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Alex Stoddard
Alex Stoddard
Alex Stoddard

Alex Stoddard

Country: United States

Alex Stoddard was born in Jacksonville, Florida and spent his childhood growing up in the deep south. He began taking self-portraits at the age of sixteen in the woods behind his Georgian home, and this stirred in him the need to create and express himself through the craft of photography. His work focuses on the human form and the process of infusing it with natural surroundings. He also strives to create whimsical and surreal portraits. Alex is currently based in Los Angeles, California.
 

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Gregory Colbert
Canada
1960
Gregory Colbert (born 1960 in Toronto) is a Canadian film-maker and photographer best known as the creator of Ashes and Snow, an exhibition of photographic artworks and films housed in the Nomadic Museum. Colbert sees himself as an apprentice to nature. His works are collaborations between humans and other species that express the poetic sensibilities and imaginations of human and animals. His images offer an inclusive non-hierarchical vision of the natural world, one that depicts an interdependence and symmetry between humanity and the rest of life. In describing his vision, Colbert has said, "I would define what I do as storytelling... what’s interesting is to have an expression in an orchestra—and I’m just one musician in the orchestra. Unfortunately, as a species we’ve turned our back to the orchestra. I’m all about opening up the orchestra, not just to other humans, but to other species." Colbert began his career in Paris in 1983 making documentary films on social issues. Film-making led to fine arts photography. Colbert's first exhibition, Timewaves, opened in 1992 at the Museum of Elysée in Switzerland to wide critical acclaim. For the next ten years, Colbert did not publicly exhibit his art or show any films. Instead, he traveled to such places as Antarctica, India, Egypt, Burma, Tonga, Australia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Namibia, Kenya, Tanzania, Thailand, China, the Arctic, the Azores, and Borneo. Elephants, whales, manatees, sacred ibis, cranes, eagles, gyrfalcons, Rhinoceros Hornbills, cheetahs, leopards, African wild dogs (Lycaon pictus), caracals, baboons, eland, meerkats, gibbons, orangutans, penguins, pandas, polar bears, lions, giant Pacific manta rays, and saltwater crocodiles are among the animals he has filmed and photographed. Human collaborators include San bushmen, Tsaatan, Lisu, Massai, Chong, Kazakhs, and people from other indigenous tribes around the world. Colbert, who calls animals "nature's living masterpieces," photographs and films both wild animals and those that have been habituated to human contact in their native environments. The images record what he saw through the lens of his camera without the use of digital collaging.Source: Wikipedia Photographer/filmmaker Gregory Colbert is the creator of the exhibition Ashes and Snow, an immersive experience of nature that combines photographic artworks, films, and soundscapes, housed in a purpose-built traveling structure called the Nomadic Museum. To date, Ashes and Snow has attracted over 10 million visitors, making it the most attended exhibition by any living artist in history. Colbert was born in Toronto, Canada, in 1960. He began his career in Paris in 1983 making documentary films on social issues. His first exhibition, Timewaves, opened to wide critical acclaim in 1992 at the Museum of Elysée in Switzerland. For the next ten years, Colbert went off the grid and did not publicly share his art or show any films. He began traveling the world to photograph and film wondrous interactions between animals and humans. After ten years passed, Colbert returned to present Ashes and Snow at the Arsenale in Venice, Italy, in 2002. With his debut, Photo magazine declared, "A new master is born." The New York Times, in an article by Alan Riding, stated, "The power of the images comes less from their formal beauty than from the way they envelop the viewer in their mood... They are simply windows to a world in which silence and patience govern time." Ashes and Snow has been described as "extraordinary" by the Economist, and "distinctive... monumental in every sense" by the Wall Street Journal. Stern magazine described the photographs as "fascinating," and Vanity Fair named Gregory Colbert in its "Best of the Best."Source: gregorycolbert.com
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
Michelle Frankfurter
United States
1961
Born in Jerusalem, Israel Michelle Frankfurter is a documentary photographer, currently living in Takoma Park, Maryland. A graduate from Syracuse University with a bachelor’s degree in English, Michelle has been recognized, published and exhibited worldwide. Before settling in the Washington, DC area, Frankfurter spent three years living in Nicaragua, where she worked as a stringer for the British news agency, Reuters and with the human rights organization Witness For Peace documenting the effects of the contra war on civilians. In 1995, a long-term project on Haiti earned her two World Press Photo awards. Since 2000, Frankfurter has concentrated on the border region between the United States and Mexico and on themes of migration. She is a 2013 winner of the Aaron Siskind Foundation grant, a 2011 Top 50 Critical Mass winner, a finalist for the 2011 Aftermath Project and the 2012 Foto Evidence Book Award for her project Destino, documenting the journey of Central American migrants across Mexico. Her first book, Destino was published in September 2014 by Foto Evidence. About Destino Meaning both "destination" and "destiny" in Spanish, Destino portrays the perilous journey of undocumented Central American migrants along the network of freight trains lurching inexorably across Mexico, towards the hope of finding work in the United States. It is the odyssey of a generation of exiles across a landscape that is becoming increasingly dangerous, heading towards a precarious future as an option of last resorts. Unlike Mexican migration to the United States that dates back to the 1880's, the unprecedented wave of Central American migration began a full century later, the consequence of bloody civil wars, U.S. Cold War-era intervention in the region and crippling international trade policies. Those regional conflicts left a legacy of drug and gang related violence, a high incidence of domestic abuse, and unrelenting poverty. Migration as an issue is current; the story of migration is timeless. Having grown up on the adventure tales of Jack London and Mark Twain, and then later on Cormac McCarthy's border stories, there is no storyline more compelling to me than one involving a youthful odyssey across a hostile wilderness. With a singularity of purpose and a kind of brazen resilience, migrants traverse deadly terrain, relying mostly on their wits and the occasional kindness of strangers. In documenting a journey both concrete and figurative, I convey the experience of individuals who struggle to control their own destiny when confronted by extreme circumstances, much like the anti-hero protagonists of the adventure tales I grew up reading. About The Island I made five trips to Haiti between 1993 and 1995. During that time, a de facto government held the island nation captive, while an international trade embargo intended to oust the regime made life miserable for Haiti's poor. An American-led military intervention restored exiled president, Jean Bertrand Aristide to power. This series depicts the recycled repression, regional isolation, imprisonment, and liberation throughout Haiti's turbulent history.
Graciela Iturbide
Graciela Iturbide was born in 1942 in Mexico City. In 1969 she enrolled at the age of 27 at the film school Centro de Estudios Cinematográficos at the Universidad Nacional Autónama de México to become a film director. However she was soon drawn to the art of still photography as practiced by the Mexican modernist master Manuel Alvarez Bravo who was teaching at the University. From 1970-71 she worked as Bravo's assistant accompanying him on his various photographic journeys throughout Mexico. In the early half of the 1970s, Iturbide traveled widely across Latin America in particular to Cuba and several trips to Panama. In 1978 Graciela Iturbide was commissioned by the Ethnographic Archive of the National Indigenous Institute of Mexico to photograph Mexico's indigenous population. Iturbide decided to document and record the way of life of the Seri Indians, a group of fisherman living a nomadic lifestyle in the Sonora desert in the north west of Mexico, along the border with Arizona, US. In 1979 she was invited by the artist Francisco Toledo to photograph the Juchitán people who form part of the Zapotec culture native to Oaxaca in southern Mexico. Iturbide's series that started in 1979 and runs through to 1988 resulted in the publication of her book Juchitán de las Mujeres in 1989. Between 1980 and 2000, Iturbide was variously invited to work in Cuba, East Germany, India, Madagascar, Hungary, Paris and the US, producing a number of important bodies of work. She has enjoyed solo exhibitions at the Centre Pompidou (1982), San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (1990), Philadelphia Museum of Art (1997), The J. Paul Getty Museum (2007), MAPFRE Foudation, Madrid (2009), Photography Museum Winterthur (2009), and Barbican Art Gallery (2012), between others. Iturbide is the recipient of the W. Eugene Smith Memorial Foundation Award, 1987; the Grand Prize Mois de la Photo, Paris, 1988; a Guggenheim Fellowship for the project 'Fiesta y Muerte', 1988; the Hugo Erfurth Award, Leverkusen, Germany, 1989; the International Grand Prize, Hokkaido, Japan, 1990; the Rencontres Internationales de la Photographie Award, Arles, 1991; the Hasselblad Award, 2008; the National Prize of Sciences and Arts in Mexico City in 2008; an Honorary Degree in photography from the Columbia College Chicago in 2008; and an Honorary Doctorate of Arts from the San Francisco Art Institute in 2009.Source: www.gracielaiturbide.org Graciela Iturbide photographs everyday life, almost entirely in black-and-white, following her curiosity and photographing when she sees what she likes. She was inspired by the photography of Josef Koudelka, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Sebastiao Salgado and Manuel Álvarez Bravo. Her self-portraits especially reflect and showcase Bravo's influence and play with innovation and attention to detail. Iturbide eschews labels and calls herself complicit with her subjects. With her way of relating to those she is photographing, she is said to allow her subjects to come to life, producing poetic portraits. She became interested in the daily life of Mexico's indigenous cultures and people (the Zapotec, Mixtec, and Seri) and has photographed life in Mexico City, Juchitán, Oaxaca and on the Mexican/American border (La Frontera). With focus on identity, sexuality, festivals, rituals, daily life, death, and roles of women, Iturbide's photographs share visual stories of cultures in constant transitional periods. There's also juxtaposition within her images between urban versus rural life, and indigenous versus modern life. Iturbide's main concern has been the exploration and investigation of her own cultural environment. She uses photography as a way of understanding Mexico; combining indigenous practices, assimilated Catholic practices and foreign economic trade under one scope. Art critic, Oscar C. Nates, has describes Iturbide's work as "anthropoetic." Iturbide has also photographed Mexican-Americans in the White Fence (street gang) barrio of Eastside Los Angeles as part of the documentary book A Day in the Life of America (1987). She has worked in Argentina (in 1996), India (where she made her well-known photo, "Perros Perdidos" (Lost Dogs)), and the United States (an untitled collection of photos shot in Texas). One of the major concerns in her work has been "to explore and articulate the ways in which a vocable such as 'Mexico' is meaningful only when understood as an intricate combination of histories and practices." She is a founding member of the Mexican Council of Photography. She continues to live and work in Coyoacán, Mexico. In awarding her the 2008 Hasselblad Award, the Hasselblad Foundation said: "Graciela Iturbide is considered one of the most important and influential Latin American photographers of the past four decades. Her photography is of the highest visual strength and beauty. Graciela Iturbide has developed a photographic style based on her strong interest in culture, ritual and everyday life in her native Mexico and other countries. Iturbide has extended the concept of documentary photography, to explore the relationships between man and nature, the individual and the cultural, the real and the psychological. She continues to inspire a younger generation of photographers in Latin America and beyond." Some of Iturbide's recent work documents refugees and migrants. In her work Refugiados (2015), offers a stark contrast between love and family and danger and violence showing a smiling mother holding her child in front of a hand-painted mural of Mexico dotted with safety and danger zones. The largest institutional collection of Iturbide's photographs in the United States is preserved at the Wittliff collections, Texas State University, San Marcos, TX.Source: Wikipedia
Lilian Caruana
United States
"As an immigrant from Italy growing up in New York, I was drawn to observing people and fascinated by differences in cultural behavior. I saw myself always faced with the dilemma of interpreting and reconciling home country with adopted country norms and behavior. Things that were perfectly normal in one culture could be foreign, even problematic, in the other. I developed “antennas” having to constantly read and interpret cultural cues or nuances in interactions with people. This feeling of being an outsider made me want to know more about people, how they lived, what they believed in. Seeking this, anthropology has been a lifelong study that I explore photographically. Photography has served as a passport that allows me entry to worlds normally closed to me. The central theme of my photography is individuals who are outside the mainstream of the larger society. I have photographed immigrants, punks and skinheads, Austrian farmers in the Italian Alps, inner city youth and gang members. My work explores how individuals who, either by choice or because they are seen as “the other,” live outside the dominant culture. My goal is to explore how individuals shape their identity and give voice to their own existence." REBELS: Punks and Skinheads of New York’s East Village "New York’s East Village has always been a haven for strivers, a home for immigrants, artists, poets and later the place where the punk movement was born. In 1984 I moved there and was fascinated by the young people walking around sporting body metal, torn clothing, tatoos, and chains. I photographed them in the streets, in the abandoned buildings they called home and in the clubs like CBGB where they played their hardcore music. These were young people who were looking for a more authentic way to be and did not see a place for themselves in mainstream society. It was exciting to see, in what appeared to be squalor and dissolution, something being born. With grit and ingenuity they took vacant lots filled with rubble and turned them into urban gardens, abandoned buildings into housing, and anger into art, music and community. Despite the drugs, poverty, and violence that battered the East Village at the time, the creative response was there, raw and beautiful, and that is what interested me."
Judith Joy Ross
United States
1946
Judith Joy Ross (born 1946) is an American portrait photographer born in Hazleton, Pennsylvania in 1946. She graduated from the Moore College of Art in 1968 and earned a master's degree in photography in 1970 from the Institute of Design at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago, where she studied with Aaron Siskind. Since the early 1980s, Ross has photographed a cross-section of the American population, especially people in eastern Pennsylvania where she was born and raised. Ross uses an 8×10 inch view camera mounted on a tripod and her portraits are made on printing out paper by contact, a process by which a print is made by placing a negative directly onto photographic paper, and then exposing it to sunlight for a few minutes to a few hours. Her photographic antecedents include the German August Sander and the American Diane Arbus. Her series include pictures of children at Eurana Park in Weatherly, Pennsylvania (1982), visitors to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C. (1983–1984), members of the United States Congress and their aides in their Washington offices (1986–1987), laborers, people at shopping malls, and children at play near her home in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. She has also photographed immigrants in New York City and Paris, and was commissioned by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art to photograph tech workers in Silicon Valley, California. One of her major projects, pictures made from 1992 to 1994 in Hazleton public schools she had attended in the 1950s and 1960s, was published by the Yale University Art Gallery in 2006 as Portraits of the Hazleton Public Schools. Ross has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation (1985), a city of Easton, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Grant (1988), the Charles Pratt Memorial Award of $25,000 (1992), and the Andrea Frank Foundation Award (1998). Monographs and exhibition catalogs of her work have been published internationally. Her books include Contemporaries (1995), Portraits (1996), Portraits of the Hazleton Public Schools (2006) and Protest the War (2007), "exploring such themes as the innocence of youth, the faces of political power, and the emotional toll of war". John Szarkowski at the Museum of Modern Art in New York selected Ross' work for the first exhibition in the New Photography series. In 2011, Die Photographische Sammlung in Cologne organized a retrospective exhibition of Ross's work which traveled to the Kunstmuseum Kloster in Madeburg and the Foundation A Stichting, Brussels.Source: Wikipedia Since the early 1980s, the American photographer Judith Joy Ross has dedicated her work to the medium of portraiture. She is best known for her sensitive, deeply personal, yet authentic portraits of various groups of people at the center of American society: school children and teachers, soldiers, visitors to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C. and U.S. Congress members of the Republican and Democratic parties. The photographs, which Ross contextualizes by arranging them in series, offer both an aesthetic and a humanitarian approach to photography. Judith Joy Ross’s work shows references to photographers like August Sander, Eugène Atget, Walker Evans or Diane Arbus in her documentary style and her use of technical equipment. She photographs with an 8x10 inch view camera, which due to long exposure times and the need to set up a tripod forces her to concentrate on her subjects and does not allow for snapshots. The subjects are usually strangers to the photographer and so the photograph itself becomes an intense encounter. August Sander is often mentioned as a major influence. Both, Ross and Sander focus on facial expressions, gestures and posture of their subjects. However, while Sander’s famous photographs from the series People of the 20th Century is staged and aims at categorizing certain social groups, Ross does not give directions to her subjects and thus achieves an immediacy that characterizes her approach and style. It makes the viewer think about the inner reality of the person by using their own social experience in order to relate to the people she portraits, thus stressing the individuality of each subject over their association with a specific group. Judith Joy Ross describes her intention as follows: “The world outside oneself is bigger than ones idea of it. One tries to align oneself with that bigger world in making a picture”.Source: Galerie Thomas Zander At present, Ross is suffering from an eye problem following pre-pandemic surgery that has left her with double vision. “I can photograph,” she say, “but it’s hard to take a walk.” One senses that photography gave her a way to be in the world. “I’m just interested in people, but I don’t want to get too close to them,” she says. “I keep them at arm’s length with the camera. It’s like a magic charm. It’s such an intense pleasure to photograph strangers because, in that moment, you can see them in such an intimate way. It’s kind of crazy, but I love some of those people even though I have never seen them again.”Source: The Guardian
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