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Aaron Siskind
© Jonathan Williams · Portrait of Aaron Siskind
Aaron Siskind
Aaron Siskind

Aaron Siskind

Country: United States
Birth: 1903 | Death: 1991

Aaron Siskind was born on December 4, 1903 in New York. He was the son of Russian Jewish immigrants and the fifth of six children. After receiving his Bachelor of Social Science degree from the College of the City of New York in 1926, he went on to teach high school English in the New York public school system for 21 years. His first loves were music and poetry, but he took an interest in photography after his 1929 wedding, when he received his first camera as a honeymoon present. He began his career in photography as a documentarian in the New York Photo League in 1932. From 1936 to 1940, he oversaw the League’s Feature Group as they created documentary photo essays of political importance, fueled by a desire for social change.

On the invitation of Harry Callahan, Siskind joined the faculty of the Institute of Design in Chicago in 1951, taking over as head of the photography program in 1961, when Callahan left. Siskind and Callahan, famous for their synergy as teachers and photographers, reunited in 1971 when SIskind left the Institute of Design for the Rhode Island School of Design where Callahan then taught. Siskind continued to teach at RISD until his retirement in 1976. He traveled broadly, making multiple trips to Mexico and Italy, including a stint in Rome, funded by his 1966 John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship.

Siskind died at age 87 in Providence, Rhode Island. The Aaron Siskind Centennial Celebration took place in 2003 and 2004, with exhibitions at more than a dozen institutions across the country, each devoted to a different period or theme of his life and work.
 

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George Brassaï (pseudonym of Gyula Halász) was a Hungarian photographer, sculptor, and filmmaker who rose to international fame in France in the 20th century. He was one of the numerous Hungarian artists who flourished in Paris beginning between the World Wars. In the early 21st century, the discovery of more than 200 letters and hundreds of drawings and other items from the period 1940–1984 has provided scholars with material for understanding his later life and career.Gyula (Jules) Halasz (the Western order of his name) was born in Brassó, Transsylvania, Kingdom of Hungary (since 1920 Brasov, Romania), to an Armenian mother and a Hungarian father. He grew up speaking Hungarian. When he was three, his family lived in Paris for a year, while his father, a professor of French literature, taught at the Sorbonne. As a young man, Gyula Halász studied painting and sculpture at the Hungarian Academy of Fine Arts (Magyar Képzomuvészeti Egyetem) in Budapest. He joined a cavalry regiment of the Austro-Hungarian army, where he served until the end of the First World War. In 1920, Halász went to Berlin, where he worked as a journalist for the Hungarian papers Keleti and Napkelet. He started studies at the Berlin-Charlottenburg Academy of Fine Arts (Hochschule für Bildende Künste), now Universität der Künste Berlin. There he became friends with several older Hungarian artists and writers, including the painters Lajos Tihanyi and Bertalan Pór, and the writer Gyorgy Boloni, each of whom later moved to Paris and became part of the Hungarian circle. In 1924, Halasz moved to Paris to live, where he would stay for the rest of his life. To learn the French language, he began teaching himself by reading the works of Marcel Proust. Living among the gathering of young artists in the Montparnasse quarter, he took a job as a journalist. He soon became friends with the American writer Henry Miller, and the French writers Leon-Paul Fargue and Jacques Prévert. In the late 1920s, he lived in the same hotel as Tihanyi. Halasz's job and his love of the city, whose streets he often wandered late at night, led to photography. He first used it to supplement some of his articles for more money, but rapidly explored the city through this medium, in which he was tutored by his fellow Hungarian André Kertész. He later wrote that he used photography "in order to capture the beauty of streets and gardens in the rain and fog, and to capture Paris by night." Using the name of his birthplace, Gyula Halász went by the pseudonym "Brassaï," which means "from Brasso." Brassaï captured the essence of the city in his photographs, published as his first collection in 1933 book entitled Paris de nuit (Paris by Night). His book gained great success, resulting in being called "the eye of Paris" in an essay by his friend Henry Miller. In addition to photos of the seedier side of Paris, Brassai portrayed scenes from the life of the city's high society, its intellectuals, its ballet, and the grand operas. He had been befriended by a French family who gave him access to the upper classes. Brassai photographed many of his artist friends, including Salvador Dalí, Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Alberto Giacometti, and several of the prominent writers of his time, such as Jean Genet and Henri Michaux. Young Hungarian artists continued to arrive in Paris through the 1930s and the Hungarian circle absorbed most of them. Kertèsz emigrated to New York in 1936. Brassai befriended many of the new arrivals, including Ervin Marton, a nephew of Tihanyi, whom he had been friends with since 1920. Marton developed his own reputation in street photography in the 1940s and 1950s. Brassaï continued to earn a living with commercial work, also taking photographs for the United States magazine Harper's Bazaar. He was a founding member of the Rapho agency, created in Paris by Charles Rado in 1933. Brassaï's photographs brought him international fame. In 1948, he had a one-man show in the United States at the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) in New York City, which traveled to the George Eastman House in Rochester, New York; and the Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois. MOMA exhibited more of Brassai's works in 1953, 1956, and 1968. He was presented at the Rencontres d'Arles festival (France) in 1970 (screening at the Théâtre Antique, "Brassaï" by Jean-Marie Drot), in 1972 (screening "Brassaï si, Vominino" by René Burri), and in 1974 (as guest of honour). In 1948, Brassaï married Gilberte Boyer, a French woman. She worked with him in supporting his photography. Source: Wikipedia
Wiktor Franko
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Wiktor Franko, born in Kielce in 1983. He completed Polish Language Studies at the Swietokrzyska Academy, then got involved in photography and he has ever since been preoccupied with it. He deals with both fine art and commercial photography. His photographs have been published in a number of professional magazines, such as Prism Magazine, Camerapixo, Pokochaj Fotografie, Fabrikon Magazine, Musli Magazine, Confashion and a Chinese Prime Magazine. He exhibited his works at a few collective and individual exhibitions, and his photographs were awarded in a variety of photo contests - he was twice awarded in a prestigious Viva Photo Awards and two local contests Zycie Jest Piekne and Kielce Inaczej (he was a jury member with Pawel Pierscinski in the last two editions of Kielce Inaczej contest). Wiktor Franko was a collaborator of Charaktery magazine, and a number of his images were placed on the cover of that magazine. His photographs can also be found on book covers. On two occasions, he took photographs of famous people from the world of business, culture and politics, including a portrait photo depicting Malgorzata Tusk, Prime Minister's wife for Philanthropist's Calendar, a publication that is of importance for the region. Wiktor Franco is the author of three posters for The Off Fashion, a European contest for fashion designers that is held in Kielce. Initially, Wiktor's development as a photographer ran parallel to his stay in London, where he shot photos of jazz and rock music stars, including Marillion, King Crimson, Porcupine Tree, Archive, Chic Corea, Jan Garbarek. Currently, Wiktor is engaged in making music albums covers of Polish artists, including Strefa Ciszy, Lebowski. In his photographs, Wiktor Franko frequently uses literary motifs and allusions (a cycle devoted to Milan Kundera's novels). His works, strongly influenced by surrealism, are often defined as painterly. As he himself says, what is most important for him in photography is the atmosphere, a particular mood and surprise.Source: Galeria Winda
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Greene began his art career as a painter, but started taking photos as a means of cataloging material for his paintings. In 1971, when Greene was a member of the anti-war movement and the Black Panthers, his friend, photographer W. Eugene Smith offered him space in his studio and encouraged him to study photography at the School of Visual Arts in New York and the San Francisco Art Institute. Greene held various jobs as a photographer, including taking pictures of rock bands and working at Newsday. In 1986, he shot fashion in Paris. He called himself a "dilettante, sitting in cafes, taking pictures of girls and doing heroin". After a friend died of AIDS, Greene kicked his drug habit and began to seriously pursue a photography career. He began photojournalism in 1989, when his image ("Kisses to All, Berlin Wall") of a tutu-clad girl with a champagne bottle became a symbol of the fall of the Berlin Wall. While working for the Paris-based photo agency Agence Vu in October 1993, Greene was trapped and almost killed in the White House in Moscow during a coup attempt against President Boris Yeltsin. He has covered the war-torn countries Azerbaijan, Georgia, Iraq, Somalia, Croatia, Kashmir, and Lebanon. He has taken pictures of the genocide in Rwanda in 1994 and the US Gulf Coast in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Since 1994, Greene is best known for his documentation of the conflict in Chechnya, between rebels and the Russian armed forces, which was compiled in his 2004 book, Open Wound. These photos have drawn attention to the "suffering that has marked the latest surge in Chechnya's centuries-long struggle for independence from Russia". In 2008, Greene revealed that he had hepatitis C, which he believed he had contracted from a contaminated razor while working in Chad in 2007. 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The resultant series of black and white and color photographs are more than a mere documentation of the darkness which exists in the world. Journalists today are like disaster tourists going from one hot place to the next. It has never been my intention to be such a photographer. I think it is better to build a full body of work which demonstrates the longevity of a working photojournalist, today and yesterday. I think that this should be taken into consideration when looking at this work. It is a fragment, taken from longer and larger photo-essays." -- Stanley Greene (Sometimes We Need Tragedies) Source: fragments.nl
Rasel Chowdhury
Bangladesh
1988
Rasel Chowdhury is a documentary photographer. Rasel started photography without a conscious plan, eventually became addicted and decided to document spaces in and around his birth place, Bangladesh. He obtained his graduation in photography from Pathshala, South Asian Media Institute, and in due course, he found the changing landscapes and environmental issues as two extremely important subjects to document in his generation. Rasel started documenting a dyeing river Buriganga, a dying city Sonargaon and newly transformed spaces around Bangladesh railway to explore the change of the environment, unplanned urban structures and the new form of landscapes. During the same time, he started developing his own visual expression as a landscape photographer to address his subjects with a distinctive look.All about Rasel Chowdhury:AAP: When did you realize you wanted to be a photographer?In 2007, when I dropped my moot study (ACCA). Before that Photography was my hobby.AAP: Where did you study photography?I studied photography at Pathshala, South Asian Media Institute. AAP:Do you have a mentor or role model?Yes, Munem Wasif is my mentor who works in Agency VU. And Jemie Penney was my one of mentor from Getty Image when I was selected for the Getty Image Emerging Talent Award in 2012. AAP: Do you remember your first shot? What was it?Yes, I was 6-7 years old. I got a Yashick Auto camera from my father and I took my teacher’s photo by first click. Still I’ve that film in my archive.AAP: What or who inspires you?So many people specially my Family member and friends.AAP: How could you describe your style?I always like calm and quite frame with special faded tone and less contrast.AAP: Do you have a favorite photograph or series?Many, like The Ballad of Sexual Dependence by Nan Goldin, The Americans by Robert Frank and so on. AAP: What kind of gear do you use? Camera, lens, digital, film?Mostly, I shoot on 35mm film camera and then I crop as 6X7. AAP: Do you spend a lot of time editing your images? For what purpose?Not so much.AAP: What are your projects?Desperate Urbanization, Railway Longing, Life on Water and No Money, No Deal.AAP: Favorite(s) photographer(s)?Lot of photographers like Richard Avedon, Alec Soth, Nadav Kander, Dayanita Singh, Munem Wasif, Antoine D’Agata and so many.AAP: What advice would you give a young photographer?Find your strength and believe in it.AAP: What mistake should a young photographer avoid?Don’t be hurry. Be honest.AAP: An idea, a sentence, a project you would like to share?Desperate Urbanization- a story about dying river.AAP: Your best memory as a photographer?When I shot at Old People Home in Niort, France.AAP: Your favorite photo book?Lots of photo books like Under The Banyan Tree, Belongings, Anticrops and so on.AAP: Anything else you would like to share?Twelve significant photographs in any one-year is a good crop - Ansel Adams.
Espen Rasmussen
Norway
1976
Espen Rasmussen is based at Nesodden, close to Oslo, Norway. He works as a photo editor in VG Helg — the weekend magazine of the biggest daily Norwegian newspaper VG. At the same time he is constantly working on his own photo projects. Rasmussen focuses specially on humanitarian issues and the challenges related to climate change. He is represented by Panos Pictures. In 2008 he was listed by Photo District News on the prestigeous PDNs 30 — New and Emerging Photographers to Watch. He has won numerous awards for his work, including two prizes from World Press Photo, several in the Picture of the Year international (POYi) and 28 awards in the Norwegian Picture of the Year. In 2007, Espen received 60.000 dollar from the Freedom of Expression Foundation to continue his long-term project on refugees and IDPs around the world, which was published as the book TRANSIT in 2011, as well as a major exhibition. Rasmussen is freelance lecturing photography at schools such as the Oslo University College and Bilder Nordic school of Photography. He is also frequently giving presentations at photo festivals and for a wide range of other audiences. For the last two years, he has been one of three editors/mentors in Norwegian Journal of Photography (NJP). His work has been exhibited at the Nobel Peace Center (Oslo), The Humanity House (The Hague), UNHCR headquarter (Geneva) and DokuFest international film festival (Kosovo), among other places. Clients include the New York Times, The Independent, Intelligent Life, Fader magazine, MSF (Doctors Without Borders), NRC (The Norwegian Refugee Council) and UNHCR. His work has appeared in magazines such as Time, Newsweek, National Geographic, Der Spiegel and the Economist and newspapers such as The Sunday Telegraph and New York Times.
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