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Ulka Chauhan
Ulka Chauhan
Ulka Chauhan

Ulka Chauhan

Country: India
Birth: 1976

Street and documentary photographer Ulka Chauhan grew up in Mumbai, finished high school in Switzerland, college in Boston and lived and worked in New York and South Africa before anchoring herself in Zurich and Mumbai. These varied geographies come together to inform her work and shape her visual language.

While the terrain of her photographic practice is vast, a large body of Ulka's images chronicles life across Switzerland and India. She moves with an ease between the two starkly different worlds, seeing them with 'fresh eyes' every time she visits. Ulka uses her own voice to tell stories inspired by the two diverse spaces she occupies.

Time and space are bystanders in her images as she moves literally and metaphorically between the linear structured world of Switzerland and the cyclical and chaotic world of India.

Her style morphs fluidly with her choice of subject. Using a minimalist narrative, there is an artistic reduction to her compositions as she focuses on just the essential elements to make us look at old things in new ways.

Ulka Chauhan is the sum of all her parts; being rooted on two grounds contouring her identity and compassionate world view.

Her camera is the lens through which she sees the world, and in the process, herself.

A Thousand Dreams
 

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More Great Photographers To Discover

Robert Doisneau
France
1912 | † 1994
Born in April 1912 in an upper middle class family, in the Parisian suburbs (Gentilly), Robert Doisneau started showing an immoderate interest in the arts at a very early age. Robert Doisneau lost his parents at an early age and was raised by an unloving aunt. Aged 14, he enroled at the Ecole Estienne a craft school where he graduated in 1929 with diplomas in engraving and lithography. A year later, he started working for « Atelier Ullmann » as a publicity photographer. In 1931, Robert Doisneau met his future wife Pierrette Chaumaison, with whom he will have three children and also started working as an assistant for modernist photographer, André Vigneau. André Vigneau will introduce Robert Doisneau to a « new objectivity in Photography ». In 1932, Robert Doisneau sold his first photographic story to Excelsior magazine. In 1934, car manufacturer Renault hired Robert Doisneau as an industrial photographer in the Boulogne Billancourt factory. He was fired in 1939 as he was consistantly late. Without a job, Robert Doisneau became a freelance photographer trying to earn his living in advertising, engraving and in the postcard industry. Shortly before WWII, Robert Doisneau was hired by Charles Rado, founder of the Rapho Agency. His first photographic report on canoeing in Dordogne was abruptly interrupted by the war declaration. Drafted into the French army as soldier and photographer he was relieved from duty in 1940. Until the end of the war, he used his skills to forge passports and identification papers for the French Resistance. After the war, Robert Doisneau became a freelance photographer and rejoined with the Rapho agency (1946). It is probably at this time that mutual influence with Jacques-Henri Lartigue found its origin. He started producing numerous photographic stories on various subjects: Parisian news, popular Paris, foreign countries (USSR, United-States...). Some of his stories will be published in prestigious magazines, LIFE, PARIS MATCH, REALITES... In 1947, Robert Doisneau met Robert Giraud with whom he will have a life long friendship and a fruitful collaboration. Doisneau will publish more than 30 albums such as “La Banlieue de Paris” (The suburbs of Paris, Seghers 1949) with texts written by French Author Blaise Cendrars. From 1948 to 1953, Robert Doisneau also worked for Vogue Magazine as a fashion photographer. It is also at that time that he joined Group XV and participated alongside Rene Jacques, Willy Ronis and Pierre Jahan in promoting photography and its heritage preservation. In 1950, Robert Doisneau created his most recognizable work, le Baiser de l’Hôtel de Ville for Life magazine. Although Doisneau’s most recognized work dates from the 1950’s and old style magazine interest was declining in Europe in the early 1970’s, Doisneau continued to produce children’s books, advertising photography and celebrity portraits. His talent as a photographer has been rewarded on numerous occasions: Kodak prize 1947 Niepce Prize recipient in 1956 In 1960, he held his first solo exhibition in Chicago (Museum of Modern Art) In 1975 he is the guest of honour of les “Rencontres d’Arles” Grand prix National de la Photographie 1983 Balzac Prize recipient 1986 In 1991, the Royal Photographic Society awarded Robert Doisneau an Honorary Fellowship (HonFRPS) Robert Doisneau died in 1994, six months after his wife. He is buried alongside her in Raizeux.
Edmund Teske
United States
1911 | † 1996
Edmund Rudolph Teske (March 7, 1911 – November 22, 1996) was a 20th-century American photographer who combined a career of taking portraits of artists, musicians and entertainers with a prolific output of experimental photography. His use of techniques like: combined prints, montages and solarizations led to "often romantic and mysterious images". Although he exhibited extensively and was well known within artistic photography circles during his lifetime, his work was not widely known by the public. He has been called "one of the forgotten greats of American photography."Source: Wikipedia Born in Chicago, Edmund Teske began taking photographs at age seven with his mother's Kodak Scout 2-C camera. In 1931, while attending evening classes at the Huttle Art Studio, he installed a photographic studio in his family's basement. Soon he purchased a view camera and started photographing the streets of his hometown. After working for a commercial studio in Chicago, Teske was awarded a photographic fellowship in 1936 that enabled him to study under the guidance of the architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Teske taught in the late 1930s at Chicago's New Bauhaus (later the Institute of Design), then moved to New York to work as Berenice Abbott's assistant. In 1943, Teske settled in Los Angeles, where he became interested in cinema, and in the early 1950s he was active with several small theater groups. During this period Teske refined the experimental photographic processes that he had begun to explore in the 1930s, such as solarization, combination printing, and chemical toning, and began to regularly exhibit and publish his work. In the 1960s, Teske was an influential visiting professor of photography at UCLA and other schools.Source: International Center of Photography Edmund Teske believed in the transformative potential of photography. He was interested in more than the inherent characteristic of the medium to record a specific moment in time. For Teske photography was a way to explore the soul of his subjects and creating the negative was only the beginning. His composites of multiple negatives and his use of solarization, as well as his exquisite gelatin silver prints, express the complexity and depth of his personal vision. His composites often layered images from different periods and places and sometimes outside sources. As the assemblage artist George Herms suggested, Teske's composites and solarizations are like Jazz variations on a theme. Though they often contain allegory and symbolism, they are not nostalgic. Rather, they exist as expressions of his various beliefs. Teske believed in the coexistence of both the masculine and the feminine within every individual. Furthermore, he believed in the connectedness of all life and that time is both fluid and cyclical. In the 1930s, Edmund Teske gained experience in theater and portraiture photography and became friends with Nathan Lerner, who introduced Teske to Laszlo Moholy-Nagy. During the depression, he photographed for Frank Lloyd Wright, Paul Strand (for his film, Native Land), and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and he printed for Berenice Abbott. In 1943 Teske traveled to Arizona to photograph at Wright’s Taliesin West and continued on to Los Angeles where he became friends with Man Ray and Anaïs Nin. Teske was introduced to Vedantic thought, a Hindu philosophy, and its mythology and symbolism greatly influenced Teske’s later work. In 1950 he moved to Topanga Canyon where he became a part of an enclave of artists, black-listed actors and intellectuals, including Wallace Berman, Will Geer, George Herms, Walter Hopps and Dean Stockwell. It was during this time within a nurturing environment of like-minded, creative, free-thinking individuals that Teske's singular style evolved. Teske’s work was included in Museum of Modern Art’s 1960 The Sense of Abstraction show and it was Edward Steichen who named Teske’s innovative process “duotone solarization.” While teaching at UCLA in the 1960s, Teske was a colleague of Robert Heineken and became a mentor to many local photographers.Source: Gitterman Gallery
László Moholy-Nagy
Hungary
1895 | † 1946
László Moholy-Nagy (July 20, 1895 - November 24, 1946) was a Hungarian painter and photographer as well as professor in the Bauhaus school. He was highly influenced by constructivism and a strong advocate of the integration of technology and industry into the arts. Moholy-Nagy was born László Weisz in Bácsborsód to a Jewish-Hungarian family. His cousin was the conductor Sir Georg Solti. He attended Gymnasium (academic high school) in the city of Szeged. He changed his German-Jewish surname to the Magyar surname of his mother's Christian lawyer friend Nagy, who supported the family and helped raise Moholy-Nagy and his brothers when their Jewish father, László Weisz left the family. Later, he added "Moholy" ("from Mohol") to his surname, after the name of the Hungarian town Mohol in which he grew up. One part of his boyhood was spent in the Hungarian Ada town, near Mohol in family house. In 1918 he formally converted to the Hungarian Reformed Church (Calvinist); his Godfather was his Roman Catholic university friend, the art critic Ivan Hevesy. Immediately before and during World War I he studied law in Budapest and served in the war, where he sustained a serious injury. In Budapest, on leaves and during convalescence, Moholy-Nagy became involved first with the journal Jelenkor ("The Present Age"), edited by Hevesy, and then with the "Activist" circle around Lajos Kassák's journal Ma ("Today"). After his discharge from the Austro-Hungarian army in October 1918, he attended the private art school of the Hungarian Fauve artist Róbert Berény. He was a supporter of the Communist Dictatorship (known as "Red Terror" and also "Hungarian Soviet Republic"), declared early in 1919, though he assumed no official role in it. After the defeat of the Communist Regime in August, he withdrew to Szeged. An exhibition of his work was held there, before he left for Vienna around November 1919. He left for Berlin early in 1920. In 1923, Moholy-Nagy replaced Johannes Itten as the instructor of the foundation course at the Bauhaus. This effectively marked the end of the school's expressionistic leanings and moved it closer towards its original aims as a school of design and industrial integration. The Bauhaus became known for the versatility of its artists, and Moholy-Nagy was no exception. Throughout his career, he became proficient and innovative in the fields of photography, typography, sculpture, painting, printmaking, and industrial design. One of his main focuses was photography. He coined the term "the New Vision" for his belief that photography could create a whole new way of seeing the outside world that the human eye could not. His theory of art and teaching is summed up in the book The New Vision, from Material to Architecture. He experimented with the photographic process of exposing light sensitive paper with objects overlain on top of it, called photogram. While studying at the Bauhaus, Moholy's teaching in diverse media — including painting, sculpture, photography, photomontage and metal — had a profound influence on a number of his students, including Marianne Brandt. Perhaps his most enduring achievement is the construction of the "Lichtrequisit einer elektrischen Buehne" [Light Prop for an Electric Stage] (completed 1930), a device with moving parts meant to have light projected through it in order to create mobile light reflections and shadows on nearby surfaces. Made with the help of the Hungarian architect Istvan Seboek for the German Werkbund exhibition held in Paris during the summer of 1930, it is often interpreted as a kinetic sculpture. After his death, it was dubbed the "Light-Space Modulator" and was seen as a pioneer achievement of kinetic sculpture. It might more accurately be seen as one of the earliest examples of Light Art. Moholy-Nagy was photography editor of the Dutch avant-garde magazine International Revue i 10 from 1927 to 1929. He resigned from the Bauhaus early in 1928 and worked free-lance as a highly sought-after designer in Berlin. He designed stage sets for successful and controversial operatic and theatrical productions, designed exhibitions and books, created ad campaigns, wrote articles and made films. His studio employed artists and designers such as Istvan Seboek, Gyorgy Kepes and Andor Weininger. After the Nazis came to power in Germany in 1933, and, as a foreign citizen, he was no longer allowed to work, he operated for a time in Holland (doing mostly commercial work) before moving to London in 1935. In England, Moholy-Nagy formed part of the circle of émigré artists and intellectuals who based themselves in Hampstead. Moholy-Nagy lived for a time in the Isokon building with Walter Gropius for eight months and then settled in Golders Green. Gropius and Moholy-Nagy planned to establish an English version of the Bauhaus but could not secure backing, and then Moholy-Nagy was turned down for a teaching job at the Royal College of Art. Moholy-Nagy made his way in London by taking on various design jobs including Imperial Airways and a shop display for men's underwear. He photographed contemporary architecture for the Architectural Review where the assistant editor was John Betjeman who commissioned Moholy-Nagy to make documentary photographs to illustrate his book An Oxford University Chest. In 1936, he was commissioned by fellow Hungarian film producer Alexander Korda to design special effects for Things to Come. Working at Denham Studios, Moholy-Nagy created kinetic sculptures and abstract light effects, but they were rejected by the film's director. At the invitation of Leslie Martin, he gave a lecture to the architecture school of Hull University. In 1937, at the invitation of Walter Paepcke, the Chairman of the Container Corporation of America, Moholy-Nagy moved to Chicago to become the director of the New Bauhaus. The philosophy of the school was basically unchanged from that of the original, and its headquarters was the Prairie Avenue mansion that architect Richard Morris Hunt designed for department store magnate Marshall Field. Unfortunately, the school lost the financial backing of its supporters after only a single academic year, and it closed in 1938. Moholy-Nagy was also the Art Advisor for the mail-order house of Spiegel in Chicago. Paepcke, however, continued his own support, and in 1939, Moholy-Nagy opened the School of Design. In 1944, this became the Institute of Design. In 1949 the Institute of Design became a part of Illinois Institute of Technology and became the first institution in the United States to offer a PhD in design. Moholy-Nagy authored an account of his efforts to develop the curriculum of the School of Design in his book Vision in Motion. Moholy-Nagy died of leukemia in Chicago in 1946. Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design in Budapest is named in his honour. Works by him are currently on display at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC. The software company Laszlo Systems (developers of the open source programming language OpenLaszlo) was named in part in honor of Moholy-Nagy. In 1998, he received a Tribute Marker from the City of Chicago. In the autumn of 2003, the Moholy-Nagy Foundation, Inc. was established as a source of information about Moholy-Nagy's life and works.Source: Wikipedia
Guillermo Espinosa
Guillermo Espinosa is a Spanish photographer born in Madrid in 1985 and currently based in Berlin. He studied Graphic arts and wine making in Madrid. He started in photography around 7 years ago, making pictures in the streets of Madrid with an old reflex camera. Later on he moved to Germany to work as a waiter. It was then when he saw the potential of street photography as a way to grow personally and escape from the routine. Since then he has combined his job as a waiter with some jobs related to photography such as Cruiseship photographer or photographer for a german decoration shop. He is currently involved in a few ongoing street photography projects in the city of Berlin. Statement My artwork is about the relation between the human being and the public enviroment, searching for the insual in the usual or mundane. Trying to find candid moments in the dalily life using what the enviroment gives me, such a light, subjects, geometry, etc. Another distinguising feature is the friction created by the layers (physical or conceptual). I have been always attracted by the contrasts that happen in everyday life, the juxtaposition in any "normal" situation that can create many humoristic, visual or critic lectures. Even a frontal shot of a character on the street can be read in many different ways depending on the viewer, place or epoque. My main aproach is to create a connection with the viewer that can go beyond the aesthetics, making an image more than a 2D object that comfrontes the previous concept of the daily life
Lenka Klicperová
Czech Republic
1976
Journalist and photographer. She obtained a master's degree at the University of Hradec Králové and immediately after that started working as a journalist. From 2004 to 2018 she was the editor-in-chief of the leading Czech travel magazine Lidé a Země. Since 2018 she has been working as a freelance reporter and photographer focused on war zones. She has worked in a number of African countries, including conflict zones of Democratic Republic of Congo. She visited Afghanistan several times, as well as Somalia, plagued by several decades of war. Since 2014, she has focused on the issue of the war with the ISIS in Iraq and Syria. She is the co-author of several documentaries (Tears of the Congo, Latim – the Circumcised, Iraqui Women, Women in the Land of Taliban, Unbroken) and a number of television reports. She has won a number of prizes and nominations in the Czech Press Photo competition - both for photography and video. In 2020 she was included in the prestigious Women Photograph database, she was shortlisted for the International Women In Photo Association Award. She is the co-author of nine books about Africa and about the wars in the Middle East and Nagorno Karabakh. Her work from Syria resulted in two books entitled In Sight of the Islamic State I and In Sight of the Islamic State II, which were co-authored by Markéta Kutilová. Together with Kutilová she also wrote other books on the wars in Syria and Iraq: In the War (2018) and War is My Fate (2020). In 2019, a book called AK47 was published, which depicts the dramatic life of the world-famous Czech war photographer Antonín Kratochvíl. Klicperová wrote the text of the book based on Kratochvíl's narration. In September 2020, war broke out in Nagorno Karabakh. Lenka Klicperová and Markéta Kutilová quickly moved to the center of events. The war in the Caucasus was captured by both reporters in many reports, but also in a book The Last One Sets the Village on Fire (2021). Klicperová cooperates with a number of Czech media. She also lectures at the University of Hradec Králové. Statement Twelve years ago I first came to a war zone, to the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. My goal was to document the drastic effects of the protracted war on women. The local militias are committing mass rape of women and children; rape is a weapon of war. It was my first encounter with war. I understood that I wanted to bear witness to the injustices of this world, the way they fall on innocent victims who have nothing to do with them. I returned to the Congo several times and started working in Afghanistan. Then the war in Syria and Iraq started. I spent six years traveling to these areas watching and documenting how the Islamic State terrifies the world. And how it is gradually being defeated with the generous contribution of the Syrian Kurds. The city of Kobani, the center of the Kurds, has been indelibly engraved in my heart, defending itself against the enormous superiority of the Islamists. At the cost of high casualties. I have been on the front lines, in refugee camps, documenting the lives of the wives of ISIS fighters and their children. I managed to get in the prison where ISIS fighters who survived the fighting are being held. When the war broke out in Nagorno Karabakh, I knew I had to go there immediately. I followed the war to the end and documented the lives of civilians sentenced to live suddenly in a war zone. I saw their exodus. War zones have thus become a part of my life... Lost War
Claudio Rasano
Switzerland
1970
Claudio Rasano lives and works in Basel, Switzerland. His work explores the relationship between spaces and humans, the subject within the space and the space as the subject itself. Rasano has a genuine and identifiable style that crosses documentary and fine art practices. He works with people from similar backgrounds, circumstances and experiences - environmental portraits and landscapes depicting a quiet anthropological commentary. There is a strong relationship between the environmental portraits and the landscape images. He is the recipient of Photovogue Portraits 2017, Taylor Wessing Photographic Prize 2016, Lensculture portrait award Finalists, Syngenta Photography Award Unseen and Life 2017 Framer World Travellers. 2019 Meitar Award for Excellence in Photography at PHOTO IS:RAEL Statement My work may cross countries and continents, but there is one thing that features centrally throughout, people. People are the focal point of his work, whether it's schoolchildren in South Africa or cigarette sellers in Tirana, the story of the country that Claudio is working in is told through its people. "I love to explore the relationship between spaces and humans, the subject within the space and the space as the subject itself, I work with people from similar backgrounds, circumstances and experiences -environmental portraits and landscapes depicting a quiet anthropological commentary. It is important for me to see that there is a strong relationship between environmental portraits and landscape images." His work is focused around the human stories of an area, but in many cases it is not just the person that is of interest. The composition of many of his images, even when portraits, provides a snapshot of the landscapes and built environments that are around the subject. This contextualises many of his photographs, helping you to build a more rounded impression of the individuals based on their surroundings too - the perfect example of this being his image of South African workmen in sodden clothes.
Charles Marville
France
1813 | † 1879
Charles Marville, the pseudonym of Charles François Bossu (Paris 17 July 1813 - 1 June 1879 Paris), was a French photographer, who mainly photographed architecture, landscapes and the urban environment. He used both paper and glass negatives. He is most well known for taking pictures of ancient Parisian quarters before they were destroyed and rebuilt under "Haussmannization", Baron Haussmann's new plan for modernization of Paris. In 1862, he was named official photographer of Paris. Marville's past was largely a mystery until Sarah Kennel of the National Gallery of Art and independent researcher Daniel Catan discovered that Marville's given name was Charles-François Bossu. That newly-found association allowed them to discover a variety of biographical information, including photographs of his family, that had been considered lost to time. Bossu was born in 1813 in Paris. Coming from an "established" Paris family, he trained as a painter, illustrator and engraver. He assumed the pseudonym Charles Marville around 1832, and began working in his field. After 17 years, as an illustrator, he took up photography around 1850. He had no family, but a long-time companion was included in his will. He died in 1879 in Paris.Source: Wikipedia Charles Marville was commissioned by the city of Paris to document both the picturesque, medieval streets of old Paris and the broad boulevards and grand public structures that Baron Georges-Eugène Haussmann built in their place for Emperor Napoleon III. Marville achieved moderate success as an illustrator of books and magazines early in his career. It was not until 1850 that he shifted course and took up photography - a medium that had been introduced just 11 years earlier. His poetic urban views, detailed architectural studies, and picturesque landscapes quickly garnered praise. Although he made photographs throughout France, Germany, and Italy, it was his native city - especially its monuments, churches, bridges, and gardens - that provided the artist with his greatest and most enduring source of inspiration. By the end of the 1850s, Marville had established a reputation as an accomplished and versatile photographer. From 1862, as the official photographer for the city of Paris, he documented aspects of the radical modernization program that had been launched by Emperor Napoleon III and his chief urban planner, Baron Georges-Eugène Haussmann. In this capacity, Marville photographed the city’s oldest quarters, and especially the narrow, winding streets slated for demolition. Even as he recorded the disappearance of Old Paris, Marville turned his camera on the new city that had begun to emerge. Many of his photographs celebrate its glamour and comforts, while other views of the city’s desolate outskirts attest to the unsettling social and physical changes wrought by rapid modernization. Haussmann not only redrew the map of Paris, he transformed the urban experience by commissioning and installing tens of thousands of pieces of street furniture, kiosks, Morris columns for posting advertisements, pissoirs, garden gates, and, above all, some twenty thousand gas lamps. By the time he stepped down as prefect in 1870, Paris was no longer a place where residents dared to go out at night only if accompanied by armed men carrying lanterns. Taken as a whole, Marville’s photographs of Paris stand as one of the earliest and most powerful explorations of urban transformation on a grand scale.Source: Howard Greenberg Gallery
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