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Carrie Mae Weems
Carrie Mae Weems

Carrie Mae Weems

Country: United States
Birth: 1953

Carrie Mae Weems (born 1953) is an American photographer and artist. Her award-winning photographs, films, and videos have been displayed in over 50 exhibitions in the United States and abroad and focus on serious issues that face African Americans today, such as racism, gender relations, politics, and personal identity. She has said, "Let me say that my primary concern in art, as in politics, is with the status and place of Afro-Americans in our country." Weems was born in Portland, Oregon in 1953, the second of seven children to Myrlie and Carrie Weems. She moved out of her parents' home at the age of sixteen, and she soon relocated to San Francisco to study modern dance with Anna Halprin. She decided to continue her arts schooling and attended the California Institute of the Arts, Valencia. She graduated at the age of twenty-eight with her BA. She received her MFA from the University of California, San Diego. Weems also participated in the graduate program in folklore at the University of California, Berkeley. While in her early twenties, Carrie Mae Weems was politically active in the labor movement as a union organizer. Her first camera, which she received as a birthday gift from her then boyfriend,[4] was used for politics rather than for artistic purposes. She was inspired to pursue photography only after she came across The Black Photography Annual, a book of images by African-American photographers. This book contained the work of photographers Shawn Walker, Beuford Smith, Anthony Barboza, Ming Smith, Adger Cowans, and Roy DeCarava, which Weems found inspiring. This led her to New York, and the Studio Museum in Harlem, where she began to meet a number of artists and other photographers such as Frank Stewart and Coreen Simpson, and they began to form a community. In 1976 Weems took a photography class at the Museum taught by Dawoud Bey. She returned to San Francisco, but lived bi-coastally and was involved with the Studio Museum and a community of photographers in New York. In 1983, Carrie Mae Weems completed her first collection of photographs, text, and spoken word called, Family Pictures and Stories. The images told the story of her family, and she has said that in this project she was trying to explore the movement of black families out of the South and into the North, using her family as a model for the larger theme. Her next series, called Ain't Jokin', was completed in 1988. It focused on racial jokes and internalized racism. Another series called American Icons, completed in 1989, also focused on racism. Weems has said that throughout the 1980s she was turning away from the documentary photography genre, instead "creating representations that appeared to be documents but were in fact staged" and also "incorporating text, using multiples images, diptychs and triptychs, and constructing narratives." Gender issues were the next focal point for Carrie Mae Weems. It was the topic of one of her most well known collections called The Kitchen Table series which was completed in 1990. About "Kitchen Table" and "Family Pictures and Stories", Weems has said, "I use my own constructed image as a vehicle for questioning ideas about the role of tradition, the nature of family, monogamy, polygamy, relationships between men and women, between women and their children, and between women and other women—underscoring the critical problems and the possible resolves." She has expressed disbelief and concern about the exclusion of images of the black community, particularly black women, from the popular media, and aims to represent these excluded subjects and speak to their experience through her work. Weems has also reflected on the themes and inspirations of her work as a whole, saying, "...from the very beginning, I've been interested in the idea of power and the consequences of power; relationships are made and articulated through power. Another thing that's interesting about the early work is that even though I've been engaged in the idea of autobiography, other ideas have been more important: the role of narrative, the social levels of humor, the deconstruction of documentary, the construction of history, the use of text, storytelling, performance, and the role of memory have all been more central to my thinking than autobiography." Other series created by Weems include: the Sea Island Series (1991-92), the Africa Series (1993), From Here I Saw What Happened and I Cried (1995-96), Who What When Where (1998), Ritual & Revolution (1998), the Louisiana Project (2003), Roaming (2006), and the Museum Series, which she began in 2007. In her almost thirty year career, Carrie Mae Weems has won numerous awards. She was named Photographer of the Year by the Friends of Photography. In 2005, she was awarded the Distinguished Photographer's Award in recognition of her significant contributions to the world of photography. Her talents have also been recognized by numerous colleges, including Harvard University and Wellesley College, with fellowships, artist-in-residence and visiting professor positions. The first comprehensive retrospective of her work opened in September 2012 at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts in Nashville, TN. Weems lives in Brooklyn, NY and Syracuse, NY, with her husband Jeffrey Hoone.

(Source: en.wikipedia.org)

 

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Alexandro Pelaez
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1977
Alexandro Pelaez is a Caracas-born analogue photographer based in London with a BA in Communication (Advertising) at Jacksonville University in Florida and was headhunted as an art director in the advertising agency BVK Meka in Miami. Having moved to London in 2001, where he completed his second BA (Hons) in Graphic at Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London, Alexandro has worked over the years on various photography projects with different clients in the UK, Latvia, Germany, Italy, France, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Shanghai and USA. In 2014 Alexandro received the Highly Commended Award by the London Photographic Association for his "HEROES & VILLAINS". In 2017 Alexandro was the finalist with the "Londoners" series at the ACCI "Art of Living" Photography Competition in California, and won two Honourable Mentions by International Photographer of the Year for both categories of Fine Art: Conceptual and People: Portrait; and by Density Neutral Photography Awards for the category Fine Art: Conceptual. Recently, Alexandro received three Honourable Mention Awards by the IPA International Photography Awards in New York (2019) with the OneShot Street Photography competition New York (single image) Category: Specials; also received the Finalist Award by the Fine Art Photography Awards (2019) Category: Cityscape (series). Alexandro received the 2nd place award by the IPA International Photography Award 2019 in New York in the category of: Analogue/ Film, Other. Artist Statement "When I am shooting in double exposure with my 35mm film camera, in my way and style, I am trying to capture the true essence of a city or an area. What I want to convey is my perspective of “what you see is what you get" by capturing those unique moments when I catch an image. The double exposure allows me to capture all that but can take my images to a different level where I can be more creative by holding double layered scenarios that will give the viewer a magical, almost surreal perspective and sense of unnatural futurism."
Angela Fisher
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Thirty years of work on the African continent have carried Carol Beckwith and Angela Fisher across 270,000 miles and through remote corners of 40 countries in exploration of more than 150 African cultures. In the process, this team of world-renowned photographers has produced fourteen widely acclaimed books and made four films about traditional Africa. They have been granted unprecedented access to African tribal rites and rituals and continue to be honored worldwide for their powerful photographs documenting the traditional ceremonies of cultures thousands of years old. As an intrepid team of explorers, they are committed to preserving sacred tribal ceremonies and African cultural traditions all too vulnerable to the trends of modernity. The Beckwith-Fisher images are the result of a long, enduring and deeply respectful relationship with African tribal peoples. This, combined with their photographic skills, creates an intimate portrayal of ceremonies long held secret that might have never been recorded. Their work preserves and presents the power, complexity and celebration found within the rituals of African tribal life. Their extraordinary photographs are recorded in fourteen best-selling books and in their films. Their new book “Painted Bodies” (2012) follows “Maasai” (1980), “Nomads of Niger” (1983), “Africa Adorned” (1984), “African Ark” (1990), “African Ceremonies” (1999), “Passages” (2000), “Faces of Africa” (2004), “Lamu: Kenya’s Enchanted Island” (2009), and “Dinka” (2010). The special limited-edition books, hand printed in Santiago, Chile, are titled “Surma,” “Karo,” “Maasai,” and “Dinka.” “African Ceremonies,” their defining body of work, is a double volume, pan-African study of rituals and rites of passage from birth to death, covering 93 ceremonies from 26 countries. This book won the United Nations Award for Excellence for “vision and understanding of the role of cultural traditions in the pursuit of world peace.” Honored twice with the Annisfield-Wolf Book Award in race relations for “outstanding contributions to the understanding of cultural diversity and prejudice,” Angela and Carol are also winners of the Royal Geographical Society of London’s Cherry Kearton Medal for their contribution to the photographic recording of African ethnography and ritual. The photographers have made four films about traditional Africa, including Way of the Wodaabe (1986), The Painter and the Fighter, and two programs for the Millennium Series Tribal Wisdom and the Modern World. Numerous exhibitions of their photography and films have been shown in museums and galleries around the world. In 2000 their Passages exhibition opened at the Brooklyn Museum of Art featuring 97 mural photographs, six video films and a selection of African masks, sculpture and jewelry. This exhibition has traveled to seven museums on three continents. Aware that traditional cultures in Africa are fast disappearing, Carol and Angela are working with an urgency to complete the third volume of their ongoing study of African Ceremonies with the goal of covering the remaining traditional ceremonies in the 13 African cultures in which they have not yet worked. Source: carolbeckwith-angelafisher.com
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