2015 Soho Photo Gallery National Competition

I’m honored that my photo Man with Pipe and Tabor was selected for the 2015 Soho Photo Gallery National Competition. The competition was juried by Elizabeth Avedon, the noted writer and independent curator, who chose 40 diverse images from the over 2,000 submitted.

The exhibition will be on display at Soho Photo Gallery on 15 White Street in the TriBeCa district of Manhattan from July 7 through July 25, 2015, with an opening reception from 6-8 pm on Tuesday, July 7.

Soho Screen Shot 1200

Texas Photographic Society 24th International Competition

I’m delighted that my photo Man with Cake – Remedios, Cuba was selected for the Texas Photographic Society 24th International Competition. The juror for the competition was Dr. David Coleman, Director of the Wittliff Collections at Texas State University in San Marcos, and he chose 50 photos from the 847 images submitted.

Man with Cake - Remedios, Cuba

The exhibition will be on display at the Wittliff Galleries at Texas State University in San Marcos, TX, from June 1 through July 25, 2015. A public reception with the juror will be held on Saturday, June 6 from 3:00-5:00pm. The exhibition will also travel to the San Antonio Public Library during FotoSeptiembre in the fall, followed by The Center for Contemporary Arts in Abilene.

The exhibition may be viewed online and an catalog is available on Blurb.

The Texas Photographic Society is a non-profit organization that hosts a variety of exhibitions, events and workshops.

Easter Thursday Procession in Antigua

Activities go into full swing on Easter Thursday (Jueves Santo), with elaborate processions from Templo de San Francisco Grande and Templo de San Cristóbal el Bajo.

Easter Tuesday and Wednesday

On Tuesday (Martes Santo) and Wednesday (Miércoles Santo), I photographed processions from Templo el Calvario and Templo de San Felipe de Jesús. Some of these photos are shown below.

Lunes Santo Procession

I followed the Lunes Santo procession of Santa Inés del Monte Pulciano on Easter Monday. This rural community had a different feel than the larger churches in Antigua. Their smaller anda was stored in a large shed and had figures of Jesus, Mary and Moses raising a cobra in the desert. The procession was headed by men and boy dressed as Roman soldiers and carrying banners, trumpets and drums. They were followed by Nazarenos, hooded penitent with conical hats, an outfit that has been used for hundreds of year in Spanish processions. They were carrying white crosses with small paintings depicting the stations of the cross. The Nazarenos were followed by the anda, band and clean-up crew, and they traveled along the highway into Antigua, where they encountered the usual problem low-hanging power lines.

Palm Sunday in Antigua

March 29, 2015

In the morning of Domingo de Ramos (Palm Sunday) actors from the group La Luna Llena enact stories from the life of Jesus as he entered Jerusalem.

La Merced Palm Sunday Procession

The Palm Sunday procession, based on traditions originating in Spain centuries ago, began at La Merced on Sunday morning. Dozens of men dressed as Roman soldiers headed the pack. They were followed by men and boys carrying standards of the hermandad (brotherhood) organizing the event. Next came men carrying statues of Saints or angels on wooden platforms about the size of a dinner table, and scores of boys and men swinging incense burners to purify the pathway.

The large anda (wooden platform), topped with a statue of Jesus carrying the cross and surrounded by biblical characters, then emerged from the church. Both the figure of Jesus and the anda were brought to Antigua from Spain in the XVII century. The anda is some twenty meters long and three meters wide, and it weighs over two tons. There are forty padded shoulder rests along each side of the elaborately carved platform. It is so tall that it needs to be lowered onto special rails in order to fit through the large church doors.

Once it’s outside, the anda was lifted onto the shoulders of the cucuruchos, the men who will carry it through the cobblestone streets for the next twelve hours. Each cucuruchos is assigned a specific shoulder rest number and portion of the route to be covered. In addition to the assigned spots, there are a dozen or more men underneath the anda to share the burden, and more men at the front and back to direct and steer it. Hundreds of cucuruchos walk alongside the anda, awaiting their turn to carry. Over one thousand men may act as cucuruchos during the procession. The anda is never set down, and as it sways back and forth while slowly moving forward, it seems as though it might topple over at any minute.

When the procession reaches one of the many carefully prepared alfombras, the Roman soldiers, standard bearers, and others walk around the alfombra and leave it unscathed, only to be trample moments later by the group carrying the anda. The brass band follows closely behind playing mournful dirges. Since the lengthy processions either begin or end in the dark, the anda is brightly illuminated via a long electric cord connected to a large gas-powered generator that is wheeled behind the band.

A few minute later, a similar sequence passes by with the sisterhood carrying a statue of the Virgin Mary on an anda about ten meters long. They have their own band and portable generator. Vendors with balloons, toys and soccer balls follow the band, and the clean-up crew always brings up the rear to remove the remains of the destroyed alfombras. Since it was raining for several hours on Sunday evening, the precious statues were covered with plastic sheets for some time.

Semana Santa in Antigua, Guatemala

Semana Santa (Holy Week) celebrations in Antigua, Guatemala, are extraordinary. Ever since I made the image Good Friday, Antigua in 2008, I’ve wanted to visit again. I finally returned this year, and I’ll be updating this post with images and commentary from my trip over the next few days here. Please stay tuned and stop by during the coming week.
HCM 079 KAE Good Friday, Antigua
Good Friday, Antigua (2008)

March 27, 2015

I arrived in Antigua on Viernes de Dolores (Friday of Sorrows), just in time to catch the Procesión Infantil Parroquia de San José Catedral (Children’s Procession). This is the children’s opportunity to participate in a small-scale version of the processions that their parent will do during Semana Santa. The young girls, dressed in white lace, carry andas (carved wooden platforms) with statues of the Virgin Mary, and the boys, dressed in purple robes, carry andas with statues of Jesús carrying the cross. This procession lasted five hours as it wended its way through the cobblestone streets for around 4 miles, accompanied by a brass band playing pensive funeral marches. As with all processions, they walk over and destroy the beautiful, freshly prepared alfrombras (carpets) that are made by local residents from colored sawdust, pine needles, fruits and vegetables. A clean-up crew, with brooms, shovels, a front loader and dump truck, bring up the rear to remove the remains.

March 28, 2015

Sábado de Ramos. There were no procession today, but altars and carpets were on display in Templo de la Merced and Templo de San Felipe. The floats from the Templo de la Escuela de Cristo in the Ex Convento Santa Catalina were being clean and ready for the procession next week.

Sabado Ramos01
Float from the Templo de la Escuela de Cristo

The New Promised Land in LensWork #117

My heartfelt thanks go out to Brooks Jensen and Maureen Gallagher for featuring my documentary project The New Promised Land in LensWork #117, Mar-Apr 2015. It’s a tremendous honor to have my work in this esteemed international bimonthly publication which showcases the best in contemporary creative photography.

The print edition, with its high-quality duotone printing, contains a portfolio of twenty images from my project documenting Los Israelitas, a Christian group, living deep in the Amazon rain forest, with beliefs and practices that harken back to biblical times. LensWork #117 will be in the mail to subscribers soon, or may be purchased as a single copy directly from the LensWork online store. This print issue also contains portfolios of work from Huntington Witherill, Mitch Dobrowner and Lydia Goetze, as well as editor’s comments and an essay by Guy Tal.

LensWork is also offered in an Extended Tablet Edition as a downloadable PDF for iPad or Adobe Reader. It contains fifteen additional images from my project, including photos of Los Israelitas going about their daily life on weekdays. The extended edition is available by subscription or as a single issue purchase. More content from this project, including additional images and an audio interview, will be available in soon at LensWork Online.

LensWork NPL2

My work was previously highlighted in LensWork #97, Nov-Dec 2011, with an interview by Brooks Jensen entitled Introduction to Street Photography and a portfolio of twenty photographs from my series Return to New York.
 

Larson Gallery Photography Exhibition

I’m honored that my photo Man at the Fiesta for the Virgin of Guadalupe received the Bert Grant Memorial Award at the 39th National Juried Photography Exhibition at the Larson Gallery in Yakima, WA. This Biennial show features photographers from around the United States, and was juried by David D. Johnson. David was an Associate Professor of Photography at Pierce College for 11 years, and taught 14 years for the University of Washington Professional and Continuing Education program. David was my first photography instructor during a nine-month University of Washington program in 2003-2004, and I’m glad to say that he had an important influence on my photography.

The exhibition runs from March 7 – April 18, 2015, with an opening reception on Saturday, March 7, 2015, from 3:00–5:00 PM. The Larson Gallery is located in the Yakima Valley Community College, 16th & Nob Hill Blvd, Yakima, WA 98902 (509) 574-4875. The gallery is open Tuesdays through Fridays, 10 am to 5 pm, and Saturdays 1 to 5 pm during exhibitions.

Man at the Fiesta for the Virgin of Guadalupe - Mexico City
Man at the Fiesta for the Virgin of Guadalupe

 

The New Promised Land at Clarridge Gallery

Eight prints from my documentary series The New Promised Land will be on display at the Clarridge Gallery from February 28 through March 25, 2015. There will be a closing reception at 6:00 PM on March 25 prior to the Group f/5.6 monthly meeting. The Clarridge Gallery is located in the East Shore Unitarian Church at 12700 SE 32nd Street, Bellevue, WA 98005. The gallery is open M-F from 9 AM to 5 PM. Call (425) 747-3760 for weekend hours.

The Common Dining Room

The Common Dining Room

2015 Pacific Northwest Photography Viewing Drawers

Ten prints from my series Life on the Streets of Cuba will be on display in 2015 Pacific Northwest Photography Viewing Drawers at the Blue Sky Gallery Oregon Center for the Photographic Arts. The exhibition was juried by Shane Lavalette, Director of Light Work in Syracuse, NY, and Prudence Roberts, Art History Professor and Director of the Helzer Art Gallery at Portland Community College.

The opening reception will be on Thursday April 2, 2015, from 6-9 pm as part of the Portland Photo Month, and the exhibition will be on display through March 2016. The Blue Sky Gallery is open Tuesday-Sunday from 12-5 PM and on First Thursdays 6-9 PM, and is located at located at 122 NW 8th Avenue, Portland, OR 97209.

Street Corner - Havana, Cuba
White Shoes - Trinidad, Cuba
Washing Motorcycle - Havana, Cuba
Saint Lazarus - Havana, Cuba
Stroller - Havana, Cuba
Playing Cards - Cienfuegos, Cuba
Outside School – Lugardito, Cuba
Waiting - Havana, Cuba
Man with Cake - Remedios, Cuba
Night Thoughts - Havana, Cuba

Street Corner - Havana, Cuba

White Shoes - Trinidad, Cuba

Washing Motorcycle - Havana, Cuba

Saint Lazarus - Havana, Cuba

Stroller - Havana, Cuba

Playing Cards - Cienfuegos, Cuba

Outside School – Lugardito, Cuba

Waiting - Havana, Cuba

Man with Cake - Remedios, Cuba

Night Thoughts - Havana, Cuba

I was also honored to have prints from my series Avoid Naples! in the 2014 Pacific Northwest Photography Viewing Drawers and my series Return to New York in the 2012 Pacific Northwest Photography Viewing Drawers.

Elements Exhibition

Four prints from my series Daybreak on the Ganges are included in the Elements Exhibition at the University House Wallingford in Seattle, WA. The exhibition was curated by June Sekiguchi and features 36 artists with work that addresses the elements of earth, air, fire and water in abstract and realistic interpretations. The exhibition runs from February 19 through June 13, 2015, with an opening reception on February 26 from 5:30 – 7:30 PM. The University House is located at 4400 Stone Way N, Seattle, WA 98103.

Man Mandir Ghat, Varanasi
Scindia Ghat, Varanasi
Departure Dog, Varanasi
Gai Ghat, Varanasi

Man Mandir Ghat, Varanasi

Scindia Ghat, Varanasi

Departure Dog, Varanasi

Gai Ghat, Varanasi

Elements Postcard