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Tatiana Wills
Tatiana Wills
Tatiana Wills

Tatiana Wills

Country: United States
Birth: 1969

Tatiana Wills is an artist photographing creatives, highlighting the personality behind the artistic practice.

Over the course of her multifaceted career, Wills ran the photo department at a notable entertainment agency in Los Angeles. While spearheading guerrilla marketing campaigns, her longing to be a part of a burgeoning art community was reignited, and she embarked on a personal project about the outsider art scene of the early aughts. She has photographed the likes of Shepard Fairey, Mister Cartoon, Gabrielle Bell, David Choe, Saber One, and Molly Crabapple. Other series in her vast repertoire include notable dancers and choreographers Kyle Abraham, Lucinda Childs, Jacob Jonas, and Michaela Taylor, along with a multitude of dance artists, all of which is inspired through a lifetime of documenting her daughter, Lily, and witnessing her journey to become a professional ballerina.

Her photography book, Heroes & Villains: Portraits of Contemporary Artists, with Roman Cho, is a collection of portraits featuring more than 100 of the most iconic figures in the contemporary creative world. Her work has appeared in numerous major magazines, including GQ, Time, Juxtapoz, Nylon, IdN, LALA Magazine, on the silver screen in Banksy's street art documentary, Exit Through the Gift Shop, and on street banners in New York City and throughout Europe. She has exhibited in several galleries winning several awards along the way.

She currently lives and works in Los Angeles, California.

Statement
To look at another person with intention is to engage in a moment of pure vulnerability. Especially now. There is so much available to us that shapes how we present and form ourselves for others that much of what constitutes us is also based on performance.

My work is about looking past these performances and arriving at a kind of unvarnished selfhood. Portraiture has a long and complex history with representation, but, no matter its form, it is also uncompromising in its commitment to exploring what makes us us. Our appearances and our gestures, how we occupy space in the world. It is a way of looking not only at ourselves but viewing each other as well, a nexus between private and public, interior and exterior, approachability and distance.

As someone deeply invested in and inspired by other artists in various fields, my current project has led to photographing creatives whose work often takes precedence over their own being. This project has culminated in my exploration of dancers, who, by the very nature of their field, are usually looked upon solely for the dexterity of their bodies and the ways in which those bodies can perform. My work pares them back, peeling away the performative qualities that usually define them, to arrive at that moment of vulnerability where they are free to be themselves in a new limelight.

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United States
I am a travel, documentary and portrait photographer based in Denver, CO. I began exploring photography ten years ago after retiring early from a corporate career. I travel extensively in pursuit of images that reflect local cultures and people. My emphasis in recent years has been on portraiture with the objective of “introducing” viewers to the people I meet and photograph at home and around the world. My work has been exhibited in juried group shows at Colorado Photographic Art Center (Denver, CO), Center for Fine Art Photography (Ft. Collins, CO), Southeast Center for Photography (Greenville, SC), Naples (FL) Art Association, PhotoPlace Gallery (Middlebury, VT), ACCI (Berkeley, CA), A. Smith Gallery (Johnson City, TX), Blackbox Gallery (Portland, OR), Click! Photography Festival (Raleigh/Durham, NC), Midwest Center for Photography (Wichita, KS). Solo exhibitions include: Asian Journeys (2016) at Gallery MFC, Denver, CO; Faces (2016) at the Hamilton Family Gallery, Children's Hospital of Colorado, Aurora, CO; Faces of the American West (2016) at The Darkroom, Longmont, Colorado; and Pleased to Meet You: Portraits from Places Near & Far (2018) at Gallery MFC, Denver, CO; and Keepers of Tradition (2019) at Robert Anderson Gallery, Denver, CO. My photographs have been published in Black & White Magazine, Monovisions Magazine, AAP Magazine, PDN, New Mexico Magazine and Photographer's Forum. My portraits celebrate humankind. I've been privileged to meet and photograph people in may different places - across five continents, diverse geographies, cultures and ways of life. My objective is to make interesting, accessible and compelling images that tell a story or convey a sense of place and personality. As a matter of respect and courtesy, I always engage with my subjects, asking permission to make their portrait. My request is sometimes met with skepticism. Occasionally I'm turned down. More often, however, my approach results in a conversation - sometimes quite brief, and often through sign language or a translator. That conversation - whatever it's form - yields a connection that I hope is reflected in the final image. I favor simple compositions - straightforward and tightly framed. This approach directs the viewer's attention to the subject's eyes. In most of my images the individuals are looking directly at the camera and, by extension, at us. This approach feels honest and straightforward. The great majority of my portraits are made in natural surroundings with available light. No studio, no strobes. This approach is less intimidating and less formal. It improves the chances of capturing a genuine portrait, an unguarded moment that reveals something of the person behind the photograph. My portraits document the amazing diversity in appearance, lifestyle and circumstances of the people I meet in my travels. At the same time, I hope the message that stays with the viewer is, despite our many superficial differences, our shared humanness connects all of us in the human tapestry.
Joel Sternfeld
United States
1944
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Next to each photograph is text about the events that happened at that location. From 1991 to 1994 Sternfeld worked with Melinda Hunt to document New York City's public cemetery on Hart Island, resulting in the book Hart Island (1998). Sternfeld has also published books about social class and stereotypes in America: Stranger Passing (2001), an abandoned elevated railway in New York: Walking the High Line (2002), and Sweet Earth: Experimental Utopias in America (2006). When It Changed (2007) contains close-up portraits of delegates debating global warming at the 2005 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Montreal.Source: Wikipedia Joel Sternfeld is an artist-photographer whose work is concerned with utopic and dystopic possibilities of the American experience. Ever since the publication of his landmark study, American Prospects in 1987 his work has maintained conceptual and political aspects, while also being steeped in history, art history, landscape theory and attention to seasonal passage. It is a melancholic, spectacular, funny and profound portrait of America. The curator Kevin Moore has claimed that the work embodies the “synthetic culmination of so many photographic styles of the 1970s, incorporating the humor and social perspicacity of street photography with the detached restraint of New Topographics photographs and the pronounced formalism of works by so many late-decade colorists” (Kevin Moore, Starburst: Color Photography in America 1970-1980). On This Site (1996) examines violence in America while simultaneously raising significant epistemological questions about photographs as objects of knowledge. Sweet Earth: Experimental Utopias in America (2006) “can be seen as a generous respite from the traumatic history in On This Site... It is a survey of American human socialization, alternative ways of living, of hopeful being” (Elin O’Hara Slavik, 2018). All his subsequent work has sought to expand the narrative possibilities of still photography primarily through an authored text. All of his books and bodies of work converse with each other and may be read as a collective whole. His work represents a melding of time and place that serves to elucidate, honor, and warn. The images hold a certain urgency, as their histories survive solely through their photographic representation— they are an archive for the future. Sternfeld is the recipient of two Guggenheim Fellowships and spent a year in Italy on a Rome Prize. He teaches at Sarah Lawrence College, where he holds the Noble Foundation Chair in Art and Cultural History.Source: www.joelsternfeld.net Joel Sternfeld is well known for large-format color photographs that extend the tradition of chronicling roadside America initiated by Walker Evans in the 1930s. Sternfeld's projects have consistently explored the possibility of a collective American identity by documenting ordinary people and places throughout the country. Each project he embarks on is bound by a concept that imbues it with subtle irony, often through insightful visual juxtapositions or by pairing images with informational text. Another characteristic aspect of Sternfeld's work is that color is never arbitrary; it functions in highly sophisticated ways to connect elements and resonate emotion. Sternfeld earned a BA in Art from Dartmouth College in 1965. He began making color photographs in the 1970s after learning the color theory of Johannes Itten and Josef Albers. He initially made street photographs with small- and medium-format cameras, but by the time he produced what would become a seminal project, American Prospects (1987), he was working with an eight-by-ten-inch camera. This enabled him to achieve the crisp details his work is known for. Sternfeld's style-his careful attention to visual qualities combined with an insightful and often ironic view of his subjects was first articulated in American Prospects. One of his best-known images, for example, depicts a fireman shopping for a pumpkin as a house burns in the background. The pumpkins' vibrant oranges match the autumnal colors of the countryside, and ironically, the fire's flames.Source: The J. Paul Getty Museum
Sonia Melnikova-Raich
Russia/United States
1947
Sonia Melnikova-Raich was born in Moscow in 1947 and has been living in San Francisco since 1987. She was trained as an artist and architect, with a Master's degree from the prestigious Moscow Architectural Institute. Her approach to photography is shaped by her background in painting and architecture. Influenced by the vision of Russian Constructivists of the 1920s and the photography of the Bauhaus movement, she is interested in exploring the abstract in the material world, drawing the viewer's attention to the inner geometry of the photograph and its compositional structure. Her Light+Shadows series, which revolves around the mystery of perspective and geometry created by light and darkness in the architectural image, was inspired by the words of the famous American architect Louis Kahn: "The sun never knew how great it was until it hit the side of a building." Distinct from her high-contrast architectural photography, many of Sonia's other works (Within My Sight, Råbjerg Mile Dunes, Waking Dreams, and other series) explore the poetry and mystique of low-light environments, capturing fleeting moments, barely visible, ambiguous or disappearing things. She feels a strong affinity with the Japanese philosophy and aesthetic of wabi sabi, with its reverence for the subtle beauty in old and simple things, and focus on transience and impermanence. She believes that photography is the best medium to express these concepts, as each photograph is inherently an image of disappearance, a reflective connection to the past forever stamped by time. Since 2005, Sonia's photography has been exhibited locally, nationally, and internationally. In addition to three solo gallery shows in San Francisco, her photographs have been exhibited at LoosenArt Gallery in Rome, Fotogalerie Friedrichshain in Berlin, and various venues in the USA, with some of her works in the permanent collection of the Lafayette Public Library in California. She has been among the winners in many juried competitions, had her works featured in professional photography journals, and was listed in 100 Hot Photographers of 2022 and 2023 by YourDailyPhotograph.com, the project by Duncan Miller Gallery in Los Angeles, an internationally recognized gallery specializing in 20th and 21st Century fine art photography. Winner AAP Magazine #30 Shadows
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