Lee Grant – Photography Blog

Posts Tagged ‘nevada rose

Dead Calm…

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OK well maybe not so much. I know I’m not posting anything these days and partially this is because I’m a bit over it, too busy and I think the blog was really aimed at tracking my own progress with my studies, which now thankfully is finished, approved and done. Also, I want to spend less time blogging and writing about photography and actually make them instead! And like most people I have to earn a living so making work is (out of necessity) squeezed in between everything else that is going on. Anyway, I do have a future online project being planned so keep an eye out and I shall make a final post here later in the year to notify everyone, before finally putting this blog to sleep.

In the meantime there are a few things worth blogging about. Firstly, my friend Andy Adams over at Flak Photo is running a promotion month for Hijacked 2 which is currently touring Australia as an exhibition. You can also buy the book which I can highly recommend – it will be money well spent, rest assured. You can check it out at Andy’s website or on Facebook here. Or better go see the exhibition or attend a launch party. Dates and venues are:

Australian National University – School of Art Gallery, Canberra
8 September – 2 October 2010

Monash Gallery of Art – Melbourne
29 October 2010 – 16 January 2011

Queensland College of Art Gallery Griffith University – Brisbane
19 February – 24 April 2011

Anne & Gordon Samstag Museum University of South Australia – Adelaide
13 May – 1 July 2011

John Curtin Gallery, Curtin University – Perth
21 July – 11 September 2011 .

Also, I’m heading down to Melbourne tomorrow to attend the opening of the Bowness Photography Prize at the MGA, in which I am a finalist with the following image. So attention Melbournites, make it out to the Gallery for a beer and some great photography!

Another little gem discovered recently is the work of Ketaki Sheth, an Indian photographer who is currently showing work at the Photo Ink gallery in New Delhi, India. Her series “Twinspotting” is terrific and definitely worth a look. If you can spare the very low price of $20, you can buy the book at The Book Depository here.

Lastly, please help support a very worthwhile project over at Kickstarter by Marc McAndrews. I posted about Marc’s new series Nevada Rose a little while back and he is now working on publishing the book  for release next year. But as we all know, the world of self-publishing is still expensive (especially if you want to do it well) and Marc is looking for backers to help him with the scanning costs. Every dollar will help and he only has till October to raise the funds. So get your altruistic hat on and support a fellow photographer. It’ll come back to you eventually and if you commit to $125, you’ll actually get a signed copy of a first edition book, definitely a good investment and a quick turnaround on a good deed.

Stay tuned for more good things happening…….

Cyber-travelling and the booty you find…

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Here’s a funny photo of a punter enjoying (I think!?) my image of Ken the bodybuilder in the Head On exhibition at the ACP:


Courtesy Australian Centre for Photography

Anyway I thought it was a bit of a laugh. Not sure who the photographer was so apologies for not citing you.

I’ve been cruising around the internet checking out various links that have come up with some real gems. Whilst this is probably not the best use of my time (especially given I have a thesis review next week!) I find these explorations always reveal treasures and this week has been spectacular. For the doubters and nay-sayers, diss not and do give it a go cos as they say…. there really is something for everyone!

First treasure up is an all American chap called Marc McAndrews. His work at first glance is brash and loud, but I couldn’t resist a closer look at the brilliantly titled Nevada Rose. The American state of Nevada is the only state where brothels are legal and McAndrews took it upon himself to photograph every single one of them…. really. The result of this massive task is a poignant look at the brothels, resident sex-workers, their patrons and other workers, such as cleaners, in the brothel industry, which will soon be released as a book.




I find these images really fascinating (I have a terrible soft-spot for American kitsch and it looks like the Nevada brothels are the place to find it!) yet I am almost more interested in the dynamics of how this project was undertaken, particularly given the “objective and anthropological” investigation of the photographer. Worth reading the interview on Humble Arts as it is an interesting insight into the artist’s motivation for the subject, as well as the issues that arise from such a choice.

It would also be interesting to compare McAndrews’ forthcoming book with that of Alexa Albert whose journey into:

…Nevada’s infamous cathouses began as a public-health study into the safe-sex practices of these legal working girls and the effectiveness of condom requirements in preventing sexually transmitted diseases. It took her three years to gain access to the brothels, and when her project was eventually approved by the head of the Nevada Brothel Association, she was surprised to be invited to stay at Mustang Ranch, among the women of the brothel, for the duration of her research. She learned that despite the legalization of prostitution in several counties of Nevada, the working girls still faced restrictive local ordinances and work regulations that kept them virtual prisoners inside the brothel compound. Outside, they encountered the same social stigma that has always haunted sex workers.

In 2003, the year following the publication of her book  Brothel: Mustang ranch and its Women which was based on her years of research, Albert and (architectural) photographer Timothy Hursley returned to Nevada to photograph the brothels, the result of which is the book Brothels of Nevada. Not having seen the contents of this book (other than the sneak-preview on Amazon), I wonder how the two might sit alongside each other? Perhaps it’s time to move my Amazon list to the checkout and find out!?

My second and last treasure find for tonight is some work by another Dutch wunderkind Desiree Dolron, who is very well known for the following picture, from her series Xteriors:

01-Desiree-Dolron-Xteriors-IICourtesy Desiree Dolron

But it’s her earlier series from Cuba titled Te Di Todos Mi Suenos (“I gave you all my dreams”) that really grabbed my attention. The images are simple yet exquisite and quiet yet so full of longing. I feel as if I could fall into these pictures, into the dirty yet earthy home of a fairytale and into a mythic Cuba that never really was:

07-Desiree-Dolron-Cerca-San-RafaelCerca San Rafael (Courtesy Desiree Dolron)

19-Desiree-Dolron-Cerca-San-FernandiaCerca san Fernandia (Courtesy Desiree Dolron)

10-Desiree-Dolron-Cerca-IndustriaCerca Industria (Courtesy Desiree Dolron)