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Marna Clarke
Marna Clarke
Marna Clarke

Marna Clarke

Country: United States

A black and white Kodak advertisement caught my attention. The simple image of a cityscape with a teenage boy leaning against a wall plastered with faded, torn posters portrayed an honest and oddly poignant moment.

It was 1972. I was living in New York City, married with two small sons. Inspired by the ad, I started carrying a point and shoot camera and capturing whatever struck me as memorable or unsettling. I soon bought a 35mm SLR camera and began educating myself with classes and exhibitions. At night I would transform my kitchen into a darkroom and stay up late watching the chemicals turn my observations into silver images. After moving with my family to Hartford, Connecticut, I built a legitimate darkroom in the basement of my house. In 1981, I began working professionally with a focus on portraiture, weddings and events. Color landscapes I had done in Europe and America landed me magazine work and eventually architecture/interior design documentation and advertising. I continued to pursue my own projects, receiving a Connecticut Individual Artist's Grant in 1987 for experimentation in B&W portraiture. I taught at the Hartford Art School for a couple of years as an adjunct instructor.

In 1992 I stopped photographing, sold all my equipment and most of my possessions, and traveled. I had become certified to teach English as a Second Language and wanted employment in Europe. Instead I ended up in an ashram in India teaching English and learning meditation. I moved to California in 1996, and in 2005 began again to capture the world both within and around me. I had met a man who invited me to live with him, had gifted me a digital camera and told me to get back to work. I'm still with this man and still photographing.

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More Great Photographers To Discover

Lois Bielefeld
United States
1978
Lois Bielefeld's trajectory starts in Milwaukee, WI. She received her BFA in photography from Rochester Institute of Technology afterwards relocating to New York City until 2010. Most recently her and her wife relocated to the San Francisco Bay area. Besides photography, she feels passionate about traveling, hiking, swimming, urban gardening and bicycling adventures. Her work is in the permanent collections of the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art in New York City, the Museum of Wisconsin Art, and The Racine Art Museum in Wisconsin. Bielefeld has shown at The International Center of Photography in New York City, The Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago, the Museum of Wisconsin Art, The Charles Allis Art Museum, ArtStart, Portrait Society Gallery, UW-Milwaukee, UW-Parkside, UW-La Crosse, and Walker's Point Center. In 2015 Lois had a ten-week artist residency in Bourglinster, Luxembourg through the Museum of Wisconsin Art and the Luxembourg Ministry of Culture. Bielefeld is represented by Portrait Society Gallery in Milwaukee. Statement: Lois Bielefeld is a series based artist working in photography, audio, video, and installation. Her work continually asks the question of what links routine and ritual to the formation of identity and personhood. Weeknight Dinners, New Domesticity, and Celebration examine the connective ties people share within our private and public spaces with food, perceptions of home, and community. Reaching through 5 1/2 yards, Reaching Across 8497 miles is a collaboration with interdisciplinary artist Nirmal Raja exploring identity and belonging within Milwaukee, WI.
Pieter Hugo
South Africa
1976
Pieter Hugo was born 1976 and grew up in Cape Town, South Africa. He is a South African photographer who primarily works in portraiture and whose work engages with both documentary and art traditions with a focus on African communities. Hugo is self-taught, having picked up a camera aged 10. He remembers the first image he printed, which was a homeless person in Johannes. After working in the film industry in Cape Town, Pieter Hugo spent a two-year Residency at Fabrica, Treviso, Italy.Hugo has called himself 'a political-with-a-small-p photographer... it's hard not to be as soon as you pick up a camera in South Africa'. He believes that "the power of photography is inherently voyeuristic but I want that desire to look to be confronted." He also states that he is 'deeply suspicious of the power of photography'. Early on in his career he noticed that, "he often found himself being critically scrutinized by the subject he was photographing. It was then that he decided to switch to a larger and more cumbersome format of photography, one that would require negotiating consent and dialogue with the person being photographed - a more sedate and contemplative approach." He is known to use a Hasselblad camera and regularly shoots in the 4x5 format. His influences range from South African photojournalist David Goldblatt to Boris Mikhailov. However, his work reacts against 'the culture of realism that defined South African photography in the struggle years.' Hugo's first major photo collection Looking Aside' consisted of a collection of portraits of people "whose appearance makes us look aside", his subjects including the blind, people with albinism, the aged, his family and himself. Explaining his interest in the marginal he has said, "My homeland is Africa, but I'm white. I feel African, whatever that means, but if you ask anyone in South Africa if I'm African, they will almost certainly say no. I don't fit into the social topography of my country and that certainly fuelled why I became a photographer." This was followed by "RWANDA 2004: VESTIGES OF A GENOCIDE" which the Rwanda Genocide Institute describes as offering "a forensic view of some of the sites of mass execution and graves that stand as lingering memorials to the many thousands of people slaughtered." His most recognized work is the series called 'The Hyena & Other Men' and which was published as a monograph. It has received a great deal of attention. Hugo won first prize in the Portraits section of the World Press Photo 2005 for a portrait of a man with a hyena. In 2007, Hugo received the Standard Bank Young Artist Award 07. Hugo was also working on a series of photographs called 'Messina/Mussina' that were taken in the town of Musina on the border between Zimbabwe and South Africa and which was published as a monograph.[5] At the time Colors magazine asked Hugo to work on an AIDS story and he was fascinated by the marginal aspect of the town. This was followed by a return to Nigeria with 'Nollywood', which consists of pictures of the Nigerian film industry. 'Permanent Error' followed in 2011 where Hugo photographed the people and landscape of an expansive dump of obsolete technology in Ghana. Sean O'Toole writes 'if Nollywood was playfully over-the-top, a smart riposte to accusations of freakishness and racism levelled at his photography..., Permanent Error marks Hugo’s return to a less self-reflexive mode of practice.' In 2011 Hugo collaborated with Michel Cleary and co-directed the video of South African producer/DJ Spoek Mathambo's cover version of Joy Division's She's Lost Control, the fourth single from his album Mshini Wam.Commissioned by Italian luxury label Bottega Veneta, Hugo photographed models Amanda Murphy and Mark Cox for the brand’s spring/summer 2014 campaign, with the images shot in a wood in New Jersey.In the Spring of 2014, Hugo was commissioned by Creative Court to go to Rwanda and capture stories of forgiveness as a part of Creative Court's project Rwanda 20 Years: Portraits of Forgiveness. The project was displayed in The Hague in the Atrium of The Hague City Hall for the 20th commemoration of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. A selection of the photos have also been displayed in New York at the exhibition "Post-Conflict" which was curated by Bradley McCallum, Artist in Residence for the Coalition for the International Criminal Court. Source: Wikipedia
George Dambier
France
1925 | † 2011
Born in 1925, Georges Dambier first went to work for painter Paul Colin, where he learnt drawing and graphic design. Then he landed a job as assistant to Willy Rizzo, a famous portraitist photographer (Harcourt’s Studio, Paris Match). There, he discovered photography and was taught the fundamentals of this art, especially lighting. Georges Dambier was 20 when the Second World War came to an end, a moment when the social scene in Paris suddenly took off. Nightlife, subdued during the Occupation, exploded. Le Bœuf sur le toit, Le Lido, la Rose Rouge, Le Lorientais, Le Tabou : he frequented cabarets and jazz clubs in Saint Germain des Prés, where famous artists and celebrities organised glittering parties and balls. One night, he managed to take pictures of Rita Hayworth who had come incognito to a famous night club, Le Jimmy’s. He sold the exclusive images to France Dimanche, a daily magazine recently created by Max Corre and Pierre Lazareff, and won himself a job on the magazine as a photo-reporter. In his new post, he was sent to all over the world to cover current events. However, with his predilection for graphic design and aesthetics, his liking for refined mise-en-scene, and at the urging of many friends, such as Capucine, Suzy Parker, Jacques Fath, Bettina, Brigitte Bardot, Jean Barthet, he was lead towards fashion photography. As Georges Dambier built and perfected his craft, he was hired by Helene Lazareff, director of ELLE, the fashion magazine. She encouraged him and gave him his first assignment as a fashion photographer. Georges Dambier did not conform to the standard technique of taking fashion pictures, with models standing emotionless and seemingly indifferent to the camera. Instead, he showed models smiling, laughing and often in action. His models were surrounded by local people in a market place in Marrakech, or in a village in Corsica, or – and above all – in his beloved Paris. Most of all, it was Georges Dambier’s ability to put his subjects at ease (many of them were friends) that helped him create true, intimate and lasting images. With his delicate style, and refined technique, his work revealed a reality of great elegance. As his career blossomed, he became widely known for his ability to capture the essence of feminine chic and glamour in his images. In 1954, Robert Capa asked him to lead a fashion department at the Magnum Photo Agency. Unfortunately, Capa died a few weeks later, while covering the Indochinese war. Meanwhile, Georges Dambier set up his own studio in Paris, Rue de la Bienfaisance. As a freelance photographer, he continued to contribute to ELLE and other magazines: Vogue, Le Jardin des Modes, Marie France…He also collaborated with Françoise Giroud and Christine Collanges at L’Express. Big advertising campaigns (Synergie, Havas, Publicis), and contracts for many brands such as L’Oréal, Carita, Jacques Dessange followed. In addition to his work in advertising, Georges Dambier did portraits for record covers and posters for his great friend, the producer Eddie Barclay and Jacques Canetti. As his reputation grew, so did opportunities to meet and photograph celebrities from different worlds. He captured the faces of the most notable artists of the 60’s: Sacha Distel, Zizi Jeanmaire, Dalida, Jeanne Moreau… His impressive client list included celebrities (Cerdan, Cocteau…), singers (Johnny Hallyday, Sylvie Vartan, Charles Aznavour...), actors (Alain Delon, Françoise Dorléac, Catherine Deneuve…) and many others. In 1964, Georges Dambier launched his own project: a magazine for young people, dedicated to culture and fashion: TWENTY. He hired young artists and photographers: Just Jaeckin, Jean Paul Goude, Philippe Labro, Copi, Bosc and many others who would later become famous in their own right. Twenty lasted two eventful years. In 1976, he created the magazine VSD with his old friend Maurice Siegel. Georges Dambier led the artistic side of the magazine and headed the photographic section. VSD was an instant success. In the late eighties, Georges Dambier retired to a quieter life in the countryside. He died in May, 2011. Source: Peter Fetterman Gallery
Jelena Jankovic
Serbia
1985
Jelena Janković is fine art photographer from Belgrade, specialized in dance and theater photography. Actively engaged in the documentary, freelance fashion, conceptual and experimental photography. Recipient of significant awards for her photography, such as Grand Prix Balkan Photo Awards 2016, 2017 Sony World Photography Awards, Siena International Photo Awards 2017, First Prize of 2017 Andrei Stenin International Press Photo Contest, FIAP plate of Sterijino Pozorje for Theatre Photography... She has exhibited at twenty groups and seven solo exhibitions and has been credited for photography in over 40 theater productions. Her photographs have been published: Rolling Stone (DE), Professional Photographer(USA), ELLE (SRB) Digital SLR Photographer magazine (UK), fotoMAGAZINE (DE), LensCulture, Lürzer's Archive, GEO (DE, ESP), National Geographic (SPA)... She is a member of The Association of Fine Arts Artist and Designers of Serbia. Statement Photography helped me to express myself, through it I study about myself and and about people around me. I create in several fields: Documentary photography is my reflection on the world around me; i use it to educate about the truths that exist. Dance and theatre photography is about expressing my inner emotion; the power and fragility of dance is affecting my most profound and intimate feelings. Fashion is the platform for staging my theatre play; it is the blend of knowledge, imagination, and precision. Conceptual and Experimental photography. photography is the space without borders; it liberates my vision beyond known conventions. The procetc Bird talks about me. I am 32 years old and recently I have been diagnosed with dyslexia. Because of the very poor school system, uneducated teachers that were not able to distinguish dyslexia and me not being able to discover it in time, I have been living my whole life in fear and hiding. Unaware of the problem that I’m living with, frustrated with my inability to work and study normally, I developed various methods with whom I managed to avoid reading in front of my friends and professors. I didn’t knew how to explain that the letters are shaking in front of my eyes while I was reading and that I unconsciously twisted the letters and words that I was writing. I was feeling like a bird locked in a cage. The only safe place that I felt was my art creation; creative expression was my escape. I visited zoological gardens in Belgrade and Amsterdam and photographed locked birds in cages that were representing me and all the others that were living in a similar fear. Afterwards I would draw across the photos combining different techniques like painting and collage, so I can show to the world all the freedoms that exist from the inside. This project was developed as a wish, so people can discuss openly about dyslexia, all the problems that this disease carries, and so we can set ourselves free and stop the process of hiding because of the fear of judgements. The second procet is The chosen ones Inspired by visual effects, I watched a bunch of people that reminded me of the great army. In these glorious visual moments, the lights chose some of them randomly, but some of them chose themselves by taking selfies. Selfie culture started to determine our existence; everybody needs to know where we are or are we doing something. Social media has a huge impact on our views about current issues. Social media has become one of the largest epidemics that affect the social relationship between people. While we are waiting for the approval of others, we miss the opportunity to enjoy the mysterious world around us.
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