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Limner Gallery and Direct Art Magazine Emerging Artists

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EMERGING ARTISTS 2010 is the eighteenth annual competition for gallery
exhibition and awards. Devoted to the discovery, introduction and
promotion of emerging artists, this exhibition will be held in March
2010 at the Limner Gallery and is open to all artists working in any
media. There will be a $1000 cash award and $2400 in publication
awards. Deadline for submissions November 30. For more information, visit http://www.slowart.com/prospectus/ea2010.htm.

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Roswell Artist-in-Residency Program in New Mexico

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The Roswell Artist-in-Residency Program, also known as the "Gift of Time", offers year long residencies to artists working within the mediums of painting, drawing, sculpture, printmaking, photography, installation and other fine art media. Roswell offers an $800 monthly stipend as well as housing on their 40 acres of land. The deadline for submissions is December 1, 2009. For more information about this opportunity, visit http://www.rair.org/.

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Book Review: Night at the Met by Larry Fink

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Larry Fink's latest book, Night at the Met, presents Fink's insightful personal photo reportage of a fund-raising gala held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in November 2007. The event and the book represent several small-but-noteworthy milestones in Fink's illustrious fifty-plus year career. He was recognized as the Met's guest-of-honor and also served as the house photographer for the evening:  invitations to the event stated, That was then. You are now…On this special night photographer Larry Fink will make new work and you will be his subject. Come, be art. Dress: Black Tie and Camera Ready. With the run of the place and over one thousand subjects to explore, Fink spent the evening applying his unique ability to capture and describe microdramas as they unfolded, with no one to please but himself.

The event was also a homecoming of sorts, harkening back to another night in 1968 when he photographed a similar Met event, blazing away for the first time with his now-trademark off-camera flash technique. Also noteworthy was the digital nature of the recent photoshoot. While Fink often uses digital equipment for his commercial gigs, he still shoots primarily on film for his personal work. For the 2007 gala, he was outfitted with a Canon 5-D and an array of strategically arranged studio lights, along with his hand-held flash. As he worked, images he made at the 1968 event along with others from his well-known Social Graces series were projected onto the wall of the huge hall, opposite the two thousand year old Temple of Dendur. In the Sixties, Fink identified himself as a Socialist and his images from that period reflect his concerns as well as the anger he felt toward those he considered political adversaries—some of the images from that era are very pointed in their attack. For the final hour of the 2007 event, while his new pictures were projected, some of the subjects cheered as they recognized themselves twenty feet tall on the wall. While somewhat kinder and gentler to the socialites this time, Fink's party pictures continue to serve as a mirror of his subjects' private emotions carried unknowingly into public: angst, envy, narcissism, and lust, along with a good measure of joie de vivre are all described.

The resulting book, Night at the Met, is also noteworthy in terms of Fink's publishing career. Developed in conjunction with Fotovision, a San Francisco Bay Area organization that advances social documentary photography, the book was produced using print-on-demand technology through Blurb.com. Fink participated directly in the design of the book, which opens with three images from the 1968 gala and follows with 45 black and white photographs from the 2007 event. The page layout and sequencing are engaging: as Fink is a passionate jazz devotee, it is no surprise that the images are arranged in clusters reminiscent of musical phrasing. As expected from a photographer of Fink's powers, each of the images stands strongly on its own, but there is also an alluring visual rhythm to the book that draws the viewer through it. While the reproduction quality is not equal to Fink's other superbly-printed books such as Social Graces, Boxing, Runway, or Somewhere There's Music, made with traditional offset presses, it is remarkably good for print-on-demand technology, and certainly no reflection on the masterful photographs contained within. Fink should be applauded for embracing this new technology and his use of it will no doubt encourage other photographers to utilize it.

Night at The Met (8 1/4" x 9 1/4", 48 black and white photographs and a brief statement by Fink) is available through Blurb.com, for $38.95 in softcover and $52.95 in hardcover. It is also available along with a signed chromogenic black and white print from www.fotovision.org, for prices ranging from $175.00 - $300.00.

Bill Lowenburg

Name index: 
Bill Lowenburg

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Magnum Expression Photography Awards.

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The Magnum Expression Photography Award was established by Magnum
Photos and HP with the goal of raising awareness and inspiring change
through projects using photography as an expressive medium. The judges
are searching for revealing imagery that illustrates a dedicated
compassion and intensity using photography as a medium. Magnum Photo and HP are awarding the winner a $10,000 grant. Submissions, related to the theme of community, can be uploaded and
changed at http://expression.magnumphotos.com/ until September 30th, 2009.

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Julio Zadik and his discovery of modernity

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The recent re-discovery of Julio Zadik’s archive has yielded in a reconsideration of the origins of modern photography in Guatemala and its development through the nineteen forties, fifties and sixties. The exhibition and book that resulted from the Zadik family’s incursion into the great and impeccably kept legacy of their relative are filling in a gap in the construction not only of a recent history of photography but also in the construction of the identity of the country. In fact, it is in Zadik’s early images that we perceive a shift in the appreciation of the land and its people: a turning away from the ethnographic approach that prevailed during the late 19th century in favour of a more equalitarian, more modern view of the “other” as the exhibition's co-curator, Valia Garzón, explains in the catalogue essay. 

Zadik’s photo production was, if not triggered, at least strengthened by his participation in the family business, the culturally influential Litografía Bryon Zadik. It was in this environment that Zadik befriended some of the most significant modern artists of the first half of the 20th century in Guatemala, most of them painters and sculptors. In fact, during his mid-career, the sway of all things pictorial was evident in his work, not only through his topics but also, and perhaps more importantly, through the development of a technique, compositions and approach to the subject matter. It was also through his work at the Lithograph that the artist came in contact with the work of several other photographers of the time, certainly none as visionary as Zadik, that reproduced and distributed their own work through postcards and matchboxes printed in the family premises.

His work, especially as the fifth and sixth decades of the century came about, became increasingly poetic and subjective. The photographer had realized the potential of what was still a relatively new technique and through it, he produced a prolific set of images around lake Atitlán: to date one of the most important physical and idiosyncratic hallmarks of the country. His portrayal of it was unusual, distanced from the common postcard views of the time, looking to uncover some hidden secret, an unrevealed plane of this battle ground between ethnic groups, between man and nature, between old and new. But that was hardly all; Zadik also produced nudes –both male and female– of astounding beauty and surprising novelty as well as an extensive description of the Guatemalan countryside.

In a time when photography was still considered a technique to the service of other disciplines, Zadik’s work is fundamental in the process that lead photography to be one of the most widespread forms of artistic production in the late 20th and early 21st centuries in Guatemala. Zadik’s images are sharp, direct, and daring even despite the respectful attitude he held towards his subject: whether it was a human being, a landscape or, later, parts of the city and its buildings. His compositions are never dull and his own appreciation of the rural Guatemala of the epoch, unquestionably modern in its reading of a new country but also in his exercise of a new art.

Tul Cactus, 1964

 

Untitled, 1937

 

Untitled, 1943

 

Izote Plant, ca. 1950

 

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Name index: 
Emiliano Valdes

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