Fine Art Photography Daily

The 2023 Lenscratch Staff Favorite Things

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©Aline Smithson, Favorite Condiment

Every year the Lenscratch Staff shares some of their favorite things, from books to exhibitions, and more. Hope you enjoy!

Aline Smithson (IG @alinesmithson), Lenscratch Founder and Editor-in-Chief

Favorite Books of 2023:

Kris Graves, Privileged Mediocrity, Co-Published by Monolith Editions and Hatje Cantz
This important book is both conceptual and documenty with Graves taking an unflinching look at America, revealing how “racism, capitalism, and power have shaped our country — and how that can be seen and experienced in everyday life.”

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©Kris Graves, Privileged Mediocrity

Michael Honegger, The Need to Know, published by Blow Up Press
I have followed this project from it’s inception–it’s a fascinating story made more exciting by stellar book design.

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©Michael Honegger, The Need to Know, published by Blow Up Press

Favorite Exhibition:

Hiroshi Sugimoto Exhibition, Himeji City Museum of Art, Tokyo, Japan. A mind-blowing, inspirational exhibition of creativity.

“In his two part exhibition Sugimoto attempts to further develop his “honkadori theory,” which is not limited to photographic techniques, as he expands his field of expression. In this exhibition, Sugimoto constructs a new world of honkadori, incorporating themes that he has long pursued, such as the nature of time, human perception, and the origin of consciousness, and adding his own interpretation with references to Sen no Rikyu’s “Mitate” and Marcel Duchamp’s “Readymade”.

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Favorite Exhibition:

Anselm Kiefer, Exodus at the Gagosian at Marciano Art Foundation, Los Angeles

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Linda Alterwitz (IG @Lindaalterwitz), Lenscratch Art + Science Editor

Favorite Books of 2023:

The Unnamed Road by Jungjin Lee  (Nazraeli Press, 2023)

From 2009-2012, Jungjin Lee photographed the land between Israel and the West Bank without prejudice or conflict “as the olive tree sees it” to connect to something elemental.


Edited by Toby Jurovics, foreword by Wally Mason, and contributions by Debra Gwartney and Robert Macfarlane.
The inaugural exhibition of this work (August 18, 2023 through December 21, 2023) at the Sheldon Museum of Art celebrates the unprecedented gift of more than ninety works donated by fifty American photographers to honor the late writer Barry Lopez, who wrote about the landscape in lyrical prose that offered a vivid and passionate account of humankind’s relationship with the natural world. The artists and writers included in this exhibition and book include many whom have guided my own creative journey and to whom I give thanks: photographers Barbara Bosworth, Linda Connor, Ron Jude, Mark Klett, David Maisel and writer Barbara Kingsolver.
Screen Shot 2023-12-11 at 9.00.42 PMFavorite Exhibition/Installation of 2023:
Richard Misrach and Meghann Riepenhoff, two-person exhibition entitled Duet at Jackson Fine Art. I love searching for commonalities in this unique combined exhibition of works.
Favorite New Discovery:
Kioto Aoki. I admire her work and creative installations, especially as she incorporates book arts into the physical spaces. (@photoandkioto)

Epiphany Knedler (IG @epiphanysk), Lenscratch Content Editor

Favorite Book of 2023High Visibility (Blaze Orange) by Jaclyn Write, GOST Books

Screen Shot 2023-11-07 at 5.34.34 PMFavorite Exhibition/Installation of 2023:

Speaking with Light: Contemporary Indigenous Photography, Denver Art Museum

Screen Shot 2023-11-07 at 5.35.44 PMFavorite New Discovery:

Photo Trouvee Magazine

Screen Shot 2023-11-07 at 5.37.22 PMJiggle n Juice Collective for art resources

Screen Shot 2023-11-07 at 5.49.44 PMInsight into Artists’ daily lives

Favorite Podcast

Doug Breault, (IG @dug_bro) Lenscratch Content Editor

Favorite New Discovery:

Work I have been finding really exciting and uplifting is the new work by Sandra Stark


©Sandra Spark

Favorite Book:
Favorite Exhibition:
Lucy Kim: Dead or Dormant and Odd-Kin Gallery in Rhode Island
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 Favorite Discovery:
 Artist Vita Kari and her TikToks

Sara J. Winston (IG @sarajwinston), Lenscratch Content Editor

Favorite Exhibition:

Muriel Hasbun: Tracing Terruño at ICP in New York

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Favorite Book:
22 Days in Between by Salih Basheer, published by Disko Bay, 2023

Sarah Nobel (IG @sknobel), Lenscratch Content Editor

Favorite Exhibition:

Michelle Bui’Affinites Preuses at McBride Contemporary in Montreal, Sept 14th – October 28th, 2023

Michelle’s work is beautiful printed large scale and draws you in to speak about indulgence and consumption.

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Favorite Exhibition:

Gregory Halpern, 19 Winters & springs, Eastman Museum, Sept 16, 23 – March 03, 24

This work is beautiful in person – how the images are presented right next to each other and in different sizes allows the viewer to make emotional connections between the people, places and objects. His 3-d house structures that have worn down house exteriors and galaxy interiors allows a compelling relationship between space, memory, and dreams.
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Favorite Book: 

Witness Mark by Klea McKenna

This book is gorgeous and Klea’s images and the text are profound and uplifting.

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Daniel George, (IG: @danielgeorgephoto) Lenscratch Submissions and Content Editor

Favorite book:

Wires Crossed by Ed Templeton

-The images and text in this book describe skateboard culture in the most genuine way I have ever seen. As a skate rat growing up in Nebraska in the 90’s and early-00’s, I was able to glimpse into this world through skate videos—and piece together what I thought the life and experiences of a pro skateboarder could be. Wires Crossed confirmed some of my assumptions, yet surprised me with new insights. It is authentic and heartfelt. And despite the aggressive and chaotic nature of the culture (and some of the photographs), there is a gentleness inherent in Templeton’s narration. I have spent hours with this book, and could easily spend many hours more.

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Wires Crossed by Ed Templeton

Elizabeth Stone, (IG@elizabethstonevisualartist), Lenscratch Content Editor

Favorite Book of 2023:

Sense by Ann Hamilton published by Radius
Sense by Ann Hamilton reminds me of an Annie Dillard book, alive with sensory meditations on the natural world. Not only can I immerse myself in the images, but the feel of the paper, the different size of the inserts, the weight of the book and the text combine for a much richer experience of this volume as an art object. 2023_Lenscratch_FavBook_EStone

Favorite Exhibition of 2023:

Molly Murphy Adams: The Space Between at the Missoula Art Museum, Missoula, Montana

Molly Murphy Adams uses Indigenous design and beadwork sewn onto photographs of the natural world to “dispel myths and stereotypes about Native people and cultures.” She says, “Mixed media beadwork is the most authentic means of storytelling for me. The hybridization of technique, imagery, and materials accurately tell my story of mixed blood ancestry, contemporary struggle, and gender roles. And that struggle for authenticity is the core of my work.” I was struck by  the abstract quality and symbolic nature of Murphy Adam’s meticulous beadwork over the landscape images.


©Molly Murphy Adams, Water Cycle, Arid and Water Cycle, Lush

Favorite New Discovery of 2023:

Jackie Mulder
IG: @jackiemulder
I am intrigued with Jackie Mulder’s physical integration of images and materials creating multi-layered tactile works. In the collection Thought Trails, I float between place and memory as my eye follows a length of thread or drawn line through the landscape.


Sara Bennett, (IG @sarabennettbrooklyn), Lenscratch Content Editor

Favorite Book of 2023:

Pictures from the Outside by Chantal Zakari (@show.n.tll), in which she asked thirteen incarcerated men for specific instructions on a place they would like her to photograph. The physical form is beautiful, the concept is a collaboration between Chantal and the incarcerated men, and the photos conjure the vulnerability and wisdom of the men behind the requests.


Pictures from the Outside by Chantal Zakari

Favorite Exhibition of 2023:

Mark Rothko retrospective at the Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris. I was fascinated by some of his early less familiar works—figurative and then surrealistic—and then by the more familiar and hauntingly beautiful. I was especially taken by the works on loan from the Tate London and the more time I sat with the paintings, the more details emerged. I also loved the building itself and the surrounding grounds.



Study in Black and Gray

Lindsay Lochman (IG: @lindsaylochman @barbandlindsaycollaborate/), Lenscratch Content Editor

Favorite New Discovery:
Chantal Heijnen @chantalheijnen. I was drawn in by her calm exterior and I just love her series, The Sea is My Home, where during the day she photographs Aseed, who lives on the beach at Coney Island, and where Aseed photographs his surroundings at night, when he mostly has the beach to himself.

Favorite Book of 2023:
Eager: The Surprising, Secret Life of Beavers and Why They MatterEager – Chelsea Green Publishing. Every landscape photographer should be thinking about geomorphology and biomorphological transformations. These rodents are a force of nature.

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Favorite Exhibition/Installation of 2023:

Native America: In Translation, at the Milwaukee Art Museum,  February 24–June 25, 2023A wider angle was added to my view of history. Ten artists use photography to open “up space in the art world for new ways of seeing and thinking” in the words of the curator Wendy Red Star.

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Alayna Pernell, (IG @alaynapernell), Lenscratch Content Editor

Favorite New Discovery :

I have RE-discovered the work of the many talented photographers we have lost this year: Larry Fink, Elliott Erwitt, Ans Westra, Erwin Olaf, John Fielder, Frederick Eberstadt. I took time to review their work, both familiar and unfamiliar, which allowed me to understand more about history — photography history, social history, humanity and my own past.

Favorite Book of 2023:

Carrie Mae Weems: The Shape of Things (I thoroughly enjoyed this book both for its imagery as well as the essays and interviews– both of which were thought-provoking and well-executed.)

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Favorite Exhibition/Installation of 2023:

Natasha Moustache: LEROZYON (L-EURO-ZHUHN) This exhibition was installed in the most poignant way that remains ingrained in my mind. Every element of this exhibition was intentional which speaks to the well-tuned eye that Natasha has as a photographer and visual artist.


©Natasha Moustache

Favorite New Discovery:

Karla Hiraldo Voleau (I discovered Karla through an Instagram post that Dazed made about her project titled Another Love Story. She is so open and intentional in her approach to storytelling and I admire that about her work.

Barbara Ciurej, (@barbaraciurej @barbandlindsaycollaborate), Lenscratch Content Editor

Favorite Book of 2023:
Klara and the Bomb by Crystal Bennes is a page turner. Photographic evidence and historical accounts are woven into a startling tale about the development of the nuclear bomb. Laced with the sexual politics of the time, this photo book reads like (and is) a murder mystery.
Favorite Exhibition/Installation of 2023:
Through a transformative use of color, Stacy Arezou Mehru‘s The Moon Belongs to Everyone at Filter Photo conjured the nowhere/everywhere experience of diasporic communities.


Install of Stacy Arezou Mehru’s The Moon Belongs to Everyone at Filter Photo

Favorite New Discovery:
I am a big fan of the curated ig feeds @humbleartsfoundation. Humble Arts features 10 images from an artist’s feed and their selections are light- and mystery-filled and have introduced me to many feeds I now follow.IMG_1868

Michael Honegger, (IG @michaelhoneggerphotos) European Lenscratch Content Editor

Favorite Book of 2023:
“The Longing of the Stranger Whose Path Has Been Broken” by Rehab Eldalil. This is a touching depiction of the Bedouin community of the Sinai Peninsula buffeted by various forces of so called modernity provoking unwanted changes. It is a longing glance at the beauty of what once was in hopes that it might still emerge triumphant. And given what is happening in nearby Gaza at the moment, one can only hope for a peaceful resolution.


Favorite Exhibition 2023:
Krista Svalbonas, What Remains, at the Galerie Huit Arles, in July, 2023 for the innovative folk art technique applied to Soviet era architectural structures in unique juxtaposition.

Screen Shot 2023-12-11 at 7.41.52 PMFavorite New Discovery:
Vic Bakin of Kyiv, Ukraine (@VicBakin)  for his ability to be creative and compelling during a period of utter turmoil.

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Deanna Dikeman (IG @deannadikeman), Lenscratch Content Editor

Favorite Book of 2023:
A Terra by Charlotte Dumas
Published by Van Zoetendaal Publishers, The Netherlands
I attended Paris Photo this year, so I had the opportunity to see many excellent new photobooks. But only one stole my heart. Perhaps it is because I love dogs, but I believe it is the tenderness in this book that caught my fancy. I discovered the book when I stopped by the FLAT//LAND Gallery booth to look at a few framed prints of the dogs up on the gallery wall. Charlotte Dumas photographed stray dogs in Palermo, Italy, in 2006. The dogs are shown on the streets or walkways, often lying asleep on their sides. The photographer’s fondness and concern for the dogs is evident in the cover photo of a blurred hand touching a dog’s fur. Inside the small softbound book there are grids of images, a few dog paintings, and some full page and double page spreads.
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A Terra by Charlotte Dumas


from A Terra by Charlotte Dumas

Favorite Exhibition/Installation of 2023:
Evelyn Hofer exhibition “Eyes on the City” at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Missouri
A beautiful installation of over 100 vintage prints by an artist who was under-recognized in her lifetime.
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 Favorite New Discovery:
 I’m really enjoying a new Instagram feed called être mère showing mother and child art throughout history.

Michael O. Snyder, (IG: @michaelosnyder) Lenscratch Content Editor

Favorite book of 2023:

Photography Changes Everything (Heiferman and Foresta, 2012)

As a photographer who is focused on using visual stories as a tool to drive impact around social and environmental justice issues, I found this book a fascinating read:  100 essays exploring the incredible and often revolutionary ways that photography has (and continues to) change our world.9781597111997Favorite Exhibition / Installation:

The Sun Echoed Like a Song (Eduardo L. Rivera), Lightwork Gallery, Syracuse New York

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©Eduardo L. Rivera

 Favorite New Discovery:

Hong Kong Soup: 1826 (Mandy Barker)

As featured in my Earth Week edition of the magazine:

1826 Series

©Mandy Barker

Ana Leal, (IG: @analealphotography), South American Lenscratch Content Editor

Favorite Book of 2023 :

Sense by Ann Hamilton published by Radius

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Sense by Ann Hamilton

Favorite Exhibition/Installation of 2023 :

Pau Brasil – José Diniz – Fest Foto 2023

20230805_festfoto-2023-fundacao-ibere-foto-nilton-santolin_img_4364-1440x950Favorite New Discovery:


©Carolina Krieger

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