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Matej Michalik
Matej Michalik
Matej Michalik

Matej Michalik

Country: Slovakia
Birth: 1981

My name is Matej Michalik. I was born in 1981 and live in Bratislava, Slovakia. I came in contact with photography in 2010. Apparently, I belong to the new wave of photographers who didn’t go through the analogue era and developing films in darkrooms but ended up in times of digital cameras instead. I am convinced that no matter how expensive your photography gear is, having a good imagination is essencial.

From the beginning, my intuition was leading me towards black and white photos. I began observing the work of several fine art photographers whose work I enormously appreciate. I started communicating with them, sharing pieces of advice and experience. That‘s how it all started.
 

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More Great Photographers To Discover

Berenice Abbott
United States
1898 | † 1991
Abbott was born and raised in Ohio where she endured an erratic family life. In 1918, after two semesters at Ohio State University, she left to join friends associated with the Provincetown Players, in Greenwich Village. There she met Djuna Barnes, Kenneth Burke, Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Little Review editors Margaret Anderson and Jane Heap, and other influential modernists. From 1919-1921, while studying sculpture, Abbott supported herself as an artist's model, posing for photographers Nikolas Muray and Man Ray. She also met Marcel Duchamp, and participated in Dadaist publications. Abbott moved to Paris in 1921, where she continued to study sculpture (and in Berlin), and to support herself by modeling. During 1923-1926, she worked as Man Ray's darkroom assistant (he had also relocated to Paris) and tried portrait photography at his suggestion. Abbott's first solo exhibition, in 1926, launched her career. In 1928 she rescued and began to promote Eugène Atget's photographic work, calling his thirty years of Parisian streetscapes and related studies "realism unadorned. " In 1929 Abbott took a new artistic direction to tackle the scope (if not the scale) of Atget's achievement in New York City. During 1929-38, she photographed urban material culture and the built environment of New York, documenting the old before it was torn down and recording new construction. From 1934-58, she also taught photography at the New School. During 1935-39, Abbott worked as a "supervisor" for the Federal Art Project to create Changing New York (her free-lance work and New School teaching commitment made her ineligible for unemployment relief) . From 1939-60, Abbott photographed scientific subjects, concluding with her notable illustrations for the MIT-originated Physical Sciences Study Committee's revolutionary high school physics course. In 1954, she photographed along the length of US 1; the work never found a publisher. In 1968, Abbott sold the Atget archive to the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and moved permanently to her home in central Maine (bought in 1956 and restored over several decades) . 1970 saw Abbott's first major retrospective exhibition, at the Museum of Modern Art. Her first retrospective portfolio appeared in 1976, and she received the International Center of Photography's Lifetime Achievement Award in 1989. She died at home in Monson, Maine in December 1991.Source: New York Public Library Born in Springfield, Ohio, Berenice Abbott spent the early part of her artistic career studying sculpture in New York, Berlin, and Paris, where she worked as Man Ray's studio assistant. This experience led her to photography, and in 1926 she established herself as an independent photographer whose portraits of well-known artists and writers rivaled those of Man Ray in excellence and renown. Through Man Ray, she met Eugène Atget, whose photographs of the transformation of Paris from the ancien regime through the mid-1920s impressed her with their methodical technique and intuitive inflections of artistry. Upon Atget's death, Abbott purchased his photographic oeuvre, and for more than forty years tirelessly promoted his work. It is largely through her efforts that this great photographer is still known today. In 1929, Abbott returned to the United States, where she embarked on her best-known body of work--a documentation of New York City for which she developed her famous bird's-eye and worm's-eye points-of-view. She worked on the project independently through the early years of the Depression, and in 1935, secured funding from the Federal Art Project (a part of the Works Progress Administration). Her pictures were published as Changing New York (1939), which was both critically and commercially successful; it remains a classic text for historians of photography. One of Abbott's later final projects was an illustration of scientific phenomenon, produced in the 1950s in collaboration with the Physical Sciences Study Committee based at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Although not as well known as her New York work, these pictures are exquisite examples of her acumen for technical experimentation and her natural instinct for combining factual photographic detail with stunning artistic accomplishment. With their clear visual demonstration of abstract scientific principles, the photographs were chosen to illustrate physics textbooks of the 1950s and 1960s.Source: International Center of Photography
Zev Hoover
United States
1999
Zev Hoover, from Natick, Massachusetts, goes by the Flickr username Fiddle Oak, a play on 'little folk', which adequately describes the incredible images that make up his 'miniature world'. In his fantastical photos in which people are digitally shrunken, acorns make excellent seats, Popsicle sticks are the ideal size for building rafts, and paper airplanes are viable modes of transport. Zev told Today.com that while he takes the photos with his own camera, his older sister Nell, 18, was the brains behind the original tiny people concept. "She is sort of my partner in crime," he said, adding that she is "more of a writer". While Nell may have come up with the idea, Zev executes the images beautifully, and his unique work has attracted the attention of professional photographers and designers. The 14-year-old, who also writes a blog, explained the complicated process of how he creates his dreamlike images, many of which feature him as the main subject. The process involves capturing the background image first, shrinking photos of people in similar lighting, manipulating the images in Photoshop and editing the color scheme so that it all matches. 'It takes a long time,' he said of the resulting images, which are so otherworldly that they almost look like drawings. One image shows a boy constructing a house of playing cards, his body the same size as the cards. In another image, a 'miniature' boy and girl sit upon a raft made of Popsicle sticks, the sail of which is a single leaf. Many of Zev's images explore nature, including one in which a boy perches inside the shell of an acorn. Another nature-themed photo, which plays with and distorts size ratio, shows a miniscule-looking boy sitting on the edge of a rock, a violin in his hand. Photography and design websites have picked up on Zev's work, lauding him for being so talented and creative at such a young age.Source: www.dailymail.co.uk
David Stewart
United Kingdom
1958
David Stewart began his career by photographing punk bands including The Clash and The Ramones. He also took to photographing the passing parade of colourful characters on Morecambe Promenade with squirrel monkey's Joey and Queenie. After graduating at Blackpool and The Fylde College, Stewart moved to London in 1981 where he persued a career in photography, rapidly establishing himself as one of the UK's most highly accomplished photographers. In 1995 he directed and produced a short film "Cabbage" which was nominated for a BAFTA. Accompanying the film is a series of surrealist photographic images in tribute to the much-maligned vegetable. In 2001 he published a body of work titled Fogeys comprising of kitsch, cartoon-like photographs of people growing old disgracefully. Exhibited at the Institute of Contemporary Art London "Fogeys" won a Silver Award at the Art Directors Club of New York. The book "Thrice Removed" was published in 2009. While still singular and mischievous, the book includes works that are more muted in colour and personal in tone. The projects "Indecision" and "Intension" return once again to the surreal providing an intriguing study of young women. "Teenage Pre-occupation" which takes a look at teenagers and the changes they go through and was published in May 2013. The short film "Stray" 2013 was screened at the London Short Film festival. Stewart won The Taylor Wessing portrait prize in 2015. He had been previously shortlisted for the Photographic Portrait Prize in 2007 and accepted a further fourteen times between 1995 and 2012 each time exhibited at the National Portrait Gallery, London. In 2016 Stewart was presented with The Royal Photographic Society award for outstanding achievement and excellence in the fields of Editorial, Advertising and Fashion Photography. 2018 saw the publication of "Paid Content" which uses the setting of the advertising agency to explore the changing face of workplace culture and the wider dehumanising effect that is occurring due to the growth of large, faceless corporations and globalisation. 2020 saw the publication of "Geoffrey Valentine" which presents unflinching portraits of his dead father lying in a coffin in a chapel of rest. Geoffrey Valentine at Wren London
Arthur Tress
United States
1940
Arthur Tress (born November 24, 1940) is an American photographer. He is known for his staged surrealism and exposition of the human body. Tress was born in Brooklyn, New York. The youngest of four children in a divorced family, Tress spent time in his early life with both his father, who remarried and lived in an upper-class neighborhood, and his mother, who remained single after the divorce and whose life was not nearly so luxurious. At age 12 he began to photograph circus freaks and dilapidated buildings around Coney Island in New York City, where he grew up. Tress studied at Abraham Lincoln High School in Coney Island, and gained a Bachelor of Fine Arts at Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York. After graduating from Bard College in 1962, Tress moved to Paris, France to attend film school. While living in France, he traveled to Japan, Africa, Mexico, and throughout Europe. He observed many secluded tribes and cultures and was fascinated by the roles played by the shaman of the different groups of people. The cultures to which he was introduced would play a role in his later work. Tress spent the spring and summer of 1964 in San Francisco, documenting the Republican Convention that nominated Barry Goldwater, civil rights demonstrations at segregated car dealerships on Van Ness Avenue, and the Beatles launching their 1964 tour. Tress took over 900 photographs that were put away and re-discovered in 2009, and featured in a show at San Francisco's deYoung Museum. He currently resides in San Francisco, California. Source: Wikipedia Arthur Tress began his first camera work as a teenager in the surreal neighborhood of Coney Island where he spent hours exploring the decaying amusement parks. Later, during five years of world travel, mostly in Asia and Africa, he developed an interest in ethnographical photography that eventually led him to his first professional assignment as a U.S. government photographer recording the endangered folk cultures of Appalachia. Seeing the destructive results of corporate resource extraction, Tress began to use his camera to raise environmental awareness about the economic and human costs of pollution. Focusing on New York City, he began to photograph the neglected fringes of the urban waterfront with a straight documentary approach. This gradually evolved into a more personal mode of “magic realism” combining improvised elements of actual life with stage fantasy that became his hallmark style of directorial fabrication. In the late 1960s Tress was inspired to do a series based upon children's dreams that combined his interests in ritual ceremony, Jungian archetypes, and social allegory. Later bodies of work dealing with the hidden dramas of adult relationships and the reenactments of male homosexual desire evolved from this primarily theatrical approach. Beginning in the early 1980s, Tress began shooting in color, creating room-sized painted sculptural installations out of found medical equipment in an abandoned hospital on New York's Welfare Island. This led to a smaller scale exploration of narrative still life within a children's toy theater and a portable nineteenth-century aquarium. Around 2002, Tress returned to gelatin silver, exploring more formalist themes in the style of mid- century modernism, often combining a spontaneous shooting style with a constructivist's sense of architectural composition and abstract shape. In addition to images of California skateboard parks, his recent work includes the round images of the series Planets and the diamond-shaped images of Pointers. Source: www.arthurtress.com
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Call for Entries
AAP Magazine #12 B&W
$1,000 cash prizes | Winning image(s) published in AAP Magazine #12 | Extensive press coverage and global recognition