Exhibition at Davis Orton Gallery

Twelve prints from my series The New Promised Land will be on display at the Davis Orton Gallery from August 1 to August 30, 2014. This series documents Los Israelitas, an evangelical Christian sect living deep in the Amazon rain forest, whose beliefs and practices harken back to biblical times. The group was founded in 1958 by Ezequiel Gamonal in Peru. Gamonal proclaimed that he had been chosen by God to inaugurate the new Israel, and he declared the Amazon rain forest to be the New Promised Land. I took these photographs during multiple visits to their remote community on the banks of the Amazon River in May 2013 and June 2014.

The Davis Orton Gallery is located at 114 Warren Street in Hudson, NY, and is open Friday-Sunday from Noon to 6pm and by appointment. Phone 518 697 0266.

The New Promised Land

A lengthy journey down the Amazon River leads to a remarkable discovery that harkens back to biblical times. Los Israelitas, an evangelical sect that blends early Christian beliefs with the pageantry of Hollywood cinema, live in small agricultural communities scattered along the banks of the river. The group, officially known as Asociación Evangélica de la Misión Israelita del Nuevo Pacto Universal (AEMINPU), was founded in 1958 by Ezequiel Gamonal in Peru. Gamonal, a village shoemaker from southern Peru who enjoyed the movies of Cecil B. DeMille, converted from Catholic to Seventh-day Adventist in the 1950s. Several years later, Gamonal proclaimed that he had been chosen by God to inaugurate the new Israel. He declared the Amazon rain forest to be the New Promised Land, and many of his followers left their homes throughout Peru to colonize these remote territories and begin a new way of life.

Los Israelitas observe the Sabbath on Saturday. A large copy of the Ten Commandments (La Ley Real) and a small ark are on display at the front of their sanctuary. Men do not cut their hair or beards, and women and girls cover their hair with headdresses. Their version of the bible includes both the Old and New Testaments. Like the Seventh-day Adventists, they do not observe Christmas or Easter, and there are no crosses or representation of Jesus, Mary or Saints to be found anywhere.

From Sunday through Friday, the men wear ordinary clothing and tuck their long hair under baseball caps while they fish, tend their livestock, and work the fields, the women care for their children or teach in the local school, and the children attend school, play with friends and tend to their chores.

There are elaborate celebrations on Saturdays for the Sabbath, and every month on the occasion of the new moon. Men dress in long, flowing robes and hold their well-worn bibles, women wear their finest garb, and young girls carry tambourines festooned with colorful ribbons. The day-long services, with men and women sitting on opposite sides of the sanctuary, include bible readings, sermons, and the singing of hymns accompanied by a brass band and shaking tambourines. After a break at midday when a hearty meal is served in the common dining room, the congregation returns to the sanctuary for more prayers, hymns and readings.

The priests then prepare and carry out an animal sacrifice, which may be a few small doves, a lamb or even a full-grown bull. The offering is carefully cleaned, rubbed with salt and anointed with olive oil. The priests construct a large pyre on the altar in front of the sanctuary, and place the offering on the flames while the brass band plays and congregation looks on and prays. These images provide a glimpse into the celebrations of this unusual community living deep in the Amazon rain forest.

A Sabbath Prayer
Path to the Sanctuary
Welcoming the Congregation
The Sermon
Four Priests
The Brass Band
Singing Hymns
The Common Dining Room
Three Generations
Woman in Prayer
Bible Discussion
Preparing Bread for the Burnt Offering
Frying Bread for the Burnt Offering
The Bull's Head
Bringing the Offering to the Pyre
Gathering of Women
Placing the Sacrifice on the Pyre
Shaking of Tambourines
Tending the Pyre
The Pyre at Nightfall

A Sabbath Prayer

Path to the Sanctuary

Welcoming the Congregation

The Sermon

Four Priests

The Brass Band

Singing Hymns

The Common Dining Room

Three Generations

Woman in Prayer

Bible Discussion

Preparing Bread for the Burnt Offering

Frying Bread for the Burnt Offering

The Bull's Head

Bringing the Offering to the Pyre

Gathering of Women

Placing the Sacrifice on the Pyre

Shaking of Tambourines

Tending the Pyre

The Pyre at Nightfall

F-Stop Magazine Issue #65

Six images from my work exploring faith in Mexico City during La Fiesta de la Virgin de Guadalupe and Semana Santa are included in the F-Stop Magazine Issue #65 Group Exhibition.

Hombre con una Pintura
Chica Pensavita
Niña y el Niño Jesús
Compran Objetos Religiosos
En la Basilica Antigua
La Dormición de la Virgen

Hombre con una Pintura

Chica Pensavita

Niña y el Niño Jesús

Compran Objetos Religiosos

En la Basilica Antigua

La Dormición de la Virgen

Semana Santa in Mexico City

I’ve spent the past week photographing Semana Santa in Mexico City, one of my favorite places in the world. Whether it’s a joyous family outing on the Metro, a reflective moment in the Antigua Basilica de Guadalupe, or the passion of the Via Crucis, the wonderful people of Mexico never cease to amaze me.

Easter 001
Metro Line 8 near Aculco

Easter 002
Antigua Basilica de Guadalupe

Easter 003
Via Crucis on Viernes Santo

2014 Pacific Northwest Photography Viewing Drawers

Ten prints from my series Avoid Naples! will be on display in the 2014 Pacific Northwest Photography Viewing Drawers at the Blue Sky Oregon Center for the Photographic Arts. The exhibition was juried by Michelle Dunn Marsh, Executive Director of the Photo Center NW in Seattle, and Todd Johnson, founder and director of Black Box Gallery in Portland. The opening reception is on April 3, 2014, 6:00-9:00 PM, and the exhibition will be on display through March 2015. Blue Sky is open Tuesday-Sunday from Noon – 5:00 PM and is located at located at 122 NW 8th Avenue, Portland, OR 97209.

Spanish Quarter Warning, Naples
Dante Monument, Naples
Fishmonger, Naples
Linea 2 at Montesanto, Naples
Via dei Tribunali, Naples
Via Foria, Naples
Piazza Cavour, Naples
Via Mario Morgantini, Naples
Linea 1 near Museo, Naples
Vico della Zite, Naples

Spanish Quarter Warning, Naples

Dante Monument, Naples

Fishmonger, Naples

Linea 2 at Montesanto, Naples

Via dei Tribunali, Naples

Via Foria, Naples

Piazza Cavour, Naples

Via Mario Morgantini, Naples

Linea 1 near Museo, Naples

Vico della Zite, Naples


Talk and Slideshow – Stories of the Street

I’ll be giving a talk and slideshow at the monthly Group f/5.6 meeting on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 7:00 pm at the East Shore Unitarian Church. The talk will not only discuss the images in my Stories of the Street Exhibition, but will also describe the evolution of my artistic vision. It will detail some of my methods for photographing, editing, processing and printing my work. Everyone is welcome and will be able to view the prints in my exhibition before and after the talk in the adjacent Clarridge Gallery, located in the office/bookstore of East Shore Unitarian Church at 12700 SE 32nd Street, Bellevue, Washington 98005.

If there’s one thing photographers must never, ever do, it is to show their contact sheets or to display them in public. One must never show one’s contact sheets because they may prove too revealing, because wrong conclusions could be made and perhaps, and even worse, correct ones.

—  Elliott Erwitt from the the DVD series Contacts

 
2009-06-23 Contact Sheet 5

NYC 2009-06-23 Images 145-181

Artist Trust 2014 Benefit Art Auction

The Artist Trust 2014 Benefit Art Auction will take place on Saturday, February 22, 2014, at the Fischer Pavilion in the Seattle Center. This gala event will include a champagne reception, silent auction, delicious dinner, live auction with Laura Michalek, and entertainment by Mandy Greer, Jessika Kenney and Eyvind Kang.

A catalog of all of the donated art is available online, and I’m delight to be included in the auction for a third year with a print of my award-winning image Girl at the Abastos Market, Oaxaca.

Girl at the Abastos Market, Oaxaca
Girl at the Abastos Market, Oaxaca – Limited Edition, 24 by 18 inches, matted and framed.

Artist Trust is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to supporting artists in Washington State. They provide opportunities artists working in all disciplines with funding in the form of grants and awards. They also offer career training to launch and sustain successful careers through a variety of professional development programs, seminars, workshops and other events. Their website and Seattle office are a wonderful source of information for artists, including opportunities for residencies and calls for art, as well as resources on healthcare, legal issues and other programs for artist. The Artist Trust Community Report details their annual expenses and income and indicates that nearly one-quarter of their budget of over $1 million is from their annual art auction.

I first became involved with Artist Trust in 2008 when I was selected for their EDGE Professional Development Program. This intensive program not only helped me learn necessary skills for the business side of art, but it also resulted in wonderful friendships and collaborations with my cohorts in the program. It’s easy to understand why Artist Trust is one of my favorite organization to support.

Update: February 24, 2014
The 2014 Artist Trust Benefit Auction last Saturday raised over $380,000, with proceeds going to support Artist Trust grants, career training and resources for artists throughout Washington State. Well done!

Lenscratch Kiss Exhibition & Valentine’s Day

I’m glad to be included in Aline Smithson’s Lenscratch Kiss Exhibition with my image from Stazione Mergellina in Naples, Italy. Valentine’s Day prompted me to compile a collection of some candid images of couples that I’ve photographed over the past few years.

Stazione Mergellina, Naples
Bosque de Chapultepec, Mexico City
Boulevard Saint Germain
Piccadilly Line near Leicester Square, London
Metro Line 7 near Les Halles, Paris
Parc du Champ de Mars, Paris
Metro Line 4 near Château d'Eau, Paris
Outside the Metropolitan Museum, Manhattan
Linha 2 at Klabin, São Paulo

Stazione Mergellina, Naples

Bosque de Chapultepec, Mexico City

Boulevard Saint Germain

Piccadilly Line near Leicester Square, London

Metro Line 7 near Les Halles, Paris

Parc du Champ de Mars, Paris

Metro Line 4 near Château d'Eau, Paris

Outside the Metropolitan Museum, Manhattan

Linha 2 at Klabin, São Paulo


Stories of the Street

I’ve been taking candid photographs of people going about their daily activities in numerous locations around the world for the past seven years. My exhibition Stories of the Street, which will be on display at the Clarridge Gallery from January 25 through February 26, is a chronological retrospective that includes prints of eight of my photos taken between 2007 and 2013. This show provides insight into the evolution of my artistic vision and process. I will also be presenting a slideshow and talk to discuss these images and reveal some of my methods for photographing, editing, processing and printing my work during the monthly Group f/5.6 meeting at the East Shore Unitarian Church on February 26 at 7 pm. Everyone is welcome to attend this presentation, and the gallery will be open both before and after the talk. The Clarridge Gallery is located in the Bookstore of the East Shore Unitarian Church at 12700 SE 32nd Street Bellevue WA 98005. Gallery hours are weekdays 9am to 5pm. Call (425) 747-3760 for weekend hours.

Metro Line 7 near Les Halles, Paris
Coney Island Boardwalk, Brooklyn
Metro Line 1 near People's Square, Shanghai
Girl at the Abastos Market, Oaxaca
Dante Monument, Naples
Gai Ghat, Varanasi
Rua Simões Filho,Cachoeira, Brazil
La Fiesta de Virgin de Guadalupe, Mexico City

Metro Line 7 near Les Halles, Paris

Coney Island Boardwalk, Brooklyn

Metro Line 1 near People's Square, Shanghai

Girl at the Abastos Market, Oaxaca

Dante Monument, Naples

Gai Ghat, Varanasi

Rua Simões Filho,Cachoeira, Brazil

La Fiesta de Virgin de Guadalupe, Mexico City


Collective Visions Gallery

My photograph Gai Ghat, Varanasi  will be in the 2014 Annual Washington State Juried Art Show at the Collective Visions Gallery. The show was juried by Jamie Walker, Professor of Art at the University of Washington, and features over one-hundred pieces of 2- and 3-dimensional artwork, with a complete exhibiton catalog posted online. The show runs from January 25 – March 1, with an opening reception on January 25. The Collective Visions Gallery is located at 331 Pacific Avenue, Bremerton, WA.

Gai Ghat, Varanasi
Gai Ghat, Varanasi

One by One Exhibition

My print Ram Ghat, Varanasi  will be on display in the One by One Exhibition at the Colorado Photographic Arts Center from January 9 through February 15, 2014. The show features the work of 44 artists selected by Eric Paddock, Curator of Photography at the Denver Art Museum. An exhibition catalog is available from MagCloud as a free, downloadable PDF or a print version. The Colorado Photographic Arts Center is open Wednesday through Saturday from 12-6 PM and is located at 1513 Boulder Street, Denver, CO. There will be a closing reception on February 15 from 3:30-5:30 PM.

Ram Ghat, Varanasi
Ram Ghat, Varanasi

New Website and Blog

Welcome to my new website and blog! I designed the site to be clean, easy to navigate, and to work across a range of devices, platforms and browsers. The images and typography are optimized for the latest high resolution retina screens, the display automatically adjusts for changing device orientation, and slideshows can be controlled with screen swipes.

More importantly, this site will be easier for me to maintain and update than my old one, which I cobbled together in the distant days of dial-up modems. The integration of the website and blog will provide a better viewing experience. I now plan an overhaul of my portfolios, and I’ll be adding lots of new work. So, keep your eyes peeled and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by! — Stan

My old blog Stan Raucher in Black and White is now retired, but it will remain on the web collecting dust. That’s what webs do, isn’t it?