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McNair Evans August 1, 2011

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in United States.
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Easter Morning, North Carolina 2010

McNair Evans (b. 1979, USA) found photography as a powerful ethnographic tool for exploring the human condition. His work draws parallels between the lives of individuals and universal shared experiences, correlations that create first-person narrative journeys. Recognizing subjectivity as an unalienable characteristic of our medium, McNair utilizes mental and emotional states as mood and context. He has received multiple graduate level scholarships and has been published in USA Today, the Academy of Art and National Geographic Adventurer. In 2011 McNair won the Curator’s Choice from CENTER.

About the Photograph:

“My elder sister Patricia and her husband are shown saying grace with our Mom’s hand reaching into the frame. An original member of this prayer circle, I saw the lighting, Mom’s hand gesturing to Patricia, and made this single image. Removing myself from the circle to photograph this intimate moment echoes the difficult balance of photographing loved ones. This photograph belongs to a larger series titled A Journal of Southern History that describes my return home in 2010 to photograph the lasting emotional landscape of my father’s death and insolvency. My goal was to retrace my father’s life, using photography as a vehicle of resolution. Within my immediate family, I witnessed intense affliction and perseverance. This theme resonates in my sister on Easter morning, which also conveys the continuum of religion in their lives.”

Carrie Will July 22, 2011

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Rikki and Carrie, Nyack, New York 2007

Carrie Will (b. 1979, United States) received her BFA from SUNY Purchase College in 2001 and her MFA from Syracuse University in 2008. Carrie’s work has been displayed in many group exhibitions and featured in online galleries Most recently her work was displayed in 100 portraits – 100 photographers, a night gallery projection on the Corcoran Gallery in conjunction with Fotoweek, DC 2010. Her work can be seen at the National Portrait Gallery in a showed entitled, Close To Home, Photographers and Their Families, at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, DC and in an upcoming show, The Summer Show Project in New York City at The Foley Gallery.

About the Photograph:

“This image is from the series entitled, I am redundant, half of a whole, a freak, identical and lucky. The series is about the relationship I have with my twin sister, Rikki, which is tightly woven, beautifully strange and difficult to explain. This has led me to explore a visual language that articulates the intimacy and the oddity of being a twin. In this photograph, we sit in the dining room at our father’s house. My sister and I have not lived in the same town since we were in high school but we talk everyday. Our meeting place is often our father’s home. Being a twin is amazing but it comes with some confusion, like where does she end and I begin? When she is away from me, I miss her, when she is with me I sometimes miss myself. Rikki and Carrie, Dining Room, represents the fact that we are identical twins, separate yet eternally connected.”

Brian Harkin July 4, 2011

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Google Headquarters, New York 2010

Brian Harkin (b. 1983, USA) is a freelance portrait and documentary photographer in New York City. Brian has an undergraduate degree in philosophy from The University of Missouri and began his freelance career in Dallas after an internship at The Dallas Morning News. He spent the first half of 2009 in Mexico City before relocating to New York, where he shoots regularly for The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times. His other publication credits include: AARP, Smithsonian Magazine The Fader, The Financial Times, National Geographic Kids, NPR, among others.

About the Photograph:

“This photo is from an afternoon I spent at the Google headquarters in New York City on assignment for The Wall Street Journal. The story was on their huge new building, at 111 Eighth Ave, which spans the entire avenue block and was recently acquired in a nearly two billion dollar deal. Inside, the company offers a host of amenities (scooters, snacks, game rooms, etc.) to its employees, who seem to be an easygoing, diverse and productive group of people. I spent most of my time photographing these “Googlers” at their desks, and I found their idiosyncrasies to be a suitable contrast to the Google’s new architectural behemoth.”

Mary Beth Meehan June 22, 2011

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Irish Politicians on Election Night. Brockton, Massachusetts 2007

Mary Beth Meehan (b. 1967, USA) is a Providence-based documentary photographer who explores issues of culture, immigration, and community. Her goal is to create a connection with the people of those communities, whose identities are often obscured by economics, politics, or race. Images from her series City of Champions recently won Onward 11’s Juror Award, selected by Larry Fink. Her work has been exhibited and published widely, including in The New York Times, The Boston Globe, and the Washington Post, and has been honored by Pictures of the Year International and The National Conference for Community and Justice. Her weekly photo-and-text column in the Providence Journal was one of the first to attract national acclaim, and was nominated twice for the Pulitzer Prize. Meehan teaches Documentary Photography at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design.

About the Photograph:

“My current series, City of Champions, is a look at my hometown of Brockton, Massachusetts, an effort to personalize the changes there of the last century, and to convey the emotional charge of so much change. The Irish were among the first to settle in Brockton, building the city with shoe-factory income, and amassing political power. They still dominate politics, even though the majority of residents are people of color, new immigrants come from the world’s poorest and most war-torn countries, and the city is beset by housing foreclosure, economic decline, and crime. This photograph was made in a bar on election night, when the Irish-American mayor with a 10th-grade education barely squeaked out re-election over an African-American man, who held advanced college degrees and had promised political reform. Here, the mayor’s supporters celebrated the close call, surrounded by idealized reminders of their own heritage.”

Bharat Choudhary June 17, 2011

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From the project “The Silence of ‘Others”. Chicago 2010

Bharat Choudhary (b. 1978, India) is a documentary photographer currently based in London. He spent his first 14 years in Nigeria before moving back to India with his parents. After a degree in forestry management, he spent five years working with non-governmental organizations, on issues of rural poverty and education. Things changed when his father gifted him with an old Asahi Pentax K2 and a Minolta X-700. Bharat realized that his photography could be the voice of many socially marginalized communities. He gave shape to his photography under the mentorship of Magnum photographer Raghu Rai and received an MA in Photojournalism from the University of Missouri in 2010. Presently, he is working on a project about young Muslims and Islamophobia in England, supported by the Alexia Foundation for World Peace grant.

About the Photograph:

“I was walking towards downtown Chicago with Kaiser when we both saw this busy beach next to an equally busy road. It was hot, we were tired and so we decided to rest there for a while before resuming our march towards the Millennium Park. Kaiser took out his sketchbook and the famous winds of Chicago added wings to an already interesting situation. I saw a lot of things in a few seconds. But what made that moment special to me was the sight of a ‘salad bowl’, instead of the so-called ‘melting pot’ that everyone loves to talk about. I do not see this as a visually delightful image that entertains, but I feel that it comes close to my idea of an image that forwards a reason for an informed debate. No single element in the image alone would’ve worked. But here every single unit serves as an equally relevant part of a very important whole. When I look at this image, I try to connect all these units and believe that together they honestly articulate the thoughts and feelings of Kaiser.” (more…)

Susan Worsham June 13, 2011

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Lynn and Max, Virginia 2009

Susan Worsham (b. 1969, USA) took her first photography class while studying graphic design in college.  In 2009 Susan was nominated for the Santa Fe Prize For Photography, and her book” Some Fox Trails In Virginia” won first runner up in the fine art category of  the Blurb Photography Book Now International Competition. In 2010 Susan was awarded the first TMC / Kodak Film Grant, and was an artist in residence at Light Work in Syracuse, New York. Her work is held in private collections, and has been exhibited at the Corcoran Museum during  FotoWeek D.C, The Photographic Center Northwest, Silver Eye Center for Photography, And Dean Jensen Gallery. She was recently named one of PDN’s 30 Emerging Photographers To Watch in 2011.

About the Photograph:

“The image shown here  Max With Black Plums, is from my personal project ” Some Fox Trails In Virginia” Through this series I photograph, the landscape of my childhood, but through the lens of my adult self. I use two women from different generations as my muses. Margaret Daniel, my oldest neighbor, and Lynn, the first stranger that I ever asked to pose for me. I have been photographing Lynn for over 19 years now. The image above is of Lynn and her son Max. The plums she holds in her lap are still close, echoing the mother and son bond at this age. I think the trust in our relationship comes through in the picture. There is a quiet intimacy that I have found while shooting Lynn and her family that I now look for in all of my subjects. We have grown into women together, and I hope to photograph her family for years to come.”

Sarah Wilson June 3, 2011

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James and Melissa from the series Blind Prom, Texas 2008

Sarah Wilson (b. 1977, USA) received her BFA in photography at NYU, and has returned to her hometown of Austin, Texas, where she works regionally as an editorial photographer for magazines such as The New York Times Sunday Magazine, Time, The Atlantic Monthly, Texas Monthly, Mother Jones, and others. Her series, Blind Prom was awarded the 2008 PhotoNOLA Portfolio Review Prize, and was exhibited in New Orleans at the Photo Alliance Gallery, in New York City at the Foley Gallery, and in China at the Lishui International Photography Festival. Several images from, Jasper, Texas: The Road To Redemption, documented the aftermath of the dragging death of James Byrd Jr., a shocking hate crime have been acquired by the permanent collections at both the University of Texas and the Museum of Fine Arts Houston.

About the Photograph:

“For the past four years, I have volunteered as the prom night photographer for the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired. Starting with hair and makeup in the dorms, through the last dance at midnight, I aim to capture the entire prom ritual. Not only do the images memorialize this rite of passage for the attendees and their parents, but I also hope that the work will serve a larger audience as a medium for consideration of what life might be like as a blind teenager. This picture of James and Melissa is one of my favorite images from the series thus far. They were having one of those sweet, electric, young love moments while the other students were out on the dance floor.”

Pascal Shirley May 16, 2011

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Oakland, California 2005

Pascal Shirley (b. 1980, USA) began his photographic studies at Prescott College and the School of Visual Arts in New York City. He received his MFA at California College of the Arts in San Francisco. During this time he studied under Larry Sultan and Jim Goldberg and graduated in 2006. He was awarded a teaching position the following fall at California College of the Arts, but left soon after to pursue a career in photography. Pascal assists with several NYC and LA based photographers while continuing his own work. He recently shot for TIME magazine and has been included in group shows in Los Angeles and Portland, Oregon. Pascal currently resides in Los Angeles.

About the Photograph:

“This photo is part of a series on youth in and around the Bay Area.  The 13-year-old boy lived with his mother in Oakland.  I photographed him three separate times and it was the third time when I got this picture. I remember him opening up to me about how his father had left when he was young and his dog was his best friend. Their house was very cluttered and I could barely move throughout the rooms. His mother told me there were evil spirits in the house. I asked him if he wanted to go out in the backyard. He moved throughout the yard like it was foreign to him. It seemed like it had been years since he had played out there. He was an only child entering adolescence and I felt his unease.”

Larysa Sendich May 11, 2011

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From the Series “Between Waves”, 2010

Larysa Sendich (b.1979, Ukraine) spent her childhood in the American Midwest and on the East Coast, between the American culture she was born into, and the Ukrainian one her immigrant family came from.  This division of cultural circumstances fueled a life-long pursuit for the meaning of ‘Home’. Since the beginning of her career Larysa has been engaged in a long-term exploration, across cultures and generations, of the search for this fundamental human need. In 2010 Larysa  graduated from the International Center of Photography Documentary Photography program in New York. Her photographs have been published in F- Stop Magazine, NPR, and  100 Words. She lives in New York.

About the Photograph:

“This image, taken on the sound in Milford, CT, is part of a larger body of work called Between Waves. By concentrating on two distinct generational waves of Ukrainian and Russian immigrants residing on the east coast of the United States the images aim to capture the struggles of preserving cultural heritage while adapting to new social environments. Luba, the woman in this photograph is a product of the third wave, the largest and most permanent, that came escaping political exile as a direct result of World War II.  The work poses questions of what can be lost in transition, evoking a sense of isolation, confusion, friction and dislocation.”

Lori Vrba April 27, 2011

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From the Series “Piano Farm” North Carolina, 2009

Lori Vrba (b. 1964, USA) is a native Texan now residing in  North Carolina. She studied at the Glassell School of Art in Houston but is primarily a self taught artist. Her photographs are shot using an old Hasselblad and then developed by hand in her traditional home darkroom where she does all of the processing, printing and toning herself. Her work has been exhibited internationally, including the 2009 Lishui Photo Festival in China, Foto 8 Summer Show in London and most recently, a unique installation of  her project “Piano Farm” in New Orleans. Her awards include: Critical Mass Finalist, 2009 and the PhotoNOLA Review Prize, 2010.

About the Photograph:

“My original plan on the day I made this image, was to photograph the pictures on the clothesline as a still life.  I was fascinated by these old family pictures as a child.  My mother kept them in the bottom drawer of a chest in our hallway. I would pull them out, spread them all around me on the floor, and stay there for hours. I consider this to be my introduction to photography. While shooting this “still life”, my daughter came up into the frame to see what I was up to. As is often the case…that unplanned moment ultimately defines the image. I’ve learned to trust in the idea that cool things happen while I’m working. I remind myself of this when I’m uninspired or doubting myself. ‘Just load some film’. It works.”

Matt Nager April 13, 2011

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Tea Party Rally, Texas 2009

Matt Nager (b. 1983, USA) graduated in News Editorial Journalism from the University of Colorado at Boulder. His travels have taken him throughout Mexico, Cuba, Nicaragua, Bolivia, Italy, Israel, Jordan and Egypt. In addition to photography he works in video and film. Matt has been recognized by the 61st College Photographer of the Year competition with an Honorable Mention for Documentary, the 2006 Hearst Journalism Awards as a National Finalist and by the Society of Professional Journalists. His clients include: AARP, National Public Radio, The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Blick (Switzerland), The National  (Abu Dhabi), Bloomberg News, Boston Globe, Dallas Morning News and Rocky Mountain News among others.

About the Photograph:

“I have covered the Tea Party Express and other Tea Party events several times in Texas during the past year and a half. This particular image was shot on assignment for The New York Times. The story was a feature looking into the Tea Party Express as they were making their cross country tour speaking out against the passage of the health care bill. During this moment, the organizers of the event were conducting a prayer for armed forces members who have died while serving. It was interesting to see how much patriotism was used to draw an emotional response at the Tea Party rally. The other observation I made when reflecting on this image is the portrayal of President Obama as the joker. I remember back to some of the signs from this event and remember the dramatic imagery and terminology used.”

Joseph O. Holmes April 8, 2011

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Columbus Circle, New York City 2005

Joseph  O. Holmes (b. 1954, USA) was raised in a factory town in rural Pennsylvania where his father taught him how to develop and print photos in the home darkroom. Joe has exhibited in dozens of group and solo shows in the United States. Among other awards, he was honored with a Curator’s Commendation at the Houston Center for Photography (2010), first prize in MPLS Photo Center’s 2010 Portraits Exhibition, Honorable Mention in the Silver Eye Gallery’s Fellowship Competition (2008), and Honorable Mention in the PX3 Prix de la Photographie Paris Competition (2007). He was a winner (2010) and finalist (2007) in Critical Mass/Photolucida and twice invited to the Review Santa Fe juried portfolio review (2007 and 2010). Joe is represented by The Jen Bekman Gallery (NYC) and Wall Space (Santa Barbara and Seattle).

About the Photograph:

“I was once invited to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade from the enormous windows of Jazz at Lincoln Center, fives stories above Columbus Circle, and I thought I’d take the most amazing photos. But after an hour up there, I couldn’t get a single interesting shot. It just wasn’t happening. I finally gave up, put away my camera, and sat down, only to look up and see what I’d been missing the whole time: across the room against the windows was a row of silhouettes apparently looking out over the late autumn leaves of Central Park. The scene had nothing whatsoever to do with a parade. And so I got out my camera and took what became one of my favorite shots. I’ve never forgotten the lesson I learned that day: I have no obligation to document a scene or an event. My job is to look around for an image that will make me happy. Sometimes I come home with a wonderful picture that’s 180 degrees from what I thought I’d be shooting.”

Carey Kirkella April 4, 2011

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Julia throwing doll, Middletown, New York 2008

Carey Kirkella (b. 1977, USA) studied photography and media arts at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY; earning a BFA in 1999. Her work has been recognized by the Santa Fe Center for Photography, the International Photography Awards and Critical Mass. She was included in the Noorderlicht International Photography Festival, and in the recent book ‘Flash Forward – Emerging Photographers 2009′ by The Magenta Foundation. In October 2009, she received the ‘Kick Award’ through the international competition ’10 Best 10′ by WIN-Initiative and Resource magazine.

About the Photograph:

“This image is from an ongoing documentary portrait project about my niece Julia as she grows up in Middletown, NY. It was Easter and my brother and I were sitting on the floor of our sister’s living room. Julia handed me one end of a jump-rope and then simultaneously flung her doll in the air while turning the other end of the rope. It was one of those split second moments that I would never be able to recreate if I tried. Julia is a healthy seven year old girl full of life and creativity and drama. She’s an only child. I’ve been photographing her regularly every few months since she was about three years old. I hope to capture the spirit of her childhood, and to explore ideas about growing up in a typical, middle class family in a suburban town in America today. She inspires me.”

Scott Strazzante March 28, 2011

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From the “Common Ground” Project. Lockport, Illinois 2000/2009

Scott Strazzante (b.1964, USA) was born and raised in the shadows of the steel mills on the far southeast corner of Chicago. The son of a tire dealer, Scott first became interested in photography when he started taking his dad’s Canon AE-1 to Chicago White Sox games. After graduating from Ripon College, he began, what has now been, a 24-year career at Chicago-area newspapers.  In 2000, while employed at The Herald News in Joliet, Scott was named National Newspaper Photographer of the Year by the National Press Photographers Association and the Missouri School of Journalism. In 2007, he won 2nd place in POYi’s Newspaper Photographer of the Year competition. A seven time Illinois Photographer of the Year, Scott spent the last nine years at the Chicago Tribune where he works as a general assignment photographer.

About the Photograph:

“In 1994, I told, in images, a simple tale of two senior citizen cattle farmers who lived and worked on a 118-acre tract of land in Lockport, Illinois, thirty-five miles southwest of Chicago. After publication, I continued to document the daily lives of those farmers, Harlow and Jean Cagwin, on my own time as a personal project and that work eventually evolved into a study of aging, the disappearing family farm and suburban sprawl.  In 2007, the story turned into something totally different, when I started photographing the Grabenhofer family, who live at the end of a Willow Walk subdivision cul de sac, on the very land that the Cagwins once toiled. The study of the two seemingly disparate ways of life is told in diptychs, comparing and contrasting the lives of the Cagwins and the Grabenhofers.” (more…)

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