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Maynard Switzer
Maynard Switzer
Maynard Switzer

Maynard Switzer

Country: Canada

Maynard Switzer was born in Los Angeles and is a professional freelance travel and documentary photographer. He is a graduate of the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena and a former assistant to legendary photographer Richard Avedon. He has taught at the International Center of Photography in New York City and has written many magazine articles about travel photography. His love of foreign cultures and their fascinating customs has been the main catalyst for Maynard’s photography around the globe. Maynard has had his photography published in National Geographic Traveler Magazine, Geo Magazine, Afar Magazine and the prestigious Fine Art Spanish Magazine Art Fotografico.



Statement
There are approximately 195 independent countries in the world and an estimated 6,800 different languages spoken, and often times there is a breakdown in communication. Some caused by language barriers, other times lost or inadequate translation and sometimes a woeful attempt at hand signals. However, images are universally understood. The cliché "a picture is worth a thousand words" certainly rings true. Pictures speak a thousand words to a thousand different people in a thousand different ways. This global understanding has been the main reason that I have been documenting various cultures around the world. Over the past 20+ years I have concentrated on photographing people and their various ways of life that seem to have been left behind by the world's rush to modernize. Certain aspects of these various cultures seem to be in a time warp, many within their own country. The photographs presented here are part of a long-term project photographing some of these people that live and work in challenging environments that time seems to have forgotten and whose way of life may never be seen again.
 

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Herman Leonard
United States
1923 | † 2010
Herman Leonard was born in 1923 in Allentown, Pennsylvania to Romanian immigrants. At the young age of 9, he first witnessed an image being developed in his brother's darkroom and became enthralled with the magic of photography. As the official photographer for his high school, Herman quickly learned that with a camera in hand, he had an "open sesame" to people and events, that his shyness might have prevented him from experiencing. When it came time for college, Herman chose Ohio University, "The only university at the time that could offer me a degree in Photography". His college studies were interrupted from 1943-1945, as Herman joined the United States Army and was sent to Burma with the 13th Mountain Medical Battalion. He had hoped to be a field photographer, but was ironically assigned as a combat anesthetist when he failed a test, which required him to identify the chemical ingredients of film developer. After the war, Herman returned to college and graduated in 1947 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree. Upon graduation from Ohio University, he took a chance and drove to Ottawa, Canada in hopes of working with famed portraiture photographer, Yousuf Karsh. Karsh was impressed with his determination and took him on as an apprentice. Herman assisted Karsh in the darkroom and with photographic sittings including, Martha Graham, Harry Truman, and Albert Einstein. Karsh's photographic advice to Leonard, "Tell the truth, but in terms to beauty." During a portrait session with Albert Einstein, Leonard questioned the professor about the connection between a musician and a mathematician. Einstein's response, "Improvisation." Leonard was inspired by these two influential men and applied their credos to his work. In 1948, Herman's passion for jazz brought him to New York City's Greenwich Village, where he set up a small studio at 220 Sullivan Street. He made his way into the swinging clubs of Broadway, 52nd Street and Harlem. With his camera as his free ticket, he offered to shoot publicity stills at the jazz clubs for admission. While shooting at The Royal Roost and Birdland, he quickly developed friendships with the some of the greats of jazz royalty, including Duke Ellington, Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Lena Horne, Billie Holiday, Louis Armstrong, Quincy Jones and many more. His stunning photographs began appearing in Downbeat and Metronome magazines, and on the covers of albums while working for jazz producer Norman Granz. In 1956, he was hired by Marlon Brando as his personal photographer, and traveled with him on an extensive research trip throughout the Far East. Upon his return to NYC, he was offered a position at Barclay Records in Paris, France. He continued to photograph the prolific jazz scene, with many of the American jazz artists now living there, he also photographed many French recording artists such as Charles Aznavour, Jacques Brel, Eddy Mitchell and Johnny Hallyday. Paris would be his home for the next 25 years, working from his studio in Paris's Neuilly-sur-Seine neighborhood. He also had a successful career working in advertising, for fashion houses Yves St. Laurent and Dior, as well as many international magazines including Life, Time and early Playboy. In 1980, he left France for a more tranquil life, and moved his family to the Spanish island of Ibiza. During that time he rediscovered his jazz negatives that had been stored in a box under his bed, and in 1985 released his first book, The Eye of Jazz, published by Hachette/Filipachi Publications. In 1988 he moved to London where he had the first exhibition of his jazz photographs at the Special Photographers Company. After rave reviews by the London Times and the BBC, he became an overnight sensation, with 10,000 people coming to the small Notting Hill gallery to view his unseen images. The following year he premiered his first US show, which toured nationally. After living in Europe for over thirty years, he returned to the U.S. In 1992, an exhibit in New Orleans would change his life. He fell in love with the city and moved there to immerse himself in its vibrant and lively jazz scene. He continued to exhibit his work around the world in numerous solo shows. In 1995, Leonard released his second book, Jazz Memories, published by Editions Filipacchi, and in that same year was awarded an "Honorary Masters of Science in Photography" from The Brooks Institute of Photography. Other awards received at this time included the "Milt Hinton Award for Excellence in Jazz Photography," from Jazz Photographer's Association, the "Excellence in Photography Award" from the Jazz Journalists Association, and a "Lifetime Achievement Award" from Downbeat Magazine in 2004. In August 2005, Hurricane Katrina destroyed his home and studio when it was flooded with over 8 feet of water. The storm claimed his life's work, some 8,000 silver gelatin photographs that had been hand printed by him, a master printer in his own right. As the storm blew in, Leonard's crew had gathered the negatives and securely placed them in the care of the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, where they were stored in an upper level vault. At the age of 82, and with his city in ruins, he decided to move with his family to Los Angeles to reestablish his life and business. In 2006, he released his third book, "Jazz, Giants, And Journeys: The Photography of Herman Leonard", published by Scala Publishers, Ltd. In the forward to the book, Quincy Jones wrote, "When people think of jazz, their mental picture is likely one of Herman's." Herman Leonard's photographs, now considered fine art collector's items, are a unique record of the jazz scene in the 1940's, 50's and 60's. Throughout his long life, he traveled and lived around the world, capturing images with his distinctive style. Whether he was photographing Miles Davis, Frank Sinatra, Louis Armstrong or a street musician in his home in New Orleans, Herman's smile, warmth and engaging personality continued to open doors for him and his camera; to reveal a world we might have missed. Certainly Herman Leonard's iconic photographs will long be remembered not only for their enduring historic significance, but also for their breathtaking artistic beauty. They are part of the permanent archives of the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C., where they are considered as essential to American music history as Benny Goodman's clarinet or Louis Armstrong's trumpet. His legacy has continued to be honored with major touring exhibitions of his work including the GRAMMY Museum in Los Angeles, Jazz at Lincoln Center in NYC, the San Francisco Jazz Center (SFJAZZ), The National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC, and The Clinton Presidential Center. President Bill Clinton has called Herman Leonard, "The greatest jazz photographer in the history of the genre." In the last years of his life, Herman Leonard's goal was to bring his entire jazz collection, comprising a visual documentation of America's original art form, back to life and preserve it for future generations. Source: hermanleonard.com
Martin Munkácsi
Hungary
1896 | † 1963
Martin Munkácsi (born Mermelstein Márton; Kolozsvár, Hungary, May 18, 1896; died July 13, 1963, New York, NY) was a Hungarian photographer who worked in Germany (1928–34) and the United States, where he was based in New York City.Munkácsi was a newspaper writer and photographer in Hungary, specializing in sports. At the time, sports action photography could only be done in bright light outdoors. Munkácsi's innovation was to make sports photographs as meticulously composed action photographs, which required both artistic and technical skill. Munkácsi's legendary big break was to happen upon a fatal brawl, which he photographed. Those photos affected the outcome of the trial of the accused killer, and gave Munkácsi considerable notoriety. That notoriety helped him get a job in Berlin in 1928, for the Berliner Illustrirte Zeitung, where his first published photo was a race car splashing its way through a puddle. He also worked for the fashion magazine Die Dame. More than just sports and fashion, he photographed Berliners, rich and poor, in all their activities. He traveled to Turkey, Sicily, Egypt, London, New York, and famously Liberia, for photo spreads in the Berliner Illustrirte Zeitung. The speed of the modern age and the excitement of new photographic viewpoints enthralled him, especially flying. There are aerial photographs; there are air-to-air photographs of a flying school for women; there are photographs from a Zeppelin, including the ones on his trip to Brazil, where he crosses over a boat whose passengers wave to the airship above. On March 21, 1933, he photographed the fateful Day of Potsdam, when the aged President Paul von Hindenburg handed Germany over to Adolf Hitler. On assignment for the Berliner Illustrirte Zeitung, he photographed Hitler's inner circle, although he was a Jewish foreigner. In 1934, the Nazis nationalized the Berliner Illustrirte Zeitung, fired its Jewish editor-in-chief, Kurt Korff, and replaced its innovative photography with pictures of German troops. Munkácsi left for New York, where he signed on, for a substantial $100,000, with Harper's Bazaar, a top fashion magazine. In a change from usual practice, he often left the studio to shoot outdoors, on the beach, on farms and fields, at an airport. He produced one of the first articles in a popular magazine to be illustrated with nude photographs. His portraits include Katharine Hepburn, Leslie Howard, Jean Harlow, Joan Crawford, Jane Russell, Louis Armstrong, and the definitive dance photograph of Fred Astaire. Munkácsi died in poverty and controversy. Several universities and museums declined to accept his archives, and they were scattered around the world. Berlin's Ullstein Archives and Hamburg's F. C. Gundlach collection are home to two of the largest collections of Munkácsi's work.(Source: en.wikipedia.org)
Elizabeth Bourne
United States
1964
I describe myself as an artist using a camera rather than as a photographer since I am more concerned with creating an emotional connection with the viewer rather than technical perfection. After living most of my life in the Pacific Northwest, I went to Greenland in 2017 and everything changed. I fell in love with the high arctic. In 2018 I had artist residencies in both Svalbard and Iceland. In 2019, at a time when most people my age are thinking about retirement and grandchildren, I packed seven suitcases, and moved to Longyearbyen. Now I live in the world's northernmost town on the archipelago of Svalbard. I work almost exclusively in the arctic. My work, both painting and photography, have been exhibited nationally and internationally. In 2019 I was honored to receive the Vision Excellence Award from the Miami Photography Center during Art Basel Miami for best work in a series. Svalbard: Land without Borders which is an ongoing project. My work has been collected by Adobe, Corel Draw, and the City of Seattle. About the work: In the arctic, glaciers ten thousand years old rise in shimmering cliffs of light. These ice rivers calve towering icebergs with life spans of only two years. The paleocrystic beauty of the high arctic is as rich as any Tahitian sunset. There is a struggle between those who would exploit the arctic, and those who would preserve it. I have chosen to document these changes in Svalbard, the last land without borders on our planet. My goal is to engage a heart-felt reaction in the viewer. I believe the artist must have a passion for her subject, and a core need to communicate that passion. My hope is that my work will show the arctic's beauty so that people will choose to preserve it. We need the ice. Not just for environmental reasons, but also to maintain the last truly wild, untouched place on our crowded planet.
Avarino Caracò
My Love for Photography comes from an anthropological background that over the years has led me to observe every aspect of the cultural expressions that I happened to observe. The leitmotif of each of my projects always has an identity basis, whether it is collective or individual expressions, through travel or personal experiences, conceptual representations or close portraits. I live my photographic experiences as a continuous revolution, as if it were a magnet that projects me towards a future, partly visible, but mostly to be discovered. The commitment in my projects is mainly to establish a relationship with a social context, through the technique of participating observation, trying each time to establish an honest balance between what my gaze is able to see and what the subject that photographer wants to convey. T Life T life is a very intimate project in which I wanted to know the daily life of some transgender people in Palermo (Sicily). The aim of my project is to emphasize the dignity and strength that the people I present here have every day facing all the difficulties that there are in their social contexts that have a binary structure of gender identity. Gabriel is 22 years old and has just undergone a mastectomy, the very important support of his mother Caterina has made this path very serene and she herself declared that her son's body must be shown to the world to allow them to understand what it means to face a path of identity reassignment. Rashmi is 19 years old and is a non-binary person, she recognizes herself as both a man and a woman. During my interview I got to know the different aspects of her personality, her way of seeing herself as a woman and a man, the most problematic aspects of her relationship with her family and her dreams. Fed and Giorgia are 18 years old. Fed is a transgender person in a pre-hormonal phase, but his family does not allow him to complete the transition by putting a deep communication barrier between them. Giorgia is cisgender and bisexual but has not come out with her family because she is afraid in their violent reaction. They live a hidden love and are planning to go and live in France where they can study at university and feel freer.
Ralf Peters
Germany
1960
In the series "24 Hours" Peters reflects on the moment of simultaneousness. He dissolves the visual antagonism between the moment before and afterwards in each image. The works represent the light cycle of one day, starting from the left at night, passing daylight and ends again in the darkness of the night. The time states are not superimposed one upon the other but set side by side. In an extraordinary technique Ralf Peters obtains that the transition of the different daytimes is shown as in fast motion and is continued without any cuts, but can be noticed in the brightness and the illumination of the motif. Day and night are united in one image and at the same time, appearing invisible and visible. The variety of subjects going from exotic landscapes to cool architecture allows a reflection about our own world and foreign surroundings referring to a superior relationship of time and space. (Source: Diana Lowenstein Gallery) Ralf Peters is a conceptual photographer who creates visual studies of places and objects, often in thematic series. Playfully navigating between fantasy and reality, Peters manipulates digital images to challenge the viewer’s conception of traditional photography, raising the question as to whether something is a realistic rendering or a skillfully manipulated vision. Through the creation of portraits of everyday locations like supermarkets, gas stations, and swimming pools, Peters explores the possibilities for the photographic medium. Manipulating the focus, lighting, and composition of his images, Peters creates photographs that obscure the traditional notion of capturing an individual’s perspective on reality, favoring, instead, constructed works that comment on the aesthetic relationship we have to our surrounding environment. Peters’s works have been shown at notable institutions including the Hamburg Kunsthalle and Museu de Arte Moderna de São Paulo. (Source: Art Space) Represented by: Diana Lowenstein Gallery Galerie Kornfeld Galerie Bernhard Knaus Fine Art Galerie Martin Mertens Galerie Andres Thalmann
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