Art September 25, 2012 By Sarah Coleman

The Invisible Man, Harlem, New York, 1952. Gelatin silver print

The Invisible Man, Harlem, New York, 1952. Gelatin silver print

header Gordon Parks
“I am an invisible man,” begins Ralph Ellison’s famous 1952 novel, in an opening that rivals “Call me Ishmael” and “Lolita, light of my life” for its compact resonance. The narrator of Invisible Man goes on to say that he’s “not a spook like those that haunted Edgar Allan Poe; nor am I one of your Hollywood movie ectoplasms.” Instead, his invisibility is caused by race: being a black man in 1950s America makes him a blank canvas onto which people’s fears and anxieties are projected.

How do you photograph an invisible man? That was the challenge Gordon Parks took up in 1952, when Invisible Man was published. At that time, Parks himself was a highly visible black man. He’d broken through race barriers to become the first African-American staff photographer at Life magazine, and had written his own prose and poetry. He’d made an enduring and iconic portrait, American Gothic, in which a dignified cleaning woman symbolizes the shabby treatment of blacks in America.

The soulful images Parks produced, with inspiration from Ellison’s novel, are the subject of an intriguing exhibition, Contact: Gordon Parks, Ralph Ellison and ‘Invisible Man’ at the Howard Greenberg Gallery. At the time he made this work, Parks had just won a plum assignment to work in Paris for Life. He was leading a cosmopolitan life of glamor–but his passion and empathy for Harlem shines bright and clear in his Invisible Man series.

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Fashion, film September 20, 2012 By Aiya Ono

Shirt by A. Sauvage

Shirt by A. Sauvage

ASAUVAGEHeader A. Sauvage
Few fashion houses have a a mantra like D.E.– Dress Easy, and a film showcased at the Sundance Film Festival.. The orchestrator behind it all: Adrien Sauvage, founder of the House of A. Sauvage. In 2011, Sundance film Festival showcased This is Not A Suit, a sort of existential enquiry about the designer and his collection, reminiscent of Absurdist plays such as those by Samuel Beckett. The film features Sauvage in a room in solitude, as a voice over explains,“the art of D.E.”

The film is also the title of an ongoing project that involves Sauvage dressing those close to his heart–from filmmakers and musicians like Spike Jonze, Terry Gilliam, and Eliot Sumner, to sports veterans like Sauvage himself, who was a professional basketball player during his youth. Changing focus from sports to the art of Savile Row at 20, every representation of Sauvage’s brand is striking. His methodology of creating suits according to activity (for example, what is the perfect suit for grabbing a cup of coffee?), the presentation of his collection, both still and in motion, and the words used to string all elements together–Sauvage is a creator who knows what he’s doing and it comes through in everything he does. Sauvage’s aim is to create a timeless existence, unconfined by seasons and trends. As the voice over states in This is Not A Suit, Sauvage indeed “constructs his own time” and this is what makes his brand so seductive.

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Art September 6, 2012 By Aiya Ono

postop118 Heather Huey was Shot by Billy Kiddheathertitle4 Heather Huey was Shot by Billy Kidd
Fashion photographer Billy Kidd’s newest work explores his partner and muse, Heather Huey, a milliner whose pieces have caught the attention of stylists such as Karl Templer and Nicola Formichetti. Huey and Kidd have been working together as artists and lovers with Billy behind the lens and Heather as inspiration for almost two years, using Huey’s body cages and sinuous cocoons to help create poetic images that retain intimacy and anonymity. The result is an erotic ballad that is contemporary yet classic. Their work will be on view from September 6th at Clic Gallery.

Both of your work have an aesthetic that is undeniably grounded in classical aesthetics–Billy your work recalls Lee Miller and Man Ray, Heather you create headpieces, which are historically significant. Yet both of your work is undeniably contemporary. Has this brought you together?
Billy: I feel that’s why Heather and I get along so well. We have such similar tastes that we often respond to the same things.

How did this body of work begin?
Billy: We started shooting almost 2 years ago as a photographer often does with his lover/muse. Heather being the shy one, took some time to open up in front of the camera. Our love and comfort with each other was the catalyst for where it went. It was a goal of mine to, without retouching, to alter her body into different shapes.

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Art, Events September 4, 2012 By Chloe Eichler

Greame Williams, Sisulu released. South Africa, Soweto, 1989. © Greame Williams.

Greame Williams, Sisulu released. South Africa, Soweto, 1989. © Greame Williams.

riseandfallheader Rise and Fall of Apartheid
ICP’s latest tour-de-force historical exhibition is Rise and Fall of Apartheid: Photography and the Bureaucracy of Everyday Life, opening September 14th. The exhibit attempts to include all the important forms of visual documentation that bore witness to South Africa’s sixty years of apartheid: films, books, and photographs in all forms, from newspaper-commissioned to social documentary to photo essay.

The exhibition is of course powerful for its subject matter, and the show digs deep in its illustration of how apartheid touched every aspect of life, large and small. You see the South African Communist Party demonstrating in a large group, with arms raised defiantly and film cameras swarming the scene. Contrast this with the lone woman on a streetcorner, protesting against hangings to passing traffic. Contrast this with a pro- segregation demonstration backed with Biblical quotes. Throughout, Rise and Fall of Apartheid is valuable for the way it showcases South African photographers working in incredible times, and under incredible pressures.

The show’s deep reach is thanks to its curators, the Nigerian-born Okwui Enwezor with Johannesburg-based Rory Bester, two specialists of modern and recent-era South Africa. Rise and Fall of Apartheid runs September 14 – January 6.

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