Photography News

Posted on Tuesday, August 7, 2012 by Allison Byers

In Southern California one finds “amazing, long, slow, sunny days that disintegrate into something totally gorgeous” all year round, notes Los Angeles-based photographer Amanda Marsalis, waxing a bit poetic about the California sunshine she’s become known for utilizing to its utmost potential.

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Posted on Monday, August 6, 2012 by Allison Byers

Graduate and/or post-graduate photography education gives young photographers many of the creative and business tools they need to pursue a career in the photo industry. However there are some lessons that, for various reasons, student-photographers don’t get in school. While putting together the July Fine-Art issue of PDN, we reached out to 10 photographers who’ve graduated in the past few years to ask, “What lessons didn’t you learn in art school that have been important to your career?”

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Posted on Tuesday, July 24, 2012 by Lindsey Westbrook

From Amber Cox's documentation of San Francisco's Financial District

San Francisco and Istanbul: Both built across seven hills, on peninsulas jutting into major bodies of water, where East meets West dramatically and literally-continentally. Their respective situations along major global shipping routes means that they have always been rich in trade, rich in a cosmopolitan diversity of cultures, and rich in ideas: Just as the Bay Area has been a center of forward thinking, from the 1960s Haight-Ashbury counterculture to contemporary entrepreneurial Silicon Valley culture, Turkey -- and especially Istanbul -- is facing the future culturally and politically in its unique position at the crossroads of Europe, Asia, and the Arab world.

CCA and Istanbul: East Meets West

CCA has been engaging with Istanbul in many cultural exchanges in recent years. In 2011 Jens Hoffmann, director of the CCA Wattis Institute, co-curated the 12th Istanbul Biennial, which featured numerous CCA alumni and faculty. The Vehbi Koç Foundation of Turkey recently announced its pledge to support one full-time Turkish student each year in CCA's Graduate Program in Curatorial Practice. And in spring 2012, Mariella Poli's CCA course Locality and Global Discourses facilitated an exchange between 16 students at CCA and five students at Istanbul Bilgi University.

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Posted on Monday, July 2, 2012 by Rachel Walther

It was Alison Bailey's fearlessness that brought her home. A 2003 graduate of CCA's Photography Program and now an associate producer for the Travel Channel TV show Bizarre Foods, Bailey asks herself every day as part of her job, "Where haven't I been before?"

It's this enthusiasm for exploration that originally brought her from Minneapolis to CCA, then across the country to New York, and finally back to Minneapolis in search of a creative career that felt like home.

She landed this job with Tremendous! Entertainment, the company that produces Bizarre Foods, in 2010. The show, now in its sixth season, introduces audiences to exotic and regional foods of the world, from Alaska to Thailand. As an associate producer, she plans the day-to-day pre-production schedule, researches people and locations for future shows, and coordinates the details of filming.

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Posted on Thursday, June 28, 2012 by Amanda E. Gross

from Team JuaBar IMPACT 2012 project proposal

Within the next few weeks, the three teams of CCA students who won IMPACT Social Entrepreneurship Awards will be heading to Alaska, Tanzania, and Mexico to attempt innovative social transformations. Bolstered by the support of their $10,000 IMPACT grants and their community partner organizations, the teams -- KVAK TV, JuaBar, and 20/20 FOTO -- will work to empower three different communities to address pressing local concerns. Each team brings together a mix of graduate and undergraduate students from different academic programs.

IMPACT is one of the anchor programs at CCA's Center for Art and Public Life, providing students with opportunities to build relationships for social change. It is about innovation, community, collaboration, and making. It celebrates the entrepreneurial drive of CCA students combined with their desire to create a tangible, positive influence within a specific community.

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Posted on Thursday, May 17, 2012 by Allison Byers

Contradictory as it may seem, absence can be a potent visual tool for addressing representation. Whether exploring a setting devoid of its central subjects or presenting marginalized histories and persons that have been sidelined from the dominant cultural record, Tammy Rae Carland’s photographs can manifest human intimacies and vulnerabilities, sometimes without any body in the image.

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Posted on Wednesday, May 16, 2012 by Rachel Walther

Andrew Georgopoulos (2nd from left) on the set of "The Artist"

"People have always told me no, and I've done it anyway."

There's nowhere that Andrew Georgopoulos (Individualized Major 2007) won't go to get his image. He's photographed a nude woman in the middle of Lombard Street and documented the day-to-day exploits of Snoop Dogg and other hip-hop legends. Recently he grabbed his first Hollywood studio experience working on a film with a serious budget and an international crew that would go on to be named best picture of 2011: a production you may have heard of, called The Artist.

"It's all about access," Georgopoulos explains, of how to get the story you want. "It's the defining factor that separates you from the next person." His introduction to hip-hop musicians and lifestyles started by answering an ad soliciting photojournalists for a neighborhood magazine in the East Bay. "My body of work grew, from the next artist to the next. I was always looking to get the next big name, and I was able to come to them with a background." Eventually he spent a full year capturing the life of Snoop Dogg. This was during his sophomore year at CCA, when he was 20 years old.

Georgopoulos's work can be in-your-face, but his technique never overshadows his subject. His most engaging photos of musicians are often candid shots of their more mundane, day-to-day moments, and his travel photography is as contemplative as it is exotic. His personal work, on the other hand, captures for posterity those larger-than-life moments you see out of the corner of your eye or in your more vivid dreams.

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Posted on Thursday, April 19, 2012 by Mitchell Schwarzer

Mitchell Schwarzer gives his introduction at the CCA faculty retreat

On February 4, 2012, the faculty at California College of the Arts gathered at the college's San Francisco campus for a retreat focused on the state of the arts across our many disciplines. In the morning, 25 short presentations offered insights into challenges and opportunities faced by practitioners and thinkers in recent times. The word aired most frequently was crisis: the crisis of the Great Recession; the crisis of Global Climate Change; the crisis of understanding and working within a discipline in our digital age.

Watch the video of all the presentations (91 minutes), shot and edited by Yoni Klein (Photography 2012)

The economic downturn has produced an economic squeeze within most of our disciplines. Art directors, as Alexis Mahrus remarks, have diminished roles in shaping an illustration. Smaller profit margins reduce the flexibility and time given over to experimentation. Branding and celebrity worship take up a larger slice of the creative pie. Some presenters, like Sue Redding of Industrial Design, see no problem in this conflation of art and business and, furthermore, dispute the notion of a crisis. Yet many presenters feel that the economic crisis is not only real but wielding dangerously asymmetrical impacts. Demand remains strong for high-end craft goods and blue-chip fine art. Some small nonprofits are struggling to survive. To Ignacio Valero of Critical Studies, the priority given over to luxury items can be attributed to the ongoing influence of classical economic policies that privilege individual decision making over collective social and natural needs. Likewise, Sandra Vivanco of Diversity Studies notes that economic inequalities have greatly worsened over the past few years, especially in the developing world. Contemporary society is forging a timeless, spaceless way of conducting business, a race for lucrative and short-term gains that concentrates investment more than ever in the hands of a few.

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Posted on Tuesday, April 17, 2012 by Jim Norrena

A documentary short by Yoni Klein and Alka Joshi

Blink once for finalist, twice for student Academy Award.

In almost as little time as it takes to blink, Yoni Klein's (2012 Photography) and alumna Alka Joshi's (MFA 2011 Writing) documentary short, Blink, made the film festival rounds in 2011, screening at almost a dozen film festivals across the United States as well as in London at GFEST, the Gaywise Festival! Now the film has just been announced as a regional finalist in the 39th annual Student Academy Awards competition of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (the Academy) and the Academy Foundation!

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Posted on Wednesday, February 15, 2012 by Samantha Braman

Todd Hido, Untitled #9197, 2010

Todd Hido (MFA 1996, and currently a Photography faculty member) has built several remarkable and highly recognizable bodies of work over the two decades of his career thus far. He is best known for his night shots of suburban houses, desolate landscapes obscured by rain and snow, and uneasy, haunting portraits.

"Photographing people and places -- and putting them together to create narratives and suggest stories -- has consistently been my focus," says Hido. "It never ceases to amaze me what happens when you combine a portrait and a place. Your mind can't help filling in the gaps between them."

Hido's latest solo exhibition, Excerpts from Silver Meadows, is on view now through February 25 at Stephen Wirtz Gallery in San Francisco. Sequenced to form an almost cinematic narrative, its main "characters" are atmospheric, uninhabited wintertime landscapes and somewhat spooky portraits of beautiful, dramatic-looking women. Silver Meadows is a real place -- a suburban development that sprang up around 1970 on the outskirts of Kent, Ohio, where Hido grew up, which makes the development and the artist about the same age.

While shooting the pictures, he wandered around Silver Meadows and its adjacent areas deliberately, yet randomly, in search of scenes that would connect with his recollections. The exhibition presents both Hido's reckoning with his own past and a summation of the suburban childhood experience in general, in which communities are constructed from whole cloth, and "ticky tacky" homes, built similarly to convey stability, actually conceal lives seething with sexual and psychological instability. The pictures feel simultaneously familiar, yet imaginary and dreamlike, transcending any specific time and place.

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