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Robert Bonk
Robert Bonk
Robert Bonk

Robert Bonk

Country: United States
Birth: 1955

Robert Bonk is an American Photographer who lives outside of Los Angeles.

A southerner by birth, he grew up on a lake in a subdivision outside of Jacksonville, Florida. The lake teemed with aligators and water moccasins. Spiders the size of soda cans waited in their webs for their next meal. Neighbors displayed trophies of marlin, swordfish and bluefish on their walls. It was a wild and viseral, poetic place which formed his imagination and layed the foundation for lifelong exploration of people and places.
 

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Johnny Kerr
United States
1982
Johnny Kerr is a fine art photographer based in the West Valley of Arizona’s Phoenix Metropolitan Area. Johnny is self-taught in the craft of photography but entered into his study of the medium with many years of art education and design experience. In 2003 he earned a Bachelor’s degree in Media Arts from the Art Institute of Phoenix and went on to make his living as a graphic designer. Johnny began learning and experimenting with photography in 2011 and in 2013 decided to shift his focus, pursuing photography as his primary medium of expression. He cites his graphic design experience, along with his appreciation for minimalist design, as having the largest influence on his vision as a fine art photographer. After deciding to change careers Johnny went back to school, earning his Master of Arts in Education degree in 2010. Johnny currently makes his living as a photography teacher in the greater Phoenix area, where he lives with his wife and daughter. STATEMENT Growing up in Arizona has certainly given me an appreciation for the unique beauty of the desert. However, I have never found my desert surroundings to be particularly inspiring in my artistic endeavors. Lacking the inspiration to capture my natural surroundings in a representational manner, I have found freedom and gratification in abstraction. I found architecture to be an inspiring subject matter for its graphic qualities, but my photographs are not really about the buildings. Each photograph is a study of the rudimentary elements that catch my attention: shape, space, volume, line, rhythm, etc. Drawing heavily from my graphic design experience, each architecture photograph represents an exercise in isolating those basic elements and trying to present them in a harmonious design. Often I have incorporated long exposure techniques to create images that seem to exist outside of the reality our eyes perceive on a daily basis. My goal has not been to abstract the subject beyond recognition, but to simplify, to pull it out of its usual context, and try to see the ordinary surroundings of city life in a new way. The lessons I learned from my exercises in abstracting architecture have also carried through into other subject matter, including landscape and seascape, helping me to find solace and inspiration in unexpected places.
Gregori Maiofis
Russia
1970
Gregori Maiofis was born in 1970 in Leningrad, Soviet Union, now St Petersburg, Russia. His grandparents, Solomon Maiofis (1911-1968) and Olga Ugriomova (1913-2009) were architects, father, Mikhail Maiofis (b. 1939) is a famous book illustrator. In 1987-1989 studied at the Academy of Arts (the Institute of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture n.a. Y. Repin) in St Petersburg at the graphic arts department. In 1991 his family moved to Los Angeles, California where he lived until 1995. Currently lives and works in St Petersburg, Russia. Gregori Maiofis has had solo exhibitions across Russia, Europe, and the U.S. since 1993. His work is in many museum collections including the following: Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Multimedia Art Museum, Moscow, The State Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, Moscow, Museum of modern Art, Moscow, Novy Museum, St Petersburg, Russia, National Gallery of Slovakia, Bratislava, Museum of Modern Art, Rio de Janeiro.Source: gregorimaiofis.com Gregori Maiofis (Russia, b. 1970) comes from a family lineage of artists and architects including his father, the renowned graphic artist, Mikhail Maiofis, who nurtured artistry early in his son's life. Maiofis is a classically trained printmaker and graphic artist who began his first photographic projects in 2000. Printmaking is still an integral part of the artist's oeuvre, which following experimentation with gelatin silver prints and several alternative processes, led to his now prominent use of bromoil and bromoil transfer printing. Common among the Pictorialist masters of the early 20th Century, the bromoil process allows the artist unique aesthetic abilities to manually control the color, tone and texture of the final picture on various surfaces. In the series Proverbs (Monograph available, Nazraeli Press, 2014) the artist uses proverb texts of various origins and visually interprets and conceptualizes them in whimsical staged compositions. Often working with trained animals including elephants, monkeys and predominantly a bear named Funt, Maiofis creates a new reality of interplay between human and animal. Several of the prints on view depict a dialogue of ballet between a Russian ballerina and the bear who appears thoroughly enthused by the performance before him.Source: The Eye of Photography In his work, Maiofis seems to follow the well-worn formulas of how to make “real art, art not for pleasure” but one does get certain pleasure all the same. That pleasure comes from vibrancy of the works’ surface, be it painting or photography. Maiofis has enriched his photography with his painting experience of how to “saturate the surface” of his works so that the “depth” of space in his photos is produced by an illusion of sombre depth like in Baroque painting rather than by multiplanarity of composition. In the photo series Fables he turned to the fables written by Ivan Krylov dubbed Russian La Fontaine in the latter half of the 18th and the earlier half of the 19th centuries. In conformity with the Soviet tradition those fables were for a long time interpreted as a reading matter for children. The artist refutes this view and creates a photographic semblance of space which, in complexity, is commensurable with the fables’ rich associative and semantic content. Here, he uses various forms of photography, combining collage, montage, and painting on photography, and using prints to build the scene for a new still. In his subsequent works, Gregori Maiofis mocks at artistic erudition itself by looking at “simple truths” crammed into a freshman’s head in the history-of-art class. As a rule, people don’t stop to think about the hidden meaning of objects habitually used in art. Maiofis subjects such cliches to ridicule, which brings about sudden recognition of how complex the habitual is. He provokes this recognition not unlike a practicing painter who would recognize that classical photography is the most expressive pictorial means known to him. He thus creates photography involving text that cannot be fully narrated elsewhere.Source: De Santos Gallery
Milos Nejezchleb
Czech Republic
1978
The Czech photographer Miloš Nejezchleb was born in 1978. He lives in the Czech Republic and has got three children. He has only been involved in conceptual photography since 2016; however, he has already won several prestigious international awards. He is the absolute winner of the Fine Art Photography Award in London (2021), where he won the FINE ART PHOTOGRAHER OF THE YEAR title. He is the winner of the Malta International Photo Award (2020), two-time gold medalist in the Trierenberg Super Circuit competition in Linz and he is also, among others, silver medalist in IPA 2021 - International Photography Award. The most characteristic features of his photographs are noticeably colorful elements with a clear focus on the art of photography. Miloš often chooses current social topics, which he processes as stories using photographic series. These stories are narrated by people. He works on such series on his own and ensures the entire Art direction. He himself designs styling, looks for locations and carries out post-production. Besides conceptual art, where he points out currently discussed topics, Miloš has 2long-term thematic photographic cycles which document stories of real people. The most famous of them is photographic cycle "Stronger", in which Milos takes photos of people who have gone through hard times in their lives, and thanks to this experience they have become stronger personalities. Milos is at the beginning of his photographic career. He was fascinated by art photography when he bought his first camera. It happened before the birth of his first daughter. He is currently working on other production-intensive projects.
Charles Marville
France
1813 | † 1879
Charles Marville, the pseudonym of Charles François Bossu (Paris 17 July 1813 – 1 June 1879 Paris), was a French photographer, who mainly photographed architecture, landscapes and the urban environment. He used both paper and glass negatives. He is most well known for taking pictures of ancient Parisian quarters before they were destroyed and rebuilt under "Haussmannization", Baron Haussmann's new plan for modernization of Paris. In 1862, he was named official photographer of Paris. Marville's past was largely a mystery until Sarah Kennel of the National Gallery of Art and independent researcher Daniel Catan discovered that Marville's given name was Charles-François Bossu. That newly-found association allowed them to discover a variety of biographical information, including photographs of his family, that had been considered lost to time. Bossu was born in 1813 in Paris. Coming from an "established" Paris family, he trained as a painter, illustrator and engraver. He assumed the pseudonym Charles Marville around 1832, and began working in his field. After 17 years, as an illustrator, he took up photography around 1850. He had no family, but a long-time companion was included in his will. He died in 1879 in Paris.Source: Wikipedia Charles Marville was commissioned by the city of Paris to document both the picturesque, medieval streets of old Paris and the broad boulevards and grand public structures that Baron Georges-Eugène Haussmann built in their place for Emperor Napoleon III. Marville achieved moderate success as an illustrator of books and magazines early in his career. It was not until 1850 that he shifted course and took up photography—a medium that had been introduced just 11 years earlier. His poetic urban views, detailed architectural studies, and picturesque landscapes quickly garnered praise. Although he made photographs throughout France, Germany, and Italy, it was his native city— especially its monuments, churches, bridges, and gardens—that provided the artist with his greatest and most enduring source of inspiration. By the end of the 1850s, Marville had established a reputation as an accomplished and versatile photographer. From 1862, as the official photographer for the city of Paris, he documented aspects of the radical modernization program that had been launched by Emperor Napoleon III and his chief urban planner, Baron Georges-Eugène Haussmann. In this capacity, Marville photographed the city’s oldest quarters, and especially the narrow, winding streets slated for demolition. Even as he recorded the disappearance of Old Paris, Marville turned his camera on the new city that had begun to emerge. Many of his photographs celebrate its glamour and comforts, while other views of the city’s desolate outskirts attest to the unsettling social and physical changes wrought by rapid modernization. Haussmann not only redrew the map of Paris, he transformed the urban experience by commissioning and installing tens of thousands of pieces of street furniture, kiosks, Morris columns for posting advertisements, pissoirs, garden gates, and, above all, some twenty thousand gas lamps. By the time he stepped down as prefect in 1870, Paris was no longer a place where residents dared to go out at night only if accompanied by armed men carrying lanterns. Taken as a whole, Marville’s photographs of Paris stand as one of the earliest and most powerful explorations of urban transformation on a grand scale.Source: Howard Greenberg Gallery
Jeff Brouws
United States
1955
Jeff Brouws, born in San Francisco in 1955, is a self-taught artist. Pursuing photography since age 13, where he roamed the railroad and industrial corridors of the South Bay Peninsula, Brouws has compiled a visual survey of America's evolving rural, urban and suburban cultural landscapes. Using single photographs as subtle narratives and compiling typologies to index the nation's character, he revels in the "readymades" found in many of these environments. Influenced by the New Topographic Movement, the artist books of Ed Ruscha (to whom Brouws paid homage with his Twentysix Abandoned Gasoline Stations project in 1992) as well as the writings of cultural geographers like J.B. Jackson, Dolores Hayden, John Stilgoe, Mike Davis and Leo Marx, Brouws has combined anthropological inquiry with a somber aesthetic vision mining the overlooked, the obsolete, and the mundane. Initially engaged with what Walker Evans termed the "historical contemporary" along America's secondary highways beginning in the late 1980s, over the following twenty years Brouws has extended this inquiry into the everyday places occupied by most Americans – the franchised landscapes of strip malls, homogenized housing tracts and fast food chains. Since moving to the Northeast in the late 1990s, Brouws has also investigated inner city areas, abandoned manufacturing sites, and other commercial ruins found in Buffalo, Detroit, Cleveland and Youngstown. His photographs of these discarded spaces—the byproducts of de-industrialization, white flight, disinvestment, and failed urban policy—suggest an underlying disparity throughout a country that purports economic equality and social justice for all. Alongside his photographic practice, for the past thirty years Brouws has researched and written about the historic and aesthetic development of railroad photography in America, authoring and editing numerous books on the subject including The Call of Trains: Railroad Photographs by Jim Shaughnessy, A Passion for Trains: The Railroad Photography of Richard Steinheimer, and his most recent publication (edited with Wendy Burton) Some Vernacular Railroad Photographs. In 2013 Brouws (along with co-editors Wendy Burton and Hermann Zschiegner and authors Phil Taylor and Mark Rawlinson) published Various Small Books: Referencing the Various Small Books by Ed Ruscha (MIT Press). This was a multi-year, collaborative project involving ninety artists from around the world. Honoring Ruscha’s seminal books from the 1960s and 70s like Twentysix Gasoline Stations, VSB went on to become the defacto catalog for the Ed Ruscha: Books & Co exhibition staged at the Gagosian Gallery, New York and the Museum Brandhorst in Munich. Brouws’s photography is represented by The Robert Mann Gallery, The Robert Koch Gallery, The Robert Klein Gallery, and The Craig Krull Gallery. His work is in numerous private and public collections including the Whitney Museum of American Art, Princeton University Art Museum and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
El Lissitzky
Russia
1890 | † 1941
Lazar Markovich Lissitzky, known as El Lissitzky, was a Russian artist, designer, photographer, typographer, polemicist and architect. He was an important figure of the Russian avant-garde, helping develop suprematism with his mentor, Kazimir Malevich, and designing numerous exhibition displays and propaganda works for the Soviet Union. His work greatly influenced the Bauhaus and constructivist movements, and he experimented with production techniques and stylistic devices that would go on to dominate 20th-century graphic design. Lissitzky's entire career was laced with the belief that the artist could be an agent for change, later summarized with his edict, "das zielbewußte Schaffen" (goal-oriented creation). Lissitzky, of Lithuanian Jewish оrigin, began his career illustrating Yiddish children's books in an effort to promote Jewish culture in Russia. When only 15 he started teaching, a duty he would maintain for most of his life. Over the years, he taught in a variety of positions, schools, and artistic media, spreading and exchanging ideas. He took this ethic with him when he worked with Malevich in heading the suprematist art group UNOVIS, when he developed a variant suprematist series of his own, Proun, and further still in 1921, when he took up a job as the Russian cultural ambassador to Weimar Germany, working with and influencing important figures of the Bauhaus and De Stijl movements during his stay. In his remaining years he brought significant innovation and change to typography, exhibition design, photomontage, and book design, producing critically respected works and winning international acclaim for his exhibition design. This continued until his deathbed, where in 1941 he produced one of his last works – a Soviet propaganda poster rallying the people to construct more tanks for the fight against Nazi Germany. In 2014, the heirs of the artist, in collaboration with Van Abbemuseum and leading worldwide scholars on the subject, established the Lissitzky Foundation in order to preserve the artist's legacy and to prepare a catalogue raisonné of the artist's oeuvre.Source: Tate Margarita Tupitsyn included the essays by Ulrich Pohlmann and Mathew Drutt in her book Beyond the Abstract Cabinet (1999). This book was aimed at an audience with an interest in Russian photography and modernism. The essays in this book brought Lissitzky’s work to limelight. The essays mention various aspect of his work. From 1922 to 1925, Lissitzky experimented with photograph collage and photograms. While working on photograms, Lissitzky experimented with photomontage as well. He was able to achieve vibrant compositions using several printing exposures in order to utilize the effects of transparency. These experiments help him in many advertisements he produced starting from 1924 until 1925. Lissitzky was among the first avant-gardists to revive the photogram or cameraless photographic image, combining this technique with experiments in montage to generate fantastic portraits and design proposals. Largely using photography, Lissitzky also rethought the illustrated book as an architectural form, to be tabbed through, unfolded in all directions, and made into a fully three-dimensional object. These many ideas were deployed in the service of artists and arts organizations, as well as, above all, institutions of the Soviet state, on whose behalf Lissitzky was committed to “influencing the human psyche” collectively and in the public realm. He survived the reversals of fortune suffered by so many politically committed artists in the 1930s but had chronically poor health and died of tuberculosis.Source: The Art Institute of Chicago
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