The Harvest of Research and Image Serendipity

As we think about our own work, coming across images randomly is a joy and a thought twister.
This season's harvest:

Valeri Belin's goddesses of Body Builders II

Paula Muhr's Females Under Tension explores cultural strategies in the construction of femininity, sexuality and desire, as well as normality.

From Paula Muhr's work Double Flower artist statement: “Studies on Hysteria”, published together with Freud in 1895, Joseph Breuer called hysterics "the flowers of mankind, as sterile, no doubt, but as beautiful as double flowers”.

Julie Cockburn's silly and graphic and crafted figurative and portrait work.

Lindsey Beal's Ambrotypes, Figure 1, 2010

Kate Gilmore's glorious disaster performances - Pace Performance

Frank Kozik's smoking Mao Mouse - a new take on the idea of the bust of patriarch -- from imprint blog

Soho Photo 2011 Alternative Processes Competition

Snakeroot, from Natural History
cyanotype over archival pigment print, 2011

Soho Photo is pleased to announce that its November show will feature the winning entries in the Seventh Annual Alternative Processes Competition.This year’s Alternative Processes Competition presents the winning images of photographers from across the United States. The images that were submitted for this competition represent a wide range of alternative methods that can include beeswax paper negative, Cyanotype, Van Dyke Brown, platinum/palladium, gum dichromate, gold toned salt print, tintype, and ziatype. This year’s juror was gallerist, educator and photographer Michael Paris Mazzeo. As an educator, Mazzeo has long been a practitioner of antiquarian processes; he’s taught at the School of Visual Arts, ICP, New Jersey City University, the Center for Photography at Woodstock, and the Pennsylvania College of Art and Design.

The top three winners are:

First Place: Barbara Ciurej & Lindsay Lochman, Chicago, IL Second Place: Denyse Murphy, Haverhill, MA Third Place: David Zimmerman, Taos, NM

After judging all the entries, Mazzeo issued a statement, an excerpt of which follows: He said, “My criteria for selecting work for this exhibition included technical proficiency, compelling imagery, and consistency of vision. I looked for work that was intelligent, thoughtful, engaging, entertaining, humorous and challenging, devoid of kitsch, cliché, and the obvious. Above all, my priority was to reward those artists whose work communicated distinct ideas through the effective use of their chosen process.

My top choice was Barbara Ciurej & Lindsay Lochman's exquisite portraits of elderly women adorned with botanical specimens by way of cyanotype photograms. An elegant elegy to old age and the passage of time, this work also nicely references Anna Atkins, an English botanist and the first recognized female photographer, who is credited with publishing the first book of photographic illustrations, Photographs of British Algae: Cyanotype Impressions.


Gallery Hours: Wednesdays–Sundays, 1–6 PM, and by appointment.

Contact: Wayne Parsons, info@sohophoto.com or 212.662.5532

Clematis, from Natural History
cyanotype over archival pigment print, 2011


We honor Betty

We honor Betty, who made the best pickles ever.

Dill originated in Eastern Europe and is widespread in the Mediterranean basin and West Asia. Several twigs of dill were found in the tomb of Amenhotep II. The earliest archeological evidence for its cultivation comes from late Neolithic lake shore settlements in Switzerland.
In Semitic languages it is know by the name of Shubit. In Marathi, it is know as shepu. The Talmud requires that tithes shall be paid on the seeds, leaves and stem of dill.

The name dill comes from Old English dile, thought to have originated from a Norse or Anglo-Saxon word dylie meaning to soothe or lull, the plant having the carminative peroperty of relieving gas. In Sanskrit, this herb is called Shatapushpa. In Gujrati it is called hariz.


Serious Summer Diversion Leads to Another Notebook

Inspired by sunshine, materials, processes and Anna Atkins, we revisited cyanotypes...one thing leads to another...please follow the change in our new notebook.



Mother's Day on Lenscratch

Aline Smithson's Mother's Day Exhibition on Lenscratch is a touching group of images recalling our mothers in their many guises. Remembering my mother, Betty Ciurej, who was a wonderful baker and supportive of whatever I undertook, even though she was often bewildered by what I was doing. Thanks, mama.


Honoring the Cosmic Body

from All Things are Always Changing: Divinations

We have updated some of our Divinations and were pleased to find another photographer, Bill Durgin, who honors the human body. " The physical structure becomes not just a shell, but a moving sculpture of skin, muscle, fat, and bone."

Photographer: Bill Durgin

Proof of Wisdom

from Busts: All Things Are Always Changing

The Secret Life of the Grown-Up Brain by New York Times science editor Barbara Strauch overviews the latest findings of high-tech brain scans and psychological testing that demonstrate cognitive expertise reaching its peak in middle age. Although distractions and oversights may more easily prey on the mind, the continued growth of myelin (or white matter) increases problem-solving skills, pattern recognition, and even wisdom....we suspected as much.


Considering Longevity and Wisdom

C.J. Gunther for the New York Times Calibrated to make the wearer, in this case the student Katii Gullick, experience old age, the Agnes — short for the Age Gain Now Empathy System — has harnesses and bands that restrict joint and limb movements.

Wisdom and maturity do have their rewards, but physical aging brings none. Now the youthful can step into our frumpy shoes. The Age Gain Now Empathy System (AGNES) comes from the M.I.T. AgeLab, where researchers designed the suit to help product designers and marketers better understand older adults and create innovative products for them.

One advantage of the consumer culture our longer-lived generation has created: a recognition of the staying power of the mature market.

John Klavitter, US Fish and Wildlife Service

Consider longevity and wisdom of other species....and empathize.

The albatross named Wisdom is the oldest know wild bird in the United States. First banded in 1956, her age is thought to be 60 years old. After her annual 50,000 mile migration flight, she has recently begun raising what is thought to be her 30th to 35th chick.


Celebrate the 100th International Women's Day

Odalisque from Glory on a Budget: A Domestic Mythology, 1980

"The new millennium has witnessed a significant change and attitudinal shift in both women's and society's thoughts about women's equality and emancipation..." and yet there remains a long laundry list of hopes for the future.
This year's International Women's Day celebration is focused on work — and making sure women across the world have access to the training and technology necessary to be a part of the global economy.


At Her Age

Dialogues with Michelangelo in the At Her Age exhibit at A.I.R. Gallery in Brooklyn, December 3, 2010-January 6, 2011.
Participating artists (l to r) Abigail Simon, Margaret Mary Downey, Martha Wilson of Franklin Furnace who curated the exhibit, and Barbara Ciurej. The opening was crowded and friendly and Mother Teresa (performance artist Linda Montano) was there to bestow blessings on those who made the art pilgrimage.