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Gregory Halpern
Gregory Halpern

Gregory Halpern

Country: United States
Birth: 1977

Gregory Halpern (born 1977) is an American photographer and teacher. He currently teaches at the Rochester Institute of Technology and is a nominee member of Magnum Photos. Halpern has published a number of books of his own work; Zzyzx won PhotoBook of the Year at the 2016 Paris Photo–Aperture Foundation PhotoBook Awards. He received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2014.

Halpern grew up in Buffalo, New York. He holds a BA in history and literature from Harvard University and an MFA from California College of the Arts. He has taught at California College of the Arts, Cornell University, School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Harvard University and the Harvard Graduate School of Design. He currently teaches at the Rochester Institute of Technology. Halpern is married to the American photographer, Ahndraya Parlato.

Omaha Sketchbook (2009) is an artist's book portrait of the titular city. Harvard Works Because We Do (2003) is a book of photographs and text, presenting a portrait of Harvard University through the eyes of the school's service employees. A (2011) is a photographic ramble through the streets of the American Rust Belt. East of the Sun, West of the Moon is a collaboration with Halpern's wife, the photographer Ahndraya Parlato. Zzyzx (2016) contains photographs from Los Angeles. Let the Sun Beheaded Be (2020) was made over several months in the French archipelago of Guadeloupe.

Source: Wikipedia


Gregory Halpern is known for his intuitively rich colour photography that draws attention to harsh social realities as well as the unerring strangeness of everyday life. His work is rooted in both the real and the sublime and this approach has lead him to photograph life in post-industrial towns of the American Rust Belt, the people and places of Los Angeles and the uniquely unifying experience of a total solar eclipse. “What’s interesting to me about the world is its chaos and contradictions, the way opposites can be so beautiful in relation to each other,” says Halpern of his practice.

Though Halpern says he is primarily motivated by the desire to “create” rather than “document”, his work is powerfully affecting. A study of working conditions for janitorial staff at Harvard, created while he was a student there, resulted in a successful bid for the minimum wage and was published as a book, Harvard Works Because We Do (2003). While his images of life in post-industrial towns of the American Rust Belt were published to critical acclaim in A (2011), and show resilience in the face of harsh social and economic realities. Selected clients include The New York Times Magazine, Vogue, Le Monde, Bloomberg Businessweek, Sports Illustrated and VICE.

Source: Magnum Photos


 

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Esmeralda Ruiz
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Artist Statement: "My childhood was different then most. Growing up with nothing but artists was one thing, but having actually flat lined during a surgery after being diagnosed with a kidney infection changed my life forever. It wasn’t that it left me weak or prevented me from going outside and playing or even going to school with other children but the images that I saw when that moment occurred is what I strive to show in my work today. A wonderful world where the air was crisp and refreshing, with all of its flowers in bloom, my journey begins down a path with little yellow homes on each side. Beyond the path, a valley flowers appeared. On the right there were rocky mountains so enormous that clouds covered their midsection with their snow covered summits peering through. To my left the sound of the ocean was relentlessly crashing into a cliff. As I crossed my valley of flowers and ascended the cliff, I felt a cool yet, strong breeze off the ocean forcing me back. As I looked up into the vast skies above, I was overcome by the ever so omnipotent clouds with their glorious rays of sunlight beaming through. The feeling of leaping into the breeze and flying towards the light was more then overwhelming. Instead, I greeted it with a smile and made my way back to the valley. Relaxed, laying across its delicate wild flowers, my tranquil body curled up and fell into a deep sleep. Awaking to my mother at my bedside, disappointment overcame me with the realization that it was all just a dream. Weeks passed, the pain healed but my dream still reigned true. Numerous sketches and endless rants of my new world was all that was real. Having to transition from a world of such perfection to a life of obscurity seemed almost inconceivable. As such, a minor state of depression would set in as my life slowly began to drift back into its regular routine. During this time my only solace came from the amazing work found in books from various art movements and even my favorite childhood cartoons. However, as my healing process dragged on, much of what I know about color (and how I use it today) came from all the extra time spent in my parent’s studio. Watching them work and being surrounded by various mediums helped better understand art as a form of expression. This would inevitably forge my desire to show the world what I had experienced on that fateful day. As the years pass, my dream still lives within me. My thesis project has only driven my need to share my moment with the world in ways I never thought possible. After much soul searching and numerous critiques, I have come to the realization that my utopia isn’t just a dream; it is in the landscapes that have always surrounded me. Those three minutes had and will always have a tremendous impact on my life. If anything, I learned how fragile life is and to always appreciate the beautiful things in life. Photography has allowed me to show what stands out in my eyes by glorifying it in a photograph. It is the best way that I can communicate what I saw and what I felt at that particular moment. It is the bridge between my past and my present.Source: Esmeralda Ruiz Website
Mona Kuhn
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Acclaimed for her contemporary depictions, Kuhn is considered a leading artist in the world of figurative discourse. Throughout a career spanning more than twenty years, the underlying theme of her work is her reflection on humanity's longing for spiritual connection and solidarity. As she solidified her photographic style, Kuhn created a notable approach to the nude by developing friendships with her subjects, and employing a range of playful visual strategies that use natural light and minimalist settings to evoke a sublime sense of comfort between the human figure and its environment. Her work is natural, restful, and a reinterpretation of the nude in the canon of contemporary art. For the past two decades, the Los-Angeles based artist's works have been shown steadily, revealing an astonishing consistency in technique, of subject and of purpose. In 2001, Kuhn's photographs were first seen by an influential audience during the exhibition at Charles Cowles Gallery in Chelsea, New York. Kuhn's distinct aesthetic has propelled her as one of the most collectible contemporary art photographers-her work is in private and public collections worldwide and she is represented by galleries across the United States, Europe and Asia. Kuhn was born in São Paulo, Brazil, in 1969, of German descent. In 1989, Kuhn moved to the US and earned her BA from The Ohio State University, before furthering her studies at the San Francisco Art Institute. She is currently an independent scholar at The Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles. Occasionally, Mona teaches at UCLA and the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. Mona Kuhn's first monograph, Photographs, was debuted by Steidl in 2004; followed by Evidence (2007), Native (2010), Bordeaux Series (2011), Private (2014), and She Disappeared into Complete Silence (2018/19). In addition, Kuhn's monograph titled Bushes and Succulents has been published by Stanley/Barker Editions, with a debut at Jeu de Paume in Paris, in 2019. A stunning career retrospective of Mona Kuhn's Works has been published by Thames & Hudson, Spring 2021. Kuhn's forthcoming publication Kings Road, will be published and released by Steid this Spring 2022. Mona Kuhn's work is in private and public collections worldwide, including The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The Hammer Museum, Perez Art Museum Miami, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and the Kiyosato Museum in Japan. Kuhn's work has been exhibited at The Louvre Museum and Le Bal in Paris; The Whitechapel Gallery and Royal Academy of Arts in London; Musée de l'Elysée in Switzerland; Leopold Museum in Vienna Austria, The Polygon Gallery in Vancouver Canada, Taipei Fine Arts Museum in Taiwan and Australian Centre for Photography. Mona Kuhn lives and works in Los Angeles. I'm most comfortable representing the nude as minimal and timeless. I like to cherish the body as a source of inspiration, as a platform for metaphors, for intimacy and complexities of human nature. It is my way of investigating the deepest questions about life.
Zanele Muholi
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1972
Zanele Muholi was born in Umlazi, Durban, in 1972. She completed an Advanced Photography course at the Market Photo Workshop in Newtown and held her first solo exhibition at the Johannesburg Art Gallery in 2004. She has worked as a community relations officer for the Forum for the Empowerment of Women (FEW), a black lesbian organisation based in Gauteng, and as a photographer and reporter for Behind the Mask, an online magazine on lesbian and gay issues in Africa. Her work represents the black female body in a frank yet intimate way that challenges the history of the portrayal of black women's bodies in documentary photography. Her solo exhibition Only half the picture, which showed at Michael Stevenson in March 2006, travelled to the Market Photo Workshop in Johannesburg and the Afrovibes Festival in Amsterdam. In 2008 she had a solo show at Le Case d'Arte, Milan, and in 2009 she exhibited alongside Lucy Azubuike at the CCA Lagos, Nigeria. She was the recipient of the 2005 Tollman Award for the Visual Arts, the first BHP Billiton/Wits University Visual Arts Fellowship in 2006, and was the 2009 Ida Ely Rubin Artist-in-Residence at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Muholi's photography has been compared to the way W.E.B. DuBois subverted the typical representations of African Americans. Both Muholi and Du Bois have created an archive of photos, working to dismantle dominant, pre-existing perceptions of the subjects they chose to photograph. Muholi views their work as collaborative, referring to the individuals they photograph as "participants" rather than as subjects. Seeking to empower their subjects, Muholi often invites participants to speak at events and exhibitions, adding the participant's voice to the conversation. Through their artistic approach they hope to document the journey of the African queer community as a record for future generations. They try to capture the moment without negativity or focusing on the prevalent violence, portraying the LGBTQI community as individuals and as a whole to encourage unity. Thus, their work can be considered documentative, recording the overall community LGBTI of South Africa and their challenges, and at times, more specifically the struggle of black lesbians. Before 1994, black lesbian voices were excluded from the making of a formal queer movement. Muholi's efforts of creating a more positive visualization of LGBTI Africans combats the homophobic-motivated violence that is prevalent in South Africa today, especially in the case of black lesbians. While black women's bodies appear frequently throughout sexualized pop-culture, black lesbians are viewed (through the lens of the patriarchy and heteronormativity) as undesirable. This negative view of homosexuals in Africa lead to violence, such as murder and rape, and rejection from their families. Muholi's Zukiswa (2010), shows an African lesbian woman making eye contact with the viewer, displaying an unwavering gaze of confidence, self-awareness, and determination. This example encourages awareness, acceptance, and positivity with the queer community as well as South Africa. Although Muholi became known as a photographer who engaged with the then-invisible lives of black lesbians in South Africa, they began to recognize this idea of "gender within gender." In 2003, and their sense of community definitively began to include trans people. Muholi was employed as a photographer and reporter for Behind the Mask, an online magazine on LGBTI issues in Africa. Muholi first received global attention from the art world in 2012 at Documenta, a world-famous exhibition of modern and contemporary art in (Germany), for a series of portraits of lesbians and transgender participants titled: Faces and Phases. The photos were also exhibited at Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam.Source: Wikipedia
Klavdij Sluban
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