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April 12th, 2013
March 7th, 2013
Beijing, China, 1964, © René Burri/Magnum Photos, from the book Impossible Reminiscences (Phaidon, 2013). “In Tiananmen Square, in front of the Forbidden City, there were mass demonstrations against the Americans in Vietnam.”
Born in Switzerland in 1933, René Burri first picked up a Leica during his military service. Through and introduction from Werner Bischof, Burri joined Magnum Photos in 1959 and went on to publish reportage in Life, Look, Stern and Paris Match among countless other publications. One of the remarkable things about Burri’s career, was that from the mid-1950s he worked with both black and white and color. Often, Hans-Michael Koetzle writes in his essay that accompanies Burri’s new book, Impossible Reminiscences, released this week by Phaidon, photographers are great at one or the other, or move on from black and white to color and seldom look back professionally. “[Burri] did the one without abandoning the other,” Koetzle writes. “….Burri has consistently pursued two goals, photographed in black and white and color, as a journalist and as an artist, which—precisely reckoned—would mean that he has lived four lives in photography.”
Impossible Reminiscences features more than 170 of Burri’s lesser-known color images, drawn and edited by Burri from his archive over the course of eight years, and accompanied by his personal reminiscences.
March 1st, 2013
“Saratoga, California.” May 28, 2012 All Images © Theron Humphrey
Maddie—the coonhound star of the popular “Maddie on Things” Tumblr—and her photographer owner Theron Humphrey want to meet ya’ll! The pair is traveling the US to promote a new book based on the Tumblr, and are working on a new project documenting stories of rescued animals and their owners in all 50 US states. The Maddie Book Tour kicks off in Austin, Texas on March 8th making stops across the United States. Check out the map to see when they’re coming to your town to make new friends, sign books and continue shooting the Why We Rescue project. The site will be updated every week with new work. Humphrey’s book “Maddie on Things: A Super Serious Project About Dogs and Physics” is published by Chronicle Books. For more, check out the video. (more…)
February 28th, 2013
© Anderson Scott
In the make-believe world of Civil War reenactors, earnest nostalgia can bump up against reality, and Atlanta photographer Anderson Scott has an eye for the humorous, ironic and sometimes disturbing consequences. Having grown up in Montgomery, Alabama, he explains, “I knew lots of people who obsessed about the Civil War. It seemed like an odd-but-harmless hobby, sort of like collecting toy trains. I did not think too much about it.
“Many years later, I stumbled onto a Civil War reenactment. What I found was a group of people living in a more or less (often less) accurate facsimile of life on the march during the Civil War. The reenactors were in period dress, which was striking and made for interesting photographs. But more than that, I got the sense that some of these people were frighteningly serious about their alternate reality–by which I mean that the reenactment included some people who thought the world would be a better place had the South won, with all that that entails, including slavery. I decided I wanted to know more.”
Scott began to photograph Civil War reenactments and neo-Confederate events in Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, Florida and the Carolinas. The project has just been published as a book titled Whistling Dixie from Columbia College Chicago Press. More images from the project can viewed at Scott’s website. (more…)
February 26th, 2013
©Bob Adelman, Selma, Alabama, 1965
As a form of propaganda, activist photography tends not to stand the test of time. But among the many striking and even iconic images of the Civil Rights Movement were images shot by photographers who were working from within, particularly as members of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. Some of their images endure for the formal beauty and raw emotion–not to mention the undeniable and systematic injustice–that they portray. University Press of Mississippi has just published 156 photographs by nine photographers in This Light of Ours: Activist Photographers of the Civil Rights Movement. “Together the photographs and text remind us that the movement was a battleground, that the battle was successfully fought by thousands of ‘ordinary’ Americans…and that the Movement’s moral vision and impact continue to shape our lives,” the publisher says. Images by Bob Adelman, who went on to a successful career as a photojournalist, stand out in particular. Also included in the book are some noteworthy images by George Ballis, Bob Fitch, Bob Fletcher, Matt Herron, David Prince, Herbert Randall, Maria Varela and Tamio Wakayama. with personal accounts of covering the Civil Rights movement by several of the photographers. (more…)
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.