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Elisabeth Sunday
Elisabeth Sunday

Elisabeth Sunday

Country: United States

Elisabeth Sunday has been photographing indigenous people across the African continent for the last 26 years. Using a flexible mirror she created for the purpose (and hand carries unaccompanied to some of the most remote and dangerous spots on earth), Sunday has created her own analog process that prefigured Photoshop that she calls "Mirror Photography". Her method of photographing her subjects emphasizes and enhances their grace, elongating the body and the folds of their garments, creating an impressionistic effect one might be used to seeing in painting but which is unexpected in a medium from which we often expect a more literal representation. The effect is closer to that of dance, in which the body has reshaped itself and learned to move in a way that proclaims and exaggerates all its best qualities, while momentarily silencing its flaws, and in which movement itself has an aesthetic, rather than merely practical, purpose. Typically Sunday captures an elongated vertical reflection, rushing and bleeding like a single expressive brush stroke. Although Sunday herself is never visible in the frame, she is as much actor as she is director within the drama of these photographs, as she strives to represent not so much the personal characteristics of her subjects, but an essential gesture that connects a given incarnation with the long history of the soul. In her Anima and Animus series, Sunday mediates on eternal masculine and feminine energies, using warlike Koro men and nomadic Tuareg women as subjects. The Anima women are hidden under flowing garments, slanting to left or right or reaching upward like dark flames against the steady white curve of a dune. The Animus figures rise like tough young trees or spears, rooted somewhere beneath the picture plane. Grace and violence here seem cast together in a solid block, As with so many of Elisabeth Sunday's figures, these seem composed of stone or bone more than living flesh. Elisabeth Sunday has shown in galleries and Museums the world over including the Cleveland Museum of Art, Centre cultural Calouste Gulbenkian, Paris, France, the African American Museum, Los Angeles; International Photography Biennial, Brecsia, Italy, UC Berkeley Art Museum; Salle d' Exposition, Arles, France, Le Maison de la Photographie, Aosta, Italy, Exploratorium Museum, San Francisco, CA Smithsonian Anakostia Museum, Center for African American History and Culture, Washington D.C. The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and The Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Her work is included in major collections: The Corcoran Art Gallery, The University Art Museum at Berkeley, The Cantor Art Center at Stanford University, The Los Angeles Museum of Art, The Museum of Fine Art-Houston, Le Bibliothèque Nationale de Paris, France, The San Francisco Museum of Art, and The Eastman Kodak Collection. Her private collectors include Graham Nash, Quincy Jones, Gloria Steinem, Linda Grey, Bill Cosby, Bonnie Raitt and Alice Walker.
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More Great Photographers To Discover

C.E. Morse
United States
1952
"I was born in Camden, Maine and loved vintage cars since I can remember; I bought my 1936 Pontiac at age 15 as soon as I had my driver's license. I didn't pick up a camera until I was in college at Rhode Island School of Design. I remembered all the incredible images that I used to see in vintage auto boneyards while I was sourcing parts for my '36 Pontiac and various other classic cars that I had collected,including a '29 Essex, a'41 Packard & 'a 54 Nash, so I started to bring my camera to the boneyards instead of my wrenches and shot abstract details of dented car fenders, old safety glass, rusty doors, and old chrome. I was so excited by this photography that I switched majors from sculpture to photography and was fortunate enough to study with Aaron Siskind; graduating with a BFA in photography in 1974. I also attended The Maine Photographic Workshops (now Maine Media Workshops), where I mentored with Paul Caponigro, Arnold Gassen and John Loengard. later on I took courses in digital printing at MECA (Maine College of Art). I hunt "Wild Art" : abstract details of found objects. I particularly like the contradictions of what I capture: the images are abstract, yet they are real the images are painterly, yet they are photographs the images are beautiful, yet come from discarded deteriorating derelict objects the images are from seemingly permanent subjects yet the are prone to disappear overnight (often my photographs are all that is left). I also appreciate the mystery of the unknown history of my various discoveries as well as acknowledging their wabi sabi nature. When people view my work they have to reach deep into personal experience and imagination. Being abstract and virtually unrecognizable my images may evoke a memory, an emotion, or a reminder of something visually similar and are sure to beg the question: 'what is it?', thereby starting the conversation..." -- C.E. Morse "It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see." -- Henry David Thoreau
Robert Mapplethorpe
United States
1946 | † 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.
Robert Hecht
United States
1941
For over fifty years, Robert Hecht has been a dedicated fine art photographer. He is largely self-taught, having learned his craft primarily by studying the prints and books of many of the medium's greats, and then by attempting to apply what he absorbed from them in the darkroom (and later in the digital darkroom). In addition, he studied briefly with photographer and teacher Ruth Bernhard in the 1970's, and considers that experience meaningful for giving him direct contact and exchange of ideas with a master. His work has been exhibited internationally, purchased for both private and public collections, and showcased in many of the leading photography periodicals. Professionally, he has worked primarily as a producer-director of educational film and video programs, first at Stanford University and then in his own video production business for the past several decades. He and his wife live in Portland, Oregon. Statement I consider photography a way, if you will, to bring my experience of the visual world into clearer focus. Practicing the art of photography, which I consider a way of life in and of itself, has heightened my awareness of how in our everyday lives we are constantly surrounded by interesting subject matter. In contrast, during my early years of doing this work, I looked mainly to the classic landscape for inspiration, often pursuing dramatic vistas with large-format cameras. However, over time I came to see that I do not necessarily have to "go out shooting" or travel to impressive locales to find subjects—rather, I merely have to keep my eyes open to what is right here around me in my immediate environment and, without actually searching for a picture, simply be prepared should a picture jump out of the random visual chaos and present itself to me. This shift in focus has led me to a more spontaneous approach to making images, often enabling me to find great beauty in the most mundane materials at hand.
Anaïs Boileau
France
1992
Anaïs Boileau is from the south of France. She completed training in photography and visual communication at ECAL, the art school from Lausanne. She works in 2012 with the photographer Charles Freger and in 2014 she gets a residency at the Hong Kong Design Institute. Her photographic work is presented in various group exhibitions. In 2015, her photographic project Plein Soleil is part of the Black Mirror exhibition in New York, organized by Aperture Foundation, and is presented to Katmandu Photo festival in Nepal. It is selected to Boutographies 2016 projection of the jury and is one of ten finalists presented at the 31st edition of the international fashion and photography festival in Hyères at the Villa Noailles where she received the audience award and the Elie Saab grant.My work "Plein Soleil" is about a kind of community women taking the sun. These are women with golden skin exposing themselves under the omnipresent sun. They stay along the coast of the seaside towns marked by Latin, bright and colorful architecture. There is a temporality game beetween women and architectures because they are modeling in the same way by the sun light. These portraits represents a kind of happy idleness that exist in south. I try to bring a look a bit funny and tender about that women cause it was like a game with them about their image. Lost behind their sunglasses, accessories, women are distant, pensive as absorbed by the sun. We never see their eyes with their solarium glasses and that make them impersonal. Floating Between documentary and fiction, the portraits of this matriarchal community, reveal a desire for exoticism. There is a dimension of artificiality and something false in all that . The idea that they put forward, they refine and polish their bodies but also in the idea that all this is just a world of appearance, of surfaces.
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