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Liu Zheng
Liu Zheng
Liu Zheng

Liu Zheng

Country: China
Birth: 1969

Liu Zheng was born in 1969 in the Hebei Province, China. His signature graytone photographs have for years starkly framed, in political and provocative situations, his human subjects. When he works in colour, the tones are awash in sepia or a doctored saturation that comments on the nostalgic nature of his topics – his Peking Opera series in particular reflects this.

Liu's background is not rooted in arts . After majoring in optical engineering at the Beijing Institute of Technology, he joined a local paper as a photojournalist, where he covered the coal mining industry. This laid the foundation for his interest in the lives of the countrymen that toil endlessly; one of his first series as an artistic practitioner explored the lives of ethnic minorities and our perception of them. He continues to eke out of the histories and stories of his subjects and topics in photography, and has published several volumes of his series.

Liu Zheng's work has been exhibited in solo shows including Dream Shock, Three Shadows Photography Art Center, Beijing, China (2013); Dream Shock, Zen Foto Gallery, Tokyo, Japan (2009); Liu Zheng: The Chinese, Williams College Museum of Art, Williamstown, MA (2008); Liu Zheng: Survians, SOHO New Town, Beijing, China (2005); Liu Zheng: The Chinese, Yossi Milo Gallery, New York, NY (2005); Liu Zheng, Recontres Internationles de la Photographie, Arles, France (2003); The Chinese, Central Academy of Fine Arts Museum, Beijing, China (2001); and Three Realms and The Chinese, Taipei Photo Gallery, Taipei, Taiwan (1998). His works have also featured in group shows including the Minsheng Art Museum in Shanghai, China; Smart Museum of Art in Chicago, IL; J.Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, LA; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA; Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan; Asia Society and Museum, New York, NY; the Victoria & Albert Museum, London, England; and Chambers Fine Art, Beijing, China.

He has also participated in the 50th Biennale di Venezia in Venice, Italy and the ICP Triennale, New York. His work is in the collections of the Guy and Miriam Ullens Foundation, Geneva, Switzerland; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY; Uli Sigg Collection, Mauensee, Switzerland; and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA.

He currently lives and works in Beijing, China.
 

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Man Ray
United States
1890 | † 1976
Born in Philadelphia, Emmanuel Radnitsky grew up in New Jersey and became a commercial artist in New York in the 1910s. He began to sign his name Man Ray in 1912, although his family did not change its surname to Ray until the 1920s. He initially taught himself photography in order to reproduce his own works of art, which included paintings and mixed media. In 1921 he moved to Paris and set up a photography studio to support himself. There he began to make photograms, which he called "Rayographs." In the 1920s, he also began making moving pictures. Man Ray's four completed films--Return to Reason, Emak Bakia, Starfish, and Mystery of the Chateau--were all highly creative, non-narrative explorations of the possibilities of the medium. Shortly before World War II, Man Ray returned to the United States and settled in Los Angeles from 1940 until 1951. He was disappointed that he was recognized only for his photography in America and not for the filmmaking, painting, sculpture, and other media in which he worked. In 1951 Man Ray returned to Paris. He concentrated primarily on painting until his death in 1976. Man Ray (born Emmanuel Radnitzky, August 27, 1890 – November 18, 1976) was an American modernist artist who spent most of his career in Paris, France. He was a significant contributor to the Dada and Surrealist movements, although his ties to each were informal. He produced major works in a variety of media but considered himself a painter above all. He was best known in the art world for his avant-garde photography, and he was a renowned fashion and portrait photographer. Ray is also noted for his work with photograms, which he called "rayographs" in reference to himself. Source: Wikipedia “I have finally freed myself from the sticky medium of paint, and am working directly with light itself.” So enthused Man Ray in 1922, shortly after his first experiments with camera-less photography. He remains well known for these images, commonly called photograms but which he dubbed "rayographs" in a punning combination of his own name and the word “photograph.” Man Ray’s artistic beginnings came some years earlier, in the Dada movement. Shaped by the trauma of World War I and the emergence of a modern media culture—epitomized by advancements in communication technologies like radio and cinema—Dada artists shared a profound disillusionment with traditional modes of art making and often turned instead to experimentations with chance and spontaneity. In The Rope Dancer Accompanies Herself with Her Shadows, Man Ray based the large, color-block composition on the random arrangement of scraps of colored paper scattered on the floor. The painting evinces a number of interests that the artist would carry into his photographic work: negative space and shadows; the partial surrender of compositional decisions to accident; and, in its precise, hard-edged application of unmodulated color, the removal of traces of the artist’s hand. In 1922, six months after he arrived in Paris from New York, Man Ray made his first rayographs. To make them, he placed objects, materials, and sometimes parts of his own or a model's body onto a sheet of photosensitized paper and exposed them to light, creating negative images. This process was not new—camera-less photographic images had been produced since the 1830s—and his experimentation with it roughly coincided with similar trials by Lázló Moholy-Nagy. But in his photograms, Man Ray embraced the possibilities for irrational combinations and chance arrangements of objects, emphasizing the abstraction of images made in this way. He published a selection of these rayographs—including one centered around a comb, another containing a spiral of cut paper, and a third with an architect’s French curve template on its side—in a portfolio titled Champs délicieux in December 1922, with an introduction written by the Dada leader Tristan Tzara. In 1923, with his film Le Retour à la raison (Return to Reason), he extended the rayograph technique to moving images. Around the same time, Man Ray’s experiments with photography carried him to the center of the emergent Surrealist movement in Paris. Led by André Breton, Surrealism sought to reveal the uncanny coursing beneath familiar appearances in daily life. Man Ray proved well suited to this in works like Anatomies, in which, through framing and angled light, he transformed a woman’s neck into an unfamiliar, phallic form. He contributed photographs to the three major Surrealist journals throughout the 1920s and 1930s, and also constructed Surrealist objects like Gift, in which he altered a domestic tool (an iron) into an instrument of potential violence, and Indestructible Object (or Object to Be Destroyed), a metronome with a photograph of an eye affixed to its swinging arm, which was destroyed and remade several times. Source: The Museum of Modern Art
Stefano De Luigi
Born in Cologne in 1964, Italian photographer Stefano De Luigi currently lives in Paris and started his career working for the Grand Louvre Museum as a photographer from from 1989 to 1996. He has published 3 books: "Pornoland" (Thames & Hudson-2004), "Blanco" (Trolley, 2010), and "iDyssey" (Edition Bessard 2017). His numerous awards include four World Press Photo awards (1998, 2007, 2010, 2011), the Eugene Smith fellowship grant (2008), the Getty Grant for editorial photography, the Days Japan International Photojournalism Award (2010), and the Syngenta Photography Award (2015). Stefano works regularly with several international publications including The New Yorker, Geo, Paris Match, and Stern and has exhibited his work in New York, Paris, Geneva, Milan, Rome, London, Istanbul, and Athens. Stefano De Luigi has been a member of the VII Agency since 2008. Source: VII Photo T.I.A Africa is a continent. But Africa is also a well-defined place in my mind. Africa is unique. Every time I have had the opportunity of going there I have come face to face with incredible tragedies but also with the unwavering hope of its people. Ever since my first journey to South Africa in 1989, where I saw Walter Sisulu walk free in Soweto after years of imprisonment, I continue to be both deeply moved and deeply shocked by all the stories I have witnessed and heard. Every time I step onto African soil I know I will experience something deep, something that inevitably leads to a search for the meaning of life, something that, for me at least, surfaces from deep within when I am in Africa. The questions raised call for humbleness, since often they are without answers. We know that the truth often lies in the middle folds of things. This project aims to raise questions and provoke thoughts which could, perhaps, lead to some answers and which in turn could correspond to some truths. I have tried to conceive this project as a poem. Or perhaps it would better be described as a ballad. The ballad with verses which challenge and play with each other. In the space between two facing photographs there is a story. One of the thousand stories I witnessed in Africa, one of the thousand questions I asked myself, one of the thousand experiences I was fortunate to live. The photographs represent the two extremes of the story that links them: the beginning and the end. I couldn't find a better form of expressive language to convey how Africa is an all-encompassing experience for any human being wishing to embrace it to its full. A painful yet joyful ballad of my personal and ongoing relationship with this continent. This is why I have called it "This is Africa". I should probably have called it "This is my vision of Africa" but it didn't sound the same. By no means does this mean it is the only view of Africa. I know it may seem inadequate and subjective. But so is everything in life, I guess. So, This is Africa. Blanco How does the look of a blind person look like? Can the blind show joy, happiness, disappoint, pain, suffering, pity, regret, with the only use of their eyes? The absence of sight can mean also the absence of complicity behind the camera's lens? We always use the term blind to characterize a person, such as blond, fat, poor, rich. And maybe, in some way, it is the truth. It doesn't matter if it happens in Africa, Asia, or the old Europe. The fact is, they cannot see the light, the colors, the daily scenes, how awful or gorgeous they can be. The blind are a contrast. It is easier to ignore them, their handicap is hidden, but they do have it. It's not necessary to turn the face to something or someone else, they won't see it. They seem 'normal', but they're not. They have their own world, the same and another than ours, made of different feelings, different images, different colors. And dark.
Matthew O’Brien
United States
Matthew James O’Brien is a photographer from San Francisco whose work celebrates humanity and the natural world. He studied zoology at the University of California at Berkeley. His understanding of the natural world informs his photography and his understanding of humanity. Across all of his work, regardless of the medium, there is one unifying theme— finding beauty, in any circumstance. That could be in the inner-city schools of Oakland, rural Sinaloa, Mexico caught up in narco violence, the dying ranching community across the bay from San Francisco, or war-ravaged Colombia. His work has been exhibited and collected by various institutions including the Library of Congress, the Houston Museum of Fine Arts, the California Museum of Photography, the Fries Museum (Netherlands), the Art Science Museum (Singapore) and el Museo de Arte Moderno de Cartagena (Colombia). Among the awards he has received are a Mother Jones International Fund for Documentary Photography Award, a Community Heritage Grant from the California Council for the Humanities, and a Fulbright Fellowship. He was a Creative Uses Consultant for Polaroid, and has worked extensively with Polaroid films, including No Dar Papaya, his eleven-year exploration of Colombia, which became a book (Icono Editorial/Placer Press). O’Brien also works with video, and teaches photography in English and Spanish. He has taught at UC Berkeley, the Universidad de Antioquia and the Universidad de Medellín in Colombia, among other places. His work has appeared in publications from The Washington Post to Camera Arts. His favorite clients to work with are NGO’s that work to make the world a better place.www.nodarpapaya.com
Alain Laboile
France
1968
I was born on the 1st of May, 1968, in Bordeaux. After an half-hearted schooling, I live of odd jobs until 1990, the year I met Anne. It was the time of my opening to art.I accompanied Anne, student in Art History, to her lectures.It is in the darkness of the crowded amphitheatres that I witnessed heatedly the dissection of the Italian Renaissance artworks. Drawing being my ally since childhood, I can let myself drift into this third dimension by making plaster portaits in a corner of the studio we share. Then came, through a random reading, my fascination for insects. Jean-Henri Fabres's Souvenirs entomologiques will inspire me and accompany me for several years.Plaster and stone slowly fade away to let the rusty iron turn into shaggy insects.On the top of a hill near Bordeaux ,in Gironde, our house fills up with kids.My activity is taking off, and I need to take some photos of my sculptures. That's precisely at that moment, in 2004, that I accidently dive into photography, or more accurately macrophotography, were insects are predominant.Three years later, insects went into hiding under the leaves, my six children are born, and we have left the hill for the stream on the edge of the world. My photo-diary was established without my really noticing, It now seems vital and everlasting. About "La famille" I'm a father of six. Through my photographic work I celebrate and document my family life:A life on the edge of the world, where intemporality and the universality of childhood meet. Day to day I create a family album that constitues a legacy that I will pass on to my children.My work reflects our way of life,revolving around their childhood. My photographs will be the testimony of that. In a way my approach can be considered similar to the one of an ethnologist. Though my work is deeply personal, It's also accessible,addressing human nature and allowing the viewer to enter my world and reflect on their own childhoods. Fed everyday and shared with the world via the internet, my photographic production has became a mean of communication, leading to a questionning about freedom, nudity, being and having.Exclusive Interview with Alain Laboile:AAP: When did you realize you wanted to be a photographer?I was working as a sculptor. In 2004 I bought my first camera to photograph my sculptures and my passion for insects drove me to practice macrophotography. After the birth of my last two daughters I raised little by little my lens towards my family. The passion was born and did not leave me any more since 9 years.AAP: Where did you study photography?I am totally self-taught. When I began, I had a very limited photographic culture, no technique. I learned by sharing my photos on forums on the web, by receiving critics which allowed me to progress.AAP: Do you have a mentor or role model?I met the famous American photographer Jock Sturges during the summer 2012. He became a good friend, a kind of spiritual father who accompanies me in my artistic route. I owe him a lot.AAP: Do you remember your first shot? What was it?I think It was a macrophotography showing a mating of slugs.AAP: What or who inspires you?My work is extremely personal because it concerns my family life and our little offbeat lifestyle. I try to be inspired by nobody. It is the spectators of my work, that sometimes establish comparisons. Sally Mann’s work is often mentioned.AAP: How could you describe your style?An Internet user compared one day my photographic style with street photography. I think that if indeed I lived in town I would practise street photography. But living in the countryside, I photograph my family in its close environment, on the deep.AAP: Do you have a favorite photograph or series? I like very much the work of joseph-Philippe Bevillard, His series of portraits of Irish gypsies is fascinating.AAP: What kind of gear do you use? Camera, lens, digital, film? I worked for a long time with a Canon 5 D Mark III camera and 35 mm f1,4 lens. I now own a Leica M monochrom which I use with a 35 mm f1,4 Leica lens.AAP: Do you spend a lot of time editing your images? For what purpose?I am very selective. I do not hesitate to delete all the photos which do not satisfy me totally.AAP: What advice would you give a young photographer?I would say to him that he should not focus on the equipment nor to be intimidated by the lack of technique, all this is secondary. It is necessary to let speak its instinct, accept the criticism.AAP: What are your projects?I will publish a book with Steidl Verlag in 2014. An exciting project!AAP: Your best memory as a photographer?My publication in the NY times in 2012. I had made several interviews before and I made a lot since but that this has a real symbolic value !AAP: Your worst souvenir as a photographer?In 2009, I had to stop photography for several months. I needed money and I sold my photographic stuff. A nightmare!AAP: The compliment that touched you most?One day Jock Sturges let this comment on one of my photos: "It's wonderful images like this that reinforce my realization that you are my favorite living photographer. Amen "AAP:If you were someone else who would it be?I am not certain to want to be somebody else but I would have liked to began to practise photography 20 years earlier.AAP: An anecdote?I won a big Canon competition. I left exploring the canopy in the rainforest of kakamega in Kenya. I was accompanied by a crew managed by Peter Webber the director of the movie “Girl with a pearl earring” and “Hannibal Lecter”. We ate spaghetti bolognese together in the middle of the jungle. Fabulous memories a little bit crazy!AAP: Anything else you would like to share?I published my first book "Waiting for the postman" in november 2012 . My next exhibition will take place in Santa Monica (California) at dnj Gallery from november 2nd ( 2013) to January 4 th( 2014)
Sally Mann
United States
1951
Sally Mann was born in Lexington, Virginia in 1951. She has always remained close to her roots. She has photographed in the American South since the 1970s, producing series on portraiture, architecture, landscape and still life. She is perhaps best known for her intimate portraits of her family, her young children and her husband, and for her evocative and resonant landscape work in the American South. Her work has attracted controversy at times, but it has always been influential, and since her the time of her first solo exhibition, at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington D.C., in 1977, she has attracted a wide audience. Sally Mann explored various genres as she was maturing in the 1970s: she produced landscapes and architectural photography, and she blended still life with elements of portraiture. But she truly found her metier with her second publication, a study of girlhood entitled At Twelve: Portraits of Young Women (1988). Between 1984 and 1994, she worked on the series, Immediate Family (1992), which focuses on her three children, who were then all aged under ten. While the series touches on ordinary moments in their daily lives—playing, sleeping, eating—it also speaks to larger themes such as death and cultural perceptions of sexuality. In her most recent series, Proud Flesh, taken over a six year interval, Mann turns the camera onto her husband, Larry. The resultant photographs are candid and frank portraits of a man at his most vulnerable moments. Mann has produced two major series of landscapes: Deep South (Bullfinch Press, 2005) and Mother Land. In What Remains (Bullfinch Press, 2003), she assembled a five-part study of mortality, one which ranges from pictures of the decomposing body of her beloved greyhound, to the site where an armed fugitive committed suicide on her property in the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia. She has often experimented with color photography, but she has remained most interested in black and white, especially photography's antique technology. She has long used an 8x10 bellows camera, and has explored platinum and bromoil printing processes. In the mid 1990s she began using the wet plate collodion process to produce pictures which almost seem like hybrids of photography, painting, and sculpture. Sally Mann lives and works in Lexington, Virginia. A Guggenheim fellow, and a three-times recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, Mann was named "America's Best Photographer" by Time magazine in 2001. She has been the subject of two documentaries: Blood Ties (1994), which was nominated for an Academy Award, and What Remains (2007) which premiered at Sundance and was nominated for an Emmy for Best Documentary in 2008. She has been the subject of major exhibitions at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia, and the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. Her photographs can be found in many public and private collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art; the Museum of Modern Art; and the Whitney Museum of American Art.(Source: www.gagosian.com)
Carlos Javier Ortiz
United States
Carlos Javier is a director, cinematographer and documentary photographer who focuses on urban life, gun violence, racism, poverty and marginalized communities. In 2016, Carlos received a Guggenheim Fellowship for film/video. His work has been exhibited nationally and internationally in a variety of venues including the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture; the Worcester Art Museum in Massachusetts; the International Museum of Photography and Film in Rochester, NY; the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago; the Detroit Institute of Arts; and the Library of Congress. In addition, his photos were used to illustrate Ta-Nehisi Coates' The Case for Reparations (2014) article, which was the best selling issue in the history of the Atlantic Magazine. His photos have also been published in The New Yorker, Mother Jones, among many others. He is represented by the Karen Jenkins-Johnson Gallery in San Francisco. His film, We All We Got, uses images and sounds to convey a community's deep sense of loss and resilience in the face of gun violence. We All We Got has been screened at the Tribeca Film Festival, Los Angeles International Film Festival, St. Louis International Film Festival, CURRENTS Santa Fe International New Media Festival, and the Athens International Film + Video Festival. Carlos' current project is series of short films chronicling the contemporary stories of Black Americans who came to the North during the Great Migration. Beginning with his mother-in-law's story, Carlos is exploring the legacy of the Great Migration a century after it began. For Carlos, who moved back and forth between Puerto Rico and the U.S. mainland as a child, the story of a displaced people in search of stability and economic opportunity resonates with his own. Carlos' work has been supported by many organizations including: the University of Chicago Black Metropolis Research Consortium Short-term Fellowship (2015); the Economic Hardship Reporting Project (2015); the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting (2013); the California Endowment National Health Journalism Fellowship (2012); the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation (2011); Open Society Institute Audience Engagement Grant (2011); and the Illinois Arts Council Artist Fellowship Award (2011). In addition to his photography and film, Carlos Javier has taught at Northwestern University and the University of California, Berkeley. He lives in Chicago and Oakland with his wife and frequent collaborator, Tina K. Sacks, a professor of social welfare at the University of California, Berkeley.
Keliy Anderson-Staley
United States
1977
Keliy Anderson-Staley was raised off the grid in Maine, studied photography in New York City and currently lives and teaches photography at the University of Houston in Texas. She earned a BA from Hampshire College in Massachusetts and an MFA in photography from Hunter College in New York. Anderson-Staley’s tintype portrait work was awarded a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship and a Puffin Grant. She participated in the Bronx Museum AIM residency program in 2007, the Light Work residency and fellowship in 2010, and the Bakery Photo Collective in Westbrook Maine in 2012. She received a grant in Summer 2011 to prepare a solo exhibition of her series of tintype portraits [hyphen] Americans at Light Work in Syracuse, NY. Her color series about back-to-the-landers in Maine, Off the Grid, was one of five runners-up for the Aperture Portfolio Prize (2009). Off the Grid received the grand prize at the Joyce Elaine Grant exhibition in Denton, TX in 2009 and the Arthur Griffin Award from the Griffin Museum of Photography in 2010. The project was also a finalist for the Duke Center for Documentary Studies/Honickman First Book Prize in 2008. She also recently received funding for her project, Imagined Family Heirlooms via Kickstarter, a crowd-funding website in 2011. Her photographs are in the permanent collections of the Library of Congress, Akron Art Museum, Cedar Rapids Museum of Art, Portland Museum of Art (Maine), and Museum of Fine Arts-Houston. She was the recipient of a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship, a Puffin Grant, a fellowship from the Howard Foundation and the Carol Crow Fellowship from the Houston Center for Photography. Her work published in a solo issue of Light Work’s Contact Sheet and has been shown at the National Portrait Gallery of the Smithsonian, Portland Museum of Art, Akron Art Museum, Bronx Museum of Art, Southeast Museum of Photography and the California Museum of Photography, as well as at a number of galleries around the country. Anderson-Staley has been making wet plate collodion tintypes and ambrotypes for ten years. Her fine art and editorial work has appeared in a number of magazines, including Photo District News, New York Magazine, Art and Auction, Hemispheres Magazine, Camerawork, Contact Sheet, Conde Nast Traveler and Esquire Russia. Online, her work has been featured on Flak Photo, Conscientious, Fraction Magazine, PetaPixel, Ahorn Magazine and Daylight Magazine. Her series of tintype portraits was published in 2014 under the title On A Wet Bough by Waltz Books.Source: Catherine Edelman Gallery
Elise Boularan
France
1984
Elise Boularan grew up in the South of France and has a Master's degree in Creation and Artistic Research from the University of Toulouse. She also studied photography at the Toulouse School of Photography. After finishing her academic research and studies, she moved to Paris. She currently lives between Paris and Toulouse, pursuing a career as a photographic artist.She develops a photographic work turned to the story, realizing images loaded with ellipses and silences. This work does not shy away from the world, but intends to build an interpretation, where something deaf, undefinable is very present. Her preoccupations concern the human reality of our time, trying to reveal what can be secret at the individual's.She has been published extensively and has exhibited in Europe and the USA, notably in Madrid, Denmark, and New York, as well as the French Institute of Ukraine, The Museum of New Art (Mona) and The Russell Industrial Center (Mona Detroit) in Detroit; the Instituto Cultural de México, San Antonio, Texas Hill Country, Usa. Her work is in several private collections.Elise Boularan works also for international & national press and collaborates with musicians and other artists, making the universe of songs match perfectly with her poetical vision.All about photo: When did you realize you wanted to be a photographer?I had already done specialized studies in photography, but I remember I really got caught by the photographer' syndrome when I was in Belgium.Do you spend a lot of time editing your images? For what purpose?After the shooting. there is a lot of work. I don't retouch a lot my images or give this impression... But I spend a great deal of time to select and to see which images work together. It's a difficult and very interesting work.The compliment that touched you most?Indeed, there is a compliment which particularly touched me some years ago in Paris. A compliment coming from one of my references photograph, a famous photographer who has a remarkable work. When we met us, she wanted to discover my work and it was unexpected for me to have compliments on my work from her. And the next day, she phoned me to thank me, because my work had motivated her to boost in her creations again. Is there another job you could have done?No, I don't think so. But it's a good question because we should make no mistake about it, the artistic crafts aren't easy so we can have this kind of questions. But my answer is no.
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