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Sylwia Makris
Sylwia Makris
Sylwia Makris

Sylwia Makris

Country: Poland
Birth: 1973

There is a spark within everything. A living light in the eyes of a person, a memory that flares up, the glow of a passion that was never declared. A face always tells more than it knows, wich is why photography is never a mere reproduction of what is. A good photo tells what was, why might have been or what is waiting painfully beneath the surface. Sylwia Makris has been in pursuit of these sparks since she first held a camera. Her quest produces images that may delight or disturb but always move the beholder. She photographs people. People who are strong or delicate, broken or dynamic. She photographs faces of our time-and in doing so gives a face to our time. Nakedness is the most natural state. And in our day the most intrusive and common-every-where naked bodies are used to tempt, advertise and sell. Nakedness can only say as much as it is allowed to say. Sylwia Makris respects the nude body as part of a story that must be told. As part of a stroy that tels of people, nakedness regains its original magic, its archaic power and its complexity of expression in Makris' photos. Until the viewer sometimes feels more naked than the model in the image. Sylwia Makris was born in 1973 in Gdynia, Poland. She worked as a sculptor before finding her way to photography in 2007. Today she lives in Munich as freelance photographer.
 

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Giuseppe Cardoni
He lives in Umbria, is an engineer, he prefers B/W reportage. He has been part of the Leica Photographic Group where he had the opportunity to attend Masters of Italian photography such as with Gianni Berengo Gardin, Piergiorgio Branzi, Mario Lasalandra. He is co-author, with the RAI journalist Luca Cardinalini, of the photographic book STTL La terra di sia lieve. (Ed. DeriveApprodi, Rome, 2006); with Luigi Loretoni he published in 2008 the photo book Miserere (Ed. L'Arte Grafica), in 2011 Gubbio, I Ceri (Ed. L'Arte Grafica) and in 2014 Kovilj (Ed. L'Arte Grafica). Also in 2014 he published Boxing Notes (Edizionibam) reportage on the world of boxing with which he won international awards. He has dedicated himself for some years to the photography of musical events and in 2019 he published "Jazz Notes" a personal intimate point of view on jazz atmospheres. He has exhibited his work in numerous solo and group exhibitions in Italy and abroad. Award-winner or finalist in national and international competitions (has achieved these personal results in more than forty contests over the past three years). I am interested in making photographs with a strong personal connotation, which correlated with my interiority represent a reality poised between the flow of time and abstraction. Giuseppe Cardoni All about BOXING NOTES Nonna Mira, the real boxing enthusiast of the family, set her alarm for 3 a.m. and called my father and me (just a boy) to watch big matches live from Madison Square Garden in New York. With this memory, I went looking for those atmospheres and values of the great boxing of the sixties and seventies. Ropes, wooden planks, nails, torn carpets, peeling walls, worn-out shoes, feet, gym bags, towels, robes, sacred images, iron stairs, neon lights, grimaces of pain, laughter of victory. Boxing. For instance from the "poor" gym, Academia de Boxeo Henry Garcia Suarez, in Holguin (Cuba), have come Olympic and world champions. And you’d never guess.I was attracted by the almost paternal respect for the coaches and champions, the discipline for training, friendship among companions, the rhythm of legs and veins, pride and courage.Boys begin training at the age of 10 years, sometimes without headgear and shoeless, chasing victory with bare hands and with many dedications: for themselves, their families, their country. As the President of Italian Boxing Federation said "It seems a paradox, but the ring is one of the few places in the world where men are really equal, where they fight for their dreams regardless of status, race or culture. Alone, without even difference in clothing, they face each other as equals, without the help of machines, without external support, without any outside help"
Patricia Lagarde
Patricia Lagarde was born in Mexico City, where she currently lives and works. Studies in Communication and Graphic Design. She develops in the middle of photography from an early age. Her work revolves around three fundamental axes; the object as a symbol, the construction of memory and the poetics of space. Her images and artist books have been shown in Museums, Galleries and Fairs in various countries around the world. In Mexico it is represented by Patricia Conde Galería, in San Francisco by The Jack Fischer Gallery. Statement Patricia Lagarde's work is akin to that imaginary construction of an excessive, circular notion of time found in the most conspicuous narratives of magical realism. She grabs such epic dimension of time and submits it to an intimate experience. The signs she works with have no great scenarios of history as spatial references but rather much more discrete enclosures, such as the alchemist's laboratory, a cabinet of curiosities or an antiques collection. Objects that have been touched, used or abandoned are the most recurring personal motives throughout her career. Or perhaps we should say the “aura” of such objects, resulting from the way time has noticed them. Insects, toys, maps and spheres, ancient instruments, clothes, reproductions of works of art, other photographs and other texts are then taken to a ranking ground where the colossal and the tiny are confused, where the distinction between the own and the alien is no longer important, the imaginary and the real hierarchies are reversed and the meaning of usefulness loses relevance. (Author_Juan Antonio Molina)
Mark Steinmetz
United States
1961
Mark Christopher Steinmetz (born 1961) is an American photographer. He makes black and white photographs "of ordinary people in the ordinary landscapes they inhabit". Steinmetz's work was shown in a group exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art, New York in 1993/1994 and in solo exhibitions at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art in 2015, the High Museum of Art in 2018 and at Fotohof in Salzburg, Austria in 2019. He is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship. His work is held in the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, Hunter Museum of American Art, Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Whitney Museum of American Art and Museum of Modern Art, New York, and Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. Steinmetz was born in New York City and raised in the Boston suburbs of Cambridge and Newton until he was 12. He then moved to the midwest before, aged 21, he went to study photography at the Yale School of Art in New Haven, Connecticut. He left that MFA program after one semester and in mid 1983, aged 22, moved to Los Angeles in search of the photographer Garry Winogrand, whom he befriended. He moved to Athens, Georgia in 1999 and was still living and working there as of 2017. Marc Steinmetz makes photographs "of ordinary people in the ordinary landscapes they inhabit", and "in the midst of activity". Most of his work has been made in the USA but also in Berlin, Paris, and Italy. His books combine portraits (portrait-like but spontaneous) and candid photos of people, and also include animals and still life photos. He finds many of his subjects whilst walking around but he has also spent time at Little League Baseball and summer camps. Steinmetz predominantly works with black and white film, usually medium format, developed and printed in his own darkroom. He has mostly worked the same way with the same film, chemicals, and cameras since beginning in the mid 1980s.Source: Wikipedia Mark Steinmetz is an Athens, Georgia-based photographer whose work captures black-and-white images of Southern Americana as seen in urban, rural and suburban landscapes. “I like to stress the poetry and ambiance of a place, while still trying to be truthful,” he has remarked, and his candid shots of everyday life reflect this statement. Examples of this sentiment are strikingly portrayed in Steinmetz's new photo series Terminus, showing the everyday moments of people passing through airports. “At the airport, people from all over the world and from all walks of life can be found in the midst of their journeys,” Mark Steinmetz has said. “Though my main subject has been the passengers, I am also photographing the people who work at the airport, the interiors and exteriors of the planes, as well as the hotels, parking lots and neighborhoods that surround and support the airport.” Mark Steinmetz draws inspiration from a number of Southern artists whose talents extend beyond the realm of photography, and has remarked “the South has many great writers—William Faulkner, Flannery O'Connor, Carson McCullers—and they've influenced me.” Surprisingly, Mark Steinmetz did not originate in the South. In fact, he attended high school in Iowa and received his MFA from Yale University in 1986. (Though he initially dropped out in 1983 in order to move to Los Angeles and work with photographer Garry Winogrand) It wasn’t until 1999 that he left shooting freelance in Chicago and moved south for a teaching job at the University of Tennessee. He has remained in the South ever since. “I love the South for the weeds growing through the cracks of its sidewalks, for its humidity and for its chaos,” he has said. Interestingly, Mark Steinmetz has worked with analog since the beginning of his career, and even uses the same camera, film and development process today as he did as a novice photographer. Mark Steinmetz’ monographs include South Central (2007), South East (2008), Greater Atlanta (2009) and Summertime (2012). He has also been published in Aperture, Blind Spot and DoubleTake magazines. In 1994, he was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, and in 1998 he participated in Light Work’s Artist-in-Residence Program. Mark Steinmetz has taught at a number of institutions, including Harvard, Sarah Lawrence College, Emory University and Yale. Steinmetz’ photos can be found in the collections of The Museum of Modern Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Whitney Museum of American Art, The Art Institute of Chicago and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.Source: Jackson Fine Art
Hugo Thomassen
Netherlands
1972
Shadow of Truth In his search for shadow, Hugo Thomassen found light. It is not the play of light that intrigues, but the richness of shadow. The bottles are what they are, yet they inadvertently evoke associations. Are we looking at a nocturnal cityscape with figures? Are we witnessing a chance encounter, a moment frozen in time, or simply an elegant composition with one or more bottles as the photographic subject? The bottle as a shape. In actual fact, the bottle has been constructed down in minute detail. Although the associations may suggest coincidence, the composition itself makes no such assumption. After all, it was built layer by layer. Painstakingly so. It is rich in its simplicity. No expense is spared. Each line is deliberate, considered. So much is expressed through so little. Without warning, this piece sends you soaring into the void - at least it had that effect on me. The void in which there is no time, and the severity of silence reigns. From a compositional standpoint, you have no reference point for space and time. As such, you go on your instincts and create a story yourself. Or you experience it in a meditative sense. What am I feeling? Is it abandonment, bottomless loneliness? Or am I experiencing silence, light, and intimacy? The image is poetic, still, melancholy, and harmonious. Reassurance emanates from the strict imposition of order. Coincidence is out of the question. The meaning of the work is hidden in the order that it projects. The interplay of lines formed by light and shadows never becomes a labyrinth, instead forming a guide pointing out the right direction. The photo has a reassuring effect on me which does not indicate a lack of thought. It makes me wander off in my mind’s eye while deciding my own perspective. This piece puts me outside of time. I can find no links to a memory, something which photography usually excels at. The image is new, though I believe I see a shade of art history through which the influence of Giorgio de Chirico, Morandi, and Night Shadows by Edward Hopper subtly shine through. The photograph distils the bottle to its purest form. It lays bare its essence. An idea. Is it truth that we see? Reality being exposed? Or are these simply shadows created by shapes? It is this that Thomassen plays with. Is it a single photograph or a picture composed of several images, a multitude of shots? In a sense, the photographic image is attempting to transcend the flatness of the paper. Photography is the means by which Thomassen explores the world. He exposes order in chaos or reveals an event through an ordering. He is the author of a visual story. His work is a narrative without words. It is excitement without something taking place. It represents an ode to emptiness, silence, and form. The bottle as the bearer of meaning. Everything has been translated into a language that one does not necessarily need to understand, but that one feels. He finds beauty in the composition of things, of objects. Naturally, a bottle is just a bottle, but in a composition and in relation to other bottles, by sheer coincidence a story is created. Thomassen brings light and shadow as nuances to that composition. He does not impose hierarchy onto the image. The background, the negative space, is just as important as the bottle. This piece is so streamlined that there are no secondary subjects. Light and shadow are of equal importance, because they need one another. Hugo Thomassen provides a context to the bottles. It is up to the viewer to make a story out of them - or not, of course. Because what is simply a charming image to one may appear to another as a story about existence and appearances. Ludo Diels
Yas Crawford
United Kingdom
1961
Yas Crawford was born in Pembrokeshire in Wales where the geological landscape and biological make-up have subliminally influenced her work. Yas has had a career in geology, microbiology and life sciences, only later finding her way into photography. She now works in the 'Grey Space' between disciplines, connecting them via internal and external human landscapes often revealing micro and macro environments intertwined. She attempts to explain the emotion, not necessarily the science. She examines the point where science falls short and art steps in. Using digital and analogue photography, Yas's work has naturally developed in a fine art form because this is how she imagines the condition or the situation. Her multidisciplinary background enables her to explore abstraction, recognise areas of ambiguity often through topographical and geometrical shape. The repetitive nature of Yas's images reveals her scientific thinking: the constant production of sets of images produced as if they are a scientific experiment, carefully catalogued for success or failure and reflected in the images' numbering. The abstraction in her images gently removes the objectivity, however, and leaves her imagery open to everyone for interpretation, making it a safe place for her audience to absorb the information. Yas's work has been exhibited internationally, won several awards for her work and a finalist at the RPS Science Photographer of the Year 2019 with 'Oxygen Ib' A Biological Journey Biology defines us, it's almost rule-less unlike physics and chemistry, which are laden with laws, regulation and procedure, a necessity but limited. The path of the cycle of life remains in the 'Grey Space' that space in-between disciplines and is challenging. The Holocene Epoch; a journey of geological creation, the first life on earth, adapting genetics, human behaviour and interaction, environmental change and viral contamination remains a biological mystery undefined, ambiguous, unknown and often uncontrolled by humankind. Working within the 'Grey Space' I anticipate a journey tracing time, stimulating our senses, finding consciousness in the subconscious and allowing us to live, for a moment, in the present.
Ren Hang
Chinese
1987 | † 2017
Ren Hang (Chinese: 任航; March 30, 1987 – February 24, 2017) was a Chinese photographer and poet. During Ren's incipient career, he was known mostly for nude photographic portraits of his friends. His work is significant for its representation of Chinese sexuality within a heavily censored society. For these erotic undertones, he was arrested by PRC authorities several times. He received the backing of the Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, who included Ren in his 2013 Netherlands show, Fuck Off 2 The Sequel, and curated the photographer's 2014 exhibition in Paris, France. Ren's erotic, playful and casual yet provocative expression gained him worldwide fame. Ren was born in 1987, in a suburb of Changchun, Jilin province, in northeastern China. In 2007, in order to relieve the boredom of studying advertising at college, he bought a point-and-shoot camera and began shooting his friends. As a self-taught photographer, he said his style of photography was inspired by the artist Shūji Terayama. Ren suffered from depression. He posted a series of diary entries titled My depression on his blog, recording the fear, anxiety and internal conflicts he experienced. Ren died by suicide on February 24, 2017 in Beijing. Ren Hang first began taking pictures of his roommates and friends in 2007, shooting them in the nude as all were close and seeking excitement. In an interview, he also admitted: “I usually shoot my friends, because strangers make me nervous.” He arranged his subjects' naked limbs in his photographs. Ren did not consider his work inappropriate: “I don’t really view my work as taboo, because I don’t think so much in cultural context, or political context. I don’t intentionally push boundaries, I just do what I do.” This may account for his reticence to limit his work to indoor settings. He said there were no preferred places for him to work, as he believed anywhere was beautiful and worthy to be shot, including sparse studios, parks forests, and atop buildings. Ren's photos employ nude groups and solo portraits of men and women often contorted into highly performative positions. For example, hands reach down milky thighs, a limp penis flops onto a watermelon and a series of backsides imitate a mountain range. Questioning the purpose of his work, he once stated that his creation was a way to seek fun for both photographer and the photographed. However, once he had reached fame on an international level, he began to think deeply about his work. The British Journal of Photography quoted him as once saying: "I don't want others having the impression that Chinese people are robots... Or they do have sexual genitals but always keep them as some secret treasures. I want to say that our cocks and pussies are not embarrassing at all." Ren also focused on marginalised people in Chinese society with gender identity disorders by 'indeterminating' sex and gender in some of his work: a group of naked bodies stacked together, men wearing silk stockings and wearing lipstick. He denied having a preference in models: “Gender… only matters to me when I’m having sex.” The international quarterly photography journal Aperture used his photo as the cover for its Queer theme. Commentators also see his work, the naked body and the starched penis, as evolving sexual mores and the struggle for creative and sexual freedom in a conservative, tightly controlled society. But Ren Hang also announced "I don't try to get a message across, I don't give my works names, I don't date them. I don’t want to instill them with any vocabulary. I don't like to explain my photos or work as a whole". It has been mentioned that Ren's work is softcore pornography because of the degree of nudity and sex in it, but he also worked with other themes. The most famous was titled My Mum. Although still under a fetishistic atmosphere, posing with usual props in Ren's works like animals and plants, Ren's mother posed as a clothed model, in a light-hearted way to represent her daily life. Ren's photographs have been included in magazines L'Officiel, GQ Style, and Vice. He worked with fashion companies Gucci, Rick Owens, and Loewe. Ren's work is included in Frank Ocean's magazine Boys Don't Cry. Ren Hang is noted to be greatly influenced by Chinese and Asian contemporary art and in particular, Japanese photographer and contemporary artist Nobuyoshi Araki. Ren Hang mainly worked with a simple point-and-shoot camera. He would direct the models as to how to place their bodies and shoot in quick succession. Genitalia, breasts and anuses were not covered up, but featured, or accentuated with props and close-ups. Colors were rich and high in contrast, increasing visual impact. This, along with the fact all bodies were slim, lithe and relatively hairless, made the impact of his photographs more impressive. His work communicated a raw, stark aesthetic that countered taboos and celebrated sexuality and it was this contemporary form of poeticism in a visual context in which Ren Hang expressed themes of identity, the body, love, loss and death. Nudity is not a theme in art that can be widely accepted by the Chinese older generation. Ren Hang's works are sometimes misinterpreted by the public as pornography. Although some have written that Ren Hang used his photographs to challenge Chinese cultural norms of shame around nudity, he did not believe he was challenging the stereotype and leading a revolution. For him, nudity and sexuality are natural themes which he used in his work. "Nudes are there since always. We were born nude. So talking about revolution, I don't think there's anything to revolutionize. Unless people are born with clothes on, and I want to take their clothes off, then I think this is a revolution. If it was already like that, then it's not a revolution. I just photographed things on their more natural conditions." He said he was not trying to liberate nudity and sexuality since he believed that the Chinese young generation was open-minded and less affected by the old-fashioned cultures. When Ren Hang talked about the question whether the topic of sexuality was still a taboo in China, he said: "I don't think it's related to our times, these are individual cases. Like how to say it, I think it depends on different people, it doesn't really relate to other things. I was not in the whole parents told you that you can only have sex if you get married era. The time after I grow up was already over that period, it was already different like everyone was already more relaxed."Source: Wikipedia Flesh, corpses, souls and bland flashlights, all composite into seconds or milliseconds of lights and shadows, projecting onto the film that never knows how to lie. Focus gathering and the shutter releasing, connecting his unpretentious, rebellious, wild and free perspectives towards the naked human body. The images look so natural, yet fun and unexpected. One soul after another all blossom like a newborn baby, urging to crawl out of his mother’s womb, dying to be redefined. In this era that we live in, being censored by the Chinese government has almost become a stamp of approval for contemporary artists. Ren Hang, a young man with a mature look and tanned skin, hair as short as a Chinese soldiers’, always carrying an irresistibly cute and innocent smile on his cheeks. He is, perhaps, the sole artist and photographer with the most edgy outlook towards the naked human body. Ren Hang continues to stress the fact that he is “boring“. Especially when asked about those basic questions of his inspirational origins and meanings behind the photos, he always just smiles naively, shakes his shoulders and says, “I don’t really know. I never really thought about it.” Perhaps he is such a paver, heading towards the direction of happiness and creative freedom without realizing the pathways he has left behind. You might find him confusing and puzzling, but he has the ambience of such kindness that you would always trust that no evil can come out from him. He is merely a pure form of naked human beings. Source: ITSLIQUID
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