57 minutes | Jan 27, 2022
Alec Soth is so beautifully human and also a brilliant photographer, and one so obviously begets the other. But if you don't take a listen for the insight into his art practice, new body of work, and upcoming photobook , come for the ping pong stories. Alec Soth (b. 1969) is a photographer born and based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He has published over twenty-five books including Sleeping by the Mississippi (2004), NIAGARA (2006), Broken Manual (2010), Songbook (2015), I Know How Furiously Your Heart is Beating (2019), and A Pound of Pictures (2022). Soth has had over fifty solo exhibitions including survey shows organized by Jeu de Paume in Paris (2008), the Walker Art Center in Minnesota (2010) and Media Space in London (2015). Soth has been the recipient of numerous fellowships and awards, including the Guggenheim Fellowship (2013). In 2008, Soth created Little Brown Mushroom, a multi-media enterprise focused on visual storytelling. Soth is represented by Sean Kelly in New York, Weinstein Hammons Gallery in Minneapolis, Fraenkel Gallery in San Francisco, Loock Galerie in Berlin, and is a member of Magnum Photos.
73 minutes | Jan 6, 2022
This is a really special episode. Andres Gonzalez talks about American Origami, which not only happens to be an extraordinarily impactful and important project, but also the most dynamically designed photobook. . . maybe ever. Andres is thoughtful, passionate, and extremely talented. Prepare to be inspired and more than a little in awe. Andres Gonzalez is an educator and visual artist whose current work engages with in-depth research to investigate relationships between ritual, memory, and place within the American social landscape. He has published two books, Some(W)Here in 2012 made over decade while living in Istanbul, and American Origami in 2019 which won the Light Work Photo Book Award, and was shortlisted for the Paris Photo - Aperture Book Awards. He has received recognition from the Pulitzer Center, the Alexia Foundation, and is a Fulbright Fellow. His work has been exhibited at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, the Stedelijk Museum in the Amsterdam, and the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago, where he also collaborated with the Columbia College theater department and members from Tectonic Theater Project on a theatrical adaption of American Origami.
55 minutes | Dec 14, 2021
To continue our short streak of publisher/designers, I interviewed David Chickey for the podcast. I have often said that I want to be Dave Chickey when I grow up. While we are similar in age, I'd need decades to even come close to his talent and accomplishments. And of course, he couldn't be more lovely or more sincere. (Sidenote: How cool is it that I get to talk to all of these amazing and creative humans? What a life!)David Chickey is the publisher, designer, and editorial director of Radius Books, a nonprofit publishing company based in Santa Fe. He co-founded Radius Books in 2007 with a mission to encourage, promote, and publish books of artistic and cultural value. Radius titles have received national recognition, including multiple awards from AIGA, American Association of Museums Publishing, and best book nominations from The New Yorker, TIME, PDN, Smithsonian, Independent Publisher, and The Paris Photo-Aperture Foundation. Chickey is the former board chair of the Center for Contemporary Arts in Santa Fe, and a graduate of Sussex University, England, and UNC-Chapel Hill, where he was a Morehead Scholar.
44 minutes | Nov 4, 2021
Jason Koxvold is the kind of person you would hate if he wasn't so smart and talented and thoughtful and kind. Oh, and charming. Did I mention charming? Yeah, he's the worst. Jason Koxvold (b. 1977, Liege, Belgium) received his BSc in Social Science from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland in 2000. His fine art practice focuses on the shared spaces between neoliberal economic policy and military strategy; he has made work in diverse locations, from Afghanistan to Nigeria, Arctic Russia to South Africa. His first monograph, Knives, was published in 2017, followed by You Were Right All Along (2018) and Calle Tredic iMartiri (2019). He is the founder of Gnomic Book, an imprint focused on challenging subjects by emerging artists, and Virtual—Assembly, an online book fair to support publishers and artists in our present moment of social distancing. Koxvold has exhibited in solo and group shows in the UnitedStates, Britain, France, and Japan. His work has been featured in publications including The British Journal of Photography, Aperture, the Financial Times Magazine, Der Greif, Wired, Le Litteraire, Newsweek, Gestalten, Thisispaper, The Great Leap Sideways, Mother Jones, and Slate. He currently lives and works in Portland, OR.
61 minutes | Oct 14, 2021
This is a super special podcast - mostly because Alan Rapp is an incredible fount of knowledge about the photobook publishing business, but also because we go deep talking shop, and he somehow pulled a switcheroo midway through and started asking me about my process for selecting projects. If you're interested in photobook publishing, and if you're listening to this podcast I think you may be, there's a lot to learn from this episode.Alan Rapp is editorial director at Monacelli, a division of Phaidon. He is an editor, book developer, and writer specializing in photography, architecture, and design. He started his visual book publishing career at Chronicle Books, where he developed the photography list and published books by Elinor Carucci, David Maisel, Jona Frank, Jim Marshall, Linda Connor, and Henry Horenstein. Under the Monacelli umbrella, he has collaborated on new works by Elinor Carucci (Midlife) and Jona Frank (Cherry Hill), as well as Cig Harvey's fourth book, Blue Violet. He has contributed to several books and his writing has appeared in numerous print and web publications, including The Photobook Review, Modern Painters, and Urban Omnibus.
28 minutes | Sep 2, 2021
Gail Albert Halaban
I have been a fan of Gail Albert Halaban's Out My Window series for years, so it was a delight to get to speak with her about this long-term project that began in her city, New York, and has since gone global. Tune in to hear about building community through photography and the interesting connections to be made when you look into your neighbors' windows.Gail Albert Halaban is an American artist born in Washington, DC. She attended the Rhode Island School of Design, Brown University, and received her MFA in photography from Yale University. Her work has been widely published including three monographs of her Out My Window work which explores what people see through their neighbors’ windows in the cities of the world. Her work has been exhibited extensively, and she is represented by Edwynn Houk Gallery in New York City, Jackson Fine Arts in Atlanta, and Weinstein Hammons in Minneapolis.
49 minutes | Aug 19, 2021
Louie and I met in 2011. He was just back from Afghanistan with the most gorgeous silver portraits of soldiers he was embedded with. Six years later, we would publish those portraits as part of the deconstructed photobook, Front Towards Enemy. We had many adventures in between and even more since, including sitting 10 feet from Andrew McCarthy during a screening of Pretty in Pink. To know Louie is to adore him. He is one of the most sincere, loyal, stand-up people I know, and I'm thrilled you'll get to know him a little (by listening) too. Louie Palu is a documentary photographer and filmmaker whose work focuses on social political issues such as war, human rights, and poverty. His work has appeared in festivals, publications, exhibitions and collections internationally. He's a 2016-2017 John Simon Guggenheim Foundation Fellow and a Harry Ransom Center Research Fellow in the Humanities at the University of Texas at Austin. He is the recipient of numerous awards, and he is well known for his work which examines social political issues such as human rights, conflict, and poverty. He's currently working on a long term project in the Arctic partnered with the National Geographic magazine, National Geographic Society, and is a National GeographicExplorer. In 2019, his work was selected for the Arnold Newman prize for new directions in photographic portraiture. He also has published two books with Yoffy Press, Front Towards Enemy and A Field Guide to Asbestos.
51 minutes | Jul 29, 2021
Matthew Brandt is a mad scientist/brilliant image-maker/pure delight. Oddly, we talk about poo a lot on this episode, but it kind of works. We also talk a lot about the creative process and parsing out the good ideas from the not-good-yet ideas. It's human and inspiring. Take a listen. Calling his approach "a little bit messy and experimental," Matthew Brandt produces large-scale photographs through labor-intensive processes recalling the 19th-century origins of photography, often incorporating the physical matter of the subject itself. Attuned to the history of his medium — and its resolute physicality — and inspired by classical American landscape photographs, Brandt traverses the West, photographing and collecting material samples from nature and cities. The reciprocal relationships that Brandt creates between his subjects and the materials used to represent them are always conceptually grounded, often in response to social and environmental issues. He is deeply inquisitive, even fearless, in his exploration of subjects, materials, and processes, reinvigorating the medium of photography with a sense of wonder. Through his work, Brandt poses a fundamental question about his magical-seeming medium: what is a photograph? Matthew Brandt received his BFA from Cooper Union in 2004 and MFA from UCLA in 2008. Brandt has been the subject of several institutional solo and group shows and is in the permanent collections of many important museums and private collections. Matthew Brandt lives and works in Los Angeles.
35 minutes | Jul 13, 2021
I cannot get enough of Carolyn Drake - her talent, her intentionality, her grounded and inspiring words. But alas, I gush. We talk about collaboration and books (surprised?), and she has a lot of brilliance to share on both topics. Carolyn Drake works on long term photo-based projects seeking to interrogate dominant historical narratives and creatively reimagine them. Her practice embraces collaboration and has in recent years melded photography with sewing, collage, and sculpture. She is interested in collapsing the traditional divide between author and subject, the real and the imaginary, challenging entrenched binaries. Drake has turned several long-term projects into highly-acclaimed book projects. Two Rivers (2013) explores the connections between ecology, culture and political power along the Amu Darya and Syr Darya rivers. Wild Pigeon (2014) is an amalgam of photographs, drawings, and embroideries made in collaboration with Weegurs in western China. In Internat (2014-17), Drake worked with young women in an ex-Soviet orphanage to create photographs and paintings that point beyond the walls of the institution and its gender expectations. This work was followed by Knit Club (TBW Books, 2020), which emerged from her collaboration with an enigmatic group of women in Mississippi loosely calling themselves "Knit Club” and was shortlisted for the Paris Photo Aperture Book of the Year and Lucie Photo Book Awards. Drake now lives in California and is currently developing self-reflective projects close to home. Her latest work, Isolation Therapy, is on view at SFMOMA’s show Close to Home: Creativity in Crisis. Her work has been supported by a Guggenheim fellowship, the Anamorphosis Prize book prize, Peter S Reed Foundation, Lightwork, the Do Good Fund, the Lange Taylor prize, Magnum Foundation, Pulitzer Center, and a Fulbright fellowship. She is a member of Magnum Photos.
28 minutes | Jul 1, 2021
Assembly (Ashlyn Davis Burns & Shane Lavalette)
These two! A powerhouse duo of talent, passion and all-around art do-goodness. They are pooling their wide ranging skills to deliver a new model to help artists become creatively and financially successful. Learn all about Assembly in this episode!Ashlyn Davis Burns has worked to support lens-based artists for the past decade through curatorial, editorial, and fundraising initiatives, including most recently as the Executive Director & Curator of Houston Center for Photography (2015-2020). She has written for numerous publications, consulted with artists and publishers on photobooks, and curated exhibitions internationally for a variety of institutions including libraries, universities, and galleries.Shane Lavalette has worked as the Director of Light Work (2011-2021), a non-profit dedicated to supporting emerging and under-represented artists working in photography, as well as a publisher, editor, writer, and consultant to collectors, institutions, photo editors, and artists. Lavalette has a broad range of professional experience in curating, publishing, design, creative direction, art buying, fundraising, and advocating to make the field more equitable for artists.
26 minutes | Jun 17, 2021
Diana Markosian is staggeringly talented, thoughtful, creative and articulate. We had some technical difficulties on our first recording, so I got to be overwhelmed by her amazingness TWICE. She is brave, both in an "I'm going to sneak across this contested border" way and an "I'm going to dig deeper than deep into this personally painful territory to create" way, which is awe-inspiring. You're going to really enjoy this one.Diana Markosian is an American and Russian artist of Armenian descent, working as a documentary photographer, writer, and filmmaker. She is an artist known for her collaborative approach to storytelling, which explores themes of family and immigration through a layered, interdisciplinary process that uses video, photography, found images, drawings and historical ephemera. Her work is both conceptual and documentary, allowing her subjects to dictate the outcome of their work. Her projects have taken her to some of the remotest corners of the world, and have been featured in National Geographic Magazine, The New Yorker and The New York Times. Her first monograph, Santa Barbara, was published by Aperture in November. The project recreates the story of Markosian’s family’s journey from post-Soviet Russia to the U.S. in the 1990s, pulling together staged scenes, film stills, and family pictures in a compelling hybrid of personal and documentary storytelling. In it, the artist grapples with the reality that her mother, seeking a better life for herself and her two young children, escaped Russia and came to America. Markosian’s family settled in Santa Barbara, a city made famous in Russia when the 1980s soap opera of that name became the first American television show broadcast there. Weaving together reenactments by actors, archival images, stills from the original Santa Barbara TV show, Markosian reconsiders her family’s story from her mother’s perspective, relating to her for the first time as a woman, and coming to terms with the profound sacrifices she made to become an American.
36 minutes | Jun 3, 2021
Doing this podcast has really just been a way for me to geek out on photography and give me an excuse to talk with artists whose work I adore, and getting to talk with Kelli Connell was a highlight. The time and focus and introspection she devotes to her long-term projects is remarkable, and she also happens to be the loveliest of human beings.Kelli Connell is an artist whose work investigates sexuality, gender, identity and photographer/sitter relationships. Her work is in the collections of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, J Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Columbus Museum of Art, Museum of Fine Arts Houston, and Museum of Contemporary Photography, among others. Publications of her work include PhotoWork: Forty Photographers on Process and Practice (Aperture), Vitamin Ph: New Perspectives in Photography (Phaidon), Photo Art: The New World of Photography (Aperture) and the monograph Kelli Connell: Double Life (DECODE Books). Connell has received fellowships from The MacDowell Colony, PLAYA, Peaked Hill Trust, LATITUDE, Light Work, and The Center for Creative Photography. Connell lives in Chicago where she is an editor at SKYLARK Editions and a photography professor at Columbia College Chicago.
47 minutes | May 20, 2021
I had never met Aaron Schuman before this recording, and I'm pleased to report that we are now best friends. His deep love for all things photography and his thoughtful and inquisitive approach to both his own work and others' is infectious and inspiring, and I can't wait for our next conversation and all the ones after that.Aaron Schuman is American photographer, writer, editor, educator and curator based in the United Kingdom. He received a BFA in Photography and Art History from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts in 1999, and an MA in Humanities and Cultural Studies from the London Consortium in 2003. His work has been exhibited internationally and is held in many public and private collections. He is the author of two critically-acclaimed monographs: SLANT - published by MACK in 2019 and FOLK - published by NB Books in 2016 – both books were widely cited by photographers, critics and publications as one of the best photobooks in their respective years. In addition to his own photographic work, Schuman has contributed essays, interviews and texts to many books, and he also regularly contributes to journals and magazines such as Aperture, Foam, Frieze, Hotshoe, Magnum Online, The British Journal of Photography and more. Additionally, Schuman has curated several major international festivals and exhibitions, was the founder and editor of the online photography journal, SeeSaw Magazine from 2004 to 2014, and since 2017 has been Programme Leader of the Masters in Photography program at the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol).
49 minutes | May 6, 2021
Witness my biggest fan-girl moment so far in this interview with the immensely talented and innovative photobook designer, Hans Gremmen. He has the winning and enviable combination of being creatively brilliant and also incredibly down to earth. Speaking with him was so inspiring.Hans Gremmen is a graphic designer based in Amsterdam. He works in photography, architecture, and fine art and has designed over 300 books. He has won many awards for his experimental designs, among them a Golden Medal in the Best Book Design from all over the World competition. In 2008, he founded Fw:Books, a publishing house with a focus on photography-related projects and books. Together with Roma Publications, he recently founded ENTER ENTER, a project space in the center of Amsterdam which explores the boundaries of the book.
43 minutes | Apr 18, 2021
If you want to be inspired to break your addiction to social media, live the #vanlife, and still do all kinds of badass photography-related projects, listen to this episode with Daniel Milnor, creative evangelist for Blurb. If you've ever met him, you're still buzzing from the interaction, and he not only remembers you, but everything you talked about. Prepare to crush hard.Daniel Milnor once worked as both a fragrance model and a hot tub installer but is better known as a reformed-journalist, photographer and writer who is now, once again, performing these duties in his role as “Creative Evangelist,” for Blurb Inc., the world’s premiere indie publishing platform. He lives in New Mexico and owes most of his success to several “Shifter-types” who were kind enough to help him along. He is a husband, brother, son and uncle four times over. He is partially fluent in Spanish, can kinda still ride a skateboard and just picked up a guitar for the first time ever, something he now regrets not doing decades ago. A compulsive journal-keeper, he believes in the power of print, taking one’s time, slowing down, reading paper books, casting off the shackles of social media and talking to one’s neighbors if you really want to know what is going on in the world. He is disappointed in the power of celebrity, American architecture, for the most part, and how mobile phones have reduced most of the population to complete and total zombies. He dreams of downsizing, writing something memorable and living somewhere in Latin America.
38 minutes | Apr 15, 2021
Sharp, curious and hilarious, Abe Morell's got the most enviable spark for life and creating, and he does it all with wit and charm. We talk about being Cuban, the role of play in art-making, and his favorite hip hop club in Atlanta. Prepare to be enchanted. Abelardo Morell was born in Havana, Cuba in 1948. He immigrated to the United States with his parents in 1962. Morell received his undergraduate degree from Bowdoin College and his MFA from The Yale University School of Art. He has received honorary degrees from Bowdoin College in 1997 and from Lesley University in 2014. He has published 8 monographs and was included in the second Yoffy Press Triptych, Continuum. He has received a number of awards and grants, which include a Guggenheim fellowship in 1994 and an Infinity Award in Art from ICP in 2011. In November 2017, he received a Lucie Award for achievement in fine art. His work has been collected and shown in many galleries and institutions and nearly 80 museums in the United States and abroad. A retrospective of his work organized jointly by the Art Institute of Chicago, The Getty in Los Angeles and The High Museum in Atlanta closed in May 2014 after a year of travel.
43 minutes | Apr 1, 2021
In this episode of Perfect Bound, we learn that Alejandro Cartagena still has the pen I lent him six years ago in the pocket of his winter coat. We also learn he has 35 book projects in mind to be developed and that he has been able to harness a personal, inner tension to inspire a life's work in photography.Dominican-born photographer Alejandro Cartagena moved to Mexico, his mother’s birthplace, in 1990, and since then, he has developed a dynamic body of work exploring social, urban, and environmental issues, largely through the lens of the contemporary Mexican experience. His photographs frankly document new urban growth and altered landscapes—namely the proliferation of serially built homes and their ensuing environmental impact—on the outskirts of the Monterrey Metropolitan Area.
44 minutes | Mar 18, 2021
Cig Harvey and I talk about all kinds of things from perfume to '90s female vocalists to being present in the moment (she's great at it - me, not so much). We also talk about photography and photobooks. A lot. Cig is charming and earnest and about as authentic as it gets. She's also working on an opera. Take a listen.Cig Harvey is an artist whose practice seeks to find the magical in everyday life. Rich in implied narrative, Harvey’s work is deeply rooted in the natural environment, and offers explorations of belonging and familial relationships. She is the author of three sold-out books, You Look At Me Like An Emergency, Gardening at Night and You an Orchestra You a Bomb and another soon to be released monograph, Blue Violet. Her photographs and artist books have been widely exhibited and remain in the permanent collections of major museums and collections, and she is represented by galleries in New York, London, Boston, Atlanta, Maine, Rome, Santa Fe and Los Angeles.
35 minutes | Mar 4, 2021
Kris is a rockstar. Full stop. His own work is thoughtful and important, and he is deeply committed to developing platforms for other artists, especially BIPOC artists, to get their work seen and their stories told. He has the rare quality of being able to tell it to you straight - verbally, visually - with a large dose of grace and humanity. Kris Graves is an artist and publisher based in London and New York. He received his BFA in Visual Arts from SUNY Purchase College and has been published and exhibited globally. Kris Graves creates artwork that deals with societal problems and aims to use art as a means to inform people about cultural issues. He also works to elevate the representation of people of color in the fine art canon and to create opportunities for conversation about race, representation and urban life. Kris Graves Projects was originally founded as a gallery space in Dumbo, Brooklyn, and in 2011, KGP expanded into publishing, recognizing that books and prints have the unique ability to make fine art both accessible and affordable. In 2020, Kris created Monolith as a publishing imprint to celebrate, recognize and lift up BIPOC art by publishing artists who have historically been denied opportunities to gain a wider audience for their work.
45 minutes | Feb 18, 2021
Tabitha and I deep dive into a wide range of topics, from emotional resiliency to Tupac. We compare and contrast journalism and photography and talk about navigating the current art, political, and pandemic landscape. It's a ride.Tabitha Soren is an artist and Peabody Award-winning journalist, best known for her work as an MTV news correspondent and on-air producer. In 1999, Soren took a fellowship at Stanford University where she shifted her visual arts practice from film to the still photograph. Her artwork speaks to the twists of fate in life that can unhinge us. She visualizes psychological states – the internal weather that storms through each of us. Her project Running depicts the fight or flight response. Panic Beach upends the viewer as panic attacks do. Fantasy Life is about what it looks like to try to touch greatness. Surface Tension reflects the struggle we all face as we adapt to technological domination. Her photographs are held in many private and public collections, and she lives and works in the San Francisco Bay Area.