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Builder Levy
Builder Levy

Builder Levy

Country: United States

New Yorker Builder Levy has been photographing America and her inhabitants for the past 50 years. His social consciousness took him to significant areas of our country during tumultuous times. His commitment to aesthetically [or artistically] documenting the world around him earned him the prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship in 2008. Levy's work is in more than 50 public collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Brooklyn Museum, High Museum of Art, International Center of Photography, Victoria and Albert Museum, and La Bibliotheque Nationale. He is also the author of two published photographic books.

Source: Arnika Dawkins Gallery


Intertwining social documentary, art and street photography, Builder Levy has been making photographs as objects of art that celebrate the human spirit for almost fifty years. He was awarded a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship (’08), an Alicia Patterson Foundation Fellowship (‘04), a Furthermore Grant (‘03), Puffin Foundation Grant (‘01), and National Endowment for the Arts Visual Artists Fellowship in Photography (‘82), and two commissions from the Appalachian College Association (’95 and ‘02).

Levy’s two books are Images of Appalachian Coalfields, Temple Univ. Press, with a foreword by Cornell Capa, and Builder Levy Photographer, A.R.T. Press, with an introduction by noted photo historian Naomi Rosenblum. Levy has exhibited in more than 200 shows, including more than 50 one-person exhibitions in New York City, throughout the United States and around the world. In the Fall 2011, he is included in the exhibits Coal + Ice, curated by Susan Meiselas & Jeroen de Vries, a project of the Asia Society, at the Three Shadows Art Centre in Beijing; Posing Beauty, curated by Deborah Willis at Fisher Museum of Art, USC, Los Angeles (9/11-12/11); Photo Folio at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (10/11-1/12); at the Arnika Dawkins Gallery (Black & White and Color), (with 13 photographs) (10/1-10/29/11) in conjunction with Atlanta Celebrates Photography; and Mirrors and Reflections: A Group Show, curated by Evelyne Z. Daitz with co-curator Alison Bradley at the Robert Anderson Gallery at 24 West 57th Street, New York (11/17/11-1/7/12) The High Museum of Art included Levy’s photographs in the historic exhibition, Road to Freedom: Photographs of the Civil Rights Movement, 1956-1968 (and the accompanying eponymous book/catalogue), curated by Julian Cox. It opened at the High Museum of Art in 2008, and traveled for two years to museums in D.C., Chicago, Los Angeles and New York City. The Rubin Museum of Art in NYC featured 14 of Levy’s photographs in the show Mongolia: Beyond Chinggis Khan, 11/06-4/07.

Levy’s work is in more than 50 public collections in the US and around the world, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Brooklyn Museum, High Museum of Art, International Center of Photography, Victoria and Albert Museum, and La Bibliotheque Nationale. His photographs are featured in more than 25 books including, Harlem, A Century in Images, Studio Museum of Harlem, Skira/Rizzoli 2010, Freedom, Phaidon Press, 100 New York Photographers, Schiffer Press ‘09, Deborah Willis’ Posing Beauty, Norton Press, ‘09, Coal Country, Sierra Club Books, ’09, and Road To Freedom: Photographs of the Civil Rights Movement, 1956-1968. He was the featured artist (with 22 photos) in Appalachian Heritage, (Spring 2010). His subjects include inner-city New York City where he was a NYC teacher of at-risk adolescents for 35 years; coalfield Appalachia (spanning more than 40 years), civil rights and peace demonstrations (in the 1960s), Mongolia and other developing nations. He is completing a new book, Appalachia USA.

Source: builderlevy.com

 

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Don Hong-Oai
China
1929 | † 2004
Don Hong-Oai was born in Canton, China in 1929 as the youngest son to a business family and was raised and educated in Saigon, Vietnam. At age 13 he began an apprenticeship at a Chinese photo and portrait shop. In 1979 he immigrated to the United States and settled in Chinatown of San Francisco. Don began making a living by selling his landscape photographs in front of Macy’s and began to receive recognition for his craftsmanship. His style was heavily influenced by the legendary photographer Long Chin-San and his technique of layering negatives. By taking three negatives, foreground, middle ground, and far ground, and selecting a subject from each negative, Don would form one composite image of a serene landscape. All the various scenes in an image existed in reality, but each uniquely handcrafted photograph in its entirety is a concoction of the artist's imagination. Each photograph was assembled only by the artist himself thus he never had an assistant nor a master printer like some photographers. His work has won scores of international awards and has been collected worldwide. Sadly, Don passed away in San Francisco in 2004. Don was born in Canton, China in 1929 and spent most of his life in Vietnam. As a young boy in Saigon he apprenticed at a photography studio. When he was not at the studio, he traveled and took photographs of the landscape. He stayed in Vietnam through the war, but fled by boat to California in 1979. He lived in San Francisco’s Chinatown where he had a small darkroom to create his photographs. While living the US he returned to China every few years to make new negatives. Only in the last few years of his life was his work discovered by a wider public, and he was kept very busy making prints for collectors across the US and elsewhere. Don died in June 2004. The photographs of Don Hong-Oai are made in a unique style of photography, which can be considered Asian pictorialism. This method of adapting a Western art for Eastern purposes probably originated in the 1940s in Hong Kong. One of its best known practitioners was the great master Long Chin-San (who died in the 1990s at the age of 104) with whom Don Hong-Oai studied. With the delicate beauty and traditional motifs of Chinese painting (birds, boats, mountains, etc.) in mind, photographers of this school used more than one negative to create a beautiful picture, often using visual allegories. Realism was not a goal. Don Hong-Oai was one of the last photographers to work in this manner. He is also arguably the best. He has won hundreds of awards given by photography societies throughout Asia and by international juries of Kodak and Nikon. Source: www.gallery71.com
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