All about photo.com: photo contests, photography exhibitions, galleries, photographers, books, schools and venues.
Jan Saudek
Jan Saudek

Jan Saudek

Country: Czech Republic
Birth: 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


 

Jan Saudek's Video

Selected Books

Inspiring Portfolios

Call for Entries
$10,000 Cash Prizes
All About Photo Awards 2023 - Enter Your Best Single Images
 
Stay up-to-date  with call for entries, deadlines and other news about exhibitions, galleries, publications, & special events.

More Great Photographers To Discover

Soumya Sankar Bose
I am a documentary photographer based in India. I did my Post graduate diploma in photography from Pathshala South Asian Media Institute.Born in 1990 Midnapore - Lives and works in KolkataAwards and Fellowships: The Toto-Tasveer Emerging Photographer of the Year. India foundation for the Arts grant for the Project "Let's Sing an Old Song". Magnum Foundation's Photography and Social Justice Fellowship for the Project "Full Moon in a Dark night"Publications: The Telegraph, The Indian Express , Better Photography, Kindle Magazine, Mint Lounge, The Caravan, Wired, A’int-Bad Magazine, Platform, Harmony . As well as online portals such as Scroll.in, The Huffington Post, BBC Online, Gallery Carte Blanche, F-Stop Magazine, Galli Magazine, Fltr , Medium and etc. AAP: Do you have a mentor or role model? Yes, Shahidul Alam who is the principal of Pathshala .And Morten Krogvold was one of my mentor during Chobimela VII .AAP: Do you remember your first shot? What was it?I don't remember my first shot exactly but when I was 7-8 years old, I got a Kodak KB10 from my mother and then I started to capture each and everything around me.AAP: What or who inspires you?My Parents ,Friends, Barnali But mostly my Grand father whose photographs inspire me to become a photographer in my childhood.AAP: How could you describe your style?Once one of my mentor Hasib Zakaria told me that my work is about hyper real. "Hyper reality is seen as a condition in which what is real and what is fiction are seamlessly blended together so that there is no clear distinction between where one ends and the other begins."AAP: What kind of gear do you use? Camera, lens, digital, film?I like to shoot only on 35mm Prime lens in Film and Digital both.AAP: Do you spend a lot of time editing your images? For what purpose?I don't spend lot of time in editing my pictures but what I keep in mind during my editing is that I should not off-tracked.AAP: Favorite(s) photographer(s)?Alec Soth, Stfan bladh, Graciela Iturbide, Diane Arbus, Dayanita Singh and so on.AAP: What advice would you give a young photographer?I am also a young Photographer.AAP: What are your projects?My project documents retired Jatra artists (Jatra is four hundred years old Bengali folk theater which is disappearing day by day) or who have been working in Jatra for more than 25-30 years.AAP: Your favorite photo book?Calcutta Ladies by Dayanita Singh, Fauna and Flora by Dietmar Busse and so on.
Chien-Chi Chang
Taiwan
1961
Chien-Chi Chang is a photographer and member of Magnum Photos. Chang was born in Taichung, Taiwan. He received an MS from Indiana University, Bloomington and a B. A. from Soochow University, Taipei. He joined Magnum Photos in 1995 and was elected as a full member in 2001. He lives in Taichung, Taiwan and Graz, Austria. Chang focuses on the abstract concepts of alienation and connection. The Chain, a collection of portraits made in a mental asylum in Taiwan, was shown at Venice Biennale (2001) and the São Paulo Art Biennial (2002). The nearly life-sized photographs of pairs of patients chained together resonate with Chang's look at the less visible bonds of marriage. At São Paulo Art Biennial he was involved in the Thomann controversy. Chang has treated marital ties in two books: I do I do I do (2001), a collection of images depicting alienated grooms and brides in Taiwan, and in Double Happiness (2005), a depiction of the business of selling brides in Vietnam. The ties of family and of culture are also the themes of a project begun in 1992. For 21 years, Chang has photographed and videoed the bifurcated lives of Chinese immigrants in New York's Chinatown, along with those of their wives and families back home in Fujian. Still a work in progress, China Town was hung at the National Museum of Singapore in 2008 as part of a mid-career survey and at Venice Biennale (2011) as well as at International Center of Photography, New York (2012). Chang's investigation of the ties that bind one person to another draws on his own divided immigrant experience in the United States.Source: Wikipedia Chien-Chi Chang has always been fascinated by the human conditions of alienation and connection. Both are in evidence in his signature work, The Chain, which is a collection of portraits made of inmates in a mental asylum in Taiwan. The subjects are people who have had their bonds to the rest of society – family, community – servered. And yet, as part of their treatment, they are chained to one another, physically linked in pairs throughout their days and only unlocked to sleep. These powerful photographs, nearly life size, have been exhibited at the Taipei Fine Arts Museum (2001), La Biennale di Venezia (2001), and the Bienal de Sao Paolo (2002). Less visible bonds were the subject of another project: A jaundiced look at the ceremony surrounding the union of two people. When his parents began pressuring him to marry, Chang responded by making pictures at weddings in Taiwan. The images are hardly festive, rather emphasizing alienated grooms and lonely brides. They have been collected in the book, I do I do I do. This meditation on the nature of the ties that bind a person to others and to society is a natural outgrowth of Chang's own experience of the divided life of an immigrant. The son of working people in central Taiwan, he received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Soochow University in Taiwan in 1984 and a Master of Science degree at Indiana University in 1990. He then became a staff photographer at The Seattle Times (1991-1993) and The Baltimore Sun (1994-1995). Over the past decade, he has worked in New York's Chinatown, documenting the lives of immigrants there. These pictures of illegal aliens stranded on an island within an island have appeared in National Geographic magazine, as well as The New Yorker, TIME Magazine and German Geo. The series earned Chang first place in the category "Daily Life Story" from World Press Photo in 1999. That same year, Chang won a grant from the W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund for humanistic photography and was awarded the Visa d'Or in magazine photography in Perpignan. He was named the Missouri/NPPA 1999 Magazine Photographer of the Year.Source: artasiamerica Chien-Chi Chang’s photography and films explore the abstract concepts of alienation and connection. His investigation of the ties that bind one person to another draws on his own deeply divided immigrant experience, as he explores the contrasting themes of hope and darkness, restriction and freedom. Chang’s long term interest in the manifestation of restriction and freedom was explored in his project on North Korean defectors. From 2007 to 2009 , Chang travelled with North Korean defectors to document their incredibly harrowing journey escaping to China. Between 2008-2012, Chang worked on a project called Jet Lag, which explored the globalised disconnect of the “jet-setting” lifestyle, culminating in a book of the same name, published in 2015.Source: Magnum Photos
Dave Jordano
United States
1948
Dave Jordano was born in Detroit, Michigan in 1948. He received a BFA in photography from the College for Creative Studies in 1974. In 1977 he established a successful commercial photography studio in Chicago, IL, shooting major print campaigns for national advertising agencies. Since 2000, Jordano has concentrated on and established himself as an awarding winning mid-career fine art documentary photographer. He was awarded an honorable mention in the Houston Center for Photography’s Long Term Fellowship Project in 2003, and received the Curator’s Choice Award the following year for his documentary work on Small African American Storefront churches on the south side of Chicago. In 2006, 2008, 2013, and 2016 Jordano has been selected as a top 20 finalist in Photolucida's "Critical Mass" International Photography Competition. He was also selected for inclusion in "One Hundred Portfolios", a compilation featuring the work of 100 leading photographers from around the world and sponsored by Wright State University, Dayton, OH. A major exhibition of his work from the "Articles of Faith" project was held at the Chicago Cultural Center, Chicago, Illinois in 2009. In 2014-15 he was a finalist in the LensCulture Exposure Awards for his documentary work on Detroit and was also included in the highly competitive Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington DC. Most notably, Jordano won the prestigious Canadian AIAMI / AGO Photography prize for 2015, which included a $50,000 prize and a six week, fully paid residency anywhere in Canada which he fulfilled by documenting the northern arctic town of Iqaluit, Nunavut, Canada. Jordano has exhibited both nationally and internationally and his work is included in several private, corporate, and museum collections. Most notably the Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Washington DC, the Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago, IL, The Museum of Fine Arts Boston, The Museum of Fine Arts Houston, The Detroit Institute of Arts, The Mary & Leigh Block Museum of Art at Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, the Harris Bank Collection, and the Federal Reserve Bank. His second book, published by the Center for American Places at Columbia College, Chicago titled, "Articles of Faith, Small African American Community Churches of Chicago", released in April 2009. His most recent publication, "Detroit - Unbroken Down" documents the cultural and societal changes of his home town of Detroit and was published in the fall of 2015 by PowerHouse Books, Brooklyn, NY. His fourth coming publication "A Detroit Nocturne" with an essay by Karen Irvine, Co-Director of the Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago, will also be published by PowerHouse Books and has a launch date scheduled for April 2018. Dave Jordano currently lives in Chicago, Illinois.
Melvin Sokolsky
United States
1933 | † 2022
Melvin Sokolsky is an American photographer and film director. Born in New York City in 1933, Sokolsky was raised on the Lower East Side. He had no formal training in photography, but started to use his father's box camera at about the age of ten. Always analytical, he started to realize the role that emulsion played as he compared his own photographs with those his father had kept in albums through the years. "I could never make my photographs of Butch the dog look like the pearly finish of my father's prints, and it was then that I realized the importance of the emulsion of the day." Around 1954, Sokolsky met Robert Denning, who at the time worked with photographer Edgar de Evia, at an East Side gym. "I discovered that Edgar was paid $4000 for a Jell-O ad, and the idea of escaping from my tenement dwelling became an incredible dream and inspiration." Whether floating models down the Seine in a bubble, or shrinking his subjects, Alice-like, to miniature heights, Melvin Sokolsky helped to pioneer illusory fashion photography long before the age of digital enhancement took hold. Though he is best known for his editorial fashion photographs for publications such as Harper's Bazaar (for which he produced, in 1963, the Bubble series of photographs depicting fashion models “floating” in giant clear plastic bubbles suspended in midair above the River Seine in Paris), Vogue, and The New York Times, Sokolsky’s work is not limited to that field. Three quarters of his print photography has been for advertising, which does not usually carry a byline. As Sokolsky said in an interview: “I resented the attitude that ‘This is editorial and this is advertising. I always felt, why dilute it? Why not always go for the full shot?” Toward the end of the 1960s, Sokolsky worked as both commercial director and cameraman. He did not, however, abandon the world of print photography; in 1972 he was asked to photograph the entire editorial content of McCall's Magazine, a first for any photographer.Source: Wikipedia Melvin Sokolsky was born and raised in New York City where he started his distinguished career as a stills photographer. At the age of twenty-one he was invited to join the staff of Harper's Bazaar. Within the next few years he worked as a major contributor to four prestigious magazines: Esquire, McCall's, Newsweek, and Show. His photographs of internationally famous personalities have appeared in many of the major museums and magazines worldwide. In 1962, Sokolsky photographed the entire editorial content of McCall's Magazine, a first in its time. He is best known of his infusion of surrealism in his fashion photography, with his iconic series of women encased in plastic bubbles, floating around various cityscapes. In 1964, Sokolsky was invited by the School of Visual Arts in New York to teach a special class at his studio in New York. In 1969, Sokolsky embarked on a new career in television commercials as director/cameraman. Sokolsky has been honored with twenty-five Clio Awards, and is the recipient of every major television commercial award including the coveted "Directors Guild" nomination. Many of Sokolsky's commercials are in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art. In 1972, Sokolsky versed in all phases of special effects and cinematography, presented a computerized zoom lens that he designed to the Academy of Arts and Sciences. The system was subsequently nominated for an Academy Award. 1975, Sokolsky was invited by the Japanese Graphic Society to lecture in Tokyo and Kyoto, and was subsequently named Honorary Professor of Photography. In 1986, the Victoria and Albert Museum installed an exhibition of photographs called Shots of Style, a retrospective of the worlds major fashion photographers. The Victoria & Albert included Sokolsky's photographs in the exhibit, and subsequently placed many of them in their permanent collection. In 1991, the Victoria and Albert Museum mounted a show called Appearances, that is slated to travel around the world. Source: www.sokolsky.com
Advertisement
All About Photo Awards 2023
March 2023 Online Solo Exhibition
All About Photo Awards 2023

Latest Interviews

Exclusive Interview with Patrick Cariou
For more than 25 years, French photographer Patrick Cariou has traveled to places around the globe, documenting people living on the fringes of society. Whether photographing surfers, gypsies, Rastafarians or the rude boys of Kingston, Cariou celebrates those who meet the struggles of life with honor, dignity and joy. Bringing together works from his groundbreaking monographs including Surfers, Yes Rasta, Trenchtown Love and Gypsies, Patrick Cariou: Works 1985–2005 (published by Damiani) takes us on a scenic journey around the world, offering an intimate and captivating look at cultures that distance themselves from the blessings and curses of modernity.
Exclusive Interview with Niko J. Kallianiotis
Niko J. Kallianiotis' Athênai in Search of Home (published by Damiani) presents photos taken in and around Athens, the city in which he grew up. The images reflect the artist's eagerness to assimilate back into a home that feels at once foreign and familiar. Throughout the years the city and the surrounding territories have experienced their share of socio-economic struggles and topographic transformations that have altered its identity. The city of Athens in Kallianiotis' photographs is elliptically delineated as a vibrant environment that binds together luxury and social inequality. The photographer depicts a city in which the temporal and the spatial elements often clash with each other while conducting his research for a home that has changed over the years as much as he did.
Exclusive Interview with Ave Pildas
My new book STAR STRUCK focuses on the people and places of Hollywood Boulevard. Soon after I moved to Los Angeles in the '70s, I started shooting there. I was working at Capital Records, just a block and a half away, as a one of four art directors. At lunchtime, we would go out to eat at the Brown Derby, Musso, and Franks, or some other local restaurant, and I got to observe all the activity that was occurring on Hollywood Boulevard. It was amazing and it was fun, even though the location was ''on the turn''.
Exclusive Interview with Elaine Mayes
In The Haight-Ashbury Portraits, 1967-1968 (published by Damiani) during the waning days of the Summer of Love, Elaine Mayes embarked on a set of portraits of youth culture in her neighborhood. Mayes was a young photographer living in San Francisco during the 1960s. She had photographed the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967 and, later that year the hippie movement had turned from euphoria to harder drugs, and the Haight had become less of a blissed-out haven for young people seeking a better way of life than a halfway house for runaway teens.
Exclusive Interview with Theophilus Donoghue
A new release, Seventy-thirty (published by Damiani) depicts humanity's various faces and expressions, from metropolitans to migrants, unseen homeless to celebrities such as Robert De Niro, Muhammad Ali, Rene Magritte, Janis Joplin, and Andy Warhol. Steve Schapiro photographs early New York skateboarders while Theophilus Donoghue documents current Colombian breakdancers. Alternately profound and playful, father and son's photographs capture a vast range of human emotions and experiences. For this project, Schapiro selected images from the 60s civil rights movement and, with Donoghue, provided photos from today's Black Lives Matter protests and environmental rallies.
Exlusive Interview with Jessica Todd Harper about her Book Here
Like 17th-century Dutch painters who made otherwise ordinary interior scenes appear charged with meaning, Pennsylvania-based photographer Jessica Todd Harper looks for the value in everyday moments. Her third monograph Here (Published by Damiani) makes use of what is right in front of the artist, Harper shows how our unexamined or even seemingly dull surroundings can sometimes be illuminating
Exclusive Interview with Roger Ballen about his Book Boyhood
In Boyhood (published by Damiani) Roger Ballen's photographs and stories leads us across the continents of Europe, Asia and North America in search of boyhood: boyhood as it is lived in the Himalayas of Nepal, the islands of Indonesia, the provinces of China, the streets of America. Each stunning black-and-white photograph-culled from 15,000 images shot during Ballen's four-year quest-depicts the magic of adolescence revealed in their games, their adventures, their dreams, their Mischief. More of an ode than a documentary work, Ballen's first book is as powerful and current today as it was 43 years ago-a stunning series of timeless images that transcend social and cultural particularities.
Exclusive Interview with Kim Watson
A multi-dimensional artist with decades of experience, Kim Watson has written, filmed, and photographed subjects ranging from the iconic entertainers of our time to the ''invisible'' people of marginalized communities. A highly influential director in music videos' early days, Watson has directed Grammy winners, shot in uniquely remote locations, and written across genres that include advertising, feature films for Hollywood studios such as Universal (Honey), MTV Films, and Warner Brothers, and publishers such as Simon & Schuster. His passionate marriage of art and social justice has been a life-long endeavor, and, in 2020, after consulting on Engagement & Impact for ITVS/PBS, Kim returned to the streets to create TRESPASS, documenting the images and stories of LA's unhoused. TRESPASS exhibited at The BAG (Bestor Architecture Gallery) in Silver Lake, Los Angeles, September 17, 2022 – October 11, 2022.
Exclusive Interview with Julia Dean, Founder of the L.A. Project
Julia Dean, Founder of the Los Angeles Center of Photography, and its executive director for twenty-two years, began The L.A. Project in 2021. A native Nebraskan, Julia has long sought to create a special project where love for her adopted L.A., and her passion for documentary photography can be shared on a grander scale.
Call for Entries
All About Photo Awards 2023
Win $10,000 Cash Prizes & International Press