JESSICA TODD HARPER: The Home Stage at Rick Wester Fine Art

Marshall with Family and the World, 2013
Photograph © Jessica Todd Harper

Becky, June, Jessica, Mary, 2013
Photograph © Jessica Todd Harper


Coinciding with the release of her second monograph, The Home Stage (Damiani Editore), Jessica Todd Harper will be featured in her first solo exhibition at Rick Wester Fine Art, opening November 6th. Her first monograph, Interior Exposure (Damiani, 2008) firmly established Harper as an insightful, intelligent and talented photographer of the domestic documentary genre in the vein of Emmet Gowin, Larry Fink and Tina Barney. The Home Stage picks up where Interior Exposure leaves off, a sequel to a family’s story where the first installment’s introduction of the characters laid the foundation for further expansion, empathy and examination. As the title implies, the images in The Home Stage are theater, an image play that opens onto a world described from scene to scene.

Marshall and Christopher, 2008
Photograph © Jessica Todd Harper

Abby Sees Hugh in the Front Hall, 2013
Photograph © Jessica Todd Harper

Self Portrait with Marshall, 2008
Photograph © Jessica Todd Harper

The first sign of development is there are far more children in the latest body of work. The photographer herself has become a mother of three, her sister has given birth to a daughter and several friends’ and relations’ children appear. Harper writes in her A Note from the Artist that the book came from “the overwhelming sense that when we became parents Chris and I had entered into an alternate and strange world.” It may be in this acknowledgment that the groundswell of appreciation stems. Despite the distinctive and patrician environments where the images are executed, The Home Stage conveys a universality of familial connection. The young parents may look haggard and worn at times but there is also a stillness of acceptance and revelation in their faces that sometimes resembles religious paintings. This other worldliness is drawn out in all who face Harper’s lens, whether it is the artist shown in Madonna-like contentedness, or her 5 year old son gazing into the camera with a preternatural knowingness. Light, bathing each scene, is a cinematic thread throughout, itself a character that drives the photographer’s motivations.

Counterpoints arise. Harper’s sense of time ranges from the past, through the present and into the future. Ancestors appear in painted portraits hanging while their descendants are immortalized as well. The present state of the family is clearly described as Harper revels in the people and places of her immediate life. The future of the clan is never far off frame. Harper’s husband, Chris, has a grounded intensity whether holding his wife or his children. Meanwhile, the numerous photographs of Harper’s beguiling sister are a leit-motif, a subplot, that like the subject for much of the book, is pregnant with possibility. (Text courtesy of Rick Wester Fine Art)

November 6 to January 10
526 West 26th Street, NYC

Book Signing November 8th 1 - 3 pm

Self Portrait with Marshall (lion), 2009
Photograph © Jessica Todd Harper


FLASH FORWARD: 2015 Call for Submissions

Photograph by Jon Tonks, Flash Forward Tenth
Marcus the Weather Man, St Helena Meteorological Station, 
St Helena Island, May 2013 from the series Empire 

Flash Forward 2015: Call for Submissions
The Magenta Foundation is pleased to announce Year Eleven of Flash Forward, its Emerging Photographers Competition. 2015 will see the return of Flash Forward Festival at its home base, Boston’s Fairmont Battery Wharf, where we bring together emerging professional photographers from around the world. Concurrently in Toronto, Flash Forward programming will focus on more developed educational experiences targeting local artists and high school students.

This is an open call to all photographers working in Canada, the UK and the US for submissions. Applicants must be 34 years-of-age or under as of December 31, 2014. All submission requirements and upload instructions may be reviewed here: Magenta Foundation

Flash Forward 2015 Jurors
Julien Beaupré Ste-Marie, Managing Editor / Books & Exhibitions, The Magenta Foundation
Erin Elder, Manager, Business Development + Partnerships, The Globe + Mail
Eva Michon, Co-founder + Editor, Bad Day magazine
Gemma Barnett, Print Sales Manager, The Photographers’ Gallery
Rebecca McClelland, Group Photography Editor + Creative Director, Ian Parry Scholarship
Cheryl Newman, Photography Director, Telegraph Magazine
David Alexander Arnold, Photo Editor, Travel + Leisure
Elizabeth Avedon, Independent Curator; Writer, L’Oeil de la Photographie
Sam Barzilay, Creative Director, United Photo Industries; Co-Founder, Photoville
Alyssa Coppelman, Independent Photo Editor
Kate Gilbert, Independent Public Art Curator
Julie Graham, Editor and Publisher, aCurator
Meg Handler, Editor-at-Large, BagNews
Emily Keegin, Photography and Art Director
Divya Rao Heffley, Program Manager, Hillman Photography Initiative, Carnegie Museum of Art
Paula Tognarelli, Executive Director and Curator, Griffin Museum of Photography
Invited International Jurors:
Mauro Bedoni, Photo Editor, COLORS magazine
Raphaëlle Stopin, Curator, Writer; Photo Art Director, International Festival
of Fashion and Photography, Hyères, France

Cash and New Artist Multiple Book Prizes
One cash prize of $6,000 will be awarded to the 2015 Bright Spark, an emerging photographer whose submitted body of work is identified by the jury as being extraordinarily accomplished.

As in the past, all 2015 Flash Forward Winners and Honourable Mentions will have their work published in the catalogue that chronicles the annual juried competition. The Flash Forward group show, made up of a selection of photographs from the accompanying annual catalogue, will travel from Toronto to Boston and other places to be announced.
IN ADDITION: An Artist’s Multiple Book Prize has been added to this year’s competition. A photographer, selected by The Magenta Foundation Team, will be published. Details to be announced in the coming months.



Film Noir
Photograph © Nicholas Fedak II

The Real Thing
Photograph © Nicholas Fedak II

Dream Blizzard
Photograph © Nicholas Fedak II

The Night Cafe
 Photograph © Nicholas Fedak II

Forgotten Sunlight
Photograph © Nicholas Fedak II

"What motivates me to take a photograph is color, or the absence of it, and how light illuminates an object..." –Nicholas Fedak II

I met North Hollywood based photographer Nicholas Fedak II at the 2014 Atlanta Celebrates Photography Portfolio Review. Fedak describes his images about splendor and decay. He trys to capture a timeless quality. You can check out Nicholas Fedak's photographs on his website here.


2014 ATLANTA CELEBRATES PHOTOGRAPHY: Nigel Morris from Coney Island to Ethiopia

 The People of South Ethiopia
Photograph © Nigel Morris

The People of South Ethiopia
Photograph © Nigel Morris

Outside, New York
 Photograph © Nigel Morris

Nigel Morris with "The People of South Ethiopia" book
ACP's 2014 Portfolio Walk

I met Brooklyn based portrait and editorial photographer Nigel Morris at the 2014 Atlanta Celebrates Photography Portfolio Walk. 51 photographers traveled from across the country  to Atlanta to participate. You can check out Nigel Morris's beautiful portraits and projects on his website here.

 Coney Island, Faces on the Boardwalk
 Photograph © Nigel Morris

 Coney Island, Faces on the Boardwalk
 Photograph © Nigel Morris



"Southern Stories" Photograph by Jessica Hines

Thank you to ALL who entered Castell Photography Gallery's 2014 NEXT Juried Exhibition. I was looking for exceptional photography with a unique perspective and a cohesive look from a single, unified body of work. There were a record number of entries and it was exciting to see such wonderful works from a diverse selection of artist's. This year's NEXT exhibition will include the work of: Ben Altman, Bina Altera, Sheri Lynn Behr, Christopher Borrok, Debi Cornwall, Sharron Diedrichs, KK DePaul, Francisco Diaz, Deb Young, Fran Forman, Juno Gemes, Ray Grasse, Lavonne Hall, Jessica Hines, Bilo Hussein, Ellen Jantzen, Michael Jantzen, Sarah Jun, Won Kim, Karen Klinedinst, David Shannon-Lier, Ben Marcin, Jennifer Mcclure, Jim McKinniss, Ruben Natal-San Miguel, Jessica Owen, Randhy Rodriguez, Donna Rosser, Mark Roussel, Andi Schreiber, Magdalena Sole, and Kevin Wo.

Awards will be announced
Opening Night, November 7, 2014
Castell Photography Gallery
 2C Wilson Alley, Asheville, North Carolina



Howard Greenberg and Gerhard Steidl
Photograph © Elizabeth Paul Avedon

Saul Leiter: Early Black and White
Steidl / Howard Greenberg Library

 Hats, c.1948
Saul Leiter: Early Black and White
Steidl / Howard Greenberg Library

Gregory Wakabayashi
Book Design, Steidl / Howard Greenberg Library
Photograph © Elizabeth Paul Avedon

 Leon Levinstein. Steidl / Howard Greenberg Library

 Coney Island, c.1970
Leon Levinstein, Steidl / Howard Greenberg Library

 James Karales, Steidl / Howard Greenberg Library

Martin Luther King, Jr., 1962. 
James Karales, Steidl / Howard Greenberg Library

Howard Greenberg and his gallery teamed up with Gerhard Steidl, the preeminent German art and photography book publisher, to launch their new imprint “Steidl / Howard Greenberg Library,” with the release of three monographs – Saul Leiter: Early Black and White, James Karales, and Leon Levinstein.
“Steidl is a gifted publisher who prints photography books at the caliber they deserve to be printed,” says Howard Greenberg. “It’s a wonderful partnership, and we will be working on photography books for many years to come.”

Saul Leiter: Early Black and White
Steidl / Howard Greenberg Library, 2 volumes, 388 pages
ISBN 978-3-86521-413-3

James Karales
Steidl / Howard Greenberg Library, 176 pages
ISBN 978-3-86930-444-1

Leon Levinstein
Steidl / Howard Greenberg Library, 320 pages
ISBN 978-3-86930-443-4

HOWARD GREENBERG: The Collection and Interview

Nahui Olin, 1923 by Edward Weston
Howard Greenberg Collection

Migratory Cotton Picker, Eloy, Arizona, 1940 
by Dorothea Lange / Howard Greenberg Collection
© Library of Congress

Madrid, Spain, 1933 by Henri Cartier-Bresson
(3.14 x 4.72") Howard Greenberg Collection

"I have the first print of one of Henri Cartier-Bresson’s greatest pictures ever, and it’s a wonderful little print on beautiful paper, and went through the hands of Edward Steichen. How much more could you want?" – Howard Greenberg, read more: L'Oeil de la Photographie

Boy, 1950 by Saul Leiter. Howard Greenberg Collection

"There are millions of pictures of people looking out windows. Leon Levinstein did so many great ones and other people did great ones. There’s something about that picture and the print. For me, it’s got this haunting quality and it’s very Saul in its sensitivity"

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"Masterpieces from the Howard Greenberg Collection," photographs from the private collection of Howard Greenberg, owner of New York’s Howard Greenberg Gallery, one of the most prestigious photography galleries in the world, are on exhibition at the Joods Historisch Museum / Jewish Historical Museum, Amsterdam. Greenberg has been a leader in the modern photography market, establishing himself early on as one of the pillars of the New York photography scene for over three decades.

This extraordinary exhibition originated at the Musée de l’Elysée Photography Museum in Lausanne, Switzerland to critical acclaim. It was followed with great success at the Henri Cartier-Bresson Foundation in Paris (jointly produced by both) and then traveled to the Hungarian House of Photography in the Mai Manó House in Budapest, bringing us up to the current show at the Jewish Historical Museum in Amsterdam until January 11, 2015.

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Read the entire Interview with Howard Greenberg

Howard Greenberg, September 2014
Photograph © Elizabeth Paul Avedon


A LETTER TO HIROSHI WATANABE about his new book "The Day The Dam Collapses"

“The Day The Dam Collapses”
Daylight Books, 2014 © Hiroshi Watanabe

Dear Hiroshi,

I received your beautiful book, "The Day The Dam Collapses." I'm moved by both the images and the text. Actually I'm floored by the text. I relate to it in every way. You have put into words what everyone ignores each day while trying to control their lives and the lives of others around them. It is beyond Zen, even beyond Dharma taunting the principles of cosmic order.

I’ve always been drawn to your work beginning with your book, Findings. Then I discovered your theatrical images of traditional Noh Masks of the Naito Clan, Ena Bunraku puppets, Kabuki Players (I'm crazy about Marina Ema and Kazusa Ito), and later, Suo Sarumawashi, the "Monkey Dancing" portraits. You took a different turn in your series "Love Point,” photographing artificial Japanese Sex Dolls as models, along with almost identical live models. 

And now, the images in your new book balance somewhere between the real world and images pulled to form a single kigo. What is meant to be your point of view in this work?

Hiroshi Watanabe: I have been struggling to write my thoughts on the topic. Writing is always hard for me, but this time is harder. I am not sure if I put words together correctly.

If I have to say succinctly what my point of view is in this book, it will be simply, “there is no point.” I don't know what the truth is for sure, and you probably don't know it for sure, either. But I am thinking about it, and thus I am curious. That is why I keep looking and I keep photographing. For me, fact/reality comes first and my point of view later. This approach of mine is probably the opposite of most artists'. Most artists start with ideas, convictions, or sometimes by divine afflatus, to create something. They have the talent and they have the intelligence; they have the goals and they lead others to the artists' visions. They use art to convince others of their points of views. But I sometimes wonder--isn't reality (things happening outside) much more surprising and more creative than one can conjure up in his/her mind? Isn't the outside world more interesting and intriguing than their closed "originality"?

EA: What came first; your text, or your images?

HW: In my work, images always come first. I photograph what I am intrigued by--things that puzzle me and make me curious. Then I gather what I photographed and start thinking about the images--why I photographed them--why they are important to me, and so on..... then I edit them and put together a body of work. Only after that, I start working on text. It is always a struggle for me and I do it only to the extent that is necessary.

EA: What is your "artist statement" for this work?

HW: Here is a small section of the text from the book:
Disaster movies, like the ones with infernos, big earthquakes, or the arrival of aliens, often begin with depictions of normal daily life. For instance, we watch a mother trying to wake up a child, who resists getting up but then runs to school without having breakfast, while the mother shakes her head as her husband ignores the whole episode with his face buried in the newspaper. These mundane scenes are usually avoided in other types of movies, but they bear importance in disaster movies. The viewers know that what they are watching is a disaster movie, and so they sense these mundane scenes are in fact preludes to the terrible and unusual thing that will happen to the people on the screen.
What is important here is the fact that while the audience anticipates it, the movie characters do not know they may be involved in a huge, horrible disaster. The audience is in a sense like prophets looking down from above the clouds on the people who are living peacefully only because they are not aware of what is about to happen.
The truth is, we are all living like the characters in a disaster movie. We know we may some day face a disaster or a terrible event, but we keep living calmly because we do not know exactly what might occur and when it would be....”

“...someday I will be swallowed by the rush of the water from the broken dam and die happily, without knowing the true meaning of my life.” 

–Watanabe, Hiroshi. The Day the Dam Collapses. Daylight Books, Fall, 2014

EA: Have your children influenced your observations in your life?

HW: I am almost hesitant to say this because it is such a cliché, but it is true that children teach parents much more than parents do children. Children are curious about everything around them and they see small details that we don't see. This morning, my son stopped on the way to school, squatted down, and kept staring at a half-dried dying worm on the sidewalk until I told him that we had to go. I would never have noticed it if he didn't make me stop and look. This sort of things happens all the time. In my book, there are many small lives dead or dying. I think I started noticing them because he opened my eyes.

EA: How did this book - as a whole - come about?

HW: Initially I did not mean to start this body of work. After my son was born 6 years ago, I could not carry my usual camera, a Hasselblad.  Instead, I had to carry the baby along with diapers and bottles when we went out. I was also asked to take family pictures. So, I started to carry a small digital camera. And I stopped looking around for some time. But then I started to see things and I could not resist to photograph them.  So, I used what I had--a small digital camera to record what I saw. For five years, I took pictures of things, without much intention, that I could not ignore.  I saw and photographed many small lives, dead or dying.  Later I found these images on my computer in between my happy pictures of my happy life. I gathered them and I started to think why I took those pictures. That was how it came about.

EA: You once told me over the phone when I worked at photo-eye Gallery that you were either inspired by or influenced by Richard Avedon's photographs. 

HW: I remember talking about Richard Avedon with you. I’m not exaggerating if I say he is the biggest reason I got into photography. When I was in high school I saw the movie "Blow up" by Michelangelo Antonioni. The photographer in that movie was supposed to be modeled after David Bailey. I was young and I thought it was "cool" to be a fashion photographer. With that reason and with my way of avoiding the rigor of studying, I told my parents that I wanted to study photography in a university in Tokyo.

Richard Avedon was the most famous and coolest fashion photographer at that time, and I dreamed to be someone like him. That is why I came to U.S. (although I went to L.A. instead of N.Y.). Years passed and I happened to be in N.Y. around the year 2000 when the Whitney Museum was doing a big exhibition of Richard Avedon's work. There I saw his portrait work very closely and was amazed by the impact of those photographs. For the first time I felt like I was facing and staring at those famous people in person, as if I was just an inch away. Skin, wrinkles, eyeballs, hair, and expressions were there to see.

Strangely we always try not to see people's faces much when we stand in front of them. It is not nice to stare at people. That is what we were taught. So, being able to stare at faces for a long time was a big surprise for me. With photography we can do that. Photography helps us to find, look, and study.

EA: Hiroshi, once again it was great talking with you. Thank you for your time. 

All the best, Elizabeth.

 Photograph © Hiroshi Watanabe

 Photograph © Hiroshi Watanabe
 Photograph © Hiroshi Watanabe

Photograph © Hiroshi Watanabe

  The Day the Dam Collapses by Hiroshi Watanabe

Daylight Books / Tosei-sha, Japan

Photograph © Hiroshi Watanabe

Photograph © Hiroshi Watanabe

Photograph © Hiroshi Watanabe

The Day the Dam Collapses, By Hiroshi Watanabe
Daylight Books, 2014. 88 pp., 66 color illustrations, 7½x9½"
Published in conjunction with Tosei-sha Publishing Co., Japan



SAUL LEITER: Early Black and White Photography from the 1940's and 50's

Jean, c. 1948
Courtesy of Howard Greenberg Gallery

Scarf, c.1948
Courtesy of Howard Greenberg Gallery

Debra and Regina, c.1948
Courtesy of Howard Greenberg Gallery

‘He has a rapturous way with color, which stems from his love of the masters of modern art,’ writes Max Kozloff in the introduction to "Saul Leiter: Early Black and White." ‘But his black and white production is just as indebted to lessons he learned from those same masters.’

Saul Leiter 
to October 25, 2014

Saul Leiter, presented by Howard Greenberg Gallery, represents the first solo show of the artist’s early black and white photography from the 1940s and 50s, focus's on more than 40 images including many unique prints that have never before been exhibited. Leiter made an enormous and unique contribution to photography with a highly prolific period in New York City in the 1940s and 50s. His abstracted forms and radically innovative compositions have a painterly quality that stands out among the work of his New York School contemporaries. Well-known for his color work, Leiter’s earliest black and white photographs also show an extraordinary affinity for the medium. His distinctive imagery stems from his profound and touching response to the dynamic street life of New York City. This show includes the artist’s iconic street photography and intimate portraits of friends and family.

The exhibition coincides with the publication of "Saul Leiter: Early Black and White" a two-volume monograph published by Steidl / Howard Greenberg Library, a new imprint at Steidl. With text by Max Kozolff and an additional essay by Jane Livingston, the volumes show the impressive range of Leiter’s early photography.

From Wedding as a Funeral, c.1951
Courtesy of Howard Greenberg Gallery

LIFE Magazine, September 3, 1951
"Saul Leiter, who is a young free-lance photographer, spends a great deal of his time searching for incongruity...."text accompanying Leiter's award winning "Young Photographers Contest" spread in Life Magazine, displayed at Howard Greenberg Gallery.

Saul Leiter's 1951 LIFE Magazine "Young Photographers Contest" Entries displayed at Howard Greenberg Gallery.

Wedding as a Funeral, c.1951

Saul Leiter 
41 East 57 St NY NY
to October 25, 2014 

Many thanks to Howard Greenberg Gallery for images and text


YOLA MONAKHOV STOCKTON: Fields of Inquiry opens at Alice Austen House Museum

  Blue China, 2011
Northern Cardinal, Manomet, Massachusetts 
Photograph © Yola Monakhov Stockton

Tapestry, 2013
Tufted Titmouse, Manomet, Massachusetts 
Photograph © Yola Monakhov Stockton

 Ivory Gate, 2013
Yellow-Rumped Warbler, Manomet, Massachusetts
Photograph © Yola Monakhov Stockton

"By collaborating with scientists, ecologists, and naturalists, I gain access to wild birds captured for banding or captive birds in a research lab, and bring them into conversation with motifs common in religious iconography, ideas of the sublime, and transcendentalism, including horticulture, wilderness, Renaissance depictions of landscape in frescoes and tapestries, and Modernist painting and sculpture."– Yola Monakhov, "Field Guide To Bird Songs" (Schilt Publishing, 2015)

  Young Man in Quarry, 2009. Westchester, New York
Photograph © Yola Monakhov Stockton

Sing Sing Prison with Bird and Fawn, 2011.
Ossining, New York
Photograph © Yola Monakhov Stockton

"For years, New York based photographer Yola Monakhov honed her craft documenting the conflict in the Middle East and with personal projects in Russia. But after completing her MFA in photography at Columbia in 2007 and accepting a position teaching introduction to photography there, Monakhov realized that she longed for the complete control that the black and white medium allows. In Empire Pictures, she approaches her subject matter much in the same way as she did when shooting news stories abroad but chooses instead to slow down the process." read more, "Yola Monakhov's Empire State" by Natalie Matutschovsky, TIME LightBox

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Join the Alice Austen House for the opening of their newest exhibition, "Fields of Inquiry: Photographs by Yola Monakhov Stockton." The show features work from two series Field Guide to Bird Songs and Empire Picture of the Hudson. Stockton's work provides commentary on the photographic process through traditional documentary photography and constructed compositions. Curated by Natalie Matutschovsky, senior photo editor, TIME

"Fields of Inquiry"
Photographs by Yola Monakhov Stockton
09/21/14– 12/28/14

Exhibition Opening 
Sunday, September 21, 11am-5pm

2 Hylan Blvd at Edgewater Street
Staten Island, New York

Austen lived in “Clear Comfort,” a Victorian Gothic cottage that dates back to a 1690. The house, which is one of the oldest in New York and was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1973, overlooks the New York Narrows and has a stunning panoramic view of lower Manhattan, Brooklyn, and the Verrazano Bridge.

Directions from Manhattan by Staten Island Ferry: Subway to South Ferry (1), Whitehall Street (N/R), or Bowling Green Station (4/5) or bus or taxi to: Staten Island Ferry (25 minute ride). At the ferry terminal in Staten Island #S51 Bus to Hylan Boulevard (15 minute ride). Walk one block east to water and Alice Austen House.

Alice Austen House keeps alive the daring spirit of early American photographer Alice Austen (1866-1952) with exhibits and programs in her historic home. Austen was one of America's earliest and most prolific female photographers, and over the course of her life she captured about 8,000 images. Though she is best known for her documentary work, Austen was an artist with a strong aesthetic sensibility. Furthermore, she was a landscape designer, a master tennis player, and the first woman on Staten Island to own a car. She never married, and instead spent fifty years with Gertrude Tate. A rebel who broke away from the ties of her Victorian environment, Alice Austen created her own independent life.