Photography & Art

The Whitney Biennial 2019: Youth Burning Bright

Sandra Bertrand

If you didn’t check your sociocultural memories at the door, you will be relieved to find Alexandra Bell’s series of 20 prints outlining the brutal rape in the Central Park jogger case from 1989 and its aftermath. Bell has edited her newspaper coverage to stress the blatant hostility of the press toward the accused Black and Latino young men, the Central Park Five (later found innocent).  Viewers will note that one full-page ad pronouncing “Bring Back the Death Penalty” was paid for by none other than Donald J. Trump.

Small Is the New Big at NAWA’s Latest Art Exhibit

Sandra Bertrand

For the National Association of Women Artists (NAWA), the Small Works exhibitions held in the summer and winter have become a treasured tradition among members and nonmembers alike. From July 10-August 21, 2019, the works on display at the NAWA Gallery in Manhattan prove that the size of an artwork does not have to determine its excellence or worth.  With a close study, viewers will find remarkable detail and precision at play in several mediums.  They will also find a surprising seriousness and boldness of intent often reserved for larger works.

The Serious and the Smirk: The Smile in Portraiture

Nicholas Jeeves

Such is the field upon which the mouth in portraiture has been debated: an ongoing conflict between the serious and the smirk. The most famous and enduring portrait in the world functions around this very conflict. Millions of words have been devoted to the Mona Lisa and her smirk – more generously known as her ‘enigmatic smile’ — and so today it’s difficult to write about her without sensing that you’re at the back of a very long and noisy queue that stretches all the way back to 16th century Florence. 

Photo Essay: The Antique Cars of Cuba Get a New Life

Eliot Hess

Returning to Cuba after a six-year absence, I was surprised to see that many of the old cars from the 1940s and 1950s  were newly refurbished and being used as taxis and touring cars. I learned that their owners were now allowed to use them as commercial vehicles if they fixed them to certain standards. A number of the old cars are still in bad shape, but to see so many revitalized and brought back to life is good news for these iconic cars that have been a longtime symbol of Cuban society and culture.

        

Paying Homage to the Brilliant World of Comics and Graphic Novels

The Editors

This exhibition is curated by Kathleen Goncharov, senior surator at the museum. She recruited as her “muse” for this exhibition Calvin Reid, the senior news editor at Publishers Weekly and a leading expert in the field of comics. Reid was one of the first critics to recognize comics as a literary form for adults, and selected the comic books and graphic novels in the reading room where the public can comfortably lounge and enjoy reading (many from Reid’s own private library). 

Joan Miro: The Catalan Magician Remakes the World

Sandra Bertrand

Miro’s immersion into the prevailing Parisian scene was perfectly timed.  Andre Breton’s First Surrealist Manifesto was written in the fall of 1924, and “The Birth of the World” produced in 1925.  Predating by decades the “action painting” of Jackson Pollock, the background is a grey morass of pouring, brushing, flinging gestures to signal the explosive nature of creation, acting as the stage on which his floating shapes take their place.  Acquired by MOMA as a gift from the artist in 1972, it justifies its place of honor in this show.

The Art of Jennifer R. A. Campbell

The Editors

Jennifer R. A. Campbell's compositions call attention to the chaotic world of humanity, while conversely investigating the various elements that inform the ways we interact. She presents her characters in fictitious landscapes, amid a frenzied environment that invites the spectator into a visual feast of symbols. In the absence of words, the viewer is able to arrive at multiple interpretations as to what is occurring in the scene presented as the artist furthermore highlights the absurdity of human existence.

Cape Town's Thriving Art Scene

Wendell Roelf

Collectors from America and Europe are scouring Cape Town’s booming art scene in search of deals as diverse as an expressive oil painting by South Africa’s Irma Stern or a sculpture assembled from bottle caps by Ghana’s El Anatsui. Dozens of venues, including the Association of Visual Arts Gallery and the converted grain silos of the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary African Art (MOCAA), are catering to aficionados seeking a good investment as well as the general public.

The Art of Mojdeh Rezaeipour

The Editors

After completing her architectural studies at UC Berkeley, Mojdeh’s involvement in art and design has taken her to San Francisco, New York, Rome, Tokyo, and Berlin, where she spent the summer of 2018 on an arts fellowship awarded by The Studio Visit. Her exhibitions locally and internationally have been featured in publications such as The Rib, DIRT, So To Speak, and The Washington Post. Her stories have aired on The Moth Radio Hour on NPR and she also served as The Moth’s Washington DC StorySlam Producer from 2015-2018. 

Flint Photo Exhibit Highlights One of America’s Most Devastating Crises

The Editors

Citing Gordon Parks and Ralph Ellison’s 1948 collaboration Harlem is Nowhere as an influence, Frazier utilized mass media as an outlet to reach a broad audience, publishing her images of Flint in conjunction with a special feature on the water crisis in Elle magazine in September 2016. Like Parks, Frazier uses the cameras as a weapon and agent of social change. The exhibition is part of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Exhibition Series, which addresses issues of race, diversity, social justice, and civil rights.

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