DEAR DAVE,

The magazine was founded on the premise that there is much original and compelling photography that is deserving of a wider audience, and in celebration of our 15th issue we present 15 portfolios that endorse this possibility. Our selection, neither methodical nor authoritative, represents a diversity of practice, and some themes that have dominated recent photographic thought.

Adrian Samson uses the visual language of cinematic narrative and light to chronicle prolonged and elliptical moments of intimacy and thought. In the series ‘The Fourth Wall’ Max Pinckers reenacts with passers-by, moments familiar to the Bollywood audience, operating in the portal between fact and fiction.

Pictorial style adjusts with each era of popular culture, and Neil Krug explores a particularly vivid and recognizable visual vocabulary from the past, and describes the pivot of West Coast culture where the psychedelic and Photoshop collaborate.

Using photographic chemistry and material as a process to mark and draw has been parenthetical throughout photographic history. The work of Ryan Foerster functions as remnants of the physical world; a membrane that both preserves and decays. In haunted images, Daisuke Yokota improvises photographic chemistry in the creation of a distorted and claustrophobic space—a visual white noise.

A challenge of cultural production is to invigorate familiar genres with relevance and originality. In an acknowledgment of commonplace landscape tropes, Enrico Smerilli’s images of mountains exist as idealized icons, abstractions on the printed page. In contrast, the landscape as real—as a ravaged and brutal social space—is described in the work of Bryan Schutmaat.

Andrew B. Myers plays with the spatial and surface properties of the photograph to devise nimble and witty illustrations of minor narratives, relationships and jocular objects.

Once considered parcel of a subversive and mischievous ideology, appropriation has less baggage in this age of virtual image dispersal. With images culled from auto part trading sites, Luciano Rigolini transforms the most banal and practical images into those worthy of formal contemplation. Eva Stenram overhauls cheesecake to, conversely, form an instance of concealment and anonymity. Both bodies of work approach vernacular photography with affection and wit.

The family snapshot endures as an object of our affection and fascination. Scanning these images, Ben Alper warps the fabric of memory and creates a prism of past and present.

In his series “Purity,” David Magnusson explores, in the long tradition of photography to depict marginal social communities united by belief, the apparent phenomenon of Purity Balls— a formal declaration of virginity (and promise until marriage) and a father’s vow of protection. At odds are the vivid images of Stacy Kranitz, whose lurid depictions of an annual Ohio skate gathering celebrates youthful anarchy and decadence.

Matin Zad is among a generation of fashion photographers whose work redefines conventions of the genre and, in this group of images, evokes a form of visual eclipse and a temperament of reticence. Equally playful are the photographs of Olivia Locher that dwell in the erotic and somatic, often by way of the mouth.

I am grateful for your support and enthusiasm these last five years.

Thanks and love,
Stephen