Angelo Merendino Photographs His Wife’s Battle With Terminal Cancer

1cancer battler

death by cancer

Five months after being wed in Central Park, while most couples are settling into a new blissful life together, Angelo Merendino and his wife Jennifer received troubling news: Jennifer had breast cancer.

Of this diagnosis, and the journey that ensued, Angelo states, “With each challenge we grew closer. Words became less important. One night Jen had just been admitted to the hospital, her pain was out of control. She grabbed my arm, her eyes watering, ‘You have to look in my eyes, that’s the only way I can handle this pain.’”

Angelo took his wife’s request seriously and his photographs, collected here, document not just her struggle with cancer, but also a certain compassionate way of looking– a presence from behind the lens that is not exploiting nor agenda-driven. Each black and white image from Angelo shows the necessity of bearing witness or being a vulnerable presence that is sharing in the difficult and very human experience of love and loss.

Angelo additionally notes, “We loved each other with every bit of our souls. Jen taught me to love, to listen, to give and to believe in others and myself. I’ve never been as happy as I was during this time.”

For those of us touched by cancer, we can relate to Angelo’s statement — sickness is not just about the disease, it’s about relationships: how we deepen with one another by practicing empathy and how this feeling palpably echoes long after someone passes. Capturing this feeling in art, the way Angelo has, connects not just two people, but many millions more.

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Peter Menzel Photographs What A Weeks Worth Of Groceries Looks Like Around The World

Peter Menzel - Photographs

United States

Peter Menzel - Photographs

Germany

 

Chad

Chad

Equador

Equador

What does a week of groceries look like for you? Do you buy a lot of fruits, maybe some vegetables? Or, do you go for the frozen pizza and cookies? Peter Menzel photographed one week of groceries for families around the world. Traveling to places like Mexico, France, Chad, Mongolia, and more, he highlights the differences between the type and amount of food that is bought each week.  Some of the disparity is staggering, especially when comparing volume of food and nutritional value on a week to week basis.

Being from the US, I was not surprised at the amount of processed food I saw. In this photograph, there are very few fruits and vegetables. Compared with places like Turkey and India, whose diets are comprised of mostly fresh foods, it was kind of disgusting. Just think about how many preservatives and chemicals there are! Something that’s pretty consistent from country to country is the purchase of liquids each week. Sodas (especially Coca-Cola), juices, bottled water are all things that showed up in nearly every picture. The family in Germany includes several bottles of wine and beer, which doesn’t amount to that much over the week, but together seems significant.

Of course, this is just a snapshot of one family and not necessarily indicative of how an entire country eats. We don’t know the finer details of the subjects, like the city they live in or their socioeconomic status. But, it does point to some trends and cultural habits that exist. It also gives us a snapshot to how other people unlike us live, which is always a good thing to be aware of.

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Queenie Liao Recreates Her Sons Dreams While He Sleeps

dream Photography

kid dreams

kid Photography Here’s another parent and child collaboration (recall yesterday’s post). However, this one does not deal with the heart-warming ways of an autistic boy, rather it involves a sleeping baby, teddy bears, and tons of imagination… Queenie Liao, mother and photographer, creates Wengenn in Wonderland, a compilation of photographs that depicts a mother’s exploration of what her baby’s dreamland could possibly be like. Liao photographs her son, Wengenn, in his sleep- her sleeping son, however, is not the main focus point here. With a little creativity, some clothes, sheets and teddy bears, Queenie crafts a myriad of endearing scenarios in which her sleeping son participates in. Is little Wengenn dreaming what his mom thinks he is dreaming? Although we can never truly know what babies dream about, this little gem of a collection projects what we wish it to be: flowers and butterflies, colored trains, towers of books, bunnies and castles, and trips to the moon. Let the whimsy of this collection take over you; it feels good. After all you might just go to sleep tonight hoping to dream just like little Wengenn does in these photographs! (via My Modern Met)

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Timothy Archibald Photographs His Autistic Son As Therapy

autistic Photography Photography

autistic son

Echoliia, a collection of photographs taken by Timothy Archibald, is a heart-warming study of the photographer’s 5-year-old autistic son, Eli. In hopes to get his frustrations out through creativity, Archibald photographed his son’s odd but endearing behaviors in order to understand him better and create a stronger, trustworthy relationship between the two of them.

The collection reveals the child’s unique perspectives and interaction with the world around him. With a trashcan on his head and a cardboard tube ’arm’, Eli conquers his world. His dad couldn’t be prouder to capture the uniqueness he exudes.

“I never wanted [Eli] to think that he was normal. I wanted him to be aware of how different he was and see that as an asset.”

Through this series, not only do you acknowledge Eli’s quirks, but also witness Archibald’s accepting and loving gaze.The father and child collaboration is available in book form on the artist’s website. (via My Modern Met)

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Rosanna Jones’ Overpainted-Photoseries ‘Skins’

RJones2 RJones3 RJones

The photoseries Skins by British photographer Rosanna Jones has all the necessary elements of alluring art; a distinctive and unique perspective, inventive technique and haunting imagery. Describing herself as a fashion and portraiture photographer, as well as a mixed media artist, Jones currently studies photography at Falmouth University in Cornwall, UK. Created as part of her Final Major Project, Jones began the series investigating how the face many of us present publicly ends up being the front which conceals our true nature from ourselves. This perspective is particularly poignant for a fashion photographer, who no doubt has seen firsthand an industry which is quite openly based on hiding and disguising imperfections. Says Jones, “…my theme was Concealment - looking at concealing ourselves until we’re no longer recognisable.”

Jones’ work was also inspired by another photographer known for obscuring the human form, Rik Garrett and his Symbiosis series. Garrett explains his artistic goal in the over-painted photos as “erasing the boundaries of the human body. By applying paint directly to the surface of photographs, I have actualized an impossible dream…” a process that when paralleled to Jones’ Skin series creates a unique bond between the two photoseries.

Jones is intentionally vague on the specifics of how the over-painted and (possibly) collaged images are created, which only adds more allure to the shrouded and obscured works. Says Jones, “A few people were confused when seeing them in real life about what they literally were – the more mystery the better I say – but they’re digital photo collages which are then overpainted”, giving each work both emotive beauty and metaphorical weight rarely seen in conventional fashion photography.

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Iain McKell’s Photographs Of Modern Day Gypsies

Iain McKell- Photography

Iain McKell- Photography

Iain McKell- Photography

Iain McKell, a renowned fashion and social documentary photographer, has compiled a series of compelling images, The New Gypsies, which depicts both the physical and emotional life of a modern traveler community living in the outskirts of a technology-driven society. McKell creates surreal images that almost treat his subjects as fictional characters, yet we find that there is an undeniable hint of warmness, liveliness and honesty that instantly creates a strong bond between viewer and subject.

The British horse-drawn travelers whom sport decorated caravans, colorful clothing, and share a desire for freedom from the trappings of contemporary life, served the artist as more than just an artistic project; he calls the 10-year study “a personal journey.”

With these photographs, McKell intends to show a way of living that is both colorful and meaningful- something that lacks in contemporary living. He states that the tribe draws from the past and combines with the future, therefore “creating a set of progressive new ideas and values that are not based on materialism […] and are not chained by the stress and complications of our modern existence.”

In 2011, the photographer published a book of the series by the name of The New Gypsies by Ian McKell, it includes essays by Val Williams and Ezmeralda Sang. (via Huffpost Arts & Culture)

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Pieter Hugo’s Portraits Reveal Skin Impurities To Comment On Race And Beauty

Federica Angelucci, Cape Town, 2011

Federica Angelucci, Cape Town, 2011

Ulrica Knutsdotter, Cape Town, 2011

Ulrica Knutsdotter, Cape Town, 2011

Rob van Vuuren, Cape Town, 2011

Rob van Vuuren, Cape Town, 2011

Pieter Hugo, a South African photographer, plays with color channel manipulation to create portraits that highlight the impurities on his subject’s skin to make a statement about race, the colonial experiment in South Africa, and contemporary ideas of beauty.

There’s a Place in Hell for Me and My Friends entails portraits of the artist’s friends- all whom call South Africa their home. Through the manipulation of color, Hugo emphasizes the sitter’s blemishes and sun damage making them look darker than they would normally appear without the editing process.

In these portraits one sees how the sitters’ environment, a place where there is incredibly harsh sunlight, has started to ‘corrode’ our epidermis. This speaks to me about the South African colonial experiment – all these people from all over the world, thrown together within the confines of a nation by the forces of history. The damage left by the sun and the environment becomes allegorical of the burden of South Africa’s tempestuous and fraught past. History leaves its marks on us. It eats away at us. We cannot escape its heavy weight.

Besides the political allegories found in the work, Hugo is also interested in highlighting the errors of racial distinction by revealing that beneath it all, beneath our skin, we all look the same. As the critic Aaron Schuman writes about Hugo’s work, “although at first glance we may look ‘black’ or ‘white’, the components that remain ‘active’ beneath the surface consist of a much broader spectrum. What superficially appears to divide us is in fact something that we all share, and like these photographs, we are not merely black and white – we are red, yellow, brown, and so on; we are all, in fact, colored.” (Images via Stevenson)

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Selina Roman’s Burqa Project Offers Viewers Lateral Perspectives

Growth

Growth

Memories of Childhood

Memories of Childhood

Pink Float

Pink Float

The Burqa, full-body cover up worn primarily by Islamic women of faith, has been subject of much controversy for decades, especially in Western societies. Many say that the garment oppresses women, leaving them astray and without a voice in a world were men dominate them.

Selina Roman‘s Burqa Project takes the Burqa and turns its literal meaning around through the medium of photography and visual composition in order to challenge the viewer’s mainstream knowledge of it.

Roman, a former reporter, hopes to offer her audience a different view point, a new way of seeing, she comments on her artist statement.

Although the Burqa is shrouded in religious significance, I take it out of this context in an attempt to explore these other attributes. Instead of showcasing it as an oppressive garment, I place the Burqa in idyllic Florida landscapes to let it float and billow. In turn, it becomes an ephemeral and weightless object removed from its politicized context.

Apart from Roman’s obvious emphasis on the beauty and femininity that these garments project,  she also wants to shed light on the qualities that we often forget to acknowledge. There are many interesting characteristics that the Burqa provides to any that wears it- i.e anonymity, security, and power.

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