The Daily Edit – California Sunday Magazine: Jacqueline Bates

- - The Daily Edit

We interviewed Mark Manahey previously about this cover

Mateo Gómez García

Benjamin Rasmussen

Erin Brethauer

Gillian Laub

California Sunday Magazine

Creative Director: Leo Jung
Photography Director: Jacqueline Bates
Photography Editor: Paloma Shutes
Production manager: Thomas Bollier
Designer: Annie Jen

Have you kept with the same format since you launched or have you introduced any new sections?
We are always open to experiments and trying out new formats. In September, we published our first-ever themed issue, in which we asked writers and photographers, “What do California and the West sound like right now?” We gathered stories about entertainment, criminal justice, science, design, business, music, sports, culture, and technology. We asked our contributors to record the sounds they wrote about, and these snippets appear throughout the magazine as audio footnotes — readers can play them on their phones as they read the print edition. We divided the issue into three chapters, each with a separate table of contents, beginning with the quietest stories and ending with the loudest. It was a really fun challenge, and we are gearing up for another themed issue later this year.

How does Pop Up complement the magazine and are you also photo directing that as well ?
Leo Jung (our creative director) and I work on all the visuals for Pop-Up. He and his fantastic new designer, Annie Jen, commission all the illustrations. Paloma Shutes (our photo editor) and I work on the photography. Pop-Up is a multi-sensory experience, and there are so many ways to craft a story for a live audience rather than the printed page– we have to think about the pacing and the sequencing of images in combination with the dialogue, when our live orchestra should play. It’s a fun complement to making a magazine.

What are some of your favorite photo essays from the last year, and why?
We’ve published so many stories that I’m proud of this year, from a four-part photo essay centered on youth homelessness (as part of a coordinated effort by more than 80 media outlets to shine a light on homelessness in the Bay Area), to a Natalie Keyssar  project documenting political unrest in Venezuela, to an underground LA music scene shaping modern jazz and hip hop, photographed by Coley Brown.


Underground LA music scene shaping modern jazz and hip hop, photographed by Coley Brown

Congrats on the ASMEs—which categories did you win?
Thank you! We won the National Magazine Award for excellence in photography in 2016 and 2017. This year we also won for design, and were finalists in the single-topic issue and magazine of the year categories. It was a huge honor to be recognized among such iconic magazines. We are still in disbelief.

How if at all are you evolving the photography?
Four months ago, we hired a fantastic photo editor, Paloma Shutes, to join the photo department (For our first few years, it was just me). February was her first full issue at the magazine. I think it’s so important so have a coworker who has different sensibilities and distinct photography interests—it will only make the magazine more dynamic, and help it evolve. I’m so lucky to work with her and learn from her every day.

What has been the biggest surprise creatively this past year? 
I never could have imagined we’d win a National Magazine Award two years in a row. That hasn’t happened since 1992,  when National Geographic won a second consecutive award. This sort of recognition validates a young brand, and it also proves that when you have a boss who believes in you, anything is possible. Leo and I feel so fortunate to have Doug McGray as our editor. He adds so much value to our process and gives us breathing room to dream up things we are immensely proud of.

What has been the best lesson that you can share with other PDs?
I think it’s so essential for editors to share knowledge and to not work in a bubble. I’m really excited about the recently launched-site Women Photograph, a database of female photographers that features work from more than 400 women from 67 countries. It’s an incredible resource. We need more of these. I always tell photographers to slow down and research everything about the particular subject they are interested in shooting—and I think editors could do the same. Whenever I have a story in a particular region that I might not have any photographers in, I research everything I can about that world —we always try to hire local photographers whenever possible because of their close connection to that place.

How many photo essays or visual shorts do you get pitched in a typical month?
We get pitched a significant amount, and Paloma and I have weekly meetings to present ideas to our editor-in-chief and senior editors. Photographers are welcome to pitch unpublished projects or ideas to: art@californiasunday.com

The Daily Promo: Sam Zide

- - The Daily Promo
 

Sam Zide

Who printed it?
The portfolio piece was printed by GSB digital in Long Island City. Their print shop was located above our Macy’s photo studio, I took a tour of the facility and got to know the designers. They do a lot of commercial catalogs, but have passion for working with artists for portfolio pieces. I thought they were perfect for this larger piece.
Who designed it?
The piece was designed by myself, but was shown to 3-4 designer / art directors for feed back on the entire process. Working in the Macy’s studio was great resource for talent, a few of the freelance Senior Art Directors sat with me through out the process.
Who edited the images?
The edit was made myself and one Art Director I work closely with, I thought it best to get direction from one source, whose work I admire. We sat down daily over a weeks time, and edited the images down to the ones seen.  I did all the retouching and color balancing

How many did you make?
Only 25 were printed at this time. I like the idea of keeping the run very small on this larger promo piece, and sending them out numbered and in series.
My wife and I just made the move to Oakland from Brooklyn, I have been on staff shooting for Macy’s the past 2 years full-time. Before that I was freelance working mainly in NYC for the 10 previous years. I tried to send out promos twice a year, now I need to get back in the swing of things, and would like to send out quarterly postcard pieces, with an annual large piece showcasing the years work to a much tighter pool of clients and friends. Going from full-time to freelance while moving across the country is quite an undertaking, but I pan to have my next card promo out and new website relaunched in early February.
What inspired you during your creative process?
While I was putting this piece together, I was listening to Leonard Cohen a lot, He has a lyric from his song Famous Blue Raincoat were he says “I hope you’re Keeping Some Kind of Record” The lyric just stuck out to me while editing through the images. The images shown I feel represent a very wide gamut of my work, while I might want my next book to have a more specific theme. So I thought that name for this book was a perfect fit.

This Week In Photography Books: Jeanine Michna-Bales

by Jonathan Blaustein

Let’s face it: most photobooks are for photo geeks.

Publication runs for most photobook publishers are very small: 500, 1000, maybe 3000 on the high side. As we’ve discussed through the years, in multiple interviews with artists and publishers, photobooks rarely make money, or even make their money back, and are often seen as glorified business cards.

That’s hard truth, but I’ve heard first-hand of an artist who had to rent storage for his/her remaindered books. This after paying out of pocket/crowdfunding tens of thousands of $$$$$ to make the production in the first place.

There are exceptions, of course.

Major artists with a solid history of book-sale-success will get the costs fronted. (Martin Parr being an example we discussed in our interview with Dewi Lewis.) And I’ve heard that one or two publishers still take care of productions costs.

The obvious benefit of the tight-knit-market is that by focusing on quality, and charging enough to provide it, photobooks are art objects themselves. Many sport spiffy cover textures, oversized paper, innovative construction, and crisp, snappy print quality.

They’re collected for a reason: because they’re (relatively) rare and beautiful.

On the flip side, there are projects that crack over into the mass market: photobooks that aim for coffee tables. They’re able to speak to larger audiences, as perhaps they document or explore issues, beyond the photo community, that have wide resonance in popular or mainstream culture.

They feature subjects like religion, sports, nature, and history.

Books like this can sell 100,000 copies, even in an era devoid of Barnes and Noble. These books often use less expensive materials, allowing for a lower price point that enables the larger audience.

It’s a trade-off, and one I suspect most artists would be willing to make, especially those whose work is message-driven.
Because the ability to speak to a large group of people is a huge motivator for artists with something important say.

Especially those with a taste for the extreme.

In this case, I’m thinking of Jeanine Michna-Bales, a Dallas-based photographer whose work I’ve featured in this column before. I first met her at Review Santa Fe, and saw her inspirational project, in which she reconstructed and photographed the Underground Railroad at night.

I loved her portfolio-sized, meticulously printed fine art work, as the inky blacks were darker than Steve Bannon’s soul. The pictures are so dark, literally, and they represent a shameful time in our nation’s history.

I’m thinking of Jeanine’s photographs right now, as I’ve just put down her new book “Through Darkness to Light: Photographs Along the Underground Railroad,” which was just published by Princeton Architectural Press.

We showed a chunk of the project here in 2014, during my usual festival roundup, and the photographs also look great on screen. The projected light allows for a luminous take on deep bayous and forgotten forests, late into the wee hours.

Amazing stuff.

And it was no easy project to execute, either, as Ms. Michna-Bales begged help from family, and hired off duty police officers to protect her, as she photographed each link in a painstakingly researched chain.

I requested this book as soon as it was available, and am predisposed to like it. There’s a cool intro by Civil Rights Leader Andrew Young, in which he segues from Curtis Mayfield to Bob Marley to Kendrick Lamar in one fell swoop of message-driven art.

The book is surprisingly small, with a horizontal orientation, and I wondered if it was enough space for these mysterious landscapes. The designer went a step further and put a dark, charcoal gray border around many of the photographs, shrinking them further, but also making their murky depths harder to separate. (I would have gone with white.)

That dark gray is ever-present, including on image-less pages, and it makes for difficult viewing, with all the dark photographs.

The images don’t have a lot of three dimensionality, unfortunately, as I think they might have pushed the limitations of the printers they were using. There’s a flatness to the darkness here that suggests hyperreality, a visual styling I don’t remember seeing in her gorgeous, fine art prints.

I know it sounds like I’m being critical, so please allow me to reframe. This project, as a result of its awesomeness, has had a lot of success. A traveling exhibition of prints is going on a multi-city exhibition tour through Texas, the South and Midwest, through 2020.

She’s won prizes, and been supported by excellent organizations like Photo NOLA and the Open Society Institute.

I think the dark design, and repeating motif of historical quotes opposite photographs, are meant to suggest a somber and serious mood. While I admit it’s not exactly to my taste, I think I see where this is going.

Princeton Architectural Press belongs to Chronicle Books, the masters of the mass-market photobook. Given that it’s the only photobook offered in the “new releases” section of the PAP website, which also features several different types of notecards, I think this book is poised to speak to a larger audience.

Unlike me, most mainstream book buyers won’t be holding the color separations up against my memory of her original fine art prints. They’ll see these quiet, creepy places, and their imaginations will activate.

They’ll see themselves there, crawling through the mud, scared shitless, worried if the hounds are on your scent. They’ll appreciate the pictures, but more than that, they’ll be reminded that our country was built upon a heinous system of injustice, and that combatting racism, especially in the Age of You-Know-Who, is a worthy goal for any photobook to inspire in its viewers.

Bottom Line: Dark, somber photographs of the Underground Railroad, reconstructed

To Purchase “Through Darkness to Light: Photographs Along the Underground Railroad” Go Here: http://www.papress.com/html/product.details.dna?isbn=9781616895655

If you would like to submit a book to be considered for review, please contact jonathanblaustein@gmail.com.

The Art of the Personal Project: Vincent Dixon

- - Working

Personal Projects are crucial in showing potential buyers how you think creatively on your own. I am drawn to personal projects that have an interesting vision or show something I have never seen before. In this revised column, I’ll include a link to each personal project with the artist statement so you can see more of the project. Please note: projects are found and submissions are not accepted.

Today’s featured artist: Vincent Dixon

To see more: http://vincentdixon.com/wanderings/category/The+Train+Ride/

In 2011/12 I took a year off to travel around South East Asia and South America with my wife and four children. 

We had been on the road three months when we crossed the border from Nepal to India. I was nervous, I didn’t really know what to expect but had heard from other travelers that India was pretty chaotic. Just crossing the border conformed that. The station wasn’t much better, finding which platform our train was using wasn’t easy. We had been warned that people will always give you an opinion whether they know the answer or not. The 10 pm train was delayed, first for an hour, then two, it finally came to the station four hours late having apparently switched platforms several times. We boarded to find a family asleep in our bunks, gently woken they moved and I took a wet wipe to the top bunk, one swipe and the imprint of my hand was black, Ainlay my wife distracted the kids as I cleaned all the beds, we put our sneakers  on top of the old electric fans as we saw everyone else do, used our backpacks as pillows and got a few hours sleep. When I woke up I took some photos.
http://www.briteproductions.net/vincent-dixon

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APE contributor Suzanne Sease currently works as a consultant for photographers and illustrators around the world. She has been involved in the photography and illustration industry since the mid 80s. After establishing the art buying department at The Martin Agency, then working for Kaplan-Thaler, Capital One, Best Buy and numerous smaller agencies and companies, she decided to be a consultant in 1999. She has a new Twitter feed with helpful marketing information because she believes that marketing should be driven by brand and not by specialty. Follow her at @SuzanneSease.

Cleveland Museum of Art- Raja Deen Dayal

- - Art

by Jonathan Blaustein

Hello there.

What am I doing here on a random Wednesday in February?

Well, that’s a great question.
So glad you asked.

This is the first installment of a new feature we’re trying out here at APE. For nearly seven years, I’ve been reporting on art exhibitions and festivals, interviewing artists and photography professionals, and reviewing photobooks every week.

As my writing career has evolved, I’ve found myself on the receiving end of countless PR emails, and stumbled through endless websites and social media postings. I see a lot of photography, it’s fair to say.

Prior to today, though, I had no outlet to just show incredible portfolios or projects here. Images that I saw only as jpegs, which we’ll publish here as jpegs, as this is meant to be an entirely online affair.

It’s ironic, then, that the first work we’ll show is as old school as it gets. We’re kicking off our 21st Century endeavor by examining a beautiful set of photographs from India in the 19th Century, made by the Indian master Raja Deen Dayal between 1885-87. (He was born Lala Deen Dayal. Raja was a title bestowed later in life.)

I first saw a couple of these images in one of those aforementioned PR emails from the Cleveland Museum of Art, as they’d recently acquired an album of albumen prints by Mr. Dayal.

The photographs caught my attention, and the Museum was kind enough to provide us with more information, and the entire portfolio for your viewing pleasure. Better yet, the CMA’s Curator of Photography, Barbara Tannenbaum, spoke with me about the entire acquisition process, from how pictures are first spotted to how they end up in an exhibition on the wall.

Apparently, she’d been interested in bringing Raja Deen Dayal’s work into the museum’s collection for several years, and her colleagues were aware of her desire. The Museum’s Chief Curator and Director were together in London, and saw a few of these Deen Dayal prints at a gallery.

After expressing interest, the museum asked for the prints to be sent to Cleveland for viewing. What came out of the box was thrilling for Ms. Tannenbaum.

“It’s a really unique album in a number of ways. First of all, it’s early work by Dayal, which is fairly rare,” she said.

“He’s is really most famous, and the majority of photos that you’ll see in museums and around on the market are images of buildings. They’re architectural shots.

“This is almost entirely portraits, with a few scenes of military exercises thrown in.”

Indeed, these pictures are comprised of several subsets, one more fascinating than the next. We see formal and casual portraits of British Aristocracy summering in the Himalayas to avoid Delhi’s heat in the late 1880’s.

“Hello there, Alistair. Would you care for a game of Badminton?”

“I say, Old Chap. That is simply a brilliant idea. Brilliant! And, Nigel, do look over there. I believe I can spot an inch of shoe beneath Ms. Lyall’s dress. Simply scandalous!”

“Yes, scandalous!”

Sorry. Where was I?

The pictures. Surely, it was exciting to discover photos by a major, historically important artist that were totally under the radar. But why did Ms. Tannenbaum think they’re worthy of bringing into her institution’s collection?

“In this case,” she said, “we look at both the British and the princely Indian societies through the eyes of an Indian. And one of the first to really master the forms of expression, and get the opportunity to put his images out.”

“These have a particularly reverent feel to them. Great care has been taken in how they were made. He was just masterful at evoking the mood and the feel of the scene. You get the contrast of these two cultures here, and that same intensity for both of them, which I think is amazing.”

There are formal group portraits of native Indians, and a tighter group of young Maharajas; boys thrust into a grown-up world. (Immature leaders, imagine that?)

One of those images is among her favorites, Ms. Tannenbaum admitted. “Especially the boy king of Rewa,” she said.

“He just happens to be an incredibly poignant subject for photography. I love the one where he’s sitting there on this chair, with his crown and his gold jewelry. You look at the way his toes are curled under, because his feet don’t quite reach the ground.”

There are battle exercises from Jhansi, further to the South, and a suite of photographs of actors in a performance of some sort as well.

But we haven’t even gotten to the best part yet. This group of pictures originated as a photo album, though it’s since been deconstructed. Many of its subjects are named in the captions.

Basically, it existed as a collection of memories. Someone bought it directly from Raja Deen Dayal’s studio.

But whom?
That’s where things get interesting.

Nobody knows.

“Of course there’s the intriguing question of who he is, and we’ll try to pursue that and maybe find an answer,” Ms. Tannenbaum said.

The current theory is that it might be the man featured in the solo portrait. The dude in three quarter profile. The one with the thick beard, clutching gloves in his hands and rocking the flower in his lapel.

It’s the only photograph that wasn’t captioned. One wouldn’t caption a photo of oneself, goes the thinking. So what about it?

We have a global audience.
I have to ask?
Do you know this man?

He was an Englishman, so you people in the UK, might this guy be your Great-Great Grandpa George? Did anyone in your family spend time in India in the late 1880’s?

Ms. Tannenbaum is dying to know, and plans to do research on her own in the future, so I suggested we could do our little bit, perhaps, and crowdsource it. She’s looking for a certain type of expert, preferably with time on his or her hands.

“The answer probably lies in archives in London about Colonial India,” she said. “My dream would be to hire someone who really knows who was there when. A historian of Colonial India, maybe, to track this down.

“It’s a riddle that will eat at me until I find it, or decide that I’m not going to be able to find the answer.”

So what do you say, cyberverse? Does anyone know anyone who wants to figure this out? Whose memories are these? Who commissioned this album?

Beyond the mystery, though, Raja Deen Dayal’s work fits in well with the Cleveland Museum of Art’s mission, as they’ve long had a strong Indian and South Asian Collection. (No surprise, once I learned that Sherman Lee was a Director there in the 60’s and 70’s. He wrote my textbook for Intro to Asian Art History in college.)

When the transaction was done, and the prints were (sort of) hers, Ms. Tannenbaum was elated. She’s hoping to exhibit the work later this decade, likely with other artworks from the collection in a larger context. She was also on the lookout for some of Raja Deen Dayal’s architecture shots, to enlarge her newfound holdings.

“You know, curators always want more,” she laughed. “If we’re not acquisitive, we shouldn’t be in this job.”

His Highness Lieutenant Governor of the Punjab and party at Simla, c. 1885-1887. Raja Deen Dayal (Indian, 1844-1905). Albumen print; image: 19.5 x 27.4 cm (7-11/16 x 10-13/16 inches); paper: 19.5 x 27.4 cm (7-11/16 x 10-13/16 inches). The Cleveland Museum of Art, Purchase from the J.H. Wade Fund.

Mrs. and Miss Lyall, Simla, c. 1885-1887. Raja Deen Dayal (Indian, 1844-1905). Albumen print; image: 19.9 x 27.0 cm (7-13/16 x 10-5/8 inches); paper: 19.9 x 27.0 cm (7-13/16 x 10-5/8 inches). The Cleveland Museum of Art, Purchase from the J.H. Wade Fund.

Badminton party at Mashobra, Simla, c. 1885-1887. Raja Deen Dayal (Indian, 1844-1905). Albumen print; image: 19.9 x 27.1 cm (7-13/16 x 10-11/16 inches); paper: 19.9 x 27.1 cm (7-13/16 x 10-11/16 inches). The Cleveland Museum of Art, Purchase from the J.H. Wade Fund.

Picnic party, Mashobra, c. 1885-1887. Raja Deen Dayal (Indian, 1844-1905). Albumen print; image: 19.3 x 26.1 cm (7-5/8 x 10-1/4 inches); paper: 19.3 x 26.1 cm (7-5/8 x 10-1/4 inches). The Cleveland Museum of Art, Purchase from the J.H. Wade Fund.

His Eminence Commander in Chief and party, Simla, c. 1885-1887. Raja Deen Dayal (Indian, 1844-1905). Albumen print; image: 19.5 x 27.2 cm (7-11/16 x 10-11/16 inches); paper: 19.5 x 27.2 cm (7-11/16 x 10-11/16 inches). The Cleveland Museum of Art, Purchase from the J.H. Wade Fund.

Elephant Battery, Jhansi, c. 1885-1887. Raja Deen Dayal (Indian, 1844-1905). Albumen print; image: 18.2 x 26.5 cm (7-3/16 x 10-7/16 inches); paper: 18.2 x 26.5 cm (7-3/16 x 10-7/16 inches). The Cleveland Museum of Art, Purchase from the J.H. Wade Fund.

His Highness Maharaja of Rewa, c. 1885-1887. Raja Deen Dayal (Indian, 1844-1905). Albumen print; image: 26.7 x 20.3 cm (10-1/2 x 8 inches); paper: 26.7 x 20.3 cm (10-1/2 x 8 inches). The Cleveland Museum of Art, Purchase from the J.H. Wade Fund.

Reverend Loch at Neemuch, c. 1885-1887. Raja Deen Dayal (Indian, 1844-1905). Albumen print; image: 19.4 x 26.5 cm (7-5/8 x 10-7/16 inches); paper: 19.4 x 26.5 cm (7-5/8 x 10-7/16 inches). The Cleveland Museum of Art, Purchase from the J.H. Wade Fund.

Maharaja of Rewa and classmates, c. 1885-1887. Raja Deen Dayal (Indian, 1844-1905). Albumen print; image: 19.8 x 27.1 cm (7-13/16 x 10-11/16 inches); paper: 19.8 x 27.1 cm (7-13/16 x 10-11/16 inches). The Cleveland Museum of Art, Purchase from the J.H. Wade Fund.

His Highness Maharaja of Rewa, c. 1885-1887. Raja Deen Dayal (Indian, 1844-1905)
Albumen print; image: 20.0 x 27.2 cm (7-7/8 x 10-11/16 inches); paper: 20.0 x 27.2 cm (7-7/8 x 10-11/16 inches). The Cleveland Museum of Art, Purchase from the J.H. Wade Fund.

Robert Hotz Esquire and bulldog, c. 1885-1887. Raja Deen Dayal (Indian, 1844-1905). Albumen print; image: 13.2 x 19.8 cm (5-3/16 x 7-13/16 inches); paper: 13.2 x 19.8 cm (5-3/16 x 7-13/16 inches). The Cleveland Museum of Art, Purchase from the J.H. Wade Fund.

Miss Lyall, Simla, c. 1885-1887. Raja Deen Dayal (Indian, 1844-1905). Albumen print; image: 12.4 x 20.3 cm (4-7/8 x 8 inches); paper: 12.4 x 20.3 cm (4-7/8 x 8 inches). The Cleveland Museum of Art, Purchase from the J.H. Wade Fund.

Colonel T.G. Oldham, Simla, c. 1885-1887. Raja Deen Dayal (Indian, 1844-1905). Albumen print; image: 13.0 x 20.3 cm (5-1/8 x 8 inches); paper: 13.0 x 20.3 cm (5-1/8 x 8 inches). The Cleveland Museum of Art, Purchase from the J.H. Wade Fund.

Colonel H.R. Thirillier, Simla, c. 1885-1887. Raja Deen Dayal (Indian, 1844-1905). Albumen print; image: 18.1 x 26.1 cm (7-1/8 x 10-1/4 inches); paper: 18.1 x 26.1 cm (7-1/8 x 10-1/4 inches). The Cleveland Museum of Art, Purchase from the J.H. Wade Fund.

Major Sparks, Indore, July 86, c. 1885-1887. Raja Deen Dayal (Indian, 1844-1905). Albumen print; image: 17.0 x 27.1 cm (6-11/16 x 10-11/16 inches); paper: 17.0 x 27.1 cm (6-11/16 x 10-11/16 inches). The Cleveland Museum of Art, Purchase from the J.H. Wade Fund.

Portrait of a gentleman, c. 1885-1887. Raja Deen Dayal (Indian, 1844-1905). Albumen print; image: 25.8 x 18.8 cm (10-3/16 x 7-3/8 inches); paper: 25.8 x 18.8 cm (10-3/16 x 7-3/8 inches). The Cleveland Museum of Art, Purchase from the J.H. Wade Fund.

Heavy Field Battery, Jhansi, c. 1885-1887. Raja Deen Dayal (Indian, 1844-1905). Albumen print; image: 18.3 x 27.0 cm (7-3/16 x 10-5/8 inches); paper: 18.3 x 27.0 cm (7-3/16 x 10-5/8 inches). The Cleveland Museum of Art, Purchase from the J.H. Wade Fund.

Maharaja of Scindia, nobles, and high officials, Gwalior, c. 1885-1887. Raja Deen Dayal (Indian, 1844-1905). Albumen print; image: 19.0 x 27.4 cm (7-1/2 x 10-13/16 inches); paper: 19.0 x 27.4 cm (7-1/2 x 10-13/16 inches). The Cleveland Museum of Art, Purchase from the J.H. Wade Fund.

Treacher and Cos Shop in the Fort, Bombay, c. 1885-1887. Raja Deen Dayal (Indian, 1844-1905)
Albumen print; image: 19.6 x 26.3 cm (7-3/4 x 10-3/8 inches); paper: 19.6 x 26.3 cm (7-3/4 x 10-3/8 inches). The Cleveland Museum of Art, Purchase from the J.H. Wade Fund.

Ramkishore Singh of Rewa, c. 1885-1887. Raja Deen Dayal (Indian, 1844-1905). Albumen print; image: 20.3 x 27.3 cm (8 x 10-3/4 inches); paper: 20.3 x 27.3 cm (8 x 10-3/4 inches). The Cleveland Museum of Art, Purchase from the J.H. Wade Fund.

Detachment of Bhopal Battalion at Indore, c. 1885-1887. Raja Deen Dayal (Indian, 1844-1905). Albumen print; image: 19.1 x 26.5 cm (7-1/2 x 10-7/16 inches); paper: 19.1 x 26.5 cm (7-1/2 x 10-7/16 inches)

Jhansi Fort and Elephant Battery, c. 1885-1887. Raja Deen Dayal (Indian, 1844-1905). Albumen print; image: 19.4 x 27.2 cm (7-5/8 x 10-11/16 inches); paper: 19.4 x 27.2 cm (7-5/8 x 10-11/16 inches). The Cleveland Museum of Art, Purchase from the J.H. Wade Fund.

Elephant Battery on Parade, c. 1885-1887. Raja Deen Dayal (Indian, 1844-1905). Albumen print; image: 18.1 x 27.0 cm (7-1/8 x 10-5/8 inches); paper: 18.1 x 27.0 cm (7-1/8 x 10-5/8 inches). The Cleveland Museum of Art, Purchase from the J.H. Wade Fund.

His Highness the Maharaja of Scindia, c. 1885-1887. Raja Deen Dayal (Indian, 1844-1905). Albumen print; image: 25.5 x 18.4 cm (10-1/16 x 7-1/4 inches); paper: 25.5 x 18.4 cm (10-1/16 x 7-1/4 inches). The Cleveland Museum of Art, Purchase from the J.H. Wade Fund.

Fancy Group at Indore I, c. 1885-1887. Raja Deen Dayal (Indian, 1844-1905). Albumen print; image: 12.4 x 19.9 cm (4-7/8 x 7-13/16 inches); paper: 12.4 x 19.9 cm (4-7/8 x 7-13/16 inches). The Cleveland Museum of Art, Purchase from the J.H. Wade Fund.

Fancy Group at Indore I, c. 1885-1887. Raja Deen Dayal (Indian, 1844-1905). Albumen print; image: 12.4 x 19.9 cm (4-7/8 x 7-13/16 inches); paper: 12.4 x 19.9 cm (4-7/8 x 7-13/16 inches). The Cleveland Museum of Art, Purchase from the J.H. Wade Fund.

Fancy Ball, Indore, c. 1885-1887. Raja Deen Dayal (Indian, 1844-1905). Albumen print; image: 12.2 x 19.9 cm (4-13/16 x 7-13/16 inches); paper: 12.2 x 19.9 cm (4-13/16 x 7-13/16 inches). The Cleveland Museum of Art, Purchase from the J.H. Wade Fund.

Maharaja of Rewa and Sardars, c. 1885-1887. Raja Deen Dayal (Indian, 1844-1905). Albumen print; image: 19.7 x 26.9 cm (7-3/4 x 10-9/16 inches); paper: 19.7 x 26.9 cm (7-3/4 x 10-9/16 inches). The Cleveland Museum of Art, Purchase from the J.H. Wade Fund.

Lord Dufferin and the Supreme Council of Government of India, c. 1885-1887. Raja Deen Dayal (Indian, 1844-1905). Albumen print; image: 19.4 x 27.3 cm (7-5/8 x 10-3/4 inches); paper: 19.4 x 27.3 cm (7-5/8 x 10-3/4 inches). The Cleveland Museum of Art, Purchase from the J.H. Wade Fund.

The Duke and Duchess of Connaught, with Col. Adam, Captain H.V. Benett, Col. Becher, Gen. Knowles, Captain Herbert, Col. Cavaye, Mrs. Cavaye, and Gen. R. Gellispie, Mhow, c. 1885-1887. Raja Deen Dayal (Indian, 1844-1905). Albumen print; image: 19.1 x 26.6 cm (7-1/2 x 10-1/2 inches); paper: 19.1 x 26.6 cm (7-1/2 x 10-1/2 inches). The Cleveland Museum of Art, Purchase from the J.H. Wade Fund.

Fancy Group of Children, Indore, c. 1885-1887. Raja Deen Dayal (Indian, 1844-1905). Albumen print; image: 19.7 x 26.3 cm (7-3/4 x 10-3/8 inches); paper: 19.7 x 26.3 cm (7-3/4 x 10-3/8 inches). The Cleveland Museum of Art, Purchase from the J.H. Wade Fund.

Ramkishore Singh of Rewa, c. 1885-1887. Raja Deen Dayal (Indian, 1844-1905). Albumen print; image: 18.6 x 27.0 cm (7-5/16 x 10-5/8 inches); paper: 18.6 x 27.0 cm (7-5/16 x 10-5/8 inches). The Cleveland Museum of Art, Purchase from the J.H. Wade Fund.

Mr. Brown’s Horses, Jhansi, c. 1885-1887. Raja Deen Dayal (Indian, 1844-1905). Albumen print; image: 18.9 x 27.6 cm (7-7/16 x 10-7/8 inches); paper: 18.9 x 27.6 cm (7-7/16 x 10-7/8 inches). The Cleveland Museum of Art, Purchase from the J.H. Wade Fund.

Maharaja of Rewa in Prayer, c. 1885-1887. Raja Deen Dayal (Indian, 1844-1905). Albumen print; image: 20.0 x 27.2 cm (7-7/8 x 10-11/16 inches); paper: 20.0 x 27.2 cm (7-7/8 x 10-11/16 inches). The Cleveland Museum of Art, Purchase from the J.H. Wade Fund.

Sir Auckland Colvin and family, Simla, c. 1885-1887. Raja Deen Dayal (Indian, 1844-1905). Albumen print; image: 20.0 x 26.9 cm (7-7/8 x 10-9/16 inches); paper: 20.0 x 26.9 cm (7-7/8 x 10-9/16 inches). The Cleveland Museum of Art, Purchase from the J.H. Wade Fund.

Picnic Party at Mr. Pelitis’ Country House, Mashobra, c. 1885-1887. Raja Deen Dayal (Indian, 1844-1905). Albumen print; image: 18.9 x 27.7 cm (7-7/16 x 10-15/16 inches); paper: 18.9 x 27.7 cm (7-7/16 x 10-15/16 inches). The Cleveland Museum of Art, Purchase from the J.H. Wade Fund.

Major Martellis Camp at Mhow, c. 1885-1887. Raja Deen Dayal (Indian, 1844-1905). Albumen print; image: 19.0 x 26.4 cm (7-1/2 x 10-3/8 inches); paper: 19.0 x 26.4 cm (7-41/2 x 10-3/8 inches). The Cleveland Museum of Art, Purchase from the J.H. Wade Fund.

The Daily Promo: Drew Anthony Smith

- - The Daily Promo

Drew Anthony Smith

Who printed it?
Thomas Graphics in Austin.

Who designed it?
I designed it.

Who edited the images?
I selected and toned the images.  Two were used in the Cosmo feature while the others were some of my favorites.

How many did you make?
300

How many times a year do you send out promos?
I send a physical promo piece out about every quarter.

Did you write the copy and cast this model?
Irvin Randle has gained Instagram fame by being the man behind #MrStealYourGrandma.  This was an assignment for Cosmopolitan and part of their Internet’s Most Fascinating series.  In addition to this shoot, I also flew to Charlotte the same week to photograph Ryan Lochte as part of the collection.


I spent more time driving to Houston than photographing Irvin.  My assistant and I hit the ground running when we arrived and knocked out a dozen locations in about two hours.  Irvin had a great attitude and was ready to go with his slick outfits.  My assistant got a work out because in addition to helping me, Irvin kept asking her to shoot behind the scenes shots.  Gotta get that fresh Instagram content.

This Week In Photography Books: Piotr Zbierski

by Jonathan Blaustein

Nostalgia is a funny thing.
What is it, really?

A state of mind?
A sensation?

An emotion?

However we classify it, nostalgia is heavily responsible for the shocking shit-show that is the Trump Presidency. (I promise I won’t write about him every week.) Overwhelmed with longing for the past, a not-small segment of White America yearned for an idealized vision of the 1950’s.

They chose to reminisce, fondly, about an America that was entirely white. About a time when men, who wore hats, were the sole breadwinners, and women stayed home. It was a time when grabbing your secretary’s backside was fair game, and racist jokes were socially acceptable.

I’ll spare you a recap of this week’s version of Trumpsanity, but rest assured, it’s enough to make some people nostalgic for the George W. Bush years.

That’s a thing.
I’ve seen it on Twitter.

The world is so strange, at the moment, that some people think it was much better back then. As I recall, George W. Bush needed the Supreme Court to install him as President, presided over 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina, started two massive Wars, (one of which continues, the other of which begat ISIS) and then broke the Entire. Global. Economy.

Thankfully, though, the mid-aughts did have some highlights.

Take my neighbor here in Taos, Donald Rumsfeld, for instance. He was pretty high on the unintentional comedy scale. (Remember those oversized glasses?)

When Rummy philosophized about the known unknowns vs. the unknown unknowns, he wrote himself into the book of ridiculous rhetorical history. But he was right on many levels, if just this once. (In case you’re too young to know what I’m referencing, Rummy theorized that there are things we know we don’t know, and things that we don’t know we don’t know.)

So much of life is run by the unknown unknowns, though that’s terrifying to admit. We like our lives to be routine-based, built upon a sense of normalcy. Our computers give us answers, but only if we know what questions to ask.

We can’t even imagine what came before the big bang, or where we go after we die. Scientists don’t know what makes up dark matter, so they named it like a secret weapon invented by Darth Vader.

There are underpinnings of reality that speak of magic, or the super-natural, and most of us wouldn’t even know where to begin, as far as understanding what really makes the planet spin every day.

I like it when a photobook makes me think of the unknown unknowns. And that’s where I’ve gone today, having just put down “Push The Sky Away,” a new book by Piotr Zbierski, recently published by Dewi Lewis in Manchester.

Structurally, this book is as well-put-together as you’re likely to find. The vertical orientation is big without being too-big; the black and white cover is stark. The photos are broken into three sections, as it’s a trilogy of projects, so there are black inserts that actually divide the book, but are removable. (So you have to put it back together each time.)

There are also small journal inserts, which are bound into the book, so the page size and image style also vary consistently. A lot of thought went into this presentation, I’m sure.

But what is actually being presented? (Finally, he talks about the pictures.)

The images are mostly made with instant photographic technology, (hence the sponsor shoutout at the end to the Impossible Project,) and there’s a heavy spate of pictures shot in India. That much is clear.

But not much else is.
Clear.

There are black and white, grainy, often blurry pictures of grandmothers and statues. Cities and oceans. Live people and dead monkeys. And much in-between.

In an opening statement, the artist writes of a desire to connect to primal forces, and I think you can see it. Talismanic objects. Ecstatics in prayer. Odd people from odd angles.

There’s a hint of Diane Arbus and Roger Ballen, for sure, mixed with a tiny dose of any random person’s travel pictures from India. But it’s that final mix, the creative special sauce, that makes this such a cool book.

It feels non-linear in a way that references worm holes and peyote sessions and smoke signals, all at once. Visually, it offers a viewer that feeling that some things will never be revealed, but it’s OK, because our brains are too small and fragile to handle ALL the secrets of the Universe.

Bottom Line: Trippy, dreamy images that hint at deep forces at work, beneath our every-day existence

To Purchase “Push The Sky Away” Go Here: https://www.dewilewis.com/products/push-the-sky-away

If you would like to submit a book to be considered for review, please contact jonathanblaustein@gmail.com.

The Art of the Personal Project: Adam Moran

- - Personal Project

Personal Projects are crucial in showing potential buyers how you think creatively on your own. I am drawn to personal projects that have an interesting vision or show something I have never seen before. In this revised column, I’ll include a link to each personal project with the artist statement so you can see more of the project. Please note: projects are found and submissions are not accepted.

Today’s artist: Adam Moran

Shaun White, Beyond the Medals

In 2008 I was working for Burton Snowboards as a Team Manager and was approached help manage Shaun White. Shaun had just won gold at the Torino Olympics and was at times labeled the most popular teenager in the world. I knew it would be an interesting job, but also one that would allow me to document what life is like for someone in his shoes. Shaun and I had known each other for a few years, but suddenly we were spending over 5 months a year traveling and working together. Having always been inspired by the lifestyle of the skate and snow scene that Ari Marcopolous shot, and Walter Ioss’s behind the scenes of Michael Jordan, I knew this was a really cool opportunity. I wanted to show moments from  Shaun’s life that were real and honest and different than what might be in the magazines or catalogs at the time.

What made these photos possible and special to me was that there was a huge trust between us, and it was a pre social media world. Myspace existed, but Facebook was only at colleges, and Instagram still far away so whatever we shot never felt rushed or needed to be posted immediately. Shaun could always see what I shot, and he liked that someone was there to shoot all the fun and behind the scenes moments. We never shot with the goal of getting likes, it was just to document, and we laughed a lot along the way.  I quickly learned that everything needed to be shot on small cameras like a Leica, or point and shoots as to not create a scene around a celebrity. That also that allowed me to sneak in moments that people weren’t realizing.   The goal was to shoot what was real, and never make it feel like a photoshoot. At times we created moments, but it was always out of fun.

It was a crazy time for Shaun, he went from being a 19 year old famous in action sports, to a globally recognized celebrity everywhere we went. I saw the ups and down sides of fame, but also got to be a fly on the wall documenting it with no specific end goal. We spent a little over 3 years together, traveling the world non stop, and many of these shots just piled up as we went along. I was there at events, press conferences,  photo shoots, test driving cars, buying houses, etc, all the time snapping away. Not until recently did I go back through the archives and pull this all together to find some of my favorites.  As I look back, it was an experience worthy of two lifetimes, and I’m glad there was no Facebook or Instagram around to have felt compelled to post on.

To see the full gallery on my website click here.
http://www.adammoran.com/2918577-beyond-the-medals-shaun-white#0

—————

APE contributor Suzanne Sease currently works as a consultant for photographers and illustrators around the world. She has been involved in the photography and illustration industry since the mid 80s. After establishing the art buying department at The Martin Agency, then working for Kaplan-Thaler, Capital One, Best Buy and numerous smaller agencies and companies, she decided to be a consultant in 1999. She has a new Twitter feed with helpful marketing information because she believes that marketing should be driven by brand and not by specialty. Follow her at @SuzanneSease.

Brian Clamp Interview

- - Art

Brian Clamp is the founder and director of the NYC Photo gallery ClampArt. Last summer, he was kind enough to take some time to share thoughts on the state of the gallery industry. Since we spoke, his new gallery space has opened at 247 West 29th Street in Manhattan.

Jonathan Blaustein: How’s the summer treating you in New York City?

Brian Clamp: It’s been weirdly hot. I’ve been in New York for, god, I don’t even know, 23 years? This was one of the hottest summers I ever remember, so it’s been interesting.

JB: Is the baking garbage smell on every corner in Manhattan?

BC: I haven’t noticed that so much, but we have been moving the gallery, so we’ve actually been out in the heat quite a bit. It’s just been brutal.

JB: Right. It’s hard because nobody likes to see you sweat, but in that weather with that humidity, most people really don’t have a say in the matter.

BC: Exactly.

JB: You and I spoke in Houston and you told me you were moving the gallery. You were in Chelsea which had been the pure epicenter of the New York City gallery industry. You were there for a long time, right?

BC: We’ve been in Chelsea since 2000, but we were in the same building from 2003 to 2016. We were one of the first galleries in the building, so we really got to see the neighborhood grow and develop over that time.

The building that we were in had four different owners while we were there, so it just kept changing hands. We had to sit back and adapt to each new owner and the new ideas they had. In the beginning, it was really a wonderful time, but it’s amazing how different the neighborhood is now than it was 14 years ago.

JB: I saw you in Santa Fe last year, and at that time you told me that Target had moved into your gallery’s building on 25th Street?

BC: That was one of the main problems we had. Target took over the entire second floor of the building for their design offices, but they demanded a private entrance, so the landlord completely threw us under the bus and closed our entrance to the street. It made it much harder to find your way into the back part of the building, where we were located.

Obviously, Target was paying a lot more rent than we were paying, so the landlord was willing to do whatever they asked. That made life much more difficult.

But in addition to Target above us, we had Tesla on one side of us and then a baby clothing company down the hall.

A building that once had been all galleries was not-so-slowly transforming into one for corporate tenants. So we were just seeing a repeat of what happened in SoHo in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

JB: Right. Well, that makes more sense because for the life of me, I couldn’t understand how they had a retail Target in a gallery building, but now you’re telling me it was offices. Ever since then, I thought, “How the hell do they have a Target, with all those shopping carts?” But they didn’t.

BC: Well, the second floor were all design offices, but then they took over the biggest ground floor space, which used to the Cue Arts Foundation. They use that enormous ground floor storefront space for events and parties that they host maybe once or twice a month, and the rest of the time it just sits there empty.

So they do have a ground floor presence, but it’s just not really used all that often.
The other thing is that when we moved out, our rent was nearly being doubled, and in my mind I was saying, well good luck finding anyone who’s ever going to pay that kind of price for this back hall space with no direct access to the street.

But, then it seemed as though Target was going to take over our old space and turn it into a conference room. (Last I heard they backed out, and the space is still sitting empty.)

JB: I think our readers probably know this, but outside of a handful of mega-art dealers who are corporations in and of themselves, galleries like yours, like ClampArt, are small businesses. You were a small business…

BC: Exactly.

JB: …competing for retail space with Target. That’s essentially what you’re telling me.

BC: Yeah. Exactly.

JB: You can’t sell enough prints to do that. You can’t possibly sell enough pieces of photo paper to compete with Target.
It’s impossible.

BC: Well, yes—so what’s happening is probably within five years’ time, we’re not going to really see many mid-size and small galleries left in Chelsea. It mainly will be just the mega-galleries who own their real estate – they’ll be the only people left standing.

JB: It seems like that’s just the parallel with what we’re seeing in a lot of the economy: the rich getting richer. It sounds like your industry is in a bit of a crisis. Is that a fair way to put it? Or is that too dramatic?

BC: Yeah, I think you kind of hit the nail on the head. It’s like we’ve been witnessing this ever-increasing income divide in this country. In the art world, people who are that top one percent have more money than ever, and they’re willing to pay whatever price they need to get the top of the top.

So the very high end of the market was doing exceedingly well for a good while there, whereas anything underneath that was much more difficult. And even people who are wealthy and well off, but maybe not the one percent, are probably being much more conservative with spending since the recession than they had been prior to that time.

So generally things haven’t really bounced back as the economy has continued to improve.

JB: You’ve been a gallery owner in New York since 2000. But you’re from Colorado, if I recall.

BC: Yep.

JB: So you’ve been fighting the fight there in New York for a long time, and really, people know your place. You’re respected in the industry, from what I can tell. But you’re telling us straight up that the train is off the tracks a little bit?

BC: Yeah. Or just still radically changing.
In making this decision to move out of that building where we had been for 14 years, there were a lot of things to think about: the viability, the feasibility of the brick-and-mortar space, versus a lot of galleries who have decided just to go online and shop their wares around at art fairs as much as they can.

Ultimately, we decided actually to expand in a new neighborhood with faith that here in New York City, at least, there are still enough devoted art collectors to be able to support the gallery and our artists. But it is a risky speculation, especially as compared to 15 years ago.

JB: So this idea that a gallery might not have a physical space – and I guess you partially explained it by saying that they’re still showing at art fairs, but it seems like, for as long as there have been gallery/artist relationships, the implicit deal was that a gallery offered a space for public exhibition.

The dealer offers the artist the opportunity to engage with the public, which puts a lot of pressure on the gallery to have that space. So now you’re saying some people are walking away from that core tenet?

BC: Yeah. The ability of an artist to mount a full solo show in a gallery setting, to communicate their ideas to an art audience, is still extremely important. But that’s really, in this day and age, being sacrificed quite a bit.

Artists have to be satisfied with just showing maybe one or two or three pieces in the context of an art fair booth with several other artists. Sometimes galleries do show work by just one artist, however, at fairs like Volta.

But more often than not, it’s just a smattering of work by many people in one booth, which will never be the ideal way for an artist to present their work and try to communicate their ideas.

That’s the direction the market has taken, so if artists want their work to be seen at all, and certainly if they want their works to be sold, then they’re agreeing to those realities as the market changes.

JB: And even in this changing market, where we’re talking about essentially less opportunities, not more, is it fair to say that there are as many people desperate for your attention and trying to get your interest as there have ever been? Or are there more people chasing you down? Anecdotally, how do you feel about that?

BC: I would say that that just continues to increase. The number of graduates from BFA and MFA programs feels like it continues to rise, so there are still more and more artists who are looking for gallery representation.

This has always been the case, but maybe more so now than ever. There are just many more artists than there are buyers to support them. And so it does put a lot of pressure on the galleries in the middle.

JB: I’ve been telling this to people for years, frankly. A lot of the people that we canonize, that we lionize in the history as great as they might have been, at the time that they were out there clicking the shutter, there were so few people doing this.

And now we’re talking about tens of thousands of trained fine art photographers, all trying to compete for a handful of spaces that might open up in the big galleries in New York in a given year.

The odds are awful. It doesn’t, to me, seem like a safe way to expect to make any money. And yet, more and more kids are going into huge debt just to play this game. It seems very unsustainable to me, but like I said, I’m sitting a horse pasture in New Mexico, so my opinion is probably less valid than yours.

BC: Not true.

JB: Well, thank you.

BC: You’re 100 percent correct. Like when you look at it in a historical context, the art world was a much smaller place back then than it is now. And that’s changed radically over the past 20 years, for sure.

JB: So what do you do when you talk to students? I know you’ve given lectures. How do you disabuse people of these ideas without trying to sound like a buzz-kill?

BC: Discouraging – yeah. I mean, one thing to stress is the fact that even artists that do have gallery representation – most of them have some sort of second means of income, whether they’re teaching or working at a lab or doing commercial work.

So, to be realistic is important. The idea that you can support yourself solely from the sale of your fine artwork is pretty idealistic, until you’re pretty well into your career. It takes a lot of time to get to that point, so be prepared for that fact when you graduate so it doesn’t take you by surprise.

JB: Let’s use what you just said as an example. The people who are maybe 25 years in and showing a few different places. I know you’re probably not exclusive with your artists. What do you think it takes to actually succeed in a very difficult marketplace, both on your end as the gallery and on the artist’s end? What does it take to actually bust through and persevere?

BC: That’s probably one of the most important things: perseverance. You do have to be aggressive, and you have to persevere in order to make it happen.

But, honestly, you also have to be smart and have good ideas. The artwork itself is what initially speaks for you, and so if the quality of the work is not there in the first place, then you’re not going to get anywhere else.

Then, like we were just saying, there are a lot of probably wonderful artists who are producing strong, relevant, interesting work who maybe haven’t gotten anywhere. That’s where the other things come in like perseverance, aggressiveness.

JB: What attracts you?

BC: Ability.

JB: We’ve already established that everybody wants your attention, so what gets your attention? What kind of work, either stylistically or conceptually, tends to impress you?

BC: I meet with younger artists all the time, and we show a lot of emerging work in our gallery. I’m seeing what’s coming out of the BFA and MFA programs, particularly on the East coast.

It’s got to be a breath of fresh air, something that’s not just rehashing work by a well-known artist. Something original and new.

I’m interested in all kinds of photography and multi-media work, from figurative and portraiture to abstract work, from still imagery to video, and our gallery shows a wide variety of those things, too. We’re kind of heavy on figurative and portraiture, and that reflects my own personal taste. But for a well-balanced roster, you need to have a little smattering of everything.

JB: Do you spend a lot of time, when you look at work, thinking about the particular collectors who support you who might like something? Do you feel compelled to bring on work just because you think your buyers will like it? Or is that not a strong consideration, and you just go with your own gut?

BC: The initial consideration, first and foremost, is entirely personal. Is it something that I relate to? Is it something that interests me?

Then, if it passes that hurdle, yeah. You start to consider other things. Do I think that I have a clientele that would appreciate this work? Or could I build a clientele that would appreciate it?

How does this relate to the other artists who are already on my roster? You have to be sure that it’s perhaps not too similar to something you’re already showing. Maybe it fills in a hole that hasn’t yet been covered. So those considerations come later…

Then you look at a person’s CV and check out where they studied, who they studied under, if they have shown their work much to this point? What sort of exhibitions were they included in—were they group shows or solo shows? And then you start to think deeper.

JB: Typically, when we go to these portfolio reviews, they often describe them as speed dating. And yet, anecdotally at least, I think most photographers want a handshake at the end of 20 minutes, a kiss on the cheek, and a contract, which of course, isn’t going to happen.

But do you find that there is typically a slow-build with the things that you’re interested in, like you’ll meet somebody and then a year or two will go by and you’ll see them again or you’ll get an e-mail blast? Would you confirm that it’s a slow process? Or do you think sometimes you just know right away and then things move quickly?

BC: Much more often than not, a meeting at a portfolio review is the very beginning of a more long-term process, sort of like planting the seeds for what will grow and bloom much further down the road. There might be exceptions to that, but typically, it is a slow burn and a long process.

You might realize that, yeah, I like this person’s work. I like this person’s personality. And you continue to stay in touch and keep an eye on what they’re doing, what shows their work gets into, if they’re winning any residencies or grants, and just continue to touch base until maybe you have ideas for what to do with their work, or you have clientele you think would be interested.

And then you go from there. Sometimes, from the point of meeting someone at a portfolio review until the time that they get a solo show at my gallery, it’s been as long as five or six years.

JB: Right. Speaking of all these same issues, we talked about rising rents in New York and, again, you made the comparison to SoHo.

I just saw a headline in the paper the other day or on Twitter. I didn’t bother reading the article, which was about some neighborhood kicking out a pair of social practice artists because they didn’t want to start gentrification.

There are a lot of complicated issues surrounding gentrification, and how that can change a neighborhood. (The high-line and all that.) But setting that aside, what about the internet? How drastically has the internet changed your ability to do your job?

BC: It’s changed it 100 percent. In many ways, it’s fantastic. The reach that a medium-sized gallery in New York has is far better than it’s ever been. However, then it changed the market, like I said, for a lot of galleries who may not have brick-and-mortar spaces, who are working just completely online, which has its own ramifications.

JB: But why?

BC: It also kind of changes the relationship between artists and their collectors.

JB: That’s where I was going.

BC: There are a lot more collectors who really just want to deal with artists directly. If they start changing the structure of the business, are our art galleries really serving the same role? Are they as needed and necessary as they used to be?

Certainly there are a lot of artists that want to concentrate on producing work, and they don’t want to be dealing with marketing and sales and shipping and insurance and all of those things. But there are other artists who get a charge out of having direct contact with their collectors, and so it’s something complicated for everybody to work out.

JB: Obviously, you’re not somebody who feels that way because you’re making a bigger space and you’re growing and doing well, though we’re not asking about numbers.

I’m starting to get the sense that, as much as every photographer wants a gallery, if the galleries don’t have physical spaces and the collectors can e-mail you and ask to buy a picture – that’s kind of why I used the word “crisis” earlier on. I’m wondering if the entire model isn’t bound to change? I thought you’d be very well positioned to speculate on that.

BC: Yeah.

JB: Is it all going to change?

BC: I think it has been changing. An artist has to question how much of that responsibility they would be willing to take on. And then perhaps if they have just an online gallery representing their work, is the standard 50/50 cut still appropriate in that situation?

That’s something I encourage a lot of artists to think about—especially if they’re already selling well directly from their studio. Do they really need to enter a relationship like that?

Artists need to weigh the pros and cons. I would hope that the artists we represent realize what a gallery brings to the table, but for other kinds of artists and other kinds of work, then it may be perfectly appropriate to sell directly from the studio.

JB: Can you tell us a little bit about the new space, since we’ve mentioned that you’re expanding and moving? Where are you going to be exactly? And what’s it going to look like?

BC: We’re going to be on 29th Street between 7th and 8th Avenues, which is still technically part of Chelsea, but that area of Manhattan has a lot of different names. It’s the flower district, the fur district, and also the garment district.

JB: Near Penn Station.

BC: And it’s close to what used to be called Tin Pan Alley, which is just a little farther east. It’s only two avenues from where we had been located for 14 years, but two avenues in Manhattan can make a world of difference.

It’s a neighborhood with a totally different feel, but still, right now, it really is under transition, too, like a lot of other places. There’s a lot of construction around where we’re going to be, with a trendy gastro pub right across the street, but still certainly a lot of furriers left, too.

There’s also a high-end lighting store on the block, and an art supply store. So it’s still a big mix of things. It’s interesting to see what direction that’s going to take.

JB: Yeah, we all know at the rate NYC changes, you don’t know what a neighborhood will be like in five years.

BC: The exciting thing is those two avenues made a world of difference in terms of price. So for around the same amount of money, we’re getting a storefront with three floors and 19-foot ceilings. There’ll be a mezzanine that overlooks the main gallery with a private office and viewing room.

We’re going to be able to spread out a bit, and it’s going to change the way we’re able to show the work by the artists we represent, which will be a lot more fun.

When you’re in the same space for a long time, you sometimes wonder if things start to become formulaic because you know what works and what doesn’t. So it’s going to be exciting experimenting with a totally different layout and seeing how things shake out.

JB: What’s the opening show? Do you have that planned? (Ed note: again, this interview was conducted last summer, so the opening exhibition has already transpired.)

BC: The opening show will be the fifth exhibition at our gallery by an artist named Marc Yankus. We’ve shown his work for a long time, but he’s got a new series that he’s ready to unveil.

He’s one of our most popular artists, and I’m excited about the direction his photography has taken recently.

JB: Mid-October – gotcha. Sometimes when we do these interviews, I warm up very slowly and talk about people’s backgrounds. You and I have known each other for a long time, so I kind of skipped that, but it is fun sometimes to just hear where the bug came from.

How did you fall in love with photography? And what brought you to the place that you’re at now?

BC: I didn’t have any sort of background in art or art history until the second semester of my senior year of high school. For some reason, and I’m still not even sure why, I decided to take a photography course.

I had one extra elective, so on a whim, I took a photography class. The instructor was a younger teacher. She was really enthusiastic and energetic, and did a great job of getting her students excited about the subject matter.

It was mostly a darkroom class. At the beginning of every session, however, there would be 15 minutes of slide lecture, which was basically going through the history of the medium. And I was excited by both – creating photographs in the darkroom and the art history part of class.

I was so excited that when I went off to college the next year as a math major, I found a way to take as many darkroom classes and art history classes as I could.

But it really was that one semester in high school that lit the spark. I remember going to the public library to the section of photography monographs and just randomly pulling things off the shelf and leafing through them and seeing what excited me. And they were probably the same as a lot of other people, but there were a couple of books in particular that really blew the top of my head off.

JB: Like what?

BC: Nan Goldin’s “The Ballad of Sexual Dependency.”

JB: Of course.

BC: And Diane Arbus’s Aperture monograph. Those two in particular, I remember as being extremely excited about.

JB: You grew up in Colorado Springs, right?

BC: No. I grew up in the suburbs of Denver.

JB: Okay. That makes more sense. I had it mis-remembered. I was imagining you out there in that conservative – I don’t want to say wasteland, as I’ll get in trouble. I had a hard time seeing you there. The Denver area makes way more sense.

BC: Well, you know what, though? Back when I was in school, so we’re talking 1988 was when I graduated from high school, Colorado wasn’t the sort of purple state it is now. It was much more redneck, and there was a lot less culture in Denver at that time than there is now.

It’s fun for me to go back now, because people have flooded in from the East and West coasts so much that things have really changed. And now Denver’s kind of a fun place to be. But, I remember back when I was in high school and college, I couldn’t wait to get out.

JB: I bet. And was it always “I can’t wait to go to New York”? Was that a plan?

BC: It was, actually. I came to New York for the first time when I was in 9th grade for a debate tournament, and that was when I fell in love with the city. It’s weird how even when you’re a kid, you know something. It was like I knew I would end up in New York City. Lo and behold! Less than a week after I graduated from CU, Boulder, I had my bags packed and was on my way to New York City. I’ve been here ever since.

JB: Do you think New York is going to stay the center of it all? At least as far as America goes? Is its relative position weakening as other cities grow? What do you think?

BC: It’s interesting. The internet puts everybody at a more level playing field, for sure.

But, a lot of the creative people who helped build this city and make it interesting in the first place are being forced to go to other places. We’ve seen a mass exodus of the creative class in New York, for sure, which will negatively impact things. But, all that being said, there is still a certain cache being in New York City.

I continue to notice it. There are collectors all over the country, but people really do enjoy the experience of coming to New York City and exploring galleries and museums, and buying work here.

So even if they can get the same thing in Los Angeles or Chicago, there’s still a certain thrill of collecting work in New York. Everything will change, and is already changing, but I don’t foresee another city surpassing New York City as the art capital of this country, anyway.

Los Angeles is an interesting city, and there are probably even more artists there at this point than there are in New York. But, even with its world-class museums and impressive galleries, I would still say there’s no competition between Los Angeles and New York in terms of the volume of artwork sold per year.

JB: And you can take a subway in New York. I was just in LA, and it’s like you really get the sense that people on the West side and the East side, they’re living parallel lives. People plan their whole day around not having to get stuck in the kind of traffic that makes you want to hurt somebody, especially when the sun is beating down.

The last time I was in New York, I couldn’t believe that, because of the rising rents, all the pizzerias were going out of business. Can you still get a decent slice of pizza in your neighborhood? Is that a thing of the past?

BC: That’s a really good question. Gosh. Maybe one place by our gallery still has a decent slice. The pizzerias are fewer and farther apart than they ever were. (Laughter)

When I moved to New York, I lived on St. Mark’s Place, and there was a pizza place across the street that had dollar slices. I probably subsisted on that, and dollar falafels, for the first year I was here. I think you would not be able to do that in 2016.

JB: I really, really miss pizza.

BC: One thing we haven’t really talked about is that a lot of the defection of small and medium-sized galleries from Chelsea has been to the Lower East Side. And the notable fact is that they’re probably the same number of galleries in New York right now as there were prior to the recession in 2008, but because of the architecture on the Lower East Side the galleries tend to be in smaller spaces with lower ceilings.

They’re much more compact. The warehouse spaces in West Chelsea lent themselves better to contemporary art. That was another big deal in our transition – finding a space large enough to show a wide range of art.

JB: Was Brooklyn a consideration? Or not really?

BC: Briefly a consideration. Brooklyn at this point is culturally more interesting than Manhattan for emerging work, and certainly almost all of my friends live there now.

But as far as art galleries are concerned, there are all these wonderful places, especially in Bushwick, but for a lot of my collectors, there’s still this psychological hurdle. Perhaps it speaks to my age, or my experience or what have you, but I just felt much more comfortable staying within Manhattan.

JB: Gotcha. There were a ton of galleries in Williamsburg when I lived in Greenpoint, and then I came back to town five years ago and they were all gone. Or most of them were gone and replaced by retail, and it sounds like that is more or less what’s happening in Chelsea – this idea that high-end things that maybe sell more frequently or where they have lower dollar amounts but you sell more volume.

Is that a trend, do you think? Is that part of gentrification? Galleries giving way to boutiques?

BC: Yeah, that’s exactly what’s happening. The amount of handbag stores in New York City is just mindboggling. (Laughter)

But with regard to Williamsburg, some of the hottest young galleries were in Williamsburg prior to the recession. Most of the more interesting ones ended up moving to Chelsea.
But then the others just closed and nothing ever came back once the economy started to improve. Part of that has to do with the fact that Williamsburg just exploded in terms of real estate. It became so expensive that it wasn’t much cheaper than being in Manhattan.

But, as I said, there are some wonderfully exciting places in Bushwick. Artists are subverting the gallery system altogether, and establishing pop-ups and project spaces in apartments and other unexpected locales throughout Brooklyn and Queens.

JB: I did it. I had a gallery called BQE33. I ran a space out of my apartment, because it looked so much like a gallery, just for my Pratt buddies.

But now all those suckers are screwed, right? They’re shutting the “L” train for a year and a half. How are people there going to get to Manhattan?

BC: Yeah.

JB: All that pricey real estate doesn’t do much if you can’t get across the water, right?

BC: I know. That’s going to have such a huge effect on real estate values, on the ability for all these businesses to make money. It’s going to be a nightmare, honestly.

JB: Right. I’m glad it’s not your problem and it’s not my problem. (Laughter)

Let’s just pivot for a second to creative stuff, then. Part of your job is to look, and I would imagine you’ve got to have your guard up almost all the time, because people want something from you. That’s just human nature.

I know you’re going to museums. I know you’re going to see things, just out of joy and out of learning. Have you seen anything in New York or on your travels, any museum shows, anything that was just unbelievably good and reinvigorated you or anything like that?

BC: Yes, right now the Whitney Museum has this portraiture show that’s all drawn from their permanent collection. It’s actually a really nice way not only to reinterpret, but also represent their permanent collection.

A lot of museums will always have the same artworks on display. Even in the old Whitney space, when you went up to the fifth floor, you would always know what pieces you would see. But this exhibition was exciting and fresh, especially in terms of the inclusion of all media, including photography. They had some wonderful stuff there.

JB: I hate putting people on the spot like that, but I kind of have to. It’s part of the job.

BC: Well, yeah. I can think of a lot of things I saw that I didn’t like, but that was one exhibition I really admired.

Another exciting thing was The School, which is Jack Shainman’s gallery that he opened up in Kinderhook, which is about two hours north of the city.

He bought an old schoolhouse that he’s turned into a place to present contemporary art. I think it opened last year, but I just now made it this summer. And I was blown away.

And speaking to some of this migration, Shainman still certainly has a presence in West Chelsea, but now he’s got this other major operation going on outside of the city, which is really exciting.

JB: Cool. A lot of the first half the interview was kind of bleak, because things are not easy out there, and you’re very kind to share this kind of inside information with us.

But if we were going to pivot to something slightly more optimistic for the younger artists out there, or just the people who really, really want in on the industry and haven’t made it yet, is there any advice you might give to help people stay positive?

Obviously, perseverance is a great one, but are there things that you tend to encourage people on to help them understand why making art is important, beyond just trying to sell it? Or anything like that?

BC: Well, first of all, I think one encouraging thing is something that I touched on before. While everything is changing, there probably are still more galleries in New York right now than there ever have been. And a lot of those galleries are smaller, scrappier spaces that have an investment in emerging art.

We talked about a lot of artists who are being forced out of New York City by the rising real estate prices and cost of living, but the good news is, with the internet and FedEx, etc., artists don’t have to live in New York City to have New York City gallery representation.

An artist can set up shop in Pittsburgh or Detroit and still have a chance of making it in other markets and building an audience. There’s more flexibility in those terms which is fantastic.

A lot of what we talked about was sort of bleak, but I still have the energy and the positivity to try to expand and continue to have a space for younger voices. Despite all of these observations, I feel personally optimistic enough that owning a gallery is still viable and something worthwhile.

JB: No doubt. It’s kind of you to share your thoughts with us.

I’ve always try to remind people that the reasons why we started making art, the things it does for our psyche and our sense of self-esteem, the ability to become healthier if you use your art in the right way, these things don’t really have anything to do with getting famous or selling prints for five grand a pop.

Part of how I remain optimistic is to just remind people that there are deep reasons to do this stuff that don’t involve getting 250 likes on your Facebook post about your next show.

BC: You’re completely right. And you need to be able to keep a healthy perspective about fulfillment and achievement. This relates to anything, not just the art industry, but it goes back to looking at yourself and not comparing yourself to others, etc.

JB: Etc, indeed. So we’ll end on a positive note. I wish you nothing but the best in this new venture. On behalf of all our readers, thanks so much for your time.

BC: It’s always good talking to you.

© Randhy Rodriguez http://randhyrodriguez.com/ Marc Yankus exhibition

© Randhy Rodriguez http://randhyrodriguez.com/ Marc Yankus exhibition

© Adam Ekberg, “A sparkler on a frozen lake,” 2006, Archival pigment print.

© Pipo Nguyen-duy, “Untitled L30,” 1998, Cyanotype (Unique).

© Jill Greenberg, “Untitled (Ursine #59J-48),” 2006, ARchival pigment print.

© Marc Yankus, “Haughwout Building,” 2016, ARchival pigment print.

© Lori Nix, “Circulation Desk,” 2012, Archival pigment print.

The Daily Edit: Real Simple – Yasu+Junko

- - The Daily Edit

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Real Simple


Senior Designer: Dina Ravvin
Prop Stylist:
Elizabeth Press
Photographers: Yasu+Junko


Heidi: How many flowers did you purchase to get the color shifts?
Yasu+Junko: About 32 dozen

Did you follow the instructions in the article when setting up the set to keep the flowers lively?
No, we worked off of photo references for the inspiration.

How long the shoot take?
The shoot took us a couple of hours…but all morning prepping.

Were you concerned about wilting with the lights?
The light was rather far away from the subject that we did not have to be too careful. We usually turn off the modeling lights if necessary.

How many options do you typically shoot for something like this?
Not much options for this; little variations, like replacing flowers. Here is our original image, the magazine had cropped into it quite a bit.

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The Daily Promo: Michael Becker

- - The Daily Promo

Michael Becker

Who printed it?
Anthony Wright at AW Litho

Tell us about your experience with AW.
Anthony was amazing to work with.  We initially wanted to do the promos as lithographs on a beautiful matte paper.  Ultimately, I felt these particular images were a bit dark for the process and media, and after a couple test runs decided to go with a digital print on a luster photo paper.  Anthony was incredibly patient and tenacious about getting it right.  Big thanks to AW Litho!

Who designed it?
Heidi Volpe! Fortunately for me the editor I work with, Lisa Thackaberry, thought you’d be a great fit to design this promo and sent you the images unbeknownst to me.  We wanted to do a tri-fold with a strong, clean design to showcase the images.   Next thing I knew, Lisa sent me your mock up which was beautiful and exactly what I had hoped for.

Who edited the images?
Lisa Thackaberry.  I initially approached Lisa 3 years ago to help me prep for the Palm Springs portfolio reviews.  We have been working together ever since.  Working with Lisa has given me a much deeper understanding about the power of the edit.  It has changed the way I shoot.

How many did you make?
We made 200 pieces for this promo.

How many times a year do you send out promos?
I’ve been doing one or two a year for the last few years, but plan on doing more this year to reflect my commissioned work and personal projects.

This Week In Photography Books: John MacLean

by Jonathan Blaustein

It’s Monday morning, and the sky is gray. (It can be confusing, I know, as you’re likely reading on a Friday, when the weekend is at hand.)

Everybody loves the weekend, but gray Mondays are about as fun as being the guy who has to wash Donald Trump’s underwear. Think about that guy the next time you get a case of the Mondays.

(Uh, Mr. President, it’s kind of hard for me to say this, but there was a strange stain on your boxers that I just couldn’t get out. I’m really, really sorry, Sir. We tried. We really did.)

This Monday, there’s one guy in America who feels like it’s Saturday night, all day long. That man’s name: Thomas Fucking Brady.

Now, if you’ve connected the dots properly, being from New Jersey as I am, I follow the New York Giants. The only team to ever beat Tom Brady in a Superbowl. (Twice.) I have no love for the Patriots, and was solidly rooting for the Falcons last night.

They jumped out to a massive 28-3 lead, and Fox kept dropping statistics on the screen about how nobody had ever come back from more than 10 in a Superbowl.

Ever.

Then they told us that in the history of the NFL playoffs, teams with a lead like the Hawks had were 93-0.

Nobody had ever lost a lead that big.
Ever.

My wife was half-asleep on the couch, bored as hell, just waiting for me to give up on the game so we could watch “Love,” a show we’re currently digging on Netflix.

I could feel her, willing me to change the channel. The ending seemed a foregone conclusion. I wondered what the analytics guys would say about the Falcons chances of winning, at that point. (This morning, I read either 99.7%, or 99.8%, depending upon whom you trust.)

“Still,” I said to Jessie, “We can watch Netflix when I’m sure the game is over. There’s too much time left to say it’s impossible.”

So I watched the epic, never-before-seen comeback. I watched it all. And as a sports fan, if you don’t love a story like that, you’re in the wrong business.

Tom Brady has now won 5 Superbowls, and I’m sure the extra ring will look good on his thumb. I don’t imagine a thumb ring will be comfortable, but what can you do?

He’s just a boy from Northern California, the perfect looking guy, if we’re being honest, who just happened to become the biggest sports legend in the biggest sports city in America. Bigger than Larry Bird, or Big Papi, or anyone, really.

Tom Brady’s just some dude from San Mateo, who grew up in the shadow of Candlestick Park, where Joe Montana plied his trade for the San Francisco 49ers. Joe Montana, the guy people used to say was the Greatest of All Time. Joe Montana, who won 4 Superbowls, the previous high for a quarterback. (Along with Terry Bradshaw.)

Imagine that.

Tom Brady grows up with Joe Montana as the obvious role-model. He absorbs something in the watching, maybe? And then he goes on, inspired, to eclipse Montana, the previous best.

It’s the way things work, as we take from others, learn from others, copy others, are inspired by others, or (insert random verb that makes sense here.) As humans, we have role models among our family and friends. Our parents, one would hope, have taught us to be good people.

As artists, we have colleagues, whose ideas are bouncing around the air now, and we have our heroes and predecessors. Our favorites, whose tricks we’ve cribbed, whose colors we’ve coveted, whose energy we’ve used to sustain us as we walk our respective paths.

It’s a personal collection, for each of us, our heroes, but in John MacLean’s “Hometowns,” published by Hunter and James, we get to see inside the artist’s own inspirations, and it makes for a really cool book, to be sure.

This one turned up in the mail a couple of months ago, but I’ve only gotten to look at it today. It is a really well made production, from a design standpoint: from the fold-over hardcover, to the initials code for artists on the back, to the fact that you can always see the code-key while you’re flipping the pages.

There’s a concept involved, in Mr. Maclean’s 23 city tour to track down his idols’ hometowns, but the project doesn’t lean too heavily on that. The pictures are really good too.

Many are straight, but convey a light that felt familiar to me. Ed Ruscha’s Oklahoma City and Robert Rauschenberg’s Texas both rocked a clear, Southwestern haze-free light I’d driven through before, many times. The sharp light made for sharp pictures, but little bits of humor crept in too. (Accessorize your garage. Oh Chevrolet, you’re so clever.)

The bent-over fence in Rauschenberg’s Port Arthur, TX was another favorite. Conversely, the cold wafting off of Wassily Kandinsky’s Moscow, and the gauze-y light in James Turrell’s Pasadena were equally evocative.

But there are lines that appear on Richard Long images, little Baldessari balls that pop up in National City CA, and a perfect flower crown in Gabriel Orozco’s Mexico City that hint the artist is intervening in the landscape as well.

He’s basically going to these places and doing his own jam, while clearly riffing on his influences. (Ie, one image in Lee Friedlander’s Aberdeen, Washington has the requisite graphic, head-ache-inducing composition.)

The Robert Frank pictures, done of quarry divers, are also excellent. Given that I like the idea, execution, and image quality on this book, I’d have to give it high marks.

Who are your artistic inspirations, I wonder?

Bottom Line: An excellent book about an artist’s personal quest to connect to his forebears

To Purchase John MacLean’s “Hometowns” Go Here: https://www.jmaclean.co.uk/store/hometowns/

If you would like to submit a book to be considered for review, please contact jonathanblaustein@gmail.com.

The Art of the Personal Project: Pete Barrett

- - Personal Project

Personal Projects are crucial in showing potential buyers how you think creatively on your own. I am drawn to personal projects that have an interesting vision or show something I have never seen before. In this revised column, I’ll include a link to each personal project with the artist statement so you can see more of the project. Please note: projects are found and submissions are not accepted.

Today’s personal project: Pete Barrett

So that others may live…

These images came from a recent shoot as part of an ongoing personal project I’ve been shooting all across the country for the past year & 1/2 called “The American Worker Project” where I find people with interesting jobs and feature them in their work environment both on stills and video.

This particular shoot found me shooting the brave men and women of the US Coast Guard, Cape Disappointment Station in Ilwaco, Washington.

Located at the mouth of the Columbia River where it meets the Pacific Ocean, Cape Disappointment is known as one of the most treacherous and deadly waterways in the western hemisphere. Commonly referred to as “The Graveyard of The Pacific,” the waterways in the area are so turbulent that well over 2000 shipwrecks have occurred and over 700 lives have been lost. When the large incoming Pacific swells collide with the strong currents flowing from the mighty Columbia River, the result is incredibly turbulent water and high surf that is unpredictable and extremely unforgiving. When someone is in trouble at sea,  stranded,  alone and taking on water, it is the US Coast Guard who answers the call. They will go out in extremely adverse conditions and lay their lives on the line to rescue those in need.  

It was such a pleasure and honor working with them. As you would expect from any US military unit, their level of professionalism and expertise were unparalleled. During my several day shoot with them I was granted access to photograph them working on both their 47 foot and 52 foot motor lifeboats as they did high seas surf training, man overboard rescue training, boat to boat rescues and towing drills.

The most exciting activity of the bunch, hands down was the high seas surf training. I was reminded several times by the crew and Senior officers of how lucky I was to be included in this activity, as it is extremely rare that a civilian is allowed to go out in these conditions with them. It is not something that I took lightly and did my best to capture just a little bit of what it is like for them out on the water. The experience is amazing! At times it is not unlike being in a huge washing machine as the boats are tossed around like toys by the power of these huge waves. Imagine yourself standing roughly 15 feet off the surface of the water, tethered to the railing atop the upper deck of a 47 foot boat with 5 crew members, looking up at waves that are cresting easily 10 feet higher than you.  

Now consider this… the day I was on board for surf training was a relatively tame day for them. While it was a white knuckle ride for me, it was but a fraction of the conditions that they are actually able to handle.

Quite an experience to say the least, but all in a day’s work for these folks.

Response to this project has been amazing. The overall American Worker Project has been featured in 10 articles in various magazines and has brought in a bunch of estimates and even a few decent advertising assignments. Since releasing these Coast Guard photos, my blog has received well over 1000 unique visitors in the last 3 days alone and has generated contacts for future shoot possibilities shooting the helicopter rescue branch of the Coast Guard and the possibility of shooting on an aircraft carrier with the US Navy. Fingers crossed on those…. stay tuned. :-)

To learn more about these brave folks and see more images, please see my latest blog post here: http://blog.petebarrett.com/?p=2242

You can see more of my American Worker Project by clicking this link to that gallery on my website. https://www.petebarrett.com/Projects/American-Worker-Project/thumbs

—————

APE contributor Suzanne Sease currently works as a consultant for photographers and illustrators around the world. She has been involved in the photography and illustration industry since the mid 80s. After establishing the art buying department at The Martin Agency, then working for Kaplan-Thaler, Capital One, Best Buy and numerous smaller agencies and companies, she decided to be a consultant in 1999. She has a new Twitter feed with helpful marketing information because she believes that marketing should be driven by brand and not by specialty. Follow her at @SuzanneSease.

The Daily Edit – National Geographic: Brian Finke

- - The Daily Edit, Working

February issue of National Geographic magazine cover story available here, Our 9,000-Year Love Affair with Booze.

07_cv-0217_news

© Brian Finke / National Geographic

PERMITTED USE: This image may be downloaded or is otherwise provided at no charge for one-time use for coverage or promotion of National Geographic magazine dated February 2017 and exclusively in conjunction thereof.  No copying, distribution or archiving permitted.  Sub-licensing, sale or resale is prohibited.   REQUIRED CREDIT AND CAPTION: All image uses must bear the copyright notice and be properly credited to the relevant photographer, as provided, and must be accompanied by a caption, which makes reference to NGM.  Any uses in which the image appears without proper copyright notice, photographer credit and a caption referencing NGM are subject to paid licensing.   Mandatory usage requirements: (Please note: you may select 4 branded images for online use and 3 images for print/unbranded)   1. Include mandatory photo credit with each image © Photographer / National Geographic **Please see additional credit and caption info below. 2. Show the February 2017 cover of National Geographic somewhere in the post (credit: National Geographic) unless using only one image 3. Provide a prominent link to: http://www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/2017/02/alcohol-discovery-addiction-booze-human-culture/ at the top of your piece, ahead of the photos 4. Mention that the images are from "the February issue of National Geographic magazine” Images can be found here: https://foxgroup.box.com/s/dgwhhvkm23g02mhu4thrhvbsucs4foo9

© Brian Finke / National Geographic

A Chinese newlywed toasts her guests with a traditional cup of rice wine. The drink has been consumed in China for at least 9,000 years; a chemical residue found in a jar of that age is the oldest proof of a deliberately fermented beverage. But the influence of alcohol probably extends even deeper into prehistory.

PERMITTED USE: This image may be downloaded or is otherwise provided at no charge for one-time use for coverage or promotion of National Geographic magazine dated February 2017 and exclusively in conjunction thereof.  No copying, distribution or archiving permitted.  Sub-licensing, sale or resale is prohibited.   REQUIRED CREDIT AND CAPTION: All image uses must bear the copyright notice and be properly credited to the relevant photographer, as provided, and must be accompanied by a caption, which makes reference to NGM.  Any uses in which the image appears without proper copyright notice, photographer credit and a caption referencing NGM are subject to paid licensing.   Mandatory usage requirements: (Please note: you may select 4 branded images for online use and 3 images for print/unbranded)   1. Include mandatory photo credit with each image © Photographer / National Geographic **Please see additional credit and caption info below. 2. Show the February 2017 cover of National Geographic somewhere in the post (credit: National Geographic) unless using only one image 3. Provide a prominent link to: http://www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/2017/02/alcohol-discovery-addiction-booze-human-culture/ at the top of your piece, ahead of the photos 4. Mention that the images are from "the February issue of National Geographic magazine” Images can be found here: https://foxgroup.box.com/s/dgwhhvkm23g02mhu4thrhvbsucs4foo9

© Brian Finke / National Geographic

Grapes are snacked on by a Roman soldier (left), and pressed with a massive oak-tree trunk. The juice is then fermented in open clay jars. The Romans flavored it with surprising ingredients: One of Durand’s wines contains fenugreek, iris, and seawater.

PERMITTED USE: This image may be downloaded or is otherwise provided at no charge for one-time use for coverage or promotion of National Geographic magazine dated February 2017 and exclusively in conjunction thereof.  No copying, distribution or archiving permitted.  Sub-licensing, sale or resale is prohibited.   REQUIRED CREDIT AND CAPTION: All image uses must bear the copyright notice and be properly credited to the relevant photographer, as provided, and must be accompanied by a caption, which makes reference to NGM.  Any uses in which the image appears without proper copyright notice, photographer credit and a caption referencing NGM are subject to paid licensing.   Mandatory usage requirements: (Please note: you may select 4 branded images for online use and 3 images for print/unbranded)   1. Include mandatory photo credit with each image © Photographer / National Geographic **Please see additional credit and caption info below. 2. Show the February 2017 cover of National Geographic somewhere in the post (credit: National Geographic) unless using only one image 3. Provide a prominent link to: http://www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/2017/02/alcohol-discovery-addiction-booze-human-culture/ at the top of your piece, ahead of the photos 4. Mention that the images are from "the February issue of National Geographic magazine” Images can be found here: https://foxgroup.box.com/s/dgwhhvkm23g02mhu4thrhvbsucs4foo9

© Brian Finke / National Geographic

Since it began in 1810 as a wedding celebration for the Bavarian crown prince, Munich’s Oktoberfest has grown into one of the world’s largest festivals, with more than six million visitors crowding its tents each year to drain one-liter mugs of beer. Bavaria has had a big impact on beermaking: Its Reinheitsgebot, or Beer Purity Law, passed in 1516, ushered in a global trend toward uniformity by restricting brewers to water, hops, and malt (and later yeast, after it was discovered). These days some craft brewers are pushing back, experimenting with ancient additives and unusual yeasts.

 

National Geographic

Senior Photo Editor: Todd James
Photographer:
Brian Finke

Heidi: How did this project come about, was this your first time shooting for National Geographic? 

Brian: I got a call from Todd James, Senior Photo Editor at National Geographic asking if it’d be into shooting alcohol around the world. I said, “Hell Yea!” Todd and I had worked on three previous features for the magazine, I was psyched for our fourth story together. My first story with Todd was photographing “Meat in Texas”, a story about America’s obsession with meat. That job came about from my Instagram when I was posting tons of my backyard BBQ photos, the editors were familiar with my work but seeing also my obsession with meat landed me the story, along with my career of personal and editorial work.

How much do you use Instagram as a conscious promotional tool, or is it really self expression for you?
It’s a platform for trying new things, promoting, keeping people updated on latest work, it’s an immediate outlet for sharing everything.

What advice do you have for photographers using Instagram?
Always put out personal work because that’s where the best assignments come from.

What type of specific direction did you get from the magazine? What made this assignment different?

What makes National Geographic stories different is all the research before hand; the photo editor and photographer really build the story, then of course it’s the amount of time that’s dedicated. I shot on and off for four months for this story.

Did you travel with the writer?
No just myself and my assistant

It looks like you traveled extensively for this project, did you send in images as you traveled?
I traveled all over the place going to various birth places of booze around the world, started in Peru, then South of France, Republic of Georgia, Germany, China and a few paces around the U.S. Throughout shooting I’d send in photos, discuss the project and building the story with my editor.

Shooting for National Geographic is quite an honor (and it was a cover story) if you had any internal pressure, how did you deal with it? 
I’m always a little nervous but mostly excited. It’s really amazing, it’s always something new, with so many new experiences.

The Daily Promo: Ian Bates

- - The Daily Promo

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Ian Bates

Who printed it?
SmartPress.com

Who designed it?
I did.

Who edited the images?
I did.

How many did you make?
140

How many times a year do you send out promos?
Up until now, I’ve sent 2 a year since starting my career two years ago. This year I’m sending a postcard a month that will reflect the nature of my commissioned work and project work.

How did you determine what images to use?
For this promo I wanted to show how my work is translated over various platforms. I picked a commissioned picture, a picture from a project and a personal picture from a trip I took earlier last year. My work is best seen in groupings or projects, as I believe that pictures work really well leading off each other.

 

This Week In Photography Books: Claire Felicie

by Jonathan Blaustein

Hope is a mentality.
A state of mind.

It’s not a thing you can touch, like a coffee table, or a bird’s feather.

It’s in the air around us, like oxygen, but that doesn’t mean it’s always available. Hope is often there when you need it, but not always.

Like now.

The last few weeks have seen an outpouring of grief, anger, fear, and hostility beyond anything I can recall. I’ve been conscripted several times to be the voice of reason, assuring friends and loved ones that there are precedents for what’s happening in the United States.

We have a history of nativism and racism that goes back to our nation’s founding. Even NYC, a sanctuary city if ever there was one, used to be a very rough place for foreigners. Look no further than the incredibly violent Scorcese film “Gangs of New York,” if you doubt me.

We’ve had Nixon, W. Bush, and Reagan in the modern era, but the US has a history of enacting laws to restrict immigration, or at least the status of immigrants. We all know about the Ellis Island phase, lend me your tired, your poor and your huddled masses, but America has been cruel as often as it’s been kind.

But looking back at shitty phases of our history is not a particularly effective way to summon hope, I’d suggest.

Hope requires a belief, inside one’s soul, that things are going to be OK in the end. That everything will get better, if not soon, than eventually. Unfortunately, while it can be inspired, (a la Obama,) it can’t be manufactured elsewhere and then transplanted, like a pre-fab home.

You actually have to believe, to have hope, which is why February 2017 is such a tricky time for millions and millions of people.

They’ve actually begun to doubt that things will ever get better again. I blame social media, personally, as an echo chamber of everyone else’s’ fear and misery is not the best place to hang out, if you’re trying to get your head on straight.

But Facebook is as popular as its ever been, offering people confirmation of their worst thoughts and theories: World War 3. The return of a Hitler-like force for evil. The end times.

Not good.

Basically, much of America’s population is suffering from PTSD at the moment, and apparently the condition is contagious.

As artists, though, it’s our job to look past the current moment; to think differently from the masses, even if we all share the same digital platforms. There aren’t many people with a plan of action these days, to counter the Trumpian revolution, but I’d suggest it’s the same plan that worked for you last year, and back in the Aughts, under George W.

Do your work.

Investigate what’s going on out there. Report on important stories. And summon your empathy for those who are suffering worse than you are, because caring for others stimulates positive chemicals in your brain.

Normally, I don’t dispense all my advice until I’ve reviewed a book, but I’m feeling a bit more hopeful right now, having just put down “Only The Sky Remains Untouched,” a new book by Claire Felicie that arrived in the mail this past Autumn.

It’s one of those publications that makes you into a detective, as it doesn’t explain itself until the end. And the design adds to the sense of dislocation, as the pages are shuffled to force you to connect the dots.

After opening it up, one is bombarded with bleak, sad, black and white images of wintry nature, followed by a building in a serious state of decay. Then, half of a human shows up, as the other half has been reserved for the next set of pages.

That’s the pattern that develops: the torso of a person, lying down, juxtaposed with the grim space in which the photographs are being constructed. (Or so I gather.)

They’re all men, with one exception, and many have copious tattoos. Like their environment, they’re sad, lonely, and emitting some very depressing energy.

Who are they?
Are they prisoners?
Soldiers? (Several wear camo.)

What gives?

The book’s end provides answers, as well as individual histories. The subjects are former Dutch soldiers who all suffer from PTSD. Each person agreed to be photographed in an abandoned Dutch weapons facility, to represent the horrors that kicked off their collective condition.

As you know, I almost never quote from a book’s text, but today I’m making an exception.

Ms. Felicie wrote, “This book is also an homage to all those who suffer from inner wounds and traumas and have the will to face as well as share their problems. The brave veterans you have met in this book had the courage to do so. As their recovery progresses, it is my belief that they can set an inspiring example for their companions in adversity.”

In 2017, I’d suggest we’re all “companions in adversity.” Nobody can promise you it will all be OK. Nobody knows what the future will bring, not even Elon Fucking Musk.

So instead of spending one more hour posting or commenting on FB, how about you get going on a new project, or inject some life into an existing one, and get back out there.

We’re artists, writers, journalists, editors, image makers, influencers, and nothing’s going to get better until we make it so.

Bottom Line: Haunting, inspiring look at veterans grappling with PTSD

To Purchase “Only The Sky Remains Untouched” go here: http://clairefelicie.com/only-the-sky-remains-untouched

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The Art of the Personal Project: Lars Toplemann

- - Personal Project

Personal Projects are crucial in showing potential buyers how you think creatively on your own. I am drawn to personal projects that have an interesting vision or show something I have never seen before. In this revised column, I’ll include a link to each personal project with the artist statement so you can see more of the project. Please note: projects are found and submissions are not accepted.

Today’s personal project: Lars Toplemann

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http://www.larstopelmann.com/PROJECTS/lars-stickers/thumbs

One day I discovered that my Goatee and bald head made a funny profile. It was a shadow on a wall that I traced in photoshop and made into a sticker. I started sticking them around and handing them out to friends. I really loved finding creative places to stick them and photograph them.

I post photos on Instagram and Facebook. I wheat pasted some photos onto thin plywood and showed them as a collection at Chiat Day and Team One in Los Angeles. Next to the images, I had lots of “Lars Stickers” that I gave out for free in hopes that people would stick em up and the photograph them. I have have received images of Lars Stickers from all over the world. Even on a camel’s butt in Egypt!

It’s fun to see stickers that are up after a couple years in public places, but are out of plain sight.

I continue to “stick responsibly” and shoot the sticker locations all around Portland and my travels.

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APE contributor Suzanne Sease currently works as a consultant for photographers and illustrators around the world. She has been involved in the photography and illustration industry since the mid 80s. After establishing the art buying department at The Martin Agency, then working for Kaplan-Thaler, Capital One, Best Buy and numerous smaller agencies and companies, she decided to be a consultant in 1999. She has a new Twitter feed with helpful marketing information because she believes that marketing should be driven by brand and not by specialty. Follow her at @SuzanneSease.

I Think Hiring Influencers As Photographers Is A Trend

- - Working

Is Havas hiring influencers at all and if so, how do they find them? How many followers does someone need to have in order to be considered an influencer?
We are hiring a lot of influencers! Our creatives find them directly on Instagram, sometimes they give me the person’s Instagram handle and I have to dig to find contact info or a website. I’ve seen influencers with anywhere from 50k-500k followers, it depends on if we’re paying for their influence or just hiring them as a photographer. Lately, I’ve been suggesting that photographers increase their following and post their work on Instagram. They should be using Instagram as just another portfolio tool, it’s a great way to show a cohesive body of work. Start a separate personal account for dog and kid pics.

Do you think this trend is going to continue or so you see signs of it evolving?
I think hiring influencers as photographers is a trend, the technical ability and production sense that photographers bring to the table is worth so much more. I think it’s going to take a while for clients to see it since a lot of them are just starting to get their feet wet in this medium. 

Read more: Trend meets Tradition: Meet Haley Silverman | Notes From A Rep’s Journal