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COLLABORATION @ dnj Gallery

Image by Abraham Lopez, Boys and Girl Club of America

COLLABORATION – Los Angeles Center of Photography and The Boys and Girls Clubs of America
July 13th – August 3rd, 2019

Opening reception: Saturday, July 13th, 1-4pm

“A big part of LACP’s mission is to provide “focused programming for youth and low-income families, and community outreach.” We take this very seriously. As a staple in the photographic community, our organization recognizes the importance of giving back by providing education in the photographic arts for underserved youth and other non-profits. This is accomplished through strategic programming at local schools, one-one-one mentoring, supporting local raffles or benefits, and providing our facility to those organizations in need.”

dnj Gallery
3015 Ocean Park Boulevard
Santa Monica, California 90405


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Book Review: Dear Mr. Picasso by Fred Baldwin

Peace Corps, India, 1966, Haystacks.
“My attempt to photograph the Peace Corps program in India was fraught with frustration as I found India a compression of opposites both hideous and beautiful. The twelve hundred volunteers working there in 1966 sought to make progress among half-a-billion people. They were needles in the haystack, so I decided to spend several months photographing the haystack instead of the needles.”
© Fred Baldwin/Schilt Publishing

Fred Baldwin, born in 1929 in Lausanne, Switzerland, a self-declared “academic disaster,” learned “that to pass through the portals of privilege it was necessary to walk a straight line, suffer every test without complaining, follow the program no questions asked, and recognize authority from the top down.” In other words: This very well-written tome introduces you to a world of privilege. But also, to an adventurous, highly reflective life. And, it is not least a profound confrontation with Mr. Baldwin himself. “In a war with myself, I had forced the enemy to retreat, captured most of my monsters and locked them up in my diary ….”

In the chapter entitled “Schools, Girls, and Ice,” he gives a colourful and detailed account of his early years and I cannot help but wonder how much he is able to recall (for I have only a very sketchy memory of my youth). After school he joined the Marine Corps, was sent to Asia where, in June 1950, North Korea had invaded South Korea. He was confronted with the Chinese and the cold. “There were twice as many casualties from frostbite at the Chosin Reservoir as there were battle-wounded.” He quotes from letters he wrote to his mother and uncle and sums up nicely what war is all about. On March 19th, 1951: “Dear Uncle Bob … my glorious military career has mostly consisted of climbing up and down many hills.”

Afghanistan, December 1966. Boy with Baskets “I was fascinated with Afghanistan. Its people and the land itself seemed to be created to endure the impossible. Every aspect of this land seemed to have been cut from something hard.”
© Fred Baldwin/Schilt Publishing

A “Change of Scenery” (so the title of another chapter) takes place when he goes to Paris after the war and learns that “the bright well-informed people such as George Plimpton” thought him “‘cute’ but woefully uneducated. I hadn’t read the articles and books or seen the shows, and the one thing I was well informed about – being a professional killer – was definitely off the high-brow list.”

His visit to Picasso in Southern France (in 1955, he was a student at Columbia University) he describes as “four days that changed my life.” I couldn’t understand why for nothing particularly exciting happened during his taking pictures but he was surely in awe of being in Picasso’s presence. One of the photos in the book (a good shot) shows him together with Picasso,

The fact that Fred Baldwin is well-connected allows him, among other things, to meet with Bernard Berenson, “the foremost authority on Renaissance art” – a somewhat absurd encounter for Baldwin knew close to nothing about Berenson but gives a pretty detailed account of his interview. Frankly he states: “As ridiculous as this interview was, Berenson had been right; I didn’t know anything – certainly not anything he cared about – and he had figured me out in thirty seconds.”

Southern Poverty, Savannah, Ga., 1967. A tiny, isolated, poor community located not far away from Savannah’s wealthiest parts. It was reported that families here
suffered from five generations of inbreeding. “Donald Gatch, a doctor friend, took me to a tiny isolated community that had suffered from what had been reported to be five generations of inbreeding. The inhabitants were reputed to be dangerous. I witnessed and photographed some of the worst and most desperate cases to support Dr. Gatch with testimony for Senator McGovern’s committee on malnutrition at the time. Half a million dollars was raised to build a clinic in South Carolina.”
© Fred Baldwin/Schilt

Photographic endeavours take him first to Scandinavia. His description of the Nobel Prize ceremony lets you peek into a fairytale world that felt to him like an exotic dream. From his trip to the arctic islands of the Lofoten, he writes to his mother: “It’s amazing to find out that I can operate with a chance of success in places where I can’t speak the language, have no connections, little money and am a total stranger. I have nothing but my brain and my cameras. I was afraid of getting stuck thousands of miles from home with no ticket back and no money to buy one. Fear dogged me. It’s wonderful to discover that you don’t need as much as you think …”

“Have a dream, use your imagination, overcome your fear, and then the real secret to the whole thing: You have to act,” Mr. Baldwin, 90, explained in The New York Times, and this captures pretty much his life. What motivated his early photography was to be able to tell stories at dinner and cocktail parties but then, back in the United States, in 1963, he accidentally came across a civil rights march and from then on photographed for a cause, before his life took “a completely different direction – this time a 180 degree course away from photography” …

Svalbard, Norway 1962. Polar bear on ice. “I returned to Svalbard in 1962 with three scientists and a fully manned ice breaking hunting ship. The conditions were opposite from my Svalbard 1960 Titanic experience in almost every way. Rather than finding hungry polar bears because of lack of ice and seals, we had the worst ice conditions in fifty years, a drunken captain and saw only five bears the entire summer. In spite of this I was able to make images that appeared in Life magazine.”
© Fred Baldwin/Schilt Publishing

Reindeer Migration Post Easter 1960, Kautekeino, Norway. “A dangerous three kilometer swim across Vargsund to the Island of Seiland required help from the Sami villagers who are fishermen.” © Fred Baldwin/Schilt Publishing

I do not intend to retell the story of this truly exceptional life but rest assured this highly readable tome, and the accompanying photographs (my favourites are the ones of the polar bears and from the South of Georgia and South Carolina), is surely worth your time.

PS: Fred Baldwin and Wendy Watriss photographed together rural central Texas and then started the now famous Houston FotoFest. The book ends when FotoFest began, in 1983.

 


Dear Mr. Picasso: An illustrated love affair with freedom
by Fred Baldwin
Schilt Publishing, Amsterdam 2019
https://www.schiltpublishing.com/shop/books/new-releases/dear-mr-picasso/


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With Pleasure 2019 ICP-Bard MFA @ Baxter St at the Camera Club of New York

From The Chronology of Water by Lidia Yuknavitch, 2011.

With Pleasure 2019 ICP-Bard MFA
July 9th – August 9th, 2019

Opening Reception: Tuesday, July 9th, 2019 | 6-8pm

Samantha Box, Ali Di Luccia, Genevieve Fournier, Avjit Halder, Pippa Hetherington, Eugene Lee, Andrea Martucci, Michael McFadden, Tomo Morisawa, and Lauren Taubenfeld

“The body is a site: of memory and loss, exploration and evidence, trauma and reckoning, fantasy and substance, the public and the private, conflict and reconciliation, of representation and figuration. The body needn’t be always human, or even living. It can be an idea, a fleeting feeling, a crack in the rocks, cool water, the layering of physical and nonphysical selves. How do we engage with these concepts? If the body is the “flesh metaphor of all human experience”1, when does the body transcend its fragmented nature to become a whole: body to heart, heart to whole, whole to community?”

Baxter St at the Camera Club of New York · 126 Baxter Street · New York, NY 10013


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Thrown Stone, Spitten Image @ Chicago Artists Coalition

© Mark Blanchard

Thrown Stone, Spitten Image
Mark Blanchard, Cass Davis, kwabena foli, and Kelly Kristin Jones
July 5 – August 15

Opening Reception: July 19 | 5 – 8 PM

“Idioms are expressions that convey a sentiment that cannot be understood solely from the words that make up the phrase. “A stone’s throw” refers to the proximity between places that are close enough that you could throw a stone from one and it would land in the other; “spitting image” refers to the resemblance between counterparts that is so remarkable, it is as if the spit of one produced the other. But there are latent and hostile allusions resting on the surface of these phrases. Thrown Stone, Spitten Image considers the literal implications of two commonly used figures of speech to probe and contest issues of power, trauma, and freedom. The works of Blanchard, Davis, foli, and Jones respond to places that are interwoven with aggression and trauma by uprooting these misrepresentations. These artists displace and reform their subjects in order to redirect prevailing narratives.”

Chicago Artists Coalition
2130 W. Fulton St.


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Whit Forrester and Roni Packer @ Aspect/Ratio

© Whit Forrester

Whit Forrester and Roni Packer: Coning
July 12 – August 17

Opening Reception: July 12 | 5 – 8 PM

“Coning is defined as a solid whose surface is generated by a line passing through a fixed point and a fixed plane curve not containing the point, consisting of two equal sections joined at a vertex (Merrian-Webster). It is with this precision and purism that Forrester and Packer approach their work. Both artists celebrate their shared devotion to color, form, and material. Yellow and gold are equally celebrated for their vibrancy but here serve to ensconce the viewer.”

Aspect/Ratio
864 N. Ashland Ave.
Chicago


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Vicinity 2019 @ Perspective Gallery

© Jeff Phillips

Vicinity 2019 Group Exhibition
July 5 – 28

Opening Reception: July 6 | 5 – 7 PM

“Perspective Gallery is pleased to present Vicinity 2019, their annual juried exhibition of photography by Chicagoland photographers. This year’s exhibition was juried by Jane Fulton Alt and features the work of Ilze Arajs, Jody Berns, Barbara Coleman, Gina Costa, Allison Fudacz, Joseph Kayne, Alan Leder, Jack Long, Joerg Metzner, Lauri Novak, Brad Perkins, Jeff Phillips, Jenny Pickering, Carole Rosen, Suzanne Shumaker, Kaushik Sunder-Rajan, Amanda Taves, and Robert Tolchin.”

Perspective Gallery
1310-1/2B Chicago Ave.
Evanston


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Keith Sbiral @ The Rangefinder Gallery

© Keith Sbiral

Keith Sbiral – Connecting with Place & People: Traveling the World with a Leica
July 5 – September 1

Opening Reception: July 5 | 6 – 9 PM

“In his work, a love for photography is perfectly matched with a passion for travel. Over the last two decades, Keith has had the opportunity to travel extensively both domestically and internationally. He recently completed his first full circumnavigation of the globe as part of the Red Dot Blue Dot project and has visited nearly 40 countries, most of them multiple times.”

The Rangefinder Gallery
at Tamarkin Camera
300 W. Superior St.
Chicago


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Daniel Ramos @ Filter Space

© Daniel Ramos

Daniel Ramos: The Land of Illustrious Men
July 12 – August 10

Opening Reception: July 12 | 6 – 9 PM

“The Land Of Illustrious Men is a photo-novella of Ramos’s life as a son of working-class immigrants who came to America from Mexico in search of a better life. The series offers the viewer a glimpse of the personal story of each member of his family and reveals the nature of their relationship to one another. He also includes his own experience⁠—a childhood spent living between two worlds⁠—and his decision to reject the blue-collar tradition that was to be his presumed legacy in order to become a photographer. Although his particular journey is personal, this project is an expression of a larger story about immigration, cultural identity, assimilation, and class that is shared and felt by many.”

Filter Space
1821 W. Hubbard St.
Suite 207
Chicago


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The Art of the Archive @ House of Lucie at ROW DTLA


The Art of the Archive: Photographs from the Los Angeles Police Archive
July 10 – August 11, 2019

OPENING RECEPTION Saturday, July 13 from 5pm to 8pm

“In 2000 Fototeka’s founders discovered thousands of Los Angeles Police Department negatives housed in a city warehouse in conditions that made them vulnerable to decay and created a fire hazard. Fototeka was granted unprecedented access to the negatives by the Chief of Police and the City Council, which tasked the gallery with creating an archive of selected images. In keeping with Fototeka’s mission of preserving the archive and making its images available to the public, in 2001 the gallery mounted the first-ever photographic exhibition of Los Angeles Police crime scene photography with the support of then-Councilman Eric Garcetti, along with former Police Chief Bernard Parks. ”

House of Lucie at ROW DTLA
777 S Alameda St.
Los Angeles, CA 90021
Building M1, Suite 140


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Latin American Foto Festival @ Bronx Documentary Center

© Christopher Gregory

Latin American Foto Festival
JULY 11-21, 2019

OPENING RECEPTION THURSDAY – JULY 11, 2019 | 7-9PM

FEATURING
Johis Alarcón, Ecuador | Tomas Ayuso, Honduras | Tonatiuh Cabello, Mexico | Andres Cardona, Colombia | Citlali Fabian, Mexico | Fabiola Ferrero, Venezuela | Christopher Gregory, Puerto Rico | Yael Martinez, Mexico | Fred Ramos, El Salvador | Luis Soto, Guatemala

“The BDC’s second Annual Latin American Foto Festival will bring award-winning photographers from throughout the Caribbean and Latin America to exhibit their photographs, create installations and hold workshops and panel discussions.”

Bronx Documentary Center
614 COURTLANDT AVENUE
BRONX, NY 10451


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