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 :


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


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


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


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.


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.