Firooz Zahedi @ Kopeikin Gallery

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Firooz Zahedi “Photographs and Collages”
April 26 – June 7, 2014

Kopeikin Gallery presents our first exhibition with Firooz Zahedi, an American Photographer born in Iran who lives in Los Angeles and is well known for many years spent as a Hollywood Glamor Photographer. This is NOT the work he will be exhibiting. For several years Firooz has been working simultaniously on several projects which have nothing or very little to do with his previous work. This is the first solo exhibition of Zahedi’s abstract photographs and collages (using his own photographs or vernacular source material). As Tim B Wride writes in the catalogue accompanying the exhibition; “Rare is the photographer who allows the sensibility that imbues one aspect of his output to organically infuse his work for the other. Rarer still is the photographer who can do it successfully. Firooz is that rare photographer.”

Kopeikin Gallery
2766 S La Cienega Blvd (at Washington)
Los Angeles, California 90034

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Kirill Savchenkov @ FotoDepartament

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Kirill Savchenkov – Avalanche
29 March – 17 April 2014

The artist works in a subject of post soviet suburbs; he examines modern culture, psychology and experience of suburban. The artist analyses urbanism of suburbs, connections of city space and human mentality, visual stream in social networks and psychological perversions. He fixes the conditions of forming identification of inhabitant of post soviet cities and suburbs itself. The artist traces how modern post internet culture leads to reforming of connections between people in context of highly developed communications and domination of city population; how hierarchical connections of society yield to horizontal connections of communities and subcultures.

FotoDepartament / Vosstanya str., 24, space “Fligel”

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Look into it @ Gallery “Zamoskvorechye”

Julia Borissova / Saint-Petersburg

Julia Borissova / Saint-Petersburg

Look into it
19 March – 21 April 2014

Participants:
Natalya Baluta / Moscow
Anastasia Bogomolova / Chelyabinsk
Julia Borissova / Saint-Petersburg
Aleksandr Verevkin / Saint-Petersburg
Nik Degtyarev / Moscow
Alla Mirovskaya / Moscow
Kirill Savchenkov / Moscow
Maria Sakirko / Moscow
Elena Churikova / Moscow
Fedor Shklyaruk / Moscow

Gallery “Zamoskvorechye”, Moscow, Serpukhovskiy val, d.24, k.2

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Book Review: Adam Geary’s We Burn

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Adam Geary’s We Burn is introduced with these words: “The seemingly and insignificant details of ordinary life are brought into sharp focus … a set of images that helps us to redirect our thoughts and refocus on the way we live our lives.” This is quite something, I thought to myself, especially when you consider that Adam Geary’s images are characterised as “forever doomed to be about both everything and nothing.”

When leafing through the pages of We Burn I wasn’t always sure whether I was looking at photographs or at paintings or at drawings. Take the glasses here for example:

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I’m not sure what to make of this. Is this an image “that helps us to redirect our thoughts and refocus on the way we live our lives?” It might of course be that way but I’m afraid I do not see how.

On the other hand, I know this to be a photograph because it can be found in a photobook. And, it does direct my view. Also, I kinda like what my eyes are showing me. At the same time I feel a bit at a loss what to think of it and all the other pics in this small booklet: a hanging lightbulb against a grey wall, a red plastic bucket … these are the ones that are easily identifiable, in other cases I’m left guessing. But as I’ve said: I’m sometimes not even sure that I’m looking at photographs.

Henry James proposed that we should ask of art: “What is the artist trying to do? Does he do it? Was it worth doing?” Applying these questions to We Burn, my answer is three times the same: I do not know.

AGLU says of itself that it produces “collectable little marvels that introduce well produced, intriguing portfolios at affordable prices.”  For more, go to www.aglu.co.uk

We Burn by Adam Geary : http://aglu.co.uk/index.php/books/adam-geary2013-06-04-21-15-24/we-burn-detail

 

Hans Durrer is an author and addiction counsellor based in Switzerland: http://www.hansdurrer.com/ ; http://12-step-addiction-treatment.blogspot.ch/

 

 

 

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After Ansel Adams @ Museum of Photographic Arts

Rock formations on the road to Lee's Ferry, AZ, 2008 © Mark Klett and Byron Wolfe Digital inkjet print Courtesy of the artists

Rock formations on the road to Lee’s Ferry, AZ, 2008
© Mark Klett and Byron Wolfe
Digital inkjet print
Courtesy of the artists

After Ansel Adams
May 17 – September 28, 2014

The Museum of Photographic Arts (MOPA) wants to show you our National Parks. Anchored by Ansel Adams, arguably the most recognizable name in landscape photography, their upcoming exhibition, After Ansel Adams, features a number of his images plus photographs from nine other contemporary artists.

All the images in this exhibition were photographed in National Parks of the American West and the photographers bring a variety of styles and practices to landscape photography.

“While some of these artists are directly influenced by Ansel Adams, all of them are working in the landscapes Adams connected with on a deep emotional level,” stated Chantel Paul, Assistant Curator at MOPA. “The photographs in this exhibition are diverse in their ability to capture the essence of the natural beauty available in these spaces as well as convey ideas of emotion beyond a documentation of place.”

While the selection of images is centered around the familiar terrain of US National Parks, the work itself demonstrates the ability of the artist to create an image all their own. The similarities and differences in the featured photographs demonstrate that at the core of any great artistic work is a unique idea and vision.

“A great photograph is a full expression of what one feels about what is being photographed in the deepest sense, and is, thereby, a true expression of what one feels about life in its entirety.” – Ansel Adams

The featured photographers are:
Ansel Adams
Matthew Brandt
Bin Danh
Mark Klett & Byron Wolfe
Michael Lundgren
Chris McCaw
Takeshi Shikama
Millee Tibbs
Donna J. Wan

Museum of Photographic Arts
1649 EL PRADO SAN DIEGO CA 92101
MOPA.ORG

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Expressions: Contemporary Portraiture @The Kiernan Gallery

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Expressions: Contemporary Portraiture
April 2 – 26

Opening reception from 5:00 – 7:00PM

A group exhibition of photographic portraiture. Juried by Robin Rice.

The Kiernan Gallery
23B West Washington St.
Lexington, VA 24450

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Exhibition Review: FOUR PHOTOGRAPHERS IN QUEENS, NEW YORK

Sumner Wells Hatch -  Momento Mori Ojai California 2010

Sumner Wells Hatch – Memento Mori Ojai California 2010

Four photographers with very different voices have come together in a new exhibition in Queens, New York. “The Second Annual Group Show” opened on March 21, 2014 the B.S. Gallery features works by Sumner Wells Hatch, Martina von Rettig, Ed Cheng, and Ben Simon (who doubles as gallery owner). All of the artists are affiliated with the International Center of Photography (ICP) in New York, although the show itself is not.

Sumner Wells Hatch - Momento Mori Ojai California 2010

Sumner Wells Hatch – Memento Mori Ojai California 2010

Sumner Wells Hatch is seldom seen with an instrument other than his 8×10 camera, which he uses to take contemplative large format photographs of his family home in New Hampshire as well as portraits in New York. But, the images in Memento Mori: Ojai, California 2010, which are featured in the exhibition, express a very different tone. Not only were they taken with a handheld 35mm camera, a process that could not be more different than that of the 8×10, but also according to Mr. Hatch, “These photographs were taken in a moment of insanity.”

The insanity to which he refers was prompted by his aunt’s funeral in Ojai, California. There he spent several hours wandering the premise during what he calls “the negative space of time.” That is, between the wake and the funeral and the family gatherings.

“I was blacked out,” he said. “All I could do was take pictures.”

Sumner Wells Hatch - Momento Mori Ojai, California 2010 (4)

Sumner Wells Hatch – Memento Mori Ojai, California 2010 (4)

But, ironically these photos are not insane at all, they are serene scenes, with a slight hint of movement: a hose pouring water into a pool, light poking through a road overhung with trees and moss, palm branches blackened partially by Hatch’s shadow. In one photograph, shadowed shrubbery forms a circle around a small white house poking out in the distance. The details in the shadows are so clear, that even if you blur your eyes, you might think you are looking at an etching.

That is no surprise, since all of Hatch’s photographs are printed masterfully, something that cannot be represented by the scan that accompanies this article. In that sense, it is worth the trip to Queens to see these prints in person.

Martina von Rettig - neon paint in ice

Martina von Rettig – neon paint in ice

Finish artist Martina von Rettig freezes objects into ice then photographs the results before they melt.

The process is scientific, but the results magical: each photograph shows a unique interaction of light, ice, and a random foreign object that von Rettig has created and pushed into abstraction. Some of the foreign objects she uses include, licorice, a metal ring, and splashes of neon paint.

Looking at any one of her images, it is not immediately clear what the object is before you. But, that lack of identity draws you in even closer because you will inevitably find yourself asking questions like, what is this? How did it get there? Is it man made? But, all of those questions will quickly fade because the beauty of the anonymous object in front of you is so pure, so dazzling, and the form so rare, that your gut will just take over. And you will find yourself standing there for a long time looking at this thing you know nothing about. All you know is that you want to keep looking because it is just so beautiful.

Martina von Rettig - metal rings in ice

Martina von Rettig – metal rings in ice

“Water, the symbol of knowledge, just like emotions, exists in a constant state of change,” said von Ritteg. “Even when seemingly still, water and all that it contains, evolves, evaporates, transforms, moves around and lives.”

One of her photographs looks like a Christmas ornament or a planet. It is a clear, whitish sphere divided by thin, horizontal rings. This piece of ice was made in layers, which each layer containing a metal ring.

When asked what led her to first make and photograph these structures, Ms. Von Rettig said, “I ask myself the same question.”

It started as an experiment in January of 2013.  Having just finished her first semester as a full-time student at the International Center of Photography, von Rettig flew home to Finland for a week to await her visa renewal. Because she could not predict how long she would have to stay in Finland (where it was even colder than 20 below zero degrees Celsius), she started playing around with light and ice, without any project in mind. She began by putting various substances in the middle of water, freezing those substances then photographing the process, watching it all melt away.  When she looked at the resulting images, the beauty astonished her.

Ms. Von Rettig has a degree in business administration, but 3 years ago turned to photography, painting and drawing. “I have always found it hard to express myself through words,” she said. “For me photography, drawing and painting feel more natural and comfortable.”

Ed Cheng - Las Fallas 2011

Ed Cheng – Las Fallas 2011

Documentary photographer Ed Cheng unveiled some images from his Las Fallas, 2011 series for the exhibition and at a timely moment, since the annual Velencia, Spain-based celebration held in commemoration of Saint Joseph just occurred this past week. Mr. Cheng’s images are handmade silver gelatin prints depicting scenes from this very dramatic ceremony where highly organized rituals include the costume wearing, the building and burning of Styrofoam statues and cartoon-like puppets, fireworks, and floral offerings for the Virgin Mary.

In one of Mr. Cheng’s photographs, a woman wears a long, pale, 19th-century traditional Spanish dress with a black veil. Adorned in a cross necklace and dangling earrings, she looks down as she offers her bouquet of flowers in front of her. She has no idea, it seems, that she is being photographed.

Ed Cheng - Las Fallas 2011

Ed Cheng – Las Fallas 2011

But, perhaps one of the most astounding and beautiful images is the one in which firemen appear to be extinguishing the flames of the aftermath. Silhouettes of half broken puppets and angel statues can be seen within the flames of a huge fire. A fragment of a man’s fabricated face sits at the front of the fire, looking almost like the Wizard of Oz. Meanwhile, straight lines of spouted water form a tilted cross behind the fireman’s silhouette.

“Tradition says [the Styrofoam creations] all should go at midnight. The reality is they go when the firemen get there,” said Mr. Cheng.

Ed Cheng - Las Fallas 2011

Ed Cheng – Las Fallas 2011

Mr. Cheng first heard about the festival in 2006, when he was living in Seville for 4 months. That same year, Easter fell late and he figured out a way to squeeze in a trip to the festival.

Mr. Cheng who also works as a freelance computer programmer, has been documenting events like this for long periods of time. He is also working on a series documenting Christian Holy Weeks and Easters around the world.

“The inspiration really is a reflection of people telling me their experiences of the event,” he said. “And I like things burning [photographically].”

Ben Simon - La Pieta

Ben Simon – La Pieta

Ben Simon, who put together the show, creates shadow boxes of collaged famous works of art, which he then photographs and leaves in the negative.

La Pietà, which is based on the 15th century Renaissance sculpture by Michelangelo Buonarroti, shows Jesus dead in Mary’s laps while she grieves his sacrifice.

“This is a story many identify with,” he said. “It tells an ongoing story about power.”

When asked about this further, Simon cited the news.

“Increasingly, I have become aware that the story I see most is the battle between big and small,” he said, giving the example of how the value of money increases while that of individuals does not. “It has been an echo in our culture through out history. I believe the proportions of this fight and the cost of the outcome is greater now than it has ever been before.”

Ben Simon - Les Demoiselles d'Avignon‎

Ben Simon – Les Demoiselles d’Avignon‎

Through his work, Mr. Simon hopes to reference this battle from what he calls the “collective history.

Simon, who was born in New York City, but grew up in Teaneck, New Jersey before attending the Tyler School of Art where he majored in studio art, is also the owner of the Astoria-based gallery in which this exhibition is based. This is the second show he has organized at his gallery.

“I put it together because I believe that artists need to create their own opportunities to keep their networks active,” he said.

The show will be up for the next few weeks. Visitors are welcome to make an appointment by contacting Ben Simon: bensimonphoto@gmail.com.

Opening Reception. Photograph:  Michael Silverwise

Opening Reception. Photograph: Michael Silverwise

 

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Julija Svetlova @ Kaizo Salon

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JOHAN NIEUWENHUIZE @ Street Level Photoworks

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JOHAN NIEUWENHUIZE: IMG_
4th April – 18th May 2014

Street Level Photoworks | Trongate 103 | Glasgow | G1 5HD | United Kingdom

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ARNIS BALCUS @ Street Level Photoworks

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ARNIS BALCUS: VICTORY PARK
4th April – 18th May 2014

 

Street Level Photoworks
Trongate 103 : Glasgow G1 5HD

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