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Gregory Spaid
Gregory Spaid
Gregory Spaid
Gregory Spaid

Gregory Spaid

Country: United States
Birth: 1946

Gregory Spaid (born, 1946) is an American artist who works in many modes and styles of photography, which are linked by a common thread of illuminating the commonplace. Whether it is the daily movement of pedestrians on the streets of New York City or the leaves that fall in his yard in rural Ohio, it is photography’s potential to transform our common experiences to reveal meaning and beauty that is the hallmark of his work.

Spaid’s recent work includes a photography project that explores the importance trees play in our lives and for the health of the planet titled Reading Trees. His work on trees includes Cliché Verre photographs that incorporate actual leaves and other materials on negatives he makes by hand. For this project he traveled throughout the United States and has been awarded artist residencies at the Brush Creek Foundation in Wyoming, Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado, Congaree National Park in South Carolina and the Sonoran Arts Residency in Ajo, Arizona. During the Covid-19 pandemic, he focused on the natural world much closer to home, within footsteps of where he lives, to produce a series of videos to share with friends, titled The Machine in the Garden, that take a close look at nature for the beauty and inspiration still to be found there.

Since 2009, Spaid has photographed the dance-like movement of people on the street of New York City for a series of abstract images titled Pedestrians. His photography on the changing landscape of rural America was included in a major group exhibition at The J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles titled Where We Live. As well as the Getty Museum, his work is in other major collections including the Museum of Modern Art, the International Museum of Photography at the George Eastman House, and the Smithsonian American Art Museum. He received a Fulbright Research Fellowship to Italy and is the recipient of eight grants from the Ohio Art Council. Spaid has published two monographs: Grace: Photograph of Rural America and On Nantucket. In 2010, the Getty Museum published his work in an historical survey titled The Tree in Photography. Spaid taught studio art at Kenyon College where he served for nine years in academic administration including six years as the college’s provost.

About Leaf Cutting Series
"Leaves occur in such abundance where I live in rural Ohio as to seem worthless, and yet each one is astoundingly complex and beautiful both in its form and function. I think of the leaves in this series as visual representations of wildness, while the alterations I make to them -- the cutting -- is a form of rational human intervention.

These images from my leaf cutting series are camera-less photographs made from negatives I make by hand -- a process known by the French term Cliché Verre. Cliché Verre is one of the earliest uses of light-sensitive, photographic materials. In the mid-19th century, it was used by a few French landscape painters, including Corot, Delacroix, Millet and Rousseau, to reproduce drawings they made on glass plates.

My process is a hybrid one and an experimental contemporary version of that early process. After making a negative by hand, I scan it, process it digitally, and then print it as an archival ink jet print. Because there is no right or wrong way to make Cliché Verre images, I invent my technique as I work and let chance and discovery shape my approach. The subject of this work is leaves that I collect, make translucent, cut in unique shapes, and then combine with other materials (including maple syrup, blueberry juice, glue, India ink) to make hand-made 'negatives.'”
-- Gregory Spaid
 

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More Great Photographers To Discover

 JR
France
1983
JR has the largest art gallery in the world. Thanks to his photographic collage technique, he exhibits his work free of charge on the walls of the whole world - attracting the attention of those who do not usually go to museums. Originator of the 28 Millimeters Project which he started in and around Clichy-Montfermeil in 2004, continued in the Middle East with Face 2 Face (2007), in Brazil and Kenya for Women Are Heroes (2008-2011), the documentary for which was presented at the Cannes Film Festival in 2010 (Critics' Week). JR has created "Infiltrating art". During his collage activities, the local communities take part in the act of artistic creation, with no stage separating actors from spectators. The anonymity of JR and the absence of any explanation accompanying his huge portraits leave him with a free space in which issues and actors, performers and passers-by meet, forming the essence of his work. In 2011 he received the Ted Prize, giving him the opportunity to make a vow to change the world. He created Inside Out, an international participatory art project that allows people from around the world to receive a print of their portrait and then billboard it as support for an idea, a project, an action and share that experience. In 2014, working with the New York City Ballet, he used the language of dance to tell his version of the riots in the Clichy-Montfermeil district. He created The Groves, a ballet and short film, the music for which was composed by Woodkid, Hans Zimmer and Pharrell Williams, and which was presented at the Tribeca Film Festival. At the same time, JR worked in the abandoned hospital of Ellis Island, an important place in the history of immigration - and made the short film ELLIS, with Robert De Niro. In 2016, JR was invited by the Louvre, whose pyramid he made disappear the with the help of an astonishing anamorphosis. The same year, during the Olympic Games in Rio, he created gigantic new sculptural installations throughout the city, to underline the beauty of the sporting gesture. JR & Agnès Varda - Faces, Places. In 2017, he co-directed with Agnès Varda "Faces, Place"s, screened the same year in the official selection out of competition for the Cannes Film Festival. The film won the Golden Eye (for best documentary) and was nominated for a Caesar and an Oscar in the same category in 2018. He has received other awards around the world. In 2013, the first retrospectives of JR's work took place in Tokyo (at the Watari-Um Museum) and the Cincinnati Contemporary Arts Center, followed by exhibitions at the Frieder Burda Museum in Baden Baden in 2014, and at the HOCA Foundation in Hong Kong in 2015. He exhibited in 2018 at the Maison Européenne de la Photographie in Paris, and in 2019 at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) and the Brooklyn Museum. Source: jr-art.net
David Katzenstein
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New York fine arts photographer David Katzenstein has traveled throughout the world on his lifelong artistic journey as a visual chronicler of humanity. Using subject, light, and composition to create visual dynamism, he sets the stage for the viewer to be in the moment with him. His goal is to allow viewers to experience a scene through his eyes-as if they were standing there beside him. Steeped in the tradition of documentary photography, Katzenstein imbues his work with immediacy, emotional engagement, and a deep respect for his subjects. Out of his fascination with ritual, over the years Katzenstein has photographed pilgrimage as practiced in different cultures. While visiting Memphis in the spring of 2017, he was inspired to expand on this theme by embarking on the project OUTSIDE THE LORRAINE MOTEL: Journey to a Sacred Place. The artist was introduced to the Mid-South region in the late 1980s while on assignment for Rolling Stone, documenting the roots of the blues in rural communities of Mississippi and Arkansas. An archive of online exhibitions and projects can be viewed at www.davidkatzenstein.com. In 2018 Katzenstein formed a nonprofit organization whose mission is to create and mount exhibitions of photographs depicting the human experience (www.thehumanexperienceproject.net). Outside the Lorraine: A Photographic Journey to a Sacred Place The National Civil Rights Museum presents the fine art photography exhibition, Outside the Lorraine: A Photographic Journey to a Sacred Place featuring the work of David Katzenstein. The yearlong exhibition highlights the museum as mecca for peacemakers, a place of memory and connection during the museum’s 30th anniversary. The collection of over 90 photos in Outside the Lorraine helps visitors identify with social issues by using fine art photography to connect to the historic place, Dr. King, movement makers, and one another. Viewers are invited to see the sparkle that lies within each print that shimmers, vibrates, and introduces people to a richer experience with fine art photography by making each piece relatable. The National Civil Rights Museum welcomes thousands of visitors a year each carrying an identity influenced by self and society. They bring their assumptions about the Civil Rights Movement. The courtyard is the first place where they confront those assumptions and begin to reconcile them with an alternate perspective of history. A picture tells a thousand words. As a sacred place, the plaza holds the weight of our shared mourning. As a portal, the plaza offers each visitor a pathway to greater self-knowledge and agency.
Martine Franck
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1938 | † 2012
Franck was born in Antwerp to the Belgian banker Louis Franck and his British wife, Evelyn. After her birth the family moved almost immediately to London. A year later, her father joined the British army, and the rest of the family were evacuated to the United States, spending the remainder of the Second World War on Long Island and in Arizona. Franck's father was an amateur art collector who often took his daughter to galleries and museums. Franck was in boarding school from the age of six onwards, and her mother sent her a postcard every day, frequently of paintings. Ms. Franck, attended Heathfield School, an all-girls boarding school close to Ascot in England, and studied the history of art from the age of 14. "I had a wonderful teacher who really galvanized me," she says. "In those days she took us on outings to London, which was the big excitement of the year for me." Franck studied art history at the University of Madrid and at the Ecole du Louvre in Paris. After struggling through her thesis (on French sculptor Henri Gaudier-Brzeska and the influence of cubism on sculpture), she said she realized she had no particular talent for writing, and turned to photography instead. In 1963, Franck's photography career started following trips to the Far East, having taken pictures with her cousin’s Leica camera. Returning to France in 1964, now possessing a camera of her own, Franck became an assistant to photographers Eliot Elisofon and Gjon Mili at Time-Life. By 1969 she was a busy freelance photographer for magazines such as Vogue, Life and Sports Illustrated, and the official photographer of the Théâtre du Soleil (a position she held for 48 years). From 1970 to 1971 she worked in Paris at the Agence Vu photo agency, and in 1972 she co-founded the Viva agency. In 1980, Franck joined the Magnum Photos cooperative agency as a "nominee", and in 1983 she became a full member. She was one of a very small number of women to be accepted into the agency. In 1983, she completed a project for the now-defunct French Ministry of Women's Rights and in 1985 she began collaborating with the non-profit International Federation of Little Brothers of the Poor. In 1993, she first traveled to the Irish island of Tory where she documented the tiny Gaelic community living there. She also traveled to Tibet and Nepal, and with the help of Marilyn Silverstone photographed the education system of the Tibetan Tulkus monks. In 2003 and 2004 she returned to Paris to document the work of theater director Robert Wilson who was staging La Fontaine's fables at the Comédie Française. Nine books of Franck's photographs have been published, and in 2005 Franck was made a chevalier of the French Légion d'Honneur. Franck continued working even after she was diagnosed with bone cancer in 2010. Her last exhibition was in October 2011 at the Maison Européenne de la Photographie. The exhibit consisted of 62 portraits of artists "coming from somewhere else" collected from 1965 through 2010. This same year, there were collections of portraits shown at New York's Howard Greenberg Gallery and at the Claude Bernard Gallery, Paris. Franck was well known for her documentary-style photographs of important cultural figures such as the painter Marc Chagall, philosopher Michel Foucault and poet Seamus Heaney, and of remote or marginalized communities such as Tibetan Buddhist monks, elderly French people, and isolated Gaelic speakers. Michael Pritchard, the Director-General of the Royal Photographic Society, observed: "Martine was able to work with her subjects and bring out their emotions and record their expressions on film, helping the viewer understand what she had seen in person. Her images were always empathetic with her subject." In 1976, Frank took one of her most iconic photos of bathers beside a pool in Le Brusc, Provence. By her account, she saw them from a distance and rushed to photograph the moment, all the while changing the roll of film in her camera. She quickly closed the lens just at the right moment, when happened to be most intense. She cited as influences the portraits of British photographer Julia Margaret Cameron, the work of American photojournalist Dorothea Lange and American documentary photographer Margaret Bourke-White. In 2010, she told The New York Times that photography "suits my curiosity about people and human situations." She worked outside the studio, using a 35 mm Leica camera, and preferring black and white film. The British Royal Photographic Society has described her work as "firmly rooted in the tradition of French humanist documentary photography." Source: Wikipedia Born in Belgium, Martine Franck (1938-2012) grew up in the United States and in England. She studied art history at the University of Madrid and at the École du Louvre in Paris. In 1963, she went to China, taking her cousin's Leica camera with her, and discovered the joys of documenting other cultures. Returning home via Hong Kong, Cambodia, India, Afghanistan and Turkey, and bought her first camera while on the trip. Returning to France, she worked as a photographic assistant at Time-Life where she developed her own technique. In 1966, Franck met Henri Cartier-Bresson, whose photographs epitomized Magnum's tradition of humanitarian photography. Franck was adamant that she would neither bask in his reflection nor disappear in his shadow and she joined the Vu agency in 1970. Her first solo exhibition was planned for the ICA in London that year; when she saw that the invitations were embossed with the information that her husband would be present at the launch, she cancelled the show. With Vu's demise, Franck co-founded the Viva agency in 1972. It also collapsed and it was not until 1980 that Franck joined Magnum, becoming a full member in 1983. She was one of the few women to be accepted into the agency and served as vice-president from 1998 to 2000. Eschewing the war/human tragedy reportage that characterized Magnum's reputation, Franck continued her projects on marginal or isolated lives throughout the rest of her life. Source: Howard Greenberg Gallery
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France
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Jacques Henri Lartigue is 69 years old in 1963 when he first presents a selection of his many photographs taken throughout his life in New York’s MoMa. That same year there is a photo spread of his work in the famous Life Magazine issue which commemorates the death of John Fitzgerald Kennedy, and which is publicized worldwide. To his great surprise, Lartigue becomes, overnight, one of the renowned photographers of the twentieth century. Jacques learns about photography from his father as early as the year 1900. Henri Lartigue rewards Jacques’s enthusiasm by buying him his first camera when he is 8 years old. Thus begins the endless coverage of his childhood, including automobile outings, family holidays and especially his older brother Maurice’s (nicknamed Zissou) inventions. Both brothers are fascinated by cars, aviation, and all sports with increasing popularity at the time. Jacques’s camera freezes each moment. As an adult he continues to attend sporting events and to take part in elite sports such as skiing, skating, tennis and golf. However, ever mindful of the passage of time, photography is not quite enough to capture his childhood memories. A snapshot cannot encompass all there is to say and to remember. He thus begins keeping a journal and will continue to do so his whole life. Furthermore, as if to engage in a more renowned activity, he takes up drawing and painting. In 1915 he briefly attends the Julian Academy and thus painting becomes and remains his main professional activity. From 1922 on he exhibits his work in shows in Paris and in the south of France. In the meantime, in 1919, Jacques marries Madeleine Messager, the daughter of the composer André Messager, and their son Dani is born in 1921. Jacques and Madeleine get a divorce in 1931. He revels in high society and luxury until the beginning of the 1930’s until the decline of the Lartigue fortune forces him to search for other sources of income. He refuses however to take on a steady job and thus lose his freedom, and so he scarcely gets by with his painting during the 30’s and 40’s. In the beginning of the 1950’s and not in accordance with the legend in which he is a complete unknown, his work as a photographer is noticed. He nevertheless continues to paint. He embarks on a cargo ship to Los Angeles in 1962 with his third wife Florette. In a roundabout way, they stop on the East Coast and meet Charles Rado of the Rapho Agency who in turn contacts John Szwarkoski, MoMa’s photography department young curator. There is all-around enthusiasm. The first retrospective of his work is held in Paris’ “Musée des Arts Décoratifs” in 1975. One year earlier, Lartigue was commissioned by the President of France Valéry Giscard d’Estaing to shoot an official portrait photograph. In 1979 the Donation Agreement is signed and Lartigue becomes the first living French photographer to donate his work to the nation. He authorizes the Association des Amis de Jacques Henri Lartigue to preserve and promote the fund. In 1980, his dream of having his own museum comes true with the Grand Palais’ exhibit “Bonjour Monsieur Lartigue”. He continued his work as a photographer, painter and writer until his death in Nice on September 12th 1986. He was 92 years old. He left us with more than 100 000 snapshots, 7 000 pages of diary, 1 500 paintings. Source: Jacques-Henri Lartigue Donation
Alban Lécuyer
France
1977
Born in Paris in 1977, Alban Lécuyer studied Journalism and Photography at the Lille Graduate School of Journalism (France). He mainly works as a photographer of architecture within public projects and for private companies (advertising campaigns, photographic missions). Whilst collaborating with various journals, he teaches the History of Photography and Image Analysis at the DMA in Nantes (France). His personal projects centre around the analysis of new forms of dwellings from the social, economic, political and media point of view, and on the alteration of urban space. His works have been exhibited in Spain (Getxophoto Festival), in Switzerland (Biel Festival of Photography) and in France (Le BAL, Circulation(s) Festival, Images Singulières Festival, Archifoto – International Awards of Architectural Photography, etc.). The Here Soon project transposes reality from everyday city life into the aesthetic of computer graphics, which aim to showcase high-quality real estate projects. The pictures of the series reproduce the codes of those fictitious representations of reality: contrasts are light, shadows are reduced to a minimum, and all that stands between the spectator and the architectural project – trees, vehicles, passers-by and so on – is shown in transparency. Nevertheless, the frame leaves place for writing on the walls, laundry hung out to dry, abandoned objects, trash – everything that bears witness to a civilization that has left its mark on the place that it inhabits. The presence of the local residents also calls attention to their singularity, their paths, and their relationship with their surroundings. Therefore, the emergence of a concrete memory of places contradicts the universal and potential value of images.
Ragnar Axelsson
Iceland
1958
For over 40 years, Ragnar Axelsson, Rax, has been photographing the people, animals, and landscape of the most remote regions of the Arctic, including Iceland, Siberia, and Greenland. In stark black-and-white images, he captures the elemental, human experience of nature at the edge of the liveable world, making visible the extraordinary relationships between the people of the Arctic and their extreme environment – relationships now being altered in profound and complex ways by the unprecedented changes in climate. A photojournalist at Morgunbladid since 1976, Ragnar has also worked on free-lance assignment in Latvia, Lithuania, Mozambique, South Africa, China, and Ukraine. His photographs have been featured in LIFE, Newsweek, Stern, GEO, National Geographic, Time, and Polka, and have been exhibited widely. Ragnar has published 7 books in various international editions. His most recent, Jökull (Glacier) was published in 2018, with a foreword by Olafur Eliasson. Andlit Nordursins (Faces of The North), was published in 2016, with a foreword by Mary Ellen Mark, and won the 2016 Icelandic Literary Prize for non-fiction. Other awards for Ragnar's work include numerous Icelandic Photojournalist Awards; The Leica Oskar Barnack Award (Honorable Mention); The Grand Prize, Photo de Mer, Vannes; and Iceland's highest honor, the Order of the Falcon, Knight's Cross. Ragnar is currently working on a 3-year project documenting people's lives in all 8 countries of the Arctic. At this pivotal time, as climate change irrevocably disrupts the physical and traditional realities of their world, Ragnar is bearing witness to the immediate and direct threat global warming poses to their survival. Must Read Article Photography and Climate Change Awareness
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