Moscow, Russia - 1996: Retirees like these—he a former accountant and she a scientist—are among those least able to adapt to the new economy, as skyrocketing prices strain their modest pensions.
This photograph is part of my exhibition, “Moscow - Winds of Change” at the 2020 Festival La Gacilly-Baden in Austria. More than 60 of my photographs will be displayed as of two exhibits chronicling my work in Moscow and “The Long Shadow of Chernobyl.”
This year’s festival (outdoors, social distancing rules apply) will be open to the public from July 14 to October 26 among the gardens and town buildings in Baden, Austria. For more information on the festival and my exhibits there, go to my website, gerdludwig.com.
2 days ago
DEADLINE EXTENDED – @thephotosociety, a collective of over 170 National Geographic photographers, has extended their Print Sale until July 15 to give you more time to purchase a collectible, signed print to better help @DirectRelief and @CampaignZero, two incredible organizations who will cumulatively receive 50% of the proceeds from each print sold.
Follow the link in my bio to see all the stunning prints available, and purchase one (or more!) to benefit these great causes. Several have already sold out, with others close behind!
Each collectable flash sale print has a 6.5” x 9.5” (approx.) image size on 8.5” x 11” fine art paper. @EpsonProPhotography technology was chosen to produce the print for the highest quality and print permanence. Each print is signed with an acid-free, pigment-based pen for the greatest permanence on the front border. Be sure to follow @EpsonProPhotography for more great images!
3 days ago
"The Last Bell" is the term for a Russian school celebration indicating that the lessons are over for the school year. On this day at the end of May, 9th and 11th grade students dress in colorful ribbons and normally can be seen celebrating all over Russia, gathering in parks and near monuments.
This year, many Russian teenagers celebrated the tradition virtually, ringing “The Last Bell” in self-isolation, due to the pandemic.
13 days ago
Children’s chairs sit in front of a piano in the ghost town of Pripyat, the most popular tourist attraction in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone.
At 1:23 am on April 26, 1986, Reactor No. 4 exploded at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. The radioactive fallout spread over thousands of square kilometers, driving more than a quarter of a million people permanently from their homes. Pripyat today bears less-than-honest witness to the hasty departure. More than three decades later, tourists and guides create another bewildering disturbance as they naively seek to articulate a deeper comprehension. With limited time in the Zone, visitors or guides often add to or alter existing arrangements, including this one (as a child could never even reach the keys), making compositions designed to be (often are) photographed close-up.
By stepping back to a larger frame, I am able to achieve a deeper understanding. These arrangements represent artful misinterpretations—designed by and for visitors—seeking to personalize tragedy in a naïve attempt to comprehend its magnitude.
20 days ago
A couple who met aboard the Trans-Siberian Railroad savors a first-class moment together.
The Trans-Siberian Railroad is the third-longest railway in the world—running over 5,700 miles—and is still expanding. It heads east from Moscow, through the Urals and ends at the Sea of Japan, traversing eight time zones in eight days and carrying nearly one-third of Russian exports.
23 days ago
A car, tucked away under a blossoming blue jacaranda tree, rests for the night in the Montecito neighborhood of Los Angeles.
By nature, I am a night owl, and spend many sleepless nights in search of cars resting in the streets in my hometown of Los Angeles. The cars I photograph are loners. They command their own space and enjoy showing off their presence. Like a devoted bird watcher I have learned to recognize their sleeping patterns. With voyeuristic pleasure I’ve spied on them in their nightgowns. I’ve watched some sleep in the nude; some take afternoon naps and a few lucky ones get to sleep together. I find covered cars more in L.A. than anywhere else.
These vehicles rest against backgrounds of varying ambient light on the winding streets of the Hollywood Hills to the flat gridded suburbs of the Valley. Nestled in the low-lying fog of these distinctly Los Angeles neighbourhoods, the vehicles begin to take on personalities of their own. These late night scenes of cars sitting alone on streets in the dead of night possess an inherent mysterious quality, and almost bring to mind a forgotten movie set of a noir film, both so intrinsic to Los Angeles.
This collection of photographs was published in my 2016 book, Sleeping Cars, but I’ve continued the project. To see more, go to @sleepingcars.
a month ago
Monday, the art world lost one of the greats—legendary installation artist Christo, famous for his joyful, perspective-shifting artworks created in collaboration with his late wife, Jeanne-Claude.
Christo was best known for his large-scale landmark coverings with fabric and other materials. He and Jeanne-Claude created for the aesthetic and visual impact—their art was physically temporary, but created a lasting impression on their audience, drawing millions to view the installations.
In 1995, Christo and his team, aided by 100 rock climbers, covered the Berlin Reichstag, only after surmounting more than 20 years of hurdles and preparations—negotiating with six presidents, parliament and through three government refusals.
On assignment for National Geographic in Berlin in 1995, I was stunned by the droves of people who surrounded and constantly partied around the covered Reichstag. The aluminum fabric only remained for fourteen days, but drew thousands to the building, becoming a backdrop of life in the heart of Berlin.
Southern California’s “superbloom” was wonderful this year, covering areas (like this one outside Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve) with stunning color through early May.
It has become tradition for me to visit and photograph the wildflower bloom a few times each year, and this year was no disappointment, in spite of the pandemic. These California poppies and popcorn flower—among others—flourished due in part to late-season rainfall.
a month ago
During a visit to the places of his early childhood at the Lower Rhine, Joseph Beuys rests for a moment during a stroll on the levee near Düffelward, gazing “back into his landscape of deep horizons and soaring skies,” as my friend and journalist Peter Sager wrote. “This is his landscape, very simple and with depth, sparse, like his works” – with hares, poplar trees and swans.
Today, performance artist, painter, sculptor, creator of installations, art theorist, shaman, social, political and environmental activist, and brilliant mind Joseph Beuys would have been 99. He was thought to be one of the most influential artists of the late twentieth century. Better known in the art world than by the general public, he was considered an “artist’s artist,” and influenced the work of many contemporary peers.
Early in my career, I was lucky enough to travel with Beuys back to his roots just before his large, solo retrospective exhibit at the Guggenheim Museum in New York City. For more from my time with Joseph Beuys, follow the link in my bio.
2 months ago
A Children’s Home in Belarus cares for abandoned and orphaned children with mental and physical disabilities, many of them first, second and third generation victims of the Chernobyl nuclear accident that occurred 34 years ago today. Chernobyl was the world’s worst nuclear catastrophe to date.
Just a few weeks ago, the Exclusion Zone around the ill-fated reactor battled severe wildfires that stirred up radiation in the area, and now, this home in Vesnova, Belarus (where I photographed several times in the past), was hit hard by a COVID-19 outbreak. According to Adi Roche, founder of Chernobyl Children International, a charity that has supported this home and many others for decades, children and staff at the home are still suffering from severe symptoms of the disease.
3 months ago
When returning to Antelope Valley after posting my image from a few days ago—in which I also reminded everyone not to trample the flowers—I happened upon this group of goats and a few sheep, grazing among (and some even happily munching on) the blooms, without shepherd or sheepdog in sight. Your comments, please…
3 months ago
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