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Umberto Verdoliva
Umberto Verdoliva
Umberto Verdoliva

Umberto Verdoliva

Country: Italy
Birth: 1961

I was born in 1961 in Castellammare di Stabia near to Naples.
I live in Treviso (Italy).
I immediately loved street photography, this awareness over time has pushed me to investigate my "daily" in depth, constantly seeking poetry and beauty in the humanity around me.
From 2010 to 2017, I was a member of the international collective "ViVo" and in 2013 I founded "SPONTANEA" an Italian collective dedicated to street photography dissolved in 2019
I like to convey my passion by curating workshops, exhibitions, portfolio readings, presentations, writing articles and insights on photography.
Many of my photos and photographic projects have been published in the main Italian and international photography magazines.
 

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Raymond Depardon
Raymond Depardon, born in France in 1942, began taking photographs on his family farm in Garet at the age of 12. Apprenticed to a photographer-optician in Villefranche-sur-Saône, he left for Paris in 1958. He joined the Dalmas agency in Paris in 1960 as a reporter, and in 1966 he co-founded the Gamma agency, reporting from all over the world. From 1974 to 1977, as a photographer and film-maker, he covered the kidnap of a French ethnologist, François Claustre, in northern Chad. Alongside his photographic career, he began to make documentary films: 1974, Une Partie de Campagne and San Clemente. In 1978 Depardon joined Magnum and continued his reportage work until the publication of Notes in 1979 and Correspondance New Yorkaise in 1981. In that same year, Reporters came out and stayed on the programme of a cinema in the Latin Quarter for seven months. In 1984 he took part in the DATAR project on the French countryside. While still pursuing his film-making career, he received the Grand Prix National de la Photographie in 1991, but his films also won recognition: in 1995 his film Délits Flagrants, on the French justice system, received a César Award for best documentary, and in 1998 he undertook the first in a series of three films devoted to the French rural world. The Maison Européenne de la Photographie in Paris mounted an important exhibition of his work in 2000. The sequel to his work on French justice was shown as part of the official selection at the Cannes Film Festival in 2004. As part of an initiative by the Fondation Cartier for contemporary art, Depardon made an installation of films on twelve large cities, shown in Paris, Tokyo and Berlin between 2004 and 2007. In 2006 he was invited to be artistic director of the Rencontres Internationales d'Arles. He is working on a photographic project on French territory which is due to be completed in 2010. He has made eighteen feature-length films and published forty-seven books. Source: Magnum Photos Raymond Depardon (born 6 July 1942 in Villefranche-sur-Saône, France) is a French photographer, photojournalist and documentary filmmaker. Depardon is for the most part a self-taught photographer, as he began taking pictures on his family's farm when he was 12. He apprenticed with a photographer-optician in Villefranche-sur-Saône before he moved to Paris in 1958. He began his career as a photojournalist in the early 1960s. He travelled to conflict zones including Algeria, Vietnam, Biafra and Chad. In 1966, Depardon co-founded the photojournalism agency Gamma, and he became its director in 1974. In 1973 he became Gamma’s director. From 1975 to 1977 Depardon traveled in Chad and received a Pulitzer Prize in 1977. The next year he left Gamma to become a Magnum associate, then a full member in 1979. In the 1990s, Depardon went back to his parents’ farm to photograph rural landscapes in color, and then in 1996 published a black-and-white road journal, In Africa. In May 2012, he took the official portrait of French President François Hollande. Source: Wikipedia
Julia Margaret Cameron
United Kingdom
1815 | † 1879
Julia Margaret Cameron (née Pattle; 11 June 1815 – 26 January 1879) was a British photographer. She became known for her portraits of celebrities of the time, and for photographs with Arthurian and other legendary themes. Cameron's photographic career was short, spanning eleven years of her life (1864–1875). She took up photography at the relatively late age of 48, when she was given a camera as a present. Although her style was not widely appreciated in her own day, her work has had an impact on modern photographers, especially her closely cropped portraits. Her house, Dimbola Lodge, on the Isle of Wight is open to the public. Julia Margaret Cameron was born Julia Margaret Pattle in Calcutta, India, to James Pattle, a British official of the East India Company, and Adeline de l'Etang. Adeline de l'Etang was the daughter of Chevalier Antoine de l'Etang, who had been a page and probable lover of Marie Antoinette and an officer in the Garde du Corps of King Louis XVI. He had married the Indian-born Therese Blin de Grincourt a daughter of French aristocrats. Julia was from a family of celebrated beauties, and was considered an ugly duckling among her sisters. As her great-niece Virginia Woolf wrote in the 1926 introduction to the Hogarth Press collection of Cameron's photographs, "In the trio [of sisters] where...[one] was Beauty; and [one] Dash; Mrs. Cameron was undoubtedly Talent". Cameron's sister Virginia was the mother of the temperance leader Lady Henry Somerset. Cameron was educated in France, but returned to India, and in 1838 married Charles Hay Cameron, a jurist and member of the Law Commission stationed in Calcutta, who was twenty years her senior. In 1848, Charles Hay Cameron retired, and the family moved to London, England. Cameron's sister, Sarah Prinsep, had been living in London and hosted a salon at Little Holland House, the dower house of Holland House in Kensington, where famous artists and writers regularly visited. In 1860, Cameron visited the estate of poet Alfred Lord Tennyson on the Isle of Wight. Julia was taken with the location, and the Cameron family purchased a property on the island soon after. They called it Dimbola Lodge after the family's Ceylon estate. In 1863, when Cameron was 48 years old, her daughter gave her a camera as a present, thereby starting her career as a photographer. Within a year, Cameron became a member of the Photographic Societies of London and Scotland. In her photography, Cameron strove to capture beauty. She wrote, "I longed to arrest all the beauty that came before me and at length the longing has been satisfied." The basic techniques of soft-focus "fancy portraits", which she later developed, were taught to her by David Wilkie Wynfield. She later wrote that "to my feeling about his beautiful photography I owed all my attempts and indeed consequently all my success". Lord Tennyson, her neighbour on the Isle of Wight, often brought friends to see the photographer. Cameron was sometimes obsessive about her new occupation, with subjects sitting for countless exposures in the blinding light as she laboriously coated, exposed, and processed each wet plate. The results were, in fact, unconventional in their intimacy and their particular visual habit of created blur through both long exposures, where the subject moved and by leaving the lens intentionally out of focus. This led some of her contemporaries to complain and even ridicule the work, but her friends and family were supportive, and she was one of the most prolific and advanced of amateurs in her time. Her enthusiasm for her craft meant that her children and others sometimes tired of her endless photographing, but it also means that we are left with some of the best of records of her children and of the many notable figures of the time who visited her. During her career, Cameron registered each of her photographs with the copyright office and kept detailed records. Her shrewd business sense is one reason that so many of her works survive today. Another reason that many of Cameron's portraits are significant is because they are often the only existing photograph of historical figures. Many paintings and drawings exist, but, at the time, photography was still a new and challenging medium for someone outside a typical portrait studio. The bulk of Cameron's photographs fit into two categories – closely framed portraits and illustrative allegories based on religious and literary works. In the allegorical works in particular, her artistic influence was clearly Pre-Raphaelite, with far-away looks and limp poses and soft lighting. Cameron's sister ran the artistic scene at Little Holland House, which gave her many famous subjects for her portraits. Some of her famous subjects include: Charles Darwin, Alfred Lord Tennyson, Robert Browning, John Everett Millais, William Michael Rossetti, Edward Burne-Jones, Ellen Terry and George Frederic Watts. Most of these distinctive portraits are cropped closely around the subject's face and are in soft focus. Cameron was often friends with these Victorian celebrities, and tried to capture their personalities in her photos. Among Cameron's lesser-known images are those she took of Mary Emily ('May') Prinsep, wife of Hallam Tennyson, 2nd Baron Tennyson, the elder son of Alfred Tennyson and a British colonial administrator. Cameron's portraits of May Prinsep, taken on the Isle of Wight, show a somewhat plain woman shot head-on and without affect. Cameron's posed photographic illustrations represent the other half of her work. In these illustrations, she frequently photographed historical scenes or literary works, which often took the quality of oil paintings. However, she made no attempt in hiding the backgrounds. Cameron's friendship with Tennyson led to him asking her to photograph illustrations for his Idylls of the King. These photographs are designed to look like oil paintings from the same time period, including rich details like historical costumes and intricate draperies. Today, these posed works are sometimes dismissed by art critics. Nevertheless, Cameron saw these photographs as art, just like the oil paintings they imitated. In 1875, the Camerons moved back to Ceylon (now Sri Lanka). Julia continued to practice photography but complained in letters about the difficulties of getting chemicals and pure water to develop and print photographs. Also, in India, she did not have access to Little Holland House's artistic community. She also did not have a market to distribute her photographs as she had in England. Because of this, Cameron took fewer pictures in India. These pictures were of posed Indian people, paralleling the posed pictures that Cameron had taken of neighbours in England. Almost none of Cameron's work from India survives. Cameron caught a bad chill and died in Kalutara, Ceylon in 1879. Cameron's niece Julia Prinsep Stephen (née Jackson; 1846–1895) wrote the biography of Cameron, which appeared in the first edition of the Dictionary of National Biography, 1886. Julia Stephen was the mother of Virginia Woolf, who wrote a comic portrayal of the "Freshwater circle" in her only play Freshwater. Woolf edited, with Roger Fry, a collection of Cameron's photographs. However, it was not until 1948 that her photography became more widely known when Helmut Gernsheim wrote a book on her work. In 1977 Gernsheim noted that although a great photographer, Cameron had "left no mark" on the aesthetic history of photography because her work was not appreciated by her contemporaries and thus not imitated. But this situation was evidently already changing by then thanks to his popularisation of her work, for instance in 1975 Imogen Cunningham had commented "I'd like to see portrait photography go right back to Julia Margaret Cameron. I don't think there's anyone better." In 2013, Getty Images says in its caption of a portrait of Alice Liddell (whom Cameron photographed as Alethea, Pomona, Ceres, and St. Agnes in 1872) that "Cameron's photographic portraits are considered among the finest in the early history of photography". Source: Wikipedia
Rory Doyle
United States
1983
Rory Doyle is a working photographer based in Cleveland, Mississippi in the rural Mississippi Delta. Born and raised in Maine, Doyle studied journalism at St. Michael's College in Colchester, Vermont. In 2009, he moved to the Mississippi Delta to pursue a master's in education at Delta State University in Cleveland. He has remained committed to photographing the Delta, with a particular focus on sharing stories of overlooked subcultures. He was a 2018 Mississippi Visual Artist Fellow through the Mississippi Arts Commission and National Endowment for the Arts for his ongoing project about African American cowboys and cowgirls, "Delta Hill Riders." Doyle won the 16th Annual Smithsonian Photo Contest, the 2019 Southern Prize from the South Arts organization, the 2019 Zeiss Photography Award, the 2019 ZEKE Award for Documentary Photography, and the 2019 Michael P. Smith Award for Documentary Photography from the New Orleans Photo Alliance. He has had solo exhibitions in New York City, London, Atlanta and Mississippi. Doyle's work has been published in The New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, The Guardian and CNN. Delta Hill Riders Historians agree that just after the Civil War, one in four cowboys were African American. Yet this population was drastically underrepresented in popular accounts, and it is still. The "cowboy" identity retains a strong presence in many contemporary black communities. This ongoing documentary project in the Mississippi Delta sheds light on an overlooked African American subculture - one that resists historical and contemporary stereotypes. The project began January 2017 when I attended a black heritage rodeo in Greenville, Mississippi. The body of work reveals how deep and diverse this community is. I've been invited to black heritage rodeos, horse shows, trail rides, "Cowboy Nights" at black nightclubs across the Delta, and to subjects' homes across the region. The project aims to press against my own old archetypes - who could and could not be a cowboy, and what it means to be black in Mississippi - while uplifting the voices of my subjects.
Alex MacLean
United States
Pilot and photographer, Alex MacLean, has flown his plane over much of the United States documenting the landscape. Trained as an architect, he has portrayed the history and evolution of the land from vast agricultural patterns to city grids, recording changes brought about by human intervention and natural processes. His powerful and descriptive images provide clues to understanding the relationship between the natural and constructed environments. MacLean’s photographs have been exhibited widely in the United States, Canada, Europe, and Asia, and are found in private, public and university collections. He has won numerous awards, including the 2009 CORINE International Book Award, the American Academy of Rome’s Prix de Rome in Landscape Architecture for 2003-2004, and grants from foundations such as the National Endowment for the Arts and the Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting in 2014. MacLean is the author of eleven books including, Up on the Roof: New York's Hidden Skyline Spaces (2012), Las Vegas | Venice (2010), Chroniques Aeriennes: L'art d'Alex MacLean (2010), Alex MacLean: Given a Free Hand (2010), OVER: The American Landscape at the Tipping Point (2008), Visualizing Density (2007), The Playbook (2006), Designs on the Land: Exploring America from the Air (2003), Taking Measures Across the American Landscape (1996), Look at the Land; Aerial Reflections of America (1993) and Above and Beyond; Visualizing Change in Small Towns and Rural Areas (2002). MacLean maintains a studio and lives in Lincoln, Massachusetts. Sea Level Rise On the shoreline of the Atlantic coast from Maine to Florida, rising salt water will impact over 100 million people. As a result, our nation will spend unimagined fortunes to adjust both gradual and abrupt disruptions of rising ocean waters. Sea level rise occurs when warmer temperatures associated with climate warming melt land ice and thermally expand the volume of seawater. Although sea level is now rising in fractions of inches, the impact will accelerate, with mean sea level predicted to be 3 to 6 feet higher by the end of the century. Even though many people are skeptical of climate change, and certainly not engaged in actions to reduce emissions of heat-trapping gasses, there is no denying that sea level rise, enhanced by storms and storm surges, causes erosion, flooding, dislocations, and will result in catastrophic damage along our coastlines. This problem is a significant cost factor reflected in financial markets for hazard insurance and appraisal of real estate values. Sea level rise is a relentless, visible indicator of a warming climate, which cannot be ignored.
Alamsyah Rauf
Indonesia
1982
Alamsyah Rauf was born in a small district in south sulawesi precisely in Kab.Sinjai, maybe that's why this photographer is less known among photographers in Indonesia but his work has won dozens of world-class photo contest. After graduating high school, this man married in 2001 on the will of his parents, this makes him unable to continue college. After married Alamsyah worked in his parents' photo studio. Alamsyah Learning DSLR cameras just look at the camera manual and learn self-taught to techniques of composition, tone, and lighting via internet. In 2004 Alamsyah Rauf set up his own Photo Studio and hire 3 photographers. As a freelance photographer, Alamsyah takes part in various photography communities, photo exhibitions and participate in various national and international photo contest. Awards: 2nd Place (Best of Show) 2012 Photoshare Photo Contest (Baltimore USA) 2nd Price Sony WPO 2013 category National Award Best in Action at Australian Art Sales (Australia) FIAP GOLD MEDAL in Photo Salon Soul 2013 (Macedonia) FIAP Silver Medal 4th International Photo Exhibition Photo Focus 2013 (Russia) PAM Gold Medal at 2nd International exhibition of art photography SOUL 2014 (Macedonia) Second Winner General category HIPA 2014 Dubai 1st Place Portrait at 7th Annual Masters Cup 2014 (Beverly Hills USA) 1st Place (Portrait category) the 7th Annual International Color Awards 2014 FIAP Gold Medal at 38th EX HIBITION OF PHOTOGRAPHY "CHILD 2014" Serbia SALON praise 38th EXHIBITION OF PHOTOGRAPHY "CHILD 2014" Serbia FIAP Gold medal, FIAP Silver medal, PSA Gold Medal, PSA Ribbon in 2nd Cairo Int. Photographic Art Exhibition - CIPAE 2014 Awards (Cairo, Egypt) Ozone zone Gold Medal (Happiness), FIAP Ribbon (monochrome) Ozone zone International Photo Contest 2014 (Canada) RPS Gold Medal, 2nd Photovivo Singapore International Photography Award (PIPA) 2014 FIAP Silver Medal (Open Color) 1St GIFSAD INTERNATIONAL PHOTO CONTEST 2014 (TURKEY) Champaign 1 colorful alfaink photo contest nusantara 2015. "Grand Prize" Winner at The Shutterview International Photography Competition 2015 (Australia ) 2nd Place (people category) Fine Art Photography Award 2015 Grand Winner Xposure International photo contest 2016 (Sharjah UAE) First Place Proify Annual International Photography Awards 2016 Merit Medal Recipient "THE CHALLENGE" HIPA 2017 UAE 5th Place All About Photo Awards 2018
Anka Zhuravleva
Russia
1980
Anka (born Anna Belova) was born on December 4, 1980. She spent her childhood with books on art and her mothers’ drawing tools, covering acres of paper with her drawings. In 1997 she entered the Moscow Architectural Institute deciding to follow in her mothers’ footsteps. But at the end of 1997 her mother was diagnosed with cancer and died in less that a year. Then her father died in 1999. After that Anka’s life changed dramatically. In attempt to keep sane, she plunged into an alternative lifestyle – working as a tattoo artist, singing in a rock-band, sometimes looking for escape in alcohol. In order to make a living while studying, Anka worked at several modeling agencies. Thanks to the drawing lessons she wasn’t afraid to pose nude, and her photos appeared in the Playboy and XXL magazines and at the Playboy 1999 photo exhibition. But she was not looking for a modeling career – it was just a way to make some money. In 2001 Anka was working in the post-production department at the Mosfilm StudiosThat same winter one of her colleagues invited her to spend a weekend in Saint-Petersburg with his friend, composer and musician Alexander Zhuravlev. In less than a month Anka said farewell to Moscow, her friends, her Mosfilm career and moved in with Alexander in Saint-Petersburg. Living with her loved one healed her soul, and she regained the urge for painting. She made several graphic works and ventured into other areas of visual arts. In 2002 Gavriil Lubnin, the famous painter and her husband’s friend, showed her the oil painting technique, which she experimented with for the following several years. During that period she made just a few works because each one required unleashing of a serious emotional charge. All those paintings are different as if created by different people. Anka’s first exhibition took place on a local TV channel live on the air - the studio was decorated with her works. Several exhibitions followed. Private collections in Russia and abroad feature her paintings and sketches. In 2006 Anka noticed that her inspiration often came from photos and decided to take up photography. Since that time Anka took part in numerous projects - magazine publications and covers, book and CD covers, exhibitions. She is engage in digital photo art and analog film photography as well. In 2013 Anka with her husband moves to live in Porto, Portugal. Source: anka-zhuravleva.com Interview With Anka Zhuravleva All About Photo: When did you realize you wanted to be a photographer? Anka Zhuravleva: "I always was about visual arts so I can't name exact date or year.. But I turned to photography completely in 2010." AAP: Where did you study photography? AZ: "I am self-educated. I took some individual workshops dedicated to analog processes but it was technical things." AAP:Do you have a mentor? AZ: "No." AAP: Do you remember your first shot? What was it? AZ: "I was 6 years.. I shot horses with small film lomo-camera." AAP: What or who inspires you? AZ: "Life, everything I got around me, my dreams, interesting people, my husband's music." AAP: How could you describe your style? AZ: "I have no special style. Different series in different styles." AAP:Do you have a favorite photograph or series? AZ: "No, I love them all!" AAP: What kind of gear do you use? Camera, lens, digital, film? AZ: "A lot... And they are changing all the time. Digital 35mm, film medium format, vintage cameras and cameras made by my husband. About 20 different lens, modern ones and vintage brass ones as well." AAP: Do you spend a lot of time editing your images? For what purpose? AZ: "It depends. I always edit digital a lot to reach exactly that tone and mood wich I need. And I also do analog process in darkroom without any computer at all." AAP: Favorite(s) photographer(s)? AZ: "This is a difficult question..." AAP: What advice would you give a young photographer? AZ: "To keep eyes wide open." AAP: What mistake should a young photographer avoid? AZ: "I don't know... Everybody make mistakes. I suppose it's important not "not making" mistakes, but learn after doing mistakes." AAP: The compliment that touched you most? AZ: "When people telling me that my pictures bring their mind, fantasy and soul to childhood or let them think about miracles.. Or making a good mood..." AAP: If you were someone else who would it be? AZ: "Hum... Maybe a baker? Just joking, I don't know..."
Aleksander Rodchenko
Russia
1891 | † 1956
Born in St Petersburg on November 23rd, 1891, Aleksander Rodtchenko was one of the most eclectic artists to emerge from the Russian Revolution. Sculptor, painter, photographer and graphic designer, he is the founder of the "Russian Constructivist" movement and was also very influential in Photography and Russian Design. In 1907, after his father's death, his family moved to Kazan. In 1910, he began studies at the Kazan Art School, where he met his future wife Varvara Stepanova. In 1914, he moved to Moscow where he pursued briefly his artistic studies at the Stroganov Institute. In 1915, using a compass and a ruler, he created his first geometric black and white drawings. In 1916, introduced to Tatline by architect Viktor Vesnine, Aleksander Rodtchenko will exhibit his drawings at the "The Store" exhibition alongside painters Lioubov Popova, Alexander Exter and Ivan Klioune. Alexander Rodtchenko's work was influenced by innovative Cubist and Futuristic artists. In 1917, he applied his Futurism research on everyday life objects and designed lamps for the "Pittoresque Café", newspaper stands, buildings etc... It is at that time that he founded the left wing "Painter Syndicat". Following the Russian Revolution, as most avant-gardist Russian artists, he will become a member of several official schools (Proletkoult, Vkhoutemas), where he will become a teacher. In 1919, he will present his "black on black" paintings to answer Malevitch's "White on White" series. It is also at that time that he started experimenting with collages and photomontages. In 1921, he took part in various exhibitions, one called "5x5=25", where he presented a Monochrome triptych. Each canvas presenting a primary color: Red, yellow and blue. At the end of the exhibition, he signed the "Productivist Manifest" to abandon easel painting to focus on everyday life objects. The same year, in March, the "Constructivist" movement was created within the Inkhouk Institute. Initiated by artists, critics and theoricians its aim was to conduct "concrete experiments in the real world". From 1922 onwards he started producing graphic designs for movie, books and political billboards. In 1923, he started collaborating with various editors and till 1925, he illustrated the cover of Constructivist magazine LEF. Influenced by German Dadaist photomontages, Rodtchenko began experimenting with photographs in 1923. His first photomontage illustrated Mayakovsky's poem "About this". From 1924 onwards, his focus was on photography. He started experimenting on new compositions and techniques. His work emphasized the subject's position and movement in space combined with a diagonal framing. He also produced many portraits. In 1925, he was responsible for the Soviet Pavilion at the "International Industrial and Modern Art fair" held in Paris. In 1933, he was commissioned by Russian magazine SSSR na Stroïké, to photograph the construction of the Baltic Sea Canal.From 1934 to 1939 Rodtchenko and Stepanova, produced several photo albums: "Fifteen years of Soviet Cinema, Soviet Aviation, Ten years of Ouzbekistan". During the second world war, as other artists, he fled Moscow and took refuge in the Perm region where he will produce patriotic billboards.
Lalla Essaydi
Morocco
1956
Lalla Essaydi (Lalla A. Essaydi) is a Moroccan-born photographer known for her staged photographs of Arab women in contemporary art. She currently works in Boston, Massachusetts, and Morocco. Her current residence is in New York. Essaydi was born in Marrakesh, Morocco in 1956. She left to attend high school in Paris at 16. She married after returning to Morocco and moved to Saudi Arabia where she had two children and divorced. Essaydi returned to Paris in the early 1990s to attend the École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts. She moved to Boston in 1996 and earned her BFA from Tufts University in 1999 and her MFA in painting and photography from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in 2003. Influenced by her experiences growing up in Morocco and Saudi Arabia, Essaydi explores the ways that gender and power are inscribed on Muslim women's bodies and the spaces they inhabit. She has stated that her work is autobiographical and that she was inspired by the differences she perceived in women's lives in the United States versus in Morocco, in terms of freedom and identity. She explores a wide range of perspectives, including issues of diaspora, identity, and expected location through her studio practice in Boston. She also looks at the ways of viewing reality while questioning limits of other cultures and challenging Orientalist art, engaging tradition, history, art, and technology. Her Grand Odalisque from the series Les Femmes du Maroc (2008), for example, cites the French painter Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres' painting La Grande Odalisque (1814), although her model is dressed. She also presents the resistance of stereotypes maintained by Western and Eastern societies. The inspiration for many of her works came from her childhood, in the physical space where she, as a young woman, was sent when she disobeyed. She stepped outside the permissible behavioral space, as defined by Moroccan culture. Essaydi said her works will become haunted by spaces she inhabited as a child. Several pieces of her work (including Converging Territories) combine henna, which is traditionally used to decorate the hands and feet of brides, with Arabic calligraphy, a predominantly male practice. While she uses henna to apply calligraphy to her female subjects' bodies, the words are indecipherable in an attempt to question authority and meaning. According to Essaydi, "Although it is calligraphy that is usually associated with 'meaning' (as opposed to 'mere' decoration), in the visual medium of my photographs, the 'veil' of henna, in fact, enhances the expressivity of the images. Yet, by the same token, the male art of calligraphy has been brought into a world of female experience from which it has traditionally been excluded." The women depicted in her exhibition of photographs, Les Femmes du Maroc, are represented as decorative and confined by the art of henna. Essaydi thus poses her subjects in a way that exemplifies society's views of women as primarily destined for mere beauty. Henna, however, is extremely symbolic, especially to Moroccan women. It is an association with familial celebrations of a young girl reaching puberty and transitioning into a mature woman. The use of henna in her work creates a silent atmosphere of the women "speaking" to each other through a quality of femininity. It is predominantly a painting process where women who are discouraged to work outside the home find a profitable work in applying a tattoo-like material. Beyond creating powerful pieces revolving around the art of henna, Essaydi includes interpretations of traditional Moroccan elements, including draped folds of cloths adorning women's bodies, mosaic, tiles, and Islamic architecture. Lalla Essaydi’s photo series, Les Femmes du Maroc comments on contemporary social structures, as well as acknowledges the history that has aided in constructing representations of Arab female identity. Les Femmes du Maroc is one of her three major photographic series, which is influenced by nineteenth-century European and American Orientalist art. However, Essaydi appropriates Orientalist paintings by incorporating a new subject & style derived from her own personal history and experiences to emancipate Arabian women and to demonstrate a tradition that is misunderstood by a Western audience. The title of the series is an appropriation of a painting by the French Romantic Artist Eugène Delacroix. Therefore, each photo in the series is influenced by Orientalist art that is then appropriated. Essaydi's photographic series include Converging Territories (2003–2004), Les Femmes du Maroc (2005–2006), Harem (2009), Harem Revisited (2012–2013), Bullets, and Bullets Revisited (2012–2013). Her work has been exhibited around the world, including at the National Museum of African Art, and is represented in a number of collections, including the Art Institute of Chicago; the Museum Fünf Kontinente Munich/ Germany; the San Diego Museum of Art; the Cornell Fine Arts Museum, Winter Park, Florida; the Fries Museum in Leeuwarden, The Netherlands; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; and the Williams College Museum of Art in Williamstown, Massachusetts. She was named as #18 in Charchub's "Top 20 Contemporary Middle Eastern Artists in 2012-2014". In 2015, the San Diego Museum of Art mounted the exhibition, Lalla Essaydi: Photographs. Source: Wikipedia Lalla A. Essaydi grew up in Morocco and now lives in USA where she received her MFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts/TUFTS University in May 2003. Essaydi’s work is represented by Howard Yezerski Gallery in Boston and Edwynn Houk Gallery in New York City. Her work has been exhibited in many major international locales, including Boston, Chicago, Minneapolis, Texas, Buffalo, Colorado, New York, Syria, Ireland, England, France, the Netherlands, Sharjah, U.A.E., and Japan and is represented in a number of collections, including the Williams College Museum of Art, The Art Institute of Chicago, the Fries Museum, the Netherlands, and The Kodak Museum of Art. Her art, which often combines Islamic calligraphy with representations of the female body, addresses the complex reality of Arab female identity from the unique perspective of personal experience. In much of her work, she returns to her Moroccan girlhood, looking back on it as an adult woman caught somewhere between past and present, and as an artist, exploring the language in which to “speak” from this uncertain space. Her paintings often appropriate Orientalist imagery from the Western painting tradition, thereby inviting viewers to reconsider the Orientalist mythology. She has worked in numerous media, including painting, video, film, installation, and analog photography. "In my art, I wish to present myself through multiple lenses -- as artist, as Moroccan, as traditionalist, as Liberal, as Muslim. In short, I invite viewers to resist stereotypes."Source: lallaessaydi.com
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John Simmons is a multi-talented artist whose work has spanned across decades. Born in Chicago and coming of age during the Civil Rights Era, Simmons' photography started at the peak of political and racial tension of the 1960s, mentored by a well known Chicago Civil Rights photographer, Bobby Sengstacke.
Exclusive Interview with Nick Brandt About The Day May Break
Photographed in Zimbabwe and Kenya in late 2020, The Day May Break is the first part of a global series portraying people and animals impacted by environmental degradation and destruction. An ambitious and poetic project picturing people who have all been badly affected by climate change - some displaced by cyclones that destroyed their homes, others such as farmers displaced and impoverished by years-long severe droughts. We asked Nick Brandt a few questions about the project.
Exclusive Interview with Barbara Cole
For the last forty-five years, artist Barbara Cole has been recapturing the otherworldly mysteries of early photography in a body of work that flows in and out of time.
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