Friday, April 30, 2010

Why street photography is facing a moment of truth

by Sean O'Hagan @ The Observer

It took root in New York in the 60s and 70s with compelling images of street life that captured the heart of the city. But anxieties about privacy, terrorism, and paedophilia have conspired to make the art of street photography ever more difficult. Sean O'Hagan recalls the movement's heyday and charts today's pioneers.

Back in the 1960s, when New York was the centre of street photography, the main practitioners of the form would sometimes cross paths. Lee Friedlander was friends with Garry Winogrand who often met Joel Meyerowitz as they crisscrossed Manhattan and beyond on the prowl for pictures that caught the city's tempo, its myriad everyday dramas, and its citizens at work and at play.


Tuesday, April 20, 2010


by Peter Schjeldahl @ The New Yorker

Henri Cartier-Bresson (1908-2004) was a taker of great photographs. Some three hundred of them make for an almost unendurably majestic retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art, from his famous portly puddle-jumper of 1932 (“Behind the Gare Saint-Lazare, Paris”) to views of Native Americans in Gallup, New Mexico, in 1971, one of his last visual essays as the globe-trotting heavyweight champion of photojournalism. (Thereafter, he mostly rested his cameras and devoted himself to drawing—sensitively though not terribly well—in the vein of his friend Alberto Giacometti.) Nearly every picture displays the classical panache—the fullness, the economy—of a painting by Poussin. Any half-dozen of them would have engraved their author’s name in history. Resistance to the work is futile, if quality is our criterion, but inevitable, I think, on other grounds.


Friday, April 16, 2010

James Welling puts five questions to Stephen Shore


I came to photography in fits and starts. In the early 1970s, I was entranced by Minimal art. I was particularly interested in Carl Andre’s Quincy Book, published in 1973. Andre hired a photographer to take pictures of his hometown, Quincy, Massachusetts. The book records situations that are isomorphic with Andre’s work: piles of things, quarries, roads. Quincy Book is, above all, a sculptural view of the world, and it is an extraordinarily well-observed set of pictures. I began to think about Andre’s book in relation to the restaging of "New Topographics: Photographs of a Man-Altered Landscape," which opened at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) last month. Ed Ruscha’s work is cited as a touchstone for the photographers in the show. Fair enough. But for me, raised on the East Coast and looking intently at landscapes, Quincy resonated in ways Ruscha’s pieces did not.


Thursday, April 15, 2010

Noted photographer probed in misuse of Buffalo State cameras

By Phil Fairbanks @ Buffalo News

Leslie Krims is known across the world as a surrealist photographer with a dark, satirical style.

Unfortunately for Krims, a longtime professor at Buffalo State College, there’s a new unwanted wrinkle on his international resume: allegations that he took two school cameras worth $45,000 and used them solely for personal and private business use.

Krims, a professor for 41 years, could face disciplinary action as a result of the state investigation into his use of school equipment.