24 February 2009


"Nelly, I am Heathcliff"

A Starling for Lina

© Jeanne Wells
this is a ferrotype (colloidion on metal) also called a tintype.

23 February 2009

In hiding

Damian Chrobak: City Chameleon

City Chameleon

Coincidence and accident is the main subject in Damian Chrobak’s photography. His photographs offer the insight into everyday events, they become the evidence of normally unnoticeable stories in which the essence and poetry of live itself is hidden. Damian’s photographs point out what already exist, they put into visual form events and everyday situations that are unnoticed and overlooked, and they pin down the essential substance of it.

Those carefully observed incidental situations or gestures isolated and framed by the camera become significant and are saved from fading into the past as quickly as the moment in which they happened. Sometimes those short stories contain a small narrative that is even more significant due to its briefness and unnoticeable for most of us to even quality. Those ordinary, though remarkable narratives become clear to us only by being pointed at by Damians camera. 

Damian Chrobak studied at Warsaw Academy of Photography until 2004 when he decided to come to London where he still lives and works.

One of his first projects in London was taking photographs of well known Polish musicians such as: Kult, Voo Voo, Pizdzama Porno, Anna Maria Jopek, Maciej Malenczuk, Myslovitz, The Poise Rite, and Fisz. He would photograph the gig first, and then take more personal backstage portraits of the famous musicians.

Even though he stills photographs gigs, his photographical practise is evolving from portraits of mainstream musicians towards less known more alternative and independent actors and musicians such as soprano singer Aleksandra Kurzak, whom he photographed backstage after her concert at the Covent Garden opera.

His main passion though is street photography. He melts into the London environment like a city chameleon. As far as colour is concerned he is very traditional, everything is acceptable as long as it is black and white. He learned his skills at University of the Arts, London; and in London College of Communication where he finished a one-year black and white photography course. Beside an individual exhibition at Titchy Gallery in London he was also part of many group shows. Damian was also invited to take a part in project Portrait- Young Polish Artist in New Europe, whose final exhibition took place in City Hall in Lonodn. In February 2009 he will have his first main show in Poland at Melon Gallery in Warsaw.  

Damians Chrobak photographs were also published in first edition of I Heart Magazine which is strictly dedicated to street photography. Along with a few blogs and showcasing his work at flicker his main work can be seen at www.damianchrobak.com. One of his ambitions is to become one of the In-public photographers, a group that is the main streetphotographers association in the world.

Coincidences happen all the time without a doubt, but we never pay enough attention to see them all. Damian does it for us.

text by Elzbieta Sobolewska | photos by Damian

invited by Marcin

Hard Times for the Tea Jenny

Making the teabags last longer.

17 February 2009

Invited guest: Carlos Bravo

Born in Córdoba (Spain) in the early seventies and eventually resided in Castellón, Carlos Bravo, self-taught and passionate of photography began several years ago to practice this discipline. Eager to experience the world of photography and looking for solutions outside the "conventional" Carlos is on the search continues from that point of view of those places that we see every day where you can catch with your camera part cutest, turning the elements of the urban landscape models posing for a magazine of high fashion.
Carlos is a lover of photography, urban and social, architecture, highlighting its work in digital format and also knows the lomografía which is named after the famous Lomo camera.

His photographs stand out in the book Fotografía en la red, has done exhibitions in Córdoba, Benicassim and Castellón. Artist has also been selected for exhibition by the Fund Caja España during 6 months in Castilla y León (Spain) and his photographs now form part of an audio-visual presentation directed by the University Jaume I de Castellón.
Form part of one of the most prestigious photographic groups throughout the country, the Photographic Association Sarthou Carreres.

Images and text provided by Carlos Bravo

09 February 2009

Kerim Aytac

Throughout my practice, I have been drawn to the idea of absence. My earliest projects were clearly influenced by the ‘decisive moment’ philosophy of street photography, but I had already developed a fascination with the traces of the urban landscape that reflect a human presence, rather than the presence itself. Photographs of the urban landscape, of the social, but in absentia. More recent projects have engaged with this concept from different angles. These approaches can be demarcated by different subjectivities, in that they attempt, through different conceptual frameworks, to encompass an individual’s perspective. ‘Pedestrian’, for example, foregrounds these preoccupations by attempting to convey the perspective of a city dweller searching for a form of human contact. Photographed traces suggest this contact is possible, but also emphasize the distance between presence and absence. In ‘Barber’, the subjectivity is gendered. Here, the public space of men’s toilets is explored through evidences juxtaposed with images that connote a very particular masculine identity. This suggests a presence in this absent, public space.

My subjects can be classified as either still lives or scenes, especially in reference to the established conventions of street photography, for which motion and time are fundamental. Beyond the subjects themselves, I am interested in how a clearly subjective approach interferes with the notions of objectivity such material might engender. My work also engages with discourses of “aftermath” or “late” photography, but through the study of the everyday and its melancholy poetry. Above all, I am keen to find the intersections between photography as a medium-specific form of communication and photography as the Artist’s instrument, a vehicle for the conceptual. I nurture notions of the photograph as an accessible and democratic medium, but often want to push up against its barriers. I believe this to be a fruitful conflict.

My images have been described as abstract and minimalist, mysterious and cinematic. Although these descriptions hold true, my work seeks to explore the tensions between these terms. The images are abstract in that they do not seek to describe or depict a tangible reality, but they do not seek to pictorialise either. I am drawn to the graphic in photography, especially through the work of Japanese photographers such as Daido Moriyama or Shomei Tomatsu, as well the great Italian photographer Mario Giacomelli. My images are paradoxical in that they use strong compositions to foreground the contradiction between the beauty of an image and the banality of its subject . The opposition between the abstract and the concrete can thus create mystery. Constructed with this in mind, the images both show and hide, inviting viewers to decode a series of fragments or details without necessarily knowing why, crime scenes where no crime has been committed.

The images are minimalist because information is absent. This imbues the details that are present with significance. The mundane signs of the everyday thus become the language of the images, flawed in its communication but expressive nonetheless. Read in series, the work takes on the mood of a film, during which the viewer engages with image sequences or montages secure in the knowledge that a meaning will present itself. Hopefully it does, but as a question rather than a resolution.

KERIM AYTAC was born in Istanbul in 1979, and grew up in London whilst studying in a French school. Film was an obsession of his from an early age, and was the subject of his degree studies. Aytac soon found that photography began to offer more creative outlets, which led him to pursue an MA in Photography at Goldsmiths University. Since then he has sought to develop and explore his practice whilst also teaching Film and Media Studies. Aytac has exhibited internationally and lives and works in London.

Piece of me - new exhibition by Sannah Kvist

Sannah Kvist was born in 1986. Apart from being a freelance photographer, she is also the photo editor of music magazine Novell as well as one of the collective owners of the Stockholm gallery 1*1.

I tried to take a picture of Sannah herself, but as always photographers are hard to catch.

Sannah has appeared as a guest on the F blog twice and her clean images have intrigued many of us. In her new series Piece of me she takes her imagery to an even stricter level of hushed down colours and stripped environments. There is only a soft hint of skin tone and the occassional blue that makes the milky whiteness of her images even whiter. This method makes every detail seem important and more than once I found myself staring at birthmarks, indentions in sheets or tiny holes in the background walls. To me, her work is uncanny. The motif, mostly the human body, is presented as something surreal. The human body should seem familiar and the settings homely and everydayish, but there is something about the way she approaches her motives that makes everything seem not homely; uncanny. None of the images show faces or even heads for that matter. We see arms and feet and a hand clutching its owner's back. In Sannah's images things out of daily life seem too real to not be unreal.

When talking about the image shown above, Sannah says that she is very ambivalent about how it turned out. When asked why, she says "I don't know, I guess it's because it looks so much like a typical girl photo" Still, she decided to show it in her exhibition along with a beautiful, intriguing and milky white set of images under the name of Pieces of me

The exhibition is only open for one week, so hurry up and go there!

For more information contact Sannah

07 February 2009

About Herreys and the infinite feeling of being wrong...

About 25 years ago tonight. I thought that Herreys tune was the best tune that ever was made...though I was a hardcore Beatles fan at the time...

Well, I fortunatly have changed alot since then... Evolved if you like. Dylan, Young, Zeppelin, Ebba Grön, Smiths, Pogues, the Cure put an end to all that.

But who really knows, maybe I in the future will evolve back to once again love the Diggilo Diggilej Alla tittar på mej...

Time is a great manipulator sometimes.

04 February 2009

Wacky Wednesdays

Pictures shot on Wednesday afternoons.
Photographer: Jay Van Dam