Archive: USA
The border wall as you’ve never seen (and heard) it

The border wall as you’ve never seen (and heard) it

Richard Misrach - Wall, Near Los Indios, Texas, 2015
Richard MisrachWall, Near Los Indios, Texas, 2015

When a writer or a composer creates a piece to tell a story, the imagination of the audience runs wild; people start envisioning the heroines and the villains and how they affect their attitudes and perceptions. The same applies to audiences when they view a piece of art or photograph for the first time; they create mental images and form opinions on what a piece means.

When artists combine two art forms, music and art, to create a piece, the result is nothing short of masterful. Photographer Richard Misrach and sculptor Guillermo Galindo, a joined forces to come up with Border Cantos, an art project accompanied by its own special sound and music.

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The world under water: powerful photos taken after floods

The world under water: powerful photos taken after floods

Gideon Mendel - Chinta and Samundri Davi, Salempur village near Muzaffarpur, Bihar, India, August 2007

Gideon Mendel - Chinta and Samundri Davi, Salempur village near Muzaffarpur, Bihar, India, August 2007
Gideon MendelDrowning World – Chinta and Samundri Davi, Salempur village near Muzaffarpur, Bihar, India, August 2007

For a couple of years now, photographer Gideon Mendel has taken it upon himself to show the world what it is like in other parts of the world where the climate is very unfavourable to them. Mendel has not minded the dangers and lengths he has to go through to make sure he delivers the pictures in the clearest form possible. In his most recent project, Drowning World, he takes us round the world through his camera lenses and shows us calm portraits of flood victims in areas we would not expect. Drowning World shows the real picture of climate change around the world, the real picture behind the statistics and with real people the floods affect directly.

The project is inspired a great deal by the biblical symbolism of the flood and the way Mendel captures his images show people in environments submerged by water. In all of the images, the victims often appear still, dormant, numb, stoic or paralyzed in various cases but according to Mendel, he says the subjects usually tell him they are glad he is there as a witness to document their situations.

The images show how vulnerable and fragile some people are in certain parts of the world. This only goes a long way to prove that there is a shared vulnerability amongst races, cultures and tribes across the world. Although most of the images are taken just moments after he has met the subjects, they still show a kind of intimacy between the photographer and the victims. He always works with an assistant who helps him communicate with the victims and carry his equipment. The unique part of his work is he uses a camera that makes use of films instead of using a digital camera. He thinks that this way is magical to the results he achieves with the images he captures.

In most of the areas Mendel has taken pictures, the victim all had one common angst which is the fact that they were not pre-warned about the floods. Most of them had less than 20 minutes to run from their homes when the floods started which made them lose a lot of valuable properties. They were all angry with their governments.

The significance of the work Mendel is doing with the portraits of the flood victims is to sensitize us towards the plight of the victims. He is asking us to put ourselves in their shoes and realize that it could have been us instead of them. Mendel believes climate change is a very big problem around the world, to children and upcoming generations. As much as there is little control over the climate, it is still important that people get warned beforehand about upcoming floods. There are a lot of flood disasters in different parts of the world and Mendel’s work only makes for a tiny percentage.

Gideon Mendel - Ahmad Wani Mushaq and Shafeeqa Mushtaq, Jawahar Nagar, Srinagar, Kashmir, India, October 2014
Gideon MendelDrowning World – Ahmad Wani Mushaq and Shafeeqa Mushtaq, Jawahar Nagar, Srinagar, Kashmir, India, October 2014

Gideon Mendel - Ahmed Khairpur Nathan Shah
 Sindh Pakistan September 2010
Gideon MendelDrowning World – Ahmed Khairpur Nathan Shah
, Sindh, Pakistan, September 2010

Gideon Mendel - David Morris Andrews South Carolina USA October 2015
Gideon MendelDrowning World – David Morris Andrews, South Carolina, USA, October 2015

Gideon Mendel - Florence Abraham Igbogene Bayelsa State Nigeria November 2012
Gideon MendelDrowning World – Florence Abraham Igbogene, Bayelsa State, Nigeria, November 2012

Gideon Mendel - Francisco Lopes da Silva Taquari District Rio Branco Brazil March 2015
Gideon MendelDrowning World – Francisco Lopes da Silva, Taquari District, Rio Branco, Brazil, March 2015

Gideon Mendel - Ishfaq Ahmad Bhat, Raj Bagh, Srinagar, Kashmir, India, October 2014
Gideon MendelDrowning World – Ishfaq Ahmad Bhat, Raj Bagh, Srinagar, Kashmir, India, October 2014

Gideon Mendel - Jameela Khan, Bemina, Srinagar, Kashmir, India, October 2014
Gideon MendelDrowning World – Jameela Khan, Bemina, Srinagar, Kashmir, India, October 2014

Gideon Mendel - Jawahar Nagar, Srinagar, Kashmir, India, October 2014
Gideon MendelDrowning World – Jawahar Nagar, Srinagar, Kashmir, India, October 2014

Gideon Mendel - JB Singh, Jawahar Nagar, Srinagar, Kashmir, India, 24 September 2014
Gideon MendelDrowning World – JB Singh, Jawahar Nagar, Srinagar, Kashmir, India, 24 September 2014

Gideon Mendel - João Pereira de Araújo Taquari District Rio Branco Brazil March 2015
Gideon MendelDrowning World – João Pereira de Araújo, Taquari District, Rio Branco, Brazil, March 2015

Gideon Mendel - Johora, Chandanbaisa village, Bogra District, Bangladesh, 15 September 2015
Gideon MendelDrowning World – Johora, Chandanbaisa village, Bogra District, Bangladesh, 15 September 2015

Gideon Mendel - José Alcides dos Santos and Erenilce Lima e Silva, Rio Branco, Brazil, 10 March 2015
Gideon MendelDrowning World – José Alcides dos Santos and Erenilce Lima e Silva, Rio Branco, Brazil, 10 March 2015

Gideon Mendel - Mohammad Younus Khosa, Raj Bagh, Srinagar, Kashmir, India, October 2014
Gideon MendelDrowning World – Mohammad Younus Khosa, Raj Bagh, Srinagar, Kashmir, India, October 2014

Gideon Mendel - Ripon Islam and Tarajul Islam, Chandanbaisa village, Bogra District, Bangladesh, 13 September 2015
Gideon MendelDrowning World – Ripon Islam and Tarajul Islam, Chandanbaisa village, Bogra District, Bangladesh, 13 September 2015

Gideon Mendel - Sakorn Ponsiri Chumchon Ruamjai Community, Bangkok Thailand November 2011
Gideon MendelDrowning World – Sakorn Ponsiri Chumchon, Ruamjai Community, Bangkok, Thailand, November 2011

Gideon Mendel - Shirley Armitage Moorland Village Somerset UK February 2014
Gideon MendelDrowning World – Shirley Armitage, Moorland Village, Somerset, UK, February 2014

Gideon Mendel - Shopkeeper Suparat Taddee, Chumchon Ruamjai Community, Bangkok, Thailand, November 2011
Gideon MendelDrowning World – Shopkeeper Suparat Taddee, Chumchon Ruamjai Community, Bangkok, Thailand, November 2011

Gideon Mendel - Wilaiporn Hongjantuek Amornchai Bangkok Thailand November 2011
Gideon MendelDrowning World – Wilaiporn Hongjantuek Amornchai, Bangkok, Thailand, November 2011

Gideon Mendel works in Srinigar, India. Photo Gowhar Fazili
Gideon Mendel works in Srinigar, India
Photo: Gowhar Fazili


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Artist makes US-Mexico Border Wall disappear

Artist makes US-Mexico Border Wall disappear

Ana Teresa Fernandez - Erasing the Border - Borrando la Frontera - Playas de Tijuana
Ana Teresa FernándezErasing the Border – Borrando la Frontera, 2012, Playas de Tijuana, Mexico

Ana Teresa Fernández, an artist born in Tampico, Mexico who studied in San Francisco, California and Lausanne, Switzerland, is known for her ability to make a powerful statement. Her statement is especially strong when it comes to the politics of space and place.

Her piece, “Erasing the Border” is one of her most commanding works in which alongside a number of other artist, residents, students and activists, she led an attack against the Mexico-US border wall, with the goal of “erasing” sections of the border. Sections of the fence were painted by Fernández to match the vast sky so that when viewed from afar there is the illusion of gaps in the fence. This appearance of a broken link, a useless border, is an effective statement on the arbitrary concept of borders separating place from place.

Fernández has been erasing the border wall in her series of installations “Borrando la Frontera” (Erasing the Border), beginning in 2011, where she erased a wall in Tijuana, Baja California. Prior to this she did a series of performance pieces near the border. She chose to use her art to breakdown the jail bars that impeded the sight of those in the border town by allowing people to see what it would look like if the bars didn’t run down the beach breaking up the scenery. From a distance the landscape is continuous, not broken apart by the intrusive fence.

As word of her work began to spread, more and more artists, locals, and border organizations wanted to be part of her project. They too wanted to make a statement, and wanted to see the sections of border fences erased in Texas and Arizona. Texas and Arizona were politically charged sites in particular as they have recently passed a series of severe anti-immigration laws and vigilante militias enacting violence and inciting fear at the border. The work of Fernández is especially meaningful now, as there is a new president-elect, Donald Trump, who has built a winning campaign around threats to extend and raise the wall to block immigrants. Thus, her work becomes an even more powerful statement, in how she opens up the border and unlocks our imaginations, bringing us to a more open and inclusive world; one where we do not fear our neighbors and try to keep them away.

At her most recent event, groups came to the three sections of the fence in Mexicali, Baja California; Agua Prieta, Sonora, and; Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua to erase the border. Groups from both Mexico and the U.S came to each site at the same time, as a planned attack, and began to paint and erase the fence. This unified people on both sides of the divide, effectively making the purpose of the fence (to separate people) mute.

Through her work, Ana Teresa Fernández proves that art is an effective political tool, a weapon even. One that can bring people together, bring freedom, and make a remarkable statement.

Ana Teresa Fernandez - Erasing the Border - Borrando la Frontera - Playas de Tijuana
Ana Teresa FernándezErasing the Border – Borrando la Frontera, 2012, Playas de Tijuana, Mexico

Ana Teresa Fernandez - Erasing the Border - Borrando la Frontera - Playas de Tijuana
Ana Teresa FernándezErasing the Border – Borrando la Frontera, 2012, Playas de Tijuana, Mexico

Ana Teresa Fernandez - Erasing the Border - Borrando la Frontera -  Mexicali, Mexico
Ana Teresa FernándezErasing the Border – Borrando la Frontera, 2016, Mexicali, Mexico
(Photo: Sandy Huffaker / Reuters)

Ana Teresa Fernandez - Erasing the Border - Borrando la Frontera -  Mexicali, Mexico
Ana Teresa FernándezErasing the Border – Borrando la Frontera, 2016, Mexicali, Mexico
(Photo: Sandy Huffaker / Reuters)

Ana Teresa Fernandez - Erasing the Border - Borrando la Frontera -  Mexicali, Mexico
Ana Teresa FernándezErasing the Border – Borrando la Frontera, 2016, Mexicali, Mexico
(Photo: Sandy Huffaker / Reuters)

Ana Teresa Fernandez - Erasing the Border - Borrando la Frontera -  Mexicali, Mexico
Ana Teresa FernándezErasing the Border – Borrando la Frontera, 2016, Mexicali, Mexico
(Photo: Sandy Huffaker / Reuters)

Ana Teresa Fernandez - Erasing the Border - Borrando la Frontera -  Mexicali, Mexico
Ana Teresa FernándezErasing the Border – Borrando la Frontera, 2016, Mexicali, Mexico
(Photo: Sandy Huffaker / Reuters)

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Dog pees on prestigious Californian art collection

Dog pees on prestigious Californian art collection

Richard Jackson - Bad Dog, 2013 - Orange County Museum of Art (OCMA) - 1
Richard JacksonBad Dog, 2013

As part of his retrospective at the Orange County Museum of Art, Richard Jackson has installed Bad Dog, a giant temporary sculpture of a black labrador “urinating” yellow paint onto the side of the museum. It was an immediate hit. Crowds flocked to see it, and it quickly gained notoriety among both the local community and the art world. Accessible, vibrant, and playful, the work has widely achieved Jackson’s main intention: to make the viewer laugh.

The piece calls into question the role of humor in art, and can be seen as a self-reflexive commentary on the state of elitism and exclusivity in the art museum world.

“Bad Dog” lasted the duration of Jackson’s exhibition “Ain’t Painting a Pain”, before it toured Europe.

About Richard Jackson

Richard Jackson (born 1939) has been a pre-eminent figure on the American art scene since the 70s and is influenced by both by abstract expressionism and action painting.

Richard Jackson - Bad Dog, 2013 - Orange County Museum of Art (OCMA) - 2
Richard JacksonBad Dog, 2013

Richard Jackson - Bad Dog, 2013 - Orange County Museum of Art (OCMA) - 3
Richard JacksonBad Dog, 2013

Richard Jackson - Bad Dog, 2013 - Orange County Museum of Art (OCMA)
Richard JacksonBad Dog, 2013

Photos: #1,4


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How the New York Subway looked in the 1980s

How the New York Subway looked in the 1980s

Christopher Morris - NYC - Subway 1981 - 15

22-years-old at the time, Christopher Morris was working as an intern at photo agency Black Star and was determined to make something of himself as a photographer. According to the agency, the recently rediscovered photographs “provide a window on a long-gone New York, a metropolis that once pulsed with a very different energy—a frenetic, dangerous tone—than one feels in most of the city’s neighborhoods today. But even back then, as Morris’ pictures attest, Gotham remained an always fascinating and, at times, disarmingly beautiful place.”

About Christopher Morris

Christopher Morris, based in Paris, was born in California in 1958 and began his career as a documentary conflict photographer working almost exclusively for TIME Magazine, where he has been on contract since 1990. He has been credited with redefining political coverage in America during his years working at the White House for TIME Magazine from 2000 till 2009. Simultaneously to his career as a photojournalist, Morris has expanded his work into the fashion world.

Christopher Morris - NYC - Subway 1981 - 1
A woman walks through a heavily graffitied subway car, 1981.

Commuters wait for a train at 168th Street station in Manhattan, 1981.
Commuters wait for a train at 168th Street station in Manhattan, 1981.

A commuter reading, 1981.
A commuter reading, 1981

A group of teens pose on the 6 train in the South Bronx, 1981.
A group of teens pose on the 6 train in the South Bronx, 1981

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