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Photography

A Magical Series Captures the Gnarled Branches of Socotra's Dragon Blood Trees

June 16, 2021

Grace Ebert

…leaves the trees’ gnarled wood underbelly exposed. Combined with the deep red sap that seeps from its trunk, this otherworldly feature ties the species to local lore. “According to legend, the first dragon blood tree was created from the blood of a dragon who was wounded in a battle with an elephant,” the photographer says. Kordan details the techniques and equipment he used in Socotra in a post about his travels, which you can follow on Instagram. He also has dozens of photographs of the white-sand deserts and life on the Yemeni island available as prints in his shop.  …

 

 



Animation

Sand and Currency from Dozens of Countries Converge in an Endless Interchange of Culture and Economics

June 11, 2021

Grace Ebert

Corrie Francis Parks’s absorbing stop-motion short “Foreign Exchange” is all about perspective. Through a continuously evolving landscape of minuscule stones and banknotes, mini-universes emerge that meld the two materials into culturally significant tableaus. “Between the dazzling layers of currency and sand lie connections that can be mined in infinite ways. Each person who views this film will unearth different associations filtered through their worldly experience and national background,” Parks says. Although the sand shown is small in quantity—Parks can hold all of it in her two hands—it’s sourced from more than 50 countries just like the paper currency, and both…

 

 



Photography

Abstracted Shots Frame the Endless Patterns of Architecture in Perspective-Bending Photos

June 2, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Tobi Shonibare, courtesy of Trope, shared with permission Tobi Shonibare, aka Tobi Shinobi, has an eye for the symmetry and surreal illusion within urban architecture and landscapes. Often turning his camera upward or peering down from above, Shinobi transforms familiar structural elements like transit lines and buildings into strange scenarios: a stairwell appears like an M.C. Escher woodcut, sand dunes riddled with tracks obscure a roadway, and a seemingly endless array of plant-filled tubes dangle from the ceiling in hypnotizing rows. Shinobi abstracts and decontextualizes much of his subject matter, which shifts attention to shape, texture, and…

 

 



Art

Figurative Wool Sculptures by Nastassja Swift Explore the Memories and Narratives of Blackness

April 13, 2021

Grace Ebert

…not relatives Swift has met or seen in photographs, but rather somewhat of “an ancestral presence that allows my hands to make the face in any particular moment without my mind being aware of it.” She always begins with the supple shape of the face and then sculpts the facial details and hair from dyed wool and felt, a process that’s intimate and that’s evolved with two more recent works.   “Your Banks are Red Honey Where the Moon Wanders-Self Portrait,” wool, cocoa butter soap, black sand, resin on wood. Photo by David Hunter-Hale “With ‘Passage, when momma lets my…

 

 



Photography

Black-and-White Photos by Daniel Tjongari Frame the Dramatic Landscape of Indonesia's Sawarna Beach

April 2, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Daniel Tjongari, shared with permission Between 2015 and 2019, Indonesian photographer Daniel Tjongari made multiple treks to a complex of white sand beaches that sit adjacent to the Indian Ocean. He wanted to capture the fluctuating coastal area over time, a project that resulted in a series of dramatic, ethereal images highlighting the beauty of the region. Through monochromatic shots—he shares photographer Elliot Erwitt’s understanding that “color is destructive. Black-and-white is interpretative”—Tjongari frames the rocky expanses and waterfalls of Sawarna Beach in various states, whether shrouded in thick fog or experiencing a brief moment of calm. Tjongari…

 

 



Photography

More Than 90 Archival Photographs Celebrate the Unpredictable in Magnum's Next Print Sale

March 15, 2021

Grace Ebert

…one-week sale.   Ian Berry/Magnum Photos. Ras al-Hadd near Sur, Oman. 2004. René Burri/Magnum Photos. Wilting lotus flowers on Kunming Lake. The Summer Palace, Beijing, China. 1964. Left: Steve McCurry/Magnum Photos. Flower Seller. Dal Lake, Srinagar, Kashmir. 1996. Right: Ernst Haas/Magnum Photos. “Leaping horse”, on the set of The Misfits. Nevada, USA. 1960. Philippe Halsman/Magnum Photos. Tippi Hedren. Hollywood, Los Angeles, USA. 1962. Constantin Manos/Magnum Photos. Daytona Beach, Florida, USA. 1997.   Lindokuhle Sobekwa/Magnum Photos. “Bhayi alembathwa lembathwa ngabalaziyo.” 2020. Ruth Bains Hartmann/Magnum Photos. Shadows on sea and sand. Santa Monica, California, USA. 1979. Harry Gruyaert/Magnum Photos. Gao, Mali. 1988….