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Arlene Gottfried
Arlene Gottfried

Arlene Gottfried

Country: United States
Birth: 1950 | Death: 2017

Arlene Harriet Gottfried was a New York City street photographer who was known for recording the candid scenes of ordinary daily life in some of the city's less well-to-do neighborhoods; her work was not widely known until she was in her 50s.

Born in Coney Island, she was the daughter of Lillian (Zimmerman), a homemaker, and Max Gottfried, who ran a hardware store with his own father, above which the family lived. Gottfried was the older sister of comedian and actor Gilbert Gottfried (1955–2022). When she was 9, Arlene moved to Crown Heights, where she became heavily influenced by the nearby, fast-growing Puerto Rican community. Later in the 70s, she moved with her Jewish immigrant family to the neighborhoods of Alphabet City and the Lower East Side.

When Gottfried was a teenager, her father gave her an old 35 mm camera, which she eventually took to Woodstock, even though she said, "I had no clue what I was doing". She credited her upbringing for giving her the ability to get intimate photographs of strangers: "We lived in Coney Island, and that was always an exposure to all kinds of people, so I never had trouble walking up to people and asking them to take their picture."

Gottfried graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology taking photography courses. She worked as a photographer for an advertising agency before freelancing for publications such as The New York Times Magazine, Fortune, Life, the Village Voice, and The Independent (London). She was a habitué of Nuyorican Poets Café, a friend of Miguel Piñero, and on the Lower East Side sang gospel with the Eternal Light Community Singers.

In 1991 while on assignment Gottfried photographed the Eternal Light Community Singers, eventually singing with them, as well. Gottfried also sang gospel with the Jerriese Johnson East Village Gospel Choir.

In her later years, she published five books of her work: The Eternal Light (Dewi Lewis Publishing, 1999), Midnight (powerHouse 2003), Sometimes Overwhelming (2008), Bacalaitos and Fireworks (powerHouse 2011), and Mommie: Three Generations of Women (powerHouse 2015). Her photographs and archives have been exhibited at the Leica Gallery in New York and Tokyo, the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., the European House of Photography (MEP), the Brooklyn Museum of Art, and the New York Public Library. Gottfried died on August 8, 2017, from complications of breast cancer at her home in Manhattan at the age of 66 surrounded by friends and family.
 

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More Great Photographers To Discover

Donald Graham
United States
Donald Graham is an internationally recognized portrait, fashion and fine art photographer whose work is in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the International Center of Photography. He has exhibited his photography in numerous exhibitions and his photographs are held by many collectors. He is well known for his work photographing everyday people, celebrities and fashion for magazine and advertising clients including Vogue, Vanity Fair, Sports Illustrated and Time. Donald began his career in Paris as a fashion photographer. He then moved to New York and Los Angeles where he broadened his work to include portraiture for the movie, music, editorial and advertising industries and began devoting significant time to his personal fine art work. During his career, Donald has photographed in more than forty countries, with extensive travels in India, Asia, Africa, Latin America and Europe. A book of his portraits, entitled ONE OF A KIND, was published by Hatje Cantz in 2021. After 20 years in New York City, Donald is currently based in Los Angeles, California and Taos, New Mexico. Statement "My portraits are about honest moments that display qualities of the human character including wisdom and sensitivity, peace and vulnerability, both joy and tragedy. I seek to make portraits that are driven by one's inner dialog. I'm not interested in poses or performances for the benefit of the camera. I'm interested in what a person is like when they are their most authentic." Authenticity, honesty, and trust characterize Donald Graham's portraits. They are not simply photographic recordings. Looking at them is like seeing human beings in the flesh, revealed to us by Graham with his virtuoso technique and sensibilities. His exquisite, strongly contrasting black-and-white photographs are evidence of attitude, rather than studied gestures. Eyes and faces are not model-like masks; instead, they express the unique nature of those portrayed. Inevitably, viewers find themselves in a dialogue with the images. You wonder about the stories behind these faces; though unfamiliar, they are nevertheless an emotional experience. One of A Kind
Henry Horenstein
United States
1947
Born in Massachusetts in 1947, Henry Horenstein was on a path to becoming a historian when he discovered photography. Captivated by the work of Robert Frank and Danny Lyon, Horenstein entered the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) where he studied with Harry Callahan and Aaron Siskind. After completing his MFA at RISD in 1973, Horenstein's first major project was a documentary survey of the people and character of country music. As a long-time fan, Horenstein recognized that the culture of country music was changing, losing the homey, down-to-earth character of "hillbilly" music, and adopting the slicker nature of contemporary country music. His goal was to preserve a vanishing culture by capturing it in photographs, and for nearly a decade, he traveled throughout the United States, documenting the artists and audiences at honky-tonk bars, outdoor festivals, and community dances. The body of work that Horenstein created (published in 2003 as Honky Tonk) is a remarkable portrait of a distinct period in American cultural history. Some of Horenstein's later work has followed a similar theme, creating documentary portraits of distinct American sub-cultures, such as the worlds of horse racing, boxing clubs, and baseball. In recent years, Horenstein has also developed an extensive body of work that combines elements of portraiture, abstraction, clinical documentation, and landscape photography. Working with animals as well as human subjects, Horenstein creates compelling and frequently ambiguous images that explore the patterns, textures and geography of skin, scales and hair. Mixing the exotic and the ordinary, and making it difficult to tell which is which, Horenstein causes the viewer to pause and look closely. In doing so, we are made to re-examine ourselves as well as the world around us. Horenstein's work has been exhibited in galleries and museums both nationally and internationally, including the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History, Washington, D.C.; the International Museum of Photography, George Eastman House, Rochester, New York; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; and Fabrik der Kunste, Hamburg, Germany. Photographs by Henry Horenstein can be found in many public and private collections including the Library of Congress, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, Georgia. Horenstein is the author of over 30 books including several monographs and a series of highly successful photography textbooks that have been used by hundreds of thousands of students around the country. Horenstein currently lives in Boston and is a professor of photography at RISD.
Sebastian Sardi
Sweden
1983
Sebastian Sardi was born in 1983 in Stockholm, Sweden. At the age of 22 he started taking classes in analog photography at the Peoples University in Stockholm. In 2009 he moved to Denmark to study photography at Fatamorgana the Danish school of art and photography. In 2011 he received a Bachelor’s degree in Art History and Visual Studies. He published his first photobook “A Cirkusz” in 2012. Sebastian began his work on photographing mines in 2008 after reading an article on how mining related injuries and deaths are systematically covered up by many authorities. 2019 his second book “Black Diamond” was published on Kehrer Verlag. Today Sebastian Sardi lives and works in Malmö and Copenhagen. Black Diamond It is an apocalyptic landscape. There are huge man-made craters everywhere that make up the visible landscape, the ground is burning, and a vast area is oozing with toxic gases, fire and smoke. Amongst all of this, there are men, woman and children digging in the soil with their bare hands. Coal is mined everywhere in Jharkhand, India, and large parts of it is sorted by hand. The locals call it; Kalaheera; or ”Black Diamond”.
Energy produced by the burning of coal is the single biggest contributor to the man-generated carbon dioxide emissions on this planet. Coal is a major part in the issue of global warming. In Jharkhand many people have been forced away from their lands when companies and authorities recognised the richness that hides in the ground. Underground fires force people to relocate. The mining companies claim they are unable to put out the fires, while the locals blame the companies for letting the fires burn so the coal can be reached and excavated from underneath their villages.

 There is a fragile balance between nature and mankind. A sense of discomfort is felt in the slow but seemingly unavoidable struggle towards the collapse of nature. The human inability to break patterns is painstakingly visible in these photographs, as we knowingly keep on extracting the ground beneath our own feet. Black Diamond is a close (self-)portrait of the people who work with extracting coal from the ground to supply the ever growing demands.


André Kertész
Hungary
1894 | † 1985
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Félix Bonfils
France
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Félix Adrien Bonfils was a French photographer and writer who was active in the Middle East. He was one of the first commercial photographers to produce images of the Middle East on a large scale and amongst the first to employ a new method of colour photography, developed in 1880. He was born in Saint-Hippolyte-du-Fort and died in Alès. Félix worked as a bookbinder. In 1860, he joined General d'Hautpoul's expedition to the Levant, organized by France following the massacre of Christians in the civil conflict between Christians and Druze in Mount Lebanon and Damascus. On his return to France, it is thought that Félix was taught the heliogravure printing process by Abel Niépce de Saint-Victor and opened a printing office in Alès in 1864. Soon after returning from Lebanon, he became a photographer. In 1857, he married Marie-Lydie Cabanis. When his son, Adrien, fell ill, Félix remembered the green hills around Beirut and sent him there to recover, being accompanied by Félix's wife. 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The Bonfils studio was above all renowned for its landscapes, sites and views of architecture made first of all for artists, wealthy travellers, art historians and archaeologists, then for an increasing number of tourists. Bonfils immediately became extremely active: at the beginning of the 1870s his catalogue included some fifteen thousand shots, five hundred and ninety-one negatives from Egypt, Palestine, Syria and Greece, and nine thousand stereoscopic views. In 1876, Constantinople was added. A new catalogue resuming these images was published in 1876. These shots were sold one by one on demand, but also brought together in albums. In 1872, Bonfils started out by presenting Architecture antique. Egypte. Grèce. Asie Mineure. Album de photographies published by Ducher in Paris and including fifty albumen originals tipped onto cards with printed captions. For the Paris World Fair in 1878, he produced a series of five volumes entitled: Souvenirs d’Orient : album pittoresque des sites, villes et ruines les plus remarquables… published by their author in Alès in 1877-1878 and covering the Orient from Egypt and Nubia (volumes I and II) to Athens and Constantinople (volume V). Each album included around forty original, tipped-in photographs, as well as an “historical, archaeological and descriptive notice opposite each plate”. These collections were thus offered to the buyers in a finished form, a little like the engraved keepsakes from the 1830s. They won a medal at the World Fair and the department of Stamps at the then Bibliothèque Impériale acquired the entire collection. At this time, the firm, which was now divided between Alès and Beirut, was renamed Bonfils et Cie. This enterprise had a commercial rationale: it was important for it to offer as broad an offer as possible covering all the countries of the Middle East, with all the sites, monuments and landscapes sought-out by its clientele. For this reason, Félix Bonfils was soon unable to do everything on his own. Apart from his wife and son, he took on the help of assistants who have mostly remained anonymous, as well as local photographers also from the Gard, such as Tancrède Dumas (1830-1905) and Jean-Baptiste Charlier (1822-1907) who sold on their shots to him. In 1875 Félix Bonfils felt the need to distribute his prints from Europe, even if he also had a network of foreign correspondents as can be seen in their often bilingual captions. He left his wife and son to manage the Beirut studio and moved back to Alès in the Gard to organize mail ordering of all the images they produced on the banks of the Mediterranean. After his death in 1885, the firm which had opened up several subsidies around the Middle East, was run by his wife and son, until 1895 when the latter turned towards the hotel business. It was only at the death of Lydie Bonfils in 1918 that Abraham Guiragossian, who had been an associate since 1909, brought up the business, which finally closed in 1938. The entire catalogue of works provided by the Bonfils company is as large as it is interesting, especially because these images marry a documentary concern with an aesthetic approach to composition and framing. The large number of photographers explains the obvious fluctuations of quality. The great demand, trade requirements, and the interest of the clientele in the obviously picturesque explains why a part of the production can be judged to be rather mediocre, unjustly obscuring pieces of great quality. This huge production spread out over more than half a century explains why Bonfils’s photographs are today heavily present in French public collections (the BnF, Médiathèque de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine, Musée Niépce…).Source: Bibliothèque Nationale de France
Mahya Rastegar
I am Mahya Rastegar, born 1980 in Tehran, Iran, a graduate in Photography and a Documentary Photographer, based in Tehran, Iran. I began to study Graphic Design in 2000, but quit it very soon in 2001 to find my field of interest somewhere else. After many years, in 2010, I started to study Photography, and graduated in 2013. I am mainly a social documentary photographer, most interested to capture the influential stories of women's lives.From the aspect of appearance, face and fashion, women are different from each other, but they are all the same in the way that all of them make efforts to get stronger in their inner world and possess the ability to live independently. From 2015 until now, I've been working on a long-term documentary photographing project with topic of Iranian women with influential stories. The collections of photos about each woman have the form of stories of their lives, meaning that I'm talking about the lives of these women by taking pictures of them. While holding on to the passion of presenting all type of women issues as a woman and after some serious researches and studies, I started shooting Iranian women trough different projects since 2013. In addition to all my ongoing projects, I have been working on a project called "To Remain Such a Woman" since 2016. I pictured all the women I live inside myself trough more than 10 women living under different conditions in the real/outside world (more on portfolio). This project will be released as a book soon. Some of my photos had the chance to be released on different pages and magazines such as: Panospictures, UK, L'HEBDO Magazine, France, Refinery29 Blog, PRI Org, NYTimes, women Photograph: 2018 year in Pictures, welt.de, leparisien.fr, NBC news, Euronews, Photo printing in Lens magazine 2019, Fine art photography awards 2020 (portrait nominee), Tow Phot's from NBCnews.com's November gallery of Women defying stereotypes in Iran won an AI-AP award in 2020. About Soudabeh Soudabeh was born in 27 October 1976 Soudabeh is the deputy of women bodyguards in ISBTA association. she said : "l was seeking for a sport-educational system for years to evacuate my excitements and beside that I could be able to protect myself in front of bullies and also in dangerous situations", until I got to know the international security and bodyguard training association or ISBTA. This association legally and officially works. Soudabeh's son, Pouria, was born in 25 March 1997. He was 10 when Soudabeh got divorced. Soudabeh has given motivation of independence to his son and Pouria has learned to sport and having a healthy body from his mother. The first reason I chose Soudabeh was the divorce thing.In Iran ‘s society divorce and being divorced is still a taboo for women. A divorced woman can't easily go to work and still has challenges in her work communications with men. Soudabeh and even me are divorced women and we are facing obstacles in this patriarchal society and we were able to prove ourselves with an appropriate job in this society. Which means we can continue living despite the fact that we are divorced. Soudabeh has been a body building coach for 8 years. Before being a coach she used to work in an advertising company in the graphic section. Soudabeh went to a beauty salon which is owned by one of her students. She is student of body building and she just goes to gym for sport. Soudabeh, It's right that she is doing a masculine sport but at first she is a woman and then a mother and ultimately she is a woman bodybuilder. Her position as a deputy in this organization means she can holds ISBTA bodyguard classes for women and she she can teach in this classes as a coach.
Damian Lemański
Damian Lemański aka Damian Wolf Wagabunda Polish freelance photojournalist documenting the life around him. He is mainly interested in people and their place in today's world - especially those left aside, on the margins of society. In 2008 he graduated from the European Academy of Photography in Warsaw - Dr Izabela Jaroszewska's school. He took part in workshops led by Kadir van Lohuizen, Pep Bonet, Tanya Habjouga, Espen Rasmussen, Stefano De Luigi, Tomasz Tomaszewski, Michael Ackerman, Lorenzo Castore. Vagabond and dreamer. At the turn of 2011 and 2012 he wandered for 181 days through South America. From this solitary expedition he edited the film 181. And in 2015 he set off on his bike from Korsze in Masuria (Poland) to Africa, to reach Dakar in Senegal after 171 days. During this expedition, together with the foundation Hear Africa, he raised money for the education of a deaf girl, Makane Dieng. From this expedition, Damian created the film Restaurant, which premiered in February 2018. In early 2019, he flew to the Greek island of Lesbos, where Europe's largest refugee camp is located, because he wanted to get to know the people that so many are afraid of without knowing them at all. For a few weeks, walking between tents in the so-called jungle next to the Moria camp (which he was not allowed into) and in other places on the island, he met hundreds of people who willingly invited him to join them around the campfire for warm tea or a meal in the tent that is currently their home, shared bread they had just baked in an oven dug into the ground, and shared heartbreaking stories. He met people who live in inhumane conditions and try to maintain their dignity, people who, having little, get offended if you don't eat enough, when they offer what they have. He also met there a wonderful Greek couple, Katerina and Nikos, who 6 days a week host the residents of the Moria and Kara Tepe camps for dinner in their restaurant and take the meals to the place. They are assisted by many volunteers, including from Poland. In October 2019, he visited Senegal again - this time to document the work of the Polish Medical Mission. At that time, he met Huleje (Little Princess) and her parents. Since 2017, every now and then he visits Lunik IX, a Roma settlement in Kosice, Slovakia, where he left his heart among the children living there. On a daily basis, he tries to love.
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