Alumni

MFA Photo, Video, and Related Media Faculty and Alumni Named NYFA Fellows

New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) has announced the recipients and finalists of the NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellowship Program. Among this year's honorees were many MFA Photo, Video, and Related Media faculty and alumni. Congratulations to all!

Fellows: Jiatong Lu, Rehan Miskci, Lucas Blalock

for architecture and environmental studies: Ming Jer Kuo, Shimon Attie

Finalists: Julianne Nash, Dana Stirling

Photography Panelists: Penelope Umbrico, Sinan Tuncay

Used Electrical Cords for Sale (eBay), 2009 – 2018 and Bad Display (eBay), 2017-2018, installation at BRIC Arts Media,  Penelope Umbrico

Used Electrical Cords for Sale (eBay), 2009 – 2018 and Bad Display (eBay), 2017-2018, installation at BRIC Arts Media, Penelope Umbrico

© Dana Stirling

© Dana Stirling

The NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellowship Program makes grants of $7,000 to artists working in 15 disciplines, awarding five per year on a triennial basis. The program is highly competitive, and this year’s recipients and finalists were selected by discipline-specific peer panels from an applicant pool of 2,542. Since it was launched in 1985, the program has awarded over $31 million to more than 5,000 artists. This year, thanks to the generous support of photography nonprofit Joy of Giving Something, NYFA was able to award an additional five Fellowships in Photography, which has the largest application pool of any Fellowship category.

Foundations 2013-15,  Lucas Blalock

Foundations 2013-15, Lucas Blalock

NASA Stack No. 8 (Palouse, Australian Wildfire, Khyber Pass and Western Slope of Andes),  Julianne Nash

NASA Stack No. 8 (Palouse, Australian Wildfire, Khyber Pass and Western Slope of Andes), Julianne Nash

Pardon Our Appearance, 2017, Sinan Tuncay

Pardon Our Appearance, 2017, Sinan Tuncay


Susannah Ray’s series "Down For the Day" on view at Works on Water

MFA Photo/ Video alumni Susannah Ray and curator of Prints and Photographs at The Museum of the City of New York, Sean Corcoran, spoke at the Works on Water/Underwater New York Residency Project Space on Governors Island last month, where selections from Susannah Ray’s series "Down For the Day" are currently on view. They presented Ray's series on day trippers in the Rockaways and the history of photographing New York City beaches and other public spaces of leisure.

From Susannah Ray's "Down for the Day:"

Ariel , 2017

Ariel, 2017

Boobies , 2018

Boobies, 2018

"They all come down for the day. Camps set up shoulder to shoulder, mini-habitations, refugees from the city. Running into the water with a shout. By August it's like a bathtub. The late-afternoon sun, relentless, lowering in the sky, the shadows grow long, lifeguard whistles from one stand then the next, like a virus up and down the beach: everybody out. Shaking sheets and packing coolers, missing flip-flops and crying toddlers, trying to rinse off the sand, its everywhere on everything, sand, sand, and more sand."

Susannah Ray lives in the Rockaways, a small peninsula on the edge of New York City bordered by the Atlantic Ocean, Jamaica Bay, and JFK International Airport. This intersection of city and water is at the heart of her photography and extends her early interest in landscape photography, which she uses as as form of visual geography, rendering the complex interrelationships of place, people, history, and ideology.

Swimmers , 2017

Swimmers, 2017

Ray has had museum and gallery solo exhibitions and has been featured and reviewed in The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Wall Street Journal, and numerous online publications. Born in 1972 in Washington, D.C, she studied photography as an undergraduate at Princeton University and completed her MFA in 1997 at the School of Visual Arts MFA Program in Photography and Related Media. Susannah Ray is an adjunct Associate Professor of Photography and the Photography Program Supervisor at Hofstra University.

Sheet , 2018

Sheet, 2018

Lynn Shelton's "Sword of Trust" Opens in New York

MFA Photo/Video alumni Lynn Shelton opened her feature film "Sword of Trust" in New York. Shelton and comedian/ collaborator Marc Maron were on hand for post screening QnAs on the film's weekend opening in New York. "Sword of Trust" is currectly showing at Landmark 57th street and the IFC center.

Credit: SXSW Film Festival

Credit: SXSW Film Festival

The film chronicles a cantankerous pawnshop owner in Alabama (Maron) who spends most of his time swindling customers while trying and failing to get his man-child employee Nathaniel (Jon Bass) to do any work. When Cynthia (Jillian Bell) and her wife Mary (Michaela Watkins) try to hawk a Civil War-era sword inherited from Cynthia's recently deceased grandfather, he tries to get the better of them.

Variety's Dennis Harvey says: "“Sword of Trust” is light and loose, the kind of movie likely to illicit chuckles if seen at home (rather than the guffaws it earned from receptive crowds at its SXSW premiere). But in its small way, it does have something to say about our escalating culture of conspiracy theorists, revisionist history, and retro racial attitudes, albeit too frivolously to cause actual offense to those who pray the South shall rise again. Prospects will be modest, but could at least match that of Shelton’s earlier “Humpday” — and this is the funnier film of the two."

Lynn Shelton is a director and actress, known for Humpday (2009), Laggies (2014) and Your Sister's Sister (2011).

Liz Zito Performs Mueller Report Fan Fiction at ArtSpace

MFA Photo/Video Staff and Alumni Liz Zito recently performed Mueller Report Fan Fiction with Liz Zito at ArtSpace in New York City.

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The show is an accumulation of appropriated composited material made over the past two years, not coincidentally the same timeframe Special Council Robert Swan Mueller III was investigating and writing his now famous report. After the release of the Mueller Report in March 2019, Zito has been filling in the redactions with her own absurdist humor, while composing a noir-like narrative which follows Mueller’s investigative process. Zito's project highlights disputes over freedom of information and the manipulation of news distribution in the media.

Liz Zito is a multi-media artist and humorist based in Brooklyn NY. Zito uses her work as a tool to subvert main stream systems. Closely studying educational institutions, Zito’s work thinks critically about the evolution of art making in the age of the internet, using accessible information to reach informal audiences. Zito humorously dissects deeply ingrained power dynamics within pop culture and western civilization, creating work that lives happiest outside the confines of traditional art spaces.

Liz Zito is currently an administrator at the School of Visual Arts, MFA Photography, Video, and Related Media program, where she received her MFA in 2015.

Rorschach Junyan Hou Opens "By Name" Gallery

Many congratulations to recent MFA Photo/Video graduate Rorschach Junyan Hou on opening "By Name" Gallery @ 324 Bowery, New York, NY!

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The current show at "By Name" features work by fellow 2019 alumni Hao Chen, Yi Chen, Brett Henrikson, Jonathan Ellis and Rorschach Junyan himself.

Interior views of “By Name”

Interior views of “By Name”

"By Name" is a multi-purpose space created to stand out from the typical cafe and art gallery. The goal is to create a contemporary art community for emerging artists by providing a location for them to gain exposure for their work. "By Name" incorporates different concepts—art, food, drink—to break the norm of viewing art in traditional venues. This is a place for all ages and all backgrounds that encourages people to enjoy art with relaxation, while cultivating an environment for creation, collaboration and performance.

MFA Photo/Video Chairman Charles Traub stops by for a visit

MFA Photo/Video Chairman Charles Traub stops by for a visit

The gallery is an art-inspired multi-purpose café concept with space to create, collaborate, perform and share ideas over freshly prepared drinks and food.

Hou's company goal is to create a contemporary art space for the community of local and international emerging artists contributing to the vibrancy of New York and beyond. "By Name" promotes dialogue with fresh artists and supports the introduction of dynamic and culturally relevant work to the existing art world.

Images by Yi Chen

Images by Yi Chen

Jonathan Ellis and friends

Jonathan Ellis and friends

Textiles by Brett Henrikson

Textiles by Brett Henrikson

Installation by Jonathan Ellis

Installation by Jonathan Ellis

Sculpture by Hao Chen

Sculpture by Hao Chen

“By Name” @ 324 Bowery, New York

“By Name” @ 324 Bowery, New York

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.

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.

Naixin Xu's "THE DRIVE: 6DAYS 4392KM 30000YUAN" showing at Anthology Film Archives

Recent MFA Photo/Video alumni Naixin Xu (class of '18) is screening her ambitious film THE DRIVE: 6DAYS 4392KM 30000YUAN at the Anthology Film Archives on Wed. January 30th.

dog.jpg
all stills courtesy of the artist

all stills courtesy of the artist

The work is an observational documentary film, which is about a truck driver’s cross-country journey across China into Tibet. The film observes Tibetan and Mainland Chinese local, common culture and modernization. The aim of the project is to present, from an observer’s view, fluid and subtle pictures of the culture itself: its people, its landscape, its economy. All are struggling and reforming between the old and the new, the traditional and the modern.

THE DRIVE: 6DAYS 4392KM 30000YUAN acts to make an adventure of movement and space. It’s about experiencing and living through the long journey. The visuals become about pictures and what they represent; in expanded and compressed time.

road.jpg

Naixin Xu is a photographer, filmmaker, and visual artist. She currently lives and works in Beijing & New York.

Jamie Permuth's coverage of "Olmedini" featured in the New York Times

Alumni Jaime Permuth never forgot the day 20 years ago when he met Olmedo Renteria on the subway. How could he? With his tuxedo, red shirt and courtly manner, Mr. Renteria cut quite a figure among the weary commuters. But after that first encounter, he disappeared, which is not unusual.

After decades of performing on television in Ecuador, renowned magician Olmedo Renteria — aka Olmedini El Mago — arrived in New York to showcase his talents to audiences commuting on the city’s subways.

Olmedini stopping for a slice of pizza after a visit to Tannen’s Magic Shop on 34th Street. credit: Jaime Permuth

Olmedini stopping for a slice of pizza after a visit to Tannen’s Magic Shop on 34th Street. credit: Jaime Permuth

Mr. Permuth, a Guatemalan photographer in New York, was smitten. He set out to find the magician, whom he located through social media. “Is this Olmedini?” he asked when they met face to face. “He was quiet and then said, ‘At your service.’ It was such an old-fashioned voice coming from another place and time.”

Permuth set out to document the world of Renteria and his images were recently published in the New York Times. What follows are some selected images from the full article.

Olmedini holding props in his apartment. credit: Jaime Permuth

Olmedini holding props in his apartment. credit: Jaime Permuth

Olmedini, dressed in his magician gear, waiting for a train to perform. credit: Jaime Permuth

Olmedini, dressed in his magician gear, waiting for a train to perform. credit: Jaime Permuth

Olmedini lives in a housing complex for the disabled in East Harlem. His doves Lluvia (Rain) and Sol (Sun) are his constant companions. credit: Jaime Permuth

Olmedini lives in a housing complex for the disabled in East Harlem. His doves Lluvia (Rain) and Sol (Sun) are his constant companions. credit: Jaime Permuth

Olmedini strumming a guitar in his apartment in a housing complex for the disabled in East Harlem. credit: Jaime Permuth

Olmedini strumming a guitar in his apartment in a housing complex for the disabled in East Harlem. credit: Jaime Permuth

A “transmutation trick” by Olemdini. credit: Jaime Permuth

A “transmutation trick” by Olemdini. credit: Jaime Permuth

Jaime Permuth is a Guatemalan photographer living and working in New York City.

His photographs have been shown at several venues in New York City, including The Museum of Modern Art, The Queens Museum of Art, The Bronx Museum of the Arts, The Museum of the City of New York, The Jewish Museum, El Museo del Barrio, and The Brooklyn Museum of Art. He has also exhibited internationally at the Museo Nacional de Arte Moderno in Guatemala, Ryugaheon Gallery (Korea) Casa del Lago in Mexico City, and the Israeli Parliament.  Among others, his work is included in the collections of The Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Museo Nacional de Arte Moderno Guatemala, The Brooklyn Museum of Art, The Museum of the City of New York, El Museo del Barrio, Yeshiva University Museum, State University of New York New Paltz, Art Museum of the Americas (DC), Fullerton Art Museum (CA) Museum of Art Ft. Lauderdale (FLA) and Fondazione Benetton.