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Famous Photographers / R

Raghu Rai
India
1942
Raghu Rai (born in December 1942) qualified as a civil engineer, started photography at the age of 23 in 1965. He joined The Statesman newspaper as their chief photographer (1966 to 1976), and was then Picture Editor with Sunday—a weekly news magazine published from Calcutta (1977 to 1980). In 1971, impressed by Rai’s exhibition at Gallery Delpire, Paris, the legendary photographer Henri Cartier Bresson nominated him to Magnum Photos, the world’s most prestigious photographer’s cooperative which Rai could start only in 1977, Rai took over as Picture Editor-Visualiser- Photographer of India Today, India’s leading news magazine in its formative years. He worked on special issues and designs, contributing trailblazing picture essays on social, political and cultural themes of the decade (1982 to 1991). He was awarded the "Padmashree" in 1972 for the body of works he produced on Bangladesh refugees, the war and its surrender. In 1992 he was awarded “Photographer of the Year” in the United States for the story “Human Management of Wildlife in India” published in National Geographic. In 2009 he was conferred Officier des Arts et des Lettres by French Government. His photo essays have appeared in many of the world’s leading magazines and newspapers - including Time, Life, GEO, Le Figaro, Le Monde, Die Welt, The New York Times, Sunday The Times-London, Newsweek, Vogue, GQ, D magazine, Marie Claire, The Independent and The New Yorker. He has been an adjudicator for World Press Photo contest, Amsterdam and UNESCO’s International Photo Contest for many times. Currently, Raghu Rai lives in New Delhi and is working on his 57th book.Source: raghuraifoundation.org Rai has specialized in extensive coverage of India. He has produced a lot of books, including Raghu Rai's Delhi, The Sikhs, Calcutta, Khajuraho, Taj Mahal, Tibet in Exile, India, and Mother Teresa. His photo essays have appeared in many magazines and newspapers. For Greenpeace, he has completed an in-depth documentary project on the chemical disaster at Bhopal in 1984, which he covered as a journalist with India Today, and on its ongoing effects on the lives of gas victims. This work resulted in a book, Exposure: A Corporate Crime and three exhibitions that toured Europe, America, India and southeast Asia after 2004, the 20th anniversary of the disaster. Rai wanted the exhibition to support the many survivors through creating greater awareness, both about the tragedy, and about the victims – many who are still uncompensated – who continue to live in the contaminated environment around Bhopal. In 2003, while on an assignment for Geo Magazine in Bombay City, he switched to using a digital Nikon D100 camera "and from that moment to today, I haven't been able to go back to using film." In 2017, Avani Rai, his daughter followed her father on one of his trips to Kashmir to get an insight into his life and know him better. She documented this journey and released a documentary on it called Raghu Rai: An Unframed Portrait. It depicts a historical narrative through Raghu Rai's photographs through time, as he tells some of his unique experiences that not only affected him deeply but also important landmarks in the young yet crucial history of India. It was executive produced by Anurag Kashyap.Source: Wikipedia Rai was awarded the "Padmashree" in 1971, one of India’s highest civilian awards ever given to a photographer. In 1992, his National Geographic cover story Human Management of Wildlife in India won him widespread critical acclaim for the piece. Besides winning many national and international awards, Rai has exhibited his works in London, Paris, New York, Hamburg, Prague, Tokyo, Zurich and Sydney. His photo essays have appeared in many of the world’s leading magazines and newspapers. He has served three times on the jury of the World Press Photo and twice on the jury of UNESCO’s International Photo Contest. Raghu Rai lives in Delhi with his family and continues to be a correspondent of Magnum Photos.Source: Magnum Photos
John Rankin
United Kingdom
1966
Synonymous with compelling portraiture, Rankin's lens captures, creates and unveils icons. Rankin made his name in publishing, founding the seminal monthly magazine Dazed & Confused with Jefferson Hack in 1992. It provided a platform for innovation for emerging stylists, designers, photographers and writers. The magazine went on to forge a distinctive mark in the arts and publishing spheres, and developed a cult status by forming and moulding trends, and bringing some of the brightest lights in fashion to the foreground. Rankin has created landmark editorial and advertising campaigns. His body of work features some of the most celebrated publications, biggest brands and pioneering charities, including Nike, Swatch, Dove, Pantene, Diageo, Women's Aid, and Breakthrough Breast Cancer. He has shot covers for Elle, German Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, Esquire, GQ, Rolling Stone and Wonderland. His work has always endeavoured to question social norms and ideas of beauty and, in late 2000, Rankin published the heteroclite quarterly Rank, an experimental anti-fashion magazine celebrating the unconventional. In 2001, Jefferson and Rankin launched AnOther Magazine. With a focus on fashion, originality, and distinction. In response to the expanding menswear market, in 2005 AnOther Man was introduced, combining intelligent editorial with groundbreaking design and style. More recently, the Dazed Group has established itself as an online authority, via AnOthermag.com, Dazeddigital.com and Dazedtv.com. Rankin celebrated Dazed & Confused's 20th anniversary, shooting 20 front covers of Dazed favourites and 20 inside covers of the next generation of talent, for the December 2011 issue. Tapping into the consciousness of the 90s and 00s with his intimate approach and playful sense of humour, Rankin became known for his portraiture of bands, artists, supermodels and politicians. Having photographed everyone from the Queen of England to the Queen of Pop, Rankin is often seen as a celebrity photographer. However, his plethora of campaigns and projects featuring 'real women' marked him out as a genuinely passionate portrait photographer, no matter who the subject. Always pursuing personal projects which push his limits, high impact charity projects, and groundbreaking commercial campaigns, Rankin has stood out for his creative fearlessness. His first major worldwide and award-winning campaign - Dove's 'Real Women' - epitomised his approach: to reveal the honesty of the connection and collaborative process between photographer and subject. Personal or commercial, Rankin's images have become part of contemporary iconography, evidence of his frankness and passion for all aspects of modern culture, and its representation in the photographed image. Rankin has published over 30 books, is regularly exhibited in galleries around the world, as well as his own London gallery. His museum-scale exhibition Show Off opened at NRW Dusseldorf in September 2012, pulling in over 30,000 visitors in 3 months. In the last few years, he has frequently turned his hand to studies of photography through TV presenting. Working with the BBC, he has featured in a number of seminal documentaries - The Seven Photographs that Changed Fashion, South Africa in Pictures, Shooting the Stars, The Life Magazine Photographers and most recently, an in-depth documentary into the modern approach to death in, Alive: In the Face of Death. His affiliation with charities has seen Rankin travel the world, creating powerful campaigns both as a photographer and a director. With Oxfam, he visited the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Kenya, and in 2011 hosted an Oxglam exhibition, featuring work from some of the world's most talented emerging young photographers, and raising money for the charity. 2013 sees a planned trip to Jordan and Lebanon with Oxfam. In 2009, Rankin undertook the biggest project of his career - Rankin Live, a mammoth, interactive spectacle and exhibition. Always interested in the democratisation of the image, and also a keen advocate of the amazing digital advances of the photographic industry, Rankin Live was the culmination of the accessibility and speed of modern photography. Rankin proved that everyone can look like a magazine cover star as, for 7 straight weeks, he photographed people off the street, one every 15 minutes - retouching, printing and hanging the image within half an hour of the shutter being fired. Rankin photographed over 1600 Londoners, before then taking Rankin Live on tour in Mexico and New York. In 2011, Rankin Film Productions was born. Rankin developed a taste for film directing music videos, commercials, and short films with co-director Chris Cottam between 2002 and 2009, including their debut feature film, The Lives of Saints. Written by Toni Grisoni (Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas), it won the grand jury prize at the Salento International Film Festival. Since 2009, Rankin has continued to direct independently on both commercial and personal projects. Taking on the new role of Executive Producer, Rankin recently founded Collabor8te, in association with The Bureau and Dazed TV. Collabor8te calls on scriptwriters and directors to submit their ideas for narrative film, promising to turn a selection of these dreams into a reality, producing them, featuring them on Dazed TV, and running them on the international film festival circuit. In November 2011, Rankin returned to magazine publishing with a fresh offering - The Hunger. A biannual fashion, culture and lifestyle magazine, The Hunger and its associated Hunger TV website - a video-based digital platform featuring in-depth interviews, fashion films, blogs, updates, and previews - marked Rankin's return to the fashion world with an understanding that the future is not only printed but digital too. Rankin lives in London with his wife, Tuuli, and son, Lyle.
Man Ray
United States
1890 | † 1976
Man Ray (born Emmanuel Radnitzky) was an American visual artist who spent most of his career in Paris. He was a significant contributor to the Dada and Surrealist movements, although his ties to each were informal. He produced major works in a variety of media but considered himself a painter above all. He was best known for his pioneering photography, and was a renowned fashion and portrait photographer. He is also noted for his work with photograms, which he called "rayographs" in reference to himself. During his career, Man Ray allowed few details of his early life or family background to be known to the public. He even refused to acknowledge that he ever had a name other than Man Ray. Man Ray's birth name was Emmanuel Radnitzky. He was born in South Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on August 27, 1890. He was the eldest child of Russian Jewish immigrants Melach "Max" Radnitzky, a tailor, and Manya "Minnie" Radnitzky (née Lourie or Luria). He had a brother, Sam, and two sisters, Dorothy "Dora" and Essie (or Elsie), the youngest born in 1897 shortly after they settled at 372 Debevoise St. in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York. In early 1912, the Radnitzky family changed their surname to Ray. Man Ray's brother chose the surname in reaction to the ethnic discrimination and antisemitism prevalent at the time. Emmanuel, who was called "Manny" as a nickname, changed his first name to Man and gradually began to use Man Ray as his name. I photograph what I do not wish to paint and I paint what I cannot photograph. -- Man Ray Man Ray's father worked in a garment factory and ran a small tailoring business out of the family home. He enlisted his children to assist him from an early age. Man Ray's mother enjoyed designing the family's clothes and inventing patchwork items from scraps of fabric. Man Ray wished to disassociate himself from his family background, but their tailoring left an enduring mark on his art. Mannequins, flat irons, sewing machines, needles, pins, threads, swatches of fabric, and other items related to tailoring appear in almost every medium of his work. Art historians have noted similarities between Ray's collage and painting techniques and styles used for tailoring. His education at Brooklyn's Boys' High School from 1904 to 1909 provided him with solid grounding in drafting and other basic art techniques. While he attended school, he educated himself with frequent visits to the local art museums, where he studied the works of the Old Masters. After his graduation, Ray was offered a scholarship to study architecture but chose to pursue a career as an artist. Man Ray's parents were disappointed by their son's decision to pursue art, but they agreed to rearrange the family's modest living quarters so that Ray's room could be his studio. The artist remained in the family home over the next four years. During this time, he worked steadily towards becoming a professional painter. Man Ray earned money as a commercial artist and was a technical illustrator at several Manhattan companies. The surviving examples of his work from this period indicate that he attempted mostly paintings and drawings in 19th-century styles. He was already an avid admirer of contemporary avant-garde art, such as the European modernists he saw at Alfred Stieglitz's "291" gallery and works by the Ashcan School. However, with a few exceptions, he was not yet able to integrate these trends into his own work. The art classes he sporadically attended, including stints at the National Academy of Design and the Art Students League, were of little apparent benefit to him. When he enrolled in the Ferrer School in the autumn of 1912, he began a period of intense and rapid artistic development. While living in New York City, Man Ray was influenced by the avant-garde practices of European contemporary artists he was introduced to at the 1913 Armory Show and in visits to Alfred Stieglitz's "291" art gallery. His early paintings display facets of cubism. After befriending Marcel Duchamp, who was interested in showing movement in static paintings, his works began to depict movement of the figures. An example is the repetitive positions of the dancer's skirts in The Rope Dancer Accompanies Herself with Her Shadows (1916). In 1915, Man Ray had his first solo show of paintings and drawings after he had taken up residence at an art colony in Grantwood, New Jersey, across the Hudson River from New York City. His first proto-Dada object, an assemblage titled Self-Portrait, was exhibited the following year. He produced his first significant photographs in 1918, after initially picking up the camera to document his own artwork. Man Ray abandoned conventional painting to involve himself with Dada, a radical anti-art movement. He published two Dadaist periodicals, and each only had one issue, The Ridgefield Gazook (1915) and TNT (1919), the latter co-edited by Adolf Wolff and Mitchell Dawson. He started making objects and developed unique mechanical and photographic methods of making images. For the 1918 version of Rope Dancer, he combined a spray-gun technique with a pen drawing. Like Duchamp, he worked with readymade—ordinary objects that are selected and modified. His Gift readymade (1921) is a flatiron with metal tacks attached to the bottom, and Enigma of Isidore Ducasse is an unseen object (a sewing machine) wrapped in cloth and tied with cord. Aerograph (1919), another work from this period, was done with airbrush on glass. In 1920, Man Ray helped Duchamp make the Rotary Glass Plates, one of the earliest examples of kinetic art. It was composed of glass plates turned by a motor. That same year, Man Ray, Katherine Dreier, and Duchamp founded the Société Anonyme, an itinerant collection that was the first museum of modern art in the U.S. In 1941 the collection was donated to Yale University Art Gallery. Man Ray teamed up with Duchamp to publish one issue of New York Dada in 1920. For Man Ray, Dada's experimentation was no match for the wild and chaotic streets of New York. He wrote that "Dada cannot live in New York. All New York is dada, and will not tolerate a rival." In 1913, Man Ray met his first wife, the Belgian poet Adon Lacroix (Donna Lecoeur) (1887–1975), in New York. They married in 1914, separated in 1919, and formally divorced in 1937. In July 1921, Man Ray went to live and work in Paris, France. He soon settled in the Montparnasse quarter favored by many artists. His accidental rediscovery of the cameraless photogram, which he called "rayographs", resulted in mysterious images hailed by Tristan Tzara as "pure Dada creations". Shortly after arriving in Paris, he met and fell in love with Kiki de Montparnasse (Alice Prin), an artists' model and celebrated character in Paris bohemian circles. Kiki was Man Ray's companion for most of the 1920s. She became the subject of some of his most famous photographic images, and starred in his experimental films Le Retour à la Raison and L'Étoile de mer. In 1929, he began a love affair with the Surrealist photographer Lee Miller. She also was his photographic assistant and together, they reinvented the photographic technique of solarization. Miller left him in 1932. From late 1934 until August 1940, Man Ray was in a relationship with Adrienne Fidelin. She was a Guadeloupean dancer and model and she appears in many of his photographs. When Ray fled the Nazi occupation in France, Adrienne chose to stay behind to care for her family. Unlike the artist's other significant muses, until 2022, Fidelin had largely been written out of his life story. Man Ray was a pioneering photographer in Paris for two decades between the wars. Significant members of the art world, such as Pablo Picasso, Tristan Tzara, James Joyce, Gertrude Stein, Jean Cocteau, Salvador Dalí, Peggy Guggenheim, Bridget Bate Tichenor, Luisa Casati, and Antonin Artaud, posed for his camera. Man Ray's international fame as a portrait photographer is reflected in a series of photographs of Maharajah Yashwant Rao Holkar II and his wife Sanyogita Devi from their visit to Europe in 1927. In the winter of 1933, surrealist artist Méret Oppenheim, known for her fur-covered teacup, posed nude for Man Ray in a well-known series of photographs depicting her standing next to a printing press. His practice of photographing African objects in the Paris collections of Paul Guillaume and Charles Ratton and others led to several iconic photographs, including Noire et blanche. As Man Ray scholar Wendy A. Grossman has illustrated, "no one was more influential in translating the vogue for African art into a Modernist photographic aesthetic than Man Ray." Man Ray was represented in the first Surrealist exhibition with Jean Arp, Max Ernst, André Masson, Joan Miró, and Pablo Picasso at the Galerie Pierre in Paris in 1925. Important works from this time were a metronome with an eye, originally titled Object to Be Destroyed, and the Violon d'Ingres, a stunning photograph of Kiki de Montparnasse, styled after the painter/musician Ingres. Violon d'Ingres is a popular example of how Man Ray could juxtapose disparate elements in his photography to generate meaning. Man Ray directed a number of influential avant-garde short films, known as Cinéma Pur. He directed Le Retour à la Raison (2 mins, 1923); Emak-Bakia (16 mins, 1926); L'Étoile de Mer (15 mins, 1928); and Les Mystères du Château de Dé (27 mins, 1929). Man Ray also assisted Marcel Duchamp with the cinematography of his film Anemic Cinema (1926), and Ray personally manned the camera on Fernand Léger's Ballet Mécanique (1924). In René Clair's film Entr'acte (1924), Man Ray appeared in a brief scene playing chess with Duchamp. Duchamp, Man Ray, and Francis Picabia were all friends and collaborators, connected by their experimental, entertaining, and innovative art. The Second World War forced Man Ray to return from Paris to the United States. He lived in Los Angeles from 1940 to 1951 where he focused his creative energy on painting. A few days after arriving in Los Angeles, he met Juliet Browner, a first-generation American of Romanian-Jewish lineage. She was a trained dancer who studied dance with Martha Graham, and an experienced artists' model. They married in 1946 in a double wedding with their friends Max Ernst and Dorothea Tanning. In 1948 Ray had a solo exhibition at the Copley Galleries in Beverly Hills, which brought together a wide array of work and featured his newly painted canvases of the Shakespearean Equations series. Man Ray returned to Paris in 1951, and settled with Juliet into a studio at 2 bis rue Férou near the Luxembourg Gardens in St. Germain-des-Prés, where he continued his creative practice across mediums. During the last quarter century of his life, he returned to a number of his iconic earlier works, recreating them in new form. He also directed the production of limited-edition replicas of several of his objects, working first with Marcel Zerbib and later Arturo Schwarz. In 1963, he published his autobiography, Self-Portrait (republished in 1999). Ray continued to work on new paintings, photographs, collages and art objects till his death. Retrieved August 19, 2022. He died in Paris on November 18, 1976, from a lung infection. He was interred in the Cimetière du Montparnasse in Paris. His epitaph reads "Unconcerned, but not indifferent". When Juliet died in 1991, she was interred in the same tomb. Her epitaph reads "Together again". Juliet organized a trust for Ray's work and donated much of his work to museums. Her plans to restore the studio as a public museum proved too expensive; such was the structure's disrepair. Most of the contents were stored at the Centre Pompidou.Source: Wikipedia Speaking of nudes, I have always had a great fondness for this subject, both in my paintings and in my photos, and I must admit, not for purely artistic reasons. -- Man Ray “I have finally freed myself from the sticky medium of paint, and am working directly with light itself.” So enthused Man Ray in 1922, shortly after his first experiments with camera-less photography. He remains well known for these images, commonly called photograms but which he dubbed "rayographs" in a punning combination of his own name and the word “photograph.” Man Ray’s artistic beginnings came some years earlier, in the Dada movement. Shaped by the trauma of World War I and the emergence of a modern media culture—epitomized by advancements in communication technologies like radio and cinema—Dada artists shared a profound disillusionment with traditional modes of art making and often turned instead to experimentations with chance and spontaneity. In The Rope Dancer Accompanies Herself with Her Shadows, Man Ray based the large, color-block composition on the random arrangement of scraps of colored paper scattered on the floor. The painting evinces a number of interests that the artist would carry into his photographic work: negative space and shadows; the partial surrender of compositional decisions to accident; and, in its precise, hard-edged application of unmodulated color, the removal of traces of the artist’s hand. In 1922, six months after he arrived in Paris from New York, Man Ray made his first rayographs. To make them, he placed objects, materials, and sometimes parts of his own or a model's body onto a sheet of photosensitized paper and exposed them to light, creating negative images. This process was not new—camera-less photographic images had been produced since the 1830s—and his experimentation with it roughly coincided with similar trials by Lázló Moholy-Nagy. But in his photograms, Man Ray embraced the possibilities for irrational combinations and chance arrangements of objects, emphasizing the abstraction of images made in this way. He published a selection of these rayographs—including one centered around a comb, another containing a spiral of cut paper, and a third with an architect’s French curve template on its side—in a portfolio titled Champs délicieux in December 1922, with an introduction written by the Dada leader Tristan Tzara. In 1923, with his film Le Retour à la raison (Return to Reason), he extended the rayograph technique to moving images. Around the same time, Man Ray’s experiments with photography carried him to the center of the emergent Surrealist movement in Paris. Led by André Breton, Surrealism sought to reveal the uncanny coursing beneath familiar appearances in daily life. Man Ray proved well suited to this in works like Anatomies, in which, through framing and angled light, he transformed a woman’s neck into an unfamiliar, phallic form. He contributed photographs to the three major Surrealist journals throughout the 1920s and 1930s, and also constructed Surrealist objects like Gift, in which he altered a domestic tool (an iron) into an instrument of potential violence, and Indestructible Object (or Object to Be Destroyed), a metronome with a photograph of an eye affixed to its swinging arm, which was destroyed and remade several times.Source: The Museum of Modern Art
Eli Reed
United States
1946
Eli Reed, born Ellis Reed, is a photojournalist and photographer from the United States. Reed was Magnum Photos agency's first full-time black photographer and the author of several publications, including Black In America. Several pictures from that project have won awards in juried exhibits and exhibitions. Eli Reed was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University from 1982 to 1983 and is now a clinical professor of photojournalism at The University of Texas at Austin. In 1982, he was a runner-up for the Pulitzer Prize in Feature Photography. Reed has received the World Press Award and the Overseas Press Club Award, as well as being a Sony Global Imaging Ambassador. He received a Lucie Foundation Award for Documentary Photography in 2011. Reed's photography was featured at the prestigious Visa pour l'image Festival Du Photoreportage in Perpignan, France, in 2015. Reed was asked to talk at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in October 2015 as part of their Visually Speaking series. He was a keynote speaker at National Geographic Magazine′s Photography Seminar in Washington, D.C. in January 2016. Stop talking theory... and do not over-think the image. Lose the ego and let the photograph find you. Observe the life moving like a river around you and realise that the images you make may become part of the collective history of the time that you are living in. -- Eli Reed Eli Reed grew up in Perth Amboy, New Jersey. At the age of ten, he took his first snapshot, of his mother near the Christmas tree. Self-taught in photography, he credits his direction to mentor Donald Greenhaus rather than formal education. He graduated in 1969 from the Newark School of Fine and Industrial Arts, where he studied illustration. Reed began working as a freelance photographer in 1970. His work from the Lebanon war (which he covered between 1983 and 1987), the 1986 Haiti coup against Baby Doc Duvalier, and the 1989 US military intervention in Panama attracted the attention of Magnum in 1982. Reed joined the agency as a full member in 1988. In the same year Reed photographed the effects of poverty on America's children for a film documentary called Poorest in the Land of Plenty, narrated by Maya Angelou. He went on to work as a stills and specials photographer for major motion pictures. His video documentary Getting Out was shown at the New York Film Festival in 1993 and honored by the 1996 Black Film-makers Hall of Fame International Film and Video Competition in the documentary category. Reed's special reports include a long-term study on Beirut (1983-87), which became his first, highly acclaimed book Beirut, City of Regrets, the ousting of Baby Doc Duvalier in Haiti (1986), US military action in Panama (1989), the Walled City in Hong Kong and, perhaps most notably, his documentation of African-American experience over more than twenty years. Spanning the 1970s through the end of the 1990s, his book Black in America includes images from the Crown Heights riots and the Million Man March. The main thing for me is that I'm happy that I've been able to work as a professional photographer. What is at the core of my work is, in essence, a mediation on being a human being. -- Eli Reed Reed began photographing movies and performers in 1992 and is a member of the Society of Motion Picture Still Photographers (SMPSP). Reed mostly shoots with the Olympus E-3, E-30, and EP-1 cameras. Eli Reed has taught at the Maine Photographic Workshop, the Wilson Hicks Symposium at Miami University in Florida, the Southeastern Museum of Photography in Daytona Beach, Florida, the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D. C., San Francisco State University, Harvard University, the Boston Institute of Art, the Academy of Fine Art in San Francisco, the University of Texas at Austin, Columbia University, Empire State College in New York, New York University, and the International Center of Photography.
 Reza
Iran/France
1952
A philanthropist, idealist, humanist, Reza's career began with studies in architecture. He has gone on to become a renowned photojournalist who, for the last three decades, has worked all over the world, notably for National Geographic. His assignments have taken him to over a hundred countries as a witness to humanity's conflicts and catastrophes. His work is featured in the international media (National Geographic, Time Magazine, Stern, Newsweek, El País, Paris Match, Geo...), as well as a series of books, exhibitions and documentaries made for the National Geographic Channel. Along with his work as a photographer, since 1983 Reza has been a volunteer committed to the training of youths and women from conflict-ridden societies in the language of images, to help them strive for a better world. In 2001, he founded Ainaworld in Afghanistan, a new generation NGO which trains populations in information and communications through the development of educational tools and adapted media. While pursuing his reportages for international media outlets, Reza has continued to conduct workshops on the language of images in a variety through his association Reza Visual Academy. He works with refugees, urban youths in Europe and others from disadvantaged backgrounds. After his work, Mémoires d'Exil ("Memories of Exile") shown at the Louvre Carrousel in 1998, he has shared his humanitarian vision through a series of monumental installations: Crossing Destinies, shown on the grilles of the Luxembourg Gardens in Paris, One World, One Tribe in Washington DC, and the Parc de la Villette in Paris, War + Peace at the Caen Memorial and on the banks of the Garonne in Toulouse, Hope in Doha (Qatar), Windows of the Soul in Corsica, Soul of Coffee, 250 photographic exhibitions throughout the world, including major installations on the banks of the Seine, or at Kew Gardens in London, Land of Tolerance at the UN Headquarters in New York, the European Parliament in Brussels, as well as UNESCO in Paris. In 2014, Azerbaijan: the Elegance of Fire, presented at the Petit Palais revealed a little-known people with an ancestral culture, turned towards modernity. Finally, the giant panorama A Dream of Humanity was featured along the banks of the Seine during the summer of 2015, showing portraits of refugees around the world taken by Reza and photographs taken by refugee children in Iraqi Kurdestan who were trained as "camp reporters" at the workshops organized by Reza Visual Academy. Author of thirty books, and a recipient of many awards over the course of his career, Reza is a Fellow and Explorer of the National Geographic Society, and a Senior Fellow of the Ashoka Foundation. His work has been recognized by World Press Photo; he has also received the Infinity Award from the International Center of Photography, the Lucy Award, an honorary medal from the University of Missouri and the honorary degree of Doctor Honoris Causa from the American University of Paris. France has also appointed him a Chevalier of the National Order of Merit.
Bettina Rheims
France
1952
Bettina Rheims, born Bettina Caroline Germaine Rheims is a French artist and photographer. She began her career with a series of images of striptease dancers and acrobats, and over the years she became one of the most notable persons behind the lens. "I adore flesh. I am a skin photographer," she says famously, and that perfectly explains her work. It is raw and erotic, frequently involving nudity and stuffed animals, and she achieves a visceral emotion that captivates the audience. Some of her most well-known pieces raise problems of gender, androgyny, and transsexuality. Although Bettina Rheims began with obscure and marginalized subjects, her later assignments included advertising campaigns for fashion and major brands like Chanel and Lancôme, as well as prominent international magazines. Madonna, Charlotte Rampling, Catherine Deneuve, Kylie Minogue, Claudia Schiffer, and many others were photographed by Rheims. And there's something indisputably human and true in every photograph she takes, perhaps too natural and personal. I have always believed that whether the work is my idea or a commission, it is personal work.... In the end, as my old master Helmut Newton used to say, there are only two kinds of pictures: the good ones and the bad ones. -- Bettina Rheims Bettina Rheims was born in Neuilly-sur-Seine, France. She is the daughter of the French Academy's Maurice Rheims. She began her career as a photographer in 1978, at the age of 26, after working as a model, a journalist, and running an art gallery. Initially, she accomplished a lot of commissioned work, such as record covers for Jean-Jacques Goldman and celebrity portraits. She devoted herself entirely to photography beginning in 1980. She created a series of images of strippers and acrobats, which were presented in two personal exhibits in Paris in 1981, at the Centre Pompidou and the Galerie Texbraun. Encouraged by her success, she began work on a series of plush animal portraits, which were shown in Paris and New York. In 1982, Rheims' Animal series allowed her to focus her lens on a different type of nudity: stuffed animals with fixed looks, "which seemed to desire to express something beyond death." "I had to capture their stare," the photographer claimed. The photographer questioned gender, androgyny, and transsexuality in Modern Lovers (1989-1990). Les Espionnes (1992) and Kim (1993) were two subsequent publications on the same subject (1994). At the same time she took portrait images for worldwide magazines and advertising campaigns (Well and Chanel), created her first fashion series, worked on cover sleeves, and film posters, and in 1986 directed her first advertising campaign. Her female portraits were published in a monograph, Female Trouble, in 1989, and exhibited in Germany and Japan. The next year, she created Modern Lovers, a series of portraits of androgynous youths that were presented in France, the United Kingdom, and the United States, as well as being published in book form. I still find myself having to justify being a woman taking pictures of naked women. It never occurred to me that there was something bizarre about it, it always felt very natural. -- Bettina Rheims Bettina Rheims began work on one of her major series, Chambre Close, in the early 1990s (1990-1992). This was her first color work, and it marked the beginning of her partnership with novelist Serge Bramly, in which her images were combined with the writer's fiction. Chambre Close is a parody of the first pornographic images in form — chambers with fading walls and old-fashioned wallpaper — but in substance, it attempts to stage amateur models in stances that play on the eroticism and misunderstanding between those looking and those displaying themselves. At the close of his presidential campaign in 1995, Jacques Chirac allowed Rheims to work behind the scenes on a series of images depicting the last moments of the election. Following the election, the French Republic's Presidency commissioned Bettina Rheims to create the official picture of Jacques Chirac. According to Libération, she intended to give the President "the easygoing look of the great heroes in westerns." The decade ended with the publishing of the book I.N.R.I. and its accompanying exhibition in 1999. I.N.R.I. constructs a philosophical debate on the history of the crucifixion through images of episodes from Christ's life, from the Annunciation to the Ascension, once again connecting the gaze of Rheims with the writing of Serge Bramly. Bettina Rheims advocated "modern illustrations, following the advent of photography, cinema, and advertising imagery, as if Jesus were to return today." The release of this work was highly contentious in France. During two long stays in Shanghai in 2002, Bettina Rheimsmade a series about the city. "The initial impressions of a visitor coming in Shanghai are of people with deep-rooted ancestral rituals and customs who have thrown themselves into the frenzied race of the modern world." Rheims, blending into this 'alternative way of thinking,' offers us a fresh perspective on the enigma that is China's coexistence with its millenary traditions, avant-garde facet, official elements, and underground qualities. Rheims exhibited Héroïnes, a piece that was essentially an homage to sculpture, at the Galerie De Noirmont in 2005. On this occasion, the photographer worked with designer Jean Colonna to outfit the women in unique outfits. "Thus, old haute couture gowns were reassembled on each of these contemporary icons. These unusually beautiful women then toyed with a stone, which became their pedestal for a brief while." Bettina Rheims collaborated with Serge Bramly again at the end of the 2000s, and Rose, c'est Paris was shown at the Bibliothèque Nationale de France in 2010. Bettina Rheims and Serge Bramly crafted a fictional thread from autobiographical parts for the photographic story. In this piece, Paris plays "the role of the muse more than the subject, and [appears] in an almost allegorical manner through the figures weaved into a story." A young woman we'll call B. is hunting for Rose, her twin sister who she thinks has vanished. Rose, c'est Paris is presented as a "great mysterious series," a genre beloved by surrealists, and is divided into thirteen episodes in which we discover, among other things, an unusual or obscure Paris that is voluntarily timeless." Exhibited in 2012 in Düsseldorf, the Gender Studies series pursues the questioning of gender representation. The device linking image and sound (by Frédéric Sanchez) presents 27 sound portraits of young men and women who responded to a request the photographer posted on Facebook. The photos are accompanied by interview clips and have featured in several exhibitions and a book. Rheims has also worked on advertising campaigns for fashion and big brands, such as Chanel and Lancôme, as well as taking portraits of famous women for international magazines. Rheims says that she has been inspired by Diane Arbus and Helmut Newton as well as by the work of early painters.
Marc Riboud
France
1923 | † 2016
Marc Riboud was a French photographer best known for his extensive reports on the Far East, including The Three Banners of China, Face of North Vietnam, Visions of China, and In China. Photography cannot change the world, but it can show the world as it changes. -- Marc Riboud Riboud was born in Saint-Genis-Laval and attended Lyon's lycée. He photographed his first picture in 1937, using his father's Vest Pocket Kodak camera. From 1943 to 1945, he was a member of the French Resistance as a young man during WWII. From 1945 to 1948, he studied engineering at the École Centrale de Lyon after the war. Marc Riboud worked as an engineer in Lyon factories until 1951, when he took a week-long photography vacation that inspired him to become a photographer. He relocated to Paris, where he met the founders of Magnum Photos, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Capa, and David Seymour. He was a member of the organization by 1953. His ability to capture fleeting moments in life through powerful compositions was already apparent, and he would use this skill for decades to come. Eiffel Tower Painter, Paris, 1953© Marc Riboud Riboud traveled around the world for the next several decades. He was one of the first European photographers to visit China in 1957, and he documented North Vietnam in 1968, 1972, and 1976. Later in life, he traveled extensively throughout the world, primarily in Asia, Africa, the United States, and Japan. Marc Riboud has witnessed war atrocities (photographing from both the Vietnamese and American sides of the Vietnam War) as well as the apparent degeneration of a culture suppressed from within (China during Chairman Mao Zedong's Cultural Revolution). In contrast, he has captured the graces of everyday life in sun-drenched corners of the world (Fès, Angkor, Acapulco, Niger, Bénarès, Shaanxi), as well as the lyricism of child's play in everyday Paris. In 1976 he becomes president of Magnum and resigns three years later. Riboud's photographs have appeared in a variety of publications, including Life, Geo, National Geographic, Paris Match, and Stern. He has received the Overseas Press Club Award twice, the Sony World Photography Awards Lifetime Achievement Award in 2009, and major retrospective exhibitions at the Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris and the International Center of Photography in New York. In 1998, Marc Riboud was named an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society. The eye is made to see and not to think.... A good photograph is a surprise. How could we plan and foresee a surprise? We just have to be ready. -- Marc Riboud Eiffel Tower Painter, taken in Paris in 1953, is one of Riboud's most well-known photographs. It depicts a man painting the tower, posing like a dancer and perched between the tower's metal armature. Paris emerges from the photographic haze beneath him. Riboud's images frequently feature lone figures. In Ankara, a central figure is silhouetted against an industrial backdrop, whereas a man lies in a field in France. The vertical composition emphasizes the landscape, the trees, the sky, the water, and the blowing grass, which all surround but do not overpower the human element. The Ultimate Confrontation: The Flower and the Bayonet, Washington D. C, 21 Octobre 1967© Marc Riboud Riboud's photograph, The Ultimate Confrontation: The Flower and the Bayonet, taken on October 21, 1967, is one of the most famous anti-war images. The photograph was taken in Washington, D.C., where thousands of anti-war activists had gathered in front of the Pentagon to protest America's involvement in Vietnam. It shows a young girl, Jan Rose Kasmir, holding a flower and looking out at several rifle-wielding soldiers stationed to block the protesters. Marc Riboud stated about the photograph, "She was just talking, trying to catch the eye of the soldiers, maybe trying to have a dialogue with them. I had the feeling the soldiers were more afraid of her than she was of the bayonets." In contrast to the images in his photo essay A Journey to North Vietnam (1969), Riboud says in an accompanying interview, "My impression is that the country's leaders will not allow the slightest relaxation of the population at large [...] it is almost as if [...] they are anxious to forestall the great unknown - peace." He expanded on his observations of life in North Vietnam in the same Newsweek article: "I was astonished, for example, at the decidedly gay atmosphere in Hanoi's Reunification Park on a Sunday afternoon [...] I honestly did not have the impression they were discussing socialism or the 'American aggressors' [...] I saw quite a few patriotic posters crudely 'improved' with erotic graffiti and sketches." Vietnam, 1976© Marc Riboud There is a gap between what is photographed (or published) and what Riboud said in his interview. The author Geoffrey Wolff commented on this in 1970: "Riboud's photographs illustrate the proposition. The French photographer has been to North Vietnam twice [...] and he is most friendly, on the evidence of his pictures, to the people and the institutions he found there. His photographs are of happy faces,[...] An Air Force ace illustrates how he shot the American 'air pirates' from the sky [...] Who knows the truth about these places?" Rage Against the Machine, an American revolutionary political Rap Metal band, used two of Riboud's photographs for their second single Bullet in the Head. Both images convey strong political and social messages, but they are very different. The front cover depicts American schoolchildren pledging allegiance to the 'flag' (Stars and Stripes) in a classroom; the back cover depicts a young (probably Vietnamese) boy pointing a pistol, with soldiers on parade in the background. It's unclear who or what the boy is aiming at, or if the gun is real or a toy. Since the 1980’s Marc Riboud keeps travelling at his own tempo. He published many books, among which the most famous are The three banners of China, Journal, Huang Shan, Capital of Heaven , Angkor, the serenity of Buddhism, Marc Riboud in China. Riboud married the American sculptor Barbara Chase, who was living in Paris at the time, in 1961. They had two kids. Sally Hemings (1979), her debut novel, received critical acclaim and went on to become a best-seller. They divorced prior to 1981. He later married journalist and author Catherine Chaine. Riboud died on August 30, 2016, at the age of 93, in Paris. In 2004 his retrospective is exhibited at the Maison Européenne de la Photographie in Paris and visited by 100 000 people. Numerous museums trough Europe, as well as United States, China and Japan regularly show his work. He received many awards, among which two Overseas Press Club, the Time-Life Achievement, the Lucie Award and the ICP Infinity Award.
Eugene Richards
United States
1944
Eugene Richards is a noted American documentary photographer. During the 1960s, Richards was a civil rights activist and VISTA volunteer. After receiving a BA in English from Northeastern University, his graduate studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology were supervised by photographer Minor White. Richards' published photographs are mostly intended as a means of raising social awareness, have been characterized as "highly personal" and are both exhibited and published in a series of books. The first book was Few Comforts or Surprises (1973), a depiction of rural poverty in Arkansas; but it was his second book, the self-published Dorchester Days (1978), a "homecoming" to Dorchester, Massachusetts, where Richards had grown up, that won most attention. It is "an angry, bitter book", both political and personal. Gerry Badger writes that "[Richards's] involvement with the people he is photographing is total, and he is one of the best of photojournalists in getting that across, often helped by his own prose". Richards has been a member of Magnum Photos and of VII Photo Agency. He lives in New York.Source: Wikipedia Eugene Richards, photographer, writer, and filmmaker, was born in Dorchester, Massachusetts in 1944. After graduating from Northeastern University with a degree in English, he studied photography with Minor White. In 1968, he joined VISTA, Volunteers in Service to America, a government program established as an arm of the so-called "War on Poverty". Following a year and a half in eastern Arkansas, Richards helped found a social service organization and a community newspaper, Many Voices, which reported on black political action as well as the Ku Klux Klan. Photographs he made during these four years were published in his first monograph, Few Comforts or Surprises: The Arkansas Delta. Upon returning to Dorchester, Richards began to document the changing, racially diverse neighborhood where he was born. After being invited to join Magnum Photos in 1978, he worked increasingly as a freelance magazine photographer, undertaking assignments on such diverse topics as the American family, drug addiction, emergency medicine, pediatric AIDS, aging and death in America. In 1992, he directed and shot Cocaine True, Cocaine Blue, the first of seven short films he would eventually make. Richards has published seventeen books. Exploding Into Life, which chronicles his first wife Dorothea Lynch’s struggle with breast cancer, received Nikon's Book of the Year award. For Below The Line: Living Poor in America, his documentation of urban and rural poverty, Richards received an Infinity Award from the International Center of Photography. The Knife & Gun Club: Scenes from an Emergency Room received an Award of Excellence from the American College of Emergency Physicians. Cocaine True, Cocaine Blue, an extensive reportorial on the effects of hardcore drug usage, received the Kraszna-Krausz Award for Photographic Innovation in Books. That same year, Americans We was the recipient of the International Center of Photography's Infinity Award for Best Photographic Book. In 2005, Pictures of the Year International chose The Fat Baby, an anthology of fifteen photographic essays, Best Book of the year. Richards’s most recent books include The Blue Room, a study of abandoned houses in rural America; War Is Personal, an assessment in words and pictures of the human consequences of the Iraq war; and Red Ball of a Sun Slipping Down, a remembrance of life on the Arkansas Delta.Source: eugenerichards.com
Bob Richardson
United States
1928 | † 2005
Robert George Richardson was an American fashion photographer. He was born in Long Island, New York, to an Irish Catholic family. Originally a graphic designer in New York City, Bob Richardson did not pick up a camera until age 35. His rise to fashion fame was swift, although not without some battle on his part: "I wanted to put reality in my photographs. Sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll. That's what was happening. And I was going to help make it happen. Boy they did not want that in America. Some of those editors were still wearing white gloves to couture." Richardson developed a reputation for being very difficult to work with. He brought his personal life, which was tumultuous, into his art. He battled with bouts of schizophrenia throughout his life. After making it to the top of the often catty and vicious world of fashion, getting paid up to $15,000 for a single image, he succumbed to his illness and ended up homeless on the streets of San Francisco. In 1989, an art historian researching fashion photography tracked Richardson down living in a flophouse, opening the door to Richardson's reestablishing contact with his son and eventually returning to New York City, where with the help of Richard Avedon and Steven Meisel, he was able to obtain teaching positions at International Center of Photography and the School of Visual Arts. Richardson restarted his career in his sixties, once again working for such magazines as Italian Vogue and British GQ. He was the father of photographer Terry Richardson and Margaret "Meg" Richardson (9/30/1957-5/8/2015).Source: Wikipedia Bob Richardson, a fashion photographer of the 1960's and 70's who transmitted the excitements and regrets of a generation of free spirits before disappearing into a shadow land of mental illness and homelessness, died on Dec. 5 at his home in Manhattan. He was 77. He died of natural causes, said his son, Terry. Robert George Richardson, born to Irish-Catholic parents on Long Island, was attracted to the messy, tempestuous, desolating quality of human relations. He was one of the first photographers to recognize that these emotions were not outside the world of 60's fashion but were in fact vital to it. In a 16-page spread in French Vogue in 1967, he evoked the sex idyll, the gloom and the sudden all-obliterating passions of two lovers on a Greek island. In one shot, the model Donna Mitchell is seen crying; in another she lies on a rocky shore, her face turned away, with her nude lover in the water before her. Mr. Richardson's pictures were radical because, more than showing youthful fashion in a liberated way, they sought to expose the life dramas that were then consuming young people. "Which were not about being applauded as you made your entrance to the opera," said Joan Juliet Buck, the writer and fashion editor, who first met Mr. Richardson in 1969 and later introduced him to her friend Anjelica Huston, with whom he had an intense four-year relationship. "They were about crying in your room, feeling lonely, hoping for sex." To photographers like Bruce Weber, Steven Meisel and Peter Lindbergh, Mr. Richardson was a pathfinder. As Mr. Weber said, describing his influence: "There's no textbook, no award, but there is this Bob Richardson school of photography. And it's an anti school. He was the first guy who said it was O.K. to underexpose the film, to not show the clothes." Mr. Weber added: "So many photographers when I first started out idolized Bob. He was sort of an underground figure." In a 1995 profile in The New Yorker, when Bob Richardson had resurfaced after more than a decade of drifting around Southern California and living in cheap motels or at times on the beach, he told the writer Ingrid Sischy: "I wanted to put reality in my photographs. Sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll -- that's what was happening. And I was going to help make it happen. Boy, they did not want that in America. Some of those editors were still wearing white gloves to couture." Bob Richardson was as overbearing and opinionated as he was seductive and handsome. Terry Richardson said his father's schizophrenia was diagnosed in the 1960's. Years of drug and alcohol abuse added to his instability and increasing rootlessness, especially in the 80's, when he had mostly cut off ties with his family. Terry Richardson, also a photographer, said he first helped get his father off the streets in 1984, and by then he had been homeless for two years. "He had lost everything," his son said. After growing up in Rockville Centre, N.Y., Mr. Richardson studied art at the Parsons School of Design and Pratt Institute without graduating. His first marriage, to Barbara Mead, produced a daughter, Margaret, but soon collapsed; according to The New Yorker article, Mr. Richardson did not maintain contact with them. (Terry Richardson said he had not seen his half-sister in a decade and did not know her whereabouts. There are no other immediate survivors.) By the early 60's, Bob Richardson was taking fashion photographs and had resolved, he told Ms. Sischy, to "photograph my kind of woman." Harper's Bazaar gave him his first commission in 1963, and the magazine's art directors, Ruth Ansel and Bea Feitler, seemed especially attuned to his loose, unencumbered style. Around this time, he married an actress named Norma Kessler (from whom he was later divorced), and Terry, their only child, was born in 1965. Norma served as the assistant for the Greek island shoot two years later. "It was just my mom, Dad and me with a bag of clothes," Terry said. "They just went off together and did these pictures." By 1970, Richardson was deeply involved with Ms. Huston, who was 18 when they met, and together they would produce some of the most wistful portraits of the era. Certainly no photographer ever made Ms. Huston look more beautiful. Terry Richardson said the two last saw each other at an airport in 1973, when they went their separate ways. With much of Mr. Richardson's original work lost or buried in magazine archives, a number of individuals, including Mr. Meisel and the art historian Martin Harrison, tried to help restore at least his reputation as an groundbreaking photographer. And in the 90's he received some new assignments from magazines like Italian Vogue. But Mr. Richardson could be hardest on the people who loved him. "It was his way or the highway," his son said. Early this year, Bob Richardson, who had been living in Los Angeles, decided to return to New York, driving across the country in an old Mercedes with his dog, Mick, and taking pictures. He had a publishing deal to produce his first monograph, with Greybull, but through some orneriness, it fell through. Terry Richardson said he would do the book, which includes an autobiography. And in deference to his father's wishes, it will not have any color pictures: "My dad always said, 'I see the world in black and white.' "Source: The New York Times
Jacob Riis
Denmark/United States
1849 | † 1914
Jacob August Riis was a Danish-American social reformer, "muckraking" journalist, and social documentary photographer. He contributed significantly to the cause of urban reform in America at the turn of the twentieth century. He is known for using his photographic and journalistic talents to help the impoverished in New York City; those impoverished New Yorkers were the subject of most of his prolific writings and photography. He endorsed the implementation of "model tenements" in New York with the help of humanitarian Lawrence Veiller. Additionally, as one of the most famous proponents of the newly practicable casual photography, he is considered one of the fathers of photography due to his very early adoption of flash. While living in New York, Riis experienced poverty and became a police reporter writing about the quality of life in the slums. He attempted to alleviate the bad living conditions of poor people by exposing their living conditions to the middle and upper classes. Riis had for some time been wondering how to show the squalor of which he wrote more vividly than his words could express. He tried sketching but was incompetent at this. Camera lenses of the 1880s were slow as was the emulsion of photographic plates; photography thus did not seem to be of any use for reporting about conditions of life in dark interiors. In early 1887, however, Riis was startled to read that "a way had been discovered to take pictures by flashlight. The darkest corner might be photographed that way." The German innovation, by Adolf Miethe and Johannes Gaedicke, flash powder was a mixture of magnesium with potassium chlorate and some antimony sulfide for added stability; the powder was used in a pistol-like device that fired cartridges. This was the introduction of flash photography. Recognizing the potential of the flash, Riis informed a friend, Dr. John Nagle, chief of the Bureau of Vital Statistics in the City Health Department who was also a keen amateur photographer. Nagle found two more photographer friends, Henry Piffard and Richard Hoe Lawrence, and the four of them began to photograph the slums. Their first report was published in the New York newspaper The Sun on February 12, 1888; it was an unsigned article by Riis which described its author as "an energetic gentleman, who combines in his person, though not in practice, the two dignities of deacon in a Long Island church and a police reporter in New York." The "pictures of Gotham's crime and misery by night and day" are described as "a foundation for a lecture called 'The Other Half: How It Lives and Dies in New York.' to give at church and Sunday school exhibitions, and the like." The article was illustrated by twelve-line drawings based on the photographs. Riis and his photographers were among the first Americans to use flash photography. Pistol lamps were dangerous and looked threatening, and would soon be replaced by another method for which Riis lit magnesium powder on a frying pan. The process involved removing the lens cap, igniting the flash powder, and replacing the lens cap; the time taken to ignite the flash powder sometimes allowed a visible image blurring created by the flash. Riis's first team soon tired of the late hours, and Riis had to find other help. Both his assistants were lazy and one was dishonest, selling plates for which Riis had paid. Riis sued him in court successfully. Nagle suggested that Riis should become self-sufficient, so in January 1888 Riis paid $25 for a 4×5 box camera, plate holders, a tripod and equipment for developing and printing. He took the equipment to the potter's field cemetery on Hart Island to practice, making two exposures. The result was seriously overexposed but successful. For three years, Riis combined his own photographs with others commissioned of professionals, donations by amateurs and purchased lantern slides, all of which formed the basis for his photographic archive. Because of the nighttime work, he was able to photograph the worst elements of the New York slums, the dark streets, tenement apartments, and "stale-beer" dives, and documented the hardships faced by the poor and criminal, especially in the vicinity of notorious Mulberry Street. A particularly important effort by Riis was his exposure of the condition of New York's water supply. His five-column story "Some Things We Drink", in the August 21, 1891, edition of the New York Evening Sun, included six photographs (later lost). Riis wrote: "I took my camera and went up in the watershed photographing my evidence wherever I found it. Populous towns sewered directly into our drinking water. I went to the doctors and asked how many days a vigorous cholera bacillus may live and multiply in running water. About seven, said they. My case was made." The story resulted in the purchase by New York City of areas around the New Croton Reservoir, and may well have saved New Yorkers from an epidemic of cholera. Riis tried hard to have the slums around Five Points demolished and replaced with a park. His writings resulted in the Drexel Committee's investigation of unsafe tenements; this resulted in the Small Park Act of 1887. Riis was not invited to the eventual opening of the park on June 15, 1897, but went all the same, together with Lincoln Steffens. In the last speech, the street cleaning commissioner credited Riis for the park and led the public in giving him three cheers of "Hooray, Jacob Riis!" Other parks also were created, and Riis was popularly credited with them as well.Source: Wikipedia
Miguel Rio Branco
Miguel Rio Branco (born 11 December 1946) is a Brazilian photographer, painter, and filmmaker (director and cinematographer). His work has focused on Brazil and included photojournalism, and social and political criticism. Rio Branco is an Associate Member of Magnum Photos. His photographs are included in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art and Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Rio Branco was born in Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, in the Canary Islands. His parents were diplomats and he spent his childhood in Portugal, Switzerland, Brazil and the United States. In 1976 he moved to New York City, where he earned a BA, and took a one-month vocational course at the New York Institute of Photography. In 1978, he moved to Rio de Janeiro and studied at the Industrial Design College. He has been an Associate Member of Magnum Photos since 1980. He lives and works in Rio de Janeiro. Rio Branco's Silent Book (1997) is included in Parr and Badger's The Photobook: A History, Volume II.Source: Wikipedia Miguel Rio Branco (born in Las Palmas in 1946) is a Brazilian artist (photographer, painter, filmmaker and creator of multimedia installations) living and working in Rio de Janeiro. In 1966 he studied at the New York Institute of Photography and in 1968 he left to study at the School of Industrial Design in Rio de Janeiro. Between 1970 and 1972, he worked in New York as a director and cinematographer, and in the following years directed several experimental feature and short films. At the same time, he began exhibiting his photographs in 1972. From 1980 he became a correspondent for Magnum Photos and his photographic work was published in numerous magazines (Aperture, Stern, Photo Magazine). Considering the book as an essential medium of expression, he conceived many books including Sudor Dulce Amargo (Fondo de Cultura Económica, Mexico City, 1985), Natka (Fundação Cultural de Curitib, 1996), Silent Book (Cosac & Naify, 1997), Miguel Rio Branco (Aperture, 1998) and Maldicidade (Taschen, 2019). His work has been the subject of numerous solo exhibitions, including Beauty, the Beast at the Art Institute of Boston in 2003; Plaisir de la douleur at the Maison Européenne de la Photographie in Paris in 2005; Solo at Kulturhuset Stockholm in 2011; Miguel Rio Branco: Nada Levarei quando morrer at the Museu de Arte de São Paulo in 2017 and Miguel Rio Branco at the Moreira Salles Institute in São Paulo in 2020. His works can be found in many European and American public and private collections, including: Museu de Arte Moderna do Rio de Janeiro; Museu de Arte de São Paulo; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego; MoMA, New York.Source: LE BAL
Herb Ritts
United States
1952 | † 2002
Herb Ritts began his photographic career in the late 70's and gained a reputation as a master of art and commercial photography. In addition to producing portraits and editorial fashion for Vogue, Vanity Fair, Interview and Rolling Stone, Ritts also created successful advertising campaigns for Calvin Klein, Chanel, Donna Karan, Gap, Gianfranco Ferré, Gianni Versace, Giorgio Armani, Levi's, Pirelli, Polo Ralph Lauren, Valentino among others. Since 1988 he directed numerous influential and award winning music videos and commercials. His fine art photography has been the subject of exhibitions worldwide, with works residing in many significant public and private collections. In his life and work, Herb Ritts was drawn to clean lines and strong forms. This graphic simplicity allowed his images to be read and felt instantaneously. They often challenged conventional notions of gender or race. Social history and fantasy were both captured and created by his memorable photographs of noted individuals in film, fashion, music, politics and society. Ritts was committed to HIV/AIDS related causes, and contributed to many charitable organizations, among them amfAR, Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation, Project Angel Food, Focus on AIDS, APLA, Best Buddies and Special Olympics . He was also a charter member on the Board of Directors for The Elton John Aids Foundation.Source: www.herbritts.com Born in Los Angeles, to a Jewish family, Ritts began his career working in the family furniture business. His father, Herb Ritts Sr., was a businessman, while his mother, Shirley Ritts, was an interior designer. He moved to the East Coast to attend Bard College in New York, where he majored in economics and art history, graduating in 1975. Later, while living in Los Angeles, he became interested in photography when he and friend Richard Gere, then an aspiring actor, decided to shoot some photographs in front of an old jacked-up Buick. The picture gained Ritts some coverage and he began to be more serious about photography. During the 1980s and 1990s, Ritts prominently photographed celebrities in various locales throughout California. Some of his subjects during this time included Cher, Tina Turner. Elizabeth Taylor, Vincent Price, Madonna, Denzel Washington, Johnny Depp, Ronald Reagan, David Bowie, Courtney Love, Liv Tyler, Matthew McConaughey, Britney Spears, Björk, Prince, Michael Jackson, Axl Rose, Slash, and Mariah Carey. He also took many fashion and nude photographs of fashion models Naomi Campbell, Stephanie Seymour, Tatjana Patitz, Christy Turlington, and Cindy Crawford, including "Tatjana, Veiled Head, Tight View, Joshua Tree, 1988." Ritts' work with those models ushered in the 1990s era of the supermodel and was consecrated by one of his most celebrated images, "Stephanie, Cindy, Christy, Tatjana, Naomi, Hollywood, 1989" taken for Rolling Stone Magazine. He also worked for Interview, Esquire, Mademoiselle, Glamour, GQ, Newsweek, Harper's Bazaar, Rolling Stone, Time, Vogue, Allure, Vanity Fair, Details, and Elle. From 1996 to 1997 Ritts' work was displayed at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, attracting more than 250,000 people to the exhibit, and in 2003 a solo exhibition was held at the Daimaru Museum, in Kyoto, Japan. On December 26, 2002, Ritts died in Los Angeles of complications from pneumonia at the age of 50. Ritts was openly gay, and according to Ritts' publicist, "Herb was HIV-positive, but this particular pneumonia was not PCP (pneumocystis pneumonia), a common opportunistic infection of AIDS. But at the end of the day, his immune system was compromised."Source: Wikipedia
Henry Peach Robinson
United Kingdom
1830 | † 1901
Henry Peach Robinson was an English pictorialist photographer best known for his pioneering combination printing - joining multiple negatives or prints to form a single image; an early example of photomontage. He joined vigorously in contemporary debates in the photographic press and associations about the legitimacy of 'art photography' and in particular the combining of separate images into one. Robinson was the oldest of four children of John Robinson, a Ludlow schoolmaster, and his wife Eliza. He was educated at Horatio Russell's academy in Ludlow until he was thirteen, when he took a year's drawing tuition with Richard Penwarne before being apprenticed to a Ludlow bookseller and printer, Richard Jones. While continuing to study art, his initial career was in bookselling, in 1850 working for the Bromsgrove bookseller Benjamin Maund, then in 1851 for the London-based Whittaker & Co. In 1852 he exhibited an oil painting, On the Teme Near Ludlow, at the Royal Academy. That same year Robinson began taking photographs, and five years later, following a meeting with the photographer Hugh Welch Diamond, decided to devote himself to that medium, in 1855 opening a studio in Leamington Spa, selling portraits. In 1856, with Rejlander, he was a founding member of the Birmingham Photographic Society. In 1859 he married Selina Grieves, daughter of a Ludlow chemist, John Edward Grieves. His son, Ralph Winwood Robinson, was also a photographer. In 1864, at the age of 34, Robinson was forced to give up his studio due to ill-health from exposure to toxic photographic chemicals. Gernsheim (1962) has shown that thereafter he preferred the easier 'scissors and paste-pot' method of making his combination prints, rather than the more exacting darkroom method employed by Rejlander. Relocating to London, Robinson kept up his involvement with the theoretical side of photography, writing the influential essay Pictorial Effect in Photography (1869), Being Hints on Composition and Chiaroscuro for Photographers, published in 1868. Around this time his health had improved sufficiently to open a new studio in Tunbridge Wells with Nelson King Cherrill, and in 1870 he became vice-president of the Royal Photographic Society. He advocated strongly for photography to be regarded as an art form. The partnership with Cherrill dissolved in 1875, Robinson continuing the business until his retirement in 1888. His son, Ralph Winwood Robinson, took over the studio business. Following internal disputes within the Photographic Society, he resigned in 1891 to become one of the early members of the rival Linked Ring society, in which he was active until 1897, when he was also elected an honorary member of the Royal Photographic Society. Robinson was an early supporter of the Photographic Convention of the United Kingdom and took part in this institution's long running debates about photography as an art form. He was invited to serve as the President of the PCUK in 1891 but, as he described later, "I felt compelled to decline, knowing that I could not carry out the duties as they should be carried out, having a defect of voice which would not allow me to read my own address." He was subsequently persuaded to serve as President in 1896, when his presidential speeches were read out by a colleague. He died aged 70 and was buried in Tunbridge Wells in early 1901. Henry Peach Robinson was one of the most prominent art photographers of his day. His third and the most famous composite picture, Fading Away (1858) was both popular and fashionably morbid. He was a follower of the pre-Raphaelites and was influenced by the aesthetic views of John Ruskin. In his Pre-Raphaelite phase he attempted to realize moments of timeless significance in a "mediaeval" setting, anticipating the work of Julia Margaret Cameron, Burne-Jones and the Symbolists. According to his letters, he was influenced by the paintings of J.M.W. Turner. He defended composite photography, asserting that the creation of combination photographs were as demanding of the photographer as paintings were of the artist. Robinson compared the making of Fading Away with Zeuxis' legendary combining of the best features of five young ladies from Crotona to produce his picture of Helena.Source: Wikipedia To produce Fading Away, this intimate narrative of family tragedy, Robinson seamlessly combined five separate negatives. The scene centers on a bedridden young woman dying of tuberculosis—or possibly of a broken heart, as suggested by the Shakespearean title of a preliminary study, She Never Told Her Love. The picture was notorious both for the “artificiality” of its technique and for its subject matter, which was considered too morbid and painfully intimate to be represented photographically. Robinson’s seamless blending of reality and artifice did, however, appeal to Prince Albert, the husband of Queen Victoria, who purchased a print of Fading Away and issued a standing order for every major composite photograph Robinson would make.Source: Metropolitan Museum of Art
Aleksander Rodchenko
Russia
1891 | † 1956
Aleksander Rodchenko was a Russian and Soviet artist, sculptor, photographer, and graphic designer who emerged following the Russian Revolution. He was one of the founders of Russian Constructivist and a Productivist artist, married to artist Varvara Stepanova. He began his career as a painter and graphic designer before moving on to photomontage and photography. His photography was socially involved, formally creative, and anti-painting. Concerned about the necessity for analytical-documentary picture series, Aleksander Rodchenko frequently shot his subjects from unusual angles—usually high above or low below—in order to shock the viewer and delay recognition. "One has to shoot several distinct photos of a subject, from diverse points of view and in varied settings, as though one viewed it in the round rather than looking through the same key-hole over and over," he wrote. Only the camera seems to be really capable of describing modern life. -- Aleksander Rodchenko Aleksander Mikhailovich Rodchenko was born in St. Petersburg to a working-class family that relocated to Kazan when his father died in 1909. He became an artist without any prior exposure to the art world, relying mostly on art periodicals for inspiration. Aleksander Rodchenko began studies at the Kazan Art School in 1910, under Nicolai Fechin and Georgii Medvedev, when he met Varvara Stepanova, whom he eventually married. The critic Osip Brik, 1924© Aleksander Rodchenko Following 1914, he continued his artistic education at the Stroganov Institute in Moscow, where he created his first abstract drawings in 1915, influenced by Kazimir Malevich's Suprematism. The following year, he took part in The Store, an exhibition organized by another formative influence, Vladimir Tatlin. Rodchenko's work was influenced heavily by Cubism and Futurism, as well as Malevich's Suprematist compositions, which featured geometric forms deployed against a white background. Aleksander Rodchenko was Tatlin's student and assistant, and the interest in figuration that characterized Rodchenko's early work faded as he experimented with design elements. He created his paintings with a compass and ruler, with the goal of eliminating expressive brushwork. Rodchenko worked for Narkompros and was one of the RABIS organizers. RABIS was founded between 1919 and 1920. In 1920, the Bolshevik government appointed Rodchenko as Director of the Museum Bureau and Purchasing Fund, with responsibility for the reorganization of art schools and museums. He became the secretary of the Moscow Artists' Union, established the Fine Arts Division of the People's Commissariat for Education, and assisted in the establishment of the Institute for Artistic Culture. From 1920 to 1930, he was a teacher at the Higher Technical-Artistic Studios, a Bauhaus organization with a "checkered career." It ceased operations in 1930. In 1921, Aleksander Rodchenko joined the Productivist group, along with Stepanova and Aleksei Gan, to advocate for the incorporation of art into everyday life. He abandoned painting to focus on graphic design for posters, books, and films. He was profoundly influenced by the ideas and practice of filmmaker Dziga Vertov, with whom he collaborated extensively in 1922. Impressed by the German Dadaists' photomontage, Rodchenko began his own experiments in the medium, first using found images in 1923, and then shooting his own photographs from 1924 on. In 1923, his first published photomontage illustrated Mayakovsky's poem About This. Rodchenko created his most famous poster in 1924, an advertisement for the Lengiz Publishing House titled Books, which features a young woman with a cupped hand shouting "Books in all branches of knowledge," printed in modernist typography. Photography has all the rights, and all the merits, necessary for us to turn towards it as the art of our time. -- Aleksander Rodchenko Portrait of the Artist’s Mother, 1924© Aleksander Rodchenko From 1923 to 1928, Rodchenko worked closely with Mayakovsky (of whom he took several portraits) on the design and layout of LEF and Novy LEF, Constructivist artists' publications. Many of his photographs were published in or used as covers for these and other publications. His images were concerned with the placement and movement of objects in space, as well as the elimination of unnecessary detail. During this time, he and Stepanova painted the well-known panels of Moscow's Mosselprom building. Varvara Rodchenko, their daughter, was born in 1925. Rodchenko's work was very abstract throughout the 1920s. He joined the October Group of artists in 1928, but was expelled three years later after being accused of "formalism," an accusation first leveled in the pages of Sovetskoe Foto in 1928. In the 1930s, as the Party's guidelines governing artistic practice shifted in favor of Socialist realism, he focused on sports photography and images of parades and other choreographed movements. In the late 1930s, Aleksander Rodchenko returned to painting, stopped photographing in 1942, and produced abstract expressionist works in the 1940s. Throughout these years, he continued to organize photography exhibitions for the government. In 1956, he died in Moscow.
George Rodger
United Kingdom
1908 | † 1995
George Rodger was a British photojournalist and war photographer, best known for his work documenting World War II and Africa. He was born on May 20, 1908, in Hale, Cheshire, England, and began his career as a photographer in the 1930s, working for magazines such as National Geographic and Illustrated London News. In 1940, Rodger joined the British Army as a war photographer, and covered the North Africa campaign and the invasion of Sicily. He later joined the RAF and covered the Normandy invasion and the liberation of Europe. His photographs from this period captured the harsh realities of war and the human impact of the conflict. When I discovered that I could look at the horror of Belsen—4,000 dead and starving lying around—and think only of a nice photographic composition, I knew something had happened to me and it had to stop. -- George Rodger After the war, George Rodger traveled to Africa and documented the continent's people and cultures. He spent several years living and working in West Africa, and his photographs from this period captured the daily lives of the people and the beauty of the land. He also documented the Mau Mau rebellion in Kenya, which aimed to end British colonial rule, and the effects of the rebellion on the local population. In addition to his work as a photojournalist, Rodger was also a founding member of the Magnum Photos agency, along with other renowned photographers such as Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Capa, and David "Chim" Seymour. He served as the first president of the agency and played an important role in establishing its reputation as one of the premier photographic agencies in the world. Rodger's photographs have been widely exhibited and published, and his work is held in several major museums and collections, including the National Portrait Gallery in London, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and the Bibliothèque Nationale de France in Paris. I had no contact with my contemporaries in the photographic field, nor even knowledge of their work. So I was influenced by no-one and there were no short cuts for me. I was self-taught the hard way, by trial and error... -- George Rodger Throughout his career, George Rodger always sought to document the human experience, whether it was the horrors of war or the beauty of everyday life. He believed that photography had the power to change the world and to bring about social change, and his work continues to inspire and inform photographers and photojournalists today. George Rodger passed away on July 9, 1995, in London, England. His legacy continues to inspire photographers around the world with his dedication to document the human experience, and his work remains iconic and powerful to this day.
Milton Rogovin
United States
1909 | † 2011
Milton Rogovin was born in New York City in 1909. He graduated from Columbia University in 1931 with a degree in optometry and a deep concern for the rights of the worker. He moved to Buffalo, New York, in 1938, where he established his own optometric practice in 1939. In 1942, he married Anne Snetsky. That same year, he purchased his first camera, and was inducted into the U.S. Army, where he served in England as an optometrist until 1945. Upon his discharge, he returned to his optometric practice and his growing family. By 1947, the Rogovin's had two daughters, Ellen and Paula, and a son, Mark.Source: www.miltonrogovin.com Milton Rogovin (1909–2011) was a documentary photographer who has been compared to great social documentary photographers of the 19th and 20th centuries, such as Lewis Hine and Jacob Riis. His photographs are in the Library of Congress, the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Center for Creative Photography and other distinguished institutions. Milton Rogovin was born December 30, 1909 in Brooklyn, New York City of ethnic Jewish parents who emigrated to America from Lithuania, then part of the Russian empire. He attended Stuyvesant High School in New York City and enrolled in Columbia University, from which he graduated in 1931 with a degree in optometry. Following graduation Rogovin worked as an optometrist in New York City. Distressed by the rampant and worsening poverty resulting from the Great Depression, Rogovin began attending night classes at the New York Workers School, a radical educational institution sponsored by the Communist Party USA. In 1938 Rogovin moved to Buffalo and established an optometry practice there. In 1942, he married Anne Snetsky (later changed to Setters). In the same year, he was inducted into the U.S.Army, where he worked as an optometrist. After his discharge from the Army, Milton and Anne had three children: two daughters (Ellen and Paula) and a son (Mark). Rogovin was called before the House Un-American Activities Committee in 1957. Like many other Americans who embraced Communism as a model for improving the quality of life for the working class, he became a subject of the Committee's attentions in the postwar period: He was discredited — without having been convicted of any offense — as someone whose views henceforth had to be discounted as dangerous and irresponsible. The incident inspired Rogovin to turn to photography as a means of expression; it was a way to continue to speak to the worth and dignity of people who make their livings under modest or difficult circumstances, often in physically taxing occupations that usually receive little attention. In 1958, a collaboration with William Tallmadge, a professor of music, to document music at storefront churches set Rogovin on his photographic path. Some of the photographs that Rogovin made in the churches were published in 1962 in Aperture magazine, edited by Minor White, with an introduction by W.E.B. Du Bois, a founder of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). That same year Rogovin began to photograph coal miners, a project that took him to France, Scotland, Spain, China, and Mexico. Many of these images were published in his first book, The Forgotten Ones. Rogovin traveled throughout the world, taking numerous portraits of workers and their families in many countries. His most acclaimed project, though, has been The Forgotten Ones, sequential portraits taken over three decades of over a hundred families who resided on Buffalo’s impoverished Lower West Side. The project was begun in 1972 and completed in 2002. In 1999, the Library of Congress collected more than a thousand of Rogovin’s prints.Source: Wikipedia
Willy Ronis
France
1910 | † 2009
Willy Ronis was a French photographer best known for his photographs of life in postwar Paris and Provence, who spent his career roaming the Parisian streets capturing people in love, at work, and at play in lyrical black-and-white images, claimed an interest in "ordinary people with ordinary lives." He was a central figure in the "humanist photography" movement, alongside colleagues Robert Doisneau, Henri Cartier-Bresson, and George Brassaï, celebrating the poetry in the everyday in warm, witty images. I have never sought out the extraordinary or the scoop. I looked for what complemented my life. The beauty of the ordinary was always the source of my greatest emotions. -- Willy Ronis Working in his parents' photography studio, Willy Ronis honed his sense of proportion and composition. Ronis was born in Paris; his father was a Jewish refugee from Odessa, and his mother was a Lithuanian refugee who had fled the pogroms. His father established a photography studio in Montmartre, and his mother taught piano. The boy's first love was music, and he aspired to be a composer. When Ronis returned from military service in 1932, his violin studies were put on hold because his father's cancer forced him to take over the family portrait business; His love of music can be seen in his photographs. When his father died in 1936, the business collapsed, and Ronis went freelance, with his first photographs appearing in Regards. Willy Ronis met David Szymin and Robert Capa in 1937 and did his first work for Plaisir de France; in 1938-39, he reported on a Citroen strike and traveled in the Balkans. Ronis, like Cartier-Bresson, was a member of the Association des Écrivains et Artistes Révolutionnaires and remained a leftist. Ronis was inspired to start exploring photography by the work of photographers Alfred Stieglitz and Ansel Adams. After his father died in 1936, he closed the studio and joined the photo agency Rapho, where he worked alongside Brassaï, Robert Doisneau, and Ergy Landau. Most of my photographs were taken on the spur of the moment, very quickly, just as they occurred. All attention focuses on the specific instant, almost too good to be true, which can only vanish in the following one. -- Willy Ronis Willy Ronis was the first French photographer to work for Life magazine. In 1953, Edward Steichen curated a show at the Museum of Modern Art called Five French Photographers, which featured Ronis, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Doisneau, Izis, and Brassaï. He was also featured in the Family of Man exhibition in 1955, and received in 1957 the Gold Medal from the Venice Biennale. Ronis began teaching at the School of Fine Arts in Avignon, Aix-en-Provence, and Saint Charles, Marseilles in the 1950s. The Minister of Culture awarded him the Grand Prix des Arts et Lettres for Photography in 1979. In 1981, Ronis won the Prix Nadar for his photobook Sur le fil du hasard. Marie-Anne Lansiaux (1910-91), a Communist militant painter, was the subject of Ronis' well-known 1949 photograph, Nu provençal (Provençal naked). The photograph, which was taken in a house that Marie-Anne and he had just purchased in Gordes, showed Marie-Anne washing at a basin with a water pitcher on the floor and an open window through which the viewer can see a garden; it is notable for its ability to convey an easy feeling of Provençal life. "The destiny of this image, published constantly around the world, still astonishes me," Ronis said of the photograph. Ronis spent the 1960s and 1980s in Provence and photographed Marie-Anne, who was suffering from Alzheimer's disease at the time, sitting alone in a park surrounded by autumn trees.
Judith Joy Ross
United States
1946
Judith Joy Ross (born 1946) is an American portrait photographer born in Hazleton, Pennsylvania in 1946. She graduated from the Moore College of Art in 1968 and earned a master's degree in photography in 1970 from the Institute of Design at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago, where she studied with Aaron Siskind. Since the early 1980s, Ross has photographed a cross-section of the American population, especially people in eastern Pennsylvania where she was born and raised. Ross uses an 8×10 inch view camera mounted on a tripod and her portraits are made on printing out paper by contact, a process by which a print is made by placing a negative directly onto photographic paper, and then exposing it to sunlight for a few minutes to a few hours. Her photographic antecedents include the German August Sander and the American Diane Arbus. Her series include pictures of children at Eurana Park in Weatherly, Pennsylvania (1982), visitors to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C. (1983–1984), members of the United States Congress and their aides in their Washington offices (1986–1987), laborers, people at shopping malls, and children at play near her home in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. She has also photographed immigrants in New York City and Paris, and was commissioned by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art to photograph tech workers in Silicon Valley, California. One of her major projects, pictures made from 1992 to 1994 in Hazleton public schools she had attended in the 1950s and 1960s, was published by the Yale University Art Gallery in 2006 as Portraits of the Hazleton Public Schools. Ross has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation (1985), a city of Easton, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Grant (1988), the Charles Pratt Memorial Award of $25,000 (1992), and the Andrea Frank Foundation Award (1998). Monographs and exhibition catalogs of her work have been published internationally. Her books include Contemporaries (1995), Portraits (1996), Portraits of the Hazleton Public Schools (2006) and Protest the War (2007), "exploring such themes as the innocence of youth, the faces of political power, and the emotional toll of war". John Szarkowski at the Museum of Modern Art in New York selected Ross' work for the first exhibition in the New Photography series. In 2011, Die Photographische Sammlung in Cologne organized a retrospective exhibition of Ross's work which traveled to the Kunstmuseum Kloster in Madeburg and the Foundation A Stichting, Brussels.Source: Wikipedia Since the early 1980s, the American photographer Judith Joy Ross has dedicated her work to the medium of portraiture. She is best known for her sensitive, deeply personal, yet authentic portraits of various groups of people at the center of American society: school children and teachers, soldiers, visitors to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C. and U.S. Congress members of the Republican and Democratic parties. The photographs, which Ross contextualizes by arranging them in series, offer both an aesthetic and a humanitarian approach to photography. Judith Joy Ross’s work shows references to photographers like August Sander, Eugène Atget, Walker Evans or Diane Arbus in her documentary style and her use of technical equipment. She photographs with an 8x10 inch view camera, which due to long exposure times and the need to set up a tripod forces her to concentrate on her subjects and does not allow for snapshots. The subjects are usually strangers to the photographer and so the photograph itself becomes an intense encounter. August Sander is often mentioned as a major influence. Both, Ross and Sander focus on facial expressions, gestures and posture of their subjects. However, while Sander’s famous photographs from the series People of the 20th Century is staged and aims at categorizing certain social groups, Ross does not give directions to her subjects and thus achieves an immediacy that characterizes her approach and style. It makes the viewer think about the inner reality of the person by using their own social experience in order to relate to the people she portraits, thus stressing the individuality of each subject over their association with a specific group. Judith Joy Ross describes her intention as follows: “The world outside oneself is bigger than ones idea of it. One tries to align oneself with that bigger world in making a picture”.Source: Galerie Thomas Zander At present, Ross is suffering from an eye problem following pre-pandemic surgery that has left her with double vision. “I can photograph,” she say, “but it’s hard to take a walk.” One senses that photography gave her a way to be in the world. “I’m just interested in people, but I don’t want to get too close to them,” she says. “I keep them at arm’s length with the camera. It’s like a magic charm. It’s such an intense pleasure to photograph strangers because, in that moment, you can see them in such an intimate way. It’s kind of crazy, but I love some of those people even though I have never seen them again.”Source: The Guardian
Jaroslav Rössler
Czech Republic
1902 | † 1990
Jaroslav Rössler was a pioneer of Czech avant-garde photography and a member of the association of Czech avant-garde artists Devětsil (Butterbur). He was born to the Czech-German father, Eduard Rössler, and a Czech mother, Adéla Nollová. From 1917 to 1920, Rössler studied in the atelier of the company owned by renowned Czech photographer František Drtikol. Subsequently, he worked with the company as a laboratory technician. At 21 years old, he began a collaboration with the art theorist Karel Teige, who assigned him to create a typographic layout for magazines Pásmo, Disk, Stavba and ReD (Revue Devětsilu). While working on these tasks, Rössler deepened his knowledge of photographic methods. In his works he utilized and combined the techniques of photogram, photomontage, collage and drawing. The beginnings of his photographic work were influenced by Cubism and Futurism, but he also attempted to create the first abstract photographs. In 1923, he became a member of the avant-garde association Devětsil. In 1925, he went on a six-month study visit to Paris. The same year he began working as a photographer in the Osvobozené divadlo in Prague. Before his second departure to Paris, he co-worked as a commercial photographer with the pictorial magazine Pestrý týden. In 1927, Rössler moved to Paris together with his wife, Gertruda Fischerová (1894–1976). Initially, he focused on commercial photography. He collaborated with the experimental studio of Lucien Lorell, and worked on commissions for notable companies such as Michelin and Shell. However, later he found an interest in the "street life" of Paris, which influenced his future stay in the city. During a demonstration, he encountered the protesters and took photographs of the event. Shortly after that he was arrested, and after a six-month imprisonment, he was expelled from the country, in 1935. The alleged reason for his expulsion was his German-sounding surname. After his return from Paris, Rössler and his wife resided in Prague, Žižkov. He opened a small photographic atelier, but difficulties associated with the management of the studio caused a significant gap in his artistic work, lasting for almost two decades. In the 1950s, he resumed his previous activities and again began experimenting with the camera and photographic techniques. He created so-called prizmata (prisms), photographs taken through a birefringent prism. Additionally, he experimented with solarisation and explored the possibilities of the Sabatier effect. Jaroslav Rössler, together with František Drtikol, Josef Sudek and Jaromír Funke, is today considered an important exponent of Czech modern photography and avant-garde art.Source: Wikipedia Jaroslav Rössler was one of the most distinctive artists of the Czech avant-garde, known for fusing disparate elements of Symbolism, Pictorialism, Expressionism, Cubism, Futurism, Constructivism, New Objectivity and abstract art. From 1917 to 1920, Rossler studied and worked as a lab technician under František Drtikol, but he quickly abandoned the pictorialist style of his famous teacher, turning instead to more avant-garde techniques and compositional approaches, including experiments with photograms, enlarged detail, diagonal composition, photomontage, double exposure, and experiments with color advertising photographs and still lifes produced with the carbro print process. Jaroslav Rössler often photographed objects against stark backgrounds, or used long exposures, to reduce subjects to their elementary lines and geometric shapes. In 1923 he became a member of the assocation of Czech avant- garde artists Devětsil. From 1927 to 1935, he lived and worked in Paris, producing work influenced by Constructivism and New Objectivity. After his return to Prague, he was relatively inactive until the late 1950s, when he renewed experimentations with solarization and photographing through a prism.Source: Robert Koch Gallery
Arthur Rothstein
United States
1915 | † 1985
Arthur Rothstein was an American photographer. Rothstein is recognized as one of America's premier photojournalists. During a career that spanned five decades, he provoked, entertained, and informed the American people. His photographs ranged from a hometown baseball game to the drama of war, from struggling rural farmers to US Presidents. ...a photographer must be aware of and concerned about the words that accompany a picture. These words should be considered as carefully as the lighting, exposure and composition of the photograph. -- Arthur Rothstein The son of Jewish immigrants, Rothstein was born in Manhattan, New York City, and he grew up in the Bronx. He was a 1935 graduate of Columbia University, where he was a founder of the University Camera Club and photography editor of The Columbian, the undergraduate yearbook. He was a classmate of abstract painter Ad Reinhardt. Following his graduation from Columbia during the Great Depression, Rothstein was invited to Washington DC by one of his professors at Columbia, Roy Stryker. Rothstein had been Stryker's student at Columbia University in the early 1930s. In 1935, as a college senior, Rothstein prepared a set of copy photographs for a picture sourcebook on American agriculture that Stryker and another professor, Rexford Tugwell were assembling. The book was never published, but before the year was out, Tugwell, who had left Columbia to be part of FDR's New Deal brain trust, hired Stryker. Stryker hired Rothstein to set up the darkroom for Stryker's Photo Unit of the Historical Section of the Resettlement Administration (RA). Arthur Rothstein became the first photographer sent out by Roy Stryker, the head of the Photo Unit. During the next five years he shot some of the most significant photographs ever taken of rural and small-town America. He and other FSA photographers, including Esther Bubley, Marjory Collins, Marion Post Wolcott, Walker Evans, Russell Lee, Gordon Parks, Jack Delano, John Vachon, Carl Mydans, Dorothea Lange and Ben Shahn, were employed to publicize the living conditions of the rural poor in the United States. The Resettlement Administration became the Farm Security Administration (FSA) in 1937. Later, when the country geared up for World War II, the FSA became part of the Office of War Information (OWI). The photographs made during Rothstein's five-year stint with the Photo Unit form a catalog of the agency's initiatives. One of his first assignments was to document the lives of some Virginia farmers who were being evicted to make way for the Shenandoah National Park and about to be relocated by the Resettlement Administration, and subsequent trips took him to the Dust Bowl and to cattle ranches in Montana. The immediate incentive for his February 1937 assignment came from the interest generated by congressional consideration of farm tenant legislation sponsored in the Senate by John H. Bankhead II, a Democrat from Alabama with a strong interest in agriculture. Enacted in July, the Bankhead-Jones Farm Tenant Act gave the agency its new lease on life as the Farm Security Administration. The Farm Security file would never have been created if we hadn’t the freedom to photograph anything, anywhere in the United States—anything that we came across that seemed interesting, and vital. -- Arthur Rothstein On February 18, 1937, Stryker wrote Rothstein that the journalist Beverly Smith had told him about a tenant community at Gee's Bend, Alabama, and was preparing an article on tenancy for the July issue of The American Magazine, but Stryker sensed bigger possibilities, telling Rothstein, "We could do a swell story; one that Life [magazine] will grab." Stryker planned to visit Alabama and asked Rothstein to wait for him, but he was never able to make the trip, and Rothstein went to Gee's Bend alone. The residents of Gee's Bend symbolized two different things to the Resettlement Administration. On the one hand, reports about the community prepared by the agency describe the residents as isolated and primitive, people whose speech, habits, and material culture reflected an African origin and an older way of life. On the other hand, the agency's agenda for rehabilitation implied a view of the residents as the victims of slavery and the farm-tenant system on a former plantation. The two perceptions may be seen as related: if these tenants — despite their primitive culture— could benefit from training and financial assistance, their success would demonstrate the efficacy of the programs. Unlike the subjects of many Resettlement Administration and Farm Security Administration photographs, the people of Gee's Bend are not portrayed as victims. The photographs do not show the back-breaking work of cultivation and harvest, but only offer a glimpse of spring plowing. At home, the residents do not merely inhabit substandard housing but are engaged in a variety of domestic activities. The dwellings at Gee's Bend must have been as uncomfortable as the frame shacks thrown up for farm workers everywhere, but Rothstein's photographs emphasize the log cabins' picturesque qualities. This affirming image of life in Gee's Bend is reinforced by Rothstein's deliberate, balanced compositions which lend dignity to the people being pictured. There does not seem to have been a Life magazine story about Gee's Bend, but a long article ran in the New York Times Magazine of August 22, 1937. It is illustrated by eleven of Rothstein's pictures, with a text that draws heavily upon a Resettlement Administration report dated in May. The story extols the agency's regional director as intelligent and sympathetic and describes the Gee's Bend project in glowing terms. Reporter John Temple Graves II perceived the project as retaining agrarian—and African—values. In 1940, Rothstein became a staff photographer for Look magazine but left shortly thereafter to join the OWI and then the US Army as a photographer in the Signal Corps. His military assignment took him to the China-Burma-India theatre and he remained in China following his discharge from the military in 1945, working as chief photographer for the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration, documenting the Great Famine and the plight of displaced survivors of the Holocaust in the Hongkew ghetto of Shanghai. In 1947, Rothstein rejoined Look as Director of Photography. He remained at Look until 1971 when the magazine ceased publication. Rothstein joined Parade magazine in 1972 and remained there until his death. He was the author of numerous magazine articles and a staff columnist for US Camera and Modern Photography magazines and the New York Times, Rothstein wrote and published nine books. Rothstein's photographs are in permanent collections throughout the world and have appeared in numerous exhibitions. A selection of these one-man shows include shows at the International Museum of Photography at George Eastman House; the Smithsonian Institution; Photokina; Corcoran Gallery of Art; Royal Photographic Society, as well as traveling exhibitions for the United States Information Service and for Parade magazine. He was a member of the faculty of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and a Spencer Chair Professor at S. I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, Syracuse University. Rothstein was also on the faculties of Mercy College, and the Parsons School of Design in New York City, and he took great pride in mentoring young photographers including Stanley Kubrick, Douglas Kirkland, and Chester Higgins, Jr. A recipient of more than 35 awards in photojournalism and a former juror for the Pulitzer prize, Rothstein was also a founder and former officer of the American Society of Magazine Photographers (ASMP). Arthur Rothstein died on November 11, 1985, in New Rochelle, New York.Source: Wikipedia It is sometimes desirable to distort or accentuate with lenses of various focal lengths... Deliberate distortion may actually add to its reality. -- Arthur Rothstein
Paolo Roversi
Italy
1947
Paolo Roversi is an Italian-born fashion photographer based in Paris. His work is distinguished by soft, monochromatic images of women, with bodies veiled in shadow and captured with careful care to emphasize stunning facial features. Photography goes beyond the limits of reality and illusion. It brushes up against another life, another dimension, revealing not only what is there but what is not there. -- Paolo Roversi Paolo Roversi, who was born in Ravenna in 1947, became interested in photography as a teenager during a family vacation in Spain in 1964. Back at home, he established a darkroom in a convenient cellar with another keen amateur, local postman Battista Minguzzi, and began developing and printing his own black-and-white work. The meeting with a local professional photographer, Nevio Natali, was crucial: in Nevio's studio, Roversi spent many hours completing an important apprenticeship as well as a close and lasting friendship. In 1970, he began working with the Associated Press, and his first assignment was to cover Ezra Pound's burial in Venice. During the same year, Paolo Roversi founded his first portrait studio in Ravenna, capturing local celebrities and their families. In 1971, he met Peter Knapp, the legendary Art Director of Elle magazine, by chance in Ravenna. Paolo visited Paris in November 1973 at Knapp's invitation and has never returned. Paolo began working as a reporter for the Huppert Agency in Paris, but through his friends, he gradually began to explore fashion photography. But the photographers who piqued his interest at the time were reporters. Paolo Roversi knew nothing about fashion or fashion photography at the moment. Later, he discovered the work of Richard Avedon, Irving Penn, Helmut Newton, Guy Bourdin, and many others. In 1974, the British photographer Lawrence Sackmann hired Paolo as an assistant. Paolo endured Sackmann for nine months: "Sackmann was very difficult. Most assistants only lasted a week before running away. But he taught me everything I needed to know in order to become a professional photographer. Sackmann taught me creativity. He was always trying new things even if he did always use the same camera and flash set-up. He was almost military-like in his approach to preparation for a shoot. But he always used to say ‘your tripod and your camera must be well-fixed but your eyes and mind should be free’." Then he went freelance, doing small jobs for magazines like Elle and Depeche Mode until Marie Claire published his first major fashion story. When I take a picture using window light, I always think about what a long trip the light is making to reach my subject. -- Paolo Roversi Roversi's portfolio now includes celebrity and fashion photography. He has been a consistent contributor to American Vogue, and Vogue Italia, W, Vanity Fair, Interview and i-D. He has also photographed advertising campaigns for Yohji Yamamoto, Comme des Garçons, Dior, Cerruti, GIADA, Yves Saint Laurent, Valentino and Alberta Ferreti. Continuing to be a major force in contemporary fashion, Paolo Roversi is notable for his use of 8x10 Polaroid film, which is no longer produced. His work has been the subject of solo exhibitions worldwide, including at Pace MacGill Gallery in New York, James Gallery in Moscow, and Comme des Garçons in Tokyo, Rencontres d'Arles festival, France (2008), among others.
Leo Rubinfien
United States
1953
Leo Rubinfien, born in Chicago, Illinois, is a photographer and essayist from the United States. He currently resides and works in New York City. Rubinfien rose to popularity in the 1970s as a member of a group of artist-photographers who experimented with new color processes and materials. In 1981, Leo Rubinfien had his first one-person exhibition at Castelli Graphics in New York, and he has since had solo exhibitions at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Seattle Art Museum, the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, the National Museum of Modern Art in Tokyo, and the Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University. He is the author of two photobooks, A Map of the East (Godine, Thames & Hudson, Toshi Shuppan, 1992) and Wounded Cities. Leo Rubinfien is also a prolific writer, having produced numerous extensive essays on famous twentieth-century photographers. He contributed a memoir, Colors of Daylight, to Starburst: Color Photography in America, 1970-1980 (Kevin Moore, Cincinnati Art Museum / Hatje Caantz 2010), and wrote Wounded Cities, a long personal and historical essay about the September 11th, 2001 attacks and the years that followed. He was the Guest Co-curator of Shomei Tomatsu's retrospective at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art from 2001 to 2004, and he is the co-author of Shomei Tomatsu / Skin of the Nation (Yale University Press, 2004). Since 2010, he has served as Guest Curator for the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art's exhibition of Garry Winogrand's work, which will embark on a world tour in 2013. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Seattle Art Museum, the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, the Corcoran Gallery of Art, the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, the Yale University Art Gallery, the Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University, and the Fogg Museum have all acquired Rubinfien's work. Leo Rubinfien has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, Japan Foundation, Asian Cultural Council, and New York University's International Center for Advanced Studies, and he was given the Gold Prize at the 5th Lianzhou International Photography Festival in 2009.
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