I have to believe this photograph was made not long after last year's election results became known. You know, the results where we got a brand new Cheeto in chief? It so perfectly and humorously sums up the mood of so many of the more liberal leaning people in this country. The expression on the cat channels our depression. The FUCK etched into the circular windows adding verbal emphasis, the RESIST and Clinton/Kaine signs way off to the right, almost falling off the frame. The photograph is a wonderfully poignant summation with, still, almost impossibly, a sense of humor. Like those humorous cat predicament photos that go viral on the internet. What I wouldn't give to have made this photograph. Bravo Julie Blackmon!
With the tragedy in Las Vegas fresh in my mind, this body of work.
The content is powerfully emotional yet cold and distant. At first the phallic nature of the subject material grabs my attention. I imagine they are designs for lipstick appliers or even shaving razor handles.
First impressions give way to the reality of the objects in the photographs. Ammunition. Packets of death design to destroy on contact in a dizzying number of ways.
I am horrified as I cannot help but study each bullet trying to deduce the way it has been designed to kill. I am horrified, because the designer in me finds them beautiful.
This is the intent of the Australian photographer. She writes about having been raised in a culture of neutrality and strong regulation of firearms. We often use the Australian legislative action after their first and only mass shooting as an example of what is possible.
Then she came to the US and made some friends. Friends she respected. Friends she was surprised to learn were ardent gun enthusiasts. This, she says, is what sent her on the journey of this project, which, is intended to provoke conversation and bring about understanding.
It is not lost on the cynical part of me that the publishing of this body of work at this moment is opportunistic. Could there be a more provocative week to market the work? In our super competitive economic system, any advantage, any leg up is worth exploiting.
What should I think of that?
What should I think of this body of work?
What do you think?
I strongly recommend clicking through to the article on the work in Lenscratch.
In Camera Lucida, Roland Barthes puts forward a concept he called the punctum. The punctum is a seemingly minor detail that comes to be a major defining element of the picture.
I see a perfect example of that in this picture. Yes, the young woman is beautiful, and she is naked. This is for most men, and many women, an immediate attraction. It is absolutely what we see first. But then, our gaze wanders up to the window and the scene in the distance. A man, a car, the sea.
The man, and then the car is the punctum. Two worlds existing simultaneously. This happening while that is happening. It creates a tension in the photograph that otherwise would not exist. It would simply be a lovely photograph of a lovely young woman.
Ah, but the complexity that enters with that man and his car.
That moment when the rain torrents came, the flooding began and the world was on the brink of war.
This photograph is very visceral to me. I hear the rain. I run with the men in a futile effort to avoid being drenched. But we have to get from A to B, and then to C and so on. No matter the rains. No matter the consequences of our saber rattling.
Found in The Eye of Photography.
There is something magical about this photograph. The slightly nostalgic coloring, the woman standing in the field waiting for something. The balloon hovering in the sky. Her dreams? The expansive sky.
Even without knowing this photograph was taken just before the full eclipse of the sun, we know the moment is pregnant.
Found in Eye of Photography.
This strikes me as such a painterly photograph. Painterly, because in painting you have the liberty to reduce a scene to its essential elements. Enough to give the impression, but not a complete rendition of what stands before the painter.
I have no reason to doubt that this is a complete rendition. I know it is possible to remove things with photoshop, but I make the assumption that didn't happen. It is unusual to find such a pure scene "in the wild" so to speak. And then to capture it this beautifully. OMG.
I found this in Booooooom! The photographer is Dave Jordano.
I love it when I look at art and suddenly I've got that "Wow!" thing going on. This painting did that for me. Alma Woodsey Thomas was one of the many women Abstract/Expressionists overlooked by the critics and historians. She is also a woman of color. Not sure if that was in fact a double whammy, but I am guessing it probably was.
Orion is part of an exhibit of abstract/expressionist art by African American women assembled at Kemper Museum of Art in Kansas City, where it is on view until September 17th and then travels to the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, DC.
...amid the tornadoed Atlantic of my being...
There is a passage in Moby Dick. Ishmail and his companions get stranded in the middle of a pod of whales. The pod is being attacked by the crew of the Pequod. There is a great deal of agitation at the perimeter. But in the middle, all is calm. Ishmail looks down into the water and beholds a swirl of birthing mothers and newborn calves. He says this about that experience:
“But even so, amid the tornadoed Atlantic of my being, do I myself still for ever centrally disport in mute calm; and while ponderous planets of unwaning woe revolve round me, deep down and deep inland there I still bathe me in eternal mildness of joy.”
Herman Melville, Moby Dick
See more of Wayne Levin's work here and here. Thanks to Lenscratch for bringing his work to my attention.
This is a beautiful photograph with true Madonna and Child overtones. It is strikingly sad too. The mother seems depressed. Is the baby alive? Has she been caught in the middle of a moment of grief? Over motherhood that came too soon and pressed its obligations before she was ready?
From Nick Meyer's book, Either Limits or Contradictions. First appeared on Lenscratch.
Why this photograph? Well, to start, I adore poppies. It's also a beautiful photograph of poppies. Poppies remind me of The Wizard of Oz. Remember when the wicked witch of the west puts Dorothy and her companions to sleep in a field of poppies? A reference to the dangers of drugs? Poppies are primal. I imagine they haven't changed much in the last bajillion years. I imagine they were around with the dinosaurs. And then there are those tissue paper petals. So beautiful.
This photograph is presented alongside portrait photographs of women, all beguiling. Have a look. See more of Joyce Tenneson's work here.