The Japanese photographer Daido Moriyama celebrates his 79th birthday on October 10 but you would never know it looking at his recent photographs currently up at Lurhing Augustine’s Bushwick space.
In art, the tension between artistic expression and commercial work is nothing new. Every artist dreams of being unfettered by commercial constraints; some good ones get to pour their creativity into commercial work; for the lucky few it can even pave a path to art (James Rosenquist is one famous example). The Japanese cnematographer Kensaku Kakimoto has found commercial success early on in his career. At only 34, he has already created a slew of videos for some of the biggest Japanese and international brands like Toyota and Coca-Cola. He has also produced three feature films in Japan.
If there was one leitmotif in the work of the Japanese photographer Masahisa Fukase, it’s solitude, or more precisely, loneliness.
I first met the photographer Deborah Turbeville in 2011 when I profiled her for our second print volume. It turned out that Deborah was an avid Russophile, and our conversation ranged from her work to her love of Russian literature, cinema, music, and ballet. After Deborah passed away, it was the first article from our print editions that we shared online.
I kept in touch with people who managed Deborah’s estate, and early this year I finally went to see her archive, housed in an Upper East Side townhouse and to meet its co-director, Paul Sinclaire, who also was one of Deborah’s closest friends. While I was browsing the photos, like some kid in gothic Disneyland, I spotted a box titled “Comme des Garçons.” I went through it, and the ethereal, otherworldly photos in it were marked “1981.” Could it be that Deborah had shot the first collection Kawakubo presented in Paris? It very well could, though we did not know for sure. But what I did know was that given the May exhibition of Comme des Garçons at the Met these photos should be made into a book. I asked Paul what he thought about making a book, and he loved the idea.
The intrepid Dutch designer Iris van Herpen, well known by now for pushing the boundaries of what’s possible, has released her third book, Iris van Herpen: Backstage. Unlike her two previous books and as evident from the title, this time we get a chance to peek into what’s going on backstage before van Herpen’s shows. The soft cover 144-page tome (EUR 29.50) with photos by Morgan O’Donovan is published by Wilteveen+Bos and is available on the designer’s website.
As you might know if you follow the output of this magazine closely, the photographer Deborah Turbeville holds a special place in our hearts. I interviewed her for the second print volume of this magazine, and we published the profile posthumously on our website, with a slew of original photographs of her apartment. So, I was delighted to see a new exhibit of her photographs in New York, in the gallery of Deborah Bell, no less.
When in 1987 the American artist Andres Serrano exhibited his photograph titled “Piss Christ,” little did he know that it will send seismic waves through the art world and will forever change its relationship with the U.S. politics.
Boris Mikhailov is a somewhat accidental artist. He worked as an engineer in the Soviet Ukraine, dabbling in photography on the side when he was ratted out for taking nude photos of his wife. He was subsequently thrown out of work for spreading pornography – a common practice to remove “undesirable elements,” especially those of Jewish descent. Consigned to the dregs of society, which included the bohemia of the artists unapproved by the state, Mikhailov began to take photos in earnest. Photos that reflected the deep aesthetic and spiritual ugliness of the homeland that betrayed him.
Francesca Woodman was one of those art prodigies who has never quite found her place in this world.
She died young, but she has left a rich body of work that consists of photographs that could easily be mundane in the hands of a lesser artist, but in Woodman’s hands become enigmatic.
If you happen to be in Venice in the next few months, don’t miss the Sarah Moon exhibit at Palazzo Fortuny. Moon is a perennial favorite, and this sensual, melancholic series of photographs taken at the Palazzon is no exception.