David Schonauer

In Focus,1: Guerrero and the Disappared, by Matt Black

The New Yorker   Wednesday April 22, 2015

Photographer Matt Black  has spent years documenting life in impoverished indigenous communities of southern Mexico, for an ongoing project called “The People of Clouds.” Last year, while Black was working in the regions of La Montaña and the Costa Chica, in the state of Guerrero, 43 students from the Ayotzinapa Normal School, in the nearby city of Iguala, went missing. Many of the students came from the same regions that Black had been photographing, and after their disappearance, he spoke with some of the students’ family members, and with citizens who are struggling to defend themselves against the rampant crime and poverty. See his work at the New Yorker. See also  a video Black shot in Guerrero.   Read the full Story >>

Books: Matt Black's 'American Geography'

Thames & Hudson   Wednesday September 15, 2021

When Magnum photographer Matt Black began exploring his hometown in California’s rural Central Valley—dubbed “the other California,” where one-third of the population lives in poverty—he knew what his next project had to be, notes Thames & Hudson, which has published Black’s new book American Geography. Black traveled over 100,000 miles across 46 states and Puerto Rico to create a portrait of some of the poorest communities across the US — the largely unseen and forgotten America. See also: Magnum.   Read the full Story >>

Exhibitions: Matt Black's "Geometry of Poverty"

Anastasia Gallery   Monday September 14, 2015

On view at New York City’s Anastasia Gallery through November 1 is photographer Matt Black’s series “The Geometry of Poverty,” which combines images, geolocation, and poverty data to map American’s marginalized communities. The project began on Black’s Instagram feed in his home region, the Central Valley of California, where, he notes, poverty conditions rival those of many Third World countries. Black began a three-month road trip in June, documenting over 70 cities, towns, and rural communities in the US.   Read the full Story >>

Exhibitions: Matt Black Looks At Man and His Food

Anastasia Gallery   Tuesday September 9, 2014

Matt Black grew up in a small town in California’s Central Valley, the vast agricultural heart of the state, and went on to become an award-winning documentary photographer. For his multi-year series “The Kingdom of Dust,” Black returned to his roots to explore the underside of contemporary rural life in the shadow of some of America's richest farms. That work, and a twin project called "The People of the Clouds," which explores a Mexican farming community, is being shown through October 19 at New York City's Anastasia Gallery.   Read the full Story >>

In Focus: Photographer Matt Black in Guerrero, Mexico

The New Yorker   Monday April 6, 2015

Photographer Matt Black  has spent years documenting life in impoverished indigenous communities of southern Mexico, for an ongoing project called “The People of Clouds.” Last year, while Black was working in the regions of La Montaña and the Costa Chica, in the state of Guerrero, forty-three students from the Ayotzinapa Normal School, in the nearby city of Iguala, went missing. The New Yorker features a video shot by Black and edited by Sky Dylan-Robbins based on Black’s work in Guererro. Called The Monster in the Mountains, the video is beautiful and stark, echoing the words of one human rights activist Black interviewed: “Both heaven and hell are in this country,” he says.   Read the full Story >>

Honor Roll: Matt Black Wins W. Eugene Smith Grant

TIME LightBox   Friday October 16, 2015

Documentary photographer Matt Black has been award the $30,000 W. Eugene Smith Grant for Humanistic Photographer for his long-term project to map the geography of poverty in the US. As Time LightBox notes, for the past two decades, Black had been photographing poverty, migration and farming in California’s Central Valley. In early 2014, he turned to Instagram to reach a new audience "and bridge the gap between the haves and the have-nots." Work from the project has recently been on view at the Anastasia Photo  gallery in NYC.   Read the full Story >>

Exhibitions, 1: Matt Black Looks at Mixteca's Missing Farmers

Anastasia Gallery   Wednesday September 10, 2014

Matt Black is an award-winning documentary photographer who grew up in California’s Central Valley, the vast agricultural heart of the state. In 1995, Black returned to his roots to embark on a series called “The Kingdom of Dust,” a multi-year chronicle exploring the contemporary rural life in the shadow of some of America's richest farms. While working on that project, he noticed a shift in the population of migrants coming to work the fields, and in 2000 he began another project called “The People of Clouds,” a photographic inquiry into the collapse of indigenous farming communities in the Mixteca region of southern Mexico. Black captures “the poetry of everyday moments" as he chronicles communities in flux, notes New York City’s Anastasia Gallery, where both projects are on view.   Read the full Story >>

Passings: Matt Herron, Chronicler of the Civil Rights Movement, Dies at 89

   Friday August 14, 2020

Matt Herron, a photojournalist who vividly memorialized the most portentous and promising moments from the front lines of the 1960s civil rights movement in the Deep South, died on August 7 when a glider he was piloting crashed in Northern California, notes The New York Times. He was 89. A child of the Depression and a protégé of the Dust Bowl documentarian Dorothea Lange, Herron assembled a team of photographers to capture the clashes between white Southerners and Black protesters, aided by their white Freedom Rider allies.   Read the full Story >>

Dept of Ideas: Using Instagram to Chart Economic Inequality

TIME LightBox   Tuesday May 6, 2014

“Poverty and place are so closely related that it’s taken for granted, and it’s a mindset that enables the kind of shoddy treatment that poor communities receive,” says photographer Matt Black, who is using Instagram in an innovative way—to chart the terrain of poverty. “The idea is very documentary, in the older sense of the word: single photos that record certain conditions,” Black tells Time LightBox. “The project also ties in with the idea of building maps from the bottom up—critical cartography, it’s called.” Black had been developing his ideas for about a year before he began looking for platforms on which to execute them. “Instagram had everything I needed,” he says.     Read the full Story >>

Publishing: The Best Photo Books of 2021

The Guardian   Friday December 17, 2021

The Guardian makes its selections of the best photography books of 2021. On the list: Sebastião Salgado’s Amazônia (Taschen), which sees the Amazon “as a black and white heaven, or as a paradise in the process of being lost.” There’s also Matt Black’s American Geography: A Reckoning With a Dream (Thames & Hudson), which The Guardian calls “a tragic atlas, documenting long months on the road in impoverished tracts of the country.” Meanwhile, The Year That Changed Our World (Thames & Hudson) chronicles the pandemic.   Read the full Story >>

People On the Move: Magnum Names 6 New Nominess

PDNPULSE   Thursday July 2, 2015

A record six photographers—Matt Black, Carolyn Drake, Richard Mosse, Newsha Tavakolian, Lorenzo Meloni and Max Pinckers—have been named nominees of Magnum Photos, reports PDN Pulse. The cooperative agency also voted to make Michael Christopher Brown, who was named a Magnum nominee  in 2013, an associate of the agency.   Read the full Story >>

Close-Up: Meet Magnum's Next Generation

LensCulture   Monday May 9, 2016

Last year Magnum accepted a record six photographers as nominees; now LensCulture interviews them as part of its association with the agency. The nominees include Iran-born Newsha Tavokolian; Belgium-born Max Pinckers; American photographer Carolyn Drake; India-born Sohrab Hura; Italy-born Lorenzo Meloni; and American Matt Black. “Before I ever owned a camera, I knew that there was something there for me. It is a voice and a certain stance on life that I automatically felt very comfortable with,” he says.   Read the full Story >>

Dept of Ideas: He Put a GoPro Inside a Car Tire

Warped Perception   Wednesday August 12, 2020

Matt Mikka at Warped Perception had an interesting idea: He put a GoPro Hero 7 Black with an LED light inside a car tire “to see what it looks like inside of a wheel when we drive around every day.” The camera is in a fixed position, so you don’t see anything spinning, but to some observers the resulting visual looks like a beating heart. Others are impressed that the GoPro held up to the 35 to 45 PSI inside the tire — the equivalent of being 80 to 100 feet underwater.    Read the full Story >>

Honor Roll: Time's Instagram Photographer of the Year

TIME LightBox   Friday December 18, 2015

Time magazine has announced its Instagram photographer of the year — Stacy Kranitz (@stacykranitz), a Kentucky native who uses Instagram to explore the Appalachian region with intensely personal photographs. She uses Instagram as “it was intended to be used, to witness things as they happen,” says past winner Matt Black. Kranitz embraces the fact that her presence directly impacts her subjects and her photographs; that’s why she doesn’t shy away from picturing herself among them, notes Time.   Read the full Story >>

Books: Seven Years In Rural Mississippi

The New Yorker   Thursday March 21, 2019

Photographer Matt Eich first visited the small city of Greenwood, Mississippi, while on assignment in 2010. Over the next seven years he returned to the area, where, according to census data, 48 percent of black residents live in poverty, compared to 11 percent of white residents. In those trips, notes The New Yorker, Eich (see our profile) photographed “football games and funerals, bachelor parties and baptisms, to create a detailed portrait of life there.” The work is collected in the new book “Sin & Salvation in Baptist Town.”   Read the full Story >>

Picture Stories: Reducing Gun Violence With Grudge Fights

The Washington Post   Monday October 14, 2019

On a grassy backyard about an hour and a half from the nation’s capital, men gather to settle scores. But not, notes The Washington Post, with guns. Instead, they pummel each other with their fists and feet. Post photographer Matt McClain documented the grudge matches that take place inside a ring made from a chain-link fence and black-painted plywood. “We don’t want anyone dying, and we don’t want anyone going to jail,” says Chris Willmore, who created the fight club Streetbeefs in his Harrisonburg, Va., in 2008.   Read the full Story >>

Agenda: This Print Sale Supports the W. Eugene Smith Fund

W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund   Friday December 4, 2020

Online now and continuing through December 14 is the first-ever flash print sale supporting the W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund’s grants and fellowships for documentary photographers. The Smith Fund has awarded more than $1 million in grants and fellowships since 1979 and this year, despite cancelled fundraising events and a decrease in corporate sponsorships, presented $10,000 grants each to five photographers. The sale features 11x14 prints from photographers including Ami Vitale, Stephanie Sinclair, Matt Black, and Moises Saman.   Read the full Story >>

Honor Roll: The Recipents of Magnum Foundation Emergency Fund Grants

PDNPULSE   Tuesday January 27, 2015

The Magnum Foundation has announced the recipients of its 2015 Emergency Fund grants, which, notes PDN Pulse, support the production of in-depth documentary photography projects “that can no longer be funded through the media alone.” They are: Asim Rafiqui, Curran Hatleberg, Elena Perlino, Emine Gozde Sevim, Guy Martin, Massimo Berruti, Matt Black, Nii Obodai Provencal, Pete Muller, Peter DiCampo and Peter van Agtmael. Also announced were the  seven recipients of the foundation’s Human Rights Fellowship.   Read the full Story >>

On View: Capturing California's Drought, in Stills, Video, and GIF

The New Yorker   Wednesday October 1, 2014

California’s Central Valley, writes Dana Goodyear in the New Yorker, is “the country’s fruit basket, salad bowl, and dairy case.” But since 2012, when the state began suffering through a historically severe drought, the farmers of the valley have been facing a crisis—one that may come to haunt supermarket shoppers everywhere. Recently, photographer Matt Black, who grew up in the valley and is exhibiting a photo series about the region at New York’s Anastasia Gallery, collaborated with VII photographer and filmmaker Ed Kashi on a documentary project about the drought; it’s on view now at the New Yorker’s Photo Booth blog. See also: This series of GIFs showing the severity of the drought.   Read the full Story >>

Agenda: San Diego's Medium Festival of Photography, Oct. 23-26

Medium Festival of Photography   Monday October 13, 2014

The third annual Medium Festival of Photography gets underway in San Diego on October 23 and runs through October 26. The festival features portfolio reviews with curators and gallery owners from across the US, including the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center in Austin, TX, and the Museum of Contemporary Art in San Diego, as well as workshops and lectures from artists such as Mona Kuhn, Matt Black, Virginia Beahan, and Kurt Simonson. One highlight will be the festival’s keynote address by legendary artist Duane Michals, which will take place on October 24 at the historic Lafayette Hotel in San Diego’s North Park neighborhood. Register for workshops and portfolio reviews at the festival’s website.   Read the full Story >>

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