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Brian Oldham
Brian Oldham
Brian Oldham

Brian Oldham

Country: United States
Birth: 1992

Brian was born in April of 1993 in Orange, CA, USA. He grew up as an only child with a thriving imagination, playing elaborate games of fiction and fairytales. Now 19, Brian works as a freelance photographer, specializing in fashion and fine art photography. He began taking photographs at the age of sixteen, and as he experimented with self portraiture and surrealism, his love of photography blossomed as he taught himself how to create freely. Brian keeps his passion of all things beautiful and strange ever present in his work, creating surreal, conceptual images that transport the viewer to new worlds. Brian is currently living and working in the Los Angeles area, and is available for commissioned work internationally.
 

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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
Thomas Barbèy
Switzerland
Thomas Barbey grew up in Geneva, Switzerland, across the street from the “Caran D'ache” factory, the largest manufacturer of art supplies. He started drawing seriously at the age of 13, using black “encre de Chine” and gouaches for color. His influences were Philippe Druillet, Roger Dean and H.R. Giger. After living in Geneva for 17 years and designing posters for musical bands, he decided to move to Italy, where he lived in Milan for 15 years making a living as a successful recording artist, lyricist and fashion photographer. Today, he resides in Las Vegas and travels the world, taking his camera wherever he goes. Thomas has been a photographer for over twenty years now and prefers to use his old Canon AE1s when he shoots in 35mm or his RB67 when he shoots in medium format. More recently, he has been doing Black and White Photomontages for the sole purpose of doing Fine Art, without working for a specific client. He has combined several images taken over a period of twenty years to create surreal situations with the help of the enlarger in a dark room. His work has a specific style and is very characteristic. He only works with Black and White, including Sepia toning at times. Every single one of his images has to pass what he likes to call the “So what?” test. If a combination of two or more negatives put together doesn't touch him or have any particular meaning, he starts over. At times, he tries to combine images and sometimes the results can be disappointing. A giant clock in the middle of the ocean can be an unusual image, but if he looks at it and says to himself, “So what?”, this means it isn't good enough.” If, instead, an ocean liner is going down a “funnel-type” hole and he titles it “Shortcut to China”, it takes on a whole new meaning. The picture takes you into an imaginary world where you can see the captain telling the passengers to fasten their safety belts and get prepared for the descent, and so on. At times Thomas comes up with ideas beforehand, try to materialize them and it works. At other times, it comes as an accident, where the ideas come afterwards, when the image is already finished and the concept has yet to be understood. Thomas claims he is learning constantly through the process of creation. Thomas travels 2-3 times a year to take photographs of different things and places. Sometimes he uses an image several years later, but only when it fits, like the perfect piece in a puzzle, and completes his latest project. Some images are composed of negatives that are separated by a decade in the actual time that he has taken them and only come to life when they found their perfect match. It's the combination of two or more negatives that give birth to a completely unusual vision, but most of all, the title he gives the final image is the glue and the substance of the piece. Source: thomasbarbey.com
Charles Marville
France
1813 | † 1879
Charles Marville, the pseudonym of Charles François Bossu (Paris 17 July 1813 - 1 June 1879 Paris), was a French photographer, who mainly photographed architecture, landscapes and the urban environment. He used both paper and glass negatives. He is most well known for taking pictures of ancient Parisian quarters before they were destroyed and rebuilt under "Haussmannization", Baron Haussmann's new plan for modernization of Paris. In 1862, he was named official photographer of Paris. Marville's past was largely a mystery until Sarah Kennel of the National Gallery of Art and independent researcher Daniel Catan discovered that Marville's given name was Charles-François Bossu. That newly-found association allowed them to discover a variety of biographical information, including photographs of his family, that had been considered lost to time. Bossu was born in 1813 in Paris. Coming from an "established" Paris family, he trained as a painter, illustrator and engraver. He assumed the pseudonym Charles Marville around 1832, and began working in his field. After 17 years, as an illustrator, he took up photography around 1850. He had no family, but a long-time companion was included in his will. He died in 1879 in Paris.Source: Wikipedia Charles Marville was commissioned by the city of Paris to document both the picturesque, medieval streets of old Paris and the broad boulevards and grand public structures that Baron Georges-Eugène Haussmann built in their place for Emperor Napoleon III. Marville achieved moderate success as an illustrator of books and magazines early in his career. It was not until 1850 that he shifted course and took up photography - a medium that had been introduced just 11 years earlier. His poetic urban views, detailed architectural studies, and picturesque landscapes quickly garnered praise. Although he made photographs throughout France, Germany, and Italy, it was his native city - especially its monuments, churches, bridges, and gardens - that provided the artist with his greatest and most enduring source of inspiration. By the end of the 1850s, Marville had established a reputation as an accomplished and versatile photographer. From 1862, as the official photographer for the city of Paris, he documented aspects of the radical modernization program that had been launched by Emperor Napoleon III and his chief urban planner, Baron Georges-Eugène Haussmann. In this capacity, Marville photographed the city’s oldest quarters, and especially the narrow, winding streets slated for demolition. Even as he recorded the disappearance of Old Paris, Marville turned his camera on the new city that had begun to emerge. Many of his photographs celebrate its glamour and comforts, while other views of the city’s desolate outskirts attest to the unsettling social and physical changes wrought by rapid modernization. Haussmann not only redrew the map of Paris, he transformed the urban experience by commissioning and installing tens of thousands of pieces of street furniture, kiosks, Morris columns for posting advertisements, pissoirs, garden gates, and, above all, some twenty thousand gas lamps. By the time he stepped down as prefect in 1870, Paris was no longer a place where residents dared to go out at night only if accompanied by armed men carrying lanterns. Taken as a whole, Marville’s photographs of Paris stand as one of the earliest and most powerful explorations of urban transformation on a grand scale.Source: Howard Greenberg Gallery
Ruth Lauer Manenti
United States
Ruth Lauer Manenti received an MFA from The Yale School of Art in painting and drawing in 1994. In 2012, she was given a large format camera and taught herself how to use it. Gradually she accomplished what she was striving for in drawing and painting, through photography. Her mother was also an artist who left behind a legacy of unknown work. Part of Ruth's determination as an artist is to reward her mother for her efforts and to create a continuum. She was awarded a NYFA grant in photography in 2016 and had a solo exhibition at The Center for Photography in Woodstock, NY in 2020. Her book Alms is currently on view on an online exhibition at The Griffin Museum of Photography. Her recent book of photographs entitled Since Seeing You, is a visual diary of the woods behind her house as experienced during Lockdown. The pictures give pause, to process the sorrow of the time, rather than as an escape or erasure. Since breaking her neck in a car crash at the age of twenty, Ruth has developed a spiritual life and practice that has propelled much of her photographic work. She lives in the Catskill Mountains in NY. Shard: This ongoing series of photos called Shard was made over the last 4 years during which time I was wanting to see whether I could place objects on a table as arrangements for unspoken emotions. In 2017-18 I was unwell. It wasn't mental illness but the line between that and trauma was sometimes hard to find. I stayed indoors and at home as much as possible. I spent a lot of time watching daylight enter through the windows in different ways according to the clouds, seasons and weather. The windows are old, and the glass is wavy so that the sun rays come in as ripples. I was interested in using objects as symbols of fragility. I found that the work of making the pictures, and the safe cocoon that I had created between myself and the table, was informed by a kind of benevolent force that accompanied me through my suffering. In some traditions it is believed that when the heart breaks an entrance for Spirit is created. It's a way that trauma or defeat can become a portal; so much so that sometimes people have a nostalgia for the times in their life when they have suffered most. More recently I have been thinking about the process of repairing things rather than throwing them away. I wonder if appreciating something damaged, torn, or saved, even if no longer usable, could have an implied nonliteral meaning for getting through the past year, 2020, gracefully, despite so much loss and depression. I think there is a beauty in the effort of putting one's life back together after experiencing brokenness and I have tried through still life to communicate that.
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