April 9th, 2013
March 15th, 2013
Dreamland Stage. © Jeff Liao
Jeff Liao moved to New York City in 1999 and has created meditations on the city he now calls home since 2004, when he started photographing the neighborhoods along the 7 subway line, from Times Square in midtown Manhattan to Flushing, Queens. Three years ago he focused his viewfinder on Coney Island, Brooklyn. The historic amusement park and boardwalk, located along the coast of the Atlantic Ocean, has gone through numerous changes since its opening in the early twentieth century; the last major revitalization occurred in 2010. This is about the time when Liao setup his camera and tripod to photograph the excitement and bustle of summertime in Coney Island. His panoramics are detail filled, and capture the essence of the many places that make Coney Island so unique–from the back-in-time feeling of the boardwalk and the thrill of the historic Cyclone roller coaster to the iconic hot dog stand Nathan’s Famous and the newly opened Luna Park. We see history meeting the present in these images, which already feel reminiscent of the past given the damage the area sustained after 2012′s Hurricane Sandy. But Coney Island goes on, as it ever has, and you can be sure Nathan’s will be hosting its annual hot-dog-eating contest on July 4, an event that marks the start of summer for many of the city’s residents. (Visit ConeyIsland.com to learn more about recovery efforts as well as when Coney Island is set to open for the summer 2013 season.)
Nazaraeli Press has recently published this collection of work by Liao in a new book, called Coney Island (Nazaraeli Press), which includes an introduction by curator Sean Corcoran. The images are also currently on view at the Atlantic Av-Barclays Ctr subway station in Brooklyn, New York, as part of the MTA’s Arts for Transit and Urban Design program.
March 5th, 2013
“#5060,” 2006-2009. © Mike Brodie: from A Period of Juvenile Prosperity, Courtesy M+B Gallery, Los Angeles.
“Nothing behind me, everything ahead of me, as is ever so on the road.” ―Jack Kerouac, On the Road
There’s an excitement and allure to hitting the road with no destination in sight and no route in mind. This is part of the appeal of Mike Brodie‘s recent work. Captured during a three-year period when, as a teenager, he hitchhiked, rode freight trains and lived off the grid with a group of fellow travelers, Brodie’s images have a movement and restlessness to them that celebrates the freedom of the itinerant life. This is the modern-day equivalent of Jack Kerouac’s seminal novel On the Road. But just as Kerouac and his Beat Generation peers had their share of despair, Brodie’s photos show that life on the road is not for the faint of heart. His subjects are soot-covered, sleeping on the side of the tracks and surviving on the food others have thrown away. Yet they ride on, ever curious about what the next spot on the map can bring.
“Mike Brodie: A Period of Juvenile Prosperity” opens at M+B gallery in Los Angeles on Saturday, March 16, with a book signing by the artist, whose first monograph, A Period of Juvenile Prosperity, was published earlier this month by Twin Palms. A concurrent exhibition is also running in New York City at Yossi Milo Gallery.
February 26th, 2013
Game 4 of the Los Angeles Kings versus the New Jersey Devils. © Andrew D. Bernstein, NHLI via Getty Images
During his 30-year career as a sports photographer Andrew D. Bernstein has used technological innovation (he helped develop the Flash Wizard II system) and a connection with his subjects to capture athletes in a unique and personal way. His photographs have appeared in notable magazines like Sports Illustrated, ESPN The Magazine, TIME and Newsweek as well as in Phil Jackson’s book Journey to the Ring: Behind the Scenes with the 2010 NBA Champion Lakers. Bernstein is based in Los Angeles and is the team photographer for many of the city’s professional sports teams including the Lakers, the Clippers, the Kings and the Dodgers. He’s also had the opportunity to shoot the American basketball team at five Olympic Games.
As part of his duties as team photographer for the Los Angeles Kings, he was able to capture history during their 2011-2012 season when they won the Stanley Cup Championship for the first time. To celebrate the team’s victory and Bernstein’s photography, the Los Angeles Kings and the Staples Center opened a recent exhibition called “Los Angeles Kings Road to the Stanley Cup.” Now on view through June 2013, the exhibit is free for any ticket holders attending NHL or NBA games at the Staples Center, and includes over 50 images captured by Bernstein and his team including aerial shots from the games, exciting actions shots, photos taken moments after the Kings won the Stanley Cup Championship and posed images of the Stanley Cup at various landmarks throughout Los Angeles (a longtime tradition for Stanley Cup Championship winners). For more information about the exhibition, visit staplescenter.com/kings-photo-exhibit.
“The word mark and image of the Stanley Cup are registered trademarks of the National Hockey League. Los Angeles Kings name and logo are registered trademarks of the NHL team. All Rights Reserved.”
February 15th, 2013
King Cobra, 2011. © Mark Laita
Snakes have been used to represent the duality of human nature in literature, religion, psychology and art for centuries. Throughout Mark Laita’s new book, Serpentine, there are quotes to remind us that snakes are the manifestation of good and evil—the beauty and the bite of the serpent. Yet the reptiles take on another level of representation in Laita’s images, becoming abstract patterns and colors and forms.
By photographing the scaled carnivores on a simple black background, as Laita has done with other animals, they pop off the page and for a moment, we forget how dangerous these beautiful creatures can be. A timber rattlesnake wrapped around itself, the mesmerizing pattern of its stripes ending in a shock of blue before its rattle reminds you of its venomous bite. The sleek silver of the Mexican black kingsnake is so deceivingly shimmery, it comes as a surprise to learn it eats its own kind, not to mention birds, mammals and other reptiles.
The serpents’ pliable bodies twist and turn into more than just a singular line. We wonder: Did Laita manipulate the urutu into the shape of a heart, or did the viper become that on its own? How can an albino black pastel royal python, which reaches three to five feet in length, so delicately wrap its yellow and white body into a knot, appearing as if it has no head or tail?
That nature can create such fascinating beings is reason enough to celebrate their gorgeous glory.
All images © Trevor Traynor
“Throughout my travels and transit time to and from shoots I started using the iPhone camera to scout locations and collect inspirational content for potential projects. I shot my first newsstand near Broadway and Morris Stretts in New York City and immediately found myself stopping to take portraits at every stand I passed. I’m drawn to the vibrant organized colors and compact product placement that provides an instant time stamp via magazine covers and headlines. The New York City newsstand is a staple in the Big Apple and its perfect square structure is an immediate attraction to the composition fanatic in me. The iPhone has a great dynamic range and its unobtrusive ability lets me shoot with a lot more ease. Paired with editing apps such as Snapseed & PicFx, the end-product emulates the qualities of my favored Hasselblad. I revisited a handful of newsstands with different cameras, and although each camera delivers its own advantage, the iPhone is my current first choice. This project is ongoing and recently I was able to expand the collection to kiosks in Barcelona and Paris.” –Courtesy of Trevor Traynor
To see more of the “NewsStand Project,” visit Traynor’s Instagram feed @ishootpeople or #NewstandprojectbyTrevorTraynor.