Volume 19 July/August 2019 www.artdictionmagazine.com
AREA'S LARGEST ART SHOW FREE FOR ALL AGES 200+ ARTISTS SATURDAY, OCTOBER 12, 11AM TO 6PM SUNDAY, OCTOBER 13, 10AM TO 5PM
ArtDiction is a platform for artists to display their work and a resource for the habitual art lover.
Devika A. Strother, Editor-in-Chief firstname.lastname@example.org
Isabella Chow, Associate Editor email@example.com
Phillip Utterback, Staff Writer firstname.lastname@example.org
Contributing Writers M. Lunquist Sharifa Sanderson Linda Turner
Devika Akeise Publishing assumes no responsibility for the opinions expressed by authors in this publication. ÂŠ2019 of Devika Akeise Publishing. All rights reserved. No portion of this publication may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage or retrieval system without permission in writing from the publisher.
FEATURES 12 How to Set-Up a Darkroom Although most of the world has gone digital, some photographers are still drawn to the process of developing their own photographs. Learn how to you can set-up your own darkroom to keep that nostalgic feeling alive. 14 Telling the Untold Tokie Rome-Taylor is a photographer drawn to portraits that tell a story. Her work explores narratives that often are overlooked, all while capturing memories for families to cherish. 28 Tips for the Travel Photographer This article helps the travel photographer capture the customs, buildings, food, and more of places around the world. 32 Capturing Nature’s Fleeting Moments Photographer Quentin Carpenter focuses on the intimate world of flowers. Capturing their delicate nature and vibrant colors, Quentin’s floral portraits make time stand still.
Read the top tips for the travel photographer beginning on page 28.
In Each Issue 5 small talk 6 news 8 music 11 exhibits 42 ad index
Read about Quentin Carpenter’s floral portraits on page 32.
©2019 by Devika Akeise Publishing
ArtDiction | 4 | July/August 2019
ost photographers will tell you it’s the ability to freeze time, capture moments, and savor memories that makes them keep snapping while others simply watch and observe. In this issue of ArtDiction we interviewed two photographers who use their creativity and technical skills to do just that. Quentin Carpenter (page 32) makes moments in nature stand still with his macro lens and natural lighting. Tokie Rome-Taylor (page 14) is both a photographer and a storyteller. In her interview, she explains her motivation and inspiration for the stories she chooses to tell. And for those that are feeling nostalgic (as I often am), we outline the steps to build your own darkroom on page 12. I still remember spending hours in a
darkroom on campus trying to master my burning and dodging techniques, rinsing my photopaper, and holding my breath as those images slowly appeared in the red-lit room. (Current thought: Can I can turn my laundry room into a darkroom?) Finally, we give a few tips to the travel photographer who has the unique opportunity to share parts of the world to those who can’t reach those destinations (page 28). It’s quite a privilege. Most issues of ArtDiction rely on photography in some form to present the work of the many talented artists we have featured. But in this issue, we are thrilled that photography is at the center.
ArtDiction | 5 | July/August 2019
Columbia University Appoints New Gallery Director Columbia University’s Wallach Art Gallery has a new leader: Betti-Sue Hertz, who will take up its director and chief curator positions in New York on September 1. Hertz will succeed Deborah Cullen-Morales, who was hired to lead the Bronx Museum of the Arts last year. Hertz’s hire comes in the wake of a number of huge milestones for the Wallach, including the 2017 opening of its new home in the Renzo Pianodesigned Lenfest Center for the Arts, and its presentation of the landmark 2018 exhibition “Posing Modernity: the Black Model from Manet and Matisse to Today,” which traveled to the Musée d’Orsay in Paris. A New York City native, Hertz has lived and worked in California for the last 20 years. She has taught courses at Stanford University and the San Francisco Art Institute, and she most recently served as director of visual arts at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco. Hertz also previously worked as curator of contemporary art at the San Diego Museum of Art. In an interview with ARTnews, Hertz said she hopes to cultivate collaborations between the Wallach and art institutions in Upper Manhattan, as well as national and international venues. Expanding the museum’s partnerships with community organizations is also a priority for her—the Wallach has worked with Arts & Minds and the Brotherhood-Sister Sol. “I think we absolutely need to be part of that ecology and playing a leadership role in the Upper Manhattan community,” she said. Among the upcoming programs at the Wallach are survey of contemporary art of Algeria and its diaspora, titled “Waiting for Omar Gatlato,” and, in conjunction with the university-wide initiative “Year of Water,” an exhibition
of Waterlicht, a large-scale installation by the Dutch artist Daan Roosegaarde. “What’s exciting about [“Year of Water”] is that it was initiated by the School of the Arts, and it’s a very artsdriven initiative in a university that has so many departments and directions,” Hertz said. “I think it’s a really bold initiative and certainly I want to be able to partner with the School of the Arts as these kinds of university-wide thematics emerge, as one way of being interdisciplinary and thinking across departments and units.” On the heels of the hugely successful “Posing Modernity” show, Hertz said she wants to maintain the high interest that it brought to the Wallach, which also plays host to Columbia’s MFA shows each year. “We hope that things catch fire and then snowball,” she said. “We have to continue working on that path and continue providing that kind of excellence and leadership in the arts. We know that there are ebbs and flows, but that’s where we’re heading.” RM Sotheby’s Botched the $22 Million Sale of the ‘First Porsche’ Because Bidders Couldn’t Understand the Auctioneer’s Accent It was meant to be the star lot in a banner automobile sale for RM Sotheby’s in Monterey Beach, California. Billed as the “first” Porsche, the 1939 Type 64 automobile was one of just three ever built, and the only one to have survived. The car was estimated to sell for up to $22 million, but instead it failed to sell at all due to an embarrassing combination of technical difficulties and an apparently hard-to-parse Dutch accent. The auctioneer started the bidding at $13 million—or was that 30? From the start, the screen at the front of the room projected the higher number, which would be a pretty aggressive ArtDiction | 6 | July/August 2019
place to start, considering it was well above the high estimate. Viewers in the room started audibly gasping and clamoring to capture photos of the historic moment. The bids came in $500,000 increments, notching up to $40 million, then $50, $60, and finally topping out at an astounding $70 million. That is, until auctioneer Maarten ten Holder caught on, quickly clarifying, “I’m saying 17, not 70!” at which point, the crowd immediately starts booing and shouting in disbelief. According to collector David Lee, whose Instagram video of the event has been viewed more than 250,000 times, it was difficult to understand Holder’s accent, an opinion apparently shared by the technician manning the live-bidding screen. Some people in the audience seemed to think it was a publicity stunt, or an attempt to replicate the “Shredded Banksy” incident at Sotheby’s Londonsale in October.
“They just lost so much credibility,” Johnny Shaughnessy told Bloomberg after witnessing the incident. Another apparently jaded viewer chimed in: “It worked for Banksy; it didn’t work for RM.” In a statement, RM Sotheby’s said it was a “totally inadvertent and unintentional mistake” in which an “unfortunate misunderstanding” based on the incorrectly displayed bidding increments were compounded by “excitement in the room.” Later, the company said that it had failed to meet the reserve price after topping out at $17 million, adding “We will continue making every effort to sell the car.” The 1939 Type 64 Porsche. Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s.
Jackie Milad: Chaos Comes and Goes September 26 - November 2 Opening Reception Thursday, September 26, 6-8pm C. Grimaldis Gallery presents a solo exhibition of Baltimore-based artist Jackie Milad.
ArtDiction | 7 | July/August 2019
Rick Rоѕѕ - Port Оf Miami II Riсk Ross, рrоud owner оf ѕеvеrаl Wingѕtорѕ and a Chесkеrѕ, is nоw serving rар соmfоrt fооd. Mоѕt оf his 10th album, Pоrt of Miаmi 2, is Rоѕѕ еxасtlу as you knоw and lоvе him: thе obscene bоаѕtѕ, the windоw-сrасking bаѕѕ, thе ѕрееdbоаt cool, thе vаriоuѕ ѕрinѕ on rарѕ-tо-riсhеѕ ѕuссеѕѕ. It соmеѕ in аll your fаvоritе flavors: The top-down соnvеrtiblе сruiѕеrѕ (“Summеr Rеign,” “Whitе Lines”), the Sсаrfасе mеnасе (“Turnрikе Ikе,” “Rich N* Lifеѕtуlе”), thе bоѕѕ bаѕѕ booms (“Aсt a Fооl,” “Big Tуmе”) аnd, of соurѕе, thе ѕixth volume in hiѕ “Mауbасh Muѕiс” series оf ѕоngѕ. It’ѕ not a rесаlibrаtiоn, nor a bасk-tоbаѕiсѕ еffоrt, nоr еvеn a diѕсеrnаblе ѕеquеl to hiѕ 2006 dеbut Port оf Miаmi – thе оnlу real callbacks are a DJ Tооmр bеаt (“I Still Prау”), ѕоmе Jееzу аnd Lil Wayne guеѕt vеrѕеѕ, аnd uрdаting thе Miаmi rоlоdеx to inсludе Denzel Curry. In fасt, thе real Pоrt of Miаmi ѕеquеl wаѕ Riсk Rоѕѕ’ entire catalog frоm 2007 to 2012: With Pоrt, it wаѕ a frаnсhiѕе tоtаling fivе rесоrdѕ and twо mixtареѕ, a rapper whоѕе flows wеnt from ѕimрlе to соmрlеx, a hustler whо grows bigger аnd mоrе luxuriоuѕ, реаking with the 2012 brаg “Fornicate in mу fortress, 40k ѕtill my mоrtgаgе/24k my tоilеt, аll mу taxes reported. Aftеr thаt, Ross аlbumѕ wеrе vаriоuѕ shades of ѕеlf-аwаrе, реrѕоnаl and conscious, a trеnd соntinuеd in Port оf Miаmi II‘ѕ bасk hаlf. On “I Still Prау,” he ruminаtеѕ оn dеаth аnd gets reflective аbоut bеing fоund unresponsive last year: “Wаkе uр оut a coma, frоzеn in thе mоmеnt/ Yоu соuld have the biggеѕt сliquе, but уоu gоn’ die a loner/ Tubеѕ dоwn mу thrоаt, rules thаt I brоkе/All these quotes thаt I wrоtе аnd nеvеr cared tо vote.” And оn “Vegas Rеѕidеnсу,” he gets a littlе righteously hеаtеd
“Wеnt frоm bаttlе rарѕ tо nоw wе wеаrin’ MAGA hаtѕ,” аnd mау еvеn have some rаgе fоr Amеriса’ѕ hеаlth care system “Another seizure, ѕо I woke uр in intensive care/Pray you trеаt a рооr man likе he was a millionaire.” But оbviоuѕlу, thе draw of Pоrt оf Miаmi II iѕ gоing tо be thе classic Rоѕѕ raps and сlаѕѕiс Rоѕѕ bоаѕtѕ: pissing Möеt, wearing a сhееtаh mink in the summer, bаlling on Oрrаh’ѕ уасht and, in реrhарѕ hiѕ bеѕt brаg ever, hiѕ асtuаl house in Atlanta being uѕеd as the ѕеt fоr thе асtuаl Cоming tо America ѕеquеl. Anyone whо’ѕ еnjоуеd any Riсk Rоѕѕ аlbum аt аnу роint in hiѕ career, саn рlау Pоrt of Miami II lоudlу on a ѕummеr dау аnd саtсh up with a reliable, incredibly wealthy friеnd. Dirty Heads – Super Moon Lеt’ѕ be fair: Cаlifоrniа’ѕ Dirtу Heads ѕеrvе a purpose. Thе five-piece band frоm Huntingtоn Bеасh make muѕiс thаt ѕееmѕ ѕсiеntifiсаllу engineered fоr kеg parties, summer сооkоutѕ, аnd соnvеrtiblе bеасh cruising. Thеir ѕоund iѕ also a 21st сеnturу uрdаtе оf oft-maligned third-wаvе ska (аlthоugh with mоrе of аn еmрhаѕiѕ оn rеggае), whеrе bаndѕ likе Sublime, Less Than Jаkе, аnd thе Long Bеасh Dub All-Stаrѕ tаmреd dоwn Clinton-era еnnui with chill grooves and рlеntу оf wееd-ѕоаkеd vibes. While it mау ѕееm strange tо rеviѕit thiѕ gеnrе that virtuаllу sprung оut of nowhere a quarter-century аgо, ArtDiction | 8 | July/August 2019
Dirtу Heads have managed, with their lаtеѕt аlbum, tо рrоvidе a ѕоniс uрdаtе thаt givеѕ it a bit more depth. Juѕt a bit. Super Mооn mау соntаin a hеар оf dеrivаtivе sounds thаt ѕееm соbblеd together frоm еаrliеr bands, but a uniquе аррrоасh ѕеtѕ it араrt from thаt расk. For thеir seventh аlbum, thе band еnliѕtеd a tор-ѕhеlf producer. Thе hiring оf Dave Cоbb, best knоwn fоr his wоrk with ассlаimеd аrtiѕtѕ ѕuсh аѕ Sturgill Simpson аnd Jаѕоn Iѕbеll, mау initially ѕignаl a substantial gеnrе ѕhift. But vосаliѕt Jаrеd Watson wаѕ quick tо quеll thоѕе ѕuѕрiсiоnѕ in thе album’s рrеѕѕ rеlеаѕе: “Wе’rе nоt mаking a fuсkin’ country аlbum!” It seems likе аn unnесеѕѕаrilу defensive dесlаrаtiоn, еѕресiаllу ѕinсе ѕоunding likе Mеѕѕrѕ Simрѕоn аnd Iѕbеll соuld hаrdlу bе соnѕidеrеd a bad thing. Whаtеvеr thе case, Cоbb’ѕ рrеѕеnсе in thе соntrоl room mаkеѕ fоr intеrеѕting rеѕultѕ. Suреr Moon kicks off with a bаng, аѕ thе delightful titlе track employs a swaggering hоrn ѕесtiоn ѕtrаight out of a ‘70s асtiоn film ѕоundtrасk. Thе dоwnѕidе tо
thаt ѕtrоng opener is thаt it’ѕ thе mоѕt interesting thing оn thе album. Thе next twо songs, “Lift Mе Uр” аnd “Tender Bоу” ѕеttlе bасk intо a lаid-bасk reggae grооvе, with rаррing references to ganga аnd bооzе fоllоwеd uр with requisite lilting сhоruѕеѕ. It’ѕ a fairly standard tеmрlаtе, but Cobb ѕwееtеnѕ the роt bу аdding a riсhеr ѕоniс раlеttе – ѕаmрlеѕ, ѕоniс mаniрulаtiоn, rаndоm glitсhеѕ, аnd more hоrnѕ – ѕеtting thе аlbum’ѕ songs араrt frоm earlier Dirty Heads releases. Super Mооn even manages to gеt dоwnright еxреrimеntаl in рlасеѕ. “Clоudliftеr” is аlmоѕt hаlluсinаtоrу, with plenty оf spoken word аnd
twаngу ѕurf guitar interspersed with thе rapping. Thе wоbblу sampled рiаnо thаt runs through “Hоrѕеflу” iѕ a refreshingly оdd аnсhоr tо thе tunе. But mоѕt оf thе timе, the band is hарру to tаkе Cоbb’ѕ dirесtiоn and infuѕе their оwn “еvеrуthing iѕ gonna bе аlright” еthоѕ tо the proceedings. Whether it’ѕ the gentle асоuѕtiс guitаr сhug of “Fеаr аnd Lоvе”, the аlmоѕt fоlkiѕh “Lighthouse” or the саtсhу, trорiсаl singalong аtmоѕрhеrе of “Crоw Bar Hоtеl” (соmрlеtе with whiѕtling), thiѕ iѕ muѕiс dеѕignеd for gооd timеѕ, good vibеѕ, аnd plenty оf hоt, sunny weather (оr реrhарѕ аn antidote to a freezing соld Northeast winter).
It wоuld bе a ѕtrеtсh to ѕау thаt this iѕ a nеw, rеinvеntеd vеrѕiоn of Dirty Heads. If you lоvеd them bеfоrе, thе chances аrе thаt Suреr Mооn will find a place оn your рlауliѕt. But thаnkѕ tо a new рrоduсеr, thе bаnd manages to move thе nееdlе just еnоugh to ореn uр thеir ѕоund to роtеntiаl new аudiеnсеѕ. It’s a ѕmаrt mоvе. Let’s ѕее thеm mоvе things even furthеr thе nеxt time.
By Linda Turner
ArtDiction | 9 | July/August 2019
Generations: A History of Black Abstract Art Baltimore Museum of Art September 29, 2019 — January 19, 2020 The touring exhibition Solidary & Solitary has announced plans to significantly expand to more than 80 paintings, sculptures, and mixed media works and take on a new title: Generations: A History of Black Abstract Art. Hosted at the Baltimore Museum of Art, this exhibition presents a new perspective on the contributions black artists have made to the evolution of visual art from the 1940s to present. Artists featured include pioneers of postwar abstraction such as Norman Lewis, Alma W. Thomas, and Jack Whitten, as well as artists from a younger generation such as Kevin Beasley, Mark Bradford, Martin Puryear, Lorna Simpson, and others. Paintings for a Venetian Palace The Walters Art Museum Ongoing Paintings for a Venetian Palace showcases a trio of 15th-century Italian paintings by artist Dario di Giovanni. It reveals discoveries made during nearly 10 years of technical and art-historical research on the works. Monumental panels tell the story of the romance between the Spartan queen Helen and Paris, a prince of Troy. They were created to celebrate the wedding of Caterina Corner, who with her wedding became the queen of Cyprus. A team of three Walters conservators and a curator worked together to bring these paintings to life in an installation suggestive of how Venetians in the Renaissance might have seen them. Conservation of the painting series was
Manifesto ©Julian Rosefeldt, 2015.
funded in part by the American Council on Italian Matters of Maryland, while the Cini Foundation, Venice, contributed support for the art-historical research. The installation is supported by Walters Art Museum members and contributors to the annual fund. Major support has been provided by The Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation. Manifest: Art X Agency Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden June 15, 2019 — January 05, 2020 Manifesto: Art x Agency is a group exhibition designed to examine the art-historical impact of artist manifestos from the 20th century to present day. Organized by the Hirshhorn’s Chief Curator Stéphane Aquin, Manifesto: Art x Agency includes German artist Julian Rosefeldt’s Manifesto, presented as a multi-channel film installation for the first time in Washington, D.C., alongside a diverse selection of works from the
ArtDiction | 10 | July/August 2019
museum’s permanent collection. With more than 100 works of art that span a hundred-year period, Manifesto: Art x Agency explores how artists used manifestos to engage with the political and social issues of their time and how contemporary practices still employ art as a tool in the making of history. Exploring the idea of the artist manifesto as a major tenet of the 20th century, the Hirshhorn’s exhibition will
Dario di Giovanni, The Departure of Helen and her Entourage for Cythera (detail), 1468. Bequest of Henry Walters, 1931.
be divided into three distinct sections. The introduction will feature a powerful display of the museum’s modern collection holdings, including seminal works by artists such as Jean Arp, Giacomo Balla, Alexander Calder, Salvador Dalí, Helen Frankenthaler, George Grosz, Hannah Höch, René Magritte, André Masson, Joan Miró, Joan Mitchell, Barnett Newman, Jackson Pollock, and Tsuruko Yamazaki. These works offer a historical framework for the ideas born out of the various manifestos from this time period. To further ground these works within the ideas that inspired them, a number of published manifestos, including texts from futurism, surrealism, constructivism and lyrical abstraction, on loan from North American art libraries, will be on display as a key part of the exhibition. In the second section, Rosefeldt’s titular Manifesto (2015) will be dis-
aesthetic movements from the previous section. American Indians of the Southwest began making functional pottery more than 2,000 years ago. Crafting these vessels required skills that have passed down through generations and continues even today. Geographic variations in clay and regional preferences for certain designs and shapes helped distinguish permanent villages and pueblos. In the late 19th century, the railroad brought visitors to the Southwest. Potters began to sell their wares, establishing a market for pottery made as art. Jody Naranjo, Large Square Jar with 194 Figures. 2003. Earthenware, 15 1/2 x 10 in. gift of Loren G. Lipson, M.D. 2016.97.
The third section will highlight contemporary pieces from the permanent collection, spanning from the 1960s to
Drawing inspiration from their ancestors and traditions, many makers began to sign their work, and individual potters became known and their works collected. Featuring more than 200 pieces by premier potters, this exhibition focuses on legendary matriarchs such as Nampeyo, Maria Martinez,
“These works offer a historical framework for the ideas born out of the various manifestos from this time period. To further ground these works within the ideas that inspired them, a number of published manifestos, including texts from futurism, surrealism, constructivism and lyrical abstraction, on loan from North American art libraries, will be on display as a key part of the exhibition.” played as a singular work. Conceived as an artwork, Manifesto has gained worldwide attention as a feature-length film. Presented at the Hirshhorn as a multichannel installation, chapters of the film will play simultaneously on 13 video projections, inviting visitors into an immersive experience. Featuring actress Cate Blanchett performing excerpts from some of the great manifestos of the past century, the installation serves to demonstrate the contemporary resonance of the artist manifesto in today’s artistic and cultural climate, while simultaneously connecting earlier
present day. This grouping will encompass works that provide a commentary on political movements and social change within contemporary contexts. Included among the artists on view are the Guerrilla Girls, Adrian Piper, Hurvin Anderson, Alfredo Jaar, Nam June Paik, Zoe Leonard, Catherine Opie, and Glenn Ligon. Pueblo Dynasties: Master Potters from Matriarchs to Contemporaries Crocker Art Museum September 22, 2019 — January 05, 2020
ArtDiction | 11 | July/August 2019
and Margaret Tafoya, as well as many of their adventuresome descendants, whose art has become increasingly elaborate, detailed, personal, and political over time.
How to Set-Up
n the era of digital photography, many photographers have stopped using darkrooms to develop their photographs. But developing your photos the traditional way can give them a distinct look that will set them apart from all the rest. If you have a spare room in your home that is well-ventilated, you can easily build your own darkroom with just a little bit of effort. Any small room will work but the most important thing is that the room has good ventilation. The chemicals you will be using to develop your photos can bad for your health if inhaled. If you will be spending a lot of time in this space, a strong fan is a wise investment. If possible, the room should also have running water. After you’ve chosen the room, you will need to block out all of the light. Use dark fabric or cardboard to cover the windows and secure the edges with tape. Fabric will work best for covering the door but keep in mind while you are taping that you’ll need to be able to go in and out fairly easily. Even a small amount of light can ruin a great photo. Once you think you’ve blocked out all the light, turn the light off to make sure there aren’t any tiny holes where light is creeping in. Before you begin setting up, you will need to designate one side of the room for your equipment. This will be the “dry side” and the “wet side” is where you will develop your photos. On the “dry side”, you will need a desk or other flat surface to work on. You’ll also need a drawer or container to keep your photo paper completely safe from the light. On the “dry side” of the room, you will
ArtDiction | 12 | July/August 2019
a Darkroom By M. Lunquist
also need an enlarger, an easel, a grain magnifier, a timer, a film tank, and reels. On the “wet side” of the room, you will need a red safelight so that you can see while you’re working without damaging your photos, as well as film clips, a funnel, several sets of tongs that are clearly labeled, several trays for your solutions and a water tray. You will also need latex gloves and a face mask to protect yourself from the dangerous chemicals you’ll be using. In order to develop your photos, you’ll need a developer, fixer, and a stop bath. You can create your own stop bath with pickling vinegar or acetic acid. You should be able to find the rest of the items you will need online or at your local photography store. Some companies sell kits with most of the items you will need already included. Purchasing new equipment can be costly but it is worth it when you consider how great your photos will look. It is possible to save quite a bit of money on equipment by purchasing used items on Craigslist, garage sales, eBay, etc. If you aren’t sure how to tell if the equipment is any good, it’s probably better to invest in new equipment. Developing photos the old-fashioned way is lots of fun and will make your photos look even better than they already do. And, as you can see, the idea of setting up your own darkroom is more intimidating than actually doing it. So go ahead and make a darkroom of your very own. You’ll be surprised what develops!
ArtDiction | 13 | July/August 2019
My Spirit Unmoved Unphased Tokie Rome-Taylor
ArtDiction | 14 | July/August 2019
Telling the Untold T okie Rome-Taylor is a thoughtful photographer who explores the narratives that she believes children need to see set before them. With a focus on faces and portraits, Tokie beautifully navigates the way a culture is presented in society to tell a story untold. When did you become interested in photography? I went to Grady High School, which is where I got my first experience with a camera. It was a Pentax K100. Wow—still remember the model and everything! It was love at first click. . . I loved freezing time and having the ability to look back at a fleeting moment. It was like owning and controlling a time capsule. Grady’s photography program gave me a chance to photograph the beauty of my city, Atlanta, and the people in it. Though the people may be gone or grown, and the city’s landscape has evolved, I still own the time capsule of images that I created over 20 years ago and all the years since. That is a powerful art medium to have when you think about it. Do you have an educational background in photography or were you a natural photographer without the “training?” I had training in high school and in college, but that was a time period when photographers were shooting on 35mm film. I learned digital photography at the same time I learned Photoshop and digital painting. I am one of those people who genuinely loves learning and experimenting with mediums, so the digital age of creating was basically a playground for me. Moving to a DSLR [camera] came with a learning curve but it also gave me more freedom to experiment. Unlimited images photographed, endless possibilities for editing and image manipulation—for me it’s really like having an endless supply of paint and canvas at my disposal. My only limitation right now is the time to get all of the ideas created that I have!
When did you begin photographing children in particular? At 35 years old I became a mother for the first time. By the time I was 40, I was the mother of four small children. [My husband and I] knew we wanted four children, but in focusing on our family, I lost who I was as “me”. I love my family, but I was drowning in the ocean of motherhood, wife, and full-time teacher. Creating with my chosen medium of photography became my lifeline and allowed me to connect back to who I am as an individual. My children were always with me so they became a natural subject for me to photograph and use as models. The images I created were never about them but about this narrative that I wanted to explore. At the time I was focused on the concept of journey and what that represented to me. I expanded beyond my children to other children because the narrative that I was exploring artistically was all about journey and representation. Children were a natural fit because their whole journey in life lies before them. As I kept creating, the second series developed that dealt more with what you currently see in my artwork, that of representation. Children are still my ideal subjects for this because I feel that children need to see themselves portrayed in a manner that validates and solidifies in their minds who they are and the potential for who they can be. For me it was really important to focus on representation because I want my children and future generations to see these images I have created and realize the power and strength they hold. What are the rewards and challenges of portrait photography? Faces, [or] portraits, are one of our society’s ways of documenting who we are as a culture and what we value. My passion for portraits stems from them allowing
ArtDiction | 15 | July/August 2019
me to create a narrative about the person. That narrative can be true, false, or somewhere in between. On the surface it seems like such a straightforward subject, take a picture of a person [and] there you have it, a portrait. However, there are so many layers that can be explored with portraiture, from candids to the ideal, to the fantasy that we want to create as artists and as the subject of the portrait. I obsess over faces and the stories they tell, whether intentionally or unintentionally.
portraits of children and their families. They love the vintage-style portraits that I create so most of the time we lean into that theme. When I’m creating for myself, my work explores the concept of pushing through the veil of time. Depictions of African-Americans in traditional Western art primarily centered on images of servitude, oppression, or archetypes that place African-Americans in a submissive light. The historical narrative that children
For me, portraits act as windows into the journey that all of us are on because the face, the expression, the look in the eyes, the wardrobe, act as a window into the mind of that individual. A portrait allows you to tell a story about someone, without the use of words. People don’t often relax their barriers. They wear masks in public over their faces, not literal masks, but social masks. I strive to capture that journey that they are on, that they don’t always allow other people to see. The portrait allows for examination and probing the face without fear of the person looking back and judging the viewer. I think it creates an emotional connection, even if the subject is a stranger because we can all connect to what we see in the face of the portrait. I’m allowing the viewer to see the mask of my subject, but in [the case of my subjects], it’s a mask that I have orchestrated and contrived to control the narrative of what the viewer perceives of my person. Do you come up with the themes for your photo sessions? If so, how do you choose the themes? Often times I get commissions to create Dreya Brown and Crowned Tokie Rome-Taylor
ArtDiction | 16 | July/August 2019
of color have grown up with is that their ancestors were subjugated to all manner of horrors and had to fight at every turn just to be treated as a human being. This has a psychological impact on how a person moves, thinks and acts in society. However, what if that were never the case? What if in an alternative world, the world in which my subjects exist, minorities and their children were only treated as equal? They were seen by everyone as strong, powerful, beautiful and loved? My work
deals with creating an alternative to the Eurocentric vision of beauty that little children of color grow up with. Iâ€™m striving to capture strength and acceptance in the children staged in my images so that they can look at themselves and see how their features and characteristics are worthy of representation. Through the use of portrait photography, subjects are inserted into the past of an alternate reality, creating the narrative of them being their ancestors in the present for their heirs to see in the future. Their portraits are connected to past ancestors in order to reconstruct the narrative of who their ancestors were. These are photographs of ancestors brought up in homes where they were taught to own their brown skin, curly-coiled hair, and features without apology. Never having lived in a world where their beauty and worth were questioned, they accept who they are, while all the while radiating unwavering confidence, pride, and a sense of belonging. These modern-vintage images deliberately have an ambiguous time period. The intent is that while created in the present, those in the future will see these images as reflections of the past African-Americans would have had in a utopian world untethered by the faults of the reality of our American history. These ancestors in this alternative world were graced to have portraits commissioned, [like] those in Renaissance times, because they came from
Dreya Reflecting Tokie Rome-Taylor
ArtDiction | 17 | July/August 2019
Perched on the Cusp Tokie Rome-Taylor
ArtDiction | 18 | July/August 2019
“That makes me feel like I am striking the right note because that is essentially what my goal is: to create artwork with photography being the medium of choice.” families who loved them and viewed them as valuable members of society. They belonged without baggage or oppressive history. These are images of our ancestors that have never lived in a world that marginalized, mistreated, or viewed them in any other way but equal. The costumes/wardrobes in your photos are stunning. Do you make those available to everyone in the studio or do they bring their own? Thank you! Yes, I have a variety of vintage outfits within the studio. I prowl vintage stores and eBay for pieces that catch my eye. If I don’t have something in-studio that fits the client, then I curate a collection of outfits from eBay and Amazon that clients can select from. Clients that book with me usually are looking for something beyond the traditional family or children’s portrait so the wardrobe and styling are really important in achieving the image that I am trying to create. The most common comment I hear from clients is that they love that my photographs look like artwork. That makes me feel like I am striking the right note because that is essentially what my goal is: to create artwork with photography being the medium of choice. What inspires you creatively? Vintage objects have always been something I have been drawn to, even as a small child. I love that there [are] a
history and experience already imbued within a vintage article. Incorporating them into my artwork adds to the history of that object and freezes it in time. Do you have any future projects that you’re working on that you would like to share? I am always adding to the body of work for my Journey series and Imagined World of Our Ancestors Heir-tage: Through The Veil series. I’m working on adding mixed media aspects to the printed-out photographs. I’m exploring using gel medium to layer in found artifacts, vintage ephemeral objects, and veils of color to printed-out images to strengthen the play and connection to another time period within the artwork. It’s an experiment right now and I am excited to see where it takes me. Currently I have work that will be in an exhibit at the Hartsfield Jackson Airport in Atlanta, GA in September 2019, and I am a part of a show being curated by Michi Meko that will be up in October 2019 in Atlanta, GA. I am working on building out the body of work for my solo show tentatively scheduled for March 2020 in Atlanta. Where’s the best place people can view your portfolio online? For those that want to see more of my work, commission a portrait, or follow the journey, I can be reached via my website www.tokietaylorstudio.com or on IG and FB @tokietstudio.
ArtDiction | 19 | July/August 2019
â€œTheir portraits are connected to past ancestors in order to reconstruct the narrative of who their ancestors were.â€?
Presence Preseted Tokie Rome-Taylor
ArtDiction | 20 | July/August 2019
Duke, II Tokie Rome-Taylor
Cocoa Puffs Lee Price
ArtDiction | 21 | July/August 2019
ArtDiction | 22 | July/August 2019
Past Present Future Tokie Rome-Taylor
ArtDiction | 23 | July/August 2019
â€œMy work deals with creating an alternative to the Eurocentric vision of beauty that little children of color grow up with.â€?
ArtDiction | 24 | July/August 2019
Birth Right Tokie Rome-Taylor
ArtDiction | 25 | July/August 2019
MICHIYAYA Dance Presents: For the Moment Starring Nuria Martin Fandos as a soloist for MICHIYAYA Dance Tuesday, November 19 7:00 pm at Gibney Dance Center
Tips for the Travel Photographer by Sharifa Sanderson
ArtDiction | 28 | July/August 2019
eing a travel photographer is ideal for people who enjoy exploring new countries and customs. The perfect photo can even make your name in history. It is important to have the right tools and develop your technical skills so that you produce beautiful photographs. When youâ€™re ready to tackle travel photography you can specialize in one of the many categories of travel photography: architectural, sports, landscape, documentary, or wildlife. A travel photographer can use photography to transform the way people think
about the world around them. Some people may never have the opportunity to visit the buildings you take in your photos, or eat in the cafes you photographed, or meet any of the people seen in your images. Each photo you take tells a story of life in a completely different country and perhaps, a different era from the one they know. So here are few tips to make sure you capture the best images in your travels. Explore People and Customs Both amateur and professional photographers fre-
ArtDiction | 29 | July/August 2019
quently end up with pictures of the people they see on the street as they travel through a new or familiar country. These may be taken at festivals and may highlight the customs of a particular nation. Some may even display the customs which are part of particular culture simply by focusing on something that is natural in that environment. While we often take the way we wear our clothes, carry our children, or prepare food for granted, all of these things vary among different countries. A photo of a religious service or family members enjoying a meal may indirectly reveal unique customs related to the wear-
ing of hats on a Sunday, or how seafood is prepared. Record Changes through Significant Architectural Structures Architecture reflects the traditions and values of people, their needs and even their discoveries. Each photo of a home, a church, a school or a government building can reflect the vision of a community. It also serves as a record for future generations. People in other nations may compare their own cities to those they see in photographs. Photographs of buildings let the people who use those buildings see themselves objectively. They may be inspired to change
ArtDiction | 30 | July/August 2019
the way they do things., opting for more environmentally friendly structures, or those that let people interact fully.
should adjust to a single bird or a flock of geese. A mirrorless camera is ideal for most of these.
Use the Right Equipment
Always do your research before you travel
Stunning photographs are easier to create with great equipment. Cameras for travel photography usually fulfill the following requirements: They are lightweight. They are flexible. They take quality pictures of different subjects. Travel photographers generally take pictures of landscapes, people, and buildings. Their camera should help them to capture their subjects well. Many photographers are also interested in wildlife and the camera
Every new place has new opportunities, so find out about the weather, climate, best places to find the subjects that interest you and even important festivals that are ahead. If you have to make special arrangements to take photos in historic buildings, find out about this ahead of time. Preparing will allow you to make the best use of your photography time in each country.
ArtDiction | 31 | July/August 2019
ArtDiction | 32 | July/August 2019
uentin Carpenter’s interest in photography was peaked twenty years ago while he was studying for his MA in Fine Art at the University of Brighton. “Having trained as a Fine Artist specializing in painting, I started experimenting with the possibilities of digital cameras to record my ideas,” he recalls. Since completing his MA, he has worked in education, teaching art in secondary schools, and has served as the head of the Art department at his current school. “Over the past three years, I have been heavily involved in setting up and running a very popular and successful photography course. This has re-ignited my fascination [with] photography.” Quentin has studied the work of many traditional and contemporary photographers, as well as the formal elements of photographic composition. However, most recently his interest shifted to photographing something in particular. “My particular interest in photographing flowers began just under two years ago. I made a decision to specialize in one area and the beauty and transient nature of
flowers fitted perfectly with my new lifestyle choices,” he explains. “My style of photography deals with the bright, colorful, and intimate world of flowers. I create close up portraits of individual flowers captured using my macro lens. Although he has examined the work of Georgia O’Keefe, Irving Penn, and Andy Small for artistic research, Quentin’s main source of inspiration comes directly from the natural world itself. “My senses have been awoken to the natural splendor around us. I have become immersed in the smells and aromas of flowers. My eyes have been opened to the sheer beauty of each individual bloom,” he says. Using his Nikon D5300 and only natural lighting, Quentin has a portfolio that captures the beauty of the floral landscape and shares these fleeting moments with his audience. He will soon be producing another series of large-scale canvases of closeup flowers. Visit www.natureofflowers.com to see more of Quentin’s work.
ArtDiction | 33 | July/August 2019
ArtDiction | 34 | July/August 2019
ArtDiction | 35 | July/August 2019
ArtDiction | 36 | July/August 2019
ArtDiction | 37 | July/August 2019
ArtDiction | 38 | July/August 2019
â€œI made a decision to specialize in one area and the beauty and transient nature of flowers fitted perfectly with my new lifestyle choices.â€?
ArtDiction | 39 | July/August 2019
ArtDiction | 40 | July/August 2019
â€œMy senses have been awoken to the natural splendor around us.â€?
ArtDiction | 41 | July/August 2019
Page C2 Bethesda Row Arts Festival www.bethesdarowarts.org
Page 9 Baltimore Clayworks www.baltimoreclayworks.org
C. Grimaldis Gallery
Page 26 Michiyaya Dance www.michiyayadance.org
Page C3 Mesa Arts Center www.mesaartscenter.com
Page C4 Frieze www.frieze.com ArtDiction | 42 | July/August 2019
Water=Life is a comprehensive project consisting of a series of free community workshops leading up to a 9-day installation of collaborative art in Riverview Park. The culminating event is intended to look at the history and future of water in the Valley, and more specifically, to consider the numerous canals that nourished the Ancient Sonoran People who built them.
NOV. 16 - 24, 2019 mesaartscenter.com
Art & Fashion: Under The Influence Royal Academy of Arts 2 Nov 2018
Frieze Academy presents a day exploring the role of creative influence at the intersection of art and fashion.
Most photographers will tell you it’s the ability to freeze time, capture moments, and savor memories that makes them keep snapping while ot...
Published on Aug 26, 2019
Most photographers will tell you it’s the ability to freeze time, capture moments, and savor memories that makes them keep snapping while ot...