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Silvia Alessi
Silvia Alessi
Silvia Alessi

Silvia Alessi

Country: Italy
Birth: 1975

I was born in Bergamo, Italy in 1975. I have worked as a hairstylist and make-up artist since I was 17. In 2004, while on a trip to Asia, I discovered an interest in reportage photography. I have since travelled extensively pursuing my passion for photography and “telling stories worthy of being told.” My process is a blend of artistic expression and reportage, inspired by an openness to diverse cultures and traditions.

Blending this openness with curiosity and artistic expression has allowed me to produce award-winning photography.

For many months before travelling to my chosen destination, I research and develop my concept, considering particularly the social context. I also consider deeply the question of finding the appropriate visual language to render the concept beautifully.
 

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Emmanuelle Becker
France/United States
Peter Hujar
United States
1934 | † 1987
Peter Hujar was an American photographer best known for his black and white portraits. He has been recognized posthumously as "one of the major American photographers of the late twentieth century" and "among the greatest American photographers." Hujar was born October 11, 1934, in Trenton, New Jersey, to Rose Murphy, a waitress abandoned by her husband during her pregnancy. He was raised by his Ukrainian grandparents on their farm, where he spoke only Ukrainian until he started school. He remained on the farm with his grandparents until his grandmother's death in 1946. He moved to New York City to live with his mother and her second husband. The household was abusive, and in 1950, when Hujar was 16, he left home and began to live independently. Hujar received his first camera in 1947 and in 1953 entered the School of Industrial Art where he expressed interest in being a photographer. He was fortunate to encounter an encouraging teacher, the poet Daisy Aldan (1923–2001), and following her advice, he became a commercial photography apprentice. Apart from classes in photography during high school, Hujar's photographic education and technical mastery were acquired in commercial photo studios. By 1957, when he was 23 years old, he was making photographs now considered to be of museum quality. Early in 1967, he was one of a select group of young photographers in a master class taught by Richard Avedon and Marvin Israel, where he met Alexey Brodovitch and Diane Arbus. In 1958, Hujar accompanied the artist Joseph Raffael on a Fulbright to Italy. In 1963, he secured his own Fulbright and returned to Italy with Paul Thek, where they explored and photographed the Capuchin Catacombs of Palermo, classic images featured in his 1975 book Portraits in Life and Death. In 1964, Hujar returned to America and became a chief assistant in the studio of the commercial photographer Harold Krieger. Around this time, he also met Andy Warhol, posed for four of Warhol's three-minute "screen tests," and was included in the compilation film The Thirteen Most Beautiful Boys. In 1967, Hujar quit his job in commercial photography, and at a great financial sacrifice, began to pursue primarily his own work. What followed was a dramatic expansion of his output. In 1969, with his lover the political activist Jim Fouratt, he witnessed the Stonewall riots in the West Village. In 1973, he moved into a loft above The Eden Theater at 189 2nd Avenue, where he lived for the rest of his life. In the 1970s and early 1980s, he inhabited the small bohemian art world in downtown New York City and made portraits of people such as drag queen and actor Divine, writers Susan Sontag, William Burroughs, Fran Lebowitz, and Vince Aletti. He visited "extremely serious, very heavy S&M bars" and the abandoned West Side Hudson River piers where men cruised for sex. In 1975, Hujar published Portraits in Life and Death, with an introduction by Sontag. After a tepid reception, the book became a classic in American photography. The rest of the 1970s was a period of prolific work. In early 1981, Hujar met the writer, filmmaker, and artist David Wojnarowicz, and after a brief period as Hujar's lover, Wojnarowicz became a protégé linked to Hujar for the remainder of the photographer's life. Hujar remained instrumental in all phases of Wojnarowicz's emergence as an important young artist. Hujar's work received only marginal public recognition during his lifetime. In January 1987, Hujar was diagnosed with AIDS. He died 10 months later at the age of 53 on November 25 at Cabrini Medical Center in New York. His funeral was held at Church of St. Joseph in Greenwich Village and he was buried at Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Valhalla, New York. Hujar willed his estate to his friend Stephen Koch. Source: Wikipedia Peter Hujar (born 1934) died of AIDS in 1987, leaving behind a complex and profound body of photographs. Hujar was a leading figure in the group of artists, musicians, writers, and performers at the forefront of the cultural scene in downtown New York in the 1970s and early 80s, and he was enormously admired for his completely uncompromising attitude towards work and life. He was a consummate technician, and his portraits of people, animals, and landscapes, with their exquisite black-and-white tonalities, were extremely influential. Highly emotional yet stripped of excess, Hujar’s photographs are always beautiful, although rarely in a conventional way. His extraordinary first book, Portraits in Life and Death, with an introduction by Susan Sontag, was published in 1976, but his “difficult” personality and refusal to pander to the marketplace ensured that it was one of the last publications during his lifetime.Source: The Peter Hujar Archive Peter Hujar, who died of aids-related pneumonia in 1987, at the age of fifty-three, was among the greatest of all American photographers and has had, by far, the most confusing reputation. A dazzling retrospective, curated by Joel Smith at the Morgan Library & Museum, of a hundred and sixty-four pictures affirms Hujar’s excellence while, if anything, complicating his history. The works range across the genres of portraiture, nudes, cityscape, and still-life—the stillest of all from the catacombs of Palermo, Italy, shot in 1963, when he was there with his lover at the time, the artist Paul Thek. The finest are portraits, not only of people. Some memorialize the existence of cows, sheep, and—one of my favorites—an individual goose, with an eagerly confiding mien. The quality of Hujar’s hand-done prints, tending to sumptuous blacks and simmering grays, transfixes. He was a darkroom master, maintaining technical standards for which he got scant credit except among certain cognoscenti. He never hatched a signature look to rival those of more celebrated elders who influenced him, such as Richard Avedon and Diane Arbus, or those of Robert Mapplethorpe and Nan Goldin, younger peers who learned from him. His pictures share, in place of a style, an unfailing rigor that can only be experienced, not described. Hujar needed no introduction to the low. He never met his father, who abandoned his mother, a diner waitress, before his birth, in 1934, in Trenton. She left his raising to her Ukrainian-speaking Polish parents in semirural surroundings in Ewing Township, New Jersey, until, when he was eleven, she took him to live with her and a new husband in a one-room apartment in Manhattan. The home wasn’t happy. Hujar moved out at sixteen, at first sleeping on the couch of a mentoring English teacher at the School of Industrial Arts (now the High School of Art and Design): the fine poet, editor, and translator Daisy Aldan, a free-spirited lesbian who is portrayed in the earliest of his works in the Morgan show, from 1955.Source: The New Yorker
Soumya Sankar Bose
I am a documentary photographer based in India. I did my Post graduate diploma in photography from Pathshala South Asian Media Institute.Born in 1990 Midnapore - Lives and works in KolkataAwards and Fellowships: The Toto-Tasveer Emerging Photographer of the Year. India foundation for the Arts grant for the Project "Let's Sing an Old Song". Magnum Foundation's Photography and Social Justice Fellowship for the Project "Full Moon in a Dark night"Publications: The Telegraph, The Indian Express , Better Photography, Kindle Magazine, Mint Lounge, The Caravan, Wired, A’int-Bad Magazine, Platform, Harmony . As well as online portals such as Scroll.in, The Huffington Post, BBC Online, Gallery Carte Blanche, F-Stop Magazine, Galli Magazine, Fltr , Medium and etc. AAP: Do you have a mentor or role model? Yes, Shahidul Alam who is the principal of Pathshala .And Morten Krogvold was one of my mentor during Chobimela VII .AAP: Do you remember your first shot? What was it?I don't remember my first shot exactly but when I was 7-8 years old, I got a Kodak KB10 from my mother and then I started to capture each and everything around me.AAP: What or who inspires you?My Parents ,Friends, Barnali But mostly my Grand father whose photographs inspire me to become a photographer in my childhood.AAP: How could you describe your style?Once one of my mentor Hasib Zakaria told me that my work is about hyper real. "Hyper reality is seen as a condition in which what is real and what is fiction are seamlessly blended together so that there is no clear distinction between where one ends and the other begins."AAP: What kind of gear do you use? Camera, lens, digital, film?I like to shoot only on 35mm Prime lens in Film and Digital both.AAP: Do you spend a lot of time editing your images? For what purpose?I don't spend lot of time in editing my pictures but what I keep in mind during my editing is that I should not off-tracked.AAP: Favorite(s) photographer(s)?Alec Soth, Stfan bladh, Graciela Iturbide, Diane Arbus, Dayanita Singh and so on.AAP: What advice would you give a young photographer?I am also a young Photographer.AAP: What are your projects?My project documents retired Jatra artists (Jatra is four hundred years old Bengali folk theater which is disappearing day by day) or who have been working in Jatra for more than 25-30 years.AAP: Your favorite photo book?Calcutta Ladies by Dayanita Singh, Fauna and Flora by Dietmar Busse and so on.
Lenka Klicperová
Czech Republic
1976
Journalist and photographer. She obtained a master's degree at the University of Hradec Králové and immediately after that started working as a journalist. From 2004 to 2018 she was the editor-in-chief of the leading Czech travel magazine Lidé a Země. Since 2018 she has been working as a freelance reporter and photographer focused on war zones. She has worked in a number of African countries, including conflict zones of Democratic Republic of Congo. She visited Afghanistan several times, as well as Somalia, plagued by several decades of war. Since 2014, she has focused on the issue of the war with the ISIS in Iraq and Syria. She is the co-author of several documentaries (Tears of the Congo, Latim – the Circumcised, Iraqui Women, Women in the Land of Taliban, Unbroken) and a number of television reports. She has won a number of prizes and nominations in the Czech Press Photo competition - both for photography and video. In 2020 she was included in the prestigious Women Photograph database, she was shortlisted for the International Women In Photo Association Award. She is the co-author of nine books about Africa and about the wars in the Middle East and Nagorno Karabakh. Her work from Syria resulted in two books entitled In Sight of the Islamic State I and In Sight of the Islamic State II, which were co-authored by Markéta Kutilová. Together with Kutilová she also wrote other books on the wars in Syria and Iraq: In the War (2018) and War is My Fate (2020). In 2019, a book called AK47 was published, which depicts the dramatic life of the world-famous Czech war photographer Antonín Kratochvíl. Klicperová wrote the text of the book based on Kratochvíl's narration. In September 2020, war broke out in Nagorno Karabakh. Lenka Klicperová and Markéta Kutilová quickly moved to the center of events. The war in the Caucasus was captured by both reporters in many reports, but also in a book The Last One Sets the Village on Fire (2021). Klicperová cooperates with a number of Czech media. She also lectures at the University of Hradec Králové. Statement Twelve years ago I first came to a war zone, to the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. My goal was to document the drastic effects of the protracted war on women. The local militias are committing mass rape of women and children; rape is a weapon of war. It was my first encounter with war. I understood that I wanted to bear witness to the injustices of this world, the way they fall on innocent victims who have nothing to do with them. I returned to the Congo several times and started working in Afghanistan. Then the war in Syria and Iraq started. I spent six years traveling to these areas watching and documenting how the Islamic State terrifies the world. And how it is gradually being defeated with the generous contribution of the Syrian Kurds. The city of Kobani, the center of the Kurds, has been indelibly engraved in my heart, defending itself against the enormous superiority of the Islamists. At the cost of high casualties. I have been on the front lines, in refugee camps, documenting the lives of the wives of ISIS fighters and their children. I managed to get in the prison where ISIS fighters who survived the fighting are being held. When the war broke out in Nagorno Karabakh, I knew I had to go there immediately. I followed the war to the end and documented the lives of civilians sentenced to live suddenly in a war zone. I saw their exodus. War zones have thus become a part of my life... Lost War
William Eugene Smith
United States
1918 | † 1978
William Eugene Smith was an American photojournalist known for his refusal to compromise professional standards and his brutally vivid World War II photographs. Smith graduated from Wichita North High School in 1936. He began his career by taking pictures for two local newspapers, The Wichita Eagle (morning circulation) and the Beacon (evening circulation). He moved to New York City and began work for Newsweek and became known for his incessant perfectionism and thorny personality. Smith was fired from Newsweek for refusing to use medium format cameras and joined Life Magazine in 1939 using a 35mm camera. In 1945 he was wounded while photographing battle conditions in the Pacific theater of World War II. As a correspondent for Ziff-Davis Publishing and then Life again, W. Eugene Smith entered World War II on the front lines of the island-hopping American offensive against Japan, photographing U.S. Marines and Japanese prisoners of war at Saipan, Guam, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa. On Okinawa, Smith was hit by mortar fire. After recovering, he continued at Life and perfected the photo essay from 1947 to 1954. In 1950, he was sent to the United Kingdom to cover the General Election, in which the Labour Party, under Clement Attlee, was narrowly victorious. Life had taken an editorial stance against the Labour government. In the end, a limited number of Smith's photographs of working-class Britain were published, including three shots of the South Wales valleys. In a documentary made by BBC Wales, Professor Dai Smith traced a miner who described how he and two colleagues had met Smith on their way home from work at the pit and had been instructed on how to pose for one of the photos published in Life. Smith severed his ties with Life over the way in which the magazine used his photographs of Albert Schweitzer. Upon leaving Life, Smith joined the Magnum Photos agency in 1955. There he started his project to document Pittsburgh. This project was supposed to take him three weeks, but spanned three years and tens of thousands of negatives. It was too large ever to be shown, although a series of book-length photo essays were eventually produced. From 1957 to 1965 he took photographs and made recordings of jazz musicians at a Manhattan loft shared by David X. Young, Dick Cary and Hall Overton. In January 1972, William Eugene Smith was attacked by Chisso employees near Tokyo, in an attempt to stop him from further publicizing the Minamata disease to the world. Although Smith survived the attack, his sight in one eye deteriorated. Smith and his Japanese wife lived in the city of Minamata from 1971 to 1973 and took many photos as part of a photo essay detailing the effects of Minamata disease, which was caused by a Chisso factory discharging heavy metals into water sources around Minamata. One of his most famous works, Tomoko Uemura in Her Bath, taken in December 1971 and published a few months after the 1972 attack, drew worldwide attention to the effects of Minamata disease. Complications from his long-term consumption of drugs, notably amphetamines (taken to enable his workaholic tendencies), and alcohol led to a massive stroke, from which Eugene Smith died in 1978. He is buried in Crum Elbow Cemetery, Pleasant Valley, New York. Smith was perhaps the originator and arguably the master of the photo-essay. In addition to Pittsburgh, these works include Nurse Midwife, Minamata, Country Doctor, and Albert Schweitzer - A Man of Mercy. Today, Smith's legacy lives on through the W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund to promote "humanistic photography." Since 1980, the fund has awarded photographers for exceptional accomplishments in the field.Source: Wikipedia Born and reared in Wichita, Kansas, W. Eugene Smith became interested in photography at the age of fourteen, and three years later had begun to photograph for local newspapers. He received a photography scholarship to the University of Notre Dame, but he left after a year for New York, where he joined the staff of Newsweek and freelanced for LIFE, Collier's, Harper's Bazaar, The New York Times, and other publications. Beginning in 1939, Smith began working sporadically as a staff photographer for LIFE, with which he had a tempestuous relationship throughout the rest of his career. During World War II he was a war correspondent in the Pacific theater for the Ziff-Davis publishing company and LIFE, for whom he was working when he was severely wounded in Okinawa in 1945. After a two-year recuperation, he returned to the magazine and produced many of his best photo essays, including Country Doctor, Spanish Village, and A Man of Mercy. In 1955, he joined Magnum, the international cooperative photography agency founded by Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Capa, George Rodger and Chim (David Seymour), and began work on a large photographic study of Pittsburgh, for which he received Guggenheim Fellowships in 1956 and 1957. Smith continued to freelance for LIFE, Pageant, and Sports Illustrated, among other periodicals, for the rest of his career. From 1959 to 1977, he worked for Hitachi in Japan and taught at the New School for Social Research and the School of Visual Arts in New York and the University of Arizona in Tucson. His last photo essay, Minamata, completed in the 1970s, depicted victims of mercury poisoning in a Japanese fishing village. Smith is credited with developing the photo essay to its ultimate form. He was an exacting printer, and the combination of innovation, integrity and technical mastery in his photography made his work the standard by which photojournalism was measured for many years. In recognition of his outstanding contribution to the development of photojournalism, the W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund was established after his death to support the projects of photographers working in the tradition he established. Source: International Center of Photography
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Exclusive Interview with  Lenka Klicperova
I first discovered Lenka Klicperová's work through the submission of her project 'Lost War' for the November 2021 Solo Exhibition. I chose this project for its strength not only because of its poignant subject but also for its humanist approach. I must admit that I was even more impressed when I discovered that it was a women behind these powerful front line images. Her courage and dedication in covering difficult conflicts around the world is staggering. We asked her a few questions about her life and work.
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