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Beatrix Jourdan
Beatrix Jourdan
Beatrix Jourdan

Beatrix Jourdan

Country: Hungary

Beatrix Jourdan (Bea Mészöly) was born in Budapest, attended The Hungarian University of Fine Arts, and is both a freelance graphic designer and photographer. Photography has been exhibited in solo and group shows in Luxembourg, Belgium/Brussels, London, Hungary, Italy, Kuala Lumpur, Senegal/Dakar Argentina and the USA. She is currently based in Dakar, Senegal.

"Being a professional graphic designer I worked with photos shot by others, making art catalogues and book covers, designing magazines and advertising. Sometimes when I had not enough photos for creative process, I started to shoot for my work and found myself deeply involved in the process.

Fine art photography inherits means of expression like the use of light, composition, shape, line, rhythm, colour, etc. from painting and drawing. But what is most important for me it suggests principle of duality, originality through lack of originality, reflection, illusion, intricacy, which confuses people who want to see in the photo a phenomenon of objectivity, simplicity and straightness – all these I try to keep in my mind and share in my works.

I believe that the concept of photography is not only a faithful reproduction of reality, but also a way of showing emotions, human relations, and that it is also a form of communication between a photograph and the viewer. Thus, the camera is only a tool for the technical execution of the art form, and a catalyst for developing and displaying feelings."


Interview with Beatrix Jourdan

All About Photo: When did you realize you wanted to be a photographer?
Beatrix Jourdan: I started working as a graphic designer, and choosing the right photo to work on was not so simple: sometimes I felt upset as it was very difficult to create a "communication-bridge" between the message and the composition that was in my hands. Then I started to take photos on my own: I perfectly knew what was in my mind, and the only thing I could do was taking photos, in order to translate my thoughts into reality.

AAP: Where did you study photography?
BJ: I was the "teacher of myself", as I began to spend a lot of time in the dark room, where - making a lot of mistakes, obviously! - at the end I understood how to manipulate and develop photos.

AAP: Do you have a mentor or role model?
BJ: No, I don't. I can admire other photographers' work, but I never wanted to have a mentor.

AAP: How long have you been a photographer?
BJ: 2005 can be considered the turning point of my professional life, as I abandoned my work as a graphic designer in order to become a photographer.

AAP: Do you remember your first shot? What was it?
BJ: Uh... what a difficult question! I can't say for sure but my dog could probably be my first subject.

AAP: What or who inspires you?
BJ: Everything around... The world that surrounds me everlastingly inspires me in my shots. Bodies, houses, situations... there are so many things that can be shot that sometimes I run the risk to lose myself in my own passion...

AAP: How could you describe your style?
BJ: Honestly, I really do not know. The "subjects" always influence my style... I love to help the observer, guiding his attention on a particular aspect, the same that caught my attention.

AAP: Do you spend a lot of time editing your images? For what purpose?
BJ: Yes. I always edit my photos. The photos are the way I like the most to begin to "paint", in order to translate into reality what I feel and "need" to show.

AAP: What advice would you give a young photographer?
BJ: Never try to copy any style from other photographers: just look deep inside and find yourself in the reality you shoot.

AAP: Your best memory as a photographer?
BJ: Every shot is deeply connected to a person or to a situation... The time I spend with someone always becomes my best memory.

AAP: The compliment that touched you most?
BJ: Every compliment touches me!!

AAP: If you were someone else who would it be?
BJ: ...even if I deeply love a photo which is not mine, I never say "I would have shot it". That's because a photo is part of the photographer that takes it. A photo is not only a "clic", it is a powerful mix of technique, feelings, emotions, background and thoughts. I cannot have the same "mix" as another photographer, so when I look at a photo I love, I prefer to feel the love the photographer has put into it.

AAP: Anything else you would like to share?
BJ: Not very original but: Shoot when you need to shoot, as time never goes back.

 

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More Great Photographers To Discover

Giles Duley
United Kingdom
1971
Giles Duley was born in 1971 in London. After 10 years as an editorial photographer in the fashion and music industries in both the US and Europe, Duley now focuses his work on humanitarian projects. Working with well respected charities such as Medecins sans Frontiers, IOM and UNHCR to highlight lesser known stories deserving of public attention and action. Although documenting challenging, and at times, horrific situations, Duley captures the strength of those who fight their adversity rather than succumb. His photographs draw the viewer to the subject, creating intimacy and empathy for lives differing from ours only in circumstance.In 2011, whilst on patrol with 75th Cavalry Regiment, United States Army in Afghanistan, Duley stepped on an improvised explosive device. He was severely injured, losing both legs and an arm.Source: www.gilesduley.com Artist Statement "In 2011 I was injured whilst working as a photographer in Afghanistan. I spent the next 46 days of my recovery fighting for my life in intensive care. During that period, I was often awake for days, unable to move or communicate as I was incubated and my remaining shattered hand was in a cast. My mind wandered, drifting on a mixture of morphine, exhaustion and fear and so battling to keep my sanity and to pass the dragging hours I’d challenge myself with mental exercises. My favourite was thinking of portraits I wished I could do, creating a list of the 100 people I most wanted to photograph. My first love in photography was portraiture. I love telling someone’s story through an image, trying to capture some essence of character in a frozen moment. For ten years I worked as a portrait photographer before cynicism with celebrity culture and a desire to document humanitarian issues took me in a different direction. I had always hoped to return to portraiture in time. Lying there, trapped in my body, I imagined all the portraits I wanted to take, aware that now I’d probably never get the chance. This wasn’t just a list of heroes or inspirations; more a collection of people who had shaped my cultural identity or whose large personas drew me in. Ben Okri whose writing first opened my eyes to Africa and storytelling; Tom Waits with his gnarled voice; Natalie Portman, hypnotic in the last film I’d seen before my accident; Don McCullin who inspired me to first pick up the camera. The list grew in my mind; eclectic, eccentric characters I wished I’d captured in frame. I resolved that if by some chance I made it through, I’d contact the names on my list and ask them to sit for a portrait. I would not waste my second chance at life. I have no idea where this project will lead, who will say yes, who will say no, or what I will learn about the people I meet and about myself. I’m aware I’ll face practical difficulties brought on by my injuries and the challenges of working within a celebrity culture, but through this journey I hope to develop my abilities in portraiture, to explore my own cultural identity and broaden my understanding of photography. Most importantly to fully regain my life and identity post accident, with more than a little fun along the way! As for the list? From PJ Harvey to Dead Prez, from Samantha Morton to Jean Paul Belmondo, the names on the list are united by a common trait. When I thought I was going to die and when I had to come to terms with my new life, one thing kept me going, my photography. It is my lifeblood. The sitters for my portraits may all be famous, but I believe they have become that because of what they do, not because they craved celebrity. I believe for each one their craft is also their lifeblood. So here I am. It’s taken two years, 30 operations and a long rehabilitation, but I’m ready to start. 100 Portraits Before I Die: A Photographers Odyssey..."
Virginia Hines
United States
Virginia Hines began photographing when, as a high school student, her parents (both newspaper editors) handed her a Pentax SLR - set at f/11, loaded with Tri-X - with a Honeywell flash, and sent her around town on "idiot-proof" assignments, shooting the likes of large garden vegetables, ladies luncheons, and presentations of jumbo facsimile checks. Scrupulously saving her $1.60 per hour minimum wage earnings, in due time she managed to buy her first camera, a Singapore-made Rolleiflex SL35 with a 50mm Zeiss lens. In college at Rice University she studied photography with Geoff Winningham and came to favor the 4x5 format. Encouraged by receiving "honorable mention" in a show judged by Garry Winogrand, she bought her second camera, a Calumet 4x5. In its rigid case this camera still sits in the back of her closet and provides an excellent step for reaching items on the top shelf. After graduation, awakening to the need to keep a roof overhead and food on the table, Virginia adopted the family profession and began working in publishing, putting serious photography aside for a long time. She spent five years in the Washington, DC, bureau of Fairchild Publications; later, in New York, she launched the first business publication focused on bioinformatics and genomics. As the internet gained traction, Virginia got an MBA from UCLA and started working at Yahoo, the dominant internet company at the time. In 2016, a workshop with Bruce Gilden was an inspiration and a wakeup call. Observing that the best photographers never stop pursuing artistic growth, Virginia began seeking out opportunities to shoot in the Bay Area and elsewhere that stretched her skills and comfort zone. She took more workshops, including from Harvey Stein, who became an important mentor. Also at this time, inspired by Gilden, Stein, and other photographers she admired, she began using digital Leica rangefinders. Their greater manual control echoes her affinity for the view camera, while the compact size better fits her current shooting style. Today Virginia lives in San Francisco and is a frequent contributor to Street Photography Magazine. Her photos have appeared in a number of print and online publications and she has been invited to join group shows in the US and Europe. Current projects include exploring Alcatraz from the perspective of Covid-era themes of confinement, isolation, and social control; The Loneliest Road, shooting along socially distant Western backroads; and China on the Move, images made from a moving train traveling across China's once-cultural, now industrial heartland that reveal the country's social and environmental challenges in fresh ways. You can follow her progress @vhines_photos on Instagram. Statement For me, the reason to make art is to help heal humanity's many self-inflicted wounds; to bring to light patterns and themes, commonalities and, I hope, compassion, through the unflinching observation of a wide swathe of phenomena. This vision motivates me to venture into the world with a camera and start chipping away at an impossibly immense goal. One of my photographer icons, Dorothea Lange, observed, "I realize more and more what it takes to be a really good photographer. You go in over your head, not just up to your neck." Following her advice, I jump in the deep end and hope for the best. I also feel it's essential for an artist to be a truth-teller; all the more so as culture bends away from authenticity toward the highly performative. Yes, there are no absolute truths, but I want to document my truth in photographs that may not be completely truthful in and of themselves but, through synecdoche, aim at conjuring a more universal meaning.
Marc Riboud
France
1923
Marc Riboud is born in 1923 in Lyon. At the Great Exhibition of Paris in 1937 he takes his first pictures with the small Vest-Pocket camera his father offered him. During the war, he took part in the Vercors fights. From 1945 to 1948 he studies engineering and works in a factory. After a week of holiday, during which he covers the cultural festival of Lyon, he drops his engineering job for photography.In 1953, he publishes his famous « Eiffel Tower’s painter » photograph in Life magazine and joins Magnum agency after meeting Henri Cartier-Bresson and Robert Capa. Robert Capa later sends him to London to see girls and learn English. He doesn’t learn that much English but photographs intensely.In 1955, he crosses Middle-East and Afghanistan to reach India, where he remains one year. He then heads toward China for a first stay in 1957. After three months in USSR in 1960, he follows the independances movement in Algeria and Western Africa.Between 1968 and 1969 he’s one of the few photographers allowed to travel in South and North Vietnam. In 1976 he becomes president of Magnum and resigns three years later ; since the 1980’s he keeps travelling at his own tempo. Marc Riboud published many books, among which the most famous are « The three banners of China », ed. Robert Laffont, « Journal », ed. Denoël, « Huang Shan, Capital of Heaven », ed. Arthaud / Doubleday, « Angkor, the serenity of Buddhism », ed. Imprimerie Nationale / Thames & Hudson, « Marc Riboud in China », ed. Nathan / Harry N. Abrams…In 2004 his retrospective is exhibited at the Maison Européenne de la Photographie in Paris and visited by 100 000 people. Numerous museums trough Europe, as well as United States, China and Japan regularly show his work. He received many awards, among which two Overseas Press Club, the Time-Life Achievement, the Lucie Award and the ICP Infinity Award.
Lewis Carroll
United Kingdom
1832 | † 1898
Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (27 January 1832 - 14 January 1898), better known by his pen name Lewis Carroll, was an English writer of world-famous children's fiction, notably Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and its sequel Through the Looking-Glass. He was noted for his facility at word play, logic and fantasy. The poems Jabberwocky and The Hunting of the Snark are classified in the genre of literary nonsense. He was also a mathematician, photographer and Anglican deacon. Carroll came from a family of high church Anglicans, and developed a long relationship with Christ Church, Oxford, where he lived for most of his life as a scholar and teacher. Alice Liddell, daughter of the Dean of Christ Church, Henry Liddell, is widely identified as the original for Alice in Wonderland, though Carroll always denied this. Photography (1856–1880) In 1856, Dodgson took up the new art form of photography under the influence first of his uncle Skeffington Lutwidge, and later of his Oxford friend Reginald Southey. He soon excelled at the art and became a well-known gentleman-photographer, and he seems even to have toyed with the idea of making a living out of it in his very early years. A study by Roger Taylor and Edward Wakeling exhaustively lists every surviving print, and Taylor calculates that just over half of his surviving work depicts young girls, though about 60% of his original photographic portfolio is now missing. Dodgson also made many studies of men, women, boys, and landscapes; his subjects also include skeletons, dolls, dogs, statues, paintings, and trees. His pictures of children were taken with a parent in attendance and many of the pictures were taken in the Liddell garden because natural sunlight was required for good exposures. He also found photography to be a useful entrée into higher social circles. During the most productive part of his career, he made portraits of notable sitters such as John Everett Millais, Ellen Terry, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Julia Margaret Cameron, Michael Faraday, Lord Salisbury, and Alfred Tennyson. By the time that Dodgson abruptly ceased photography (1880, over 24 years), he had established his own studio on the roof of Tom Quad, created around 3,000 images, and was an amateur master of the medium, though fewer than 1,000 images have survived time and deliberate destruction. He stopped taking photographs because keeping his studio working was too time-consuming. He used the wet collodion process; commercial photographers who started using the dry-plate process in the 1870s took pictures more quickly.[62] Popular taste changed with the advent of Modernism, affecting the types of photographs that he produced. He died of pneumonia following influenza on 14 January 1898 at his sisters' home, "The Chestnuts", in Guildford. He was two weeks away from turning 66 years old. His funeral was held at the nearby St Mary's Church. He is buried in Guildford at the Mount Cemetery.Source: Wikipedia
Zaharia Cusnir
Moldova
1912 | † 1993
Zaharia Cuşnir (1912-1993) was an amateur photographer born in Rosietici village, Floresti region, Moldova. He was photographing people within 1955-1973, and left a collection of negative films 6x6 cm, from which 3751 were discovered in his abandoned house in 2016. The photographs portray groups, landscapes, scenes from everyday life: work in the kolkhoz, weddings, funerals, national celebrations. Life Zaharia Cuşnir was born as the last child in the family of 16 children in Rosietici village, Soroca district. His father was a Moldovan businessman (born 1870), and his mother was of German origins (born in approx. 1870). Zaharia was born in Bessarabia, at that time part of the Russian Empire, educated in Romania (Iasi city), and after WW-II, became a USSR citizen. He went to school to the neighbouring Rogojeni village and later attended the pedagogical lyceum in Iasi, Romania. He began teaching in Rogojeni, then though he worked in kolhoz, performing works as carrying stones, digging the frozen ground, carrying loam, destroying fences, herding cows. Villagers also remember him as a blacksmith. He also built a family of 4 children with his wife, Daria. Zaharia learned photography from his nephew, who returned from the army. The nephew was living in another village, so they decided to split the territory for the photographic activities. So, Zaharia stayed responsible for the surrounding villages: Caşunca, Rogojeni, Țâra, Ghindeşti, Roşietici, and Cenuşa. The first pictures were taken in 1955. Zaharia was photographing mainly portraits of neighbours and then he was selling the photos. He had a bicycle, which he was usually lending to people for a photograph, as well he had a black blanket, which he was using as a background when he was taking portraits. Up to 1973, he had taken around 4000 pictures of the medium format 6x6 cm. In 1993, after he died, the house was abandoned and the pictures were stocked in a suitcase and placed in the attic. Discovery In spring 2016, Victor Galuşca, being a student at the Academy of Arts in Chisinau, Moldova, arrived in Rosietici village to film his documentary film for the bachelor's degree exam. He entered the abandoned house and found several negative films scattered through the trash all around the floor. Victor inquired from the villagers whose house was it and found the daughter of Zaharia Cusnir, living in the neighbourhood. With her permission, within several days, he picked all of them, and together with his photography professor, Nicolae Pojoga started the cleaning and indexing process of the archive. Among all, there were found old documents, among which was an edited request for admission to the school, adjusted to a stilted language used at the time. There was also found a table of exercises written in Russian Cyrillic script, as well as elementary calculus tests designed for primary school. Other documents and archival remnants reveal a struggle between life and death for the majority of the population; these include bread allowances and checks listing debts. Further Development The archive has a high resonance and was appreciated within several exhibitions: at the Museum of Art of Moldova (curated by Cervinscaia Nadejda) and the Romanian Peasant Museum in Romania in 2018, and at the Ethnographic Museum of Transilvania, the Subway Gallery of the House of Arts in Timisoara, Romania and at the Museum of Ethnography and Folklore MARAMUREş from Baia Mare, Romania in 2019. In 2017 a Moldovan Publishing house Cartier published a photo album "Lumea lui Zaharia" ("Zaharia's World"). At the beginning of 2020, was launched the website and facebook page, aiming to give open access to the usage of the Zaharia Cusnir archive. The team is working on few coming exhibitions in Europe in 2020.
Erberto Zani
Erberto Zani (Parma, Italy, 1978) is a journalist and documentary photographer specializes in human rights issues. Graduate at school of applied Arts Paolo Toschi in graphic design, after the studies in History of Art at University of Parma he worked as photographer in advertisement sector (1998-2004). Journalist and photographer for the Newspaper Gazzetta di Parma (2004-2007) and editor in chief for some local magazines, he becomes freelance in 2008. During these years he documented the destruction created by the earthquake in Haiti, the climate crises in Sahel, the Maha Kumbh Mela in India, the daily life inside the ship breaking yards in Bangladesh, the exodus of Rohingyafrom Myanmar, the refugee camps in Lebanon, Greece and Uganda, the effects of the war in Marawi city / Philippines. Actually Zani is working on two long term documentary projects, both around the world: "Dark World", about the illegal mineral's extraction, and "Survivors", about acid attack victims. Awarded in several international contests, his images are published on several books and dozens of international magazines. He lives in Basel, Switzerland. Books Urban Visions (ed. Blurb, 2021), Elemental Fashion (ed. Blurb,2019), Exodus (ed. Blurb, 2018), Kied Pologo (ed. Stamperia, 2017), Aftermath (ed. Stamperia,2016), Black World (ed. Stamperia, 2015), Maha Kumbh Mela (ed. Stamperia,2014), Tsiry (ed. Stamperia, 2014), Babanagar-Colombia (ed. Stamperia, 2013), Sahel (ed. Stamperia, 2012), Hope (ed. Stamperia, 2011), Haiti, fragments (ed. Stamperia, 2010), Drops of Life (ed. Stamperia, 2010), Da Borgo San Donnino al Passo della Cisa (ed. Publiprint, 2006). Publication WHO (World Health Organization), UNESCO (United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization), USAID (United States Agency for International Development), AMURT Global Network, John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Development Gateway, Id21 (Institute of Development Studies University of Sussex), Planeta Salud, ICF Macro, GTZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit), UNIPID (Finnish University Partnership for International Development), March (Maternal Reproductive & Child Health), The Appalachian Voice, AIP (Journal of Chemical Physics), Gazzetta di Parma, L'Informazione di Parma, Diario, Africa, Nigrizia, Popoli, Redattore Sociale, Repubblica.it, Treatment Action Campaign, CORE Group, Solidarietà e Cooperazione CIPSI, Witness Journal, Tsiry Parma Onlus, E gli Altri? Onlus, Solidarietà Muungano Onlus, Dodho Magazine, Phosmag, Terra Nuova, L'Espresso, Rex Shutterstock agency, Associated Press agency, Fotodom agency, Sipa agency, Scanpix agency, Puzzlepix agency, Le Journal du Dimanche, DeStandaard, Enough Project, Life Force Magazine, LesEchos.fr, vdi-nachtrichten.com, 20 minutes.fr, stimmenafrikas.de, wisdom wander.pl, Loveless, Illume Oy, Global Witness, QCode magazine, Street Art United States, Art Works Projects, Libéma Fun Factory, TheJournal.ie, MSN.com, Fotopolis.com, Mymodernmet.com, Traveller24.com, The Telegraph, Metro.se, All About Photo, Click Magazine, Musagetes Foundation, Vogue Italia, Alamy.com, DeAbyDay, Rai3 Tg3 Mondo, FotoNostrum, Camilo Egas Museum - MuNa, DocuMagazine, Korper magazine. Awards All About Photo: 2nd place Portrait, 2021 Art Limited: 3rd place in Reportage & Press Awards, 2021 Umbra International Photography Awards: Main category "People" winner, 2020 Smithsonian Photo Contest: Finalist, 2020 Art Limited Awards: 1st place in Reportage & Press Awards 2019 Chromatic Photography Awards: 1st place in Wildlife / Animal and 2nd place in Portrait, 2019 PX3 - Prix de la Photographie Paris: 1st place in Advertising / Book cover and 1st place in Book / People categories, 2019 Moscow Photography Awards: Gold medal in "Book / People" category , 2018 Monochrome Photography Awards: 1st and 2nd place, category "Photojournalism", 2017 IPA - International Photography Awards: 2nd place, category Book Documentary, 2016 PX3 - Prix de la Photographie Paris: Gold medal in Professional Book Documentary and Bronze medal in Professional Book People category, 2016 Exhibitions 2021 Town Hall, Möhlin, Switzerland (30/04 - 30/06) 2020 Museo Camilo Egas - MuNa, Quito, Ecuador, 16/10 - 05/12 2019 MIPA - Malta International Photo Award exhibition, Malta Postal Museum 16/02 - 16/03 (Valletta, Malta) 2018 ImagOrbetello Festival, Sale di Piazza del Popolo, 25/08 - 08/09 Orbetello (Italy), 2018 PX3 - Paris Photography Prize winner’s exhibition at the Espace Beaurepaire (Paris, 10-14 July) 2017 ImagOrbetello Festival, Sala Imago, Piazza del Popolo, Orbetello (Italy) 2017 "Black World" book at Image Text Ithaca Symposium, Ithaca College Campus (June 30th)2017 "Black World" book at Reading room at MAGNUM Foundation, New York City (June 17th) 2017 "Black World" book at Carnegie Museum of Art, PGH Photo Fair, Pittsburgh (29-30 April) 2016 Photo "Finding coltan" for permanent collection at The Design Museum, Londo, UK 2014 IPA Best of Show, Thonglor - Roof top gallery, Bangkok, Thailand 2009 "Sguardi a Sud-Est", Sorbolo (PR, Italy) Centro Civico 2007 "Sguardi a Sud-Est", Fidenza (PR, Italy) Palazzo Orsoline. Websites www.erbertozani.com @zanierberto erberto.zani ZaniErberto
Ruud van Empel
Netherlands
1958
Ruud van Empel (born 21 November 1958 in Breda) is a Dutch photographer and visual artist. Ruud van Empel was born in Breda in 1958. He studied at the Academie voor Beeldende Kunst St. Joost (St Joost Academy of Art) in Breda in the 1970s, and began making independently produced videotapes in the eighties. He moved to Amsterdam in the late eighties to work on his career as a visual artist. His first photographic series were The Office (1995-2001), Study for Women (1999-2002) and Study in Green (2003). The Groninger Museum presented his first solo exhibition in 1999. He made his international breakthrough with his series World-Moon-Venus, which was shown in the George Eastman Museum in Rochester, New York State. Until mid-1995, Van Empel’s art was primarily generated by a process of assembling analogue photographic images. At that point, he exchanged this traditional collage technique – cutting, pasting and retouching in the darkroom – for image processing on the computer, working in an idea-driven manner. The first series created with this method was The Office (1995). In a technical sense, The Office displays a handicraft-like quality, missing the perfectionist character of his later work. Nevertheless, Ruud van Empel clearly demonstrated that his approach differed from other disciplines such as staged photography. In certain aspects, The Office offered a somewhat surrealistic character and referred to photomontages from the 1920s in terms of style and design. On the basis of this art-historical reference, Van Empel created a new genre within photography – without a ready-to-wear label. The artist himself speaks of the ‘construction of a photographic image’. Although he does make use of pure photomontage – he never applies so-called morphing techniques – the final result strives for content aligned to natural reality rather than to surrealism. The artificiality is visible but the final image is a convincing, autonomous reality. As a consequence, the work does not seem grotesque or absurd but could theoretically actually appear in reality. In that respect, Van Empel’s images are independent. They do not manifest themselves as ‘symbolic’ and have been stripped of all ‘pictorial’ associations. He does not deploy photography as a substitute for painting but rather uses it as an independent form of depiction. Every image consists of photographic sources that are digitally assembled on the computer. The work of Ruud van Empel exists by grace of the camera by means of which he records his building blocks. After The Office, he created the Study for Women series, which comprises a number of female portraits that refer to the magic realism art movement. In this series, produced in the period 2000-2002, he displayed the form language with which he would soon gain worldwide recognition. The Study in Green series from 2003-2004, the Untitled series from 2004, and the three closely related series World, Moon and Venus, which he began in 2005, represented Van Empel’s true international breakthrough. Curator Deborah Klochko invited him to participate in the exhibition entitled Picturing Eden in the George Eastman House. In the book Ruud van Empel Photoworks 1995-2010, she wrote: ‘Van Empel’s virtuosity lies in his capacity to combine in photography the kind of ideas anchored in painting (historical references, the power of a glimpse, use of colour) and cinema (structure with multiple images and the power of a narrative), and to do so on a large scale. To understand his work you must ask yourself: ‘Is it science or art? Is it real or imaginary? Is innocence or decadence?’ Particularly the World series, which explores the theme of innocence, made a deep impression. These works were inspired by photos taken by his father. Van Empel placed neatly dressed, black boys and girls in paradisical settings of unspoiled, non-existent natural surroundings. Great interest in and appreciation of this series are expressed worldwide to this day. The breakthrough in America also led to renewed attention in Dutch museums. Van Empel has had solo exhibitions in Museum Het Valkhof in Nijmegen, the Groninger Museum and the NoordBrabants Museum in ’s-Hertogenbosch. Since the international recognition of his work gave Ruud Van Empel the status of an artist with an own independent form language, he has progressively extended his oeuvre with the Theatre series from 2010-2013, and Souvenir, which provided a charged picture of his youth in Breda. This series was purchased by the NoordBrabants Museum. A typical feature of the work of Ruud van Empel is the composition of a perfected and idealized representation right down to the finest details. But this always has a darker side, albeit not always evident. Ruud Schenk, curator of the Groninger Museum, wrote about that aspect with reference to the Study for Women series (2000-2002): ‘As a spectator you feel that there is something not quite right about the depiction of the women: they are not completely lifelike, but tend to be a mixture of real women and window dummies. This generates a certain discomfort, an uneasiness that touches upon what was described as 'das Unheimliche' (the uncanny) at the beginning of the 20th century.’ Although the photographic images seem to capture an epoch, you can hardly assign a date to any of them. This timeless element of Van Empel’s work has taken on a different significance in his recent work, as he deals with themes such as transience and Vanity in his Still Life series from 2014, and also portrays older people as in the portrait of an older woman in the Sunday series (2012), or in the Nude series (2014), in which he questions the pose of the model and the aesthetics of nudity. In the Solo Work series, on which Ruud van Empel has been working since 2011, he consistently deals with just one topic in an isolated work. The moral, ethical and aesthetic dilemmas of society and art are presented to us in a photographic form language. The significance of these is shown in the countless publications and international exhibitions of this work, not only in institutions specialized in photography but also in renowned museums for modern visual art.Source: Wikipedia
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Olivera Stegmann is a Swiss photographer and also the winner of AAP Magazine #16 Shadows with his project 'Circus Noir'. We asked him a few questions about his life and work.
Exclusive Interview with Francesco Gioia
Francesco Gioia is an Italian photographer who lives in England. He is the winner of AAP Magazine 15 Streets with his project 'Wake Up in London'. We asked him a few questions about his life and work
Exclusive Interview with Paul Brouns
Paul Brouns is a Dutch photographer who found his voice by capturing architecture. The urban landscape is his ideal playground for apprehending rhythm, color and geometrical elements. He is the winner of AAP Magazine 14 "Colors" with his project 'Urban Tapestries'. We asked him a few questions about his life and work.
Exclusive Interview with Réhahn
Referred to as someone who "captures the souls of his models", (Wanderlust Travel Magazine, 2018) Réhahn is more than just a man behind a camera. Behind each click is a story. Whether the photograph shows a child with startling blue eyes, a woman pulling a needle through indigo fabric or a man walking alone down a brightly painted street, these are more than just images to Réhahn. They are the culmination of an experience. The stories of his subjects as well as his passion to learn more about their culture, diversity and changing traditions are what drives Réhahn's work.
Craig Varjabedian: Found Horizons
Craig Varjabedian's photographs of the American West illuminate his profound connection with the region and its people. His finely detailed images shine with an authenticity that reveals the ties between identity, place, and the act of perceiving. For Varjabedian, photography is a receptive process driven by openness to the revelation each subject offers, rather than by the desire to manipulate form or to catalog detail. He achieves this vision by capturing and suspending on film those decisive moments in which the elements and the spirit of a moment come together
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AAP Magazine #20: Travels
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