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Billy & Hells
Billy & Hells
Billy & Hells

Billy & Hells

Country: Germany

Billy and Hells are two photographers: Anke Linz, Billy (Nürnberg, 1965) and Andreas Oettinger, Hells (Munich, 1963). They met in 1986, found a shared interest in photography and became partners in life and work. Inspired by the photographs of Irving Penn and Helmut Newton, Billy und Hells started to work in the field of fashion photography.

Accidentally, they came across a technique that would define their future works. By forgetting to take a black and white negative out of a Wühltisch developer, they developed a beautiful Baryt picture. This process is now known as a Lithprint. Later on they discovered that combining a black and white slidefrom a colour negative with a colour picture, a beautiful photograph emerged with fantastic effects. Because of this technique, the colours are reduced but give an intense effect. This technique reduces the colours but results simultaneously in an intensity, which they were unable to reach with regular photography. The results were unexpected but very satisfying.

In 1999 they started working professionally for adverting campaigns and magazines. However, this branch of photography did not provide them for the artistic freedom they were looking for. In 2000 they settled in Berlin and started a studio there. This is also the year that they started to work with digital cameras, taking advantage of all the benefits these provide.

Amongst others they exhibited in Tokyo and Berlin. One of their photographs, Nabil, was used in a fashion exhibition on the Ideal Man in the Gemeentemuseum in The Hague. Another work, Sophia, featured in the National Portrait Gallery’s advertisement campaign for the exhibition of the Photographic Portrait Prize 2007.

Source: Morren Galleries


Billy & Hells’ photographs exist in a world of in-betweens. Their deceptively simple, straightforward portraits convey a certain complexity. The archetypal characters depicted in their photographs—mothers, soldiers, cowboys, nurses, and teachers— possess an underlying sense of mystery, hinting at the duality of the sitter as well as the fictional world they inhabit. Although Billy & Hells’ images call upon historical and art historical references, their portraits are not burdened by the stipulations of historical recreations. Instead, seamlessly blending past and present, reality and fantasy, their photographs become a nostalgic diary, purposefully left open for interpretation.

The duo discovered what has become their signature visual style via a typical lab-accident story— by forgetting to take a black and white negative out of the developer, they inadvertently produced an intense image with colors that appear simultaneously rich and muted. Their portraits combine elaborate, hand-painted backgrounds and draw inspiration from countless samples of fabrics, color compositions, and clothing that generate the distinct mood for each portrait.

In a special issue on Young German Photography, Deutsch magazine described the experience of viewing a Billy & Hells photograph as the following, “Inevitably, without warning, you enter a unique world of images. Each scene becomes a kind of pseudo-dwelling for the person contemplating it. The situations seem to be familiar, but you are never absolutely sure just what is happening in front of you, who the characters are, where to place the individual scenes. The commonplace is bristling with exceptions, the direction of narrative changes continually and leads you astray. Trivial things are combined with the bizarre. The mixture deriving from this casts a spell on us.” (Deutsch, “Young German Photography”, 2000 Published by Kruse Verlag, Hamburg)

Billy & Hells were nominated in 2007 for The National Portrait Gallery’s Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait. The series Blue Moon was recently featured in the photographic quarterly Eyemazing. Their work has been exhibited and collected internationally. Anke Linz and Andreas Oettinger live and work in Berlin.

Source: Fahey/Klein Gallery


 

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Garry Winogrand
United States
1928 | † 1984
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"The common thread in all my work is the footprint of the human, with humanized objects and spaces made by man, architectural painting and photography, trying to explain social and psychological concepts through the figure. Coming from the world of painting my type of photography is built. Based on a generic idea, will be taking individual photos that will form part of the final work. Each shot in digital format, will later join with the help of photoshop. This tool is almost exclusively used for the matrix composition. All these pictures are real, the waters of colors are stained for each session, lights, ropes, etc. are used maybe that way I put me more in the concept that I want to express. My work models are people I know, in my environment, there is a complicity and prior understanding, they bring to the session his way of expressing the idea, much enriched the work. Also, say the interest that raised me shadows, which is evidenced in my way of photographing. Penumbra, in my opinion, they dimension the vacuum of space, they materialize it, make it real. My work is the antithesis of the photography, which I would call operating room, without just shadows. Overhead view of my work, is strongly influenced by the years that I was in contact with the architects. At the end of my studies of biological sciences I worked continuously with them. My task there was the explanation of the urban projects through roof planes. With a pictorial abstraction were given a human scale. I was very lucky, I found interesting people that opened a world of possibilities, which taught me to see after looking at. At the same time, painting was transformed into something serious in my life, I started to exhibit and to devote myself more professionally to art. Photography was in principle a work tool, a tool more for my collection of data, it helped me to paint everything you had no way of doing so natural. Little by little I found comfortable with the photographic image and the human figure to express the ideas that were emerging. I went through a very unproductive at work time, since I opposed the painting to photography, when they were actually for me very complementary. At this time that seemed to lost went back to College, first studying psychology and later philosophy. None of the two races ended them, as it was not so important to have an academic degree, but if you continue learning, similar of being alive. My exhibitions were photography, although in principle and respect for the world of photography, I thought that I was an intruder, had the desire and the security to do so, also the need. Self-portrait I submit for publication to reflect a state of confusion we all, from time to time we have suffered, when a mesh does not let you see clearly the reality. As if it were a necessary self-deception on occasions." -- Alicia Moneva - Madrid, October 2013 Interview with Alicia Moneva AAP: When did you realize you wanted to be a photographer?It was progressive. I needed to work with the human figure and I felt more comfortable with photography. AAP: Where did you study photography?I didn't study painting or photography. My teachers were architects who knew the method and had perception. AAP: How long have you been a photographer?I have been taking photographs for 20 years but, professionally, just 10. AAP: Do you remember your first shot? What was it?They were objects that I wanted to paint in my Studio and I couldn't move them from the place they were. And also black and white portraits, many portraits. AAP: What or who inspires you?I am inspired by philosophy, anthropology, biology... and now also particle physics. Science and arts basically. AAP: Do you have a favorite photograph or series?My favorite series are the last I have been working on: The disease in our culture, which is about chronically ill people, the unknown heroes of our time. It is a tribute to them, their carers and families. AAP: What kind of gear do you use? Camera, lens, digital, film?When I started I used an old Pentax, with black and white rolls for portraits and color rolls for objects I painted later. Now I work with a Canon 5D Mark II and a Canon 7D. The lenses are also Canon. AAP: Do you spend a lot of time editing your images? For what purpose?My pictures are made of many individual photographs. I use photo editing programs to assemble and compose the final image. For me it is important to convey the idea I have in mind and I edit the photos until I think the concept is understood. AAP: Favorite(s) photographer(s)?I really like Spanish creativity. My favorite are perhaps Chema Madoz for his pulchritudinous images which I would summarize in "less is more". And Cristina García Rodero because she transmits me all the strength of human feelings. AAP: What advice would you give a young photographer?To be passionate about what he is doing, to follow his instincts. And, especially, to be honest with what he thinks, beacuse that will be his way of looking at what the others see. AAP: What mistake should a young photographer avoid?Wanting to be very original? Or thinking you already know everything? AAP: An idea, a sentence, a project you would like to share?I would mention a fragment of one of José Hierro's poems that summarizes well how sometimes a moment can be turned into something timeless. "...But there are things that do not die and others who never lived. And there are some that fill the universe, And it is not possible to get rid of its memory." (José Hierro / "Alegría" 1947). AAP: What are your projects?I have been working lately on a new project with another Spanish photographer, Judith Sansó. It is shared project with a performance which combines photography and video art. The first of these series is called "the distance between her and yesterday is a photo" and talks about memories and how they shape our personality. These are some of the links to the performance and the making of the video work: YouTube video (In Spanish) YouTube video YouTube video AAP: Your best memory as a photographer?None in particular. I like when I start a new project. AAP: Your worst souvenir as a photographer?I can't remember. A well-known neurologist (Á. Pascual Leone) once said that it's more important to forget than to remember, especially bad memories AAP:If you were someone else who would it be?I would have liked to be a good silent film director like Fritz Lang, Renoir or Murnau.
Dora Maar
France
1907 | † 1997
Henriette Theodora Markovitch (22 November 1907 – 16 July 1997), known as Dora Maar, was a French photographer, painter, and poet. A love partner of Pablo Picasso, Dora Maar was depicted in a number of Picasso's paintings, including his Portrait of Dora Maar and Dora Maar au Chat. She was the only daughter of Josip Marković (aka Joseph Markovitch) (1874–1969), a Croatian architect who studied in Zagreb, Vienna, and then Paris where he settled in 1896, and of his spouse, Catholic-raised Louise-Julie Voisin (1877–1942), originally from Cognac. In 1910, the family left for Buenos Aires where the father obtained several commissions including for the embassy of Austria-Hungary. His achievements earned him the honor of being decorated by Emperor Francis Joseph I, even though he was "the only architect who did not make a fortune in Buenos Aires", but in 1926, the family returned to Paris. Dora Maar, a pseudonym she chose, took courses at the Central Union of Decorative Arts and the School of Photography. She also enrolled at the École des Beaux-Arts and the Académie Julian which had the advantage of offering the same instruction to women as to men. Dora Maar frequented André Lhote's workshop where she met Henri Cartier-Bresson. While studying at the École des Beaux-Arts, Maar met fellow female surrealist Jacqueline Lamba. About her, Maar said, "I was closely linked with Jacqueline. She asked me, 'where are those famous surrealists?' and I told her about cafe de la Place Blanche." Jacqueline then began to frequent the cafe where she would eventually meet André Breton, whom she would later marry. When the workshop ceased its activities, Dora Maar left Paris, alone, for Barcelona and then London, where she photographed the effects of the economic depression following the Wall Street Crash of 1929 in the United States. On her return, and with the help of her father, she opened another workshop at 29 rue d'Astorg in the 8th arrondissement of Paris. In 1935 she was introduced to Pablo Picasso and she became his companion and his muse. She took pictures in his studio at the Grands Augustins and tracked the latter stages of his epic work, Guernica. She later acted as a model for his piece titled Monument à Apollinaire, a tribute to the late poet Guillaume Apollinaire. Maar's earliest surviving photographs were taken in the early 1920s with a Rolleiflex camera while on a cargo ship going to the Cape Verde Islands. At the beginning of 1930, she set up a photography studio on rue Campagne-Première with Pierre Kefer, photographer, and decorator for Jean Epstein's 1928 film, The Fall of the House of Usher. In the studio, Maar and Kefer worked together mostly on commercial photography for advertisements and fashion magazines. Her father assisted with her finances in this period of her life as she was establishing herself while trying to earn a living. The studio displayed fashion, advertising and nudes, and it became very successful. She met the photographer Brassaï with whom she shared the darkroom in the studio. Brassai once said that she had "bright eyes and an attentive gaze, a disturbing stare at times". During this time working in advertising and fashion photography, the influence of Surrealism could be seen in her work through her heavy use of mirrors and contrasting shadows. She felt that art should represent the content of reality through links with intuitions or ideas, rather than visually reproduce the natural. Dora Maar also met Louis-Victor Emmanuel Sougez, a photographer working for advertising, archeology and artistic director of the newspaper L'Illustration, whom she considered a mentor. In 1932, she had an affair with the filmmaker Louis Chavance. Dora Maar frequented the "October group", formed around Jacques Prévert and Max Morise after their break from surrealism. Maar had her first publication in the magazine Art et Métiers Graphiques in 1932 and her first solo exhibition was held at the Galerie Vanderberg in Paris. It is the gelatin silver works of the surrealist period that remain the most sought after by admirers: Portrait of Ubu (1936), 29 rue d'Astorg, black and white, collages, photomontages or superimpositions. The photograph represents the central character in a popular series of plays by Alfred Jarry called Ubu Roi. The work was first shown at the Exposition Surréaliste d'objets at the Galerie Charles Ratton in Paris and at the International Surrealist Exhibition in London in 1936. She also participated in Participates in Fantastic Art, Dada, Surrealism, at the Museum of Modern Art in New York the same year. Surrealist concepts and interests often aligned with the ideas of the political left of the time and so Maar became very politically active at this point in her life. After the fascist demonstrations of 6 February 1934, in Paris along with René Lefeuvre, Jacques Soustelle, supported by Simone Weil and Georges Bataille, she signed the tract "Appeal to the Struggle" written at the initiative of André Breton. Much of her work is highly influenced by leftist politics of the time, often depicting those who had been thrown into poverty by the Depression. She was part of an ultra-leftist association called "Masses", where she first met Georges Bataille, an anti-fascist organization called the Union of Intellectuals Against Fascism, and a radical collective of left-wing actors and writers called October. She also was involved in many Surrealist groups and often participated in demonstrations, convocations, and cafe conversations. She signed many manifestos, including one titled "When Surrealists were Right" in August 1935 which concerned the Congress of Paris, which had been held in March of that year. In 1935 she took a photo of fashion illustrator and designer Christian Berard that was described by writer and critic Michael Kimmelman as "wry and mischievous with only his head perceived above the fountain as if he were John the Baptist on a silver platter". In the 1980s she made a number of photograms. Maar spent her last years in her apartment in Rue de Savoie, in the Left Bank of Paris. She died on 16 July 1997, at 89 years old. She was buried in the Bois-Tardieu cemetery in Clamart. Her experiments with photograms and dark-room photography were only found posthumously.Source: Wikipedia
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Exclusive Interview with Niko J. Kallianiotis
Niko J. Kallianiotis' Athênai in Search of Home (published by Damiani) presents photos taken in and around Athens, the city in which he grew up. The images reflect the artist's eagerness to assimilate back into a home that feels at once foreign and familiar. Throughout the years the city and the surrounding territories have experienced their share of socio-economic struggles and topographic transformations that have altered its identity. The city of Athens in Kallianiotis' photographs is elliptically delineated as a vibrant environment that binds together luxury and social inequality. The photographer depicts a city in which the temporal and the spatial elements often clash with each other while conducting his research for a home that has changed over the years as much as he did.
Exclusive Interview with Ave Pildas
My new book STAR STRUCK focuses on the people and places of Hollywood Boulevard. Soon after I moved to Los Angeles in the '70s, I started shooting there. I was working at Capital Records, just a block and a half away, as a one of four art directors. At lunchtime, we would go out to eat at the Brown Derby, Musso, and Franks, or some other local restaurant, and I got to observe all the activity that was occurring on Hollywood Boulevard. It was amazing and it was fun, even though the location was ''on the turn''.
Exclusive Interview with Elaine Mayes
In The Haight-Ashbury Portraits, 1967-1968 (published by Damiani) during the waning days of the Summer of Love, Elaine Mayes embarked on a set of portraits of youth culture in her neighborhood. Mayes was a young photographer living in San Francisco during the 1960s. She had photographed the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967 and, later that year the hippie movement had turned from euphoria to harder drugs, and the Haight had become less of a blissed-out haven for young people seeking a better way of life than a halfway house for runaway teens.
Exclusive Interview with Theophilus Donoghue
A new release, Seventy-thirty (published by Damiani) depicts humanity's various faces and expressions, from metropolitans to migrants, unseen homeless to celebrities such as Robert De Niro, Muhammad Ali, Rene Magritte, Janis Joplin, and Andy Warhol. Steve Schapiro photographs early New York skateboarders while Theophilus Donoghue documents current Colombian breakdancers. Alternately profound and playful, father and son's photographs capture a vast range of human emotions and experiences. For this project, Schapiro selected images from the 60s civil rights movement and, with Donoghue, provided photos from today's Black Lives Matter protests and environmental rallies.
Exlusive Interview with Jessica Todd Harper about her Book Here
Like 17th-century Dutch painters who made otherwise ordinary interior scenes appear charged with meaning, Pennsylvania-based photographer Jessica Todd Harper looks for the value in everyday moments. Her third monograph Here (Published by Damiani) makes use of what is right in front of the artist, Harper shows how our unexamined or even seemingly dull surroundings can sometimes be illuminating
Exclusive Interview with Roger Ballen about his Book Boyhood
In Boyhood (published by Damiani) Roger Ballen's photographs and stories leads us across the continents of Europe, Asia and North America in search of boyhood: boyhood as it is lived in the Himalayas of Nepal, the islands of Indonesia, the provinces of China, the streets of America. Each stunning black-and-white photograph-culled from 15,000 images shot during Ballen's four-year quest-depicts the magic of adolescence revealed in their games, their adventures, their dreams, their Mischief. More of an ode than a documentary work, Ballen's first book is as powerful and current today as it was 43 years ago-a stunning series of timeless images that transcend social and cultural particularities.
Exclusive Interview with Kim Watson
A multi-dimensional artist with decades of experience, Kim Watson has written, filmed, and photographed subjects ranging from the iconic entertainers of our time to the ''invisible'' people of marginalized communities. A highly influential director in music videos' early days, Watson has directed Grammy winners, shot in uniquely remote locations, and written across genres that include advertising, feature films for Hollywood studios such as Universal (Honey), MTV Films, and Warner Brothers, and publishers such as Simon & Schuster. His passionate marriage of art and social justice has been a life-long endeavor, and, in 2020, after consulting on Engagement & Impact for ITVS/PBS, Kim returned to the streets to create TRESPASS, documenting the images and stories of LA's unhoused. TRESPASS exhibited at The BAG (Bestor Architecture Gallery) in Silver Lake, Los Angeles, September 17, 2022 – October 11, 2022.
Exclusive Interview with Julia Dean, Founder of the L.A. Project
Julia Dean, Founder of the Los Angeles Center of Photography, and its executive director for twenty-two years, began The L.A. Project in 2021. A native Nebraskan, Julia has long sought to create a special project where love for her adopted L.A., and her passion for documentary photography can be shared on a grander scale.
Exclusive Interview with Emmanuel Cole
Emmanuel Cole, London-based photographer, celebrates his 5th year of capturing the Notting Hill Carnival, which returns this year after a 2-year hiatus. Emmanuel’s photography encapsulates the very essence of the carnival and immortalises the raw emotions of over 2 million people gathered together to celebrate on the streets of West London.
Call for Entries
Solo Exhibition December 2022
Win an Online Solo Exhibition in December 2022