Japanese photographer Masahisa Fukase made his obscure masterpiece ‘Ravens’ (‘Karasu’) between 1975 and 1982 as a way of overcoming a personal emotional trauma following a divorce with his second wife Yōko Wanibe. Though the photographs at first sight are a personal lament reflecting the darkened vision of the photographer himself, they are regarded by many as the most important body of work to come out of postwar Japan, and still its imagery continues to inspire artists and writers today.
Masahisa Fukase – Ravens
The project originated as an eight-part series for the magazine Camera Mainichi and these photo essays reveal that Fukase experimented with multiple exposure printing and narrative text as part of the development of the Karasu concept. The first book was published in 1986, subsequent editions were published in 1991 and and 2008, and in May, 2017 a new one published by Mack Books.
“Ravens is one of the defining bodies of work in the history of photography and a high point in the photo book genre. This accumulation of accolades, and the passing of time, have obscured much of the fascinating detail which explains the artist’s pre-occupation with this motif throughout his work. It was not simply a reflection of the existential angst and anhedonia he suffered throughout his life but manifested in artistic self-identification with the raven and ultimately spiralled into a solitary existence and artistic practice on the edge of madness…” Tomo Kosuga from his essay Cries of Solitude 
When she was still a teenager, Dorothy Monnelly discovered in the attic of their home, a box of her mother’s poems. They were written between 1920 – 1945 and left as her “creative” legacy for her daughters.
The series consists of floral stills and landscape photographs and is published as a photo book “For My Daughters”.
Dorothy Kerper Monnelly – For My Daughters, Floral Stills
“I have always treasured my mother’s poetry. When reading it recently, she gave me the idea of combining my images with her poetry to create a conversation back and forth about the idea expressed in each poem. She felt that we would understand each other, and writes in a poem to her daughters:
The pattern born within my mind
Is latent in their own. My wisdom
May not be profound, but they will recognize
Its likeness in their blood and bone.
It has been said that my photography shows the extraordinary in the ordinary; the same comment has been made regarding my mother’s poetry.”
Dorothy Kerper Monnelly – For My Daughters, Landscapes
Roger Eberhard‘s conceptual project ‘Standard‘ – 32 cities, 32 identical hotel rooms = The Typology of the World
Roger Eberhard – Standard
Swiss photographer Roger Eberhard traveled around the globe to document how ‘standard’ this world has become. He took only 2 photos where he stayed – one from the interior of his Hilton ‘Standard’ hotel room and another from the view out of his window, always using the same perspective.
Besides of the uniformity of each room (there is even a manual for that called “Hilton Design and Construction Standards Manual”), Eberhard was surprised to find that there were similarities in the outside view too. Skyscrapers, broad avenues, highways – the usual modern city landscape gives as little clue to the location as the interior. “The result is a typology of rooms which are arranged according to the same formula all over the world,” Eberhard says. “But also the views tell of standardization, of the anonymity of the urban space.”
Eberhard states that the project is not a critic of globalization or questioning Hilton’s quality. It is just an observation of the new world. His conclusion is more about our ‘standard’ behaviour – “Why do we travel the world and stay in a place that looks same everywhere we go? What does that say about us as creatures of habit?”
Roger Eberhard -Standard -New York
Roger Eberhard -Standard -New York
Roger Eberhard -Standard – Panama
Roger Eberhard -Standard – Panama
The project is available in a photobook ‘ Roger Eberhard – Standard’
Anna Malagrida‘s series Shop Windows‘ (Escaparates) “concentrates on the visual device of the shop window, and identify with it, stripping away its customary usage and instead presenting it as a vehicle for contemplation. The focus of the work is the windows of Parisian businesses that are closing down; they are whitewashed, preventing any clear views of the interior. Thus, the viewer’s gaze can switch to a reflection of the city as well as the physical borders of the windows themselves, inscribed with the marks of past activity. The tensions of the city are embodied within the form of an abstraction in these large images, which may therefore be viewed with remoteness.”
Famous Austrian photographer “may have frequently photographed well-dressed people and many figures of the fashion world, but to call her a fashion photographer would be a mistake”, according to John P. Jacob, the McEvoy Family curator for photography at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. “Whether photographing festivals or artists’ studios, on films sets, the street, or the fashion runway, what distinguishes Morath’s photography is an unerring eye for life’s brilliant theatricality”
Suzanne Moxhay‘s latest series “interiors” – exploring concepts of spatial containment in montages built from fragments of photographed and painted interiors. By using different techniques like traditional cut, paste collage and digital manipulation, the British artist brings a theatrical sensibility to still images. The process is quite elaborate and she produces only 7-8 works per year.
View the whole gallery here and if you want to learn more about the process of making them click on the ‘About’ category and watch the video.
“At the heart of all great art is an essential melancholy.” – Federico García Lorca
Josephine Cardin – Bailaora
“I have been asked many times what it is that “look for” when I look through my lens. I do not look for something, rather I look at something, someone, some place or event, and attempt to capture the essence, the emotion and the soul of the subject, whether a person or a building.
There is so much beauty in our everyday and by ‘beauty’ I do not speak of conventional beauty, but actually, harmony, truthfulness, and that which is telling. The beauty most of us miss because we are looking down, too busy, or simply too clouded in our minds by preconceptions to see the inspiration and real beauty of our everyday world.”
Spiros Zervoudakis’ series ‘Trap‘ – “This is my attempt to build visual bridges between two parallel worlds of fantasy and reality.
The enclosed undersea world is dreamy. Aquatic creatures (mythical creatures) and humans coexist in alien, utopian landscapes. They live beyond the limits of imagination and develop their actions in the dark liquid realm.
The light—absolute and whitewashed—delineates boundaries. Heroes emerge from total darkness conspiratorially. Lightning strikes the intruder; the unsuspecting viewer is now inadvertently involved.
The man in the reflection is free from any presumptions about owning this world.
Elicited dreams mutate into extraterrestrial nightmares.
The project started in 2008 in the Amsterdam aquarium and continued in the following years in the aquariums of Copenhagen, Frankfurt and Heraklion.”
“Although all life comes to an end, the end is at the same time a beginning of the transition into something new. Small plants that exist by our side and we hardly take notice of also contain within themselves the majestic nature, and revolve their life force just the same. They are filled with a variety of expressions and dynamism that cannot be seen with the naked eye, and allow you to sense the mystery of the formation of life.”