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Chiara Zonca
Chiara Zonca
Chiara Zonca

Chiara Zonca

Country: Italy
Birth: 1982

Chiara Zonca is a fine art photographer based in Western Canada. She is interested in portraying a connection between her feelings and the surroundings. By seeking isolated spaces as a form of exploration of self, she documents specific moments in time when solitude and open spaces alter her landscape perception. This shift enables her to see past the present and investigate the earth as a timeless, wide open space where she can then project her narratives. Her work has been exhibited in Sydney, New York, Los Angeles and London and printed on a variety of publications including Harper's Bazaar, The Earth Issue, Satori Mag, Jungle Magazine, NOICE and many more. In 2019 she released her first monograph, Desert Portraits, by Scandinavian Publisher The New Heroes & Pioneers, based on her series Moon Kingdom.
 

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Raquel Chicheri
Raquel Chicheri is a freelance photographer.I am from Galicia, Northern Spain but because it was cold and wet I decided to move to Fuerteventura, an island off the coast of Africa which has a much better weather. I loved photography since I was a kid, my father is a great photographer and his work inspired me from the beginning. I studied " comercio internacional" (International commerce or trade) but I only worked one year in that field and then decided to study graphic design which I liked better. I worked a few years but when I met my boyfriend who was a professional windsurfer, I began to take pictures of him and of his trips and it is at that time that I began publishing photos in windsurfing magazines. I am inspired by almost everything, kids, water, animals, street... I don't take pictures in a studio, I take my camera everywhere and when I see something that catches my attention I shoot. I spend most of my time on the beach and I broke several cameras with the sand but I don't care as long as I take good photos. If the situation is right I see it right away, I cannot wait for the situation to develop too much because I usually go for a walk with my children and I have to take care of them. I prefer the situation to be casual, I hope to capture nature and the relationship of people around it. Some situations are magical, when I realize I am in front of something special, my heart beats so fast and the happiness is absolute. There are so many cheesy, affected photos all around, I try to be different. I would love to make a complete series of photos about cuba...All about Raquel Chicheri:AAP: When did you realize you wanted to be a photographer?I realized I wanted to be a photographer when I had my children and I couldn't stop taking photos of them.AAP: Where did you study photography?I studied photography on the life school with the people who shared it with me.AAP:Do you have a mentor?LifeAAP: How long have you been a photographer?Since I met my boyfriend. I used to take windsurfing photos of him for magazines.AAP: Do you remember your first shot? What was it?It was a self-portrait.AAP: What or who inspires you?Life, people, animals, lights, situations...AAP: How could you describe your style?I prefer someone else to do it for me...AAP: What kind of gear do you use? Camera, lens, digital, film?Canon Eos Mark II 5D, my favorite lens is the 50mm f:1,4.AAP: Do you spend a lot of time editing your images?NoAAP: Favorite(s) photographer(s)?Cartier-Bresson, Doisneau, Sally Mann, Mccurry, Newton, Cristina Garcia Rodero, Murray Michel, Man Ray, Jock Sturges, Margaret de lange, Koudelka, Eve Arnold, Saudek... so many..AAP: What advice would you give a young photographer?To be what you are and not what everyone else want you to be.AAP: If you could have taken the photographs of someone else who would it be?My grandmother who already died.AAP: Anything else you would like to share?"and that people who make dates are the same kind who need lines on their writing paper, or who always squeeze up from the bottom on a tube of toothpaste" Julio Cortazar, HOPSCOTCH.
Betty Press
United States
Betty Press is a documentary fine art photographer, well-known for photographs taken in Africa where she lived and traveled for many years. Now living in Mississippi she has just completed a project called “Finding Mississippi” recording "real life" in small communities throughout Mississippi with black-and-white film and toy and vintage cameras. She taught photography at University of Southern Mississippi from 2003 to 2015. She is twice the recipient of a Visual Artist Grant from the Mississippi Arts Commission. Her photographs have been widely-exhibited as well as selected for many juried competitions. In addition, her photographs have been featured in publications such as Shots, Silvershotz, South x Southeast, Lenscratch, ACurator, RfotoFolio, and Don't Take Pictures. Her work is held in a number of public collections including Beinecke Library at Yale University, The National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, DC, The Harry Ransom Center for the Humanities, The University of Texas, Austin, Mississippi Museum of Art and The Do Good Fund of Southern Photography. In 2011 Betty published a photobook I Am Because We Are: African Wisdom in Image and Proverb that portrayed a stunning, life-affirming portrait of the African people and culture. For this book she received a statewide award in photography, from the Mississippi Institute of Arts & Letters and was selected for Critical Mass Top 50. Her other books/zines include La Dolce Vista, Hub City Impressions and Finding Mississippi. In August 2019 she moved to Nairobi, Kenya to photograph urban culture and social injustice, but returned to the USA in April 2020 due to the Covid-19 outbreak. Her most recent project They Were Us: Stories of Victims and Survivors of Police Brutality in Kenya, was selected for Photo Lucida Critical Mass Top 50. Betty was invited by Lenscratch to curate the States Project for Mississippi. She also helped bring the Do Good Fund Exhibition of southern fine art photography to USM Art Gallery and organized several simultaneous local exhibitions. Most recently, she co-curated an online show Virtual Photography 20:20 for One Off Contemporary Art Gallery, Nairobi, Kenya. She is represented by Panos Pictures, London; International Visions, Washington, DC; Fischer Galleries, Jackson, Mississippi; Treehouse Gallery, Oxford, Mississippi and One Off Contemporary Art Gallery, Nairobi, Kenya. As a former educator, journalist, and avid traveler Press brings a wide-ranging perspective and appreciation of diverse photographic styles, genres and mediums. Services Offered: The African Urban landscapeEye-catching, colorful and hand-painted! Popular creative signage, found on small shops started by mostly young entrepreneurs, livens up what would otherwise be a drab environment in the poorer, densely-populated areas of third world cities like Freetown, Nairobi, or Monrovia. Services, such as hairdressing, tailoring, phone charging, food stalls and video games are advertised. The designs, drawn from traditional as well as contemporary pop culture, are bold, simple and use primary colors and funky fonts. The sign painters are mostly young and self-taught. With more mobile smart-phone usage the signage reflects the modern world on an African canvas. I have spent more than 15 years living in various African countries. In 2019 I moved back to Kenya. My main focus was to document the social justice movement in Nairobi's urban settlements (formerly called slums), resulting in They Were Us: Stories of Police Brutality in Kenya which was selected for the 2020 Photo Lucida Critical Mass Top 50. On the side I would stop to photograph the colorful shops which I found so artful, refreshing and safer to photograph. Now back home in Mississippi, after being evacuated from Nairobi due to the pandemic, I continue working on my Mississippi projects which deal with how place, race and religion have played a part in the complicated history of the state and still affect black lives today.
Robert Bergman
United States
1944
Over more than 50 years, largely outside the mainstream, Robert Bergman has pursued a vision of advancing psychological and philosophical depth in photography and of transcending the boundaries between painting and photography. In Toni Morrison's words in her introduction to his classic 1998 book A Kind of Rapture, his color portraits are "... a master template of the singularity, the community, and the unextinguishable sacredness of the human race." In his Epilogue to that book, the pre-eminent art historian, Professor Meyer Schapiro, wrote, "... his recent color portraits ... have no forerunners in photography. ... he has introduced the processes of unification, as in painting, with the search for harmony, movement, variety and distinction within it, beyond what I have ever seen in a photograph.... His finest works bring to mind some of the greatest painted portraits. ... truly profound works of art." Placing Bergman in the context of other, better known master American photographers, John Yau, poet, critic, and author of The United States of Jasper Johns, has said, "Diane Arbus, Robert Frank, Garry Winogrand, and William Eggleston. ...he is certainly in their league. ... One day Bergman will get credit for the richness of his photographs, the way they transcend image." Robert Bergman is currently producing a limited edition KEY SET of new master prints of 150-200 photographs that, together with the 51 A Kind of Rapture prints, will reveal the organic unity, the arc, of his creative journey: black & white street work of people and cityscapes; black & white portraits in nursing homes; black & white abstracts; hundreds of color portraits on the streets of American cities; and most recently, large-scale color abstracts. Bergman has had solo exhibitions at The National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, MoMA/P.S.1 in New York, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Yossi Milo Gallery in New York, and Michael Hoppen Contemporary in London. Group shows include the Amon Carter Museum of American Art, MoMA, the Ackland Art Museum in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and the "Come Together: Surviving Sandy" exhibition in Brooklyn, NY. In addition to the collections of the Hill Art Foundation and Agnes Gund, President Emerita, MoMA, and numerous other individual's collections, Robert Bergman's work is in the permanent collections of the Amon Carter Museum of American Art, which recently acquired a vintage set of the 51 A Kind of Rapture color portraits, the Cleveland Museum, the Houston Museum of Fine Arts, the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, The National Gallery of Art, the 21C Museum in Louisville, KY. His work has also been highlighted in books, magazines, and newspapers in the United States, Great Britain, France, and Germany as well as on National Public Radio and the Public Broadcasting System. He received the Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant in 2017.
Roger Grasas
Spain
1970
Roger Grasas (Barcelona, 1970) begins his professional career as a photographer in 1998 documenting cooperation projects for national and international foundations and NGOs as well as for UNESCO. Since then, traveling becomes the core of his artistic work, translating his experiences and reflections into visual arts. Between 2005 and 2009 he is the director of the BisouFoto communication studio and co-founder of the phototroupe Studio agency. In both projects he is in charge of the commissions related to travel photography, editorial portrait and social report. Regular contributor to several Spanish and international publications. In 2009 he moves to Riyadh (Saudi Arabia) where he leads the foundation of the photography department at Imagine Communication, a high end quality agency for social photography and events. During his stay in Saudi Arabia and later on until 2016 he develops the project 'Inshallah', a personal project about the extreme transformation of Middle eastern societies through the urban contemporary landscape in countries such as Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Emirates, Oman etc. His body of work approaches the role and importance that technology reveals within the post-modern digital society, the state of strangeness and confusion that human being suffers in the contemporary landscape and the increasingly connections between art and science. Sociopolitical issues such as globalization and philosophical concepts such as the 'difference', 'hyperreality' and 'alienation' generated by the postcapitalist society and the accelerated implementation of new technologies are also common places of their work. Since 1997 he has combined his professional activity with teaching in photography. Between 1997 and 2004 he teaches Photography and Landscape Production courses at the UPC's Image and Multimedia Technology Center. He also works as an academic at the Groc School of Plastic Arts (Barcelona), at the Communication Faculty of the National Autonomous University of Mexico and at the Mamori Art Lab Foundation in Brazil. He has also given various workshops and seminars related to travel anthropology and contemporary society such as "The Art of Travel: Photography and Travel" and "Why Travel? Ethics and Aesthetics of Leisure and Tourism". His His works have been exhibited on galleries of Spain, France, Netherlands, Germany, U.S.A., El Salvador, Saudi Arabia and Mexico. About 'Min Turab' In the space of a few decades, the landscapes of the Arab Gulf region have undergone a wholesale mutation driven by increased income from the oil, globalization and mass tourism. These countries have seen so a huge transformation, moving from the nomadic lifestyle of the bedouin tribes to a hi-tech urban society. The work takes the title from an arabic expression meaning “from the land”, and is an observation of this process oscillation between these two poles: an austere, traditional civilization on one extreme, and a postmodern culture under the powerful influence of capitalism and consumerism on the other. Founded on the idea of travel as an artistic method, these photographs hold up a mirror to the dyad of nature and technology in a place where the old and the new come together and the lines between them blur. This tension is evident both in the vast desert landscapes and in the images of cities, where the past and the future are compressed into the close quarters of the present. These representations of the landscapes of Saudi Arabia, Oman, Bahrain, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates and Qatar throw into sharp relief the binary opposition of the natural and the constructed. This sense of dislocation feeds into this idea of travel as an artistic dérive, drifting with no particular destination in mind, in search of new situations and experiences. In these dreamlike images, the author reflects on the concepts of the real and the unreal, with viewers left uncertain as to what is really going on. Almost completely lacking in human presence, these photographs show the mark left upon the landscape by consumer society at the same time as they seek out the beauty in strangeness. With a dry wit, the artist focuses his gaze on the idea of the simulacrum. The visual and conceptual glimpses of this world documents the colonization of contemporary landscapes by technology and the alienation of human beings in the digital societies of the Arabian Gulf countries. These images of silent architecture do not offer viewers any conclusions, but rather invite them to reflect and leave the way clear for a multiplicity of interpretations that connect with viewers' own imaginary.
Ali Shokri
Iran
1982
In our family culture, the tree is a symbol of life." Nature photographer Ali Shokri grew up in Iran. It was in his beautiful home country that he would begin to develop his passion and love for nature – more so, trees. Years later, his passion would become the centerpoint of his life's ambitions. For the last 16 years, Shokri has been photographing trees. His mission? To show everyone how important and beautiful they are to the world. His body of work has since been turned into a photo book, The Passion of Trees. Showing his collection of images and highlighting his message, Shokri spoke to us about a topic he holds tightly close to his heart. Statement "To me, each tree, like a human being, has a tale to tell," Shokri says. "When a tree dies, a whole story is interrupted, a destiny is altered for the worse. I feel as if the trees, bundled at the back of trucks, are cursing us with their broken hands, wounded faces, and severed roots. "Perhaps this is how we are led towards damnation, little by little stripped of our humanity, when man's 'abounding foliage moistened with the dew' is reduced to ash and smoke." The nature is a mirror to show us what is going inside us. Why we cant be kind with the nature and the lungs of the earth- trees-? Yes, the lungs of the earth. How we can damage her lungs. As an artist, I beilive that the art brings us responsibility and introducing the lungs of the earth is my responsibility. I know I can't save our trees with my photographs," Shokri says. "I can't restore Nature to her imperious verdure, yet I try to capture the lonesomeness and exile of the trees and encourage the viewers to look at nature with a different gaze, to remember that in the absence of trees the birds are homeless and there's no air to breathe, to remember that if there are no trees humanity has already vanished..."
Oleksandr Rupeta
Ukraine
1981
Oleksandr Rupeta is a documentary photographer from Ukraine working worldwide. He is a member of the Independent Media Trade Union Of Ukraine and the International Federation of Journalists from 2016 and a member of the Ukrainian Association of Professional Photographers and Federation of European Photographers from 2018. As a news and reportage photographer, Oleksandr carries out short and long-term projects about political, cultural, and social life in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. His works highlight Ukrainian-Russian conflict, Afghan Red Crescent Society, the life of Iranian Jews community, Sufi Community in Northern Cyprus, people with disabilities in Southern African countries, ethnic minorities in Azerbaijan, LGBT community in the Balkans, elephant conservation in Laos, robotics in Japan, etc. The photos appeared in The New York Times, The Financial Times, The Times, The Guardian, The Economist, Time, Nature, Forbes, National Geographic Traveler and others. His news photos were chosen numerous times as a photo of the day, a photo of the month and a photo of the year in agencies such as NurPhoto, Zuma Press and GettyImages reportage. About Someone in your corner From the middle of the XX century, the tendency of keeping animals as pets has been increased in their number and variety. There are many reasons for this phenomenon. First of all, the technological development improved the overall standard of living. Human attitudes towards animals are becoming of increasing importance and less pragmatic. When a man moves away from nature he begins to use animals as compensation for the lost connection. As a result, animals are engaged in social relations with a human. As family members, pets are changing not only their behavior but also the behavior of the owners. They build complex interdependent relationships. In Ukraine, like the entire post-Soviet space, this tendency has become widespread with gaining independence. Open borders facilitated the transportation of exotic animals and their purchase became quite easy. Keeping unusual animals ceased to be the prerogative of a privileged few. Instead of this came out a problem of the pet owners' ignorance who may have a lack of knowledge of proper exotic pet care. The idea for the project was to explore the mutuality and relationship of the human-animal bond in the modern world, to see and pay attention to the conditions of their interaction and coexistence. The project was created in the summer-fall 2019, throughout Ukraine. The primary eligibility criteria for choosing characters was the exclusion of all occasional owners, zoos, circuses and using animals in entertainment spectacles. But everything turned out to be more complicated than expected. Odd owners often saved their pets from death and mostly they showed true love to the pets. Other characters were chosen from people with a passion for animals. In addition to owning exotic animals as house pets, these people frequently try to link their lives with animals. Some of them organize private or home zoos, some work in pet shops, others try to find work at animal shelters or wildlife sanctuary. The project turned out wider than I planned but each shot in the series elucidates the special human-animal connection.
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