Archive for the ‘Photography’ Tag

One Night in Beijing

Canon EOS5DmkII, One night in Beijing by Dan Chung on Vimeo.

Stunning short by Guardian photographer Dan Chung.

Shot on a Canon EOS5DmkII.

Seeing “lo real maravilloso”

Bandidos and beatos roam from the Andean ridges to the barren sertões in South American literature’s lush, magical history.

The bug got me bit at postgrad and I sprawled from Gabriel Garcia Márquez et al to writing a dissertation on Brazilian cinema of the 1960s.

I’ve not stopped itching for “lo real maravilloso” in the visual arts since – and two new storytellers rode onto my horizon last week.


Cinco minutos tarde by Huanchaco (via We Make Money Not Art).

Peruvian artist Huanchaco explores the chaotic capital Lima through a slobbish anti-hero.

Superchaco takes on the city through an optic of commercial culture, pop and hyperreal comicbook stylings.


Si se puede by Huanchaco.

The results are broadly postmodern but also comment on the local culture of hero-ising in South America – from beatos (mystical leaders) to dictators – pulling the idea inside-out in a way that’s fresh and surprising.


“Turista” by Los Vocalino (via Yatzer).

Ariel and Sebas Vocalino brought back Peruvian masks from their travels for this new series, “Turista”. As they explain:

“In our trip to Peru, we found these masks and without knowing what they were for, we bought many of them. Afterwards, we investigated about them and found out that they were used for carnival, exactly to hide men’s identity, so that they don’t feel ashamed of what they do.”


“Turista” by Los Vocalino.

Yatzer’s interview with the Buenos Aires artists caught me off guard. They talk of the tourist as a lonely figure who connects with his surroundings through his look.

But these masks made me think of technicolour bandidos and the cangaçeiros of Brazilian folklore. Roamers (and tourists, I guess), robbing the rich to give to the poor. With a liberal splashing of guns and debauchery en route.

Funny, magical and never quite real. Hope this work gives you a tingle too.


Taschen’s new history of Latin American design.

– Straight outta Rio: preview of Diplo’s Favela on Blast.

Surrealist financial ads from Leo Burnett, São Paulo.

Palla’s Japanese Cityscapes


Kazuhiko Kawahara, aka Palla, is an architect and photographer based in Osaka.


His compositions are each based on single images. He uses symmetry to “confront the natural with the mechanical, the artificial.”


“The scenes I photograph are mainly unpopular buildings,” he says.

“They’re places that no one cares about, that are almost just quietly fading away. But I’m trying to reveal the structures and systems of a city that you can’t actually see.”


His stunning portfolio reminds me of Filip Dujardin’s compositions. But there’s more.

He’s branched out into motion graphics and – surprise surprise – they’re stunning.

Midnight On A Moonless Night


I don’t know what’s got into me. Maybe it’s the Twin Peaks reload. Or last week’s mist and frostbite. But these photos give me tingles.


Will Govus is a prodigy. Going by the last interview I could find he’s still only 17.

Blessed with an incredible eye and the thick fog of rural north Georgia, he shoots with a Yashica 124 TLR – and shoots beautifully. (As you’ll see from his Flickr.)


He says: “I try to only shoot at night when its at least somewhat foggy. I think it adds a great deal to the atmosphere. So when the conditions are right I usually just walk around my town listening to my ipod until I find an image. I prefer to walk instead of drive around since I seem to notice more when I walk.”


A selection of interviews with Will Govus:

Fecal Face

Internet Jogging

Too Much Chocolate

Big Smoke in A Blink

In case you’ve never been here, a chance to fill your eyes in quick:

3328 photos in under 2 minutes by David Hubert.

It’s a little unreal, but feels right at the same time. One comment on Vimeo says it all:

“I like how you made our buses feel plentiful and on time.” Quite.

And while we’re warping time in the capital, have you seen Grey London‘s new Toshiba spot?

The Hills Have Eyes

“…today’s favelas in Latin American megalopolises: in some sense, are they not the first ‘liberated territories’, cells of future self-organized societies?”

Slavoj Zizek, The Universal Exception

For most affluent Westerners, the favelas don’t represent the future. Favelas, ghettos, slums, banlieues – all amount to historical failure. Indecent truths that are too immediate to expel from the City. But too volatile to accept in society. They can’t be looked in the eye.

Parisian artivist JR has forced society to do just that with interventions in Paris, Palestine-Israel, Liberia, Brazil and, recently, the Tate Modern in London.

The photograffeur pastes his massive photograffs onto wall space to surprise with portraits of the marginalised.

In Paris he got banlieue kids to pose in caricature like the “extra-terristrials that most Parisians assume that they are”. In Liberia, Sierra Leone and Libya last year his focus shifted to women. He photographed victims of domestic violence and rape, increasingly fixated by the eyes.

JR’s Women are Heroes 28mm project is now exhibiting at the Lazarides Gallery on Charing Cross Rd. He’s taken to a neighbouring street with his photograffs, and you should be able to catch all of this if you make it down before mid-November.

I can’t honestly say I was impressed with JR’s piece at the Tate Modern. In the context of work by Os Gemeos and other Brazilian street artists, it felt wrong to me. Too much picture-postcard favela – the gun-running glam-ghetto of City of God, with an old camera-as-gun trick.

But his work in Rio’s Favela Morro da Providência is truly moving. He’s a socially-motivated artist to the core and the more I read about him, the more I’m impressed.

Full feature article to follow in the next issue of Jungle Drums. I’ll share the link once it’s up.

Update: As promised, here’s the full article on Jungle Drums.

From/To/Of Russia

Alexander Kosolapov, now based in New York, was born in Moscow.

His assaults on icons and commodity fetishism straddle these two axes with great intelligence and provocation.

(More on Alexander Kosolapov at Designboom.)

The twin dolls in this photographic series by German artist Monica Menez are heading to a picture postcard Russia.

(Via the beautiful blog We Make Money Not Art.)

From 1992 to 1994, Alexey Titarenko shot City of Shadows in St. Petersburg. His long black and white exposures dislodge time and the results are truly moving (via).

So – from Russia, to Russia, of Russia. A country that inspires, agitates and haunts, casting its spectral shadow over the 20th century.

I’d love to visit. And I hope these artists set you off on a journey of your own.

Can A Monkey Snap That?

You can’t take pictures at Spitalfields, a funfair or a Disneyland car park.

You’re on shaky ground if you want to take pictures of children. (Though some are still doing it spectacularly.)

Should I have taken this picture?

I didn’t use a flash – no flash photography on the Underground. Just a straight, clear shot of another solitary person.

But I didn’t ask his permission.

And neither did the CCTV camera up high on his shoulder. Nor did it ask my permission on the way down the escalator.

Still, I could feasibly have been swept off on the grounds of “acting suspiciously and taking pictures“, and I wouldn’t be writing this now. They’re would be CCTV footage if it went to court, and a new government policy to back it up.

What does all this say about us? How does it affect the way we see each other?