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Archive for the ‘Artists’ Category

Lucian Freud Does Not Like Your Photographs

Thursday, July 7th, 2011

“In a culture of photography we have lost the tension that the sitter’s power of censorship sets up in the painted portrait.’ To be photographed, Freud says, makes him feel that something disagreeable is being done to him. The main difference between a painted and a photographed portrait is simply, ‘the degree to which feelings can enter into the transaction from both sides. Photography can do this to a tiny extent, painting to an unlimited degree.”

I found this gem of wisdom in Lucian Freud Paintings by Robert Hughes, which I highly recommend in addition to The Man with the Blue Scarf by Martin Gayford. I am not going to enter into a one-sided discussion about whether or not Freud is right–I think he is generally right with a few notable exceptions. I take his opinion as more of a challenge, albeit a sisyphean one, to allow for an expanded transaction between the photographer and the sitter/subject. Any photographer working in portraiture should look at Freud’s work and look and look and look. I was lucky enough to see the etching posted here, Kai, at his show at MOMA in 2008 and the utter raw power contained within his work still unnerves me.

Katy Grannan

Thursday, February 17th, 2011

I wish I lived in San Francisco because I would have already seen Katy Grannan‘s exhibit entitled Boulevard at The Fraenkel Gallery, which ends this Saturday February 19th. Her work makes me swoon as it is breathtakingly raw. The show is coming to Salon 94 here in New York on April 1st. Rather than schlepping through The Metropolitan Museum of Art to look at the best of the best by a bunch of famous dead male photographers with an audio guide (hate is not strong enough of a word to describe my relationship to audio guides), go to Salon 94. God, if her work ain’t vibrant enough to strike you down, I wouldn’t know what could.

Chris Verene

Monday, February 7th, 2011

It was suggested to me that I check out the Camera Club series by Chris Verene. Verene is a cheeky photographer and his Camera Club series serves it up well. Amy Arbus, former teacher and curator of the current group show at ICP in which I am featured, once told me that to infuse any photograph with even a scrap of humor is hard to do and Verene shoots and scores. While I am not going to clog up my blog with the description of his project, have a look at the series and his work. Not many a photographer can make strong work that is at once poignant, quirky, and ultimately impish.

Greg Miller

Wednesday, January 12th, 2011

I am stuck in Atlanta at the moment thanks to a layer of ice that has caked the city. As a southerner–a South African who grew up in Atlanta–I am yearning for the heat and humidity unique to the South. An August month, say, slows just about everything down: speech, movement, sound waves, momentum. Where I am at (in the cold) and where I would rather be (in the heat) got me thinking of Greg Miller’s series on Nashville. Miller is from Nashville and I heard him speak about his process, which you can read about on his website. In my mind, both his work and his method are all about slowness and his series on Nashville embodies it well while reminding me of better months to come.

Asger Carlsen

Tuesday, January 4th, 2011

Odd photographs, which leave the inner-narrative of the image unfinished, are my kind of photographs. I like Mr. Carlsen’s work, and in particular his series entitled Wrong, for the same reason I find it nearly impossible to watch horror movies while I very much like the films of David Lynch.

Playing Favorites

Tuesday, January 4th, 2011

I am often asked who are my favorite photographers or whose work I like. I don’t know really. I am pretty poor at playing the favorites game–double points for obscurity–or talking about what work I like; I like a lot of work made by photographers who have been boxed in various genres. When put on the spot, I generally go big (and maybe wrong): Philip-Lorca diCorcia or Catherine Opie say. Thing is, there is work I like, then there is work that quietly influences my work, and then there is the interweb.

The great thing about surfing the web with a mouse or a pen is that you can stumble across urls belonging to artists whose work you might never encounter otherwise. My modus operandi is to bookmark the urls and plan on returning later, which inevitably I never do. I therefore decided that it might be easier for me to post the urls here, a photo or two to boot, and a few sentences about why I like what I like. My posts are purely for my reference and enjoyment but don’t let that stop you from settling in with a bag of buttered popcorn and having a jolly good time yourself.

This photograph was made by two of my favorite photographers Oliver Chanarin & Adam Broomberg.