Friday, February 16, 2018

BELINDA FUENTES REVIEWS WERONIKA GESICKA


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            Photographer of Traces, a series of manipulated images, Weronika Gesicka resides in Poland. Like many artist, Gesicka explores ideas revolving around memory. In a reoccurring manner, Gesicka looks at the process of how images of our past, over time, evolve in our minds, blurring and fading. In a broader sense, Gesicka discusses memory in a society that eventually becomes part of history and utilizes a documenting medium to enables those ideas. Usually, she works with past photographs from images banks allowing the 50s and 60s to live in this time period with a new perspective. Because of the original context, her work slightly touches on family dynamics and gender roles. By manipulating these photos, Gesicka transforms the context in which the images were originally read and further allows the viewer to imagine their own scenarios. For the most part the viewer can easily notice or at least assume where the manipulations take place. In some instances the images are a bit uncomfortable because the viewer concludes the original image in their minds.

Surreal Photo Manipulations by Weronika Gesicka

Untitled #3

Surreal Photo Manipulations by Weronika Gesicka

Friday, February 9, 2018

Jesusa Vargas reviews Horace Poolaw

  When referencing a photographer that captured moments in time, one artist that can best be reviewed is Kiowa American "Indian" Horace Poolaw. Horace was born in 1906 and died in 1984. It was during his time that he chose to document cultural events and became known for his strong representations of his multi-tribal community and for demonstrating the presence of Native people in our country. In this blog, I want to present a few of his photos from a series titled For a Love of His People.


Horace photographed transformations during each decade in the 20th century and his subject matter depicted the environments in which he, family, and friends experienced. All his photos are black and white images displaying the attachments the people in the photo had with past and present influences. In the first image, three children stand in front of a rear facing automobile. The children, the focal point of the composition, are centered. In this image, 2 of the 3 children are Poolaw family members. One child wears a mid 1900s WWII flight cap and the other two wear attire of that time rather than Native American regalia.




In the image below, two military soldiers are seen in an aircraft. One poses and turns his head towards us for the photo. The other man continues to look on at his target on the right of the image. Both men are centered in this composition. It was interesting to see how Horace has his subjects combine there cultural past with the present day, almost an assimilation of cultures within an image. Both soldiers are wearing feathered headdresses.





In the last image below, two children are frozen in time in the image as they pose in cowboy costumes and drawing their toy guns. Neither boys are looking at the camera, but rather, they look on to the left at perhaps an enemy coming towards them outside the frame. A scene, as if almost depicted out of a movie with a country landscape.

horace-poolaw


I invite you to take time to view more of Horace Poolaw's photography. The events and culture represented are a beautiful documentation of his community and the active presence of American Indians in history.

http://nmai.si.edu/explore/exhibitions/item/?id=899

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

BELINDA FUENTES REVIEWS TOMAS JANUSKA

            At first, Gravity by Tomas Januska captured dancers turned jumpers in mid air but eventually altered to individuals without any dance experience, finding them to be less restrained. The subject is instructed to jump in the air 150-600 times in any position they prefer. Additionally, these subjects did not have a trampoline but jumped with their own energy, which leads to thinking about the shapes that were created after a loss of energy. Evidently in this project, the body is the object and subject, forming shapes they do not usually form on a daily basis. Distinctly, there is movement which aids is discerning their emotional state. While the still images are interesting, viewing the shapes the bodies make, the experience is more intriguing. Thinking about the process of jumping in the air, allowing gravity to form you seems therapeutic or cathartic. Further, there appears to be a surrendering to gravity and whatever you may be holding onto at that moment. There is a sense of freedom, releasing what your body carries even if for only a second at a time.

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Juan(Jed) Vasquez: Klaus Kampert, on Widewalls.




Klaus Kampert was born in 1953 in Dusseldorf Germany. During his childhood (a boy) he began to draw all on his own. His curiosity for the arts began at such a young age. As he got older he had focused (a pun I know) on majoring in history while keeping photography on the backburner. However, Kampert found himself at the crossroads. He had to decide on which career to pursue and which career to put away. Photography won his heart. Kampert was a self-taught artist having never taken any formal lesson. He did, however, work for many highly regarded photographers before opening his own photography studio in 1981. He matured as a photographer so much so that companies like Boss, Puma, and Audi all hired Kampert to do adds for them. Kampert photographs were loved due to the simple, elegant way that he represented a narrative. But he also well known for his nude works of art, and his representation of the human body is also simple and elegant. There is more than what meets the eye. The forms of the human body, contours, curves, as well as the strong emotions that they impart lead Kampert to remark that, “the body is but a vessel for the soul”. He does away with gimmickry and instead draws attention to the strong emotion that each photo emits. They are simple, no props, metaphors, or symbols. What one sees is what one gets. Kampert also enjoys using reflections such as the reflection that the properties of water can have. The use of geometric shapes does surround the photos. Shapes such as triangles. Spherical, or cube shapes. Kampert photos radiate a powerful sense of beauty that originates in simple, well thought out elegant forms, mixed with raw emotions.

http://crawfordphotoschool.com/film/choosing-film.php

http://www.rhdesigns.co.uk/darkroom/html/analyser_pro.html





Monday, February 5, 2018

Juan (Jed)Vasquez: Edward Weston on Art Story

Mr. Weston got his start in photography at the age of 16. I was only four years later that the magazine, camera and darkroom, published one of Weston’s photos in a full-page spread. It was about the same time frame that he left Chicago to live in California with his sister. During his stay in California he made money by going door to door and offering anyone who opened the door for him the opportunity to get a photograph. His efforts were not in vain as he was able to get himself hired to photograph family portraits, pets, children and so on. In 1908 Weston returned to Chicago and enrolled in a photography course at the Illinois college of photography. The ever-eager beaver Weston completed the course in just six months. However, his fast-hard work did not earn him a diploma. He then wound his way back to California with this new photography knowledge. Plus, while in California Weston was an eager student of his craft and learned the most by working as an assistant in the darkroom for other artists. Once he matured, as an artist, he ventured out of the country and in country to perfect his craft. He also associated with other photographers such as Ansel Adams, Willard Van Dyke, Henry Swift and others in a group that they called F/64 group.  As part of his portfolio Weston also photographed nudes.  One such photograph is called the, `knees`. It is not a full nude photo it is however an implied nude photo. The mystery of who the model could be, and if she is totally nude adds to the mystery.  It is also an implied nude photo because it was included by Weston in a series of other nude photos. Weston’s use of lighting further helps in capturing fine details in the contours, curves, and bumps of the thighs. He was really trying to capture the essence of ideal beauty. There was no gimmickry, no props, and no bullshit to his approach of photography. It was as Weston called it, `straight photography`. His knees photo is just that- what you see is what you get. Knees. Plus, by not getting complicated with a photo he allows ones imagination to fill in the blanks.  

https://www.shutterbug.com/content/darkroombrprinting-black-and-white-negatives-color-enlarger

http://mattsclassiccameras.com/how-to/darkroom-notes/

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Gabi Cruz reviews David LaChapelle


David LaChapelle is a well know American photographer and video artist. That is most known for his commercial fashion portraits of celebrities and models. LaChapelle's signature is a mixture of colorful, conceptual imagery carries the effect of both Surrealism ad Pop Art. Often comical or provocative, his use of full or partial nudity in many advertisements and editorial shoots. LaChapelle influence by the wide range of Renaissance art history, by recalling the structure or posing. 

Image result for david lachapelle
Image result for david lachapelle

Joanna Epstein by Augustine Chavez

Alternative process photography is really something I am enjoying. I like the feel that it becomes less about the photograph and more about the expression from the artist combining photography process of today and the past. An artist I come to admire is Joanna Epstein. She is an artist from Spain and has studied art in Chicago. Her work explores issues of mortality and isolation. It is interesting that she allows her process of preparing her paper to become part of the final product. I think this is part of her concept of isolation. The figure becomes abstract and feels isolated. What I also feel that is working for her is she has control of her composition. She makes these dynamic images using both her photographs and her alternative process.