Posts Tagged ‘Helen Levitt’

NOVEMBER EVENTS: Paris, Munich, Brooklyn

November 7, 2011

Alex Webb, Kampala, Uganda, 1980, from "The Suffering of Light"

––BOOK SIGNING AT PARIS PHOTO @ THE GRAND PALAIS

SATURDAY, NOV. 12, 4:30 @ APERTURE BOOTH, E26

Join us for a book signing of Alex’s new book, THE SUFFERING OF LIGHT (exhibition opening @ Aperture in New York, Thursday, Dec. 8th), and our joint Cuba book, VIOLET ISLE  (exhibition currently at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, until January 16th, 2012; Radius Books expects VIOLET ISLE to be sold out by the end of the year).  We will post other book signings and activities we’ll be involved in @ Paris Photo –– which this year celebrates African photography –– as we finalize our schedule.  Here is a link to more Aperture book signings at Paris Photo this year, including a signing by one of Rebecca’s favorite photographers, Rinko Kawauchi.Alex Webb and Rebecca Norris Webb

––ALEX WEBB LECTURE IN MUNICH

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 18TH.   For more information (only in German), please follow this link.  Alex will be speaking as part of a conference.

––REBECCA NORRIS WEBB  @ THE BROOKLYN PUBLIC LIBRARY

Rebecca will join a group of filmmakers, writers, and other photographers involved in the Brooklyn project, “Jump Rope Girls,” a project started by journalist, SUSAN HARTMAN, for an article she did for The New York Times 23 years ago about a group of girls who were expert Double Dutch jumpers at a time when their Brooklyn neighborhood was particularly troubled.  A generation later, Hartman — with a group of documentary filmmakers and photographers — has continued to follow three of the four young women and their extended family and community, including Savannah (below), whom Rebecca has been photographing this past year, a process that’s taking her back to her photographic roots –– she started out in photography photographing children at play in New York, influenced by the street work of Helen Levitt and the portraits of Sally Mann.–Alex Webb

Information:

Jump Rope Girls, 23 Years On

Wed., November 30, 2011    7:00 pm    Free

Brooklyn Public Library     10 Grand Army Plaza   MAP IT

2/3 trains at Grand Army Plaza

Refreshments by Salsa Catering.

Rebecca Norris Webb, "Communion," Brooklyn, 2011

WEBB WORKSHOP UPDATE: TWO NEW WORKSHOPS

––ONE DAY WORKSHOP @ APERTURE, NY: Saturday, December 17, 2011
––CUBA: STREETS OF HAVANA, Nordic Light Workshop: JANUARY 2012

Alex Webb, Havana, 2009, from "Violet Isle"

––ONE-DAY WORKSHOP @ APERTURE, NYC

with Alex Webb and Rebecca Norris Webb

Saturday, December 17, 10-5 pm; includes public gallery talk with Alex Webb about his Aperture exhibition, THE SUFFERING OF LIGHT from 4 to 5 pm.

$225; $175 for full time photography students and Aperture members

Do you know where you’re going next with your photography –– or where it’s taking you?  This intensive one-day workshop will help photographers begin to understand their own distinct way of seeing the world.  It will also help photographers figure out their next step photographically  –– from deepening their own unique vision to the process of discovering and making a long-term project that they’re passionate about.

A workshop for serious amateurs and professionals alike, this one-day workshop will begin Saturday  morning with reviews of each photographer’s work, serving as a jumping off point for a larger discussion about various photographic issues. Alex and Rebecca, a creative team who often edit projects and books together –– including their book and Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, exhibition, “Violet Isle: A Duet of Photographs from Cuba” –– will explore with the class a series of topics, including the process of photographing spontaneously and intuitively; how to photograph in cultures other than one’s own; how to edit photographs intuitively; the emotional and psychological implications of working in color vs. black and white; the difference between images in a book and images on the wall; and how long-term projects can evolve into books and exhibitions. Participants should be prepared to ask questions, as these concerns will help shape the ultimate direction of the workshop.

This one-day workshop is for documentary photographers, street photographers, art photographers, and others who photograph the world with a camera –– not for those who dramatically alter their photographs digitally.  

WHAT PHOTOGRAPHERS SHOULD BRING: About 30 photography prints (can be inexpensive 5×7  or 8×10  work prints; we are most interested in the image not the quality of the print).  For those who are working in a series or on a long-term project, feel free to bring one or two projects.

Class limit: 20

To enroll for the workshop and pay the workshop fee (there is a discounted rate for full-time photography students, Aperture Patrons, and SNAP! members), please follow this link to the Aperture site. For more information, contact Rebecca at rebeccanorriswebb@yahoo.com.

––THE STREETS OF HAVANA with NORDIC LIGHT

Sunday, January 22, 2012 to Saturday, January 28, 2012; possible second week, Jan. 29-Feb. 5 

Havana workshop, organized by Norway’s Nordic Light Photography Festival.  For more information, follow this link.

Rebecca Norris Webb, Havana, 2008, from "Violet Isle"

NEW BOOK: Book Launch @ Aperture, June 1st

May 30, 2011

Alex Webb, cover of "The Suffering of Light" (Aperture), with an essay by Geoff Dyer

 

Please join us to celebrate the launch of Alex’s new book, The Suffering of Light, at Aperture at 6:30pm, which will include a conversation with photographer and critic Max Kozloff and a booksigning afterwards. (To take a look inside Alex’s new book, follow this link to the PhotoEye site.) And here’s a link to a portfolio of Alex’s work from the new book on the La Lettre site, courtesy of the Robert Klein Gallery in Boston, which will have a joint show of our work on Saturday, September 17th, from 2-4pm.

And below you’ll find a rough, homemade video of our Violet Isle show at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, an exhibition mentioned in The New York Times on Sunday and reviewed in The Boston Globe on Tuesday, May 31st.   For those who are part of the “Two Looks” online community, please let us know if you get a chance to see Violet Isle at the MFA, Boston, which will be up until January 16, 2012.

By the way, if you visit the MFA by June 16th, be sure and stop by and see the photography show, “Conversations: Photography from the Bank of America Collection,” which includes work by such noted photographers as Lee Friedlander, Diane Arbus, Julia Margaret Cameron, Wright Morris, Alec Soth, William Eggleston, Robert Frank, Mitch Epstein, Larry Sultan, Mike Smith, and Helen Levitt.–Rebecca Norris Webb

POSTINGS: April 2010

April 8, 2010

Henri Cartier-Bresson, Torcello, 1953

TWO VIEWS:  Henri Cartier-Bresson

The Cartier-Bresson show that just opened at MOMA is a very different kind of exhibition than the last one that I saw at the museum.  That prior show concentrated on his early work, his surrealist-influenced street photography of the thirties, largely from Europe.   This new exhibition concentrates on his entire work.  Though the early photographs are represented –– and indeed there are a few extremely early images that I am utterly unfamiliar with –– the show largely focuses on the later, more journalistically oriented work from all over the world.  There are examples of many of the magazines that published his work from this era, and there is a set of astonishing maps, representing an incredible amount of research, that track Cartier-Bresson’s wanderings throughout the world.

Though I remain personally most excited by the early, more lyrical work — it was so pure, so visionary, such a special moment in the history of photography ––  it is fascinating to see the broad spectrum of his oeuvre, including many images that I was unaware of.  And there are certainly some gems to discover:  I was particularly taken with this image from Torcello (above). I may well have seen it before but now, thanks to this new exhibition, it is burned into my memory.––Alex Webb

“In a portrait, you are looking for the silence in somebody.”––HCB

“Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst.”––HCB

Above, I selected TWO QUOTES by the late great Cartier-Bresson, who I had the pleasure of meeting in Paris a few years before he died.  In addition, I’m also including links  to two interviews with him –- one a TV interview with Charlie Rose of PBS and, the other, a radio interview with Susan Stamberg of NPR.

And, lastly, here are TWO LINKS to reviews of the current MOMA show, one by the New York Times art critic, Holland Cotter and the other by Philip Gefter of The Daily Beast, which includes a slideshow of some of Cartier-Bresson’s most iconic images.–– Rebecca Norris Webb

TWO RARE BIRDS: BARB and HELEN

Rebecca Norris Webb, Barcelona, 2010

Last month at the Barcelona Zoo, I was thinking about a good friend of my parents, Barb, a lover of birds, who had died recently in my hometown in South Dakota. I’ll always remember my last visit in February with Barb and her husband Don, the couple surrounded by a menagerie of assorted birds, dogs, cats and ferrets.  Bird-thin from the cancer, Barb was holding one of her prized cockatiels close to her chest, and –– like always –– her chief concerns were about her many rescued creatures, not about herself.

So, in the Barcelona Zoo last month, I couldn’t help but think of Barb as I photographed this caged cockatiel (above), while outside my frame –– above the bars and the glass and the zoo’s many fences –– the largest nesting colony of gray herons in Spain was flying free.––Rebecca Norris Webb

Helen Levitt, New York City, 1988

When I first moved to New York in the late 1980’s, Helen Levitt was one of my favorite photographers, and continues to be so, today.  Known predominantly for her black-and-white photographs of children in New York City, she also worked some in color.  Above is a rare bird for me personally, a photograph I’d never seen until recently.

When I look at this image, I can’t help but feel a little nostalgic for a couple of reasons:  It’s a photograph taken of the once ubiquitous icon of the New York City street –- the phone booth–– this one crammed with mother and children.  And secondly, because it was taken on the now extinct Kodachrome film.––RNW

DARK HORSE: Louis Faurer –– Text and Images

Louis Faurer, Self portrait, New York, 1947

Some photographers seem to fall through the cracks of photographic history.  Such seems to have been the case for a time with Louis Faurer.  When I was a young photographer, no one ever mentioned Faurer’s work.  In the late 70’s, after moving to NY, I began to see some of his images, images that I found intriguing, evocative.  I’ve seen more over the years and have always been excited by the uniqueness of his eye.  But until Rebecca recently returned from Houston Fotofest with a book of his collected photographs –– with a fine introduction by Anne Wilkes Tucker of the MFA, Houston ––I didn’t really have a sense of the scope of his work.

Most of the Faurer work that I had seen over the years reminded me a bit of that of Robert Frank (not necessarily surprising, in that they were apparently close friends):  that sense of immediacy, of being inside a poetic moment, often captured a little off-kilter.   As with Frank’s work, with Faurer’s work there is often a strong sense of freedom to the camera. Situations are seen through glass, through reflections, through car windows.  At times, the seeing seems to look towards the later complexities of Friedlander — though consistently striking a more lyrical note.  And for me, personally, this is the side of Faurer’s work that I am particularly sympathetic to.  However, what surprised me most in looking at this book of his work was its variety.  There seems to be a willingness to experiment, to move in different directions, to try new approaches.  For alongside the more spontaneous off-kilter street pictures are more conventional portraits as well as negative sandwiches.  There are echoes of Lisette Model, Arbus, and even Maholy-Nagy.  Perhaps it was simply a fertile time in American photography, when photographers felt particularly free to explore.––Alex Webb

Louis Faurer, Accident, New York, 1952, Gitterman Gallery

IN HIS OWN WORDS: The Photo Not Taken

The MFA Houston book of Faurer’s work by the insightful and thoughtful Anne Wilkes Tucker, includes a wonderful passage from a letter written by the photographer to the then editor of Camera Magazine, Allan Porter, in December 1974.  Faurer, who was known, among other things, for his sympathetic photographs of people on the fringes of society, reflects on an incident in which he missed a photograph of a destitute man in the New York subway.  Interesting how sometimes the photo not taken gives us a different kind of picture of a particular photographer’s process, body of work, and even, sometimes, as with the passage below, his humanity.—Rebecca Norris Webb

Slowly I walked down the slope leading to the second lower level platform.  Was it because I was not courageous that resulted in a miss?  Because I could not further humiliate him?  Was this cadaver-like man with no direction beyond the need for food, thought, and love?  Again, the thought came to my mind, was I cowardly?  Had I become a counterpart to this man?  Hadn’t I been pacing, darting aimlessly, without direction, like the man?  Later I related the incident to several people.  I said, perhaps I thought I was he, maybe I was afraid of myself, but I wanted to think that he had experienced so much pain and anguish that additional injury to his once felt dignity was not possible and that I could not risk accepting the guilt.  Or maybe from way back I heard Walker Evans once say to me, “You wouldn’t photograph a fat woman, would you?” and he might have added “and hurt them?—Louis Faurer


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