Artist Research

David Alan Harvey

Harvey is an American photographer. He has been a full member of Magnum Photos since 1997 and has photographed over 40 articles for National Geographic magazine. In1978 Harvey was named Magazine Photographer of the Year by the National Press Photographers Association. Harvey is the editor of Burn Magazine which is an online magazine that features the work of upcoming photographers.

Harvey’s photographic essay explores the hip hop culture in a way I have seen before, by creating this essay he allows viewer who wouldn’t normally put photography and hip hop culture together to see how global this culture is and how it has it’s negatives but also has it’s positives.
On the next few pages I’ve taken a mere 10 photographs from the 51 that we’re published.
Photographs from ‘Living Proof’:



This is a summary of living proof by Harvey from http://www.mcnallyrobinson.com/:

Hip hop, which first began on the streets of the South Bronx in the early 1970s, has traveled the globe, finding a home in every corner of the planet. Remade by local cultures in their own language and regional style, hip hop’s versatility speaks to its accessibility and universality. The lyrics, the look, and the lifestyle could easily be a cultural anthropologist’s best example–or worst nightmare–of America’s influence and cultural dominance.

In 2005, Magnum Photographer David Alan Harvey began photographing local emcees in the Bronx River Projects, home of hip hop pioneer Afrika Bambaataa, whose legendary Zulu Nation parties of the 70s inspired a new generation of b-boys and b-girls. It is their descendants that Harvey has captured in Living Proof, a glimpse into hip hop in its many forms.

Boogie Down thugs Uptown and Ruckus, unsigned artists whose lyrics are presented here, became Harvey’s trusted friends and self-appointed guides, bringing him inside their homes, their families, and their lives. Harvey soon realized that the code of the streets would bring one of three fates: jail, death, or success. And so he traveled from the ‘hood” to Hollywood, gaining access to Ice Cube, Snoop Dogg, and Nelly–artists who went through the system and came out kings. Keepin’ it real becomes a little surreal when gold records and semi-automatics mix like gin and tonics.

Going global to document the regional manifestations of a culture a mere three decades in existence, Harvey discovered conversations with DAM in East Jerusalem sounded just like the ramble with Uptown and Ruckus. Hip hop, for all its pop-pop-pop, for all it’s and ya don’t stop, for all its rise to the top, has always been about speaking to the guy on the corner and the girl at the club–because skills and styles come from a hard love.

Lauren Greenfield

Greenfield is an American documentary photographer and filmmaker who has published three photographic monographs, directed four documentary films and published in magazines.

Her photographic essay ‘girl culture’ takes its viewers through the journey of Greenfield as a girl in a pop culture society, where the media and the rest of the world tell you how to appear towards others. I think this photographic essay allows it female audience (mostly) to relate to things they may have gone through being a girl/woman in any generation. It shows us that the media and other females depict how we see ourselves as well as others. The message for me in this photo essay is that we should be comfortable with ourselves and not feed into others ideas of perfect or “right”.

Some photographs form ‘Girl Culture’:




Here’s an article where Greenfield talks about her photo essay:

Mirror, Mirror…
by Lauren Greenfield

Girl Culture has been my journey as a photographer, as an observer of culture, as part of the media, as a media critic, as a woman, as a girl.

These photographs are both very personal and very public. They are about what is private and what is public and where the line that divides the two lies, when that line exists at all anymore. They are about the popular culture we share and the way the culture leaves its imprint on individuals in their most public and private moments. They are about the girls I photographed. They are also about me. I was enmeshed in girl culture before I was a photographer, and I was photographing girl culture before I realized I was working on Girl Culture.

In this work, I have been drawn to the pathological in the everyday. I am interested in the tyranny of the popular and thin girls over the ones who don’t fit that mold. I am interested in the competition suffered by the popular girls, and their sense that being popular is not as satisfying as it appears. I am interested in the costly and time-consuming beauty rituals that are an integral part of daily life. I am interested in the fact that to fall outside the ideal body type is to be a modern-day pariah. I am interested in how girls’ feelings of frustration, anger, and sadness are expressed in physical and self-destructive ways: controlling their food intake, cutting their bodies, being sexually promiscuous. Most of all, I am interested in the element of performance and exhibitionism that seems to define the contemporary experience of being a girl.

These interests, my own memories, and a genuine love for girls, gossip, female bonding, and the idiosyncratic rituals of girl culture, have motivated this five-year photographic journey.

There are girls and women in my photographs whom viewers may see as marginal or whose lives may be perceived as extreme. In effect, the popular culture has caused the ordinary to become inextricably intertwined with what to many seems extraordinary. Most girls are familiar with “marginal” experiences from television, magazines, and music. A suburban teenager says she would like to become an exotic dancer. A prepubescent girl mimics the sexualized moves and revealing clothing that she sees on MTV. Understanding the dialectic between the extreme and the mainstream—the anorexic and the dieter, the stripper and the teenager who bares her midriff or wears a thong—is essential to understanding contemporary feminine identity.

The body has become the primary canvas on which girls express their identities, insecurities, ambitions, and struggles. It has become a palimpsest on which many of our culture’s conflicting messages about femininity are written and rewritten.

Photography is an ideal medium with which to explore the role of image in our culture. The camera renders an illusion of objective representation, just like a mirror. But as every woman knows, a mirror provides data that, filtered through a mind and moods, is subject to wildly differing interpretations. This project has been my mirror and my attempt to deconstruct the illusions that make up our reality.


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