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Mauricio Alejo
Mauricio Alejo
Mauricio Alejo

Mauricio Alejo

Country: Mexico
Birth: 1969

Mauricio Alejo was born in Mexico City in 1969. He earned his Master of Art from New York University in 2002, as a Fulbright Grant recipient. In 2007, he was a resident artist at NUS Centre for the Arts in Singapore. He has received multiple awards and grants, including the New York Foundation for the Arts grant in 2008. His work is part of important collections such as Daros Latinoamérica Collection in Zürich . His work has been reviewed in important journals, such as Flash Art; Art News and Art in America. He has had solo exhibitions in New York, Japan, Madrid, Paris and Mexico. His work has been shown at CCA Wattis Institute of Contemporary Arts in San Francisco; Museo Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid and The 8th Havana Biennial among other venues. He currently lives and works in Mexico City.
 

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Jacques Lowe
United States
1930 | † 2001
Jacques Lowe (born Jascha Lülsdorf) was a photographer and publisher best known for his role as U.S. President John F. Kennedy's official photographer during his election campaign and presidency. Lowe was born in Cologne, Germany, on Jan. 24, 1930. He came to New York in 1949 and became an assistant to the photographer Arnold Newman in 1951. Lowe began working as Kennedy's campaign photographer in 1958, and documented the Kennedy administration after his election until 1962. Lowe died at his home in Manhattan on May 12, 2001. Months after his death, approximately 40,000 of Lowe's negatives were destroyed in the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center.Source: Wikipedia Jacques Lowe is an internationally renowned photographer and photo journalist who is best known for his portraiture of the leading personalities of our time, nationally and internationally, in politics, business, and the entertainment world. In 1951, Mr. Lowe was a prize winner in Life magazine's contest for young photographers, after which Roy Stryker, the grand old man of photography, gave him an eight week assignment in Europe. Starting in 1953 as a contributor to Jubilee magazine he won numerous awards for his photo journalistic work among gypsies and other minorities. He went on to contribute to such magazines as Time, Life, Look, The Saturday Evening Post, Ladie's Home Journal, Paris Match, Epoca, Stern, and many others, and he was a staff photographer at Collier's Magazine at the time that journal folded. In 1956, through his work, he befriended Robert F. Kennedy who had been appointed majority counsel to the McClellan Committee. In 1958 Ambassador Joseph P. Kennedy, who admired his work, asked him to photograph his "other son, Jack." That assignment led to his becoming the Official Campaign Photographer of John F. Kennedy's quest for the presidency and, when elected, the personal photographer of President Kennedy. Although offered the White House Photographer's job Lowe declined, but the president asked him to "stick around and record my administration. Don't worry, I'll make it worth your while." His work for the campaign, the Kennedy White House, and the Kennedy family has resulted in six books, numerous exhibitions from the USA to Moscow, several prime time television shows, and some 150 major magazine pieces and covers. Reviewers have credited Lowe's "natural, warm, and intimate images of the president and his family and the workings of the presidency with keeping alive the Kennedy flame for generations yet to come." Following his work at the Kennedy White House Lowe returned to his studio in New York where he renewed his magazine, advertising and corporate photography work. His clients ranged from AT&T to Hertz Cars, from DuPont to United Airlines He won numerous gold and silver art director's awards for his commercial work. Lowe was a 26 year old freelance journalist in 1956 when he was assigned by three magazines within the same week to photograph Chief Counsel Robert Kennedy. They became friends and Lowe soon was invited to spend weekends at Kennedy's Hickory Hill home in Virginia. Joseph Kennedy, Sr. was impressed with Lowe's photographs and requested he photograph his other son 'John'. Although the initial meeting between Lowe and Senator Jack Kennedy was not an auspicious start, the relationship soon changed course due to Lowe's honorable approach to his photographs and he was provided unprecedented access to one of the most iconic leaders of the 20th century, as well as members of his family. These legendary images share an intimate view of John F. Kennedy as he was on the intense campaign trail, important moments during the early years of his term as President and family moments with his wife Jackie and his children. The archive comprises over 40,000 images.Source: Westwood Gallery What do you do when, as a photographer, you are told your image archive is so precious that it's uninsurable? The answer for Jacques Lowe, whose images helped create the legend of John F Kennedy, was to store them in JP Morgan's seemingly impregnable vault in Tower 5 of New York's World Trade Center. But then 9/11 came, and his life's work went with it. After the terror attack, Jacques Lowe's daughter, Thomasina, campaigned to try and retrieve her father's archive from the twin tower's rubble before they were razed. Amazingly, the safe in which they were stored was found intact, but the contents – over 40,000 negatives – were reduced to ash. All was not completely lost though, as 1,500 of Lowe's contact sheets were located elsewhere in New York. From these, selected images were painstakingly restored for an exhibition at the Newseum in Washington DC. A collection of prints from the original negatives were also made by the photographer himself, prior to his death four months before 9/11. An exhibition at Proud Chelsea in London is now showcasing these rarities.Source: The Guardian
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
Erwin Blumenfeld
Germany/United States
1897 | † 1969
Born in Berlin in 1897 to Jewish parents, Erwin Blumenfeld began his career working as an apprentice dressmaker to Moses and Schlochauer in 1913. He opened his own company in Amsterdam in 1923, the 'Fox Leather Company', a leather goods store specialising in ladies handbags. After moving to new premises in 1932, Blumenfeld discovered a fully equipped dark room and began to photograph many of his -predominantly female- customers. The company went bankrupt in 1935, just as Blumenfeld's photographic career was beginning to take an upward turn. Following a move to Paris in 1936, Blumenfeld was commissioned to take the portraits of personalities including George Rouault and Henri Matisse and secured his first advertising work for Monsavon. Blumenfeld quickly captured the attention of photographer Cecil Beaton who helped him secure a contract with French Vogue. After World War II in 1941, Erwin Blumenfeld moved to New York where he was immediately put under contract by Harper's Bazaar and after three years, he began freelance work for American Vogue. Over the next fifteen years, Blumenfeld's work was featured on numerous Vogue covers and in a variety of publications including Seventeen, Glamour and House & Garden. During this period, he also worked a photographer for the Oval Room of the Dayton Department Store in Minneapolis and produced advertising campaign for cosmetics clients such as Helena Rubinstein, Elizabeth Arden and L'Oreal. In the late 50s, he also began to create motion pictures, hoping to use them commercially and began work on his biography and his book My One Hundred Best Photos which, despite being a renowned fashion photographer, only included four of his fashion images. Following Blumenfeld's death in 1969, numerous books on his work have been published, namely The Naked and the Veiled by his son, Yorick Blumenfeld, and his photographs have been exhibited at international galleries including the Pompidou Gallery in Paris, The Barbican in London and The Hague Museum of Photography in the Netherlands. In the 1960s, he worked on his autobiography which found no publisher because it was considered to be too ironic towards society, and was published only after his death.Source: Wikipedia Erwin Blumenfeld is considered to be one of the early pioneers of fashion photography alongside George Hoyningen-Huene, Cecil Beaton, and Horst P. Horst. It was not only his employment of experimental techniques in the darkroom, Dada and Surrealist influences, and groundbreaking street work, but Blumenfeld’s unique and masterful combination of elegance and eroticism that transformed fashion into high art and paved the way for Richard Avedon, Irving Penn, Herb Ritts, and other photographers who enjoyed such prominence and recognition in the history of art. In addition to holding the record for the most covers of Vogue, Blumenfeld’s works were abundantly reproduced within the pages of Cosmopolitan, Harper’s Bazaar, Life and Vogue during the 1930s, '40s and '50s. Many of the images from these shoots will be featured in this exhibition and have since become icons of the history of fashion photography. Some have never been seen before. But all of the prints showcase not only Blumenfeld’s innovation as a photographer of fashion but also his spectacular skill as a printmaker. In his retrospective examination of Blumenfeld’s work, William Ewing writes, “His highly original and visionary work was a seamless blend of the negative and positive: taking the picture in the studio and making it in the darkroom.” In the studio, Blumenfeld often employed mirrors, glass, and backgrounds reproduced from paintings, images of cathedrals, or mosaics of magazine covers. He often used veils, which could distort or elongate the figure, confident that a woman partially concealed was more erotically charged that one seen fully nude. He also believed the printing of the image was as every bit as important as the process of capturing it, and like Man Ray, he was tirelessly inventive in the darkroom, deploying a variety of optical and chemical tricks, including multiple exposures, solarization and bleaching.Source: Edwynn Houk Gallery
Gregori Maiofis
Russia
1970
Gregori Maiofis was born in 1970 in Leningrad, Soviet Union, now St Petersburg, Russia. His grandparents, Solomon Maiofis (1911-1968) and Olga Ugriomova (1913-2009) were architects, father, Mikhail Maiofis (b. 1939) is a famous book illustrator. In 1987-1989 studied at the Academy of Arts (the Institute of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture n.a. Y. Repin) in St Petersburg at the graphic arts department. In 1991 his family moved to Los Angeles, California where he lived until 1995. Currently lives and works in St Petersburg, Russia. Gregori Maiofis has had solo exhibitions across Russia, Europe, and the U.S. since 1993. His work is in many museum collections including the following: Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Multimedia Art Museum, Moscow, The State Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, Moscow, Museum of modern Art, Moscow, Novy Museum, St Petersburg, Russia, National Gallery of Slovakia, Bratislava, Museum of Modern Art, Rio de Janeiro.Source: gregorimaiofis.com Gregori Maiofis (Russia, b. 1970) comes from a family lineage of artists and architects including his father, the renowned graphic artist, Mikhail Maiofis, who nurtured artistry early in his son's life. Maiofis is a classically trained printmaker and graphic artist who began his first photographic projects in 2000. Printmaking is still an integral part of the artist's oeuvre, which following experimentation with gelatin silver prints and several alternative processes, led to his now prominent use of bromoil and bromoil transfer printing. Common among the Pictorialist masters of the early 20th Century, the bromoil process allows the artist unique aesthetic abilities to manually control the color, tone and texture of the final picture on various surfaces. In the series Proverbs (Monograph available, Nazraeli Press, 2014) the artist uses proverb texts of various origins and visually interprets and conceptualizes them in whimsical staged compositions. Often working with trained animals including elephants, monkeys and predominantly a bear named Funt, Maiofis creates a new reality of interplay between human and animal. Several of the prints on view depict a dialogue of ballet between a Russian ballerina and the bear who appears thoroughly enthused by the performance before him.Source: The Eye of Photography In his work, Maiofis seems to follow the well-worn formulas of how to make “real art, art not for pleasure” but one does get certain pleasure all the same. That pleasure comes from vibrancy of the works’ surface, be it painting or photography. Maiofis has enriched his photography with his painting experience of how to “saturate the surface” of his works so that the “depth” of space in his photos is produced by an illusion of sombre depth like in Baroque painting rather than by multiplanarity of composition. In the photo series Fables he turned to the fables written by Ivan Krylov dubbed Russian La Fontaine in the latter half of the 18th and the earlier half of the 19th centuries. In conformity with the Soviet tradition those fables were for a long time interpreted as a reading matter for children. The artist refutes this view and creates a photographic semblance of space which, in complexity, is commensurable with the fables’ rich associative and semantic content. Here, he uses various forms of photography, combining collage, montage, and painting on photography, and using prints to build the scene for a new still. In his subsequent works, Gregori Maiofis mocks at artistic erudition itself by looking at “simple truths” crammed into a freshman’s head in the history-of-art class. As a rule, people don’t stop to think about the hidden meaning of objects habitually used in art. Maiofis subjects such cliches to ridicule, which brings about sudden recognition of how complex the habitual is. He provokes this recognition not unlike a practicing painter who would recognize that classical photography is the most expressive pictorial means known to him. He thus creates photography involving text that cannot be fully narrated elsewhere.Source: De Santos Gallery
Aline Smithson
United States
After a career as a New York Fashion Editor and working along side the greats of fashion photography, Aline Smithson discovered the family Rolleiflex and never looked back. An artist now represented by galleries in the U.S. and Europe and published throughout the world, Aline continues to create her award-winning photography with humor, compassion, and a 50-year-old camera. She has exhibited widely including solo shows at the Griffin Museum of Photography, the Center of Fine Art Photography, the Fort Collins Museum of Contemporary Art, the Lishui Festival in China, the Tagomago Gallery in Barcelona and Paris, and the Wallspace Gallery in Seattle and Santa Barbara. In addition, her work is held in a number of museum collections. Her photographs have been featured in publications including The New Yorker, PDN (cover), the PDN Photo Annual, Communication Arts Photo Annual, Eyemazing, Soura, Visura, Fraction, Artworks, Lenswork Extended, Shots, Pozytyw, Incandescant, Square and Silvershotz magazines. amongst others. In 2012, Aline received the Rising Star Award through the Griffin Museum of Photography for her contributions to the photographic community. She also was presented with the 2014 Excellence in Teaching Award from CENTER. In 2014, Aline's photographs were selected for the Critical Mass Top 50, the PDN Photo Annual, and Review Santa Fe. In 2015, she was awarded First Place Portraiture in the 7th Edition of the Julia Margaret Cameron Awards for Women Photographers and again received the Julia Margaret Cameron Award in the 8th Edition. Aline founded and writes the blogzine, Lenscratch, that celebrates a different contemporary photographer each day and offers opportunity for exhibition. She has been the Gallery Editor for Light Leaks Magazine, a contributing writer for Diffusion, Don't Take Pictures, Lucida, and F Stop Magazines, has written book reviews for photoeye, and has provided the forwards for artist's books by Tom Chambers, Flash Forward 12, Robert Rutoed, Nancy Baron, Meg Griffiths amongst others. Aline has curated and jurored exhibitions for a number of galleries, organizations, and on-line magazines. She was an overall juror in 2012 for Review Santa Fe, a juror for Critical Mass from 2009-2016, a juror and curator for Flash Forward, and is a reviewer at many photo festivals across the United States. Aline is also a founding member of the Six Shooters collective. In the Fall of 2015, the Magenta Foundation released a retrospective monograph of Aline's photographs. She lives and works in Los Angeles and considers her children her greatest achievement. Discover Aline Smithson's Interview Find out more about Self & Others
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