I also have a tumblr, Lockecito, where I’m posting other peoples’ photos.
These days I’m mostly using tumblr, so please update your RSS feeds.
I’ll keep this blog around as an archive since I think there’s some cool stuff on here.
Vice Magazine recently featured on their website several photographs from a collaborative body of worked called Las Vírgenes de la Cumbia by photographer Adrián Portugal and the painter Ashuco. It features photographs of young female dancers who are a common feature of cumbia concerts in Peru that have then been painted over with florescent paint. This work was featured in the exhibit Selva Virgen Salvaje y Sensual that was shown last year in Lima. I’m glad to see some of these works online as I wasn’t able to see the show.
I’m not usually a fan of painted-on photographs but I think the technique here works with the subject matter of the pictures. Ashuco is a local painter from Iquitos who generally works with florescent paint which is commonly used in the decoration of bars and discos in Iquitos. Interestlingly, last year I came across another project involving a photographer and a local painter from the jungle region of Peru that also involves painted-on photographs, Cura Loca by Stephane Moiroux and Paolo Del Aguila Sajami.
Last year while traveling in Colombia, I was on a bus going from Medellin to Bogota a journey which like many in Colombia, seems short distance map-wise but turns out to be an all-day journey on twisting roads over a dense mountain landscape. As we ascended out of the Magdalena river valley the twin volcanos of Nevado Ruiz and Nevado Tolima were visible to the west. It seemed amazing that my eyes could be beholding 17,000 vertical feet in one scene, but there it was.
Camilo Echavarria’s series Paisajes Ilustrados (illustrated landscapes) documents the bewildering variety , complexity and sheer beauty of Colombia’s landscape. It also interrogates the idea landscape being a human construction both in terms of our modifications of the landscape but in also how we choose to represent it (I’m paraphrasing from the artist’s statement). I stared at the first image a good long time entranced, not realizing the impossibility of the view. Echavarria subtly composites some, but not all, of the photographs to create views of (literally) impossible beauty, leading the viewer to question the idea of landscape itself.
Via the Cord Prize I had the chance to re-see Esteban Pastorino‘s series on the architecture of Francisco Salamone. The photos depict fantastical art-deco structures that were built in small towns of the southern part of Buenos Aires province in Argentina between 1936 and 1940. They were part of a program by the then-governor to construct city halls, cemeteries and slaughterhouses (only in Argentina!). A change of government ended the program and Salamone constructed very little for the remainder of his life.
Pastorino’s photos depict the strange buildings at night, weirdly lit and in isolation. They seem to belong not to just another time but to another planet. The jpegs on the Cord site are nice but the prints are an event to see in person. They are large gum-bichromate prints on heavily textured paper and have a dramatic presence. Interestingly, the images of the series on Pastorino’s website show the texture and it’s interesting to compare the jpegs with those from the Cord site. While showing the texture, these jpegs don’t really manage to capture the presence the prints have in person.
Pastorino is a total bad-ass with a bunch of interesting projects. He often constructs his own cameras and puts them to use in making photos that have a conceptual resonance with his invented cameras. In other words, it’s not just masturbatory gear-geekiness. As if to drive home the point, the top page on his website displays a certificate for a Guiness Book of World Records for the longest panoramic photo. How many photographers have a Guiness World Record?
Peruvian photographer Eduardo Hirose documents his country’s construction boom with clean, precise, architectural photographs of messy, never-complete buildings that characterize much of Peru’s contemporary vernacular architecture. The series is appropriately titled Expansión.
I was lucky enough to see these in person at the Galería Lucía de la Puente. What you can’t see from these jpegs is that these images are incredibly detailed. Lima is a desert city smothered in fog for 9 months out of the year and mostly lacking in vegetation. The final images in the series show the last peripheral edges of Lima, improbably green after rare spring rains.
Via the Photographic Museum of Humanity, an online site that features documentary work from around the world, I discovered the photo essay, Happy Days in the new quarters of the periphery of Lima by Peruvian photographer Max Cabello.
The series depicts birthday parties and celebrations in the poor slums surrounding the city. The photographs depict a situation that is both tender and pathetic. Peru’s recent economic growth has allowed its citizens to enjoy some of the fruits of consumerism but it comes in the form of glitter and pink styrofoam instead of roads, schools, parks and good jobs. I like how the series humanizes the slums, rather than presenting it as a cool spectacle a la Thomas Struth.
Swiss photographer Yann Gross recently produced a series called Amazon Meanders which features photographs he took while traveling on a medical river boat. The boat made its way up the river Napo, a tributary of the Amazon which goes through the Peruvian Amazon, upstream to Ecuador. It’s an isolated region and the boat provides medical services as well as government contacts.
I like Gross’s photos because they are well-observed, quirky and idiosyncratic, showing life as it is in the Amazon without resorting to the usual cliches used when depicting the region. See more photos from the series on Gross’s website and also a slightly different edit on Institute Artist.
I’ve started posting the occasional photo to thomaslockehobbs.tumblr.com
I still plan on posting here too, although I realize I’ve been delinquent with that during the last year.