|Julie Baird with her daughter, 1993. Baird died of AIDS in September leaving several children|
2. Anonymous Photographer Wins TED Prize
This award sort of puts the Smith Grant in perspective. The TED Prize, an annual prize worth $100,000 that goes to people who have "one wish to change the world," has been awarded this year to an anonymous street artist who combines photography and graffiti—he calls himself a "photograffeur"—to create unique installations in unexpected places. Here is the TED citation:
JR creates pervasive art that spreads uninvited on building of Parisian slums, on walls in the Middle East, on broken bridges in Africa or in favelas in Brazil. People in the exhibit communities, those who often live with the bare minimum, discover something absolutely unnecessary but utterly wonderful. And they don't just see it, they make it. Elderly women become models for a day; kids turn into artists for a week. In this art scene, there is no stage to separate the actors from the spectators.Above and below are some of JR's pieces. He says his idea is to provoke change by fostering community. What do you think? Can art in general, and this art in particular, do that?
3. Chris Boot Becomes Aperture's Executive Director
Photo District News reports that the esteemed publisher and former Magnum agency head Chris Boot will become the new executive director of the esteemed Aperture Foundation, the non-profit founded back in the day by Ansel Adams, Minor White, and other. The foundation has gone through several chiefs since the death of its longtime director, Michael Hoffman, in 2001. Boot replaces Juan Garcia de Oteyza, who has had the job since 2008. Boot has spent the past decade or so publishing a wide range of astonishingly good books under his own imprint, Chris Boot, LTD, featuring such photographers as Luc Delahaye, James Mollison, and, most recently, Tim Hetherington. It will be interesting to see what his impact will be on Aperture's book division, one of the liveliest in the photo world.