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David Vasilev
David Vasilev
David Vasilev

David Vasilev

Country: Bulgary

David Vasilev was born in Stara Zagora, Bulgaria in 1981, where he spent his early years. Ever since he was a little kid, he was always surrounded by photojournalists, his dad being one of them. This had a great impact on his perception of the world, thus photography become a necessary tool for self-expression. After he moved to the United States he begun his extensive journey to find inspiration in the cultural contrasts of North America.

To observe is to spend more time looking through the lens than photographing. That is how I catch elusive moments of reality in a single frame.

Growing up in a culturally mixed neighborhood in Stara Zagora, Bulgaria, defined me as a person and as a photographer. I’ve captured the raw human spirit in people distanced from society—the joy and sadness they feel just by surviving, alongside the simplicity we lack.

I follow my instincts without looking back, which has led me to fascinating places. I’ve visited forgotten parts of the United States, time capsules filled with pure instinct and the most archaic traces of human nature still intact.

In one excursion I visited the Hutterites—a German-speaking colony located in the prairies of the Dakotas. I felt their sincere hospitality instantly, even when they couldn't understand why I was there to begin with or what photography even was. They maintained a humble existence that I wanted to preserve on film. With time, they got used to me being there, and my presence was gradually ignored. Only then did I witness and photograph their essence: the realness of their daily lives, creating a visual memory of this time and place.

I will never forget the children. One day a girl with curious eyes approached me quietly and asked, "Have you seen the ocean?"

David Vasilev
 

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More Great Photographers To Discover

Maia Flore
France
1988
Maia Flore was born in 1988, in France. She is currently living in Paris. Graduated from Ecole des Gobelins in 2010, she joined Agence VU' in 2011. Her approach fits into a research of coincidences between reality and her imagination. Her world is a complete fabrication in form of touching and enchanting narrations, even surrealistic. This is in Sweden she begins her first series "Sleep Elevations", a journey that indulges in childhood memories. During the summer of 2012, while her first residence in Finland, Maia Flore explores new methods of representation and narration. These researches will then continue at the Arts Center of Berkeley, California. Resulting two series (Situations and Morning Sculptures) that continue to explore the feelings of confusion in which the photographer places her characters as her audience. She is exposed for the first time in February 2011 at the festival Circulation (s) of the Young European Photography in Paris. More recently, as part of a White Card from Atout France and the French Institute, Maia Flore depicts the French heritage through her dreamy world in the series "Imagine France – Le voyage fantastique" exposed in Bercy Village until September 2014. In 2015, she wins Le prix HSBC pour la photographie. Source: Agence VU Situations (2012) In the Situations series, a girl runs through varyingly weathered landscapes donning a striking red outfit. In search of a sublime freedom, she travels to find fleeting moments of communion with nature. Draped in red, she catches the light of the sun or buries herself in the fog. As though she were attempting to rediscover this space, she roams on land-locked clouds that evaporate into the landscape upon the return of the sun as it chases away their mystery. Like a game between reality and fantasy, the clash between clairvoyance and a moment of madness, the girl is amused by her emotional confusion. Sleep Elevation (2010) "Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night," Edgar Allan Poe. This is how these girls, carried away in the air by objects, let themselves travel through boundless landscapes. Flying towards dreamed lands, making real a complete attraction between the character, his ideal universe and the world they live in: that is where these girls lead us. Their contorted movements are merging with the shape of the one revealing their passion. Mix of an imaginary realism and childhood memories, these beings in levitation invite us to dream, limitlessly.
Martin Schoeller
Germany
1968
Martin Schoeller (born March 12, 1968) is a New York-based photographer whose style of "hyper-detailed close ups" is distinguished by similar treatment of all subjects whether they are celebrities or unknown. His most recognizable work are his portraits, shot with similar lighting, backdrop, and tone. His work appears in The New Yorker, Outside Magazine, Entertainment Weekly, Rolling Stone, Time, GQ, Esquire, and Vogue. He has been a staff photographer at The New Yorker since 1999. Schoeller studied photography at Lette Verein in Berlin. Schoeller started his career in Germany, and came to New York in 1993 and worked as an assistant for Annie Leibovitz from 1993 to 1996, here he developed his "big head" portrait technique, a term coined by him, of his style of "hyper-detailed close ups", which later gave him worldwide acclaim. He left in 1996 to pursue his freelancing career. Soon his street portraits started getting published in Rolling Stone, GQ, Esquire, Entertainment Weekly, and W. In 1999, Schoeller joined Richard Avedon, as a contributing portrait photographer to The New Yorker since then. Over the year, his large-scale portraits have been exhibited at various galleries. A book of his portraits was published by teNeues in 2005: "Close Up: Portraits 1998-2005", consisting of 75 tight portraits, put together from over 300 shoots with various celebrities. Another, "Female Bodybuilders," was published by Pond Press in 2008. Stern published a portfolio of his work, "Fotographie Portfolio #54", also in 2008. His work is in the Permanent Collection of the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery. He shot the controversial cover of the May 21, 2012 issue of Time magazine about attachment parenting. In his latest book "Identical: Portraits of Twins" again by teNeues he examines 40 sets of identical twins and multiples in his distinctive close-up style. (Source: wikipedia.org)
Nicola Perscheid
Germany
1864 | † 1930
Nicola Perscheid (3 December 1864 - 12 May 1930) was a German photographer. He is primarily known for his artistic portrait photography. He developed the "Perscheid lens", a soft focus lens for large format portrait photography. Perscheid was born as Nikolaus Perscheid in Moselweiβ [de] near Koblenz, Germany, where he also went to school. At the age of 15, he began an apprenticeship as a photographer. Subsequently, Perscheid earned his living as an itinerant photographer; he worked, amongst other places, in Saarbrücken, Trier, and Colmar, but also in Nice, Vienna, or Budapest. In Klagenfurt in Austria he finally found a permanent position and on 1 March 1887, he became a member of the Photographic Society of Vienna (Wiener Photographische Gesellschaft). In 1889, he moved to Dresden, where he initially worked in the studio of Wilhelm Höffert (1832-1901), a well-known studio in Germany at that time, before opening his own studio in Görlitz on 6 June 1891. The next year he was appointed court photographer at the court of Albert, King of Saxony. In 1894, Perscheid moved to Leipzig. Perscheid had his first publication of an image of his in a renowned photography magazine in 1897, and subsequently participated in many exhibitions and also had contacts with artist Max Klinger. As an established and well-known photographer, he moved in 1905 to Berlin. There, he experimented with early techniques for colour photography, without much success, and when his assistant Arthur Benda [de] left him in 1907, Perscheid gave up these experiments altogether. His portraits, however, won him several important prizes, but apparently were not an economic success: he sold his studio on 24 June 1912. In October 1913, he held a course at the Swedish society of professional photographers, the Svenska Fotografernas Förbund, which must have been a success as it was praised even ten years later. In 1923, he followed a call by the Danish college for photography in Kopenhagen. Percheid had several students who would later become renowned photographers themselves. Arthur Benda studied with him from 1899 to 1902, and joined him again in 1906 as his assistant for experimenting with colour photography. Benda left Perscheid in 1907; together with Dora Kallmus he went to Vienna and worked in her studio Atelier d'Ora, which he eventually took over and that continued to exist under the name d'Ora-Benda until 1965. Kallmus herself also had studied from January to May 1907 at Perscheid's. Henry B. Goodwin, who later emigrated to Sweden and in 1913 organized Perscheid's course there, studied with Perscheid in 1903. In 1924 the Swedish photographer Curt Götlin (1900-1993) studied at Perscheid's studio. Perscheid also influenced the Japanese photographer Toragorō Ariga, who studied in Berlin from 1908 to 1914 and also followed Perscheid's courses. He returned in 1915 to Japan. The Perscheid lens was developed around 1920. It is a soft-focus lens with a wide depth of field, produced by Emil Busch AG after the specifications of Perscheid. The lens is designed especially for large format portrait photography. Ariga introduced the Perscheid lens in Japan, where it became very popular amongst Japanese portrait photographers of the 1920s. Even after the sale of his studio, Perscheid continued to work as a photographer and even rented other studio rooms in 1917. Besides artistic photography, he also always did "profane" studio portraits, for instance for the Postkartenvertrieb Willi Sanke in Berlin that between 1910 and 1918 published a series of about 600 to 700 numbered aviation postcards, including a large number of portraits of flying aces, a number of which were done by Perscheid. Towards the end of the 1920s, Perscheid had severe financial problems. In autumn 1929 he had to sub-rent his apartment to be able to pay his own rent. Shortly afterwards, he suffered a stroke, and was hospitalized in spring of 1930. While he was at the hospital, his belongings, including his cameras and photographic plates, but also all his furniture were auctioned off to pay his debts. Two weeks after the auction, on 12 May 1930, Perscheid died at the Charité hospital in Berlin. Source: Wikipedia
Fokion Zissiadis
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Ed Sievers
United States
1932 | † 2002
Ed Sievers was born in 1932 in St. Louis, MO, the son of a family doctor that made house calls and an aspiring opera singer. He attended Grinnell College, graduating with a degree in Speech in 1954. His first job was as a creative writer for Hallmark Cards. The slogans he penned were notable for the wry wit and wisdom with which he commented on the human condition. At the same time, his interest in the arts was expanding from the literary to the visual, and would ultimately lead him in a new direction. In 1966 he was accepted into the MFA program at the Rhode Island School of Design to study photography with Harry Callahan. Upon graduation in 1968 he joined the faculty of California State University, Northridge, as a specialist in fine art photography. He took up residence in the Carlton Hotel in Venice Beach and soon realized he had walked into a street photographer's dream. Originally designed as a resort community modeled after its Italian namesake, Venice had fallen on hard times. Buildings were in disrepair and rents were cheap. Influenced by the Bohemian lifestyle of its poets, artists, students and a struggling lower class, the boardwalk suddenly sprang to life. There were musicians, dancers, jugglers, mimes, magicians, comedians, roller skaters, fortune tellers, gritty street people and colorful hippies. And, of course, there was the sprawling nude beach. Throngs of gapers flocked from throughout Southern California to enjoy the expressive spirit of the moment. But that was only on weekends. A quieter, more sensitive mood prevailed during the week. The gentle gestures of holocaust survivors at the Israel Levin Center. The recovering alcoholics quietly heading home after Al-Anon meetings. The homeless searching for food and drink. The once cheerful cottages longing for attention. The iconic murals. The myopic murals. The motions of a people not sure of what lay ahead. Within a decade the Venice that Ed knew had been swallowed up by rampant commercialism and the inexorable influx of the nouveau riche. Upon his death in 2002, the Edwin R. Sievers Memorial Award was established to share his vision with future students; "His approach to photography was straight forward: use the nuances of available light to enhance the subject, whatever that may be: ordinary, quirky, or sublime." Source: Robert Mann Gallery
Nieves Mingueza
Nieves Mingueza is a lens-based, mixed media artist working with experimental photography, collage and text. Born in Spain, based in London. The often-cinematic themes in her projects have in common her fascination with old books, film stills, vintage cameras, poetry and minimal drawings. Ultimately, Nieves' work is about the foggy relationship between fiction and reality. In addition, she is currently exploring about immigration, mental health and human conflicts. Nieves' work has been exhibited widely, including Copeland Gallery -Peckham 24-, Les rencontres de la photographie Arles, Fondazione Giorgio Cini, Retina Scottish International Photography Festival, The Royal Academy of Arts, PhotoEspaña, Saatchi Gallery and Tate Britain. Publications that have featured her work include Editorial 8mm, Fisheye magazine, Der Greif magazine, Low Light Magazine, Shots magazine, Eyemazing, Sarmad Magazine, YET Magazine and L'oeil de la photographie, among others. Lens Culture also featured a selection of her works. Recently, in July 2019, her first monograph book was released by IIKKI Books Editorial. All about The malady of Suzanne by Nieves Mingueza A few months ago, I moved to my new flat in South London. Once settled in my new home, I realised that the building had previously been a mental health hospital. In this hospital, people with mental health issues were treated and helped to reintegrate into society. One night, I was relaxing, reading in my living room. There was a sepulchral silence, and suddenly I heard a noise coming from the ceiling. I was scared and I noticed that there was a small loft. The next day, a neighbour helped me open the loft. Unexpectedly, we found a suitcase that contained photos, letters and documents that had belonged to a woman named Suzanne. Reading her letters, I learned that she was a Vietnamese woman who had been a teacher in her home country. There, she fell in love with an Englishman, and finally they decided to move to London together. This happened in 70s. Apparently she began to experience signs of a rare disease: loss of speech and isolation behaviour. I also found out from her documents that she had changed her name in London, because her real name was very difficult to pronounce for English people. She called herself Suzanne in honour of Leonard Cohen's song. By combining found archives with my documentary photography work, I am exploring the story of a Vietnamese female with mental issues in 70's London. This is an on-going project about the complex relationship between memory, immigration, mental health and human conflicts. Additionally, is there any reciprocation between Suzanne and myself? We have both lived in the same space. I am an immigrant in London, I work in a school, and I have modified my name because it was difficult for my students to pronounce. I also love silence.
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