• 1_2370223a7-r01-007

    From Optimal Enchantment

  • 1_2370222a3-r01-001a

    From Optimal Enchantment

  • 1_2370223a1-r01-027a

    From Optimal Enchantment

  • 1_2370223a7-r01-022

    From Optimal Enchantment

  • 1_2370223a7-r01-032

    From Optimal Enchantment

  • 32_00505

    From Compressed John Cage, Streaming

  • 32_01511

    From Compressed John Cage, Streaming

  • 32_04010

    From Compressed John Cage, Streaming

  • 32_04422

    From Compressed John Cage, Streaming

  • 32_12348

    From Compressed John Cage, Streaming

  • 32_13045

    From Compressed John Cage, Streaming

Photography

Jeremy Liebman

Posted by Alex Moshakis,

Jeremy Liebman’s images reveal what happens when you let things happen, and the results are near-perfect. Brimming with evidence of his enviable ability to capture happenstance, and free from the constraints of predetermined intention, the photographer’s portfolio is an accomplished balance of honesty and spontaneity – a body of work completely at ease with itself. We caught up with the New York-based image-maker to talk prompts, John Cage, and much-needed sabbaticals…

What prompts you into taking a photograph?

It starts as a very instinctual process for me. I’m interested in amateurhood and vernacular uses of photography and in what makes a demotic photograph into art. So I shoot for all of the reasons, both banal and exceptional, that I imagine anyone would shoot for – to document, to arrest an important time, to finish a roll of film. From that cache of source material I edit with a more opaque hand in order to force connections or raise questions.

Are you interested in pursuing specific themes?

Yes and no. I try to avoid doing anything that’s too pre-meditated, but I naturally come back to some of the same ideas. My first introduction to photography was through street photographers like Diane Arbus and Garry Winogrand, and that unmediated, undirected style still influences what I do. I want that element of surprise and discovery but with a bit of direction toward a greater whole. I admire photographers like JH Engström and Torbjørn Rødland who make the exterior world a vital part of their work, but maintain a self-awareness and subversion that prevents them from being predictable or fitting into any one particular genre.

Can you explain the John Cage project you recently finished?

The John Cage work is a series of 4×5 Polaroids taken of a screen that is streaming a Cage film called one11, originally shot on 16mm film in 1992 using randomly determined projections of light in a studio. By the time I saw the film online it had been through a number of conversions – both analog and digital – that had introduced scratches, dust, digital artefacts, and new types of grain and noise. There was a tension that I saw between the abstraction of the original piece and the specificity and indexicality of the new visual information.

Starting with the most basic and essential photographic subject – light projected on a wall – the process introduces new visual data that exists in a space between abstraction and representation. Converting all of this back to an analog format (the Polaroid) seemed to close the loop, but of course they’re now mostly seen as jpegs.

So what are you working on at the moment?

I’m working on some drawings right now that are based on existing text. I’ve always been interested in the way that language functions, and I’m excited to be using another medium to investigate that.

You’ve been away from Brooklyn, where you’re based, this summer. Where and why exactly?

I’m in a small town called Rosendale, about two hours outside of New York city. I’d read about Stefan Sagmeister’s sabbaticals and decided I could use some time away from the city.

Portrait8

Posted by Alex Moshakis

Alex originally joined It’s Nice That as a designer but moved into editorial and oversaw the It’s Nice That magazine from Issue Six (July 2011) to Issue Eight (March 2012) before moving on that summer.

Most Recent: Photography View Archive

  1. Dbglist

    We’ve posted before about how David Brandon Geeting creates striking images of seemingly ordinary objects and revitalises the age old still life. With these shiny new photographs, he bumps the beauty up to another level of aesthetic glee. Hyper-colourful, vibrant and sharp, these images are meticulously crafted compilations of – well – stuff. But looked at through David’s lens this stuff is seen in all its glory; never has a pepper looked so brilliantly, crunchily, juicily red, or a rubber glove so squeakily, summery yellow. This is a man who clearly delights in design – if I was a banana, I’d want David to take my picture.

  2. List

    I’m not sure how well Only Fools And Horses translates as a cultural reference point to our international readers; there’s something quintessentially British about the sitcom featuring a get-rich-quick ducker and diver in his (pre-trendy) Peckham flat. But young London-based photographer Nadia Lee Cohen took Del Boy’s now-iconic home – with its charming hodge-podge of faux sophisticated stylings – and used it as the backdrop for this slightly unsettling shoot. Nadia’s work has a very pronounced slick, shiny and colour-saturated aesthetic that fits this slightly odd narrative perfectly – this mysterious femme fatale seems at one moment confidently at home in Del Boy’s surroundings, at others slightly bewildered. It’s weird, and I love it.

  3. Boy7list

    Shot at his house in Brooklyn, New York, David Armstrong’s series 615 Jefferson Avenue creates an aura of mysticism around the young male models. Some are muscular, some are boyish, but they all seem strangely ethereal. They exist in a world apart from the everyday; free from work, from worries, from the washing-up. Armstrong’s apartment is a wonderland of sorts, filled with masks, gilded mirrors and flower wreaths. His “muse,” Boyd Holbrook, even has pixie pink hair (although I suspect this particular Peter Pan left Neverland quite some time ago). For you, dear reader, we’ve picked a selection of portraits which are free from bed sheet, ruff and top hat.

  4. Main

    Where is the limit of what the camera can capture? Can the paranormal be pictured? So asks Alexander Gehring’s series Messages from the Darkroom, exploring photography’s ability to portray paranormal phenomena.

  5. Main8

    With over 600,000 snap happy visitors a year, you can imagine that Elvis Presley’s infamous Graceland mansion is pretty well documented. But it takes someone truly special to photograph something famous and still make it seem brand new, which is why we’re glad that Hedi Slimane – lover of rock and roll, and young, good-looking, rebellious men – took a trip to Elvis’ Memphis home late last year and brought his camera along.

  6. Main

    Stripped of snow, Ettore Moni’s alpine landscapes are scarred by access roads, crisscrossing electricity wires and ski lift cables. The raw beauty of his scenes is interrupted by ugly concrete buildings, plastic fencing and piles of pipes. If Maria and the von Trapps came skipping over these mountains, the sound of music would hit a rather discordant note.

  7. List

    This time last year Sam Bradley had just moved up to London to concentrate on his fashion photography – which we have to say, he was pretty damn good at. This year he’s still busy working away on fashion editorials, including a lovely shoot for the latest Wonderland, but he’s been getting outside a lot more, shooting mountaineers, skateboarders and racing drivers in a style so crisp you feel almost able to reach out and touch the scenes he’s captured. I’ll admit a certain bias towards photographers working in nature – I go mad for a mountain view – but Sam’s managed to make even tedious, high-budget motorsports look exciting and unusual, for which he deserves an enormous amount of praise.

  8. List

    When Rapha launched their brand ten years ago they did it with an exhibition on cycling history and a book that documented some of the greatest stars and stories of competitive road racing. The book showed candid shots of legendary riders like Fausto Coppi hanging out in his pyjamas and Bernard Hinault in a grump on the train, exposing these famous gents out of the saddle, carrying on like normal human beings. To celbrate their tenth anniversary Rapha have re-printed and re-released the book (no long out of print) upping the print and finish quality in the process. The results, we think you’ll agree, look pretty spectacular!

  9. Main8

    Whether catching a glimpse of a funeral ceremony over a black-clad shoulder or seeing young boys play football in dappled sunlight, Noah Rabinowitz’s beautiful images truly make you feel like you’re observing something intimate, something special.

  10. Pino

    Dino Ignani spent the early 1980s in many a “discoteche o video-bar" capturing the “dark” wave. From hanging out in cafés and bars with artists in Rome, he began to follow these newcomers with big barnets and kohl a-plenty to music events and club nights. He would create an ad-hoc set, and invite everyone there to have their portrait taken. The result is an enormous gallery of 400 images, mostly black and white, wonderfully random and totally intriguing. Who are these people?

  11. List

    For an image maker whose craft relies on capturing light to take all of his photographs by moonlight might seem a little impertinent, but Alejandro Chaskielberg doesn’t seem to care about following any preconceived ideas. The Buenos Aires-born photographer has fully replaced lighting equipment with the natural environment by taking images by the light of the full moon. His technique comes as a breath of fresh air to those familiar with photographic projects which aim to muster sympathy for subjects living in underprivileged areas; this is something else else entirely.

  12. List

    Belgian photographer Wouter Van de Voorde started out as a painter in his homeland before discovering that photography offered him more of the creative freedom and opportunity for introspection than his original medium. Since taking up photography he’s exiled himself to Autralia where he uses his outsider status as a driver for creative expression, exploring the quirks and nuances of Australian culture and landscape in the hope of creating a sense of belonging through his work.

  13. List-2

    I’m sure there are plenty of documentary photographers for whom going to Brazil to capture the World Cup would be something of a dream, but as far as I’m concerned none of them even come close to the exceptional Jane Stockdale. After having her application to photograph the crowds watching the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow turned down three times, she decided to take matters into her own hands, and jumped on a plane to Brazil to shoot audiences there instead.