August 31, 2012

Arnold Mariashin - Various works


I'm afraid you'll finally think I see great photographers everywhere and too often to be trusty, and also that I'm too much Russia-inclined in my tastes, but whatever, I honestly think Arnold Mariashin is a great photographer. His bio says that he was "born in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg). His first experience with photography was at age eight. He was graduated from the State University of Arts and Culture with a degree in film directing and a minor in photography and history of composition. He uses handmade large format camera and enlarger and develops prints in a small darkroom set up in his apartment bathroom". All this is interesting but what's great is the singular imagery he provides. Of course, several influences could be mentioned but I would prefer not to. So let just admire these pictures and what they tell us about our poor vulnerable and mortal body. His site here (wonderful artworks to buy).

August 28, 2012

Wendy Ewald - Rena Meade, from the Appalshop

Wendy Ewald is an American female photographer a little bit older than I am (there are some in this blog, but less and less) since she's 61 this year. Her CV says “For more than thirty years, Wendy Ewald has collaborated with children and adults around the world, working in communities in Labrador, Appalachia, Colombia, India, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, Holland, Mexico, Canada, North Carolina, and New York. She partners her keen observational and creative skills with her students’ imaginations, encouraging them to use cameras to create individual self-portraits and portraits of their communities and to articulate their dreams and hopes while working with her in visual and verbal collaboration". That must be true. This series was shot when she was 27 yrs, and it's a moving one. Far from my usual photographic body obsessions but tonight I would prefer not to as said Bartleby. Who is this couple, I don't really know (his forename is Oliver, her is Rena) and don't even try to know. Emotion doesn't need this bullshit story behind the scenes. They are icons of several features of human condition and it's enough for me. And what's very intriguing is that Rena looks a lot like my defunct grandmother, whose husband (my grandfather) was named René. The only link to a site for Wendy Ewald leads to a "in construction" one here.

August 26, 2012

Marco Romano Bhimani - Honest integral work

Marco Romano Bhimani is a photographer living and working in LA, who seems to appreciate calling himself a bastard artist. He also likes to call his work "honest integral work", although I don't really know whether it means the others are neither honest nor integral but no matter. I think he takes too much pictures, many having surely a sense for him but not really for us. This is one major default of western photographers this prolific production, mixing everyday picture to their artistic work. Don't know why they do it cos' I think it weakens their project. However, here some of my favorites, most of the times those in which he provides a rather subversive image of models with unusual bodies, even some with disability. His site here.

August 24, 2012

Guillaume Herbaut - The new amazons

Guillaume Herbaut is a French photographer, born in 1970, who received many prices and who began a series on the Ukrainian women from "femen" called The new amazons (there are 2 series, the second is called Winter and contributed mainly to this post). I think you don't need that I do a presentation of this naked-breast women protestating movement, surely one of the most intriguing of the last decades. I have mixed feelings about the efficiency of this way to protest, not too sure the sexual voyeurism is not an important part of the interest they trigger. If they were more diverse in ages and body shapes, maybe this would be less annoying. It's good that Herbaut took a picture of an actionist who is rather different (in age and body shape) in his series. Don't let me be misunderstood, I think it's important and even crucial to use our own nudity as a weapon against the power (of any nature). It's just that these young women are too much in the aesthetic canons of the world they contest to be totally convincing. But maybe I'm wrong. An occasion to write here that what happens to the 3 women from Pussy Riot is revolting and that surely this will feature as an important turn in history of Russia, these pacific women showing what is the real nature of the religious and political tyranny over there. But we have all our own tyrannies to fight against, even here in France, so nothing specific to Russia. More from this series on the Guillaume Herbaut site here.

August 23, 2012

Alison Jackson - Royals and more

It could not be more relevant than today. And Jean Baudrillard would have loved it. What's real, what's fake, all is pretence. And after all there's no more importance. This cos' we are in a full scandal of Prince Harry pictured naked after a strip billiard (do rich people play to such dumb games? Give us back the money assholes) and Alison Jackson has gained reputation with fake pictures of the same in no more scandalous situation. And honestly, I do not really know which pictures are true and which are not. And seeing the Alison Jackson version, it's like Harry wanted to have the same picture with him, not a look-alike. I don't really understand the philosophy or Jackson's work but it's interesting. Maybe just show that these VIP have anus, rectums, penis and vagina, that they pee and shit and fuck as everyone of us but we knew it anyway. The pictures with the queen doing stupid but every-people occupations are finally better. Her site here (with the real pix on the top without any comment, strange).