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Archive for the ‘Photography’ Category

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After more than a century, “the Greatest Show on Earth” is coming to and end. Recently it was announced that in May, the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus will end after 146 years in business. The news comes after years of declining sales, animal rights protests and rising production costs. In modern times, this 100+ year old traveling act had to compete against the movies, Netflix, Hulu and every other form of entertainment. While I haven’t been to an actual circus in years, I’ve always thought there was something magical and romantic about it.

So to celebrate the final days of the circus, I wanted to share some pictures from this magical world.

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Equal parts mysterious and creepy, I’ve always thought the circus, and particularly vintage circus photos from the 1800-1950s, are so interesting!

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Life Visits the Circus
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It’s that time of year again, the 2013 September issues have arrived! And so have the new fall advertising campaigns. Last Friday I picked up each issue pictured above: the September Elle (600+ pages), Vogue (902 pages!), Harper’s Bazaar, W and New York Magazine. Note to readers: buying and carrying 20+ pounds of fashion magazines home is not easy! After flipping through each, I noticed a few trends in regards to advertising. So many of this seasons campaigns are shot on dark/black backgrounds. Many take place at night. It’s funny how they all do this at once – something must be in the air. I’ve narrowed down to my favorites, and LEAST favorite. Which are you feeling (or not feeling??) … my picks below.

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My #1 favorite: Valentino’s Fall 2013 ad campaign. Love the still-life/portrait painting concept. Love love love everything.

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Coming in a close 2nd is the Fall 2013 Balenciaga campaign shot by Steven Klein and art directed by Alexander Wang. I love how bold and graphic these are. The images are quite arresting, in a good way!

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My last favorite is Oscar de la Renta’s Fall 2013 campaign. The photography and styling is beautiful. What is innovative about this campaign is that the de la Renta folks premiered it on Instagram, not in the Sept. issues. The full campaign can be seen in print, but we got a first look (above) on Oscar’s Instagram account.

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I just stumbled across the Spring 2013 Lookbook for Marais USA, a women’s shoe brand with offices in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. I’m so in love with these photos! I think this campaign is so fun, inventive and youthful.

Their blog is also pretty cool and their Brooklyn offices look neat too.

Check out the video for their Spring 2013 Lookbook here. Get into it!

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Alec Soth, New Orleans, from Sleeping by the Mississippi

“If you want to be a creative person, then you’re gonna have to be creative in how you put your career together. There isn’t a path. Part of the creativity is making your path.” — Alec Soth

On American Photomag‘s blog there’s a cool series of posts called “How You Living” that interview established photographers about how they’ve supported themselves during their career. I love hearing about how artists and designers transition from school to work and “fame” in the art world. There’s truly no established path to “make it” in the art/design world, but learning from others is a great way to find your own path. I know I still haven’t found mine but I’m working on it.
Check out the full series here.

And if you’d like to see more of Alec Soth‘s photography – check out his site.


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Last week I stumbled across the street photography of Vivien Maier, a nanny living in NYC in the 1950’s that lead a prolifically creative life, but also one that was fiercely private. Some regard Maier as the female Cartier-Bresson but all her work was unknown until just a few years ago. In 2007, John Maloof went to an auction near his home and purchased a unlabeled trunk full of negatives for less then $400. Inside the box contained hundreds of negatives and rolls of film belonging to Maier that had never been seen by anyone else. The find of the century! Since then, Maloof has shared her legacy to the world and is even producing a documentary about her life. Can you imagine if these photos had never been found? And what’s even more puzzling is why Maier kept this all a secret? Even those closest to her had no idea about her secret double life as a photographer, possibly regarded as one of the greatest of the 20th century. Check out a selection of Maier’s work here on her official site, read about her, and watch the trailer for the documentary here. I can’t wait to SEE more and LEARN more about this amazing photographer! Get into it!

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The negatives Maloof purchased in 2007.

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Who could have known these breathtaking photos were contained inside?

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Grace_A Memoir

This Christmas I was beyond excited to learn that Grace Coddington’s memoir, Grace was finally hitting the shelves. I quickly ordered the book and over the next few weeks began digesting the bright orange volume. After falling in love with Grace from The September Issue, I couldn’t wait to read a more in-depth account of her life. Of course Grace would have all these profound thoughts on living a creative life and being an artist of sorts, right? Well sadly, I’m left a bit underwhelmed. Her memoir is overwhelmingly surface and gives little insight into her feelings of loss and triumph in her career. She had several highs and lows, but quickly glosses over each subject, one after another. One example that particularly stuck out in my mind,

“.. driving home one afternoon on a visit to London from Paris, I ran into an especially nasty bunch milling about outside my door …  No matter how gently I tried inching my car through the mob, they grew more and more incensed until all of a sudden my little Mini, with me inside, was lifted off the ground and thrown heavily on it’s side. Although I wasn’t injured, I was seven months pregnant .. and the next day I suffered a miscarriage. This turned out to be the only time in my life that I was able to conceive. The incident was one of the most traumatic of my life.”

HEARTBREAKING right? Then literally the next paragraph she switches subjects and talks about how her and Albert (Grace’s boyfriend at the time) had purchased a new apartment in London, despite her frequent travels to Paris, and begins talking about one of their cats. How can his be one of the most traumatic events in your life, and you not talk about it? Isn’t that the point of a memoir – to talk about how you get through these events? I can’t imagine dealing an event like that, but it baffles me how Grace can touch on something so deep without any depth. There’s also a few stories about artists and designers she knew through the years, and Grace talks about how talented they were, and then they died of AIDS. Then onto next subject. I just don’t get it.

I wanted more. I’m sure she got paid a lot to write her memoir, but I was hoping for more Grace! It’s interesting that someone so highly regarded for being a talented storyteller in their professional life would chose to tell the story of their own life in this way. So many of my friends bought the book and just about every person working in fashion, and I wonder if they felt the same? For anyone else interested in the book – I’d suggest to settling with the September Issue, watching the HBO Documentary In Vogue: The Editor’s Eye (which was great!), and enjoying her work in the glossy pages of Vogue.

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I’ve been meaning to share this ad campaign since they first started popping up in NYC months ago. Perhaps by now you’ve seen them in a town near you. Above is an image from Aldo‘s Spring/Summer 2012 ad campaign featuring some of the best and most-playful applications of color I’ve seen in quite a while. Each image is a welcome relief from the dullness of winter for sure. Shot by Terry Richardson, featuring Anais Pouliot and Mat Gordon – these ads are great examples of color done right, but not taken too far. This is also one of the first times I’ve seen Terry Richardson do something with COLOR and not on a white background, but I’m all for it.

  Terry Richardson & Lady Gaga, follow Terry on tumblr here.

Typical Terry + Obama!

New Harper’s Bazaar redesign featuring the cover shot by Terry Richardson.

Banana anyone?

Don’t these look great as billboards with the huge Aldo logo?
There’s a huge billboard in Soho, NYC of the first image in this post that always makes me smile when I pass by.

These series reminds me a lot of Gap’s “Be Bright” Spring/Summer 2012 campaign photographed by Chris Craymer, which I’m also in love with.

This is the first time I’ve paid attention to Gap ads in years, I miss the Golden Age of Gap with those great commercials.

Be you.

And kudos to Gap for supporting gay equality with this billboard featuring two men sharing a shirt. Love it.

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Recently I was scrolling through old blog posts and I came this post featuring the photography of David Sims in the November 2009 issue of French Vogue. At the time I didn’t pay attention to the photographer, so I wanted to fully credit him. I also wanted to take another opportunity share these great images with you! I looooooove the hand written typography on the cover and throughout the issue. The picture above doesn’t quite do the cover justice as the text is gold foiled and shines beautifully in person.

Check out the hand drawn typography (above) for this Keith Haring inspired editorial. Influences of Haring’s work can be seen in countless places today. Currently the Brooklyn Museum has a retrospective of Haring’s work on display until July 8th – so if you’re in NYC this summer, definitely check it out.

Keith Haring: 1978–1982 is the first large-scale exhibition to explore the early career of one of the best-known American artists of the twentieth century. Tracing the development of Haring’s extraordinary visual vocabulary, the exhibition includes 155 works on paper, numerous experimental videos, and over 150 archival objects, including rarely seen sketchbooks, journals, exhibition flyers, posters, subway drawings, and documentary photographs.

The exhibition chronicles the period in Haring’s career from his arrival in New York City through the years when he started his studio practice and began making public and political art on the city streets. Immersing himself in New York’s downtown culture, he quickly became a fixture on the artistic scene, befriending other artists such as Jean-Michel Basquiat and Kenny Scharf, as well as many of the most innovative cultural figures of the period. -BAM

Keith Haring by Annie Leibovitz -1986

One of my favorite examples of a contemporary Haring reference is Rihanna’s Rude Boy video.

Notice the influence between the French Vogue editorial and Haring?

Hope you enjoyed this post, half throw back, half something new. It’s important people realize where work in this style comes from and not to forget the themes Keith Haring depicted in his work, such as street culture of NYC in the 80’s and the flight of HIV/AIDs. All props go to Keith and go to BAM this summer to see his work in person.

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Willy Vanderperre for Jill Sander Spring/Summer 2011

Today I’m sharing the work of one of my favorite photographers, Willy Vanderperre. I noticed Vanderperre’s Jill Sander ads in all the fashion magazines this season while freelancing recently as an Art Director in fashion advertising. I love with how Vanderperre plays color and backgrounds, especially white backgrounds. It’s clear to see Vanderperre + Jill Sander make a great team as all their campaigns are equally striking. I’m just so in love with the Spring/Summer ads (above, below) … the huge type + graphic images – looks very graphic-designy. Vanderperre does a lot of great men’s fashion photography which is also great to see.

According to models.com, Willy Vanderperre knows the secret of using light to exquisite effect and has an innate sense of style, as his work for magazines such as Another Man, Pop and a recent cover of British Vogue featuring Kate Moss, proves beyond all doubt. This native of Antwerp, known for his tall, adolescent figure and legendary discretion, is close friends with designer Raf Simons, for whom he has directed several ad campaigns, as well as working for Jil Sander and Givenchy.” -Vogue Hommes International A/W 10

Willy Vanderperre is represented by Management + Artists, where you can see more of his great work, or follow him on tumblr!

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Jill Sander Spring/Summer 2012

I love how different each campaign is .. so futuristic and minimal.

Love the red coat and hat! Looks like a movie still.

Notice the Prada retro flame shoes! from An Other magazine.

Throwing this last one in b/c was shot in Soho, NYC. I pass by the Corner all the time. Love the neon sign.

Promo shots for Kanye West’s 808’s and Heartbreaks

V Magazine #69 shot by Vanderperre

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Need someone to shoot me like this!

Hope you enjoyed! Follow Vanderperre on tumblr!

 

 

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Razz Matazz – Love #5 by Mert & Marcus, Spring/Summer 2011

Continuing with my series of new found photographers, today I bring you the work of Mert Alas & Marcus Piggott, better known as Mert & Marcus. According to wikipedia,

“Their work and style is heavily influenced and shaped by the photography of Guy Bourdin and also the use of digital manipulation of which they have pioneered the use. They have defined the look of the past decade and as a duo are one of the most respected and acclaimed photographers working today. Strongly known for their portraits of sophisticated, powerful women, Alas and Piggott’s photos lend an air of grace and unmistakable perfection to advertising. “The difference between us and other photographers is that we care a lot about appearance,” says Alas. “We spend most of the time in the make-up and hairstyling rooms”. The team works today for magazines such as Vogue USA, Vogue Italia, W Magazine, Pop Magazine, Numero and Arena Homme Plus.

Most recently you guys will recognize their work for Madonna’s MDNA album art and art direction of her latest video, “Girl Gone Wild.” I loved the MDNA album art from the beginning so it was no surprise that Mert & Marcus were behind the project. I love their pioneering use of color and the sensational stories they depict in their photographs. Next time you flip through Vogue, Love or W and find yourself loving the work, don’t be surprised if it’s by Mert & Marus.

Here are some of my favorites:

Razz Matazz – Love #5 by Mert & Marcus, Spring/Summer 2011

 

Vogue France: 90 ans d’Excès

Interview Magazine – August 2011

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