Andrea Bell

Andrea Bell ist Kunstgeschichtlerin, Kritikerin und Autorin.

Andrea Bell is an art historian, critic and writer. She is a digital curator for @thisaintartschool (TAAS), which is an online photography platform and community on Instagram. Andrea received her PhD from NYU and teaches Art History and Theory at Parsons School of Design in NYC. You can find her on twitter and Instagram at @andiseesartnyc

“Marie Ulmer” by Candace Karch


Hi, this is Andrea for This Aint Art School, an online photography platform and community.TAAS is always on the lookout for new and interesting projects to feature, and I’ve been sharing some of our most popular with you over the last month. For my final feature, I’m happy to share the work of Candace Karch.


Candace Karch (@sugarbeam on instagram) has been taking photos since before the invention of Instagram. In her early days, she shot film. In her mid-days, she discovered digital photography. Now in her mid to late days she is using an IPhone, a point and shoot and occasionally reuniting with “Madame” her Mamiya C330.


Karch describes the subject of one of her recent photographic series, Marie Ulmer, as “a 101-year-old artist who rose to viral “fame” in 2015 when the series “Ms Ulmer” took third place in the lensculture portrait awards. She has made a piece of artwork every day for the last 95 years. Her work, which spans over eight decades, includes a wide variety of styles and mediums. Some of the most striking works for me have been her self-portraits. She used herself as a model primarily because, as she put it, “I drew who was available.” She never married and never had children. She has often expressed that a man might have interfered with her work. In the “Ms Ulmer” series she was able to discover a personality, she never explored, in front of my camera to become my muse. Marie Ulmer has spent a lifetime devoting herself to art, her constant companion. I have great admiration for her focus and dedication to her one true love, art.”

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“Blue Collar” by Tyler Gray


This is Andrea, and I’m bringing you another feature from This Aint Art School (@thisaintartschool on instagram). TAAS is an online photography platform and community that runs regular challenges in collaboration with museums, galleries, and notable photographers. We also feature the best in new and established photographers, and are constantly on the lookout for more.


Tyler Gray (@ty1ergray on instagram) is a commercial director and photographer based in Toronto, Canada. He describes his series “Blue Collar” as “an ongoing series of untold stories. Each image contains an open-ended narrative where I leave the viewer to draw their own conclusion based on how they interpret it.” His cinematic style hints at this much larger narrative, while the old cars and mid-century ranch houses evoke a bygone era in these heartland manufacturing towns, which seem out of place and out of time.

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“Too Tired for Sunshine” by Tara Wray

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Hello, This is Andrea Bell sharing another feature with you from This Ain’t Art School, our online photography platform and community on Instagram. At TAAS we foster our photographic community by hosting regular challenges and meet ups and by featuring both new and established photographers in our feed.


Tara Wray (@tara_wray) is a photographer based in Vermont. Her most recent photobook, Too Tired for Sunshine, was published by Yoffy Press in 2018. In Too Tired for Sunshine, Tara Wray confronts depression by documenting the beauty, darkness, and absurdity of everyday life. Drawn from her daily life and wanderings, the photos explore loneliness and isolation, filtered through her lens of absurdist dark humor. Too Tired for Sunshine puts a fine point on channeling pain into creative expression. We are both witnessing the process and experiencing the result. Tara Wray takes us on a visual and emotional journey with disarming humor that lets us lean in to the sadness.


Wray recently launched the Too Tired Project on Instagram, a photo initiative that aims to help those struggling with depression by offering a place for collective creative expression, with a curated selection of the work to be published in book form by Yoffy Press.

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#martinparrassignment x C/O Berlin x EMOP Berlin


The European Month of Photography is Germany’s largest photo festival. It shows the entire spectrum of historical and contemporary photography in Berlin every two years. Numerous museums, cultural institutions, galleries, project spaces, embassies, and photo schools in Berlin and Potsdam present exhibitions and events which have been selected by a panel of experts. The EMOP Opening Days 2018 take place at C/O Berlin. The program of events will feature talks and panels with internationally renowned photographers, curators, media experts, and journalists, accompanied by performances, music acts, workshops, and Photobook: RESET.

Martin Parr whose exhibition “Golden Hearts” will be on view during EMOP Berlin, will also have an artist talk during the EMOP Opening Days on 29 September at C/O Berlin.


Martin Parr once said:

“With photography, I like to create fiction out of reality. I try and do this by taking society’s natural prejudice and giving this a twist.”

He came up with the following assignment:

I am a fly. Try and take an image as if you were a fly. We want a nice fluid shot, and remember what flies are interested in.

Please post your photos between 23 September and 14 October 2018 using the hashtag #martinparrassignment on Instagram. The three best photos will be chosen by Martin Parr, This Ain’t Art School, EMOP Berlin and C/O Berlin.

What to win? The first prize is a Leica D-Lux Explorer Kit, Type 109, the second prize is a Leica Sofort “LimoLand”, and the third prize is the book “Augen Auf! 100 Jahre Leica Fotografie” – all sponsored by Leica Camera. AND as a plus: All three winner photos will be presented in the foyer of C/O Berlin and get an EMOP Berlin 2018 catalogue on top.

Instagram might not be primarily about photography, but @thisaintartschool on Instagram is. With the community photo project This Ain’t Art School, we want to show that Instagram and traditional photography are not mutually exclusive, but can complement each other. We provide a space to share work taken by people with a discerning eye. This Ain‘t Art School was founded in the summer of 2014 by Anika Meier. TAAS runs monthly assignments based on the work of a photographer or on themes.

Let‘s play!


Autoportrait, Havana, Cuba, 2000
© Martin Parr Collection / Magnum Photos

Autoportrait, Pingyao, China, 2003 
© Martin Parr Collection / Magnum Photos