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Benoit Segalen
Benoit Segalen
Benoit Segalen

Benoit Segalen

Country: France
Birth: 1974

As a French amateur photographer, I've had a camera since I was 8 years old. However, it was only in 2011, when my work involved frequent travel, that I began capturing moments from around the world, especially in the streets.

I am self-taught, learning through books and studying the works of renowned photographers. My passion lies in immortalizing human behaviors in their environments. I am always on the lookout for the decisive moment, patiently waiting to capture the photo that will endure.
 

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Eugenio Recuenco
Eugenio Recuenco was born in Madrid in May of 1968, in the middle of student protests that had spread out from Paris. As he himself would say: " I heard all that to-do, and was in a rush to be born and see what was going on."He studied fine art, graduating with a degree in painting from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid. Without a space in which to create his large-scale paintings, he began to collaborate with fashion magazines - first in Spain and later in Paris, where he habitually spent long periods - while waiting to be able to devote himself to painting. Vogue Espana, Madame Figaro, Wad, Vogue UK, Spoon, Planet, Vanity Fair, Stern, Kult, Twill, GQ, and Zink are some of the magazines he's worked with.It was in Paris that he produced his first advertising piece for Boucheron. From that moment, many brands would begin to call him to create their images, including Nina Ricci, Diesel, Shanghai Tang, Yves Saint Laurent, Sony Playstation, Custo, Le Bon Marché, BSI Lugano and Pernod Ricard.In 2007 he was invited to create the Lavazza Calendar and from the US he was called to conceive, together withe Eric Dover, the set design and staging the opera, Les Huguenots, at the Richard B. Fisher Center in New York City.Paris became the city that established his rhythm. It is there where he also created his first advertising spot. This time it was for "Nina" by Nina Ricci. This newly-opened avenue quickly lead to opportunities with other brands such as Loewe, Freixenet, Mango, Codormiú,Chivas Regal, Regione Campania, Vanderbilt, and Motorola among others.In 2008 his video, Essence of a Seduction, won the award for best advertisement of the year in Spain and the award for best short film at the Mexico City International Film Week. From that moment, he continued to create short films and video clips, such as Rammstein's Mein Herz Brennt, for example. He is now preparing his first full length film.Although his photographs had already been shown at the Reina Sofia museum in Madrid, the BAC (Barcelona Arte Contemporáneo), the Naardeen Photo Festival, the FEM (Festival Edición Madrid), Les Rencontres d'Arles, PhotoEspana, Art Toronto, and the Spanish National Library, it was once again in Paris where he would have his first solo exhibit, "Dream and Storm" at the Bertin-Toublanc Gallery.In 2004 he was given the ABC National Photography Award, in 2009 he won Gold and Bronze Awards at the Sol Festival, and in 2006 and 2013 his photographs won Gold Lions at the Cannes Lions Festival.In 2013 teNeues approached him to create his first solo book, Revue, whose launch will coincide with an exhibit at Camera Work Contemporary in Berlin.Eugenio Recuendo currently lives behind a camera.All about Eugenio Recuendo:AAP:Do you have a mentor or role model?To be honest I only have my intuition.AAP: How long have you been a photographer?I think since I was born. Another question is from what moment afterwards and I began taking pictures. Light and its effects have a great influence on me; I was always conscious of what was happening around me. I think that’s the first need a photographer must have.AAP: Do you remember your first shot? What was it?They were some household pictures that I took after my dad finally let me borrow his camera. It was during a school-trip. Those pictures were horrible; and, however they were really symbolic and full of emotions. That’s what magic is all about.AAP: What or who inspires you?Life inspires me.AAP: How would you describe your style?I have no clue. I don’t frown upon a specific style; I just go along doing what I feel is best. I don’t tell myself that things have to be a certain determined way. I start building and end up doing it in a certain way. But it’s all about circumstances, your vibes and needs and priorities when it comes down to transmitting them that end up paving a style for each series.AAP: Do you have favorite pictures or series?I’ve hated all of them at one point or another for not being loyal to what I expected them to be like; and all of them are favorites because there is something from me in all.AAP: What kind of gear do you use? Camera, lens, digital, film?It depends on each cases. Now more digital, Canon and with Hasselblad; always old ones and which treat the image with honesty. That is why I like old ones, ones that have a less forced definition.AAP: Do you spend a lot of time editing your images? For what purpose?It depends. It's all in the take. After that it's all a question of taking out defects and over all working on the texture and what it looks like in the end.AAP: Favorite(s) photographer(s)?A lot of them. For example I love Paolo Ventura.AAP: What advice would you give a young photographer?Shoot and shoot. Above all to shoot what you feel; not what is in fashion.AAP: What mistake should a young photographer avoid?Trying to go too fast and do what is currently succesful. Because when doing that, success will be in another type of photography.AAP: An idea, a sentence, a project you would like to share?(W)Hole time. A project I would like to take to movie-making. AAP: What are your projects?A book with 365 pictures, it is a poetry about the world we live in and the full-length film that I mentioned before.AAP: Your best memory as a photographer?When I stumble upon a photograph I didn't mean to do.AAP: Your worst souvenir as a photographer?Deal with creative managers who don't have a clear concept of their idea. It happens quite often.AAP:If you were someone else who would it be?I don't know. You can be creative in any activity that humans do.AAP: Your favorite photo book?I have a huge library because I actually love photo books as an object as a whole; regardless of its content.
Graeme Williams
South Africa
1961
I grew up in the whites-only suburbs of Cape Town, South Africa during the apartheid era when South African law decreed that 92% of the population were regulated to the status of second-class citizens. My interest in photography began at the age of twelve, but I soon realized that a Kodak Instamatic was never going to produce the results that I wanted. I worked for three years in a bookshop and eventually bought myself a Fujica ST701. It was a real thing of beauty; a single reflex camera with a basic zoom lens, that provided me with the means to control how light formed itself onto the surface of the silver halide film. Sunsets and silhouettes held my attention for a few months, but I had already begun to explore the complex tradition of photographic expression. Life Magazine was for me, at that time, the Holy Grail. Over the years, my enthusiasm for exploring the photographic medium has never diminished. My photographic momentum was temporarily diverted after school by parental pressure to obtain a 'proper' qualification. In my final school year, I was both the Dux scholar as well as a first-team sportsman, which resulted in me being offered a De Beers bursary to study Geology and Statistics at the University of Cape Town. After graduating, I broke the news to my unnerved parents that I was giving up this career path and instead of becoming a property photographer at the local newspaper. In the hierarchy of photographic jobs, this is very close to the bottom. My immediate aim was to gain access to unlimited amounts of film and the time to work on my own projects. In 1987 I began photographing a conscientious objector and medical doctor, Ivan Toms, who refused to comply with the apartheid government's military service requirements. He was sentenced to 21 months in prison. The essay highlighted the absurdity of the political system. Renowned photographer, David Goldblatt, took an interest in this work and this interaction led to a three-decade relationship in which he became both a mentor and a friend. The rights to my essay on Ivan Toms were bought by Life magazine the following year. Much of my work during this period was motivated by the desire to expose the social inequalities and racial divisions within my country. I eventually joined the strongly anti-apartheid collective, Afrapix, and later became a founding member and manager of the documentary collective, South Photographs. In 1989, the beginning of the end of apartheid was evident. I was eager to situate myself in a position that would afford me the best opportunities to witness the transition to democracy. I joined Reuters News Agency as a permanent stringer and for the next five years, I became immersed in the events, both violent and momentous, that led up to the inauguration of Nelson Mandela as president in 1994. Many of my photographs from this period have taken on a life of their own. The image of Nelson Mandela walking out of prison with his wife, Winnie, has been exhibited and published worldwide. In 2008, as Barack Obama fought John McCain for the presidency, Newsweek magazine ran a story asking each candidate to choose an image that best personified their worldview. Obama's team chose an image that I photographed in Thokoza township in 1991. Last year the same photograph became central in a high-profile image-appropriation dispute between me and New York artist, Hank Willis Thomas. There was a massive groundswell of support from colleagues and media from around the world. An amicable settlement was reached. Since 1994 I have concentrated on producing personalized and contemporary bodies of work that reflect this complex country and the continent as a whole. These essays have been shown in solo exhibitions in New York, London, Paris, Cape Town, and Johannesburg as well as numerous photo festivals around the world. (Including China, Singapore, Brazil, Cambodia, France, and the USA). I have been privileged to have been included in major international exhibitions showcasing contemporary South African photography; including Figures and Fictions at London's Victoria and Albert Museum, Apartheid and After at Huis Marseille in Amsterdam, Earth Matters at the Smithsonian in New York, The Rise and Fall of Apartheid at the ICP in New York and Being There, at the Louis Vuitton Foundation in Paris. Awards include the CAP Prize for Contemporary African Photography (Basel) in 2013 and the Ernest Cole Award (South Africa) in the same year. I have continued working on commissioned assignments and traveling to over fifty countries. My photographs have appeared on the cover of Time magazine twice, and have been published in The New York Times Magazine, National Geographic, Newsweek, Stern, and many others. Whilst working on my long-term projects, I try to bear in mind how the work will be exhibited and published. So, therefore, during the planning and photographing stages, I attempt to create a broad context for my essays, that includes a general look and feel while creating the space for each image to convey its individual complexity. This need to develop a dual awareness in my personal work has benefitted me from a long-term interest in designing and producing photobooks. I have created over 20 publications, some of them winning awards and many being shortlisted in dummy book competitions. During the past five years, I have felt a need to shift my attention from South Africa to the American social, political, and physical landscape. Some of my motivations for this change in direction have been outlined within the 'Plan' document. In 2016 I was granted a residency in the US by the Ampersand Foundation, giving me an opportunity to develop a body of work that interrogated the social strata within the greater community of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. I designed and produced a book called, Diverging Dreamlines that included, portraits, urban landscapes as well as multi-image, digital, illustrations. The publication was chosen as "best of the show" in the Annual Photobook Exhibition at the Griffin Museum of Photography in Winchester, Massachusetts. The work was also included in the Unmasked exhibition at Axis Gallery, New York in 2017. Earlier this year (2019) I co-presented a paper, Over Time, at the International Psychoanalytical Association (IPA) Congress held in London. Four of my personal essays were incorporated into the presentation, allowing a psychoanalytical exploration into the parallels between this photographic record and South Africa's dynamics and process of change. I have participated in various mentorship programs, supporting students from South African photographic institutions: Tierney Fellowship winners from the University of the Witwatersrand (2018/2019) and the Market Photo Workshop (2015/2016). As well as candidates from the Photographer incubator Program in 2016. Learn more about Graeme Williams on videos: Victoria and Albert Museum Photography and Democracy South African Studios Dwell in Possibility opening Check out Graeme Williams's interview about his latest project America Revisited
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
Jeff Wall
Canada
1946
Jeff Wall's artistic technique mixes the fundamentals of photography with influences from other art forms such as painting, film, and literature. This synthesis takes place within a complex framework that he refers to as "cinematography." His wide body of work ranges from classical reporting to sophisticated constructions and montages, which are frequently performed on bigger scales typically associated with painting. Wall, who was born in 1946 in Vancouver, Canada, and still lives there, became interested in photography in the 1960s, a time when Conceptual art was popular. By the mid-1970s, he had incorporated the spirit of experimentation inherent in Conceptualism into his own style of pictorial photography. Wall's photos, created as backlit color transparencies, a method more commonly associated with advertising than fine art photography at the time, made a huge effect when displayed in galleries and museums. They had a critical influence in establishing color as an important part of photographic composition. In his early works, Wall explicitly references other artworks, creating linkages to the history of image creation. "The Destroyed Room" (1978) is inspired by Eugène Delacroix's enormous picture "The Death of Sardanapalus" (1827), which explores themes of violence and sensuality. "Picture for Women" (1979) resembles Édouard Manet's "A Bar at the Folies-Bergère" (1882) while contextualizing the painting's implications within late-'70s cultural politics. These works exhibit Wall's concept of "blatant artifice," which emphasizes the theatricality of both the subject and the production. One important part of Wall's body of work is "near documentary," which are pictures that mimic documentary style but are made in conjunction with the people they include. Wall's method of using nonprofessional models, which captures ordinary moments with complex meanings, is reminiscent of the neorealism of Italian cinema in the 1950s and 1960s. Wall explores formal and dramatic possibilities, delving into the meanings and affects of documentary photography by depicting events that were seen but not captured on camera at the time. Since the mid-1990s, Wall has expanded his artistic repertoire, incorporating traditional black-and-white prints and, more recently, inkjet color prints into his evolving body of work.
Gilles Nicolet
France
1960
I am a self-taught photographer who spent 35 years living and working in Africa, with long stays in Somalia, West Africa and Tanzania. I started out as an agricultural engineer but soon switched to photography in order to follow an old passion. I have since shot numerous stories for all sorts of magazines, including the Sunday Times Magazine, National Geographic Magazine, Geo, the Smithsonian and Paris-Match. I have a special interest in anthropology and ethnography, something that - I hope - has helped me capture the essence of my subjects. In the past most of my stories where about rare traditions that somehow linked man and wildlife, but Africa has changed a lot in the last few decades and unfortunately most of these traditions have now disappeared. My recent work has therefore been more personal and contemplative and less focused on narrative picture stories meant for magazines. In fact, today my interest lies in the convergence between art and documentary photography. I have also moved away from color photography and now only shoot in black and white. My work has received several major awards, including a World Press Photo Award and a Fuji Award. My latest project on the Swahili Coast also obtained the following recognitions: 2017 HIPA Hamdan International Photography Awards - 2nd Prize, Portfolio Category 2017 Elliott Erwitt Havana Fellowship - Nominee 2017 Seventh Annual Exposure Photography Awards - Winner 2017 IPA International Photography Awards - 2nd Prize, People/Culture Category 2017 Meitar Award - Nominee 2017 Monochrome Photography Awards - Photojournalism/Professional - Two Honorable Mentions 2017 Monochrome Photography Awards - People/Professional - Honorable Mention 2018 CAP Contemporary African Photography Prize - Finalist 2018 SIPA Contest - Honorable Mention 2019 SOPHOT Award - Winner This work on the Swahili Coast is featured in "Swahili", a book released by Contrejour Publishers in May 2019 (available on amazon.fr and amazon.co.uk). Six degrees south The Zanzibar archipelago, an highly evocative name even for those who are quite unable to locate it on a map, lies six degrees south of the Equator. It is also the exact geographical center of the Swahili Coast, a unique physical, historical and cultural entity running from Southern Somalia to Mozambique, which first grew in the 10th century through trade with the Arab world, India and China. Gold, coconut, ebony, mangrove wood, sisal, myrrh and the infamous slave trade helped make the wealth of this region, slowly shaping it and giving it its unique present character. For a thousand years now, wooden dhows have sailed these lonely shores, with their characteristic white cotton sails, using the monsoon winds to help traders move goods between Africa and Arabia. And for a thousand years too, fishermen have ploughed these rich seas for their bounty of fish, contributing with the traders to the emergence of rich city-ports like Stone Town or Mombasa. But all of this is changing now. A combination of overfishing by both local and foreign ships, population increase, changes in weather patterns as well as the recent discovery of huge gas fields in the region, is threatening this fragile equilibrium. The fishing communities that occupy these shores are particularly at risk, and it could be that we are now witnessing the last of fishing and sailing traditions that had remained largely unchanged since Ibn Battuta, the famous 12th Century Arab explorer, first described them in his travel memoirs. With this recent work I have tried to testify to the unique beauty and timelessness of the Swahili Coast, and to record it for generations to come. It is a personal, melancholic, sometimes dreamy vision of a place and a culture that are very dear to my heart but which, I now realise, may soon disappear.
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AAP Magazine #41 B&W
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