Racism, cultural politics and the environment @NatGeo

It is 2018 and every single tabloid is publishing and republishing a confession of the chief editor of National Geographic that the coverage of the magazine in the past was racist. Right. We know it. Yes, in the United State and many other parts of the world, people of different ethnic groups have been misrepresented…

Hiroshi Sugimoto @MarianGoodman

Hiroshi Sugimoto’s ‘Seascapes’ fascinate, puzzle, surprise and, finally, encourage further examination. I came across a major show by Sugimoto at Marian Goodman Gallery that celebrated 40 years last year. What appears at first sight to be very similar images of nothing more than a horizon with the upper half of the image occupied by sky…

Critique of the Image @umbertoeco_ ‏

In his seminal essay, Critique of the Image, the renowned semiotician, Umberto Eco, proposes a clear taxonomy of codes used to interpret an image in the semiotic tradition. He differentiates between the following types of codes (the text below closely follows Eco’s original formulations) : 1) Perceptive codes, which for Eco are establishing the conditions…

Publish Your Photography Book @PAPress

‘Publish Your Photography Book’ by Darius D. Himes and Mary Virginia Swanson is an incredibly stimulating volume aimed at introducing the idea of photobook publishing to an aspiring photographer. As I am currently preparing my first photobook, this text has been a great help. It starts with an chapter devoted to the phenomenon of a…

Photographic gaze @MuseumModernArt ‏

My photographic gaze is searching for three most important elements: the special light, the distinct atmosphere and a significant detail. I am particularly attracted to various manifestations of colour in the real world, and have devoted considerable attention to the colour theories from Chevreul to John Gage. I am inspired by a wealth of tradition…

Valuing Nature @routledgebooks

Valuing Nature? Economics, Ethics and the Environment, a volume edited by J.B. Foster has made a profound impact on me as an ecological economist and a photographer. In this brilliant collection of essays the leading sustainability thinkers present the philosophical issues inherent in the neoclassical environmental economics dominant at university departments today. Dismounting the supremacy…

Fashion Photography @Voguemagazine

The opening paragraphs of Eugenie Shinkle’s book ‘Fashion as Photograph’ assert that ‘photographic images play a key role in defining global fashion culture and in charting its discursive space. They are seen by many as the driving force behind the fashion system, with cultural pundits and industry creatives heralding the photograph as fashion’s ‘ultimate signifier’…

Visible Signs @DavidCrow50

Visible Signs: An Introduction to Semiotics in the Visual Arts is a useful overview of the semiotic theories by Ferdinand de Saussure, Roland Barthes and Umberto Eco that introduce this thinking to the visual arts professionals. De Saussure’s Model for a Sign is composed of the two fundamental elements, the ‘signifier’ and the ‘signified’. A…

How to Write about Contemporary Art @gilda_williams

Aimed at contemporary artists, this book explores multiple forms: short news article, press release, auction catalogue entry, exhibition review, a book review or a magazine article. Art writing is often considered a low level job in the gallery world, however writers often are struggling to find the compelling words o translate the actual experience of…

Andre Derain @CentrePompidou

The grand exhibition of Andre Derain at Centre Pompidou in Paris is a landmark show the scale of which has not been seen since the 1994-1995 exhibition at the Musee d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris. Derain had a profound influence on me as a painter and is a constant source of inspiration for…

Photography as an ‘Environmental Practice’ @MuseumModernArt

Photographs in essence depict the effects of reflected light falling from the fragments of reality. Villem Flusser, considering the images a form of ‘mediations between the world and the human beings’, defends the view that photography is the most important human invention since the introduction of linear writing. Photographs are not real, in the sense…

The East and West of Fauvism

Two great masters of the twentieth century: Henri Matisse and Martiros Sarian, are probably the most outstanding colourists I know. They do not just use, apply or combine colour, they breath it and live it. The effect of such a passion – exquisite joy of the viewer and pleasure of the senses. The two painters led very different…