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.
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.