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Brotherland, a new photography book by Ben Sklar, is an examination of masculinity and male relationships through the lens of an isolated group of men living in an unidentified location. The subjective documentary style of the work asks viewers to question the ideals, traditions and framework of raising boys in the United States. It holds up a critical mirror to what defines a man asking for self awareness and reflection. In correspondence with the physicality of the imagery, viewers must physically re-orient the book from horizontal to vertical while engaging. The work includes 16 essays and 35 duotone photographs bound with a double clove-hitch tied cord. Each book has its own unique hand screen printed 4-flap canvas case showing a wave under full moonlight and is supported with a printed hard backing board. 


Ben Sklar (b. 1983, Baton Rouge, Louisiana) is a 4th generation artist primarily using photography as his medium. He grew up in Austin Texas where his family relocated to care for his elders in 1993. For good and bad the artists of his family, William Forsyth, Constance Forsyth, Robert Selby and Charles Sklar, influenced his perspective and practice. At 12, he began using disposable cameras to photograph summer boy scout trips, skating and friends performing for the camera. He began working for the New York Times in 2004 shooting a fashion piece as his first commission. The following year he was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize for breaking news photography after shooting iconic images of Hurricane Katrina in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. Under the mentorship of Magnum photography Eli Reed, who he compares to a father figure, he learned the power of artistic voice and the greater meaning of living life with your camera photographing your own human experience. He continued to build a roster of editorial and commercial clients while almost working privately to harness his artistic voice.. In 2016 he left Austin for New York City where he now resides but continues to spend time out in the world photographing what interests him – touring with his friends band, dissecting masculinity, or exploring the natural world. He has expanded his practice into hand painting, bookmaking, gallery exhibitions, creative writing, apparel making, motion filming, and mixed media work. He will graduate from the University of Hartford international low residency Masters of Fine Art program in 2024. He believes in living life with the frame, carries a camera everyday and loves to create poetry from the magic of the image.

Brotherland, Ben Sklar

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