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February 2013

January 2013

Mary Ellen Mark

Mary ellen markMARY ELLEN MARK has achieved worldwide visibility through her numerous books, exhibitions and editorial magazine work. She is a contributing photographer to The New Yorker and has published photo-essays and portraits in such publications as LIFE, New York Times Magazine, Rolling Stone, and Vanity Fair. For over four decades, she has traveled extensively to make pictures that reflect a high degree of humanism. Today, she is recognized as one of our most respected and influential photographers. Her images of our world's diverse cultures have become landmarks in the field of documentary photography. Her portrayals of Mother Teresa, Indian circuses, and brothels in Bombay were the product of many years of work in India. A photo essay on runaway children in Seattle became the basis of the academy award nominated film STREETWISE, directed and photographed by her husband, Martin Bell.

Mary Ellen Mark has been among the preeminent documentary photographers working for the last four decades. Her work has been the subject of seventeen monographs, and is collected by virtually all museums. Among Mark’s many awards are a John Simon Guggenheim Foundation fellowship, three fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, and an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree from her Alma Mater, the University of Pennsylvania.

Gerard Rancinan

GERARD-RANCINAN-OPERA-GALLERY-570Somewhere between the glossed-up pomp of a Kanye West music video and the forceful virtuoso of a Géricault painting we get the hyper-saturated images of Gérard Rancinan.  Gerard Rancinan is a photographer.

Attempting to decipher the content of Rancinan's dense photographs would likely take an afternoon.There are heavy-handed symbols by the dozen: we see Marilyn Monroe as a heroin addict, a burqa-clad Lady Liberty, cops making out, Judith with the head of Mickey Mouse and riot protesters clamoring to the top of pile of bodies. Yet rather than using individual pop cultural triggers to tell a story, Rancinan injects them into your vision stream all at once, creating a dizzying and exhilarating image overdose.

Heavier topics like war, sex and religion are jumbled up with Disney characters, nude women and boozed-up banquets, placing no barrier between high and low, dark and light. Rancinan's photographs act as magnets for played-out historical narratives, literary cliches and pop-culture hot topics. Yet the trigger images are all a tease; hunting for a deeper meaning will only lead you back to the beginning. Instead, Rancinan serves up an all-you-can-eat buffet of images, supplying everything you desire right there on the surface.