Delphine Blast Captures the faces of Bolivian Womanhood in her series, Cholitas

Delphine Blast is a French documentary and portrait photographer based between Paris and South America. She has dedicated several works to the situation of women in Latin America, drawing in on the humanitarian dimension of life, while bringing out the emotional response and engagement of her subjects.

On a two month journey in Bolivia, Delphine discovered what it meant to be a cholita in today’s modern world. In the capital of La Paz she met dozens of cholitas and decided to honor the women by taking their portrait in a recreated photo studio based on backgrounds featuring traditional Bolivian fabrics.

A series of 35 portraits was born, entitled Cholitas, the revenge of a generation. The images highlight their unique outfits inspired by Andean traditions, but above all it reveals the women’s femininity, elegance and dignity.

Discriminated against for a long time, the cholitas are now very much a driving force in Bolivia. In scenes that were unimaginable 10 or 20 years ago, nowadays they have real clout in the economic, political, and even fashion worlds. The cholitas have managed to find their place in modern society without denying their collective past. They are an expression of the dignity of Indian populations.

Delphine’s photographic series aims to renew insight into Bolivian womanhood. It also carries new identity affirmations and reflects the social changes on the march in the country.

Take a look at Delphine’s stunning portraits below:

Cholitas, la revanche d'une génération
© Delphine Blast. From the series Cholitas, the revenge of a generation.
Cholitas, la revanche d'une génération
© Delphine Blast. From the series Cholitas, the revenge of a generation.
FOTO INFINITUM | From the series, Cholitas, by Delphine Blast.
© Delphine Blast. From the series Cholitas, the revenge of a generation.
Cholitas, la revanche d'une génération
© Delphine Blast. From the series Cholitas, the revenge of a generation.
Cholitas, la revanche d'une génération
© Delphine Blast. From the series Cholitas, the revenge of a generation.
Cholitas, la revanche d'une génération
© Delphine Blast. From the series Cholitas, the revenge of a generation.

The 5 Iranian Women Photographers in ‘Art Brief III: The (Un)draped Woman’ You Need to Know

abiiiOn Thursday, February 9th, join LA based visual artist platform, ADVOCARTSY, in celebrating the opening of their third Art Brief installment entitled, Art Brief III: The (Un)Draped Woman. 

The exhibition features 14 artists of Iranian origin whose works speak to the timely and internationally relevant issues surrounding the representation of women. ADVOCARTSY’s founder and curator, Roshi Rahnama, is hopeful that the exhibition’s intent to encourage viewers to go beyond pre-conceived perceptions will help engender a new dialogue regarding the image of women in Iran and beyond.

Featured in this showcase are renowned photographers Shadi YousefianSepideh SalehiShadi Ghadirian, Gohar Dashti, and Tahmineh Monzavi.

Preview their featured works below:


SHADI YOUSEFIAN

is currently based in San Francisco. Yousefian’s mixed media work reflects and addresses issues that touch on universal themes such as loss, dislocation, alienation, and personal reinvention.

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Shadi Yousefian. Social Identity (2003). Photographic print mounted on wood panels. Image courtesy of the artist and ADVOCARTSY.

SEPIDEH SALEHI

is based in New York City and works in collages, paintings, printing, photography, and video animation. Her works revolve around the poetics of the veil, or chador, as well as stories from her country of origin.

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Sepideh Salehi. Mohr Portrait (2014). Photograph and frottage on Japanese paper. Image courtesy of the artist and ADVOCARTSY.

TAHMINEH MONZAVI

is a documentary photographer and filmmaker. Her body of work concentrates on social conflicts, contradictions and the young generation of Iran.

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Tahmineh Monzavi. Tina (2010-2012). Archival digital pigment print. Image courtesy of the artist, Robert Klein Gallery, and Azita Bina. 

SHADI GHADIRIAN

is a photographer residing in Tehran. You may have already seen Ghadirian’s sepia toned work in her series, Qajar.  Ghadirian’s imagery comments and portrays the contradictions between tradition and modernity for women living in Iran and dichotomies present in daily life.

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Shadi Ghadirian. From the series Be Colorful (2002). Image courtesy of the artist, Robert Klein Gallery and Azita Bina.

GOHAR DASHTI

mainly addresses social issues with particular references to history and culture through her photographs. Her practice continuously develops from life events and the connection between the personal and the universal, the political and the fantasized.

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Gohar Dashti. Odalisque (2014 – 2015), from the series Stateless. Image courtesy of the artist, Robert Klein Gallery and Azita Bina.

Art Brief III: The (Un)Draped Woman opens Thursday Feb. 9th at Arena 1 Gallery from 7pm to 10pm. ARENA 1 Gallery is located at 3026 Airport Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90405

Screen Printed Self Portraits of Photographer Zohra Opoku

Zohra Opoku is a German/Ghanaian multidisciplinary artist living and working in Accra.

With a keen and disciplined eye for textile and design, Opoku employees installation, sculpture, and photography at the helm of her practice. She conceptualizes West African traditions, spirituality, the thread of family lineage as they relate to self authorship and the politics of her hybrid identity.

A globalized social consumption and the commodification of all things African are a driving force in what Opoku sees as the nemesis of her thesis, and the relevance of cultural credentials within this state of being.

Have a look at her beautiful screen printed self portraits below:

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Zohra Opoku, Wisteria (2015).
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Zohra Opoku, Rhododendron (2015).
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Zohra Opoku, Pyracantha (2015).
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Zohra Opoku, Cyperus Papyrus, (2015).
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Zohra Opoku, Ficus Carica (2015).
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Zohra Opoku, Dicksonia Antarctica, (2015).

 

 

The Promise of Sublime Words by Ewa Doroszenko

Sent to us by Ewa Doroszenko, a visual artist based in Warsaw, Poland. Her project The Promise of Sublime Words started out as a means to show Ewa’s favorite statues she had learned about during her art history doctoral studies. Her time studying brought her face to face with many books on the Classical era’s sculptures.

Cutting out fragments of the images, Ewa incorporated platforms, and made small compositions of the elegant Greek gods. The ancient philosophers and leaders are treated like paper figures in Ewa’s distorted views.

Once Ewa finished her compositions, she would reshoot them and begin printing on a larger scale than the original to create a hybrid of photo sculpture works. Take a look below:

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For more images from this series, view The Promise of Sublime Words in its entirety here, and be sure to follow Ewa on Instagram.

Olga Wysopal

Sent to us by Olga Wysopal, a 25 year old student from Krakow, Poland.
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Olga best describes her work as a glance, a brief or hurried look, flash, or gleam of light.
Her personal search for harmony between light and place, light and people, dream and reality is the foundation of her photographs.

Monday Motivation : Tina Modotti

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Graciela Iturbide’s Birds

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock. I may owe it to the rare airtime of Vertigo during my breakfast hour, or maybe it’s due to the fact it would’ve been his 117th birthday this past weekend (of course he would have been born on the thirteenth!), but mostly I’ve been thinking a lot about horror in attempt to formulate photo ideas for my own collaborative series.

Which brings me to a question. What does the “Master of Suspense” and Mexican documentary film photographer, Graciela Iturbide (1942) have in common?

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You guessed it, birds.

Like Hitchcock, Iturbide also came from a filmmaking background, but soon fell in love with the still image as practiced by the modernist master, Manuel Alvarez Bravo who was teaching at the University at the time. It was here that the young Graciela began to assist Alvarez Bravo on various photographic journeys throughout Mexico before embarking on her own journey documenting the indigenous people of Mexico — the Zapotec, Mixtec, and Seri, a group of nomadic fisherman living in the Sonora desert.

So why birds? For Hitchcock, anything goes. The birds symbolized inexplicable violence, tension even, in an otherwise peaceful bayside town. For Iturbide however, this is a fleeting reality, captured.

In an interview with Foto Feminas, Iturbide gave insight on her feathered subject:

I have always been interested in the flight of birds, especially in literature and the ability to capture birds photographically during flight. San Juan de la Cruz, the mystical poet, said: “There are five qualities a bird possesses; first, they go the highest; second, they don’t suffer from company, although it is their nature; third, they go with their beaks in the air; fourth, they do not have a specific colour; fifth, they sing sweetly.

Iturbide creates work shot exclusively in black and white, using natural light, and blends the world of poetry and testimony to create iconic images.

She continues to live and work in Mexico City.
To know more about Iturbide’s work, click here.

 

 

 

Monday Motivation : Diane Arbus

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At the Races with a Punk Royal Tiger

Punk Royal Tiger is the handle of none other than Isa Gelb, a graphic designer and photographer based in Paris, France. She is also the curator and publisher of the quarterly photo magazine, Underdogs.

A film photographer at heart, Isa shoots with a Contax G2, an Olympus mju ii and several analog Nikon cameras. The limited number of exposures given with film spurs a more deliberate sense for composition, allowing Isa to document her day with an uncanny sense of romanticism, much like in her photograph of a skull sitting in the back of a car, or a man and his toy collection of the Eiffel Tower.

Shooting film is thrilling and I find it more challenging. I enjoy the slow process that divides photography into different parts: time for shooting, time for editing and at the end, time for printing.

With a damn good eye for composition and color Isa concocts a sense of visual poetry. You know, the sort of visual poetry that only street scenes can proclaim to us romantics. Yet in her series Prix du Qatar, we find a different view to Isa’s striking compositions. For one, they contain people rather than objects.

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Many people will pose or make a fake smile if you approach them from the front, which is one reason why I like to photograph my subjects from behind.

At the races, everyone is focused on the carousel of horses running round the track, or fixated on the rush of placing bets. “It gives me plenty of time to walk behind and capture some brief moments in the most anonymous way,” she says. “I also like the idea that keeping someone anonymous can reveal other deeper things. A tender moment, a sense of shyness, of tiredness or maybe even boredom.”

While these faceless and completely intimate portraits offer more questions than answers, Isa believes people’s backs can reveal just as much as faces, and I’m starting to believe there is truth to this. 18949271275_38302700de_b15638036911_b8007ba8a4_b19201975941_f7afd74735_b18457866563_252ecaf10b_b

To see more of Isa Gelb’s photos, follow her on tumblr. And don’t forget to check out the latest issue of Underdogs!

 

 

 

 

The Surrealism of Izumi Miyazaki

Photographer Izumi Miyazaki creates a surreal world through self portraits. What started out as a Tumblr to share her photo progress while attending art school in Tokyo, Miyazaki ended up invading private and public spaces to guise a feminine playfulness in her fictitious, alienated world.