Week 47 SOTW
I have been a long time admirer of @odespicht’s work, especially of his female portraits. I feel no writing of mine can capture the subtle essence of which he renders his sitters. There they are, floating delicately in a timeless box, lofting in the air as a fresh sweet scent enters a room. @odespicht’s women (this should have its own hashtag) are isolated portraits of a latent sexuality, simmering within the female form, detached and enigmatic, dominant in their pose within the domestic backdrop which remains simple, everyday, common. These young women are the antithesis of the the IG girl shot – no pouts or natural figures racked into anorexic positions. @oldespicht may even be putting the universe back in balance with his depiction of young women. At a time when twerking with a father-figure BeetleJuice is promoted as the new role model for young women, @oldespicht shows us an alternative view. These young ladies are slow and cautious, coquettish yes, but of a mature nature and strength. Their stares are intense – they challenge the viewer in a kinda Taxi Driver way. ‘You looking at me?’ to which the viewer may reply– I can’t resist – should I not? The confidence he draws from these young models is extraordinary. @oldspicht steps outside of the norm and performs something simple but empowering. His sitters pose beautifully, but manitain a power. Well worth the visit.
IG | @odespicht
CONTACTsheet No 6
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Every four weeks we feature a collection of photographs that capture the hashtag of man in a fresh light. These images step outside of the box, bringing with them a contemporary flavour to the 1954 original. It is also a chance to look up other photographers and dig a bit deper into the endless talent that exists here on IG. As we move ever closer to the 10,000 image mark I’d like to personally thank you for your continued support and ongoing submissions. It has been an exciting project to date and currently I am researching some options which I will announce at that milestone 10,000. Keep the images flowing, pass the word around – post to #thehashtagofman. Over and out.
From left to right, top to bottom rows –
@karenpercelle @dicktoasttoe @andrea_paras
@odespicht @blacksmithpat @lorcanfinnegan
@suzanz @andicandie @sabrinamero
Week 45 SOTW
@lorcanfinnegan is one of the freshest and finest Instagram environmental portrait photographers I know on IG. The day his images drip fed into #thehashtagofman I was looking at people like I never seen before. This guy IS incredible and one really needs to travel through his field work to see what I mean. The topography of his subject’s faces, the contours and contortions of their skin and expressions, caught in a milky Dublin light, showcase a people life seemed to be a bit harder on. Whether it’s the climate, the socio-economics of his location or simply age drying up dreams these images etch a hard, cool stare from something so far removed from the usual suspects. There is no apology here he makes, only a beautiful despair (if there is such a thing), and if there isn’t well he invented it. Often we see this work in black and white, but the rich colour he shoots with nails down a reality that sometimes feels physical. There is no abstraction, no apology, no light way around the truth – only a kick in the teeth narrative showing us what life can give and what it can take whether in a moment or throughout decades. His portraits portray gasps of bitter luck, missed opportunities, long forgotten youth, or a t-bone smash that serves as a wakeup call. But it is the way he captures them that are so poignant, so lush, that one can still feel whisper of hope.
Week 44 SOTW
@iangramcracker has @calanchini to thank for hashtagging this amazing shot so we could see it. Those eyes! However this was just the beginning. Being Halloween just passed and all it’s fitting that peeking into his Instagram feed is for the photographer with a sweet tooth. Man his stuff is sugar for the eyes. He has a cracking frank style – a very suburban matter-of-fact-ness with details that slap you in the face by his art of the quirky juxtaposition. But you just gotta open up the images, see them large to appreciate the micro-narratives each shot possesses. On the iPad they really shine and are freakin’ fabulous moments of observation. Contemporary reference points which echo The Family of Man but usher it into the now. The plastique of us. The hilarity of all our wild and wacky and utterly temporary if not useless stuff. This guy just oozes the unbearable lightness of seeing and could be a great contender for the King of Quirky. Dig in and enjoy your sugar rush!
Week 43 SOTW
This week’s SOTW and feature pick is the portfolio of @nientesugar where he shakes up the traditional black and white aesthetic. There is a real energy here. The images rattle and feel like they can shake lose from the boundaries of their mobile projections. The layers by which he achieves this ranges from content which at times verges on Bruce Gilden’s territory and a context which is an arrangement of contrasts and degrees of emotions which produce a rich slice of reportage from his neck of the woods. We move from surf to city, from sand to cement – a metaphoric catching of a wave. The selections are choppy and bump at the board with a force that reminds you that one is in control – but only just. His portfolio is short (161 images), so well worth inspecting image by image where you will find surprises in the details. Enjoy!
Week 42 SOTW
Well, it’s been a while. Having had to take some time away from the updates due to my Master’s dissertation I’m feeling rusty returning to feature writing on the pick for SOTW but if the writing fails the images of this week’s chosen artist certainly will compensate. I’ve been watching @sampicturesnyc feed for some time since he began sending images to #thehashtagofman but it’s the ‘advertisement’ portraits that really caught my interest. In these topsy turvy global economic times, where it seems (well for me anyways) capitalism is a drip feed of economic glucose, keeping us on a sugar high so we miss the inverted corruption of our gamified reality – @sampicturesnyc says it all with this project. His despondent subjects all appear with a point of purchase advertisement as a backdrop while riding the New York subway. He creates this dually layered visual inflection which tugs at the eye – is this an ad within an ad? His subjects are all exhausted (or lost) and the obnoxious display of the ads behind show this unrelenting push of the capitalist selling machine – buy, try, watch, use, be, own, insure, protect, more, new, everything you want! These isolated subjects are trapped within his framing, stuck in an ongoing noise of this always forward moving nowness. These explicit message he creates through his juxtapositions lead me to pause and hear a conversation going on between us and the mechanisms at work. Embedded in what seems too many spaces is a never ceasing push of the hard sell. Well worth a visit and see what feelings they conjure up for yourself.
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Thanks for all your continued support and wonderful views into the lives that surround you. They are indeed rich. This month’s selected contacts are:
@sleepypandaeyes @ryebaldovino @sleepypandaeyes
@ciprianhord @_xst @kaitlinrebesco
@capetownbrown @michaelarec @gdancepants
Week 31 SOTW
Peering between the crowds at the collapsing order of a city, @mirkon’s mobile sized visual dystopia has us gasping for air. His murky, blurred, dark and broody portraits serve as an acid attack on IG’s surface allowing for a fresh albeit somewhat claustrophobic feed. There is a lost anthem playing throughout, and his aesthetic serves well as high and low notes to capture the dis-ease at the core of a metropolis. Every once in a while he loosens his grip, tosses in a smile or friendly glance to soften the tone, but in this context they only show another state of meltdown. For those looking for a lesson in what accident and the imperfect can achieve I highly suggest you come here. @mirkon is a risk taker with an alchemist’s talent mixing composition, postproduction, exposure, pov … I think the only thing he traditionally keeps in check is the use of a black key line. This distorted set of protagonists I found are best viewed if one zooms out and looks at the contact sheet form. Here the collection unfolds in a haunting frame by frame account of his version of a city. Either up close or from a distance @mirkon’s unique perspective is a plunge into dark pools of monochromatic disorder and certainly worth a visit.
Week 30 SOTW
Pack your bags folks we’re off on an adventure. This work is not the usual stuff I see around here on IG but then again with 100 million users out there we haven’t bumped into each other yet. Well until now. Who let the National Geographic photographer in the house? @9magdalena9 has a body of work so rich and colourful you can almost smell the places she’s visited. Really. Her lens takes us into a far off exotic landscape washed in a wealth of colour where folks posed with welcoming yet curious eyes aren’t just being looked at but are looking back. These are active and engaging images. The fact that the people she captures, women, men and children, are all so wonderfully and intensely beautiful certainly makes the viewing of her feed easy on the eye. Atmospheric, colourful, loaded with light and expression keep an eye out for her use of details like a twinkling catchlight caught in children’s eyes, backlit tobacco smoke lofting to vignette proud men, and finding the right moment where cloth unfolds in the most serendipitous manner to expose the faces of stunning women. Make sure you have your passport. The plane is about to leave. Namaste.