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.
Inspired by his travels throughout Southeast Asia and within his own home country of Australia, Walls’ journey initially began by capturing the bodies of water simply to document holiday memories. It wasn’t until picking up the bestselling Annie Kelly coffee table book Splash: The Art of the Swimming Pool, however, that Walls began investing time and passion into curating a series, stating that “As I turned each page of Kelly’s book, a wave of childhood nostalgia washed over me, spending hours in the pool over summer.” Paying powerful homage to Kelly, Walls’ series chooses to keenly focus on pools’ elements of composition from a bird’s eye view. “I fell in love with the lines, curves and negative space of the pools, which – without alternate perspective from a drone – would have been lost.”
Pools From Above is also an integral part of a much larger project which is aimed at a book release in the not-too-distant future, as Walls says “The response from viewers has been positive, asking for the series to be among their coffee table books.” Looking ahead, once the world finally re-opens, Walls has no plans of slowing down. He plans to capture even more world-renowned swimming pools across an array of idyllic locations, including Palm Springs, Mexico and the Mediterranean.
Since bursting onto the photography scene in early 2019, Brad Walls has gone on to produce award-winning photographs and garner worldwide media attention, with a primary focus on capturing aerial portraits of athletes like synchronized swimmers, gymnasts and ice skaters from unique perspectives and angles that audiences are normally unable to see. He is a featured artist for the Inaugural 2020 Aerial Photography Awards in October 2020, and already shortlisted for the Drone Photo Awards in Siena, Italy, within the Sport and People categories. You can view the Pools From Above series at This Link!
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.
Art By CES, AKA Robert Provenzano (All Photos By Gail)
Do you like Street Art? I Sure do. Whether you’re already an avid fan of street art, or are just curious about, and open to, getting schooled on the evolution of this rather phenomenal genre of pop culture, you have through the final weekend in September to immerse yourself in an ambitious, but temporary, street art museum called Beyond the Streets.
Spray Paint Cans Wallpaper Inside The Elevator
Paintings and Sculpture By TENGAone
Beyond The Streets is a celebration of society’s most pervasive mark makers and rule breakers with unprecedented purpose and scale; inside these walls you will find a collection of stories and works by artists past and present who have helped to propel graffiti and street art to extraordinary heights. Works from more than 150 of the world’s leading graffiti and street artists from past and present are represented, alongside cutting-edge contemporary artists and pop culture icons. The exhibit spans two full floors on the footprint of an entire city block, in a newly-constructed high rise office building on the waterfront in Williamsburg, Brooklyn (the views alone are worth the price of admission).
Storefront Mural Photos By Jim Prigoff
Here’s One Of Those Views I Mentioned
Beyond The Streets explores the collective urgency of using the street as a canvas for expression, and while the subject matter varies and the mediums are many, it is in the public sphere where these messages find a home.
Mural By Tats Cru / The Mural Kings
The story starts more than 50 years ago, in the mid to late 1960s, when the contemporary concept of graffiti took shape in the streets of New York and Philadelphia. Disenfranchised youth, inspired equally from boredom and ego, started scrawling their names and monikers everywhere, spawning copycats and competition.
Subway Car Graffiti Photos By Henry Chalfant
These early acts of letter-based marks, created in both marker and spray paint, became monumental when repeated on a global scale.
Death of Graffiti 3 By Lady Pink
People have long taken to the streets to share a name, phrase, image or cause with the world around them to force a public discourse. Streets act as the symbolically important public stage that is both local and universal, the bedrock for both public protest and anonymous action.
Soul Train Mural By Lee Quinones
The streets also act as a tool for civic engagement and activism, and Beyond The Streets includes figures who have used their art to unite the oppressed around a common cause. As it is so often said, “A picture is worth a thousand words,” and simple gestures in public spaces can quickly galvanize a movement, raising awareness of an issue and resulting in change.
Keith Haring With His Artwork Plus Decorated Leather Jacket, and Drawings by Jean-Michel Basquiat
For some, the streets were a starting point to evolve their message and style. Pushing their craft in figurative, illustrative, realist or abstract directions, they turned their energy and experience toward more traditional settings. For others, graffiti was never an origin, but an inspiration. Elements of graffiti and street art can be found across music, fashion and contemporary art, all helping this culture to proliferate further.
The Beasties Boys have multiple galleries dedicated to their music, memorabilia and hip hop legacy. If you’re a fan, you won’t want to miss it!
Pboto of The Beastie Boys Circa 1984 By Josh Cheuse
Beyond The Streets affirms a truth that cannot be overstated: Graffiti and Street Art would not have become what they have without New York City! Let’s take a look at a selection of the thousands of pieces of art — including sculptures, paintings, posters, flyers, installations, photography, and other ephemera that you’ll see in this fantastic exhibit!
Photos By Maripol
Art By John “CRASH” Matos
Art By Rammellzee
Friendly docent Lynzy gently reminds a pair of enthusiastic young ones that there is no touching of the art!
Daily Commute (Left) and The Four Seasons (Right) by Chris “DAZE” Ellis
Fuck Mural By Maya Hayuk
Kenny Scharf’s Totemtiki Kinetic Sculpture and Mural
Let’s Take a Break to Check Out That View Again!
Hip Hop Flyers By Buddy Esquire
Check out this crazy thing: the Magic TouchPorch Tattoo Parlor installation by Bert Krak and Alexis Ross. So cool!
Untitled Polaroid By Dash Snow
Model Train Examples of Freight Train Car Graffiti
Posters Collage Installation By Craig R. Stecyk III
Flower-Themed Art Installation By The Husband and Wife Team Known As DABSMYLA
Art Above and Below By André Saraiva.
Also By André: Lynzy’s Manicure!
Art By Cleon Peterson
Art By Craig Costello
Fan The Flames By Shepard Fairey
The politically-themed art of Shepard Fairey gets a huge amount of space in the exhibit (see below). All his stuff is great.
Trash Records Pop Up Record Store, Exterior
Trash Records Pop Up Record Store, Interior
Art By Mister Cartoon
Beyond the Streets is all kinds of crazy fun, and there is so much more on display than what I’ve had room for here. We spent close to three hours exploring the exhibit, just taking our time and looking at everything, but you could easily make a full afternoon of it if you really wanted to read all the stories and take a ton of selfies (there are many excellent selfie opportunities that I didn’t cover here, but trust me that the exhibit is infinitely Instagram-able). I’d suggest allowing a minimum of two and one-half hours inside the exhibit. Plan your visit now!
Beyond the Streets Runs Through September 29th, 2019 and is Located at 25 Kent Avenue, Williamsburg, Brooklyn NY (Take the L Train to the Bedford Stop and Walk about 10 Minutes). Tickets are $25 for Adults and Kids Over 12, $11 for Kids Aged 6 to 11, and Free for Kids Aged 5 and Under. Visit This Link For More Information Such as Hours, Discounts, and to Purchase Tickets!
Art Above and Below By Faile (Patrick McNeil and Patrick Miller)
Todd Gray’s work draws from his archive of photographs amassed during the past forty-five years of his career. Taken in locations from Hollywood to Ghana (where he maintains a studio), these images have been selected by the artist to explore the complex interrelation of Blackness, diasporic identity, and historic systems of exploitation. For his ongoing series Exquisite Terribleness, begun in 2013, Gray collages photographs into a layered arrangements of thrift store frames, creating compositions of fragmented bodies. Many of the individual photographs that Gray uses for his collages were shot following his own creative visions; others, such as in Euclidean Gris Gris 2 (2018) were commissioned, including many he took as Michael Jackson’s personal photographer in the 1970s and early 1980s. Jackson is significant here for Gray not as a celebrity or figure of controversy, but as a global phenomenon whose almost mythic status serves to frame the complex issues explored in Gray’s work. Michael Jackson was accused of child sexual abuse in 1983 and then tried and acquitted for the crime in 2005. New allegations surfaced in a documentary released on HBO in early 2019.
Photographed as Part of The 2019 Biennial Exhibit at The Whitney Museum, NYC