Spring Salon Recap 2019

This year's Spring Salon showcased the hard work of our MFA Photo, Video, and Related Media students with a great turn-out from SVA's artistic community. Included in this Spring's Salon were works in portraiture, street photography, experimental and abstract image making, video installation, virtual experience, short film and much, much more!


Join us again in Fall 2019 for another engaging presentation from our student artists. Until then, please enjoy some highlights the Spring 2019 MFA Photo/Video Salon.

(image credit: Lingfei Ren, Hannah La Follette Ryan)


Thanks to this year’s participants and attendees for making Spring Salon 2019 a huge success!

Alumni Yael Eban Named Must-See at AIPAD's "The Photography Show"

© Yael Eban

© Yael Eban

The 39th edition of AIPAD's The Photography Show features work from a roster of diverse artists, including MFA Photo/Video Alum Yael Eban. Artsy, a platform for collecting and discovering art whose mission is to expand the art market to support more artists and art in the world, named Eban one of 10 Must-See Artists at this year's event.

© Yael Eban

© Yael Eban

In AIPAD's The Photography Show, experimental frames bump up against traditional portraiture, and subjects range from contemporary to classic, including surfers captured by teenage photographer Joey Farrell and black-and-white cityscapes by the late master Walker Evans. The pictures, on view at New York’s Pier 94 April 4th through 7th, offer glimpses into disparate lives, times, and modalities. You can find plenty of famous Weegee and Diane Arbus images; and when you visit, Alec Soth may be sitting on a couch within the special exhibition he curated, which focuses on domestic portraits and interiors.

Eban's featured new series, Is and Isn’t (2017–18), combines rocks, beaches, palm leaves, and fountains with many images containing an optical trick. In one representative shot, Eban captures a crumbling yellowish wall, a craggy ground, and a soft blue sky. Yet in the middle of the composition, a tear reveals a rusting pink layer underneath. The seam suggests buried histories and multiple levels of truth and fiction. According to gallerist Katrin Weber, the pictures are an exploration of color. She added: “You’re seeing forms [and] shapes, and being reminded of this kind of fleeting [feeling] that you get when you experience a place.”

The granddaughter of Israeli diplomat Abba Eban, photographer Yael Eban takes pictures that reference her family’s homeland, as well as her own transnational journeys, while also boasting bright, lush surfaces. She currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.

Simon Paul wins PDN student photo Grand Prize

MFA Photo/Video candidate Simon Paul is the worthy recipient of pdn/Photo District News's Grand Prize for student-produced photography. His prize-winning work Genesis of Desire is a studio-based project informed by Paul's own struggles with masculinity, body dysmorphia and gender expectations. Genesis of Desire is a black-and-white series of collages of male bodies that exist in physical and imaginary planes.

© Simon Paul

© Simon Paul

© Simon Paul

© Simon Paul

Paul is a Romanian-American photographer, multimedia artist, and filmmaker living and working in New York City. He was raised in the Southwest desert where he received his B.S. in Biology. He is currently working toward his MFA at the School of Visual Arts.

Paul’s work explores the boundaries between image capture, performance, photo collage, and sculpture. Made largely without the aid of cut-and-paste digital tools, the work exists in the same physical realm as the viewer. The work focuses on challenging mortality and the confines of the body to embrace the “other."

© Simon Paul

© Simon Paul

The PDNedu 2019 Student Photo Contest is open to students of undergraduate, graduate and certificate programs, and includes a category for high school students. Winners are recognized in the Spring 2019 issue of PDNedu, which has a circulation of 50,000 copies to students and educators nationwide. Featured photographers such as Paul benefit from promotion to PDN's online audience of more than 500,000 followers. Grand-prize winners also receive prizes that include a Nikon DSLR camera, $150 to B&H Photo and Video and a portfolio consultation with either an editor at PDN or a contest judge.

Terrance Purdy, Jr. featured at For Freedoms Residency

© Terrance Purdy Jr.

© Terrance Purdy Jr.

Current MFA Photo/Video student Terrance Purdy Jr. is featured in the For Freedoms Residency at the International Center for Photography. The group show, entitled IT IS A MIRACLE THAT WE ARE STANDING HERE is both a celebration and an elegy, inspired by the the artist John William Murphy. The show alludes to the forces of empowerment, love, and disenfranchisement that have brought us to where we are today.

For Freedoms is a platform for greater participation in the arts and in civil society. The foundation produces exhibitions, installations, public programs, and billboard campaigns to advocate for inclusive civic participation. Inspired by American artist Norman Rockwell’s paintings of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms (1941)— freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from want, and freedom from fear— For Freedoms Federation uses art to encourage and deepen public explorations of freedom in the 21st century.

Terrance Purdy Jr. is an artist from Chicago, IL. He holds a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Missouri and is currently working toward his M.F.A. in Photography, Video, & Related Media at the School of Visual Arts in New York City.

© Terrance Purdy Jr.

© Terrance Purdy Jr.

Purdy Jr. is interested in the ways that identity is shaped in the black community; specifically, how identity intersects with themes of religion, sports, material culture, and violence. Purdy Jr. captures the embrace of these pertinent topics, as well as their rejection and reconstruction, in a way which gives agency.

To quote Purdy Jr.: "African Americans are in a unique circumstance of constantly constructing a culture and identity, one that is always being appropriated while simultaneously being demonized. There is power in that process."

Terrance Purdy Jr.'s work will be on exhibit at For Freedoms' IT IS A MIRACLE THAT WE ARE STANDING HERE until April 28th. The show is a part of For Freedoms Federation's residency at the International Center for Photography-- 250 Bowery, New York, New York.

Wen-Han Chang's "Strange World" featured in photograph magazine

Current MFA Photo/Video student Wen-Han Chang's exhibit Strange World was recently featured in the pages of photograph magazine. The work, exhibited at the Griffin Museum of Photography early this year, "captures shadows and reflections of colored light in a windowed room... They are lovely to look at, with their shifting planes of color, angles, and lens-based distortions. But even without knowing anything about them, there is something unsettling, even chaotic in them that threatens to break through their decorousness."


As the photograph magazine article underscores, "Chang explains that he wanted to make a record of what was happening while he was asleep. He set up cameras to record what the light was doing around him, and by extension to him, in the space where he slept. It is a kind of theater he has recorded, nature caught unawares in the midst of a business (the prismatic play of light) that doesn’t care about his unconscious self."


The artist goes further, stating "the camera was applied to extend my vision. It recorded what was going on when I was in deep sleep and visual sensation was closed. The camera lens was set up to focus on the surroundings such as ceilings, walls, and corners of my room. The shutter of the camera would take pictures when I was not awake. When my perception was limited and cut off from the usual, the camera started to see, to reveal the world I never saw."

Pick up the March-April 2019 copy of photograph magazine to read the full review of Wen-Han Chang's Strange World, or visit the online publication.

Laura Parnes Screening "Tour Without End," awarded Yaddo residency

MFA Photo/Video faculty member and celebrated filmmaker Laura Parnes is screening her newest work Tour Without End at several theaters and festivals this spring. Tour Without End will be on view at the Wexner Center for the Arts at Ohio University (with Parnes in attendance) this March 21. The film will also show at Strange Truth 2019, a showcase organized by Haverford College's Bryn Mawr Film Institute, on April 3.


The newest film by convention-busting Parnes features an all-star parade of downtown legends (from Gary Indiana to Kathleen Hanna) as it follows a fictional rock band, Munchausen, navigating New York’s alternative music scene in the midst of rapid gentrification.


Shot over the course of four years, the film culminates when the band stops in Cleveland during the 2016 Republican National Convention and the gap between fiction and history gets even smaller and more chaotic. The film features such underground legends as Eileen Myles, K8 Hardy, Brontez Purnell, Kate Valk, and members of MGMT, Gang Gang Dance, Le Tigre, and Eartheater.

In addition to the success of Tour Without End, Parnes is also celebrating a recent Yaddo residency award. Past recipients have included luminaries such as James Baldwin, Truman Capote, John Cheever, Patricia Highsmith, Langston Hughes, Flannery O’Connor, William Carlos Williams, Noah Baumbach, Lisa Cholodenko, Tamara Jenkins, John Kelly, Elizabeth Thompson, Matthew Weiner, and Jessica Yu.

Laura Parnes’ is a multi-platform, lens-based artist, crafting darkly comedic narratives of trauma and repressed memory around mass-culture experiences and youthful rites of passage. Using historical, literary and popular culture based references, she addresses issues related to cultural production and societal malaise.

all stills © Laura Parnes, from Tour Without End

all stills © Laura Parnes, from Tour Without End

She has screened and exhibited her work widely in the US and internationally, including: The Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, Ohio; The Institute of Contemporary Art University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA; The International Film Festival Rotterdam, Rotterdam, Netherlands; Deste Foundation for Contemporary Art, Athens, Greece., LOOP Festival, Barcelona, Spain; and Light Industry, Brooklyn, NY--among many others.

Rehan Miskci named Bronx Museum Spring Fellow

MFA Photo/Video alumni Rehan Miskci ('14) was recently named a Bronx Museum Artist in the Marketplace Spring Fellow. Since 1980, the Bronx Museum of the Arts has supported New York’s artist community through the Artist in the Marketplace (AIM) program, offering career management resources to guide New York City emerging artists through the often opaque professional practices of the art world.

Places You Haven't Been,  Rehan Miskci 2017

Places You Haven't Been, Rehan Miskci 2017

Rehan Miskci's work is a delicate examination of absence, displacement and invisibility. These keywords simply define her identity experience while growing up in a latent and secluded culture. Her work mainly derives from archives, and can be seen as one of the many possible interpretations of these archives. The interest lies in how they are being treated physically and how they are repurposed. Her recent pieces are concerned about how space and photography overlap and interact with each other through personal and collective memory.

You Left Behind,  Rehan Miskci 2017

You Left Behind, Rehan Miskci 2017

Her most recent, ongoing project Foto Yeraz, is an extension of Miskci's quest for new meanings in the tradition of studio photography and its connection to her Armenian identity. Backdrops and props, depicting romanticized spaces, resist the documentary claims of photography and therefore create a constant dichotomy between the real and the fake. Miskci also utilizes actual photographs of existing photo studios, and various textures from Beirut’s Armenian surroundings to create the uncanny backdrops of Foto Yeraz. These work together as an examination of the cultural survival of community and the sustainability of social identity.

To view the full list of the 2019 Artist in Marketplace residents and fellows, visit the Bronx Museum's website.

Alumni Miles Ladin featured in Swiss Magazine Aufbau

Writer, photographer, and MFA Photo/Video alum Miles Ladin was recently featured in Swiss-based Aufbau magazine. In Ladin's article, the artist chronicles his journey through the digital medium and further ruminates on the state of photography today. As Ladin states in his featured article "Medium in Crisis: Narcissist in the Pond":

"The monolithic intrusion of social media selfies upon the way we function and perceive reality is a result of a 20-year journey through a digital revolution."

© Miles Ladin

© Miles Ladin

cover image: © Miles Ladin

cover image: © Miles Ladin

Ladin goes on to cite his formative years at SVA's MFA Photo/Video program, saying:

"In 1991, I entered an MFA program at New York’s School of Visual Arts. The then recently-launched graduate program in Photography and Related Media was founded by Charles Traub, who had the foresight to make digital photography a signature focus. As an educator, Traub was ahead of the curve; the programs at Yale and RISD were at that point still solely film based. Photoshop had only just been released in 1990 and I was part of the first generation to take a course on the software. After the class, however, I promptly rejected digital. Unlike some of my fellow students, who used the floppy disk based Sony Mavica cameras as well as Photoshop, I was decidedly Luddite. At least for the moment."

© Miles Ladin

© Miles Ladin

As a still photographer, Ladin has previously shot and developed the visual style for “The Night”, a nightlife column appearing in the Styles section of the Sunday New York Times. His pictures of New York’s glitterati also appeared in “Paparazzi”, a four page bi-annual spread in W Magazine.

Currently, Ladin covers New York Fashion Week for Women’s Wear Daily. In this online feature, titled “Pop Shots”, Ladin's signature black and white images are combined with his own written commentary. His words, like his visual work, combine acute observation with humor.

To read the full text from Aufbau magazine, and for more writing by Miles Ladin, visit the artist's blog.

Elinor Carucci and Marvin Heiferman in "The Space Between" at Julie Saul Gallery

From March 7- April 20, the Julie Saul Gallery is pleased to present a group exhibition featuring work by MFA Photo/Video faculty members Elinor Carucci and Marvin Heiferman. "The Space Between" brings together artists across disciplines who portray the many phases of intimate relationships. "The Space Between" refers to both the physical joining of couples as well as the passage of time that unifies them or causes them to drift apart.


Through love and coupling, humans unite and become one, as depicted by many of the artists' works featured in the group show. Form and action stops at the perfect moment of union in Elinor Carucci’s close up of a man and woman as their lips almost meet.

Elinor Carucci graduated in 1995 from Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design with a degree in photography, and moved to New York that same year. In a relatively short amount of time, her work has been included in an impressive amount of solo and group exhibitions worldwide, solo shows include Edwynn Houk gallery, Fifty One Fine Art Gallery, James Hyman and Gagosian Gallery, London among others and group show include The Museum of Modern Art New York and The Photographers' Gallery, London.

Her photographs are included in the collections of The Museum of Modern Art New York, the Brooklyn Museum of Art, Houston Museum of Fine Art, among others and her work appeared in The New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, Details, New York Magazine, W, Aperture, ARTnews and many more publications.


Writer Marvin Heiferman doesn't consider himself an artist outright; however, his passion for photography and keen eye has resulted in many photographs being captured and shared through social media. Heiferman, aka “@whywelook” zooms in on the outline of a man and woman on the subway on his daily commute; combining body language, a tattoo and patterned dress to suggest intimacy.

In addition to being a contributing editor to Art in America, Heiferman has written for numerous museums, galleries, publications, catalogs, blogs, and magazines including The New York Times, Gagosian Gallery, CNN, Artforum, Design Observer, Aperture, and BOMB. Heiferman is the author, editor, and packager of over two dozen books on photography and visual culture, including Photography Changes Everything (Aperture, 2012).

Congratulations to 2019 Alumni Society Grant Recipients

Three MFA Photo/Video students were recently granted generous awards from SVA's Alumni Society. This year's recipients, among other SVA students across disciplines, were MFA Photo/Video thesis students Brett Henrikson, Wanki Min, and Hanwen Zhang.

Henrikson and Min were awarded the Alumni Scholarship Award, which was established in 1999 by the Alumni Society. This award is distributed annually to undergraduate and graduate students in their final year at SVA to aid in the completion of final thesis/portfolio projects.

Zhang received the The Thomas Reiss Memorial Award, established in 2003 in memory of Thomas Reiss (MFA 1993 Photography and Related Media) by his brother, Richard M. Reiss. An avid environmentalist, Tom passed away in August 2002. This annual award is designated to support a thesis project by a final-year MFA Photography, Video and Related Media major whose project addresses a humanitarian issue.

All three recipients will graduate at the end of this Spring semester, 2019.