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Natalie Christensen
Natalie Christensen
Natalie Christensen

Natalie Christensen

Country: United States
Birth: 1966

Photographer Natalie Christensen has an inimitable, and enchanting, focus on the exploration of the more banal peripheral landscapes that often go unnoticed by the casual observer. "I quickly became aware that these isolated moments in the suburban landscape were rich with metaphor. Closed and open doors, empty parking lots and forgotten swimming pools draw me to a scene; yet it was my reactions to these objects and spaces that elicited interpretation and projection."

Based in Santa Fe, New Mexico, United States, she has exhibited her photographs in the U.S. and internationally, including Santa Fe, New York, Brooklyn, Los Angeles, London, Berlin and Barcelona. She was recently honored as an invited guest of the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates in Washington, D.C. and joined a select delegation of architects, architectural photographers and curators for a one-week cultural tour of the UAE.

Christensen had worked as a psychotherapist for over 25 years and was particularly influenced by the theories of depth psychologist Carl Jung. This influence is evident in her photographs, as shadows and psychological metaphors are favored subjects.

"The symbols and spaces in my images are an invitation to explore a rich world that is concealed from consciousness, and an enticement to contemplate narratives that have no remarkable life yet tap into something deeply familiar to our experience; often disturbing, sometimes amusing...unquestionably present."

In Santa Fe, her work is inspired by commonplace architecture and streetscapes. She realizes that the places she frequents for her images are probably not what people visualize when they think of Santa Fe, a major tourist destination with a carefully cultivated image. "I don't have to go anywhere special to make my photography; instead I find my images around shopping centers, apartment complexes and office parks." Choosing to shoot in locations that may be viewed as uninteresting or even visually off-putting, Christensen finds this challenging, to "see" something hidden in plain sight, noting "it is our nature to ignore what is unpleasant, but sometimes I get a glimpse of the sublime in these ordinary places. When I find it, it feels like I have discovered gold."

Christensen is repeatedly drawn to the swimming pool as a metaphor for the unconscious. In American culture, pools symbolize the luxury of leisure. Yet she also sees a darker interpretation - evoking repressed desires, unexplained tension and looming disaster. "These photographs of a manufactured oasis suggest a binary connection between the world above and the world below, linking submersion in water with the workings of the subconscious."

She dismantles all of these scenes to color fields, geometry and shadow. She shoots every day and is almost never without a camera.

The Royal Photographic Society recently presented her artwork in a traveling museum exhibition throughout the United Kingdom, and had her as a guest lecturer. She led a photography workshop there, as well at Meow Wolf in Santa Fe. Christensen has participated in collaborative site-specific projects at Iconic Standard Vision Billboard, Los Angeles; El Rey Court, Santa Fe; University of New Mexico, Albuquerque; and Peckham Levels, London.

She has been named one of "Ten Photographers to Watch" by the Los Angeles Center of Digital Art. As one of five invited photographers for "The National 2018: Best of Contemporary Photography" at the Fort Wayne Museum of Art, Indiana, her work was purchased for the permanent collection. Christensen was also the Purchase Prize recipient of the 33rd Annual International Exhibition at the University of Texas at Tyler.

Christensen's photographs are in private and corporate collections. Her work has received awards, including top finalist of 48,000 entries for the Smithsonian's 15th Annual Photo Contest and Honorable Mentions for the Julia Margaret Cameron Award and the Chromatic Awards. Global media have taken notice, with features in, among others, Xi Draconis Books; LandEscape Art Review, United Kingdom; Better Photography Magazine, India; Art Reveal Magazine; Magazine 43, Philippines, Germany and Hong Kong; Site Unseen; Lens Culture; All About Photo and Women in Photography.

Statement
I live in Santa Fe New Mexico where my work is inspired by commonplace architecture and streetscapes. I shoot every day and am almost never without my camera. I don't have to go anywhere special to make my photography; instead I find my images around shopping centers, apartment complexes and office parks. I dismantle these scenes to color fields, geometry and shadow. The places I frequent for my images are probably not what people visualize when they think of the city I live in, a major tourist destination with a carefully cultivated image. I choose to shoot in locations that may be viewed as uninteresting or even visually off-putting. This is exciting and challenging for me, to "see" something hiding in plain sight. Much of my professional life has been spent as a psychotherapist, and my photography as an extension of that work. Both have called me to explore what is hidden from view, those aspects of the self or the environment that we want to turn away from or simply avoid. I suspect it is our nature to ignore what is unpleasant, but sometimes I get a glimpse of the sublime in these ordinary places. When I find it, it feels like I have discovered gold.
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Sim Chi Yin
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Smith's photographs are included in the 2004 Ntozake Shange book The Sweet Breath of Life: A Poetic Narrative of the African-American Family and Life. In 2010, her work was included in MOMA's exhibition Pictures by Women: A History of Modern Photography. This exhibition recontextualized Smith's work alongside that of Diane Arbus and marked a growing interest in Smith's work. Organized by curator Roxana Marcoci, it was curated by Sarah Meister through the Department of Photography. In 2017, a major survey exhibition of Smith's work was held at the Steven Kasher Gallery in New York. The exhibition featured 75 vintage black-and-white prints that represented Smith's career. Smith has collaborated with filmmaker Arthur Jafa in the Serpentine Sackler Gallery's 2017 show, Arthur Jafa: A Series of Utterly Improbable, yet Extraordinary Renditions (Featuring Ming Smith, Frida Orupabo and Missylanyus). 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Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, CA, and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY.[19] Smith's work is in museum collections including the National Gallery of Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, Brooklyn Museum of Art, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Detroit Institute of Arts, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, and the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. Some of Smith's work displayed in the Museum of Modern Art depicts motherhood in Harlem. These photos are taken using a documentary style way of photographing these subjects. Ming Smith lives and works in New York City.Source: Wikipedia Ming Smith is known for her informal, in-action portraits of black cultural figures, from Alvin Ailey to Nina Simone and a wide range of jazz musicians. Ming’s career emerged formally with the publication of the Black Photographer’s Annual in 1973. She was an early member of the Kamoinge Workshop, an association of several generations of black photographers. Ming has traveled extensively, showing her viewers a cosmopolitan world filled with famous landmarks and extraordinary landscapes. People continue to be her most treasured subjects. This is most apparent in her series depicting African American life. Ming’s early style was to shoot fast and produce complicated and elaborate images in the developing and post-printing processes, so that many of her pictures carry double dates. She experimented with hand-tinting in My Father’s Tears, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico (1977/1979). Ming continues to expand the role of photography with her exploration of image and paint in the more recent, large-scale Transcendence series. Ming’s place in photography’s 175-year history was recognized by her inclusion in the Museum of Modern Art’s groundbreaking exhibition Pictures by Women: A History of Modern Photography in 2010. Ming Smith's photography is held in collections in the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, New York; the Smithsonian Anacostia Museum & Center for African American History and Culture, Washington, DC and the AT&T Corporation.Source: Steven Kasher Gallery
William Gedney
United States
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William Gale Gedney (October 29, 1932 – June 23, 1989) was an American documentary and street photographer. It wasn't until after his death that his work gained momentum and is now widely recognized. He is best known for his series on rural Kentucky, and series on India, San Francisco, and New York shot in the 1960s and 1970s. William Gedney was born in Greenville, New York. He studied at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York. In 1955 he graduated with a BFA in Graphic Design and began work with Condé Nast. During his lifetime, Gedney received several fellowships and grants, including a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation fellowship from 1966 to 1967, a Fulbright Fellowship for photography in India from 1969 to 1971, a New York State Creative Artists Public Service Program (C.A.P.S.) grant from 1972 to 1973; and a National Endowment for the Arts grant from 1975 to 1976. In a career spanning the late 1950s to the mid-1980s, he created a large body of work, including a series documenting local communities during his travels to India, San Francisco, Brooklyn, and New York shot in the 1960s and 1970s. He is also noted for night photography, principally of large structures, like the Brooklyn bridge and architecture, and architectural studies of neighborhoods quiet and empty, at the night. In 1969, he started teaching at Pratt Institute, though later in 1987, two years before his death, he was denied tenure. Gedney's work has been exhibited in numerous group shows, including Museum of Modern Art shows, Photography Current Report in 1968, Ben Schultz Memorial Collection in 1969, and Recent Acquisitions in 1971; as well as Vision and Expression,George Eastman House, and Rochester Institute of Technology, in 1972. However, he remained a recluse, had only one solo exhibition during his lifetime. Despite receiving appreciation from noted photographers of the time, Walker Evans, Diane Arbus, Lee Friedlander, and John Szarkowski, he remained an under-appreciated artist of the generation. He didn't manage to get any of his eight-book projects published. William Gedney died of complications from AIDS in 1989, aged 56, in New York City and is buried in Greenville, New York, a few short miles from his childhood home. He left his photographs and writings to his lifelong friend Lee Friedlander. In time, Friedlander's efforts, which had earlier led to the revival of E. J. Bellocq's works, chartered posthumous revival of Gedney's work. An extensive collection of his work, including large photographic prints, work prints, contact sheets, negatives, sketchbooks, notebooks and diaries, correspondence, and other files are housed at the Rubenstein Library, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina.Source: Wikipedia
Damian Lemański
Damian Lemański aka Damian Wolf Wagabunda Polish freelance photojournalist documenting the life around him. He is mainly interested in people and their place in today's world - especially those left aside, on the margins of society. In 2008 he graduated from the European Academy of Photography in Warsaw - Dr Izabela Jaroszewska's school. He took part in workshops led by Kadir van Lohuizen, Pep Bonet, Tanya Habjouga, Espen Rasmussen, Stefano De Luigi, Tomasz Tomaszewski, Michael Ackerman, Lorenzo Castore. Vagabond and dreamer. At the turn of 2011 and 2012 he wandered for 181 days through South America. From this solitary expedition he edited the film 181. And in 2015 he set off on his bike from Korsze in Masuria (Poland) to Africa, to reach Dakar in Senegal after 171 days. During this expedition, together with the foundation Hear Africa, he raised money for the education of a deaf girl, Makane Dieng. From this expedition, Damian created the film Restaurant, which premiered in February 2018. In early 2019, he flew to the Greek island of Lesbos, where Europe's largest refugee camp is located, because he wanted to get to know the people that so many are afraid of without knowing them at all. For a few weeks, walking between tents in the so-called jungle next to the Moria camp (which he was not allowed into) and in other places on the island, he met hundreds of people who willingly invited him to join them around the campfire for warm tea or a meal in the tent that is currently their home, shared bread they had just baked in an oven dug into the ground, and shared heartbreaking stories. He met people who live in inhumane conditions and try to maintain their dignity, people who, having little, get offended if you don't eat enough, when they offer what they have. He also met there a wonderful Greek couple, Katerina and Nikos, who 6 days a week host the residents of the Moria and Kara Tepe camps for dinner in their restaurant and take the meals to the place. They are assisted by many volunteers, including from Poland. In October 2019, he visited Senegal again - this time to document the work of the Polish Medical Mission. At that time, he met Huleje (Little Princess) and her parents. Since 2017, every now and then he visits Lunik IX, a Roma settlement in Kosice, Slovakia, where he left his heart among the children living there. On a daily basis, he tries to love.
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