maandag 30 november 2009

the Mysterious Ways of Beauty in Photography Hans Aarsman

Posted by Monique van Dusseldorp on November 30, 2009 at 9:08 am

TEDxAmsterdam: Hans Aarsman from TEDxAmsterdam on Vimeo.

TEDxAmsterdam: Hans Aarsman from TEDxAmsterdam on Vimeo.

Hans Aarsman’s talk at TEDxAmsterdam was titled “From pretty to ugly and back again; mysterious ways of beauty in photography” and the audience judged it one of the highlights of the day. Surprising, insightful and at times hilarious, Aarsman shows different concepts of beauty in photography, and suggests that the only real photographic beauty is to be found in pictures that were made without such a goal in mind.

Hans Aarsman is a former photographer, who worked as a photo journalist at a Dutch newspaper and published a series of books. In 1989 he published the book “Hollandse Taferelen” (Dutch scenes). He published three more photo books before he left photography. He now writes about photography, a.o. for the Dutch daily newspaper the Volkskrant.

Reports on his talk

Selected quote, from Wired UK, Our man in Amsterdam

“Hans Aarsman, a photographer, resumed by talking about his work, exploring different concepts of beauty in photography. He arrived at the paradoxical conclusion that “if you want to make an interesting picture, you ought not to want to make it” and contrasted the notion of aesthetic photographic beauty with an investigative type, where beauty lies in discovering something through or in the picture. He summarised the benefits of this approach: “I got paid more money and I moved into a bigger apartment”.

And as a bonus, Aarsman’s most popular picture, which derives its popularity from its ressemblance “to any painting by Casper David Friedrich”. (Free high resolution downloads of 99 Aarsman pictures including this one are available via the Dutch Fotomuseum)

Hans Aarsman, Waterhuizen (from Hollandse Taferelen), 1989

Hans Aarsman, Waterhuizen (from Hollandse Taferelen), 1989

zaterdag 28 november 2009

The greatest photographic exhibition of all times The Family of Man Edward Steichen Photography

"The greatest photographic exhibition of all times"
created by Edward J Steichen in 1955 for the Museum of Modern Art in New York brought to the Château de Clervaux.

In 1951, in the midst of the Cold War, the American photographer of Luxembourg descent, Edward J Steichen, began preparations for his great plan of an exhibition to make man conscious of himself through the universal language of photography. The idea - inviting professional and amateur photographers, famous authors, and those as yet unknown to the general public, to send in their works met with great enthousiasm. Steichen received more than 2 million pictures from all over the world. At first he retained 10000 photographs, then whittled these down to 503 pictures by 273 photographers ( Dutch photographers Eva Besnyö, Henk Jonker, Ed van der Elsken, Cas Oorthuys, Nico Jesse & Emmy Andriesse) from 68 countries. Together they compose the "Family of Man" in an impressive setting of 37 themes, based on love and faith in man, depicting birth, work, family, education, children, war and peace, ... Read for more ... & zie voor een recensie ...

donderdag 26 november 2009

Surprising Combinations Delerium Constructions Tableaux Vivants Sarah Small Photography

Sarah Small's unique approach to portraiture explores the chaos and energy that occur when widely disparate subjects and emotions are forced together within her frame. See how she captures these evocative and sometimes shocking images, and watch her discuss her most recent experiments, The Delirium Constructions and Tableau Vivant.

woensdag 25 november 2009

ERIC MILES: Photography Book Collecting


Cindy Sherman, 1987 Whitney Museum catalogue

Robert Frank: The Americans (1st American edition)

ERIC MILES is Director of photo-eye Auctions. He is a specialist in rare photo books and contemporary photography and a contributor to Foam magazine, American Photo, and photo-eye Booklist. He holds a Master's in art history from Hunter College and completed additional graduate work at City University of New York Graduate Center. In 1990-1991, he was a participant in the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program. He has taught art history and criticism at Hunter College, Fashion Institute of Technology, and Pratt Institute as well as been a reviewer and presenter at the Santa Fe Workshops, Review Santa Fe and PhotoLA.

I recently asked Eric Miles a few questions about the art of rare photography book collecting:

Can you give a brief history of your work with photo-eye Auctions, beginning in Santa Fe and expanding to NYC?

EM: I started working with photo-eye in January of 2004, just a few months after the auctions launched. Initially, I was hired to do cataloging. As with many positions at photo-eye, job descriptions have a way of rapidly expanding to include many other tasks. Thankfully, in my case, most of these had to do with administering the auctions: cataloging, scanning, and working with consignors. Within about six months, they had become more or less my exclusive domain. For this reason, the move to NY in the fall of 2007 was pretty much seamless. Being in NY, I obviously get out more and am able to secure more and better consignments.

What is the criteria for the books that make it into your Auction? Are they all 1st editions and must be signed by the author (photographer)?

EM: I try to be fairly selective about what makes it into the auctions. I am always looking for fresh material. Books do not have to be signed, but for the most part, they do need to be out of print; otherwise, I am competing with booksellers offering new books, which is not what the auctions are set up to do. Occasionally I will take books that are still in print IF they are signed. The main criteria are rarity and condition. The two are related in that some books are really pretty common in just o.k. condition, but in perfect condition they are very rare. The older the book, the greater the extent to which this holds true. Likewise with signatures: some artists just don't sign very many books–Cindy Sherman is a good example; many Europeans and Japanese who don't make it to the States that often as well. Finally, I am always looking for material that just isn't easily found on the used book sites. Also, books with interesting inscriptions that tell some sort of story; for instance, I have a copy of a wonderful book by Hiroshi Hamaya called Ura Nihon (Japans Back Coast) that is inscribed by him to "Mama San Capa". Hamaya was the first Asian member of Magnum; this inscription to Robert & Cornell Capa's mother is a wonderful memorial to Capa and a fascinating bit of history documenting a relationship between the two photographers. Also, supplemental material can also be of interest to collectors. For example, I have a copy of Diane Arbus' first monograph, which contains the image 'Two Girls in Identical Raincoats.' Along with the book, I have the card that Aperture sent out to its subscribers offering the book for sale.

Diane Arbus: An Aperture Monograph
Rare 1st Edition with 'Two Girls In Identical Raincoats'

Josef Sudek: Fotografie (Signed in 1959)

Scarce Hiroshi Hamaya Monograph

Are Vintage photography books more collectible than Contemporary photography books?

EM: Sometimes. Again, much has to do with condition and completeness; for example, some books from the period between the two world wars are quite common. However, dust jackets from the period are often missing. With the incredibly high volume of new titles published each year, buying new books for their collectibility can be a crap shoot. That said, if a) the book is by an artist with a well-established reputation, and, b) the edition is small (500-1000 or less), it is pretty hard to go wrong. J.H. Engstrom's books are a good example.

Are there any rare copies you regret having to sell?

EM: This one: Milano by Giulia Pirelli and Carlo Orsi. It comes up so rarely for sale.

What has been the finest rare book collection you've ever seen?

EM: Without a doubt the collection belonging to Manfred Heiting. He was an a marketing executive and designer for Polaroid in the 60s and 70s. He sold off a collection of prints about 7-8 years ago in order to focus on books. He is a fanatical completist–he must have every dust jacket, every belly band, every publisher's insert, etc....He is building a database that includes all such information, much of which got lost back in the day when libraries would simply discard dust jackets and anything else they thought would deteriorate or just get in the way.

Most interesting book in the past that you've sold?

EM: Again, there are so many: Moriyama: Bye Bye Photography; a first edition of Willy Ronis: Belleville Ménilmontan with a rare variant cover; a couple of Mao propaganda books that rarely show up in the west; a rare Japanese quarterly called Ken that was put out by Shomei Tomatsu; finally, an incredibly haunting Czech book called Toto mesto je vespolecne peci obyvatel. (This Town is Under the Control of its Citizens) with surreal photographs by Miroslav Peterka that look something like an Atget on bad acid!

Would you reveal the most expensive book PEA has sold in the past (and why)?

EM: We've sold many, many books in the $1000-2000 range. We've also sold many in the $3000-4000 range. As for most expensive, aWilly Ronis portfolio of collotypes (not a book, strictly speaking) sold for over $6000 back in '07; a limited edition of Sonia Bulaty's Josef Sudek bio for over $5000; a suite of Sally Mann nudes (prints, though, not a book) for over $9000; a reasonably nice copy of Robert Frank's The Americans in it's first American edition for $4500. It being an auction situation, sometimes enthusiastic bidding can push the price of a lot up way above its market value. Anytime one bids in an auction, due diligence is the name of the game!

What are a few of the finest rare books you were not able to acquire?

EM: Again, too many to mention: the three issues of Provoke magazine come to mind. They were a short-lived but very influential Japanese collective of which Daido Moriyama was the best known member. Another would be the first edition of Moi Ver's Paris

Are you personally a fine art book collector?

EM: Yes, I have a small collection, but I've got some pretty severe space restrictions!

Rare and Collectible Photography Books

In this Dark Wood Elisabeth Tonnard Artist Book Photography

Elisabeth Tonnard

In this Dark Wood

This book is a modern gothic. It pairs images of people walking alone in nighttime city streets with 90 different English translations I collected of the first lines of Dante’s Inferno. The images, showing a crowd of solitary figures, are selected from the same archive as used for Two of Us (the extraordinary Joseph Selle collection at the Visual Studies Workshop which contains over a million negatives from a company of street photographers working in San Francisco from the 40’s to the 70’s).

The book is set up in a repetitious way, to stress a sense of similarity, endlessness and interchangeability. The images are re-expressions of each other, and so are the texts.

“It’s so rare that a book has a conceptual structure like this with the result being so genuinely affecting.” Charles Gute

Rochester, New York 2008. B&W, perfect bound paperback. 196 pages. See for the slideshow & a review by 5B4 ...

See for Caldic Collection - Artists’ Books ...

maandag 23 november 2009

Women in Paris 1954 Nico Jesse Andre Maurois Leica fotografie No 1 - 1955 Photography

by Camera Obscura ...

There are many books about Paris - the city of cities. But each of them presents only a single facet of this delightfully varied apparition. Paris is the confluence of Western Civilisations. Here they are mirroed in all their splendour. This book scores a bull, because Paris is, above all, a feminine city. Artists and authors flock there to wodner. Many, having wondered, inspire.

The text by André Maurois, is tuned to the delicacy of the theme; and the Leica pictures of a Dutch photographer match the text. Together they contrive to convey to our senses a picture of Paris, valid and authentic as few before. Gravure gives the reproductions warmth and attraction. Thus was a masterpiece made in word and image, and the presentation is a lovely and tasteful as the subject it honours.

donderdag 19 november 2009

the Oldest Sex Cinema Red Light District Amsterdam Jan-Dirk van der Burg Photography

Foam_3h: Jan-Dirk van der Burg - Sex Cinema Venus
10 november 2009 t/m 16 december 2009

In Foam_3h Foam_Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam exhibits Sex Cinema Venus by Jan-Dirk van der Burg. Sex Cinema Venus is the oldest sex cinema in the Red Light District of Amsterdam, which will soon disappear as a result of the city council’s regeneration plans. Using a slide show and several single photographs Van der Burg portrays the stories that take place behind the doors of this particular cinema.

One can continuously hear the characteristic sound of the Super 8 projectors on the Oudekerksplein in the Red Light District of Amsterdam. Every quarter of an hour Ton Grootes, the owner of Sex Cinema Venus, single-handedly changes the Super 8 rushes containing porn films from the Seventies. Soon the appearance of the Red Light District will change dramatically. The expectation is that the city council of Amsterdam will issue a compulsory purchase note to the sex cinema and will stimulate high-end commercial developments in its place. For the time being a new programme of porn films is shown each week for the few loyal customers.

Dutch photographer Jan-Dirk van der Burg is fascinated by day-to-day life. His work shows people engaged in exceptional hobbies and activities. For one of his earlier series Office Culture (2004) he photographed offices where people work who stay away from modern innovations as much as possible. In Toys for Boys (2009) he shows male adults playing with miniature vehicles. His work contains nostalgia as well as a subtle irony towards the subjects that he portrays.

Jan-Dirk van der Burg (b. 1978, Voorburg) graduated in 2003 at the Royal Academy of Fine Art in The Hague. Since then he has been working as a photographer and has exhibited at Breda Photo (2003), Epson Fotofestival Naarden (2005) andDescubrimientos Photo Espana (2007, Madrid). He also works free-lance for publications such as Het Parool, Adformatie,and Quote. His work has been published in Volkskrant Magazine,Vrij Nederland, NRC Next and Nieuwe Revu.

woensdag 18 november 2009

Forever Young in the Netherlands Janine Schrijver Documentary Photography

Schrijver, Janine
Janine Schrijver
Forever young : 55+ in Nederland / Janine Schrijver ; inl. Warna Oosterbaan ; [interviews (fragmenten) Danielle Pinedo]. - 1e dr. - Amsterdam : De Verbeelding, 2003. - 52 p. : foto's. ; 22×22 cm Aan de kop van de titelpagina: Document Nederland. - Uitg. naar aanleiding van de gelijknamige tentoonstelling in het FOAM (Fotomuseum Amsterdam). ISBN 90-74159-59-1. Lees verder ...

vrijdag 13 november 2009

Fotobücher Made in Germany Ica Vilander a Re-Discovery Photography

Ica Vilander - A Re-discovery

At the end of the 1960’s, everyone who was interested in photography knew her - ICA VILANDER. However, today the individual photographer, always happy to try out new things, fell into oblivion. In reference books of German Photography from 1945 onwards you look her up unsuccessfully. Without good reason! It was Ica Vilander who portrayed the famous artists of her time - Hildegard Knef, Helene Weigel, Gregory Corso, Maurice Béjart, Sidney Poitier. However, she attracted a lot of attention internationally with her nude portraits.

ICA VILANDER, born in 1921 in Brux, Czechoslovakia, training as photographer; since 1944 she lived in Berlin, where she studied graphics and experimental photography at the university of fine arts with Heinz Hajek-Halke; since 1959 first, also international, publications. In twen, there are journalistically inspired studies about the cabaret artist Wolfgang Neuss (8/1962) and about Ica Vilander the photo essay "My Grandma Photographs Nude" (4/1967). The occasion of the essay: Vilander, at that time 40 years old, lived closely together with her son's hippie family and, therefore, with her lifestyle she was the model of a fun-loving and independent woman for a whole generation of women.

She inspired Werner Klett to the movie "Die Augen der Ica Vilander" (The Eyes of Ica Vilander) and participated in the film "Übungen mit Darsteller" (Training With Actors) by Werner Schröter. Some of her photographic works are to be seen as overlays in the movie "Das Brot der frühen Jahre" (The Bread of the Early Years) adapted from Heinrich Böll. For the publishing houses Rowohlt and Heyne, she designed books. From 1980, she has almost completely retired from public life.

Her originals are rare, as a lot was destroyed and does now only exist as a copy in twen or in her books "akt apart", "La femme vue par une femme" (1967), "akt abstrakt" (1968), "akt adonis" (1969), and "vive le sexe" (1970).