4.12.2018

Seventh Year Review

Workshop with Larissa Leclair at Centro de la Imagen

In January 2018, fototazo celebrated its seventh anniversary, giving us our annual opportunity to take a look back at the past year and ahead at plans for 2018.

This is also the "yearly report" required as part of fototazo's 501(c)3 non-profit private operating foundation status.

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 This post will begin by looking at the work of the organization offline, then it will discuss its online content.

Margarita and Andrés (the two farthest to the right) with students from Mexico working with Valentina Abenavoli


SITE MISSION

The site's primary mission is the development of a program of support for a selected group of young, emerging Colombian photographers through microgrants used for equipment purchases as well as private classes in Medellín that I teach for those that receive microgrants. All content on the site works to create viewership to fund the site's primary mission.

In 2017, the microgrant program raised $3,021. Thank you to those who have contributed – this site continues because of your contributions!

The entirety of those funds were combined with funds raised in 2016 to take ten former microgrant recipients from Colombia to Mexico City to support their continued education and development. They attended intensive workshops in Mexico City at Centro de la Imagen with Valentina Abenavoli, Patricia Lagarde and Yvonne Vanegas in an event entitled Folio 001 as well as additional workshops outside the event with Larissa Leclair and Mariela Sancari.

We next stopped in Oaxaca for visits to Acervo de Toledo, Centro de las Artes San Agustín, Centro Fotográfico Manuel Álvarez Bravo and Instituto de Artes Gráficas de Oaxaca as well as to meet with Eva Lépiz.

The group consisted of Alba Bran, Andrés Sánchez, Angélica María Restrepo, Aura Lambertinez, Eric Robledo, Edwin Ochoa Vélez, Juliana Henao Alcaraz, Margarita Valdivieso, Mónica Lorenza Taborda and Natalia Lopera.

Additionally, fototazo worked with Larissa Leclair to place Natalia Lopera in the Leclair Residency in DC during the summer of 2017.

The grant program is currently being reviewed for potential changes to its structure.

The ten at the opening of Aura, Edwin and Mónica's exhibition "Ensoñaciones amarillas" in Oaxaca's Casa de la Cultura Oaxaqueña


CONTENT

I would like to extend a thank you to all of the 2017 contributors of images and words for their help in providing content for the site.

Over the last few years, I have produced fewer posts as I dedicate more time to the real world projects fototazo is involved in. In 2017, content reflected an ongoing shift towards Latin America as I actively work to use the site to serve as a bridge between Latin American photographers and an international audience through an English language platform.

In addition to Latin American posts, I also plan to continue to occasionally post essays, interviews and short series on topics such as recent series on editing and developing projects.

I would like to extend a thank you to the fototazo Board of Directors composed of business leaders Yaron Ben-Zvi and Raphael Crawford and photographer Amani Willett and also to the fototazo Advisory Board, which includes photographers Laura McPhee and Gabriel Mario Vélez, for another year of service in their roles.

Finally, thank YOU for following the site and choosing to spend your time reading what we publish from among all of the many quality photography sites that exist.

We look forward to taking another step in 2018.

All the best,
Tom Griggs

Eternal thanks to these special ten.

4.08.2018

Review: "January 1" by Andrea Modica (L'Artiere Editions)

From January 1 © Andrea Modica

The book launch for January 1 will be April 19th from 6-7:30pm at the Print Center in Philadelphia. Information about the event can be found here.
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The Skinny: American photographer Andrea Modica’s January 1 presents 8x10 black and white portraits of Mummer Wenches. Modica writes that New Year’s Day in South Philadelphia with the Mummers “at times resembles a well-choreographed parade of highly skilled performers, and at other times is more of a sprawling, shambling mob of happy, boozy, (primarily) men in costumes.” The photographs were made every year on January 1st between 2008 and 2018. The book was published by L'Artiere Editions.

From January 1 © Andrea Modica

Review: Modica’s January 1 features an uninterrupted sequence of full-size right hand images that ends with a short text that gives context to the Wenches in the portraits. The large format photographs range from full body images to tighter portraits of faces. Modica uses this traditional photographic language to explore contemporary questions of masculinity, inclusion and exclusion, and time.

From January 1 © Andrea Modica

The examination of masculinity may seem to come from the subjects themselves, their dresses and braids. Spending time with the images, however, it becomes clear that it is the uncommon tenderness of Modica’s gaze and camera work that opens and then investigates her subject's masculinity. The soft planes rendered by tilt focus, closed eyes, light shimmering on the fabric of dresses, and the softness of an expression so relaxed that a mouth hangs open combine with other, similar elements to create a sensual connection between viewer and the subjects, a sense of the feminine in men that live in an environment where maintaining a public front of masculinity is the norm.

From January 1 © Andrea Modica

Additionally, Modica pares down her compositions to their essence, and the mastery of her efficiency opens her subjects to us. Her ability to turn the whiteness of a chin, the relationship between fingers held in a fist with braided hair, or the unexpected connection between a boys’ freckles and the sequins of his outfit into a successful photograph connect the subject in the photograph with the viewer by disarming and surprising both of us, and leaving so little between us.

From January 1 © Andrea Modica

As in previous bodies of work such as Treadwell, Minor League, and Best Friends, Modica takes up the idea of inclusion and exclusion in January 1. The cross-dressing Wenches as subject create a sense of inclusion through tolerance and permissibility. At the same time, however, the subjects also appear to create parameters of exclusion through the generally consistent way in which they present themselves which suggests an implicit code. If we image that the full spectrum of cross dressing would include flamboyant drag queens on one side, these subjects stay to the other, and one senses that a fully feminized potential member might fall outside the ring of inclusion among this group of stubbled, beer swilling South Philly men that put on dresses one day a year.

Modica pushes the questions of inclusion and exclusion in two additional ways in how she makes the work. She separates members from their group to highlight their individuality as in Minor League. With the Wenches, however, Modica takes the concept a step further by moving into a public event to separate out her subjects for intimate, personal, and what feels like private portraiture.

In addition, the book reassembles the individual Wenches into a group, but as selected, ordered, and presented by Modica. This establishes another investigation of inclusion and exclusion, this time through what and – importantly – whom the photographer includes in her frames, and what and whom she excludes, and how she subsequently selects final photographs and sequences them.

From January 1 © Andrea Modica

Modica also explores contemporary ideas of time in January 1. By photographing one day per year over ten years, all the while creating the sense of a single day through the consistency of her formal approach to her images, Modica captures a sense of Nietzche’s Eternal Return, a sense of a single, but recurring existence that we increasing seem to feel today.

From January 1 © Andrea Modica

In contrast, January 1 also explores the idea of time as a spiral, of passing over the same rituals annually as generations move ahead. She does so through through the range of how she presents children her work, giving a sense of how the traditions of the Wenches are passed down. In the portrait of (presumably) a father and child above, we have a clear sense of protection and of the next generation still under the wing. In other portraits of children in the book, especially that of a pigeon-toed boy with his eyes closed, we sense the bird has just left the nest to begin to learn how to carry the group onwards.

From January 1 © Andrea Modica

Modica also plays with time by giving us timeless portraits in conversation with the best of Sander, Ross, or Lange, that include enough of the contemporary world to suggest the tension between the timeless and what dates us: a beer can, sunglasses, a lip piercing, a metal gate, and a winner’s ribbon that includes a specific year.

As in much of Modica’s work, January 1 embodies tensions and contradictions that hold the project together and give it structure: the feminine masculine, inclusion through exclusion, the timeless contemporary. These tensions beneath the surface, when combined with her pitch perfect compositions create a lasting, important, and subtly political body of work that, like the best art, gives us something different each time we pick it up.

From January 1 © Andrea Modica

4.05.2018

LatAm f100: Koral Carballo and Sonia Madrigal

From the series "La muerte sale por el oriente" © Sonia Madrigal

fototazo has asked a group of 50 curators, gallery owners, blog writers, photographers, academics and others actively engaged with Latin American photography to pick two early career photographers whose work deserves recognition.

This project aims to highlight great work being made in the region today and also to provide a starting point in both English and Spanish for exploring contemporary Latin American photography. LatAm f100 is a collaboration between fototazo and the photographer and educator Jaime Permuth.

Today we continue the series with selections by José Luis Cuevas. His biography follows his selections.

The series also includes responses from Molly RobertsMariela SancariAlonso CastilloPaccarik OrueKatrin EismannDina MitraniDon Gregorio AntonCristina De Middel, Arturo SotoCecilia Fajardo-HillGuillermo Srodek-HartYorgos EfthymiadisLivia AnimasJuanita BermúdezSusana Raab, the pairing of Victoria Holguín and Daniella BenedettiEmiliano ValdésMuriel HasbunGeorge SladeMarta DahóElizabeth AvedonJorge PicciniRodrigo OrrantiaSujong SongNelson Herrera YslaOliva María RubioJonathan Blaustein, and Patricia Martin.

fototazo ha invitado a un grupo de 50 curadores, galeristas, escritores, fotógrafos, y académicos - entre otros individuos seriamente comprometidos con la fotografía latinoamericana - a escoger cada quién dos fotógrafos emergentes cuya obra sea merecedora de mayor reconocimiento.

Este proyecto es una manera de celebrar el gran trabajo que se lleva a cabo en la región. Asimismo, busca proporcionar un punto de partida bilingüe en inglés y en español a las audiencias que deseen explorar la fotografía contemporánea en Latinoamérica. LatAm f100 es una colaboración entre fototazo y el fotógrafo y educador Jaime Permuth.


Hoy continuamos la serie con selecciones aportadas por 
José Luis CuevasEncontrará su biografía al final del texto.

La serie también incluye contribuciones de 
Molly RobertsMariela SancariAlonso CastilloPaccarik OrueKatrin EismannDina MitraniDon Gregorio AntonCristina De MiddelArturo SotoCecilia Fajardo-HillGuillermo Srodek-HartYorgos EfthymiadisLivia AnimasJuanita BermúdezSusana Raab, el dúo de Victoria Holguín and Daniella BenedettiEmiliano ValdésMuriel HasbunGeorge SladeMarta DahóElizabeth AvedonJorge PicciniRodrigo OrrantiaSujong Song y Nelson Herrera YslaOliva María Rubio, Jonathan Blaustein, y Patricia Martin.
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Koral Carballo 

From the series "Mala Hora" © Koral Carballo


From the series "Mala Hora" © Koral Carballo


From the series "Mala Hora" © Koral Carballo


From the series "Mala Hora" © Koral Carballo


From the series "Mala Hora" © Koral Carballo


From the series "Mala Hora" © Koral Carballo


From the series "Mala Hora" © Koral Carballo


From the series "Mala Hora" © Koral Carballo


From the series "Mala Hora" © Koral Carballo


From the series "Mala Hora" © Koral Carballo

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Sonia Madrigal

From the series "La muerte sale por el oriente" © Sonia Madrigal


From the series "La muerte sale por el oriente" © Sonia Madrigal


From the series "La muerte sale por el oriente" © Sonia Madrigal


From the series "La muerte sale por el oriente" © Sonia Madrigal


From the series "La muerte sale por el oriente" © Sonia Madrigal


From the series "La muerte sale por el oriente" © Sonia Madrigal


From the series "La muerte sale por el oriente" © Sonia Madrigal


From the series "La muerte sale por el oriente" © Sonia Madrigal


From the series "La muerte sale por el oriente" © Sonia Madrigal

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José Luis Cuevas, Mexico City, 1973

Since 2002 he has been dedicated to developing projects based on a documentary methodology, but conceived with absolute freedom, both in his production and in his narrative approaches. His images are nourished by personal reflections, daily observation, research, and other artistic disciplines. In 2009 he joined the Sistema Nacional de Creadores en México (National System of Creators in Mexico). In 2016, he was mentioned by the British Journal of Photography in "The Talent Issue: Ones to Watch 2016" and by Hunger Magazine in its article "Five Mexican photographers you have to know." In 2015, Time cited him as one of the nine Mexican photographers to follow. His first book New Era has been published by Editorial RM. In October 2017, during the FotoMéxico Festival, the Centro de la Imagen opened an individual exhibition of his most recent series. In addition, the Musée du quai Branly, in Paris, has granted him a residency for artistic project development in Japan during the end of 2017 and the beginning of 2018.

José Luis Cuevas / Cd. de México, 1973

Desde el año 2002 se dedica a desarrollar proyectos que tienen como base una metodología documental, pero concebidos con absoluta libertad, tanto en su producción como en sus planteamientos narrativos. Sus imágenes se nutren de reflexiones personales, de la observación cotidiana, la investigación y de otras disciplinas artísticas. En 2009 ingresa al Sistema Nacional de Creadores en México. En 2016, es mencionado por el British Journal of Photography en su número ‘The Talent Issue: Ones to Watch 2016’ y por Hunger Magazine en su artículo ‘Five Mexican photographers you have to know’. En 2015 Time lo señala como uno de los 9 fotógrafos mexicanos a seguir. Su primer libro 'New Era' ha sido publicado por Editorial RM. En octubre de 2017, durante el Festival FotoMéxico, el Centro de la Imagen abrió una exposición individual sobre sus series más recientes. Asimismo, el Musée du quai Branly, de Paris, le ha otorgado una residencia para desarrollo de proyecto artístico en Japón durante finales de 2017 y principios de 2018.