INTRODUCING LIZ BROWNE
I grew up in Venice Beach a small area of Los Angeles, California. Venice was interesting and an eclectic place for a kid to grow up in, there was always so much to see and tension to feel, but just road my bike around till the sun went down and I never realized what effect the city had on me till now… At almost 23. It’s strange to think about the moment when I discovered photography because it wasn’t something I had totally asked to do. My mother put me in a photography class in the neighborhood art center when I was 11. I had some interest in the camera itself before, walking around with my grandmother’s old Rollei looking through the ground glass, but no more curiosity than any other child. After I got my pictures back from our class trips around the neighborhood, I just really enjoyed what I could do and capture. That was the summer that started it. Actually, what made me start taking pictures was having a camera. I have goals of pushing my photography, and creating new ways to get the end image, projects I want to work on with others and ultimately keeping myself content about this life doing something I enjoy. Since I started taking photos my view of my surroundings has changed. I look at things in a constant lens, everything has some naturally created composition…yeah that sounds totally silly but it’s true. Other than that, the people I have met doing and participating in photography have changed my life and I thank them. It would be nice to get paid for my work and be around my friends and family, travel here and there, yeah that sounds nice. I don’t like to talk equipement because it’s too painful and not in my range of attainment. Though I have one of my fetish cameras, which is my beloved and overused Contax T2. This is a photograph of my brother and his truck as we are stopped at a gas station off the 5 highway trying to drive down from San Francisco back to Los Angeles after a long summer. This picture carries a kind of emotional purge of sorts, the happiness of a great summer ending, meeting someone who changed my life, struggles of life represented in the struggle of the truck and the appreciation of moments like this, to be nowhere and somewhere at the same time. I have to say there is so much amazing photographic work, it’s overwhelming and wonderful. I think we should always know where we’re coming from, so everyone should know this man: William Eggleston, he changed my life and don’t try looking at his photos online, go find a book in the library…
6:22 am • 3 June 2010 • 94 notes
INTRODUCING IAN STANTON
I currently live in Los Angeles. I love living here, although I still feel like I am not getting the most of what the city has to offer. I try and find time to explore, looking for interesting hikes and “hidden spots.” As a photographer, Los Angeles weather lends itself wonderfully to the art. It’s a rare occurrence where I’d have to cancel an outing or a shoot due to temperamental weather. I am 20 years old. I started taking photos the summer of 2009, 1 year ago. I was a jazz performance (saxophone) major my freshman year in college when my father was diagnosed with terminal cancer. It became progressively difficult to play jazz because so much of it had this attachment to my father, who was always extremely supportive of my music. I eventually put down the saxophone and picked up my fathers leica m7. My goals varie with the project I’m working on. Sometimes my photographic aims are to just take beautiful images. More recently I’ve been working with projects where concept supersedes aesthetics. I feel like my eyes have become more aware of the constant beauty that surrounds us in everyday life. I also feel like it’s helped push my creative and conceptual thinking. Without photography I would have never have found visual beauty in the most monotonous of tasks and chores. This is a picture of my friend Thomas, a fellow Fine Arts major at my college. We went out on a spontaneous outing to Sunken City in San Pedro, California. This site is where the 600 block of Paseo Del Mar, in the 1930s, literally slipped off a cliff and into the ocean. What’s left are housing pipes, brick walls, large strips of pavement and a whole lot of graffiti. We had to hop a few fences to get there, but it was well worth it. The constant critique on pervertism in art and the perforated logic by TORBJØRN RØDLAND has been a great inspiration for some of my latest workings.
12:25 pm • 25 May 2010 • 34 notes
INTRODUCING ASHLIE CHAVEZ
I live in LA County, specifically, Diamond Bar. It’s a good place to live. It’s a quiet suburban area- which is what I like. I like feeling safe more than all else. I’m 23 years old! I started shooting my first year of highschool -so I think I was 13 or 14. I consider myself to be a late bloomer photography wise. I did start using film immediately so I’m proud of that. I was pretty obsessed with the idea of the dark room. The red light and chemicals seemed so foreign in relationship to a photograph. So I quickly learned how to get that whole set up in my garage. And also my mother grew up being a professional analogue photographer so having all of her equipment at my dispense was definitely an incentive. Well, my goal as an artist is to share something personal, yet tasteful, so that it in turn can motivate some one else to do the same. I’m a strong believer that “creating” is a therapeutic endeavor and that all should have a share in it in one way or another- be it through painting or design. A great porting of my money goes to my photography fund and an even greater portion of my thought goes to how to constantly be growing as a photographer. It’s weird how passion takes over your brain if you’re not careful. I carry a camera with me always- a pretty heavy and crappy one. So I feel like everywhere I go I have this subliminal directive to capture something. I have a twin sister named Amber. We do a lot of collaborative work together. Even as we are getting older we’ve discovered how impeccable we are as a team. I don’t know if we would have discovered that if we weren’t so into photography. It’s like, when you’re on a similar road with someone, you can either choose to separate or collaborate, either grow strong independently, or strong as a unit. We chose the later of the two and I’d wouldn’t give that up for anything. Maybe it’s girly, but I’d be pretty lost if I didn’t have my sister backing me and visa versa. To everyone I know that is showing an interest in photography, I tell them this about equipement: use anything and everything! Don’t be picky! I shoot with whatever works and I don’t think twice about it. Some great things can be developed out of old and janky cameras. This is a picture of me. I’m 5 months pregnant in this photo. I had been crying for a few hours before I took it, because I hadn’t seen my sister in a few weeks and I missed her and I think my stomach was hurting bad. That’s my mom’s room I’m in. I pretty much felt useless at that time and wanted to hide. I was pretty bummed I couldn’t fit my whole self into the drawer. I like hiding in things. I admire Elinor Carucci’s work. I learned about her my first year of college. Her “Closer" series really inspires me. The work is so personal and clean, and very beautiful, but at the same time it’s raw in the sense that it doesn’t seem to be censored. Each photo in that series can stand alone and still be just at strong as the series all together. There are just so many great things about her work.
3:38 am • 19 May 2010 • 9 notes
INTRODUCING FRANKIE NAZARDO
I come from Milano, Italy. I left when I was 17 and moved to the UK, Oxford first and then London. I just moved to New York. I just turned 25. I started to take photography seriously around two years ago when I started working for photographer Boogie. Everybody takes pictures all the time with phones, digital cameras, computers etc. Consumerist culture is well reflected in the way we use images. I don’t know if that’s good or bad but for sure images and the act of taking pictures feel less special. Three years ago I bought an old film camera for very little money. The first time I developed the film really gave me a lot of stimuli. I am not against digital or anything but film was very important to make me continue to take pictures. It made everything much more personal, intimate and special. Now it’s almost the opposite: I shoot much more and the fact that film is relatively expensive can keep me from shooting. I had a lot of fun and magic moments shooting, I met great photographers that have become friends and I understood what I want to dedicate most of my day to. I would like a Mamiya 7, a Contax T2, a Contax G2 with three lenses, and a Mark 1 for commercial jobs. But I am also really happy with my Nikon F100 my friend Greg gave me for my bday/christmas. This is a picture of my girlfriend. I think this is the last time she cried. I can’t remember why she was crying but it was one of those moments when you realize how weird it is that we express sadness by dripping water from our eyes. I like Asger Carlsen's work a lot at the moment. The feeling that I get watching his Wrong series is pure confusion. I think that your brain try to categorize it but it can't really because it's so different from everything around. So it might trick you and dismiss it as something that is just weird for the sake of it. But it's really not, the more I try to put it in context with what is going on in contemporary photography, the more I appreciate it.
9:20 am • 16 May 2010 • 3 notes
INTRODUCING JAKE SIGL
I am from a dull suburb about an hour away from San Francisco. It’s very stepford-like if you know what I mean. I’m 18, and it is weird to know that in a few months I’ll be living on my own. When I was in 7th grade, I took a yearbook class, and I didn’t particularly have a passion for writing at the time. My teacher gave me a disposable camera and said, “Go take pictures, get close to their faces.” So that’s what I did, and my passion kept growing. As of now, I am toying with the idea of realism vs. surrealism. My life has changed drastically since I started taking photography seriously. My thinking process and perspective have expanded in ways I could have never imagined. The photograph above is one of my favorites. My best friend and I went to see a documentary in Berkeley, and it said “Capitalism” on the marquee, almost unnecessarily glorifying it. That needed to be captured, and inspired me to create an ongoing series of financial irony in the United States.
5:29 am • 10 May 2010 • 13 notes
INTRODUCING KAJ LEHMAN
I’m from Switzerland. It’s hard to describe how it feels living here, but let’s say that mornings come with a beautiful daylight. I’m 21. I started taking pictures after I started working with typography, 4 years ago. I started with a digital camera, then analogue color film, right now I’m doing lots of black and white analogue photographs and process them in the lab. In the year 2000 a boy threw a stone into my eye and got me blinded for a half an hour. This made me realize how valuable is your eyesight and how fast you can loose it. It became something special to me.I like working in series. They are like assignments that I give to myself, they always have a meaning. But I don’t give a lot of information about my pictures. That’s misleading for some people who believe in things that I didn’t originally wanted to say. I don’t mind for now. At least for the series I have made so far. I think this is the beauty of photography: people interpret their way what they see. Photography is motivating me to do certain things I wouldn’t do without a camera, some of them stupid, like, climbing on houses, some of them dangerous, like, running into a cloud of teargas. It’s crazy the things you can do with a camera in hand. Cameras are like wands. Although you’ll have to be able to throw the spell. Through photography I met my ex-girlfirend, she’s a wonderful person, I’m happy to know her. She’s a photographer too, her name is Ezgi Polat. Another thing I have done thanks to photography is the trip to Paris and to Switzerland’s mountains with Jessica Hans last month. The time with her was a great source of inspiration. This is a picture of a friend’s apartment. That night I couldn’t go home, so a friend of mine gave me the key of another friend’s apartment who was travelling at that time. I slept on the couch and when I woke up the next day, it was funny, seeing the mess she had left on the coffee table. Like if she had just gone out on the balcony for a minute. I like how Mark Mcknight works with light. I don’t think he has a website right now, but you can see some of this work here.
4:33 am • 3 May 2010 • 4 notes
INTRODUCING RYAN GAFFNEY
I was born, raised, and reside in Brooklyn, New York. The city is beautiful and I will always be proud to call Brooklyn my home but I couldn’t imagine spending much more time here. I am twenty years old. I began taking pictures around the age of eleven or twelve with disposable cameras, mostly of friends, skateboards, garbage. Somewhere along the way I developed a connection to photography that I hadn’t discovered with any other medium. I cannot recall what inspired me to begin taking photos, but I think it was a way to remember. I take photos for that same reason. Organizing my life through photographs, remembering the way things were and the way they will never be again. Taking photographs has become a part of life, so I wouldn’t say anything has changed since I started taking pictures besides the fact that I occasionally stop to take one. Thanks to it, I have met a lot of great young photographers, and I’ve been able to do more creatively with my time than had I never picked up a camera. I shoot with a Yashica fx-103 SLR and a Yashica t4. I borrow cameras, too. I think the process for me is about experimenting. If I’m surprised, I’m satisfied. This photograph is of Dave Geeting, who is a great photographer and also a great dude. It was early, I was exhausted and had an awful night previous. Taking photos is sort of therapeutic in situations like those. I find myself thinking more when I’m entirely stressed out. The rainbow is sunlight hitting a CD. Wouldn’t it be incredible if everyone walked around on a sunny day throwing rainbows everywhere? I couldn’t tell you if I had a favorite photographer, but there are some photos I stare at for weeks. I’ve been really feeling this Dimitri Karakostas photo found in the “A Different City 2” series. It looks like a guy bailing while his skateboard is twenty feet in the air. I’m not sure what the story is, but that’s probably why I can’t look away.
5:53 pm • 28 April 2010 • 13 notes
INTRODUCING RYAN FURBUSH
I grew up in Modesto, California. By the time I hit adolescents I had developed a strong love/hate relationship with my hometown. To live in a major US city was always a dream of mine as teenager, so when I turned twenty one I moved into a studio apartment on Capitol Hill in Seattle, Washington. That was five and a half years ago. Living in Seattle is disorienting, it makes me feel like a mess sometimes. That said, Seattle can feel like pure magic on a warm summer day when you are with your friends at the beach. I’m twenty six. I started doing photography at the beginning of 2009. My goal was to carry a 35mm film camera around with me at all times and document my life. It’s been 16 months and I have my camera in my pocket right now. I figure it takes ten years experience to get good. Film makes sense to me. The look of it and just the ritual of loading the film, shooting the photos, not knowing what i got, taking it to Bob at the camera shop, getting the photos back…it all appealed to me. I had been collecting vinyl and cassettes for a while and in some way it seemed like an extension of that. Collecting images gave me the same good feeling that collecting records did. Memories would seamlessly attach themselves to the artifacts and the information within held a lot of personal importance. I say fuck goals, fuck every one of them. We are all going to die and it might happen right now, so just live your life and be happy, try not to be a shithead and quit questioning why we are here. You don’t have to do anything with your life b/c it doesn’t matter. And that can be a very freeing thing. Most people have no clue who their great great grandfathers were. Most people can’t name one person from the 11th century. It all goes away fast. I should mention that every sentence out of my mouth right now starts with “my goal is…” So, my goal is to get photographs on walls. From my friends walls to the galleries walls. Any wall will do. My camera has helped me make more friends. My friends and I started a photography collective called Keep It Light. We meet once a week, give each other assignments and work on little photo jobs that come along. I look forward to our meetings every week and I feel honored to be apart of the group. None of that would have happened if I didn’t pick up a camera. As for cameras i’d pick a gold Contax T2, what a sexy camera. This is Frank in the picture. We met around this time last year. He’s just a fucking great dude. We were hanging out at my apartment on a Friday night drinking whiskey. I told him that I’ve always wanted to shoot someone in my apartment from the outside. That’s all I said and I walked outside. To my surprise he had stripped down to his underwear. I snapped two frames of his hot ass and came back inside. I knew something would come of it. Everything good in my life right now begins and ends with the people who put up with me and call me a friend. This dude kills it. I don’t know anything about him other than his work. His photos have an urgency and an element of spontaneity that I find really inspiring. The models seem to blend in to or compliment the landscape somehow. It’s equal parts cleverness and straight up compositional competence at a level I can’t really wrap my head around. I recently watched this Julius Shulman documentary and Tom Ford was saying how Julius has the ability to make a room more beautiful than it actually is. Somehow I think that sums up what makes a great photographer. This dude Lukas seems to have that going on on some level. Also, the quality of the grain makes my heart hurt a little.
6:57 am • 23 April 2010 • 11 notes
INTRODUCING ALEXANDER KOSTINSKYI
I’m from Kyiv, Ukraine. Quite a boring place to live in. I’m 22. I began at the age of 16, when my mom asked me to make a family picture. After four years I thought I was the best photographer ever. I want to satisfy my ego with it. If my picture is not boring for me everytime I look at it - then it is ok. I have a really bad scanner, so I’m spending a lot of time scanning and removing dust. I think I’m starting seeing things in frames. In this picture you can see how most of the girls see me. I like Tillmans, Sutherland and Ugne Straigyte. They are popular.
5:30 am • 20 April 2010 • 4 notes
INTRODUCING CHRISTOPHER SCHRECK
I was born, raised, and currently live in Chicago. It’s a great city for a lot of reasons – among them, the fact that the art/design community here is amazing; everybody’s active, blurring the lines between media and working together to make good things happen - but I’m thinking a change of scenery might be necessary in the near future. I’m thinking of going coastal. I’m 27. Photography’s only become a real focus for me over the past year or so. I was living in South America for a while, and during my travels, photography became my only means of visual output. I was documenting everything I saw pretty intently (as anyone does in those circumstances), and it occurred to me that when I encounter my surroundings with photography in mind, I pay far more attention to my environment, appreciate details I wouldn’t have noticed otherwise, and get to record the things that make me stop and think or feel something. It boils down to being as present as possible at a given moment, really, and that’s a nice thing to be, so I thought it would be great to keep that same mindset upon returning to the States. It’s only since I got back that I’ve started working in earnest on photos. For a long time, photography was just a casual thing I did for my own gratification, and it still is - it’s just that now I show my photos to other people as well. I love when a photo transcends context and becomes something different – when you capture an image that’s compelling enough to make a viewer feel or think something, but ambiguous enough not to dictate what those feelings or thoughts might be. The effect is kind of electric, and is easily recognized when it occurs, but it’s a difficult thing to verbalize. It certainly does not happen more often than not, which is part of what makes the process of taking photos so exciting. I suppose that’s my unconscious hope every time I feel moved to take a photo: for it to move beyond being simply a photo and become art, for lack of a better word. It has, actually. For one thing, it makes even the most banal activities potentially interesting and memorable. What’s more, as I’ve become more active in photography circles and have started making contact with other photographers, I’ve been really excited about how approachable, responsive, and eager to collaborate most of them have been, and I’ve been truly motivated by the amount of activity that’s happening in certain circles right now. We’re at an interesting point in which people can do things like put on shows or publish magazines themselves, with the same level of quality and legitimacy as any gallery, museum, or established publication, and I’ve found that there’s a large community of photographers and artists who aren’t waiting for such opportunities to be handed to them. They’re making it happen themselves, and usually with far more exciting and interesting results. Projects like STREAM, the projection show put together by Jennilee Marigomen and Andrew Laumann, as well as Brad Troemel and Lauren Christiansen’s “An Immaterial Survey of our Peers,” not only bring up really interesting and pertinent questions about the nature of photography and photographic presentation, but also are two great examples of talented people taking it upon themselves to put something together on their own, building a sense of community by working with people whose work they admire. There’s so much inspiring activity of that nature going on right now, and it has definitely changed how I think about both making and presenting my work. If I hadn’t begun focusing on photography, I probably would not have come across much of the amazing work being done in the field right now – and at the moment, I happen to relate to a lot of current photography more than I do most other contemporary art, so I’m thankful that things have gone as they have. As far as the future goes, I just hope that art will continue to make my daily life more enjoyable, serve as a means of meeting interesting, talented people, and allow me to participate in interesting, unexpected projects. I’ve never been the kind of person to lose my mind over a particular piece of equipment, whether it’s a camera, synthesizer, or whatever else. Actually, to date, I’ve only ever used the most basic digital cameras in my photography. I’ve found it an interesting challenge to have to work within their obvious limitations, and it’s definitely helped shaped my style – for instance, my use of filters while shooting, which has become a pretty significant element in my photographs, really came about because I was trying to compensate for the crudeness of straightforward digital photography. So using this kind of camera has worked out really well thus far, but I’m definitely going to begin trying out film soon, just to do something new. I’ve been getting advice from people as to what cameras to buy; my friend was telling me about the Canon EOS Rebel G 35mm recently, and it looks like nothing but net. This photo’s from a recent trip I took to Italy – the plant is actually blocking the view of the ruins of the Roman Forum. What was funny about that trip was that I was seeing so many amazing, historically-significant sites and sights, but what I found most visually engaging while I was there were the wild-looking plants that seem to pop up everywhere in that city. Jacob Holdt’s American Pictures series is one of the most affecting collections oflooking at Dennis Hopper’s photography as of late. Taschen put out a great book that collects his shots from 1961-1967, full of beautiful images of interesting people and strange American sights.
11:45 am • 15 April 2010 • 5 notes