• By definition, a myth can have no definitive version. Over time the stories warp and bow, taking on new meaning in relation to the era in which they are read. Jason Fulford is an artist with a preoccupation with this evolutionary insistence, and the lack of certainty that it creates.Much in the same way as its literary inspirations, no incarnation of Fulford’s Hotel Oracle is quite the same as the one that preceded it. It may take shape, as it did in LA with its guests being greeted by Fulford at the age of 10 and then 40 and finally 85; as it did in Tokyo, where they were given a warm stone and left to bask in the quite reflection of a smoke filled café; as it [...]

  • In the previous parts of this series I've tried to provide some food for thought on such subjects as the personal vis-a-vis the political, the political vis-a-vis the issue-oriented, the responsibilities of artists as artists and artists as citizens. I've done so by weighing three well-known cases, positioned on a sliding scale. At one end Jerry Uelsmann, entirely inward in his concerns, addressing nothing we would usually define as an issue, political, if at all, only by default. At the other end W. Eugene Smith (and his wife Aileen), addressing a situation from a culture not his own or ours and engaging with its social, legal, economic, and medical ramifications, all of them inarguably "issues". And, somewhere in [...]

  • Paul Schiek's photographs often show us the familiar hidden in plain sight. The charismatic young men in his series Dead Men Don’t Look Like Me are actually American prisoners. Schiek appropriated a collection of postwar era mug shots, re-photographing them in close-up while cropping any detail that might give away the men's identity. Cleansed of their sordid associations the pictures are by turns mysterious and seductive – and open to our interpretation.  Paul Schiek spoke to Natasha Berger recently about history, mortality and just how much these men resemble him. [...]

  • In certain States of the US, Louisiana for instance, it’s not uncommon for young girls to pledge to their fathers, and to God, that they will remain ‘pure’ until they marry. Over the past few years the Swedish photographer David Magnusson has been travelling to the ‘Purity Balls’ where this pledging takes place, and making somewhat troubling portraits of the young girls and fathers who attend them. Gregory Barker caught up with David ahead of the launch of his new book to find out more. Gregory Barker: Could you talk me through what happens at a Purity Ball? David Magnusson: A Purity Ball is a ceremony where young girls promise to “live pure lives before God,” and to remain virgins until marriage. In return, their fathers sign a commitment promising to protect their daughters’ [...]
  • In his series Love Me, Zed Nelson has created a body of work that is beautifully eerie and a shocking reminder of our obsessions with ourselves. The work has previously been presented in a book but is now being exhibited at the FreeLens Gallery in Hamburg with Nelson also presenting a workshop on how to tell stories with images and develop ideas. Michael Tsenti caught up with Zed Nelson to talk about Love Me.Michael Tsenti : What does beauty mean to you?Zed Nelson: I struggle with the notion of beauty and how we perceive it. I think we must question how our perceptions of beauty are formed and influenced.

I wonder, are we simply brainwashed by the beauty and advertising industries into perceiving certain constructed ideals as ‘beautiful’? Is beauty something [...]
  • Tonight sees the opening of Mona Kuhn's Acido Dorado at Shoreditch's Flowers Gallery. HOTSHOE's commissioning Editor Gregory Barker recently caught up with the LA based, Brazilian photographer, to talk about eroticism, deserts, glass cubes and Californian hedonism. Gregory Barker: At what point did the nude become the focus of your work? Mona Kuhn: It was a bit daunting. I knew I like people and early on I understood I have a natural easiness for relationships and photography. But I was also aware of how time specific this medium can be.  I came upon the nude as a reaction and a challenge; I turned my back to trends and fashion and embraced the nude because it is a timeless canon.  I’m interested in the nude/body as a residence to us.  Gauguin has a [...]