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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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Giuseppe Cardoni
He lives in Umbria, is an engineer, he prefers B/W reportage. He has been part of the Leica Photographic Group where he had the opportunity to attend Masters of Italian photography such as with Gianni Berengo Gardin, Piergiorgio Branzi, Mario Lasalandra. He is co-author, with the RAI journalist Luca Cardinalini, of the photographic book STTL La terra di sia lieve. (Ed. DeriveApprodi, Rome, 2006); with Luigi Loretoni he published in 2008 the photo book Miserere (Ed. L'Arte Grafica), in 2011 Gubbio, I Ceri (Ed. L'Arte Grafica) and in 2014 Kovilj (Ed. L'Arte Grafica). Also in 2014 he published Boxing Notes (Edizionibam) reportage on the world of boxing with which he won international awards. He has dedicated himself for some years to the photography of musical events and in 2019 he published "Jazz Notes" a personal intimate point of view on jazz atmospheres. He has exhibited his work in numerous solo and group exhibitions in Italy and abroad. Award-winner or finalist in national and international competitions (has achieved these personal results in more than forty contests over the past three years). I am interested in making photographs with a strong personal connotation, which correlated with my interiority represent a reality poised between the flow of time and abstraction. Giuseppe Cardoni All about BOXING NOTES Nonna Mira, the real boxing enthusiast of the family, set her alarm for 3 a.m. and called my father and me (just a boy) to watch big matches live from Madison Square Garden in New York. With this memory, I went looking for those atmospheres and values of the great boxing of the sixties and seventies. Ropes, wooden planks, nails, torn carpets, peeling walls, worn-out shoes, feet, gym bags, towels, robes, sacred images, iron stairs, neon lights, grimaces of pain, laughter of victory. Boxing. For instance from the "poor" gym, Academia de Boxeo Henry Garcia Suarez, in Holguin (Cuba), have come Olympic and world champions. And you’d never guess.I was attracted by the almost paternal respect for the coaches and champions, the discipline for training, friendship among companions, the rhythm of legs and veins, pride and courage.Boys begin training at the age of 10 years, sometimes without headgear and shoeless, chasing victory with bare hands and with many dedications: for themselves, their families, their country. As the President of Italian Boxing Federation said "It seems a paradox, but the ring is one of the few places in the world where men are really equal, where they fight for their dreams regardless of status, race or culture. Alone, without even difference in clothing, they face each other as equals, without the help of machines, without external support, without any outside help"
Madame d’Ora
Austria
1881 | † 1963
Dora Philippine Kallmus, also known as Madame D'Ora or Madame d'Ora, was an Austrian fashion and portrait photographer. Born in Vienna, Austria, in 1881 to a Jewish family, into a privileged background and coming of age amidst the creative and intellectual atmosphere of fin-de-siècle Vienna, Kallmus was extremely well cultured. Her father was a lawyer. Her sister, Anna, was born in 1878 and deported in 1941 during the Holocaust. Although her mother, Malvine (née Sonnenberg), died when she was young, her family remained an important source of emotional and financial support throughout her career. At age 23 while on a trip to the Côte d’Azur, she purchased her first camera, a Kodak box camera. She became interested in the photography field while assisting the son of the painter Hans Makart, and in 1905 she was the first woman to be admitted to theory courses at the Graphische Lehr- und Versuchsanstalt (Graphic Training Institute), which in 1908 granted women access to other courses in photography. That same year she became a member of the Association of Austrian photographers. She was the first woman photographer in Vienna to open her own studio and in May 1906, she was listed in the commercial register as a photographer for the first time. She established her studio called the Atelier d’Ora or Madame D'Ora-Benda with Arthur Benda. The name was based on the pseudonym "Madame d'Ora", which she used professionally. Self-styled simply as d’Ora, she initially took portraits of friends and members from her social circle. In the autumn of 1909, an exhibition of her work received a lively response from the press. Critics both praised the artistic style of her portraits and emphasized the prominent individuals who streamed in to view the show. Over the course of her lifetime, d’Ora turned her lens on many artists, including Josephine Baker, Colette, Gustav Klimt, Tamara de Lempicka, and Pablo Picasso, among others. Alongside these commissions, she also photographed members of the Habsburg family and Viennese aristocracy, the Rothschild family, and other prominent cultural figures and politicians. D’Ora had close ties to avant-garde artistic circles and captured members of the Expressionist dance movement with her lens, including Anita Berber and Sebastian Droste. Fashion and glamor subjects were another important mainstay of her business. She regularly photographed Wiener Werkstätte fashion models and the designer Emilie Flöge of the Schwestern Flöge salon wearing artistic reform dresses. When d’Ora moved to Paris in 1925, she shifted her focus to fashion, covering the couture scene and leading lights of the period until 1940. She befriended key figures, such as the French milliner Madame Agnès and the Spanish designer Cristóbal Balenciaga, as well as the top fashion magazine editors of the day. She also helped create and sustain glamorous images for a variety of celebrities, including Cecil Beaton, Maurice Chevalier, and Colette. When the Nazis seized control of Paris in 1940, she was forced to close her studio and flee. She spent the war years in a semi-underground existence living in Ardèche in the southeast of France. Her sister Anna Kallmus, along with other family and friends, died in the Chełmno concentration camp. After World War II, d’Ora returned to Paris, profoundly affected by personal losses. While she lacked an elegant studio in Paris, d’Ora’s lasting connections to wealthy clients remained and many of them returned to her. While she accepted portrait commissions, mostly for financial stability, she also pushed into new, sometimes darker directions. Around 1948, she embarked on an astonishing series of photographs in displaced persons or refugee camps, which was commissioned by the United Nations. From around 1949 to 1958, d’Ora worked on a project, which she called “my big final work.” She visited numerous slaughterhouses in Paris, and amid the pools of blood and deathly screams, she stood in an elegant suit and a hat photographing the butchered animals hundreds of times. She died on 28 October 1963. Four years prior, she had sustained injuries after being hit by a motorcycle in Paris, resulting in her returning to Vienna.Source: Wikipedia
Betty Press
United States
Betty Press is a documentary fine art photographer, well-known for photographs taken in Africa where she lived and traveled for many years. Now living in Mississippi she has just completed a project called “Finding Mississippi” recording "real life" in small communities throughout Mississippi with black-and-white film and toy and vintage cameras. She taught photography at University of Southern Mississippi from 2003 to 2015. She is twice the recipient of a Visual Artist Grant from the Mississippi Arts Commission. Her photographs have been widely-exhibited as well as selected for many juried competitions. In addition, her photographs have been featured in publications such as Shots, Silvershotz, South x Southeast, Lenscratch, ACurator, RfotoFolio, and Don't Take Pictures. Her work is held in a number of public collections including Beinecke Library at Yale University, The National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, DC, The Harry Ransom Center for the Humanities, The University of Texas, Austin, Mississippi Museum of Art and The Do Good Fund of Southern Photography. In 2011 Betty published a photobook I Am Because We Are: African Wisdom in Image and Proverb that portrayed a stunning, life-affirming portrait of the African people and culture. For this book she received a statewide award in photography, from the Mississippi Institute of Arts & Letters and was selected for Critical Mass Top 50. Her other books/zines include La Dolce Vista, Hub City Impressions and Finding Mississippi. In August 2019 she moved to Nairobi, Kenya to photograph urban culture and social injustice, but returned to the USA in April 2020 due to the Covid-19 outbreak. Her most recent project They Were Us: Stories of Victims and Survivors of Police Brutality in Kenya, was selected for Photo Lucida Critical Mass Top 50. Betty was invited by Lenscratch to curate the States Project for Mississippi. She also helped bring the Do Good Fund Exhibition of southern fine art photography to USM Art Gallery and organized several simultaneous local exhibitions. Most recently, she co-curated an online show Virtual Photography 20:20 for One Off Contemporary Art Gallery, Nairobi, Kenya. She is represented by Panos Pictures, London; International Visions, Washington, DC; Fischer Galleries, Jackson, Mississippi; Treehouse Gallery, Oxford, Mississippi and One Off Contemporary Art Gallery, Nairobi, Kenya. As a former educator, journalist, and avid traveler Press brings a wide-ranging perspective and appreciation of diverse photographic styles, genres and mediums. Services Offered: The African Urban landscapeEye-catching, colorful and hand-painted! Popular creative signage, found on small shops started by mostly young entrepreneurs, livens up what would otherwise be a drab environment in the poorer, densely-populated areas of third world cities like Freetown, Nairobi, or Monrovia. Services, such as hairdressing, tailoring, phone charging, food stalls and video games are advertised. The designs, drawn from traditional as well as contemporary pop culture, are bold, simple and use primary colors and funky fonts. The sign painters are mostly young and self-taught. With more mobile smart-phone usage the signage reflects the modern world on an African canvas. I have spent more than 15 years living in various African countries. In 2019 I moved back to Kenya. My main focus was to document the social justice movement in Nairobi's urban settlements (formerly called slums), resulting in They Were Us: Stories of Police Brutality in Kenya which was selected for the 2020 Photo Lucida Critical Mass Top 50. On the side I would stop to photograph the colorful shops which I found so artful, refreshing and safer to photograph. Now back home in Mississippi, after being evacuated from Nairobi due to the pandemic, I continue working on my Mississippi projects which deal with how place, race and religion have played a part in the complicated history of the state and still affect black lives today.
Peter Beard
United States
1938 | † 2020
Peter Hill Beard is an American artist, photographer, diarist and writer who lives and works in New York City and Kenya. His photographs of Africa, African animals and the journals that often integrate his photographs have been widely shown and published since the 1960s. Born in 1938 as a New York aristocrat, he was heir to a railroad fortune on his mother’s side of the family and a tobacco inheritance on his father’s. He was raised in New York City, Alabama, and Islip, Long Island, Beard began keeping diaries as a young boy and making photographs, as an extension of the diaries, at the age of 12. A graduate of Pomfret School, he entered Yale University in 1957, with the intention of pursuing pre-med studies, only to switch his major to art history. His mentors at Yale included Josef Albers, Richard Lindner and Vincent Scully. Inspired by earlier trips to Africa in both 1955 and 1960, Beard traveled to Kenya upon graduation. Working at Tsavo National Park, he photographed and documented the demise of 35,000 elephants and other wildlife, later to become the subject of his first book, "The End of the Game." During this time, Beard acquired Hog Ranch, a property near the Ngong Hills adjacent to the coffee farm owned by Karen Blixen (Isak Dinesen), which would become his lifelong home-base in East Africa. Peter Beard's photographs of Africa, African animals and journals that often integrate his photographs have been widely shown and published since the 1970s. Each of his works is unique, a combination of his photography with elements derived from his daily diary-keeping, a practice he continues to this day. These volumes contain newspaper clippings, dried leaves, insects, old sepia-toned photos, transcribed telephone messages, marginalia in India ink, photographs of women, quotes, found objects, and the like; these become incorporated, with original drawings and collage by Beard. Certain of his works incorporate animal blood, sometimes Beard’s own blood (in sparing quantities), a painting medium the artist favors. Beard's first exhibition was at the Blum Helman Gallery, New York, in 1975. Landmark museum exhibitions have been held at the International Center of Photography, New York, in 1977, and the Centre National de la Photographie, Paris, in 1997. Gallery exhibitions followed in Berlin, London, Toronto, Madrid, Milan, Tokyo and Vienna. Beard’s work is included in private collections throughout the world. In 2017, Beard was sued by actor David Spade who purchased one of his works. Spade tried to resell a Peter Beard photograph that he had purchased from dealer Peter Tunney but the unsigned work could not be authenticated. Descended from distinguished American families on both sides, Beard is one of three sons born to Roseanne Hoar Beard and Anson McCook Beard, Jr. A great-grandfather, James Jerome Hill, was founder of the Great Northern Railway in the United States in the late 19th/early 20th centuries. Having made his fortune in the railroad business, James Jerome Hill was a great patron of the arts. All of his heirs were exposed to and owned great collections, presumably having a strong influence on Beard’s interests in the arts and beauty. Beard married his first wife (Minnie Cushing Beard Coleman) in 1962; their marriage lasted only briefly. His second wife was supermodel Cheryl Tiegs, from 1982 to 1986. In 1986, he married Nejma Khanum. The couple has a daughter, Zara, for whom his book, Zara’s Tales, was written. Beard has befriended and in some cases collaborated with many legendary artists including Andy Warhol, Andrew Wyeth, Francis Bacon, Karen Blixen, Truman Capote, Richard Lindner, and Salvador Dalí. He has also photographed many well-known people.Source: Wikipedia Peter Beard is a contemporary American photographer best known for his documentary images of Africa arranged in unique photo collages that combine painting, drawing, and text. Part documentarian, part activist, Beard’s work captures the plight of a continent succumbing to industrialization. “The wilderness is gone,” the artist has said, “and with it much more than we can appreciate or predict. We'll suffer for it.” Born on January 22, 1938 in New York, NY the artist and diarist was educated at Yale University, studying art history with the famed abstract painter Josef Albers. After moving to Africa in the 1960s, Beard began to catalog the demise of elephants and rhinoceroses in Kenya’s Tsavo National Park. In 1975, while living in Nairobi, Beard spotted a beautiful university student named Iman, the photographer later brought her to New York, launching her career as a super model. Over the course of his career he has collaborated with Andy Warhol, Richard Lindner, Francis Bacon, and others. Beard currently lives and works between New York and Montauk, NY, and Nairobi, Kenya.Source: Artnet
Eve Arnold
United States
1912 | † 2012
Eve Arnold was born Eve Cohen in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the middle of nine children born to immigrant Russian-Jewish parents, William Cohen (born Velvel Sklarski), a rabbi, and his wife, Bessie (Bosya Laschiner). Her interest in photography began in 1946 while working for Kodak in their Fair Lawn NJ photo-finishing plant. Over six weeks in 1948, she learned photographic skills from Harper's Bazaar art director Alexey Brodovitch at the New School for Social Research in Manhattan. She married Arnold Schmitz (later Arnold Arnold) in 1941. Eve Arnold photographed many of the iconic figures who shaped the second half of the twentieth century, yet she was equally comfortable documenting the lives of the poor and dispossessed, "migrant workers, civil-rights protestors of apartheid in South Africa, disabled Vietnam war veterans and Mongolian herdsmen." Her joyful picture of a Cuban couple with their child was selected in 1955 for the world-touring Museum of Modern Art exhibition The Family of Man and seen by 9 million visitors. For Arnold, there was no dichotomy: "I don't see anybody as either ordinary or extraordinary," she said in a 1990 BBC interview, "I see them simply as people in front of my lens." Arnold was particularly noted for her work using available light, concentrating on the image in the lens and eschewing extensive use of photographic lighting and flash. Of this she said "By the time you set up lights the image is gone" in a Guardian interview in 2000. Arnold's images of Marilyn Monroe on the set of The Misfits (1961) were perhaps her most memorable, but she had taken many photos of Monroe from 1951 onwards. Her previously unseen photos of Monroe were shown at a Halcyon Gallery exhibition in London during May 2005. She also photographed Queen Elizabeth II, Malcolm X, Marlene Dietrich, and Joan Crawford, and traveled around the world, photographing in China, Russia, South Africa and Afghanistan. Arnold left the United States and moved permanently to England in the early 1970s with her son, Francis Arnold. While working for the London Sunday Times, she began to make serious use of color photography. In 1980, she had her first solo exhibition, which featured her photographic work done in China at the Brooklyn Museum in New York City. In the same year, she received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Society of Magazine Photographers. In 1993, she was made an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society, and elected Master Photographer by New York's International Center of Photography. She did a series of portraits of American First Ladies. In 1997, she was appointed a member of the Advisory Committee of the National Media Museum (formerly the Museum of Photography, Film & Television) in Bradford, West Yorkshire. She was appointed an Honorary Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 2003. She lived in Mayfair for many years until her last illness, when she moved to a nursing home in St George's Square, Pimlico. When Anjelica Huston asked if she was still doing photography, Arnold replied: "That's over. I can't hold a camera any more." She said she spent most of her time reading such writers as Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Thomas Mann and Leo Tolstoy. Arnold died in London on January 4, 2012, aged 99. Source: Wikipedia Eve Arnold was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to Russian immigrant parents. She began photographing in 1946, while working at a photo-finishing plant in New York City, and then studied photography in 1948 with Alexey Brodovitch at the New School for Social Research in New York. Arnold first became associated with Magnum Photos in 1951, and became a full member in 1957. She was based in the US during the 1950s but went to England in 1962 to put her son through school; except for a six-year interval when she worked in the US and China, she lived in the UK for the rest of her life. Her time in China led to her first major solo exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum in 1980, where she showed the resulting images. In the same year, she received the National Book Award for In China and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Society of Magazine Photographers. In later years she received many other honours and awards. In 1995 she was made fellow of the Royal Photographic Society and elected Master Photographer - the world's most prestigious photographic honour - by New York's International Center of Photography. In 1996 she received the Kraszna-Krausz Book Award for In Retrospect, and the following year she was granted honorary degrees by the University of St Andrews, Staffordshire University, and the American International University in London; she was also appointed to the advisory committee of the National Museum of Photography, Film & Television in Bradford, UK. She has had twelve books published. Source: Magnum Photos
Robert Rutöd
Robert Rutöd was born 1959 in Vienna, Austria. Early pursuit of painting; from 1978 on photography. Works from these years later appeared with some of his absurd texts in the book grayscales. early b&w photographs 1978-1988. Between 1979 and 1993, Robert Rutöd wrote screenplays and directed short films. In the mid-90s, he increasingly devoted himself to the design of books and applications for digital media. In 2004 he returned to photography; since 2009, he presents these images to a wider audience. In his projects, Robert Rutöd investigates the paradox Human with its sometimes tragicomic aspects. In 2009 the photo book Less Is More resulted from that and three years later, the series Right Time Right Place has been finished. For this he received several awards including the New York Photo Award 2012, the Special Prize of the Czech Center of Photography, and most recently Artist of the Year at Dong Gang International Photo Festival in South Korea. In 2017 he completed his series Fair(y) Tales, retelling an almost ten-year expedition through the burlesque realm of trade fairs and exhibition areas. Rutöd’s photographs have been shown worldwide at numerous photography festivals and exhibitions; his work has been widely published in magazines and on blogs. Robert Rutöd lives and works in Vienna. (Source: Robert Rutöd Website) Right Time Right PlaceBeing at the right place at the right time is usually associated with happiness and success. But what happens when we are at the right place at the wrong time? Do we even know that this is the right place? And what if it turns out that it is the wrong place after all? But the right time! “Right Time Right Place” is a collection of photographs I made in the last five years on my travels through Europe. The images revolve around the question of whether it is possible for a person to be in the right place at the right time. Is the ideal state of space and time something we are awarded or is it a state we have long been living in without being aware of our good fortune? I hope I have not succeeded in answering this question. Nothing fails more pathetically than an artist’s attempt to explain the world and its relationships. Rather, my work leads to the conclusion that the world cannot be explained. Once an exhibition visitor in New York told me that, when viewing my photos, she felt that the protagonists seemed to be kind of disobedient. I really liked that interpretation. "What Robert Rutöd brings to the contemporary photographic dialogue is that intangible ability to see the world with a skewed lens - a lens that is compassionate and at the same time, unkind. It is a lens that is the stuff of operas and nightmares, comedies and slapstick. Robert finds that split second of humor or truth telling and that instant of social documentation or absurdity that makes us not only laugh at ourselves, but also laugh and feel embarrassed all at the same time. Or should I say, at The Right Time." (Aline Smithson, from the foreword to the book „Right Time Right Place“) “Right Time Right Place” was awarded the Special Prize of the Czech Center of Photography at the Photo Annual Awards 2012. A photo from the series won the New York Photo Award 2012 in the category Fine Art. Exclusive Interview with Robert Rutöd:AAP: When did you realize you wanted to be a photographer?At a certain point I can't remember. I guess, at the moment when I was pleased with my photographs.AAP: Where did you study photography?I'm self-taught...AAP: How long have you been a photographer?In total, maybe twenty years, with shorter and a long breaks and also a hiatus for more than ten years.AAP: Do you remember your first shot? What was it?Tough question, my very first photographs were still largely staged. That reminds me of the corpse of a young man, with countless clothespins on the upper body, or a self-portrait in which I am seen with a pair of shoes on my shoulders.AAP: How could you describe your style?Style is not something that you choose; it happens, to a certain extent, over time. In photography, a signature style is often more difficult to discover, sort of like in painting. A graphologist might interpret my works thusly: "Easy to read, no scrawling, he's going on rapidly and purposefully in problem-solving and asks the right questions at the right moment." I could then add: "Regarding the content, rather puzzling over long distances."AAP: What kind of gear do you use? Camera, lens, digital, film?One digital camera, one good lens.AAP: What or who inspires you?Since my work is not staged, I'm only inspired when the photographic event unfolds before my eyes, a reverse brainstorming so to speak.AAP: Do you spend a lot of time editing your images?Yes, to edit my own photographs is sometimes a lengthy process. The pictures have to go through some tests to be integrated into an ongoing project. This decision-making is sometimes damn hard to reach; it helps to let a few weeks or even months pass.AAP: What advice would you give a young photographer?Not to listen to any advice...AAP: What mistake should a young photographer avoid?None! Because there is no such thing as error, in fact, and consequently no recipe for success.AAP: Your best memory as a photographer?A fair for undertakers and the fashion show taking place there, including a coffin on the stage.AAP: Your worst souvenir as a photographer?The cluelessness of so many "experts."AAP: If you could have taken the photographs of someone else who would it be?I am satisfied so far with my work, as I want to get into the skin of others. Of course there's truly great work that I would like to see in my portfolio, "Royal Harare Golf Club" by Martin Parr for example, one or two pictures by Helen Levitt.AAP: An idea, a sentence, a project you would like to share?First the bad news: The publication date of my book "Milky Way" has been moved to next year. Now the good: I'm very happy about the positive echo that my series "Right Time Right Place" caused since its release about a year ago, including my participation in festivals in Los Angeles, Copenhagen, Delhi, or recently at the Miami Street Photography Festival. In January 2014, my project will be a solo exhibition to be seen. “eigensinnig“ (stubborn) is the name of the new gallery in Vienna, whose founder Toni Tramezzini, is aiming to show something that is rarely seen in this city: something that's not serial, not conceptual, not staged photography.
Ruud van Empel
Netherlands
1958
Ruud van Empel (born 21 November 1958 in Breda) is a Dutch photographer and visual artist. Ruud van Empel was born in Breda in 1958. He studied at the Academie voor Beeldende Kunst St. Joost (St Joost Academy of Art) in Breda in the 1970s, and began making independently produced videotapes in the eighties. He moved to Amsterdam in the late eighties to work on his career as a visual artist. His first photographic series were The Office (1995-2001), Study for Women (1999-2002) and Study in Green (2003). The Groninger Museum presented his first solo exhibition in 1999. He made his international breakthrough with his series World-Moon-Venus, which was shown in the George Eastman Museum in Rochester, New York State. Until mid-1995, Van Empel’s art was primarily generated by a process of assembling analogue photographic images. At that point, he exchanged this traditional collage technique – cutting, pasting and retouching in the darkroom – for image processing on the computer, working in an idea-driven manner. The first series created with this method was The Office (1995). In a technical sense, The Office displays a handicraft-like quality, missing the perfectionist character of his later work. Nevertheless, Ruud van Empel clearly demonstrated that his approach differed from other disciplines such as staged photography. In certain aspects, The Office offered a somewhat surrealistic character and referred to photomontages from the 1920s in terms of style and design. On the basis of this art-historical reference, Van Empel created a new genre within photography – without a ready-to-wear label. The artist himself speaks of the ‘construction of a photographic image’. Although he does make use of pure photomontage – he never applies so-called morphing techniques – the final result strives for content aligned to natural reality rather than to surrealism. The artificiality is visible but the final image is a convincing, autonomous reality. As a consequence, the work does not seem grotesque or absurd but could theoretically actually appear in reality. In that respect, Van Empel’s images are independent. They do not manifest themselves as ‘symbolic’ and have been stripped of all ‘pictorial’ associations. He does not deploy photography as a substitute for painting but rather uses it as an independent form of depiction. Every image consists of photographic sources that are digitally assembled on the computer. The work of Ruud van Empel exists by grace of the camera by means of which he records his building blocks. After The Office, he created the Study for Women series, which comprises a number of female portraits that refer to the magic realism art movement. In this series, produced in the period 2000-2002, he displayed the form language with which he would soon gain worldwide recognition. The Study in Green series from 2003-2004, the Untitled series from 2004, and the three closely related series World, Moon and Venus, which he began in 2005, represented Van Empel’s true international breakthrough. Curator Deborah Klochko invited him to participate in the exhibition entitled Picturing Eden in the George Eastman House. In the book Ruud van Empel Photoworks 1995-2010, she wrote: ‘Van Empel’s virtuosity lies in his capacity to combine in photography the kind of ideas anchored in painting (historical references, the power of a glimpse, use of colour) and cinema (structure with multiple images and the power of a narrative), and to do so on a large scale. To understand his work you must ask yourself: ‘Is it science or art? Is it real or imaginary? Is innocence or decadence?’ Particularly the World series, which explores the theme of innocence, made a deep impression. These works were inspired by photos taken by his father. Van Empel placed neatly dressed, black boys and girls in paradisical settings of unspoiled, non-existent natural surroundings. Great interest in and appreciation of this series are expressed worldwide to this day. The breakthrough in America also led to renewed attention in Dutch museums. Van Empel has had solo exhibitions in Museum Het Valkhof in Nijmegen, the Groninger Museum and the NoordBrabants Museum in ’s-Hertogenbosch. Since the international recognition of his work gave Ruud Van Empel the status of an artist with an own independent form language, he has progressively extended his oeuvre with the Theatre series from 2010-2013, and Souvenir, which provided a charged picture of his youth in Breda. This series was purchased by the NoordBrabants Museum. A typical feature of the work of Ruud van Empel is the composition of a perfected and idealized representation right down to the finest details. But this always has a darker side, albeit not always evident. Ruud Schenk, curator of the Groninger Museum, wrote about that aspect with reference to the Study for Women series (2000-2002): ‘As a spectator you feel that there is something not quite right about the depiction of the women: they are not completely lifelike, but tend to be a mixture of real women and window dummies. This generates a certain discomfort, an uneasiness that touches upon what was described as 'das Unheimliche' (the uncanny) at the beginning of the 20th century.’ Although the photographic images seem to capture an epoch, you can hardly assign a date to any of them. This timeless element of Van Empel’s work has taken on a different significance in his recent work, as he deals with themes such as transience and Vanity in his Still Life series from 2014, and also portrays older people as in the portrait of an older woman in the Sunday series (2012), or in the Nude series (2014), in which he questions the pose of the model and the aesthetics of nudity. In the Solo Work series, on which Ruud van Empel has been working since 2011, he consistently deals with just one topic in an isolated work. The moral, ethical and aesthetic dilemmas of society and art are presented to us in a photographic form language. The significance of these is shown in the countless publications and international exhibitions of this work, not only in institutions specialized in photography but also in renowned museums for modern visual art.Source: Wikipedia
Inge Morath
Austria/United States
1923 | † 2002
Inge Morath, the daughter of a scientist, was born in Austria on 27th May 1923. The family moved to Nazi Germany and as a teenager she was sent to the force labour camp at Tempelhof for refusing to join the Hitler Youth. Morath graduated from Berlin University in 1944. After the Second World War she worked as an interpreter for the United States Information Service before joining the RWR radio network. Morath also contributed articles to the literary magazine Der Optimist. In 1950 Morath moved to France where she worked with the Austrian photographers Ernst Haas and Erich Lessing. This involved writing text captions for the two photographers. The following year she found work as a photojournalist with Picture Post, a magazine based in London. Morath's first book was, Fiesta In Pamplona (1954). After the publication of an photo essay on French worker priests by Morath in 1955 Robert Capa invited her to join the Magnum photo agency. Other books by Morath included Venice Observed (1956), Bring Forth The Children (1960), Tunisia (1961) and From Persia to Iran (1961). Morath married Arthur Miller in 1962 and together they published the bookIn Russia (1969). This was followed by My Sister Life (1973) with poems by Boris Pasternak, In the Country (1977), Chinese Encounters (1979), Salesman in Beijing (1984), Portraits (1987), Shaking the Dust of Ages (1998), an autobiography, Life As A Photographer (1999), Masquerade (2000) and Border Spaces; Last Journey (2002). Inge Morath died of lymphatic cancer on 30th January 2002. Source: Spartacus Educational
Stanley Kubrick
United States
1928 | † 1999
Stanley Kubrick (July 26, 1928 – March 7, 1999) was an American film director, producer, screenwriter, and photographer. He is frequently cited as one of the greatest filmmakers in cinematic history. His films, which are mostly adaptations of novels or short stories, cover a wide range of genres and are noted for their realism, dark humor, unique cinematography, extensive set designs, and evocative use of music. Kubrick was raised in the Bronx, New York City, and attended William Howard Taft High School from 1941 to 1945. He received average grades, but displayed a keen interest in literature, photography, and film from a young age, and taught himself all aspects of film production and directing after graduating from high school. After working as a photographer for Look magazine in the late 1940s and early 1950s, he began making short films on a shoestring budget, and made his first major Hollywood film, The Killing, for United Artists in 1956. This was followed by two collaborations with Kirk Douglas: the war picture Paths of Glory (1957) and the historical epic Spartacus (1960). Creative differences arising from his work with Douglas and the film studios, a dislike of the Hollywood industry, and a growing concern about crime in America prompted Kubrick to move to the United Kingdom in 1961, where he spent most of his remaining life and career. His home at Childwickbury Manor in Hertfordshire, which he shared with his wife Christiane, became his workplace, where he did his writing, research, editing, and management of production details. This allowed him to have almost complete artistic control over his films, but with the rare advantage of having financial support from major Hollywood studios. His first productions in Britain were two films with Peter Sellers, Lolita (1962) and Dr. Strangelove (1964). A demanding perfectionist, Kubrick assumed control over most aspects of the filmmaking process, from direction and writing to editing, and took painstaking care with researching his films and staging scenes, working in close coordination with his actors and other collaborators. He often asked for several dozen retakes of the same shot in a movie, which resulted in many conflicts with his casts. Despite the resulting notoriety among actors, many of Kubrick's films broke new ground in cinematography. The scientific realism and innovative special effects of 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) were without precedent in the history of cinema, and the film earned him his only personal Oscar, for Best Visual Effects. Steven Spielberg has referred to the film as his generation's "big bang"; it is regarded as one of the greatest films ever made. For the 18th-century period film Barry Lyndon (1975), Kubrick obtained lenses developed by Zeiss for NASA, to film scenes under natural candlelight. With The Shining (1980), he became one of the first directors to make use of a Steadicam for stabilized and fluid tracking shots. While many of Kubrick's films were controversial and initially received mixed reviews upon release—particularly A Clockwork Orange (1971), which Kubrick pulled from circulation in the UK following a mass media frenzy—most were nominated for Oscars, Golden Globes, or BAFTA Awards, and underwent critical reevaluations. His last film, Eyes Wide Shut, was completed shortly before his death in 1999 at the age of 70. Stanley Kubrick, Photographer Kubrick attended William Howard Taft High School from 1941 to 1945. Though he joined the school's photography club, which permitted him to photograph the school's events in their magazine, he was a mediocre student, with a 67/D+ grade average. Introverted and shy, Kubrick had a low attendance record and often skipped school to watch double-feature films. He graduated in 1945 but his poor grades, combined with the demand for college admissions from soldiers returning from the Second World War, eliminated any hope of higher education. Later in life, Kubrick spoke disdainfully of his education and of American schooling as a whole, maintaining that schools were ineffective in stimulating critical thinking and student interest. His father was disappointed in his son's failure to achieve the excellence in school of which he knew Stanley was fully capable. Jack also encouraged Stanley to read from the family library at home, while at the same time permitting Stanley to take up photography as a serious hobby. While in high school, Kubrick was chosen as an official school photographer. In the mid-1940s, since he was unable to gain admission to day session classes at colleges, he briefly attended evening classes at the City College of New York. Eventually, he sold a photographic series to Look magazine, which was printed on June 26, 1945. Kubrick supplemented his income by playing chess "for quarters" in Washington Square Park and various Manhattan chess clubs. In 1946, he became an apprentice photographer for Look and later a full-time staff photographer. G. Warren Schloat, Jr., another new photographer for the magazine at the time, recalled that he thought Kubrick lacked the personality to make it as a director in Hollywood, remarking, "Stanley was a quiet fellow. He didn't say much. He was thin, skinny, and kind of poor—like we all were." Kubrick quickly became known for his story-telling in photographs. His first, published on April 16, 1946, was entitled A Short Story from a Movie Balcony and staged a fracas between a man and a woman, during which the man is slapped in the face, caught genuinely by surprise. In another assignment, 18 pictures were taken of various people waiting in a dental office. It has been said retrospectively that this project demonstrated an early interest of Kubrick in capturing individuals and their feelings in mundane environments. In 1948, he was sent to Portugal to document a travel piece and covered the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus in Sarasota, Florida. Kubrick, a boxing enthusiast, eventually began photographing boxing matches for the magazine. His earliest, Prizefighter, was published on January 18, 1949, and captured a boxing match and the events leading up to it, featuring Walter Cartier. On April 2, 1949, he published the photo essay Chicago-City of Extremes in Look, which displayed his talent early on for creating atmosphere with imagery. The following year, in July 1950, the magazine published his photo essay, Working Debutante – Betsy von Furstenberg, which featured a Pablo Picasso portrait of Angel F. de Soto in the background. Kubrick was also assigned to photograph numerous jazz musicians, from Frank Sinatra and Erroll Garner to George Lewis, Eddie Condon, Phil Napoleon, Papa Celestin, Alphonse Picou, Muggsy Spanier, Sharkey Bonano, and others. Kubrick married his high-school sweetheart Toba Metz on May 28, 1948. They lived together in a small apartment at 36 West 16th Street, off Sixth Avenue just north of Greenwich Village. During this time, Kubrick began frequenting film screenings at the Museum of Modern Art and New York City cinemas. He was inspired by the complex, fluid camerawork of director Max Ophüls, whose films influenced Kubrick's visual style, and by the director Elia Kazan, whom he described as America's "best director" at that time, with his ability of "performing miracles" with his actors. Friends began to notice Kubrick had become obsessed with the art of filmmaking—one friend, David Vaughan, observed that Kubrick would scrutinize the film at the cinema when it went silent, and would go back to reading his paper when people started talking. He spent many hours reading books on film theory and writing notes. He was particularly inspired by Sergei Eisenstein and Arthur Rothstein, the photographic technical director of Look magazine.Source: Wikipedia While LOOK Magazine includes work by many noteworthy photographers, Stanley Kubrick’s photos have been the subject of repeated inquiries because of his later career as a filmmaker. This guide is intended to convey the scope of Kubrick's work for the magazine, as well as the information needed to locate the photographs. Stanley Kubrick worked for LOOK Magazine from 1946 until 1950. After selling a number of photographs to the magazine as a freelancer, he was hired as an apprentice photographer in April of 1946. He became a staff photographer in 1947. Kubrick’s work for LOOK consists of thousands of frames of film. Most of these images are not digitized. The LOOK Magazine Photograph Collection came to the Prints and Photographs Division (P&P) of the Library of Congress in 1971 when the magazine ceased publication. During the earlier years of the magazine's publication, magazine staff gave some photographic assignments (Jobs), mostly those focusing on New York City subjects, to the Museum of the City of New York (MCNY). Because of this, Kubrick’s work for LOOK Magazine is divided between the two institutions.Source: Library of Congress Must Read Article Through a Different Lens: Stanley Kubrick Photographs
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