Filtering by Category: Interviews

Cult photographer Martin Parr sits down to eat with “Real Food”

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On the release of his new culinary book entitled “Real Food”, the great English photographer was grilled at a round table animated by a Le Monde journalist and the founder of Fooding at the MK2 Quai de Loire. An encounter.

Martin Parr, Tokyo, Japan, 1998 © Martin Parr/Magnum Photos. Real Food, Martin Parr, Phaidon (page 35) .© Martin Parr/Magnum Photos. Real Food, Martin Parr, Phaidon.

Martin Parr, Tokyo, Japan, 1998 © Martin Parr/Magnum Photos. Real Food, Martin Parr, Phaidon (page 35) .© Martin Parr/Magnum Photos. Real Food, Martin Parr, Phaidon.

Numéro: Why have you done a book about food?

Martin Parr: I started taking photographs of food 25 years ago. I’ve always liked that. At the time no one else was doing it because mobile telephones didn’t exist. I started because I wanted to find another angle to my documenting photos, one that was less sad. And food seemed like a perfect solution.

How did you chose the 200 shots in the book (hamburgers, kitsch cakes in the shape of little men or animals, crazy cupcakes, ice-creams, dripping hot dogs, chips, donuts, neon sushi, fatty sausages etc), from 25 years of taking photos around the world?

Cheap junk food often looks better than a 26 dish tasting menu for 400 euros in one of the best restaurants in the world. I'm a pretty snobby foodie what it comes to what I eat personally, and while I have tasted some of the dishes in the book when it comes to the photos I just chose what looks best.

For complete interview please visit Numéro.

Video: Jo Ann Callis FotoFocus Spring Lecture from Cincinnati Art Museum

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Artist Jo Ann Callis spoke with our Director Rose Shoshana on Wednesday, February 24, 2016 in the Fath Auditorium at the Cincinnati Art Museum for a special FotoFocus Lecture. Watch the talk in full below:

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Visit Jo Ann Callis' ARTIST PAGE for more information on the artist.


The Hyperrealism of William Eggleston

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When you thumb up a color-saturating Instagram filter for your shot of Mt. Hood over an airplane wing or your pastel-hued brunch cocktail, you have William Eggleston to thank. 

Those Instagram filters—to say nothing of the art world at large—might look a lot less colorful had he not experimented with color photography, an unpopular approach in a 1960s art world that still preferred tasteful black-and-white.

Eggleston's work is the opposite: His saturated dye-transfer prints lend a sense of hyperrealism to everyday subjects like gas stations, neon signage, the teal and salmon interiors of diners—even something as seemingly un-evocative as a bare bulb anchoring a ceiling (it's blood red, so pretty evocative as ceilings go).

This Saturday, March 26, 65 of Eggleston's photographs will be on view at the Portland Art Museum, but in keeping with his experimentation, 23 of them are black-and-white images reprinted from his early archives. Ahead of PAM's show, here's what the museum's curator of photography, Julia Dolan, told me about Eggleston's influence on later artists like Cindy Sherman, the art world's problem with color photography, and the distorting lens of our nostalgia for the '50s and '60s.

On Eggleston's early subject matter: "Like many good photographers, he photographs what he knows, and that's often his life in and around Tennessee and Mississippi, and other areas of the American South.... I think what's so wonderful is to see this beginning, this budding, of looking out onto the world at subjects that fine-art photographers at that time would [consider] banal, completely boring, not subject matter at all: empty tables at a café, people walking down the street, automobiles, detritus on the side of a street—these are all things that were not the subjects of fine-art photography for the most part at the time. And I think now for us looking back on it, it's almost a little bit difficult to get a pure idea of it because we have a strong sense of nostalgia for this time period—for the '50s, '60s, even the '70s—and so we see things that feel very Mad Men or of a different time in the United States that we are attracted to."

On Eggleston's black-and-white photography: "If we know about William Eggleston's work, we know about that saturated red ceiling... we're so used to these colors and this vibrancy. To then be able to juxtapose the black-and-white work—which in some ways makes us think a little bit more about composition because that layer of color has been removed—we start to see these patterns of composition in his work, and the way that he evolved before hitting the scene and punching us in the face with these dye-transfer prints that he has manipulated so that certain colors are richer than others. It's a really wonderful experience to see both at the same time."

On Eggleston's pioneering of color photography: "At the time that Eggleston switched to color and started experimenting with it, which was the early 1960s, very few other arts-oriented photographers were... One of the reasons for that was that [fine-art photography] almost always had to be black-and-white, because color photography was linked to advertising and it was considered less artistic, it was considered garish or very base, and for many people who held authority in terms of photography, it was not art."

On the reception of Eggleston's first MoMA show: "Critics went crazy. Critics in the New York Times and other places said the work was boring, the colors were garish, and they couldn't believe it. Some people said it was the worst show of the year."

On Eggleston's impact on younger artists: "[Eggleston's color photography] really encourages people like Nan Goldin, Laurie Simmons, Cindy Sherman even, because Cindy's in school and making black-and-white photographs in the 1970s, and by the early 1980s she's pushing into color... He opens up this world for them in a really magnificent way, and little by little, people start to accept color photography as artistic and worth being seen in galleries and museums."

Source:  The Portland Mercury 

Interview, Elger Esser Oskar Schlemmer Prize Awardee 2016

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Elger Esser was awarded the renowned Oskar Schlemmer Prize 2016.  Accompanying the title of awardee, Elger has an exhibition, Zeitgen, on view until 10 July at Staatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe in Karlsruhe, Germany.  Watch the video interview below of Elger:

In his own words Elger shares,

"In the era of romanticism, the artists would go on journeys and then in modern times it was the camera which travelled -- in order to prove that 'I have been there'.  This is still important to many photographer colleagues.  They would travel to Cape Horn in order to make a photo and to say 'I was there'.  I would make a photo that looks just like Cape Horn but in fact is taken in Brittany, looking exactly like Cape Horn including storms etc. I care about the picture and not about where it was produced: I locate my pictures but I also displace them from their locations."

Visit for exhibition details.


Exhibitions, "The Open Road: Photography and the American Roadtrip" at the Crystal Bridges Museum

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The Open Road published by Aperture (Sept. 2014) is a compilation publication of America's most well-traveled photographers.  Featuring 19 photographers and over 100 images, the book celebrates the exhilaration of traveling the American landscape from the 1950's through present day.  Accompanying the book is a large-scale exhibition at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas.  As a destination point along a sight-seer's roadtrip, the museum has in mind their central geographical location in the States and has even curated a playlist on Spotify of "highway-tested tunes" for their visitor's travels.

Photographers include: Robert Frank, Ed Ruscha, Garry Winogrand, Inge Morath, William Eggleston, Lee Friedlander, Joel Meyerowitz, Jacob Holdt, Stephen Shore, Bernard Plossu, Victor Burgin, Joel Sternfeld, Alec Soth, Todd Hido, Shinya Fujiwara, Ryan McGinley, Justine Kurland, and Taiyo Onorato and Nico Krebs.

Watch a video produced by Aperture on the subject of the book with the editor, author and featured artists below:

Watch above: Editor Denise Wolff, author David Campany, and featured photographers Joel Meyerowitz, Justine Kurland, and Todd Hido discuss the book, and their own relationship to the the road. 

“Joyrides, voyages of discovery, surveys, wanderings, migrations, polemics, travel diaries, and assessments of the nation. Is America even imaginable without the road trip?”
David Campany

The exhibition will be viewable from 27 February - 30 May 2016.

Purchase The Open Road:Photography and the American Road Trip on 

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Does William Eggleston Love Women? “You’re Damn Right!”

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The father of color photography on life, love, growing up Southern, and standing up to Cartier-Bresson.


William Eggleston, the near-mythic southern gentleman and father of color photography, who is placed in the pantheon of the greats alongside Walker Evans and Robert Frank, greeted me with a courtly little bow at his favorite hangout in New York City, El Quijote restaurant, the joint adjoining the Chelsea Hotel.

It would be a liquid lunch for the 76-year-old Mr. Eggleston, who pointed out, in his wry, gracious way, that if he had felt like lunch he would have surely had one of El Quijote’s small, signature lobsters. He began with champagne mixed with vodka, in a tall glass.

“You look well,” I said.

“Thank you,” he said in his light southern accent. “A compliment is always nice.”

He still lives in Memphis, Tennessee, where he was raised a son of privilege on a 12,000-acre plantation. “Ever used a gun?” I asked. “Certainly,” he replied, “but not seriously.”

For comlpete text please visit VanityFair