MATTE magazine is a photography journal I started in 2010 as a way to shed light on good new photography. Each issue is devoted to the work of one artist, and the magazine is printed in full color with no ads and sold for the cost of production. MATTE is collected by the libraries of MoMA, ICP, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. As photo editor at large of VICE, I'm excited to share my discoveries with a wider audience.
When I approached photographer Curran Hatleberg about dedicating an issue of MATTE to his photographs, he suggested I instead should let him curate an issue. I said yes, and that's how we got MATTE's first-ever group issue, featuring 20 photographers who each submitted pictures and text.
Curran chose to turn the issue into a place where "homeless" images—pictures that are valuable but don't fit into a particular series, or for whatever other reason haven't found a place within the scope of their author's work—can coexist without necessarily having to relate to one another directly. It's a home for wayward photographs that contains everything from photos Katy Grannan took of her friends in the sixth grade to George Awde's intimate Polaroids from Egypt to Justine Kurland's pictures of people who are without a permanent home.
The photographers represented here mostly live in America, and these are mostly pictures of the real world. But this isn't an impression of United States today so much as it is a look at contemporary artists who are committed to the medium of photography as a life's pursuit and a lineage to work within. These pictures are the surplus of an intuitive and sincere approach to the medium: Taking photos based on impulse, searching for something that resonates, working ahead of what can be understood or explained.
Below is a selection of images from MATTE magazine no. 40: Homeless. The magazine was launched today at Printed Matter's New York Art Book Fair at PS1 MoMA. Copies will be available there all weekend.