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

Khalik Allah

Country: United States
Birth: 1985

Khalik Allah (born 1985) is an American filmmaker and photographer. His 2015 documentary film Field Niggas and his 2017 book Souls Against the Concrete depict people who inhabit the notorious Harlem corner of 125th Street and Lexington Avenue in New York City. His film Black Mother (2018) depicts people on the island of Jamaica. "He favours visual portraits of people on the street – filming their faces for several seconds as they pose as if for a still camera." In June 2020 he became a Nominee member of Magnum Photos.

Khalik was born in Brookhaven, New York. His mother is Jamaican and his father is Iranian. He grew up in Suffolk, Long Island, New York, but moved between Queens and Harlem throughout his childhood. His parents met at university in Bristol, England. He is a dual Jamaican-American citizen. He started making movies at age 19 with a Hi-8 video camera. His first feature film, Popa Wu: A 5% Story (2010), was a "normal, talking heads documentary" about Popa Wu, "Wu-Tang Clan's de facto spiritual advisor" and a member of Five-Percent Nation. It took four years to make. Khalik took up still photography in 2010.

Source: Wikipedia


Despite challenges early in life, Allah managed to maintain discipline and focus on self-improvement. He credits these qualities, in part, to the teachings of the Five-Percent Nation, a movement whose name comes from its concept that only five percent of the world knows the truth about existence and is dedicated to enlightening the rest of the world. Founded in Harlem in the 1960s the movement emphasizes intellectual growth and enlightenment for black men in particular. Inspired and empowered by their message Allah seriously pursued the study of metaphysics, black history, and literature. Likewise, with no formal art training, he pursued video work first at the age of 14, and then photography, making his first pictures in 2010. He taught himself how to use a camera from videos on YouTube and later devoured books at the library on work of Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Frank, Nobuyoshi Araki, Daido Moriyama, and Bruce Davidson.

Khalik Allah finished his first film at the age of 19 and after getting it into the hands of the rapper Killah Priest, Allah went on to direct music videos for different members of the Wu-Tang family. His filmmaking changed radically after he became a photographer. His camera work slowed down and he made prolonged eye contact with the individuals he filmed. His 2015 film, Field Niggas (inspired by Malcolm X's 1963 speech, "Message to the Grassroots”) received high acclaim and numerous awards including the 2015 Le Prix Scribe, Paris. He also served as one of the cinematographers for Beyoncé's Lemonade. His most recent film, Black Mother, will premiere at the True/False Film Festival in March and will have its New York premiere at the New Directors/New Films Festival April 4th at MoMA and April 7th at Lincoln Center.

It is easy to walk through a city not making eye contact, but for Khalik Allah this contact is essential. He sees each individual he photographs. And his photographs in turn allow us to see them, to acknowledge who we might ignore, to look through Allah’s eye and into theirs, and to recognize them as individuals. This is the power of Allah’s work: to give us a deeper sense of people as people, to share and enlighten, even when the message may not be clean or easy.

Made at night on 125th Street and Lexington Avenue in Harlem, the images in his recent book Souls Against the Concrete (University of Texas Press, 2017), provide a glimpse into a world and people that many choose to ignore. His subjects are often drug addicts, homeless, or both. Using only the available light from shop windows, street lights, or subway platforms, he photographs them with a slow color film, a combination that produces images full of grain and texture, a visual shorthand for the roughness and intensity of life on the street, and his own struggles early in life. The light is also often harsh or even surreal, resulting in figures awash in blues and reds. Luc Sante, in The New York Times Book Review, wrote, "The result is a panorama of human emotion: sadness, passion, bewilderment, pride, suspicion, amusement, exhaustion — all the faces of the night."

Source: Gitterman Gallery


Allah has led a life of many perspectives; he recounts, as a 20-year-old, walking all night to take portraits before working in a nursing home in Harlem during the day. His work and life is immersed in the teachings and sensibilities of The Five-Percent Nation, a cultural movement influenced by the Islamic faith and founded in Harlem in 1964. When he was nominated by Magnum, Allah told the agency: “The first thing black students are taught is that they were slaves. From second-grade on, your self-esteem is a couple of notches below the white students because you’ve been told you are inferior. That sticks with you and follows you into your adulthood. The Five-Percent Nation taught me not to take anything on face value,” Allah says. “That teaching has bled into my work. This is a spiritual film. And it’s a holographic film; a piece contains the whole and a whole contains the piece. And it’s an experiential film, one that brings you into an environment that most people would avoid.”

The New York streets Allah shoots are indivisible with the history of street photography. Allah is working in the legacy of New York icons like Diane Arbus, Weegee, Garry Winogrand and Nan Goldin as well as fellow Magnum photographers Bruce Gilden and Bruce Davidson.

But, perhaps unlike some of his current colleagues of the Magnum collective, Allah is deeply concerned with the question of photographic consent. In that sense, Allah perhaps embodies the attitude of a new generation of street photographers; ones who see the camera as a way of being alert and alive to social and racial injustice.

“It’s important to speak to whoever you’re working with,” Allah says. “To share your intentions with your subjects. To properly introduce yourself, and to get permission and consent. As photographers, we’re responsible for the work we make, and we need to be conscious of that. That involves not shooting somebody that doesn’t want to be shot. That’s a basic thing. And don’t shoot children without a parent’s consent. That is very important to me.”

Source: The Art Newspaper


 

Khalik Allah's Video

Selected Book

Inspiring Portfolios

Call for Entries
Solo Exhibition January 2023
Win an Online Solo Exhibition in January 2023
 
Stay up-to-date  with call for entries, deadlines and other news about exhibitions, galleries, publications, & special events.

More Great Photographers To Discover

Nick Turpin
United Kingdom
1969
Nick Turpin is a British street photographer and advertising and design photographer. He is based in London and near Lyon, France. He studied an art and design foundation course at the University of Gloucestershire, specializing in photography; then a BA in photography, film and video at the University of Westminster. Whilst at university he showed his second-year photojournalism stories to the picture editor at The Independent and in 1990, aged 20, quit his course to be a press photographer for the newspaper. He left The Independent in 1997 for a career in advertising and design photography that would finance his street photography (for example he photographed the cover of Bridget Jones's Diary (1995) by Helen Fielding). Turpin established the first international collective of street photographers, In-Public, in 2000 with the intention of bringing together like-minded photographers to hold exhibitions, produce books, and conduct workshops. Colin Westerbeck, writing in Time in 2011, said Turpin was "notable for having been instrumental in a collaborative documentary project", namely In-Public. He left the collective in 2018. His work has been published in his own book, On The Night Bus (2016), and in various survey publications, as well as being included in a number of group exhibitions. He publishes through Nick Turpin Publishing, makes short films, and gives workshops on street photography.Source: Wikipedia Artist Statement "There is something about the making of photographs in public places that resonates with me more than any other kind of photography. I think it simply suits my personality. It’s nice, when taking pictures in the street, not to have to participate in any way in the stream of life passing you by. It makes me feel special to be there but not to be chatting, not to be shopping or not even to be heading for somewhere else. I feel like I am invisible to the passing crowds. This in turn leads to a loss of my sense of self, which is the finest feeling of all. Having worked for several years both in newspapers and advertising, I am fascinated by the things that I ‘choose’ to photograph when I leave the house with my camera but without a ‘story’ or ‘brief’ to fulfill. These ‘choices’ are revealing,in some way, of who I am. I go to the busiest, public places to discover something very personal and private. It is an inescapable truth that the resulting photographs are as much about my inner state as they are about the external world they were made in. They are all self-portraits. It is important to me that my personal pictures don’t have to ‘do’ anything. They don’t have to sell in a gallery or sit well beside the ads in a magazine. I don’t have to make pictures that are easily categorised. They are not reportage, there is no subject, they are not art, there is no great technical craft or aesthetic beauty. They are just pictures about life. For these reasons, Picture Editors, Art Directors and Curators don’t know what to do with them, where to put them. I like that." -- Nick TurpinSource: In-Public
Dougie Wallace
Dougie Wallace, also known as 'Glasweegee', is a Scottish street photographer, based in east London. He was born and raised in Glasgow, lived in Blackpool for a couple of years in the 1980s before enlisting in the army, and has lived in Shoreditch, east London, for 15 years. For two-and-a-half years beginning in October 2010 Wallace made 30 trips to Blackpool to complete his first book Stags, Hens & Bunnies: A Blackpool Story (2014), photographs of the stag and hen parties that visit the town, "lads and lasses on their worst behaviour, partying away in a bawdy sea of L-plates, handcuffs, blow-up dolls and uniformed fancy dress in various states of undress and drunkenness; revelling in bars, puking in the street, refuelling at chip shops." Wallace spent 15 years photographing in the Shoreditch area of East London, a series published in his second book, Shoreditch Wild Life (2014). He photographed the disappearing Premier Padminis in Mumbai for his series Road Wallah.Source: Wikipedia Scottish photographer Dougie Wallace is internationally recognised for his long-term social documentary projects and a distinct direct style of expressive street photography. He has won prestigious awards, exhibited as a solo artist or in joint exhibits in world-renowned institutions and photographic festivals, authored a number of books, all critically acclaimed. London-based, his assignments and personal work take him around the world. To coincide with BBC Season of Photography, in March 2017, BBC4 broadcast a 30-minute programme about Dougie, as part of the What Artists Do All Day series, providing insights into the lives of outstanding artists. The programme follows Dougie on the streets of Knightsbridge, as he completes the photographs for the book Harrodsburg. Available here to watch. More recently, Dougie was commissioned by Sky Art 50 to create a film, which explored what it means to be British in the light of the EU referendum. It was showcased at The BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art and the Barbican. It was also broadcast on Sky Arts channel on the night of the original Brexit leaving date (March 29th, 2019). Dougie attributes his unique vision to his Glasgow up-bring and experiences lived or perceptively witnessed over two decades of residing in east London, from the uninhibited party days, when the area was a cultural wasteland through to its on-going urban regeneration, turning this district into a fashionable destination and tourist Mecca. "Living in Shoreditch has helped me develop an eye for the tragi-comic, messy side of uninhibited human behaviour. My Glasgow upbringing has shaped my style, which has been described as 'visually exaggerated' and 'hard-edged'. What motivates my pictures is human behaviour. People’s interactions and emotions fascinate me. My stories are thematic. They have similarities of expressions running through them. My work is informed by societies’ trends and incongruities and translating what I see through the lens into wit, criticism and humorous vignettes. I’d like to think that my photos convey a point of view that believable and absurd." This idiosyncratic point of view comes to life in his books, which have all equally generated critical attention and viral buzz. His books Stags, Hens and Bunnies: A Blackpool Story (Dewi Lewis Media, 2014) and Shoreditch Wild Life (Hoxton Mini Press, 2014), each a distinctive spin on hedonism and excess, turned Dougie into a household name among taste-makers. Road Wallah (Dewi Lewis, 2016), which offers a unique insight into the world of Bombay cab drivers has been exhibited at numerous photo festivals and gallery shows and was shortlisted for 2015 European Book Publisher’s Award. Followed Harrodsburg, which won the inaugural 'Magnum Photography Award 2016'. Well Heeled (Dewi Lewis, 2017) is an observation about the cultural shift among dog owners (Dewi Lewis, 2017). Goan to the Dogs is to be published by Dewi Lewis in 2020. East Ended is a reflection on gentrification and its ambiguous and fraught relationship with street art and local communities. Newly published by Dewi Lewis. Dougie is sought after for opinion, project assignments, editorial features and ad-hoc opportunities. His work has been featured in assignments and publications for magazines and newspapers, including, The Sunday Times Magazine, D Repubblica, The Economist, Le Monde, The New Yorker, Stern, The Guardian, New York Times, The Independent, International New York Times, Observer, GQ, Dazed, Hunger, Vice, BBC, CNN, Itsnicethat, Marie Claire, Die Zeit, Süddeutsche Zeitung, El País, Der Spiegel, Macleans, NZZ, Die Tageszeitung, Neon, dS Magazine - De Standaard. As well as numerous photography magazines, BJP, GUP, Amateur Photographer, Professional Photographer, F2, Fotografia Magazine, Lens Culture, Leica LFI, L’Oeil, Fotomagazine, European Photography and Photo International. Dougie continues to shoot fashion for the likes of Tatler, Balenciaga and Dazed. Dougie Wallace has conducted workshops both in the UK and overseas. He regularly donates his work to his chosen charities each year.Source: www.dougiewallace.com
Alfred Eisenstaedt
Germany
1898 | † 1995
Alfred Eisenstaedt (December 6, 1898 – August 24, 1995) was a German-born American photographer and photojournalist. He is best known for his photograph of the V-J Day celebration and for his candid photographs, frequently made using a 35mm Leica camera. Eisenstaedt was born in Dirschau (Tczew) in West Prussia, Imperial Germany in 1898. His family moved to Berlin in 1906. Eisenstaedt was fascinated by photography from his youth and began taking pictures at age 14 when he was given his first camera, an Eastman Kodak Folding Camera with roll film. Eisenstaedt served in the German Army's artillery during World War I, and was wounded in 1918. While working as a belt and button salesman in the 1920s in Weimar Germany, Eisenstaedt began taking photographs as a freelancer for the Pacific and Atlantic Photos' Berlin office in 1928. The office was taken over by Associated Press in 1931. Eisenstaedt successfully became a full-time photographer in 1929. Four years later he photographed a meeting between Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini in Italy. Other notable, early pictures by Eisenstaedt include his depiction of a waiter at the ice rink of the Grand Hotel in St. Moritz in 1932 and Joseph Goebbels at the League of Nations in Geneva in 1933. Although initially friendly, Goebbels scowled for the photograph when he learned that Eisenstaedt was Jewish. Because of oppression in Hitler's Nazi Germany, Eisenstaedt emigrated to the United States in 1935 where he lived in Jackson Heights, Queens, New York, for the rest of his life. He worked as a staff photographer for Life magazine from 1936 to 1972. His photos of news events and celebrities, such as Dagmar, Sophia Loren and Ernest Hemingway, appeared on 90 Life covers. Eisenstaedt was awarded the National Medal of Arts in 1989 by President George Bush in a ceremony on the White House lawn. Eisenstaedt, known as "Eisie" to his close friends, enjoyed his annual August vacations on the island of Martha's Vineyard for 50 years. During these summers, he would conduct photographic experiments, working with different lenses, filters, and prisms in natural light. Eisenstaedt was fond of Martha's Vineyard's photogenic lighthouses, and was the focus of lighthouse fundraisers organized by Vineyard Environmental Research, Institute (VERI). Two years before his death, Eisenstaedt photographed President Bill Clinton with wife, Hillary, and daughter, Chelsea. The photograph session took place at the Granary Gallery in West Tisbury on Martha's Vineyard, and was documented by this photograph published in People magazine on September 13, 1993. Eisenstaedt died in his bed at midnight at his beloved Menemsha Inn cottage known as the "Pilot House" at age 96, in the company of his sister-in-law, Lucille Kaye (LuLu), and friend, William E. Marks. Source: Wikipedia Born in Dirschau (now Poland), Alfred Eisenstaedt studied at the University of Berlin and served in the German army during World War I. After the war, while employed as a button and belt salesman in Berlin, he taught himself photography and worked as a freelance photojournalist. In 1929, he received his first assignment that would launch his professional career--the Nobel Prize ceremony in Stockholm. From 1929 to 1935 he was a full-time photojournalist for the Pacific and Atlantic Picture Agency, later part of the Associated Press, and contributed to the Berliner Illustrierte Zeitung and other picture magazines in Berlin and Paris. In 1935, he came to the United States, where he freelanced for Harper's Bazaar, Vogue, Town and Country, and other publications. In 1936, Henry Luce hired him, along with Margaret Bourke-White, Peter Stackpole, and Thomas McAvoy as one of four staff photographers for the new LIFE magazine. Eisenstaedt remained at LIFE for the next 40 years and was active as a photojournalist into his eighties. In 1988, he was honored with ICP's Infinity Master of Photography Award. Eisenstaedt was among those Europeans who pioneered the use of the 35-millimeter camera in photojournalism as they brought their knowledge to American publications after World War I. He was also among the earliest devotees of available-light photography. Unlike many photojournalists in the postwar period, he was not associated with a particular kind of event or geographic area: he was a generalist. As such, he was a favorite among editors, not only for his quick eye, but also for his ability in making good photographs of any situation or event. His nonjudgmental but acutely perceptive eye and his facility with composition have made his photographs memorable documents of his era both historically and aesthetically. Source: ICP
Leo Touchet
United States
1939
Leo Touchet is an American photographer, Born in Abbeville, Louisiana, in 1939. Throughout his 50-plus year career, photographer Leo Touchet’s work has captured the essence of people and cultures all across the world. In July 1965, inspired by the work of Henri Cartier-Bresson on view at MoMA, Touchet purchased a Leica M2 and began photographing the streets of New York. Soon after, his work drew the eye of a Life Magazine photo editor. That chance encounter led him on assignment for UNICEF to war-torn Vietnam, the first stop on a career that led Touchet through fifty countries across the world. Touchet’s fascination with photography began after pouring through photos an uncle had taken while deployed during World War II. In college, Touchet studied architecture where he was introduced to the principles of composition, form, light, and perspective. This architectural training deeply informed his later photographic work. Upon meeting Henri Cartier-Bresson in 1972, the man whose work inspired Touchet’s career suggested he return home and photograph the people and culture. Touchet took the advice and turned his lens upon his birth state of Louisiana, a sample of which was beautifully collected in the monograph Rejoice When You Die - The New Orleans Jazz Funerals. In total, six monographs of Touchet’s work have been published. Additionally, his work has been featured in numerous publications including Time, Life, National Geographic, and New York Times. Numerous museums and private collections hold Touchet’s work, including the New Orleans Museum of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Bibliothèque Nationale de France, the Everson Museum of Art, Hofstra University Museum, the Sir Elton John Photography Collection, Chase Manhattan Collection, and the United States National Park Service. Touchet’s work has been exhibited internationally numerous times notably including solo exhibitions at the Acadiana Center for the Arts, Bibliothèque Nationale de France, the Miami Art Center and the Mint Museum.Source: Jackson Fine Art Artist Statement "My earliest memory of photography was at the age of six in my hometown of Abbeville, Louisiana when an uncle returned from World War II with boxes of photographs he had taken, and I have since wanted to travel. While in high school, I was selected to be the high school photographer. My equipment then was an old 4x5 Crown Graphic Camera with screw in flash bulbs. After high school and a stint in the Army, I enrolled in Architecture school at the University of Southwest Louisiana (now the University of Louisiana Lafayette). There I was introduced to composition, form, light and perspective. My photography has since used all of these elements. Most of my photos are full-frame images, cropped in the camera. I later worked in Cleveland and New York as a draftsman and later as an industrial designer. Eventually I became bored with working in an office on a drawing board. In July 1965, on a visit to the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA), I was captivated by the photos of Henri Cartier-Bresson. The next day, I bought a used Leica M2 camera and began photographing on the streets of New York. The photography archives at MOMA were open to the public and most of my photography education resulted from my many hours studying photos of Cartier-Bresson, Paul Strand, Eugene Smith, Edward Steichen, Gordon Parks and many other photographers in the collection. Later that year, I bought a ticket to Vietnam to become a photographer." -- Leo TouchetSource: leotouchet.com
Advertisement
Solo Exhibition January 2023
Sony World
AAP Magazine #29: Women

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
AAP Magazine #29: Women
Publish your work in AAP Magazine and win $1,000 Cash Prizes