Feature: Brandon Wilson

Feature: Brandon Wilson

Feature, Spotlight

Brandon Wilson

Brandon Wilson’s website is cryptic, with little information or direction. No titles or series names, but he’s allowed to, because his photos are really good. He seamlessly weaves between urban and rural landscapes, switching from abstract and obscure to definitive and right back again. He has a great eye behind the camera, as well as in his sequencing. See a selection of photographs below and make sure to check out his website for more photographs.

Brandon Wilson

Brandon Wilson

Brandon Wilson

Brandon Wilson

Please find more of Brandon’s work on his website.

Feature: Matthew Swarts

Feature: Matthew Swarts

Feature, Petty Thieves, Pictures, Spotlight

If you’ve been following us for a bit now, you’ve probably heard Matthew Swarts‘ name before. His work has been featured on here before as well as almost everything we’ve done over the past year, including Petty Thieves Four. His photographs have an eery painterly quality and leave the viewer asking questions, rather than leaving with any answers. He recently sent us over some of his new work and it picks up where the rest of his work left off. 

In his own words

“Soon after I moved to Somerville, Massachusetts in 2002, I began to gut renovate the living unit of my old two family house. When I (literally) took apart my house, I began to re-imagine the narrative of this particular space.

I have recently begun to try to photograph what I love about the feel of Somerville’s side streets, the interstitial relationships between large old houses, and, in particular, a certain quality of this city’s light. 

These images are just evolving, and I expect to work on this project for some time, but I feel quite clearly that these photographs are a new attempt to touch how it has felt to become part of a place, and yet, to not really be a part of it at all.”

fts City of Concern

fts City of Concern

fts City of Concern

fts City of Concern

Please see the rest of the images here. 

Beholder

Beholder

Books, Interview, Spotlight
Down the rabbit hole that is the internet, I stumbled upon the photographs of Chris Cox. I enjoyed them & kept clikcing links. Over the next few days, I would keep coming back to the photographs that make up the series Spiritual Lake. When I found out he was releasing a new book, I knew I had to have a copy. We asked him a few questions about his process & work. Be sure to get yourself a copy of the book, from Gaspard Gallery.

Beholder by Chris Cox

Empty Stretch: Can you talk about how you got into photography & major influences to you & your work. You have very a mystical aesthetic, a certain combination of failure & hope, where is this derived from? 
Chris Cox: A distinct moment for me was when I was introduced to Jeff Wall’s photographs, this was a pivotal realization for me as an artist. Walls photographic tableaux work introduced me to photography as a means to interact more decisively with history. I was drawn to Wall’s ability to interact with other artworks, in particular painting.
Aesthetically my work is interested in finding figures in decided moments, the figures relationship to both their environment and the camera are the foundations for aesthetic preferences. The work can come across as formal or still in certain ways, this comes from a very concrete taste for particular compositions and formal qualities.
ES: What is the meaning behind beholder, it feels as if a loose narrative is taking shape through out the piece & seems like it is another chapter in your on going body of work. 
CC: The narrative and cinematic qualities of the work are both deliberate and results of process. When shooting for Beholder I would photograph with the same individuals at a particular location for several days in a row. Working in that way inherently produces narratives throughout the work. There are only about 40 images in the publication, so that narrative becomes broken and fractured. One of the more important decisions when creating the body of work was deciding what would go in the book and what wouldn’t. There are several scenes and environments that we created and photographed that didn’t make it into the book. The final selection of images is a quite concentrated and limited look into the overall scope of photographs produced.

Beholder by Chris Cox

ES: With Spiritual lake, the viewer seemed to be immersed in the water, here we are given sight of water but never quite submerged, do you wish there to be a dialogue between your series, how do you see them all working together? 
CC: The works in Beholder do have ties to past bodies of work, in particular Spiritual Lake. My overall process hasn’t changed much since shooting for Spiritual Lake, and I’m using many of the same models, so the work is going to be tied to one another in that way. Again this is a result of process, but the process is deliberate and is recreated to continue certain themes in the work. Publications or exhibitions function as capstones or introductions for particular ideas in the work, they act as a nice pause and opportunity to expand or refine where necessary.

Beholder by Chris Cox

ES: You used a gallery space to release a book of new images, where does the work go from here? Is the work meant to live beyond the book form? What is the next step for these images, if any?
CC: I view Beholder as a completed artwork in itself, and using Gaspard to exhibit and release the book was a nice opportunity to let it stand alone as its own individual piece. A couple beholder publications were all that was on view in the gallery, the exhibition experience demanded a certain degree of interaction with the work, it seemed to be an appropriate setting to release the project. Although, I am planning on spending the next year continue working on the body of work started with Beholder. I plan to exhibit a series of works from Beholder as well as new works in an exhibition of printed photographs. I will exhibit exhibit this larger body of work in the spring of 2015.
Beholder by Chris Cox
ES: You incorporate design elements often associated with gallery signage, through out the book. Can you talk about image info & the bodies of text within the work & what exactly you wanted the book to accomplish, i.e. just a book, a gallery show, or an object.
CC: The inclusion of the image information in the book was a way to show the photographs as part of a catalogue of images and give a bit of insight into the breadth of the work. The image numbers are referencing the chronological sequence that the images were shot. The poems at the front and back of the book, then disseminated throughout the book are written by Jacob Bullard, he is pictured in some of the works and is a frequent collaborator in my work. Designer Ben Biondo then worked with the various text elements and photographs to design and layout the publication. I rely heavily on the design of my publications, execution when producing a physical object is crucial, therefore design considerations are critical when considering the final experience a viewer will have with the work. The way one experiences printed matter is very different than when one scrolls through a feed on a screen, therefore all aspects of the publication and its presentation were considered when creating Beholder.

Petty Thieves Three Projection Announcement

Events, Feature, Petty Thieves, Pictures, Spotlight

PT3_Postcard3

Empty Stretch is very excited to announce the photographers who will be a part of the Petty Thieves Three projection, showing for the first time this Friday, November 8, 2013 at the Petworth Citizen + Reading Room {829 Upshur ST. NW} between  8 – 11pm in collaboration with the awesome folks at Furthermore. You can find out more information about the event by checking out the official Facebook event here.

For those of you not familiar with Petty Thieves, it is our ongoing curation project centered around collaboration and presenting photographs within new and interesting contexts. Petty Thieves Three is the end product of an open call submission, and has now been edited into a projection presentation and an accompanying zine {Purchase here}. We can’t say it enough, please make sure to check out all of the awesome work these talented people are making and thank you again to everyone who submitted. We hope to continue this series, sooner rather than later.

Featured photographers: Aaron Canipe, Adam Malantonio, Adam Robinson, Adrian Celmer, Aimée Pijpers, Alan Hunter, Alanna Yao, Alexi Hobbs, Ali Bosworth, Allison Barnes, Amanda Kleinman, Amanda Newman, Amber Carter, Amy Elkins, Andreas Mass, Andrew Ireland, Andrew Marino, Andrew Querner, Angela Blumen, Anne Erhard, Anthony Gerace, Aria Maisey, Audree Anid, Ava Alamshah, Barrett Emke, Becky Harlan, Ben Clement, Ben Huff, Bethany Barton, Blaise Chatelain, Brad Westcott, Brett Davis, Brittany Marcoux, Caitlin Moore, Carine Wallauer, Caroline Lacey, Carol Burri, Carson Davis Brown, Catherine Lemblé, Catho de Rore, Celeste Ortiz, Champneys Taylor, Charlotte Strode, ChihHsien Chen, Chris Berntsen, Chris Farling, Christine Tharp, Clary Estes, Clemens Fantur, Colin Aherne, Colin Loughlin, Colin Smith, Colin Sussingham, Coral McRyhew, Chris Cunningham, Cynthia Connolly, Dale Rothenberg, Daniel Shea, Danielle Scruggs, David Spence, Dawn Whitmore, Deana Kolencikova, Derek Henderson, Dhanainun Dhanarachwattana, Ding Ren, E. Brady Robinson, Eleanor Barba, Elena Montemurro, Elisabetta Scalvini, Elise Boularan, Elizabeth Moran, Ernesto Somoza, Esben Bøg-Jensen, Ethan Browning, Evelin Saul, Fábio Miguel Roque, Ginevra Shay, Guy Archard, Hai Phung Tran, Halle Chapman-Tayler, Hannah Herzberg, Hannah Kuo, Heather Iris Galt-Mcloughlin, Hollis Bennett, Inga Schunn, IPG Project, Isabelle Evertse, Jack Ashley, Jacob Fogel, Jaclyn Brown, Jamie Hladky, Jared Ragland, Jason Hanasik, Jayme McLellan, Jedd Cooney, Jerry Skiscim, Jesse Sarkis, Jessica Braun, Joan Oh, Joe Leavenworth, Johab Silva, John Edmonds, John O’Toole, Jon-Phillip Sheridan, Jonathan Brown, Jonathan McNeil, Jordan Baumgarten, Jordan Sullivan, Jordan Swartz, Josh Anderson, Juan Madrid, Judy Ruzylo, Julia Clouser, Julia Knoll, Julie van der Vaart, Juliette Guadino, Jurate Gacionyte, Justin Gellerson, Justine Tobiasz, Justine Dupuy, Juuso Haarala, K. Eleanor Bleier, Kaitlin Jencso, Kamil I, Karen Weber, Katherine Squier, Katie Currid, Katja Kremenić, Kristy Carpenter, Ken Ashton, Kevin Tadge, Kimberly Benavides, Kristoffer Tripplaar, Kuba Ryniewicz, Kyle Seis, LaRae’ Fischer, Lasse Dearman, Laura Pannack, Lauren Brown, Lauren Schneiderman,Lauren Zaser, Leanne Surfleet, Lee Clackson, Lee Cuyler, Levi Mandel, Libi Rose Striegl, Lloyd Stubber, Lluís Tudela, Loes van Iperen, Lois Shupp, Lotte Reimann, Michael Wriston, Mads Greve, Margaret Holland Adams, Maria Kazvan, Maria Windschüttel, Marina Kinski, Mariya Ustymenko, Mark Harley, Mark Regester, Mark Strandquist, Marton Gosztonyi, Matthew Borowick, Matt Propert, Matt Rose, Matthew Nighswander, Matthew Swarts, Matthew Mili, Matt Lief Anderson, Maureen Drennan, Maxwell Anderson, Maycec, McNair Evans, Melissa Butler, Michael Ast, Michal Brezinksy, Michela Palermo, Miranda Barnes, Missy Prince, Nabeela Vega, Nancy Breslin, Natalie Zervou – Jack Kerruish, Nathan Pearce, Nathaniel Grann, Nic Persinger, Nikoleta Marković, Nick Kirkpatrick, Noah Vaughn, Noritaka Minami, Paige Townsley, Patrick Joust, Paul D’Amato, Paul John Nelson, Paul Bothwell, Paulette Waltz, Paulina Metzscher, Peter Currie, Peter Hoffman, Phil Jackson, Rachel Wolfe, Radu Lungu, Rebecca Perriello, Rebekah Purcell, Renee Regan, Richard Ramirez Jr., Robert Wiemann, Robert Rutoed, Robin Schwartz, Rocio Perna, Roma Moskalenko, Rosaline Shahnavaz, Rudy Ramos, Ryan Florig, Ryan Oskin, Rytis Gervickas, Sam Block, Sam Clifford-Harding, Santi García, Sarah Cartron, Sara J. Winston, Sara Zanella, Sarah Moore, Sarah Mitrani, Sarah Thomas, Sara Wright, Sebastian Forkarth, Sergej Vutuc, Shan Rixon, Shelly Silva, Simon Vahala, Sofie van Dam, Sophie Göst, Stephanie Hardy, Stephanie Noritz, Stephanie Mill, Stephen Harper, Tammy Mercure, Tara Wray, Taylor Pittman, Thomas Lau, Thomas Bouquin, Timothy Briner, Tommy Nease, Traci Marie Lee, Trevor Powers, Tristan Hutchinson, Uliana Bazar, Veronica Melendez, Violet Forest, Virginia Hammer, Vsevolod Khomenko, William Lloyd Powell III.

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.

Petty Thieven

Feature, Petty Thieves, Spotlight
Jūratė Gačionytė
Jūratė Gačionytė
Ulrike Biets
Ulrike Biets
Jonathan McNeil
Jonathan McNeil
Pawel Uniatowicz
Pawel Uniatowicz
Rosaline Shahnavaz
Rosaline Shahnavaz
Adrian Celmer
Adrian Celmer
Michael Pocchia
Michael Pocchia
Ana-Stefanovic
Ana-Stefanovic
Karen Weber
Karen Weber

New selection of images from our flickr group. Some of these photographers will have work in our upcoming projection & zine, Petty Thieves Three. If you haven’t submitted photos, do so now.

Book Review: “I see around me tombstones grey” by Stefano Marchionini

Books, Feature, Pictures, Spotlight

Stefano Marchionini is a photographer who has always engaged me by the range and quality of his work. Whether shooting in color or black-and-white, a very intimate and relatable quality comes across that never seems to dwindle after repeated viewings. Marchionini recently released a self-published book titled, I see around me tombstones grey, that focuses on his relationship with his parents after being away for an extended amount of time and the feeling of “home” that his parents bring to him, even when the physical locations of “home” may have changed.

The book is a strong testament to what smart editing and simple design can do to allow for images to speak for themselves and breathe. The pacing of the book is evenly spread between sequences that build to a sense of short-lived intimacy; short-lived, because as soon as one may start to feel a sense of nostalgia or love take form, a reminder of the fragility of life is suddenly thrown in. The finite quality of our relationships with those we love is a hard universal truth that Marchionini reflects upon throughout the book.

Conversely, the imagery often rejoices in the lighter and mundane moments between the photographer and his parents. An image titled, “my father in the garden,” shows Marchionini’s father working in a garden that seems to slowly engulf him despite all of his attempts at pruning. It is an action that seems important while doing but one that in the scope of things, really doesn’t matter as the garden will outlive us all. Subtle reflections like these build upon the theme of the book to guide the viewer through their own thoughts and feelings, a trip that requires multiple visits to really grasp what is being said, but is luckily made easy through the craft of the photographer.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED and please check out more of Marchionini’s work on his website and flickr.

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.”

chris-berntsen-emptystretch-01

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.”

chris-berntsen-emptystretch-03

chris-berntsen-emptystretch-02

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.

chris-berntsen-emptystretch-05

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.

Ben Huff

Feature, Pictures, Spotlight, Travel

Maybe it’s because it hasn’t stopped snowing for almost a week, but I can’t stop looking at Ben Huff’s series “The Last Road North.” Started as most projects, as a one off trip, Huff became obsessed with the road tracing the Alaskan pipeline. I usually hate when people do this, but the photos that follow, speak for themselves.

Please see the rest of the series on Ben’s website.

Feature: Tim Richmond

Feature, Pictures, Spotlight

I like Tim Richmond’s photographs because I like movies. This may seem like an easy realization but sometimes, that’s all life is. His portraits look like extras in the background of bar seenes & grocery stores, because that’s who they are. Alley ways, interiors, & landscapes look like scouting shots, & that’s a good thing. British by birth, Richmond spent years photographing the old oil towns of the American midwest & has made a beautiful document of the states.

fts Last Best Hiding Place
fts Last Best Hiding Place
fts Circus Left Town
fts Circus Left Town
fts Last Best Hiding Place
fts Last Best Hiding Place
fts Facade
fts Facade
fts Free Parking
fts Free Parking
fts Last Best Hiding Place
fts Last Best Hiding Place
fts Facade
fts Facade

Richmond also turns the lens on his native land in the series “Love Bits,” documenting the seaside towns along the Bristol Channel. The cinematic quality is far from lost on this series, & maybe it is because I’ve only been to England in the winter but damp parking lots & the lights of night hit a nostalgic chord in this yankee’s heart.

fts Love Bites
fts Love Bites
fts Love Bites
fts Love Bites
fts Love Bites
fts Love Bites

Please find more of Tim Richmond’s work on his website.