RENE RICARD: The Torturer's Apprentice

"The George Sanders of the Lower East Side,
Rex Reed of the art
—Andy Warhol

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RENE RICARD is an American poet and painter. Since the early 1970s, Ricard has been one of America's most controversial arbiters of taste. Early on Ricard was one of the major superstars of Andy Warhol’s Factory. He appeared in such classic Warhol films as Kitchen and Chelsea Girls. As a performer, Ricard was a founding participant in the Theater of the Ridiculous, collaborating with John Vaccaro and Charles Ludlam.

In 1979 t
he Dia Art Foundation published Ricard's first book of poems Rene Ricard 1979-1980 styled on the Tiffany Christmas catalogue. By the early 1980s Ricard achieved status in the art world through his influential essays. His cover articles in ArtForum magazine helped to catapult the careers of many artists such as Keith Haring and Francesco Clemente to the forefront of the 80’s New York art scene. Ricard’s 1981 ArtForum piece The Radiant Child brought Jean-Michel Basquiat to fame. In Julian Schnabel's biopic, Basquiat, Ricard was played by actor Michael Wincott.

The majority of Ricard's poems are now created in the form of paintings. His 2008 UK painting exhibition at Scream Gallery was curated by art dealer Vito Schnabel.

Ricard's latest work The Torturers Apprentice opens next week in Andy Spade's New York Half/Gallery.

June 5 - July 8
208 Forsyth Street
New York • NY • 10079




From the series Blind Prom
Prom Night at the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired, 2008
Photograph (c) Sarah Wilson/All rights reserved.

Chasity and Michael
From the series Blind Prom
Prom Night at the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired, 2008
Photograph (c) Sarah Wilson/All rights reserved.

Last Dance
From the series Blind Prom
Prom Night at the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired, 2008
Photograph (c) Sarah Wilson/All rights reserved.

"People have asked me why I am photographing blind teenagers if they are never going to see the images. I have to remind them that these pictures will be shared with parents and friends – and the students certainly appreciated having somebody there to document how great they looked in their tuxes and tiaras"
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SARAH WILSON was introduced to the blind community in 2005 when she began working as a still photographer and field producer on the PBS-funded film, The Eyes of Me, a documentary about four students attending the Texas School for the Blind in Austin, Texas. Springing from her immersion into this film's new company, Wilson's own series, "Blind Prom," focuses on an American right of passage, the high school prom. Throughout the night she captures candid moments of the prom attendees, while producing their formal portraits. These rich, full-color images express the joy and spirit of, the thrill and intensity for a group of marginalized teens participating in the universal experience of attending a formal prom.

Wilson received her degree in photography from New York University. She was awarded the 2008 PhotoNOLA Review Prize from The New Orleans Photo Alliance for "Blind Prom." Her personal projects include the well known work, "Jasper, Texas: The Road To Redemption", documenting in black and white the aftermath of the brutal dragging death of James Byrd Jr., a shocking hate crime that drew international attention. After a decade in New York City, Wilson now lives back in Austin, Texas.
Sarah Wilson's Upcoming Exhibition
May 28 - July 31, 2009 Foley Gallery 547 W 27th St, New York, NY 10001



Ven. Nicholas Vreeland with his photograph of Fakirappa with his Bulls
Photo (c) Elizabeth Avedon

Young Rato Monk Memorizing
Photograph (c) Nicholas Vreland/All rights reserved

New York City Exhibition: Left to right: Musa Train Klebnikov, author Ptolemy Tompkins, restaurateur David Zinsser, art dealer Sandro Manzo, former US Ambassador Frederick Vreeland, designer Madeline Weinrib, and poet Rene Ricard. Photograph © William Avedon/All rights reserved
(Click to enlarge images) Opening Night Photos here

Nicholas Vreeland with Barneys New York VP Julie Gilhart; in background from left to right: Jimmy Chan, Ptolemy Tompkins with Darren Smith, Won-Hee and Iris Yu, a direct descendant of the past King of Korea. Photograph © William Avedon/All rights reserved

Photographers deal in things which are continually vanishing, and when they have vanished there is no contrivance on earth can make them come back again. We cannot develop and print a memory. Henri Cartier-Bresson

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NICHOLAS VREELAND'S (BIO) exhibition of photographs taken in India over the 24 years he's been a monk were shown in designer Aurora Lopez Mehia's Talavera Studio this past week in N.Y.C.. This exhibition was organized by the many friends of Vreeland who formed the "Photos For Rato" group to raise funds for the reconstruction of Rato Dratsang, one of Tibet's most prestigious monasteries. The exhibition organizers were art curator Nessia Pope and Priscilla Rattazzi Whittle. Co-hosts Vogue Magazine Fashion Director Tonne Goodman and New York Magazine Design Editor and author Wendy Goodman lent their "elegance and perfection" over seeing the hanging of the show. Anthony Spina and Darren Smith of The Tibet Center, where Vreeland teaches, organized the evenings purchases.

The exhibition consists of twenty photographs selected by Robert Delpire (first publisher of Robert Frank's The Americans in 1958 and the first director of the Centre National de la Photographie in Paris). Each image is part of a limited edition of 25, masterfully printed by Laurent Girard, one of today's best known photographic printers. Girard works with notables such as Bruce Weber, Peter Beard, Susan Meiselas, and Annie Leibovitz, along with many others. The exquisite framing work was donated by framer Pamela Morgan and her assistants, Joe and Jason, donated hours of their own time towards this event.

The evenings eclectic mix of guests included Oscar, Emmy, Tony and Golden Globe winner Marvin Hamlisch and his wife Terre Blair, the Princess's Pema and Yangchen Namgyal of Sikkim, photographers Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin, Count Nuno Brandolini d'Adda and his cousin Venturina Gelardin, artist/poet Rene Ricard and art dealer Vito Schnabel, Brazilian painter Sylvia Martins, Barneys New York VP Julie Gilhart, interior designer Susan Forristal and photographers Ellen Forbes Burnie and Adam Bartos. Vreeland's father, former U.S. Ambassador Frederick Vreeland, flew in from Rome and was joined by his grandson The Paris Review's Assistant Editor Reed Vreeland and Nicholas' step brother author Ptolemy Tompkins. Painter Alida Morgan oversaw a gorgeous group of young ladies, including niece Rachael Morgan Peters, Daria Isham and Clelia Peters. Gallery owner Spencer Throckmorton, art dealer Sandro Manzo, painter/designer Madeline Weinrib, Yogi and Yogini power couple Nancy Grabois Arann and Tony Leroy and many others viewed the extraordinary work and socialized with the distinguished crowd. This exhibition travels to the Foundation Henri Cartier-Bresson in Paris for it's May 25th exhibit.



Jet Airliner #04
Air France Airbus A340-300
Superlow Arrival from Paris-Charles de Gaulle
Photograph (c) Josef Hoflehner/All rights reserved

Jet Airliner #01
American Airlines Boeing 737-800
Arriving from Miami, Fl
Photograph (c) Josef Hoflehner/All rights reserved




 Photograph (c) Debbie Fleming Caffery/All rights reserved

Photograph (c) Debbie Fleming Caffery/All rights reserved

The Spirit and The Flesh 
Photographs by Debbie Fleming Caffery

"Caffery wields a painterly use of light and dark in her depiction of the pain and turmoil that surrounds these women. She neither judges, nor makes a statement about them."
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DEBBIE FLEMING CAFFERY grew up along the Bayou Teche in southwest Louisiana. After graduating from the San Francisco Art Institute with a degree in Fine Art and an emphasis in Photography, she returned to Louisiana to document the sugarcane industry, the community, and her three children. In Mexico, Caffery was initially drawn to photographing the spiritual and religious traditions of the rural villages, which reminded her of the sugar cane communities she had grown up in.

For several years during the mid-1990s, Debbie Fleming Caffery spent time photographing in a small village in northeastern Mexico, living on the grounds of the local Catholic church, and using a tortilla shack as her studio. In Mexico, the church is the center of village life, and she became accustomed to the flow of life surrounding it, replete with celebrations of religious feasts and the mysteries and secrets of community life.

"Her photographic interest sharpened when she discovered a cantina that housed a brothel. The environment of the smoke-filled tortilla hut and the unpredictable happenings at the cantina became a central focus of her work. Of this period she has said, “I felt incredibly comfortable in a culture rich in celebrations of religious feasts, with strong, independent, highly emotional people, much like the people I grew up with in southwest Louisiana. Symbols of heaven and hell were dominant, both in the church environment as well as the cantina. The brothel brought new elements into my work: secrets, sensual needs, desire, and often unexpected love.” (Publisher Radius Books)

"The Spirit and The Flesh
published by Radius Books, balances the themes of grace and redemption, sin and forgiveness that Caffery encountered in Mexico and that held her in their sway. Her black-and-white photographs are themselves rich in contrast and unabashedly sensuous, deftly documenting the turbulent emotional landscape. Her wholehearted visual acuity suffuses the work, and represents an engagement with both the subject matter as well as a range of human emotion rarely seen in contemporary work."

Caffery’s work has been included in solo exhibitions at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History, the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Museum of Photographic Arts in San Diego, Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Photography, and the Gitterman Gallery, New York. Debbie has received numerous awards including a Guggenheim Fellowship (2005) for the work in this book; the first Lou Stoumen Prize (1996), and the Louisiana Governor’s Art Award (1990). Her work is included in the permanent collections of museums, including the Smithsonian Institution, Whitney Museum of American Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the New Orleans Museum of Art. Debbie Fleming Caffery’s other monographs include: Carry Me Home (Smithsonian, 1990), The Shadows (Twin Palms Press, 2002) and Polly (Twin Palms Press, 2004). Caffery’s fourth major monograph, The Spirit & The Flesh (Radius Books, 2009), spans her entire body of work in Mexico and includes an essay by Carrie Springer, Senior Curatorial Assistant at the Whitney Museum of American Art.

Congratulations to Debbie on her
New Yorker review for her exhibition at Gitterman Gallery in "Goings On About Town" by Vince Aletti.


TOM CHAMBERS: Bogota Fotografica Festival

Prom Dress #3, 2005. Photograph (c) Tom Chambers

Photographs were displayed across the city of Bogotá

Fetch, 2008. Photograph (c) Tom Chambers
(click to enlarge images)

"In the spirit of the Fotomuseo's mission to bring photography into the lives of the Colombian people, my photographs were displayed on the exterior of public buildings and along the thoroughfares of Bogotá. Most remarkable was the piece Fetch, measuring 24 by 65 feet, displayed prominently on the front of the Archivo de Bogotá. A bit of a surreal experience, perhaps a parallel to my photography, to view my work on such a large scale."

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TOM CHAMBERS was born on a farm in the religiously conservative area of Lancaster, Pennsylvania. After high school he joined the Navy and spent a year on a patrol boat base in Vietnam which profoundly affected his outlook on life. Chambers earned a BFA from the Ringling School of Art and Design. His work has been widely exhibited throughout the United States and has received numerous awards and honors.

Chambers recently participated in the biennial, Fotográfica 2009 Bogotá, sponsored by Fotomuseo, the National Museum of Photography in Bogotá, Colombia. Fotográfica 2009 Bogotá was a gathering of sixteen international photographers, twenty-four Colombian photographers, and a cadre of university professors and museum curators from around the world. These fine art photographers exhibited their work related to the theme of the Portrait. Photographs were displayed in different venues across the city of Bogotá, including major museums, historical buildings, and galleries. Museum curators, university professors, and intellectuals from Colombia, Canada, England, France, Spain, and the USA provided lectures about current issues in photography.

In the historic Candeleria district of Bogotá, Chambers exhibited a body of his work at the Museo de Bogotá. Teaching a class at the Universidad Nacional, he explained the process of creating his photomontages to several hundred students. In a public conversation at the Universidad Central with Guatemalan photographer Luis Gonzalez Palma, Tom and Luis compared and contrasted the themes and symbols in their photographic work.

"Throughout my stay I was well taken care of by
Fotomuseo Director Gilma Suarez and her attentive staff, as well as warmly embraced by the people and arts community in Bogotá. The experience was both artistically and intellectually stimulating. If you have the opportunity to participate in a future Fotográfica festival, I would highly recommend this experience. I made some great friends and I had a blast."

Tom Chambers Website
Tom Chambers "Charmers"
Chambers Inspires Songwriters
FotoMuseo in English


NANCY NEWHALL: Photography Review

"Hands of Ann and Ansel Adams". Photograph (c) Nancy Newhall
Courtesy of Scheinbaum & Russek Ltd

"Buckminster Fuller". Photograph (c) Nancy Newhall
Courtesy of Scheinbaum & Russek Ltd

"When I married Beaumont, I married photography"

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NANCY NEWHALL played a major role in legitimizing photography as a fine art. She worked closely with her husband Beaumont Newhall and well known photographers Ansel Adams, Paul Strand, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Edward Weston and Minor White. It was only after her death in 1974, her own photographs were revealed.

Beaumont Newhall founded the photography department at the Museum of Modern Art in 1935, and was curator and director of George Eastman House in Rochester, New York, from 1948 to 1971. Nancy assisted her husband (she assumed the role of MoMA's curator of photography during Beaumont's wartime service), was a founding member of Aperture magazine, wrote extensively about photography and curated independantly.

Newhall's photographs were recently shown in the exhibition "Nancy & Beaumont Newhall: A Centennial Celebration" presented by Scheinbaum & Russek Ltd in Santa Fe, New Mexico. In his current review in Art News, Tom Collins writes, "Beaumont Newhall's part in bringing photography to prominence in America is well known. This show, titled "A Centennial Celebration," convincingly places the contributions of Beaumont's wife, Nancy, on the same level as his. Born in 1908 and married in 1936, they both devoted their lives, in tandum and individually, to curating shows, charting and commenting on the evolution of photography, and making pictures themselves." Read the entire Art News Review

"Nancy & Beaumont Newhall" Exhibition On-line
Nancy Newhall Bio
Scheinbaum & Russek Ltd


HEUNGMAN: Shanghai, City of Shadows

Photograph (c) Heungman/All rights reserved

Photograph (c) Heungman/All rights reserved

Photograph (c) Heungman/All rights reserved

Photograph (c) Heungman/All rights reserved

HEUNGMAN was born in China, brought up in Hong Kong and lives in New York City. He received a BA in Cinema and Television Arts from California State University and BFA in Photography from the Art Center College of Design in L.A.. He was a successful commercial photographer for many of the 15 years he lived in New York City. His work was published in Rolling Stone, Spin, and Paper Magazines. He shot numerous musicians; Usher, Moby, Lil' Kim, Ben Harper, The Black Crowes, Duran Duran and celebrities Hugh Grant and Conan O'Brien, as well as many advertising campaigns such as Tommy Hilfiger.

Missing his "roots", Heungman returned to Shanghai for several years, documenting the city around him. He applied his early love of American film noir
in his series "The New Noir". He's exhibited this work in galleries from Austria, China to New York City.

"Shanghai is the natural capital of international neomodernism because, without obvious parallel, it is an interrupted city. Not only is it undergoing a self-conscious process of rebirth, it is doing so with explicit reference to its previous age of cosmopolitan flourishing. It is doubling back upon itself, across a hiatus. In its restoration structures, which typically wrap or encase the old brick and metal skeleton of the early 20th century in the glass, light and digital electronics of fashionable art spaces, leisure venues and creative industries, Shanghai's 1930s and 1990s incarnations click seamlessly together, as if assembling the precision-engineered pieces of a cryptic historical jigsaw puzzle...the still photography of Heungman's Shanghai Noir series engages in a stubborn exploration of broken neomodern duration. At its most elementary, it exploits high-contrast (chiaroscuro) black-and-white imagery and noir aesthetics as a time-code, translating the city's futuristic highrises edifices back into the historical period implied by its style of perception. More subtly, the aspects of Americana (replete with both Gothamite and Hollywood references) disorient and cosmopolitanize, entangling the city's local storyline in wider and more incomprehensible structures of trans-regional fatality. The city's harsh – even infernal – incandescence is cast adrift within an oceanic vastness of pitiless, world-swallowing night. The heavens are an absolute nothingness (so everything is permitted)." Read the complete piece by NICK LAND



MUENCH FAMILY: Three Generations of Photographers in Monument Valley

The Double Arch, Arches Nat'l Park, Utah.
Photograph (c) Josef Muench/All rights reserved

(Click Image to Enlarge)

Wilson Arch, Moab, Utah. Photograph (c) David Muench/All rights reserved

Stevens Arch, Utah. Photograph (c) Marc Muench/All rights reserved

JOSEF MUENCH was born in Bavaria in 1904. At the age of 11 he received his first camera and began a lifelong interest in capturing nature on film. He arrived in the United States with his brother in 1928 and eventually settled in California.

In the 1930's, Monument Valley remained virtually unknown (except to the Navajo whose name for it is Tsé Bii' Ndzisgaii Valley of the Rocks) until Muench took some of the most memorable photographs of it beginning in 1936 and returning over 350 times to photograph there. In 1938, he met with the editor of Arizona Highways Magazine who ran Josef's photograph of the Rainbow Bridge National Monument. Not long after, Muench's name became synonymous with Arizona Highways Magazine where he worked for more than 50 years, using mostly his 4x5 camera.

Later he also photographed in Africa, Alaska, Asia, Canada, Europe, Hawaii, the Rocky Mountains and beyond. The unmanned Voyager Expeditions, launched in 1977, included his photo of a snow-covered Sequoia redwood taken in Kings Canyon National Park. Josef Muench died in 1998 at the age of 94, but his legacy remains.
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DAVID MUENCH, an innovator in landscape photography, has said that nature is his greatest teacher. Son of the founding father of color landscape photography, Josef Muench, and father of Marc Muench, David contributes to the world of photography by illustrating the beauty of land. Best known for his unique view of the American western landscape, he has presented us with the clear lakes and wild rivers of this country for more than 50 years. Muench's formal schooling included the Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, New York, The University of California at Santa Barbara and the Art Center School of Design, Los Angeles, California.

No permits or plane tickets were contemplated when Muench first traversed the Western landscape with his adventurous parents. His father photographed, while his mother, Joyce, wrote about their experiences. The family would travel from their home in Santa Barbara to the eastern Sierras, still one of David’s favorite places, or to the desert Southwest, taking airboats up the Colorado River or animal pack trips deep into the canyon lands.

William Conway, the former president of the Wildlife Conservation Society, praised David as one of the most “prolific and sensitive recorders of a rapidly vanishing natural world” while setting the standard and raising the bar for color landscape photography. David was commissioned to provide photographs for 33 large murals on the Lewis and Clark Expedition that hangs in the Jefferson Expansion Memorial in St. Louis. He is widely published in more than 60 books and publications.

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MARC MUENCH, as a third-generation photographer, could easily have fallen under the shadow of his talented father and grandfather. Instead, he's emerged as an acclaimed landscape and sports photographer in his own right since finishing his studies at Pasadena Art Center College of Design.

Muench estimates that his family has archived 250,000 individual 4x5 transparencies over the years, which is the primary statistic that drove the family studio to a digital workflow. Muench explains that their first foray into digital photography was to hire an employee to run the drum scanner they had purchased and digitize their work. Since that time their family photography studio has fully embraced digital work from capture to print.

Working alongside his parents at the studio, Marc has collaborated on and published several landscape photography books with his father, and his photography has appeared on the covers of Time, National Geographic, Traveler, Arizona Highways, Ski, Skiing, Outside, and Sierra Magazine. He was designated as a Kodak Photo Icon and recently published his 9th book. Marc leads 5 day intensive Photography Workshops, exploring areas like Patagonia, Scotland and Utah, among other remote and beautiful landscapes.

Marc Muench
"Wild Utah" Photography Workshop October 1-5, 2009
Muench Stock Photography
Monument Valley in Vanity Fair Magazine


HEATHER McCLINTOCK: Innocent Casualties

Alema Rose, Aler IDP Camp, Uganda, 2006. Copyright (c) Heather McClintock/All Rights Reserved

"I would like to give you a message. Please do your best to tell the world what is happening to us, the children, so that other children don’t have to pass through this violence."A 15-year-old girl who escaped from the Lord’s Resistance Army in Uganda

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HEATHER McCLINTOCK was raised on a dairy farm in Vermont. She received her BA in photography from New England College in New Hampshire, and Arundel, England, then relocated to New York City to work in prestigious commercial studios. A desire to pursue humanitarian relief work led to her involvement with documentary photography. Heather first visited northern Uganda in 2005, where she focused on the strength and grace of the Acholi people, ravaged by both mental and physical cruelties resulting from a brutal twenty-year civil war. She returned in 2007. Her Uganda work garnered many awards, including the 2006 Center for Photographic Art Artist Project Award and her partnership with Blue Earth Alliance.

“Stepping over the edge and pursuing documentary photography is intrinsically not supposed to be about oneself… but of course life is never so black and white. The situations we find ourselves in as photographers inevitably point and entwine that outer lens back onto ourselves. How do we photograph differently so people won’t turn away from more pain seen in another’s eyes? Are we taking that nebulous something; pride, dignity, humanity, away from someone more than we are actually helping? In northern Uganda, I lost all hesitancy and self-doubt when asking for everyone’s permission to photograph them. ‘We want our plight to be seen. Show these images. Bring people back to help us. Please.’ We are graced with a huge amount of responsibility when we don’t look away from another’s plight, another’s soul. We have been entrusted with the burden of helping people with our images. And most disturbingly, we can leave these places. Are we then strong enough to continue to persevere on their behalf from the outside? If they can survive with such strength and grace, how dare we do anything less? Seeing their pain IS the point. Their stories of devastation and dignity reflect the ambiguity and mystery within each of us.”
(quote from Geoffrey Hiller's VervePhoto)

I first met Heather two years ago at the Santa Fe CENTER for Photography's Portfolio Review. I was humbled by her photographs.
Her first solo exhibition The Innocent: Casualties of the Civil War in Northern Uganda was recently shown at Gallery FCB in New York City and her photographs are included in Child Soldiers, Edited by Leora Kahn published by powerHouse Books.

To purchase prints: Gallery FCB
Heather McClintock: http://www.heathermcclintock.com