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Sandrine Hermand-Grisel
Sandrine Hermand-Grisel
Sandrine Hermand-Grisel

Sandrine Hermand-Grisel

Country: France
Birth: 1973

Sandrine Hermand-Grisel grew up in Paris, France and in London, UK. She studied International Law before deciding to dedicate her life to photography in 1997. Influenced by her late mother's sculptures and her husbands paintings and films, she worked on several personal projects before her series Nocturnes was recognized in 2005 by Harry Gruyaert, Bertrand Despres and John Batho for the Prix Kodak de la Critique Photographique. In 2006 she moved with her family to the United States and began experimenting landscape photography with her series Somewhere and On the road.

Despite the diversity of her projects she has a unique, very intimate, relationship with her subjects. Photography provides her with a way to express her feelings, like in the series ''Nocturnes'' where she photographed only close friends and family members peacefully abandoning themselves in front of her camera. ''Somewhere'' is her dream of America, a road trip through her adopted country. And ''Waterlilies'' is full of joy and love for her two children as she watched them jumping and playing in pools over and over again. Sandrine Hermand-Grisel not only photographs what she loves, she breaks free from her own reality in her poetic vision of the world.

In 2013, she created the acclaimed website All About Photo and now spends most of her time discovering new talents while still working on personal projects.

All about Sea Sketches

Since I was a little girl my parents insisted that my brother and I accompany them almost every weekend to see an exhibition, a museum or an historic house. What was excruciating at first slowly became a real pleasure. Thanks to them, I had the privilege to see incredible exhibitions both in Paris and London where I grew up. Depending on my age and moods at the time, I favored a century, a movement, a painter...

It was love at first sight when I discovered "Wanderer above the Sea of Fog" by Caspar David Friedrich. In the foreground, a young man stands upon a rocky precipice with his back to the viewer. He overlooks a landscape covered in a thick sea of fog. I was overwhelmed by the beauty of nature, the subtle colors, the calm and yet the movement that came from the wind.

I perceived the character as content and in harmony with nature and I wondered if one day I would find my perfect place... and many years later, I did. On the west coast of Florida lies Anna Maria, a quaint barrier island nestled in the Gulf of Mexico. The water is warm and turquoise, the sand is white. Well preserved, the birds and turtles come here to nest while the respectful tourists lie on the sand every night to witness the incredible sunsets. Time is suspended.

With the romantic painters Turner and Friedrich in mind, I captured a glimpse of Anna Maria, its light, its beaches, its movement, its unleashed elements... I hope you will immerse yourself in my Sea Sketches "paintings" and escape with me, even for the length of a sigh, from the harsh realities of life and share my happy place.
 

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Rinko Kawauchi
Rinko Kawauchi is a Japanese photographer. Her work is characterized by a serene, poetic style, depicting the ordinary moments in life. Since she began her photographic career, Kawauchi's photographs contained a unique aesthetic and mood, capturing intimate, poetic, and beautiful moments of the world around her. They often have brilliant and radiant light that gives them a dream-like quality. The sublimity of her photographs is further enhanced by her use of soft colors as well as her awareness of the beauty in even the most average moments. There is not one specific theme or concept that Kawauchi chooses to explore with her image creation; rather, she does it spontaneously, observing and reacting to everything that is around her before doing any sort of editing. She focuses on just shooting, and photographing everything that attracts her eyes before looking back and thinking about why she was interested in those subjects. Another subject that she explored in her book, Ametsuchi, was the practice of religious ceremonies and rituals that hinted at an earthly cycle involving the concepts of time and impermanence. In the book, she depicts Japan's Mount Aso, a sacred site for a Shinto ritual called yakihata, and its volcanic landscape. The ritual is a long-standing tradition dating back about 1,300 years in which farmland is burned yearly to maintain its sustainability for new crops as opposed to using chemicals, and the communities at Aso are among the few that continue this tradition. Ironically, witnessing essentially the rebirth of farmland take place, Kawauchi claims that she burned away her old self and was reborn herself. In her book Halo, she continues to explore that theme with different rituals at other locations. She traveled to Izumo, Japan to witness a ritual that involves the lighting of sacred flames to welcome the gods. She also went to the Hebei province of China to see new year celebrations, including a 500-year-old tradition of throwing molten iron at the city walls to make their own fireworks. Kawauchi became interested in photography while studying graphic design and photography at Seian University of Art and Design where she graduated in 1993. She first worked in commercial photography for an advertising agency for several years before embarking on a career as a fine art photographer. She has mentioned that she continues to work the advertising job. Her background and experience with design have influenced the edits and arrangements of photos in her series. Kawauchi often thinks about new ways to see her photographs, allowing her to continue to find new meaning and significance in her work. There is little known about her personal life and family, but through her photo book Cui Cui she portrays the memories of her family, which she has said to have been shooting for over a decade. The photos in the said book capture all the ordinaries and emotions of life, ranging from the happiness of childbirth to the heartbreak of death. At age 19, she began making prints of her first black-and-white photographs, and it wasn't until five years later that she started printing color photographs. After experimenting with different cameras, she decided to stay with the Rolleiflex, which she still uses. In 2001, three of her photo books were published: Hanako (a Japanese girl's name), Utatane ("catnap"), and Hanabi ("fireworks"). In the following years she won prizes for two of the books in Japan. In 2004 Kawauchi published Aila; in 2010, Murmuration, and in 2011 Illuminance. Kawauchi's art is rooted in Shinto, the ethnic religion of the people of Japan. According to Shinto, all things on earth have a spirit, hence no subject is too small or mundane for Kawauchi's work; she also photographs "small events glimpsed in passing," conveying a sense of the transient. Kawauchi sees her images as parts of series that allow the viewer to juxtapose images in the imagination, thereby making the photograph a work of art and allowing a whole to emerge at the end; she likes working in photo books because they allow the viewer to engage intimately with her images. Her photographs are mostly in 6×6 format. However, upon being invited to the Brighton Photo Biennial in 2010, Kawauchi first photographed digitally and began taking photos that were not square. Kawauchi also composes haiku poems. She lived for many years in Tokyo and in 2018 moved to the countryside on the outskirts of the city.
Harvey Stein
United States
Harvey Stein is a professional photographer, teacher, lecturer, author and curator based in New York City. He currently teaches at the International Center of Photography. Stein is a frequent lecturer on photography both in the United States and abroad. He was the Director of Photography at Umbrella Arts Gallery, located in the East Village of Manhattan from 2009 until 2019 when it lost its lease and closed.. He has also been a member of the faculty of the School of Visual Arts, New School University, Drew University, Rochester Institute of Technology and the University of Bridgeport. A recipient of a Creative Arts Public Service (CAPS) fellowship and numerous artist in residency grants, Stein's eighth and latest book, Mexico Between Life and Death, was published in the fall of 2018 by Kehrer Verlag (Germany). A new book, Then and There: Mardi Gras 1979 will be published by Zatara Press in the Spring of 2020. Other books of Stein's photographs are Parallels: A Look at Twins, E.P. Dutton (1978); Artists Observed, Harry Abrams, Inc. (1986); Coney Island, W.W. Norton, Inc. (1998); Movimento: Glimpses of Italian Street Life, Gangemi Editore, Rome (2006); Coney Island 40 Years, Schiffer Publishing, (2011); Harlem Street Portraits, Schiffer Publishing (2013); and Briefly Seen New York Street Life, Schiffer Publishing (2015). Stein's photographs and portfolios have been published in such periodicals as The New Yorker, Time, Life, Esquire, American Heritage, Smithsonian, The New York Times, Reader's Digest, Glamour, GQ Magazine (Mexico), Forbes, Psychology Today, Playboy, Harpers, Connoisseur, Art News, American Artist, New York, People, Der Spiegel, Die Zeit, The Hopkins Review (cover), Sun Magazine (cover) and all the major photo magazines, including Camera Arts, Black & White Magazine (cover), Shutterbug, Popular Photography, American Photo, Camera, Afterimage, PDN, Zoom, Rangefinder, Photo Metro, fotoMagazine (Germany), photo technique, Zeke and View Camera. Stein's photographs have been widely exhibited in the United States and Europe — 86 one-person and over 165 group shows to date. He has curated 64 exhibits since 2007. His photographs are in more than 57 permanent collections, including the George Eastman Museum, Bibliotheque Nationale, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Brooklyn Museum of Art, the New Orleans Museum of Art, the International Center of Photography, the Denver Museum of Art, the Carnegie Museum of Art (Pittsburgh), the Portland (Oregon) Museum of Art, the Museum of the City of New York, Museet for Fotokunst (Odense, Denmark), Musee De La Photographie (Charleroi, Belguim), the Portland (Maine) Museum of Art, the American Museum of Natural History, the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, the Addison Gallery of American Art, The New York Historical Society and Museum, The Brooklyn Historical Society, and among others, the corporate collections of Johnson & Johnson, Hewlett Packard, LaSalle Bank (Chicago), Barclay Bank and Credit Suisse. Stein's work is represented by Sous Les Etoiles Gallery, New York City. Statement What do our photos say? That is an important question that we all wrestle with. I have always wanted to do strong and meaningful images. Not all our photos can be that, some are what I call "throwaways", fun and silly and not too serious. But basically I want to say something through my work. I think the best way to do this is through long term projects shot over time that gives us a deeper understanding of the subject. I love single images and they should also be strong, but I think more meaning comes from in depth studies of a subject, not one or a few photos of the subject. And I always want my images to be a reflection of how I think, behave, believe in. Remember: portraiture becomes self portraiture. As a writer usually reveals herself through her work, so does any artist, and as photographers, we are artists. I wish to convey a sense of life glimpsed, a sense of contingency and ephemerality. In experiencing these glimpses of life, I hope in turn to become more aware and knowing of my own life. I believe photographs speak to us; they are reminders of the past. To look at a family album is to recall a vanished memory or to see old friends materialize before our eyes. In making photographs, the photographer is simultaneously a witness to the moment and a recorder of its demise; this is the camera's power. Photography's magic is its ability to touch, inspire, and to connect to each viewer according to that person's unique sensibility and history. Exclusive Interview with Harvey Stein
Colby Deal
United States
1988
Colby Deal is a photographic artist born (b. 1988) and raised in Houston, Texas. He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in the practice of photography from The University of Houston. Within his practice, he explores the culmination of elements of the psychological environment as well as the physical. He shows the dynamic range of family, community and the individual by combining street photography and portraiture to capture vibrant communities. In recent years he has incorporated the medium of sculpture and public art as a means of preserving cultural characteristics that are being erased and positively influencing his community and others alike. Colby is directly inspired by his upbringing through getting to see his family’s photographs that were mostly taken by his father. This appreciation for slowing down and concentrating on photographing what’s right in front of him, “The Now”, has led him to be more in touch with using analog photography. Colby Deal is an alumni of Project Row Houses residency, Red Line Contemporary Art Center residency in Denver, Colorado and in 2020, was awarded an exhibition at the Houston Museum of African American Culture. Colby became a Magnum nominee member in 2020.Source: Magnum Photos Colby Deal is a firm believer in the potential of photography to be a transformative medium. “Especially now with Covid and how it is separating people, imagery is so important” he says, over video call from outside his home in Houston’s Third Ward, where he has been photographing with the intention to uplift cultural representations of the predominantly Black neighborhood. “People of color and people from under-resourced communities are always shown negative images about themselves,” says Deal, whose practice involves pasting his images onto abandoned buildings and derelict shopfronts. “Imagine being a kid, waking up, getting on the school bus, and seeing yourself displayed monumentally in a positive manner. That can have a strong psychological effect on the way you think about yourself and others. Like seriously, just a glance at an image can change your thought patterns — it can change your whole life.” Adopting a participatory approach, Deal’s process involves a lot of talking and walking. On a typical day, he will drag his large format camera on a wagon, stopping at people’s doorsteps and porches for a drink, smoke, and conversation, about their lives and the condition of their community. “I don’t want to call it a story because I sound like a fucking news reporter,” he laughs, “but what I’ll do is walk around, find things I like, and shoot around it”. The culmination of these excursions is Beautiful, Still, an ongoing collection of over 1,000 black-and-white negatives of street photographs and portraits. The ability to layer these historical, personal, and social contexts in a single image can be cited back to Deal’s childhood and evolution as an artist. Deal was initially self-taught, later enrolling in the Photography BFA at The University of Houston, mostly for “the network,” he says, and to “learn how to better articulate what I was doing”. The documentary photographer, who last month became a Magnum nominee, is also a sculptor, carpenter, graphic designer, and painter. “As a child, everything I found joy in was about art,” says Deal, who was drawing from the age of three, and later developed an obsession with breaking down objects and piecing them back together. “That aspect has played a huge part in what I do today, which is looking at an idea, concept, or message that I want to get across, then starting from the root, and working from there.”Source: British Journal of Photography
Saul Leiter
United States
1923 | † 2013
Saul Leiter was an American photographer and painter whose early work in the 1940s and 1950s was an important contribution to what came to be recognized as the New York school of photography. Saul Leiter was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. His father was a well-known Talmud scholar and Saul studied to become a rabbi. His mother gave him his first camera at age 12. At age 23, he left theology school and moved to New York City to become an artist. He had developed an early interest in painting and was fortunate to meet the Abstract Expressionist painter Richard Pousette-Dart. Pousette-Dart and W. Eugene Smith encouraged Leiter to pursue photography and he was soon taking black and white pictures with a 35 mm Leica, which he acquired for a few Eugene Smith prints. In 1948, he started taking color photographs. He began associating with other contemporary photographers such as Robert Frank and Diane Arbus and helped form what Jane Livingston has termed the New York School of photographers during the 1940s and 1950s. Leiter worked as a fashion photographer for the next 20 years and was published in Show, Elle, British Vogue, Queen, and Nova. In the late 1950s the art director Henry Wolf published Leiter’s color fashion work in Esquire and later in Harper's Bazaar. Edward Steichen included Leiter’s black and white photographs in the exhibition Always the Young Stranger at the Museum of Modern Art in 1953. Leiter’s work is featured prominently in Jane Livingston’s book The New York School (1992) and in Martin Harrison’s Appearances: Fashion Photography since 1945 (1991). In 2008, the Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson in Paris mounted Leiter's first museum exhibition in Europe with an accompanying catalog. Leiter is the subject of a 2012 feature-length documentary In No Great Hurry - 13 Lessons in Life with Saul Leiter, directed and produced by Tomas Leach. Leiter is a featured subject, among others, in the documentary film Tracing Outlines (2015) by 2nd State Productions. Martin Harrison, editor and author of Early Color (2006), writes, "Leiter’s sensibility . . . placed him outside the visceral confrontations with urban anxiety associated with photographers such as Robert Frank or William Klein. Instead, for him the camera provided an alternate way of seeing, of framing events and interpreting reality. He sought out moments of quiet humanity in the Manhattan maelstrom, forging a unique urban pastoral from the most unlikely of circumstances." Leiter died on 26 November 2013 in New York City.Source: Wikipedia When we do not know why the photographer has taken a picture and when we do not know why we are looking at it, all of a sudden we discover something that we start seeing. I like this confusion. -- Saul Leiter Leiter’s first exhibition of color photography was held in the 1950s at the Artist's Club, a meeting place for many of the Abstract Expressionist painters of that time. Edward Steichen included twenty-three of Leiter's black and white photographs in the seminal 1953 exhibition Always the Young Stranger at the Museum of Modern Art; he also included twenty of Leiter’s color images in the 1957 MoMA conference Experimental Photography in Color. In the late 1950s, the art director Henry Wolf published Leiter's color fashion work in Esquire and later in Harper's Bazaar. However, over the next four decades, Leiter’s noncommercial work remained virtually unknown to the wider art world. He continued to work as a fashion photographer through the 1970s, contributing to such publications as in Show, Elle, British Vogue, Queen, and Nova. Leiter is now held to be a pioneer of early color photography, and is noted as one of the outstanding figures in post-war photography. After several exhibitions at Howard Greenberg Gallery throughout the 1990s, Leiter’s work experienced a surge of popularity after a monograph, Early Color, was published by Steidl in 2006. Early Color was followed by a series of monographs and international exhibitions highlighting the depth and scope of his work in photography and painting, beginning with In Living Color (2006), his first major retrospective at the Milwaukee Museum of Art. Leiter was the subject of several solo shows thereafter, including the Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson, Paris; the Jewish Historical Museum, Amsterdam; Musée de l’Elysée, Lausanne; and Diechtorhallen, Hamburg.Source: Howard Greenberg Gallery Some photographers think that by taking pictures of human misery, they are addressing a serious problem. I do not think that misery is more profound than happiness. -- Saul Leiter
Franco Fontana
Italy
1933 | † 2023
Franco Fontana is an Italian photographer, born in Modena, Italy. He is best known for his abstract colour landscapes. He started taking photographs in the 1950s when he was working as a decorator in a furniture showroom. In 1961 he joined a local amateur club in Modena. The experience would be a turning point in his career, and Fontana went on to have his first solo exhibition in 1965 at the Società Fotografica Subalpina, Turin and at the Galleria della Sala di Cultura in Modena in 1968. Since then he has participated in more than 400 group and solo exhibitions. Fontana has photographed for advertising campaigns for brands such as Fiat, Volkswagen, Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane, Snam, Sony, Volvo, Versace, Canon, Kodak, Robe di Kappa, Swissair, and has been a magazine photographer for publications including Time Magazine, Life, Vogue (USA and France), Venerdì di Repubblica, Panorama, and with the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung and the New York Times. Fontana's first book, Skyline, was published in 1978 in France by Contrejour and in Italy by Punto e Virgola with a text by Helmut Gernsheim. Fontana is the art director of the Toscana Fotofestival. He has received numerous awards, such as the 1989 Tokyo Photographer Society of Japan - The 150 Years of Photography - Photographer Award. Fontana is especially interested in the interplay of colours. His early innovations in colour photography in the 1960s were stylistically disruptive. According to art critic Giuliana Scimé, Fontana "destroyed all the structures, practices, and technical choices within the Italian tradition." Fontana uses 35mm cameras, and as noted by Iwan Zahar, deploys distant viewpoints with telephoto lenses to flatten contours in a landscape of crops and fields into bands of intense, saturated colour. This is an effect that Franco Lefèvre has described as dialectical landscapism. Of his use of colour in his 2019 retrospective exhibition Sintesi ('Synthesis') at Fondazione Modena Arti Visive, curator Diana Baldon has observed “His bold geometric compositions are characterised by shimmering colours, level perspectives and a geometric-formalist and minimal language...By adopting this approach during the 1960s, Fontana injected a new vitality into the field of creative colour photography for then multicolour was not in fashion in art photography...The way Fontana shoots, dematerialises the objects photographed, which loose three-dimensionality and realism to become part of an abstract drawing”. Aside from the rural landscape Fontana has applied his graphic sensibility to other subjects: city architecture, portraiture, fashion, still-life and the nude. Fontana's photographs have also been used as album cover art for records produced by the ECM Records jazz label.Source: Wikipedia Fontana's style was shaped in the late 1960s under the influence of Abstract Expressionism and Minimalism. In that his teachers were his older contemporaries, Mark Rothko, Barnett Newman and Ed Reinhardt. Fontana's work with its focus on form and color was quite different from the classical black-and-white art photography that was predominant at that time. His work is in more than 50 museums in the world, including Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film (Rochester), Ludwig Museum (Cologne), San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Museum of Fine Arts (Boston), Museum of Modern Art (Paris), The Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts (Moscow), National Gallery of Victoria (Melbourne), Victoria and Albert Museum (London), Galleria d’Arte Moderna - Torino, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston-Texas - USA, Deutch Bank, Banca Unicredit, Italia, UBS Unione Banche Svizzere, Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes- Buenos Aires, Muscadelle Museum of Art - Williamsburg, USA, Mus e WWestlicht, Vienna, IVAM, Museo Internazionale d’Arte Moderna, Valencia, Mus e de l’Elys e, Losanna, Maxxi, Roma, Macro, Roma.Source: francofontanaphotographer.com
Martín Chambi
Peru
1891 | † 1973
Martín Chambi Jiménez was a Peruvian photographer, originally from southern Peru. He was one of the first major Indigenous Latin American photographers. Recognized for the profound historic and ethnic documentary value of his photographs, he was a prolific portrait photographer in the towns and countryside of the Peruvian Andes. As well as being the leading portrait photographer in Cuzco, Chambi made many landscape photographs, which he sold mainly in the form of postcards, a format he pioneered in Peru. In 1979, New York's Museum of Modern Art held a Chambi retrospective, which later traveled to various locations and inspired other international expositions of his work. Martín Chambi was born into a Quechua-speaking peasant family in one of the poorest regions of Peru, at the end of the nineteenth century. When his father went to work in a Carabaya Province gold mine on a small tributary of the River Inambari, Martin went along. There he had his first contact with photography, learning the rudiments from the photographer of the Santo Domingo Mine near Coaza (owned by the Inca Mining Company of Bradford, Pa). This chance encounter planted the spark that made him seek to support himself as a professional photographer. With that idea in mind, he headed in 1908 to the city of Arequipa, where photography was more developed and where there were established photographers who had taken the time to develop individual photographic styles and impeccable technique. Chambi initially served as an apprentice in the studio of Max T. Vargas, but after nine years set up his own studio in Sicuani in 1917, publishing his first postcards in November of that year. In 1923 he moved to Cuzco and opened a studio there, photographing both society figures and his Indigenous compatriots. During his career, Chambi also traveled the Andes extensively, photographing landscapes, Inca ruins, and local people. Chambi began his work as a photographer as an apprentice to Max T. Vargas in Arequipa, Peru. During this time as an apprentice, Chambi learned different ways of manipulating light for portraits in the studio. His daughter, Julia Chambi, is quoted as saying, "my father was enchanted by light." His studio in Cuzco included a set of blinds and shutters made specifically so that he could alter the natural lighting to best suit his photographs. Furthermore, most of Chambi's photos of Indigenous people were taken outside so that he could use only natural lighting. Chambi produced a variety of works over his career as a photographer. Within the studio, he took many portraits of both wealthy and elite members of society, as well as the Indigenous people; he also took many self-portraits. Chambi is well-known for his work in documenting the Indigenous culture, including Machu-Picchu and other ruins. In a magazine interview in 1936, he is quoted saying "in my archive I have more than two hundred photographs of diverse aspects of the Quechua culture." He took pictures of ruins and architecture, but also tried to capture the events of everyday life. With regard to Chambi's diverse work, Jorge Heredia once said, "He has been the photographer of whites who seek after his images, but also of Indians and Mestizos." In addition to taking photographs for individual commissions or for his own personal interests, Chambi also used his photographs in other publications. One such publication was the use of his photographs in postcards. The other main use for his photographs was in a weekly Argentine newspaper called La Nación ("The Nation") where he contributed photographs of artists, writers, and any other assignments he was commissioned to do. Chambi traveled to Chile to exhibit some of his artworks and used his artistic skills to allow the audience to understand how the photographer prioritized the Indigenous outcome that relates to the Peruvians and the Chileans. There were some arguments that the two countries disagreed with each other when involving the differences of race, indigeneity, and civilization. The photographer managed to redevelop the process through his artwork, letting the viewers and art critics to understand these types of political issues that concern the Chileans and the Peruvians. The Peruvians were able to accept Indigenous people from various countries, but the Chileans did not accept them because of the 'pacification' campaigns of the late 19th century. The Mapuche leaders discuss educational benefits; however, they were dealing with some problems with governmental authorities that involves Chile and Peru. Chambi was determined to debunk racial stereotypes, but often up reinforcing them. El Sol, La Nacion, and other news critics prioritize the photographer's artwork because it would enable them to discuss national boundaries and open up ideological debate. Eighty-eight images by Peruvian photographer Martin Chambi have been added to the archives of the famous Instituto Moreira Salles (IMS) in Brazil. It gives the public an opportunity to discover one of the first major, indigenous Latin American photographers. Face Andina features nearly 90 photographs and 23 postcards of studio portraits and the urban and rural landscapes of Cuzco, Arequipa and Puno.Source: Wikipedia
Ralph Steiner
United States
1899 | † 1986
Ralph Steiner was an American photographer, pioneer documentarian and a key figure among avant-garde filmmakers in the 1930s. Born in Cleveland, Steiner studied chemistry at Dartmouth, but in 1921 entered the Clarence H. White School of Modern Photography. White helped Steiner in finding a job at the Manhattan Photogravure Company, and Steiner worked on making photogravure plates of scenes from Robert Flaherty's 1922 Nanook of the North. Not long after, Steiner's work as a freelance photographer in New York began, working mostly in advertising and for publications like Ladies' Home Journal. With fellow graduate Anton Bruehl (1900–1982), in 1925, they opened a studio on 47th Street, producing a narrative series of amusing table-top shots of three cut‑out figures dressed in suits for The New Yorker magazine; advertisements for Weber and Heilbroner menswear in a running weekly series. Their client was wiped out in the Wall Street Crash. Through the encouragement of fellow photographer Paul Strand, Steiner joined the left-of-center Film and Photo League around 1927. He was also to influence the photography of Walker Evans, giving him guidance, technical assistance, and one of his view cameras. Steiner's still photographs are notable for their odd angles, abstraction and sometimes bizarre subject matter; the 1944 image Gypsy Rose Lee and Her Girls is sometimes mistaken for Weegee. His experimental films, however, are considered central to the literature of early American avant-garde cinema, and the influence of Ralph Steiner's visual style continues to assert itself; for example, contemporary avant-garde filmmaker Timoleon Wilkins cites Steiner as an inspiration. In his appreciation of Steiner, author Scott McDonald expands that list to include Dorsky, Andrew Noren, Larry Gottheim and Peter Hutton. The links between the first generation of American avant-garde filmmakers such as Steiner with the second – exemplified by Maya Deren, Stan Brakhage and others – are few, but Steiner is among those who managed to bridge the gap.Source: Wikipedia At the end of the 1960s Steiner relocated to Vermont. After making three more films he devoted himself to photographing clouds for nearly twenty years, primarily on the coast of Maine and in Oaxaca, Mexico. Clouds have been of longstanding interest to painters throughout the history of art. In photography, the subject is often associated with Alfred Stieglitz, who made photographs of clouds entitled Equivalents, believing them to appeal directly to the subconscious mind. Steiner similarly saw the evocative potential in cloud formations, although he felt the meaning of any given image was far more mercurial than his predecessor. Leaving his works deliberately untitled, he invites viewers to use their imaginations and provide their own titles, which, in his estimation, becomes a process of testing out different descriptions and metaphors. In 1985, shortly before his death, Steiner published a book of these studies, In Pursuit of Clouds.Source: MoCP
Joel-Peter Witkin
United States
1939
Joel-Peter Witkin (born September 13, 1939, in Brooklyn, New York City) is an American photographer who lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico. His work often deals with such themes as death, corpses (and sometimes dismembered portions thereof), and various outsiders such as dwarves, transsexuals, hermaphrodites, and physically deformed people. Witkin's complex tableaux often recall religious episodes or classical paintings. Witkin was born to a Jewish father and Roman Catholic mother. His twin brother, Jerome Witkin, and son Kersen Witkin, are also painters. Witkin's parents divorced when he was young because they were unable to overcome their religious differences. He attended grammar school at Saint Cecelia's in Brooklyn and went on to Grover Cleveland High School. Between 1961 and 1964 he was a war photographer documenting the Vietnam war. Going freelance in 1967, he became the official photographer for City Walls Inc. He attended Cooper Union in New York where he studied sculpture, attaining a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1974. After Columbia University granted him a scholarship, he ended his studies at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, where he became Master of Fine Arts.Source: Wikipedia Finding beauty within the grotesque, Witkin’s work extends beyond post-mortem photography with his staged set-ups of corpses and dismembered parts. Witkin’s fascination with death was triggered by a life-altering episode at a very early age; he witnessed an automobile accident in front of his house in which a young girl was decapitated. Witkin has also pursued his interest in the human condition, drawing attention to “the other,” photographing marginalized groups of people. Those often cast aside by society—hermaphrodites, dwarfs, amputees, androgynes— inspire his work as he confronts the viewers’ sense of normalcy. His interest in spirituality, in particular the teachings of Christianity, has played into his work, as do frequent references to classical paintings. Works by Picasso, Balthus, Goya, Velásquez, and Miro reappear in his dramatic, staged scenes, as well as the work of E.J. Bellocq, who photographed a series on prostitutes of the red light district in New Orleans in the early twentieth century. Witkin’s work has been exhibited internationally at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Fraenkel Gallery in San Francisco, Galerie Baudoin Lebon in Paris, and the Bibliothèque Nationale de France in Paris, among many others. Witkin is represented by Catherine Edelman Gallery and currently resides in Albuquerque, New Mexico.Source: International Center of Photography
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Photographer and film director, Michel Haddi has photographed many high-profile celebrities while living in the USA including, Clint Eastwood, Martin Scorsese, David Bowie, Uma Thurman, Francis Ford Coppola, Cameron Diaz, Faye Dunaway, Nicholas Cage, Johnny Depp, Heath Ledger, Angelina Jolie, Janet Jackson, Jennifer Lopez, and many others. He also manages a publishing house, MHS publishing, which publishes his own books. Currently based in London we have asked him a few questions about his life and work
Exclusive Interview with Sebastien Sardi
In 2008, Swedish photographer Sebastian Sardi, inspired by an article exposing hidden mining-related incidents, embarked on a photography journey. Without formal training, he explored mines and ventured to India's Jharkhand state to document coal miners in Dhanbad, known as the "coal capital." His project, "Black Diamond," captured the lives of people, including men, women, and children, dedicated to coal extraction in grueling conditions.
Exclusive Interview with Debra Achen
Monterey-based photographer Debra Achen was born and raised near Pittsburgh, PA, where she developed a passion for both nature and art. She studied a variety of studio arts, including drawing, painting, and printmaking in addition to her training in traditional film and darkroom photography. Her project 'Folding and Mending' won the September 2022 Solo Exhibition. We asked here a few questions about her life and work.
Exclusive Interview with Steve Hoffman
Steve Hoffman is a documentary photographer who has who spent the last dozen years working with and photographing the people that live the housing projects in Coney Island. He was the winner of the July and August 2022 Solo Exhibition. We asked him a few questions about his life and work.
Exclusive Interview with Aya Okawa
Aya is passionate about exploring the natural world and protecting ecosystems and wild landsAll about Photo: Tell us about your first introduction to photography. What drew you into this world? Her project The Systems That Shape Us'won the February 2022 Solo Exhibition. We asked her a few questions about her life and her work.
Exclusive Interview with Réhahn
Réhahn discusses his groundbreaking new photographic series ''Memories of Impressionism,'' his artistic journey during and after Covid, and how modernity can draw inspiration from the past. French photographer Réhahn's career started with a face. More specifically, the face of Madame Xong, an octogenarian with an ''ageless beauty'' and ''hidden smile'' that inspired the world. From there, his portraits and lifestyle photos were published all over the world, in pretty much every major magazine and media out there, including The New York Times, BBC, National Geographic and more. His work centered on people living ''outside of time'' with traditional jobs and skills that had been passed down through generations. This focus led to his Precious Heritage Project, the photographer's decade-long research project to document the more than 54 ethnicities currently living in Vietnam, along with their textile and craft traditions. The final collection is housed in The Precious Heritage Museum in Hoi An, Vietnam.
Exclusive Interview with Patrick Cariou
For more than 25 years, French photographer Patrick Cariou has traveled to places around the globe, documenting people living on the fringes of society. Whether photographing surfers, gypsies, Rastafarians or the rude boys of Kingston, Cariou celebrates those who meet the struggles of life with honor, dignity and joy. Bringing together works from his groundbreaking monographs including Surfers, Yes Rasta, Trenchtown Love and Gypsies, Patrick Cariou: Works 1985–2005 (published by Damiani) takes us on a scenic journey around the world, offering an intimate and captivating look at cultures that distance themselves from the blessings and curses of modernity.
Exclusive Interview with Niko J. Kallianiotis
Niko J. Kallianiotis' Athênai in Search of Home (published by Damiani) presents photos taken in and around Athens, the city in which he grew up. The images reflect the artist's eagerness to assimilate back into a home that feels at once foreign and familiar. Throughout the years the city and the surrounding territories have experienced their share of socio-economic struggles and topographic transformations that have altered its identity. The city of Athens in Kallianiotis' photographs is elliptically delineated as a vibrant environment that binds together luxury and social inequality. The photographer depicts a city in which the temporal and the spatial elements often clash with each other while conducting his research for a home that has changed over the years as much as he did.
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