Students work this semester in Photography 1

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I had the distinct pleasure of teaching a group of awesome students this semester: sensitive, hard working and very much personally invested in photography. They made some great work and also allowed me to post some of their images.

If these images look familiar to you, you are not mistaken: this was their emulation assignment, in which they had to research an iconic photographer, analyze his or her style and produce images inspired by it. So that’s why you may recognize something you’ve seen. Continue reading

Photo transfer bits and pieces

phototransferDo you have a favored way to learn making new things? Like trial and error? If you overcome the fear of wasting a lot of materials as you learn, that’s one of the best ways. If.  Yet, if you decide to use cheap materials, just to obviate that fear, you may not get good results  and so be discouraged and abandon the whole project. But still. As I always like to say, I learned photography because of digital formats so I didn’t have to worry about wasted pixels.

Here is something new that I taught myself over a period of three years maybe. Continue reading

CADD FUNd: an invitation

safe_image.phpHere is something exciting to which I would like to invite you!

Contemporary Art Dealers of Dallas, the umbrella organization of Dallas art galleries, is organizing, for the first time, CADD FUNd: a fun, fast-paced evening of sharing innovative ideas about potential artistic projects. CADD FUNd will make possible a high-impact idea that needs the support of the Dallas-Fort Worth community. I am very excited to announce that I have been selected as one of 6 finalists for this event!

CADD FUNd was inspired by similar events throughout the U.S. such as Feast in Brooklyn, Incubate in Chicago and Spread in Santa Fe. Numerous organizations have taken the basic premise of a Sunday soup supper – collect creative proposals, invite the public to pay, eat, listen, and then vote for a winner – and adapted it to their own local purposes. The winner will receive the funds raised by the attendance tickets to finance his or her project.

I would love to have the honor of your presence at the evening as my fellow artists and I share our work and projects. Regardless of whether I win or not, it is a really great chance for me to speak about a new exciting work in progress to an audience that deeply cares about art. Hope to see you there!

To purchase tickets or for more information, follow this link: http://www.caddallas.net/wp/cadd-fund-2/

 

 

 

Good news recently

Texas Artist Coalition juried exhibition, August 2014

Texas Artist Coalition juried exhibition, August 2014

I haven’t written for a few months – things have been very busy around here: a few exhibitions, a long list of readings postponed for the summer, some exciting research in a couple of Italian photography archives.

Here are a few of the things that I have been up to lately.

It was an honor to form part of the Fort Worth Art Collective, a newly established group of artists based in Fort Worth working in different media but unified by an ambitious vision of contemporary art. We already had two exhibitions and were called, as per the Star-Telegram, the pop-up du jour.

Texas Artist Coalition holds a juried show once a year and I was thrilled to be invited, since my first exhibition ever was exactly there 5 years ago. Moreover, what a beautiful surprise the day of the opening reception: juror Judy Tedford Deaton, Chief Curator of the Grace Museum, gave me the Fort Worth Art Dealers Association Award. The participating artwork is right behind me above. Continue reading

Archive of Abandoned Dreams: new files

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If you are waiting to hear how the review went, it hasn’t come yet. It kept getting postponed, which is great for my worrywart soul but also prolongs the anxiety. Anyway, the project that has taken the most of my time is The Archive. As the best form of presentation, I decided to make an actual antique binder, covered with dark green cloth with metal corners and the photographs would be filed inside, stitched with thread.

If you have been following my blog you know that the Archive of Abandoned Dreams is based on the poetry of Dimcho Debelyanov, a Bulgarian symbolist who, after a brief life as a literature student and then clerk (in order to support his family after the death of his father), volunteered for World War I and was killed in a battle with an Irish division. The irony of his life, in which his forced choices were made against his worldview and beliefs points so well to the aesthetics of symbolists, who relished in the impossibility of communication and forged a code of metaphors that distanced them instead of bringing them closer to readers. Debelyanov himself lamented the impossibility of his dreams but then abandoned them willfully with a very symbolic gesture. This way of relating has so much to do with contemporary culture: a world of facebook mirages in which participants create willful representations of their lives that seem more compelling when ambiguous.  Continue reading

Portfolio reviews from the other side of the table. FotoFest 2014

If you are a photographer, you already know the importance of portfolio reviews for putting your work out there in front of curators, gallerists, publishers and other movers and shakers of the art world. You may have attended a few of them or at least may have read (scary) stories about them. Or you may have a great story of success to share yourself.

Well, mine is a bit different as I had the chance to sit along with a reviewer at the largest of them, FotoFest, and closely observe a full day of portfolio reviews with a wide range of photographers. And be the recipient of precious insider insights she shared with me. I can’t tell you her name as I don’t have her permission, but as this was a really invaluable opportunity to get to know a less known side of the art world, I thought it might be useful to write about the experience. What I saw was instructive, hopeful and overwhelming all at the same time.  Continue reading

Looking at pictures

Image by Penelope Umbrico, featured in The New Yorker‘s article on new technologies applied to photographic art. She uses images found online to create complex collages; the most frequent ones turn out to be sunsets.

Perhaps you are familiar with Nicholas Carr, the author of “Is Google Making us Stupid  and especially his recent book The Shallows, which contends that the internet, as a medium of communication and distribution of knowledge, has changed our mode of thinking.  He contends that its format, with its clickable links, fast-paced stimuli and information bits constantly competing for our attention is leading us to forget how to focus – the basis of deep thinking – and has conditioned us for fast skimming and scanning mode of thought that favors multitasking but also short attention spans. The internet grounds us in an environment that encourages superficial reading, shallow and scattered thinking and the accumulation of piece-meal knowledge. And while it is possible to think deep while surfing the internet just as we can think superficially while we are reading a book, technology doesn’t encourage or reward that.

Nicholas Carr’s ideas, although based on learning and knowledge in the form of text, got me thinking about the influence of the internet on our perception of images. Or rather, how our approach to image-based information of the world has changed because of it.  Does it contribute to shallow image-thinking and consumption? Are we superficial with images and the factual and aesthetic information they carry as we are with words? Continue reading