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2012 LOOK3 Festival of the Photograph

LOOK3 is a photography festival in Charlottesville, Virginia, created by photographers to celebrate their passion of the still image. It runs from June 7-9, 2012.

LOOK3 Festival of the Photograph will be “3 days of peace, love and photography.” The Festival features exhibits and on-stage appearances of three “INsight” photographers, as well as exhibitions, outdoor projections, workshops and interviews over three days and nights.

Featured INsight Artists

At the core of LOOK3′s programming are the INsight Conversations held in the historic Paramount Theater. This three-night event celebrates and honors the careers of the most influential living photographers of our time, and offers audiences the rare opportunity to listen to and learn from the artists who have helped define the art of picture-making. Large-scale projections of the artist’s work accompany these on-stage, one-on-one conversations between the artist and interviewer. Each INsight Artist also exhibits a special solo show at one of Charlottesville’s downtown art galleries.

Stanley Greene has brought back haunting images from troubled places like Croatia, Rwanda, and the post-Katrina Gulf Coast. His photographs are iconic, but they can also make you sweat: drug addicts squat in a hovel in Kabul; men flee a fiery explosion in Kirkuk, Iraq; a dirty American flag is draped over a pew in a New Orleans church still in ruins two years after Hurricane Katrina. Greene has covered wars, migrations, drug-use, and long invasions, perhaps most notably in his work in Chechnya. A firm believer that photographers should not just parachute into a place and then leave when the next story comes along, Greene spent more than a decade documenting Chechnya’s struggle for independence from Russia.

Donna Ferrato has a gift for exploration, illumination, and documentation coupled with a commitment to revealing the darker sides of humanity. Her photographs of domestic violence and its aftermath have become landmark essays in the field of documentary photography, challenging social attitudes and putting a spotlight on the devastating impact of everyday violence. Ferrato’s current project offers a unique look at the New York neighborhood of TriBeCa. With an intimate, artistic sensibility, the project is capturing one of New York City’s most historic and, now, one of its most exclusive neighborhoods. The photographs reveal the generations of immigrants, gangsters, captains of industry and artists who walked the century-old, cobblestone streets, and captures the manners and mores of today’s denizens who, lured by its old-world grace and simplicity, have made the TriBeCa of today an urban Ground Zero.

Alex Webb’s photos tell stories. Some contain entire novels. Battered cars and dusty bare feet, shadows and silhouettes, dogs and roosters, soccer balls and upside-down kids–Webb’s images are brimming with color, movement, and life. He arrived on the scene at a moment when photographers were looking for new ways of seeing and working in color. Webb had felt like he’d reached a dead end with the black and white photos he’d been shooting in New England and around New York. That’s when he happened upon a copy of The Comedians, the Graham Greene novel set in the violent world of Papa Doc’s Haiti. The novel inspired Webb to board a plane to Port-au-Prince. The trip transformed Webb and his photography. Today Webb is widely recognized as one of the most important and influential color photographers in the last four decades.

Featured TREES Artist

The TREES exhibit is a hallmark of the LOOK3 Festival that features images from nature suspended on banners high in the trees along Charlottesville’s outdoor pedestrian mall.

David Doubilet has changed the way we see our planet’s rivers and oceans and influenced the way photographs are made of it. Over the last four decades, he has brought us face to face with an underwater world of mesmerizing landscapes and mysterious creatures. He has snorkeled the Jardine River in Australia in search of saltwater crocodiles and dived the Pacific near the Galapagos Islands to document ghostly hammerhead sharks seeking colder waters. A pioneer and advocate, Doubilet’s passion for the sea is matched only by his compassion for it. Humans have only been going under the sea for 50 years, he says, and “we are in a race between discovery and destruction.”

Featured Masters Artists

These artists will give workshops on subjects relating to their work in photography.

Ernesto Bazan was born in Palermo, on the island of Sicily, in Italy, in 1959. He received his first camera when he was fourteen years old and began photographing daily life in his native city and in the rural areas of Sicily. To Bazan, photography has been more than a profession: It is his true passion, his mission in life. From 1992 to 2006, Bazan lived in and photographed the island of Cuba, documenting the unique time in Cuban history called the Special Period. In 2002, Bazan created his own photographic workshops, providing special emphasis on Latin America. Teaching has become his ruling devotion. Hundreds of students have studied with him in the last ten years.

Lynsey Addario is a documentarian of conflict and humanitarian crises reporting from some of the world’s roughest places — Darfur, the Congo, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya. Her work is insightful, intimate and powerful. Addario goes beyond conflict, revealing the very problems and conditions that account for so much of the world’s violence. Her work exposes the terror of self-immolation in Afghanistan, the unspeakable pain of rape survivors in the Congo, and the horror of maternal mortality in Sierra Leone. In her essay ‘Veiled Rebellion,’ Addario revealed the lives of Afghan women, whose everyday existence is a struggle against tribalism, poverty and war.

Hank Willis Thomas is an artist who gets people talking–about pop culture, history, and race. For his series, Branded, he co-opted the language and logos of advertisements to produce images that are both personal and provocative. In one piece, the Nike swoosh symbol is etched like a scar on the side of a man’s bald head. In another, the famous Mastercard “Priceless” slogan appears across a photograph of a family at a graveside funeral. “Gold chain: $400,” the text says. “Bullet: 60 cents. Picking the perfect casket for your son: Priceless.” The family in the photo is the artist’s own, and they are grieving for his cousin, who was “murdered over a petty commodity,” a gold chain. Thomas’s images can make you uncomfortable, but they raise important questions about violence, identity, and generalizations reinforced by decades of advertisements. In one series, he removes all headlines and text from 1960s magazine ads that feature African-Americans. By stripping away the words, he reveals images that are both humorous and horrifying; images that at a core level, he says, “are a reflection of the way culture views itself or its aspirations.”

Robin Schwartz might have created a whole new genre of photography: the interspecies family portrait. Pairing her daughter, Amelia, with a variety of animals–gibbon apes, dogs, kangaroos, llamas–Schwartz produces images that are both familiar and fantastical. In one image, a sleepy-eyed Amelia cuddles with a hairless cat on a white bedspread. In another, she clings to a clothed monkey the way a sister hugs a brother. “The photographs are not documents,” Schwartz says. “They are evidence of an invented world and the fables we enact in that world.” It is a world in which “the line between human and animal overlaps or is blurred.”

Camille Seaman’s photographs exude the raw power of the natural world. Seaman captures images that are dramatic and at times ominous, says guest curator David Griffin. “She made storm clouds and icebergs into living, breathing things.” Seaman has said her iceberg photographs are like portraits of ancestors, each with a unique personality. Most of the polar ice in her earlier photographs has now either broken apart or melted into the sea. She is fond of quoting a Nick Cave song: “All things move toward their end.” In other words, everything is in a constant state of transformation.

Bruce Gilden says you’re looking at a street photograph if you can smell the street. Gilden’s photos stimulate all the senses. Wandering city streets around the world with a camera in one hand and a flash in the other, he captures explosive black and white images of places and people. He finds the individuals who stand out in a crowd, the ones with stories to tell. At the beach in Coney Island, his subjects are men and women in bathing suits, their bodies sunburned and freckled, skinny and flabby. In Tokyo, he illuminates the city’s homeless, its biker gangs and prostitutes, and members of the Japanese mafia, the yakuza. In Haiti, a place he photographed for more than a decade and to which he returned following the 2010 earthquake, he depicts electrifying scenes of celebration and violence. One of Gilden’s recent projects focuses on the effects of foreclosures in America. He has traveled to places like Florida, Detroit, and Nevada, documenting the dilapidated homes that families have been forced to abandon. The houses, many of them falling apart and broken-down, reveal the physical and symbolic effects of the mortgage crisis.

Meet these artists and explore their work at LOOK3. Come to be inspired!

All photos and text taken with permission from

DMU Timestamp: May 03, 2012 23:39

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