german photographer olaf otto becker's new series 'above zero' captures the west coastline of greenland, in which he travelled 4000 km between 2003 and 2004, in a small dingy. the sole purpose of his trip there was to portray this coastal region with his 8 x 10 inch large format camera, which often made it a physically strenuous, and sometimes life-threatening journey among the glacial crevasses and snow melt flows.
each image has GPS data attached to it: seconds and minute degrees, much like a scientific experimental set-up. capturing the expansive beauty of the glacial landscape, emphasizing its silence, melancholy and the sublime of this land that few people know. his photographic study also exhibits the existential threat which is being laid upon the region. because even as a place which is uninhabited, the consequences of human influences are present: dust and soot in the air form black, crusty deposits which, in conjunction with global warming are accelerating the melting of the ice sheets, that will no doubt result in an unavoidable catastrophe.
olaf otto becker was born in travemünde, germany in 1959. his work reflects the synthesis between scientific and artistic practice. becker studied communication design at the university of applied sciences for design in augsburg and then philosophy at the ludwig-maximilians-universität, munich. recently he participated in the ulsan international photography festival, south korea, and exhibited at the powerhouse, new york and the deichtorhallen, hamburg.
the work of the godfather of intellectual pop art (pop-fine-art) richard hamilton, is being presented in a solo show at the serpentine gallery in london. the exhibition ‘richard hamilton: modern moral matters’ starts off the 40th anniversary year for the gallery and is the first presentation of hamilton’s work in london since 1992. it will include several new works created specifically for this show.
working since the 1950s, hamilton has embraced many different media over this period including painting, printmaking, installation, typography and industrial design. this exhibition reassesses the nature of the british artist’s pioneering contribution, focusing on hamilton’s political or ‘protest’ works.
the installations, prints and paintings on show deal with a subject matter which covers international politics, riots, terrorist acts and war (including the conflict in northern ireland and the iraq wars), examining how these conflicts are represented by media, such as television and the internet. through the fragmentation of images, manipulation of space and reference to different styles and genres, hamilton’s work interrogates the representations that surround us, yet his analysis of the image is counterbalanced by an underlying, allegoric lyricism, through which he reinvigorates the genres of portraiture and history painting.
this survey of hamilton’s political works explore the artist’s working processes and the varied ways in which he uses photographic material. it investigates his continued interest of creating multiples of a single iconic image as both a mirror and a critique of the visual overload created by the media.
the exhibition is curated by julia peyton-jones, director, hans ulrich obrist, co-director and sophie o’brien, exhibition curator, serpentine gallery.
richard hamilton was born in 1922. he studied at the royal academy schools from 1938 until it closed for the war in 1940. too young for conscription, he was sent by the ministry of labour to be trained for nine months to become a draughtsman. he then worked in an armaments factory until he was able to return to the royal academy schools when it reopened in 1946. he later studied at the slade school of art. his first solo show was held in 1950 and from there on, he became one of the most significant artists working in the UK. he was a key member and exponent of the independent group, formed in the 1950s by a group of artists and writers at the institute of contemporary arts.
hamilton taught at the london central school of arts and crafts and the university of newcastle upon tyne, but gave up teaching full-time in 1966. always engaging with a wide range of technological processes within his art, hamilton began creating computer generated works in the 1980s. he has had a long career as a printmaker and in 1983 won the world print council award. retrospective exhibitions of hamilton’s work have been held in the UK at the hanover gallery (1964), the tate gallery (1970 and 1992) and he represented britain at the venice art biennale in 1993.
new york street artist richard hambleton is the subject of an exhibition at the armani teatro in milan. the show features 45 of his pieces, 15 of which have never been released before. curated by vladimir restoin roitfeld and andy valmorbida in collaboration with giorgio armani, this show is his first european solo exhibition since 1985.
richard hambleton rose to fame in the early 1980’s when like his contemporaries, jean-michel basquiat and keith haring, he used the streets of new york as his canvas for visually arresting public art, most notably his ‘shadowman’ and ‘crime scene’ series. hambleton has been labeled ‘the godfather of street art’.
the last surviving member of the east village art movement, hambleton saw what fame and drug use did to his close friends, and for the last 20 years has led a relatively reclusive life on the lower east side of manhattan. despite a low public profile, hambleton has continued to create and his works can be found in the permanent collections of various museums. amongst many, this list includes the MoMA, the brooklyn museum, the houston museum of fine art and the andy warhol museum. he was chosen for the venice biennale in 1984.
Common to all the landscapes above is that they’re fake. That’s right, all made up. Matthew Albanese is not only a photographer but also the creator of astonishingly detailed, small-scale miniature landscapes, his “Strange Worlds.” He photographs each model about 500 times, using forced perspective to make the images look very real. He explains in his statement:
“My work involves the construction of small-scale meticulously detailed models using various materials and objects to create emotive landscapes. Every aspect from the construction to the lighting of the final model is painstakingly pre-planned using methods which force the viewer’s perspective when photographed from a specific angle. Using a mixture of photographic techniques such as scale, depth of field, white balance and lighting I am able to drastically alter the appearance of my materials.”
Take the tornado for example; its description reads: “Tornado made of steel wool, cotton, ground parsley and moss”. And here’s the incredible making of it:
The volcano landscape was made out of tile grout, cotton and phosphorous ink and then illuminated from within by six 60-watt bulbs:
For the burning living room – “wood, nylon, Plexiglas and purchased dollhouse furniture” – Albanese even incorporated a firefighter’s feedback and reduced the flames to make the model more realistic:
The field landscape is made out of faux fur for the field, cotton for the clouds and sifted tile grout for the mountains. Shifting the white balance created the lighting effect:
Now the Mars landscape is what started it all off. One fine day, Albanese spilled some paprika powder in front of his studio and while cleaning it up, was intrigued by its colour and texture, which somehow reminded him of a Martian landscape. He tried recreating the landscape and was pleased with the result. The rest is history and Albanese has been making miniature landscapes ever since.
Just add 12 pounds of paprika, some cinnamon, nutmeg, chilli powder and charcoal:
It takes about a month for each model to be made. Beforehand, Albanese walks through the aisles of his local supermarket for inspiration and later sifts through related articles and images on the Internet. Planning is important to guarantee that the finished model looks as realistic as possible. The whole process is something Albanese calls “problem solving on a visual level.” Though he might composite large images later on, he does not digitally render texture or colour!
“Everything We Ever Were”:
Says Albanese about the making of the moon landing: “It took two months to store up enough fireplace ash to create this lunar landscape. The darker rocks are made of mixed tile grout, [the] flag [of] crumpled paper and wire. The Earth is a video still projected onto the wall. [The piece was] inspired by the Apollo 11 mission.”
Matthew Albanese has been interested in photography since his senior year of high school and then went on to study fine arts with a focus in photography. He is currently working as a freelance photographer. For more about his artwork, visit his website .
Building a story, it’s what James Quantz Jr. does best. Sure, there are plenty of photograhers out there who can light a shot, direct a set and shoot – but you see James is different, he’s not interested in just snapping a shot, he wants to build a story – a story that no one will forget. And in building that story, well that’s when James really goes to work. Taking what started as a concept, James skillfully crafts what he captured in the camera into a one-of-a-kind visual production that grabs hold of the imagination in a truely remarkable way. Telling stories is what James does.