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Richard Murai
Richard Murai
Richard Murai

Richard Murai

Country: United States
Birth: 1952

"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands but seeing with new eyes." Marcel Proust, 1923, La Prisonierre

The world's sacred sites are visually rich and historically significant and provide sanctuary for spiritual reflection and creative exploration and discovery. They're striking archeological sites but first and foremost, they serve as vital and revered centers of pilgrimage, prayer and meditation. These images are excerpts of my visits to these sacred spaces and are evidence of an ongoing journey that examines intense spiritual devotion and religious fervor, past and present, within unique and distinctive cultures. They are multi-dimensional and compelling for both the photographer and the viewer and document golden ages of past millennia and cultures seeking to reconcile ancient traditions with conflicting modern values. Devotees seek serenity and escape from centuries of conquest and political upheaval, or the effects of poverty, global climate change and modernization.

As we confront a perplexing, irrational and precarious world situation ongoing geo-political unrest and violence has caused fractious dissension and a difficult emotional time for all. Reluctance to accept diverse cultural, political, religious attitudes both here and abroad adds to the fear, cynicism and confusion. Becoming sensitive to unfamiliar cultures can quell much of this anxiety and may encourage tolerance and compassion.

After transitioning from thirty-five rewarding years in photographic education, Richard lives in Monterey, CA, and continues to passionately pursue his creative artmaking. His ongoing fascination with world religion and culture has generated repeated visits to locations within India, Asia, South America, the Middle East, Russia and Europe.

His work has been exhibited widely, has garnered awards from All About Photo, Center for Photographic Art, Spider Awards, and Travel Photographer of the Year, and have been featured in respected publications including B&W Magazine, Silver Shots International, Shots, Photographer's Forum and multiple issues of Lenswork print and special editions. His photographs are included in various private and corporate collections and is represented by the Weston Gallery, Carmel, CA
 

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Debbie Miracolo
United States
1953
Debbie Miracolo is a photo-based artist interested in transition and passage of time. A former graphic designer with a fine art education, she creates inventive images with a sharp attention to detail and composition, often with a generous sprinkling of emotion and whimsy. She attributes her outlook to memories of an introverted childhood infused with make-believe worlds and storybooks. By transforming rather than documenting truth, her interpretations of humanity, nature, and train travel serve as seductive invitations to linger, question, and weave a story of one's own. Growing up as an only child in a home with her European parents and grandmother made her childhood reality different from that of her friends. She was introverted, shy, and intimidated by the world around her, but found that creating art alleviated some of the loneliness she felt and helped her to express her feelings. By the time she finished high school she had become skilled at drawing and painting. At Rochester Institute of Technology she earned a BFA, studying printmaking, photography, and art history, and later moved to New York City to pursue her artistic dreams. There she began a 15-year career as a graphic designer in the busy publishing and advertising industries. With the birth of her two sons and subsequent move to a Victorian house in a suburban New York town, she shifted all of her energy, diving into motherhood, and for several years the creative spirit within her lay patiently dormant. As most artists know however, that spirit never truly leaves, and as her children approached adolescence she could sense it regaining strength. Feeling drawn to photography once again, Debbie made the decision to revisit the medium as an art form. She began taking classes and workshops at the International Center of Photography, gaining mastery of the craft and honing her own personal vision. From there, there was no turning back, and she has been making and focusing on her art ever since. Debbie's work has been published, notably on the cover of Geo Wissen Magazine and most recently, in F-Stop Magazine. Her images have been exhibited in a number of galleries in New York City, Boston, St. Petersburg, Fl. and Middlebury, Vt. as well as online media. Imagined Moments from the Porch It was a bewildering, absurd world I found myself in during the first chaotic months of the Covid-19 outbreak. Through incongruous juxtapositions, metaphor and a bit of whimsy, these photo composites of my neighbors portray the surreal, confused and off-kilter feeling I had then, and which still lingers today. With many of us sheltering in place, pedestrian traffic had increased remarkably in my quiet town. People paraded by on the street, some of whom I'd never seen before; young and old, parents with children, and more and more dogs as the weeks went by. I began to photograph what I observed from the steps of my front porch and, over a period of four spring and summer months, the project evolved. The idea to reconstruct the photographs came to me when I needed to switch out a person, and with that one manipulation it became clear that I would take the series in a more imaginative direction. As the virus numbers increased and the news became more alarming by the day, I digitally rearranged my characters in more unlikely ways. It was as if my wish to change reality and my doubts about what to believe were coming through in my images. Imagined Moments from the Porch is a kind of theatrical narrative made up of fictional scenes I compose to depict my off-beat version of these dark, confusing, and upside-down days.
Shoji Ueda
Japan
1913 | † 2000
Shoji Ueda was a photographer of Tottori, Japan, who combined surrealist compositional elements with realistic depiction. Most of the work for which Ueda is widely known was photographed within a strip of about 350 km running from Igumi (on the border of Tottori and Hyogo) to Hagi (Yamaguchi). Ueda was born on 27 March 1913 in Sakai (now Sakaiminato), Tottori. His father was a manufacturer and seller of geta; Shoji was the only child who survived infancy. The boy received a camera from his father in 1930 and quickly became very involved in photography, submitting his photographs to magazines; his photograph Child on the Beach, Hama no kodomo) appeared in the December issue of Camera. In 1930 Ueda formed the photographic group Chugoku Shashinka Shudan with Ryosuke Ishizu, Kunio Masaoka, and Akira Nomura; from 1932 till 1937 the group exhibited its works four times at Konishiroku Hall in Nihonbashi, Tokyo. Ueda studied at the Oriental School of Photography in Tokyo in 1932 and returned to Sakai, opening a studio, Ueda Shashinjo, when only nineteen. Ueda married in 1935, and his wife helped him to run his photographic studio. His marriage was a happy one; his wife and their three children are recurring models in his works. Ueda was active as an amateur as well as a professional photographer, participating in various groups. In 1941 Ueda gave up photography, not wanting to become a military photographer. (Toward the end of the war, he was forced to photograph the result of a fire.) He resumed shortly after the war, and in 1947 he joined the Tokyo-based group Ginryusha. Ueda found the sand dunes of Tottori excellent backdrops for single and group portraits, typically in square format and until relatively late all in black and white. In 1949, inspired by Kineo Kuwabara, then the editor of Camera, Ueda photographed the dunes with Ken Domon and Yoichi Midorikawa. Some of these have Domon as a model, far from his gruff image. The photographs were first published in the September and October 1949 issues of Camera and have been frequently anthologized. Ueda started photographing nudes on the dunes in 1951, and from 1970 he used them as the backdrop for fashion photography. The postwar concentration on realism led by Domon, followed by the rejection of realism led by Shomei Tomatsu, sidelined Ueda's cool vision. Ueda participated in "Japanese Photography" at the New York Museum of Modern Art in 1960 and had solo exhibitions in Japan, but had to wait till a 1974 retrospective held in the Nikon Salon in Tokyo and Osaka before his return to popularity. Ueda remained based in Tottori, opening a studio and camera shop in Yonago in 1965, and in 1972 moving to a new three-storey building in Yonago. The building served as a base for local photographic life. From 1975 until 1994, Ueda was a professor at Kyushu Sangyo University. Critical and popular recognition came from the mid seventies. A succession of book-length collections of new and old appeared. Ueda weathered the death in 1983 of his wife, and continued working well into the 1990s. He died of a heart attack on 4 July 2000. The Shoji Ueda Museum of Photography (Ueda Shoji Shashin Bijutsukan), devoted to his works, opened in Kishimoto (now Hoki, near Yonago) Tottori Prefecture in 1995. Source: Wikipedia
Alan Henriksen
United States
1949
Alan Henriksen was born in 1949 in Richmond Hill, Queens, New York, and has lived his entire life on Long Island. He became interested in photography as a hobby in 1958, and began making contact prints in late 1959. His interest became serious following a chance discovery of the work of Edward Weston and Ansel Adams at the local library. Henriksen holds college degrees in Psychology and Computer Science and is now retired from a long career in software engineering. Beginning in the mid-1970?s he worked for nearly ten years at Agfa-Gevaert’s photo paper manufacturing plant on Long Island as a sensitometrist and software engineer. In the late 1980?s he authored a Zone System software program named ZoneCalc, which was marketed by the Maine Photographic Resource. In 1968 he and his wife Mary made their first visit to the Maine coast, starting a photographic project that continues to this day. They now divide their time between their homes in Smithtown, Long Island and Southwest Harbor, Maine. All about Alan Henriksen:AAP: When did you realize you wanted to be a photographer?Although I had already been photographing as a hobbyist for six years, my interest became more serious in 1964 when, during a library visit, I chanced upon Peter Pollack's book, "A Picture History of Photography," and opened it to the section devoted to the work of Edward Weston.AAP: Where did you study photography?My formal photographic education was limited to the 1970 Ansel Adams Workshop in Yosemite National Park.AAP:Do you have a mentor?In 1967 I composed a letter and sent it, along with some prints, to Ansel Adams in Carmel. Toward the close of his two-page single-spaced typewritten reply he wrote, "I want to follow your work and see more of your prints." This began a correspondence, soon supplemented with phone calls, that lasted until 1970, at which time I attended his Ansel Adams Workshop in Yosemite National Park.AAP: How long have you been a photographer?I began photographing in 1958, purely as a hobby, and began printing in 1959.AAP: Do you remember your first shot? What was it?The first photograph I remember taking was made in 1958. I photographed my neighbor while she was leaning into a baby carriage to tend to her child.AAP: What or who inspires you?I do not believe in inspiration; I believe in simply working, and working simply. When photographing, my ideas arise directly from my exploration of the subject matter at hand. But I cannot say why I find a certain bit of the world, seen from just such an angle, in a certain light, interesting.AAP: How could you describe your style?I do not consciously try to apply a style to my photographs. I believe in the maxim, "Style does not precede; it results." Although there is a kind of consistency to my photographs over the years, and more so during any particular period, that is presumably because I have remained roughly the same person.AAP: What kind of gear do you use? Camera, lens, digital, film?I currently work with a Canon 5D Mark II and various Canon lenses.AAP: Do you spend a lot of time editing your images?I take an iterative approach to image editing, generally performing several editing passes. I like to leave some time between each pass in order to help me see the image with fresh eyes during each session. I consider an image completed (for the time being) when I view the image and it seems to "work" as is. For some images the editing process is completed within a few sessions, while others take much longer.
Cindy Sherman
United States
1954
Cindy Sherman was born in 1954 in Glen Ridge, New Jersey. Sherman earned a BA from Buffalo State College, State University of New York (1976). In self-reflexive photographs and films, Cindy Sherman invents myriad guises, metamorphosing from Hollywood starlet to clown to society matron. Often with the simplest of means—a camera, a wig, makeup, an outfit—Sherman fashions ambiguous but memorable characters that suggest complex lives that exist outside of the frame. Leaving her works untitled, Sherman refuses to impose descriptive language on her images—relying instead on the viewer’s ability to develop narratives, as an essential component of appreciating the work. While rarely revealing her private intentions, Sherman’s investigations have a compelling relationship to public images, from kitsch (film stills and centerfolds) to art history (Old Masters and Surrealism) to green-screen technology and the latest advances in digital photography. Sherman’s exhaustive study of portraiture and self-portraiture—often a playful mixture of camp and horror, heightened by gritty realism—provides a new lens through which to examine societal assumptions surrounding gender and the valuation of concept over style. Among her awards are the Guild Hall Academy of the Arts Lifetime Achievement Award for Visual Arts (2005); American Academy of Arts and Sciences Award (2003); National Arts Award (2001); a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Award (1995); and others. Her work has appeared in major exhibitions at Sprüth Magers, Berlin (2009); Jeu de Paume, Paris (2006); the Museum of Modern Art, New York (1997); and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (1997); among others. Sherman has participated in many international events, including SITE Santa Fe (2004); the Venice Biennale (1982, 1995); and five Whitney Biennial exhibitions. Cindy Sherman lives and works in New York.
Chris Anthony
Chris Anthony's world is wonderful collection of object symbols, set design, and character development. His photographs are an intersection of Renaissance set and costume design, melted with a process that employs both antique photographic equipment and technology through post-production. His work is lush and painterly guided by deep hues of color, muted and apart in time. He creates an image that is akin to filmwork in its narrative, both cinematic and containing all the elements of a story left open-ended. His characters linger in a loosely draped studio space, a century gone by, waiting, wandering, lost in thought, casting challenge to unravel the mystery of the objects that accompany. Chris Anthony’s work has been exhibited in Los Angeles, Stockholm, Brooklyn, Hong Kong, Washington D.C., London, Bath, San Francisco and is included in many private and public collections around the world. Publications that have featured Anthony and his work include the Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, Photo District News, Eyemazing, Art News, American Photo, Blink, Paper, Photo+, GUP, Fraction Magazine, Nylon, Black Book, Juxtapoz, Zoom, Angeleno, The Huffington Post, Corrierre della Serra and LA Weekly. Clients include Chiat/Day, Sony Playstation, Sony Music, Universal Music Group, Republic Records, Warner Music, Los Angeles Magazine, Hollywood Records, Reprise, Stuttgart City Ballet, Myspace Records, Dell and USC. Born in Sweden, Anthony currently lives and works in Los Angeles, California. Source: Randall Scott Projects Chris Anthony is an artist from Stockholm, Sweden, primarily known for his macabre and Victorian Gothic-inspired photographs. Anthony has also directed commercials for companies such as Deutsche Telekom and music videos for groups such as The Dandy Warhols. Anthony currently specializes in photography. He often uses vintage lenses produced between 1860 and 1910 to help create an "otherworldly atmosphere.". Antony uses 5x7 and 8x10 formats in conjunction with digital scanners in order to manipulate the images in Photoshop. Anthony is currently based in Los Angeles, California. Anthony has won several prestigious awards including: Black Book Raw - 50 Photographers 2008 Go Indie Photo Contest/PDN Stock Photo Guide 2008 - Professional Grand Prize Winner & Category Winner for "I'm the Most Normal Person I Know" The 2007 Grand Prize in the American Photo Images of the Year competition for "Victims and Avengers" First place in the music advertising category in the International Photography Awards 2007's Professional Photographer of the Year Competition. American Photography 23rd Annual 2007, My Chemical Romance "The Black Parade". Source: Wikipedia
Gregory Dargent
France
1977
Gregory Dargent is a French musician and photographer born in 1977 in Argenteuil. A graduate of the Strasbourg Conservatoire, he has an international career as a musician (electric guitar and oud) as well as a composer. His creations have taken him all over the world, from the Berlin Philharmonic to a small place in the Itabuna Church in Brazil, from the Doha Oud Festival to the "Poisson Rouge" in New York, from the Jazz Festival in Cairo to the auditorium of Warsaw Radio. Somewhat belatedly fascinated by photography he discovered it accidentally the day of his 38th birthday, anchored in the temporality of film, committed to the abstraction of black and white and advocating its subjectivity, he created in 2018 the Book H., published by Saturn, his first photographic work. It is an echo in images to the disc H (contemporary trio setting to music the French nuclear tests in the Sahara). This book tells his feelings and his personal awareness during 3 short trips around the seventeenth ground zero French atomic explosions in the 60s, in Reggane and Tamanrasset, Algeria. His book is acclaimed by the press (Christmas selection Telerama for the book + CD, L'Humanité, L'Oeil de la Photographie, L'Interval, "Par les temps qui courent" on France Culture) and became the subject of his very first exhibition as part of the collective exhibition "Le Rêve d'un mouvement" in Paris in January 2019, alongside, among others, Gilles Roudière, Damien Daufresne, Stephane Charpentier and Gael Bonnefon. This exhibition then travelled to Studio Spiral (Grenoble) in March/April 2019, at Retine Argentique (Marseille) in April/May 2019, Sharjah Art Foundation (E.A.U), Galerie VU'(Paris), Dar Abdelaatif in Algiers and will be on view at Studio Baxton (Brussels) in 2020. He is selected in 2019 as a "young talent photographer in residence" as part of the Festival Planche (s) Contact of Deauville for which he will create a new exhibition, L'Echappée, and is currently working on his next personal projects, mixing photography, video super 8 and music. The first project is about spirituality and poetry in Haiti, "Black Venus", the second one is about the feeling of underground life mixed with ancient mythologies in Cairo (with musician and photographer Frederic D. Oberland).
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