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Daily Archives: March 14, 2012

Paul Graham wins 2012 Hasselblad award

Self-taught photographer becomes first British winner of international prize for recognition of major achievements, writes in The Guardian.

Paul Graham has been named as the winner of the 2012 Hasselblad award, which is presented annually to “a photographer recognised for major achievements”. It is the first time a British photographer has won the prestigious international prize. Previous recipients include Robert Adams (2009), Nan Goldin (2007) and William Eggleston (1998).

Graham, who had a major retrospective at the Whitechapel Gallery in London last year, is a self-taught photographer. He was born in Buckinghamshire and discovered photography through the books of great American pioneers like Robert Frank, Walker Evans and Paul Strand. He has lived in New York since the early 1990s. Graham first garnered critical acclaim with his early documentary work, including A1 – The Great North Road (1983) , a series shot in colour along the British motorway, and Beyond Caring (1985), which was shot in unemployment offices. Back then, Graham was a pioneer of colour in Britain, his work influencing subsequent generations of young photographers.”………MORE

Pittsburgh, 2004 (Lawnmower Man)From the series ‘A Shimmer of Possibilities’. Copyright of the artist, courtesy of Anthony Reynolds Gallery, London.The Foundation’s citation regarding the decision to award the 2012 prize to Paul Graham is as follows:

“Paul Graham is one of the most brilliant photographers of his generation. During the course of his nearly 40-year career, he has presented an extremely focused body of work, at once perfectly coherent and never monotonous. In images both sensitive and subtly political, he makes tangible the insignificant traces of the spirit of the times we do not normally see. With his keen awareness of the photographic medium, he has constantly developed innovative forms of working with all aspects of photography. This makes him a profound force for renewal of the deep photographic tradition of engagement with the world.”

More of Graham’s pictures can be seen here

Photographer Nan Goldin’s best shots – from The Guardian

Nan Goldin, is an artist and photographer that you either get or you don’t. Many people look at her pictures and struggle to understand why they are so lauded. Her work often has an autobiographical lead, showing the faces and more often bodies of those she shares her life with. You may know of her breakthrough work “The Ballad of Sexual Dependency” and later “I’ll Be Your Mirror”

As Wikipedia says “She began documenting the post-punk new-wave music scene, along with the city’s vibrant, post-Stonewall gay subculture of the late 1970s and early 1980s. She was drawn especially to the Bowery’s hard-drug subculture; these photographs, taken between 1979 and 1986, form her famous work The Ballad of Sexual Dependency — a title taken from a song in Bertolt Brecht’s Threepenny Opera.  These snapshot aesthetic images depict drug use, violent, aggressive couples and autobiographical moments. Most of her Ballad subjects were dead by the 1990s, lost either to drug overdose or AIDS; this tally included close friends and often-photographed subjects Greer Lankton and Cookie Mueller.  In 2003, The New York Times nodded to the work’s impact, explaining Goldin had “forged a genre, with photography as influential as any in the last twenty years.”  In addition to Ballad, she combined her Bowery pictures in two other series: “I’ll Be Your Mirror…..MORE from Wiki

The Guardian has an interview with Nan Goldin by

“I don’t photograph adults so much any more. I don’t have a child and, psychologically, my focus on them is a lot about me wishing that I did. But I am a godmother to friends’ children around the world – in Berlin, New York, Sweden and Italy. I don’t remember much ever feeling like a child, so maybe photographing them triggers memories. They are wild and magical, as if from another planet. And they haven’t been socially conditioned yet, so they can scream and express how they feel publicly. Sometimes I envy them. When I am in a group of people, the children and I find each other’s eyes, and end up laughing at the same, unspoken thing.

I’ve been taking pictures of children since the early 1980s, and it’s become increasingly important to me. I see a continuum in the children of my friends, some of whom have died. It’s about hoping that my friends will bring up a new species of people.”….I certainly think that my work comes from a humanistic vision of the world, rather than some kind of manipulative, theoretical version of art. It’s about the people and places I love, and that haunt me.” Here is the rest of the article

She was born a girl but chose to grow up as a boy’. Photograph: Nan Goldin

All images ©Nan Goldin. There is a gallery of Nan Goldin images on the Guardian website here

There are images for sale on the ArtNet site and a full biography, here is that link  They also have a list of galleries currently selling her photographs here

from the Guardian article we learn…….
Influences: When I was starting out, John Cassavetes, Guy Bordin and August Sander. Now, Christer Stromholm and Anders Petersen.Top tip:Don’t do it. There are way too many photographers. Try to draw or get politically involved in something that matters. And unless you need to make art to stay alive, you shouldn’t be making art.High point: I appreciated everything as it came along – I didn’t know there would be more. But the retrospective at the Whitney in 1996, the last book I did, The Beautiful Smile, and my show at the Louvrewere real high points.Low point: The past seven years: I haven’t been able to publish a book because of a contract, and have been considered a dead artist.

John Pawson: the 500 photographs-a-day man

“He may be one of our leading architects, but John Pawson has an addiction: photography. How did he turn his 230,000 ‘snatched shots’ into a book?”

“When I’m visiting a site, I feel naked without my camera. I take up to 500 pictures a day and I make my staff do the same. Once we’re back in the office, thinking about what sort of building might be right for the location, we run through the shots and explain what we were thinking when we took each one.

If people mention something specific about a place, a type of brick they saw perhaps, I always want evidence. “Where’s the photograph?” I say. A verbal description can help, but it’s not necessarily what the person saw. Video is fantastic, but it’s much too time-consuming. I can’t sketch, so I take pictures instead.” writes in The Guardian….MORE here

I don’t delete anything. I learned not to. Deciding what to delete takes a long time and, besides, the great thing about digital is that you don’t need to. The 272 pictures in A Visual Inventory, my new photography book, have been whittled down from an archive of 230,000. I don’t just take pictures on site visits, though. If something catches my eye, wherever, I’ll simply point and shoot. It could be the weather, the local architectural vernacular, some kind of material, pattern or texture.”

John Pawson’s photograph of a tree trunk

“I thought the tree trunk (1) looked like the foot of a dinosaur. On the construction site (2), it was the orange material that attracted me; it was only when I got home that I noticed how thin the floors were”


Here are a couple of John Pawson designed buildings the first for the Design Museum and the second for the Commonwealth Institute, if you want more info on Pawson this link will help