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    Updated on May 13, 2020. Posted on Dec 30, 2011

    56 Noteworthy Artists From 2011

    From baby bears to Elvis impersonators to David Bowie to Nonsensical Infographics—2011 was a banner year in art. Here's a look back on some of the artists whose work made it onto 20x200 over the past year.

    1. Wendy MacNaughton // The Universe and Forever


    I make diagrams to help make sense of things that are incomprehensible and overwhelming, too big and complex. In this case, love.

    2. Martha Rich // Stay Icy


    Painting cakes and food are a means of comfort to me. Cakes represent hope. They are baked for celebrations and for good times. Everyone likes cakes. If someone bakes you a cake you know you are cared for, but real cakes are temporary and if you eat too much you may feel sick. These cakes care forever and won't make you sick.

    3. Paul Octavious // First Snow


    After fall is over, I immediately think of what the hill will look like on its first snow.

    As you walk down the street, a parade of children bundled in snow jumpers and holding brightly colored sleds walk in one direction. In this scattered group, you don’t hear conversations but know where everyone is headed. As you approach the hill, figures of all shapes and sizes sit atop this white mound. Little by little, bits of color come sliding and screaming down the hill with excitement.

    Some sledders make it down the hill smoothly. Other loose control and flip their sleds. These sledders lay lifeless on the ground staring at the sky for a few moments. At first you wonder if they are ok but seconds later they get up, grab their sleds, and race back up the hill. These are my favorite sledders.

    4. Esther Pearl Watson // The Denny's Parking Lot


    My work has always been about telling stories, transporting the viewer through the patchwork fields and neglected small towns of a quirky Texas childhood. My eccentric father’s obsession with building spaceships out of scrap metal in the backyard often led to disastrous results, forcing our family to move again and again, one step ahead of trouble. Setting the field on fire with a careless use of an acetylene torch or finding that our TV had been pawned for a sheet of aluminum was not uncommon.

    Like many teen girls I kept a journal, a safe haven to record my thoughts and my concerns, my security blanket for when life became too much. My paintings, filtered through the eyes of someone who is now removed from that chaos, document a time in my life that was often surreal, the truth stranger than fiction. Through humor and faux-naïve charm, my works are part fantasy, part homage to the past, made of mixed materials such as acrylics, graphite, silver leaf, glitter and spray paint. As in dreams, parts of my stories fade and become blurry, shifting and morphing into tangled events. In a way, the works become the truth.

    5. Amy Stevens // Confections (adorned) #14


    The Confections series began as a response to turning thirty. My original idea was to bake thirty birthday cakes for myself and photograph them. I ordered a kit from and watched an instructional video on decorating cakes. When I quickly discovered my cakes were never going to look like the ones in the video and the pamphlet, I decided they were better off in their exuberantly imperfect states.

    Cakes are the centerpieces of celebrations and symbolic trophies evoking nostalgia and awe. In the constructions of these images, I am commentating not only on cake as a rich cultural symbol, but of the idealism of the contemporary lifestyle. It’s a fantasy world where entertaining, cooking and decorating unite. It’s a place where one needs to have a beautiful home, decorated seasonally, in order to entertain friends with gourmet meals and elaborately concocted desserts.

    With the exception of found antiques and fabrics, everything in these images is handmade. Although the cakes are edible, I don't eat them, otherwise I would need much bigger pants.

    6. Bryan Schutmaat // Arrow


    From Indians and pioneers who toiled over mountaintops, to carefree families who drove down Route 66, travelers in America have always been inspired by the West—that vast bulge of land whose allure never seems to fade. Throughout the ages, people have had different ideas about what the West represents, but many agree that it harbors a certain mystique born from wilderness. Though much of the West has been populated, paved over, and commercialized, I believe it still retains this mystique in various forms, and to find it means looking from various perspectives.

    My body of work, Western Frieze, takes on these perspectives and seeks to update our collective impression of the West by putting forth a vision of America's landscape that uses roadside culture to convey where the West has been and where it's going. Yet, by no means are these photos meant to be pure documentation of America and its identity, but rather a portrait of what American identity means to me. By photographing the West—where enigma, nostalgia, and history can be found in everyday scenes—I hope to help viewers find out what it means to them, whether or not they ever visit these sleepy towns and loneliest of landscapes for themselves.

    7. Lisa Congdon // Day 260: Baby Doll Hands


    On January 1, 2010, I began a project that would span exactly one year, until December 31, 2010. For every day, I photographed or drew (and occasionally painted) one collection.

    Since I was a young girl, I have been obsessed with collecting and with arranging, organizing and displaying my collections. A Collection A Day is my attempt to document my current collections, both the real and the imagined. The only rule: I must post a photograph or drawing of a whole or part of a collection each day for 365 days.

    8. Jonathan Lewis // Sweethearts


    Sweethearts, and the series to which it belongs, See Candy, take their inspiration from the visual cacophony emanating from the average candy section of the average supermarket. My own reaction is to vacillate between an almost childlike wonder at the sheer vibrancy of all the brightly coloured packaging, drinking in the sensory overload, and a more grown-up mode of cynical detachment, a learned defense against our media-saturated environment.

    In the same way, I think of these pictures as fluctuating between wild amplification and savvy distillation, between hysteria and self-control. Contained, or constrained, within the stability of the square format, each picture, derived from a photograph of an individual wrapper, describes the surprising number of variations in colour and tone that occur across a crinkled surface.

    Just as a white wall is never truly monotone, so too the limited and often crude palette of a candy wrapper expands massively once it is allowed to interact with the real world of light, shade and reflection. It is in this sense that I view See Candy as a metaphor for my belief that even the dumbest and ugliest things contain kernels of intelligence and beauty. It's all about finding a way to crack the nut.

    9. Trey Speegle // YES (You Complete the Picture)


    I use found words and images to create work with, hopefully, multiple layers of meaning. The picture plane, interrupted by the lettering, reveals the underlying architecture and the tension between the two. The paint-by-number genre serves as a visual vocabulary and an access point for the viewer to enter the work.

    Stella McCartney knew my work, I guess, and asked me to create a backdrop for her Paris runway show in 2009. We talked about her collection, which was very colorful and quite optimistic, and I proposed a few ideas. She liked one based on a ’50s paint-by-numbers of the Arc de Triomphe with the word YES blocked out.

    The final painting was huge: 18 by 32 feet. I painted it in London and added

    “LA MCCARTNEY” on a shop awning as a sort of French/English pun. The venue where the show was held, the Palais de Tokyo in Paris, was just blocks from the actual monument. The people in the painting are carrying umbrellas and the streets are wet; the morning of the show it rained, so life was doing its best to imitate the art.

    This print is based on a smaller version (still pretty big, at 6 by 8 feet) that I made in 2010.

    10. Craig Damrauer // The New Math of Relationships


    This is adapted from a piece I did for a show at the U-turn Art Space in the impossible-to-spell city of Cincinnati. I wanted to somehow create a New Math of Relationships. The problem with relationships is that their complexity belies quantification. Or, at least, the kind of quantification that I'm capable of. There is, of course, the binary example used in The Facts of Life theme song—You take the good, you take the bad, you take them both and there you have the facts of life, the facts of life—but that seems simplistic. I think of this piece a little bit like Ray and Charles Eames'™ The Powers of Ten in that as we get further away—and more equations enter the piece—we see the complexities of relationships a little more. The truth is that this tapestry of equations could stretch forever, or at least as far as human interaction stretches. And that's, I suppose, what makes relationships so difficult, so rewarding, so brilliant and impossible. And there you have the facts of life.

    11. Amy Jean Porter // Mandrill


    This is a blue monkey. It is a calm, thoughtful creature, hanging out on some lilies, thinking about the ocean. Of course, an actual mandrill is a big, wild monkey with orange eyes and brown fur who probably isn’t contemplating the fragility of life or the vastness of the universe, or … ?

    12. Bert Teunissen // RO-0011-16A


    So far I have covered over 50,000 kilometers of road for the project Domestic Landscapes. The roads that I have passed were either randomly chosen or pointed out to me by locals.

    The road

    It brings me to my destination and away from home.

    It is both the bridge and the barrier between me and my destiny.

    It is inviting and defiant at the same time.

    It is in front of me and behind me.

    It can be smooth and it can be rough.

    It is the vein of my world.

    When I’m on it I’m on track.

    I follow it to its source where I will find my treasure.

    And then it will bring me back home again.

    13. Carrie Marill // Bird Power


    I have a keen interest in the natural world. With my gouache on paper paintings, I navigate the rich history of nature illustration and combine it with a contemporary pop aesthetic.

    14. Joseph O. Holmes // North of the Tennis House


    When I walk deep into Brooklyn’s Prospect Park on the first snowfall each year, I find myself transported to the winter meadows and hills of my childhood and to the hikes and backpacking trips around the tiny Pennsylvania factory town where I grew up. My town was surrounded by Christmas tree farms, apple orchards, corn fields and forested hills. My stomping grounds were the trail down to Kettle Creek bottom, the railroad bridge across the Susquehanna River, and the walk through hemlocks and pines to the swimming hole known as The Haystacks. The steeper streets were closed when it snowed, and we immediately claimed them for sledding.

    At first glance, many of the snowy spaces in The Urban Wilderness might be mistaken for those rural scenes: stark white meadows rimmed by low hills and bare trees. But upon closer inspection, street lamps come into focus, hints of park benches appear and backpackers are revealed to be dog walkers. The wilderness and the urban details are an incongruous mix: the juxtaposition of pristine emptiness with hints of the immense human presence lurking just outside the frame. But a hike through Prospect Park in the winter is the closest thing I can manage these days to those walks through the snowy hills of my childhood.

    15. Christina Muraczewski // Flora #2


    I’m obsessed, perhaps to an unhealthy degree, with organization. I respond to patterns because their organization gives me a sense of control over what I observe. I read design blogs everyday and obsess over any catalog I get in the mail that references or incorporates the patterns that somehow calm me.

    This realization formed the basis of my love for design, especially textiles. Attending Cranbrook Academy of Art, I was immersed in great design (Charles and Ray Eames were residents there, and it was designed by Eliel Saarinen). Ever since, it has remained a huge part of my life. It’s an influence on my work that is impossible to deny.

    Through referencing design, my work seeks to comment on and complicate notions surrounding modern consumer culture. My paintings usurp the imagery and objects found in Ikea, Crate & Barrel and Pottery Barn catalogs. Their familiar visual language is recognized by the viewer, but offered in an unusual setting and format—painting them onto a canvas.

    The act of flattening the objects in those catalogs onto canvas takes away their practical use value, complicating and confusing the nature of the desire for the initial object.

    My paintings subvert the sometimes tenuous relationship between art and design, viewer and consumer. By personalizing and reifying consumer forms, it critiques the modernist notion that experts are best at designing the thing which ought to be commercialized, distributed and purchased.

    The goal of my work is for viewers to reconsider their relationship with design and commerce and to reappropriate the desire that those images, objects and patterns exert.

    16. Austin Kleon // Overheard on the Titanic


    Overheard On The Titanic is part of my ongoing series of Newspaper Blackout Poems: poetry made by taking an article from the New York Times and blacking it out with a Sharpie marker, leaving only a few choice words behind. This poem came from a theater review.

    17. Joseph O. Holmes // Shinjuku, 6:43


    Tokyo is a study in contrasts, existing either centuries in the past or minutes into the future but nowhere in between. One sunny afternoon on a street corner in Marunouchi, I watched a woman in a black business suit chat with a friend wearing a traditional kimono. That night in Shinjuku, I walked a narrow alley lined with six-stool yakatori restaurants, all grease and bare light bulbs and the sound of steam and shouting cooks; directly above I glimpsed the stars between the tops of skyscrapers.

    18. Sarah McKenzie // Black Box


    I am interested in architectural construction because I see it as a metaphor for the activity of painting. My pictures are “constructed” one step—one formal or material decision—at a time. From a distance, many of my paintings appear to be photo-realistic, but that illusion breaks down as the viewer moves closer. I work with both oil and acrylic paints, along with a variety of painting mediums that enable me to alter the viscosity, sheen and surface texture of the paint. I also explore a variety of incongruent stylistic strategies within a single image. In this way, the “space” in the paintings, while alluding to three-dimensional illusionistic space, is more closely aligned with the pictorial “space” of Modernism, always referring the viewer back to the flatness of the picture plane. The influence of 20th-century abstract painting is ever-present in this work. The generic forms of suburban and urban architecture provide a convenient framework through which I can explore many of the basic structures and issues of Modernism—stripes, grids, color relativity and so forth. Black Box alludes specifically to the black paintings of both Kazimir Malevich and Ad Reinhardt.

    19. Christian Chaize // Praia Piquinia 11/08/10 12h15


    “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.”—Marcel Proust

    Five years ago, Portugal did present itself as a new landscape in my life—both literally and metaphorically. Since then, I have photographed exclusively along a very small stretch of its southern coastline. Returning to this specific place, I’ve sought out its nuances. In doing so, I have peeled back layers of how I see, and how I experience this magical environment.

    The results of my slight obsession have evolved into two distinct series. Here are two images from Praia Piquinia, a body of work focusing on a singular, secluded beachfront in which all of the pictures are taken from essentially the same elevated angle. What the still life was for Morandi, this beach is for me. From a distance, I observe the variables: light, weather, time of day, the ebb and flow of the ocean and the sunbathers, unaware, below my large-format camera. The images are shot vertically, a departure from the traditional, horizontal format in landscape photography. It puts my subject matter in the form of a portrait—an ongoing record of this ethereal yet playful nook in nature over the minutes, the days, the years. Ultimately, I try to instill an element of time within these captured moments…visceral time, elastic from one image to another. And always, I seek to have new eyes.

    20. Jorge Colombo // Greene and Spring


    These are drawn on location using an iPhone application called Brushes. No photo references, no tablets, no brushes to wash: just my finger on the tiny touch screen. Don’t even need a proper light: the drawing itself glows in a dark corner. At $4.99, Brushes is a very democratic tool (provided you have an iPhone, sure) and I suspect it’ll be to drawing what email was for letter writing. Something is lost, something is gained.

    Queens and Greene and Spring are two of 100 drawings featured in a forthcoming book. They came together as a pair as I was sequencing images for the project. Here, they are a preview of the final project.

    21. Michael Light // Golden State Freeway/San Fernando Pass; from Los Angeles 02.12.04


    Untitled/San Fernando Valley and Golden State Freeway/San Fernando Pass are two sides of a single photographic coin, an investigation into certain currencies of structure and place—and meaning and light—in America’s largest megalopolis, Los Angeles. Each image opens separate but twinned bodies of work that were shot in close succession, now joined in an unusual “Z” binding in my latest book, LA Day/LA Night, published in April 2011 by Radius Books. Los Angeles is a desert city and is washed in the brittle and clear light common to dry climates, but that light is also profoundly influenced by coastal moisture from the Pacific Ocean—and by the effects of human inhabitation, like dust and smog. I made the Day work just after completing my archival project 100 SUNS (which meditated on the nature of atomic and hydrogen bombs), and I found that I was still looking straight into the light, perhaps attempting to capture a sense of both infinitude and apocalypse—eternality and contingency—at once. I was after a whiteness and illumination that might make light and the city itself seem corporeal and atmospheric, as well as unforgiving. The Night work was both a logical place to go after the Day, and a kind of gentle antidote to its harsh bleakness. Both bodies of work were photographed from a helicopter, and the night images were particularly challenging in a technical sense. For me, their beauty, which is the pretty beauty of reduction and abstraction, can be both easy and overwhelmingly complex. At their best they show the terrifying and wondrous beauty of wholly human creation, a fleeting electric hubris that can even mirror night’s eternal celestial vault above.

    22. Valerie Roybal // Well-being 1


    Much of my work frequently consists of layered surfaces: bits and pieces from discarded books and magazines, found ephemera, antique postcards, handwritten letters and recipes, obsolete reference material, thrift store textiles, my own prints and drawings and mysterious random objects. Order, association and reverence emerge from the collecting, sorting, arranging, shaping and placement of each piece into a whole.

    23. Colleen Plumb // Sleeping Lion


    In 1928, Henry Beston stated, regarding animals, in his book, The Outermost House: “They are not brethren, they are not underlings; they are other nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendour and travail of the earth.” Animals Are Outside Today is a journey examining underneath this net, offering us the chance to contemplate our intersections with animals and consider the multilayered impact humans have on other living beings.

    Contradictions define our relationships with animals. We love and admire them; we are entertained and fascinated by them; we take our children to watch and learn about them. Animals are embedded within core human history-evident in our stories, rituals and symbols. At the same time, we eat, wear and cage them with seeming indifference, consuming them, and their images, in countless ways.

    Our connection to animals today is often developed through assimilation and appropriation; we absorb them into our lives, yet we no longer know of their origin. Most people are cut off from the steps involved in their processing or acquisition, shielded from witnessing their death or decay. This work moves within these contradictions, always questioning if the notion of the sacred—and the primal connection to Nature that animals convey and inspire—will survive alongside our evolution.

    24. Tatsuro Kiuchi // In The Library


    As most of my works are illustrations, subject matter usually comes from the external world—nature, people, animals, economics, politics, science and so on. Within the given pictorial frame, I try to view things differently in order to come up with unique compositions whenever possible.

    Whether the work is conceptual or narrative, colors and composition are the most important elements. I want my work to be eye-catching at first glance, but still quiet, calm and understated—retaining some abstraction and leaving a little room for viewers to interpret and eventually have an emotional response. It’s too greedy, probably, but that’s what I am always thinking I want my artwork to be.

    25. Todd McLellan // Old Typewriter


    In my series Disassembly, I photographed old items that are no longer used by the masses and often found on the street curbs heading for disposal. All of the pieces I photographed were in working order. I found it very interesting that they were all so well built and put together with screws, not glue. These pieces were all most likely put together by hand. I envisioned all the enjoyment these pieces had given many people for many years, all to be replaced by new technology that will itself be rapidly replaced with half the use.

    26. William Powhida // You


    I think this would make a fantastic shower curtain, too.

    27. Michelle Muldrow // Icon


    Investigating repulsion and seduction, my paintings of big-box stores are intended to elicit fear and awe at the vast American consumer landscape. I approach the work as a landscape painter, inspired by the theories of Edmund Burke’s treatise on the sublime and its relationship with terror. This, paired with the concept of the divine power of the sublime, heavily influenced my depiction of these consumer spaces as Cathedrals of Desire. These environments represent not only the actual structural space and overwhelming chaos of goods, but also the psychology and vernacular of American consumerism. The obtrusive massive structures built with no attempt at aesthetic beauty reveal the most naked of American consumer desires. The language of American desire can be reduced to vignettes of patio furniture and gingham-covered tables set like small picnics. I respond to this landscape by obviating the contrast between the mundane and the dramatic; the absurd experience of both comfort and the profane.

    28. Michael Bodiam // Untitled (Red Carpet)


    Dickins & Jones explores a building at the end of an era. The series is a visual investigation of a space that hangs tentatively in the balance between its functions, old and new.

    What we see in the resulting images is a space still recognizable as a site of modern day commerce, but stripped back to its barest bones, clinging to the last moments of its present function.

    Despite the overwhelming emptiness of the building, the images are far from being a blank canvas: In fact, it is this distinct, unnerving absence of people and products that brings a heightened relevance to that which would have previously gone unnoticed.

    Our eyes are drawn towards the subtle, cumulative layering of traces left behind by nearly two hundred years of human presence within the building’s interior. Dirty silhouettes of clothing, products, fixings and furnishings become ghostly reminders of what used to be.

    29. Paul Madonna // Studio, All Over Coffee #392


    For my series All Over Coffee, I draw from life and straight to ink. I focus mostly on cityscapes and outdoor scenes, but in 2008, after five years of publishing the strip weekly, I wanted to create a different body of work-still drawn from life, but more studio focused. I began collecting small toys and placing them around my work area, which led to a series of toy drawings and the first issue of my art book series, Album. (My earlier print releases with 20×200 are from that book.) This print is a crossover piece between the two series. For All Over Coffee, I like to work outside of the studio. Though I adore my studio, it is a place of focus and discipline, a place where I get work done. But for generating ideas, I like to be out walking and surrounded by people. When I was creating the Album work, I was thinking about the repetition of process, how I’d been doing the same series for so many years and part of me was rebelling. That’s where the stickie on the wall came from. I wrote “I am not an industry” and stuck it on the wall as a reminder that I didn’t have to do the same thing all the time. Every day I would look at that stickie and chuckle, which led to drawing the scene and publishing it as an All Over Coffee strip. I love this piece because it’s a tongue-in-cheek self reference, and because it’s a bridge between All Over Coffee and the new body of work that would become Album . This piece is an important part of my newest book, Everything is its Own Reward, and the stickie is still on my wall.

    30. Mike Monteiro // F--- you. Pay me.


    I’m really not good with words.

    31. Chikara Umihara // Rainfall, Upstate New York


    I have always been inspired by Basho Matsuo’s poetry. His most renowned work, The Narrow Road to the Interior, evokes the fragility and the beauty of the four seasons, combined with an empathy for the places where he wandered. His remarkable words suggest the truth and the significance of the reality, and do not merely describe the facts. He engages in deep personal reflection, both in himself and his subjects. His words are like a stone thrown into a pond. The ripples spread across the water, as his words do in the reader’s mind.

    I want my photography to aid the viewer’s mind in visualizing my subconscious. Here, in this work, a downpour violently hit the water; there weren’t ripples and nothing is reflected on the surface. But after I printed this image, I realized that this is my first image that perfectly reflected my subconscious mental state—disturbed, but calm.

    32. Michelle Muldrow // Garden Delight


    Investigating repulsion and seduction, my paintings of big-box stores are intended to elicit fear and awe at the vast American consumer landscape. I approach the work as a landscape painter, inspired by the theories of Edmund Burke’s treatise on the sublime and its relationship with terror. This, paired with the concept of the divine power of the sublime, heavily influenced my depiction of these consumer spaces as Cathedrals of Desire. These environments represent not only the actual structural space and overwhelming chaos of goods, but also the psychology and vernacular of American consumerism. The obtrusive massive structures built with no attempt at aesthetic beauty reveal the most naked of American consumer desires. The language of American desire can be reduced to vignettes of patio furniture and gingham-covered tables set like small picnics. I respond to this landscape by obviating the contrast between the mundane and the dramatic; the absurd experience of both comfort and the profane.

    33. Beth Dow // Tree Study I


    I lived in London for many years, where I developed an eye for unusual landscapes and a special interest in the mysterious, curated spaces of historic gardens. I usually shoot in black and white, and these photographs were a departure for me. Color in a garden is rarely important to me, as I’m much more interested in the effects of volume, mass, perspective and the ways these strange forms occupy space. I shot these in color to see what I could get with a reduced palette of greens, instead of my usual grays. They were shot in the late afternoon as powerful storm clouds gathered. The light itself turned green just moments before the downpour.

    I believe the best gardens are far from pretty. Flowers rarely interest me. I have no romantic notions about rare botanic specimens, and nearly every rose garden I have ever seen has bored me to tears. I’m instead interested in the design of a well-considered space and how the artificial arrangement of natural elements can create something much more than the simple sum of its parts. I tried to capture some of that mystery here. I like how these are really just the “middles” of the trees, as they thwart an easy reading of scale and reduce the details that would provide context. We’re left with shape, texture and the subtle color of trees against the negative space of menacing storm clouds.

    34. David Bowie // IMAN No. 1


    This edition was created from IMAN No. 1, 1994, a lithograph printed on Somerset paper.

    David Bowie created this edition to benefit Housing Works’ Get a Room program, which provides housing to people living with and affected by HIV/AIDS.

    35. Wendy MacNaughton // Mushrooms (from the series Meanwhile, Farmers' Market Farmers)


    I drew these mushrooms and vegetables early one morning at the San Francisco Civic Center Farmers’ Market as the farmers walked me through their stalls, sharing the names of and details about their produce. These images were originally part of the series Meanwhile, Farmers’ Market Farmers, an illustrated documentary depicting the life of farmers, told through drawings and the words of the farmers themselves. It is one of an ongoing series of Meanwhile illustrated documentaries, in which I spent a month with a subculture, getting to know the people, drawing their lives and interviewing them about what they do and why. I form the resulting images and words into a narrative that shares their story.

    36. Stuart Klipper // Road to Bonneville Raceway, Tooele County, Utah


    A major part of my life’s work has been spent behind the wheel driving down one road or another. The key here: just to see what might turn up; what might next put me behind the lens. My overall objective: looking at the lay of the land and scoping out what all we’ve put on it; getting a handle on the defining characteristics of American regions.

    This task is now pushing four decades. I’ve worked at least once in every state. I’ve logged 1000×1000s of miles; the images in my archive number upwards of 30,000 or so.

    My inventory of subject matter-my Table of Contents-is multiphasic and ever expanding. The category “The Road” is amply represented-it is, obviously, what I am most often looking at and focusing upon. Indeed, it often is the only real subject on hand.

    So there you go. Here’s a road for you. In Utah. A storm is passing through. I stopped in a sea of salt and looked straight ahead.

    37. Mike Perry // Traveling


    Traveling is meant to be an opportunity to explore a small, colorful landscape. I hope for the viewer to get lost in the shapes that build on top of each other and become this tiny universe.

    38. Jenny Odell // 125 Stadiums


    Thus the life of the collector manifests a dialectical tension between the poles of disorder and order.

    —Walter Benjamin

    My series of satellite prints is a collection of collections, in that each print houses a selection of things cut out from Google Satellite View—whether that be swimming pools, parking lots or sections of the Great Salt Lake. Though geographically they represent a vast (and fragmented) amount of landscape, the collections carry with them the feelings of smallness, vulnerability and nostalgia that I find inherent in satellite imagery.

    These prints are, on the one hand, collapsed pictures of my own disoriented wanderings through the endlessness of a scanned world—endlessly scrolling, endlessly zooming in. But they are also, as in any collection, acts of love. In accumulating, cutting out and ordering each piece of satellite imagery, I have fixed them here against the perpetual tide of updated satellite pictures and the ephemerality of the internet.

    39. Taca Zhijie Sui // White Dews


    The Book of Odes, China’s earliest collection of poems, both marks the beginning of Chinese civilization and delineates certain core elements of Asian culture. My search for the broad mountains, flowing rivers, ruined walls and ancient paths of The Book of Odes felt much like a mysterious engagement with an absent partner. During the shoot, it was almost as if my emotions and artistic direction were under the influence of some unknown force.

    When I think back to before I started this project, after several months of textual and geographical research, I was alarmed to find myself falling into the vast artificial construct of annotations and commentaries built by generations of Confucian scholars. With the shadow of such cluttered and factitious interpretations still hanging over the Odes, the meaning of the original text has been misconstrued and concealed, and a distorted, so-called truth has been created.

    I believe that changing reality and the text, including historical annotations, continually influence each other. I ask, therefore, in this never-ending process of mutual transformation, what are the principal divergences from the original text, and what layers of meaning have been lost? In terms of my own personal experience, as the original text has long been separated from its concrete context, what is the necessity and basis for so-called poetic sentiments?

    I hope to build a stable artistic structure that corresponds on some level to the composition of The Book of Odes, but at the same time pushes the Ode’s literary significance into a distant and unfamiliar world, bringing the work’s amorphous and mystical concepts into reality, and by doing so, facilitating analysis of the Odes, which truly is an artistic model with limitless possibility.

    40. Christine Berrie // 12 Bicycle Drawings


    Over the last few years, I have been creating collections of drawings as a way of visually documenting various objects that some people perceive as prosaic, but which actually give those who use them great joy and pleasure. When considering new subject matter, I choose items that will allow me to incorporate a lot of detail in my drawings. When creating 12 Bicycles, I was happy to experience a similar joy as I observed and rendered the details of components such as the spokes, chainrings and cabling.

    41. Tod Seelie // Quiet Planes


    Quiet Planes is an image that came out of an early body of work, States : States. The series explored both states of place and states of being through a sequence of images for each theme, for example, Australia, Cold, Brooklyn and Lost. All of the collections of images had one constant thread connecting them, the feeling of wandering and being transient. I found Quiet Planes to be one of the stronger images in the series because it tapped into this feeling of transit with such a motionless image: a fleet of tiny planes forever soaring under a fluorescent sun.

    42. Hollis Brown Thornton // Osiris Mountain


    Osiris Mountain represents the outdated things that are still around-like ideas or beliefs that no longer serve their original purpose-and the difficulty we sometimes have getting rid of them. The movies/cassettes/video games embody our modern form of story telling, our contemporary myths and heroic adventures.

    These ideas weave into my overall theme of “The Earth on the Back of the Giant Turtle,” a reference to a Native American creation myth. It relates to how the beliefs or values of one culture or time period are going to change or be completely obsolete in the future, and how our relationship with reality changes, with reality becoming more and more of a virtual or digital one today. The media itself is shaped like a pyramid, representing the contours of the alligator snapping turtle (the turtle king of the South) as the mountains of the earth. The specific wallpaper pattern-I consider it the Osiris skin (I’ll often use green for the color)-represents the Egyptian god of the dead; mortality is all around us. In other words, the work is a constant reminder we only last so long, as do these relics of technology and culture.

    43. Jeremy Kohm // Star Princess


    This photograph was taken off the Alaskan coastline on an overcast day. The port was busy with a series of ocean liners, whose passengers were off to experience the on-land portion of their vacation.

    As a photographer experiencing a cruise for the first time, I wanted to emphasize the boat’s shape and form. The tall and rectangular nature of the structure seemed almost counterintuitive to the rules of buoyancy.

    44. Laura Bell // Sarah Waiting for the Tide


    I have always found it a powerful experience to look into the vast horizon of an expanse of water. It reminds me of how small I am as a person in the world, and there is something both intimidating and reassuring in this thought. This view, no matter how many times I’ve seen it, never ceases to affect me. This photograph is about this feeling-just one small person looking out across the water.

    45. Landon Nordeman // Four Kings (from the Almost Elvis series)


    My work is about finding the unexpected in the everyday. I always have an idea of what I'm looking for, but I never know exactly what it is until I see it.

    46. David Welch // Shopping Totem


    Material World is my response to our contemporary consumer milieu. By treating artifacts of consumer culture as Duchampian-inspired Assisted Readymades, I photograph assemblages, created by my own hand, that form monuments, or totems, serving as precarious externalizations of culture and social biography. These photographs of the totems then act as symbolic mirrors that serve as points of reflection for my own contemplative gaze and that of society’s. The photographs speak of accumulation and materiality and aim to encourage debate about consumption and the ways in which we feel compelled to consume.

    47. Chad Hagen // Nonsensical Infographic No. 6


    The science of infographics is an interesting beast. Infographics’ level of success is always based on how much and how well they communicate their data-the classic form follows function. In this series, I reversed these roles-form is king and dictates what the infographic communicates. Welcome to the world of fictional visual information.

    48. Jessica Craig-Martin // Cougar Friends


    I first started to take party pictures for a very wealthy New York businessman who wanted a record of his jovial and vulgar drunken office parties. From this work I was hired by Anna Wintour to cover the New York party scene for Vogue. I feel that a well examined detail can tell the whole story better than a pulled back, general shot of a scene. The angle of a shot can convey the particular combination of levity and anxiety one can feel in social situations. My art dealer once called it my “drunken lens.” The photographs that work best for me have a sense of human fragility. Unrealized dreams; our perverse optimism as we swim upstream like salmon in order to mate, find love, security, money, power, to retain youth against all odds and evidence. One is never so naked as when dressed for a party. Why do we leave the house, over and over again, only to feel the glamour we anticipate evaporate as we approach it? I came to fashion photography only through this personal work: It has never been an ambition or a particular interest of mine. It can be very enjoyable when one is offered the freedom to really go mad creatively in these contrived situations. I believe I am basically hired to bring that sense of louche spontaneity to a shoot that I find out in the real world. However, no image I create for fashion can ever be as satisfying as finding a real moment that encapsulates my ideas of what makes a good photograph. The found moments, not the manufactured ones, are the gold.

    49. Rubi Lebovitch // B Side #6



    The term “B-side” is taken from the world of music. The song conventionally placed on the A-side of the single record was the song the producer hoped would become a hit, while the song placed on the B-side carried fewer aspirations. However, many times the B-side turned out to be more successful than the A-side.

    In this project, the B-side is neither the central nor the marginal. It lacks both the splendor of the central and the otherness of the marginal. Its beauty lies in its simplicity and banality.

    The pictures in this project are, in a way, pictures of “nowhere.” While pictures of “somewhere” are characterized by depth, hierarchy and orientation, pictures of nowhere are not. The orientation in these pictures is not the result of navigation, but of experimentation—an experimentation at times naïve, banal and amusing.

    The pictures do not aim to choose between original and representation, between principal and trivial. B-side, be side or beside? All of them and none of them. Like the two sides of a coin, the pictures offer a B-side—another side which isn’t judgmental, and which can be replaced by an A-side at any given moment and still remain, essentially, a B-side.

    50. Don Hamerman // Shallow Left Center


    Found Baseballs

    I began collecting these baseballs in the winter of 2004-2005. Discovered in the park near my house where I walk my dog daily, they went unnoticed by others. Abject, rejected and forlorn, their state depended on the season of their discovery. Some hid in the high grass, gutted by lawnmowers, or under leaves, rotting—the leather skins long since decomposed. Covered in ice crystals on a February morning or shrouded in summer moss, they all hinted at mysterious pasts.

    Although I knew that one day I would photograph the burgeoning collection, most sat along a shelf in my studio for nearly a year before the exploration started. At last, I decided to photograph them above a flat field and with deep depth of focus, revealing, as much as I could, their distinct resumes.

    51. Thomas Prior // Shadow


    This photograph is part of a series shot at Maho Beach on the island of St. Maarten in June of 2010. The series is one of a few short projects dealing with dangerous recreation in beautiful places.

    My week on the island was hot, hazy and mostly cloudy. I took this picture on the one day of perfect blue sky, when the plane’s quick, dark shadows were impossible to ignore.

    52. Jennifer Mason // Oranges


    Oranges was an exploration in form, composition and color, to evoke a mood. Composition is such an important element in a successful image, and the still life is an excellent way to test one’s skills. In terms of subject matter and color choice, I was inspired by my response to Art Deco architecture in California (sadly only via books and the internet). I wanted to capture the intensity of a crystal clear, blue sky cushioned with the curves of contrasting yellow and orange deco buildings. I love the accents of colored strips on deco buildings, and that’s what motivated the red berries. For the lighting, I wanted something that provided contrast and long shadows to give the impression that the sun is setting after a long, hot day. I then gave it a vignette and a “painterly” filter and removed all the reflections so it gave the impression that it could be a painting.

    53. Hollis Brown Thornton // When We Were Kings


    The initial idea for When We Were Kings came from Damien Hirst’s For the Love of God sculpture. When I see a Hirst/Barney/Murakami sculpture, I always wonder how I would produce that in my limited means. The pixels are similar to the diamonds, in their repetition and subtle variation. The title I chose references the Muhammad Ali/George Foreman documentary of the same name. It was such an unforgettable experience watching those two men, in perfect condition, attempting to be the greater boxer. The title When We Were Kings suggests no matter how great we become, we’re never king for long. It plays on the simple idea of mortality; everyone can only be great for a brief period of time. The skull is the great equalizer: No matter who you are, everyone eventually leaves behind a simple skull.

    54. Aaron Straup Cope // prettymaps (chicago)


    I’d like to generate map tiles that give you that same dizzy feeling you get when you look down at a city at night, from an airplane. We’ve spent so long fussing over the relentless details in cartography that we’ve sort of forgotten what things (should) look like at a distance.

    This August 2010 version of prettymaps is codenamed “Isola” after the Finnish textile designer Maija Isola. At a time when the tools for making custom maps and bespoke cartographies are becoming easier and more accessible, it is nice to look back at her work and imagine the maps she might have made if she were alive today.

    prettymaps is an experimental map from Stamen Design.

    55. Simon Fujiwara // People Who Eat White Bread Have No Dreams


    “At no point in Fujiwara’s work are we expected to know definitively what is truth or fiction. Like archeology, autobiography is for Fujiwara a discipline ripe for creative manipulation.” —Alex Gartenfeld for Art in America

    56. Jane Mount // Ideal Bookshelf 364: NYC


    Growing up in Atlanta, I always thought New York City would be too big and crazy a place for me. And then I moved there 16 years ago, and it was the first time I’d ever felt at home.

    The walking, the people, the buildings, the lights, the options, the need to do more and be better. It is non-stop intense, and if you’re on your game it feeds you energy like nothing else can, but if you’re not then it sucks it from you. That’s how it should be.

    We recently decided to take a break from NYC to be near family, away from snow, and in the middle of trees. It was an excellent decision, but I still miss my city every day, and this piece is my love letter telling it so.

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