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Hollywood has the “blacklist” of undiscovered scenarios. Photography now has a ‘money list’ for emerging photographers




For a decade and a half, an annual survey called the Blacklist has highlighted the favorite non-product storylines of Hollywood executives in the industry, establishing a reputation as a source of emerging writing talent. Blacklist alumni have pocketed the Oscars, team up with iconic directors, and sculpt the zeitgeist.Now a small nonprofit arts space in Pittsburgh called Silver eyeadopts the idea of ​​creating a similar resource for photographers.

The Money List, as the recently released survey calls it, highlights 47 emerging artists working in the field, including people like Elle Perez, Farah Al Qasimi and Pacifico Silano.It represents submissions from over 125 critics, curators, editors, and academics who responded to a request for Silver Eye last year. The guideline was quite simple: list up to 10 early-career artists whose work should be seen more widely.

It was truly an experience for us, says David Oresick, director of Silver Eyes. We weren’t sure if anyone would take the poll when we sent it out, and we weren’t sure if anyone would be interested in the list when we posted it.

I’m really glad people seem to be paying attention, he added.

Nick Drain, <i>One for us</i> (2019).  Courtesy of Silver Eye.  “Width =” 1024 “height =” 819 “srcset =”×819.jpg 1024w, https: //news.artnet .com / app / news-upload / 2021/02 / Nick-Drain-300×240.jpg 300w, -50×40.jpg 50w , 1500w “sizes =” (max width: 1024px) 100vw, 1024px “/></p><div class='code-block code-block-4' style='margin: 8px auto; text-align: center; display: block; clear: both;'> <script async src=

Nick Drain, One for us (2019). Courtesy of Silver Eye.

The idea of ​​co-opting the blacklist model, however, was not born with Oresick. It came from an enthusiastic undergraduate student named James T. Wang, who took a course in the history of photography that Oresick taught at Carnegie Mellon University last year. Wang, a senior studying statistics and machine learning, had recently heard about the Blacklist on a podcast and approached his professor with a similar proposition.

He came to my office and said, ‘I want to do this for the photography,’ ”Oresick recalls. “And I was like, ‘Oh, that’s good’, thinking,we can’t do that. “

But Wang insisted, so Oresick responded with what he thought was an unlikely task: track down Franklin Leonard, the director of the film who founded the blacklist, and set up a meeting.

I said it and I just expected to never hear from James’ idea ever again because, you know, it’s typical of undergraduates who are excited about something. But the next week he came and said, “Okay, we have a meeting on Thursday. Franklin is really excited and I have a whole plan to do it. Then we just started riding from there.

Leonard Suryajaya.  Courtesy of Silver Eye.

Leonard Suryajaya. Courtesy of Silver Eye.

Leonard, it turns out, had long been interested in adapting his methodology to other areas. He served as a sort of consultant to Wang and Silver Eye, advising them on how to frame the investigation and disseminate the results. Wang got a small grant from the university to fund the effort.

Hopefully, this can have a blacklist-like effect in terms of paying a lot more attention to really good work, Oresick says. I hope this will lead collectors to buy works by these artists, museums exhibiting these artists, universities to hire them, photo editors ordering them. Hope it can open all kinds of doors.

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