20071227

The Two Sides of Eolo Perfido

At first glance Eolo Perfido is a good example of the contemporary photographer - a little edgy and experimental, with clear influences from current fashion and art cultures, but focussed principally on traditional studio photography of slender ethnic women in slightly bizarre textile creations. His exceptionally charming website takes you through five galleries of very standard, formulaic work - very well executed, to be sure, but subject to the old caveats on the worthiness of fashion photography as an artform. The sixth, without warning, changes setting completely. The last gallery, the largest of all, is a portfolio of photographs of the desert region of Morrocco.

Vibrant with colour and sensitively-handled light, they also represent a feat of photojournalism and the flexibility to adapt to the highly distinct demands of studio and field photography. The Extras section also incorporates a fascinating and equally well-shot selection of behind-the-scenes photographs for several shoots and images of layouts in which has work has been incorporated. This French-born photographer has a lot of warmth, passion, and talent.

20071222

A. Murat Eren


Hi. I am just another photographer from New Orleans and this is my small photography web site to share some of my works, but not the best ones (kiddin').

A. Murat Eren may not be pushing the hard sell on his images - as he states on his website he is, by profession, an open source software developer, which is a reasonable explanation for the nice light, simple album layout - but with a more selective approach to showcasing his work, he probably could. An engineer's technical curiosity is quite clear in his more misguided experimentation; combining the ridiculous novelty technique of tilt-shift photography - the product of which is a focus distortion which makes the environment appear like a model or toy set - with the agonisingly tired setting of...a cemetery. Perhaps there was potentially some irony in the concept; A. Murat Eren neither recognised nor employed any. The result is a boring mess of blurs.

Tilt-shift photography, it should be noted, really has very limited creative potential. The images are striking, but their novelty - 'that looks like a model of a city....but, no, what is this caption here...oh god, maybe we're all the pawns of some higher race...' - wears off very rapidly, and the technique is now easily and very frequently emulated using Photoshop.

Another failed experiment, producing two vague images, employs pinhole photography. Clearly the restriction of the medium should drive its creative application, but Eren again fails to produce anything but the most frustratingly straightforward compositions.

Still, experimentation is admirable and, of course, the right of the amateur photographer. The quality, warmth and gentle humour of his standard work is beyond reproach, with only the occasional touch of over-sentimentality :


This, for example, is just a well-lit Lolcat template.

His blogs, his personal There is no silver bullet. and his photography blog Meren's Wall, make the prima fascie case for his endearingly askew grammar; since they are both exclusively in Turkish, I'm bound to judge the former from the three Cradle of Filth songs and embarrassingly geeky cartoon tacked to the sidebar, and the latter from the generally high standard of new photographs, with the exception of a few more lolcats :


Overlooking the rather sinister accidental composition, I can't tell you why Eren selects his photographs the way he does. Also, my Turkish is rusty but from the amount of jargon I would guess that he's rather in love with the technical aspects of photography over its aesthetics; but there are a number of outstanding images in his collection.

Also, the man likes cats. That must count for something.

Joe Baran


It would be easy, and maybe fair, to assign Baran's work to the Gothic Suburbia category in the Lynch-Crewdson vein of seedy, plastic surrealism. Many of the images resemble nothing so much as a trade-off between Crewdson's subject matter and Jeff Wall's compositional style - empty environments with a charcoal gloss. From this perspective they lack the studio melodrama of Crewdson and the unjudgmental naturalism of Wall and occupy an insignificant niche.

This would be, however, a unreasonably pretentious aproach to a rather glorious collection of cold, beautifully shot images with a sensitive veneer of cross-processing that as a collection compose a quiet, almost dystopian landscape. The light balance has a strange, fractal flatness - reminiscent of Wall's style in the holistic multi-point focus that disorientates by refusing to imply the camera's sense of perspective, creating a perceptual labyrinth of lines - that evokes the ethereal aura of an altogether softer brand of surreal and grittier tone to the environment. His online portfolio includes some more misguided composition work, but as a whole represents a unifying sense of style and purpose. Derivative or sublime, depending on whether his technique is enough to separate him from his more prestigious rivals.

20071126

Eugenio Recuenco


Recuenco has a very elegant, clean, contemporary style; the models and environments are soft, dark and sumptuous, the early afternoon espresso in the Cafe San Eustachio to the omnipresent profit-driven Starbucks that (for the sake of complicated metaphor) is fashion photography. The portraiture is driven by an easy, casual intimacy with the models, and the composition is very thoughtful if not creative. His work lacks, thankfully, the sharp vinyl superficiality of the industry staples and betrays no misogyny or patronising towards the graceful forms that flow naturally through the abundant shoots available online; just a quiet, studied appreciation of beauty in a range of contexts.

For a well-deserved break from edgy conceptual work, browse any one of the many extensive and tasteful galleries of Recuenco's work at his professional website, Gianfranco Meza & Co representation or Eric Dover Studio. Or go to the Cafe San Eustachio and order an espresso.

There is also a set of photographs taken behind the scenes with Recuenco at a Lavazza shoot on their official website.


The series is definitely a point of interest in itself, although ultimately demands little more than the observation that Recuenco could use a haircut.

also on aS.blogspot :

20071120

Book Sculpture by Brian Dettmer


Brian Dettmer performs what has been aptly described as 'book autopsies', sectioning and excising old tomes to reveal the illustrations and/or structure of the volume. There is definitely something reminiscent of old anatomical drawings and modern 'cutaway' models in the work; something vaguely obscene and sinister, and yet fascinating. The layers and folds resemble nothing so much as ribs and layers of flesh. From the images available from the many galleries at which Dettmer appears to be represented, you might well conclude that his work is done little justice by photography; the intricate detail demands to be examined and explored, the layers beg to be pried open, as if there were some vital organ at the centre of each book to be exposed. One of the most creative and beautiful examples of derivative art, book sculpture is by no means uncommon in contemporary circles, but Dettmer's work is by far the most compelling and sensitive, if not the most elaborate.

There are examples of his work available at the Aron Packer Gallery website, the Kinz, Tillou + Feigen Gallery and by the far the most vibrant collection at the Haydee Rovirosa, but Dettmer does not yet have his own dedicated portfolio online.

also on aS.blogspot

20071119

Andrew Ward



Well-composed, full of dusky charcoal shadows and ripe with a dusty, languid nostalgia, there is something deeply appealing and somehow morbid about Andrew Ward's 35mm photography. His background in technical film-making is immediately evident in the images; they could easily be stills from a slow, ambient, pointless short reflecting on life in what the images evoke as the Third World. Some of the photographs reflect a keen eye for opportunities in his environment - a shot of light falling through a café window, etching the letters of the sign onto the wooden table - but as a collection they fall far short of photojournalism. They are too whimsical to be significant and too contextualised to be purely aesthetic photography. They inhabit the marginalised perimeter in the discipline that their subjects occupy in society; an Asphodel Plain of warm, attractive, detailed and ultimately unimportant moments.

Nonetheless, Ward's portfolio is simple, unpretentious, selective and very attractive. Rather than focus on a CV of exhibitions he brings to prominence in his biography the fact that his work graces the private collections of the likes of Wim Wenders, Steven Soderberg, Owen Wilson and Mackenzie Crook. A risky boast for a man who clearly has professional associations with such public figures, and one that says very little about the aesthetic quality of his work since we have minimal information on Owen Wilson's appreciation of composition, but an interesting way to push a reputation which for all intents and purposes appears well-deserved.

also on aS.blogspot

20071116

Gilbert Garcin


By turns whimsical, mystical, classical, political and profoundly surreal, Marseille-based photographer Gilbert Garcin - approaching the ripe age of 80 - is director, producer and subject in his own epic odyssey into a grainy monochrome dreamscape of stark, inescapable beauty. It is very difficult to accept that his work spans only a very recent period in the history of art - 1993 to present, in fact, culminating in the publications of his complete works in October 2007; there is a definite impression of a dated and yet enduring style, a quality of the timelessness of the 'classic' in the individual sense of the aesthetic. He blends studio sets in both 2-D and 3-D, compositing, perceptual illusions and some techniques which are purely inexplicable. The result is something both endearing and intensely sublime in its equal irreverence to reality and the ultimate inability, or unsuitability, of art to purely express reality.

The man himself is an accomplished actor and comedian, approaching his sets with the deadpan whimsy of the traditional Surrealist; a common theme in his compositions is the resolution of the eternal struggle of figures in Greek mythology, for example. Il faut imaginer Sisyphe heureux, an image of Garcin as Sisyphus with a newly constructed wagon track on which to roll his boulder up the mountains of Tartarus; a later piece, L’atelier de Sisyphe, shows Sisyphus pushing his boulder onto a large see-saw. The kind of soul-destroying labour assigned to the sinners of Graeco-Roman mythology frequently reappears - Tantalus and Atlas are two of the clearer references - and the spirit of this theme is absorbed into some of his more satirical and humorous work.


Le Chien d'Elliott (above), uses the idea of repetitive, pointless motion in a lighter sense; other images are more cutting, and add it to a sense of the monumental weight and ultimate futility of the passing of time in the universe. Yet even the most grave of metaphors in Garcin's collection is beautifully realised; his subjects are lost in disorientating labyrinths of repetitive lines, whorls and shapes but they all, as one image takes as a theme, Faire de Son Mieux (Do One's Best). Life in the dreamscape is ridiculous, timeless, beautiful and ironic.

The vast majority of his works are exceptionally well-presented, although all at the size depicted above, at his website Gilbert-Garcin.com and several others that are not in his collection are at Kunst-Handel. Amazon.fr stocks his photography books, intermittently, including several collaborative efforts.

He is currently exhibiting alongside Peter Cresswell at the Independent Photographers Gallery in East Sussex until 1st December; other exhibitions, past and forthcoming, are listed in French on his blog.

also on aS.blogspot

20071107

Satoshi Saïkusa


Satoshi Saïkusa is another renowned fashion photographer - not quite renowned enough for Wikipedia, but his rather irritating fuschia-on-black portfolio comprises copious work for a number of major fashion magazines and portrait photography of Sofia Coppola, Vincent Gallo, Takeshi Kaneshiro and Dave Navarro, amongst others. It's pretty clear why his skills as a portrait photographer are in demand; the images are all at once natural, glossy, active, serene...enough significance to hold interest, and enough gloss to keep everyone looking young, beautiful and fashionably edgy.


As with most fashion photographers, it's difficult to tell whether his portfolio - moderately exciting as it is - is the product of much creative input by way of Saïkusa at all. Nonetheless, there are some interesting images in his rather chaotic website, and as a collection it is a good reference and learning resource for artists and photographers with the conventional focus on young, beautiful, scantily-clad women.

20071105

Oswald Yves

The most enlightening piece of information that either Oswald Yves' website or the rest of the internet can tell you is that he is, possibly, Canadian. This may or not account in itself for the wide selection of beautifully shot, over-saturated weirdness populating his website. His attempts to demonstrate 'psychosis' see him tormenting a teddy bear, there is an entire section dedicated to silhouetted pictures and he appears to have an inexplicable fondness for wind turbines.

Nonetheless, his palpable 'newness' to photography is exceptionally endearing in light of his technique, which whilst may not be exceptionally innovative but demonstrates a burgeoning talent with a keen eye for composition and good technical skill. The images are striking, and well-presented in his online portfolio - strangely, whilst his subject matter focuses mainly on somewhat pedestrian and unconvincing 'conceptual' art, his nature photography is probably the most hypnotic and each photograph deserves more space and focus than his layout choices suggest.

Definitely one to watch, anyway.

20071031

Andrew L. Moore [II : Cuba]


also on aS.blogspot


20071030

Papercut by Peter Callesen

Closet Eismeer
Looking Back
Erected Ruin
Peter Callesen, a Danish artist with steady hands and far too much time on them, produces a confusing range of different media. His papercuts, ranging in size from A4 80gsm to the size of a garden shed, are based principally on the theme of paired opposites of significance - cradle to grave, inside to outside - and executed with a deftness that produces the surreal effect of polished, pristine, well-packed snow. Which, incidentally, he also uses a lot of. His website, PeterCallesen.com, exhibits papercuts, installations, performance art and works with ice, snow and water.

The papercuts are, almost without exception, delightfully intricate and witty. His sketches, on the other hand, are rather disturbing - and yet nothing in comparison to his profoundly moronic performance work, which is presented in the form of loosely animated GIFs. 'The Dying Swan is Dying', a title which one vainly hopes was somehow lost in the translation, appears to comprise 25 minutes of Callesen arsing around in a cheap purple knock-off of the Big Bird costume, his own snow-white underwear, purple tights and red Converse All-Stars; he proceeds to draw a poor stick figure on a wall and apply a rusty saw and hammer to various objects occulted by the low image resolution.

Viewer discretion is advised.

also on aS.blogspot