Reflexions; Lugano edition

November 3, 2011 § Leave a comment

Back in Australia for the moment… Europe is done for now. At least until February. My second session of Reflexions Masterclass is over, this time in Lugano, and I emerge breathless, confident, inspired.

I’m frequently asked what the sessions are like, what a masterclass actually is and whether it really is as wanky as it all sounds. Despite the lofty sounding name, I can honestly say that I have never been in an environment where I have felt more humbled and yet at the same time more honored to be a part of such a… movement of artists. (Sounds wanky, huh.)

Candidly speaking, I have to admit, a small, exclusive, arduously selected group of photographers meeting at a different location in Europe 3 times a year to discuss the peaks and troughs of their work and ways in which to elevate it, may sound like a load of tripe. In this case, the reality is much, much cooler. The result of this particular group, which I will be sad to see the end of, is an alternately humorous, serious, always passionate, warm and affectionate salon of creatives, all dedicated to their work and deeply invested in photography and the complexities of life that create the images that end up on the discussion table. The demands of the masterclass, a 3 times yearly deadline to produce outstanding work, is to first and foremost bring one’s mind and attention to the work of your peers. It’s a matter of insight and sharing that reflection in the hopes that we would serve as a multi-faceted mirror to each other and hopefully shed light upon areas previously unnoticed or unseen.

Lugano, Switzerland | October 2011

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Mise-en-scene

November 18, 2010 § 1 Comment

MISE EN SCENE:
TERRAIN VAGUE
BOUFFEE DELIRANTE AIGUE
J’AI LEVE A TETE ET J’AI VU PERSONNE

(Arrangement of a scene:
no-man’s-land
thunderstorm of madness
I raised my head and I saw no one)

© Justin Maxon

Few photographers have moved me and captivated me in their vision as much as Justin Maxon. If you see his earlier work and the places where his mind has been, to the places where he is reaching for, the age-old dichotomy and struggle of good vs evil, war vs peace, dark vs light becomes clear. Recently selected to participate at the World Press Photo Masterclass, Justin set for himself a new task – to break through the madness and the thunderstorm and to take solace for a moment in the sun. I remember speaking with him for hours about this… the idea of filling your life with the anguish of others because it’s all the reality you know, or perhaps… something different. Perhaps it’s just as important to balance the darkness with its lighter counterpart, to photograph with sincerity and heartbreaking earnestness all that you might have hoped for, all that you might want to live for. It takes enormous courage to hope. I’ve found that fewer and fewer people are willing to openly throw off the mantle of cynicism for fear of being vulnerable and ridiculed, for fear of losing street cred. Justin hopes… and if he has fear of it, I have yet to see him succumb… and we, as his audience, are better for it.

Slow down…Breathe…Only this life

© Justin Maxon

© Justin Maxon

© Justin Maxon

© Justin Maxon

© Justin Maxon

© Justin Maxon

© Justin Maxon

Young folks, submerged

February 19, 2009 § Leave a comment

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Siem Reap, Cambodia – photo-types, a swimming pool and the encroaching night

 

If i told you things i did before 
told you how i used to be 
would you go along with someone like me 
if you knew my story word for word 
had all of my history 
would you go along with someone like me

 – Peter Bjorn and John

 

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