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Gregori Maiofis
Gregori Maiofis

Gregori Maiofis

Country: Russia
Birth: 1970

Gregori Maiofis was born in 1970 in Leningrad, Soviet Union, now St Petersburg, Russia. His grandparents, Solomon Maiofis (1911-1968) and Olga Ugriomova (1913-2009) were architects, father, Mikhail Maiofis (b. 1939) is a famous book illustrator. In 1987-1989 studied at the Academy of Arts (the Institute of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture n.a. Y. Repin) in St Petersburg at the graphic arts department. In 1991 his family moved to Los Angeles, California where he lived until 1995. Currently lives and works in St Petersburg, Russia.

Gregori Maiofis has had solo exhibitions across Russia, Europe, and the U.S. since 1993. His work is in many museum collections including the following: Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Multimedia Art Museum, Moscow, The State Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, Moscow, Museum of modern Art, Moscow, Novy Museum, St Petersburg, Russia, National Gallery of Slovakia, Bratislava, Museum of Modern Art, Rio de Janeiro.

Source: gregorimaiofis.com


Gregori Maiofis (Russia, b. 1970) comes from a family lineage of artists and architects including his father, the renowned graphic artist, Mikhail Maiofis, who nurtured artistry early in his son's life. Maiofis is a classically trained printmaker and graphic artist who began his first photographic projects in 2000. Printmaking is still an integral part of the artist's oeuvre, which following experimentation with gelatin silver prints and several alternative processes, led to his now prominent use of bromoil and bromoil transfer printing. Common among the Pictorialist masters of the early 20th Century, the bromoil process allows the artist unique aesthetic abilities to manually control the color, tone and texture of the final picture on various surfaces.

In the series Proverbs (Monograph available, Nazraeli Press, 2014) the artist uses proverb texts of various origins and visually interprets and conceptualizes them in whimsical staged compositions. Often working with trained animals including elephants, monkeys and predominantly a bear named Funt, Maiofis creates a new reality of interplay between human and animal. Several of the prints on view depict a dialogue of ballet between a Russian ballerina and the bear who appears thoroughly enthused by the performance before him.

Source: The Eye of Photography


In his work, Maiofis seems to follow the well-worn formulas of how to make “real art, art not for pleasure” but one does get certain pleasure all the same. That pleasure comes from vibrancy of the works’ surface, be it painting or photography.

Maiofis has enriched his photography with his painting experience of how to “saturate the surface” of his works so that the “depth” of space in his photos is produced by an illusion of sombre depth like in Baroque painting rather than by multiplanarity of composition. In the photo series Fables he turned to the fables written by Ivan Krylov dubbed Russian La Fontaine in the latter half of the 18th and the earlier half of the 19th centuries. In conformity with the Soviet tradition those fables were for a long time interpreted as a reading matter for children. The artist refutes this view and creates a photographic semblance of space which, in complexity, is commensurable with the fables’ rich associative and semantic content. Here, he uses various forms of photography, combining collage, montage, and painting on photography, and using prints to build the scene for a new still.

In his subsequent works, Gregori Maiofis mocks at artistic erudition itself by looking at “simple truths” crammed into a freshman’s head in the history-of-art class. As a rule, people don’t stop to think about the hidden meaning of objects habitually used in art. Maiofis subjects such cliches to ridicule, which brings about sudden recognition of how complex the habitual is. He provokes this recognition not unlike a practicing painter who would recognize that classical photography is the most expressive pictorial means known to him. He thus creates photography involving text that cannot be fully narrated elsewhere.

Source: De Santos Gallery


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More Great Photographers To Discover

Charles Muir Lovell
United States
1952
Born in Chicago, Charles Muir Lovell lives and works in New Orleans. He holds an MFA in photography from Central Washington University and a BS in photography from East Texas State University. He began photographing as a young man traveling throughout Europe and South America. He continued his photography practice during his over 20 years as a museum director and curator, a career that took him from the Pacific Northwest to the Southwest and Deep South, everywhere finding distinctive cultures and photography subjects. 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, and brass bands, capturing and preserving for posterity a unique and vibrant part of Louisiana's rich cultural heritage. An earlier series based on religious processions in Mexico, El Favor de los Santos, was a Rockefeller Foundation–supported international traveling exhibition and resulted in a book published in 1999 by the University of New Mexico Press, Art and Faith in Mexico. Lovell's photographs have been exhibited nationally and internationally, are found in several permanent collections, including the New Orleans Museum of Art and the Historic New Orleans Collection, and can be seen at www.charleslovell.com and on Instagram @charleslovellart. He received the 2020 Michael P. Smith Documentary Photographer of the Year Award from the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities. Lovell has also developed a series of photographs called Language of the Streets he began while an artist-in-residence at the Emily Harvey Foundation in Venice, Italy, in 2006–2007. He returned to Venice for a second residency in 2015 and was scheduled to return in 2021 until coronavirus shut everything down. He has continued this series in Naples, Paris, Mexico City, New York and New Orleans. Statement "As a young man, I traveled through Europe and Latin America with my Nikon, living as one of the family with friends in the countries I visited. My travels hugely influenced my work, opening my eyes to how other people lived. As a visual artist, I gravitated toward photographing people within their cultures, trying to capture on film something true about their lives. College and grad school took me to small-town Texas (Commerce) and Washington (Ellensburg), and a long museum career took me to the Pacific Northwest (Tacoma), Southwest (Yuma, Ariz.; Las Cruces and Taos, N.M.) and Deep South (Greenville and Greensboro, N.C., and New Orleans); everywhere I found distinctive cultures and compelling photography subjects. While living in New Mexico, I traveled in Mexico photographing Holy Week religious processions, foreshadowing my current and most significant photographic project: documenting and preserving New Orleans' unique second line parade culture. Upon moving to New Orleans, I became fascinated by the pageantry and celebratory nature of the city's African American cultural tradition of second line parades. I was captivated by their visual richness, their ritual and history, and how they express a vibrant cultural and artistic heritage, intensely alive yet intimately connected to the past. The massive amount of industry that the social aid and pleasure clubs invest in creating their magnificent costumes, decorations, baskets, umbrellas and banners-truly a labor of love-blew me away. Documenting these visually stunning parades quickly became a passion-and a commitment. For more than 10 years, I've followed the weekly parades, taking tens of thousands of color photographs. I've formed friendly relationships with members of the social aid and pleasure clubs that stage the parades, allowing me behind-the-scenes access, resulting in distinctive photographs. My color photographs vividly capture the paraders and brass bands in their elaborate custom-designed, hand-sewn costumes, and the dancing parade followers, revealing the festive mood of these sacred moments of cultural celebration, and preserving them for posterity. I take great care to portray these spirited-and spiritual-ceremonial moments honestly, sensitively and respectfully. In the 20th century other American photographers-notably Ralston Crawford, Lee Friedlander and Michael P. Smith - also documented this cultural tradition, but in black and white. My use of color lets me capture not just the atmosphere of the parades but also their incredible vividness. Formerly I used traditional photographic techniques, but now I embrace new digital methods, bringing to the subject a fresh approach for the 21st century. Taken as a whole, my photographs capture the rich cultural history of second-line parades, a significant artistic and ceremonial tradition deeply rooted in New Orleans' African American culture and unparalleled elsewhere in the United States. I hope that my photographs will increase awareness of the importance of preserving second-line parade culture and contribute to the understanding of Louisiana and its culture, which has sometimes suffered from scholarly neglect and seemingly insurmountable cultural and economic challenges. Another photographic series I have pursued over the years is Language of the Streets, which began taking shape in 2007 during an artist residency at the Emily Harvey Foundation in Venice, Italy. After working in large-format silver gelatin and color photography for over 20 years, I began exploring digital photography using a small-format digital camera. Upon my return to New Mexico, I learned digital printing and exhibited my Venice work at a solo exhibition at the Taos Center for the Arts in 2008. My residency in Venice was extremely influential in the work I began doing after moving to New Orleans in 2008. I began using a medium-format digital camera to make higher-resolution color photographs. Since 2009, I have fully transitioned to a digital practice. I make my own prints on an Epson inkjet printer and work with professional printers on larger works. From the experience of taking street photographs in Venice, I continued my series Language of the Streets in New Orleans, as well as in Naples, the Amalfi Coast, Paris, Mexico City and New York City. In 2015, I was invited back to the Emily Harvey Foundation, where I designed and presented an accordion artist's book, or leporello, featuring the Venice series of photos. Off the Street: New Orleans and Venice, part of the Language of the Streets series, investigates similarities and differences between the two cities, which share a striking mixture of high and low, old and new, closeness to and dependence upon water, a vital tourism sector, a proliferation of graffiti and outdoor art alongside unparalleled historic architecture. My street photographs from the two cities explore back streets not seen by tourists frequenting commercial settings like the French Quarter or Plaza San Marco. I strive to capture the texture of the cities' largely unseen back streets. Both cities also have world-renowned contemporary art competitions: the Venice Biennale and the triennial Prospect New Orleans. Works from my Venice series were exhibited alongside photographs from Mexico City in 2016 at the Contemporary Art Center, New Orleans, in Experiments in Anarchitecture, curated by Andrea Andersson, and in 2017, works from the Venice series were included in Project 387, curated by Berty Skuber at the Archivio Emily Harvey in Venice. " -- Charles Muir Lovell
Lucas Foglia
United States
1983
Lucas Foglia grew up on a small family farm in New York and currently lives in San Francisco. His work focuses on the intersection of human belief systems and the natural world. He recently published his third book of photographs, Human Nature, with Nazraeli Press. Foglia exhibits internationally, and his prints are in notable collections including International Center of Photography, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and Victoria and Albert Museum. He photographs for magazines including Bloomberg Businessweek, National Geographic Magazine, and The New York Times Sunday Magazine. Foglia also collaborates with non-profit organizations including Sierra Club, The Nature Conservancy, and Winrock International. Source: lucasfoglia.com A Natural Order I grew up with my extended family on a small farm in the suburbs of New York City. While malls and supermarkets developed around us, we farmed and canned our food, and heated our house with wood. We bartered the plants we grew for everything from shoes to dental work. But, while my family followed many principles of the back-to-the-land movement, by the time I was eighteen we owned three tractors, four cars, and five computers. This mixing of the modern world into our otherwise rustic life made me curious to see what a completely self-sufficient way of living might look like. From 2006 through 2010, I traveled throughout the southeastern United States befriending, photographing, and interviewing a network of people who left cities and suburbs to live off the grid. Motivated by environmental concerns, religious beliefs, or the global economic recession, they chose to build their homes from local materials, obtain their water from nearby springs, and hunt, gather, or grow their own food. All the people in my photographs aspire to be self-sufficient, but no one I found lives in complete isolation from the mainstream. Many have websites that they update using laptop computers, and cell phones that they charge on car batteries or solar panels. They do not wholly reject the modern world. Instead, they step away from it and choose the parts that they want to bring with them. Frontcountry The American West is famous for being wild, even though its rural areas have been settled for generations. The regions I photographed between are some of the least populated in the United States. In rural Nevada, there are still twice as many cows as there are people. While the ranchers I met were struggling to survive the economic recession and years of drought, almost anyone could get a job at the mines. Coal, oil, natural gas, and gold were booming. Ranching and mining in the American West have had parallel histories and a common landscape. Cowboys and ranching culture are the chosen representatives of the region. Men on horseback ride through countless movies. Their images are printed on license plates and tourist souvenirs. But, the biggest profits are in mining. Though miners haven't found any raw nuggets for generations, the American West remains one of the largest gold producing regions in the world. Companies are digging increasingly bigger holes to find smaller deposits, leaving pits where there once were mountains. When I first visited, I expected cowboys to be nomads, herding animals on the edge of wilderness. I quickly learned that most ranchers have homes with mortgages. I also learned that all mines close eventually. When a mine closes, the land is scarred. The company leaves and people have to move. Miners are the modern-day nomads, following jobs across the country.
Madame d’Ora
Austria
1881 | † 1963
Dora Philippine Kallmus, also known as Madame D'Ora or Madame d'Ora, was an Austrian fashion and portrait photographer. Born in Vienna, Austria, in 1881 to a Jewish family, into a privileged background and coming of age amidst the creative and intellectual atmosphere of fin-de-siècle Vienna, Kallmus was extremely well cultured. Her father was a lawyer. Her sister, Anna, was born in 1878 and deported in 1941 during the Holocaust. Although her mother, Malvine (née Sonnenberg), died when she was young, her family remained an important source of emotional and financial support throughout her career. At age 23 while on a trip to the Côte d’Azur, she purchased her first camera, a Kodak box camera. She became interested in the photography field while assisting the son of the painter Hans Makart, and in 1905 she was the first woman to be admitted to theory courses at the Graphische Lehr- und Versuchsanstalt (Graphic Training Institute), which in 1908 granted women access to other courses in photography. That same year she became a member of the Association of Austrian photographers. She was the first woman photographer in Vienna to open her own studio and in May 1906, she was listed in the commercial register as a photographer for the first time. She established her studio called the Atelier d’Ora or Madame D'Ora-Benda with Arthur Benda. The name was based on the pseudonym "Madame d'Ora", which she used professionally. Self-styled simply as d’Ora, she initially took portraits of friends and members from her social circle. In the autumn of 1909, an exhibition of her work received a lively response from the press. Critics both praised the artistic style of her portraits and emphasized the prominent individuals who streamed in to view the show. Over the course of her lifetime, d’Ora turned her lens on many artists, including Josephine Baker, Colette, Gustav Klimt, Tamara de Lempicka, and Pablo Picasso, among others. Alongside these commissions, she also photographed members of the Habsburg family and Viennese aristocracy, the Rothschild family, and other prominent cultural figures and politicians. D’Ora had close ties to avant-garde artistic circles and captured members of the Expressionist dance movement with her lens, including Anita Berber and Sebastian Droste. Fashion and glamor subjects were another important mainstay of her business. She regularly photographed Wiener Werkstätte fashion models and the designer Emilie Flöge of the Schwestern Flöge salon wearing artistic reform dresses. When d’Ora moved to Paris in 1925, she shifted her focus to fashion, covering the couture scene and leading lights of the period until 1940. She befriended key figures, such as the French milliner Madame Agnès and the Spanish designer Cristóbal Balenciaga, as well as the top fashion magazine editors of the day. She also helped create and sustain glamorous images for a variety of celebrities, including Cecil Beaton, Maurice Chevalier, and Colette. When the Nazis seized control of Paris in 1940, she was forced to close her studio and flee. She spent the war years in a semi-underground existence living in Ardèche in the southeast of France. Her sister Anna Kallmus, along with other family and friends, died in the Chełmno concentration camp. After World War II, d’Ora returned to Paris, profoundly affected by personal losses. While she lacked an elegant studio in Paris, d’Ora’s lasting connections to wealthy clients remained and many of them returned to her. While she accepted portrait commissions, mostly for financial stability, she also pushed into new, sometimes darker directions. Around 1948, she embarked on an astonishing series of photographs in displaced persons or refugee camps, which was commissioned by the United Nations. From around 1949 to 1958, d’Ora worked on a project, which she called “my big final work.” She visited numerous slaughterhouses in Paris, and amid the pools of blood and deathly screams, she stood in an elegant suit and a hat photographing the butchered animals hundreds of times. She died on 28 October 1963. Four years prior, she had sustained injuries after being hit by a motorcycle in Paris, resulting in her returning to Vienna.Source: Wikipedia
Enri Canaj
Albania
1980
Enri Canaj was born in Tirana, Albania, in 1980. He spent his early childhood there and moved with his family to Greece in 1991, immediately after the opening of the borders. He is based in Athens and covers stories in Greece and the Balkans. He studied photography at the Leica Academy in Athens. In 2007 he took part in a British Council project on migration, attending a year-long workshop with Magnum photographer Nikos Economopoulos. Since 2008, he has been a freelance photographer for major publications such as Time Lightbox, CNN Photo, New York Magazine, MSNBC Photography, The Wall Street Journal, Courrier International, Vice Magazine, The Financial Times, Newsweek, Paris Match, Le Monde Diplomatique, sample of his work has been exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary Art of Thessaloniki personal exhibition, HANOVER LUMIX Festival, Arles Festival, Benaki Museum Athens, Museum of Photography Thesaloniki, BOZAR Center for Fine Arts, Cultural Foundation of the National Bank of Greece in Athens, at the Bilgi Santral in Istanbul, the European Parliament in Brussels and the Athens Photo Festival, New Delhi Foto Festival.Source: Magnum Photos In 2010, statistics stated that some 90% of all illegal border crossings into the EU take place in Greek territory, with immigrants coming mostly from the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia, a reflection of the geopolitical conflicts currently ravaging each region, and the influx continues. These people are common a sight in Athens, as western tourists take part in the cultural tourism that keeps this city alive; peddling cheap products made in China – a crude image of capitalism eating its own tail. And yet, despite the ease with which this situation might be covered in bursts by the mainstream press, Enri Canaj’s work has consistently surrounded themes of migration within the Balkans, and more specifically the experience of immigrants in Greece, suggesting a dedication to a cause, rather than a newsworthy story. Since 2007, when he took part a yearlong project on migration with Magnum photographer Nikos Economopoulos entitled the City Streets Project organized by the British Council, this focus has become one of the key aspects to his work. And despite his professional status as a photojournalist, Canaj’s images reveal a more personal relationship to the situation of the migrant on the ground, given that Canaj himself was an immigrant who came to Greece from his native Albania in 1991 at the age of eleven. Having experienced first hand what it’s like to exist on the outside looking in, Canaj translates what he sees, and sends it back out into the world so as to reflect a sense of humanity in the lives of those so often treated as less than.Source: Aint-Bad In June 2019 Enri Canaj became a Magnum Photos associate. At-present he is based in Athens and covers stories in Greece, the Balkans, west & north Europe focusing on the migration matter.
Paul Caponigro
United States
1932
Paul Caponigro (born December 7, 1932), is an American photographer from Boston, Massachusetts. He started having interests in photography at age 13. However, he also had a strong passion for music and began to study music at Boston University College of Music in 1950, before eventually deciding to focus on studying photography at the California School of Fine Art. Caponigro studied with Minor White and has been awarded two Guggenheim Fellowships and three grants from the NEA. His best-known photographs are Running White Deer and Galaxy Apple. His subject matter includes landscape and still life, taking an interest in natural forms. He is best known for his landscape works and for the mystical and spiritual qualities of his work. He is often regarded as one of America's foremost landscape photographers. Caponigro's first one-man exhibition took place at the George Eastman House in 1958. In the 1960s Caponigro taught photography part-time at Boston University while consulting the Polaroid Corporation on various technical research. Caponigro lived in El Rancho de San Sebastian during his time in New Mexico from 1973-1993. In 1971, his work was exhibited in group exhibition "Le Groupe Libre Expression : Expo 5", presented by Jean-Claude Gautrand, at Les Rencontres d'Arles festival, France. Caponigro's work is included in the collections of the Guggenheim, Whitney, Norton Simon Museum, New Mexico Museum of Art and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. He was awarded The Royal Photographic Society's Centenary Medal and Honorary Fellowship (HonFRPS) in recognition of a sustained, significant contribution to the art of photography in 2001. Caponigro is a dedicated pianist and considers his training with music to be essential to his photographic imagery. His son, John Paul Caponigro, is a digital photographic artist.Source: Wikipedia Paul Caponigro is one of America’s foremost landscape photographers. While he became interested in photography at age of thirteen, he also had a strong passion for music; he studied at Boston University College of Music in 1950 before deciding to focus on photography at the California School of Fine Art, where Ansel Adams had established one of the first photography programs in the United States. Despite the shift from music to photography early in his artistic career, Caponigro remains a dedicated piano player who believes that his musical training and insight influences his photographic imagery. Caponigro is best known for his interest in natural forms, landscapes, and still lives. His subjects include Stonehenge and other Celtic megaliths of England and Ireland; the temples, shrines and sacred gardens of Japan; and the deep mystical woodland of New England.Source: International Center of Photography Paul Caponigro, renowned as one of America’s most significant master photographers is known for his captivating and mystical landscape images. His exquisite silver gelatin prints depict images of nature, including flowers, cloud formations, and forest settings. His work forms a visual bridge between the material world of physical forms and the living spirit behind them.Source: Jackson Fine Art
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