I was invited to be a Reviewer for the second annual “New York Portfolio Review” sponsored by the New York Times Lens Blog and the City University of New York’s Graduate School of Journalism. Lens Blog co-editor, James Estrin, took the lead along with his colleagues, screening and editing thousands of (free) entries down to the chosen 150 photographers. This group were then assigned one-on-one portfolio reviews with some of the top photography editors, curators, gallerists and book publishers.
Of the twelve photographers I was scheduled to review, and a few I met on my own time, I was impressed by every project shown and equally interesting were their personal stories and backgrounds. Two came with translators, one from Russia, one from Ukraine; others came from Paris, Armenia, London, Boston and and other U.S. cities. They were photojournalists, documentarians, former war photographers, fine art photographers, and one, still a student, came with her exceptional thesis series.
I thought I would share some of this work with L’Oeil de la Photographie readers, so here they are in no particular order:
Michelle Rogers Pritzl, an MFA candidate, specializing in alternate processes at The Art Institute of Boston, brought her extraordinary series of tintypes, “Soma”.
Scout Tufankjian, best known for her photographs of Barack Obama’s historic making Presidential campaign in her book, “Yes We Can”, is currently working on a project reflecting on her Armenian heritage and the state of the global Armenian diaspora one hundred years after the genocide that scattered its survivors across the globe.
Jung S. Kim’s series is a narrative that originated from the artist’s childhood experience. In this series, sentiments are projected onto various different characters in traditional Korean folk tales based upon a simple dichotomy of good and evil and a clear-cut moral message that the good always win.These character-roles transformed into self-portraits of the artist herself.
Delphine Diallo, a French and Senegalese photographer based in New York City, assisted photographer Peter Beard on a Pirelli Calendar shoot in 2009. Since then she has been named one of ICP’s 26 Best Emerging Photographers, by the Smithsonian as Photography’s Emerging Stars, and in 2013, one of PDN’s 30 New and Emerging Photographers to Watch.
Timothy Fadek lives in New York and Berlin. His work includes conflict coverage in Iraq, Lebanon, Haiti, Macedonia, Israel and the Palestinian Territories, in addition to post-conflict coverage in Kosovo, the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center, the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, presidential elections in Venezuela, Mexico and the United States, the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, social issues such as the murders of women in Juarez, Mexico, the population explosion in Chongqing, China, foster care in New York, and most recently, the effects of the gold rush in Mongolia.
Alexander Checkmenev, born in Lugansk, Ukraine, graduated from the Department of Newspaper Photography of Moscow State University in 1990. Since 1997 he works as a photojournalist in Kiev, Ukraine. His series, “Don Bass” exposes the illegal mining industry in Ukraine. A network of improvised underground coal mines envelops the Donbass region like a spider web, running beneath railway lines, residential houses, cemeteries, shops and administrative buildings. They changed the landscape and changed lives.
Erica McDonald is a photographer and educator based in NYC. She founded DEVELOP Photo to provide resources for the enrichment of the photojournalism, fine art and documentary photography community. Her photography is regularly commissioned for magazines nationally and internationally and has been exhibited worldwide. Included in her portfolio was her new series, “Laundry Sherpa’s of Brooklyn.”
Robb Hill is a documentary photographer based the Washington, D.C., metro area. His work focuses on understanding how we create our notion of self and home at the same time. His HomeLands project has been featured in the New York Times Lens Blog and NPR’s Picture Show.
Andi Schreiber writes of her ongoing series, Pretty, Please: “When I was in my thirties I heard the expression “Invisible Forties.” I couldn’t imagine how sexually inconsequential I’d feel throughout this decade. I want to remain vibrant. I want my body to be useful. Disappearing is not an option.”
Velibor Božović, born in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina, currently is a Master of Fine Arts candidate in Studio Arts at Concordia University, the recipient of the Gabor Szilasi Prize (2011), the Roloff Beny Foundation Fellowship in Photography (2011) and the Bourse de Maîtrise en Recherche from FRQSC – Fonds de recherche sur la société et la culture Quebec (2012).
Simon Brann Thorpe’s series “Toy Soldiers, War Games of Non Resolution” was shown at the Review. The Toy Soldiers Project is an allegory of war via a unique collaboration between an artist and a military commander. Toy Soldiers was shot entirely on location in the hauntingly isolated and beautiful territory known as Liberated Western Sahara in the disputed territory of Western Sahara.
Richard Tuschman creates poetic photographic images, developing a signature style that synthesizes all his interests in graphic design, photography, painting and assemblage as seen in his series, “Hopper Meditations.”
Not shown, but check out their websites below: Kitra Cahana’s “Father” series and Russian photojournalist Tatiana Ilina Robic’s many sensitive photographic stories.
By Elizabeth Avedon