Back in the 1970s the photographic art world was experiencing a transformation of sorts. The rise of the celebrity photographer, especially in America set a precedent in the contemporary art market. Photographer’s work started selling for serious money. Mike Mandel, then a student of the San Francisco Art Institute noticed the change and put his mind to creating a body of work that would first satirise but later memorialise the celebrity photographer of the day.
In what would turn out to be an audacious undertaking, Mandel would spend the next Summer travelling the length and breadth of the United States on what he called a Continue reading →
In the last week acclaimed Italian writer Riccardo Gazzaniga shared his feelings about a photograph that we will all know and recognise in a Facebook post. Phogotraphy reached out to Riccardo who has kindly allowed us to share his words.
Sometimes photographs deceive. Take this one, for example. It represents John Carlos and Tommie Smith’s rebellious gesture the day they won medals for the 200 meters at the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City, and it certainly deceived me for a long time.
I always saw the photo as a powerful image of two barefoot black men, with their heads bowed, their black-gloved fists in the air while the US National Anthem, Continue reading →
A black figure stands almost naked, flexed muscles holding a bar of weights signifying strength. This could easily be interpreted as a nuanced reference to the symbolic black power salute that emerged from the 1968 Olympics after Tommie Smith and John Carlos received podium medals. The image is unanimously considered as terrifying, not because it’s a symbol of strength against oppression, but the chest it is emblazoned on is that of 21 year old North Carolina racist recluse Dylan Roof who went on to commit an act of terrorism in a church filled with people of colour.
The photograph emerged Continue reading →