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Iris Brito Stevens
Iris Brito Stevens
Iris Brito Stevens

Iris Brito Stevens

Country: United States

I was born and raised in Salinas, California (U.S.), a farming community known for its lettuce. As a daughter of Mexican immigrants, I became aware of, and sensitive to, the differences between the immigrant and non-immigrant communities and their perspectives, which at times felt narrow and somewhat limiting. Growing up surrounded by family grounded me deeply, yet an insatiable curiosity and passion for learning about the world beyond me, called out. I spread my wings and traveled to destinations that were completely foreign, often under the auspices of humanitarian and educational endeavors. The lens through which I saw the world opened-up and expanded my perspective, just like a camera. Through first-hand experience, I became aware of the lives and conditions of marginalized and oppressed peoples globally. This new dimensionality helped me to confront certain realities, to grow, and to self-reflect on what it means to be human. It also led me toward activism and social documentary photography, which enabled me to blend visual narrative with the stories of other people through projects or partnerships in Uganda, the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Spain, San Francisco and more. My photographic work is my passion, and it serves to create awareness and a more intimate human connection, by encouraging a path that looks beyond our limited and inherent perceptions and conditioning.

Statement
In America, we place so much value on individuality and independence, that we forget how truly interdependent we are on one another, both on a local and global scale. We have become hyper-focused on the self and are losing our ability to empathize and see the intense vulnerability around us—though considering recent events, this appears to be shifting. As a social documentary photographer, I am drawn towards people and the conditions that are relevant in their lives, as individuals and as members of a family, community, or society. Our perception of the world can be limited to our own multi-faceted forms of conditioning; I utilize the impact of visual narrative to bring awareness of the human condition worldwide. There is so much beauty in diversity. I want to validate that diversity through photography, to help others grow in that appreciation, to demonstrate that we are all a part of something collectively - that life's experience doesn't begin and end with us, as individuals. Dominance consciousness is so pervasive in society; it's like a box with thick walls and nothing to see, nowhere to go, devoid of any inspiration. It kills curiosity and ideas. I want us all to be inspired and curious by the diversity we see and experience in everyday life. Diversity is beautiful.
 

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Elizabeth Bourne
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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.
Brett Weston
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Brett Weston (originally Theodore Brett Weston; December 16, 1911, Los Angeles–January 22, 1993, Hawaii) was an American photographer. Van Deren Coke described Brett Weston as the "child genius of American photography." He was the second of the four sons of photographer Edward Weston and Flora Chandler. Weston began taking photographs in 1925, while living in Mexico with Tina Modotti and his father. He began showing his photographs with Edward Weston in 1927, was featured at the international exhibition at Film und Foto in Germany at age 17, and mounted his first one-man museum retrospective at age 21 at the De Young Museum in San Francisco in January, 1932. Weston's earliest images from the 1920s reflect his intuitive sophisticated sense of abstraction. He often flattened the plane, engaging in layered space, an artistic style more commonly seen among the Abstract Expressionists and more modern painters like David Hockney than other photographers. He began photographing the dunes at Oceano, California, in the early 1930s. This was a favorite location of his father Edward and a location that they later shared Brett's with wife Dody Weston Thompson. Brett preferred the high gloss papers and ensuing sharp clarity of the gelatin silver photographic materials of the f64 Group rather than the platinum matte photographic papers common in the 1920s and encouraged Edward Weston to explore the new silver papers in his own work. Brett Weston was credited by photography historian Beaumont Newhall as the first photographer to make negative space the subject of a photograph. Donald Ross, a photographer close to both Westons, said that Brett never came after anyone. He was a true photographic equal and colleague to his father and "one should not be considered without the other." "Brett and I are always seeing the same kinds of things to do - we have the same kind of vision. Brett didn't like this; naturally enough, he felt that even when he had done the thing first, the public would not know and he would be blamed for imitating me." Edward Weston - Daybooks - May 24, 1930. Brett Weston used to refer to Edward Weston lovingly as "my biggest fan" and there was no rivalry between the two photographic giants. Brett and his wife Dody loyally set aside their own photography to help Edward after he was unable to print his own images due to Parkinson's disease, which claimed Edward's life in 1958. Brett Weston married and divorced four times. He had one daughter, Erica Weston. Brett Weston lived part time on the Big Island of Hawaii and in Carmel, California for the final 14 years of his life. He maintained a home in Waikoloa that was built by his brother Neil Weston, and later moved to Hawaii Paradise Park. He died in Kona Hospital on January 22, 1993 after suffering a massive stroke. Works by Brett Weston are included in collections of the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, the Honolulu Museum of Art, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, the Oklahoma City Museum of Art and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. In November of 1996, Oklahoma City collector Christian Keesee acquired from the Brett Weston Estate the most complete body of Weston’s work. Source: Wikipedia
Carlos Javier Ortiz
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Arja Katariina Hyytiäinen
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Benjamin Dimmitt
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Benjamin Dimmitt photographs wetlands and forests using film and a medium format camera. He uses his camera to investigate interdependence, competition, survival and mortality in the natural world. Benjamin was born and raised on the Gulf Coast of Florida. He graduated from Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, FL and also studied at the International Center of Photography in NYC, NY, Santa Fe Photographic Workshop in Santa Fe, NM, Santa Reparata Graphic Arts Centre in Florence, Italy and City and Guild Arts School in London, England. He moved to New York City after college and held an adjunct professor position at the International Center of Photography from 2001-2013. He now lives and works in Asheville, NC and teaches workshops throughout the Southeast. Benjamin's photographs have been exhibited at Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX, School of International Center of Photography, NYC, NY, American Academy of Arts & Letters, NYC, NY, Ogden Museum of Southern Art, New Orleans, LA, Griffin Museum, Boston, MA, Florida Museum of Photographic Arts, Tampa, FL, Center for Fine Art Photography, Ft. Collins, CO and Midtown Y Photography Gallery, NYC, NY. In November, 2019, his work will be included in a three person climate change exhibit at Southeast Museum of Photography in Daytona Beach, FL. His work is represented by Clayton Galleries in Tampa, FL and is in the collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Florida Museum of Photographic Arts and Eckerd College among many others. Ain't Bad, Architectural Digest, Black & White, Don't Take Pictures, Lenscratch, Oxford American, Orion, Photo District News, The New Yorker Photo Booth and others have featured Benjamin's photographs. He was a finalist in Photolucida's Critical Mass Award in 2014, 2017 and 2018 and in New Orleans Photo Alliance's Clarence John Laughlin Award in 2014 and 2015. An Unflinching Look The Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge is a very fragile, spring-fed estuary on Florida's Gulf Coast, north of Tampa. I was overwhelmed by its lush, primeval beauty on my first visit over 30 years ago and have photographed there extensively since 2004. The dense palm hammocks and hardwood forests were festooned with ferns and orchids and the fresh water creeks were a clear azure. There are other similar estuaries nearby but the Chassahowitzka River and the surrounding wetlands are protected as part of the federal National Wildlife Refuge system and the river itself is designated as an Outstanding Florida Water. Unfortunately, saltwater began creeping up into the spring creeks around 2011. Rising sea levels due to climate change are the primary cause. However, the saltwater intrusion was accelerated when the state water commissioners, appointed by climate change denier and former governor Rick Scott, determined that the wetlands could survive with less fresh water. This new minimum flow policy would allow the state to increase the pumping of fresh water for large-scale inland developments and agricultural interests. The drawdown of fresh water for these lobbyists has taken fresh water away from the aquifer that feeds Chassahowitzka's springs and many others nearby. As the fresh water flow in the estuaries decreased, saltwater advanced upstream and took its place. What had been verdant, semi-tropical forest is now mostly an open plain of grasses relieved by palms and dying hardwood trees. Sabal palms are the most salt tolerant trees in this ecosystem and are the last to expire. This is a widespread phenomenon, occurring all along the Big Bend section of the Gulf coast of Florida. In 2014, I began to photograph in the salt-damaged sawgrass savannas and spring creeks there as a way of reckoning with the ecosystem loss and of understanding what has become of my native Florida. I have narrowed my focus to a small, remote area that I know and love. My intention in bearing witness to this loss has been to portray the ruined landscape with respect, nuance and beauty. To document the progress of the saltwater intrusion, I have re-photographed landscapes that I first photographed as much as 30 years ago. This ruin is the fate of estuaries around the world as sea levels rise. With increasingly fierce storms and extensive flooding along coastal areas, we are reminded that climate change is a certainty and a priority.
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