We at Paste would like to issue a hearty congratulations to the young New York city photographer who recently made Vice’s list of “Great Young New York Photographers.”
One quick, kinda important note—this list also happened to be compiled by that same photographer. Here’s how the writer described the great young photographer, keeping in mind that they are one and the same person:
xxxx will receive a BFA in photography from Pratt Institute in May 2018. Working in both collage and photography, xxxx is compelled to shoot strangers whose actions mimic the feelings and situations of her personal memories. Using idiosyncratic imagery, she confronts her past and present self and explores how the passing of time potentially changes human nature.
The unconventional tactic, controversial and audacious, is paying off. Already, the tastemakers of the Internet are lining up to give the writer/photographer her props:
Uh @VICE not to edit-shame you or anything but the author of this article put herself in the article as a subject pic.twitter.com/YjlRAmNPN7— Anna Merlan (@annamerlan) May 19, 2017
@annamerlan@VICE by far my favorite thing today— Sopan Deb (@SopanDeb) May 19, 2017
I was once simultaneously one of the top 10 prospects in the AL Central and one of the top 10 films of 2004. https://t.co/o6pYG01wBa— Will Leitch (@williamfleitch) May 19, 2017
@annamerlan@VICE Excited to announce I am one of Twitter's hottest indie quipsmiths.— Omni Lovato ???? (@AdjectiveNouns) May 19, 2017
On a serious note, any fledgling journalist/photo-journalist/artist/whatever who claims that self-promotion isn’t a big, ugly part of the business is telling you a lie. The game is the game, and from re-tweeting compliments to incessantly spreading our work on social media, there is no end for the young aspirants of the web. However, it is usually not this overt.
But this particular is only guilty of bad judgment, which is forgivable and even, to a degree, understandable. Gauche, and eminently avoidable, but relatable to anybody trying to forge a career in this over-saturated online bog. Less understandable? The editorial role of Vice. It’s pretty insane that a publication of their stature either:
A. Somehow didn’t catch this, or, worse,
B. Knew it was happening, and thought it was totally fine.
Anyway, we here at Paste Magazine—recently voted one of the Internet’s sexiest, smartest cultural destinations by Paste Magazine—strongly condemn this tactless act of naked self-promotion.
UPDATE! Vice has added this to the top of the article, which is now attributed to a different author:
Correction: An earlier version of this post mistakenly attributed the article to xxxx. The photographers featured were in fact chosen by the heads of the photo departments at their respective schools. xxxx, who is a VICE intern, assisted VICE photo editor Liz Renstrom in choosing which images from the chosen artists to include. xxxxx did not make the decision to include herself. The artist statements were provided by the students. Everyone on Twitter please calm down.
Okay, so…dumb mistake by Vice, but also, it’s still fairly shady that an article like this was used to promote someone who works at Vice, right? Shouldn’t that person be ineligible, regardless of who allegedly chose her? Oh well.
UPDATE 2: The original author tweeted this herself, which sure makes it seem like she wrote it:
I told my boss that I shouldn’t feature myself unless she felt I should and she told me to so I don’t know why I’m so in the wrong
UPDATE 3: You may notice this post now reads a bit vaguely, with all mentions of the writer’s name redacted. We received a request from Vice to do so, and since they bear the lion’s share of the blame for this snafu, and it seems a bit cruel to expose the intern to a lifetime of Google infamy, we’re obliging out of the kindness of our hearts. Still: dumb move, everyone.