This weeks student blog post is by Melanie Nunez. Lauren Greenfield was born in Boston, grew up in Los Angeles, and graduated from Harvard University in 1987. She worked as a photojournalist based in Los Angeles. One of her exhibition, that took 25 years called “Generation Wealth” focuses on the concept of how consumerism/money impacts everyone especially the youth. When we were in ICP Museum I remember focusing on a image of a boy with a go go dancer. This photo taken place during the boy’s Bar Mitzvah, which is a religious ceremony of Jewish boy who has reached the age of 13. Due to his parents being rich they spent over millions of dollars on the event and even hired go-go dancers. Being born into money propels kids to grow up faster and be exposed to more things than someone without money. Most likely these kids are being forced to do certain things and don’t really have a choice of their own when young. Not only can anyone be famous today via social media but the idea of money has become more apart of our everyday lives. The title of Generation Wealth and many of the pictures could contribute to mislead thinking that this is a project about people who are wealthy. It is not. It is about how the aspiration for wealth has become even more of a priority. People who are wealthy don’t make a big deal of being wealthy while people who are not wealthy pretend to be wealthy. It is about how, although we have less social mobility now than we had in earlier generations, and an even greater concentration of wealth in the hands of a few, the American dream has not withered but grown, to out sized proportions and a less realistic goal to reach.
This weeks guest blog post is by Yolanda Hernandez Susan Meiselas is an American documentary photographer, she is best known for her war-torn Nicaragua and of American carnival strippers. Her works have been published in newspapers and magazines including The New York Times, The Time, Time, GEO, Paris Match. These photographs were taken from 1972 to 1975 when Meiselas spent her summers photographing and interviewing performers in small towns in New England, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina. She not only photographed their public performances but also their private lives. The women she met ranged in the ages seventeen to thirty-five. The performers were either runaways, girlfriends of carnies, club dancers, both transient and professional. What really caught my attention is that they don’t seem bothered that there’s someone photographing them, knowing that these photographs will go up on the internet. Most of these shots are off guard which makes it more real.
This is a photo by Bruce Gilden, a photographer well known for his candid photos. He just goes up to random people on the street and takes pictures of them. The best thing about his photo is the fact that the subjects aren’t prepared for it. This shows their true nature although in this photograph he pointed the flash from a worm’s eye view to make the person look aggressive or evil. Doing this helps give the viewer a sense of who the random people really are. Bruce Gilden is in the center of all debates that surround the topic, of whether it is allowed to take pictures of people without their permission. The answer is always “yes” it is allowed, as long as the subject is in a public place. Bruce Gilden, although controversial, is a very respected and talented photographer who likes to capture pictures of everyone when they least expect it.
All of our ICP at THE POINT students visited the Bronx Documentary Center (BDC) this fall to see photographer Joseph Rodriguez’s Spanish Harlem: El Barrio in the ‘80s. We were lucky enough to have Joe there for each visit to speak with the students about his images and the exhibition. He spoke with them about how he got started on this project, what it was like as a teenager growing up in Brooklyn, and how photography became an outlet for him. We were lucky enough to be joined by the BDC’s own preteen/teen students for each visit too!
In early November, our Monday preteen students had the opportunity to hear from Roy Baizan, alumnus from ICP at THE POINT and the Bronx Documentary Center Junior Photo League. Roy is a Chicano Bronx-based photographer currently in ICP’s One-Year Certificate Program in Documentary Practice and Visual Journalism. Roy started at ICP at THE POINT as a teen and soon began working with us as a Teaching Assistant and as staff in ICP’s Community Programs.
For his Guest Artist visit, Roy brought prints from his first black-and-white class at THE POINT to look at with the students while discussing their own work. He then showed some of his recent work from a trip to visit his family for the first time in Mexico.
Roy discussed his approach to photographing family members, and knowing when to be present in a situation versus when to document it. The students participated in a group discussion about their impressions of the images and documentary photography.
Images, credit: Corey Torpie, Teaching Assistant
The theme for the summer was “What’s My Story.” We went to the ICP Museum to see the Magnum Manifesto show. It was great for the students to see both old and new work on a much larger scale and the importance of visual storytelling. The show taught the students what a photo collective is and how different photographs can collaborate and tell stories that are typically unseen. They learned how the collective helped advance earlier photographers work and ownership over work for publications.
As young budding photographers, it was helpful for them to hear and see what hoops past photographers had to jump through to suceed and to the time, hard work, and skills they needed to become great photographer. One of the students was so moved by the show she set a life’s goal to be the first woman from The Bronx to be a Magnum Photographer. She says it doesn’t matter how long it takes to come true.
This summer, our class had the pleasure of welcoming one of Contact Press’ photographers, Frank Fournier, as our Guest Artist. Frank shared his first experience as a photographer living in a new place and the stories he wanted to tell. We viewed Drop Dead, which is Frank’s first body of work about his time in New York City. It was wonderful for the students to see his work and start to understand the process of building a story. During the slideshow, they discussed making time to photograph, finding a story, and understanding the importance of a story. After the presentation of work, Frank took time to view the students’ work and give feedback on their personal projects.