Thursday, April 25, 2013

Jeff Widener: The Making of a Photojournalist


A lone man stops a column of tanks near Tiananmen Square, 1989 Beijing, China
“Tank Man” 1989, Tiananmen Square, Beijing, China


Via Resource Magazine
Vanessa Oswald   April 19, 2013


Resource‘s own Charlie Fish has interviewed Associated Press photographer Jeff Widener for our Spring 2013 Issue. The article, which includes iconic photographs taken one day after the Tiananmen Square Massacre, is featured below:

By Jeff Widener – Words by Charlie Fish

For seven weeks in the spring of 1989, student protesters occupied Tiananmen Square, located in the heart of Beijing. Their cries for more freedoms and government reform soon gained widespread traction, spurring sympathizers and support across more than 400 cities in the country.


Jeff-Widener, tiananmen-square-massacre, tiananmen-square, tank-man, photography, photojournalist, Bejing, China

© Jeff Widener/ Associated Press


However, a crackdown soon ensued. Party members who were in alignment with the cause were ousted. Martial law was declared, and more than 300,000 troops were deployed in Beijing. Between June 3rd and 4th, armed troops opened fire on unarmed civilians and protesters in the Square, resulting in what is known as the Tiananmen Square Massacre. In the aftermath of the riots, China instituted an immediate silencing of all discussion surrounding the events. Foreign journalists were kicked out of the country, and all forms of discussion or remembrance of the protests within China have been banned ever since. The death toll remains unofficial, with numbers ranging wildly from the hundreds to the thousands.


Jeff-Widener, tiananmen-square-massacre, tiananmen-square, tank-man, photography, photojournalist, Bejing, China
© Jeff Widener/ Associated Press


On June 5th, 1989, one day after the violence, as a column of 35-ton battle tanks barreled along
Chang’an Avenue, a lone man carrying two shopping bags stood on the avenue, determined to halt the procession with nonviolence. From the nearby Beijing Hotel, Associated Press photographer Jeff Widener snapped but a handful of images from his sixth-floor vantage point. It was a blur of activity, but a resulting image has gone on to symbolize one of the most significant and widely recognized moments in recent history.


Resource interviewed Jeff, whose eloquent retelling of the events surrounding that fateful day is candid, gripping, and harrowing. To this day, no one knows what became of the “Tank Man,” and many Chinese have never seen any of the images or videotapes from that day.

 

© Jeff Widener/ Associated Press


Part One: The Making of a Photojournalist

Early Influences.
I had a rather unconventional childhood. My father, Don Widener, was a city newspaper editor in Southern California and later an award-winning producer at KNBC in Burbank, CA… One day my father brought a LIFE magazine photographer friend, Leigh Wiener, to the house to make some family portraits. Leigh opened a battered leather bag and my eyes popped open. Inside was a toy store full of camera bodies, lenses, filters, light meters, motor drives and boxes of yellow Kodak film. I never forgot that sight, and the early seeds of photography formed.

Finding Photojournalism.
While attending high school, a photo instructor named Harry Ibach spotted me wandering the hallways with a beat-up Topcon Auto 100 camera. Harry offered to enroll me in his photography class and I accepted. This was my first taste of darkroom basics with developing and printing, but after time I realized something was missing. The class was mostly fine art while I was more interested in photographing people. During the 1972 presidential campaign, I rode my bicycle to a campaign rally held at a shopping mall. I sneaked past the press ropes and, after getting kicked out multiple times, a sympathetic news photographer hid me from the Secret Service and I photographed Senators George McGovern and Ted Kennedy. The series of images produced my first photography award in the 1972 Los Angeles Photo Center competition. Appropriately, it was in the photojournalism category. One day, Ibach showed the class the work of Czech photographer Josef Koudelka. It was a revelation—this was the direction I wanted to go, and it would have a profound impact on my work to this day. For me, his work captured the human condition more than anyone I had seen.



Jeff-Widener, tiananmen-square-massacre, tiananmen-square, tank-man, photography, photojournalist, Bejing, China
© Jeff Widener/ Associated Press


What it Takes.
I realized early on that I would have to earn my way in the world. My passion for photography was all consuming and I had to earn enough money to buy camera equipment. At age fifteen I managed an illegal night-shift job at a Jack In The Box restaurant. The hours were long; I often fell asleep in class. I hated the job, but flipping burgers brought in a new lens every two weeks. While other teens were making out in the back of their Volkswagens, I was riding around on a Schwinn bicycle with a 500mm lens over my shoulder. To be a successful photojournalist, there can be no doubt—especially these days. It takes an incredible amount of commitment and luck to make it.


Seeing “Tank Man” Among the Greats.
The photo of a lone man stopping a column of tanks during the 1989 Tiananmen uprising has become my signature image. But at the time, I was suffering from a severe case of the flu and a massive concussion, and really did not think much of the image. Though the photo grew in stature through the years, I became a bit ambivalent. Backtracking to 1971, while thumbing through the pages of a Time–Life photography book, a strange sensation befell me. Something told me that maybe, just maybe, I would some day have a great image like the ones in that book. In 2005, I was on the Internet and spied an AOL link headlined “The 10 Most Memorable Photos of All Time.” As I scanned the link, there was Nick Ut’s Vietnam napalm girl, Eddie Adams’ Saigon photo, the Kent State shootings, the Hindenburg crash from the 1930s, and even Buzz Aldrin standing on the moon. Then a familiar photograph appeared of a lone man standing in front of a column of tanks. A grin overcame me, and I think at that moment I finally realized I had something special… an iconic image.


Jeff-Widener, tiananmen-square-massacre, tiananmen-square, tank-man, photography, photojournalist, Bejing, China

© Jeff Widener/ Associated Press

On Experiencing Great Moments.
Sometimes I feel like one of these interplanetary space probes that shoot away at the solar system but take years to transmit all the data. The period leading up through the 1990s was a blur of nonstop airline flights and long queues at customs. Major world events became commonplace; nothing was out of the ordinary but, now looking back, I would have to say that some of the more memorable moments were: hitting seven Gs while flying inverted in an F-16 fighter jet. Asking astronaut Buzz Aldrin during a private breakfast what it was like taking off from the surface of the moon. Narrowly escaping a kidnapping by the Khmer Rouge during UN sponsored elections in Cambodia. The blackness of night in Hanoi as a cyclo peddled me to dinner. The multiple street demonstrations. The sheer awe of the Kobe earthquake in Japan, and the ash-buried Ford dealership in the Philippines following the Mount Pinatubo eruption. The bar nights with colleagues in Phnom Penh as gunfire crackled in the distance. Helping Dennis [Thatcher] with his point-and-shoot at the request of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher during a private boat trip on the Chao Phraya River in Thailand. Getting in a scuffle with a French photographer as Princess Diana giggled. Then there was the Pope arriving in the jungles of Papua New Guinea in his white jeep, arms outreached as natives beat drums and sang in Pidgin. I got choked up during the opening ceremonies of the 1988 Seoul Olympics when Muhammad Ali lit the Olympic flame. Standing on the South Pole while covering the National Science Foundation… This is only a small sample of what I have seen. Luck has played a major role in much of it.



Jeff-Widener, tiananmen-square-massacre, tiananmen-square, tank-man, photography, photojournalist, Bejing, China

© Jeff Widener/ Associated Pres


Part Two: That Day


Getting Past Customs and into China.
As the Southeast Asia Picture Editor based in Bangkok, it was my job to cover stories in the region. After being denied entry into China, I decided to fly to Hong Kong. I told the U.S. Embassy that I had lost my passport and they issued me a new one without previous Chinese immigration stamps. I then went to a small travel agency who organized a tourist visa for me. New York headquarters requested I carry in supplies and equipment, which concerned me—tourists don’t normally carry 600mm lenses and picture transmitters around in their luggage. Just as I was about to reach the customs official in Beijing Airport, a loud commotion rang out at the end of the counters. An old lady with a live chicken was arguing and yelling, so I slipped my baggage cart past the counter, through the sliding doors and out to a line of waiting taxis.


The Mounting Tension.
For a week my routine was to arrive at the Tiananmen Square at sunrise and document the pro-democracy supporters. I recall how organized they were and sensed their excitement and hope. This would soon change. On the late evening of June 3rd, 1989, an AP reporter and I peddled our bicycles to the Square, and I told him that I had a bad feeling that night. This was confirmed when a toothless old man later walked over to me, chattering something, and opened a heavy dark jacket. Inside was a large blood-soaked hatchet. He looked like the proud owner of a recently captured trophy fish. The fate of the victim was uncertain but unpromising. Minutes later a burning armored car came down the Chang Ahn Boulevard near the Great Hall of the People. Protesters followed and jammed steel barricades into the treads. My camera flash was low on power, and that situation became one of the most frustrating moments in my career.


Jeff-Widener, tiananmen-square-massacre, tiananmen-square, tank-man, photography, photojournalist, Bejing, China

© Jeff Widener/ Associated Press


Violence Erupts.
Action was everywhere but, as the APC burned, I could only make one image a minute. Suddenly my cameras were jerked from me as a mob started to wrestle. I feared I would be torn apart, as if by a pack of pit bulls. I raised my passport over my head and screamed, “American!” One leader came over and calmed the crowd. He ordered me to take a photo of a dead soldier on the ground. I managed one image of the protester holding a steel spike over the body. Then I spotted a man rolling around on the ground engulfed in flames. I looked down at the camera, waiting for the “ready” light to go on. The delay was agonizing but actually saved my life. The second I raised the Nikon, a massive blow struck me in the face, giving me a concussion. Blood was all over my shattered camera. Just then I looked up at the back door of the blazing APC. A soldier had jumped out to surrender, but the crowd moved in on him with knives, clubs, and rocks. I thought two things: 1) I was losing the Pulitzer Prize, and 2) I should feel ashamed, knowing the soldier would lose his life. There was nothing I could do. It happened so fast.


Bruised, Bloodied and with a Concussion.
The concussion was so bad I was asking protesters if anyone had a flash when I did not even have a complete camera to attach it to. I struggled back to the AP office, past burning and exploding buses and red tracers arching over the Tiananmen Square from large caliber machine-gun fire. It was like a slow-motion scene out of Apocalypse Now. Back at the office, Beijing photo chief Mark Avery had to pull my film out of the camera with pliers. The student-thrown rock had ripped the top of the Nikon F3 titanium body and shattered the mirror, as well as having bent the titanium shutter. The camera absorbed the impact, sparing my life. Had it been a lesser camera, I would not be doing this interview.


Jeff-Widener, tiananmen-square-massacre, tiananmen-square, tank-man, photography, photojournalist, Bejing, China
© Jeff Widener/ Associated Press


The High Risks of Getting the Shot.
AP New York headquarters sent a message to their Beijing office asking for someone to “not take any unnecessary chances but please photograph the occupied Tiananmen Square.” I was already rattled and scared and this was not what I wanted to hear. The best vantage point was the Beijing Hotel. I rode a bicycle past burned out buses and blood soaked pavement as the sound of distant gunfire rang out in the city. I am no hero and was scared to death. I can’t begin to explain what it’s like to put yourself in harm’s way when every muscle screams: run!


A Close Call at the Hotel.
I had a Nikon FE2 camera hidden in my back pocket and a 400mm lens in my jacket. Film was in my underwear. After arriving at the hotel, I walked passed Chinese security. I knew I had to think fast. They had used electric cattle prods and confiscated film from other journalists. In the shadows of the lobby was a young college kid named Kurt. I pretended to know him and we scrambled to the elevator as the approaching security turned and walked away. Kurt told me how only minutes before a truckload of soldiers had shot some guests in the front of the hotel. Their bodies were pulled inside by staff. Kurt narrowly escaped by hiding behind a taxi. After exposing all my film from the room’s sixth floor balcony, I asked him to try and find more film. He arrived two hours later with one roll of Fuji 100 ISO, which he wrangled from a remaining tourist in the hotel.


Jeff-Widener, tiananmen-square-massacre, tiananmen-square, tank-man, photography, photojournalist, Bejing, China

© Jeff Widener/ Associated Press


Fumbling For a Shot of the Oncoming Tanks.
When the sound of oncoming tanks came down the street, I told Kurt that the man in front of the tanks was going to “screw up my composition.” He yelled, “They are going to kill him!” I aimed my 400m lens and realized I was too far away. I gambled and ran for the teleconverter lying on the bed. I took three images until I realized the shutter speed was too low. By the time I figured out what happened, the man was whisked away by bystanders. To this day, nobody knows what happened to him. I recall sitting down in a chair adjacent to the window afterward with Kurt asking me if I got the picture. I was upset with myself because I had forgotten that the ISO was three stops less sensitive than my usual 800 ISO film. The shutter speed was on automatic but at 60th of a second. It would be impossible with a 800mm focal length lens to produce a sharp image. Kurt agreed to smuggle my film out of the hotel at great risk. Not finding the AP office, he handed the film over to the U.S. Embassy, which then forwarded it to the AP bureau, which was located inside the diplomatic compound.

A miracle had happened. One image was sharp enough and the next day fronted almost every major newspaper in the world, including two pages in LIFE magazine and the cover of  TIME.


Jeff-Widener, tiananmen-square-massacre, tiananmen-square, tank-man, photography, photojournalist, Bejing, China

© Jeff Widener/ Associated Press


The Gear.
The “Tank Man” photo was taken with a Nikon 400mm F5.6 EDIF internal focus lens with a Nikon teleconverter with a focal length of around 800mm. I had only one roll of Fuji 100 ISO film with three shots taken. The lens was later dropped and lost during the diplomatic compound shooting while fleeing down an alley. Rumors surfaced later that it had been found and was being used by a photographer in the Czech Republic.


The Day After.
The response was overwhelming. A clipboard of telegrams awaited me in the office with congratulations. Publications around the world wanted exclusive interviews. Even AP President, Lou Boccardi, sent a congratulatory message. Everyone was talking about it. The image went on to get nominated for the 1990 Pulitzer Prize, win the Scoop Award in France, the Chia Award in Italy and a number of other citations. My former high school teacher saw the picture on the front page of the Los Angeles Times without a byline. He took it to class to show his students, stating that every few years a photo icon is made and this was such a time. Later on, he received a copy of LIFE magazine with a note from me. It was the first time he realized the image was mine.


Jeff-Widener, tiananmen-square-massacre, tiananmen-square, tank-man, photography, photojournalist, Bejing, China

© Jeff Widener/ Associated Press



Recent Projects.

I am in the middle of a book project to pitch to publishers this spring. We envision it as a photo album of my work taken during my tour as Southeast Asia Photo Editor from 1987–1995. We hope to have it out for the 25th anniversary of Tiananmen in June of 2014.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

THE LOVING STORY DVD is Now Available



The DVD version of THE LOVING STORY is available for home audiences. It can be purchased directly from Docurama, as well as on Amazon. The DVD will be shipped on May 28th for those buying retail, and April 30th for wholesale purchasers. Get your copy of this historic film today.

The Loving Story

“If a documentary can inspire us … to recognize the humanity of the people our laws demonize, then it has certainly done the nation a service.” Mother Jones
 
On June 2, 1958, a white man named Richard Loving and his part-black, part-Cherokee fiancee Mildred Jeter traveled from Caroline County, VA, to Washington, D.C. to be married. At the time, interracial marriage was illegal in 21 states, including Virginia. Back home two weeks later, the newlyweds were arrested, tried and convicted of the felony crime of “miscegenation.” Two young ACLU lawyers took on the Lovings’ case, fully aware of the challenges posed. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously in favor of the Lovings on June 12, 1967. This precedent-setting decision resulted in 16 states being ordered to overturn their bans on interracial marriage.
Awards:
Winner, 2013 George Foster Peabody Award
Winner, Best Use of Footage in a Factual Production, Focal International Awards 2012
Winner, WGA Screenplay Award, 2011 Silverdocs Documentary Festival
Winner, 2012 John E. O'Connor Film Award, American Historical Association
Centerpiece, 2011 Full Frame Documentary Film Festival
Nominee, NAMIC Vision Award
 
 
 
 

 

Friday, April 19, 2013

1963: "Pictures Paint A Thousand Words"

 
 
 
On the 6:25 from Grand Central to Stamford, CT, November 22, 1963
Carl Mydans ©Time Inc. 
On the 6:25 from Grand Central to Stamford, CT, November 22, 1963
 
Friday, Apr 19, 2013
 
 

It is hard to believe it has been 50 years since 1963. That tumultuous year seems engraved in our memories. The Monroe Gallery of Photography on Don Gaspar is opening “Photographs from 1963,”a major exhibition of shots from one of the most pivotal years in U. S. history. The exhibition opens with a public reception from 5 to 7 p.m. today.

Gallery co-owner Michelle Monroe said 1963 was a year of change: “change in leadership and social change.”

“1963 ran the gamut of human emotion and human endeavor,” Monroe said in an exhibition statement. “It was a year that began with high hopes for easing of international tensions, a year that sustained a terrible period of shock and mourning and ended with a nation and a world community coming to understand a new maturity in its ability to cope with sudden and enormously difficult circumstances.”


Martin Luther King, Jr., Birmingham, 1963
Ernst Haas
Martin Luther King, Jr., Birmingham, 1963


“As the year began, George C. Wallace was sworn in as governor of Alabama, and during his inauguration address he stated, ‘Segregation now; segregation tomorrow; segregation forever!’,” Monroe recalled. “The year would continue: the U.S. performs the first nuclear test at the Nevada Test Site; the Beatles release ‘Please Please Me;’ the Birmingham police use dogs and cattle prods on peaceful demonstrators; and then there are church bomb attacks in Birmingham and, later, riots. President John F. Kennedy signs a law for equal pay for equal work for men and women as Gov. Wallace tries to prevent blacks registering at University of Alabama. Gov Wallace later prevents the integration of Tuskegee High School as James Meredith is awarded a bachelor’s degree by the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss), becoming the first black man to graduate from the school, and John F. Kennedy says segregation is morally wrong and that it is ‘time to act.’ Just hours after President Kennedy’s speech, civil rights activist Medgar Evers pulls into his driveway after returning from a meeting with NAACP lawyers and is struck in the back with a bullet and killed.


Fire hoses aimed at Demonstrators, Birmingham, Alabama, 1963
Charles Moore
Fire hoses aimed at Demonstrators, Birmingham, Alabama, 1963
 

“In 1963, President Kennedy visits West Berlin and delivers the ‘Ich bin ein Berliner’ (I am a Berliner) speech; the major league baseball All Star MVP is Willie Mays of the San Francisco Giants; the Los Angeles Dodgers sweep the New York Yankees in the 60th World Series; ‘Cleopatra’ premieres in New York City, and 1963 draws to a close with President Kennedy assassinated. And on Dec. 26 the Beatles release ‘I Want to Hold Your Hand’/'I Saw Her Standing There.’


Elizabeth Taylor, "Cleopatra", 1963
©mptv
 

“These and other events marked the year as a benchmark of unrest, tumult, and change, and all are represented in ‘Photographs from 1963,’” Monroe added. “We have seen many of these photographs numerous times in newspapers, magazines, books and documentaries. Universally relevant, they reflect the past, the present, and the changing times. These unforgettable images are imbedded in our collective consciousness; they are defining moments chronicling our shared history. The photographers in this exhibition have captured dramatic moments in a remarkable year, and illustrate the power of photography to inform, persuade, enlighten and enrich the viewer’s life.”

Photographs in this show are the work of a select group of photojournalists, many of whom worked for TIME and LIFE magazines. They include Charles Moore, Ernest Withers, Bill Eppridge, Steve Schapiro, Bob Gomel, Francis Miller, Stan Stearns and Eddie Adams.


If you go WHAT: “Photographs from 1963″
WHEN: Today through June 30; reception 5-7 p.m. today
WHERE: Monroe Gallery of Photography, 112 Don Gaspar
CONTACT: (505) 992-0800

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Steve Schapiro: Then And Now at Kunsthalle Rostock




Muhammad Ali, Monopoly, Louisville, Kentucky from the book Steve Schapiro: Then and Now © 2012 Steve Schapiro

Via Le Journal de la Photographie


Steve Schapiro is the photographer behind countless now-classic portraits of rock stars, film stars and politicians from the 1960s and 70s. He is also an accomplished documentary photographer who recorded many of the greatest political and social upheavals of our times. While working as a 'special photographer' for the film studios, he designed several iconic film posters, most notably for Midnight Cowboy, Taxi Driver and The Godfather III. His extraordinary access has been the hallmark of an illustrious career.

Slideshow here

A retrospective of Schapiro's work opens at the Kunsthalle Rostock, Museum of Modern Art in Germany is on view until May 5, 2013. The show, which is curated by Dr. Ulrick Ptak, presents 160 photographs, many of them recently published for the first time in Schapiro's critically acclaimed retrospective Steve Schapiro: Then and Now (Hatje Cantz). The exhibition and companion book look back at Schapiro's diverse half-century career spanning 1961 to 2011. They portray the celebrities and politicians who shaped a generation, as well as new and unseen documentary work focusing on the marginalized and unidentified people on the street.

Then and Now includes whimsical portraits of the stars: Robert De Niro in full Taxi Driver combat costume, posed in front of his cab with a Mohican and an improbably chirpy smile; Jack Nicholson, nose bandaged, tongue out at the camera on the set of Chinatown; and Marlon Brando, grinning with theatrical devilishness while being made up for The Godfather.

Also gathered are portraits that include artists René Magritte, Nico, and Andy Warhol; film directors Robert Altman, Woody Allen, Francis Ford Coppola, and Martin Scorcese; film stars Drew Barrymore, Mia Farrow, Jodie Foster, Dustin Hoffman, Sophia Loren, Paul Newman and Robert Redford; and musicians David Bowie, Ray Charles, Simon and Garfunkel, Diana Ross, Ringo Starr, Frank Sinatra, Barbara Streisand, and Ike and Tina Turner.

When Schapiro started shooting in the sixties, it was the golden age of photojournalism. Schapiro's extensive work in this genre include his depiction of migrant workers in Arkansas, drug addicts in East Harlem, freedom bus riders, the Selma March to Montgomery, Alabama with Martin Luther King, Jr., and presidential campaigns, most notably that of Robert F. Kennedy. Among his most striking works is a triptych that presents photographs Schapiro took in Memphis in 1968 the day after the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. while on assignment for Life. Schapiro was the only photographer to capture the ominous handprint of King's assassin on the wall above the bathtub in the boarding house bathroom from where the fatal shot was fired.

The thread that connects all of Schapiro's photographs is his humanistic approach to his work. Whether shooting a celebrity or an anonymous person he is searching for that iconic moment. In his essay in the book, curator and author Matthias Harder writes that Schapiro's work reflects "the spirit of the times. It is not only his famous individual photos and groups of works from his engagement with Hollywood that ensure him a firm place in the history of photography of the twentieth and twenty first centuries, but also the diversity of his subjects and the sovereign, continuing mastery of them over such a long period of time."

Born and raised in New York City, Steve Schapiro started taking photographs at age ten while at summer camp. He attended Amherst College and graduated from Bard College, and studied photography with the legendary W. Eugene Smith. As a budding photographer, he got an early break: an assignment from Life magazine. He has never stopped working since. His work has been published in prestigious magazines and on numerous covers around the world, including Life, Look, Vanity Fair, Paris Match, People, and Rolling Stone. Schapiro's photographs were included in the Metropolitan Museum of Art's 1968 exhibition Harlem On My Mind. His work can be found in the collections of the Smithsonian, The High Museum of Art, and the National Portrait Gallery. Schapiro's recent solo shows were in Los Angeles, Amsterdam, London and Paris. The Fotografiska Museum in Stockholm, Sweden presented a retrospective of his work in the spring of 2012. An exhibition of his work entitled Schapiro: Living America opened at the Center for Photography Lumiere Brothers, Moscow in the fall of 2012, and included 180 images.


Exhibition
Steve Schapiro: Then And Now
From March 24th to May 5th, 2013
Kunsthalle Rostock
Hamburger Strasse 40
D-18069 Rostock
Germany
Telephone: 0049 381 7000

Book
Steve Schapiro: Then And Now
ISBN: 97837757344264
Hbk, 9.75 x 12.25 inches
240 pages; 174 photographs
(128 black & white; 46 color)
$70 US

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Thank You: AIPAD 2013



 
 
 
Heading home...with grateful thanks to our photographers, photographer's families, and our friends and supporters who visited during the show. See you in Santa Fe!
 


Saturday, April 6, 2013

Saturday At The AIPAD Show

 
 
Monroe Gallery, Booth #419
 
 
We have been pleased to welcome photographers Ashley Gilbertson, Brian Hamill, Elliot Landy, and John Loengard to our booth, along with Barbara Villet, widow of the late Gray Villet and Rosalind Withers, daughter of the late  Ernest C. Withers.
 
Bill Eppridge and Stephen Wilkes will be visiting our booth today and we hope you may be able to join us!
 
Saturday: 11 - 7
Sunday: 11 - 6
The Park Avenue Armory

Friday, April 5, 2013

Town & Country at the AIPAD show for a sampling of this week's favorite art





Via Town & Country

The Exhibitionist
Town & Country hits the Affordable Art Fair and the AIPAD show for a sampling of this week's favorite art 

Stephen Wilkes

The TIME photographer Stephen Wilkes rented a helicopter in the immediate aftermath of hurricane Sandy. This shot, “Hurricane Sandy, Seaside Heights, New Jersey, 2012,” captures the eerie beauty of the day as the storm abates. The Jet Star roller coaster, which floated away from its mooring in the floods, sits far offshore, an incongruous wreck that’s the only visible reminder of the recent devastation. ($25,000, at the Monroe booth.)
Courtesy of Monroe Gallery - Booth #419

Thursday, April 4, 2013

I Am A Man - Then, and Now

 


Demonstrators holds a sign and chant slogans outside of a Wendy's fast food restaurant, Thursday, April 4, 2013 in New York. New York City fast food workers plan a second job action day to press for higher wages.  (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

It's been 45 years since the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated during a sanitation strike in Memphis. Workers are still carrying on the civil rights leader's great struggle for economic justice today at waste facilities and fast food restaurants.

"Several pickets wore signs that said “I am a man” or “I am a woman,” echoing placards carried in Memphis in 1968."

Sanitation Workers assemble in front of Clayborn Temple for a solidarity march, Memphis, TN, March 28, 1968
 
 
Monroe Gallery of Photography is pleased to represent the Ernest C. Withers Collection. Please visit us in Booth #419 during the AIPAD Photography Show through April 7.
 


White House Photograper Eric Draper: "Front Row Seat"




Ground Zero, New York City, September 14, 2001


Via ABC News


Sunday Spotlight: Eric Draper

Monday, April 1, 2013

Survey of five-decade career of photographer Steve Schapiro on view at Kunsthalle Rostock




US photographer Steve Schapiro poses next to some of his works during a press conference at the Kunsthalle museum in Rostock, northeastern Germany. From March 23 to May 5, 2013, the museum presents around 150 photographs by Schapiro in the exhibition titled "Steve Schapiro - Then and Now - A Retrospective". AFP PHOTO / BERND WUESTNECK   

Via Artdaily.org


ROSTOCK.- Steve Schapiro is the photographer behind countless now-classic portraits of rock stars, film stars and politicians from the 1960s and 70s. He is also an accomplished documentary photographer who recorded many of the greatest political and social upheavals of our times. While working as a 'special photographer' for the film studios, he designed several iconic film posters, most notably for Midnight Cowboy, Taxi Driver and The Godfather Part III. His extraordinary access has been the hallmark of an illustrious career.

A retrospective of Schapiro's work opened at the Kunsthalle Rostock, Museum of Modern Art in Germany on March 24, 2013. The show, which is curated by Dr. Ulrick Ptak, presents 150 photographs, many of them recently published for the first time in Schapiro's critically acclaimed retrospective Steve Schapiro: Then and Now (Hatje Cantz). The exhibition and companion book look back at Schapiro's diverse half-century career spanning 1961 to 2011. They portray the celebrities and politicians who shaped a generation, as well as new and unseen documentary work focusing on the marginalized and unidentified people on the street.

Then and Now includes whimsical portraits of the stars: Robert De Niro in full Taxi Driver combat costume, posed in front of his cab with a Mohican and an improbably chirpy smile; Jack Nicholson, nose bandaged, tongue out at the camera on the set of Chinatown; and Marlon Brando, grinning with theatrical devilishness while being made up for The Godfather.

Also gathered are portraits that include artists René Magritte, Nico, and Andy Warhol; film directors Robert Altman, Woody Allen, Francis Ford Coppola, and Martin Scorcese; film stars Drew Barrymore, Mia Farrow, Jodie Foster, Dustin Hoffman, Sophia Loren, Paul Newman and Robert Redford; and musicians David Bowie, Ray Charles, Simon and Garfunkel, Diana Ross, Ringo Starr, Frank Sinatra, Barbara Streisand, and Ike and Tina Turner.

When Schapiro started shooting in the sixties, it was the golden age of photojournalism. Schapiro's extensive work in this genre include his depiction of migrant workers in Arkansas, drug addicts in East Harlem, freedom bus riders, the Selma March to Montgomery, Alabama with Martin Luther King, Jr., and presidential campaigns, most notably that of Robert F. Kennedy. Among his most striking works is a triptych that presents photographs Schapiro took in Memphis in 1968 the day after the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. while on assignment for Life. Schapiro was the only photographer to capture the ominous handprint of King's assassin on the wall above the bathtub in the boarding house bathroom from where the fatal shot was fired.

The thread that connects all of Schapiro's photographs is his humanistic approach to his work. Whether shooting a celebrity or an anonymous person he is searching for that iconic moment. In his essay in the book, curator and author Matthias Harder writes that Schapiro's work reflects "the spirit of the times. It is not only his famous individual photos and groups of works from his engagement with Hollywood that ensure him a firm place in the history of photography of the twentieth and twenty first centuries, but also the diversity of his subjects and the sovereign, continuing mastery of them over such a long period of time."

Born and raised in New York City, Steve Schapiro started taking photographs at age ten while at summer camp. He attended Amherst College and graduated from Bard College, and studied photography with the legendary W. Eugene Smith. As a budding photographer, he got an early break: an assignment from Life magazine. He has never stopped working since. His work has been published in prestigious magazines and on numerous covers around the world, including Life, Look, Vanity Fair, Paris Match, People, and Rolling Stone. Schapiro's photographs were included in the Metropolitan Museum of Art's 1968 exhibition Harlem On My Mind. His work can be found in the collections of the Smithsonian, The High Museum of Art, and the National Portrait Gallery. Schapiro's recent solo shows were in Los Angeles, Amsterdam, London and Paris. The Fotografiska Museum in Stockholm, Sweden presented a retrospective of his work in the spring of 2012. An exhibition of his work entitled Schapiro: Living America opened at the Center for Photography Lumiere Brothers, Moscow in the fall of 2012, and included 180 images.



Steve Schapiro's photographs will be on exhibit during the AIPAD Photography Show April 3 - 7, Monroe Gallery of Photography, Booth #419.