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MIRANDA WHO?MIRANDA SENSOREX!

Posted on June 12, 2013 by Isabella Cecconi

There goes the Miranda Sensorex. A 35 mm SLR system film camera manufactured by Miranda which had interchangeable prism and the front-mounted shutter release. Miranda featured a low noise shutter and vibration-free mirror mechanism. The Miranda Camera Company, originally named the Orion Camera Company, manufactured cameras in Japan between 1955 and 1978. Many Miranda SLRs had advanced or sophisticated features for their day.  To me it looks pretty Nikonish..but..

PHoto ESPANA 2013

Posted on June 4, 2013 by Isabella Cecconi

Between June 5 and July 28, PHotoEspaña 2013, the XVI edition of the international festival of photography and visual arts, presents 74 exhibitions with works by 328 artists from 42 countries and an ample selection of public and professional activities. This year PHE13 delves into eroticism and explores the erotic vision without a body, directed towards the world around us. Conversely, it shows non-erotic photographic creation whose protagonist is the human body. The human being and images thereof have been instrumental in the fights for gender liberation and vindication, sexual orientation and the battle against discrimination. PHE will focus on these and other politics as well as in the artistic practices in which the body is a cultural ground. PHotoEspaña is one of the central international forums for photography. Each year the Festival attracts more than seven hundred thousand people and receives acclaim from prestigious critics, making it the most popular cultural event in Spain. The Festival is an exceptional occasion for discovering images, videos and installations created by outstanding national and international photographers and visual artists.

http://www.phe.es

HONEST AND BRILLIANT: DISPOSE

Posted on May 28, 2013 by Isabella Cecconi

Here at The Harlow we think that good ideas should always be rewarded. This project, has been created by brilliant minds. It is called Dispose, it’s a magazine, and to better understand what it is, we asked these guys few questions. We really hope you readers will hop on their web page and have a look. Isn’t it always neat to sneak softly into somebody’s life for just one day?

DISPOSE is:

A project which started with a basic idea of collecting and sharing images where the content is created solely by the contributors. Basically, we distribute throwaway cameras to selected individuals around the world and ask them to shoot the entire camera in a day. We then edit and publish the photos at www.dispose.co, offering a unique perspective unto people’s lives.

When did this idea come to your mind?

This idea came about in Spring 2012 when we were brainstorming a way to make a magazine that had a very different way of generating content. Limited by time and money, we thought of different ways to produce original images. We felt that by letting contributors shoot their own portraits, that we would get an honest portrayal of the people, or at least a unique perspective.

What’s photography to you?

Photographs are a way to collect memories and has become an important part of our modern visual language, which is becoming increasingly common and widely used. Today it seems like everyone is a photographer, but the internet and social media is changing the ways and reasons that images are created. Instead of writing about a dinner you had or what friends you saw, you share an photographs. It is becoming a more common form of communication.

How do you select the photographers you publish in each issue?

The criteria varies, there isn’t a fixed pre requisite. It is usually a combination of people we have sought out, and people who have emailed us and asked to contribute. We aim for a balance of different professions, regions of the world, etc. We look for people who have an eye for photography somehow and most importantly have something interesting or unusual to share with us. Continue Reading →

SWIM, SKIP, JUMP! COLE BARASH

Posted on May 23, 2013 by Isabella Cecconi

Cole Barash’s is a professional and engaging photographer whose images have been publicized in magazine covers and many international advertising campaigns. His shots are intense, creative and commercial at the same time. From his website  you can read that Barash learned photography by doing it. Starting his job very early in the darkroom, he has, ever since, shot everything; from sports, to portraits, intimate situations too. He has been documenting the motion and emotion of life and the sharp quality of his work is quite astonishing. Cole’s vision is guided by passion and precision and you can perceive it.

www.colebarash.com

 

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THE GOLDEN AGE OF HUGH HOLLAND

Posted on May 22, 2013 by Isabella Cecconi

Images speak by themselves. 1975-1978. Skateboarders. Southern California. Hugh Holland, baby.  The witnessing of the raise of a new culture: skateboarders. 1978, the scene had become more commercial, and Holland’s documentation ended but his series are an evergreen and a cultural phenomenon that will last forever.  Holland actually captured an era of long-haired-rebels, wild skaters. His pictures are a warm hug in color tones, his subjects are simply cool but the question is..would you still empty a pool and hit the pavement?

http://www.hughholland.com/

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THOSE PRICELESS DAYS: JAMEL SHABAZZ

Posted on May 14, 2013 by Isabella Cecconi

Back in the day when things were cool, hey – all we needed was bop-bop, bop-bop, bop-ba-domp.

This is the story of Jamel Shabazz, a Brooklyn man and most of all an African American documentary photographer. He has gained international recognition through his images collected nowadays in books, exhibitions, magazines. At the age of fifteen, Jamel picked up his first camera, a Kodad Instamatic and started documenting friends, family and his neighbourhood, the African American community. Years later, he purchased a Canon AE1 and embarked a journey that still continues nowadays. Shabazz story-told the emerging 80’s hip-hop scene before it became what’s  today: a multi-million-dollar industry. Gangs would battle not with guns  but by breakdancing and streets were the set for style. He was on the scene, taking pictures of  everyday people in Harlem, Queens, Brooklyn. Street style where subjects would strike a pose showing off Kangol caps and Gazelle glasses, Adidas and suede Puma sneakers, fat laces, leather jackets, gold chains, door-knocker earrings, name belts, boom boxes. And YES!..those things were cool..keep it real! …bop-bop, bop-bop, bop-ba-domp…

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ICONICS BY OLGA LARIS

Posted on May 8, 2013 by Isabella Cecconi

Some pictures or images are part of everybody’s culture. There are shots, that are compulsively been showed on media and everybody knows them. Those photos are familiar figures to us, some of the pop culture or generally what we consider icons. We will always link a blond diva to a Marilyn Monroe or a slim, tall man with curved funky moustaches to a Salvaor Dali, for instance. It’s, let’s say, the main stream of images flowing. Photographer Olga Laris, is a maestro in color and shots. Allthrough her career she has been working on commercials, fashion, music bands. On her web page there’s an endless list of clients. Her images, I can admit, are sharply neat and beautiful, her photography seems a mixture of compulsive beauty’s constant research and a curious feeling of blossoming seriousness. In 2012 her serie “Iconics” aimed to reseize the idea of icons by putting into scene kids dressed up like icons. So there was a Frida Khalo, Jean-Michel Basquiat or a little Any Warhol. Famous little artists, let’s say. Anyone decorating his or her head with flowers will be associated with Frida Khalo but no imitation will never be confused with the original. “The Iconics” have been an ode and tribute to our culture itself, to a deliberate tribute to our culture’s cross-dressing as social dynamics of mass culture. Enjoy Olga Lari’s photography, it’s a third eye opening experience!

www.olgalaris.com

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THE CANON FT QL

Posted on April 30, 2013 by Isabella Cecconi

Few lines to comment this example of preciousness. Maybe one of those Canon Japan evergreens! We’re talking about  the Canon FT QL. It was a 35mm single lens reflex camera introduced by Canon in 1966. It belonged to the elite of small compact cameras. The QL designation was a reference to Canon’s ingenious and successful  quick load system. The stainless steel device on the inside of the body rear door made film loading easier than was normal at the time. The QL was a best seller, becoming one of the fastest lensed  compact 35 cameras in 1966, opening the road to what at the time could be considered Technological and totally chic!

 

UNDERWATER LOVE WITH BRUCE MOZERT

Posted on April 25, 2013 by Isabella Cecconi

Bruce Mozert can be considered one of the pioneers of underwater photography. He created a waterproof camera himself that allowed him to go deep underwater during the 50’s. For some 45 years he created scenes of people, young women, for the most part, talking on the phone, playing golf, reading the newspaper, having an everyday life..all underwater. His shots were published on lifestyle magazines and was renowned for being pretty innovative at the time. The underwater tricks to make his scenes as real as possible included the use of baking powder to create for instance the powdery “smoke” coming out of the underwater barbecue. He was an already accomplished photographer in NYC indeed when, during the 30’s,  he moved to Silver Spring, Florida. At that time they were making Tarzan films in that area. Soon after arriving, he built his first underwater camera case and started shooting. The underwater pictures he took were so clear that MGM took them to Hollywood and used them. His pictures were picked up by magazines throughout the world. He also worked as an underwater motion picture cameraman working with NBC, ABC, CBS and many Hollywood productions. Bruce Mozert’s photographs will likely attract the attention of serious collectors, art museums and scuba divers and his shots will always be cherished as some of the most memorable kitsch photography in the era of Florida’s tourism marketing boom of the 1950′s.

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FRAY THE EDGES, EXPERIMENTING THE LOOK: MASAO YAMAMOTO

Posted on April 18, 2013 by Isabella Cecconi

Masao Yamamoto, born in 1957, is a Japanese freelance artist, both painter and photographer. Worldwide known for his small photographs, his images seek to individualize prints as real objects and evoking memories. Yamamoto began his art studies as a painter, studying oil painting under Goro Saito in his native city. In his art he blurs the border between painting and photography, experimenting with his printing surfaces; dying with tea, painting on and tearing his photographs. The resulting photos are little jewels. His main subjects are still-lives, nudes and landscapes. The aesthetic power of the pictures is unique, refined, subtle and powerful at the same time. The photo prints are small, sometimes even minuscule, and require a profound observation but the experimental look, with frayed edges and color additions seem to mark by time the photographs. Yamamoto narrates no prefabricated story offering a glimpse into a harmonious world that is visible for everyone, but not perceived by everybody.

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THE LOST ALBUM – DENNIS HOPPER

Posted on April 15, 2013 by Isabella Cecconi

The Lost Album is a series of photos by actor/director Dennis Hopper. This historically significant body of work from the 1960s has not been exhibited in the United States since 1970. Hopper established his reputation as a cult director with Easy Rider, while maintaining his reputation as an edgy character actor with gritty performances in The American Friend, Apocalypse Now, Blue Velvet and Hoosiers. Before his rise to Hollywood stardom, he captured the establishment-busting spirit of the 1960s in photographs that travel from Los Angeles to Harlem to Tijuana, and which portray iconic figures including Tina Turner, Andy Warhol, and Martin Luther King, Jr. The Lost album in its entirety comprises over 400 black and white photographs taken between 1961 and 1967 when his first wife Brooke Hayward gave him a Nikon camera for his birthday. A selection of approximately 200 photographs reveals casual portraits of artistic luminaries, mythic musician as well as stirring images of the Civil Rights Movement. Hopper’s photographs, shot with a Nikon camera and a 28-millimeter lens, are uncropped and produced with available light. His preference for full-frame added to his candid approach, producing poignant images.

 

Dennis Hopper – The Lost Album

May 7 – June 22, 2013

Gagosian Gallery – NYC

www.gagosian.com

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COOL CAMERA OUTFIT? THE ANSCO CADET II

Posted on April 10, 2013 by Isabella Cecconi

A fairly simple camera. This little wonder camera is the Ansco Cadet II. It was introduced in the mid 60’s by the Ansco camera company  of Binghampton, New York. It was a plastic camera which used 127 roll film and  updated the styling of the original Cadet of 1959. The Ansco company started making cameras in 1870 after having been a photographic supplier since the 1840’s. The body of the Cadet II is made of plastic with an aluminium faceplate. It had two mounting holes for attaching a strap. On the front of the camera, there was a dial to select color or black and white film. This controlled the size of the aperture. The 127 film produced 12 square images and was wound by a large, round wheel on the bottom of the camera. The camera could be used with or without the matching flash attachment, and had just one shutter speed and two apertures. The Cadet II was the empitomy of 1965. Lots of photos of The Beatles were taken with it!

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TALL AND SHARP: NORMAN PARKINSON

Posted on April 3, 2013 by Isabella Cecconi

The photographer I would like to share with you today, traveled everywhere in the world. You can catch the feeling of adventure from his pictures. He captured the fashion world in its peeks of drama and elegance. He worked with models like Ceacil Beaton worked with aristocrats. I’m of course talking about Norman Parkinson. Parkinson was elegantly English, tall and charming and had great care of his subjects. His pictures were a solid body of work that we now all cherish with care. The simplicity of his shots had a peculiar charm and were perfectly positioned with silhouettes, landscapes, decorations. Althrough his career he worked majorly with Vogue Magazine, which sustained his free sense of movement. Parkinson images are easy to describe because easy to perceive and we all must admit, that followers like Mario Testino or Tim Walker have a huge debt of acknowledgement to their predecessor whose incredible mind is a real lyrical pictorical ballad.

 

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A MINUTE OF IMPERFECTION: DARCY PADILLA’S PHOTOGRAPHY

Posted on March 27, 2013 by Isabella Cecconi

Sometimes it’s hard describing a feeling we can have while staring at images. It’s a captivating and personal moment, a second of brain thundering. It’s hard to describe Darcy Padilla’s photography. Many are the reasons. First of all, her photography is real. In terms of harsh, cruel, hypnotic, sharp, sublime. I once had the chance to stare at her pictures and feel disturbed in a positive way. Her projects are a one way ticket to phatos, to teardrops, to the core of life, welfare, poverty, diseases. Padilla is a photojournalist and documentary photographer living in San Francisco, California. Altrough  her career she has achieved many awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, the W. Eugene Smith Memorial Award, the Alexia Foundation Professional Grant, the Open Society Institute Individual Fellowship, the Getty Images Grant for Editorial Photography, and a previous World Press Photo award, in 2011. What made her famous  is actually her best-known project, The Julie Project, the epic story of the life and death of a woman, named Julie. The project spanned for 18 years, starting with a chance encounter and providing an in-depth look at poverty, Aids, and social issues affecting American society. It’s a pleasure to introduce her photography on The Harlow and I really invite all the readers to discover and feel with her photography. It’s a sane meal for thought.   

www.darcypadilla.com

 

EVERYTHING IN PLACE, GRAEME MITCHELL’S PHOTOGRAPHY

Posted on March 19, 2013 by Isabella Cecconi

I usually love to discover and talk about brand new widely opened third eyes (i.e. unknown photographers), but sometimes I can’t do anything in front of the neatness of renowned photographers. This is the case of Graeme Mitchell. Born in Manitoba, Canada, in 1980, he grew up in various small towns in the Pacific NW where he studied Literature. He later moved to NYC where he is now based and is currently concentrated on portrait and fashion works. In his hands, photography has immense possibilities, his shots are neat and precise, his fashion portraits are stunning and devoted to display the plainess of the subject. Models, actors, dancers, Graeme Mitchel has a talent for rendering his subjects vivid in clarity and definition. The composition, the color scheme, the most minute expression of a model’s face works towards the overall theme of the photograph. There is no detail in these photographs that is out of place or by chance so that to become an effusing praise for the photographic art.

http://www.graememitchell.com

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1964, THE YEAR OF THE IKONOMATIC!

Posted on March 14, 2013 by Isabella Cecconi

Look at the nice faux wood effect, typical of the 60’s! This camera was created in 1964, I’m talking about the Zeiss Ikon Ikomatic CF. Ikomatic was a series of compact, point & shot cameras from Zeiss Ikon (manufactured by Bilora), easy to carry around and with simple control. There were several models in commerce and the camera bodies were produced in 2 finishes, either black leather or wood grain, by using laminated synthetic material. The camera’s back was designed neatly, and consistently with the same design motif in using wood grain. It used a 126 film cartridge ,it had  a nice lever to advance film, cock shutter, and rotate flash cube for next shot. The shutter had two speeds, 1/30 sec with flash and 1/60 sec for daylight. The controls were simple and you could carry it everywhere. Nowadays the Zeiss Ikon Ikonomatic CF is a vintage piece but I still believe in the beauty of this saying.. “keep calm and use film!”.

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BEING A REAL GRAND, GARY WINOGRAND

Posted on March 6, 2013 by Isabella Cecconi

Winogrand, has always been acknowledged as street photographer, known for his portraits of 60’s America. Influenced by Walker Evans, or Robert Frank, many of his photographs depicted the social issues of his time and the role of media in shaping attitudes. He wandered the streets of New York with his 35mm Leica camera rapidly taking photographs using a prefocused wide angle lens. Nowadays he is acknowledged as one of the most important photographers of the 20th century, a major voice of America’s tumultuous 60’s decade. He photographed the rich and powerful and everyday strangers on the street, antiwar protesters and politicians, airports and zoos. In many of his pictures, humor and visual energy are the flip sides of an anxious instability. At the time of his death, at age 56, there was discovered about 2,500 rolls of undeveloped film, 6,500 rolls of developed but not proofed exposures, and contact sheets made from about 3,000 rolls. SFMOMA will host until june the 2nd an exhibition on this marvelous photographer. Time to discover him!

http://www.sfmoma.org/

March 09 – June 02, 2013

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80’s MEMORIES: MY BELOVED OLYMPUS XA

Posted on February 20, 2013 by Isabella Cecconi

The very first Olympus XA came out in 1979, mine was in 1980(XA2). First the XA, complete with manual rangefinder focus, and then the less expensive XA2. Since it was given to me, I extensively used it till  the 1990s. It was light and easy to carry, a little masterpiece of optical and industrial design. It took great photos, too. The clamshell could protect all optics and once opened it could shoot instantly. The XA had very complex lens, nice point and shoot, the viewfinder was bright,  a manual thumb wheel, manual rewind with release button and crank. The XA, with its tiny, toy-like looks, has never been taken very seriously by people but it was an ideal pocketable, street photography camera; it was pure cute and a joy to behold.

 

SHOW ME SOMETHING I’VE NEVER SEEN BEFORE! AUGUST SANDER AND MICHAEL SOMOROFF

Posted on February 5, 2013 by Isabella Cecconi

“We know that people are formed by the light and air, by their inherited traits, and their actions. We can tell from appearance the work someone does or does not do; we can read in his face whether he is happy or troubled”.

If you love photography, you MUST know who August Sander is. A German maestro of photography, whose work on landscape, nature, architecture, but most of all street photography and portraits as exemplified by his series People of the 20th Century has been a cross-section of society during the Weimar Republic. Sander’s monumental, lifelong photographic project was based on photographing subjects from all walks of life and creating a typological catalogue of more than six hundred photographs of the German people. People of the 20th Century was gradually created by Sander as a sort of catalogue of mankind that could represent a pluralistic vision of the society far removed from the myth of the Aryan race. The series was divided into seven sections: Farmers, Skilled Tradesmen, Women, Classes and Professions, Artists, The City, and The Last People (the homeless, veterans, etc.). Michael Somoroff, was born in New York City in 1957. He studied art and photography at the New School for Social Research and assisted his father in his studio (a photographer too), on the set, on location and in the darkroom. In October 1979 the first exhibition of Somoroff’s photography was held at The International Center of Photography in New York City. In 1978, he had opened his own photography studio and had begun working for every major magazines in New York and Europe. As a student of the legendary art director Alexey Brodovitch, Ben Somoroff (Michael’s father) introduced his son to Brodovitchʼs revolutionary philosophy, which influenced a generation of photographers, artists and designers including Richard Avedon, Irving Penn, Robert Frank, Louis Faurer, Lillian Bassman, Henry Wolf and Milton Glaser, encouraging him to make unexpected images and push the boundaries of conventional ways of seeing. Brodovitch urged to “Show me something I haven’t seen before.”, thus creating an exciting period of experimentation and innovation in media of all kinds. Continue Reading →

AND THE BEAT GOES ON! ALLEN GINSBERG’S PHOTOGRAPHY

Posted on January 28, 2013 by Isabella Cecconi

“Without even intending it, there is that little shiver of a moment in time preserved in the crystal cabinet of the mind. A little shiver of eternal space. That’s what I was looking for.” – Allen Ginsberg

The beat movement, the cultural and literary movement that woke up a nation’s consciousness. Never too big but gigantic in influence and cultural status. The years after the Second World War, the loss of conventional structures of society, the post war economic boom, the rampant materialism. The Beat Generation was the result of questioning on capitalism on dissatisfaction with the consumer culture, the taboos against sexuality. The Beats stood in opposition to the clean formalism of the early twentieth century modernists. Their literature was bold, straightforward, provocative. The “founders” of the Beat Generation were Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg, but also  Lucien Carr, Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Neal Cassidy. Gregory Corso and  great William S. Burroughs. In 1956, the publication of Allen Ginsberg’s Howl was a turning point in the history of Beat literature, not to mention American literature in general. The long-form poem to be read aloud, almost chanted, a sort of return to an oral tradition neglected in literature for a long time. In the beat movement there were drug-addicts, drifters, prostitutes, and swindlers. Continue Reading →

IN MONOCHROME WITH BALTHUS – HISAJ HARA

Posted on January 15, 2013 by Isabella Cecconi

“We do not know how to see reality” Albert Camus

Balthus’s paintings have always appeared naive and slightly sinister to me. Canvas where the figurative style emphasized on a dark or fairytaled or mysterious atmosphere. Balthus works are certainly timeless, but according to many, strange. A reverie that seems to have touched Japanese photographer Hisaji Hara. His series of images meticulously recreate Balthus’ most famous works. Between 2006 and 2011, a real young girl, have been posing for the photographer, recreating the suggestive originals. Shooting in black and white, Hara’s nod to Balthus, recreated the surreal oddness, with a touch of formal Japanese film. The setting for the interiors has been a Japanese medical clinic. These tableaux hark  between a suspended period between childhood and adulthood and Hara’s technique is the old-fashioned, labour-intensive method that includes multiple exposures and the use of a smoke machine to create the opaque quality. The blur and the opaqueness used thus creates the otherworldly atmosphere. Hara’s monochrome portraits look strangely familiar to me and become an interesting discovery and a gorgeous composition and example of tableaux vivant.

http://hisajihara.com/

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THE VISUALLY CAPTIVATING ALISON SCARPULLA

Posted on January 8, 2013 by Isabella Cecconi

“Alison Scarpulla’s pictures on the other hand clearly stand out in contemporary photography, a unique and complex portrait of a world that seems to exist parallel to our reality where carefree picnics on a perfect summer day could easily end up in a rendezvous with the Grim Reaper.”

To me, these are  wildly imaginative photos. I stumbled on Alison Scarpulla by chance and by chance, I must admit, I got quietly fascinated. Her images are an interesting fusion of portraiture with landscapes, some are surreal or look epic, haunting , gorgeous. The viewer focuses on the shapes created rather than the colors. From what I read she is a young self-taught experimental photographer and multimedia artist from NYC, who has a keen and sensitive eye for the abnormal, absurd, weird and surreal. Her shot are powerful with an intriguing tone of beautiful decay, looking quite out of time. She creates her work using double exposure or maybe layering two pictures and her symmetrical composition are definitely unique. So very dream-like. The result? Simply Mystic.

http://shuttermade.com/alisonscarpulla

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JUCO’S INTENSE LUMINOSITY

Posted on December 20, 2012 by Isabella Cecconi

Julia Galdo and Cody Cloud’s photography is simply cool. JUCO photography is simply cool. I know this is not the best literary way to start an article on photography or to describe a photographer (or two photographers in this case), but what can I say? It is! Fine art photographers, irreverent and colorful. Galdo was raised in Miami and attended the San Francisco Art Institute, graduating in 2004. She is a fine art and editorial photographer now based in Los Angeles. Julia met Cody at the time of the Art Institute. Ever since, their work have been involving humans and their various environments, their love for photography is everywhere and you can feel it if you browse through JUCO’s portfolio which include fashion, personal, editorial and ad work. JUCO’s images involve humans and unique scenes (you can’t miss the colorful shot with parrots). Some of JUCO’s clients have been Good Vibrations,  Juxtapoz,  Nike, 7×7 magazine and many, many more. Galdo and Cloud’s quirky anthropomorphic compositions are an intricate sort of mise en scene, which seem to dare a unique and sometimes disquieting narrative power. They get out the conventional advertising photography,  snatching the moment, being sensual, provocative, exotic, surrealistic, sometimes sinister too. Their stories seem strange and mysterious, sexual and surrealist. Julia Gado and Cody Cloud are thus partners, a collaborative duo that met at The San Francisco Art Institue and has been working together since their first class assignments. The team is based in Los Angeles, CA and share a similar vision of the beauty of the world. So get started being mesmerized by their pictures and their magnificent  lightly-sensitive-iridescent- chromaticity!

http://jucophoto.com/

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BLOSSOMS DO BLOOM, THE ELISE BOULARAN PHOTOGRAPHY

Posted on December 13, 2012 by Isabella Cecconi

The first time I wrote about Elise, she was 26 years old and stranger to me. Not that I know her now perfectly, but I consider her friend to me. Back in 2010, she was a tranquil photographer of sublime visions. Simple, light in flowing, alluring and multilayered. Generally growing up happens to everybody. Surviving to trouble or to a struggle and then recover from it, creates professionality, skillfullness. Elise growed up or this is what it seems. Staring at her new images and works is to me an evocative reminiscence of pleasure. She is professional. She seems to have total control of her shooting eye. The images still glow, like they used to years ago, but they seem wiser, less shy they appear with more force. Her evocations are now thick, in space, in concept, in colors. He photography is pretty poetic, capturing the ethereal moment and making it super romantic. Photos are sensitive to beauty, to action, to exposure. The ordinary is transformed into something new, fresher, more and more engaging.  A smile, a gesture, a brief moment, the one that changes everything. The past sometimes reminds us of the scars, those which are now a safe space of appreciation. Elise Boularan is a photographer whose ability will never stop to improve, providing from her personal experience her own guideline.

http://www.eliseboularan.com/

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WATER LANDSCAPES, SUSPENDED ENERGY

Posted on December 5, 2012 by Isabella Cecconi

Little I still know about this photographer, but I must admit it was a pleasure getting to know his photography. His, is maybe not a new way to interpret the ocean but surely a vehement manner to consider it. What you get by seeing his images of amazing big waves is an appeal to water in motion. Paul Bobko’s unique interpretation of the water started while sitting on a surfboard waiting for the perfect wave. In his short and meditative time he started seeing the shape and energy of the wave itself. Even if Californian by birth, Paul lives and works as photographer in New York City.
His series of work was photographed on the shores of the New York and California coasts. The composition of each image is similar to that of a formal landscape, the photograph shoots at the horizon and his point of view and perspective is the one just before the water changes into an approaching wall of water. Continue Reading →

THE ANTI-KINDLE: THE TREE OF CODES

Posted on November 28, 2012 by Isabella Cecconi

No this is not photography. This is visual art. No neither it is. This is art that meets literature that meets design. Or maybe better, this is something that happened to me the other day. I bought another book.

Yes dear, the answer is No! Kindle, you’ll never get me.

I love book, I love paper, I love the smell new  books have when you open them the very first time, the cracking sound of the first page that breaks the glue of the paperback. I love the fact that something has been printed, that somebody has been working on it. I love the idea I’ve bought a new “window” from where I can see a new story, new images, new adventures. I adore when I’m in bed, reading, I feel the book heavy for my arms. It’s just one of those beautiful sensation I’ll never have enough.  I love small bookshops, those where you talk and ask for some book advice. Real booksellers always read a lot and usually get the idea of your temporary mood. The book I’m going to write about it’ s Jonathan Safran Foer’s Code of Trees. Foer, unlike his previous novels (which are all fantastic)  have come up with this process of erasing words from “Street of Crocodiles”, the book by Bruno Schulz in order to carve out a new story. Tree of Codes is a small response to a great book. It is a story in its own, but it is not exactly a work of fiction, or even a book. Tree of Codes is an artwork, in the form of a book. Published by Visual Editions as a sculptural object, it is  to be read with concentration. Continue Reading →

OH I WANT YOU SO BADLY!LEICA X2 BY PAUL SMITH

Posted on November 23, 2012 by Isabella Cecconi

Totally in love with Leica. Totally in love with this special edition! Totally in love with the Christmas wish list I’m about to put down! If you love colors, good photography and of course Sir Paul Smith, get ready for  this perfect combination. The Leica X2 Edition Paul Smith is a special edition of 1500 units of Leica X2. With a flamboyant look, it combines high performance of the German evergreen crafted technology and the styling of Paul Smith’s extravagant color tones. The result is pure harmony. Connoisseurs and lovers will appreciate this creation as it features a metal top plate in dazzling orange. The set contains not only the beautiful camera but also a selection of accessories like the carrying strap and the camera protector in calfskin. The camera is 16.5 megapixels with 24 mm f/2.8 lens and the classic focal length for photojournalism. Enough for me, love is in the air.

www.leica.com

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SNAPPING EVERY BREATH WE TAKE: DANNY LYON

Posted on November 21, 2012 by Isabella Cecconi

If you have never heard of Danny Lyon, I’m really glad to introduce and getting to know this magnificent filmmaker, writer and self-taught photographer born in 1942 in Brooklyn, New York. After a graduation at the University of Chicago, with a BA in Arts in 1963, Lyon began creating his own photo books with the pictures he would take during his many adventures. His first, was a study of outlaw motorcyclists as he was member and part of the Outlaws motorcycle club of Chicago. He traveled with them and shared their lifestyle. He later got interested in the Texas penal system and started taking pictures of prisoners. Lyon also befriended many of the prisoners. His images are nowadays considered part of the New journalism movement, meaning that the photographer had become immersed, and was a participant, of the documented subject. For the past five decades he has produced a mix of documentary photographs and film, both politically conscious and personal. In the 1960s when photographers where working the poetry of the streets and snubbing their noses at the tradition of photojournalism, Lyon embraced both the lyrical potential of photography as well as its ability to raise awareness to political issues. Some of his earliest images were as staff photographer for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee documenting the civil rights demonstrations against segregation in the South. Later, when he moved to Texas he lived and documented for 14 months the Texas prisons. Lyon’s work belies the detachment of documentary in favor of a more complicated subjective involvement, his style is marked by its pursuit of the moment, in the communities of the outskirts, the outsiders of mainstream society, the exceptional and strong political consciousness and concern. Throughout his long and prolific career, Lyon has combined an eye for beautiful compositions with passionate interest in political struggle and change. Photographs from all periods of the artist’s career as well as images from a new series create poetic reflections on memory, family and life. Nowadays he runs a blog where you can follow his adventures. Today 70, Danny Lyon is a continuous flow of passionate photography.  

http://dektol.wordpress.com/

http://www.bleakbeauty.com/home.html

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SHIZUKA YOKOMIZO, DEAR STRANGER…

Posted on November 16, 2012 by Isabella Cecconi

Dear Stranger, I am an artist working on a photographic project which involves people I do not know…I would like to take a photograph of you standing in your front room from the street in the evening. A camera will be set outside the window on the street. If you do not mind being photographed, please stand in the room and look into the camera through the window for 10 minutes on __-__-__ (date and time)…I will take your picture and then leave…we will remain strangers to each other…If you do not want to get involved, please simply draw your curtains to show your refusal…I really hope to see you from the window.

The amazing Shizuka Yokomizo’s photo project, came from running around London with huge telephoto lens, trying to glimpse unsuspecting people through the windows of their flats. Being absurd and frustrating by the one-sidedness of the activity, aside from the ethics aspect, she soon realized it was important for her to have eye contact while photographing. She needed the people to look back and recognize her equally as a stranger. So she decided to use the format of a simple anonymous letter, which contained the possibility of agreement.The effect was that when Yokomizo sent her subjects the letters, they started agreeing and stand in the front window of their home at a specified date and time.She started being welcomed. She would then arrive, set up her tripod and camera, exposed her film, and then leave. Each photograph shows someone looking out of a window. She selected the addresses and then wrote the note. Posers were not victims, they would allow Shizuka to see their homes.  She needed their eye contact and them to  recognize their existance. She existed as a stranger, they existed as strangers, but they both created a strange meeting point rather than just showing people’s private lives. Yokomizo made sure that when the photos were taken, the light would be too dark outside to see her, she would allow her subjects to see their own reflections in the window.

Shizuka Yokomizo, Japanese by birth, photographer by choice, has been living in London for more than 15 years. Aren’t you too waiting for the note? I definitely am!

www.shizukayokomizo.com

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BEYOND QUEER’S LENS, JJ LEVINE

Posted on November 13, 2012 by Isabella Cecconi

“As a queer artist whose work deals with self-representation, the categories queer and art are inextricably linked for me. My work is so connected to my queer identity that my own gender and sexuality influence every aspect of my art practice.”

JJ Levine is a photographer from Montreal who explores gender and sexuality in her work. In her series Queer Portraits she shot large-scale color photographs of her community capturing the complex emotional relationships she has with friends, lovers, siblings. Gender issues, sexuality, queer space in each portrait within a domestic setting, every pic is characterized by saturated colors and often discursive backgrounds. JJ Levine uses a medium format film camera, creating a studio in each home environment. The settings are intended to raise questions regarding private queer space as a realm and expression of gender, which is often marginalized  in the public sphere. Through her portraits of queer and trans people she explores her own identity as a gender queer artist where fierceness meets beauty through the confrontational gaze of her subjects and the collective cultural aesthetic. In her Switch series, JJ Levine takes two subjects, one male and one female and dresses them in fancy prom-like clothing, she takes the photo and then has each of them portray the other gender. The results are fantastic.

http://jjlevine.ca/jjlevine/

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OPPOSITES ATTRACT – FLO FOX AND GIGI STOLL, PARATISSIMA 2012

Posted on October 31, 2012 by Isabella Cecconi

Opposites Attract is a story, made of images and friendship. A story that has been linking two people for years. The story of a mentor and a student, the story of curiosity and rules to be changed and twisted, of  pulsing and beating lives, of fighters and survivors, of strength and wisdom where nude bodies melt with street photography, where irony meets drama, where Flo Fox meets Gigi Stoll. Continue Reading →

POR UNA CABEZA..HORACIO COPPOLA!

Posted on October 19, 2012 by Isabella Cecconi

Have you ever been to Buenos Aires? To me it’s like feeling home. I simply adore this city, giving that I’m more than sure that I was Evita Peron in my previous life or Carlos Gardel, the tango singer. And do you know who Horacio Coppola is? Oh well, you have to. Think about the 30’s. Think about cafes, side streets and neon-lit boulevards of the capital of magnificent Argentina. Think about ordinary objects like a typewriter or a doll, a shop window, a simple man reading a newspaper, a restaurant. Coppola’s photographs of Buenos Aires are a pictorial love letter to his city, demonstrating Argentine metropolis emerging from its grand traditions to embrace modernity either in its street scenes or nocturnal vistas with bars and music halls, trams and all the vibrant and juicy material of his photography. In his 105 years of life (yes sir, I said 105), Coppola has been documenting his city thought superb black and white shots. Mr. Jorge Luis Borges, a friend to Coppola, launched the photographer’s career by using some of his shots to illustrate a book of poet Evaristo Carriego. Born in Aires, to Italian parents, he was the 10th son of an immigrant couple. All though his long life, Coppola explored many photographic approaches in search of the “magic chiaroscuro”. Coppola’s influences included the modernist movement, architectural angles and shadows and obviously his fascination with cinema. All the shots were executed with a 35mm Leica. Brassai is to Paris like Coppola is to Buenos Aires. Viva Argentina!

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AGAINST OPULENCE AND PRETENTIOUSNESS: JOHN RAWLINGS

Posted on October 9, 2012 by Isabella Cecconi

What a nice story: there’s a boy, born in Ohio in 1912 who has moved to NYC in the 30s to start, after graduation a freelance career as store window dresser. After buying a Leica to photograph his work for potential clients, he has discovered the love for pictures and has started shooting his aristocratic clients. Then, years later you see the same boy in a circle of friends. These friends meet in a Magazine headquarter, for instance let’s say…VOGUE.

I’m talking about the fab five: John Rawlings, Irving Penn, Horst P. Horst, George Hoyningen-Huene, George Platt Lynes. This very time, I’ll brush up John Rawlings, who, with over 200 Vogue and Glamour covers and more than 30,000 photos of personal archive immortalized maybe the best era of American fashion and style. With his three-decade affiliation with Conde Nast, Rawlings has expanded the power of fashion press, giving a never-seen-before attention to society stars of the 1940s and 1950s. His subjects included Marlene Dietrich, Salvador Dali, Veronica Lake, Lena Horne, Montgomery Clift and many, many more. But, when opulence and pretentiousness were prevalent in fashion photography, I’m referring to Brit Cecil Beaton, or German Horst, or the Russian Hoyningen-Huene, Vogue decided to change direction and place more information and less art in its pictures. The change of direction happened to be with a very young and talented Rawlings who later became one of the most prolific and important photographers of the twentieth century. Crave with me these marvellous shots, which are still extremely  contemporary and stunning. You can’t avoid loving Rawlings at first sight and appreciate his simply beautiful photography.

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JEFFREY HENSON SCALES

Posted on September 25, 2012 by Isabella Cecconi

Should Jeffrey Henson Scales be introduced? Oh well, just few hints might give you an idea of who he is. First thing he was born in San Francisco in 1954. At age eleven, he was given by his father the first Leica 35mm camera. At age thirteen, he began making photographs of the Oakland Black Panthers appearing regularly on The Black Panther Paper. At age fourteen his work was published in a national news publication: Time magazine. He later became a successful editorial photographer, a music lover, a record cover maker, film posters, and publicity campaigns. In 1979, he was photo editor of The LA Weekly newspaper. In all, Scales has spent more than forty years as a documentary photographer of the African American community and his body of work has been exhibited at museums throughout the US and Europe. His images have traveled the whole world becoming recognizable black and white icons. He has appeared in numerous photo mags, books and has been featured in permanent collections of museums, such as MOMA, The George Eastman House, The Baltimore Museum of Art and The City Museum of New York. His photography is so striking that all you can do is love him at first sight and getting to know his eye. Nowadays, Scales and his wife own the Harlem-based photo archive, and the multimedia company, The Henson Scales Productions. Dive into a sea of cement, where the past gets in vogue and le freak gets sooo chic!

www.jeffreyscales.com

LARRY FINK, WHEN HAPPENINGS HAPPEN

Posted on September 19, 2012 by Isabella Cecconi

You can’t think of a social situation and a black and white picture without  thinking of Larry Fink. Born in 1941, he is an American photographer best known for  his 70’s work on divergent worlds such as  Manhattan socialites and fashionable clubs alongside with working class people in Pennsylvania or a high school graduation. Fink studied with Lisette Model who encouraged him into photography and soon became a real explorer of  social class who has continually reported the glimpses of people and captured orchestrated moments, parties, events. He can be considered the Jack Kerouac of Photography, whose shots’ intimacy are regardless of social status as they share the same underlying of emotions, ideals, behavior, moods. With Fink the human body becomes the subject of expressiveness and our eyes become totally mesmerized by him.

http://www.larryfinkphotography.com/

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THE 2012 TAYLOR WESSING PHOTOGRAFIC PORTRAIT PRIZE

Posted on September 13, 2012 by Isabella Cecconi

One of the major and impressive international photo prizes is the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait’s which, every year, presents the best in contemporary portrait photography. The Prize, is an established leader for new talent’s showcase and includes the work of young photographers and amateurs alongside professionals or students. This year the competition attracted 5,340 submissions by over 2,350 photographers from around the world. At the moment, four photographers have been shortlisted for the £12,000 prize (Alma Haser, Spencer Murphy, Jennifer Pattison, Jordi Ruiz Cirera) which is entirely sponsored by international law firm Taylor Wessing. The judges have selected 60 portraits and the exhibition will run from 8 November 2012 till 17 February 2013 at the National Portrait Gallery of London. The winner will be announced at the awards ceremony on Monday 5 November. Tim Eyles, Managing Partner of international law firm Taylor Wessing said: ‘Many of the portraits selected this year have an enigmatic quality that will leave the viewer wanting to find out more. Collectively, they reflect a cultural and social variety that will doubtless come together as another hugely stimulating exhibition. Our congratulations go to all the shortlisted photographers and our thanks, as ever, to the National Portrait Gallery.’ May the best man win!

Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2012
8 November 2012 – 17 Feb 2013

Porter Gallery – London

www.npg.org.uk

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WHEN FALL COMES GET READY TO BLOOM!

Posted on September 10, 2012 by Isabella Cecconi

This happens when innovation meets passion, fashion and a love for one’s job. Bloom Theory is a new project by Simply Bloom Photography, a duo founded by Vania and Christine who envisioned in 2011 to one day revolutionize the world of camera accessories. It wasn’t long before the European gals began working hard to make their dream come true. After months of product and market research, engineering, delegating, sketching, testing and designing, their dream had become tangible. With an acute sense of aesthetic, the girls strive to create designs that are unconventional, dramatic, yet still practical and efficient. The result? These camera straps are amazingly decorative and beautifully made. Get ready to have your neck in bloom!

http://www.bloomtheorystraps.com/

 

STILL LIFE, QUICK HEARTBEAT: JEFF WALL

Posted on September 6, 2012 by Isabella Cecconi

Jeff Wall is alluring to the point of transfixion. His photography is so outright gorgeous and intensely pleasurable that you can bet to have the Stendhal syndrome when seeing it. Images link together society, art, history, and most of all the human animal. Wall’s photographs start from a sort of painting tradition: landscape, still life later evolving into street photography. Jeff Wall is basically a photo realist, and uses the communicative power of photography to pierce our eyes. Born in Vancouver, in 1946, this Canadian outstanding photographer is one of the most traditional/untraditional artists to emerged from the 1970s. His circle in Vancouver which includes camera-friendly Cindy Sherman, was created by photo prodigy and artistic bloomers. He has frequently been called a modern storyteller whose work is shaped by western art and literature. On november the 30th 2012 until may the 17th 2013 the Ian Potter Centre with National Gallery of Victoria, Australia will host a unique opportunity to see 26 photographs of the artist spanning from the 70’s till nowadays including large scale works.

http://www.ngv.vic.gov.au/

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NINA LEEN, MASTER OF PHOTOGRAPHY

Posted on September 3, 2012 by Isabella Cecconi

There are many images that come to my mind when I think of masters of Photography. I don’t know why, but I always look back in times. I adore contemporary photography but to me, master is equal to past. What can I say about Nina Leen then? To start I can say that she was one of the first women photographers at Life Magazine. She was Russian-born who lived in Germany, Italy, Switzerland and lately US. Through her career as photographer she has been reporting  a surprising amount of insight into the post world war period. Housewives, working girls, fashion, Upper East Side socialites, glamorous women, mannequins.  Her work has been an interesting study on femininity,and photojournalism. A research of public versus private. When in 1945, Leen  joined LIFE, she started producing magnificent pieces of art, producing over 40 covers for the magazine. Along with her portraits of American life Leen’s photographed animals too with a unique ability to see details of the natural world in unexpected ways. Leen was modern, perfect in shooting, true and most of all ageless. Nina Leen’s  pictures portray the elegant days, the stunning glamour of a unique eye. The real beauty being captured on women in the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s.

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PAINT IT WHITE! BRAND SPIRIT

Posted on August 31, 2012 by Isabella Cecconi

Logos, brands, everywhere, every time. We are surrounded. Last spring, Andrew Miller has started a project called Brand Spirit. For 100 days, he has been painting objects in white, taking a picture of it and removing the visual brand. Objects were all under $10 of value. The white reduces items to their pure form and eliminates the corporate bombing that we unconsciously receive every day. The result makes us ponder on society, culture and photography too. I love the shapes of objects and the way they are portrayed. Images and neat and the result is totally clean.

http://brandspirit.tumblr.com/

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