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Melissa Lazuka
Melissa Lazuka
Melissa Lazuka

Melissa Lazuka

Country: United States
Birth: 1977

I am an artist and mother living in rural Ohio with my three teenage sons, 8 year old daughter, and husband. I always thought I would be a writer and studied English Literature at Ohio State University, but at the age of 30 I discovered the art of photography when my husband gifted me a camera. My earliest inspiration came from literature and my work has been described as "emotional, full of stories, and feminine." I am also inspired by the simple beauty of nature which is woven into my images. I am acutely aware of how time is passing and my children are growing up and from that awareness stems much of my work. I use techniques such as free lensing and multiple exposures to give my work a dreamlike, layered feeling, much the way the years passing in our lives feels. My series "Fly Away" and "Song of the Cicadas" have been exhibited nationally and I am now making handmade artist books of this work.
 

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Marco Guerra
Chile
1965
Marco was born in Santiago, Chile, in July 1st 1965. In September 11th of 1973, as the president of Chile was being overthrown by a military coup in the city center, he was struck by the bravery of the photojournalist in the center of it all, risking their life to tell the news story. That day he started to dream in becoming a photographer. Marco got his first photo assistant job at the age of 12, holding a portable flash to photograph Saturday Night Fever children's party, and was amazed how people became egocentric as soon as he pointed the flash in their direction. In 1979 he emigrated with his family to New York city. There he was offered a job working for a photographer who was capturing nights in Studio 54 for Andy Warhol's Interview Magazine. That allowed Marco, to start his aesthetic exploration, and to learn how media and politics shaped the world he was living in. In 1990 he became determined to be a full time artist. He did not allowed himself to do anything that was not related to photography, the history of aesthetic and how we humans interpreted visual information. He started assisting the top International photographers, artist and creative directors of the time and learned to see, analyzed and ask questions. By the mid 1990s he started getting professional assignments as an art, fashion, travel, portrait and advertising photographer for top brands and top magazines like French Vogue, Condé Nast Travel UK, Elle, Harper's Bazaar, New Yorker Magazine, New York Times, and luxury brands such as Levis, Rolex, Ralph Lauren and Bergdorf Goodman, to mention few. By 2001 he started producing, directing and shooting Art films for Ralph Lauren, Rolex and LVMH. In 2002 after meeting and being enchanted by a vision of the American/French/ Moroccan artist Yasmina Alaoui in NYC, they decided to collaborate and explored new areas in Photography, which was changing rapidly because of digital media. By mixing old and new techniques they create "1001 Dreams" series. A project of Love: large formats prints, combining photography and drawing. This work has been exhibited around the world and is part of important collections. Eventually Marco decided to stop doing commercial work and completely focus and explore contemporary art photography. In 2007 after years of soul searching for a non orientalist way to portrait Morocco, he started photographing his Tangiers series over the course of 2 years: Documenting the same street intersection taken from the top of a building, always around 4:30 am in the morning, capturing the intersection of the world of the sexes: the men running home from a long night, and the women starting the work day. This Series was part 2016 Marrakech Biennale, The Pierre Berge Cinematheque Benefit Auction in 2011 in Arle's and Scope Miami 2011 as well print reside in Important collection Internationally. In 2008 to 2012, inspired by a Weston and a paragraph of Neruda ( It is good, at certain hours of the day and night, to look closely at the world of objects at rest.) he set himself with his Rolleiflex , to photograph his “ Volume and lines” series, capturing the stillness and poetry of water cisterns in the palmeraie of Marrakech. This will take several years to shoot. A meditative project, for which he started to spend a lot of time in North Africa. In 2012, Cacerolazo project came alive. Commissioned for the 2012 Marrakech Biennale and inspired by the mood of the time, “Jasmine Revolution” and his childhood memories, marching along the women of Santiago who gathered at dusk , to bang their empty pots and pans in loud and peaceful protest in his native Chile streets. Cacerolazo is a personal examination of the strength and integrity of women and of their power to effect transformation. 10 pieces emerges, each from a mosaic of 119 moments capture with Polaroids, arrayed as tiles. In 2014 he started capturing Moroccan Landscape series, which look natural but have been transformed by humans, and photographed in contemporary neutral tones opposite of a folkloric approach to capturing Morocco. This is an on going project. Next his photography took a big dive to abstraction. Inspired by Sir, Francis Galton and his techniques of composite images, for the next 7 years he would work on composite nudes, cities, monuments and museums. He felt it was the proper choice to speak about time and space repetition. He currently working on composite photography, sculpture project and living between New York and Marrakech.
John Engstead
United States
1909 | † 1983
John Engstead (22 September 1909 in California - 15 April 1983 in West Hollywood, California) was an American photographer. Engstead began his career in 1926, when he was hired as an office boy by Paramount Pictures' head of studio publicity, Harold Harley. In 1927, Engstead pleased his boss by arranging a photo session for actress Clara Bow with photographer Otto Dyer using an outdoor setting which was unusual at that time. Engstead's creative direction of photographs of actress Louise Brooks led to a promotion to art supervisor, where he oversaw the production of Paramount's publicity stills. In 1932, due to a strike by photographers, Engstead assumed the position of studio portrait photographer, despite having never previously photographed anyone. Actor Cary Grant posed for his practice shots. He returned to his job as art supervisor after the strike was resolved. In 1941, Paramount Pictures fired Engstead, and Harper's Bazaar hired him for freelance advertising and portrait photography assignments. From 1941 to 1949, he took fashion photography assignments from numerous other magazines, including Collier's, Esquire, House Beautiful, Ladies Home Journal, Life, Look, Mademoiselle, McCall's, Vogue, and Women's Home Companion. In the 1940s, Engstead photographed many celebrities, including Joan Crawford, Bette Davis, Maureen O'Hara and Shirley Temple. Unlike other photographers, he often shot his subjects at home or outdoors, and his portraits of a young Judy Garland in Carmel, California were particularly successful. During this decade, he built a studio in Los Angeles that became a gathering place for celebrities. Engstead continued to photograph movie stars and other celebrities through the 1950s (Marilyn Monroe) and 1960s. He produced promotional material for many television personalities, including Pat Boone, Carmel Quinn, Donna Reed, Ozzie and Harriet, Eve Arden, and Lucille Ball. He also shot cover photos for albums recorded by singers such as Peggy Lee and Connie Francis, as well as society portraits. His work extended into governmental figures in the 1950s, including then-Second Lady Pat Nixon. Engstead closed his studio in 1970 but continued to accept special portrait and television assignments until his death in 1984 at age 72. Engstead's images are represented by the Motion Picture and Television Photo Archive and can be viewed by the public at MPTV.net. Source: Wikipedia Engstead began his career in 1926, when he was hired as an office boy by Paramount Pictures’ head of studio publicity. Engstead impressed bosses and was promoted to art supervisor, where he oversaw the production of Paramount’s publicity stills. In 1932, Engstead assumed the position of studio portrait photographer, despite having never previously photographed anyone. By 1941, Engstead was working for various magazines, including Harper’s Bazaar, Esquire, Life, Look and Vogue. Engstead built a studio in Los Angeles that became a gathering place for celebrities. Engstead continued to photograph movie stars and other celebrities through the 1950s and 1960s. Engstead closed his studio in 1970 but continued to accept special portrait and television assignments until his death.Source: Motion Picture and Television Photo Archive
Brett Foraker
United States
Brett Foraker began his career as a painter before turning to photography and filmmaking. All of his projects are imbued with a lyrical and at times surreal point of view. His early years were spent developing the lauded brand identities of channels such as TCM, Film4, and E4. He was appointed the youngest-ever Creative Director of Channel 4 (UK) where he directed the multi-award-winning C4 Idents and Faces of 4 campaigns. Since then, he has been making adverts through Ridley Scott Associates where he has directed award-winning campaigns for Toyota, Sony, British Heart Foundation, and Syfy, to name a few. Among his many accolades are awards from Cannes Lion, Creative Circle, BTAA, and the coveted Black Pencil from D&AD. He was the guiding force behind the 4Creative, and has been on Campaign's A-List as one of the world's leading creative thinkers. His work has appeared frequently in Creative Review, Boards, Shots, and was featured in Saatchi's Young Directors' Showcase in Cannes. Later he collaborated with brands such as Lexus, Puma, and Samsung+Rihanna. He lives and works in Los Angeles. As well as being an in-demand director and screenwriter, Foraker has been working on several portfolios of abstract and experimental photography. These are presented here for the first time. We asked him a few questions about his life and work. Statement I am a gestural photographer. I want to push beyond traditional image-making to incorporate abstraction and the energy of movement into my pictures. On some level I am trying to break photography or at least our previous ideas about what makes a beautiful picture. This started with experimentations in abstracting the everyday: people merging with the architecture of the city, spectral palm trees in the morning fog. It evolved into arresting the motion of common occurrences: exploding waves, rippling flags, the sculptural moment where a bridge and an onramp converge. I still felt the need to push further. I have long been intrigued by the errors that are generated by intentionally misusing our cameras and phones. By forcing these devices to act against their programming, we can replicate and even extend some of the experiments that were conducted in the early days of photography. Back then it was the use of long-exposure or even multi-exposure within individual frames that led to such accidents. Now, we can use these techniques as the building blocks for creating a kind of digital expressionism. The camera itself can record our gestures, acting as both brush and canvas, warping reality in a way that is at once controlled and randomized. I now apply these techniques to some of our oldest forms: landscapes, portraits, floral still lifes-everything is up for grabs. The fact that these images often express what it feels like to inhabit an increasingly fragmented digital world is more than a happy coincidence. It is what I was striving for all along. Exclusive Interview with Brett Foraker
Billy & Hells
Billy and Hells are two photographers: Anke Linz, Billy (Nürnberg, 1965) and Andreas Oettinger, Hells (Munich, 1963). They met in 1986, found a shared interest in photography and became partners in life and work. Inspired by the photographs of Irving Penn and Helmut Newton, Billy und Hells started to work in the field of fashion photography. Accidentally, they came across a technique that would define their future works. By forgetting to take a black and white negative out of a Wühltisch developer, they developed a beautiful Baryt picture. This process is now known as a Lithprint. Later on they discovered that combining a black and white slidefrom a colour negative with a colour picture, a beautiful photograph emerged with fantastic effects. Because of this technique, the colours are reduced but give an intense effect. This technique reduces the colours but results simultaneously in an intensity, which they were unable to reach with regular photography. The results were unexpected but very satisfying. In 1999 they started working professionally for adverting campaigns and magazines. However, this branch of photography did not provide them for the artistic freedom they were looking for. In 2000 they settled in Berlin and started a studio there. This is also the year that they started to work with digital cameras, taking advantage of all the benefits these provide. Amongst others they exhibited in Tokyo and Berlin. One of their photographs, Nabil, was used in a fashion exhibition on the Ideal Man in the Gemeentemuseum in The Hague. Another work, Sophia, featured in the National Portrait Gallery’s advertisement campaign for the exhibition of the Photographic Portrait Prize 2007. Source: Morren Galleries Billy & Hells’ photographs exist in a world of in-betweens. Their deceptively simple, straightforward portraits convey a certain complexity. The archetypal characters depicted in their photographs—mothers, soldiers, cowboys, nurses, and teachers— possess an underlying sense of mystery, hinting at the duality of the sitter as well as the fictional world they inhabit. Although Billy & Hells’ images call upon historical and art historical references, their portraits are not burdened by the stipulations of historical recreations. Instead, seamlessly blending past and present, reality and fantasy, their photographs become a nostalgic diary, purposefully left open for interpretation. The duo discovered what has become their signature visual style via a typical lab-accident story— by forgetting to take a black and white negative out of the developer, they inadvertently produced an intense image with colors that appear simultaneously rich and muted. Their portraits combine elaborate, hand-painted backgrounds and draw inspiration from countless samples of fabrics, color compositions, and clothing that generate the distinct mood for each portrait. In a special issue on Young German Photography, Deutsch magazine described the experience of viewing a Billy & Hells photograph as the following, “Inevitably, without warning, you enter a unique world of images. Each scene becomes a kind of pseudo-dwelling for the person contemplating it. The situations seem to be familiar, but you are never absolutely sure just what is happening in front of you, who the characters are, where to place the individual scenes. The commonplace is bristling with exceptions, the direction of narrative changes continually and leads you astray. Trivial things are combined with the bizarre. The mixture deriving from this casts a spell on us.” (Deutsch, “Young German Photography”, 2000 Published by Kruse Verlag, Hamburg) Billy & Hells were nominated in 2007 for The National Portrait Gallery’s Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait. The series Blue Moon was recently featured in the photographic quarterly Eyemazing. Their work has been exhibited and collected internationally. Anke Linz and Andreas Oettinger live and work in Berlin.Source: Fahey/Klein Gallery
Philippe Marchand
Philippe Marchand was born in 1961, self-taught photographer. He lives in Nantes in the West of France. He collaborates with numerous advertising and illustration agencies where his photographies contribute to the promotion of renowned brands. He is also developing a personal work on the link between man and the sea. We find in the pictures he brings back from his hikes all the Power and the magic of the places he goes through. Its aesthetic approach, the technical constraints it imposes on itself contribute to the creation of a singular photographic universe and resolutely personal. This award-winning work is regularly published in the international press. About The Man and the Sea "The sea is present in everyone's imagination, it means dream and adventure, but also mystery and fear. What I am trying to develop through the link that unites man with the sea concerns the emotions that the ocean can arouse in each of us, through evocative images. Not the translation of reality. In the manner of the pictorialists whose movement originated at the end of the 19th century and for whom the image must go beyond the reality photographed. I try to capture the atmosphere of the place, the poetry and the mystery that surrounds it. The shooting is the first part of a process that also includes a long work in "darkroom" to try to recreate the 'Feeling' of the moment". Philippe Marchand, photographer of seafarers. Black, white, shadow, light, what can be seen and what can be guessed, the ocean and those who are close to it. Philippe Marchand opens the world of the sea to us in its most intimate and human aspects. His approach is sensitive, full of nuances and modesty. Philippe Marchand's photos are like fragments of history. He highlights the relationship between the sea and people: how they look at it, how they approach it and the intimacy they share with it through their activities and passions. Man's imprint on the seascape and the ocean's imprint on the lives of men, even in their attitudes and faces. The secret communion between people and the sea. The artist has opted for the panoramic format and black and white. Facing the ocean, the format imposed itself. The immensity of the sea is exalted, the fragility of men is highlighted. With black and white, more timeless than colour, Philippe shows us the permanence of the places and gestures of the unchanging world of the sea. We have the feeling that time stands still. There is no rush, no run. Life has always had the rhythm of the ocean. Through a subtle play of contrasts, greys and light, a real "paw stroke" of the photographer, the images are linked together, inseparable, part of a whole, of a universe where Philippe invites us to share his emotions. The grain, very present, attenuates, coats the real and reinforces the poetic side of the images. The characters are most often from the back or almost from the back, partly hidden by the play of shadows. The gaze is discreet, never really, never completely encompassing them. There is like a mystery in the air, which Philippe lets us "glimpse"...
Peter Marlow
United Kingdom
1952 | † 2016
Peter Marlow (19 January 1952 – 21 February 2016) was a British photographer and photojournalist, and member of Magnum Photos. Born in Kenilworth, England, Marlow studied psychology at Manchester University, graduating in 1974. He began his photography career in 1975 working on an Italian cruise liner in the Caribbean before joining the Sygma news agency in Paris in 1976. In the 1970s Marlow worked in Northern Ireland, Angola, The Philippines and Lebanon primarily as a war photographer, but soon found that the competition of photojournalism did not suit him. "I did get some very good pictures and was doing a lot of conflict work, but I just realised I was never ever going to be Don McCullin. And actually, in certain situations, I was very, very scared." He returned home to Britain and worked in Liverpool on an eight-year project, Liverpool – Looking out to Sea, which documented what he perceived to be a decline of the city under Margaret Thatcher. He became associated with Magnum Photos in 1980 and became a full member in 1986, having been attracted to the freedom the agency gives its photographers to work on personal projects. Alongside Chris Steele-Perkins, he founded Magnum's London office in 1987. He served as the agency's president twice and was vice-president numerous times. The photographer Martin Parr said it was “difficult to overestimate” Marlow's contribution to Magnum". He also worked regularly for The Sunday Times in the mid-1980s. In 1991 he received an assignment from the Somme department in France to photograph Amiens. Later he began to work abroad again, traveling to Japan, the United States, and other parts of Europe. His later photography is primarily in color. Though well known for his depictions of places, Marlow also documented politics with a collaboration with Tony Blair. Marlow died on 21 February 2016 from influenza contracted during a stem cell transplant as a treatment for multiple myeloma.Source: Wikipedia Although gifted in the language of photojournalism, Peter Marlow was not a photojournalist. He was initially, however, one of the most enterprising and successful young British news photographers, and in 1976 joined the Sygma agency in Paris. He soon found that he lacked the necessary appetite for the job while on assignment in Lebanon and Northern Ireland during the late 1970s; he discovered that the stereotype of the concerned photojournalist disguised the disheartening reality of dog-eat-dog competition between photographers hunting fame at all costs. After those days, Marlow’s aesthetic shifted – in that he made mainly color photographs – but his approach was unchanged. The color of incidental things became central to his pictures in the same way that the shape and mark of things had been central to his black-and-white work. Marlow had come full circle. He started his career as an international photojournalist, returned to Britain to examine his own experience, and discovered a new visual poetry that enabled him to understand his homeland. Having found this poetry, he took it back on the road: he photographed as much in Japan, the USA and elsewhere in Europe as he did in the UK.Source: Magnum Photos
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