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Ragnar B. Varga
Ragnar B. Varga
Ragnar B. Varga

Ragnar B. Varga

Country: Norway
Birth: 1974

Ragnar B. Varga is a Hungarian-born Norwegian photographer with a passion for emotive storytelling through his photography. He spent several years discovering the world, living in Hungary, England, Spain as a freelance photographer and even sailing around the globe as a cruise ship photo manager before returning to Norway. The energy and character of all these places have profoundly influenced his art. His passion for photography revolves around contemplating human connection through metaphors found in natural spaces. The photographs are a contemplation of the world around us. They slow time just enough to capture the narratives and anecdotes that can be found in a moment of stillness amidst an otherwise chaotic world. Ragnar currently lives in Bergen, Norway.
 

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Lynn Karlin
United States
Lynn Karlin's move to Maine after 13 years as a successful commercial photographer in New York City brought her back to her love of fine-art photography. Growing up in Queens, New York, Lynn graduated from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. Her career took off when she was chosen as the first woman staff photographer for Women's Wear Daily and W, where, day and night, she photographed the rich and famous. Back then, her portraits featured everyone from trendy fashion designers to celebrities. She went on to freelance for the New York Times Magazine, House Beautiful, New York Magazine, Country Living, and other major publications. When Lynn left NYC in 1983 for a new life on a farm in Maine, she helped run a market garden while co-authoring, with Stanley Joseph, the now-classic Maine Farm: A Year of Country Life (Random House, 1991). She also took on assignments for garden magazines, winning awards world-wide. Her life after the farm led her down yet another road photographing the best-selling Gardens Maine Style (Down East Books, 2001), with writer Rebecca Sawyer-Fay. Then, in 2008, after seeing an amazingly beautiful cauliflower at a local farmers' market, Lynn began photographing and styling a series of still-lifes called The Pedestal Series which celebrate vegetables by elevating them to a place of honor-on a pedestal. Thirteen years later she moved from produce back to people after spotting a remarkable young man named Paul, whose ruffled hair and strong features led her in an entirely new direction: Stories in Profile, a series of portraits that have won international competitions and currently show in galleries and private collections from New York to Paris. Stories in Profile Lynn chooses her Stories in Profile subjects for their distinctive features. In these portraits, she celebrates the contours of the face, the qualities of hair, and other prominent traits that render each subject simultaneously elegant and mysterious. Lynn uses natural directional lighting in her studio to highlight topography, creating texture and dynamics and giving her work the painterly feel of 17thcentury master painters. This soft, directional light has an unpredictability that is energizing and keeps her alert and focused. While shooting, Lynn concentrates on design, form, light, and negative space as she reaches for a story to emerge through the profile of her human subjects. As a photographer, the more limited constraints of a profile are challenging. One senses a person's courage and vulnerabilities. She seeks to capture a personality distilled to its strongest form. Rarely do we look at others, or ourselves, from this side view. Each profile is a discovery as she sets out to record the moment when her subject's inner self emerges, direct and stunning.
Piotr Zbierski
Piotr Zbierski studied photography at National Film School. Author of three individual exhibitions (White Elephants, Here, Love has to be reinvented), a participant in collective exhibitions and publications including Photokina and Lab East. He presented his works in many countries like Poland, Germany, Portugal, Russia, Slovakia. As well as magazines (Shots Magazine, Ninja Mag, Archivo Zine, Die Nacht, Gup Magazine). In 2012 he won the prestigious prize for young photographer Leica Oscar Barnack Newcomer Award. His work was nominated to Deutsche Börse Photography Prize and has been shortlisted in many other prizes (Les Nuits Photographiques 2012, Terry O’Neill Award) for his series Pass by me. His works has been shown at Rencontres Internationales de la Photographie in Arles 2012 and are in collection of Kiyosato Museum of Photographic Arts. He lives and works in Lodz. About Love has to be reinvented "The series 'Love has to be reinvented' began in 2012 and its starting point was not an image but my personal experience, which changed my view and redefined my opinion on many issues. At the same time, it is neither my diary nor any personal document; recently such a name is given to whatever cannot be named. Titles of my series are just mottos for my creative works at their particular stages. Words are created by letters in the alphabet, which is a matter of convention depending on the culture. I build my series out of emotions, which are a biological fact, they are unquestionable. The key objective I identify for myself is the availability of a feeling. I really want the person looking at my photographs to experience something more and not just say whether photographs are good or bad. Photography does not begin with an image, it does not end with an image, either; I put on authenticity, and not on originality. An image is a form of communication of a higher art form, which is life itself. I took the title from the French poet, Artur Rimbaud, who wrote these words and expressed criticism of France and times he lived in about a hundred years ago. I returned to these words because I think the world has not changed so much, and I criticize a contemporary world, which has gone in the wrong direction, in my opinion. And I do not mean people but structures built around the castle, which the book hero has never reached. A major objective of my work is to get through to the essence of human emotions, to their purest form with no additions, no gadgets. To show a man in the way he has been created, a man from a primeval village. In a contemporary world, such an image may be created using a certain type of imagination because we are very far away from such a status quo; therefore, my work is reality-based but it is not the reality itself. It is an attempt to invoke and depict certain human impulses with full acceptance of their inherent contradictions. Like love: it is as full of adoration as hatred; a day could not exist without a night. I will finish this three-year series in spring 2015 during the total solar eclipse, which can be observed in Iceland. It is a characteristic clamp for my creative work in which I start from a personal, private and single experience at the very beginning, and come through an image to a part, which is common for us all, and independent of me. A macro-scale has its reflection in a micro scale while a normal scale, in which we live in, is its pulsating reflection. To follow theories of contemporary scientists, only a ballet dancer may be smaller, and on a macro-scale - a multiple universe. Life is a film directed by the universe while the world is the largest accumulation of sensually available metaphors, a secret in secret or a metaphor in a metaphor. Rimbaud has also written that eternity is skies mixed with water; quite right: black and white, grey on grey; in a child's drawing huge blue and objectively sacred transparency. In my opinion, there is one reality and infinitely many visions. To sum it up as simple as I can: if the world is a tree growing more and more branches (metaphors), then life is the fruit. While love is the juice of various tastes in the same way as the resin is what a tree uses for weeping. All this happens in the surroundings of eternal gases where toxic ones come away leaving space to healthy ones. Rootstocks and roots grow expanding in the same way. Who are people then?Undoubtedly, they are savages from a primeval village who have learned what a real taste of love is: they adored each other at the expense of "god's" hatred, they are Adam and Eve. It is only owing to such a full image of love that new generations could come into existence. I also invite to see the video work titled "Lodz", in which I develop motifs I have earlier discussed. Another continuing video is in progress. The bottomless source is RGB without DNA." - Piotr Zbierski
Jaromír Funke
Czech Republic
1896 | † 1945
Jaromír Funke (1896–1945) was a Modernist photographer and a leading figure in Czech photography during the 1920s and 30s. He was born in Skute? to a wealthy family. He studied medicine, law, and philosophy at the Charles University in Prague and the University of Bratislava but did not graduate and instead turned to photography. Funke was recognized for his play of “photographic games” with mirrors, lights, and insignificant objects, such as plates, bottles, or glasses, to create unique works. His still life’s created abstract forms and played with shadows looking similar to photograms. His work was thought to be logical, original and expressive in nature. A typical feature of Funke’s work would be the "dynamic diagonal." By the 1920s, Funke had become an amateur photographer and began to experiment with constructivism, surrealism, poeticism, and expressionism. He created unconventional works as a form of “pure” photography instead of the traditional reminiscing of other mediums such as painting or sculpture. During his photography profession, Funke published editorials and critiques about photography. By 1922, Funke had become a skilled freelance photographer and two years later he, Josef Sudek and Adolf Schneeberger created the Czech Photographic Society. From 1931-1935, Funke headed the photography department at the School of Arts and Crafts in Bratislava. Soon after, Funke taught at the School of Graphic Art in Prague until 1944. Alongside Ladislav Sutha, the director of the previous school, Funke published Fotografie vidí povrch in 1935. While travelling, Funke became interested in politically engaged photography. Bad living was created during the time period of 1930-1931 and was a photographic series that dealt with the issues of poverty. Funke later became an editor of the journal Fotografický obzor (Photographic Horizons) for several years. He published a number of works including Od fotogrameuk emoci which is understood to be his manifesto. As travelling was limited during World War 2 in 1939, Funke photographed close to home in Louny, Prague and sometimes Kolin. On March 22, 1945 in Kolin, Funke required an immediate operation for intestine damage but the procedure could not be executed as it was during an air raid alarm and he died.Source: Wikipedia Jaromír Funke (1896–1945) studied medicine, law and philosophy at Charles University in Prague but did not graduate. Instead he concentrated on becoming a professional freelance photographer. By 1922 he was a leader of the young opposition movement in photography and a founder of the Czech Society of Photography (1924) whose mission was to create photography that would fulfil new social functions. In his work Funke managed to combine some of the leading trends in modernist European photography, uniting constructivism and functionalism with surrealism and social commentary, with traditional Czech aesthetics. His interest in modernist ideas led him to make clearly focused studies of simple objects. As the decade progressed, he turned to the production of carefully arranged still lifes emphasizing abstract form and the play of light and shadow. During this time he also produced several important series of photographs, including two inspired by the images of Eugène Atget: Reflexy (Reflections, 1929) and as trvá (Time Persists, 1930-34). Funke was also influential as a teacher, first at the School of Arts and Crafts, Bratislava (1931-34/35), which followed a Bauhaus-inspired curriculum, and then at the State School of Graphic Arts, Prague (1935-44). While in Bratislava, he became interested in social documentary photography and joined the leftist group Sociofoto, which was concerned with recording the living conditions of the poor. Throughout his career Funke published articles and critical reviews dealing with photography. From 1939-41 he worked with Josef Ehm to edit the magazine Fotografik obzor (Photographic Horizon).Source: Howard Greenberg Gallery
Esmeralda Ruiz
United States
Artist Statement: "My childhood was different then most. Growing up with nothing but artists was one thing, but having actually flat lined during a surgery after being diagnosed with a kidney infection changed my life forever. It wasn’t that it left me weak or prevented me from going outside and playing or even going to school with other children but the images that I saw when that moment occurred is what I strive to show in my work today. A wonderful world where the air was crisp and refreshing, with all of its flowers in bloom, my journey begins down a path with little yellow homes on each side. Beyond the path, a valley flowers appeared. On the right there were rocky mountains so enormous that clouds covered their midsection with their snow covered summits peering through. To my left the sound of the ocean was relentlessly crashing into a cliff. As I crossed my valley of flowers and ascended the cliff, I felt a cool yet, strong breeze off the ocean forcing me back. As I looked up into the vast skies above, I was overcome by the ever so omnipotent clouds with their glorious rays of sunlight beaming through. The feeling of leaping into the breeze and flying towards the light was more then overwhelming. Instead, I greeted it with a smile and made my way back to the valley. Relaxed, laying across its delicate wild flowers, my tranquil body curled up and fell into a deep sleep. Awaking to my mother at my bedside, disappointment overcame me with the realization that it was all just a dream. Weeks passed, the pain healed but my dream still reigned true. Numerous sketches and endless rants of my new world was all that was real. Having to transition from a world of such perfection to a life of obscurity seemed almost inconceivable. As such, a minor state of depression would set in as my life slowly began to drift back into its regular routine. During this time my only solace came from the amazing work found in books from various art movements and even my favorite childhood cartoons. However, as my healing process dragged on, much of what I know about color (and how I use it today) came from all the extra time spent in my parent’s studio. Watching them work and being surrounded by various mediums helped better understand art as a form of expression. This would inevitably forge my desire to show the world what I had experienced on that fateful day. As the years pass, my dream still lives within me. My thesis project has only driven my need to share my moment with the world in ways I never thought possible. After much soul searching and numerous critiques, I have come to the realization that my utopia isn’t just a dream; it is in the landscapes that have always surrounded me. Those three minutes had and will always have a tremendous impact on my life. If anything, I learned how fragile life is and to always appreciate the beautiful things in life. Photography has allowed me to show what stands out in my eyes by glorifying it in a photograph. It is the best way that I can communicate what I saw and what I felt at that particular moment. It is the bridge between my past and my present.Source: Esmeralda Ruiz Website
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