Print Giveaway No.1


I’ve decided to start my first print giveaway, and so with pleasure, I’m offering to one lucky winner a 5×7 print of my digital collage Hypnotized which features personal photo scraps from my series, Salvation Mountain.

If you are in need of some colorful art to add to your walls, or office, leave a comment below to enter and I’ll pick a winner next week, Saturday, September 30th! 


Congratulations to winner — and totally coincidental — photographer Desilu Munoz! Super happy this piece gets a creative home for life!


This Is How Mujeres Do It

LOS ANGELES —  The Beta Main’s current resident artist, Star Montana, moderated a wonderful Saturday afternoon panel discussion. “How We Do It” brought together women creatives Valerie BowerArlene Mejorado, and Desilu Munoz who all share a love for zines, and the need to document their lives through the still image.

The parallels you see in their work all gravitate to hometown pride, families, and friends. These subjects dominate the forefront of their works, giving visibility to those not often represented, sans exploitation.

It was empowering to see mujeres like myself, and I’d like to thank Star Montana, and the Main Museum for bringing together a panel that was well deserved, greatly needed, and entirely appreciated.

Images by yours truly:

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I Dream of Los Angeles, is the body of work by photographer Star Montana, which is currently on view at the Main Museum now until September 24, 2017.

Zero Hour by Amy Li

00:00 (Zero Hour) is a series of dreamscapes filled with the hidden truths concerning death and memory in our everyday, ranging from portraiture, landscapes and objects. Photographer and artist Amy Li began working on the series in late 2014, but it wasn’t until the Flint water crisis took hold that same year, where cost-cutting measures led to tainted and toxic drinking water, truly got the project going.

“I was thinking about rising political and social turmoil that was happening in the US,” Li recalls. “Race relations were tense and the discussions surrounding water were starting to take place. The water crisis in Flint was the initial inspiration of the project because it had involved two subject matters that were extremely important to me: racism and environmental concerns. It had never occurred to me that those two separate discussions could happen simultaneously.”

The series begins with an open Nike shoe box (a size 6 of Air Force 1’s to be exact) filled with overlapping childhood 5x7s. “For most people, their first introduction to photography is the family photo,” says Li. The cardboard box takes on the role of the family album, encasing each stored memory as a nonlinear daydream. These snapshots play on the photographer’s love for the vernacular image.

I really love vernacular photography for its mystery and intimacy. I always strive for those characteristics within my personal work.




Suspended in Amy’s world, we catch ourselves taking in the contrasting warm and cold lights of these nameless places and nameless faces. “I think the way the internet presents photography is very similar to looking through photographs in a bin, box or album.”

In the digital realm, where time and space is disintegrated, flattened and illuminated by a bright screen; images are forced to sit at a stand still — a purgatorial dimension where they drift aimlessly. The bright light blinds us all but we still gaze longingly.


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Amy Li is an American photographer living and working in New York.
To see Zero Hour in its entirety, have a look at Amy’s website below.
Website | Instagram


In Remembrance: Khadija Saye, young photographer loses life in London’s Grenfell Fire


LONDON — The world sinks heavily after learning about the rising death toll (at least 79 are dead, missing, or presumed dead) from the Grenfell Tower fire that took place early morning on June 14. As we mourn the loss of many, one of the confirmed victims was young artist, Khadija Saye, 24 who lived and worked on her photography from the 20th floor with her Gambian mother, Mary Mendy (who is also missing, and presumed dead).

The art world only saw a glimpse of what talent Khadija Saye displayed through her photography. Her wet plate collodion tintype series, Dwelling: in this space we breathe is currently exhibited at the Diaspora Pavilion during the 57th Venice Biennale. Saye described her series as an exploration of “the migration of traditional Gambian spiritual practices and the deep rooted urge to find solace within a higher power.”

Khadija Saye self-portrait, from the series Dwelling: in this space we breathe © Khadija Saye, courtesy International Curators Forum
Khadija Saye self-portrait, from the series Dwelling: in this space we breathe © Khadija Saye, courtesy International Curators Forum
Khadija Saye self-portrait, from the series Dwelling: in this space we breathe © Khadija Saye, courtesy International Curators Forum
Khadija Saye self-portrait, from the series Dwelling: in this space we breathe © Khadija Saye, courtesy International Curators Forum

Saye presented her final series Crownedwhich encapsulates Afro-Caribbean hairstyles, a project she began working on that expressed her Gambian heritage for her graduation project from UCA Farnham in 2013.

What aches the most is the inclusion of Saye’s mother in Crowned.

The portraits were taken in a makeshift home studio on the 20th floor; I recall with tenderness the tutorials during the making of this work, Khadija would burst in with work prints and talk with joy as she recounted her mother’s nervousness at being photographed

— Natasha Caruana, senior lecturer in photography at UCA Farnham, in an interview with the British Journal of Photography.

There is something familiar about being a student in photography, and turning to subjects that you know whole heartedly. More often than not we aim our lens inward to the ones who gave us life, and we appreciate them within a single frame, unknowingly documenting them for the world to see.

Khadija Saye and her work will forever be remembered. Let us not forget her kindness, her love of others stories, her struggle, accomplishments, her vision. She has left it all behind for us to remember and celebrate, and I hope it inspires our youth, especially young girls, to continue their art, to follow through with scholarships, and to never regret asking for help, or guidance. Collaborate, pursue mentorships, and above all, be proud of where you come from.

Rest in power, Khadija Saye. You are truly a source of inspiration to all.

From the series Crowned © Khadija Saye, courtesy Nicola Green
From the series Crowned © Khadija Saye, courtesy Nicola Green
From the series Crowned © Khadija Saye, courtesy Nicola Green
From the series Crowned © Khadija Saye, courtesy Nicola Green
From the series Crowned © Khadija Saye, courtesy Nicola Green
From the series Crowned © Khadija Saye, courtesy Nicola Green

All images appear under the British Journal of Photography’s obituary for Khadija Saye. Image credit is given to Saye’s mentor, Nicola Green, and the International Curators Forum.

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:

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


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

6 Photo Books to End Your Year With

Have you been dismantled by 2016? Between the fractures of the political sphere, and the losses of major music icons like Sharon Jones, David Bowie, Prince, Juan Gabriel, Malik Taylor of A Tribe Called Quest, Leonard Cohen, Maurice White of Earth Wind and Fire, and George Michael, it’s as if the world wants to cave in on itself.

And if that wasn’t enough to break our culture clogged hearts, we also lost actors and actresses we held dear like Debbie Reynolds, Carrie Fischer, Florence Welsh of the Brady Bunch, Anton Yelchin, Alan Rickman, and Gene Wilder amongst many others, respectively.

Honestly, 2016 sucked. So to soften the blow I’ve rounded up 6 great photo books by women photographers who are sure to show us that this relentless, hard hitting year can still end beautifully.

By Rossella Castello


Sonder is a submission sent in to us by Italian photographer Rossella Castello, whose journey of asking an old woman named Violet for her portrait while in London led her to establishing authentic connections with otherwise total strangers. Yet the power behind creating a portrait led Rossella to four other individuals, each one subsequently leading her to someone else, creating an exponential effect on the young photographer.

Each book is a journey from beginning to end, from one initial character to many others.
Currently this title is out of print, but a new release of Sonder is soon to become available on Rosella’s website here.

By Rania Matar

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What is a young girls connection to the camera? Photographer Rania Matar captures girls between the ages of 8 and 13, depicting them in deeply personal and poetic ways. Her book L’Enfant-Femme addresses themes of representation, voyeurism and transgression, all the while reminding us of the fragility of youth while also gesturing toward its unbridled curiosity and joy. Photographing girls in the Middle East and the United States, Matar makes us examine our universality, a beauty that transcends place, background and religion. Candidly capturing her subjects at a critical juncture in the early stages of adolescence, Matar conveys the confluence of angst, sexuality and personhood that defines the progression from childhood into adulthood.

L’Enfant-Femme is Rania Matar’s third book and is available for purchase here.

Cosmic Surgery
By Alma Haser


Cosmic Surgery is an oddly whimsical filled 48 pages of delightful origami pop up portraits photographed and hand crafted by none other than Alma Haser. Her process involves three steps: photographing the subject, printing multiple copies of the portrait for origami making, and finally re-photographing the work with her origami set in place to create the final image.

With the simple act of folding an image, or ‘origamify’ as Alma puts it best, she is able to transform each face into something of her own creation.

Purchase Cosmic Surgery here for me, for a friend, or maybe even for yourself.

Looking For Alice
By Sian Davey

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Looking For Alice is the powerful award-winning project by British photographer Sian Davey, which tells the story of her daughter Alice and their family. Alice was born with Down’s Syndrome, but is no different to any other little girl or indeed human being. She feels what we all feel. Their family is also like many other families, and Sian’s portraits of Alice and their daily life are both intimate and familiar. “My family is a microcosm for the dynamics occurring in many other families. Previously as a psychotherapist I have listened to many stories and it is interesting that what has been revealed to me, after fifteen years of practice, is not how different we are to one another, but rather how alike we are as people. It is what we share that is significant. The stories vary but we all experience similar emotions.”
Own a signed hard copy of Looking For Alice via Trolley Books.

Olive Juice
By Molly Matalon and Damien Maloney

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Olive Juice is a monograph made by Molly Matalon in collaboration with photographer Damien Maloney. Together they have created part road trip journal part romantic travel memoir, Olive Juice situates the viewer somewhere between the backseat of a moving car and the edge of a motel bed. Presented as a non-linear narrative of still life, portraits, and landscapes, Olive Juice explores notions of friendship, intimacy, and gender, and ultimately confronts the ambiguities of representation in photography.

You can snag a copy of Olive Juice via Vuu Studio

By Lauren Crow


In our popular media, we rarely view honest depictions of intimacy. Sometimes they scratch the surface, but often don’t go deeper and further. These intimate scenes (in popular media) tend to also be created with idealized people with idealized bodies, leaving many of us feeling unseen and unimportant. Intimate is an exploration of these relationships – be it a platonic friend, a stranger from the internet, a sexual partner (current or from the past) a deep love or something blossoming and new and all the relationships in between. The possibilities are abundant, ever changing and beautiful.

Intimate is Lauren Crow’s first book, and is currently available for purchase here.

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.

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?


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