GREG KAHN : Havana Youth

 Havana Youth by Greg Kahn (Yoffy Press)

Smoke Machine at Fiesta Unica
Photograph © Greg Kahn

Miramar, Havana
Photograph © Greg Kahn
Havana Youth by Greg Kahn (Yoffy Press)

"In Havana Youth, Greg Kahn explores Cubans born after 1989, who have only known a time after the USSR dissolved and left the Caribbean nation with few resources and a growth-crippling, US-led economic embargo. Those kids, born during what is called “The Special Period”, are now in their twenties and developing a sense of individuality in a society that was historically focused on collectivism. This is their cultural counter-revolution, and they are redefining what it means to be Cuban." –Yoffy Press

Photographs by Greg Kahn
Introduction by Ariana Hernandez-Reguant
Yoffy Press 2019

Hardcover, 11.25 x 8.5 inches
144 pages + additional softcover zine
Edition of 500

ISBN: 978-1-943948-12-3
Trade Edition (unsigned):  $50.00
Signed by artist: $60.00

Greg Kahn is a Washington, DC - based American documentary fine art photographer. In August of 2012, Kahn co-founded GRAIN Images with his wife Lexey, and colleague Tristan Spinski. His work concentrates on issues that shape personal and cultural identity. His Pulitzer Prize nominated project, “It’s Not a House, It’s a Home,” explores how the foreclosure crisis in Florida defined a new class of homelessness. His recent project in Cuba considers how governance molds individuality.


KWAIDAN: Stories and Studies of Strange Things by Lafcadio Hearn. Illustrated with Photographs by Hiroshi Watanabe

  “The Story of Mimi-Nashi (Earless) Hoichi”
KWAIDAN: Stories and Studies of Strange Things
Photograph © Hiroshi Watanabe

“The Story of Aoyagi”
KWAIDAN: Stories and Studies of Strange Things
Photograph © Hiroshi Watanabe

 “The Story of O-tei”
KWAIDAN: Stories and Studies of Strange Things
Photograph © Hiroshi Watanabe

“The Dream of Akinosuke”
KWAIDAN: Stories and Studies of Strange Things
Photograph © Hiroshi Watanabe

Photo illustrated by Hiroshi Watanabe. Limited Edition with a silver gelatin print from 1 of the 4 photos above, in an edition of 25. Cased in slip case.

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KWAIDAN: Stories and Studies of Strange Things presents the complete text of Hearn’s classic 1903 book of Japanese ghost stories, collected during travels in his adopted homeland and presented in English for consumption by Western audiences. This edition pairs the original stories with twenty-eight photographs from celebrated photographer Hiroshi Watanabe, as well as an introduction from horror expert Paul Murray. Watanabe’s photographs provide illumination and illustration for these eerie tales. This new edition of a classic text is likely to appeal to worldwide fans of Japanese folklore, supernatural stories, and contemporary photography.

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 A Limited Edition of 25 / $250. in U.S.
Slip-cased with a silver gelatin print from one of the 
4 photographs above.
In the US order directly from Hiroshi Watanabe : 

In the UK order from Beyond Words / £200.00

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 Making of KWAIDAN “The Story of Mimi-Nashi Hoichi”
Buddhist spell is written over Hoichi’s body while 
the spell checker dictates for accuracy of the scriptures.
Making of KWAIDAN “The Story of Aoyagi”

Kwaidan: Stories and Studies of Strange Things is a new edition book of short classic Japanese ghost stories written by Lafcadio Hearn over a century ago. Hearn (1850-1904) was an Irishman who was born in Greece, grew up in Ireland, and emigrated to the US where he became a writer. He later moved to Japan and married a Japanese woman, had children, and became a professor. He traveled all around in Japan with his wife and heard many strange traditional folklore stories. Kwaidan is a collection of those short stories that he wrote in English for western population. He died in Japan soon after the publication of Kwaidan. Those stories are now visually revitalized by accompanying photographs by award winning photographer Hiroshi Watanabe, who has lovingly brought this edition into print for the Unicorn Publishing Group.

Hiroshi Watanabe was born in Japan. He graduated from Department of Photography at Nihon University in 1975. He moved to Los Angeles after graduation and became involved in the production of TV commercials for Japan. He later established his own production company and produced numerous commercials. He received an MBA degree from UCLA Business School in 1993. In 1995 his passion for photography rekindled, and since then he has traveled worldwide extensively photographing what he finds intriguing at that moment and place. In 2000 he closed the production company in order to devote himself entirely to the art. Since then, his work has been published and exhibited around the world, and he received numerous awards. His work is in the permanent collections of many art museums such as Philadelphia Museum of Art, Houston Museum of Fine Arts, George Eastman House, Santa Barbara Museum of Art, J. Paul Getty Museum, San Jose Museum of Art, New Mexico Museum of Art, North Carolina Museum of Art, Los Angeles County Museum of Art. In 2016, He received the Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant.

by Lafcadio Hearn and Hiroshi Watanabe

144 pages with 28 Photographs by Hiroshi Watanabe
$32.00 Hardback, trade edition
Unicorn Publishing Group


MYTH OF A WOMAN : Agnieszka Sosnowska

 My Belt, Héraðsandur, Iceland, 2011
© Agnieszka Sosnowska

 Self Portrait for Rodin, Kleppjárnsstaðir, Iceland, 2012 
© Agnieszka Sosnowska

 Self Portrait. Mjóifjörður, Iceland, 2013
© Agnieszka Sosnowska

 Longbow Practice. Self Portrait. Kleppjárnsstaðir, Iceland, 2018
© Agnieszka Sosnowska
The Icelandic landscape is beautiful, but brutally unforgiving. There is majesty in the black cliffs and glaciers, but harsh winds and long winters render them dangerous for part of the year . . . a place both alluring and treacherous, Iceland is the perfect metaphor for Agnieszka Sosnowska’s photographs about the dichotomies of womanhood.” 
Kat Kiernan, Myth of A Woman monograph 

Self Portrait. Nude, Landsendi, Iceland, 2015
 © Agnieszka Sosnowska

 Rúnar. Fremrasel, Iceland, 2018
© Agnieszka Sosnowska

 The Doll. Self Portrait. Reykjavik, Iceland, 2018
© Agnieszka Sosnowska

Photographer Agnieszka Sosnowska, exhibition of over fifty photographs, Myth of A Woman, is opening at the National Museum of Iceland May 4th, 2019. The core of the almost fifty photographs began with Sosnowska's intention to interpret the poem, “Móðir mín í kví, kví,” in a series of self-portraits in the East fjords of Iceland shot in many of the same places from where these stories originated.

Throughout Iceland’s history, women that bore children from circumstances that were not acceptable at the time - either shamed by the pregnancy or afraid their families or society would dismiss them - would leave their newborns out in the wilderness to die of exposure. “Móðir mín í kví, kví,” tells of a woman haunted by the voice of her abandoned child and driven to madness by her choice. Sosnowska has stated she is unable to bear children and this painful fact had affected her sensibility. In this way she connected with these Icelandic women and their sacrifices; to have the ability of motherhood taken away from you by means out of your control can be consuming. The result is a unique body of work, using a 4X5 view camera to create these mythical images.

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I was deeply touched by Agnieszka Sosnowska’s intensely personal self-portraits in a 2015 photo-documentary on LensCulture, years before meeting her in person at The Icelandic Photography Festival 2018. I was honored to have the opportunity to curate this exhibition, creating a path through her personal journey. I spoke with Ms. Sosnowska, currently living on a farm outside of Egilsstaðir, Iceland, about her early work and recent and past influences:

EA: What age did you begin to photograph?

I was 18 years old when I started making self-portraits as a student studying photography. I am 47 years old now and am still creating them. My professors at Massachusetts College of Art were Abe Morell, Laura McPhee, Barbara Bosworth, Nick Nixon, and Frank Gohlke. Their work ethic as professors and working artists was and still is intense. As teachers they constantly questioned why you are doing what you are doing. The program was tough. You had to deliver new work on a weekly basis and the critiques were brutally honest.

As a student, I would take the bus from Mass Art to the Arnold Arboretum in Jamaica Plain to photograph. I was visually interested in the trees and unusual plants that grow there. It took years of traveling and growing up to acquire the skills and courage of how to photograph people. To gain a person’s trust and comfort for a photograph is truly an art form.

Over time I started to place myself into the pictures at the Arnold Arboretum. I wanted to play with the composition and scale in nature. It was a matter of convenience to use myself. This convenience turned to challenge. I realized that it was not where I positioned myself into the frame but how I reacted to what was around me. What was the story? What was I trying to say? How could I make it convincing?

EA: Who were your mentor’s or photographers you admire?

AS: I am mostly influenced by filmmakers, painters, musicians and writers. As a teenager I loved Jim Jarmusch films. “Down by Law” and “Stranger Than Paradise,” taught me that black and white can be complete colors to tell a story. In college I discovered Frida Kahlo paintings. She taught me that your life can be a story. It is important enough.

The music of Kate Bush and PJ Harvey have inspired narrative in my thought process. Listening to Bush’s “Hounds of Love” as a teenager and Harvey’s “Let English Shake” was a visual experience. Those albums are masterpieces. “Into the Wild” by Jon Krakauer had a huge influence on my life. Fifteen years ago while camping in the wilderness of Iceland I would read passages from this book to my husband. This book awakened me. You can live life or wait for it to take you.

I am drawn to photographers that work with people or a place over a long period of time. It means something to them. It isn’t a project that the artist sets out to conquer. They are living it. They are the story they are telling. In order for me to keep looking at an image I have to feel it. There has to be a real connection. No matter how unbelievable the photograph might appear, you end up believing it.

Contemporary photographers I deeply admire are…Chris Killip. His 4X5 series entitled “In Flagrante” is an inspiration. He understands what it means to become part of a community in order to tell a story about it. LaToya Ruby Frazier. Her self-portraits. Wow! What a series. In my opinion she is the most important photographer living today; Mike Brodie. His portraits of his friends train hopping. He is a poet. Nan Goldin. Her portraits of her lovers and friends. Her honesty is uncompromising.

These photographers deliver such honesty in their work that it stays with you. Their photographs are able to connect and communicate to a wide range of viewers. They have something to say. Their language is universal and it stays with you long after you see it.

EA: Has living on your farm in Iceland changed your perspective?

AS: Absolutely. My husband, Runar, and I made a conscious lifestyle choice to live as we do. He and I have nothing in common as far as hobbies go but what joins us is our love of nature. We both wanted the same lifestyle and we took a chance on each other. We own 400 hectares of land with lakes. It is private and isolated even by Icelandic standards. It is very quiet and special. I can't imagine living anywhere else. I have become self reliant and independent. When problems arise, you have to solve them yourself. It’s made me stronger both physically and mentally.

EA: Why did you choose to live in Iceland?

AS: Since immigrating to Iceland 10 years ago I’ve been asked this often. My reasons range from the rural lifestyle that I’ve adopted here, a good job, beautiful nature, and more often my response ends on the topic of Icelandic women. In my eyes the female spirit in Iceland encompasses strength and community. This strength has served as an inspiration in my life as an immigrant in this new land I now call my home. 

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A catalogue will accompany the exhibition, Myth of a Woman, with a preface by Inga Lára Baldvinsdóttir, Museum Exhibitions Director; a foreword by Icelandic poet, Ingunn Snжdal; an introduction by Kat Kiernan, Director, Panopticon Gallery; and an essay by Agnieszka Sosnowska. 31 duo-tone images, 9.5 x 11,” 41 pages, soft cover (Fall, 2019).

Agnieszka Sosnowska
May 4th. 2019 – Sept 1, 2019
Curated by Elizabeth Avedon
Þjóðminjasafn Islands
National Museum of Iceland, Reykjavнk 

Agnieszka Sosnowska is represented in the U.S. by Panopticon Gallery