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France Leclerc
France Leclerc
France Leclerc

France Leclerc

Country: Canada

France Leclerc, born in Quebec, Canada, is an independent photographer who currently lives in Chicago. Her early career was in academia, teaching at MIT and the University of Chicago, but her true passion for documentary photography has now taken over. The curiosity and hunger for learning that had motivated her academic research career did not vanish. France now uses photography as a vehicle to understand and help depict issues that puzzle her, and satisfy her passion for learning. Among her most prominent themes are culture (especially disappearing ones), religion and social inequality, always focusing on the human element. Her images have now been shown in curated exhibitions and have won numerous awards including PDN World-in-Focus Competition in the Travel Portrait Category (2017), and in the Photo-Essay Category (2018), the APA National in the PhotoJournalism Category (2017), and the Julia Margaret Cameron Award in the Culture and Daily Life Category (2019).
 

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Ruud van Empel
Netherlands
1958
Ruud van Empel (born 21 November 1958 in Breda) is a Dutch photographer and visual artist. Ruud van Empel was born in Breda in 1958. He studied at the Academie voor Beeldende Kunst St. Joost (St Joost Academy of Art) in Breda in the 1970s, and began making independently produced videotapes in the eighties. He moved to Amsterdam in the late eighties to work on his career as a visual artist. His first photographic series were The Office (1995-2001), Study for Women (1999-2002) and Study in Green (2003). The Groninger Museum presented his first solo exhibition in 1999. He made his international breakthrough with his series World-Moon-Venus, which was shown in the George Eastman Museum in Rochester, New York State. Until mid-1995, Van Empel’s art was primarily generated by a process of assembling analogue photographic images. At that point, he exchanged this traditional collage technique – cutting, pasting and retouching in the darkroom – for image processing on the computer, working in an idea-driven manner. The first series created with this method was The Office (1995). In a technical sense, The Office displays a handicraft-like quality, missing the perfectionist character of his later work. Nevertheless, Ruud van Empel clearly demonstrated that his approach differed from other disciplines such as staged photography. In certain aspects, The Office offered a somewhat surrealistic character and referred to photomontages from the 1920s in terms of style and design. On the basis of this art-historical reference, Van Empel created a new genre within photography – without a ready-to-wear label. The artist himself speaks of the ‘construction of a photographic image’. Although he does make use of pure photomontage – he never applies so-called morphing techniques – the final result strives for content aligned to natural reality rather than to surrealism. The artificiality is visible but the final image is a convincing, autonomous reality. As a consequence, the work does not seem grotesque or absurd but could theoretically actually appear in reality. In that respect, Van Empel’s images are independent. They do not manifest themselves as ‘symbolic’ and have been stripped of all ‘pictorial’ associations. He does not deploy photography as a substitute for painting but rather uses it as an independent form of depiction. Every image consists of photographic sources that are digitally assembled on the computer. The work of Ruud van Empel exists by grace of the camera by means of which he records his building blocks. After The Office, he created the Study for Women series, which comprises a number of female portraits that refer to the magic realism art movement. In this series, produced in the period 2000-2002, he displayed the form language with which he would soon gain worldwide recognition. The Study in Green series from 2003-2004, the Untitled series from 2004, and the three closely related series World, Moon and Venus, which he began in 2005, represented Van Empel’s true international breakthrough. Curator Deborah Klochko invited him to participate in the exhibition entitled Picturing Eden in the George Eastman House. In the book Ruud van Empel Photoworks 1995-2010, she wrote: ‘Van Empel’s virtuosity lies in his capacity to combine in photography the kind of ideas anchored in painting (historical references, the power of a glimpse, use of colour) and cinema (structure with multiple images and the power of a narrative), and to do so on a large scale. To understand his work you must ask yourself: ‘Is it science or art? Is it real or imaginary? Is innocence or decadence?’ Particularly the World series, which explores the theme of innocence, made a deep impression. These works were inspired by photos taken by his father. Van Empel placed neatly dressed, black boys and girls in paradisical settings of unspoiled, non-existent natural surroundings. Great interest in and appreciation of this series are expressed worldwide to this day. The breakthrough in America also led to renewed attention in Dutch museums. Van Empel has had solo exhibitions in Museum Het Valkhof in Nijmegen, the Groninger Museum and the NoordBrabants Museum in ’s-Hertogenbosch. Since the international recognition of his work gave Ruud Van Empel the status of an artist with an own independent form language, he has progressively extended his oeuvre with the Theatre series from 2010-2013, and Souvenir, which provided a charged picture of his youth in Breda. This series was purchased by the NoordBrabants Museum. A typical feature of the work of Ruud van Empel is the composition of a perfected and idealized representation right down to the finest details. But this always has a darker side, albeit not always evident. Ruud Schenk, curator of the Groninger Museum, wrote about that aspect with reference to the Study for Women series (2000-2002): ‘As a spectator you feel that there is something not quite right about the depiction of the women: they are not completely lifelike, but tend to be a mixture of real women and window dummies. This generates a certain discomfort, an uneasiness that touches upon what was described as 'das Unheimliche' (the uncanny) at the beginning of the 20th century.’ Although the photographic images seem to capture an epoch, you can hardly assign a date to any of them. This timeless element of Van Empel’s work has taken on a different significance in his recent work, as he deals with themes such as transience and Vanity in his Still Life series from 2014, and also portrays older people as in the portrait of an older woman in the Sunday series (2012), or in the Nude series (2014), in which he questions the pose of the model and the aesthetics of nudity. In the Solo Work series, on which Ruud van Empel has been working since 2011, he consistently deals with just one topic in an isolated work. The moral, ethical and aesthetic dilemmas of society and art are presented to us in a photographic form language. The significance of these is shown in the countless publications and international exhibitions of this work, not only in institutions specialized in photography but also in renowned museums for modern visual art.Source: Wikipedia
George Mayer
Photographer, designer, artist. member of the Union of Russian Art Photographers. George was born in Nizhny Tagil, Russia in 1985. In 2004 he graduated from the Ural College of Arts and Crafts with honors where he majored in environmental design. Up to 2007 he worked as an interior designer. He participated and became a prize winner of Russian national contests of architecture and design. His works were published in professional books and periodicals for architects and designers by such publishing houses as Tatlin and UniverPress. Since 2008 he has been taking part in well-known international photo contests such as Photog-raphy Masters Cup (USA), The Spider Awards (USA), National Portrait Gallery Awards (UK), Maestro Photo Contest (Russia). In 2011 George Mayer won the Russian photo contest Young Photographers of Russia. The contest projects were exhibited in Kazan, Moscow, at the interna-tional art festival in Marsciano (Italy) and were published in professional editions. In 2011 George was the winner of the photo contest The Spider Awards (USA) where he won Photographer of the Year, Outstanding Achievements in Black-and-White Photography. In 2011 George Mayer arranged his first personal exhibition in FotoliaLAB Gallery (Berlin, Germa-ny). In 2012 he was a finalist of the contest Young Photographers of Russia after which he was admitted to the Union of Russian Art Photographers. In the same year he was nominated for the award in the photo contest Sony World Photography Awards, the exhibition was held in Somerset House (London, UK). In 2015 he participated in the project Perfumer organized by the art center Perinnye Ryady in St. Petersburg (Russia). With his project "Shadows" he won Photographer of the Year at Internation-al Photography Awards. The award ceremony took place in Carnegie Hall (New York, USA). George was nominated for the first prize of IPA and Lucie Awards statuette. In 2017 George won one of the most prestigious world photography contests "Sony World Pho-tography Awards" where the project Light. Shadows. Perfect woman." took the first prize among the professionals in nomination "Portraiture". After winning the project "Light. Shadows. Perfect woman." was published in numerous specialized European editions about photography. The SONY company gave a grant for the project "Libido & Mortido", the portraits from this project were exhibited in Somerset House, London. Along with art photography George Mayer works in commercial and fashion photography. Since 2009 he has been collaborating with internationally recognized modeling agencies and stylists. Thanks to this his works are regularly published in Russian and foreign fashion magazines. Among the companies that have bought photos by George Mayer are Adobe, Atlantic Records, Alfa Romeo, Lalique and others. His photographs can be seen on covers of dozens of music CDs by such popular foreign singers as Chris Brown, "Buller for my Valentine", "Operator". And also one can see photos by George on books by acknowledged Russian and foreign writers and playwrights. Among them are the Nobel Prize winner in literature Mario Vargas Llosa and the famous French writer Bernard Werber. Some photos were also bought by Netflix for the film "Bright" (2017) starring Will Smith and some photos were bought by the MGM Television for the cult-favourite series "Fargo. AAP Magazine Shadows
Nadav Kander
Israel
1961
Nadav Kander is a London based photographer, artist and director, internationally renowned for his portraiture and landscapes. His work forms part of the public collection at the National Portrait Gallery and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Kander's work is also exhibited in numerous international galleries and museums. Kander was born in tel Aviv, tal aviv. His father flew Boeing 707s for El-Al but when he lost his eye for medical reasons he was unable to carry on flying. His parents decided to start again in South Africa and moved to Johannesburg in 1963. Kander began taking pictures when he was 13 on a Pentax camera and later when drafted into the South African Air Force, worked in a darkroom printing aerial photographs. He moved to London in 1986, where he still resides with his wife Nicole and their three children. Kander's most celebrated images include Diver, Salt Lake, Utah 1997, in which a lone women peers out into the vast lake, and his 2009 portrait of Barack Obama photographed for The New York Times Magazine as a cover feature. Diver, Salt Lake, Utah, 1997 was also the cover image for Kander's Monograph Beauty's Nothing. On 18 January 2009 Nadav Kander had 52 full page colour portraits published in one issue of The New York Times Magazine. These portraits (from a series titled Obama's People) were of the people surrounding President Barack Obama, from Joe Biden (Vice President) to Eugene Kang (Special Assistant to The President). The same issue also included a series of cityscapes of Washington DC also taken by Kander. This is the largest portfolio of work by the same photographer The New York Times Magazine has ever showcased in one single issue. Source: Wikipedia Nadav Kander (b. 1961) lives and works in London. Selected past projects include Yangtze – The Long River, winner of the Prix Pictet award in 2009; Dust, which explored the vestiges of the Cold War through the radioactive ruins of secret cities on the border between Kazakhstan and Russia; Bodies 6 Women, 1 Man; and Obama’s People, an acclaimed 52 portrait series commissioned by the New York Times Magazine. His ongoing series, Dark Line - The Thames Estuary, is a personal reflection on the landscape of the River Thames at its point of connection with the sea, through atmospheric images of its slow-moving dark waters and seemingly infinite horizons. Kander’s work is housed in several public collections including National Portrait Gallery, London, UK; Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago, USA; Marta Herford Museum, Germany; Sheldon Museum, Lincoln, USA; The Frank-Suss Collection, London, New York and Hong Kong; and Statoil Collection, Norway. He has exhibited internationally at venues including Weserburg Museum, Germany; Musée de L’Elysée, Lausanne, Switzerland; Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego, USA; Museum of Applied Arts, Cologne, Germany; The Barbican Centre, London, UK; The Photographers’ Gallery, London, UK; Somerset House, London, UK; Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France; and Herzliya Museum of Contemporary Art, Israel. Recent fellowships and awards include an Honorary Fellowship Award from the Royal Photographic society. Source: Flowers Gallery "I hated school with dedication. A shame, but true. I wasn’t hugging and saying tearful goodbyes on the final day. I just left and I have never returned. Having a very bad accident on my motorbike that I had had since I was 15 (a Triumph 650 Tiger), was a hinge event. Prior to this I had been a practising hard man and going nowhere. Working on the machines during the day and riding in groups at night was my life. After the accident when I was 17, I never rode again and my focus shifted back to photography. South Africa forced its white male citizens to partake in National Service, and I somehow ensured I was drafted into the Air force and then into a darkroom where I printed aerial pictures for two years. It was here that I became certain I wanted to become a lens based artist. A Photographer back then. I met Nicole Verity at about this time. The day after I cleared out of the Air force I started working for Harry De Zitter, and a few months later, soon after my 21st birthday, I left for England. At the end of 1985 I was back in South Africa and met up with Nicole again. She joined me in England in 1986. We squatted in a block of flats two streets away from where we later bought a house. We married in the wilds of Africa in 1991." -- Nadav Kander Source: www.nadavkander.com
Anka Zhuravleva
Russia
1980
Anka (born Anna Belova) was born on December 4, 1980. She spent her childhood with books on art and her mothers’ drawing tools, covering acres of paper with her drawings. In 1997 she entered the Moscow Architectural Institute deciding to follow in her mothers’ footsteps. But at the end of 1997 her mother was diagnosed with cancer and died in less that a year. Then her father died in 1999. After that Anka’s life changed dramatically. In attempt to keep sane, she plunged into an alternative lifestyle – working as a tattoo artist, singing in a rock-band, sometimes looking for escape in alcohol. In order to make a living while studying, Anka worked at several modeling agencies. Thanks to the drawing lessons she wasn’t afraid to pose nude, and her photos appeared in the Playboy and XXL magazines and at the Playboy 1999 photo exhibition. But she was not looking for a modeling career – it was just a way to make some money. In 2001 Anka was working in the post-production department at the Mosfilm StudiosThat same winter one of her colleagues invited her to spend a weekend in Saint-Petersburg with his friend, composer and musician Alexander Zhuravlev. In less than a month Anka said farewell to Moscow, her friends, her Mosfilm career and moved in with Alexander in Saint-Petersburg. Living with her loved one healed her soul, and she regained the urge for painting. She made several graphic works and ventured into other areas of visual arts. In 2002 Gavriil Lubnin, the famous painter and her husband’s friend, showed her the oil painting technique, which she experimented with for the following several years. During that period she made just a few works because each one required unleashing of a serious emotional charge. All those paintings are different as if created by different people. Anka’s first exhibition took place on a local TV channel live on the air - the studio was decorated with her works. Several exhibitions followed. Private collections in Russia and abroad feature her paintings and sketches. In 2006 Anka noticed that her inspiration often came from photos and decided to take up photography. Since that time Anka took part in numerous projects - magazine publications and covers, book and CD covers, exhibitions. She is engage in digital photo art and analog film photography as well. In 2013 Anka with her husband moves to live in Porto, Portugal. Source: anka-zhuravleva.com Interview With Anka Zhuravleva All About Photo: When did you realize you wanted to be a photographer? Anka Zhuravleva: "I always was about visual arts so I can't name exact date or year.. But I turned to photography completely in 2010." AAP: Where did you study photography? AZ: "I am self-educated. I took some individual workshops dedicated to analog processes but it was technical things." AAP:Do you have a mentor? AZ: "No." AAP: Do you remember your first shot? What was it? AZ: "I was 6 years.. I shot horses with small film lomo-camera." AAP: What or who inspires you? AZ: "Life, everything I got around me, my dreams, interesting people, my husband's music." AAP: How could you describe your style? AZ: "I have no special style. Different series in different styles." AAP:Do you have a favorite photograph or series? AZ: "No, I love them all!" AAP: What kind of gear do you use? Camera, lens, digital, film? AZ: "A lot... And they are changing all the time. Digital 35mm, film medium format, vintage cameras and cameras made by my husband. About 20 different lens, modern ones and vintage brass ones as well." AAP: Do you spend a lot of time editing your images? For what purpose? AZ: "It depends. I always edit digital a lot to reach exactly that tone and mood wich I need. And I also do analog process in darkroom without any computer at all." AAP: Favorite(s) photographer(s)? AZ: "This is a difficult question..." AAP: What advice would you give a young photographer? AZ: "To keep eyes wide open." AAP: What mistake should a young photographer avoid? AZ: "I don't know... Everybody make mistakes. I suppose it's important not "not making" mistakes, but learn after doing mistakes." AAP: The compliment that touched you most? AZ: "When people telling me that my pictures bring their mind, fantasy and soul to childhood or let them think about miracles.. Or making a good mood..." AAP: If you were someone else who would it be? AZ: "Hum... Maybe a baker? Just joking, I don't know..."
Erika Zolli
Italy
1986
Erika Zolli is a photographer specialized in Fine Art. Currently she lives and works in Milan. She holds workshops of creative photography in Italy and in Spain. In her photos new worlds and new realities are created, in order to show and explore the invisible dreamlike dimension that lies in the human mind. Her works have been mentioned in several magazines and newspapers including: Fotografia Reflex, Il Fotografo, L'Espresso, L'OEil de la photographie, La Repubblica, ANSA.it, Creathead (VICE), Art Parasites, Click Blog, Bored Panda, Fubiz, Creative Boom etc. She won the first prize of the 'My City' competition organized by the European Environment Agency and the T2gE Conference award during the Transition to the Green Economy (T2gE) conference held in Bratislava. Metamorphosis of Self: The art of Erika Zolli's Self-Portrait Surreal, geometric and figurative photographic shots assemble the latest series by the Italian artist Erika Zolli. In this new project, Metamorphosis of Self, the photographer shows a representation of herself made of symbolism that acts as a bridge towards a deep observation of conscious and unconscious feelings. In these images, creativity intertwines with a dreamlike and surreal world: origamis that surround the subject, gears that move head and heart, crystal glasses that reflect a face, a silver metamorphosis taking place, and skies that connect with geometric shapes harmoniously. "In this project, I wanted to create thirteen representations of myself. Each image expresses a concept that is fundamental to me: strengths and weaknesses which, through photographic art, are laid bare to be observed by an eye that retracts. The self-portrait invites us to get out of ourselves. During this process, we become foreigners ourselves, and through this movement, we want to identify by creating a sort of zone of blindness. Here, the opposition between sensible and intelligible overcomes and acts as a bridge between the two sides, allowing a better knowledge of one's unconscious. These thirteen images are characterized by vivid and strong colors to further enhance the subject which, despite being immobile and posing, maintains stability imbued with dynamic force".
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