Andrew Zuckerman’s series ‘Flower’ – a rich visual tour of mesmerizing nature’s timeless treasure comprising of radiant close-ups of more than 150 species, exotic and familiar. Set against his signature stark-white backdrop, the complexity of color, structure and texture in each specimen is lightened in detail revealing the subject’s essential qualities and giving a pure aesthetic pleasure to the viewer.
Andrew Zuckerman – Flower
“White for me has a sense of modernity and absence. From absence and white I can create something… It’s not about what I’m uniquely bringing to it, it’s more about what I’m bringing together and collecting in a consistent way.”
Driven by his obsessive taxonomical pursuits and removing all context, the artist created a sort of catalog with a contemporary, minimalist attitude to manifest the beauty and ephemerality of life.
Bill Henson’s series ‘Kindertotenlieder’ – poignant meditation on longing, loss and sadness inspired by the works and personal tragedies of German poet Friedrich Rückert and Austrian composer Gustav Mahler.
Bill Henson – Kindertotenlieder
‘Kindertotenlieder’ is a group of 428 poems written by Rückert (1788 – 1866) in 1833–34 in an outpouring of grief after the death of two of his children from scarlet fever. They were not intended for publication and appeared five years after the poet’s death. Their effect was particularly felt by celebrated composer Gustav Mahler (1860 – 1911) who read them and opted to set five of them to music, for a song cycle composed between 1901 and 1904. Having two young daughters, his wife Alma was against the idea fearing that Mahler was tempting fate. And indeed, three years later, in 1907, their eldest daughter Maria fell ill with scarlet fever and died during the summer holidays at the family’s house in Maiernigg in rural Austria. Devastated family closed up the home and never returned.
The series started in 1976 and 40 years later after multiple visits he made to Austria, it is finally completed and published as a photo book by STANLEY/BARKER in an edition of 150. along with a 12” record of the Mahler song cycle.
Anup Shah’s series ‘The Mara’ – an intimate portrayal of the essence and wonder of the wild animals world and their fascinating life performance at the stage in Kenya’s Maasai Mara National Reserve.
Anup Shah – The Mara
“A few years ago, on the open plains of Maasai Mara, I was in the midst of elephants and within touching distance of a couple of them. I felt a primeval sense of being, a connection to a distant past. I wondered if I could translate that feeling into photographs. I opted for an approach that is immediate, intimate, immersive, inclusive and involving but which also gives a feeling of space. I wanted to impart to the viewer what it feels like – mentally and physically – to be inside the vast and lively landscape of Maasai Mara, being among wild animals…Then, perhaps, the viewer might connect with the Mara and extend sympathy to this natural world”
Levon Biss’s project ‘Microsculpture’ – breathtaking visual experience that celebrates the stunning beauty of the natural world and challenges to explore the familiar surroundings in a new creative way through the curious eye of a child.
The project is a collaboration with the Oxford University Museum of Natural History and presents a unique opportunity to study in details the insects’ structure in a mind-blowing magnification and appreciate those extraordinary creatures some of them have just been outside our window.
Levon Biss – Microsculpture
The process is quite elaborative. Each image is created from around 8000 individual photographs and it took the artist approximately 4 weeks from the start to finish.
“The pinned insect is placed on an adapted microscope stage that enables me to have complete control over the positioning of the specimen in front of the lens. I shoot with a 36-megapixel camera that has a 10x microscope objective attached to it via a 200mm prime lens and photograph the insect in approximately 30 different sections, depending the size of the specimen. Each section is lit differently with strobe lights to bring out the micro sculptural beauty of that particular section of the body… I repeat this process over the entire area of the insect and once I have 30 fully focused sections I bring them together in Photoshop to create the final photograph.”
The project started in 2014 and could be enjoyed in full zoom on the specially created site and is also available as a photo book published by Abrams. There is as well a short TED talk where Levon Biss explains how the idea appeared and evolved in such impressive project.
“To be home is to feel a strong connection to a land and a grounding to its roots. For much of my life home has been an abstract place far away from my reach. This body of work navigates the boundaries of being – exploring the unsettling feeling of rootlessness, the mental burden of loneliness and the constant search for belonging in unfamiliar places… Once you reach the end, you are not sure how to put it back together and the book becomes your own. You can decide to put the images the way you want. That’s an object that evolves with time”
Laura El-Tantawy – Beyond Here Is Nothing
“Cold rain. It strikes me as nature’s way of despairing. When the sun shies away in hiding. Under hefty clouds I watch time passing. Slowly. Always too slow for my liking. I wait for that golden ball of fire to gracefully return its lighting.”
Yoichiro Nishimura’s series ‘Blue Flower’ – “seemingly common flowers sprinkled with the magic of photography, and what appears in front of our eyes is a completely new presence of the flowers” – the exotic, fragile, elusive beauty of the blue flower and its luminous dream-like world.
Yoichiro Nishimura – Blue Flower
“The idea of a blue flower may seem strange for some people, never having seen or heard of a blue dandelion or blue cherry blossom before. Without question, these flowers were originally red and yellow. How then did they turn into blue flowers? This is because these are color negative photographs, in which the colors are reversed into their respective complementary colors. This results in transforming the coloration of warm colors, such as red and yellow, into bluish cool colors. At the same time, tonal transition takes place, reversing the light into dark shadow, and shadow into bright light― it is from within the darkness, a blue flower emerge”
Robert Pufleb and Nadine Schlieper – Alternative Moons
The images are unseen because actually they are not from the Moon, but a metaphor for how we perceive images. They are pancakes.
“Applying them to our moon, we are trying to create some kind of awareness towards interpreting and processing visual information… In the very beginning, the imagery of ‘Alternative Moons’ was a rather accidental discovery. It was one of those rare moments, when one is looking at an everyday object but sees something completely different…. like mysterious moons from an unknown galaxy”.
The photographs are collected in a book along with the recipes.
Jonathan Singer’s project ‘Botanica Magnifica’ – macro photographs of rare flowers and plants as a union between natural history and fine art.
“Botanica Magnifica seem to be alien life forms but really are true treasures of our home planet. As an artist, I capture the mystical energy that lies below the surface of the natural world. In the end we see not the infinite diversity of life, but rather we steal a glimpse into creation itself.”
Jonathan Singer – Botanica Magnifica
“I’m trying to give the world a message, to warn the world that the ecosystems and food chains are breaking down. Hopefully, through this marriage of art, people will want to know the science. People say that’s so beautiful. What is it? Where is it from? What would we see in them if we didn’t know where they came from? Clouds? Fires? Waves? Landscapes? Galaxies? They start asking questions”
Set against a dark background and taken in low light, the flowers look suspended in space. Singer’s photographs have been compared, at least in style, to the works of Brueghel, Vermeer and Rembrandt because “they handle light better than anyone else ever did.”
“I started looking at flowers because of Jan Brueghel the Younger. In the rooms in his paintings there were flowers, and they were beautiful. In fact, that grabbed my attention more than anything else in the paintings—the lighting and the flowers.”
Jonathan Singer – Botanica Magnifica
Two hundred and fifty of these remarkable photographs are collected in a book published by Abbeville Press.
The original edition of the book following the method used for Audubon’s “Birds of America” in the 1840s, was in extra-large “double-elephant” format consisted of five lavishly hand-bound volumes and limited to just ten copies. One of them was donated to the Smithsonian Institution and is on display in the rare-book room of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History in Washington.
To learn more about Jonathan Singer’s life path, his interest to photography and the creation of “Botanica Magnifica”, watch this video.
To date there is no official active site or social account in Jonathan Singer’s name.
Flor Garduño’s series ‘Witnesses of Time’ – capturing the spirituality of the Indian cosmos as a unique perception of time where past, present and future blend simultaneously, so that mankind feels the eternity of the universe.
Flor Garduño – Witnesses of Time
The project was realized in the years 1983-1991, recording as witnesses to the secrets of time margins, landscapes, architecture, religious ceremonies and social events in ritual towns in Mexico, Guatemala, Peru, Bolivia and Ecuador, as well as portraits of ordinary people and their daily life rhythm and customs.
Central and South America are the places to which the artist’s soul is deeply connected emotionally and culturally, and by compressing the limited with infinite in a single image, she gives life to mystical archetypes and long established traditions as an integral part of the modern world.
Simen Johan’s series ‘Until the Kingdom Comes’ – merging documentary imagery and digital manipulation of animals in new environments to convey contradictory effect between opposing forces that are simultaneously familiar and absurd, natural and artificial, serene and eerie, primal and mindful.
“I often feel like I am attempting to reconcile the irreconcilable as I explore the paradoxical nature of existence.”
Simen Johan – Until the Kingdom Comes
“Until the Kingdom Comes’ refers less to religious or natural kingdoms and more to the human fantasy that one day, in some way, life will come to a blissful resolution … In a reality where understanding is not finite and in all probability never will be, I depict ‘living’ as an emotion-fueled experience, engulfed in uncertainty, desire and illusion.”