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Michele Zousmer
Michele Zousmer
Michele Zousmer

Michele Zousmer

Country: United States

Michele Zousmer is a humanitarian and fine art photographer. The camera is her tool to give voice to marginalized communities and witness the human experience. Michele's work celebrates each individual's strength and beauty, as well as their vulnerability and spirit, going beyond how one presents oneself to the world. They are infused with her almost overwhelming empathy.

Michele believes a photograph can create a lasting impression of emotion, curiosity, love, and ultimately hope of mankind. It can help people heal, give them dignity, and feel empowered. Her photographs reveal insights into the lives of people we wouldn't otherwise meet. Through her world travels, Michele meets people from different walks of life, listening to their stories and sharing intimate moments with them. The permission they grant and openness they offer by inviting them into their world never ceases to move Michele. The soulfulness of her images comes from developing relationships with the people she engages with. Michele truly believes that even though we may have differences on the outside, inside we are all the same. The images are infused with her almost overwhelming empathy.

Statement
"My mind, my eyes, and my heart have been opened by my experiences. My life has been forever changed. I hope my work inspires others to feel we all matter and to care more profoundly. Engaging in the world and becoming open to different cultures and traditions allows for more conversation on diversity and equality. Photographs hold the power to connect people and create understanding. This is why I do what I do." - Michele Zousmer
 

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More Great Photographers To Discover

Annick Donkers
Annick Donkers is a documentary photographer from Antwerp, Belgium. After obtaining a Master’s degree in Psychology, she decided to specialize in photography. She has received a grant from the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs and was selected to participate in the Seminar on Contemporary Photography at the Centro de la Imagen in Mexico City (2008). Her work has been exhibited and published internationally. She was one of the winners at the Survival International Competition (2015), won an award at the San José Photo Festival in Uruguay (2016), the Sony Awards in UK (2016), the MIFA awards in Russia (2016), the IPA awards in USA (2016), the TIFA awards in Tokyo (2016), received an honorable mention at the Px3 Prix de la Photo in Paris(2016), was selected at Latin American Photography vol.5 (2016), on the cover of Dodho magazine (2016), shortlisted for the Kolga Tbilisi Awards and Athens Photo Festival (2017). She currently lives and works as a freelance photographer in Mexico City.About Lucha Libre Extrema The Lucha Libre Extrema series emerged from a growing interest I had in Mexican professional wrestling. I was soon drawn towards sub-genres of the sport such as Lucha Libre Exótica and Lucha Extrema. This semi-clandestine hardcore genre is currently prohibited in Mexico City because of how dangerous it is, but events still take place outside the capital, notably at a car wash-turned-arena in Tulancingo, the village where El Santo, Mexico’s most famous pro wrestler, was born. The participants receive professional training and are paid a little bit more because of the risks they take. They perform with a variety of weapons: chairs, thumbtacks, wire, and fluorescent lights, turning the ring into a war zone. Yet the community of luchadores “extremos” is closely knit and few outsiders have gained access. Mexico has been a very violent place in recent years. As such, I found it fascinating that people were drawn to the dangerous world of Lucha Libre Extrema and turned my camera to the audience in an attempt to understand their reasons. About Afromexican HealersAt the end of last year my attention was drawn to the coastal region of Guerrero known as Costa Chica, located to the south of Acapulco. This region is home to Mexicans descended from African slaves that identify themselves as being “black”. But outside this region they are little-known and they are currently fighting to be officially recognized by the Mexican State. The Costa Chica is also a place rooted in traditional beliefs that include appearances of trolls, the devil and spirit animals. The legend tells that when a baby is born, a member of the family brings the child to a crossroads up in the mountains where lots of wild animals pass by. The first creature to approach the child will be the child's spirit animal, or tono in Spanish, since there is now a dependency created between child and animal. This means that when the animal is hurt, wounded or dies, the person is too. In the Afromexican communities there are healers that will cure these "animal"-related illnesses, since conventional medicine will not work in these cases. The person is cured with herbs selected by the healers and also according to the needs of the animal. They call these healers curanderos del tono and there are only a small number of them left. I went to the Costa Chica region in an attempt to capture what remains of this Afromexican tradition.
Christian Chaize
Christian Chaize, a self-taught artist, lives and works in Lyon, France. In 1992, he was awarded the Prix European Panorama de Kodak for Young European Photographer in Arles, France. In addition to his artistic achievements, he enjoys a successful career as a commercial photographer. In 2004, Chaize became intrigued by a small stretch of coastline in southern Portugal. Itching an artistic scratch, he began shooting what was then an entirely new subject matter for him. Using medium and large format cameras, his commitment to photographing a single beach front several times a year since then is now evident in the series, Praia Piquinia. This work has been the focus of two one-man museum shows in Portugal, as well as gallery exhibitions in New York, Berlin, and Lyon. Among other publications, it has been featured in The Collector’s Guide to New Art Photography Vol. 2, BLINK MAGAZINE, Issue No. 13, and Elle Decor. In addition to its popularity on 20×200.com, Praia Piquinia is also the subject of Chaize’s first monograph, published by Chronicle Books in the Spring of 2013. Paradis, images made in the Seychelles, and To Praia Grande, a separate beach series shot in Portugal, have also been exhibited in New York and Berlin, respectively. Future projects will continue to reveal his interest in enlightening the way we look at something that has otherwise become banal, or merely familiar. In the words of Marcel Proust, and in the tradition of all the great modern photographers who came before him, Chaize is always seeking to « have new eyes ».
Thierry Clech
Thierry Clech is a French photographer based in Paris. Much of his work (exclusively in black & white films) is made during his travels (India, Ukraine, Istanbul, Tokyo...), but he also takes pictures in France, particulary in the business district of La Défense, near Paris. He published two books in collaboration with French novelists (Philippe Jaenada and Bernard Chambaz) and his work has been exhibited widely in France and abroad (Nadar Gallery, Press Club of France, Barrobjectif Festival, National Library of Belarus, FotoIstanbul Festival, BlowUp Angkor Festival in Cambodia…).Artist statement: "Thierry Clech can see the world like nobody else. In any case, he manages to put the world rules inside the frame of his pictures. Fortunately or thanks to his instinct or I don't know how, he is often in the right place at the right time. He could have probably stayed in Paris, within the ring road, within the twenty districts of his garden, and almost get the same result - because a man is a man, wherever he is. But the world is not so wide, it was better to travel around it. Just to be absolutely sure. Go around it. Then he has been nearly everywhere on the globe, almost at random, he has stopped a few moments in a city of the northern hemisphere, by a field in the southern hemisphere, and he has come back with pictures which approximately show the same thing in the form or in substance : human beings in the heart of their environment, stuck in the setting, stifled, trapped or integrated, assimilated but not totally, always isolated, just like oil in water, anxious, absent-minded, busy or passive, fearful, overtaken by events, brave, rebellious, lost, determined or exhausted. Mankind in the setting." Philippe Jaenada, novelist, Chevalier de l'Ordre des arts et des lettres. Discover Saint Louis in Senegal
Odette England
Australia
1975
Odette England is an Australia/British artist who uses photography, performance, writing, and the archive to explore relationships between autobiography, gender, place, and vernacular photography. England is currently Visiting Artist-in-Residence at Amherst College in Massachusetts. She is also a resident artist of the Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts Studio Program in New York. Her work has shown in more than 90 solo, two-person, and group exhibitions worldwide. Notable venues include the George Eastman Museum, Museum of Contemporary Photography Chicago, New Mexico Museum of Art, Fort Wayne Museum of Art, RISD Museum, Center for Photography at Woodstock, Colorado Photographic Arts Center, Philadelphia Photo Arts Center, Photographic Resource Center Boston, MacDonald Stewart Art Center Ontario, Perth Center for Photography in Australia, State Library of South Australia, HOST Gallery London, and the Durham Art Museum & Gallery in England. England has regularly received funding through competitive grants and fellowships. These include the CENTER $5,000 Project Launch Award (2012); two grants - $4,865 and $2,315 - from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation (2018-2019); the Anonymous Was a Woman $1,500 Grant (2020); Color Lab $2,000 Dean's Council Research Fellowship (2020); and the Center for Fine Art Photography Director's Award (2015), among others. She has received fellowships to attend residencies in Australia, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Spain, and the United States including the invitation-only Robert Rauschenberg Foundation residency working with Guggenheim Fellow, Jennifer Garza-Cuen. England's first edited volume Keeper of the Hearth was published by Schilt Publishing in March 2020, with a foreword by Charlotte Cotton. The book is part of England's Winter Garden Photograph project which includes an exhibition at the Houston Center for Photography opening September 2020. England's photographs are held in public collections including the Brooklyn Art Library, the Fort Wayne Museum of Art, George Eastman Museum, Hungarian Multicultural Center, Museum of Contemporary Photography, New Mexico Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, Robert Rauschenberg Residency, and Texas A&M University. Award-related exhibitions include the 2015 Australian Photobook of the Year; Magenta Foundation Flash Forward Emerging Photographers awards (UK winner, twice); HotShoe Magazine Photofusion Photography Award (1st prize); Director's Choice Award at the Medium Festival of Photography's ‘Size Matters' exhibition (1st prize); Px3 Prix De La Photographie competition (1st prize, People's Choice Award); and the Photo Review Photography Competition. Her work has been published in contemporary art journals, magazines, and newspapers including American Photo, Photograph, The Brooklyn Rail, The Photo Review, Photo District News, Hotshoe International, British Journal of Photography, Australian Art Monthly, Musee, GUP, SPOT, JRNL, The Guardian (United Kingdom) and Der Standaard (Belgium). England has given artist talks and critiques at Harvard University, Princeton University, Stanford University, Brown University, the School of Visual Arts in New York, Amherst College, the Penumbra Foundation, Kenyon College, Syracuse University, Lesley College of Art & Design, University of Melbourne, and the Art Gallery of South Australia, among others. She received a four-year fully-funded Research Training Program Scholarship to complete her PhD at the Australian National University in 2018. She also has an MFA in Photography with Honors from the Rhode Island School of Design and an MA in Communication, Culture and Language from the University of South Australia. England is a permanent US resident and lives and works in Providence, Rhode Island and New York City. Her work is represented in the US (east coast only) by Klompching Gallery.
Mariska Karto
Netherlands
Mariska Karto is an artist/ fine art-photographer born in Suriname (South-America) and raised in the Netherlands. In this age of rapidity and technical development, in which human is exposed to impersonal detachment of current technical era, Mariska Karto creates the vulnerable and intensive dimensions of human feelings and emotions. This all happens in the dreamworld she has created with her technique in which past and present have found their way to each other, in this era of transformation.She talks to you in a language without words using symbolism in a dreamworld of historic paintings atmosphere.Mystique, tragic and erotic are the keywords for her work. Her work are like old stories escaped from an old world of eternal dreams, eternal emotions and eternal feelings that existed for hundred of years but still repeats themselves as in a pattern of an earthy rite, in this new modern contemporary era.Her works are like poems and thoughts, restless ones but are also like whispers of thoughtless experiences, floating in a centuries long movement in time.Artist Statement"My work is based on a period in which photography did not exist, It was not until the end of the 18th century that it was invented. As a result of this, people thought that photography would make the art of painting disappear, especially in the post modern era, the traditional art had to make way for new technical developments. In my work I seek and found a respectful connection of technique and traditional craft through a striking contradiction. Painters in the Baroque/renaissance time were trying to paint as true-to-life with painting-techniques and color applications. What a camera does is portray the world in its realistic colors. That’s the contradiction in my work, it’s the other way around. I shoot realistic images and through an intensive transformation process, the work is changed, true-to-life in the characteristic Baroque colors and style of that time. Eventually, this says nothing about photography and technique, but more about the great masters of that gone era, they were able to be as realistic and accurate as possible with brush and paint the world in all its reality… That’s the great contradiction in my work, I’m leaving the visible reality of our current time, and bring the invisible realism of the past forward in my work. As a result of this, I pull away present time from its structure and then time appears to be just a definition, which slowly fades away, when current and past becomes interwoven with each other.” More background info: "I mix skills from different worlds together. It is a blend of skills of my (I'm originally a painter and sketcher, textiles - I was a textile artist some years ago, photography and image processing) that ultimately meets each other in this form of art. A main factor are also social emotional influences in my life which developed how I see, learn and finally understand things in an essential (psychological) way. All these (artistic) elements from different areas and personal influences come together in a work of mine."
Chuck Fishman
United States
1953
Francesca Woodman
United States
1958 | † 1981
Francesca Woodman was an American photographer best known for her black and white pictures featuring herself and female models. Many of her photographs show young women who are nude, blurred (due to movement and long exposure times), merging with their surroundings, or whose faces are obscured. Woodman attended public school in Boulder, Colorado, between 1963 and 1971 except for second grade, which she attended in Italy. She began high school in 1972 at the private Massachusetts boarding school Abbot Academy, where she began to develop her photographic skills and became interested in the art form. Abbot Academy merged with Phillips Academy in 1973; Woodman graduated from the public Boulder High School in 1975. Through 1975, she spent summers with her family in Italy. She spent her time in Italy in the Florentine countryside, where she lived on an old farm with her parents. Beginning in 1975, Woodman attended the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) in Providence, Rhode Island. She studied in Rome between 1977 and 1978 in a RISD honors program. As she spoke fluent Italian, she was able to befriend Italian intellectuals and artists. She went back to Rhode Island in late 1978 to graduate from RISD. Woodman moved to New York City in 1979. After spending the summer of 1979 in Stanwood, Seattle whilst visiting her boyfriend at Pilchuck Glass School, she returned to New York "to make a career in photography." She sent portfolios of her work to fashion photographers, but "her solicitations did not lead anywhere. In the summer of 1980 she was an artist-in-residence at the MacDowell Colony in Peterborough, New Hampshire. In late 1980 Woodman became depressed due to the failure of her work to attract attention and to a broken relationship. She survived a suicide attempt, after which she lived with her parents in Manhattan. On January 19, 1981, she committed suicide by jumping out a loft window in New York. An acquaintance wrote, "things had been bad, there had been therapy, things had gotten better, guard had been let down." Her father has suggested that Woodman's suicide was related to an unsuccessful application for funding from the National Endowment for the Arts. Source Wikipedia
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Winners will receive $10,000 in cash awards, extensive press coverage and global recognition.