Nearly four years after the Tiananmen student protests in 1989, Chinese artist RongRong, then a 25-year-old from the southern province of Fujian, joined a group of young and struggling bohemian artists who settled in a desolate village on the outskirts of Beijing. RongRong captured the quotidian yet eruptive life of this community, as many of his fellow artists pushed their bodies to the brink to create radical and subversive performances.
Celebrating the photographers who have played a critical role in bringing hip-hop’s visual culture to the global stage, the exhibition “Contact High: A Visual History of Hip-Hop”, currently on view at the Annenberg Photo Space in Los Angeles, is an inside look at the work of hip-hop photographers, as told through their most intimate diaries: their unedited contact sheets.
Platinum prints (and their close cousins, palladium prints) are valued for their velvet matte surface, subtle range of tones, delicate rendering of the image, and colors which vary from cool greys to warm, rich browns. Patented in 1873, the platinum process has been used nearly consistently to the present. Along with other historic processes, platinum printing is one of many options available to today’s photographers. Yet even as digital photography becomes predominant, some photographers have gravitated to the platinum process for its analogue appeal, despite its expense and the labor it requires.
An exhibition at Gitterman Gallery in New York currently presents new work by Allen Frame made by the artist during a year-long residency at the American Academy in Rome. It consists of new color photographs from Italy: figures in outdoor settings in Rome, Positano, Polignano a Vito, Argentario, and Capalbio, as well as two multi-piece works that juxtapose anonymous found photographs with Frame’s own images, expanding the narrative context while highlighting the individually-framed vernacular pictures.
America is rugged, nurturing, and the birthplace of so much creativity and prosperity. Through the lenses of these photographers we see the happiness, the oppression and the possibilities available with every waking moment. Independence day reminds us that anything can be liberated from with enough perseverance and time.
Recent work by Gail Albert Halaban, from her ongoing series Out My Window is on view at Edwynn Houk Gallery in New York. The show is composed of eleven photographs, selected directly from her 2018 George Eastman Museum exhibition, many of which have never before been presented. It features an array of international destinations from Paris to Istanbul, as well as several cities illustrated in Albert Halaban’s newly published book, “Italian Views”, including Venice, Rome, and Naples.
For more than 60 years, Joel-Peter Witkin has stayed true to his mission: to create photographs that show the beauty of marginalized people by placing them into art referential tableaus, often laced with Catholic overtones. His work features those that are intersex, post and pre-op individuals, and people born with physical abnormalities. In his eyes, all people are beautiful, regardless of societal norms.
“Ecotone” is an exhibition of new cyanotypes by Meghann Riepenhoff. Following on her 2017 exhibition at Yossi Milo Gallery in New York, “Littoral Drift” – prints made from direct exposure to ocean waves – “Ecotone” expands her work with the 19th century cyanotype process, both in scale and in the varied forms of water in which the photographs are created.