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Elaine Mayes
Elaine Mayes

Elaine Mayes

Country: United States
Birth: 1936

Elaine Mayes has been an active visual artist since 1960. A main focus and emphasis for her work has been investigations of ‘seeing’ and documentary forms in photography. This interest led to a number of projects and seeking out various close at hand situations in the world as subject material for her photographs.

Elaine majored in painting and art history at Stanford University and then studied at the San Francisco Art Institute with John Collier, Jr. Paul Hassel, Minor White, Nathan Oliviera and Richard Diebenkorn.

Between 1961 and 1968 she was an independent photojournalist working in San Francisco for magazines and graphic designers. During 1967 and 1968 she was a rock and roll photographer and photographed the ‘Summer of Love’ and scene in the Haight Ashbury District of San Francisco. One of her assignments was to photograph the Monterey Pop Festival. This work was published in her book called, It Happened In Monterey.

Elaine taught photography for thirty-five years, beginning at the University of Minnesota in 1968. Then she taught at Hampshire College from 1971 to 1981, at Bard College during 1982 and 1983, and at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts from 1983 until 2001. Elaine was Chair of the Tisch Photography Department from 1997 until her retirement from teaching. Currently, she is Professor Emeritus and is living in the Catskill Mountains of New York actively continuing her work.

Elaine’s photography has been exhibited extensively, with recent exhibitions connected with The Fiftieth Anniversary of the Summer of Love and The Monterey Pop Festival and includes the de Young Museum, The California Historical Society, The SFO Museums United Airlines Terminal, The Monterey Art Museum, The Grammy Musuem, Spazio Gerra - Comune di Reggio Emilia, Italy and the Joseph Bellows Gallery in La Jolla.

Elaine has received a number of awards including three grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and a Guggenheim Fellowship. She also was awarded funding from The Atherton Foundation for her Hawaiian images and book production for a limited edition handmade book called, Ki i ‘no Hawai’i. Her newest publication is, Recently, Daylight Press, 2013.

Elaine is affiliated with Getty Images, Joseph Bellows Gallery, Morrison Hotel Galleries, and Liberal Arts Roxbury.

Source: www.elainemayesphoto.com


 

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Larry Clark
United States
1943
Lawrence Donald Clark (born January 19, 1943) is an American film director, photographer, writer and film producer who is best known for his controversial teen film Kids (1995) and his photography book Tulsa (1971). His work focuses primarily on youth who casually engage in illegal drug use, underage sex, and violence, and who are part of a specific subculture, such as surfing, punk rock, or skateboarding. Larry Clark was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He learned photography at an early age. His mother was an itinerant baby photographer, and he was enlisted in the family business from the age of 13. His father was a traveling sales manager for the Reader Service Bureau, selling books and magazines door-to-door, and was rarely home. In 1959, Clark began injecting amphetamines with his friends. He attended the Layton School of Art in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where he studied under Walter Sheffer and Gerhard Bakker. In 1964, he moved to New York City to freelance, but was drafted within two months into the United States Army. From 1964 to 1965, he served in the Vietnam War in a unit that supplied ammunition to units fighting in the north. His experiences there led him to publish the 1971 book Tulsa, a photo documentary illustrating his young friends' drug use in black and white. Routinely carrying a camera, from 1963 to 1971 Clark produced pictures of his drug-shooting coterie that have been described by critics as "exposing the reality of American suburban life at the fringe and ... shattering long-held mythical conventions that drugs and violence were an experience solely indicative of the urban landscape." His follow-up was Teenage Lust (1983), an "autobiography" of his teen past through the images of others. It included his family photos, more teenage drug use, graphic pictures of teenage sexual activity, and young male hustlers in Times Square, New York City. Clark constructed a photographic essay titled The Perfect Childhood that examined the effect of media in youth culture. His photographs are part of public collections at several art museums including the Whitney Museum of Art, Museum of Photographic Arts, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. In 1993, Clark directed Chris Isaak's music video Solitary Man. This experience developed into an interest in film direction. After publishing other photographic collections, Clark met Harmony Korine in New York City and asked Korine to write the screenplay for his first feature film Kids, which was released to controversy and mixed critical reception in 1995. Clark continued directing, filming a handful of additional independent feature films in the several years after this. In 2001, Clark shot three features Bully, Ken Park, and Teenage Caveman over a span of nine months. As of 2017, they are his last films to feature professional actors. Ken Park is a more sexually and violently graphic film than Kids, including a scene of auto-erotic asphyxiation and ejaculation by an emotionally rattled high-school boy (portrayed by James Ransone, then in his early 20s). As of 2015, it has not been widely released or distributed in the United States. In 2002, Clark spent several hours in a police cell after punching and trying to strangle Hamish McAlpine, the head of Metro Tartan, the UK distributor for Clark's film Ken Park. According to McAlpine, who was left with a broken nose, the incident arose from an argument about Israel and the Middle East, and he claims that he did not provoke Clark. In a 2016 interview, Clark discussed his lifelong struggle with drug abuse, although stating he maintained total sobriety while filmmaking. He confessed that the only exception made to his practice of abstinence while filming was Marfa Girl. Clark explained that while filming that movie he used opiates for pain due to double knee replacement surgery. In 2015, Clark collaborated alongside notable skateboard and clothing brand, Supreme, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Kids with a collection of decks, T-shirts, and sweatshirts that feature stills from the iconic film. The collection was released on May 21, 2015 in Supreme's New York, Los Angeles, and London locations and on May 23 in their Japan location.Source: Wikipedia Larry Clark, born in Tulsa, worked in his family's commercial photographic portrait business before studying photography with Walter Sheffer at the Layton School of Art in Milwaukee, Wisconsin from 1961 to 1963. He served in the military during the Vietnam War and has been a freelance photographer based in New York since 1966. During the 1960s, Clark documented the culture of drug use and illicit activity of his friends in Tulsa, and his photographs from those years were published as Tulsa (1971). Considered shocking for its graphic portrayal of the intimate details of its subjects' risky lives, the book launched Clark's career. After Tulsa, he produced Teenage Lust (1983), a series of photographs depicting adolescent sexuality, Larry Clark (1992), and The Perfect Childhood (1993). His work has been included in group and solo exhibitions since the early 1970s, and he was the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Photographers' Fellowship in 1973 and a Creative Arts Public Service photographers' grant in 1980. Clark has also produced films; Kids (1994), based on his experiences with New York City teenagers and their culture of drugs, alcohol, and sex, and Another Day in Paradise (1999). Larry Clark's photographs in Tulsa are unflinching portrayals of difficult and often unsightly circumstances viewed through a participant's eyes. Their first-hand intensity recollects the work of Danny Lyon and Bruce Davidson, but Clark's raw voyeurism and insistent exposure of detail results in a somberness that differentiates his work from that of others in the early 1970s. His recent photography addresses similar subjects, but with the distance of an observer, and a more prominent formal sensibility.Source: International Center of Photography
Kourtney Roy
Canada
1981
Roy (b.1981) was born in the wilderness of Northern Ontario, Canada. She holds a degree in media studies specializing in photography from the Emily Carr University of Art and Design in Vancouver, Canada. Roy is currently based in Paris, France, where she has been exhibiting her work nationally and internationally for over 10 years at such events and venues as Le Bal, Paris, the Musée Elysée, Lausanne, The Head On Photo Festival in Sydney and the Moscow International Photo Biennale. Kourtney Roy's work is bound up in an ambiguous and cinematic image-making that borders the real and the fantastic. Her approach to photography provokes contemplation and reconfiguration of common place subjects via playful revelation of the bizarre and the uncanny. She is fascinated with exploring the boundaries of liminal spaces; whether spatial, temporal or psychological. By using herself as the principal subject in her work, the artist creates a compelling, intimate universe inhabited by a multitude of diverse characters that explore these enigmatic themes. She has been the recipient of numerous awards and grants, including the Prix Picto (2007), Emily Award (2012), Carte Blanche PMU (2013), The Prix Elysée Nomination (2014) and The Canadian Council for the Arts artist grant (2015). Several books have been published on her work, including Ils pensent déjà que je suis folle (Editions Filigranes, 2014), California (Editions Louis Vuitton, 2016) and The Tourist (Editions La Pionnière, 2020). Source: www.kourtneyroy.com Roy has produced several series which all share the artist’s bold and cinematic aesthetic. Staged in laundrettes, motels, supermarkets and various other banal locations Roy creates hyper-realistic images that resemble film stills. Throughout her work Roy plays with ideas of the bizarre and the uncanny, whether it be a lone female figure walking along a deserted road in a vast landscape or a woman photographed through the wing mirror of a car, Roy’s photographs are permeated with an unsettling air. In her work Roy creates familiar still images of stereotyped heroines, using herself as the model Roy invents numerous characters for herself. This is a crucial element to her work, Roy has stated “It’s usually the male gaze, and the woman is the object to be looked at. So the idea was becoming the person who objectifies, but also objectifying myself. I just thought it was interesting to play the dual role.” Source: Huxley-Parlour The Canadian photographer Kourtney Roy was born in Northern Ontario in 1981. Intrigued by the possibility of creating a tragic mythology of the self, she conjures an intimate universe pervaded by both wonder and mystery. Kourtney Roy's photographer’s eye is drawn to places and settings whose lyrical qualities underscore the sublime banality of everyday life. Roy’s studies in photography, at Emily Carr University of Art and Design in Vancouver and later at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris, inspired her to develop her finicky aesthetic, which lends itself particularly well to both glossy paper and film. Roy works extensively as an independent photographer/filmmaker in the art world. Instilled with a dark sense of humor, taking their clues as much from the grotesque nature of seemingly placid settings as from the tensions simmering just under the surface, her photographs have garnered many prizes, including the Prix Picto in 2007, The Emily Award in Canada in 2012 and the Prix Carte Blanche PMU/Le Bal in 2013 and the Pernod Ricard Carte Blanche in 2018. In 2019 she won best experimental film at the Brest European Short Film Festival with her dark and dreamy piece, Morning, Vegas. Roy’s work has been exhibited widely in France, but also abroad. She has been seen at the Planche(s) Contact Festival in Deauville in 2012, The Portraits Festival in Vichy in 2015 and at Le Bal in 2014 and a solo show at Paris Photo in 2018, among other events and venues. Internationally Kourtney Roy’s photography has been featured at exhibitions in China, as well as Italy, Switzerland, The United States, Australia, the Moscow Photo Biennale in 2017 and at the Incadaqués International Photo Festival in Spain in 2019. Roy has also released several publications on her work including an accompanying artist book to Le Bal’s exhibition Ils pensent déjà que je suis folle and an artist’s book Enter as Fiction, both published by Filigrane Editions, as well as Northern Noir published by Editions La Pionnière. California is edited by Editions Louis Vuitton and was released in 2016 and her latest publication, The Tourist, is published by André Frère Editions and was released in November 2020.Source: Jackson Fine Art
Amy  Heller
United States
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Jeff Brouws
United States
1955
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Tom Zimberoff
United States
1951
A classically-trained clarinetist, Zimberoff studied music at the University of Southern California before pivoting to photography. As a photojournalist, he has covered hundreds of historical and breaking news stories published worldwide, from the renegotiation of the Panama Canal Treaties; to NATO war games, a trip to Beijing with Secretary of State Alexander Haig opening trade talks with China; the eruption of Mount St. Helens; Super Bowl XIV; to documenting East LA gangs. One plum assignment from Esquire had him photographing "The Most Eligible Women in America." He's shot many hundreds of portraits, including magazine covers from John Lennon to Steve Jobs plus two sitting American presidents (Carter and Reagan) for the covers of Time Magazine and Fortune, as well as advertising campaigns for Fortune 500 companies, Hollywood movie studios, and the US Navy. Zimberoff was nineteen when he shot his first photo assignment for Time magazine: the farewell public recital of violin virtuoso Jascha Heifetz - a personal hero. By the time he turned twenty-one, Zimberoff had toured with the Jackson-5, the Rolling Stones, and Stevie Wonder, spent a day photographing John Lennon, and shot the first cover of People magazine. (It was the 1973 proof-of-concept issue featuring Olympic swimmer Mark Spitz.) Zimberoff has fun describing his pursuit as a predatory sport: hunting big game. "We don't 'load' cameras much anymore," he says, "but we still 'aim' them and 'shoot' pictures." He doesn't stalk his prey but gets close enough for a good clean shot (close enough for rapport as much as proximity), to avoid inflicting gratuitous wounds. He bags his quarry with a lens instead of looking down the barrel of a gun but, he also says, "I hang their heads on a wall to admire like trophies." His hunting license was a press pass. His portraits can be found in private collections and museums, including the National Portrait Gallery in London; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; and the San Francisco Museum of Performance and Design. Recently, his entire career archive - literally a ton of film - was acquired by the Briscoe Center for American History at the University of Texas at Austin. His first two formal portraits were Marx and Lennon - Groucho and John. Tom's expertise with the business side of photography is evidenced by the articles he's had published in leading industry journals. He is also the author of Photography: Focus on Profit (Allworth Press, 2002), which has been used as a textbook at colleges throughout the country. He also taught briefly at several San Francisco Bay Area colleges. He taught himself to write code and developed PhotoByte®, the pioneering business-management software for commercial photographers. It has been used to teach at colleges across the country. After a ten-year hiatus from shooting pictures to pursue his software business and writing, Tom picked up his cameras once again to illustrate another book, Art of the Chopper (Bulfinch Press, 2003), his tribute to a decades-long affinity for custom motorcycles. It became a best-seller, followed by a second volume (Hachette, 2006), with forewords by Sonny Barger of the Hells Angels and James Hetfield of the band Metallica, respectively. As an encore to the Art of the Chopper books, Zimberoff was invited to curate an exhibition at the William J. Clinton Presidential Library in 2008, where thirty of the actual motorcycles illustrated in print were displayed on pedestals as works of sculpture. They were juxtaposed with Zimberoff's photographs large-format black-and-white portraits plus documentary (candid) photos of the moteuriers who built each chopper. The "Art of the Chopper" exhibition traveled to the Appleton Art Museum in Ocala, Florida and to Union Station in Kansas City, Missouri. Tom's most recent venture is a startup dedicated to creating the first data-driven marketplace for commercial and editorial photography. Zimberoff was born in Los Angeles in 1951 to a family with three grown siblings already a generation older - "like growing up with five parents," he says. His mother owned a boutique in Las Vegas, during the 50s and 60s; and his father was a musician who played the Vegas hotel orchestras that backed up Sinatra, Nat King Cole, and Bobby Darrin et al. Young "Tommy" grew up in Las Vegas, returning to California, on and off, to live with his older sister and two years in military school), finally leaving Las Vegas for his senior year at Beverly Hills High School when his parents retired. Then he received his music scholarship to USC. Zimberoff now lives in San Francisco, where he says he is ready to throw his lens cap back in the ring, as soon as the Covid-19 pandemic ends. In the meantime he is writing a memoir, an anthology of stories about his career. The title is A Photographic Memory. Each chapter juxtaposes one portrait with equally compelling prose about the events surrounding its creation.
Ruth Bernhard
Germany / United States
1905 | † 2006
Ruth Bernhard (October 14, 1905 – December 18, 2006) was a German-born American photographer. She was born in Berlin to Lucian Bernhard and Gertrude Hoffmann. Lucian Bernhard was known for his poster and typeface design, many of which bear his name and are still in use. Bernhard's parents divorced when she was 2 years old and she only met her mother twice after the divorce. She was raised by two schoolteacher sisters and their mother. Bernhard's father Lucian was a major proponent of Ruth's work, and advised her frequently. Bernhard studied art history and typography at the Berlin Academy of Art from 1925 to 1927 before moving to New York City to join her father. She worked as an assistant to Ralph Steiner in Delineator magazine, but he terminated her employment for indifferent performance. Using the severance pay, Bernhard bought her own camera equipment. By the late-1920s, while living in Manhattan, Bernhard was heavily involved in the lesbian sub-culture of the artistic community, becoming friends with photographer Berenice Abbott and her lover, critic Elizabeth McCausland. Her first realization that she was attracted to other women occurred on New Year's Eve 1928 when she met the painter Patti Light. She wrote about her "bisexual escapades" in her memoir. In 1934 Bernhard began photographing women in the nude. It would be this art form for which she would eventually become best known. In 1935, she chanced to meet Edward Weston on the beach in Santa Monica. She would later say: "I was unprepared for the experience of seeing his pictures for the first time. It was overwhelming. It was lightning in the darkness ... here before me was indisputable evidence of what I had thought possible—an intensely vital artist whose medium was photography." Bernhard was so inspired by Weston's work that, after meeting him in 1935, she moved to California (where he lived). In 1939, Bernhard moved back to New York for eight years, during which time she met photographer Alfred Stieglitz. Bernhard was inspired by the small things in her life. In an interview from 1999 with Photographers Forum, Ruth states, "I’m most interested in—the little things that nobody observes, that nobody thinks are of any value". In the same interview she stated that, "Everything is universal" and that she was "very much aware of that". This idea of minimalism drove her passion for photography. In 1934 Ruth received a commission from the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) to photograph works for the Machine Art exhibition catalog. Her father Lucian Bernhard set up the meeting with MoMA for her. By 1944 she had met and became involved with artist and designer Eveline (Evelyn) Phimister. The two moved in together, and remained together for the next ten years in Carmel, California. Here, Bernhard worked with Group f/64. Soon, finding Carmel a difficult place in which to earn a living, they moved to Hollywood where she fashioned a career as a commercial photographer. In 1953, they moved to San Francisco where she became a colleague of photographers such as Ansel Adams, Imogen Cunningham, Minor White, and Wynn Bullock. Most of Bernhard's work is studio-based, ranging from simple still lifes to complex nudes. In the 1940s she worked with the conchologist Jean Schwengel. She worked almost exclusively in black-and-white, though there are rumors that she had done some color work as well. She also is known for her lesbian themed works, most notably Two Forms (1962). In that work, a black woman and a white woman who were real-life lovers are featured with their nude bodies pressed against one another. In 1967, Bernhard began a teaching career. This same year, Bernhard met United States Air Force Colonel Price Rice, an African American man ten years younger than her, and the two became lovers. They would remain together until his death in 1999. In her 90s, Bernhard cooperated with biographer Margaretta K. Mitchell in the book Ruth Bernhard, Between Art and Life, publicly revealing her many affairs with women and men throughout her lifetime. A departure was a collaboration with Melvin Van Peebles (as "Melvin Van"), then a young cable car gripman (driver) in San Francisco. Van Peebles wrote the text and Bernhard took the unposed photographs for The Big Heart, a book about life on the cable cars. In the early 1980s, Bernhard started to work with Carol Williams, owner of Photography West Gallery in Carmel, California. Bernhard told Williams that she knew there would be a book of her photography after her death, but hoped one could be published during her lifetime. Williams approached New York Graphics Society, and several other photographic book publishers, but was advised that "only Ansel Adams could sell black-and-white photography books." Bernhard and Williams decided to sell five limited edition prints to raise the necessary funds to publish a superior quality book of Ruth Bernhard nudes. The ensuing edition was produced by David Gray Gardner of Gardner Lithograph, (also the printer of Adams's books) and was called The Eternal Body. It won Photography Book of the Year in 1986 from Friends of Photography. This book was often credited by Ruth Bernhard as being an immeasurable help to her future career and public recognition. The Eternal Body was reprinted by Chronicle Books and later as a deluxe limited Centennial Edition in celebration of Ruth Bernhard's 100th birthday in October 2005. Carol Williams credited Ruth Bernhard with encouraging her to venture into book publishing, and later published several other photographic monographs. In the 1980s Bernhard also started to work with Joe Folberg. Folberg bought Vision Gallery from Douglas Elliott (who founded it in 1979) in San Francisco in 1982. Bernhard and Folberg worked together until Folberg's death. The gallery split with Debra Heimerdinger taking over operations in North America and Folberg's son Neil moving the "Vision Gallery" to Jerusalem. In 1984 Ruth worked with filmmaker Robert Burrill on her autobiographic film entitled, Illuminations: Ruth Bernhard, Photographer. The film premièred in 1989 at the Kabuki Theater in San Francisco and on local PBS station KQED in 1991. Bernhard was inducted into the Women's Caucus for Art in 1981. Bernhard was hailed by Ansel Adams as "the greatest photographer of the nude". Bernhard died in San Francisco at age 101.Source: Wikipedia
Pierre De Vallombreuse
Pierre de Vallombreuse was born in Bayonne in 1962. In twenty-five years of travel to all continents, he made a photographic collection of 41 indigenous peoples, with more than 130,000 photographs, paying tribute to their diversity.In contact with Joseph Kessel, a French author and traveler, de Vallombreuse felt a very early desire to be a witness of his time. In 1984, he entered the École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs in Paris with the idea of becoming a cartoonist. A trip to Borneo the next year, though, changed the course of his life. He shared his daily life with the Punans, the last nomads of the jungle. Normally a sedentary artist, de Vallombreuse decided to become a nomadic witness, and photography became his mode of expression. While still a student at the Arts Décoratifs in Paris, he took multiple trips to the Philippine jungle to stay with the Palawan people. In total, he lived with them for over two years. The first part of his work on this tribe was presented at the photographic festival Les Rencontres internationales de la photographie in Arles.De Vallombreuse was Secretary General of the Association of Anthropology and Photography (association Anthropologie et Photographie, Paris Diderot University). Since then, he has regularly collaborated with leading international magazines: GEO (France, Russia, Germany, Spain, South Korea, Japan), Sciences et Avenir, Le Monde 2, Le Figaro Magazine, Newsweek, El Mundo, El País, and La Stampa.About The Origins of Man (Hommes Racines)Encompassing five years of work, this project represents the commitment of a photographer with eleven indigenous peoples spread across the globe. Its main purpose is to show the intimate relationship between man and his environment. De Vallombreuse presented his work as a testament to the diversity of lifestyles, practices, and traditional knowledge that are embedded in very different environments. These cultures are repositories of knowledge essential to the preservation of biodiversity. De Vallombreuse aimed to promote a reflection on humanity sustainable whose corollary is the protection of nature.Whenever linked to a specific people, the project emphasizes the multiplicity of responses to living conditions imposed by nature and history. It is in this context that de Vallombreuse addresses this root concept. By meeting people entrenched in their territory and those who have been subjected to the test of uprooting, de Vallombreuse analyzed changes in life affecting our modernity. He worked to show how indigenous peoples are often the first victims of environmental disasters: food shortages, deforestation, global warming, pollution, and water war, crucial questions that, far from being local concerns, affect our mutual humanity.Since 2007, this project has resulted in 12 exhibitions and numerous publications.Souce WikipediaAbout SouverainesIn the West, feminists fight for equality with men. But elsewhere? In some traditional societies, women have a predominant social and spiritual part to play. There is equality, mutual respect and freedom for both genders. Amongst these people, women are recognized for their uniqueness and their skills.Pierre de Vallombreuse traveled to four South East Asian cultures where women play a crucial part in the family and in governance itself.In the matrilineal and matrilocal tribe of Khasi in the North-East part of India, children are given at birth the name of their mother and the youngest daughter inherits all the land and family properties.In the nonhierarchical tribe Palawan in the Philippines, men and women live in perfect equality, while emphasizing values such as goodwill, generosity and mutual assistance.In the southwestern part of China, status of women is unique in Moso, a population that practices all forms of matriarchy as children's education is entrusted with their maternal uncles.Finally in Malaysia, the Badjao abolish all forms of hierarchy and advocate for an egalitarian and libertarian civilization that is prominently in favor of women.
Joel-Peter Witkin
United States
1939
Joel-Peter Witkin (born September 13, 1939, in Brooklyn, New York City) is an American photographer who lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico. His work often deals with such themes as death, corpses (and sometimes dismembered portions thereof), and various outsiders such as dwarves, transsexuals, hermaphrodites, and physically deformed people. Witkin's complex tableaux often recall religious episodes or classical paintings. Witkin was born to a Jewish father and Roman Catholic mother. His twin brother, Jerome Witkin, and son Kersen Witkin, are also painters. Witkin's parents divorced when he was young because they were unable to overcome their religious differences. He attended grammar school at Saint Cecelia's in Brooklyn and went on to Grover Cleveland High School. Between 1961 and 1964 he was a war photographer documenting the Vietnam war. Going freelance in 1967, he became the official photographer for City Walls Inc. He attended Cooper Union in New York where he studied sculpture, attaining a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1974. After Columbia University granted him a scholarship, he ended his studies at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, where he became Master of Fine Arts.Source: Wikipedia Finding beauty within the grotesque, Witkin’s work extends beyond post-mortem photography with his staged set-ups of corpses and dismembered parts. Witkin’s fascination with death was triggered by a life-altering episode at a very early age; he witnessed an automobile accident in front of his house in which a young girl was decapitated. Witkin has also pursued his interest in the human condition, drawing attention to “the other,” photographing marginalized groups of people. Those often cast aside by society—hermaphrodites, dwarfs, amputees, androgynes— inspire his work as he confronts the viewers’ sense of normalcy. His interest in spirituality, in particular the teachings of Christianity, has played into his work, as do frequent references to classical paintings. Works by Picasso, Balthus, Goya, Velásquez, and Miro reappear in his dramatic, staged scenes, as well as the work of E.J. Bellocq, who photographed a series on prostitutes of the red light district in New Orleans in the early twentieth century. Witkin’s work has been exhibited internationally at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Fraenkel Gallery in San Francisco, Galerie Baudoin Lebon in Paris, and the Bibliothèque Nationale de France in Paris, among many others. Witkin is represented by Catherine Edelman Gallery and currently resides in Albuquerque, New Mexico.Source: International Center of Photography
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