Archive for June, 2007

Covering Photography: Web-based Archive not to be missed!

One of my favorite sites is “COVERING PHOTOGRAPHY” which studies the use of great photographs as book jacket illustrations.

“Covering Photography is a web-based archive and resource for the study of the relationship between the history of photography and book cover design. The images / book covers contained in our database may be accessed via a number of categories including by Photographer, Author, Publisher, Publication Date and Designer.”

One can search via photographer, author, publisher, publication date and designer. For those of you wishing to place your images as fiction illustration, the roster of designers features a sample of their work featuring photography – essentially, a window on their portfolios. And don’t miss looking at the work by publisher – standouts continue to be the designers at Knopf and Vintage (a personal favorite is the design work being done for Vintage Crime). This site is a fantastic tool for targeting your marketing efforts, and adding to your awareness of the history of photography and graphic design.

Today’s email noted Aaron Siskind‘s “Cover of the Month 6.”

Baden writes:
“Title: The Next Room of the Dream

Photographer: Aaron Siskind
Author: Howard Nemerov
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Publication Date: 1962
Designer: Not listed

Image Title: Chicago Facade no. 6, 1960
Photo Genre: Architecture
Book Genre: Poetry

Writing this entry, I’m reminded of the principle of Six Degrees of Separation; in this version, the photographer Aaron Siskind’s connection to writers is traced in turn to other photographers, and on, and on, until I’ve practically forgotten what I started to write about. No matter.

Siskind, a short man with a tall personality, was well-connected in the cultural circles of his time, both within and outside the photographic world. In addition to close friendships with painters and sculptors (Franz Kline in particular), Siskind, formerly an English teacher and originally a poet, knew a number of mid-20th century literati; his photographs appear on the covers of some of their books.

Perhaps due to its abstract quality, Siskind’s imagery from the mid 1940s and later seems particularly suited to poetry. Simultaneously concrete and non-representational, self-contained and open-ended, the work itself shares an emotional and existential kinship with a great deal of modern poetry.

The scrawled quality of the cover text for poet Howard Nemerov’s book, The Next Room of the Dream, provides a fitting counterpoint to the haunting and dissipated elegance of Siskind’s Chicago facade, as well as an extension of the graffito on the left-hand column. One might imagine equally compelling photographs for this cover by the likes of Ralph Eugene Meatyard or Clarence John Laughlin (Note: Meatyard’s poet friend and sometime collaborator, Jonathan Williams, used Siskind’s photograph ‘Feet #102’ for the cover of his collection of essays, ‘The Magpie’s Bagpipe’).

Nemerov had published four books of poetry, three novels and a collection of short stories by the time The Next Room of the Dream went to press. His younger sister, Diane, learned photography from her husband, Allan Arbus, and eventually achieved, albiet tragically, the status of a legend (Allan Arbus later became an actor, playng the role of the psychologist on the television comedy M*A*S*H). The publication date for Nemerov’s book, 1962, is also considered to be the pivotal year in which Diane Arbus switched from 35mm to the 6cm Rolliflex, establishing what was to become her signature visual style.

At least two books by Isabella Gardner (That Was Then and The Looking Glass) also have Siskind covers. Gardner, a poet, sometime actress and great niece of Isabella Stewart Gardner, married portrait and dance photographer Maurice Seymour. Their son, Danny, became a photographer and filmmaker, producing a single book of word and image before his untimely death in 1973. Danny Seymour’s soulful photographic autobiography, A Loud Song, along with Larry Clark’s Tulsa, were the first two books published by Ralph Gibson’s seminal Lustrum Press (they were on press at the same time, funded by Danny). Seymour went on to become Robert Frank‘s soundman, and eventually a heroin addict, in Frank’s notorious documentary on the Rolling Stones, Cocksucker Blues.

Finally, Covering Photography notes another cover, published one year after Nemerov’s book, and by the same publisher. Elder Olsen’s Collected Poems (University of Chicago Press, 1963), features a photo from Joseph D. Jachna’s “Water” series. Jachna, along with Ken Josephson, Ray K. Metzker and others, constituted the first generation of students under Siskind and Harry Callahan at the Illinois Institute of Technology. Of that group, Jachna is generally thought to be the photographer whose work is closest to Siskind’s in spirit.”

Read founder Karl Baden‘s statement of intent here.
Bravo Mr. Baden for all your efforts!


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New Works Photography Awards Submission Deadline EXTENDED: July 16

New Works #11, En Foco’s Photography Awards, is an annual program open to American photographers of African, Asian, Latino/a, Native American and Pacific Islander heritage. The goal is to create or complete an in-depth photographic series which explores themes emanating from personal experiences. Three photographers will be selected from a national call for entries to receive an honorarium of $600, photographic supplies (varies according to funding year), technical assistance, a feature article in Nueva Luz, photographer’s page on, and a culminating group exhibition in the New York area. No fee.”

Juror: Melissa Harris, Editor of Aperture magazine.

Guidelines and application available at or download here.


En Foco is a non-for-profit organization dedicated to cultural diversity in photography. Mission statement:
En Foco is a non-profit organization that nurtures and supports contemporary photographers of African, Asian, Latino, Native American and Pacific Islander heritage. Founded in 1974, it achieves its mission by introducing artists to local communities and a national audience, creating a cultural synergy with the general public, curators and arts professionals.

En Foco, Inc.
1738 Hone Avenue
Bronx, NY 10461

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International Student Photography Exhibition: Results On Line

The Center for Fine Art Photography sponsored its first International Photography Exhibition earlier this year, and the winning submissions are now posted.

Take a look at this link and join me in applauding the great work being done by these talented students. Juror: Hannah Frieser, Director of Lightwork in Syracuse, New York.

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Peter MacGill to Jury SPECTRA: National Photography Triennial

Thanks to Craig Barber, I’ve just learned of this exhibition opportunitity that Peter MacGill of the Pace/MacGill Gallery in New York City is judging: Spectra, sponsored by Silvermine Guild Arts Center in New Canaan, Connecticut. To view more about the event, click here. This is a great way to introduce your work to Peter!

Cycle: Triennial Exhibition
Start Date: 10/14/2007
End Date: 11/17/2007
Juror: Peter MacGill, President, Pace/MacGill Gallery
Media: Photography
Entry Deadline: July 13, 2007
Restrictions: Any photographer in the US
Entry Fee: $25 for the 1st (up to) 3 images; $15 each additional. (Students with valid ID $15 for 1st (up to) 3 images)
Awards: $2500 1st Prize and several others

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Maggie Taylor and Jean-Francois Rauzier featured in June issue of Adobe Magazine

Photographers Maggie Taylor and Jean-Francois Rauzier are featured in an article entitled “Reverie & Technology: The Fine Art of Digital Imaging” by Kimberly Grob.

To download this free issue (12 MB), and to subscribe, click here.

“Adobe has reinvented Proxy magazine to create the all-new Adobe Magazine for Creative Professionals. Subscribe to this free, online quarterly, and discover fresh insight and tutorials from the wide world of visual communications. You’ll see work that’s breaking new ground, get an insider’s perspective on how it was created, and find new ideas and tools to enhance your own projects.”

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This Week in NYC: Magnum Festival continues, Taryn Simon lecture at the Whitney, and Opening at JEN BEKMAN GALLERY

The Magnum Festival continues! Check the festival website for roster of events/exhibitions honoring the 60th anniversary of the founding of Magnum Photos.

At the Whitney Museum on Friday at 7 p.m.: “Curator’s Close-Up: On Taryn Simon: An American Index of the Hidden and Unfamiliar

Senior curatorial assistant Tina Kukielski is joined by Taryn Simon for an insider’s look at Simon’s process and photos. Exposing scenes that are under the radar or behind closed doors, Simon combines text and image to render transparent that which is often opaque.

This presentation is free with Museum admission, which is pay-what-you-wish on Fridays from 6 to 9pm. Please register by visiting Inquiries: Email or call (212) 570-7715.


Friday June 22nd, 6-8 p.m.: the opening reception for the exhibition THE NEW AMERICAN PORTRAIT at Jen Bekman Gallery, 6 Spring Street (between Elizabeth and Bowery). Participating artists include Christine Collins, Jen Davis, Ben Donaldson, Amy Elkins, Peter Haakon-Thompson, Todd Hido, Alec Soth, Brian Ulrich and Shen Wei. Read the press release for this show by clicking here.

This outstanding group show will continue through August 3rd.

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2007 Arles Approaches!

The Rencontres d’Arles opens on July 3 with Festival theme “Surprises For The Senses.” The Rencontres 2007 edition features work from China and India, while continuing to introduce international programmes reflecting contemporary trends in photography.

New Awards line-up:
The Discovery Award goes to a photographer who has recently achieved recognition or who deserves to do so, from a shortlist of 15 artists proposed by a prestigious panel of experts: Bice Curiger, Alain Fleischer, Johan Sjostrom, Thomas Weski and Anne Wilkes Tucker. As for the Book Award, the forms can be downloaded from the website.

In 2007 the Rencontres travel to Asia, while continuing to embrace a diversity of gazes and reflect the most contemporary trends in photography.

Dashanzi Art District
Arles is playing host to Dashanzi, the artists’ quarter of Beijing, and letting festival-goers discover a platform of creative activity and exhibitions that is open to all – an artistic adventure like no other, which explores the urban and social changes China is experiencing in the 21st century.

The India programme offers a complete panorama of contemporary Indian photography, notably featuring a Raghu Rai retrospective and a selection of artists from the new generation. The Alkazi Foundation will unveil its fascinating collection of albums of maharajahs and of painted photos.

The Rencontres also provide the chance to savour the treasures of private collections, with intimate Polaroid shots of the greatest jazz musicians by Pannonica de Koenigswarter, a jazz patron whose archives are being opened up for the first time, and with the tremendous vernacular collection of art director Eric Kessels.

Tributes & institutions
Tribute is paid to the Magnum agency, which celebrates its 60th birthday with a major retrospective of work by its 80 photographers, and to PHotoEspana through the oeuvre of Alberto Garcia-Alix, who captured the movida in pictures. The Fondation HSBC pour la Photographie will show work by its award-winners since 1996. And for the 60th birthday of Camera Press, the London agency looks back on more than 80 years – spanning over half the history of photography – of official portraits of Queen Elizabeth II. Among a host of exhibitions is “Madam President”, commissioned from 50 photographers who were asked to imagine how the official portrait of the President of France might look if it were a woman…

Exhibitions, evenings at the Theatre Antique, screenings, lectures, a seminar, training courses abound:

From 3 to 8 July 2007, the opening week of the Rencontres gathers the programme participants in a festive atmosphere for daily events including the exceptional show “Lou Reed’s Berlin”, a stroll through the image-scaped streets of Arles with the “Night of the Year”, portfolio readings, and more.

Introductory and more advanced photography courses will run throughout the summer, and in September the “Back to School in Images” initiative will enable 6,500 pupils and their teachers to visit the festival exhibitions.

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