Talking Covers: A Visit With Albert Tang

Talking Covers: A Visit With Albert Tang
In college, I had a dirty little secret. When shopping for required poetry and lit, I ignored recommended editions in favor of those with the most pleasing cover art. It didn’t matter if there was a fancy essay, author bio, or notes. Art was everything, a key to the magic within. What was Milton without the blood red skies of the Penguin edition? Faulkner without the dilapidated storefronts and desolate fields of the Vintage series? Cheesy now, these images drew me into the text as no dull academic cover ever could. Maybe I shouldn’t have cared, but slightly ashamed, I did. In today’s crowded media market where books compete against film, television, and the Internet, cover art matters more than ever. [continue reading...]

The How-to Guide on Being a Woman as Told by Men, Retold by a Woman

The How-to Guide on Being a Woman as Told by Men, Retold by a Woman
The title of her thesis is complicated. At least till you look at the pictures then more becomes clear. Like the fact that Alexa Telano is very talented, imaginative, and witty. She recently completed her senior thesis BFA photography exhibition at the Pratt Photography Gallery. Called The How-to Guide on Being a Woman as Told by Men, Retold by a Woman, it addresses gender issues with a light and humorous touch. You enjoy looking at the work. It makes you think, but not in a hard, unpleasant way. It slips in through your funny bone. I have the Self-portrait House Wife card on my refrigerator, and don’t plan on taking it down anytime soon. It makes me smile. Here are [continue reading...]

Of Memory and Muses: Darleen & Rollerena

Of Memory and Muses: Darleen & Rollerena
Way before Cindy Sherman, from the dawn of photography, people have dressed up in front of the camera. Because the camera captures them not only as they are, but as they wish to be. Fashion and photography are a natural fit–what other medium could convey the infinite variety of human style, as well as the vision and aspiration behind it? Darleen Rubin met Rollerena in the 1970s when New York was on a downward splurge. Bankruptcy loomed, crime was high, entire neighborhoods had fallen into decay. Pundits thought the city was through, but people carried on, some even turning the gritty streets into a personal stage set. Though Rollerena was born in Gravelsnatch, Kentucky,* he immediately stood out in the [continue reading...]

Marks of Beauty: The Photography of Ze Gao

Marks of Beauty: The Photography of Ze Gao
Ze Gao is a photographer, painter and curator who was born in China in 1992. He studied at the Maryland Institute College of Art, and is currently pursuing an MFA at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. His work has been exhibited in the U.S., Europe, China, Korea, and Singapore, with recent group shows at the Gallery House in Brooklyn, the Valley Art Center in Ohio, New York’s Javits Center, and a solo exhibition at the Rochester Art Center Gallery. Here are some of his thoughts and images. “This photo series captures the results of daytime dressing, which leaves marks on women’s bodies.” “On the day we were born, we were all naked. On the day we die, [continue reading...]

Underwear Reimagined: Ellie Musgrave’s Corrective Gaze

Underwear Reimagined: Ellie Musgrave’s Corrective Gaze
Today young women are speaking frankly about many issues affecting their lives, including sexuality. They are also putting their thoughts into visual form. Lena Dunham’s Girls charts the young female journey without the gloss of earlier shows like Sex and the City and Gossip Girl. In 2015, Columbia student Emma Sulkowicz lugged a mattress around throughout her senior year to protest the school’s lack of action to her allegations of rape. In facing up and speaking up, in translating ideas into memorable images, women are reclaiming power over events and stereotypes that affect their lives.* Ellie Musgrave, a junior in Pratt Institute’s photography program, has begun to explore her thoughts on women’s clothing, specifically their underwear. Though male photographers have [continue reading...]