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Samantha VanDeman
Samantha VanDeman
Samantha VanDeman

Samantha VanDeman

Country: United States
Birth: 1982

Samantha was born in Chicago, IL. She received a BFA in Fine Art from Columbia College Chicago and an MFA in Visual Arts from The Art Institute of Boston at Lesley University. During the summer of 2003, Samantha studied drawing at Santa Repararta International School of Art in Florence, Italy. Her work has been published and exhibited in the United States and abroad. Samantha lives and works in Chicago, IL.

Born in 1982, Samantha VanDeman grew up in the suburbs of Chicago. She studied fine arts at Columbia College Chicago, receiving a BFA in 2005. During her last year in college, she took a B+W photography class and found her passion. From that point on, she started to actively documenting everything around her. In 2007, she returned to college, this time to earn a MFA in photography from the Art Institute of Boston at Lesley University in 2009. It was during her time at the low residency program at AIB, that she was able to have independent studies with artists such as Anne Wilson, Mayumi Lake, Jeanne Dunning, and Laura Letinsky. Samantha has exhibited her work nationally. Her work has been exhibited at Emory Visual Arts Gallery, Atlanta, GA; Finch and Ada, NY; New Orleans Photo Alliance Gallery, New Orleans, LA; Las Manos Gallery, Chicago, IL; Gallery 263, Cambridge, MA; Midwest center for Photography, Wichita, KS; Gallery 808, Boston, MA; Change Artist Space, San Francisco, CA; Perspective Gallery, Evanston, IL; Barrett Art Center Galleries, Poughkeepsie, NY; Fourth Wall Projects in Boston, MA; The Center for Fine Art Photography in Fort Collins, CO; Newspace Center for Photography in Portland, OR; Black Box Gallery, Portland, OR; Texas Photographic Society, San Antonio, TX ; Wright Museum of Art in Beloit, WI and Review Santa Fe 100. Samantha VanDeman is adjunct faculty at The Art Institute of Illinois in Tinley Park, IL.


All about Samantha VanDeman:

AAP: When did you realize you wanted to be a photographer?
My last year as an undergraduate at Columbia College Chicago, I took a Black and white photography class. It was then I knew I wanted to be a photographer. Up until that point, I wanted to be a painter.

AAP: Where did you study photography?
I studied photography at The Art Institute of Boston at Lesley University. During my time at The Art Institute of Boston, I had independent studies with Laura Letinsky, Jeanne Dunning, Anne Wilson and Mayumi Lake.

AAP:Do you have a mentor?
Laura Letinksy has been a friend/mentor since 2008

AAP: How long have you been a photographer?
10 years

AAP: Do you remember your first shot? What was it?
My first shot was of rotten fruit.

AAP: What or who inspires you?
I’m inspired by silence, decay, kindness and long road trips. Artists who inspire me are Jenny Saville, Edward Hopper, Sally Mann and Fiona Apple.

AAP: What kind of gear do you use? Camera, lens, digital, film?
Canon 5D

AAP: Do you spend a lot of time editing your images?
I do minimal editing.

AAP: Favorite(s) photographer(s)?
Sally Mann, Angela Strassheim, Nan Goldin and Corrine Day

AAP: What advice would you give a young photographer?
Find your own voice and follow your gut. Your best work will come from the projects you are most passionate about.

AAP: What mistake should a young photographer avoid?
Trying too hard to be different or copying another photographer’s style

AAP: An idea, a sentence, a project you would like to share?
I’m currently working on a project called “Died Alone”. This project explores abandoned living spaces of people that died alone in their home.

AAP: Your best memory has a photographer?
My fondest memory: The first time I explored the abandoned – now demolished Michael Reese Hospital in Chicago. I had never explored an abandoned place before Michael Reese Hospital, so it opened up a whole new world for me.

AAP: If you could have taken the photographs of someone else who would it be?
Weegee or Walker Evans
 

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Michael Kenna
United Kingdom
1953
Michael Kenna was born in Widnes, England in 1953. As one of 6 children born to a working class Irish-Catholic family, he initially aspired to enter the priesthood but his passion for the arts led him to The Banbury School of Art where he studied painting and then photography. Later he attended The London College of Printing and began working as a photographer and artist. He moved to San Francisco in 1977 where he was astounded by the number of galleries the city housed which allowed artists to showcase and sell their work. San Francisco has remained his home ever since. Michael Kenna's work has often been described as enigmatic, graceful and hauntingly beautiful much like the Japanese landscape. Kenna first visited Japan in 1987 for a one-person exhibition and was utterly seduced by the country's terrain. Over the years he has traveled throughout almost the entire country constantly taking photographs. From these many treks the book Japan, featuring 95 of these photographs, was conceived. The simplicity and clarity of Kenna's Japan alludes to rather than describes his subject allowing the viewer to have a completely unique and tailored interpretation. He has described this body of work as, "more like a haiku rather than a prose"; his work being like photographs written in short poem form. Kenna's photographs are often made at dawn or in the dark hours of night with exposures up to 10 hours. Kenna has said "you can't always see what's otherwise noticeable during the day... with long exposures you can photograph what the human eye is incapable of seeing". Michael Kenna's prints have been shown in numerous exhibitions throughout the world with permanent collections in the Bibliotheque, Paris; The Museum of Decorative Arts, Prague; The National Gallery of Art, Washington DC; and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Kenna has also done a great deal of commercial work for such clients as Volvo, Rolls Royce, Audi, Sprint, Dom Perignon and The Spanish Tourist Board. Japan is one of 18 books of Kenna's photography to have been published to date. Source: Supervision With more than fifty monographs documenting his travels, Michael Kenna shows no signs of slowing down in his endless pursuit of nature's haunting beauty. Whether working in his native England, Easter Island, the coastal towns of France or the islands in Japan, Kenna seeks places of solitude which speak volumes about humanity. Barren seascapes, abandoned fishing nets, fragmented piers, mysterious horizons, trees emerging from under snow drifts – these are just some of the images which dominate Michael Kenna's work from Japan. The result of his efforts can be seen in two books, Hokkaido (2006) and Japan (2002), both published by Nazraeli Press. His newest book, Mont St Michel, continues his passion for solace. Originally built as a community for Benedictine monks, Mont St Michel became a place of prayer, meditation and silence. Kenna made may journeys to Mont St Michel, staying for days at a time, living among the residents, following their codes of silence and prayer. Armed with a camera, Kenna walked the halls, crypts and towers, watching shadows sneak their way around columns and spires, recording the passing of time. Mont St Michel is dedicated to Michael's father who recently passed away. As Kenna states in his introduction: "My dad was a quiet man, he didn't seem to have a need to talk very much...We walked pretty much everywhere, and I liked to walk with my Dad...I think the time in-between destinations was most special for me. We didn't need to say very much to each other. Walking, observing, listening, waiting. Somehow I associate those walks with my time at Mont St Michel...He taught me that it's alright to walk alone sometimes." Whether photographing in Mont St Michel, Japan, China, or the United States, Michael Kenna invites the viewer to walk along with him as he captures moments between events, when human presence seems right around the corner and silence is always present... Source: Catherine Edelman Gallery
Marcin Owczarek
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Javier Arcenillas
Freelance photographer. Degree in Evolutionary Psychology from the Complutense University of Madrid, he is Professor of documentary photography at the PICA School of PHE and editor of photographic projects. 
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Now a days there are numerous families living in the recycling of waste in these macrociudades of disposable plastic or glass, their economic survival depends on it. Neighborhoods such as La Esperanza in Guatemala, La Duquesa on the Dominican Republic or in Managua Acahualinca fairly communities adapted to the collection of waste in landfills. This essay shows how and where they live hundreds of people in Latin America whose work is not the collection of organic waste. LATIDOAMERICA Latidoamerica is a Photojournalistic Research project that describes and analyzes violence in Central America, one of the most dangerous places in the world documenting the direct consequences of violence Sumida in revolutions, dictatorships, genocides, wars or political lack of control inheriting in each country, these Societies use the fear learned in their worst years to coexist daily with death and criminality in each city. 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In order to ‘graduate' these assassins murder a person on the condition that the situation involves risk. But it is not the only problem, in these countries without war where deaths from violence occur every hour, their social portrait is considered the most terrifying place in the world according to the United Nations. In Honduras, its geographical value is a place of transit for drug trafficking, a constant fight by drug cartels, a country that does not generate social policies. It is the heartbeat of America. CITIZENS OF DESPAIR More than years after his expulsion from Myanmar, thousands of unregistered Rohingya refugees living in makeshift camp Kutupalong, Bangladesh, have been forcibly displaced from their homes, in an act of intimidation and abuse of local authorities. Some international organizations have been treating many people for injuries where the majority were women and children victims of rejection and the disdain and the situation seems to be moving to nowhere. The Rohingya are a small Muslim ethnic group have for years been fleeing the northern Rakhine state of Myanmar which were subject to cruel of Abandonment, violence and exploitation. AmA The story begins like this... "In Genesis there was only the sea. Everything was dark, neither sun nor moon, the water was the mother and her cloak covered everything." For indigenous people there is no difference between dream or reality, day and night, visible or invisible.... Everything is equally real with the eyes open or with them closed. The native, like Alicia, pierces the mirror of appearances naturally but not always with tranquility because if the imaginary is sobering it also has its black and white. EdeN is a story, an illusion that we build in its most spiritual and dreamy emotional state. For generations, indigenous people have explored light and the subconscious on trips beyond reason about a latent unreality of space / time, that origin is found in the need for mastery of the cosmos. They are dreams materialized in a hidden place of the mind. In a meeting of two worlds their universes divide or intertwine over water or earth, the ground and the stars, consciousness and matter. The project embraces an imaginative and unreal photography that plays with illusion and fable as a different form of viewing. That exploration that directs us to delve into the narrative forms of visual expression.
Chuck Fishman
United States
1953
John Delaney
United States
1963
In today's growing global society the precious differences between our many world cultures are rapidly eroding away. What do we all lose when an ancient culture disappears and centuries of tradition are abandoned and then forgotten? For me, photography has become a way to speak out against this passing. It is a way to record an existence that may soon vanish, to capture and celebrate what it is that makes a people unique, not just in appearance, but also in spirit. The method and style of my photography is very traditional. My equipment has changed little in over a century. I travel with a large format wood view camera and a portable studio tent. My traveling studio not only controls the light but also serves as a common meeting ground in which my subjects present themselves. I give them little direction and I let serendipity rule the moment. The goal is to create a portrait that reveals something beneath the obvious: a sense of grace, nobility, or humanity. The photograph needs to be more than just an observation. It is my hope that the connection made between the subject and myself will be passed on to others through my work. My wish is to honor my subjects in a simple un-patronizing and respectful way. The images that are captured on film come to life for me in the darkroom. Irving Penn said, "A beautiful print is a thing in itself, not just a halfway house on the way to the page". I love to dig deep into a negative to create a print that is full of the light, textures, and depths of expression that I experienced in the field. The result should be an image that not only tells a story about its subject, but is also a beautiful object in itself. Native Americans referred to photographers of the 19th century as "shadow catchers", and feared that the camera would steal away their spirit. That, in fact, is exactly what I hope to do. Not only to capture light, but also the "essence" of the people I photograph. In this way maybe I can preserve more than just a moment before it fades away into time.My love of photography began when I discovered Irving Penn's Worlds in a Small Room. Penn's work, as well that of Bruce Davidson, sparked my creative imagination. I attended Rochester Institute of Technology where I was taught the science and history of photography. But my real education began at the Richard Avedon Studio. I started as his studio assistant then eventually became his master printer. For 15 years I observed his passion, intelligence and meticulous craftmanship. That relationship opened the door to working with my original heros, Irving Penn and Bruce Davidson. Each of these masters informs and inspires my work. Mr. Penn for his wide range and love for the exquisite print; Davidson for the way he immerses himself in his subject, instilling trust; and Avedon with his intense preparation and skillfull cajoling, getting behind the "masks" of his subjects. Source: www.johndelaney.net
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