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Robert Mapplethorpe
Robert Mapplethorpe

Robert Mapplethorpe

Country: United States
Birth: 1946 | Death: 1989

Robert Mapplethorpe was born in 1946 in Floral Park, Queens. Of his childhood he said, "I come from suburban America. It was a very safe environment and it was a good place to come from in that it was a good place to leave."

In 1963, Mapplethorpe enrolled at Pratt Institute in nearby Brooklyn, where he studied drawing, painting, and sculpture. Influenced by artists such as Joseph Cornell and Marcel Duchamp, he also experimented with various materials in mixed-media collages, including images cut from books and magazines. He acquired a Polaroid camera in 1970 and began producing his own photographs to incorporate into the collages, saying he felt "it was more honest." That same year he and Patti Smith, whom he had met three years earlier, moved into the Chelsea Hotel.

Mapplethorpe quickly found satisfaction taking Polaroid photographs in their own right and indeed few Polaroids actually appear in his mixed-media works. In 1973, the Light Gallery in New York City mounted his first solo gallery exhibition, Polaroids. Two years later he acquired a Hasselblad medium-format camera and began shooting his circle of friends and acquaintances—artists, musicians, socialites, pornographic film stars, and members of the S & M underground. He also worked on commercial projects, creating album cover art for Patti Smith and Television and a series of portraits and party pictures for Interview Magazine.

In the late 70s, Mapplethorpe grew increasingly interested in documenting the New York S & M scene. The resulting photographs are shocking for their content and remarkable for their technical and formal mastery. Mapplethorpe told ARTnews in late 1988, "I don't like that particular word 'shocking.' I'm looking for the unexpected. I'm looking for things I've never seen before … I was in a position to take those pictures. I felt an obligation to do them." Meanwhile his career continued to flourish. In 1977, he participated in Documenta 6 in Kassel, West Germany and in 1978, the Robert Miller Gallery in New York City became his exclusive dealer.

Mapplethorpe met Lisa Lyon, the first World Women's Bodybuilding Champion, in 1980. Over the next several years they collaborated on a series of portraits and figure studies, a film, and the book, Lady, Lisa Lyon. Throughout the 80s, Mapplethorpe produced a bevy of images that simultaneously challenge and adhere to classical aesthetic standards: stylized compositions of male and female nudes, delicate flower still lifes, and studio portraits of artists and celebrities, to name a few of his preferred genres. He introduced and refined different techniques and formats, including color 20" x 24" Polaroids, photogravures, platinum prints on paper and linen, Cibachrome and dye transfer color prints. In 1986, he designed sets for Lucinda Childs' dance performance, Portraits in Reflection, created a photogravure series for Arthur Rimbaud's A Season in Hell, and was commissioned by curator Richard Marshall to take portraits of New York artists for the series and book, 50 New York Artists.

That same year, in 1986, he was diagnosed with AIDS. Despite his illness, he accelerated his creative efforts, broadened the scope of his photographic inquiry, and accepted increasingly challenging commissions. The Whitney Museum of American Art mounted his first major American museum retrospective in 1988, one year before his death in 1989.

His vast, provocative, and powerful body of work has established him as one of the most important artists of the twentieth century. Today Mapplethorpe is represented by galleries in North and South America and Europe and his work can be found in the collections of major museums around the world. Beyond the art historical and social significance of his work, his legacy lives on through the work of the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. He established the Foundation in 1988 to promote photography, support museums that exhibit photographic art, and to fund medical research in the fight against AIDS and HIV-related infection.
 

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Gilles Caron
France
1939 | † 1970
Gilles Caron (8 July 1939 – 5 April 1970) was a French photographer and photojournalist. He was born in Neuilly-sur-Seine, Hauts-de-Seine, France, of a Scottish mother and a French father, Edouard Caron, an insurance company manager. After the divorce of his parents in 1946, Caron spent 7 years in a boarding school in Argentières, Haute-Savoie. A keen horserider, Gilles Caron briefly embraced a career in horse racing, before moving to Paris where he attended the lycée Janson de Sailly. He then moved on to study journalism at the École des Hautes Études Internationales, still in Paris. He served his National Service in Algeria from 1959 as a paratrooper in the 3rd Marine Infantry Parachute Regiment (3e RPIMa). After nearly 2 years fighting a war he opposed, Caron refused to fight after the Generals' putsch, an aborted coup d'état attempted by 4 former French generals in April 1961. As a result, he spent 2 months in a military prison before finishing his military service in 1962. After returning to Paris Gilles Caron married Marianne, a long-time friend. They had 2 daughters, Marjolaine (born 9 March 1963) and Clémentine (born 8 December 1967). In 1964 Gilles Caron started working with Patrice Molinard, a fashion and advertisement photographer. In 1965 he joined the APIS (Agence Parisienne d'Informations Sociales) where he met Raymond Depardon, then working for Dalmas agency. It was during this period that he had his first major success as a photojournalist, with one of his photos illustrating the leading article of France Soir (21 February 1966 issue, on the Ben Barka affair). After leaving the APIS and briefly working for a celebrity photography agency, Caron joined Depardon and the founders of the recently created Gamma agency in 1967. For the next 3 years Caron covered most of the high-profile conflicts in the world in various countries: Israel in June 1967 during the Six-Day War; Vietnam in November and December 1967, where he was present during the infamous battle for Hill 875 in Dak To; Biafra in April 1968 where he returned twice (in July and November the same year), and where he was with his very good friend Don McCullin and where he met Bernard Kouchner, future co-founder of Médecins Sans Frontières; France in May 1968 to cover the student upheaval in Paris; Mexico in September 1968, when the military and armed men shot student demonstrators in Mexico City days before the opening ceremony of the Olympics; Northern Ireland in August 1969 to cover The Troubles; Czechoslovakia in August 1969 for the anniversary of the end of the Prague Spring the year before. In 1970 Gilles Caron went to Cambodia after king Norodom Sihanouk was deposed by Lon Nol on 18 March 1970. On April 5, Gilles Caron disappeared on Route 1, a road between Cambodia and Vietnam controlled by Pol Pot's Khmer Rouge.Source: Wikipedia In the space of just a few years Gilles Caron, a passionate and audacious young journalist, made his mark in the world of photography breathing new life into a genre: photojournalism. He founded the photographic agency Gamma in 1968 with Raymond Depardon and rapidly made a name for himself by covering all of the period’s major conflicts: the Middle East, Vietnam, Chad, Northern Ireland, Biafra… Wherever there was fighting, he was there with his camera until one day in April 1970, 5 April to be precise, when he disappeared in Cambodia in a zone controlled by the Khmer Rouge. Although he was primarily known as a war reporter, Caron’s photography is also remarkable for the way he managed to capture the quintessential spirit of the 1960s: cinema and France’s Nouvelle Vague, fashion, music, the rebellious younger generation and politics are amongst his main subjects, those that inspired some of his most striking images. His extremely realistic account of the events of May 1968, in particular his famous photo of Daniel Cohn-Bendit confronting a CRS riot policeman, are indelibly fixed in our collective memory. In just a few short years, Caron managed to prove that he was one of photojournalism’s greats.Source: Jeu de Paume
Evy Huppert
United States
Evy Huppert lives and works in the Upper Valley of the Connecticut River spanning Vermont and New Hampshire. She is a fine art photographer, administrator, and educator. Her black and white film-based work explores emotional narrative in both landscape and portraiture. A native of Minnesota and long-time resident of New England, she considers herself to be a true 'child of the North.' Permanently light-deprived, her remedy for personal and collective seasonal affective disorder is making images that are often about light itself. Evy is a 2019 Critical Mass Finalist. Her work has been exhibited as a Portfolio Showcase by the Davis-Orton Gallery, Hudson NY, and included in exhibitions at the Griffin Museum of Photography, Winchester MA, ASmith Gallery, Johnson City, TX, the Center for Fine Art Photography, Ft. Collins, CO, PhotoPlace Gallery, Middlebury, VT and others. Her project "Wild Spirits" was featured in Lenscratch in July 2019. Evy was the Fall, 2017 featured Emerging Photographer in SHOTS Magazine. Her work has also appeared in The Hand Magazine, and will be included in the forthcoming 10th anniversary issue of Diffusion Annual. Wild Spirits I made this work on journeys south to untamed places in the Sea Islands of Georgia with a tribe of like-minded artists. The images and characters come from dreams and memories the land drew out from my personal mythology. Timeless, yet inhabited for millennia, the islands carry a spiritual presence of deep wildness palpable in the light and shadows; the ancient alligators and birds, the feral pigs and donkeys, and the artifacts of their existence lying everywhere. My photographs explore the emotions and spiritual experiences that the land and the light evoked: vulnerability, captivity, lost-ness, sanctuary, and wildness set free. Photographing in collaboration with the other artists, I conceived of these images made on black and white film as stills taken from a movie. Each is an instant of a longer feature, of a fuller picture not seen but understood to exist. There is a narrative between the frames and a soundtrack within us that I aim to invoke. What we imagine might be the rest of the story is as much a part of the photograph as what we believe we are seeing.
Newsha Tavakolian
Newsha Tavakolian (born 1981) is an Iranian photojournalist and documentary photographer. She has worked for TIME Magazine, The New York Times, Le Figaro, and National Geographic. Her work focuses on women's issues and she has been a member of the Rawiya women's photography collective which she co-established in 2011. Tavakolian is a full member of Magnum Photos. Born and brought up in Tehran, at age 16, Tavakolian took a six-month photography course, after which she began working as a professional photographer in the Iranian press. She started at the women's daily newspaper Zan, and later worked for other nine reformist dailies, all of which have since been banned. She covered the July 1999 student uprising, using her Minolta with a 50mm lens, and her photographs were published in several publications. However, she was forced to go on hiatus from her photojournalist work following the "chaos" of Iran’s presidential election in 2009. During this time, she began other projects focusing on art using photography as well as social documentary. Tavakolian’s photographs became more artistic and involved social commentary. She got her international break in 2001 at age 21, when she met J.P. Pappis, founder of Polaris Images, New York at a photography festival in Perpignan, France. She began covering Iran for Polaris Images, in the same year, and started working as a freelancer for The Times in 2004. Tavakolian has worked internationally, covering wars, natural disasters and social documentary stories in Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Yemen. Her work has been published by international magazines and newspapers such as TIME Magazine, Newsweek, Stern, Le Figaro, Colors, New York Times Magazine, Der Spiegel, Le Monde, NRC Handelsblad and National Geographic. Common themes in her work are photo stories of women, friends and neighbors in Iran; the evolving role of women in overcoming gender-based restrictions; and contrasting the stereotypes of western media. Her photo projects include Mother of Martyrs (2006), Women in the Axis of Evil (2006), The Day I Became a Woman (2010) and Look (2013). Tavakolian was part of the 2006 Joop Swart Masterclass organized by World Press Photo. In 2007 she was a finalist for the Inge Morath Award. Her work has been exhibited and collected at institutions such as the British Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and Somerset House, London. (April 2014), where she was one of eight Iranian photographers featured in the critically acclaimed Burnt Generation exhibition. In June 2015 Tavakolian became a nominee member of Magnum Photos and in 2019 a full member. She lives and works in Tehran and is married to the Dutch journalist Thomas Erdbrink. In 2019, the Iranian authorities barred her from working in the country.Source: Wikipedia Newsha Tavakolian is known for her powerful work covering wars in Iraq and social issues in her native Iran. With clarity and sensitivity, Tavakolian has photographed female guerilla fighters in Iraqi Kurdistan, Syria and Colombia, prohibited Iranian female singers and the lives of people living under sanctions. Over the years, her practice has shifted from photojournalism to photography as art. A self-taught photographer, Tavakolian began working professionally in the Iranian press at the age of 16, at women’s daily newspaper Zan. At the age of 18, she was the youngest photographer to cover the 1999 student uprising, which was a turning point for the country’s blossoming reformist movement and for Tavakolian personally as a photojournalist; a year later she joined New York-based agency Polaris Images. In 2003, she started working internationally, covering the war in Iraq. She has since covered regional conflicts, natural disasters and made social documentary stories. Her work has been published in international magazines and newspapers such as Time Magazine, Newsweek, Stern, Le Figaro, Colors, The New York Times, Der Spiegel, Le Monde, NRC Handelsblad, The New York Times Magazine and National Geographic. Commercial clients include Qatar foundation, who commissioned her to make a book about education around the world and Shiseido, who commissioned a two-year assignment looking at the meaning of beauty in Paris, France.Source: Magnum Photos
Philip Metcalf
United States
Philip Metcalf was born in the Finger Lakes area of central New York State. He is a photographer who focuses mainly on the landscape, shooting in black & white infrared. The Fire Ghosts portfolio explores the devastation and unexpected beauty caused by the 2011 Las Conchas forest fire in New Mexico. In 2013, a photo from this portfolio was selected for the Art of Photography show, curated by Julia Dolan, the Curator of Photography at the Portland Art Museum and hung in the San Diego Art Institute. Also in 2013, he was a Nominee in the Black & White Spider Awards. In 2014, another photo from the portfolio was selected for the cover of Black & White Magazine (issue # 104). A graduate of Princeton University, Philip and his wife, photographer Patricia Galagan, live in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Interview with Philip Metcalf AAP: Where did you study photography? With Whom? Two most important teachers were Charles Harbutt and Kate Carter back in the 1970’s. Harbutt’s class at The Maine Photo Workshops was ostensibly about the camera, but the real message was the difference between how your eye sees the world vs how a camera sees the world. Like many young photographers, I started with a couple of camera bodies and several lens. Accordingly, much of one’s time and attention was spent on thinking about equipment combinations. In Ireland with Kate, I was bemoaning the lack of great results. Kate said something was elegantly simple and utterly true: “Remember, it’s all about the light.” That afternoon I went shooting with one body and one lens, a practice that I have followed ever since. AAP: What or who inspires you? Nature, especially the wide-open spaces of the Western United States. When I lived on the East Coast, I asked a friend visiting from the West what he thought of the Eastern part of the US. He said it was fine except that he couldn’t see anything. I never really understood what he meant until moving to Santa Fe, New Mexico. The vast expanses of the West with their unobstructed views for miles and miles are a very different experience than the more circumscribed views of the East. AAP: How could you describe your style? Based on nature and the real world, but slightly abstracted. AAP: Do you have a favorite photograph or series? My Fire Ghosts portfolio.
Leo Touchet
United States
1939
Leo Touchet is an American photographer, Born in Abbeville, Louisiana, in 1939. Throughout his 50-plus year career, photographer Leo Touchet’s work has captured the essence of people and cultures all across the world. In July 1965, inspired by the work of Henri Cartier-Bresson on view at MoMA, Touchet purchased a Leica M2 and began photographing the streets of New York. Soon after, his work drew the eye of a Life Magazine photo editor. That chance encounter led him on assignment for UNICEF to war-torn Vietnam, the first stop on a career that led Touchet through fifty countries across the world. Touchet’s fascination with photography began after pouring through photos an uncle had taken while deployed during World War II. In college, Touchet studied architecture where he was introduced to the principles of composition, form, light, and perspective. This architectural training deeply informed his later photographic work. Upon meeting Henri Cartier-Bresson in 1972, the man whose work inspired Touchet’s career suggested he return home and photograph the people and culture. Touchet took the advice and turned his lens upon his birth state of Louisiana, a sample of which was beautifully collected in the monograph Rejoice When You Die - The New Orleans Jazz Funerals. In total, six monographs of Touchet’s work have been published. Additionally, his work has been featured in numerous publications including Time, Life, National Geographic, and New York Times. Numerous museums and private collections hold Touchet’s work, including the New Orleans Museum of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Bibliothèque Nationale de France, the Everson Museum of Art, Hofstra University Museum, the Sir Elton John Photography Collection, Chase Manhattan Collection, and the United States National Park Service. Touchet’s work has been exhibited internationally numerous times notably including solo exhibitions at the Acadiana Center for the Arts, Bibliothèque Nationale de France, the Miami Art Center and the Mint Museum.Source: Jackson Fine Art Artist Statement "My earliest memory of photography was at the age of six in my hometown of Abbeville, Louisiana when an uncle returned from World War II with boxes of photographs he had taken, and I have since wanted to travel. While in high school, I was selected to be the high school photographer. My equipment then was an old 4x5 Crown Graphic Camera with screw in flash bulbs. After high school and a stint in the Army, I enrolled in Architecture school at the University of Southwest Louisiana (now the University of Louisiana Lafayette). There I was introduced to composition, form, light and perspective. My photography has since used all of these elements. Most of my photos are full-frame images, cropped in the camera. I later worked in Cleveland and New York as a draftsman and later as an industrial designer. Eventually I became bored with working in an office on a drawing board. In July 1965, on a visit to the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA), I was captivated by the photos of Henri Cartier-Bresson. The next day, I bought a used Leica M2 camera and began photographing on the streets of New York. The photography archives at MOMA were open to the public and most of my photography education resulted from my many hours studying photos of Cartier-Bresson, Paul Strand, Eugene Smith, Edward Steichen, Gordon Parks and many other photographers in the collection. Later that year, I bought a ticket to Vietnam to become a photographer." -- Leo TouchetSource: leotouchet.com
Dale Odell
United States
Dale O'Dell lives in Prescott, Arizona and is a professional photographer and digital artist. He studied photography and philosophy in college and earned a Bachelor's of Science degree in Photography in 1982 from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas. Since 1979 he has exhibited in over two-hundred group and solo shows, his works have been exhibited and published internationally and he's written for most of the leading photographic magazines and journals. He is a consummate experimenter and innovator and works with diverse subjects in a variety of styles. He has published nineteen art books and is currently at work on number twenty. He uses modern digital technologies to create artwork in a variety of styles. “Using the power of technology and an active imagination there are few limitations. I've produced straight documentary-style photos, advertising, editorial illustration, street photography, portraiture, landscape, infrared, night and astronomical photography as well as abstract-expressionism, impressionism and surrealism. You won't find me making the same image over and over.” Despite their photographic origins, Dale's images are best described as 'photo/digital artworks' and are not all straight photographs. He has fully embraced the digital revolution of photography to explore expression beyond traditional photographic limitations. Zen Cairns A cairn is a human-made pile (or stack) of stones. The word cairn comes from the Scottish Gaelic: càrn. Cairns are used for a variety of purposes. In modern times, cairns are often erected as landmarks, a use they have had since ancient times and cairns are used as trail markers in many parts of the world. They vary in size from small stone markers to entire artificial hills, and in complexity from loose conical rock piles to delicately balanced sculptures and elaborate feats of megalithic engineering. Cairns may be painted or otherwise decorated, whether for increased visibility or for religious reasons. The Zen Cairns came into existence as a result of researching what other photographers had done with the cairn as subject. I look at others' works to see what's already been done with the subject. This helps me to avoid repeating what others have done and (hopefully) forge my own path of originality with the subject. As I studied the myriad of cairn photos online I saw some that made me look twice and carefully consider the laws of gravity. While I saw many examples of true 'balance artistry' when stacks of rocks seemed to be magically balanced for real, I also saw images that really did defy the law of gravity. These were 'impossible' stacks of rocks that, at first glance, looked 'real,' but they were, in fact, held together with metal rods or glue. These were probable yet impossible cairns. A quick look at these could easily fool the viewer. Looking at the probable yet impossible cairns I thought I could create a series of physically impossible yet visually probable cairns - after all, I do have Photoshop. Almost immediately I could see the finished images in my minds-eye. I went to my sketchbook and very quickly did a series of drawings - which came to me full-blown, complete with titles! I already had the river rocks in my studio so I photographed them all twice, with lighting from two different directions, allowing me to use them in different ways in Photoshop yet keep a consistent direction of light. With the image fully-formed in my mind's eye I created a portrait-studio type background which would be lit oppositely from the rocks. I did a quick version of this background as a proof-of-concept (which worked) and then went to various paint and lighting programs to create the actual background. Interestingly, each new and improved background failed to work in the image and I ultimately ended up using the original proof-of-concept background. Sometimes you get it right the first time but you've got to do the extra work anyway so you know the first one really does work and you didn't quit too soon. For consistency I used the same background for all ten images. Using my sketches as guides I assembled each image from individually photographed river rocks. I added shadows to simulate what it would really look like as a set in the studio. I sharpened all the rocks to enhance their texture and softened the background to create a more three-dimensional effect. I worked in black and white to emulate the luminosity of classic B&W still-life prints from the darkroom. It is my hope that the direction of light, shadows and texture induces an emotional response of 'reality' in the viewer before the intellect of analysis informs them, 'this is not real.'
Stefano Galli
Italy
1981
Stefano Galli is an Italian photographer born in 1981. After graduating at the University of Turin, with a BA in cinema, he moved to Copenhagen, Denmark, where he worked with director Lars Von Trier. During these years he attended Fatamorgana, The Danish School of Art & Documentary Photography. Fascinated with traveling and the discovery of new environments, Galli is currently working on a new series that belong to a trilogy started with 'Cars' and followed by '80 Skies'. He recently terminated a non-narrative documentary-film, based on the stories of random people met along a journey through the USA. Galli exclusively works on a traditional analog way, both in his motion and still project. Currently based in Los Angeles. About '80 skies'Gazes at the sky. The beauty and power of pure light entering the camera. A project that recalls Claude Monet’s study of the influence of light on objects. Stefano Galli brings his own light studies to the extreme, focusing on the sky and its myriad variations. In “80 SKIES”, the protagonists of Galli’s frames are airplanes or - better said - the small shapes that fly over our heads daily. Because of their height in the sky and the sunlight by which they are surrounded, the shapes Galli captures become something entirely different than just giant devices that move hundreds of human beings. In many cases, the planes are insignificant elements when compared to the magnificence of the heavens. In fact, the eye of the viewer becomes lost in the contemplation of the colors, in the totality of the photographs; looking at these images, the impression of hearing the deafening noise or the usual imagery of the airplane is not perceived. Fascinated by movement and travel, Stefano Galli dedicates this project to the aircraft for the purpose of studying the sky. The result is a creative pictorial but also a tiring study that begins in the early hours of dawn and ends with the fall of the sun. Pushing 35mm negatives to the extreme through a 90mm lens, he lets the film be flooded by the infinite heavenly hue, the changing colors of the horizon sometimes grayish, or yellow and pink, the broad spectrum of colors that characterize the sky. The intensity of the light seems to struggle with the film speed, so the photographs are characterized by a thick grain that gives the picture a three-dimensional effect, as if it had been given a brushstroke.A photographic project that shows the endless variations of the light system in which we live. About 'Cars': Stefano Galli’s work documents his journey of crossing deserts, through forgotten villages, on remote and empty roads. In ‘Cars’ , geography is just as important as photography even if in his shots - distinctive sharp cuts - he leads away from the dusty streets and daily life. Galli conducts the imagination to an elsewhere where lines play with material and shape, where the tail lights and fenders are transformed into surreal and alien beings. Yet ‘Cars’ goes far beyond a mere figurative research, the work is conducted with rigor and awareness, typical of a geographer or an archivist. In fact, Stefano meticulously notates the physical location of the intersection shown in each photograph. Therefore, the project goes beyond the cult of the American car. Through this adventure, Galli tracks and defines - snap after snap - a cognitive path of the new continent. So there is an aspect that links these works to a deep investigation of American society and to aspects of decay and yet, mixed with a splendor that still dazzles. The essence of his idea lies not only in the aesthetics of the work, but also in his decision to show the layers of dust on the cars, the broken headlights and swollen wheels. In this series, a fascination with America remains. A fascination with all its vastness and complexity, which attracts and disturbs at the same time. Discover Stefano Galli's Interview
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