Photo by Jacob Drabik

The Lens

The Lens is the FotoFocus editorial platform, highlighting our programming and featuring in-depth conversations on photography and the moving image drawn from perspectives and insights in our community, throughout our region, and around the globe.


Gillian Wearing World Premieres Four Works at Cincinnati Art Musuem for FotoFocus 2018

Posted on September 15, 2018

Nathaniel Stein has admired contemporary conceptual artist Gillian Wearing’s work since he first saw her poignant, genre-bending photographs in an Introduction to Art History class in the mid-1990s. He’s dreamed of working with her for as long as he’s been a museum curator. Now, after a year as Associate Curator of Photography for the Cincinnati Art Museum, he has his chance.

And we, those of us who’ll experience the 2018 FotoFocus Biennial, will have our chance to encounter the British artist’s internationally recognized and often jarring self-portraits and video installations in the first major exhibition of her work to be shown in the... Continue


At Brazee Street Gallery, High Schoolers Fuse Photography and Glass

Posted on September 12, 2018

Staying in step with the FotoFocus Biennial theme of Open Archive, Brazee Street Gallery and a group of high school art students at Cincinnati Country Day School teamed up to develop a photography/glass gallery exhibition. Led by CCD art teacher Carole Lichty-Smith, students used their own original photography to create the glass pieces on display at Brazee’s Gallery, as part of their 2018 FotoFocus exhibition. Working with budding student artists is nothing new for Brazee Street. And bringing glass into that work with students of all ages is an important part of their mission. Studio Director Leah Busch Rockel says, “Brazee strives to create the... Continue

FotoFocus in Dayton: Nine Shows You Don’t Want to Miss

Posted on September 6, 2018

Sometimes you need to get out of town, see something fresh, and stretch your brain muscles. And sometimes, that can mean just a short jaunt up I-75. If you’ve got the itch, you’re in luck—FotoFocus has a road trip mapped out for you. This fall, spend a day in Dayton and delve into a fascinating array of photography and lens-based Biennial exhibitions at a host of art havens around the Gem City. There’s the iconic and architecturally beautiful Dayton Art institute showing Muse: Mickalene Thomas Photographs. You may recognize Thomas, who shows internationally, as the photographer of the first individual Continue

Meet the Curator: Kevin Moore

Posted on September 4, 2018

New York-based Artistic Director and Curator Kevin Moore brings two exciting—and distinctive—odes on photography to FotoFocus this year: Paris to New York: Photographs by Eugène Atget and Bernice Abbott, which exhibits at Taft Museum of Art, and Mamma Andersson: Memory Banks at the Contemporary Arts Center. In Paris to New York, Moore explores the relationship between American photographer Berenice Abbott (1898–1991) and French photographer Eugène Atget (1857–1927), who met in Paris in the 1920s and conducted comparable documentary projects. As you explain, when Atget and Abbott met, he was working to document the city of Paris as it was being modernized after WWI. Abbott became a... Continue

Meet The Curator: Carissa Barnard

Posted on August 30, 2018

When Carissa Barnard was completing her fine arts degree at the University of Arizona, she felt a kinship with photographers as fellow artists. For the 2018 Biennial, Barnard, FotoFocus's Deputy Director of Exhibitions and Programming, curates two contrasting shows: Wide Angle: Photography Out of Bounds and Chris Engman: Prospect and Refuge, each exploring a different account of photography’s “realness” and what it means to create a visual document with such a tenuous connection to truth. Chris Engman is known for his photographs of constructed sets. What can we expect from Prospect and Refuge? His practice is to saturate a man-made structure (e.g., a garage) and cover the... Continue