Run Up and About a hundred yards from the road are both photographs from Ken Gonzales-Day’s Searching for California’s Hang Trees series, part of the artist’s extensive work on the history of lynching in California, which also includes his photographic series, Erased Lynchings, and his book, Lynching in the West: 1850–1935. These projects share a common goal: complicating the viewer’s understanding of the history of racial violence in America.
Macko came to a new understanding of the life cycle as a continuous process, rather than a series of discrete stages. Macko’s work encourages the viewer to join in this realization—to stop looking at childhood, youth, adulthood, and old age as separate phases, and to instead see the beautiful and surprising ways life’s phases overlap.
This juxtaposition of man-made objects to the natural world displaces the viewer’s focus away from the natural elements to the manmade, ultimately creating a sense of balance. Kenna continues to baffle the viewer through his interesting use of perspective.
Gordon Abbott was a twentieth century American photographer born in 1882. He spent much of his professional life working in Mexico and Guatemala and died in Mexico City in 1951. More than mere travel photography, his work captures the spirit of the places and scenes he witnessed. Instead of the flashy images suited for tourists’ guidebooks, Abbott created photos of a more contemplative nature.
Though William Heick is best known for his ethnographic photographs and documentary films of Native American cultures, his early work focused on street life in 1940s and 1950s San Francisco. His vibrant portraits capture the dynamic community of the city and the surrounding countryside — the artists, entertainers, industrial workers, cotton pickers, and street people who populated the mid-century San Francisco area.
During his forty-year photographic career, William Anderson documented the everyday lives of impoverished African Americans in the rural South. His pictures reveal their endurance, dignity and humanity in the face of great hardships. Anderson’s photographs look beyond the wretched conditions of poverty to encompass a sense of community, laughter, and even triumph, without erasing or negating the destitution of the poor.
Eileen Cowin’s work in the 1980s explores the depth of narrative that mise en scéne photography can convey to a viewer. Mise en scéne photographers exert a control over their work that is similar to an auteur’s command over a movie-set: they both have total mastery over every detail.
Arthur Kales’ portrait of Ruth St Denis gives dimension to a compelling artistic discourse about cultural diversity in America.
Contemporary photographer Gregory Crewdson doesn’t take pictures. Instead, he spends several months meticulously planning surreal and elaborately staged scenes of American homes and neighborhoods. Building his stage sets from scratch, his large-scale photographs require a crew of 40 to 50 people to set up the detailed and suspenseful scenes, including lighting, set designers, and even casting directors.
Though primarily known as a sculptor, Elizabeth Catlett has also created a significant body of work as a printmaker. Madonna (1982) is a lithograph print, a reproduction technique in which the artist first creates an image on fine-grained sandstone (or aluminum plate) with a grease-based implement such as a pencil, crayon or wash. Via a multi-stepped process, the image is fixed to the stone, inked, and transferred to paper by means of a press.