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Benjamin Dimmitt
Photo by Mary Domowicz
Benjamin Dimmitt
Benjamin Dimmitt

Benjamin Dimmitt

Country: United States

Benjamin Dimmitt photographs wetlands and forests using film and a medium format camera. He uses his camera to investigate interdependence, competition, survival and mortality in the natural world.

Benjamin was born and raised on the Gulf Coast of Florida. He graduated from Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, FL and also studied at the International Center of Photography in NYC, NY, Santa Fe Photographic Workshop in Santa Fe, NM, Santa Reparata Graphic Arts Centre in Florence, Italy and City and Guild Arts School in London, England.

He moved to New York City after college and held an adjunct professor position at the International Center of Photography from 2001-2013. He now lives and works in Asheville, NC and teaches workshops throughout the Southeast. Benjamin's photographs have been exhibited at Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX, School of International Center of Photography, NYC, NY, American Academy of Arts & Letters, NYC, NY, Ogden Museum of Southern Art, New Orleans, LA, Griffin Museum, Boston, MA, Florida Museum of Photographic Arts, Tampa, FL, Center for Fine Art Photography, Ft. Collins, CO and Midtown Y Photography Gallery, NYC, NY. In November, 2019, his work will be included in a three person climate change exhibit at Southeast Museum of Photography in Daytona Beach, FL.

His work is represented by Clayton Galleries in Tampa, FL and is in the collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Florida Museum of Photographic Arts and Eckerd College among many others. Ain't Bad, Architectural Digest, Black & White, Don't Take Pictures, Lenscratch, Oxford American, Orion, Photo District News, The New Yorker Photo Booth and others have featured Benjamin's photographs.

He was a finalist in Photolucida's Critical Mass Award in 2014, 2017 and 2018 and in New Orleans Photo Alliance's Clarence John Laughlin Award in 2014 and 2015.

An Unflinching Look

The Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge is a very fragile, spring-fed estuary on Florida's Gulf Coast, north of Tampa. I was overwhelmed by its lush, primeval beauty on my first visit over 30 years ago and have photographed there extensively since 2004. The dense palm hammocks and hardwood forests were festooned with ferns and orchids and the fresh water creeks were a clear azure. There are other similar estuaries nearby but the Chassahowitzka River and the surrounding wetlands are protected as part of the federal National Wildlife Refuge system and the river itself is designated as an Outstanding Florida Water.

Unfortunately, saltwater began creeping up into the spring creeks around 2011. Rising sea levels due to climate change are the primary cause. However, the saltwater intrusion was accelerated when the state water commissioners, appointed by climate change denier and former governor Rick Scott, determined that the wetlands could survive with less fresh water. This new minimum flow policy would allow the state to increase the pumping of fresh water for large-scale inland developments and agricultural interests. The drawdown of fresh water for these lobbyists has taken fresh water away from the aquifer that feeds Chassahowitzka's springs and many others nearby. As the fresh water flow in the estuaries decreased, saltwater advanced upstream and took its place. What had been verdant, semi-tropical forest is now mostly an open plain of grasses relieved by palms and dying hardwood trees. Sabal palms are the most salt tolerant trees in this ecosystem and are the last to expire. This is a widespread phenomenon, occurring all along the Big Bend section of the Gulf coast of Florida.

In 2014, I began to photograph in the salt-damaged sawgrass savannas and spring creeks there as a way of reckoning with the ecosystem loss and of understanding what has become of my native Florida. I have narrowed my focus to a small, remote area that I know and love. My intention in bearing witness to this loss has been to portray the ruined landscape with respect, nuance and beauty. To document the progress of the saltwater intrusion, I have re-photographed landscapes that I first photographed as much as 30 years ago.

This ruin is the fate of estuaries around the world as sea levels rise. With increasingly fierce storms and extensive flooding along coastal areas, we are reminded that climate change is a certainty and a priority.
 

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Ming Smith
United States
1973
Ming Smith is an American photographer. She was the first African-American female photographer whose work was acquired by the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. Smith was born in Detroit, Michigan, and raised in Columbus, Ohio. After graduating from Howard University in 1973, she moved to New York City, where she found work modeling. While in New York she met photographer Anthony Barboza, who was an early influence. Smith's approach to photography has included in-camera techniques such as playing with focus, darkroom techniques like double exposure, collage techniques and paint on prints. Her work is less engaged with documentation of events than with expression of experience. It has been described as surreal and ethereal, as the New York Times observed: "Her work, personal and expressive, draws from a number of artistic sources, preeminently surrealism. She has employed a range of surrealist techniques: photographing her subjects from oblique angles, shooting out of focus or through such atmospheric effects as fog and shadow, playing on unusual juxtapositions, even altering or painting over prints." Smith's early work was composed of photos that were shot quickly to produce elaborate scenes, and due to this process many of her photos have double dates. She has used the technique of hand-tinting in some of her work, notably her Transcendence series. Ming Smith has photographed many important black cultural figures during her career, including Alvin Ailey and Nina Simone. In 1973 Smith was featured in the first volume of the Black Photographers Annual, a publication closely affiliated with the Black Arts Movement of the 1960s and early 1970s. Smith had her first exhibition at Cinandre, a hairdressing salon, in 1973 as well. At Cinandre, she met Grace Jones, whom she photographed wearing a black and white tutu on occasion. Smith recalls that she and Jones would talk about surviving as black artists. Smith reflects on the memories by saying: "We came out of Jim Crow. And so just coming to New York and trying to be a model or anything was new." Two years later (1975), Smith became the first female member of the Harlem-based photography collective Kamoinge, under director Roy DeCarava. The Kamoinge Workshop was founded in New York in 1963 to support the work of black photographers in a field then dominated by white men. The collective, which still exists today, has undertaken a range of initiatives, including exhibitions, lectures, workshops, and the publishing of portfolios for distribution to museums. Smith participated with Kamoinge in three groups shows in New York and Guyana. Smith dropped off a portfolio at the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA), where the receptionist mistook her for a messenger. When she returned, she was taken into the curator's office. Susan Kismaric named a price for Smith's work, which Smith declined due to the price not paying off her bills. Kismaric asked Smith to reconsider, which she eventually did. Shortly after, she became the first Black woman photographer to be included in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) in New York City. In addition to the MOMA, Smith's art has been featured at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture and the Smithsonian Anacostia Museum & Center for African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. Smith has twice exhibited at the Bellevue Hospital Centre in Morristown, New Jersey, through their Art in the Atrium exhibitions. The first was in 1995, for Cultural Images: Sweet Potato Pie, an exhibit curated by Russell A. Murray. In 2008 she contributed as part of the exhibition New York City: In Focus, part of Creative Destinations 2008 Exhibition of African American Art. Smith's photographs are included in the 2004 Ntozake Shange book The Sweet Breath of Life: A Poetic Narrative of the African-American Family and Life. In 2010, her work was included in MOMA's exhibition Pictures by Women: A History of Modern Photography. This exhibition recontextualized Smith's work alongside that of Diane Arbus and marked a growing interest in Smith's work. Organized by curator Roxana Marcoci, it was curated by Sarah Meister through the Department of Photography. In 2017, a major survey exhibition of Smith's work was held at the Steven Kasher Gallery in New York. The exhibition featured 75 vintage black-and-white prints that represented Smith's career. Smith has collaborated with filmmaker Arthur Jafa in the Serpentine Sackler Gallery's 2017 show, Arthur Jafa: A Series of Utterly Improbable, yet Extraordinary Renditions (Featuring Ming Smith, Frida Orupabo and Missylanyus). That same year, she was featured in the Tate Modern group exhibition Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power, curated by Mark Godfrey and Zoé Whitley. The show received international acclaim before traveling to Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, The Brooklyn Museum, The Broad, the de Young Museum of San Francisco and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Since then, Smith's work was featured in solo presentations by Jenkins Johnson Gallery both at Frieze New York and Frieze Masters in 2019, the former of which receiving the Frieze Stand Prize. In 2020, Ming's work will be included in the group exhibition Working Together: Louis Draper and the Kamoinge Workshop at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond, VA. From there, the exhibition will travel to The J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, CA, and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY.[19] Smith's work is in museum collections including the National Gallery of Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, Brooklyn Museum of Art, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Detroit Institute of Arts, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, and the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. Some of Smith's work displayed in the Museum of Modern Art depicts motherhood in Harlem. These photos are taken using a documentary style way of photographing these subjects. Ming Smith lives and works in New York City.Source: Wikipedia Ming Smith is known for her informal, in-action portraits of black cultural figures, from Alvin Ailey to Nina Simone and a wide range of jazz musicians. Ming’s career emerged formally with the publication of the Black Photographer’s Annual in 1973. She was an early member of the Kamoinge Workshop, an association of several generations of black photographers. Ming has traveled extensively, showing her viewers a cosmopolitan world filled with famous landmarks and extraordinary landscapes. People continue to be her most treasured subjects. This is most apparent in her series depicting African American life. Ming’s early style was to shoot fast and produce complicated and elaborate images in the developing and post-printing processes, so that many of her pictures carry double dates. She experimented with hand-tinting in My Father’s Tears, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico (1977/1979). Ming continues to expand the role of photography with her exploration of image and paint in the more recent, large-scale Transcendence series. Ming’s place in photography’s 175-year history was recognized by her inclusion in the Museum of Modern Art’s groundbreaking exhibition Pictures by Women: A History of Modern Photography in 2010. Ming Smith's photography is held in collections in the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, New York; the Smithsonian Anacostia Museum & Center for African American History and Culture, Washington, DC and the AT&T Corporation.Source: Steven Kasher Gallery
Isabel Muñoz
Spain
1951
Born in Barcelona in 1951, she moved to Madrid in 1970 where nine years later, she registered at PhotoCentro to completely dedicate herself to professional photography. She worked for the press and advertising sector in 1981, and made various still photos during film shoots. After a spell in New York to further her training, she returned to Madrid in 1986 where she produced Toques, her first exhibition. She travelled the world between 1990 and 2007, discovering and immersing herself in different artistic and cultural expressions, before producing her following series and exhibitions: Shaolín, Camboya Herida, Capoeira, Contorsionistas, Tanger, Tango and Toros. She usually works in black and white. She received the Gold Medal for Merit in Fine Arts in 2009 for her work. Source: Spain Culture When she was 20 years old, she moved to Madrid and started studying photography in 1979 in Photocentro. In 1986, she made her first exhibition, Toques and she has already made more exhibitions in several countries of the world for more than 20 years. Her black-and-white photos are a study of people through pieces of the human body or pictures of toreros, dancers or warriors, by using a handmade and meticulous process of developing. Her works are in the Maison Européenne de la Photographie, in Paris, the New Museum of Contemporary Art, in New York City, the Contemporary Arts Museum in Houston or private collections. Source: Wikipedia Isabel Muñoz stands out as an assertive photographer. Platinum developments and extra-large formats are favourite techniques used in order to strengthen her message of passion for the body as a means of approaching the study of human beings. Tango and Flamenco (1989) are considered the starting point of her unremitting search of the sentiments and emotions of world groups and cultures in an attempt to capture the expressions of beauty of the human body. When Muñoz focuses her camera on dancers, wrestlers, warrior monks, bullfighters or deprived children she does it with a strong sense of commitment. Her first individual exhibition, Toques, in 1986 at the French Institute in Madrid and her participation in the Mois de la Photographie in Paris in 1990, set her international projection as a high profile photographer without boundaries. These will be the first of many exhibitions throughout the main cities of Europe, the Americas and Asia. Her photographs are shown at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía (Madrid), Foto Colectania (Barcelona), Fundación Canal (Madrid), Maison Européenne de la Photographie (París), New Museum of Contemporary Art (New York) and Instituto Cervantes (Mexico, Guatemala, Bolivia, Shanghai, Tokio). Isabel Muñoz work has been widely recognized with numerous honours and distinctions. Recent awards include Fundación DEARTE (2012), the UNICEF Spain Awareness Rasing Award in 2010, Bartolomé Ros Prize (PHotoEspaña 2009), the Spanish Ministry of Culture Gold Medal to Fine Arts in Spain (2009), the first prize in photography by Comunidad de Madrid (2006), the two World Press Photo prizes (2000 and 2004), the Biennial of Alexandria Gold Medal (1999), Isabel Muñoz was born in Barcelona in 1951 and lives in Madrid since 1970. Source: LensCulture
Karen Knorr
United States
1954
Karen Knorr was born in Frankfurt am Main, Germany and was raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico in the 1960s. She finished her education in Paris and London. Karen has taught, exhibited and lectured internationally, including at Tate Britain, Tate Modern, The University of Westminster, Goldsmiths, Harvard and The Art Institute of Chicago. She studied at the University of Westminster in the mid-1970s, exhibiting photography that addressed debates in cultural studies and film theory concerning the ‘politics of representation’ practices which emerged during the late 1970s qnd early 1980s. She is currently Professor of Photography at the University for the Creative Arts in Farnham, Surrey. Karen Knorr produced Belgravia (1979-1981) a series of black and white photographs with ironic and humorous texts that highlighted aspirations, lifestyle and the British class system under the neo liberalist Thatcher era in the late 70’s and early 80’s. Her most well known work called Gentlemen (1981-1983) was photographed in Saint James’s clubs in London and investigated the patriarchal conservative values of Britain during the Falklands war. Karen ’s work developed a critical and playful dialogue with documentary photography using different visual and textual strategies to explore her chosen subject matter that ranges from the family and lifestyle to the animal and its representation in the museum context. In 1986 her work Connoisseurs used colour to explore connoisseurship regarding authenticity, heritage and art in England. Here she introduced elements and staged events in the architectural interiors of Chiswick House, Osterley Park House and the Dulwich Picture Gallery. The use of text and captioning appeared as a device to slow down consumption of the image and to comment on the received ideas of fine art in museum culture. These strategies still appear in her photography today with digital collage of animals, objects and social actors in museums and architecture challenging the authority and power of heritage sites in Europe and more recently in India. Academies (1994- 2001), a series of colour photographs taken in academies and museums across Europe, reflects on the relationship between the production of western fine art, its transmission and consumption. The work continues a critical dialogue with conceptual art, visual culture, feminism and animal studies reflecting an engaged interest in theory and its relation to photographic practice. In 1995 the Academies project included video and installation with wall text transfers in order the explore the relationship between art and science in the staging of transgressive performative events and gestures in museums. Being for Another (1995), an 18 minute video records a young man caressing an 18th century sculpture by Canova in the Victoria and Albert Museum and three lifeclass models enact the lifeclass on the dissecting table of the anatomy theatre of Uppsala University in Lessons (2002). The introduction of a sound glass sculpture with recorded birdsong responded to the furniture and art collection of The Wallace Collection in 2001 synthesizing a 1960’s Pete Seeger song with an actual blackbird’s sound. In her series Fables (2004-2008) photographs mixes analogue and digital photography playfully reconfiguring tales (Ovid, Aesop La Fontaine) with popular culture (Disney and Attenborough) in museums and heritage sites which include Carnavalet Museum, the Museum of Hunt and Nature in Paris, Chambord Castle and the Conde Museum in Chantilly Castle. The visuality of these photographs is rich with reference to the baroque. In the last section of the work, Knorr interrogated the free flowing space of modern architecture in Corbusier’s Villa Savoye reintroducing life into the modernist aesthetic of a building. Since her life changing journey to Rajasthan, India in 2008, Karen Knorr’s work continues to explore Rajput and Mughal cultural heritage and its relationship to questions of feminine subjectivity and animality. India Song, a series of carefully crafted photographs explores the past and its relation to India’s contemporary heritage sites across Rajasthan. Since 2012 Knorr has been visiting Japan to reflect on tradition within contemporary Japan referencing Ukiyo-e prints and folktales connected to Shinto and Buddhist heritage sites.Her first series entitled Monagatari, places animals and humans in temple sites found in Nara, Kyoto, Tokyo and Ohara. Her second related series Karyukai is inspired by the Kano’s 36 portraits of poets also referencing “bijinga” prints of the 17th century. Women photographed by Karen Knorr were asked to compose waka and haiku reflecting on their life and dreams. Source: karenknorr.com About India Song Karen Knorr’s past work from the 1980’s onwards took as its theme the ideas of power that underlie cultural heritage, playfully challenging the underlying assumptions of fine art collections in academies and museums in Europe through photography and video. Since 2008 her work has taken a new turn and focused its gaze on the upper caste culture of the Rajput in India and its relationship to the "other" through the use of photography, video and performance. The photographic series considers men's space (mardana) and women's space (zanana) in Mughal and Rajput palace architecture, havelis and mausoleums through large format digital photography. Karen Knorr celebrates the rich visual culture, the foundation myths and stories of northern India, focusing on Rajasthan and using sacred and secular sites to consider caste, femininity and its relationship to the animal world. Interiors are painstakingly photographed with a large format Sinar P3 analogue camera and scanned to very high resolution. Live animals are inserted into the architectural sites, fusing high resolution digital with analogue photography. Animals photographed in sanctuaries, zoos and cities inhabit palaces, mausoleums , temples and holy sites, interrogating Indian cultural heritage and rigid hierarchies. Cranes, zebus, langurs, tigers and elephants mutate from princely pets to avatars of past feminine historic characters, blurring boundaries between reality and illusion and reinventing the Panchatantra for the 21st century.
Dan Winters
United States
1962
Dan Winters (b. October 21, 1962) is an American photojournalist, illustrator, filmmaker and writer. He was born in Ventura County, California on October 21, 1962. He first studied photography and the darkroom process starting in 1971 while a member of his local 4-H club. In 1979, while still a high school senior, he began working full time in the motion picture special effects industry in the area of miniature construction and design. He went on to study photography at Moorpark College, in California. After receiving an associates arts degree there, he entered the documentary studies program at Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich in Germany, focusing mainly on narrative photojournalism. In 1986, he began his career in photography as a photojournalist in his home town in Ventura County, at the Thousand Oaks News Chronicle. After winning several local awards for his work, he moved to New York City, where magazine assignments came rapidly. In 1991, he moved to Los Angeles and married Kathryn Fouts, who became his photo rep and studio manager. In 1993, his son Dylan was born in Los Angeles. In 2000, while maintaining a home in LA, he moved to Austin, Texas. There he set up a studio outside Austin in a historic building built in 1903, that had originally served as a general store, gas station and post office for nearly 100 years before he arrived. Known for the broad range of subject matter he is able to interpret, he is widely recognized for his iconic celebrity portraiture, his scientific photography, his photojournalistic stories and more recently his drawings and illustrations. He has created portraits of luminaries such as Bono, Neil Young, Barack Obama, Tupac Shakur, the Dalai Lama, Stephen Hawking, Leonardo DiCaprio, Helen Mirren, Johnny Depp, Kate Winslet, Angelina Jolie, Sandra Bullock, Brad Pitt, Steven Spielberg and Al Gore. He has won over one hundred national and international awards from American Photography, Communication Arts, The Society of Publication Designers, Photo District News, The Art Directors Club of New York and Life, among others. In 1998, he was awarded the prestigious Alfred Eisenstadt Award for Magazine Photography. In 2003, he won a 1st place World Press Photo Award in the portrait category. In 2003, he was also honored by Kodak as a photo "Icon" in their biographical "Legends" series. In addition to regular assignments for magazines such as Esquire, GQ, Vanity Fair, The New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, New York, Texas Monthly, Wired, Fortune, Discover, Audubon Magazine, Details, Premiere, W, Entertainment Weekly, Rolling Stone, Life, Newsweek, Time, Vibe and many other national and international publications, his clients for print and advertising include Nike, Microsoft, IBM, LG, Hewlett-Packard, Sony, Bose, Saturn, Sega, Fila, Cobra, ABC, Warner Brothers, Paramount, Dreamworks, Columbia TriStar and Twentieth Century Fox. Regular music clients include RCA, A&M, Sony BMG, Interscope, Warner Bros., Elektra Records and Epitaph. His work has appeared in four solo exhibitions in galleries in New York and Los Angeles. A book of his work entitled "Dan Winters: Periodical Photographs" was published in 2009 by Aperture. In addition, he has photos in permanent collections of the National Portrait Gallery (United States), the Museum of Fine Art Houston, The Whitliff Collection at Texas State University and the Harry Ransom Center for Photography in Austin, Texas.[6]He currently has a solo exhibition at the Telfair Museum/Jepson Center in Savannah, GA entitled Dan Winters's AMERICA: Icons and Ingenuity. A catalogue was published to accompany the exhibition. His book Last Launch which chronicles the final launches of Discovery, Endeavour and Atlantis in 2011, signaling the end of an era in space travel, will be released October 22, 2012 by UT Press and available in bookstores everywhere. He currently lives in Austin, Los Angeles and Savannah, Georgia with his wife and son. Source: wikipedia
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