Photography

Otherworldly Aerial Photos of Couples Lounging in Central Park

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Sheep Meadow in Central Park “was originally the home to a flock of pure bred sheep from 1864 until 1934.” Since then, the area has been restored and maintained, becoming the city’s first Quiet Zone. A tiny slice of Zen for sunbathers, picnickers, and families looking for a quick getaway from the rat race, Sheep Meadow is also a draw for photographer Michael Massaia. The artist captures photos of couples lounging on Sheep Meadow from above, presenting them in abstract form, divorced from their surroundings. We’re left with the language of an embrace or a languid pose. Massaia exhibits the photos vertically with a dark background, which makes it seem as though each couple is floating in the ether, an otherworldly space and time.
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Writers’ Stunning Photos of the Places That Inspire Them and Make Them Think

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Inspiration isn’t easy to tap into in our plugged-in, oversaturated world. Writers and other creative people often crave solitude, peace, or a place to recharge so they can commit to their work — whether that place is a window on a stunning natural environment, a quiet desk in the middle of urban bustle, a beautiful temple to art, or a cozy chair or kitchen table. We asked 13 fiction writers with books either coming soon or just published to send us a photo of their favorite places to work, get inspired, or welcome the muse — whether they’re crafting YA page-turners or drafting slow short …Read More

A Single Frame on Myrtle Avenue: William Gedney Chronicles the Passage of Time in Brooklyn

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If photography is the art of capturing a moment, then this series of images by the late William Gedney (which we spotted at Burned Shoes) takes the concept to the extreme. They represent the evolution of a single scene, namely the view from Gedney’s window on Myrtle Avenue in Brooklyn. As the frames tick by, the weather changes from winter to summer and back again, and the elevated subway is dismantled (which places the pictures in the 1950s, if our highly scientific Wikipedia research is correct). And all the while, people flit in and out of the frame — running for the train, working, or just hanging out. The result is both a fascinating document of New York City and a meditation on the passing of time.
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Intimate Portraits of Ex-Lovers in Bed

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Some couples break up to make up, but Boston-based artist Laura Beth Reese breaks up (not intentionally, of course) and photographs. “Her work is autobiographical: she photographs people that occupy her life one way or another, for better or worse,” an artist statement informs us — and that couldn’t be more evident than in the photo series Ex-Boyfriends, which we first spotted on Illusion. The portraits of former lovers are intimate and vulnerable with a hint of awkwardness. The old beaus recline on a bed with tousled hair, half-dressed. The history of these relationships is evident in the gaze of the exes — proving that sometimes the past never leaves us completely.
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Local ‘Rocky Horror’ Cast Members Live the “Don’t Dream It, Be It” Philosophy in Lovely Photo Portraits

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At a time when we have more opportunities than ever to avoid the expense and inconvenience of cinemas in favor of viewing even new releases in the comfort of our living rooms, it’s kind of remarkable that one film is still showing on dozens of screens after four decades. That film is, of course, The Rocky Horror Picture. And it’s maintained its place in so many American movie theaters because those midnight screenings still offer an experience you just can’t get at home, with elaborately costumed live reenactors leading amusingly lewd performances that go heavy on audience participation.
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Intimate Photos Capture the Daily Lives of Cuba’s Transgender Community

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Photographer Mariette Pathy Allen, who has documented transgender lives around the globe, took her lens to Cuba to show trans* lives in the slowly loosening environment of Raoul Castro’s rule. As America opens a new relationship with Cuba, and as we ponder the concept of transgender images in the media in the wake of Caitlyn Jenner’s Vanity Fair cover reveal, her photos provide a fascinating look at the community beyond statistics and celebrities — and beyond America’s shores.
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Nirvana Goes Swimming in Rarely Seen Outtakes From Kirk Weddle’s ‘Nevermind’ Photo Shoot

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Will it surprise anyone to learn that Kurt Cobain was, in the words of photographer Kirk Weddle, “not a water guy at all”? Weddle, who had previously shot Nevermind‘s iconic naked-swimming-baby cover, gathered the members of Nirvana together in Los Angeles a month after the album’s release for another underwater photo series. This time, it was Kurt, Krist Novoselic, and Dave Grohl themselves who ended up in the pool. Despite the cold temperatures and early-morning call time (10 AM!), the pictures turned out great — and, like the Nevermind cover, the session has since become a classic. Now, Austin’s Modern Rocks Gallery is displaying a generous selection of outtakes from the shoot. While some have previously been published online or appeared in the recent Cobain documentary Montage of Heck, others will be entirely new to …Read More

Taking Wigstock: Michael James O’Brien’s ’90s Drag Portraits Capture an Explosive Moment in Queer Visibility

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In the 1990s, drag shimmied into the American mainstream in films like The Birdcage and To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar. If you grew up in this era, it was likely through these imaginary portraits of the drag world that you came to have a vague understanding of drag’s traditions and manifold sensibilities. Meanwhile, documentaries like Paris Is Burning and Wigstock: the Movie gave those who were interested in drag beyond its potential for moving straight audiences with introductory comedy narratives a closer, anthropological look at the celebratory scene — one that provided room for ecstatic transgression and self-exploration towards the end of a devastating era for the queer community.
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