JENNIFER McCLURE: Divining the Personal

Untitled from the series “Laws of Silence“ 
Photograph © Jennifer McClure
double-click to enlarge

Untitled from the series “Laws of Silence“ 
Photograph © Jennifer McClure 

Untitled from the series “Laws of Silence“ 
Photograph © Jennifer McClure 

“When something is festering in your memory or your imagination, laws of silence don't work. It's like shutting a door and locking it on a house on fire in hope of forgetting that the house is burning. “ – Tennessee Williams, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof 

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I’m a huge fan of Jennifer McClure’s intimate introspective images. Fine art and documentary photographer - and founder of the Women's Photo Alliance - Jennifer McClure is one of the most interesting contemporary voices in photography today. She uses the camera to ask and answer questions and turned the camera on herself after a long illness limited her access to other people. Join Jennifer for a week of storytelling, "Divining the Personal: How To Bring Your Life to Your Projects,"at the Maine Media Workshops in June.

I first interviewed Jennifer McClure in 2014, when her work won an award in the Castell Photography Gallery’s sixth annual exhibition I juried, NEXT: New Photographic Visions, following in the footsteps of my mentor, collector and curator Wm. Hunt. Our Interview below:

L’Oeil de la Photographie Magazine, Fall 2014

JENNIFER McCLURE is a fine art and documentary photographer based in New York City. Born in Virginia and raised all over the Southeast. “As the child of a Marine she moved frequently and traumatically. She decorated her walls with traces of her past; photographs became anchor points.” After acquiring a B.A. in English Theory and Literature, she returned to Photography in 2001, taking classes at the School of Visual Arts and the International Center of Photography. She is currently a teaching assistant at ICP. Her work has been exhibited in numerous shows and publications, and most recently was awarded CENTER’s Editor’s Choice by Vanity Fair’s Susan White.

EA: Is your photograph, Untitled, part of an ongoing series?

JM: This image is from a series called “Laws of Silence“, which is about personal mythology and fear of letting go of the life I was programmed to live. I was taught that having a family and a home and a church and a regular job meant that I was successful. My own family life was difficult and displaced, not something I wished to replicate, and left me distrustful of both people in general and the whole idea of the American Dream. I didn’t buy into any of it, but I didn’t know how to rewrite the story line. Eventually I realized that l don’t have to, that I just have to be comfortable with the unknown. The water is an important part of this series because I had a bad experience in the water as a child; I love the water but I’m also afraid of it. I often feel the same way about people. I’ve learned that neither is as scary as I’ve let them become in memory, that what feels overwhelming can actually be soothing and healing.

EA: Can you tell us something about the experience of shooting this image? What captured your attention to take this photograph? 

JM: I wanted to show the experience of immersing myself in something that terrifies me, of feeling lost and groundless but doing it anyway. I had just put myself out there in a personal relationship and it didn’t work out, so I was feeling very vulnerable. I wanted to disappear. I had only intended to show myself awkwardly underwater with no real frame of reference, and the bubbles were an unexpected surprise. We shot it in my friend’s pool with a cheap underwater camera. We both had to go under at the same time and shoot blindly and hope for the best. I had no idea if we got anything until I got home.

EA: Is there a quote  – your own or anyone else’s – or descriptive paragraph to accompany your image/this series?

JM: ……I read that Thomas Roma likens the making of photographs to Robert Frost’s idea of making a poem: “A poem begins with a lump in the throat; a homesickness, a lovesickness.” My pictures come from that emotional space of longing, of wishing for things that never were and might never be. I don’t know if I’m telling a story as much as trying to find a way out. I can only see a feeling clearly when I disarm and immobilize it, pin it to the wall and examine it with the others.

EA:  How did you originally get involved in photography?

JM: I shot a little for an independent newspaper in college, but I never took classes. I was en English Lit major, and I didn’t realize the storytelling power of photography until much later. I started taking continuing education classes at SVA and then moved to ICP. I was shooting anything and everything. The first real series I did was about nine years ago. I had just gotten clean and sober but I wasn’t really comfortable with the idea. I put an ad in the Village Voice to photograph substance abusers. We spent a lot of time together, and I got to ask them the questions I was afraid to ask of myself. We had different circumstances, but the same emotions and desires and needs, the same flawed coping mechanisms. This is what fascinates me, whether I am photographing myself or others: how we come to be the people we are, and how we choose to handle the lots we are given. Since then, I’ve continued to take classes that focus on this aspect of photography, the emotional rather than the technical.

EA: Is there a photography icon you met, would like to meet, or wish you had met, that has influenced or inspired you? 

JM: I recently met Sophie Calle at an opening. We weren’t introduced, but I told her I loved her show and I took a picture of her feet. I would love to have a conversation with her. The photographer who has had the biggest influence on me is Amy Arbus. I took her class as a student and then continued on for many years as a teaching assistant. I can’t begin to condense everything I learned from that experience, but here’s the most important: there is often a huge difference between intention and execution, there is no shame in reshooting, you must be genuinely interested in your subjects, and your photos have to tell a story. I was also lucky enough to meet Elisabeth Biondi. Her editing skills and advice are truly phenomenal.

EA: Apart from developing a great body of work, what are your objectives; what are you working on NEXT?

JM: I’m starting a new project on single people. I read recently that more than half of all Americans are now single. Some are happily single, some are looking, and some have given up. I’m looking to photograph all types, all ages. I can’t wait to hear these stories.

Divining the Personal:
How To Bring Your Life to Your Projects
Date:  Jun 17 – 23, 2018

 Maine Media Workshops
70 Camden Street
Rockport, Me. 04856
toll-free 877-577-7700

Photograph © Jennifer McClure


LYDIA PANAS : Studio Bizio Edinburgh Scotland



...for in every woman, there is a girl. – Salma Hayek
Lydia Panas is a highly respected fine art photographer whose work has been shown in numerous museums, including the Scottish National Portrait Gallery and the National Portrait Gallery in London.  Residing in the United States she has been the recipient of numerous awards and honors including a Whitney Museum Independent Study Fellowship and the Taylor Wessing Portrait Competition at the National Portrait Gallery.

The cross section of work exhibited at Studio Bizio spans a period of twenty years and provides viewers with insight into the depth of the artist’s voice.  The works selected for the exhibit are from four separate bodies of work, shown for the first time in the UK.  The works are melancholy with a clear eloquence of the subjects, human or otherwise.  Lydia Panas lives on her family’s rural estate and chooses to photograph her subjects with an earnestness that is all but indistinguishable from love. She has been active professionally as a fine art photographer since the 1980’s. 

Gallery Opening Exhibition
March 15th, 2018, 6-9pm
through April 30, 2018

20a Raeburn Place
Stockbridge, Edinburgh EH4 1HU
Director:  Joanna Black
RSVP # 0777-558-3675

Our framer Kate with one of Lydia’s images

New Gallery "Studio Bizio" opens in Edinburgh

I first started corresponding with Studio Bizio Gallery Director Joanna Black in 2011 from seeing her own photographs on a blog post back in the day. Many of you will remember her as a photographer at Review Santa Fe, or top 200 finalist for Critical Mass and the IPA Awards. Congratulations Joanna Black on your new venture!!!


LOUIE PALU : Front Towards Enemy

Front Towards Enemy, Yoffy Press
Documentary Photographer Louie Palu' Deconstructed Book

 Front Towards Enemy
Zhari District, Kandahar Province, Afghanistan - An Afghan soldier eats grapes during a patrol in Pashmul in Zhari District, Kandahar Province, Afghanistan. Jul 12, 2008 © Louie Palu/ZUMA Press

 Front Towards Enemy
A US soldier illuminates the legs of a comrade critically injured by an improvised explosive device attack at night on their armored vehicle for the flight medic flying with the 101st Airborne Combat Aviation Brigade who is organizing the evacuation of the wounded via a MEDEVAC helicopter to Kandahar Airfield, Kandahar, Afghanistan. © Louie Palu/ZUMA Press/New America Foundation

 Front Towards Enemy
U.S. Marine Lcpl. Damon "Commie" Connell age 20 who is part of Alpha Company of the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) Battle Landing Team (BLT) 1/6, after a patrol in Garmsir District, Helmand Province, Afghanistan at Forward Operating Base Apache North. Located in Southern Helmand Province, Garmsir has been a haven for insurgents for the last several years. Earlier this year the Marines cleared the area after a period of heavy fighting. Damon is from Las Vegas NV and this is his first tour of Afghanistan. © Louie Palu

"Front Towards Enemy is a deconstructed photobook showcasing the distinctly different ways award-winning photographer Louie Palu documented the war in Afghanistan over the course of five years. The power of Palu's images extend beyond one specific conflict to make a statement about the chaos of war and the ways media influences our perception of armed conflicts." – Yoffy Press

I usually don't like to view unbound books. They generally seem cooked up by the book designer trying to make a design statement, regardless of its effect on the photography. However, in the case of Front Towards Enemy, the mastery of documentary photographer and film maker Louie Palu's powerful images bring a cohesive message to this 'deconstucted' book – and I am appreciating each and every individual portion.

Front Towards Enemy begins with a cardboard slipcase with four components: an accordion fold image set, large almost 9x12" soldier portrait cards you can frame or display individually (I've taped mine in a row staring at me on the wall), a newsprint publication, and a staple-bound zine. The entire publication can also exist as a pop-up exhibition and comes with a diagram and instructions. 
As a huge fan of Mr. Palu's work, I am in awe of this collection and highly recommend it to all!

Photographs by Louie Palu
Essay by Rebecca Senf 
60 images in total
Edition of 750
Front Towards Enemy
Photographs © Louie Palu

 Front Towards Enemy
Photographs © Louie Palu

 Front Towards Enemy
Included is a cardboard slipcase with four components: an accordion fold image set, large almost 9x12" soldier portrait cards, a newsprint publication, and a staple-bound zine.
Front Towards Enemy
A diagram and instructions for a pop-up exhibition

Louie Palu, is a 2016-17 John Simon Guggenheim Foundation Fellow and a Harry Ransom Center Research Fellow in the Humanities at the University of Texas at Austin.

Louie is an award winning documentary photographer and filmmaker whose work has appeared in festivals, publications, exhibitions and collections internationally. He is the recipient of numerous awards including two Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting Grants, 2011-12 Bernard L Schwartz Fellowship with the New America Foundation and Milton Rogovin Fellowship at the University of Arizona. He is well known for his work which examines social political issues such as human rights, conflict and poverty. Read more Here 


MAGGIE STEBER : Half King Photo Series + The Leica Store San Francisco

from The Secret Garden of Lily LaPalma series
Photograph © Maggie Steber

from The Secret Garden of Lily LaPalma series
Photograph © Maggie Steber

 from The Secret Garden of Lily LaPalma series
Photograph © Maggie Steber

 from The Secret Garden of Lily LaPalma series
Photograph © Maggie Steber

at The Half King
Maggie Steber is presenting "The Secret Garden of Lily LaPalma", a series of photographs that mark a departure from her previous documentary work. Her exhibit opens at The Half King with a talk by the Steber, led by Anna Van Lenten, HKPS Curator, Tuesday, Mar. 20, 2018, 7:00 PM

As Maggie writes, this project is "about the dark side of me that I have, as of late, begun to re-explore. Without meaning to make them so, these photographs reveal my fears and private memories, wrapped up, not always neatly, in my life. The photographs are done spur of the moment. I go from the gut; and the imperfection of these spontaneous moments reflects what I’m after.​"

"I have let loose a part of me, joyously rebelling against the tyranny of the documentary photography that has described me for decades and defined how I am perceived as an artist. I call on all the things I loved growing up: mysteries, grade B horror films, science fiction, the noir, and sensuous forbidden ideas. I watched Hitchcock, Tarentino, Godard, Fellini, Bunuel and Antonioni, read Shakespeare and Eduardo Galeano and Dante’s Inferno, anything that smacked of the surreal, mystery, intrigue, beauty, danger, and outer space. All these ideas have convened and landed me here in the Secret Garden of Lily LaPalma.​"
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Maggie Steber is an internationally known documentary photographer, educator and photo editor whose work has appeared in major magazines, newspapers and book anthologies as well as national and international exhibitions. She has worked in 67 countries specializing in telling the stories of underrepresented people. Best known for her photo essays in National Geographic magazine and her humanistic documentation of Haiti, she published Dancing on Fire: Photographs from Haiti with Aperture. Steber has worked as a picture editor for Associated Press, a contract photographer for Newsweek, and as the Director of Photography at The Miami Herald.

Her work is included in the Library of Congress. Grants and numerous awards include: a 2017-2018 Guggenheim, a 2007 Knight Foundation grant to design prototype for New American Newspaper and website, and a 2001 Pulitzer Prize for Miami Herald coverage of Elian Gonzalez story, first prize Spot News World Press Photo Foundation for Haiti, the Leica Medal of Excellence, first prize Magazine News/Documentary NPPA PICTURES OF THE YEAR and recipient of grants from Alicia Patterson Foundation and Ernst Haas Photography.

Maggie Steber / The Secret Garden of Lily LaPalma
Exhibit Opening and Talk
Tuesday, Mar. 20, 2018, 7:00 PM
Talk led by Anna Van Lenten, HKPS Curator

The Half King Photo Series
505 West 23rd Street, NYC

* Text courtesy of The Half King 

at The Leica Store
San Francisco
through April 7, 2018



Untitled IV © Victoria J. Dean
Winner, LensCulture Emerging Talent Awards 2017

Candy Beach © Bambi No Muere
Winner, LensCulture Emerging Talent Awards 2017

Ti Pinsik, Aux Poteaux, Gonaïves, Haiti © Thomas Freteur
Juror’s Pick, LensCulture Emerging Talent Awards 2017

Zoran, 10, and Zia, 13, rehearsing for a show they will perform for their parents small family Circus “Les Pêcheurs de Rêves” (The Fishermen of Dreams) August 2017, Avignon © Stephanie Gengotti, Winner, LensCulture Emerging Talent Awards 2017 

 Cabin. Kazanlak, Bulgaria, 2015 © Vladimir Vasilev
Winner, LensCulture Emerging Talent Awards 2017

Morning Prayer, Lingshed School, isolated from the world by the towering peaks of the Northern Himalayas, between Ladakh and Zanskar © Jarek Kotomski, Winner, LensCulture Emerging Talent Awards 2017

Klompching Gallery and LensCulture present the laureates of the 2017 LensCulture Emerging Talent Awards. The 50 photographs are a selection of the strongest and most memorable work sent in by photographers working in over 160 countries around the world. You'll discover serious documentary and photojournalism projects, as well as our aesthetic celebrations of the interplay of light, color, form and texture, creative work from all parts of the globe. A single photograph has been chosen from each award-winning series, curated by Darren Ching and Debra Klomp Ching.

March 7 – 17, 2018  
 Reception: Thursday, March 8, 2018

The Opening Reception is Changed Due to the storm about to hit NYC Postponed to Thursday, March 8, 2018 6pm-8pm. Darren and Debra will be at the gallery Wednesday, 11am–3pm to welcome any photographers wishing to drop by.

 Klompching Gallery
89 Water Street
Dumbo, Brooklyn, NY


HEARTS AND BONES : A Tom Chambers' Photomontage Retrospective

Hearts and Bones  
Photographs by Tom Chambers. Foreword by Elizabeth Avedon
Unicorn Publishing Group, Chicago, 2018

The Trickster © Tom Chambers

Hearts and Bones
 A Retrospective of Tom Chambers' Photomontage Art 
 with a Foreword by Elizabeth Avedon

"Tom Chambers is a visionary artist, a mystical storyteller. When I was first introduced to his work over a decade ago, I was immediately drawn into his masterful world of staged surrealism, combining ideas and images, the mystery of which only he seemed to have the key to unlock." – Elizabeth Avedon

I'm thrilled to announce the Unicorn Publishing Group in Chicago will publish Hearts and Bones, a  retrospective book of Tom Chambers nine Photomontage series. His work has won multiple awards and is shown in galleries and exhibitions worldwide. This large format book, containing 125 images, and an introduction written by me (!), will be published in the Fall 2018. Preorder now through Photo-Eye Bookstore.
Preorder through Photo-Eye Bookstore
 Cat# ZH499H  / 208 pp., 11x11" 
Hardbound $45.00 due October 2018
Unicorn Publishing Group, Chicago



 Performers walking through the snow to the shrine.
Photograph © Yukari Chikura

A shrine, hidden in an otherworldly snow landscape, dedicated to the Sun Goddess Amaterasu. It is located in an area known for its heavy snowfalls, the border between thethree prefectures of Aomori, Iwate and Akita. © Yukari Chikura

The Godaison-mai. The two wearing the golden masks are the Ōbakase and Kobakase. The chant of the Ōbakase has been passed down from generation to generation by word of mouth. Because of the sudden death of an Ōbakase a long time ago, its meaning was lost and the performer is actually only pretending to chant. © Yukari Chikura

Photograph © Yukari Chikura 

A nōshū performing mizugori (cold water ablutions) at Makanaiyado, a ritual that is currently only executed at one of the four original localities. On this day the lake in front of the house had frozen, making the task even harder. © Yukari Chikura

ZAIDO (Dedicated to My Father…)

“My deceased father came to me in a dream. “Go to a village hidden in deep snow where I lived a long time ago,” he whispered to me. As if in a dream, I followed his instructions and boarded a train; when I disembarked at a small village, I found it covered in silvery-white snow; the landscape an otherworldly dream.” – Yukari Chikura

Following a succession of tragedies, including her father’s sudden death, her own critical injuries from an accident, and the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami, Yukari Chikura set off on a pilgrimage to northeast Japan. Her father’s whispers from a dream inspired her to follow his instructions, which were to document the 1,300-year-old Japanese ritual New Year’s festivity. Described by Steidl in a soon to be published monograph, Chikura captures photographs “of snowscapes that border on abstraction with images of the intricate masks and costumes of Zaido, depicting the cultural diversity of the participants, as well as their common bond in creating collective memory and ensuring the survival of this ritual.” I am deeply taken both visually and emotionally with the metaphysical nature of these performances

Yukari Chikura, Fotofest Portfolio Reviews 2016

FotoFest invited me to select one artist whose work I found particularly compelling from my experience as a reviewer at the 2016 Meeting Place Portfolio Reviews. I selected Yukari Chikura from the many wonderful photographers I reviewed as I was most impressed with her images and their back story. Her photographs, along with the other nine photographers chosen by 2016 reviewers, will be featured in the Biennial's "Discoveries of the Meeting Place" exhibition at the Spring Street Studios in Houston from March 10 through April 22, 2018. EA  

Artists Reception: March 20, 2018, 6-8pm 

March 10 - April 22, 2018
Spring Street Studios
1824 Spring Street
Houston, Texas

Marina Black (Russia/Canada): Selected By Patricia Conde, Director, Patricia Conde Galería (Mexico City, Mexico)

Jinhyun Cha (South Korea): Selected By Elda Harrington and Silvia Mangialardi, Encuentros Abiertos (Buenos Aires, Argentina)

Yukari Chikura (Japan): Selected By Elizabeth Avedon (New York, USA), Independent Curator  

Debi Cornwall (USA): Selected By Duan Yuting, Founder and Director, Lianzhou Foto, (Guangzhou, China)

Kirk Crippens + Gretchen LeMaistre (USA): Selected By Maarten Schilt, Founder and Director, Schilt Publishing & Gallery (Amsterdam, Netherlands)

David Fathi (France): Selected By Louise Clements, Artistic Director, Quad; and Director, Format International Photography Festival (Derby, United Kingdom)

Thomas Holton (USA): Selected By Jae-Hyun Seok, Independent Curator and Professor at Daegu Mirae College (Daegu, South Korea)

Priya Kambli (India/USA): Selected By Dan Leers, Curator of Photography, Carnegie Museum of Art (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA)

Elaine Ling (China/Canada): Selected By Xavier Soule, Owner & President, Galerie VU' & Agence VU' (Paris, France)

Dylan Vitone (USA): Selected By Malcolm Daniel, Gus And Lyndall Wortham Curator Of Photography, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (Houston, Texas, USA)

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Alongside the FotoFest 2018 Biennial's central exhibition, INDIA/Contemporary Photographic and New Media Art,FotoFest sponsors the popular Discoveries of the Meeting Place, an exhibition that originates from the FotoFest International Meeting Place Portfolio Review for Artists. FotoFest invited ten reviewers to select artists whose work was an interesting discovery from their experience at the 2016 Meeting Place Portfolio Reviews. These artists are featured in the Biennial's Discoveries of the Meeting Place exhibition. The Meeting Place has established itself as a launching pad for the careers of artists, and these Discoveries are among its most successful, finding opportunities for exhibition, publication, and sales across the globe as a result of the portfolio reviews. FotoFest is proud to highlight this group of artists as a testament to their success.