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Jean-Mathieu Saponaro
Jean-Mathieu Saponaro
Jean-Mathieu Saponaro

Jean-Mathieu Saponaro

Country: France
Birth: 1990

Born and raised in Provence, Southern France, Jean-Mathieu Saponaro is living between Paris and New York. Being a software engineer, photography is his way of freeing his mind out of lines of code.
Color plays a main role in his work. Like painters gradually create their own unique palette, J.M. steals colors in fragments of life around him, found in streets he wanders, on the roads he drives on. He's on a quest to find aesthetics on the most common scenes or objects encountered that other wouldn't notice.
His work has been exhibited in Paris, Aix-en-Provence, and featured in many magazines.
 

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Isabeau De Rouffignac
I followed an artistic career path with a drawing baccalaureate, 2 years of preparatory classes at the Met de Penninghen studio, then I entered the graphic art school. This was followed by a long experience in design agencies (Design Strategy Orchestra), communication agencies (CPP) and manufacturing agencies (Vision Prod) as an employee and then as a freelancer since 1999. It is this status that will allow me to devote myself to photography, which I discovered in the 2000s. It was a revelation, and soon became obvious. Since then, I have been photographing worlds far and near, between a documentary approach and a resolutely artistic approach. A line of conduct, like a thread that runs through my work and gives it coherence: approaching the other, taming them, taking the time, learning their language, being forgotten, with a gaze that is always curious and fundamentally empathetic. Four photographic editions were born from this work. Since 2017, I devote all my time to photography. And although I have an initial training that integrates the work of the image and a long-standing photographic practice, I felt the need to go further, to question my writing, and I have therefore attended several workshops and training courses. (Arles, Cifap, Gobelins) In 2018, I became a member of Studio Hans Lucas Today, the more I advance in my artistic practice, the more I approach my projects from a documentary point of view, but with an aesthetic or even plastic approach from the start. By mixing these different ways of working on my subject, I leave the imposed categories (documentary, plastic photography, etc.) to invent my own language that allows me to convey a message (environmental, social, humanitarian, political, etc.). This is the case in my latest work in India, pleas. In Bhopal, they point out the consequences of the worst chemical disaster the world has ever known, and in Rajsamand, they tell of the difficult working conditions of the miners. Statement An intuition, a call following the reading of an article or a book, moves me from my daily life in the metropolis and I set off to meet the other. The country is always far away, the situation speaks of a reprieve. Through photography I seek an encounter with the other, the other in what is different about him, his way of life, his language, which I try as much as possible to learn in order to be in touch with him. I am looking for an encounter with a place that also has its own language that often says the impalpable, what does not always appear at first sight, a place to be deciphered. In these encounters, I also seek an encounter with myself, because the other person questions me, challenges me, shakes up my preconceptions, pushes me to question myself. In my last work on the miners of Rajasthan, I sought to pay tribute to men in pain, working in sandstone or marble quarries, working without safety clothing, for a ridiculous salary, without a work contract, and more than half of whom suffer from silicosis because they work without masks. In most of my other photographic works, I try to bear witness but also to show a cultural heritage that is on the verge of disappearing, and to talk about those who keep it alive and often fight against a progressive assimilation. Of course, the time needed for these encounters, for this acceptance by the communities in which I immerse myself, implies taking time. A lot of time. It is the only way to establish the links that open doors, give access to knowledge, beliefs, and sometimes even confidences. Learning the Hindi language has helped me to better understand the personal stories of all the men and women I have photographed, to understand the distress that lies behind their dignity. I try to document the issues through personal stories that are each unique and singular. This is what I have done here with the miners of Rajasthan, or previously with the women of Bhopal, the postmen of Rajasthan, or the Akhas of Thailand. I offer you my view, nourished by what my encounters have revealed to me, my way of documenting it, as close as possible or with distance when necessary. A view that I hope will open up the possibility of better understanding, or at least of trying. That's already a lot.
Johnny Kerr
United States
1982
Johnny Kerr is a fine art photographer based in the West Valley of Arizona’s Phoenix Metropolitan Area. Johnny is self-taught in the craft of photography but entered into his study of the medium with many years of art education and design experience. In 2003 he earned a Bachelor’s degree in Media Arts from the Art Institute of Phoenix and went on to make his living as a graphic designer. Johnny began learning and experimenting with photography in 2011 and in 2013 decided to shift his focus, pursuing photography as his primary medium of expression. He cites his graphic design experience, along with his appreciation for minimalist design, as having the largest influence on his vision as a fine art photographer. After deciding to change careers Johnny went back to school, earning his Master of Arts in Education degree in 2010. Johnny currently makes his living as a photography teacher in the greater Phoenix area, where he lives with his wife and daughter. STATEMENT Growing up in Arizona has certainly given me an appreciation for the unique beauty of the desert. However, I have never found my desert surroundings to be particularly inspiring in my artistic endeavors. Lacking the inspiration to capture my natural surroundings in a representational manner, I have found freedom and gratification in abstraction. I found architecture to be an inspiring subject matter for its graphic qualities, but my photographs are not really about the buildings. Each photograph is a study of the rudimentary elements that catch my attention: shape, space, volume, line, rhythm, etc. Drawing heavily from my graphic design experience, each architecture photograph represents an exercise in isolating those basic elements and trying to present them in a harmonious design. Often I have incorporated long exposure techniques to create images that seem to exist outside of the reality our eyes perceive on a daily basis. My goal has not been to abstract the subject beyond recognition, but to simplify, to pull it out of its usual context, and try to see the ordinary surroundings of city life in a new way. The lessons I learned from my exercises in abstracting architecture have also carried through into other subject matter, including landscape and seascape, helping me to find solace and inspiration in unexpected places.
Jens Juul
Denmark
My name is Jens Juul, and I'm a photographer. I'm trained as both photographer and portrait painter and have also done graphic design for years. I recently won the portraiture category in The Sony World Photography Awards with my series Six Degrees.About my way of working with photography: Strong impressions form the motive power of my work. Behind a strong impression always lies an interesting and often untold story. Of course the strong impressions can be seen on the news, where we daily watch pictures from global hot spots or places hit by sudden disasters. These pictures any photographer can chase in competition with other photographers with access to the same news channels. But apart from the spectacular and crisis hit places I actually believe that strong impressions can be found around all of us. My morning bike ride to take my children to school is often cause of great inspiration. The story is right on your doorstep. It is just a matter of seeing it and of really seeing the people who are part of the tapestry of your daily life, and then of finding your angle and the courage to step across the boundary between yourself and other people formed by each person¹s privacy sphere even to those strangers who may at times seem dangerous and intimidating. of Copenhagen.About Six Degrees of Copenhagen: My photo series Six Degrees of Copenhagen is a textbook example of breaking this boundary. The way I work is that I approach someone I don't know, be it on the street, in a supermarket or at a social event. I ask if I can portray them in their homes and then I pay them a visit. The visit usually lasts a couple of hours or however long it takes to break the ice and get just the right shot of the subject. I then ask them to pass the torch so to speak and recommend someone in their own network that I can portray in the same way. I got the idea from the theory of six degrees of separation - the notion that all people on Earth are connected in the sixth degree. There is nothing scientific about my work, though, and I'm not trying to show the extent of human networks. It is a way of working that magically enables me to travel through a city and meeting its inhabitants. I've come across all walks of life, old and young, and I have seen many different ways of life. If you meet people without prejudice and with a lot of curiosity it really is amazing how willing they are to share their experiences and the insights they've gained. In that way my work is a journey into the minds and lives of other people.About Inmates: A third project I am working on is a book project about being an inmate in a prison. The Inmate project takes its point of departure in a profound curiosity regarding the consequences of being punished with long-term imprisonment to someone's life. The project focuses on the life conditions of long-term inmates in Danish prisons. What do inmates think about their own lives, their relationships with people both inside and out of prison, and what kinds of hopes and expectations do they have about the future? The project will be using a combination of interviews, portraits and picture documentation of the everyday life in Danish prisons to tell the story of inmates. The aim is to publish a book with ten interviews and approximately 75 pictures. I'm looking into crowd funding possibilities, and am also considering making an electronic version that would keep production costs down and provide a possibility of layering information. Through the Danish Prison and Probation Service I have been granted access to the Danish prisons. In some prisons I have only been allowed to take pictures of architectural details. In other prisons I have been escorted around by prison employees, who have opened and locked doors for me, and walked me through the different parts of the prison. In yet other places I have been permitted to move around freely, and take all the pictures I wanted, as long as I got permission from the inmates first. In total I have been granted a much higher degree of access than I had ever dreamt of when I made the first phone call in order to get into prison. But why on Earth, one might ask, am I giving criminals that have harmed fellow human beings a chance to express themselves? And why would I offer them to have their portraits and pictures of their everyday life grace the pages of a book, and even do so in a book looking all luxurious with big pictures? The answer is simple, really: Because their voices to a large extent are missing in the public debate. There are black holes, so to speak, in the public's map when it comes to the realities and consequences of incarceration. What is it like? Really? In Denmark, imprisonment is largely seen as punishment, but with an agenda of offering possibilities for resocialization, and only severely hardened or mentally ill inmates have little prospect of ever getting out. However, reality is that resocialization is difficult, even in a social-liberal welfare state like Denmark. The question then is: if prison breeds more criminals, how does society benefit from locking people away? It is my ambition to start a public debate about the relationship between justice, punishment, revenge and resocialization that will hopefully engage both the public and the politicians. Each year, so many families live with the consequences of crime. Children of criminals and victims alike are growing up with the effects of crime and punishment. So we'd better make it count! And to return to the relationship to our personal networks and the use of them, my work inside the prison walls has shown me that much crime is committed by individuals whose networks have been insufficiently present. A lack of care and love early in life, but also a lack of engagement from the personal circle of acquaintances. Instead of stepping in when people are in trouble, we turn our heads away to avoid becoming a part of the problem. A lot of human misery could be avoided if only we dared to get involved and show some interest in the lives of our fellow human beings!Awards:2013 Winner of the Sony World Photography Awards 2013 in the portraiture category2013 Finalist in KL International Photoawards 2013 in the Portrait Category.2013 Selected for a Spotlight Award in the Black & White Portfolio Contest 20132013 4th place for the Su-ture 1st Edition by Gomma, 2013
Laia Abril
Spain
1986
Laia Abril s a Spanish photographer and multiplatform storyteller whose work relates to femininity. Abril was born in 1986 in Barcelona, Spain. She gained a degree in journalism in Barcelona. She moved to New York City to study photography at the International Center of Photography. In 2009 she enrolled at Fabrica research centre, the artist residency of Benetton in Italy, where she worked as a staff photographer and consultant photo editor at Colors magazine for a number of years. Since 2010, Abril has been working on various projects exploring the subject of eating disorders: A Bad Day, a short film about a young girl struggling with bulimia; Thinspiration (2012), which explores the use of photography in pro-ana websites; and The Epilogue (2014), documenting the indirect victims of eating disorders, through the story of the Robinson family and the aftermath of the death of Cammy Robinson to bulimia. Critic Sean O'Hagan, wrote in The Guardian that The Epilogue "... is a sombre and affecting photobook ... dense and rewarding ... At times, it makes for a painful read. From time to time, I had to put it down, take a breather. But I kept going back." Her extended study of misogyny thus far includes A History of Misogyny: Chapter One: On Abortion, about the repercussions of abortion controls in many different cultures. Work is ongoing to produce A History Of Misogyny, Chapter 2: On Rape. Her other projects include Femme Love, on a young lesbian community in Brooklyn; Last Cabaret on a sex club in Barcelona; and the Asexuals Project, a documentary film about asexuality. Abril's books include The Epilogue (2014), which documents the indirect victims of eating disorders, and A History of Misogyny: Chapter One: On Abortion (2018), about the repercussions of abortion controls in many different cultures. On Abortion won Photobook of the Year award at the Paris Photo–Aperture Foundation PhotoBook Awards. In 2018 she was awarded the Tim Hetherington Trust's Visionary Award to work on A History Of Misogyny, Chapter 2: On Rape Culture. For the long-term project A History Of Misogyny, in 2019 she was awarded the Royal Photographic Society's Hood Medal and in 2020 she was awarded the Paul Huf Award from Foam Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam.Source: Wikipedia
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