Current Student Johnnie Chatman featured in Francis Ford Coppola's magazine Zoetrope


Fall guest designer and photographer Richard Misrach has curated a selection of images from  Johnnie Chatman's upcoming thesis project, "I Forgot Where We Were..." into the upcoming Fall 2017 issue of Zoetrope magazine. The feature will showcase a series of his self portraits, where he uses constructs and idioms of the West and western landscape photography as allegorical elements to conduct a dialogue about black identity as it reconfigures itself against media, historical, and transglobal narratives.

Be sure to check out the Notes on Design section to read more on why Richard Misrach chose to include this work in the upcoming issue.


 Images courtesy of Johnnie Chatman. 

Images courtesy of Johnnie Chatman. 

For those in the San Francisco area, alongside fellow contributing artist Wesaam Al-Badry,  Johnnie Chatman will be participating in a dialogue with Richard Misrach at the release party on Wednesday Nov. 1st. The gathering will being hosted at Cafe Zoetrope in North Beach from 6-8 pm. It will be a delightful evening of literature and art, and of course plenty of food and wine.

For more details on the event and to rsvp, please click here. 


 Image Courtesy of Zoetrope. 

Image Courtesy of Zoetrope. 

Zoetrope: All-Story is an American literary magazine that was launched in 1997 by Francis Ford Coppola and Adrienne Brodeur. All-Story intends to publish new short-fiction. Zoetrope: All-Story recently received the National Magazine Award for Fiction, the highest honor due an American periodical, for Anthony Marra's story "The Grozny Tourist Bureau.". With each issue a guest artist is chosen to construct the quarterly’s issues art directions. Past designers have included Agnes Varda, David Bowie, Gus Van Saint, Helmut Newton, Olafur Eliasson, Mickalene Thomas, Ryan McGinness, Martin Parr, John Baldessari and a plethora of creatives across mediums.  

To purchase your copy and find out more about the upcoming issue, please click here.

Lorenzo Triburgo and "Policing Gender"

In Policing Gender by alumni Lorenzo Triburgo, he employs visual connotations of landscape and portrait photography to cast a critical lens on notions of the “Natural” and the politics of queer representation, this time in service of prison abolition as a crucial queer issue.

Policing Gender comes to fruition as an installation of photographs and audio. The photographs are abstract metaphors on absence and imprisonment and the audio component is a compilation of voices of LGBTQ prisoners with whom he has shared a pen-pal-esque relationship with on a long-term basis.

  For April.

For April.

  Untitled Aerial 01.

Untitled Aerial 01.

Triburgo's work will be featured in two international exhibitions running concurrently this fall. Policing Gender is featured in the exhibition Disruptive Perspectives at the Museum of Contemporary Photography at Columbia College in Chicago and Photoforum Pasquart in Biel, Switzerland. This was made possible by the collaboration and co-curatorial efforts of Allison Grant, former assistant curator of exhibitions and education at the Museum of Contemporary Photography  and Nadine Wietlisbach, director at Photoforum Pasquart.



 For Vikki. 

For Vikki. 

Disruptive Perspectives is an exhibition that explores gender, sexuality, and identity. The artists included use photography to articulate an expansive range of identities that cannot be sufficiently characterized using simplistic binaries. Rather than rendering identity as fixed, the works on view consider gender and sexuality as negotiations that are shaped by the human psyche, the passage of time, and the complex relationship between self and other.

The exhibitions will run October 12th through December 22nd, 2017. For more details, hour and to learn more about the other artists included in Disruptive Perspectives , please click here. 

  Untitled Aerial 04. All images courtesy of  Lorenzo Triburgo. 

Untitled Aerial 04. All images courtesy of Lorenzo Triburgo. 

Amani Willett and The Disappearance of Joseph Plummer

 All images courtesy of Amani Willett and Overlapse. 

All images courtesy of Amani Willett and Overlapse. 

A curious tale spun from the life of mysterious hermit Joseph Plummer, who lived in the woods of central New Hampshire in the late 1700s. Two centuries later an unsuspecting man purchased the mythical loner’s land and built a hideaway cabin for himself – only to discover the legend of Joseph lurking deep in the seclusion of the forest. This atmospheric photobook explores our human desire to escape and find peaceful solitude, far from the burdens and apparatus of modern society.

Exploring themes of history, place and mythology, alumni Amani Willett’s photographs track the hermit’s overgrown trail through the land his family now owns. Willett’s father, unaware of the reclusive man who roamed the area nearly 200 years before him, acquired the deed 40 years ago with the intention of establishing a rustic retreat.

Upon learning of Plummer’s existence, Willett endeavoured to photograph a fragmented narrative amidst the same landscape he once inhabited. He scoured local archives to find first-hand written accounts describing the hermit’s character, as well as bona fide personal effects which appear in the book. Adding to the visual journey are historical portrait and landscape images from the region that inspired Willett’s physical intervention in the form of destructive applique and collage.

The resulting work mirrors the past while keeping Plummer’s unknowable history intact. It also reveals how the hermit’s existence still resonates today – not only as a constant counterpoint to our fast-paced, technology-driven times – but in conjuring the same romanticised allure that tempts new generations to also venture off-grid.

With a release this fall, the book is available for preorder through independent visual arts and photobooks publisher, Overlapse. Please click here for more details and to reserve your copy.

Margaret Reid Boyer's solo exhibition Seams debuts at KMR Arts.

Opening October 14th, 2017 alumni Margaret Reid Boyer upcoming exhibition Seams debuts at KMR Arts. Boyer describes her work as Narrative Realism. These photographs are not completely narrative and yet there is a feeling of story, a feeling of living. The photographs in Seams contain evidence of a lived in home, however they are not photographs of people. They are, in most cases, images of inanimate objects, although the pictures cannot be categorized as still lifes. The objects in the photographs are evidence of the life within the home. Contradictions exist within these images: beauty in chaos, simplicity in clutter. At first glance the images are unpretty and yet as the viewer spends time with them, they become more familiar and compelling. Reid Boyer is unflinching in her exploration of her own world, and this personal exploration leads to a connection with the modern world outside of this home.

For more details and hours please click here.

 Images courtesy of Margaret Reid Boyer.

Images courtesy of Margaret Reid Boyer.

“I am starting with the assumption that something is wrong.  With the culture, the country, the neighbors, or maybe just with me. The familiar facade is unreliable.  I am concentrating on detail and specificity in order to draw the viewer’s response into a complex set of associations that probes beneath the burnished surface to discover fragments of an elusive narrative.  This narrative speaks about the dissatisfactions that run as a current through the American dream: the unattended desires and crossed wires, the isolation at the heart of the illusion of belonging. I am trying to identify this predicament and convey some kind of understanding, which cannot be obtained through the consultation of pharmaceuticals, manuals, maps or technology. I am examining my own postage stamp of reality in order to relay something about the state of a contemporary American Female.”  - Margaret Reid Boyer

Pacifico Silano at Rubber Factory

RUBBER FACTORY is pleased to present a solo exhibition of new works by Pacifico Silano from his series, "John John".

Every aspect of John F. Kennedy Jr.’s life was photographed, televised, and written about in a headline. His classic good looks and sexualized physique became a staple of mainstream media coverage. American culture feeds off of name recognition, likability and attractiveness. These reworked photos blur the line between the public and private self, our obsession with creating celebrity, and the American fascination with political royalty. We project our hopes, dreams and aspirations on those that are telegenic.

In the project John John, Pacifico Silano sources imagery of John F. Kennedy Jr. from vintage tabloid magazines and newspapers, reworking their content and meaning through silkscreen, monotype, and photo-collage. As the twenty year anniversary of JFK Jr.’s tragic death closely approaches, we are left to wonder what might have been.

The exhibition will run through November 15, 2017. For more details and hours, please click here.


Pacifico Silano is a lens-based artist whose work is an exploration of print culture and the circulation of imagery. Born in Brooklyn, NY, he received his MFA in Photography from SVA in 2012. His work has been exhibited in group shows, including at the Bronx Museum; Context, Miami; Oude Kerk, Amsterdam; and ClampArt, New York City. He is a winner of the Individual Photographer’s Fellowship from the Aaron Siskind Foundation and a Finalist for the Aperture Foundation Portfolio Prize. He was chosen as an Artist in Residence at Light Work in Syracuse, NY, granted a Workspace Residency at Baxter Street CCNY and is currently a Key Holder Resident at the Lower East Side Printshop. He is a 2016 fellow in Photography with the New York Foundation for the Arts. 

 Images courtesy of Pacifico Silano. 

Images courtesy of Pacifico Silano. 

Brandon Isralsky and Quinn Tivey joint exhibition FLATLAND

Curator Nabil Nadifi brings class of 2015 alums Brandon Isralsky and Quinn Tivey together for FLATLAND, a joint exhibition which marks the artists’ first showing in Paris and their first show together. After several successful exhibitions throughout the United States, New York and more recently in Belgium, Tivey and Isralsky attack Paris in the margins of the cultural events that will animate the capital from October 19th to the 22nd at Galerie Joseph Charlot.

In spite of the distant graphic universes - the visual artist, the other street artist - the two former graduates of SVA decided to present a work on themes that are common to them. Although they are central to the Flatland exhibition, these themes are the result of the creative process of the two artists and are not intended to influence the viewer's interpretation. The exhibition acquires its title from an historical reference to a part of Brooklyn, NY, USA, home to both artists.

For more details, please click here.


Brandon Isralsky, AKA Mr B, is a New York based artist with a background in street art and photography. Isralsky's work is rooted in an appropriation of fashion photography, commercial photography, and pin-up art. Using a variety of interventions ranging from collaging to painting, and from destroying to enlarging, Isralsky endeavors to investigate commercial based definitions of gender roles while also examining his own relationship with masculinity and the male gaze. He installs his imagery around the streets of New York City, creating a growing body of work that is increasingly collected, commented upon, showcased and shared on social media. 

 Image courtesy of Brandon Isralsky.

Image courtesy of Brandon Isralsky.

Quinn Tivey is a New York based visual artist with an art practice that has grown out of traditional photographic-based work. He has utilized photo-sculpture hybrids, stereoscopic imagery, digital image fabrication, and sculptural-based installation, to engage our relationships with various modes of representation we may find in the every-day.  His most recent work employs a variety of simple subject matters ranging from plywoods to wallpapers as the foundational starting points for complex digital collages and sculptural installations that challenge their own indexical value, and in turn our own relationships to them, to what they represent, and to the spaces they occupy

 Image courtesy of Quinn Tivey. 

Image courtesy of Quinn Tivey. 

Leigh Ledare in Conversation with Steel Stillman

Dear Dave magazine, presents artist Leigh Ledare in conversation with artist, writer and faculty member Steel Stillman, discussing Ledare’s current solo exhibition, The Plot—Ruttenberg Contemporary Photography Series at The Art Institute of Chicago and the complex interpersonal dynamics that are at the heart of his work.

The dialogue will take place Thursday October 5th, 2017 at 7pm at the SVA Theatre located at 333 West 23rd Street in New York. The event is free and open to the public.

For more details, please click here. 

 Image courtesy of Leigh Ledare.

Image courtesy of Leigh Ledare.

 Leigh Ledare, 'Double Bind (Dyptich #15/25),' 2010. (Courtesy of the artist and Mitchell-Innes & Nash)

Leigh Ledare, 'Double Bind (Dyptich #15/25),' 2010. (Courtesy of the artist and Mitchell-Innes & Nash)

Leigh Ledare pushes social systems to lay bare their underlying structures. His fundamentally collaborative photographic projects and films rely on the enactment of complex social situations and interpersonal dynamics that play out with and before the camera. Currently the subject of a solo exhibition at The Art Institute of Chicago which runs through January 1, 2018, Ledare’s exhibitions and projects have been exhibited extensively in the US and abroad. His publications include: Double Bind Conversations with Rhea Anastas (A.R.T. Press, 2015), Ana and Carl and some other couples (Andrew Roth, 2014), a collaboration with Nicolás Guagnini, Leigh Ledare, et al. (Mousse Publishing, 2012), edited by Elena Filipovic; Double Bind (MFC-michèle didier, 2012); and Pretend You’re Actually Alive (PPP Editions and Andrew Roth, 2008).

On Feelings, Politics, the Future and Being Hit in the Face by Marko Kovacevic

On Feelings, Politics, the Future and Being Splashed in the Face

Marko Kovacevic, alum 2016

 Splash by Marko Kovacevic   In the spring of   2017   I approached Marko to write for our “Alice”   publication  . It was to accompany a video he made for my class. I knew his experience with government red tape would prove insightful. Given the times we live, it is necessary to listen to those affected. When he makes a comparison of lovers and politicians we are given access and can   relate   to a universal need for   compassion  . -Randy West, faculty

Splash by Marko Kovacevic

In the spring of 2017 I approached Marko to write for our “Alice” publication. It was to accompany a video he made for my class. I knew his experience with government red tape would prove insightful. Given the times we live, it is necessary to listen to those affected. When he makes a comparison of lovers and politicians we are given access and can relate to a universal need for compassion. -Randy West, faculty

We live in trying times. Many smart people have tried (and mostly failed) to provide comfort, offer explanations or devise solutions. I wouldn’t dare attempt that. What I can offer are my thoughts in a meandering stream of consciousness.

In April 2015 I made a short video. The piece was fairly straightforward—a quick, rough and impulsive experiment in filmmaking or performance art that happened to hit upon something that was emotionally genuine and true. The short was an unauthorized music video for the song “Station” by a young English musician named Låpsley. If I am to be completely honest, the video owes more than a little of its emotional impact to this hypnotic song, which I was quite obsessed with at the time.

The video was about love. In a departure from my deliberately unemotional approach to making art, I created a very personal piece about how it felt to be in love with someone who didn’t love me back. How long would I keep coming back, enthusiastically craving something that was ultimately disastrous for my wellbeing? The original idea for the piece was to be repeatedly slapped, but the final video is far more nuanced.

And so, on a cold day in early spring, I stood at the open door to my backyard and was splashed in the face with water—some 50 times. The water was warm and steam rose from my body in the cool air. In the background, life goes on through flickers in my neighbors’ window; they are oblivious to the person getting drenched outside.

My eyes hurt from the water. Although I knew the splashes were coming, or perhaps because I knew, the expectation of each new wave was nerve-racking. I laughed uncontrollably—partially because of the ridiculousness of the situation, and partially out of desperation from the repeated water attacks. I showed the video in class and it had an odd effect: Some people found it funny and uplifting, others moving and sad. There may have even been a few tears.

Two years later, I was asked if the video could be featured in “Alice.” I gladly accepted. And there was a further request: I was also asked to submit a short text that addressed my experiences as an immigrant in the current U.S. political climate. Even though the theme of immigration is central to my actual art practice, the idea of such a text accompanying my atypical water-splashing video made me nervous. How did the two relate? Should it even matter? The video was one of only a handful of projects I’ve done that was unrelated to the immigrant experience. Or at least the intention was personal rather than political. There was, however, a very visceral, yet unconscious, connection that later became clear to me.

Like so many, politics have become increasingly personal to me; I read the news and feel anger and sadness in ways that I have rarely experienced outside the most intimate realm. Our current political climate is full of rage and spite, more reminiscent of a quarrel between vengeful lovers than of discourse among political opponents.

The day after the U.S. presidential election of 2016, I watched the euphoria of the previous day melt into scenes of stoic New Yorkers crying on the F train. That evening I met a stranger in a bar and we spent an intense, wild night together. The political insult felt so personal, a slap in the face (pun intended), and it had to be exorcised on an intimate level—to feel wanted and alive.

We (the people) have a peculiar relationship to the future. It does not exist, yet we see it vividly and treat it as something tangible—a precious object we possess. Breaking up with someone important has a strange effect on this vision of the future. A landscape of recognizable markers is replaced by a dizzying chasm. Suddenly, there are interruptions in our cognitive processes—thoughts and ideas cannot find their target. Our perceptions and identity, once anchored to an idea of the future, have become loose ends that dangle in the wind of uncertainty. So, too, does our political reality feel like a dramatic break-up.

Now, not to be the ever-gloomy Eastern European, I will say that this might all be a good thing, a great thing in fact. A vision of a brighter future can be a motivating source of strength; it can also be a crutch. Once free of the distracting protection of a fictitious future, we can truly take on the present. Since November though, both the present and the future seem unrecognizable and scary.

The U.S. has always been a better concept than a reality in my opinion, no matter what the people with the red hats think. But until November 2016 it seemed to be inching slowly and unevenly forward. To an immigrant, the future can often be hazy, conditioned by the next interview, the next visa, and the next status. I made a film about navigating the visa system, but since the election even that seems irrelevant; the immigration system itself is in question. I had been exploring the tedium of bureaucracy but suddenly I was afraid of far more dramatic situations—worried for friends who are asylum seekers or happen to be from the “wrong” country and rushing to a number of hastily arranged weddings at City Hall.

As a white European and a permanent resident in liberal New York City, my status is similar to that of a U.S. citizen. I am well aware of the privilege this position affords me. But last month on a trip abroad, I imagined the unlikely scenario in which my country, Serbia, caused a diplomatic incident and, after an angry tweet by the president, I end up on some list, suddenly unable to return to the U.S. I knew, too, that I would be relatively fine if this were to happen; for so many others, having to leave would mean disaster.

The person who inspired my “water” video is no longer a part of my life. While making the video I thought about the difference between a good person who, unknowingly, repeatedly hurts others, and a bad person who deliberately does so. I determined that, at some point, the distinction doesn't matter, only actions do. It took a while to understand this and even longer to accept, but after all my attempts and efforts to talk and understand, all the beauty had washed away and all I could see was the ugliness. In the end it was easy to walk away.

I understand people who contemplate leaving the United States. The idea of breaking up with a country that we feel has betrayed everything it’s meant to represent is very tempting. But this line of thinking is reserved for those of privilege—those who have a choice. With that privilege comes a responsibility to those who don’t. There is still hope that I can help things change for the better. I’m staying for another splash.