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Arnold Newman
Arnold Newman

Arnold Newman

Country: United States
Birth: 1918 | Death: 2006

Arnold Abner Newman (March 3, 1918 – June 6, 2006) was an American photographer, noted for his "environmental portraits" of artists and politicians. He was also known for his carefully composed abstract still-life images. Born in Manhattan, Newman grew up in Atlantic City, New Jersey, and later moved to Miami Beach, Florida. In 1936, he studied painting and drawing at the University of Miami. Unable to afford to continue after two years, he moved to Philadelphia to work for a studio, making 49-cent portraits in 1938. Newman returned to Florida in 1942 to manage a portrait studio in West Palm Beach. Three years later, he opened his own business in Miami Beach. In 1946, Newman relocated to New York, opened Arnold Newman Studios and worked as a freelance photographer for Fortune, LIFE, and Newsweek. Though never a member, Newman frequented the Photo League during the 1940s.

Newman found his vision in the empathy he felt for artists and their work. Although he photographed many personalities—Marlene Dietrich, John F. Kennedy, Harry S. Truman, Piet Mondrian, Pablo Picasso, Arthur Miller, Marilyn Monroe, Ronald Reagan, Mickey Mantle, and Audrey Hepburn—he maintained that even if the subject is not known, or is already forgotten, the photograph itself must still excite and interest the viewer.

Arnold Newman is often credited with being the photographer who articulated and who consistently employed the genre of environmental portraiture, in which the photographer uses a carefully framed and lit setting, and its contents, to symbolize the individual's life and work; a well-known example being his portrait of Igor Stravinsky in which the lid of his grand piano forms a gargantuan musical note representative of the melodic structure of the composer's work. Newman normally captured his subjects in their most familiar surroundings with representative visual elements showing their professions and personalities. A musician for instance might be photographed in their recording studio or on stage, a Senator or other politician in their office or a representative building. Using a large-format camera and tripod, he worked to record every detail of a scene.

Newman's best-known images were in black and white, although he often photographed in color. His 1946 black and white portrait of Stravinsky seated at a grand piano became his signature image, even though it was rejected by Harper's Bazaar, the magazine that gave the assignment to Newman. He was one of the few photographers allowed to make a portrait of the famously camera-shy Henri Cartier-Bresson. Among Newman's best-known color images is an eerie portrait from 1963 that shows former Nazi industrialist and minister of armament Alfried Krupp in one of Krupp's factories. Newman admits his personal feelings influenced his portrayal of Krupp.

On December 19, 2005, Newman made his last formal portrait of director James (Jimmy) Burrows at the NBC studio on the Saturday Night Live stage. This session was particularly special for Newman because he had photographed Jimmy's father Abe Burrows several times.

Source: Wikipedia


Arnold Newman (1918-2006) is acknowledged as one of the great masters of the 20th and 21st century and his work has changed portraiture. He is recognized as the “Father of Environmental Portraiture.” His work is collected and exhibited in the major museums around the world including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Chicago Art Institute; The Los Angeles Museum of Art; The Philadelphia Museum; The Tate and the National Portrait Gallery, London; The Israel Museum, Jerusalem; and many other prominent museums in Europe, Japan, South America, Australia, etc.

Newman was an important contributor to publications such as The New Yorker, Newsweek, Vanity Fair, LIFE, Look, Holiday, Harper's Bazaar, Esquire, Town and Country, Scientific American, New York Times Magazine, and many others. There are numerous books published of Newman’s work in addition to countless histories of photography, catalogues, articles and television programs. He received many major awards by the leading professional organizations in the U.S. and abroad including the American Society of Media Photographers, The International Center of Photography, The Lucie Award, The Royal Photographic Society Centenary Award as well as France’s “Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters.” In 2005, Photo District News named Newman as one of the 25 most influential living photographers. In 2006, Newman was awarded The Gold Medal for Photography by The National Arts Club. He is the recipient of nine honorary doctorates and has lectured and conducted workshops throughout the country and the world.

Arnold Newman died on June 6, 2006 in New York City. He was 88 years old.

Source: arnoldnewman.com


Arnold Newman is widely renowned for pioneering and popularizing the environmental portrait. With his method of portraiture, he placed his sitters in surroundings representative of their professions, aiming to capture the essence of an individual’s life and work. Though this approach is commonplace today, his technique was highly unconventional in the 1930s when began shooting his subjects as such. He is also known for his carefully composed, abstract still lifes.

Source: Howard Greenberg Gallery


"We do not take pictures with our cameras, but with our hearts and minds,” so said Arnold Newman, one of the world's best-known and most admired photographers to have ever lived. Known for his “environmental portraits” of artists and politicians, he captured the essence of his subjects by showing them in their natural surroundings. As he said, “I didn't just want to make a photograph with some things in the background. The surroundings had to add to the composition and the understanding of the person. No matter who the subject was, it had to be an interesting photograph. Just to simply do a portrait of a famous person doesn't mean a thing.” Newman was a master at composition and was meticulous about his work. He even used a large-format camera and tripod to ensure that every detail of a scene was recorded. His signature image, the one most will remember him by, is the last one in this post. It's a beautiful, black and white portrait of Russian Composer Igor Stravinsky seated at a grand piano. Look closely and you'll notice that the piano was strategically silhouetted against a blank wall, creating an illusion that the lid is an abstract musical note.

Source: My Modern Met


 

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Edward Steichen
United States
1879 | † 1973
Edward Steichen (1879 - 1973) was born in Luxembourg, but immigrated to the United States, to Milwaukee, in 1880. In 1894, Steichen began a four-year lithography apprenticeship with the American Fine Art Company of Milwaukee. After hours, he would sketch and draw, and began to teach himself to paint. Having come across a camera shop near to his work, he bought his first camera, a secondhand Kodak box "detective" camera, in 1895. In 1900, as Steichen headed to Paris to study painting, he stopped in New York. By that time he was an aspiring painter and an accomplished photographer in the soft-focus, Pictorial style and he made a pilgrimage to the Camera Club of New York to show his work to Alfred Stieglitz, the leading tastemaker in American photography. Stieglitz, vice-president of the Camera Club and editor of its journal Camera Notes, was impressed by the young artist from Milwaukee and bought three of his photographs-a self-portrait and two moody, atmospheric woodland scenes printed in platinum-for the impressive sum of five dollars each. Elated, Steichen then boarded the ship for Europe. Once in France, Steichen quickly abandoned his painting studies and began to focus his energies on photography. He learned the technical intricacies of the gum bichromate process, popular among the members of the Photo-Club de Paris, and developed a reputation as a portraitist of noted artists, writers, and members of society. Arriving back in New York in 1902, Steichen rented a studio on the top floor of a brownstone at 291 Fifth Avenue and hung out his shingle; his work as a professional portrait photographer flourished. That same year, Stieglitz announced the formation of the Photo-Secession-the name he gave to the loose-knit group of photographers he exhibited, published, and promoted during the next decade and a half-and the publication of a new, still more lavish journal, Camera Work. Over the fifteen-year, fifty-issue run of Camera Work, no other artist would be featured as prominently as Steichen, who had sixty-five photographs and three paintings reproduced in fifteen issues, including a "Special Steichen Supplement" in April 1906 and an all-Steichen double issue in 1913. In 1906, Steichen determined "to get away from the lucrative but stultifying professional portrait business" and return to France with his family in hopes of resuscitating his idled painting career. It was a move with numerous consequences. For one, it positioned him to embrace the Autochrome, the process for making glass-plate color transparencies introduced by the Lumière brothers in 1907. Steichen-who had experimented with various methods such as gum bichromate to introduce color into his photographs-was enthralled by the technique. Steichen also made what he called his "first attempt at serious documentary reportage" in the summer of 1907, using a borrowed hand camera. Steichen returned to the U.S. in 1914. Serving in the US Army in World War I (and the US Navy in the Second World War), Steichen commanded significant units contributing to military photography. After World War I, during which he commanded the photographic division of the American Expeditionary Forces, he reverted to straight photography, gradually moving into editorial and fashion photography. His portraits of Greta Garbo, Marlene Dietrich, Gloria Swanson, and other celebrities appeared in Vogue and Vanity Fair in the 1920s and 1930s. From 1947-1962, Steichen served as the Director of Photography at New York's Museum of Modern Art.. Among other accomplishments, Steichen is appreciated for creating the 1955 exhibition, The Family of Man, at the Museum of Modern Art consisting of over 500 photographs. Steichen purchased a farm that he called Umpawaug in 1928, just outside West Redding, Connecticut, and lived there until his death. Source: Howard Greenberg Gallery
 Atom
Japan
1980
ATOM is a Japanese photographer, born in 1980, based in Tokyo. ATOM spent years travelling around the world to take pictures; he visited 64 countries in total and encountered many cultures and many people. The experience gained from the trip raised many questions for himself. What does it mean to life, coexistence with nature, happiness and purpose of living for? And the fundamental question is, "Why am I born in Japan in this age?" By leaving Japan, he reconsidered his homeland and pondered about living as a Japanese and a modern people. Conscious of his identity as a Japanese, he uses the motifs of symbols that symbolize Japan, takes a photo of the present age, and prints it on the most precious handmade Japanese paper in Japan. Using these media, ATOM decided to deliver the message to the world. In today's diverse world, ATOM hope that you will face yourself and think about the future through the work of ATOM. ATOM has been active as a photographer in the world. His works have been published internationally in publication such as Washington Post(USA), My Modern Met(USA), Weather Channel(USA), 20minutos(Spain), incredibilia(Italy), Hong Kong and others. He also won many international awards. ATOM will continue to experience many things, and explore and express the meaning of living in the present age as a Japanese. HINOMARU, KIMONO and TORII HINOMARU is an alias name of the Japanese flag. KIMONO is a Japanese traditional costume. TORII is a gate commonly found at the shrine. In the photos, ATOM use the Japanese flag, traditional costume and shrine to symbolize money (economic power), declining birthrate and dilution of community. For some, they may seem to represent Japanese religion (Buddhism, Christianity, and Shinto). For others, they may associate the "red circle" with harmony, coins (money), countries or peace; the "red kimono" with their lover, health or cross (religion); the "red torii" with home or relationship with their family. This minimalistic photo is two colors red and white. The colors of red and white represent Japan's national color. And in this photo, he shoot it so that it looks like a Japanese painting without a shadow. This minimalistic photography series raises questions to the modern society, makes the viewer face and think about the present age as well as imagine the future. Today, we live in a rational, material world; we have too much information, and too much stuff. We can get almost anything with a single click. In exchange, however, there are things we have lost: health, appreciation for things we are given, time to spend with our families, time to think and question ourselves, the definition of happiness... Get promoted. Be rich. Become famous. Are you not bound by these stereotypes? How long will you keep pretending to be something you are not, just to gratify your vanity? What is happiness to you? What does abundance mean to you? What is it that you really need? From the age of materialism to the age of mind. Look at these minimal photos. How do they look to you?
Peter van Agtmael
United States
1981
Peter van Agtmael (born 1981) is a documentary photographer based in New York. Since 2006 he has concentrated on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and their consequences in the United States. He is a member of Magnum Photos. Van Agtmael's photo essays have been published in The New York Times Magazine, TIME Magazine, The New Yorker and The Guardian. He has published three books. His first, 2nd Tour Hope I Don't Die, was published by Photolucida as a prize for winning their Critical Mass Book Award. He received a W. Eugene Smith Grant from the W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund to complete his second book, Disco Night Sept. 11. His third, Buzzing at the Sill, was published by Kehrer Verlag in 2016. He has twice received awards from World Press Photo, the Infinity Award for Young Photographer from the International Center of Photography and a grant from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. Van Agtmael was born in Washington D.C. and grew up in Bethesda, Maryland. He studied history at Yale, graduating in 2003. He became a nominee member of Magnum Photos in 2008, an associate member in 2011, and a full member in 2013. After graduation he received a fellowship to live in China for a year and document the consequences of the Three Gorges Dam. He has covered HIV-positive refugees in South Africa; the Asian tsunami in 2005; humanitarian relief efforts after Hurricane Katrina's effects on New Orleans in 2005 and after the 2010 Haiti earthquake, the filming of the first season of TV series Treme on location in New Orleans in 2010; the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010, Hurricane Sandy in 2012 and its aftermath, Nabi Salih and Halamish in the West Bank in 2013 and the 2014 Israel–Gaza conflict and its aftermath. Since 2006 he has concentrated on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and their consequences in the United States. He first visited Iraq in 2006 at age 24 and has returned to Iraq and Afghanistan a number of times, embedded with US military troops. Later he continued to investigate the effects of those wars within the US. In 2007 his portfolio from Iraq and Afghanistan won the Monograph Award (softbound) in Photolucida's Critical Mass Book Award. As part of the prize Photolucida published his first book, 2nd Tour, Hope I Don’t Die. With work made between January 2006 and December 2008, this "is a young photojournalist’s firsthand experience: the wars’ effects on him, on the soldiers and on the countries involved." The 2012 W. Eugene Smith Grant for Humanistic Photography provided $30,000 to work on his second book, Disco Night Sept. 11, which "chronicles the lives of the soldiers he has met in the field and back home."Source: Wikipedia
Anka Zhuravleva
Russia
1980
Anka (born Anna Belova) was born on December 4, 1980. She spent her childhood with books on art and her mothers’ drawing tools, covering acres of paper with her drawings. In 1997 she entered the Moscow Architectural Institute deciding to follow in her mothers’ footsteps. But at the end of 1997 her mother was diagnosed with cancer and died in less that a year. Then her father died in 1999. After that Anka’s life changed dramatically. In attempt to keep sane, she plunged into an alternative lifestyle – working as a tattoo artist, singing in a rock-band, sometimes looking for escape in alcohol. In order to make a living while studying, Anka worked at several modeling agencies. Thanks to the drawing lessons she wasn’t afraid to pose nude, and her photos appeared in the Playboy and XXL magazines and at the Playboy 1999 photo exhibition. But she was not looking for a modeling career – it was just a way to make some money. In 2001 Anka was working in the post-production department at the Mosfilm StudiosThat same winter one of her colleagues invited her to spend a week-end in Saint-Petersburg with his friend, composer and musician Alexander Zhuravlev. In less than a month Anka said farewell to Moscow, her friends, her Mosfilm career and moved in with Alexander in Saint-Petersburg. Living with her loved one healed her soul, and she regained the urge for painting. She made several graphic works and ventured into other areas of visual arts. In 2002 Gavriil Lubnin, the famous painter and her husband’s friend, showed her the oil painting technique, which she experimented with for the following several years. During that period she made just a few works because each one required unleashing of a serious emotional charge. All those paintings are different as if created by different people. Anka’s first exhibition took place on a local TV channel live on the air - the studio was decorated with her works. Several exhibitions followed. Private collections in Russia and abroad feature her paintings and sketches. In 2006 Anka noticed that her inspiration often came from photos and decided to take up photography. Since that time Anka took part in numerous projects - magazine's publications and covers, book and CD covers, exhibitions. She engage digital photo art and analog film photography as well. In 2013 Anka with her husband moves to live in Porto, Portugal. Source: anka-zhuravleva.com Interview With Anka Zhuravleva: All About Photo: When did you realize you wanted to be a photographer? Anka Zhuravleva: "I always was about visual arts so I can't name exact date or year.. But I turned to photography completely in 2010." AAP: Where did you study photography? AZ: "I am self-educated. I took some individual workshops dedicated to analog processes but it was technical things." AAP:Do you have a mentor? AZ: "No." AAP: Do you remember your first shot? What was it? AZ: "I was 6 years.. I shot horses with small film lomo-camera." AAP: What or who inspires you? AZ: "Life, everything I got around me, my dreams, interesting people, my husband's music." AAP: How could you describe your style? AZ: "I have no special style. Different series in different styles." AAP:Do you have a favorite photograph or series? AZ: "No, I love them all!" AAP: What kind of gear do you use? Camera, lens, digital, film? AZ: "A lot... And they are changing all the time. Digital 35mm, film medium format, vintage cameras and cameras made by my husband. About 20 different lens, modern ones and vintage brass ones as well." AAP: Do you spend a lot of time editing your images? For what purpose? AZ: "It depends. I always edit digital a lot to reach exactly that tone and mood wich I need. And I also do analog process in darkroom without any computer at all." AAP: Favorite(s) photographer(s)? AZ: "This is a difficult question..." AAP: What advice would you give a young photographer? AZ: "To keep eyes wide open." AAP: What mistake should a young photographer avoid? AZ: "I don't know... Everybody make mistakes. I suppose it's important not "not making" mistakes, but learn after doing mistakes." AAP: The compliment that touched you most? AZ: "When people telling me that my pictures bring their mind, fantasy and soul to childhood or let them think about miracles.. Or making a good mood..." AAP: If you were someone else who would it be? AZ: "Hum... Maybe a baker? Just joking, I don't know..."
Mike Magers
United States
1976
Michael Magers is a documentary photographer and journalist based in New York City. He is a frequent collaborator with the highly acclaimed team at Roads & Kingdoms and served as the lead photographer on their award-winning books, "Rice Noodle Fish" and "Grape Olive Pig" (as well as contributing to the 3rd book in the series "Pasta Pane Vino") published by Harper Collins/Anthony Bourdain. His images are exhibited both internationally and in the U.S. and have appeared in a wide range of digital and print publications including TIME, Smithsonian, Vogue Italia, Huck Magazine, Outside, The California Sunday Magazine, CNN's Explore Parts Unknown, Saveur, New York Times - T Magazine (Instagram Takeover), Grantland, Barron's, The Guardian.com, and L'oeil de la Photographie. Michael's work documenting craftsmanship in Japan was named a 2016 Critical Mass Finalist. About Independent Mysteries Independent Mysteries (pub. November 2019) is the first monograph from documentary photographer Michael Magers. In it, Magers exposes the persistent tension between connection and disconnection -- a feeling of "intimate distance" -- he grappled with while traveling to places like Japan, Haiti, and Cuba for various assignments and personal projects. Drawing on nearly a decade of work, each image can be viewed as a film-still, with little context other than light brushes of human contact, fleeting intimacy, solitude and vulnerability. Every one of the grainy, black-and-white photographs in this book carries with it a secret to be discovered and explored. Read more about Independent Mysteries here
James Nachtwey
United States
1948
James Nachtwey is an American photojournalist and war photographer. He grew up in Massachusetts and graduated from Dartmouth College, where he studied Art History and Political Science (1966–70). Nachtwey started working as a newspaper photographer in 1976 at the Albuquerque Journal. In 1980, he moved to New York and began working as a freelance photographer. In 1981, Nachtwey covered his first overseas assignment in Northern Ireland illustrating civil strife. He has documented a variety of armed conflicts and social issues, spending time in South Africa, Latin America, the Middle East, Russia, Eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union shooting pictures of war, conflict and famine, and images of socio-political issues (pollution, crime and punishment) in Western Europe and the United States. He currently lives in New York City. In 1994, Nachtwey was covering the upcoming elections in South Africa, the first non-racial ones in decades. As an associate of the Bang-Bang Club, he was at the scene when Ken Oosterbroek was killed and Greg Marinovich was seriously injured. Nachtwey had been injured previously in his work, but it was during his extensive coverage of the United States invasion of Iraq that he received his first combat injury. As Nachtwey, along with Time correspondent Michael Weisskopf rode in the back of a Humvee with the United States Army "Tomb Raiders" Survey Platoon, an insurgent threw a grenade into the vehicle. Weisskopf grabbed the grenade to throw it out of the humvee, but it exploded in his hand. Two soldiers were injured in the explosion, along with the Time journalists. Nachtwey managed to take several photographs of medic Billie Grimes treating Weisskopf before passing out. Both journalists were airlifted to Germany and later to hospitals in the United States. Nachtwey recovered sufficiently to return overseas to cover the tsunami in Southeast Asia of December 26, 2004. Nachtwey has worked with Time as a contract photographer since 1984. He worked for Black Star from 1980 until 1985 and was a member of Magnum Photos from 1986 until 2001. In 2001, he was a founding member of the VII Photo Agency (he disassociated from VII in August 2011). Nachtwey was present during the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center, and produced a well known related body of work. He also compiled a photo essay on the effects of the Sudan conflict on civilians. In February 2011, Nachtwey contributed to a controversial piece for Vogue Magazine, which shone a favorable light on Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad and his family. The article and the photo series were particularly controversial as a peaceful protest movement in the context of the Arab Spring that was gathering steam at the same time, was brutally put down by the Syrian regime's military and secret police services. By December 2011, death toll estimates of the uprising ranged between 3,500 and 5,000, while an approximate 30,000 civilians were imprisoned and, in many cases, tortured severely. Vogue later decided to remove the article from its pages. Nevertheless, the article can still be accessed on the Syrian presidency's own website. Source: Wikipedia James Nachtwey grew up in Massachusetts and graduated from Dartmouth College, where he studied Art History and Political Science (1966-70). Images from the Vietnam War and the American Civil Rights movement had a powerful effect on him and were instrumental in his decision to become a photographer. He has worked aboard ships in the Merchant Marine, and while teaching himself photography, he was an apprentice news film editor and a truck driver. In 1976 he started work as a newspaper photographer in New Mexico, and in 1980, he moved to New York to begin a career as a freelance magazine photographer. His first foreign assignment was to cover civil strife in Northern Ireland in 1981 during the IRA hunger strike. Since then, Nachtwey has devoted himself to documenting wars, conflicts and critical social issues. He has worked on extensive photographic essays in El Salvador, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Lebanon, the West Bank and Gaza, Israel, Indonesia, Thailand, India, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, the Philippines, South Korea, Somalia, Sudan, Rwanda, South Africa, Russia, Bosnia, Chechnya, Kosovo, Romania, Brazil and the United States. Nachtwey has been a contract photographer with Time Magazine since 1984. He was associated with Black Star from 1980 - 1985 and was a member of Magnum from 1986 until 2001. In 2001, he became one of the founding members of the photo agency, VII. He has had solo exhibitions at the International Center of Photography in New York, the Bibliotheque nationale de France in Paris, the Palazzo Esposizione in Rome, the Museum of Photographic Arts in San Diego, Culturgest in Lisbon, El Circulo de Bellas Artes in Madrid, Fahey/Klein Gallery in Los Angeles, the Massachusetts College of Art in Boston, the Canon Gallery and the Nieuwe Kerk in Amsterdam, the Carolinum in Prague,and the Hasselblad Center in Sweden, among others. He has received numerous honours such as the Common Wealth Award, Martin Luther King Award, Dr. Jean Mayer Global Citizenship Award, Henry Luce Award, Robert Capa Gold Medal (five times), the World Press Photo Award (twice), Magazine Photographer of the Year (seven times), the International Center of Photography Infinity Award (three times), the Leica Award (twice), the Bayeaux Award for War Correspondents (twice), the Alfred Eisenstaedt Award, the Canon Photo essayist Award and the W. Eugene Smith Memorial Grant in Humanistic Photography. He is a fellow of the Royal Photographic Society and has an Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts from the Massachusetts College of Arts. Source: www.jamesnachtwey.com
John Coplans
United Kingdom
1920 | † 2003
John Rivers Coplans was a British artist, art writer, curator, and museum director. His father was Joseph Moses Coplans, a medical doctor and a man of many scientific and artistic talents. His father left England for Johannesburg while John was an infant. At the age of two, John was brought to his father in South Africa; from 1924-1927 the family was in flux between London and South Africa, settling in a seaside Cape Town suburb until 1930. Despite the instability of his early home life, Coplans developed an enormous admiration for his father, who took him to galleries at weekends and instilled within him a love for exploration, experimentation, and a fascination with the world. In 1937, John Coplans returned to England from South Africa. When eighteen, he was commissioned into the Royal Air Force as an Acting Pilot Officer. Due to his hearing being affected by a rugby match, two years later, he volunteered for the army. His childhood experience living in Africa led to his appointment to the King’s African Rifles in East Africa. He was active as a platoon commander (primarily in Ethiopia) until 1943, after which his unit was deployed to Burma. In 1945 Coplans returned to civilian life and decided to become an artist. After being demobilised, Coplans settled in London, rooming at the Abbey Art Centre; he wanted to become an artist. The British government was giving grants to veterans of the war, and he received one such grant to study art. He tried both Goldsmiths and Chelsea College of the Arts, but found that art school did not suit him. He painted part-time for clients including Cecil Beaton, Basil Deardon whilst running his business John Rivers Limited which specialised in interior decorating. In the mid-1950s, Coplans began attending lectures by Lawrence Alloway at the Institute of Contemporary Arts. Here he was introduced to the budding Pop Art movement, which he would become deeply involved in as both critic and curator. His experience viewing exhibitions such as the Hard-Edged Painting exhibition (ICA, 1959) and New American Painting (The Tate, 1959) helped to solidify his growing passion for not just Pop Art, but American art as well. During this period he struggled as a young artist to find his artistic voice, and developed an abstract painting practice which reflected trends of tachism and Abstract Expressionism pioneered by Americans Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning. Coplans would later refer to this early painting work as "derivative"; these paintings were shown in exhibitions at the Royal Society of British Artists (1950) and later at the New Vision Center. In 1960, Coplans sold all of his belongings and moved to the United States, initially settling in San Francisco and taking a position at UC Berkeley as a visiting assistant design professor. Here he met gallerist Phil Leider, the future editor of ArtForum. Leider connected Coplans to John Irwin, who wanted to start a magazine. Coplans convinced Irwin that the West Coast needed an art publication: one that gave voice to art that was important, but had not yet received critical attention. He further suggested that it should be published in square format so that both vertical and horizontal images would be viewed equally, thus giving birth to ArtForum's iconic shape—and to the successful foundation of ArtForum itself. Coplans was a regular writer for the magazine. His perspective on art writing was anti-elitist, using popular appeal and excitement over new work to “stimulate debate and awareness” especially for West Coast artists. Finding himself conflicted between his painting and writing careers, he chose the latter and devoted the next twenty years of his life to the magazine, as well as curatorial pursuits and a career as a museum director. It was not until 1981, at the age of 62, that he returned to his career as an artist.Source: Wikipedia John Coplans had a career in reverse. He was 60 by the time he established himself as a photographer, having already had a long and active life as a curator, editor, writer, artist and decorator. A pioneer of selfportraiture, he took large format black-and-white close-ups of his bare body that sent ripples of shock, recognition and frequent praise through the international art world. A major element in the fascination was an obsession with one of our few remaining taboos: the process of ageing and physical decrepitude. And with the anonymity of identity: in Coplans' words, "To remove all references to my current identity, I leave out my head." The blow-ups of sagging flesh, creased folds, odd protuberances and body hair of an old man become the documentary tale of the decline of Everyman. After a brief spell teaching at the University of California, Berkeley, in 1962 Coplans co-founded Artforum magazine and, for the next two decades, his career was to be as artistically various as it was financially precarious. Artforum was intended to combat the anti-intellectualism Coplans felt he had encountered at Berkeley, and the notion that there was nothing to be said about art, since you either made it or looked at it. His whole background was in stimulating debate and awareness, at a popular rather than an elite level. Inevitably, as he later explained, "The thing was how to get the eastern establishment to read about west coast art". Within five years, the magazine was relocated to Manhattan, with Coplans acting as west coast editor. As a museum curator, he enjoyed similarly shifting fortunes. His first project was a pop art exhibition at the Oakland art museum, and, in 1963, he became director of the university gallery at Irvine, organising an important show by Frank Stella. From 1967 to 1971, he transferred to the Pasadena art museum. Alongside established artists like Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol and Donald Judd, he gave Robert Irwin, Richard Serra and James Turrell their first shows. In 1971, Coplans moved to New York to became editor of Artforum, and, in 1975, published his own version of events leading to the bankruptcy and takeover of the Pasadena art museum, “Diary Of A Disaster.” During his seven years at the helm, Artforum increasingly jettisoned the militant formalism with which it had been identified, and became a platform for the catholicity of Coplans' artistic tastes, including19th-century photography and contemporary European abstract art. In 1978, the publisher gave Coplans the choice of buying the magazine or quitting. Not being in a position to do the former, he became director of the Akron art museum in Ohio, where, again, he combined curatorial work with launching a new magazine, appropriately named Dialogue. He also published books on photographers, ranging from Weegee to Brancusi, and started his own photographic experiments. By 1980, Coplans was back in New York, and the following year had his first solo show at the Daniel Wolf Gallery. At last, he had found not only the medium but also the subject of his artistic expression. He called his works auto-portraits, and, created by means of a live-feedback video camera with an automatic shutter, they honed in on the physical landscapes of the body with all the sculptural focus - but without the distortions of the lens - of Bill Brandt's Perspective Of Nudes (1961). This was to become Coplans' constant subject matter. In 1986, he had his first show of self-portraits at the Pace/MacGill Gallery, New York. Sandra Phillips, the long-time photography curator at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, immediately saw the importance of the work. His first major museum exhibition followed at SF MoMA in 1988, and the exhibition traveled on to the Museum of Modern Art in New York that same year. The work was rapidly acquired and shown by the The J. Paul Getty Museum, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and the Whitney Museum of Art; in 1997 (the same year he remarried), a major retrospective was staged MoMA PS1 Contemporary Art Centre in Queens. He published books of the work, principally the anonymous-sounding A Body, Body Parts and A Self-Portrait, and finally Provocations, which includes his photo-essays and criticism. Coplans has a daughter, Barbara, and a son, Joseph; he has two granddaughters. He was married four times. His fourth wife, photographer Amanda Means, is the Trustee for the John Coplans Trust in Beacon, New York. John Coplans was born June 20, 1920 in London and died on August 21, 2003 in New York.Source: The John Coplans Trust
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Exclusive Interview with Nick Brandt About The Day May Break
Photographed in Zimbabwe and Kenya in late 2020, The Day May Break is the first part of a global series portraying people and animals impacted by environmental degradation and destruction. An ambitious and poetic project picturing people who have all been badly affected by climate change - some displaced by cyclones that destroyed their homes, others such as farmers displaced and impoverished by years-long severe droughts. We asked Nick Brandt a few questions about the project.
Exclusive Interview with Barbara Cole
For the last forty-five years, artist Barbara Cole has been recapturing the otherworldly mysteries of early photography in a body of work that flows in and out of time.
Exclusive Interview with Daniel Sackheim
Daniel Sackheim is an American Film & Television director and producer best known for his work on such highly acclaimed series as HBO's True Detective Season 3, Game of Thrones, and Amazon’s Jack Ryan. But he is also a talented photographer. We asked him a few questions about his life and work.
Exlusive Interview with Tom Price Winner of All About Photo Awards 2021
Tom Price is the Photographer of the Year, winner of All About Photo Awards 2021 - The Mind's Eye. My co-jurors Keith Cullen, Denis Dailleux, Stefano De Luigi, Monica Denevan, Claudine Doury, Ann Jastrab, Stephan Vanfleteren, Hiroshi Watanabe, Alison Wright and myself were impressed by his work 'Porter' taken from a series of surreal portraits, featuring 'relocated' porters from Kolkata, as a reflection on the experience of migrant workers.
Interview: Jill Enfield by Jon Wollenhaupt
Alternative photography pioneer Jill Enfield comes from a long line of photographers dating back to 1875-the date when her ancestors opened up gift stores in Germany where they sold cameras and other technical equipment. In 1939, after fleeing Nazi Germany, her family opened the first camera store in Miami Beach, where as a child, Jill roamed the aisles. It is easy to imagine that she grew up always having a camera in her hands. With photography imprinted in her DNA, her career path seemed inevitable.
Exclusive Interview with Michael Nguyen
Michael Nguyen is a street and documentary photographer living near Munich, Germany. He is also the co-founder of Tagree Magazine. We asked him a few questions about his life and work.
Exclusive Interview with Jon Enoch
Jon Enoch is a London-based photographer who focuses on portrait and lifestyle photography for advertising and media publications, as well as large organisations. He has won numerous awards for his Vietnamese photography portrait series called cBikes of Hanoi', including the Smithsonian Grand Prize; the Lens Culture Portrait Award and the Portraits of Humanity Award in 2020. The images were also shortlisted for the Sony World Photography Award and they won the gold Prix de la Photographie Paris (Px3) award in 2019. The set of portrait images were featured on the BBC, the Guardian, the Telegraph and went viral on websites across the world.
Exclusive Interview with Oliver Stegmann
Olivera Stegmann is a Swiss photographer and also the winner of AAP Magazine #16 Shadows with his project 'Circus Noir'. We asked him a few questions about his life and work.
Exclusive Interview with Francesco Gioia
Francesco Gioia is an Italian photographer who lives in England. He is the winner of AAP Magazine 15 Streets with his project 'Wake Up in London'. We asked him a few questions about his life and work
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