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Alex Webb
Alex Webb

Alex Webb

Country: United States
Birth: 1952

Alex Webb (born May 5, 1952) is a photographer known for his vibrant and complex color photographs. He has been a member of Magnum Photos since 1979. He's authored 16 books, including Hot Light/Half-Made Worlds (1986), Under a Grudging Sun (1989) From The Sunshine State (1996), Amazon (1997) Crossings (2003), Istanbul (2007), The Suffering of Light (2011), La Calle (2016), as well as five books with photographer Rebecca Norris Webb, his wife and creative partner—Violet Isle (2009), Memory City (2014), Alex Webb and Rebecca Norris Webb on Street Photography and the Poetic Image (2014), Slant Rhymes (2017), and Brooklyn: The City Within (2019).

He has exhibited at museums worldwide, including the Whitney Museum of Art, NYC, the Metropolitan Museum, NYC, and the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, Georgia. He was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2007. He has contributed to Geo, TIME Magazine, National Geographic, and The New York Times Magazine among others.

Born in San Francisco, Webb was raised in New England. Webb first became interested in photography as a high school student and in 1972 attended the Apeiron Workshops in Millerton, New York, where he met Magnum photographers Bruce Davidson and Charles Harbutt. He went on to study history and literature at Harvard University (graduating in 1974), but also studied photography at the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts. By 1974 he was working as a photojournalist and in 1976 he became an associate member of Magnum Photos. During this time he documented small-town life in the American South. He also did some work in the Caribbean and Mexico, which led him, in 1978, to begin working in color, which he has continued to do.

Webb's work has been exhibited around the world, including at the Walker Art Center, the Museum of Photographic Arts, the International Center of Photography, the High Museum of Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art in San Diego, and the Whitney Museum of American Art. His work is in numerous collections. He has received commissions from the High Museum of Art as well as the Banesto Foundation in Spain.

Webb now lives and works in Brooklyn, New York with his wife, Rebecca Norris Webb, who is also a photographer, and they have collaborated on a number of books.

Source: Wikipedia


Alex Webb is best known for his complex and vibrant color photographs of serendipitous or enigmatic moments, often in places with socio-political tensions. Over the past 45 years, Webb has worked in places as varied as the U.S.-Mexico border, Haiti, Istanbul, and, most recently, a number of U.S. cities. “My work is questioning and exploratory,” he says. “I believe in photographs that convey a certain level of ambiguity, that ask questions rather than provide answers.”

In 1974, the 22-year-old Webb, a Magnum Photos nominee, began working as a professional photojournalist, going on to work for the New York Times Magazine, Geo, Life, National Geographic, among other magazines. Alex became a full member of Magnum Photos in 1979.

Working mostly in Latin America and the Caribbean, he credits those cultures with inspiring his interest in color, when he transitioned from black-and-white photography in 1979. Webb has published 16 photography books, including The Suffering of Light, a survey of 30 years of his color photographs, and Memory City (with poet and photographer Rebecca Norris Webb, his wife and creative partner), a meditation about film, time, and the city of Rochester, NY, itself, the long-time home of Kodak, in the year following the company’s bankruptcy. His most recent books include La Calle: Photographs from Mexico and the collaboration Slant Rhymes with Rebecca. In fall 2019, Aperture will publish his seventeenth book—and fifth collaboration with Rebecca—Brooklyn: The City Within.

He has received numerous awards and grants including a Hasselblad Foundation Grant in 1998, a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2007, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in 1990, and the Leica Medal of Excellence in 2000.

Source: Magnum Photos


 

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More Great Photographers To Discover

R.J. Kern
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1978
Harry Gruyaert
Belgium
1941
Originally dreaming of becoming a film director, Harry Gruyaert studied at the School of Film and Photography in Brussels from 1959 to 1962. Shortly after he left Belgium at the age of 21, fleeing the strict catholic environment in which he was raised. Gruyaert travelled extensively across Europe, North Africa, Asia and the United States and lived in cities with a vibrant film and photography scene like Paris and London. During his first trip to New York in 1968, he discovered Pop artists like Roy Lichtenstein and Robert Rauschenberg. This encounter made him appreciate the creative potential of colour and encouraged him to search for beauty in everyday elements for the rest of his career. Around the same time Gruyaert befriended the American artists Richard Nonas and Gordon Matta-Clark and photographed their work. Further inspired by the visual impulses on his first trip to Morocco in 1969, he decided in the second half of the 1970s as one of the first photographers in Europe to commit himself entirely to colour photography. Gruyaert's cinematographic background instilled in him an aesthetic conception of photography. Rather than telling stories or documenting the world through his lens, he searches for beauty in everyday elements. His images are simply snapshots of magical moments in which different visual elements, primarily colour, form, light and movement, spontaneously come together in front of his lens. In his search for strong graphical images, Gruyaert focuses his camera on objects as much as on people, who are often reduced to silhouettes or rendered to plain colour fields. Unsurprisingly the countries he photographs are mostly identified by means of the subtle differences in colour palette and light, inherent to the local atmosphere, culture and climate, more than by the depicted subjects or scenes. Among his most well-known series are 'Rivages/Edges', featuring coastal views from around the world, that Gruyaert photographed out of a fascination for the rapidly changing light in these places. In the early 1970s, while he was living in London, Gruyaert worked on a series of colour television screen shots later to become the 'TV Shots' and now part of the Centre Pompidou collection. Around that time he regularly returned to his home country Belgium. This resulted in the series 'Roots', that perfectly reflects the Belgian Zeitgeist of the 1970s and 1980s. In 1982 Gruyaert joined Magnum Photos. More about Irish Summers More about Between Worlds
Robert Frank
Switzerland/United States
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As some critics have pointed out, this is perhaps because Frank began playing with constructed images more than a decade after Robert Rauschenberg introduced his silkscreen composites—in contrast to The Americans, Frank's later images simply were not beyond the pale of accepted technique and practice by that time. Frank and Mary separated in 1969. He remarried, to sculptor June Leaf, and in 1971, moved to the community of Mabou, Nova Scotia in Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia in Canada. In 1974, his daughter, Andrea, was killed in a plane crash in Tikal, Guatemala. Also around this time, his son, Pablo, was first hospitalized and diagnosed with schizophrenia. Much of Frank's subsequent work dealt with the impact of the loss of both his daughter and subsequently his son, who died in an Allentown, Pennsylvania hospital in 1994. In 1995, in memory of his daughter, he founded the Andrea Frank Foundation, which provides grants to artists. After his move to Nova Scotia, Canada, Frank divided his time between his home there, in a former fisherman's shack on the coast, and his Bleecker Street loft in New York. He acquired a reputation for being a recluse (particularly since the death of Andrea), declining most interviews and public appearances. He continued to accept eclectic assignments, however, such as photographing the 1984 Democratic National Convention and directing music videos for artists such as New Order ("Run"), and Patti Smith ("Summer Cannibals"). Frank produced both films and still images, and helped organize several retrospectives of his art. His work has been represented by Pace/MacGill Gallery in New York since 1984. In 1994, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. presented the most comprehensive retrospective of Frank's work to date, entitled Moving Out. 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Mark Steinmetz
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Mark Christopher Steinmetz (born 1961) is an American photographer. He makes black and white photographs "of ordinary people in the ordinary landscapes they inhabit". Steinmetz's work was shown in a group exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art, New York in 1993/1994 and in solo exhibitions at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art in 2015, the High Museum of Art in 2018 and at Fotohof in Salzburg, Austria in 2019. He is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship. His work is held in the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, Hunter Museum of American Art, Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Whitney Museum of American Art and Museum of Modern Art, New York, and Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. Steinmetz was born in New York City and raised in the Boston suburbs of Cambridge and Newton until he was 12. He then moved to the midwest before, aged 21, he went to study photography at the Yale School of Art in New Haven, Connecticut. He left that MFA program after one semester and in mid 1983, aged 22, moved to Los Angeles in search of the photographer Garry Winogrand, whom he befriended. He moved to Athens, Georgia in 1999 and was still living and working there as of 2017. Marc Steinmetz makes photographs "of ordinary people in the ordinary landscapes they inhabit", and "in the midst of activity". Most of his work has been made in the USA but also in Berlin, Paris, and Italy. His books combine portraits (portrait-like but spontaneous) and candid photos of people, and also include animals and still life photos. He finds many of his subjects whilst walking around but he has also spent time at Little League Baseball and summer camps. Steinmetz predominantly works with black and white film, usually medium format, developed and printed in his own darkroom. He has mostly worked the same way with the same film, chemicals, and cameras since beginning in the mid 1980s.Source: Wikipedia Mark Steinmetz is an Athens, Georgia-based photographer whose work captures black-and-white images of Southern Americana as seen in urban, rural and suburban landscapes. “I like to stress the poetry and ambiance of a place, while still trying to be truthful,” he has remarked, and his candid shots of everyday life reflect this statement. Examples of this sentiment are strikingly portrayed in Steinmetz's new photo series Terminus, showing the everyday moments of people passing through airports. “At the airport, people from all over the world and from all walks of life can be found in the midst of their journeys,” Mark Steinmetz has said. “Though my main subject has been the passengers, I am also photographing the people who work at the airport, the interiors and exteriors of the planes, as well as the hotels, parking lots and neighborhoods that surround and support the airport.” Mark Steinmetz draws inspiration from a number of Southern artists whose talents extend beyond the realm of photography, and has remarked “the South has many great writers—William Faulkner, Flannery O'Connor, Carson McCullers—and they've influenced me.” Surprisingly, Mark Steinmetz did not originate in the South. In fact, he attended high school in Iowa and received his MFA from Yale University in 1986. (Though he initially dropped out in 1983 in order to move to Los Angeles and work with photographer Garry Winogrand) It wasn’t until 1999 that he left shooting freelance in Chicago and moved south for a teaching job at the University of Tennessee. He has remained in the South ever since. “I love the South for the weeds growing through the cracks of its sidewalks, for its humidity and for its chaos,” he has said. Interestingly, Mark Steinmetz has worked with analog since the beginning of his career, and even uses the same camera, film and development process today as he did as a novice photographer. Mark Steinmetz’ monographs include South Central (2007), South East (2008), Greater Atlanta (2009) and Summertime (2012). He has also been published in Aperture, Blind Spot and DoubleTake magazines. In 1994, he was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, and in 1998 he participated in Light Work’s Artist-in-Residence Program. Mark Steinmetz has taught at a number of institutions, including Harvard, Sarah Lawrence College, Emory University and Yale. Steinmetz’ photos can be found in the collections of The Museum of Modern Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Whitney Museum of American Art, The Art Institute of Chicago and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.Source: Jackson Fine Art
Alfred Wertheimer
United States
1929 | † 2014
Alfred Wertheimer was an American photographer best known for his intimate and iconic images of Elvis Presley during his early career. His photographs provide a rare and intimate look into the life of one of music's most influential figures. Wertheimer was hired by RCA Victor Records in 1956, at the age of 26, to document the rising star Elvis Presley. Wertheimer followed Presley on tour for several months, capturing candid moments both on and off stage. His photographs revealed the young musician's raw and unguarded side, highlighting his charisma, vulnerability, and undeniable talent. Wertheimer's photographs of Elvis Presley have come to represent the spirit and energy of early rock and roll. Wertheimer's lens captured the essence of Elvis' cultural phenomenon, from backstage encounters to private moments at home. The most famous photograph in Wertheimer's collection is arguably "The Kiss." The photograph, taken during a train ride in 1956, captures a tender moment between Elvis and a young woman through a train window. This image has come to represent Elvis Presley's allure and magnetism as a cultural icon. Wertheimer's work extended beyond his time with Elvis throughout his career. He shot a diverse range of subjects, including well-known musicians, politicians, and cultural figures. His photographs have been shown in galleries all over the world, have been published in numerous books, and are still admired for their artistic and historical significance. The photographs of Elvis Presley by Alfred Wertheimer have left an indelible mark on the worlds of music and photography. He captured the essence of a young musician on the verge of stardom through his lens, providing a glimpse into the humanity behind the legend. Wertheimer's photographs are as powerful and captivating today as they were when they were first captured, capturing the spirit of a cultural icon and the energy of a transformative era.
Gautam Narang
United Kingdom
1984
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Images from are primitive cameras and mobile devices will be called “Retro” they come with a time stamp, the actually medium is a time capsule. It’s not about the quality, it’s about the message, that will last longer.AAP: Do you spend a lot of time editing your images?I’m not a fan of editing, i’ve never liked it, only the darkroom.AAP: Favorite(s) photographer(s)?Steve McCurry, Willam Eggleston, Dorothea Lange. AAP: What advice would you give a young photographer?Go out and find your own vision, and all this likes and things mean nothing. It’s hard putting yourself out there, and pepole don’t usually respond. You start to want to appeal to others and worry if you posting to much. Do it for yourself, who cares about all this fame? Who knows if these websites will be around, this data? One day, you might be recognized.AAP: What mistake should a young photographer avoid?Don’t point fingers, point them at yourself first. Don’t blame others, really look at yourself first.AAP: An idea, a sentence, a project you would like to share?My work is constantly changing and I like that. To keep evolving you need to keep changing.AAP: Your best memory has a photographer?Working on location in India, working in a old Indian palace, documenting Indian folk singers. It’s an experience the kings once enjoyed.AAP: Your worst souvenir has a photographer?A broken camera lens.AAP: If you could have taken the photographs of someone else who would it be?Steve McCurry he has my dream jobAAP: Anything else you would like to share?I’m into film making now, really want to be a DOP or camera operator. Currently i’m based in Toronto.
Bruce Davidson
United States
1933
Bruce Davidson began taking photographs at the age of ten in Oak Park, Illinois. While attending Rochester Institute of Technology and Yale University, he continued to further his knowledge and develop his passion. He was later drafted into the army and stationed near Paris. There he met Henri Cartier-Bresson, one of the founders of the renowned cooperative photography agency, Magnum Photos. When he left military service in 1957, Davidson worked as a freelance photographer for LIFE magazine and in 1958 became a full member of Magnum. From 1958 to 1961 he created such seminal bodies of work as “The Dwarf,” Brooklyn Gang,” and “Freedom Rides.” He received a Guggenheim fellowship in 1962 and created a profound documentation of the civil rights movement in America. In 1963, the Museum of Modern Art in New York presented his early work in a solo show. In 1967, he received the first grant for photography from the National Endowment for the Arts, having spent two years witnessing the dire social conditions on one block in East Harlem. This work was published by Harvard University Press in 1970 under the title East 100th Street and was later republished and expanded by St. Ann’s Press. The work became an exhibition that same year at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. In 1980, he captured the vitality of the New York Metro’s underworld that was later published in a book, Subway, and exhibited at the International Center for Photography in 1982. From 1991-95 he photographed the landscape and layers of life in Central Park. In 2006, he completed a series of photographs titled “The Nature of Paris,” many of which have been shown and acquired by the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Davidson received an Open Society Institute Individual Fellowship in 1998 to return to East 100th Street His awards include the Lucie Award for Outstanding Achievement in Documentary Photography in 2004 and a Gold Medal Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Arts Club in 2007. Classic bodies of work from his 50-year career have been extensively published in monographs and are included in many major public and private fine art collections around the world. He continues to photograph and produce new bodies of work.Source: Magnum Photos
Manuela Federl
Germany
1981
Manuela Federl has worked as a journalist for more than 15 years. She studied languages, economics and cultural area studies with a focus on Romance studies at the University of Passau in Germany and the Universidad de Concepción in Chile. Her Thesis about the indigenous people in Chile Mapuche. Gente de la tierra sin tierra is also available as a book. After graduating, she worked as a journalist for an private broadcaster for five years. In 2016, she founded her company bergjournalisten. Since then she has been working as an independent documentary film director and journalist for different TV stations and for cinemas. In 2016, she received the Short Plus Award for her feature film "100 Hours of Lesbos". In 2021 she got several prices for her documentary "THE GAME. Gambling between life and death" about the situation of refugees at the EU border. Since two years she is travelling through different countries to document in picture and text social topics. The Roma Princesses ''Once upon a time there was a princess in the Roma ghetto. Society's racism and discrimination trapped her in the slum. Nevertheless, a brave prince tried to free her from the clutches of poverty and place the world at her feet.'' A dream that many girls in the Roma settlements probably have. The girl from this fairy tale lives in Trebišov, one of the largest Roma ghettos in Slovakia. Around 7,000 people live here under precarious conditions in cobbled-together barracks or run-down tenements. Most apartments have no sewage system, no showers, no toilets and no kitchen. There is one single well for all residents. Trebišov, in eastern Slovakia, is one of around 800 settlements that exist, according to the 2019 Atlas of Roma Communities. Around 450,000 Roma live in Slovakia. At around ten per cent, they are the largest minority in the country. But already children have a difficult start. According to a 2022 study by the European Union, 2/3 of Roma children go to schools where only Roma are taught. The girl from the fairy tale also attends an all-Roma school in the settlement. The children often speak Romani, the language of the Roma, with their parents at home. Since there are no kindergartens for them, their Slovak language is often poor when they start school. They are enrolled in special schools that only Roma attend. The school material in nine years corresponds to the content that Slovak children learn in four years. Because of this, attending secondary school is almost impossible. Discrimination and poor access to education prevent young Roma from breaking the vicious circle of poverty. According to the Slovak Interior Ministry, 48 per cent of Roma are unemployed. Mostly they get day labour jobs. They have no regular routine and no hope for improvement. These prospects make life difficult to bear. Hopelessness has led many young people to become addicted to alcohol or drugs. No population group in Europe has to live in more inhumane conditions. On average, they die ten years earlier than other Slovaks.(...)
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