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Rafał Michalak
Rafał Michalak
Rafał Michalak

Rafał 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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Agata Vera Schiller
Agata Vera Schiller was born in 1980 in Inowroclaw, Poland. Grew up in the countryside surrounded by loving family and beautiful nature. She has graduated at the Faculty of Journalism in Poznan in 2003. Lived for several months in Scotland, spending time drawing and taking pictures of landscapes with her first camera Zenit. In 2006, she has made Masters at the Academy of Fine Arts in Poznan, drawing workshop. Moved to Warsaw and began postgraduate studies at the Department of Interior Architecture at the Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow, which she graduated in 2009. Worked for several years as an interior and furniture designer. In 2010 she moved to Beijing for 3 years, working, living and taking lifestyle pictures. In Beijing began her journey in darkroom focused on discovery old techniques of classical photography such as wet plate. Beijing is also a place, where was held her first solo exhibition „Sol oriens” in 2011 at the Polish Embassy in Beijing, and then at the Chaoyang Culture Center in Beijing. She took part in several collective photo exhibitions in Poland. Her photography is not only a lifestyle photography looking for a beauty in simplicity of Scandinavian interior style and magic of everyday life. But the closest to her heart are nostalgic portraits of women, found somewhere between the worlds, living in a dreams. Agata’s fine art photography is characterized by tension between sensual experience and intellectual construction. Agata currently lives and works in Warsaw as a freelance photographer.
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1980
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Johnny Kerr
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Born in Paris in 1928 to Russian parents, Erwitt spent his childhood in Milan, then emigrated to the US, via France, with his family in 1939. As a teenager living in Hollywood, he developed an interest in photography and worked in a commercial darkroom before experimenting with photography at Los Angeles City College. In 1948 he moved to New York and exchanged janitorial work for film classes at the New School for Social Research. Erwitt traveled in France and Italy in 1949 with his trusty Rolleiflex camera. In 1951 he was drafted for military service and undertook various photographic duties while serving in a unit of the Army Signal Corps in Germany and France. While in New York, Erwitt met Edward Steichen, Robert Capa and Roy Stryker, the former head of the Farm Security Administration. Stryker initially hired Erwitt to work for the Standard Oil Company, where he was building up a photographic library for the company, and subsequently commissioned him to undertake a project documenting the city of Pittsburgh. In 1953 Erwitt joined Magnum Photos and worked as a freelance photographer for Collier's, Look, Life, Holiday and other luminaries in that golden period for illustrated magazines. To this day he is for hire and continues to work for a variety of journalistic and commercial outfits. In the late 1960s Erwitt served as Magnum's president for three years. He then turned to film: in the 1970s he produced several noted documentaries and in the 1980s eighteen comedy films for Home Box Office. Erwitt became known for benevolent irony, and for a humanistic sensibility traditional to the spirit of Magnum. Source: Magnum Photos
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Mark Cohen (born August 24, 1943) is an American photographer best known for his innovative close-up street photography. Cohen was born and lived in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania until 2013. He attended Penn State University and Wilkes College between 1961 and 1965, and opened a commercial photo studio in 1966. The majority of the photography for which Mark Cohen is known is shot in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre metropolitan area (also known as the Wyoming Valley), a historic industrialized region of northeastern Pennsylvania. Characteristically Cohen photographs people close-up, using a wide-angle lens and a flash, mostly in black and white, frequently cropping their heads from the frame, concentrating on small details. He has used 21 mm, 28 mm, and 35 mm focal length, wide-angle, lenses and later on 50 mm. Cohen has described his method as "intrusive." Discussing his influences with Thomas Southall in 2004 he cites "... so many photographers who followed Cartier-Bresson, like Frank, Koudelka, Winogrand, Friedlander." He also recognizes the influence of Diane Arbus. Whilst acknowledging these influences he says: "I knew about art photography... Then I did these outside the context of any other photographer." Cohen's major books of photography are Grim Street (2005), True Color (2007), and Mexico (2016). His work was first exhibited in a group exhibition at George Eastman House in 1969 and he had his first solo exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City in 1973. He was awarded Guggenheim Fellowships in 1971 and 1976 and received a National Endowment for the Arts grant in 1975. In 2013 Cohen moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.Source: Wikipedia Mark Cohen was born in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania where he lived and photographed for most of his life. (He now lives in Philadelphia.) His work was first exhibited in 1969 at the George Eastman House but came to prominence with his first solo exhibition at MoMA in 1973. Known primarily for his black and white images, Cohen was also a pioneer of the 1970s color movement that changed American photography. Shooting in the gritty environs of working class Pennsylvania, Cohen brought to street photography a literal and innovative closeness that came from his style of holding the camera at arm's length without looking through the viewfinder while using an unusually wide-angle lens. Intrusive but elegant, by turns brutal and sensuous, Cohen’s cropped bodies and faces and gritty still lives and landscapes reveal a finely tuned aesthetic and consistency. No background behind the looming foreground figures is without interest. No random object is observed without purpose. "They're not easy pictures. But I guess that's why they're mine." Says Cohen. Cohen is the recipient of two Guggenheim Grants and his work is in the collections of major museums from the U.S. to Japan. His most recent retrospective in 2013 at Le Bal in Paris and the accompanying publication Dark Knees were singled out by critics around the world as outstanding achievements in photography. Source: Danziger Gallery In many of the images, the points of attraction are clear: a giant football eclipsing the skinny torso of a young boy; the shining eyes of a black cat; a woman_’_s bare midriff beneath a pair of high-waisted cutoff shorts. We can imagine glancing or even staring at these subjects ourselves, taking in their rough-hewn idiosyncrasies. But it is in the moment that follows, when most of us would avert our eyes and move on, that the American street photographer Mark Cohen makes his work, moving forward, toward children, young women, dirty and shirtless strangers, until his wide-angle lens is close enough to bump bellies. In the nineteen-seventies, shooting in and around his native Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, a small industrial city far outside the urban centers where street photography was born, Cohen pioneered an aggressive, if not invasive, approach to his craft, shortening the distance between photographer and subject until heads were lost to the frame’s edge and only collar bones and clipped limbs remained. “I have been pushed and shoved and screamed at, but nothing serious,” he has said. “I am always aware of the edge.”Source: The New Yorker “Cohen’s black-and-white photos… are deliberately disconcerting, almost vulgar… Heads are cropped out of the frame; truncated hands, legs and arms loom monstrously into view; perspective warps. Cohen wasn’t alone in his harsh, comic view of down-home America, but his in-your-face take and fragmentary results were jarringly unique, and much imitated.” -- Vince AlettiSource: The Village Voice
Marjory Collins
United States
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Marjory Collins was an American photojournalist. She is remembered for her coverage of the home front during World War II. She was born March 15, 1912 to Elizabeth Everts Paine and writer Frederick Lewis Collins in New York City, and grew up in nearby Scarsdale, Westchester County. She studied at Sweet Briar College and the University of Munich. In 1935, Collins moved to Greenwich Village, and over the next five years she studied photography informally with Ralph Steiner and attended Photo League events. In the 1980s she moved to San Francisco where she obtained an M.A. in American Studies at Antioch College West. Her work as a documentary photographer was taken up by major agencies. As a result of a contribution for U.S. Camera and Travel about Hoboken, New Jersey, she was invited to work for the Foreign Service of the United States Office of War Information. She completed some 50 assignments there with stories about the American way of life and support for the war effort. In line with a new emphasis on multiculturalism, she contributed to photographic coverage of African Americans as well as citizens of Czech, German, Italian and Jewish origin. In 1944 Collins worked freelance for a construction company in Alaska before traveling to Africa and Europe on government and commercial assignments. Thereafter she worked mainly as an editor and a writer covering civil rights, the Vietnam War, and women's movements. In the 1960s she edited the American Journal of Public Health. Collins was very active politically; a feminist, she founded the journal Prime Time (1971–76) "for the liberation of women in the prime of life." In 1977 Collins became an associate of the Women's Institute for Freedom of the Press. Her work is included in the collection of the Museum of Fine Arts Houston. She died in 1985 at the age of 73.Source: Wikipedia By January 1942, Collins had transferred to Washington, DC, to join Roy Stryker's famous team of documentary photographers. Over the next eighteen months, Collins completed approximately fifty different assignments consisting of three thousand photographs. Her upbeat, harmonious images reflected the OWI editorial requests for visual stories about the ideal American way of life and stories that showed the commitment of ordinary citizens in supporting the war effort. Documenting the lives of Americans, discovering my own country for the first time, I was freed of the whims of publicity men wanting posed leg art. -- Marjory Collins During World War II, race and ethnicity consciousness heightened around the globe. United States President Franklin Roosevelt issued Executive Order 8802 on June 25, 1941, to reaffirm a policy of full participation of people of every race, creed, color, and national origin in the national defense program. Multiculturalism became a topic of major importance for government agencies as the United States geared up for war. Collins worked closely with OWI colleagues John Vachon and Gordon Parks and contributed to a substantial photographic study of African Americans. Many of her assignments involved photographing "hyphenated Americans," including Chinese-, Czech-, German-, Irish-, Italian-, Jewish-, and Turkish-Americans. The photographs were used to illustrate publications dropped behind enemy lines to reassure people in Axis-power countries that the United States was sympathetic to their needs. For example, using the popular "day-in-the-life" format favored by picture magazines, Collins portrayed the Winn family at work, at play, and at home. The Winns had arrived in New York from the Czech Republic about 1939 and appeared to be thriving in October 1942. On the job, Collins gave rein to her curiosity about how the other half lived. Roy Stryker wrote in his April 13, 1943 Gossip Sheet for OWI staff, "Marjory is in Buffalo, working on women in industry. This is a special story on women workers for the London Overseas Office." "These photographs should ... portray representative types actually at work rather than posed 'cuties,'" and should show "the very important contribution made towards final victory and how they have adapted themselves to wartime conditions." For one of her topics, Collins covered a young widow (possibly giving her a fictitious name) and her six children, all less than twelve years of age. "Mrs. Grimm's" work outside the home as a crane operator forced heavy responsibility on her older children and required that her younger daughters stay in a foster home Monday through Friday. Some images reveal the family's poverty and their struggle to maintain nutrition and housekeeping ideals. With her social reform interests, Collins felt that this assignment was consistent with Stryker's encouragement to make "pictures of life as it is." She considered the Grimm Family images among her very best, but they also clashed with the glamorized Rosie-the-Riveter concept called for by the OWI. Fellow OWI photographer Alfred Palmer complained that Collins' photographs sometimes showed "the seamy side of life." Palmer and others believed that the OWI had two roles--straight news for publication in the United States and propaganda for overseas audiences. Palmer's news group wanted to clean up photographs, while Stryker's photographers wanted to show how deeply Americans sacrificed to support the war. The Grimm Family photographs are among the last images by Collins that survive in the FSA/OWI Collection. A set of almost fifty photos taken in Tunisia in May and June 1942 are credited to Collins, but no textual records have been found that explain this trip.Source: Library of Congress
Mary Ellen Mark
United States
1940 | † 2015
Mary Ellen Mark is an American photographer known for her photojournalism, portraiture, and advertising photography. She has had 16 collections of her work published and has been exhibited at galleries and museums worldwide. She has received numerous accolades, including three Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Awards and three fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts. Mary Ellen Mark was born in suburban Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and began photographing with a Box Brownie camera at age nine. She attended Cheltenham High School, where she was head cheerleader and exhibited a knack for painting and drawing. She received a BFA degree in painting and art history from the University of Pennsylvania in 1962, and a Masters Degree in photojournalism from that university's Annenberg School for Communication in 1964. The following year, Mark received a Fulbright Scholarship to photograph in Turkey for a year. While there, she also traveled to photograph England, Germany, Greece, Italy, and Spain. In 1966 or 1967, she moved to New York City, where over the next several years she photographed Vietnam War demonstrations, the women's liberation movement, transvestite culture, and Times Square, developing a sensibility, according to one writer, "away from mainstream society and toward its more interesting, often troubled fringes". As Mark explained in 1987, "I'm just interested in people on the edges. I feel an affinity for people who haven't had the best breaks in society. What I want to do more than anything is acknowledge their existence". Her shooting style ranges from a 2 ¼ inch format, 35 mm, and 4x5 inch view camera. She also uses a Leica 4 for most photographs and Nikons for long-range shooting. Mark loves shooting with a Hasselblad for square format and she shoots primarily in black-and-white, using classic Kodak Tri-X film. Source: Wikipedia Mary Ellen Mark achieved worldwide visibility through her numerous books, exhibitions and editorial magazine work. She published photo essays and portraits in such publications as Life, New York Times, The New Yorker, Rolling Stone, and Vanity Fair. For over five decades, she traveled extensively to make pictures that reflect a high degree of humanism. She is recognized as one of our most respected and influential photographers. Her images of our world's diverse cultures have become landmarks in the field of documentary photography. Her portrayals of Mother Teresa, Indian circuses, and brothels in Bombay were the product of many years of work in India. A photo essay on runaway children in Seattle became the basis of the academy award-nominated film Streetwise, directed and photographed by her husband, Martin Bell. Mary Ellen received the 2014 Lifetime Achievement in Photography Award from the George Eastman House as well as the Outstanding Contribution Photography Award from the World Photography Organisation. She has also received the Infinity Award for Journalism, an Erna & Victor Hasselblad Foundation Grant, and a Walter Annenberg Grant for her book and exhibition project on America. Among her other awards are the Cornell Capa Award from the International Center of Photography, the John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, the Matrix Award for outstanding woman in the field of film/photography, and the Dr. Erich Salomon Award for outstanding merits in the field of journalistic photography. She was also presented with honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degrees from her Alma Mater, the University of Pennsylvania and the University of the Arts; three fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts; the Photographer of the Year Award from the Friends of Photography; the World Press Award for Outstanding Body of Work Throughout the Years; the Victor Hasselblad Cover Award; two Robert F. Kennedy Awards; and the Creative Arts Award Citation for Photography at Brandeis University. She published twenty books including Passport (Lustrum Press, 1974), Ward 81 (Simon & Schuster, 1979), Falkland Road (Knopf, 1981), Mother Teresa's Mission of Charity in Calcutta (Friends of Photography, 1985), The Photo Essay: Photographers at work (A Smithsonian series), Streetwise (second printing, Aperture, 1992), Mary Ellen Mark: 25 Years (Bulfinch, 1991), Indian Circus (Chronicle, 1993 and Takarajimasha Inc., 1993), Portraits (Motta Fotografica, 1995 and Smithsonian, 1997), a Cry for Help (Simon & Schuster, 1996), Mary Ellen Mark: American Odyssey (Aperture, 1999), Mary Ellen Mark 55s (Phaidon, 2001), Photo Poche: Mary Ellen Mark (Nathan, 2002), Twins (Aperture, 2003), Exposure (Phaidon, 2005), Extraordinary Child (The National Museum of Iceland, 2007), Seen Behind the Scene (Phaidon, 2009), Prom (Getty, 2012,) Man and Beast (University of Texas Press, 2014,) Tiny: Streetwise revisited (Aperture, 2015,) and Mary Ellen Mark on the Portrait and the Moment (Aperture, 2015.) Mark's photographs have been exhibited worldwide. She also acted as the associate producer of the major motion picture, American Heart (1992), directed by, Martin Bell. Her last book Tiny: Streetwise Revisited is a culmination of 32 years documenting Erin Blackwell, who she first met in 1983 on assignment for Life Magazine. Erin was the subject of both the book and film Streetwise. Martin also made an updated film, Tiny: The Life of Erin Blackwell. Aside from her book and magazine work, Mark photographed advertising campaigns among which are Barnes and Noble, British Levis, Coach Bags, Eileen Fisher, Hasselblad, Heineken, Keds, Mass Mutual, Nissan, and Patek Philippe.Source: www.maryellenmark.com
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