“Figure Ground” refers to the principle of Gestalt psychology that a figure is perceived through its distinction from the background. To create each image, Durgin layers and erases several photos from a single shoot to blur the boundary between figure and background. The series “challenges ideas of perception and image consumption,” he writes. “In this age of seamlessly altered and composite images, ‘Figure Ground’ brings the idea of image composite to the forefront, making the act of alteration the figure itself.”
Damon Pablo is a freelance director for television spots, but he also moonlights as a “purist” 35mm black-and-white street photographer: no cropping, no Photoshop. This series, “Young Pride,” captures the feeling of attending the Pride parade in New York City as a young adult.
Joshua White’s typological study of plants, animals and insects, photographed on his iPhone, are nostalgic in nature. “My mother tells me I used to lie on my stomach and watch ants crawling through the grass for hours,” he recalls. “I remember catching June bugs off of her wild roses in a Styrofoam cup, and finding box turtles in the gravel pit near our house.” White’s series asks viewers to slow down and appreciate the “intricate, remarkable” forms in our own backyards. “We take for granted our place in nature, trading sensitivity to our surroundings for greater productivity and progress.”
On Amiko Li’s series “Maiden Voyage,” photographer Tim Davis writes: “[It] is a probe, sent to the limits of photographic connectedness.” The images, diary-like in nature, together make an idiosyncratic view of the human experience. “Li draws together images that are strummed on the harp of one sharp-eared young romantic artist, but whose meaning together builds odd harmonic overtones as images pile up. This work is the diary of a vision of the world, not of a person.”
George Nobechi’s quiet, contemplative series, “Unmoored,” is a journey in search of serenity. Nobechi’s childhood bedroom window that overlooked the “chaos” of Tokyo was his sanctuary—”my view was both a lens for a bustling world that was at times overwhelming and a mirror for the disconnection that I felt toward it,” he says. He again felt disconnected after losing his father while living in the Pacific Northwest of the U.S. While shooting this series, he says, “Instead of finding the answers I sought, I uncovered more questions, and my journey continues to this day.”
“Hate to See You Go” is a deeply felt series about Levy’s relationship with her father. One of three sisters, Levy would spend one weekend a month with him, and each Sunday they would perform the ritual of saying goodbye. “While standing at the front door, we would hug, and a lifetime awkwardness of never knowing who was going to let go first would come between us,” she writes. “I often wondered if he remembered the first time my hold loosened before his.”