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Antonin Kratochvil
Antonin Kratochvil
Antonin Kratochvil

Antonin Kratochvil

Country: Czech Republic/United States
Birth: 1947

Antonin is a founder of the VII photo agency.

As photojournalists go, Antonin Kratochvil has sunk his teeth into his fair share of upheaval and human catastrophes whilst going about his documentation of the time in which he lives. As people go, Kratochvil's own refugee life has been much in the way the same as what he has rendered on film. Kratochvil's unique style of photography is the product of personal experience, intimate conditioning and not privileged voyeurism.

Over the years his fluid and unconventional work has been sought by numerous publications stretching across widely differing interests. From shooting Mongolia's street children for the magazine published by the Museum of Natural History to a portrait session with David Bowie for Detour, from covering the war in Iraq for Fortune Magazine to shooting Deborah Harry for a national advertising campaign for the American Civil Liberties Union, Kratochvil's ability to see through and into his subjects and show immutable truth has made his pictures not facsimiles but uncensored visions.

And yet, what set his kind apart from the many is his consistency and struggle to carry on. For Kratochvil this fact comes in the form of his numerous awards, grants and honorable mentions dating back to 1975. The latest of these are his two, first place prizes at the 2002 World Press Photo Awards in the categories of general news and nature and the environment. The next is the 2004 grant from Aperture publishing for Kratochvil's study on the fractious relationship between American civil liberties and the newly formed Homeland Security since the World Trade Center bombings.

In addition, Kratochvil's fifth book Vanishing was presented in April 2005 and marks another significant milestone for the craft to which he belongs. Vanishing represents a collection of natural and human phenomena that on the verge of extinction. What makes this book so innovative is the twenty years it has taken to produce, making it not only historical from the onset, but a labor of love and a commitment to one man's conscience.
 

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More Great Photographers To Discover

Jacqui Turner
United States
1955
Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time. - Thomas Merton I am a Fine Art Photographer residing in Monterey Bay. My work consists of abstracts, surrealism, still lifes, landscapes, architecture, and portraits. I strive to create works of art that exhibit beauty, timelessness, and meaning. My photography has been nourished by my career as a dancer/choreographer. Engaging in the elements of shape, form, design, light, and emotion, empowers me to express reflections of our experience of reality. As I pick up my camera, a creative evolution begins. Approaching the natural world with awe and wonderment, I am transported. My photographs express what I am feeling within, what I am drawn to, what touches me, then I frame it, and the final interpretation is left up to the viewer. I am a longtime member of the Center for Photographic Art Carmel, CA and ImageMakers of Monterey, in which I was Director for 6 years. I also teach photography and art to youth, and have been a photography assistant for several local photography workshops over the years. My work has been displayed at the New York Center for Photographic Art, A. Smith Gallery, SE Center for Photography, RI Center for Photographic Art, Center for Photographic Art, Praxis Gallery, All About Photo, Pacific Grove Art Center, Monterey Maritime Museum, ArtVale Gallery, Alvarado Gallery, Marjorie Evans Gallery, Carmel Visual Arts, Homescapes, Carl Cherry Center, Spider Awards Online Exhibits, Triton Museum Online Exhibit, Merit Award Black And White Magazine, and other venues. Statement I spent most of my life as a dancer and a choreographer, and now I find that I respond to the visual world through that lens. In shapes and forms, I see grace, mystery, fluidity, and emotion. Through this series, Veiled in Light, the leaves created their own dance, a dance expressed through the use of light, form, texture, and dimension. Within these images, light and dark reveal the sensuality of objects from the natural world. Working with a minimalist intent, I created this series to encompass what I love about nature. There is a transformation in the free flowing forms, evoking nature's seductiveness while instilling a sense of peace and serenity, a combination that I perceive as a dance, a performance, a celebration of the beauty of the natural world.
Peter Lindbergh
Germany
1944 | † 2019
Peter Lindbergh was a German fashion photographer and film director known for his evocative black and white images and his distinctive, naturalistic style. He was born in Lissa, Germany (now Leszno, Poland) and grew up in Duisburg, Germany. He studied photography in Munich and worked as a photographer's assistant in Dusseldorf before moving to Paris in 1978 to start his career as a fashion photographer. Once upon a time, the photographer had to have an idea, not just click the shutter. -- Peter Lindbergh Lindbergh's photographs appeared in numerous international fashion magazines, including Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, and Elle. He also worked with many of the world's leading fashion houses, including Chanel, Dior, and Armani. His images are known for their timeless quality and for the way they capture the spirit and personality of his subjects. In addition to his work in fashion, Peter Lindbergh also directed several films and documentaries, including the documentary Models, which explored the world of fashion modeling, and the film Pollution, which examined environmental issues. Peter Lindbergh was also active in humanitarian causes, using his talent and influence to raise awareness about social and political issues. He was a member of the American Association of Physicians for Human Rights and worked with Amnesty International on a campaign against the death penalty. When you do portrait photography it really can be quite insane. It’s crazy what is possible today. Photoshop is a huge tragedy in that respect as well, no question! -- Peter Lindbergh Lindbergh was the recipient of numerous awards and honors throughout his career, including the Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres and the German Bambi award. He was also inducted into the German Photography Hall of Fame in 2003. Peter Lindbergh passed away on September 3, 2019 at the age of 74. His work continues to be exhibited and celebrated around the world.
Inge Morath
Austria/United States
1923 | † 2002
Inge Morath, the daughter of a scientist, was born in Austria on 27th May 1923. The family moved to Nazi Germany and as a teenager she was sent to the force labour camp at Tempelhof for refusing to join the Hitler Youth. Morath graduated from Berlin University in 1944. After the Second World War she worked as an interpreter for the United States Information Service before joining the RWR radio network. Morath also contributed articles to the literary magazine Der Optimist. In 1950 Morath moved to France where she worked with the Austrian photographers Ernst Haas and Erich Lessing. This involved writing text captions for the two photographers. The following year she found work as a photojournalist with Picture Post, a magazine based in London. Morath's first book was, Fiesta In Pamplona (1954). After the publication of an photo essay on French worker priests by Morath in 1955 Robert Capa invited her to join the Magnum Photos agency. Other books by Morath included Venice Observed (1956), Bring Forth The Children (1960), Tunisia (1961) and From Persia to Iran (1961). Morath married Arthur Miller in 1962 and together they published the book In Russia (1969). This was followed by My Sister Life (1973) with poems by Boris Pasternak, In the Country (1977), Chinese Encounters (1979), Salesman in Beijing (1984), Portraits (1987), Shaking the Dust of Ages (1998), an autobiography, Life As A Photographer (1999), Masquerade (2000) and Border Spaces; Last Journey (2002). Inge Morath died of lymphatic cancer on 30th January 2002. Source: Spartacus Educational Morath's achievements during her first decade of work as a photographer are significant. Along with Eve Arnold, she was among the first women members of Magnum Photos, which remains to this day a predominantly male organization. Many critics have written of the playful surrealism that characterizes Morath's work from this period. Morath attributed this to the long conversations she had with Cartier-Bresson during their travels in Europe and the United States. Morath's work was motivated by a fundamental humanism, shaped as much by her experience of war as by its lingering shadow over post-war Europe. In Morath's mature work, she documents the endurance of the human spirit under situations of extreme duress, as well as its manifestations of ecstasy and joy. After relocating to the United States, during the 1960s and 1970s Morath worked closer to home, raising a family with Miller and working with him on several projects. Their first collaboration was the book In Russia (1969), which, together with Chinese Encounters (1979), described their travels and meetings in the Soviet Union and the People's Republic of China. In the Country, published in 1977, was an intimate look at their immediate surroundings. For both Miller, who had lived much of his life in New York City, and Morath, who had come to the US from Europe, the Connecticut countryside offered a fresh encounter with America. Reflecting on the importance of Morath's linguistic gifts, Miller wrote that "travel with her was a privilege because [alone] I would never been able to penetrate that way." In their travels Morath translated for Miller, while his literary work was the entrée for Morath to encounter an international artistic elite. The Austrian photographer Kurt Kaindl, her long-time colleague, noted that "their cooperation develop[ed] without outward pressure and is solely motivated by their common interest in the people and the respective cultural sphere, a situation that corresponds to Inge Morath's working style, since she generally feels inhibited by assignments." Morath sought out, befriended, and photographed artists and writers. During the 1950s she photographed artists for Robert Delpire's magazine L'Oeil, including Jean Arp and Alberto Giacometti. She met the artist Saul Steinberg in 1958. When she went to his home to make a portrait, Steinberg came to the door wearing a mask which he had fashioned from a paper bag. Over a period of several years, they collaborated on a series of portraits, inviting individuals and groups of people to pose for Morath wearing Steinberg's masks. Another long-term project was Morath's documentation of many of the most important productions of Arthur Miller's plays. Some of Morath's signal achievements are in portraiture, including posed images of celebrities as well as fleeting images of anonymous passersby. Her pictures of Boris Pasternak's home, Pushkin's library, Chekhov's house, Mao Zedong's bedroom, as well as artists' studios and cemetery memorials, are permeated with the spirit of invisible people still present. The writer Philip Roth, whom Morath photographed in 1965, described her as "the most engaging, sprightly, seemingly harmless voyeur I know. If you're one of her subjects, you hardly know your guard is down and your secret recorded until it's too late. She is a tender intruder with an invisible camera." As the scope of her projects grew, Morath prepared extensively by studying the language, art, and literature of a country to encounter its culture fully. Although photography was the primary means through which Morath found expression, it was but one of her skills. In addition to the many languages in which she was fluent, Morath was also a prolific diary and letter-writer; her dual gift for words and pictures made her unusual among her colleagues. Morath wrote extensively, and often amusingly, about her photographic subjects. Although she rarely published these texts during her lifetime, posthumous publications have focused upon this aspect of her work. They have brought together her photographs with journal writings, caption notes, and other archival materials relating to her various projects. During the 1980s and 1990s, Morath continued to pursue both assignments and independent projects. The film Copyright by Inge Morath was made by German filmmaker Sabine Eckhard in 1992, and was one of several films selected for a presentation of Magnum Films at the Berlin International Film Festival in 2007. Eckhard filmed Morath at home and in her studio, and in New York and Paris with her colleagues, including Cartier-Bresson, Elliott Erwitt and others. In 2002, working with film director Regina Strassegger, Morath fulfilled a long-held wish to revisit the lands of her ancestors, along the borderlands of Styria and Slovenia. This mountainous region, once part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, had become the faultline between two conflicting ideologies after World War II and until 1991, when attempts at rapprochement led to conflict on both sides of the border. The book Last Journey (2002), and Strasseger's film Grenz Räume (Border Space, 2002), document Morath's visits to her homeland during the final years of her life.Source: Wikipedia
Michele Zousmer
United States
Michele Zousmer is a humanitarian and fine art photographer. The camera is her tool to give voice to marginalized communities and witness the human experience. Michele's work celebrates each individual's strength and beauty, as well as their vulnerability and spirit, going beyond how one presents oneself to the world. They are infused with her almost overwhelming empathy. Michele believes a photograph can create a lasting impression of emotion, curiosity, love, and ultimately hope of mankind. It can help people heal, give them dignity, and feel empowered. Her photographs reveal insights into the lives of people we wouldn't otherwise meet. Through her world travels, Michele meets people from different walks of life, listening to their stories and sharing intimate moments with them. The permission they grant and openness they offer by inviting them into their world never ceases to move Michele. The soulfulness of her images comes from developing relationships with the people she engages with. Michele truly believes that even though we may have differences on the outside, inside we are all the same. The images are infused with her almost overwhelming empathy. Artist Statement "My mind, my eyes, and my heart have been opened by my experiences. My life has been forever changed. I hope my work inspires others to feel we all matter and to care more profoundly. Engaging in the world and becoming open to different cultures and traditions allows for more conversation on diversity and equality. Photographs hold the power to connect people and create understanding. This is why I do what I do." - Michele Zousmer
Roger Grasas
Spain
1970
Roger Grasas (Barcelona, 1970) begins his professional career as a photographer in 1998 documenting cooperation projects for national and international foundations and NGOs as well as for UNESCO. Since then, traveling becomes the core of his artistic work, translating his experiences and reflections into visual arts. Between 2005 and 2009 he is the director of the BisouFoto communication studio and co-founder of the phototroupe Studio agency. In both projects he is in charge of the commissions related to travel photography, editorial portrait and social report. Regular contributor to several Spanish and international publications. In 2009 he moves to Riyadh (Saudi Arabia) where he leads the foundation of the photography department at Imagine Communication, a high end quality agency for social photography and events. During his stay in Saudi Arabia and later on until 2016 he develops the project 'Inshallah', a personal project about the extreme transformation of Middle eastern societies through the urban contemporary landscape in countries such as Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Emirates, Oman etc. His body of work approaches the role and importance that technology reveals within the post-modern digital society, the state of strangeness and confusion that human being suffers in the contemporary landscape and the increasingly connections between art and science. Sociopolitical issues such as globalization and philosophical concepts such as the 'difference', 'hyperreality' and 'alienation' generated by the postcapitalist society and the accelerated implementation of new technologies are also common places of their work. Since 1997 he has combined his professional activity with teaching in photography. Between 1997 and 2004 he teaches Photography and Landscape Production courses at the UPC's Image and Multimedia Technology Center. He also works as an academic at the Groc School of Plastic Arts (Barcelona), at the Communication Faculty of the National Autonomous University of Mexico and at the Mamori Art Lab Foundation in Brazil. He has also given various workshops and seminars related to travel anthropology and contemporary society such as "The Art of Travel: Photography and Travel" and "Why Travel? Ethics and Aesthetics of Leisure and Tourism". His His works have been exhibited on galleries of Spain, France, Netherlands, Germany, U.S.A., El Salvador, Saudi Arabia and Mexico. About 'Min Turab' In the space of a few decades, the landscapes of the Arab Gulf region have undergone a wholesale mutation driven by increased income from the oil, globalization and mass tourism. These countries have seen so a huge transformation, moving from the nomadic lifestyle of the bedouin tribes to a hi-tech urban society. The work takes the title from an arabic expression meaning “from the land”, and is an observation of this process oscillation between these two poles: an austere, traditional civilization on one extreme, and a postmodern culture under the powerful influence of capitalism and consumerism on the other. Founded on the idea of travel as an artistic method, these photographs hold up a mirror to the dyad of nature and technology in a place where the old and the new come together and the lines between them blur. This tension is evident both in the vast desert landscapes and in the images of cities, where the past and the future are compressed into the close quarters of the present. These representations of the landscapes of Saudi Arabia, Oman, Bahrain, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates and Qatar throw into sharp relief the binary opposition of the natural and the constructed. This sense of dislocation feeds into this idea of travel as an artistic dérive, drifting with no particular destination in mind, in search of new situations and experiences. In these dreamlike images, the author reflects on the concepts of the real and the unreal, with viewers left uncertain as to what is really going on. Almost completely lacking in human presence, these photographs show the mark left upon the landscape by consumer society at the same time as they seek out the beauty in strangeness. With a dry wit, the artist focuses his gaze on the idea of the simulacrum. The visual and conceptual glimpses of this world documents the colonization of contemporary landscapes by technology and the alienation of human beings in the digital societies of the Arabian Gulf countries. These images of silent architecture do not offer viewers any conclusions, but rather invite them to reflect and leave the way clear for a multiplicity of interpretations that connect with viewers' own imaginary.
Polly Gaillard
United States
1965
Polly Gaillard is a fine art photographer, writer, and educator. She is part-time Professor of Art at Furman University and has taught photography workshops and college courses for more than ten years including summers abroad teaching American students in Prague, Czech Republic, and Cortona, Italy. Polly received a Master of Fine Arts in Visual Arts from Vermont College of Fine Arts in 2010. She has exhibited her fine art photographs nationally and published a limited edition artist book, Pressure Points, with a foreword by actress Jamie Lee Curtis. Polly's photographic skills traverse contemporary art, documentary, portrait, and traditional photographic practices. She lives in Greenville, SC with her daughter. You, From a Distance Making portraits in a pandemic is challenging if you like to get closer than six feet to your subject. Frustrated by an inability to work at close range, I began to make portraits on my computer screen via FaceTime and Zoom by photographing friends, family, acquaintances, strangers, and my daughter at her father's home. This collaboration with others is particularly rewarding, especially when I've put the camera down, and we sit screen to screen discussing the changes in our collective worlds while checking in to make sure the other is okay. Each person has been generous in showing me around their homes to find the right background and light. They move furniture, take pictures off the wall, change clothing to create the right contrast, and position their laptops or phones so that I can take their picture at just the right angle. I sit behind my screen watching them do the work that I so desperately want to do as I experience a heightened sense of ambivalence, the love of "seeing" others, the distaste for lack of physical control over the situation. At times, the process calls for a third person to hold the camera phone, sometimes that assistant is a six-year-old girl, a father, a husband, or a cousin. During the awkwardness of the portrait session, there are moments of laughter when cats photobomb the sitting, a mother walks in the room wanting to reclaim her office space, a dad saunters by with a laundry basket, a sibling or grandchild screams from an adjoining room, and many phones crash to the floor from their perch of prime picture-taking position. We laugh together across connected distances about the absurdity of the situation and that I am trying to make a meaningful portrait amid unpredictability. Strangely, I find the absurdity satisfying; everything feels peculiar at this moment in time. For a more technically astute photographer than myself, the lack of technical command over making screen portraits would be unnerving. In essence, the image is blurry if the Wifi connection isn't clear. There are uncontrollable color shifts due to monitor calibrations; a moire pattern may appear because the screen is refreshing, and the perspective of the body can distort if the phone isn't perfectly parallel to the subject. I won't elaborate on how the highlights and shadows clip. The image noise and pixelation can drive you mad if you don't accept it as divine intervention. I find myself wanting to jump into the scene and move things and bodies, hold reflectors, close blinds, and refrain from making my subject do the heavy lifting. However, I sit behind the computer giving direction to "look to the right, chin down, eyes up, come closer to the camera" and then I embrace every technical flaw as if it's a gift. The power I have over the subject and the limitation I command over the image humbles me. The vulnerability I feel in putting these imperfect images into the world is tempered by the realization that we are all powerless in the face of this pandemic. You, From a Distance reflects the way I have experienced life during the Covid-19 pandemic- a personal feeling of distance and loss but with a desire to hold onto normalcy of making pictures, albeit without influence over the outcome. I am interested in these new ways of seeing each other and being together without being together - I look at you on my computer, in return, you look back at me through a phone or laptop while you can also see yourself in the frame. Who are we looking at - ourselves or others? The intersection of gazes is countless at times; it excites and confuses me. The process of looking and seeing divided by screens changes everything I have learned about image-making. The portraits become my memory of shared moments across time zones with distant faces; the four walls of my house expand into the space of others' homes. The intimacy I feel with the subject ironically is far greater than the portraits I make in-person in a time before social distance. In the span of one month, I have virtually traveled to five countries, five states, and homes nearby in South Carolina. Although more than the required physical distance is maintained through these portrait sittings, the mutual human connection is undoubtedly rich with meaning and unlimited possibility. December and Everything After
Matt Wilson
United Kingdom
1969
Matt Wilson’s current body of work is part of an ongoing project, based upon a collection of transient observations, the landscapes of every day life and the people that call those landscapes home. It delves into the artist’s own history, his formative and current years within his home landscape and in the city he now resides and also, those of distant landscapes both literally and metaphorically he has traveled. A subtle, visually rich character study of what makes us who we are and the places we all inhabit and journey to, a chance to observe those looking outward whilst reflectively an opportunity to gaze inward.Source: Susan Inglett Gallery Matt Wilson photographed everywhere in Europe, starting with his native England, but also in France, with which it has its affinities, without omitting the Eastern countries where he still returns frequently between two stays Cuba. More recently, he ended his desire browse new territory: the United States where he lived for ten years. He could be afraid to touch this history, both American photographers are already loaded beautifully. But again, it gives us an amazing vision that reveals by snapshots of landscapes and men burnt by the sun that eventually, anyway, by lying down on this vast landscape to create ineffable moments that we may be fooling yourself and see it in watercolor. Then we could call this work “pictorial metaphor” even if the drift purely pictorial characters Matt Wilson were not so rooted in their time and in their daily lives, although sometimes needy. Because somewhere, if Matt Wilson gives us what he sees through a poetic prism, it is also a reporter and reflects our contemporary society by its subjects but often raw deals at tragic nor misery. His watchful eye is rather benevolent view borrowing a tragicomic light behind the full extent of a deeply humanistic thought.Source: mattwilsonphotography.com
Oleg Dou
Russia
1983
As his mother was a painter and his father was a dress designer, in his childhood Oleg Dou used to gather with the artists and to spend a lot of time reading is father’s fashion magazines. At the age of 13, his parents offered him his first computer set up with an old version of Photoshop with which he already began to transform his schoolfriends or teachers faces. After studying design, he worked as a web designer. In 2005, he buys his first professional camera. Discovered in 2006 by Liza Fetissova, Oleg Dou is represented today by galleries in France, Belgium, Netherlands, Spain, Russia and United States. His worked has been published in a lot of international reviews. He is one of the most promising artist of his generation. In 2011, the Artprice company, leader of the information on art value, has graded Oleg Dou in the top 3 of the under 30 years old photographers the best saled in public auctions. One of his images will make the cover of an extensive " Frozen Dream, contemporary art from Russia" book, from TransGlobe Publishing and Thames & Hudson. Oleg Dou lives and works in Moscow. From Art and Haze Oleg Dou grew up in an artistic environment, with a mother and a father as artists. With 13 years, the young man gets a computer with Photoshop. He then begins to transform photographs, especially the faces of his classmates and teachers. After studying design in 2005 he bought his first professional camera. In a very short time, the artist attracted professionals from the world of art and collectors with a specific and recognizable universe. It is also noticed in 2006 by Liza Festissova, gallery to the Russian Tea Room. Between 2007 and 2008, he won the 1st prize of the International Photography Awards with his Toy Story series, doing portraits of children with extreme whiteness and exposed during the FIAC in 2008. Represented by galleries around the world, Oleg Dou is surely one of the most promising young Russian artists . In 2011, the company information on the art market on Artprice ranks him as one of the top three photographers under 30. “A game,” said Oleg Dou, 28, while summarizing his new exhibition titled “Another Face”. Very comfortable, this Muscovite in silhouette – editing pictures with a software to sublimate his thoughts. And these faces cover a multitude of dressings graceful as a plastic surgeon on acid looking for indulgence. These digital collages, quite confusing when watched closely, causing some embarrassment.Source: RTR Gallery
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