Photographer Dana Lixenberg is the woman behind a whole stack of iconic images of your favourite rappers of yesteryear. A slightly worse-for-wear Puff Daddy laying cocooned on a bed in a fluffy towelling robe surrounded by archaic communication devices, Biggie Smalls counting 50 dollar bills in an acid-tripping jumper, a doe-eyed Tupac gazing soulfully into the camera lens: looking through Dana’s archive brings a needle and thread to all the uncredited images you’ve seen floating around the internet but never had a clue as to their origins.
Rappers aside, its the Dutch photographer’s long-term work with individuals and communities on the outside fringes of society that this year have gained Dana recognition in the form of the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize. The £30,000 prize, set up by The Photographer’s Gallery to acknowledge leading figures of contemporary photography, is one of the biggest photography awards of its kind, with Richard Mosse and Rineke Dijkstra among the former winners.
Dana’s series, Imperial Courts, 1993-2015, which as the title suggests was captured in Imperial Courts, a social housing project in LA: one of the city’s oldest. It all started when, in the aftermath of race riots in 1992, Dana was commissioned by Dutch publication Vrij Nederland to photograph the city’s reconstruction. From there, a 22-year long project grew to span a book, exhibition and web documentary, Imperial Courts which tells the story of a place which became the epicentre of rioting against racial discrimination by the project’s African American residents in 1965 and 1992.
By including contributions by Imperial Courts residents along with portraits and stories in the form of audio, videos and texts, the project is an intensely multi-layered insight into the constantly shifting history of a community from the inside out. Dana’s strikingly paired back black and white portraits of the residents of Imperial Courts exist as a stark counterpoint to the instant thrill of her celebrity portraits.
- Dressed in Black: the resolute book covers of the Spektrum series
- Dima Shriyeav’s textured poster designs incorporate hand-drawn and digital elements
- Hai-Hsin Huang’s detailed and delicate illustrations present “the lightness of being”
- Laurent Eisler draws playful figures in “precariously balanced compositions”
- Small Gods magazine explores “anomalies of the drone”
- Adam Wells animates Love and Radio’s Dan Deacon interview through obtuse vignettes
- Fashion photographer Miles Aldridge shoots the cast of Game of Thrones for Time Magazine
- The Netherlands’ royal crest changes gender for national women’s football team kit by Nike
- Peek inside erotic magazine Odiseo’s very NSFW tenth issue
- Rick and Morty’s Exquisite Corpse trailer features 22 animators including Simon Landrein and Bendik Kaltenborn
- Design director, Gail Bichler, on The New York Times Magazine typography exhibition
- Mark Shaw captures the glamour of haute couture runways from the 1950s