Wednesday, January 27, 2010

INSTRUMENTS OF EMPIRE- Amy Stein & Brian Ulrich -1/28/2010 @ Caption Gallery

© Amy Stein

© Brian Ulrich

Not missing this show and neither should you!

Two of my favorite photographers and friends whose work, I really admire and inspire me the most. Both being educators, there is a lot to see and learn from.

See you tomorrow!

Instruments of Empire
Photographs by Amy Stein and Brian Ulrich

Caption Gallery

55 Washington Street, No. 802
Brooklyn, NY 11201
January 28-March 25, 2010
Opening Reception:
Thursday, January 28
6:30-8:30 p.m.
Amy Stein is represented by ClampArt
Brian Ulrich is represented by Julie Saul Gallery

Press release for the ones who don't know about his two stars here:

Instruments of Empire: Photographs by Amy Stein and Brian Ulrich
January 28 – March 25, 2010
Opening Reception Thursday, January 28, 6:30-8:30
Caption Gallery is pleased to announce a dual exhibition of photographs by Amy Stein and Brian
Ulrich. The exhibition links two powerful photographic series, Ulrich’s recent “Dark Stores,” and
“Stranded,” here presented for the first time.
“Dark Stores” examines the all-too-familiar landscape of global brands and big-box retail in the
context of a market economy in crisis. His work is a form of visual sociology, providing a portrait of
empty spaces, darkened outlets, and, by implication, people left out when the boom recedes.

Amy Stein’s “Stranded” offers us a vision of people at the mercy of forces beyond their control.
Metaphorically, the images stand in for the people we don’t see in Ulrich’s photographs. In the
aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Stein had the idea to take portraits of motorists she saw stranded
by the roadside. The series became, in her words, “a meditation on the despondence of the
American psyche stuck in an unfamiliar space between distress and relief.”
The powerful, dystopic visions of Stein and Ulrich expose the transformation of human beings into
consumers, with little power or agency. They recall Napoleon’s dictum: “In the eyes of the empire
builders, men are not men but instruments.”
Amy Stein is a photographer and teacher based in New York City. She has been exhibited nationally
and internationally and her work is featured in many private and public collections. In 2006 she won
the Saatchi Gallery/Guardian Prize for her “Domesticated” series, which was released as a book in
2008. In 2007, she was named one of the top fifteen emerging photographers in the world by
American Photo magazine.

Brian Ulrich lives and works in Chicago. His first monograph, Copia, was published in 2006 by
Aperture as part of the MP3: Midwest Photographers Project. In 2007 Ulrich was named one of the
year’s 30 Emerging Photographers by Photo District News and a critic’s pick by Richard Woodward
for ARTnews magazine. He was recently awarded a 2009 John Simon Guggenheim Memorial
Fellowship. Both he and Stein are members of Piece of Cake, a European-based group of photo
artists who collaborate on projects, discussions, publications and other initiatives.
Caption is dedicated to promoting photography as a narrative art, in an exhibition format that brings
together word and text. The gallery showcases leading artists whose projects bridge the gap
between art and editorial photography, as well as emerging visual storytellers. It is located
contiguous to Generation, a communications firm that works with not-for-profit, cultural and
cause-related institutions.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Zoe Strauss i-95 Fundraiser Limited Edition Print Sale

Zoe Strauss-Nina, 2002

Please help Photographer, VERSUS artist and dear friend Zoe Strauss complete her dream and have a fantastic i-95 2010 blowout. This the last year of the 10 year i-95 exhibit. In order to raise funds for it, Zoe is having a great limited EDITION (yes big because Zoe, barely NEVER editions her work) of only 5 per photo image. I had atttended several of her i-95 yearly exhibits and all I can say that, I had never met somebody with such passion and commitment to the arts and her community.

Here is more info about the sale in Zoe's words. And yes the image shown above is to me a Zoe Strauss classic. Remember only edition of 5...

Get ready to get some of the "Countdown Dated Edition Photos." The Countdown Dated Edition Photos" are a series of photos including a photo from each year spanning the duration of the I-95 project, 2000 to 2010. The sale of these photos will help pay for the 2010 I-95 show. And, believe me, the 2010 show will be spectacular. Rest assured that if you get one, it's money well spent.

Starting this month, I will be posting the photos for sale at random times and they will be available until May 2010 or until they sell out. The photos are 250 bucks a pop, and will be made in a dated edition of 5. Photos will be offered in chronological order...
Image size for each photo is 7.5"x9.5", paper size is 8.5."x11", and the photos are archival ink-jet prints.

These are a limited edition 2009/2010 issue...they will be signed as such and come with a letter from me. This means that I am only printing 5 of these photos at 7.5" by 9.5" between right now and May 2010. Who knows what I'll print in 2010, but these are it from this year. Who knows what I'll do in 2010, period.

Please email with any questions.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Brian Ulrich- Talk & Book Signing-Friday Jan 29 @ VERSUS- Hous Projects

© Brian Ulrich

Please join us Friday January 29, 2010 from 5:30-7:00 PM @ Hous Projects Gallery for a talk and book signing with Photographer and 2009 Guggenheim Fellowship recipient Brain Ulrich.

The talk will be hosted by VERSUS curator, Ruben Natal-San Miguel and co hosted by Heather Huber of Hous Projects Gallery.

Much of this work is part of the larger project Copia for which Ulrich is currently working on a Guggenheim Fellowship and planning to continue across the country making pictures for a compilation of photographs to culminate in a book that examines 100 years of consumer culture in the US.

Besides talking about his current body of work, Brian, also will talk about the works in the show VERSUS and the perspective of the new generation of photographers.

See you all Friday!

Friday, January 29, 2010
5:30pm - 7:00pm
Hous Projects Gallery, 31 Howard St 2nd Flr,NY, NY 10013

Picture Black Friday=Finalist!

Photos by Ruben Natal-San Miguel

When I decided to do the Picture Black Friday 2009 competition, my first idea was to run to the mall like everybody else did and try to get that great Brian Ulrich's inspired photo of the mall that eventually knew, will get the winning prize. Then I thought oh...maybe I go to Fifth Avenue and play accidental tourist and try capture the spirit and the mood there, being all grand, beautiful,luxurious and all that. I did that.

Right after coming from Fifth Avenue, I ended up near 125 Street in Harlem and, what I witnessed while there made me change my mind and realized that as a street photographer my responsibility and desire was to capture something that in my opinion was more important that a rat race to a shopping mall. The existing malls right now exist thanks to main shopping streets like 14 , 34, 42 , 72 ,96 and 125 streets in main cities like Manhattan. Throughout NYC history and way before the mall madness, 125 Street in particular, has been a shopping mecca for Upper Manhattan and the Bronx. What I saw Black Friday in Harlem, made me extremely sad but, inspired . So moved by it that, I decided try to capture it in photographs. Unfortunately Picture Black Friday allowed 5 photographs and a artist statement of only 400 words (would like to read what the others wrote) making it a bit challenging for me to tell my kind of story.

Here is what I wrote in so little words:

Black Friday - Harlem

Between the desolation of a For Sale sign,vacant spaces for rent and run down businesses was... Energy; a light in the dark, an unnerving sense of expectancy, eagerness, customers being lured right on and off from the street, the hustle and bustle of doing their best with limited resources. Such pride and resilience that, only most New Yorkers have and people pursuing the American Dream. A touching, inspiring, heartfelt, and emotional Black Friday journey.

I am pretty happy to end up a finalist and that they selected the two photographs shown here. They tell a different and true story .To me, it is more important to tell a real story that needs to be told that, just simply follow the crowd running to the mall. Thank you to all the judges for recognizing my work and intentions. Congratulations to Sandy Carlson the winner, Alex Boerner the runner up and the other finalists!

Friday, January 22, 2010

HAITI Relief Print Sale to benefit DOCTORS WITHOUT BORDERS

Sara Sudhoff

Very late on game with this but, They are prints still available and, I urge to cooperate so we can help feed and provide for the needy in Haiti. They are still some great prints available Please shop. We are so fortunate and for only $50.00 you get a great limited edition of only 10 print. A lot of you feel so fortunate of having your prints sold for thousands of dollars in galleries think about the difference this can make in the life's of the unfortunate ones.

The funds will go to the organization called Doctors Without Borders, who have been providing immediate medical assistance since hours after the earthquake. They have also being helping Haiti for the past 19 years.

During PhotoLa no matter how crazy busy I was, The disaster was constantly on my mind. By donating an image of my own and selling out right away, I knew that my contribution will make a small difference. it is the beginning of a New Year and why not start being kind to each other. Special thanks to Rafael Soldi who put this relief effort together. GOD bless you!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Tonight! 1/21/2010-Trying Them On - curated by Jon Feinstein-Humble Arts Foundation

Helen-Maurene Cooper, Applbtms, from Hoodwink, 2009, pigment print, 19 x 24 in.

Still tired from Los Angeles but, will be here tonight!
See you!

Curated by Jon Feinstein

Exhibiting photographers: Claire Beckett, Helen–Maurene Cooper, Andrea Robbins and Max Becher, and Michael Bühler-Rose

On view: January 21 – February 27, 2010
Opening reception: Thursday, January 21 – 6 – 8 p.m.

Hendershot Gallery
547 West 27th Street, Suite 504
New York, New York 10001
(212) 239–3085 |

Gallery hours: Tuesday–Saturday 11 – 6 p.m.

This group exhibition explores the fascination with “the other” through gendered, sexual, racial and subcultural costuming. The exhibiting photographers depict Europeans and Westerners who glamorize and vilify other cultures, at times presenting them as the enemy, while at others declaring them a cultural muse. On the surface, the latter appears to be an attempt to understand or elevate them, but in many cases this actually leads to further complication by turning their identities into caricatures. This exhibition also explores the motivations for this role-play: is it an act of mere flattery? What does it mean to try on the skin or cultural signifiers of another?

For more information, please contact Heidi Prenevost at (212) 239–3085 or via email at

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

FLAK PHOTO Teams up with VERSUS!

Back in the Big Apple from La La Land this morning after Red Eye flight. Lots to tell about PhotoLA but, first there are some events that, I need to caught up with besides my regular sleep (feeling fried).

I had the pleasure of meeting Andy Adams during PhotoLA and he had this wonderful idea of showing selected works from the VERSUS show. Thank you so much Andy for featuring the works of VERSUS in Flak Photo.

Flak Photo partners with curator Ruben Natal-San Miguel to feature 10 photographs from VERSUS, weekdays through FRI, JAN 29.

Versus | A Group Exhibition at Hous Projects

Flak Photo kicks off its 2010 program by partnering with blogger/curator Ruben San-Natal Miguel to feature a selection of photographs from his current exhibition, VERSUS, on view at Hous Projects in New York City. From the curator's statement:

At the start of not only a new year, but also a new decade, it is imperative to reflect upon the themes of our times and celebrate humanity’s accomplishments and spirit...The exhibition is a cornucopia, yet the underlining tone is one that allows each of these strong voices to sing and praise the body as a whole whose refrain is socially relevant, neither mundane nor negative or shallow and is extremely timely. It is ever amazing how much courage it takes to live an ordinary life, but this exhibition hopes to cull and inspire in each viewer the motivation to embrace and own the good, usher it into their day to day and make the next year as well as decade one of positivity and strength.

In support of the exhibition, Flak Photo highlights work from ten photographers in the group show, weekdays through January 29, 2010 and includes images from Jen Davis, Molly Landreth, Eric Ogden, Gina LeVay, Kris Graves, Matthew Pillsbury, Mickalene Thomas, Nadine Rovner, Phil Toledano and Zoe Strauss.

Don't want to miss a day? Subscribe to daily delivery of Today's Flak Photo by email or RSS. Interested in keeping up with Flak Photo in your social network? Now you can connect with Flak Photo on Facebook and follow the site on Twitter.

Ruben Natal-San Miguel's VERSUS is on view at Hous Projects from January 7 - March 8, 2010.

Saturday, January 9, 2010


THANK YOU and BIG LOVE to you all for your support, kind words, press and presence for the opening of VERSUS.

Special thanks to all the art and photography community, the participating artists and Elizabeth Houston, John Housman, owners of Hous Projects and their lovely staff for allowing me to create this show. It was an eye opener experience to me in so many different levels that, will take me time to absorb it all. Again thank you!

Some of the works are already selling and The NEW YORKER already reserved two images from the show for press. More coming!

From here next stop is Los Angeles for PhotoLA! After brief hesitation, Am officially on board (on a plane on a few days) to experience having my own work in a fair again and collaborate with Hous Projects Gallery Booth.

Elizabeth and I decided to bring a selection VERSUS artists and, I curated a wall that is dedicated to women, calling it THE WOMEN OF VERSUS. The artists from the show participating are:

Eric Ogden
Gina LeVay
Molly Landreth
Elizabeth Fleming
Jen Davis
Phil Toledano
Cara Phillips
Ruben Natal-San Miguel

Things are happening quite fast and furious and at times I wonder, where all this is leading me to...for now all I can do, is go for the joy ride and not think and look back. Am afraid if I do, it all will disappeared or, I will turn into stone.

Thursday, January 7, 2010


Ruben Natal- San Miguel, Pink Panther in Harlem
Digital C-print , 2008

It is showtime!
The show looks great!
See you tonight!


At the start of not only a New Year, but also a new decade, it is imperative to reflect upon the themes of our times and celebrate humanity’s accomplishments and spirit. Through the work of 18 photographers both emerging and established, Versus’ aim point is to survey photography, guided by the hand of curator Ruben Natal San-Miguel, that does just this. Compared and contrasted, each artist dissects and highlights the other through juxtapositions of subject matter, composition, style, lighting and technique. The exhibition is a cornucopia, yet the underlining tone is one that allows each of these strong voices to sing and praise the body as a whole whose refrain is socially relevant, neither mundane nor negative or shallow and is extremely timely. It is ever amazing how much courage it takes to live an ordinary life, but this exhibition hopes to cull and inspire in each viewer the motivation to embrace and own the good, usher it into their day to day and make the next year as well as decade one of positivity and strength.

Brian Ulrich vs. Alex Leme
Both Brian Ulrich and Alex Leme search and explore the content of billboards and signs while driving aimlessly through America , from the Bible Belt to the sidewalks of South Beach.Brian does the Dark Stores, Thrift and Copia series for which he showcases, gone out of business empty store fronts demonstrating, reflecting and signaling our current state of the economy. Alex uses subtext of his images demonstrate how far some fundamentalist religious institutions are willing to go to recruit new members and to warn their followers of the lure of the adult entertainment industry which threatens their faith.

Mickalene Thomas vs. Nadine Rovner
A retro, seventies atmosphere dominates the work of Mickalene Thomas and Nadine Rovner. Whereas Rovner captures a suburban world in a painterly, romantic fashion, Thomas takes a more urban look. She utilizes the female members of her family to revisit the black exploitation movement in an urban, sassy, yet endearing manner.

Hank Willis Thomas vs. Cara Phillips
Hank Willis Thomas uses race and social politics via iconic, tongue in cheek imagery. He is able to make fun in an enlightening manner. Thomas’ work is dominated by skin’s surface impressions, which directly contrasts Cara Phillips’ Ultraviolet Beauties. Phillips literally gets under the skin of her subjects and exposes them for what lurks beneath. Each individual is pictured in their current state, but with the exercise of ultraviolet violet on them she shows the skin beneath and reveals the traces of what will be visible on the surface as they age.

Amy Elkins vs. Molly Landreth
Amy Elkins’ Wallflower series addresses and brings out the vulnerable, and at times feminine, factor in male portraiture. Molly Landreth travels across America and encounters along the way gay, lesbian and transgender living at times flamboyant and at times quite pedestrian in the most remote and conservative regions of America.

Matthew Pillsbury vs. Kris Graves
Matthew’s sensibility travels from the most mundane and ordinary to the opulent and results in sublime imagery, great composition and surreal lighting effects. The human figure is at times present in the form of an insinuated shadow or silhouette, a reflection of how fast paced and of the moment everyday life can be to most of us. Kris Grave’s spaces suggest emptiness, at times decay, solitude, absence and the former and no longer present existence of human figures in a space.

Phil Toledano vs. Elizabeth Fleming
Phil Toledano’s Days with my Father series deals with family dynamics, the relationship between him and his father, aging and the last days of his father’s existence. Elizabeth Fleming’s Family matters deals with the life endearing facts of raising a child of her own.

Zoe Strauss vs. Ruben Natal-San Miguel

Zoe Strauss’ beat is mostly the streets of Philadelphia and America . There she chooses to photograph the harsh, raw and very real times of the underprivileged and poor. This is life as it really happens. The underbelly that few want to dive into, but most be on the forefront of the collective conscious. Yet, as dark as streets such as these can be, Ruben Natal-San Miguel finds the brighter moments. In a parallel socioeconomic area in upper Manhattan, he finds children playing, laughter, community and pride.

Jen Davis vs. Eric Ogden
Eric Ogden’s phenomenally beautiful work is populated by celebrity, glamour and the grand lifestyle in staged settings that the common man will never know, yet somehow you can see yourself there and if it was not Penelope Cruz peeking through the window, if it was Jane Doe, the scene would be as powerful, lush and tantalizing. Converse in subject, but on par in beauty and sentiment, Jen Davis utilizes self-portraits in domestic, humble, everyday settings

Michael Wolf vs. Gina Levay
It does not get more distinctly opposite then when looking at Michael Wolf and Gina LeVay. Wolf quite literally captures the lives of those living and working in the air. Suspended high above ground level, they are wrapped in air, sky and light. LeVay takes her camera underground in her Sandhogs series and brings to the surface an occupation that is a way of life. Sandhogs are miners who work 800 feet below the streets of Manhattan, tunneling bedrock to create the largest capital project in New York City’s history, the 60 mile City Water Tunnel #3. While Wolf’s subjects are in the middle of weather systems, LeVay’s might have no idea at all what is happening in the world above them.

Friday, January 1, 2010


Goodbye 2009!
The New Year 2010 already started on a high note.

Alex Leme, ADULTERY, 2009

1. The Culture Hall show titled 2010: A New Year with Photographs curated by Ruben Natal-San Miguel is up and looks terrific. Go and check out the intersting works of Alex Leme, Gina LeVay, Matthew Pillsbury and Carlo van Der Roer.

Matthew Pillsbury-Names Withheld, HBO's Rome, Thursday Oct 13th 2005, 12 - 12:50am, 2005

You can see it here:

2. On January 7, 2010, is the grand opening of VERSUS @ Hous Projects also curated by us truly. The works of 18 great photographers!
Don't miss it. The Opening night hours will be extended till 10:30 PM, yes folks so, you all have time to see, look compare, meet the artists and be able to discuss the show while you sip your glass of wine without having people trying to kick you out! A real NYC opening not , the standard nonsense of closing at 8:PM.

Eric Ogden, Gents
archival pigment print , 2009


Jen Davis, untitled
Chromogenic Print , 2005

3. Then it comes PhotoLA January 14-17. Hous Projects will be showing works of some of the artists from VERSUS . Nadine Rovner, Jen Davis, Eric Ogden, Gina LeVay, Mickalene Thomas, Cara Phillips and Ruben Natal San Miguel will be part of the art fair. The part of the curated booth will be titled WOMEN of VERSUS. The idea behind it it is to promote the VERSUS show on the West Coast and the opening of the new Hous Projects Los Angeles gallery.

I might hop on the plane and go too to start the NEW YEAR with some milage!

Ruben Natal-San Miguel- It's Glamour Break 2, Harlem USA, 2009

I will be very busy for the next weeks but, I wanted to take time to wish you all a very prosperous , healthy, full of sustained fabulousness HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!
Looking forward a New Year full of new Photography Art!
Big love!!!