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Brad Patocka
Brad Patocka
Brad Patocka

Brad Patocka

Country: United States

Born in Upstate NY, USA to a blue-collar upbringing, I was quickly drawn to the rugged environments of the outdoors.

This inevitably led to an unrelenting quest for exploration and travel, always driven by a curiosity of what the world is and what it can be.

Like many, I first became interested in the photography from Nat Geo magazines, looking at images of the vastly different cultures and habitats around the globe produced by the countless photographers who would grow to be my idols.

The aesthetic quality of a physical print really drew me in, photos that can depict a specific situation while also speaking to a larger issue or narrative resonated with me and inspired me to first pick up a camera.

I believe we are all story tellers in some way, shape, or form. For me being able to effectively do just that in a single frame has always been the goal. Having the opportunity to cover important issues, and to present them in a powerful light that will ideally create some sort of change or impact others to consider the world we live in, is the ultimate goal. Traveling the globe in pursuit of various projects, I have found my works range from humanitarian aid, human rights, and environmental issues.

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More Great Photographers To Discover

Yoni Blau
Israel
1982
I consider myself a travel photographer, but my primary focus is on people and cultures rather than nature, landscape and wildlife. I was fortunate enough to be able to spend a good amount of time traveling and I genuinely wish I will be able to keep exploring this beautiful planet of ours and the fascinatingly different cultures around the globe. Proud Women of the Omo Valley This project ("Proud Women of the Omo Valley") was taken inside a Suri tribe in the Omo Valley in Southern Ethiopia. The models were not dressed, simply recorded as is. No artificial lighting was used. The pictures with the black backdrop were taken within a dark tent with the light coming in from the entrance of the tent. In the Omo Valley, it feels as if time has no meaning. Days, months, seasons and years are irrelevant in this timeless corner of the world. Same goes for the concept of money, or the modern angst that comes with intellectual pursuit of the meaning of life and death. There, it's about life's essentials. It's about freedom and bare necessities. About being satisfied, joyful and surrounded by loved ones. I tried capturing the essence of what it means to be "stuck in time" which made me keep wondering whether they were left behind or whether the modern world is the one who made the wrong turn. This project taken in Dec 2019 feels more current than ever, especially in times like these with the Covid-19 global health crisis and the economic downturn, when we all got to spend some alone time and got back in touch with our most basic human needs and what "really matters".
Bert Stern
United States
1929 | † 2013
Bertram Stern (October 3, 1929 – June 26, 2013) was a self-taught American commercial photographer. He was the son of Jewish immigrants and grew up in Brooklyn. His father worked as a children’s portrait photographer. After dropping out of high school at the age of 16, he gained a job in the mail room at Look magazine. He became art director at Mayfair magazine, where Stern learned how to develop film and make contact sheets, and started taking his own pictures. In 1951, Stern was drafted into the US Army and was sent to Japan and assigned to the photographic department. In the 1960s Stern's heavy use of amphetamines, led to the destruction to his marriage to Balanchine ballerina, Allegra Kent. By the late 1970s Stern returned to the U.S. to photograph portraits and fashion. He was the subject of the 2010 documentary, "Bert Stern: Original Madman," directed by his secret wife, Shannah Laumeister. Ms. Laumeister and Stern never lived together, and Stern had a long standing relationship of 20+ years with Lynette Lavender who was his constant and devoted companion. His first professional assignment was in 1955 for a Madison Avenue advertising agency for Smirnoff vodka. His best known work is arguably The Last Sitting, is a collection of 2,500 photographs taken for Vogue of Marilyn Monroe over a three-day period, six weeks before her death. Stern's book The Last Sitting was published in 1982 and again in 2000. He has photographed Audrey Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor, Madonna, Kylie Minogue, Drew Barrymore and Lindsay Lohan (recreating The Last Sitting), among others, in addition to his work for advertising and travel publications.(Source: en.wikipedia.org)
Erwin Olaf
Netherlands
1959
Erwin Olaf (b. 1959) is an internationally exhibiting artist with works in the collections of museums and galleries around the world. Olaf has received numerous highly prestigious commissions and awards. Olaf emerged onto the international art scene when his series ‘Chessmen’ won the Young European Photographer of the Year award in 1988. This was followed by an exhibition at the Ludwig Museum in Cologne, with subsequent solo and group shows at major museums and galleries around the world, including Centro de Arte Contemporaneo de Málaga, Museum of Image and Sound in São Paulo, Martin-Gropius-Bau in Berlin, SECCA in North Carolina and Santiago Museum of Contemporary Art. In 2018 the Rijksmuseum has accuired 500 key artworks from his fourty-year oeuvre for their collection. This follows recent official portraits for the Dutch royal family and the design of the new Euro coin for King Willem Alexander. Rutger Pontzen, art critic for Dutch newspaper the Volkskrant said, ‘Controversial or not, Erwin Olaf does give a picture of the Netherlands’.. ‘and that makes him distinctive in Dutch photography’.. ‘In other words, his oeuvre belongs to the cultural heritage’. Starting his career as a photojournalist documenting the gay scene of the 1980s, Olaf increasingly sought and defined his own subjects, often explored in series of works in black and white (Squares, Chessmen and Blacks) and colour (Mind of their Own, Rain, Hope, Grief, Dusk, and Dawn). In recent years he has developed his themes through the form of monumental tableaux, for which he adopts the role of director as well as photographer. Olaf is a master of this craft, a virtuoso in the fine and subtle arts of photography and drama suffused with stillness, contemplation and dreamlike mystery. He is also a true picture maker, showing a close affinity with Old Masters and contemporary artists alike, from Rembrandt to Mapplethorpe, and in that sense his work emphatically bridges the gap between historical and contemporary picture-making. Now internationally renowned, Erwin Olaf’s photography remains an essential part of the Netherlands’ cultural heritage. Taco Dibbits, Rijksmuseum director, says, ‘his work is deeply rooted in the visual traditions of Dutch art and history’ and that consequently Olaf is ‘one of the most important photographers of the final quarter of the 20th century’. From progression to decay, notions of transformation are prevalent throughout Olaf’s work with a multitude of projects proving his fascination for society’s ever-changing demands, its simultaneous development and devolution of our moral compass, and its cultivated sense of anticipation for an almost-achievable contentment. These are the preoccupations that add a fascinating dimension to ‘Skin Deep’ and ‘Tamed and Anger’, but also colour the tension in ‘Separation’ which explores the artist’s relationship with his mother, the controversial ‘Royal Blood’, the pressures of ageing in ‘Mature’ and the self-portrait series ‘I Wish, I Am, I Will Be’. All these projects reveal the friction of an imperfect reality hidden beneath a perfectly curated façade. His most recent work sees the conclusion of the three-part project ‘Shifting Metropolises’ [working title] - a series of artworks looking at internationally renowned cities undergoing seismic change in the modern world. Rather than fabricating a controlled studio environment, this trilogy is the only time the artist has shot on location, retaining his characteristic cinematic associations to produce a body of work wrought with the genuine emotions and neuroses of these places and their inhabitants. A bold approach to his work has earned Olaf a number of commissions from institutions including Louis Vuitton, Vogue, the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, and the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam, for which he designed the 2016 ‘Catwalk’ exhibition, including a promotional video and photographic campaign. He has been awarded Photographer of the Year in the International Colour Awards 2006 and Kunstbeeld magazine’s Dutch Artist of the Year 2007 as well as the Netherlands’ prestigious Johannes Vermeer Prize. Additional international awards include the Infinity Award from the International Centre of Photography, the Silver Lion at the Cannes Lions Festival for Advertising, and a Lucie Award from the United States for his whole oeuvre. In 2013 he won the commission to redesign the Dutch Euro coins, which have been in circulation since 2014. Olaf has screened video work at the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the Museum at FIT in New York, and at Nuit Blanche in Toronto with a live score commissioned for his series ‘Waiting’. He has also projected his 30 channel video installation ‘L’Éveil' onto the Hôtel de Ville for Nuit Blanche in Paris, curated by Jean de Loisy (Director, Palais de Tokyo). In March 2018 the Museu da Imagem e do Som in São Paulo hosted a retrospective of his work. In 2019 Shanghai Center of Photography (SCôP) will host a solo exhibition. The Gemeentemuseum The Hague and The Hague Museum of Photography will host an anniversary solo exhibition for Erwin Olaf his 60th birthday, and to celebrate 40 years of photography. In 2019 there will be a new retrospective monograph released, published by Hannibal, Aperture, Xavier Barral and Prestel. Erwin Olaf (born 1959, Hilversum, the Netherlands) lives and works in Amsterdam. Source: www.erwinolaf.com
Angela Bacon-Kidwell
Angela Bacon-Kidwell is an award winning photographer and visual artist that lives and works in Texas. Angela has a BFA from Midwestern State University, Wichita Falls, Texas, with specialization in painting and photography. Her work emerges from her journey of recovering a sense of self, strength and spirituality through an examination of her identities as daughter, granddaughter, wife, mother and artist. Her photographic work has received numerous awards and honors and has been exhibited and published both nationally and internationally. Recent awards and recognition’s include: nominated for the Santa Fe Prize for Photography in 2011, Finalist for the John Clarence Laughlin Award, First place in the Palm Springs Photo Festival, First Place in the Texas Photographic Society International Competition and 2012 lecture at the Annenberg Space for Photography in Los Angeles.She is currently represented by Afterimage Gallery, Dallas, Texas, Wallspace Gallery, Santa Barbara, CA and Galerie BMG, Woodstock, NYHome by Nightfall (2012-2014)Silence ceased for him in 2011 not a whisper, but a relentless roaring thunder molding his spirit into mourning In his misery, a new vaporous malice was brewing the ringing was a warning tinnitus and cancer were converging Every known eradication was pursued He and I, separated by many miles, shared a need for solitude cultivated by lucid country drives We drove separately through the dark districts of our minds invariably contemplating what was to come, a symbiotic transitory landscape emerged and the thunder soared in 2013 Questions, Answers, Questions, Answers Questions, Answers, Questions, Answers Questions, Answers, Questions, Answers all tedious throbbing answers How many miles in a life? What shape is the color grey? When does an echo become whole? During the three years of relentless discord, I created images of these ambiguous queries emoting, sensing, seeking There is a truth in "big" questions with small answers Clarity in the midst of chaos Hope in the face of despair Silence returned for him on May 24, 2014 He was my father.
Anne Helene Gjelstad
Anne Helene Gjelstad is an award-winning photographer and educator. After graduation from the Norwegian National Academy of Craft and Art Industry in 1982 she had her own fashion studio in Oslo for 25 years. Among her clients were HM Queen Sonja, Norwegian artists, magazines and the textile industry. In 2006 she felt the need for a change and decided to follow her childhood dream and become a photographer. She took the two-year class in photography at Bilder Nordic School of Photography (2007-08) as well a numerous workshops by some of the leading photographers of our time such as Joyce Tenneson, Mary Ellen Mark, Greg Gorman and Vee Speers. Anne Helene's works has been has been exhibited worldwide; in the National Art Museum of China in Beijing, in Centro Fotografico Alvarez Bravo in Mexico, in Ljubljana in Slovenia, around Estonia including the Lobby in the Estonian Parliament in Tallinn and in the National Museum in Tartu as well as in The House of Photography in Oslo. Anne Helene Gjelstad has her photo studio in an old barn surrounded by beautiful landscape just outside of Oslo. She also gives lectures and teaches portrait photography and postproduction. For her portraits, she is rewarded numerous awards. Statement For eleven years, since 2008, I have worked on portraying the lives of the older women on the small Estonian islands of Kihnu and Manija in the Baltic Sea. Colourful, interesting and friendly, they represent a culture and a way of life that is changing despite the strong anchor of tradition. These robust women are used to working hard, and take care of almost everything. They bring up the children, make the clothes, plough the fields, drive the tractors and take care of the animals. The men spend much time away from home, fishing or working on the mainland or abroad. Life is often hard. This is normal here. Nobody asks questions. You do what you must. This is how you get a big heart and strong hands. The voices of these hushed culture bearers need to be heard and kept for generations to come in a small society that is rapidly changing towards western standards, and where the traditional culture and identity is naturally slipping away. I have aimed to tell the women's stories truthfully and I have photographed their daily lives and activities, clothing and bedrooms, kitchens and farmhouses, the details, the surroundings and landscapes as well as the ceremony held in a deceased person's kitchen only three hours after she had passed away. To tell the fuller story, I have also interviewed some of the women about their lives, their experiences during war and occupation, family life, work, food and thoughts about the future. My book is my contribution to record and help preserve this unique culture for the future and give these old, wise women the voice they deserve as the quiet nation builders they really are.
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