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Andreas Gursky
Andreas Gursky

Andreas Gursky

Country: Germany
Birth: 1955

German photographer. Shortly after Gursky was born, his family relocated to Essen, and then to Düsseldorf, West Germany in 1957. Gursky’s parents ran a commercial photography studio, but Gursky had no plans to join the business. He attended the Folkwangschule in Essen (1978-80) with a concentration in visual communication and the goal of becoming a photojournalist, but was unsuccessful with finding work. Encouraged by fellow photographer Thomas Struth, Gursky entered the prestigious Kunstakademie, Düsseldorf in 1980 and in his second year began studying photography under Bernd and Hilla Becher. Although the Becher’s preferred black and white photography, Gursky only worked in color, and with the help of his friends set up a color darkroom in 1981. By integrating the “systematically objective and rigorously conceptual”* documentary style of the Bechers’ photography with his taste for color, Gursky began to explore the contemporary culture of the world. Gursky had his first exhibition in 1981 featuring his series Pförtnerbilder (1981-5), a collection of works depicting pairs of German security guards. After graduating from the Kunstakademie in 1987, Gursky focused on photographing urban landscapes, both interior and exterior, and began to increase the size of his large format prints. Gursky had his first solo gallery show in 1988, at the Galerie Johnen & Schöttle. A rise of interest in the international art market for photography paired with the growing popularity of the Becher’s circle brought Gursky much commercial success. Gursky began the infamous May Day series (early 1990’s) in reaction to the biggest economic slump of recent history. A combination of the collapsing stock market with the growth of a dynamic drug-addicted rave scene inspired this photographic compilation. During this time, Gursky traveled to a number of international cities such as Tokyo, Los Angeles, Stockholm, Cairo and Hong Kong in order to photograph the masses – busy stock exchanges, manufacturing plants, industrial-looking apartment buildings, crowded arenas and swarming clubs. Gursky was one of the first contemporary photographers to use new digital photo editing techniques on his large format photographs. In 1999, Gursky created 99 Cent, the first in a series of photographs of discount stores, which “was quickly recognized as one of his most important works and placed in major museums around the world.”* Gursky’s retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art, New York in 2001, which included the work May Day IV, confirmed him as one of the greatest artistic visionaries of his generation.
Source Sotheby’s, London
 

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Natalie Christensen
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Natalie Christensen is a photographer based in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She is a frequent contributor to online contemporary and fine art photography magazines. She has won several regional awards, shown work internationally and has over 25,000 Instagram followers. In addition to pursuing her interests in art and design, Natalie has worked as a psychotherapist for over 25 years and has been particularly influenced by the work of depth psychologist, Carl Jung. This influence is evidenced in her photographs, as shadows and archetypal images are favored subjects. Statement I live in Santa Fe New Mexico where my work is inspired by commonplace architecture and streetscapes. I shoot every day and am almost never without my camera. I don't have to go anywhere special to make my photography; instead I find my images around shopping centers, apartment complexes and office parks. I dismantle these scenes to color fields, geometry and shadow. The places I frequent for my images are probably not what people visualize when they think of the city I live in, a major tourist destination with a carefully cultivated image. I choose to shoot in locations that may be viewed as uninteresting or even visually off-putting. This is exciting and challenging for me, to "see" something hiding in plain sight. Much of my professional life has been spent as a psychotherapist, and my photography as an extension of that work. Both have called me to explore what is hidden from view, those aspects of the self or the environment that we want to turn away from or simply avoid. I suspect it is our nature to ignore what is unpleasant, but sometimes I get a glimpse of the sublime in these ordinary places. When I find it, it feels like I have discovered gold.
Lukas Holas
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Jacque Rupp
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Antonin is a founder of the VII photo agency. As photojournalists go, Antonin Kratochvil has sunk his teeth into his fair share of upheaval and human catastrophes whilst going about his documentation of the time in which he lives. As people go, Kratochvil's own refugee life has been much in the way the same as what he has rendered on film. Kratochvil's unique style of photography is the product of personal experience, intimate conditioning and not privileged voyeurism. Over the years his fluid and unconventional work has been sought by numerous publications stretching across widely differing interests. From shooting Mongolia's street children for the magazine published by the Museum of Natural History to a portrait session with David Bowie for Detour, from covering the war in Iraq for Fortune Magazine to shooting Deborah Harry for a national advertising campaign for the American Civil Liberties Union, Kratochvil's ability to see through and into his subjects and show immutable truth has made his pictures not facsimiles but uncensored visions. And yet, what set his kind apart from the many is his consistency and struggle to carry on. For Kratochvil this fact comes in the form of his numerous awards, grants and honorable mentions dating back to 1975. The latest of these are his two, first place prizes at the 2002 World Press Photo Awards in the categories of general news and nature and the environment. The next is the 2004 grant from Aperture publishing for Kratochvil's study on the fractious relationship between American civil liberties and the newly formed Homeland Security since the World Trade Center bombings.In addition, Kratochvil's fifth book Vanishing was presented in April 2005 and marks another significant milestone for the craft to which he belongs. Vanishing represents a collection of natural and human phenomena that on the verge of extinction. What makes this book so innovative is the twenty years it has taken to produce, making it not only historical from the onset, but a labor of love and a commitment to one man's conscience.
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China
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