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John Armstrong
John Armstrong
John Armstrong

John Armstrong

Country: United States

John Armstrong is a Seattle-based photographer who shoots a broad range of subjects with both "normal" and toy cameras. While he photographs just about anything, a sense of irony, mystery and the bizarre are common in much of his work. He has won numerous photographic awards and his work is held in many public and private collections. John has been an active member of the Photographic Center Northwest in Seattle for many years, as both a student and as a volunteer. His photographs are available through the Seattle Art Museum's Rental/Sales Gallery. In addition, he has published several books of photographs through Blurb.com.
 

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Daido Moriyama
Daido Moriyama is a major photographer of the 20th century. Born in Osaka in Japan, he continues to work mostly in Tokyo. He studied graphic design before he learned photography with his first mentor Takeji Iwamiya. In 1961 he moved to Tokyo and became the assistant of Eikoh Hosoe and worked also with the writer Yukio Mishima on the series Ordeal by Roses. It is only in 1964 that he became an independent photographer. He gained recognition quickly with his first book Japan a Photo Theatre (1968) and later Farewell Photography (1972), Hunter (1972), Mayfly (1972), Another Country in New York (1974), Light and Shadow (1982), A Journey to Nakaji (1987), Lettre à St Lou (1990)... We will stop there as we cannot list his 200 books! In 1968 Daido Moriyama became a member of the Provoke movement. He describes his work as been "are, bure, boke". He gave birth to a new kind of street photography. His work was shown in 1974 at the MOMA in an exhibition called "New Japanese Photography". Since then we have seen his work all around the world in majors exhibitions and museums. In 2012 he won the ICP Infinity Award. After studying graphic design, Daido Moriyama first explored photography under Takeji Iwamiya. He moved to Tokyo in 1961 to become an assistant to the great Japanese photographer Eikoh Hosoe while he was working on his famous series Ordeal by Roses with the writer Yukio Mishima. Daido Moriyama began to work independently in 1964. His first monograph, Japan, a Photo Theater (1968), was immediately acclaimed by the artistic community and was followed by several books that became references in the history of photography, such as Farewell Photography (1972), Hunter (1972), Mayfly (1972), Another Country in New York (1974), Light and Shadow (1982), A Journey to Nakaji (1987) and Lettre à St.Loup (1990), to name only a few. Daido Moriyama has published over 180 books to date. As a member of the Provoke movement, which he joined in 1968 for the second issue of the eponymous magazine, Daido Moriyama delivers rich, dense and versatile photographs. His work, often described as raw, blurried and troubled (or, in Japanese, the "are, bure, boke" aesthetics), gave birth to a new street photography practice in which the artist roams the street, confronting and being confronted by public spaces. Daido Moriyama started manipulating silkscreen printing in the seventies, using the technique for his books as well as his exhibition pieces. The Japanese artist also organized interactive events and installations as a way to adapt his discourse to different spaces and situations. Through several autobiographical texts, such as Memories of a Dog (1984 and 1997), he explains how his artistic practice is inspired by the heritage left by the likes of Eugène Atget, Jack Kerouac, William Klein, Nicéphore Niépce, Shomei Tomatsu, Andy Warhol, Weegee, and Garry Winogrand. Daido Moriyama's work has had a radical impact on the artistic communities both in Japan and abroad. In 1974, the MoMA in New York presented his work as part of the first Western exhibition focused on Japanese Photography. His pieces have since been showcased in many major exhibitions: at the TATE in London (William Klein + Daido Moriyam, 2012); at SFMoMa in San Francisco and at the Metropolitan Museum in New York (Stray Dog, 1999); at the National Art Museum in Osaka (On the Road, 2011);l at the Fondation Cartier pour l'Art Contemporain (Paris, 2003); at FOAM in Amsterdam (2006); and, more recently, at the Rencontres Internationales de la Photographie d'Arles (Labyrinth + Monochrome, 2013).Source: Polka Galerie
Qingjun Huang
China
1971
A freelancer artist, photographer. He was born in 1971 in China. He has been engaged in photographic art creation for 30 years, currently lives and works in Peoria, IL USA. Qingjun's representative work is series from 2003 and it is still on-going. The series has reached 150 works till 2023. Robert Frank reviewed Qingjun’s works in 2012 and evaluated “ Your work is an open window to look at China. 'Family Stuff' contains the main series and some sub-series includes 'Online Shopping Family Stuff', 'Homeless People’s Family Stuff', 'China Intangible Cultural Heritage Inheritor’s Belongings', 'The Stuffs of Live Streamers', and 'Family Stuff USA'. BBC interviewed Qingjun four times, Various international media, such as New York Times, Bloomberg, Harvard Business Review and Wired, have also covered his works. His works have also been published widely on paper media, online media, photo books such as National Geographic, Architecture Boston, Business Insider, GEO, Chinese National Geography, Discovery Cultural Geographic Monthly, Guardian Weekend, China Daily, Chinese Photography Magazine, Grazia France, Dutch Weekly Magazine, Vrij Nederland, Dutch Financial Daily, Family Photography Now etc. Some of his works appeared in textbooks published by Oxford University Press, and National Geographic learning. Family Stuff I have been making my long-term project "Family Stuff" series for 20 years, which now includes 150 photographs. I gather a family’s belongings from different spaces in the home and arrange them in one place to take a photograph with the family members. Most of these photos are taken outdoors, with the home as the background. Ninety percent of my previous works were shot in China during a time of rapid economic development, modernization and globalization. I used this method of staged photographs to record history. In the photos, a household’s real interior space is briefly exposed in an external space; also can be seen are environment changes, urban expansion, technological advancements and shifts in people's lifestyles. Through static documentation of the above, I create a dynamic social panorama. From 2022, I started photographing American families. The family is the smallest unit that forms society, and many such units make up this society. I continue to use the "Family Stuff" series to reflect the internal structure and diversity of contemporary American society. I have observed that among American families, whether they live in big cities or small townships, there isn't much difference in their basic material living standards. Therefore, I pay more attention to showcasing their cultural and spiritual life. I spend a significant amount of time preparing for each photo, getting to know the story of the subjects, visiting their rooms, contemplating the concept of the shoot, and carefully selecting the items for display. The concepts of these works cover the lifestyle of native-born Americans, immigrants' nostalgia for their homeland, as well as themes of love, work, identity, gender and the passage of time. Each material object is carefully chosen to reflect the subject’s interests and aspirations. I move these items and arrange them in overlapping frames, visually enhancing the familiar scenes and highlighting the current life status, beliefs and emotional memories of the family or individual. In Oct.2023, I had photographed a Swiss man living in a camp, with his Harley motorbike and sports car living a different lifestyle in Switzerland, which makes me thinking about to document different lifestyles around the world as much as I can. I then came back to China and photographed two more interesting subjects in December 2023. I hope to move on to showing people’s spiritual life through their material life. Through a single photograph, I depict both the external reality and their inner world. The images help viewers to look at humanity itself, understand the stories and often provoke contemplation.
Ragnar Axelsson
Iceland
1958
For over 40 years, Ragnar Axelsson, Rax, has been photographing the people, animals, and landscape of the most remote regions of the Arctic, including Iceland, Siberia, and Greenland. In stark black-and-white images, he captures the elemental, human experience of nature at the edge of the liveable world, making visible the extraordinary relationships between the people of the Arctic and their extreme environment – relationships now being altered in profound and complex ways by the unprecedented changes in climate. A photojournalist at Morgunbladid since 1976, Ragnar has also worked on free-lance assignment in Latvia, Lithuania, Mozambique, South Africa, China, and Ukraine. His photographs have been featured in LIFE, Newsweek, Stern, GEO, National Geographic, Time, and Polka, and have been exhibited widely. Ragnar has published 7 books in various international editions. His most recent, Jökull (Glacier) was published in 2018, with a foreword by Olafur Eliasson. Andlit Nordursins (Faces of The North), was published in 2016, with a foreword by Mary Ellen Mark, and won the 2016 Icelandic Literary Prize for non-fiction. Other awards for Ragnar's work include numerous Icelandic Photojournalist Awards; The Leica Oskar Barnack Award (Honorable Mention); The Grand Prize, Photo de Mer, Vannes; and Iceland's highest honor, the Order of the Falcon, Knight's Cross. Ragnar is currently working on a 3-year project documenting people's lives in all 8 countries of the Arctic. At this pivotal time, as climate change irrevocably disrupts the physical and traditional realities of their world, Ragnar is bearing witness to the immediate and direct threat global warming poses to their survival. Must Read Article Photography and Climate Change Awareness
Doris Ulmann
United States
1882 | † 1934
Doris Ulmann was an American photographer, best known for her portraits of the people of Appalachia, particularly craftsmen and musicians, made between 1928 and 1934. Doris Ulmann was a native of New York City, the daughter of Bernhard and Gertrude (Mass) Ulmann. Educated at the Ethical Culture Fieldston School, a socially liberal organization that championed individual worth regardless of ethnic background or economic condition and Columbia University, she intended to become a teacher of psychology. Her interest in photography was at first a hobby but after 1918 she devoted herself to the art professionally. She practiced Pictorialism and was a member of the Pictorial Photographers of America. Ulmann documented the rural people of the South, particularly the mountain peoples of Appalachia and the Gullahs of the Sea Islands, with a profound respect for her sitters and an ethnographer's eye for culture. Ulmann was trained as a pictorialist and graduated from the Clarence H. White School of Modern Photography. Other students of the school who went on to become notable photographers include Margaret Bourke-White, Anne Brigman, Dorothea Lange, Paul Outerbridge, and Karl Struss. Her work was exhibited in various New York galleries, and published in Theatre Arts Monthly, Mentor, Scribner's Magazine, and Survey Graphic. Ulmann was married for a time to Dr. Charles H. Jaeger, a fellow Pictorialist photographer and an orthopedic surgeon on the staff of Columbia University Medical School and a likely connection for her 1920 Hoeber publication The Faculty of the College of Physicians & Surgeons, Columbia University in the City of New York: Twenty-Four Portraits. This was followed in 1922 by the publication of her Book of Portraits of the Medical Faculty of the Johns Hopkins University; the 1925 A Portrait Gallery of American Editors, and in 1933, Roll, Jordan Roll, the text by Julia Peterkin. The fine art edition of Roll, Jordan Roll is considered to be one of the more beautiful books ever produced. In an interview with Dale Warren of Bookman, Doris Ulmann referred to her particular interest in portraits. "The faces of men and women in the street are probably as interesting as literary faces, but my particular human angle leads me to men and women who write. I am not interested exclusively in literary faces, because I have been more deeply moved by some of my mountaineers than by any literary person. A face that has the marks of having lived intensely, that expresses some phase of life, some dominant quality or intellectual power, constitutes for me an interesting face. For this reason the face of an older person, perhaps not beautiful in the strictest sense, is usually more appealing than the face of a younger person who has scarcely been touched by life." Ulmann's early work includes a series of portraits of prominent intellectuals, artists and writers: William Butler Yeats, John Dewey, Max Eastman, Sinclair Lewis, Lewis Mumford, Joseph Wood Krutch, Martha Graham, Anna Pavlova, Paul Robeson, and Lillian Gish. From 1927, Ulmann was assisted on her rural travels by John Jacob Niles, a musician and folklorist who collected ballads while Ulmann photographed. In 1932 Ulmann began her most important series, assembling documentation of Appalachian folk arts and crafts for Allen Eaton's landmark 1937 book, Handicrafts of the Southern Highlands. In failing health, she collapsed in August 1934 while working near Asheville, North Carolina, and returned to New York. Ulmann died August 28, 1934. Upon Ulmann's death, a foundation she had established took custody of her images. Allen Eaton, John Jacob Niles, Olive Dame Campbell (of the John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, North Carolina), Ulmann's brother-in-law Henry L. Necarsulmer, and Berea schoolteacher Helen Dingman were named trustees. Samuel H. Lifshey, a New York commercial photographer, developed the negatives Ulmann had exposed during her final trip, and then made proof prints from the vast archive of more than 10,000 glass plate negatives. (Lifshey also developed the 2,000 exposed negatives from Ulmann's last expedition, and produced the prints for Eaton's book.) The proof prints were mounted into albums, which were annotated by John Jacob Niles and Allen Eaton, chair of the foundation and another noted folklorist, to indicate names of the sitters and dates of capture. The Georgia Museum of Art at the University of Georgia organized a major retrospective of her work in 2018 and published the largest book on her work to date. The Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division holds more than 150 photographic prints by Ulmann.Source: Wikipedia
Jan Saudek
Czech Republic
1935
Jan Saudek is an art photographer and painter. He and his twin brother Kaja Saudek are holocaust survivors. Jan Saudek's art work represents a unique technique combining photography and painting. In his country of origin, Czechoslovakia, Jan was considered a disturbed artist and oppressed by authorities. His art gained more prominence during the 1990s, thanks to his collaboration with the publisher Taschen. During the 2000s, Saudek lost all his photo negatives in a matrimonial dispute and his pictures are now displayed on the internet for free. Jan claims they were stolen from him. Jan is the author of many “mise en scene” that were re-taken and copied by other artists. The cliché of a naked man holding a naked newborn baby with tenderness became a picture that was reproduced so many times that the composition became as commonplace as posing for a graduation picture. I still dream of the day when I will take a photograph so beautiful that it can be called love. -- Jan Saudek During his life in communist Czechoslovakia, Jan was labeled by the totalitarian regime as a pornographer. He lived in poverty using the only room in his basement as his studio. A disintegrating wall and a window giving a glimpse into the backyard became the witnesses of his fantasies and collaborations with models of all different sizes and origins. Jan Saudek and his twin brother Karel (also known as Kája) were born to a Slavic (Czech) mother and Jewish father in Prague in 1935. Their mother's family came to Prague from Bohemia, and their father from the city of Děčín in the northwest part of that area. During World War II and after the invasion of the German Nazis, both sides of his family were racially persecuted by the invaders. Many of his Jewish relatives died in the Theresienstadt concentration camp during the war. Jan and his brother Karel were sent to a children's concentration camp for Mischlinge (mixed-blood in German, as Nazis classified Jews as a race distinct from "Aryans"), located in Silesia near the present Polish-Czech border. Their father Gustav was deported to Theresienstadt concentration camp in February 1945. Although their mother and many other relatives died, both sons and father survived the war. A Communist-dominated government gained power after the war to rule the country, enforced by the Soviet Union and considered to be behind the Iron Curtain. According to Saudek's biography, he acquired his first camera, a Kodak Baby Brownie, in 1950. He apprenticed to a photographer, and in 1952 started working in a print shop; he was restricted to this work by the Communist government until 1983. In 1959, he started using the more advanced Flexaret 6x6 camera, and also engaged in painting and drawing. After completing his military service, he was inspired in 1963 by the catalogue for American photographer Edward Steichen's The Family of Man exhibition, and began to work to become a serious art photographer. In 1969, Saudek traveled to the United States, where he was encouraged in his work by curator Hugh Edwards of the Art Institute of Chicago. I have no way of portraying the lives of others. I portray my own. -- Jan Saudek Returning to Prague, Saudek had to work on his photography clandestinely in a cellar, to avoid the attention of the secret police. With his work turning to themes of personal erotic freedom, he used implicitly political symbols of corruption and innocence. In the late 1970s, he became recognized in the West as the leading Czech photographer, and also developed a following among photographers in his own country. In 1983, the first book of Saudek's work was published in the English-speaking world. The same year, he became a freelance photographer; the Czech Communist authorities allowed him to stop working in the print shop, and gave him permission to apply for a permit to work as an artist. In 1987, the archives of his negatives were seized by the police, but later returned. His best-known work is notable for its hand-tinted portrayal of painterly dream worlds, often inhabited by nude or semi-nude figures surrounded by bare plaster walls or painted backdrops. He frequently re-uses elements (for instance, a clouded sky or a view of Prague's Charles Bridge). In this his photographs suggest the studio and tableaux works of mid-19th century erotic photographers, as well as the works of the 20th-century painter Balthus, and of Bernard Faucon. Saudek's early art photography is noted for its evocation of childhood. His later works often portrayed the evolution from child to adult (re-photographing the same composition/pose, and with the same subjects, over many years). Religious motifs and the ambiguity between man and woman have also been some of Saudek's recurring themes. During the 1990s, his work at times generated censorship attempts in the West because of its provocative sexual content. Saudek's imagery has sometimes had a mixed reception internationally. He gained early shows in 1969 and 1970 in the United States and in Australia. In 1970 his work was shown at the Australian Centre for Photography and was welcomed by curator Jennie Boddington at the National Gallery of Victoria. Decades later, by contrast, his photograph Black Sheep & White Crow, which features a semi-naked pre-pubescent girl, was removed from the Ballarat International Foto Biennale in Victoria, Australia just before the opening on 21 August 2011; objections had been made related to allegations of child prostitution for his subject. Saudek's photographs have been featured as covers for the albums of Anorexia Nervosa (New Obscurantis Order), Soul Asylum (Grave Dancers Union), Daniel Lanois (For the Beauty of Wynona), Rorschach (Remain Sedate), and Beautiful South (Welcome to the Beautiful South). Saudek lives and works in Prague. His brother Kája Saudek was also an artist, the best-known Czech graphic novelist.Source: Wikipedia Saudek's pictures display a fondness for sequences that can be traced back to his childhood appreciation of comic books. More obviously, his work is often inspired by the nineteenth-century tradition of photographs of large women posed in lingerie reproduced as postcards (quite possibly also the source of inspiration for Saudek's collection 30 Postcards). His formal training occurred from 1950 to 1952, when Saudek attended Graphic Arts school and took a photography class. Saudek first exhibited in Prague in 1963 at the Hall of the Theatre on the Balustrade; though he continues to show work in his home country occasionally, Saudek's pictures are most widely exhibited in the United States. His work is held by such institutions as the Art Institute of Chicago; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; The Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris; Musée Nicephore Nièpce, Chalon-sur-Saone, France; National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia; and Photo Art, Basel, Switzerland. Saudek continues to live and work in the Czech Republic.Source: Museum of Contemporary Photography
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