Something like love

Stephen Wilkes Lecture at PhotoNOLA

Posted in Commercial, Documentary, Fine Art, Fine art, Lecutre, Moving, Photography, Pretty things by linhdy on December 24, 2010

Stephen Wilkes - Ellis Island

A few weeks ago, my boyfriend and I returned from PhotoNOLA at New Orleans where we  had the wonderful experience of hearing photographer Stephen Wilkes lecture, in the flesh.  The December 11th lecture was two hours long and focused on his personal work with glimpses of his from high school work up until his recent project on the BP Oil Spill.

The most critical moment in the lecture and (in some ways his career), was when he was serendipitously granted unlimited access to document the Ellis Island hospital complex, which housed ill immigrants from 1892 to 1954 on their way to the United States.  As he said, Wilkes was in the right place at the right time.

The abandoned hospital complex was left in all its haunting glory in a secluded section of the Island.  During that time, it was exposed to the natural elements and–most importantly– time.  Wilkes captured the beautiful decay of the rooms,  parallel to the heavy history of those who stayed and even died in within the hospital ward.   His photographs tell the story of those who suffered, lived, and died within those confines.  The photos hint at an unsettling, and sometimes light, side of humanity.

On a lighter note, his lecture segued to his Vanity Fair piece on the billion-dollar financial swindler Bernard Madoff (incredibly clever!), to his on-going documentation of China as an industrializing machine (both scary and admirable).

Wilkes ended on an uplifting note by sharing his photos document the BP oil spill.  At that moment, it became clear that he aims to use his work to drive change.  And that my friend, is incredibly inspirational.

[Photos by Stephen Wilkes, Ellis Island]

Photographer Dan Burn-Forti

Posted in Commercial, Fine Art, Fine art, Landscape, Photography, Pretty things by linhdy on December 15, 2010

Tweeted about him last week, not it’s time to show-off the best holiday photos from Dan Burn-Forti.  It’s so modern-day, Americana with a touch of spicy nostalgia and tongue-in-cheek quirkiness.

Dan Burn-Forti

[See his portfolio, full of commercial and personal projects]

Irina Rozovsky

Posted in Commercial, Fine Art, Fine art, Landscape, Photography, Portraiture, Pretty things by linhdy on December 1, 2010

Irina Rozovsky

Irina Rozovsky

Irina Rozovsky

Irina Rozovsky

Irina Rozovsky

Photos by Irina Rozovsky

Bernard Faucon and the Modern Photograph

Posted in Fine Art, Landscape, Love, Photography, Pretty things by linhdy on November 15, 2010

Just got back from a wonderful Bernard Faucon lecture at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with my wonderfully talented artist-friend Rosemary Winn (check out her work, she is amazing).

Faucon is a French artist who originally started painting before, in his own words,  realizing he had no talent and moved on to photography.  Faucon’s photographic works have themes of love, beauty and his personal favorite– childhood. Much of his photographic works explore the idyllic time of youth, sublime love and childhood dreams.

Earlier photographs explore these themes using mannequins engaged in some child-like activity, setup, scene or narrative.  As he got older, he starting photographing more conceptually like in Winter and Golden Rooms or their antithesis The Rooms of Love.

Faucon moved further away from photography in his series The Scriptures in which he built wooden words, staked them in various landscapes and photographed them with a strong flash; the words take on a ethereal quality, appearing to float above the ground.  These photos were less about the photograph and more about the words and thoughts themselves.

Finally, The End of the Image marks his last official project in photography.  These are exhibited as small photographs with powerful, poignant phrases painted on youthful skins.

Faucon led the audience from his earlier train of thought using staged photography to finally his disillusionment with staged photography.  He raises an interesting idea.  Paraphrasing his words, with the ubiquity of photography, everyone is taking photographs of everything.  “All the photographs have been taken…” There is no further need to photograph.

Instead, the artist becomes the person who selects the photograph.  For Faucon, the voice that makes a difference is the person who selects and who lends his/her perspective to the work.  And that, my friend, is why he no longer photographs.

Take a look at some of his stunning work below.  His voice is an artist’s voice that has expressed beautiful ideas.  As Faucon says, “You cannot get over the fact that it should come to an end…”

Bernard Faucon - The Probable Evolution of Time

See more of Faucon’s works at Gallery Vu.

[Images from The Probable Evolution of Time by Bernard Faucon]

Justin James King: Anything but the land

Posted in Fine Art, Landscape, Photography by linhdy on March 8, 2010

I am a big fan of landscape photography.  Photographer Justin James King gives us a new perspective of how we experience & connect with the land.  In his series And Still We Gather With Infinite Momentum, he photographs tourists as they experience the landscape– except the landscape is no where to be seen.  We’re left looking at our own experience.

Statement from King himself:

All we see when we stand in front of the landscape are archetypes: preconceived notions and pre-experienced views. Landscape is a manifestation of culture. Our perception grows out of how we have seen the landscape represented and how it has been delivered to us historically and in popular culture.

Justin James King

Justin James King

Justin James King

Robyn Cumming: The mystery

Posted in Fine Art, Photography, Pretty things, Relationships by linhdy on February 27, 2010

Whenever a photographer or artist obscures the face– it leaves me with a very unsettling feeling. But at the same time, I can’t take my eyes away. I think I am subconsciously looking for that face, or a sign.

Anyway, here are some quirky mysteries to marvel at…

Robyn Cumming
Robyn Cumming
Robyn Cumming

Check out her website, see a snapshot, or look at her gallery at The Morning News.

Brian Calvin: Exploring Nothingness

Posted in Fine Art, Pretty things by linhdy on February 14, 2010

First off, happy Valentine’s Day! In a very, UN-Valentine’s Day fashion, here are some…shall we say un-cheery paintings by Brian Calvin. What better way to celebrate cupid than look at paintings that embody a certain tension…

Calvin paints figurative paintings of androgenous, bohemian-esque young people– who seemingly hang around in an odd state of ennui. He’s been compared to David Hockey, and that’s not half bad. Either way, I can’ help but come back to his study of nothingness. It’s disconcerting to look at the kids’ elongated figures, mellow eyes and inexpressive mouths. But yet, I can’t look away. Something odd is going on. These paintings don’t have a set beginning or an end– but they take a long time to explain their nothingness. And that is a sweet story indeed.

Beyond, 2005

Beyond, 2005


Pinch, 2009

Pinch, 2009


Thing (I), 2007

Thing (I), 2007


Still Live With Flower, 2006

Still Live With Flower, 2006


Rose Gold, 2007

Rose Gold, 2007


Sunny, 2007

Sunny, 2007


The Low Road (God Out West), 2006

The Low Road (God Out West), 2006


Portrait With Bun, 2006

Portrait With Bun, 2006

Check out more works.

Lydia Panas: A study of the human condition

Posted in Family, Fine Art, Friends, Photography, Portraiture, Pretty things, Relationships by linhdy on February 8, 2010

Some human relationships cannot be summed up in words. Photographer Lydia Panas explores human relationships with quiet, personal photos depicting friends, family members, and other people she knows who are willing give her a glimpse their world.

In her series, the Mark of Abel many of her subjects pose against a natural, forest background. Her photos make use of a short depth of field– and are anything but cheesy. I can’t help but think of Diane Arbus in more ways than one.

Maybe one day all of us will be lucky enough to be captured with such a delicate, subtle eye.

Aimee Lubczanski and Her Sister

Aimee Lubczanski and Her Sister

Invincible

Invincible

Vicki and Antonio, Veronica and Sabine

Vicki and Antonio, Veronica and Sabine

Linger

Linger

It's a Matter of Perspective, Mr.President

It's a Matter of Perspective, Mr.President

Mother

Mother

Asha and Oksana W.

Asha and Oksana W.

Read an interview with Panas. Explore other blog entries.