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Desiree Cyganek
Desiree Cyganek
Desiree Cyganek

Desiree Cyganek

Country: Ivory Coast
Birth: 1979

French, from west African descent, Desiree Cyganek is a portrait photographer based in New York City. Always in touch with her artistic side, Desiree started a career as a professional dancer and actress in Paris. Destiny brought her to the United States 10 years ago, where she started photography as a hobby. It soon became obvious that it would become more than that, as she clearly had uncovered a new talent and passion. Photography has now become more than a full time job; it is her new career. Not a day goes by that she's not testing or expanding her knowledge. She always had a deep connection with her African roots and a passion for people & fashion, therefore it comes as no surprise that her expertise lies in those fields. Desiree has this special ability to make people feel at ease in front of her camera and capture their essence like no one else. Her style is clean, yet bold and filled with emotions.
 

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James Houston
Australia
James Houston's background as a sculptor helped shape and influence his graphic photographic style. Australian born, Houston celebrates beauty and the human form, creating sensual iconic portraits and international campaigns for L'Oreal Paris, GAP, Donna Karan, Hugo Boss and Givenchy. New York based Houston balances his career with passion projects that make a difference in the community. Five award winning international books have been published on his work. Houston's book MOVE (PowerHouse Books), was created to benefit various HIV/AIDS charities and raised close to US$500,000 from sales and launch events. The book project, titled MOVE FOR AIDS was launched in 2006 with the support of Elton John, Hugh Jackman, Baz Luhrmann and Sarah Murdoch. While working on MOVE FOR AIDS, Houston was shocked to learn about American attitudes towards adolescent sexuality and the impact it has on U.S. teens. This discovery inspired Houston to raise over 1 million dollars to fund his first feature documentary titled, LET’S TALK ABOUT SEX (www.letstalkaboutsexthefilm.com). The Award winning film takes a revealing look at how American attitudes towards adolescent sexuality affect today’s teenagers. The film aired nationally on the TLC network in April, 2011 with the goal of helping parents and communities understand the importance of honest and open communication. For his latest photographic project, Natural Beauty, Houston turns his eye to nature for inspiration with the goal to raise awareness for the environment and funds for environmental non profit Global Green USA. In collaboration with MILK, Houston shot a series of striking portraits of some of the world’s leading models and celebrities. These captivating photographs, bring together two of Houston’s great passions – the human form and the natural world. Natural Beauty launched at MILK Gallery NYC April 2013. Houston also directed a web series on the 'making of' Natural Beauty as well as several film installations for the exhibition. Source: www.houstonphoto.com
Brad Walls
Australia
1992
Brad Walls is an Australian aerial photography based in Sydney. Best known for his use of close up top downs, Brad specialises in aerial portraiture and a minimalistic approach to aerial photography. Utilising one of the first consumer drones, Brad Walls stumbled across his passion for aerial content through stitching small video clips together taken during his extensive travels. 18 months on, Brad has refined his skillset, with a vision to strive and see the world from a different angle creating the perfect metaphor for his work. Pools From Above Pools From Above is an ode to the beauty found in the shapes, colours and textures of swimming pools. This unique and never-before-seen perspective uses Walls' clean, minimal aesthetic to visually showcase interesting pools from around the world. Inspired by his travels throughout Southeast Asia and within his own home country of Australia, Walls' journey initially began by capturing the bodies of water simply to document holiday memories. It wasn't until picking up the bestselling Annie Kelly coffee table book Splash: The Art of the Swimming Pool, however, that Walls would start investing time and passion into curating a series, stating that "As I turned each page of Kelly's book, a wave of childhood nostalgia washed over me, spending hours in the pool over summer." Paying powerful homage to Kelly, Walls' series chooses to keenly focus on pools' elements of composition from a bird's eye view. "I fell in love with the lines, curves and negative space of the pools, which - without alternate perspective from a drone - would have been lost." Pools From Above is also an integral part of a much larger project which is aimed at a book release in the not-too-distant future, as Walls says "The response from viewers has been positive, asking for the series to be amongst their coffee table books." Looking ahead, once the world finally re-opens, Walls has no plans of slowing down. He plans to capture even more world-renowned swimming pools across an array of idyllic locations, including Palm Springs, Mexico and the Mediterranean. Since bursting onto the photography scene in early 2019, Walls has gone on to produce award-winning photographs and garner worldwide media attention, with a primary focus on capturing aerial portraits of sportspeople like synchronized swimmers, gymnasts and ice skaters from unique perspectives and angles that audiences are normally unable to see.
Elizabeth (Lee) Miller
United States
1907 | † 1977
Lee Miller, 1907-1977, first entered the world of photography as a model in New York to photographers such as Edward Steichen, Arnold Genthe and George Hoyninguen-Huene. In 1929 Miller moved to Paris and became the assistant, and lover, of Man Ray. Together, they produced some of the most significant works of both of their careers, including rediscovering the solarisation technique in Man Ray’s darkroom. She quickly became established as both surrealist artist and photographer in her own right and returned to New York to run her own studio with commissions for portraits, packing shots and editorials for Vogue magazine. Lee Miller spent several years in the mid 1930’s living in Cairo with her Egyptian husband, Aziz Eloui Bey. Bored of life in the city, she would travel by jeep through the desert on photography exhibitions and re-imagine desert landscapes with her witty and surrealist flair. In 1939, Lee moved to London and worked as freelance photographer for British Vogue magazine. Alongside this, her documentation of the Blitz was published in Grim Glory, a pamphlet encouraging the US to join the war effort. Lee Miller later became one of the first ever female war correspondents accredited to the US army and travelled with the US troops throughout Europe during 1944 and 1945. She documented the liberation of Paris, the siege at St Malo and Buchenwald and Dachau concentration camps. Perhaps most famously, she took a self-portrait sitting in Adolf Hitler’s bathtub in his Munich apartment, a statement of the end of the war. Lee Miller mostly abandoned photography later in her life and didn’t speak of her wartime experiences. Her former and final home, Farley Farm House, Sussex, England is now the base of the Lee Miller Archives which holds over 60,000 of her negatives as well as manuscripts and vintage prints. Over 3,000 images are available to view at www.leemiller.co.uk
Cig Harvey
United Kingdom
1973
The photographs and artist books of Cig Harvey have been widely exhibited and remain in the permanent collections of major museums and collections, including the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas; the Farnsworth Art Museum, Rockland, Maine; and the International Museum of Photography and Film at the George Eastman House, Rochester, New York. Cig began working in a darkroom at thirteen and has been dedicated to photography ever since. She grew up in the deep valleys of Devon in the UK, and came to the States for her MFA in 1999, after years spent living in Barcelona and Bermuda. Cig Harvey's first monograph, You Look At Me Like An Emergency (Schilt Publishing, 2012,) is a collection of ten years of pictures and written vignettes. It sold out in all printings and was named one of PDNʼs Best Books of the Year 2012. Cig had her first solo museum show at the Stenersen Museum in Oslo, Norway, in conjunction with the release. The book was well reviewed in a number of publications, including The Independent, Aesthetica, the Boston Globe, Blink, and PDN. Pro Photographer magazine ran an in depth feature, "Chance: Cig Harvey's deceptively simple photographs tap into the universal elements of the human experience: love, loss, longing and belonging. She's in demand for editorial and commercial work-as well as her for her fine art prints and books." Cig Harvey's second monograph, Gardening at Night (Schlit Publishing, 2015,) was published in conjunction with solo shows at Robert Mann Gallery, New York, Robert Klein Gallery, Boston and Paul Kopeiken Gallery, Los Angeles. The book received critical acclaim with features and reviews in Vogue, The Telegraph, the International Wall Street Journal, the International New York Times, and Aesthetica among others. The International Wall Street Journal said of the series, "Though the subjects and setting are familiar to us, we cannot help but feel that Cig Harvey has led us through the looking glass to a world of wonder. In the way that twilight is not quite day and not quite night, the photographs of Gardening at Night are stories not yet fully developed, while still capturing the unexpected yet oddly harmonious moments that surround us daily." Cig Harvey's work has been displayed at Paris Photo, Art Miami, and AIPAD every year since 2006. She has been a nominee for John Gutmann fellowship and the Santa Fe Prize, and a finalist for the BMW Prize at Paris Photo and for the Prix Virginia, an international photography prize for women. Cig's devotion to visual storytelling has lead to innovative international campaigns and features with New York Magazine, Harper's Bazaar Japan, Kate Spade, and Bloomingdales. Cig teaches workshops and regularly speaks on her work and processes at institutions around the world. She is known for her high energy, sense of humor and creativity. She brings a profound sense of optimism to all that she does. Cig lives in a farmhouse in the Midcoast of Maine with her husband Doug (who has the profile of an emperor on a Roman coin), their wayward daughter Scout, and Scarlet the dog (the original baby). The slow passing of time and the natural surroundings of her rural home has made her alert to the magic in the mundane. Articles Discover Cig Harvey's Interview Find out more about Cig Harvey in this article
Julie Blackmon
United States
1966
Born in Springfield, Missouri, Julie Blackmon studied art education and photography at Missouri State University. She has received several national awards for her photographs, including commendation in the 2004 Santa Fe Center of Photography Project Competition, a merit award from the Society of Contemporary Photography, 2005 B& W Magazine Merit Award for Single Image Contest, 2006 1st Place for Domestic Vacations from the Santa Fe Center of Photograph Project Competition, 2006 Critical Mass Book Award Winner for Domestic Vacations, and recognized as American Photo’s Emerging Photographer of 2008. Her photographs are included in the permanent collections of the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Toledo Museum of Art, Portland Art Museum, Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago, among numerous others. About Domestic Vacations:The Dutch proverb “a Jan Steen household” originated in the 17th century and is used today to refer to a home in disarray, full of rowdy children and boisterous family gatherings. The paintings of Steen, along with those of other Dutch and Flemish genre painters, helped inspire this body of work. I am the oldest of nine children and now the mother of three. As Steen’s personal narratives of family life depicted nearly 400 yrs. ago, the conflation of art and life is an area I have explored in photographing the everyday life of my family and the lives of my sisters and their families at home. These images are both fictional and auto-biographical, and reflect not only our lives today and as children growing up in a large family, but also move beyond the documentary to explore the fantastic elements of our everyday lives, both imagined and real. The stress, the chaos, and the need to simultaneously escape and connect are issue that I investigate in this body of work. We live in a culture where we are both “child centered” and “self-obsessed.” The struggle between living in the moment versus escaping to another reality is intense since these two opposites strive to dominate. Caught in the swirl of soccer practices, play dates, work, and trying to find our way in our “make-over” culture, we must still create the space to find ourselves. The expectations of family life have never been more at odds with each other. These issues, as well as the relationship between the domestic landscape of the past and present, are issues I have explored in these photographs. I believe there are moments that can be found throughout any given day that bring sanctuary. It is in finding these moments amidst the stress of the everyday that my life as a mother parallels my work as an artist, and where the dynamics of family life throughout time seem remarkably unchanged. As an artist and as a mother, I believe life’s most poignant moments come from the ability to fuse fantasy and reality: to see the mythic amidst the chaos.
Ricardo Reis
Portugal
1981
Why I Photograph As a young person, I needed and had to put out there so many things that were stuck inside me, and very quickly, I realized that I had a different way of seeing the world. I started noticing that even if there were many people looking at the same thing as me, they weren't seeing what I was seeing. Photography became the most realistic representation of my perspective. Photography blends all the art mediums and I am inspired to create amalgamations of the dream world with the real. I love the challenge of being able to put onto paper the ideas and surreal world of my own creation. My Purpose When I create a photograph image, I want to engage in a dialogue-to make the viewer feel something, even if it's a negative reaction. I appreciate the negative reaction, because I understand I've drawn something out in the viewer: an honest reaction is more potent than an indifferent one. I want to be able to convey an inner conversation-an ambience, a vibe- to create curiosity in the viewer for the lives and moments depicted in my images. My Method I prefer to shoot with black and white 35mm film, because I find it's more honest and direct, at least for me. I like the mental exercise of having to prepare the picture in your mind first and do the chain of thoughts necessary to translate the idea into the final work. Color can be distracting and disruptive of the real intent and emotion I am trying to achieve. My favorite camera is the Canon EOS 1 RS film camera; it has plenty of functions which allow me to have more control over the final product. I love to prepare a playlist and just go and take a walk with my camera and put myself in the mood: a limbo between voyeurism and participant. My Path When I started I wanted to be a war photographer, but in my home country of Portugal, it's very difficult to get the connections necessary to achieve that. I was fortunate to get an internship at a daily newspaper in Portugal which led to my work being published in several major newspapers and magazines. I began to work more in fashion photography and was assigned to the fashion weeks that took place in Europe. During the shows, I found that I always preferred the backstage where I had more freedom to do different things, take more risks. Photography has been the driving force through all my creative pursuits. My love of music, music photography and music videos comprise a large part of my work. As a cinematographer/director for album and DVD covers, I work in collaboration with several European photography agencies in Portugal and in the UK. The more artistic side of my work is represented in several countries and in private collections, from Canada, the UK, France, Netherlands, Australia, China, Portugal, and the United States. Currently I am living in Lisbon, but who knows what's next.
Niki Feijen
Netherlands
1977
Dutch photographer Niki Feijen immortilizes an astonishingly intact glimpse into the past. This autodidact specializes in documenting and capturing historic architecture and abandoned buildings. Each photo fuses together the conflicting notions of beauty and decay and corresponds with his desire to capture and silently communicate with his audience about the subject's very essence. Niki wants to recreate the exact same scene as he sees while standing in a location but the lightspectrum your eye can capture is much, much wider than a camera can capture. Photographing a dark setting with extreme highlights like a window causes the highlights to wash out into white or dark areas can become obscure black blobs. It's impossible to shoot a photo that captures both ends of this spectrum. Since Niki does not use any artificial lighting he uses different exposures to capture a much wider light spectrum than a traditional photograph. The result is a hyper realistic photo which would replicate the exact same thing you would see standing inside the location yourself. In 2010 Feijen visited the quintessential location of desertion: the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone. After a catastrophic nuclear accident occurred in 1986 the entire city of Pripyat, all 50,000 inhabitants, were evacuated within 48 hours. Most of the belongings of the evacuated inhabitants were left behind and never returned to again. The incredible deafening silence of this location, in its absence of the living, permeates the senses and mind of visitors who venture to there to this day. Feijen is currently travelling around the globe looking for more hidden gems tucked away behind 'Do Not Enter' signs. Curious about what lies on the other side, he goes in search of the hidden world that is often in plain sight. When Feijen comes across impressive yet eerie locations, such as homes located in ghost towns, asylums, decaying hospitals, abandoned castles and long forgotten hotels, he intends to preserve the what is left of the past by encapsulating these forgotten masterpieces' ethos in a photo before they crumble and collapse. The impressions left from these places are represented in visual form for the public in three separate books. All works, 'Disciple of Decay' (April 2013) 'Frozen' (September 2014) and 'Tempus Fugit' (December 2017), have been independently published. The first sold out in six months. On top of these publications, Feijen's photographs are exhibited at art galleries and international art fairs several times a year. His works have been featured by NBC, BBC, The Huffington Post, ABC News, The Daily Mail and Chase Jarvis, among a variety of others. As of 2014 Feijen's work is part of the Sir Elton John Photography Collection where his name is among legendary photographers as ; Edward Weston, David LaChapelle, Diane Arbus and Henri Cartier-Bresson.
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