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Debbie Miracolo
Debbie Miracolo
Debbie Miracolo

Debbie Miracolo

Country: United States
Birth: 1953

Debbie Miracolo is a photo-based artist interested in transition and passage of time. A former graphic designer with a fine art education, she creates inventive images with a sharp attention to detail and composition, often with a generous sprinkling of emotion and whimsy. She attributes her outlook to memories of an introverted childhood infused with make-believe worlds and storybooks. By transforming rather than documenting truth, her interpretations of humanity, nature, and train travel serve as seductive invitations to linger, question, and weave a story of one's own.

Growing up as an only child in a home with her European parents and grandmother made her childhood reality different from that of her friends. She was introverted, shy, and intimidated by the world around her, but found that creating art alleviated some of the loneliness she felt and helped her to express her feelings. By the time she finished high school she had become skilled at drawing and painting.

At Rochester Institute of Technology she earned a BFA, studying printmaking, photography, and art history, and later moved to New York City to pursue her artistic dreams. There she began a 15-year career as a graphic designer in the busy publishing and advertising industries. With the birth of her two sons and subsequent move to a Victorian house in a suburban New York town, she shifted all of her energy, diving into motherhood, and for several years the creative spirit within her lay patiently dormant. As most artists know however, that spirit never truly leaves, and as her children approached adolescence she could sense it regaining strength. Feeling drawn to photography once again, Debbie made the decision to revisit the medium as an art form. She began taking classes and workshops at the International Center of Photography, gaining mastery of the craft and honing her own personal vision. From there, there was no turning back, and she has been making and focusing on her art ever since.

Debbie's work has been published, notably on the cover of Geo Wissen Magazine and most recently, in F-Stop Magazine. Her images have been exhibited in a number of galleries in New York City, Boston, St. Petersburg, Fl. and Middlebury, Vt. as well as online media.

Imagined Moments from the Porch
It was a bewildering, absurd world I found myself in during the first chaotic months of the Covid-19 outbreak. Through incongruous juxtapositions, metaphor and a bit of whimsy, these photo composites of my neighbors portray the surreal, confused and off-kilter feeling I had then, and which still lingers today.

With many of us sheltering in place, pedestrian traffic had increased remarkably in my quiet town. People paraded by on the street, some of whom I'd never seen before; young and old, parents with children, and more and more dogs as the weeks went by. I began to photograph what I observed from the steps of my front porch and, over a period of four spring and summer months, the project evolved.

The idea to reconstruct the photographs came to me when I needed to switch out a person, and with that one manipulation it became clear that I would take the series in a more imaginative direction. As the virus numbers increased and the news became more alarming by the day, I digitally rearranged my characters in more unlikely ways. It was as if my wish to change reality and my doubts about what to believe were coming through in my images.

Imagined Moments from the Porch is a kind of theatrical narrative made up of fictional scenes I compose to depict my off-beat version of these dark, confusing, and upside-down days.
 

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More Great Photographers To Discover

Monica Denevan
United States
1964
Monica Denevan studied photography at San Francisco State University. Her ongoing series, "Songs of the River: Portraits from Burma," began in 2000. Since then, she has returned to many of the same small villages in Burma/Myanmar, making intimate photographs of fishermen and their families in the spare and graphic setting of the Irrawaddy River. She travels with a medium format film camera, one lens, and bags of film, working with natural light and making composed images. Once home, she makes photographic prints in her traditional darkroom. Denevan's photographs have been exhibited internationally including solo shows at Scott Nichols Gallery (Sonoma, CA), Duncan Miller Gallery (Santa Monica, CA), Tao Gallery (Hong Kong) and Serindia Gallery Annex (Bangkok.) In 2020, she was one of 25 artists included in Photo-Eye Gallery's (Santa Fe, NM) first-ever juried exhibition. Her work is currently displayed on The Strand Cruise ship in Burma/Myanmar. She was a Photolucida Critical Mass Top 50 finalist in 2019 and 2012. In 2016, ten of Denevan's images were published in a book of Lao photographs published by Nazraeli Press and Friends Without A Border in NY. In addition, her photographs have been published in ZYZZYVA, LensWork, SHOTS, and Bangkok Airways Inflight Magazine among others. She is the All About Photo 2020 Photographer of the Year award recipient. Monica Denevan is represented by Scott Nichols Gallery. She lives and works in San Francisco. Statement In my ongoing series "Songs of the River: Portraits from Burma," I make portraits of fishermen and their families by the Irrawaddy River. Burma (Myanmar) has a long troubled history, which continues into the present and now receives much more international notice and condemnation since my first trip in 2000. However, little has changed in the quiet villages I often visit. Generations of families live together in thatched roofed huts built on stilts. Women wash clothes in the river. Girls collect river water in large plastic containers that they balance on their heads. Men and boys are often out all night fishing. In the evening, children play, sing, bathe, and joke around at the river's edge. The sounds echo over the water. When in the villages, I am most interested in making portraits of the people I spend my time with, some of whom I have photographed since I first visited the country. I am grateful to be allowed briefly into their lives. The nearby area is stark, minimal, and ever changing, and I use that environment in my photographs. The landscape becomes another subject, another portrait within the picture. As families grow, I incorporate new people into my images, combining the spare, external world with the physicality of the individual. To return to the same place annually and find a new way to see it or to look for what is different is a daily adventure that I enjoy.
John Coplans
United Kingdom
1920 | † 2003
John Rivers Coplans was a British artist, art writer, curator, and museum director. His father was Joseph Moses Coplans, a medical doctor and a man of many scientific and artistic talents. His father left England for Johannesburg while John was an infant. At the age of two, John was brought to his father in South Africa; from 1924-1927 the family was in flux between London and South Africa, settling in a seaside Cape Town suburb until 1930. Despite the instability of his early home life, Coplans developed an enormous admiration for his father, who took him to galleries at weekends and instilled within him a love for exploration, experimentation, and a fascination with the world. In 1937, John Coplans returned to England from South Africa. When eighteen, he was commissioned into the Royal Air Force as an Acting Pilot Officer. Due to his hearing being affected by a rugby match, two years later, he volunteered for the army. His childhood experience living in Africa led to his appointment to the King’s African Rifles in East Africa. He was active as a platoon commander (primarily in Ethiopia) until 1943, after which his unit was deployed to Burma. In 1945 Coplans returned to civilian life and decided to become an artist. After being demobilised, Coplans settled in London, rooming at the Abbey Art Centre; he wanted to become an artist. The British government was giving grants to veterans of the war, and he received one such grant to study art. He tried both Goldsmiths and Chelsea College of the Arts, but found that art school did not suit him. He painted part-time for clients including Cecil Beaton, Basil Deardon whilst running his business John Rivers Limited which specialised in interior decorating. In the mid-1950s, Coplans began attending lectures by Lawrence Alloway at the Institute of Contemporary Arts. Here he was introduced to the budding Pop Art movement, which he would become deeply involved in as both critic and curator. His experience viewing exhibitions such as the Hard-Edged Painting exhibition (ICA, 1959) and New American Painting (The Tate, 1959) helped to solidify his growing passion for not just Pop Art, but American art as well. During this period he struggled as a young artist to find his artistic voice, and developed an abstract painting practice which reflected trends of tachism and Abstract Expressionism pioneered by Americans Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning. Coplans would later refer to this early painting work as "derivative"; these paintings were shown in exhibitions at the Royal Society of British Artists (1950) and later at the New Vision Center. In 1960, Coplans sold all of his belongings and moved to the United States, initially settling in San Francisco and taking a position at UC Berkeley as a visiting assistant design professor. Here he met gallerist Phil Leider, the future editor of ArtForum. Leider connected Coplans to John Irwin, who wanted to start a magazine. Coplans convinced Irwin that the West Coast needed an art publication: one that gave voice to art that was important, but had not yet received critical attention. He further suggested that it should be published in square format so that both vertical and horizontal images would be viewed equally, thus giving birth to ArtForum's iconic shape—and to the successful foundation of ArtForum itself. Coplans was a regular writer for the magazine. His perspective on art writing was anti-elitist, using popular appeal and excitement over new work to “stimulate debate and awareness” especially for West Coast artists. Finding himself conflicted between his painting and writing careers, he chose the latter and devoted the next twenty years of his life to the magazine, as well as curatorial pursuits and a career as a museum director. It was not until 1981, at the age of 62, that he returned to his career as an artist.Source: Wikipedia John Coplans had a career in reverse. He was 60 by the time he established himself as a photographer, having already had a long and active life as a curator, editor, writer, artist and decorator. A pioneer of selfportraiture, he took large format black-and-white close-ups of his bare body that sent ripples of shock, recognition and frequent praise through the international art world. A major element in the fascination was an obsession with one of our few remaining taboos: the process of ageing and physical decrepitude. And with the anonymity of identity: in Coplans' words, "To remove all references to my current identity, I leave out my head." The blow-ups of sagging flesh, creased folds, odd protuberances and body hair of an old man become the documentary tale of the decline of Everyman. After a brief spell teaching at the University of California, Berkeley, in 1962 Coplans co-founded Artforum magazine and, for the next two decades, his career was to be as artistically various as it was financially precarious. Artforum was intended to combat the anti-intellectualism Coplans felt he had encountered at Berkeley, and the notion that there was nothing to be said about art, since you either made it or looked at it. His whole background was in stimulating debate and awareness, at a popular rather than an elite level. Inevitably, as he later explained, "The thing was how to get the eastern establishment to read about west coast art". Within five years, the magazine was relocated to Manhattan, with Coplans acting as west coast editor. As a museum curator, he enjoyed similarly shifting fortunes. His first project was a pop art exhibition at the Oakland art museum, and, in 1963, he became director of the university gallery at Irvine, organising an important show by Frank Stella. From 1967 to 1971, he transferred to the Pasadena art museum. Alongside established artists like Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol and Donald Judd, he gave Robert Irwin, Richard Serra and James Turrell their first shows. In 1971, Coplans moved to New York to became editor of Artforum, and, in 1975, published his own version of events leading to the bankruptcy and takeover of the Pasadena art museum, “Diary Of A Disaster.” During his seven years at the helm, Artforum increasingly jettisoned the militant formalism with which it had been identified, and became a platform for the catholicity of Coplans' artistic tastes, including19th-century photography and contemporary European abstract art. In 1978, the publisher gave Coplans the choice of buying the magazine or quitting. Not being in a position to do the former, he became director of the Akron art museum in Ohio, where, again, he combined curatorial work with launching a new magazine, appropriately named Dialogue. He also published books on photographers, ranging from Weegee to Brancusi, and started his own photographic experiments. By 1980, Coplans was back in New York, and the following year had his first solo show at the Daniel Wolf Gallery. At last, he had found not only the medium but also the subject of his artistic expression. He called his works auto-portraits, and, created by means of a live-feedback video camera with an automatic shutter, they honed in on the physical landscapes of the body with all the sculptural focus - but without the distortions of the lens - of Bill Brandt's Perspective Of Nudes (1961). This was to become Coplans' constant subject matter. In 1986, he had his first show of self-portraits at the Pace/MacGill Gallery, New York. Sandra Phillips, the long-time photography curator at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, immediately saw the importance of the work. His first major museum exhibition followed at SF MoMA in 1988, and the exhibition traveled on to the Museum of Modern Art in New York that same year. The work was rapidly acquired and shown by the The J. Paul Getty Museum, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and the Whitney Museum of Art; in 1997 (the same year he remarried), a major retrospective was staged MoMA PS1 Contemporary Art Centre in Queens. He published books of the work, principally the anonymous-sounding A Body, Body Parts and A Self-Portrait, and finally Provocations, which includes his photo-essays and criticism. Coplans has a daughter, Barbara, and a son, Joseph; he has two granddaughters. He was married four times. His fourth wife, photographer Amanda Means, is the Trustee for the John Coplans Trust in Beacon, New York. John Coplans was born June 20, 1920 in London and died on August 21, 2003 in New York.Source: The John Coplans Trust
Szymon Barylski
Poland
1984
Szymon Barylski Polish freelance photographer born in 1984 based in Ireland. He has been published, among others, The Irish Times, National Geographic Poland, The Eye of Photography, Edge of Humanity Magazine. He has had a number of exhibitions in many countries including 3rd Documentary Photography Days in Istambul, MIFA Photography, The SE Centre for Photography- Documentary Photography. His pictures were awarded in many competitions. Szymon is involved in documentary photography and photo essays. Photographing for he is a tool for exploring and learning about the world. He tries to tell a story and show it directly. In his opinion, people are an inexhaustible topic and a source of inspiration. Szymon said: „When traveling, I meet people; as a result, I create the image of my relation with them. The exploration of the environment where I take photos allow me to create emotional and convincing scenes.“ He thinks you cannot photograph the things you do not know well. That is why he prepares himself for each project individually, accurately, going into detail in the newspapers and on the Internet. Next, he looks for an inspiration in other photographer’s photos and conversations, as a result, he can create real pictures. His own narrative presented in his photos are at the same time very personal and common. Szymon thinks that a lot of people can identify themselves with his works. Photographer wish his photos could increase individual and collective awareness about the social, political and economic need and urge people to act, be part of positive changes.
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AAP Magazine #22: Streets
AAP Magazine #22: Streets
Solo Exhibition December 2021

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