Tag Archive: art


Artist preserves print by embroidering newspapers and magazines

In our first year at dvafoto, I wrote about Kim Rugg, an artist who rearranges the letters on newspaper front pages in alphabetical order. In another imaginative approach to the object of print journalism, Lauren DiCoccio has taken to embroidering snippets of newspapers and magazines (among her many other projects) and the results create a beautiful preservation of the periodical publication. In sewnnews, DiCoccio covers sections of the New York Times in muslin and embroiders sections of the cover photos and headlines. In 365 Days of Print, she isolates small segments of the page and renders the text in thread. In National Geographics, she creates thread and fabric idealizations of issues of the yellow-bordered magazine. Throughout these projects, threads dangle and the embroidery seems almost unfinished.

Christian protesters destroy Andres Serrano’s Piss Christ in France

Piss Christ by Andres Serrano

Piss Christ by Andres Serrano

“Just after 11am on Sunday, four people in sunglasses entered the gallery where the exhibition was being held. One took a hammer from his sock and threatened security staff. A guard restrained one man but the remaining members of the group managed to smash an acrylic screen and slash the photograph with what police believe was a screwdriver or ice pick. They then destroyed another photograph, of nuns’ hands in prayer.” -Andres Serrano’s Piss Christ destroyed by Christian protesters, The Guardian, 18 April 2011

Piss Christ, the long-controversial photograph by Andres Serrano depicting a crucifix submerged in urine, has been attacked once again by Christian protestors. The work was on display in Avignon, France, in an exhibition celebrating the collection of art dealer Yvon Lambert. This is not the first time the work has been protested or attacked; the work was at the forefront of an effort led by US Senator Jesse Helms to end government funding of the US’ National Endowment for the Arts, and in 1997 teenagers used a hammer to destroy a copy of the photo at the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, Australia.

(via APhotoStudent on facebook)

Worth a Look: Trailer for JR’s film “Women Are Heroes”

JR, who recently won the 2011 Ted Prize, has released a trailer for his upcoming feature film “Women Are Heroes”. We’ve seen pictures from this project before (the World Press Photo award and the video from the Paris installation) but the film is nice new dimension to this project, with what seems like documentary footage of the cities and situations he worked in. I only wish I spoke French so I could go through the background information on the film’s website.

(via the always great Wooster Collective, an indispensable website about street art)

Exhibition: Scene on the Street at Vermont Photo Space

Two of my photos have been selected for a juried show at the Vermont Photo Space called “Scene on the Street” (if you’re viewing this post after the exhibition, the link may no longer point to the right place). The juror for the exhibition is Ed Kashi, a photojournalist whose work I deeply respect. The exhibition opens Dec. 13, 2010, but the reception will be on Dec. 19, 2010 at 3pm. Vermont Photo Space is located at 12 Main St., Essex Junction, Vermont.

There are a couple of friends in the exhibition as well. Peter McCollough will have 3 pictures on the walls, and Peter Hoffman will have 1 in the show.

The Book Club: J.M. Coetzee’s Slow Man

For the second entry in our new Dvafoto Book Club I’m thinking about J.M. Coetzee’s novel Slow Man, which I’ve been reading this week while on assignment in Budapest. This a book, shortly, about an Australian photographer who loses a leg in a bicycle accident and the succession of day nurses who tend to him and his depression, before a Croatian immigrant and caregiver becomes the focus of his attention. It is no wonder why a good friend of mine thoughtfully shipped me a copy of this from the States last month, especially after I mentioned how great Coetzee’s novel Disgrace was.

Control room of the Stari Trg mine in Mitrovica, Kosovo, 2009. (c) Matt Lutton


I’m still in this book but a passage leapt out at me this afternoon. I don’t know where it leads in the novel or really the character’s context for saying this, but I’m sure it’s worth a thought for artists and photographers. The narrator is the photographer Paul Rayment, he mentions his collection of first-generation photographs of early South Australian miners which he will donate to a University, his nurse Marijana Jokić and the young man in a car who caused his accident on Magill Road.

More than likely the Jokićs brought with them from the old country their own picture collection: baptisms, confirmations, weddings, family get-togethers. A pity he will not get to see it. He tends to trust pictures more than he trusts words. Not because pictures cannot lie but because, once they leave the darkroom, they are fixed, immutable. Whereas stories – the story of the needle in the bloodstream, for instance, or the story of how he and Wayne Blight came to meet on Magill Road – seem to change shape all the time.

The camera, with its power of taking in light and turning it into substance, has always seemed to him more a metaphysical than a mechanical device. His first real job was as a darkroom technician; his greatest pleasure was always in darkroom work. As the ghostly image emerged beneath the surface of the liquid, as veins of darkness on the paper began to knit together and grow visible, he would sometimes experience a little shiver of ecstasy, as though he were present at the day of creation.

That was why, later on, he began to lose interest in photography: first when colour took over, then when it became plain that the old magic of light-sensitve emulsions was waning, that to the rising generation the enchantment lay in the techne of images without substance, images that could flash through the ether without residing anywhere, that could be sucked into a machine and emerge from it doctored, untrue. He gave up recording the world in photographs then, and transferred his energies to saving the past.

Does it say something about him, that native preference for black and white and shades of grey, that lack of interest in the new? Is that what women missed in him, his wife in particular: colour, openness?

The story he told Marijana was that he saved old pictures out of fidelity to their subjects, the men and women and children who offered their bodies up to the stranger’s lens. But that is not the whole truth. He saves them too out of fidelity to the photographs themselves, the photographic prints, most of them last survivors, unique. He gives them a good home and sees to it, as far as he is able, as far as anyone is able, that they will have a good home after he is gone. Perhaps, in turn, some as yet unborn stranger will reach back and save a picture of him, of the extinct Rayment of the Rayment Bequest.

I think there are some ideas in here that our readers will recognize or react strongly to, and I hope to read your responses. I’ll post my thoughts and perhaps conclusions after I finish the book, with part two of this post.

Young and Abandoned in FeztivArt 2010

Four of my images (above) from the series Young and Abandoned, portraits of orphans on the verge of institutionalization in rural Jiangsu Province, China, will be included in an exhibition at Fe艺术iv’Art (Feztiv Art) in Shanghai, China, from January 22-26th, 2010. There is an opening on January 22 at 6:30 pm. I’ll be there.

The festival was created by the Artdidact, the Artistic Commission of the French Junior Chamber International of Shanghai, whose aim is “to take part and contribute to the progress of the global community by giving to the young the opportunity to develop their leadership skills, their social responsibility and the necessary solidarity for taking actions to produce positive changes. Members of the JCI identify and realize projects to serve the positive evolution of their city in all fields: arts, social, economics, cultural, community…”

The subject of the exhibition is “China Youth,” and the pictures will be on display at Art + Shanghai Gallery at Fumin Lu, Lane 22, House 2, (Near Yanan Lu). Phone: +86-21 6248 4388. In the off-chance that someone in Shanghai is reading this, I hope to see you there.

China Punk print up for sale in Daniel Cooney’s Emerging Artists Auction

Duwei, drummer for the Nanjing-based punk band Overdose, rests in a park with friends before a gig at the small YuYinTang rock club in Shanghai, China.

Duwei, drummer for the Nanjing-based punk band Overdose, rests in a park with friends before a gig at the small YuYinTang rock club in Shanghai, China.

I’m excited to announce that one of my prints, above, is on the block in Daniel Cooney’s iGavel Emerging Artists Auction. The reserve is US$200. The auction began Jan. 14, and will continue until Feb. 4.

The rest of the auction is worth a look, too. Among the photography, I particularly like the photos by Jody Ake, Ina Jang, Shane Lavalette, Wayne Lawrence, Nicole Lloyd, Michael Marcelle, Kelli Pennington, Irina Rozovksky, Jake Stangel, and Lyndsy Welgos. If you’ve got some spare wall space (and some cash burning a hole through your pocket), make a bid.

McSweeney’s “San Francisco Panorama” showcases the beauty of printed journalism

San Francisco Panorama

San Francisco Panorama

Q: Why broadsheet?
A: We think that the best chance for newspapers’ survival is to do what the internet can’t: namely, use and explore the large-paper format as thoroughly as possible. To that end, we opted for a huge and luxurious broadsheet–15″ x 22″. Then we unleashed artists and designers to show exactly how much the format can do.” -McSweeney’s FAQ on the one-shot San Francisco Panorama project

McSweeney’s, whose lists you should know, is producing a one-time-only 380-page newspaper to be distributed in San Francisco, to McSweeney’s subscribers, and in bookstores across the US. The teaser pages of the San Francisco Panorama are beautiful, and the list of contributors reads as a who’s who of contemporary American writing, design, illustration. The photography is top notch, too. Can’t wait to see one of these in the flesh.

Google Street View’s Unintentional Street Photography

Victoria Highway, Gregory, Australia

Victoria Highway, Gregory, Australia

I love this. Artist Jon Rafman has mined the depths of Google’s Street View project and found some gems. Street View, of course, is Google’s effort beginning in 2007 to photograph the streets and storefronts of the world as part of its Google Maps direction finding service. Rafman’s project website has 3 pdf volumes comprising his Street View curation. Others have done this before, and at least one crime has been solved using Google Street View, but this is the first effort I’ve seen culling out (or attempting to cull out) interesting photography.

(via waxy.org)

Adam Magyar’s scanner photos

Adam Magyar - Urban Flow - detail from #54 (2006) Shanghai

Adam Magyar - Urban Flow - detail from #54 (2006) Shanghai


Lens Culture brought my attention to Adam Magyar‘s supremely weird panoramics made with a home-made digital slit-cam, not unlike the cameras that record photo finishes at horse races. The pictures (really, minutes-long slices of time) come from Shanghai or London or Hong Kong and are both abstract and realistic at the same time. I don’t know that I could look at many imitators, but Magyar’s pictures arouse a refreshing wonderment and surprise.

(sort of in the same vein, if you’re interested, revisit Simon Hoegsberg’s “We’re All Gonna Die (2007)”)