NEW on Paper Journal: Stanley Wolukau-Wanambwa speaks to photographer Morgan Ashcom about his project and photobook, Leviathan.

‘Originally I was drawn to Skatopia because I saw two opposing scenes that I was familiar with. One was the urban skating culture I was part of for over thirteen years, and the second was the rural farmland surroundings of my youth. These two cultures had existed separately for most of my life but there I found them converging in harmony.’

Charlie Simokaitis wins CENTER award

I was really pleased–and happily surprised–to see the photographic work of Charlie Simokaitis win second place award from CENTER. Happily surprised because I’m sometimes disappointed at the sameness of much of the winning work in the different awards events. Not the big awards, like the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize, but many of the others. So often it’s exotic person porn, or exotic place porn, or one of a few other familiar tropes that are easily digested with little after-affect.

I was also pleased to see that first place went to Morgan Ashcom, who I also know from the Hartford Art School MFA Photography, and who’s work is a rich depiction of humans forming their own lives in the world. It’s marvelous photography.

When I think of the work of Charlie and Morgan, Bryan Schutmaat, J Carrier, Dorothee Dies, Daniel Reuter, Georg Parthen, Sebastian Collett, and so many others whose work has been recognized recently in shows, books, and awards, I am impressed by the caliber of photographers attracted to the still-young Hartford Art School MFA in Photography. It’s pretty humbling.