A Contemporary Portrait of Native America
Matika Wilbur was living in Seattle in December 2012 when she decided to sell most of her possessions and embark on an epic photographic journey. Since then, she’s been on the road working on “Project 562” with the goal of photographing all the federally recognized tribes in the United States. (There are now 566.) With support from Kickstarter donors and several grants, she’s traveled nearly 100,000 miles and visited about 200 tribes, capturing beautiful images and important stories along the way.
A Homeless Boxer’s Mansion
The Albany Bulb, a former landfill situated on a fist-shaped peninsula that juts into the San Francisco Bay, is a lot of things to a lot of people. Though managed by the city of Albany, Calif., the Bulb has long existed in a sort of gray area where anything goes. For graffiti artists and sculptors, it’s an open studio. For dog walkers and teenagers, it’s a space for unregulated recreation. For several dozen homeless people, it’s home.
Challenging and Strange Portraits of Femininity
Photographer Juno Calypso had focused primarily on creating portraiture based on a traditional aesthetic of beautiful, flawless women, when one evening she decided to use herself as a stand-in model to prep for an upcoming shoot. To make things more comfortable for herself in front of the camera, she began making funny faces and poses. When she showed the work to her class and was greeted with laughter, she found herself inspired in a more profound way than when she had shown the more conventional, hyperfeminized portraits.
An Iceberg’s Majestic Journey
When Simon Harsent was 11 years old, he painted a picture of the Titanic crashing into an iceberg. He doesn’t remember why he did it, but he knows that it was the start of his fascination with painting, which later evolved into a love of photography. Looking back on it later in life, Harsent became interested in how major events—the sinking of a ship, for instance, or the beginning of his photography career—are determined by a series of small incidents. It’s an idea he explores in his book, Melt: Portrait of an Iceberg, which shows how icebergs transform throughout their lifetime.
Pole Dancing in the Privacy of Your Own Home
Though photographer Tom Sanders has worked on serious projects—including series about World War II veterans, Native Americans, and more,—he found some unlikely inspiration: home stripper poles. While living in Los Angeles, Sanders connected with a model who had a stripper pole in her kitchen. This began what would become the series “Pole Dancing at Home.” Although Sanders began working on the project in 2010, he said he focused heavily on it in 2013 and has already shown images from the series at the De Young Museum in San Francisco.
The Evocative, Haunting World of Abandoned Great Plains Farmhouses
In the 19th century, Americans flocked to the Midwest with the promise of free land to farm and hopes for a better future. Photographer Nancy Warner’s ancestors were among those enterprising homesteaders who started a new life in Nebraska, and in 2001, after visiting relatives in Cuming County, she became interested in the old houses, barns and other buildings that remained from that era. She spent the next few years photographing those abandoned and neglected spaces that appear in the book, This Place, These People: Life and Shadow on the Great Plains, a poignant exploration of time, memory and place.
The Art of Posing Perfect Strangers
This Is What Gun Ownership Looks Like in America
In early 2013, on a five-day assignment for the German magazine Stern, photographer Charles Ommanney traveled around the United States photographing Americans with their guns. Ommanney has built a career working as a political and documentary photographer and felt a responsibility to make a story that wasn’t just another “predictable NRA-bashing” type of series. He wanted to see “real” people to find out why they wanted to have guns in their homes. He also decided to shoot the project in a more engaged manner with his subjects instead of simply being a fly on the wall.
The Wacky World of Eastern Europe in the Early 2000s
Although he doesn’t admit it fully, Martin Kollar seems to have a pretty good sense of humor. “Usually, as it is in life, people who make funny films are usually very boring,” he said. “It rarely works the other way around.”