Check out Beyoncé's website right now and you'll get an eyeful of the work of New York artist Hank Willis Thomas. There's a slideshow of the artist's sculptures, photographs, and interactive projects, which frequently confront issues of race head-on. The images flash by within a graphic of a picture frame adorned with a plaque reading “Black History Month."
Posted on Wednesday, February 11, 2015 by Laura Braun
Posted on Friday, February 6, 2015 by Laura Braun
Although Californian photographer Larry Sultan is one of the most prominent positions of the so-called “post-conceptual” photography in the United States, in Germany he has only been known among connoisseurs so far. Sultan was born in New York in 1946, but grew up in San Fernando Valley close to Los Angeles. His teaching career includes a professorship for photography at the California College of the Arts in San Francisco. He died in 2009.
Posted on Wednesday, November 19, 2014 by Laura Braun
He was a respected teacher at SFAI and California College of the Arts but his best known series brought him back to his home town. The Valley was born of a Maxim magazine assignment to document a porn star at work in a film. He continued by photographing multiple shoots in the San Fernando Valley, images often titled by street location: Chandler Blvd. Instead of obviously sexualized or sensational shots, Sultan documented the actors waiting and waiting, wearing heavy make-up and unlikely costumes.
Posted on Monday, November 10, 2014 by Laura Braun
Arranged in reverse chronology, the work on view is an expansive and comprehensive look at Sultan's practice, beginning with "Evidence" (1977), a group of found black-and-white photographs, sourced and decontextualized from the archives of corporations and government agencies made in collaboration with Mike Mandel.
Posted on Monday, November 3, 2014 by Laura Braun
“Larry Sultan: Here and Home,” a retrospective of the work of the Greenbrae photographer, will be at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art from Sunday, Nov. 9, through March 22. Brooklyn-born Sultan was raised in the San Fernando Valley, and lived in the Bay Area from the ’70s until his death in 2009, with long teaching stints at the San Francisco Art Institute and the California College of the Arts. The exhibition, organized by LACMA, will go to the Milwaukee Art Museum after its Los Angeles showing, and will be at SFMOMA not long after its reopening.
Posted on Monday, October 13, 2014 by Lindsey Westbrook
When current CCA Director of Fine Arts Tammy Rae Carland was in college, Nirvana played the rent parties she and her friends threw at their student-founded alternative gallery space. “This was before they released records and got super-famous,” she avers. “But still!”
They called the gallery Reko-Muse. The place: Olympia, Washington. “It really was a ‘build it and they will come’ kind of a scene. Everyone I knew was playing in a band, starting a gallery, putting out zines, precisely because there was nothing to do otherwise, culturally speaking. And people would drive from Seattle -- or further, even -- to come to shows. Olympia’s music scene became a really big deal.”
Carland, who was also in bands, ran a record label, and put out more than a few zines herself, is today a rock star in another realm: photography.
Posted on Monday, September 8, 2014 by Laura Braun
I'm a photographer and director. I began taking photos as a teenager going to punk shows in the Midwest where my family had moved from the Bay Area. My mother was a flight attendant and my father a pilot, so at a very early age I was traveling constantly and always had my camera with me. I went to school at the California College of the Arts in Oakland, and immediately began working as a photographer. My first feature film, Echo Park, premiered at the Los Angeles Film Festival in June. I live in LA now but I am always at home in an airport or on a plane.
Posted on Monday, September 8, 2014 by Laura Braun
Raised in the San Fernando Valley, Sultan moved to Northern California in the early 1970s, but continued to draw inspiration from the architecture, atmosphere, and attitude of the Southern California of his youth. A lifelong educator, Sultan taught photography at the San Francisco Art Institute for 10 years (1978–88) and the California College of the Arts for 20 years (1989–2009) where he served as a Distinguished Professor of Photography.
Posted on Wednesday, August 27, 2014 by Laura Braun
'Devils Den was a project that came out of our current experience of life in the mythmaking/marketing hub of New York City, and our awareness of having grown up in a context of rampant consumerism and growing political unrest. The reenactment reflects themes in the civil war that continue to play out in today's politics. Though this work is inspired in part by the aesthetics of advertising, it is anti-propaganda at its core. We are not trying to sell some sort of nationalist pride. We are just presenting what we saw, through a framework that interests us.'
Posted on Monday, July 28, 2014 by Laura Braun
Over the last several months, some people here have spotted an R.V. rolling down their streets with a man squatting on top, holding a camera he trains down on them as if trying to compile his own version of Google Street View. A few have accused him of being a cop. Others have struck up conversations, and he has climbed down to spend the afternoon taking their pictures.