Last Thursday, hundreds of photographers and the people who love them converged on Canoe Studios, a 24,000 square foot loft space in the Starrett-Lehigh Building (hi, Martha!), for a community-style potluck dinner and slideshow. Not just any slideshow, mind you – the organizers of non-profit group Slideluck Potshow gather 25 emerging and established photogs to display their latest, this year ranging from celebrity portraits by Platon to architectural landscapes by Aperture‘s Michael Wolf.
Recently listed by AllDayBuffet as one of the New York 100, a list of innovative organizations working to break the model and institute change in their respective fields, Slideluck Potshow is the brainchild of photographer Casey Kelbaugh, who founded the group in 2000 as a platform for sharing work in a supportive, non-competitive atmosphere. Now organizing events in over forty cities worldwide from Stockholm to Sao Paolo with the help of co-director Alys Kenny, the 501(c)3 is moving into new realms of community outreach with the Student Youth Initiative, an after-school course aimed at middle- and high- schoolers in the New York area.
Last week’s slideshow presented a varied look at contemporary photography, combining intimate portraiture with slickly produced commercial work and art house ephemera with wartime documentary. Yancey Richardson’s Alex Prager shoots retro-fitted females with aggressive, cinematic lighting, much like cropped versions of Gregory Crewdson‘s vivid domesticated settings. Jing Quek‘s saturated, hyperrealistic photos of Singapore groups – diving team, school classroom, government, production crew – are staged to reveal the artifice behind the planning of such a shot, creating a hilarious tableau of pictorial folly. Two other notables were Michael Wolf of Aperture, whose linear images of New York architecture from the “Transparent City” series were displayed in tandem with a moving Devotchka track, and Emily Schiffer, whose spooky, obsessively produced black and white images depict children on the cusp of adolescence, caught acting within their own private worlds.