by Kel Pusz
I seldom ask people to pose. If I could pick a super power, the ability to be invisible would be at the top of the list. Until that power manifests, I wait patiently for moments when people are at their ease, engrossed in their own stories and try to lay hold of it. By people, I mean my family, who mostly tolerate these intrusions. I own a decent camera, but a handy cell phone allows for the covert capturing of unstudied acts. The idea is to never send up a signal flare that announces that it’s time to pose, that it’s time to leave their story and foster a smile. I’m after the incidental.
My background is a hodgepodge of self rtaught craft skills ( felting, puppets, dolls), half remembered and thus bastardized things I learned as a child (sewing, quilting, crocheting). I paint occasionally, was employed as a prop maker for a half dozen years and apprenticed as a stained glass restorationist while in college. I’ve been feeling my way through photography for about five years.
by Conrad Ventur
After the death from cancer of artist Rafael Sánchez’ partner and collaborator Kathleen White in September 2014, I was invited to stay in the apartment where they lived and where Kathleen died, a space continually under threat of gentrification. For a duration of 22 months, through the process of traditional and camera-less photography [also videography, archiving, listening, council], the intimacy of loss became illuminated through images of the artifacts that remain and offer an extended presence.
Dozens of bouquets of dried flowers hang in the apartment. They were brought at the time of Kathleen’s death and in the months after. Rafael hung them upside-down. On weekends I would bring the bouquets to the nearby community garden and make cyanotype photograms from the light of day.
Conrad Ventur is an American artist based in Queens, New York. Ventur studied photography at the Rochester Institute of Technology (BFA, 1999) and fine art at Goldsmiths, University of London (MFA, 2008). Recent solo exhibitions of Ventur’s photographs include IVY at Baxter Street at the Camera Club of New York and Pink Seat at Rokeby, London. Ventur is a grantee of the Franklin Furnace Fund (2013) and the Arch and Bruce Brown Foundation (2017). Ventur’s work is held in the permanent collections of The Philadelphia Museum of Art and The Whitney Museum of American Art.
by Terttu Uibopuu
Terttu Uibopuu (b. 1984) is an Estonian photographer, a bookmaker and a visiting assistant professor of art at Wesleyan University and faculty at International Center of Photography in New York City. In 2012, she participated in the AIM program at the Bronx Museum of the Arts. She has received her BFA in photography from Columbia College of Chicago and her MFA in photography from Yale University, where she was also awarded the Alice Kimball Traveling Fellowship. She has had a solo show at Soloway gallery in Brooklyn in 2017 and will have an upcoming solo show at Rockford Art Museum in 2018.
by Ditta Baron Hoeber
Artist and poet Ditta Baron Hoeber has had solo exhibitions at Moore College of Art and Design, Philadelphia; The Print Center, Philadelphia; the Philadelphia Art Alliance; University of the Arts 1401 Gallery, Philadelphia; the Abington Arts Center, Jenkintown, PA; and the University of Houston Clear Lake. Her work was included in Take Two: Contemporary Photographs and 35mm: Photographs from the Collection, Philadelphia Museum of Art; Back to the Front, Slought Foundation, Philadelphia; Close Views (From a Distance), Amos Eno Gallery, Brooklyn; and Artist as Publisher, The Center for Book Arts, New York and is in several collections including the Philadelphia Museum of Art; the Museum of Modern Art/ Franklin Furnace Artist Book Collection, New York; the University of Pennsylvania Library Artist Book Collection, Philadelphia; Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture Library, New York; and the Chelsea College of Art and Design Library, London.
by Vivien Zepf, KMA’s docent trainer for Picturing Love
Carrie Mae Weems, Untitled (from Kitchen Table series), 1994
One of the interesting things I’ve discovered leading tours for the Picturing Love exhibition is that many people have a hard time considering a photograph from an art perspective. Perhaps it’s the predisposition that photography is “the medium that doesn’t lie”.
Well, photography is just as manipulated by the the hand of the artist as any other art form.
How is the photograph composed? Has the photographer chosen to emphasize some elements and to hide others? What’s been cropped? What might be just beyond the frame? How does the decision to make the photo black and white vs. color influence our narrative with what we see? The answers to each of these questions — and more — are the result of the photographer’s artistic process.
I’ve been leading docent tours focusing on light. Photography can’t exist without light; it’s fundamental to the photographic process. However, photographers can choose to shoot in ambient light, enhance a setting with studio lighting, or increase/decrease the light in the dark room process. It’s been a fascinating conversation point with guests. In one case, the light serves as a metaphor for trust; in another, the light is as much a character in the narrative of the image as the people within it. So I’d like to challenge you to consider light as you view photography. Not passively, but as an active choice made by the photographer. I look forward to hearing how this line of inquiry might influence your appreciation of the art form.
by Elena Wolfe
I remember the first day my daughter met her new friend, it was four years ago and I will cherish her first friendship for years. The girls had just turned one, and my daughter was showing off her running skills while I was anxious worrying about a fall. We were still nursing our children and I remember our frequent nursing circles on lush spring grass followed by curious pokes that the children made trying to play together. As the seasons went by, I saw the relationship grow and mature. First the curiosity led to the sweetest hand holds which soon developed into the deepest heartfelt hugs. Watching our children play, I began to learn so much more about living life, it starts with love.
When my daughter was 2 she developed a big camera aversion, she associated an SLR camera with mommy going to work and leaving and picture taking became almost impossible. I decided to get a little present for myself and purchased a Rolleiflex 2.8f, this beauty is a waist level camera and does not resemble a traditional camera that we see today. Each day we went to play with our friends, I had the opportunity to sit and watch the relationship grow into something strong and beautiful. I learned to be patient, understanding and watch for their love to blossom over time.
As an analog photographer, I developed an appreciation for slowing down and waiting for the right moments to happen. As a mother, my daughter taught me to be patient and reminded me that love is always worth waiting for.
Square photos taken with Rolleiflex 2.8f, 4×6 photo taken with Canon EOS 1V
by Lydia Panas
In the series “Holding On”, I ask the models to bring people upon whom they depend. The pictures attempt to depict veiled and unspoken dialogues, where we navigate hopes and vulnerabilities. Making a portrait is an exchange of empathy and enormous longing. Through the process, I recreate and expose my fears of intimacy and expectations. As in a Venn diagram, the portraits capture the emotionally naked space where we overlap, and a longing to be close.
Lydia Panas’ photographs have been widely exhibited in galleries, museums and festivals internationally, including the National Portrait Gallery in London, the Scottish National Portrait Gallery in Edinburgh, the Brooklyn Museum, the Phillips Collection and Corcoran Gallery in Washington DC, the Korean Cultural Center in Los Angeles, Allentown Art Museum of the Lehigh Valley, Brigham Young University Museum, Artist’s Space in New York City, Atlanta National Airport, Zendai MoMA in Shanghai, Singapore International Photo Festival, Sifest Photo Festival, Lodz Fotofestiwal among others.