Document Journal x Calvin Klein
Here’s a quick rundown of some of the artists who caught our eye.
Jones’ captivating portraiture radiates Southern sweat and an understated sensuality. The Alabama-born artist captures friends and acquaintances, showcasing the first example we’ve ever seen of hair rollers and a hair fetish in a single photograph. With only two photographs in the show, the artist showed his dynamic range—and we’re excited to see more of his work in the future.
Philipzen’s grainy black-and-white photos transported us to a hotel-motel-No Tell in Western Europe as we watched his face-tattooed subject levitate above the bed, like the spell—or hallucinogen—just kicked in. The artist’s decision to allow the film’s dust and scratches into the final image gave the entire scene a ‘found-photography’ look, and only serves to enhance the overall vision.
Transforming oneself requires a combination of discipline, mold-breaking and self-acceptance. These three elements are exceptionally represented Budapest-based photographer Andras Ladocsi’s images. A light-filled gymnastic space with rings and mats is show next to a portrait of a clay-covered man who looks as though he has just burst forth from a statue. Completing the trio is a portrait of a woman laying on the floor, bathed in sunlight and making direct eye contact with the camera. The three photos are perfectly paired, and display the artist’s talent for evoking abstract emotions through physical realities.
London and New York-based Lockett’s large-scale prints from his series, Arizona Moments, gave us full Southwestern-surrealist vibes and brought to mind the physical manifestations of old gods and new idols.
The human-esque forms in the three portraits shown by Vasily Agrenenko are perhaps what we’ll all look like once evolution, climate change and the effects of pollution eventually collide. While not quite resembling actual people, the forms at least allow us to envision a post-human world where style is still an option.
Luis Alberto Rodriguez
One of only artists to present just a single image during the show, Berlin-based Rodriguez captures a subject’s abstracted body that exudes strength and the kind of post-dance energy that perhaps only the likes of Teyana Taylor or Jennifer Beals could truly comprehend. The locker room setting and subject’s contorted form reminds us how it truly feels to move your body until you’re completely exhausted—and transformed.
The four images shown by Armenian photographer Lucie Khahoutian blend elements of surrealism, collage and digital-reference that draw you in like a tarot card with a number of figures and symbolic details that would also be at home in a Magritte painting. Khahoutian’s work takes photography in a curious direction—you don’t know if the artist is using sourced or original imagery and each subject is surrounded with arcane details that bring on an alluring yet creepy look.
Bennie Julian Gay
Berlin-based Bennie Julian Gay creates both color and black-and-white photos that bring together realism with a sort of softness that makes his work feel almomst unreal. His goal as an artist? To "[make] people see the world as they cannot see it themselves."
'The New Vanguard' is on view now at Aperture Gallery until October 23.
Lead photo by Etienne Saint-Denis; all photos courtesy of Document Journal.