Poem Baker

Poem Baker’s Hymns From The Bedroom

03.06.2016 | Culture | BY:

“Most of the kids I photograph all know each other, either from the clubs or are personal friends, or have been partners at one point… They’re all intertwined in one way or another. If you look at the portraits, you see some of the same faces again and again, connecting everyone together.”

Photographer Poem Baker‘s Hymns From The Bedroom is a series of portraits featuring a selection of friends and acquaintances, who exist on the brink of creative success and in a haze of twenty-something wonder. Raw, real and refreshingly diverse in its content, here Poem exclusively tells Twin how some of her favourite shots came about, and who the subjects are.

Stef & Jacq, 2011 (main)

“This was taken in a hotel room in San Francisco. Stef is a waitress from Sydney and Jacq a stripper from Brooklyn. I’ve known Stef for some time, and we all ended up going on a road trip together in the USA. I think they were going through quite a difficult time when I made this portrait, they had been together for about a year and were having to split up because of visa issues… They were hanging out in their hotel room and they called me to come around with my camera, they wanted an intimate portrait… This was a very candid shot: no set-ups. I walked in, had a glass of wine with them, and got this in about four or five frames!”

Daniel

Daniel, 2012

“This was taken in Hackney. Daniel and I met while wandering the streets at London Gay Pride in 2012. I recall seeing him walk down the street and I was immediately struck by his uninhibited persona. He’s a performance artist. We began to collaborate on portraits that explore an alternative concept of gender… I’ve been shooting with Daniel for about five years now. This portrait was set up, more so than usual, he had a clear idea of how he wanted to be photographed and I just tweaked it a little. But no big set-ups… Just me, him and my flash gun!”

After Party

After party – Harry and friends, 2015

“This was taken at an after party in east London. I got called by Harry, who is in this particular picture, to come and photograph him and his friends. I turned up at about 5am, when everyone was chilling, smoking and playing music. Again it’s another candid shot. In situations like these you really don’t want to set stuff up, I just like people to do their own thing… The photographs are there, you just have to blend in and get everyone relaxed around your camera.”

James

James, 2011

“I met James at a friend’s 21st birthday, my eye caught his tattoo on his chest that read ‘Sunday Morning’. Being a huge fan of Lou Reed and Andy Warhol we struck up conversations and met the next day. At the time he was living in Walthamstow. We walked around his neighbourhood as it was a lovely sunny day and somehow ended up in the graveyard! That’s where we took this picture!”

Vera

Vera , Sam & Elise, 2014

“Sam is a hairdresser, and this is a candid moment of him hanging out with his friends doing their hair before a big night out clubbing in London! I’ve been photographing Sam since the start of this project, he was living at home with his parents and dating James (who is in the previous picture) when I first met with him.”

Poembaker.co.uk

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Sophia-Skloss

Sarah Louise Stedeford’s Suburban Youth

26.05.2016 | Culture | BY:

Sarah Louise Stedeford, 25, currently lives in north London – but she hasn’t always done. The photographer – who’s currently splitting her time between casting for a zine and shooting fashion editorial and commercial – has produced a haunting personal project called Suburban Youth, which brings to mind heady memories of running for the last train while high, Tommy Girl eau de toilette and White Lightening.

Here, in a short essay, Sarah explains her own relationship with one of the most important – yet overlooked – cornerstones of British adolescence:

“I spent my teenage years between west London and the south west suburbs. I think this demonstrated the differences between the two from quite early on. Home kind of became both or neither places. I guess this allowed me to see the suburbs from both an insider’s and an outsider’s perspective.

“Travelling on the long suburban trains every day, I would always sit near the window and watch the suburban towns pass by. I shot most of the landscapes in this series from the window of the train, it felt quite true to the subject. Anyone from these areas will be very familiar with the train journeys. The train was moving too quickly for me to have much time to compose or focus on something specifically. This was quite interesting to me, to see what I had captured and that when editing, one of the images would speak to me in some way, reminding me of something, even though I couldn’t really put my finger on what it was.”

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Hounslow

“The project as a whole does feel like a series of blurred memories to me, and I feel like this when I visit these areas. It’s not something specific that I remember…it’s a feeling. Lots of memories all tied together and kind of blurred.

“I think this is true for the suburbs itself. There is a different feeling in this area. But I don’t think it has a very clear identity.

“Whenever I would say where I was from, to someone who didn’t know the area, the only way to explain was to say where it was between. These areas feel busy, with trains, planes and cars running through, round and over, all leaving a sheet of grey dust behind them. But there is also a feeling of calm, like the dust has settled. This feels quite surreal too. Its not busy on the streets, but there is a sense of movement. Its like a pit stop place, only used in order to get to somewhere else. I guess this is its strange identity in a way.”

9-Suburban

Olly @ Milk

10-Suburban

5-6-Suburban

Poppy @ Select

Main: Sophia Skoss @ Premier

Sarahstedeford.com

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athensgeorgia1997

Mark Steinmetz: An Unforced Narrative

10.05.2016 | Art , Culture | BY:

His subject is one that has been much documented across the arts, but photographer Mark Steinmetz lends a unique eye to the chronicles of contemporary American life. Whether capturing everyday happenings within a Cleveland school or the natural environment of Sandy Creek, the photographer’s ability to imbue images with unforced narrative consistently delights.

This capacity to scrutinise the idiosyncrasies of daily life whilst remaining aloof from the frame allows Mark Steinmetz’s photographs to both transcend and embody their moments in time, rendering his images powerful historical documents as well as works of art. With a ninth monograph, Angel City West out on Nazraeli Press, we asked the photographer to lend insight into his work, inspiration and future projects.

When did you first start photographing? 
I started very early on. My parents gave me my first camera around the age of six. I have many clear memories of photographing when I was a child. I remember that framing a scene was always a pleasure for me; I liked making the decision of whether I needed to stay standing up or whether I should scrunch down or move in closer in order to make the best picture. I had set up my first darkroom in my home at the age of 12.

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Ancient Tigers, 2007

Can you talk a little about the Angel City West series as a whole – how did they come about, what camera were you working with and what were you looking for when taking these pictures?
I was 22 and restless. I had moved to Los Angeles after having left the Yale School of Art after my first semester. In LA, I met the great photographer Garry Winogrand and was able to photograph with him on several occasions. I used a Leica primarily but also dragged around with me a twin lens reflex. My impulse was just to make interesting pictures that were realistic but still had an independence from (and weren’t exactly responsible to) anything that might really be going on. I was exploring the fictional strangeness that’s intrinsic to photography when you extract an image from the flow of life and I was trying in my youthful way to match or supersede what photographers such as Winogrand or Robert Frank had done.

What is it about black and white that you’re drawn to?
Black and white is what I was looking at when I started to photograph and it’s the medium of the great masters I admire most. There’s a removal from the world with black and white; it strips away one of the levels of illusion from the world. It seems to concern itself more purely and strictly with structure and light. Colour photography needs to be primarily about colour, and to me it seems rare that it can be controlled in any coherent way since the relationships between the colours take over and can too easily overwhelm what’s really of interest and importance. But then again we see in colour and that’s what most everyone in photography has been up to lately.

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Atlanta Airport, 2015

How important is a sense of place to your portraits of people? 
I tend not to have less interest in photographs of people where they are placed against a neutral background. The subjects then seem like butterflies pinned in a collection. Richard Avedon’s group of portraits in the American West are strong but it makes little sense to me that he puts the people he’s photographing against a white backdrop instead of leaving the gas station or the road behind them as background. I much prefer placing subjects within a context. The scenes are less sterile that way and more convincing. That’s how life is.

You often photograph people in motion, or seemingly unaware. How did you develop this style?
I prefer photographs where it feels like something is happening or about to happen, where a moment is suggested. Walker Evans photographed people surreptitiously in his series of subway photographs for the reason that “the mask is down” when people don’t think anyone is watching them. I’ve always been a quiet person. I don’t make waves and I don’t startle people. Many of my portraits seem natural as if they are not aware of being photographed, but I’ve had to talk to them and gain their permission in order to position my fairly large camera exactly where I want it to be in order to make the picture I want.

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Berlin, 2014

In general do you see the role of a photographer as a watcher as opposed to someone that is present in the picture? 
Koudelka is a great photographer but in his book, The Gypsies, the subjects are looking at him and responding to his presence. It’s up to each photographer to define photography on his/her own terms. In my case, my mother was French and I’ve spent a lot of time in France where people sit in cafés a lot and people watch. That’s how I photograph for the most part. I don’t intervene.

The Angel City West series was taken in the ’80s, are you still interested in the city and the people when you look around at Los Angeles today?
Yes, very much so. I’d like to spend more time there to photograph. Los Angeles remains a very interesting and unique place. Like Paris, it is a terrain that has been explored a good deal in cinema, photography, and literature, so there’s an audience that already has an understanding of the place. That means you can plunge right in. You don’t have to start at zero to establish a context for your body of work as a context already exists.

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Knoxville, 1991

I love your Sandy Creek series, did you find it challenging to capture the natural world in the same spontaneous way? 
Thank you for loving the series. Like most people I need a break from time to time and photographing in nature allows me to unwind and to photograph without any of the stress of photographing in the cities. The trees don’t talk back to you. It’s a very different problem. I think nature has a lot to teach us and particularly anyone interested in the design fields needs to take a serious look at what nature has come up with. Robert Adams and Atget have been helpful to look at.

Generally speaking, what are your influences?
Anything in life can be an influence. Some things stick to you, some things don’t. In photography, Atget, Evans, and Winogrand are the great influences but there are so many.

What are your projects for 2016 / 2017? 
Right now I’m working on a commission from the High Museum in Atlanta to photograph at the Atlanta airport – that will be a show in 2017. I’ve also been photographing in Europe a good deal and in particular in busy public areas in Paris, Berlin, and Milan. I should have a book on summer camps come out next year and possibly one later this year of unpublished photographs from the American South (no titles for the books yet).

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Knoxville, 1993

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Los Angeles, 1983

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Los Angeles, 1983

Paris2014

Paris, 2014

Sandy Creek

Sandy Creek

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Summer Camp, 1997

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Summer Camp, 1997

Marksteinmetz.net

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FLORIDA

Yoshiyuki Matsumura’s America

03.05.2016 | Culture | BY:

Photographer Yoshiyuki Matsumura may have grown up in Osaka, Japan, but his lens if firmly trained on the people and landscapes of deepest America.

With his American Samples project “strongly influenced” by the work of Robert Frank (The Americans), Stephen Shore (American Surfaces and Uncommon Places) and Joel Sternfeld (American Prospects), his nostalgic portrayals of different towns and their inhabitants are both striking yet familiar.

“It was shot in many different places in the States because I wanted to capture the whole of America,” Yoshiyuki told us, “I crossed America six times by train from New York to LA, stopping along the way.”

Using kit like a Pentax 67, Ricoh GR1v and Konica Big Mini, and having “endurance in the dark room” all contribute towards the resulting hazy finish of Yoshiyuki’s style. A self-declared fondness for the film Stand By Me as a child also may have played a part.

SOUTH CAROLINA

South Carolina

Despite having met and photographed a multitude of characters throughout his travels, there are some that stick with Yoshiyuki: such as the kids seen here in South Carolina. “The young boy and girl are meeting at the corner on the street,” he told us. “She lives in the house near the corner. She is not wearing any shoes. I think they will go out soon. I love their distance.”

Someone once told Yoshiyuki: “You know more about America than Americans.” And by the looks of these images, we think they may just be right. Take a trip with us now.

80_94 OREGON copy

Oregon

28_31 WEST VIRGINIA copy

West Virginia

21_24 IOWA copy

Iowa

17_20 ALABAMA copy

Alabama

08_10 NEW MEXICO copy

New Mexico

05_5 MISSISSIPPI copy

Missisippi

Yokiyushi Matsumura is represented by Quadriga; quadriga.fr

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Laura McCluskey In Focus

04.03.2016 | Culture , Fashion | BY:

Kent-born photographer Laura McCluskey, 29, has been living and working in and around Hackney for the past seven years, enjoying playing with the “feeling of creative freedom it brings.” Her work – which she describes as “honest and relaxed” – is a mixture of conceptual fashion imagery, documentary and pared-back freshness, with a focus on character and personality as opposed to a highly stylised ‘set’.

“I walk a lot and find the clash of cultures inspiring,” she says. “As a visual person, I think it helps to really engage in my surroundings and often ideas are sparked by people and scenarios I see on the street or stories I hear on the bus. I often do street castings for different projects and enjoy shooting portraits of people I find interesting. I enjoy the sense of community, the busy feeling often ignites my imagination.”

Here we asked Laura to chronicle some of her favourite projects to date, and explain how and why they came about.

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Bronte

I photographed Bronte at Next models for a story for Pylot magazine. I found a pop­up restaurant with an Abigail’s Party ’70s themed event, I contacted set designer Alice Hodge who had created the scene. I was working with my stylist friend Issie Gibbons on this and we shot the story within part of the set and surrounding rooms within the community centre it was being held. I loved shooting this story as I am a big fan of finding beauty within the everyday and the location really worked well. Bronte had a really great energy and a real timeless feel that worked so nicely for this story.

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Meilyr Jones

I recently shot musician Meilyr Jones. We met at the V&A and took some photos inside on the marble steps. The light was really great that day and we chatted and took some photos. I like these portraits because they feel quite peaceful.

LauraMcCluskey_1

Dreamy Days

A few years ago I was shooting a series of new faces for The Ones 2 Watch. Harry and Leomie were outside in the hallway and I found out they were a couple at the time. We shot some simple portraits of them together and it just worked.

LauraMcCluskey_7

Liam Hodges

I’ve worked with menswear designer Liam Hodges for a couple of seasons. Most recently for his AW15 campaign for his collection ‘Totally Safe Classics’ which explored the everyday reimagined, taking inspiration from the market stall traders in Walthamstow near Liam’s studio. I did a street casting for this and found Jyrrel in Shoreditch. We worked with stylist Harry Lambert and built a set within the studio with tarps and sandwich boards from the show.

LauraMcCluskey_8

Forever my Dreamland: ­Troy and Chaos

I’ve been shooting a series ‘Forever my Dreamland’ since 2009 in the places I grew up around Kent. I was in Margate shooting some stuff and was just heading back to the train when I walked past this guy and stopped to asked to shoot his portrait. He was walking his dog and just had a really happy face. I found out he was called Troy and his dog was called Chaos. Pretty amazing names. They had such a great connection between them and as I started shooting the dog jumped up for his portrait.

LauraMcCluskey_2

Teeth magazine: ­Nothing Fits

This story was a collaboration with my stylist friend Helen McGuckin. We’ve worked together on a few projects and we wanted to shoot a story that explored androgyny, shape and form. I think the starting point for this series was seeing Dilara Findikoglu’s graduate collection, we loved the carpet look. We shot Aggy at Next, she really brought a great spirit to the shoot and definitely conveyed the right feeling.

LauraMcCluskey_11

My favourite picture in the whole world

So many artists inspire me, but if I had to pick one of my photographs, then it’d be from from a series I have been working on for the past few years: My sister Grace. I started out taking some photos whenever I visited my mum and youngest sister Grace at home in Kent. After a while I kept looking at my contact sheets and could see her changing and growing up and the series just came together. I took some portraits of her last year on her 13th birthday. This is one of my most favourite and treasured photos, it says so much about her personality and of growing up.

See more of Laura’s work at lauramccluskey.com

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Joost

Joost Vandebrug: Tales Of Innocence And Of Experience

16.02.2016 | Art , Culture , Film | BY:

Photographer and filmmaker Joost Vandebrug does with apparent ease what many struggle with for years: he let’s his intuition guide his art. But not just his art, also his passion, his productivity and ultimately – his success.

He is a man that wears many hats, but each of them seem to fit just fine. A Dutch art director, turned fashion photographer, who then became a documentary photographer and filmmaker, music video director and now kids’ clothing designer – he appears to weave between creative practices seamlessly.

Joost

All images from Cinci Lei by Joost Vandebrug

One of Joost’s most successful projects to date – which is still ongoing – is the Lost Boys series. For half a decade he has been following and documenting the lives of a gang of children who call the streets and tunnels of post-communist Bucharest their home. Over 6,000 photographs turned into a book, Cinci Lei, (which he gutsily got off the ground thanks to a Kickstarter campaign) and more than 120 hours of footage is becoming film-shaped as we speak.

Here, we catch up with Joost to find out how – and why – one man makes all that happen.

Firstly, when and why did you realise that you wanted to make pictures and films?
Although my mum and dad are both photographers, I never really considered it as an option while growing up. I was too busy playing in punk bands and wanting to become a rock star. I guess when that failed, I enrolled into art school, but even there I hardy ever worked through the medium of photography and film. It was only after my internship with Erwin Olaf and a year break from Amsterdam (where I lived at the time), that I came back and made a somewhat conscious decision to ‘be a photographer’.

Joost

All images from Cinci Lei by Joost Vandebrug

You’re described as both a photographer and filmmaker – how does your approach to each differ, if at all? And if you could only proceed with one of them for the remainder of your career, which would it be and why?
My approach in both film and photography is virtually the same, very intuitive. But lets take my Lost Boys series as an example: I have followed this group of street children and their leader Bruce Lee for over five years, and last year I published a book. In the book I have laid out the pictures, carefully of course, protecting the protagonists, and telling the story of how I see the kids, and what it was like for me being with them for all this time. Though choices are predominately made on visual aesthetic.

Now that we are making a feature documentary about the same group, there is much less that I can – and want – to leave to be interpreted by the viewer. I am compelled for it to be an honest, real and correct document of their lives. Although it will still be a poetic film, the choices that I make are not just from a visual perspective but above all they have to drive the story forwards. The devices available to tell the story are also on a completely different level. And although because of my use of small camera’s for example, which resulted in me being an unadulterated part of the story, the film is in the hands of the protagonists. Which is very exciting, but also difficult as I want to protect the protagonists at the same time.

Joost

All images from Cinci Lei by Joost Vandebrug

Can you describe your first serious photographic and film projects, respectively? Can you recall what were you trying to convey with them?
Quite early on, in 2007, I was offered a solo exhibition in FOAM Amsterdam (the photography museum). The exhibition was during fashion week, so they wanted me to make a fashion connection in the work. This work became my first step to combine fashion and documentary. And still today I love to shoot fashion on real people. This can be a documentary project, but also a portrait series with a great artist or musician.

How do you think your work has progressed over the years?
On all levels I got calmer. I used to rush from project to project, making huge leaps from personal work to commercial work. I guess it was important to experiment, so it wasn’t all bad, though nowadays its all come together. My commercial work goes hand in hand with my personal work and I allow myself to dive into my projects much deeper.

Joost

All images from Cinci Lei by Joost Vandebrug

What kind of journeys does your work take you on?
The Lost Boys project opened a whole new world. I am visiting and documenting the lives of young, aberrant and sometimes lost youths everywhere I go. And also, now that I have set up an NGO for the protagonists of the book and film, I am visiting many befriended charities and organisations. It is like an ongoing research and very inspiring to visit all these places where other NGO’s are dealing with similar issues as I went through with the Lost Boys.

Where would you love to shoot, that you haven’t already?
If I think of a place, I usually try and go pretty quickly. But, apart from those kind of research trips, I always go back for longer times to follow up on the people that I have met. Documenting them over longer periods of time. I have no interest in shooting little stories all over the place for the sake of it.

Joost

All images from Cinci Lei by Joost Vandebrug

How did you segue into music videos? Was it something you’d always wanted to do?
The great thing about making music videos is to collaborate with great musicians. So its important for me to feel a strong connection with the artist. My work has always had a connection with music, so once i started using video as a technique, it made sense to shoot music videos.

Is there a music video that you wish you’d shot?
The first that springs to mind is Pink Floyd, Another Brick In The Wall.

Joost

All images from Cinci Lei by Joost Vandebrug

What are you working on right now and in the year ahead?
The biggest ongoing project is of course the feature documentary about Bruce lee and the Lost boys. I have found an amazing supporting team at Grain media who are very dedicated to making this a beautiful film. Its in very safe hands with Katie Bryer (she edited the Oscar-nominated documentary Virunga) who is working on the film full time, so I am able to walk in and out the editing room and thus work on my regular photography and film work as well.

Also, my husband [Tom Eerebout] and I have just launched a kids’ wear label, Jumping Dog which is super exciting. All the pieces are inspired on adventure and interactiveness with the wearer, but best of all with the profits we are 100% funding the Cinci Lei project.

To find out more about Cinci Lei, Joost’s documentary or Jumping Dog visit joostvandebrug.com

All images from Cinci Lei by Joost Vandebrug – buy it HERE

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Photo50

Highlights of London Art Fair 2016

20.01.2016 | Art | BY:

The London Art Fair, or righteously self-referred to as ‘the UK’s premiere Modern British and contemporary art fair’, has returned for its annual take-over at the Business Design Centre from 20th-24th January 2016.

Recognised as the ultimate hub of support for collectors of all levels, the 28th edition of the Fair is set to bring together 126 galleries from the UK and overseas. Ranging from museum-quality Modern British art to work by top contemporary artists – both emerging and established – this superb occasion provides a sound retrospective into the early 20th century and to this present day. Alongside galleries exhibiting for the first time in 2016 – such as Beetles + Huxley (London), Omer Tiroche Contemporary Art (London), and Galerie BART (Amsterdam) – this year’s Photo50 and Photoworks’ latest editions delve commendably into the love triangle of women, sex and art.

As such, the London Art Fair is dedicating part of its exhibition space to photography, and this year’s Photo50 presents a carefully curated exhibition from London-based photography critic, editor and curator Federica Chioccetti. The exhibition, titled ‘Feminine Masculine: On the Struggle and Fascination of Dealing with the Other Sex’ has truly emancipated the theme of femininity, as it endeavours to depict both genders in its relation to one another rather two separate entities. This selection of images is set to confront the mysterious dynamics that operate between men and women, and will serve as a fascinating insight into the ways in which we deal with the opposite sex.

Additionally, Photoworks Annual’s latest edition takes a look at women, specifically, and their roles in photography. Whether the woman stands as the subject, creator or consumer, this panel talk aims to explore the themes raised around the changing landscape of gender and photography with references to the ’70s, ’80s and the modern day. This inspirational discussion will present guest speakers Catherine Grant, Liz Heron, Oliver Richon, Natasha Caruana and Max Houghton…it’s definitely one not to miss.

The London Art Fair is on now at the Business Design Centre, 52 Upper Street, N1 0QH. More information and bookings can be found at londonartfair.co.uk

Main image by Ekaterina Anokhina (Russia), from the series 25 Weeks of Winter (2)

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Annie-Leibovitz

WOMEN: New Portraits by Annie Leibovitz

08.01.2016 | Art | BY:

Annie Leibovitz is widely considered to be one of the world’s best portrait photographers. Her book Women, which was first published in 1999, celebrates an array of women, from Supreme Court Justices and Vegas showgirls to coalminers and farmers. In 2016, the project is set to continue in the form of a travelling exhibition, making its debut in January at the Wapping Hydraulic Power Station in London.

Over twelve months, Annie Leibovitz’s new portraits will appear in ten cities; London, Tokyo, San Francisco, Singapore, Hong Kong, Mexico City, Istanbul, Frankfurt, New York and Zurich. The new portraits will display the changes in women’s roles in contrast with those 15 years ago. Alongside Leibovitz’s new work, visitors will be able to view work from the original series and other photographs taken since.

Speaking at a press conference at Somerset House, Leibovitz describes how Women ‘is an unending project, it goes on and on.’ The original project is Annie Leibovitz’s most popular body of work and was a collaborative series with her partner Susan Sontag, who accompanied the subject matter with an essay. Sontag passed away in 2004, but her influence had a lasting effect on Leibovitz’s photography, with Sontag encouraging her to become more intimate with her photographs.

The original book features 100 portraits of women, including public figures like Hillary Rodham Clinton and Gloria Steinhem, and Leibovitz has promised 20 additional images to the project in 2016. At present, only one new photograph from the series has been released, of Leibovitz and her daughters Sarah, Susan and Samuelle. However, Leibovitz has confirmed that new portraits from the series will include Venus and Serena Williams, Amy Schumer and her sister Kim Caramele, Misty Copeland, and Caitlyn Jenner.

WOMEN: New Portraits has been commissioned by UBS and will be presented to the public for the first time on the 16th January 2016 at the Wapping Hydraulic Power Station in London. Admission is free.

ubs.com

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Emma 10

Looking for a feeling with Emma Tillman

16.12.2015 | Art | BY:

Intimate, considered and subtle, Emma Tillman’s photographs have had us captivated long before her husband (singer Father John Misty) stepped into the limelight. And whilst she may have earned thousands of new fans after the success of his second album I love you Honeybear, in which she is the proclaimed muse and inspiration for his complex lyrics and idiosyncratic melodies, Tillman’s accolades are all her own.

We caught up with Emma to find out more about her work, photographing love and not getting Instagram.

How did you get into photography?
When I was 12-years-old I took an after school class where the students took pictures and learned how to work in the dark room. My mother gave me a camera that had been hers when she was young and I became obsessed with the medium.

Light and shadow play a strong role in your work, what is it that you’re looking for when you take a picture?
I’m looking for a feeling.

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Photography by Emma Tillman

Whether your subject is human or an object, there’s strong sense of intimacy in your photographs. What’s your process when you’re working?
I have a gift for communicating my emotions through the lens of a camera. All photographers who take compelling photographs have this gift. There is a supernatural quality to photography that is not often acknowledged, but in my opinion contains all the undeniable fascination of the medium within it.

Your photographs retain a sense of the individual behind the lens, and often you’re in front of it too. Do you find that photography creates and mythologises a character or uncovers the crux of an individual?
It is both. The moment is raw and alive, but somehow also a vitrine of an experience that is just beyond the viewers reach. It is a clear representation of an individual but yet you must put your own imagination into it to complete the story for yourself. It is mercurial, imagination runs wild. That’s the good stuff.

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Photography by Emma Tillman

People regularly revel and empathise with other’s misery but in the photographs that you take of your husband there’s a clear sense of joy and celebration. Do you ever feel conscious of this?
I choose my moments. At this time in my life couldn’t take a photograph of someone I love in pain.

Your self-portraits and portraits of other women reclaim the idea of the gaze, like early Cindy Sherman photographs. There’s a sense of exposure without exploitation. Why is it important for you to capture the female body in this way?
I like to photograph other women naked because it is simple and the lines are lovely. There aren’t any distractions to contend with in the picture. As for photographing myself, I can’t help but be drawn to the endless mystery of it. I come back to it again and again. My own face, my own body. It holds a lot of secrets.

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Photography by Emma Tillman

How has the rise of instagram affected your relationship with the lens, if at all?
Oh I can’t stand Instagram! To say too much about it would be to marginalise myself, but I can say that from Instagram I glean how much our culture relies in the comforts of sentimentality and try to run in the other direction, artistically speaking.

You’ve also worked in film, how was that experience? In terms of story telling, which medium have you found gives you more narrative freedom?
I don’t know if a comparison can be drawn. Film satisfies an urge for me which has always existed, to tell a story. Photography is more playful. The feeling about it changes, the style changes. It is more about  subtraction than addition, which is how I think of film.

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Photography by Emma Tillman

What was the last record you listened to?
It’ll be Better by Francis and the Lights.

Favourite equipment to shoot on?
I have a few cameras. A Pentax from the 1970s, A Nikon from the 1980s, a Minolta from the 1990s.

Who are the exciting photographers to watch?
I like the work of Amanda Charchian and Aneta Bartos.

What’re your upcoming projects?
I am finishing a book of photographs, Born with a Disco Ball Soul. I’m also in pre-production on a feature length film I wrote. We’re shooting the film in Summer 2016, in New Orleans.

What’re you looking forward to for the rest of 2016?
My book, my film, and Christmas.

Find all of Emma’s work at lovetheghost.tumblr.com

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Nathaniel Goldberg, 1999. Christian Dior Haute Couture par John Galliano, automne-hiver 1999

Dior: New Looks

14.12.2015 | Blog | BY:

If there’s one thing we’ll never tire of, it’s a great coffee table tome. And the latest offering from fashion journalist and fashion photography specialist Jérôme Gautier – Dior: New Looks – is the perfect kind of thing to lose yourself in on a wintry Sunday afternoon.

Since 1947, when Christian Dior first showcased the irreversibly influential ‘new look’, the house of Dior has been at the forefront of revolutionary design prowess, and this book chronicles some of the most beautiful moments of that time-spanning journey, resulting in a satisfyingly dense catalogue of breathtaking couture and iconic imagery.

Model in Christian Dior Accessories Smoking

Woman modeling black velvet visor with rhinestone pin and satin scarf, both by Dior, 1952. Image by © Condé Nast Archive/Corbis

From Irving Penn to Peter Lindbergh, Richard Avedon, Helmut Newton, Willy Vanderperre, Mario Testino and Patrick Demarchelier to name but a few – the list of revered photographers with work nestled between these pages is endless.

Given the recently announced departure of the brilliant Raf Simons from the house, this book comes at the ideal time. It is a chance to marvel at all that has come before, and appreciate the sheer amount of history that the new artistic director will have to shoulder in the future.

Peter Lindbergh, 2012; Christian Dior Haute Couture par Raf Simons, automne-hiver 2012

Peter Lindbergh, 2012; Christian Dior Haute Couture by Raf Simons, AW12

Dior: New Looks by Jérôme Gautier (Thames & Hudson) is out now.

dior.com

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The Pirelli discussion continues

10.12.2015 | Art , Thoughts | BY:

The Pirelli 2016 Calendar has been met with contrasting reviews. Most people have been singing its feminist praises; in a markedly new direction compared with previous years, the calendar has welcomed a diverse array of successful women, and offers varied and mostly clothed images of female bodies, diverting from its usual display of artful nudity. Others have noted that while the calendar celebrates female empowerment, it also limits the sexual attractiveness and femininity of the women on its pages. It suggests that women can be either successful or beautiful, but not both.

To interpret the Pirelli 2016 calendar in this binary way would overlook the point of the pictures, in Leibovitz’s words they are to show the women exactly as they are. The calendar shows us that our bodies can be used in different ways; to represent power and strength, like the striking shot of Serena Williams’ rippling back muscles. Or as a comedic device, like the photo of Amy Schumer topless and surprised, suggesting that she didn’t get the ‘clothes on’ memo this year. These are ways that men’s bodies have been presented for a long time in the media. More than showing that flaws or quirks can be beautiful and sexy, these pictures invite us to look past the sexualisation of women’s bodies and to start noticing the other things a body can do, like be strong, powerful, suited and booted.

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February, 1972, Sarah Moon

The calendar has gone viral on social media, and no matter how it is interpreted, having an iconic publication like the Pirelli calendar joining and extending the conversation about female representation can only be a good thing. Just a year ago, Pirelli’s calendar was a spread of high profile supermodels in various states of undress. The calendar may be just one small step for womankind, but it is one big step for Pirelli and towards the cultural shift we are all yearning for.

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December, 1987, Terence Donovan

pirellicalendar.pirelli.com

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Stef Mitchell: the bigger picture

01.12.2015 | Art , Culture | BY:

How many times have you looked at a photograph and wanted to know what was happening in the exact moment that it was taken? How the air felt? If the people behind and in front of the lens even knew each other?

This is exactly what we tried to remedy with New York-based photographer, Stef Mitchell. Her absorbing work – which has appeared in places such as i-D and Urban Outfitters – is particularly portrait strong, so we asked her to share a few of her favourite shots, and tell us the story behind them. For Stef – who originally hails from Sydney, Australia – it’s the little things that count: “I just want to make nice pictures that make people react or feel something, even if it’s small.”

Here are a few of her characters.

Frida (main)

“The subject’s name is Frida Gustavsson, she’s in her early twenties and she’s from Sweden. This was taken in Tompkins Square Park right in the middle of the basketball court off ave A and 10th street. I remember it was the longest day of summer and it was hot and started raining as soon as Frida and I met up. I probably ate some M&Ms. I love Frida! We’d met on a few jobs while I was assisting. She’d just had a palm tree that I drew tattooed on her arm and sent me a picture, so we met up and took some pictures. I think afterwards we watched the World Cup and had a beer. I think Frida had just gotten engaged – we chatted about her spending time in LA, midsummer and a short film she was working on. Frida was so easy to shoot because she’s awesome and was totally comfortable for me to shoot while we chatted; it’s my favorite thing to do and it’s kind of rare for someone to be totally OK with letting me do it. I wasn’t really sure what ‘the shot’ was at the time but I think it was the first spot we took pictures in in the park. I love this picture because it’s so simple but people always respond to it. Frida is an amazing model and human and I think that comes through even with no hair, make-up or styling.”

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Boy

 Boy

“This was taken in the skate park under the Manhattan Bridge. The weather was pretty perfect that day, mild and sunny. I was on a job and had eaten everything in sight. I was scouting the area in between shots and just looked up and saw this guy. I’d never met him before but had just been chatting to his friend. I asked if I could take a picture, he said ‘OK’ but he didn’t really like doing it. I got two frames in before he skated off. I don’t know anything else about him. I love this picture because even though he was nervous, he just looked dead at me and didn’t try to do anything crazy.”

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Charlotte

 Charlotte

“This was taken outside my mums place in a suburb called Lane Cove in Sydney, Australia. It was about 7am and a big fog covered the street. My 14-year-old sister Charlotte was getting ready for hockey practice, and I dragged her outside for a photo. This is what she gave me. I’d maybe had some vegemite toast. When I made Charlotte come outside I thought she was very grumpy and turned out to be correct. Charlotte was probably 13 in this picture, and at the time her unique trait was to try and pull a face or flip someone off every time they took her photo. I think we were outside for about five minutes. I love this picture because every time I go home I try and shoot Charlotte on this street. She’s always been one of my favorite subjects and even though I miss so much time with her I like to think I’ll have a good series of pictures of her growing up for when she’s older.”

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Julia

 Julia

“This is Julia Hafstrom, she’s in her early twenties, and from Sweden. This was taken under a tree in Tompkins Square Park near the corner of Ave B. The weather was overcast and I definitely ate M&Ms this time. I thought Julia was a bad ass. We’d met before on a few shoots in LA. I think we talked about weird photographers, books and mums. Unique traits: being totally easy, fun and of course incredibly beautiful with the skin of 15th century cherub. I think we shot for half an hour, but again this was the first spot we were in and it ended up being my favourite. I love this picture because without doing anything Julia gave something real to the picture, and that’s my favourite.”

stef-mitchell.com

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Tom Sloan: Young Hearts Run Free

25.11.2015 | Art , Blog , Culture | BY:

British photographer Tom Sloan is making pictures the old fashioned way – by letting the journey dictate the result.

What initially pulled us towards Tom’s work was a recent trip he took to Wales – Merthyr Tydfil to be more specific – which produced a stunning series of photographs documenting the kids in and around the town. When we asked him what prompted the project, his response was so unselfconsciously thoughtful, that we knew we had to know – and see – more.

“I had been in the Forest of Dean area making pictures and came across two lads night fishing who were from Merthyr,” he told us. “They described the place to me and talked about what it was like growing up there. It sounded tough but at the same time quite romantic. They were honest about its problems with unemployment, benefit culture ect but they also described it as having a close knit community and it being a true Welsh industrial town. One of the lads was a keen boxer but had injured himself badly in a motorbike accident, he talked about training daily in and around the town as a youngster. One of the things I remembered them saying was that because of its geographical location in the Merthyr Valleys it was always shrouded with a thick foggy mist from the surrounding mountains, all of this got me interested.”

It got us interested, too. Here, along with a brief interview, we present you with a curated edit of some of Tom’s work. We think you’ll enjoy it.

What first drew you to making pictures?
I made short films as youngster, when I was 10 – 12 years old. They were very action-based as you can imagine. I used my Dad’s video camera. It was obviously all analogue, but I’d take it seriously and spend a lot of time editing, acting in them and making my brothers get involved. I was actually quite clever then, I worked out how to use a dodgy old editing machine my uncle bought from a car boot! But that was the start of me framing the world through a lens.

Can you remember the first photograph you saw that made a strong impact on you? 
There have been many photographs that have made an impact on me, it’s a tricky question… Chris Killip’s ‘Seacoal’ pictures fascinated me. I would say it wasn’t just the individual pictures, although each one is incredible with such impact, it was the body of work as a whole and the world it showed me. It woke me up to telling a story with pictures. I was introduced to him when I started studying photography at university, aged 21.

Camron_Merthyr_Tom_Sloan

Cameron, Merthyr

When did you first pick up a camera? What did you take pictures of?
I took up photography when I was 16. I was told I had to fill my schedule up at college by an extra four hours per week, I was doing retakes of my GCSEs! I’d spent a lot of time enjoying myself at school… perhaps too much! I came across GCSE photography and thought it sounded interesting, a good mix of the creative and the technical. In my first lesson I was shown a variety of photography books, one was a Don McCullin book. I loved his early pictures of his friends in Finsbury Park and the work he made up north in Bradford. I began trying to shoot gritty black and white in Southampton. I had the docks, some dodgy friends and rough areas to explore.

When did you realise that you wanted to make photography your career?
It was a simple decision weirdly. I remember I’d been to stay at my dad’s for the weekend when I was about 17, we were heading back to Southampton in the car, he was asking about jobs and careers etc and I just came out with it, and it felt right. I’ve been indecisive in other areas in my life, but deciding to be become a photographer felt right.

What are the realities of being a photographer these days? Is it as romantic as it sounds?
This question moves nicely from the last… Yes and no! It’s very tough, confusing, exciting and unpredictable! But interesting in so many ways. You have to stick to your true self and your gut instinct, which is difficult at times. I think the point I want to make is, for me, photography as an art form meant I’d have to go out into the world and find people and places and go on adventures. That’s what would interest me when I looked at photographers work, I loved the mystery of how they got the pictures, the process. It almost doesn’t become just about the individual picture, the work becomes about the photographer and the journey. Going back to the question though, for me the most romantic aspect of being a photographer is the freedom the days can hold.

merthyr_tom_sloan

Merthyr

If you had to choose one of your pictures to best act as an example of your style, what would it be and why?
Umm tricky again… I like the picture I took of these two lads in Croydon, riding on the back of a moped. It’s certainly not my best picture but it sums up what I’m interested in when it comes to photographing these types of lads. There’s a sense of living the way they want to live, slightly wild I guess. I want a hint of excitement, I think this picture holds that.

Is there anyone that has influenced your work over the years?
Loads of people have influenced me, from photographers I’ve worked for to people I’ve looked at over the years. Strangely, although I don’t look at his work so much nowadays and it’s quiet different from my own work, I was a huge Wolfgang Tillmans fan. When I first saw how he displayed his work it blew my head off! His exhibition ‘If One Thing Matters, Everything Matters’ was a real influence on me. He curated and edited his work to have such an amazing rhythm. Others include: Paul Graham, Martin Parr, Juergen Teller and Glen Luchford.

Much of your work depicts youth, and young people – is there a particular reason for that?
Without trying to sound cliche, I guess they give you something honest? I like the excitement of being young as well, you can get up to a lot. I used hang out with huge groups of kids when I was growing up and we had so much fun, it was wild. Weirdly, you don’t see that so much now. I think teenagers spend more time online than hanging out at the local rec.

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Sam, Merthyr

What was your childhood like? Where did you grow up?
My childhood was pretty normal. I grew up with my two brothers in Southampton until I was 10, when my Parents divorced. My dad moved to a tiny cottage in the countryside, we stayed in Southampton. My mum remarried a few years later and the family grew, I gained two step brothers and a step sister. I had a pretty eventful teenage period, hung out with the type of kids I photograph, took drugs, went to parties, roamed the streets, usual stuff.
Do you have a dream project that you’d like to make reality one day?
Well it would be in the UK to start, I love making work here, I understand it! I think it’s a special, hugely diverse place. It would be shot on the outskirts of the city where the countryside and the city meets – my favourite territory! It would be a space where the teenagers own the land… To be honest I’m sort of shooting this bit by bit as I go along… I think…
What’s inspiring you right now?
Road trips, I’m enjoying making work outside London at the moment, I get really inspired by the countryside.
What would be the highest compliment someone could ever pay your work?
That I’m considered authentic. That means I’m on the right track.
tomsloan.co.uk
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Sam, Merthyr

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Cameron, Merthyr

Camron_Merthyr_1289_Tom_Sloan

Cameron, Merthyr

Camron_Merthyr_1278_Tom_Sloan

Cameron, Merthyr

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Sam, Merthyr

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Merthyr

And here’s some more of Tom’s work…

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Ash Kingston

16.09.2015 | Fashion | BY:

20-year-old, London-based photographer Ash Kingston recently went on his first trip to New York, returning with a bounty of photographs that have seen him likened to Juergen Teller and David Bailey. Juxtaposing dynamic pictures of up-and-coming models with snapshots of his time with them, the resulting work speaks of youth, energy and, above all, fun.

Citing Hedi Slimane, Robert Mapplethorp and Twin’s own Matteo Montanari as his main influences, Kingston is entirely self-taught. When his dreams to become a chef didn’t work out, he started shooting using his mother’s camera, photographing friends whose aesthetics appealed to him. Having spent the summer behind the camera, he ended up dropping out of Sixth Form to pursue his new-found passion.

‘I choose subjects because of their personality, particularly if I can have a laugh with them. I try to shoot people I’ve already met. It’s boring but I’d love to shoot Kate Moss – I’d have to meet her first though in case I couldn’t stand her,’ Kingston says.

Working with digital – it’s much more efficient – Kingston prides himself on treating it the same way as the film, taking only a few shots for each look. The perfectionist approach will soon be translated into a book featuring photos from his travels. In the meantime, look out for more images from Ash here on the Twin blog and Instagram.

ash-kingston.com. Featured image: photography by Ash Kingston, model is Eve Delf at suprememanagement.com.

 

Photography by Ash Kingston, model is Flo Kosky at newyorkmodels.com.

 

 

Photography by Ash Kingston, model is Lottie Hayes at suprememanagement.com.

 

Photography by Ash Kingston, model is Madi Fog at XX Models.

 

 

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The Female Frontier: Hats On with Tasya van Ree and Stetson

09.09.2015 | Fashion | BY:

The late Louise Wilson (course director of Central Saint Martin’s Fashion MA) once said in relation to her students, “They should be bringing me a book or something that I haven’t seen, not like some obscure chant book by Dominican monks, but an image of the way they see the world.”

For LA based artist and photographer Tasya van Ree, the way in which she sees the world is something every young dreamer could draw inspiration from – with a vision which explores the inner workings of the human spirit, the human form, landscapes, nature and animals – her work is a visual and emotional journey translating deeper connections with the intelligence and beauty that exists all around us.

With such an engaging creative sensibility, it’s no surprise she’s been propelled into the public eye as everyone’s latest art crush, resulting in solo exhibitions in LA, New York, and Paris – Girl power yet again challenging the exclusionary structures which frame the industry for female artists.

With her unique and often sartorial style, her affinity for hats has also not gone unnoticed, which is why iconic US brand Stetson invited her to collaborate with them for their 150th-anniversary.

“Tasya van Ree is an ideal collaborator for Stetson”, says Izumi Kajimoto, the brand’s Chief Executive Officer. “She looks strong, empowered, and captivating in her hats, which is something that also comes across in her extensive body of work. Stetson has always been a part of contemporary culture and we’re excited to continue to work with artists whose visions relate to our brand.”

Taking one of Stetson’s vintage felted styles as a blank canvas, van Ree called upon her artistic flair to create a unique design for the brand – dubbed “The Signature”, the hat is an effortlessly stylish and structured piece of modern minimalism – in itself, a work of art.

We caught up with van Ree to find out more about the collaboration with one of fashion’s most enduring brands, and her plans for the future.

So tell me how you got involved with Stetson for this project?

I’ve worn a vintage Stetson for years and have been photographed in it quite a few times in the social media realm. Through that exposure we began a dialogue and soon after, the collaboration was born.

And what was the inspiration behind your hat design?

Horses. I wanted to design a piece of art that reflected their intelligence and also that captured the beauty of their philosophical language of power, their sensuous lines and their majestic sense of spirituality and danger.

What was the creative process like for you?

Combining the world of fashion and the natural world was quite seamless. They both operate on the same level. It was just a matter of finding the moment through sketches where the influence of an emotional state of mind connected to an image of artistic appeal. It was a process, and after a good amount of time “The Signature” hat was drawn out and created.

So does it feel like youre officially an ambassador for hats now?

“Ambassador” sounds really formal, I just really like wearing hats!

Hats are an extension of ones self, the minute you put one on, it becomes a living part of you – what is the quality that makes the hat come to life for you?

There is a harmony between my physical appearance and my internal existence. My hat is the conductor that creates this relationship.

So would you ever go all out and do an Isabella Blowthen, and wear something outlandish, just to move away from your signature comfort zone?

I’ll do anything once!

The English have an inbuilt understanding of the peculiarities of life and thats often expressed through fashion – living in LA, how would you describe the dress codes there?

Objective.

What about defining your own style?

Half Japanese / half Dutch.

Yes, I can see how youve shifted towards a more conceptual approach in your style vocabulary. So do you think youll move on to other fashion collaborations in the future? Absolutely. I’ve fallen in love with the collaboration process. I’m open and would love to join forces with other creative minds in all forms, whether it’s in fashion, art, music, etc. 

Lets talk more about art and photography – I read recently that over 50 new galleries have opened in the last two years in LA. Its always been a cultural mecca for creativity, but it must be cool to see the city now really embracing and shaping art?

Art is elemental in the progression of a culture’s evolution. I’m really interested to see what profound changes LA will make as the art world becomes more and more pronounced here.

And has there also been a shift towards those galleries supporting and exhibiting work by more female artists?

I feel as if they have. I’ve been going to more openings and shows that are exhibiting female artists. Much more than in the past.

Are you planning any new exhibitions of your own work?

Yes, I have a photo exhibition with The Curator LA next month and also in Paris at the beginning of November. And later in the year / early next year, an artist residency show in Mexico.

So talking of exhibitions, Annie Leibovitz is returning to her project Womenand is now going to tour a show documenting portraits of 21st century females, to present how womens roles are changing in a new feminist society.

Who would you personally like to see in that roll call?

Every woman in the world should be photographed for this project. Every one of them has a voice that is changing the world in which we live in on a daily basis.

The Signatureby Tasya van Ree for Stetson style will be available from October 2015 at stetson.com. Photo credit: Anais & Dax anaisdax.com

 

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Brigitte Lacombe at Phillips New York

02.07.2015 | Art | BY:

Perhaps one of the most hotly anticipated exhibitions of the year opened at the Phillips gallery in New York a few weeks ago: “Complicities”, by Brigitte Lacombe.

Famed for her photojournalistic approach to cinema, this is the first time in her 40-year career that she has exhibited her work in the Big Apple.

Lacombe is best known for her portraits and reportage in both black and white and colour, capturing private moments on set. These include large format prints of Martin Scorsese, Meryl Streep, Dustin Hoffman, Andy Warhol, Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Moss, amongst others.

The late, great, Richard Avedon used to regard her work with envy – a true compliment indeed.

Adding to the occasion is the opportunity to buy some of Lacombe’s original prints, so get yourself down there before it finishes on 30 July.

phillips.com

 

 

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Twin Issue XII

21.05.2015 | Blog , Fashion , Twin Book , Twin Life | BY:

Twin’s 12th edition is all about attitude. Edie Campbell talks to fellow model Saskia de Brauw about finding friendship and surviving the fashion game. Photographer Liz Collins explores the new rules of beauty (the good news is, there are none). Skinny Girl Diet, the London band with big ideas and a brilliantly bad attitude, let out a rebel yell. We get up close with talented multi-hyphenate Miranda July as she shares her singular views on middle age and motherhood. Then step inside the Milan studio of Nathalie du Pasquier, the French-born painter of Memphis fame, who extols the freedom of later life. Then another inspirational image-maker, Roberta Bayley, recalls Manhattan’s Seventies punk scene—the perfect accompaniment to 74 pages of scintillating summer fashion.

BUY





BUY

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God Listens to Slayer

13.05.2015 | Art , Culture , Music | BY:

London photographer Sanna Charles has been shooting those who worship at the alter of Slayer for over ten years. Her recently published book, God Listens to Slayer, documents the ritualistic devotion of fans around the world to their musical deities. Flicking through its pages is to be transported to a hot, dusty metal festival, to feel the feverish anticipation before the band shows, the crush of uncoiled bodies in the mosh pit, and the calmer moments afterwards when the communion of fandom lingers. We caught up with Charles to find out how her striking book came about.

When did you first get into photography?
My Dad was a photographer, we always had cameras around and he got me one when I was quite young. I started learning about it while I was at school, then I went to University in Brighton to study it there. Initially I was doing a lot of architectural stuff—I would come back into London and take photos of urban landscapes that were quite stark and bleak. But I was always into music, so after I moved back to London I started photographing the rock and roll and punk scene. Then I got picked up by NME, so I kind of fell into music photography.

And it was while you were working for NME that you started shooting Slayer fans?
Yeah, it happened while I was on assignment at Download festival for them.

How did the project start, did you set out to shoot Slayer fans or did it evolve more naturally over time?
It definitely happened more naturally. It’s funny, when you’re on a job shooting a festival like that, you’ve got your list of bands, there is always a lot of running around to do, but in the quiet moments you’ve still got shooting in your head. I think I took about four of five pictures of Slayer fans at that festival. There was a group of guys running to get to the tent where they were playing, and I asked them to stop. I just really liked the excitement that they had at that moment in time, and I was trying to capture their energy. NME didn’t want to use those pictures; they weren’t really into documentary style at that time. But I kept hold of them and I felt like it could be the start of something. I was living with a filmmaker friend at the time, she had a car and we decided to just take off and follow Slayer on tour. We spent loads of money that took years to pay back.

Why do you think Slayer elicits such intense dedication among fans?
I think there is a mixture of reasons. When Slayer first started there was really an appreciation among their fans of being given a way to release aggression just by listening to the music—and watching them if they could. And the band hasn’t really changed, they have a formula that people love and they stick to it, they don’t alter according to fashions or tastes. Also, they created this genre, the speed metal, thrash style—it wasn’t really around anywhere else at the time, and people really appreciate that. It’s like an artist who starts a movement, or a film director who creates a certain style. Slayer took a real risk making music like that, and they were lucky that they exploded.

What was it like for you as a female photographer in the still very male-dominated world of metal?
You know, you get slimy comments sometimes, but I think generally as a female you get used to that in any environment and you build up a tolerance and know how to respond. In a festival environment most of the time you’re going to laugh it off, because it’s not worth it, and I was trying to get a picture.

A couple of photographs in the book are of girls. How do they fit into the world of Slayer fandom?
Sometimes girls who are into metal can be a bit harder than guys, they have their guard up because there’s not many of them. But once you start having a conversation then there’s a really nice mutual respect, you’re there for the same reason. There’s an unspoken thing that you get it.

God Listens to Slayer by Sanna Charles is published by Ditto Press and is available to buy now.

dittopress.co.uk

 

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Chloë Sevigny, Out Now

22.04.2015 | Culture , Fashion | BY:

Chloë Sevigny has been at the forefront of cool since the nineties; modelling for Sassy, appearing in a Sonic Youth music video and starring in the independent and controversial film Kids (1995). It was her eclectic and avant-garde fashion sense that caught the attention of many, and now it has been chronicled in a new book.

Published by Rizzoli and with a forward by Kim Gordon, the personal photography tome journeys through her style evolution. In addition to childhood images, film stills and imagery from magazine editorials, the volume also features pictures of Sevigny’s most prized memorabilia.

Chloë Sevigny is out now and available to buy here

Image: Chloë Sevigny by Kenneth Cappello for TWIN IV

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Sophie Green’s Bangers & Smash

03.02.2015 | Art | BY:

South London photographer Sophie Green, 23, has delved into the uncharted, colourful subculture of banger racing to produce Bangers & Smash, a collection of images taken at racing meets at Wimbledon Stadium. Full of highly evocative photographs that have a truly hypnotic quality, the collection documents a community that is little-known and little understood by those outside it, yet has an irresistible draw for those within.

Twin catches up with Sophie to discuss what lured her to this mysterious sport, and to find out about her exciting year ahead.

How did you get into photography?
I’ve always been creative and the art room at school was the one place I felt confident and self-assured, and I felt particularly connected to photography. I started to look at everything with photographer’s eyes, seeing everything through a frame, and wanting to take pictures all the time. I went on to do a degree in Fashion Photography at London College of Fashion. After graduating, I full time-assisted photographers Tom Craig and Mel Bles for a couple of years and now I’m working freelance.

Which photographer/artist inspires you most? Can you see their influences in your work?
I’m very inspired by cinema; Andrea Arnold, Pawel Pawlikowski and Duane Hopkins are just a few directors that heavily influence me. Visually and stylistically I love photography that has a cinematic quality – photographs that look like film stills.

I like my work to have a cinematic look because it has a level of reality. It feels like perhaps you’re looking at a scene and moment where you see something unfolding. You question the story in the image, the relationship between the people and the place and why the subject is composed in a particular way.

You’ve created a variety of different projects – what inspires you?
I am just a very curious person. I’m particularly inquisitive about people. I feel compelled to meet people and find out their story. I use photography as a way to explore the world around me. I love projects I can learn from or discover something new. I want my work to reflect a vision and tell a story.

What do you look for in the people whose photos you take?
I try to find people who have something special. Sometimes I am just struck by the way people look, I can’t explain what it is. Maybe it’s intuition. I like people that are unconventionally beautiful. In a human face you can read an entire range of human emotion. I find some faces just tell a story.

I like recognising a beauty in people that they were not aware they had. A lot of people can’t understand my fascination with them, they say ‘why me?’

Tell me about your most recent project, Bangers & Smash. Why did you decide to do it?
I’ve been documenting the Stock Car and Banger racing subculture. I stumbled across a racing meet at Wimbledon Stadium one Sunday afternoon by accident and became totally immersed in this colourful world. This is a culture that I wasn’t aware existed before. Instantly I saw it as a great environment to take pictures, full of peculiar scenes and interesting faces everywhere.

I’ve been back to Wimbledon Stadium multiple times, capturing the sport and the community in its most revealing and honest form. The process was very organic and the series is a spontaneous, intuitive reaction to what I observed, documenting not only the racing drivers, but also their families and friends who all go to support.

The majority of competitors have family relations to introduce them to the sport. The junior formula is age 10-16, when you’re 16+ you can race any formula you like, so all ages are really integrated; you could be a 16 year old girl competing against a 55 year old man.

Competitors pour their heart, souls and money into the sport; it’s a way of life for them; they have mentioned how they have missed weddings, parties and holidays to go to race meetings. One man said to me “We often say what do normal people do at weekends?” Parents have described how it gives their children a focus in life. It keeps them from getting into the wrong crowd because racing keeps them so occupied.

All competitors describe this huge buzz and adrenaline rush they get from the sport. It’s total escapism from the normality of everyday life. Competitors say when they’re in the drivers seat they enter a different zone and all their problems go away because the only focus is racing.

I’ve recently been selected for the Magnum/Ideastap Photographic Award for Bangers & Smash and their grant has enabled me to continue developing this project. Over the last few months I’ve been shooting a lot so I will have more exciting work to show over the next few months. Watch this space.

Which is your favourite photo from the project?
I’d have to say my favourite would be the portrait of Danielle –The devoted girlfriend who’s watching her boyfriend race around the track from the safety of the stands. I love the stars tattooed on her back and the way her hair is perfectly placed in front of her shoulder. Danielle was all made up, in her dress, makeup and jewelry and it just seemed such an interesting juxtaposition to me against the dirty, outdated backdrop of Wimbledon Stadium.

 What can we expect to see from you in the future?
I started 2015 with a very exciting collaboration with Vice. They have been filming me as part of their documentary series called Picture Perfect. The series follows individual photographers shooting projects and a master interview about the project/their career. The documentary will be out mid- February.

You can expect to see more from my on-going collaboration with the charity Tomorrow’s People; a specialist employment charity whose mission is to help marginalised people in the most challenging situations to get and keep a job. Tomorrow’s People run employment programmes in some of the most deprived areas of the country and focus their support on people who are the hardest to help, helping them to overcome the barriers they face so that they can move into employment or training, or back to education.

Over the last few months I’ve been working intensively on a portrait project for the charity. This portrait series aims to raise awareness of the charity and to also give recognition to the personal and unique stories of each individual. Each subject has their own inspiring story of moving on from a world of social exclusion and disadvantage. This portrait series will form an exhibition for the charity, which is running throughout major fundraising and political campaigning events.

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