In Aïda Muluneh’s photograph All In One (2016), a single figure embodies multiplicity through the addition of extra hands of different hues. Muluneh’s use of colorful makeup is inspired by body art from across Africa and allows her to physically construct a character out of her model. After living around the world, Muluneh (b. 1974) returned to her homeland of Ethiopia, where she founded the Addis Foto Fest, the first international festival in Africa. Though she was born in Ethiopia, she has sometimes felt like a outsider due to many years spent elsewhere. Her photographs, such as this one, bear the influence of that complicated experience, and are drawn from her series The World is 9, which is named after a saying of her Grandmother’s: “The World is nine; it is never complete and it’s never perfect.” With this series, the artist also recognizes the capacity of photography to convey the multiplicity inherent in any individual.
Photographed as part of the Exhibit Being: New Photography, Up Through August 19th, 2018 at the Museum of Modern Art, NYC.
In 1971, Child Guidance Products manufactured the Mick-a-Matic Camera: a large plastic body shaped like Micky Mouse’s head with a viewfinder in its forehead, a lens in its nose and a flash between its ears. The camera was designed for children, but photographer Stephen Shore used it throughout 1971 to take dozens of images, some of which appeared in the exhibition, All the Meat You Can Eat. These pictures marked Shore’s first artistic use of color photography.
Mickey Mouse Head Camera was Photographed as Part of the Stephen Shore Career Retrospective, on Exhibit Through May 28th, 2018 at the Museum of Modern Art in NYC.
Olivia Locher’s I Fought the Law is series of photographs that represent the breaking an eccentric law from each of the 50 United States. Apparently, in Rhode Island, it is illegal to wear transparent clothing.
Photographed at Steven Kasher in the Chelsea Gallery District.
Irving Penn purchased his first of many twin-lens Rolleiflex cameras in 1938. He acquired this one in 1964 and used it and other similar models for portrait sittings for the next four decades. The camera is topped with a modified Hasselblad chimney viewfinder and mounted on a Tiltall pan/tilt head above a table tripod of the artist’s own design.
Photographed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.
Shirana Shahbazi (b. 1974) makes photographs in classic genres like portraiture, still life, and landscape. Alternating between abstraction and representation, her vividly colored pictures are made in the crisp style of commercial studio photography without the aid of digital tools. She achieves her abstract compositions, such as Composition-40-2011 (2011) by photographing geometric volumes and pedestals whose sides are painted various colors, making multiple exposures of the same set of elements, and turning them between exposures to create an interplay between surface and depth.
This work is by an artist from a nation whose citizens would be denied entry into the United States according to recent presidential executive orders. This is one of several such artworks from the Museum of Modern Art’s collection installed throughout its fifth floor galleries to affirm the ideals of welcome and freedom as vital to MoMA, as they are to the United States.
Meat America is an eye-opening and artery-clogging tour of the American spirit, as told through meat. This photo by Dominic Episcopo, winner of a PDN Taste Food Photography Award, was snapped by me at the Photo Plus Expo, held at NYC’s Javits Center in October 2016.
Photographer Yimei Wang (School of Visual Arts) won a 2017 PDN Student Photo Contest for Restructured Fast Food, a study on fast foods reconstructed with newspaper’s and magazines, which comments on both consuming behavior, and today’s direct access to information, using collage montage.