Wednesday, 25 April 2012

What I Learnt From New York...

Going to New York was a real eye opener for me as I realised that I was so comfortable there and this showed me that I do have the awareness and 'make your home where you land' attitude to travelling. I know that in the future when I wish to do my own travel/reportage photography for editorials or exhibitions that I will be able to handle it and direct myself, it has also made me seriously think about an idea I had for a project a while ago called 'In The Footsteps Of Bill Gedney' and my plan was to one day go to Kentucky where he photographed coal miners and re do this myself.
Talking to Steve Pyke and seeing his studio and hearing about how he came to be a great photographer inspired me to actually concentrate on doing more film and more of my own work, not just college work. It is hard to find the time between college and work but hopefully over the summer I will work more on film and see if I can get some good shots together. To see what I could possibly be doing in the future at Steve's studio was just phenomenal, to see what you can acheive just my perserverence and confidence in your own style and work ethic is a guiding light for me. I also saw some fantastic work at MoMA which held a retrospective of Cindy Shermans work, it was great to see her untitled film stills, my favourite of her sets. I also visited the International Center of Photography, which was not something I had planned so I didnt know what exhibitions were on, but it turned out to be great photographic work and one of my favourite photographers: Weegee, Murder Is My Business with over 100 photographs and an installation piece that showed what his home/studio looked like. There was also the Magnum Contact Sheets collection and a show called 'Perspectives 2012' which hosted work by photographers; Anna Shteynshleyger, Greg Girard and Chien-Chi Chang. There images were much more contemporary and I loved the exploration of an immigrant family in New York, America in 1998 and the catalogue of their lives by Chien-Chi Chang.

USA. New York City. Chinatown. - USA. New York City. 1998. A newly arrived immigrant eats noodles on a fire escape.  - Asian - Far East origin, Bare chest, Bowl, Chopsticks, Clandestine, Eating., Exterior, Fire escape, Immigrant worker, Man - 25 to 45 years, Poverty, Sandal, Seated, Street, Summer, Traffic, View from above

There was also the Francesca Woodman exhibition at the Guggenheim which I have to say was fantastic! There was 120 photographs and a moving image piece that I watched. She was so young and had so much talent, I can't even begin to imagine how her photographs could have developed if she was still alive. Her exploration of the self is something I would not be strong enough to do but her work is so revealing and everchanging, she portrays confidence and yet her images often seem sad and confining. It was amazing to see the prints up close and see her Angel series as well as her larger prints using different printing methods. Overall, a worth while trip that I look forward to following up again!!

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