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Attila Ataner
Attila Ataner
Attila Ataner

Attila Ataner

Country: Canada/Turkey

I am of Turkish ancestry, but born in Svishtov, Bulgaria, a small town on the Danube river. During the 1980s, my parents and I lived in Triploi, Libya, where I attended an international school for the children of expats. There, I was introduced to photography by one of my all-time best, and favourite teachers. I have been an avid amateur photographer ever since. I currently live in Toronto, Canada, with my wife and two young children. I am formerly a practicing lawyer, however I recently returned to school to pursue a PhD degree in philosophy, with my focus being on environmental philosophy and legal and political theory. My current passion for photography, and the series of photos I have been working on more recently, is partly informed by my scholarly work on environmental issues. For instance, my series titled "Landscapes of Modernity" is an attempt to translate some of my philosophical ideas into a visual/photographic format.

Landscapes of Modernity
This series of phots is, in part, an attempt to translate some of my academic work on environmental philosophy into visual/photographic format, an effort to express my ideas through art rather than scholarship alone. My overall project aims to reflect on the contemporary experience of dwelling in extensively built-up, "artificial" spaces. Our ancestors lived in spaces pervaded by natural landscapes, by mountains, valleys, by open skies, and the like. They were surrounded by spontaneous, self-generating, self-sustaining (i.e., so-called "natural") entities. Conversely, consequent to modernity, our visual landscapes are now largely colonized by massive, cuboid, monolithic structures; and by constricted, disrupted or otherwise occluded skies. Above all, we have surrounded ourselves with a seemingly endless array of almost exclusively human-made constructs. This is the central contrast between modernity and the modes of dwelling of our ancestors. ... And here, in this modern moment, we find astounding beauty mixed with a certain apprehension, oppressiveness and brutality - for instance, as is exemplified by the staggering scale of the seemingly omnipresent and ever-expanding character of the structures that now envelop and enframe our lives. I hope my photos manage to capture this duality in the contemporary urban landscape.
 

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Ferdinando Scianna
Ferdinando Scianna (born 1943) is an Italian photographer. Scianna won the Prix Nadar in 1966 and became a full member of Magnum Photos in 1989. He has produced numerous books. Scianna took up photography while studying literature, philosophy and art history at the University of Palermo in the 1960s. He moved to Milan in 1966 and started working as a photographer for L'Europeo in 1967, becoming a journalist there in 1973. Scianna wrote on politics for Le Monde diplomatique and on literature and photography for La Quinzaine Littéraire. He first joined Magnum Photos in 1982, becoming a full member in 1989. He took up fashion photography in the late 1980s. His first work, in 1987, was to photograph Marpessa Hennink for Dolce & Gabbana's advertising campaign for their Fall/Winter collection, clothing which was inspired by Sicily.Source: Wikipedia Ferdinando Scianna started taking photographs in the 1960s while studying literature, philosophy and art history at the University of Palermo. It was then that he began to photograph the Sicilian people systematically. Feste Religiose in Sicilia (1965) included an essay by the Sicilian writer Leonardo Sciascia, and it was the first of many collaborations with famous writers. Scianna moved to Milan in 1966. The following year he started working for the weekly magazine L’Europeo, first as a photographer, then as a journalist from 1973. He also wrote on politics for Le Monde Diplomatique and on literature and photography for La Quinzaine Littéraire. In 1977 he published Les Siciliens in France and La Villa Dei Mostri in Italy. During this period, Scianna met Henri Cartier-Bresson, and in 1982 he joined Magnum Photos. He entered the field of fashion photography in the late 1980s and at the end of the decade he published a retrospective, Le Forme del Caos (1989). Scianna returned to exploring the meaning of religious rituals with Viaggio a Lourdes (1995), then two years later he published a collection of images of sleepers – Dormire Forse Sognare (To Sleep, Perchance to Dream). His portraits of the Argentinean writer Jorge Luis Borges were published in 1999, and in the same year, the exhibition Niños del Mundo displayed Scianna’s images of children from around the world. In 2002 Scianna completed Quelli di Bagheria, a book on his home town in Sicily, in which he tries to reconstruct the atmosphere of his youth through writings and photographs of Bagheria and the people who live there.Source: Magnum Photos
Thomas Barbèy
Switzerland
Thomas Barbey grew up in Geneva, Switzerland, across the street from the “Caran D'ache” factory, the largest manufacturer of art supplies. He started drawing seriously at the age of 13, using black “encre de Chine” and gouaches for color. His influences were Philippe Druillet, Roger Dean and H.R. Giger. After living in Geneva for 17 years and designing posters for musical bands, he decided to move to Italy, where he lived in Milan for 15 years making a living as a successful recording artist, lyricist and fashion photographer. Today, he resides in Las Vegas and travels the world, taking his camera wherever he goes. Thomas has been a photographer for over twenty years now and prefers to use his old Canon AE1s when he shoots in 35mm or his RB67 when he shoots in medium format. More recently, he has been doing Black and White Photomontages for the sole purpose of doing Fine Art, without working for a specific client. He has combined several images taken over a period of twenty years to create surreal situations with the help of the enlarger in a dark room. His work has a specific style and is very characteristic. He only works with Black and White, including Sepia toning at times. Every single one of his images has to pass what he likes to call the “So what?” test. If a combination of two or more negatives put together doesn't touch him or have any particular meaning, he starts over. At times, he tries to combine images and sometimes the results can be disappointing. A giant clock in the middle of the ocean can be an unusual image, but if he looks at it and says to himself, “So what?”, this means it isn't good enough.” If, instead, an ocean liner is going down a “funnel-type” hole and he titles it “Shortcut to China”, it takes on a whole new meaning. The picture takes you into an imaginary world where you can see the captain telling the passengers to fasten their safety belts and get prepared for the descent, and so on. At times Thomas comes up with ideas beforehand, try to materialize them and it works. At other times, it comes as an accident, where the ideas come afterwards, when the image is already finished and the concept has yet to be understood. Thomas claims he is learning constantly through the process of creation. Thomas travels 2-3 times a year to take photographs of different things and places. Sometimes he uses an image several years later, but only when it fits, like the perfect piece in a puzzle, and completes his latest project. Some images are composed of negatives that are separated by a decade in the actual time that he has taken them and only come to life when they found their perfect match. It's the combination of two or more negatives that give birth to a completely unusual vision, but most of all, the title he gives the final image is the glue and the substance of the piece. Source: thomasbarbey.com
Edouard Elias
I chose photography naturally. It is surely the result of a double education: separated between Egypt and France, I learned to consider images both as memories and objects that allowed me to transpose myself into places where I could only remain for a moment, but also as historical documents, more in accordance with my classical instruction. In addition, many cartoons have certainly trained me in a straight, frontal and clear frame, so I was very early aware of geopolitical events as well as of the problems of population movement linked to war or suffering. At the age of 18, after a A level, ignoring which way to choose, and to comply with family expectations, I went to a business school. It was not for me, no compatibility possible. I then attempted a reconversion in the school of photography in Nancy. It was a revelation, I was fitting in the right place. Different encounters, for example with the reporter Luca Catalano Gonzaga in Rome, with the books of the agency Magnum, with some documentaries on photography report, made me eager to watch History in progress, to live it through my camera and especially not to forget it. So, instead of completing my internship at the end of the year in an identity photo shop, I went to Turkey in the Syrian refugee camps and then to Syria, producing my first photoreport. My childhood allowed me to acquire the faculty of movement, not limiting myself to the borders of my village or the cities of my region. So I naturally started on the road of reporting. The conditions and the encounters engendered satisfy the need I have to answer personal questions. All the means necessary to photograph a human being in a difficult situation (pain, loss, war, poverty, suffering) result from a deep desire and a work on personal adaptability. Nevertheless, the essence of our work must be focused first and foremost on the subject. The results today of the image on the international scene leave me skeptical, but I think that these photographs, although they unfortunately are taking the risk of not changing the situation, will allow us to remember. I keep on practicing photo reportage. The Foreign Legion committed to the Central African Republic and then to its surroundings in France, punctuated my work for a year. Lebanon, Jordan on the Syrian refugee crisis with the organization Première Urgence Internationale, the Congo DRC on rape as a weapon of war and its doctor Denis Mukwege or the closed educational centers of the Judicial Police of Youth are, as well as the rescues of migrants in the Mediterranean, part of my subjects. Visa for the image allowed me to sell my first photographs of Aleppo in Syria, to meet professionals who will become dear friends. I have, besides my personal projects orders and projects to realize in France and I dedicate all of my activity to photography. My pictures have been published in: Paris Match, Der Spiegel, Sunday Times magazine, Time Lightbox, VSD, Le Monde, Figaro Magazine, Le Parisien Magazine, Polka, Le Point, Libération, LFI Leica international, Gala..."Source: edouardelias.net
Thierry Clech
Thierry Clech is a French photographer based in Paris. Much of his work (exclusively in black & white films) is made during his travels (India, Ukraine, Istanbul, Tokyo...), but he also takes pictures in France, particulary in the business district of La Défense, near Paris. He published two books in collaboration with French novelists (Philippe Jaenada and Bernard Chambaz) and his work has been exhibited widely in France and abroad (Nadar Gallery, Press Club of France, Barrobjectif Festival, National Library of Belarus, FotoIstanbul Festival, BlowUp Angkor Festival in Cambodia…).Artist statement: "Thierry Clech can see the world like nobody else. In any case, he manages to put the world rules inside the frame of his pictures. Fortunately or thanks to his instinct or I don't know how, he is often in the right place at the right time. He could have probably stayed in Paris, within the ring road, within the twenty districts of his garden, and almost get the same result - because a man is a man, wherever he is. But the world is not so wide, it was better to travel around it. Just to be absolutely sure. Go around it. Then he has been nearly everywhere on the globe, almost at random, he has stopped a few moments in a city of the northern hemisphere, by a field in the southern hemisphere, and he has come back with pictures which approximately show the same thing in the form or in substance : human beings in the heart of their environment, stuck in the setting, stifled, trapped or integrated, assimilated but not totally, always isolated, just like oil in water, anxious, absent-minded, busy or passive, fearful, overtaken by events, brave, rebellious, lost, determined or exhausted. Mankind in the setting." Philippe Jaenada, novelist, Chevalier de l'Ordre des arts et des lettres. Discover Saint Louis in Senegal
Vik Muniz
Brazil
1961
Vik Muniz is a Brazilian artist and photographer. Initially a sculptor, Muniz grew interested in the photographic representations of his work, eventually focusing completely on photography. Primarily working with unconventional materials such as tomato sauce, diamonds, magazine clippings, chocolate syrup, dust, dirt, etc., Muniz creates works of art, referencing old master's paintings and celebrity portraits, among other things, and then photographs them. His work has been met with both commercial success and critical acclaim and has been exhibited worldwide. He is currently represented by Galeria Nara Roesler based in New York and Brazil. In 2010, Muniz was featured in the documentary film Waste Land. Directed by Lucy Walker, the film highlights Muniz's work on one of the world's largest garbage dumps, Jardim Gramacho, on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro. The film was nominated to the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature at the 83rd Academy Awards. Vik Muniz was born in 1961 in São Paulo, Brazil, as the only child of Maria Celeste, a telephone operator, and Vincente Muniz, a restaurant waiter. Muniz’s grandmother, Ana Rocha, taught him how to read at an early age. In his memoir, Muniz recalled struggling with writing in school which is why he turned to visuals to communicate his thoughts. At the age of 14, his math teacher recommended him to enter an art contest. He won and was awarded a partial scholarship to an art studio. At the age of 18, Muniz got his first job working in the advertising industry in Brazil, redesigning billboards for higher readability. While on the way to his first black-tie gala, Muniz witnessed and attempted to break up a street fight, where he was accidentally shot in the leg by one of the brawlers. He was paid by the shooter to not press charges and used the money to travel to Chicago in 1983. In Chicago, Muniz worked at a local supermarket cleaning the parking lot while he attended night school to study English. In the English class, he learned Polish, Italian, Spanish, and Korean without any improvements to his English vocabulary. Later, Muniz attended culinary and carpentry classes where he learned most of his English. Muniz took his first trip to New York in 1984. There, he visited the Museum of Modern Art and met a woman who changed his thoughts on Jackson Pollock’s paintings. This also influenced Muniz to move to New York just two months after his first visit. Muniz's friend lent him a studio where he started his career as a sculptor. He was 28 when he had his first solo exhibit in 1989. Inspired by works of Man Ray and Max Ernst, Muniz executes simple imagery intricately. Marshall McLuhan’s Understanding Media encouraged Muniz to explore perception in the media through abstraction and manipulating the components of the image. He cites the mosaics in a church in Ravenna as one of his influences and is also a self-proclaimed student of Buster Keaton. He decided to become an artist after seeing the works of the Postmodernists Cindy Sherman and Jeff Koons. Muniz, like both of these artists, reworks popular imagery in his work. Muniz says that he does not believe in originals, but rather believes in individuality. Muniz works to re-purpose themes and showcase them in a different light for the viewer. Muniz is best known for recreating famous imagery from art history and pop culture with unexpected, everyday objects, and photographing them. For example, Muniz's Action Photo, After Hans Namuth (From Pictures of Chocolate), a Cibachrome print, is a Bosco Chocolate Syrup recreation of one of Hans Namuth's photographs of Jackson Pollock in his studio. The monumental series Pictures of Cars (after Ruscha) is his social commentary of the car culture of Los Angeles utilizing Ed Ruscha's 60's Pop masterpieces rendered from car ephemera. Muniz often works on a large scale and then he destroys the originals of his work and only the photo of his work remains. Muniz has spoken of wanting to make "color pictures that talked about color and also talked about the practical simplification of such impossible concepts." He also has an interest in making pictures that "reveal their process and material structure," and describes himself as having been "a willing bystander in the middle of the shootout between structuralist and post-structuralist critique." Muniz says that when he takes photographs, he intuitively searches for "a vantage point that would make the picture identical to the ones in my head before I’d made the works," so that his photographs match those mental images. He sees photography as having "freed painting from its responsibility to depict the world as fact." In Muniz's earthworks series, Pictures of Earthworks, show a strong resemblance to the 1970s Earthworks movement. However, unlike the Earthworks movement, that were influenced by ancient cultures, Muniz's series shows distinct human impact on nature. In addition to sculpting, Muniz experiments with drawing and photography, which is seen in the series Sugar Children, featured in the Museum of Modern Art's New Photography 13 show, alongside Rineke Dijikstra, An-My Le, and Kunié Sugiura, in 1997. In Sugar Children, Muniz photographed the families that worked on sugar plantations on the Caribbean island of St. Kitts. Beginning with Polaroids of several of the children of plantation workers, Muniz "drew" the images by sprinkling sugar on black paper and rephotographed these compositions. This series was met with criticism, where scholars have pointed out that he photographs of subjects continuing to live in poverty and yet can make upwards of 5 figures on these works at auction. After his Pictures in Garbage series, Muniz donated the profits, close to $50,000, from the Marat (Sebastiao) to the workers collective after it was auctioned in the UK. He also tries to make art more accessible through the use of common materials, because of his belief that the art world should not be just for the elite. Muniz stated in the documentary Waste Land, "I'm at this point in my career where I'm trying to step away from the realm of fine arts because I think it's a very exclusive, very restrictive place to be. What I want to be able to do is to change the lives of people with the same materials they deal with every day."Source: Wikipedia Originally trained as a sculptor, Muniz’s work began to take on its mature form with The Best of LIFE; he drew from memory pictures of Life magazine photographs included in the coffee table book The Best of Life after losing the book in a move. He then photographed his drawings and kept only the photographs, thereby establishing his signature working style. Muniz subsequently applied this methodology to works in the art history canon, reproducing Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa as well as iconic photographs of Marlon Brando and Marilyn Monroe using chocolate syrup and replicating a Donald Judd sculpture by using dust taken from the Whitney Museum’s halls and galleries. To make the series Pictures of Garbage, Muniz spent two years working with garbage pickers at Jardim Gramacho, an open-air dump site near Rio. He photographed several of the pickers as subjects of classical portraits, with the background details supplied by the garbage they scavenged. This effort was captured in the documentary Waste Land, which was nominated for an Academy Award. Muniz’s photographs are in many collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art; the Museum of Modern Art; the Tate Gallery; and the Victoria and Albert Museum.Source: International Center of Photography
Yousuf Karsh
Canada
1908 | † 2002
Yousuf Karsh is the most renowned portrait photographer of our time. He has perceptively photographed the statesmen, artists, and literary and scientific figures that have shaped our lives in the 20th century. Known for his ability to transform "the human face into legend," many of the portraits that he created have become virtually the image of the great man or woman they portray, whether Winston Churchill, Ernest Hemingway, Albert Einstein, Georgia O'Keefe or Helen Keller. In other words, "to experience a Karsh photograph is to feel in the presence of history itself." His photographs are in major private and public collections throughout the world, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston holding the largest collection in the US. Source: Weston Gallery Yousuf Karsh,was an Armenian-Canadian photographer and one of the most famous and accomplished portrait photographers of all time. ousuf or Josuf (his given Armenian name was Hovsep)[citation needed] Karsh was born in Mardin, a city in the eastern Ottoman Empire (present Turkey). He grew up during the Armenian Genocide where he wrote, "I saw relatives massacred; my sister died of starvation as we were driven from village to village." At the age of 16, his parents sent Yousuf to live with his uncle George Nakash, a photographer in Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada. Karsh briefly attended school there and assisted in his uncle’s studio. Nakash saw great potential in his nephew and in 1928 arranged for Karsh to apprentice with portrait photographer John Garo in Boston, Massachusetts, United States. His brother, Malak Karsh, was also a photographer famous for the image of logs floating down the river on the Canadian one dollar bill. Karsh returned to Canada four years later, eager to make his mark. In 1931 he started working with another photographer, John Powls, in his studio on the second floor of the Hardy Arcade at 130 Sparks Street in Ottawa, Ontario, close to Parliament Hill. When Powls retired in 1933, Karsh took over the studio. Karsh's first solo exhibition was in 1936 in the Drawing Room of the Château Laurier hotel. He moved his studio into the hotel in 1973, and it remained there until he retired in 1992. Canadian Prime Minister Mackenzie King discovered Karsh and arranged introductions with visiting dignitaries for portrait sittings. Karsh's work attracted the attention of varied celebrities, but his place in history was sealed on 30 December 1941 when he photographed Winston Churchill, after Churchill gave a speech to Canadian House of Commons in Ottawa. The image of Churchill brought Karsh international prominence, and is claimed to be the most reproduced photographic portrait in history. In 1967, he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada and in 1990 was promoted to Companion. Of the 100 most notable people of the century, named by the International Who's Who [2000], Karsh had photographed 51. Karsh was also the only Canadian to make the list. In the late 1990s Karsh moved to Boston and on July 13, 2002, aged 93, he died at Boston's Brigham and Women's Hospital after complications following surgery. He was interred in Notre Dame Cemetery in Ottawa. Works: Karsh was a master of studio lights. One of Karsh's distinctive practices was lighting the subject's hands separately. He photographed many of the great and celebrated personalities of his generation. Throughout most of his career he used the 8×10 bellows Calumet (1997.0319) camera, made circa 1940 in Chicago. Journalist George Perry wrote in the British paper The Sunday Times that "when the famous start thinking of immortality, they call for Karsh of Ottawa." Karsh had a gift for capturing the essence of his subject in the instant of his portrait. As Karsh wrote of his own work in Karsh Portfolio in 1967, "Within every man and woman a secret is hidden, and as a photographer it is my task to reveal it if I can. The revelation, if it comes at all, will come in a small fraction of a second with an unconscious gesture, a gleam of the eye, a brief lifting of the mask that all humans wear to conceal their innermost selves from the world. In that fleeting interval of opportunity the photographer must act or lose his prize." Karsh said "My chief joy is to photograph the great in heart, in mind, and in spirit, whether they be famous or humble." His work is in permanent collections of the National Gallery of Canada, New York's Museum of Modern Art and Metropolitan Museum of Art, George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film, Bibliotheque nationale de France, the National Portrait Gallery in London, the National Portrait Gallery of Australia and many others. Library and Archives Canada holds his complete collection, including negatives, prints and documents. His photographic equipment was donated to the Canada Science and Technology Museum in Ottawa. Karsh published 15 books of his photographs, which include brief descriptions of the sessions, during which he would ask questions and talk with his subjects to relax them as he composed the portrait. Some famous subjects photographed by Karsh were Field Marshal Lord Alanbrooke, Muhammad Ali, Marian Anderson, W. H. Auden, Joan Baez, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, Humphrey Bogart, Alexander Calder, Pablo Casals, Fidel Castro, Madame Chiang Kai-Shek, Joan Crawford, Ruth Draper, Albert Einstein, Dwight Eisenhower, Princess Elizabeth, Robert Frost, Clark Gable, Indira Gandhi, Grey Owl, Ernest Hemingway, Audrey Hepburn, Pope John Paul II, Chuck Jones, Carl Jung, Helen Keller and Polly Thompson, Grace Kelly, Jacqueline Kennedy, John F. Kennedy, Peter Lorre, Pandit Nehru, Georgia O'Keeffe, Laurence Olivier, General Pershing, Pablo Picasso, Pope Pius XII, Prince Rainier of Monaco, Paul Robeson, the rock band Rush, Albert Schweitzer, George Bernard Shaw, Jean Sibelius, Pierre Elliott Trudeau, Andy Warhol, Frank Lloyd Wright, and, arguably his most famous portrait subject, Winston Churchill. The story is often told of how Karsh created his famous portrait of Churchill during the early years of World War II. Churchill, the British prime minister, had just addressed the Canadian Parliament and Karsh was there to record one of the century's great leaders. "He was in no mood for portraiture and two minutes were all that he would allow me as he passed from the House of Commons chamber to an anteroom," Karsh wrote in Faces of Our Time. "Two niggardly minutes in which I must try to put on film a man who had already written or inspired a library of books, baffled all his biographers, filled the world with his fame, and me, on this occasion, with dread." Churchill marched into the room scowling, "regarding my camera as he might regard the German enemy." His expression suited Karsh perfectly, but the cigar stuck between his teeth seemed incompatible with such a solemn and formal occasion. "Instinctively, I removed the cigar. At this the Churchillian scowl deepened, the head was thrust forward belligerently, and the hand placed on the hip in an attitude of anger." The image captured Churchill and the Britain of the time perfectly — defiant and unconquerable. Churchill later said to him, "You can even make a roaring lion stand still to be photographed." As such, Karsh titled the photograph, The Roaring Lion. However, Karsh's favourite photograph was the one taken immediately after this one where Churchill's mood had lightened considerably and is shown much in the same pose, but smiling. Source: Wikipedia
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