Blush By Greg Creason, $1650 at Creason’s Fine Art Galleries (All Photos By Gail)
A sure sign that the vaccine rollout is working — and Covid is finally on the wane — was the in-person return of the semi-annual Affordable Art Fair, which arrived at NYC’s Metropolitan Pavilion on May 20th for four fun days of art and socializing, at long last!
Art By Inkyeong Baek (Left, Center) and Ardan Ozmenoglu (Right) at Fremin Gallery, NYC
While the Fair has been restaged to allow for better traffic flow and social distancing –which means many of our favorite vendors were absent (Tag Fine Arts, you were missed) — there was still lots of cool art to see, familiar faces and new exhibitors whose artworks we are excited to bring you in this post. Let’s take a look at the triumphant return of the Affordable Art Fair!
As part of a super fun, recent Gallery Tour, we stopped in at the Jack Shainman Gallery for a peek at Jackie Nickerson’s photographic exhibit of unorthodox portraiture, entitled Field Test. While the series features female figures (two different models were used) whose faces and bodies are covered or wrapped in assorted plastic materials, Field Test was actually conceived and completed before the Covid19 pandemic. This work, entitled Wrapped, depicts a women in a seated position, knees pulled to her chest, while obscured entirely in a sheet of opaque Pink plastic, making it an ideal choice for this week’s Pink Thing of The Day. Field Test is a fascinating series which is on exhibit through April 3rd, 2021.
Morgan Maher, Nice Posture (January 2021) Polaroid Photo and Collection of Childhood Earrings (All Images Courtesy of Photential)
Photential is a bold global art platform whose DNA is to create an alternative and exciting way for photographers and multimedia artists to present their work to audiences worldwide. Starting February 4th, Photential is pleased to present The Nineties Project, a three-part presentation featuring photographic work inspired by the culture-defining era of the ‘90s. The foundation for what we know as ‘cool’ today, this was the decade that gave us the rave scene, Chloë Sevigny, super models and Meisel covers for Vogue Italia. The 90’s were also the birthplace of the digital age, paving way for the technological revolution and giving rise to the modern day social media influencer.
Image by Louis Chevalier
The Nineties Projectwill explore the history and nostalgia of this iconic decade and its impact on art, culture and fashion in three parts. The headlining exhibition will feature original photographs by thirteen ‘90s kids’ whose work will be accompanied by six curated features by Photential’s advisory board as well as a fashion collaboration. Beginning on February 4, 2021, Photential will release one aspect of the initiative every week until March 2021 on the platform, www.photential.art.
Actress Jamie Chung once jokingly said, “If acting doesn’t work out, I plan to do food photography and just eat my way through the entire world! I’m a big foodie, and if I could make some career out of it, that would be fantastic.” She’s probably in good company. In a world that’s overwhelmed with smartphones and picture-apps like Instagram, you’d think everyone is a passionate food photographer! However, few are aware of just how difficult it is to sustain the drive. We’re giving you a few tips on re-igniting your passion and finding your food photography inspiration. Here we go!
1. Invest in a few renowned cookbooks and magazines
Where do the best food photographers ply their trade? Well in cookbooks and magazines of course! Granted, these resources aren’t free and you may have to shell out a couple of dollars to access these books, but its’ money well spent. Fortunately, you don’t have to purchase actual hard-copies which tend to be more expensive. The digital versions do nicely.
2. Dabble and experiment with other forms of photography
The world of photography is vast with numerous genres – wedding photography, product photography, fashion photography, aerial photography to name a few. What’s interesting is what you can learn from each genre. Lighting, composition, and editing are all done differently. The skills you learn by dabbling with other types of photography can give you the inspiration you’re looking for with your own food photography.
3. Study light, airy, bright photos to understand aesthetics
What makes one photo breathtaking and another bland? A quick scroll through Instagram and you’ll notice something remarkable. The most popular food photos are almost always light and bright. This is achieved largely by employing three concepts: white balance, neutral color filters, and bokeh. White balance, to quote Photography Life, is simply “adjusting colors so that the image looks more natural”. Neutral color filters help the images retain their natural look as well, while bokeh (from the Japanese word meaning ‘to blur’) is simply the technical term for blurring out elements such as the background in your pictures. Studying beautiful photos can invoke the inspiration you’re after.
4. Look beyond food images at what’s around you
Perhaps you need to stop looking at food images for a while. You see, inspiration can come to you when you’re not even thinking about it; when you’re simply out and about living life. It may be that the more you obsess over your food photos the less likely you’ll find pleasure in your own work. Instead, look beyond food photography itself. Go visit a museum, watch an old movie, and look at some classical art. You never know where you’ll find food photography inspiration
5. Join a few social media groups and follow fellow food bloggers
The tech-centric nature of our world and globalization means you can follow anyone from anywhere. You can join social media food photography groups such as Food Bloggers Central to connect with like-minded people. With plenty of food photography inspiration to be had and conversations with photographers from all walks of life, you’re likely to have your own fire re-ignited quickly.
I hope these tips will help you find inspiration for your food photography. Still, if you would like to find further inspiration, you can also check out professional food photographers portfolio websites.
One final word: don’t worry about every photo being perfect. As Henri Cartier-Bresson laughingly remarked, “Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst.” Just remember that with every photo you snap, your skills will improve!
Award-winning aerial photographer Brad Walls, also known as Bradscanvas, has just released his highly-anticipated new series, Pools From Above – an ode to the beauty found in the shapes, colors and textures of swimming pools. This unique and never-before-seen perspective uses Walls’ clean, minimal aesthetic to visually showcase interesting pools from around the world.
Savasana Station Yoga Studio Security Gate Mural (All Photos By Gail)
When the only outdoor activity that’s still permitted is taking a walk, it’s important to give your walks a purpose. As the Covid Life hit us back in mid-March, I started collecting what you might call ‘mundane’ pictures on my iPhone camera roll during my afternoon jaunts; documenting things I see in the East Village in order to share the stories these photos tell about the people who live in my awesome neighborhood. For as long as this shit lasts, I’ll be publishing a thematic weekly series of photo-blog posts featuring snapshots from my East Village Life, so that we all might feel more connected. This week’s theme is Storefronts. Enjoy!
Clash City Tattoo located at 273 E 10th Street, takes its name from the song “Clash City Rocker” which you can find on the 1977 debut album by, you guessed it, The Clash.
This is the Pyramid Club, a nightclub on Avenue A that’s been open since 1979 — wow! Nirvana once played there before they got to be a big deal, and I interviewed a few rockers inside its walls back in my rock critic days. They still host weekly ’80s New Wave dance parties and shit like that. I believe Pyramid Club will survive the Covid crisis.
The handwritten sign posted out front of Psychic Readings By Honeybee, which is also on Avenue A near 14th Street, indicates that, despite their storefront being closed for business, they are still conducting “Readings Over The Phone.” One wonders why their advance psychic knowledge of the upcoming shutdown did not provided ample time to have a more professional sign prepared.
Image from Ellen von Unwerth’s Devotion! 30 Years of Photographing Women (All Photos By Gail)
If you live in the tri-state area and are on Instagram or FaceBook for even a few minutes a day, there is very little chance that you have not at least heard the name Fotografiska. Viral marketing ads for the NYC branch of this museum dedicated to modern photography were plastered all over social media for months prior to its opening to the public on December 14th, 2019. The cryptic ads featured dark, purple-shadowed images of the seven-story Gothic structure (built in 1892) housing the museum, which made it seem very mysterious and alluring. Everyone wanted to know: What the Hell is Fotografiska? Some people still can’t figure it out.
I finally had a chance to visit Fotografiska on March 5th, when I was invited to attend the opening reception for an exhibit by Julie Blackmon entitled Fever Dreams. One week after my visit, Fotografiska was forced to temporarily close its doors in compliance with New York State’s shelter-in-place order in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Image By Ellen von Unwerth Inside an Elevator at Fotografiska
My original plan had been to post a review of the Julie Blackmon exhibit in mid-March, to coincided with the celebration of National Women’s Month. But like so many of us on the planet, my life is completely different now than it was three or four weeks ago, so that did not happen. An up-side of being stuck in the house without the ability to visit an art gallery, or museum or cultural institution of any kind is that I get to bring you my take on Art in the Time of Covid right here on The Gig. Even though you cannot currently visit these exhibits in person, you can ‘Live Through Me’ and enjoy the photos vicariously. I hope this post will give you a sweet taste of what’s inside Fotografiska that will get you excited to check out the place once it reopens. Better late than never.
This was my first ‘exposure,’ so to speak, to Julie Blackmon’s work, but I immediately fell in love with her hyper-realist style. Fever Dreams is a collection of images that brim with fantasy and subtle satire, capturing a delicate balance between the darkness and charm of contemporary American life. It’s not unusual for a gallery to stage an exhibit in dim lighting, but this one is designed to be viewed almost completely in the dark, save for a bit of light bleeding in from an adjacent gallery, and dedicated spotlights focused on each work. While the lack of lighting presented a challenge in capturing decent images of the photos, it definitely set an important mood, which enhanced the viewing experience.
Adding to the surreal vibe of Fever Dreams was the wall-to-wall astroturf covering the gallery floors, which included this singular artificial Dandelion Puff. You will understand in a minute why it was helpful to feel like you were standing in someone’s backyard.
The playfully artful and chaotic nature present in the photographs of Julie Blackmon (b. 1966) are drawn from the everyday people and places that have shaped the artist’s life. These are the familiar and ordinary scenes of Blackmon’s daily routine in her hometown of Springfield, Missouri, which she describes as “the generic American town” in the middle of the United States.
Her scenes are often centered around children on their own in backyards, garages and neighborhoods where the absence of adults alludes to a looming potential for danger. Her photographs, otherwise innocuous domestic tableaux, are woven with fantasy and subtle satire that reflect a delicate balance between the darkness and charm of contemporary American life in suburbia.
One my favorite photos in the collection is this scene of children watching a screening of The Sound Of Music in a backyard. To me, it has an almost post-apocalyptic feel. Blackmon carefully sets her scenes, and like film and theater directors, she is in pursuit of unscripted moments that provoke, disturb, and challenged the viewer. Some of the images reference paintings by Dutch Masters, French impressionist, and modernists such as Edward Hopper and Balthus, but they are updated with a satirical, penetrating eye and Blackmon’s belief that artful fiction can capture the truth more memorably than the truth itself.
Speaking of her work, Blackmon explains, “I suppose I could make a work where everything’s just perfect, where the sun is shining and mom is lying out in the grass and everything’s happening perfectly and the kids are happy . . . but that wouldn’t interest me — and it wouldn’t be truthful. My aim is to create a more nuanced, subtly humorous and satirical portrait of the way we live today.”
Fever Dreams presents a selection of photographs from Blackmon’sHomegrown series as well as more recent works. It’s a fantastic exhibit and I hope its tenure at Fotografiska can be extended so that more people get to see it.