Tuesday, 25 May 2010
W. Eugene Smith:
William Eugene Smith is famous photographs of the brutality vivid in World War II.
He worked for big magazines of the time covering the war and the consequences. He covered also came to the UK in the 50s to cover the general elections and the labour Party where the magazine that he was working for were doing an editorial essay against the Labour Government. The results of this series Smith presented images of the working-class Britain and one of his most famous images of the three working class farmers in south Wales. His images had a very strong impact and very dramatic. Emphasising the pain and reality of the war Smith presented images of soldier in the battle field, wounded civilians and bomb explosions. In the beginning of the 70s Smith and his wife lived in Japan and photographed the social problem of Minamata at that time, the effects of diseases cause by the discharging of heavy metal into the water that was sources around the city the results of this photo essay he exhibited a series called Tomoko Uemura in Her Bath.
46 minutes with Manjit at Canary Wharf; 6 years on the Jubilee line
62 minutes with Divina at London Bridge; 1 year on the Jubilee line
Linear is a series of 60 portraits by the artist Dryden Goodwin of the London Underground Jubilee line staff. Each of those portraits concentrates in the persons face and head. He used for this project different types of media such as: drawing, sound, photography and video. The artist developed this series over many months and developed the portraits were drawn in a variety of locations: trains operator’s cabs, signalling towers, management offices, station control room, tickets offices and gates. Linear evokes both a physical and emotional mapping of the Jubilee line. All the work is registered in sort films not longer than three minutes and it shows the progression of these drawings (in an accelerated version).
The interesting point of this exhibition is that because as it consists in the portraits of The London Underground line it has being set up all crossed the underground station, in A2 size like posters in the platform from the beginning to the end of the Jubilee Line, from Stratford to Stanmore and also is exhibited in London Bridge Underground station, Borough High Street exit.
Monday, 24 May 2010
Advertisement for Longines watches with Audrey Hepburn
Semiotics can be defined as the usage of sings, texts, images or videos. It can be used as tool to influence people to do, buy or react at something in a different way. It is normally used in media to convince and individual to choose between products or ideas. It could decode and analysis to find the true meaning and normally subliminal messages are hidden on it. A good example for the usage of semiotics is the Marlboro adverts where there is a Middle age charming male cowboy riding his horse around the mountains and smoking a cigarette. It is obvious that they are trying to implant that if the consumer smokes the same cigarette as the cowboy is smoking the consumer will be as charming and powerful as the cowboy seems to be. It is a illusion that the media try to place into consumers had but without putting it to strong words. The Marlboro Company would never put in their adverts a person sick in hospital suffering from cancer to show the reality of consequences of their product.
A different type of semiotic usage is in this advert for Longines watches with Audrey Hepburn. It influences the consumer with the same technique as the Marlboro but with a different consequence for the final advert, because in this case the semiotic is being use as a accessory to ladies and it will not has so much prejudice to the consumer.
Untitled, Twilight, 2001, Gregory Crewdson
It can be seeing as a reaction that came after modernism. Postmodernism is a contemporary culture characterized. It is a characteristic that emphasizes strong subjects such as male and female, with and black, right and left, gay and straight and so on.
It started and is understood to be a reaction to modernism. The difference between both is that modernism is normally associated with unity, certainty and identity and authority and postmodernism is difference and plurality. Fredric Jameson once said: ‘’ the postmodernism is a dominant cultural logic of late capitalism.’’
I did not really understand the difference between modernism and postmodernism so I have look at the dictionary the meaning of the word postmodernism and it gave me a better base to the subject.
Cambridge Dictionary: post-modernism
A style of art, writing, music, theatre and especially architecture (= the designing of buildings) popular in the West in the 1980s and 1990s, which includes features from several different periods in the past or from the present and past. It still a bit confusing to me but what I got from postmodernism is that everything has already being done so all produced now is a copy of the original or very influenced in the first production.
A good example of how postmodernist was used in photography is the series Twilight by Gregory Crewdson.
Room 125, West Bank Motel, Idaho Falls, ID, July 18, 1973, Stephen Shore.
Trail's End Restaurant Kanab Utah August 10 1973, Stephen Shore
American born photographer, Stephen Shore was involved with photography from a very early life. At age of 6 he received a darkroom kit as present from his uncle and from that time on he was involved with photography. His career started as early as when he was just a teenager and at the age of 24 he became the second living photographer to have a solo exhibition at the metropolitan museum of art. Today he is considered a key figure for the early colour in contemporary art photograph with his deadpan style of images.
At his early 20s he did a visual narrative of his road trip. The people that he meet on the way, the room, beds and toilets that he used to stay, the food that he ate, arts on the walls and anything else that come in front of him. Resulting an amazing series called: A road trip journal. We he publish a selection of this visual diary that he had done while road tripping across the US.
His book, Uncommon Places is used until today as reference to colour photography. He has a unique style of presenting his work and it has a very personal touch. Stephen Shore is consider one of the masters of colour photography and has proved that colour photography can be contemporary art.
Serra Pelada, Brazil, 1986
Born in Brazil, Salgado had not planned to become a photographer and it happened in a different. He was a graduated economist and was working as an economist in a International Coffee Organization where Salgado started to give serious thoughts about photography. In the 70s Salgado went to Africa and witness the way that the Africans worked in the coffee plantation was the first step to his career as documentary photographer. He worked for famous photo agency such as Sigma and Gamma before joining Magnum Photos in 1979. He worked for 5 years in Magnum and left to launch his on Photo Agency: Amazonas Images. He travelled around the world visit over 100 countries, photographing the discrimination, slavery, injustice, industrial manual labour, children, and workers. The result of many years on the road he had many publications such as; An Uncertain Grace, Workers, Terra, Migrations, The Children, Sahel and Africa. The way Salgado manage and print his images is always with very strong contrast, black and white making a statement about the message that he want to pass. He is also has been awarded with many photographic prizes and became a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and an honorary member of the Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is one of the most important documentary photographers of the 20 century and still today fighting for humanity equality.
More of Salgado:
Arthur Fellig, known in the world of photography as Weegee.
Weegee was a photojournalist that is known for his strong type of black and white photograph. Born Zloczom, Austria in 1899 moved to America when he was in his young years. Started his career in photograph working as an assistant to a commercial photographer in Manhattan. He also worked as darkroom technician for many years. 1935 was when he left the darkroom to became a freelance photographer, he install an illegal police radio on his car and a mobile darkroom on the trunk of his car so he could get in to crime scenes and register the crime before the police arrives and print the pictures and sell it to the news papers before anyone else had done it. The ability to be the first photographer on the scene of a major incident resulted in him being given the nickname. Weegee would sell his images to the majority of newspapers in New York. His images had such a different subject but always in some way liked with crime and the urban New Yorker life. His collecting of images is so vast that we could not say that he was only interested in crime but we could say that he was interested in the underground New York reality showing people what they’re not used to see.
He is one of the most known photographers of the 20 century and his ability of photojournalism in a different way is idolized by many modern photographers.
More of Weegee:
Sunday, 23 May 2010
This is a great example of feminism campaign in the third wave. Women drinking beer well known in the world as men drink.
Feminism is a very strong subject that could dislocate such a broad discussion. First because it is a strong movement, that women have fought for since the end of 19 century and second it is one of those topics similar to football and religion were each individual have their own opinion on it (of course the persons background and culture could influence a lot). But basically feminism is a campaign for women’s right and interests such as right to vote, gender equality, legal rights and others. In feminists history there are three important phases or waves as it can also be called. First was in the end of 19 century where originally it was focused in the marriage contract: after the weeding the husband would have ownership of their wives and children. There were two women’s that had a very important role of feminism at that time, Voltairine de Cleyre and Margaret Sanger both campaigning for women’s economic and sexual rights.
Second “wave” happened in 60s and different from the first time feminists focused on the equality of gender and were campaigning against discrimination. At last the third wave were feminists debating the difference feminists who believe that are important differences between sexes. The third wave also was known for the negotiation of spaces with Black feminists. Consideration of race-related subjectivist. In my opinion feminism acts were and are very important for the humanity history because even we are not treated a hundred percent equals to the opposite sex the change has being made by them and will continue to happen with time because now women are allow to vote and to have by law the same equality to men.
New Orleans Street Car, 1955 by Robert Frank
Political Rally, Chicago 1956 by Robert Frank
Robert Frank was born in 1924, Zurich, Switzerland. In 1946 Frank emigrate to United States of America and started working as fashion photographer. In 1955 Frank got a grant from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation to travel across the USA and photography the American society as it really is. Show the real American people and their life. The road trip last over two years and sometimes Frank would have his family around him, but most of the time he was doing this trip all by himself. This is the most known images of Frank. The Americans. For more than 2 years, Robert Frank would take several shoots, all over the USA, at the end of him road trip; Frank had taken over 25 thousands shoots around hundreds of villages, cities and states of America. Going from big capitals to small farms in the middle of the country side. Some of the places that Frank had passes by during this experience are Florida, Miami, New Orleans, Louisiana, Texas and Chicago. On this long trip, Robert Frank saw many different things, things that he was not expecting to see, an America that is different from everything that anyone has ever present in a series of images. Frank photographed women, man and children. Babes, cowboys, flags, and many more were the subject of his series. Today, Robert Frank is a very influential photographer of the 20 century and is the inspiration for many new photographers that uses him and his work as a base to photography. Robert Frank did a very important job for the understanding of the American society in the 50s and show with his book The Americans that the American dream could be described as fantasy and in reality it was more of an American nightmare.
Nan and Brian in bed. 1981
It all started in a very early stage of her life. When she was 15 she was sent to a different type of school were there were no classes and the programs were based in social skills. That was where Goldin started her passion for photography, and where she began her history of the most known intimate life type of documentary photographer.
Her first subject was her best friend David Armstrong, David was starting to became a drag queen, he had a women face and he was the one responsible to introduce Goldin to this new type of life. It was in the beginning of the 70s where drags could not work in the morning, they couldn’t come out of their flats. So their day would start when the sun goes down. They would go everyday to the same bar, the bar that was run by the mafia but because they liked Goldin they would allow her to take pictures inside. Goldin ones said: “I knew from a very early age that what I saw on television had nothing to do with real life, so I wanted to make a record of real life and that psychological needing included having my camera with me at all times and recording all aspects of my life and life of my friends.”
Goldin would record every situation that happened in her life, showers, cabs, girlfriends, boyfriend, abuse, drugs; it was like a visual diary for her to refer as memory. Many people were part of Goldin life. But most certainly Cookie was one of the most special one, both of them, Cookie and Goldin were bisexual and not only shared friendship but also in sexuality. Trough out cookies life Goldin photographed her everyday life, married, sickness, death of her husband and her own death. In the 80s Goldin was a drug addicted and in some point she locked herself inside the house for over 6 months. Even though difficult time Goldin never stopped registering her life with pictures, self portraits of her pain, her loneliness and her addiction. When she was in drug rehab she started to photograph herself without drug to try and find her. It did not stop there. She did many other works with her friends and even with her and her boyfriend during sex relations and the way it was meaningless.
Goldin is one of the most known photographers of her kind. She was the first one that photographed herself and her intimate life as documentary. Nothing was hidden, everything that she lived she made sure to register with images. Many can say that it was a snapshoots type of pictures and that she cannot be consider as photographer because of the lack of techniques. But in my opinion she made history, she made her history and who am to say that she not a photographer when she delivered such an amazing series of photographs like no one has never done.
Tuesday, 27 April 2010
Nowhere near series, Uta Barth.
Uta Barth is a German born photographer that was born in Berlin in 1958 and moved to the U.S when she was a teenager.
Different from most other photographer, Uta Barth use a technique to make her images to be blurred almost empty with not a clear subject.
With this approach to the photographs she, in an unclear way, engages the viewer with the pictures, making them a part of the art. Her intension is to fill the emptiness of the photograph with the viewer point of view and at the same time she tries to give a different appreciation for the everyday objects that they normally would not pay attention to it.
Her early work is very different from what she is known now; her first series of photographs showed at the Los Angeles Institute of Contemporary Art were self-portraits and she was focused on the gaze.
In 1988 she started her new series Untitled where she started to experiment with abstraction, combining painting and pre-existing photographs to her art work. By 1992 Barth’s had started with the technique that she is known now.
Ground her first series on this technique where she photographed landscapes and interiors totally blurred.
Her second series on this idea was called field, and apparently it had movement in the foreground of the images.
In 1999 Barth presented: nowhere near, her most new work where she photographed her own house, images from her living room window. This was accomplice after expending 12 months documenting what she could see from her house.
Using some more images from her house in 2000 Barth created a new series called and of time. In 2002 she had a new approach to her photographs using a group of telephone wires and branches as background to her images and released a new series called untitled.
She probably has a different way of photographing from ordinary photographers but maybe that is the reason that she has being recognized for her contribution to modern photography and also receiving the John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship in 2004.
Sunday, 21 February 2010
Robert Capa, in a Cafe, Paris, France, 1952 by Ruth Orkin
Loyalist Militiaman at the Moment of Death, Cerro Muriano, September 5, 1936 by Robert Capa
I did not really know how to start this blog and what would be my first post. After just minutes of thoughts, Robert Capa was the first thing that came in my mind. Not just because he was one of the best war photographer/photojournalist of all times in my opinion but also because he is and will be always one of my inspirations and idols. Capa was probably the first photographer that I know for his work and he is the one that I always look at and inspires my work on him. I could probably write thousands of words about this man and his remarkable work. This is a brief introduction of my favorite photographers and I hope everyone could check his history and images more in depth.
Real name: Endre Ernő Friedmann (most known as Robert Capa) was born in October 22, 1913 in Budapest.
Most known work: photojournalism/war photograph.
The Spanish Civil War
The War World across Europe
The 1948 Arab-Israeli War
The First Indochina War.
First picture that made him known across the globe was the picture known as ‘Falling soldier’ (there is a long controversy about the authenticity of this photography).
Just after World War II along the French photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson, Capa co-founded the First cooperative agency for worldwide freelance photographers. Magnum Photos.
This is just a brief note about how Robert Capa was and his work. I would advise anyone that is interested in photography to look at his portfolio and his photographs. I’m always amazed about him and his work. Not just because I love photojournalism/war photography/ documentary photography, but also because of the quality of the photographs and his personality.
I’ll always think that Capa is one of the best photographers of all times and be one of his biggest fans.
"If your photographs aren't good enough, you're not close enough."
If anyone would like to see his portfolio please check the link below.