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Philippe Halsman
Self portrait
Philippe Halsman
Philippe Halsman

Philippe Halsman

Country: Latvia/United States
Birth: 1906 | Death: 1979

Philippe Halsman was born in Riga, Latvia and began his photographic career in Paris. In 1934 he opened a portrait studio in Montparnasse, where he photographed many well-known artists and writers — including André Gide, Marc Chagall, Le Corbusier, and André Malraux, using an innovative twin-lens reflex camera that he designed himself.

Part of the great exodus of artists and intellectuals who fled the Nazis, Halsman arrived in the United States with his young family in 1940, having obtained an emergency visa through the intervention of Albert Einstein.

Halsman’s prolific career in America over the next 30 years included reportage and covers for every major American magazine. These assignments brought him face-to-face with many of the century’s leading statesmen, scientists, artists and entertainers. His incisive portraits appeared on 101 covers for Life magazine, a record no other photographer could match.

Part of Halsman’s success was his joie de vivre and his imagination — combined with his technological prowess. In 1945 he was elected the first president of the American Society of Magazine Photographers (ASMP), where he led the fight to protect photographers’ creative and professional rights. In 1958 Halsman’s colleagues named him one of the World’s Ten Greatest Photographers. From 1971 to 1976 he taught a seminar at The New School entitled Psychological Portraiture.

Halsman began a thirty-seven-year collaboration with Salvador Dali in 1941 which resulted in a stream of unusual photographs of ideas, including Dali Atomicus and the Dali’s Mustache series. In the early 1950s, Halsman began to ask his subjects to jump for his camera at the conclusion of each sitting. These uniquely witty and energetic images have become an important part of his photographic legacy.

Writing in 1972, Halsman spoke of his fascination with the human face. “Every face I see seems to hide – and sometimes fleetingly to reveal – the mystery of another human being. Capturing this revelation became the goal and passion of my life.”

Source: Magnum Photos


Over the course of his career, Halsman enjoyed comparing his work to that of a good psychologist who regards his subjects with special insight. With his courtly manners and European accent, Halsman also fit the popular stereotype at a time when Americans regarded psychology with fascinated skepticism. In fact, Halsman was proud of his ability to reveal the character of his sitters. As he explained, "It can't be done by pushing the person into position or arranging his head at a certain angle. It must be accomplished by provoking the victim, amusing him with jokes, lulling him with silence, or asking impertinent questions which his best friend would be afraid to voice."

In the spring of 1952, Halsman put his signature technique to work when Life sent him to Hollywood to photograph Marilyn Monroe. Halsman asked Monroe to stand in a corner, and placed his camera directly in front of her. Later, he recalled that she looked "as if she had been pushed into the corner cornered with no way to escape." Then Halsman, his assistant, and Life's reporter staged a "fiery" competition for Monroe's attention. "Surrounded by three admiring men she smiled, flirted, giggled and wriggled with delight. During the hour I kept her cornered she enjoyed herself royally, and I . . . took between 40 and 50 pictures."

In this widely familiar portrait, Monroe wears a white evening gown and stands with her back against two walls, one dark, the other light, her eyes half-closed and her dark, lipsticked mouth partly open. Yet Halsman deftly avoided any explicit representation of the true subject of the picture. Using the euphemistic language of the time, Halsman's assistant admired the photographer's ability to make "suggestive" pictures of beautiful women which still showed "good taste," emphasizing "expression" rather than "physical assets." And then the assistant added, "Halsman is very adept at provoking the expression he wants."

Source: National Portrait Gallery

 

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United States
1929 | † 1999
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At this point, Silverstone decided to learn Tibetan in order to study Buddhism with him. After Moraes's death in 1974, Silverstone decided to join the entourage of another celebrated lama, Khentse Rinpoche, who left London for a remote monastery in Nepal. In 1977, she took vows as a Buddhist nun. Her Buddhist name was Bhikshuni Ngawang Chödrön, or Ani Marilyn to her close friends. In her new life in Kathmandu, she researched the vanishing customs of Rajasthan and the Himalayan kingdoms. In 1999, Ngawang Chödrön returned to the United States for cancer treatment and she learned that she was terminally ill. She was clear that she wanted to die in Nepal, her home for the past 25 years. However, no airline would carry a passenger in her fragile condition. She resolved the impasse by persuading a doctor on vacation to accompany her on the return to Kathmandu. The journey was fraught with difficulties. She was barely conscious during the trip and a stopover was necessary in Vienna. She died in 1999 in a Buddhist monastery near Katmandu where she had worked to establish and maintain. At the time of Silverstone's death, the preparation of an exhibition at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery featuring her work and that of other Magnum photographers was nearing completion. The University of St Andrews hosted a seminar in conjunction with this exhibition, and as Silverstone had just recently died, the seminar became an opportunity for her peers to celebrate her life and career. Source: Wikipedia Born in London in 1929, Marilyn Silverstone graduated from Wellesley College in Massachusetts, then worked as an associate editor for Art News, Industrial Design, and Interiors during the 1950s. She also served as an associate producer and historical researcher for an Academy Award-winning series of films on painters. 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Francis Frith
United Kingdom
1822 | † 1898
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Trent Parke
Australia
1971
Trent Parke (born 1971) is an Australian photographer. He is the husband of Narelle Autio, with whom he often collaborates. He has created a number of photography books; won numerous national and international awards including four World Press Photo awards; and his photographs are held in numerous public and private collections. He is a member of Magnum Photos. Parke was born and brought up in Newcastle, New South Wales; he now lives in Adelaide, South Australia. He started photography when he was twelve. At age 13 he watched his mother die from an asthma attack. He has worked as a photojournalist for The Australian newspaper. Martin Parr and Gerry Badger say that Parke's first book Dream/Life is "as dynamic a set of street pictures as has been seen outside the United States or Japan". In 2003 he and his wife, the photographer Narelle Autio, made a 90,000 km trip around Australia, resulting in Parke's books Minutes to Midnight and The Black Rose. Parke became a member of the In-Public street photography collective in 2001. He became a Magnum Photos nominee in 2002 and a member in 2007; the first Australian invited to join.Source: Wikipedia Trent Parke, the first Australian to become a Full Member of the renowned Magnum Photo Agency, is considered one of the most innovative and challenging photographers of his generation. Moving beyond traditional documentary photography, Parke’s work sits between fiction and reality, offering an emotional and psychological portrait of family life and Australia that is poetic and often darkly humorous. In 2015, solo exhibition The Black Rose, premiered at the Art Gallery of South Australia. Featuring photographs, lightboxes, video, written texts, and books, the exhibition lead viewers through a vast, visual narrative that explored the meaning and transience of life from both personal and universal perspectives. Parke has received numerous awards and accolades. He was a Finalist, with collaborator Narelle Autio, in the 2016 Basil Sellars Art Prize and was Winner of the 2014 Photography Prudential Eye Award. Whilst working as a press photojournalist he won five Gold Lenses from the International Olympic Committee, and multiple World Press Photo Awards in 1999, 2000, and 2005. In 2003 he was awarded the prestigious W. Eugene Smith Grant in Humanistic Photography. Parke’s work has featured in exhibitions and art fairs across the globe and is held in major institutional collections, including the National Gallery of Australia, Museum of Contemporary Art, National Gallery of Victoria, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Art Gallery of South Australia, Artbank, Magnum London and Magnum Paris. In 2014, Steidl released two hardback monographs of Parke’s work, Minutes to Midnight and The Christmas Tree Bucket. The self-published book, Dream/Life, a collaboration with Narelle Autio, was awarded second place in the American Picture of the Year Award for Photography Books in 2000.Source: Stills Gallery
John Divola
United States
1949
John Divola is an American contemporary visual artist born in 1949 in Los Angeles, CA. He received a B.A. from California State University, Northridge in 1971 and later received an M.F.A. from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1974. He has held residencies at many institutions including the California Institute of the Arts. He has held the position of Professor in the art department at the University of California Riverside since 1988. His work has been featured in many solo exhibitions across the United States, Europe, Japan, and Australia. He participated in 1978, 1989, and 2000 Museum of Modern Art group exhibitions and in the 1981 Whitney Biennial. Divola received awards as Individual Artist Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts in 1973, 1976, 1979, 1990 and a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1986. He published four books: Continuity, Isolated Houses, Dogs Chasing My Car In The Desert, and Three Acts. In Zuma project, he has described being interested in the relationship between real artworks and representations of them, and the issues of the natural and the artificial. Divola said "I attempted ... to develop a practice in which there could be no distinction between the document and the original." In his series of photographs from 1977, he used deserted houses on Zuma Beach and covered their walls in graffiti. He photographed the ocean from the house's interior through windows and cracks. Divola states: "On initially arriving I would move through the house looking for areas or situations to photograph. If nothing seemed to interest me I would move things around or do some spray painting. The painting was done in much the same way that one might doodle on a piece of paper. At that point, I would return to the camera and explore whatever new potentials existed." These cyclical images skillfully juxtapose romantic skies and sunsets with a seaside structure that, frame by frame, deteriorates into ruin as it is vandalized by the artist and others who eventually set it on fire. Divola's works trace a schematic desire for escape, movement, and transcendence. "My acts, my painting, my photographing, my considering, are part of, not separate from, this process of evolution and change. These photographs are not so much about this process as they are remnants from it. My participation was not so much one of intellectual consideration as one of visceral involvement." Dogs Chasing My Car In The Desert are images of dogs in the desert captured in the midst of running wildly after the car. Emphasizing the grain of the image, these black and white photographs capture a haunting moment in which there is a duality between a sense of absence and presence. The behavior of the dogs suggests a lack of previous stimuli, and loneliness at the same time as an all-consuming reaction to the now, a presence. "It could be viewed as a visceral and kinetic dance. Here we have two vectors and velocities, that of a dog and that of a car and, seeing that a camera will never capture reality and that a dog will never catch a car, evidence of devotion to a hopeless enterprise". In the Dark Star series, dark circles have been painted on the walls of an abandoned house. Creation and destruction are held in a delicate equilibrium, the white rooms of the house, are tattered and derelict. The domestic ruins suggest social collapse, secret renditions of something darkly sinister illuminating our conflicted recent history, updating Zuma and Vandalism for our age of foreclosure. In the As Far As I Can Get project, he made photographs by pushing the self-timer button on his camera. An exposure is made in 10 seconds. John Divola currently lives and works in Riverside, CA. Divola works in photography, describing himself as exploring the landscape by looking for the edge between the abstract and the specific.Source: Wikipedia
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