GOTHAM x BEAUTIFUL SAVAGE x NIKOLA TAMINDZIC

Abby Brothers in Against the Wall by Nikola Tamindzic

Abby Brothers in Against the Wall by Nikola Tamindzic

Gotham magazine today featured a "10 Photographers to Know" list by Chad Saville, editor-in-chief of Beautiful Savage, a fantastic art & fashion glossy in New York City, and I am honored to be on this list.

Nikola Tamindzic’s boundary-pushing aesthetic evokes both desire and restraint, celebrating clean composition with a spirit of rebellion. Much of his portfolio was shot in natural light, in the moment... and in locations that he probably snuck into. Nylon, The New York Times, Gawker, and Maxim are just a few of his clients. He’s also featured in the Fall 2014 issue of Beautiful Savage magazine.
— Chad Saville, editor-in-chief of Beautiful Savage magazine

Some of my photos from the upcoming Fall 2014 issue of Beautiful Savage have already been previewed on this blog. The Gotham article also features Jamie Nelson, Dwayne Michael Campbell, and others — see Chad Saville's Top 10 Photographers in New York City Right Now.

FEAR & SELF-LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS, revisited

Exactly three years ago, Sasha Frere-Jones — then the culture editor at The Daily — sent me along with intrepid reporter Zach Baron to Las Vegas. Our mission: to follow in Hunter S. Thompson's footsteps 40 years later, and report on what happened to the American Dream in the intervening years.

Today, our piece — which previously disappeared into the Great Cache in the Sky along with The Daily — has been resurrected on Longform.org, along with tons of previously unpublished photos.

It's a long read — as good reads often are — so grab a drink, plop yourself in a cushy chair, and enjoy our stories of fear & self-loathing: http://reprints.longform.org/fear-and-self-loathing-in-las-vegas-zach-baron

CATAPULT.ORG viral campaign

I’m enormously proud of the work Catapult and I did together, and hope this campaign will help draw attention to important issues women are facing today, such as forced marriage, child slavery, and forced prostitution. The campaign has been enormously successful so far, with pieces in The Guardian, Mashable, and BuzzFeed already out there. Help Catapult get the word out there, and find a women-led project to support!

Even in 2014, the rights of women and girls are severely threatened by sex trafficking, slavery, child marriage and other violations around the world. International Women’s Day, observed annually on March 8, continues to spread awareness and garner support — and change — for women across the globe.

Catapult, a crowdfunding site dedicated specifically to the advancement of women and girls, has released a startling new visual campaign in an attempt to make this year’s IWD “more than just a cover story.” The Cover Stories campaign features three mock magazine covers that highlight terrifyingly real human rights issues to push the conversation forward.

Headlines such as "The Wedding You’ll Never Forget But Wish You Could" and "Who Needs a Childhood Anyway?" float next to the young models. The cover of Good Slavekeeping pretends to cater to the human rights violators themselves, adding another dark layer to the already serious campaign.

Learn more about Cover Stories, and make a contribution.

PDN: “SEX WITH THE CITY”

Untitled 30/93 (The Standard), from Fucking New York.

Untitled 30/93 (The Standard), from Fucking New York.

A wonderful write-up about Fucking New York from Frank Webster in PDN:

In his latest book, Fucking New York, Nikola Tamindzic ponders whether a New Yorker’s love for the City is the most important relationship in his or her life, asking the question to the point of absurdity: What would screwing New York City actually look like? The project evolved into distant, almost architectural, slightly removed from reality, though quietly sensual photographs — their flow broken up by in-your-face closeups and an occasional overtly humorous shot. The uncanny/unreal city feeling the images evoke are reminiscent of surrealist painter Giorgio de Chirico’s plazas, punctuated with Lynchian humor.
Frank Webster, PDN Online

ANIMAL NY: “new york: city I'd like to fuck”

ANIMAL NY: “new york: city I'd like to fuck”

Untitled #99/39 (29th street), from Fucking New York.

Untitled #99/39 (29th street), from Fucking New York.

A great, fun write-up on Fucking New York by Marina Galperina in Animal New York:

Sometimes you just want to grab hold of those buildings, throw yourself at the sidewalk and ugh, ugh, ohhh. Photographer Nikola Tamindzic’s newest project Fucking New York is about fucking New York, that powerful appreciation for whatever it is that makes you tolerate this city’s many flaws and fuck-ups, that love manifesting itself physically as a series of poised sexual abstractions. It helps that Nikola’s photos are always beautiful. He makes pressing your breasts at a window look eloquent, enchanting. Hmm. Hmmmm. Hmmmmmm.
Marina Galperina, Animal New York

THE NEW YORK TIMES: “a chronicler of nightlife melancholy”

THE NEW YORK TIMES: “a chronicler of nightlife melancholy”

by Eric Konigsberg, published in The New York Times, May 21, 2008

Nikola Tamindzic went out late on Friday night to shoot pictures at Trash, a weekly themed party at 40C, an East Village nightclub.

Mr. Tamindzic is a night-life photographer — equal parts Ron Galella, Weegee and Terry Richardson — with clippings in Time Out New York, Black Book and The Village Voice. The Voice named him Night-Life Photographer of the Year in 2006.

“My pictures suggest a story that happened before the shot and a story that hasn’t happened yet,” Mr. Tamindzic said. “There’s a sense of melancholy. I’m thinking Lee Friedlander photographs from the ’70s. Hopefully, when it comes together it puts two contradictory layers in the photo: you’re both adoring it and not repulsed by it — but, yeah, almost repulsed by it.”

Take, for example, a picture Mr. Tamindzic took the weekend before last at a book party for Arianna Huffington: Ms. Huffington with Charlie Rose, Mortimer B. Zuckerman, Jann Wenner and Rupert Murdoch. None of the five — except for Mr. Wenner, who theatrically pretends to be holding Mr. Zuckerman and Mr. Murdoch at arm’s length from each other — appears to want to be in the photo. Yet they are all smiling gamely enough because, well, it would be horrible form to move out of the frame.

“I don’t judge my subjects,” Mr. Tamindzic said of his portraiture, which also includes studio and fashion work. He added that although he makes more money by selling pictures to glossy magazines, his primary employer (which had sent him to the Huffington event in the first place) is Gawker, the acidic media-gossip Web site. Mr. Tamindzic is 35 and grew up in Belgrade, in what was then Yugoslavia. He came to America in 2000, took a job doing Web design work, then landed in New York in 2004. It was around that time that he fell in love with photography, and during his initial months in town, he happened to end up at a Halloween party held by Gawker’s founder.

“I was bored so I took a lot of pictures and posted them online, and the next day they called and said they’d pay me to start taking their party pictures,” Mr. Tamindzic said.

His work can be viewed on his own site, homeofthevain.com (the name comes from a lyric by the literate post-punk band the Fall).

"Perfect scene: dark room, huge sofa, and two striking, gorgeous women lounging. I come over slowly, trip the shutter, smile and move away, happy that I got a lovely, natural looking photo that's going to work perfectly as a context shot for the party I'm covering. An hour later, I find myself standing next to the brunette above, as the blonde takes the stage, and I realize that it's maybe time to reconsider this whole nightlife photography business if I'm unable to recognize both Annie Lennox and Gina Gershon. Whatever, it was a very dark room." — Nikola Tamindzic

At the nightclub on Friday night, Mr. Tamindzic sized up the crowd. “It’s very young,” he said. “Lower East Side street kids, N.Y.U. students, trustafarians.”

He leaped into action, snapping pictures of the two young women who were being paid to dance on the bar in underwear and cutoff shorts and encouraging them to mug for the camera. Mr. Tamindzic, a lanky 6 feet 3 inches tall, all legs and elbows, was purposeful and obvious, with a hefty Canon EOS 5D camera in one hand and a LumiQuest softbox flash in the other (to throw up a noirish, crime-scene photographer’s burst of intense light). He uses long exposures, then shakes the camera while the shutter is still open, causing colors to blur and lights to streak.

“I’m not recording what is really happening, but it’s something like what the brain is seeing late at night, especially if maybe you’re drunk or very excited,” he said. “I like that hour between 3 and 4 in the morning when desperation sets in, when you see all the anticipation of going out starting to fade. The masks drop and everybody realizes the night is not going to be everything they were hoping for.”

"Whenever I think about my nightlife photography, and all the things I've shot in the past, this is the shot that comes to mind, every time." — Nikola Tamindzic

Mr. Tamindzic appeared to be at the top of his game as the clock struck 1:30 a.m.

He snapped pictures of a couple of young career women in pumps and wool coats, one of whom held a bouquet of flowers; they were out on the town for her birthday.

He photographed a rather robotic looking woman in a futuristic version of a Playboy Club waitress’s outfit.

He photographed a couple who had fallen into what appeared to be an unlikely and unaccounted-for embrace.

There was something of the character portrayed by David Hemmings in “Blow-Up” in the way Mr. Tamindzic worked the back room of the club, pulling women onto the velvet couch and coaxing them into poses — for example, a hand on someone’s stomach, or a shoulder strap undone. They were mostly shy but thrilled by his attention.

“I like to bring people to a point of vulnerability and then meet their gaze,” he explained earlier in the evening about his portraits. “That creates compassion, which hopefully is reflected in the image. If you get vulnerability out of them and then look away, that’s the cruelest thing you can do. To flinch at that point and not take the picture, the subject will throw the wall up faster than you can say — well, faster than you can say a very short word.”