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Peikwen Cheng
Peikwen Cheng
Peikwen Cheng

Peikwen Cheng

Country: China
Birth: 1975

Peikwen Cheng studied product design at Stanford University, graduating in 1997. He is a self-taught photographer who has exhibited his work in Cambodia, Canada, China, Germany, Greece, Poland, Singapore, Sweden, Syria, United Kingdom and United States. Before turning his focus to art, he was a designer and was awarded with a United States Design Patent and an Industrial Design Excellence Award by the Industrial Design Society of America. Peikwen Cheng lives in Beijing.


Peikwen Cheng is a Chinese-American artist based in New York and Shanghai. His work explores the process of change across cultures, time and place and seeks to discover magical moments in unexpected places.

His art has been exhibited in Belgium, Cambodia, Canada, China, Luxembourg, Germany, Greece, Poland, Singapore, Sweden, Syria, United Kingdom and the United States; and his work has been featured by BBC, CNN, BBC, Financial Times, The Guardian, National Public Radio, The Sunday Times, and Vogue.

He has been recognized by international awards including the Three Shadows Photography Award, National Geographic Award at the Eddie Adams Workshop, C/O Berlin Talents Award, Renaissance Photography Prize Category Winner, Flash Forward Selected Winner by the Magenta Foundation, Px3, and International Photography Awards. And as a designer, he was awarded with a United States Design Patent and an Industrial Design Excellence Award by the Industrial Design Society of America.

He is a graduate of Stanford University, Tsinghua University and Insead.

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Fausto Podavini
Fausto Podavini was born in Rome, where he still lives and works. His passion for photography began when he was 18, first as assistant and studio photographer, then working on ethnological and social reportage. In 1992, he worked at MIFAV, the photography museum at Tor Vergata University in Rome and then studied at the John Kaverdash photography academy in Milan, taking a master’s degree in reportage. Podavini left studio photography to dedicate himself exclusively to reportage, and is nowadays a freelance photographer, collaborating with a number of NGOs. He has covered issues in Italy, Peru, Kenya, and Ethiopia, where he is currently developing personal photographic projects.Italian social reportage photographer Fausto Podavini is honoured this year as both third place winner in the 2013 Sony World Photography Awards Lifestyle category as well as first prize for the 2013 World Press Photo's 'Daily Life' category. His winning series, follows the relationship of Mirella and Luigi as Mirella cared for for husband at home in Rome. Married for over 40 years, Luigi began experiencing symptoms of Alzheimer's disease. For six years, Mirella tended to her husband's needs due to the progressive degenerative illness. After five years of living with Alzheimers, Luigi no longer recongised his wife; he died in May 2011 with her at his bedside. Podavini's intimate and delicate series follows Mirella for four years. WPO's Kaley Sweeney spoke to the photographer a bit more about his experiences developing the long term project. (Source: World Photography Organisation)
Pascal Maitre
France
1955
Born in Buzançais, France, in 1955, Pascal Maitre studied psychology before beginning a career in photojournalism in 1979. His numerous assignments have taken him all over the Earth, from Afghanistan to South America. His books, In the Heart of Africa and Madagascar: Travels in a World Apart, gather images from 15 years of work in Africa. His photographs have been published in publications around the world, including GEO, Le Figaro Magazine, Newsweek, Life, and many others. His photographs first appeared in National Geographic in a September 2005 article on oil in Africa. Maitre is based in Paris, France. Source: National Geographic After studying psychology, he starts his carrier as photojournalist with the Jeune Afrique press group. In 1984 he joins the Gamma staff and then in 1989, he cofounds the Odyssey Images agency. From 1994 to 2018, he was a member of Cosmos Agency. He is now represented by MYOP. He has worked with many prestigious international magazines including, the Figaro Magazine, Geo, Paris Match, Stern, Brigitt and the National Geographic. In 2000, he published My Africa, a book that compiles 15 years of his work on this continent, with Aperture in the USA and Geo in Germany. In September 2001, the French version is released by Vents de Sable editions. In 2012 he publishes Amazing Africa, a compilation of 30 years of his work on Africa, with edition Lammerhuber and Unesco. Pascal Maitre has worked in over 40 countries in Africa, while tackling many different aspects, men and their way of life, politics, conflicts, tradition or the environement. He received numerous awards, including some World Press Photo awards, the AFD/Polka Prize for the Best Photo Report Project, the VISA D’Or 'Honneur for Lifetime Achievement'. He had eight personal exhibitions at Visa pour l'Image in Perpignan, two personal exhibitions at the Maison Européenne de la Photographie in Paris and a personal exhibition about his work at The Arche de la Défense in Paris.Source: MYOP
Arnold Newman
United States
1918 | † 2006
Arnold Abner Newman was an American photographer, noted for his "environmental portraits" of artists and politicians. He was also known for his carefully composed abstract still-life images. Born in Manhattan, Newman grew up in Atlantic City, New Jersey, and later moved to Miami Beach, Florida. In 1936, he studied painting and drawing at the University of Miami. Unable to afford to continue after two years, he moved to Philadelphia to work for a studio, making 49-cent portraits in 1938. Newman returned to Florida in 1942 to manage a portrait studio in West Palm Beach. Three years later, he opened his own business in Miami Beach. In 1946, Newman relocated to New York, opened Arnold Newman Studios and worked as a freelance photographer for Fortune, LIFE, and Newsweek. Though never a member, Newman frequented the Photo League during the 1940s. Newman found his vision in the empathy he felt for artists and their work. Although he photographed many personalities—Marlene Dietrich, John F. Kennedy, Harry S. Truman, Piet Mondrian, Pablo Picasso, Arthur Miller, Marilyn Monroe, Ronald Reagan, Mickey Mantle, and Audrey Hepburn—he maintained that even if the subject is not known, or is already forgotten, the photograph itself must still excite and interest the viewer. Arnold Newman is often credited with being the photographer who articulated and who consistently employed the genre of environmental portraiture, in which the photographer uses a carefully framed and lit setting, and its contents, to symbolize the individual's life and work; a well-known example being his portrait of Igor Stravinsky in which the lid of his grand piano forms a gargantuan musical note representative of the melodic structure of the composer's work. Newman normally captured his subjects in their most familiar surroundings with representative visual elements showing their professions and personalities. A musician for instance might be photographed in their recording studio or on stage, a Senator or other politician in their office or a representative building. Using a large-format camera and tripod, he worked to record every detail of a scene. Newman's best-known images were in black and white, although he often photographed in color. His 1946 black and white portrait of Stravinsky seated at a grand piano became his signature image, even though it was rejected by Harper's Bazaar, the magazine that gave the assignment to Newman. He was one of the few photographers allowed to make a portrait of the famously camera-shy Henri Cartier-Bresson. Among Newman's best-known color images is an eerie portrait from 1963 that shows former Nazi industrialist and minister of armament Alfried Krupp in one of Krupp's factories. Newman admits his personal feelings influenced his portrayal of Krupp. On December 19, 2005, Newman made his last formal portrait of director James (Jimmy) Burrows at the NBC studio on the Saturday Night Live stage. This session was particularly special for Newman because he had photographed Jimmy's father Abe Burrows several times.Source: Wikipedia Arnold Newman (1918-2006) is acknowledged as one of the great masters of the 20th and 21st century and his work has changed portraiture. He is recognized as the “Father of Environmental Portraiture.” His work is collected and exhibited in the major museums around the world including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Chicago Art Institute; The Los Angeles Museum of Art; The Philadelphia Museum; The Tate and the National Portrait Gallery, London; The Israel Museum, Jerusalem; and many other prominent museums in Europe, Japan, South America, Australia, etc. Newman was an important contributor to publications such as The New Yorker, Newsweek, Vanity Fair, LIFE, Look, Holiday, Harper's Bazaar, Esquire, Town and Country, Scientific American, New York Times Magazine, and many others. There are numerous books published of Newman’s work in addition to countless histories of photography, catalogues, articles and television programs. He received many major awards by the leading professional organizations in the U.S. and abroad including the American Society of Media Photographers, The International Center of Photography, The Lucie Award, The Royal Photographic Society Centenary Award as well as France’s “Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters.” In 2005, Photo District News named Newman as one of the 25 most influential living photographers. In 2006, Newman was awarded The Gold Medal for Photography by The National Arts Club. He is the recipient of nine honorary doctorates and has lectured and conducted workshops throughout the country and the world. Arnold Newman died on June 6, 2006 in New York City. He was 88 years old.Source: arnoldnewman.com Arnold Newman is widely renowned for pioneering and popularizing the environmental portrait. With his method of portraiture, he placed his sitters in surroundings representative of their professions, aiming to capture the essence of an individual’s life and work. Though this approach is commonplace today, his technique was highly unconventional in the 1930s when began shooting his subjects as such. He is also known for his carefully composed, abstract still lifes.Source: Howard Greenberg Gallery "We do not take pictures with our cameras, but with our hearts and minds,” so said Arnold Newman, one of the world's best-known and most admired photographers to have ever lived. Known for his “environmental portraits” of artists and politicians, he captured the essence of his subjects by showing them in their natural surroundings. As he said, “I didn't just want to make a photograph with some things in the background. The surroundings had to add to the composition and the understanding of the person. No matter who the subject was, it had to be an interesting photograph. Just to simply do a portrait of a famous person doesn't mean a thing.” Newman was a master at composition and was meticulous about his work. He even used a large-format camera and tripod to ensure that every detail of a scene was recorded. His signature image, the one most will remember him by, is the last one in this post. It's a beautiful, black and white portrait of Russian Composer Igor Stravinsky seated at a grand piano. Look closely and you'll notice that the piano was strategically silhouetted against a blank wall, creating an illusion that the lid is an abstract musical note.Source: My Modern Met
George Tice
United States
1938
George A. Tice is an American photographer, best known for his meticulously crafted black and white prints in silver gelatin and platinum, as well as his books, which depict a broad range of American life, landscape, and urban environment, mostly photographed in his native New Jersey, where he has lived all his life, except for his service in the U. S. Navy, a brief period in California, a fellowship in the United Kingdom, and summer workshops in Maine, where he taught at the Maine Photographic Workshops, now the Maine Media Workshops. George A. Tice, born in Newark, New Jersey, October 13, 1938, was the son of a college-educated New Jerseyan, William S. Tice, and Margaret Robertson, a Traveller of Irish, Scottish, and Welsh stock with a fourth grade education. George was raised by his mother, maintaining regular visiting contact with his father, whose influence and advice he valued highly. His first contact with photography was in the albums of family photographs belonging to his father, and this gave him the desire to create images of his own. He began with a Kodak Brownie. In 1953, having bought a Kodak Pony, which gave him some control over exposure and focus, and a Kodak developing kit, he began to advance his craft. He also joined the Carteret Camera Club. George Tice's photographs of homeless men on the Bowery won second place in the black and white print competitions. He decided at this point to make photography his career. In 1955 he attended the Newark Vocational and Technical High School, where he briefly studied commercial photography under Harve Wobbe. When he turned sixteen, he quit school and took a job as a darkroom assistant for Classic Photo, a portrait studio in Newark. He also worked as a stock boy at Kreske's Department Store in Newark, then as an office boy in the circulation department of the Newark Evening News. It was at this job he learned about the death of the actor James Dean through a clipping about his death. Tice later adopted Dean as one of his subjects in Hometowns: An American Pilgrimage. In 1956 Tice enlisted in the United States Navy, in which he rose to the rank of Photographer's Mate Third Class. After boot camp and two years at Naval Air Station Memphis, he was transferred to sea duty aboard the aircraft carrier, USS Wasp (CV-18). One of the photographs he made on board, Explosion Aboard the U.S.S. Wasp, 1959, was published on the front page of the New York Times. Edward Steichen, then Director of Photography at the Museum of Modern Art, was struck by the image and requested a print for the Museum collection. In that same year Tice received his honorable discharge.Source: Wikipedia George Tice is drawn to vestiges of American culture on the verge of extinction-from people in rural or small-town communities to suburban buildings and neighborhoods that are often in decline. Although he has photographed throughout the Northwestern United States, he is best known for pictures of his native New Jersey, and the impeccable quality of his black-and-white prints. In the 1960s, Tice shifted from smaller camera formats to larger ones, which enabled him to craft carefully toned and detailed prints. He portrayed traditional Amish and Shaker communities, as well as the hard lives of fishermen in Maine. In the 1970s, Tice began exploring his home state. Those photographs formed the beginnings of his Urban Landscapes series, which he worked on until the year 2000. His publications include: Fields of Peace: A Pennsylvania German Album (1970), Paterson, New Jersey (1972), Seacoast Maine: People and Places (1973), Urban Landscapes: A New Jersey Portrait (1975), and Hometowns: An American Pilgrimage (1988). Tice has taught at the Maine Photographic Workshops since 1977.Source: The J. Paul Getty Museum By 1970, thanks in part to shows and sales of his work through Witkin, Tice was able to concentrate entirely on his own photography. The extended photographic essay is an important part of Tice’s work. The form and process of each project is an investigation leading to a book. Tice taught a master class at The New School, NYC and the Maine Media Workshop for over twenty-five years. Tice has had eighteen books published to date. His first book Fields of Peace, documented the life of Amish and Mennonite communities of Pennsylvania. In the late 1960’s, Tice began exploring his home state and those photographs formed the beginnings of two of his best-known books: Urban Landscapes, A New Jersey Portrait, (1975) and Paterson, (1972), with sequels, George Tice : Urban Landscapes in 2002, Common Mementos in 2005 and Paterson II in 2006. One of his most recent book Seldom Seen (2013) is a collection of previously unpublished photographs. James Rhem states in an article in Focus Magazine, “The stillness in what Tice himself describes as the “sad beauty” of his urban scenes has a different weight, the weight of history, not moments, but stories evolving.” His photographs have been exhibited internationally and are represented in the collections of many institutions including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art, Art Institute of Chicago, The J. Paul Getty Museum, Whitney Museum of Art, Newark Museum and the The Bibliothèque nationale de France. He has received fellowships and commissions from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the New Jersey State Council on the Arts and the National Media Museum, (UK). In 2003, he received an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters degree from William Paterson University. Tice, a 10th generation New Jerseyan, makes his home on the Jersey Shore.Source: The Lucie Awards
Esmeralda Ruiz
United States
Artist Statement: "My childhood was different then most. Growing up with nothing but artists was one thing, but having actually flat lined during a surgery after being diagnosed with a kidney infection changed my life forever. It wasn’t that it left me weak or prevented me from going outside and playing or even going to school with other children but the images that I saw when that moment occurred is what I strive to show in my work today. A wonderful world where the air was crisp and refreshing, with all of its flowers in bloom, my journey begins down a path with little yellow homes on each side. Beyond the path, a valley flowers appeared. On the right there were rocky mountains so enormous that clouds covered their midsection with their snow covered summits peering through. To my left the sound of the ocean was relentlessly crashing into a cliff. As I crossed my valley of flowers and ascended the cliff, I felt a cool yet, strong breeze off the ocean forcing me back. As I looked up into the vast skies above, I was overcome by the ever so omnipotent clouds with their glorious rays of sunlight beaming through. The feeling of leaping into the breeze and flying towards the light was more then overwhelming. Instead, I greeted it with a smile and made my way back to the valley. Relaxed, laying across its delicate wild flowers, my tranquil body curled up and fell into a deep sleep. Awaking to my mother at my bedside, disappointment overcame me with the realization that it was all just a dream. Weeks passed, the pain healed but my dream still reigned true. Numerous sketches and endless rants of my new world was all that was real. Having to transition from a world of such perfection to a life of obscurity seemed almost inconceivable. As such, a minor state of depression would set in as my life slowly began to drift back into its regular routine. During this time my only solace came from the amazing work found in books from various art movements and even my favorite childhood cartoons. However, as my healing process dragged on, much of what I know about color (and how I use it today) came from all the extra time spent in my parent’s studio. Watching them work and being surrounded by various mediums helped better understand art as a form of expression. This would inevitably forge my desire to show the world what I had experienced on that fateful day. As the years pass, my dream still lives within me. My thesis project has only driven my need to share my moment with the world in ways I never thought possible. After much soul searching and numerous critiques, I have come to the realization that my utopia isn’t just a dream; it is in the landscapes that have always surrounded me. Those three minutes had and will always have a tremendous impact on my life. If anything, I learned how fragile life is and to always appreciate the beautiful things in life. Photography has allowed me to show what stands out in my eyes by glorifying it in a photograph. It is the best way that I can communicate what I saw and what I felt at that particular moment. It is the bridge between my past and my present.Source: Esmeralda Ruiz Website
Roger Ballen
United States
1950
One of the most influential and important photographic artists of the 21st century, Roger Ballen's photographs span over forty years. His strange and extreme works confront the viewer and challenge them to come with him on a journey into their own minds as he explores the deeper recesses of his own. Roger Ballen was born in New York in 1950 but for over 30 years he has lived and worked in South Africa. His work as a geologist took him out into the countryside and led him to take up his camera and explore the hidden world of small South African towns. At first he explored the empty streets in the glare of the midday sun but, once he had made the step of knocking on people's doors, he discovered a world inside these houses which was to have a profound effect on his work. These interiors with their distinctive collections of objects and the occupants within these closed worlds took his unique vision on a path from social critique to the creation of metaphors for the inner mind. After 1994 he no longer looked to the countryside for his subject matter finding it closer to home in Johannesburg. Over the past thirty five years his distinctive style of photography has evolved using a simple square format in stark and beautiful black and white. In the earlier works in the exhibition his connection to the tradition of documentary photography is clear but through the 1990s he developed a style he describes as 'documentary fiction'. After 2000 the people he first discovered and documented living on the margins of South African society increasingly became a cast of actors working with Ballen in the series' Outland (2000, revised in 2015) and Shadow Chamber (2005) collaborating to create powerful psychodramas. The line between fantasy and reality in his subsequent series' Boarding House (2009) and Asylum of the Birds (2014) became increasingly blurred and in these series he employed drawings, painting, collage and sculptural techniques to create elaborate sets. There was an absence of people altogether, replaced by photographs of individuals now used as props, by doll or dummy parts or where people did appear it was as disembodied hands, feet and mouths poking disturbingly through walls and pieces of rag. The often improvised scenarios were now completed by the unpredictable behaviour of animals whose ambiguous behaviour became crucial to the overall meaning of the photographs. In this phase Ballen invented a new hybrid aesthetic, but one still rooted firmly in black and white photography. In his artistic practice Ballen has increasingly been won over by the possibilities of integrating photography and drawing. He has expanded his repertoire and extended his visual language. By integrating drawing into his photographic and video works, the artist has not only made a lasting contribution to the field of art, but equally has made a powerful commentary about the human condition and its creative potential. His contribution has not been limited to stills photography and Ballen has been the creator of a number of acclaimed and exhibited short films that dovetail with his photographic series'. The collaborative film I Fink You Freeky, created for the cult band Die Antwoord in 2012, has garnered over 125-million hits on YouTube. He has taken his work into the realms of sculpture and installation, at Paris' Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature (2017), Australia's Sydney College of the Arts (2016) and at the Serlachius Museum in Finland (2015) is to name but a few. The spectacular installation at Les Rencontres d'Arles 2017, "House of the Ballenesque" was voted as one of the best exhibitions for 2017. In 2018 at the Wiesbaden Biennale, Germany, another installation "Roger Ballen's Bazaar/Bizarre" was created in an abandoned shopping centre. Ballen's series, The Theatre of Apparitions (2016), is inspired by the sight of these hand-drawn carvings on blacked-out windows in an abandoned women's prison. Ballen started to experiment using different spray paints on glass and then 'drawing on' or removing the paint with a sharp object to let natural light through. The results have been likened prehistoric cave-paintings: the black, dimensionless spaces on the glass are canvases onto which Ballen has carved his thoughts and emotions. He also released a related animated film, Theatre of Apparitions, which has been nominated for various awards. In September 2017 Thames & Hudson published a large volume of the collected photography with extended commentary by Ballen titled Ballenesque Roger Ballen: A Retrospective. Halle Saint Pierre in Paris opened an exhibition September 6th 2019 titled The World According to Roger Ballen. Thames & Hudson published the book in French and English to accompany the show. His work took over the entire space for more than a year closing in January 2021. The World According to Roger Ballen has since been successfully exhibited at Jakopic Gallery in Ljubljana, Slovenia; as well as the Kunstmuseum Den Haag, The Hague. In October 2020, Hatje Cantz released Roger the Rat which was produced in Johannesburg between 2015 and 2020. Here Ballen creates and documents a part-human, part-rat creature who lives an isolated life outside of mainstream society. This book presents the cycle of photographs in the form of an impressive show that keeps the reader reflecting long after the last page. Ballen also produced a film that accompanies the book launch during October 2020. Roger Ballen has published over 25 books internationally. His works are in more that 50 of the most important international museum collections. In the fall of 2022, Thames and Hudson released a second volume of Ballenesque Roger Ballen: A Retrospective in paperback. Roger Ballen will be one of the artists representing South Africa at the Venice Biennale Arte 2022 in Italy.
Nicola Perscheid
Germany
1864 | † 1930
Nicola Perscheid (3 December 1864 - 12 May 1930) was a German photographer. He is primarily known for his artistic portrait photography. He developed the "Perscheid lens", a soft focus lens for large format portrait photography. Perscheid was born as Nikolaus Perscheid in Moselweiβ [de] near Koblenz, Germany, where he also went to school. At the age of 15, he began an apprenticeship as a photographer. Subsequently, Perscheid earned his living as an itinerant photographer; he worked, amongst other places, in Saarbrücken, Trier, and Colmar, but also in Nice, Vienna, or Budapest. In Klagenfurt in Austria he finally found a permanent position and on 1 March 1887, he became a member of the Photographic Society of Vienna (Wiener Photographische Gesellschaft). In 1889, he moved to Dresden, where he initially worked in the studio of Wilhelm Höffert (1832-1901), a well-known studio in Germany at that time, before opening his own studio in Görlitz on 6 June 1891. The next year he was appointed court photographer at the court of Albert, King of Saxony. In 1894, Perscheid moved to Leipzig. Perscheid had his first publication of an image of his in a renowned photography magazine in 1897, and subsequently participated in many exhibitions and also had contacts with artist Max Klinger. As an established and well-known photographer, he moved in 1905 to Berlin. There, he experimented with early techniques for colour photography, without much success, and when his assistant Arthur Benda [de] left him in 1907, Perscheid gave up these experiments altogether. His portraits, however, won him several important prizes, but apparently were not an economic success: he sold his studio on 24 June 1912. In October 1913, he held a course at the Swedish society of professional photographers, the Svenska Fotografernas Förbund, which must have been a success as it was praised even ten years later. In 1923, he followed a call by the Danish college for photography in Kopenhagen. Percheid had several students who would later become renowned photographers themselves. Arthur Benda studied with him from 1899 to 1902, and joined him again in 1906 as his assistant for experimenting with colour photography. Benda left Perscheid in 1907; together with Dora Kallmus he went to Vienna and worked in her studio Atelier d'Ora, which he eventually took over and that continued to exist under the name d'Ora-Benda until 1965. Kallmus herself also had studied from January to May 1907 at Perscheid's. Henry B. Goodwin, who later emigrated to Sweden and in 1913 organized Perscheid's course there, studied with Perscheid in 1903. In 1924 the Swedish photographer Curt Götlin (1900-1993) studied at Perscheid's studio. Perscheid also influenced the Japanese photographer Toragorō Ariga, who studied in Berlin from 1908 to 1914 and also followed Perscheid's courses. He returned in 1915 to Japan. The Perscheid lens was developed around 1920. It is a soft-focus lens with a wide depth of field, produced by Emil Busch AG after the specifications of Perscheid. The lens is designed especially for large format portrait photography. Ariga introduced the Perscheid lens in Japan, where it became very popular amongst Japanese portrait photographers of the 1920s. Even after the sale of his studio, Perscheid continued to work as a photographer and even rented other studio rooms in 1917. Besides artistic photography, he also always did "profane" studio portraits, for instance for the Postkartenvertrieb Willi Sanke in Berlin that between 1910 and 1918 published a series of about 600 to 700 numbered aviation postcards, including a large number of portraits of flying aces, a number of which were done by Perscheid. Towards the end of the 1920s, Perscheid had severe financial problems. In autumn 1929 he had to sub-rent his apartment to be able to pay his own rent. Shortly afterwards, he suffered a stroke, and was hospitalized in spring of 1930. While he was at the hospital, his belongings, including his cameras and photographic plates, but also all his furniture were auctioned off to pay his debts. Two weeks after the auction, on 12 May 1930, Perscheid died at the Charité hospital in Berlin. Source: Wikipedia
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