A few weeks ago, The Cut named a few photographers to watch. They ran the spectrum of what fashion photography is now and the one who stood out to me was obviously the weirdest of the bunch, Charlie Engman. His image featured an older woman staring at the camera, caught somewhere between fashionable folly and curmudgeonly crankiness. It’s charming and ugly and beautiful, something easy to fall in love with. The image—Above.—is from a series Engmand did called MOM that he did a few years ago for The Room. It’s an incredible series that shows that fashion and style are not tied to age.
Most persons born in the early to late eighties will remember a specific bedsheet that I cannot Google to find because it it something so common yet so specific that it is impossible to find on the internet. It was a play on primary colors and geometry: it was a white sheet with a black grid that had red and blue trim with infrequent green, yellow, and more shapes placed throughout. The concept is something between Memphis Group and DJ Tanner’s bedroom. Sound familiar? I hope so (because I still cannot find a photo of it).
Whoever made these sheets had a big influence on the current crop of designers and artists. That’s why there is so much pattern clashing and playing with geometry. You see it from Will Bryant to Stephanie Gonot—and my theory is that these bedsheets had something to do with it. This idea jumps across the pond too as artist and art director Anna Lomax has felt this too. Her work is a huge playing with pattern playing and collision of forms. It’s artistic play time that is quite wonderful.
John Goldsmith is a Vancouver based photographer. He does a lot of projects and portraits but his street photography has to be his strong suit. It’s not that he’s capturing fashionable street scenes or crushing cultural commentary but instead is finding rich oddity in the world around him. His camera is somehow able to find things the normal eye is missing, to capture specific moments where something is weird, be it from your perception being off or that you are just the right angle. This element of fleetingness is why his street photography is so great: it catches abnormalities in normality.
Recipients will document their ideation and creation process on VSCO Grid?, with the end result sold via the VSCO Store and physical gallery exhibitions. Profits are divided between the artist and a reinvestment in the Initiative, enabling future projects for other artists. In this manner, the creative community can build a growing and sustainable movement built upon principles of integrity and artistry.
The first recipients are Kevin Russ, Lauren Marek, Street Etiquette, Chris Schoonover and Jon Schoonover, Leon Yan, and Niv Patel. It’ll be interesting to see if any non-photographers will be featured as winners. VSCO being a photo editing app would seem to lean toward that medium, hopefully it’s not exclusively that way.
You can apply yourself by clicking here.
Last weekend the Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey aired, Carl Sagan’s masterpiece reimagined. In celebration, NASA unveiled a gallery of images, aptly titled “NASA Images of a Spacetime Odyssey.” It’s a gorgeous collection of some new, and some familiar images, from NASA’s repertoire of galactic exploration. More than that, this gallery is one of those beautiful moments when art converges with science, serving a dose of liberating reality, to aid in easing the troubles of our daily lives.
Irish graphic designer Cian McKenna has a bit soft spot for swimming. For the last few years he’s been heading down to ‘the 40ft’ for a swim. This secluded cove is located just south of Dublin city and has been a popular place for swimmers for more than 250 years. With camera in-hand he’s been documenting these excursions and the resulting work is really beautiful.
Last year the acclaimed American photographer Steve McCurry was invited to the remote Omo Valley region of Southwest Ethiopia by a local charity called Omo Child. Set-up by Lale Lubuko and photographer John Rowe, the charity aims to provide a safe, nurturing home and quality education for children and infants who are considered by their tribe to be mingi.
For Cooley, these images serve as a metaphor for opposition. “Fire is a powerful natural force that we harness for greater good” he says, “it is the only Classical element that we can create on demand, yet when out of control it has the potential for grave destruction”. At the heart of this series lies a simple duality – we can create fire and yet fire brings destruction.
Riitta Päiväläinen is a Finnish artist based in Helsinki, a place that I imagine to be very cold. I don’t know what I would have to wear to be warm there but I imagine it would be a lot more than the shorts and sweater usually donned in Southern California: Finland is a long way climatically from where I am. Her makes this known very clearly as she studies clothing placed against stark, clear snowy backdrops. They are photographed and always appear frozen, stiff and caught in limbo between falling and flying: they are transitional. The objects in the image represent former wearers and the way she presents them emphasize said lost pasts. Who knew freezing clothes could mean so much?