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Jeff Brouws
Jeff Brouws
Jeff Brouws

Jeff Brouws

Country: United States
Birth: 1955

Jeff Brouws, born in San Francisco in 1955, is a self-taught artist. Pursuing photography since age 13, where he roamed the railroad and industrial corridors of the South Bay Peninsula, Brouws has compiled a visual survey of America's evolving rural, urban and suburban cultural landscapes. Using single photographs as subtle narratives and compiling typologies to index the nation's character, he revels in the "readymades" found in many of these environments. Influenced by the New Topographic Movement, the artist books of Ed Ruscha (to whom Brouws paid homage with his Twentysix Abandoned Gasoline Stations project in 1992) as well as the writings of cultural geographers like J.B. Jackson, Dolores Hayden, John Stilgoe, Mike Davis and Leo Marx, Brouws has combined anthropological inquiry with a somber aesthetic vision mining the overlooked, the obsolete, and the mundane. Initially engaged with what Walker Evans termed the "historical contemporary" along America's secondary highways beginning in the late 1980s, over the following twenty years Brouws has extended this inquiry into the everyday places occupied by most Americans – the franchised landscapes of strip malls, homogenized housing tracts and fast food chains.

Since moving to the Northeast in the late 1990s, Brouws has also investigated inner city areas, abandoned manufacturing sites, and other commercial ruins found in Buffalo, Detroit, Cleveland and Youngstown. His photographs of these discarded spaces—the byproducts of de-industrialization, white flight, disinvestment, and failed urban policy—suggest an underlying disparity throughout a country that purports economic equality and social justice for all.

Alongside his photographic practice, for the past thirty years Brouws has researched and written about the historic and aesthetic development of railroad photography in America, authoring and editing numerous books on the subject including The Call of Trains: Railroad Photographs by Jim Shaughnessy, A Passion for Trains: The Railroad Photography of Richard Steinheimer, and his most recent publication (edited with Wendy Burton) Some Vernacular Railroad Photographs.

In 2013 Brouws (along with co-editors Wendy Burton and Hermann Zschiegner and authors Phil Taylor and Mark Rawlinson) published Various Small Books: Referencing the Various Small Books by Ed Ruscha (MIT Press). This was a multi-year, collaborative project involving ninety artists from around the world. Honoring Ruscha’s seminal books from the 1960s and 70s like Twentysix Gasoline Stations, VSB went on to become the defacto catalog for the Ed Ruscha: Books & Co exhibition staged at the Gagosian Gallery, New York and the Museum Brandhorst in Munich.

Brouws’s photography is represented by The Robert Mann Gallery, The Robert Koch Gallery, The Robert Klein Gallery, and The Craig Krull Gallery. His work is in numerous private and public collections including the Whitney Museum of American Art, Princeton University Art Museum and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
 

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More Great Photographers To Discover

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.
Francesco Zizola
Since the 1980's Francesco Zizola (Italy, 1962) has documented the world's major conflicts and their hidden crisis, focusing on the social and humanitarian issues that define life in the developing world as well as in western countries. A strong ethical commitment and a distinctive aesthetic eye are specific features of his pictures. His assignments and personal projects have taken him around the world, giving him the opportunity to carefully portray forgotten crises and relevant issues often disregarded by the mainstream media. He received several awards over the years, including ten awards in World Press Photo contests and six Picture of the Year International awards (POYi). Francesco published seven books, among which 'Uno Sguardo Inadeguato' (Collana Grandi Autori, FIAF, 2013), ' Iraq' (Ega/Amnesty International, 2007) and 'Born Somewhere' (Delpire/Fusi Orari, 2004), an extensive work on the living conditions of children from 27 different countries. In 2003 Henri Cartier Bresson included one of Francesco's pictures among his 100 favorites. This collection was made into an exhibition - Les Choix d'Henri Cartier Bresson - and a book. In 2007 Francesco founded with a group of colleagues NOOR photo agency, based in Amsterdam. In 2008 he founded 10b Photography (Rome, Italy), a multipurpose centre for digital photography promoting photography culture through exhibitions, workshops and lectures. In 2014 he was a jury member of the World Press Photo Contest. In 2016 Francesco has been awarded 2nd prize in the Contemporary Issues category of World Press Photo for his series 'In the Same Boat'. Francesco lives in Rome, Italy. Hybris, the last great work by Francesco, is a project that aims to tell, through a complex and articulate photographic language, how much man has exceeded the limits concerning the four elements of nature. Every day Water, Fire, Earth and Air, are attacked and depleted of their organic and inorganic richness and diversity, of their vital energy so essential even for human life. At the time of writing this text, the chapter Hybris Water is in its final stage. The section of Hybrs Water wants to be a testimony of what is fast disappearing into the sea. The millennial balance that regulated the relationship between the need for human livelihood and the ability of the sea to bestow it, is suffering a crisis. Thanks to advanced technology and hunger for profit, contemporary man has forgotten the limit inherent to nature. Ignoring the cycles of reproduction and destroying the environment where biological diversity should always abound, the great fishing industry is drastically eliminating life in the sea. Those who still practice sustainable fishing today should be considered as the last witnesses of a possible symbiotic relationship with the sea and its life. The last witnesses with a knowledge that, once forgotten, can no longer be passed down to future generations. The fishermen live together with the fish from which their life depends, portrayed with the same dignity of the fishermen who have captured them, they are exposed among them, at the same height of their eyes, of their faces. The fishing scenes are taken with a careful look to make justice of that old relationship of respect towards the sea shown by those who practice a traditional way of fishing year after year, a sustainable fishing indeed. Francesco tries to give voice to different points of view. That of men, but also that of the nature that surrounds us and on which we depend.
Lillian Bassman
United States
1917 | † 2012
Lillian Bassman (June 15, 1917 – February 13, 2012) was an American photographer and painter. Her parents were Jewish intellectuals who emigrated to the United States from Russia in 1905 and settled in Brooklyn, New York. She studied at the Textile High School in Manhattan with Alexey Brodovitch and graduated in 1933. While there, she met the photographer, Paul Himmel, and they were married in 1935; Himmel died in 2009 after 73 years of marriage. From the 1940s until the 1960s Bassman worked as a fashion photographer for Junior Bazaar and later at Harper's Bazaar where she promoted the careers of photographers such as Richard Avedon, Robert Frank, Louis Faurer and Arnold Newman. Under the guidance of the Russian emigrant, Alexey Brodovitch, she began to photograph her model subjects primarily in black and white. Her work was published for the most part in Harper’s Bazaar from 1950 to 1965. By the 1970s Bassman’s interest in pure form in her fashion photography was out of vogue. She turned to her own photo projects and abandoned fashion photography. In doing so she tossed out 40 years of negatives and prints - her life’s work. A forgotten bag filled with hundreds of images was discovered over 20 years later. Bassman’s fashion photographic work began to be re-appreciated in the 1990s. She worked with digital technology and abstract color photography into her 90s to create a new series of work. She used Photoshop for her image manipulation. The most notable qualities about her photographic work are the high contrasts between light and dark, the graininess of the finished photos, and the geometric placement and camera angles of the subjects. Bassman became one of the last great woman photographers in the world of fashion. Bassman died on February 13, 2012, at age 94. Source: Wikipedia Lillian Bassman was born in 1917 into an immigrant family of free-thinking intellectuals, and was brought up with a mindset that allowed her to live as an independent and unconventional woman.She worked as a textile designer and fashion illustrator before working at Harper's Bazaar with Alexey Brodovitch, and ultimately becoming a photographer. Bassman's fashion images are unique, and acheieve their effect through manipulation in the dark room. Appearing in Harper's Bazaar from the 1940's to the 1960's, her work was categorized by their elegance and grace.Bassman had transformed these photographs into original works of art through her darkroom techniques in which she blurs and bleaches the images, investing them with poetry, mystery, and glamour. Source: Staley-Wise Gallery Lillian Bassman is one of the great 20th century fashion photographers along with Irving Penn and Richard Avedon. She began her career not as a photographer but as a painter at the WPA and then took courses at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York. In 1945, Bassman was appointed Art Director at Junior Bazaar, giving projects to photographers such as Richard Avedon, Robert Frank and Paul Himmel (her husband). Later in 1947, she became the Art Director at Harper’s Bazaar, and her work appeared in Harper’s Bazaar throughout the 1940’s and 50’s. Her work was nearly destroyed in the 70’s by a water leak in her studio, and it was not until the 1990’s that her work was revived. With this new spotlight, Bassman received the Agfa Life Time Achievement Award and the Dem Art Directors Club Award in 1996. During the same year, Bassman began photographing again when she was asked to photograph the Haute Couture collection for New York Times Magazine, the Autumn Collection for Neiman Marcus, as well as work for German Vogue. Her work has been exhibited worldwide. Source: Peter Fetterman Gallery
Cedric Delsaux
France
1974
Cédric Delsaux was born in 1974. For almost 20 years, his oeuvre has sought to deconstruct our conventional view of the relationship between reality and photography. His aim is for the medium of photography to no longer directly express Reality, but rather the Fiction through which it is perceived. First known for his work as an advertising photographer, he has since made a name for himself through his personal long-term photo series. His first, Here To Stay/Nous resterons sur terre, was published in 2008 in France, and by Monacelli Press (Random House) in the US the following year. This series takes us on a subjective tour of symbolic places in our (post)modern world; these places are at once beautiful and ugly, conventional and crazy. His second, Dark Lens, was published in France in 2011 by Éditions Xavier Barral, distributed in the US by D.A.P., and translated into Japanese through publisher X-Knowledge. George Lucas wrote the foreword to the book. Dark Lens places characters from the Star Wars saga into real-world settings—like Dubai, Lille or the banlieue of Paris—and reveals the extent to which our perception of a city passes through the filter of fiction. In his next series, Échelle 1, he asked random passers-by to stand on a white wooden base, instantly transforming them into 1:1 scale figurines. For his 2014 book, Zone de repli, published by Éditions Xavier Barral, he spent three years reexploring an infamous news story, revisiting the haunts of a notorious imposter-murderer. The series he made with "France Territoire Liquide", a group co-founded with three other photographers, featured in an exhibition at the Bibliothèque nationale de France in 2017 (Paysages français: Une aventure photographique) and in a collected volume published by Éditions du Seuil ("Fiction&Cie" collection). Welcome to the Dark Corporation. It all began over 14 years ago with Dark Lens, Delsaux's initial series combining everyday places with the universe of Star Wars. Hailed an international success (...), it was honored by the Master himself, George Lucas.* After taking a break, Cédric Delsaux now reawakens the fantasy with this new opus, irreversibly breaking down the boundaries between Reality and Fiction... While the vehicles and characters of the famous Star Wars saga still haunt the real-world places he shoots—like Paris, Dubai, Marseilles, and Abu Dhabi—, this time Delsaux has worked with a full team (designer, 3D graphic artists, retouchers) to further tear back the veil between true and false, to the point that we begin to wonder if even the slightest frontier still remains. What was originally a simple confrontation between Reality and Science Fiction is finished; now the World and the "Dark Corporation" become one. It is as if the characters of the series have now permanently settled on Earth, bringing with them their ancient powers. These new residents have acquired their own vehicles, which are inspired by the Hollywood saga but recreated in the style of earthlings, borrowing design and techniques from the world that came before, the one that belonged to humankind... With this approach Cédric Delsaux combines two opposing states, reality and fantasy, as if to suggest that one can no longer be perceived without the other. The present of his photographs is no longer in the indicative, but is modified using some unknown conjugation to produce a sort of present of the conditional, distorting Roland Barthe's formula "this has been" into a puzzling "and if this was". Delsaux also uses his sets to suggest a looming, insidious threat. Each piece of land he captures depicts the latent conflict between human beings and the technology they have created... And he has an original way of exploiting the modern myth that is Star Wars to summon up all the anxieties and ambitions of a generation abandoned at the edge of the gaping chasm left by the disappearance of the Grand Narratives. Designer Vincent Gravière
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Call for Entries
Solo Exhibition
Be Featured in our Apr 2021 Online Juried Solo Exhibition!