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Rafal Michalak
Rafal Michalak
Rafal Michalak

Rafal Michalak

Country: Poland
Birth: 1971

Lives and works in Wroclaw, Poland. He studied political science and public relations. Graduate of Academy of Art and Design in Wroclaw with a Master of Arts (Media Art Department). A member of The Association of Polish Art Photographers (ZPAF).

He has been associated with the advertising industry and commercial photography for years. In his everyday work he deals with brand communication issues as well as visual identity development for companies and corporations. At the same time, he is actively engaged in creating his own original photography, thereafter presented in exhibitions and published in trade magazines. Winner of many photographic praises and commendations.

Human being as individuality and its place in the so fast altering world are the key factors of Michalak’s photographic research. In his photography he is mostly consumed with transgression understood as a conscious and intentional exceeding of bounds and limits that we impose on ourselves or encounter. At the same time, it provides a way to learn more about the hidden depths and makes it possible to experience reality from different points of view. Transgressive approach has characterised Michalak’s personal style of representation, regardless of used technique and medium, ever since he knowingly engaged in fine-art photography. Transgression determines his personal choices in terms of subjects he approaches, and even more so, the message, i.e. the idea behind a photograph, which he believes to be essential.
 

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Beatrix Jourdan
Beatrix Jourdan (Bea Mészöly) was born in Budapest, attended The Hungarian University of Fine Arts, and is both a freelance graphic designer and photographer. Photography has been exhibited in solo and group shows in Luxembourg, Belgium/Brussels, London, Hungary, Italy, Kuala Lumpur, Senegal/Dakar Argentina and the USA. She is currently based in Dakar, Senegal. "Being a professional graphic designer I worked with photos shot by others, making art catalogues and book covers, designing magazines and advertising. Sometimes when I had not enough photos for creative process, I started to shoot for my work and found myself deeply involved in the process. Fine art photography inherits means of expression like the use of light, composition, shape, line, rhythm, colour, etc. from painting and drawing. But what is most important for me it suggests principle of duality, originality through lack of originality, reflection, illusion, intricacy, which confuses people who want to see in the photo a phenomenon of objectivity, simplicity and straightness – all these I try to keep in my mind and share in my works. I believe that the concept of photography is not only a faithful reproduction of reality, but also a way of showing emotions, human relations, and that it is also a form of communication between a photograph and the viewer. Thus, the camera is only a tool for the technical execution of the art form, and a catalyst for developing and displaying feelings." Interview with Beatrix Jourdan All About Photo: When did you realize you wanted to be a photographer? Beatrix Jourdan: I started working as a graphic designer, and choosing the right photo to work on was not so simple: sometimes I felt upset as it was very difficult to create a "communication-bridge" between the message and the composition that was in my hands. Then I started to take photos on my own: I perfectly knew what was in my mind, and the only thing I could do was taking photos, in order to translate my thoughts into reality. AAP: Where did you study photography? BJ: I was the "teacher of myself", as I began to spend a lot of time in the dark room, where - making a lot of mistakes, obviously! - at the end I understood how to manipulate and develop photos. AAP: Do you have a mentor or role model? BJ: No, I don't. I can admire other photographers' work, but I never wanted to have a mentor. AAP: How long have you been a photographer? BJ: 2005 can be considered the turning point of my professional life, as I abandoned my work as a graphic designer in order to become a photographer. AAP: Do you remember your first shot? What was it? BJ: Uh... what a difficult question! I can't say for sure but my dog could probably be my first subject. AAP: What or who inspires you? BJ: Everything around... The world that surrounds me everlastingly inspires me in my shots. Bodies, houses, situations... there are so many things that can be shot that sometimes I run the risk to lose myself in my own passion... AAP: How could you describe your style? BJ: Honestly, I really do not know. The "subjects" always influence my style... I love to help the observer, guiding his attention on a particular aspect, the same that caught my attention. AAP: Do you spend a lot of time editing your images? For what purpose? BJ: Yes. I always edit my photos. The photos are the way I like the most to begin to "paint", in order to translate into reality what I feel and "need" to show. AAP: What advice would you give a young photographer? BJ: Never try to copy any style from other photographers: just look deep inside and find yourself in the reality you shoot. AAP: Your best memory as a photographer? BJ: Every shot is deeply connected to a person or to a situation... The time I spend with someone always becomes my best memory. AAP: The compliment that touched you most? BJ: Every compliment touches me!! AAP: If you were someone else who would it be? BJ: ...even if I deeply love a photo which is not mine, I never say "I would have shot it". That's because a photo is part of the photographer that takes it. A photo is not only a "clic", it is a powerful mix of technique, feelings, emotions, background and thoughts. I cannot have the same "mix" as another photographer, so when I look at a photo I love, I prefer to feel the love the photographer has put into it. AAP: Anything else you would like to share? BJ: Not very original but: Shoot when you need to shoot, as time never goes back.
Oleg Dou
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1983
As his mother was a painter and his father was a dress designer, in his childhood Oleg Dou used to gather with the artists and to spend a lot of time reading is father’s fashion magazines. At the age of 13, his parents offered him his first computer set up with an old version of Photoshop with which he already began to transform his schoolfriends or teachers faces. After studying design, he worked as a web designer. In 2005, he buys his first professional camera. Discovered in 2006 by Liza Fetissova, Oleg Dou is represented today by galleries in France, Belgium, Netherlands, Spain, Russia and United States. His worked has been published in a lot of international reviews. He is one of the most promising artist of his generation. In 2011, the Artprice company, leader of the information on art value, has graded Oleg Dou in the top 3 of the under 30 years old photographers the best saled in public auctions. One of his images will make the cover of an extensive " Frozen Dream, contemporary art from Russia" book, from TransGlobe Publishing and Thames & Hudson. Oleg Dou lives and works in Moscow. From Art and Haze Oleg Dou grew up in an artistic environment, with a mother and a father as artists. With 13 years, the young man gets a computer with Photoshop. He then begins to transform photographs, especially the faces of his classmates and teachers. After studying design in 2005 he bought his first professional camera. In a very short time, the artist attracted professionals from the world of art and collectors with a specific and recognizable universe. It is also noticed in 2006 by Liza Festissova, gallery to the Russian Tea Room. Between 2007 and 2008, he won the 1st prize of the International Photography Awards with his Toy Story series, doing portraits of children with extreme whiteness and exposed during the FIAC in 2008. Represented by galleries around the world, Oleg Dou is surely one of the most promising young Russian artists . In 2011, the company information on the art market on Artprice ranks him as one of the top three photographers under 30. “A game,” said Oleg Dou, 28, while summarizing his new exhibition titled “Another Face”. Very comfortable, this Muscovite in silhouette – editing pictures with a software to sublimate his thoughts. And these faces cover a multitude of dressings graceful as a plastic surgeon on acid looking for indulgence. These digital collages, quite confusing when watched closely, causing some embarrassment.Source: RTR Gallery
Chen Jiagang
China
1962
Born in 1962 in Chong Qing, Chen Jiagang began his career as a celebrated architect and real estate developer before making the transition to photography. In 1999, he was named one of twelve "Outstanding Young Architects" by the United Nations. Jiagang is the founder of the Sichuan Upriver Museum, the first private museum in China and the author of Third Front (Timezone 8 Limited, 2007). He currently lives and works in Beijing.Source: Edwynn Houk Gallery Although originally trained as an architect (and awarded by the UN the accolade of being one of the 12 ‘outstanding young architects' in China), Chen Jiagang has been a practicing photographer for over 12 years, and has exhibited widely since 1999. He has twice been awarded the Excellent Works Award at the annual China Photographic Arts Exhibitions. Chen photographs often feature obsolete and useless factories, hidden away in his country's hinterlands. Among these monumental, abandoned ruins, these industrial leftovers, he places ghostly human figures, reminding us of the workers who lost their jobs and were sent back home to start again. He documents the effects on society of China's extraordinary development drive in these large, sumptuous compositions.Source: Waterhouse & Dodd 1980-1984 studied in Architecture Department of Chongqing Architecture College from 1980 to 1984. 1984-1992 worked in Southwest Architecture Design Institute as a National Certified Architect, and had been awarded grand architecture prizes in various types for many times. 1992 founded the Company of Chengdu Haosi Property Development. 1996 the Company of Sichuan Gangjia Architecture Design. 1997 founded Sichuan Upriver Stock Co., Ltd. 1997 founded Upriver Art Gallery, the first private Art Gallery in China. 1998 founded Chengdu Upriver Guildhall and Kunming Upriver Guildhall. 1999 elected as one of the twelve "Outstanding Young Architect" of China by UN. 2001 Bigining to be an artist from then on. 2002 The excellent works prize of the 20th China Photographic Exhibition. 2003 The excellent works prize of the 21th China Photographic Exhibition. Personal Exhibitions 2012 Diseased City, Paris-Beijing Photo Gallery, Paris, France Chen Jiagang photography, Galerie Forsblom, Helsinki, Finland
Carlos Javier Ortiz
United States
Carlos Javier is a director, cinematographer and documentary photographer who focuses on urban life, gun violence, racism, poverty and marginalized communities. In 2016, Carlos received a Guggenheim Fellowship for film/video. His work has been exhibited nationally and internationally in a variety of venues including the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture; the Worcester Art Museum in Massachusetts; the International Museum of Photography and Film in Rochester, NY; the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago; the Detroit Institute of Arts; and the Library of Congress. In addition, his photos were used to illustrate Ta-Nehisi Coates' The Case for Reparations (2014) article, which was the best selling issue in the history of the Atlantic Magazine. His photos have also been published in The New Yorker, Mother Jones, among many others. He is represented by the Karen Jenkins-Johnson Gallery in San Francisco. His film, We All We Got, uses images and sounds to convey a community's deep sense of loss and resilience in the face of gun violence. We All We Got has been screened at the Tribeca Film Festival, Los Angeles International Film Festival, St. Louis International Film Festival, CURRENTS Santa Fe International New Media Festival, and the Athens International Film + Video Festival. Carlos' current project is series of short films chronicling the contemporary stories of Black Americans who came to the North during the Great Migration. Beginning with his mother-in-law's story, Carlos is exploring the legacy of the Great Migration a century after it began. For Carlos, who moved back and forth between Puerto Rico and the U.S. mainland as a child, the story of a displaced people in search of stability and economic opportunity resonates with his own. Carlos' work has been supported by many organizations including: the University of Chicago Black Metropolis Research Consortium Short-term Fellowship (2015); the Economic Hardship Reporting Project (2015); the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting (2013); the California Endowment National Health Journalism Fellowship (2012); the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation (2011); Open Society Institute Audience Engagement Grant (2011); and the Illinois Arts Council Artist Fellowship Award (2011). In addition to his photography and film, Carlos Javier has taught at Northwestern University and the University of California, Berkeley. He lives in Chicago and Oakland with his wife and frequent collaborator, Tina K. Sacks, a professor of social welfare at the University of California, Berkeley.
Geir Tonnessen
Norway
1976
Geir Tønnessen (born in 1976) is a contemporary photographer currently based in Oslo, Norway. He studied photography by himself with some guidance from friends and the Internet. Some of his works have been exhibited in the following galleries: Cyan Studio (Oslo, Norway), Galleri MAP (Oslo, Norway), and Preus Museum (Horten, Norway). "Photography is to have fun and being smart at the same time, which for me is the perfect combination. With my creative fun shots I want to get other people to laugh and inspire them to shoot for them self. With my nature and city shots I want to create a special feeling that makes my viewers think and make them look at my shots for a long quiet time." Interview with Geir Tønnessen All About Photo: When did you realize you wanted to be a photographer? Geir Tønnessen: When i very young realized i had to release my creative urges, and since i am a shitty drawer/painter, photo was my thing! And since i also like to be playful and humorous every day, i had to get it out some way! AAP: Where did you study photography? GT: I studied photography all by myself, spending many hour every day on the net looking at others pictures, by having a father reading art books to me since i was born, by going to a lot go art exhibitions home i Oslo and when visiting other countries and cities all over the world. AAP: How long have you been a photographer? GT: I got my camera when i was about five years old to my birthday from my grandmother. Something i enjoyed very much that time! AAP: What or who inspires you? GT: Other artists that with a lot of creativity and great new ideas. I love to find shoots by others that look like something i never have seen before. AAP: How could you describe your style? GT: My style is not easy to describe but i like to take creative artsy portraits, calm pictures of nature and early morning shots of cities. AAP: What kind of gear do you use? Camera, lens, digital, film? GT: I shoot both digital and analog. When i shoot analog, i use my Hasselblad 500cm with the standard 85mm Carl Zeiss and my Pratica LTL with a 50mm. When i shoot digital i use my Nikon d800 with Nikon NIKKOR 85mm 1:1.4G lens. AAP: Do you spend a lot of time editing your images? GT: I don`t use much time to edit on my computer, i like that my shots can be taken directly from the camera. So i general i just edit the shots just a little bit. AAP: Favorite(s) photographer(s)? GT: My favotite is Martin Parr. AAP: What mistake should a young photographer avoid? GT: Don`t think to much of technique! Just shoot and try to be creative and original! AAP: If you could have taken the photographs of someone else who would it be? GT: Martin Parr AAP: Anything else you would like to share? GT: Shoot first and ask for permission afterwards.
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