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Hiroji Kubota
Hiroji Kubota

Hiroji Kubota

Country: Japan
Birth: 1939

Hiroji Kubota (born 2 August 1939) is a Japanese photographer, a member of Magnum Photos who has specialized in photographing the far east. Born in Kanda (Tokyo), Kubota studied politics at Waseda University, graduating in 1962. In 1961 he met the Magnum photographers René Burri, Elliott Erwitt, and Burt Glinn. He then studied journalism and international politics at the University of Chicago, and became an assistant to Erwitt and Cornell Capa, in 1965, a freelance photographer.

Kubota photographed the 1968 US presidential election and then Ryūkyū islands before their return to Japan in 1972. He then photographed Saigon in 1975, North Korea in 1978, and China in 1979–85, and the USA in 1988–92, resulting in books and exhibitions. Kubota won the Mainichi Art Prize in 1980,[2] and the Annual Award of the Photographic Society of Japan in 1981. Three of his publications won him the first Kodansha Publishing Culture Award in 1970: "Black People", and essays on Calcutta and the Ryūkyū islands.

Source: Wikipedia


Hiroji Kubota sounds a little over-the-top when he insists his "life is meaningless" without photography. But a glance at his latest and 19th book will convince you he is absolutely right, given how his life has been intertwined with some of Magnum's legendary photographers, like René Burri, Burt Glinn and my father, Elliott Erwitt. He started out working with some of them as a fixer and translator, even though he refused payment at first. "I was brought up comfortably and didn't need it," he said.

He did, however, accept a beat-up Leica M3 from Burri. His life changed when he got the first edition of Henri Cartier-Bresson's The Decisive Moment a month later. "When I opened it, I said, 'My gosh, what is this?" he recalled. "That motivated me. That's when I became serious." His fate was sealed when Burri showed him a Swiss magazine that featured his Gaucho pictures. "It shocked me like crazy," he said. "I knew then I wanted to be a photographer."

The results of those personally decisive moments are evident in Aperture's Hiroji Kubota Photographer a retrospective covering 50 years of his work. I met Hiroji almost that long ago, because my father, Elliott Erwitt, sponsored him when he first came to America, even picking him up at the TWA terminal at Kennedy Airport. They had met when Hiroji worked as a fixer on one of my father's early trips to Japan, in 1962, to illustrate Robert Donovan's book PT 109, about John F. Kennedy's World War II exploits. Hiroji was my father's translator when he photographed the captain and crew of the destroyer that famously cut Kennedy's boat in two.

That kind of work led to his meeting other influential photographers who would encourage him, eventually bringing him to New York, where he became a familiar figure at the Magnum offices. Back then, the agency was a small, international and slightly dysfunctional family that was accessible if you met the right people, which he did.

Cornell Capa, a Magnum photographer, "adopted me literally, not legally," he said. "He had no children, so he needed a son, a fairly well-behaved son who could cook for him." Capa, who entertained "big shots" at his Fifth Avenue apartment, helped Hiroji make a few extra dollars by having him cook. Burt Glinn also hired Hiroji as an assistant to help him get by. Hiroji showed similar ingenuity when he spent the better part of a year photographing in Chicago, where he ran an ad hoc Japanese catering business every other weekend to help pay the bills. By 1967, he was a successful photographer firmly ensconced at Magnum, and it was time to return to Japan.

He has proved to be a remarkably tenacious photographer who immerses himself in a story and returns to it until he is satisfied. He has managed to get to places others can't - like his unlimited access on many trips to China, when travel within the country was still limited. He would talk government officials into allowing him the time and access he needed to achieve his purpose. Same with North Korea; he has made countless visits - at its invitation - at a time when it was essentially a closed country. -- By Misha Erwitt

Source: The New York Times


During a visit by Magnum members to Japan in 1961, Hiroji Kubota came to know René Burri, Burt Glinn and Elliott Erwitt. After graduating in political science from Tokyo’s University of Waseda in 1962, Kubota moved to the US, settling in Chicago, where he continued photographing while supporting himself by working in a Japanese catering business.

He became a freelance photographer in 1965, and his first assignment for the UK newspaper The Times was to Jackson Pollock’s grave in East Hampton. In 1968, Kubota returned to live in Japan, where his work was recognized with a Publishing Culture Award from Kodansha in 1970. The next year he became a Magnum associate.

Kubota witnessed the fall of Saigon in 1975, refocusing his attention on Asia. It took him several years to get permission to photograph in China. Finally, between 1979 and 1984, Kubota embarked on a 1,000-day tour, during which he made more than 200,000 photographs. The book and exhibit, China, appeared in 1985.

Kubota’s awards in Japan include the Nendo Sho (Annual Award) of the Japanese Photographic Society (1982), and the Mainichi Art Prize (1983). He has photographed most of the Asian continent for his book Out of the East, published in 1997, which led to a two-year project, in turn resulting in the book Can We Feed Ourselves?

Kubota has had solo shows in Tokyo, Osaka, Beijing, New York, Washington, Rome, London, Vienna, Paris and many other cities. He has just completed Japan, a book on his homeland and the country where he continues to be based.

Source: Magnum Photos


 

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O. Winston Link
United States
1914 | † 2001
Ogle Winston Link (December 16, 1914 – January 30, 2001), known commonly as O. Winston Link, was an American photographer, best known for his black-and-white photography and sound recordings of the last days of steam locomotive railroading on the Norfolk & Western in the United States in the late 1950s. A commercial photographer, Link helped establish rail photography as a hobby. He also pioneered night photography, producing several well-known examples including Hotshot Eastbound, a photograph of a steam train passing a drive-in movie theater, and Hawksbill Creek Swimming Hole showing a train crossing a bridge above children bathing. O. Winston Link and his siblings, Eleanor and Albert Jr., spent their childhood in the borough of Brooklyn, New York City, where they lived with their parents, Albert Link, Sr. and Anne Winston Jones Link. Link's given names honor ancestors Alexander Ogle and John Winston Jones, who had served in the U.S. House of Representatives in the 19th century. Al Link taught woodworking in the New York City Public School system, and encouraged his children's interest in arts and crafts, and first introduced Winston to photography. Link's early photography was created with a borrowed medium format Autographic Kodak camera. By the time he was in high school, he had built his own photographic enlarger. After completing high school, Link attended the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn, receiving a degree in civil engineering. Before his graduation in 1937, he spoke at a banquet for the institute's newspaper, where he served as photo editor. An executive from Carl Byoir's public relations firm was present and was impressed by Link's speaking ability. He offered Link a job as a photographer. O. Winston Link worked for Carl Byoir and Associates for five years, learning his trade on the job. He adapted to the technique of making posed photographs looking candid, as well as creatively emphasizing a point. On his first major assignment, to photograph part of the state of Louisiana in the summer of 1937, he found himself in New Iberia, the location where Cecil B. DeMille's 1938 movie "The Buccaneer", about Jean LaFitte was being filmed. Here he met his future first wife, a former Miss Ark-La-Tex, now actress/model/body double, Vanda Marteal Oglesby, who stood-in for lead actress Franciska Gaal. They 'took a shine' to one another and later that year she posed for some of his photographs in the French Quarter of New Orleans. They eventually married in 1942, but later divorced. Some of Link's photographs from this time included an image of a man aiming a gun at a pig wearing a bulletproof vest, and one eventually known as What Is This Girl Selling? or Girl on Ice, which was widely published in the United States and later featured in Life as a "classic publicity picture. According to Thomas Garver, a later assistant to Link, during his employment at Byoir's firm, Link "clearly defined a point of view and developed working methods that were to shape his entire career." While in Staunton, Virginia, for an industrial photography job in 1955, O. Winston Link's longstanding love of railroads became focused on the nearby Norfolk and Western Railway line. N&W was the last major (Class I) railroad to make the transition from steam to diesel motive power and had refined its use of steam locomotives, earning a reputation for "precision transportation." Link took his first night photograph of the road on January 21, 1955, in Waynesboro, Virginia. On May 29, 1955 the N&W announced its first conversion to diesel and Link's work became a documentation of the end of the steam era. He returned to Virginia for about twenty visits to continue photographing the N&W. His last night shot was taken in 1959 and the last of all in 1960, the year the road completed the transition to diesel, by which time he had accumulated 2400 negatives on the project. Although it was entirely self-financed, Link's work was encouraged and facilitated by N&W officials, from President Robert Hall Smith downwards. Besides the locomotives, he captured the people of the N&W performing their jobs on the railroad and in the trackside communities. Some of his images were of the massive Roanoke Shops, where the company had long built and maintained its own locomotives. O. Winston Link's images were always meticulously set up and posed, and he chose to take most of his railroad photographs at night. He said "I can't move the sun — and it's always in the wrong place — and I can't even move the tracks, so I had to create my own environment through lighting." Although others, including Philip Hastings and Jim Shaughnessy, had photographed locomotives at night before, Link's vision required him to develop new techniques for flash photography of such large subjects. For instance, the movie theater image Hotshot Eastbound (Iaeger, West Virginia), photographed on August 2, 1956 [negative NW1103], used 42 #2 flashbulbs and one #0 fired simultaneously. Link, with an assistant such as George Thom, had to lug all his equipment into position and wire it up: this was done in series so any failure would prevent a picture being taken at all; and in taking night shots of moving trains the right position for the subject could only be guessed at. Link used a 4 x 5 Graphic View view camera with black and white film, from which he produced silver gelatin prints. From 1960 until he retired in 1983 Link devoted himself to advertising. Among notable pictures taken during this period are those recording construction of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge and other views of New York Harbor including the great ocean liners. In retirement, Link moved to South Salem, Westchester County, New York. In 1996, Link's second wife, Conchita, was arrested for (and later convicted of) stealing a collection of Link's photographs and attempting to sell them, claiming that Link had Alzheimer's disease and that she had power of attorney. She served six years in prison. After being released, she again attempted to sell some of Link's works that she had stolen, this time using the Internet auction site eBay. She received a three-year sentence. Conchita was also accused of imprisoning her husband. However, this allegation is disputed by some, and it never led to any criminal charges against Conchita. The story of Winston and Conchita became the subject of the documentary "The Photographer, His Wife, Her Lover" (2005) made by Paul Yule. Link made a cameo appearance as a steam locomotive engineer in the 1999 film October Sky. He was actively involved with the planning of a museum of his work when he suffered a heart attack near his home in South Salem. He was transported to Northern Westchester Hospital in Mt. Kisco, Westchester County, NY where he died on January 30, 2001. Mr. Link was interred adjacent to his parents in Elmwood Cemetery, Shepherdstown, Jefferson County, West Virginia.Source: Wikipedia Link's reasons for shooting at night were simple. For one, it was more romantic and dramatic. For Link the trains were comparable to Garbo and Dietrich at their most glamorous. Secondly, steam from the trains against a night sky photographed white. Against a day sky it came out a dirty grey. Whatever the circumstances, Link's pictures were an intense labor of love. Indeed, he discovered, shortly after starting the Norfolk and Western project, that no one was much interested in photographs of a fast disappearing mode of transport. This was, after all, the beginning of the era of the great American car. At first Link's photographs were appreciated for their combination of nostalgia, technical virtuosity, and – partly due to Link's famously cranky character and disposition - almost outsider artist's vision. But as photography has moved on, Link's work is increasingly seen and appreciated for the degree to which he controlled, planned, and constructed each image, prefiguring such well known contemporary artists as Gregory Crewdson and Jeff Wall, both of whom willingly acknowledge their interest in and appreciation of Link's work. His work has been exhibited throughout the U.S., Europe and in Japan and is present in numerous major museum collections around the world. His rail photography is exhibited at the O. 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Italy
1962
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Michael Wolf
Germany/United States
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1989
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Bert Stern
United States
1929 | † 2013
Bertram Stern (October 3, 1929 – June 26, 2013) was a self-taught American commercial photographer. He was the son of Jewish immigrants and grew up in Brooklyn. His father worked as a children’s portrait photographer. After dropping out of high school at the age of 16, he gained a job in the mail room at Look magazine. He became art director at Mayfair magazine, where Stern learned how to develop film and make contact sheets, and started taking his own pictures. In 1951, Stern was drafted into the US Army and was sent to Japan and assigned to the photographic department. In the 1960s Stern's heavy use of amphetamines, led to the destruction to his marriage to Balanchine ballerina, Allegra Kent. By the late 1970s Stern returned to the U.S. to photograph portraits and fashion. He was the subject of the 2010 documentary, "Bert Stern: Original Madman," directed by his secret wife, Shannah Laumeister. Ms. Laumeister and Stern never lived together, and Stern had a long standing relationship of 20+ years with Lynette Lavender who was his constant and devoted companion. His first professional assignment was in 1955 for a Madison Avenue advertising agency for Smirnoff vodka. His best known work is arguably The Last Sitting, is a collection of 2,500 photographs taken for Vogue of Marilyn Monroe over a three-day period, six weeks before her death. Stern's book The Last Sitting was published in 1982 and again in 2000. He has photographed Audrey Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor, Madonna, Kylie Minogue, Drew Barrymore and Lindsay Lohan (recreating The Last Sitting), among others, in addition to his work for advertising and travel publications.(Source: en.wikipedia.org)
Nat Fein
United States
1914 | † 2000
Nathaniel Fein (August 7, 1914 – September 26, 2000) was a photographer for the New York Herald Tribune for 33 years. Fein is known for photographing Babe Ruth towards the end of his life, winning the 1949 Pulitzer Prize for his photograph The Babe Bows Out. Fein was born and raised on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. He was a press photographer at the New York Herald Tribune from 1933 to 1966. Known for setting a scene correctly, he would climb buildings and bridges to get the shot he was after. Fein's main subject matter was New York following World War II. Albert Einstein, Ty Cobb, Queen Elizabeth and Harry S. Truman were among the many public figures that he photographed. Nat Fein won more press photo awards than any of his contemporaries. Although considered to be one of the greatest human interest photographers in journalism, he carried the distinction of having taken "the most celebrated photograph in sports history." -- The New York Times, 1992. A resident of Tappan, New York, Fein died on September 26, 2000, at the age of 86.Source: Wikipedia Babe Bows Out", photograph of Babe Ruth during a ceremony at Yankee Stadium to retire his number, 13 June 1948 (This photo won the 1949 Pulitzer Prize for photography) © Nat Fein / Public Domain Babe Ruth’s dominating influence changed the game itself. He became the face of the New York Yankees and embodied the ethos of the game of baseball, American sports culture, and New York heritage. In Babe Bows Out photographer Nat Fein captures the beloved athlete and showman in an image that has become synonymous with the immensity of its subject. Nat Fein began to work for the New York Herald Tribune as a copyboy in 1932. After investing in a camera years later, he became a press photographer for the paper, creating a working relationship that lasted 33 years. While working as a staff photographer at the Tribune, Fein had not been assigned to work on the day that the New York Yankee’s would retire Babe Ruth’s number three jersey. On the day when the Yankees would celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Yankee stadium and retire “The Great Bambino’s” number, the mainstay sports photographer for the Tribune called in sick. Thus, on June 13 of 1948, Nat Fein was set out to cover what many suspected could be Babe Ruth’s last public appearance. While other press photographers attempted to capture a portrait of the great American baseball hero wearing his uniform one last time, Nat Fein, tried to capture the iconic number on his jersey, stating: “All the photographers were in the front, and I wanted to see how he looks from the back. So I figured, well, number three is out. The Babe bows out…” – Nat Fein The final image is filled with emotion, a bidding farewell to the greatest player in baseball. Among an interminable crowd of onlookers and accompanied by current Yankees players, Ruth bows out in the stage where his legendary mythology was created. At the time of the photograph in 1948, Babe Ruth had not played for the Yankees for over a decade. Ruth had also been ill for some time, and his appearance had changed; his thin legs and face showed signs of his fragile condition. Fein’s photograph, instead of highlighting the aged features of the passing of time or sickness, captures the silhouette of the baseball giant. The picture presenting Ruth with his classic number three jersey underlines the monumental influence he exuded over the game and New York. The image not only symbolizes a sports hero but a man who was larger than life. His rough childhood with frequent visits to orphanages and hospitals, his kindness to black baseball players in a time of racial inequity, his fondness to volunteer his time for kids sick with Polio, and his larger physique, generate empathy in his farewell photograph. The photograph presents a poetic image that connects us through its resounding human and empathetic quality, connecting the viewer to an unwavering American hero. Babe Bows Out eventually became the first sports photograph to win the Pulitzer Prize. It cemented the importance of the medium of photography. It is considered one of Time Magazine’s 100 most influential images of all time and is featured in the National Baseball Hall of Fame and the Smithsonian Institute. Never surrendering to sickness or ill-health, the photograph commemorates the hometown hero. It immortalizes the strong and imposing Babe Ruth as the towering figure we remember and speak of today. A man whose recognition has reigned supreme over baseball, New York, and the world of sports for over 100 years. Nat Fein’s Babe Bows Out is one of the most excellent images of baseball lore.Source: Holden Luntz Gallery
Saul Leiter
United States
1923 | † 2013
Saul Leiter is an American photographer and painter whose early work in the 1940s and 1950s was an important contribution to what came to be recognized as The New York School. Saul Leiter was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. His father was a well known Talmud scholar and Saul studied to become a Rabbi. His mother gave him a Detrola camera at age 12. At age 23, he left theology school and moved to New York City to become an artist. He had developed an early interest in painting and was fortunate to meet the Abstract Expressionist painter Richard Pousette-Dart. Pousette-Dart and W. Eugene Smith encouraged Saul to pursue photography and he was soon taking black and white pictures with a 35 mm Leica, which he acquired by exchanging a few Eugene Smith prints for it. In 1948, he started taking color photographs. He began associating with other contemporary photographers such as Robert Frank and Diane Arbus and helped form what Jane Livingston has termed The New York School of photographers during the 1940s and 1950s.Source: Wikipedia Leiter’s first exhibition of color photography was held in the 1950s at the Artist's Club, a meeting place for many of the Abstract Expressionist painters of that time. Edward Steichen included twenty-three of Leiter's black and white photographs in the seminal 1953 exhibition “Always the Young Stranger” at the Museum of Modern Art; he also included twenty of Leiter’s color images in the 1957 MoMA conference “Experimental Photography in Color.” In the late 1950s, the art director Henry Wolf published Leiter's color fashion work in Esquire and later in Harper's Bazaar. However, over the next four decades, Leiter’s noncommercial work remained virtually unknown to the wider art world. He continued to work as a fashion photographer through the 1970s, contributing to such publications as in Show, Elle, British Vogue, Queen, and Nova. Leiter is now held to be a pioneer of early color photography, and is noted as one of the outstanding figures in post-war photography. After several exhibitions at Howard Greenberg Gallery throughout the 1990s, Leiter’s work experienced a surge of popularity after a monograph, Early Color, was published by Steidl in 2006. Early Color was followed by a series of monographs and international exhibitions highlighting the depth and scope of his work in photography and painting, beginning with “In Living Color” (2006), his first major retrospective at the Milwaukee Museum of Art. Leiter was the subject of several solo shows thereafter, including the Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson, Paris; the Jewish Historical Museum, Amsterdam; Musée de l’Elysée, Lausanne; and Diechtorhallen, Hamburg.Source: Howard Greenberg Gallery
Marsha Guggenheim
United States
1948
Marsha Guggenheim is a fine art photographer based in San Francisco. Storytelling is a guiding influence in her work. Marsha is deeply interested in photographing people and uses her diverse city to capture their stories. A street photographer for many years, her comfort and ease while shooting on the street has provided numerous opportunities for closer connections within her community. Complementing her street photography, Marsha spent years working as a photographer with formerly homeless women. This work resulted in the monograph, “Facing Forward,” which highlights these hard-working, proud women through portraits and stories of their life experiences. Without a Map is a personal project Marsha has developed over the past five years. Through the use of family photos, creating pictures from her memories and by turning the camera on herself, she has found the means to evoke, reinterpret and address unanswered questions that were buried long ago. About Without a Map "How does one move through life with the scars of the past? When I was ten, my mother died unexpectedly from a heart attack. I couldn’t understand where she went or when she would return. Just as I began to comprehend this loss, my father died. I was without support from my family and community. I was lost. Without a Map reimagines this time that’s deeply rooted in my memories. Visiting my childhood home, synagogue and family plot provided an entry into this personal retelling. Working with family photos, creating new images from my past and turning the camera on myself, I found the means to evoke, reinterpret and address unanswered questions born from early imprints that were buried long ago."
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Brett Foraker began his career as a painter before turning to photography and filmmaking. All of his projects are imbued with a lyrical and at times surreal point of view. As well as being an in-demand director and screenwriter, Foraker has been working on several portfolios of abstract and experimental photography. These are presented here for the first time.
Exclusive Interview with Tatiana Wills
Over the course of her multifaceted career, Wills ran the photo department at a notable entertainment agency in Los Angeles. While spearheading guerrilla marketing campaigns, her longing to be a part of a burgeoning art community was reignited, and she embarked on a personal project about the outsider art scene of the early aughts. She has photographed the likes of Shepard Fairey, Mister Cartoon, Gabrielle Bell, David Choe, Saber One, and Molly Crabapple. Other series in her vast repertoire include notable dancers and choreographers Kyle Abraham, Lucinda Childs, Jacob Jonas, and Michaela Taylor, along with a multitude of dance artists, all of which is inspired through a lifetime of documenting her daughter, Lily, and witnessing her journey to become a professional ballerina.
Exclusive Interview with  Charles Lovell
Charles Muir Lovell has long been passionate about photographing people within their cultures. Upon moving to New Orleans in 2008, he began documenting the city's second line parades, social aid and pleasure clubs, jazz funerals, and brass bands, capturing and preserving for posterity a unique and vibrant part of Louisiana's rich cultural heritage.
Discover ART.co, a New Tool for Art Collectors
Eric Bonjour has been investing as a business angel in the Silicon Valley while building his personal art collection of contemporary art. After obtaining the Art, Law and Business master’s degree at Christie’s Education in 2020, he founded ART.co to fill the secondary market gap. We asked him a few questions about his new powerful tool for Art Collectors.
Exclusive Interview with  Charlie Lieberman
Charlie Lieberman is a photographer and cinematographer based in Southern California. Best known for his work on the TV show, Heroes, Lieberman has also been developing a body of photographic work since the 1960s. His current practice seeks out humble landscapes, avoiding the iconic in an effort to impart a sense of memory, contemplation, and awe. Lieberman is currently an Active Member of The American Society of Cinematographers.
Exclusive Interview with  Diana Cheren Nygren
Diana Cheren Nygren is a fine art photographer from Boston, Massachusetts. Her work explores the relationship of people to their physical environment and landscape as a setting for human activity. Her photographs address serious social questions through a blend of documentary practice, invention, and humor.
Exclusive Interview with  Castro Frank
Castro Frank is a Los Angeles based visual artist who has translated his personal experiences of growing up in the San Fernando Valley into a signature journalistic and candid approach to photography.
Exclusive Interview with Emerald Arguelles
Emerald Arguelles is a photographer and editor based in Savannah, GA. As a young visual artist, Emerald has become an internationally recognized photographer through her explorations and capturing of Black America.
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