No starchitect’s portfolio is complete without a jaw-dropping image by Iwan Baan. The Dutch photographer stumbled into the architectural world in 2005, when he pitched his services to Rem Koolhaas. Baan got the gig and began what would become his first major project: documenting the construction of OMA’s China Central Television (CCTV) building and Herzog & de Meuron’s completed National Olympic Stadium, both in Beijing. Less than a decade later, the likes of Frank Gehry, SANAA, Morphosis, and Diller Scofidio + Renfro keep Baan on speed dial. “What I find really fascinating is what happens when architects and planners leave and these places become appropriated by people,” explained Baan in his talk last month in New York at TEDCity2.0. Watch to learn about his search for pop-up cities and villages built in the unlikeliest places using the most bizarre methods.
Robert Capa (né Endré Friedmann) was born 100 years ago yesterday, and the International Center of Photography will spend the next year celebrating, so you have plenty of time to whip up a “Falling Soldier“-themed cake.
The legendary photojournalist’s work will be the subject of “Capa in Color,” opening at ICP on January 31. This first exhibition to look at Capa’s color work across his entire career will present over 100 color images that he made from 1941-54, from World War II to his trip in the U.S.S.R. with John Steinbeck, to images of Picasso, Humphrey Bogart, and Ingrid Bergman, to the last images he took in Vietnam in 1954. “Part of the goal of the 100th celebration is to reveal the richness and depth of the Capa Archive at ICP,” says Cynthia Young, curator of ICP’s Capa Archive, which recently received a $117,500 grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Sciences. “Recovering his color photography is part of that work and the discovery of his voice on the 1947 radio recording almost single-handedly brings him to life in a way we have never experienced before.”
Sure, his famous D-Day photograph haunts all of our dreams, but what did Capa sound like? Wonder no more: the ICP has released the only known recording of the his voice, a 33 1/3 rpm microgroove recording was discovered on eBay. It’s Capa’s October 20, 1947 appearance on Hi! Jinx, a national program on NBC radio that was created in 1946 by Jinx Falkenburg and Tex McCrary. Here’s that segment—”Bob Capa Tells of Photographic Experiences Abroad“—digitized for your 21st century listening pleasure.
“In my project Miracles et Cie (2002) I settle my scores with the supernatural. My images are an ironic homage to the touching facet of the history of photography, which has been used to fake the presence of ghosts and spirits: In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, many crooks used photography’s powers of persuasion to ‘demonstrate’ their paranormal powers. But this work’s critical objective consists of an outrageous reflection on how the current whirlpool of beliefs, cults, rituals, and superstitions has set us adrift. Here, by using conjuring effects, photography becomes the document of the illusion.”
Pictured: Joan Fontcuberta, “The Miracle of Dolphinsurfing” (2002)
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder but it can more reliably be found in the pages (virtual and actual) of Allure, the long-reigning Condé Nast queen of the beauty books. Her luminous, smokey-eyed majesty’s website is in want of a photo editor. The full-time freelancer will be responsible for “researching proprietary and stock film for the site’s slideshows, blogs, and special projects; preparing web-optimized images; scouting/assigning new talent for original shoots; and shooting digitally.” Be ready to show off your superior communication skills, Photoshop chops, and a working knowledge of the subtle differences among a BB cream, a CC cream, and a tinted moisturizer.
Magnum Photos has added to its esteemed ranks: Olivia Arthur and Peter van Agtmael were voted in as full members at last week’s general meeting in London. Both joined the agency as nominees in 2008. London-based Arthur has been photographing professionally since 2003 and has already racked up awards including the Royal Photographic Society’s Vic Odden Award and the OjodePez-PhotoEspana Award. Her first book, Jeddah Diary, about young women in Saudi Arabia, was published last year. Van Agtmael, a Yale grad with honors such as the ICP Infinity Award and a W. Eugene Smith grant under his belt, has focused his work in recent years on the Middle East, covering the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and their effects on life in America. A collection of his combat photography, 2nd Tour Hope I Don’t Die, was published in 2009.
Magnum has also welcomed a new nominee member in Michael Christopher Brown. The Washington native, who often uses his camera phone in the field, got a close-up of his own in the recent HBO documentary Witness: Libya, about his experiences during the 2011 Libyan Revolution. His latest project examines resource conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
There’s a time and a place for ruin porn in the quest to preserve crumbling cultural landmarks, whether in Damascus or Detroit, but the World Monuments Fund is taking a more upbeat approach with its inaugural “Everyday Preservationist” photo contest. The New York-based organization has put out the call for “original, evocative digital images that advocate for historic sites by reflecting their aesthetic beauty and importance to the communities in which they are located.” Entries will be accepted through July 31 in five categories: appreciation, adaptive reuse, sensitive urban development, thoughtful tourism, and traditional building materials. Start scouring your digial folders immediately, because the public voting is now underway. Mark Robbins, executive director of the International Center of Photography, will have the final say in selecting the five winners in each category based on on originality, technical excellence, composition, overall impact, and artistic merit.
Having peeked behind the gates of trophy estates and triplex apartments on both coasts and revealed the “lust, lies, greed, and betrayals that made the Metropolitan Museum of Art,” Michael Gross is returning to the fashion world he so astutely chronicled in Model, his 1995 tome. The author has inked a deal for Girls on Film, “a look at modern fashion photography from a different angle—behind the lens—focusing on the photographers, and the magazines and marketers who hire them to make images of beautiful girls (and some boys) to sell products and manipulate people,” according to a deal report from Publishers Marketplace. The book is slated for publication by Atria Books in 2015, but you don’t have to wait that long to get a fresh fix. Gross’s House of Outrageous Fortune: Fifteen Central Park West, the World’s Most Powerful Address is due out in March of next year. Fingers crossed for chapters on Bob Stern and the joys of limestone alongside scoops on residents such as Lloyd Blankfein and Sandy Weill.
Taking a good photo of a great building is no easy task, as Flickr or Instagram can demonstrate. Meanwhile, even the most expansive Pinterest page of stunning architectural images is likely to feature the work of a relatively small group of photographers–those who have mastered the tricky art and science of capturing the utility, spirit, and beauty of the designed environment. Many of those names are followed by “Esto,” the firm built on the image collection of Ezra Stoller. Esto assignment photographer Albert Vecerka was on hand last week at the Cooper-Hewitt Design Center for the latest in the museum’s “Harlem Focus” series. “I look to tell a story about a place; a neighborhood, a building, a room,” Vecerka has said. “Looking for the right light, right day, or right time of day is a part of that narrative, and it is no different for commercial assignments than for personal projects.” Watch the event below and then mark your calendar for June 26, when architectural historian John Reddick will be joined by curators and gardeners from the Central Park Conservatory Gardens to talk “Garden Design: The Art of Color, Variety, and Form.”
“Ansel Adams is probably the one who got me into photography. We have a button in the app called Lux, which makes everything look contrast-y and beautiful; that was heavily influenced by Adams. I’ve always been a fan of landscapes. I rarely take photos of people. I’m awkward. I don’t like holding up a phone in front of someone’s face.”
-Kevin Systrom, co-founder of Instagram, in an interview with Garage magazine
Ansel Adams, “Evening, McDonald Lake, Glacier National Park,” part of a series commissioned in 1941 by the U.S. National Park Service. The photo mural project was scuttled by World War II.
Whether you’re bound for the beach or just your own backyard, make it a summer to remember with this bathing beauty, captured in 1997 by photographer Martin Parr while prowling the beaches of Benidorm on the coast of Spain. Our friends at Aperture are celebrating this month’s release of the beach-bag-sized edition of Parr’s Life’s a Beach with not only an exhibition of highlights from his beach photography but also a limited-edition terrycloth tribute (read: towel). Grab yours for $75 here before the supply of 150 sells out, and then toss it lovingly into your Roy Lichtenstein beach bag with some SPF 50 (and a tube of red lipstick?).