Archive for June, 2010

Jim Dow in Argentina

June 30, 2010

England & Argentina - Communications Office Railroad Station © Jim Dow

England & Argentina - El Pingo © Jim Dow

England & Argentina - Grand Splendid Buenos Aires © Jim Dow

Jim Dow, American photographer of baseball stadiums and North Dakota has made a number of trips to Argentina over the last 15 years. I was in the workshop that I take with Ignacio Iasparra when he pulled out a contact print of one of Dow’s photos,  [it was a gift for assisting]. The photo showed a beautiful municipal library from the 1920s in Nacho’s home town of 25 de Mayo.

I was curious to see additional work by Dow from Argentina. He doesn’t have a website but  Rose Gallery, Clark Gallery,  and Janet Borden, who represent Dow, all have some [small] images. The pictures above are from Janet Borden’s site. Beyond this, there doesn’t seem to be much on the web of Dow’s work, which is a shame. A .jpeg could never replace an 8×10 contact print but I’m a realist. Living 8000 miles away from New York, most photography I experience comes via the web. I emailed Dow,  asking if there’s some online trove I haven’t found, but he hasn’t responded yet. Hopefully he’s got some summer interns busy with the drum scanner and plans to just put everything on Flickr. How cool would that be?

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Norberto Salerno

June 21, 2010

Esquina by Norberto Salerno, photograph taken with Walzflex TLR and slide film that expired in 2000

Recently I had the pleasure of hanging out with Argentine photographer Norberto Salerno and wandering around Ciudadela together taking pictures. Salerno teaches at Centro Cultural Rojas and Universidad de Morón. He doesn’t have a website but ArteMundo has his series Urbanos from the 1990s. He also has a flickr account which contains more recent digital photos and also the beautiful corner featured above.

From the series Urbanos by Norberto Salerno

Salerno is also an avid collector of vintage cameras, especially ones made in Argentina, which he continues to use. Using old, cheap cameras is not merely an aesthetic choice. The suburbs of Buenos Aires can be dangerous. Better to lose a plastic camera  latest dSLR.

Alexander Apostol – Avenida Caracas

June 15, 2010

Alexander Apostol is another Venezuelan photographer who has various projects inspired by architecture in both his native country as well as Colombia.

From the series Avenida Caracas by Alexander Apostol

From the series Avenida Caracas by Alexander Apostol

The series Avenida Caracas, Bogotá shows buildings along one of Bogotás main thoroughfares. The avenue was widened in the 1950s in preparation for a masterplan, prepared by Le Corbusier, that was never implemented. Bogotá´s rapid transit system, the TransMilenio, runs along this avenue. I´m a bit of a rapid transit geek so I´ve been spending a lot of time riding up and down is avenue, looking at and admiring these buildings.

Apostol has some other very interesting projects.  Residente Pulido and Residente Pulido: Rancho are photographs where all windows and writing have been digitally removed. The former series depicts 1950s modernist buildings in Caracas while the later depicts shantytown style informal constructions with hollow brick and cinderblock. Pulido means polished in Spanish. Rancho in Venezuelan Spanish refers to the informal style of construction found in slums. In Argentina they would be called villas while in Brazil they are known as favelas.

Residente Pulido by Alexander Apostol

Residente Pulido: Rancho by Alexander Apostol

Forget to Show

June 14, 2010

From series "Afterlife" by Michael Massaia

‘I’m so involved in the technical aspects of what I’m doing, and always attempting to think of the next idea, that I tend to forget to show people the work. I’m trying to get better at that’.

Michael Massaia on Feature Shoot.

Luis Molina-Pantin: Narco-Architecture in Colombia

June 9, 2010

I’m flying tonight to Bogotá for a ten day trip, por que sí.

Here are some photos by Venezuelan artist Luis Molina-Pantin of drug-money fueled architecture in Cali and Bogota. The full name of the series is, An informal Study of the hybrid arquitecture, Vol.1 -The narco-arquitecture and its contributions to the community. Cali – Bogota, Colombia.

© Luis Molina-Pantin

House, Cali © Luis Molina-Pantin

I don’t mean to conflate Colombia with narco-architecture. On the contrary, during the few days I spent in Bogota back in 1997, I was mostly struck by all the Neo-Tudor buildings as well as the fact that the vast majority of new apartment buildings are clad in red brick. They stand out brilliantly against the deep green of the mountains abutting the city.

This isn’t specifically a photographic trip. I’m only bringing my Fuji GSW670 II, otherwise known as the “Texas Leica,” which has to be the best nickname ever for a camera.

Eduardo Carrera – Verano Porteño

June 8, 2010

Verano Porteño by Eduardo Carrera

The introduction to Verano Porteño by Eduardo Carrera states:

One day summer started, and nobody in Argentina noticed. It was December 21, 2001, the Friday they counted the bodies.

It was on this day, after two days of rioting, that then president Fernando de la Rua resigned, departing the Casa Rosada by helicopter. Carrera’s series depicts summertime leisure in Buenos Aires during the summer of economic crisis in 2001/2002.

Verano Porteño by Eduardo Carrera

Carrera works as a photojournalist and was present during the riots in Plaza de Mayo on the 20th of December 2001. His website features a slideshow of the riot pictures which makes a fascinating counterpoint to the series above.

There is nothing topical about this post. These works were exhibited back in 2003. I was at a bookstore recently, flipping through a book of Argentine photography and was stopped cold by these images so I figured I’d post them here.

Gaby Messina – Lima, KM 100

June 2, 2010

I missed the recent show Lima, KM 100 by Gaby Messina of her over-the-top portraits from a small town called Lima located 100km from Buenos Aires.

Bride by Gaby Messina from the series Lima, KM 100

Hairdressers by Gaby Messina, from the series Lima, KM 100

Gaucho by Gaby Messina, from the series Lima, KM 100

My favorites from the series are the simplest, most direct photos that just show the town’s inhabitants in their homes, places of work, or on the street. Most of the photos in the series ramp up the absurdity considerably. In the text Messina describes her working process:

I visited Lima every week for two years. At the beginning, I was received with skepticism and at the time there was nothing I could do to change that…. However, they started to know me little by little and vice versa. Some of my pictures started going around the town and the good sense of humor of the people made them want to participate on my project, every time more and more…

There’s a book available on the project. Messina also has on her website a couple of other projects, Grandes Mujeres, showing elderly women looking fabulous and Alma Gemelas, featuring portraits of twins.