HOLY SHIT! DEAR DAVE, 19 Going On 20
Written by: Efrem Zelony-Mindell

Stephen Frailey breaks ALL the rules. And, what comes through so clearly in his publication DEAR DAVE, is something that he seems to love to do. He asks questions when he’s not supposed to – or, when you least expect it. Suddenly you’re caught off guard. Maybe when I interviewed him he was just trying to get comfortable, or maybe he was trying to fuck with me. But he’s so much god damned fun, you can’t get enough! Every issue and every page of DEAR DAVE, is like that! And, capturing photography’s potential is significant.

Left; Oliver Lott                                                                                            Right; Bridgett Collins 

“It’s as if you’re gonna get wet, you might as well go swimming?” I ask Stephen, the editor-and-chief of DEAR DAVE, in regard to his approach. He nods a full body nod. Frailey’s role, Frailey’s roles, Chair of BFA Photography and MPS Fashion Photography at the School of Visual Arts, are significant, but at his core he is a Southern Gentleman, and it shines through.  Frailey says, “DEAR DAVE, was a light bulb moment. Here I was with all these avenues and I never wanted to just be a photographer, or a teacher, or an editor. I always wanted to cultivate a community.” DEAR DAVE,‘s mission becomes clear; photography happens in many forms and in many places. It’s no one thing to any one person. Photography as a form of expression is shapely, and it’s mission has evolved since 1837.

Left; May Heek                                                                                                            Right; Bobby Doherty

DEAR DAVE, tugs on the potential of image making, even pushing the idea of what most people consider to be photography. The medium’s future is unsure and always changing. Now more than ever, it is an exciting time to view the lens as a jumping off point. The camera’s potential exists beyond its conventions. It’s now a pathway to manipulation and creation, taking viewers outside of reality and allowing them to reflect and see anew. We need to take time to trust ourselves, and learn how to stop just looking at things we know, so that we may see them for what they could become. DEAR DAVE, helps us realize that photography is no longer a truth to be finalized.

DEAR DAVE, is not for everyone, because currently it’s not available everywhere. It should be, especially if you love innovation. DEAR DAVE, is available at Barnes & Noble, if it’s not, ask for it! If you want DEAR DAVE, subscribe here.

Left; Ben Alper                                                                                        Right; Bryan Schutmaat

Marcia Lippman

Ina Jang

Left; Daniel Sannwald                                                                        Right; Thomas Struth

Efrem Zelony-Mindell is an artist who lives in New York. For more of his work click here …

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