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Welcome to Gallery Carte Blanche's blog by Gwen Lafage
Featuring photographs from the artists of Gallery Carte Blanche, and from others that inspire me, along with quotes, books and news.

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You know what I’m seeing - An international photography group showCurated by Gwen Lafage (Carte Blanche) and Patrick Aguilar (Owl & Tiger Books)
Unique Pop-up Exhibition at a.Muse Gallery, San FranciscoFriday April 18th & Saturday April 19th 2-6pm
Opening Party: Friday April 18th - 5-9pm
By appointment through April 28th
Adam Brochstein, Dennis Dehart, Alex Cretey Systermans, Patrick Gookin, Jordi Huisman, Dagmar Kolatschny, Ricardo Kump, Tammy Mercure, John Francis Peters, Markel Redondo, Loris Savino, Maria Sturm, Ekaterina Vasilyeva, Jin Zhu.
Bests in show: Shane Lynam, Juan Madrid, Sara Macel, and Joris Vandecatseye

You know what I’m seeing - An international photography group showCurated by Gwen Lafage (Carte Blanche) and Patrick Aguilar (Owl & Tiger Books)

Unique Pop-up Exhibition at a.Muse Gallery, San Francisco
Friday April 18th & Saturday April 19th 2-6pm

Opening Party: Friday April 18th - 5-9pm

By appointment through April 28th

Adam Brochstein, Dennis Dehart, Alex Cretey Systermans, Patrick Gookin, Jordi Huisman, Dagmar Kolatschny, Ricardo Kump, Tammy Mercure, John Francis Peters, Markel Redondo, Loris Savino, Maria Sturm, Ekaterina Vasilyeva, Jin Zhu.

Bests in show: Shane Lynam, Juan Madrid, Sara Macel, and Joris Vandecatseye


The Carte Blanche show, You know what I’m seeing? opens in 3 days in San Francisco.

It includes work by Patrick Gookin from his series LA by car.

The City of Los Angeles is a loose agglomeration of neighborhoods and communities separated by race, by ethnicity and by economic disparity, all indiscriminately sprawled across 503 square miles of desert, coast, mountains, and fault lines.

By design or by default, Los Angeles has been built for travel by car.  Its size, its geography, and its rigid social boundaries displace and marginalize pedestrians, while isolating and alienating the drivers who navigate its expanses, physically sealed off from the flattened world across which they travel. Through the windshield, one experiences others and the Los Angeles landscape in short, transient moments.

LA by Car is a series of constructed 35mm photographs taken with a point and shoot camera from the driver’s seat of a car in and around Los Angeles. Drawing from disparate influences including American road trip photography such as Lee Friedlander’s America by Car and the work of photo-conceptual artists such as Jeff Wall, these photographs attempt to hold in balance two seemingly dichotomous positions by capturing unmoored pedestrians from the fixed perspective of a car, creating a connection between observer and observed where none should reasonably exist. These connections play out as a series of ambiguous cinematic moments, framed by the car’s mirrors and windows and pieced together from fragments of and references to personal memory, popular culture, and art photography. Constructed in this way, the photographs question the relationship between photography and memory, the function of re-appropriation in art, and the perception of fiction in photography while presenting a unique perspective on Los Angeles and American car culture.

Patrick Gookin

Patrick Gookin is an American photographer living and working in Los Angeles, CA. He makes photographs about the culture we live in that also consider the material and psychic qualities of photographs themselves.

Carte Blanche exclusive pop-up show opens on Friday April 18th in San Francisco. Yes, this week!

It includes work by Spanish photographer Markel Redondo

Spain is one of the countries hardest hit by the European economic crisis. Because of a highly unstable financial and real estate market, an estimated 1.2 million empty houses litter the landscape, affecting a large majority of the population.

In parallel, unemployment figures are growing to such an extent that cities are experiencing unemployment rates as high as 40%.
I visited several ghost towns and documented the daily lives of unemployed people in Espera and Moron de La Frontera, two Andalucian towns where unemployment levels are among the highest in Spain.

And yet, as a proactive attempt to find ways of tackling the crisis, many are organizing themselves to protest and to request local companies to recruit new workers. In Moron, the tactics are perhaps more urgent, with unemployed civilians mobilizing to gather potatoes missed by the farmers’ harvests in an attempt to survive; either through sales or as a simple source of food.

Even in this corner of the developed world, the impact of economic crisis is resulting in the often surreal juxtaposition of a hand to mouth existence lived amongst the ruins of failed urban and economic development.

Markel Redondo

Bilbao, 1978.

I started photography at the University of Bolton, United Kingdom. From Bolton I headed East to China where, while studying an MA in Photojournalism, I worked for a number of agencies, newspapers and magazines.

In 2007 I headed back to Europe, returning to my hometown Bilbao in 2008. Now I divide my time between Spain (Bilbao) and France (Bayonne) from where I mainly cover all Spain and South West France.

Focusing on social and environmental issues, I have worked for clients including Greenpeace, WWF,The British Council and Red Bull.

My photographs have been published in Time, Newsweek, Sunday Times Magazine, The Times, Le Monde, Le Figaro Magazine, the New York Times, Monocle, the Wall Street Journal and International Herald Tribune.

From St. Petersburg to San Francisco!

You know what I’m seeing? will include work by Russian photographer, Ekaterina Vasilyeva from her  series  ”Russian season “. The show opens in a week!

     Russian winter - a great ancient myth recorded in Russian folk tales and Russian poetry, the cult that lives in the hearts of Russian people. 

Anyone who lives in Russia has to love the winter, at least subconsciously.
Winter decorates our country as perhaps no any other one. Under the snow disappear countless tons of debris and road wells, bad smells and bad mood.
    “Unwashed Russia” can became a kind of fairy-tale world.Russia is usually associated with endless white space, which dwells between natural           phenomenon and metaphysical meditative whiteness. 

This is a country where politics, spiritual and cultural life are described in climatic terms such as cooling, freezing and thawing.

Ekaterina Vasilyeva

I studied contemporary photography at “FotoDepartament” St.Petersburg (2011-2013) and on-line learning at “Objective reality” Moscow (Curator Jorg M. Colberg) (2010-2011).
I’m an independent photographer, working at the intersection of the genre, documentary and art photography.
I’ve exposed in several solo and collective exhibitions in  St.Petersburg and other cities Russia.

   2013 - Finalist  ”International Festival of Photography PHOTOVISA”
   2013 - Finalist of the “Young Photography 2013”  competition, exhibition in FotoDepartament Gallery, St.Petersburg
   2012 - Laureate  ”Young photographers of Russia 2012”
   2011 - Award of K. Bulla Fund (St.Petersburg) - 1nd place, (nomination  People and Faces)

You know what I’m seeing - an international photography group show - opening in San Francisco, April 18th. Brought to you by Carte Blanche.

Including work by Denis Dehart

Concentrate to the Quiet is a series of photographs created in Finland during the summer of 2013.  The project weaves together still lives, landscapes, and portraits into series of images, which explore place-based experiences and impressions through the lens of the quiet.
Dennis DeHart’s (b.1970) fine art photographs and interdisciplinary projects are compelled by the connections, conflicts, and intersections of the natural and cultural worlds. His work has been exhibited in a diversity of venues including group and solo shows regionally, nationally and internationally including most recently, China and Finland. Dennis has received grants from the New York State Council on the Arts and the Arizona Commission on the Arts. His photographs are included in private and public collections including the Getty Archives, Los Angels, The City of Phoenix, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Dennis received his MFA in photography from the University of New Mexico. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Photography with Washington State University in Pullman, Washington

Don’t miss  - You know what I’m seeing? - Carte Blanche upcoming show - in San Francisco, April 18th and 19th

Including work by Loris Savino

Gold is money, everything else is credit, he once said the banker JP Morgan.
Gold is a source of income for both producers and consumers.
Artisanal and small-scale mining is estimated to supply 13 percent of the world’s gold production per annum, or about 330 tonnes of average annual mining production in recent years. From this, the current value of annual artisanal and smallscale gold production in 2010,11 is worth around US 10.5 billion. Working on the highly conservative basis that artisanal and small-scale mining makes up 8 percent of national gold production Mali strategic position in medieval times close to both the prosperous sites for the extraction of gold and salt and the main trade routes through the Sahara gave commodities like gold, salt, and slaves a crucial role in the economy of the ancient Mali kingdom.
In the last decade Mali has experienced a gold boom. Today Mali is Africas third largest producer of gold and has one of the world’s most golddependent economies. Gold production grew to 50 metric tons last year from 46 tons the year before, A government plan to support smaller companies to start producing will push output to 100 tons within two or three years.
There are over 350 artisanal mining sites across Western and Southern Mali; their precise number is unknown even to the government.
Estimates put the number of artisanal gold miners in Mali between 100,000 and 200,000. Around 20 percent of artisanal gold miners are children. About 20 000 children are working in illegal mines in Mali. These children literally risk life and limb, said Human Rights Watch. They carry loads heavier than their own weight, climb into unstable shafts, and touch and inhale mercury, one of the most toxic substances on earth.
Artisanal gold miners in Mali and all over the world use mercury to extract gold from ore, because it is inexpensive and easy to use. Artisanal miners are exposed to mercury through the inhalation of vapors that develop when the amalgam is smelted. Researchers have described mercury intoxication an invisible epidemic.

Loris Savino

Loris Savino was born in Milan Italy, where he established himself as a
photojournalist working as a staff photographer for GraziaNeri and Contrasto agency. His work appearing in such publications as TIme, Vanity Fair and l‘Express. In 2008 Loris became a freelance photographer and is currently living between Milan and Barcelona : worked several time in a middle east area for the Betweenlands project, it was exhibited in gallery and museum in Istanbul, Milan, Naples, Turin. He was awarded the Baldoni Prize 2007 for his work on a Kibera’s slum in Nairobi.
He’s still working on the Mediterranean country with focus on migration and social impact in that area.

New story on Carte Blanche website:

PEOPLE MOUNTAIN, PEOPLE SEA by Pierfrancesco Celada

A story and limited-edition prints to collect.

“People mountain, People Sea” is an old Chinese saying indicating a very large group of people.
A few years ago, I traveled across Asia. On the north east coast of Taiwan, near Fulong, I ran into one of the biggest Rock Festivals in the country….]

Read more, buy now.

Carte Blanche pop-up exhibition and party opens on Friday April 18th in San Francisco. Don’t miss it: You know what I’m seeing?

It includes awesome work by local San Francisco photographer: Adam Joseph Brochstein

We Do Not Ride Off Into The Sunset by Adam Joseph Brochstein

The fantasy of the frontier days fester in the imaginations of men today. The ideals of self reliance, camaraderie, and practicality run deep in the formation of the psyche of the American male. The Cowboy dream seems inherent, innate, and universal. But there is a confusion at the very foundation of this icon. Society presents the mythic figure as a hero and as a product of a very real history. But what happens when the myth has been recycled to the point where the primary source is lost? The legends become based on other reworkings, rewritings and remakes. Where does that leave those who believe in the dream of the American West?


Adam Joseph Brochstein

Adam Joseph Brochstein was born and raised in Texas. His fascination with the south and southwestern culture established a foundation for an incessant curiosity to explore the land, specifically in the American West. Relentlessly interested in the archetype of the father and the masculine ideal in general, Adam’s photographic practice has ranged from documentary, to tableau and narrative. Recently, he’s been interested in the manifestation of the cowboy in society today, specifically along the frontier. 

Carte Blanche is pleased to present its first unique Pop-up exhibition,

You know what I’m seeing? – An international photography group exhibition
Join us at a.Muse Gallery, 614 Alabama Street in San Francisco, on Friday April 18th for the opening reception from 5pm – 9pm.

Curated by Gwen Lafage (Carte Blanche) and Patrick Aguilar (Owl and Tiger Books), You know what I’m seeing? is trying to make sense of what emerging, contemporary photographers have to tell us.

More details and register

Until the show, we will present you some of the work of our selected artists.

Today we’re happy to share the work of a photographer from The Netherlands:

Outline by Jordi Huisman

In the 1950’s and 60’s an area that is now known as the province of Flevoland was reclaimed from the IJsselmeer. A large dyke surrounds this polder, which lies fives meters below water level. The dyke forms an elevated outline, protecting the land from flooding. 

This series portrays Flevoland and its essential outline. It shows how life, infrastructure and nature got implemented after this part of the former Zuiderzee was reclaimed and land was created.

Jordi Huisman

I was born in Almere, The Netherlands in 1982. After a BSc at Engineering, Design & Innovation I attended the KABK art academy in The Hague to study photography. I’ve been working as a freelance photographer since 2005, photographing for magazines, newspapers design firms, architects and commercial agencies. Next to that I initiate documentary/fine art, mostly about the tension between man and nature and technology. 

Gallery Carte Blanche Call for Art -
Winners and a Pop-up show in San Francisco

After months of reviewing awesome work from around the world, we have finally selected our winners!

Please join me in congratulating:

Adam Brochstein, Dennis Dehart, Patrick Gookin, Jordi Huisman, Dagmar Kolatschny, Ricardo Kump, Tammy Mercure, Markel Redondo, Loris Savino, Maria Sturm, Ekaterina Vasilyeva.

And our bests in show: Shane Lynam, Juan Madrid, Sara Macel, and Joris Vandecatseye.

Join us at a.Muse Gallery in San Francisco on April 18th & 19th for a unique Carte Blanche pop-up show!

More info: You know what I’m seeing?

Photos by Sara Macel, Juan Madrid, Shane Lynam, Joris Vandecatseye.