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Michael Philip Manheim
Michael Philip Manheim on the Big Island of Hawaii, taking a break from creating his Island Souls portrait project
Michael Philip Manheim
Michael Philip Manheim

Michael Philip Manheim

Country: United States
Birth: 1940

Michael Philip Manheim, born in the U.S. in 1940, is widely recognized both for his documentary and for his innovative multiple exposure photographs. Both categories encompass images that promote feelings. Most celebrate human emotion as a primal link that unifies all of humankind.

Michael Philip Manheim's photography has been exhibited throughout the United States and internationally, in over 20 solo exhibitions and 30 group shows. His work has been featured extensively online, as well as in hundreds of books and magazines such as Zoom (U.S. and Italy), Photographers International (Taiwan), La Fotografia (Spain), and Black and White Magazine (U.S.).

Manheim's photographs are held in private as well as public collections including the Library of Congress, the International Photography Hall of Fame, the National Archives, the Danforth Museum of Art, and the Bates College Museum of Art.

Artist Statement: How Once We Looked
The world I experienced, as the 1940s slid into the 1950s and beyond

I'm delighted to share this sampling of my photography. When I created the snapshot of Little Sister, my four year old sister, I had no idea that I would be pursuing photography as an avocation, let alone a profession. Our mother did her best to expose my sister and me to the arts, even enrolling me in classes with adults at a local art center. As a youngster, I knew I wasn't good enough at painting.

But I did have a sense of a composition. And I did have a science teacher at State Street Junior High School, Miss Ayers, who had set up a small darkroom and invited me to use it. Bingo! Shazam! Whatever you say, when the light literally turns on.

I became enamored of photography. I was living in a Rust Belt town in Ohio where I didn't belong, in the 1950s. And what to do when you don't fit local norms? Entering my teen years, I hid behind a camera. My swords and shields as I moved on to high school began with the Speed Graphics assigned in photography class. It was unusual to have a high school photography course in that era, and I blossomed in that narrow sphere. I became a local treasure, winning in contests but with a whole lot to learn and a vital need to grow myself up.

It took grit, I now realize, to escape the confines of a family business and the confines of the values of my community. But I didn't know that then. All I knew was that I had a passion that I must explore. Working strenuously to catch up, after college, I created a profession for myself. Today I look back with perspective and wonder.

I see that I had a fascination with movement, as well as with light. I see that I developed reflexively and intuitively, in capturing the essence of a moment. I see that the innate compositional sense expanded into a style. And so on, all insights offering me a chance to pause and reflect as I go forward.

My circuitous route through a long career in professional photography has swung back to my roots. Curators and collectors now appreciate photojournalism as fine art. So do the bloggers who are displaying my images.

There's a message there! Hence into the archives I've plunged to see now what I saw long ago. I'm digitizing a series of nostalgic images that are going into my own blog and into a series of monographs.

I'm creating a book series called How Once We Were, starting with an update of this earlier presentation of my nostalgic photography: www.MichaelPhilipManheim.com
 

Inspiring Portfolios

 
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More Great Photographers To Discover

Alexey Titarenko
Russia/United States
1962
Alexey Titarenko is a Russian American artist. He began taking photographs at the beginning of the 1970s, and in 1978 became a member of the well-known Leningrad photographic club Zerkalo, where he had his first solo exhibition (1978). Titarenko graduated from the Department of Cinematic and Photographic Art at Leningrad's Institute of Culture in 1983. Since this was creative activity that had no connection with the official Soviet propaganda, the opportunity to declare himself publicly as an artist came only at the peak of Perestroika in 1989 with his "Nomenclature of Signs" exhibition and the creation of Ligovka 99, a photographers' exhibition space that was independent of the Communist ideology. Titarenko has received numerous awards from institutions such as the Musee de l'Elysee in Lausanne, Switzerland; the Soros Center for Contemporary Art in St. Petersburg; and the Mosaique program of the Luxemburg National Audiovisual Centre. He has participated in many international festivals, biennales, and projects and has had more than 30 personal exhibitions, both in Europe and the United States. His works are in the collections of major European and American museums, including The State Russian Museum (St. Petersburg); the Getty Museum, Los Angeles; the Philadelphia Museum of Fine Art; George Eastman House (Rochester, N.Y.); the Museum of Fine Arts (Boston); the Museum of Fine Arts (Columbus, Ohio); the Museum of Fine Arts (Houston); the Museum of Photographic Arts (San Diego); the Davis Museum and Cultural Center at Wellesley College (Mass.); the European House of Photography (Paris); the Southeast Museum of Photography (Daytona Beach, Fla.); the Santa Barbara Museum of Fine Arts (Cal.); the Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers University (N.J.); the Reattu Museum of Fine Arts (Arles); and the Musee de l’Elysee Museum for Photography (Lausanne). Major photo series include "City of Shadows" (1992-1994), "Black and White Magic of St. Petersburg" (1995-1997), and "Time Standing Still" (1998-1999). In those series Titarenko paints a bitter picture of a Russia (seen through the lens of St. Petersburg), where people live in a world of unrealized hopes and where time seems to have stopped. Titarenko's photographic series from the 1990s won him worldwide recognition. In 2002 the International Photography Festival at Arles, France, presented all three series at the Reattu Museum of Fine Arts in the exhibition "Les quatres mouvements de St.Petersbourg" curated by Gabriel Bauret. (Source: www.nailyaalexandergallery.com)
Pierre Verger
France
1902 | † 1996
Pierre Edouard Leopold Verger, alias Fatumbi or Fátúmbí was a photographer, self-taught ethnographer, and babalawo (Yoruba priest of Ifa) who devoted most of his life to the study of the African diaspora - the slave trade, the African-based religions of the new world, and the resulting cultural and economical flows from and to Africa. At the age of 30, after losing his family, Pierre Verger took up the career of journalistic photographer. Over the next 15 years, he traveled the four continents, documenting many civilizations that would soon be effaced by progress. His destinations included Tahiti (1933); United States, Japan, and China (1934 and 1937); Italy, Spain, Sudan (now Mali), Niger, Upper Volta, Togo and Dahomey (now Benin, 1935); the West Indies (1936); Mexico (1937, 1939, and 1957); the Philippines and Indochina (now Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam, 1938); Guatemala and Ecuador (1939); Senegal (as a conscript, 1940); Argentina (1941), Peru and Bolivia (1942 and 1946); and finally Brazil (1946). His photographs were featured in magazines such as Paris-Soir, Daily Mirror (under the pseudonym of Mr. Lensman), Life, and Paris Match. In the city of Salvador, Brazil he fell in love with the place and people, and decided to stay for good. Having become interested in the local history and culture, he turned from errant photographer to a researcher of the African diaspora in the Americas. His subsequent voyages are focused on that goal: the west coast of Africa and Paramaribo (1948), Haiti (1949), and Cuba (1957). After studying the Yoruba culture and its influences in Brazil, Verger became an initiated of the Candomblé religion, and officiated at its rituals. During a visit to Benin, he was initiated into Ifá (cowrie-shell divination), became a babalawo (priest) of Orunmila, and was renamed Fátúmbí ("he who is reborn through the Ifá"). Veger's contributions to ethnography are embodied in dozens of conference papers, journal articles and books and were recognized by Sorbonne University, which conferred upon him a doctoral degree (Docteur 3eme Cycle) in 1966 — quite a feat for someone who dropped out of high school at 17. Verger continued to study and document his chosen subject right until his death in Salvador, at the age of 94. During that time he became a professor at the Federal University of Bahia in 1973, where he was responsible for the establishment of the Afro-Brazilian Museum in Salvador; and served as visiting professor at the University of Ifé in Nigeria. The non-profit Pierre Verger Foundation in Salvador, which he established to continue his work, holds more than 63,000 photos and negatives taken until 1973, as well as his papers and correspondence. Source: Wikipedia
Myriam Boulos
Lebanon
1992
I was born in 1992 in Lebanon, right after the end of the war, in a fragmented country that had to reinvent itself. At the age of 16 I started to get closer to Beirut and used my camera to question the city, its people, and my place among them. I graduated with a master degree in photography from the Academie Libanaise des Beaux Arts in 2015. Today I use photography to explore, defy and resist society. It is my way of constantly reinventing myself in the body and the city I live in. Statement The revolution started in Lebanon on the 17th of October 2019. Since then everything has been emotionally and physically draining and confusing but also beautiful, sad and awakening. It all feels as if we were coming out of an abusive relationship and to finally say: No, this is not normal. When the revolution started in Lebanon, it was the most natural thing for me to take my camera and go to the streets. Photography has always been my way of participating to life as it is today my way of taking part in the revolution. In the ongoing socio-political context it felt to me like there was no choice: the subject of my photography imposed itself on me. It was more a question of need and necessity than a question of desire. The slow documentary that normally constitutes my approach was ever so naturally replaced by something else something new, and within the revolution I let myself carry by the big wave coming towards me, big wave much bigger than me. My project is about documenting the different facettes of the Lebanese revolution from a local point of view. My approach is characterized by the direct flash I use in this project but also in others. This potentially comes from my need to make things real. The direct flash also helps me work on textures, bodies and skins. In the context of the revolution, the proximity between the bodies says a lot about the situation. It is the first time that we claim our public spaces, our streets, our country. It is the first time that different social classes mix together in the streets. In our streets. In parallel to the photographic documentation, I am also documenting the evolution of my emotions during the revolution. It is sort of a diary that accompanies the pictures. Example: Monday, 20 Jan Beirut, Lebanon Tonight in the teargas I took all my pictures with eyes closed. They say the moment of a picture is a black out. I wonder if I don't look at these emotions, will they disappear?
Diane Arbus
United States
1923 | † 1971
Diane Arbus (March 14, 1923 – July 26, 1971) was an American photographer and writer noted for black-and-white square photographs of "deviant and marginal people (dwarfs, giants, transgender people, nudists, circus performers) or of people whose normality seems ugly or surreal.". Arbus believed that a camera could be “a little bit cold, a little bit harsh” but its scrutiny revealed the truth; the difference between what people wanted others to see and what they really did see – the flaws. A friend said that Arbus said that she was "afraid... that she would be known simply as 'the photographer of freaks'"; however, that phrase has been used repeatedly to describe her. In 1972, a year after she committed suicide, Arbus became the first American photographer to have photographs displayed at the Venice Biennale. Millions of people viewed traveling exhibitions of her work in 1972–1979. Between 2003 and 2006, Arbus and her work were the subjects of another major traveling exhibition, Diane Arbus Revelations. In 2006, the motion picture Fur, starring Nicole Kidman as Arbus, presented a fictional version of her life story. Although some of Arbus's photographs have sold for hundreds of thousands of dollars at auction, Arbus's work has provoked controversy; for example, Norman Mailer was quoted in 1971 as saying "Giving a camera to Diane Arbus is like putting a live grenade in the hands of a child." Others have, however, pointed out that Mailer was dissatisfied with a picture of him holding his crotch taken by Arbus for the New York Times Book Review. Arbus was born as Diane Nemerov to David Nemerov and Gertrude Russek Nemerov. The Nemerovs were a Jewish couple who lived in New York City and owned Russek's, a famous Fifth Avenue department store. Because of her family's wealth, Arbus was insulated from the effects of the Great Depression while growing up in the 1930s. Arbus's father became a painter after retiring from Russek's; her younger sister would become a sculptor and designer; and her older brother, Howard Nemerov, would later become United States Poet Laureate, and the father of the Americanist art historian Alexander Nemerov. Diane Nemerov attended the Fieldston School for Ethical Culture, a prep school. In 1941, at the age of eighteen, she married her childhood sweetheart Allan Arbus. Their first daughter Doon (who would later become a writer), was born in 1945 and their second daughter Amy (who would later become a photographer), was born in 1954. Diane and Allan Arbus separated in 1958, and they were divorced in 1969. The Arbuses' interests in photography led them, in 1941, to visit the gallery of Alfred Stieglitz, and learn about the photographers Mathew Brady, Timothy O'Sullivan, Paul Strand, Bill Brandt, and Eugène Atget. In the early 1940s, Diane's father employed them to take photographs for the department store's advertisements. Allan was a photographer for the U.S. Army Signal Corps in World War Two. In 1946, after the war, the Arbuses began a commercial photography business called "Diane & Allan Arbus," with Diane as art director and Allan as the photographer. They contributed to Glamour, Seventeen, Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, and other magazines even though "they both hated the fashion world." Despite over 200 pages of their fashion editorial in Glamour, and over 80 pages in Vogue, the Arbuses' fashion photography has been described as of "middling quality." Edward Steichen's noted 1955 photographic exhibit, The Family of Man, did include a photograph by the Arbuses of a father and son reading a newspaper. In 1956, Diane Arbus quit the commercial photography business. Although earlier she had studied photography with Berenice Abbott, her studies with Lisette Model, beginning in 1956, led to Arbus's most well-known methods and style. She began photographing on assignment for magazines such as Esquire, Harper's Bazaar, and The Sunday Times Magazine in 1959. Around 1962, Arbus switched from a 35 mm Nikon camera which produced grainy rectangular images to a twin-lens reflex Rolleiflex camera which produced more detailed square images. In 1963, Arbus was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship for a project on "American rites, manners, and customs"; the fellowship was renewed in 1966. In 1964, Arbus began using a twin-lens reflex Mamiya camera with flash in addition to the Rolleiflex. Her methods included establishing a strong personal relationship with her subjects and re-photographing some of them over many years. During the 1960s, she taught photography at the Parsons School of Design and the Cooper Union in New York City, and the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, Rhode Island. The first major exhibition of her photographs occurred at the Museum of Modern Art in a 1967 show called "New Documents," curated by John Szarkowski. The show also featured the work of Garry Winogrand and Lee Friedlander. Some of her artistic work was done on assignment. Although she continued to photograph on assignment (e.g., in 1968 she shot documentary photographs of poor sharecroppers in rural South Carolina for Esquire magazine), in general her magazine assignments decreased as her fame as an artist increased. Szarkowski hired Arbus in 1970 to research an exhibition on photojournalism called "From the Picture Press"; it included many photographs by Weegee whose work Arbus admired. Using softer light than in her previous photography, she took a series of photographs in her later years of people with intellectual disability showing a range of emotions. At first, Arbus considered these photographs to be "lyric and tender and pretty," but by June, 1971, she told Lisette Model that she hated them. Associating with other contemporary photographers such as Robert Frank and Saul Leiter, Arbus helped form what Jane Livingston has termed The New York School of photographers during the 1940s and 1950s. Among other photographers and artists she befriended during her career, she was close to photographer Richard Avedon; he was approximately the same age, his family had also run a Fifth Avenue department store, and many of his photographs were also characterized as detailed frontal poses. Another good friend was Marvin Israel, an artist, graphic designer, and art director whom Arbus met in 1959. Arbus experienced "depressive episodes" during her life similar to those experienced by her mother, and the episodes may have been made worse by symptoms of hepatitis. Arbus wrote in 1968, "I go up and down a lot," and her ex-husband noted that she had "violent changes of mood." On July 26, 1971, while living at Westbeth Artists Community in New York City, Arbus took her own life by ingesting barbiturates and slashing her wrists with a razor. Marvin Israel found her body in the bathtub two days later; she was 48 years old. Source: Wikipedia © Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division
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