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Diane Fenster
Diane Fenster
Diane Fenster

Diane Fenster

Country: United States
Birth: 1948

I view myself as an alchemist, using alternative process, toy camera and digital tools to delve into fundamental human conditions and issues. My work is literary and emotional, full of symbolism and multiple layers of meaning with a style that marries photography with evocative and fragmented imagery. I am currently exploring several antiquarian processes including lumen printing and photo-encaustic. My work (exhibited since 1990) first received notice during the era of early experimentations with digital imaging and has appeared in numerous publications. I have been a guest lecturer at many and various seminars and conferences. My work has been internationally exhibited and is part of museum, corporate and private collections.

A Long History Of Dark Sleep: Anxiety and insomnia self-portraits during the pandemic of COVID-19
In this time of Covid-19, I sleep alone but fear is my lover. We embrace fretfully and stare at the ceiling. At this late hour, there is no one to call, all the lines are dead and the buses have stopped running. This is my chance to record anxiety, to photograph the noir that surrounds me and find some truth and perhaps beauty in the dead of night. The camera comes to bed with me and a flashlight is my light-source.

I have never liked being photographed. A series based on self-portraits could not have happened until this moment in time. Coming face to face with potential death carried on the breeze by an invisible agent has the power to propel me to self-examination in spite of distress. My aim is fretful, the focus unsteady. It's all about chance, isn't it, what the lens captures, who gets the virus.
 

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More Great Photographers To Discover

Cindy Sherman
United States
1954
Cindy Sherman was born in 1954 in Glen Ridge, New Jersey. Sherman earned a BA from Buffalo State College, State University of New York (1976). In self-reflexive photographs and films, Cindy Sherman invents myriad guises, metamorphosing from Hollywood starlet to clown to society matron. Often with the simplest of means—a camera, a wig, makeup, an outfit—Sherman fashions ambiguous but memorable characters that suggest complex lives that exist outside of the frame. Leaving her works untitled, Sherman refuses to impose descriptive language on her images—relying instead on the viewer’s ability to develop narratives, as an essential component of appreciating the work. While rarely revealing her private intentions, Sherman’s investigations have a compelling relationship to public images, from kitsch (film stills and centerfolds) to art history (Old Masters and Surrealism) to green-screen technology and the latest advances in digital photography. Sherman’s exhaustive study of portraiture and self-portraiture—often a playful mixture of camp and horror, heightened by gritty realism—provides a new lens through which to examine societal assumptions surrounding gender and the valuation of concept over style. Among her awards are the Guild Hall Academy of the Arts Lifetime Achievement Award for Visual Arts (2005); American Academy of Arts and Sciences Award (2003); National Arts Award (2001); a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Award (1995); and others. Her work has appeared in major exhibitions at Sprüth Magers, Berlin (2009); Jeu de Paume, Paris (2006); the Museum of Modern Art, New York (1997); and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (1997); among others. Sherman has participated in many international events, including SITE Santa Fe (2004); the Venice Biennale (1982, 1995); and five Whitney Biennial exhibitions. Cindy Sherman lives and works in New York.
Beatrix Jourdan
Beatrix Jourdan (Bea Mészöly) was born in Budapest, attended The Hungarian University of Fine Arts, and is both a freelance graphic designer and photographer. Photography has been exhibited in solo and group shows in Luxembourg, Belgium/Brussels, London, Hungary, Italy, Kuala Lumpur, Senegal/Dakar Argentina and the USA. She is currently based in Dakar, Senegal. "Being a professional graphic designer I worked with photos shot by others, making art catalogues and book covers, designing magazines and advertising. Sometimes when I had not enough photos for creative process, I started to shoot for my work and found myself deeply involved in the process. Fine art photography inherits means of expression like the use of light, composition, shape, line, rhythm, colour, etc. from painting and drawing. But what is most important for me it suggests principle of duality, originality through lack of originality, reflection, illusion, intricacy, which confuses people who want to see in the photo a phenomenon of objectivity, simplicity and straightness – all these I try to keep in my mind and share in my works. I believe that the concept of photography is not only a faithful reproduction of reality, but also a way of showing emotions, human relations, and that it is also a form of communication between a photograph and the viewer. Thus, the camera is only a tool for the technical execution of the art form, and a catalyst for developing and displaying feelings." Interview with Beatrix Jourdan All About Photo: When did you realize you wanted to be a photographer? Beatrix Jourdan: I started working as a graphic designer, and choosing the right photo to work on was not so simple: sometimes I felt upset as it was very difficult to create a "communication-bridge" between the message and the composition that was in my hands. Then I started to take photos on my own: I perfectly knew what was in my mind, and the only thing I could do was taking photos, in order to translate my thoughts into reality. AAP: Where did you study photography? BJ: I was the "teacher of myself", as I began to spend a lot of time in the dark room, where - making a lot of mistakes, obviously! - at the end I understood how to manipulate and develop photos. AAP: Do you have a mentor or role model? BJ: No, I don't. I can admire other photographers' work, but I never wanted to have a mentor. AAP: How long have you been a photographer? BJ: 2005 can be considered the turning point of my professional life, as I abandoned my work as a graphic designer in order to become a photographer. AAP: Do you remember your first shot? What was it? BJ: Uh... what a difficult question! I can't say for sure but my dog could probably be my first subject. AAP: What or who inspires you? BJ: Everything around... The world that surrounds me everlastingly inspires me in my shots. Bodies, houses, situations... there are so many things that can be shot that sometimes I run the risk to lose myself in my own passion... AAP: How could you describe your style? BJ: Honestly, I really do not know. The "subjects" always influence my style... I love to help the observer, guiding his attention on a particular aspect, the same that caught my attention. AAP: Do you spend a lot of time editing your images? For what purpose? BJ: Yes. I always edit my photos. The photos are the way I like the most to begin to "paint", in order to translate into reality what I feel and "need" to show. AAP: What advice would you give a young photographer? BJ: Never try to copy any style from other photographers: just look deep inside and find yourself in the reality you shoot. AAP: Your best memory as a photographer? BJ: Every shot is deeply connected to a person or to a situation... The time I spend with someone always becomes my best memory. AAP: The compliment that touched you most? BJ: Every compliment touches me!! AAP: If you were someone else who would it be? BJ: ...even if I deeply love a photo which is not mine, I never say "I would have shot it". That's because a photo is part of the photographer that takes it. A photo is not only a "clic", it is a powerful mix of technique, feelings, emotions, background and thoughts. I cannot have the same "mix" as another photographer, so when I look at a photo I love, I prefer to feel the love the photographer has put into it. AAP: Anything else you would like to share? BJ: Not very original but: Shoot when you need to shoot, as time never goes back.
Richard Avedon
United States
1923 | † 2004
Richard Avedon (1923-2004) was born and lived in New York City. His interest in photography began at an early age, and he joined the Young Men's Hebrew Association (YMHA) camera club when he was twelve years old. He attended DeWitt Clinton High School in the Bronx, where he co-edited the school's literary magazine, The Magpie, with James Baldwin. He was named Poet Laureate of New York City High Schools in 1941. Avedon joined the armed forces in 1942 during World War II, serving as Photographer's Mate Second Class in the U.S. Merchant Marine. As he described it, "My job was to do identity photographs. I must have taken pictures of one hundred thousand faces before it occurred to me I was becoming a photographer." After two years of service, he left the Merchant Marine to work as a professional photographer, initially creating fashion images and studying with art director Alexey Brodovitch at the Design Laboratory of the New School for Social Research. At the age of twenty-two, Avedon began working as a freelance photographer, primarily for Harper's Bazaar. Initially denied the use of a studio by the magazine, he photographed models and fashions on the streets, in nightclubs, at the circus, on the beach and at other uncommon locations, employing the endless resourcefulness and inventiveness that became a hallmark of his art. Under Brodovitch's tutelage, he quickly became the lead photographer for Harper's Bazaar. From the beginning of his career, Avedon made formal portraits for publication in Theatre Arts, Life, Look, and Harper's Bazaar magazines, among many others. He was fascinated by photography's capacity for suggesting the personality and evoking the life of his subjects. He registered poses, attitudes, hairstyles, clothing and accessories as vital, revelatory elements of an image. He had complete confidence in the two-dimensional nature of photography, the rules of which he bent to his stylistic and narrative purposes. As he wryly said, "My photographs don't go below the surface. I have great faith in surfaces. A good one is full of clues." After guest-editing the April 1965 issue of Harper's Bazaar, Avedon quit the magazine after facing a storm of criticism over his collaboration with models of color. He joined Vogue, where he worked for more than twenty years. In 1992, Avedon became the first staff photographer at The New Yorker, where his portraiture helped redefine the aesthetic of the magazine. During this period, his fashion photography appeared almost exclusively in the French magazine Égoïste. Throughout, Avedon ran a successful commercial studio, and is widely credited with erasing the line between "art" and "commercial" photography. His brand-defining work and long associations with Calvin Klein, Revlon, Versace, and dozens of other companies resulted in some of the best-known advertising campaigns in American history. These campaigns gave Avedon the freedom to pursue major projects in which he explored his cultural, political, and personal passions. He is known for his extended portraiture of the American Civil Rights movement, the Vietnam war and a celebrated cycle of photographs of his father, Jacob Israel Avedon. In 1976, for Rolling Stone magazine, he produced "The Family," a collective portrait of the American power elite at the time of the country's bicentennial election. From 1979 to 1985, he worked extensively on a commission from the Amon Carter Museum of American Art, ultimately producing the show and book In the American West. Avedon's first museum retrospective was held at the Smithsonian Institution in 1962. Many major museum shows followed, including two at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (1978 and 2002), the Minneapolis Institute of Arts (1970), the Amon Carter Museum of American Art (1985), and the Whitney Museum of American Art (1994). His first book of photographs, Observations, with an essay by Truman Capote, was published in 1959. He continued to publish books of his works throughout his life, including Nothing Personal in 1964 (with an essay by James Baldwin), Portraits 1947-1977 (1978, with an essay by Harold Rosenberg), An Autobiography (1993), Evidence 1944-1994 (1994, with essays by Jane Livingston and Adam Gopnik), and The Sixties (1999, with interviews by Doon Arbus). After suffering a cerebral hemorrhage while on assignment for The New Yorker, Richard Avedon died in San Antonio, Texas on October 1, 2004. He established The Richard Avedon Foundation during his lifetime. Source: The Richard Avedon Foundation
Maroesjka Lavigne
Maroesjka Lavigne (b.1989, Belgium) gained her Masters in Photography at Ghent University in the summer of 2012. Her work has been shown internationally at the Foam Talent exhibition in Amsterdam, The Robert Mann Gallery in New York, Galerie Hug in Paris and Museum Saint Guislain in Gent, Belgium, among others. She self-published a book called ‘ísland’ in 2012 that sold out. In 2014 she published a postcard version of this book. In 2015 she made a commissioned work ‘Not seeing is a Flower’ in collaboration with the Flanders centre in Osaka. This was published in the catalog called Facing Japan. Her latest project 'Land of Nothingness' is made in Namibia and exhibited in the Robert Mann Gallery in New York. She was selected for the Talent Call at Fotomuseum Amsterdam (FOAM) Netherlands 2012 and was the winner of the Emerging Talent competition of Lensculture in 2014 with the series ‘You are More than beautiful‘. In 2015 she won the Harry Penningsprijs in Eindhoven,Netherlands and in 2016 she won 1st place in the Landscape Category at the Sony World Photography Awards. She is currently living and working in Ghent, Belgium.Source: www.maroesjkalavigne.be Island: "Travelling through Iceland for four months, a country I was unfamiliar with: The light was bright, colours were vivid, and by the end of my trip the sun kept on shining all night long. Snow still held the country in its veil, creating a big white void. This has a way of cleaning up the landscape, the scenery gets more graphic. Wondering how this scene would look like in wintertime, I decided to go back for another month in January. The country turns blue at dusk in wintertime. All colours fade. Cities look like scale models seeking shelter from the weather in the shadow of the mountains.It was my intention to express the dazzling moment, that sometimes, time seems to stop."
Pierre De Vallombreuse
Pierre de Vallombreuse was born in Bayonne in 1962. In twenty-five years of travel to all continents, he made a photographic collection of 41 indigenous peoples, with more than 130,000 photographs, paying tribute to their diversity.In contact with Joseph Kessel, a French author and traveler, de Vallombreuse felt a very early desire to be a witness of his time. In 1984, he entered the École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs in Paris with the idea of becoming a cartoonist. A trip to Borneo the next year, though, changed the course of his life. He shared his daily life with the Punans, the last nomads of the jungle. Normally a sedentary artist, de Vallombreuse decided to become a nomadic witness, and photography became his mode of expression. While still a student at the Arts Décoratifs in Paris, he took multiple trips to the Philippine jungle to stay with the Palawan people. In total, he lived with them for over two years. The first part of his work on this tribe was presented at the photographic festival Les Rencontres internationales de la photographie in Arles.De Vallombreuse was Secretary General of the Association of Anthropology and Photography (association Anthropologie et Photographie, Paris Diderot University). Since then, he has regularly collaborated with leading international magazines: GEO (France, Russia, Germany, Spain, South Korea, Japan), Sciences et Avenir, Le Monde 2, Le Figaro Magazine, Newsweek, El Mundo, El País, and La Stampa.About The Origins of Man (Hommes Racines)Encompassing five years of work, this project represents the commitment of a photographer with eleven indigenous peoples spread across the globe. Its main purpose is to show the intimate relationship between man and his environment. De Vallombreuse presented his work as a testament to the diversity of lifestyles, practices, and traditional knowledge that are embedded in very different environments. These cultures are repositories of knowledge essential to the preservation of biodiversity. De Vallombreuse aimed to promote a reflection on humanity sustainable whose corollary is the protection of nature.Whenever linked to a specific people, the project emphasizes the multiplicity of responses to living conditions imposed by nature and history. It is in this context that de Vallombreuse addresses this root concept. By meeting people entrenched in their territory and those who have been subjected to the test of uprooting, de Vallombreuse analyzed changes in life affecting our modernity. He worked to show how indigenous peoples are often the first victims of environmental disasters: food shortages, deforestation, global warming, pollution, and water war, crucial questions that, far from being local concerns, affect our mutual humanity.Since 2007, this project has resulted in 12 exhibitions and numerous publications.Souce WikipediaAbout SouverainesIn the West, feminists fight for equality with men. But elsewhere? In some traditional societies, women have a predominant social and spiritual part to play. There is equality, mutual respect and freedom for both genders. Amongst these people, women are recognized for their uniqueness and their skills.Pierre de Vallombreuse traveled to four South East Asian cultures where women play a crucial part in the family and in governance itself.In the matrilineal and matrilocal tribe of Khasi in the North-East part of India, children are given at birth the name of their mother and the youngest daughter inherits all the land and family properties.In the nonhierarchical tribe Palawan in the Philippines, men and women live in perfect equality, while emphasizing values such as goodwill, generosity and mutual assistance.In the southwestern part of China, status of women is unique in Moso, a population that practices all forms of matriarchy as children's education is entrusted with their maternal uncles.Finally in Malaysia, the Badjao abolish all forms of hierarchy and advocate for an egalitarian and libertarian civilization that is prominently in favor of women.
Fabian Muir
Australia
Fabian Muir is an award-winning Australian photographer based in Sydney. The principal motivation behind his projects and practice is visual storytelling with a focus on humanist issues. He is an Eddie Adams alumnus (USA) and represented by Michael Reid in Sydney and Berlin. He speaks fluent German, French and Spanish, while his Russian sputters with the determination of a Lada on a rather steep incline. His images have featured in major solo and group exhibitions and festivals around the world and have been acquired by numerous significant collections. His fine art series addressing social challenges and injustice confronting refugees, entitled 'Blue Burqa in a Sunburnt Country' (2014) and 'Urban Burqa' (2017), as well as his two-year survey of daily life in the DPRK (North Korea) have attracted global press, television and radio coverage. He has also spent years surveying the legacy of the Soviet Union in the aftermath of its disintegration. Outlets include The Guardian / The Atlantic / VICE / BBC World TV / CNN International TV / LensCulture / SPIEGEL / Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung / BBC Asian Network / BBC Digital / FotoEvidence / PDN / Vogue Entertaining + Travel / Sueddeutsche Zeitung / Channel 9 Australia / BuzzFeed / World Photography Organisation Blog / Leica Magazine / Vision (China) / ZEISS Lenspire / France Culture (Radio France) / Photographic Museum of Humanity (PHmuseum) / Marie Claire / CNU (China) / El Observador (Portugal) / The Sydney Morning Herald / Fotoblogia (Poland) / LIFO / Bird in Flight / FAHRENHEITº Magazine / MindFood Magazine / Ampersand Magazine / Studio Magazine / Bios Monthly (Taiwan) / La Repubblica / Lenta.ru / The Age / Black + White Magazine / Konbini / Capture Magazine / Photojournalink / Expert-Russkiy Reporter / Street Photography Magazine / Feature Shoot / Gulf News (UAE) / The National (UAE) / PhotogrVphy Magazine / Musée Magazine New York / Forbes Magazine / London Telegraph / Lenscratch / Aesthetica Magazine / Portrait of Humanity book published by Hoxton Mini Press, London / The Independent / London Times / Huck Magazine / British Journal of Photography
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Call for Entries
AAP Magazine #18: B&W
Winners will receive $10,000 in cash awards, extensive press coverage and global recognition.