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Deb Achak
Deb Achak
Deb Achak

Deb Achak

Country: United States

Raised in New Hampshire, Deb Achak holds a master's degree in social work and is a self-trained photographer and filmmaker. She lives in Seattle, WA with her husband and sons in a grand old home that was once a bed and breakfast. Deb's fine art photography explores natural elements of water and grasses - earth elements with clean, simple compositions meant to calm and soothe. Her children are also a growing subject of her fine art work. Her photographs have been exhibited at the Black Box Gallery, Portland, OR; Sante Fe Photographic Workshops, Sante Fe, NM; the SE Center for Photography, Greenville, SC: and Vermont Center for Photography, Brattleboro, VT.

About She Told Us To Trust Our Intuition
My mother's last words to my siblings and I before she died were "trust your gut instincts". It's struck me over the years how profound and revolutionary that one simple phrase is. It has become my mantra - my north star. When we still our mind, free it of conscious thought, intuition can be heard and felt, and becomes the perfect guide. Some years ago, I started to notice that when I am in a deep flow with my art, it becomes a meditation and I am able to hear my inner voice with complete clarity. In this series I use water, color, movement and the human form to express the meditative quality I feel when I am in synch with the flow of creating. I seek to capture that single moment where my camera, my intuition, and the natural world are perfectly aligned, and to give gratitude to my mother for bestowing such a powerful parting gift.
 

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Dale Niles
United States
Born in Norfolk, Virginia, Niles' formative years were spent with her family living in small, southern towns in Virginia and North Carolina. Inspired by the heritage of these locales, neighbors, and friends, she developed deep-seated southern roots that richly inform her photography practice with visual storytelling. Niles celebrates the diverseness of the human spirit, appreciating those qualities that make us delightfully unique, yet connected in many ways, particularly through shared experiences and preserved visual memories. Niles majored in sociology at Lenoir Rhyne College in Hickory, North Carolina. While exploring opportunities in her chosen field, she pursued her artistic interests, ultimately discovering that photography was her passion. The medium offers Niles a wide berth of options for technique, subject matter, and her creative process. Exhibitions include group and solo installations across the United States, Canada, Paris, France, and Venice, Italy. Her prints are held in many private collections as well the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia (MOCA GA) and the Ogden Museum of Southern Art. A selection of her work is currently exhibited at Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, Florida. She was selected for Photolucida's Critical Mass Top 200, Ones to Watch , the Fence, an exhibition at Hartsfield International Airport, and she won the Virginia Twinam Purchase Award. Featured publications include: Light and Shadow Magazine, SouthxSoutheast Magazine, Shots, Lenscratch, The HAND Magazine, and Oxford American. Her book, What Lies With: the Eclectic Collections of Andrea Noel received recognition from Elizabeth Avedon as best photography book of 2021. What We Keep The passing of a loved one is a life moment everyone is forced to face and walk through in their own way. A person dies and items of their existence remain. This process is often emotionally and physically overwhelming and taxing. There may be cumbersome items as well as very minuscule things. Some may even have an element of an obscure nature like a set of false teeth. How and what do we choose to keep? Do we keep something as a way to hold on to the person that left us? Is there an emotion that is triggered just by seeing or touching it? Is it valuable or something trivial that has an attached memory that only we can relate to? Does something remind us of the home we once knew that no longer exists? A homesickness feeling may be eased by its presence? Is there a guilt or regret in letting things go or a feeling of obligation? Do we hope that we can pass on these obtained pieces of our heritage as a bridge from past to present to preserve family legacy to those who follow?Is it a way to not only say that your loved one existed but that you too existed as well? People say 'these are just things' and yes they are but a person you loved put meaning to them. I am not one to judge or help in this matter as I kept the teeth.
Jeff Wall
Canada
1946
Jeffrey "Jeff" Wall, OC, RSA is a Canadian artist best known for his large-scale back-lit Cibachrome photographs and art history writing. Wall has been a key figure in Vancouver's art scene since the early-1970s. Early in his career, he helped define the Vancouver School and he has published essays on the work of his colleagues and fellow Vancouverites Rodney Graham, Ken Lum, and Ian Wallace. His photographic tableaux often take Vancouver's mixture of natural beauty, urban decay, and postmodern and industrial featurelessness as their backdrop. Wall received his MA from the University of British Columbia in 1970, with a thesis titled, Berlin Dada and the Notion of Context. That same year, Wall stopped making art. With his wife, Jeannette, a native of England whom he had met as a student in Vancouver, and their two young sons, he moved to London to do postgraduate work at the Courtauld Institute from 1970-73, where he studied with Manet expert T.J. Clark. Wall was an assistant professor at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (1974-75), associate professor at Simon Fraser University (1976-87), taught for many years at the University of British Columbia and lectured at European Graduate School. He has published essays on Dan Graham, Rodney Graham, Roy Arden, Ken Lum, Stephan Balkenhol, On Kawara, and other contemporary artists. In 2002, Wall was awarded the Hasselblad Award. In 2006, he was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. Jeff Wall was named an Officer of the Order of Canada in December 2007. In March 2008, Wall was awarded the Audain Prize for Lifetime Achievement, British Columbia's annual award for the visual arts.Source: Wikipedia Jeff Wall was born in Vancouver in 1946. Attentive to the accidental encounters that can inspire an image, he recreates flashes of inspiration obtained from sources as varied as personal recollections to something noticed on the street, to daydreams, and encounters with paintings or photographs. With an idea in mind, Wall goes to exacting lengths to produce the picture, which may include constructing a scene from scratch, factoring in the position of the sun over several weeks, and improvisational rehearsals with performers. Wall’s pictures include both fantastical scenes—a picnic with vampires, dead troops conversing, a grave flooded by the ocean—and vernacular images of people on the margins of society or in moments of exchange and quiet contemplation. Orchestrating his compositions with the creative liberties that a painter would take, the curious magic and discipline of Wall’s work is that it all takes place in a state of photographic realism where every action, object, and condition is simultaneously artificial and entirely natural. Often printed on the grand scale of a history painting - exhibited either as backlit lightboxes akin to advertising displays or as crisp inkjet and silver gelatin prints - Wall’s works reveal their poetic potential through portraying empathetic characters, picturing impossible vantage points, and capturing elusive moments.Source: Art21 Wall has said, "The only way to continue in the spirit of the avant-garde is to experiment with your relation to tradition" (Artnews, Nov. 1995, p.222). In 1977, during a visit to the Prado in Madrid, he was moved by the paintings of Velázquez and Goya. He felt that, due to what he saw as the dominance of photography and film, it was no longer possible for modern artists to paint like the great masters. Seeking a new method to represent everyday life pictorially, Wall found a suitable medium in advertising hoarding lightboxes, and made his first backlit transparencies in 1978. Early works, such as The Thinker (1986) based on Rodin's sculpture of that name, referred directly to great works in the history of art. Recently, he has more actively explored the literary and filmic aspects of his art. The majority of his pieces are set in Vancouver and contain references to art, the media, and socio-economic problems.Source: Tate
Beth Moon
United States
1956
San Francisco Bay Area artist, Beth Moon, has gained international recognition for her large-scale, richly toned platinum prints. Since 1999, Moon’s work has appeared in more than sixty solo and group exhibitions in the United States, Italy, England, France, Israel, Brazil, Dubai, Singapore, and Canada. Her work is held in numerous public and private collections, including the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Museum of Photographic Arts in San Diego, and the Fox Talbot Museum in Wiltshire, England. In 2013, Between Earth and Sky, the first monograph of her work, was published by Charta Art Books of Milan. In 2014, Abbeville Press published, Ancient Trees: Portraits of Time, with a third book to follow that same year from Galerie Vevais, La Lange Verte. Moon studied fine art at the University of Wisconsin before moving to England where she experimented with alternative photographic processes and learned to make platinum prints. Source: www.vervegallery.com Beth Moon was born in Neenah, Wisconsin and studied fine art at the University of Wisconsin. Classes in painting, life drawing, sculpture, and design would set the groundwork for her work in photography, which was to come years later. Moving to England, a country with a love for all things arboreal, gave her a fresh look at a land that boasts the largest concentration of ancient trees. Inspired by these trees she decided to make a series of their portraits. Unhappy with the photographic tonality and stability of ink-jet printing, she started to experiment with alternative printing processes, learning platinum/palladium printing, an ideal process for her vision. She concentrated on mastering this printing technique, doing all of her own printing. “By using the longest lasting photographic process, I hope to speak about survival, not only of man and nature’s but to photography’s survival as well. For each print I mix ground platinum and palladium metals, making a tincture that is hand-coated onto heavy watercolor paper and exposed to light. There are many steps involved in creating the final print and these are as important to me as the capturing of the image," said Moon. A platinum print can last for centuries, drawing on the common theme of time and survival, pairing photographic subject and process. Source: www.josephsaxton.com
(Arthur Fellig) Weegee
Austria/United States
1899 | † 1968
Weegee was the pseudonym of Arthur Fellig (June 12, 1899 – December 26, 1968), a photographer and photojournalist, known for his stark black and white street photography. Weegee worked in the Lower East Side of New York City as a press photographer during the 1930s and '40s, and he developed his signature style by following the city's emergency services and documenting their activity. Much of his work depicted unflinchingly realistic scenes of urban life, crime, injury and death. Weegee published photographic books and also worked in cinema, initially making his own short films and later collaborating with film directors such as Jack Donohue and Stanley Kubrick. Weegee was born Ascher (Usher) Fellig in Z?oczów (now Zolochiv, Ukraine), near Lemberg, Austrian Galicia. His name was changed to Arthur when he emigrated with his family to live in New York in 1909. There he took numerous odd jobs, including working as an itinerant photographer and as an assistant to a commercial photographer. In 1924 he was hired as a dark-room technician by Acme Newspictures (later United Press International Photos). He left, however, in 1935 to become a freelance photographer. He worked at night and competed with the police to be first at the scene of a crime, selling his photographs to tabloids and photographic agencies. His photographs, centered around Manhattan police headquarters, were soon published by the Herald Tribune, World-Telegram, Daily News, New York Post, New York Journal American, Sun, and others.In 1957, after developing diabetes, he moved in with Wilma Wilcox, a Quaker social worker whom he had known since the 1940s, and who cared for him and then cared for his work. He traveled extensively in Europe until 1968, working for the Daily Mirror and on a variety of photography, film, lecture, and book projects. In 1968, Weegee died in New York on December 26, at the age of 69.Weegee can be seen as the American counterpart to Brassaï, who photographed Paris street scenes at night. Weegee’s themes of nudists, circus performers, freaks and street people were later taken up and developed by Diane Arbus in the early 1960s. In 1980 Weegee’s widow, Wilma Wilcox, Sidney Kaplan, Aaron Rose and Larry Silver formed The Weegee Portfolio Incorporated to create an exclusive collection of photographic prints made from Weegee’s original negatives. As a bequest, Wilma Wilcox donated the entire Weegee archive - 16,000 photographs and 7,000 negatives - to the International Center of Photography in New York. This 1993 gift became the source for several exhibitions and books include "Weegee's World" edited Miles Barth (1997) and "Unknown Weegee" edited by Cynthia Young (2006). The first and largest exhibition was the 329-image “Weegee’s World: Life, Death and the Human Drama,” brought forth in 1997. It was followed in 2002 by “Weegee’s Trick Photography,” a show of distorted or otherwise caricatured images, and four years later by “Unknown Weegee,” a survey that emphasized his more benign, post-tabloid photographs. In 2012 ICP opened another Weegee exhibition titled, "Murder is my Business". Also in 2012, exhibition called "Weegee: The Naked City", opened at Multimedia Art Museum, Moscow.Source: Wikipedia
Gertrude Käsebier
United States
1852 | † 1934
Gertrude Käsebier was an American photographer. She was well-known for her images of motherhood, portraits of Native Americans, and promotion of photography as a career for women. Käsebier was born Gertrude Stanton on May 18, 1852, in Fort Des Moines (now Des Moines, Iowa). Her mother was Muncy Boone Stanton and her father was John W. Stanton. He brought a sawmill to Golden, Colorado, at the start of the Pike's Peak Gold Rush in 1859, and he profited from the building boom that followed. Stanton, then eight years old, traveled to Colorado with her mother and younger brother to join her father. That same year, her father was elected as the first mayor of Golden, Colorado Territory's capital at the time. After her father died unexpectedly in 1864, the family relocated to Brooklyn, New York, where her mother, Muncy Boone Stanton, opened a boarding house to support the family. Stanton lived in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, with her maternal grandmother from 1866 to 1870, and she attended the Bethlehem Female Seminary (later called Moravian College). Little else is known about her childhood. She married twenty-eight-year-old Eduard Käsebier, a financially secure and socially well-placed businessman in Brooklyn, on her twenty-second birthday in 1874. Frederick William, Gertrude Elizabeth, and Hermine Mathilde were the couple's three children. In 1884, they relocated to a farm in New Durham, New Jersey, in search of a healthier environment for their children to grow up in. Flying Hawk, American Indian, c. 1900, U.S. Flying Hawk, American Indian, c. 1900, U.S. Library of Congress © Gertrude Käsebier Gertrude Käsebier later wrote that she was unhappy for the majority of her marriage. She stated, "If my husband has gone to Heaven, I want to go to Hell. He was terrible... Nothing was ever good enough for him." Divorce was considered scandalous at the time, so the couple remained married while living separate lives after 1880. This unhappy situation later inspired one of her most strikingly titled photographs, Yoked and Muzzled – Marriage (c. 1915), which depicts two constrained oxen. Despite their differences, her husband financially supported her when she began art school at the age of 37, at a time when most women of her generation were well-established in their social positions. Käsebier never explained why she chose to study art, but she did so wholeheartedly. Over her husband's objections, she relocated the family to Brooklyn in 1889 to attend the newly established Pratt Institute of Art and Design full-time. Arthur Wesley Dow, a highly influential artist and art educator, was one of her teachers there. He later assisted in advancing her career by writing about it and introducing her to other photographers and patrons. The key to artistic photography is to work out your own thoughts, by yourselves. Imitation leads to certain disaster. New ideas are always antagonized. Do not mind that. If a thing is good it will survive. -- Gertrude Käsebier Gertrude Käsebier studied the theories of Friedrich Fröbel, a nineteenth-century scholar whose ideas about learning, play, and education inspired the creation of the first kindergarten. Käsebier was greatly influenced by his ideas about the importance of motherhood in child development, and many of her later photographs emphasized the bond between mother and child. The Arts and Crafts movement also had an impact on her. She studied drawing and painting in school, but she quickly became obsessed with photography. Käsebier, like many other art students at the time, decided to travel to Europe to further her education. She began 1894 by studying the chemistry of photography in Germany, where she was also able to leave her daughters with her in-laws in Wiesbaden. She spent the rest of the year in France, studying with American painter Frank DuMond. Gertrude Käsebier returned to Brooklyn in 1895. She decided to become a professional photographer in part because her husband had become quite ill and her family's finances were strained. She worked as an assistant to Brooklyn portrait photographer Samuel H. Lifshey for a year, where she learned how to run a studio and expanded her knowledge of printing techniques. Clearly, by this point, she had a thorough understanding of photography. Only one year later, she exhibited 150 photographs at the Boston Camera Club, a massive number for a single artist at the time. The same photographs were shown at the Pratt Institute in February 1897. The success of these exhibitions led to another in 1897 at the Photographic Society of Philadelphia. She also gave a talk about her work and encouraged other women to pursue photography as a career, saying, "I strongly advise women with artistic tastes to pursue a career in the underserved field of modern photography. It appears to be uniquely suited to them, and the few who have entered it have found rewarding and profitable success." In 1898, Käsebier watched Buffalo Bill's Wild West troupe parade past her Fifth Avenue studio in New York City, toward Madison Square Garden. Her memories of affection and respect for the Lakota people inspired her to send a letter to William "Buffalo Bill" Cody requesting permission to photograph the members of the Sioux tribe traveling with the show in her studio. Cody and Käsebier were similar in their abiding respect for Native American culture and maintained friendships with the Sioux. Cody quickly approved Käsebier's request and she began her project on Sunday morning, April 14, 1898. Käsebier's project was purely artistic and her images were not made for commercial purposes. They never were used in Buffalo Bill's Wild West program booklets or promotional posters. Käsebier took classic photographs of the Sioux while they were relaxed. Chief Iron Tail and Chief Flying Hawk were among Käsebier's most challenging and revealing portraits. Käsebier's photographs are preserved at the National Museum of American History's Photographic History Collection at the Smithsonian Institution. Red Horn Bull, a Sioux Indian from Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show, c. 1900, U.S.Library of Congress © Gertrude Käsebier Käsebier's session with Iron Tail was her only recorded story: "Preparing for their visit to Käsebier's photography studio, the Sioux at Buffalo Bill's Wild West Camp met to distribute their finest clothing and accessories to those chosen to be photographed." Käsebier admired their efforts, but desired to, in her own words, photograph a "real raw Indian, the kind I used to see when I was a child", referring to her early years in Colorado and on the Great Plains. Käsebier selected one Indian, Iron Tail, to approach for a photograph without regalia. "He did not object. The resulting photograph was exactly what Käsebier had envisioned: a relaxed, intimate, quiet, and beautiful portrait of the man, devoid of decoration and finery, presenting himself to her and the camera without barriers." Several days later, Chief Iron Tail was given the photograph and he immediately tore it up, stating that it was too dark. Käsebier photographed him again, this time in his full regalia. Iron Tail was an international celebrity. He appeared with his fine regalia as the lead with Buffalo Bill at the Avenue des Champs-Élysées in Paris, France, and the Colosseum of Rome. Iron Tail was a superb showman and disliked the photograph of him relaxed, but Käsebier chose it as the frontispiece for an article in the 1901 Everybody's Magazine. Käsebier believed all the portraits were a "revelation of Indian character", showing the strength and individual character of the Native Americans in "new phases for the Sioux". In her photograph of Chief Flying Hawk, his glare is the most startling image among those portraits by Käsebier, quite contrary to the others who were shown as relaxed, smiling, or making a "noble pose". Flying Hawk was a combatant in nearly all of the fights with United States troops during the Great Sioux War of 1876. He fought along with his cousin Crazy Horse and his brothers, Kicking Bear and Black Fox II, in the Battle of the Little Big Horn in 1876. He was present at the death of Crazy Horse in 1877 and the Wounded Knee Massacre of 1890. In 1898, when the portrait was taken, Flying Hawk was new to show business and he was unable to hide his anger and frustration about having to imitate battle scenes from the Great Plains Wars for Buffalo Bill's Wild West in order to escape the constraints and poverty of the Indian reservation. Soon, Flying Hawk learned to appreciate the benefits of a Show Indian with Buffalo Bill's Wild West. Flying Hawk regularly circulated show grounds in full regalia and sold his "cast card" picture postcards for a penny to promote the show and to supplement his meager income. After the death of Iron Tail on May 28, 1916, Flying Hawk was chosen as his successor by all of the braves of Buffalo Bill's Wild West and he led the gala processions as the head Chief of the Indians. I am now a mother and a grandmother, and I do not recall that I have ever ignored the claims of the nomadic button and the ceaseless call for sympathy, and the greatest demand on time and patience. My children and their children have been my closest thought, but from the first days of dawning individuality, I have longed unceasingly to make pictures of people... to make likenesses that are biographies, to bring out in each photograph the essential temperament that is called, soul, humanity. -- Gertrude Käsebier Over the next decade, she took dozens of photographs of the Indians in the show. Some of those photographs become her most famous images. Unlike Edward Curtis, a photographer who was her contemporary, Käsebier focused more on the expression and individuality of the person than their costumes and customs. While Curtis is known to have added elements to his photographs to emphasize his personal vision, Käsebier did the opposite, sometimes removing genuine ceremonial articles from a sitter to concentrate on the face or stature of the person. In July 1899, Alfred Stieglitz published five of Käsebier's photographs in Camera Notes, declaring her "beyond dispute, the leading artistic portrait photographer of the day". Her rapid rise to fame was noted by photographer and critic Joseph Keiley, who wrote "a year ago Käsebier's name was practically unknown in the photographic world... Today that names stands first and unrivaled...". That same year her print of The Manger sold for $100, the most ever paid for a photograph at that time. In 1900, Käsebier continued to gather accolades and professional praise. In the catalog for the Newark (Ohio) Photography Salon, she was called "the foremost professional photographer in the United States". In recognition of her artistic accomplishments and her stature, later that year, Käsebier was one of the first two women elected to Britain's Linked Ring (the other was British pictorialist Carine Cadby). The next year, Charles H. Caffin published his landmark book Photography as a Fine Art and devoted an entire chapter to the work of Käsebier ("Gertrude Käsebier and the Artistic Commercial Portrait"). Due to demand for her artistic opinions in Europe, Käsebier spent most of the year in Britain and France visiting with F. Holland Day and Edward Steichen. Alfred Stieglitz, c. 1902, U.S.Library of Congress © Gertrude Käsebier In 1902, Stieglitz included Käsebier as a founding member of the Photo-Secession. The following year, Stieglitz published six of her images in the first issue of Camera Work. They were accompanied by highly complementary articles by Charles Caffin and Frances Benjamin Johnston. In 1905 six more of her images were published in Camera Work, and the following year, Stieglitz presented an exhibition of Käsebier photographs (along with those of Clarence H. White) at his Little Galleries of the Photo-Secession. The strain of balancing her professional life with her personal one began to take a toll on Käsebier at this time. The stress was exacerbated by her husband's decision to move to Oceanside, Long Island, which had the effect of distancing her from the New York artistic center. In response, she returned to Europe where, through connections provided by Steichen, she was able to photograph the reclusive Auguste Rodin. When Käsebier returned to New York an unexpected conflict with Stieglitz developed. Käsebier's strong interest in the commercial side of photography, driven by her need to support her husband and family, was directly at odds with Stieglitz's idealistic and antimaterialistic nature. The more Käsebier enjoyed commercial success, the more Stieglitz felt she was going against what he felt a true artist should emulate. In May 1906, Käsebier joined the Professional Photographers of New York, a newly formed organization that Stieglitz saw as standing for everything he disliked: commercialism and the selling of photographs commercially rather than for love of the art. After this, he began distancing himself from Käsebier. Their relationship never regained its previous status of mutual artistic admiration. Eduard Käsebier died in 1910, finally leaving his wife free to pursue her interests as she saw fit. She continued to follow a separate course from that of Stieglitz and helped to establish the Women's Professional Photographers Association of America. In turn, Stieglitz began to publicly speak against her contemporary work, although he still thought enough of her earlier images to include 22 of them in the landmark exhibition of pictorialists at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery later that year. The next year, Käsebier was shocked by a highly critical attack made by her former admirer, Joseph T. Keiley, that was published in Stieglitz's Camera Work. Why Keiley suddenly changed his opinion of her is unknown, but Käsebier suspected that Stieglitz had put him up to it. Part of Käsebier's alienation from Stieglitz was due to his stubborn resistance to the idea of gaining financial success from artistic photography. If he felt a buyer truly appreciated the art, he often sold original prints by Käsebier and others at far less than their market value and, when he did sell prints, he took many months before paying the photographer of the work. After several years of protesting these practices, in 1912, Käsebier became the first member to resign from the Photo-Secession. In 1916, Käsebier helped Clarence H. White found the group Pictorial Photographers of America, which was seen by Stieglitz as a direct challenge to his artistic leadership. By this time, however, Stieglitz's tactics had offended many of his former friends, including White and Robert Demachy, and a year later, he was forced to disband the Photo-Secession. During this time, many young women starting out in photography sought out Käsebier, both for her photographic artistry and for inspiration as an independent woman. Among those who were inspired by Käsebier and who went on to have successful careers of their own were Clara Sipprell, Consuelo Kanaga, Laura Gilpin, Florence Maynard, and Imogen Cunningham. Throughout the late 1910s and most of the 1920s, Käsebier continued to expand her portrait business, taking photographs of many important people of the time, including Robert Henri, John Sloan, William Glackens, Arthur B. Davies, Mabel Dodge, and Stanford White. In 1924, her daughter, Hermine Turner, joined her in her portrait business. In 1929, Käsebier gave up photography altogether and liquidated the contents of her studio. That same year, she was given a major solo exhibition at the Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences. Käsebier died on October 12, 1934, at the home of her daughter, Hermine Turner. A major collection of her work is held by the University of Delaware. In 1979 Käsebier was inducted into the International Photography Hall of Fame and Museum.Source: Wikipedia
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