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luís soares

Blog do escritor Luís Soares

Oblivious City

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I walk the streets of New York City and photograph strangers. Serendipity, evanescence, a deep respect for and affirmation of the world as encountered: these are the elements that are essential to my approach. The scope of my photos is narrow and mundane, like the lives they depict – like the lives of most of us. But I seek glimpses of transcendence in the mundane. I am interested in fleeting gestures and glances, moments of connection in the urban flow, the ephemeral dance of light and shadow and street life. More than anything, what moves me is capturing the infinitesimal outward signs of an inner emotional life, the interiority of people even in the midst of the most public of spaces. My photographs are relics of a momentary merging of photographer and environment, subject and object. The city brings us together, the city prizes us apart. Immersing myself in the flow of the life of the city I feel the boundaries of my self momentarily become fluid, permeable. I abandon myself to the flow. These photographs are as much portraits of individual people as they are portraits of moments of being. They are my feeble protest against the city’s forgetfulness.

An Illustrated Guide to Greece

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Dimitri Mellos - For most people, the idea of Greece evokes either images of sunny beaches and picturesque whitewashed villages, or, more recently, depictions of the financial crisis or tragic images of refugees trying to cross over to Europe. With this project, my aim has been to deconstruct and undermine, but also expand and enrich, the set of visual representations associated with my country of birth in our collective imagination. I attempted to capture an aspect of Greece's landscape that is very far removed from the typical picture-postcard aesthetic usually associated with the country. I also wanted to evoke what I think of as the often improvised, play-it-by ear character of that part of the world: the somewhat laissez-faire attitude of Greeks toward their lived environment, which gives rise to an interesting and delicate interplay and inter-permeability between public and private spaces in Greece. Often, objects that would seem to have no place in the midst of nature are found scattered through the landscape. I think there is something deeply sad and surreal, and sometimes even almost cruel (but at other times very tender) about these traces of human presence in the middle of nowhere.

Eikoh Hosoe

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Eikoh Hosoe (細江 英公Hosoe Eikō, born 18 March 1933 in Yonezawa, Yamagata) is a Japanese photographer and filmmaker who emerged in the experimental arts movement of post-World War II Japan. He is known for his psychologically charged images, often exploring subjects such as death, erotic obsession, and irrationality. Through his friendships and artistic collaborations he is linked with the writer Yukio Mishima and 1960s avant-garde artists such as the dancer Tatsumi Hijikata.

Stavros Kastrinakis

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Stavros Kastrinakis' photography aims to capture the sublimity of the natural and urban landscape in contradiction with the fragility of human existence.

Having as a starting point his studies in theater and psychology, Kastrinakis gazes at the protagonists of his photographs through the prism of both the narrator and the spectator attempting to identify and reveal the inner self of the individual. His pictures encapsulate thin slices of reality where moments of leisure are being transformed into psychologically charged scenes overpowered by magnificently threatening landscapes. To this objective Kastrinakis employs a complex visual vocabulary which summons various devices such as the effect of light and shadow, color, symmetry, the movement of the changing mass of the crowd and the never-ending expansion of the surrounding environment. Aiming to collect as many raw moments as possible, the artist's photographic lens keeps a distance from the subjects choosing not to interfere with the action. Kastrinakis' photographs strive to capture the ephemeral, the accidental, however, his scenes are meticulously composed to reveal the interlapse between action and non-action.

His constructed narratives, theatrically navigate between summer plays and the individual's personal introspection. The landscape becomes a stage where unexpected encounters occur; in 'Focal|Points' a subtle movement of the water signifies an undergoing interaction between two people, while in 'Twin|Oddity' a vast body of water renders the scene bare naked. In the 'Ephemeral|Traces' & 'Cosmic|Duality' collections, water and earth via their transformative and liberating nature acting as overarching elements motivate the observer to cross the boundaries of individual and collective space, proposing a nostalgic view of cosmic coexistence. Engaging in a constant dialogue with the natural elements, the various representations of water and the body language of his protagonists, the artist seeks the polyphonic shivers, the lightness of summer, the game, the surprise, the joy, the contemplation and the sauntering of the subjects while experiencing the vertigo of the altitude and the hedonistic feeling of the distant observer.

Hakanai Sonzai

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Miyashita San, Sanae San, Sudo San, Kishita Sanfrom, Takuya San and Yuki San
from the series Hakanai Sonzai by Pierre-Elie de Pibrac

Pierre-Elie de Pibrac graduated from business school in 2009 only to turn his back on a potentially lucrative future in finance when his first photographic portraits, taken on a trip to Myanmar, received immediate recognition. Paris-born Pibrac has since become a widely celebrated visual artist, exhibiting extensively and publishing several monographs. ‘Everything started in Myanmar,’ he recalls. ‘Taking pictures allowed me to meet people, to live with them, and to build something.’

Pibrac moves easily between styles. His 2014 study of ballet dancers at the Opéra de Paris incorporates black-and-white reportage, film, wide-angle colour works, and abstractions. ‘Using different approaches lets me go deeply into the subject,’ he says. ‘Also, I don’t want to be a photographer who always does the same kind of work. I want to learn something new every time.’

In 2016 he documented sugar cane cutters in Cuba for the first part of a trilogy about resilience, a theme that continues in his large-format portraits taken in Japan, where Pibrac spent eight months accompanied by his wife and children. Travelling across the country, he focused his lens on people who exhibited fortitude in the face of adversity. In Fukushima, he photographed residents still exiled from their contaminated homes following the nuclear disaster the city witnessed a decade ago. Other portraits were taken in the former mining town Yubari, once known as the country’s capital of coal, now devastated by colliery closures and depopulation.

The series title, Hakanai Sonzai, translates as ‘I, myself, feel like an ephemeral creature’. It reflects Pibrac’s belief that his sitters’ forbearance is rooted in a national culture of fatality and awareness of impermanence.

‘Each portrait emanates from long discussions I had with my subjects about a painful event in their lives,’ he says. ‘In all the pictures I forbid any movement, as if they are trapped by their surroundings with no visible escape.’

As in all his projects, Pibrac took no photographs for the first two months of his time in Japan in order to immerse himself in the country’s history and traditions. He attributes this patient, embedded approach to his grandfather, the post-war photographer Paul de Cordon, known for his decades-long studies of circus performers and cabaret artistes.

‘My grandfather took me to circuses and to the Crazy Horse through-out my childhood and his influence is very strong,’ Pibrac says. ‘I think that’s why I spend so much time on each project. I don’t want to impose my way of photographing on the subject, but allow them to use me to express themselves. Living with people, learning their culture, and understanding their environment is the best way to do this.’

The Struggle to Right Oneself

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Kerry Skarbakka:

Beyond the basic laws that govern and maintain our equilibrium, we live in a world that constantly tests our stability in various other forms. War and rumors of war, issues of economic security, effects of globalization, environmental policy and the politics of identity are all external gravities turned inward, serving to further threaten the precarious balance of self, exaggerating negative feelings of control.

This long-term project is in response to this delicate state. The exploration resides within the sublime metaphorical space where balance has been disrupted and the definitive point-of-no-return has been met. It asks the questions of what it means to resist the struggle, to simply let go. What are the consequences of holding on?

Philosopher Martin Heidegger described human existence as a process of perpetual falling, placing the responsibility of each individual to catch us from our own uncertainty. We are all vulnerable to losing our footing and grasp. These images convey the primal qualities of the human condition as a precarious balancing act between the struggle against our desire to survive and our fantasy to transcend our humanness.

How to Dance the Waltz

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Michal Chelbin’s work has been widely shown in numerous solo and group exhibitions worldwide. Her work can be found in many private and public collections, such as: The Metropolitan Museum New York, LACMA, Getty Center LA, Jewish Museum New York, Cleveland Museum of Art, Tel Aviv Museum, Sir Elton John collection, SF Moma and more.

Her critically acclaimed Monograph Strangely Familiar: Acrobats, Athletes and other Traveling Troupes was published by Aperture in 2008 and was awarded PDN’s Photo Annual Book Award in 2009. Her next monograph entitled The Black Eye was published in June 2010 by Twin Palms Publishers, with solo exhibitions in October 2010 at Andrea Meislin Gallery in New York and M+B gallery in LA. 

Her third monograph entitled “Sailboats and Swans” was published in fall 2012 by Twin Palms Publishers with solo exhibition at Andrea Meislin Gallery in New York.

Michal’s fourth monograph entitled “How to Dance the Waltz” will be published in Spring 2021 by Damiani Publishers, with a solo show at Clampart NYC.

Michal is a regular contributor to the world’s leading magazines, such as: The New York Times magazine, The New Yorker, BusinessWeek, GQ, The Guardian, The Sunday Times, The Financial Times, Le Monde and others.

Hugh Holland in Black and White

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In 1975, when Hugh Holland first began photographing the skateboarders in southern California, he had already been living in Los Angeles for nine years. His interest in photography had developed in the mid-sixties as a 20-year-old living in his native state of Oklahoma. Except for a college job working in a photo lab, Holland had no formal art education. However, he spent years training his eye by shooting photographs and working with the images.

It wasn't until after returning from a trip to Spain in 1968 and settling into what would become a career in West Hollywood as an antique finisher, that he began to seriously pursue the hobby. He made a dark room and began photographing everything that came into sight.  A favorite subject—from the beginning—was the figure.

Then one afternoon in 1975, while driving up Laurel Canyon Boulevard, Holland encountered his first skateboarders carving up the drainage ditches along the side of the canyon, and Holland knew he had found his subject. Although not a skateboarder himself, Holland never tired of capturing on film the beauty and grace of the burgeoning craze for the next three years.  By 1978, the scene had become more commercial, and Holland’s documentation of the skateboarders came to its natural end.

Hugh Holland’s Angels series was first shown at M+B in early 2006. Following the success of the show, the work was shown internationally in London, Paris and New York, with upcoming exhibitions in Sydney and the Pera Museum is Istanbul. His work has been featured in The Wall Street JournalThe New Yorkernpr, and the Los Angeles Times. In 2010, the artist’s monograph Locals Only by AMMO Books was published in conjunction with his second exhibition at M+B, and in 2011, the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) in Los Angeles included his work in the first major U.S. museum survey of graffiti and street art in a group exhibition entitled “Art in the Streets.” Hugh Holland currently resides in Los Angeles.

Père et Fils

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Grégoire Korganow - Père et Fils (Father and son)
2009 - 2014

What is a father? What is a son? What bond links them? Blood? Love? Legacy? Inheritance? I photograph fathers, 30 to 80 years old, standing up, bare-chested, with their son, months-old for the youngest or already in their fifties for the eldest. They are close, often skin to skin.
Looking at these portraits, you search for similarities. You scrutinize the facial features, compare the gestures and attitudes. You imagine a story. Attempt to discover the secret of a relationship. Nudity disturbs and scrambles the clues a bit.