In the press

Extinction Party, Jonathan Blaustein

Extinction Party, Jonathan Blaustein

As the world struggles with the impact of climate change in the 21st century, Blaustein’s art presents a deconstructed view of how human over-consumption is endangering life as we know it. And which leads to the possible extinction of almost everything.

Whether it’s photographing food from all over the world, years of accumulated clutter in his former studio, or party supplies from the mega company Party City. The truth is that we humans treat the planet as one big, violent supermarket with discounts.
This book will not save humanity from extinction. But you might consider treating the planet with a little more respect. The simple, grim images clearly illustrate our addiction to things, property and consumption. Among other things, it makes you think about that McDonald’s double cheeseburger you wanted to order.

Last week in the Washington Post, Photograph Magazine and PhotoBook Journal

Photographer:
Jonathan Blaustein, born New Jersey, resides Taos, New Mexico.
Publisher:
Yoffy Press (Atlanta, GA, USA, copyright 2020)
Introduction:
Kevin Kwan. Essays: Jonathan Blaustein
printer:
Wilco Art Books, Amersfoort
Photobook designer:
Caleb Cain Marcus (Luminosity Lab, NYC)

Jonathan Blaustein

Federal Triangle, Mike Osborne, 2019

Federal Triangle, Mike Osborne, 2019

One of TIME Magazine’s best photobooks of 2019, Federal Triangle fuses a documentary approach to photography with the opportunity for alternative interpretations: simultaneously grounded in the real, and suggestive of the darker fantasies that pervade our political landscape.

The project, titled after a government complex wedged between the Capitol and the White House, is a series of brief encounters with the trappings of power. Men with earpieces gather on corners next to cars bearing diplomatic plates. Black Suburbans idle in the alleys behind Georgetown mansions. Gardeners receive security inspections before entering walled compounds.

Quotidian but intriguing, and sometimes darkly comical, these glimpses into the workings of our democracy gave rise to a range of questions. If I were prone to paranoid projections, what kinds of encounters might activate my darker conspiratorial fears and fantasies? What scenes and situations would evoke the paradoxical feeling of being close to yet far removed from the levers of power?

Federal Triangle engages these kinds of questions in pictorial terms. The photographs are deeply ambiguous: everyday scenes are tinged with the possibility of violence and conspiracy. Withholding more than they reveal, they invite projections that speak to the fear, doubt, dysfunction, and absurdity of our current moment.

The viewer is forced to remind themselves that they are actually being shown the American capital today. This amplifies a historical sense of secrecy, paranoia and totalitarianism through his photographs. With this, Osborne evokes deep contemplation in how we view the people and the systems in charge of our lives. The powers that be and the suits behind the scenes.

He exposes the irony in the significance we give to our systems of power, when in reality it’s still just ordinary people in charge of unordinary situations. We are shown how false the meaning we give to our systems of control can be.

#JessicaPettway #TIME #gnomicbook #MikeOsborne #CharlieBreen #museemagazine

Mike Osborne

Gnomicbook

Museemagazine

Delicious Paintings, Tjalf Sparnaay

Delicious Paintings, Tjalf Sparnaay

Tjalf Sparnaay amazes his audience with his hyper-realistic paintings of extremely enlarged foods.

Fried eggs, French fries, sandwiches, ketchup bottles, marbles and lobster: Sparnaay visualizes these trivial subjects and inflates them to enormous formats, an assault on the senses. His paintings hit the retina like bolts of lightning in a clear blue sky. He not only documents reality, but intensifies it by blowing up everyday objects to mega-proportions. This gives him the opportunity to explore every detail very closely and to dissect it layer by layer in order to arrive at the core of the theme.

‘My paintings,’ remarks Sparnaay, ‘are intended to enable the viewer to experience reality once again, to rediscover the essence of the object that has become so common. I wish to reduce it to the DNA of the universal structure in all its beauty.’

The way in which Sparnaay approaches his work refers directly to the seventeenth century. He resembles Vermeer in his lucid use of colour and eye for detail and refinement, while the lighting in his paintings recalls the play of light and shadow in the work of Rembrandt.

Waanders & de kunst