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Willy Ronis
Willy Ronis

Willy Ronis

Country: France
Birth: 1910 | Death: 2009

Willy Ronis was a French photographer, the best-known of whose work shows life in post-war Paris and Provence. Ronis was born in Paris; his father was a Jewish refugee from Odessa, and his mother was a refugee from Lithuania, both escaped from the pogroms. His father opened a photography studio in Montmartre, and his mother gave piano lessons. The boy's early interest was music and he hoped to become a composer. Returning from compulsory military service in 1932, his violin studies were put on hold because his father's cancer required Ronis to take over the family portrait business; Ronis' passion for music has been observed in his photographs. His father died in 1936, whereupon the business collapsed and Ronis went freelance, his first photographs being published in Regards. In 1937 he met David Szymin and Robert Capa, and did his first work for Plaisir de France; in 1938–39 he reported on a strike at Citroën and traveled in the Balkans. With Cartier-Bresson, Ronis belonged to Association des Écrivains et Artistes Révolutionnaires, and remained a man of the left. The work of photographers, Alfred Stieglitz and Ansel Adams inspired Ronis to begin exploring photography. After his father's death, in 1936, Ronis closed the studio and joined the photo agency Rapho, with Brassaï, Robert Doisneau and Ergy Landau. Ronis became the first French photographer to work for Life. In 1953, Edward Steichen included Ronis, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Doisneau, Izis, and Brassaï in an exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art titled Five French Photographers. In 1955, Ronis was included in the Family of Man exhibition. The Venice Biennale awarded him its Gold Medal in 1957. Ronis began teaching in the 1950s, and taught at the School of Fine Arts in Avignon, Aix-en-Provence and Saint Charles, Marseilles. In 1979 he was awarded the Grand Prix des Arts et Lettres for Photography by the Minister for Culture. Ronis won the Prix Nadar in 1981 for his photobook, Sur le fil du hasard.

(Source: en.wikipedia.org)

 

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More Great Photographers To Discover

Maureen Ruddy Burkhart
United States
1954
My creative quest has always been about the 'journey' as opposed to the 'destination'. The first is experiential, alive, organic; that latter seems rushed. I grew up in places that I now see as exotic, but at the time I just thought it was terribly inconvenient and definitely too far from friends back 'home'. In 1971, at age 17, I left Iran, after three years, in tears and some relief. I immediately thought 'why didn't I take any pictures there?'. I fell in love with that country and its people, but I would not be going back (at least, not yet!). Holding onto what memories I had taken with me, I vowed this would not happen again. So I enrolled in the SFAI. Many years have unfolded since then, and I've been a filmmaker (when 'film' was film), a writer/director, an I.Q. tester, stock photographer, and a documentary and fine art photographer. My most seminal work to date, in terms of how it changed my worldly perceptions, came after spending some three years on and off working for a documentary project in the Kibera slum of Kenya. "Kibera: A Slice of Heaven" earned numerous international awards and press, but my favorite was a local 'Artist of the Year' in Longmont, Colorado. The Firehouse Art Center curator, Jessica Kooiman Parker, called it an 'act of bravery'. Reflecting on that, I realized that bravery is a way to change the world AND the photographer, one heart at a time. The power of photography is truly unlimited. Amidst a crazy world (and always being on the move), I developed a love of landscape photography. Most people acknowledge that nature can be a place of solace and inspiration. While it is definitely the same for me, I've been creating 'scenes' from nature. I often photograph the same landscape over and over, taking my favorite parts of the series and compositing them into a singular landscape that mimics my relationship to it. It's fantasy, whimsy, and hope. In my darker landscapes, there's a moody melancholia…but I never lose sight of the hope. Exclusive Interview with Maureen Ruddy Burkhart
Kenneth Josephson
United States
1932
Kenneth Josephson is an American photographer, born on July 1, 1932 in Detroit, Michigan. He completed his elementary education in Detroit. In 1953 after being sent in Germany by the United States Army he was trained in photolithography and aerial reconnaissance photography. In 1957 he earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Rochester Institute of Technology, located in New York. There he studied under Minor White. In 1960 he earned a master's degree from the Institute of Design of the Illinois Institute of Technology. While studying there he was influenced by Aaron Siskind and Harry Callahan. After earning his master's degree in 1960 Kenneth Josephson worked at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago from 1960 to 1997, when he retired. In 1963 he co-founded the Society for Photographic Education with thirty other notable photographers. His works in the 1960s and 1970s which were focused on conceptual photography placed him at the forefront of conceptual photography. In 1972 he was awarded with the Guggenheim Fellowship grant by the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. In 1975 and in 1979 he was awarded with the NEA grant by the National Endowment for the Arts agency. Many of his collections are found in museums such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art of New York City, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, the National Museum of American Art and The Bibliothèque nationale de France in Paris. In 1977 and 1983 many of his works became part of exhibitions in Austria, the United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, and France.Source: Wikipedia Kenneth Josephson is recognized as one of the pioneers of conceptual photography. He has explored the concepts of photographic truth and illusion throughout his career, producing a varied oeuvre that utilizes a range of techniques from collage and construction to multiple exposures and single negative photographs. Focusing on what it means to make a picture, Josephson’s work playfully highlights the illusive nature of photography. New York State (1970) is one of Josephson’s most well known photographs, and one of a much larger series incorporating pictures within pictures. We see the artist’s arm, stretching over a body of water, and just above the horizon line he holds a picture of a ship. Positioning this ship so that it appears proportionally equal to a full-sized ship in the distance, the photograph is deliberately composed to draw attention to its artifice. Source: Yancey Richardson In 1963 he became a founding member of the Society for Photographic Education, and in 1964 his work was included in John Szarkowski’s exhibition, “The Photographer’s Eye,” which traveled internationally to forty venues from 1964 to 1972. Josephson received his first museum retrospective in 1999–2000 at the Art Institute of Chicago and the Whitney Museum. His work is featured in numerous collections around the world and his monographs include: Kenneth Josephson Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, 1983; Kenneth Josephson: A Retrospective The Art Institute of Chicago, 1999; Kenneth Josephson: The First Fifty Years Stephen Daiter Gallery, 2008; Kenneth Josephson: Matthew 2054 Press and Stephen Daiter Gallery, 2012; Kenneth Josephson: Selected Photographs Only Photography, 2013; and The Light of Coincidence: The Photographs of Kenneth Josephson University of Texas Press, 2016.Source: Gitterman Gallery
Ren Hang
Chinese
1987 | † 2017
Ren Hang (Chinese: 任航; March 30, 1987 – February 24, 2017) was a Chinese photographer and poet. During Ren's incipient career, he was known mostly for nude photographic portraits of his friends. His work is significant for its representation of Chinese sexuality within a heavily censored society. For these erotic undertones, he was arrested by PRC authorities several times. He received the backing of the Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, who included Ren in his 2013 Netherlands show, Fuck Off 2 The Sequel, and curated the photographer's 2014 exhibition in Paris, France. Ren's erotic, playful and casual yet provocative expression gained him worldwide fame. Ren was born in 1987, in a suburb of Changchun, Jilin province, in northeastern China. In 2007, in order to relieve the boredom of studying advertising at college, he bought a point-and-shoot camera and began shooting his friends. As a self-taught photographer, he said his style of photography was inspired by the artist Shūji Terayama. 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Ren's photos employ nude groups and solo portraits of men and women often contorted into highly performative positions. For example, hands reach down milky thighs, a limp penis flops onto a watermelon and a series of backsides imitate a mountain range. Questioning the purpose of his work, he once stated that his creation was a way to seek fun for both photographer and the photographed. However, once he had reached fame on an international level, he began to think deeply about his work. The British Journal of Photography quoted him as once saying: "I don't want others having the impression that Chinese people are robots... Or they do have sexual genitals but always keep them as some secret treasures. I want to say that our cocks and pussies are not embarrassing at all." 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Unless people are born with clothes on, and I want to take their clothes off, then I think this is a revolution. If it was already like that, then it's not a revolution. I just photographed things on their more natural conditions." He said he was not trying to liberate nudity and sexuality since he believed that the Chinese young generation was open-minded and less affected by the old-fashioned cultures. When Ren Hang talked about the question whether the topic of sexuality was still a taboo in China, he said: "I don't think it's related to our times, these are individual cases. Like how to say it, I think it depends on different people, it doesn't really relate to other things. I was not in the whole parents told you that you can only have sex if you get married era. The time after I grow up was already over that period, it was already different like everyone was already more relaxed."Source: Wikipedia Flesh, corpses, souls and bland flashlights, all composite into seconds or milliseconds of lights and shadows, projecting onto the film that never knows how to lie. Focus gathering and the shutter releasing, connecting his unpretentious, rebellious, wild and free perspectives towards the naked human body. The images look so natural, yet fun and unexpected. One soul after another all blossom like a newborn baby, urging to crawl out of his mother’s womb, dying to be redefined. In this era that we live in, being censored by the Chinese government has almost become a stamp of approval for contemporary artists. Ren Hang, a young man with a mature look and tanned skin, hair as short as a Chinese soldiers’, always carrying an irresistibly cute and innocent smile on his cheeks. He is, perhaps, the sole artist and photographer with the most edgy outlook towards the naked human body. Ren Hang continues to stress the fact that he is “boring“. Especially when asked about those basic questions of his inspirational origins and meanings behind the photos, he always just smiles naively, shakes his shoulders and says, “I don’t really know. I never really thought about it.” Perhaps he is such a paver, heading towards the direction of happiness and creative freedom without realizing the pathways he has left behind. You might find him confusing and puzzling, but he has the ambience of such kindness that you would always trust that no evil can come out from him. He is merely a pure form of naked human beings. Source: ITSLIQUID
Thomas Struth
Germany
1954
Thomas Struth was born 1954 in Geldern, Germany and currently lives and works in Berlin. He is best known for his genre-defying photographs, though he began originally with painting before he enrolled at the Kunstakademie, Düsseldorf in 1973. Struth has developed his individual photographic practice, often penetrating places of the human imagination in order to scrutinize the landscape of invention, technology, and beyond (as in his recent CERN and Animal images). Celebrated for his diverse body of work-Unconscious Places, Familienleben (Family Life), Museum Photographs, New Pictures from Paradise and Nature & Politics-Struth continues to advance his vocabulary with each new series, while maintaining the same principles core to his practice. Recent comprehensive exhibitions of Struth's work include the major touring exhibition Thomas Struth: Nature & Politics exhibited at the Museum Folkwang, Essen, Germany; the Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin, Germany, the High Museum, Atlanta, Georgia; the Moody Center for the Arts, Houston, Texas; the St. Louis Museum of Art, Missouri and the MAST Foundation Bolgna, Italy (2016-2019) as well as Figure Ground which opened at the Haus der Kunst, Munich, Germany and traveled to the Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao, Spain (2017-2019). Other recent exhibitions have been shown at: Hilti Art Foundation, Vaduz, Lichtenstein (2019); Aspen Museum of Art, Colorado (2018); the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (2014); and a major traveling retrospective which traveled from the Museu Serralves, Portugal to the K20 Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Düsseldorf, the Whitechapel Gallery, London, and the Kunsthaus Zurich, Switzerland (2010-2012). In 2018 Struth received the Honorary Magister Artium Gandensis from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts (KASK), Ghent, Belgium. In 2016 he was elected Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and received the Centenary Medal and Honorary Membership from The Royal Photographic Society, London. In 2014 he was awarded an Honorary Fellowship by the Royal Institute of British Architects. He is the winner of the Spectrum-International Prize for Photography of the Foundation of Lower Saxony (1997) and the Werner Mantz Prize for Photography, The Netherlands (1992). He has participated in numerous international group exhibitions including Common Ground, Venice Architecture Biennale (2012), Future Dimension, the Venice Biennial (1990) and Documenta IX (1992). Source: Marian Goodman 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."
Mahdiyeh Afshar Bakeshloo
Mahdiyeh Afshar Bakeshloo (born 1995 in Tehran) is a professional photographer in the category of fine art and concept from Iran. Afshar has been studying photography professionally for 2 years in an academy since 2014 and is currently working in Tehran. Mostly she deal with human issues by referring to inner feelings that combined them with the inanimate environment. The starting point of her works have always been his surroundings and personal feelings. Sensitively, she tries to explore her relationship with the world around her today. Afshar held her first group exhibition at Mojdeh Gallery. Her most famous collection is "The light in the city", which takes a look at contemporary Tehran. Reason for popularity of this collection was due to a special technique that was done by manipulating the photo. So far, it has received various awards from world festivals such as IPA, Monochrome photography awards, Fine Art Photography Awards, ND Photography Awards, and Spider Photography Awards. Afshar says about her photos: “Each of my projects describes human emotions such as sadness, loneliness, confusion. I try to make viewers find their hidden feeling in my photos. Every time I take a photo, my personal feelings affect my work and shape my inner thoughts. I want to have something in common with my audience to talk to them. " Most of Afshar's works are presented in single black and white photos. Her photos has been published in various Magazine such as Float Photo Magazine, Humble Arts Foundation, F-stopmagazine, More Art please. She has participated in many exhibitions in Iran, Greece and Rome.
Charles Scowen
United Kingdom
1852 | † 1948
Charles Thomas Scowen (11 March 1852 – 24 November 1948) was a British photographer during the nineteenth century. He was active as a photographer from 1871 to 1890, working in Sri Lanka and British India in the early 1870s. By 1876 Scowen had established a studio, Scowen & Co, in Kandy and by the 1890s, he had opened a second in Colombo. His work, which included landscapes and portraits of Malay women, is noted for its lighting, technically superior printing, and strong compositional qualities. Scowen's photographs are represented in the collections of the J. Paul Getty Museum, Yale University Art Gallery, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Charles Scowen became a tea planter before retiring and returning to England around the turn of the century. He died in Sudbury, Suffolk, aged 96.Source: Wikipedia Described as the Pearl of the Indian Ocean, the island Ceylon was conquered by the English in 1796 and for many years was at the center of the spice and trade routes. Rich in ivory, cinnamon, coffee, tea, gems, and pearls the island became increasingly accessible during the nineteenth century. Its exotic scenery was well documented by commercial photographers throughout the nineteenth century. One of the most accomplished and successful photographic firms working in Ceylon was Charles T. Scowen and Co. Scowen and his team produced records for the tourist market, as well as for commerce and industry. These documents included images of plantation economies, railroad, native people, architectural city views, and ancient ruins. The photographs are of superior quality, representing the rich beauty and detail found only in an albumen print.Source: Joseph Bellows Gallery
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