A master manipulator in the dark room, Misha Gordin has been creating surreal photographs with PhotoShop-like effects since the 1980s. Gordin’s work looks at the universal elements of life: conflict, birth, death, loneliness and the quest for companionship. His bald, naked subjects represent the archetypical everyman. Often featured alone or with their doubles, these characters are not tied to any particular time or culture. Gordin’s most recent work takes place on the beach, where his unadorned subjects engage in fraught and seemingly aimless activities that suggest a battle within themselves more so than a struggle against an external force.
Nicola Yeoman creates cryptic installations by altering and rearranging mundane objects. Often installed in abandoned buildings or outdoors, her ephemeral works live on in the form of photographs that become works of art in their own right. Many of Yeoman’s pieces explore typography. In one, she piled and hung wooden chairs in two sections of a room. Viewed from a specific angle, the chaotic arrangement of furniture forms the letter “D” with its negative space.
Canadian photographer Sarah Anne Johnson captures impassioned moments, expressing the emotion behind them by painting and etching directly onto her prints. In her latest series, “Wanderlust,” the artist captured sexual intimacy, photographing partners as well as individuals. Johnson’s view of eroticism comes across subtly. None of her models appear to be performing for the camera. They seem so at ease that one begins to wonder how Johnson gained access into her subjects’ most private experiences. The abstract embellishments she adds to her photos float like auras around the figures, as if the psychic connection between them has become tangible for us to witness.
One’s manner of dress can lead to powerful transformations. Switching up the ways we present our gender identity or our occupation can inspire us to act in ways we wouldn’t otherwise. While this can be empowering, photographer Juha Arvid Helminen investigates the ways uniforms denoting positions of power can grant their wearers permission to commit inhumane acts. “In 2006, I witnessed the so-called Smash ASEM ‘riot,'” writes the artist. “There I personally saw the dark side of the Finnish police. How young men hid behind their uniforms and hoods and anonymously committed misconduct. Later I witnessed the reluctance of the justice system to punish those in uniforms.”
Swiss photographer Robert Bösch captures his mountain climbing adventures in picturesque destinations across the world. While much of his work consists of conventional landscape photography and documentation of extreme sports, his fine art and advertising photography puts a playful spin on the aforementioned genres.
Though their work can be described as digital art, Ransom & Mitchell are very hands-on with their process. To create the fanciful worlds that they photograph, the San Francisco-based duo sews original costumes, makes props and builds sets. Experts in studio lighting, they imbue their works with a magical ambiance, only adding digitally-painted details to render that which can’t be done in real life. For the upcoming group show “Rough & Ready Sideshow” at Bash Contemporary in San Francisco, Ransom & Mitchell will be exhibiting a new series of photo-illustrations that hearken back to circus freak shows. While there are obvious ethical issues with sideshows themselves, the artists’s vintage-inspired new works are loaded with nostalgic humor, kitsch and illusions. Aunia Kahn, Stefanie Vega and Alexandra Manukyan will also be participating in the exhibition. The opening reception will be held on October 11 and the show will be on view through November 8.