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Max Yavno
Photographer Max Yavno at the G. Ray Hawkins Gallery, West Hollywood, 1980s. Photo by Chris Gulker
Max Yavno
Max Yavno

Max Yavno

Country: United States
Birth: 1911 | Death: 1985

Max Yavno (1911–1985) was a photographer who specialized in street scenes, especially in Los Angeles and San Francisco, California. The son of Russian immigrants, Yavno was born in New York on April 26, 1911. He had one sister. He was married at age 19 and divorced three years later. He died in April 1985 of complications resulting from a fall in a shower. Yavno worked as a Wall Street messenger while attending City College of New York at night. He attended the graduate school of political economics at Columbia University and worked in the Stock Exchange before becoming a social worker in 1935. He did photography for the Works Progress Administration from 1936 to 1942. He was president of the Photo League in 1938 and 1939. Yavno was in the U.S. Air Force from 1942 to 1945, after which he moved to San Francisco and began specializing in urban-landscape photography. History professor Constance B. Schulz said of him: For financial reasons he worked as a commercial advertising photographer for the next twenty years (1954–75), creating finely crafted still lifes that appeared in Vogue and Harper's Bazaar. He returned to artistic landscape photography in the 1970s, when his introspective approach found a more appreciative audience. Funding from the National Endowment for the Arts enabled him to travel to Egypt and Israel in 1979. He also captured a pre-Dodgers Chavez Ravine, a giant plaster leg on top of a building in in West Los Angeles and a "nostalgic" shot of a cable car being turned around at Powell and Market streets in San Francisco. His noted photograph of a crowd watching "sun-worshipping body builders at Muscle Beach in Venice" sold at auction in 1984 for almost $4,000. He said he had spent three Sundays at the beach before the subjects "stopped flexing for his camera and resumed posing for each other." His obituary in the Los Angeles Times said that: Melrose Avenue photo gallery owner G. Ray Hawkins, who represented Yavno and exhibited his works, called him a "social documentarian" and noted that he had "a very special ability for combining composition and content while capturing his social vignettes." Photographer Edward Steichen selected twenty of Yavno's prints for the permanent collection at New York's Museum of Modern Art in 1950, and the next year Yavno won a Guggenheim fellowship.
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Debbie Miracolo
United States
1953
Debbie Miracolo is a photo-based artist interested in transition and passage of time. A former graphic designer with a fine art education, she creates inventive images with a sharp attention to detail and composition, often with a generous sprinkling of emotion and whimsy. She attributes her outlook to memories of an introverted childhood infused with make-believe worlds and storybooks. By transforming rather than documenting truth, her interpretations of humanity, nature, and train travel serve as seductive invitations to linger, question, and weave a story of one's own. Growing up as an only child in a home with her European parents and grandmother made her childhood reality different from that of her friends. She was introverted, shy, and intimidated by the world around her, but found that creating art alleviated some of the loneliness she felt and helped her to express her feelings. By the time she finished high school she had become skilled at drawing and painting. At Rochester Institute of Technology she earned a BFA, studying printmaking, photography, and art history, and later moved to New York City to pursue her artistic dreams. There she began a 15-year career as a graphic designer in the busy publishing and advertising industries. With the birth of her two sons and subsequent move to a Victorian house in a suburban New York town, she shifted all of her energy, diving into motherhood, and for several years the creative spirit within her lay patiently dormant. As most artists know however, that spirit never truly leaves, and as her children approached adolescence she could sense it regaining strength. Feeling drawn to photography once again, Debbie made the decision to revisit the medium as an art form. She began taking classes and workshops at the International Center of Photography, gaining mastery of the craft and honing her own personal vision. From there, there was no turning back, and she has been making and focusing on her art ever since. Debbie's work has been published, notably on the cover of Geo Wissen Magazine and most recently, in F-Stop Magazine. Her images have been exhibited in a number of galleries in New York City, Boston, St. Petersburg, Fl. and Middlebury, Vt. as well as online media. Imagined Moments from the Porch It was a bewildering, absurd world I found myself in during the first chaotic months of the Covid-19 outbreak. Through incongruous juxtapositions, metaphor and a bit of whimsy, these photo composites of my neighbors portray the surreal, confused and off-kilter feeling I had then, and which still lingers today. With many of us sheltering in place, pedestrian traffic had increased remarkably in my quiet town. People paraded by on the street, some of whom I'd never seen before; young and old, parents with children, and more and more dogs as the weeks went by. I began to photograph what I observed from the steps of my front porch and, over a period of four spring and summer months, the project evolved. The idea to reconstruct the photographs came to me when I needed to switch out a person, and with that one manipulation it became clear that I would take the series in a more imaginative direction. As the virus numbers increased and the news became more alarming by the day, I digitally rearranged my characters in more unlikely ways. It was as if my wish to change reality and my doubts about what to believe were coming through in my images. Imagined Moments from the Porch is a kind of theatrical narrative made up of fictional scenes I compose to depict my off-beat version of these dark, confusing, and upside-down days.
Vee Speers
Australia
Vee Speers, an Australian artist, has lived and worked in Paris since 1990. After moving to Paris from Sydney, she began exhibiting her first series Bordello , followed by Parisians, The Birthday Party, Immortal, Thirteen and most recently Bulletproof, engaging viewers with the dramatic tension of her portraits and her unique pallet of colour.Speers has exhibited in London, Paris, Miami, NYC, Los Angeles, Atlanta, China, Ireland, Singapore, Japan, Italy, Tunisia, Brazil, Mexico, Australia, Sweden, Norway and the United States, and her work has been published on the covers of Fotomagazin Germany, Zoom, Public Art, Photo International, Images Magazine, A Conceptual Magazine, The British Journal of Photography, The Sunday Times UK, Russian Photo and Video, Swedish Photo with features in Zoom, Art Investor, Germany, Shots UK, Photo District News NYC, Photographica Tokyo, EYEMAZING, American Black + White, Milk, Fotomagazin, Chinese Photography, Reponses Photo, French Photo, Bloom, Arte Al Limite, etc.Her books ‘Bordello’ and ‘The Birthday Party’ are available worldwide.All about Vee Speers:AAP: When did you realize you wanted to be a photographer?I’ve always thought photography was magical as my father had his own darkroom. When I went to art school, I realized that the instant way of capturing an image suited my impatient personality.AAP: Where did you study photography?QCA, Brisbane, Australia AAP:Do you have a mentor or role model?Not really. I don’t like to follow.AAP: What or who inspires you?The cinema is a constant source of inspiration. A story is told, and the way it is filmed can transport you to another time or place. Still images can be the same.AAP: How could you describe your style?Playful, beautiful, strange, melancholic, obvious and unexpected.AAP: Do you have a favorite photograph or series?The Birthday Party and Bulletproof This is two series photographed 6 years apart using the same children.AAP: What kind of gear do you use?Polaroid film and medium format cameras.AAP: Do you spend a lot of time editing your images? For what purpose?No, I know right away when I’ve taken a good shot. Or if I haven’t.AAP: What advice would you give a young photographer?Know what you want and don’t be distracted from your goal. Don’t listen to what anybody else says.AAP: What mistake should a young photographer avoid?Accepting to shoot anything that will compromise his or her personal journey.AAP: An idea, a sentence, a project you would like to share?Don’t be afraid.AAP: What are your projects?Portraits, portraits and more portraits.AAP: Your best memory as a photographer?There are so many. Every time I take a great image, I feel so excited, like everything has lined up perfectly. These are the best memories.AAP:The compliment that touched you most?A woman once told me that my work had changed her life. AAP:If you were someone else who would it be?Diane Arbus, with all those wonderful and strange people to photograph.AAP: Your favorite photo book?Lord of the Flies by William Golding.AAP: Anything else you would like to share?Always be kind. You can change the world, one smile at a time.
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