January 31st, 2012
January 30th, 2012
All photos © David Rochkind. Above: “Border,” February 2007, Mexico.
David Rochkind’s series, “Heavy Hand, Sunken Spirit” is about the social costs and consequences of Mexico’s violent drug war. In the four years since President Felipe Calderon’s inauguration, over 35,000 people have been killed and kidnappings have skyrocketed. The cartels are ruthless, leaving the gruesome nature of their crimes visible to everyone.
Rochkind explains how Mexico is a country in crisis: “The government is battling the drug cartels, the drug cartels are battling each other and there is a palpable fear across the nation. Corruption exists throughout the state and complaints of human rights abuses by the army are widespread. The line between criminals and the authorities is so blurred that the average citizen fears everyone. These photographs attempt to move beyond simple depictions of carnage to explore the stress and tension that is left in the wake of such violence and illustrate how this conflict will impact and handicap Mexico’s future.” Rochkind’s exhibition, “Heavy Hand, Sunken Spirit,” opens at Blue Sky gallery in Portland, Oregon, on February 2, 2012.
Above: This stretch of the border divides Nogales, Arizona, at left and Nogales, Sonora, at right. There has been little violent spillover into the U.S., though recently U.S. citizens have been killed with more frequency in Mexico. In March of 2010, two U.S. Consulate workers were gunned down in Ciudad Juarez. –Courtesy of Blue Sky Gallery
January 27th, 2012
All photos © Julia Fullerton-Batten. Above: The Departure.
In her latest project, called Mothers and Daughters, Julia Fullerton-Batten portrays the complex and sometimes challenging relationship between mothers and their daughters. Both documentary and biographical, these images illustrate the artist’s memories of her two sisters’ and her relationships with their mother and in turn, their mother’s relationship with their grandmother.
Choosing to work with real mother and daughter pairs in their own environments, the subjects create their own world together while at the same time revive the artist’s personal memories through staging. Over the course of their lives the dependence switches from the child’s need for security and nurturing to the mother’s dependence on the daughter to satisfy emotional needs. In the adult relationship, the intimacy of the bond is established by the love, struggle and acceptance of each other.
-courtesy Randall Scott Projects.
January 26th, 2012
"Daddy Tattoo, Philadelphia," 2004 © Zoe Strauss/Courtesy of Philadelphia Museum of Art
Photographer Zoe Strauss, who from 2001 to 2010 installed her work on pillars below an I-95 overpass in South Philadelphia and hosted an annual day-long exhibition, is getting a mid-career retrospective at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The survey includes 150 images and extends beyond the museum with the Billboard Project, a series of 54 billboards throughout the Philadelphia area that will each display one of Strauss’s photos, blown up to 12 x 25 feet, without any text, logos, etc. A self-taught photographer who focuses on the “the beauty and struggle of everyday life,” Strauss is a true testament to DIY ingenuity. The exhibit runs through April 22, 2012.
"South Philly (Mattress Flip Front)," 2001 © Zoe Strauss/Courtesy of Philadelphia Museum of Art
"Vanessa, Philadelphia," 2006 © Zoe Strauss/Courtesy of Philadelphia Museum of Art
January 25th, 2012
© Steve Fitch. Above: Drive-in Theater, Sharon, Pennsylvania, 1975 (from his series Diesels and Dinosaurs)
Steve Fitch is a photographer and educator who has been making photographs of the American West for more then four decades. As a boy, the scenes that he observed out of the window of his father’s 1951 Buick fascinated him. In the introduction of Fitch’s first book Diesels and Dinosaurs, he re-accounts memories of observing small towns, glowing neon signs and 18-wheelers roaming the highway. Fitch was also witness to the rise and fall of the drive in theater. All were experiences that molded his interests as an adult – leading to his visual studies of the highway culture of the American West and man’s encroachment upon it. Highway Culture, an exhibition of Fitch’s work made between 1971 through the present, will open at the photo-eye Gallery on February 25, 2012.
© Vincent J Musi.
National Geographic photographer Vince J Musi is an award winning photographer whose unique take on animal photography was recognized in the 2011 PDN Photo Annual. The early deadline for the 2012 Photo Annual is TODAY at midnight PST. The image above is from a story on wild things bred for their aggressive behavior. Scientists in Novosibirsk, Russia, are comparing these rats to those bred for friendliness to understand the connection between genetics and behavior.