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Rena Effendi
Rena Effendi by Maria Ionova-Gribina
Rena Effendi
Rena Effendi

Rena Effendi

Country: Azerbaijan
Birth: 1977

Rena Effendi's early work focused on oil industry's effects on people's lives.

As a result, she followed a 1,700 km oil pipeline through Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Turkey, collecting stories along the way. This work was published in 2009 in her first book: "Pipe Dreams A chronicle of lives along the pipeline".

In 2013, Rena Effendi published her second monograph "Liquid Land" where her images are paired with photographs of perished butterflies hunted by her father, a Soviet entomologist, who collected more than 30,000 butterflies in Soviet Union. Liquid Land punctuates the theme of fragility and environmental decay of Baku, the city where Effendi was born and grew up.

Effendi has received many international awards including the Alexia 2018 Professional Grant, the Prince Claus Fund Award for Culture and Development, World Press Photo (for observed portraits in 2014), SONY World Photography Award (fine art category), Getty Images Editorial Grant and was short-listed for the Prix Pictet Award in Photography and Sustainability.

Rena Effendi is represented by National Geographic Creative agency and ILEX Gallery. Rena Effendi's work has been exhibited in museums and galleries worldwide including at the Saatchi Gallery, Miami Art Basel, Istanbul Modern, and the 52nd Venice Biennial. She has worked on editorial assignments for the National Geographic, The New Yorker, Newsweek, TIME, The New York Times magazine, Vogue, Marie Claire, The Sunday Times, GEO and others.
 

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More Great Photographers To Discover

Ruth Lauer Manenti
United States
Ruth Lauer Manenti received an MFA from The Yale School of Art in painting and drawing in 1994. In 2012, she was given a large format camera and taught herself how to use it. Gradually she accomplished what she was striving for in drawing and painting, through photography. Her mother was also an artist who left behind a legacy of unknown work. Part of Ruth's determination as an artist is to reward her mother for her efforts and to create a continuum. She was awarded a NYFA grant in photography in 2016 and had a solo exhibition at The Center for Photography in Woodstock, NY in 2020. Her book Alms is currently on view on an online exhibition at The Griffin Museum of Photography. Her recent book of photographs entitled Since Seeing You, is a visual diary of the woods behind her house as experienced during Lockdown. The pictures give pause, to process the sorrow of the time, rather than as an escape or erasure. Since breaking her neck in a car crash at the age of twenty, Ruth has developed a spiritual life and practice that has propelled much of her photographic work. She lives in the Catskill Mountains in NY. Shard: This ongoing series of photos called Shard was made over the last 4 years during which time I was wanting to see whether I could place objects on a table as arrangements for unspoken emotions. In 2017-18 I was unwell. It wasn't mental illness but the line between that and trauma was sometimes hard to find. I stayed indoors and at home as much as possible. I spent a lot of time watching daylight enter through the windows in different ways according to the clouds, seasons and weather. The windows are old, and the glass is wavy so that the sun rays come in as ripples. I was interested in using objects as symbols of fragility. I found that the work of making the pictures, and the safe cocoon that I had created between myself and the table, was informed by a kind of benevolent force that accompanied me through my suffering. In some traditions it is believed that when the heart breaks an entrance for Spirit is created. It's a way that trauma or defeat can become a portal; so much so that sometimes people have a nostalgia for the times in their life when they have suffered most. More recently I have been thinking about the process of repairing things rather than throwing them away. I wonder if appreciating something damaged, torn, or saved, even if no longer usable, could have an implied nonliteral meaning for getting through the past year, 2020, gracefully, despite so much loss and depression. I think there is a beauty in the effort of putting one's life back together after experiencing brokenness and I have tried through still life to communicate that.
Myriam Boulos
Lebanon
1992
I was born in 1992 in Lebanon, right after the end of the war, in a fragmented country that had to reinvent itself. At the age of 16 I started to get closer to Beirut and used my camera to question the city, its people, and my place among them. I graduated with a master degree in photography from the Academie Libanaise des Beaux Arts in 2015. Today I use photography to explore, defy and resist society. It is my way of constantly reinventing myself in the body and the city I live in. Statement The revolution started in Lebanon on the 17th of October 2019. Since then everything has been emotionally and physically draining and confusing but also beautiful, sad and awakening. It all feels as if we were coming out of an abusive relationship and to finally say: No, this is not normal. When the revolution started in Lebanon, it was the most natural thing for me to take my camera and go to the streets. Photography has always been my way of participating to life as it is today my way of taking part in the revolution. In the ongoing socio-political context it felt to me like there was no choice: the subject of my photography imposed itself on me. It was more a question of need and necessity than a question of desire. The slow documentary that normally constitutes my approach was ever so naturally replaced by something else something new, and within the revolution I let myself carry by the big wave coming towards me, big wave much bigger than me. My project is about documenting the different facettes of the Lebanese revolution from a local point of view. My approach is characterized by the direct flash I use in this project but also in others. This potentially comes from my need to make things real. The direct flash also helps me work on textures, bodies and skins. In the context of the revolution, the proximity between the bodies says a lot about the situation. It is the first time that we claim our public spaces, our streets, our country. It is the first time that different social classes mix together in the streets. In our streets. In parallel to the photographic documentation, I am also documenting the evolution of my emotions during the revolution. It is sort of a diary that accompanies the pictures. Example: Monday, 20 Jan Beirut, Lebanon Tonight in the teargas I took all my pictures with eyes closed. They say the moment of a picture is a black out. I wonder if I don't look at these emotions, will they disappear?
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Japan
1980
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Jérôme Sessini
Canon Ambassador Jérôme Sessini is a Magnum photographer who has covered some of the most significant events of the past 20 years. He also takes on long-term projects, studying the drug cartel wars on the Mexican/US border, the crisis in Ukraine and America's ongoing battle with opioid addiction. Through his lens, Jérôme has shot political upheaval, social rebellion and human struggle. His move to reportage came in 1998 when he was asked by the Gamma photo agency to cover the conflict in Kosovo. He's since been immersed in some of the most significant events of recent years, including the Iraq War, the fall of Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide in 2004, the seizure of Somalian capital Mogadishu by Islamic militias, the war in Lebanon in 2006 and the ongoing conflict in Syria. His photographs have one common thread – they seek to dig below the news to capture scenes representing wider issues. Born in Vosges, France in 1968, Jérôme was inspired by the works of the great American street documentary photographers Diane Arbus, Lee Friedlander and, in particular, Mark Cohen. He came to photography late, at the age of 23, and is now a leading photojournalist in his own right, joining Magnum in 2012 and becoming a full member in 2016. Photographing the victims of war has long been a driving force for Jérôme. "Ever since I was a kid, I've been interested in images, and when I was a teenager I also became fascinated by history," he explains. "Plus, I remember sitting with my parents and watching the wars of the time on the news. So photography seemed like the best way for me to be an artist on the one hand and a journalist on the other." As well as his 'day job', Jérôme photographs people around his hometown in eastern France, shifting between their daily lives and the landscapes around them. He also takes part in longer-term projects, such as his So far from God, too close to the USA series, which focused on the impact of violence from the war between drug cartels in Mexico. Sessini reveals that although each visit to a conflict zone has been challenging – with the time he spent in Syria in 2012 being particularly notable for how tough it was, both emotionally and in terms of danger – it has been the stories that he has followed in Mexico that have been most emotionally involving. So far from God, too close to the USA received a number of awards and was published in a book, The Wrong Side, in 2012. Since 2014, Jérôme Sessini has been regularly covering the conflict in eastern Ukraine. 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Bill Gekas
Australia
Australia-based photographer Bill Gekas has a real knack for portraiture, particularly the kind that results in an homage to many Old Masters of classic paintings, including artists like Vemeer and Rembrandt. Using his five-year-old daughter as the model, Gekas recreates many mid-18th century settings that are inspired by portraits of adults from famous paintings. He styles the environment and his daughter to fit the time period, and uses strobe lights to maintain the appearance of soft, natural lighting. The self-taught photographer learned on 35mm and has since turned to digital techniques. He uses post-processing to put the final touches on each of his photographs. Through hard work, experimentation, and a grand vision, the talented artist has successfully produced an extensive collection—a tribute to both the well-known artists as well as to his young daughter. As Gekas has evolved as a photographer, so has his unique style. He says "Don’t be scared of taking certain elements from different works and molding them into something to call your own. You might like the lighting from a photo you saw somewhere, a prop from another photo, colors from another. The key is not to limit yourself with the excuse, ‘It’s all been done before.’ Yes, many things have been done before, but with some careful thought you can adjust a concept to give it your signature. Experiment!”From www.billgekas.comMy name is Bill Gekas and I was born and live in Melbourne, Australia. A self taught photographer that learnt the technicals of photography using a 35mm film slr camera from the mid 90's and switched to digital in 2005, practicing the art of photography and constantly refining my style. Source: My Modern Met
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