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Famous Photographers / V

Peter van Agtmael
United States
1981
Peter van Agtmael (born 1981) is a documentary photographer based in New York. Since 2006 he has concentrated on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and their consequences in the United States. He is a member of Magnum Photos. Van Agtmael's photo essays have been published in The New York Times Magazine, TIME Magazine, The New Yorker and The Guardian. He has published three books. His first, 2nd Tour Hope I Don't Die, was published by Photolucida as a prize for winning their Critical Mass Book Award. He received a W. Eugene Smith Grant from the W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund to complete his second book, Disco Night Sept. 11. His third, Buzzing at the Sill, was published by Kehrer Verlag in 2016. He has twice received awards from World Press Photo, the Infinity Award for Young Photographer from the International Center of Photography and a grant from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. Van Agtmael was born in Washington D.C. and grew up in Bethesda, Maryland. He studied history at Yale, graduating in 2003. He became a nominee member of Magnum Photos in 2008, an associate member in 2011, and a full member in 2013. After graduation he received a fellowship to live in China for a year and document the consequences of the Three Gorges Dam. He has covered HIV-positive refugees in South Africa; the Asian tsunami in 2005; humanitarian relief efforts after Hurricane Katrina's effects on New Orleans in 2005 and after the 2010 Haiti earthquake, the filming of the first season of TV series Treme on location in New Orleans in 2010; the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010, Hurricane Sandy in 2012 and its aftermath, Nabi Salih and Halamish in the West Bank in 2013 and the 2014 Israel–Gaza conflict and its aftermath. Since 2006 he has concentrated on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and their consequences in the United States. He first visited Iraq in 2006 at age 24 and has returned to Iraq and Afghanistan a number of times, embedded with US military troops. Later he continued to investigate the effects of those wars within the US. In 2007 his portfolio from Iraq and Afghanistan won the Monograph Award (softbound) in Photolucida's Critical Mass Book Award. As part of the prize Photolucida published his first book, 2nd Tour, Hope I Don’t Die. With work made between January 2006 and December 2008, this "is a young photojournalist’s firsthand experience: the wars’ effects on him, on the soldiers and on the countries involved." The 2012 W. Eugene Smith Grant for Humanistic Photography provided $30,000 to work on his second book, Disco Night Sept. 11, which "chronicles the lives of the soldiers he has met in the field and back home."Source: Wikipedia
Ruud van Empel
Netherlands
1958
Ruud van Empel (born 21 November 1958 in Breda) is a Dutch photographer and visual artist. Ruud van Empel was born in Breda in 1958. He studied at the Academie voor Beeldende Kunst St. Joost (St Joost Academy of Art) in Breda in the 1970s, and began making independently produced videotapes in the eighties. He moved to Amsterdam in the late eighties to work on his career as a visual artist. His first photographic series were The Office (1995-2001), Study for Women (1999-2002) and Study in Green (2003). The Groninger Museum presented his first solo exhibition in 1999. He made his international breakthrough with his series World-Moon-Venus, which was shown in the George Eastman Museum in Rochester, New York State. Until mid-1995, Van Empel’s art was primarily generated by a process of assembling analogue photographic images. At that point, he exchanged this traditional collage technique – cutting, pasting and retouching in the darkroom – for image processing on the computer, working in an idea-driven manner. The first series created with this method was The Office (1995). In a technical sense, The Office displays a handicraft-like quality, missing the perfectionist character of his later work. Nevertheless, Ruud van Empel clearly demonstrated that his approach differed from other disciplines such as staged photography. In certain aspects, The Office offered a somewhat surrealistic character and referred to photomontages from the 1920s in terms of style and design. On the basis of this art-historical reference, Van Empel created a new genre within photography – without a ready-to-wear label. The artist himself speaks of the ‘construction of a photographic image’. Although he does make use of pure photomontage – he never applies so-called morphing techniques – the final result strives for content aligned to natural reality rather than to surrealism. The artificiality is visible but the final image is a convincing, autonomous reality. As a consequence, the work does not seem grotesque or absurd but could theoretically actually appear in reality. In that respect, Van Empel’s images are independent. They do not manifest themselves as ‘symbolic’ and have been stripped of all ‘pictorial’ associations. He does not deploy photography as a substitute for painting but rather uses it as an independent form of depiction. Every image consists of photographic sources that are digitally assembled on the computer. The work of Ruud van Empel exists by grace of the camera by means of which he records his building blocks. After The Office, he created the Study for Women series, which comprises a number of female portraits that refer to the magic realism art movement. In this series, produced in the period 2000-2002, he displayed the form language with which he would soon gain worldwide recognition. The Study in Green series from 2003-2004, the Untitled series from 2004, and the three closely related series World, Moon and Venus, which he began in 2005, represented Van Empel’s true international breakthrough. Curator Deborah Klochko invited him to participate in the exhibition entitled Picturing Eden in the George Eastman House. In the book Ruud van Empel Photoworks 1995-2010, she wrote: ‘Van Empel’s virtuosity lies in his capacity to combine in photography the kind of ideas anchored in painting (historical references, the power of a glimpse, use of colour) and cinema (structure with multiple images and the power of a narrative), and to do so on a large scale. To understand his work you must ask yourself: ‘Is it science or art? Is it real or imaginary? Is innocence or decadence?’ Particularly the World series, which explores the theme of innocence, made a deep impression. These works were inspired by photos taken by his father. Van Empel placed neatly dressed, black boys and girls in paradisical settings of unspoiled, non-existent natural surroundings. Great interest in and appreciation of this series are expressed worldwide to this day. The breakthrough in America also led to renewed attention in Dutch museums. Van Empel has had solo exhibitions in Museum Het Valkhof in Nijmegen, the Groninger Museum and the NoordBrabants Museum in ’s-Hertogenbosch. Since the international recognition of his work gave Ruud Van Empel the status of an artist with an own independent form language, he has progressively extended his oeuvre with the Theatre series from 2010-2013, and Souvenir, which provided a charged picture of his youth in Breda. This series was purchased by the NoordBrabants Museum. A typical feature of the work of Ruud van Empel is the composition of a perfected and idealized representation right down to the finest details. But this always has a darker side, albeit not always evident. Ruud Schenk, curator of the Groninger Museum, wrote about that aspect with reference to the Study for Women series (2000-2002): ‘As a spectator you feel that there is something not quite right about the depiction of the women: they are not completely lifelike, but tend to be a mixture of real women and window dummies. This generates a certain discomfort, an uneasiness that touches upon what was described as 'das Unheimliche' (the uncanny) at the beginning of the 20th century.’ Although the photographic images seem to capture an epoch, you can hardly assign a date to any of them. This timeless element of Van Empel’s work has taken on a different significance in his recent work, as he deals with themes such as transience and Vanity in his Still Life series from 2014, and also portrays older people as in the portrait of an older woman in the Sunday series (2012), or in the Nude series (2014), in which he questions the pose of the model and the aesthetics of nudity. In the Solo Work series, on which Ruud van Empel has been working since 2011, he consistently deals with just one topic in an isolated work. The moral, ethical and aesthetic dilemmas of society and art are presented to us in a photographic form language. The significance of these is shown in the countless publications and international exhibitions of this work, not only in institutions specialized in photography but also in renowned museums for modern visual art.Source: Wikipedia
Stephan Vanfleteren
Stephan Vanfleteren studied photography at Lucas Institute in Brussels (1988-1992). From 1993 to 2009, he worked as a free-lance photographer for the Belgian Journal De Morgen and always worked and invested in his own personal projects. Actually, Stephan works for museums, he's publishing his portraits in foreign journals and several foreign magazines. He's cofounder of Hannibal Publishing and Cannibal Publishing. Stephan Vanfleteren is art-director for the two publishing houses. PRICES 1996 - World Press Photo Award - Sports, third prize stories - Boxing in Cuba 1997 - World Press Photo Award - Daily Life, first prize stories - Aids, Kenia 1998 - European Fuji Awards 2000 - World Press Photo Award - Arts and Entertainment, third prize stories, Elvis & Presley 2001 - World Press Photo Award - Children's Award, prize singles - Afghanistan 2001 - European Fuji Award 2007 - Nikon Press Photo Award 2009 - Louis Paul Boon award - Belgium 2010 - Lead Awards: 'Portätfotografie des Jahres', Germany 2011 - Henri Nannen Price, Germany - Tomi Ungerer 2012 - Vijfjaarlijkse Cultuurprijs voor de Provincie West-Vlaanderen 2012 - National Portrait price of the Netherlands - Rem Koolhaas, Dutch architect 2013 - World Press Photo Award - Staged Portraits, first prize stories, People of Mercy 2019 - Henri Nannen Price, Germany - Angels of the Sea - Mare Publication. BOOKS 1999 - Elvis&Presley, with photographer Robert Huber (Switserland) 2000 - Buren, with Mark Power & Eva Leitolf 2003 - Tales from a Globalizing World 2005 - Flandrien - Cannibal Publishing 2007 - Belgicum - Hannibal Publishing 2009 - Portret 1989-2009 - Lannoo 2012 - En avant, marche! - Hannibal Publishing 2013 - Façades & Vitrines (Limited edition 666 exp) - Hannibal Publishing 2014 - MMXIV - De Red Devils - Cannibal Publishing 2014 - Atlantic Wall - Hannibal Publishing 2015 - Charleroi, il est clair que le gris est noir - Hannibal Publishing 2018 - SURF TRIBE - Hannibal Publishing 2019 - PRESENT - Hannibal Publishing 2019 - ONUITGESPROKEN - Hannibal Publishing About PRESENT Stephan Vanfleteren is mainly known to the general public for his penetrating black & white portrait photography, but over the past decades his work has ranged to documentary, artistic and personal pictures. From street photography in world cities like New York to the genocide of Ruanda, from storefront façades to the mystical landscapes of the Atlantic wall, from still lifes to intense portraits. The iconic images sit side by side with unknown treasures in this heavy tome containing no less than 505 photographs. In the very personal accompanying text, Vanfleteren reflects on how his own work and the photography genre as a whole have evolved in recent decades. You get a close-up look at his intriguing career from the very beginning, when he travelled the world with an appetite for action. He also photographed his home country: all of the headline news stories of the 1990s appeared before his lens. Around the Millennium, Vanfleteren started to focus on that which is disappearing. With painstaking attention to nuance he created a visual archive of his homeland and of his fellow Belgians, in his own inimitable style. In the last few years Vanfleteren has brought the world inside, to his daylight studio, resulting in many encounters and portraits. This book includes two new series – not previously published – which were born in the intimacy of his studio: an exploration of the still life and a study of nude photography, both in colour. Present is an impressive overview of Vanfleteren's oeuvre that provides a complete picture of him as a photographer, an artist, and above all a human being who faces life with empathy, wonder, and curiosity. More about PRESENT
Pierre Verger
France
1902 | † 1996
Pierre Edouard Leopold Verger, alias Fatumbi or Fátúmbí was a photographer, self-taught ethnographer, and babalawo (Yoruba priest of Ifa) who devoted most of his life to the study of the African diaspora - the slave trade, the African-based religions of the new world, and the resulting cultural and economical flows from and to Africa. At the age of 30, after losing his family, Pierre Verger took up the career of journalistic photographer. Over the next 15 years, he traveled the four continents, documenting many civilizations that would soon be effaced by progress. His destinations included Tahiti (1933); United States, Japan, and China (1934 and 1937); Italy, Spain, Sudan (now Mali), Niger, Upper Volta, Togo and Dahomey (now Benin, 1935); the West Indies (1936); Mexico (1937, 1939, and 1957); the Philippines and Indochina (now Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam, 1938); Guatemala and Ecuador (1939); Senegal (as a conscript, 1940); Argentina (1941), Peru and Bolivia (1942 and 1946); and finally Brazil (1946). His photographs were featured in magazines such as Paris-Soir, Daily Mirror (under the pseudonym of Mr. Lensman), Life, and Paris Match. In the city of Salvador, Brazil he fell in love with the place and people, and decided to stay for good. Having become interested in the local history and culture, he turned from errant photographer to a researcher of the African diaspora in the Americas. His subsequent voyages are focused on that goal: the west coast of Africa and Paramaribo (1948), Haiti (1949), and Cuba (1957). After studying the Yoruba culture and its influences in Brazil, Verger became an initiated of the Candomblé religion, and officiated at its rituals. During a visit to Benin, he was initiated into Ifá (cowrie-shell divination), became a babalawo (priest) of Orunmila, and was renamed Fátúmbí ("he who is reborn through the Ifá"). Veger's contributions to ethnography are embodied in dozens of conference papers, journal articles and books and were recognized by Sorbonne University, which conferred upon him a doctoral degree (Docteur 3eme Cycle) in 1966 — quite a feat for someone who dropped out of high school at 17. Verger continued to study and document his chosen subject right until his death in Salvador, at the age of 94. During that time he became a professor at the Federal University of Bahia in 1973, where he was responsible for the establishment of the Afro-Brazilian Museum in Salvador; and served as visiting professor at the University of Ifé in Nigeria. The non-profit Pierre Verger Foundation in Salvador, which he established to continue his work, holds more than 63,000 photos and negatives taken until 1973, as well as his papers and correspondence. Source: Wikipedia
Roman Vishniac
Russia
1897 | † 1990
Roman Vishniac was a Russian-American photographer, best known for capturing on film the culture of Jews in Central and Eastern Europe before the Holocaust. A major archive of his work was housed at the International Center of Photography until 2018, when Vishniac's daughter, Mara Vishniac Kohn, donated it to The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life at the University of California, Berkeley. Vishniac was a versatile photographer, an accomplished biologist, an art collector and teacher of art history. He also made significant scientific contributions to photomicroscopy and time-lapse photography. Vishniac was very interested in history, especially that of his ancestors, and strongly attached to his Jewish roots; he was a Zionist later in life. Roman Vishniac won international acclaim for his photos of shtetlach and Jewish ghettos, celebrity portraits, and microscopic biology. His book A Vanished World, published in 1983, made him famous and is one of the most detailed pictorial documentations of Jewish culture in Eastern Europe in the 1930s.[2] Vishniac was also remembered for his humanism and respect for life, sentiments that can be seen in all aspects of his work. In 2013, Vishniac's daughter Mara (Vishniac) Kohn donated to the International Center of Photographythe images and accompanying documents comprising ICP's "Roman Vishniac Rediscovered" travelling exhibition. In October, 2018, Kohn donated the Vishniac archive of an estimated 30,000 items, including photo negatives, prints, documents and other memorabilia that had been housed at ICP to the Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life, a unit of the University of California at Berkeley's library system. Source: Wikipedia
Ami Vitale
United States
1971
Nikon Ambassador and National Geographic magazine photographer Ami Vitale has traveled to more than 100 countries, bearing witness not only to violence and conflict, but also to surreal beauty and the enduring power of the human spirit. Throughout the years, Ami has lived in mud huts and war zones, contracted malaria, and donned a panda suit— keeping true to her belief in the importance of “living the story.” In 2009, after shooting a powerful story on the transport and release of one the world’s last white rhinos, Ami shifted her focus to today’s most compelling wildlife and environmental stories. Instyle Magazine named Ami one of fifty Badass Women, a series celebrating women who show up, speak up and get things done. She appeared alongside a group of incredible women including Jane Goodall, Christiane Amanpour and Ruth Bader Ginsburg. She has been named Magazine photographer of the year in the International Photographer of the Year prize, received the Daniel Pearl Award for Outstanding Reporting and named Magazine Photographer of the Year by the National Press Photographers Association, among others. She is a five-time recipient of WorldPress Photos, including 1st Prize for her 2018 National Geographic magazine story about a community in Kenya protecting elephants. She published a best-selling book, Panda Love, on the secret lives of pandas. She is a featured speaker for the National Geographic LIVE series, and frequently gives talks and workshops throughout the Americas, Europe, and Asia. Her photographs have been commissioned by nearly every international publication and exhibited around the world in museums and galleries. She is a founding member of Ripple Effect Images, an organization of renowned female scientists, writers, photographers and filmmakers working together to create powerful and persuasive stories that shed light on the hardships women in developing countries face and the programs that can help them. She is also on the Photojournalism Advisory Council for the Alexia Foundation. Currently based in Montana, Ami Vitale is a contract photographer with National Geographic magazine and frequently gives workshops throughout the Americas, Europe, and Asia. Ami Vitale talks about Climate Change Awareness
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