Scott Sheffield

Scott Sheffield (b. 1994) is a photographer currently based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and a recent graduate of the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design. With Midwestern roots (born and raised in Chicago, Illinois), travel was a critical part of Scott’s childhood and continues to play a large role in his current practice. Scott’s recent work explores place and culture through looking at the built landscape as evidence of human presence and action.

Frontiers

Frontiers examines the tourist culture of present-day America through a number of small towns situated at the entrances of its National Parks. Originally developed out of necessity for food and lodging, these towns have transformed into family vacation destinations, appropriating American and regional history for their own commercial benefit with intentions often removed from those of the National Park Service.

To view more of their work please visit their website.

Kosmas Pavlidis

Kosmas Pavlidis, born 1978, is a photographer, living and working in Thessaloniki, Greece. He is co-founder and academic director of Stereosis school of contemporary photography, created in 2004.He has curated numerous group and solo exhibitions, projections and publications for emerging lens based artists. At the same time his work has been showcased in various group exhibitions and international festivals including Medphoto 2016 (Borders-Crossroads), Photobiennale Thessaloniki and Thessaloniki international film festival. In addition he has exhibited his photographs in important art spaces such as Museo de Bogota, Casa Bianca, Michael Cacoyannis foundation and in several galleries in Europe.

Reconstruction

Reconstruction is a photographic representation where documentation and fiction challenge their boundaries. Taken over the course of six years, while exploring the periphery of my hometown, these photographs record a fraction of reality. However they outline a transposition from real life to mythology. Restraint of every specific mark of time and space, the viewer is encouraged to unfold his own personal narrative. A lying caryatid, a deer, a grave, a pheasant, the golden fleece and other fragments of a “garden“ at the end of the city.

To view more of Kosmas’s work please visit his website.

Marisa Chafetz

Marisa Chafetz is a New Orleans/New York based artist who works primarily in photography. She got her BFA in photography from Tulane University in 2017. Her work explores the blurred lines between fictional tableaus and traditional documentary photography. She often deals with topics such as family life, American suburbia, and coming of age. Her most recent bodies of work are intensely personal explorations of her own family and upbringing.

We are Ugly but We Have the Music

I had an idyllic upbringing, I grew up in a commune of sorts, with three moms and three dads, and seven brothers and sisters. Our story is serendipitous, unlikely, and beautiful. I relive my memories like reading a novel, as if our past might still be taking place in the present in some alternate universe. In recent years, our family has fallen apart in monumental ways. We mourned losses one after another, as if the tragic momentum was unstoppable. I grew up knowing that falling backwards would mean two dozen hands, outstretched to catch me, and suddenly falling means descending into cold, empty air.
This work is my attempt to understand what is left. My childhood meant knowing, it meant being sure. Now, right in the thick of it, I’m still staring out at what feels like a sea of uncertainty and change. If my childhood was easy to know, a series of stories so magnificent, they sound like fiction- how can I understand my family’s present: often full of heartache, loneliness, and banality? What is the reality of what we are now, after our fall from grace?

To view more of Marisa’s work please visit her website.

KLOMPCHING GALLERY
Anthony Gerace


We are excited to announce the release of our next publication! Come join us from 6-8PM tonight at the KLOMPCHING GALLERY!

Anthony Gerace : And Another Thing…

Join us for drinks and books! Anthony will be there to sign copies of the book. We have limited copies available for this event so grab a copy before they sell out!

Anthony Gerace lives and works in London, working primarily in collage, portraiture and landscape. His work has been featured in Elephant, It’s Nice That, Dezeen, and AnOther, among others. His commissioned work has appeared in the New York Times, the Criterion Collection, the Atlantic, and PORT, among others. He is originally from Toronto, Ontario.

Check out more product shots here:
https://www.aint-bad.com/product/books/anthony-gerace/

And check out Anthony’s website here:
http://a-gerace.com/

Jordie Oetken

Jordie Oetken was born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky. In 2012, she was awarded the Ellen Battell Stoeckel Fellowship to study at the Yale/Norfolk School of Art before graduating with a BFA from Murray State University in 2013. She has held residencies at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture and Vermont Studio Center, and will graduate with an MFA in photography from UCLA in 2017.

Untitled

Relying on an inference to connect to a conclusion of fact, circumstantial evidence is consistent with an assertion but does not rule out other, contradictory assertions. Like a fingerprint at the scene of a crime, such evidence both asks for and speaks to subjectivity.

What does it mean to help someone, or to hold someone, to oppose someone, to inflict pain upon someone, perform with someone, exhaust someone, or trust someone? The notion of struggle implies the opposition of multiple forces; it suggests divergent goals, separate intentions to be fought for. The photographic frame plays an essential role in this body of work, intentionally using its containment to heighten each happening. Female limbs cross in and out of the image; hands graze the edge, though each figure’s face always remains just out of view— affording closeness while maintaining distance. Both scale and lighting intensify situational drama. Measuring over five feet on their longest side, the large photographs mimic the confrontation of Baroque paintings, with vivid, warm tones ultimately falling into void-like darkness. Each is purposefully seductive, intended to hold attention long enough to destabilize initial assumptions of violence, and eventually reverse the understanding of gesture from obviously vicious to potentially tender.

This work seeks to create an uncertain distance between fiction and reality, with photographs claiming authority through their formal and theatrical nature, while dismantling this authority simultaneously. At times relying on small clues to draw large distinctions, each image is meant to disclose more than it often does. Using scale, lighting, and strategies of containment, a continuous tension is maintained: Who is each body to the others? What is not being clarified? Is this reality? Is this fiction? Must we know? Or are the two confused?

To view more of Jodie’s work please visit her website.

Elinor Carucci

Born 1971 in Jerusalem, Israel, Elinor Carucci graduated in 1995 from Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design with a degree in photography, and moved to New York that same year. In a relatively short amount of time, her work has been included in an impressive amount of solo and group exhibitions worldwide, solo shows include Edwynn Houk gallery, Fifty One Fine Art Gallery, James Hyman and Gagosian Gallery, London among others and group show include The Museum of Modern Art New York and The Photographers’ Gallery, London.

Her photographs are included in the collections of The Museum of Modern Art New York, the Brooklyn Museum of Art, Houston Museum of Fine Art, among others and her work appeared in The New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, Details, New York Magazine, W, Aperture, ARTnews and many more publications.

She was awarded the International Center of Photography’s Infinity Award for Young Photographer in 2001, The Guggenheim Fellowship in 2002 and NYFA in 2010. Carucci has published two monographs to date, Closer, Chronicle Books 2002 and Diary of a dancer, SteidlMack 2005. Carucci currently teaches at the graduate program of photography at School of Visual Arts and represented by Edwynn Houk Gallery.
In winter of 2013/2014 Prestel publishing published her third monograph, MOTHER, portraying nearly a decade of her motherhood project. A solo show of this work was exhibited at Edwynn Houk Gallery in NYC in March 2014 and is currently up at MoCP Chicago.

The woman that I still am #2, 2010. Image courtesy of Edwynn Houk Gallery

Emmanuelle having her hair cut 2007. Image courtesy of Edwynn Houk Gallery

What was the hardest part about leaving Israel? Why did you decide to go to America and New York City specifically?

The hardest part about leaving Israel, and there were many difficult things, but I think it was mainly leaving my family and knowing that I won’t be able to be close to them and see them a lot, but also leaving the country, the culture, the language. Also, when I left, I was not sure that I would be actually living my life here [in New York] so its actually getting somehow easier over the years but on the other hand harder because I know that it’s final now.
I decided to go to New York for my photography. I was also here before, my Aunt lives here, so I spent some of my teen years visiting her in Queens. I saw that this was the center of photography. I remember being 17 and going to ICP and I realized so many things happened here in America, especially in New York, there are so many galleries and magazines and I wanted to be in a place where I can have more opportunities for my photography.

As an Israeli myself, I often find in your images a sense of the Israeli culture , it might be subtle sometimes, but I do feel it in many of the images. Do you think the Israeli culture is in some way a part of your work? Or is it just a by-product of you and your family being Israeli?

The Israeli culture is a big part of my work, it’s not typical Israeli work that deals with the Palestinians or the Israeli conflict or with the political situation, but it very much talks about the family and the warmth and sexuality of Israel. A lot of my early work has the Israeli light in it so I feel the strong connection to the family is everything in Israel, and the dramatic element of everybody within the family. The family is really an Israeli microcosmic mirror for everything else.

From Diary of a dancer 2003. Image courtesy of Edwynn Houk Gallery

From Diary of a dancer 2003. Image courtesy of Edwynn Houk Gallery

In your body of work and book ‘Diary of a dancer’ there is a tension between cultures. Maybe it is because it was the earliest and the closest time after you moved over, but the contrast between American and Middle Eastern culture, like the belly dancer in the Subway car, formed a very lonely yet powerful series of images. How was the process of creating this body of work? Did it help you in some way feel more at home in New York?

It did help me feel more at home in New York, and sometimes I feel like without making ‘Diary of a Dancer’ I wouldn’t be able to shoot ‘Mother’. It was my first time going outside taking pictures in the streets of New York, and the night clubs I danced in. I created some kind of a personal bubble in order to keep photographing here but it was a new chapter of my life as a belly dancer here in New York city and around New York area.
I did feel lonely, but dancing for immigrant communities made me understand that many people here have created their own bubbles and it was very comforting, but also something that made me think about what it means to be an immigrant and an artist.
Me and Yoav Friedlander have created a new class for the School of Visual Arts called ‘The Photographer Immigrant’ –a class both for students who create work outside their own country, or create work after living abroad, and for any student who is interested in the topic of the class, who consider and respond to the world around them with a camera and image making with the awareness of immigration and culture, differences and barriers and global aspects of our world today.
I think this started from ‘Diary of a Dancer’.

How do you think photographing your children from the moment they were born have changed or shaped them in to the people they are now?

I will probably not know until they are older, but I think and hope that it had a positive impact on them mainly because of conversations we had about how I photograph not only the pretty and happy moments but also the painful moments.
I think being photographed that way, and just living our lives this way, made my kids more comfortable in their own skin, and maybe they have more compassion for other people’s pain. I always told them that I am photographing it all, we don’t need to hold a façade or a mask. Photography is about who we are. Everything is beautiful to me, or at least inspirational, so I think they learned to accept their flaws and other people’s flaws more easily.

Is there anything you would never photograph? What stays private and away from the camera?

There is nothing I would never photograph from my own life, and from Poor Eran’s life [her husband] but when it comes to other people who are not me, Yes, I do have limits, and it also depends on how they feel, but nothing is too private for the camera when it comes to my own life or my own body. Something is too private if it is too private for another person, for my mom or for my children, but eventually the respect and the love for them will come before photography.

Eye, 1996. Image courtesy of Edwynn Houk Gallery

What is your biggest achievement as an educator? How do you feel about having this role of guidance and inspiration for young artists?

I feel my biggest achievement is helping someone bring out something from within them in to their work. It sounds simple, but it is very elusive and challenging, for myself, for my colleagues, my artist friends and my students. How do you translate what you feel? How you see things? Your opinion into a piece of art; how to keep it honest, real and interesting. This is really the journey I have with students. When it’s successful it is very rewarding, and I feel that I learn a lot in the process as well. But it is really about who they are, acknowledging it and bring who they are into the work.

What was the harshest criticism you ever heard about your work?

The harshest criticism definitely came from Israel, and the list is long, but in my thesis exhibition someone wrote in the local Jerusalem paper how narcissistic and boring the work was, and also I know from some Israeli’s that went to school with me that some of them were surprised to learn about my success, so maybe there is a reason why I am not there anymore. But the hardest criticism came from Israel back in those days in the 90’s.

What was the best advice you ever received regarding your work and photography?

I think to be persistent. Simcha Shirman, one of my professors in Bezalel, told me that being an artist was like being a long distance runner, you have to keep running, and this was the best advice I got from him.

Can you point out one of your favorite photos you ever took? What is the story behind it?

It’s a photo I took of my mom and me, It’s called ‘Mother and I, 2001′ and it is a photo of my mom telling me what men want, while making a funny gesture. I just love this photograph, I think for different reasons. First, it’s hard for me to capture moments that are humorous, and this is a funny picture, and it’s just a side of my mom that I love – when she is provocative, and funny, and makes me laugh. Being able to capture this moment, I was grateful that I had the camera on a tripod and that I managed to get this moment, it was really a split of a second, funny and loving. I love that she is my mom, but she is also talking about sex and men and I love that she is making me laugh.

My mother and I 2002. Image courtesy of Edwynn Houk Gallery

Can you tell us about the process of making a book? Each one of your monographs is very different one from the other. What makes a good book sequence? What was the workflow?

It’s a very long process, ‘Closer’ [2002] took 10 years and ‘Mother’ [2013] almost 10 years as well, Diary of a dancer is a little shorter. I think the process starts long before I even have a book deal – taking the pictures and editing them along the way. For me it is about telling a story, it is about getting the viewer on a journey with me. For example, with ‘Mother’ I wanted to keep it in chronological order but not with ‘Closer’ as the chronological order was not as important, but I felt I could engage the viewer with my story. I think I really want to tell my story but also keep it universal, I want to choose images and sequence them in a way that people could relate to them.
The other elements like the colors and the design is definitely a team work with the book editor and the designer.
With all the books we narrowed down the images, printed them small and laid them out on the floor of my apartment, sometimes I would live with them for a few days, and the book editor would come back again and we would move the prints and sequence them again and again. Sometimes it would start in the living room continue to the hall and to the kitchen because it was so long. When we finish we leave and come back to look at it again and edit and edit and edit. It’s a lot of work.

Finally – Who was your biggest inspiration as a photographer?

The biggest inspiration as a photographer is the love of my family to me and my love to them. I think the biggest inspiration in short is – love

Brushing hair, 2010. Image courtesy of Edwynn Houk Gallery

Visit Elinor’s website to see more of her work.

Meet the Editors: Julia Bennett

Meet the Editors: Julia Bennett

As a team, all of the editors of Aint-Bad can agree on one simple fact, we like photography. I mean, we really like it. This shouldn’t come as a surprise or anything, as most of our time is spent looking at, writing about, and thinking about photography. We’re excited to introduce ourselves as editors, as photography purveyors, as human beings. Today we’re taking a moment to get to know Julia Bennett, renaissance woman who splits her time between photography and marine science. (Bet ya didn’t know that!) As an Aquarius, Julia has the desire to explore everything and anything.

Julia is currently based in Los Angeles, California, meaning we’ve got editors coast to coast. She’s obviously on the sunny coast, if you haven’t noticed her perfect tan. Her work has been exhibited in both solo and group exhibitions. Today we’re sharing a selection of her work, including ‘Into the Umbra’ which delicately explores the microscopic world of plankton. This body of work has received numerous grants and awards, including the Magellan Scholar Grant.

Where ya from?

I am from a suburb of Philadelphia called Bucks County. There’s mostly just deer there.

How long have you been a part of the Aint-Bad team?

I’ve just had my one year anniversary with Aint-Bad, although I’ve known some of the team a bit longer than that.

Into the Umbra

Can you describe the process used to make Into the Umbra?

I used both live and archived samples of plankton and shot with a digital camera mounted to a microscope. I wasn’t really interested in photographing what I was seeing as a scientific reference- there’s plenty of people more qualified than me to do that. I was really trying to draw this correlation between the tiniest organisms in the ocean and the vastness of outer space, so I used the microscope light source as well as external light sources and mirrors to create the extraterrestrial appearance you see in some of the images. Lots of experimentation and happy accidents.

I think a lot of people don’t realize that Photography is applied to scientific studies. At what point did you mingle your interest for Marine Science with Photography?

I first started to think about merging my art and science interests in my sophomore year of college during a lab for one of my marine science classes. We were looking at plankton in the microscope and I was in awe of what I was looking at, and decided that more people would want to engage with science if they could see what I was seeing.

Into the Umbra

What’s the most fascinating thing that you’ve learned by letting these passions intersect?

I was photographing for a grant project while I was in Australia and had been in the lab for like, 5 hours. My eyes and head hurt because I had been staring into the microscope so long. I was cleaning a sample and one of the plankton, called a copepod – it looks like Plankton from Spongebob- started giving birth and all these little babies started swimming around. I nearly cried, which is super nerdy, but I was tired had been looking at this thing for so long that I developed an emotional attachment to something that you can’t even see with the naked eye.

Into the Umbra

I think its interesting that your knowledge and love for marine science can translate into a somewhat abstract piece of work that the viewer may not understand, but you’re able to provide both an creative and scientific explanation.  Are viewers generally receptive to both aspects?

It depends. Sometimes people disengage once they find out what it is they’re looking at, or they’re more curious about the technical aspects of how the photograph was made. But regardless of whether people are more interested in the scientific or creative explanations, they typically have to ask questions and open a conversation to get the information they want, which is what’s most important to me.

What constitutes a GOOD photograph or body of work? What are you drawn to when putting together Aint-Bad features?

A good body of work makes me feel connected to and curious about something I hadn’t seen or understood previously. Simply representing a subject doesn’t necessarily make for good photography. What makes a photograph or body of work good is the formed connection between audiences and subjects who would otherwise have had no reason to interact with each other.  Good photography forces you to engage, even if only for a few minutes.

A lot of the work I’m drawn to is related to perspective, illusion, science and technology, and human experiences.

What is the most memorable image you’ve ever seen? 

Catherine Wagner

This image was made by Catherine Wagner, someone who’s work has been very influential to my own. It’s a very satisfying and fascinating photograph.

Do you have any direct scientific or artistic influences?

Ernst Haekel was one of the first people to start visually documenting plankton and sea creatures. He created beautiful paintings and drawings of the craziest most alien creatures you could imagine. They weren’t always the most scientifically accurate but they’re incredible to look at.

I mentioned Catherine Wagner before. Being introduced to her work gave me the permission I needed as a young college student to merge my scientific and photographic interests. She has a book called Cross Sections where she photographed everything from fruit to brain cells using an electron scanning microscope. Drawing visual comparisons between things that are seemingly so far from each other in both proximity and biology inspired me to pursue Into the Umbra.

What aspects of your daily life are reflected through the work that you are drawn to or make?

I think my fascination/frustration with humans and their relationship to the environment is something that I am constantly thinking about and trying to reconcile in my photographic work. I’ve been living in Los Angeles for a little over a year now, and after observing  and experiencing so many people from so many different backgrounds, in a city with an incredibly complex human and environmental history, i’ve never felt more inspired to make photographs.

What’s your favorite song right now?

A Comet Appears by The Shins. Admittedly it’s been my favorite for years now but I’ve been listening to it more frequently as of late.

Biggest fear? Favorite smell?

Not doing enough, orange blossoms. They’re blooming in LA right now.

 

Where do you see yourself in 25 years?

Giving a TED talk. Who knows about what.

Color or black and white? Film or Digital? 

Color Film

If you could be best friends with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be?

Ruth Bader Ginsberg. Being best friends with someone entitles you to gossip and I think she would have the best.

Favorite Aint-Bad publication?

From Here On.

Do you have any new projects that you’re working on?

I’m currently photographing the coastal and urban landscape in southern California. Areas like Los Angeles and Orange County developed so rapidly and with such little regard for the extremity of the natural landscape or the demands that were being put on the environment that now we humans are just sort of stuck in this place we’re not really supposed to be. It’s all very artificial and darkly humorous, so I’m having fun exploring all of that.

 

We’re honored to have Julia a part of the Aint-Bad team, demonstrating her multiple interests and talents. Do you have more questions for Julia? Feel free to reach out to her at julia@aint-bad.com or spend some time on her website, https://www.julialbennettphotography.com.

 

Maciej Leszczyński

Maciej Leszczynski – born in 1986, in Elblag, Poland. A graduate of the University of Gdansk and Gdansk University of Technology. Photographer with specialization in architecture and landscape. His photographs are characterized by the purity of the frame and the high technical quality. In his works he focuses on the content as well as aesthetic of images. Multiple award-winning in the international photographic competitions. Currently lives and works in Gdansk.

Chongqing – City on Rivers

Photographs from “City on Rivers” series were made in November 2016 in Chongqing municipality – the main city of central China. The aim of the project was to document the urban space along the course of rivers, the Yangtze and the Jialing River. The greatest part of the photos in the project has been made in the most urbanized areas.

When we think of Chinese cities, the first associations our brains pick up and try to connect with are Hong Kong, Beijing or Shanghai. All of those would be correct too, but there are others who also occupy a space on the map of China. Deep in the heart of the continent, surrounded by mountains, lays the most populous city in China – Chongqing. In 2016, Chongqing’s population was estimated at 32 million inhabitants, and this number is growing at a constant rate of about 1300 people a day, due to workers migration from rural areas. Cities are made by people, usually by their dogged determination to bring forth the pregnant potentials in a place and convert it into a game changer. All of this work in tandem to place Chongqing at the fore of the revolution as one of the fastest growing cities in the world. In line with current and futuristic trends, there is no indication this is going to change in the nearest future.

 

The scale of urbanization in Chongqing is unprecedented and different from that in any of the varying corners that makes up the world geography.. In recent years, the city has experienced enormous transformations, one of which is that, whole quarters of old estates have been demolished and brought to level with the ground. In its stead, a new forty blocks was ushered in and given a homecoming in areas where until recently, people lived in traditional houses made of wood. It is estimated that usable space: offices, residential space and production grows in Chongqing at the rate of about 137,000 square meters a day, a testament to its economic savvies and the inbuilt potential the city has to grow and expand. Another estimated figure is the influx of over a thousand people into the city daily, a status that leads to the corresponding influx of about $15million to the home-grown economy.

Urbanization and development comes with many joys, and also peculiar changes. The rate of growth and development in Chongqing is not without consequences on the life and traditions of the locals. There is a certain comfort in knowing that things will remain the way you have always known them and that no matter how much the world decides to turn itself inside out, an individual’s space in that world will be left uncontested and to his own devices. Farmers from converted areas do not change as quickly as the urban fabric, holding tenuously to the threads that tether them to yesterday. Therefore, at the foot of huge blocks grown in place of traditional demolished settlements, it is not out of place to come across traditional gardens, animal breeding sites and people angling or swimming in rivers.

On one hand, the Chongqing development is another potent testament to the ever-growing power of the Chinese economy. On the other hand, the existing conditions show that there is no consideration of the effects of transforming landscape on the life and living in that area. A normal sight is one that features chaotic management and planning of urban space, as well as low quality of life in large parts of the city.

The city tells different stories, depending on what time of the day you ask it. In the daytime, it is somber, telling the tale of work and a race against time. At night, the city shines with iridescence, a rainbow of light. Here, it works in tandem with time and reeks of a different kind of promise.

Chongqing tells a powerful story of what was; what is and the amazing things that time can bring forth.

To view more of Maciej’s work please visit his website.

Isadora Kosofsky

Isadora Kosofsky is a documentary photographer and filmmaker based in Los Angeles. She takes an immersive approach to photojournalism, working with her subjects for years at a time. She received the 2012 Inge Morath Award from the Magnum Foundation and was a participant in the 2014 Joop Swart Masterclass of World Press Photo. Her work has received distinctions from Flash Forward Magenta Foundation, Ian Parry Foundation, Social Documentary Network, IAFOR, Women in Photography International, Prix de la Photographie Paris, The New York Photo Festival and a nomination for Reportage Photography of the Year at the 2016 LEAD Awards. Isadora’s images have been featured in The London Sunday Times Magazine, Slate, The Washington Post, TIME, Le Monde, VICE, The New Yorker, Mashable, The Huffington Post and many others. Her work is in the permanent collection of the Philadelphia Museum of Art and can be found in Family Photography Now (Thames and Hudson, 2016), a photographic anthology, and in Public Private Portraiture from Mossless. She was a speaker at the 2016 National Geographic Photography Seminar. Today we share her series, The Three.

The Three 

Jeanie, age 81, Will, 84, and Adina, 90 are bound by their relationship. “The Three Senior Love Triangle” is a long-term photo documentary that shadows three aged individuals in a romantic conflict. They view their connection as a shield from the loneliness of aging. Even though Jeanie, Will and Adina’s relationship began at a senior care facility in Los Angeles, California, the outside world is more like home. For them, the care center is a reminder of solitude. Attempting to find solace within themselves, they seek escape with each other. In describing their bond, Will shares, “We live above the law. Not outside the law, but above the law. We are not outlaws.”

Through their relationship, Jean, Will and Adina challenge socio-cultural norms projected about the elderly. Jeanie, reflecting on her life, confides, “I do not wish to assume all the garments of maturity.” Jeanie seeks empowerment, reiterating, “I want to be free.” For these individuals, aging is paradoxically a form of both loss and liberation. Attempting to find solace within themselves, they seek escape with each other. When I am part of the lives of those Jeanie, Will and Adina, I feel I am engaging in questionable activity, in something different. Each day we searched for a new “adventure,” a purpose. I felt the comfort of being part of the group. But the thrill revealed sadness. I, too, experienced the remoteness that one can feel even when part of the group, or pair. I felt the ache that dwelled just below the surface of their romanticism.

I met Jeanie, Will and Adina at a retirement home in East Hollywood where I was documenting a woman who lived on the 4th floor. One night, I watched Jeanie, Will and Adina walk through the gates; Will had his arm around Adina as Jeanie walked behind them. I related to Jeanie’s separation from them. I identified with the sense that the balance between them could not be achieved. As Jeanie used to say, “To share Will is a thorn in your side. A relationship between a man and a woman is private. It is a couple. Not a trio.”

To view more of Isadora’s work, please visit her website.

Niv Rozenberg

Niv Rozenberg is a Brooklyn based photographer originally from Israel. He holds an MFA in Photography from Parsons, The New School for Design, and previously graduated with honors from Hadassah College in Israel. He received several awards including: Feature Shoot Emerging Photography Awards, Dave Bown Projects, 1st Place in the International Photography Awards (The Lucie Foundation), and was selected to be the exclusive photographer for the first and second Frieze Art Fair New York campaigns. Niv’s work has been shown nationally and internationally, most recently including: Glass Box gallery, BRIC Biennial, Simon/Neuman2 Gallery, a public exhibition by Art-Bridge, and has been published in the New York Times, The New Yorker, Aperture and Humble Arts Foundation among others.

Boswijck

My work explores complexities within the urban environment, shifting between straight photography and digital manipulation. I am fascinated by the way in which the place I live in functions, and the constantly changing appearance of my surroundings. The series “Boswijck” focuses on the unique cityscape of Bushwick neighborhood in Brooklyn NY.

I am intrigued by the cultural confetti reflected in its diverse and colorful architecture. The work titled “Boswijck” – the neighborhood’s original name, meaning “little town in the woods” – highlights this diversity by visually isolating different architectural styles of this neighborhood and showing them as abstract two-dimensional relics.

To view more of Niv’s work please visit his website.

Cody Cobb

Cody Cobb is a photographer based in Seattle, Washington. He was born in Shreveport, Louisiana and grew up in the small town of Blanchard. His photographs attempt to capture brief moments of stillness from the chaos of nature. For months at a time, Cobb devotes himself to wandering the American West in order to fully immerse himself in these landscapes. With careful composition and consideration of natural light, the Earthly formations he photographs appear to exist in an alternate and mysterious dimension.

Cascadia

The Cascadia region of North America is one of the most geologically active regions on Earth; the landscapes found there have been shaped through eons of earthquakes, eruptions and floods. My intent with these photographs is to capture a brief moment of stillness in the grand epochs of geological chaos.

To view more of Cody’s work please visit his website.

Jefferson Lankford

Jefferson Caine Lankford is a documentary and fine art photographer based in North Carolina. He uses a range of photographic techniques within his work including alternative, analog and digital practices. Jefferson earned his BFA in photography at East Carolina University in May of 2016, and during his undergraduate career he also attended the Australian National University, located in Canberra, Australia, where he studied documentary photography for one year. Much of Jefferson’s work involves documenting the impact humans are having on their environment. He either documents his subjects directly in a photojournalistic approach, or creates scenes that conceptually depict environmental concerns. As an artist, his goal is to use photography as a means of bridging together people and their stories alike to share with the world and bring about change that will better the lives and the environment(s) of the subjects he photographs.

Beekeepers of North Carolina

Jefferson Caine Lankford began photographing beekeepers and honey bees during a year-long exchange program at the Australian National University from 2014-2015. During this time, he spent three and a half months shadowing local beekeepers in Canberra, AU, while also working with the ANU Apiculture Society on the Australian National University campus. Jefferson’s goal was to document the processes and practices of beekeeping while highlighting the problems beekeepers were facing in Australia during that time. Upon his return to the United States, Jefferson had one more year remaining at East Carolina University and after graduating in May of 2016, he decided to start a new project that could represent the people of his home state. Without much delay, Jefferson did some research about North Carolina beekeeping and stumbled upon the North Carolina State Beekeepers Association.
After reaching out to the NCSBA and sharing some of the work he did in Australia and further pitching the idea of his goal to continue photographing beekeepers — The NCSBA made apparent that the 100th year anniversary of the organization will be celebrated in 2017 and suggested the possibility that Jefferson could take portraits of influential beekeepers that have either been nominated by their local beekeeping chapter or by the NCSBA itself. Working with the NCSBA voluntarily to photograph influential beekeepers has taken Jefferson over 5,000 miles across North Carolina, from the coast to the piedmont, up into the mountains and back again, on multiple occasions. Each beekeeper Jefferson encountered has demonstrated various approaches to the ever-changing atmosphere of beekeeping and the creative solutions being applied to combat the many problems faced by beekeepers today emphasize the determination of these individuals. The portraits Jefferson has taken represent the variety of people involved with the NCSBA and their specific roles as beekeepers across North Carolina and further provides a platform for each person to share their own unique and important stories.
This particular submission of fifteen images is a small representation of the larger body of work that consists of over 50 individual beekeepers.

To view more of Jefferson’s work please visit his website.

Felix Gaertner

Felix Gaertner (*1990) from Stuttgart, Germany is a photo artist. He fell in love with portraiture, traveling and the internet. In 2015 he finished his photographic studies at the University of Applied Sciences & Arts Dortmund, Germany. His works have been recently pulished on his website and instagram. Felix is convinced that he will be famous some day. At the moment he is planning a trip to Japan.

Felix Gärtner berkunjung ke Indonesia – Felix Gärtner visiting Indonesia

I was guest in a far away country which I only knew from stories and whose native language I do not speak.
In this country, I was neither looking for adventures nor extreme experiences, I was neither chasing a particular story nor did I want to expose a certain issue. What I set out to discover was of a much more ordinary nature. It surrounds us all on a daily basis, however different it may appear to be. What I was looking for in fact was mere everyday life.
“Felix Gärtner berkunjung ke Indonesia – Felix Gärtner visiting Indonesia” is a discovery, a journey, a narrative about daily routine and normality near the equator. It is my personal homage to traveling with a camera.

To view more of Felix’s work please visit his website.

Lucia Fainzilber

I was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1986. I studied Costume Design for theatre workshops at Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires. I also studied Art Direction in Filmmaking at The University of Cine in San Telmo, Buenos Aires. After graduating in 2008, I discovered my passion for color and realized that was something I had loved since I was a kid. I learned that I could work FOR color. That’s how I discovered the world of color correction and decided to dedicate myself to it. I worked as a colorist in postproduction, color-correcting movies in a visual mastering studio before moving to New York to study at the International Center of Photography.

After finishing the one-year certificate Program at ICP, I assisted various fashion photographers based in NYC. I also created my own editorial works for international magazines like Dossier and campaigns for international and local brands. While working in fashion I also developed my personal work, making both styles converge. Some major exhibitions: “Moment of Recognition”, curated by Amy Arbus at Rita.K. Hillman Education Gallery at the International Center of Photography, New York, 2011.“My Truth, Your Truth”, curated by Alison Morley and Marina Berio at Rita.K. Hillman Education Gallery at the International Center of Photography, New York, 2012. Solo Exhibition “And Spring Again” at The Argentine Consulate in New York, 2014. Solo Exhibition “Somewear” at Praxis Gallery in New York, 2014. Group Show at Art Miami, Praxis Gallery, 2014. Group Show at LA Art Show, London Art Fair, Solo Exhibition “And Spring Again” at The Argentine Embassy in Washington DC, 2016 and her last solo Show“Wild Flowers” at Praxis Art Gallery in 2016. In 2017 I participated in the group show “Angry Women” at Untitled Space in NYC.

SOMEWEAR

I moved out of my country in order to live abroad, but not in any given city: I moved to New York, the city that represents the big dream of success more than any other city in the world. We all arrive with the same idea of fighting for our desires and passions. This experience not only implies looking for something bigger but also giving up on our feeling of belonging. Having made this decision, I began to think about home in another way. At first it was painful. So I tried to understand this process through my work. I realized how important it was to review all those memories that defined my idea of home in order to build my own “home” in New York. Food, traditions, friends and space: we try to recreate them in order to feel that little bit of home with us wherever we go.

I even realized the importance of getting my own apartment and having the need to create a sense of shelter. The house is a nest for dreaming, a shelter for imagination. It is the shell that contains us in an age when so many spaces have become homogenized, and its structures, plastic. It is our first universe before getting to the real world. So, when we exit our little corner of the earth, everything becomes unidentified. I realized how important it was to reinforce my identity–in a country that works hard inserting its own culture–in order to be able to participate in this unknown place. That’s why the feeling of going back home is so painful, at least in our imagination and memories. We need to go through this in order to understand who we are and embrace everything that defines us.
All those cozy feelings of love and care you have while being surrounded by your most familiar and closest bonds. You appreciate this cotton candy universe once you are out there in the concrete jungle. You experience the nostalgic feeling of losing what made you so irreplaceable.

I realized I needed to see myself in a new way, like the way everyone in this unfamiliar island was looking at me. With all these questions in mind, I placed my body in front of the camera, which served as a mirror for the emergence of my own sense of self, just like an infant whose perception develops the idea of the “I” against the others. During this process I started to discover myself in different ways. You place yourself in your own way but that is registered by something that does not belong you. For me this was a way of definition, of re-defining myself. That’s how “Somewear” started. As a series of self -portraits, which struggle with the idea of identity: a self-discovery process. Setting my body in front of the camera has been a way of looking myself in another way, trying to answer all those questions about who we really are. This exercise taught me to shift the lenses and look our selves in a new way in relation to the world. I felt vulnerable and strange, but after all it was a feeling of liberation and freedom because at least it was real. Society, family, and the generation we live in, make this journey even harder. We camouflage as animals do or even soldiers, in order to survive. It’s our way of being inside a system. It is like a game, if it fits, your vision can be deceived almost creating an optical illusion.

Is it possible to isolate our more pure self of everything it’s attached to? We can find these answers somewhere–or not. Maybe the real answer is to learn how to live with this idea but without forgetting to look inside.

The idea of identity even became a question that can be answered (or not) depending on the viewer. Home is the origin of our identity and that’s why we need to reinforce the idea of where we come from. We need to understand that feeling of belonging that makes us so unique and carry these images from the past in order to continue building our new home wherever we go.

To view more of Lucia’s work please visit her website.

Kari Bjorn

Kari Bjorn is an Icelandic documentary photographer. Previously a chef in Reykjavik & London, he moved to New York City in 2014 to pursue photography at Parsons School of Design. Bjorn has been fascinated with the United States since childhood and his work revolves around his personal idea of what constitutes as “only in America”, good or bad. “It was easier to criticize americans and their government from an isolated island in the North Atlantic but once you’re here you can truly see and experience the depths of the problems this country faces.” Bjorn’s work has been featured both in Icelandic newspapers and publications, and in the US at ImageNation Raw Art Space in New York City and at Eastern State Penitentiary Museum in Philadelphia, PA. He is currently working his first book set to be self published in August 2017, a collaborative project with Otis Johnson, a man who was released from prison in 2014 after serving nearly 40 years for a crime he has never admitted to. Bjorn and Johnson have both been photographing his transition and adjustment to modern day society, revived relationships with friends and family and his first love relationship at age 71. Johnson is currently fighting to have his case reopened and overturned.

Otis

In October 2015 I met Otis Johnson at Exodus Transitional Community in East Harlem, I was looking to make work about re-entry in New York. Otis was released from prison in August 2014 after serving nearly 40 years for an attempted murder on a police officer on the corner of 119th street and Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd in May 1975. A crime he didn’t do and has never admitted to doing, many of the documents Otis has held on to strongly suggest his innocence: A 22 caliber pistol found two days after the shooting which was used against him didn’t have any fingerprints on it, 7 out of 9 pictures in a photo line-up didn’t include a man dressed anyway near Otis the day he was arrested. Otis’ court appointed lawyer didn’t contact a key witness in the case and the court only heard statements from NYPD officers.

Otis Johnson was born on July 17th in 1945, his family moved form Georgia to New Jersey in 1950 and when Otis was 14 years old his strict father, who had been stationed in Southeast Asia during the Korean War, sent him to Hong Kong to live with monks to learn discipline, learn meditation and Kung Fu. Otis had been in trouble at school and got in fights with bullies. He more or less spent the next 11 years in Hong Kong and mastered Tai Chi and gained the 2nd highest rank in Kung Fu.

When he came back to the US he became affiliated with the Black Panthers but never officially joined, because his childhood friends were constantly being harassed by local police. He instead worked as a security advisor to the Panthers during protests and rallies. In early 1975, his sister called and asked him to come to Harlem, NY to help settle with local drug dealers who were forcing her to sell out of her deli. Otis brought his Black Panthers connections and was able to settle with the gang. He really liked the atmosphere in Harlem and decided to stay and got a small apartment in Central Harlem. Only a few months later he was arrested and convicted of an attempted murder on a police officer and 2 drug felonies.

An anonymous 911 call is made from apartment 1D at 1975 Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd on May 5th at 11:58am. The caller describes a man in the hallway, dressed in a beige coat, selling drugs and possibly armed. NYPD officers Ahrens and Morgan are sent to the scene and attempt to arrest a suspect that walks away when they show up. The man resists arrest and shoots officer Ahrens in the stomach and barely misses Morgan’s head and escapes. Otis is standing in broad daylight on the corner of 121st and Mt. Morris Park West at 12:35pm wearing a tan leather jacket and his martial arts outfit, he’s talking to children and their parents about opening up a martial arts school in the neighborhood. He is taken from behind and pushed up against a wall and arrested, and identified as the shooter by officer Morgan through a police car window. He is then driven to the 28th precinct where he gives the booking officer his muslim name, Salladeen.

“No we’re not going to write that!” “your name is William,” “hey throw James in there too.”

Throughout his 40 years incarcerated, Otis is known as James Williams.

During the trial, Otis’ public defender fails him repeatedly, he doesn’t show up for a photo line-up with officer Ahrens, and never contacts the person who called 911 and reported a man in a beige coat. In police documents a gun is reported to have been found in a basement “on the escape route,” it’s a 22 caliber pistol with no fingerprints. It was later estimated that a hole in the police officer Ahrens’ jacket came from a 22 caliber pistol. The jury only hears testimony from NYPD officers which is incoherent, saying officer Ahrens had been shot in the stomach and another one says he had been shot in the chest. Police records also show that cocaine and heroin was found on Otis, both when he was arrested and when he was searched again during booking. The final blow came when the judge allowed a 14 year old boy named Anthony Gideon to testify, that he had seen an older man with a bald spot run from the scene of the crime. When asked what time he saw it happen, the judge stepped in and signaled that the witness was to be excused.

Otis is sentenced to 25-life for one attempted murder on police officer Morgan and 2 counts of drug possession, he is acquitted of the other charge of attempted murder on police officer Ahrens.

Otis spends the first years of his sentence helping other inmates seek high school and college degrees and finishes two himself, in business management and non-profit management. He is introduced to Gary Ashby in 1978 at Green Haven State Prison and they become best friends, Gary was the only person to visit Otis throughout his prison sentence. Gary died in summer of 2016 after battling with cardiovascular related illnesses for years. At Green Haven, Otis starts the first meditation program in NY State Prisons and teaches self defense. He also works for the NAACP and acts as a correspondent between the association and prisoners. In 1993 Otis uses his education to start his own non profit called H.E.F.T. Human Development Organization and in 1996 opens a homeless shelter in Ozone Park, Queens. Otis says that as his sentence became longer, privileges and opportunities became less available, mostly because of the US’s stance on crime, criminals and punishments. Otis is therefore forced to give up his organization and hands control of it over to a group of people related to his prison acquaintances. The group immediately closes the shelter and moves its official address, they continue though to make it look as if it’s still running and collect government grants and donations well into the 2000’s.

After 25 years, Otis makes his first appearance before a parole board and gets denied, he will be denied 7 times in total, only for the fact that he refused to confess to the crime. The justice system sees that as a lack of remorse which is automatically grounds for parole denial. Various parole boards congratulate him though for excellent behavior and say that if he were to confess, he would go free. Otis never confessed.

He was given parole in August 2014 for good behavior.

He spent the first months out in Bellevue shelter in Manhattan, a notorious shelter where prison rules apply. Otis is released with $40, two bus tickets and his release documents. His name at that time is James Williams and he has no real identification to change it back. It made it extremely difficult for him to get proper help. After a few months at Bellevue he is introduced to Exodus Transitional Community in East Harlem and Diana Ortiz, one of its managing staff members finds Otis’ birth certificate from 1945 which enables him to get state identification. Otis is then relocated to “The Castle”, managed by The Fortune Society and is given a shared room there, he has stayed at The Castle since early 2015. He has been working with various social justice organizations in Harlem to seek help to have his case reopened, he is also working towards opening a homeless shelter again under H.E.F.T.’s name, focusing on housing the elderly, the mentally ill and those escaping from abusive relationships. While looking for possible houses for H.E.F.T. he met Lydia, a strong and politically engaged woman who directed Otis to her Evangelist church in Flatbush, Brooklyn. They had extra room and wanted to use that space to help the community. Otis and Lydia began dating in spring 2016 and after 71 years, Lydia was Otis’ first girlfriend.

Unfortunately Otis wasn’t able to make a deal with the landlord given the grants he had applied for and is still working with his local community board to find adequate grants for H.E.F.T. – He and Lydia split up early in 2017 and Otis wants to focus this year solely on getting his organization up and running and reopening his case, mainly focusing on his lawyers inadequate defense and the discrepancy in that he was both convicted and acquitted of crimes that happened within split seconds of each other.

To view more of Kari’s work please visit his website.