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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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Eugène Atget
France
1857 | † 1927
Eugène Atget was a French photographer who is celebrated for his mixture of urban documentary photography and street photography which recorded the disappearing neighborhoods, street scenes and architecture of Paris. Taken during the period 1897 until his death in 1927, his images formed a huge archive of architectural ornamentation, featuring metalwork, stairways, door knockers and shop signs. Jean-Eugène-Auguste Atget was born 12 February 1857 in Libourne. His father, carriage builder Jean-Eugène Atget, died in 1862, and his mother, Clara-Adeline Atget née Hourlier died shortly after. He was brought up by his maternal grandparents in Bordeaux and after finishing secondary education joined the merchant navy. Atget moved to Paris in 1878. He failed the entrance exam for acting class but was admitted when he had a second try. Because he was drafted for military service he could attend class only part-time, and he was expelled from drama school. Still living in Paris he became an actor, performing in the Paris suburbs and the provinces. He met actress Valentine Delafosse Compagnon, who became his companion until her death. He gave up acting because of an infection of his vocal chords in 1887, moved to the provinces and took up painting without success. His first photographs, of Amiens and Beauvais, date from 1888. 1890 Atget moved back to Paris and became a professional photographer, supplying documents for artists: studies for painters, architects and stage-designers. Starting 1898 institutions such as the Musée Carnavalet and the Bibliothèque historique de la ville de Paris bought his photographs. The latter commissioned him ca. 1906 to systematically photograph old buildings in Paris. 1899 he moved to Montparnasse. While being a photographer Atget still also called himself an actor, giving lectures and readings. During World War I, Eugène Atget temporarily stored his archives in his basement for safekeeping and almost completely gave up photography. Valentine's son Léon was killed at the front. 1920-1921 he sold thousands of his negatives to institutions. Financially independent he took up photographing the parks of Versailles, Saint-Cloud and Sceaux and produced a series of photographs of prostitutes. Berenice Abbott visited Atget in 1925, bought some of his photographs, and tried to interest other artists in his work. 1926 Valentine died and Man Ray published several of Atget's photographs in la Révolution surréaliste. Abbott took Atget's portrait in 1927. Eugène Atget died 4 August 1927 in Paris.Source: Wikipedia Eugène Atget (1857–1927) turned to photography in his late 40s, building a body of work that described the city of Paris and its environs. In its simplicity and clarity of vision, this project, resulting in over 10,000 photographs, became a modern urban portrait that has influenced many photographers since. Inspired to make a portrait of Paris at the moment when historic Paris was becoming Haussman’s modern Paris, Atget captured the changing city with eloquence and sensitivity. Atget received little recognition before his death in 1927, but due to the posthumous efforts of photographer Berenice Abbott, his work was preserved, promoted, and gained its rightful place in history. A significant number of his prints, including many negatives, are held by the Museum of Modern Art, New York City, the National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C., along with the Bibliothèque Nationale de France.Source: Fraenkel Gallery Photos © Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division
Hendrik Kerstens
Netherlands
1956
Since 1995, Dutch photographer Hendrik Kerstens has been photographing his daughter, Paula. His photographs have been collected by museums around the world and have inspired taste-makers as diverse as Elton John and Alexander McQueen. (McQueen, in fact based his Fall 2009 collection on Kerstens' image of Paula with a plastic bag as a head-dress, using the image as his invitation for the show.) Initially Kerstens' photographs were created out of the artist's desire to capture something of the fleeting moments that fade of childhood. The pictures recorded everyday events – his daughter's sunburn, the child's bath. However, one day there was a moment of revelation when Kerstens not only saw her in relation to the events of her own life, but also projected on her his interest in the Dutch painters of the seventeenth century.
 As Kerstens recalls, "One day Paula came back from horseback riding. She took off her cap and I was struck by the image of her hair held together by a hair-net. It reminded me of the portraits by the Dutch masters and I portrayed her in that fashion. After that I started to do more portraits in which I refer to the paintings of that era. The thing that fascinates me in particular is the way a seventeenth-century painting is seen as a surface which can be read as a description of everyday life as opposed to the paintings of the Italian renaissance, which usually tell a story. Northern European painting relies much more on craftsmanship and the perfect rendition of the subject. The use of light is instrumental in this." A number of the portraits of Paula are clearly reminiscent of Johannes Vermeer. The austerity of the photograph, its clarity, the serene expression on the young girl's face, and not least, the characteristic "Dutch" light, all combine to create this impression.
 However, Kerstens was not just imitating painting. As the series progressed, he became increasingly interested in the game of creating a conceptual and humorous dialog between past and present. The titles give the game away. "Napkin" looks like a maid's bonnet. In "Bag", a plastic grocery bag is shaped to look like a lace hood. In other pictures no pretense is made to imitate 17th century clothing but Paula's face and Kerstens' light turn a thoroughly modern hoodie into a classic and timeless garment. Conceptually, Kerstens' photographs play with the dialog between the mediums of painting and photography, with seriality, and time. On a more emotional level, they address everyday reality while expressing his love for his child, and the knowledge and development of his craft.Source: Danziger Gallery Hendrik Kerstens' (1956) oeuvre consists of a consequent sequence of portraits from his muse, his daughter, each time with a different angle, meaning or purpose. In the hemisphere of the radically realist paintings of the Dutch Golden Age, Kerstens explores the photograph as a surface, a platform to study contemporary ordinary objects and its meaning in historical tradition. With his typical selection for down-to-earth forms of headwear, from a napkin, a wet towel, spheres of lace to folded aluminium foil, he recalls how daily life has always been an integral subject of art, whether in the 17th or in 21st century. With his clear ambition to illustrate the dialogue between history and contemporary life, rich and sober, functional and valuable, Kerstens also accomplishes to renew and contemporize history while boosting the position and function of day-to-day objects. In connecting todays photography techniques with the camera obscura techniques in earlier times, Kerstens raises awareness for the use and development of the photographic process. It is not accidental that he is a state-of-the-art perfectionist, taking nothing for granted and giving a lot of attention to the work process. The printing proces itself, the hardly visible transition of the many dark tones, the interplay of light and shadow, Kerstens dedicates himself completely in refining the image, where details and the way of looking play a key role. Kerstens, who worked many times with Kathy Ryan from The New York Times Magazine, was awarded the PANL award (2001) in the Netherlands; the Taylor Wesing Photographic Portrait Prize (2008) at the National Portrait Gallery in London, the silver LeadAward Medaillon, Porträtfotografie des Jahres (2010) in Germany and the 11th Lucie Award (2013). Kerstens work and ideas were included in Alexander McQueen's spectacular show The Horn of Plenty: Everyting but the Kitchen Sink, a retrospective on 15 shocking years in fashion.Source: Flatland Gallery Galleries:   Danziger Gallery   Jenkins Johnson Gallery   Dean Project   Flatland Gallery
Carolyn Drake
United States
Carolyn Drake works on long term photo-based projects seeking to interrogate dominant historical narratives and imagine alternatives to them. Her work explores community and the interactions within it, as well as the barriers and connections between people, between places and between ways of perceiving. Her practice has embraced collaboration, and through this, collage, drawing, sewing, text, and found images have been integrated into her work. She is interested in collapsing the traditional divide between author and subject, the real and the imaginary, challenging entrenched binaries. Drake was born in California and studied Media/Culture and History in the early 1990s at Brown University. Following her graduation from Brown, in 1994, Drake moved to New York and worked as a interactive concept designer for many years before departing to engage with the physical world through photography. Between 2007 and 2013, Drake traveled frequently to Central Asia from her base in Istanbul to work on two long term projects which became acclaimed bodies of work. Wild Pigeon (2014) is an amalgam of photographs, drawings, and embroideries made in collaboration with Uyghurs in western China. In 2018, the SFMOMA acquired the body of work and opened a six month solo exhibition of Wild Pigeon. Two Rivers (2013) explores the connections between ecology, culture and political power along the Amu Dary and Syr Darya rivers and was exhibited at The Pitt Rivers Museum, the Soros Foundation, the Third Floor Gallery, and the Photo Book Museum, among other venues. In Internat (2014-17), Drake worked with young women in an ex Soviet orphanage to create photographs and paintings that point beyond the walls of the institution and its gender expectations. The work was exhibited at the Houston Center for Photography in the US, and at Si Fest and Officine Fotografiche Roma in Italy. Drake returned to the US in 2014 and is now based in Vallejo, California, from where she is currently making work that upends perceptions of gender, community, and safety in her own community. Drake is the recipient of a Guggenheim fellowship, the Lange-Taylor Prize, the Anamorphosis prize, an HCP fellowship, a Lightwork residency, and a Fulbright fellowship to Ukraine, among other awards. Her work has been published widely, in publications such as The New Yorker, Aperture, The New York Review of Books, Harpers, The New York Times Magazine, Prix Pictet, IMA, the British Journal of Photography, The Guardian, and Paris Review. She became a member of Magnum Photos in 2019. Source: carolyndrake.com
Agata Vera Schiller
Agata Vera Schiller was born in 1980 in Inowroclaw, Poland. Grew up in the countryside surrounded by loving family and beautiful nature. She has graduated at the Faculty of Journalism in Poznan in 2003. Lived for several months in Scotland, spending time drawing and taking pictures of landscapes with her first camera Zenit. In 2006, she has made Masters at the Academy of Fine Arts in Poznan, drawing workshop. Moved to Warsaw and began postgraduate studies at the Department of Interior Architecture at the Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow, which she graduated in 2009. Worked for several years as an interior and furniture designer. In 2010 she moved to Beijing for 3 years, working, living and taking lifestyle pictures. In Beijing began her journey in darkroom focused on discovery old techniques of classical photography such as wet plate. Beijing is also a place, where was held her first solo exhibition „Sol oriens” in 2011 at the Polish Embassy in Beijing, and then at the Chaoyang Culture Center in Beijing. She took part in several collective photo exhibitions in Poland. Her photography is not only a lifestyle photography looking for a beauty in simplicity of Scandinavian interior style and magic of everyday life. But the closest to her heart are nostalgic portraits of women, found somewhere between the worlds, living in a dreams. Agata’s fine art photography is characterized by tension between sensual experience and intellectual construction. Agata currently lives and works in Warsaw as a freelance photographer.
Jock Sturges
United States
1947
Jock Sturges is an American photographer, best known for his images of nude adolescents and their families. Sturges was born in 1947 in New York. From 1966 to 1970, he served in the United States Navy as a Russian linguist. He graduated with a BFA in Perceptual Psychology and Photography from Marlboro College and received an MFA in photography from the San Francisco Art Institute. His subjects are nude adolescents and their families, primarily taken at communes in Northern California and at the Atlantic-coast naturist resort CHM Montalivet in Vendays-Montalivet. Much of his work features California resident Misty Dawn, whom he shot from when she was a child until in her twenties. Sturges primarily works with a large 8x10-inch-format view camera. He has taken some digital photographs but prefers to work with prints. His work has been the subject of controversy in the United States. In 1990, his San Francisco studio was raided by FBI officers and his equipment seized. A grand jury subsequently declined to bring an indictment against him. In 1998, unsuccessful attempts were made to have his books The Last Day of Summer and Radiant Identities classed as child pornography in Arkansas and Louisiana. Customers in Alabama and Tennessee sued Barnes & Noble for stocking the books, resulting in protests throughout the United States, largely inspired by conservative radio host Randall Terry. His photographs appear as cover art on three novels by Jennifer McMahon, Promise Not to Tell, Island of Lost Girls and Dismantled, as well as Karl Ove Knausgård's 1998 debut novel Ute av verden (Out of the World). The band Ride used some of his photographs on different releases, i.e.: the Twisterella and Leave them All Behind EPs.Source: Wikipedia
Sally Mann
United States
1951
Sally Mann was born in Lexington, Virginia in 1951. She has always remained close to her roots. She has photographed in the American South since the 1970s, producing series on portraiture, architecture, landscape and still life. She is perhaps best known for her intimate portraits of her family, her young children and her husband, and for her evocative and resonant landscape work in the American South. Her work has attracted controversy at times, but it has always been influential, and since her the time of her first solo exhibition, at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington D.C., in 1977, she has attracted a wide audience. Sally Mann explored various genres as she was maturing in the 1970s: she produced landscapes and architectural photography, and she blended still life with elements of portraiture. But she truly found her metier with her second publication, a study of girlhood entitled At Twelve: Portraits of Young Women (1988). Between 1984 and 1994, she worked on the series, Immediate Family (1992), which focuses on her three children, who were then all aged under ten. While the series touches on ordinary moments in their daily lives—playing, sleeping, eating—it also speaks to larger themes such as death and cultural perceptions of sexuality. In her most recent series, Proud Flesh, taken over a six year interval, Mann turns the camera onto her husband, Larry. The resultant photographs are candid and frank portraits of a man at his most vulnerable moments. Mann has produced two major series of landscapes: Deep South (Bullfinch Press, 2005) and Mother Land. In What Remains (Bullfinch Press, 2003), she assembled a five-part study of mortality, one which ranges from pictures of the decomposing body of her beloved greyhound, to the site where an armed fugitive committed suicide on her property in the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia. She has often experimented with color photography, but she has remained most interested in black and white, especially photography's antique technology. She has long used an 8x10 bellows camera, and has explored platinum and bromoil printing processes. In the mid 1990s she began using the wet plate collodion process to produce pictures which almost seem like hybrids of photography, painting, and sculpture. Sally Mann lives and works in Lexington, Virginia. A Guggenheim fellow, and a three-times recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, Mann was named "America's Best Photographer" by TIME Magazine in 2001. She has been the subject of two documentaries: Blood Ties (1994), which was nominated for an Academy Award, and What Remains (2007) which premiered at Sundance and was nominated for an Emmy for Best Documentary in 2008. She has been the subject of major exhibitions at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia, and the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. Her photographs can be found in many public and private collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art; the Museum of Modern Art; and the Whitney Museum of American Art.Source: Gagosian Gallery Mann, born and raised in Virginia, is the daughter of Robert Munger and Elizabeth Munger. In Mann's introduction for her book Immediate Family, she "expresses stronger memories for the black woman, Virginia Carter, who oversaw her upbringing than for her own mother". Elizabeth Munger was not a big part of Mann's life, and Elizabeth said "Sally may look like me, but inside she's her father's child." Virginia (Gee-Gee) Carter, born in 1894, raised Mann and her two brothers and was an admirable woman." Left with six children and a public education system for which she paid taxes but which forbade classes for black children beyond the seventh grade, Gee-Gee managed somehow to send each of them to out-of-state boarding schools and, ultimately, to college." Virginia Carter died in 1994. In 1969 Sally met Larry Mann, and in 1970 they married. Larry Mann is an attorney and, before practicing law, he was a blacksmith. Larry was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy around 1996. They live together in their home which they built on Sally's family's farm in Lexington, Virginia. They have three children together: Emmett (born 1979), who took his own life in 2016, after a life-threatening car collision and a subsequent battle with schizophrenia, and who for a time served in the Peace Corps; Jessie (born 1981), who herself is an artist; and Virginia (born 1985), a lawyer. She is passionate about endurance horse racing. In 2006, her Arabian horse ruptured an aneurysm while she was riding him. In the horse's death throes, Mann was thrown to the ground, the horse rolled over her, and the impact broke her back. It took her two years to recover from the accident and during this time, she made a series of ambrotype self-portraits. These self-portraits were on view for the first time in November 2010 at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts as a part of Sally Mann: the Flesh and the Spirit. Source: Wikipedia
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