"“Perfectly boring,” wrote the New York Times’ Hilton Kramer of William Eggleston’s exhibition at The Museum of Modern Art in 1976—the first major museum exhibition of color photography. What he (and the many other critics who panned the show) did not anticipate was that Eggleston’s exhibition would be the watershed moment for color photography. Alongside Eggleston in the late 1960s and ’70s, Joel Sternfeld, Stephen Shore, Richard Misrach, and a host of American photographers exploded the boundaries of photography through the use of color. After the fact, these artists were grouped by the term New American Color Photography; in concert with their use of color, these artists focused on contemporary life, presenting raw portraits of suburbia and critiques of “The American dream.”"
“In February 2009 I took the trans-Manchurian express on a two day train journey from Beijing to the Russian border. My destination was a small mining town called Zhalai Nuer in Inner Mongolia. The town was still in the grip of a harsh Siberian winter that made it feel like I had come to the end of the world.
The area is rich in coal and the town’s main landmark is its massive open cast coalmine, called Lutien mine. Around forty old fashioned steam trains were working there day and night, hauling coal from the pit. The mine had become a mecca for railway enthusiasts from all over the world: Australia, South Africa, Germany, Britain and America. But by spring of the following year the trains would all be scrapped, passed over as inefficient and costly. “It’s the last great steam show left on earth” one of them told me mournfully.
The remoteness of Zhalai Nuer and its proximity to Mongolia and Russia fascinated me. Was this the last place in this part of China where people could be truly called Chinese before they started to become another nationality?” (Oliver Woods; read more)
LIFE Behind the Picture: The Photo That Changed the Face of AIDS
“In November 1990 LIFE magazine published a photograph of a young man named David Kirby — his body wasted by AIDS, his gaze locked on something beyond this world — surrounded by anguished family members as he took his last breaths. The haunting image of Kirby on his death bed, taken by a journalism student named Therese Frare, quickly became the one photograph most powerfully identified with the HIV/AIDS epidemic that, by then, had seen millions of people infected (many of them unknowingly) around the globe.”