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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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Attar Abbas
Iran/France
1944 | † 2018
Abbas Attar, better known by his mononym Abbas, was an Iranian photographer known for his photojournalism in Biafra, Vietnam and South Africa in the 1970s, and for his extensive essays on religions in later years. He was a member of Sipa Press from 1971 to 1973, a member of Gamma from 1974 to 1980, and joined Magnum Photos in 1981. Attar, an Iranian transplanted to Paris, dedicated his photographic work to the political and social coverage of the developing southern nations. Since 1970, his major works have been published in world magazines and include wars and revolutions in Biafra, Bangladesh, Ulster, Vietnam, the Middle East, Chile, Cuba, and South Africa with an essay on apartheid. From 1978 to 1980, he photographed the revolution in Iran, and returned in 1997 after a 17-year voluntary exile. His book iranDiary 1971-2002 (2002) is a critical interpretation of its history, photographed and written as a personal diary. From 1983 to 1986, he travelled throughout Mexico, photographing the country as if he were writing a novel. An exhibition and a book, Return to Mexico, journeys beyond the mask (1992), which includes his travel diaries, helped him define his aesthetics in photography. From 1987 to 1994, he photographed the resurgence of Islam from the Xinjiang to Morocco. His book and exhibition Allah O Akbar, a journey through militant Islam (1994) exposes the internal tensions within Muslim societies, torn between a mythical past and a desire for modernization and democracy. The book drew additional attention after the September 11 attacks in 2001. When the year 2000 became a landmark in the universal calendar, Christianity was the symbol of the strength of Western civilization. Faces of Christianity, a photographic journey (2000) and a touring exhibit, explored this religion as a political, a ritual and a spiritual phenomenon. From 2000 to 2002 he worked on Animism. In our world defined by science and technology, the work looked at why irrational rituals make a strong come-back. He abandoned this project on the first anniversary of the September 11 attacks. His book, In Whose Name? The Islamic World after 9/11 (2009), is a seven-year quest within 16 countries : opposed by governments who hunt them mercilessly, the jihadists lose many battles, but are they not winning the war to control the mind of the people, with the "creeping islamisation" of all Muslim societies? From 2008 to 2010 Abbas travelled the world of Buddhism, photographing with the same sceptical eye for his book Les Enfants du lotus, voyage chez les bouddhistes (2011). In 2011, he began a similar long-term project on Hinduism which he concluded in 2013. Before his death, Abbas was working on documenting Judaism around the world. He died in Paris on 25 April 2018, aged 74. About his photography Abbas wrote: "My photography is a reflection, which comes to life in action and leads to meditation. Spontaneity – the suspended moment – intervenes during action, in the viewfinder. A reflection on the subject precedes it. A meditation on finality follows it, and it is here, during this exalting and fragile moment, that the real photographic writing develops, sequencing the images. For this reason a writer's spirit is necessary to this enterprise. Isn't photography "writing with light"? But with the difference that while the writer possesses his word, the photographer is himself possessed by his photo, by the limit of the real which he must transcend so as not to become its prisoner." Source: Wikipedia Born a photographer, Abbas is an Iranian transplanted to Paris. He has dedicated himself to documenting the political and social life of societies in conflict. In his major work since 1970 he has covered wars and revolutions in Biafra, Bangladesh, Northern Ireland, Vietnam, the Middle East, Chile, Cuba, and South Africa during apartheid. From 1978 to 1980, Abbas photographed the revolution in Iran, to which he returned in 1997 after seventeen years of voluntary exile. His book Iran Diary 1971-2002 is a critical interpretation of Iranian history, photographed and written as a private journal. During his years of exile Abbas traveled constantly. Between 1983 and 1986 he journeyed through Mexico, attempting to photograph a country as a novelist might write about it. The resulting exhibition and book, Return to Mexico: Journeys Beyond the Mask, helped define his photographic aesthetic. From 1987 to 1994, he focused on the resurgence of Islam throughout the world. Allah O Akbar: A Journey Through Militant Islam, the subsequent book and exhibition, spanning twenty-nine countries and four continents, attracted special attention after the 9/11 attacks by Islamic jihadists. A later book, Faces of Christianity: A Photographic Journey (2000), and touring show explored Christianity as a political, ritual and spiritual phenomenon. Abbas' concern with religion led him in 2000 to begin a project on animism, in which he sought to discover why non-rational ritual has re-emerged in a world increasingly defined by science and technology. He abandoned this undertaking in 2002, on the first anniversary of 9/11, to start a new long-term project about the clash of religions, defined as culture rather than faith, which he believes are turning into political ideologies and therefore one of the sources of the strategic struggles of the contemporary world. From 2008 to 2010 Abbas travelled the world of Buddhism, photographing with the same sceptical eye. In 2011 he started a similar long term project on Hinduism. A member of Sipa from 1971 to 1973, then of Gamma from 1974 to 1980, Abbas joined Magnum Photos in 1981 and became a member in 1985. Source: Magnum Photos
Katerina Belkina
Katerina Belkina was born in Samara, a city in the South-East of the European part of Russia. She grew up in an artistic atmosphere; her mother is a visual artist and, in herplace of birth, she got an education in the art of painting at the Art Academy. She continued her education in 2000 at an Academy for Photography also in Samara and exhibitions of her mysterious self-portraits ensued in Moscow and Paris. Katerina Belkina was nominated for the prestigious Kandinsky Prize (comparable to the British Turner prize) in Moscow in 2007. At the moment, Katerina Belkina is living and working in Moscow and Berlin.AAP: Where did you study photography?I started in a studio of photography and then I decided to study photography in an Art College. After several years I learned photography at the Photo Academy in Samara, Russia.AAP:How did you become a photographer?I think of myself as an artist in the broad sense of the word. For me photography is just a medium like a painting, drawing etc. However I like to use photography as a basis for my works. This form of art was always interesting for me. As well as drawing. I was influenced by my family in my childhood to like both mediums.AAP: Do you remember your first shot? What was it?When I was in fifth grade I took my school photo-group. Otherwise everything around me: school friends, street dogs, home yard.AAP:What was your first paid assignment/job?It was for an inexpensive portrait. The client was a girl who looked very similar to Marilyn Monroe. I found out that only when I looked at her in the viewfinder.AAP: What or who inspires you?Other people working in my field. When I see good results and when I see how they work. AAP: Do you spend a lot of time editing your images? For what purpose?Yes, a lot. At first I like the process of editing. In my case it is a combination of photo elements and then layer by layer drawing or correcting and making post-productions. I like when any art work include skills and labor. Every good idea should be perfectly executed.AAP: How do you choose your subjects?I always choose a topic that could be interesting for me at that moment. Then comes the process of thinking about. In the beginning ideas are always abstract. After a while it takes a shape: I choose a subject, composition, color combinations and details. AAP: Can you explain the process that you use to set up a portrait?When the idea takes shape in my mind, I draw a sketch, prepare all the necessary things for shooting and then start. Despite the fact that I know very exactly what I want for my future composition, I like to allow improvisation in the process. Because the result can be interesting and unexpectable. To take self-portraits I use a stative and make it by myself or I ask an assistant.AAP: Your worst souvenir as a photographer?Oh yes I remember! A meeting with a client who paid me and thought the world should rotate around him just because of that.AAP: What advice would you give a young photographer?Shoot a lot, take everything that could be interesting for you. Try new things, make discoveries. This is the most important thing. Don’t listen to anybody when they want to teach you something especially when it is in a critical way. AAP: What mistake should a young photographer avoid?Don’t try to be or to do like someone else. Your photography style will become unique over time. You need to be interested by what you are doing even if other photographers or artists can inspire you.
Adam Bartos
United States
1953
Adam Bartos visited local speedways in rural New York, Florida and New Mexico where drivers race the super-stock class of car on quarter-mile dirt oval tracks. This elemental class of driver-owned racecar competes without corporate sponsorship, for minimal prize money, simply for the pure thrill and sport of weekend motor racing on tracks all over the U.S. The intrinsic aesthetic Bartos captures is that of a rather crude and utilitarian technology glamorized by the singularity of its purpose and accumulated patina, acquired at high speeds on dirt tracks.It is said that stock car racing originated in the 1920s, during prohibition, when "moon runners" began boasting about the speeds of their nighttime trips, often on backcountry roads, illegally transporting liquor. Soon they began to race with each other for sport on weekends. (Famously, Robert Mitchum played one of these runners in the 1950’s cult classic, Thunder Road).Adam Bartos’s work has been exhibited widely. His books include: International Territory (Verso, 1994), which looks at the aging modern architecture of the United Nations’ headquarters and, implicitly, the ideals which created it; Kosmos (Princeton Architectural Press, 2001), a then inconceivable look into the Russian space program; Boulevard (Steidldangin, 2005), a dialogue between Paris and Los Angeles; Yard Sale Photographs (Damiani Editore, 2009) and Darkroom (Steidldangin, 2012). His work is in the collections of the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and others. In 2013, he was shortlisted for the Prix Pictet, a global award in photography and sustainability, for his series Yard Sale Photographs.
Marco Sanges
Italian
1970
SANGES is an imaginative and innovative photographer who has exhibited worldwide and published extensively. Clients and art projects include: Agent Provocateur, Cutler & Gross, Vogue, National Opera Munich,Dolce & Gabbana National Opera Stuttgart, Dario Argento, Stash Klossowski de Rola and Gunther Von Hagens' Body World. Academy of Art New York. Magazines include: Sunday Telegraph, Silver Shotz, Photo, All About Photos, Musee, Katalog, Lomography, Normal, Elle, Esquire, The Times, Independent, Fault , Aesthetica , Shoot, Harpers Bazar, L’œil De la Photographie. Wonderland Some of his short films include : Sugar, Meet me in Winter, Circumstances, Music Sound Machine, Sonnambula, Wunderkamera. His books include : Circumstances, Venus, Wild, and Erotic Photography, Love Lust Desire, Dolce & Gabbana Animal, National Opera Munich, The Cutting Room. Mefistofele Opera Stuttgart by Arrigo Boito. A multi-disciplinary artist, his film 'Circumstances' won Best Art Film at the Portobello Film Festival in London and Best Experimental Film at the Open Cinema Film Festival, St. Petersburg, Russia. Sanges' work is exhibited in the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts permanent collection and at the Center for Creative Photography in Arizona - USA His distinctive photographs have been shown at major contemporary photography festivals including Helsinki Photo Festival and Batumi PhotoDays in Georgia and the Lodz Photofestiwal in Poland. One of his latest project 'Wunderkamera' has been exhibited at the Hospital Club in London and at the Chateau de Dampierre (France) and will be exhibited in the Gallerie de Buci in Paris February 2020.
Thomas Devaux
France
1980
Thomas Devaux has authored several complex and ambitious series. In each of them one can find a subtle but strong game of jousting played out between his core values and the evolutions brought about by modern technology. The inflammatory value behind the photography is not so innate. It is more a direct effort meant to mirror a fragment of a future re-composition.The works in the "ATTRITION" series were selected according to their composition and their figurative will. This is a double articulation between what is borrowed and that which is a reinterpretation on one hand and an axe in art history on the other hand. "ATTRITION", thanks to the expanded possibilities of digital techniques of which I have become very experienced, shows a n affluence of forms and materials such as an organic proliferation of hair, of body parts, etc. The portrait becomes a division of a face created by itself or vanishes in its own contour. The development material, though shadowy and opaque, is light and see-through. It raises the texture of the paper which allows for an automatic refinement of the forms and pigments.The final result is both sensual and onirique in the in the very image of the models that Devaux photographs in the backstages of fashion shows. They allow him to grasp the pictorial qualities which remain anchored in this field of photography. His surface does not rely upon the thickness of painting materials but rather on an artificial yet original vocabulary which is personal and photographic." Source: Anne Biroleau-Lemagny, General Curator Charge of Contemporary 21st Century: French National Library Born in 1980. Lives and works in Paris.Thomas Devaux moved frequently when he was young and he never stopped being "in motion". He moved to London after graduating from high school, and then he started his studies in Montpellier, while exploring the image in all its forms: photography, experimental cinema, painting and collage...He achieved through this artistic extension to remove the boundary between drawing and photography. Finally, he obtained diploma of Licence in Performing Art in Paris (Paris X). Developing great interest in traveling and exploring the world, he found his place in 2006 working for a fashion magazine: Fashion Insider. He first started as a photographer and cameraman, and became the artistic director of the magazine in 2009. He attended the world's most famous fashion shows and worked in many countries (France, Italy, Brazil, Portugal, Georgia, UK, Turkey, Denmark, Cyprus...). Opening up to the world, and to all the celebrities he met and interviewed for his magazine, was the opportunity to develop and make his style recognized: Jean-Paul Gaultier, Karl Lagerfeld, John Galliano, Donatella Vercace, Sonia Rykiel, Usher, Chris Brown, Kanye West, Milla Jovovich, Beth Ditto, Pedro Almodovar... Source: 1:1 Photo Magazine At first sight, portraits. At second glance, the questioning. Paintings or photographs? Thomas Devaux artwork throws off. By its form as its content, it upsets any certainty. And, it is precisely though that movement that it comes to its full magnitude.Fashion photographer, Thomas Devaux keeps from its reports thousands of shoots made behind the scenes that feed a later digital work. Indeed, in front of his screen, he cuts, deconstructs, assembles and recomposes his pictures until he creates images full of contradictions. Far from being frightened, Thomas Devaux finds with these dualities a remarkable tool to transcend the boundaries and ward off any kind of fatality. Of fashion, he likes the aesthetics but condemns the stylistic dictum and the imperative beauty. Of photography, he praises the documentary force but fears the frozen relation to time. And, from these considerations, comes out the idea of an nonconformism, un-postural, in the original meaning, as Thomas Devaux refuses any reductive normativity without denying for all that any legagy. Entitling his series "Attriction", he seems to insist on the idea of wear. A notion that does not necessarily imply deterioration. As, if the marks of time destroy some aspects, they also reveal some others. Finally, his work damages beauty to enhance it out of the conservative models. It brings together traditional approaches and opens them to modernity. It integrates the cyclic dimension of existence and reminds that what springs dies and what dies springs again with a new form. Source: Ozarts Etc
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