Photographers of THE FENCE 2017, Juror's Choice awarded to Joshua Rashaad McFadden

THE FENCE 2017 in Brooklyn Bridge Park, © Mark D Phillips

Photographers of THE FENCE 2017, Juror's Choice awarded to Joshua Rashaad McFadden

THE FENCE is a large-scale traveling photography exhibition reaching over 4 million visitors annually through open-air exhibitions in 7 cities across the United States: Brooklyn, Boston, Atlanta, Houston, Santa Fe, Durham, and Denver. The 2017 exhibition features a diverse roster of 41 photographers hailing from around the globe, sharing stories across seven thematic categories - Streets, People, Home, Play, Nature, Food, Creatures.

Since its inception, THE FENCE has consistently attracted exceptional work by talented photographers from around the world, giving us an opportunity to share these powerful photographic narratives with a diverse audience of millions of visitors annually, while providing photographers with a truly public platform and unexpected career opportunities. The jury consisted of senior photo editors, museum curators, and gallery owners including Hannah Frasier (Executive Director, Center for Photography at Woodstock), Amy Miller (Executive Director, Atlanta Celebrates Photography), Tim Rasmussen (Director of Photography, ESPN), and Francine Weiss, Ph.D. (Senior Curator, Newport Art Museum) just to name a few. See the full list here with bios.

Of the 41 photographers chosen, one will receive the Jury's Choice Award which will be presented at the opening night party for Photoville 2017. Between now and then, viewers to the website have the opportunity to vote for the People's Choice Award presented the same evening.

 

Announcing The FENCE 2017 Juror's Choice grand prize winner!

Joshua Rashaad McFadden is the recipient of the 2017 Juror’s Choice grand prize for his series "Come to Selfhood" which explores African American male identity, masculinity, notions of the father figure and the photographic archive.

McFadden will receive a $5,000 support grant for his project, a solo exhibition at Photoville 2017, and a feature in Photo District News magazine.

© Joshua Rashaad McFadden – Come to Selfhood

 

Come to Selfhood

How does one begin to challenge the misguided perceptions that decrease the quality of living for young African American men? Furthermore, how does the African American man position himself in a society that does not acknowledge his true identity? African American men and stories of their positive intersecting identities are not being acknowledged in forums that allow these positive images to become a part of the dominant narrative on African American men. "Come to Selfhood" explores African American male identity, masculinity, notions of the father figure and the photographic archive, by providing a frame of reference that visually articulates the numerous identities of young Black men. By delving into ideas of history, role models and varied experiences, "Come to Selfhood" makes the previously invisible Black man, accurately and meaningfully visible.

***
Internationally recognized, award-winning artist and author Joshua Rashaad McFadden is originally from Rochester, New York. He began to make photographs as a fine art practice during his undergraduate years at Elizabeth City State University in North Carolina. McFadden continued to develop his photography, eventually attending Savannah College of Art and Design, where he obtained his Master of Fine Art. McFadden combines his passion for the arts with his passion for civil and human rights. Uprisings across America are constant because of multiple recent incidents of police brutality and the murders of African-American men and women. The result is his series, "After Selma." Since its release in April 2015, "After Selma" has made a global impact. McFadden was named one of the top emerging talents in the world by LensCulture and received the first-place International Photography Award (IPA, 2015) for "After Selma." He won the first-place IPA award again in 2016 for his series and book, "Come to Selfhood." McFadden has since been published by EyesOpen! Magazine, Slate and The New York Times. In 2017, McFadden was recognized by TIME as one of “12 African American Photographers You Should Follow Right Now.”  joshuarashaad.com

 

© Joshua Rashaad McFadden – Come to Selfhood

 

Here is your opportunity to see all 41 and place your vote:

THE FENCE CREATURES


Meet Bob by Jasper Doest


ARTIST'S STATEMENT:

Bob is a young Caribbean flamingo who was living a pretty standard flamingo lifestyle with his friends until he recently made the unfortunate mistake of flying into a window of the Hilton Hotel Curaçao. He ended up by the swimming pool with a concussion and was brought to a local rehabilitation facility. A local vet made him an ambassador for the 'Fundashon Dier en Onderwijs Cariben' (FDOC), a non-profit organization that facilitates education and research for nature and conservation, which educates children about local wildlife and its environment.
The Unchosen Ones by R.J. Kern

ARTIST'S STATEMENT:

“The Unchosen Ones” takes place on the sidelines of county fair animal contests in Minnesota in 2016. These county fairs lead up to the Minnesota State Fair. One is not born a winner or loser, but a chooser. That is the theme I explore in this series. As we look at the animals, they look back, allowing us to think about how we choose winners and the repercussions for those not chosen. This project consists of over 60 portraits made at ten Minnesota county fairs in 2016. The photographs showcase the subjects facing the camera, allowing the viewer to decide what connects and distinguishes these subjects.

 
Migration by Anup Shah

ARTIST'S STATEMENT:

Undoubtedly, there is a fundamental human urge to survive. Often that involves changing places. So, I wondered: Is there a parallel world to the human-centric world we have created, where migration takes place as a matter of course? Does that primeval urge residing in wild minds help us to see the complex human motivation to move in a different way? I have known the land called Mara for a long period of time, during which I have grown to love it and to feel for its wild animals. Here, wild animals routinely migrate in search of water and food.

 
Birds of Prey by Claire Rosen

ARTIST'S STATEMENT:

Humankind has always had a complicated relationship with nature, characterized by awe and admiration. “Birds of a Prey” is a continued exploration, offering a new perspective with portraits of owls, falcons and eagles photographed on complementary fabric. This series references that desire to posses the beautiful and the wild, a possession that permanently changes the object of desire through its dislocation. The backgrounds are selected to induce beauty, the birds appear to belong, when in reality, it is a far cry from their natural environment.
DOG PLAYS by Lara Jo Regan

ARTIST'S STATEMENT:

“DOG PLAYS” is an ongoing book project exploring the comedy and drama of naturally occurring canine interaction from novel, intimate perspectives. Using transformative lighting and often snapping thousands of frames to successfully freeze just one rare moment, my aim is to capture physical and emotional expressions often not discernable to the human eye. The resulting images evoke crazed football skirmishes or hammy theatrical stills, glorifying a rich variety of furry four-legged players who had no idea they were ready for their close-ups.
 

THE FENCE FOOD

HANAFUDA SHOUZOKU by Shinya Masuda

ARTIST'S STATEMENT:

When I was a child, my grandmother said, “Anything with a shape will eventually be gone.” 

There is a Buddhist term, Shogyo Mujyo. ‘Shogyo’ means every bit of every phenomenon in this world, and ‘Mujyo’ means nothing lasts as it is; everything constantly changes. 

I portrayed the rotten food as the dead soul and chose one of the Japanese card games, Hanafuda, as a dress—or Shouzoku—to send off the dead. 

The reason I chose ‘Hanafuda’ is that I often played it with my grandmother who actually taught me the concept of ‘Shogyo Mujyo.’
U Conzu by Riccardo Colelli

ARTIST'S STATEMENT:

Grape harvest at the base of Mount Etna, Sicily, made in the traditional way with wooden millstone. Part of a project that aims to show farming traditions in Sicily, preserved only by the elderly. The harvest of grapes is a true social rite and always ends at the dinner table. The title, “U Conzu,” is in Sicilian and indicates the grape must collected in a cylindrical shape.




 
Cut Food Series by Beth Galton

ARTIST'S STATEMENT:

This series was inspired by an assignment in which we were asked to cut a burrito in half for a client. By cutting these items in half, we move past the simple appetite appeal we normally try to achieve, and explore the interior worlds of these products. Food stylist Charlotte Omnès and I thought it would be interesting to explore foods items that are commonplace to our everyday life. We chose foods that we felt were iconic symbols within our Western food culture. I wanted the viewer to focus on the hard reality of each interior, the texture and surface quality.
Daily Bread by Gregg Segal

ARTIST'S STATEMENT:

The conversation about what we should and shouldn’t be eating is growing louder, but how much—if at all—are our diets changing? To find out, I’m asking kids in the United States and abroad to keep a journal of everything they eat in a week. Once the week is up, I replicate the meals and make a portrait of the child with the food arranged around them. I’m focusing on kids because eating habits, which form when we’re young, last a lifetime and often pave the way to obesity, diabetes, heart disease, colon cancer, and a myriad of other health problems.
Fringe Benefits by Jean-Michel Regoin

ARTIST'S STATEMENT:

I work at night and my employer provides a meal; a benefit in kind that clearly appears in the right place on my payslip. I decided to keep a trace of this benefit in kind put on my plate. That’s how I started making this photographic journal with my mobile phone: unpretentious pictures snapped quickly in the same technical conditions. The daily specials look healthy, but I have a problem with them. In this age of hyped-up gastronomy, when a flawed dinner is poorly rated, some food is utterly forgettable. #junkfood #foodindustry #massproduction #lowcost
 

THE FENCE HOME

Christmas In America by Jesse Rieser

ARTIST'S STATEMENT:

Beyond the glowing green and red lights, past the shimmering silvery tinsel, and around the fragrant pine boughs, another Christmas lingers; a Christmas of contradictions. Christmas is complex and, at times, uncomfortable. It’s awkward and sometimes bleak. But it is also sincere and celebratory, colorful and creative. This is the Christmas of Texas and Arizona, seen in the latest chapter of my photographic exploration of the biggest event on the American calendar. Christmas in America is an unvarnished examination of the ways people mark the holiday’s meaning.
MiRelLa by Fausto Podavini

ARTIST'S STATEMENT:

Mirella is the story of a woman, a mother, a wife, and a grandmother. Mirella is 71 years old. She spent 43 years of her life with the person she loved. Forty-three years of sharing difficulties, laughs, and beautiful moments: a family, a house, values handed down. In the last six years something changed, Mirella had to fight against her husband’s illness, Alzheimer’s disease. She devoted her life to him. She became his caregiver, looking forward with devotion, strength and love. As long as there is life, there is hope, even if memories are slowly wasted day by day.
I Love You, I'm Leaving by Matt Eich

ARTIST'S STATEMENT:

Created during a time of personal domestic unease, I made this work when my parents separated after 33 years of marriage and my wife, children and I had moved to a new city. This series borrows from personal experience in order to create a fictional account that mirrors my reality. Photographs are reductions, distillations, half-truths, and complete fabrications. Memory is fragile; the moments are fleeting and have to be wrestled into a permanent state. If we are at risk of forgetting too much of our world and ourselves, photography is the antidote.
On the Periphery by Sinziana Velicescu

ARTIST'S STATEMENT:

On The Periphery explores the aesthetic and utilitarian effect of architecture in and around the Greater Los Angeles area. Minimalistic in nature and inspired by abstract expressionism and graphic design, the images represent a departure from the day-to-day realities of the cluttered landscape. The moments captured are fragments of a cityscape’s lifetime, which are often overlooked by an entire population concerned solely with reaching their destination. The result is an homage to ‘The City,’ combined with a hidden desire to escape to another place, or perhaps another time.
A House is Not a Home by Brooke DiDonato

ARTIST'S STATEMENT:

A House is Not a Home is a selection of self-portraits exploring my feelings of isolation and discontent when I returned to my hometown in Ohio. The figure in this series evokes the antiquated concept of ‘female hysteria,’ a diagnosis historically given to women who struggled to align themselves with societal conventions.






 
Kin by Emily Schiffer

ARTIST'S STATEMENT:

These unposed images of my family explore how our needs and expectations are met and missed. I'm interested in how birth, death, and all the struggles and triumphs in between, impact us as individuals and as a family.









 
Silver Gull Beach Club by Andréanna Seymore

ARTIST'S STATEMENT:

My interest lies in social class, subcultures and countercultures, and how people identify within these groups. Just at the edge of the summer heat radiating from the concrete and steel of New York City, there is a beach club cabana culture; something you would think existed during the 1950s in Miami Beach. Perhaps the most iconic of these is the Silver Gull Beach Club in Breezy Point, NY. It is a vibrant world seemingly frozen in time, each family raising their children, then those children raising their own, passing on this nostalgic summer tradition.
 

THE FENCE NATURE

Stray from the Path by Joel Redman

ARTIST'S STATEMENT:

Death Valley, California is perhaps an unusual tourist destination for some, though it has a unique beauty and quietness that attracts people from all over the world. The fact that it’s one of the hottest places in the world with the highest recorded temperatures is not a barrier to tourism. This project looks at the path well travelled as well as some of the quieter landscapes and histories that Death Valley has to offer—whether that’s the Timbisha Shoshone tribe or the surrounding beauty of the landscape away from the standout geographical highlights.
Introspective by Robert Dash

ARTIST'S STATEMENT:

Welcome to the Museum of Miniature Science, Poetry and Imagination. Introspective is the opening exhibit for this (fictional) museum. See composite images of life-sized plants and animals in surreal conversations with hidden, microscopic parts of themselves. The micrographs, in most cases scaled to several times smaller than a pinhead, are enlarged here to become the dominant visual element. What makes a nettle leaf sting? Why does pollen have complex patterns? Scientific facts aren’t just stacks of information, they are gateways to awe and wonder.
Danakil: Land of Salt and Fire by Andrea Frazzetta

ARTIST'S STATEMENT:

Endless stretches of salt, lakes with psychedelic colors, and active volcanoes: this land, which is constantly changing, is heaven and hell together—an ancestral place where you can still watch the phenomena that gave rise to the world. Located in the northern part of the Afar Triangle, this is one of the most vulnerable places in the world; the fire is just below our feet, 5 kilometers away. 
In this vast plain, the Afars’ huts, built with mud and twigs, appear like a mirage. They are nomads struggling with the climate, adapted to survive in a harsh and impossible land.
Marks on the Land: The View from Here by Tom Lamb

ARTIST'S STATEMENT:

These images are of the built and unbuilt, often abandoned, or in-transition landscapes. They examine how we interact with the planet’s most valuable but increasingly threatened resources. Creating the abstract work is my dream state. Soaring above ground, leaning out of the open side of the helicopter, looking toward earth, directing the pilot to spin around, dip the nose, fly sideways or backwards, and even cut the engines to float downward—all to capture the right image. With a helicopter and its pilot, it’s like doing a dance.
Found in Nature by Barry Rosenthal

ARTIST'S STATEMENT:

In today’s world, consumer goods are increasing in volume. At the same time, their useful lives are shorter and shorter. Consuming without a thought of what is left behind is what we are taught. Found in Nature spotlights the remnants of consumer goods in the context of ocean-borne pollution. The viewer confronts collections of found objects pulled from the shores of New York Harbor, and experiences the way humanity is managing its relationship with nature and the oceans in particular.


 
Everyday Climate Change by Ed Kashi

ARTIST'S STATEMENT:

@EverydayClimateChange is a collaborative Instagram feed that launched in January 2015 and features work from a collective of photographers, who share photographs made from all seven continents documenting not only the effects of climate change, but also potential solutions to mitigate the effects of global warming on our world. As a contributing photographer, I chose these images from my archive as well as new images from the field, to reflect how climate change is impacting people all over the world.
 

THE FENCE PEOPLE

The Three: Senior Love Triangle by Isadora Kosofsky

ARTIST'S STATEMENT:

The Three: Senior Love Triangle is a photo documentary that shadows Jeanie, 82; Will, 84; and Adina, 90, who are bound by their relationship. They view their connection as a shield from the loneliness of aging. Attempting to find solace within themselves, they seek escape with each other. In describing their bond, Will shares, “We live above the law. Not outside the law, but above the law. We are not outlaws.” When asked about the dynamic, Adina explains, “There are many different kinds of love.” Jeanie, Will and Adina are no longer involved with each other.
Come to Selfhood by Joshua Rashaad McFadden

ARTIST'S STATEMENT:

How does one begin to challenge the misguided perceptions that decrease the quality of living for young African American men? How does the African American man position himself in a society that does not acknowledge his true identity? Come to Selfhood explores African American male identity, masculinity, notions of the father figure and photographic archive, by providing a frame of reference that visually articulates the numerous identities of young Black men, making the previously invisible Black man, accurately and meaningfully visible.
Prom in Flint by Landon Nordeman

ARTIST'S STATEMENT:

Prom season in Flint, Michigan is more than just a high school dance. These photographs were made at Northwestern High School, one of only two remaining high schools in the city of Flint, where there are simultaneous issues at play: Flint has suffered without clean water for more than 1,000 days. Graduating seniors are affected by the circumstances that come with generational poverty and a lack of resources; the city has one of the highest unemployment rates in the country. The students are proud and strong, but have undeniable odds stacked against them.
Family Matters by Adriana Zehbrauskas

ARTIST'S STATEMENT:

Family Matters is a project that was born while I was working with the families of 43 students who disappeared last year from the rural Ayotzinapa teachers school in Guerrero, Mexico. I noticed that none of the families had any family photos; all they had were cell phone snaps, which were subject to accidental deletion or became lost when the cell phone was changed. Nobody printed pictures. It struck me then that these people had lost their loved ones twice: they were denied a future with them, but they were also denied a past through a lack of photos.
On The Border by Vadim Ghirda

ARTIST'S STATEMENT:

This series chronicles the mass amount of migrants on the border in Idomeni, Greece, fleeing poverty and war in the Middle East.










 
Homeschooled by Rachel Papo

ARTIST'S STATEMENT:

As criticism of the U.S. education system grows among parents, so does the appeal of homeschooling. In 2010, shortly after moving to Woodstock, New York with my husband and baby girl, I met a mother who was homeschooling her 5-year-old daughter, True. I had never heard of homeschooling before and I was naturally intrigued. I devoted two years to my photographic research and the result is a quiet meditation on the home education movement from the children's perspective, encapsulating a cultural movement in a distinct time in history.
Sulfur Soldiers by Valerie Leonard

ARTIST'S STATEMENT:

In East Java, Indonesia lies Kawah Ijen volcano: 11,500-feet tall, topped with a large caldera and a 650 foot-deep lake of sulfuric acid. The quietly active volcano emits gases inside the crater, and local miners have tapped those gases to earn a living. They load up as much as they can carry to the weighing station, several kilometers away. Loads can weigh from 170 to 220 pounds, and a single miner might make as many as two or three trips per day, barely making $6. The sulfur is then used for vulcanizing rubber, bleaching sugar and other industrial processes nearby.
Waiting Girls by Sadegh Souri

ARTIST'S STATEMENT:

In Iran, the death penalty is given to children for crimes such as murder, drug trafficking, and armed robbery. According to the Islamic Penal Law, the age when girls are held accountable for their crimes is nine years old, even though international conventions ban the death penalty for individuals under 18 years of age. At the time I took these photos, some of the girls were awaiting their execution. Now, some of the next of kin have withdrawn their complaints and some of the girls have been freed; they are living their normal lives now. But this project still continues.
 

THE FENCE PLAY

Drumline by Laura Barisonzi

ARTIST'S STATEMENT:

This ongoing project sets out to feature and explore the rich culture and tradition of marching bands in the American South. I hoped to juxtapose the enthusiasm and energy of the kids involved, with the discipline and rigor of their training and teamwork.







 
In Case of Rain by Aline Smithson

ARTIST'S STATEMENT:

We live in a world full of technical distractions. I see my children gather around computers as though itʼs a summer campfire, faces aglow, as they peer into a world of friends and fantasy, participating in a new forms of play that further removes them from the childhood that I experienced. Todayʼs generation has lost touch with the activities that previous generations have enjoyed: reading a good book in a comfortable chair, playing board games on a rainy day, or sprawling out on the living room rug while listening to records and reading the backs of album covers.
48 Hours en Pointe by Sasha Arutyunova

ARTIST'S STATEMENT:

"The hardest working people in show business may well be ballet dancers. And at New York City Ballet, none work harder than the dancers in its lowest rank, the corps de ballet.” The New York Times brought me into the story of Claire Kretszchmar, a "rising star." I followed her during an exhausting, yet typical, 48 hours of dance class, costume fittings, make up applications, physical therapy, endless rehearsals and multiple performances in front of a packed house. As I struggled to keep up, shoulders aching, sweating over the day's schedule, she never skipped a beat.
Drunken Poet's Dream by Lori Vrba

ARTIST'S STATEMENT:

I’m never happier in my creative life than when I’m at play, making art. Maybe it's following a whim on a windy day with construction paper birds, or placing feathers or yarn balls on my own prints to make a new negative. Turning loose of fear and stepping unencumbered into that playful state of mind elevates the work and it's a whole lot more fun.




 
Street Play NYC by Martha Cooper

ARTIST'S STATEMENT:

In the late 1970s, my favorite place to shoot was Alphabet City, north of Houston Street between Avenues A and D on Manhattan's Lower East Side. At the time, the neighborhood had more than its share of drug dealers and petty criminals. The landscape was forbidding, but to a child, the abandoned buildings and rubble-strewn lots provided raw materials and open space for improvised play. A crumbling tenement housed a secret clubhouse, a rooftop became a private aviary, and a pile of trash was a potential source for treasure.
 

THE FENCE STREETS

Tokyo Street by Tatsuo Suzuki

ARTIST'S STATEMENT:

I'd like to express more energy, friction and emotional scene in my hometown, Tokyo Street. It certainly exists and I feel it from the street everyday. I firmly grasp the existing emotional scene and express it through my shots, so I shoot to present this side of the city’s burning feeling, which is also the reflection of my own mind.





 
Halsey Street by Gareth Smit and Ashley Gilbertson

ARTIST'S STATEMENT:

The Halsey Street neighborhood in Newark, New Jersey, marks the border between University Heights (with 60,000 students), and the city’s commercial and cultural districts. Newark is in the midst of its largest redevelopment since the uprising of 1967, when local residents took to the streets in anger. At that time, a middle class, black neighborhood was torn down to make room for the Rutgers University campus. Today, Halsey Street is at the epicenter of the city's revival and is a microcosm for the thriving, multicultural hub that Newark is becoming.
Structure Out of Chaos by MaryLou Uttermohlen

ARTIST'S STATEMENT:

Structure Out of Chaos: Shantytowns of America's Homeless is a paradox. These are portraits of the homeless in homes. This is the story of people creating structure and communities out of almost nothing. Homelessness is not a crime, and laws that criminalize this population take away their civil rights, while filling our jails with people who need doctors. The intent of this project is to use photography to open a dialogue about chronic homelessness. We can transform from criminalizing the victims to addressing the issues.
Meatpacking by Dina Litovsky

ARTIST'S STATEMENT:

Every weekend night, the cobblestone streets of the Meatpacking District are transformed into a microcosm of sexual politics. The rules that govern the city during the day are suspended: the act of looking—concealed in the daytime—is brazenly celebrated. Women, navigating the jagged streets in high heels, are confident of their presentation but unsteady in their step. While the Meatpacking District’s seedy history may have been erased by fashionable nightclubs, the area remains a sexual playground, offering a fascinating glimpse of contemporary romance.
A Detroit Nocturne by Dave Jordano

ARTIST'S STATEMENT:

In continuation of my previous work,  Detroit: Unbroken Down, which documented the lives of struggling residents, A Detroit Nocturne relies more heavily on the absence of the people who inhabit Detroit. But this is not to say that I’m not aware of their presence. I’ve chosen to make these images at night, not only to put more emphasis on their locale by presenting them in an unfamiliar light, but also to introduce a moment of quiet and calm reflection. Pieces of the past, present, and future are rendered here for careful consideration.
 

ABOUT UNITED PHOTO INDUSTRIES

United Photo Industries is a New York based art-presenting organization that works to promote a wider understanding and increase access to the art of photography. Founded in 2011 by Sam Barzilay, Dave Shelley, and Laura Roumanos, United Photo Industries has rapidly solidified its position in the public art landscape by consistently showcasing thought-provoking, challenging, and exceptional photography from across the globe.

Proudly devoted to cultivating strategic partnerships, creative collaborations, and community spirit, United Photo Industries has presented hundreds of exhibitions and public art installations across the United States and worldwide in partnership with numerous festivals, city agencies, and not-for-profit organizations.

For more information about United Photo Industries, visit unitedphotoindustries.com

The Fence 2017 along the waterfront in Brooklyn Bridge Park underneath the Brooklyn Bridge in Brooklyn, NY ©Mark D Phillips
The Fence 2017 along the waterfront in Brooklyn Bridge Park underneath the Brooklyn Bridge in Brooklyn, NY ©Mark D Phillips