Prison Landscapes – Visiting Room Backdrops

Posted by Peter Nitsch | January 3rd, 2013 Share

Prison Landscapes

In 2005, artist Alyse Emdur unearthed a photograph of herself posing in front of a tropical beach scene while visiting her older brother in prison. Since discovering this first portrait in her own family album, she invited hundreds of prisoners to send her photographs for inclusion in this collection entitled Prison Landscapes (Four Corners Books, ISBN 978-0956192868, $35), presenting over 100 photographs of prison inmates representing themselves in front of visiting room backdrops. Such backdrops, often painted by talented inmates, are used within the prisons as portrait studios. As inmates and their visitors pose for photos in front of these idealized landscapes they pretend, for a brief moment, that they are someplace else.

Created specifically for escape and self-representation, the paintings of tropical beaches, waterfalls, mountain vistas and cityscapes invite sitters to engage in fantasies of freedom. Prison Landscapes offers viewers a rare opportunity to see America’s incarcerated population, not through the usual lens of criminality, but through the eyes of inmates’ loved ones. The book includes correspondence with prisoners and an interview with prison artist Darrell Van Mastrigt. ❚ Flattr this

Tagged with , , ,

Animalia By Kevin Lee

Animalia By Kevin Lee

The word "animal" comes from the Latin word animalis, meaning "having breath". In everyday colloquial usage the word incorrectly excludes humans. Kevin WY Lee’s street photography Animalia is a unique piece of visual documentary, a short poem. In Animalia (disambiguation) the founder of The Invisible Photographer Asia (IPA) gives a imaginative view on the taxonomic …

Past Forward By Vincent Fournier

Past Forward By Vincent Fournier

In Past Forward (360 Publishing, ISBN 978-9081935708, $65.70), a limited edition book, photographer Vincent Fournier collects the last years of his work on 5 cycles: Space Project, The Man Machine, Tour Operator, Brasilia and Synthetic Biology. Fournier attempts in his images to create allegories of childhood dreams, where reality blends effortlessly with fiction. "The meaning …

The Imaginative World Of Puzzleman Leung

The Imaginative World Of Puzzleman Leung

Imaginative Taipeh-based photographer Puzzleman Leung captures mysterious, humorous and blurred scenes that the young talent creates in his mind. Influenced by Guy Bourdin and Rinko Kawauchi the resulting unique images radiate something timeless as if Puzzleman captured a fleeting moment that might not even took place in real life. With a tendency to "off color" …

The Story Of A Photographer And His New York City

The Story Of A Photographer And His New York City

At the close the of film noir classic The Naked City, the narrator famously proclaims: 'There are eight million stories in the Naked City. This has been one of them.' The film took its title from Weegee's seminal book of New York photographs published in 1945. In our time, an equally compelling presence roams the …

A Narrative About Accepting Change

A Narrative About Accepting Change

If you're interested in photographs that tell stories through experience, rather than actually depicting an event, you should take a look at the project Hide by Jason Vaughn. This work began as a commentary on Wisconsin’s hunting tradition, using deer stands as a metaphor for the changing values of the sport. When Vaughn was suddenly …

Muhammadiyah Welfare Home By Megat Ibrahim Mahfuz

Muhammadiyah Welfare Home By Megat Ibrahim Mahfuz

The photographs and documentary of the Muhammadiyah Welfare Home by Megat Ibrahim Mahfuz serve as a reminder of what visual storytelling can do for the storyteller, not just by way of telling a story but to use it as a means of coming to terms with existing conditions and recognising the similarities, the hopes and …

Comments are closed.