If you prefer art as rife with moral dilemma as beauty, consider “Japan Now” at Fovea Exhibitions in Beacon (through July 17). The photography show’s bland title is ironic, for in the wake of an earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear mishap, today’s Japan is a locus of multiple hells. Displaying the work of 21 photojournalists who recorded the devastation, “Japan Now” illuminates that place where reality and art do not merely intersect, but collide mercilessly. Gallery visitors may question their own role: art lover or rubbernecker? (For those stymied by the contradictions, there is redemption: Fovea will accept donations for the Japan Society’s Earthquake Relief Fund.)

Jake Price, a New York-based news photographer, has contributed a BBC slideshow to the exhibition. A veteran of assignments in Japan, Price, 38, felt a need to go back. As he photographed, he lived among survivors in a displaced persons camp in Natori, a city erased by the tsunami.

You travel the world, photographing tragic situations—both manmade and caused by the hand of nature—in locales like Kenya, Kashmir, and Haiti. What arrests the eye is the eerie beauty your lens captures.
It’s [about] lending a sense of dignity to people who are going thorough such suffering. I don’t like the mainstream press going in and looking for tragedy within tragedy; it’s too easy. If you look for beauty within destruction, then you have the sense that something is really lost—and something that needs to be gained. And something to search for.

How soon after the earthquake and tsunami did you travel there?

About 48 hours.

You were dealing with a people known for being very private.
It’s definitely a reserved society, but it’s not a society that shies away from having its tragedy seen. One such situation was a mass funeral, or at least a mass display of bodies in caskets. There was a point where the ceremony broke up and people went to look at their deceased relatives. There’s a little pane that opens up in the casket where people can peer in. As a photographer, I felt that this moment was really important. So, as subtly and quietly as possible, I ventured into the room to take pictures of people looking at their lost relatives. There was one moment where I snapped a shot of a young man looking into the casket. He looked up at me when he heard the camera and I thought, shit, I’ve been found out and I really hope I didn’t offend this person. He walked over to me and I thought he was going to tell me to go away, and yet he thanked me for being there and telling his story.

Regarding the photograph of the footsteps in mud, tell me what we are looking at.

That was in the city of Sendai, a port town. It’s about as close as you can get to the epicenter of the tsunami. It was just representative of what happens in a situation like this—where there’s chaos in those footsteps but also a sense of wanting to order life, as well. As I worked throughout my trip, I took a lot of pictures of footsteps, because to me they represent everything that people are searching for.

Japan Now” featuring photos by Christoph Bangert, Peter Blakely, David Butow, Adam Dean, James Whitlow Delano, David Guttenfelder, Dominic Nahr, and Donald Weber, among others, will be shown through July 17 at Fovea Exhibitions in Beacon. 


Fovea featured on Time Magazine's Lightbox blog

from Time Magazine's LIGHTBOX


Fovea is a real asset to the Hudson Valley, bringing photojournalistic work to a broader audience, including school children. By focusing on the important issues of our time, the gallery provides a concentrated antidote to our everyday view of the world through our red, white, and blue tinted glasses.

Every two /three months Fovea offers the general public thought-provoking photojournalistic images featuring current stories from around the world and JAPAN/now  is their latest exhibit. Fovea is a gallery staffed by volunteers and in their fourth year of existence. If you find yourself in the Hudson Valley, do your best to make your way to Beacon, NY for this group photo exhibit.

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Thank You Chris Hondros & Tim Hetherington

Thank you Chris, for sharing your experience, photography, and wisdom with us so generously. And to Tim Hetherington, we in Beacon will miss you both.

Chris Hondros: March 14, 1970 – April 20, 2011

Tim Hetherington: December 5 1970 – 20 April 2011

Chris Hondros, far right, at Fovea Exhibitions speaking on the panel MEDIA, MILITARY AND CENSORSHIP,  after just returning 10th trip to Baghdad. From left, photojournalist Todd Heisler of the New York Times, photographer Suzanne Opton,  International Photo Editor Jamie Wellford of Newsweek Magazine, and Captain Thomas Sowers of West Point Military Academy. JULY 14th 2007


Fovea will miss James R. Cypher (1935 - 2011)

BEACON - James R. Cypher, of Beacon, NY, passed away at home on February 17 2011. He was 75. He has been a supporter of Fovea for several years, and frequently photographed our events, most recently the opening reception for Lori Grinker on February 12th.

Jim was in the Army and learned Electronics fixing radios for the Army Security Agency while stationed in Japan. He attended San Jose State were he ran track, and studied English and Journalism, andworked for IBM for over 25 years. In his second career he was a successful literary agent and book editor to several authors.

He was well traveled and an avid photographer and teacher, music lover, concert attendee, and was involved with Beacon's artistic, literary and political communities for many years.

We will miss him very much.


Article in Chronogoram Magazine

Parting Shot


Beginning in 2006, a year after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, Dave Anderson spent 18 months living in the Holy Cross neighborhood of the city’s Lower Ninth Ward, photographing the rebuilding of a single block. Anderson followed both the physical rebuilding of the homes and the emotional state of its residents, and employed portraiture and still life to explore the nature of a community in recovery. “You have to be vigilant with a city’s recovery,” he says. “It’s improving because of the focus on it, if the focus is lost it will go backwards.”

Having grown up in East Lansing, Michigan, a town he fiercely identifies with, Anderson understood what it meant to have a place be a core part of a person’s identity. “New Orleans is a real gem of a city, there is no other American city like it,” he says. “It means something to people to be from there. It means something to live there. It says something about you.” 

Anderson’s New Orleans photographs were collected in the book One Block, which was published by Aperture in June, 2010. They focus on capturing the revival rather than the destruction. “Sometimes photography is about the most extreme of moments,” he says. “I like my photography to be about the most average of moments, even if they’re average moments at an extreme time.”


Anderson’s work has been featured in Esquire and Stern, and can be found in several museums, including the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, the Ogden Museum of Southern Art in New Orleans, and the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, DC. “Rough Beauty,” his acclaimed first project, documented Vidor, Texas, a poor and isolated community struggling to create a new identity out of a past branded by its Ku Klux Klan history. It won the Santa Fe Center for Photography 2005 Project Competition. “One Block: A New Orleans Neighborhood Rebuilds” is currently on view through January 8 at Fovea Exhibitions, 143 Main Street in Beacon.

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