There are certain moments for photographers, when universe aligns, and there work suddenly is the right work at the right time. When I saw Hannah Whitaker’s rainbow bunny on the cover of Blind Spot, I knew she was on the cusp of having that moment.  And as the past 3 issues of New York Magazine have been dominated by her images, I think I was right.  So yesterday when I got a link to the new issue of Triple Canopy, a super interesting online project if you do not know it, I was not surprised to see her photo colleges paired with Tim Davis’s poetry.

Think of a number between thunder and money
I buy you a matchbook with ink and flint on it
that costs me a piece of lung
You could live months on fast food ketchup packs, In fact
in America, freedom is lemon slices at the diner
and a tattoo of what I weigh adding
ink, but taking blood away

Fire is nothing special
Think of a purebred beagle named
Don’t Smoke in Bed
Even the inner flap of the matchbook is consciously designed
riling some pre-Socratic wacko who insisted:
“brimstone is the stink of cognition”

– Tim Davis


© Hannah Whitaker

The editors actually found a perfect match with these two artists. They both employ a combination of visual irreverence and intelligence in their imagery.  Come to think to think of it so many young photographers have gotten caught up in emulating Alec Soth, they have overlooked Tim Davis.  A mistake indeed.  While environmental portraiture continues to dominate the photo world, or completely process driven work a la Marco Breuer, there is a group of photographers creating a new genre that walks the line between the two.  Both entrenched in our world and culture, but willing to bend and break the traditional rules of the photographic image.  Which is a very interesting place to be.

And speaking of this, tonight is the J & L books party at Aperture.  According to the email from Aperture’s head of educational programing, the original photo blogger extraordinaire Laurel Ptak, there will be: kaleidoscopes, overhead projectors, and blind-folded dancing!

When was the last time you saw that at Aperture?

J&L Books


6:30 p.m.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Aperture Gallery
547 West 27th Street, 4th floor
New York, New York
(212) 505-5555