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E. J. Bellocq
E. J. Bellock
E. J. Bellocq
E. J. Bellocq

E. J. Bellocq

Country: United States
Birth: 1873 | Death: 1949

Ernest Joseph Bellocq was an American professional photographer who worked in New Orleans during the early 20th century. Bellocq is remembered for his haunting photographs of the prostitutes of Storyville, New Orleans' legalized red-light district. These have inspired novels, poems and films.

Bellocq was born into a wealthy family of French créole origins in the French Quarter of New Orleans. He became known locally as an amateur photographer before setting himself up as a professional, making his living mostly by taking photographic records of landmarks and of ships and machinery for local companies. However, he also took personal photographs of the hidden side of local life, notably the opium dens in Chinatown and the prostitutes of Storyville. These were only known to a small number of his acquaintances. He had been something of a dandy in his early days, while he lived alone in the latter part of his life and acquired a reputation for eccentricity and unfriendliness. According to acquaintances from that period, he showed little interest in anything other than photography.

Bellocq died in 1949, and was buried in Saint Louis Cemetery No. 3 in New Orleans. After his death, most of his negatives and prints were destroyed. However, the Storyville negatives were later found. After many years, they were purchased by a young photographer, Lee Friedlander. In 1970, a show of Friedlander's posthumous prints on gold tone printing out paper from Bellocq's 8" x 10" glass negatives were mounted by curator John Szarkowski at the Museum of Modern Art in Manhattan. A selection of the photographs were also published concurrently in the book, Storyville Portraits. These photographs were immediately acclaimed for their unique poignancy and beauty. A more extensive collection of Friedlander's prints, entitled Bellocq: Photographs from Storyville, was published with an introduction by Susan Sontag in 1996.

In recent times, a significant number of prints from Bellocq's own studio have come to light. They are typical professional photographs of the day, such as portraits, copy work for the Louisiana State Museum, and local views, yet few if any Storyville portraits printed by Bellocq's hand exist. A number of early posthumous prints from Bellocq's negatives by photographer Dan Leyrer have also surfaced.

The Storyville photographs
All the photographs are portraits of women. Some are nude, some dressed, others posed as if acting a mysterious narrative. Many of the negatives were badly damaged, in part deliberately, which encouraged speculation. Many of the faces had been scraped out; whether this was done by Bellocq, his Jesuit priest brother who inherited them after E. J.'s death or someone else is unknown. Bellocq is the most likely candidate, since the damage was done while the emulsion was still wet. In a few photographs the women wore masks. Some prints made by Bellocq have since surfaced. These are far more conventional than the full-negative prints made by Friedlander. The Storyville photographs not only serve as a record of the prostitutes, but also the interiors of the businesses that housed them.
 

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Milton Rogovin
United States
1909 | † 2011
Milton Rogovin was born in New York City in 1909. He graduated from Columbia University in 1931 with a degree in optometry and a deep concern for the rights of the worker. He moved to Buffalo, New York, in 1938, where he established his own optometric practice in 1939. In 1942, he married Anne Snetsky. That same year, he purchased his first camera, and was inducted into the U.S. Army, where he served in England as an optometrist until 1945. Upon his discharge, he returned to his optometric practice and his growing family. By 1947, the Rogovin's had two daughters, Ellen and Paula, and a son, Mark.Source: www.miltonrogovin.com Milton Rogovin (1909–2011) was a documentary photographer who has been compared to great social documentary photographers of the 19th and 20th centuries, such as Lewis Hine and Jacob Riis. His photographs are in the Library of Congress, the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Center for Creative Photography and other distinguished institutions. Milton Rogovin was born December 30, 1909 in Brooklyn, New York City of ethnic Jewish parents who emigrated to America from Lithuania, then part of the Russian empire. He attended Stuyvesant High School in New York City and enrolled in Columbia University, from which he graduated in 1931 with a degree in optometry. Following graduation Rogovin worked as an optometrist in New York City. Distressed by the rampant and worsening poverty resulting from the Great Depression, Rogovin began attending night classes at the New York Workers School, a radical educational institution sponsored by the Communist Party USA. In 1938 Rogovin moved to Buffalo and established an optometry practice there. In 1942, he married Anne Snetsky (later changed to Setters). In the same year, he was inducted into the U.S.Army, where he worked as an optometrist. After his discharge from the Army, Milton and Anne had three children: two daughters (Ellen and Paula) and a son (Mark). Rogovin was called before the House Un-American Activities Committee in 1957. Like many other Americans who embraced Communism as a model for improving the quality of life for the working class, he became a subject of the Committee's attentions in the postwar period: He was discredited — without having been convicted of any offense — as someone whose views henceforth had to be discounted as dangerous and irresponsible. The incident inspired Rogovin to turn to photography as a means of expression; it was a way to continue to speak to the worth and dignity of people who make their livings under modest or difficult circumstances, often in physically taxing occupations that usually receive little attention. In 1958, a collaboration with William Tallmadge, a professor of music, to document music at storefront churches set Rogovin on his photographic path. Some of the photographs that Rogovin made in the churches were published in 1962 in Aperture magazine, edited by Minor White, with an introduction by W.E.B. Du Bois, a founder of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). That same year Rogovin began to photograph coal miners, a project that took him to France, Scotland, Spain, China, and Mexico. Many of these images were published in his first book, The Forgotten Ones. Rogovin traveled throughout the world, taking numerous portraits of workers and their families in many countries. His most acclaimed project, though, has been The Forgotten Ones, sequential portraits taken over three decades of over a hundred families who resided on Buffalo’s impoverished Lower West Side. The project was begun in 1972 and completed in 2002. In 1999, the Library of Congress collected more than a thousand of Rogovin’s prints.Source: Wikipedia
Eugene Richards
United States
1944
Eugene Richards is a noted American documentary photographer. During the 1960s, Richards was a civil rights activist and VISTA volunteer. After receiving a BA in English from Northeastern University, his graduate studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology were supervised by photographer Minor White. Richards' published photographs are mostly intended as a means of raising social awareness, have been characterized as "highly personal" and are both exhibited and published in a series of books. The first book was Few Comforts or Surprises (1973), a depiction of rural poverty in Arkansas; but it was his second book, the self-published Dorchester Days (1978), a "homecoming" to Dorchester, Massachusetts, where Richards had grown up, that won most attention. It is "an angry, bitter book", both political and personal. Gerry Badger writes that "[Richards's] involvement with the people he is photographing is total, and he is one of the best of photojournalists in getting that across, often helped by his own prose". Richards has been a member of Magnum Photos and of VII Photo Agency. He lives in New York.Source: Wikipedia Eugene Richards, photographer, writer, and filmmaker, was born in Dorchester, Massachusetts in 1944. After graduating from Northeastern University with a degree in English, he studied photography with Minor White. In 1968, he joined VISTA, Volunteers in Service to America, a government program established as an arm of the so-called "War on Poverty". Following a year and a half in eastern Arkansas, Richards helped found a social service organization and a community newspaper, Many Voices, which reported on black political action as well as the Ku Klux Klan. Photographs he made during these four years were published in his first monograph, Few Comforts or Surprises: The Arkansas Delta. Upon returning to Dorchester, Richards began to document the changing, racially diverse neighborhood where he was born. After being invited to join Magnum Photos in 1978, he worked increasingly as a freelance magazine photographer, undertaking assignments on such diverse topics as the American family, drug addiction, emergency medicine, pediatric AIDS, aging and death in America. In 1992, he directed and shot Cocaine True, Cocaine Blue, the first of seven short films he would eventually make. Richards has published seventeen books. Exploding Into Life, which chronicles his first wife Dorothea Lynch’s struggle with breast cancer, received Nikon's Book of the Year award. For Below The Line: Living Poor in America, his documentation of urban and rural poverty, Richards received an Infinity Award from the International Center of Photography. The Knife & Gun Club: Scenes from an Emergency Room received an Award of Excellence from the American College of Emergency Physicians. Cocaine True, Cocaine Blue, an extensive reportorial on the effects of hardcore drug usage, received the Kraszna-Krausz Award for Photographic Innovation in Books. That same year, Americans We was the recipient of the International Center of Photography's Infinity Award for Best Photographic Book. In 2005, Pictures of the Year International chose The Fat Baby, an anthology of fifteen photographic essays, Best Book of the year. Richards’s most recent books include The Blue Room, a study of abandoned houses in rural America; War Is Personal, an assessment in words and pictures of the human consequences of the Iraq war; and Red Ball of a Sun Slipping Down, a remembrance of life on the Arkansas Delta.Source: eugenerichards.com
Gabriele Viertel
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Born in Rome in 1968, after an initial artistic training, Claudia Tombini studied Architecture at La Sapienza University. After graduating, she followed a PhD in Architecture - Theories and Design at the DIAR department of the same University. Professionally active in her hometown since 2006, she carries out her work independently after a three-year collective experience with studio A4, winner of several mentions and awards. Specialized in architectural design, she has always combined research and design. Her latest work is the restoration of the Troisi Cinema in Trastevere. In 2016 she began her own photographic research, collaborating in some of Officine Fotografiche's activities. In 2019/20 she participates in "Human" curatorial workshop with Luigi Cecconi and Francesco Rombaldi, from Yogurt Magazine, during which she elaborates her own project Move To LineTo. Moveto Lineto "'Living is an art of spacing,' as Jean-Marc Besse teaches us, and living is mainly a question of geography. After a lifelong dedication to architecture I now discover, thanks to these words, that living is not about architecture or city planning, nor, more generally, about construction: living is geography. There is a human sense to architecture, which even preexists architecture, as we actually live our lives outside of it, in an unbroken series of passages, intersections, and places which all leave their own special resonance and memory inside us. As I move through these, without ever pausing in the gaps — sometimes more, sometimes less consciously — I find myself measuring out the distances I have covered. Not in terms of space, though, as when it comes to landscapes distance is actually temporal, and measuring it out in its complexity is no easy task. As Matteo Meschiari has said, what I am after is “an altered state of conscience in which the landscape is simultaneously medium and recipient, cause and effect, reactor and reaction”: it is a matter of sensorial dilation. I gaze back on these landscapes, “before” and “after”, I scrutinize them to reproduce them virtually, searching for the same old viewpoints, as if they were light years away. This is the effect any catastrophic event will have on us, namely making us believe that all linearity is forever lost, as if time actually flowed in a linear way. Knowledge will not do, knowing that history is all but linear is not enough: we won’t give up our linear idea of it, and we will feel lost when confronted with any interruption of it, with any interval, any blank gap, no matter how temporary. I have been ceaselessly trying to heal the wounds that the surface of things displays, because it is on the surface that we move, it is the surface we perceive, with its naked spaces, where only the absence or the lost track of what has happened is visible. Indeed, any figuration registers an appearance that is destined to vanish, and it is through imagination that we manage to value what is actually not there. It is through the abstraction of a virtual image, an image never completely resolved in its structure and its appearance, that I have been trying to turn the image itself into matter, and thereby restore to it a potential wholeness that I feel is unattainable to me today. This new matter will do, for the time being, to represent the times and places of our passages, and the gaps in between. Like a postscript file, it will be readable in its own right, by its own definition. " -- Claudia Tombini
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One of the photographs (boxer boy) still remains one of my favorites, especially remembering back to how new I was to photography.AAP: What or who inspires you?As cliche as it may sound, I truly draw so much inspiration from my children. My middle child (10 yo) very much gets me. When I take her out to photograph, I leave with a vision and a plan, but based on her actions, I typically end up dumping any plan that I had and we just mesh with one another. She'll tell you that I often say to her, "just keep doing what you're doing." I also am very much inspired by dance and music.AAP: How could you describe your style?Raw, real and emotive.AAP: What kind of gear do you use? Camera, lens, digital, film?Above water: Nikon D3S, 35mm f/1.4, 50mm f/1.4 and 85mm f/1.8In the water: SPL housing,Nikon D700 and a 35mm f/2.0.AAP: Do you spend a lot of time editing your images? For what purpose?No, I don't really spend a lot of time editing my digital images. I do my best to get it right in camera, which makes the editing process very simple. I work mostly in Lightroom but I do bring my black and white images into Photoshop for a bit of fine-tuning. Basically, I want my editing to look pure, while gently enhancing the overall essence and feeling of the photograph.AAP: Favorite(s) photographer(s)?Sally Mann, Jock Sturges and Mary Ellen Mark have been my favorites from the very beginning.AAP: What advice would you give a young photographer?Work to master your technique -- and your artistry. Work really hard. Be dedicated, committed and determined. Never stop exploring, reflecting, learning and growing. Have patience. Know that the journey of photography is not always an easy one, but it is an absolutely amazing one. Be authentic and make genuine connections. Remember to be grateful, kind and giving. Do your best and don't ever give up!AAP: What mistake should a young photographer avoid?The greatest gifts a photographer could give themselves is allowing time and being patient. AAP: An idea, a sentence, a project you would like to share?I would love to share a couple of photography projects that I recently learned about and am inspired by...I had the opportunity to take a workshop from Mary Ellen Mark and I'm greatly inspired by her work and authenticity (both professionally and personally). She and her husband recently launched a kickstarter campaign, which I am thrilled to support: STREETWISE: Tiny RevisitedAnd 'The Return' kickstarter is another project I am happy to support. It is so incredibly beautiful and heartfelt: The return: Book ProjectLove these words shared in the project video: "State the intention for spirit to be present in your finished object, it will be. My soul need these images."AAP: What are your projects?For the past few years, I have been working on my 'From the Sea' series. This summer, I am planning to travel the US for a few months and will not only be photographing in various bodies of water across the US, I am also planning to launch a new project. While I'm not quite ready to release details of my new project, I hope you'll stay tuned.AAP: Your best memory as a photographer?Wow, that's a tough question. Receiving that first message from Jock Sturges was pretty darn amazing and winning photoNOLA was such an incredible gift. I never saw either coming.AAP: The compliment that touched you most?Every compliment greatly touches me. I truly am so appreciative for all that others share with me.AAP: If you were someone else who would it be?I'm quite happy being me and can't imagine being anyone else. AAP: Your favorite photo book?Oh how I love photography books. I have so many that proudly grace my bookshelves -- books which I've collected over the years. Sally Mann's Immediate Family was the first photography book I owned so it's pretty special. I also had the opportunity to have Sally Mann sign my books last summer, while attending her talk at the University of Michigan.AAP: Anything else you would like to share?No matter what your personal journey, don't be afraid to dream and dream big -- you just never know what's possible with a little dreaming and a lot of hard work. Don't forget the importance of authenticity and don't ever forget to share your gratitude with those who have assisted you.Thank you so much for this wonderful opportunity to share. This has been the most amazing journey and I'm beyond grateful.
Sirkka-Liisa Konttinen
Sirkka-Liisa Konttinen is a Finnish photographer who has worked in Britain since the 1960s. She was born in Myllykoski, municipality of Sippola (from 1975 part of the town of Anjalankoski, from 2009 part of the town of Kouvola), Finland in 1948. Konttinen became interested in photography at the age of 12 and was a member of a photography group in a nearby town. Intending to pursue photography as a career, she was apprenticed to a fashion photographer in Helsinki for a year. Konttinen studied photography in London in the 1960s, and cofounded the Amber Collective, which moved to the northeast of England in 1969. From 1969 Konttinen lived in Byker, and for seven years photographed and interviewed the residents of this area of terraced houses until her own house was demolished. She continued to work there for some time afterward. This resulted in the book Byker, which in David Alan Mellor's words "bore witness to her intimate embeddedness in the locality". In 1980 she became the first photographer since the Cultural Revolution to have her work exhibited by the British Council in China. Konttinen's next project was a study of girls attending dance schools in North Shields, their mothers, and the schools. The book Step by Step came from this. The book was an influence for the film Billy Elliot. Three years of photographing the beach between Seaham and Hartlepool resulted in the series Coal Coast. Konttinen later returned to Byker and photographed its new residents in colour.Source: Wikipedia Sirkka-Liisa Konttinen is a photographer and filmmaker, best known for her work documenting working-class life in North East England. She is also co-founder of the Amber Film and Photography Collective, based in Newcastle Upon Tyne and the Side Gallery, dedicated to socially engaged documentary photography. Her documentation of Byker, the close-knit community of Newcastle, led to national recognition as a key photographic and filmic account of the rich working-class culture on the eve of its destruction. In 2003-09 she returned to the Byker Wall Estate that came to replace the original community, with her Byker Revisited/Today I’m With You book and film. Konttinen’s other long-term projects include Step by Step/Keeping Time, Hoppings, Writing in the Sand, Letters to Katja and the Coal Coast/Song For Billy. In 2011 her photography was inscribed in the UNESCO UK Memory of the World Register. She has exhibited widely, with her works held in multiple collections including the Finnish Museum of Photography, Helsinki, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, The New York Public Library, Tate Modern, London, Victoria and Albert Museum, London and the AmberSide Collection Trust, Newcastle.Source: Artimage
Wang Wusheng
China
1945 | † 2018
Wang Wusheng was born in the city of Wuhu in China's Anhui Province and graduated from Anhui University's School of Physics. Beginning in 1973, Wusheng worked as a photographer for a news magazine in Anhui Province. He studied at the Art Institute of Nihon University in Japan beginning in 1983 and studied for three years at the Tokyo Arts University. Wusheng currently works as a fine art photographer in Tokyo. For more than three decades, Wang Wusheng has been captivated by the beauty of Mount Huangshan, also called Yellow Mountain. Located in the southern part of the Anhui province in northern China, Mount Huangshan has often been described as the world's most beautiful and enchanting mountain. Over many centuries, this mountain, with its seventy-two peaks, has been the subject of Chinese landscape painters, whose singular works are so haunting make it appear impossible for these mountains to exist in nature. Inspired by the legacy of these paintings, Wusheng has sought to portray Mount Huangshan in his own way, expressing his "inner worlds" through this scenic wonder. Wusheng captures mist-shrouded granite peaks emerging from an ever-changing veil of clouds, sculptural craggy rocks on lofty cliffs and weathered, oddly shaped pine trees. He records the appearance of Mount Huangshan in all seasons and at various times of day. As one critic says, "[Wusheng's] pictures are gorgeous, but their beauty does not come directly from the natural scenery. Rather, the mountain's natural wonders have been transformed into artistic spectacles through the artist's commitment to the medium of black-and-white photography, his insistent pursuit of dynamic movement and metamorphic images, and his deep emotional engagement with his subject. His mountain peaks are often densely dark-a kind of velvet darkness that seems full of color."Source: Robert Klein Gallery World-renowned photographer, writer, and broadcaster Tom Ang wrote in 2014 in his book Photography: The Definitive Visual History published by DK this text about Wang Wusheng's art works: Oriental perspectives The fusion of classical Chinese fine art with photography was not achieved until the 1940s. It resulted in a distinctive approach to landscape by combining classical forms with a challenge to the Western representation of space. Photography had reached China and Japan by the 1840s, but long remained an imported art form used primarily by foreigners. Fundamentally it was alien to the aesthetics of Asian fine art. The fine detail of a photograph was at odds with the eastern tradition of depicting a scene with just a few brushstrokes. And whereas Eastern art dealt with symbols-mountains representing wisdom, water standing for the flux of life and so on- photography seemed unremittingly literal and heavy-handed to Asian eyes. Eastern art was also fixedly monochrome: black was Heaven's hue, and too much considered bad for the eyes. Three dimensions in two A further element foreign to Asian minds was the handling of perspective-how three-dimensional space was represented on the flat surface of a print or painting. In Europe, 15th-century thinkers, such as the architect Filippo Brunelleschi, showed that a geometrically accurate way to represent objects in space was to depict parallel sides as if they converged toward a vanishing point on the horizon. Early photography reinforced the dominance of this linear perspective in Western art. Classical Asian art was based on different models of space. It showed space with receding planes, in which a nearer object overlaps and covers part of a further object. This was joined to aerial perspective, which exploits how contrast and clarity naturally diminish the further away things are to express receding space. Asian pictorials By the 20th century. even artists in he West were rebelling against geometrical perspective, most visibly in the Cubist movement, which spilled over to montage effects in modernist photography (see pp. 142-43 and Pp.330-31). Finally, in the 1940s, Long Chin-San (also transliterated Lang Jingshan) in Hong Kong marked the first successful fusion of Asian with European modes. Trained in Photography by a brush-and-ink artist, Long considered a traditional painting "as a composite Image of fragmentary visual memories". From this, Long derived composite photographs using subtle toning and multiple printing techniques to place traditional elements such as calligraphically expressive bamboo shoots, leafless branches, and craggy rocks against a plain ground, suspending his subjects In an indeterminate space. Relationships between elements were defined by aerial perspective and overlapping receding planes. Minimal and calligraphic expressions also came naturally to photographers such as Jiang Peng, but Long's best-known students was Don Hong Qai. Modern interpretation China's Huangshan (Yellow Mountains) is a glaciated mountain range much venerated for its exquisite scenery of 72 steep peaks, often shrouded in mist. The Huangshan inspired its own school of painting, which made extensive use of aerial perspective, Wang Wusheng is a leading modern exponent of the style. Wang was working as a news photographer when he turned his attention to the Huangshan in 1973 In his photographs, he exploited the ultrafine grain of Kodak Technical Pan film to create a modern interpretation of inky-black silhouettes are grouped against the smoothly shifting swathes of mist, their softening tones deftly defining distance. This image is part of the Celestial Realm series, published in book form in 2005. In wang's contemporary interpretation of traditional Chinese black-ink painted landscapes, mist separates the deep velvety darkness of the sharply silhouetted rocks and trees in the foreground from the progressively fuzzier bands of trees and rocks.
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