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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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VERNON MERRITT III, NEW YORK – SUMMER OF ’69

Posted on August 2, 2012 by Isabella Cecconi

Vernon Merritt III, one of my favorite photographers. His images captured during New York’s summer of 1969 are an everlasting evergreen beauty. Long hair, long legs, bell-bottoms, all are wearing what they want to wear. Everybody’s free, to love and be loved. Kids play in the street, summer is darn hot, the city boils. Girls seem to get their kicks with makeup. As they wear it anywhere. The most important thing is to express yourself and New York looks like a daily celebration of the self. Vernon Merritt III, was a photojournalist who chronicled the Vietnam War and the South during the turbulent 1960s. His photographs appeared in a number of publications including Newsweek, the Saturday Evening Post and Life. At Life, his work encompassed the breath of American life, the lifestyle of the ’60s, the capture of Charles Manson, astronauts,  farmers, sailors. His photos speak for themselves. His images are truly street style photography before it had a name: each one telling a story of this particular era. Vernon was and still is and will always be a true originator.

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