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Will Burrard-Lucas
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Will Burrard-Lucas
Will Burrard-Lucas

Will Burrard-Lucas

Country: United KIngdom
Birth: 1983

Will Burrard-Lucas is a British wildlife photographer, author and entrepreneur. He is the creator of BeetleCam, a remote-control camera buggy, and founder of Camtraptions Ltd, a company specializing in high-quality equipment for camera trap photography and filmmaking. He dedicates much of his time to working on long-term book projects in Africa. His latest book, "The Black Leopard," features a rare melanistic African leopard and was published in March 2021. Prior to that, he spent a year documenting the last remaining big tusker elephants in Tsavo, Kenya for his book, "Land of Giants." When not in Africa, he lives in Buckinghamshire, UK.

Statement:
There are few creatures as stunning and elusive as a black leopard. In Africa, these magnificent cats are so rare as to be the stuff of legend. Then, one day in 2018, I heard about sightings of a young African black leopard in Kenya. With the help of people from the local community, over the course of a year, I succeeded in capturing a series of high-quality photographs of the extraordinary cat. I recently released the images and story behind the project in my new, "The Black Leopard, My Quest to Photograph One of Africa's Most Elusive Big Cats".
 

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Man Ray
United States
1890 | † 1976
Man Ray (born Emmanuel Radnitzky) was an American visual artist who spent most of his career in Paris. He was a significant contributor to the Dada and Surrealist movements, although his ties to each were informal. He produced major works in a variety of media but considered himself a painter above all. He was best known for his pioneering photography, and was a renowned fashion and portrait photographer. He is also noted for his work with photograms, which he called "rayographs" in reference to himself. During his career, Man Ray allowed few details of his early life or family background to be known to the public. He even refused to acknowledge that he ever had a name other than Man Ray. Man Ray's birth name was Emmanuel Radnitzky. He was born in South Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on August 27, 1890. He was the eldest child of Russian Jewish immigrants Melach "Max" Radnitzky, a tailor, and Manya "Minnie" Radnitzky (née Lourie or Luria). He had a brother, Sam, and two sisters, Dorothy "Dora" and Essie (or Elsie), the youngest born in 1897 shortly after they settled at 372 Debevoise St. in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York. In early 1912, the Radnitzky family changed their surname to Ray. Man Ray's brother chose the surname in reaction to the ethnic discrimination and antisemitism prevalent at the time. Emmanuel, who was called "Manny" as a nickname, changed his first name to Man and gradually began to use Man Ray as his name. I photograph what I do not wish to paint and I paint what I cannot photograph. -- Man Ray Man Ray's father worked in a garment factory and ran a small tailoring business out of the family home. He enlisted his children to assist him from an early age. Man Ray's mother enjoyed designing the family's clothes and inventing patchwork items from scraps of fabric. Man Ray wished to disassociate himself from his family background, but their tailoring left an enduring mark on his art. Mannequins, flat irons, sewing machines, needles, pins, threads, swatches of fabric, and other items related to tailoring appear in almost every medium of his work. Art historians have noted similarities between Ray's collage and painting techniques and styles used for tailoring. His education at Brooklyn's Boys' High School from 1904 to 1909 provided him with solid grounding in drafting and other basic art techniques. While he attended school, he educated himself with frequent visits to the local art museums, where he studied the works of the Old Masters. After his graduation, Ray was offered a scholarship to study architecture but chose to pursue a career as an artist. Man Ray's parents were disappointed by their son's decision to pursue art, but they agreed to rearrange the family's modest living quarters so that Ray's room could be his studio. The artist remained in the family home over the next four years. During this time, he worked steadily towards becoming a professional painter. Man Ray earned money as a commercial artist and was a technical illustrator at several Manhattan companies. The surviving examples of his work from this period indicate that he attempted mostly paintings and drawings in 19th-century styles. He was already an avid admirer of contemporary avant-garde art, such as the European modernists he saw at Alfred Stieglitz's "291" gallery and works by the Ashcan School. However, with a few exceptions, he was not yet able to integrate these trends into his own work. The art classes he sporadically attended, including stints at the National Academy of Design and the Art Students League, were of little apparent benefit to him. When he enrolled in the Ferrer School in the autumn of 1912, he began a period of intense and rapid artistic development. While living in New York City, Man Ray was influenced by the avant-garde practices of European contemporary artists he was introduced to at the 1913 Armory Show and in visits to Alfred Stieglitz's "291" art gallery. His early paintings display facets of cubism. After befriending Marcel Duchamp, who was interested in showing movement in static paintings, his works began to depict movement of the figures. An example is the repetitive positions of the dancer's skirts in The Rope Dancer Accompanies Herself with Her Shadows (1916). In 1915, Man Ray had his first solo show of paintings and drawings after he had taken up residence at an art colony in Grantwood, New Jersey, across the Hudson River from New York City. His first proto-Dada object, an assemblage titled Self-Portrait, was exhibited the following year. He produced his first significant photographs in 1918, after initially picking up the camera to document his own artwork. Man Ray abandoned conventional painting to involve himself with Dada, a radical anti-art movement. He published two Dadaist periodicals, and each only had one issue, The Ridgefield Gazook (1915) and TNT (1919), the latter co-edited by Adolf Wolff and Mitchell Dawson. He started making objects and developed unique mechanical and photographic methods of making images. For the 1918 version of Rope Dancer, he combined a spray-gun technique with a pen drawing. Like Duchamp, he worked with readymade—ordinary objects that are selected and modified. His Gift readymade (1921) is a flatiron with metal tacks attached to the bottom, and Enigma of Isidore Ducasse is an unseen object (a sewing machine) wrapped in cloth and tied with cord. Aerograph (1919), another work from this period, was done with airbrush on glass. In 1920, Man Ray helped Duchamp make the Rotary Glass Plates, one of the earliest examples of kinetic art. It was composed of glass plates turned by a motor. That same year, Man Ray, Katherine Dreier, and Duchamp founded the Société Anonyme, an itinerant collection that was the first museum of modern art in the U.S. In 1941 the collection was donated to Yale University Art Gallery. Man Ray teamed up with Duchamp to publish one issue of New York Dada in 1920. For Man Ray, Dada's experimentation was no match for the wild and chaotic streets of New York. He wrote that "Dada cannot live in New York. All New York is dada, and will not tolerate a rival." In 1913, Man Ray met his first wife, the Belgian poet Adon Lacroix (Donna Lecoeur) (1887–1975), in New York. They married in 1914, separated in 1919, and formally divorced in 1937. In July 1921, Man Ray went to live and work in Paris, France. He soon settled in the Montparnasse quarter favored by many artists. His accidental rediscovery of the cameraless photogram, which he called "rayographs", resulted in mysterious images hailed by Tristan Tzara as "pure Dada creations". Shortly after arriving in Paris, he met and fell in love with Kiki de Montparnasse (Alice Prin), an artists' model and celebrated character in Paris bohemian circles. Kiki was Man Ray's companion for most of the 1920s. She became the subject of some of his most famous photographic images, and starred in his experimental films Le Retour à la Raison and L'Étoile de mer. In 1929, he began a love affair with the Surrealist photographer Lee Miller. She also was his photographic assistant and together, they reinvented the photographic technique of solarization. Miller left him in 1932. From late 1934 until August 1940, Man Ray was in a relationship with Adrienne Fidelin. She was a Guadeloupean dancer and model and she appears in many of his photographs. When Ray fled the Nazi occupation in France, Adrienne chose to stay behind to care for her family. Unlike the artist's other significant muses, until 2022, Fidelin had largely been written out of his life story. Man Ray was a pioneering photographer in Paris for two decades between the wars. Significant members of the art world, such as Pablo Picasso, Tristan Tzara, James Joyce, Gertrude Stein, Jean Cocteau, Salvador Dalí, Peggy Guggenheim, Bridget Bate Tichenor, Luisa Casati, and Antonin Artaud, posed for his camera. Man Ray's international fame as a portrait photographer is reflected in a series of photographs of Maharajah Yashwant Rao Holkar II and his wife Sanyogita Devi from their visit to Europe in 1927. In the winter of 1933, surrealist artist Méret Oppenheim, known for her fur-covered teacup, posed nude for Man Ray in a well-known series of photographs depicting her standing next to a printing press. His practice of photographing African objects in the Paris collections of Paul Guillaume and Charles Ratton and others led to several iconic photographs, including Noire et blanche. As Man Ray scholar Wendy A. Grossman has illustrated, "no one was more influential in translating the vogue for African art into a Modernist photographic aesthetic than Man Ray." Man Ray was represented in the first Surrealist exhibition with Jean Arp, Max Ernst, André Masson, Joan Miró, and Pablo Picasso at the Galerie Pierre in Paris in 1925. Important works from this time were a metronome with an eye, originally titled Object to Be Destroyed, and the Violon d'Ingres, a stunning photograph of Kiki de Montparnasse, styled after the painter/musician Ingres. Violon d'Ingres is a popular example of how Man Ray could juxtapose disparate elements in his photography to generate meaning. Man Ray directed a number of influential avant-garde short films, known as Cinéma Pur. He directed Le Retour à la Raison (2 mins, 1923); Emak-Bakia (16 mins, 1926); L'Étoile de Mer (15 mins, 1928); and Les Mystères du Château de Dé (27 mins, 1929). Man Ray also assisted Marcel Duchamp with the cinematography of his film Anemic Cinema (1926), and Ray personally manned the camera on Fernand Léger's Ballet Mécanique (1924). In René Clair's film Entr'acte (1924), Man Ray appeared in a brief scene playing chess with Duchamp. Duchamp, Man Ray, and Francis Picabia were all friends and collaborators, connected by their experimental, entertaining, and innovative art. The Second World War forced Man Ray to return from Paris to the United States. He lived in Los Angeles from 1940 to 1951 where he focused his creative energy on painting. A few days after arriving in Los Angeles, he met Juliet Browner, a first-generation American of Romanian-Jewish lineage. She was a trained dancer who studied dance with Martha Graham, and an experienced artists' model. They married in 1946 in a double wedding with their friends Max Ernst and Dorothea Tanning. In 1948 Ray had a solo exhibition at the Copley Galleries in Beverly Hills, which brought together a wide array of work and featured his newly painted canvases of the Shakespearean Equations series. Man Ray returned to Paris in 1951, and settled with Juliet into a studio at 2 bis rue Férou near the Luxembourg Gardens in St. Germain-des-Prés, where he continued his creative practice across mediums. During the last quarter century of his life, he returned to a number of his iconic earlier works, recreating them in new form. He also directed the production of limited-edition replicas of several of his objects, working first with Marcel Zerbib and later Arturo Schwarz. In 1963, he published his autobiography, Self-Portrait (republished in 1999). Ray continued to work on new paintings, photographs, collages and art objects till his death. Retrieved August 19, 2022. He died in Paris on November 18, 1976, from a lung infection. He was interred in the Cimetière du Montparnasse in Paris. His epitaph reads "Unconcerned, but not indifferent". When Juliet died in 1991, she was interred in the same tomb. Her epitaph reads "Together again". Juliet organized a trust for Ray's work and donated much of his work to museums. Her plans to restore the studio as a public museum proved too expensive; such was the structure's disrepair. Most of the contents were stored at the Centre Pompidou.Source: Wikipedia Speaking of nudes, I have always had a great fondness for this subject, both in my paintings and in my photos, and I must admit, not for purely artistic reasons. -- Man Ray “I have finally freed myself from the sticky medium of paint, and am working directly with light itself.” So enthused Man Ray in 1922, shortly after his first experiments with camera-less photography. He remains well known for these images, commonly called photograms but which he dubbed "rayographs" in a punning combination of his own name and the word “photograph.” Man Ray’s artistic beginnings came some years earlier, in the Dada movement. Shaped by the trauma of World War I and the emergence of a modern media culture—epitomized by advancements in communication technologies like radio and cinema—Dada artists shared a profound disillusionment with traditional modes of art making and often turned instead to experimentations with chance and spontaneity. In The Rope Dancer Accompanies Herself with Her Shadows, Man Ray based the large, color-block composition on the random arrangement of scraps of colored paper scattered on the floor. The painting evinces a number of interests that the artist would carry into his photographic work: negative space and shadows; the partial surrender of compositional decisions to accident; and, in its precise, hard-edged application of unmodulated color, the removal of traces of the artist’s hand. In 1922, six months after he arrived in Paris from New York, Man Ray made his first rayographs. To make them, he placed objects, materials, and sometimes parts of his own or a model's body onto a sheet of photosensitized paper and exposed them to light, creating negative images. This process was not new—camera-less photographic images had been produced since the 1830s—and his experimentation with it roughly coincided with similar trials by Lázló Moholy-Nagy. But in his photograms, Man Ray embraced the possibilities for irrational combinations and chance arrangements of objects, emphasizing the abstraction of images made in this way. He published a selection of these rayographs—including one centered around a comb, another containing a spiral of cut paper, and a third with an architect’s French curve template on its side—in a portfolio titled Champs délicieux in December 1922, with an introduction written by the Dada leader Tristan Tzara. In 1923, with his film Le Retour à la raison (Return to Reason), he extended the rayograph technique to moving images. Around the same time, Man Ray’s experiments with photography carried him to the center of the emergent Surrealist movement in Paris. Led by André Breton, Surrealism sought to reveal the uncanny coursing beneath familiar appearances in daily life. Man Ray proved well suited to this in works like Anatomies, in which, through framing and angled light, he transformed a woman’s neck into an unfamiliar, phallic form. He contributed photographs to the three major Surrealist journals throughout the 1920s and 1930s, and also constructed Surrealist objects like Gift, in which he altered a domestic tool (an iron) into an instrument of potential violence, and Indestructible Object (or Object to Be Destroyed), a metronome with a photograph of an eye affixed to its swinging arm, which was destroyed and remade several times.Source: The Museum of Modern Art
Martine Franck
Belgium
1938 | † 2012
Franck was born in Antwerp to the Belgian banker Louis Franck and his British wife, Evelyn. After her birth the family moved almost immediately to London. A year later, her father joined the British army, and the rest of the family were evacuated to the United States, spending the remainder of the Second World War on Long Island and in Arizona. Franck's father was an amateur art collector who often took his daughter to galleries and museums. Franck was in boarding school from the age of six onwards, and her mother sent her a postcard every day, frequently of paintings. Ms. Franck, attended Heathfield School, an all-girls boarding school close to Ascot in England, and studied the history of art from the age of 14. "I had a wonderful teacher who really galvanized me," she says. "In those days she took us on outings to London, which was the big excitement of the year for me." Franck studied art history at the University of Madrid and at the Ecole du Louvre in Paris. After struggling through her thesis (on French sculptor Henri Gaudier-Brzeska and the influence of cubism on sculpture), she said she realized she had no particular talent for writing, and turned to photography instead. In 1963, Franck's photography career started following trips to the Far East, having taken pictures with her cousin’s Leica camera. Returning to France in 1964, now possessing a camera of her own, Franck became an assistant to photographers Eliot Elisofon and Gjon Mili at Time-Life. By 1969 she was a busy freelance photographer for magazines such as Vogue, Life and Sports Illustrated, and the official photographer of the Théâtre du Soleil (a position she held for 48 years). From 1970 to 1971 she worked in Paris at the Agence Vu photo agency, and in 1972 she co-founded the Viva agency. In 1980, Franck joined the Magnum Photos cooperative agency as a "nominee", and in 1983 she became a full member. She was one of a very small number of women to be accepted into the agency. In 1983, she completed a project for the now-defunct French Ministry of Women's Rights and in 1985 she began collaborating with the non-profit International Federation of Little Brothers of the Poor. In 1993, she first traveled to the Irish island of Tory where she documented the tiny Gaelic community living there. She also traveled to Tibet and Nepal, and with the help of Marilyn Silverstone photographed the education system of the Tibetan Tulkus monks. In 2003 and 2004 she returned to Paris to document the work of theater director Robert Wilson who was staging La Fontaine's fables at the Comédie Française. Nine books of Franck's photographs have been published, and in 2005 Franck was made a chevalier of the French Légion d'Honneur. Franck continued working even after she was diagnosed with bone cancer in 2010. Her last exhibition was in October 2011 at the Maison Européenne de la Photographie. The exhibit consisted of 62 portraits of artists "coming from somewhere else" collected from 1965 through 2010. This same year, there were collections of portraits shown at New York's Howard Greenberg Gallery and at the Claude Bernard Gallery, Paris. Franck was well known for her documentary-style photographs of important cultural figures such as the painter Marc Chagall, philosopher Michel Foucault and poet Seamus Heaney, and of remote or marginalized communities such as Tibetan Buddhist monks, elderly French people, and isolated Gaelic speakers. Michael Pritchard, the Director-General of the Royal Photographic Society, observed: "Martine was able to work with her subjects and bring out their emotions and record their expressions on film, helping the viewer understand what she had seen in person. Her images were always empathetic with her subject." In 1976, Frank took one of her most iconic photos of bathers beside a pool in Le Brusc, Provence. By her account, she saw them from a distance and rushed to photograph the moment, all the while changing the roll of film in her camera. She quickly closed the lens just at the right moment, when happened to be most intense. She cited as influences the portraits of British photographer Julia Margaret Cameron, the work of American photojournalist Dorothea Lange and American documentary photographer Margaret Bourke-White. In 2010, she told The New York Times that photography "suits my curiosity about people and human situations." She worked outside the studio, using a 35 mm Leica camera, and preferring black and white film. The British Royal Photographic Society has described her work as "firmly rooted in the tradition of French humanist documentary photography." Source: Wikipedia Born in Belgium, Martine Franck (1938-2012) grew up in the United States and in England. She studied art history at the University of Madrid and at the École du Louvre in Paris. In 1963, she went to China, taking her cousin's Leica camera with her, and discovered the joys of documenting other cultures. Returning home via Hong Kong, Cambodia, India, Afghanistan and Turkey, and bought her first camera while on the trip. Returning to France, she worked as a photographic assistant at Time-Life where she developed her own technique. In 1966, Franck met Henri Cartier-Bresson, whose photographs epitomized Magnum's tradition of humanitarian photography. Franck was adamant that she would neither bask in his reflection nor disappear in his shadow and she joined the Vu agency in 1970. Her first solo exhibition was planned for the ICA in London that year; when she saw that the invitations were embossed with the information that her husband would be present at the launch, she cancelled the show. With Vu's demise, Franck co-founded the Viva agency in 1972. It also collapsed and it was not until 1980 that Franck joined Magnum, becoming a full member in 1983. She was one of the few women to be accepted into the agency and served as vice-president from 1998 to 2000. Eschewing the war/human tragedy reportage that characterized Magnum's reputation, Franck continued her projects on marginal or isolated lives throughout the rest of her life. Source: Howard Greenberg Gallery
Wang Qingsong
China
1966
Born in Daqing, Heilongjiang Province, China 1966 1993: Oil Painting Department of Sichuan Academy of Fine Arts, Sichuan, China Lives and works in Beijing since 1993 Awards: 2006 Outreach Award from Rencontres de la Photographie, Arles, France Wang Qingsong graduated from the Oil Painting Department of the Sichuan Academy of Fine Arts and currently lives and works in Beijing. After starting his career as an oil painter engaged in the Gaudi movement, he began taking highly staged photographs that explore the influence of Western consumer culture in China. In more recent works he has explored political and social themes including the struggles of the migrant population and Chinese diplomacy. His photographs are known for their massive scale, deep symbolism and careful staging, which can sometimes take several weeks and involve up to 300 extras. Although photography is his main medium, he has explored performance and video art in more recent years. Qingsong’s work has been presented at prestigious galleries, museums and art fairs across the globe including the 55th Venice Biennale China Pavillion (Venice), the International Centre of Photography (NY), the Hammer Museum (Los Angeles), the Victoria and Albert Museum (London), the 42nd Rencontres de la Photographie (Arles), the Daegu Art Museum (Seoul), MOCA (Taipei), the Rockbund Art Museum (Shanghai) and the Mori Art Museum (Tokyo). Wang Qingsong is a contemporary Chinese artist whose large-format photographs address the rapidly changing society of China. His photographs, appearing at first humorous and ironic, have a much deeper message. Critical of the proliferation of Western consumerism in China, his, Competition (2004), depicts the artist standing with a megaphone in front of a city hall covered in advertisements for brands such as Citibank, Starbucks, and Art Basel. "I think it is very meaningless if an artist only creates art for art's sake," he said. "I think it would be absurd for an artist to ignore what's going on in society." Born in 1966 in Heilongjiang Province, China, Wang studied at the Sichuan Academy of Fine Arts. Although he was trained as a painter, Wang began taking photographs in the 1990s as a way to better document the tension of cultural shifts. The artist's works have been in exhibitions at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles and the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne. Wang currently lives and works in Beijing, China. Source: Artnet
Shomei Tomatsu
Japan
1930 | † 2012
Shomei Tomatsu (東松 照明, Tōmatsu Shōmei) was a Japanese photographer, primarily known for his images that depict the impact of World War II on Japan and the subsequent occupation of U.S. forces. As one of the leading postwar photographers, Tomatsu is attributed with influencing the younger generations of photographers including those associated with the magazine Provoke (Takuma Nakahira and Daido Moriyama). Tomatsu was born in Nagoya in 1930. As an adolescent during World War II, he was mobilized to support Japan's war effort. Like many Japanese students his age, he was sent to work at a steel factory and underwent incessant conditioning intended to instill fear and hatred towards the British and Americans. Once the war ended and Allied troops took over numerous Japanese cities, Tomatsu interacted with Americans firsthand and found that his preconceptions of them were not entirely salient. At the time Tomatsu's contempt for the violence and crimes committed by these soldiers was complicated by individual acts of kindness he received from them – he simultaneously loved and hated their presence. These interactions, which he later described as among the most formative memories of his childhood, initiated his long-standing fixation on and feelings of ambivalence towards the subject of American soldiers. If I had seven lives, I’d be a photographer in every one. -- Shomei Tomatsu Tomatsu embraced photography while an economics student at Aichi University. While still in university, his photographs were shown frequently in monthly amateur competitions by Camera magazine and received recognition from Ihei Kimura and Ken Domon. After graduating in 1954, he joined Iwanami Shashin Bunko, through an introduction made by Aichi University professor Mataroku Kumaza. Tomatsu contributed photographs to the issues Floods and the Japanese (1954) and Pottery Town, Seto Aichi (1954). He stayed at Iwanami for two years before leaving to pursue freelance work. In 1957, Tomatsu participated in the exhibition Eyes of Ten where he displayed his series Barde Children’s School; he was featured in the exhibit twice more when it was held again in 1958 and 1959. After his third showing, Tomatsu established the short-lived photography collective VIVO with fellow Eyes of Ten exhibitors; these other members included Eikoh Hosoe, Kikuji Kawada, Ikkō Narahara, Akira Satō, and Akira Tanno. Towards the end of the 1950s, Tomatsu began photographing Japanese towns with major American bases, a project that would span over 10 years. Tomatsu's artistic output and renown grew significantly during the 1960s, exemplified by his prolific engagements with many prominent Japanese photography magazines. He began the decade by publishing his images of U.S. bases in the magazines Asahi Camera and Camera Mainichi and his series Home in Photo Art. In contrast to his earlier style which resembled traditional photojournalism, Tomatsu was beginning to develop a highly expressionistic form of image-taking that emphasized the photographer's own subjectivity. In response to this emergence, a dispute arose when Iwanami Shashin Bunko founder Yonosuke Natori wrote that Tomatsu had betrayed his foundations as a photojournalist by neglecting the responsibility to present reality in a truthful and legible manner. He rejected the claim that he was ever a photojournalist, and admonished journalistic thinking as an impediment to photography. Both essays were published in Asahi Camera. In addition to Asahi Camera and Photo Art, Tomatsu worked for magazines Gendai no me and Camera Mainichi. For Gendai no me, he edited a monthly series titled I am King (1964); for Camera Mainichi, he printed multiple collaborations made with Yasuhiro Ishimoto and Shigeichi Nagano in 1965 and his own series, The Sea Around Us in 1966. Tomatsu first went to Okinawa to photograph the American bases under the auspices of Asahi Camera in 1969. The images he captured formed the book Okinawa, Okinawa Okinawa which served as an explicit critique of the American air force. On the cover, an anti-base slogan verbalizing his disdain with the overwhelming U.S. presence in Okinawa reads: "The bases are not in Okinawa; Okinawa is in the bases". This sentiment was foreshadowed in Tomatsu's earlier writings, like his 1964 essay for Camera Manichi in which he stated "it would not be strange to call [Japan] the State of Japan in the United States of America. That's how far America has penetrated inside Japan, how deeply it has plumbed our daily lives." Tomatsu visited Okinawa three more times before finally moving to Naha in 1972. While in Okinawa, he traveled to various remote islands including Iriomote and Hateruma; he spent seven months on Miyakojima where he organized a study group called “Miyako University” aimed at mentoring young Miyako residents. Combined with his images taken in Southeast Asia, Tomatsu's photographs of Okinawa from the 1970s were shown in his prizewinning Pencil of the Sun (1975). Although he had come to Okinawa in order to witness its return to Japanese territory, Pencil of the Sun revealed a considerable shift away from the subject of military bases that he pursued throughout 1960s. He credited a diminishing interest in the American armed forces, in addition to the allure of Okinawa's brilliantly colored landscapes, for his adoption of color photography. In 1974, Tomatsu returned to Tokyo where he set up Workshop Photo School, an alternative two-year-long workshop (1974–76), with Eikoh Hosoe, Nobuyoshi Araki, Masahisa Fukase, Daidō Moriyama, and Noriaki Yokosuka; the school published the photo magazine Workshop. Tomatsu's dedication to nurturing the photography community in Japan was also evidenced in his role as a juror for the Southern Japan Photography Exhibition and his membership in the Photographic Society of Japan's committee to create a national museum of photography. The efforts of this group led to the establishment of photography departments at major national museums, such as Yokohama Museum of Art and the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, as well as the first photography museum in Japan, Tokyo Photographic Art Museum. In this, photography is the same thing as love. When my gaze, diving into the sea as my subject, converges with the act of photography, hot sparks fly at the point of intersection. -- Shomei Tomatsu Tomatsu took part in his first major international show, New Japanese Photography (1974) at MoMA New York, alongside workshop members Hosoe, Moriyama, Fukase, and 11 other photographers. New Japanese Photography was the first survey of contemporary Japanese photographers undertaken outside of Japan. It traveled to eight other locations in the United States including the Denver Art Museum, San Francisco Museum of Art, and Portland Art Museum. By 1980, Tomatsu published three more books: Scarlet Dappled Flower (1976) and The Shining Wind (1979) were composed of his images from Okinawa; and Kingdom of Mud (1978) featured his Afghanistan series printed earlier in Assalamu Alaykum. In the early 1980s, Tomatsu had his first international solo exhibition, Shomei Tomatsu: Japan 1952-1981 shown at thirty venues over three years. He was also included in notable international group exhibitions regarding Japanese art: in 1985, he was one of the main artists in Black Sun: The Eyes of Four first shown at the Museum of Modern Art, Oxford; in 1994, he was featured in the seminal show Japanese Art After 1945: Scream Against the Sky at the Yokohama Museum of Art, Guggenheim Museum and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. In the last decade of his career, Tomatsu embarked on a new and comprehensive series of retrospectives, dividing his oeuvre into five "mandalas" of place. Each mandala was named after the area it was exhibited: Nagasaki Mandala (Nagasaki Prefectural Art Museum, 2000); Okinawa Mandala (Urasoe Art Museum, 2002); Kyoto Mandala (Kyoto National Museum of Modern Art, 2003); Aichi Mandala (Aichi Prefectural Museum of Art, 2006); and Tokyo Mandala (Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, 2007). Tomatsu also had a separate retrospective, Shomei Tomatsu: Skin of the Nation, for the international museum circuit. Skin of the Nation was organized by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and curated by Sandra S. Phillips and the photographer and writer Leo Rubinfien. The exhibition toured three countries and five venues from 2004 through 2006: Japan Society (New York); National Gallery of Canada, Corcoran Museum of Art, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and Fotomuseum Winterthur. In 2010 Tomatsu moved to Okinawa permanently, where he held the final exhibition during his lifetime, Tomatsu Shomei and Okinawa - Love Letter to the Sun (2011). He succumbed to pneumonia on 14 December 2012 (although this was not publicly announced until January 2013).Source: Wikipedia
Jan Saudek
Czech Republic
1935
Jan Saudek is an art photographer and painter. He and his twin brother Kaja Saudek are holocaust survivors. Jan Saudek's art work represents a unique technique combining photography and painting. In his country of origin, Czechoslovakia, Jan was considered a disturbed artist and oppressed by authorities. His art gained more prominence during the 1990s, thanks to his collaboration with the publisher Taschen. During the 2000s, Saudek lost all his photo negatives in a matrimonial dispute and his pictures are now displayed on the internet for free. Jan claims they were stolen from him. Jan is the author of many “mise en scene” that were re-taken and copied by other artists. The cliché of a naked man holding a naked newborn baby with tenderness became a picture that was reproduced so many times that the composition became as commonplace as posing for a graduation picture. I still dream of the day when I will take a photograph so beautiful that it can be called love. -- Jan Saudek During his life in communist Czechoslovakia, Jan was labeled by the totalitarian regime as a pornographer. He lived in poverty using the only room in his basement as his studio. A disintegrating wall and a window giving a glimpse into the backyard became the witnesses of his fantasies and collaborations with models of all different sizes and origins. Jan Saudek and his twin brother Karel (also known as Kája) were born to a Slavic (Czech) mother and Jewish father in Prague in 1935. Their mother's family came to Prague from Bohemia, and their father from the city of Děčín in the northwest part of that area. During World War II and after the invasion of the German Nazis, both sides of his family were racially persecuted by the invaders. Many of his Jewish relatives died in the Theresienstadt concentration camp during the war. Jan and his brother Karel were sent to a children's concentration camp for Mischlinge (mixed-blood in German, as Nazis classified Jews as a race distinct from "Aryans"), located in Silesia near the present Polish-Czech border. Their father Gustav was deported to Theresienstadt concentration camp in February 1945. Although their mother and many other relatives died, both sons and father survived the war. A Communist-dominated government gained power after the war to rule the country, enforced by the Soviet Union and considered to be behind the Iron Curtain. According to Saudek's biography, he acquired his first camera, a Kodak Baby Brownie, in 1950. He apprenticed to a photographer, and in 1952 started working in a print shop; he was restricted to this work by the Communist government until 1983. In 1959, he started using the more advanced Flexaret 6x6 camera, and also engaged in painting and drawing. After completing his military service, he was inspired in 1963 by the catalogue for American photographer Edward Steichen's The Family of Man exhibition, and began to work to become a serious art photographer. In 1969, Saudek traveled to the United States, where he was encouraged in his work by curator Hugh Edwards of the Art Institute of Chicago. I have no way of portraying the lives of others. I portray my own. -- Jan Saudek Returning to Prague, Saudek had to work on his photography clandestinely in a cellar, to avoid the attention of the secret police. With his work turning to themes of personal erotic freedom, he used implicitly political symbols of corruption and innocence. In the late 1970s, he became recognized in the West as the leading Czech photographer, and also developed a following among photographers in his own country. In 1983, the first book of Saudek's work was published in the English-speaking world. The same year, he became a freelance photographer; the Czech Communist authorities allowed him to stop working in the print shop, and gave him permission to apply for a permit to work as an artist. In 1987, the archives of his negatives were seized by the police, but later returned. His best-known work is notable for its hand-tinted portrayal of painterly dream worlds, often inhabited by nude or semi-nude figures surrounded by bare plaster walls or painted backdrops. He frequently re-uses elements (for instance, a clouded sky or a view of Prague's Charles Bridge). In this his photographs suggest the studio and tableaux works of mid-19th century erotic photographers, as well as the works of the 20th-century painter Balthus, and of Bernard Faucon. Saudek's early art photography is noted for its evocation of childhood. His later works often portrayed the evolution from child to adult (re-photographing the same composition/pose, and with the same subjects, over many years). Religious motifs and the ambiguity between man and woman have also been some of Saudek's recurring themes. During the 1990s, his work at times generated censorship attempts in the West because of its provocative sexual content. Saudek's imagery has sometimes had a mixed reception internationally. He gained early shows in 1969 and 1970 in the United States and in Australia. In 1970 his work was shown at the Australian Centre for Photography and was welcomed by curator Jennie Boddington at the National Gallery of Victoria. Decades later, by contrast, his photograph Black Sheep & White Crow, which features a semi-naked pre-pubescent girl, was removed from the Ballarat International Foto Biennale in Victoria, Australia just before the opening on 21 August 2011; objections had been made related to allegations of child prostitution for his subject. Saudek's photographs have been featured as covers for the albums of Anorexia Nervosa (New Obscurantis Order), Soul Asylum (Grave Dancers Union), Daniel Lanois (For the Beauty of Wynona), Rorschach (Remain Sedate), and Beautiful South (Welcome to the Beautiful South). Saudek lives and works in Prague. His brother Kája Saudek was also an artist, the best-known Czech graphic novelist.Source: Wikipedia Saudek's pictures display a fondness for sequences that can be traced back to his childhood appreciation of comic books. More obviously, his work is often inspired by the nineteenth-century tradition of photographs of large women posed in lingerie reproduced as postcards (quite possibly also the source of inspiration for Saudek's collection 30 Postcards). His formal training occurred from 1950 to 1952, when Saudek attended Graphic Arts school and took a photography class. Saudek first exhibited in Prague in 1963 at the Hall of the Theatre on the Balustrade; though he continues to show work in his home country occasionally, Saudek's pictures are most widely exhibited in the United States. His work is held by such institutions as the Art Institute of Chicago; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; The Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris; Musée Nicephore Nièpce, Chalon-sur-Saone, France; National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia; and Photo Art, Basel, Switzerland. Saudek continues to live and work in the Czech Republic.Source: Museum of Contemporary Photography
Martin Elkort
United States
1929 | † 2016
Martin Edward Elkort (April 18, 1929 - November 19, 2016) was an American photographer, illustrator and writer known primarily for his street photography. Prints of his work are held and displayed by several prominent art museums in the United States. His photographs have regularly appeared in galleries and major publications. Early black and white photographs by Elkort feature the fabled Lower East Side in Manhattan, New York City, showing its ethnic diversity, myriad streets and cluttered alleys. The Coney Island amusement park in Brooklyn was another favorite site during that period. His later work depicts street scenes from downtown Los Angeles and Tijuana, Mexico. Throughout Martin Elkort's long career as a photographer, he always showed the positive, joyful side of life in his candid images. Born in the Bronx, New York City, Martin Elkort grew up during the Great Depression. Elkort took his first professional photograph at the age of 10 while on a car trip with his parents to Baltimore. During the trip, he took photographs of flooded streets. The Baltimore Sun purchased his photographs of flood scenes and featured one of them on its front page. At the age of 15, he suffered a bout with polio and spent four months in the hospital. When he returned home, his parents gave him his first Ciroflex, a twin-lens reflex camera, that cost them about a week’s salary. After his recovery from polio, he set out around Manhattan taking pictures of whatever interested him. While studying at New York City's Cooper Union School of Art, Elkort joined the New York Photo League, an organization of photographers that served as the epicenter of the documentary movement in American photography. There he studied under successful photographers including Paul Strand, Aaron Siskind, Sid Grossman, Lou Stoumen, Imogen Cunningham and Weegee, learning to become adept at what he refers to as "stealth photography". With a more refined Rolleiflex twin-lens reflex camera strapped around his neck, he would roam the streets peering down into the 2×2 inch ground glass. He developed the skill of walking right up to a person and taking their photo without them even realizing it. His goal was to capture this post-war period's general optimism and innocence. During this period he worked at the Wildenstein & Company Gallery and later, the Stephen Michael Studio in Manhattan where he further enhanced his photographic knowledge and technique. In 1948, Elkort showed his pictures of Hasidic Jewish boys playing in the streets to Edward Steichen, who was curator of photography at New York's Museum of Modern Art and probably America's most famous photographer at the time. Steichen rejected his photos, describing Martin's skills as "no better than the other 35 million amateur photographers in the country." Dejected but determined, Elkort worked tirelessly to improve his craft and two years later, he met with Steichen again. This time the famous curator bought three of his images for the museum's collection: Soda Fountain Girl, Puppy Love, and The Girl With Black Cat, all uplifting images of children at Coney Island. Elkort's photographs (c. 1951) of recently liberated Jewish immigrants learning new work skills at the Bramson ORT (Organization for Rehabilitation and Training) School in Brooklyn offer a rare and intimate glimpse into of their optimistic struggle to integrate into a new society after World War II. Some of his pictures show Jewish workers bearing tattoos evidencing their incarceration in Nazi concentration camps during The Holocaust. In 1951, more than 20,000 Jews received vocational training at the Bramson ORT School. Seamstresses, tailors, pattern makers, pressers; here they learned a trade that was much needed in New York’s growing fashion and garment district. In 2008, Elkort donated 33 of his vintage ORT photographs to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C.. Elkort was a member of New York Photo League from 1948–1951; an editorial associate and contributor to New Mexico Magazine in 1957; a founding member in 2002 of Los Angeles League of Photographers (LALOP); a contributing editor and contributed photographs to Rangefinder Magazine in 2006; and a member of the Photography Arts Council at Los Angeles County Museum of Art. After receiving a digital camera for his 70th birthday, Martin's photographic career re-ignited. He began to show his current and older work in galleries around the country. He also found a renewed interest in the New York Photo League. In 2002, he co-founded the Los Angeles League of Photographers along with David Schulman and David Stork. Modeled after the New York Photo League, its mission is to expose the wider public to photography's essential social, political and aesthetic values. He also writes articles for magazines dealing with photography including Rangefinder and Black & White Magazine. As of March 2014, Elkort's work is widely exhibited and can be found in the permanent collections of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C.; the Museum of Modern Art in New York City; The Jewish Museum (Manhattan) in New York City; the Columbus Museum of Art; The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; The J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles; as well as many corporate and private collections.Source: Wikipedia
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