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Nick Brandt
Nick Brandt
Nick Brandt

Nick Brandt

Country: United Kingdom
Birth: 1964

Nick Brandt is an English photographer whose themes always relate to the disappearing natural world, before much of it is destroyed by mankind.

From 2001 to 2018, he has photographed in Africa. In his trilogy, On This Earth, A Shadow Falls Across The Ravaged Land (2001-2012), he established a style of portrait photography of animals in the wild similar to that of the photography of humans in studio setting, shot on medium format film, attempting to portray animals as sentient creatures not so different from us.

In Inherit the Dust (2016), in a series of panoramas, Brandt recorded the impact of man in places where animals used to roam, but no longer do. In each location, Brandt erected a life-size panel of one of his unreleased animal portrait photographs, placing the displaced animals on sites of explosive urban development, new factories, wastelands and quarries.

This Empty World (2019) addresses the escalating destruction of the natural world at the hands of humans, showing a world where, overwhelmed by runaway development, there is no longer space for animals to survive. The people in the photos also often helplessly swept along by the relentless tide of 'progress'.
Each image is a combination of two moments in time, captured weeks apart, almost all from the exact same locked-off camera position: A partial set is built and lit. Weeks follow whilst the wild animals in the area become comfortable enough to enter the frame. Once the animals are captured on camera, the full sets are built. A second sequence is then photographed with a cast of people drawn from local communities and beyond.

Brandt has had solo gallery and museum shows around the world, including New York, London, Berlin, Stockholm, Paris and Los Angeles.
Born and raised in England, he now lives in the southern Californian mountains.

He is co-founder of Big Life Foundation, fighting to protect the animals and ecosystem of a large area of Kenya and Tanzania.

On this Earth: The first book in the trilogy, On This Earth (Chronicle Books, 2005) constitutes 66 photos taken 2000-2004, with introductions by the conservationist and primatologist Jane Goodall and the author Alice Sebold. The photographs in this book are a unadulterated vision of an African paradise, deliberately contrasting with what is to follow in the subsequent books. Elephant with Exploding Dust, Amboseli 2004, the photo on the book's cover, has since become one of Brandt's best-known images. Critical response to the book, heralded Brandt's photographic achievement. Black and White magazine called his photos "heartbreakingly beautiful".

A Shadow Falls: The second book in the trilogy, A Shadow Falls, (Abrams, 2009) features 58 photographs taken 2005-2008. It is generally regarded to be superior to "On This Earth". In additional introductions, philosopher Peter Singer, author of the groundbreaking Animal Liberation, explains why Brandt's photographs speak to an increasing human moral conscience about our treatment of animals. The photography critic Vicki Goldberg places Brandt's work in the history of the medium. As the title of the book implies, this book, although replete with images of ethereal beauty and poetry, is a more melancholic interpretation of the world he photographs. Indeed, critic Vicki Goldberg writes: " A Shadow Falls, taken in its entirely, is a love story without a happily ever after." The photos in the book are deliberately sequenced: the opening images are of an unspoiled lush green world, filled with animals and water ("Wildebeest Arc, Masai Mara 2006" ). As the book progresses, the photos become gradually more stark, until towards the end, the trees are dead, the water gone, the animals are vastly reduced in numbers, until the book closes with the final ambiguous image, of a lone, abandoned ostrich egg on a parched lake bed. "Abandoned Ostrich Egg, Amboseli 2007". In addition the Artist's Edition book, entitled, On this Earth, a Shadow Falls, (Abrams Books/Big Life Editions) was published in 2010, combining the best 90 photos from the first two books, in a larger volume with much superior printing to the first two books.

Across The Ravaged Land: The completion of Nick Brandt’s trilogy: “On This Earth, A Shadow Falls, Across The Ravaged Land.” Release date, September 3, 2013 (Abrams Books, 2013), documents the disappearing natural world and animals of East Africa. This is the third and final volume of Nick Brandt's work which reveals the darker side of his vision of East Africa’s animal kingdom and the juxtaposition of mankind. The trilogy marks the last decade of a stunning world of the beauty of East Africa’s Serengeti, Marsai Mara, Amboseli, and ends with a dark and well-known unhappy ending. “Across The Ravaged Land” introduces humans in his photography for the first time exhibiting the cost of poachers, killing for profit. One such example is Ranger with Tusks of Killed Elephant, Amboseli 2011. This photograph features one of the rangers employed by Big Life Foundation, the Foundation that Nick Brandt started in 2010. The ranger holds the tusks of an elephant killed by poachers in the years prior to the Foundation's inception. Brandt captures the trophies in these epic landscapes and the images of perfectly preserved creatures calcified by the salts of the Rift Valley soda lake. In both instances, the creatures appear in an ethereal animated state seemingly posing for their portraits.

Big Life Foundation: In September 2010, in urgent response to the escalation of poaching in Africa due to increased demand from the Far East, Nick Brandt founded the non-profit organization called Big Life Foundation, dedicated to the conservation of Africa's wildlife and ecosystems. With one of the most spectacular elephant populations in Africa being rapidly diminished by poachers, the Amboseli ecosystem, which straddles both Kenya and Tanzania, became the Foundation's large-scale pilot project. Headed up in Kenya by renowned conservationist Richard Bonham, multiple fully equipped teams of anti-poaching rangers have been placed in newly built outposts in the critical areas throughout the 2-million-acre (8,100 km2) + area, resulting in a dramatically reduced incidence of killing and poaching of wildlife in the ecosystem.

Source: Wikipedia



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Eugene Smith Memorial Grant in Humanistic Photography. He is a fellow of the Royal Photographic Society and has an Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts from the Massachusetts College of Arts. Source: www.jamesnachtwey.com
Willy Ronis
France
1910 | † 2009
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Jim Goldberg
United States
1953
Jim Goldberg (born 1953) is an American artist and photographer, whose work reflects long-term, in-depth collaborations with neglected, ignored, or otherwise outside-the-mainstream populations. Among the many awards Goldberg has received are three National Endowment of the Arts Fellowships in Photography, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Henri Cartier-Bresson Award, and the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize. His works have been exhibited, published, and collected internationally. Goldberg is Professor Emeritus at the California College of the Arts, and has been a member of the Magnum Photos agency since 2002. He currently lives and works in the greater Bay Area. Goldberg is best known for his photography books, multi-media exhibitions, and video installations, among them: Rich and Poor (1985), Nursing Home, Raised by Wolves (1995), Hospice, and Open See (2009). His work often examines the lives of neglected, ignored, or otherwise outside-the-mainstream populations through long-term, in depth collaborations that investigate the nature of American myths about class, power, and happiness. Goldberg is part of an experimental documentary movement in photography, using a straightforward, cinéma vérité approach, based on a fundamentally narrative understanding of photography. The individuality of the subjects emerges in his works, "forming a context within which the viewer may integrate the unthinkable into the concept of self. Thus portrayed, this terrifying other is restored as a universal." Goldberg's work was featured with that of Robert Adams and Joel Sternfeld in a 1984 exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art entitled "Three Americans"; the exhibition was described as "a show of politically charged and socially conscious images." 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A review of a 1990 exhibition Shooting Back: Photography by and About the Homeless at the Washington Project for the Arts characterized the exhibition as "Issue Art" and characterized Goldberg as "a superior Issue Artist because he's a superior artist." A major mixed-media exhibition by Goldberg concerning at risk and homeless youth in California entitled Raised by Wolves began traveling in 1995 and was accompanied by a book of the same title. A review of the exhibition at the Corcoran Gallery of Art noted that Goldberg made reference to other artists and photographers; used photographs, videos, objects, and texts to convey meaning; and "let his viewers feel, in some corner of their psyches, the lure of abject lowliness, the siren call of pain." Although the accompanying book received one mixed review shortly after publication, it was described as "a heartbreaking novel with pictures", and in The Photobook: A History, Martin Parr and Gerry Badger praised it as "complex and thoughtful." A 1999 mixed media installation at the San Francisco Arts Commission gallery entitled "57/78/97" explored race relations in the United States, including the Little Rock Crisis of 1957, the 1978 Regents of the University of California v. Bakke decision, and the year following the passage of California Proposition 209 (1996) concerning affirmative action. Selected photographs from a series by Goldberg called "Open See," concerning refugees, immigrants, and trafficked people, were first exhibited in San Francisco in 2007. One review stated that the photographs may leave the viewer "paralyzed by uncertainty about what might alleviate the injustices" depicted. Part of the series came to be known as "Open See", and Goldberg's book of that title was published in 2009 by Steidl. In 2013 Goldberg was an artist in residence at Yale University Art Gallery with Donovan Wylie. They each created a body of work based in New Haven. In Candy, Jim Goldberg, a New Haven native, creates a multilayered photo-novel of aspiration and disillusionment, interspersing Super 8 film stills, images of New Haven’s urban landscape, annotated Polaroid portraits, and collaged archival materials to explicate the rise and fall of American cities in the 20th century. Goldberg considers New Haven’s quest to become a “model city” of America, contrasting its civic aspirations with its citizens’ lived realities.Source: Wikipedia Jim Goldberg’s innovative use of image and text make him a landmark photographer of our times. He has been working with experimental storytelling for over forty years, and his major projects and books include Rich and Poor (1977-85), Raised by Wolves (1985-95), Nursing Home (1986), Coming and Going (1996-present), Open See (2003-2009), The Last Son (2016), Ruby Every Fall (2016), Candy (2013-2017), Darrell & Patricia (2018), and Gene (2018). His work is in numerous private and public collections including the Museum of Modern Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Getty, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. He is the recipient of numerous awards including three National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships, a Guggenheim Fellowship (1985), the Henri Cartier-Bresson Award (2007), and the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize (2011). Goldberg is Professor Emeritus at the California College of the Arts and is a member of Magnum Photos.Source: Magnum Photos An heir to such social documentarians as Walker Evans and Robert Frank, Goldberg is inspired and informed by his ongoing interest in people and their positions in society as a function of broader cultural policies and practices. His work is the aesthetic embodiment of Frank’s opinion that “the truth is somewhere between the documentary and the fictional.”Source: Pace/MacGill Gallery
Roman Vishniac
Russia/United States
1897 | † 1990
Roman Vishniac was a Russian-American photographer, best known for capturing on film the culture of Jews in Central and Eastern Europe before the Holocaust. A major archive of his work was housed at the International Center of Photography until 2018, when Vishniac's daughter, Mara Vishniac Kohn, donated it to The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life at the University of California, Berkeley. Vishniac was a versatile photographer, an accomplished biologist, an art collector and teacher of art history. He also made significant scientific contributions to photomicroscopy and time-lapse photography. Vishniac was very interested in history, especially that of his ancestors, and strongly attached to his Jewish roots; he was a Zionist later in life. Roman Vishniac won international acclaim for his photos of shtetlach and Jewish ghettos, celebrity portraits, and microscopic biology. His book A Vanished World, published in 1983, made him famous and is one of the most detailed pictorial documentations of Jewish culture in Eastern Europe in the 1930s. Vishniac was also remembered for his humanism and respect for life, sentiments that can be seen in all aspects of his work. In 2013, Vishniac's daughter Mara (Vishniac) Kohn donated to the International Center of Photography the images and accompanying documents comprising ICP's Roman Vishniac Rediscovered travelling exhibition. In October, 2018, Kohn donated the Vishniac archive of an estimated 30,000 items, including photo negatives, prints, documents and other memorabilia that had been housed at ICP to the Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life, a unit of the University of California at Berkeley's library system.Source: Wikipedia As the Nazis rose to power in Berlin, Vishniac photographed the ominous changes in the city and also worked to document Germany-Jewish relief and social service organizations. In 1935, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (AJDC) hired Vishniac to travel to Eastern Europe and take photographs documenting Jewish poverty and relief efforts to be used in its fundraising campaigns. In 1939, Vishniac pursued other AJDC assignments in Western Europe and worked as a freelance photographer there. After the German invasion of France, he was arrested and sent to an internment camp. With help from the AJDC and the remainder of his family’s resources, he secured the release and immigrated with his wife and two children to the United States via Portugal in December 1940. They settled in New York, where Vishniac worked as a photographer, making portraits and documenting Jewish refugees and American-Jewish community life. In 1947, Vishniac returned to Europe to document the aftermath of the war and the plight of refugees and those living in displaced persons camps. Back in the United States, Vishniac continued his work as photographer and scientist and became a pioneer in the new field of photomicroscopy. Vishniac’s photographs of Jewish life in prewar Eastern Europe gained renown in the aftermath of the Holocaust and were used to illustrate numerous books. Many people today are familiar with his work from his book A Vanished World (1983). However, the public saw only a small fraction of Vishniac’s work before his daughter, Mara Vishniac Kohn, entrusted his images to ICP and the Museum. This project makes them available to the public at large in hopes of learning more about the subjects of his photographs.Source: Unites States Holocaust Memorial Museum As an amateur photographer, Roman Vishniac took to the streets with his camera throughout the 1920s and ’30s, offering an astute, often humorous visual commentary on his adopted city and experimenting with new and modern approaches to framing and composition. Documenting the rise of Nazi power, he focused his lens on the signs of oppression and doom that soon formed the backdrop of his Berlin street photography. From 1935 to 1938, while living in Berlin and working as a biologist and science photographer, he was commissioned by the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), then the world’s largest Jewish relief organization, to photograph impoverished Jewish communities in Central and Eastern Europe. On New Year’s Eve, 1940, he arrived in New York and soon opened a portrait studio. At the same time, he began documenting American Jewish communal and immigrant life and established himself as a pioneer in the field of photomicroscopy. In 1947, Vishniac returned to Europe and documented Jewish displaced persons camps and the ruins of Berlin. During this time, he also recorded the efforts of Holocaust survivors to rebuild their lives and the work of the JDC and other Jewish relief organizations in providing them with aid and emigration assistance.Source: International Center of Photography
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