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Posted 06/30/2017
Many photographers begin their careers wanting to “make a difference” with their photography, to bring some good to the world, or at least to the people they photograph. It’s one of the greatest aspects of the craft and its adherents, but can a photo really bring about long-term change? This is an increasingly relevant question, and one that dogs even the most experienced and socially conscious photographers. Despite this dilemma, many photographers forge ahead, shining a light on horrors and glories with the hope that their images have a positive influence and perhaps, because of this dilemma, some photographers have found ways to use their art, labor, contacts, experiences, and insight to raise money specifically for organizations that are “making a difference.” Salem Krieger is an experienced editorial and portrait photographer who had a seemingly simple realization in 2015: he could sell prints of his work and give a portion of the revenue to a non-profit organization of his choice. From this grew Art is Helping, his system for putting artists and art buyers together and letting the buyers determine how much they spend and which organization they support. In a short time, the roster of artists has grown, as has the varied list of non-profits that benefit from the transactions. Alison Wright is an accomplished documentary photographer and author whose work has taken her to every corner of the world. Her latest book,  Human Tribe,  is available through Amazon and Barnes & Noble. In 2000, a tragic, near-death accident on a jungle road in Laos and a remarkable story of heroism and recovery brought a heightened perspective to the strength and spirit that pushes people to help one another—even to risk their lives to help complete strangers. With the resolve and empathy born from suffering, Wright rebuilt her life and career and founded Faces of Hope, a fund that provides medical care and education, especially to women and children in crisis around the world. The first act of Faces of Hope was to return to the village in Laos—and the people who saved her life—with five doctors and $10,000 worth of medical supplies. We speak with these two photographers about their work and about the mechanisms they have created to bring assistance to those who need it, while continuing to do the photography they love. Guests: Alison Wright and Salem Krieger “Tibet Girl” 2005. Photograph by Alison Wright Malagan Ceremonial Mask, Papua New Guinea, 2010. Photograph by Alison Wright Cover of Alison Wright’s latest book, “Human Tribe” “NYC News Stand” by Salem Krieger, from Art is Helping “42nd St. Alien” by Antonio Mari, from Art is Helping “Shadows” by Cynthia Karalla, from Art is Helping “VSH #4” by Julie Gross, from Art is Helping “Beetle” by Jose Maximiliano Sinani Paredes Shezchez, from Art is Helping “Auto America: New Mexico” by Salem Krieger, from Art is Helping Previous Pause Next DON'T MISS AN EPISODE SUBSCRIBE NOW:   Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Lawrence Neves
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Posted 03/28/2019
Is it necessary to be funny to create work with humor, what is the line between humor and discomfort, can art that is funny have a serious message? How does Instagram success translate to the real world? These are some of the questions we address in this week’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast, and while “humor in art” is our starting point, the conversation takes its own life and we touch on a range of subjects, including the role of Instagram for artists, how to sustain a creative idea, the discrepancy between intent and reception, and how to scale work for both a small screen and a gallery. With these ideas on the table, I cannot think of two better guests with whom to have a conversation. Mitra Saboury and Ben Zank are both artists who explore very personal spheres with their photo and video work, and both incorporate humor and playfulness to express their worldview—and as a portal to explore thornier themes. Ben Zank’s deceptively simple, wonderfully composed images, often with himself as model, explore the body’s relationship with its found environment. Placing a model in a sewer, a pothole, a basketball hoop, or under the yellow lines of the highway, Zank creates an, at times awkward, at times harmonious exchange. The almost self-deprecating humor belies a confident control of purpose and a delicate view of the human form. The imaginative work of Mitra Saboury, whether alone or in collaboration with Meatwreck, explores the physical and psychological effects of our quotidian toils. Like Zank, there is much humor in her work, but a persistent challenging of norms and questioning of beliefs runs through her photography, video, performance, and installation art. Some pieces are discomforting, but strength through inquiry and vulnerability lay at their core. Her work has been exhibited throughout the world, most recently at the Spring Break Art Fair, in Los Angeles, but she also thrives on Instagram and encourages audience participation, whether in person or in the semi-anonymity of the Web. Join us for this interesting conversation, organized by Cory Rice, and check out his portrait of Ben Zank in our “What is Photography?” series. Guests: Mitra Saboury, Ben Zank, Cory Rice Snackbreak © Meatwreck Wavy © Meatwreck Cheescake © Meatwreck Nail Spa © Mitra Saboury Found Face © Mitra Saboury Soap Sink © Mitra Saboury 355 © Ben Zank Daily Commute © Ben Zank Bottleneck © Ben Zank Nuclear Witness © Ben Zank Ben Zank © John Harris Mitra Saboury © John Harris Mitra Saboury, Allan Weitz, Ben Zank, and Cory Rice © John Harris Previous Pause Next   Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Senior Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Lawrence Neves
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