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Violeta Sofia
Violeta Sofia
Violeta Sofia

Violeta Sofia

Country: Spain

Violeta Sofia is a photographer, artist and activist whose journey is as rich and diverse as her artistic portfolio. Born in Cameroon and raised in Spain from a young age, Violeta's multicultural upbringing deeply influences her work, which often explores themes of identity, diversity, and human connection.

From a tender age, Violeta exhibited a passion for the arts, nurtured by her father, a photography enthusiast. At just eight years old, she picked up her first camera, embarking on a lifelong love affair with photography. Despite facing challenges and discrimination during her school years. Violeta persevered, fuelled by her parents' unwavering support for her creative talents.

After studying media studies in university, Violeta found herself drawn back to her first love: photography. Her first photography jobs was freelancing in makeover and model agencies, where she developed model portfolios and gained confidence in posing and communicating with subjects. This experience laid the foundation and the confidence to work with high-profile clients, including celebrities, where she often had mere minutes to establish a connection and capture their essence.

As a fine artist and portrait photographer, Violeta has made significant strides in the art world. Her work has been exhibited at prestigious institutions such as the National Portrait Gallery and Christie's, showcasing her ability to blend creativity with a powerful narrative. Additionally, she has graced the covers of renowned publications like Elle Italia, Deadline Hollywood, and The Telegraph, cementing her status as a prominent figure in the industry.

In addition to her artistic pursuits, Violeta is also a passionate activist, advocating for female inclusivity and representation in the arts. Through her photography, she seeks to challenge stereotypes and highlight the diverse experiences of women, particularly those of colour.

Today, Violeta's work transcends mere portraiture; it serves as a powerful tool for storytelling and self-expression. Through her lens, she seeks to bridge divides and celebrate the beauty of human diversity. Whether she's capturing the vulnerability of a celebrity or the authenticity in her fine art photography, Violeta Sofia continues to inspire and challenge perceptions through her art and activism.

Statement:
In my artistic journey, whether capturing the essence of a celebrity or exploring the complexities of identity through fine art, I am guided by a profound sense of gratitude for the path I've traveled thus far. My photography is not merely a visual expression, but a conduit for protest to fostering connection and understanding.

With my conceptual art, my ultimate goal is to contribute to a more inclusive and equitable society. Through the sharing of untold narratives and diverse viewpoints, I strive to dismantle stereotypes and foster a world grounded in diversity, compassion, and positive change.
 

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María Tuleda
Nurse by profession, I discovered photography by chance a little over a decade ago and since then I have dedicated part of my free time to taking photos. Self-taught, I conceive photography as an instrument to create, tell and transmit, but above all to feel. I do not follow norms or rules, and I confess to being more interested in suggesting than in the photographic technique itself. There's something nostalgic and beautiful about decadence, and maybe that's why almost all of my shots end up having a certain decadent feel to them. I have no idea why I make the images I make, I guess we look with a camera as we are, or one day we were. My photos are simply a visual diary, they show what I see, and how I felt. Photography allows me to return to that childlike curiosity, which makes me want to explore not only in the world, but within myself. When they ask me what I want to express with my photos or my way of creating them, the answer is simple: Provoke, simply provoke some sensation. A few years ago I decided to show my images on social networks, opening up a range of opportunities to disseminate my work, but if I have to choose a medium where I can express myself through photography, it is the photobook. Being able to create a visual narrative, with a set of photos between sheets of paper inside a book, has been a wonderful experience, yes, I confess, photobooks have me fascinated. On many occasions I don't know why some of the images I make exist. And honestly, I don't care to know. The birds What do birds represent in artistic photography? It is a simple filler in the composition, with the purpose of making it more attractive and attracting the viewer, or for the author, it has a meaning. The answer may be a little of both. It is easy to find the presence of symbols in creative or artistic photography, including birds. Jennifer Ackerman, a bird scholar, after spending time observing them, came to the conclusion that birds remember, think, feel, give gifts and love. And they also fly, and that is what makes them so special, that is what arouses so much interest and at the same time envy: the ability to fly. The author of the wonderful novel "Rebecca", Daphne du Maurier, is also the author of the story about "The Birds" in the Alfred Hitchcock film. Horror story where roles are exchanged, giving way to the revolution of the birds, and they are the ones who keep humans locked up, imprisoned and caged in their homes. Leonardo da Vinci's obsession with understanding the flight of birds led him to make a study and treatise on flight while painting the Mona Lisa. Some of the discoveries he made anticipated the foundations of modern aeronautics. Hundreds of birds fly over the Prado Museum of various species, a recent study reveals that there are nearly 700 paintings that illustrate frozen birds through the brushes of artists such as Rubens, Hieronymus Bosch or Goya. It is evident that birds have always aroused a lot of interest throughout history, and without a doubt they have been and are sources of inspiration, not only in art. But really, in artistic photography, what do they symbolize? The Mexican photographer and lady of symbols, Graciela Iturbide, is clear: "Birds are the eyes that help me fly." She claims that she loves them and for her they represent freedom. I share Graciela's considerations about the concepts she attributes to birds for her creations. I have no idea why they are so present in my work, why I go out into the world with my camera, sometimes, even with the sole intention of looking for them and photographing them. When they ask me what I want to express with their presence, I feel perplexed for not having a clear answer. I wish I could give you an exact answer about the important message behind this work. Birds, above all for me, are symbols of vision and freedom perfectly outlined in the process of the concept of creation, and at the same time, a metaphor alluding to an infinite number of things. My photos are simply a visual diary. They show what I see or what I saw, and how I felt. Photography allows me to return to that childlike curiosity, which makes me want to explore not only in the world, but within myself. On many occasions I don't know why some of the images I make exist. And honestly, I don't care to know. For others, the presence of birds perhaps blurs the composition, or they are representations that are too disturbing or tedious, and therefore contrary to what I intend to provoke, but perhaps that disparate vision that photography provokes is not part of its magic.
Joel Sternfeld
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1944
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Sweet Earth: Experimental Utopias in America (2006) “can be seen as a generous respite from the traumatic history in On This Site... It is a survey of American human socialization, alternative ways of living, of hopeful being” (Elin O’Hara Slavik, 2018). All his subsequent work has sought to expand the narrative possibilities of still photography primarily through an authored text. All of his books and bodies of work converse with each other and may be read as a collective whole. His work represents a melding of time and place that serves to elucidate, honor, and warn. The images hold a certain urgency, as their histories survive solely through their photographic representation— they are an archive for the future. Sternfeld is the recipient of two Guggenheim Fellowships and spent a year in Italy on a Rome Prize. 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Dougie Wallace
Dougie Wallace, also known as 'Glasweegee', is a Scottish street photographer, based in east London. He was born and raised in Glasgow, lived in Blackpool for a couple of years in the 1980s before enlisting in the army, and has lived in Shoreditch, east London, for 15 years. For two-and-a-half years beginning in October 2010 Wallace made 30 trips to Blackpool to complete his first book Stags, Hens & Bunnies: A Blackpool Story (2014), photographs of the stag and hen parties that visit the town, "lads and lasses on their worst behaviour, partying away in a bawdy sea of L-plates, handcuffs, blow-up dolls and uniformed fancy dress in various states of undress and drunkenness; revelling in bars, puking in the street, refuelling at chip shops." Wallace spent 15 years photographing in the Shoreditch area of East London, a series published in his second book, Shoreditch Wild Life (2014). He photographed the disappearing Premier Padminis in Mumbai for his series Road Wallah.Source: Wikipedia Scottish photographer Dougie Wallace is internationally recognised for his long-term social documentary projects and a distinct direct style of expressive street photography. He has won prestigious awards, exhibited as a solo artist or in joint exhibits in world-renowned institutions and photographic festivals, authored a number of books, all critically acclaimed. London-based, his assignments and personal work take him around the world. To coincide with BBC Season of Photography, in March 2017, BBC4 broadcast a 30-minute programme about Dougie, as part of the What Artists Do All Day series, providing insights into the lives of outstanding artists. The programme follows Dougie on the streets of Knightsbridge, as he completes the photographs for the book Harrodsburg. Available here to watch. More recently, Dougie was commissioned by Sky Art 50 to create a film, which explored what it means to be British in the light of the EU referendum. It was showcased at The BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art and the Barbican. It was also broadcast on Sky Arts channel on the night of the original Brexit leaving date (March 29th, 2019). Dougie attributes his unique vision to his Glasgow up-bring and experiences lived or perceptively witnessed over two decades of residing in east London, from the uninhibited party days, when the area was a cultural wasteland through to its on-going urban regeneration, turning this district into a fashionable destination and tourist Mecca. "Living in Shoreditch has helped me develop an eye for the tragi-comic, messy side of uninhibited human behaviour. My Glasgow upbringing has shaped my style, which has been described as 'visually exaggerated' and 'hard-edged'. What motivates my pictures is human behaviour. People’s interactions and emotions fascinate me. My stories are thematic. They have similarities of expressions running through them. My work is informed by societies’ trends and incongruities and translating what I see through the lens into wit, criticism and humorous vignettes. I’d like to think that my photos convey a point of view that believable and absurd." This idiosyncratic point of view comes to life in his books, which have all equally generated critical attention and viral buzz. His books Stags, Hens and Bunnies: A Blackpool Story (Dewi Lewis Media, 2014) and Shoreditch Wild Life (Hoxton Mini Press, 2014), each a distinctive spin on hedonism and excess, turned Dougie into a household name among taste-makers. Road Wallah (Dewi Lewis, 2016), which offers a unique insight into the world of Bombay cab drivers has been exhibited at numerous photo festivals and gallery shows and was shortlisted for 2015 European Book Publisher’s Award. Followed Harrodsburg, which won the inaugural 'Magnum Photography Award 2016'. Well Heeled (Dewi Lewis, 2017) is an observation about the cultural shift among dog owners (Dewi Lewis, 2017). Goan to the Dogs is to be published by Dewi Lewis in 2020. East Ended is a reflection on gentrification and its ambiguous and fraught relationship with street art and local communities. Newly published by Dewi Lewis. Dougie is sought after for opinion, project assignments, editorial features and ad-hoc opportunities. His work has been featured in assignments and publications for magazines and newspapers, including, The Sunday Times Magazine, D Repubblica, The Economist, Le Monde, The New Yorker, Stern, The Guardian, New York Times, The Independent, International New York Times, Observer, GQ, Dazed, Hunger, Vice, BBC, CNN, Itsnicethat, Marie Claire, Die Zeit, Süddeutsche Zeitung, El País, Der Spiegel, Macleans, NZZ, Die Tageszeitung, Neon, dS Magazine - De Standaard. As well as numerous photography magazines, BJP, GUP, Amateur Photographer, Professional Photographer, F2, Fotografia Magazine, Lens Culture, Leica LFI, L’Oeil, Fotomagazine, European Photography and Photo International. Dougie continues to shoot fashion for the likes of Tatler, Balenciaga and Dazed. Dougie Wallace has conducted workshops both in the UK and overseas. He regularly donates his work to his chosen charities each year.Source: www.dougiewallace.com
Bill Burke
United States
1943
William M. Burke is an American photographer and educator known for his 20 years of documentary photography in Vietnam and neighboring countries, detailing the effects of war. Bill Burke was born in 1943 in Derby, Connecticut. In 1966, he received a B.A. degree in Art History from Middlebury College. He continued studies at Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), and received a B.F.A degree in 1968 and a MFA degree in 1970, while studying with photographer Harry Callahan. In 1971, he started teaching at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. In 1978, he became a Guggenheim fellow in photography. His work is included in many public collections including the Smithsonian American Art Museum, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Princeton University Art Museum, Museum of Modern Art, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, among others.Source: Wikipedia Since 1971 he has taught at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. While he has contributed to the Christian Science Monitor and published his work in Fortune and Esquire, Burke prefers to present personal travelogue images in series in books and exhibitions. His monographs include They Shall Cast Out Demons (1983), Bill Burke Portraits (1987), I Want to Take Picture (1987), and Mine Fields (1994). He has exhibited alone and in groups at ICP and elsewhere. Bill Burke, who failed his draft physical, was spared the experience of many of his contemporaries who fought in the Vietnam War. Since the 1970s he has photographed his travels through Asia not to document military atrocities, but to record his personal reactions. His work reflects a fascination with historical events and sites, yet his interest is broader than the topical documentation of photojournalism. The independent spirit of works such as Robert Frank's The Americans (1959) informs Burke's approach to his subjects: he recognizes his outsider status, and the black-and-white photographs of his many trips to Cambodia are as much about the personal impact and experience of being a witness as they are about the cultures he visits. This visitor status is important: Burke makes no pretense trying to develop a photo essay with political overtones, in the tradition of American documentary photography of the 1930s.Source: International Center of Photography
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AAP Magazine #41 B&W
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