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Eric Kunsman
Eric Kunsman
Eric Kunsman

Eric Kunsman

Country: United States
Birth: 1975

Eric T. Kunsman (b. 1975) was born and raised in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. While in high school, he was heavily influenced by the death of the steel industry and its place in American history. The exposure to the work of Walker Evans during this time hooked Eric onto photography. Eric had the privilege to study under Lou Draper, who became Eric's most formative mentor. He credits Lou with influencing his approach as an educator, photographer, and contributing human being.

Eric holds his MFA in Book Arts/Printmaking from The University of the Arts in Philadelphia and holds an MS in Electronic Publishing/Graphic Arts Media, BS in Biomedical Photography, BFA in Fine Art photography all from the Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, New York.

Currently, he is a photographer and book artist based out of Rochester, New York. Eric works at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) as a Lecturer for the Visual Communications Studies Department at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf and is an adjunct professor for the School of Photographic Arts & Sciences.

In addition to lectures, he provides workshops on topics including his artistic practice, digital printing, and digital workflow processes. He also provides industry seminars for the highly regarded Printing Applications Lab at RIT. His photographs and books are exhibited internationally and are in several collections. He currently owns Booksmart Studio, which is a fine art digital printing studio, specializing in numerous techniques and services for photographers and book artists on a collaborative basis.

Eric's work has been exhibited in over 35 solo exhibitions at such venues as Nicolaysen Art Museum, Hoyt Institute of Fine Art, Los Angeles Center for Digital Art, and numerous university galleries. His work has also been a part of over 150 group exhibitions over the past 4 four years including exhibitions at the Center for Photography, A. Smith Gallery, SPIVA, San Luis Obispo Museum of Art, Spartanburg Museum of Art, Atlanta Photography Group, CEPA Gallery, Site:Brooklyn, Colorado Photographic Arts Center, Philadelphia Photo Arts Center, and many more.

Eric was named one of 10 B&W photographers to watch of 2018 by BWGallerist, B&W Best Photographers of the Year 2019 by Dodho Magazine, and won the Association of Photography (UK) Gold Award for Open Series in 2019, Finalist, Top 200 Critical Mass 2019, Top 15 Photographers for the Rust Belt Biennial. His Project Felicific Calculus was also awarded a Warhol Foundations Grant through CEPA Gallery in Buffalo, NY. Eric's work has also been published in magazines such as; LensWork, Dodho, B&W Photography along with online articles by Analog Forever Magazine, Catalyst: Interview, Texas Photo Society, and others. He is currently represented by HOTE Gallery in Los Angeles, CA and Malamegi in San Daniele del Friuli (Udine), Italy.

There's no "given," formula for what demands Eric's focus as a photographer. Eric is as drawn to the landscapes and neglected towns of the American southwest as he is to the tensions of struggling rustbelt cities in the U.S. northeast. Eric is attracted to objects left behind, especially those that hint at a unique human narrative, a story waiting to be told. Eric's current work explores one of those relics: working payphones hidden in plain sight throughout the neighborhood near his studio in Rochester, NY. Associates suggested they signified a high crime area. This project's shown Eric something very different.

Statement
Felicific Calculus: Technology as a Social Marker of Class, Race, & Economics in Rochester, NY

The felicific calculus is an algorithm formulated by jurist and reformer Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832) for calculating the moral rightness of an action by balancing the probable pleasures and pains that it would produce. Bentham, a utilitarian philosopher, believed this calculus could, in principle, help determine the moral status of any considered act.

In 2017, I relocated my studio to a different part of Rochester, NY. Colleagues immediately started making comments along the lines of: "...that area's a war zone." My experience with the new neighborhood was positive, so I wanted to discover what visual cues others might be seeing as indicators of a dangerous environment. Several people had mentioned the number of payphones in the area, inferring that only criminals use payphones these days.

There really were a lot of payphones in my neighborhood. I began documenting them, and quickly saw that far from being used by criminals, these phones served as a lifeline for some of the poorest residents in the area. Looking deeper, I found the story behind Rochester's payphones reflected an unusually altruistic ‘felicific calculus' by Frontier Communications. Instead of focusing on profits, they had decided to maintain the payphones in poorer neighborhoods for the good of the community.

Many policymakers have opted to view payphones as a social indicator of crime, unfortunately leading to ignorant or even dangerous decisions.

In Detroit, Michigan, politicians had all public payphones removed without studying or surveying their actual use.They simply assumed the criminal connection. This decision was based on a further assumption that everyone today must own a mobile phone. Decision-makers lacking facts or any real understanding of issues facing citizens from a different economic class just acted on a misperception.

Witnessing that type of reflexive judgement from my colleagues drove me to educate myself. I photographed payphones and mapped their locations, then overlaid them with census maps showing economic status, ethnicity, age and sex, and the city crime map. There was an immediate, direct correlation between the poverty level and location of the payphones. Areas with the most payphones coincided with Rochester neighborhoods where the average family incomes are lower than $20,000 annually. There was also no correlation with high crime neighborhoods.

Through Felicific Calculus I hope to challenge negative perceptions of social markers that conflate poverty with crime. Though they are relics to most of us, payphones remain important for residents trapped in lower economic circumstances.
 

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Diane Arbus
United States
1923 | † 1971
Diane Arbus was an American photographer and writer noted for black-and-white square photographs of "deviant and marginal people (dwarfs, giants, transgender people, nudists, circus performers) or of people whose normality seems ugly or surreal." Arbus believed that a camera could be “a little bit cold, a little bit harsh” but its scrutiny revealed the truth; the difference between what people wanted others to see and what they really did see – the flaws. A friend said that Arbus said that she was "afraid... that she would be known simply as 'the photographer of freaks'"; however, that phrase has been used repeatedly to describe her. In 1972, a year after she committed suicide, Arbus became the first American photographer to have photographs displayed at the Venice Biennale. Millions of people viewed traveling exhibitions of her work in 1972–1979. Between 2003 and 2006, Arbus and her work were the subjects of another major traveling exhibition, Diane Arbus Revelations. In 2006, the motion picture Fur, starring Nicole Kidman as Arbus, presented a fictional version of her life story. Although some of Arbus's photographs have sold for hundreds of thousands of dollars at auction, Arbus's work has provoked controversy; for example, Norman Mailer was quoted in 1971 as saying "Giving a camera to Diane Arbus is like putting a live grenade in the hands of a child." Others have, however, pointed out that Mailer was dissatisfied with a picture of him holding his crotch taken by Arbus for the New York Times book review. Diane Arbus was born as Diane Nemerov, to David Nemerov and Gertrude Russek Nemerov. The Nemerovs were a Jewish couple who lived in New York City and owned Russek's, a famous Fifth Avenue department store. Because of her family's wealth, Arbus was insulated from the effects of the Great Depression while growing up in the 1930s. Arbus's father became a painter after retiring from Russek's; her younger sister would become a sculptor and designer; and her older brother, Howard Nemerov, would later become United States Poet Laureate, and the father of the Americanist art historian Alexander Nemerov. Diane Nemerov attended the Fieldston School for Ethical Culture, a prep school. In 1941, at the age of eighteen, she married her childhood sweetheart Allan Arbus. Their first daughter Doon (who would later become a writer), was born in 1945 and their second daughter Amy (who would later become a photographer), was born in 1954. Diane and Allan Arbus separated in 1958, and they were divorced in 1969. The Arbuses' interests in photography led them, in 1941, to visit the gallery of Alfred Stieglitz, and learn about the photographers Mathew Brady, Timothy O'Sullivan, Paul Strand, Bill Brandt, and Eugène Atget. In the early 1940s, Diane's father employed them to take photographs for the department store's advertisements. Allan was a photographer for the U.S. Army Signal Corps in World War Two. In 1946, after the war, the Arbuses began a commercial photography business called "Diane & Allan Arbus," with Diane as art director and Allan as the photographer. They contributed to Glamour, Seventeen, Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, and other magazines even though "they both hated the fashion world." Despite over 200 pages of their fashion editorial in Glamour, and over 80 pages in Vogue, the Arbuses' fashion photography has been described as of "middling quality." Edward Steichen's noted 1955 photographic exhibit, The Family of Man, did include a photograph by the Arbuses of a father and son reading a newspaper. In 1956, Diane Arbus quit the commercial photography business. Although earlier she had studied photography with Berenice Abbott, her studies with Lisette Model, beginning in 1956, led to Arbus's most well-known methods and style. She began photographing on assignment for magazines such as Esquire, Harper's Bazaar, and The Sunday Times Magazine in 1959. Around 1962, Arbus switched from a 35 mm Nikon camera which produced grainy rectangular images to a twin-lens reflex Rolleiflex camera which produced more detailed square images. In 1963, Arbus was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship for a project on "American rites, manners, and customs"; the fellowship was renewed in 1966. In 1964, Arbus began using a twin-lens reflex Mamiya camera with flash in addition to the Rolleiflex. Her methods included establishing a strong personal relationship with her subjects and re-photographing some of them over many years. During the 1960s, she taught photography at the Parsons School of Design and the Cooper Union in New York City, and the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, Rhode Island. The first major exhibition of her photographs occurred at the Museum of Modern Art in a 1967 show called New Documents, curated by John Szarkowski. The show also featured the work of Garry Winogrand and Lee Friedlander. Some of her artistic work was done on assignment. Although she continued to photograph on assignment (e.g., in 1968 she shot documentary photographs of poor sharecroppers in rural South Carolina for Esquire magazine), in general her magazine assignments decreased as her fame as an artist increased. Szarkowski hired Arbus in 1970 to research an exhibition on photojournalism called From the Picture Press; it included many photographs by Weegee whose work Arbus admired. Using softer light than in her previous photography, she took a series of photographs in her later years of people with intellectual disability showing a range of emotions. At first, Arbus considered these photographs to be "lyric and tender and pretty," but by June, 1971, she told Lisette Model that she hated them. Associating with other contemporary photographers such as Robert Frank and Saul Leiter, Arbus helped form what Jane Livingston has termed The New York School of photographers during the 1940s and 1950s. Among other photographers and artists she befriended during her career, she was close to photographer Richard Avedon; he was approximately the same age, his family had also run a Fifth Avenue department store, and many of his photographs were also characterized as detailed frontal poses. Another good friend was Marvin Israel, an artist, graphic designer, and art director whom Arbus met in 1959. Arbus experienced "depressive episodes" during her life similar to those experienced by her mother, and the episodes may have been made worse by symptoms of hepatitis. Arbus wrote in 1968, "I go up and down a lot," and her ex-husband noted that she had "violent changes of mood." On July 26, 1971, while living at Westbeth Artists Community in New York City, Arbus took her own life by ingesting barbiturates and slashing her wrists with a razor. Marvin Israel found her body in the bathtub two days later; she was 48 years old.Source: Wikipedia
Arno Rafael Minkkinen
Arno Rafael Minkkinen is a Finnish-American photographer who works in the United States. Published and exhibited worldwide, Minkkinen's work can be found in the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and the Finnish Museum of Photography. Seven solo monographs on his work have been published: Frostbite (1978), Waterline (1994, winner of the 25th Rencontres d'Arles Book Prize), Body Land (1999), SAGA: The Journey of Arno Rafael Minkkinen, 35 Years of Photographs (2005), Homework: The Finnish Photographs (2008), Swimming in the Air (2009), and Balanced Equation (2010). The retrospective survey SAGA premiered at the DeCordova Museum in Lincoln, MA, in 2005. The 120-print retrospective toured to Romania, Slovakia, Finland, Italy, China, and Canada. Minkkinen was made a Knight of the Order of the Lion of Finland of the first class by the Finnish government in 1992, and awarded the Finnish State Art Prize in Photography in 2006. Minkkinen was born in Helsinki, Finland in 1945 and emigrated to the United States in 1951. He graduated from Wagner College with a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and began taking self-portraits in 1971, while working as an advertising copywriter on Madison Avenue in New York. He later studied with Harry Callahan and Aaron Siskind at Rhode Island School of Design and earned his Master of Fine Arts degree in photography in 1974. Over the past four decades, Minkkinen has been engaged as a teacher, curator, and writer while continuing to devote his photographic research and energies to the self-portrait. Minkkinen is a Professor of Art at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, and also serves as lecturer at Aalto University of Art & Design Helsinki. Earlier in his teaching career, he served as Assistant Professor at M.I.T., Visiting Artist at Philadelphia College of Art (now University of the Arts (Philadelphia)), the École d'Arts Appliqués in Vevey, Switzerland, and as graduate faculty at Maine Media College in Rockport, Maine. Since joining UMass Lowell in 1987, Minkkinen has taken students to Finland and Russia (1988), and Czechoslovakia (1989). In 1996, in a collaborative UMass Lowell/Lahti Institute of Design (Lahti, Finland) exchange program called Spirit Level, thirty Finnish, American, and Swiss students toured through Finland, Russia, and Eastern Europe for three weeks with Minkkinen and photo department head at Lahti, Timo Laaksonen. Among the students at the time was Mark Eshbaugh who later became an adjunct professor at UMass Lowell. Seven years after the first Spirit Level, together with Timo Laaksonen and Mark Eshbaugh a professor at Umass Lowell at that time, Tuscany in Italy (2003) and Oaxaca, Mexico (2007) were added to the program. [9] Later Minkinnen organized collaborations with Aalto University in Helsinki, Finland and the Foundation Studio Marangoni in Florence, Italy (2010) as well as the Bilder Nordic School of Photography in Oslo and the École Supérieure d'Arts & Medias de Caen/Cherbourg in France (2012) for an American Road Trip to the studio farmlands of American photographer Sally Mann.[10][11] The first three workshops resulted in the publication of a book commemorating those first three experiences. Minkkinen has taught workshops worldwide, particularly at the Maine Photographic Workshops (now Maine Media Workshops), Maine Media College (as part of the graduate faculty), the Art Institute of Boston at Lesley University, Anderson Ranch in Colorado, Santa Fe Workshops in New Mexico, the Friends of Photography in Carmel, California, and in Europe at the Rencontres d'Arles in Arles, France, the Toscana Photographic Workshops in Tuscany, Italy, as well as workshop programs in Finland, Norway, Luxembourg, and China. Minkkinen served a second four-year term as national board member of the Society of Photographic Education (2008 to 2016). Since 2009, Minkkinen has developed a growing interest in feature filmmaking and screenwriting. In 2010, he received a first-round of support from the Finnish Film Foundation for a screenplay he had written and will be directing. It will be shot in Finnish Karelia and Finntown, Brooklyn. The demo preview of The Rain House was screened at the Film Society of Lincoln Center's Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center in connection with the Dance Films Association's 41st Dance on Camera Festival (2013).Source: Wikipedia Finnish-American photographer Arno Rafael Minkkinen has been capturing self-portraits of his nude body in natural surroundings for the better part of five decades. More than just existing in these scenic locations, Minkkinen fully merges his limbs and torso like a chameleon, blurring the lines between where the world ends and his body begins. The methods used to create these bold and uninhibited shots pre-date the use of Photoshop by decades, instead of relying on a simple 9-second shutter release that allows Minkkinen to quickly pose for each shot. He usually works completely alone, and won’t let anyone else look through his camera’s viewfinder, lest they instead be labeled ‘the photographer.’ What may appear as a simply composed photo with fortuitous timing, is often the result of Minkkinen taking dangerous risks as he submerges himself in strong currents, buries himself in ice, or balances precariously on the edge of a cliff.Source: Colossal
Margarita Mavromichalis
Margarita Mavromichalis comes from a family of Greek diplomats and has spent her life living and traveling all over the world. She speaks five languages and studied translation and interpreting. She likes to think that photography is her second language, as it's a universal language, one that is understood by all across the world and conveys messages in the most powerful way. Margarita moved to New York in 2009. She continued her studies for three years at the International Center of Photography where she also served as a Teaching Assistant for several classes. She moved back to Greece from 2013 to 2016 where she devoted most of her work covering the refugee crisis as it developed on the island of Lesvos. She currently lives and works in London. Margarita is mostly attracted to street photography and the elements that evoke emotions and surprise in our every day life. Furthermore she is passionate about documenting current events that she feels very strongly about, highlighting their social impact. Her work has been displayed in exhibitions in New York, Boston, San Diego, The Museum of the City of New York, the Brooklyn Historical Society and most recently in Budapest, Athens, Paris, Berlin, Barcelona and London. Selected images are part of the permanent collections of the Museum of the City of New York and the Brooklyn Historical Society. She is the winner of the 9th Pollux Awards (2016) and the winner of the 12th edition of the Julia Margaret Cameron Awards (2018) and has been nominated for the 2019 Prix Pictet Hope Award.
Frederick Sommer
United States
1905 | † 1999
Frederick Sommer (September 7, 1905 – January 23, 1999), was an artist born in Angri, Italy and raised in Brazil. He earned a M.A. degree in Landscape Architecture (1927) from Cornell University where he met Frances Elizabeth Watson (September 20, 1904 – April 10, 1999) whom he married in 1928; they had no children. The Sommers moved to Tucson, Arizona in 1931 and then Prescott, Arizona in 1935. Sommer became a naturalized citizen of the United States on November 18, 1939. Considered a master photographer, Sommer first experimented with photography in 1931 after being diagnosed with tuberculosis the year prior. Early works on paper (starting in 1931) include watercolors, and evolve to pen-and-ink or brush plus drawings of visually composed musical score. Concurrent to the works on paper, Sommer started to seriously explore the artistic possibilities of photography in 1938 when he acquired an 8×10 Century Universal Camera, eventually encompassing the genres of still life (chicken parts and assemblage), horizonless landscapes, jarred subjects, cut-paper, cliché-verre negatives and nudes. According to art critic Robert C. Morgan, Sommer's "most extravagant, subtle, majestic, and impressive photographs—comparable in many ways to the views of Yosemite Valley’s El Capitan and Half Dome by Ansel Adams—were Sommer’s seemingly infinite desert landscapes, some of which he referred to as 'constellations.'" The last artistic body of work Sommer produced (1989–1999) was collage-based largely on anatomical illustrations. Frederick Sommer had significant artistic relationships with Edward Weston, Max Ernst, Aaron Siskind, Richard Nickel, Minor White, and others. His archive (of negatives and correspondence) was part of founding the Center for Creative Photography in 1975 along with Ansel Adams, Harry Callahan, Wynn Bullock, and Aaron Siskind. He taught briefly at Prescott College during the late 60s and substituted for Harry Callahan at IIT Institute of Design in 1957–1958 and later at the Rhode Island School of Design. In 1934, Frederick Sommer visited Los Angeles. Walking through the art museum one day, he noticed a display of musical scores. He saw them not as music, but as graphics, and found in them an elegance and grace that led him to a careful study of scores and notation. He found that the best music was visually more effective and attractive. He assumed that there was a correlation between music as we hear it and its notation; and he wondered if drawings that used notational motifs and elements could be played. He made his first “drawings in the manner of musical scores” that year. (After reviewing this text, Fred asked that the author refer to his scores “only” in this way. When the author suggested that it was perhaps too long to be repeated throughout the text, he laughed and said, “Well, use it at least once.”) Although people knew of his scores, and occasionally brought musicians to his house to play them, no one ever stayed with it for long. In 1967, both Walton Mendelson and Stephen Aldrich attended Prescott College, Prescott, Arizona, where Sommer was on the faculty. They barely knew of his reputation as a photographer, and nothing of the scores. Towards the end of September he invited them to his house for dinner, but they were to come early, and Mendelson was to bring my flute. “Can you play that?” he asked, as they looked at one of the scores, framed, and sitting atop his piano. With no guidance from him, they tried. Nervous and unsure of what they were getting into, they stopped midway through. Mendelson asked Aldrich where he was in the score: he pointed to where Mendelson had stopped. They knew then, mysterious though the scores were, they could be played. On May 9, 1968, the first public performance of the music of Frederick Sommer was given at Prescott College. Sommer had no musical training. He didn't know one note from another on his piano, nor could he read music. His record collection was surprisingly broad for that time, and his familiarity with it was thorough. What surprised Mendelson and Aldrich when they first met him were his visual skills: he could identify many specific pieces and almost any major composer by looking at the shapes of the notation on a page of printed music. Of Sommer's known works, his drawings, glue-color on paper, photographs, and writings, it is only these scores that have been a part of his creative life throughout the entirety of his artistic career. He was still drawing elegant scores in 1997. And like his skip reading, they are the closest insight to his creative process, thinking and aesthetic. Bruce Silverstein Gallery is the New York representative of the Frederick & Frances Sommer Foundation.Source: Wikipedia Frederick Sommer was an artistic polymath, with deep interests in painting, drawing, photography, sculpture and collage. With his work he intended to engage the world formally, to harvest its chance gifts, decontextualizing and rearranging found images and objects according to often shocking visual affinities. The artist played with a wide variety of forms, textures and scale to create startling compositions amid objects and sites others found too insignificant to notice. Sommer was intent on expanding the limits of where beauty could be found, and after viewing a display of original musical scores, he began to formulate his own theories correlating the graphic design to the sound of musical scores. Alongside many great artists of the period including Edward Weston, Max Ernst, Man Ray and Aaron Siskind, Sommer created a unique and avant-garde body of work formulated from his interest in Surrealism. His works have been exhibited by the world’s most important institutions, including the George Eastman House, Rochester; The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles; Delaware Art Museum; Serpentine Gallery, London; Charles Egan Gallery, New York; Philadelphia College of Art; Washington Gallery of Modern Art, Washington D.C.; Pasadena Art Museum, California; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Institute of Design, Chicago; Zimmergalerie Franck, Germany; and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Work by the artist is represented in major museum collections internationally such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C.; Art Institute of Chicago; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.; Maison Européenne de la Photographie; George Eastman House, Rochester; and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Sommer’s work has been published widely. Noteworthy publications include Frederick Sommer: Photography, Drawing, Collage (2005), The Mistress of the World Has No Name: Where Images Come From (1987), Frederick Sommer at Seventy Five, a Retrospective (1980), and Venus, Jupiter and Mars: The Photographs of Frederick Sommer (1980).Source: Bruce Silverstein Gallery
Ming Smith
United States
1973
Ming Smith is an American photographer. She was the first African-American female photographer whose work was acquired by the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. Smith was born in Detroit, Michigan, and raised in Columbus, Ohio. After graduating from Howard University in 1973, she moved to New York City, where she found work modeling. While in New York she met photographer Anthony Barboza, who was an early influence. Smith's approach to photography has included in-camera techniques such as playing with focus, darkroom techniques like double exposure, collage techniques and paint on prints. Her work is less engaged with documentation of events than with expression of experience. It has been described as surreal and ethereal, as the New York Times observed: "Her work, personal and expressive, draws from a number of artistic sources, preeminently surrealism. She has employed a range of surrealist techniques: photographing her subjects from oblique angles, shooting out of focus or through such atmospheric effects as fog and shadow, playing on unusual juxtapositions, even altering or painting over prints." Smith's early work was composed of photos that were shot quickly to produce elaborate scenes, and due to this process many of her photos have double dates. She has used the technique of hand-tinting in some of her work, notably her Transcendence series. Ming Smith has photographed many important black cultural figures during her career, including Alvin Ailey and Nina Simone. In 1973 Smith was featured in the first volume of the Black Photographers Annual, a publication closely affiliated with the Black Arts Movement of the 1960s and early 1970s. Smith had her first exhibition at Cinandre, a hairdressing salon, in 1973 as well. At Cinandre, she met Grace Jones, whom she photographed wearing a black and white tutu on occasion. Smith recalls that she and Jones would talk about surviving as black artists. Smith reflects on the memories by saying: "We came out of Jim Crow. And so just coming to New York and trying to be a model or anything was new." Two years later (1975), Smith became the first female member of the Harlem-based photography collective Kamoinge, under director Roy DeCarava. The Kamoinge Workshop was founded in New York in 1963 to support the work of black photographers in a field then dominated by white men. The collective, which still exists today, has undertaken a range of initiatives, including exhibitions, lectures, workshops, and the publishing of portfolios for distribution to museums. Smith participated with Kamoinge in three groups shows in New York and Guyana. Smith dropped off a portfolio at the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA), where the receptionist mistook her for a messenger. When she returned, she was taken into the curator's office. Susan Kismaric named a price for Smith's work, which Smith declined due to the price not paying off her bills. Kismaric asked Smith to reconsider, which she eventually did. Shortly after, she became the first Black woman photographer to be included in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) in New York City. In addition to the MOMA, Smith's art has been featured at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture and the Smithsonian Anacostia Museum & Center for African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. Smith has twice exhibited at the Bellevue Hospital Centre in Morristown, New Jersey, through their Art in the Atrium exhibitions. The first was in 1995, for Cultural Images: Sweet Potato Pie, an exhibit curated by Russell A. Murray. In 2008 she contributed as part of the exhibition New York City: In Focus, part of Creative Destinations 2008 Exhibition of African American Art. Smith's photographs are included in the 2004 Ntozake Shange book The Sweet Breath of Life: A Poetic Narrative of the African-American Family and Life. In 2010, her work was included in MOMA's exhibition Pictures by Women: A History of Modern Photography. This exhibition recontextualized Smith's work alongside that of Diane Arbus and marked a growing interest in Smith's work. Organized by curator Roxana Marcoci, it was curated by Sarah Meister through the Department of Photography. In 2017, a major survey exhibition of Smith's work was held at the Steven Kasher Gallery in New York. The exhibition featured 75 vintage black-and-white prints that represented Smith's career. Smith has collaborated with filmmaker Arthur Jafa in the Serpentine Sackler Gallery's 2017 show, Arthur Jafa: A Series of Utterly Improbable, yet Extraordinary Renditions (Featuring Ming Smith, Frida Orupabo and Missylanyus). That same year, she was featured in the Tate Modern group exhibition Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power, curated by Mark Godfrey and Zoé Whitley. The show received international acclaim before traveling to Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, The Brooklyn Museum, The Broad, the de Young Museum of San Francisco and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Since then, Smith's work was featured in solo presentations by Jenkins Johnson Gallery both at Frieze New York and Frieze Masters in 2019, the former of which receiving the Frieze Stand Prize. In 2020, Ming's work will be included in the group exhibition Working Together: Louis Draper and the Kamoinge Workshop at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond, VA. From there, the exhibition will travel to The J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, CA, and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY.[19] Smith's work is in museum collections including the National Gallery of Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, Brooklyn Museum of Art, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Detroit Institute of Arts, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, and the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. Some of Smith's work displayed in the Museum of Modern Art depicts motherhood in Harlem. These photos are taken using a documentary style way of photographing these subjects. Ming Smith lives and works in New York City.Source: Wikipedia Ming Smith is known for her informal, in-action portraits of black cultural figures, from Alvin Ailey to Nina Simone and a wide range of jazz musicians. Ming’s career emerged formally with the publication of the Black Photographer’s Annual in 1973. She was an early member of the Kamoinge Workshop, an association of several generations of black photographers. Ming has traveled extensively, showing her viewers a cosmopolitan world filled with famous landmarks and extraordinary landscapes. People continue to be her most treasured subjects. This is most apparent in her series depicting African American life. Ming’s early style was to shoot fast and produce complicated and elaborate images in the developing and post-printing processes, so that many of her pictures carry double dates. She experimented with hand-tinting in My Father’s Tears, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico (1977/1979). Ming continues to expand the role of photography with her exploration of image and paint in the more recent, large-scale Transcendence series. Ming’s place in photography’s 175-year history was recognized by her inclusion in the Museum of Modern Art’s groundbreaking exhibition Pictures by Women: A History of Modern Photography in 2010. Ming Smith's photography is held in collections in the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, New York; the Smithsonian Anacostia Museum & Center for African American History and Culture, Washington, DC and the AT&T Corporation.Source: Steven Kasher Gallery
Khanh Phan Thi
Vietnam
1985
Hi I'm Khanh Phan, I'm 34 and I'm from Vietnam. I was born in 1985. I was born in Quỳnh Phụ, Thái Bình, a mainly agricultural land. My parents were farmers. I currently work at the bank and I am a bank teller. Photography is my passion. After a broken marriage in 2017, I was heartbroken and desperated and losing faith in life. Then I thought, I couldn't be like this forever, I needed to get over it and I bought a camera. First I went to take photos of flowers in a park near my house, then I realized that Vietnam, my beloved country, has so many hidden fabulous natural and cultural scenes that only few places in the world have. I have been to many places, met and learned about the different regional customs and practices. I then took those pictures, posted them on social media, and became popular with my friends. Photography has changed my life, got me through difficult times and is now my only personal joy today. At first I received strong opposition from my family. My mother thinks photography is too dangerous. I often have to go to the sunrise photograph from 4 am, come home after sunset. There are nights when I wait for the night dew, or milkyway, I have to be outside all night. My mother worried that I would be in danger of being robbed because women who go out late at night are very dangerous. And with my income, my mother is afraid that I will not be able to take care of my son and maintain a stable life if i pursues photography because photographic equipment is very expensive. I have never taken a class in photography and photoshop, I myself researched and practiced on photoshop and learned the experience for myself. I have been taking pictures for 2 years. Finally, with my own efforts, I received some small awards in photography, my mother believed in me and she supported my work. Vietnam is a country with many feudal dynasties. The Vietnamese family is mainly patriarchal. Today Vietnamese women know how to fight for gender equality, a few participate in politics and hold important positions in the state, but the gender discrimination is still quite clear. In addition to working for a living as a man does, we also hold the maternity role, take care of childeren and family, do the houseworks and rarely have the time to do the things we love. In order to persue my passion for photography, I have to sacrifice my happiness. I could not get married again. My income is about 15 million VND per month (about 600$ per month). With that income, it is enough to raise my son and still has a small part of it for photography enthusiasts including equipments and travel expenses. I often had to take pictures alone, and experienced many life-threatening things like staying in the cemetery alone at night when waiting for the sunrise at the churchs in Thanh Xa, Bao Loc, Lam Dong, wrestling with waves at Hang Rai, Phan Rang seashores, climbing mountains, or wading into swamps. Sometimes I forget I'm a woman. I have won a number of awards such as Sonyworld award 2019, Skypixel 2019, Drone award of Siena 2019 but some people do not recognize my ability and efforts. They think I'm lucky and for the reason that I am a woman. Vietnam from Above Vietnam is a beautiful country with a diverse culture. Each region will have many unique cultural features with traditional villages that are hundreds of years old. The Vietnamese people stick to the traditional profession and take it as a way of gratitude to their ancestors. Although the traditional profession is very hard and low-income compared to other modern jobs, the artisans still stick to the profession as flesh and blood and want to pass it on to future generations. The daily lives and jobs of Vietnamese workers are recorded from above.
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