Anyone who has opened a photo album, a graphic news story or a stunning issue of National Geographic knows the power of a piercing photograph. Although we're far from knowing the secret to a masterful image, it's safe to say those who snap a memorable shot aren't afraid to get all kinds of intimate with whatever is on the other side of that lens.
Today we're salivating over Fuchs Projects' "Up Close and Personal," an exhibition that explores the vast potential of a camera when it invades the personal space of its subject, be it Miranda July or a fast food hamburger. Curated by Ruben Natal-San Miguel, the 63 images on display range from funny to touching to eerie to shocking. One photographer captures the expressions of his family members directly after revealing his AIDS diagnosis, while another uses a skin condition called "dermatographia" to render designs on her flesh, capturing the results on camera. The only thing the images all have in common? Their bold choice to crop out extra space and capture their subjects in all their unbridled intensity.
Big names like Zoe Strauss, Annie Leibovitz and Hank Willis Thomas mingle with emerging photographers in the Bushwick exhibition, aligned in their hunger for the perfect shot. Behold, 10 photographers who aren't afraid to get up close and personal, with commentary provided by Fuchs Projects' Rafael Fuchs. Let us know your favorites in the comments.
"Annie Leibovitz's portrait of Merce Cunningham shows him in a vulnurable way, as if he's lost within himself, almost reclusive."
Ariana Page Russell
"Arianna Page Russell, who has a skin condition called 'Dermatographia' is using her body as a canvas for writings and decorations and photographs it."
"Adrain Chesser is showing two images from a large series of photographs he took of close friends and family reacting to his confession to them about his HIV positive, right after his revelation to them."
Carlo Van De Roer
"Van De Roer uses a 1970s Polaroid aura camera in an attempt to capture 'what a psychic might see.' Here he captures a hypnotic portrait of filmmaker and author Miranda July."
Carolyn Marks Blackwood
"Ice In Tide,' Carolyn Marks Blackwood uses seemingly simple imagery that reveals a complexity bordering on chaos, inviting viewers to meditate further on the natural world."
"Bey is known for his personal portraits of marginalized subjects documenting the rich street life of his neighborhood prior to its gentrification."
"Jon Feinstein is dealing with fast food obsession, and is showing two works of a burger and of French Fries. these images are, actually, direct scans of the objects and not photographs."
"From his series 'The Reluctant Father,' Toledano captures baby portraits that stray from the traditional, sugary-sweet photos we're so accustomed to."
"The couple are the photographer's parents, and the work represents the victory of will against evil, since the father, who was a Holocaust surviver, is captured dancing with his wife in their apartment in Tel Aviv, in their happier life phase after WWII."
Ruben Natal-San Miguel
"The image features a gay African-American male. The shot plays on gender, sexual orientation, class and race, juxtaposing a Barbie necklace, that represents the symbol of "female perfection" with a tight body shot that represents masculinity."
"Up Close and Personal" runs until May 13, 2014 at Fuchs Projects in New York.