Just a year ago in October of 2017 the very first edition exhibition, SOLO I by Los Angeles photographer Jill Beth Hannes, was opening at the FotoFilmic PULP Gallery on Bowen Island, Vancouver, BC. Five editions later – and whole lot of great new photographic talents met and celebrated since – we couldn’t be more excited to reveal the top three artists chosen by SOLO VI juror and mentor, legendary American social documentary photographer & filmmaker Danny Lyon!
Many strong competing applications were very well received by Danny, who devoted for each careful attention and hours at times considering their respective strengths as new photographic evidences of the complex, decentered and globalized world we live in today. Following the immersive, slightly radical yet highly empathetic philosophy that has come to characterize his signature works since the late 1960s (also known then as ‘new journalism’), Danny’s jurying picks gravitate towards projects with a strong, unshy edge unmasking social exclusion or stigmata, as well as toward those able to cast a strong light on memorial importance and the manifesting of dark lessons from the past into our often disturbing, backward sociopolitical present.
It is thus with great pleasure that we welcome and introduce today the SOLO VI Exhibition Award Winner and its two Runners-Up! Congratulations to all three laureates for these remarkable and promising endorsements!
SOLO VI Award Winner: MATTHEW BARBARINO (Binghamton, NY, USA)
An ex-addict turned photographer (and RISD graduate), Matthew has been extensively documenting for years his immediate social surroundings in his hometown of Binghamton, NY, where many of his closest friends still struggle with heroin addiction and the postindustrial economic depression still affecting most rust belt small towns to this day. Danny Lyon finds his work “in the tradition of Larry Clark and Nan Goldin”, calling Matthew “a survivor with the grace to catch a pigeon’s shadow or the grim winter day of another New York State town no one wants to live in”. Matthew will be the subject of a solo exhibition next May & June at the FotoFilmic PULP Gallery on Bowen Island, Vancouver, BC where he’ll meet Danny during his weekend seminar on June 15 & 16, 2019. Learn more about Matt’s work and make sure to follow his Instagram at:
SOLO VI RUNNERS-UP
SOLO VI RUNNER-UP #I: ROB HORNSTRA (Utrecht, Netherlands)
Between 2004 and 2013 Dutch documentary photographer (and Co-Head of the Royal Academy of Art’s Photography Department in The Hague) Ron Hornstra photographed his now deceased working class neighbor ‘Kid’. Kid lived a troubled life subjected to diabetes, heavy drugs and alcohol use, lack of work, all within tumultuous familial settings with his wife and young son leaving him. Although centered on Kid, the resulting ‘Man Next Door’ project and book is also, in Rob’s own words, “about the stigmatization and prejudice that exists in society towards the working class’.
SOLO VI RUNNER-UP #2: DEBORAH SFEZ (Ein Hod, Israel)
Deborah is an Israeli visual artist working in photography and video whose work focuses on the ups and downs of human existence through the themes of femininity, identity and loss. In her project ‘The Mummies From Dresden’ she reappropriates found imagery from an unknown German family taken during the WWII period of 1930-1948. By rephotographing each historical photograph from that family album accidentally found in Dresden after all faces were rendered anonymous with handmade red embroidery, Deborah wishes to give the documents a newfound, material life invoking the medium’s essence itself while dealing with the ever hard questions of photographic truth, representation, memory and history.
Stay tuned for the publishing of the official SOLO VI exhibition page in the next few days showcasing the entirety of each body of work, as well as for our next FILM TALKS interview with SOLO VI Award winner Matthew Barbarino!