Articles by Juan Cornejo


Photos tackle importance of play to children in hostile environments

Mark Neville's photographs often focus on difficult circumstances, such as hazardous waste dumps and war, as well as the latter's offshoots like post-traumatic stress disorder. In his new exhibition, titled "Child's Play" and which features works collected over a 15-year period, children and the importance of play in their lives stand front and center. The theme may sound like a respite from the unpleasant realities Neville usually tackles with his art, but the catch is many of the children in the photographs are pictured in hardly livable places: a refugee camp in Kenya and a war-torn region in Ukraine, among others. In these dangerous environments, play is a breathing space, according to Neville. Play is "an outlet, a release, a kind of therapy,” the photographer said. "It allows children “to make sense of the horrors going on in the adult world and deal with them." "Child's Play" was launched on Feb. 3 and will run until April 30 at the Foundling Museum in London....

British Antarctic Survey data manager takes majestic photos of Antarctica for 366 days

Many a professional and amateur photographer have challenged themselves to take at least one photo of each day for 365 days, or one year. Michal Krzysztofowicz, from Poland, took it up a notch quite literally and did so for 366 days, and in an out-of-the-ordinary place at that: the frozen Antarctica. Krzysztofowicz's project ran from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31 last year, a leap year, which made it possible for the undertaking to cover 366 days. And as if the project isn't interesting enough, Krzysztofowicz took pictures of the seemingly boundless natural landscapes and atmosphere, the breathtaking Aurora Australis and the mighty emperor penguins while working as a data manager for the British Antarctic Survey at the Halley Research Station. "I have been into photography for several years before I came South, with my favorite genres having been landscapes and underwater photography," Krzysztofowicz said. When I came to Halley for my second winter, I decided it would...

Frames and mirrors are more than just boring implements for French artist Mathias Kiss — they’re the artworks

Frames are objects of utility, there to fulfill practical functions rather than serve any more noble purpose, such as inspiring one to reflect on a given subject, as art is designed to do. But that's not the case for designer Mathias Kiss. For him, a frame, presented in a certain way, can be more than a material used to define the realm of an artwork; it can also be a thing of artistic value in itself in that he can use it to provoke thought. For the French artist, frames -- as well mirrors, which are equally mundane in their existence as implements --  can be artworks, ones that can decidedly go against classicism, as one might expect. "My inspiration comes from a reaction to my historical past, which I confront with fashion, music and with contemporary culture," he told The Globe and Mail. Kiss, born in Hungary, uses his training in painting and classicism as a counterpoint for what he intends to achieve with his art. "It’s the materials and codes of French classicism that I use...

Painting in an abandoned soap factory, French artist Seth takes on Rome’s urban planning problem

Artworks created in decaying spaces are nothing new. We’ve all seen sprawling graffiti on the walls and floors of abandoned buildings, haven’t we? Untended structures seem to have some sort of an irresistible allure that beckons artists to create something in them. However, French street artist Seth’s (real name: Julien Malland) colorful paintings and installations in Mira Lanza, a long-since-deserted soap factory in Rome, Italy, make use of the space to pose a sobering question: Why do we just leave things to rot? Art organization 999Contemporary mounted the project, which consists mostly of paintings of children, to put Rome’s problem with urban planning in the spotlight, as well as juxtapose innocence (represented by the children in the works) with decomposition (symbolized by Mira Lanza). “This place [built in the 19th century] has been abandoned since the factory closed in 1957. Since I was a little boy there have been plans to turn it into a museum,...

Singaporean artist Chua Chye Teck zeroes in on forests’ lines and forms in first book of photos

Singaporean artist and photographer Chua Chye Teck perhaps got more than he bargained for when he turned to hiking. Initially a way for him to increase physical activity, hiking provided an opportunity to observe and appreciate the composition of a forest -- not the obviously beautiful landscapes, mind you, but the way the trees are connected to form an expansive body. This is all thanks to his training as a sculptor, in which he is most attentive to lines, form, and structure. Enthralled by the splendor, Chua, 43, took photos of trees as he perceived them. The result of the two-year photography sessions in the forested domains is his recently released first book, "Beyond Wilderness." At first glance, many of the black-and-white photos look like ones of freely applied paint rather than trees. Chua is adamant in his belief that the wilderness possesses codes waiting to be deciphered. “There is a visual language to the wilderness that, just like English or Chinese,...

Apple’s new ad showcases the power of the iPhone 7 in low-light photography

A new advertising campaign by Apple shows just how capable the camera of the iPhone 7 is. The campaign, called "One Night," features photos taken by a number of photographers on Nov. 5 last year using the tech giant's latest handset. The iPhone, particularly its more recent iteration, is lauded for its image-capturing ability, but this ad specifically seeks to let everyone know of the iPhone 7's prowess in low-light photography. From dusk till dawn, the photographers took photos of captivating natural landscapes and lively city streets. Reuben Wu, a photographer from Chicago, spent the night capturing lava in  Gunung Karang in Indonesia. Wu fitted the iPhone 7, whose camera boasts an F1.8 aperture, to a drone to capture the majestic view from above. Ruairidh McGlynn, meanwhile, traveled to Iceland and snapped away in the Arctic, with a dog sled for transportation. "I wanted to produce a series of unexpected images that both pushed the boundaries of mobile photography...
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