Harpers Bazaar Japan contacted me recently asking if my “Iconic Bubble on Seine” was shot in color. Bazaar Japan informed they are publishing a book of iconic images including many of the images I shot for American Bazaar over the years.
My immediate response was “no”.
The US government, under the direction of President Richard Nixon, perceived John Lennon as a political threat because he was talking of peace in a time of war. They moved to have him deported from the country. I personally felt that was wrong and seeing the Statue of Liberty as a symbol of welcome to the United States, I felt that if we took a picture of John Lennon at the Statue of Liberty it would help dramatize his case for staying in the country. I suggested to John that we take a picture in front of the Statue and I was thrilled when he agreed.
It has always been my goal to surprise an audience with an image that challenges preconceived notions of a particular subject, especially if that person is extremely well known.
I like to think of my photographs from the 1980s as attempting to be entertainment experiences all on their own. And I often leave small clues behind in my images that might amuse my audience with a sly touch of wit.
For this portrait of Madonna, it’s important to remember the context of the period in which it was made, the late 1980s. At that time, Madonna was widely known as the “Queen of Reinvention,” because for almost every new song, album cover, video, etc, she presented herself in a completely new or different way.
Ok, so that day started out like any other on a camping trip with friends… hungover. Remember, the night before we partied on the shitty floating bar with the “rich” old guys offering us coke. Anyways… after some campfire coffee, we decided to go on a little ride. Luke mentioned that the Laughlin River Run was happening this weekend, so we said, “fuck it, it’s not that far.” Hahaha.
"A few years ago, we were driving home and spotted a giant pink fuzzy mass by the side of the road. We pulled over and to our delight it was a big pink shag rug. As well as this, it was relatively clean and fresh and seemingly not the soiled property of an ambiguous piss den. In either case, we probably still would have taken it.
"This quadriptych features four photographs from my “Seven Types of Love” series that aims to encapsulate the feeling of Agape, an ancient Greek word which describes a saintly, spiritual and altruistic love. As opposed to the other types (Ludus, Storge, Philautia, Eros, Pragma and Mania) included in the series.
THE PICTURE | THE STORY
"I met Love Bailey at the wake of a mutual friend. She looked ethereal and genderless, wearing a gown and hat over a foot tall, and when she got up to share memories, she almost spoke in poetry, and she seemed to be levitating. We ended up speaking for over an hour after the event ended, and were the last to leave.
Two months later, I got an email from her, with a couple of vague, poetic lines, inviting to someplace out in the desert, with the directive "think of the Source Family", and an address that I couldn't exactly find on maps, and dates-- nothing else. I happened to be in LA that month, and I happened to be free those days, so I packed my cameras, and some clothes, and headed out to get lost trying to find whatever address maps wouldn't direct me to.
In the foreword to “Naked Beauty”, Anne Wilkes Tucker, Curator of Photography at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, writes “Sylvie Blum’s independent and striking photographs are uniquely her own, yet exist in a tradition of women who photograph female nudes, a history that is not fully written.” Her images expand on a German tradition of female photographers such as Dora Menzler, Alice Bloch, and Erna Schulmann “who used photography of nude models to promote dance and gymnastics as ways to exalt the beauty of the human body.” Anne Wilkes Tucker states, “[Sylvie Blum’s] women are physically fit, not delicate waifs. They are proud of their athleticism and display balance and control over their exceptionally limber bodies.”
THE PICTURE | THE STORY
"Shane MacGowan was infamous. He'd been 'drunk and bloodied' in virtually every pub in London worth mentioning. He was in a punk group called 'The Nipple Erectors' at the time. I got an assignment from Melody Maker to photograph him.
THE PICTURE | THE STORY
"I spent the summer of 1983 driving out to a dusty park in East LA to document the El Hoyo Maravilla gang. I brought some of my photos of the London punk, skinhead scene to show them, explaining these were kind of like the 'gangs' in the UK.
The area was poor, hot and arid, and there was the constant sound of LAPD helicopters buzzing overhead. The gang members introduced me to their families and showed me the barrio.
THE PICTURE | THE STORY
“In 1984, the British style magazine The Face asked me to photograph the up-and-coming rap group called Run-DMC. In a time before cell phones and emails, I called the contact phone number they gave me (Jam Master Jay's home), and Jay arranged to meet me at the Hollis, Queens subway stop.
The Fahey/Klein Gallery is pleased to present Freedom Now, an exhibition of American Civil Rights photographs by celebrated documentary photographer Steve Schapiro. The exhibition opens in conjunction with the highly-anticipated release of Taschen’s edition of The Fire Next Time. This limited-edition publication pairs Schapiro’s photographs with two seminal James Baldwin essays, “Down at the Cross – Letters from a Region of My Mind” which tackles the relationship between race and religion, and the groundbreaking, “My Dungeon Shook – Letter to My Nephew on the One Hundredth Anniversary of Emancipation”.
THE PICTURE | THE STORY
The Monterey Pop Festival in Monterey, California happened 50 years ago this June. The festival took place at a time that was called the “Summer of Love” during the summer of 1967. This bacchanalian event has been characterized as the beginning of the counterculture in America. Jimi Hendrix’s performance at the festival made him a unique player to be reckoned with. Los Angeles Photographer, Ken Marcus was there to capture some of Jimi’s magical moments.
THE PICTURE | THE STORY
“In early 1978, I went on a journey to the Lower Rhine with Joseph Beuys and art historian Peter Sager. Our travels led us back to Beuys’ origins, back to his roots near the city of Kleve, where everything started – his life and his legend.
Both with varying backgrounds in photography and design Nicholas Cope and Dustin Arnold met through a commercial project in 2007 and began their first collaboration in October of 2009. Each working beyond their respective discipline they combine the mediums of painting, chemistry, sculpture, fashion and installation as a part of their image-making process.
“My camera, here, is merely the form of documentation while the fruit starts to become the negative, holding time and light in its skin for us to see. Youth only lasts so long. Life sets in. We are shaped from the beginning. And while lemons are pretty to look at, they are also bitter to taste.”, Chad Pitman.
Brendan Pattengale (b. 1984) is an American photographer. Taking up the tradition of landscape photography to situate his musings, Pattengale probes photographic methods as well as the truth in color perception. His photographs are strikingly abstract, psychedelic in the way that they vividly depict valleys and vistas, yet they maintain a certain realism in the subject matter.
THE PICTURE | THE STORY
I find great joy in portraiture. The human interaction while making a portrait leaves me with the deep satisfaction that one can receive through collaboration-- even though some sittings happen at a whirlwind pace.
I first photographed Senator Barack Obama on March 5th, 2008 in San Antonio on the morning after the Texas Presidential Primary, which he lost to Senator Hillary Clinton. I had been commissioned by TIME Magazine to shoot a cover portrait of him.
Ian Ruhter had been working as a successful commercial and sports photographer when he first discovered the wet plate collodion process. The nineteenth century photographic process involves pouring a liquid mixture of iodides, bromides, and a solution called collodion over a glass or aluminum plate. The plate is then bathed in silver nitrate, making it light-sensitive. The plate must then be quickly exposed and developed in just a few minutes, before the collodion dries and loses sensitivity. The process is expensive, laborious, and extremely unpredictable as temperature and moisture affect the chemicals greatly and can entirely alter the developing process, ruining a wet plate. But the results of this labor intensive process are undeniable-- a completely unique and incredibly detailed image, with rich layers of silver suspended in emulsion producing a three dimensional effect. Because the process is produced and controlled entirely by hand, each plate is inherently unique, with the chemicals’ process leaving irregular and impossible to reproduce beautiful ghostly shadows, halos, and ripples in each plate.
At 25 years old, Dan Winters moved from his home state of California to New York. During these personally and artistically formative years, Winters took in the city which has inspired and captivated so many artists who came before him. The photographs that comprise The Grey Ghost include the timeless icons of the city that we all know well, including the Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty. However even at a young age, Winters’ signature approach is palpable, and the images that emerge are technical, delicate, and surprising despite our familiarity with these landmarks.
Among the icons of the city, Winters captures the fleeting, beautiful, and strange happenings one experiences on the streets of New York. The serendipitous moments that only become visible to those comfortable with a city, when the bustle and noise begin to fade and one can truly begin to see what makes the city so remarkable. The Grey Ghost becomes an ode to the city-as-muse, one that eternally captivates and inspires.
This little market, Homegrown Food, in my hometown of Springfield, Missouri, is one of the first “organic” groceries to appear in our Midwestern town and is evidence of the rebirth of the small neighborhood grocery store that has taken hold nationwide. It is one of the many signs of our changing landscape, and the new state of health consciousness that has emerged in our country. But conflicting messages still abound in regard to the health conscious and the hip, and so I decided to have fun with this idea when I saw one of the workers outside smoking one day. The setting … with it’s striped awning, and the various figures and angles, and the construction workers nearby, reminded me of Balthus’ famous painting “The Street,” and so I decided to reference it as a way of enhancing or exaggerating the scene.
My extended family has a “house” we’ve visited every summer since childhood that used to be an old-one room country schoolhouse. It sits alone on a scenic hilltop in southwest Missouri. When we were kids, we spent much of our summer break here. We’d run around outside most of the time we were here, but in the afternoons, when it’d get too hot to play outside, we’d go inside the schoolhouse and lounge around on the old musty furniture, under the peeling lead paint windows, and do nothing, in a “summer vacation” kind of way. Years later, when I saw the Spanish painting. The Artist’s Children, by Mariano Fortuny, I immediately thought about my summers as a child and lying around in the old schoolhouse with the green walls, and decided to do a portrait of my nieces in that same green room. I wanted to document one of those “down time” moments between the chaos that makes summer feel like summer.
Jesse Alexander is considered the preeminent motorsport photographer of the 20th Century. His passion for the sport itself is only surpassed by his incredible dedication to document the people, cars, and places these famous races occurred.
In representing a broad range of documentary subject matter, the Fahey/Klein Gallery hosted Jesse Alexander's exhibition, Monaco, which featured photographs from Jesse's time documenting the Monaco Grand Prix from 1955 to 1971-- a time period that epitomized the glamour, prestige, and suspense of a thrilling European motorsport race.
"When photographer Daniel Kramer first met Bob Dylan, the young singer was still
largely unknown. At their initial meeting in Woodstock, Dylan seemed restless and
uncomfortable in front of the camera. Yet over the course of a year and a day, all of that
would change. From vast, enraptured concert halls to intimate recording sessions,
Kramer watched and photographed as a young folk singer transformed into the poet
laureate of a generation.", Taschen.
For me, French photographer Frank Horvat's images embody the classic tradition of straight photography, capturing the most revealing moments. His clear-eyed approach immediately engages the viewer and ultimately tells a deeper story.
In 1956, Frank Horvat was approached by an American men's magazine to photograph "Paris by Night". Although the assignment sounded slightly disreputable, Horvat was not in a position to turn down work at the time. Horvat's story below summaries his accounting of photographing at the infamous Parisian strip club, Le Sphynx.
Today, marks the 27th anniversary of the June 4th massacre, as Chinese Troops killed unarmed civilians trying to block the military’s advance towards Tiananmen Square. American photojournalist Jeff Widener made his way into Beijing, and documented the civil unrest that was occurring in the city. He has a unique story that describes how he made this iconic photograph, nominated finalist for the 1990 Pulitzer Prize, which has come to represent the single individual alone, standing up against the power and force of a determined military action.
"I have always collected portraits of artists. My reasons are quite simple-- I have a curiosity to see how artists present themselves in front of a camera. Creative people exude an indefinable presence and often project a striking persona. For me, portraits of artists are inspirational, historically relevant, and often time speak to the spirit of their own work."
- Norman Seeff
Gerd Ludwig explains in the introduction to Sleeping Cars (Edition Lammmerhuber, 2016), My cars are loners. They command their own space and enjoy showing off their presence. Like a devoted bird watcher I have learned to recognize their sleeping patterns. With voyeuristic pleasure I've spied on them in their nightgowns. I've watched some sleep in the nude; some take afternoon naps and a few lucky ones get to sleep together. I find covered cars more in L.A. than anywhere else. Here, middle-class families generally own more than one car, but their homes only have one-car garages. So many cars are left parked on the street for an extended period lovingly covered, especially during holidays, when their owners treat them like crated pets.
The Fahey/Klein Gallery is pleased to present, AIR, the inaugural exhibition of work by contemporary photographer Vincent Laforet. The exhibition shares its name with the title of Laforet’s newly released publication, which showcases ten cities photographed from the air. The cities in Laforet’s series, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Berlin, London, Miami, San Francisco, Barcelona, and Sydney, are composed of vastly different color patterns and grids, each landscape subtly revealing much of the city’s own architectural and socioeconomic history. Laforet deftly photographs these cities from a helicopter at extraordinary altitudes, ranging from 5,000 to 12,000 feet (helicopters typically fly between 500 and 1,500 feet). Coupled with Laforet’s own technical expertise, the stunning clarity and sharpness he is able to capture was only possible until very recent advancements in camera sensor technology.