SARAH MALAKOFF: Second Nature + Photolucida + The Photoville Fence

Untitled Interior (deer couch), 2010
Photograph @ Sarah Malakoff

Untitled Interior (telescopes), 2011
Photograph @ Sarah Malakoff

Untitled Interior (fur wall), 2012
Photograph @ Sarah Malakoff

Sarah Malakoff’s large-format photographs of domestic interiors appear at once familiar and strange. In her exquisite and psychologically resonant images, the rooms become both a refuge from and a reinvention of the world outside. As Linda Benedict-Jones writes in her introduction to Malakoff's book "Second Nature" published by Charta, “.....we walk through rooms large and small where brightly patterned curtains and dark wood paneling take over, as canoes become coffee tables and living rooms accommodate tree trunks....Each space is carefully transcribed in the warm vocabulary of contemporary color photographs, creating an ensemble greater than the sum of its parts.” Boundaries between inside and outside, shelter and vulnerability, the real and the imagined all become blurred. Malakoff’s formally precise compositions set the stage for viewers to imagine the characters that reside within.” I was fortunate to meet Sarah Malakoff at the 2015 Photolucida Portfolio Review in Portland, Orego. You can view her work this summer in Brooklyn on Photoville's 2015 FENCE.

"Second Nature" by Sarah Malakoff 
(Publisher: Charta)

MARINA FONT: El Peso de las Cosas + Photolucida + The Weight of Things

El Peso de Las Cosas
Photograph @ Marina Font

El Peso de Las Cosas
Photograph @ Marina Font

El Peso de Las Cosas
Photograph @ Marina Font

El Peso de Las Cosas
Photograph @ Marina Font
"What happens when the weight of something is determined by other attributes? How much do memory, traditions, a life lived or the importance that we ascribe to certain things weigh? What are the bridges that connect our experiences with our memories?"
– Marina Font
In El Peso de Las Cosas, my constant search around objects is centered in discovering their meaning and also to explore what are the stimuli that connects them to our senses in many different ways. They are things that are used, acquired, inherited, preserved and that evoke ones history and define our existence, along with the emotional weight that we attribute to them. While photographing these objects and ideas, through the act of virtually weighing them, I explore the capacity they have to represent beyond their real function or to symbolize what they actually represent. This way I play with the possibility that these visual constructions suggest new encounters and significance to the beholder.

Exhibition: El Contrato, 2009
Born in Cordoba, Argentina, now living and working in Miami, Florida, Marina Font studied at the Escuela de Artes Visuales Martin A. Malharro, Argentina. She spent the summer of 1998 studying photography at Speos Ecole de la Photographie in Paris, and earned her MFA in Photography at Barry University, Miami in 2009. Her work has been exhibited in many solo and group shows; and in the collections of the LOWE Museum at the University of Miami, Miami Dade College Museum of Art and Design's Permanent Collection, Miami, and various private international collections. We met at Photolucida's 2015 Portfolio Review.


DEBI CORNWALL: Gitmo At Home, Gitmo At Play, the Legacy of Guantánamo Bay

Smoke Break, Camp America
Photograph @ Debi Cornwall

Downtown Lyceum (Outdoor Cinema)
Photograph @ Debi Cornwall

Kiddie Pool
Photograph @ Debi Cornwall

I first met Debi Cornwall last year at the opening reception for the NEXT exhibition I juried at Castell Gallery in Asheville, NC. I was impressed by the work she entered from her series "Gitmo at Home, Gitmo at Play” photographed on the U.S. Naval Base in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba and chose one of the images for the show. This is Debi Cornwall in her own words:

"I trained in photography at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) while completing a Bachelor's degree in Modern Culture and Media at Brown University. After working for photographers Mary Ellen Mark and Sylvia Plachy, as an AP stringer, and as an investigator for the federal public defender's office, I attended Harvard Law School and practiced for more than a decade as a civil rights attorney.

Now, my values as an advocate and trained mediator, as well as my background representing innocent DNA exonerees, inform my visual work. My photographs examine the human experience of systemic injustice, trauma and transition; look to transcend simple labels of "perps" and "victims;" and explore the ways in which spaces reflect conflict and its aftermath.

"Gitmo at Home, Gitmo at Play," the first chapter in a long-term project on the legacy of Guantánamo Bay, marked my return to visual expression in 2014. The project has been profiled around the world. "
– Debi Cornwall



LYDIA PANAS: Longing In Black + Photolucida + The Mark of Abel Monograph

Photograph © 2013 Lydia Panas

Photograph © 2013 Lydia Panas

Photograph © 2014 Lydia Panas

"There is almost nothing I would rather do than look at someone through the lens of my camera. It's hard to describe what it feels like, a seduction of sorts or a way of getting close. It's got something to do with desire.  We see one another and we don't have to speak or smile.   The photograph is a record of our connection; intimate, intense and very present." – Lydia Panas

"Lydia Panas is a fine art photographer whose work has been widely exhibited in the US and internationally. Lydia was one of nine artists selected by Houston FotoFest curators for the prestigious International Discoveries Exhibition in 2007 and has since garnered numerous awards and honors, including  an Image Award from CENTER, Santa Fe. She was twice included in both the Critical Mass Top Fifty and the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize Exhibition. She has received six Pennsylvania Partner's in the Arts Grants and a Puffin Foundation Grant among others. She is currently a Visual Arts Fellow with CFEVA in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  Her work has been featured in periodicals such as the New York Times Magazine, Photo District News and Popular Photography. Lydia has degrees from Boston College, School of Visual Arts, and New York University / International Center of Photography. She has received a Whitney Museum Independent Study Fellowship." Her book, The Mark of Abel, is available at photo-eye Bookstore.

 publisher: Kehrer Verlag

GHOST PORTRAITS / October Gold 2

Text: Lydia Panas website


kaleidescope eyes
Photograph © Mary Anne Mitchell

Photograph © Mary Anne Mitchell

"Mary Anne Mitchell's work is derived from her experiences and visual "dreams" that move her to create. Her work documents the world in a manner that transforms the subject into something quite different from reality. The images depict situations, often mysterious, which draw the viewer into a narrative. The subject often appears isolated in a strange or surreal setting. In each piece, the artist invites the observer into her curious world. The images evoke ambiguous moods and each viewer’s response to them will be tempered by their own experiences. Mary Anne's artwork is primarily shot on film and printed by the artist as silver gelatin photographs."

I met Mary Anne Mitchell at Atlanta Celebrates Photography's ACP Portfolio Reviews in 2014. The above images are from one of my favorite of her series "Reflecting Back." View all of her work here.

+  +  +


GORDON STETTINIUS: Mangini Studio + Photolucida + Candela Books

A Collaboration with Terry Brown

A Collaboration with Terry Brown

 A Collaboration with Terry Brown

"Mangini Studio" Published by Candela Books 
A Collaboration between Terry Brown + Gordon Stettinius

"For a period spanning eight years or so, Gordon Stettinius, a photographer and a man of average appearance, sporadically visited the Mangini Studio in Richmond, Virginia, to have his portrait taken. Terry Brown, a fine art photographer as well as a commercial portraitist, happened, at that time, to be Mangini’s principal studio photographer.  The first of the styled portraits Brown recorded came about as the result of Stettinius’ disquieting need to experiment with the proud but oft-maligned hairstyle known to some as the permanent wave. To date, Brown and Stettinius have produced over fifty of these studio portraits.  Taken individually, the images run from believable to the slightly ridiculous. Taken collectively, one has to wonder if these two might have found something more productive to do with their time." – Candela Books 

I met photographer, curator and gallery owner Gordon Stettinius as a fellow reviewer at the recent Photolucida Portfolio Review in Portland. Up to then I'd known of him only as the publisher of one of my favorite books, "Salt + Truth," powerful photographs by Shelby Lee Adams of the hollow dwellers of eastern Kentucky.

Stettinius has been a photographer for over twenty-five years and his work can be found in numerous private and public collections. His work is represented by Robin Rice Gallery in New York and Page Bond Gallery in Richmond, Virginia. In 2010, he founded Candela Books, a fine art photography book publishing company; and in 2011, founded Candela Books + Gallery a 3,800 square foot fine art photography gallery in the downtown arts district of Richmond, Virginia.

An important must read for photographers:
by Gordon Stettinius 

 +  +  +
+  +  +

CRAIG J. BARBER: Photolucida + Tintypes

Nancy & Toulouse, 2011
Photograph (c) Craig J. Barber

 Cody Washing Potatoes, 2013
Photograph (c) Craig J. Barber

Jared In His Sugarbush, 2010 
Photograph (c) Craig J. Barber

Craig J. Barber is a photographer who travels and works using antiquarian processes and focuses on the cultural landscape.  During the past 20 years he has  focused his camera on Viet Nam, Havana, and the Catskill region of New York State, documenting cultures in rapid transition and fading from memory.  In 2006 Umbrage Editions published his book, “Ghosts in the Landscape: Vietnam Revisited,” with text by curator Alison Nordstrom.
I met Barber at the recent Photolucida Portfolio Reviews in Portland with his series "Working The Land." He explained, "There are still those who continue a close relationship with the land and all it has to offer:  hunters, farmers, woodsmen, gardeners, foragers.  I want to recognize and honor these individuals and their commitment, in a series of portraits in their working environments. I have chosen to work with the tintype process for it's feeling of timelessness and it's aesthetic connection to an era when we were all closer to the land."

+  +  +


LOLI KANTOR: Photolucida + Eastern Europe

Family Room. Bershad, Ukraine, 2008
Photograph (c) Loli Kantor 

Sisters. Bershad, Ukraine, 2008
Photograph (c) Loli Kantor 

Jewish Cemetery Cameo Pictures. Bershad, Ukraine, 2007
Photograph (c) Loli Kantor 

Natalia in her Room. Gnivan, Ukraine, 2007 
Photograph (c) Loli Kantor
Loli Kantor is a fine art and independent documentary photographer I met at Portland's Photolucida Portfolio Reviews in April. She was born in Paris, France, raised in Tel Aviv, Israel and has lived in the U.S. and now Fort Worth, Texas since 1984. 

Although both her parents were Holocaust survivors, photographer Kantor knew very little about that terrible time. In 2004, she began an odyssey in Poland and Ukraine (her parents were from different areas of Poland) that was not immediately personal. Her resulting photo album shows a progression of her observations.

On her first trip, Kantor participated in restoration work at a former concentration camp, and her images are black and white—train tracks, a foggy train window, a snow-covered road in a forest, an empty courtyard leading to her family’s home in Czestochowa, a portrait of a woman with an old family picture. The photos reflect the grimness of the past, the paths the victims took to their death. By 2008, her pictures are in color and include more people—a young woman and her baby, children rehearsing to perform at a retirement home, a table spread with platters of food. Conceived as a short-term project, the work has evolved into nearly a decade of a photographic exploration and now published as a book, Beyond The Forest, published by the University of Texas Press.

Published by University of Texas Press

+  +  +


MICHAEL KIRCHOFF: Photolucida + Austin

Road To Red Square, Moscow
Photograph (c) Michael Kirchoff
double-click image to see full frame
Transfiguration Cathedral Compound, Kizhi, Russia
Photograph (c) Michael Kirchoff
Shadow Angel, Lafayette Cemetery
Photograph (c) Michael Kirchoff

After several years of corresponding online through social media, it was great to finally meet photographer Michael Kirchoff and view his work in person at Portland's recent Photolucida Portfolio Reviews. I'm pleased to be able to announce his solo exhibit, Flawed, opening today, May 8, at the Photo Methode Gallery, Austin, Texas. This is his statement about the work in this show:

Michael Kirchoff:  Flawed

"I am inherently flawed. Deeply and irrevocably. I always have been, and I always will be. I try, make mistakes, and often fail, but not without learning something from them. Without these flaws I would not be able to properly create the images you see in this collection, as they are representative of myself as a photographic artist and as a human being. I strive to create images that are a flip side to the perfectly composed, digitally created and retouched photographs seen in ads and the covers of magazines. My art can be recognized by a timeless and ethereal quality where the imperfections of the subject, camera, or technique are often highlighted as an integral part of the image."

A large portion of the photographs on exhibit are from my two largest bodies of work, An Enduring Grace, created with long expired Polaroid materials that produce inconsistent and unpredictable results, and Vignette, created using cheap plastic toy cameras with plastic lenses that bring about softer, more unrefined looking photographs.

The use of outdated Polaroid film has been the perfect vehicle for constructing the framed and fractured reflections of many of my travels. Over time I have been able to predict and guide the unpredictable nature of this process, yet never maintaining a perfect handle on the outcome. A natural frame exists within each photograph, and within that frame a more organic and meandering texture or weakness. Once again, I am reflected within its contents.

The square photographs made with toy cameras, specifically the Chinese manufactured Holga camera, engage the use of one of the simplest of photographic tools made. Little control over exposure, and an inaccurate viewfinder require an innate ability to predict and compose the moments captured. Inaccuracy and lack of control are the hallmarks of my being.

No one person is not without needed improvement, and I am forever a work-in-progress. My images embrace, expose, and mirror the fact that I, like everyone, remain imperfect… and most certainly, flawed." – Michael Kirchoff

May 8 – June 19, 2015


JOANNA BLACK: Uncle Billy on LensCulture

Photograph (c) Joanna Black

 Pieta, Jubilee Photographic Mirror Sculpture
Galerie Lichtblick, Cologne, Germany Exhibition during Photokina 2014.  Curated by Tina Schelhorn, photograph courtesy of Tina Schelhorn. Mirror Sculpture (c) Joanna Black

I've followed self taught fine art photographer Joanna Black before her work first came "out" at Review Santa Fe in 2011. She is a true artist with a unique vision and so much Heart.  Her early photographs, taken in Bangour Hospital where her brother was a resident, were the first images that caught my eye. 

Based in Edinburgh, Black has managed to spread her creative eye across international borders. Just check out her bio. While leisurely flipping through images of participating photographers in LensCulture's FotoFest Paris 2013 (here) I recently came across Black's photograph of her Uncle Billy with Carly Simon, her family dog, which is titled Pieta (above) and just had to re-post it.

 I Want To Play Too
Bangour Hospital, Scotland  Photograph (c) Joanna Black

 Mummy There's a Man on The Moon
Bangour Hospital, Scotland  Photograph (c) Joanna Black

Henry was my brother, I never really knew him. He was 12 years older than me but in his mind never grew past the age of 2. My father came from a patrician Polish background and being unable to bear the low esteem he was held in by post war Scots, crossed the then impermeable iron curtain never to return. This left my mother with no option but to take a job as a bus conductress and to place Henry in the care of the state at Bangour Hospital, built by the Victorians to care for people who were "insane and infirm". This was especially painful to my mother as she had lost her entire family in the war (Hitler took some and Stalin the rest). That being said Henry was well cared for and was always happy, the only words he ever spoke were "Mummy" and "man in the moon". His chocolate brown eyes sparkled with happiness and he would make a noise which to my childish ears was exactly the same noise my guinea pig made when you stroked him. He lived a life of smiles until he was 33 at which point his body eventually gave up. – Joanna Black
Joanna Black is based in Edinburgh, Scotland
Photograph (c) Joanna Black


SCHOOL OF VISUAL ARTS: Fall 2015 MPS in Digital Photography Program

Clay McBride

Large Format Print Week with
Celebrity and Portrait Photographer Greg Gorman

Clareese Hill

Ksenia Tavrina

Photography Icon Bruce Davidson Lecture

Tom Ashe Reviewing Online Class Prints

The School of Visual Arts
Master of Professional Studies in Digital Photography Program

The Master of Professional Studies in Digital Photography is an intensive graduate degree program that addresses the technical and creative aspects of current digital image practices, which professional photographers and photo educators require to be at the vanguard of contemporary fine art, commercial, portrait, and fashion photography practices. Within the year, the diverse and talented students excel at producing technically outstanding and conceptually compelling images and multimedia projects, and are ideally positioned to pursue gallery representation, editorial or commercial work, as well as high-end digital retouching and consulting careers.

SVA offers two versions of the MPS Digital Photography Program; a full-time one-year On-campus/Summer Residency program for students that prefer learning in a classroom environment and a part-time two-year Online/Summer Residency for those who would benefit from the convenience and flexibility of the virtual learning experience. Both programs culminate with a summer session and group exhibition in New York City.

MPS Digital Photography Program Co-Founder and Chair, Katrin Eismann, is an internationally respected photographer, educator and author specializing in creative digital photography. Her books include Photoshop Masking and Compositing, Photoshop Restoration and Retouching, The Creative Digital Darkroom, and Real World Digital Photography, among others.

Applications for Fall 2015 MPS Digital Photography Program are being accepted now! Study with Elizabeth Avedon, Michael Foley, Greg Gorman, James Estrin, Tom P. Ashe, Darren and Debra Klomp Ching, Russell Hart, Stella Kramer, Matthew Richmond and Katrin Eismann, along with a roster of other greats! Check out the complete MPS Digital Photography Curriculum and Faculty [here].

Check out my Thesis: Book+Branding Class of 2014

Thesis: Book+Branding Class of 2013