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Michelle Frankfurter
Michelle Frankfurter
Michelle Frankfurter

Michelle Frankfurter

Country: United States
Birth: 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.
 

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More Great Photographers To Discover

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
Ralph Gibson
United States
1939
Ralph Gibson is an American art photographer best known for his photographic books. His images often incorporate fragments with erotic and mysterious undertones, building narrative meaning through contextualization and surreal juxtaposition. Ralph Gibson studied photography while in the US Navy and then at the San Francisco Art Institute. He began his professional career as an assistant to Dorothea Lange and went on to work with Robert Frank on two films. Gibson has maintained a lifelong fascination with books and book-making. Since the appearance in 1970 of THE SOMNAMBULIST, his work has been steadily impelled towards the printed page. To date he has produced over 40 monographs, his most current projects being "State of the Axe" published by Yale University Press in Fall of 2008 and "NUDE" by Taschen (2009). His photographs are included in over one hundred and fifty museum collections around the world, and have appeared in hundreds of exhibitions. Gibson has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts (1973, 1975, 1986), a Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (D.A.A.D.) Exchange, Berlin (1977), a New York State Council of the Arts (C.A.P.S.) fellowship (1977), and the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation (1985). The Rencontres d'Arles festival presented his work in 1975, 1976, 1977, 1979, 1989 and 1994. His book "Syntax" received a mention for the Rencontres d'Arles Book Award in 1983. He was decorated as an Officier de L'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (1986) and appointed, Commandeur de L'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (2005) by the French government. His awards include: Leica Medal of Excellence Award (1988), "150 Years of Photography" Award, Photographic Society of Japan (1989), a Grande Medaille de la Ville d'Arles (1994) and the Lucie Award for lifetime achievement (2008). Gibson also received an honorary doctorate of Fine Arts from the University of Maryland (1991), and a second honorary doctorate from the Ohio Wesleyan University (1998). He has worked exclusively with the Leica for almost 50 years. Gibson currently lives in New York and travels frequently to Europe and Brazil.Source: Wikipedia Having begun his acclaimed photographic career as an apprentice to the great documentarians Dorothea Lange and Robert Frank, Ralph Gibson is known for his highly distinctive vision in still photography. By intensifying contrast and emphasizing the grain of the film in his prints, Gibson concentrates on the minute details: the edge of a café table, the arc of a hip, the glint of a fork. Gibson’s works are both formally vigorous and eternally evocative. His photographs are in major private and public collections worldwide, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Bibliotheque Nationale.Source: Weston Gallery
Kathryn Oliver
United States
Kathryn discovered a love for making pictures as a small child and developed a rich inner life of impressions. As she grew, creative aspirations led her to bring this inner world forward through art. Self taught, her creative journey has repeatedly taken her into the field of metaphor and myth as a way to express something eternal within herself. Her professional arts background of painting, theater and dance feeds the photography she does now as she blends hints of all these elements into her images. She currently creates and exhibits black and white fine art photography and photo encaustics, teaching workshops on the midcoast of Maine throughout the year. Drawn to the symbolic language of myth and archetypes, I am forever on a quest, seeking a visual narrative that evokes an internal recognition of nature — something in exile, lost, or hidden — yet leaves an impression inwardly known.About the series The Wild Garden Of Childhood: When I was a child the best part of me was wild. The Wild Garden Of Childhood is an exploration into the untamed vitality and sacred beauty of being young. That universality of raw spirit, where emotional authenticity reigns naturally and fiercely -- dancing on the edge of innocence. Arising from my own fragmented memories, inspired by the open innocence and un-self conscious freedom of my subjects, a world is conjured, somewhere between the real and imagined - where the fertile ground of being is at play. The most precious of stories are stored away for safe keeping, Somewhere In the wild garden of childhood awaiting becomingness
Désirée Dolron
Netherlands
1963
Désirée Dolron is a Dutch photographer and filmmaker. Her oeuvre ranges from documentary photography and still lifes to portraiture and film.Throughout her career, Dolron has been investigating themes such as the passing of time, the relation between finite and transcendent and the complexity and impermanence of the human condition. Dolron was awarded the 1996 Laureate Prix de Rome (Amsterdam, NL). Her work is represented in numerous international public and private collections including the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, Collection H&F in Barcelona, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia in Madrid, Gemeentemuseum in The Hague, Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, la Collection Neuflize Vie in Paris and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Désirée Dolron lives and works in Amsterdam. Source: desireedolron.com The meticulous attention to production details characterizes her body of work, and elements such as sound (or its absence –silence) are often used as important tools of narration, helping the viewer to enter into the conceptual depth of Dolron’s works. Both moving and still images are composed by the artist and manage to recreate a reality that is a-temporal, undefined yet extremely present. Desirée Dolron (1963 Haarlem, NL) was awarded the 1996 Laureate Prix de Rome (Amsterdam, NL), and her work is part of major international collections such as the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York (US), the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid (SP), the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam (NL), and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London (UK). Source: GRIMM Gallery
Albert Watson
Scotland
1942
Albert Watson (born 1942) is a Scottish photographer well known for his fashion, celebrity and art photography, and whose work is featured in galleries and museums worldwide. He has shot over 200 covers of Vogue around the world and 40 covers of Rolling Stone magazine since the mid-1970s. Photo District News named Watson one of the 20 most influential photographers of all time, along with Richard Avedon and Irving Penn, among others. Watson has won numerous honors, including a Lucie Award, a Grammy Award, the Hasselblad Masters Award and three ANDY Awards,. He was awarded The Royal Photographic Society's Centenary Medal and Honorary Fellowship (HonFRPS) in recognition of a sustained, significant contribution to the art of photography in 2010. He was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, the son of a physical education teacher and a boxer. He grew up in Penicuik, Midlothian, and attended the Rudolf Steiner School in Edinburgh and Lasswade High School, followed study at the Duncan of Jordonstone College of Art in Dundee and the Royal College of Art in London. Watson studied graphic design at the Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design, and film and television at the Royal College of Art. Though blind in one eye since birth, Watson also studied photography as part of his curriculum. In 1970, he moved to the United States with his wife, Elizabeth, who got a job as an elementary school teacher in Los Angeles, where Watson began shooting photos, mostly as a hobby. Later that year, Watson was introduced to an art director at Max Factor, who offered him his first test session, from which the company purchased two images. Watson’s distinctive style garnered the attention of American and European fashion magazines such as Mademoiselle, GQ and Harper’s Bazaar, and he began commuting between Los Angeles and New York. Albert photographed his first celebrity in 1973, a portrait of Alfred Hitchcock holding a dead goose with a ribbon around its neck, for that year's Harper's Bazaar's Christmas issue. The image has become one of Watson's most famous portraits on a list that now includes hundreds of well-known iconic photographs of movie stars, rock stars, rappers, supermodels, even President Clinton and Queen Elizabeth II. In 1975, Watson won a Grammy Award for the photography on the cover of the Mason Proffit album “Come and Gone,” and in 1976, he landed his first job for Vogue. With his move to New York that same year, his career took off. In addition to photography for the world's top magazines, Watson has created the images for hundreds of successful advertising campaigns for major corporations, such as the Gap, Levi’s, Revlon and Chanel, and he has directed more than 500 TV commercials and photographed dozens of posters for major Hollywood movies, such as "Kill Bill," "Memoirs of a Geisha," and "The Da Vinci Code.". All the while, Watson has spent much of his time working on personal projects, taking photographs from his travels and interests, from Marrakech to Las Vegas to the Orkney Islands. Much of this work, along with his well-known portraits and fashion photographs, has been featured in museum and gallery shows around the world, and Watson's limited-edition prints have become highly sought after by collectors. In 2007, a large-format Watson print of a Kate Moss photograph taken in 1993 sold at Christie's in London for $108,000, five times the low pre-sale estimate. Since 2004, Watson has had solo shows at the Museum of Modern Art in Milan, Italy; the KunstHausWien in Vienna, Austria; the City Art Centre in Edinburgh; the FotoMuseum in Antwerp, Belgium; and the NRW Forum in Düsseldorf, Germany. Watson’s photographs have also been featured in many group shows at museums, including the National Portrait Gallery in London, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts in Moscow, the International Center of Photography in New York, and the Deichtorhallen in Hamburg, Germany. His photographs are included in the permanent collections at the National Portrait Gallery and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Watson has published several books, including Cyclops (1994), Maroc (1998)., and "Albert Watson" (2007). Two books were released in the fall of 2010: "UFO: Unified Fashion Objectives," a look at 40 years of selected Watson fashion photographs, and "Strip Search," a two-volume set of hundreds of photographs Watson took in Las Vegas. In addition, many catalogs of Watson’s photographs have been published in conjunction with shows, including "The Vienna Album" (2005). Watson received a Ph.D from the University of Dundee in 1995 and was inducted into the Scottish Fashion Awards Hall of Fame in 2006. His first exhibition in his homeland, Frozen, was held at the City Art Centre of Edinburgh in 2006.Source: Wikipedia
David Johndrow
United States
David Johndrow is a fine art photographer living in Austin, Texas. After studying photography the University of Texas, he began shooting commercial work as well as pursuing his more personal fine art photography.David’s continuing series, Terrestrials, combines his passion for gardening and photography and features macro nature photographs of animals and plants that inhabit his Hill Country, Texas garden. To realize his vision, he prints with silver gelatin, platinum/palladium, gum-bichromate and gumoil.His photographs are part of the Wittliff Collection of Southwestern and Mexican Photography, as well as in many private collections.All about David Johndrow:AAP: When did you realize you wanted to be a photographer?I took a darkroom class in art school and fell in love with the process. The first roll of film I shot I processed and printed myself.AAP: Where did you study photography?I learned photography at The University of Texas, but I built my own darkroom and started working on my own. I really honed my printing skills working as a printer in a photo lab. Just the shear volume of work I printed during that time made me a better printer.AAP: Do you have a mentor or role model?I can’t say I had any mentors except for photographers like Irving Penn who I loved and was inspired by.AAP: How long have you been a photographer?I’ve been a photographer for 30 years.AAP: Do you remember your first shot? What was it?My first shot was of my friends who were in a band. I had other friends who were actors and comedians, so I started taking lots of portraits for peoples publicity shots.AAP: What or who inspires you?I am inspired creatively by many different kinds of artists, but my biggest inspiration is the natural world. Rarely do I go in search of photographs; rather things just appear to me when I spend enough time outdoors. Gardening is my biggest obsession next to art.AAP: How could you describe your style?I have lots of styles but my most well know work is done in macro. I guess the one common thing in all my work is a simple graphic composition.AAP: Do you have a favorite photograph or series? I love Matt Mahurin, especially his portraits of Tom Waits. AAP: What kind of gear do you use?I shoot with a Hasselblad on 120 film.AAP: Do you spend a lot of time editing your images?Although I shoot on film, I edit my images on the computer. It helps me group images in a series or arrange them for exhibition.AAP: Favorite(s) photographer(s)?My favorite photographer is Irving Penn.AAP: What advice would you give a young photographer?I would tell young photographers to shoot a lot of images, do a lot of experiments, and try to learn some different printing processes.AAP: What mistake should a young photographer avoid?Don’t try and shoot photos of things you think others would like but shoot subjects you are most interested in. Every subject has been done before, so try and put your own spin on it.AAP: What are your projects?The project I’m working on is close-ups of natural textures.AAP: Your best memory as a photographer?My best memory is of shooting the pyramid at Chichen Itsa. It was at the solstice and I wanted a photo of the serpent shadow on the steps, but it was a cloudy, rainy day. Suddenly, right before closing, the sun burst out and I got some great shots.AAP: Your worst souvenir as a photographer?Don’t knowAAP: The compliment that touched you most?“Every time I look at your photograph I see something different”.AAP: If you were someone else who would it be?No one else.AAP: Your favorite photo book?Irving Penn: Passages
Attila Ataner
Canada/Turkey
I am of Turkish ancestry, but born in Svishtov, Bulgaria, a small town on the Danube river. During the 1980s, my parents and I lived in Triploi, Libya, where I attended an international school for the children of expats. There, I was introduced to photography by one of my all-time best, and favourite teachers. I have been an avid amateur photographer ever since. I currently live in Toronto, Canada, with my wife and two young children. I am formerly a practicing lawyer, however I recently returned to school to pursue a PhD degree in philosophy, with my focus being on environmental philosophy and legal and political theory. My current passion for photography, and the series of photos I have been working on more recently, is partly informed by my scholarly work on environmental issues. For instance, my series titled "Landscapes of Modernity" is an attempt to translate some of my philosophical ideas into a visual/photographic format. Landscapes of Modernity This series of phots is, in part, an attempt to translate some of my academic work on environmental philosophy into visual/photographic format, an effort to express my ideas through art rather than scholarship alone. My overall project aims to reflect on the contemporary experience of dwelling in extensively built-up, "artificial" spaces. Our ancestors lived in spaces pervaded by natural landscapes, by mountains, valleys, by open skies, and the like. They were surrounded by spontaneous, self-generating, self-sustaining (i.e., so-called "natural") entities. Conversely, consequent to modernity, our visual landscapes are now largely colonized by massive, cuboid, monolithic structures; and by constricted, disrupted or otherwise occluded skies. Above all, we have surrounded ourselves with a seemingly endless array of almost exclusively human-made constructs. This is the central contrast between modernity and the modes of dwelling of our ancestors. ... And here, in this modern moment, we find astounding beauty mixed with a certain apprehension, oppressiveness and brutality - for instance, as is exemplified by the staggering scale of the seemingly omnipresent and ever-expanding character of the structures that now envelop and enframe our lives. I hope my photos manage to capture this duality in the contemporary urban landscape.
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