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Mauro De Bettio
Mauro De Bettio
Mauro De Bettio

Mauro De Bettio

Country: Italian

I was born and raised in a little village in the Italian Alps, now based in Barcelona.

Although it is difficult to express, I think that the photograph represents my way of speaking and what I try to do through my language is to capture the sense of what I breathe. Not only in appearance but also, and especially, in the essence; trying to express nuances and subtleties contained in a single frame. I think that's part of my personality and my work fully expresses what I am. My story, my soul.

Despite often the conditions and situations in which I am, are not easy, I always do my best to capture smiles and glances. It's extremely important for me to show those particular emotions because they represent strength and resilience. I am convinced It's a source of inspiration for all of us because it shows that anything is possible when you face something with the hearth and the courage from within. The determination these people show, in the images I take, is an extraordinary example of how every challenge can be converted into opportunity.

Reproducing all these different moods into images is to evoke an emotion in someone else. Draw public attention to real-life situations. Stop people and make them think. His pictures are a visual story able to highlight unseen or ignored realities. A vital tool that can help bring about social changes.

Photography is a fantastic storytelling medium. Just ask yourself what story you want to tell and photography can bring you there.
 

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John Kenny
United Kingdom
In 2006 I developed my style of portrait photography within traditional communities, heavily influenced by the dramatic pictures of chiaroscuro artists. Chiaroscuro is an Italian term which literally means light-dark. Back then, at the very start of my Africa journey, I was buzzing with energy having met people of real magnetism just days into my trip. I was excited by extraordinary people and fascinating cultures and wondered how I could possibly communicate and express these feelings of excitement to friends and family back home.The solution, I imagined, would involve abstracting the remarkable from the not so remarkable: put simply, I felt that the vibrant and intense individuals that I had met in traditional communities would best show their magnetism on camera when they were removed from the (often) dull and dusty backgrounds of their immediate environment. After a few days I started to imagine each of these people in front of me emerging from the nothingness of darkness, with no distractions, hoping that this would provide a real feeling of proximity between the viewer and the person in the picture. I made a conscious decision at that time to leave a more documentary style of environmental portraiture to others. Practicing this new technique in remote African villages in 2006 I had nothing but sunshine and a hut available as a great ‘open studio': so I used these parameters and started experimenting (I've never really liked flash anyway). So it's simply the illumination of natural sunlight, and sun on dry earth, that reaches into the darkness of huts and lights up these remarkable people. Sun and dry earth are the only ingredients required for the lighting in my prints. And of course, you also need to find exceptional people!Falling in love with photography, and the origins of this series:I first fell in love with photography around 2003. I had not been fortunate enough to receive an art or photography education, but I knew back then, when I picked up my first SLR camera, that I had found the perfect way to express myself. Every time I had the camera in my hand I was looking to improve, needing to know what everything and anything looked like once it had been through the photographic process. It was a bit like a mad pursuit of alchemy - throwing everything into the mix to see if any magic came out of the other side. The process of photographic learning is very rarely a simple one, but to me it remains beautiful: discoveries, experimentation and seeing for the first time how a camera distorts and enhances the world.In Africa I seem to have made it my goal to travel through some of the remotest areas of the continent where the reaches of urbanisation and 21st century living are barely detectable. Looking back, this wasn’t my intention when I first arrived there in 2006, but somehow I keep returning to Africa to photograph because I'm fascinated to encounter societies that are able to survive in some of the most arid, isolated and difficult environments that people have settled in. If you haven’t visited these places then the reality of living is not nearly as romantic or idealised as one might imagine. Life takes place against a backdrop of very uncertain resources and enormous hardships, but traditions and hospitality towards outsiders remain intact.I specifically chose to photograph the individuals that you see in these galleries because I had a very real sense of wonder when I met them. Each one of these people had something that attracted me, sometimes a piercing intensity, or an uncommon beauty, that I felt compelled to try and capture. It’s true that I photograph for myself, first and foremost, but a close second is my desire to show others this magnetism that draws one into the eyes of these fascinating people.I have usually travelled alone or with a guide on these journeys, along the way walking and hopping onto overloaded vehicles of every kind to head to remote settlements. Often the destination is a transient, weekly market where hundreds of vibrant, colourful people assemble somewhat incongruously against a dull, dusty backdrop for a few hours. Later in the day they will all melt away with their animals and traded possessions, until the location is again a patch of bone-dry ground with almost nothing to separate it from the rest of the featureless land that typifies much of the African Sahel. It is fascinating to observe this process play out in almost exactly the same way across countless African countries, many of which are separated by hundreds or thousands of miles across this huge continent’s surface.My favourite tools are sharp prime lenses and cameras that let you capture the tiniest pieces of detail: whilst these details may be insignificant alone, when aggregated I feel they help paint the picture of the environment and how each person adapts to theirs.My favourite series of work remains the Northern Kenya series which involved 6 weeks of intense travelling with my guide, Mo, across remote areas without a vehicle and often without any semblance of an idea how to get to the next tiny settlement. The trip was full of unique encounters in locations that seemed to be famous, to me at least, as places where no transport seemed to be heading. On one particular occasion we came across a lone Moran (warrior) emerge into the dawn light, miles from anywhere. He seemed like a mirage: a vibrant vision in pink cloth and bright colourful jewellery, and more acutely so when set against the hazy yellow monotone of land that he emerged from. Even for Northern Kenya, I thought he seemed to be in a remote, featureless location: devoid of any water, and within an hour it would again be blistering hot. Despite these uncomfortable realities - which clearly weighed more heavily on my mind than his - the warrior seemed confident of his bearings and stopped for a moment to exchange pleasantries with Mo and I. A couple of minutes later, after sharing cigarette with my guide, he purposefully set off walking again, to God knows where. This place that looked barren and foreboding, to me at least, was clearly his home.
Dasha Pears
Russia
1982
Dasha Pears is an award-winning Russian conceptual photographer, currently based in Helsinki, Finland. Dasha uses the instruments of surrealism, color, and photography to speak about deepest psychological matters, including emotions, states of mind and mind shifts. She started her photographic path in 2011, after reaching burnout in a marketing communications career. Having tried many types of photography, Dasha found herself in the conceptual and fine art sphere. Since then her images have been exhibited in Russia, France, Poland, Austria, Italy and Finland. Dasha's photographs can be found on covers of books published in Europe, the United States and South America. In 2016 Dasha started sharing her experience of organizing conceptual photography shoots and producing surrealist artworks in the form of creative photography workshops. Since then she has held over 15 events in Finland and abroad. Statement Photography turned out to be a way of discovering my true self and expressing it. My works are a reflection of this discovery process and I hope that they can help others who are on the same journey as me. In metaphorical ways I try to show and share processes that are going on in many people's minds: dealing with negative self-talk, being overwhelmed by all kinds of emotions, finding that activity that puts you in the state of flow, when time ceases to exist. My photography is influenced by classical fine art, surrealism, as well as fantasy and science fiction books. The instruments of surrealism help me show that the scene is only partially real and that most of it is going on in the character's mind. My works are carefully composed and many of them are leaning towards minimalism. This is my way of expressing that controlling your mind and creating space is crucial for discovering who you are and who you are not.
Tatiana Bormatova
Tatiana Bornatova is a documentary photographer from Moscow, now is based in Sevastopol. She currently engaged in personal projects in Russia. Her work focuses on topics devoted to social problems and phenomena of modern Russian society. She studied documentary photography and photojournalism at the School of Modern Photography Docdocdoc (St. Peterburg, Russia). Continues to study in the direction of post-documentary photography. Her projects were published in the REGNUM News Agenсу, IZ Magazine, FLIP Magazine, F-Stop Magazine, Dodho Magazine. Tatiana became a participant in the projection festival Nuits Photographiques d’Essaouira (Essaouira, Morocco) and World Biennial Of Student Photography (Novi Sad, Serbia). Underground In ancient underground quarries, all is in full swing by day and night. Both adventurers and serious researchers - speleologists and spelestologists - come here. Speleology is the study of naturally - occurring caves, and spelestology is the study of underground cavities not used for intended purposes. In the fourteenth century, in Outer Moscow people began mining stone underground using closed methods. It lasted until the nineteenth century. Under Stalin, entrance to the underground was strictly forbidden, but this did not stop people going on adventures. In the 1960s, the masses started to venture into the underground. Then they started to blow up the entrances to caves. Access to the underground became much more difficult, but the interest for anthropogenic underground caves did not cease to exist. Starting in the 1980s, spelestologists and enthusiasts again started to look for underground caverns, previously forbidden in Soviet times. The analysis of old rubble, digging up and exploring passages, and topographic surveys all require staying underground for several days at a time. In the caves specialists would start to allocate grottos for toilets, sleeping, eating and collecting water, as well as strengthening areas that were prone to collapsing. The walls were covered with drawings, inscriptions, artefacts and graffiti. These new traditions and rules resulted in the formation of new subcultures. Visiting caves now is very entertaining. More and more often, they are being visited by thrill seekers, people who like to drink, unofficial excursion groups, and bloggers. Often people go underground without knowing basic safety precautions. That said, the risks in underground caves are not few: one could get lost or end up in a rock collapse. Spelestologists think negatively of amateurs who try to prevent filming and unofficial tours. A few of the researchers carry out excavations and study the underground caverns, but the increase in popularity is starting to disturb their work. They try to keep the whereabouts of newly discovered caves secret. The photographs in this project were taken in the Moscow Oblast, in the Syankovsk and Novlensk caves, and also in the Kamkinsk quarry, more well-known as Kiseli.
Flor Garduño
Mexico
1957
Flor Garduño was born in Mexico and studied visual arts at the Academy of San Carlos (UNAM), where she focused on the search for the structural aspects of form and space. She became especially interested in the work of Kati Horna, a Hungarian photographer whose communicative dimension of her photographs had a great impact on the development of Garduño's aesthetic. She gave up her studies to work as a darkroom assistant for Manuel Álvarez Bravo, one of Mexico's most prestigious photographers, with whom she strengthened her photographic skills. Since then, Garduño has received numerable prizes, and her work has been exposed and published around the world. Garduño's photos depict the landscapes of Central and South America -- and the people whose ancestors were indigenous to the region. Her photos depict subjects that could have existed in a time long before the present moment, and through photographing them, brings the Indian land of America to the present moment. She addresses time -- past, present, and future -- simultaneously through her photographs. Through her photos we witness the slow procession from life to death, interrupted by comic accidents, childish play, liturgical ceremonies, and erotic repose. Though many themes traverse Garduño's body of work, all ultimately reach the point of incense where, uncertainly, nature, and art blend so that mankind may have a margin of whimsy, freedom, or significance on the face of the gods.Source: Peter Fetterman Gallery Flor Garduño (Born Mexico City, Mexico, 1957) studied at the Escuela Nacional de Artes Plásticas in Mexico City.  In 1979 she became an assistant to Manuel Alvarez Bravo. Between 1981 and 1982 she traveled with a team of photographers organized by Mariana Yampolsky. The team photographed rural villages throughout Mexico for reading primers published by the Secretariat of Education for Indigenous Communities.  This experience as well as her association with Kati Horn influenced Garduño's photographs, which are usually of country locales and towns depicted in strange and mysterious ways typical of Surrealism in Mexican photography.  Garduño had her first one-person exhibition in 1982 at the Galeria Jose Clemente Orozco in Mexico City.  In 1985, a compendium of six years of her work was published entitled "Magia del Juego Eterno" and in 1987 another book entitled "Bestiarium" was published.  In 1986 she participated in the first photographic exhibition of the Salón de la Plástica Mexicana and in the inauguration of the Kahlo-Coronel Gallery in Mexico City. In 1986 and 1988 she was included in several traveling exhibitions "Reserved for Export" and "Realidades Mágicas" that were seen in the United States and Europe.  1996 Image and Memory, Latin american Photography, 1880-1992  Itinerary: El Museo del Barrio, New York.  Art Gallery of the University of Scranton, PA.  Lowe Art Museum, Florida.  Museo de Arte de Ponce, Puerto Rico.  Crocker Art Museum, CA.  Meadows Museum, Tx.  Akron Art Museum, OH. Her one-person shows were in Paris in 1986, the Museum Volkenkunde de Rotterdam in 1989, the Field Museum of Chicago in 1990 and Montreal in 1991.  Since 1989 she has dedicated herself to photographing the images that appear in her one-person exhibition and monograph, "Witnesses of Time".  The exhibition started at the Americas Society in 1993 and will be traveling across the country to the Museum of Photographic Arts in California as well as various other venues.  Her work is in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris; and Centro Cultural de Arte Contemporáneo, Mexico.Source: Throckmorton Fine Art Galleries in the USA:   Peter Fetterman Gallery   Throckmorton Fine Art   Fahey/Klein Gallery   Holden Luntz Gallery   Etherton Gallery   Andrew Smith Gallery
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