Archive for the “Meet Our Interns” Category
Not an artist but an art enthusiast, Meredith Hoobler is the new PRC intern for the spring 2012 semester. An art history major and business minor at Boston University, she is new to the arts industry and ready to absorb all of the knowledge with which the PRC can provide her. Also a volunteer at the Museum of Fine Arts, she is ready to switch gears to a small, non-profit organization focusing on one main medium. Interested in arts administration as well as the artistic side of the industry, she is hoping to gain valuable knowledge of running a smaller organization.
The PRC interested her because of the overlapping positions of each of the staff members—everyone contributes and works with each other to get the necessary preparations done for exhibitions, membership, and all other workings of the non-profit. She is excited to learn about all the facets that make up this organization.
Meredith enjoys fashion photography, particularly how the images can capture the movement of the garment while emphasizing the stillness of the moment in which the photographs were taken. She is also inspired by any photography that challenges the viewers to delve deeper past the surface meaning. The photographs that confuse, offend, and challenge the viewers are the ones that leave a strong, lasting impression.
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By Anna Linehan, PRC Intern, Summer 2011
Paris Visone’s Culture of Looking
Suffolk University Art Gallery, through September 12
The title of Paris Visone’s Culture of Looking bears a weighty universality, suggestive of broad sociological implications and a wide scope seemingly antithetical to the deeply personal and individual nature of its subject matter, the intimate sphere of the photographer’s own family and friends. The concepts of “time and life,” writes Visone (in a statement on her website), “are vast yet narrow, complicated yet clean. These photos are what exist in-between.” Taking her own family as a point of departure, Visone’s deceptively simple snapshots illuminate this interstitial space that she describes, the interaction of private and public life, of family and cultural identity, memory and change. Her photographs appear honest, direct and untouched, with a consistently frontal and centralized approach to her subjects, whose engagement with the photographic moment alternates between disarming self-awareness and casual disregard of the camera. Dense with descriptive detail, each large, vivid digital color print reads simultaneously as an objective, investigative document for social analysis—in which the photographer’s family becomes representative of general social truths and “types,” exemplary of the issues, relationships, gendered and generational roles of the 21st century American family—and, on the other hand, as an extremely personal record of the places and people most important to the artist, an affectionate, subjective and individualized portrait of a single family, lovingly photographically preserved at their most ordinary moments. Culture of Looking derives its subtle complexity and compelling tension from this relay of oppositional terms, ideas and photographic categories (portraiture vs. documentary, public vs. private, subjective vs. objective, depiction of unique individuals vs. the delineation of a social typology), so that each image at once bursts with cultural significance and also provides a blank slate upon which the viewer may project his or her own memories and experiences of family and society.
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Another of our new group of interns, Fiona will be working primarily in the library with Stefanie Maclin. Here’s Fiona:
I am a recent graduate of Brookline High School and will be attending Pratt Institute in the Fall. I have a deep adoration for photography, which will be my major at Pratt. My freshman year of high school I took an analog photography course and quickly fell in love. My favorite activities aside from taking pictures are traveling and cooking. In general I prefer to shoot analog but I absolutely enjoy shooting digital from time to time. I photograph anything that moves me, which ranges from the faint shadow of a tree to my father glued to his computer screen. The following are a few photographs from my portfolio [click to open larger versions for viewing]:
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Another one of our new crew of summer interns at the PRC, Matthew Reitman is a Boston University student with a major in Photojournalism and a minor in International Relations. Inspired by his travels, Matthew often photographs subjects in their natural surroundings, in attempt to capture their unique essence. He hopes to one day use his photography skills to shed light on various social issues across the world. In addition to the photos below, feel free to view more of Matthew’s work at http://www.finalcrit.com/photography/mreitman.
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By Todd Danforth, PRC Intern, Spring 2011
Cover of Stephanie Roberts' The Art of iPhoneography
A book arrived at the PRC recently that caught my attention. The Art of iPhoneography: A Guide to Mobile Creativity by Stephanie Roberts is a perfect look into the legitimacy of iPhone photography in a world saturated with camera phones. If you are an iPhone user, this book is THE sine qua non, compiled with all the latest must-have photography applications and how to use these applications and your iPhone to the fullest.
The book, shaped much like the iPhone, is a rich source packed with creative suggestions, insights, and ideas. Roberts allows her readers to not only understand the technicalities of the iPhone and its photography applications, but to discover their own voice as well. Guidelines throughout the book keep you motivated and excited to start shooting, and continue shooting everyday! She also introduces other iPhoneographers and their work.
Whether Stephanie Roberts is a pioneer of iPhoneography or not, it is quite apparent that the ability to snap a photograph and share it on the go almost instantaneously has become a sensation among iPhone users. Start defining, broadening, and sharing your unique and creative vision today by reading The Art of iPhoneography.
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[This review was written by Alissa Darsa, one of our Fall 2010 Interns who is continuing on with us to carry out an e-marketing/e-commerce project (details coming soon).]
Veruschka, dress by Kimberly, New York, January 1967 Photograph Richard Avedon © The Richard Avedon Foundation
Richard Avedon (1923–2004) is credited with redefining the industry of fashion photography in a career that spans more than sixty years. His photographs, on display at the Museum of Fine Arts, are iconic portraits of celebrities and models alike, captured in vibrant images that changed the face of the American woman.
Avedon had what many considered a singular relationship to fashion. Though he stated that you cannot separate fashion from the world, he believed fashion merely provided the textile, pattern, and color against which to portray his true subjects—women. Throughout his career, Avedon remained captivated by women, what was going on in their heads, under their hats, and behind their eyes. While the textiles may have been secondary, it is clear from his photographs that Avedon’s subjects derived emotions from their clothes. These women allowed themselves to be defined by fashion, which served as a vehicle through which they exuded joy, drama, and glamour.
Avedon’s style, often described as exuberant, is beautifully displayed in a series of photographs, magazine covers, and advertisements that encompass almost six decades. Separated by decade, the exhibition reads not only as a tribute to Avedon’s genius in the medium, but also as an historical testament to the dynamic lifestyle of the twentieth-century woman.
Photographs taken in Paris immediately following World War II express an uninhibited desire to recapture France in its pre-War glory and his images communicate a profound sense of optimism amidst cancan dancers and casinos. During the 1960s Avedon’s photographs vividly represented the transformative years defined by sexual liberation and social upheaval; his images keenly depict the confident women that encapsulated the era. Throughout his career, Avedon captured of some of the most recognizable faces in the fashion industry.
Avedon’s unique exploration of the American woman, whether modeling on the streets of Paris or posing for the cover of Vogue, remains poignant today. More than anything, Avedon knew how to create a captivating image, one that was innovative in its style and remarkable in its representation. These are the images that shaped American consciousness and Avedon is still remembered as a revolutionary in his profession.
[The exhibition continues at the MFA until January 17. Link here for more information.]
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Nicholas Nixon, Bebe with Clementine, Brookline, 2003
[The following review is by Ryan Cooley, a graduate student at Clark University and one of our outstanding crew of interns this fall semester.]
Longtime Boston-area photographer Nicholas Nixon rose to the forefront of the photography community in 1975, when his work was featured in the landmark exhibition New Topographics: Photographs of a Man Altered Landscape at the George Eastman House. Since then, Nixon’s work has shown all over the world and gained him representation at prominent galleries like Yossi Milo (NYC) and Fraenkel (San Francisco). He has taught photography at the Massachusetts College of Art for the last 35 years. His exhibition Nicholas Nixon: Family Album is his second at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston since 1988.
Nicholas Nixon, The Brown Sisters, 1996
Nicholas Nixon, The Brown Sisters, 1976
The exhibition includes pictures that Nixon has made over the past thirty-six years. One portion of the show features The Brown Sisters, perhaps his most famous work. The series documents Nixon’s wife Bebe and her three sisters. Since 1975 the four women have assembled annually; each year Nixon documents them, always positioned in the same order. This consistency creates an even template on which you may scrutinize the sisters for their growth and change. Inconsistencies arise as the years go on; an intensified closeness between two sisters, the shadow of Nixon and his view camera being cast over the face of his wife. Such details in individual images become obvious only by comparison to the others. The series hangs on a freestanding wall in the center of the MFA’s Herb Ritts gallery, with the images installed as a six by six grid of 8 x 10-inch gelatin silver prints. This installation truly forces you to see individual picture in relation to the series as a whole. Each photograph is appreciated only relatively, as its meaning is tied to the photographs before it as well as the ones to follow.
Nicholas Nixon, Clementine, Cambridge, 1986
The other portion of the exhibit features pictures of Nixon’s family over thirty years. The show’s title comes through in the work. Nixon’s images are nostalgic, but he maintains nostalgia while giving you an artful and intimate portrait of a foreign familial experience. Nixon’s work is technically magnificent, though it is the way that Nixon conveys a sense of time that is truly the foundation of his work. The large format camera captures the details that reflect a sense of time–tiny wrinkles emerging on a hand, or prepubescent peach fuzz on an arm or leg. Nixon is very deliberate in the frames that he creates. The relationships and dynamic observed in the pictures are unambiguous. Nixon’s images capture the poignant, playful and challenging moments of daily life with family.
Nicholas Nixon, Bebe, Cambridge, 1980
Though not installed in a way that they might be juxtaposed, Nixon’s Bebe, Cambridge, 1980 and Bebe & Louis, Brookline, 2010 complimented each other in a way that was unique to the show. The former image shows Nixon’s wife as a young woman, lying in a bathtub, with light very gently falling over her body. As you look at the latter image, you’ll see her thirty years later, this time lying on a chair in the backyard with the family dog, under much harsher light. Looking at the photographs one after the other, you are taken on Bebe’s trip from early adulthood through parenthood with a certain intimacy that Nixon is known for capturing. Nixon embraces each tiny wrinkle and imperfection, not to emphasize old age, but to provide you with an unfiltered and deeply personalized document of his family’s thirty-year journey.
Nicholas Nixon: Family Album will be on view at the MFA until May 1, 2011.
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[review by PRC fall intern Alissa Darsa]
Vittorio Sella, Crevasse on the Glacier Blanc, Grand Sagne and Ecrins, Alps, August 13, 1888
Born in Biella, Italy in 1859, Vittorio Sella began his photographic career as a young man setting out on missions to climb and photograph the nearby Alps. This hobby soon turned into a passion and Sella’s missions became increasingly challenging and dangerous. At that time, photography as a medium was still new. Although the technology had come a long way in just a short amount of time, the equipment remained large and cumbersome, not to mention fragile – hardly the point-and-click shooting we think of today.
However, Sella was undeterred by these obstacles. He and his team navigated some of the world’s roughest terrain. His expeditions required him not only to be good with a camera, but also to be an expert climber. Indeed, as a casual observer it is difficult to tell whether one is looking at the work of a photographer or a mountaineer, an artist or a scientist. Sella himself never openly declared his work to be art, preferring to think of his images as scientific documents and even today his photos are often used as maps for explorers and adventurers.
The scientific aspect of his work in no way diminishes its aesthetic quality, often reading as a treatise on the sublime and man’s stunning powerlessness against nature. His figures trek across snowy landscapes and icy cliffs, dwarfed by their immense surroundings. Many of the photographs were taken from great heights, capturing wide panoramas and conveying the moods and forms of remote places and their inhabitants. By the early 20th century, Sella had climbed the highest peaks of Europe, Karkoram, Sikkim, Africa, and North America.
Sella is described by many of his contemporaries as having the magical ability to see what the intrepid hiker often misses in his quest to reach the summit. He once said that his photography was a selection of detail and an idealization of such elements as could form a beautiful scene and which could not necessarily be comprehended by the average climber in the moment. His images stand as a representation of the sheer audacity of his vision and the depth of his commitment to the hazardous and beautiful landscapes he traversed. Sella died in 1943 at the age of 83, less than 8 years after he ascended his last peak. He is still considered to be one of the greatest mountain photographers who ever lived.
About the Author: Boston native Alissa Darsa received her BA in Art History from Ithaca College in 2009. She is particularly interested in the social and cultural aspects of contemporary art and wrote her senior thesis on the construction of Black identity in visual culture. She hopes to pursue a career in academia.
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[review by PRC fall intern Ming-Chieh "Pandora" Hsieh]
Jessica Backhaus, One day in November (Kehrer, 2009)
While glancing at the photos in the book, you may not find them particularly unusual. Just like the title, “One day in November,” that suggests a simple concept, these photos are taken of things or scenes from our everyday lives, ranging from tree and shadow to window view from the inside of a room. They are easily accessible and easy to relate to. That said, there is more in the essence of the book.
The book was created in memory of a great friendship between photographer Jessica Backhaus (born 1970) and her mentor Gisele Freund (born 1908). Despite their huge age difference, they became good friends after their meeting in November 1992 while Backhaus was a photography student in Paris. The book was named after the occasion to demonstrate the great impact Freund had on Backhaus. However, during the elder artist’s life Backhaus showed her only one of her own photographs because she didn’t consider herself eligible back then. Now as an established photographer with her unique style, finally she could proudly present what she had photographed over the years to her mentor, despite Freund having died in 2000.
If Backhaus learned anything from Freund, it was to take photographs with heart and go beyond technical aspects. The following quotes from Backhaus reflect on the lessons she learned from Freund:
- “Despite the importance of knowing the technical aspects, the most important thing is to follow your heart in taking pictures.”
- “Good photographs will stay with you, go beyond rules of composition and technical expertise, and convey or express a certain feeling.”
It was Backhaus’s feeling and heart that made those photographs featured in this book special. Probably, these might also be the messages that Freund wanted to convey through Backhaus.
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