Some words about Yoffy Press and our titles.
F-Stop Magazine: Book Review: TRACE – Kota Ezawa, Tabitha Soren, Penelope Umbrico
June 9, 2019
TRACE is the first of a triptych series published by Yoffy Press. Since the Spanish word for ‘Three’ is Tres, I enjoyed the ironic play on words and double meaning for this publication of three separate books by artists Kota Ezawa, Tabitha Soren and Penelope Umbrico. Each book could stand on its own for the artist’s chosen inspiration, or the reader/viewer can make connections between the three collaborative parts of the series and perhaps see parallels in the overarching theme. The TRACE artists each experiment with appropriation in their practices to explore how we all interact with images in the contemporary world.
Elizabeth Avedon Journal: Greg Kahn: Havana Youth
May 30, 2019
"In Havana Youth, Greg Kahn explores Cubans born after 1989, who have only known a time after the USSR dissolved and left the Caribbean nation with few resources and a growth-crippling, US-led economic embargo. Those kids, born during what is called “The Special Period”, are now in their twenties and developing a sense of individuality in a society that was historically focused on collectivism. This is their cultural counter-revolution, and they are redefining what it means to be Cuban."
The Observer: Tragic images strike a chord
May 3, 2019
An art book connected to Sarnia’s deadly legacy of asbestos disease sold out a small first-press run this spring before the publisher could even officially announce its launch.
Atlanta-based Yoffy Press said it’s already planning a second edition of A Field Guide to Asbestos by Louie Palu, a Canadian photojournalist who began a 15-year investigation into the impact of asbestos after travelling to Sarnia in 2003 to meet the late Blayne Kinart.
The Sarnia millwright was one of many in the city who has died from mesothelioma, a fatal cancer caused by breathing in asbestos fibres once widely used in construction and by the industries of what’s known as Chemical Valley.
Palu’s black and white photos of Kinart were published by the Globe and Mail in 2004 with a story about Sarnia’s experience as an asbestos disease hot spot, under the headline “Dying for a living.”
Kinart died later that year.
Palu’s photos “shook it up,” said Sandy Kinart, Blayne’s widow and a member of Victims of Chemical Valley – a group formed to push for a ban on asbestos and better medical care for those with workplace disease.
aPhotoEditor: This Week in Photography Books: Trace
May 3, 2019
“Trace” is a compilation of 3 small books, as I said, and it’s not hard to keep them in order, once they come out of the slip, because the title spells itself out across the collection.
Kota Ezawa’s book is first, and it’s a head trip for sure. The truth is, they all are. This book is a literal embodiment of how I feel as a human being right now, and for that, I love it.
For his book, Kota Ezawa presents an image that builds piece by piece, and is clearly not photographic. Only at the end, or nearly the end, do we realize that it’s built upon one of the most iconic images ever made: JFK’s family by his graveside.
The image grows, section by section, and then you know what it is. Of course that last picture, adding in John Jr, tugs at your heart in a surprising way.
Sirius XM Radio Interview: Louie Palu Talks About His New Book A Field Guide To Asbestos
April 8, 2019
Award-winning photographer and filmmaker Louie Palu Talks About His New Book A Field Guide To Asbestos on P.O.T.U.S. on Sirius XM Channel 124 - Press Pool with Julie Mason.
Od Review: Too Tired for Sunshine
Sometimes I feel sunshine on my face. Sometimes no one argues or raises their voices. Sometimes the fruit is sweet and the bread not yet stale. Sometimes life is good and I forget what worry means.
But sooner or later that distant cloud rolls in . . . and I have to open my eyes. Out you come, from that sometimes-life . . . oh and grab your coat. It’s cold out here.
The subject of mental illness is still an uncomfortable topic of conversation in our modern world. It is not like a broken leg . . . or a spot on an x-ray. It is not a rash or a fever that can be assuaged with hot soup and a mother’s kiss.
It is gas in the air. It is that shadow in the corner of the bedroom when you are bleary with sleep. It is the ominous silence before it all goes wrong. It is chaos . . . a chaos we cannot see . . . and we do not like what we cannot see. It makes us nervous . . . it frightens us.
We close the door on it and turn our backs.
Wysokie obcasy.pl: The awareness that others are also struggling with depression with similar suffering brings relief to people.
March 9, 2019
After the publication of melancholic photos, I began to receive personal emails from people who described their own struggles with depression. It's another thing to know that many other people in the world suffer from the same thing, and what else to have real contact with them, listen to them. I do not think I've ever had such a strong conviction that I'm not alone - talking with Tara Wray, a photographer and initiator of the project "Too Tired Project."
Photo-Emphasis: Drew Nikonowicz
March 4, 2019
Drew Nikonowicz (born in St. Louis Missouri, 1993) earned a BFA degree from the University of Missouri - Columbia in 2016. His work employs analog photographic processes as well as computer simulations to deal with exploration and experience in contemporary culture. He has exhibited both nationally and internationally. In 2015 he received the Aperture Portfolio Prize and the Lenscratch Student Prize. In 2017 Nikonowicz completed a one-year residency at Fabrica Research Centre. He now lives and works in the United States in Saint Louis, Missouri as an artist and owner of the company Standard Cameras. His first photobook, This World and Others Like It, will be available through Yoffy Press and FW:Books in early 2019.
Photo District News: PDN 30 - Drew Nikonowicz
When Joe Johnson, an artist and the director of the art program at the University of Missouri-Columbia, encouraged Drew Nikonowicz, then a junior, to apply for the 2015 Aperture Portfolio Prize, he warned: “You’re not going to win.” Johnson happily ate his words when Nikonowicz did win the prize for “This World and Others Like It,” a series of real and computer-generated black-and-white landscapes. The images question reality, and play into a distrust of images. “Drew’s many strategies for arriving at pictures reflect his time—he was born the year the Internet became ubiquitous,” Johnson explains. “Before he’d ever laid eyes on a mountain, Drew had seen more pictures of mountains than might actually exist in the world.”
PHOTONEWS: Young Talent on the Upswing
In the PHOTONEWS March 2019 young talents meet old hands. A report on the portfolio meeting Platform in Winterthur is followed by a report on the photographer Umbo (1902-1980), whose estate can currently be seen in the Sprengel Museum. Newly developed pictorial forms and classic photographic materials are now being collected institutionally - a report on a symposium at the Munich City Museum shows the challenges of "photographic collections in transition". In interviews, the photographers Hubertus Hamm and Erwin Olaf have their say, the latter dedicated to several exhibitions in the Netherlands this year. We introduce the dedicated work of Gisela Kayser, Curator Freundeskreis Willy-Brandt-Haus. For contemplation provides the portfolio of Arno Schidlowski. He is followed by portfolios to Barbara Wolff, Volker Döhne and Tara Wray.
Mother Jones: Beyond Cigars and Vintage Cars: A New Photobook Shows You What Havana Really Looks Like Now
February 3, 2019
Havana Youth, the debut photobook by Washington, DC–based photographer Greg Kahn, shines a light on the new Havana—feisty, sexy, alive, and evolving. It’s a stark contrast to the place stuck in time, as so many Americans have come to know Cuba. Kahn reveals a vibrant city living in and for the moment.
Needless to say, with Kahn’s book, you’re not getting the same well-trodden images of vintage American cars, women hanging out of colorful windows, and old men rolling cigars. His luscious images dismiss those stereotypes and instead put a new, young Cuba on full display. Kahn’s Havana Youth, published by Yoffy Press, focuses on a generation whose world has been infused with American and European culture seeping through technological cracks—like MP3s of the latest American music sold on thumb drives.
Miami New Times: Havana Youth Is a Tribute to the Millennials Redefining What It Means to Be Cuban
January 31, 2019
Shortly after photojournalist Greg Kahn left his newspaper job in 2012 to become a freelancer, he traveled to Cuba for the first time to begin working on a project about the island's changing economy. The country had recently begun to allow citizens to buy and sell property, and Kahn was curious about what that would mean for the people who lived there.
Although the photo project started out as a traditional news story, a chance encounter his final night on the island — at the house of a person he had hired to help with his travels — changed everything.
De Standaard: If even the sun is no longer fun
January 24, 2019
In her book Too Tired for Sunshine , photographer Tara Wray draws attention to the phenomenon of depression. Not in a learning, theoretical way, but with her strongest weapon: photos. Wray photographed scenes from daily life. Sometimes cheerful, sometimes less cheerful. There is one common denominator: loneliness. Tara Wray wants to inspire people to think about the photos themselves. Therefore also: no captions. You can decide what you think when you see the images.
Valley News: Art Notes: Photography Project Born of Depression Turns Into a Movement
January 24, 2019
Creative work tends to follow a slow progression, steadily accreting until the work is done, then steadily building an audience, or not, while the artist goes to work on the next project.
But sometimes a project expands in unexpected ways, which can be exciting and unsettling at the same time. Barnard photographer Tara Wray is seeing this firsthand.
Wray’s book, Too Tired for Sunshine, came out in July in a small print run through independent publisher Yoffy Press. The photographs were born of a bout of depression Wray endured; making them was a way for her to seek light. The camera became a tool for getting on her feet and the charming, gently surreal photographs describe Wray’s feeling at the time of looking at the world from a perspective slightly askew.
PDN: Youth Redefine Cuban Identity
January 22, 2019
“When Fidel Castro overthrew the Cuban government in 1959, it signaled a move to emphasize the collective state over the individual, “ writes photographer Greg Kahn, author of the forthcoming photo book Havana Youth (Yoffy Press). “Castro’s philosophy was to educate students to be an asset in society, not for uniqueness.”
In Havana Youth, Kahn explores Cubans born after 1989, who have only known a time after the USSR dissolved and left the Caribbean nation with few resources and a growth-crippling, US-led economic embargo. Those kids, born during what is called “The Special Period,” are now in their twenties and developing a sense of individuality in a society that was historically focused on collectivism. After Fidel ceded power to his brother in 2008, Havana’s youth began experiencing influences from across the globe; they are focused on the present, not burdened by the past.
Float Magazine: TRACE: Kota Ezawa, Tabitha Soren, Penelope Umbrico
January 13, 2019
Yoffy press came out with a new collaborative effort featuring three artists: Kota Ezawa, Tabitha Soren and Penelope Umbrico. Each artist has one part of the collection, all tackling the word ‘Trace’ from their own viewpoint. I found this concept to be very interesting as a viewer. I found it to be interesting to not only think about the word myself or what in fact I would have done if asked, but to see how each artist brought their own world and artistic practice to the same, swimmingly simple, word.
The three books are individual yet they are still a collective effort, bounding from one another and from book to book. You view each one by itself but try and also see them as a group and the juxtapositions that are created by the three artists. This publication has a great way of creating a publication that is almost like a photographic essay that speaks with its visuals and it’s straightforward approach.
Lenscratch: TRACE: Kota Ezawa, Tabitha Soren, Penelope Umbrico
January 9, 2019
The approach to concepting, designing, and producing photography books has morphed into new worlds of creative expression, by both the artist and the publisher. One publisher who is continually rethinking traditional approaches to bookmaking is Yoffy Press. As founder Jennifer Yoffy states, “we are dedicated to pushing the boundaries of photobook publishing. Working in true partnership with the artists, we look beyond the book as a container of images, integrating physical and conceptual design to create distinct art objects“. A perfect example is Yoffy Press’ release, Louie Palu’s Front Towards Enemy, a deconstructed photobook, presented as a cardboard slipcase with four components: accordion fold image set, soldier portrait cards, newsprint publication, and staple-bound zine – and amazingly, the entire publication can also exist as a pop-up exhibition.
NPR: Channeling The Pain Of Depression Into Photography, And Finding You Are Not Alone
December 31, 2018
In a particularly difficult season of depression, photography was one of the tools Tara Wray used to cope.
"Just forcing myself to get out of my head and using the camera to do that is, in a way, a therapeutic tool," says Wray, a photographer and filmmaker based in central Vermont. "It's like exercise: You don't want to do it, you have to make yourself do it, and you feel better after you do."
In July, she published Too Tired for Sunshine, a book of her photos from that period, taken between 2011 and 2018. Some of the images show a stark beauty, others a raw loneliness, and some capture hints that the world may be slightly off-kilter.
Huffington Post: Powerful Photos Show What Life With Depression Is Really Like
December 20, 2018
Depression takes on many forms. Just ask Tara Wray.
“It’s not just the stereotypical photo of a person with their head in their hands looking depressed,” Wray, a Vermont-based photographer and creator of The Too Tired Project, a creativity-based mental health initiative, told HuffPost.
After publishing a photo book, Too Tired for Sunshine, featuring pictures that subtly showcased her thoughts and feelings as a person living with depression, Wray received an outpouring of support from the artistic community. “People wrote and were sharing their own stories and some of their work with me.”
Hundred Heroines: Too Tired Project
December 10, 2018
From the publisher’s description: “Drawn from daily life and wanderings, the photos explore loneliness and isolation, as seen through a lens of absurdist dark humor. Too Tired for Sunshine puts a fine point on channelling pain into creative expression. We are both witnessing the process and experiencing the result. Tara Wray takes us on a visual and emotional journey with disarming humor that lets us lean in to the sadness.”
In response to the positive outpouring of support for my book, I started the Too Tired Project, an Instagram offering a place for collective creative expression around the topic of depression and photography. Photographers are encouraged to share their stories related to mental health by tagging #tootiredproject on the Too Tired Project Instagram.
AYE MAG: Fotomonday: Too Tired for Sunshine by Tara Wray
November 26, 2018
Too Tired For Sunshine is a collection of photographs made in Vermont between 2011–2016. Though centered largely on animals and rural landscapes, these deeply personal images reflect my state of mind during a period spent battling depression and intense anxiety.
Drawn from daily life, the photographs explore loneliness and mortality as seen through a lens of absurdist dark humor. I am drawn to subjects that unsettle me–backyard slaughterhouses, roadkill, decay in various forms–as well as depictions of isolation in people, animals, and even inanimate objects. Often I find myself photographing subjects that appear to me drastically out of place, seemingly devoid of context–an oven left in an abandoned field, a man dressed as a medieval peasant walking his dog on a country road, a woman sweeping the outside of a church.
Humble Arts Foundation: 32 Photobooks that Dropped Our Jaws in 2018
November 20, 2018
As we declared last year, just as our open calls aren’t “photo contests,” this is not a “Best Photobooks" list. It’s not a competition, and with just a few editors running the Humble show, feels disingenuous and unrealistic to declare it as such. Instead, this is simply a collection of photobooks that made an impact on us in 2018.
As editors and curators with a broad spectrum of tastes, we responded to critical socio-political discussions, adventurous technical or conceptual potential, new takes on photo historical icons, or just damn beautiful image collections. As you move through this list, we encourage you to dig deeper into these photographers’ work and show your support for their careers and practice by buying a few, preferably directly from the publishers or photographers themselves. Without further ado…
Velvet Eyes: Too Tired for Sunshine by Tara Wray
November 5, 2018
Knowing that you are both photographer and filmmaker, instead of asking you about your first steps in visual arts, I would prefer to ask how do you decide each time which medium will you use to tell a story?
I think it’s safe to say I’m officially a retired filmmaker. I’ve done two documentary features -and I’m immensely proud of each-but unless I fall ass backwards into a swimming pool of money, I think I’m done with the expensive marathon that is filmmaking. But I love still photography! I carry my camera with me everywhere I go and I’m always trying to see photographically. I don’t make work everyday but at the very least I think about making work every day, and I read about photography and art everyday.
Lenscratch: Tara Wray: Too Tired for Sunshine
November 3, 2018
Tara Wray may be too tired for sunshine, but that’s because she has been busy. Earlier this year, Yoffy Press published her book under the same title. After the release of the book, which “documented the beauty, darkness, and absurdity of everyday life, as seen through the lens of my own struggles with depression”, Tara received an outpouring of support and she has used that platform to help those with depression by offering a place for collective creative expression. She hopes to reduce the stigma of mental illness and open a dialogue about depression and art with her site, Too Tired Project. Photographers are encouraged to share their stories related to mental health by tagging #tootiredproject on the Too Tired Project Instagram.
Drool: Front Towards Enemy - Louie Palu
October 7, 2018
What draws a photographer to harsh environments?
Here Louie Palu talks about his trip from photographing hard rock mines in Canada to the front lines in the war in Afghanistan. The reasons he does it might surprise you. He also talks a bit about the how’s and the why’s of his book, Front Towards Enemy, which is a box that holds a newsprint, an accordion book, a ‘zine and 10 loose portraits. All these aspects can be looked at individually, or they can be pulled apart and mounted on a wall.
VICE: Six Photographers Using the Camera as Therapy
October 3, 201
While the stereotype of the "crazy artist" can be as richly inaccurate as the trope of the "starving artist," struggles with depression have surfaced in the work of many artists and photographers throughout history. Vincent Van Gogh, Diane Arbus, and Francesca Woodman are just three examples of artists whose work soaked in reflections of their inner demons.
For Tara Wray, photography became a way to manage this, and her book Too Tired for Sunshine, published by Yoffy Press earlier this year, was a therapy blanket—a pastiche of the high and low notes in her life, a vehicle to keep her moving in her lowest possible points.
Hatje Cantz Fotoblog: Too Tired for Sunshine
September 26, 2018
Hello, This is Andrea Bell sharing another feature with you from This Ain’t Art School, our online photography platform and community on Instagram. At TAAS we foster our photographic community by hosting regular challenges and meet ups and by featuring both new and established photographers in our feed.
Saint Lucy: Book Report #3
September 21, 2018
Matthew Brandt’s approach to photography is both process and conceptually driven, an approach shared with a diverse group of photo artists such as Marco Breuer, Alison Rossiter, John Chiara, and Chris McCaw, all of whom were included in the exhibition Light, Paper, Process: Reinventing Photography at the Getty in 2015. Brandt’s book 1864, references the infamous Sherman’s March, a Civil War military campaign, in which the Union General, after capturing Atlanta, led his army across Georgia to Savannah, destroying homes, farms, and the Confederacy’s infrastructure along the way.
Cheese: The Too Tired Project, or how to free speech on depression through the photo
September 21, 2018
Tara Wray has long been Too Tired For Sunshine. A feeling of deep sadness that even a sunny day does not help to soothe. This is also the title of his book published last July by Yoffy Press. From 2011 to 2018, the American photographer immortalized her depression and her anxieties through melancholic captures of everyday life. During that time, she stopped drinking, had twins, and struggled with her new rural life in Vermont after years spent in the bustle of New York.
From this experience came the idea of the Too Tired Project. To help free speech around depression through a platform of collective expression and images. To group all those for whom photography is also a therapy, as Tara Wray explains, “Through social networks, I think we present ourselves as we would like others to see us. The Too Tired Project gives us permission to show a version of ourselves that is less neat, more honest.”
Deutschlandfunk Kultur: Tara Wray in conversation with Shanli Anwar
September 12, 2018
Depression is not something you should hide. Photographer Tara Wray has dealt aesthetically with her own depression. Her Instragram project #tootiredproject sees her as a kind of online group therapy.
"I think that beauty is also in the dark." With this sentence, the American photographer and filmmaker Tara Wray alludes to the depiction and processing of depression. She suffered and suffers from it herself. Writing or making a film about her is difficult: to process her depression in writing is too painful to process cinematically much too expensive.
Jetzt: Photography Can Help Cope with Depression
September 6, 2018
Photographer Tara Wray wants to help with the Instagram account "Too Tired Project" to destigmatize mental illnesses.
"Photography is a way to get rid of depression for a moment. At this moment, really nice things can happen, "says Tara Wray. With her Instagram account "Too Tired Project" she wants to encourage mentally ill people to share their photos and experiences. The account shows wilting flowers, deserted streets, landscapes, portraits. All pictures convey a delicate, oppressive, very special mood. The colors are covered, laughing people are not visible.
Aint-Bad: Interview: Tara Wray
September 4, 2018
Could you tell us how you got started with photography? What made you realize photography was your medium?
I’ve always loved taking pictures. I loved disposable cameras when I was a kid. I always took lots of pictures of dogs, even back then (my collie Lassie was very photogenic). My background is in documentary filmmaking and writing. It wasn’t until about 2011 that I started focusing on still photography. It was a slow burn to get to the place where having my camera with me at all times is second nature.
photo-eye: Book of the Week: Too Tired For Sunshine by Tara Wray
September 3, 2018
Tara Wray’s recent monograph, Too Tired For Sunshine, is a collection of photographs with little context besides the title. Wray defines the title phrase as: “the experience of feeling so melancholy that not even a sunny day can raise your spirits. ‘Dorothea wanted to enjoy the crisp winter afternoon, but she was simply too tired for sunshine.’”
Melancholy exists in the unique mix of photographs that make up Too Tired For Sunshine: a stack of boxes labeled “disappointment,” a lonely oven left in the field, a deer butt mounted between two bathroom doors. These snapshots are heavy, but they also have a lightness about them— Wray’s pictures capture the beautiful, sad, and absurd elements of everyday life. Often simultaneously.
The Photobook Journal: Tara Wray - Too Tired for Sunshine
August 24, 2018
I am always amazed when an artist attempts to define an internal personal feeling, whether is it is a dazzling sense of excitement or a gloomy sense of dread, that they are able to convey those feeling with visual images that seem to connect for me in regard to those indirect expressed feelings. That is exactly what I experience while looking at Tara Wary’s photographs of her photobook Too Tired for Sunshine, that hints at the issue of depression in the context of the ups and down of life.
Float Magazine: Tara Wray, Too Tired for Sunshine
August 13, 2018
In her new monograph, Too Tired for Sunshine, Tara Wray documents delicate moments in her everyday life, family and surroundings in sometimes whimsical and humorous images and sometimes painful and intimate pictures. Tara has a way of capturing little moments that might be disregarded or overlooked by others, in such a way that makes you feel connected to the situation, the person or that moment.
In the book and in her edit of the images, Tara has created an interesting back and forth of inside and outside – that movement of in and out pulls you in to the story, creating a larger context and allowing the viewer to become a part of this visual world.
The Washington Post: Confronting depression with photos, this artist’s works are ‘keen emotional witnesses to this broken world of ours’
August 10, 2018
Tara Wray’s new book Too Tired for Sunshine (Yoffy Press, 2018) is beautifully melancholic. Wray took most of the photos in the book in Vermont during a period when she was experiencing a bout of depression. The subjects of the photos are not very remarkable on their own. But they are drenched in the emotions Wray was feeling as she made them, transforming them from potentially banal observations about everyday life into poignant vignettes about what it means to be alive.
Aint-Bad: What We've Read! July Edition
July 31, 2018
In Too Tired for Sunshine, Tara Wray confronts depression by documenting the beauty, darkness, and absurdity of everyday life. Drawn from daily life and wanderings, the photos explore loneliness and isolation, as seen through a lens of absurdist dark humor. Too Tired for Sunshine puts a fine point on channeling the pain into creative expression. We are both witnessing the process and experiencing the result. Tara Wray takes us on a visual and emotional journey with disarming humor that lets us lean in to the sadness a bit.
aPhotoEditor: This Week in Photography Books: Tara Wray
July 27, 2018
I was intrigued to open “Too Tired for Sunshine,” a new book by Tara Wray, published by Yoffy Press in Atlanta. I never know when I’m going to go off on a little sub-theme in this column, but this is now two books in a row where I gave serious thought to a book’s innards, once I read the title.
Normally, titles are afterthoughts, if we’re being honest. But this one is so damn poetic, and visual. (The opening essay confirms Ms. Wray is also a writer.)
Too tired for sunshine.
Are you depressed?
Or just world-weary?
Photo-Emphasis: Tara Wray
July 13, 2018
Tara Wray is a photographer, writer, and filmmaker based in Vermont. She curates interviews with photographers at Vice and at BUST Magazine—where her focus is on giving voice to women in photography—and is photo editor of the literary journal Hobart. She created and curates Some Days Just Are, a collaborative series where two photographers capture a twelve hour day in parallel time. Wray's work is held in collections at major institutions including Yale University, University of Notre Dame, and Dartmouth College.
Born and raised in Kansas, Wray graduated from NYU with a degree in documentary film. She has directed two feature length documentaries: “Manhattan, Kansas” (Audience Award, SXSW 2006; Film Society of Lincoln Center) and “Cartoon College” (Vancouver International Film Festival 2012).
Her photobook, “Too Tired for Sunshine,” was recently published by Yoffy Press.
Seven Days: In a New Photo Book, Tara Wray Pictures Depression
July 4, 2018
Anyone who has experienced depression — either in intermittent doses or as a long-term major disorder — knows that sometimes you just can't get out of bed. Even in the summer, when the sun is shining and loads of outdoor activities beckon, it can be difficult to shake bone-crushing blues.Tara Wray's second photography book, Too Tired for Sunshine, takes its title from that symptom. "I call them chemical days," the Barnard-based photographer says. "You can't think your way out of it."
C41 Magazine: Tara Wray channels pain through a creative solitude
June 29, 2018
In Too Tired for Sunshine, Tara Wray confronts depression by documenting the beauty, darkness, and absurdity of everyday life. Drawn from daily life and wanderings, the photos explore loneliness and isolation, as seen through a lens of absurdist dark humor. Too Tired for Sunshine puts a fine point on channeling pain into creative expression. We are both witnessing the process and experiencing the result. Tara Wray takes us on a visual and emotional journey with disarming humor that lets us lean in to the sadness.
Bust Magazine: This Photo Book Offers A Surrealist Window Into Mental Illness
June 25, 2018
Tara Wray, author of our photography interview series Lady Shooters, just released a new photo book called Too Tired for Sunshine (Yoffy Press). The book explores depression through photos representing life's daily moments in a way that is both whimsical and dark. Wray utilizes absurdism and dark humor to portray the realities of mental illness.
Float Magazine: Matthew Brandt Interview, 1864
June 18, 2018
Interview | Q's: Dana Stirling A's: Matthew Brandt
First can you tell us a little about how you came across photography originally? What inspired you to work in the lens based art form?
I helped my father work as a commercial photographer growing up. My chores consisted of sweeping the studio floors, packing equipment etc. To me it was just what my dad did for work and I didn’t have much interest in photography until moving away to college. When I took my first photo class, I quickly realized that I had a huge head start. There I began to explore photography in relationship to artistic practices and started to try to make my own photographic objects.
F-Stop Magazine: Book Review: 1864 by Matthew Brandt
June 18, 2018
In 1864, Matthew Brandt recreates George N. Barnard’s 19th century images of a devastated, post-Sherman Atlanta. Using source imagery housed at the Library of Congress, he makes new albumen photographs from Barnard’s images. Fortifying the foundational ingredients of the 19th-century albumen print — egg whites, silver nitrate, and salt — with peaches, sugar, flour, cinnamon, and butter, Brandt plays with external assumptions about the South, at the same time revealing a complex understanding of the complicated history his project explores.
GUP Magazine: Too Tired for Sunshine
June 15, 2018
There could be no better title for Tara Wray's work (b.1978, United States) than Too Tired for Sunshine. In a demoralized postmodern society, phenomena such as “the sunset” have become blatant, banal and romantic. We don’t find them exciting anymore, and often we can’t find the time or energy to even care about them. Wray manages to address this feeling by investigating the loneliness and decadence of everyday life, under a dark and comical gaze. When you feel a certain way, you can’t even stand something as simply enjoyable as sunshine.
Lenscratch: MATTHEW BRANDT: 1864
June 15, 2018
Los Angeles photographer, Matthew Brandt, is a bit of a rock star in the photography world, challenging our ideas about photographic materials. His methodologies where process and subject matter are stirred up into whole new ways of seeing and thinking about the image, open the door to possibility. In his well-celebrated series, Lakes and Reservoirs, Brandt immersed his negatives in the water of his subject matter, therefore allowing the actual subject to physically impact the final image. For the series, Pictures From Flint (Bridges Over Flint), he toned silver gelatin prints with Flint’s contaminated tap water to call attention to the impurities in the Flint, Michigan, water supply.
American Photo: Louie Palu Deconstructs the Chaos of the War in Afghanistan
May 21, 2018
Louie Palu has captured the Afghanistan war as he experienced it: In bits and pieces.
His new book, Front Towards Enemy, comes in a cardboard slipcase that encloses four separate components. There is a series of soldier portraits printed on stiff, oversized cards suitable for thumb-tacking to a wall. (The backs of the cards indicate where the tacks should There’s a staple-bound zine titled "The Fighting Season" featuring pictures Palu shot over five years covering the war, along with an essay by Rebecca Senf, chief curator at the Center for Creative Photography in Arizona, as well as a newsprint publication.
P3: Photographing the daily life with the depression filter
May 6, 2018
"Too Tired for Sunshine": this is how Tara Wray feels every day in Vermont, the most rural state in the United States. "The title of the book reflects the fact that I feel so melancholic that even sunlight is not capable of having a positive effect on my state of mind," he told P3 in an email interview. Tara's work, which seeks to "document the beauty, darkness and absurdity of everyday life right in the middle of Green Mountain State, " acts as a sort of antidote to the symptoms of depression. It is, therefore, full of humor and irony.
aPhotoEditor: This Week in Photography Books: Matthew Brandt
April 27, 2018
This morning, I spent some time looking at the excellent 1864, a new book by Matthew Brandt, published by Yoffy Press in Atlanta. (With a nice essay by High Museum curator Gregory Harris.)
1864 is a book that takes its pacing seriously, as it comes with a peach bow tied around it, (hinting at the contents within,) and then shows a couple of plates to whet the appetite, before explaining itself with the aforementioned essay.
By the second picture, I thought, “Man, this reminds me of those amazing George Barnard pictures I wrote about for APE a few years ago.”
Newsweek: Cuba's Millennials: Greg Kahn's Photographs Document a Generation Embracing Individuality and Reshaping Their Country
March 22, 2018
Tourists are lured to Havana by the ruin porn: the capital’s decaying, pastel colonial architecture, its 1950s-era cars and the fading faces of its founding revolutionaries, Che Guevara and Fidel Castro. But when photographer Greg Kahn was on assignment in the city in 2012, he stumbled on a scene that gave him a glimpse of a different Cuba: a plaza full of young Cubans partying as a DJ played contemporary electronic dance music.
“They told me they hate this attitude of ‘I want to go down there and see the crumbling buildings,’” Kahn said. “‘We live here. We want these buildings to be fixed. We're a generation that wants to turn this around. We want to stay here. We love Cuba. We love being Cuban. And we want that to be depicted as well.’”
Feature Shoot: New Photo Book Shows That Cats Are Art Worthy
March 19, 2018
It is no secret that photographs and videos of domestic cats make up some of the most viewed content on the internet; there was keyboard cat, grumpy cat and lest we forget the rescue “perma-kitten” lil Bub. Two years ago New York’s Museum of Moving Image (MoMi) hosted the exhibition How Cats Took Over the Internet — a history of cat memes, kitty cams and the celebrity status some of our feline friends eventually received.
Elizabeth Avedon Journal: Louie Palu's Front Towards Enemy
March 12, 2018
I usually don't like to view unbound books. They generally seem cooked up by the book designer trying to make a design statement, regardless of its effect on the photography. However, in the case of Front Towards Enemy, the mastery of documentary photographer and film maker Louie Palu's powerful images bring a cohesive message to this 'deconstucted' book – and I am appreciating each and every individual portion.
Burn Magazine: Tara Wray's Too Tired for Sunshine
February 20, 2018
Too Tired for Sunshine is a photobook that confronts my own struggles with depression by documenting the beauty, darkness, and absurdity of everyday life. The images were made largely in my adopted home of Vermont between 2011-now. They offer a deeply personal interpretation of the Green Mountain State, juxtaposing familiar and picturesque tropes with more surreal, sometimes disquieting, subjects.
Unseen: Unseen Impressions #3
February 8, 2018
“The American landscape and its layered relationship with photography is an ever-growing personal interest of mine, so this year, I was immediately drawn to the work of Drew Nikonowicz at the Aperture booth at Unseen Amsterdam. His work seemed to provide visual answers to so many theoretical questions I’ve had on my mind over the past years. My only disappointment was to find out he hadn’t yet published a book.
“Two weeks later, I received an email from Jennifer Yoffy at Yoffy Press asking if I would be interested in designing a book. Both Jennifer and the photographer – neither of which I’d ever met in person – had thought of me when discussing the design. It turned out that Drew Nikonowicz was the photographer in question, and that the project I’d be designing was exactly the same work I’d seen at the fair. I instantly said yes, and I’m currently working on the book, which I will also co-publish. It might even be ready for the upcoming edition of Unseen Amsterdam!”
La Presse: REGARD INUSITÉ SUR LE VERMONT
February 6, 2018
Les images du Vermont que l’on voit habituellement sont pittoresques, lyriques… et clichées. Dans Too Tired for Sunshine, son livre qui doit être publié au printemps, la photographe américaine Tara Wray a réussi à saisir l’aspect étrange, isolé et aussi chaleureux de l’État voisin du Québec. La Presse lui a parlé.
Translation: The images of Vermont that we usually see are picturesque, lyrical ... and clichés. In Too Tired for Sunshine , her book to be published in the spring, the American photographer Tara Wray has managed to capture the strange, isolated and warm aspect of the neighboring state of Quebec. The Press spoke to him.
FlakPhoto: 5 Things I'm Reading This Week
February 3, 2018
A few years ago, curator George Slade invited me to join his “Prove Me Wrong! Cat Pictures are Cloying and Annoying” group on Facebook. It’s a fun group dedicated to, well, sharing cat pictures. I’m allergic to cats so don’t spend a lot of time around them IRL but the group has made me wonder: Why do we photograph these creatures? I don’t know what the answer to that question is but I thought about George’s group when I heard about HUMBLE CATS (Yoffy Press, 2017) which is entirely dedicated to the pursuit of feline photography. I finally got around to reading the book this week and it’s a trip. If you’re a cat person, you’ll love this—you can read about the book here.
In the In-Between: Humble Arts Unleashes a Horde of Cats to Descend Upon the Photography World
January 30, 2018
Of all the photobooks published in recent years, there’s none quite so unique, so charming, or so subversive as Humble Cats: an online exhibition turned museum-quality book — about cats — organized by Humble Arts Foundation directors Jon Feinstein and Amani Olu, and published by Yoffy Press. The project dares to scratch at our preconceptions of what fine art photography is and should be. It’s a collection of what happens when internet cat memes meet photography MFAs, and includes pictures from some of the most notable contemporary photographers working today.
Beyond the wide array of photographic styles and voices that are on display throughout the book, this cabinet of kitty curiosities points a finger at the photography world and asks: why so serious? I sent some questions to Jon Feinstein to learn more.
The PhotoBook Journal: Louie Palu – Front Towards Enemy
January 25, 2018
Notes: War. I don’t understand it and fortunately I have not had to experience it, although I live on an old WW2 bombing range, that’s another story. Louie Palu in his new multi-media publication (can we really call this a photobook?) Front Towards Enemy provides a version of a photo-documentary that resulted from a self-assignment investigation of the war conflict in Afghanistan. This is a very complex region; socially, economically, politically and environmentally that Palu has tried to emulate with an equally complex and layered print concept.
Archive Collective Magazine: Tara Wray – TOO TIRED FOR SUNSHINE
January 12, 2018
Too Tired For Sunshine is a collection of photographs made in Vermont between 2011–2016, and published as a photobook by Yoffy Press. Though centered largely on animals and rural landscapes, these deeply personal images reflect Wray’s state of mind during a period spent battling depression and intense anxiety.
Drawn from daily life, the photographs explore loneliness and mortality, with a touch of absurdity and dark humor. Tara Wray is drawn to unsettling subjects –backyard slaughterhouses, roadkill, decay in various forms–as well as depictions of isolation in people, animals, and even inanimate objects.
January 2018 Issue (print only)
HOW do we choose to see the world? Who controls what we see and don’t see? Louie Palu’s Front Towards Enemy is a deconstructed photo book that asks us to consider how we receive news and who controls the message. After much reflection on what happens to his images after he makes them, Palu decided to create this unique collection. Including 60 photographs that he took in Afghanistan from 2006 to 2010, the “kit” is comprised of an accordion-fold image set, soldier portrait cards, a newsprint publication and a staple-bound zine. Why such an atypical approach? Palu wants to invite the viewer to actively participate and engage with these images of war. By circumventing the traditional news platforms and giving the content directly to the viewer, the viewer is able to take on the role of editor and curator. There are even instructions on how to create your own pop-up exhibition!
VICE: Tara Wray's Weirdly Beautiful Photos of Rural Vermont
January 4, 2018
Growing up in Kansas, photographer Tara Wray developed an eye for finding the surreal in everyday life. "I'd go for long walks alone or with my neighbor Grace, who was in her 80s, and I'd explore old limestone farmhouses looking for treasure," Wray said. "I once saw a cat that was missing its lower jaw, and one time the sky went completely dark in the middle of the morning for no reason. I didn't always have a camera on me then. But I used to love to shoot disposable 35mm cameras. I’d send the film away through the mail and get back these little magical packages full of images."
Humble Arts Foundation: A Number of Really Good Photobooks Published in 2017
December 11, 2017
This is not a "best photobooks" list. We heard a rumor that the photo community is getting sick of them. Next year, perhaps. Jokes aside, we opted to move away from the aforementioned language we've used in the past. There's too many to count, and the notion that our small team would have the umbrella-eyes to survey enough photobooks and narrow down a truly democratic list of favorites is unrealistic, at best. In its place, we compiled some "really good" photography books we enjoyed this past year (excluding our own Humble Cats, which of course, it would be in bad taste to include, right?) Some we own, some not yet, but we've poured through them all enviously. We encourage you to check them out and support the artists by purchasing them.
(spoiler alert: Yoffy Press' title Front Towards Enemy by Louie Palu made the list)
Huffington Post: Too Tired for Kickstarter
December 6, 2017
Depression can be challenging to tackle through photographs in a way that is accessible to a wide audience, and few in the medium’s rich history have addressed the subject in transcendent ways. Enter Tara Wray, whose series Too Tired for Sunshine, which she’s currently fundraising to publish with Yoffy Press in 2018, addresses dark issues of loneliness and isolation through wry, often absurdist humor. Wray’s upcoming book is one of a few titles Yoffy plans to publish in the New Year, each with a unique bend and angle. With a little over 5 days to go in Wray’s Kickstarter, I reached out to Jennifer Yoffy about what drives her to work with artists, and what moved her to publish Too Tired for Sunshine.
Don't Take Pictures: BOOKMARKS: Yoffy Press
December 4, 2017
Don’t Take Pictures: How would you describe Yoffy Press to someone who has never seen your books?
Jennifer Yoffy: Yoffy Press is an independent publisher dedicated to pushing the boundaries of photobook publishing. We look for artistic partners who inspire us and projects that amaze us and then leverage our individual strengths to create an elevated, dynamic work of art.
In other words, we make books that are rad.
Lenscratch: Tara Wray: Too Tired for Sunshine
November 30, 2017
Having spent many a summer in rural Vermont, Tara Wray’s new project and soon-to-be book, Too Tired For Sunshine, resonated with me on many levels. Vermont in the winter is not for the faint hearted–it’s bleak and unforgiving and it explains why animals go into hibernation. Layer an internal depression into those gray, cold days and one can understand never wanting to leave the house. Tara’s photographs are about unremarkable moments seen from the point of view of a life off kilter. In a way, Too Tired for Sunshine is a series of little wounds, small observations, and subliminal messages that add up to a David Lynchian realization that normal is a subjective state of mind and perhaps the universe is is more mysterious than we think.
The Heavy Collective: Tara Wray: Too Tired for Sunshine
November 30, 2017
Vermont based photographer Tara Wray has launched a crowdfunding campaign this month to help fund her newest title ‘Too Tired For Sunshine’, which is set to be published and released by Yoffy Press early next year. It’s closing in on the finish line but needs your help to carry it over. Head to her Kickstarter page (here) preorder a copy of the book, buy a print, even a sculpture and help this work onto paper.
Don't Smile: Tara Wray
November 28, 2017
Too Tired For Sunshine is a collection of photographs made largely in Vermont, beginning in 2011. Centered on rural landscapes, animals, and strangers, these deeply personal images reflect my state of mind during a period spent battling depression.
Valley News: Barnard Photographer Searches for Light
November 23, 2017
There’s a nice-sounding folk theory that assumes a relationship between creativity and mental illness — Van Gogh’s ear seems to be the favored paradigm — but the truth is, this claim is unproven from a medical standpoint, and probably dangerous from a social one.
Intercross: Behind the Lens: Witness to War in Afghanistan (Podcast)
November 7, 2017
In this episode of Intercross the Podcast, we are excited to add another iteration to our cultural series, where we explore the intersection of culture and conflict. In this episode, we sit down with war photographers Louie Palu and Finbarr O’Reilly. Palu’s works have been featured in the New York Times, BBC and Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery. He recently released Front Towards Enemy, a book which examines the five years he spent covering the war in Kandahar, Afghanistan. O’Reilly is currently London-based, having spent 12 years in Central and West Africa as a photographer for Reuters. His book, Shooting Ghosts, is a memoir co-written with retired USMC Sgt. Thomas James Brennan and reflects on the experiences of the war and the unlikely friendship they formed. In this podcast they discuss issues like: How do we consume and engage with images of war? What are the psychological and emotional costs of war for those who photograph conflict? How can photography change the perception that people have of war? Why is this visual documentation important? What is the role of journalists as independent witnesses to war? And how does rocker Henry Rollins represent--for at least one of our guests--how social media and connection has changed the playing field?
Lenscratch: Louie Palu: Front Towards Enemy
November 7, 2017
One of the highlights at the Click Photography Festival was the opening keynote lecture by Canadian documentary photographer and filmmaker, Louie Palu. Louie is a rare combination of artist and war photographer, able to stand present for horrific human events and then synthesize those moments into something artful, poetic, and powerful. His Click Festival installation was set was in the woods of Battle Park on the UNC campus, where he exhibited large scale banners of his portraits of Garmsir Marines. This unit, the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, was formed 100 years ago to fight in WW1, where they famously took part in the Battle of Belleau Woods. This unit is based in Jacksonville, NC.
Alexia Foundation: Louie Palu on War and Photography
November 1, 2017
Louie Palu began working in Afghanistan in 2006, and was awarded The Alexia Professional Grant in 2010 for Kandahar, a project examines the cultural, historical and contemporary significance of Kandahar and its people within the region and the current Afghan state. Since that time, he has exhibited the work he did in Afghanistan widely, was awarded a Guggenheim Foundation fellowship and has produced two major works on the conflict in Afghanistan.
Sirius XM POTUS: Photojournalist and Filmmaker Louie Palu Shares His New Book "Front Towards Enemy"
October 23, 2017
Podcast interview with Julie Mason, a veteran journalist and host of The Press Pool .
Village Voice: Louie Palu: Kandahar Journals and Road Through War
October 16, 2017
From 2006 to 2010, the photojournalist Louie Paludocumented life on the frontlines in Kandahar, Afghanistan, returning multiple times to embed himself with NATO and U.S. troops. The experience would result in his first forays into documentary filmmaking. “I realized photography’s inability to convey the reality of war is because it is a personal experience,” Palu told the Voice in an email exchange.
PDN Photo of the Day: New Cats in Art Photography
September 20, 2017
In 2014, Humble Arts Foundation produced an online exhibition of art photography featuring the internet’s favorite animal, the cat. The show set out to explore the “academically ‘legit’ role that cats have played in contemporary art photography’s recent past,” writes Jon Feinstein in the introduction to the long-awaited book that expands on the show. To that end, Humble Cats: New Cats in Art Photography, published today by Humble Arts Foundation and Yoffy Press, collects more than 70 images from contemporary photographers around the world who use cats as models and muses, as symbols, protagonists and props in images that might sometimes pass for click-bait if they didn’t have more serious aims.
LENSCRATCH: Humble Cats
September 10, 2017
It has been a hot second since Humble Arts Foundation has put out a new book, and it feels oddly satisfying that what we get is Humble Cats: New Cats in Art Photography. In 2014, HAFNY’s co-founders Amani Olu and Jon Feinstein, prompted an online exhibition that has stood its ground as a relevant and thoughtful critique on meme culture, and still virally resurges from time to time. I have personally spent many a Caturdays revisiting my favorite cat photographs, ones that have provided reason to push back at the academics that refused these images in their classrooms, the galleries on their white walls.
THE CANDID FRAME PODCAST: Episode 385 - Jennifer Yoffy
September 5, 2017
Jennifer Yoffy Schwartz is the founder/publisher of Yoffy Press. She is also the creator/director of Crusade for Art, a non-profit organization whose mission is to engage new audiences with art. Jennifer owned a fine art photography gallery in Atlanta (Jennifer Schwartz Gallery) for five years, and she co-founded Flash Powder Projects, a photographer-focused collaborative venture and publishing company.
In the spring of 2013, she traveled around the country in a 1977 VW bus, engaging audiences with photography. Her book, Crusade For Your Art: Best Practices for Fine Art Photographers was published in March 2014.
TWIN MAGAZINE: Photobooks to fall in love with, from the founder of Yoffy Press
August 25, 2017
“Selecting 10 favourite photo books is a nearly impossible task, so I limited the scope to photo books I own. Each of these books represent aspects of the type of book Yoffy Press strives to publish in terms of design, innovation, and quality.” Says Jennifer Yoffy Schwartz, who founded her Atlanta-based publisher Yoffy Press. The publisher specialises in transforming photographs into bodies of art, creating a visceral and lasting celebration of creativity. We asked Jennifer to curate a selection of her favourite photo books – see her list below.
BRITISH JOURNAL OF PHOTOGRAPHY: Humble Cats makes the case for our furry friends as serious subjects
August 11, 2017
Cats have taken over the internet - and now they're coming for our photobooks, via a dedicated book which includes work by Stephen Shore, Asger Carlsen and Robin Schwartz
In its short life the internet has become a vast source of information, giving everyone online access to encyclopaedic, up-to-the-minute data. Even so, we all know that cats are the true stars. There are lolcats, memes, gifs, and videos, which have helped create internet celebrities such as Sam, the cat with eyebrows, Garfi, the world’s angriest cat, and Grumpy Cat, who has a spin-off book and film.
AFTER NYNE MAGAZINE: Breaking Through the Boundaries: Nine Minutes with Publisher Jennifer Yoffy
August 9, 2017
Jennifer Yoffy is an Atlanta-based arts advocate who has authored books, founded a non-profit organization and for five years ran a gallery—all with the goal of supporting emerging and mid-career photographers.
Now, as the founder and owner of Yoffy Press, she is partnering with photographers to produce boundary-pushing photobooks. She is also challenging the photobook publishing industry’s dominant pay-to-play model, which she believes takes unfair advantage of photographers.