In the wake of Donald Trump's electoral victory, photographer Gregory Eddi Jones embarked on a new series using the classic novel Flowers For Algernon as a symbol for the president's unexpected normalization. The story focuses on an intellectually disabled man who undergoes surgery to triple his IQ, only to revert back to his original condition by the end of the book. Using found images, many related to the 2016 election, Jones creates floral collages that parallel the story's central arc with the country's shift towards Trumpism. While Jones' convictions are unavoidable, his tools extend beyond didacticism, nodding equally to the history of still life as they do to his political intents. We found Jones' work, while in progress, incredibly timely and reached out to learn more.
In the 1980's and 1990's, New York City was home to growing social unrest over issues ranging from the city's rapidly gentrifying landscape, police brutality and strained race relations, to international conflicts like the war in Iraq. During this period, countless photographers captured its spirit of protest: moments of violent confrontation like the Tompkins Square Park and Crown Heights riots, as well as the more sanctioned, organized demonstrations, instances of non-violent civil disobedience and elaborate, often-costumed street theatre. Meg Handler, former photo editor of The Village Voice, historian Tamar Carroll, and Michael Kamber, founder of the Bronx Documentary Center recently curated Whose Streets? Our Street! New York City: 1980-2000, an exhibition at the Bronx Documentary Center up through March 5, 2017, which includes the work of more than thirty-eight photojournalists who covered protest in NYC between 1980 and 2000. I spoke with Handler and Carroll to learn more about the exhibition and its increasing relevance today.
2016 has been a crazy year. From a tumultuous US presidential election, to celebrity deaths and political unrest around the world, we're ready, though somewhat scared, to move into the New Year. In these uncertain times, photography keeps us image-obsessed nerds going more than almost anything. Admittedly, aside from the onslaught of new photobooks, blogs (yes, blogging's not dead), and studio visits, Instagram continues to be one of our go-to sources for visual inspiration. So behold: 18 of our favorite photographers we've featured on our Instagram over the past few months. Do them a favor and follow them now. XOXO, and Happy New Year!
As we approach the holidays under a 2016 election cloud, there's talk of leaving, of escape, of anxiety over political family conflicts. For Democrats and Progressives, the ongoing joke in any election has been flight or permanent vacation to Canada, but we're probably not going anywhere soon. But how about outer space? There perhaps is no better way to enjoy this time of year than to get on a rocket or some sort of spaceship bound for another galaxy. Robert E. Jackson's growing collection of more than ten thousand snapshots contains dozens of absurdly outer space-themed vintage Christmas cards that have nothing, and yet somehow everything to do with the holidays. Like the Jaeger family, who superimposed themselves (along with their family dog), in front of a NASA photograph of the moon, all the while wishing peace on earth with the coming of Christ. Or a man named Asher D. Havenhill offering "Season's Greetings" through his telescope. These cards share a peculiar, yet heartwarming sense of holiday cheer, a brief and otherworldly pause as we approach the new year. Now if only we could find some intergalactic Kwanzaa or Chanukah cards, we'd all truly be at peace. See more of Jackson's collection by following him on Instagram.
In today's image-saturated-everything, truly unforgettable images, those that slow us down enough to interrupt our day to day are increasingly difficult to surface from the rough. The Billboard Creative aims to change that. Founded in 2012, the project connects artists with mass audiences by displaying their images on billboards in some of Los Angeles' most heavily trafficked intersections for an entire month. In 2015, they turned LA into what they described as an "open air gallery" with forty-five works ranging from established artists like Ed Rusha, to emerging artists like Shannon Rose. This year's exhibition, up through the beginning of January 2017, is curated by artist Mona Kuhn, and continues TBC's tradition with 45 artists of varying disciplines. We interviewed Kuhn to learn more about the project and her curatorial process, and we've included some of our photography-based highlights below.