2014 New York Art Book Fair

2014 New York Art Book Fair

Books, Events, New Zine, News

It’s hard to believe it’s already that time of year again, but the New York Art Book Fair is this coming weekend and we hope you can swing by the Small Press Dome and say hello. Check out below for more information about the three publications we’ll be releasing at this fair as well as information about the Petty Thieves Five release party tomorrow night in Brooklyn – FB event information here!

“Canals” by Keith Lane
Keith Lane is a Washington, D.C. based photojournalist who we were lucky to have met at the 2013 D.C. Fotoweek Festival. Lane, providing a wide range of expertise and precession within his images, brought to us a series of Polaroids taken while covering the Arab Spring events within Cairo, Egypt. “Canals” provides a unique perspective into the life blood of Cairo,  the Nile river, and shows a quiet reflection of his own time covering the events but also how life must go on despite what is happening within ones daily life. This 11 x 17in, 20 page newsprint publication comes within a screen-printed archival envelope, and features a short verse of text by photographer, Laura El-Tantawy. Pre-order the publication here, or swing by the fair and pick up a copy in person. (All orders will start shipping after October 9, 2014)

Dai Kinchö” by Brett Davis
We recently featured Brett Davis on the blog, and we are now proud to announce the release of his newest booklet, “Dai Kinchö.”  This series takes us into the life of a young Japanese woman as she starts to figure out her own self and sexuality. Davis, using an interesting technique to create his images and pulling from a wide source of Japanese influences, constructs a tale that is both explicit and soft-spoken about the troubles of finding ones own sexuality within a culture that isn’t ready to address it themselves. This 40 page, 7 x 10in saddle stitched newsprint booklet will first be available at the NY Art Book Fair, and Davis will be conducting a signing as well during the fair. If you can’t make the fair, you can order one online as well here, all orders will start shipping after October 9, 2014.

Petty Thieves Five” featuring photographs from Victoria Crayhon, Patrick Barnes, James Whiting, Michael Ast, Josh Loeser, Eleanor Bleier, Jaclyn Wright, Alex Nelson, Sarah Katherine Moore, Justine Tobiasz, Matt Nighswander, Brett Gundlock, Tristan Wheelock, Phil Jackson, William Douglas, Nathaniel Grann, Chris Gregory, Nathan Pearce, Becky Harlan, Nick Wilkinson, Sara J. Winston, Nic Persinger, Thomas Pearson, Hannele Lahti, Carla Rodriguez, Matthew Crowther, Matthew Conboy, Caitlin Carr, Lauren Wansker, Paul Bothwell, Jordan Swartz, Shane Terry, and Taylor Galloway.

It’s hard to believe that this is the fifth installment of Petty Thieves. This one may even be the best yet, featuring a ton of awesome photographers from around the world, as well as plenty of new faces to the Petty Thieves game. The official launch party is tomorrow night – 867 Broadway, Brooklyn / 6:30 – 9:30pm – which will feature a projection of a wider edit of the work as well as the images that made it within this issue. This also happens to be the last event of the Empty Stretch takes-over NYC series at Hell & Gone Gallery, founded by our buddy Chris Berntsen, so make sure to swing by and say hello. Pre-order the publication here, or get one at the fair.

New Year, New Books

New Year, New Books

Books, New Zine, News, Petty Thieves, Shop, Uncategorized

We are excited to announce 3 new titles.

This first is our newest group endeavor, PETTY THIEVES FOUR: COAST TO COAST.

Petty Thieves Four
Petty Thieves Four

Featuring 42 photographers photographing what Coast To Coast means to them.

This will be released at the LA Art Book Fair, January 28th- February 2nd, but it can be pre-ordered now. (Pre- orders will not ship until February 5th.)

This project will also be a more long term projection show, but we are still working out the details, with more news to come soon.

We are also super excited to announce another new zine, “Dear Old Man of the Edgelands,” a joint project by Mary Rothlisberger & Petty Thieves Three alum, Carson Davis Brown.

Dear Old Man of the Edgelands
Dear Old Man of the Edgelands

DEAR OLD MAN OF THE EDGELANDS is a study of one thousand miles together on old American highways in late summer. A travelogue of peaks and valleys, wide skies and short sentences, small details and big feelings. This is the story of where we were traveling from. We still don’t know where we are traveling to.

It can be pre-ordered here & previewed here.

Last but not least, our very own Nathaniel Grann has a new zine.

Sometime Blues + Witches Brew
Sometime Blues + Witches Brew

SOMETIME BLUES + WITCHES BREW is a collection of images and writing from the past year. Feeling stuck within self-assigned pressures, and a generic melancholic state, this zine is a homage to that never-ending nagging in the back of your head that tells you things could always be worse and to those short-lived moments you wish you had camera for.

It can be pre-ordered here & previewed here. 

Petty Thieves Four Zine Announcement

Petty Thieves Four Zine Announcement

Books, New Zine, Petty Thieves, Pictures

Petty Thieves Four

Happy New Year everyone! It seems 2014 is already going to be a good one and we’re thrilled to keep this train moving with the announcement of who will be included within our newest Petty Thieves project – Petty Thieves Four: Coast to Coast. Check out the artists and their work below:

Dale Rothenberg, Amber Carter, Aaron Canipe, Uliana Bazar, Michel Nguie, Sam Stockman, Jason Rusnock, Matthew Mili, Arista Slater-Sandoval, Pommelien Koolen, Adam Revington, Fiona Palmer, Jordan Swartz, Michael Ast, Maria Windschüttel, Jon Stars, Brittany Marcoux, Tammy Mercure, Emilia Olsen, Chris Berntsen, Dave Driscoll, Marco Micceri, Steven Turville, Julie van der Vaart, Jani Zubkovs, Emmanuel Rosario, Rosaline Shahnavaz, Brian McswainIsabelle Evertse, Piotr Sokul, Nathaniel Grann, Julianne Popa, Aoife O’DwyerV. H. Hammer, Chris Suspect, Frank Hallam Day, David Collier, Ian C. Bates, Byron Barrett, Matthew Swarts, Ahmer Inam, and Brendan Megannety.

Special thanks to everyone who submitted their work for this one, and please keep an eye out for pre-order information and a possible projection show featuring a wider edit of the Coast to Coast submissions in the near future.

In other news, Petty Thieves Number Three was selected by Larissa Leclair, founder of The Indie Photobook Library, as one of her favorite photobooks of 2013 for Photo-Eye’s annual end of the year lists! Still hard to believe that one, but we know we couldn’t have done it without all of the support thrown our way over the past few years. So thanks again and we promise for a ton more good times in the coming months.

New Releases

Books, Feature, New Zine, Travel

We are proud to announce the release of two new zines.

The first has been a long time in the making. I traveled with We Were Skeletons, all across America, as well as parts of Canada & Europe, & my new zine “I’m Alright To Drive” is the culmination of endless hours in a van. Photographs & stories from the past 5 years, 56 full color pages, 6×9 inches, & hand numbered & signed in edtion of 100.




We also excited to announce the release of Jani Zubkov’s zine “This Is Not A Dark Ride” I met Jani through band friends & we have interviewed him here before at Empty Stretch & now we would like to present his 24 page full color zine, documenting often forgotten pieces of America.



janizubkovs_darkride_06Both are now available in the Empty Stretch Store. 

Petty Thieves Number Three Zine + Release Party!

Books, Events, Feature, New Zine, Petty Thieves, Spotlight

Guess what just arrived?!? Petty Thieves Number Three!! It looks beautiful and the awesome work within it, is still driving us crazy. Thank you to everyone who submitted and for those who haven’t yet, you got until tomorrow to send us something for the projection party! Check out the specs below:

Petty Thieves Number Three
Various Artist
96 pages, saddle stitch, 6x9in
edition of 100
printer: SmartPress
BUY ME – 18USD + S/H

Featuring: Patrick JoustPeter CurriePhil JacksonSofie van DamJacob FogelLaura PannackMcNair EvansJosh AndersonCarine WallauerJustine TobiaszRosaline ShahnavazJason HanasikMaureen DrennanLloyd StubberMads GreveBen HuffAimee PijpersLibi Rose StrieglMichela PalermoRichard Ramirez Jr.Aaron CanipeE. Brady RobinsonIPG ProjectStephanie MillElizabeth MoranChihHsien ChenJordan SullivanMelissa ButlerMichal BrezinskyJordan SwartzHalle Chapman-TaylerBarrett EmkeBrad WestcottAlan HunterMargaret Holland AdamsDerek HendersonJuan MadridKatherine SquierMatt Lief AndersonEsben Bøg-JensenHannah KuoTrevor PowersBrett DavisDaniel SheaNathaniel GrannAnthony GeraceCécile MayotCarson Davis BrownTammy MercureMariya UstymenkoK. Eleanor BleierMark StrandquistHeather Iris Galt-McloughlinNic PersingerBlaise ChatelainPaul John NelsonJared RaglandChris BerntsenJordan BaumgartenKevin TadgeKristoffer Tripplaar

PT3_Postcard3Speaking of the projection party, a dual photographic projection and release party for Petty Thieves Number Three will be hosted in collaboration with Furthermore at the Petworth Citizen + Reading Room {829 Upshur Street NW, Washington, D.C.} on November 8, 2013, starting at 8pm. It’s all ages, no cover, full bar and food available, and a guaranteed fun time. Check out the FB event here.

New Book: “Burnish” by Isabelle Evertse

Books, New Zine, Pictures

20130629_WashingtonDC_0094 Empty Stretch is very excited to introduce our newest photobook, Burnish by Isabelle Evertse. It has been a real pleasure working alongside Evertse in the creation of this book and we can’t wait to share it with you all. Check out more about the book below and enjoy!

by Isabelle Evertse
48 pages, saddle stitch
edition of 100
printer: Conveyor Arts
Purchase Here – View Full Series Here

Burnish (bûrnsh) tr.v. burnished, burnishing, burnishes
1. To make smooth or glossy by rubbing; polish.
n. A smooth glossy finish or appearance; luster.

Burnish is a record of a girl and her father, of the words that might or might not have been said, and the intrepid expectations of how things should have been. Letters that once were cherished and loathed, have now yellowed with time as the rough slowly becomes smooth. Quiet gentle whispers build as a girl tries to connect with someone who is both here and not.

flower mail-isabelle evertseArtist Bio
Isabelle Evertse (b.  Cape Town, South Africa) She emigrated to France with her family and her education was shared between French and English schools. She pursued a BFA at the Ecole des Beaux Arts de Toulouse in 2007. Thus she discovered her passion for photography and entered the National Photography School of Arles obtaining her Masters in 2010. She has since then accomplished internships with the Magnum Photo agencies in London (2008) and New York (2009). Photography has become essential in her everyday life. Through the aesthetics of a still image, her primary goal is to combine the vividness of her imagination and the beauty that lies in everyday life. Her work revolves around her country of birth (South Africa) where her soul resides and her country of adoption (France) where her future lies. Immensely attracted to travelling the world, her projects are inspired by foreign cultures and her numerous journeys. She founded and created piK magazine, dedicated to promoting photographers worldwide in March 2012.

Occasional Prose, a little heat and turbulence

New Zine

As photographers, what do we do between big projects? In between thinking about something else? To keep our mind’s eye active and a state to receive what the world is showing us? According to Minor White’s “The Camera Mind and Eye”, the ability to stay sensitive and vigilant with camera in hand produces something interesting, eventually, something subconsciously turbulent.

 If [the photographer] were to walk a block in a state of sensitized sympathy to everything to be seen, he would be exhausted before the block was up and out of film long before that. Perhaps the blank state of mind can be likened to a pot of water almost at the boiling point. A little more heat—an image seen—and the surface breaks into turbulence. Possibly the creative work of the photographer consists in part of putting himself into this state of mind. Reaching it, at any rate, is not automatic. It can be aided by always using one’s camera for serious work so that the association of the camera in one’s hands always leads to taking pictures.

Carrying a small digital or 35mm camera is conducive to achieving this state of mind. Whenever I came back to Hickory I tried hard to keep one on me at all times to spark something whenever I wasn’t out on more serious photographing or onto a place where I knew what I wanted. It kept me open and sensitive.

Over the years this practice became more serious to me. I waited a while when I got the film or files back, scanned a few frames, edited them, and kept them hanging around on hard drives. But what does this work mean? Each picture seemed like a sentence out of longer narrative, a separate thought that somehow accompanied some larger feeling about whatever was going on in my life. Whenever I reached White’s boiling point, the pictures became curtailed stories and occasional bits of prose.

I put these bits into a new zine called “Occasional Prose” and it features small moments I’ve found over a couple years. Staying vigilant, approaching boiling temperatures.

Buy it here + view more images from the project

Book Review: Chris Berntsen

Books, Feature, Interview, New Zine, Pictures, Spotlight

I was driving around New Orleans with no real destination, when I passed a guy on a bicycle, he looked familiar but I couldn’t quite place it. A few minutes later, I realized it was Chris Berntsen, this only solidifies his somewhat mythical creature status. He does what I try to do, only he succeeds. He seems to constantly be in transit, he consistently makes new work, & is one of the nicest people I have come to know in recent years. We interviewed him about a year ago & since then he has had shows in Montreal, New Orleans, & Philadelphia, & released a new book “The Ritual of Nothingness.”


It come’s in a xerox cardstock sleeve, black & white with a beautifully cyan out of focus portrait, gold text scribbled across in messy cursive. As I pull the book from the sleeve, I almost immediately realize, he has accomplished in one book, what I have been trying with Empty Stretch releases for years; he has kept the ethos & feel of a zine, yet translated it into book form. Photos taped in, sporadically arranged, collaged, notes written; he has stepped right inline behind the greats of Jim Goldberg’s “Raised by Wolves” & Ed Templeton’s “The Golden Age of Neglect.”



I first got into Berntsen’s work because of his photos & videos of bands & his closeness to them & I have stayed interested in his work because of that proximity. You can look at these photos & know he cares about his subjects, some faces repeat, & you can actively see the transitions of his friends, whether physically or geographically. He has spent years with these people & this is their yearbook of sorts & I can only hope to one day produce a body of work so drenched in passion & so footnoted with care.


If you haven’t previously seen his work, I urge you to get a copy of the book, as well as take another look at his website, he is constantly adding new photos & videos.

You can email him at chris@chrisberntsen.com or pick up a copy at Dashwood Books in New York.

Saturday Fight Night

Books, New Zine, Pictures, Shop, Text

Biblical narratives drive a lot of my photographic work as well as its long and rich history in the arts. I took a Bible history class during my sophomore year of high school and got an in-depth look into stories from the Old Testament and more than a few of them were new to me. One in particular was a story from Genesis, where Jacob, while traveling on the road to Canaan, encounters an angel and wrestles with the angel until daybreak. Through this struggle, Jacob becomes a much more spiritual person and finds peace with God.

This seemed like such an odd occurrence to me. The story of Jacob wrestling with the angel has been depicted through art history for centuries and years later when I saw Paul Gauguin’s “Vision After the Sermon” in college, my interest in the biblical story was renewed.

“Vision after the Sermon”, Paul Gauguin, 1888

Meanwhile in my hometown of Hickory, I kept seeing these advertisements crop up on the side of the road for wrestling matches at the local National Guard Armory buildings. I was sort of interested what went on at these matches as they always seemed to hype up some of the personalities and weaponry being used. Now that my long-term undergraduate thesis project was completed, I decided to start a short project involving photographing these wrestling matches while thinking about them in a Biblical framework.

I went to a few matches over the summer, incessantly taking pictures ringside in the giant concrete Armory building. The lack of air conditioning made me feel like I was one of the wrestlers because I was sweating more than usual. It being summer and all made it that much worse. There was nothing short of fun to be had at the matches and at $8 a ticket, it was more entertaining and less expensive than a movie ticket. Girls running the merchandise table defending themselves with pizza cutters, wrestlers breaking open Diet Pepsi cans with their teeth, throwing it on the ground, and dog collar matches where two opponents duke it out while being held together by a long, chain link.

The spectacle of it all fascinated me and made it exciting for me to make pictures. Maneuvering wasn’t that easy and predicting where the match would go kept me on my toes. What resulted in this project is a new zine called “Saturday Fight Night” — Gauguin’s painting seemed a lot more important to me, and the dots of harsh stage lights in the background of the pictures felt Divine in a small way. Through the elaborate drama of the wrestlers, the same lessons Jacob learned in the wilderness about humility, masculinity, stubbornness, and ultimately, inner peace and victory were exacerbated in the wrestler’s actions and faces.

“Saturday Fight Night” is a new 26-page, color laser printed zine, signed and in an edition of 25. The cover is 67 lb. grey card stock with Gustave Doré’s 1855 depiction of Jacob Wrestling with the Angel on the cover in inkjet. The book is pamphlet-stitched with waxed linen thread and measures 7.5″ x 8.5″. Pick one up at the Empty Stretch store for $10!