For this month’s BookLENS, we are welcoming Jonathan Blaustein as a guest reviewer. Jonathan is an artist, writer, and educator based in Taos, New Mexico. He has exhibited his work widely in galleries and museums in the US, and in festivals in Europe as well. His photographs reside in several important collections, including the Library of Congress, the State of New Mexico, the Brooklyn Museum, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Jonathan is a weekly columnist at the popular blog A Photo Editor, and spent six years as a photo critic at the New York Times Lens blog as well, with previous bylines online for The New Yorker, VICE, and Hyperallergic. His first monograph, “Extinction Party,” was published in March 2020 by Yoffy Press, in Atlanta.
Jonathan will review books for BookLENS every other month, informed by his vast experience as a writer, photographer, and critic, into the world of contemporary photo book offerings.
Our featured published artist this month is Kristin Bedford, an LA-based photographer creating work centered around the intersection of aesthetics and social realism. Her photography explores race, visual stereotypes and communal self-expression. Through long-term engagement with communities, Bedford invites us to reconsider prevalent visual narratives around cultural and spiritual movements. Her work has been featured in such publications as The New York Times, The Guardian, Royal Photographic Society, Esquire, The Huffington Post, among others. Bedford’s photographs are held in numerous private and public collections worldwide, including the Library of Congress. Her most recent book, Cruise Night, is an intimate and unstaged exploration of Mexican-American lowrider car culture in Los Angeles. From 2014 to 2019 she attended hundreds of lowrider cruise nights, car shows, quinceañeras, weddings and funerals. Bedford’s images offer a new visual narrative around the lowrider tradition and invite us to question prevalent societal stereotypes.
Those in the Southern California area can attend the book release party for Cruise Night on Saturday, June 12, 6-10 PM at 3600 Peck Road in El Monte, CA. This event will feature dozens of lowrider cars and is hosted in partnership with Just Memories Car Club and the Los Angeles Lowrider Community.
BookLENS is an interview series coordinated by PhotoNOLA’s PhotoBOOK Fair and published on NOPA’s online blog. Each month leading up to PhotoNOLA, we will bring you an interview with a photographer who recently authored a photography book of interest.