Tuesday, April 30, 2024

A few highlights from the 2024 AIPAD Photography Show


White Hot Magazine: The Photography Show (AIPAD) 2024 returned this year to their previous home, the grand Park Avenue Armory.

"The Photography Show truly stepped up their game this year, bringing a new breath of Spring air by including new galleries. They have created a great visual atmosphere of the classics and newest trends of the photography world of today."

screenshot of a photograph of Ryan Vizzion's Flooded Church print

Ryan Vizzions
A church flooded by Hurricane Florence

Collector Daily: Highlights from the 2024 AIPAD Photography Show, Part 1 of 2

"..a wandering sweep through the booths in search of eye-catching works worth thinking about more."

screenshot of photograph of Sanjay Suchak's print of foundry worker's preparing to melt down the face from the Robert E. Lee statue

Monroe Gallery of Photography (here): In the past few years, as various Confederate monuments and statues have been removed or dismantled, we’ve seen plenty of photographs of graffitied pedestals and boxed up bronzes waiting for transport. This image by Sanjay Suchak powerfully continues the story, with the face of Robert E. Lee about to be melted down by metal recyclers. 

Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Bob Gomel Day Proclaimed


screenshot of Huston Mayor's proclamation for "Bob Gomel Day"

Bob Gomel Day

WHEREAS, Houstonian Bob Gomel has dedicated eight decades to the advancement of American photojournalism and imagery of world cultures; and

WHEREAS, Bob Gomel’s love of photography began in his youth in New York City, continued with his graduation from New York University with a journalism degree, through his service abroad as a U.S. Navy Aviator, and into his emergence as a professional photographer; and

WHEREAS, Bob Gomel captured the triumphs and tragedies of the 1960s as a photographer for LIFE magazine, making iconic and innovative images of world leaders and events, athletes and entertainers, and great moments in contemporary history; and

WHEREAS, Bob Gomel’s notable LIFE assignments included photographing President John F. Kennedy’s historic “We Choose to Go tothe Moon” speech at Rice University on September 12, 1962; and

WHEREAS, Bob Gomel moved to Houston in the 1970s and opened a photography studio where he produced images of leading political, business, academic and medical figures, and he helped co-found the Houston chapter of the American Society of Media Photographers; and

WHEREAS, Bob Gomel’s famous 1997 photograph, “Fireworks Over Houston,” is in the permanent collection of The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; and

WHEREAS, Bob Gomel is the subject of the documentary Bob Gomel: Eyewitness directed by David Scarbrough, and Gomel’s work remains of interest to historians, news organizations and collectors around the nation; and

WHEREAS, Bob Gomel’s contemporary photography emphasizes world cultures and life abroad and includes images from Asia, Europe and The Americas; and

WHEREAS, Bob Gomel’s photographic archives have been donated to the Briscoe Center for American History at The University of Texas at Austin, and a newly published selection of his life’s work is exhibited at the 2024 Fotofest Biennial in Houston; and
WHEREAS, The City of Houston commends and recognizes Bob Gomel for his contributions to photojournalism in Houston and beyond;

 THEREFORE, I, John Whitmire, Mayor of the City of Houston, do hereby proclaim April 23 2024, as  Bob Gomel Day In Houston, Texas


Bob Gomel's photographs are featured in the current exhibition 1964

Sunday, April 21, 2024

Monroe Gallery at the 43rd edition of The Photography Show,

Color graphic for the AIPAD Photography Show with dates of April 25-28, 2024 and Monroe Gallery booth location A52

Monroe Gallery of Photography is delighted to announce its participation in the highly anticipated 43rd edition of The Photography Show, the longest-running and leading fair dedicated to photography, returning this year to the iconic Park Avenue Armory in New York City from April 25 to 28, 2024.

Marking an exciting homecoming for The Photography Show, this edition promises a spectacular showcase of photography. The expansive Armory space will host 77 exhibiting galleries and a dedicated photobook sector, creating a unique and exciting experience for collectors and enthusiasts alike.

The Photography Show, located at 643 Park Ave, New York, NY 10065, will open its doors with a VIP Preview on Thursday, April 25, followed by the official opening on Friday, April 26, at 12 pm. That evening, the fair will feature a Night of Photography from 5 pm to 8 pm, providing a unique evening experience. On Saturday, April 27, and Sunday, April 28, the show will be open to the public from 12 pm to 7 pm and 12 pm to 5 pm, respectively.

Monroe Gallery of Photography will be located at Booth A52 and will exhibit a curated selection of important contemporary photojournalism, with a central focus on Sanjay Suchak's “Take Them Down” project documenting the deinstallation and repurposing of monumental Confederate statues along with photographs Mark Peterson made at the Robert E. Lee monument in Richmond, Virginia in 2020. Other issues addressed by Gallery photojournalists in our exhibit will include climate change, women’s rights, and the 2016 Standing Rock protest movement to stop the Dakota Access pipeline. The Gallery will also have a special selection of fashion, WWII, and portrait photographs by Tony Vaccaro, who passed away in December 2022 at the age of 100 and who was a frequent presence in the Monroe Gallery booth through past AIPAD Shows.

We look forward to seeing you in our booth #A52! Please email us with any questions. Preview our exhibition here.

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Photojournalism in the Occupied West Bank - Moderated by Nina Berman

 Via eventbrite

April 15, 2024

Graphic text for Photojournalism in the Occupied west Bank talk with Salwan Georges/The Washington Post  Tanya Habjouqa/The New Yorker  Maen Hammad/Caravan Magazine

Three photographers with deep experience in the region will present recent work and discuss the challenges of reporting in the region, moderated by Nina Berman.

Palestinians living in the occupied West Bank have faced increased violence, detentions and land seizures by Israeli forces and settlers since October 7. Three photographers with deep experience in the region will present recent work and discuss the deteriorating situation for Palestinians in the West Bank and the challenges of reporting in the region.

Join us April 26 in the World Room for a panel with:

Salwan Georges/The Washington Post

Tanya Habjouqa/The New Yorker

Maen Hammad/Caravan Magazine

Moderated by Prof. Nina Berman, sponsored by The Delacorte Center for Magazine Journalism and The Li Center for Global Journalism.

Friday, April 26 · 6 - 8pm EDT

Location: Columbia Journalism School

World Room 2950 Broadway New York, NY 10027

Tickets here

Monday, April 15, 2024

It is no longer safe to organize a protest in Louisiana, Mississippi, or Texas.

 Via VOX news

April 15, 2024

The Supreme Court effectively abolishes the right to mass protest in three US states

--    Last summer, Monroe Gallery presented the exhibition Good Trouble, photographs that register the power of individuals to inspire movements and illustrate the power of mass protest. "The right to protest encompasses various rights and freedoms, including the freedom of assembly, the freedom of association, and the freedom of expression. Unfortunately  these precious rights are under attack and must be protected from those who are afraid of change and want to keep us divided."

The Supreme Court announced on Monday that it will not hear Mckesson v. Doe. The decision not to hear Mckesson leaves in place a lower court decision that effectively eliminated the right to organize a mass protest in the states of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas.

Under that lower court decision, a protest organizer faces potentially ruinous financial consequences if a single attendee at a mass protest commits an illegal act.

It is possible that this outcome will be temporary. The Court did not embrace the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit’s decision attacking the First Amendment right to protest, but it did not reverse it either. That means that, at least for now, the Fifth Circuit’s decision is the law in much of the American South.

For the past several years, the Fifth Circuit has engaged in a crusade against DeRay Mckesson, a prominent figure within the Black Lives Matter movement who organized a protest near a Baton Rouge police station in 2016.

The facts of the Mckesson case are, unfortunately, quite tragic. Mckesson helped organize the Baton Rouge protest following the fatal police shooting of Alton Sterling. During that protest, an unknown individual threw a rock or similar object at a police officer, the plaintiff in the Mckesson case who is identified only as “Officer John Doe.” Sadly, the officer was struck in the face and, according to one court, suffered “injuries to his teeth, jaw, brain, and head.”

Everyone agrees that this rock was not thrown by Mckesson, however. And the Supreme Court held in NAACP v. Claiborne Hardware (1982) that protest leaders cannot be held liable for the violent actions of a protest participant, absent unusual circumstances that are not present in the Mckesson case — such as if Mckesson had “authorized, directed, or ratified” the decision to throw the rock.

Indeed, as Justice Sonia Sotomayor points out in a brief opinion accompanying the Court’s decision not to hear Mckesson, the Court recently reaffirmed the strong First Amendment protections enjoyed by people like Mckesson in Counterman v. Colorado (2023). That decision held that the First Amendment “precludes punishment” for inciting violent action “unless the speaker’s words were ‘intended’ (not just likely) to produce imminent disorder.”

The reason Claiborne protects protest organizers should be obvious. No one who organizes a mass event attended by thousands of people can possibly control the actions of all those attendees, regardless of whether the event is a political protest, a music concert, or the Super Bowl. So, if protest organizers can be sanctioned for the illegal action of any protest attendee, no one in their right mind would ever organize a political protest again.

Indeed, as Fifth Circuit Judge Don Willett, who dissented from his court’s Mckesson decision, warned in one of his dissents, his court’s decision would make protest organizers liable for “the unlawful acts of counter-protesters and agitators.” So, under the Fifth Circuit’s rule, a Ku Klux Klansman could sabotage the Black Lives Matter movement simply by showing up at its protests and throwing stones.
The Fifth Circuit’s Mckesson decision is obviously wrong

Like Mckesson, Claiborne involved a racial justice protest that included some violent participants. In the mid-1960s, the NAACP launched a boycott of white merchants in Claiborne County, Mississippi. At least according to the state supreme court, some participants in this boycott “engaged in acts of physical force and violence against the persons and property of certain customers and prospective customers” of these white businesses.

Indeed, one of the organizers of this boycott did far more to encourage violence than Mckesson is accused of in his case. Charles Evers, a local NAACP leader, allegedly said in a speech to boycott supporters that “if we catch any of you going in any of them racist stores, we’re gonna break your damn neck.”

But the Supreme Court held that this “emotionally charged rhetoric ... did not transcend the bounds of protected speech.” It ruled that courts must use “extreme care” before imposing liability on a political figure of any kind. And it held that a protest leader may only be held liable for a protest participant’s actions in very limited circumstances:

There are three separate theories that might justify holding Evers liable for the unlawful conduct of others. First, a finding that he authorized, directed, or ratified specific tortious activity would justify holding him responsible for the consequences of that activity. Second, a finding that his public speeches were likely to incite lawless action could justify holding him liable for unlawful conduct that in fact followed within a reasonable period. Third, the speeches might be taken as evidence that Evers gave other specific instructions to carry out violent acts or threats.

The Fifth Circuit conceded, in a 2019 opinion, that Officer Doe “has not pled facts that would allow a jury to conclude that Mckesson colluded with the unknown assailant to attack Officer Doe, knew of the attack and ratified it, or agreed with other named persons that attacking the police was one of the goals of the demonstration.” So that should have been the end of the case.

Instead, in its most recent opinion in this case, the Fifth Circuit concluded that Claiborne’s “three separate theories that might justify” holding a protest leader liable are a non-exhaustive list, and that the MAGA-infused court is allowed to create new exceptions to the First Amendment. It then ruled that the First Amendment does not apply “where a defendant creates unreasonably dangerous conditions, and where his creation of those conditions causes a plaintiff to sustain injuries.”

And what, exactly, were the “unreasonably dangerous conditions” created by the Mckesson-led protest in Baton Rouge? The Fifth Circuit faulted Mckesson for organizing “the protest to begin in front of the police station, obstructing access to the building,” for failing to “dissuade” protesters who allegedly stole water bottles from a grocery store, and for leading “the assembled protest onto a public highway, in violation of Louisiana criminal law.”

Needless to say, the idea that the First Amendment recedes the moment a mass protest violates a traffic law is quite novel. And it is impossible to reconcile with pretty much the entire history of mass civil rights protests in the United States.

In fairness, the Court’s decision to leave the Fifth Circuit’s attack on the First Amendment in place could be temporary. As Sotomayor writes in her Mckesson opinion, when the Court announces that it will not hear a particular case it “expresses no view about the merits.” The Court could still restore the First Amendment right to protest in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas in a future case.

For the time being, however, the Fifth Circuit’s Mckesson decision remains good law in those three states. And that means that anyone who organizes a political protest within the Fifth Circuit risks catastrophic financial liability.

Sunday, April 14, 2024

Accountability is past due for Kansas newsroom raid


Image of John Lewis by photographer Sanjay Suchak with text overlay "In solidarity with the Marion Cunty Record" and Lewis quote "If you see something that is not right, not fair, not just, you have the moral obligation to do something about it"
John Lewis Photograph by Sanjay Suchak

Remember the raid on the Marion County Record last August? There are several updates as the "investigations" are still ongoing.

Via Freedom of the Press Foundation:

Investigations into the raid are ongoing and news continues to emerge about additional evidence of Marion officials’ retaliatory motives for their actions.

Last week, the Marion County Record sued the city of Marion and the officials who authorized the raid, including the then-mayor and police chief. The Record’s publisher, Eric Meyer, also joined the suit, both in his own name and as executor of his mother Joan’s estate. Joan Meyer died at age 98 the day after the raid of the home she shared with her son, likely from the stress — but not before giving police a piece of her mind.

It’s the fourth lawsuit filed in connection with the raid, along with two by reporters who worked for the Record at the time and one by the paper’s office manager.

The Record’s lawsuit contends that the raid was not the product of mere incompetence by a small town police department but a coordinated effort to retaliate against the paper for its coverage of local politics.

In addition to the lawsuits, investigations related to the raid are still pending — both of law enforcement officers’ conduct and of whether Record reporters broke the law.

As Kansas media lawyer Max Kautsh recently wrote for the Kansas Reflector, it’s well past time to drop any remaining investigation of the Record or its reporters.

The theory used to justify the raid – that a reporter broke identity theft laws by accessing online DUI records – is nonsense. The federal Driver Privacy Protection Act doesn’t protect DUI records, and includes an express exemption for research. The Kansas Department of Revenue, which runs the website the Record accessed, has said the site is open to the public. And the notion that routine journalistic conduct like accessing public records for newsgathering purposes constitutes identity theft or fraud is plainly offensive to the First Amendment.

The investigation of the law enforcement response is another story entirely. Although the probe (which, as discussed later, is being handled by the Colorado Bureau of Investigations, or CBI) is reportedly wrapping up, it’s alarming that it’s taking so long given the volume of evidence of unconstitutional retaliation. Hopefully the delay is because authorities are figuring out just how thick of a book they can throw at those responsible for the raid.

Here are just a few of the revelations that have come to light in recent months, thanks in large part to intrepid reporting from the Record itself, the Reflector, and other local news outlets, as well as from information contained in the Record’s lawsuit. Much of the news focuses on the conduct of then-Marion police chief Gideon Cody, but others, from Marion’s then-mayor to the Kansas Bureau of Investigation, or KBI, are also implicated.During the raid of the Record’s newsroom, Cody took the opportunity to rifle through reporters’ documents about himself — even though the raid was purportedly over newsgathering about a local restaurant owner. Cody was suspended and then resigned, but he was replaced by an interim chief who also participated in the raid (as did the entire police department). Other officers directed Cody to the files about him and suggested he review them.

Rather than limiting the seizure to records related to the purported investigation, Cody said officers should “just take them all,” because he was hungry. Cody then allegedly had a “pizza party” with the county sheriff. Meanwhile, the Record struggled to publish its next edition without any of its files.

Cody spoke to the restaurant owner whose information the Record was accused of “unlawfully” accessing on a public website by phone between the raids of the Record’s newsrooms and the Meyers’ home. He reportedly started the call with “Hey honey, we can’t write anything,” before providing a verbal play-by-play. The restaurant owner has also acknowledged that she deleted texts with Cody pursuant to his requests.

After the raid drew national backlash, Cody sought an arrest warrant for two Record reporters. Two hours later, the Marion County attorney revoked the search warrants that prompted the raids due to a lack of evidence.

The KBI, which attempted to distance itself from the raid after the fallout, was actually on board from the outset, receiving an advance copy of the search warrant and communicating with Cody throughout the ordeal. County Attorney Joel Ensey, who initially said he hadn’t reviewed the warrants, also reportedly received an advance copy from police. Days after news of the KBI’s involvement in the raid broke, the KBI asked the CBI to take over its investigation of the raid.

Prior to the raid, Cody allegedly tried to persuade a Record reporter, Phyllis Zorn, to leave the newspaper and start a competitor, promising he would invest in the rival paper. Zorn is now one of the reporters suing over the raid.

Prior to the raid, then-Marion Mayor David Mayfield allegedly reposted a Facebook post by his wife asking “If anyone is interested in signing a petition to recall [then vice-mayor Ruth Herbel] and silence the MCR [Marion County Record] in the process, let me know.”

Eric Meyer has said that he filed his lawsuit reluctantly — not wanting to bankrupt his hometown — and will donate any punitive damages to charitable causes. His hesitance is understandable. But accountability is desperately needed. Hopefully the CBI will help provide some, and soon.

Saturday, April 13, 2024

AIPAD Exposure Newsletter: The Photography Show Highlights


Via AIPAD Exposure Newsletter
April 11, 2024


Santa Fe’s Monroe Gallery will be showing a selection of contemporary photojournalism, with a central focus on Sanjay Suchak's Take Them Down project documenting the deinstallation and repurposing of monumental Confederate statues. The gallery, which recently began representing Mark Peterson, will also show photographs Peterson made at the Robert E. Lee monument in Richmond, Virginia, in 2020 as well as other works by the photographer. Other photographs on view at the Monroe Gallery’s booth will focus on climate change, women’s rights, and the 2016 Standing Rock protest to stop the Dakota Access pipeline. The gallery will also have a special selection of fashion, WWII, and portrait photographs by Tony Vaccaro, who passed away in December 2022 at the age of 100 and who was a longtime gallery artist and a frequent presence in the Monroe Gallery booth during previous AIPAD Shows.


Sanjay Suchak, Robert E. Lee Monument Overhead, Richmond, Virginia, July 2, 2020.
Courtesy Monroe Gallery of Photography

Sanjay Suchak, Foundry workers prepare to melt down the face of the Robert E. Lee statue for repurposing, October, 2023. Courtesy Monroe Gallery of Photography
Mark Peterson, Portrait of George Floyd projected on General Robert E. Lee statue in Richmond, VA, June 8, 2020, by lighting designer Dustin Klein. Courtesy Monroe Gallery of Photography

Ryan Vizzions, A church flooded by Hurricane Florence stands silently in its reflection in Burgaw, North Carolina, 2018. Courtesy Monroe Gallery of Photography

Tony Vaccaro, The Guggenheim Hat, New York, 1960.
Courtesy Monroe Gallery of Photography

Friday, April 12, 2024

Missiles on the Rez Nominated for 28th Annual People's Choice Webby Award

color photograph of young Native American woman Ella Weber in sweatshirt standing in front of gate to a nuclear silo on Fort Berthold Reservation
Ella Weber stands in front of a nuclear silo on Fort Berthold Reservation. (NINA BERMAN)

Gallery photographer Nina Berman was among the journalists behind Scientific American's multimedia reporting project on US nuclear weapons, told in video, print and podcast.

The five-part podcast The Missiles on the Rez explores the past, present, and future of nuclear weapons on the only Native American tribe hosting nuclear weapons in the United States. More here.

The Missiles on Our Rez is a 2024 Webby Award Nominee. 

Vote here.

Thursday, April 11, 2024

Egypt’s City of the Dead as Seen by Acclaimed Photojournalist Ed Kashi

Via Cario Scene

April 11, 2024

 American photojournalist Ed Kashi guides us through his exhibit 'The Living City of the Dead'.

At the heart of the Citadel of Salah El Din in Old Cairo, the captivating narratives of a vital part of this locale's history unfold—the stories of those residing within the 'Living City of the Dead'. As part of Cairo Design Week, the Cairo-based photography school Photopia curated and hosted an exhibition featuring the work of acclaimed American photojournalist Ed Kashi. This collection stems from his visit to Egypt in 1993, during which he spent three weeks in the City of the Dead.

At one point, Cairo's vast 13th-century necropolis, known as the City of the Dead, was primarily inhabited by caretakers, who were employed by families to tend to their ancestral mausoleums. However, with the rapid increase in Cairo's population density, driven by a housing shortage, the city's main cemetery became home to people seeking shelter.

By 1993, the City of the Dead had become a bustling hub, with over one hundred and twenty thousand residents living, working, shopping, and attending school amidst the mausoleums. Today, this population has grown even further. Makeshift huts now dot the landscape, nestled between tombstones where life somehow goes on. Amongst the grand burial sites of renowned religious and political figures from Egypt's storied past, masses of people now live and work in makeshift dwellings.

Originally tasked by National Geographic to explore urban landscapes in Egypt, Kashi and his then-girlfriend (now wife) found themselves drawn to the daily existence in the City of the Dead. Amidst the backdrop of corpses and decay, they discovered a life that, while unique, also took on elements of the ordinary and routine. Over those three weeks, Kashi immersed himself in the community, capturing their traditions—from weddings to religious rituals, schools, and workplaces.

In this exclusive CairoScene & El Fasla interview, the photographer guides us through the exhibit, where images from the past come to life within the historic Citadel's walls. Against the backdrop of Cairo's rapidly changing urban landscape, Kashi urges viewers to contemplate this archival documentation of a community and landscape on the brink of disappearance.

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Nate Gowdy and Monroe Gallery Announce Major Aquisition of "Insurrection" prints

 April 10, 2024

Via Nate Gowdy:

With permission from the collector, I’m proud to report the largest fine art commission of my career. He’s acquired a ten-image portfolio of 20x30-inch prints from January 6, 2021. This is a HUGE stabilizing force for me going into the summer. I am working with my partners at @monroegallery and a master printer to make the prints, too large for my trusty Epson. An exhibition opening at Midwest Museum of American Art in my hometown of Elkhart, Indiana, is slated for the first part of 2025.