Julie Blackmon at AIPAD featured in Hyperallergic

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Artificial Childhoods, Fading Innocence, and Black Panthers at the Photography Show

By Alissa Guzman

Portraiture and history dominates this year’s The Photography Show, and there are many stand out works by Osamu Yokonami, Julie Blackmon, Ryan Vizzions, and others.

Viewers looking for images reflecting anything other than the annals of history, celebrity portraits, or cultural and political icons, however, must dig much deeper, as topical messages are few and far between. In this era of digital and mobile photography, where Instagram has upwards of 800 million users, The Photography Show is shockingly black & white. Expecting Ryan Trecartin-like experimentation that pushes the boundaries of photography, screens were noticeably absent. Despite these limitations, a few themes emerged that felt both topical and noteworthy, beginning with a surprising fixation on children, adolescence, and innocence....

The images of Julie Blackmon at Robert Mann Gallery deal with similar issues but through a very different lens, as Blockmon uses cinematic-inspired sets to capture her own family enacting moments from a suburban childhood. Highly composed, overly artificial and yet somehow completely believable, Blackmon’s images bring the feeling of dystopian angst into her perfectly crafted scenes.

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Cig Harvey Featured in Vice's Woman Seeing Woman

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These Haunting Photos Were Inspired by a Near-Death Experience

By Elyssa Goodman

When a car crash left her unable to speak, Cig Harvey used photography to examine life's miracles and misfortunes.

Women are overlooked far too often in photography. How can we continue to combat this erasure? My answer is this column, “Woman Seeing Woman.” While it’s just the start of solving this problem, I, a female writer and photographer, hope to celebrate the astoundingly powerful female voices we have in photography by offering a glimpse into their work.

It's been well documented that a brush with death can reframe a person's relationship with life. When a car crash left photographer Cig Harvey unable to speak for several weeks, she turned to her art to make sense of life and the human experience. Harvey's most recent book, You an Orchestra You a Bomb, recalls in sprightly color and inky darkness the shortness of our time on earth. Through photographs and text, the book both celebrates and mourns the fleeting nature of existence. "Underneath thin skin, amongst saliva, organs, and bone, we are orchestras,” Harvey writes. "But open our mouths, deep down between tears, nerves, and gristle, we are bombs."

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Michiko Kon: Mistress of the dark

Michiko Kon: Mistress of the dark

BY JOHN L. TRAN

The abominable beauty of Michiko Kon’s work is back.

In the early 1990s Kon was one of the first female photographic artists from Japan to achieve widespread international recognition. Her work combined a shocking use of animal parts with meticulous technique in a way that was both unsettling and visually seductive. She reached prominence around the time that Damien Hirst first exhibited his shark in a tank of formaldehyde, but some years after Joel-Peter Witkin had started using animal and human body parts in staged photographic tableaux in the ’80s.

Kon’s “Elvira, Mistress of the Dark” vibe, however, makes the British superstar’s butterfly works look like the self-comforting behavior of Frankenstein’s monster sticking stuff to a wall, while compared to Witkin’s darker and more stridently transgressive work, there is a Rococo-like decorativeness and wit to what she does.

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Vanity featured in Must-See Art Guide: New York on Artnet

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Must-See Art Guide: New York
BY Tatiana Berg

Are you ready for Armory week? Ready or not, here it is: You’ve got NADA, you’ve got VOLTA, you’ve got SCOPE, and last but certainly not least, you’ve got the Armory Show. That’s a lot! If you want help navigating it all, we’ve got you covered with our comprehensive go-to guide of the fairs.

But art was not meant to live in art fairs alone. So pull on your snow and/or rain boots, and get traipsing out to New York’s local galleries to find out what else is going on out there.

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Aesthetica Interviews Maroesjka Lavigne

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Sublime Topographies

The second edition of PHOTOFAIRS San Francisco brings together a diverse range of practitioners that investigate landscapes and subject matter from a multitude of perspectives. Maroesjka Lavigne (b. 1989) records remote corners of the earth. Land of Nothingness – a series which possesses a similar uncanny quality – captures the sublime topography of Namibia, one of the least populated regions in the world.

A: Your work covers themes of beauty, identity and varying landscapes, often drawing on a minimalistic, muted colour scheme. What can we expect to see from you during the San Francisco Photo Fair? 
ML: There will be a piece of my new work at the fair. In a way, it’s an extension of my previous work. I’m still looking for a specific type of landscape, but this series specifically focuses on the colour, shape and the overall tactility and texture of the land.

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Musee Magazine Reviews Murray Fredericks: Vanity

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Exhibition Review: Vanity By Murray Fredericks

By Ilana Jael

In Act 3, Scene 2, of Hamlet, William Shakespeare suggests that great art must hold “a mirror up to nature”.  And over 400 years later, photographer Murray Fredericks has more or less taken this suggestion literally to sublime result in his photo series Vanity, on view from now until April 7th at the Robert Mann Gallery in Chelsea. The “nature” in question being reflected upon  is Kati Thanda-Lake Eyre, the largest lake and lowest natural point in Frederick’s native Australia. This exhibition is the first chance the photographer has been granted to share his substantial gifts with the United States, and his appearance across the pond with such awe-striking images in tow is certainly a welcome one.

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Holly Andres installation at Museum of Northwest Art

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The Homecoming
When photographs tell stories

By Stephen Hunter

A sophisticated artist and professor in Portland, Oregon, Holly Andres remains refreshingly modest about her sudden success. She receives commissions for photo shoots from mainstream publications like the New York TimesTime, and the New Yorker, and her fine art gets attention in Art in AmericaArt ForumGlamour, and beyond.

In her current Museum of Northwest Art installation in La Conner, “The Homecoming,” Andres’ still photographs tell three stories: “Summer of the Hornets,” “River Road,” and “The Fall of Spring Hill.”

Andres stages her dramas in woodlands, meadows, dirt roads and carefully prepared interiors. The scenes with professional actors are interspersed with richly colored and textured still lifes, which subtly advance the action. The bright colors and simplicity of her compositions lure the viewer into what soon proves to be a darker, even menacing, subject matter. 

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B & H Podcast: Cig Harvey—Think, See, Make, Listen

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What a start to the New Year for the B&H Photography Podcast. We are incredibly fortunate to kick off our year with photographer Cig Harvey and gallerist Caroline Wall, director of the Robert Mann Gallery. In conjunction with her new book, You an Orchestra, You a Bomb, Harvey is currently exhibiting at the Robert Mann Gallery, and we were able to speak with artist and gallerist to discuss the making of her latest portfolio and the collaborative process of exhibition.

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Cig Harvey featured in NY Mag's The Cut

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The Beauty of Stillness

By Jane Drinkard

"Photographer Cig Harvey’s photographs allow her viewers to stop for a moment. Serene, mundane, tantalizingly still, and disruptive all at once, her images portray the natural world, families, and the present moment. 'I started looking at this idea of the gasp and awe,' Harvey told the Cut. 'We gasp when something is beautiful, and we gasp when something is terrible. I’m searching for that push/pull in each image.'"

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NYT announces installation by Mary Mattingly at Storm King

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A rendering of Mary Mattingly’s proposed work using tropical trees for “Indicators: Artists on Climate Change,” which will open at Storm King Art Center in May.

Storm King Show to Focus on Climate Change in 2018

By Daniel McDermon

Storm King Art Center is best known for its grand landscape of rolling hills and its display of large-scale outdoor sculpture, including works by the likes of Richard Serra and Maya Lin. But for a special exhibition in 2018, this bucolic sculpture park in Orange County, N.Y., will focus directly on a hot political topic: climate change.

That subject “has always been very close to Storm King,” said the curator Nora Lawrence in an interview. “This is something that is very urgent for us, and we have seen some smaller changes already in our environment.”

“Indicators: Artists on Climate Change,” which opens May 19, will include work from more than a dozen artists, including several pieces newly created for the exhibition. It was organized by Ms. Lawrence, along with David Collens, Storm King’s director and chief curator, and Sarah Diver.

One participating artist is Mary Mattingly, the founder of Swale, a floating food forest on a barge that toured New York City in the summer, allowing visitors to harvest fresh produce for free. For Storm King, she is preparing an as-yet-untitled work in which she will bring trees from a tropical climate — mango, coconut and fig are in contention — to the Hudson River Valley, calling attention to the way that changing temperatures may affect the future of food.

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