Author(s): Kathy Ryan
For over thirty years, the "New York Times Magazine" has presented the myriad possibilities and applications of photography. Aperture is pleased to present the upcoming publication and exhibition "The New York Times Magazine Photographs", which reflects upon and interrogates the very nature of both photography and print magazines at this pivotal moment in their history and evolution. Edited by Kathy Ryan, long-time photo editor of the magazine, and with a preface by former editorial director Gerald Marzorati, this volume presents some of the finest commissioned photographs worldwide in four sections: reportage, portraiture, style, and conceptual photography, including photo illustration. Diverse in content and sensibility, and consistent in virtuosity, the photographs are accompanied by reproduced tear sheets to allow for the examination of sequencing and the interplay between text and image, simultaneously presenting the work while illuminating its distillation to magazine form. This process is explored further through texts offering behind-the-scenes perspective and anecdotes by the many photographers, writers, editors, and other collaborators whose voices have been a part of the magazine over the years. David Campany contributes a critical essay that provides an in-depth history of the magazines relationship to photography, contextualizing its contributions within the larger world of magazine work. Also addressed are issues of documentary photography in relation to more conceptual photography; the efficacy of story-telling; and what makes an image evidentiary, objective, subjective, truthful, or a tool for advocacy; as well as thoughts on whether these matters are currently moot, or more critical than ever. As such, "The New York Times Magazine Photographs" aims to serve as a springboard for a rigorous, necessary, and revitalized examination of photography as presented within a modern journalistic context.
Every photograph stops time. This is the most banal, technical fact about the medium and also the source of its uncanny and remarkably durable power. The relentless momentum of mundane existence is stilled by the shutter, and some of the mysteries implicit in everyday life open up. A moment - of high artifice or raw candor, of posed elegance or composed chaos - is captured and then, later, delivered to our contemplative gaze...Thousands of photographs have appeared in the magazine. More than 250 of them - revealing portraits of the famous; documents of atrocity and heroism; sensitive studies of everyday life; unclassifiable works of art - have been collected into a book, "The New York Times Magazine Photographs," edited by the magazine's director of photography, Kathy Ryan...--A.O. Scott"The New York Times Magazine" (08/23/2011)