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Jacko Vassilev
Jacko Vassilev
Jacko Vassilev

Jacko Vassilev

Country: Bulgary
Birth: 1951

Jacko Vassilev is an internationally acclaimed art and press photographer, actively working in the field since 1983.
He was born in 1951 in Stara Zagora in Bulgaria. His work has been widely shown around the world in museums and galleries, institutes and private collections. His photographs are included in the permanent collections of the International Center for Photography in New York City, the European Center of Photography in Paris, the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston. Since 1996 Vassilev’s been residing and traveling around the United States.
 

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Edita Bizova
Czech
1987
Born in Czech Republic in 1987 I discovered my love for photography when I got my first camera from my father when I was 15. Since then I loved shooting images and I did a very poor job. It took me years to master the craft and I am still learning with help of mentors and accomplished photographers. I studied economics in high school and political science at university, after working corporate jobs and having my first kid I decided that corporate is not my way of life and I pursued photography as a profession. I started as a portrait photographer, focused mainly on women and glamour (dress and flowers) and after a few years I wanted to find my own voice in photography and make a mark. I am still looking because there are so many topics that spark my interest! I am now a professional photographer and I have won several awards that I am very proud of. I am being published in beautiful magazines internationally and that is kind of surreal for me as my daily reality is being a mother to two amazing kids in a small village. I am preparing my first book right now and the focus of my photography changed a little bit from glamour to beauty and something more minimal. When I create, I focus on color combination and creating mood and emotion with use of colors. In some works it might be subtle, but I love to play with colors to evoke emotion. Artistic Approach I am a creative rebel, I love to create beauty, but I also love humour and satire. I often get ideas to create something out of stereotypes (most times it is gender and social stereotypes), and show them to their most ridiculous extensions. I love to ask myself questions, the child in me is always curious why something is that way and not another. I am also very empathetic, I love to create to shine light on something important to me. When I create, I focus on color combination and creating mood and emotion with use of colors. In some works it might be subtle, but I love to play with colors to evoke emotion.
Robert Frank
Switzerland/United States
1924 | † 2019
Robert Frank was a Swiss photographer and documentary filmmaker, who became an American binational. His most notable work, the 1958 book titled The Americans, earned Frank comparisons to a modern-day de Tocqueville for his fresh and nuanced outsider's view of American society. Critic Sean O'Hagan, writing in The Guardian in 2014, said The Americans "changed the nature of photography, what it could say and how it could say it. it remains perhaps the most influential photography book of the 20th century." Frank later expanded into film and video and experimented with manipulating photographs and photomontage. I’m always looking outside, trying to look inside. Trying to say something that is true. But maybe nothing is really true. Except what’s out there. And what’s out there is always changing. -- Robert Frank Frank was born in Zürich, Switzerland, the son of Rosa (Zucker) and Hermann Frank. His family was Jewish. Robert states in Gerald Fox's 2004 documentary Leaving Home, Coming Home that his mother, Rosa (other sources state her name as Regina), had a Swiss passport, while his father, Hermann originating from Frankfurt, Germany had become stateless after losing his German citizenship as a Jew. They had to apply for Swiss citizenship for Robert and his older brother, Manfred. Though Frank and his family remained safe in Switzerland during World War II, the threat of Nazism nonetheless affected his understanding of oppression. He turned to photography, in part as a means to escape the confines of his business-oriented family and home, and trained under a few photographers and graphic designers before he created his first hand-made book of photographs, 40 Fotos, in 1946. Frank emigrated to the United States in 1947 and secured a job in New York City as a fashion photographer for Harper's Bazaar. In 1949, the new editor of Camera magazine, Walter Laubli (1902-1991), published a substantial portfolio of Jakob Tuggener pictures made at upper-class entertainments and in factories, alongside the work of the 25-year-old Frank who had just returned to his native Switzerland after two years abroad, with pages including some of his first pictures from New York. The magazine promoted the two as representatives of the 'new photography' of Switzerland. Tuggener was a role model for the younger artist, first mentioned to him by Frank's boss and mentor, Zurich commercial photographer Michael Wolgensinger (1913-1990) who understood that Frank was unsuited to the more mercenary application of the medium. Tuggener, as a serious artist who had left the commercial world behind, was the "one Frank really did love, from among all Swiss photographers," according to Guido Magnaguagno and Fabrik, as a photo book, was a model for Frank's Les Américains ('The Americans') published ten years later in Paris by Delpire, in 1958. He soon left to travel in South America and Europe. He created another hand-made book of photographs that he shot in Peru, and returned to the U.S. in 1950. That year was momentous for Frank, who, after meeting Edward Steichen, participated in the group show 51 American Photographers at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA); he also married fellow artist Mary Frank née Mary Lockspeiser, with whom he had two children, Andrea and Pablo. Though he was initially optimistic about the United States' society and culture, Frank's perspective quickly changed as he confronted the fast pace of American life and what he saw as an overemphasis on money. He now saw America as an often bleak and lonely place, a perspective that became evident in his later photography. Frank's own dissatisfaction with the control that editors exercised over his work also undoubtedly colored his experience. He continued to travel, moving his family briefly to Paris. In 1953, he returned to New York and continued to work as a freelance photojournalist for magazines including McCall's, Vogue, and Fortune. Associating with other contemporary photographers such as Saul Leiter and Diane Arbus, he helped form what Jane Livingston has termed The New York School of photographers (not to be confused with the New York School of art) during the 1940s and 1950s. In 1955, Frank achieved further recognition with the inclusion by Edward Steichen of seven of his photographs (many more than most other contributors) in the world-touring Museum of Modern Art exhibition The Family of Man that was to be seen by 9 million visitors and with a popular catalog that is still in print. Frank's contributions had been taken in Spain (of a woman kissing her swaddled babe-in-arms); of a bowed old woman in Peru; a rheumy-eyed miner in Wales; and the others in England and the US, including two (one atypically soft-focus) of his wife in pregnancy; and one (later to be included in The Americans) of six laughing women in the window of the White Tower Hamburger Stand on Fourteenth Street, New York City. The truth is somewhere between the documentary and the fictional, and that is what I try to show. What is real one moment has become imaginary the next. You believe what you see now, and the next second you don’t anymore. -- Robert Frank Inspired by fellow Swiss Jakob Tuggener's 1943 book Fabrik, Bill Brandt's The English at Home (1936), and Walker Evans's American Photographs (1938), and on the recommendation of Evans (a previous recipient), Alexey Brodovitch, Alexander Leiberman, Edward Steichen, and Meyer Schapiro, Frank secured a Guggenheim Fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation in 1955 to travel across the United States and photograph all strata of its society. Cities he visited included Detroit and Dearborn, Michigan; Savannah, Georgia; Miami Beach and St. Petersburg, Florida; New Orleans, Louisiana; Houston, Texas; Los Angeles, California; Reno, Nevada; Salt Lake City, Utah; Butte, Montana; and Chicago, Illinois. He took his family along with him for part of his series of road trips over the next two years, during which time he took 28,000 shots. 83 of these were selected by him for publication in The Americans. Frank's journey was not without incident. He later recalled the anti-Semitism to which he was subject in a small Arkansas town. "I remember the guy [policeman] took me into the police station, and he sat there and put his feet on the table. It came out that I was Jewish because I had a letter from the Guggenheim Foundation. They really were primitive." He was told by the sheriff, "Well, we have to get somebody who speaks Yiddish." ... "They wanted to make a thing out of it. It was the only time it happened on the trip. They put me in jail. It was scary. Nobody knew where I was." Elsewhere in the South, he was told by a sheriff that he had "an hour to leave town." Those incidents may have contributed to the dark view of America found in the work. Shortly after returning to New York in 1957, Frank met Beat writer Jack Kerouac "at a New York party where poets and Beatniks were," and showed him the photographs from his travels. However, according to Joyce Johnson, Kerouac's lover at the time, she met Frank while waiting for Kerouac to emerge from a conference with his editors, at Viking Press, looked at Frank's portfolio, and introduced them to each other. Kerouac immediately told Frank, "Sure I can write something about these pictures." He eventually contributed the introduction to the U.S. edition of The Americans. Frank also became lifelong friends with Allen Ginsberg, and was one of the main visual artists to document the Beat subculture, which felt an affinity with Frank's interest in documenting the tensions between the optimism of the 1950s and the realities of class and racial differences. The irony that Frank found in the gloss of American culture and wealth over this tension gave his photographs a clear contrast to those of most contemporary American photojournalists, as did his use of unusual focus, low lighting, and cropping that deviated from accepted photographic techniques. This divergence from contemporary photographic standards gave Frank difficulty at first in securing an American publisher. Les Américains was first published in 1958 by Robert Delpire in Paris, as part of its Encyclopédie Essentielle series, with texts by Simone de Beauvoir, Erskine Caldwell, William Faulkner, Henry Miller and John Steinbeck that Delpire positioned opposite Frank's photographs. It was finally published in 1959 in the United States, without the texts, by Grove Press, where it initially received substantial criticism. Popular Photography, for one, derided his images as "meaningless blur, grain, muddy exposures, drunken horizons and general sloppiness." Though sales were also poor at first, the fact that the introduction was by the popular Kerouac helped it reach a larger audience. Over time and through the inspiration of later artists, The Americans became a seminal work in American photography and art history, and is the work with which Frank is most clearly identified. In 1961, Frank received his first individual show, entitled Robert Frank: Photographer, at the Art Institute of Chicago. He also showed at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1962. By the time The Americans was published in the United States in 1959, Frank had moved away from photography to concentrate on filmmaking. Among his films was the 1959 Pull My Daisy, which was written and narrated by Kerouac and starred Ginsberg, Gregory Corso and others from the Beat circle. The Beats emphasized spontaneity, and the film conveyed the quality of having been thrown together or even improvised. Pull My Daisy was accordingly praised for years as an improvisational masterpiece, until Frank's co-director, Alfred Leslie, revealed in a November 28, 1968 article in the Village Voice that the film was actually carefully planned, rehearsed, and directed by him and Frank, who shot the film with professional lighting. Though Frank continued to be interested in film and video, he returned to still images in the 1970s, publishing his second photographic book, The Lines of My Hand, in 1972. This work has been described as a "visual autobiography", and consists largely of personal photographs. However, he largely gave up "straight" photography to instead create narratives out of constructed images and collages, incorporating words and multiple frames of images that were directly scratched and distorted on the negatives. None of this later work has achieved an impact comparable to that of The Americans. As some critics have pointed out, this is perhaps because Frank began playing with constructed images more than a decade after Robert Rauschenberg introduced his silkscreen composites—in contrast to The Americans, Frank's later images simply were not beyond the pale of accepted technique and practice by that time. Frank and Mary separated in 1969. He remarried, to sculptor June Leaf, and in 1971, moved to the community of Mabou, Nova Scotia in Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia in Canada. In 1974, his daughter, Andrea, was killed in a plane crash in Tikal, Guatemala. Also around this time, his son, Pablo, was first hospitalized and diagnosed with schizophrenia. Much of Frank's subsequent work dealt with the impact of the loss of both his daughter and subsequently his son, who died in an Allentown, Pennsylvania hospital in 1994. In 1995, in memory of his daughter, he founded the Andrea Frank Foundation, which provides grants to artists. After his move to Nova Scotia, Canada, Frank divided his time between his home there, in a former fisherman's shack on the coast, and his Bleecker Street loft in New York. He acquired a reputation for being a recluse (particularly since the death of Andrea), declining most interviews and public appearances. He continued to accept eclectic assignments, however, such as photographing the 1984 Democratic National Convention and directing music videos for artists such as New Order ("Run"), and Patti Smith ("Summer Cannibals"). Frank produced both films and still images, and helped organize several retrospectives of his art. His work has been represented by Pace/MacGill Gallery in New York since 1984. In 1994, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. presented the most comprehensive retrospective of Frank's work to date, entitled Moving Out. Frank died on September 9, 2019, at his home in Nova Scotia.Source: Wikipedia I have been frequently accused of deliberately twisting subject matter to my point of view. Above all, I know that life for a photographer cannot be a matter of indifference. Opinion often consists of a kind of criticism. But criticism can come out of love. It is important to see what is invisible to others—perhaps the look of hope or the look of sadness. Also it is always the instantaneous reaction to oneself that produces a photograph. -- Robert Frank
Cyrus Cornut
France
1977
Trained as an architect, the photographer's work primarily revolves around the city—its form, transformations, imprints, empty spaces, and the human behaviors it elicits. In 2006, his inaugural exploration of Chinese cities debuted at the Rencontres Internationales de la Photographie in Arles under the artistic direction of Raymond Depardon. He became a member of the Picturetank cooperative agency in 2007, remaining with them until its closure in 2017. In 2010, as part of the France 14 group, he presented "Travelling to the Outskirts," a project delving into the landscapes of mass housing in Île-de-France. Since 2011, his research has extended to the role of plants not only in the urban setting but also in rural landscapes. Presently, he is immersed in the creation of a 4x5 medium format collection, affording him a deliberate examination of urban transformations in both Asia and France. Additionally, he is engaged in a more artistic body of work, blending drawing, engraving, and photography. AWARDS and RESIDENCIES Winner Prix HSBC 2021 Shortlisted for the Camera Clara award, 2020 Mutation Residency. Transit/ Montpellier city 2019 ND Award 2018 1rst price. Shortlisted for the Camera Clara award, 2018 1rst price Singularlens 2018 Laureate of the « Albums du Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle » grant, 2014 Laureate visa de l’ANI 2012, Promenades Photographiques de Vendôme Shorlisted at the HSBC photography award, 2011 Laureate of the Visas de l’ANI, 2006 Villa Tamaris residency, Seyne sur Mer, 2006 CHONGQING, on the four shores of passing times Chongqing municipality, People’s Republic of China, population of 34 million. One of the world’s highest demographic and economic growth rates. The central urban area of 15 million souls is infused by almost 300 000 newcomers every year. Chongqing, the ''Mountain City,'' at the confluence of the Yangtze and Jialang Rivers, struggles to break through the fog that covers it all year long. Heir to the displaced from the Three Gorges dam and daughter to the Beijing authorities – who upgraded her to a municipality, raising her up to the same heights as her big sisters on the East coast – Chongqing has developed at a dizzying speed. Urban forms and infrastructure have sprung up, gravity-defying, embracing the shorelines of its four banks, each of them steeply carved out by the current of the water. The speed of urbanization has outperformed overtaken the slow rhythm of the fishermen, the erosion of the rivers, the powerful hatching of the mountains. The uninterrupted dance of the cranes and the excavators stack people ever higher in an unsettling quickness. No obstacle remains to stop the skyscrapers from surging up. They reproduce themselves almost identically, like metastases. The transport networks cross the water, pierce through the rock, and climb the hills, defiant of the power of the elements. The river has become the artery that the makes beat an economic heart that is resolutely turned towards the economic conquest of the West by way of the new silk road. Only the banks, almost wild, resist, remaining allied with the river and its caprices. People sitting on its embankments watch it meander, watch their sightlines get blocked out and its banks grow thicker. Here and there they still cultivate a few food-producing gardens while they wait fatalistically for the last bits of bare land to disappear.
Castro Frank
United States
Castro Frank is a Los Angeles based visual artist who has translated his personal experiences of growing up in the San Fernando Valley into a signature journalistic and candid approach to photography. Through captured moments that reveal the overlooked details of everyday life, to double exposures that force a viewer to question their perceptions, and now diving into the realm of abstraction to evoke deep seeded emotions, Castro's work defies the limitations of the photographic medium. Even his portraiture takes on a new life by not only capturing the raw essence of his subjects but the vitality of the city they inhabit. As a growing multidisciplinary artist, incorporating painting and other mediums into his work, Castro continually discovers new ways to envelope the viewer in the experiences encapsulated within his work. ​Castro's work has been exhibited in numerous solo and group exhibitions across California with institutions including South Grand, Rvcc Gallery, Communion Gallery, and Embed Gallery. The popularity of his work led to commissions from musicians as well as television networks utilizing his work in their stage design. His work has also been featured in large public installations and charity campaigns with nonprofit organizations, such as INCLUSIVACTION, to benefit the Los Angeles community. Additionally, works by Castro is featured in the Jumex Museum's founder, Eugenio Lopez's, private collection. His work received praise in prominent publications such as The Huffington Post and Los Angeles Times. Castro's work continues to evolve into new mediums, methods, and subjects. Through the development of his practice, he is excited to find new ways to capture the everyday. As he journeys on to create astounding imagery he hopes that his work will inspire youth to pursue their dreams. Exclusive Interview with Castro Frank
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