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 Jonk
 Jonk
 Jonk

Jonk

Country: France
Birth: 1985

Jonk discovers photography at the age of 11 when his parents send him for a language exchange to the USA, where each of the ten children forming the group lives with a different host family. The few souvenir pictures shot with the famous disposable orange cameras were his firsts. For the following six years, he travels each winter to a new family in a different state, and in the meantime upgrades his gear with a basic analogue camera.

After having swapped it for a pocket numeric device, he realizes his first solo trip, at the age of 19. This trip to Barcelona changes his life, and he comes back with two passions that won't leave him: travels (he has since visited more than 70 countries) and urban art (street art and graffiti), whose discovery gave him his first photographic subject that still occupies him today.

Living in Paris, he discovers urban exploration at the end of years 2000 through rooftops, subways and the city's unofficial catacombs. At that time, he finds another subject: documenting the unseen side of the city and invest in his first digital reflex camera, an APS-C. Climbing roofs to see her from the top, going at night in subway tunnels or spending whole days underground in the catacombs exploring the tens of kilometers of galleries looking for beautiful carved rooms: he finds in that activity a thrill, the adrenaline that he looks for in his life. These urban explorations, and his search for unseen graffiti, bring him to abandoned places, where graffiti artists often go to paint, to be alone and able to take time to make bigger and better paintings. After some time frequenting these artists, he starts himself to paint there and adopts the nickname “Jonk”. At that time, he also sticks his travel pictures on the walls in the streets.

Visiting abandoned places looking for graffiti, he realizes the intensity of the atmospheres and the beauty of the spectacle of time passaging: rust, decaying and peeling painted walls, broken windows, Nature taking over create unbelievable, highly photogenic sceneries. For him, such sceneries feel like infinite poetry.

Traveling, painting, sticking, photographing, roaming on roofs, metros and catacombs, a very time-consuming job don't leave him enough time to do everything. At the hour of choices, he drops the spray, the pot of glue, the height and the undergrounds to stay with the photography of lost places, even if he could not get rid of his nickname, symbol of his graffiti artist times, highly important to him. He then continues to travel, almost exclusively looking for abandoned locations to shoot, with or without graffiti. He upgrades his gear again with one, then two, full-frame reflex.

Today, he has visited more than one thousand and five hundreds of them in around fifty countries on four continents.

With time, his interest focuses on what appears to him to be the strongest in this vast subject of abandonment: Nature taking over. It is poetic, even magic, to see this Nature retaking what used to be hers, reintegrating through broken windows, cracks on the walls, spaces built by Man and then neglected, until sometimes guzzling them up entirely.

This topic naturally imposed itself to him due to the ecologic consciousness that moves him since his youngest age and to the strength of the message it carries: the question of the place of Man on Earth and its relationship with Nature. She is stronger, and whatever happens to Man, She will always be there.

In March 2018, he releases the book Naturalia on the topic and currently works on volume II for which Yann Arthus-Bertrand wrote the preface.

In June 2018, at age 33, he quits his job in the finance to fully dedicate himself to this project. With this series, as a photographer Jonk tries to humbly contribute to make people aware of the critical ecological situation we are all in.

Since, four other books were released. His work has been featured in prestigious paper publications (Der Spiegel, Corriere della Sera, Lonely Planet, Le Monde, GQ, Telerama…) as well as on prestigious web platforms (National Geographic, New York Post, Smithsonian, ArchDaily, AD, BBC, The Guardian…). He received various distinctions in recognized international contests with Honorable Mentions (International Photography Awards, ND Awards), nominations (Fine Art Photography Awards), Silver Awards (Tokyo International Foto Awards, Moscow International Foto Awards), places in shortlists (Arte Laguna Prize, Environmental Photographer of the Year, Royal Photography Society, Felix Schoeller Photo Award, Siena International Photo Awards), places of finalist (InCadaquès International Photo Festival, Nature Photographer Of The Year, Umbra Awards) and winner of the Chelsea International Photography Competition and the Earth Photo 2020 Photo Competition. His work has been part of many group shows across the world (Paris, London, Lisbon, Rome, Athens, Budapest, Moscow, Seoul, Tokyo, Singapore, Los Angeles, Palm Springs, New York…) as well as many solo shows in Paris, the main ones being in Paris 20th district City Hall “Salon of Honor”, at the OECD, the Forum des Halles and the Nicolas Hulot Foundation for Nature and Man.

In October 2020, Jonk realizes his first solo shows abroad. The first one is the central show of Home Expo in Luxembourg, the most important Fair of the country. Consisting of 91 photos, this exhibition is also his biggest show to date. He simultaneously conducts five solos show in China for the Franco-Chinese Environmental Month. They take place at the Park View Gallery of the magnificent Design Society in Shenzhen, the French Institute of Beijing, the Kingold Century Center of Guangzhou, the Westred Art Museum of Harbin and the Parc Hongmei of Shenyang.

Jonk had set a first foot in China the year before by giving a conference on his Naturalia series in Shenzhen. It was his second after a TEDx given in Paris in 2018.

Several exhibitions of Naturalia are planned for 2021 and 2022.

Naturalia: Chronicle of Contemporary Ruins
As a child, I saw a wildlife documentary that marked my life. It focused on the melting of the ice caps and its consequences on polar bears' life. I still remember this bear that struggled to swim and find a piece of ice floe. It seems that "children are like wet cement. Whatever falls on them makes an impression." (Dr Haim Ginott). This vision marked me so much that during all my childhood, every time any of my parents did anything that seemed bad for the environment, it told them this sentence: «Watch out, you kill the bears!!"

This ecological consciousness, that moves me since my youngest age, has little by little focused my interest on abandoned places reclaimed by Nature. She is stronger, and whatever happens to Man, She will always be there.

Moreover, Naturalia: Chronicle of Contemporary Ruins asks a fundamental question: that of the place of Man on Earth and his relationship with Nature. Far from being pessimistic, and at a time when Man's domination of Nature has never been so extreme, it aims to wake our consciousness.

Man builds, Man abandons. Every time for his own peculiar reasons. Nature does not care about those reasons. But one thing is for sure, when Man leaves, She comes back and She takes back everything.

In his poem Eternity of Nature, brevity of Man, Alphonse de Lamartine writes "Triumph, immortal Nature! / Whose hand full of days / Lends unlimited strengths / Times that always rise again!" In her inexorable progression, She starts reclaiming the outsides of a Taiwanese reservoir (Picture 1) before infiltrating the insides of a Croatian castle (2) or a Belgian greenhouse (7). Then, She grows in the atrium of a Polish palace (8) or a Cuban theater (9) before invading a Montenegrin castle (10). Then, given more time, imprisons a Taiwanese mansion with her strong roots (20).

The next steps? Collapse and burial.

French poet Léo Ferré said "With Time goes, everything goes". So, when Nature and Time will have taken back what Man abandons, what will be left of our civilization?
 

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1964
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Gilles Peress
France
1946
Gilles Peress (born December 29, 1946) is a French photographer and a member of Magnum Photos. Peress began working with photography in 1970, having previously studied political science and philosophy in Paris. One of Peress’ first projects examined immigration in Europe, and he has since documented events in Northern Ireland, Lebanon, Palestine, Iran, the Balkans, Rwanda, the U.S., Afghanistan, and Iraq. His project, Hate Thy Brother, a cycle of documentary narratives, looks at intolerance and the re-emergence of nationalism throughout the world and its consequences. Peress’ books include Telex Iran; The Silence: Rwanda; Farewell to Bosnia; The Graves: Srebrenica and Vukovar; A Village Destroyed; and Haines. Portfolios of his work have appeared in the New York Times Magazine, The Sunday Times Magazine, Du magazine, Life, Stern, Geo, Paris Match, Parkett, Aperture and The New Yorker. Gilles Peress’ work has been exhibited and is collected by the Museum of Modern Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Whitney Museum of American Art and MoMA PS1, all in New York; Art Institute of Chicago; Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; The J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles; Walker Art Center and Minneapolis Institute of Arts; Victoria and Albert Museum in London; Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Musée Picasso, Parc de la Villette and Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris; Museum Folkwang, Essen; and Sprengel Museum in Hannover. Awards and fellowships Peress has received include a Guggenheim Fellowship, National Endowment for the Arts grants, Pollock-Krasner and New York State Council on the Arts fellowships, the W. Eugene Smith Grant for Humanistic Photography and the International Center of Photography Infinity Award. Peress is Professor of Human Rights and Photography at Bard College in New York and Senior Research Fellow at the Human Rights Center at UC Berkeley. Peress joined Magnum Photos in 1971 and served three times as vice president and twice as president of the co-operative. He and his wife, Alison Cornyn, live in Brooklyn with their three children.Source: Wikipedia Born in Neuilly-sur-Seine, Gilles Peress made his first photographic series in 1970 after attending the Institut d'Études Politiques (1966-68) and the Université de Vincennes (1968-71). By 1971, he had established himself as a freelance photographer, publishing work in Du, the London Sunday Times, The New York Times Magazine, Photo, and other periodicals. In 1972 he joined Magnum, the international cooperative photography agency founded in 1947 by Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Capa, George Rodger, and Chim (David Seymour); he has served twice as the organization's president. A National Endowment for the Arts grant in 1979 allowed him to travel to Iran, where he made the photographs published as Telex: Iran--In the Name of Revolution (1984), his first book. Other major projects include his documentation of the Irish civil war from 1971 to 1979, published as An Eye for an Eye: Northern Ireland (1986), and Hate Thy Brother, an ongoing cycle of photographs documenting the resurgence of extreme nationalism around the world. Peress's work has been included in group exhibitions at the Musée d'Art Moderne in Paris, the Corcoran Gallery of Art, ICP, and elsewhere. He has received, among other honors, a W. Eugene Smith Award, the Ernst Haas Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and ICP's Infinity Awards for Journalism in 1995 and for his publication The Silence in 1996. Gilles Peress's photography demonstrates his uncommon ability to navigate and communicate the atmosphere and urgency of volatile political environments. While his early work identified him as a "concerned photographer," his more recent work suggests an increasing concern with form and a more obvious sense of subjectivity. In this respect, Peress's photographs echo the photojournalism of Henri Cartier-Bresson, whose conflation of aesthetics and reportage set the precedent for artistic photojournalism earlier in the century.Source: International Center of Photography
Angelika Kollin
Estonia
1976
Angelika Kollin is a 44 year old Estonian photographer currently based in Tampa, Florida. She is self-taught and engages with her passion for photography and art as a tool of exploration of interhuman connections, intimacy, and/or the absence of such. Angelika has spent the last 8 years living in African countries (Ghana, Namibia, South Africa), where she explored the same topic in a variety of different cultures and economic conditions. More and more it strengthens her belief that despite many circumstances in life, the one thing that shapes us the most is our relationship with our parents. Through intense artistic evolution she has arrived at her current and ongoing project You Are My Mother/Father. Statement: My main project for the year 2020 became You are my Mother that subsequently expanded into You are my Father. As the covid pandemic rolled over the world, many of us found ourself going back to basics and spending more times with our families. I started photographing my project in April, while we were still in complete lockdown in Cape Town,South Africa. Initially I only wanted to document an act of acceptance and joining I witnessed between a mother and her adult daughter. Afterwards I continued to explore same "story" in other mother/child connections, examining the impact it has on my own family life and on my audience. There is no groundbreaking story occurring in my project, and yet, at least for myself, I am learning to understand the significance and value of connection to our family and how it shapes us for the rest of our life.
Laurence Leblanc
Laurence Leblanc was born in Paris in the early days of June 1967. Starting her artistic training early on, she studied drawing, painting, and gravure as a child at the Musée du Louvre’s Ecole des arts décoratifs. Later on Leblanc studied visual art at the Academie Charpentier, at its historic La Grande Chaumiere workshop located in Paris. "Each of us has to tell something that nobody else can tell" -- Wim Wenders. Leblanc always had a deep desire to convey her world a little differently and it was in that spirit that she covered Peter Gabriel’s Secret World Tour in the 90’s, travelling large parts of the world with the British musican over the next two years. In 1999, Leblanc came to the attention of art critic and curator Régis Durand who described her work as : « It exists in these pictures a kind of familiar fantastic, a mix of ordinary poetry and some strangeness » Whatever the medium, the act of creation for Laurence Leblanc comes after gradual impregnation with the subject and his or her environment. The results are often carefully thought-out and reflect both the expansive and minute of the subject and, their context. Cambodian filmmaker Rithy Panh said of Leblanc that: « Her pictures look like souls… the fuzzyness is not fuzzy, the grainy asppearance is not grain, life is not exactly life. Yet it is not death either, and I like being led on this narrow territory between the two » Leblanc is the winner of awards such as the Villa Médicis Hors–Les–Murs scholarship in 2000, and the HSBC Fondation prize in photographie in 2003. In 2003, Peter Gabriel wrote in the preface of her first book Rithy, Chéa, Kim Sour et les autres "Laurence has continued to explore new areas in her work, and I have watched her develop into an extraordinary artist" Leblanc’s second book Seul l’air was published in 2009 by Actes Sud. At the same time her exhibition Seul l’air consisting of work from Africa was presented at the 40th International Photography Festival in Arles. Always expanding her range of learning and creating, Leblanc responded to radio producer and writer Frank Smith’s proposition to create a sound piece for the Atelier de Création Radiophonique. The final 53 minute sound piece was broadcast on France Culture in July 2008. Leblanc also collaborated on the « Sometimes I think Sometimes I don’t think » project with the Domaine de Chamarande. Bulles de silence, a 19 minutes film, written, produced and directed by Leblanc, was selected and premiered at the Museum’s Night in the Niepce’s Museum in May 2015. Laurence Leblanc silently follows her own solitary artistic path which leads her to the field of contemporary photographic creativity, yet her strongest ally is time, the time given (and taken by the artist) to observe and to mature. Represented by the Claude Samuel gallery in 1999 then by the VU’ gallery from 2001 to 2015 Leblanc is a regular at: Art Paris, Art genève, and at Paris Photo since her début there in 1998. Leblanc’s works can be found in collections ranging from the prestigious National Trust for Contemporary Art in France, the Niépce Museum in Chalon-sur Saône, the French National Library, the HSBC Fondation & Collection, as well as in various private collections includng that of Marin Karmitz. We can see one of her picture in the exhibition « Etranger résident » Marin Karmitz’s collection from 15 october 2017 to 21 january 2018 in la maison rouge – fondation Antoine de Galbert. Source: laurenceleblanc.com
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