All posts tagged: New York

josephson

A Matter of Memory: Photography as Object in the Digital Age

Do you remember the last time you went out and printed a snapshot? Or filled up a chunky, leather-bound photo album with a set of family portraits? If you’re under 30, the answer could well be never. With the immediacy of digital recording and the convenience of smartphones for organising and sharing images, the act of printing physical pictures has become something of an anachronism for anyone but hipsters and art photographers. A new exhibition at the George Eastman Museum in Rochester, New York, seeks to address how the gradual decline of the photographic object is affecting our relationship to memory, and what happens when our century-old physical tie to the photograph is broken. “What has changed is the tactility of the photograph,” says exhibition curator Lisa Hostetler. “Now that images are on a screen, they’re sort of ‘forever young’, and it becomes difficult to realise that there are many things that connect us to the past in terms of basic human emotions. These become more difficult to tease out when everything looks contemporary.” A Matter of …

2016-11-09T15:54:51+00:00

01_ Press Image l Saul Leiter, Snow, 1960 copy

Ordinary Beauty: Revisiting Saul Leiter’s pioneering images

During his lifetime, Saul Leiter (1923–2013) was something of the ignored artist of American photographic history. While his career spanned a time when quintessential New York street photography was defined as swift, sharp and precise, Leiter’s leisured, impressionist style went against the grain. Leiter was a pioneer of colour photography, adventurously using Kodachrome colour slide film well before the likes of William Eggleston and Joel Meyerowitz. As the Guardian’s Sean O’Hagan wrote in Leiter’s obituary, “[his photographs] are as much about evoking an atmosphere as nailing the decisive moment.” A retrospective of the late photographer’s work has just began at The Photographers’ Gallery; the first major public show of his work in the UK features more than 100 works, including early black-and-white and colour photographs, sketchbooks and related materials.     While Leiter’s early black-and-white images were published in LIFE magazine and exhibited in New York and Tokyo, he quickly moved into fashion photography, shooting for Harper’s Bazaar, Elle, British Vogue, Esquire and more. When I speak to Brett Rogers, director of the Soho gallery …

2016-02-26T16:00:03+00:00

Bob Campbell

Rebirth of the Cool: discovering the art of Robert James Campbell

The story of Robert James Campbell is a complex one. Born to a prestigious New England family (his grandfather was the inventor John Jay Nash) he moved to New York City and set about photographing jazz virtuosos such as John Coltrane, The Modern Jazz Quartet, Philly Joe Jones and Wayne Shorter – alongside musical legends like Chuck Berry, Richie Havens & Miriam Makeba. Jessica Ferber’s collection covers some of Campbell’s work, shot at legendary clubs like Birdland, The Village Vanguard, and The Gaslight Café. The book also covers Campbell’s street photography, international work from his time spent in Germany, and tour imagery. It documents the short career of a photographer who “died alone and penniless” in Burlington, Vermont in 2002. In was in Burlington that Ferber first discovered Campbell. After graduating from The University of Vermont, she volunteered to survey some boxes that were left behind by Campbell “after he passed away at a local homeless shelter”.  Says Ferber: “At the time, I didn’t know who Campbell was, and I understood that little was known about the …

2016-01-04T18:18:47+00:00

Louis Stettner: A Station of The Metro

A young girl in her Sunday best fixedly follows the pools of light thrown down on the magnificent stone floor, her shadow keeping her company amidst the suits and stoic silence of Penn Station, New York City. On a commuter train drawing out of the station, a business man curls up for some shuteye, the dark windows framing his exhaustion. Louis Stettner’s Penn Station, New York, a new photobook from Thames & Hudson, is full of such theatrical composition and voyeuristic opportunism; momentary observations of the working and office classes in post-war America. “When things work out, it’s like a miracle,” says nonagenarian Louis Stettner, talking from the South of France, from where he’s working on an upcoming nature series.     “I had the light, the camera was very good, a wonderful lens. Film back then was better,” he says. “Today, it would be quite impossible to get permission to photograph in the railway station. A lot of forces came together which made it very favourable.” If time proves the value of anything, as Stettner has often …

2015-11-06T12:04:20+00:00

Philippe Starckʼs Paris apartment, where he lives with his wife Jasmine, a PR consultant

Inside View: Todd Selby

It’s 9am in Todd Selby’s Brooklyn studio, and he sounds like he’s bouncing all over the shop, full of the joys of winter. Since moving to New York from California in 1999, he’s milked the city dry. He’s been a professional photographer since 2001, and the website he began a few years later, TheSelby.com, was originally a local endeavour – a showcase for the area’s creative wonderkids – but he has since expanded his brief. Bustling workspaces and busy living rooms are still celebrated, but Selby has more recently been travelling the globe in pursuit of portraiture in food and fashion. He has also turned his hand to filmmaking, bringing his subjects to life with such joy that their enthusiasm – and Selby’s – bursts from your screen. “I thought of this idea, people in their spaces, and put it on the internet; it was just fun, and then it took off,” he says, jazzed that what was a personal project that saw him photographing his friends’ homes now takes him around the world, allowing him to meet incredible …

2015-11-03T12:53:20+00:00

The Silver Age: photographs from Andy Warhol’s most creative period

The silver walls of the Factory, Andy Warhol’s infamous New York studio, seems to be a microcosm representative of the zeitgeist itself – futuristic and utterly different to what had come before. Billy Name was first brought into the Factory fold for his interior design talents but after Andy Warhol shoved a camera into his hands, he became the unofficial archivist of one the most fertile creative periods in American culture. The cross-pollination of art, photography, music and fashion happening in this time and space has since become legendary and an exhibition of Billy’s work, featuring The Velvet Underground, Nico and Edie Sedgwick is currently on at Serena Morton Gallery in west London. The gallery’s photography curator David Hill explains why this period still casts a shadow on the cultural imagination. How did Billy find himself among Andy Warhol’s inner circle? Billy was there from 1964 to 1970, which is largely viewed as one of Warhol’s most creative periods – he wasn’t a journalist who crashed it for a couple of weeks, he was one of …

2015-10-14T15:01:33+00:00

VIDEO: Thomas Hoepker on taking the most controversial photo of 9/11

BJP

  On the 14th anniversary of the September 11th terror attacks, we speak to Magnum photographer Thomas Hoepker who documented the destruction. His famous photo depicting the tragedy as a backdrop to a leisurely Brooklyn afternoon attracted controversy, described as “shocking” by Frank Rich of the New York Times for its apparent callousness. But, as is usually the case with Hoepker’s work, there’s more to the image than initially meets the eye.  

2015-09-14T12:44:12+00:00

Louise, Jacksonville, 2012

One Stephen Shore student is setting Paris alight

“I choose to work without limits. I follow my instincts and allow my subconscious to be in control. By neither having a theme nor a structured project, I am able to keep my photographic process as natural and intuitive as possible,” says 27-year-old Louis Heilbronn. His first exhibition, Meet Me On The Surface, at the Galerie Polaris in Paris in February 2013, was a revelation for many. Brigitte Ollier, art critic for the French daily Libération, described his images as “gifted, with a captivating power”, while Claire Guillot of Le Monde wrote that their charm came from their elusive nature. Heilbronn’s large-format photos, which were shown as small 23×30cm prints, flowed like an organic stream of consciousness, mixing portraits of loved ones such as his girlfriend with shots of strangers, images of everyday objects, and an array of varying landscapes. With no indication as to when or how far apart they were taken, the images created a quiet riddle to which each spectator found his own answer. The Brooklyn-based photographer graduated from the photography programme …

2015-08-28T13:37:27+00:00

Remembering Mary Ellen Mark

From the 1940s until perhaps the early 90s, an empathic documentation of everyday life appeared weekly or monthly in the world’s illustrated magazines, a medium whose appeal lay almost wholly in its use of outstanding photography, by great practitioners. It was a time, Mary Ellen Mark recalled, when “the magazines really needed photographers, especially documentary photographers. When they flourished you could bring an idea to a magazine and they would do it. Sadly that time is over”. Nonetheless, she worked on very successfully until the end of her life, combining documentary reportage with commercial assignments in fashion and advertising and portraiture. She was as adept in the studio as in the street, and as at ease with a Leica as she was with an ultra-large format studio camera. Faithful to film photography to the end, she never felt attracted to digital: “I’m staying with film, and with silver prints and no Photoshop …[that’s] the way I learned photography. You make your picture in the camera,” she said in 2008. Born in Elkins Park, near Philadelphia, …

2015-05-28T18:02:04+00:00

James Nachtwey – The Improviser

James Nachtwey stretches his arms across the sofa and pauses to think. He’s just declined to answer whether he ever has nightmares, and now he’s fielding a question that every war reporter has faced; has he ever truly feared for his life? He recalls covering the civil war in Sri Lanka. He was embedded with one of five rebel groups, but the Tamil Tigers, the main insurgent group, were taking out their opposition one by one. He was on an island off the Jaffna peninsula, hiding out. The position was being over-run, and the native New Yorker was completely isolated, unable to get out. He found a Catholic monastery, and hid. In a church in outer Sri Lanka, he found a copy of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, and he read it. He stayed there for three weeks, trying to focus on Shakespeare, until he found the chance to escape back to the mainland and to safety. “That was the first time I really thought I wasn’t going to make it,” Nachtwey says, his voice even. “Parts of my life I’d thought I’d …

2015-08-21T13:25:48+00:00

BJP Staff