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John R. Pepper
John R. Pepper
John R. Pepper

John R. Pepper

Country: Italy
Birth: 1958

John Randolph Pepper, (1958) is an Italian photographer, screenwriter, theatre and film director, the son of sculptress Beverly Pepper and journalist/writer Curtis Bill Pepper, editor of Newsweek and manager of its Rome office. He was born and raised in Rome; lives in Palermo and works worldwide.

Pepper started his career in Black & White analogical photography with an apprenticeship to Ugo Mulas at 14. He published his first photograph at 15 and had his first show at 17.

He studied History of Art at Princeton University, where he was also the youngest member of the exclusive painting program, '185 Nassau Street'. He then became a 'Directing Fellow' at The American Film Institute, (Los Angeles) and subsequently worked as a director in theatre and film for 20 years. For thirty years, he dedicated himself to photography while directing both theatre and film. During that time he continued to take photographs with his Leica camera always using the same Ilford HP5 film stock.

John R. Pepper, represented by the Art of Foto Gallery (St. Petersburg, Russia) and The Empty Quarter Gallery (Dubai, UAE), is a 'Cultural Ambassador' of numerous Italian Institutes of Culture in may parts of the world. Since 2008 he has exhibited his different projects 'Rome: 1969 - An Homage to Italian Neo-Realist Cinema', 'Sans Papier', 'Evaporations' in the United States, France, Italy, the Middle East and Russia. He has published three books and is represented in several major museums around the world.

Since 2015 Pepper has been working on his project 'Inhabited Deserts', where he explores deserts and their effect on time, history and people. 'Inhabited Deserts' debuted in Paris in November 2017; in September 2018, with the support of the Italian Embassy in Iran and the Italian Foreign Ministry, Pepper exhibited at the Aaran Projects Gallery in Tehran where he was one of the first Italian photographers since the Iranian Revolution of 1979. In November 2018, after participating at Paris Photo with the Galerie Sophie Scheidecker, 'Inhabited Deserts' went to Tel Aviv, Israel, representing Italy at the 6th International Photo Festival 'Photo Is:Rael'.

From December 12th 2018 to February 15th Inhabited Deserts was presented at The Empty Quarter Gallery in Dubai, U.A.E. with curatorial text by Kirill Petrin. Subsequently the show opened on March 19, 2019 in Saint Petersburg, Russia, at the Art of Foto Gallery and shortly thereafter, on April 18th, it returned to Tel Aviv at the NOX Contemporary Gallery. In 2020 Inhabited Deserts will be seen in the United States and Italy.

Per John Pepper

"When talking about photography, we're talking about time. The image is fixed in time. We also talk about black and white and color, digital and film, reality and punctum - the critical concept of the French philosopher Roland Barthes, denoting the wounding, personally touching detail, which establishes a direct relationship with the object or person within it.

Is a photographer an artist or not? The ones who feel they are, modestly define themselves as artisans. Still others, who do not think of themselves as photographers will snap photos relying on destiny's outcome. Finally, there are the ones who fantasize conceptual sequences snapped in extravagant situations - most of which without interest. About photography, much has been said. There are established masters, schools of thought, and many hopes. Yet whoever is sufficiently open to a vision within himself, who has cherished and assimilated the masters, will emerge with something new. Passion triumphs when backed by culture.

When looking at one of John Pepper's photographs - the one with the group of people, friends and family, in front of their home, for example - I think of Paul Strand's image in his book, published with Zavattini 'Un paese' del 1955. There is a similar gathering of characters at the doorstep of their home. Time here is not just in the shutter time and lens aperture - a sixtieth of a second at eight - but in the transformation of the people, in the process of revealing themselves. With John, however, the appearances differ from those of Strand - moved up in time as evident in the shoes and pants, the motorcycle helmet, the technology of the wheelchair and the modern necklace of the young girl.

They appear happy and to be speaking to the photographer. Despite some apparently expensive upper-class possessions, we perceive they are of a modest condition. In Strand's photograph, there is no doubt they are of peasant culture. Motionless, they stare at the photographer with a serious gaze, though ignorant of the world of images. Today, image is consumerism. It goes beyond diffidence. Everyone can have a camera, a motorcycle helmet and Nike shoes. People are well nurtured; they have even grown in height.

With John the scene is of movement. The characters interact with ease, and the photographer is part of the game. He uses black and white film enhanced by the fine art of printing - images stemming from classical photography.

John was just a boy when he came to my house in Milan, in piazza Castello, above the studio that once belonged to Ugo. I like to think that the darkroom at that time influenced him. Who knows? However, I do believe that Ugo's work helped him to become a photographer.

His reportage in Italy is filtered through the memory of many great photographers - Diane Arbus, Cartier Bresson, Robert Frank, the first Richard Avedon, and William Klein to name a few. He has also traveled through Italy, in the streets and byways of youth, finding dramatic, enlightened faces in the theater of life.

His portrait of the religious procession is most beautiful, with a perfect, compact, composition, among astonished angels and those bearing a religious float against a sharp background of light.

John lives and works in Palermo, an outward antithesis of New York. An American born and raised in Italy, it is as an Italian that he grasps the vital spirit, the soul, and the humanity of people. His choice to live in a region like Sicily, so full of contradictions and archaic values, will surely help him in chronicling the history of change in our era.

Then, apart from making art, he will have absorbed it as his own - a part of his life that will recur in defining time, space, and the evolution of the human condition."

Antonia Mulas, Todi, May 5, 2012
 

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Based in Copenhagen, Ken Hermann possesses a natural urge to explore photography and world alike. He has traveled extensively, from secluded regions of India and Ethiopia to modern metropolises like New York. From every location, no matter how small or large, Hermann draws energy and inspiration; exploration of people, culture, and life is a central facet to his work, which is full of texture, volume, and atmosphere. From these experiences, he applies a cosmpolitan aesthetic to his commercial and editorial work. He is the winner of Hasselblad Masters 2012 for his City Surfer work.About Survivors:The true face of a victim.Every year people in Bangladesh are disfigured beyond recognition by acid attacks. The victims are literally scarred for life. Stigmatization follows, and rebuilding life and setting new goals for the future require both determination and strength. Most acid attacks are directed against women and children. Since 1999, more than 3,100 people in Bangladesh have been disfigured by acid. Thanks to the advocacy work done by the Dhaka-based NGO Acid Survivor Foundation only 71 cases was recorded last year – a reduction by almost 85% from just 10 years ago. The vast majority of victims are young women under the age of 35 who are mutilated by men they already know. Typically, attacks are motivated by suspicions of infidelity, rejection of marriage offers, demands for dowry, and disputes over land. One in four victims is a child.SURVIVORS is a story about people, not victims.
Anton Alymov
Russia
2001
My artistic adventure started in 2016. I wanted to make movies or short filmes, but I felt it was impossible - I was 14 at the time and I well realised that in order to create a high quality media project the budget was needed. I couldn't compromise on the quality as great visuals were very important for me - I was that teen with dreams about more or less serious productions. But after some time I came up with an idea on how to fulfill my passion of cinematography until I would find the way to go "serious". The idea was this: to make short films using the engines of computer games - this was a perfect solution, I didn't need actors, didn't need cameras, didn't need any budget. All I had was great enthusiasm to commit to that venture. The computer game that I based my short films on was GTA 5 - I really loved its engine as it opened unlimited possibilities in front of me in terms of bringing to life ideas and scripts. As I was getting more experienced in creating video content, I started getting more and more comments complimenting the visuals of my videos - camera angles, movements and compositions. The show grew to the format of series and happened to be a major success. In half a year since I commited to creating content, the channel hit the 100,000 subscribers mark getting millions of views - that unique the content was. I continued working hard on my videos, sometimes I had to spend 12-14 hours a day on them with no exaggeration and the channel quickly grew to the 200.000 mark. By that time I had already signed partnerships with some big companies in the industry, this was one of the reasons I had to work that hard. Some of them were: Ubisoft (I've been working with them on promoting every single game since Far Cry 5 having access to the products months before official release dates), WarGaming (World of Tanks, World of Warships, World of Warplanes) and many more. (Now the channel has the following of 330,000 persons). The name of the show is "ALCATRAZ OFFICIAL" by the way. In the early 2019 as I was getting close to finishing my school studies I decided to finally start the transition into "Serious" productions that I had been dreaming about. I finally had access to budgets and here starts enother chapter in my life - I decided to take a season off on my channel (As the content grew into the series format over the time as I mentioned) and focus completely on the transition. I decided to spend that time learning whatever I was passionate about. This was the time when I discovered the work of Serge Ramelli - an internationally reknown photographer from Paris, France whom I'm honoured to have as a friend nowadays. And I heard an inspirational story about his attempts in filmmaking industry in the early 2000's and about the way he got into photography - it all started with pursuing filmmaking originally. I had seen great visuals in my life, but nothing touched me as much as Serge's work and I could not explain it - there was something special about his photos that gave me real emotions while just looking on the screen. And I thought to myself that until I find a way to get into the productions I dreamed about I could at least create photographic art. I was happy to have such an opportunity to allow myself to spendthe entire year learning and following my passion as I had the means for that financially - the partnerships with companies could pay my bills and I even decided to go to the UK to study media. This was the time my photography career started to develop rapidly - I was awarded with ND Photography Awards in 2019 in the cityscape category and I found a 5-star hotel that would give me a chance to impress them with interior photography so they can use it for online marketing. The problem was - I was studying art in England and this hotel was 3,000 kilometers away in Moscow. I had already made quite some big decisions in my life and I had to make one more. So I quit the uni and went back to Moscow to pursue photography business. This happened to be one of the greatest decisions that I'd ever made. The hotel was amazed by the quality of the photos and here the word of mouth came into the game. In massive cities the competition between hotels is so high that immidiately one hotel rises up in any charachteristic (the quality of rooms photos as an example), the other hotel wishes to have the same right away. Since then I've been having the pleasure of working on photographing hotels and restaraunts and also of travelling the world creating the photographs of the most beautiful cities. This is how my dreams of filmmaking and the right decisions taken at the right time have lead me into transferring from being a YouTube content creator to a full time interior photographer and a cityscape artist. In 2020 I will do my best to find a way to combine the two. Satement Whenever I create my art I fully represent my emotions on the screen. I always communicate extremely simple messages in my photography, but those are also the most powerful ones in my opinion. The Secrets To Breathtaking Cityscapes
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