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.


Making a Scene: “Return to the Velvet Rope” Takes Us Inside Club Clau, OTR’s Early-Aughts Hot Spot

Posted on September 30, 2021

Lesser known in the annals of Cincinnati history is that, fresh into the Y2K era, OTR was briefly home to a celebrity-circuit nightclub: Club Clau. The comings and goings were documented by the club's art director with a cheap black-and-white camera, and a selection of images are now on display at The Annex Gallery.

It was 2003 and Over-the-Rhine was having a moment, thanks to the newly minted Club Clau nightclub. “We were open for nine weeks, and on the front page... Continue


Far and Wide: Casey LeClair’s “Seven Cities” at Iris BookCafé and Gallery

Posted on August 24, 2021

On view through October 29, Casey LeClair describes the exhibition as "part retrospective and part greatest hits."

For Iris BookCafé and Gallery exhibition curator Bill Messer, there was something uniquely evocative about Casey LeClair’s photography. The artist hails from Cincinnati but has spent the last 25 years traveling the world from California to New York to Sweden and points in between. This year, LeClair found himself back in Cincinnati, and his work crossed Messer’s desk. 

“I had pretty much retired ,” Messer says. “This work... Continue