Milt Ward was born on July 30th, 1917 in Savannah, Georgia. As a teenager Milt was intrigued by the signage that appeared on various shop windows during his youth. He was particularly intrigued by point of purchase displays that were used to market and sell merchandize by shop owners in his neighborhood, and began to practice the art of hand lettering that would later become his vocation and specialty as a graphic artist.As a young man he moved from the segregated South in search of more freedom and opportunities to explore his interest in art and settled in Philadelphia with his mother, Eva and younger brother Bennie. The young artist with steady hand enrolled in drawing classes at the Fleisher School of Art in South Philadelphia andwas one of the first African Americans to join the Philadelphia Art Directors club where he met like minded artists and life long friends including the distinguished watercolorist, Michael P. Rocco. For most of his career Milt was employed by the Diversified Marketing Group in Philadelphia, and he also freelanced for the Mel Richman Advertising Group in Bala Cynywd, Pa. Milt Ward passed away on October 31, 2003 at the age of 86. The Alphabet Series was produced between 1989 and 1993.
Photography, Text and Video by Jonathan Tang, Copyright 2017
PAPER AND LIGHT
“How do you do that?” I asked, watching a paper crane come to life in my friend’s hands.
“Follow me.” She handed me a crisp square of delicate origami paper. “Start with a valley fold – inwards – and then you want to do another. Okay, now take that, pull it, and squish, just like this.” Whereas her fingers deftly flattened and creased the paper, mine fumbled around, crushing delicate folds with reckless abandon. My first crane was anything but beautiful, but it captivated me nonetheless – if I could make a bird out of paper, what else could I do?
When I was younger I folded many origami creations – from cranes to flapping birds, balloons to snack dishes, and single-unit to modular. While my folding slowed down by high school, it never ceased to charm me. As such, when I was assigned to photograph still life images featuring geometry, the first thing to come to mind was origami. After all, every fold of origami paper forms a new geometric shape.
When I finally finished folding some cranes and prepared for my shoot, however, I realized I didn’t have a theme in mind, other than “origami.” So, I started testing the lighting. After fiddling around with a clamp light for an hour, none of the results seemed particularly exciting to me. I decided to try taking long exposures with dim lighting, namely an LED strip I had laying around.
The moment the LEDs flashed on, I knew I had what I wanted. The inclusion of so many light sources produced complex, dramatic shadows behind each paper crane. Not only that, but I could fill in the shadows flexibly using the same light. I grabbed my “helping hands,” a stand with alligator clips and a magnifying glass usually used for soldering, so I could stabilize the strip, when I noticed something unique. The LEDs, with their offset colors, were shining through the magnifying glass and producing globular shapes. Not only that, but since their colors are offset, they were being split, producing distinct red, green, and blue bands. I started experimenting with the magnifying glass and its effects on the light, capturing the results with long exposures, some up to 40 seconds. The results were great. Using a magnifying glass and an LED strip, I could project color-outlined shapes onto surfaces around my origami critters, showcasing them with their own Technicolor spotlights. As I experimented more, my still life series produced itself.
. Artwork and Text by Alexandra Rouvet Duvernoy, Copyright 2017
TRUMP’S MARRIAGE TO LADY LIBERTY: HEAVEN OR HELL?
The golden rays bathed the entrance on this November morning, bringing with him sweetness and hope of a beautiful day.
I am happy when I leave my flat to see this beautiful clear blue sky, to hear the pinchers gurgling in the yard, to feel at the bend of an alley, bathed in a warm light, the tender and delicious treasures of the bakers, twirling on my high heels.
I join my friend, Miss Liberty, in the tea room which is at the corner of Saint Tolerance Street and Compassion Boulevard, just in front of the old park, Democracy.
I push the heavy glass and wrought iron “Chez Socrates”‘s door and I see that she is already waiting for me, fresh and smiling, the cheekbones dew, with gourmet lips, and her large open and sparkling eyes. She is impatient and excited at the thought that her American parents are choosing a new husband for her today. She has been used for thousand of years to be married by her Europeans, Asians, Africans, Americans and others parents. But still today, Mr. and Mrs USA have to choose her new husband for the next 4 years. They have a decisive choice in their hands and Miss Liberty is confident in them, she believes in their wisdom to offer her the wisest partner.
I sit next to her and take the smoking cup she gives me. The perfum of cherry tea mixed with hers is so sweet that it moves me.
She is feverish with so much agitation and confides in me that she has her preferences between the different candidates, but that she will rely on the sovereign choice of her parents.
The hours pass long, interminable, this waiting becomes heavy. Miss Liberty, her hands cold and stomach tight, a doubt assails her, and grows to the point of gripping her throat. I see her turning pale, twisting her long and graceful fingers. She moves a lot…
Finally, the choice of a church is announced, it will be Sainte Mary Bank; it doesn’t go over well. The first clue suggests that the ceremony will not be as romantic as expected.
The sky darkens little by little, a cold wind enters the chapel next to an old, dark, wrinkled, old man, all dressed in black. He puts a necklace with a rope and chain around Miss Liberty. I remain speechless, we cry out in the heart and her supplicating look breaks my heart.
Everything is linked at a vertiginous speed, a real whirlwind, our heads caught in this rash round, we arrive in the middle of an assembly equally astounded by the site of this marriage.
There we discover – The One – who takes the reindeer in hand, wild face, cheerful childish face of a bad little boy winning after a whim, with piercing and icy cold eyes, and without having had time to recover her shock and disbelief, Miss Liberty hears the fateful words:
-” Mr. Trump do you wish to marry Miss USA Liberty?
– I Do
– Miss Liberty Usa, do you hear?
About The Author: Alexandra Rouvet Duvernoy has a degree in Fine Arts from Bordeaux’s Beaux Art School in France, in opera singing from a French conservatory where she studied with Denise Lacroix and has practiced for 20 years as a ballet dancer under the tutelage of Monique Mallo and Nathalie Michaud. Alexandra has modeled for some French magazines as a fashion model and then later explored glamour and erotic modeling for photographer Tony Ward and others. These different visions of Art; dance, music, photography and of course painting and drawing, mixed with a lot of traveling around the world, has aided in developing her distinctive artwork. She was recently published by Afnor in France, and has published some comics. A book of baroque texts and illustrations for a French publishing house is due to be published later this year.
I first met J Alexander at Elite Model Agency in Paris in the Spring of 1994 during one of my many visits to Paris during that time period. While I was waiting in the lobby of the agency to meet with a booker to arrange test shoots with models, J walked in tall and wearing all black. He happened to be visiting the agency at the same time and we struck up a conversation while waiting for our appointments in the nicely appointed lobby. I had a sampling of my work with me and he glanced over my shoulder to gaze and offered a few compliments about the pictures. I was already familiar with his work as a model trainer, as he was already appearing on various fashion related television programs in the states, so I recognized him right away.
We exchanged contact information and a few days later he invited me to his apartment in Les Halles, where we had lunch to further discuss the fashion business and how we might collaborate in some way. J. mentioned that he would be in the states relatively soon, so we agreed to meet up again once he arrived state side. During one of his trips to New York, I invited him down to Philly to train a few models from one of the Philly agencies I was working with. It was the first time that I saw J. work with an aspiring cat walker and I was quite impressed with his grace and delicacy in handling fragile model egos.
While I was working on the production of the book of Tableaux Vivants, I asked J. to model in a scene to be staged at a friend’s apartment on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. The title of the picture is “Center of Attention”. J Alexander in recent times has been one of the judges on America’s Next Top Model.
Photography, Text and Video Interview by Noel Zheng, Copyright 2017
It’s so easy for us now to just think that our lives are more important than that of others when in reality, doing so is such a monumental act of ego. Who do you really think you are?
In a midst of a life full of self-obsession; in a life where we all seek self-validation—and are no doubt given it through means of the media, paper-thin companions and, surprise surprise, self-ego—we forget that we are not the centre of the universe. Everybody has problems. Wake up.
(I feel like in this point in this narrative, I need to qualify that self-confidence is different; possibly the antipodal in social definition of all that I have victimized just now. Self- confidence is healthy, because it is both valuing yourself and others in an equal plane.)
In this shoot, I aim to target this very line of egotistical reasoning by pinpointing possibly the most baseline movement in history: the equality of the sexes. This is not to undermine any other social activism regarding the equality of sexuality, race or politics, but quite the contrary; it is indeed to propel and support these movements further, as the idea behind this shoot can, and should, be applied to all social, cultural and economic activist movements.
I have named this shoot “#DOMESTIC” (not domestic). The idea of domestication—of the domesticated wife, the woman who must look elegant and be elegant in any and every scenario, the Mrs. who will has dinner ready for the husband when he returns home from work—is criticized in these paradoxical images. The play on “you are what you eat” and “the woman in the kitchen” are combined to produce snapshot-like polaroids of the expectations on women.
But be careful: do not doubt for a second that these images define perfection, they only seem beautiful.