In: black and white

Click! The Photography of Stanley Rosenthall
April 12, 2021

“Photography to me is like a kid playing in a sandbox…”

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Metro Station Crowd 1, City of Shadows, 1992
April 20, 2021

Alexey Titarenko, Vasileostrovoskaya Metro Station Crowd 1, from City of Shadows, 1992

I was twenty two when Titarenko captured this image, a freshly posthumous portrait of the USSR – and that was nearly forty years ago. The Cold War, as we knew it, was over, but the uncertainty, both for the bustling passengers of the once and future St. Petersburg, after its decades as Leningrad, and the rest of the world, is encapsulated in this image. Titarenko is an acclaimed photographer, not least for how after “the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 he produced several series of photographs about the human condition of the Russian people during this time and the suffering they endured throughout the twentieth century. To illustrate links between the present and the past, he created powerful metaphors by introducing long exposure and intentional camera movement into street photography. The most well known series of this period is City of Shadows.” More of Titarenko’s work can be seen here. 

~ Bart Gazzola

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Jason Langer : Twenty Years
April 30, 2021

Published by Radius Books, 2015 www.radiusbooks.org
Also available through D.A.P. at www.artbook.com

Jason Langer was born in 1967 in Tucson, Arizona and raised in Ashland, Oregon. He has been making
photographs since 1980, and has published two monographs through Nazraeli Press.
Twenty Years represents Jason’s first mid- career anthology of work. This collection of tightly edited
monochromes bristles with tension and mystery, with many of the images made in the unaffected dark
of night. Langer deftly employs high contrast for its evocative qualities, dominating the light spectrum
with inky blacks. Tight framing of subjects intensifies the composition, and his judicious use of blur gives
the viewer the sense of being present alongside, in the moment.
Langer now lives and works in Portland, Oregon.

http://www.jasonlanger.com/
IG: @jlangerphotos

~ Peppa Martin

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Shadow Chamber
April 20, 2021

Roger Ballen, Phaidon Press, 2005

I’ve been familiar with Roger Ballen’s work for several years: the direct yet unsettling images bring to mind the works of Eugene Meatyard or Diane Arbus, and with hints of a performative macabre that goes beyond those two, and perhaps edges up against Joel Peter Witkin (but with less demonstrably ‘freaky’ and more subtle, and thus more pervasive, characters and settings that are more disturbing in their supposed banality) . In an introductory text to this wonderful collection of Ballen’s photographs, Robert A Sobieszek offers the following: “To discern fact from fiction in this work may be simply impossible; to tell acting from real life may also be; to bother with such discernment may not be only futile but missing the point.” I’d argue that Ballen’s work is a glimpse of the very real, and it’s stark and unflinching. A good introduction to this prolific artist’s aesthetic.

~ Bart Gazzola

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Homage II
April 20, 2021

Angela Reilly’s Homage II was one of those magical experiences where art can just overwhelm you. Sitting in a pub in Glasgow on my first night ever in the UK, a series of 5 portraits hung around the room had my full attention. From a distance I thought I was looking at photographs, but close up, it was so much more. You can practically see the blood coursing through the swimmer’s veins trying to warm her up. Angela won the National Portrait Gallery’s Portrait Award in 2006 and shows regularly in the UK.

You can find Angela on Facebook, and on Instagram.

~ Mark Walton

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Prairie Gothic
April 20, 2021

George Webber
Rocky Mountain Books, 2013
$50.00 CND

If I was asked to pick 1 book of Canadian photography to be on a desert island with, it would be George Webber’s Prairie Gothic. I was lucky enough to be in Calgary when George had an exhibition at the small Art Gallery space downtown in 2008. The work, much of it from this book, changed me. Much like Walker Evan’s photographs in Let Us Now Praise Famous Men and the American south of the depression era, Prairie Gothic is a momentous testament to the landscape and people of the Canadian West.

georgewebber.ca

~ Mark Walton

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IOWA
April 20, 2021

Nancy Rexroth
University of Texas Press, 2017
$55.95 CND

This reprint of Nancy Rexroth’s seminal survey of images, taken with a toy Diana camera in the 1970’s, influenced a wide array of photographers, including Sally Mann, who referenced it as an inspiration in her book Sally Mann: A Thousand Crossings. Anyone who adheres to the principal of “less is more” needs to buy this.

nancyrexroth.com

~ Mark Walton

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Fractured Flag
April 20, 2021

Amy Weil’s Fractured Flag is an encaustic piece steeped in the tradition of Jasper Johns and the protest movement of the 1960’s. It caught my eye immediately as a testament to the events (and those leading up to them) of January 6th. Weil acknowledges “Whenever I put these colors together, it feels political. I don’t often pair them for that reason.”

You can find Amy on Facebook, on Instagram and at amyweilpaintings.com

~ Mark Walton

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Shane Balkowitsch | Wet Plate Collodionist
January 26, 2021

“Art can be a weapon for change and we artists have the ability to wield it at will”

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Melanie Crs
October 16, 2020

Melanie Crs is an unabashed, honest-to-goodness New Yorker, and her photographs leave you with no doubt that she lives and breathes the City every waking minute.

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