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Susan Meiselas
Susan Meiselas

Susan Meiselas

Country: United States
Birth: 1948

Susan Meiselas is a documentary photographer who lives and works in New York. She is the author of Carnival Strippers (1976), Nicaragua (1981), Kurdistan: In the Shadow of History (1997), Pandora's Box (2001), Encounters with the Dani (2003) Prince Street Girls (2016), A Room Of Their Own (2017) and Tar Beach (2020). She has co-edited two published collections: El Salvador, Work of 30 Photographers (1983) and Chile from Within (1990), rereleased as an e-book in 2013, and also co-directed two films: Living at Risk (1985) and Pictures from a Revolution (1991) with Richard P. Rogers and Alfred Guzzetti.

Meiselas is well known for her documentation of human rights issues in Latin America. Her photographs are included in North American and international collections. In 1992 she was made a MacArthur Fellow, received a Guggenheim Fellowship (2015), and most recently the Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize (2019) and the first Women in Motion Award from Kering and the Rencontres d'Arles. Mediations, a survey exhibition of her work from the 1970s to present was recently exhibited at the Fundació Antoni Tàpies, Jeu de Paume, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Instituto Moreira Salles in São Paulo.

She has been the President of the Magnum Foundation since 2007, which supports, trains, and mentors the next generation of in-depth documentary photographers and innovative practice.
 

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Jacques Henri Lartigue
France
1894 | † 1986
Jacques Henri Lartigue is 69 years old in 1963 when he first presents a selection of his many photographs taken throughout his life in New York’s MoMa. That same year there is a photo spread of his work in the famous Life Magazine issue which commemorates the death of John Fitzgerald Kennedy, and which is publicized worldwide. To his great surprise, Lartigue becomes, overnight, one of the renowned photographers of the twentieth century. Jacques learns about photography from his father as early as the year 1900. Henri Lartigue rewards Jacques’s enthusiasm by buying him his first camera when he is 8 years old. Thus begins the endless coverage of his childhood, including automobile outings, family holidays and especially his older brother Maurice’s (nicknamed Zissou) inventions. Both brothers are fascinated by cars, aviation, and all sports with increasing popularity at the time. Jacques’s camera freezes each moment. As an adult he continues to attend sporting events and to take part in elite sports such as skiing, skating, tennis and golf. However, ever mindful of the passage of time, photography is not quite enough to capture his childhood memories. A snapshot cannot encompass all there is to say and to remember. He thus begins keeping a journal and will continue to do so his whole life. Furthermore, as if to engage in a more renowned activity, he takes up drawing and painting. In 1915 he briefly attends the Julian Academy and thus painting becomes and remains his main professional activity. From 1922 on he exhibits his work in shows in Paris and in the south of France. In the meantime, in 1919, Jacques marries Madeleine Messager, the daughter of the composer André Messager, and their son Dani is born in 1921. Jacques and Madeleine get a divorce in 1931. He revels in high society and luxury until the beginning of the 1930’s until the decline of the Lartigue fortune forces him to search for other sources of income. He refuses however to take on a steady job and thus lose his freedom, and so he scarcely gets by with his painting during the 30’s and 40’s. In the beginning of the 1950’s and not in accordance with the legend in which he is a complete unknown, his work as a photographer is noticed. He nevertheless continues to paint. He embarks on a cargo ship to Los Angeles in 1962 with his third wife Florette. In a roundabout way, they stop on the East Coast and meet Charles Rado of the Rapho Agency who in turn contacts John Szwarkoski, MoMa’s photography department young curator. There is all-around enthusiasm. The first retrospective of his work is held in Paris’ “Musée des Arts Décoratifs” in 1975. One year earlier, Lartigue was commissioned by the President of France Valéry Giscard d’Estaing to shoot an official portrait photograph. In 1979 the Donation Agreement is signed and Lartigue becomes the first living French photographer to donate his work to the nation. He authorizes the Association des Amis de Jacques Henri Lartigue to preserve and promote the fund. In 1980, his dream of having his own museum comes true with the Grand Palais’ exhibit “Bonjour Monsieur Lartigue”. He continued his work as a photographer, painter and writer until his death in Nice on September 12th 1986. He was 92 years old. He left us with more than 100 000 snapshots, 7 000 pages of diary, 1 500 paintings. Source: Jacques-Henri Lartigue Donation
Yves Marchand & Romain Meffre
Marchand (b.1981) and Meffre (b.1987) live and work in Paris. Initially pursuing photography individually, they met online in 2002 and started working together with the beginning of their Detroit project in 2005. Steidl published The Ruins of Detroit in 2010. A second printing is planned for later this year. They are currently completing their Gunkanjima book, also to be published by Steidl, and they continue to work on a project documenting American theaters that have either fallen into decay or been transformed entirely. Their work has been exhibited extensively throughout Europe and has been featured in the New York Times, The Guardian, The British Journal of Photography, Time Magazine, amongst others. (Source: Edwynn Houk Gallery) About Theaters (2005-Ongoing): In the early 20th century, following the development of the entertainment industry, hundreds of theaters were built across North America. Major entertainment firms and movie studios commissioned specialized architects to build grandiose and extravagant auditoriums. From the 60's, TV, multiplexes and urban crisis made them obsolete. During the following decades, these theaters were either modernized, transformed into adult cinemas or they closed, one after the other; many of them were simply demolished. About Gunkanjima (2008-2012): In the South China Sea, 15 kilometers off the southwest coast of Nagasaki among the thousands of verdant landmasses that surround Japan, lies a mysterious island. With the geometric silhouette of a dark gray hull, perforated by hundreds of small windows, the island resembles a battleship. As one moves closer, approaching by sea, the figure takes shape again and the ghost ship turns into a block of concrete surrounded by a high wall on which waves crash - the island looks like a Japanese version of Alcatraz. Only 40 years ago, this tiny island was home to one of the most remarkable mining towns in the world and maintained the highest population density in the world. During the wave of industrialisation in the nineteenth century, a coal seam was discovered on the tiny Hashima island. In 1890 the Mitsubishi Corporation opened a mine on the island. For decades coal production sustained Japan's modernisation and helped establish its position as an industrialised nation and imperial power. Workers settled on the island and the population increased. Mine slag was used to expand the surface of the colony; piling up on itself like an ant hill. The small mining town quickly became an autonomous modern settlement (with apartment buildings, a school, hospital, shrine, retail stores and restaurants) which mimicked the other settlements on the Nippon archipelago. One multi-storied concrete apartment block with its brutal and rational style followed another, until the tiny island became the most densely populated place in the world per square meter with over 5,000 inhabitants in the 1950s. About The ruins of Detroit (2005-2010): At the end of the XIXth Century, mankind was about to fulfill an old dream. The idea of a fast and autonomous means of displacement was slowly becoming a reality for engineers all over the world. Thanks to its ideal location on the Great Lakes Basin, the city of Detroit was about to generate its own industrial revolution. Visionary engineers and entrepreneurs flocked to its borders. In 1913, up-and-coming car manufacturer Henry Ford perfected the first large-scale assembly line. Within few years, Detroit was about to become the world capital of automobile and the cradle of modern mass-production. For the first time of history, affluence was within the reach of the mass of people. Monumental skyscapers and fancy neighborhoods put the city's wealth on display. Detroit became the dazzling beacon of the American Dream. Thousands of migrants came to find a job. By the 50's, its population rose to almost 2 million people. Detroit became the 4th largest city in the United States.
Morris Engel
United States
1918 | † 2005
Morris Engel (April 8, 1918 - March 5, 2005) was an American photographer, cinematographer and filmmaker best known for making the first American film "independent" of Hollywood studios, Little Fugitive (1953), in collaboration with his wife, photographer Ruth Orkin, and their friend, writer Raymond Abrashkin. Engel was a pioneer in the use of hand-held cameras and nonprofessional actors in his films, cameras that he helped design, and his naturalistic films influenced future prominent independent and French New Wave filmmakers. A lifelong New Yorker, Morris Engel was born in Brooklyn in 1918. After joining the Photo League in 1936, Engel had his first exhibition in 1939, at the New School for Social Research. He worked briefly as a photographer for the Leftist newspaper PM before joining the United States Navy as a combat photographer from 1941 to 1946 in World War II. After the war, he returned to New York where he again was an active Photo League member, teaching workshop classes and serving as co-chair of a project group focusing on postwar labor issues. In 1953, Engel, along with his girlfriend, fellow photographer Ruth Orkin, and his former colleague at PM, Raymond Abrashkin, made the feature film Little Fugitive for $30,000, shooting the film on location in Coney Island with a hand-held 35 millimeter camera Engel had designed himself. This camera was compact and lightweight so it would be unobtrusive shooting in public. As such, it did not allow simultaneous sound recording; the sound was dubbed later. The film, one of the first successful American "independent films" earned them an Academy Award nomination for Best Writing, Motion Picture Story and a Silver Lion at the Venice Film Festival. The film told the story of a seven-year-old boy, played by Richie Andrusco, who runs away from home and spends the day at Coney Island. Andrusco never appeared in another film, and the other performers were mainly nonprofessional. Though their first film was a critical success, Engel and Orkin, who had since married, had a hard time finding funding for their next film, Lovers and Lollipops, which was completed in 1956. The film was about a widowed mother dating an old friend, and how her young daughter complicates their budding relationship. Like the first one, Lovers and Lollipops was filmed with a hand-held compact 35 mm camera, with sound dubbed in post-production. This was followed two years later by the more adult-centered Weddings and Babies, a film about an aspiring photographer than is often seen as autobiographical. This was Engel's first film to have live sound recorded at the time of filming, and is historically the first 35 mm fiction film made with a portable camera equipped for synchronized sound. In 1961, Engel directed three television commercials, including an award-winning one for Oreo cookies. The other two were for Ivory soap and Fab detergent. A half-hour short film The Dog Lover was made the following year, a comedy about a shop merchant whose life is turned upside down by the stray dog his kid brings home. He made a fourth feature in 1968 called I Need a Ride to California, which followed a group of young hippies in Greenwich Village. Post-production was shelved until 1972 when it was finally completed, but for unknown reasons, it was never released during his lifetime. It finally received its premiere in October 2019 at New York's Museum of Modern Art (MoMA); it was first released on home video in March 2021. In the 1980s, Engel began taking panoramic photographs on the streets of New York City. Engel and Ruth Orkin remained married until Orkin's death in 1985. In the 1990s, he returned to filmmaking, this time working on video. He completed two feature-length documentaries: A Little Bit Pregnant in 1994 and Camellia in 1998, each revolving around a different child in the Hartman family. First, in A Little Bit Pregnant Engel focused on the 8-year-old Leon's reactions, anxiety and wonderment to the impending birth of his baby sister Camellia. For the second film, two years later, Engel returned to the same family, who gave him a year of access to the now 2-year-old daughter Camellia, capturing her daily life and routines, and her relationships with her family and others. Both films were shown in private screenings, but never had a public release due likely to the Hartman family presumably holding the rights. Engel died of cancer in 2005.Source: Wikipedia Morris Engel was born in Brooklyn to immigrant parents from Lithuania. An early interest in photography led him to enroll in a class at New York’s Photo League, a group dedicated to raising social consciousness through modern photography. Some of the most influential photographers of the time were associated with the Photo League; Engel worked closely with Aaron Siskind on the project Harlem Document from 1936-40 and later assisted Paul Strand in filming Native Land. Like many Photo League photographers, Engel documented life in New York City, producing and exhibiting photo essays on Coney Island, the Lower East Side and Harlem. In 1939 he had his first exhibition at New York’s New School. In 1940 he joined the staff of the newspaper PM, but he left the publication one year later to sign on with the U.S. Navy as a member of a combat photo unit. He participated in the D-Day invasion of Normandy. In 1951 Engel momentarily quit still photography to pursue a career in filmmaking. He made a series of low-budget films with a custom 35 mm camera. His first feature film, Little Fugitive (made with his wife, the renowned photographer Ruth Orkin), earned an Academy Award nomination in 1953 for Best Original Screenplay and was screened in more than 5,000 theaters across the United States. Engel’s photographs are widely exhibited and found in the collections of the International Center of Photography (New York), the Museum of the City of New York, the Museum of Modern Art (New York) and the National Portrait Gallery (Washington, D.C.). His films continue to be screened at venues such as the Whitney Museum of Art (New York), the Brooklyn Museum and the American Museum of the Moving Image (New York).Source: American Photography Archives Group
Golnaz Abdoli
Iran/United States
1956
I was born in Iran and lived the first 18 years of my life there. The vivid memories of my homeland are its cold winters with snowcapped mountains, cars swerving on slippery roads, a small frozen pool, and me hoping that school would be cancelled; my mom preparing pomegranate for my siblings and I, and at the same time warming my hands with her warm breath. During the next forty years I enjoyed getting my degrees in Biology and Education in California, USA, raising my two children , and working in the field of education. I taught elementary school for 21 years. I picked up photography after I retired from teaching. I loved it immediately because it gave me a new voice to express myself and be creative. I found that photography and its many genres is a unique language with many dialects, and it can bring people from all over the world together. But now my love of photography has developed into a passion during the Covid-19 Pandemic. I appreciate it for helping me delve deep into my soul and understand myself better. During the lockdown photography has become my best friend and companion. Statement I approach photography of modern architecture as a visual puzzle that needs to be unravelled. My images are theatrical and mysterious. When I hold the camera, it awakens a sense of curiosity in me. I look up, ponder at the lines of steel coming together, light and shadow intertwining to form reflections, and I question how far into the space the lines travel, and the patterns repeat themselves. Reflections of outside buildings form mysterious forms and rhythms on the structural facade of modern architecture, inviting it to form a community with its surrounding. I appreciate the modern architecture for its beauty.
Manuello Paganelli
Dominican Republic/United States
1960
I was born in the Dominican Republic and growing up in the 1960s I watched my parents devote time to help others, exposing me to the inequality of wealth, education, and the lack of mind and body wellness prevalent on our small island. It was hard for me to understand why poor children would be on the streets instead of in a warmer, safer place. I saw school-age boys like me but barefoot and shining the fancy shoes of businessmen. Scruffy kids with open hands asking for pennies. Running, begging for anything to eat, fending for themselves, and surviving on their wits alone. None of my parents' words made it better, or helped me understand what led to my country's socio-economic crisis. With my parents' humanistic influence, I figured I would become an attorney like my father or a missionary doctor. In 1972, I arrived in the US for high school without speaking any English. By my last year of college in Tennessee, I lost all desire to become a doctor, My father stopped supporting me. I found work on the assembly lines and loading docks of the local McKee Baking Company. In 1982 I bought my first camera as a way to forget my doomed career. While browsing in a bookstore I learned about a man named Ansel Adams. A few glances at Adams' powerful black-and-white landscapes left me hypnotized. Within days, I was on the telephone with Ansel. It was an innocent call but that first conversation with Ansel Adams led to many more, until we established a warm mentoring relationship that lasted until he passed away in 1984. My break into professional photography began when I was hired as a staff photographer for The Chattanooga Times in 1982. While that photojournalism experience was invaluable, I soon left for the Washington, DC area, where I began a freelance editorial photography career and from there migrated into humanistic photography. In 1989, I began traveling to Cuba to find long-lost relatives. There I learned about the social issues of the island and the survival spirit of the Cuban people, becoming increasingly aware of the socio-political climate I continued to travel there. My documentary photos from my Cuban project culminated in an exhibition in 1995, where a Washington Post columnist wrote: "Paganelli's Cuban photographs are a brilliant window on a land and people too long hidden from North American eyes... Paganelli brings an artist's eyes and a native son's sensibility to his superb photographs." My current essay project, which started in 1994, explores Black Cowboys across the USA, examining cultural and regional influences within this well developed sub-culture. Statement I never planned on becoming a professional photographer. I always thought I'd be a doctor, but during my senior year in college I began to have doubts about a career in medicine. It was around that time that I bought a Canon camera. Despite years in the business, I still possess that same excitement for the craft that gripped me the first time I picked up a camera. And, too, I maintain a passion for sharing my subjects' stories through documentary photography. My influences are the things that my eyes capture from the moment I get up, see, sense and experience and everything else beyond that with the elements of sounds , shadows and light. But I've always admired the work of Walker Evans, Henry Cartier Bresson and most notably the works of W.Eugene Smith and Robert Frank. I also love the landscape of Ansel Adams and the beautiful magical touches of the portraits done by Irving Penn.
Leonard Freed
United States
1929 | † 2006
Leonard Freed was a documentary photojournalist and longtime Magnum member. He was born to Jewish, working-class parents of Eastern European descent. Freed had wanted to be a painter, but began taking photographs in the Netherlands and discovered a new passion. He traveled in Europe and Africa before returning to the United States where he attended the New School and studied with Alexey Brodovitch, the art director of Harper's Bazaar. In 1958 he moved to Amsterdam to photograph its Jewish community. Through the 1960s he continued to work as a freelance photojournalist, traveling widely. He documented such events and subjects as the Civil Rights movement in America (1964–65), the Yom Kippur War in 1973, and the New York City police department (1972–79). His career blossomed during the American civil rights movement, when he traveled the country with Martin Luther King, Jr. in his celebrated march across the US from Alabama to Washington. This journey gave him the opportunity to produce his 1968 book, Black in White America, which brought considerable attention. His work on New York City law enforcement also led to a book, Police Work which was published in 1980. Early in Freed's career, Edward Steichen purchased three photographs from Freed for the collection of the Museum of Modern Art.[ In 1967, Cornell Capa selected Freed as one of five photographers to participate in his "Concerned Photography" exhibition. Freed joined Magnum Photos in 1972. Publications to which Freed contributed over the years included Der Spiegel, Die Zeit, Fortune, Libération, Life, Look, Paris-Match, Stern, and The Sunday Times Magazine of London. In later years, Freed continued shooting photographs in Italy, Turkey, Germany, Lebanon and the U.S. He also shot four films for Japanese, Dutch and Belgian television.Source: Wikipedia Born in Brooklyn, New York, to working-class Jewish parents of Eastern European descent, Leonard Freed first wanted to become a painter. However, he began taking photographs while in the Netherlands in 1953, and discovered that this was where his passion lay. In 1954, after trips through Europe and North Africa, he returned to the United States and studied in Alexei Brodovitch's 'design laboratory'. He moved to Amsterdam in 1958 and photographed the Jewish community there. He pursued this concern in numerous books and films, examining German society and his own Jewish roots; his book on the Jews in Germany was published in 1961, and Made in Germany, about post-war Germany, appeared in 1965. Working as a freelance photographer from 1961 onwards, Freed began to travel widely, photographing blacks in America (1964-65), events in Israel (1967-68), the Yom Kippur War in 1973, and the New York City police department (1972-79). He also shot four films for Japanese, Dutch and Belgian television. Early in Freed's career, Edward Steichen, then Director of Photography at the Museum of Modern Art, bought three of his photographs for the museum. Steichen told Freed that he was one of the three best young photographers he had seen and urged him to remain an amateur, as the other two were now doing commercial photography and their work had become uninteresting. 'Preferably,' he advised, 'be a truck driver.' Freed joined Magnum in 1972. His coverage of the American civil rights movement first made him famous, but he also produced major essays on Poland, Asian immigration in England, North Sea oil development, and Spain after Franco. Photography became Freed's means of exploring societal violence and racial discrimination. Leonard Freed died in Garrison, New York, on 30 November 2006.Source: Steven Kasher Gallery
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