Caleb Cain Marcus’s series ‘A Portrait of Ice’ – investigating glacial landscapes in a personal poetic journey in subtle blue, gray and cyan, as a part of our collective memory through million years history of the earth.
“When I am on a glacier there is a moment when the vast beauty enters me. And for that moment, the glacier is capable of shifting human consciousness and altering the reoccurring hum of reality. It is only you and the ice. A shard of something that has accidentally entered into this world. Then the ice screws’ melodic chime brings you out of one trance and into another.”
Caleb Cain Marcus – A Portrait of Ice
These photographs of glaciers of Patagonia, Iceland, Norway, New Zealand and Alaska, with painterly quality and no horizon, shift the perspective in a sense of losing the scale and raise awareness about environmental issues. ”Living in the city it easy to forget about the land; to forget that our history is held within the ice; that our history is melting. The Inuit elders say the melting of the ice is the land crying out in pain. Now we must listen.”
In more than 100 stunning ambrotype portraits of farmers and chefs accompanied by brief honest answers, Francesco Mastalia captured in his project ‘Organic‘ their beautiful, powerful, sensual stories and philosophy.
“Organic is working with nature, not telling it what to do, not demanding of things it can’t do.”
The archaic photographic technique is in refined harmony with the passion of these 21st century women and men who re-embraced the old ways of producing and preparing food. “Organic is the old, ancient, natural way that was predestined from all eternity for us to grow our own food.”
The project ‘Organic’ spotlights New York State’s Hudson Valley but opens a global dialogue about our future in living organically and sustainably in respect to the Earth. “Organic” is not just about growing and producing food, it is about the life of the planet.”
Pilar Pequeño’s series ‘Submerged Plants’ (Plantas Sumergidas) – serene still lifes of underwater flowers, embraced by tiny bubbles, to capture a piece of nebulous consciousness in portraying the architecture of universal beauty, and exploring certain aspects of the diverse manifestations of the natural world.
Pilar Pequeño – Submerged Plants
“I think it’s an inside look, trying to express my feelings with images. I always use natural light and I think that the same subject can have different images depending on the moment of light. What I’m trying to do is to imitate the human eye, with all its nuances that it manages to capture in its vision.”
François Halard’s series ‘Casa Ghirri’ – photographs where the sense of the artist’s presence, the objects that had surrounded him and the place itself are the main protagonists in a play, weaving their roles and create one intimate portrait of the great Italian photographer and the spirit of his house.
The idea for creating such an album was born after an encounter with Luigi Ghirri’s wife, Paula, in 2011. An album not only as separate silent notes about the decoration but as a poetic nostalgic story, told masterfully by François Halard, reflecting with the same palette the life and the energy of the artist.
Alfred Ehrhardt (1901 -1984) ‘Mussels and Snails’ – a fascination with laws of nature: structural forms, beauty and mathematical precision as timeless cosmic symbols existing beyond the material realm.
Alfred Ehrhardt – Mussels and Snails
“What technical laws nature follows in its creation of forms and what a model of an architectonic and motoric spirit governs these organisms when they develop the shape of their bodies, leaves or shells?”
Through photographic studies of natural marine artifacts as corals, sponges, mussels, snails, sea urchins, and starfish, the artist expressed his great respect to the wealth of nature as an eternal force.
The first photo book ‘Mussels and Snails’ (‘Muscheln und Schnecken’) was published by Heinrich Ellermann Verlag in 1941 and in 1968 a new edition followed.
Xiaoyi Chen’s series ‘Koan’ – using the photogravure process and with Eastern aesthetic to explore beneath the surface of symbolic and following to the Zen and Taoist philosophy opening up the territory of the pre-verba in getting closer to the concept of purity.
Xiaoyi Chen – Koan
“Tao and Zen always advise people to stay absolutely quiet and purify thought processes. In order to achieve this goal, our attention should focus on the most basic form of the universe’s existence. In Zen Buddhism, Koan is a story or riddle used to help in the attainment of a state of spontaneous reaction, free from planning and analytical thought. In contradiction to Western philosophy, Koans emphasize the inadequacy of language and words, and the importance of intuition over reason and logic, to transform the self.
I named the series Koan, and selected abstract landscape photographs to do a photo-etching process; the results of this craft are poetic and full of imaginations. Also only uses black ink and print on different Japanese papers, the color derives from the atmosphere of desolation and melancholy and the expression of minimalism in ancient Chinese poetry and monochromatic ink painting.”
Rare ethereal Polaroids with emotional depth made by the Russian filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky compiled in the book “Instant Light: Tarkovsky Polaroids and Sculpting in Time” published by Thames & Hudson. Landscapes and intimate moments about his home, family, friends and places in Russia and Italy made between 1979 and 1984, capturing with his unique aesthetic visual language the ‘flight’ of time and life as a reflection.
“Never try to convey your idea to the audience. It is a thankless and senseless task. Show them life, and they’ll find within themselves the means to assess and appreciate it.”
“The idea for ‘Pearls, tears of the sea’ came to me on the seashore at Camogli after a night during which the waves roared in and a wild storm raged. Next morning I went for a walk along the churned-up beach and was amazed. So much had been washed up on the beach, wood, seaweed, sea urchins, all kinds of flotsam. I took off the pearl I was wearing round my neck and laid it among all these mysterious treasures that had been revealed by the sea. It seemed as if it had always belonged there. Queen of the spume. The project was born.”
The series is published in a photography book with a CD of classical music performed and recorded in Vienna with her friends Jane Henschel, Christoph Prégardien, Herbert Lippert and others, and her husband, the orchestra director Fabio Luisi, at the piano.
Matthew Brandt’s series ‘Lakes and Reservoirs’ – calendar-like landscape photographs processed by soaking the C-type print over a period of time in water collected from the depicted lakes, in an experimentation of creating a photograph as an image and an art object, and searching for the connection between real and visualized.
Matthew Brandt – Lakes and Reservoirs
“I go get the photographs, get the water, I make the print and then it just sort of sits in water. It feels a little bit like being a farmer, like cultivating crops or something… I’ve always been into the labor-intensive nature of photography … But that’s why I like it. I like the pathos of it.”
Hendrik Kerstens’s life-time project of photographing his daughter ‘Paula’ as a reminiscent of the portraits from the Dutch Golden Age, in a way of expressing his paternal love and in a conceptual and humorous dialog between the daily life in the 17th and in 21st century.
Hendrik Kerstens – Paula
It’s all started in 1995 when Hendrik Kerstens, then at the age of forty, willing to devote himself to a more creative profession, left the business world and took up photography. His wife now had to support the family, whilst Kerstens stay home learning the craft and taking care for their child. For practicing to capture the fleeting moments of childhood, he started with documentary family snapshots, when suddenly he saw his muse from a different perspective.
“One day Paula came back from horseback riding. She took off her cap and I was struck by the image of her hair held together by a hair-net. It reminded me of the portraits by the Dutch masters and I portrayed her in that fashion. After that I started to do more portraits in which I refer to the paintings of that era. The thing that fascinates me in particular is the way a 17th century painting is seen as a surface which can be read as a description of everyday life as opposed to the paintings of the Italian renaissance, which usually tell a story. Northern European painting relies much more on craftsmanship and the perfect rendition of the subject. The use of light is instrumental in this.”