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Robert Virga
Robert Virga
Robert Virga

Robert Virga

Country: United States

Robert Virga is a photographer residing in the New York City metropolitan area. Though largely self-taught, he has taken Master Classes with Mary Ellen Mark and Bruce Davidson. Working with film and the traditional darkroom, his street photography portrays a social landscape of extremes, capturing reality at its most expressive. Richly emotional, lyrical and untainted by interference or staged detail. A tableau of relationships, the human condition, life and death. Reminding us of how large a fraction of what we see won't exist in its present form only a moment from now.

A humanist portrayal...candid and without comment or sentimentality, un-selfconscious in its theatricality and self-presentation. Displaying ourselves with grace and self-confidence, a sense of timelessness...and a little humor. In solitude and freed from any mystery.

Social documentary and romanticism combined in the same instant. Our lives, in a matter of seconds, are caught in the act... where the obvious and mundane transition into something more provocative.

His work has been featured in both solo and group exhibitions in the United States, Italy and Spain. In addition, he has been published and reviewed in, among others, Black and White Magazine, Photography Gala Awards, FotoNostrum Gallery, Urban Photo Awards, and winner of the 14th Pollux Street Photography Award.
 

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More Great Photographers To Discover

Vicky Martin
United Kingdom
Vicky Martin is an award winning fine art photographer based in the UK. Although she studied art and photography in the 1990s it was not until 2008 when she was awarded a prestigious Rhubarb Bursary that she was able to pursue photography full time. Since then Vicky has had her work published and exhibited nationally and internationally: from Europe to the USA in solo and group shows. Her work continues to garner many awards and nominations, including Winner of Single Image in the Professional Fine Art Category at the 2018 12th Julia Margaret Cameron Awards, Directors Choice Award in the Portrait Exhibition at Praxis Gallery, Winner of the Professional Fine Art Category in the 2016 Fine Art Photography Awards, nominations and honorable mentions in the Julia Margaret Cameron Awards, IPA ,TIFA, IPOTY, PX3 Color Red, Neutral Density Awards, CHROMATIC International Color Photography Awards, La Grande Photo Awards, International Color Awards, Siena International Photo Awards, Photography Grant Award, the Aesthetica Art Prize and 1st place winner AAP Magazine Colors. Throughout Vicky's practice she explores her fascination with identity and the emotions that are created by considered scenarios that are based in both fantasy and reality. Her work explores identity through staging and creating realities for characters who often display conflicting emotions with situations. Vicky seeks to encourage the viewer to ask questions of her work to which ultimately the answers depend on the viewer's own personal identity and perceptions. Discover Vicky Martin's Interview
Elise Boularan
France
1984
Elise Boularan grew up in the South of France and has a Master's degree in Creation and Artistic Research from the University of Toulouse. She also studied photography at the Toulouse School of Photography. After finishing her academic research and studies, she moved to Paris. She currently lives between Paris and Toulouse, pursuing a career as a photographic artist.She develops a photographic work turned to the story, realizing images loaded with ellipses and silences. This work does not shy away from the world, but intends to build an interpretation, where something deaf, undefinable is very present. Her preoccupations concern the human reality of our time, trying to reveal what can be secret at the individual's.She has been published extensively and has exhibited in Europe and the USA, notably in Madrid, Denmark, and New York, as well as the French Institute of Ukraine, The Museum of New Art (Mona) and The Russell Industrial Center (Mona Detroit) in Detroit; the Instituto Cultural de México, San Antonio, Texas Hill Country, Usa. Her work is in several private collections.Elise Boularan works also for international & national press and collaborates with musicians and other artists, making the universe of songs match perfectly with her poetical vision.All about photo: When did you realize you wanted to be a photographer?I had already done specialized studies in photography, but I remember I really got caught by the photographer' syndrome when I was in Belgium.Do you spend a lot of time editing your images? For what purpose?After the shooting. there is a lot of work. I don't retouch a lot my images or give this impression... But I spend a great deal of time to select and to see which images work together. It's a difficult and very interesting work.The compliment that touched you most?Indeed, there is a compliment which particularly touched me some years ago in Paris. A compliment coming from one of my references photograph, a famous photographer who has a remarkable work. When we met us, she wanted to discover my work and it was unexpected for me to have compliments on my work from her. And the next day, she phoned me to thank me, because my work had motivated her to boost in her creations again. Is there another job you could have done?No, I don't think so. But it's a good question because we should make no mistake about it, the artistic crafts aren't easy so we can have this kind of questions. But my answer is no.
Baron Raimund von Stillfried
Austria
1832 | † 1911
Baron Raimund von Stillfried, also known as Baron Raimund von Stillfried-Rathenitz (6 August 1839, in Komotau – 12 August 1911, in Vienna), was an Austrian photographer. He was son of Baron (Freiherr) August Wilhelm Stillfried von Rathenitz (d. 1806) and Countess Maria Anna Johanna Theresia Walburge Clam-Martinitz (1802–1874). After leaving his military career, Stillfried moved to Yokohama, Japan and opened a photographic studio called Stillfried & Co. which operated until 1875. In 1875, Stillfried formed a partnership with Hermann Andersen and the studio was renamed, Stillfried & Andersen (also known as the Japan Photographic Association). This studio operated until 1885. In 1877, Stillfried & Andersen bought the studio and stock of Felice Beato. In the late 1870s, Stillfried visited and photographed in Dalmatia, Bosnia, and Greece. In addition to his own photographic endeavours, Stillfried trained many Japanese photographers. In 1886, Stillfried sold the majority of his stock to his protégé, the Japanese photographer Kusakabe Kimbei, he then left Japan. He left Japan forever in 1881. After travelling to Vladivostock, Hong Kong and Bangkok, he eventually settled in Vienna in 1883. He also received an Imperial and Royal Warrant of Appointment as photographer.Source: Wikipedia To many in the West, Japan is an exotic country, seen through the distorting lens of tourist cliches: cherry blossoms, geisha, samurai, kamikaze. In that sense, little has changed since the Meiji Era (1868-1912), when Japan was first promoted abroad as a sort of Oriental theme park. Baron Raimund von Stillfried, a 19th-century pioneer of photography in Yokohama, was the first in Japan to recognize the new medium's potential as a global marketing tool. Adept at producing theatrical souvenir photos, Stillfried also took the first ever photograph of Emperor Meiji and shocked Vienna when he imported Japanese teenage girls to the city to work in a mock teahouse. A Career of Japan by Luke Gartlan, a lecturer in art history at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, is the first comprehensive study of Stillfried's extraordinary life and works. Written for an academic readership using the language of critical theory, Gartlan's account of a scandal-prone impresario resonates with contemporary parallels. Baron Raimund Anton Alois Maria von Stillfried-Ratenicz was born in Austria in 1839 and spent his childhood in military outposts on the fringes of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. In 1864, aged 24, he chose life as a cabin boy in a ship headed for Peru instead of an aristocratic military career. By 1868, after a couple of years adventuring in Mexico, fighting a doomed campaign for the Habsburg Emperor, he had set up a photography studio in Yokohama. The rough and ready port town was hosting its first "globetrotters," a word coined locally to describe the new wave of round-the-world tourists, propelled by the 1869 opening of the Trans-American railway and the Suez Canal. One German globetrotter, Margaretha Weppner, recorded her impressions the same year: "The foreigner in Japan leads an expensive, luxurious life. (The climate) requires that liquors should be taken before breakfast, wine, beer, and champagne at breakfast; the same routine before, at, and after dinner, and brandy and soda all day long." In Yokohama, tourism brought a new demand for "curious" and souvenir photos. Baron Raimund von Stillfried specialized in staged studio portraits featuring models decked out as traditional Japanese "types." These striking hand-colored images were widely copied in Western newspapers and became emblematic of Japan. In the same way that the foreign press today fixates on "weird Japan" stories, Stillfried's images, Gartlan argues, were a popular fiction that exploited Western ignorance. Take, for example, Two Officers - used on the cover of A Career of Japan - that purports to show two samurai with their hair in topknots. The photograph was taken in 1875, four years after the traditional hairstyle worn by Japan's warrior class was banned. It was as a paparazzo that Stillfried first achieved notoriety. Hearing that Emperor Meiji was to visit Yokosuka on New Year's Day in 1872 - the first public appearance by a Japanese monarch - Stillfried was determined to take his picture. According to contemporary accounts, he hid on a ship docked next to the Imperial landing area and secretly photographed the divine countenance through a hole in a sail. Government officials reacted with fury when Stillfried brazenly advertised his scoop, ordering a police raid on his studio. Today, only one print survives. Stillfried was threatened with deportation, and the ensuing scandal reverberated around Asia. Shanghai's North China Daily News said that the crack down was "the most foolish thing we have heard of the Japanese." Partly in order to trump Stillfried, the government commissioned an official portrait of the Emperor the same month. Kuichi Uchida's image of "H.I.M. The Mikado" in Western dress was the state's first foray into visual PR. The Meiji regime may have disapproved of Stillfried, but they admired his talents as a propagandist, and hired him six months later to photograph the newly-colonized territory of Ezo (present-day Hokkaido). Stillfried's photos of the Ainu people were displayed at the 1873 Vienna International Exhibition. Referring to a group Ainu portrait, the Japan Gazette of Jan. 23, 1873, said: "The gift of beauty - has not been vouchsafed to the female descendants of Yesso (Ezo) - whose primitive ugliness of feature is artificially increased by moustachios [sic] tattooed along the upper lip." A separate image of two of the same figures was hand-colored by Stillfried. Gartlan notes that "the selective addition of colors emphasizes the women's tattoos, a traditional practice soon to be banned by the Japanese government." Stillfried's Hokkaido photos may have been displayed in the Japanese pavilion in Vienna but the man himself was barred from joining the official delegation to his home country, due to the lingering scandal over his photo of the Emperor. He reacted with typical bravado by erecting an imitation Japanese teahouse in the exhibition grounds, staffed by teenage Japanese girls imported from Yokohama. The press reacted with thrilled prudence. "How innocent the term (teahouse) sounds to us, but what amount of shame it entails in Japan!" the official exhibition journal reported, while the Chicago Daily Tribune referred to the "Yokohama Belles" as "by no means virgins." Gartlan argues that the teahouse was a respectable project, but the scandal was enough to close it down, leaving Stillfried almost bankrupt. One employee later alleged that the photographer beat his workers, evicted the girls at gunpoint and tried to have the teahouse burned down in order to claim insurance. Returning to Yokohama in 1874, Stillfried's career faltered amid growing competition from Japanese photographers whom he had personally trained, and who were happier to portray their country as a modern nation. His final return to Viennese high society in 1883 coincided with the peak of the European craze for Japan-inspired art - culminating in "The Mikado" and "Madame Butterfly" - that his souvenir photographs had helped to create 15 years earlier. Stillfried's heavily romanticized images had, in Gartlan's words, a "vast impact on how the West perceived Japan at the time." His legacy can still be seen today. Western fantasies of Japan continue to draw on anachronistic assumptions about the country - from ornamental women to picturesque teahouses - and equally inaccurate images of a "futuristic" nation (one where fax machines have no place). Modern-day parallels can also be seen in the book's depiction of Stillfried's expat experiences: the battles with bureaucracy, the government propaganda, the conflicted approach to foreigners - and the drinking.Source: Japan Times
B Jane Levine
United States
B Jane Levine was raised in the suburbs of New Jersey, a short bus ride from New York City. She has a PhD in Biochemistry from Columbia University, but left the field of molecular biology research to raise her family. After leaving research, she took an interest in photography and began taking classes at ICP and other online platforms. She further honed her skills through many photography trips all over the world. Her photography spans many genres including street photography, landscape photography, and long exposure cityscapes. Currently, her focus is a series of candid portraits of strangers captured on the streets of New York City. Statement I prefer to capture moments on the street without the knowledge of the subject so that the expression, gesture and/or movement are authentic. Sometimes I get caught and a subject will give me that nod of recognition at the moment of the shot or after I press the shutter. I often go out with no expectations of subject matter other than looking for a moment, which elicits some emotion that I respond to with the subject, it is mainly driven by an internal signal that connects me to the subject or situation. Experimentation keeps me in the moment. I try to respect the subjects that I photograph. People show themselves on the street the way they want others to perceive them. I take an image of a moment, which I observe with no other intent other than to memorialize the moment, which I recognize is real for the subject as well as myself. The people in the photographs all possess a characteristic, gesture, or physical trait that I identifies as part of my own story. The series is a composite of pieces of my life – a self-portrait.
Dotan Saguy
Israel
1970
Dotan Saguy was born in a small kibbutz five miles south of Israel's Lebanese border. He grew up in a diverse working-class Parisian suburb, lived in Lower Manhattan during 9/11, and moved to Los Angeles in 2003. In 2015, Saguy decided to focus on his lifelong passion for photography after a successful career as a high-tech entrepreneur. Since then Saguy attended the prestigious Eddie Adams Workshop, Missouri Photo Workshop and studied photojournalism at Santa Monica College. Saguy's award-winning photographs have been published by National Geographic, The Guardian, The Los Angeles Times, among many other publications. Saguy teaches street photography and documentary workshops for Leica Akademie and Momenta Workshops. In 2018 Saguy's first monograph about the endangered culture of Venice Beach, CA was published by Kehrer Verlag and received a Bronze award by the prestigious Deutscher Fotobuchpreis 2018-19. Saguy lives in Los Angeles with his wife and two children. Statement I met the Reis, a Mormon family from Brazil, the day they arrived in Los Angeles in October 2018 in the yellow school bus they call home. They had come to the United States two years prior to chase the American Dream and although they had quickly found financial success, happiness proved much more elusive with long work hours and material acquisitions leaving them unsatisfied. This body of work documents the trials and tribulations of the Reis family over their 10-month stay in the City of Angels while they struggle as vehicle dwellers, improvised mechanics, unconventional parents, experimenting breadwinners while seeking happiness as a family. The interviews conducted as part of the project also raise subjects such as immigrants chasing the American dream, modern parenting, the growing urban phenomenon of people living in vehicles and rebelling against a strong religious identity in the Internet era. Articles About Nowhere to go but Everywhere Dogtown
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