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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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Beth Moon
United States
1956
San Francisco Bay Area artist, Beth Moon, has gained international recognition for her large-scale, richly toned platinum prints. Since 1999, Moon’s work has appeared in more than sixty solo and group exhibitions in the United States, Italy, England, France, Israel, Brazil, Dubai, Singapore, and Canada. Her work is held in numerous public and private collections, including the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Museum of Photographic Arts in San Diego, and the Fox Talbot Museum in Wiltshire, England. In 2013, Between Earth and Sky, the first monograph of her work, was published by Charta Art Books of Milan. In 2014, Abbeville Press published, Ancient Trees: Portraits of Time, with a third book to follow that same year from Galerie Vevais, La Lange Verte. Moon studied fine art at the University of Wisconsin before moving to England where she experimented with alternative photographic processes and learned to make platinum prints. Source: www.vervegallery.com Beth Moon was born in Neenah, Wisconsin and studied fine art at the University of Wisconsin. Classes in painting, life drawing, sculpture, and design would set the groundwork for her work in photography, which was to come years later. Moving to England, a country with a love for all things arboreal, gave her a fresh look at a land that boasts the largest concentration of ancient trees. Inspired by these trees she decided to make a series of their portraits. Unhappy with the photographic tonality and stability of ink-jet printing, she started to experiment with alternative printing processes, learning platinum/palladium printing, an ideal process for her vision. She concentrated on mastering this printing technique, doing all of her own printing. “By using the longest lasting photographic process, I hope to speak about survival, not only of man and nature’s but to photography’s survival as well. For each print I mix ground platinum and palladium metals, making a tincture that is hand-coated onto heavy watercolor paper and exposed to light. There are many steps involved in creating the final print and these are as important to me as the capturing of the image," said Moon. A platinum print can last for centuries, drawing on the common theme of time and survival, pairing photographic subject and process. Source: www.josephsaxton.com
Tamas Dezso
Hungary
1978
Tamas Dezso (b.1978) is a documentary fine art photographer working on long-term projects focusing on the margins of society in Hungary, Romania, and other parts of Eastern Europe. His work has been exhibited worldwide, with solo exhibitions in 2011 in Poland, Bangladesh, Budapest, New Mexico, and at the Robert Koch Gallery in San Francisco, and recent exhibitions at the New York Photo Festival, Shanghai Museum of Contemporary Art, and FOAM Photo Museum in Amsterdam. He was twice Hungarian Press Photo’s Photographer of the Year (2005 and 2006), and has received awards from organizations such as World Press Photo, Pictures of the Year International, NPPA’s Best of Photojournalism, and PDN. His photographs have appeared in TIME magazine, The New York Times, National Geographic, GEO, Le Monde magazine, and many others. Dezso has recently been nominated for the 2012 Prix Pictet. Tamas Dezso's series 'Here, Anywhere' offers a desolate yet beautiful look at the people and places left behind during the post-communist transition in Hungary. Begun in 2009, the series explores the unique atmosphere of the country's now 20-year-long transition, and changing notions of Eastern European identity. With the introduction of democracy in the 1990s came euphoria and promise, but unrealized expectations of quickly catching up with the West have led to widespread disappointment and frustration, compounded by the current serious economic difficulties have fanned the popularity of far right politics, as well as an anachronistic nostalgia for the stability of communism. Presently Hungary has a right wing populist government and the strongest opposition party is the neo-Nazi party with nearly 1/8th of the eligible voters and gaining popularity. Dezso's layered images present unsettling moments of stillness that poetically allude to this gritty reality. Motivated by the isolation he sees his country facing, Dezso photographs the people and places of Hungary as symbols, where "a certain out-dated, awkward, longed-to-be-forgotten Eastern Europeanness still lingers." This award-winning series has garnered international attention, earning Dezso First Place at the 2011 CENTER Project Competition in Santa Fe, the Daylight Magazine & Center for Documentary Studies Project Prize, and Grand Prize at the Jeune Création Européenne Biennal 2011/2013 in Paris-Montrouge.Source: Robert Koch Gallery Interview with Tamas Dezso All About Photo: When did you realize you wanted to be a photographer? Tamas Dezso: Soon after I left the University of Technology in Budapest in 2000. AAP: Where did you study photography? TD: I am self-taught. AAP: How long have you been a photographer? TD: I started as a photojournalist with a political daily in 2000. AAP: What or who inspires you? TD: Music. Beethoven, Bach and Mozart. AAP: How could you describe your style? TD: Documentary. AAP: Do you have a favorite photograph or series? TD: Richard Avedon 'Italy #9', 'Boy and Tree, Sicily, July 15, 1947' AAP: What kind of gear do you use? Camera, lens, digital, film? TD: Phase One cameras with various Schneider Kreuznach lenses. AAP: Favorite(s) photographer(s)? TD: Richard Avedon and Irving Penn AAP: What advice would you give a young photographer? TD: "Follow the advice of others only in the rarest cases." -- Beethoven AAP: What are your projects? TD: I am interested in the transitional period, the period after the fall of communism in Eastern Europe. AAP: Your best memory as a photographer? TD: My first trip to Romania. AAP:If you were someone else who would it be? TD: A pianist. AAP: Your favorite photo book? TD: Walter Niedermayr's Civil Operations.
Imogen Cunningham
United States
1883 | † 1976
Imogen Cunningham is renowned as one of the greatest American women photographers. In 1901, having sent away $15 for her first camera, she commenced what would become the longest photographic career in the history of the medium.. Cunningham soon turned her attention to both the nude as well as native plant forms in her back garden. The results were staggering; an amazing body of work comprised of bold, contemporary forms. These works are characterized by a visual precision that is not scientific, but which presents the lines and textures of her subjects articulated by natural light and their own gestures. Her refreshing, yet formal and sensitive floral images from the 1920’s ultimately became her most acclaimed images. Cunningham also had an intuitive command of portraiture but her real artistic legacy was secured though her inclusion in the "F64" show in San Francisco in 1932. With a small group of photographers which included Edward Weston and Ansel Adams, she pioneered the renewal of photography on the West Coast. Awarded a Guggenheim fellowship, Cunningham’s work continues to be exhibited and collected around the world. Source: Photography West Gallery Cunningham was born in Portland, Oregon, in 1883. In 1901, at the age of eighteen, Cunningham bought her first camera, a 4x5 inch view camera, from the American School of Art in Scranton, Pennsylvania. She soon lost interest and sold the camera to a friend. It wasn’t until 1906, while studying at the University of Washington in Seattle, that she was inspired by an encounter with the work of Gertrude Käsebier, to take up photography again. With the help of her chemistry professor, Dr. Horace Byers, she began to study the chemistry behind photography and she subsidized her tuition by photographing plants for the botany department. After being graduated in 1907 Cunningham went to work for Edward S. Curtis in his Seattle studio, gaining knowledge about the portrait business and practical photography. In 1909, Cunningham won a scholarship from her sorority (Pi Beta Phi) for foreign study and applied to study with Professor Robert Luther at the Technische Hochschule in Dresden, Germany. In Dresden she concentrated on her studies and didn’t take many photographs. In May 1910 she finished her paper, “About the Direct Development of Platinum Paper for Brown Tones,” describing her process to increase printing speed, improve clarity of highlights tones, and produce sepia tones. On her way back to Seattle she met Alvin Langdon Coburn in London, and Alfred Stieglitz and Gertrude Käsebier in New York. In Seattle, Cunningham opened her studio and won acclaim for portraiture and pictorial work. Most of her studio work of this time consisted of sitters in their own homes, in her living room, or in the woods surrounding Cunningham's cottage. She became a sought after photographer and exhibited at the Brooklyn Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1913. In 1914, Cunningham's portraits were shown at An International Exhibition of Pictorial Photography in New York. Wilson's Photographic Magazine published a portfolio of her work. The next year, she married Roi Partridge, a teacher and artist. He posed for a series of nude photographs, which were shown by the Seattle Fine Arts Society. Although critically praised, Cunningham didn’t revisit those photographs for another fifty-five years. Between 1915 and 1920, Cunningham continued her work and had three children (Gryffyd, Rondal, and Padraic) with Partridge. In 1920, they moved to San Francisco where Partridge taught at Mills College. Cunningham refined her style, taking a greater interest in pattern and detail and becoming increasingly interested in botanical photography, especially flowers. Between 1923 and 1925 she carried out an in-depth study of the magnolia flower. Later in the decade she turned her attention toward industry, creating several series of industrial landscapes in Los Angeles and Oakland. In 1929, Edward Weston nominated 10 of Cunningham's photographs (8 botanical, 1 industrial, and 1 nude) for inclusion in the "Film und Foto" exhibition and her renowned, Two Callas, debuted in that exhibition. Cunningham once again changed direction, becoming more interested in the human form, particularly hands, and she was fascinated with the hands of artists and musicians. This interest led to her employment by Vanity Fair, photographing stars without make-up. In 1932, with this unsentimental, straightforward approach in mind, Cunningham became one of the co-founders of the Group f/64, which aimed to “define photography as an art form by a simple and direct presentation through purely photographic methods.” In 1934, Cunningham was invited to do some work in New York for Vanity Fair. Her husband wanted her to wait until he could travel with her, but she refused. They later divorced. She continued with Vanity Fair until it stopped publication in 1936. In the 1940s, Cunningham turned to documentary street photography, which she executed as a side project while supporting herself with her commercial and studio photography. In 1945, Cunningham was invited by Ansel Adams to accept a position as a faculty member for the art photography department at the California School of Fine Arts. Dorothea Lange and Minor White joined as well. In 1973, her work was exhibited at the Rencontres d'Arles festival in France through the group exhibition: Trois photographes américaines, Imogen Cunningham, Linda Connor, Judy Dater. Cunningham continued to take photographs until shortly before her death at age ninety-three on June 24, 1976, in San Francisco, California. Source: Wikipedia
Richard Misrach
United States
1949
Richard Misrach (born 1949) is an American photographer "firmly identified with the introduction of color to 'fine' [art] photography in the 1970s, and with the use of large-format traditional cameras" (Nancy Princenthal, Art in America). David Littlejohn of the Wall Street Journal calls Misrach "the most interesting and original American photographer of his generation," describing his work as running "parallel to that of Thomas Struth and Andreas Gursky, two German contemporaries." Littlejohn notes that all three used a large scale color format that defied the expectations of fine art photography at the time. Misrach is widely recognized as "one of this century’s most internationally acclaimed photographers." He is perhaps best known for his depictions of the deserts of the American west, and for his series documenting the changes brought to bear on the environment by various man-made factors such as urban sprawl, tourism, industrialization, floods, fires, petrochemical manufacturing, and the testing of explosives and nuclear weapons by the military. Curator Anne Wilkes Tucker writes that Misrach's practice has been "driven [by] issues of aesthetics, politics, ecology, and sociology." In a 2011 interview, Misrach noted: "My career, in a way, has been about navigating these two extremes - the political and the aesthetic." Describing his philosophy, Tracey Taylor of the New York Times writes that "[Misrach's] images are for the historical record, not reportage." Misrach has been married since 1989 to writer Myriam Weisang and has a son, Jake, from his first marriage to Debra Bloomfield. Misrach's book Desert Cantos received the 1988 Infinity Award from the International Center for Photography, and his Bravo 20: The Bombing of the American West, co-authored with Myriam Weisang Misrach, was awarded the 1991 PEN Center West Award for a nonfiction book. His Katrina monograph Destroy This Memory won Best Photobook of the Year 2011 at PhotoEspaña. He has received numerous awards including four National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships, a Guggenheim Fellowship, an International Center of Photography Infinity Award for a Publication, and the Distinguished Career in Photography Award from the Los Angeles Center for Photographic Studies. In 2002 he was given the Kulturpreis for Lifetime Achievement in Photography by the German Society for Photography, and in 2008 he received the Lucie Award for Outstanding Achievement in Fine Art Photography. In 2010, Apple licensed Misrach's 2004 image Pyramid Lake (at Night) as the inaugural wallpaper for the first iPad. The opening credits of the 2014 HBO series True Detective featured a montage of images from Misrach's Petrochemical America. In 2016, the AIGA selected Border Cantos for its "50 Books | 50 Covers" competition, a "survey of the best in book design represent[ing] perhaps the longest-standing legacy in American graphic design." Source: Wikipedia Richard Misrach is one of the most influential photographers of his generation. In the 1970s, he helped pioneer the renaissance of color photography and large-scale presentation that are in widespread practice today. Best known for his ongoing series, Desert Cantos, a multi-faceted approach to the study of place and man’s complex relationship to it, he has worked in the landscape for over 40 years. A recent chapter of the series, Border Cantos, made in collaboration with the experimental composer Guillermo Galindo, explores the unseen realities of the US-Mexico borderlands. This work was exhibited at the Amon Carter Museum of Art, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, and San Jose Museum of Art in 2016-17. In the most recent chapters, Premonitions and The Writing on the Wall, Misrach documents graffiti on abandoned buildings throughout the Southwest and Southern California, finding an angry and ominous response to the highly charged political climate before and after the 2016 election. Both series premiered at Fraenkel Gallery in 2017. Other notable bodies of work include his documentation of the industrial corridor along the Mississippi River known as “Cancer Alley”, the study of weather, time, color and light in his serial photographs of the Golden Gate Bridge, and On The Beach, an aerial perspective of human interaction and isolation. Recent projects mark departures from his work to date. In one series, he has experimented with new advances in digital capture and printing, foregrounding the negative as an end in itself and digitally creating images with astonishing detail and color spectrum. In another, he built a powerful narrative out of images of graffiti produced in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, made with a 4-megapixel pocket camera. In fall 2012, in collaboration with landscape architect Kate Orff, Misrach launched a major book and exhibition entitled Petrochemical America, which addresses the health and environmental issues associated with our dependency on oil. Source: Fraenkel Gallery
Steve McCurry
United States
1950
Steve McCurry has been one of the most iconic voices in contemporary photography for more than 30 years, with scores of magazine and book covers, over a dozen books, and countless exhibitions around the world to his name. Born in a suburb of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; McCurry studied film at Pennsylvania State University, before going on to work for a local newspaper. After several years of freelance work, McCurry made his first of what would become many trips to India. Traveling with little more than a bag of clothes and another of film, he made his way across the subcontinent, exploring the country with his camera. It was after several months of travel that he found himself crossing the border into Pakistan. There, he met a group of refugees from Afghanistan, who smuggled him across the border into their country, just as the Russian Invasion was closing the country to all western journalists. Emerging in traditional dress, with full beard and weather-worn features after weeks embedded with the Mujahedeen, McCurry brought the world the first images of the conflict in Afghanistan, putting a human face to the issue on every masthead. Since then, McCurry has gone on to create stunning images on all seven continents and countless countries. His work spans conflicts, vanishing cultures, ancient traditions and contemporary culture alike - yet always retains the human element that made his celebrated image of the Afghan Girl such a powerful image. McCurry has been recognized with some of the most prestigious awards in the industry, including the Robert Capa Gold Medal, National Press Photographers Award, and an unprecedented four first prize awards from the World Press Photo contest. The Minister of French Culture has also appointed McCurry a Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters and most recently, the Royal Photographic Society in London awarded McCurry the Centenary Medal for Lifetime Achievement. McCurry has published books including The Imperial Way (1985), Monsoon (1988), Portraits (1999), South Southeast (2000), Sanctuary (2002), The Path to Buddha: A Tibetan Pilgrimage (2003), Steve McCurry (2005), Looking East (2006), In the Shadow of Mountains (2007), The Unguarded Moment, (2009), The Iconic Photographs (2011), Untold: The Stories Behind the Photographs (2013), From These Hands: A Journey Along the Coffee Trail (2015), India (2015), and On Reading (2016), Afghanistan (2017), A Life in Pictures (2018), Animals (2019). Steve McCurry on Instagram
Francis Malapris
Schizothymic baby-boomer, at the age of 12 Francis takes refuge in computer science and excels in this field despite social and academic failure. In 1996, as he becomes an engineer, he meets the need to preserve memories of the Moment and tries photography. Gradually, this utopia fades to give way to the sensitivity he has so long repressed. 20 years later, he is an accomplished self-taught artist through the study of technique and the masters who inspire him such as Raymond Depardon, Rafael Minkkinen and Daido Moriyama. Key encounters have formed his photographic approach to bring him to social contact and staging. He then abandons computer sciences to exploit his bubbling creativity, full of sensitivity. The human being is then at the center of his work, after the fashion of the "Self" (Freud), which lies between unconscious desires and moral standards. Affected by the death of a friend, he undertakes a strong introspection that will highlight neuroses that he crystallizes through nude photography. In 2011, he begins the "IN SITU" project about mental escape, a phenomenon that concerns him. In 2014, he develops a shooting process to build the "AQUATIC" series. In 2017, the images encounter a great success, are published and exhibited at the FEPN in Arles, namely with the festival bill. With his installation in the heart of the Saint Anne chapel, Francis goes beyond photography to offer a contemporary art installation which sublimates female energy. Artist Statement The human element is a fantastic material. I like observing bodies, their movements and expressions, sometimes with the idea of appropriating them. The part that fascinates me the most, because almost inaccessible, is the soul, at the head of the personality with its tastes, emotions and especially its history. Then comes the complex relationship to society, which evolves with environment and time. I approach the person naturally with openness and sensitivity, on the lookout for singularities that may resonate in me. From object, "the other" becomes a proper individual, whose distinguishable particles and sub-particles I highlight. The main theme of the work I am presenting is that of the relation to reality : whereas the physical body is submitted to the present, imagination is free to roam without constraint in time and space. The ambiguity of this permanent oscillation between rational and irrational, resignation and escape, motivates me in my research where letting go is the motto. The plurality of my projects illustrates the richness of mental spaces that I have visited. Whether dreamlike or real, I put limits only in the possible interpretation of the codes that I use.
Edward S. Curtis
United States
1868 | † 1952
Born in 1868 near Whitewater, Wisconsin, Edward Sheriff Curtis became one of America's finest photographers and ethnologists. When the Curtis family moved to Port Orchard, Washington in 1887, Edward's gift for photography led him to an investigation of the Indians living on the Seattle waterfront. His portrait of Chief Seattle's daughter, Princess Angeline, won Curtis the highest award in a photographic contest. Having become well-known for his work-with the Indians, Curtis participated in the 1899 Harriman expedition to Alaska as one of two official photographers. He then accompanied George Bird Grinell, editor of Forest and Stream, on a trip to northern Montana. There they witnessed the deeply sacred Sundance of the Piegan and Blackfoot tribes. Travelling on horseback, with their pack horses trailing behind, they emerged from the mountains to view the valley floor massed with over a thousand teepees - an awesome sight to Curtis and one that transformed his life. Everything fell into place at that moment: it was clear to him that he was to record, with pen and camera, the life of the North American Indian. Edward S. Curtis devoted the next 30 years photographing and documenting over eighty tribes west of the Mississippi, from the Mexican border to northern Alaska. His project won support from such prominent and powerful figures as President Theodore Roosevelt and J. Pierpont Morgan. From 1911-1914 Curtis also produced and directed a silent film based on the mythology of the Rawakiutl Indians of the Pacific Northwest. Upon its completion in 1930, the work, entitled 'The North American Indian', consisted of 20 volumes, each containing 75 hand--pressed photogravures and 300 pages of text. Each volume was accompanied by a corresponding portfolio containing at least 36 photogravures.Source: www.edwardscurtis.com Edward S. Curtis was born near Whitewater, Wisconsin. His father, a Civil War veteran and minister, moved the family to Minnesota, where Edward became interested in photography. In 1892, Curtis purchased an interest in a photographic studio in Seattle. He married and the couple had four children. He later settled in Los Angeles, where he operated photographic studios at various times on La Cienega Boulevard and in the Biltmore Hotel. As a friend of Hollywood producer Cecil B. DeMille, Curtis was commissioned to make film stills of some of DeMille's films, including the epic, The Ten Commandments. In 1899, he became the official photographer for the Edward Harriman expedition to Alaska and developed an interest Native American culture. Curtis is best known for his documentation of Native American cultures published as The North American Indian. From about 1900 to 1930, he surveyed more than 100 tribes ranging from the Inuits to the Hopi, making more than 40,000 photographs. He made portraits of important and well-known figures of the time, including Geronimo, Chief Joseph, Red Cloud, and Medicine Crow. Source: Etherton Gallery
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