Category Archives: photography

Sarah Christianson’s “When the Landscape Is Quiet Again: North Dakota’s Oil Boom,” Art Practical

“We all wanted this oil development. We just didn’t know what we were in for. Even half of what we got would’ve been too much.”—Carole Freed, fourth-generation rancher, Watford City, ND, May 2013 No single photograph in Sarah Christianson’s When … Continue reading

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Nan Still Stands: “Nan Goldin: Nine Self-Portraits” at Fraenkel Gallery

“Herr God, Herr Lucifer, Beware  Beware.  Out of the ash I rise with my red hair and I eat men like air.”  Sylvia Plath, Lady Lazarus Though the collection is small — only 9 photographs — “Nan Goldin: Nine Self-Portraits” … Continue reading

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Curation as a New Translation: Diane Arbus at Fraenkel Gallery, Huffington Post

I am not cruel, only truthful— The eye of a little god, four-cornered. Mirror, Sylvia Plath Diane Arbus famously brought a dispassionate but probing voyeurism to the marginalized and pariah of our society. Her treatments of the denizens of the mainstream … Continue reading

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“The Outside World,” Richard Learoyd at Fraenkel Gallery, Art Practical

“For I have learned To look on nature, not as in the hour Of thoughtless youth; but hearing oftentimes The still, sad music of humanity, Nor harsh nor grating, though of ample power To chasten and subdue.” ―William Wordsworth, Tintern Abbey, 1798 … Continue reading

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“Silver Meadows” Revisited, Huffington Post

First off, I should say that I appear in this book as a model. Todd Hido‘s Excerpts from Silver Meadows (Nazraeli Press 2013) describes what might be a recognizable place, geographically speaking, to anyone familiar with midwestern suburbia. Hido has taken as … Continue reading

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“We have not loved life.” Garry Winogrand at SFMOMA, Huffington Post

The first several hours I spent in SFMOMA’s Garry Winogrand retrospective, I thought writing about it would be easy: it seemed like each of the 300 images offered such imaginative fodder that the only problem would be to avoid long-windedness. … Continue reading

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South Africa in Apartheid and After at SFMOMA, Art Practical

“More and more he is convinced that English is an unfit medium for the truth of South Africa.”—J.M. Coetzee, Disgrace. South Africa in Apartheid and After, at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, is a photographic investigation of the troubled … Continue reading

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“Desert Jewels” and “Anima and Tuareg” at the Museum of the African Diaspora

The Museum of the African Diaspora is hosting two small but excellent shows this month. “Desert Jewels: North African Jewelry and Photography from the Xavier Guerrand-Hermès Collection” features tribal jewelry and nineteenth-century photographs from an era when  advancements in photographic … Continue reading

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My “Best of 2012” arts round-up, Art Practical

As futile as it is to try to sum up the best arts events a cosmopolitan city like San Francisco offered in a year, especially with a mere 1200 word-count, I gave it a try for Art Practical. I settled … Continue reading

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I had problems with “Real to Real: Photographs from the Traina Collection.” Art Practical

Real to Real: Photographs from the Traina Collection is flush with recognizable images, and for those who have only seen reproductions of them in books or online, the show is a necessary pilgrimage. In fact the exhibit can at times feel … Continue reading

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