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The Three Best Photographers You've Probably Never Heard Of

Like a camera-wielding Rimbaud from Portland, Daniel Peterson proves that Bohemia isn't dead, and neither is Boho lifestyle photography. Peterson posts a staggering number of photos nightly to his blog, It Wont Fucking Kill You--shots of birthday parties, urinals, sunsets, clouds of smoke, guitarists, graffiti, and exposed pipes (www.urbanhonking.com/kill). His photos drip with the romanticism of the creative underbelly, as if Peterson was part of the Boston School born 20 years too late (but more Mark Morrisroe than Nan Goldin). With his sensibilities color-tuned toward lighting and composition, his primary subject is constant--Peterson is a photographer of atmospherics rather than specifics, of sensations rather than objects.

Ted Kincaid is the abstract and minimal of this bunch--the Texas artist gets away with hardly using his camera most of the time. Instead, he makes inkjet prints and photogravures of Richter-like orbs, blobs, stripes, and smears. Recently, Kincaid has been tidying up nature, creating highly stylized, hyper-realized digital images of cloudscapes from a crystalline, Pixar future where everything begins to look like the blur of a flashing video in a passing vehicle.

It looks like the Dutch are poised to snatch the reigns to become photography style-setters for as long as it takes for these things to become pass. Rineke Dijkstra's photographs are already well known in the US (too bad they're pretty boring), but Inez Van Lamsweerde and Hellen Van Meene are rapidly gaining audiences here as well, largely due to high profile commissions. Van Meene's portraits of adolescent girls blend theatric and documentary styles to create dreamlike, airless scenes of tenderness and introspection. For a recent series of young Japanese women that she shot for the New York Times Magazine, Van Meene approached the girls on the street and pulled them aside for quickie portrait sessions using whatever backdrops were at hand. The results are inconspicuously offbeat--one young woman's waist-long hair is threaded through the straps of her dress as she rests in front of a fish tank, while another poses in the shade of a bush that casts a delicate latticework of ominous shadows on her porcelain face.

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