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Autoportrait en poulpe, 2009 by David Favrod

An entrancing, sometimes hallucinatory collection of images, Gaijin is a tool in photographer David Favrod’s quest for identity.  The Second Edition 2012 Hot Shot and Aperture Portfolio Prize–winner has lived in Switzerland for most of his life, but was born in Japan to a Japanese mother and Swiss father; he created Gaijin after the Japanese embassy in Switzerland denied his citizenship request.  “The aim of this work is to create ‘my own Japan’ in Switzerland, from memories of my journeys when I was small, my mother’s stories, popular and traditional culture and my grandparents’ war narratives,” says Favrod.

See all of our Second Edition 2012 Hot Shots and learn more about the Hey, Hot Shot! photography competition

Male Centerfold, 2012 by Pacifico Silano

Through his photo and video work, Pacifico Silano explores LGBTQ history and how it has shaped contemporary gay identity. By creating imagery with Al Parker, one of the most famous gay porn stars of the 1970s, Silano has created an unconventional series of portraits that memorialize and draw attention to a lost generation of gay men. “The process of making these new pictures and reworking images from the past has allowed me to catalogue and emphasize a neglected history, one that is imbued with my own fantasies of a place and time that I never lived through,” he says.

Silano is one of five exceptionally talented photographers included among our Second Edition 2012 Hot Shots. Learn more about the Hey, Hot Shot! photography competition. 

Scholar’s Rock, 2012 by Erin O’Keefe

Erin O’Keefe’s has explored architecture, sculpture and photography during her artistic career. Here, she examines the relationship between object and image.  “I photograph two-dimensional constructions, which are themselves made from pieces of other photographic images, and rely on the three-dimensionality depicted in these fragments to create the illusion of a sculptural object,” says O’Keefe.

O’Keefe is one of five exceptionally talented photographers included among our Second Edition 2012 Hot Shots. Learn more about the Hey, Hot Shot! photography competition. 

Lariat, TX, 2012 by Ilona Szwarc

Ilona Szwarc’s Rodeo Girls is a portrait project about young girls who compete in rodeos on a professional level.  Theirs “is a unique lifestyle, where kids are brought up in a very strict and disciplined manner, with emphasis on hard work, respect and cultivation of friendships and family relationships,” says Szwarc.

Szwarc is one of five exceptionally talented photographers selected to be a Second Edition 2012 Hot Shot. Learn more about Szwarc and about the Hey, Hot Shot! photography competition

Madalyn, TX, 2012 by Hey, Hot Shot! Contender Ilona Szwarc

Warsaw, Poland-born photographer Ilona Szwarc has resided in New York City since 2008. Szwarc’s background in the film industry—she has worked for Andrzej Wajda, Jonathan Glazer and Roman Polanski, notably—reveals itself in the beautifully cinematic quality of her work. Her latest project, Rodeo Girls, explores the world of young Texan rodeo competitors. Through her portraits, Szwarc reveals the complexities of an unusual people. The images celebrate the beauty of the terrain and the unique traditions these girls uphold, their faces laden with emotions from the demanding lifestyle. Keep reading.

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Room For Two, from the series Was Once, 2012 by Chad Crews

Curiosity and photography go hand in hand. Rather than satiating the quest for understanding the unknown, taking photographs largely increases curiosity. Some factors reveal themselves when contemplating a space’s history and purpose; most do not. Instead, photographs can lead us to consider fantasies. In his photographs, Contender Chad Crews is concentrating on the potential stories of these spaces. Read more…

Untitled, 2012 by Mateusz Sarello

Hey, Hot Shot! Contender Mateusz Sarello

Contender Mateusz Sarello's series Swell is the story of breakup and the Baltic. The not-quite-cathartic undertaking originated as a photo-documentary piece about the Baltic sea, but was altered due to changes in the photographer’s personal life. The project switched to an escape from reality for Sarello, who sought to alleviate his own loneliness. Read more…