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Marcel Van Balken
Marcel Van Balken
Marcel Van Balken

Marcel Van Balken

Country: Netherlands

Marcel van Balken is a self-taught photographer from the Netherlands for about 40 years. As a photographer he is interested in specific themes and conceptual photography. He believes in working thematically with an absolute preference for surrealistic and creative photography. He gives himself a kind of theme or assignment and will not stop making photographs unless he thinks he got everything out of this assignment.

Marcel moves as a photographer ideally in the field of surrealism and magic realism. He prefers to create photographic images inspired by everyday reality combined with his own imagination. He strives to carefully compose photographic compositions of realistic looking scenes in unreal and sometimes magical spheres.

With his pictures he wants to tell a story with some level of abstraction: the image is not an explicit example of the concept, but a general expression of the idea. His goal in conceptual photography is to create a concrete image of abstract definition; to take a concept or idea and create a visual representation of it. A way of looking at the world in a completely different, sometimes surrealistic, manner.
 

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(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: en.wikipedia.org)
Jean-Christophe Béchet
Born in 1964 in Marseille, Jean-Christophe Béchet lives and works in Paris since 1990. Mixing B&W and color, silver and digital prints, 24x36 and medium format, polaroids and photographic 'accidents', Jean-Christophe Béchet seeks the "right tool" for each project, the one that will allow him to obtain a meaningful dialogue between an interpretation of reality and the photographic material. Inheritor of "street photography", whether it be American, French or Japanese, he likes to refer to his photographs as INHABITED LANDSCAPES. His glance on the world is constructed book by book, the area provided by the printed page being his "natural" field of expression. His photographs belong to several private and public collections and they have been showcased in more than sixty exhibitions since 1999, including at the Rencontres d'Arles in 2006 ("Urban Policies" series) and in 2012 ("Accidents" series) and the 'Mois de la Photo' (Month of Photography) in Paris, in 2006, 2008 and 2017. He is also the author of more than 20 books. FRENCHTOWN Project created for the Festival L'Oeil Urbain at Corbeil Essonnes Wedged between several highways and the National Road 7, the City of Corbeil-Essonnes is located 40 km south of Paris. It is the last city in the Paris' belt. As soon as you cross its limits, you are in the middle of nature. Too far from Paris to benefit from its proximity, it's neither in the provinces. This "in-between" gives rise to a feeling of strangeness and uneasiness. In this city, I felt I was in a typical and genuine French city and at the same time in a detective film. I had the impression of being a foreign visitor, an investigator, who was exploring a "French Town" to solve a minor incident. My photos are the result of a year of observation. I worked as a visual writer. Far from hot topics and for a long period of time, I captured the small details of everyday life and built an authentic story. Without forgetting that photography never shows reality, or truth, but an idea of reality. And it's already a lot... JCB
Barbara De Vries
Netherlands
The Dutch artist Barbara de Vries studied at the Rietveldacademie and the St. Joostacademie graphic art, industrial design and theater design. Although she worked with several famous theatres, Barbara finally got specialised in photography. The atmosphere in her work is a midway between fantasy and reality. Her images are mostly blurred, out of focus, with glimpses of reality. The Dutch curator Maarten Bertheux wrote as follow about her work. ‘Work of Francis Bacon and Marlene Dumas are relevant for the work of Barbara de Vries. Her work contain of digital reworked photographic material printed on Japanese paper. She combines and deforms her images in order to create her layered images. When she uses soft contours it brings in mind an aquarellist way of painting, a style De Vries used frequently before she started to use the computer as a tool in her photographic work. Her background as a stage designer has also influenced her actual work. This experience appears in the theatrical and dramatic setting and in the way she manipulates the light. In the photographic work there can be clear definition of space, but equally she uses an indistinct space that can vary from a sfumato-like space to a space where figures seem to float in. The figures are constructed out of several limbs and elements that are reconstructed in a new way, creating a new figuration. It seems as it is De Vries’ capability to creep under the skin of her model and analyzing the basic psycho logic characteristics’. Barbara de Vries' photography evoke feelings of hope, desire and consolation. Source: Morren Galleries
Anton Gorlin
Australia
Graeme Williams
South Africa
1961
I grew up in the whites-only suburbs of Cape Town, South Africa during the apartheid era, when South African law decreed that 92% of the population were regulated to the status of second-class citizens. My interest in photography began at the age of twelve, but I soon realized that a Kodak Instamatic was never going to produce the results that I wanted. I worked for three years in a bookshop and eventually bought myself a Fujica ST701. It was a real thing of beauty; a single reflex camera with a basic zoom lens, that provided me with the means to control how light formed itself onto the surface of the silver halide film. Sunsets and silhouettes held my attention for a few months, but I had already begun to explore the complex tradition of photographic expression. Life Magazine was for me, at that time, the Holy Grail. Over the years, my enthusiasm for exploring the photographic medium has never diminished. My photographic momentum was temporarily diverted after school by parental pressure to obtain a 'proper' qualification. In my final school year I was both the Dux scholar as well as a first team sportsman, which resulted in me being offered a De Beers bursary to study Geology and Statistics at the University of Cape Town. After graduating, I broke the news to my unnerved parents that I was giving up this career path and instead becoming a property photographer at the local newspaper. In the hierarchy of photographic jobs this is very close to the bottom. My immediate aim was to gain access to unlimited amounts of film and the time to work on my own projects. In 1987 I began photographing a conscientious objector and medical doctor, Ivan Toms, who refused to comply with the apartheid government's military service requirements. He was sentenced to 21 months in prison. The essay, highlighted the absurdity of the political system. Renowned photographer, David Goldblatt , took an interest in this work and this interaction led to a three-decade relationship in which he became both a mentor and a friend. The rights to my essay on Ivan Toms were bought by Life magazine the following year. Much of my work during this period was motivated by the desire to expose the social inequalities and racial divisions within my country. I eventually joined the strongly anti-apartheid collective, Afrapix and later became a founding member and manager of documentary collective, South Photographs. In 1989, the beginning of the end of apartheid was evident. I was eager to situate myself in a position that would afford me the best opportunities to witness the transition to democracy. I joined Reuters News Agency as permanent stringer and for the next five years, I became immersed in the events, both violent and momentous, that led up to the inauguration of Nelson Mandela as president in 1994. Many of my photographs from this period have taken on a life of their own. The image of Nelson Mandela walking out of prison with his wife, Winnie, has been exhibited and published worldwide. In 2008, as Barack Obama fought John McCain for the presidency, Newsweek magazine ran a story asking each candidate to choose an image that best personified their world view. Obama's team chose an image that I photographed in Thokoza township in 1991. Last year the same photograph became central in a high profile image-appropriation dispute between myself and New York artist, Hank Willis Thomas. There was a massive groundswell of support from colleagues and media from around the world. An amicable settlement was reached. Since 1994 I have concentrated on producing personalized and contemporary bodies of work that reflect this complex country and the continent as a whole. These essays have been shown in solo exhibitions in New York, London, Paris, Cape Town and Johannesburg as well as numerous photo festivals around the world. (Including China, Singapore, Brazil, Cambodia, France, and the USA). I have been privileged to have been included in major international exhibitions showcasing contemporary South African photography; including Figures and Fictions at London's Victoria and Albert Museum, Apartheid and After at Huis Marseille in Amsterdam, Earth Matters at the Smithsonian in New York, The Rise and Fall of Apartheid at the ICP in New York and Being There, at the Louis Vuitton Foundation in Paris. Awards include the CAP Prize for Contemporary African Photography (Basel) in 2013, and the Ernest Cole Award (South Africa) in the same year. I have continued working on commissioned assignments and traveling to over fifty countries. My photographs have appeared on the cover of Time magazine twice, and have been published in The New York Times Magazine, National Geographic, Newsweek, Stern, and many others. Whilst working on my long-term projects, I try to bear in mind how the work will be exhibited and published. So therefore, during the planning and photographing stages, I attempt to create a broad context for my essays, that includes a general look and feel, while creating the space for each image to convey its individual complexity. This need to develop a dual awareness in my personal work has benefitted from a long-term interest in designing and producing photobooks. I have created over 20 publications, some of them winning awards and many being shortlisted in dummy book competitions. During the past five years I have felt a need to shift my attention from South Africa to the America social, political and physical landscape. Some of my motivations for this change in direction have been outlined within the 'Plan' document. In 2016 I was granted a residency in the US by the Ampersand Foundation, giving me an opportunity to develop a body of work that interrogated the social strata within the greater community of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. I designed and produced a book called, Diverging Dreamlines that included, portraits, urban landscapes as well as multi-image, digital, illustrations. The publication was chosen as "best of show" in the Annual Photobook Exhibition at the Griffin Museum of Photography in Winchester, Massachusetts. The work was also included in the Unmasked exhibition at Axis Gallery, New York in 2017. Earlier this year (2019) I co-presented a paper, Over Time, at the International Psychoanalytical Association (IPA) Congress held in London. Four of my personal essays were incorporated into the presentation, allowing a psychoanalytical exploration into the parallels between this photographic record and South Africa's dynamics and process of change. I have participated in various mentorship programs, supporting students from South African photographic institutions: Tierney Fellowship winners from the University of the Witwatersrand (2018/2019) and the Market Photo Workshop (2015/2016). As well as candidates from the Photographer incubator Program in 2016. Learn more about Graeme Williams on videos: Victoria and Albert Museum Photography and Democracy South African Studios Dwell in Possibility opening Check out Graeme Williams's interview about his latest project America Revisited Discover Graeme Williams' Interview
Dotan Saguy
Israel
1970
Dotan Saguy was born in a small kibbutz five miles south of Israel's Lebanese border. He grew up in a diverse working-class Parisian suburb, lived in Lower Manhattan during 9/11, and moved to Los Angeles in 2003. In 2015, Saguy decided to focus on his lifelong passion for photography after a successful career as a high-tech entrepreneur. Since then Saguy attended the prestigious Eddie Adams Workshop, Missouri Photo Workshop and studied photojournalism at Santa Monica College. Saguy's award-winning photographs have been published by National Geographic, The Guardian, The Los Angeles Times, among many other publications. Saguy teaches street photography and documentary workshops for Leica Akademie and Momenta Workshops. In 2018 Saguy's first monograph about the endangered culture of Venice Beach, CA was published by Kehrer Verlag and received a Bronze award by the prestigious Deutscher Fotobuchpreis 2018-19. Saguy lives in Los Angeles with his wife and two children. Statement I met the Reis, a Mormon family from Brazil, the day they arrived in Los Angeles in October 2018 in the yellow school bus they call home. They had come to the United States two years prior to chase the American Dream and although they had quickly found financial success, happiness proved much more elusive with long work hours and material acquisitions leaving them unsatisfied. This body of work documents the trials and tribulations of the Reis family over their 10-month stay in the City of Angels while they struggle as vehicle dwellers, improvised mechanics, unconventional parents, experimenting breadwinners while seeking happiness as a family. The interviews conducted as part of the project also raise subjects such as immigrants chasing the American dream, modern parenting, the growing urban phenomenon of people living in vehicles and rebelling against a strong religious identity in the Internet era. About Nowhere to go but Everywhere
Manjari Sharma
Manjari Sharma is a photographer born and raised in Mumbai, India and based in Brooklyn, New York. Rooted in the study of relationships and personal mythology, since it’s inception Manjari’s work has been recognized as walking the line of fine art and traditional portraiture. Manjari‘s work has been showcased in several group and solo exhibitions both in the US and internationally and she's been invited to speak at the School of Visual arts and the Rubin Museum of Art in New York City. Manjari was chosen as an honorable mention for the Santa Fe Prize in 2012, her work selected by Review Santa Fe and featured by the Critical mass top 50. Manjari has been featured in various magazines print and online. Her works have appeared with Forbes India Magazine, Vogue India, Geo Magazine, America Online. She has been commisioned to work with advertising agencies such as JWT and Contract, India and has had features and interviews with New York Times, lens blog, Wired Raw File Nikon Asia, NPR, Time, PDN, Huffington Post, CNBC, Mumbai, The Times of India group and Leica, China. Before moving to the U.S. in 2001 Manjari worked for the national news daily of her country, The Times of India. Manjari has also worked as a staff photojournalist with the leading south asian photography magazine, Better Photography. She holds a bachelors degree in Visual Communication from S.N.D.T University, Mumbai and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Still Photography from Columbus College of Art and Design in Columbus, Ohio.
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