"If you were to ask me to define a photograph in a few words, I would say it is “a fossil of light and time.”
Daido Moriyama’s dictum is the inspiration for a book of photographs curated by Elizabeth Avedon and published by the Detroit Center for Contemporary Photography. Daido’s words are as penetrating and haunting as his photographs, which I have long admired. Anybody familiar with the industry knows the iconic work of Elizabeth Avedon and how it has helped shape our notion of the photographic book.
Initially, when Elizabeth and DCCP called for photographs in the spirit of Moriyama, I didn’t consider sending in my work. I think of the Japanese photographer as the “Stray Dog of Tokyo”, nose close to the ground and eyes distended with hallucination and hunger. My own aesthetic seemed too far removed. However, his words stayed with me and I found myself returning to his images again and again.
With a few weeks left before the deadline I decided to create new works in dialogue with Moriyama. I spent a week shooting at night. I would set off around 10PM and stay out until my legs gave out and my eyes got red and heavy with sleep. I wandered around the deserted streets of Chinatown and Harlem, looked under bridges and overpasses. Feeling a growing excitement and energy, I couldn’t help myself and started going out earlier and earlier.
My second week of shooting started about an hour before dusk. In the end, I feel like the intensity of my night-time scavanging crossed over into my daylight photographs. Every one of those carries a hint of the approaching darkness in it. Elizabeth chose the one above – my own favorite - for the book entitled “Fossils of Light + Time”
This photograph from my "Untitled" (Cuba) series is a Winner in this year's edition of AI AP's Latin American Fotografia. Congratulations to my esteemed colleagues Ron Haviv, Rocio De Alba, Stefan Falke, and Ed Kashi for being awarded as well!
"I like Ralph Gibson and psychedelic rock and roll from the 60s. Oh, and I only shoot film".
This is how fifteen-year-old Mark, from Hong Kong introduced himself to me at the New York Film Academy. NYFA had asked me to mentor him one-on-one for a week. I agreed without really knowing what to expect.
As Mark was taking out a Nikon FM2 from his backpack, I asked him for the title of his favorite Gibson book. Without skipping a beat he replied: The Somnambulist.
Our whole exchange reminded me of that short story from the "Book of Sand" where a young Borges has a conversation with an aging stranger on a park bench overlooking the Charles River.
The stranger turns out to be his older self, sitting next to him across time.
This summer I've been spending time shooting parkour with my friend Deyvid García.
His dream is to one day be sponsored in the sport and I'm helping him put a portfolio of photographs together.
Four days ago Deyvid graduated from Highschool. As if that wasn't reason enough to celebrate, he just landed his first role in an upcoming film on parkour.
We met in Central Park late afternoon; right after he was done for the day selling clothes at The Gap. Afterward the shoot we chowed down on some Japanese ramen. Deyvid skated all the way home to the Bronx and I got on a train going back to Harlem.
This week on my Instagram account @jaime_permuth I will be posting images from my travels last summer with South Korea's Arirang TV. Each year, Arirang invites eight photographers from around the world to tape two episodes each for their documentary photo and travel series "In Frame". My journey to Korea was simply unforgettable and had many surprises in store for me.
Among the distinguished colleagues who participated in 2014, were two friends which I greatly admire and appreciate, VII's Ron Haviv and Magnum's Eli Reed.
Starting tomorrow, I'm honored to takeover the feed at Smithsonian Magazine.
Please join me as I share photographs and stories from my recent journey to Guatemala
and my work documenting symphonic youth orchestras.
A little summer fun at the Highline Park NYC with my friend Deyvid "Wolf" Garcia, rising parkour star.
If there are streets in heaven, Mary Ellen will surely hit the ground running.
Who knows? Maybe God could use a good black and white portrait.
Farewell, Mary Ellen.
One of my photographs from Cuba is included in this year's ArtBridge Benefit Auction. Also available, are wonderful works by some very esteemed colleagues and friends, Manjari Sharma, Stephen Mallon, Richard Renaldi. Irina Rozovsky, Jennifer McClure, Richard Tuschman,and Phil Toledano!
Bid here: https://paddle8.com/work/jaime-permuth/66926-untitled-cuba
Excited to teach two Independent Studies this Summer for the Masters in Digital Photography at SVA with our very talented students Alyson Smith and Kitty Mussallem. That's Kitty in the photo, with her amazing portfolio documenting sailors at play and at work.
TODAY on fototazo we embark on a new in-depth series exploring photography in Argentina. This time, Tom Griggs and myself collaborate with our friend and talented colleague Eleonora Ronconi.
For our first post, here's my conversation -and overview of the history of the photographic medium in Argentina- with Fabian Goncalves Borrega, Curator of the Art Museum of the Americas in Washington DC.
A hermit coming out of dark woods and hobbling back towards civilization, I entered the bookstore and purchased a hard-cover novel for the first time in years. Like switching a setting on my phone, I green light Philip Roth's pounding and expansive prose, yes allowing it to access my brain - and yes - to displace all that I have mistakenly and wantonly placed there of late.
On Friday March 6th, I was invited to speak about my artistic practice as part of a panel discussion of Contemporary Art from Guatemala organized by the New School, Ciudad de la Imaginación and presented in conjunction with Independent Curators International. My fellow panelist were Jessica Kaire, Terike Hapooja and Nitin Sawhney. Curator María del Carmen Carrión moderated the conversation.
The conversation was live streamed and a videocast of the same can be found here.
It was my great pleasure to serve as a reviewer in this year's American Society of Media Photographers Portfolio Review in New York City. Together with a very distinguished group of friends and colleagues, including Elizabeth Avedon, Jim Estrin and Ruben Natal-San Miguel among many others, we spent an evening looking at work by talented local photographers.
Parisian photo daily L'Oeil de la Photographie dedicated a whole issue to the reviews asking each one of the reviewers to pick an artist to showcase on their pages. My pick - as well as writer Rebecca Robertson's - was the very talented Jon Henry who is re-inventing the way athletes are photographed. His lush prints are as much a tribute to Caravaggio as they are to the prowess, grace and dedication of professional athletes.
David Choi and Kana Beisekeyev recently graduated from New York Film Academy where I teach. They visited me in Harlem to talk photography and this is a short clip from our conversation. David and Kana have combined their talents and are publishing a new online photography magazine: Serazard. Word to the wise: keep an eye out for these two!
*i remember my first glimpse of New York from the window of a Greyhound pulling into Port Authority, how massive, cold and grey it appeared.
*i remember being twenty three and putting on a jacket and tie to interview with Charlie Traub at the School of Visual Arts only to find him waiting for me with an amused smile, stockinged feet propped up on his office desk.
*i remember walking my suitcase block after block to arrive at a loft in the East Village -two floors up from the Pyramid Club- and meeting my crazy roommates for the first time.
When the Biblioteca Nacional de Cuba asked for a copy of YONKEROS, I offered to deliver it in person. When I arrived at the library it turned out that a foreigner can only visit passport in hand and with a written permit. Being that I had a book to deliver it only took an hour to find an acceptable compromise. And not only was I escorted to the right department office but I was given a grand tour of the premises, which are filled with a wonderful collection of art. Many of the furnishings there date back to the Batista regime and are inspired by those of the New York Public Library.