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Tag Archives: New York Times

Sisters Forty Portraits in Forty Years

I first wrote about this as 25 years, but I haven’t been blogging for 15 years, and somehow now the story is 40 years, confused. However this is a fabulous longterm project that we could all undertake with our own families. In fact I don’t understand why more people don’t it is a wonderful record and fascinating in the changes the pictures show from faces with ageing,  posing and attitude, hairstyles, and clothes. It is a family record and a measure of our times. I found this most recent article in The New York Times I have just chosen the 10 year anniversaries, go and look at the intervening years here


1975, New Canaan, Conn.

The Brown sisters have been photographed every year since 1975. The latest image in the series is published here for the first time….

Nicholas Nixon was visiting his wife’s family when, “on a whim,” he said, he asked her and her three sisters if he could take their picture. It was summer 1975, and a black-and-white photograph of four young women — elbows casually attenuated, in summer shorts and pants, standing pale and luminous against a velvety background of trees and lawn — was the result. A year later, at the graduation of one of the sisters, while readying a shot of them, he suggested they line up in the same order. After he saw the image, he asked them if they might do it every year. “They seemed O.K. with it,” he said; thus began a project that has spanned almost his whole career. The series, which has been shown around the world over the past four decades, will be on view at the Museum of Modern Art, coinciding with the museum’s publication of the book “The Brown Sisters: Forty Years” in November.

Who are these sisters? We’re never told (though we know their names: from left, Heather, Mimi, Bebe and Laurie; Bebe, of the penetrating gaze, is Nixon’s wife). The human impulse is to look for clues, but soon we dispense with our anthropological scrutiny — Irish? Yankee, quite likely, with their decidedly glamour-neutral attitudes — and our curiosity becomes piqued instead by their undaunted stares. All four sisters almost always look directly at the camera, as if to make contact, even if their gazes are guarded or restrained. Text by SUSAN MINOT


1985, Allston, Mass.


1995, Marblehead, Mass.


2005, Cataumet, Mass.


this is the latest in the series 2014, Wellfleet, Mass.

Read the rest of the article and see all the pictures here

All photographs by Nicholas Nixon/Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco and Pace/MacGill Gallery, New York.

Duane Michals: Heart of the Question

In The New York Times we found this link to Lens, an article about Duane Michals, a sort of forward to his  exhibition: “Duane Michals: Open Book” will be on view through Nov. 9 at Osmos Address, 50 East First Street in Manhattan. The article is written by By DAVID GONZALEZ. Read the full article here this is the beginning

The philosophical “Questions Without Answers” is among the many books published by Duane Michals. But the title could just as easily apply to his relationship with his steelworker father, who invariably offered the same curt reply to young Sonny, as he was known growing up in McKeesport, Pa.

“My father drank and smoked a lot, and if I asked him a question, he would always say, ‘Go look it up,’ ” Mr. Michals, 81, recalled last week. “I got used to going to dictionaries and books. I loved pirate stories, where I imagined myself as Bruce, the cabin boy. I always loved to read.”

That love of the written word is a hallmark of Mr. Michals’s oeuvre, which has been published in some 30 books and exhibited in hundreds of shows. Famed for his dreamy, wry and philosophical narrative series, which feature hand-written, provocative thoughts, he has gone beyond the image itself in his quest to engage eye and mind with heart and soul. Art, he says, should be vulnerable.

Fittingly, a current show of his work at New York’s Osmos Address, “Duane Michals: Open Book,” lets viewers examine how he put together some of his best-known work. Entire drawers are filled with scraps of paper — from hotel note pads to subscription cards — on which he jotted down thoughts when they occurred to him. Others show how he wrote — and edited — some of the passages for “Questions Without Answers” and other books. They also show the breadth of his work, from Op-Ed illustrations to fashion spreads for Anne Klein or Yves Saint Laurent……..MORE

Henri Cartier-Bresson: ‘There Are No Maybes’

In 1971, Sheila Turner-Seed interviewed Henri Cartier-Bresson in his Paris studio for a film-strip series on photographers that she produced, with Cornell Capa

Q. Have you ever really been able to define for yourself when it is that you press the shutter?

A. It’s a question of concentration. Concentrate, think, watch, look and, ah, like this, you are ready. But you never know the culminative point of something. So you’re shooting. You say, “Yes. Yes. Maybe. Yes.” But you shouldn’t overshoot. It’s like overeating, overdrinking. You have to eat, you have to drink. But over is too much. Because by the time you press, you arm the shutter once more, and maybe the picture was in between.

Very often, you don’t have to see a photographer’s work. Just by watching him in the street, you can see what kind of photographer he is. Discreet, tiptoes, fast or machine gun. Well, you don’t shoot partridges with a machine gun. You choose one partridge, then the other partridge. Maybe the others are gone by then. But I see people wrrrr, like this with a motor. It’s incredible, because they always shoot in the wrong moment.

Q. Can you bear to talk a bit about your equipment?
A. I am completely and have always been uninterested in the photographic process. I like the smallest camera possible, not those huge reflex cameras with all sorts of gadgets. When I am working, I have an M3 because it’s quicker when I’m concentrating.

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.

Post-processing in the digital age: Photojournalists and 10b Photography

In the days before digital capture became the norm, photographers would, shoot the film and photographic labs would process and sometimes print the images. Rarely did photographers do their own lab work. It has been assumed that since the digital world overwhelmed us all that a photographer would undertake post processing themselves, I certainly do and most photographer I know do likewise however this very interesting article in the BJP by Olivier Laurent tells of photographers who hand over digital images to labs for post processing. Certainly the skills of being a photographer and working with Lightroom or Capture 1 or Photoshop are not the same so there is some logic to this. Also post production is tedious as hell and takes for ever, so if you can hand it over to someone who can do it better and more quickly why not?

“10b Photography has established itself as one of the world’s leading digital darkrooms, handling post-production for scores of award-winning photojournalists who trust that the company knows where to draw the line between processing and manipulation. Olivier Laurent meets the founders.

When Yuri Kozyrev was covering the Arab Spring, working in Bahrain, Egypt, Libya and Yemen for Time, instead of wiring his images direct to the magazine in New York, he sent them first to Claudio Palmisano in Rome, who would process them according to the photographer’s specifications, and then forward them to picture editor Patrick Witty. Palmisano is the co-founder of 10b Photography, which has been working with some of the biggest names in photojournalism for the past five years, including Paolo Pellegrin, Finbarr O’Reilly and Marcus Bleasdale, among many others. Their work has appeared in The New York Times, Newsweek and Russian Reporter, and they count among their clients the Nobel Peace Center, Saatchi & Saatchi, Magnum Photos, Noorand VII Photo.”.………MORE

“10b is a digital darkroom and, for all intents and purposes, works similarly to an old-fashioned darkroom. “The recent introduction of the raw shooting format has enabled digital photography to share a very similar workflow than with analogue photography,” says 10b on its website. “Just like a negative, a raw file cannot be printed the way it is and needs to be ‘developed’ first. Contrast, saturation and hue, for example, have to be set during the editing process. This step takes the name of ‘raw conversion’ and, with the exception of chemicals, it resembles the developing process of a film.”….…….MORE

Images © Yuri Kozyrev / Noor for Time.

Cuba In Focus from the Denver Post

“HAVANA – When Cuba legalizes buying and selling real estate by the end of the year – as the government promised again this week – many expect a cascade of changes: higher prices, mass relocation, property taxes and a flood of money from Cubans in the United States and around the world.

Private property is the nucleus of capitalism, of course, so the plan to legitimize it here in a country of slogans like “socialism or death” strikes many Cubans as jaw-dropping.

Indeed, most people expect onerous regulations and, already, the plan outlined by the state media would suppress the market by limiting Cubans to one home or apartment and requiring full-time residency. Yet even with some state control, experts say, property sales could transform Cuba more than any of the economic reforms announced by President Raul Castro’s government.”

These pictures are great…more from the excellent P Blog on the Denver Post

A worn staircase in an old house that has been subdivided and is in use by several families, known as a “solar,” in Old Havana, July 28, 2011. Experts say that even with some state controls, property sales, announced recently by the government that some would be permitted, could transform Cuba more than any other economic reform announced by President Raul Castro’s government. (The New York Times) #

A man gets a haircut in Central Havana, July 26, 2011. The area is one of the most heavily populated of the Cuban capital since many of these old buildings have been subdivided to house multiple families. (The New York Times)

A mother and son sleep in the livingroom of their house in Central Havana, July 27, 2011. Other family members sleep in a room known as “barbacoa (the barbecue),” a windowless floor added atop their current dwelling for added space. (The New York Times)

New York Times 2010: The Year in Pictures

These pictures from The New York Times really are excellent images, spend 10 minutes on these and it will be 10 minutes well spent