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Charles Muir Lovell
Charles Muir Lovell
Charles Muir Lovell

Charles Muir Lovell

Country: United States
Birth: 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
 

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Japan
1939
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Three of his publications won him the first Kodansha Publishing Culture Award in 1970: "Black People", and essays on Calcutta and the Ryūkyū islands.Source: Wikipedia Hiroji Kubota sounds a little over-the-top when he insists his "life is meaningless" without photography. But a glance at his latest and 19th book will convince you he is absolutely right, given how his life has been intertwined with some of Magnum's legendary photographers, like René Burri, Burt Glinn and my father, Elliott Erwitt. He started out working with some of them as a fixer and translator, even though he refused payment at first. "I was brought up comfortably and didn't need it," he said. He did, however, accept a beat-up Leica M3 from Burri. His life changed when he got the first edition of Henri Cartier-Bresson's The Decisive Moment a month later. "When I opened it, I said, 'My gosh, what is this?" he recalled. "That motivated me. That's when I became serious." His fate was sealed when Burri showed him a Swiss magazine that featured his Gaucho pictures. "It shocked me like crazy," he said. "I knew then I wanted to be a photographer." The results of those personally decisive moments are evident in Aperture's Hiroji Kubota Photographer a retrospective covering 50 years of his work. I met Hiroji almost that long ago, because my father, Elliott Erwitt, sponsored him when he first came to America, even picking him up at the TWA terminal at Kennedy Airport. They had met when Hiroji worked as a fixer on one of my father's early trips to Japan, in 1962, to illustrate Robert Donovan's book PT 109, about John F. Kennedy's World War II exploits. Hiroji was my father's translator when he photographed the captain and crew of the destroyer that famously cut Kennedy's boat in two. That kind of work led to his meeting other influential photographers who would encourage him, eventually bringing him to New York, where he became a familiar figure at the Magnum offices. Back then, the agency was a small, international and slightly dysfunctional family that was accessible if you met the right people, which he did. Cornell Capa, a Magnum photographer, "adopted me literally, not legally," he said. "He had no children, so he needed a son, a fairly well-behaved son who could cook for him." Capa, who entertained "big shots" at his Fifth Avenue apartment, helped Hiroji make a few extra dollars by having him cook. Burt Glinn also hired Hiroji as an assistant to help him get by. Hiroji showed similar ingenuity when he spent the better part of a year photographing in Chicago, where he ran an ad hoc Japanese catering business every other weekend to help pay the bills. By 1967, he was a successful photographer firmly ensconced at Magnum, and it was time to return to Japan. He has proved to be a remarkably tenacious photographer who immerses himself in a story and returns to it until he is satisfied. He has managed to get to places others can't - like his unlimited access on many trips to China, when travel within the country was still limited. He would talk government officials into allowing him the time and access he needed to achieve his purpose. Same with North Korea; he has made countless visits - at its invitation - at a time when it was essentially a closed country. -- By Misha ErwittSource: The New York Times During a visit by Magnum members to Japan in 1961, Hiroji Kubota came to know René Burri, Burt Glinn and Elliott Erwitt. After graduating in political science from Tokyo’s University of Waseda in 1962, Kubota moved to the US, settling in Chicago, where he continued photographing while supporting himself by working in a Japanese catering business. He became a freelance photographer in 1965, and his first assignment for the UK newspaper The Times was to Jackson Pollock’s grave in East Hampton. In 1968, Kubota returned to live in Japan, where his work was recognized with a Publishing Culture Award from Kodansha in 1970. The next year he became a Magnum associate. Kubota witnessed the fall of Saigon in 1975, refocusing his attention on Asia. It took him several years to get permission to photograph in China. Finally, between 1979 and 1984, Kubota embarked on a 1,000-day tour, during which he made more than 200,000 photographs. The book and exhibit, China, appeared in 1985. Kubota’s awards in Japan include the Nendo Sho (Annual Award) of the Japanese Photographic Society (1982), and the Mainichi Art Prize (1983). He has photographed most of the Asian continent for his book Out of the East, published in 1997, which led to a two-year project, in turn resulting in the book Can We Feed Ourselves? Kubota has had solo shows in Tokyo, Osaka, Beijing, New York, Washington, Rome, London, Vienna, Paris and many other cities. He has just completed Japan, a book on his homeland and the country where he continues to be based.Source: Magnum Photos
Ming Smith
United States
1973
Ming Smith is an American photographer. She was the first African-American female photographer whose work was acquired by the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. Smith was born in Detroit, Michigan, and raised in Columbus, Ohio. After graduating from Howard University in 1973, she moved to New York City, where she found work modeling. While in New York she met photographer Anthony Barboza, who was an early influence. Smith's approach to photography has included in-camera techniques such as playing with focus, darkroom techniques like double exposure, collage techniques and paint on prints. Her work is less engaged with documentation of events than with expression of experience. It has been described as surreal and ethereal, as the New York Times observed: "Her work, personal and expressive, draws from a number of artistic sources, preeminently surrealism. 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Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, CA, and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY.[19] Smith's work is in museum collections including the National Gallery of Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, Brooklyn Museum of Art, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Detroit Institute of Arts, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, and the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. Some of Smith's work displayed in the Museum of Modern Art depicts motherhood in Harlem. These photos are taken using a documentary style way of photographing these subjects. Ming Smith lives and works in New York City.Source: Wikipedia Ming Smith is known for her informal, in-action portraits of black cultural figures, from Alvin Ailey to Nina Simone and a wide range of jazz musicians. Ming’s career emerged formally with the publication of the Black Photographer’s Annual in 1973. She was an early member of the Kamoinge Workshop, an association of several generations of black photographers. Ming has traveled extensively, showing her viewers a cosmopolitan world filled with famous landmarks and extraordinary landscapes. People continue to be her most treasured subjects. This is most apparent in her series depicting African American life. Ming’s early style was to shoot fast and produce complicated and elaborate images in the developing and post-printing processes, so that many of her pictures carry double dates. She experimented with hand-tinting in My Father’s Tears, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico (1977/1979). Ming continues to expand the role of photography with her exploration of image and paint in the more recent, large-scale Transcendence series. Ming’s place in photography’s 175-year history was recognized by her inclusion in the Museum of Modern Art’s groundbreaking exhibition Pictures by Women: A History of Modern Photography in 2010. Ming Smith's photography is held in collections in the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, New York; the Smithsonian Anacostia Museum & Center for African American History and Culture, Washington, DC and the AT&T Corporation.Source: Steven Kasher Gallery
Nan Goldin
United States
1953
Nancy "Nan" Goldin is an American photographer. As a teenager in Boston in the 1960s, then in New York starting in the 1970s, Nan Goldin has taken intensely personal, spontaneous, sexual, and transgressive photographs of her family, friends, and lovers. In 1979 she presented her first slideshow in a New York nightclub, and her richly colored, snapshotlike photographs were soon heralded as a groundbreaking contribution to fine art photography. The Ballad of Sexual Dependency—the name she gave her ever-evolving show—eventually grew into a forty-five-minute multimedia presentation of more than 900 photographs, accompanied by a musical soundtrack. Goldin first exhibited at Matthew Marks Gallery in 1992. Her work has been the subject of two major touring retrospectives: one organized in 1996 by the Whitney Museum of American Art and another, in 2001, by the Centre Pompidou, Paris, and Whitechapel Art Gallery, London. Recent exhibitions include the slide and video presentation Sisters, Saints & Sybils at La Chapelle de la Salpêtrière, Paris, and her contributions to the 40th Les Rencontres d'Arles in 2009. Goldin was admitted to the French Legion of Honor in 2006 and received the Hasselblad Foundation International Award in 2007. The Ballad of Sexual Dependency was most recently presented live in Turbine Hall at Tate Modern, London, in 2008, and the slideshow was installed in the exhibition Here is Every. Four Decades of Contemporary Art at The Museum of Modern Art, New York, September 2008 to March 2009. Her Scopophilia exhibition is currently part of Patrice Chéreau's special program at the Louvre. Goldin lives and works in Paris and New York.Source: www.matthewmarks.com
Nikos Economopoulos
Nikos Economopoulos (b.1953) is a Greek photographer known for his photography of the Balkans and of Greece in particular. Born in Kalamata, Economopoulos studied law at university and worked as a journalist. He only started taking photographs at 25 when a friend in Italy showed him a book of the work of Henri Cartier-Bresson, which had an impact that was both instant and lasting. Cartier-Bresson "showed me a new way to see things... What I saw in his work was not only geometry and composition, but a kind of ambiguity." Economopoulos recalls that even then he did not start photography for over two years but instead bought photography books. Then he started photography: "I never photographed sunrises or made souvenir pictures of my children. For about eight or nine years I photographed at weekends and during my holidays, always in a serious way, working from morning to night." As early as 1984, Economopoulos says, "it bothered me ideologically that Greeks and Turks were enemies", and he visited Turkey to take photographs. "No Greek at that time would go to Turkey on holiday", he writes, and his Greek friends were incredulous; but Economopoulos quickly felt at home in Turkey, where the atmosphere "was exactly the same as when I was a kid in the 1960s." (Much later, he would add that Greece and western Turkey had replaced tavernas with McDonald's, while east Turkey still preserved the values of the past.) In 1988, Economopoulos finished work as a journalist and set off on a two-year photographic survey of Greece and Turkey. Nikos Economopoulos was encouraged to join Magnum Photos by the Greek-American photographer Costa Manos, and became an associate member in 1990 and, after his work in Albania, Bulgaria, Romania and the former Yugoslavia, a full member in 1994. His early work won him the 1992 Mother Jones Award for Documentary Photography. In 1993, Frank Viviano, who had first met Economopoulos in Timișoara just after the fall of Nicolae Ceauşescu, wrote that: "Economopoulos says his intention is to document the existence of what he calls the 'Balkan Man': to knit together the skeins of a collective identity in a region whose historical convulsions have made its name a synonym for implacable differences. It would appear to be a fool's errand. But almost anyone who has crossed the madman's web of frontiers and borders that stretches over the Balkans, from Istanbul to the Italian border, is likely to agree with Economopoulos's premise — and to recognize, in his work, the contradictions that sum up Balkan truth." With support from the Little Brothers of the Poor, in 1994 Economopoulos photographed gypsies in Greece, and in 1995–96 lignite miners and Muslims in Greece. In 1997–98 he concentrated on people living on the "Green Line" separating Northern Cyprus, illegal migration across the Albanian–Greek border, and young people in Tokyo; and for the next two years Albanians fleeing Kosovo. He also worked on a commission from the University of the Aegean on storytelling in the region. Economopoulos was dissatisfied with the assignment in Japan, as he felt unable to communicate with people and was just as estranged after three weeks of work as he had been on his arrival. By contrast, he writes that "I prefer to spend my time in my corner of the world, south Europe and west Asia, where I understand the codes and can make connections." This does not mean that the Balkans are an open book to him: Economopoulos has also written of the paradoxes apparent in Albania; and also across the Balkans, where faces can be sad even in wedding parties. Economopoulos's photography of Turkey won him the 2001 Abdi İpekçi Award for promoting friendship between Turkey and Greece. Painfully aware of the bitterness often encouraged in both Greece and Turkey toward the other, he has written appreciatively of the personal welcome given to him by the Turks that he meets. "There are no real differences [between Greeks and Turks]. I love Turkey and I can live there. I can't live in Paris or in London. But Istanbul — I can live there." Economopoulos's photographs have been published in The Guardian, The Independent, Le Monde, Libération, The New York Times, El País, and Die Zeit. He feels that there is no future in photojournalism. There is a loss of quality in photographs in newspapers, and Robert Capa would not take photographs if he were living today. But he concedes that Abbas and James Nachtwey would be among those who disagree.Source: Wikipedia In the mid-1990s, he started photographing the Roma and other minorities. In 2000, he completed a book project on the Aegean islands storytellers, commissioned by the University of the Aegean. A retrospective of his work titled Economopoulos, Photographer was published in 2002 and later exhibited at the Benaki Museum, Athens. Returning to Turkey, he pursued his long-term personal project, where he received the Abdi Ipektsi award (2001), for peace and friendship between Greek and Turkish people. He has recently turned to the use of color. Currently, he is spending most of his time away from Greece, traveling, teaching and photographing around the world, in the context of his long-term On The Road project.Source: Magnum Photos
Carlo Naya
Italy
1816 | † 1882
Carlo Naya was an Italian photographer known for his pictures of Venice including its works of art and views of the city for a collaborative volume in 1866. He also documented the restoration of Giotto's frescoes at the Scrovegni Chapel in Padua. Naya was born in Tronzano di Vercelli in 1816 and studied law at the University of Pisa. An inheritance allowed him to travel to major cities in Europe, Asia, and northern Africa. He was advertising his services as portrait photographer in Istanbul in 1845, and opened his studio in Venice in 1857. He sold his work through photographer and optician Carlo Ponti. Following Naya's death in 1882, his studio was run by his wife, then by her second husband. In 1918 it was closed and publisher Osvaldo Böhm bought most of Naya's archive.Source: Wikipedia Carlo Naya studied law in Pisa before becoming a diplomat according to his father’s wishes. After his father’s death Naya embarked on a tour through Europe and Asia with his brother. During his stay in Paris in 1839 he was taught the daguerreotype process, which fascinated him. Naya settled in Venice in 1857, where he set up a photographic studio. For several years he collaborated closely with photographer Carlo Ponti but in 1868 he founded his own studio. During his long career, Naya photographed every aspect of the city of Venice. His views of the palaces on the Grand Canal, and his panoramas of the city give a complete picture of Venice’s architecture in the mid-nineteenth century.Source: The National Galleries of Scotland Carlo Naya (1816-1882) was born Carlo Naja at Tronzano Vercellese near Turin. He studied law in Pisa, where he graduated in 1840. Until recently it was thought that for the next fifteen years, he and his brother Giovanni travelled widely throughout Europe, Asia and Africa, only photographing occasionally for pleasure. However, recent research has revealed that Carlo Naya worked as a professional daguerreotypist long before his move to Venice. He apparently operated briefly in Prague around 1845, before opening a daguerreotype studio in Constantinople the following year. When his brother died in 1857, Carlo returned to Italy and settled in Venice. Initially he worked with the established publisher Carlo Ponti, who distributed his prints. The two men soon quarrelled, however, and Naya opened his own studio. In 1868 he opened a larger photographic shop in the Piazza San Marco, his business soon growing to rival Ponti‘s. In the latter half of the nineteenth century, the two firms were considered the leading photographic concerns in the city. At the time of Naya‘s death in 1882, Edward Wilson, an experienced and knowledgeable writer on photography, described Naya‘s studio as ‘the largest establishment we think we ever saw devoted to photography, in an old palace on the other side of the grand canal‘. Ponti and Naya were both photographic chroniclers of the city‘s tourist sights. Greater ease of travel meant that tourists came in ever increasing numbers to see the splendours of Italy, and these visitors were eager to take away with them souvenirs to show their friends and family at home and to help them remember what they had seen. Thus a photographer with a large stock of negatives showing the buildings and monuments, canals and palaces, harbour views and gondolas of Venice was assured of a steady, reliable income for years to come.Source: Luminous-Lint
Chuck Kimmerle
United States
Despite knowing little about photography at the time, I knew I was destined to make my living as a photographer when I received my first camera, a Canon Canonet QL17 GIII, as a high school graduation present. The entire process mesmerized me. I was hooked. However, a prior enlistment in the U.S. Army Infantry, which began shortly afterwards, put that dream on the back burner for a few years.Following my discharge, I enrolled in the Photographic Engineering Technology program at St. Cloud State University, thinking it a solid career backup plan should my dream of being a photographer be unrealized. The technically-focused program provided me with a solid background in photographic science, chemistry, processes and sensitometry.While at the university, I began working at the school paper, which was followed by a photojournalism position at the St. Cloud Times and, subsequently, jobs at newspapers in Pennsylvania and finally North Dakota, where I was part of a four-person staff named as finalists for the 1998 Pulitzer Prize for Spot News Photography. In 2000, I left the erratic schedule of photojournalism to the more predictable hours as the staff photographer at the University of North Dakota, where I remained for the next 10 years.In 2010 I followed my wife, a New York City native, to her new job in the least populated state in the U.S., Wyoming, where I now work as an educational and commercial freelance photographer.Throughout the years working as a photographer for others, I spent a great deal of my free time doing personal work for myself. These images, which were infinitely more important to me that the work images, were primarily landscapes. However, I have never considered myself a nature photographer. Instead, I tend to gravitate towards those areas which are influenced by both man and nature.Despite having embraced the digital medium, I consider myself a landscape photographer in the traditional sense of the word. My style is straightforward and formal, with a deep depth-of-field and an unabashed honesty to the subject matter, and is in direct contrast to the contemporary trend of highly conceptualized pictorials. Who says newer is always better?In the past few years I've had the honor to study with such esteemed photographers as Alan Ross, George DeWolfe, Jean Meile, Jay Dusard, Jack Dykinga and Bruce Barnbaum. Source: chuckkimmerle.com
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Emerald Arguelles is a photographer and editor based in Savannah, GA. As a young visual artist, Emerald has become an internationally recognized photographer through her explorations and capturing of Black America.
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AAP Magazine #27: Colors
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