Donna Berryhill

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January 2015

How One Artist Paid Homage To Seven Generations Of Women In Her Family

Artist Christine H McConnell has managed to revive 200 years of family history, paying tribute to the women who came before her with just a touch of photoshop magic. And it all started with a red dress.<p>Left: McConnell's mother, Kathryn (born 1957). Right: McConnell, wearing the same red dress two …

2014 - The Year in Review I spoke at an incredible book-signing event for my New York photography book here in NYC at B&H and I went a bit more personal with my presentation than I usually do. I have been feeling very introspective lately and the introspection combined with feeling comfortable enough to reveal certain aspects of my life to a large audience made me realize that this year has felt like 10 years worth of a photography career (and 10 years worth of life). This is my way of making sense of the journey. Snow, Travels, Dinosaurs, and Books… 2014 started out with a deep exploration of snow as snow blanketed New York City several times. The first snowstorm of the year was incredible: In the moments between snowstorms, the bleakness of winter was only briefly eclipsed by the majesty of the city: And as the snow fell, I fell in love over and over again with the oldest parts of Manhattan: Spent a night at One UN New York for a client photo-shoot. I awoke at dawn to one of the most beautiful winter dawns I have ever experienced. I sat for three hours at my hotel window watching the light change and the snow glaze the city’s rooftops like powdered sugar: Before I left for Las Vegas to speak at WPPI, I took a several one-eyed self portraits to document the passage of time (I am blind in one eye): I returned from Las Vegas to an invite to get a private tour of Grand Central Terminal from my friend Lexi. We were taken to the rafters above Grand Central: Had to quickly get over my fear of heights in order to climb the narrow ladder up into the famous Grand Central Terminal clock. So worth it. This was the view hanging out of the clock: Here I am hanging out of the clock-face!: And this was the group I was with while we stood inside the clock (many of whom have become Instagram superstars since then like Misshattan): I continued with my ongoing project involving snowy winter nights in New York City as the city experienced another blizzard called Janus. The photos from this storm were posted and became my most viral post to Tumblr ever with over 260,000 notes on it so far. Here are a few from that storm: It was around this time that I learned I would be heading to Paris for the first time in my life on a commissioned photo-shoot by the country of France (!). I announced and explained the project I would be working on with a photo-set of Doisneau photos and much excitement: Also finalized the contract for my book deal for NY Through The Lens and made the formal announcement about the book and followed up with a post once I submitted my first draft of the book to my publishers: Enjoyed a bittersweet late-winter sunset as snow melted on the ground right before I was about to leave for Paris: Arrived in Paris. The first night I was there, I experienced a sunset high above the city and my heart was stolen by its beauty: It was springtime and Paris was in full bloom: France introduced me to the two owners (Hugo and Gael) of one of the most amazing tour companies in Paris run by native Parisians called Rendezvous with Paris. I spent a large majority of my time getting a grand tour of the city with them and it was once of the best travel experiences of my life, hands down. Here are Hugo and Gael at a cafe in Montmartre that we stopped at to have some coffee and more than a few laughs together: Paris was magical. Paris is magical. Above the city in the bell-tower of Sacré-Cœur basilica with Hugo: I should add that I got super sick while in Paris due to the smog conditions. I developed acute bronchitis and spent a day thinking I was close to death before enjoying the perks of socialized medicine which included a large array of low-cost meds which kept me going for my entire journey! We climbed to the top of the basilica the day after I started my treatment despite the fact that I had a raging lung infection. I look at this view and thank the wonders of steroids and antibiotics ;). Thanks to Hugo and Gael for having a sense of humor about the whole thing: While I was there to take shoot still photography of Paris, I also dabbled in cinemagraphs thanks to the folks at Flixel who worked with me on this project. My cinemagraphs were evocative moments of modern day Paris meant to recollect the Paris during the period after the Liberation: Gael: Katherine (one of the most spectacular people I have ever spent time with and who should have her own documentary - our days in Paris together were outrageously cathartic and memorable): In a whirlwind of two jam-packed days, Katherine and I toured two incredible chateaus just outside of Paris so I could capture them in photos: One of the chateaus was Vaux-le-Vicomte which I posted about extensively in this photo-tour. Vaux-le-Vicomte has been in 70 different films and commercials including Dangerous Liasons, Marie Antoinette, Vatel, and Ridicule: We spent the afternoon with one of its owners (who grew up in the chateau!!), Count Alexander de Vogüé. What a gracious host. We had a great conversation as he drove us around the grounds to enjoy the gardens and took us on a remarkable tour of his chateau. Here we are with the Count. Left to right: Séverine Camblong, Count Alexander de Vogüé, Me, Katherine: The next day we visited the Palace of Fontainebleau which has over 1500 rooms (!) , 130 acres of land, and is the only palace that has been continuously inhabited for over seven centuries hosting many royal families. This is the Trinity Chapel in Fontainebleau which was featured in the Lana Del Rey video Born to Die: The last day and night I was in Paris, I rode on the back of Gael and Hugo’s motorbikes through the streets of Paris and we ended a super late night driving through the streets of Paris to the Seine where we drank and laughed till all hours of the night. As I walked back into Hotel Scribe Paris (where Proust wrote and Josephine Baker stayed and where the Lumiere brothers, inventors of cinema, showcased their invention in 1895) hair wet with rain, face wind-kissed from riding on the back of motorbikes, and my mind full of surreal memories I knew that Paris had changed me forever: So much happened while I was in Paris that it’s impossible to cover it all in this recap. All of my Paris posts make for interesting viewing and reading if you are interested. I arrived back in the United States with only a few weeks to prepare for the gallery event at the Park Avenue Armory. The event showcased my photos of Paris juxtaposed with imagery from the Liberation of Paris time period to celebrate the anniversary of the liberation. The night was one of the best nights of my life for a variety of reasons (personal and career-wise). Just one little snippet of that night with my photography behind the post-war inspired musicians: In the period after the event, I was going through quite a bit of turmoil in my personal life which was devastating emotionally. I spent my days in Bushwick marveling at the street art: And on a night I will never forget, I sat with two of my favorite people with Sony and was asked if I wanted to be sponsored officially by Sony. I was dumbstruck. I said yes! Later that night I met and hung out with legendary photographers Elliott Erwitt and Jay Maisel and practically had to pinch myself multiple times just to register that I was still in reality and not dreaming. The bittersweet is often chased with the sweet. The day after that fantastic night: I was only in New York City for a few weeks before I left again for Toronto to speak at a conference: I stayed with my good friend Sara Collaton. We drank Maple Whiskey most nights, had amazing food, engaged in lots of therapeutic conversation, and she showed me around Toronto. From Toronto, I flew to Martinique in the Caribbean for a week to photograph Martinique: Martinique was wonderful. I had never been anywhere tropical in my life before. What an introduction. I made an extensive photo-post about Martinique here if interested. Exploring the rain-forest of Martinique was epic: At the base of Mount Pelee: Sun-kissed on a scuba-diving boat: I will never forget the Caribbean sunsets: I was back in the United States for a few weeks before I left for France again for nearly a month. My photographic journey in France would take me to the South of France where I photographed Nice, Aix-en-Provence, Marseille, Montpellier, and lived on a boat for a few days along the Canal du Midi. In Nice: Aix-en-Provence: Got special permission to photograph inside post-impressionist Paul Cézanne’s actual studio in Provence. This is his mirror and everything including the ladder that surrounds it belongs to him and was used in his studies and paintings: Marseille: Montpellier during the day: Montpellier at night: For 3 days, I lived on a boat (Le Boat) with my traveling companions. We had to manage the Canal du Midi with our boat which made for some of the most amusing times I have ever had traveling with people (mostly involving the locks along the Canal). Here we are on our boat: And here I am with 3 cameras around my neck (!), laughing my head off as we sped under a super low overpass just barely ducking (and getting be-headed). Classic: Happiness on Le Boat while we cruised along the Canal to our destination at Château Paraza: In all fairness, it’s next to impossible to recap everything I photographed and experienced in the South of France with a few pithy captions. These are just very few highlights. You can view all of my France posts here if interested. After a whirlwind of beauty in the South of France, I took Rail Europe up to Paris to spend two weeks by myself in Paris. The first night in Paris, I met a few ex-pat bloggers from the U.S. who had all re-started their lives in Paris. We ended the night overlooking the grand opera house in Paris: Palais Garnier as one of the bloggers spontaneously asked the waiters if she could stand and sing an opera aria. The waiter said yes. What a moment. I captured part of it on video here (worth the watch!). Once I was alone in Paris, I took a bit of a journey inward as I was experiencing overwhelming sadness and deep heartbreak. I embarked on a project involving self-portraits as I hopped from hotel to hotel and got to experience the city of lights on my own: Hotels in these photos: Hotel Britannique, Jay’s Paris A brief moment of joy in an unusual room at the Apostrophe Hotel: Towards the end of my solo journey in Paris, I was invited to stay at the Shangri-La Paris as a guest, a 5 star Palace Hotel which was built in the late 1800s as a residence for Napolean Bonaparte’s nephew Prince Roland Bonaparte. It was an exceptional experience: Happiness on my room’s balcony: Actual view from my room. The kindness they bestowed upon me was sincerely appreciated and the whole experience was unreal in all the best ways: I was also invited to Le Royal Monceau to stay there as a guest. I had an amazing time exploring Philippe Starck’s fairy-tale interiors: In my room at the end of a long day photographing interiors: The infinity pool: I made a super long photo-tour post of this hotel here if interested. Paris is a city that inspires. By the end of my month in France, I was a different person, for sure. Travel changes you immeasurably. I walked for miles around Paris exploring every bit of it. La Pagode: At the Cat Café in Paris: Gustave Moreau’s art deco staircase: Arriving back in the United States, I found out that my face and images were gracing a huge ad display in dozens of Best Buy stores around the country. Here I am jet-lagged and delirious in front of my ad here in NYC: New York City was in full summer swing by the time I got back from France. I spent the remaining portion of the summer wandering the streets with camera in tow: Heard that the Museum of Natural History was hosting their first ever adult sleepover which pretty much has been a dream of mine since I was a child. I was lucky enough to score a ticket to the sleepover which involved a nearly empty museum at night with eerie lighting: Of course I wrote a very long post about my experience at the sleepover if interested. In a strange twist of fate, a photo-editor from The Guardian contacted me to commission me to take photos of One World Trade Center for a piece about the World Trade Center. I spent a day and a few nights high up on 4 World Trade Center (which was not accessible to the public and still unfinished) taking photos. In the reflection of 4 WTC: Viewing the city from high above in the World Trade Center which had a huge impact on me and which I wrote about in a post. Sunset and 1 World Trade Center from the top of 4 World Trade Center: The photos ran in the Guardian as a gallery accompanying an article. And if the year couldn’t get any better or crazier, my book: NY Through The Lens launched worldwide in stores in November: Sony threw a book-launch event for my book at their flagship space in New York City which involved cookies with my photography on them (!): Here I am signing oodles of books: Ever since my book officially launched, and I have been super busy with everything and anything book-related ever since. The book has received some phenomenal press. I couldn’t be happier! Here are some highlights: In a full gallery spread in The Guardian in November of 2014: New York in the Snow by Vivienne Gucwa - in pictures On The Weather Channel: Stunning Images of the Changing Seasons in New York City On CBS News: New York City Through the Lens In The NY Post: Best coffee-table books to gift this holiday season In Glamour: How to Do What You Love for a Living: “Be Humble and Fearless” For all other press and media coverage of the book, here is my media page with ongoing updated listings. At some point, the book became a best-seller in the U.K. and it has sold out completely twice in the United States. I still don’t know how to process all of this. Everything feels like a dream. A little over a week ago, Wired Magazine hosted a party and featured my photography as well as my book. I got to visit Wired’s offices and sign 250 of my books to give to their private guests: The party was outstanding (full photo-post here). Ten of my photos were displayed on large screens in a gallery. Here are four of them: Last night, as I mentioned in the beginning of this post (did you make it this far?! If you did, I love you), I spoke at a sold-out book-signing event for NY Through The Lens. This was my ‘test’ shot before everyone entered B&H Photo Video’s event space (the event 'sold out’). I had intended to take a quick photo with me and the audience holding up copies of my book. But really, this is the perfect face to end my 2014. This feeling can’t be faked. It’s hard to imagine what 2015 may bring. I struggle a lot with abandonment and fears of everything falling away from me on a daily basis. The ephemeral quality of life consistently haunts me. If 2015 were to not even come close to 2014, you know what? I would still be as happy as I am in this photo. My life has been anything but easy. I used to not think I would reach the age of 30 alive. I feel lucky that I even got this far in my life never-mind this dream of a career. Thank you to everyone who was a part of my 2014 journey. Much love.♥ — What is this book you keep talking about?: My New York photography book released in stores everywhere worldwide on November 24th. Info about the book (including many photos, sample pages, and info about my history and style of photography): NY Through The Lens: A New York Coffee Table Book —View: My New York City photography portfolio, Cameras and Gear I Use, My Travel Blog, On G+,email me, or ask for help.

The Enigmatic Art of Josef Koudelka

<i>"Prague, 1968." Image courtesy of the Art Institute of Chicago, promised gift of private collector. Photo credit, Josef Koudelka/Magnum Photos</i><p>Josef Koudelka's striking photographs in the exhibition "Josef Koudelka: Nationality Doubtful" at the Getty Museum include images of the Roma (Gypsy) …

11 Art Exhibitions To Look Forward To In 2015

2014 was yet another great year for London's art scene, but what does 2015 hold for art lovers in our city? We've sifted through the gallery and …

Art

The Forgotten Plan to Save Great Art From World War III

From a secret treasure trove below the memorial to Oliver Wendell Holmes in DC to a retrofitted quarry in Wales, our governments have gone to great …

Smithsonian Digitizes 40,000 Artworks from Asia

Beginning today, art lovers around the world can peruse the entire collections of two Smithsonian Asian art museums from the comfort of their homes. …

Two Bibles on View in NYC Showcase the Art and Violence of Medieval Books

Two incredible examples of medieval book art are on rare view in New York: the Metropolitan Museum of Art is hosting the hefty Winchester Bible, and …

Pet Owners' Manual: Be clear, but not predictable, when training with treats | The Star

<b>When we ask our dog to sit or lie down, she obeys with attitude. She barks, as if she is demanding a cookie. This behaviour is quickly becoming</b> …