craymagazine

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Fred Cray 

artist with a wonderful name and a even more wonderful message. Cray magazine interviews the photographic rebel in all of his conceptual splender. 

Tell us about yourself and some new projects? 


I’ve been making photographs for 30+ years. I’m just finishing up a book (proposal) of self-portrait images spanning that time. Most of the color self-portraits on the website are two minute exposures allowing me to move during the exposure to transform the imageof the self. The travel diaries and multiple exposure images are works made in camera at the time. The travel diaries are hundredsof these multiple exposures mounted together to make a work that could be akin to words on a page; they could be read and interpreted. The multiple exposures are an extension of the process used in the travel diaries but the work becomes much more painterly (I wentto graduate school for painting).

How did you get into photography? 


By 7th grade I had a make-shift darkroom in my parents’ house basement. I believe my father had dabbled in photography,and he talked about his father taking pictures. I don’t recall whether the dark room was my idea, my fathers’, or somethingthat sort of evolved between the two of us. He never used that darkroom but may had had one in the previous househe owned. Things continued on from there hanging out with friends who also photographed.
The biggest influence as far as photography has to be my high school teacher. (There wasn’t any photography taughtwhere I went to college, and I went to graduate school briefly for painting).  Bob Haiko was the teacher, and he was a consummateteacher putting his students’ needs before his own and his own work, perhaps to the detriment of his own work. Anyway he had us looking at Minor White, Jerry Uelsmann, Nathan Lyons, Robert Heinecken, Betty Hahn, and all sortsof other people as well as the masters. Bob had an enthusiasm that photography could make a difference to oneself and others.


A life lesson for the new photographers coming up in the digital age? 


It’s really about keeping a proper perspective and balance. I always thought photography/art were life long endeavors. I’ve scraped by most of the time,run up debt, lived cheaply, and sometimes been too distracted with the money issue. I’ve done various unrelated jobs to help ends meet. That said what we need to remember is people know us really from how we or our work makes them feel. Do we and our work make them feel good or more spiritually enriched?If we make people feel miserable, bored, or unengaged, that’s how they’re going to remember us, not by how much money we have.
I really think it’s so important to have a network of a few people you really trust and share yourself and your work with in an ongoing basis.They can then comment on your and what you’re doing based on a larger whole than just a few art works or actions. If you can share opinions and advice honestly with this network over a period of time, nothing’s better or more helpful. The honestly aspect is critical.
So with money, we need to remember it’s just money on one level. We need all the other human qualities to really concentrate and excel at whatwe hope to do. So if we have to do other things to survive, try to make them things that have some joy or meaning and aren’t too distracting.  What is it that we really want to make in the end, and how do we do that in a clean, correct way?

THE WORK OF EROL BIRSEN

"Born in Paris, in the Latin Quarter, I graduated from the London College of Fashion with a BA in menswear. My desire for photography has led me to the streets of London, the boroughs of Paris, and Harajuku, the center of Japanese youth culture and fashion. Vision is everything. As a photographer my focus has always been to tell a story. I am inspired by energy, essence, fashion and culture. I am drawn to people who are individual and innovative. My object is the human being. My interest goes beyond what I see in the camera. When photographing on the street I look for styles that are sexy, strong and sensual. The people I shoot are creative, colourful and cool, they exude strength, sexiness and elegance. When I take photographs I go under the skin of the person to extract their energy. I seek the essence of the subject, to discover the person, creating a self portrait.”

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FAULT LINE BY Sophie Barbasch

 CRAY- What is your new project?

 

SB- Fault Line is a project I am doing in the small coastal town of Brooklin, Maine. The protagonist is my younger cousin Adam, who lives there. I also photograph my brother, father, and other cousins. I chose the title because a fault line alludes to where the earth splits in an earthquake (a metaphor for a divided family with a complicated history) and also alludes to fault, or blame (I wonder, how does a family support each other, even when things aren’t perfect?) My goal is to show the weight we all carry and how we are both connected and isolated from each other.

CRAY- How did you into photography?

 

SB- I started shooting when I was 14 and got more serious about photography in college. I later returned to school to get my MFA. I also make interdisciplinary work including audio, video, books and installation.

the wonderful work of Galina Kurlat    These portraits are intimate vignettes into the subjects’ lives. They become as much about the process of making the images as the final photograph. In a relatively short time the sitter’s anxiety falters and they begin to reveal an innermost self. Although I choose the subjects based on an immediate instinctual connection, my familiarity with them varies. Some are close friends and lovers, others are strangers I have recently met. The slow, tenuous process of creating large format photographs, invite the sitter to orchestrate his or her own compositions.  I do not direct the subjects, but allow them to move freely in the frame. Each gesture, conscious or not, informs the viewer. While the direction of the subjects’ gaze becomes their choice to reveal or hide.These photographs are made using Polaroid positive/negative, black and white film. The film is intended to be processed in a solution of sodium sulfite and water. In some of the images I choose to leave the emulsion on the negative, which will continue to degrade the image over time. Other negatives I process only partially to emphasize the different densities in the film. By deliberately manipulating some of these negatives while allowing others to degrade, I allow a controlled serendipity to dictate the final result. 
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Cray Magazine exclusive article on the SubPop superstars Dum Dum Girls for the next up coming issue!!

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THE WORK OF MORRIS ALSTON  one of the most creative and powerful photographers in the genre of portrait photography. His early work talks about the civil rights movement to the common struggle of everyday life in 1960’s America. He continues to inspire my work and the many other younger photographers that follow him and his style.

THE WORK OF JEFF SOTO:

My new work is a reaction to losing some loved ones over the past couple of years. I know we all go through a mourning period, and I know life and death is a natural thing; we will all be gone someday. I find that thought tough to understand on some level, but it makes sense. Most of my new paintings are an exploration of what comes after we leave this world. Are we just really gone? Is there a heaven? Does our soul travel onto another plane of existence? Are we reincarnated? Maybe we only live on as fading memories in our loved one’s minds. The whole idea has always fascinated me. And I don’t really know or pretend to have any sort of answers, but I can explore these thoughts in my work.

TINY HEARTS

 

 

The comrades of Tiny Hearts (Waajeed, Dede Reynolds, Tim K) met at a bar beneath the J train in New York City. Cadillac margaritas and invisible hands pushed the three to a south side basement for a late night listening session. Resulting remixes led to original mixes, and the group was formed. Voices from the beyond, esoteric concepts and milkshake metrics all played a role in this groups’ fruition. The result: a reflection of intention.

 

Waajeed, a founding member of Detroit’s Slum Village and Platinum Pied Pipers, was in a period of deep introspection when he met Brooklyn duo DEDE (Dede Reynolds and Tim K). As a key figure in the collaboration, he shapes the sonic palette now known as Tiny Hearts.

 

Tim K is a jazz-trained producer and composer bringing a unique melodic sensibility and lyrical identity to the Hearts. He is the glue of the trio.

 

Dede Reynolds, a nomadic chanteuse, contributes her icy pure vocal texture, creating the stark contrast to Waajeed’s gritty tracks that defines the sound. Her love of French pop, vintage fashion and Italian horror

shapes the auditory and visual representation of the band. She is the centerpiece of the hearts.

 

The group debuted on the DIRT TECH RECK takeover on Benji B’s BBC radio show in late 2012. Circulation and word of mouth created a buzz, resulting in support from KCRW’s Garth Trinidad, Aaron Byrd and Anthony Valadez, KEXP’s Dj Alex, as well and countless other

radio and club DJs across the globe. They were included in KCRW’s Top 50 chart 10.28.13 and NPR’s “Female Artists Making Waves” 11.12.13.  LA Canvas listed Tiny Hearts as one of their artists to watch in 2014.

 

“Stay,” the first EP from Tiny Hearts, is the result of two years of trans-continental collaboration, studio incubation, and friendship. The four-song debut is as hard as it is soft, as Detroit as it is L.A., equally well suited for seriously getting down or not-so-seriously kicking back with a glass of something. Blog giant Pigeons & Planes featured single “Stay” as a song of the week 9.20.13. Bandcamp featured the release on their weekly podcast, and Okayplayer streamed the EP upon it’s release. The trio performed and previewed the EP in an invite only Boiler Room session at LA’s HVW8 gallery 9.14.13.