If you haven’t yet heard the news, Photographer Umida Akhmedova was convicted for slandering the Uzbek nation. Umida’s works under scrutiny are a short film, “The Burden of Virginity” and a published book, “Women and Men: From Dawn to Dusk”; which both investigate gender roles in rural Uzbekistan. In a strange turn of events, the judge who convicted Umida granted her amnesty, as a salute to the 18th anniversary of Uzbek independence. Umida still plans to appeal the conviction. What baffles so many is the fact that her photographs merely document, and do not really push forth an agenda or opinion. You can take a look at some of the ‘slanderous’ photographs after the jump. Do you find Umida’s portrayal of Uzbeki people as malicious? Have you ever experienced censorship? Weigh in on the matter and leave us a comment with your thoughts.
Photographer Edo Bertoglio was a pioneer of his time. He became involved in the scene in downtown New York in the 80s during a time of energy, creativity and luxury, and captured intimate moments of celebrities, art stars and night owls involved in that scene. His new book New York Polaroids 1976-1989 is a collection of those times and showcases a candid side to many people not rarely seen, and used the Polaroid camera in a way not commonly used. Bertoglio frequented clubs like CBGB and Studio 54, and snapped images of Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Grace Jones, Debbie Harry and Madonna. In fact, one image that Bertoglio had taken of Madonna was meant to be the cover for her Like A Virgin record, until the producers had a change of heart at the last moment.
He used the Polaroid SX70 because it was a portable, durable, instant camera, and meant that Bertoglio could easily travel at his will – from vacations to Greece or Porto Rico, to spontaneous motorcycle trips to Staten Island – and take photos easily. The native Swiss photographer has exploited the characteristics of the polaroid camera and used them as stylistic nuances. Blurs, light flares, and unexpected color spots become a feature of his work.
He infuses many of his polaroids with a distinctive pop quality, hyper-real, pre-digital, playing with an unmistakable intertwining of silhouettes and intense, lively, counterposed tones, faded mono- chrome atmospheres, clear-cut juxtapositions of subjects, forms and colors, close-ups and backgrounds. He has synthesized the narcissistic and decadent hue of his time.
His book is available to purchase here at Yard Press.
Color is the name of the game for Beatriz Milhazes, a multidisciplinary artist from Rio de Janeiro. Wild colors in fact, and wild geometric forms to boot. Milhazes has exhibited in museums around the world and even represented Brazil at the Venice Biennale in 2003. If you are in the New York area, make sure to go and see her Gold Rose Series at James Cohan Gallery, an edition of seven silkscreen and wood block prints that were made at Durham Press in Pennsylvania.
Diego Bergia (also known as LEPOS) is working on a series of animated clips in the style of a 90’s arcade game with the help of GIANT, REVOK and CES. The clips successfully merge the world of graffiti with the brash excitement of “Beat em Up” arcade games that were prominent in the 90’s such as Final Fight and Streets of Rage. Here’s to Bergia being able to make a playable version one day!
Portland, Oregon based artist Zoe Keller creates intricate and whimsical nature themed illustrations and designs. After her graduation from Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), Keller found herself spending time in rural areas such as the rocky cost of Maine, on a blueberry farm in Michigan, and the quiet town of Hudson, New York. Inspired by her experience and her surroundings, Keller’s work aims to explore the “intersection of art making, activism and the natural sciences.” Using graphite renderings that are sometimes enhanced with digital coloration, Keller’s drawings are flawless and comprehensive. Each work, exploring a stylized still life or, in some cases, a more narrative focused composition, acts as a tiny shrine to nature. Many of her drawings depict endangered species, allowing her art to serve as a form of education, awareness, and perhaps memorial. For example, her piece Life Cycle portrays the various phases within the life of a Black Racer Snake, an endangered species native to Maine. Another piece, Endangered Turtles, is a charming composition of North American endangered turtles stacked by size. Her drawings have a lithographic feel, allowing them to act as a part of the classical tradition of drawing as documentation. Her images clearly pay homage to the vintage botanical drawings once used before the days of photography. Painstakingly detailed, yet simultaneously fun and carefree, her images have an almost fairytale quality. Keller’s work is undoubtedly endearing and her craftsmanship undeniably elaborate.
Paul over at Buy Tees recently reviewed our recent Summer ’09 apparel release that went on the online shop last week. The review is really something else- he went through and gave amazing, descriptive reviews of four of our tees (Explosion, Goldfish, Meltdown and Throw Up). Just check out his words on Goldfish: “Highly reminiscent of Terry Gilliam’s early animated works with topped up with a thick slice of Salvador Dalifor good measure, Jerico Santander’s beautifully bizarre t-shirt design simply entitled Goldfish leaves me agog. I’ll type one-handed as the other attempts to close my dropped jaw which will probably remain in that position for at least the next few minutes.” Anyways, check out the review….and, while you’re at it….check out Paul’s artwork here.
Some nice photographs can be found on the Richard Kelly site. I personally like the above portraits best but a wide array of fashion and music photography can be found in his portfolio
Final mourning of the end of summer. Aerial photos of beaches and beach people from California-based photographer Gray Malin. These are part of a series entitled À La Plage, À La Piscine. Malin shot the pictures from the open door of a helicopter flying over beaches and pools from the U.S. to Brazil, to Australia. Reducing us to our tiniest, the photographs reveal patterns that would’ve been otherwise undiscovered. (via)