portraiture

"The New York Times Magazine Photographs" goes beyond celebrity

Article: "The New York Times Magazine Photographs" goes beyond celebrity

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Celebrity portraiture can seem like an easy way for a photographer to make a buck, and maybe that’s what makes it so challenging – to do something new and exciting in such well-trodden territory. Kathy Ryan, the director of photography at The New York Times Magazine, is such an avid proponent of the “good” celebrity portrait that she wrote a book on the subject, “The New York Times Magazine Photographs,” a “wonderfully heavy” tome out next month, the result of six years of research poring through 1,700 issues of the magazine.

The unstill life of Julie Blackmon

Article: The unstill life of Julie Blackmon

New work by Julie Blackmon. More images after the jump.
As the oldest of nine children and the mother of three, domesticity is a prevalent factor in photographer Julie Blackmon’s work as well as in her daily life. Her latest exhibition, “Julie Blackmon: Line-Up,” at the Robert Mann Gallery, is a study of classic art historical motifs reinterpreted with scenes from her own childhood. Those who have never experienced the frenetic environment of a house full of children can get a glimpse of that world from Blackmon’s chaotic mash-up of crawling babies, running toddlers and scattered toys. To children, everything is a potential plaything, be it a bookcase, a chandelier or the new family car. The children in Blackmon’s work (actually her own children, nieces and nephews), take over the entire photograph, invading all four corners of the frame. Even in some of the quieter compositions, that sense of playfulness juxtaposed with impending disaster is immediate. But what strikes you first about these photographs is the impossibly perfect compositions. They’re so perfect, in fact, that it comes as no surprise that the final product is a digitally compiled series of individual shots. It’s precisely this aesthetic that got Blackmon a spot on PDN’s list of “30 New and Emerging Photographers” and why she was named American Photo’s “Emerging Photographer of 2008.”

Behind iconic photographs

Article: Behind iconic photographs

Muhammad Ali defiantly standing with arrows piercing his pugilist torso. A pained Vietnamese girl, just nine years old, burnt and naked in the street following a South Vietnamese napalm bombing. An ethereal Marilyn Monroe. These iconic and widely familiar images have come to represent the epoch of our modern era for better or for worse,…