Grace by the Window © Tanyth Berkeley

People*Love*Photos is a film about young American photographers by Amadelio Films.  I enjoyed receiving the dvd some months ago, which features photographers Tanyth Berkeley, Rose and Olive, and Elinor Carucci.    Some production problems aside, (the ambient noise could be a bit loud and some interviews, the camera angles in a gratuitous snippet that I had to watch first were a bit all over the place), the segments highlighting the photographers are really interesting, and I can imagine students getting a lot out of this and sparking discussion.

Tanyth , for those of you unfamilar, had a series, Grace, who is an albino Mexican American, that was afire last year? and consisted of ethereal almost-monochramatic quasi-ecstatic portraits of Grace.  She had a show of the work at Danziger Projects, and James Danziger , scribbler of the popular blog, The Year in Pictures, has a cameo, though gallerist Becky Smith offers a lot more on her take on Tanyth.  I am also really diggin the name Tanyth.

More importantly, her sitters have lengthier appearances and the process of hearing about being the subjects of Tanyth‘s work with her long term subjects and their feeling about their roles as art world icons (a bit strong, but one of the women was featured in a show at MOMA), is quite informative and worth the viewing alone.  And you get to walk the streets of NYC with Tanyth as she goes about her photographic business. And Tanyth talks honestly about her raison d’etre.

The second vignette featuring two Texans, Ashley and Tracy,  whose street names are Rose and Olive, a photographic duo who made me think of what people must mean be talking about when they refer to Gurrrrrrrrls, if in fact they still do.  These energetic fun-lovin’ ladies apparently shoot a lot for the entity Nerve.Com? and other things.  Their segment involved unclad yellow pepper consuming, and using the body as a repository for cracked eggs, among other activities.  They drink wine out of the bottle on shoots, and ply their subjects with self-same spirits while playing Itunes on Macbooks, operating out of a cute bedraggled bungalow type house.  Kind of low-rent Terry Richardson.  I am clearly living the wrong photographic life.

They also shoot film and in all sorts of fun formats and tie up their naked models, so some of you may enjoy this part more than others.  Though I might avoid showing this to my fifth grade Literacy through Photography class. Definitely NSFW. For me they were speaking a completely different language. I did have a dream one night featuring them as my best mates.  Make what you will of that.

The final bit on Elinor Carucci is mesmerizing.  I have always appreciated her work though never been in LOVE.  Now I am in love with HER.  She is like a neurotic beautiful empathetic sometimes self-centered child and to hear her talk about her feelings and relationship with her mother, as well as seeing her function as a mom in her own right is very illuminating and caused me to respond more to Elinor’s singular ouevre.  I cannot imagine anyone meeting her and not being completely charmed.  I imagine her sashaying into galleries with a small box of prints and causing gallerists to want to simultaneously swoon and mother her.  Oh to inspire such!  I imagine she is a good teacher as well.

So if you are into young american photographers, and really, who isn’t? I highly recommend a perusal of aforementioned dvd.  Encourage your library and or photo program to acquire it or do it yourself if you can spare the change.  You won’t be sorry!

PS Found this interview with Tanyth on a blog whilst googling her website. Makes me like her even more:

Tanyth: Brassai was probably my first hero  then yes, Robert Frank, was and is a favorite of mine  too but I get my inspiration from painting. literature and film Bosch, Beckett and Bresson and Goya for example and have always loved social documentary more than formalist inclined work.  I love Walker Evans,  Eggleston, Koudelka, Lewis  Hine and Atget .

and later

You take one picture of a person with albinism and you’re Diane Arbus I don’t get it either.


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