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Marc Riboud
Marc Riboud
Marc Riboud

Marc Riboud

Country: France
Birth: 1923 | Death: 2016

Marc Riboud was a French photographer best known for his extensive reports on the Far East, including The Three Banners of China, Face of North Vietnam, Visions of China, and In China.

Photography cannot change the world, but it can show the world as it changes.

-- Marc Riboud


Riboud was born in Saint-Genis-Laval and attended Lyon's lycée. He photographed his first picture in 1937, using his father's Vest Pocket Kodak camera. From 1943 to 1945, he was a member of the French Resistance as a young man during WWII. From 1945 to 1948, he studied engineering at the École Centrale de Lyon after the war.

Marc Riboud worked as an engineer in Lyon factories until 1951, when he took a week-long photography vacation that inspired him to become a photographer. He relocated to Paris, where he met the founders of Magnum Photos, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Capa, and David Seymour. He was a member of the organization by 1953. His ability to capture fleeting moments in life through powerful compositions was already apparent, and he would use this skill for decades to come.

Eiffel Tower Painter, Paris, 1953 - Marc Riboud
Eiffel Tower Painter, Paris, 1953
© Marc Riboud
Riboud traveled around the world for the next several decades. He was one of the first European photographers to visit China in 1957, and he documented North Vietnam in 1968, 1972, and 1976. Later in life, he traveled extensively throughout the world, primarily in Asia, Africa, the United States, and Japan. Marc Riboud has witnessed war atrocities (photographing from both the Vietnamese and American sides of the Vietnam War) as well as the apparent degeneration of a culture suppressed from within (China during Chairman Mao Zedong's Cultural Revolution).

In contrast, he has captured the graces of everyday life in sun-drenched corners of the world (Fès, Angkor, Acapulco, Niger, Bénarès, Shaanxi), as well as the lyricism of child's play in everyday Paris. In 1976 he becomes president of Magnum and resigns three years later.

Riboud's photographs have appeared in a variety of publications, including Life, Geo, National Geographic, Paris Match, and Stern. He has received the Overseas Press Club Award twice, the Sony World Photography Awards Lifetime Achievement Award in 2009, and major retrospective exhibitions at the Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris and the International Center of Photography in New York.

In 1998, Marc Riboud was named an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society.

The eye is made to see and not to think.... A good photograph is a surprise. How could we plan and foresee a surprise? We just have to be ready.

-- Marc Riboud


Eiffel Tower Painter, taken in Paris in 1953, is one of Riboud's most well-known photographs. It depicts a man painting the tower, posing like a dancer and perched between the tower's metal armature. Paris emerges from the photographic haze beneath him. Riboud's images frequently feature lone figures. In Ankara, a central figure is silhouetted against an industrial backdrop, whereas a man lies in a field in France. The vertical composition emphasizes the landscape, the trees, the sky, the water, and the blowing grass, which all surround but do not overpower the human element.

The Ultimate Confrontation: The Flower and the Bayonet, Washington D. C, 21 Octobre 1967 - Marc Riboud
The Ultimate Confrontation: The Flower and the Bayonet, Washington D. C, 21 Octobre 1967
© Marc Riboud
Riboud's photograph, The Ultimate Confrontation: The Flower and the Bayonet, taken on October 21, 1967, is one of the most famous anti-war images. The photograph was taken in Washington, D.C., where thousands of anti-war activists had gathered in front of the Pentagon to protest America's involvement in Vietnam. It shows a young girl, Jan Rose Kasmir, holding a flower and looking out at several rifle-wielding soldiers stationed to block the protesters. Marc Riboud stated about the photograph, "She was just talking, trying to catch the eye of the soldiers, maybe trying to have a dialogue with them. I had the feeling the soldiers were more afraid of her than she was of the bayonets."

In contrast to the images in his photo essay A Journey to North Vietnam (1969), Riboud says in an accompanying interview, "My impression is that the country's leaders will not allow the slightest relaxation of the population at large [...] it is almost as if [...] they are anxious to forestall the great unknown - peace." He expanded on his observations of life in North Vietnam in the same Newsweek article: "I was astonished, for example, at the decidedly gay atmosphere in Hanoi's Reunification Park on a Sunday afternoon [...] I honestly did not have the impression they were discussing socialism or the 'American aggressors' [...] I saw quite a few patriotic posters crudely 'improved' with erotic graffiti and sketches."

Vietnam, 1976 - Marc Riboud
Vietnam, 1976
© Marc Riboud
There is a gap between what is photographed (or published) and what Riboud said in his interview. The author Geoffrey Wolff commented on this in 1970: "Riboud's photographs illustrate the proposition. The French photographer has been to North Vietnam twice [...] and he is most friendly, on the evidence of his pictures, to the people and the institutions he found there. His photographs are of happy faces,[...] An Air Force ace illustrates how he shot the American 'air pirates' from the sky [...] Who knows the truth about these places?"

Rage Against the Machine, an American revolutionary political Rap Metal band, used two of Riboud's photographs for their second single Bullet in the Head. Both images convey strong political and social messages, but they are very different. The front cover depicts American schoolchildren pledging allegiance to the 'flag' (Stars and Stripes) in a classroom; the back cover depicts a young (probably Vietnamese) boy pointing a pistol, with soldiers on parade in the background. It's unclear who or what the boy is aiming at, or if the gun is real or a toy.

Since the 1980’s Marc Riboud keeps travelling at his own tempo. He published many books, among which the most famous are The three banners of China, Journal, Huang Shan, Capital of Heaven , Angkor, the serenity of Buddhism, Marc Riboud in China.

Riboud married the American sculptor Barbara Chase, who was living in Paris at the time, in 1961. They had two kids. Sally Hemings (1979), her debut novel, received critical acclaim and went on to become a best-seller. They divorced prior to 1981. He later married journalist and author Catherine Chaine. Riboud died on August 30, 2016, at the age of 93, in Paris.

In 2004 his retrospective is exhibited at the Maison Européenne de la Photographie in Paris and visited by 100 000 people. Numerous museums trough Europe, as well as United States, China and Japan regularly show his work. He received many awards, among which two Overseas Press Club, the Time-Life Achievement, the Lucie Award and the ICP Infinity Award.
 

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In 2006 he was awarded the title of Officer of the Order of Canada and currently holds seven honorary doctorate degrees. Burtynsky is represented by: Nicholas Metivier Gallery, Toronto; Paul Kuhn Gallery, Calgary; Art 45, Montreal; Howard Greenberg Gallery, and Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery, New York; Sundaram Tagore Gallery, Hong Kong & Singapore; Flowers, London; Galerie Springer, Berlin; Von Lintel Gallery, Los Angeles; and Weinstein Gallery, Minneapolis, Minnesota. Source: www.edwardburtynsky.com
Cristina García Rodero
Cristina García Rodero (born 14 October 1949) is a Spanish photographer and member of Magnum Photos and Agence Vu photo agencies. García Rodero was born in Puertollano, Spain, in 1949, and studied painting at Complutense University of Madrid. She has worked as a teacher. Rodero photographs the persistence of rural traditions in modern times, such as religious rites and festivals in Spain. In Spain she is among the most celebrated documentary photographers. García Rodero joined Magnum Photos in 2005 and became a full member in 2009. The city of Puertollano, where she was born, inaugurated the Cristina García Rodero Museum in 2018. A large part of the photographer's work is exhibited there. The Cristina García Rodero Museum is located in the old municipal museum of Puertollano. There are more than 2,100 square meters distributed over three floors in which are displayed about 200 photographs of the artist.Source: Wikipedia Cristina García Rodero was born in Puertollano, Spain. She studied painting at the School of Fine Arts at the University of Madrid, before taking up photography. She then qualified as a teacher and worked full-time in education. For the next 16 years, she also dedicated her time to researching and photographing popular and traditional festivities – religious and pagan – principally in Spain but also across Mediterranean Europe. This project culminated in her book España Oculta published in 1989, which won the “Book of the Year Award” at the Arles Festival of Photography. The same year, García Rodero also won the prestigious W. Eugene Smith Foundation Prize. The documentary and ethnological value of her work are considerable, but the aesthetic quality of her photography makes it more than a simple visual record. In recent years, Cristina García Rodero has traveled around the world in search of other cultures with particular traditions. Over a period of four years, she went several times to Haiti, where she has documented voodoo rituals, producing a series of expressive portraits and moving scenes flanked by engaging documentary observations. Rituals in Haiti was shown for the first time in the 2001 Venice Biennale. Cristina García Rodero has received many prizes, including the Premio Nacional de Fotografía in 1996 in Spain. Her work has been widely published and exhibited internationally. She has published several books and has been a member of the Vu agency for more than 15 years. García Rodero joined Magnum in 2005 and became a full member in 2009.Source: Magnum Photos
Martin Parr
United Kingdom
1952
Martin Parr is a British photojournalist, documentary photographer, and collector of photobooks. He is renowned for his photography works that critically examine various facets of contemporary society, particularly English suburban and rural life. Since 1994, Martin Parr has been a member of Magnum Photos. Parr, who was born in Epsom, Surrey, intended to be a documentary photographer since he was fourteen, and credits his grandpa, an amateur photographer, as an early inspiration. He studied photography at Manchester Polytechnic from 1970 to 1973. In 1980, he married Susan Mitchell, and they have one child, Ellen Parr (born 1986). He has been a resident of Bristol since 1987. Spain. Benidorm. 1997Courtesy Magnum Photos / © Martin Parr Martin Parr began his career as a professional photographer and has taught photography on and off since the mid-1970s. He was first recognized in the north of England for his black-and-white photography, Bad Weather (1982) and A Fair Day (1984), but switched to color photography in 1984. Last Resort: Photographs of New Brighton, the resulting work, was published in 1986. Martin Parr has nearly 100 books published and has been featured in over 100 exhibitions worldwide, including one at the Barbican Arts Centre in London. His retrospective exhibition was chosen as the main show for Singapore's Month of Photography Asia in 2007. In 2008, he was named Honorary Doctor of Arts at Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) in recognition of his ongoing contributions to photography and MMU's School of Art. The easy bit is picking up a camera and pointing and shooting. But then you have to decide what it is you’re trying to say and express. -- Martin Parr Martin Parr's documentary photography style is intimate, anthropological, and satirical. Macro lenses, ring flash, high-saturation color film, and, since it became a more convenient format to work in, digital photography, all allow him to put his subjects "under the microscope" in their own environment, allowing them to expose their lives and values in ways that often involve inadvertent humor. For example, in order to create his book Signs of the Times: A Portrait of the Nation's Tastes (1992), Parr went into ordinary people's homes and photographed the mundane aspects of his hosts' lives, combining the images with quotes from his subjects in order to bring viewers uncomfortably close to them. The end result of Parr's technique has been described as ambiguous emotional reactions, with viewers unsure whether to laugh or cry. IRELAND. Galway. Galway Races. 1997Courtesy Magnum Photos / © Martin Parr Parr is also a curator and editor. He has curated two photography festivals, one in Arles in 2004 and the other in Brighton in 2010. Parr recently curated the Strange and Familiar exhibition at the Barbican. Many major museums, including the Tate, the Centre Pompidou, and the Museum of Modern Art in New York, have acquired Martin Parr's work. In 2017, Martin Parr established the Martin Parr Foundation. Unless it hurts, unless there’s some vulnerability there, I don’t think you’re going to get good photographs. -- Martin Parr
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