Moms fucking in mirrors, toxic love laid bare, blooming youth in Australia and Hackney sound system pioneers – these are the photographs that you need to see
Everyone is always banging on about how difficult it is to be an artist or a creative today. It is, it’s true, but add that on top of the still present issues of race and we’ve got ourselves in a crappy position. Photographer Emmanuel Olunkwa and Dazed cover star/all round badass Amandla Stenberg went head to head on the difficulties faced by PoCs in the art world, and Olunkwa shared a series of images from his portfolio to top it all off.
Emerging photographer Chloe Sheppard’s intentions aren’t completely selfless. While admittedly she’s aiming to produce stunning images of her friends for them to keep long after youth fades, she’s also building up a pretty impressive portfolio of work at the same time. With motivation stemming from her own insecurities, Sheppard said, “Throughout all of my teenage years I never had much self confidence, so I rarely take or post pictures of myself. I use my photography and models to help create some kind of ideal self, so using females in my photos has always just made sense to me. I can make them look the way I'd love myself to look.”
Julia Fox’s incredibly honest and jarring tale of love gone down south is documented in her zine Symptomatic of a relationship gone sour: Heartburn/Nausea, released earlier this month at the New York Art Book Fair at MoMA’s PS1. Taking some of her darkest moments and placing them in the public domain in the hopes she might be able to help someone else in a similar situation, she told us, “I just wanted to take something bad and make it good. For myself, but also for anyone else that has been in a fucked up situation.” This one will give you the #feels.
It’s hard to believe that same-sex couples are still frowned upon in some places and communities in the world, I mean, this is the 21st century – 2015! But what’s even more troubling is to imagine how same-sex couples were treated three decades ago, in 1980s America. Photographer Sage Sohier’s photo book At Home With Themselves: Same-Sex Couples in 1980s America went inside the homes of various couples in an attempt to break down the stigma attached. Challenging the marginalisation of same-sex couples with a series of striking images of true love.
We took a look at a selection of the photographers who took the tradition of the mediocre family photo to a place where ‘Mom Fucking in Mirror’ is a typical title. From Corinne Day, Charlie Engman and Leigh Ledare – scroll through, you might realise your own family isn't so bad after all.
“I wanted to document some kind of weird-surreal-Mad-Max-post-apocalyptic-cyberpunk-eastern-European-underworld-society,” that’s what photographer Mihai Barabancea told us when we showcased his book Overriding Sequence this month. Tripping through the streets of Romania, where kids point guns into his lens, tracksuit-clad men inject god-knows-what into their veins and sex in public isn’t (that) frowned upon. It’s a must-see set of images of a city who lay the good, bad and ugly out in the open.
Dennis Morris’s incredible documentation of London and the music scene – both local and international – is nothing short of phenomenal. What’s even better is when he shares an image that acts as its own standalone story – which he did here, when he let us publish this photograph of the men behind Hackney’s sound systems in the 80s, and told us all about it. Read on to get the full story.
Australian photographer Prue Stent’s images of nude and nature collide in this striking photo story. We spoke with her about overcoming the awkwardness of the naked form where she told us, “I found it challenging early on when a lot of boys were like ‘why are you creating pornographic images?’ which I never saw them as. They didn’t really see them as artistic in any way; it took me a while to overcome that hurdle and persist with it.” Click through to brighten up your Friday.
“What I try to do with my work is make black aesthetics as universal as European aesthetics or white aesthetics,” said 27-year-old photographer Awol Erizku on his work, a kind of ‘remix’ of art history, if you will. His latest exhbition New Flower: Images of the Reclining Venus at The FLAG Art Foundation in NYC is a stunning photo series that shoots sex workers as reclining nudes in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa in reference to Manet’s Olympia and Ingres’s La Grande Odalisque. By juxtaposing such classics with the contemporary, Erizku aims to break down the whiteness and exclusivity that still (sadly) shrouds the art world.
There’s no denying the impact that Palace Skateboards has had on the global world of the, shall we call it, sport. Who would have thought it all began in a ‘shithole’ house in south London? The Palace Wayward Boys Choir were just a (jokingly dubbed) bunch of skaters selling weed to help fund their habit for four-wheels – now Palace is an unstoppable feat in the world of pop culture and fashion too. Here, they hark back to the point where it all began.