00:00

Los Alamos series, 1965-1968 © Eggleston Artistic Trust, Memphis, Courtesy David Zwirner, New York/London

On show: Autophoto at Paris’ Fondation Cartier

By the end of the 19th century, the camera and the car had helped pave the way for a new, more modern perspective – images by freezing time, from multiple perspectives, and automobiles by speeding things up. Now the Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain in Paris is devoting a huge exhibition to the two, showing how they have altered our lives and our visions of them – and how they continue to evolve. As curators Xavier Barral and Philippe Séclier comment: “Over the last few years we have witnessed an industrial, societal and environmental turning point in automobile history. On the other hand, photography has never been shared so much.” With the automobile and the camera, they explain, everyone can be in action in space and in time – cars providing almost everyone, everywhere, with autonomy and movement, and the photography allowing them to record their presence in history. “It was time to unify these two popular techniques, which have transformed the social bond into an artistic journey,” say the curators. “And this is the first time that a photographic exhibition of this magnitude has been organised on this theme.” …

2017-04-20T17:05:34+00:00

BJP Staff