Friday, November 13, 2009

Critical MassTop 50

I'm a winner this year of Photolucida's Critical Mass competition. Photolucida, which is in Portland, OR, and runs terrific portfolio reviews, assembles 200 reviewers—curators, dealers, collectors, and generally influential photo people—who vote on the merits of some 600 applicants to arrive at the Top 50. There's also a book publication prize for the two or three Toppest of the lot. Good God am I happy!

Here's the Top 50:
Jenn Ackerman
Jody Ake
Leslie Alsheimer
Jane Fulton Alt
Carl Bower
Andrea Camuto
Manuel Capurso
Alejandro Cartagena
Pelle Cass
Edmund Clark
Victor Cobo
Caleb Cole
Scott Dalton
Dorothee Deiss
Mitch Dobrowner
Jade Doskow
Ed Freeman
Lucia Ganieva
Judy Gelles
N W Gibbons
Toni Greaves
Alexander Gronsky
Jessica Todd Harper
Jessica Ingram
Samar Jodha
Mary Shannon Johnstone
Jimmy Lam
Laurie Lambrecht
David Leventi
Larry Louie
Benjamin Lowy
Simone Lueck
David Maisel
Sarah Malakoff
Rania Matar
Tim Matsui
Mark Menjivar
Brad Moore
Kate Orne
Ara Oshagan
Rachel Papo
Bradley Peters
Alexis Pike
Birthe Piontek
Ellen Rennard
Betsy Schneider
Peter Sibbald
Christopher Sims
David Taylor
Phillip Toledano
Will Steacy
Serkan Taycan

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Halloween (and the Fourth) Are My Favorite Holidays

I've always liked certain public holidays, the Fourth of July and Halloween, especially. What I like about them is that people mill around aimlessly in public places. They are usually in a good mood, and while children might be excited, the adults are usually just walking or standing or sitting around enjoying having no particular duties except to have a feeling of mild enjoyment. What people enjoy, or at least what I enjoy, is the sharing of this vague, dispersed happiness in a public space--so different from a concert or political rally or other public gatherings, which are focused and have a distinct mood and share a specific interest, a particular band, person, or cause.

But Halloween and the Fourth are swarming, drifting holidays. I think the mood I take from them has influenced the way I take pictures and what I'm looking for when I put together my composites. Community is perhaps the jargon version of the word I'm looking for, but it misses a nuance. The sense of people sharing their private feelings of pleasure or boredom in public--while still maintaining complete privacy and even serenity--despite the chaos and the crowds. I suppose what I am describing is a version of what Walker Evans was looking for in his subway pictures (the book is Many Are Called), pictures of people as they might be at home, unguarded and unobserved.

(Picture info: I took about 70 pictures over about 15 minutes to make this composite of about 100 layers.)