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Maxine Helfman
Maxine Helfman
Maxine Helfman

Maxine Helfman

Country: United States
Birth: 1953

A self-taught, late bloomer, after spending years as a stylist and art director, the only way to truly realize her vision was to get behind the camera. She has since been shooting commercially for advertising and editorial clients while pursuing personal projects. Her work has been recognized by PX3, IPA, Foto Dc, Flash Forward Boston, Critical Mass, British Journal of Photography, Photo News as well as the permanent collection of Santa Barbara Museum of Art and Museum of Fine Art Houston.

Artist Statement: Inspired by Flemish painting, "Historical Correction" reinterprets these old masters from a more contemporary point of view. Our world and cultures are changing so quickly we are witnessing the collision of past and present. When you look at paintings from periods of art and history, the depiction of the population is defined and specific. As populations shift, our world has become so diverse that different cultures are visually harder to define. Although my photographs are "invented realities", they are about real issues. Populations shift, gender and race are redefined, past definitions are challenged, and the faces of cultures and customs change. My works depicts those changes.
 

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John Kenny
United Kingdom
In 2006 I developed my style of portrait photography within traditional communities, heavily influenced by the dramatic pictures of chiaroscuro artists. Chiaroscuro is an Italian term which literally means light-dark. Back then, at the very start of my Africa journey, I was buzzing with energy having met people of real magnetism just days into my trip. I was excited by extraordinary people and fascinating cultures and wondered how I could possibly communicate and express these feelings of excitement to friends and family back home.The solution, I imagined, would involve abstracting the remarkable from the not so remarkable: put simply, I felt that the vibrant and intense individuals that I had met in traditional communities would best show their magnetism on camera when they were removed from the (often) dull and dusty backgrounds of their immediate environment. After a few days I started to imagine each of these people in front of me emerging from the nothingness of darkness, with no distractions, hoping that this would provide a real feeling of proximity between the viewer and the person in the picture. I made a conscious decision at that time to leave a more documentary style of environmental portraiture to others. Practicing this new technique in remote African villages in 2006 I had nothing but sunshine and a hut available as a great ‘open studio': so I used these parameters and started experimenting (I've never really liked flash anyway). So it's simply the illumination of natural sunlight, and sun on dry earth, that reaches into the darkness of huts and lights up these remarkable people. Sun and dry earth are the only ingredients required for the lighting in my prints. And of course, you also need to find exceptional people!Falling in love with photography, and the origins of this series:I first fell in love with photography around 2003. I had not been fortunate enough to receive an art or photography education, but I knew back then, when I picked up my first SLR camera, that I had found the perfect way to express myself. Every time I had the camera in my hand I was looking to improve, needing to know what everything and anything looked like once it had been through the photographic process. It was a bit like a mad pursuit of alchemy - throwing everything into the mix to see if any magic came out of the other side. The process of photographic learning is very rarely a simple one, but to me it remains beautiful: discoveries, experimentation and seeing for the first time how a camera distorts and enhances the world.In Africa I seem to have made it my goal to travel through some of the remotest areas of the continent where the reaches of urbanisation and 21st century living are barely detectable. Looking back, this wasn’t my intention when I first arrived there in 2006, but somehow I keep returning to Africa to photograph because I'm fascinated to encounter societies that are able to survive in some of the most arid, isolated and difficult environments that people have settled in. If you haven’t visited these places then the reality of living is not nearly as romantic or idealised as one might imagine. Life takes place against a backdrop of very uncertain resources and enormous hardships, but traditions and hospitality towards outsiders remain intact.I specifically chose to photograph the individuals that you see in these galleries because I had a very real sense of wonder when I met them. Each one of these people had something that attracted me, sometimes a piercing intensity, or an uncommon beauty, that I felt compelled to try and capture. It’s true that I photograph for myself, first and foremost, but a close second is my desire to show others this magnetism that draws one into the eyes of these fascinating people.I have usually travelled alone or with a guide on these journeys, along the way walking and hopping onto overloaded vehicles of every kind to head to remote settlements. Often the destination is a transient, weekly market where hundreds of vibrant, colourful people assemble somewhat incongruously against a dull, dusty backdrop for a few hours. Later in the day they will all melt away with their animals and traded possessions, until the location is again a patch of bone-dry ground with almost nothing to separate it from the rest of the featureless land that typifies much of the African Sahel. It is fascinating to observe this process play out in almost exactly the same way across countless African countries, many of which are separated by hundreds or thousands of miles across this huge continent’s surface.My favourite tools are sharp prime lenses and cameras that let you capture the tiniest pieces of detail: whilst these details may be insignificant alone, when aggregated I feel they help paint the picture of the environment and how each person adapts to theirs.My favourite series of work remains the Northern Kenya series which involved 6 weeks of intense travelling with my guide, Mo, across remote areas without a vehicle and often without any semblance of an idea how to get to the next tiny settlement. The trip was full of unique encounters in locations that seemed to be famous, to me at least, as places where no transport seemed to be heading. On one particular occasion we came across a lone Moran (warrior) emerge into the dawn light, miles from anywhere. He seemed like a mirage: a vibrant vision in pink cloth and bright colourful jewellery, and more acutely so when set against the hazy yellow monotone of land that he emerged from. Even for Northern Kenya, I thought he seemed to be in a remote, featureless location: devoid of any water, and within an hour it would again be blistering hot. Despite these uncomfortable realities - which clearly weighed more heavily on my mind than his - the warrior seemed confident of his bearings and stopped for a moment to exchange pleasantries with Mo and I. A couple of minutes later, after sharing cigarette with my guide, he purposefully set off walking again, to God knows where. This place that looked barren and foreboding, to me at least, was clearly his home.
Joan-Ramon Manchado
Jennifer Little
United States
1977
Jennifer Little (b. 1977) lives in Oakland, California. Her current photographic work focuses on social and ecological concerns and documents intersections between the natural and the man made. Jennifer received a B.F.A. in Photography from Washington University in St. Louis and an M.F.A. from the University of Texas at Austin. She is a tenured Associate Professor at University of the Pacific in Stockton, California, where she teaches courses covering Digital Photography, Video Production, Documentary Photography, the History of Photography, and Web Design. Jennifer is Chair of the Art Department at University of the Pacific. Jennifer Little's new photographic series, 100 Years of Dust: Owens Lake and the Los Angeles Aqueduct, is receiving significant recognition from galleries, publications, and curators. It just won the prestigious 2014 Critical Mass Top 50 Award from PhotoLucida. This series has also been selected for a solo exhibition at University of the Arts' Sol Mednick Gallery in Philadelphia from March 20 - April 24, 2015. Jennifer has been invited to give a presentation about Owens Lake at the Society for Photographic Education (SPE) National Conference in New Orleans, LA, from March 12-15, 2015. She also presented at the SPE West Regional Conference in Los Angeles on November 15, 2014, with Kathy Bancroft, the Tribal Historic Preservation Officer for the Lone Pine Paiute-Shoshone Reservation. Jennifer's series about Owens Lake won the 2014 "Dotphotozine Award for Excellence in Photography" and is featured in the September, 2014, issue of the magazine. This series also won first prize in an October - November, 2013, juried exhibition at Book and Job Gallery on Geary Street in San Francisco: The Human Impact: New Directions in Landscape Photography. Jennifer has exhibited her work at galleries and museums including Stanford University’s Thomas Welton Stanford Art Gallery; Tag Gallery in Bergamot Station Arts Center, Santa Monica, CA; Photo Center Northwest, Seattle, WA; Kala Art Institute in Berkeley, CA; The San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery; The LAB, San Francisco; Viewpoint Photographic Art Center in Sacramento, CA; Eisentrager-Howard Gallery at The University of Nebraska at Lincoln; The Marin Museum of Contemporary Art in Novato, CA; The Center for Fine Art Photography in Fort Collins, CO; and Jay Etkin Gallery in Memphis, TN. Jennifer’s work has been published and reviewed in Dotphotozine, View Camera Magazine, ArtAscent Magazine, Camera Arts Magazine, and The Austin Chronicle. Jennifer has presented artist talks at Stanford University, San Francisco Art Institute, the Foto 3 Conference, Kala Art Institute in Berkeley, CA, and the Dimen Cultural Eco-museum Forum on the Preservation and Development of Ancient Villages, Dimen, Guizhou, China.About Owens Lake and the Los Angeles AqueductThis project documents the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power’s (LADWP) legally mandated dust mitigation program at Owens Dry Lake in Southern California. It is the latest chapter in a century of legal battles over water rights and air quality in Owens Valley. Owens Lake lies in Southern California's eastern Sierra, about 200 miles northeast of Los Angeles. This 110-square-mile lake began to dry up in 1913 when the City of Los Angeles diverted the Owens River into the Los Angeles Aqueduct. The new water supply allowed Los Angeles to continue its rapid growth and turned the arid San Fernando Valley into an agricultural oasis, but at a tremendous environmental cost. By 1926, Owens Lake was a dry alkali flat, and its dust became the largest source of carcinogenic particulate air pollution in North America.1
Gregory Halpern
United States
1977
Gregory Halpern (born 1977) is an American photographer and teacher. He currently teaches at the Rochester Institute of Technology and is a nominee member of Magnum Photos. Halpern has published a number of books of his own work; Zzyzx won PhotoBook of the Year at the 2016 Paris Photo–Aperture Foundation PhotoBook Awards. He received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2014. Halpern grew up in Buffalo, New York. He holds a BA in history and literature from Harvard University and an MFA from California College of the Arts. He has taught at California College of the Arts, Cornell University, School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Harvard University and the Harvard Graduate School of Design. He currently teaches at the Rochester Institute of Technology. Halpern is married to the American photographer, Ahndraya Parlato. Omaha Sketchbook (2009) is an artist's book portrait of the titular city. Harvard Works Because We Do (2003) is a book of photographs and text, presenting a portrait of Harvard University through the eyes of the school's service employees. A (2011) is a photographic ramble through the streets of the American Rust Belt. East of the Sun, West of the Moon is a collaboration with Halpern's wife, the photographer Ahndraya Parlato. Zzyzx (2016) contains photographs from Los Angeles. Let the Sun Beheaded Be (2020) was made over several months in the French archipelago of Guadeloupe.Source: Wikipedia Gregory Halpern is known for his intuitively rich colour photography that draws attention to harsh social realities as well as the unerring strangeness of everyday life. His work is rooted in both the real and the sublime and this approach has lead him to photograph life in post-industrial towns of the American Rust Belt, the people and places of Los Angeles and the uniquely unifying experience of a total solar eclipse. “What’s interesting to me about the world is its chaos and contradictions, the way opposites can be so beautiful in relation to each other,” says Halpern of his practice. Though Halpern says he is primarily motivated by the desire to “create” rather than “document”, his work is powerfully affecting. A study of working conditions for janitorial staff at Harvard, created while he was a student there, resulted in a successful bid for the minimum wage and was published as a book, Harvard Works Because We Do (2003). While his images of life in post-industrial towns of the American Rust Belt were published to critical acclaim in A (2011), and show resilience in the face of harsh social and economic realities. Selected clients include The New York Times Magazine, Vogue, Le Monde, Bloomberg Businessweek, Sports Illustrated and VICE.Source: Magnum Photos
Wenxin Zhang
China
1989
Wenxin Zhang lives and works in San Francisco. She received her MFA at California College of the Arts. Zhang creates non-linear photographic novels. In her writings and photography, she describes her experiences of growing up in China, her current life in San Francisco, and her personal relationships. Zhang's work has exhibited widely in United States and China. Zhang was selected as a finalist in 2014 Three Shadows Photography Award, Leica Oskar Barnack Newcomer Award, and Photographic Museum of Humanity New Generation Award. Also, Zhang was selected as an artist in residence by Rayko Photo Center and The Center for Photography at Woodstock. Zhang's first monograph will be published in early 2015 by Jiazazhi Press. Artist Statement "Five Nights, Aquarium is a non-linear narration weaved by photographs and five short written works. I try to reconstruct my inner journey from trips I’ve made between my home country China and San Francisco during these two years in a truthful way, but the overloaded feelings of estrangement and desolation created by the journey have transformed my memories into illusions of confinement. Due to this confinement, my journey story became a space-time, which resembles an aquarium. In this aquarium, cityscapes are fish tank decorations, people are fish, and writings are tank labels. I chose five nights in the whole reconstructed journey story, using five semi-fictional short stories as clue, to portray the imaginary aquarium. The stories are cold yet intimate, sensual yet intangible. The narration of journey moves from real to imagined spaces, exploring the boundaries between autobiography and fiction."
Sam Haskins
United Kingdom
1926 | † 2009
Sam Haskins, was a British photographer, born and raised in South Africa. He started his career in Johannesburg and moved to London in 1968. Haskins is best known for his contribution to in-camera image montage, Haskins Posters (1973) and the 1960's figure photography trilogy Five Girls (1962), Cowboy Kate & Other Stories (1964) and November Girl (1967), plus an ode to sub-Saharan tribal Africa African Image (1967). Cowboy Kate & Other Stories was probably the first book to deliberately explore black-and-white photographic grain as a medium for expression and image design. It was highly influential at the time, sold roughly a million copies worldwide and won the Prix Nadar in France in 1964. It continues to influence contemporary photographers, filmmakers, fashion designers, and make-up artists. Cowboy Kate & Other Stories or 'Kate' as the book is often referred to, had its place in photographic history cemented in 2005 when the International Center of Photography in New York included the book in their exhibition The Open Book: A History of the Photographic Book from 1878 to the Present. November Girl contained key image collages which formed the basis of many graphic and surrealist experiments in the 1970s and 1980s. African Imagewas a visual homage to the indigenous people, culture, landscape and wildlife of sub-Saharan Africa. The images represent a lifelong interest in photographing graphically stimulating environments and formally document his passion for the indigenous craft. He broke bones on river rapids and wrote off two Volvo saloon cars on African dirt roads while shooting the book. Despite its international award, this meticulously constructed book, celebrating a love for sub-Saharan Africa, is probably the least known of his major creative projects, but it is coveted by serious collectors of African art and photography. In 1968, Haskins moved to London and ran a studio in Glebe Place just off the King's Road. He worked as an advertising photographer for international consumer brands Asahi Pentax, Bacardi, Cutty Sark whisky, Honda, BMW, Haig whisky, DeBeers, British Airways, Unilever and Zanders, and specialised in the art direction and shooting of calendars, especially for Asahi Pentax in Japan. Although he endorsed Hasselblad for a short period in the late 1960s and early 1970s, his loyalty to the medium format 6x7 camera and lenses from Asahi resulted in a rare long-term association between a camera manufacturer and photographer. From 1970 to 2000, Asahi Optical (later Pentax) produced 30 calendars, of which Haskins shot and art-directed 15 editions including the millennium calendar. No other photographer was invited to contribute more than once. He is still involved with the Pentax Forum Gallery in Tokyo, which hosts his exhibitions. His first contact came in 1967, when Asahi Optical presented him with a 35 mm camera after hearing that he had shot African Image with various competitors' products. In 1972, he produced his first colour book, Haskins Posters. The large-format publication contained pages printed on one side using thick stiff paper and a soft glue perfect binding allowing the pages to be removed and used as posters. Haskins and Alida successfully published the book internationally through their own company, Haskins Press. The book won a gold award at the New York One Show. At the time the best-known image from Haskins Posters, a girl's face superimposed on an apple with a bee near the stem, appeared on the cover or in editorials of almost every major photographic magazine around the world. This image was part of a well-publicised visual and graphic experimentation with the apple theme in the 1970s that for a while resulted in photographic journalists nicknaming him 'Sam the Apple man'. He suffered a stroke on 19 September 2009 the opening day of his exhibition to launch Fashion Etcetera at Milk Gallery in New York, and died at home in Bowral, Australia, nine weeks later.Source: Wikipedia
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