Image Makers with Sarah Small and Jason Florio

Fri 12th Mar, 2010 – Fri 12th Mar, 2010

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APA|NY Image Makers Lecture Series

APA|NY Image Makers Lecture Series

Sarah Small + Jason Florio

Wednesday, May 12, 6:30-8 p.m.

Admission: Free (seating is limited)
*No advance registration is required

SoHo Apple Theater, 103 Prince St (between Mercer and Greene)

Sponsored by:

Sarah Small: The Delirium Constructions: Improvisation and Implausible Interaction

Sarah Small’s photography brings together groupings of distinctive visual personalities into fresh interaction in scenarios she contrives from the ground-up. Despite constructing these scenes, she captures authentic experiences of curiosity, unease, sensuality and alienation, often occurring simultaneously, just under the surface of her candy-colored, starkly-composed images.

This lecture will discuss how issues like technical considerations, artistic strategy, and the practicalities of photographing humans cohere to make her images what they are. Through a discussion of three of her own works, Small will explore how such issues intersect with her personal trajectory in her work. Sarah will talk about how the mundane details of a shoot – from choosing locations to casting models and setting up lighting – inform and are informed by models’ responses to one another and the experience of being photographed. In turn, Small will share how these considerations relate to both the vision that guides her work and the eventual images she produces. By sharing personal anecdotes about her artistic growth, including disappointments and (sometimes lucky) mistakes, Small will discuss how she has come to understand the relationship between these elements, and how problems, practicalities, and improvisations can be creatively enlisted together in dynamic images.

Sarah Small, a New York based photographer. Her work explores disassociated themes in the same glance by bringing people, activities and emotions — with little overlap in reality or imagination — into implausible contact. Small’s images capture living subjects up-close and in intimate interaction in stark compositions and disarming candy colors.

Small’s work has appeared in publications including Vogue, Life, Rolling Stone, HOW, Surface Magazine, Psychology Today, Sony, Vice, Playgirl New York Magazine, and The New York Times. Her images have been exhibited in major and minor U.S. cities alike, in such venues as The Corcoran Gallery, Farmani Gallery, Stricola Contemporary, Center for Fine Art Photography, Exit Art, Silverstien Photography, Chelsea Art Museum, Jen Beckman, and Photographic Center Northwest. Small’s work has been shown around the globe in cities including Paris, Berlin, London, Beijing, Nantes, Amsterdam, Toronto, and Sydney, and showcased in exhibitions at the Australian Center for Photography, Caprice Horn Gallery, and the Bova Image Festival.

Small has been the recipient of numerous awards. Most recently, she was given a 10 Best 10 Award by WIN Initiative and Resource Magazine. This past summer, she was one of two American finalists in the 8th annual International Talent Support Competition (ITS#8). Small has been nominated for the Santa Fe Prize, and for 3 consecutive years, she has been a finalist in Photo Lucida’s Critical Mass Competition. She has been honored in competitions held by American Photography 24, Magenta Foundation, Px3, and the Annual Photography Masters Cup. Small was given the Avant Gaurdian Award by Surface Magazine in 2005 and, three years later, selected as one of eight honorees spanning the life of the decade-old competition. Recently, American Photo Magazine named her as one of the “Top 13 Emerging Photographers” working today.

Small currently teaches at the Parsons School of Design and has served as a board member for the American Society for Media Photographers, New York Chapter. She was born into a family of musicians and writers and spent her high-school years wandering the streets of her hometown of Washington, D.C., equipped with her Pentax K1000. Following her training at the Rhode Island School of Design, Small moved to Brooklyn where, when not working on photography and performance projects, she sings and arranges vocal scores with Black Sea Hotel, Brooklyn’s Balkan a Cappella quartet.

Jason Florio: Photojournalism: A Personal Psychosis

Jason Florio is a NYC based photographer and writer from London. For the past 10 years he has worked as a freelance photojournalist around the globe for publications including The New Yorker, New York Times, Outside, Liberation, and The Times of London, completing stories that attempt to reveal the unseen and to provide an alternative point of view on people and places. At the beginning of his career he had the dubious recognition of being one of the last photographers in Afghanistan to photograph the anti-Taliban commander Ahmed Shah Masoud in August 2001, who was assassinated by Al Queda operatives on September 9th, then to be at the foot of the World Trade Center on September 11th as it collapsed. Since then he has returned to Central Asia a number of times on both personal journeys and assignments. Whether it’s bat hunting in Suriname or searching for pirates in Somalia he is most at home away from home and immersed into a story. Florio spent the last 3 months of 2009 making a 930 km expedition by foot of The Gambia, West Africa to produce a series of portraits of African chiefs for which in part he was given fellowship of the Royal Geographical Society in London. The Gambia has been a place Florio regularly returns to. For the past 12 years he has made yearly trips there to work on a long term large format portrait project of the people that live in and around a sacred forest there called Makasutu. The culminating body of work was shown in New York in 2009 in a solo exhibition and the work won a Black and White magazine Spotlight Award, as well as garnering him a nomination for the Santa Fe prize. Florio was awarded the Joy of Giving Something grant in 2004 to produce the first ever assigned story for Aperture in their 50 year history, called ‘This is Libya’, which is now part of the permanent collection of The Forward Thinking Museum. His work on Afghanistan is in the permanent collection of the Brooklyn Museum of Art in New York, as well as a number of private collections. Between magazine assignments and photographing for NGOs this year he is planning another expedition to West Africa to retrace the journey of his hero, Scottish explorer Mungo Park, who went in search of the source of the Niger River 200 years ago.

For me, photography is a way to strip away the boundaries, the prejudices and the false ideas that society and environmental pressures impose to frame my vision.

It is a conduit and a tool for me to bridge a myriad of boundaries be they linguistic, age or ideological. The most important thing to me about photography is the making of it, not necessarily the exhibiting or showing it in a magazine. It’s being in the moment and the connection that I feel with that person or place and how through what I aim the camera at is really a way to describe myself and a way to engage with humanity.



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