Fondazione Prada: “Surrogati – Un Amore Ideale”

12.02.2019 | Art , Blog | BY:

Later this month Fondazione Prada will present a peculiar exhibition curated by Melissa Harris entitled “Surrogati. Un Amore Ideale” (Surrogate. A Love Ideal).  Set to be opened on February 20th at their Osservatorio venue in the Galleria Emanuele,  Milan, the exhibition will feature the works of American photographers Jamie Diamond and Elena Dorfman which will explore the notions of romantic and sexual love. Each of the photographer’s works create visual and oral discussions around the theme of emotional linkages between male and female with the notion of synthetic representations of humans. 

“Together, Diamond’s and Dorfman’s work presented in ‘Surrogate’ vividly and non judgementally documents the interactions of humans with their lifelike, inanimate companions” says curator Melissa Harris.

The exhibit will showcase three subcategories of work, by Jamie Diamond:  Forever Mothers (2012-2018) and Nine Months of Reborning (2014). The prior captures the lives of an outsider art community called the Reborners who are self-taught female artists who create, collect and interact with hyper-realistic dolls which help them fulfil a certain desire for motherhood.  “Working with this community allowed me to explore a grey area between reality and artifice where relationships are constructed with inanimate objects,  human and doll, artist and artwork, uncanny and real.”

Elena Dorfman’s segment of the exhibition features her series titled Still Lovers (2001-04) which highlights the lives of men and women who have relations and often devote themselves to life-size, realistic sex dolls. This series instantly ignites conversation about the power of lover and the value of an object that has the power great enough to replace human beings. Dorfman’s intentions behind creating the series was not to exploit or shun the deviancy of these unconventional relationships but to instead reveal the fascinating world of intimacy between flesh and silicone. “ My ambition is never to judge, but to allow the inhabitants of this secret world to share their daily lives with me. In familiar surroundings  of their homes, I watch the scenes of domestic life unfold, the artist explains.”  The exhibition set to conclude on July 22,  will also carry an illustrated publication in the Quaderni series published by the Fondazione, which will consist of conversations between the curator herself, the artists along with some of the image subjects.

Forever Mothers, (2014) Jamie Diamond
Rebecca 1, Still Lovers, (2001) Elena Dorfman
CJ & Taffy 5, Still Lovers, (2002) Elena Dorfman
Forever Mothers, (2014) Jamie Diamond

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The Town of Tomorrow – 50 Years of Thamesmead

29.01.2019 | Art , Blog , Literature | BY:

Recently released was a hardcover published by Here Press Publishing entitled The Town of Tomorrow – 50 Years of Thamesmead, in tribute to one of London’s iconic towns.

“Rising from London’s Erith marshes in the 1960’s, Thamesmeand was LondonCounty Council’s bold attempt to build a new town to address the city’s housing shortage after World War ll. It’s ben noted for it’s daring, experimental design, concrete modern terraces, blocks of flats and elevated walkways built around a system of lakes and canals. Today Thamsmead is home to more the 40,000 people but throughout the years, economic, political and social pressure have left their mark. In the 198’s, as opinion turned against the modernist converts architecture, the focus shifted to more conventional red brick homes. Since the 1990s, as some of the original buildings began to fall into disrepair, Thamesmead has relied increasingly on private investment for new developments in what had previously been a mainly council run town. 

In ‘The Town of Tomorrow,’ history has already been assembled and preserved. The architecture and it’s inhabitants have been captured by archive material. Combined with newly commissioned photography by Tara Darby. Original plans, models , postcards, leaflets and newspaper clippings are presented alongside interviews with local residents. Together with an introductory essay by John Grindrod, the images covey the story of an influential and often misunderstood town, from the dreams and excitement of its ambitious original vision to the complex realities of living there today.” 

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Serpentine Gallery x Grace Wales Bonner

07.01.2019 | Art , Blog , Fashion | BY:

London’s Serpentine Art Gallery and British-Jamaican designer Grace Wales Bonner, have teamed up for the release of an exhibition at the gallery in honour of the designer’s iconic work and research. The exhibition set to be opened on January 19th will explore the themes of mysticism, rituals and magical resonances throughout black cultural and aesthetic practices. The audience will be treated to a multi-sensory installation which will include an assemblage of shrines, a carpet installation by Rashid Jognson and a series of meditation workshops led by musician Laraaji during the opening days. The designer will draw inspiration from the improvisation, intentionality and repurposing of shrines from the Black Atlantic as material portals into multiple worlds and frames of experience. As she references images, rituals and ceremonies from across the world into a unique collective. The exhibition will culminate on February 16th and will lead into the presentation of her upcoming Autumn Winter 2019 collection titled Mumbo Jumbo. To RSVP, visit Serpentine.

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Ronni Campana x Eva di Franco – Nutritional Therapy

20.12.2018 | Art , Blog | BY:

Ronni Campana is an Italian Photographer who finds the beauty in minute details with the help of his subtle humor and bright flash. The Milanese photographer has published work such as his previous series and book Badly Repaired Cars which documented a series of both expensive and inexpensive cars in London, which were badly repaired by the perspective of their owners. He also published the series F is for Fake which focused on the images of renown artwork reproduced as souvenirs and sold in the center of Florence to tourists.

However for his most recent series, the photographer teamed up with fashion designer Eva Di Franco on a mini-series focused on the shared qualities of the designer’s clothes with cheap supermarket food.  The series entitled Nutritional Therapy features an interesting collection of close up dense images which tell a story of nature’s influence on fashion, or if you will, fashion’s influence of nature. We caught up with the photographer for a  little Q & A to get a deeper insight on his series. 

What is that you want this series  to say to the people who view it ?

You can make interesting photographs with the most unexpected devices. 

Is there a photo / piece that you are most proud of?

I think that the most interesting picture is the one with the mince meat and the pink garment. It is quite weird but strong!

Your last series focused on badly repaired car , what inspired that?

When I was living in east London, one day coming back from work I noticed a car repaired in a quite bizarre way. From that day I started focusing on this idea and decided to document and classify lots creative examples of DYI car repairs.

What artist inspires you the most?

Absolutely Martin Parr.

What work of art do you wish you owned?

Giorgio De Chirico  Piazza D’Italia.

To view more of this photographer’s work, visit Cargo Collective.

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PH Museum 2018 Women Photographers Grant Winners

13.12.2018 | Art , Blog , Culture | BY:

Earlier this year the PH Museum announced the opening of their second annual women’s photography grant. The aim of the project geared towards female and non-binary photographers was to empower women from all sectors of photography from all corners of the world, regardless of age, colour and orientation. Recently, after great deliberation, the organization announced the winners of their 2018 grant.  With a jury composed of Aïda Muluneh (Photographer, Filmmaker and Curator), Alessandra Sanguinetti (Photographer), Karen McQuaid (Senior Curator, The Photographers’ Gallery) and Pamela Chen (Creative Lead, Instagram), the PH Museum awarded the first prize to the project “You Don’t Look Native To Me” by Romanian-born German photography Maria  Sturm who took the prize of £5,000 in cash along with additional opportunities for exposure.  “From all the submissions , it was not difficult for us to be drawn to the work of Maria Strum, capturing Native American youth and exploring the notion of identity in the American landscape. One of the key factors for selecting her work was not only based on her technical skills, but on her approach in capturing images that offer the viewer as a sympathetic and non-cliched insight into her subjects. In essence, her collection offers us a glimpse into a long term project that portrays a community at the crossroads of the past and future,” explained Aïda Muluneh.  The second prize of £2,000 was assigned to the work of  Australian photographer Sinead Kennedy, entitled Set Fire to The Sea, which was a project exploring the Australian Government’s policy of mandatory and indefinite detention for asylum seekers.  The third prize of £1,000 was claimed by Turkish photographer Sabiha Çimen whose work “KKK (Quran School For Girls)” documented the daily life of girls in attempt to memorise and practice the Quran in Instanbul, Turkey. “Sabiha leads us into the life of rituals and quiet rebellion in a strictly religious girls’ boarding school with a classic and disarmingly poetic approach. She presents the girls with gentleness and empathy while managing to capture the tension between the girls childlike, awkward play and the intense adult rules, expectations and limitations that are upon them,” explains Alessandra Sanguinetti. Additional prizes were also awarded to photographers whose works were too good to go unnoticed in the forms of honourable mentions, mini grants, Vogue Italia features and an opportunity for exhibition.

1st Prize | You Don’t Look Native To Me by Maria Sturm
2nd Prize | To Set Fire To The Sea by Sinead Kennedy
3rd Prize | KKK (Quran School For Girls) by Sabiha Çimen

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Ami Sioux, From The Road Exhibition

31.10.2018 | Art , Blog | BY:

Photographer and musician Ami Sioux debuts her first monograph of personal work in a photography exhibition and book titled From The Road. The book is curated as a collection of portraits, landscapes and abstracts shot during the photographer’s journey in New York, Berlin, Paris, Tokyo and Los Angeles from 2001 through 2018. 

Sioux’s path as a photographer initially began in the 1990s which has been a journey which has took her throughout all these cities. She is a photographer who has shot for brands such as Hermes and Maison Margiela, but also prides herself as a photographer who demands a certain type of presence of the subjects of her images. Her work in the exhibition documents and engages a time passage with portraits of lovers and friends alongside landscapes and abstracts captured in a painterly way along with outtakes of celebrities and artists she has shot for magazines throughout the years. The entire series was shot on 35mm film and the cover of book was designed by musician and artist Matt Fishbeck. This will count as Ami’s fourth personal book. The others; Paris 48°N, Reykjavik 64°N and Tokyo 35°N are series exploring the relationships of creatives and their abiding cities. The exhibition will eventually travel to New York, Los Angeles and Tokyo, but is currently running in Paris at the Mannerheim Gallery until November 11, 2018.   

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UNHCR & Giles Duley: The Refugee Women of Congo

29.10.2018 | Art , Blog , Culture | BY:

In the Democratic Republic of Congo, violence against women has been particularly brutal since war broke in the Kasai region in March 2017.  Rape and sexual violence has continued to be used as weapons of war in a pool of conflict that has triggered internal displacement of some 1.4 million people — and the flight of over 35,00 refugees into Lunda Norte province in northeastern Angola. The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) teamed up with renowned war photographer Giles Duley to tell the stories of the female survivors who have bore witnesses to these crimes in a photography series to pay tribute to their strength.  For more stories and information on how to help, visit UNHCR.

“To be honest, I am not that strong. I lost everything. I am not sure how to carry on.”

Sylvie Kapenga, 26, from Tchissengue feels broken by the violence she witnessed when armed groups attacked her fellow villagers, killing and raping indiscriminately. She has four children and says life in Lóvua settlement, Angola is tough with little food or clothes to give them. 

“They pointed a gun at my husband, but we managed to escape with our two children.”

Some of 42-year-old Bernardete Tchanda’s friends were raped and killed when armed men attacked Kamako, Democratic Republic of the Congo. In the past she has suffered domestic violence. She says she feels protected in the UNHCR settlement in Lóvua, Angola. 

“As a refugee it is harder as a woman, we have the responsibility for food and the children. But here the women have given me inspiration.”

Ani Tcheba, 19, fled her village on a Monday morning at 6am, heavily pregnant and helped along by her husband. In Lóvua settlement, Angola she says the women share food and other essentials, and help each other with the hardships. 

“They killed my uncle and his sons. We couldn’t even bury them. Sometimes I am very sad at all we have lost. Other times we let it go, we have our lives. I am never tired. I am so strong, my body is always moving, ready to work.”

Mimi Misenga, 45, escaped barefoot into the bush from Kamako, Democratic Republic of the Congo to Lóvua settlement, Angola. She says armed men forced her neighbour to rape his own daughter. 

“The militia would go to a house and I would see them carry out the woman. I knew what they were doing. I lived in fear.”

Chantal Kutumbuka, 45, fled the town of Kamako in the Democratic Republic of the Congo when armed militia men killed her husband. She abandoned all she owned and crossed the border to Lóvua settlement in Angola.

“I thought they would kill the baby inside me, that’s where I found my strength.”

Thérese Mandaka, 19, has not seen her husband since she fled across the border from Kamako in the Democratic Republic of the Congo to Lóvua settlement, Angola. When the soldiers came he was out looking for work while Thérese was at home, pregnant and sick. He has not seen their child, Munduko, who is now four months old. 

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PH Museum Women Photographers Grant 2018

22.10.2018 | Art , Blog | BY:

PH Museum presents their second annual grant specifically geared towards women and non binary photographers. This year’s grant is for artists who are focused on promoting the growth of a new generation of creatives, encouraging stories told from a female perspective while responding to the necessity of fighting for gender equality in the industry. The project is focused on empowering women and non-binary photographers of all ages, colour and orientation from all across the world who work in diverse areas of photography.  Applicants are required to present a maximum of 20 photos centred around a specific concept or theme with at least four of the photos being from 2015 onwards.  The final prize will not only be £10,000 in cash but also includes several opportunities to promote the awardees’ works across several platforms. Vogue Italia’s photography department has chimed in to select the work of three photographers which they will run online, along with several other small prizes. All photography series will be reviewed by a board of judges which will include Photographer Alessandra Sanguinetti, Filmaker and Curator Karen McQuaid, The Photographer’s Gallery Senior Curator Karen McQuaid and Instagram’s Creative Lead Pamela Chen.   The deadline for submissions will be October 24th. For more info, visit PH Museum.

Miia Autio from Variation Of White  – PHM 2017 Women Photographers Grant Honorable Mention
Sarah Blesener from Beckon – Us From Home – PHM 2017 Women Photographers Grant Honorable Mention
Raphaela Rosella from You’ll Know It When You Feel It – PHM 2017 Women Photographers Grant 1st Prize

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Labs New Artists II

19.06.2018 | Art , Blog , Culture | BY:

A new exhibition at Red Hook Labs celebrates the work of 25 international emerging photographers. Each creative is currently un-represented though by the end of this show we have no doubt that will have changed: the talent is impressive. 

Selected by an extensive panel of renowened jurors these rising stars will also receive mentorship from one the jurors for the next. In a fiercely competive world that kind of support is invaluable when starting out.

The photographers exhibiting are truly global hailing from South Africa, Germany, Canada, Australia, the UK and America. Works range from candid portraits to more stylised imagery, with each photographer bringin a unique eye to the exhibition.

Jubilant, pensive, provocative and soulful all at once these are the lenses of the future, and we’re already excited by what they see.

This exhibition follows on from the recent New African Photography III, an event which marked the launch of dynamic new print publication Nataal. These exhibitions and more have established Red Hook Labs as a must-visit gallery in Brooklyn, offering a diverse, inclusive and forward-facing programme that never fails to spark the imagination.

Daniel Jack Lyons

Luis Alberto Rodriguez

Tyler Mitchell

Chris Smith

Antone Dolezal

Labs New Artists II is on until June 24th, 2018 at Red Hook Labs. 

Featured image credit: John Francis Peters, ‘California Winter’ courtesy of Red Hook Labs

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New African Photography III

22.04.2018 | Art , Culture , Fashion | BY:

Following the success of previous collaborations between Nataal and Red Hook Labs, Nataal curates an exhibition of some of most exciting image-makers documenting modern Africa in a new exhibition. New African Photography III opens at the Brooklyn space in May.

The new exhibition will showcase the work of six female artists: Fatoumata Diabaté (Mali), Rahima Gambo (Nigeria), Keyezua (Angola), Alice Mann (South Africa), Ronan McKenzie (UK) and Ruth Ossai (UK/Nigeria).

Together these works celebrate female identity and diversity, offering an empowered and positive vision. A sense of energy is conveyed through the celebration of movement and the use of powerful juxtapositions – both in terms of colour and of form.

The event also coincides with the launch of Nataal’s first print issue. The website and magazine work as a platform to champion creativity and culture in Africa. You can find out more here.

Alice Mann, Dr Van Der Ross Drummies, Delft, South Africa, 2017, from the series Drummies

Ruth Ossai X Mowalao

Fatoumata Diabaté, Kara et ses oreilles, 2012, from the series L_homme en Animal

Sailing Back to Africa as a Dutch Woman, 2017, from the series Fortia

Nataal: New African Photography III, 4th – 13th May, Red Hook Labs, 133 Imlay St, Brooklyn, New York. Opening times: 10am-6pm daily. 

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Posturing

14.04.2018 | Art , Culture , Fashion | BY:

Following the wildly successful exhibition last year, Holly Hay and Shonagh Marshall are releasing Posturing as a book this month.

The beautiful tome brings together 21 iconic image makers in contemporary fashion. These photographers explore, respond to and propose new ways of using the body as a tool in the way clothing is depicted. Viewers are invited to look beyond the clothes though, at the entire art of composition and structure of each photograph. The careful curation of images allows viewers to examine fashion photography in new ways. The book portrays the spectrum of the fashion canon, from hyper-sexualised to the hyper-abstracted body. It is a celebration of the new era of strangeness in fashion, and the photographers central to leading the way.

Read our interview with Shonagh Marshall about co-curating the exhibition with Twin contributor Holly Hay here.

Johnny Dufort for AnOther Magazine, ‘Go Fish’ Autumn:Winter 2017

Charlie Engman for AnOther Magazine, ‘A Nod And A Glance A Gesture For One Word’ Autumn:Winter 2015

Lena C Emery for The Gentlewoman, ‘Practise’ Spring:Summer 2014

Pascal Gambarte for Marfa Journal, ‘Being Michael Rothstein’ March 2017

Reto Schmid for Under the Influence Magazine, ‘Relative Transparency’ Spring:Summer 2016

‘Posturing’ is available to buy via SPBH Editions from April 23rd 2018. 

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There is a lot more fun to be had: Twin Meets Alexander Coggin

20.02.2018 | Art , Culture | BY:

Absurd and a little bit off, but always funny. Alexander Coggin excels in the art of tender parody. This February he shows a broad range of photographs in his largest exhibition yet.

Whether it’s spending 48 hours with Gigi Hadid, snapping pictures of the supermodel being hand fed b12 drops by her mother, taking photos of Frieze art fair visitors’ clavicles, or documenting the colourful country club lives of his midwestern inlaws; Alexander Coggin always finds the absurdity in every situation. With warmth and curiosity he unveils the soft underbelly of any desirable lifestyle.“That image of Gigi with the drops is more telling than anything that you’re going to get from a staged photograph,” Coggin explains, “it says a lot about the relationship between her and her mom, Yolanda. It’s beautiful and funny and bizarre and tender in a way.”

The current exhibition, “Yeah, Magic” at Ninasagt Galerie in Düsseldorf is vast, over a 100 photographs framed and unframed in all shapes and sizes. There are images printed on mugs, clocks, sweatshirts – and on a delightfully ridiculous pair of flip flops.

Over the years Coggin has become known for his personal mix between street and still life photography, a colourful aesthetic and his unique sense of humour. His pictures capture the moments in-between perfection, and they almost exaggerate the flaws and quirks of each subject. But instead of being exploitative or down right mean – a not uncommon thing in the world of street photography – the pictures are loving and relatable. And a great way to ward off any incipient social media depression.


There is something very liberating with an old lady arm purposefully hovering over a large plate of shrimp or the low key eroticism of a gear shift. Most of all it is fun. I think my most successful images incorporate the full human-ness that live art and theatre give you. It takes the character, the specificity of the situation, the personas we see and don’t see about ourselves and filters all of that into a single still image. At best, my work is very much alive.”

Yeah Magic © Alexander Coggin


Every article ever written (this might not be entirely true) about Alexander Coggin mentions theatre in some way – you have to. It it his one main influence and his educational background. It is also, in an unexpected way, the reason he found and fell in love with photography. Coggin and his husband  moved to Berlin in 2011 to take part of the then booming theatre and performance scene. But the complexity of making and acting in theatre became overwhelming.

– After leaving the structure of school I realised that making theatre is such a collaborative process. You need to find a production, a director, a piece of work, a house that can mount the production. My creativity became stagnant. I got into photography as a way to release this pent up creativity in a solo way, beholden to none other. I really started to enjoy Photography when I realised that I could bring the things I love about theatre into the work. It was an antidote, a therapeutic transformation.

Do you think you’re going to go back to the theatre at some point?

– I think so. I still enjoy the binary of live arts vs. still imagery – it’s either one or the other. I think that ultimately, they’ll both come together in filmmaking. That’s the natural progression, but I don’t want to rush this because I want to do it in a way that feels authentic to my eye and my interests.

Your images are often quite raw and people show sides of themselves that you usually don’t see. How do you make the subject feel so comfortable?  

– There are a couple of ways to get these authentically voyeuristic shots. The work I’ve done with my husband’s family [Brothers and Others], for instance:  Because they are my family, I’m comfortable around them and they don’t change their behaviour when I shoot. It took years to get to that point. When I spend a couple of weeks with them I take thousands and thousands of images, that’s all edited into a finite body of work. I get lucky in terms of numbers. And time.

And when you do a project like the one with Gigi, when you only had a certain amount of time?

– If I have a commissioned piece like that I find that the most effective way is to be a fly on the wall. Which I’m not good at. A flash is very telling. If I wasn’t shooting with flash I could be more voyeuristic, but since I like to mediate images with flash – I stick out. I have to be a little bit more sneaky about it. It’s not a natural place for me to be at all. I like to be engaged, part of the conversation and making people feel at ease with me. But when I don’t have the luxury of time, I have to be a bit more sneaky, a bit more pushy. Again, not at all a natural state for me.

Yeah Magic © Alexander Coggin

Let’s talk a little more about your husbands family, how do they react to your images?

– Well, it shifted with them. I was always very nervous, kind of looking at the images and feeling like I was taking advantage of them. Especially the British Journal of Photography story that ran. They used the word privileged so many times. I was fine with it, and I know it was a necessary and an honest framing, but I felt nervous about how my husband’s family was going to perceive that frame. I called all of them, and surprisingly, no one cared. I think partly that’s because I have conversations with them when I’m shooting. We talk about how we can amplify their character, or how to take the character into something that is beyond them. Just to kind of satirise themselves, letting them explore what they represent too.

They’re part of the project?

– Definitely. If something lovely happens that is authentic, but I didn’t quite get it right in the camera, I’ll just ask them to do it again and they’ll do it. It’s great. They are part of the image making process, it gives them ownership.

Interesting. Because it can be a tricky relationship, that with your in laws.

– We have had long theoretical conversations about some great quotes by Garry Winogrand. He talks about how when you put four corners on an image you change the truth of it and create a ‘new fact’. The way they are represented is not as they are, but it is as they appear in that moment. And that moment could change from shot to shot; this isn’t the reality of who they are. I think they are comfortable with that persona play. I got lucky with them. We have the safety of our relationship, but I have had a hard time translating that element to commissioned work. Then it’s more difficult, I just don’t have the time, so, as I said, I have to be sneaky.

Have they ever vetoed anything that you’ve done?

–  I’ve given them the option to veto anything. Sometimes I don’t feel comfortable shooting stuff, but they’re like “Oh get that!”.

Yeah Magic © Alexander Coggin

Are you ever afraid of going to far, of being “mean”?

– If I shot ‘mean’, if I shot in a way that was disrespectful, inconsiderate, or in a way that the subject wasn’t okay with; I wouldn’t even be able to look at that image. I would not want that in my repertoire of imagery, it would make me feel shitty. So I feel like I have pretty good internal awareness of how the subject is feeling when I shoot. As I’m interested in candid moments and character it can be a little bit dangerous. There is one shot that I still feel conflicted about. It’s my friend Susan, and she said it was fine, but she doesn’t look great at all. Still it’s very telling, my favourite part of the picture is the alcohol and the caffein. You can see her displacement. There is something discontented about her, but it’s not a flattering picture.

I feel like art made by millenials often has humour. Do you think there is some reason for that?

– It could just be as easy as a response to the hard times we live in. As a millennial, as an American millennial, I’ve just been handed a shit plate for my entire adult life. But if you look hard enough there is a lot more fun to be had, a lot more life around you. I feel like I have a little more control if I can find humour in it. It’s just how I see the world.

You can see “Yeah, Magic” at Ninasagt Galerie in Düsseldorf from February 16th until March 18th. 

 

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The best of 2017: highlights from Twin Issue XVII

29.12.2017 | Blog , Twin Book | BY:

For fall, Issue 17 took a closer look at the expectations and realities of self-reflection. We met the young, African artist Kudzanai-Violet Hwami on the eve of her inaugural solo show, and discussed shedding the weight of self-doubt in order to soar. Elsewhere, sisters Nancy and Lotte Andersen discussed their shared childhood and creative pursuits, while actress Joanne Froggatt questioned the limitations facing woman who dare to age on screen. Patrick Demarchelier took us behind the scenes at the Musée du Louvre exclusively for Louis Vuitton, before we embarked on a Californian road trip with Chanel. Meanwhile, as Browns East — the latest bricks and mortar retail innovation to hit London — opened, we discussed the vital fostering of raw talent with Browns CEO Holli Rogers and Farfetch’s Chief Consultant of Augmented Retail Susanne Tide-Frater. Speaking of raw talent, musician Cosima revealed her most uncomfortable self under the lens of Francesca Allen, while model and artist Larissa Hofmann turned the camera on herself for a self portrait redux. Here’s looking at you, kid.

BUY

17black
17intimacy
17wambam
17bags

BUY

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Remember me when I’m gone

08.12.2017 | Art | BY:

Alex Franco’s exhibition, “Remember me when I’m gone” debuted on Friday 1st December at Crea Center Polivalent in Barcelona, with a second showing at Unit 10 Gallery on Tuesday the 5th of December.

The works are a response to the refugee crisis, and were taken at The Jungle in Calais across several trips over a period of eighteen months. The images explore the context of displacement, while striving to shine a light on a problem that remains unresolved.

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You may have seen pictures from The Jungle in the news. The shabby, temporary constructions became a place of refuge for those who had fled their homes, arriving in Calais only to be displaced again, and shoved to the margins of our system. After The Jungle expanded to house almost 10,000 inhabitants in a period of eighteen months, the French government destroyed it and expelled the refugees, forcing them to leave, separate and relocate. The interest in this problem has dwindled, given less and less media attention, as onlookers delude themselves that the problem no longer exists as the structure has been dismantled. But despite its changing physicality, The Jungle continues to exist just as it did before its demise, only in a different, dispersed form. Through his photos, Alex Franco encourages his audience to consider where all these refugees are now, and whether they have been given the chance at a new home and life that they deserve.

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All work is for sale and proceeds will be donated to Help Refugees.

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Mel Bles, Islands

25.10.2017 | Blog | BY:

Rhythmic and undulating, Mel Bles’ Islands series of photographs captures the soulful connection between the body and nature. This new exhibition sees the fruition of what began as a mediation on the image as a two-dimensional object, evolving into a powerful sequence of bodies and landscapes connected by rich, inky lines.

Throughout the photographs, Bles captures the softness and intimacy of the female form; bodies are juxtaposed and composed against landscapes, holding the two in perfect tension without falling into traditional sexual or romantic tropes.

Mel Bles, Islands

Mel Bles, Islands

The process of making the images themselves are also a study in texture. Some photographs are presented in the ‘purest form’, while others are offered in stages of alteration – revisited, reprinted, rephotographed on an iPhone, taken to a scanner, or upturned. The result is to offer miniature landscapes in and of themselves, which lure the viewer in individually as well as forming a powerful series in all.

Mel Bles, Islands

Mel Bles, Islands

Mel Bles, Islands is on at the Webber Gallery, London: 20 October – 25 November 2017

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Looking at Women, by Sophie Davis

25.09.2017 | Art | BY:

Photographer Sophie Davis talks to Twin about her series of work, ‘The Unresolved’.

I began this series nearly two years ago, having been constantly exposed to images of beauty ideals from a young age through media and popular culture. Starting this series felt like a necessary step for me to try and understand my fascination with beauty and the female form.

‘The Unresolved’ is a growing body of work and the girls I photograph start out as strangers to me. I ‘collect’ my subjects around London, they are just normal women who I feel instantly drawn to because of their physical appearance. I ask them to sit for me if they are interested. These sittings are mostly done nude.

© Sophie Davis

© Sophie Davis

Surprisingly, through the many girls I have photographed I have only ever had one no, which I think speaks volumes about how we as women are curious about seeing ourselves laid bare. It could be seen as searching for validation, wanting to feel beautiful in a world that makes us constantly insecure.

The images have become part of a growing archive, a collection of female flesh, both a celebration of the magnetising allure of the woman but also an exploration into the limits of objectification.

© Sophie Davis

© Sophie Davis

The method of my work has been described as predatory in nature, more ‘male gaze’ than ‘female’ (which I can’t help but see as reductive, as women have the ability to desire just as much as men). But alongside the seemingly callous ‘pick ups’ there is a tenderness to the photographs that remove them from an objectifying, colder viewpoint – it is down to the close ups. The details in the folds of skin and stray hairs, the remnants of another human being.  There is the intimacy and closeness you would assume exist between lovers. I am always amazed at the level of trust each girl puts in me, and the friendships that come out of some encounters.

© Sophie Davis

© Sophie Davis

‘The Unresolved ‘is an exploration of the limits of the female gaze and the ‘trap of beauty’ and our constant hunt for it. In exploring with such issues with this body of work, it has given me further insight into our conditioning, and the confusion that surrounds the self in relation to images of the  ‘ideal’. There is a hunger in the images, both from myself as photographer and from the subjects themselves, it’s a desire to be seen, to be looked at to be the one do the looking.

© Sophie Davis

© Sophie Davis

© Sophie Davis

© Sophie Davis

© Sophie Davis

© Sophie Davis

Follow Sophie on Instagram: @sophiexzx and Skin and Blister collective on @skin.and.blister

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Rosaline Shahnavaz: Friendship through a Photograph

20.08.2017 | Culture , Fashion | BY:

The relationship of a photographer and a model has long been documented to live beyond the flash. Love affairs, marriages, betrayals and betrothals have long been mapped out, but what about the friendship of a photographer to her subject?

Rosaline Shahnavaz is a photographer whose work holds a unique elegance in its informality, often capturing her subjects in a limbo between self-reflection and personal expression.  Her clients range from Coca-Cola to Urban Outfitters, her youth-centric approach editorially gracing the pages of i-D to ES Magazine.

The women she has photographed appear aware of their own elements, basking in a modern innocence – not so much picnics on the lawn, but more playing with their environments through a decided void of limitations and playful potential. Toothy smiles, cowboy stances, sunlight squints and legs akimbo. The women Rosaline has photographed feel like they own the frame she has caught them in: their selves and spirit bigger than their own image.

Rosaline has just published her first photo-book: an out-of-hours report with the model Fern that steps Rosaline’s photographic approach further. The result is a publication that pulls into question the relationship between the vision and the voyeur, and what happens when a friendship is formed on both sides of the camera. A lesson in capturing a two-sided relationship when only one side is visible.

Fern is the first photography book that you have released, how did the project come about?

I first met Fern after I casted her for an ad campaign I was shooting. We had this spark immediately and I loved photographing her. I kept casting her for everything when I decided to step away from fashion and spend some time photographing just her. She was thrilled and so it began. I had initiated the project however there was a role reversal and Fern would get in touch with me to shoot whenever she was in my area too. We got to know each other a lot during the process, and as our friendship bloomed the photographs did too.

© Rosaline Shahnavaz

© Rosaline Shahnavaz

What sparked the idea to make this project into a book?

The photographs are really personal, and I think the tactile nature of the book suits perfectly. You physically look closer and the narrative woven into the sequencing reveals a lot about Fern and our relationship. I love the editing process, I always print out all of my images and plaster my studio with them before I start to make the book. It’s a laborious process and I’ll go away and come back to it numerous times until I’ve got it.

Why did you choose one year to document Fern?

I didn’t. I honestly think I could continue to shoot the project forever. I don’t think the book marks the end and I’d like to revisit Fern with my camera further down the line.

© Rosaline Shahnavaz

© Rosaline Shahnavaz

How would you describe the resulting book? A documentation, an exploration, a study?

All of the above! I’d say it’s also a celebration of femininity, friendship and coming of age.

What are your thoughts on the concept of muses? What does ‘muse’ mean to you?

I think the concept of the muse has shifted, and that’s happened with the emergence in female photographers. I am more drawn to the sensibility of a woman depicting another woman.

© Rosaline Shahnavaz

© Rosaline Shahnavaz

Would you consider Fern a muse to you?

She could be a muse, but I found that photographing Fern wasn’t just about her, but more about our relationship and the connection we shared as photographer and subject.

Fern was 17 when you started photographing her – do you feel the images capture Fern the young woman at a turning point in her life?

Fern was at a particularly pivotal time in her life. It doesn’t stop with age but I recall the extremity of it as a teenager. She’d described being in a limbo state between girlhood/ womanhood, her sense of home/place and the shift between education / career. Over the duration of the book we both went through changes and found solace in each other.

© Rosaline Shahnavaz

© Rosaline Shahnavaz

Do you feel it is important to gain a connection with the subjects you photograph?

Definitely. I first got into photography by documenting my friends like a ‘fly on the wall’. It was naive and I didn’t really have an intention. The intimacy and closeness of those relationships enabled me to photograph the way I did. This approach marked my interest and subject matter. I’d love to spend a sustained period of time getting to know and photographing all of my subjects. I never give much direction, I would rather share an experience with my subject and capture them candidly. I don’t want to take ‘perfect’ photographs, I am more compelled to the in-between moments.

Fern will be available in a selection of bookstores in New York and London from the end of August – check @rosaline_s for announcements. Fern is currently available online: http://rosalineshahnavaz.bigcartel.com/product/fern-by-rosaline-shahnavaz

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Keep on Moving: An Interview with Linus Ricard

17.01.2017 | Art , Fashion | BY:

Paris based, Swedish artist Linus Ricard uses film and photography to capture and explore the relationship between the human body and the space it occupies. By focussing on the ordinary, unseen moments of the everyday, Ricard invites audiences to re-examine their surroundings and their position within the environment. Twin caught up with Linus to find out more.

How did you get into photography?

Studying styling at the Marangoni in Milan I collaborated with photographers and quickly realised I wanted to hold the camera.I still loved the clothes but the magic and interaction with the subject was stronger.

Your photographs & films are pre-occupied with movement – what is it about motion that interests you?

Motion creates emotion. My first, unanswered, teenage love was with a dancer. I used to go watch all her performances. She completely rejected me but my love for dance and movement stayed.

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What’s your process when you’re working?

I keep the subject moving, I love to catch that in-between moment, that you can never pose or control.

Do you have a favourite photograph, that you’ve taken?

No, it tends to be more and more about the process than the result, enjoying the moment and the making.

What are your influences?

Anything. At the moment I’m into going for long walks, I find it very inspiring and zen. I think Kierkegaard was onto something – “If one just keeps on walking, everything will be all right.”

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Ben Rayner’s Stolen Moments

07.01.2017 | Art , Blog , Culture , Fashion | BY:

Ben Rayner first made a name for himself photographing artists and musicians for Dazed & Confused and VICE, before transitioning into fashion photography. He has since become a regular fixture of magazines like Wonderland and Vogue. His talents have united him with the likes of Bella Hadid, ASAP Rocky and Alexa Chung, but he has always maintained an interest in producing his own personal work. Ben has published numerous zines and several monographs in the past. His latest project is a book made up of casually shot photographs that realise his aims of producing a photo diary of his day. Aptly named ‘Half Day’, the images have been shot in multiple locations and use an array of different formats, capturing fleeting and intimate snapshots of Ben’s life. Twin spoke to Ben about stealing moments, living in New York and the future. 

Tell us about your new book.

The book is a monograph of moments photographed during 2014 and 2015. It’s made up of abstractions, portraits and landscapes. It’s a snapshot of the world as I saw it in those moments. I’m always taking pictures, so after I amass a collection of work I try to put it together in a somewhat coherent way. The book kind of has a fluid narrative of stolen moments in time.

Why did you decide to name the book ‘Half Day’?

I wanted to call the book ‘Half Day’ because it sounded optimistic and is a reminder that you still have half a day left.

A lot of your work has maintained a focus on fashion in the past. How does ‘Half Day’ divert from that?

I shoot a lot of fashion, but have always photographed everything around me. This is my fourth monograph and first hard cover book. I have also published countless zines. To me all my work is a reflection of my view of the world. I think some fashion images could have been dropped into the sequence of this book and still would have made sense. I like to steal moments from people and from the world.

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Your photos have been described as ‘stopping time’ as opposed to capturing it. Why do you think that is?

I think sometimes I see things that other people don’t see, like a person’s fleeting expression. My aim is to connect with whoever and whatever I am shooting. I love photographing everyone, from famous models like Alice Dellal and Bella Hadid to actors and chefs.

You made the transition from London to New York. Do you think the change is reflected in your work? If so, how?

I don’t think so really. The images in this book are not very New York heavy. I tend to photograph things more where I don’t live. Although, I have been photographing my personal work in New York a lot more in the last few months. 

What’s next for you? 

I would like to do some still life photography, and more fashion stories, portraits and personal books. I have lots of ideas. I would also like to do a lot more video work in the future.

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Half Day is available to order now.

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Lena C. Emery’s ‘Rie 理絵’ Investigates Feminine Truth

16.12.2016 | Art , Culture , Fashion | BY:

Twin contributor Lena C. Emery’s new monograph Rie 理絵 (pr. Rhea) is a product of an continuing exploration of how women are intimately depicted. Rie, both the title and main subject of the book, literally means ‘truth’, a theme that permeates each image. The book depicts Emery’s poetic renderings of women who repeatedly pose, rest and move while in various states of dress – and undress. Playing with ideas of the female gaze, the women in the photographers are both aware and vulnerable; tangible and mysterious. Of the new launch, Emery explained:

“Within Rie 理絵 I wanted to embark on an inherently female dialogue on the subject of revealing. I was interested in understanding at what point when we reveal our bodies as women to a potential other, does the apparent vulnerability cross over into the  appreciation of the powerful notion of being naked and being oneself without an inner or outer surveyor present, without being on display. Watching Rie and the other nine women that I photographed, all of which were strangers to me and each other at the time and who had never been photographed in this way before, come to life as they slowly shed each layer of artifice, felt incredibly reassuring.”

Published by Kominek, Rie 理絵 is available from 16th December and can be bought here. 

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