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Brooklyn-based photographer Winnie Au makes dogs catwalk-ready (pun intended) with fashion pieces inspired by their greatest enemy: the dreaded cone of shame.

The portrait series, simply called Cone of Shame, features the amusing reactions of different dogs to wearing the conical contraptions. The cones were reimagined by costume designer Marie-Yan Morvan as functional sculptures, eschewing stiff plastic for other materials like feathers and eggshells, and turning them into designs inspired by cotton candy and sea urchin, to name a few.

According to Au, she came up with the idea for the series to show her love for dogs, as well as turn a stressful experience into a more dignified one. She told Feature Shoot: “With this series, I wanted to take that sad moment and twist it into something beautiful and majestic to take the shame out of the cone. In creating these images, my goal was to highlight and help raise money for rescue dogs who have urgent medical needs.”

We recently caught up with Au to find out more about her and her work.

Tell us a little about your background – what path led you to becoming a photographer, and to doing what you’re doing today?
“I was a yearbook photographer in high school, so I learned the basics of photography by shooting and developing black and white film and photographing everything from football games and cheerleaders to the tennis team and mathletes. I wasn’t great at sports and I wasn’t popular, so photography helped me get out of my skin and see a side of high school that I probably would have skipped had I not been involved.

“I then studied communications and advertising at Boston University (because I loved infomercials and wanted to make infomercials), but about halfway through my program, I realized my true passion and natural talent was in photography. My photojournalism teacher Professor Peter Smith had a background in journalism and commercial photography, and he was really the one who let me know that photography could be your full-time job. I didn’t even realize that it was an option until he mentioned it. I had always imagined myself in a career that was full time and practical, like an engineer or scientist.

“Professor Smith suggested I consider photography as a career path, so I got a photography internship with commercial photographer Joshua Dalsimer. Josh is an amazing photographer, wonderful person and still one of my good friends and mentors today. I learned the professional side of photography from him – how to load medium format film, use strobes, run a clip test, etc. We had a lot of fun working together, and after that internship, I was hooked. I saw a field where your job doesn’t feel like a job, and that was (and still is) pretty appealing.

“Rather than change my major, I took as many photography and visual arts courses as I could, and I got another internship at BBC Good Food magazine in London. By the time I graduated college, I started studio managing and assisting for Joshua Dalsimer and a few other photographers in Boston. After a few years of working, I wanted to expand and learn from more people, so I moved to NYC, where I landed a job as a studio manager and digital tech full time for one year for Richard Corman. Digital photography was just taking off, so I got to see and learn all the fun quirks of working with a developing technology.

“From there I became a freelance digital tech and ended up working for tons of photographers and photo studios and rental houses around NYC. In the blink of an eye, I found myself turning 30 and realized I had come to New York to be a photographer, not a great digital tech or assistant. So I saved my money, fired myself from all my assisting clients, and got work at showing my portfolio and marketing it. I didn’t have work for about six months, but slowly little jobs trickled in. Within a year I was shooting full time, and within a couple of years I signed with the agency This Represents, and I’ve been shooting and repped by them ever since. I photograph people, animals, food, and the spaces where these things live.”

What inspired you to make a photo series based on dogs and their cones of shame?
“I had this series in my head for many years prior to me actually shooting any images for it. I’ve always noticed how comical and ridiculous dogs work when they’re wearing a cone, so that image and shape were sort of burned into my brain. Think of a Rorschach shape but instead of ink blots, my brain was seeing dogs wearing cones. With this series, I wanted to take that sad moment and twist it into something beautiful and majestic to take the shame out of the cone. In creating these images, my goal was to highlight and help raise money for rescue dogs who have urgent medical needs.

“I had a beautiful corgi named Tartine who very sadly got throat cancer not super long after we adopted her. We spent many difficult months in and out of hospitals, and during that time I learned the crazy high cost of medical care for pets. It’s terrible to have to make a medical decision based on finances. We had pet insurance so luckily we didn’t have to. But I want to help other dog owners and animal rescues find the cash for urgent care when they need it. Animal Haven is a no-kill shelter I am working with whose Recovery Road fund specifically gives funds to their rescues with medical needs.

“I recently funded a Kickstarter campaign to print a set of notecards featuring the series whose proceeds will be donated to Animal Haven’s Recovery Road fund. Anyone who is interested in pre-ordering the notecards or purchasing a print can buy them here.”

Can you give us a little insight into the creative process involved in the making of Cone of Shame?
“I worked with designer Marie-Yan Morvan to create the cones. I basically would come up with a concept for each shot – usually I either had an idea for a cone and we matched up a dog with it, or I had a specific dog in mind and we matched a cone to it. For example, for Penelope’s cone the inspiration was an image of a white sea urchin. I sent Marie-Yan some sea urchin photos and a color palette, and then I would ask her, how can we make this into a cone that is safe for a dog to wear and looks like this?

“She came back with a brilliant execution, which was to create the cone out of drinking straws. It had the same form and color as a sea urchin and worked perfectly. Marie-Yan designed each cone and created each one based on whatever inspiration I sent her or that we discussed. For example, with Calvin the Komondor (the moppy looking dog) – we wanted to create a cone that mimic-ed the dog’s fur texture. So my moodboard had different yarn and fuzzy fabric textures on it. We would print out thumbnails of the backgrounds, colors, dogs, and textures to see what work best together. So ultimately the design was something I collaborated on with Marie-Yan, and she did all of the building of the cones.”

We read that you’re a dog owner too. Did your dogs make a cameo in the series?
“I have a beautiful basset hound named Clementine – she’s a rescue. She was a puppy mill mom in Ohio. The mill was shut down, and she ended up in foster care with Tri State Basset Rescue, where I found her. I fostered her for a week and then adopted her, she was just too squishy and lovable. Huge foster fail.

“Clementine helped out with our Kickstarter campaign (she has a cameo at the end of the video), but as much as I love her, she is just too nervous and skittish around movement and therefore would hate a studio photo shoot. I think if I can set up a special shoot for her one day in my house it would work, but she is not super comfortable in new environments with noise and movement so for now, she is a Cone of Shame supporter, but not a model yet!”

Do you plan to make a cat version of this too? Please say yes.
“Ha! I love that idea. I’ll think about it… only if it involves meeting a Maine Coon!”

The post Dogs become high fashion models with sculptural cones of shame appeared first on Feature Shoot.

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Created by Robert Graves-Morris (@__rgm__), photography by Catherine Losing (@catherinelosing), design by Oreoluwa Ayoade (@o_ayoade), retouching by Paulina Teller (@PTretouch).

Created by Robert Graves-Morris (@__rgm__), photography by Catherine Losing (@catherinelosing), design by Oreoluwa Ayoade (@o_ayoade), retouching by Paulina Teller (@PTretouch).

Catherine Losing and Robert Graves-Morris reveals a side of flowers you have never seen before in their sensual series cleverly titled Pornosynthesis.

The project is a visual journey into the sexuality of plants, giving us a close up view of the inside parts of flowers. Influenced by vintage 70’s pornography magazines and driven by their passion and concern for bee populations and environmental issues, Losing and Graves-Morris combine their creativity and vision to form stunning glamour shots of lush flora.

Each plant is glazed to the point of dripping, exuding a sexuality that we would normally never think to attribute to a plant.

When asked about how they achieved this glossy, dewy effect, Losing said that she loves to “use light to add texture and form to still life subjects. We also used a fair bit of a still life staple—glycerine—to add some juices.”

Created by Robert Graves-Morris (@__rgm__), photography by Catherine Losing (@catherinelosing), design by Oreoluwa Ayoade (@o_ayoade), retouching by Paulina Teller (@PTretouch).

Created by Robert Graves-Morris (@__rgm__), photography by Catherine Losing (@catherinelosing), design by Oreoluwa Ayoade (@o_ayoade), retouching by Paulina Teller (@PTretouch).

In their project, the two artists create hazy and seductive auras that glow like a luminous mist around the subject. The viewer is brought into extreme close range of the flower stem, giving it an appearance that is almost hyper-real, or perhaps otherworldly, making these plants seem unfamiliar and at times exotic.

The element of the flower that Pornosynthesis puts on a pedestal is not the traditional bloom and pedals, but rather part of the plant responsible for reproduction. Through this, the project draws our attention to pollen and the pollinators: bees, whose populations are in rapid decline.

All of the proceeds of the book benefit this cause.

Created by Robert Graves-Morris (@__rgm__), photography by Catherine Losing (@catherinelosing), design by Oreoluwa Ayoade (@o_ayoade), retouching by Paulina Teller (@PTretouch).

Created by Robert Graves-Morris (@__rgm__), photography by Catherine Losing (@catherinelosing), design by Oreoluwa Ayoade (@o_ayoade), retouching by Paulina Teller (@PTretouch).

When discussing the idea behind the project, Losing explains,

“Robert is passionate about the great outdoors and introduced me to The Bee Cause. Friends of the Earth launched the initiative to try and tackle the decline in the UK bee population. With that in mind Robert created these amazing models of different species of plants and their reproductive systems. All of which evolved specifically so pollinators such as bees are attracted to them. We liked the idea of helping the bees by creating a tongue in cheek version of a porn mag for them! All proceeds from the book are being donated to the charity”

In addition to Pornosynthesis, Catherine Losing also works on commercial projects, which is where she met her collaborator Robert Graves-Morris. Her work can be found in places like Riposte Magazine, British Vogue, and Wired.

Created by Robert Graves-Morris (@__rgm__), photography by Catherine Losing (@catherinelosing), design by Oreoluwa Ayoade (@o_ayoade), retouching by Paulina Teller (@PTretouch).

Created by Robert Graves-Morris (@__rgm__), photography by Catherine Losing (@catherinelosing), design by Oreoluwa Ayoade (@o_ayoade), retouching by Paulina Teller (@PTretouch).

All proceeds from the book are being donated to the charity and is available here:




The post Pornosynthesis: Revealing the Sensual Side of Flowers appeared first on Feature Shoot.

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Robert Giard. Storme Webber, New York City, 1990. 15 x 15”, gelatin silver print.
Webber is a poet, playwright, educator and artist. Her collections of poetry include “Diaspora”, “Blues Divine” and “Noirish Lesbiana”.

Robert Giard. John Giorno, New York City, 1993. 15 x 15”, gelatin silver print.

On July 16, 2002, American photographer Robert Giard died doing what he loved best — traveling across the country to make portraits of LGBTQ+ writers. In total, Giard photographed some 600 writers from all walks of life, creating a visual record during the height of the AIDS crisis.

Giard’s inclusive spirit lead him to create a veritable catalogue that encompasses not only a broad swath of enthographic communities, but a diverse array of literary practitioners, be it novelists, playwrights, and poets or journalists, historians, and activists including Stonewall rebels Sylvia Rivera and Storme De Laverie.

The photographs were first published in the landmark book Particular Voices: Portraits of Gay and Lesbian Writers (MIT Press, 1997), and in 2004, the renowned Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Yale University acquired Robert Giard’s complete archive as part of the Yale Collection of American Literature.

Now a selection of 53 portraits are on view in Particular Voices: Photographs of LGBTQ Writers, Artists and Activists, 1980’s – 90’s at Daniel Cooney Fine Art, New York, now through July 26, 2019. Here, we get first-person accounts of Giard through the eyes of those who sat for him as well as Jonathan Sillin, Giard’s life partner, co-president of the Robert Giard Foundation, and executor of the Robert Giard Estate.

Robert Giard. Taylor Mead, New York City, 1991 15 x 15”, gelatin silver print.
Mead (1924-2013) was a poet, actor and bohemian recruited by Warhol as one of his first superstars. Mead made 11 Warhol films including “Taylor Mead’s Ass” (1964) and about 130 movies in total, many of them so spontaneous that they involved only one take..

Jonathan Silin

“The project began modestly and it grew and grew and grew. It started with going to see The Normal Heart and seeing the names of all of these people who had died painted on the walls of the theater. Bob began photographing people we knew, initially lots of gay white men, and slowly moved out from there. He had a strong commitment to being inclusive. He was not an exclusive kind of fellow at all.

“At that time there was a degree of tension between lesbians and gay men. We knew many lesbians who started to make introductions for Bob into women’s communities. From the he moved into African-American, Latinx, and Native American communities. Moving into each community took a long time. It was a matter of building trust. Communities that are marginalized are often hesitant to open themselves up to outsiders.

“In terms of inclusvity, it was not only novelists and poets, people we think of automatically when we think ‘writer,’ but it was journalists, historians, it was broadly conceived. Particular Voices begins with photographs of historians, people who have archived and documented gay and lesbian life and written about it extensively. Bob had an understanding his work would eventually contribute to that.

“Bob kept a diary of every contact he had with every writer. There are extensive diaries in which he talks about the initial phone call, the photo shoot, the on going contact with the writer.. In 2004, the Beinecke Library at Yale acquired the estate, Bob’s entire archive, which includes al of his correspondence with well-known people like Audre Lorde, Edmund White, Allen Ginsberg, and also less well-known people.

“Bob made these trips around the country, so he picked out a region like the Deep South or the Northwest. He would travel to these areas where he knew some writers and what would happen would be one writer would refer him to another writer rather like the medieval troubadour going from one village to another.

“When I traveled with him occasionally what I saw was he would enter a writer’s house and he had the ability to both immediately connect with the writer face t face but also scanning the environment at the same time to see where a photograph would work well, what was reflective of the writer in some way. Bob was looking at the environment and thinking about what was there and what reflects the writer’s life.

“As time went on, he was sensitive to the writers who were much older and wanting to capture them before they passed away. With the impact of AIDS wanting to be sure to get people who he knew were sick and were not going to live very long. That was a strong motivator. Part of the passion he brought was that sense of mortality. You couldn’t help in those years to feeling extraordinarily vulnerable and that was the way it was. This was a hedge against that vulnerability.”

Robert Giard. Pomo Afro Homos, San Francisco, 1994. 15 x 15”, gelatin silver print.
Pomo Afro Homos was an African American gay theater troupe from 1990 to 1995 founded in San Francisco by choreographer-dancer Djola Bernard Branner, actor Brian Freeman, and singer, dancer, and actor Eric Gupton. Later, Marvin K. White joined the group. Their work includes “Fierce Love: Stories From Black Gay Life” and “Dark Fruit” performed at Lincoln Center.

Brian Freeman

“Robert called some time in 1994, when I was performing and touring and was a writer and co-creator of a Black queer performance troop called the Pomo Afro Homos. The company existed from 1990-1995, and was based in San Francisco. We toured across the US, London, and Canada. It was a bit of a rocket ride I didn’t expect to take, but it took off so me and my colleagues rode it all over the place.

“Robert said he was doing this series of photos on writers and was going to be in the San Francisco area shooting local Bay Area based lesbian and gay writers. He said he wanted to capture and shoot an image of the Pomo Afro Homos as writers. I really appreciated that.

“I may have met Robert for coffee briefly before, to say hello and get an idea of what he was looking for. At that particular moment there had been some dramas — there’s always the drama you are performing on stage and the drama of what you are making. Some of that was going on at the time so it was a bit challenging to find a place and time the three of us were available to be shot.

“I was going back and forth with Robert on the phone, explaining the difficulties of getting the three of us in one spot and we managed to find a brief window, maybe an hour. He came down to a dance studio in San Francisco located in the Civic Center. In the background of the photo you can see the wood trim is quite worn and the paint is flaking. It was an old building that has since been demolished. It was a location we had booked for a brief period of time that everyone could get to. There is definitely a rough-hewn quality to the photo. Rehearsal rooms are our work place so it reflects that.

“There was a definite discord in the company at the time. Most photography for theater is for marketing, with people performing or smiling. We weren’t feeling that at the moment, and the photograph was clearly not for promotional purposes but for historicizing the company. In the session we talked about that with Robert and tried to come up with a few different poses or takes that reflected what our work as writers, writing for performance.

“The way the hands are posed, and the figures are arranged, to give an image of an ensemble that is considering the moment instead of enacting or performing the moment. What I like about the photograph is this mix of the body postures. There is an angularity that you could describe as a soft vogue, the dance, that was popular in the late ‘80s/early ‘90s that came out of the Black ballroom competition. We’re not literally vogueing but there is an echo of that in the gestures. How one writes with one’s hands, there’s a focus on the hands. The faces are not — people are trying to be themselves, who they were at that moment.”

Robert Giard. Michael Klein, Brooklyn, New York, 1988. 15 x 15”, gelatin silver print.

Michael Klein

“I have a twin brother who died in 2002, and Robert Giard was my brother’s teacher at New Lincoln School in New York City. Years later I was a singer songwriter performing, out as a gay guy, performing at some club and there was a little write up in a magazine called Christopher Street. I got a postcard from Robert Giard saying he had seen the article.

“He told me he was doing the book and I said I would be honored. I was just beginning my career as a writer. I was very surprised when I found out he was a photographer. For as long as I knew him he was a teacher. He was very laid back and very thoughtful about what he was going to say. He was very considerate.

“The photograph was taken in 1988. I was living in a loft in Brooklyn that had once been a picture frame factory. I was living with an architect and working at night. The wall behind me has post its with phone numbers and sometimes we’d write on the wall. The wall was very raw and there was a lot of space.

“Bob said, ‘I would love if you would sit in from of the post-its but from a distance they look like flags or birds.’ I think it was my idea to close my eyes because I always did this as a singer songwriter. I said, ‘Why didn’t I pretend that I am daydreaming?’ That photograph really is who I was at that time in my life. I was a dreamer with my eyes closed metaphorically in many ways. I was a hippie for a long time.

“He photographed every gay writer in the country. He caught a lot of people the beginning of their careers and captured them in very revealing ways. I thought it was a remarkable project. I remember thinking Bob was doing things in the community that hadn’t been done before.”

Robert Giard. Jaime Manrique, Sag Harbor, New York, 1992. 15 x 15”, gelatin silver print.

Jaime Manrique

“I imagine Bob contacted me and said he was doing this project, and that’s the first time I heard from him. I didn’t know him before. I told him, ‘Bob, as you photograph me you tell me your story.’ He said, ‘Okay, we’ll do that.’ He started telling me the story of his life and taking the photograph. I made it into a poem and published it later, just his words.

“That summer I was in Sag Harbor, staying at the house of a friend who was away in India. Bob came through the house on his bike. He said, ‘Now we are going inside.’ He made me change my t-shirt three times. It was going okay, but he said, ‘I’m not getting what I want.’

“He said that some of the best pictures he had taken were of people who were thinking about lunch. And at that moment, I leaned against the wall, closed my eyes, opened them, and thought, ‘I wonder what she has in this refrigerator I can have for lunch,’ and that’s when he snapped that photograph. He said, ‘This is the one.’

“It was very pleasant. He was a lovely person. He was so natural. He was very humble and his approach to life, as he talks in the poem. He was very willing to talk about himself and then he left, and I don’t think I ever saw him again. I have an image of him riding away on his bike that summer afternoon.”

Robert Giard. Larry Duplechan, Santa Monica, 1988. 15 x 15”, gelatin silver print.

Robert Giard. Gary Indiana, New York City. 1989. 15 x 15”, gelatin silver print.

Robert Giard. Pat Califia, San Francisco, 1996. 15 x 15”, gelatin silver print.

Robert Giard. Melvin Dixon, New York City, 1988. 15 x 15”, gelatin silver print.

All images: © Robert Giard Foundation, courtesy of Daniel Cooney Fine Art.

The post Stunning Portraits of LGBTQ Writers at the Height of the AIDS Crisis appeared first on Feature Shoot.

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P Gerard Barker brings artworks into a non-gallery setting to make art more accessible to the public.

The British photographer uses old-school cameras, smartphones, and apps to create unique compositions that encourage the viewer to look just a little longer, discovering more about the piece as they dissect its layers.

His new series entitled Food for Thought employs this technique, the results of which are on display at London’s new The West Contemporary art space at the iconic Kerridges Bar & Grill at the London Corinthia Hotel (the restaurant is owned by the double Michelin star chef Tom Kerridge).

The pieces exhibited there were inspired by a day spent with Tom and his culinary team in his first restaurant (The Hand and Flowers) and taking shots both in the kitchen and the surrounding areas in Marlow and inside the hotel.

According to Barker, the collaboration with Tom Kerridge redefines the way we see art, encountering it in a place where we don’t often encounter and stop to appreciate it. He told Feature Shoot: “The hope is that people who view my work are engaged by it and see an otherworldly expression of the everyday. Another way of seeing the world we live in.”

You can check out the rest of our interview with Barker as he talks more about his new series Food for Thought.

How did you get into photography?
“I was originally interested in cinematography. When I first moved back to London I worked in film and television. First as a runner and then later as a clapper loader and camera assistant on various commercials, TV idents and a couple of short films.

“I then drifted away from the industry and became interested in photography initially using an old Polaroid SX-70. When the iPhone came out I became interested in the use of various apps to play around with images and started using my phone as my primary tool for capturing and manipulating images. This is what first got me noticed as an art photographer and got me commissioned work from the likes of Microsoft, Becks and Spurs Football Club.

“I now shoot mainly on DSLRs and mix my post-production process between iPad/iPhone apps and Lightroom to produce the finished pieces.”

How did you discover or develop your style? And how would you describe it?
“My photographic style when it comes to my art images is to use multi-layered and mirrored images saturated in colour or layered with textures on the black and white images. Much of my work has a surrealist element using layered real-life images to create something more dream-like.

“Using apps allows me to get real-time preview ideas for the final images and gives me some guidance as to how I want to shoot the subjects. It also allows me to experiment while shoot which often ends up informing the final piece. I tend to render at least 3-4 versions of the shots before narrowing down my final choices.”

Your latest work involved taking photos in The Hand and Flowers and Marlow for Tom Kerridge’s new venue at The Corinthia Hotel. Can you give us a little insight into the creative process involved in the project?
“The works featured for Tom Kerridge’s Bar & Grill site at The Corinthia were custom made for the venue. All shots were taken in and around Marlow and many were shot in Tom Kerridge’s sites The Hand & Flower, The Butcher’s Tap and The Shed.

“As this was a commissioned project it was important that each piece be relevant to Tom as a chef and that they each connected to his heritage in Marlow and the sites that first brought him to prominence as a chef. As such I looked at the key tools he used such as his set of knives and his dedication to sourcing the best quality ingredients such as incredible cuts of meat. Tom kindly gave me full access to his kitchens in the Hand and Flowers, The Shed and the Butcher’s Tap.”

What reaction do you hope your work will generate?
“The hope is that people who view my work are engaged by it and see an otherworldly expression of the everyday. Another way of seeing the world we live in.”

What’s your dream creative project? And what are you working on next?
“I am looking to work with a surgeon friend of mine to take pictures during some of his surgeries. I am fascinated with the mechanisms of the human body and this is an exciting opportunity to explore this.”

The post Photographer makes art more accessible with new gastronomic photo series appeared first on Feature Shoot.

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Georgia O’Keefe, Ghost Ranch, New Mexico, 1968. Silver Gelatin Photograph, 12 15/16 x 8 3/4 inches. Stamped verso. Print Made Later

Henri Cartier-Bresson, 1947. Silver Gelatin Photograph. 9 3/16 x 12 1/2 inches. Stamped verso. Print Made Later

Diana Vreeland, 1974 . Vintage Silver Gelatin Photograph Mounted to Board, 13 5/8 x 10 5/8 inches. Signed, titled and dated in pencil on mount recto. Titled in pencil on mount verso. Print made c. 1974

Known as the “father of the environmental portrait,” American photographer Arnold Newman (1918–2006) transformed the way in which we consider the person we are gazing upon. By taking them out of the studio and restoring them to their rightful place, we see the subject as a product of their environment — and their environment as an extension of the inner self.

“You don’t take pictures with your camera. You take pictures with your mind and your heart,” Newman said, recognizing the underlying connection between the artist, their subject, and the work itself.

Hailing from New York, Newman had his first solo exhibition at the Philadelphia Museum of Art in 1945, garnering national attention for his revealing portraits collected for Artists Look Like This. It’s a subject that Newman revisited throughout his long, illustrious life, and the basis for the recent exhibition Arnold Newman, Artist Portraits at Fahey/Klein in Los Angeles.

Featuring works made between the 1940s and 1970s, the exhibition presents some of the most revealing works from Newman’s oeuvre, giving us an insider’s look at some of the most iconic artists of our time, including Marcel Duchamp, Martha Graham, David Hockney, Willem de Kooning, Alexander Calder, Jackson Pollock, Diana Vreeland, and Louise Nevelson, among others.

The exhibition was timed with the recent release of Arnold Newman: One Hundred (Radius Books), celebrating the artist’s centennial. “It’s easy to take pictures of people, but much harder to make a true portrait. It is an altogether singular achievement to redefine what a portrait can be,” Newman is quoted as saying in the book.

Newman’s genius lay in changing the paradigm – of the inherent understanding that, when decontexualiized, the subject is reduced to an object. It’s a parallel that extends to the artwork itself: the studio, much like the museum, can be a hermetic, antiseptic, and sterile space. Art, as it has existed for thousands of years, has a ritualistic function that underscores the importance of the milieu as an extension of the experience.

Newman’s portraits restore this function to both the artist, and the work of art, wordlessly reminding us that the idea of objectivity is an illusion at best. His is a subjective approach, one that understands that we cannot, in good conscience, deny the inherent biases that exist in the very coding of the way we shape the world as an extension of our experiences, perceptions, and beliefs.

Newman’s brilliance lay in the way he wished to enter into the artist’s realm, to experience the ways in which they shaped their world, and in turn, the way their world shaped them. By restoring the balance between subject and milieu, Newman created a new kind of portraiture that resists the sensation of being dated by fads and trends.

“The most profound lesson I learned at the Newman studio was that it was all about the Work. There was no posturing, no grooviness, no attitude,” Gregory Heisler writes in Arnold Newman: One Hundred,

“He was a working photographer, a child of the Great Depression, who had neither time nor patience for artistic pretension. When quizzed about the differences in comparing commercial commissions, editorial assignments, personal projects, and, as he would say, ‘so-called fine art photography,’ he stressed that he saw all of it as his personal work and pursued it with the same passion: ‘Just take the best damn picture you can, and let the world decide whether or not it’s art.’”

Pablo Picasso, 1956. Gelatin Silver Photograph; Printed Later, 18 1/2 x 14 3/4 inches. Annotated on print verso

Marcel Duchamp, NYC, 1942. Silver Gelatin Photograph, 12 13/16 x 9 5/8 inches. Signed, titled, dated recto; Stamped verso. Print Made Later

Willem de Kooning, 1959. Silver Gelatin Photograph, 15 9/16 x 18 1/2 inches. Signed, titled, dated, stamped verso. Print Made Later

Man Ray, Paris, France, 1960. Silver Gelatin Photograph, 12 5/8 x 10 1/16 inches. Signed, titled, dated recto; Stamped verso. Print Made Later

Jean Cocteau, Paris, France, 1960. Silver Gelatin Photograph. 13 1/16 x 10 1/8 inches. Signed, titled, dated recto. Print Made Later

All photos: © Arnold Newman, courtesy of Fahey/Klein Gallery.

The post A Portrait of the Artist as a Legend in Their Own Time appeared first on Feature Shoot.

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The photojournalist Aitor Garmendia stands outside a farm in Italy, accompanied by investigators from the animal rights group Essere Animali. Inside, there are thousands of pigs, all bred and raised for meat. It’s the dead of night. All is silent. There are guards inside. “You have one minute,” the investigation coordinator tells Garmendia. He slips inside, turns on the light, and photographs what he sees.

This was just one of the twelve nights Garmendia spent with the team from Essere Animali. Each one posed new risks. In total, they investigated eleven farms.

The meat industry protects its profits by putting up a veil of secrecy. Photography is not permitted, and investigations like those carried out by Essere Animali are not legal. Away from the public eye, sows give birth confined in crates, unable to turn around. If their babies get sick and die, they can’t reach them. Calves are forcibly removed from their mothers at birth. Turkeys and chickens are born into overcrowded facilities, often covered in excrement.

For years, Garmendia been photographing life in hatcheries, farms, and slaughterhouses. He’s seen more sick and dying animals than he can count. He calls his ongoing body of work Tras los Muros (Behind the Walls). Sometimes, he goes undercover, assuming a false identity. With this particular mission, however, he didn’t have that added layer of protection. The dark and quiet night was the only thing shielding him and his teammates from danger.

During a job like this, some team members stay outside as lookouts, while others enter the farm. They all carry walkie-talkies. They climb walls, but they never force open any doors, entering only those that have already been left open.

The investigators are not there to rescue the animals, only to witness and document their circumstances. “We are talking about billions of animals sent to slaughterhouses every year,” the photographer tells us. “You cannot rescue everyone.” Instead of saving these individuals, they hope their photographs will help liberate future generations of pigs, cows, chicken, sheep, and turkeys from the same fate.

“I have a special affection for the people I worked with and for those who welcomed me into their homes,” Garmendia says, looking back on his time with Essere Animali. “Even during rare moments of rest, we debated about strategy and politics. We discussed the course of the animal right movement and remembered historical events that inspired us. On the ground, we were a team. Everyone looked after one another. We are a movement–a network connected by the same objective. These experiences unite and strengthen you.”

The individual animals in these photographs have been killed by now, but the farms are still in operation. “These are not isolated cases of animal abuse, but are the result of a systematic exploitation,” the photographer continues. Essere Animali doesn’t quit once they’ve investigated a farm; they often return to check on the situation and the animals.

As for Garmendia, he’ll never forget what he saw during his time with the organization. His emotions will be his fuel, and he will continue to advocate for all abused and exploited animals who can’t speak for themselves.

“Every time I visit a farm, I do not turn off the camera until I get to the vehicle, and from there, I’m off to another farm,” he tells us. “As a society, we can only pave the way to a world without exploitation if we become aware of this reality. If it is not seen, it does not exist, and nothing can be changed.”

You can see more of Garmendia’s work over at the Tras los Muros website, and you can follow him on Instagram at @traslosmuros. Learn more about how you can help by visiting the Essere Animali website, and follow them on Instagram at @essereanimali.

The post A journey to the frontlines of the fight for animal rights appeared first on Feature Shoot.

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Shutterstock is a creative marketplace populated by talented photographers, illustrators, musicians and videographers from around the world.

Now Shutterstock invites audiences to discover the stories behind the creativity through the new Shutterstock Presents: Artists Series a video series highlighting these inspiring contributors.

Shutterstock Presents: Artists Series provides a behind-the-scenes look at the creative artists across the network, offering insight into the lives of contributors who choose to share their art with Shutterstock’s global audience.

You will ride the waves with a Canadian surf photographer, work up an appetite with a meticulous food photographer, and marvel at the majesty of the California wilderness with a wildlife photographer – with more inspirational stories to come as the series continues.

Shutterstock Presents: Artist Series with Joanie Simon - YouTube

We recently spoke to Kristen Sanger, Senior Director of Contributor Marketing at Shutterstock to learn more about the Shutterstock Presents: Artists Series.

What inspired Shutterstock to highlight the talents of its contributors with the Artists Series?
“We have more than 750,000 contributors around the globe who have their own unique stories and perspective on how they view their artform. Our contributors are a crucial part of our business, and we’re always looking for ways to elevate our community and promote the incredible content they create.

“We created the Shutterstock Presents Artist Series to showcase their unique stories and celebrate the diversity of our contributor community. A behind-the-scenes look provides a more human connection to our product offering and a different viewpoint of our collection.”

Do you think it’s important to celebrate the creativity of the many artists that work with Shutterstock?
“Creatives are the backbone of our platform- they come from over 100 countries and speak 21+ languages, making them all uniquely different and are able to fill a need – whether that’s providing the perfect photo of a beef burger or an abstract rendering of a forest.

“Shutterstock’s global customer base of over 1.9 million creatives includes designers, art directors, and marketers who need content to meet their diverse needs and projects. With hundreds of thousands of images added each week, there’s something for everyone in our database, and this is all thanks to the creativity of those that contribute every single day.”

So far the series highlights a diverse mix of artists – from a Canadian surf photographer to a food photographer in Phoenix and a wildlife photographer in San Francisco. How essential is diversity to Shutterstock?
“We launched the series with three videos and we start the journey in North America and will continue on to showcase other areas around the Globe. Shutterstock is a global company, and we are fortunate to have a large community of talented individuals who create content from all corners of the world.

“Shutterstock Presents is designed to identify, showcase and celebrate the uniqueness that exists within our community from across 150+ countries. We wouldn’t be able to provide the current level of value to our customers without leaning into diversity, and it’s a no brainer for us since these unique backgrounds are abundant within our company. All of our brands, including Shutterstock and Offset, offer imagery that celebrates LGBTQ+ lives and challenges expectations around domestic life.”

The majority of content today is aimed at immediate gratification, yet Shutterstock Presents: Artists Series takes the time to tell personal stories behind the art. Was that a conscious decision?
“The average adult spends eleven hours a day interacting with media in some form, and I cannot imagine that number decreasing any time soon. That is a sea of content which can start to become a maze of pixels, without understanding or appreciating the work that went into it.

“However, behind each piece of content is an artist who put their passion, creativity, and soul into that art. We wanted to take a step back and enter the world of the artist, to take a moment to hear their stories, understand what it takes to create what they do, and to really appreciate it. We hope our viewers will enjoy the journey and stop to enjoy the stories.”

What do you want to see from contributors applying to be featured in this Artists Series?
“We want to see contributors that are passionate about their craft and want to showcase how they get it done. A behind-the-scenes look into their world and how they create helps to tell their story in a truly authentic way. Some of these creatives have been creating and monetizing content on our site for years, and providing an in-depth look into how they get it done adds another level of humanity and personalization to an otherwise visually dynamic image, video, and, or, illustration.

“Our content reflects a variety of topics and niches, from food photography to wildlife, and from local markets to national monuments, this also serves as a source of inspiration for both current and aspiring contributors. Presents wants to showcase these out of the box content forms, so we welcome contributors from all walks of life to apply to be featured.”

Check out the Artist Inspiration page to view a comprehensive collection of each artists’ work, as well as see exclusive footage available for license from the videos.

If you are a Shutterstock contributor with a story to share, you can submit your story here for an opportunity to showcase your work, skills and talents with the Shutterstock community.

Featured image by Joanie Simon

The post Shutterstock Presents: Artists Series tells the creative stories behind the content appeared first on Feature Shoot.

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‘Tricked You’ © Erica Reade (@ericareadeimages), Brooklyn, New York

Girl playing with a tyre © Andrea Torrei (@andreatorrei), Bologna, Italy

‘Neither in Heaven nor on Earth’ © Rebeka Legovic (@rebekalegovic), Rijeka, Croatia

Feature Shoot’s worldwide project The Print Swap will return to Manhattan for our summer exhibition at the renowned FOLEY Gallery. Opening for one night only on July 23rd, this show features thirty photographs, each selected by the gallery owner Michael Foley himself. FOLEY Gallery is a perfect setting to showcase work from the global Print Swap community. The show will feature talented artists based in the United States, Brazil, England, Italy, Croatia, Spain, France, Germany, Sweden, the Netherlands, and Japan.

The show as no fixed them, so we leave the images open to interpretation. Passageways and thresholds become recurring motifs, suggesting a hazy boundary line between the real and the imagined. On the beaches of New York, Erica Reade experiments with mirrors, transfiguring space and time. Rebeka Legovic photographs a dog walking steadily into the unknown. In Cape Coast, Ghana, Andrea Torrei watches a girl as she plays with a tire, creating what could be a portal to another world. Alison Schmitz drifts skyward a surreal cloudscape, while Jesus Domingo takes us an a journey by boat to the end of the world.

If you’re in New York this summer, be sure to see the show in person on the 23rd!

The Print Swap is an ongoing initiative launched by Feature Shoot. Here’s how it works: photographers can submit images for consideration by tagging them #theprintswap on Instagram or uploading them directly to our website. Our team of curators chooses outstanding images, and selected photographers are invited to participate in our international swap. It’s free to submit, and it costs just $40/image for selected photographers to take part.

All Print Swap participating photographers give a print and receive a print, and during our fixed judging periods, they are also considered for our offline exhibitions. Our next show will be at Photoville, and submissions are now open! As NYC’s largest annual photography event, Photoville draws more than 80,000 visitors to Brooklyn Bridge Park each September. Learn more at our website, and follow along on Instagram at @theprintswap for updates. We can’t wait to see your submissions!

‘Sail On’ © Jesus Domingo (@j.soriano1987), Valencia, Spain

‘Open Sea’ © John Andreas Godwin (@johnandreas), Åkersberga, Sweden

‘The 18th Layer’ © Alison Schmitz (@alisonsgoo), Austin, Texas

‘Atomic Pink’ © Alison Schmitz (@alisonsgoo), Austin, Texas

‘Human in geometry’ © Matteo Garzonio (@matteogarzonio), Milan, Italy

‘Untitled (58560035)’ © Walid Mohanna (@walid_sa3looq), Ridgewood, New York

‘Spring Shadows’ © Tyler Johnson (@flacojohnsonphoto), Denver, Colorado

‘Untitled’ © Nicolas St-Pierre (@nstpierrephoto), Tokyo, Japan

‘Untitled (New Mexico)’ © Robert Johnson (@rojo.elblues), New York, New York

‘Jungle Parking’ © Alexander Wenderoff (@jamalginsberg), Los Angeles, CA

‘Figment’ © Mary Anne Mitchell (@maryannephoto_atl), Atlanta, Georgia

Willingness © Heather Canterbury (@hcanterbury), Little Rock, Arkansas

‘Drawing’ © Maria Rebelo (@mariarebelophotography), Wilmette, Illinois

‘The Seagull’ © (@tita_mavro), London, England

‘Untitled’ © Luigi Di Crasto (@_luigidicrasto_), Berlin, Germany

‘Rest Stop’© Michael Fitzgerald (@gordielachance), Stone Mountain, Georgia

‘Winter Fade, Melville Montana’ © John Gayusky (@jgayusky), Livingston, Montana

‘Afghan desert’ © Jens Umbach (@jens_umbach), Hamburg, Germany

‘Mess’ © Fabio Petry (@fabiopetry), Porto Alegre, Brazil

‘A Window, A Portal, A Mirror’ © Erica Reade (@ericareadeimages), Brooklyn, New York

‘Avanti’ © Dineke Versluis (@dineke.me), Rotterdam, Netherlands

Alex of Amargosa Valley © David Beazley (@d.a.v.e.b.e.a.z.l.e.y), Los Angeles, California

On the road to the Hvalnes black sand beach © David Atkinson (@datkinso_photo), Seattle, Washington

‘British Youth, 2019’ © Costanza Santilli (@cochiesse), Brighton, Sussex

‘Sang-mêlé’ © Christophe Boussamba (@mistaboos), Paris, France

‘Chilled warmth’ © Caroline de Bertodano (@c__de__b), London, England

‘Blind Faith’ © Anne Connor (@anneconnorphotography), Madison, Wisconsin

The post Announcing the Winners of #ThePrintSwap Show at FOLEY Gallery in NYC appeared first on Feature Shoot.

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Unless you were abducted by aliens over the last couple of years, it’s highly likely that you’ve seen one way or another the work of Swiss photographers Jojakim Cortis and Adrian Sonderegger.

Time Magazine, The New York Times, Vice, Buzzfeed, and practically every major news outlet under the sun has covered their ongoing project “Icons”, in which the duo set out to recreate with miniature models the most emblematic photographs in history.

Their partnership started back in 2005 when they were studying photography at Zurich University of the Arts. That fruitful creative collaboration extended to their professional career with their own studio, landing over the years many high profile gigs with clients like Greenpeace and leading cookware manufacturer Kuhn Rikon.

The Hindenburg Disaster, Sam Shere, 1937

Making of ‘The Seven year Itch’, Sam Shaw, 1954

“Icons” started in 2012 both as a joke and as a way to keep themselves busy during downtime. Their first experiment was to recreate Andreas Gursky’s infamous Rhein II, at the time the most expensive photograph ever sold. (a record broken in 2014 by Phantom, by Australian photographer Peter Li)

Armed with cardboard, cotton wool, sand, glue, tin foil paper and many other materials that at first glance would seem more appropriate in a school science fair than in a professional studio, the creative team started to painstakingly recreate with miniatures the most significant photographs in history.

Among their recreations, we can find cultural symbols like Pennie Smith’s cover for London Calling, transcendent historical events like the 9-11 attack on the World Trade Center, and decisive moments in the evolution of photography like Niépce’s View from the Window at Le Gras from 1826, the earliest surviving photograph of a real-world scene.

View from the Window at Le Gras, Joseph Nicéphore Niépce, 1826

But as precise as these miniatures can be, Cortis and Sonderegger want to make it perfectly clear that it’s all an illusion, pulling back the camera slightly from the original framing, like a magician exposing their most famed trick.

All the paraphernalia behind the scene is revealed in their photos; a glimpse of the studio, the light stands, glue guns, rolls of tape and other materials scattered here and there. The work serves as a fascinating reflection about the nature of truth and the ability of photography to capture reality. Can we truly believe a photograph, more so today, in the era of Photoshop and Deepfakes? What is “the truth” anyway?

Recreations of extremely shocking and grisly historical photographs like The Shirt of the Emperor, Worn During his Execution, (depicting the bloodstained, bullet-riddled shirt of the Austrian Archduke Maximilian I) or The Hooded Man from Abu Ghraib prison, acquire a new, different level of macabre, while snaps like the famous The Surgeon’s Photo depicting the Loch Ness monster become even more amusing and endearing.

The shirt of the emperor, worn during his execution, François Aubert, 1867

Some of these recreations take days, while others, like Jeff Widener’s celebrated photo of the protests of Tiananmen Square in 1989 required weeks.

Cortis and Sonderegger have been almost universally lauded for the series and had exhibited all over the world, from C/O Berlin photography gallery to East-Wing Gallery in Dubai. Publisher Thames & Hudson published in 2018 their spectacular monograph Double Take, which you can buy now at their site.

We had the immense pleasure of talking with the creative duo about the thought process behind such a crazy and marvelous project.

Where did you guys learn how to build miniatures? Was Rhein II the very first model you ever built?

Yes, Rhein II was the very first model we ever created. After studying photography, we earned our living with various commercial photographic assignments. But the desire to do a free project always slumbered within us.

During the summer of 2012, there was a doldrum and no money was coming in, so we had this crazy idea to rebuild the most expensive photographs ever sold as a model.

After recreating Gursky’s Rhein II we noticed, however, that it was more difficult than we previously thought to recreate the second and third most expensive photograph of Cindy Sherman, which shows close-ups of people. So at that point, the project shifted towards to what it is today.

The hooded man, Sergeant Ivan Frederick, 2003

What camera gear did you use to make this series?

We started the project with a digital SLR camera. But because we lacked the detail, we soon decided to switch to medium format. We have the relatively inexpensive Pentax 645Z. The lighting is done by Broncolor studio flashes, as you can easily guess from the pictures.

How did you match the focal length of the original photographs? Did you eyeball it or did you use any software?

That’s a good question. We always start by studying the original photograph and try to find out all its details. The most important thing at the beginning is the focal length of the lens so that the model can also be reproduced relatively true to scale. We just eyeball it and start the building process. Sometimes we also change the lens while the model is still being assembled.

AS11405878, Buzz Aldrin, 1969

One of your intentions with “Icons” is to expose the whole staging process to reflect on the concepts of memory and reality. Yet, I’ve seen people online disappointed that you didn’t include the shots without the studio elements in the composition. Do you think your work would have the same impact if you decided to frame out the illusion? Did you ever consider it during the process?

Honestly, we have to admit that in the beginning, it wasn’t the idea to show the surroundings of the model in the composition. But we quickly noticed that a new layer was being added, one that would make the photographs stand out from a mere copy and raise interesting questions. Without the frame around the picture, the statement would be completely different.

Paul Simonon at the New York Palladium, Pennie Smith, 1979

We’re now witnessing a pivotal moment in history in which technology is making of “truth” a malleable concept. Stuff like Deepfakes is turning reality into something that you can custom tailor to your specific needs. How do you think this will impact photography?

The upheaval is quite severe and has also caused some skeptics to proclaim the death of photography. Basically, photography is being challenged by new technologies such as Computer Generated Images (CGI).

This questioning position is also good, but one must be careful not to mix classical photography with new technologies. Although the new possibilities are related to photography, they are something completely new in terms of methodology and meaning.

Binary Scan, Russell Kirsch, 1957

Which photographs were tougher to replicate? Those originally in black & white, or those in color?

It doesn’t matter whether the original photograph was colored or in black and white, what’s challenging is the number of details and human characters in the picture.

Basically, we are now at a point where we can rebuild anything, given enough time. That was different in the beginning. In our book DOUBLE TAKE you can see relatively well our development as model builders. Our first model, Gursky’s Rhein II, that one we would definitely do differently today, probably more precisely.

How did you make the human characters and tiny clothes in your dioramas? Did you use 3D printing during the project?

Taking 3D printers would’ve been too easy for us. It’s all about the handmade. So it’s important that you can still see the many details and inaccuracies, especially when looking at the large prints in an exhibition.

Black Power salute, John Dominis, 1968

The surgeon’s photo, Robert Kenneth Wilson, 1934

In times when the very concept of “truth” and “fact” are being put into interpretation, and politicians all over the world are going as far as rejecting science and attempting to redefine history, what do you think is the role of a photographer in this new “post-truth” scenario?

Photography is and remains a wonderful medium to say a lot as quickly as possible. A picture says more than a thousand words…

The abuse of it, for example, the manipulation, the omission of details, or even just the wrong context turns images into instruments of power, which can be abused.

Media has a lot of power. Our project can be seen as a stumbling block that makes us pause to look at the pictures closely and reflect on the context. Not everything you see is true.

Milk drop coronet, Harold Edgerton, 1957

Of all the iconic photographs that you’ve replicated so far, which one has been the toughest, and which one the “easiest”?

Let’s start with the simplest: That was Loch Ness. The picture is very simple, shows only a water surface and the neck and head of the monster, which is only recognizable as a silhouette due to the strong backlight.

There are many difficult and complex pictures, one of them was Moon and Half Dome by Ansel Adams. We carved the mountain Half Dome out of PU foam and covered it with plaster. Then we painted the structures in countless layers with paint. Often we don’t even notice when it’s good enough. Often one has to say “Ok, that’s good!” so that you can stop.

Moon over Half Dome, Ansel Adams, 1960

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Sara Cwynar. Red Rose, 2017.
Pigment print mounted on Dibond 30 x 24 in. Artist’s proof 1/2 Collection of David Madee

Sara Cwynar. Tracy (Pantyhose), 2017.
Dye sublimation print on aluminum 30 x 38 in. Edition #1 of 3, Edition of 3 with 2AP

Like any language, photography has given birth to a series of clichés that are reductive at best. At their worst, they become a vehicle for disinformation and stereotype, fueling pathologies by reinforcing the most dangerous aspects of confirmation bias. As Jenny Holzer noted, “Clichés endure” — and may very well exist until we root them out and expose them for the perilous, short-sighted, and sloppy thinking that they are.

Canadian artist Sara Cynwar takes aim at popular photographic clichés in her new exhibition, Gilded Age, on view at the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Ridgefield, CT, through November 10, 2019. Featuring a selection of the artist’s color photographs made over the past five years, the exhibition also includes Kitsch Encyclopedia (2014) her first artist book; Cover Girl (2018), a 16mm film on video with sound; and 72 Pictures of Modern Paintings (2016), a site-specific wallpaper.

Whatever medium Cynwar selects, she uses the form to explore and expose the ways in which images are constructed and recycled in an endless digital loop. Cynwar sets her sights on the preponderance of visual clichés that crowd our space, recognizing the ways in which they can be used as dog whistles to signify ulterior agendas.

For Cynwar, the subject of misogyny takes center stage as she delves deep into the past to examine the ways in which dated iconography is continuous revived. Whether looking at portraits or product shots, Cynwar’s work reveals a cultural penchant for played out archetypes that reinforce dated notions of gender and sexuality as a means to cultivate insecurity and desire and thus expand market share.

While her starting point is drawn from pre-digital sources as diverse as the New York Public Library, a local dollar store, a curbside dumpster, and eBay, Cynwar uses technology to examine the ways in which visual language plays into our fantasies while simultaneously spawning nightmares. The modern-day obsession with lifestyle, as evidenced by everyone from social media influencers to advertisers underscores a long-standing capitalist belief that you can buy happiness — when they understand that the pleasure is as fleeting as the printing of your receipt, and once hooked you can be sold time and again, like an addict on the street.

Yet, for all of the truth that is exposed, the fact is there’s nothing quite so pleasurable as the high. Cynwar’s work does not veer away from beauty, but rather uses it like bait on a hook, captivating us with the fact that what we really, really want, is to stand still and just look.

Sara Cwynar. Women, 2015. Collection of Jane Oster

Sara Cwynar. 72 Pictures of Modern Paintings, 2016.
Digitally printed color wallpaper Site specific

Sara Cwynar. Ultra Cosmetics Inc “SQUARE” Compact Powder (Item #31),
“STANDARD” Compact Powder (Item #33), 2015 Collection of Josh and Jill Tarnow

Sara Cwynar. Corinthian Column (Plastic Cups), 2016.
Chromogenic print mounted on Plexiglas 30 x 24 in. Exhibition copy

Sara Cwynar 432 Photographs of Nefertiti, 2015.  Collection of Dr. Terry Golash

All images: © Sara Cynwar. Courtesy of Cooper Cole, Toronto and Foxy Production, New York .

The post The Artist Hijacking Photographic Clichés to Explore Gender Stereotypes appeared first on Feature Shoot.

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