Firstly, something new from Mike Ryder,
someone whose constantly evolving search for exactly what photography IS to him makes him worth watching…
…and probably the most beautiful pic I’ve seen in a longtime from another favourite photographer, Ralph Ballerstadt
I’m really busy at the moment and have little time for the blog – hopefully things will quieten down soon. However, here is a ‘look at this’ post. Living in Spain, but not being Spanish, I sometimes come across wonderful work by people I’ve never heard of, one such is Alfonso Brezmes. On his site, you’ll find photographs, collages, animations
I see links to some of John Matturi’s work, but I really like the viewpoint he presents
The site is well worth spending time with, even though it is a flash site!
He currently has an exhibition in Madrid at camara oscura galeria de arte
One interesting thing I like is that the work is often presented as limited edition books – a great alternative to art on the wall
I notice that Photoeye has an auction for Nancy Rexroth’s ‘Iowa’
I’ve always liked her work. She was one of the first to use the Holga-type (in her case the Diana) camera before it’s fuzzyness was ‘instant art’ or anyone had a use for it. She is also one of the few who make it work IMO – and speaking as someone who tried for a long time to do something new with it and failing miserably.
Her prints are diminutive, many just 4×4 inches.
Stephen Wirtz has the Iowa work on his web site
I recently came across the work of Patrick Lee
From his artist statement…
‘It happened suddenly and I experienced as a fact for the first time in my flesh and bones that “all is without permanence”, over what I had regretted for a long time that “all life is suffering”. I was seized by an overwhelming fear and a paralysing doubt. And just as suddenly, I arrived at yet another understanding, that to be alive and live my life “in truth” meant being present, moment by moment, in touch with reality without denial or escapism, a reality where there was present the One I sought and the One I loved.’
Now there is much to be admired in this statement as it says… absolutely NOTHING about the work! Fantastic! My hero! The work, however I really like. As someone noted in an email yesterday, I’m currently on the search for simplicity, which is true, but simplicity with content – which is damn hard to do. Clear statement, everything fully explained, but without gimmick.
Of course, one person’s gimmick is another’s medium! But I am particularly attracted to the almost ‘sidewise glance’ aesthetic that Lee uses.
Ok, no montage today. I came across Andreas whilst looking for something else, saw the graphic shapes in the thumbnails and pulled up a bigger version. These are amazing POVs that seem only to be visible in the camera
The Soma project, certainly hits some areas I’ve been working in too
I’m currently going through the process of looking at a lot of work – I tend to do this periodically, look up over the parapet and then see what other people are up to. Peter Hutchinson is someone I’ve been looking at recently
“My involvement with the natural order and impermanent intervention in that system has taken many forms. From land art works reaching from the heights of a volcano to the sea floor, I observed what was happening and what it signified to me. Lately, in collage landscapes, I have made environments that, though they don’t exist in nature, are idealised views. They range from the snow mountains of France, Switzerland and the Rockies to my own garden. In these I see patterns concerned with stretching time and place and which at the same time emulate my own experiences. Sometimes these ideas leap out of the visual into the verbal.
I feel also an almost desperate urge to recreate and record environments which are threatened and are disappearing.”
The idea of constructing idealised views I have a lot of sympathy for and find the techniques he uses intriguing. There certainly seems something about the art ‘object’ which is similar to what I’ve been trying for recently in my physically constructed (as opposed to digitally constructed) landscapes.
He currently has a book out ‘Thrown Rope’
Although Peter Hutchinson has been working with land art since the 1960s, he has yet to receive his proper due. A refreshingly modest artist, his delicate, fleeting work is extraordinarily beautiful, remarkable intelligent, and endlessly charming. Working in the vein of Andy Goldsworthy and Robert Smithson, Hutchinson’s works are ephemeral and subject to the whims of nature. Much of it is the product of his ‘thrown rope’ method – literally throwing ropes over an expanse of land, then placing lime or planting flowers along the lines determined by the ropes. The result is a snakelike garden or swerving lines of bleached land. Hutchinson has even thrown ropes underwater, planting flowers at the bottom of a lake or stringing oranges or onions beneath the water’s surface. The photographs in Thrown Rope document Hutchinson’s career, and are reproduced along with the artist’s own hand-written notes.
Here is a pdf catalogue of his ‘Progonosis Earth’ Landscape series. Note these are all unique works, no editions going on here.
One of the (few) advantages about being an autodidact in the art world, is that you come across people already established and you’ve never heard of them! Always a nice surprise. One such is Calum Colvin
Calum projects paintings onto room surfaces to create a still/life montage.
In one project he reinterpreted the work of the masters in this way.
I must admit to being totally overwhelmed by these – definitely in the ‘I would buy it if I could afford it’ category.
From the website
Colvin’s triumph is to have reclaimed these apparently dusty objects for the late 20th century. His apparent blasphemy is their resurrection as he opens our eyes to the universality of the old masters. It is not by chance that his figures twine around the very fabric of his room-sets. The implication is that their personae are locked within the human psyche, as deeply embedded in the spirit of the post-modern world as the geegaws with which they share house room. Thus Venus is painted across the drawers and mirror of a dressing table and Diana the huntress becomes a languid housewife, her attendant nymphs like so many bimbos at some weird, nude, suburban coffee morning. Her bower is hung, not with swags of velveteen but with the trappings of our own baroque age – Madonna and Club 18-30 T-shirts. Actaeon shields himself, not from the stag’s skull, symbol of his ultimate transformation and death, but from its post-modern equivalent. His punishment for the crime of pornographic voyeurism is to be fettered to an ironing board. It’s a cunning piece of post-feminist visual rhetoric.
Rinko Kawauchi has two new books out, Diary 1 and Diary 2
All the images are taken with a camera phone. I’m a big fan of hers, my images are very unlike these and the sheer simplicity is something I envy.
The use of the camera phone reminds me of the work of Michal Daniels, who made this medium his own a few years ago.
Another new photographer for me is Michael Reisch.
It is quite obvious that he is aligned with what has been termed the ‘German’ school. But there is an interesting twist to the tale.
Reisch works with motifs photographed with a large-format camera. His original contact with reality is the point of departure. He then digitizes his negatives and processes them on a computer, isolating found structures and exposing their underlying features. In this way, the artist radicalizes the entire image. Above all, these interventions redefine the relationship between inside and outside. In “Architectures,” the concern is with the relationship between building interiors and outdoor surroundings; in “Landscapes,” the focus is on the question of how settings that fulfill people’s longings are constituted and concentrated within the context of vegetation and topographic modulation.
By digitally isolating elements of the scenes he photographs and removing evidence of people, Reisch seems to be reaching for something I was looking for in my Urplace project, a sense of archetypical landscape, although he goes further and seems to be suggesting, or intending to suggest, a moral component
Why does Michael Reisch transform the world of human life into a world of inanimate structures? There are two different answers to this question. The first relates to the massive changes in our living environment that took place during the late nineteen-sixties and nineteen-seventies, changes which were originally envisioned as a means of realizing the utopias of the modern age for society at large. The second answer involves an assessment of this project of the modern age: Can universal happiness be achieved through responsible action?
Reisch’s photographs present a world without resistance and a world without observers. Although their format is comparable in scale to that of the viewer, their subjects make it clear that they have evolved into alien species that increasingly evade the viewer’s control. The presence of structure in the buildings is intensified into something uncanny. In the landscapes, topographic modulation and green growth are transformed into the auto-dynamics of biomass. Both are aloof from human intervention and involved in a process of constant subliminal growth—an autonomous process of formation in which the world no longer offers a point of reference. It is a totalized world in itself in which it is no longer possible to observe the effects or consequences of events precisely.
I kinda like the idea of shooting LF and then making digital pics out of it!
I’ve mentioned Uta Barth before, but I’ve recently tracked down some images I’ve not seen before, so without any unnecessary commentary from me…