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Michael Kenna
Michael Kenna
Michael Kenna

Michael Kenna

Country: United Kingdom
Birth: 1953

Michael Kenna was born in Widnes, England in 1953. As one of 6 children born to a working class Irish-Catholic family, he initially aspired to enter the priesthood but his passion for the arts led him to The Banbury School of Art where he studied painting and then photography. Later he attended The London College of Printing and began working as a photographer and artist. He moved to San Francisco in 1977 where he was astounded by the number of galleries the city housed which allowed artists to showcase and sell their work. San Francisco has remained his home ever since.

Michael Kenna's work has often been described as enigmatic, graceful and hauntingly beautiful much like the Japanese landscape. Kenna first visited Japan in 1987 for a one-person exhibition and was utterly seduced by the country's terrain. Over the years he has traveled throughout almost the entire country constantly taking photographs. From these many treks the book Japan, featuring 95 of these photographs, was conceived.

The simplicity and clarity of Kenna's Japan alludes to rather than describes his subject allowing the viewer to have a completely unique and tailored interpretation. He has described this body of work as, "more like a haiku rather than a prose"; his work being like photographs written in short poem form. Kenna's photographs are often made at dawn or in the dark hours of night with exposures up to 10 hours. Kenna has said "you can't always see what's otherwise noticeable during the day... with long exposures you can photograph what the human eye is incapable of seeing".

Michael Kenna's prints have been shown in numerous exhibitions throughout the world with permanent collections in the Bibliotheque, Paris; The Museum of Decorative Arts, Prague; The National Gallery of Art, Washington DC; and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Kenna has also done a great deal of commercial work for such clients as Volvo, Rolls Royce, Audi, Sprint, Dom Perignon and The Spanish Tourist Board. Japan is one of 18 books of Kenna's photography to have been published to date.

Source: Supervision


With more than fifty monographs documenting his travels, Michael Kenna shows no signs of slowing down in his endless pursuit of nature's haunting beauty. Whether working in his native England, Easter Island, the coastal towns of France or the islands in Japan, Kenna seeks places of solitude which speak volumes about humanity.

Barren seascapes, abandoned fishing nets, fragmented piers, mysterious horizons, trees emerging from under snow drifts – these are just some of the images which dominate Michael Kenna's work from Japan. The result of his efforts can be seen in two books, Hokkaido (2006) and Japan (2002), both published by Nazraeli Press.

His newest book, Mont St Michel, continues his passion for solace. Originally built as a community for Benedictine monks, Mont St Michel became a place of prayer, meditation and silence. Kenna made may journeys to Mont St Michel, staying for days at a time, living among the residents, following their codes of silence and prayer. Armed with a camera, Kenna walked the halls, crypts and towers, watching shadows sneak their way around columns and spires, recording the passing of time.

Mont St Michel is dedicated to Michael's father who recently passed away. As Kenna states in his introduction: "My dad was a quiet man, he didn't seem to have a need to talk very much...We walked pretty much everywhere, and I liked to walk with my Dad...I think the time in-between destinations was most special for me. We didn't need to say very much to each other. Walking, observing, listening, waiting. Somehow I associate those walks with my time at Mont St Michel...He taught me that it's alright to walk alone sometimes."

Whether photographing in Mont St Michel, Japan, China, or the United States, Michael Kenna invites the viewer to walk along with him as he captures moments between events, when human presence seems right around the corner and silence is always present...

Source: Catherine Edelman Gallery

 

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More Great Photographers To Discover

Ruth Orkin
United States
1921 | † 1985
Ruth Orkin was an American photographer, photojournalist, and filmmaker, with ties to New York City and Hollywood. Best known for her photograph An American Girl in Italy (1951), she photographed many celebrities and personalities including Lauren Bacall, Doris Day, Ava Gardner, Tennessee Williams, Marlon Brando, and Alfred Hitchcock. Ruth Orkin was born on September 3, 1921 in Boston, Massachusetts to Mary Ruby and Samuel Orkin. Ruth grew up in Hollywood, due to her mother's career as a silent film actress. In 1931, she received her first camera, a 39-cent Univex, and soon began experimenting by taking photographs of her friends and teachers at school. At the age of 17, she decided to bike across America, beginning in Los Angeles, and ending in New York City for the 1939 World's Fair. She completed the trip in three weeks' time, taking photographs along the way. She briefly attended Los Angeles City College for photojournalism in 1940, prior to becoming the first messenger girl at MGM Studios in 1941, citing a desire to become a cinematographer. She left the position after discovering the union's discriminatory practices that did not allow female members. She joined the Women's Auxiliary Army Corps during World War II, in 1941 in an attempt to gain filmmaking skills, as advertisements promoting the group promised. The attempt was not fruitful, however, and she was discharged in 1943 without any filmmaking training. In 1943, Orkin moved to New York City in pursuit of a career as a freelance photojournalist. She began working as a nightclub photographer and received her first assignment in 1945 from The New York Times to shoot Leonard Bernstein. Shortly after, her freelance career grew as she traveled internationally on assignments and contributed photographs to Life, Look, Ladies' Home Journal, and others. Orkin is credited with breaking into a heavily male field. Orkin's most celebrated image is An American Girl in Italy (1951). The subject of the now-iconic photograph was the 23-year-old Ninalee Craig (known at that time as Jinx Allen). The photograph was part of a series originally titled Don't Be Afraid to Travel Alone. The image depicted Craig as a young woman confidently walking past a group of ogling Italian men in Florence. In recent articles written about the pair, Craig claims that the image was not staged, and was one of many taken throughout the day, aiming to show the fun of traveling alone. In 1952 Orkin married photographer, filmmaker and fellow Photo League member Morris Engel. Orkin and Engel collaborated on two major independent feature films, Little Fugitive which was nominated for an Academy Award in 1953, and Lovers and Lollipops (1955). After the success of the two films, Orkin returned to photography, taking color shots of Central Park as seen through her apartment window. Ruth photographed marathons, parades, concerts, demonstrations, and the beauty of the changing seasons. These photographs were the subject of two widely acclaimed books, A World Through My Window (1978) and More Pictures from My Window (1983). Orkin taught photography at the School of Visual Arts in the late 1970s, and at the International Center of Photography in 1980. After a long struggle with cancer, Orkin passed away in her apartment, surrounded by her wonderful legacy of photographs with the view of Central Park outside her window, on January 16, 1985.Source: Wikipedia Ruth Orkin was an award-winning photojournalist and filmmaker. Orkin was the only child of Mary Ruby, a silent-film actress, and Samuel Orkin, a manufacturer of toy boats called Orkin Craft. She grew up in Hollywood in the heyday of the 1920s and 1930s. At the age of 10, she received her first camera, a 39 cent Univex. She began by photographing her friends and teachers at school. At 17 years old she took a monumental bicycle trip across the United States from Los Angeles to New York City to see the 1939 World’s Fair, and she photographed along the way. Orkin moved to New York in 1943, where she worked as a nightclub photographer and shot baby pictures by day to buy her first professional camera. She worked for all the major magazines in 1940s, and also went to Tanglewood during the summers to shoot rehearsals. She ended up with many of the worlds’ greatest musicians of the time including Leonard Bernstein, Isaac Stern, Aaron Copland, Jascha Heifitz, Serge Koussevitzky and many others. In 1951, LIFE magazine sent her to Israel with the Israeli Philharmonic. Orkin then went to Italy, and it was in Florence where she met Nina Lee Craig, an art student and fellow American, who became the subject of American Girl in Italy. The photograph was part of a series originally titled Don’t Be Afraid to Travel Alone about what they encountered as women traveling alone in Europe after the war.Source: Ruth Orkin Photo Archive Boston-born Ruth Orkin grew up in Los Angeles, and the movie industry and music were both formative influences. She attended Los Angeles City College briefly in 1940 before becoming the first female studio messenger ever hired at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in the early 1940s; but with no hope for promotion, she joined the Women's Auxiliary Army Corps, tempted by the promise (empty, as it turned out) that she would be taught cinematography. After completing her service in 1943, she moved to New York and worked as a nightclub photographer. Orkin honed her skills in portraiture by spending the summer of 1946 documenting the Tanglewood Music Festival; later that year, LOOK published her first major photo essay, Jimmy, the Storyteller. She sent the series to Edward Steichen at the Museum of Modern Art in 1947, and he subsequently included her in every group photography show at the museum until his retirement, including the great 1955 exhibition, The Family of Man. Orkin married photographer Morris Engel in 1952, and the couple collaborated on a prize-winning film, Little Fugitive. Their filmmaking endeavors continued through the mid-1950s, and while Orkin continued to photograph, she admitted that still photography "held little interest" after her experience of making a film. Her views of Central Park, taken from her apartment, were published in the 1978 book A World Outside My Window. Orkin's photography is a celebration of fearlessness and vitality. While she accepted specific assignments from The New York Times and various magazines, she also had the freedom to work independently, creating photo essays and photographing famous people with the knowledge that she would be able to sell the resulting work. Like a film director, Orkin created images that appear to be private moments, and lends a Hollywood-style personality to her subjects and landscapes.Source: International Center of Photography
Marion Post Wolcott
United States
1910 | † 1990
Marion Post (later Marion Post Wolcott) (June 7, 1910 - November 24, 1990) was a noted American photographer who worked for the Farm Security Administration during the Great Depression documenting poverty and deprivation. She was born in New Jersey. Her parents split up and she was sent to boarding school, spending time at home with her mother in Greenwich Village when not at school. Here she met many artists and musicians and became interested in dance. She studied at The New School. She trained as a teacher, and went to work in a small town in Massachusetts. Here she saw the reality of the Depression and the problems of the poor. When the school closed she went to Europe to study with her sister Helen. Helen was studying with Trude Fleischmann, a Viennese photographer. Marion showed Fleischmann some of her photographs and was told to stick to photography. While in Vienna she saw some of the Nazi attacks on the Jewish population and was horrified. Soon she and her sister had to return to America for safety. She went back to teaching but also continued her photography and became involved in the anti-fascist movement. At the New York Photo League she met Ralph Steiner and Paul Strand who encouraged her. When she found that the Philadelphia Evening Bulletin kept sending her to do "ladies' stories," Ralph Steiner took her portfolio to show Roy Stryker, head of the Farm Security Administration, and Paul Strand wrote a letter of recommendation. Stryker was impressed by her work and hired her immediately. Her photographs for the FSA often explore the political aspects of poverty and deprivation. They also often find humour in the situations she encountered. In 1941 she met Lee Wolcott. When she had finished her assignments for the FSA she married him, and later had to fit in her photography around raising a family and a great deal of travelling and living overseas.Source: Wikipedia A biographical sketch by Linda Wolcott-Moore: "As an FSA documentary photographer, I was committed to changing the attitudes of people by familiarizing America with the plight of the underprivileged, especially in rural America... FSA photographs shocked and aroused public opinion to increase support for the New Deal policies and projects, and played an important part in the social revolution of the 30s", said Marion Post Wolcott. Beginning in September of 1938, Wolcott spent three and a half years photographing in New England, Kentucky, North Carolina, Florida, Louisiana and Mississippi. A photographic pioneer on America's ragged economic frontier, Wolcottt survived illness, bad weather, rattlesnakes, skepticism about a woman traveling alone and the sometimes hostile reaction of her subjects in order to fulfill her assignments from the Farm Security Administration (FSA). Unique among FSA photographers, Wolcott showed the extremes of the country's rich and poor in the late 30's, its race relations, and the fertile land formed with government assistance, which revealed the benefits of federal subsidies. Her work has a formal control, emotional reticence and keen wit.(...) Marion Post entered the 20th Century on June 7, 1910, one of two daughters of Marion (Nan) Hoyt Post and Dr. Walter Post. The Posts were a prominent family in Montclair, New Jersey where Dr. Post was the local physician, a homeopathist, in those days, the leading type of medicine. The Posts ended their marriage when Marion was a young teenager, and she and sister Helen were packed off to boarding school. At Edgewood School in Greenwich, Connecticut, removed from the trials of her parents’ bitter and heart-rending divorce, Marion thrived in a progressive atmosphere which fostered open inquiry, flexibility and individuality. Throughout those early years, she also had a very close, loving relationship with the Post’s black housekeeper, Reasie, a relationship that gave Marion an ease and empathy with the blacks she would later photograph in the fields and juke joints of the deep South. On weekends and in the summer--whenever possible--she spent time with her mother, Nan, in her tiny Greenwich Village apartment in New York City. Nan was working with Margaret Sanger helping to set up health and birth control clinics around the country, a pioneer in her own right and an inspiration to Marion. In "The Village," mother and daughter hung out with musicians, artists, writers and members of the theatrical crowd, went to art exhibits, lectures and concerts, and after graduation from Edgewood, Marion fell in love with, and began studying, modern dance. At the same time she was working her way through school as a teacher of young children, pursuing her interest in early childhood education at the New School for Social Research, and then at New York University. As the Great Depression began to impact the working people around her, she witnessed dramatic class differences among those living in the small Massachusetts town where she was then teaching.(...) Soon after, in 1932, Marion traveled to Europe to study dance in Paris, and later, child psychology at the University of Vienna. There she met Trude Fleischmann, a Viennese photographer with whom her sister Helen was studying. Upon seeing Marion's first photographic images, Trude encouraged her to continue. "Sis," you've got a good eye," she exclaimed, a line Marion Post would never forget, although she was quite reticent about encroaching upon the territory of her sister, Helen, long considered the artist in the family. Meanwhile, a horrified young Marion and Helen were witnessing the rise of Nazism and Fascism in Europe. Of their friends, again many were musicians, artists, and young intellectuals. Many also were Jewish, and Marion watched as swastikas burned in front of the homes of her anti-Nazi friends, and their fields and fences were set ablaze. She was further rocked by the assassination, during the winter of 1933-34, of Austrian Chancelor Dolfuss and the bombing of apartments of socialist workers near Vienna. Lending a hand, she spent several months working in the local schools with the children of Austrian workers. It was too dangerous, however, for her to stay; the University of Vienna had been closed, and Marion was told either to return home or give up her small allowance. Back in the States, she took a teaching position at the progressive Hessian Hills School at Croton-on-Hudson. Here she began taking more photographs and making her first prints. Close to New York, she also became active in the League Against War and Fascism, and, together with Helen, helped Jews, including Trude Fleischmann, leave Europe and immigrate to the United States. She had friends in the socially and politically concerned Group Theatre who became both subjects and clients, and she published her first work in Stage Magazine. Encouraged by her progress, a year later, at twenty-five, Marion moved to New York and began freelancing, even landing a picture on the cover of the New York Times Magazine. She also began attending meetings of the New York Photo League, an important organization that was influencing many of the country's best young photographers. There Marion met Ralph Steiner and Paul Strand who, upon seeing her work, asked her to join a group of serious young photographers who met at Steiner's apartment to discuss and critique each other's photography.(...) Needing more certain wages, Marion accepted a position as a staff photographer for the Philadelphia Evening Bulletin. As a young woman, however, she was required to do stories on the latest fashion and events for the ladies' page, hardly compelling assignments for a young woman of 25 with her background and experiences! Mentioning her frustrations to Ralph Steiner one day, he took her portfolio with him to Washington, to Roy Stryker, head of the Farm Security Administration. Stryker was impressed, asked to meet her. So, armed with letters of recommendation from no less than Paul Strand and Ralph Steiner, Marion Post set off for Washington. She was hired immediately, and joined the ranks of the other FSA photographers, Dorothea Lange, Walker Evans, Russell Lee, and Arthur Rothstein, among them. From 1938 through 1941, Marion produced many of the most vividly moving of the more than 100,000 images in the FSA archives, reflecting her many years of social and political involvement, her strength and independence, and her deep sensitivity to the children and families of the less fortunate. The Farm Security Administration had been mandated by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to assist American farmers who had suffered grievously during the Depression. Families were stranded and starving; soil was worn out, unfit for production.(...) Segregation and discrimination; humiliation and condescension; labor movements; eroded, worn-out land; dirty, sick, malnourished children; overcrowded schools. She traveled primarily alone, got tired and lonely and sick and burned out. She had to wrap her camera in hot water bottles to keep the shutters from freezing; write captions at night in flimsy motel rooms while fending off the men trying to enter through the transoms; deal with southern social workers, suspicious cops, chiggers and mosquitoes; mud, heat, and humidity.(...) In 1941, Marion met the man she wanted to marry--Lee Wolcott, a handsome, bright assistant to Henry Wallace, Secretary of Agriculture under President Roosevelt. Marion completed her assignments and left the FSA in order to raise a family, tend their farms, and later to live and travel extensively overseas. Both passionate, eager, curious, intellectual, they developed interesting modern art and music collections; had interesting, involved friends; were deeply committed to the raising and educating of four accomplished children, and with mentoring their grandchildren. Although she did not again work as a "professional," largely due to the demands of family and overseas living and traveling, she captured numerous serious images of farming in rural Virginia, and later in Iran, Egypt, Pakistan, India, and Afghanistan. Upon returning to the States, she taught and photographed American Indian children in New Mexico, did a series on the ‘70’s counter-culture in Isla Vista, California, and in Mendocino, California. She also was actively involved with the photography communities in both San Francisco and Santa Barbara where she helped, encouraged, and inspired, and was loved by many younger artists, worked with museum and gallery curators, and, in the 80’s, at the urging of the same, undertook a massive project to produce an archive of fine prints of her work of both the FSA and later years.(...) Letter from Paul Strand: "Dear RoyIt gives me pleasure to give this note of introduction to Marion Post because I know her work well. She is a young photographer of considerable experience who has made a number of very good photographs on social themes in the South and elsewhere... I feel that if you have any place for a conscientious and talented photographer, you will do well to give her an opportunity."--Paul Strand 6-20-38 Marion's favorite image: "I guess if I had to pick one, just one, favorite image, it would be the Negro Man Going Up the Stairs of the Movie Theatre. I think it says the most about me, about what I was trying to do and trying to say." (Conversation with her daughter, Linda)
Jim Goldberg
United States
1953
Jim Goldberg (born 1953) is an American artist and photographer, whose work reflects long-term, in-depth collaborations with neglected, ignored, or otherwise outside-the-mainstream populations. Among the many awards Goldberg has received are three National Endowment of the Arts Fellowships in Photography, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Henri Cartier-Bresson Award, and the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize. His works have been exhibited, published, and collected internationally. Goldberg is Professor Emeritus at the California College of the Arts, and has been a member of the Magnum Photos agency since 2002. He currently lives and works in the greater Bay Area. Goldberg is best known for his photography books, multi-media exhibitions, and video installations, among them: Rich and Poor (1985), Nursing Home, Raised by Wolves (1995), Hospice, and Open See (2009). His work often examines the lives of neglected, ignored, or otherwise outside-the-mainstream populations through long-term, in depth collaborations that investigate the nature of American myths about class, power, and happiness. Goldberg is part of an experimental documentary movement in photography, using a straightforward, cinéma vérité approach, based on a fundamentally narrative understanding of photography. The individuality of the subjects emerges in his works, "forming a context within which the viewer may integrate the unthinkable into the concept of self. Thus portrayed, this terrifying other is restored as a universal." Goldberg's work was featured with that of Robert Adams and Joel Sternfeld in a 1984 exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art entitled "Three Americans"; the exhibition was described as "a show of politically charged and socially conscious images." His 1985 book Rich and Poor, re-released by Steidl in an expanded edition in 2014, includes photographs of people in their homes along with handwritten comments by them about their lives. For example, the handwriting under the photograph reproduced on the front cover reads "I keep thinking where we went wrong. We have no one to talk to now, however, I will not allow this loneliness to destroy me,— I STILL HAVE MY DREAMS. I would like an elegant home, a loving husband and the wealth I am used to. Countess Vivianna de Bronville." Although the book received one mixed review shortly after publication, other reviews were positive, and it was later selected as one of the greatest photobooks of the 20th century. The photographs in a 1986 exhibition of Goldberg's The Nursing Home Series were accompanied by handwritten text by the nursing home residents who were the subjects of the photographs. A review of a 1990 exhibition Shooting Back: Photography by and About the Homeless at the Washington Project for the Arts characterized the exhibition as "Issue Art" and characterized Goldberg as "a superior Issue Artist because he's a superior artist." A major mixed-media exhibition by Goldberg concerning at risk and homeless youth in California entitled Raised by Wolves began traveling in 1995 and was accompanied by a book of the same title. A review of the exhibition at the Corcoran Gallery of Art noted that Goldberg made reference to other artists and photographers; used photographs, videos, objects, and texts to convey meaning; and "let his viewers feel, in some corner of their psyches, the lure of abject lowliness, the siren call of pain." Although the accompanying book received one mixed review shortly after publication, it was described as "a heartbreaking novel with pictures", and in The Photobook: A History, Martin Parr and Gerry Badger praised it as "complex and thoughtful." A 1999 mixed media installation at the San Francisco Arts Commission gallery entitled "57/78/97" explored race relations in the United States, including the Little Rock Crisis of 1957, the 1978 Regents of the University of California v. Bakke decision, and the year following the passage of California Proposition 209 (1996) concerning affirmative action. Selected photographs from a series by Goldberg called "Open See," concerning refugees, immigrants, and trafficked people, were first exhibited in San Francisco in 2007. One review stated that the photographs may leave the viewer "paralyzed by uncertainty about what might alleviate the injustices" depicted. Part of the series came to be known as "Open See", and Goldberg's book of that title was published in 2009 by Steidl. In 2013 Goldberg was an artist in residence at Yale University Art Gallery with Donovan Wylie. They each created a body of work based in New Haven. In Candy, Jim Goldberg, a New Haven native, creates a multilayered photo-novel of aspiration and disillusionment, interspersing Super 8 film stills, images of New Haven’s urban landscape, annotated Polaroid portraits, and collaged archival materials to explicate the rise and fall of American cities in the 20th century. Goldberg considers New Haven’s quest to become a “model city” of America, contrasting its civic aspirations with its citizens’ lived realities.Source: Wikipedia Jim Goldberg’s innovative use of image and text make him a landmark photographer of our times. He has been working with experimental storytelling for over forty years, and his major projects and books include Rich and Poor (1977-85), Raised by Wolves (1985-95), Nursing Home (1986), Coming and Going (1996-present), Open See (2003-2009), The Last Son (2016), Ruby Every Fall (2016), Candy (2013-2017), Darrell & Patricia (2018), and Gene (2018). His work is in numerous private and public collections including the Museum of Modern Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Getty, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. He is the recipient of numerous awards including three National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships, a Guggenheim Fellowship (1985), the Henri Cartier-Bresson Award (2007), and the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize (2011). Goldberg is Professor Emeritus at the California College of the Arts and is a member of Magnum Photos.Source: Magnum Photos An heir to such social documentarians as Walker Evans and Robert Frank, Goldberg is inspired and informed by his ongoing interest in people and their positions in society as a function of broader cultural policies and practices. His work is the aesthetic embodiment of Frank’s opinion that “the truth is somewhere between the documentary and the fictional.”Source: Pace/MacGill Gallery
Micha Bar-Am
Germany
1930
Micha Bar-Am is a German-born Israeli journalistic photographer. His images cover every aspect of life in Israel in the past sixty years. Since 1968 he has been a correspondent with Magnum, the photographic cooperative. From 1968 to 1992, he was The New York Times photographic correspondent from Israel. He has published several books of photography, beginning in 1957. His work is held in numerous international museums and institutes throughout the world. Born in Berlin to a Jewish family, Bar-Am moved with his parents in 1936 to then British Mandate of Palestine. He attended local schools. He was drafted in 1948 and served during the 1947–1949 Palestine war, when he was part of the Palmach Unit. Afterward, he worked several jobs, including as a locksmith and a mounted guard, before becoming a photographer. In 1949 he co-founded the kibbutz Malkia in Galilee. Later he became a member of Kibbutz Gesher HaZiv. In the early 1940s, Bar-Am started taking pictures of life on a kibbutz; he used borrowed cameras until he bought a Leica. After his military service, he began photographing more seriously. After publishing his first book, Across Sinai (1957), Bar-Am gained work as a photographic reporter and in the editorial staff of the Israeli Army magazine, Ba-Mahaneh, from 1957 to 1967. In 1961 he covered the Eichmann trial. In 1967 he covered the Six-Day War, during which time he met Cornell Capa. Many of his war images brought him renown. Since 1968, he has been a correspondent for Magnum Photos. In 1974 he helped Capa found the International Center of Photography in New York City. In 1968, Bar-Am also became the photographic correspondent from Israel for The New York Times, a position he held until 1992. From 1977 to 1992, he was head of the department of photography at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art. He continues to work on his photography. He writes about his work: "I keep my internal eye open for that other, metaphorical image that transcends illustration to achieve a wholeness of its own. I strive for the elusive entity that is both evidence and evocation, public record and personal vision." He says that he has adopted Robert Capa's saying, "If your photographs aren't good enough, you weren't close enough," but has added a caveat: "If you're too close you lose perspective. It is not easy to be fair with the facts and keep your own convictions out of the picture. It is almost impossible to be both a participant in the events and their observer, witness, interpreter. The effort brings great frustration, and equally great reward."Source: Wikipedia Born in Berlin in 1930, Micha Bar-Am emigrated to Israel (then Palestine) with his parents at age six. During his youth, Bar-Am became active in the pre-state underground and was drafted in 1948. After serving in the war, he helped found the Kibbutz Malkiya in Galilee. Soon after, Bar-Am moved to Kibbutz Gesher-Haziv, where he took his first photographs of archeological digs in the Judean desert. He borrowed his camera from an American member of his kibbutz who teased that though Bar-Am’s photographs were better than his own, they would never be used, as Bar- Am was only a “kibbutz dilettante.” Bar-Am proved this statement wrong; his work was soon published in the Israeli Army magazine Bama Hana. In 1957, he was offered a full time job as a staff photographer for the magazine. In the following years, Bar-Am continued to document the Israeli army. In 1967, he photographed the Six-Day War, during which he met Cornell Capa. Capa and Bar-Am became friends and he introduced Bar-Am to Magnum, a photographic co-operative where Bar-Am would become an associate. In 1968, Bar-Am began his career as a New York Times correspondent and documented the Israeli Palestinian conflict from Suez to the Golan Heights. Bar-Am was closely involved with the founding of the International Center of Photography in 1974, working alongside Cornell Capa as a curator. He became the Curator of Photography for the Tel Aviv Art Museum in 1977. He left this position in 1992, and has been working on his own photography ever since. Though often classified as such, Micha Bar-Am is not merely a photojournalist (an assignation Bar-Am himself refuses). His work represents more than documentation of the action of war. Bar-Am’s photography captures the changed lives and lifestyles of Israeli men and women as a result of the years of conflict. His carefully composed shots contain a thoughtfulness and artfulness often unseen within documentary photography. His work continues to be published and exhibited around the world.Source: International Center of Photography
Anders Petersen
Sweden
1944
Anders Petersen was born 1944 in Stockholm, Sweden. 14 years old his family moved to Karlstad in Värmland, where he met the artists ?Karin Bodland and Lars Sjögren.In 1961 he stayed for some time in Hamburg in order to learn German and trying to write and paint. He didn’t take any pictures. Five years later he met Christer Strömholm and became a student at his School of Photography in Stockholm. Strömholm was not just his teacher but also a close friend. Their friendship influenced him for life. In 1967 he starts photographing a bar called Café Lehmitz in Hamburg, close to Zeughausmarkt. He was photographing there for a period of almost three years and in 1970 he had his first soloexhibition over the bar in Café Lehmitz with 350 photographs nailed to the wall. In 1973 he published his first book ”Gröna Lund”, about people in an amusementpark in Stockholm. In 1974 he graduated from the Swedish Filmschool,Dramatiska Institutet, in Stockholm. In 1978 he published ”Café Lehmitz ” in Germany. In 1984 the first book in a trilogy about locked instituations was published. The three books were about people in a prison, a nursing house, and a mental hospital. After photographing the mental hospital for three years he oriented himself towards a more free approach in a kind of diarylike photography. During 2003 and 2004 Anders Petersen was appointed Professor of Photography in the School of Photography and Film at the University of Göteborg, Sweden. He regularly has workshops and exhibitions throughout Europe, Asia and in the USA. He has received numerous grants and rewards since the seventies. In 2003 Anders Petersen was elected the ”Photographer of the Year” by the International Photofestival in Arles.In 2006 he was shortlisted as one of four for the ”Deutsche Börse Photography Prize”. In 2007 he received the ”Special Prize of the Jury” for his exhibition ”Exaltation of Humanity” by the third International Photofestival in Lianzhou, China. In 2008 he received the ”Dr. Erich Salomon Award” by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Photographie, Germany. ”The Arles Contemporary Book Award for 2009? went to JH Engström and ?Anders Petersen’s collaborative book ”From Back Home” by Max Ström.?The book was nominated to ”The Best Photographic Book in Sweden, ?year 2009? and also Winner of Design Bronze Lion in Cannes. In 2010, he was in the jury for the BMW Prize at Paris Photo. In 2012, nominated to the Swedish Photo Book Prize in Stockholm for ”SOHO”, and PhotoBook of the Year award for "City Diary" Paris Photo and the Aperture Foundation. Anders Petersen has his darkroom in Stockholm, Sweden. Source: www.anderspetersen.se Anders Petersen, one of Sweden’s most influential auteur photographers, sensitively blurs the boundaries between madness and normality in his artwork “Mental Hospital”. Petersen, who won international renown with his Hamburg Café Lehmitz series (1967-1970), spent several years photographing patients at a psychiatric hospital just south of Stockholm. His gaze is one of raw tenderness, conveying naked emotions with insightful poetry. Carried by a deep integrity, he takes the viewer to the limits of normality. "It is the naked encounter, the raw, piercing confrontation with the Other and therefore with myself," Petersen said, describing his intention. "I photograph people with whom I can identify and I feel attracted by people who live outside society. In all my photographs, I try, essentially, to create self-portraits." He is neither sentimental nor sensational. Instead, his images show a great respect for that which is enigmatic in people, for that which is hidden under the surface. Petersen’s works have marked the history of photography. In 2003, he won the award “Photographer of the Year” at the festival "Rencontres de la Photographie" in Arles, and he was honored with the German Photography Society’s Dr.-Erich-Salomon prize in 2008 for his life’s work. Source: Grundemark Nilsson Gallery
Isabeau De Rouffignac
I followed an artistic career path with a drawing baccalaureate, 2 years of preparatory classes at the Met de Penninghen studio, then I entered the graphic art school. This was followed by a long experience in design agencies (Design Strategy Orchestra), communication agencies (CPP) and manufacturing agencies (Vision Prod) as an employee and then as a freelancer since 1999. It is this status that will allow me to devote myself to photography, which I discovered in the 2000s. It was a revelation, and soon became obvious. Since then, I have been photographing worlds far and near, between a documentary approach and a resolutely artistic approach. A line of conduct, like a thread that runs through my work and gives it coherence: approaching the other, taming them, taking the time, learning their language, being forgotten, with a gaze that is always curious and fundamentally empathetic. Four photographic editions were born from this work. Since 2017, I devote all my time to photography. And although I have an initial training that integrates the work of the image and a long-standing photographic practice, I felt the need to go further, to question my writing, and I have therefore attended several workshops and training courses. (Arles, Cifap, Gobelins) In 2018, I became a member of Studio Hans Lucas Today, the more I advance in my artistic practice, the more I approach my projects from a documentary point of view, but with an aesthetic or even plastic approach from the start. By mixing these different ways of working on my subject, I leave the imposed categories (documentary, plastic photography, etc.) to invent my own language that allows me to convey a message (environmental, social, humanitarian, political, etc.). This is the case in my latest work in India, pleas. In Bhopal, they point out the consequences of the worst chemical disaster the world has ever known, and in Rajsamand, they tell of the difficult working conditions of the miners. Statement An intuition, a call following the reading of an article or a book, moves me from my daily life in the metropolis and I set off to meet the other. The country is always far away, the situation speaks of a reprieve. Through photography I seek an encounter with the other, the other in what is different about him, his way of life, his language, which I try as much as possible to learn in order to be in touch with him. I am looking for an encounter with a place that also has its own language that often says the impalpable, what does not always appear at first sight, a place to be deciphered. In these encounters, I also seek an encounter with myself, because the other person questions me, challenges me, shakes up my preconceptions, pushes me to question myself. In my last work on the miners of Rajasthan, I sought to pay tribute to men in pain, working in sandstone or marble quarries, working without safety clothing, for a ridiculous salary, without a work contract, and more than half of whom suffer from silicosis because they work without masks. In most of my other photographic works, I try to bear witness but also to show a cultural heritage that is on the verge of disappearing, and to talk about those who keep it alive and often fight against a progressive assimilation. Of course, the time needed for these encounters, for this acceptance by the communities in which I immerse myself, implies taking time. A lot of time. It is the only way to establish the links that open doors, give access to knowledge, beliefs, and sometimes even confidences. Learning the Hindi language has helped me to better understand the personal stories of all the men and women I have photographed, to understand the distress that lies behind their dignity. I try to document the issues through personal stories that are each unique and singular. This is what I have done here with the miners of Rajasthan, or previously with the women of Bhopal, the postmen of Rajasthan, or the Akhas of Thailand. I offer you my view, nourished by what my encounters have revealed to me, my way of documenting it, as close as possible or with distance when necessary. A view that I hope will open up the possibility of better understanding, or at least of trying. That's already a lot.
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