Philip-Lorca diCorcia: Nothing is for Free?


‘Nothing is for Free?’
The first line in Philip-Lorca diCorcia‘s postscript to his Hustler monograph.

diCorcia then goes on to explain how in the late 80’s when the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment – the Freedom of Speech was being repressed, he was given funding from the National Endowment for the Arts with the condition that he not ‘transgress’ American values. He therefore decided to give them their money’s worth.

diCorcia used the money to photograph ‘hustlers’ or male prostitutes that he picked up from the Santa Monica Boulevard.
He paid them the same amount of money they would have been paid for sex, and he used this time to photograph them in motels, in parking lots, on the street.

diCorcia titled each and every one of these sixty nine images or so with the name, age, hometown and the price he paid each hustler.
A record of money well spent?

Todd M. Brooks, 22 Years Old, Denver, Colorado, $40

His modus operandi was to first pick a location for the shot. He would then set up his tripod and the rest of his equipment, leaving everything ready for when he brought a hustler back.
They often asked him if he was a cop? Why didn’t he want the sex?
But once back on set, they posed patiently.
Often giving him the exact image he had planned for.
Sometimes something unpredictable.

Tim Morgan Jr., 21 Years Old, Los Angeles, California, $25, and Joe Egure, 18 Years Old, Los Angeles, California, $25


Made in a time when the U.S. Government had condemned homosexuality, AIDS was rampant,  and diCorica lost his own brother to the disease, this project is filled with pathos and make-believe.

As diCorica says, ‘You’re supposed to have all the freedom that our Constitution allows, except the freedom to choose your freedom. None of those guys (the hustlers) were free – they charged for their services, for a faked’ sense of what passes for intimacy in the realm they left behind. They barely found a place to sleep or get high afterwards, but they accomplished the most sublime trade, their artistry: Nothing for Nothing.
That’s what was so perfect for me. It summed it all up.’

Chris., 28 Years Old, Los Angeles, California, $30


Marilyn, 28 Years Old, Las Vegas, Nevada, $30

Ralph Smith, 21 Years Old, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, $25


Roy, ‘In His 20s,’ from Los Angeles, California, $50


‘Sparky’ Anderson, 47 Years Old, Detroit, Michigan, $25

Sophie Gamand: Wet Dog!


Its a Friday before a much-needed Bank Holiday, and we can’t resist sharing some soapy, adorable wet dog pictures with you.

So here’s Sophie Gamand’s Wet Dog series. Having tried to photograph a few dogs in the recent past, we know how hard these are to take.

Have a great weekend. Write to us if you’ve seen some inspiring art or have some photographs you’d like to feature on Beanstories!


Amanda Harman: For the love of play


When was the last time you saw children playing in the street?
Not organised sport, but the boisterous, noisy, made-up games that almost every person our generation and older has played.

When was the last time you saw a child ambling through a park, unaccompanied?
Exploring, we used to call it….made all the more exciting because we climbed out through the window without Mum knowing.
And no, she didn’t call the police because she knew we would be back for lunch.

While the growing absence of a child in unsupervised, unstructured leisure might be a first world problem, it doesn’t change the fact that as more of our lives and relationships go virtual, we’re losing out on time in the grass and in the sun.

Here’s Amanda Harman’s series Child’s Play, taken in the 80’s and 90’s that depicts play in ‘unstructured’ outdoor environments;
an ode to a time where there was always plenty of time.

Amanda Harman was awarded the 2014 Sony World Photography Award today in the Still Life category. We nearly grabbed the newspaper out of a fellow commuter’s hands to get a better look at one of her award winning pictures from the Garden Stories, Hidden Labours series.

All images borrowed with thanks (c) Amanda Harman

En Plein Air


With Brazil on everyone’s minds in the coming months, today we look to Rio de Janeiro and the inspiring series En Plein Air by Gabriele Galimberti & Edoardo Delille. With images taken from up high, this series is an ode to a country where sport is so much more than something to be watched….it is to be lived!

And like we saw in the series by Christopher Pillitz who captures the obsession with football that most Brazilians embody, the all embracing ‘have-space-will-make-it-fit’ attitude towards sport in even the most crowded neighbourhood, is both inspiring and refreshing.

Skateboarding is a common sport in Rio, and all sorts of teenagers do it, from the rich kids from Leblon to the poorest kids from the favelas in the northern part of the city.


A group of children are posing on the biggest playing field in the Favela Vidigal….From the top of the favela, the view of Ipanema is amazing.


In the Parque do Flamengo, there are many different playing fields, courts and other areas dedicated to different sports…The one with the red shorts is Andrè Klun, a former professional player (he played for 2 years on the Italian Virtus Roma team). He’s now the coach of the Flamengo basketball team.


At the Ipanema beach, people do many different sports, but one of the most common is definitely stand up paddle surfing. There are also a number of schools that teach it, especially in the area close to the Arpoador Rock. In this picture, teacher and beginners are posing together.
Elivelton is 22 years old. He was born and raised in Rio de Janeiro and he’s a soldier in the Brazilian Army. In this picture, he is posing inside the Parkour training center, a public space specifically designed and built for parkour. This is a new sport in Rio de Janeiro and only a few people practice it. Nonetheless, the municipality decided to build a space in the Catete neighbourhood dedicated to this sport


The Clube de Regatas do Flamengo is one of the biggest sports clubs in the city…. Four of the club’s many tennis teachers are posing in this picture.


Beach tennis is a new sport in Rio. The first courts for playing it were built by an Italian, who came to Rio 8 years ago from Romagna (Italy), the place where this sport was first invented, with the idea of exporting beach tennis to Brazil.


A soccer field in Parque do Flamengo


The Flamengo synchronized swimming team is the current champion of Brazil. The girls on the team go to train at the Clube de Regatas do Flamengo. This picture was taken there on one of their training days.


In addition to these images Galimberti has some other series that come highly recommended –
Local Celebrities where he photographs individuals who have made a big difference to the communities they live in,
Delicatessen with love that features what grandmothers do best – compete with rest of the world to feed us,
Mirrors and Windows that gives us a peek into the bedrooms of girls across the world,
and Toy Stories where he has kids posing with their favourite toys.

We don’t normally repeat photographers on Beanstories but Galimberti might be someone we return to in the not so distant future.

We leave you with our favourite from his Toy Stories series.

Maudy was born in a hut in a small village close to Kalulushi, in Zambia. She grew up playing in the street with the other children in the village, who all attend the same school, where students ages 3 to 10 years old are in the same class. The village has no shops, restaurants or hotels, and just a few children are lucky enough to have toys. Maudy and her friends found a box full of sunglasses on the street, which quickly became their favorite toys.


Elliott Erwitt: Museum Watching


‘I am a dedicated people watcher who loves to see art and art watchers watching.
Museums provide irresistible visuals feasts of science, history, art on canvas, in sculpture, in buildings that are themselves art.
Blending with displays, spectators provide the human scale, thinking, judging, having fun, feeding sensibilities.
It makes fine hunting for a furtive photographer on the prowl.’
Elliott Erwitt, Museum Watching, 1999

Madrid. Museo del Prado, Spain, 1995


The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1988, New York City, USA


Metropolitan Museum, 1949, New York City, USA


Musée de l’Orangerie, Paris, France


Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia. “Guernica” by Pablo Picasso, 1995, Madrid, Spain


Tate Gallery, 1996, London, Great Britain


Rodin Museum, 1998, Paris, France


Elliott Erwitt: Pisa, Italy, 1976
1976, Pisa, Italy


Detroit Institute of Arts, 1975, Michigan, Detroit, USA


We’re completely on a roll with people watching art this week.
How do you take your art?
Do you make notes?
Do you have to take pictures of everything you like?
Or do you just photograph everything you want to note down, because who actually writes these days?

Alécio de Andrade: The Louvre and its Visitors


We’ve recently discovered the work of Alécio de Andrade and we’re moved by how natural his images are. A Brazilian poet/photographer, Andrade’s work especially his series The Louvre and its Visitors (with most of the images taken in the 1990’s) have made us more in awe of the fly on the wall photographers who watch us as we watch the world,
and in this particular case, as we muse over some of the world’s greatest masterpieces.

We’re also slightly nostalgic about the complete absence of mobile phones and cameras in his images…..oh the good old days, some would say.

Simon Roberts: The Last Moment


Here’s an unusual series of photographs from Simon Roberts called The Last Moment. We’re not saying any more than that.

“Recently, photography has become almost as widely practiced an amusement as sex and dancing.” 
Susan Sontag, Writer, 1973

Olympic Crowd-pleasers

A quick burn to the top


“We set out to solve the main problem with taking pictures on a mobile phone, which is that they are often blurry or poorly composed. We fixed that.” 
Kevin Systrom, Founder and Chief Executive, Instagram, 2012

Jubilee river pagent

Spot the Queen


“10% of all photos ever taken were shot in 2011.” 
Fortune magazine, 2012

Royal wedding revelers

Standing start for Aung Sunn Kyi


“We’ve looked at the impact of user-generated content and social media. Consumer and pro-sumer technologies are simpler and more accessible. Small cameras are now high broadcast quality. More of this technology is in the hands of more people. After completing this analysis, CNN determined that some photojournalists will be departing the company.” 
Jack Womack, Senior VP, CNN, 2011

Death of a dictator

The revolution will be televised

Do we ever let a happy or a newsworthy moment go by without taking an image of it?
No, not really.
And not if we could help it!
…food for Friday thought!

All images and text borrowed with thanks (c) Simon Roberts

Luke Stephenson: Foyer Fauna


We like photographers who make us do a double take on the things we take for granted, for the most part of our life.
And Luke Stephenson falls into just this very category.

A London based Martin Parresque photographer who cites ‘life in Britain’ and ‘the British psyche’ to be at the core of all his work, we’re fascinated by the range of projects he’s turned his lens to – from The Incomplete Dictionary of Show Birds and Balloon Animals, to the World Beard and Moustache Championships and Santa in his Grotto.

But the one we found the most canny is Foyer Fauna.
A plant makes all the difference…till we forget about it of course.











In addition to these projects, Stephenson is currently raising money to publish his next book 99x99s, an ode to the humble British 99p Flake ice cream that has graced many a summer holiday and beach walk. His fascination with ice cream earlier manifested in his series Mind That Child, but 99x99s takes this to a whole new level.

So whether you are inspired by his earnest desire to preserve bits of Britishness, whether you chuckle at him or roll your eyeballs, he’s definitely got us thinking as much about our last flake, as he has about the forgotten potted plant in our living room.


All images (c)Luke Stephenson
Also available on Twitter, Facebook and Flickr.

Martin Usborne: The Silence of Dogs in Cars


A dog in a car!
Why does that make interesting art?
And what’s that got to do with me?

A lot actually, when you come to consider that Martin Usborne has combined his love for dogs with a strong childhood memory of being left alone in a car, for what seemed like forever.
Not an unloved child in the least, it was just the feeling of being made to wait.
And not knowing if anyone would ever come to get him.
That’s all it was.
But like all living beings the boredom, the apprehension, the anxiety and the sadness, all followed.

So take a deeper look beyond the obvious dog.
They don’t have smart phones to escape into.
Let alone the ability to crank a window open.
At the end of the day are their emotions that different from our own?

The Silence of Dogs in Cars cover

Humans of New York


We don’t like fabulously fashionable things…unless they really make us think.
And though Humans of New York has been in the press a lot recently, and though we’re still more Team The Sartorialist for our regular New York buzz, Brandon Stanton has come up with some pictures and stories that have made us stop and look again.

Here are our favourites! Click on the images to join in the stories.

“Do you remember the saddest moment of your life?”
“Probably sitting at the kitchen table with my dad, an hour after my mother died, realizing we had to figure out what we were going to do for lunch.”


“We were smoking outside one time. And this same car kept driving by, and we thought: ‘Man! That’s weird!’ Then we got arrested.”


“I want to be a dog walker when I grow up.”
“What’s the hardest part about being a dog walker?”
“Holding on to the leash.”


“I’m going to puppet class.”
“I didn’t know there were puppet classes.”
“I didn’t either. Until I googled it.”


He didn’t know much English beyond: “I’m from China.” But he did pull out his iPad and showed me his brother, his toys, his drum set, and a picture of his class.


“I read the blog every fucking day. I just came in on a bus from Maryland. The whole time I was thinking: ‘I’m going to find a cute old couple, I’m going to park next to them, and I’m going to get on HONY!'”


“What do you want to be when you grow up?”
“Why do you want to be a fireman?”
“I said Ironman!”

Wishing you a week filled with inspiration…and many more steps towards figuring out what you would like to do more than anything else in the world!

All images (c) Humans of New York and Brandon Stanton.