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James Nachtwey
Victor 'rdfr' Morozov, 2011, CC BY 3.0
James Nachtwey
James Nachtwey

James Nachtwey

Country: United States
Birth: 1948

James Nachtwey is an American photojournalist and war photographer.

He grew up in Massachusetts and graduated from Dartmouth College, where he studied Art History and Political Science (1966–70).

Nachtwey started working as a newspaper photographer in 1976 at the Albuquerque Journal. In 1980, he moved to New York and began working as a freelance photographer. In 1981, Nachtwey covered his first overseas assignment in Northern Ireland illustrating civil strife. He has documented a variety of armed conflicts and social issues, spending time in South Africa, Latin America, the Middle East, Russia, Eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union shooting pictures of war, conflict and famine, and images of socio-political issues (pollution, crime and punishment) in Western Europe and the United States. He currently lives in New York City.

In 1994, Nachtwey was covering the upcoming elections in South Africa, the first non-racial ones in decades. As an associate of the Bang-Bang Club, he was at the scene when Ken Oosterbroek was killed and Greg Marinovich was seriously injured.

Nachtwey had been injured previously in his work, but it was during his extensive coverage of the United States invasion of Iraq that he received his first combat injury. As Nachtwey, along with Time correspondent Michael Weisskopf rode in the back of a Humvee with the United States Army "Tomb Raiders" Survey Platoon, an insurgent threw a grenade into the vehicle. Weisskopf grabbed the grenade to throw it out of the humvee, but it exploded in his hand. Two soldiers were injured in the explosion, along with the Time journalists. Nachtwey managed to take several photographs of medic Billie Grimes treating Weisskopf before passing out. Both journalists were airlifted to Germany and later to hospitals in the United States. Nachtwey recovered sufficiently to return overseas to cover the tsunami in Southeast Asia of December 26, 2004. Nachtwey has worked with Time as a contract photographer since 1984. He worked for Black Star from 1980 until 1985 and was a member of Magnum Photos from 1986 until 2001. In 2001, he was a founding member of the VII Photo Agency (he disassociated from VII in August 2011).

Nachtwey was present during the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center, and produced a well known related body of work. He also compiled a photo essay on the effects of the Sudan conflict on civilians.

In February 2011, Nachtwey contributed to a controversial piece for Vogue Magazine, which shone a favorable light on Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad and his family. The article and the photo series were particularly controversial as a peaceful protest movement in the context of the Arab Spring that was gathering steam at the same time, was brutally put down by the Syrian regime's military and secret police services. By December 2011, death toll estimates of the uprising ranged between 3,500 and 5,000, while an approximate 30,000 civilians were imprisoned and, in many cases, tortured severely. Vogue later decided to remove the article from its pages. Nevertheless, the article can still be accessed on the Syrian presidency's own website.

Source: Wikipedia


James Nachtwey grew up in Massachusetts and graduated from Dartmouth College, where he studied Art History and Political Science (1966-70). Images from the Vietnam War and the American Civil Rights movement had a powerful effect on him and were instrumental in his decision to become a photographer. He has worked aboard ships in the Merchant Marine, and while teaching himself photography, he was an apprentice news film editor and a truck driver.

In 1976 he started work as a newspaper photographer in New Mexico, and in 1980, he moved to New York to begin a career as a freelance magazine photographer. His first foreign assignment was to cover civil strife in Northern Ireland in 1981 during the IRA hunger strike. Since then, Nachtwey has devoted himself to documenting wars, conflicts and critical social issues. He has worked on extensive photographic essays in El Salvador, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Lebanon, the West Bank and Gaza, Israel, Indonesia, Thailand, India, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, the Philippines, South Korea, Somalia, Sudan, Rwanda, South Africa, Russia, Bosnia, Chechnya, Kosovo, Romania, Brazil and the United States.

Nachtwey has been a contract photographer with Time Magazine since 1984. He was associated with Black Star from 1980 - 1985 and was a member of Magnum from 1986 until 2001. In 2001, he became one of the founding members of the photo agency, VII. He has had solo exhibitions at the International Center of Photography in New York, the Bibliotheque nationale de France in Paris, the Palazzo Esposizione in Rome, the Museum of Photographic Arts in San Diego, Culturgest in Lisbon, El Circulo de Bellas Artes in Madrid, Fahey/Klein Gallery in Los Angeles, the Massachusetts College of Art in Boston, the Canon Gallery and the Nieuwe Kerk in Amsterdam, the Carolinum in Prague,and the Hasselblad Center in Sweden, among others.

He has received numerous honours such as the Common Wealth Award, Martin Luther King Award, Dr. Jean Mayer Global Citizenship Award, Henry Luce Award, Robert Capa Gold Medal (five times), the World Press Photo Award (twice), Magazine Photographer of the Year (seven times), the International Center of Photography Infinity Award (three times), the Leica Award (twice), the Bayeaux Award for War Correspondents (twice), the Alfred Eisenstaedt Award, the Canon Photo essayist Award and the W. Eugene Smith Memorial Grant in Humanistic Photography. He is a fellow of the Royal Photographic Society and has an Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts from the Massachusetts College of Arts.

Source: www.jamesnachtwey.com

 

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Joris Hermans
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Matthew Portch
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1970
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Alicia Moneva
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 2013All about 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 videoYouTube videoAAP: 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 memoriesAAP: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.
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