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Tamas Dezso
Tamas Dezso
Tamas Dezso

Tamas Dezso

Country: Hungary
Birth: 1978

Tamas Dezso (b.1978) is a documentary fine art photographer working on long-term projects focusing on the margins of society in Hungary, Romania, and other parts of Eastern Europe. His work has been exhibited worldwide, with solo exhibitions in 2011 in Poland, Bangladesh, Budapest, New Mexico, and at the Robert Koch Gallery in San Francisco, and recent exhibitions at the New York Photo Festival, Shanghai Museum of Contemporary Art, and FOAM Photo Museum in Amsterdam. He was twice Hungarian Press Photo’s Photographer of the Year (2005 and 2006), and has received awards from organizations such as World Press Photo, Pictures of the Year International, NPPA’s Best of Photojournalism, and PDN. His photographs have appeared in TIME magazine, The New York Times, National Geographic, GEO, Le Monde magazine, and many others. Dezso has recently been nominated for the 2012 Prix Pictet.

Tamas Dezso's series 'Here, Anywhere' offers a desolate yet beautiful look at the people and places left behind during the post-communist transition in Hungary. Begun in 2009, the series explores the unique atmosphere of the country's now 20-year-long transition, and changing notions of Eastern European identity. With the introduction of democracy in the 1990s came euphoria and promise, but unrealized expectations of quickly catching up with the West have led to widespread disappointment and frustration, compounded by the current serious economic difficulties have fanned the popularity of far right politics, as well as an anachronistic nostalgia for the stability of communism. Presently Hungary has a right wing populist government and the strongest opposition party is the neo-Nazi party with nearly 1/8th of the eligible voters and gaining popularity.

Dezso's layered images present unsettling moments of stillness that poetically allude to this gritty reality. Motivated by the isolation he sees his country facing, Dezso photographs the people and places of Hungary as symbols, where "a certain out-dated, awkward, longed-to-be-forgotten Eastern Europeanness still lingers." This award-winning series has garnered international attention, earning Dezso First Place at the 2011 CENTER Project Competition in Santa Fe, the Daylight Magazine & Center for Documentary Studies Project Prize, and Grand Prize at the Jeune Création Européenne Biennal 2011/2013 in Paris-Montrouge.

Source: Robert Koch Gallery




Interview with Tamas Dezso

All About Photo: When did you realize you wanted to be a photographer?
Tamas Dezso: Soon after I left the University of Technology in Budapest in 2000.

AAP: Where did you study photography?
TD: I am self-taught.

AAP: How long have you been a photographer?
TD: I started as a photojournalist with a political daily in 2000.

AAP: What or who inspires you?
TD: Music. Beethoven, Bach and Mozart.

AAP: How could you describe your style?
TD: Documentary.

AAP: Do you have a favorite photograph or series?
TD: Richard Avedon 'Italy #9', 'Boy and Tree, Sicily, July 15, 1947'

AAP: What kind of gear do you use? Camera, lens, digital, film?
TD: Phase One cameras with various Schneider Kreuznach lenses.

AAP: Favorite(s) photographer(s)?
TD: Richard Avedon and Irving Penn

AAP: What advice would you give a young photographer?
TD: "Follow the advice of others only in the rarest cases." -- Beethoven

AAP: What are your projects?
TD: I am interested in the transitional period, the period after the fall of communism in Eastern Europe.

AAP: Your best memory as a photographer?
TD: My first trip to Romania.

AAP:If you were someone else who would it be?
TD: A pianist.

AAP: Your favorite photo book?
TD: Walter Niedermayr's Civil Operations.

 

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In general, Weston was moved by the landscape and folk art of Mexico to create abstract works, while Modotti was more captivated by the people of Mexico and blended this human interest with a modernist aesthetic. Modotti also became the photographer of choice for the blossoming Mexican mural movement, documenting the works of José Clemente Orozco and Diego Rivera. Between 1924 and 1928, Modotti took hundreds of photographs of Rivera's murals at the Secretariat of Public Education in Mexico City. Modotti's visual vocabulary matured during this period, such as her formal experiments with architectural interiors, blooming flowers, urban landscapes, and especially in her many beautiful images of peasants and workers during the depression. In 1926, Modotti and Weston were commissioned by Anita Brenner to travel around Mexico and take photographs for what would become her influential book Idols Behind Altars. The relative contributions of Modotti and Weston to the project has been debated. Weston's son Brett, who accompanied the two on the project, indicated that the photographs were taken by Edward Weston. In 1925, Modotti joined International Red Aid, a Communist organization. In November 1926, Weston left Mexico and returned to California. During this time Modotti met several political radicals and Communists, including three Mexican Communist Party leaders who would all eventually become romantically linked with her: Xavier Guerrero, Julio Antonio Mella, and Vittorio Vidali. Starting in 1927, a much more politically active Modotti (she joined the Mexican Communist Party that year) found her focus shifting and more of her work becoming politically motivated. Around that time her photographs began appearing in publications such as Mexican Folkways, Forma, and the more radically motivated El Machete, the German Communist Party's Arbeiter-Illustrierte-Zeitung (AIZ), and New Masses. 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Jean-Daniel Lorieux
French artist, Jean-Daniel Lorieux, is one of the masters of photography of his generation, earning much respect in the realm of fashion photography. Jean-Daniel Lorieux, was born on January 21st 1937 in the 16e arrondissement of Paris. He is the great-grandson of Théodore-Marie Lorieux, vice-president of the Conseil Général des Ponts et Chaussées and Jules Goüin. He studied engineering with the Jesuits at "L'école Arts et Métiers" in Paris and then went to the "Cours Simon". (Theatre) He did his military service in Algeria alongside the spahis as a photographer/filmmaker - in charge of photographing the corpses of rebels slaughtered for identification in the region of Mostaganem. For a while he worked for the Studio Harcourt as an industrial photographer and he remembers it as being a real "photographic factory" with a Stakhanovite like tempo. He has been working as a photographer for twenty years with fashion magazines like Vogue and L'Officiel. He also worked with Andy Warhol at the Factory (Andy Warhol's New York City Studio). He launched the modeling career of Cécilia Ciganer-Albéniz (Future wife of Nicolas Sarkozy), who then became his assistant. Friend of Bernadette and Claude Chirac, he directed the poster campaign of Jacques Chirac, then Prime Minister, for the legislative elections of 1988. Lorieux worked for the advertising campaigns of Dior, Lanvin, Rabanne, Ricci, Céline and Cardin, among others. He photographed many personalities like Jacques Chirac, Nelson Mandela, Mohamed V, Frank Sinatra, James Brown, Charles Aznavour, David Lynch, Isabelle Adjani, Claudia Cardinale, Carla Bruni, Karen Mulder, Claudia Schiffer, Linda Evangelista, Milla Jovovich... In 2008, he worked on an exhibition on the theme "The Master and Marguerite" at the request of Russian billionaire Yevgeny Iakovlev, with Isabelle Adjani as Marguerite. He has also released a series of books and a documentary film, retracing the atypical path of the artist and his creative pursuits. In addition to photographic creations, Jean-Daniel Lorieux produces films and paintings that parallel his distinctive style of photography, making use of sharp lines, bold colors, and his signature highly contrasted visual compositions. His work has been exhibited worldwide but mostly in the United States and in Europe. He is also a Knight of the Order of the Arts and Letters (1997), a knight of the Legion d'Honneur (2003) and decorated of the Maintien de l'ordre for spending two years in Algeria during the war.
Bernd and Hilla Becher
In the realm of photography, Bernd and Hilla Becher are celebrated as pioneers whose work not only revolutionized the perception of industrial landscapes but also shaped the course of conceptual photography in the 20th century. Born in Germany, Bernd Becher (1931–2007) and Hilla Becher (1934–2015) met as students at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf in the late 1950s, where they forged a partnership both personally and professionally that would endure for over five decades. Bernd initially studied painting before shifting his focus to photography under the tutelage of the eminent photographer Otto Steinert. It was during this period that he began to develop his signature style characterized by precise, objective, black-and-white images of industrial structures. Hilla, meanwhile, studied graphic and printing techniques, which would later prove instrumental in the meticulous printing process integral to their photographic work. The couple's collaboration blossomed as they embarked on a lifelong mission to document the vanishing industrial landscape of post-war Germany and beyond. Their photographs primarily featured industrial structures such as mine shafts, water towers, gas tanks, and blast furnaces, meticulously captured with a straightforward, documentary approach devoid of sentimentality or subjective interpretation. What set the Bechers apart was their systematic approach to photography. They meticulously cataloged these structures, arranging them in grids or typologies that emphasized the inherent beauty and functional aesthetics of these often-overlooked forms. Their work transcended mere documentation, offering viewers a profound meditation on the intersection of industry, architecture, and human labor. Throughout their career, the Bechers remained dedicated to their craft, tirelessly traveling across Europe and the United States to capture industrial sites before they disappeared due to modernization and economic shifts. Their influence extended beyond their own photographic output; they also imparted their knowledge and passion for photography as educators at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, where they mentored numerous students who would go on to make significant contributions to the field. Bernd and Hilla Becher's legacy endures not only through their extensive body of work but also through the impact they had on subsequent generations of photographers. Their commitment to preserving and elevating the industrial landscape through photography transformed the perception of these structures, elevating them to objects of aesthetic contemplation and cultural significance. Today, their photographs are cherished as timeless artifacts that capture the beauty and dignity of the industrial age, ensuring that their legacy will endure for generations to come.
Henry Horenstein
United States
1947
Born in Massachusetts in 1947, Henry Horenstein was on a path to becoming a historian when he discovered photography. Captivated by the work of Robert Frank and Danny Lyon, Horenstein entered the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) where he studied with Harry Callahan and Aaron Siskind. After completing his MFA at RISD in 1973, Horenstein's first major project was a documentary survey of the people and character of country music. As a long-time fan, Horenstein recognized that the culture of country music was changing, losing the homey, down-to-earth character of "hillbilly" music, and adopting the slicker nature of contemporary country music. His goal was to preserve a vanishing culture by capturing it in photographs, and for nearly a decade, he traveled throughout the United States, documenting the artists and audiences at honky-tonk bars, outdoor festivals, and community dances. The body of work that Horenstein created (published in 2003 as Honky Tonk) is a remarkable portrait of a distinct period in American cultural history. Some of Horenstein's later work has followed a similar theme, creating documentary portraits of distinct American sub-cultures, such as the worlds of horse racing, boxing clubs, and baseball. In recent years, Horenstein has also developed an extensive body of work that combines elements of portraiture, abstraction, clinical documentation, and landscape photography. Working with animals as well as human subjects, Horenstein creates compelling and frequently ambiguous images that explore the patterns, textures and geography of skin, scales and hair. Mixing the exotic and the ordinary, and making it difficult to tell which is which, Horenstein causes the viewer to pause and look closely. In doing so, we are made to re-examine ourselves as well as the world around us. Horenstein's work has been exhibited in galleries and museums both nationally and internationally, including the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History, Washington, D.C.; the International Museum of Photography, George Eastman House, Rochester, New York; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; and Fabrik der Kunste, Hamburg, Germany. Photographs by Henry Horenstein can be found in many public and private collections including the Library of Congress, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, Georgia. Horenstein is the author of over 30 books including several monographs and a series of highly successful photography textbooks that have been used by hundreds of thousands of students around the country. Horenstein currently lives in Boston and is a professor of photography at RISD. Henry Horenstein & Leslie Tucker: We Sort Of People
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AAP Magazine #41 B&W
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