All posts tagged: Photography

On The Bookshelf: Our Time by Cat Garcia

‘The underpinnings of genius are always invisible: no matter how hard you look, you can never see the strings.’ This sentence instantly caught my eye when I flicked through the intro of ‘Our Time’ and is probably one of the most canny and truthful statements about perceiving and valuing creativity I’ve read in a long time. London-based photographer Cat Garcia released this heavy bible of creative inspiration already a year ago and after vanishing entirely from my mind, I couldn’t be happier that my better half remembered and caught me unaware with it for my last birthday! And even though I’ve only finished reading through maybe 50% of its content, it’s due time to feature this beautiful thing on my bookshelf. For ‘Our Time’, Garcia set out to portray Britain’s 60 most creative people over the course of one year, following them into their homes and studios, observing their daily work routine, the process of designing and crafting, then again encountering and carving out the human being itself, detached from the artist’s persona. Printed on tactile, uncoated paper, her wonderful, classy and predominantly b/w photographs …

Rube Goldberg Coffee Machine © Dina Belenko

For the Avid Explorer: Dina Belenko’s Still Lifes

Oh, those happy childhood memories! From an early age I’ve been an explorer, fascinated by the ways the world works, devoured books and binge-watched every documentary I could get my hands on back then – natural phenomena, technical inventions or the outer space, you name it – it seems almost odd that I never wound up in any of these fields professionally. For me it’s always been (and still is) a sweet feeling to conceive and refine a concept, to puzzle over an idea, to disassemble and put it together again, to struggle, despair and eventually succeed, seeing a project grow and turn into something amazing even if you’re the only one who treasures the effort on your way to an accomplishment. That’s probably where my enthusiasm and curiosity for art derives from: The chance to embark on a visual journey and immerse myself in somebody’s idea of the world. And exactly this gripping joy of imagining and (re)-discovering somehow slumbers in the witty still life works of fine art photographer Dina Belenko. At the very heart …

© Julien Coquentin

‘Black Seasons’ by Julien Coquentin

Sometimes it just happens without knowing and I find myself dwelling around a website longer than I would care for. Facebook, twitter, pinterest or vimeo. Oh, and let’s not forget adobe’s artistic brainchild behance. The nosy creative connoisseur inside me simply loves to browse the hell out of it. Just hit ‘Most Appreciated’, pick a creative category of your choice and you’ll probably get your mind blown pretty quickly. Sometimes I happen to find a heap of really outstanding projects in a matter of minutes that way, another day it’s only one or two decent ones in half an hour of skimming through a seemingly never ending list of visual overload. Anyhow, last night I made a strike. After just about 4 swift minutes and sifting through maybe 15 other (similarly promising) projects, my cursor bumped into Julien Coquentin’s intriguing work. To be honest, the fifth and most recent chapter of his ‘Black Seasons’ series tops off probably one of the most atmospheric photographic showcases I’ve seen for quite a while. Moving along snowy roads, …

Converge: Mark Salmon x Column Arts Agency

Normally I’d refrain from praising myself, and this is definitely not the time to challenge old habits. Though in this case, it was probably my humble self that played a tiny part in bringing both sides to the table for photography-design-fusion project ‘Converge’. A few months ago, a tweet from Will Astbury’s Column Arts Agency – who already mounted the incredible ‘Triple Hop’ exhibition together with Test Space & Honest Brew – turned up in my twitter feed, hunting for a Birmingham-based photographer. My first idea was Mark Salmon, who recently collaborated with me for a story in The Quarterly, so I gladly put down his name for the raffle. Apparently, it did work out quite well. For ‘Converge’, which has been commissioned for annual visual arts festival Eye Candy, Mark teamed up with Birmingham Royal Ballet dancers Celine Gittens, Kit Holder and Anna Monleon to produce some really sweet live-action shots. Column Arts in turn send off an ace selection of their represented artists, including Trou, Joshua Billingham, Sweaty Eskimo, Laura Tinald, Joel Millerchip or Guy McKinley, to run riot on Mark’s images and add their very …

Traces of the Past: ‘Shot at Dawn’ by Chloe Dewe Mathews

The dawning of a new day. A forsaken, leafless tree stands guard before a field covered in thick fog. Silence. Not a soul to be seen. If you had no clue of the delicate topic that Chloe Dewe Mathews addresses with her most recent photographic series ‘Shot at Dawn’, you could easily mistake it for just a great selection of beautiful, gloomy landscape photography. In fact, there’s more to it behind the peaceful façade, best visualised by an ambiguous title choice that metaphorically addresses a covert truth: The unadorned presence of warfare. While the London-based photographer aims into the forlorn distance through her lense, waiting for the right moment and eventually releasing her trigger to take the shot, the perspective has probably been exactly the same a hundred years ago, yet facing a group of soldiers pointing their deadly rifles at a convicted brother-in-arms. ‘Shot at Dawn’ narrates the forgotten, repressed or long-lost stories of the hundreds of French, British and Belgian soldiers, who were shot for cowardice or desertion in the dark days of World …

Luminescent Neon Portraits by Hid Saib

We’ve seen some remarkable portrait photography in almost every imaginable facet, form and variation. Brazilian photographer Hid Saib however treads a truly electrifying path far from the norm, delving into the medium of neon paint for his most recent project. Fusing the mysterious with the animally, the enticing with the svelte, ‘Neon’ (2013) and follow-up series ‘Neonzinhos’ (2014) create a bold showcase of glittering aesthetics that simply left me with a gaping mouth. Ace. ‘I wanted to figure out how to translate each emotion into an almost cosmic visual—an entire world in itself. There was an immediate need to see through the smokescreen we use to shield ourselves. You could say that seeing these unseasonal shades of neon set off a trigger. Colours and expressions, two unadulterated truths, became one in my head.’ (Hid Saib) Check out these links for more of his works. Hidsaib.com Facebook instagram

Claire Droppert’s ‘Sand Creatures’

Remember when we were kids, out and about in the outdoors, playing tag, climbing trees and lying in the grass, observing the sky, catching sight of imagined animals made of clouds? Photographer and visual designer Claire Droppert revisits exactly these childhood memories with the first instalment of her ‘Gravity’-project, but instead of letting us gaze upwards she carries her observer off to a shoreline and confronts him with her fantastical ‘Sand creatures’. Armed with an arsenal of frozen sand, a shovel and a high-speed camera, Claire sets off to capture these delicate moments of weightlessness. And well, what do you see here? Claireonline.nl Instagram Twitter

Pentti Sammallahti: ‘Here, far away’ @ Photographers’ Gallery

To some, his name appears to be as inexpressible as the delicate beauty of his works. Despite a fairly challenging pronunciation, the Finnish photographer Pennti Sammallahti is in fact a pioneer, innovator and globetrotter that inspired many of his peers over the last four decades. On his fascinating journeys through the icy Scandinavian scenery, the chequered vegetation of Siberia, Japan, India, Nepal and large parts of the African continent, his panoramic camera followed him at every turn. The result is an intriguing exploration of relationships between humans, animals and nature amidst the remote, forlorn and staggeringly beautiful regions of the world. Meditative and humorous at times, his b/w snaps generate a feeling of Wanderlust, an urge to merely take along one’s dearest things and leave everything else behind, renouncing modern technology, social obligations and rules for a life in the pristine wilderness. And to get you even further into a daydreaming mood, London’s Photographers’ Gallery celebrates a retrospective of Sammallahti’s works in its small ‘Here, far away’ print sales show, which still runs until 5th January …

Cover © Maud Chalard

On The Bookshelf: The Quarterly Magazine Issue #2

Inevitably, you stumble across them, whether covering a whole page or squeezed into its very last corner. For many of us, adverts are inseparably entangled with our favourite magazines. Don’t get me wrong here. I’m not only an admirer of the written word, exciting stories and compelling photography, but equally digging clever adverts. It’s just about keeping a balance. Well, if I’m flicking through the pages of most lifestyle, fashion or culture-related mags, all you basically do is jumping from one random perfume, clothing or technology ad to another. The actual articles quite often wither into mere fill-in amongst the crowd. To me, something’s wrong here. Annoyingly wrong. People (supposedly) buy magazines for content in the first place, right? At least I do. So where’s the value and appreciation for the creatives behind it – writers, editors and photographers – if the focus is constantly distracted from the real deal? The photographic print journal The Quarterly however proves that things can be done quite differently, devoted to an ethical, art-valuing and ad-free concept. Well, let’s step back and get to the bottom of it. …

Spot On: Justin Welch @ Brick Lane Gallery

For just a brief period of time – from 1st to 11th August 2013 – Brick Lane Gallery hosts a wonderful group exhibition called ‘Photography NOW’ including works of David Neve, Hersilia Alvarez, James Burns, Justin Welch, Nazanin Moradi, Sylvie Varnier, Sue O’Meara, Sian Hallam-Davis, Tatjana Glomm and Milly Coley. The small art space on Sclater Street showcases a great selection of vibrant ideas, styles and techniques of contemporary photography, but there’s one artist I’d like to highlight in particular: Spot on for Justin Welch and his ‘abandoned’-series. Essentially, the title says it all. For his project, the London/Paris-based artist went on a road trip to the US to capture the many decaying faces of abandoned buildings in the margins of 21st century American civilization. The photographic output is indeed intriguing, both individually and as a whole. It’s not only the hidden message that fascinates me about Welch’s works – it’s the way he evokes a cinematic déjà-vu that draws the observer into a neo-Western setting: The time seems to stand still in this long forgotten …