RYAN PFLUGER: Q+A With Alison Zavos

Tilda Swinton
Photographs (c) Ryan Pfluger
/All Rights Reserved

Photographs (c) Ryan Pfluger /All Rights Reserved

Photographs (c) Ryan Pfluger /All Rights Reserved

Photographs (c) Ryan Pfluger /All Rights Reserved

Ryan Pfluger was born and raised in New York. His images deal with the subtlety of body posture, the gaze, body types, and pushing the role of self-portraiture. Ryan works with a broad range of editorial clients including New York Times Magazine, OUT, Details, Time Out NY, and Angeleno. (glasshouseassignment.com)

Q+A Ryan Pfluger

with Alison Zavos

How would you describe your style?
‘I think my style is a real integration of photographers that inspired me when I was younger, with the present day aesthetics of the people that surround me. I am still inspired by people like Peter Hujar, Mapplethorpe, and Avedon. I think my style is a combination of clean, well lit intimate portraiture with an edge. However, you don’t need to be over the top to be edgy. I’m all about subtleness’.

What are some things you look for in a model?
‘I’m very particular about my models. I don’t like using the typical vision of beauty in any of my work, whether it be editorial or personal. Most of my models to me are various facets of myself. Whether they are friends, or strangers, or real models’.

Where are you currently finding inspiration?
I’m still inspired by artists of the 70’s and 80’s. However, I feel lucky to be around during a time where there are so many talented, young artists. I kind of take in everything around me though. Whether it be video games, comic books, television or music. Everything kind of leaves a little bit of something with me that I try to express in my own work. While it may not necessarily be a direct correlation to my work, it completely affects how I look at my work’.

What other contemporary photographers are you really digging now?
‘Ye Rin Mok, Hellen Van Meene, and Jason Fulford to name a few. Also, I’m completely inspired by friends like Alejandra Laviada, Dina Kantor and Shen Wei’.

What camera are you using?
‘I use a Mamiya RZ for 95% of the stuff I do. I’m very much attached to using film, and probably won’t change that anytime soon’.

If there could be a soundtrack to your images, what songs or artists would be included?
‘To me, there is a soundtrack that goes along with my work. Kate Bush, New Order, The Smiths, The Organ, Bon Iver, Beirut, Frightened Rabbit and Great Lake Swimmers to name a few. They all work … at least for me, in adding something to the work’.

Originally posted on Feature Shoot. Thanks Alison


BRAD BUNYEA: Wildfire Fighters

Photographs (c) Brad Bunyea /All Rights Reserved

The Ace Hotel
20 W 29th St NYC
thru Sept 20

The Oregon Fire Lines: Hiking, Burning, And Digging
In The Woods of Medford, Oregon
With the Firefighters of Grayback Forestry

Levi's has partnered with Vice Magazine to present "Americana: The Oregon Fire Lines" a documentary film that tells the story of the firefighters of the Grayback Forestry Company. DOCUMENTARY on VBS.TV

Photographs: Brad Bunyea
Film: Colton Kilgor

Presented By: LEVI'S, FILSON & VBS.TV
Opening Night Photos


EN FOCO + APERTURE GALLERY: Exhibition September 9-October 21

Oscar Gonzalez, Superheroes series, 2004-2007
Photograph (c) Dulce Pinzón /All Rights Reserved

"Oscar Gonzalez is from the State of Oaxaca, works as a cook in NY.
He sends 350 dollars home a week."

Minerva Valencia, Superheroes series, 2004-2007
Photograph (c) Dulce Pinzón /All Rights Reserved

"Minerva Valencia is from the State of Puebla, works as a nanny in NY.
She sends 400 dollars home a week

Charros at Fiestas Patrias, Downtown Houston, Texas 2005
Photograph (c) Chuy Benitez/All Rights Reserved

Matachines at Dia de Los Muertos Procession,
All Saints Church, Heights District, Houston, Texas 2005

Photograph (c) Chuy Benitez/All Rights Reserved

Exhibition: Mexico + Afuera:
Contemporary Mexican and Mexican-American Voices
Chuy Benitez, Dulce Pinzón and Monica Ruszansky

Curated by Miriam Romais of En Foco

Aperture Gallery, 547 West 27th Street, Sept 9-Oct 21

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En Foco Portfolio Review
September 25, 2010

This En Foco Portfolio Review offers one-on-one reviews with several arts professionals on the same day, in a supportive, nurturing and affordable environment. Reviewers can advise about opportunities and/or provide guidance on career development. This is an outstanding opportunity for ALL photographers to have their work critiqued by curators, editors, educators and other arts organizations.

Whether you're ready for Chelsea galleries, or just looking for feedback and advice, we have reviewers to suit all needs - you just have to be serious about your craft (call if you have questions). In between sessions, you'll be able to relax in the photographer's creative lounge and share your work with peers.

This workshop is only available to current En Foco Members (All are welcome to join). Each review session lasts for 20 minutes; photographers are guaranteed a minimum of three reviews and receive a 'gift bag.' Upon registration, participants will receive an article written by photo marketing expert Mary Virginia Swanson, on how to best prepare themselves for the Review. Read MVS's article, Assessing the Value of Attending Portfolio Review Sessions.

Calumet Photographic, 22 West 22nd Street
September 25, 2010, 10am-5:30pm

CALL FOR ENTRY: The World as of 09/10/01

Manhattan Skyline Pre-9/11

Man On A Wire, August 7, 1974 Photograph by Jim Moore
Philippe Petit illegally walked a high wire between the Twin Towers

SB D Gallery, a non-profit art digital gallery, is calling for entry for their exhibition and book, “The World, as of 09/10/01.” Enter your photographs, drawings, paintings, sculpture, or any art form that reflects good memories of where the Twin Towers once stood (1966-2001). Last year, 46 international artists participated in “Pre 911, Twin Towers Once Stood”. Your submission will be reviewed and ones that are selected will be shown at SB D Gallery and added as part of an exhibition poster and book SB D Gallery publishes. More Information Here.

Opening reception: September 11, 2010, 3-8 pm
125 East 4th Street New York, NY 10003


MATT EICH: collect.give

Elvis the Zebra, edition of 20 for collect.give
Photograph (c) Matt Eich /All Rights Reserved


Matt's Pledge: 100% of print sales. To Benefit: Critical Exposure teaches youth to use the power of photography and their own voices to become effective advocates for school reform and social change. This money is pledged towards purchasing a new professional quality camera setup for a small group of these students who have shown interest and talent in photography. By empowering young people to develop skills as documentary photographers and advocates, we expose citizens and policymakers to the realities of our current two-tiered education system as seen through the eyes of the students who confront those realities each day. www.criticalexposure.org

Carry Me Ohio
Photograph (c) Matt Eich /All Rights Reserved

Sin and Salvation in Baptist Town
Photograph (c) Matt Eich /All Rights Reserved


TIBETAN ARTISTS TRANSFORMED: Gonkar Gyatso & Losang Gyatso at The Rubin Museum

"Gonyar Gyatso's photographic series My Identity is emblematic of the artist´s major ideological shifts across national, political and stylistic borders that constitute “Tibet.” The series portrays a thangka painter at work, seated before a canvas looking out at the viewer, but each time the context is radically different." The series is in
Tradition Transformed: Tibetan Artists Respond at the The Rubin Museum of Art through October 18.

My Identity No. 1, 2003

The first image of four depicts Gyatso dressed in a traditional Tibetan robe drawing a devotional Buddha figure.

My Identity No. 2, 2003

In the second image Gyatso is dressed as a Communist Chinese painter rendering an image of Mao Tse-Tung.

My Identity No. 3, 2003

In the third image Gyatso is dressed as a contemporary refugee artist painting the Potala Palace, chief residence of the Dalai Lama before he fled to Dharamsala.

My Identity No. 4, 2003

The fourth image shows the contemporary Gyatso sitting in a modern flat in the act of creating abstract art. Photographs (c) Gonkar Gyatso /All Rights Reserved

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Gonkar Gyatso was born in 1961 in Lhasa, Tibet. After he studied fine art in Beijing, in the early ´80s he returned to Lhasa where he came into contact with the Dalai Lama’s speeches. These led him to question the truthfulness of the history he was taught as the son of governmental officers and he became acquainted with Tibetan Buddhism. He later went on a self-imposed refugee in Dharamsala, center of the Dalai Lama's Tibetan government in exile, and finally emigrated to London, where he currently lives and works.

Gyatso's art has been exhibited in galleries and museums worldwide, including in China, India, Scotland, The Netherlands, and the United States. Works by Gyatso are held in such institutions as the Pitt Rivers Museum at the University of Oxford, the Queensland Gallery of Modern Art in Australia, the Burger Collection in Switzerland, the Red Gate Gallery in Beijing, and the Newark Museum in New Jersey, as well as in numerous private collections.

Having lived throughout Asia and in the West, Gyatso's art proposes insightful statements on the cultural hybridism of globalization as well as the sea changes yet to come. (Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary)

Losang Gyatso was born in Tibet "when one could walk around Lhasa without running into a single Chinese" and grew up mainly in Britain, where he attended secondary schools during the era of the Beatles and Vietnam, the moon landing and Vietnam. Returning to a Tibetan refugee community in India, he studied Tibetan painting for two years, before arriving in the United States in 1974. He studied advertising in San Francisco, and then worked as a Creative Director for major ad agencies in New York City in the 80s and early 90s.

Losang Gyatso played a major role as the Lord Chamberlain Phala in Martin Scorsese's film, "Kundun", about the life of the 14th Dalai Lama.

Clearlight Tara by Losang Gyatso
The Rubin Museum of Art

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I knew contemporary artist Losang Gyatso for many years when he was one NYC's top advertising executives, winning awards like the Clio's, Addy's and the One show. He was the first to successfully sign and direct Whitney Houston in major commercials for Coca Cola. He began making artwork around 1990 and over the years has also designed several books on Tibet, created identity logos for Tibetan organizations such as International Campaign for Tibet, Students for a Free Tibet, Tibetan Center for Human Rights and Democracy, Tibet Fund, and opened Tibetan restaurants in San Francisco and New York City, as well as playing a major role in Martin Scorsese's movie Kundun!

In an effort to create a network for Tibetan artists, Losang founded a website and is the current Director of the Mechak Center for Contemporary Tibetan Art, which includes artist inside and outside of Tibet. He has exhibited widely in the US and Europe, and lives outside Washington D.C.

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Tradition Transformed: Tibetan Artists Respond marks the first exhibition of contemporary Tibetan art in a New York City museum. The nine Tibetan artists featured in the Rubin Museum exhibition each explore contemporary issues--personal, political, and cultural--by integrating the centuries-old traditional imagery, techniques, and materials found in Tibetan Buddhist art with modern influences and media. Tradition Transformed represents the unique position of this groundbreaking generation of Tibetan artists that includes Gonkar Gyatso, Tenzing Rigdol, Losang Gyatso, and Dedron. Several of the artists were born in Tibet while others come from Nepal or one of the large Tibetan settlements in India. Three continue to work in their Himalayan homelands, though the majority have emigrated to Europe and the United States. All have benefited from the possibilities of technology, travel, and personal artistic freedom, which inform their individual responses to the complex interaction between the traditional and the modern in both art and culture.

June 11, 2010 - October 18, 2010
Tradition Transformed: Tibetan Artists Respond

The Rubin Museum of Art


COLETTE FU: We Are Tiger Dragon People Pop-Up Project

Yi Tiger Festival
Collage (c) Colette Fu

It is said that the Yi people from Shuangbai County once lived in a dense forest disturbed by snakes and wild animals. In order to prevent themselves from being hurt, they thought out a way to guard the village. Under the lead of the black “Tiger King”, they perform all kinds of dances reflecting the production, living, and procreation of the Yi people and go to each house at the village to help get rid of evils. Thus the Tiger Dance was created ever since, showing their tiger-like strength and valor. Collage (c) Colette Fu /All Rights Reserved

Rub You Black
Collage (c) Colette Fu

The Wa people live in Cangyuan, within the Awa Mountains on the borders of Burma and China. According to legend, if the Wa sacred medicine niangbuluo" is rubbed onto girls" faces, they become increasingly beautiful; onto elders"faces, they will be healthy and long-lived; onto children's faces, they will be safe and lucky. Now they rub mud mixed with perfume. Collage (c) Colette Fu /All Rights Reserved

The Stone Forest
Photograph (c) Colette Fu

The Stone Forest
Pop-Up (c) Colette Fu

The Stone Forest
Pop-Up (c) Colette Fu

The Stone Forest dates back to the Ming Dynasty- 270 million years ago an immense expanse of water with a vast stretch of limestone sediment formed over the years on the seafloor. As a result of the crustal movement, the seabed rose gradually and a large piece of land came into being. Eroded by rain and wind, limestone ranges were shaped by time. About 200 million years ago stone peaks, pillars, and stalagmites rose abruptly from the ground and towered into the sky, looking like a vast forest of stone.

The Sani live in and around the Stone Forest, and are a subgroup of the Yi. Their lives are as colorful as their embroidered clothing, and they treasure song and dance above wealth and success. Their legend of Ashima is sung from generation to generation and is an inspiration for Sani women today who refer to it as "the song of our ethics.”

Ashima was a young Sani girl engaged to be married to (her cousin) Ahei. Azhi, the son of the village leader, in a jealous rage Kidnapped Ashima and tried to force her to marry him. Azhi unleashed a trio of tigers to kill Ahei who killed the tigers with arrows and escaped unscathed.

When Ashima and Ahei were playing by a river, Azhi used his power to generate a flood. Ashima drowned but Ahei continued to call her name only to hear his own echo. Ashima turned into river stones and her words echoed through the forest: I will never disappear even as the sun and cloud disappear, my soul and my sound will exist till the end of time. Sani people say that Ashima’s suffering is their suffering. Pop-Up (c) Colette Fu /All Rights Reserved

Red Hat Yao Woman
Pop-Up (c) Colette Fu

Single women wear black Turbans, married women shave their heads and wear a red cone hat. Pop-Up (c) Colette Fu /All Rights Reserved
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“Pop-up and flap books arose in the 13th century and illustrated ideas about astronomy, fortune telling, navigation, anatomy of the body, and other scientific principles. This history prompted me to make my own series of photographic pop-up books."–Colette Fu

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With the help of a Fulbright fellowship in 2008, Colette Fu began photographing her project "We Are Tiger Dragon People". 25 of the 55 minority tribes of China reside in Yunnan and comprise only 8% of the nation’s population, with the Han representing the majority. Many people inside China and most people outside are unaware of this cultural richness. These ethnic groups have customs, histories, religious practices, languages and lifestyles that greatly differ from their Han majority neighbors. Fu's mother is a member of the Black Yi (Nuosuo) tribe. In Yunnan, an old Yi man told her, "Although an eagle flies far into the distance, its wings will fold back." A fitting image for her work.

Pop-Up Video's
All text courtesy of Colette Fu...Thank you!


JESSICA HINES: Philly Exhibition

Photograph (c) Jessica Hines /All Rights Reserved

"On November 4th, my brother arrived in Qui Nhon, Viet Nam. It was my eighth birthday. Because my parents could no longer care for me, I was sent to live with various relatives. Gary and I didn’t see one another for years."

Photograph (c) Jessica Hines /All Rights Reserved

"While perusing Gary’s Vietnamese/English dictionary, I found it had hand-written declarations of love to him from a Vietnamese woman with whom he had fallen in love. I have since found information that confirmed their plans to marry."

Photograph (c) Jessica Hines /All Rights Reserved

"My pre-war brother, a normal and well-adjusted person had become, according to the Veterans Administration, 50% disabled. He took his own life ten years later."

Jessica Hines Exhibition "My Brother's War"
August 20 - Sept 17/ Sol Mednick Gallery
at the University of the Arts, Philly

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People’s Choice Voting has begun and we want your vote!
Vote Now! Jessica Hines BLURB Book My Brother's War

"Brilliant combination of great photography, thoughtful text, and excellent book design. Highly recommended!"–Jim Casper, Lens Culture


FOUND MY PHOTOS: Master Photographers

Photographer Saul Leiter in his Studio, 1972
Contact sheet (c) Elizabeth Paul Avedon /All Rights Reserved

Photographer Ernst Haas and Artist Anders Holmquist  
Contact sheet, 1976 (c) Elizabeth Paul Avedon /All Rights Reserved

Photographer Art Kane and model Susan Forristal, Puerto Rico
Contact sheet 1972 (c) Elizabeth Paul /All Rights Reserved

Found my contact sheets and found my negatives, 
but no longer have a darkroom to print in...