Archive: USA
Pioneer in color photography crisscrosses America with a camera

Pioneer in color photography crisscrosses America with a camera

Joel Sternfeld - American Prospects, Wet n’ Wild Aquatic Theme Park, Orlando, Florida, September 1980
American Prospects, Wet n’ Wild Aquatic Theme Park, Orlando, Florida, September 1980

In 1980, President Reagan was elected president and Joel Sternfeld had embarked on a road trip across America that would allow him to capture life in America as it was in the 1980s. Having been awarded the Guggenheim grant two years earlier in 1978, Joel’s American Prospects was later to become one of the most revolutionary color photographs of the time, when professional photographers only used the black and white format for official or serious pictures. His photographs from the American Prospects series helped to usher in a new breed of modern photographers, which is why Sternfeld has always been characterized as one of the most influential photographer of his generation.

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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.

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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.”

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