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Oliver Curtis
Oliver Curtis
Oliver Curtis

Oliver Curtis

Country: United Kingdom
Birth: 1963

Brought up in the Cotswolds, Curtis began his photographic education studying photography at the renowned course at Filton Technical College in Bristol. He went on to study film and television at the London College of Printing and has been balancing work in stills and moving image ever since. Curtis continues to produce stills portraiture for major broadcasters as well as generating his own projects for exhibition and publication. He sites as key influences William Eggleston, Saul Leiter and Paul Graham.

He continues to plough a distinctly idiosyncratic path as Director of Photography on feature films as diverse as Clare Kilner's The Wedding Date, Frank Oz's Death At A Funeral and Joanna Hogg's Unrelated as well as experimental gallery-based installations such as Gideon Koppel's Borth. He remains in great demand worldwide shooting commercials for high profile clients such as Pantene, L'Oreal, La Perla, Ferragamo, Palmolive, Rimmel, Coca Cola, Sony, Guinness, Canon and Cadbury's.

About Volte-Face:
On visiting the Pyramids of Giza in Cairo in 2012, Oliver Curtis turned away and looked back in the direction he had come from. What he saw fascinated him so much that he has since made a point of turning his back on some of world's most photographed monuments and historic sites, looking at their counter-views and forgotten faces.

Taken over a period of four years, Volte-face is an invitation to turn around and see a new aspect of the over-photographed sites of the world - to send our gaze elsewhere and to favour the incidental over the monumental...

Curtis feels that despite the landmark not being present in the photograph, the images are still suffused with the aura of the construction. The camera lens effectively acts as a nodal point and, by giving the photograph the title of the unseen partner, this duality becomes a virtue.

Volte-face will be published by Dewi Lewis featuring an essay by Geoff Dyer: https://www.dewilewis.com/collections/new-titles/products/volte-face

The first exhibition of the Volte-face project was held at the Royal Geographical Society in London, Sept 2016. The collection has received a great deal of acclaim worldwide and has featured in the Financial Times Magazine (UK), NPR Radio New Hampshire (USA), Liberation (France) Wired.com and BBC World Update amongst many others.

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Dilla Djalil-Daniel
Indonesia
1966
Dilla Djalil-Daniel is a Jakarta based documentary photographer who was born in 1966. Her first introduction to the camera was when her father gave her a boxy Kodak camera as her 9th birthday present. Ever since then she has been something of a shutterbug. Dilla obtained her bachelor degree from The University of Indonesia, majoring in English Literature. Dilla's first photography mentor was her late father, and for many years she shot her objects intuitively, relying on her feelings, sensitivity and a good eye. In 2010 she decided to join a photojournalism workshop in Bangkok. She had finally found the genre that suited her the most, which is story telling using her camera. One workshop inevitably leads to another, and she found herself attending more and more documentary and photojournalism workshops. Dilla is an alumnus of the Foundry Photojournalism workshop, the Momenta Documentary workshop and the Obscura Workshop. These overseas workshops also suited her well since she loves adventurous travelling. In the course of these workshops she has been fortunate to have had an impressive list of various award-winning photojournalists as her mentors. For Dilla photography is the medium that enables her to express her feelings. It is an art form that sees the camera as a brush and light as paint and the intent is always to narrate a story. It is her wish to carry on telling stories through her pictures, the stories she feels like telling, for as long as she can. Orphans of the Forest As a documentary photographer who also happens to be an animal lover, my main motivation has been to explore the different facets of the relationship between mankind and the animal kingdom. What speaks to me most is trying to capture the mysterious forms of communication that can and do exist between us. I tend to spend a considerable amount of time portraying domestic and wild animals in the form of a photographic narrative. It is most certainly not just a matter of trying to capture images of animals looking cute. The relationship between animals and humans is complex even if there is a dependency with domesticated animals, let alone with animals in the wild, whose existence is threatened by human presence or activities. What I find particularly poignant is where the relationship between animals and humans involves both abuse and dependency. Domestic and increasingly animals in the wild can and do benefit from compassionate intervention by humans. Much of my work attempts to depict this in action. The people involved are often rather under appreciated but it does not affect their devotion and passion in helping their charges by trying to improve their welfare and health. My intention is to try and speak on behalf of the animals and those who care for them.
Hiroji Kubota
Japan
1939
Hiroji Kubota (born 2 August 1939) is a Japanese photographer, a member of Magnum Photos who has specialized in photographing the far east. Born in Kanda (Tokyo), Kubota studied politics at Waseda University, graduating in 1962. In 1961 he met the Magnum photographers René Burri, Elliott Erwitt, and Burt Glinn. He then studied journalism and international politics at the University of Chicago, and became an assistant to Erwitt and Cornell Capa, in 1965, a freelance photographer. Kubota photographed the 1968 US presidential election and then Ryūkyū islands before their return to Japan in 1972. He then photographed Saigon in 1975, North Korea in 1978, and China in 1979–85, and the USA in 1988–92, resulting in books and exhibitions. Kubota won the Mainichi Art Prize in 1980,[2] and the Annual Award of the Photographic Society of Japan in 1981. Three of his publications won him the first Kodansha Publishing Culture Award in 1970: "Black People", and essays on Calcutta and the Ryūkyū islands.Source: Wikipedia Hiroji Kubota sounds a little over-the-top when he insists his "life is meaningless" without photography. But a glance at his latest and 19th book will convince you he is absolutely right, given how his life has been intertwined with some of Magnum's legendary photographers, like René Burri, Burt Glinn and my father, Elliott Erwitt. He started out working with some of them as a fixer and translator, even though he refused payment at first. "I was brought up comfortably and didn't need it," he said. He did, however, accept a beat-up Leica M3 from Burri. His life changed when he got the first edition of Henri Cartier-Bresson's The Decisive Moment a month later. "When I opened it, I said, 'My gosh, what is this?" he recalled. "That motivated me. That's when I became serious." His fate was sealed when Burri showed him a Swiss magazine that featured his Gaucho pictures. "It shocked me like crazy," he said. "I knew then I wanted to be a photographer." The results of those personally decisive moments are evident in Aperture's Hiroji Kubota Photographer a retrospective covering 50 years of his work. I met Hiroji almost that long ago, because my father, Elliott Erwitt, sponsored him when he first came to America, even picking him up at the TWA terminal at Kennedy Airport. They had met when Hiroji worked as a fixer on one of my father's early trips to Japan, in 1962, to illustrate Robert Donovan's book PT 109, about John F. Kennedy's World War II exploits. Hiroji was my father's translator when he photographed the captain and crew of the destroyer that famously cut Kennedy's boat in two. That kind of work led to his meeting other influential photographers who would encourage him, eventually bringing him to New York, where he became a familiar figure at the Magnum offices. Back then, the agency was a small, international and slightly dysfunctional family that was accessible if you met the right people, which he did. Cornell Capa, a Magnum photographer, "adopted me literally, not legally," he said. "He had no children, so he needed a son, a fairly well-behaved son who could cook for him." Capa, who entertained "big shots" at his Fifth Avenue apartment, helped Hiroji make a few extra dollars by having him cook. Burt Glinn also hired Hiroji as an assistant to help him get by. Hiroji showed similar ingenuity when he spent the better part of a year photographing in Chicago, where he ran an ad hoc Japanese catering business every other weekend to help pay the bills. By 1967, he was a successful photographer firmly ensconced at Magnum, and it was time to return to Japan. He has proved to be a remarkably tenacious photographer who immerses himself in a story and returns to it until he is satisfied. He has managed to get to places others can't - like his unlimited access on many trips to China, when travel within the country was still limited. He would talk government officials into allowing him the time and access he needed to achieve his purpose. Same with North Korea; he has made countless visits - at its invitation - at a time when it was essentially a closed country. -- By Misha ErwittSource: The New York Times During a visit by Magnum members to Japan in 1961, Hiroji Kubota came to know René Burri, Burt Glinn and Elliott Erwitt. After graduating in political science from Tokyo’s University of Waseda in 1962, Kubota moved to the US, settling in Chicago, where he continued photographing while supporting himself by working in a Japanese catering business. He became a freelance photographer in 1965, and his first assignment for the UK newspaper The Times was to Jackson Pollock’s grave in East Hampton. In 1968, Kubota returned to live in Japan, where his work was recognized with a Publishing Culture Award from Kodansha in 1970. The next year he became a Magnum associate. Kubota witnessed the fall of Saigon in 1975, refocusing his attention on Asia. It took him several years to get permission to photograph in China. Finally, between 1979 and 1984, Kubota embarked on a 1,000-day tour, during which he made more than 200,000 photographs. The book and exhibit, China, appeared in 1985. Kubota’s awards in Japan include the Nendo Sho (Annual Award) of the Japanese Photographic Society (1982), and the Mainichi Art Prize (1983). He has photographed most of the Asian continent for his book Out of the East, published in 1997, which led to a two-year project, in turn resulting in the book Can We Feed Ourselves? Kubota has had solo shows in Tokyo, Osaka, Beijing, New York, Washington, Rome, London, Vienna, Paris and many other cities. He has just completed Japan, a book on his homeland and the country where he continues to be based.Source: Magnum Photos
Ole Marius Joergensen
Ole Marius Joergensen is an artist with a background in film based in Asker, Norway. He is best known for his meticulously staged cinematic photographs. With the use of theatrical light and vivid color juxtapositions, Ole Marius' work emphasizes the mystery and duality of rural life in the modern world. A child of 80s rural Norway, he became fascinated with suburban America, like the popular narratives told on screen by Steven Spielberg and the storytelling of author Stephen King. Drawn to the descriptive narrative and quality of light, he found himself wanting to create his own stories. Influenced by the work of the mid century painter Hopper and the directors Alfred Hitchcock, David Lynch, as well as 19th Century painting traditions of David Caspar Frederic, his work often depicts ordinary situations infused with a unique narrative that unlocks an unexpected mystery that feels both old and new. In 2014 he debuted his first major series "No Superhero," an ode to one of his childhood heroes, and a playful series with dark undertones. Ole Marius views Superman as a metaphor for taking risks and the worry of failure. Each scene is depicted through a lens that captures childhood nostalgia with the hero as an ordinary man. In 2015 Ole Marius made the series "Space Travels" which was his rediscovery of his native country. It was a narrative driven by the feeling of being trapped in a place and yearning for a new adventure that is out of reach. "Vignettes of a Salesman" (2016) is a love letter to simpler times of Scandinavia in the 1950s and 1960s. This series follows the main protagonist on a silent, solitary journey and the complex emotions, from the dark to the eccentric, associated with a stranger's life unfulfilled. Ole Marius' work has been exhibited widely in the United States, Asia, and Europe. His work can be found in private collections in Hong Kong, Los Angeles, Oslo, New York, Madrid and Berlin. His work has been featured on international art & culture websites, as well as in printed publications around the world.
Liu Zheng
China
1969
Liu Zheng was born in 1969 in the Hebei Province, China. His signature graytone photographs have for years starkly framed, in political and provocative situations, his human subjects. When he works in colour, the tones are awash in sepia or a doctored saturation that comments on the nostalgic nature of his topics – his Peking Opera series in particular reflects this. Liu's background is not rooted in arts . After majoring in optical engineering at the Beijing Institute of Technology, he joined a local paper as a photojournalist, where he covered the coal mining industry. This laid the foundation for his interest in the lives of the countrymen that toil endlessly; one of his first series as an artistic practitioner explored the lives of ethnic minorities and our perception of them. He continues to eke out of the histories and stories of his subjects and topics in photography, and has published several volumes of his series. Liu Zheng's work has been exhibited in solo shows including Dream Shock, Three Shadows Photography Art Center, Beijing, China (2013); Dream Shock, Zen Foto Gallery, Tokyo, Japan (2009); Liu Zheng: The Chinese, Williams College Museum of Art, Williamstown, MA (2008); Liu Zheng: Survians, SOHO New Town, Beijing, China (2005); Liu Zheng: The Chinese, Yossi Milo Gallery, New York, NY (2005); Liu Zheng, Rencontres Internationales de la Photographie, Arles, France (2003); The Chinese, Central Academy of Fine Arts Museum, Beijing, China (2001); and Three Realms and The Chinese, Taipei Photo Gallery, Taipei, Taiwan (1998). His works have also featured in group shows including the Minsheng Art Museum in Shanghai, China; Smart Museum of Art in Chicago, IL; The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, LA; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA; Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan; Asia Society and Museum, New York, NY; the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, England; and Chambers Fine Art, Beijing, China. He has also participated in the 50th Biennale di Venezia in Venice, Italy and the International Center of Photography Triennale, New York. His work is in the collections of the Guy and Miriam Ullens Foundation, Geneva, Switzerland; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY; Uli Sigg Collection, Mauensee, Switzerland; and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA. He currently lives and works in Beijing, China.
Elise Boularan
France
1984
Elise Boularan grew up in the South of France and has a Master's degree in Creation and Artistic Research from the University of Toulouse. She also studied photography at the Toulouse School of Photography. After finishing her academic research and studies, she moved to Paris. She currently lives between Paris and Toulouse, pursuing a career as a photographic artist.She develops a photographic work turned to the story, realizing images loaded with ellipses and silences. This work does not shy away from the world, but intends to build an interpretation, where something deaf, undefinable is very present. Her preoccupations concern the human reality of our time, trying to reveal what can be secret at the individual's.She has been published extensively and has exhibited in Europe and the USA, notably in Madrid, Denmark, and New York, as well as the French Institute of Ukraine, The Museum of New Art (Mona) and The Russell Industrial Center (Mona Detroit) in Detroit; the Instituto Cultural de México, San Antonio, Texas Hill Country, Usa. Her work is in several private collections.Elise Boularan works also for international & national press and collaborates with musicians and other artists, making the universe of songs match perfectly with her poetical vision.All about photo: When did you realize you wanted to be a photographer?I had already done specialized studies in photography, but I remember I really got caught by the photographer' syndrome when I was in Belgium.Do you spend a lot of time editing your images? For what purpose?After the shooting. there is a lot of work. I don't retouch a lot my images or give this impression... But I spend a great deal of time to select and to see which images work together. It's a difficult and very interesting work.The compliment that touched you most?Indeed, there is a compliment which particularly touched me some years ago in Paris. A compliment coming from one of my references photograph, a famous photographer who has a remarkable work. When we met us, she wanted to discover my work and it was unexpected for me to have compliments on my work from her. And the next day, she phoned me to thank me, because my work had motivated her to boost in her creations again. Is there another job you could have done?No, I don't think so. But it's a good question because we should make no mistake about it, the artistic crafts aren't easy so we can have this kind of questions. But my answer is no.
John Vachon
United States
1914 | † 1975
John Vachon was a world-traveling American photographer. Vachon is remembered most for his photography working for the Farm Security Administration (FSA) as part of the New Deal and for contributions to Look magazine. One becomes keenly alive to the seeking of picture material. It becomes part of your existence to make a visual report on a particular place or environment. -- John Vachon John Felix Vachon was born on May 19, 1914 to a middle class Irish Catholic Family in Saint Paul, Minnesota. He was the son of Ann Marie (O'Hara) and Harry Parnell Vachon. His parents were not well off, his father made a get-by living as a traveling salesman in stationery supplies. He had one younger brother named Robert. Vachon had a Catholic education and graduated from Cretin High School local military Catholic high school (now Cretin-Derham Hall High School). He continued his education at the University of St. Thomas in Saint Paul and received a bachelor's degree in 1934. Vachon moved to Washington, D.C. after receiving a fellowship to attend graduate school at Catholic University of America to study English literature and become a writer. As he began his studies, a few months later, he was forced to leave school due to his drinking. After his leave from graduate school, Vachon looked for work around Washington D.C., finding his first job in photography working for the Farm Security Administration's Historic Division as one of the photographers hired by Roy Stryker to document the plight of migrants during the Great Depression. In about 1938 Vachon married Millicent Leeper who was known as Penny. While Vachon was on the road working as a photographer for the FSA, he wrote daily letters to Penny, as well as to his mother. He wrote them to describe his experiences, ambitions, self-doubt, sense of humor, the obligation to the FSA, the people he met, the news he read about, and the movies he watched. In the letters, Vachon describes how he relied on Penny to support him and his work. They had three children. Penny committed suicide in 1960. Vachon married Marie Francoise Fourestier in 1961. They had two more children. Vachon served in the United States Army in 1945. Vachon's daughter, Christine Vachon, became an independent film producer in adulthood, and their son Micheal became an editor who worked with his father in later years. The FSA was a New Deal agency created in 1937 to combat rural poverty during the Great Depression in the United States. The FSA is famous for its small but highly influential photography program which ran from 1935 to 1944, and documented the challenges of rural poverty and farm life. John Vachon's first job at the FSA carried the title "assistant messenger." He was twenty-one, and had come to Washington D.C from his native Minnesota to attend The Catholic University of America. Vachon had no intention of becoming a photographer when he took the position in 1936, but as his responsibilities increased for maintaining the FSA photographic file, his interest in photography grew. The FSA sent more than forty photographers into the field and collected images of American life that would result in an archive of 165,000 FSA prints. Some FSA employees had well-established careers, while others become famous as photographers as a result of their work, including Esther Bubley, Marjory Collins, Marion Post Wolcott, Jack Delano, Arthur Rothstein, Walker Evans, Russell Lee, Gordon Parks, Charlotte Brooks, Carl Mydans, Dorothea Lange and Ben Shahn. By 1937 Vachon started to take photographs himself, and with advice from Ben Shahn, he tried out a Leica camera in and around Washington. His weekend photographs of "everything in the Potomac River valley" were clearly the work of a beginner, but Stryker lent him equipment and encouraged him to keep at it. Arthur Rothstein, who took him along on a photographic assignment to the mountains of Virginia. In October and November 1938, Vachon traveled to Nebraska on his first extensive solo trip. He photographed agricultural programs on behalf of the FSA's regional office and pursued an extra assignment from the photography project's chief, Roy Stryker: the city of Omaha. Vachon worked extensively in the midwestern and Great Plains states. As the Great Depression lessened and American involvement in the War in Europe increased, the government moved FSA photography project to the Office of War Information, and Vachon's job transferred to that agency as well, where he worked from 1942 to 1943. He later worked as a staff photographer for Standard Oil Company of New Jersey between 1943 and 1944. After serving in the army in 1944-45, in 1947 Vachon joined the Photo League, where he wrote book reviews for Photo Notes and participated in many exhibitions. Between 1945 and 1947 he photographed New Jersey and Venezuela for Standard, and Poland for the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration. Vachon became a staff photographer for Life magazine, where he worked between 1947 and 1949, and for over twenty-five years beginning in 1947 at Look magazine. In 1953 Vachon took the first pictures of Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio when Monroe cured a sprained ankle near Banff, Canada. With Look closed, he had continued to work as often as he could. He photographed two stories for Vermont Life, a magazine edited at the time by his son Brian and became a freelance photographer. In 1973, he won a Guggenheim Fellowship. In 1975, he was a visiting professor at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. In Vachon's later years, he was teaching a class in photography where he kept notebooks on the main points of the day. For December 9th, 1974 he reflects on it earlier assignment he had given his students to emulate the work of FSA photographers. Vachon continued as a freelancer until cancer brought him down. Vachon died of cancer in 1975 in New York at age 60.Source: Wikipedia
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