Archive for Photography

Artificial History is Frightening

Posted in Photography with tags , , , , on March 30, 2011 by michaelchernoff

Last night I was looking at an art photography book in the university photo dept for maybe the 10th time. Usually when I flip through the book the Fae Richards photography series comes to my attention. The handling, composition, acting, and printing of the photos all are convincing of a Black Lesbian actress who never really existed outside the story of her snap shots. The authenticity of her smile and accurate fashion of early 20th century urban America gives me mixed feelings. Many reviewers of the work note its message of a lesbian being successful instead of dying unknown and sad.

But the series does not bring up LGBT history to mind, instead it haunts me that the these photos are forged and can easily be accepted at first view as factual. Even before digital photo, analog photos have had the ability to document and finalize history even if fabricated. The best known to me is Trotsky being pasted out of Soviet historical images…later the same would happen to Stalin after his death. I even entertain ideas about Stanley Kubrick staging photos for the apollo moon landing. Words and accounts don’t hold up to photographs in terms of evidence because a photo is a time based item. Light that was captured but without sound or movement of a sequential frame is forever a glimpse into a past moment in time. There can be nothing more true than a fragment of time but it is the thoughts and assumptions tied to images that decide what history it has. For the Fae Richards photos…it’s Fae Richards that make these photos what they are, other than that you’d only think it’s a young woman from another era. Maybe even less that these are just snap shots and not even set manipulated events. It’s scary that people will base their history more upon image than text I guess that’s why the phrase a picture is worth a thousand words derives from.

The New Advent of Religous Erotica

Posted in Comedy, Photography, website, Women with tags , , , , , , , , on September 26, 2010 by michaelchernoff

OF COURSE… I was browsing /b/ when I found this site and it is a real red alert. I had illusions that this was some sort of feminist art internet collection…but it’s just European erotic nudes. It’s the time of the female Jesus…Regina? I don’t know what her name would be in this case.

I found the site since the web address since it’s plastered on all the pictures. They present a real fixation for me and probably for many men. It puts into the air the pleasure of seeing suffering on a woman being violated and tortured. It’s undeniable when you place with the story Christ. So then what does this mean for our fantasies? Is this just another scenario for fantasies or is it going against the Holiness of the scene? These women aren’t being groped or fondled only their bodies are extenuated. The photos seem to be for a righteous exploration since some of the selections have bad photoshop painted pixels for creating goofy halos. Yet you have to pay when logging on…a cause for art or a cause for an art for fapping? I chuckled at its attempt for porn. I haven’t made a post like this for a while and had distanced myself from posting this kind of content less for more refined research. But the black and white shots are really exciting.

I suppose there is enough naiveté here for me to approve this venture.

Here is the link to the site…

Maybe there are more religious pictures like this out there? I’d really like to see the videos for this site too. But I’m not paying ten Euro.

Yevgeniy Yufit

Posted in Artist, Film, Movie, Photography with tags , , , , , on August 9, 2010 by michaelchernoff

Yevgeniy Yufit is the creator of the genre necro-realism and a long sought after artist whose name I had forgotten. He was one of the entry’s that impressed in the Ice Cream publication that I wrote about some months ago. His work was first established in the 1980’s in the Soviet Union. His mediums are photo and film making and I have seen his short film Vesna on youtube. There is no sound and little explanation for it in the description box.

Vesna is a strange is experiment with lots of torture and celebratory scenes with a chimp on top of it all. It’s hard to make complete heads or tails of it but it seemed to be a tale of the abused becoming abusers and injustice between the life of rural and urban Russia. My favorite parts are the processions of the chimp and the forced gnawing of a wooden stick by a man who at the start of the film dragged men on train tracks with blood on his beard. The film ends with a woman who had been writing the time of the events in a notebook, resting her eyes leaning back with the book closed. She was old.

But it is hard to get any viewing chances of complete Yufit works. Yet it was his photographs that impressed me more than his silent films. The idea of zombified Russians was captivating since the idea was not flesh-eating creatures but caricatures more fitting to the intro of Shawn of The Dead. Ordinary workers trudging through snowy fields and woods with defeated and tired faces. It’s a fitting statement to the last years of the Soviet Union, a nation of people weary from being cut of from the advantages of capitalism and state oppression. The living dead idea just calls out to the dark memories of Communist Totalitarianism.

Unfortunately none of the great full paged photos I saw in the book pages of Yufit are on google searches so he is little published on American data searches. He is still active into the 2000’s and has influenced a lot punk rock imagery and icons. Maybe also goth culture but I can’t tell how far-reaching his influence is abroad. If I ever see a publication of his I will snatch it up immediately.

Colorized Depression

Posted in Image Discovery!, Photography with tags , , , , , on August 5, 2010 by michaelchernoff

On twitter there was a post during the Great Depression commissioned by the Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information. The photos feature mostly rural farm communities and factory towns or pubic works. Walker Evans and his crew have received most of a claim for their depression documentation of the Dust Bowl and its Black and White collective created a vital and desperate tone for the American public and poor. These color photos seem to more about finding a balance of fruition and poverty through FDR’s stimulus and social aid programs in the 30’s and 40’s. The pictures have a lot more black citizenry and women working than I have seen in the Dust Bowl FSA documents. The black and white photos are a call of defeat while the color is a sounding of fighting poverty.

Seeing the era in color also makes me think why the “Obamavilles” are not being covered. Maybe a new committee has to be formed like the ones in the darker days.

Miquel Barcelo, Caixa Forum, Jacques Henri Lartigue

Posted in Artist, Image Discovery!, Painting, Photography, Print, Sculpture with tags , , , , , on June 25, 2010 by michaelchernoff

Since coming to Barcelona I stumbled onto a well established mixed media Spanish artist. Along Consel de Cent I went into a gallery with an unfriendly attendant. On the gallery walls were loose monoprint and ink brush renderings of bullfights. There was a high amount of energy implanted into the bull charging and the cape swishing a red streak across the paper. Everything was black ink on white with tinges of red smearing. Blood and the illusion of the matadors veil were one. The name of creator was M. Barcelo.

I googled searched but got nothing. I couldn’t understand how respected or acknowledged Barcelo was. Incredibly in Madrid I happened for the first time to visit the Caixa Forum by accident. On display was a retrospect of MIQUEL Barcelo. His paintings took time to grow on me. The oil and watercolors were as messy as the prints. But the splotchy figures in his Dantes Divine Comedy were refreshing from an overused epic poem in image media. Small mounds of paint made slight shadows on canvases and the perception of rocky dirt ground was executed by him too. His working career has spanned before my birth.

But what immediately grabbed was the video of his sculpture in the main lobby. Along with the warped faces he made from metal casts was a huge installation he did in real time with some editing. He and accompanying sculptor had an immense wall of clay before them. They slashed and hacked at the wet clay with sticks and metal. At first their carving seemed arbitrary and unguided. At the climax however the camera shot is way back and you see a scene reminiscent of cave paintings from Neanderthals. Trees, shrubs and rock are captured by the shadows of deep lines in the clay.

Then the pair use clay pancake slabs to form masks on their faces. Blind only with their palms and fingers are grotesque noses, eyes and bone structures emulated. I immediately thought of Tim Burton’s Beetlejuice when Alec Baldwin pulled his face forward when witnessing Marcelo’s first clay facial. Numerous masks were made and accompanied a finished lair of clay sculpture.

As a craftsmen Marcelo is seemingly sloppy and uneducated. But then again most modern spanish artists are. I am now a fan his work and take his name in my head easily. It’s hard to find his distinct work in english so anyone reading just surf around. Since I am on the subject vaguely, the Caixa forum is a big interest for me. I have never heard of a bank funding free open artwork for everyone. A bank supporting art seems cold and devious in America but in SPain its like a civic duty of the company. Near Placa Espanya I have seen work by Christian Boltanski, Sophie Calle, Joseph Buys, and Jacques Herni Lartigue.

Lartique was a rich Frenchman who because he was so wealthy could spend all his time photographing as a young man. He captured the lives of wealthy French at the start of the 20th century. Early photos you could see his fingerprints, scratches, and graininess of an amateur. By the 30’s he was producing glorious action shots of car races, swimmers, skiing, and pretty mistresses. He also did a lot of stereograph work like making 3D photographs. I think I may want to invest in a stereograph camera after seeing the dynamism of his work.

What Kind of Photographer am I?

Posted in Photography, Projects with tags , , on June 9, 2010 by michaelchernoff

It is reaching close to the point where I must deicide what I am doing for a photography project in Barcelona. I keep looking to the negatives and jpegs I have shot all being people, objects, and landscapes mostly urban. I keep trying to shoot architecture but eventhough I enjoy looking at buildings the results are rarily what I want. I need cititis with wide areas and busy activity and Barcelona is calmer than other places I have been in.

So landscape seems to be out of the picture and then I started thinking about my past work and what photos I enjoyed seeing everyday and putting on this blog. originally I thought these photos were nudes and cerebral photography. I put these labels on the pictures because I thought it would to be formal or traditional to just call them what I realised they are. I make portrait photography…I use human bodies and thought a portrait is someone standing staring into a camera or sitting for a painting. But not everything I make is a document of person even if the project is not supposed to identify with their persona…inevitably it does because mannerism reveal themselves in modeling.

Having people lift shirts over their heads and being covered in string made me believe that the material covering bodies was the focus. Instead I should be considering these photos indirectly as portraits. So are my friends models or portrait subjects. Well I am done guessing what I am doing here. I should be taking portraits of people…in color and black and white film. Digital is fine for walking around the city and capturing architecture, but persons will be devoted soley on T 400 Kodak film and Tri-X.

Also I really am into photographing advertisement around the city. Some light glares and reflection looks great and other times poor. This another route I could take too in the project. I’ll have to see what is well received tomorrow.

In this last year I feel that my photographic skills have improved simply because I concluded technically I was dumb when it came to shooting photos. It seemed like dumb luck was on my side with 35mm…now I feel competent again and coming to Barcelona has made acknowledge what photos could be instead of are.

Julien Mokrani

Posted in Artist, Photography, Video with tags , , , , , on May 19, 2010 by michaelchernoff

On Vimeo on found a video Called Beauty Reel it was crafted by a music video director named Julien Mokrani. I don’t know much about him (I’m pretty certain it’s an him). I can’t tell what his videos on the site are supposed to be about. It’s really mostly pretty thin women and a music video for a metal band which I didn’t care for the video or song. Since I haven’t seen much of his video work I have mixed feelings about what his work represents and if it holds my attention as art.

However his portraiture within photos are amazing. There is a sense of unaltered beauty in the images that doesn’t need nudity or provocative gestures. The bodies in the photos seem to effortlessly shine and the lighting and size of the photos dramatizes them to a new high. Both color and black and white are treated with same light and drawn out glamour of real stress and thinking positions. If that made any sense it’s that poses appear genuine and hide a formula of positioning models for media. Julien is a master of getting his models to pose without forcing gazes or pushed out bodies. Still the ideal prettiness is retained in his photos that resemble fashion and glam photos.

Julien seems to be relatively new creator so I hope he puts more video work up on the internet and that his photography will continue to grow along side it.