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Diana Markosian
Diana Markosian
Diana Markosian

Diana Markosian

Country: Russia
Birth: 1989

Diana Markosian is an American and Russian artist of Armenian descent, working as a documentary photographer, writer, and filmmaker.

She is known for her photo essays, including Inventing My Father, about her relationship with her father, and 1915, about the Armenian genocide.

Markosian was born in Moscow. In 1996, she moved to California with her mother and her brother, while her father remained in Russia. She had no contact with him until 23, when she found her father in Armenia, after 15 years of being apart.

Markosian graduated summa cum laude from the University of Oregon with a bachelor of arts in history and international studies in 2008, and earned a Master of Science from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism in 2010 at the age of 20.

In 2011, Markosian was sent to Azerbaijan as a photojournalist for Bloomberg News, but she was denied entrance to the country, which was at war with Armenia at the time. Markosian is of Armenian descent but not a citizen of Armenia. The authorities said they couldn't provide her with the "security" she would need because of her Armenian last name.

Markosian began her career at 20. Her editorial and personal work has taken her to some of the most remote corners of the world. She worked on assignments for publications including National Geographic Magazine, The New Yorker and The New York Times. For her first assignment for National Geographic Magazine in 2015, she was commissioned to explore the power and legacy of the Virgin Mary. This ability to photograph "things that are no longer there" has become a signature of her work. Her images have since been published by the Financial Times, World Policy Journal, The New York Times, Foreign Policy, The Times, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, amongst other publications.

She won the Columbia School of Journalism's annual photography prize, and was chosen as a duPont Fellow. She was selected for the Joop Swart Masterclass from World Press Photo and was the winner of the Magnum Emerging Photographer Fund in 2013. In 2015, she was selected as the first recipient of the Chris Hondros Emerging Photographer Award. The same year, the British Journal of Photography selected her in its global survey of "Ones to Watch". In 2016, Markosian became a nominee member of Magnum Photos. In 2018, she was awarded the Elliott Erwitt Fellowship to travel to Cuba, where she documented the coming of age of young girls in Havana. The work she created was exhibited as a solo show at the Grand Palais in Paris Photo and Photo Espana. She was awarded 1st Place in Contemporary Issues from World Press Photo for an image of Pura, a young girl who was diagnosed with a brain tumor as a child, and was photographed celebrating her quinceanera.

Source: Wikipedia



About 1915
"Holding a cane in his right hand, Movses Haneshyan, 105, slowly approaches a life-size landscape.

He pauses, looks at the image, and begins to sing, 'My home... My Armenia.'

It's the first time Movses is seeing his home in 98 years.

A century ago, the Ottomans initiated a policy of deportations, mass murder and rape to destroy the Armenian presence in the Ottoman Empire. By the war's end, more than a million people, from what is now modern-day Turkey, were eliminated.

It was one of first genocides of the 20th century, one that Turkish authorities deny to this day.

Movses and his father survived.

I traveled to Armenia to meet Movses and other survivors to ask them about their last memories of their early home. I then retraced their steps in Turkey to retrieve a piece of their lost homeland.

One hundred years after having fled his birthplace, Movses caresses its image, as if by holding it close he will be taken back to the place he called home many years ago.

This is his story, and those of other survivors.

A story of home - everything they had, everything they lost.

And what they have found again."
-- Diana Markosian
 

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Dorothea Lange
United States
1895 | † 1965
Dorothea Lange was an American documentary photographer, who studied photography at Columbia University and worked as an assistant to Arnold Genthe before beginning a photographic trip around the world in 1918. When she ran out of funds in San Francisco, she remained, opened a photographic studio, and during the early 1930s began photographing homeless rural people flooding into the city from the Dust Bowl exodus. Her photographs brought her to the attention of Paul Taylor, an economist at California University, who hired her to create a documentary record to accompany his report on agricultural conditions for the California State Relief Administration, and subsequently married her. When Roy Stryker saw these images, he hired her as a staff photographer for the Farm Security Administration (FSA), for which she worked sporadically as Stryker's budget allowed 1935-9. During this period, she made many of her best-known photographs, including the image known as Migrant Mother (1936). She later also photographed for the San Francisco branch of the Office of War Information, 1943-5, recording the internment of Japanese-Americans and the founding of the United Nations. In 1954-5 she was a photographer for Life magazine, afterward travelling extensively and producing photographic essays on Ireland, Egypt, and Asia.Source: The Oxford Companion to the Photograph In 1945, Ansel Adams invited Lange to teach at the first fine art photography department at the California School of Fine Arts (CSFA), now known as San Francisco Art Institute (SFAI). Imogen Cunningham and Minor White also joined the faculty. In 1952, Lange co-founded the photography magazine Aperture. In the mid-1950s, Life magazine commissioned Lange and Pirkle Jones to shoot a documentary about the death of the town of Monticello, California, and the subsequent displacement of its residents by the damming of Putah Creek to form Lake Berryessa. After Life decided not run the piece, Lange devoted an entire issue of Aperture to the work. The collection was shown at the Art Institute of Chicago in 1960. Another series for Life, begun in 1954 and featuring the attorney Martin Pulich, grew out of Lange's interest in how poor people were defended in the court system, which by one account, grew out of personal experience associated with her brother's arrest and trial. Lange's health declined in the last decade of her life. Among other ailments she suffered from was what later was identified as post-polio syndrome. She died of esophageal cancer on October 11, 1965, in San Francisco, at age seventy. She was survived by her second husband, Paul Taylor, two children, three stepchildren, and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Three months after her death, the Museum of Modern Art in New York City mounted a retrospective of her work that Lange had helped to curate. It was MoMA's first retrospective solo exhibition of the works of a female photographer. In February 2020, MoMA exhibited her work again, with the title Dorothea Lange: Words and Pictures, prompting critic Jackson Arn to write that "the first thing" this exhibition "needs to do—and does quite well—is free her from the history textbooks where she’s long been jailed." Contrasting her work with that of other twentieth-century photographers such as Eugène Atget and André Kertész whose images "were in some sense context-proof, Lange’s images tend to cry out for further information. Their aesthetic power is obviously bound up in the historical importance of their subjects, and usually that historical importance has had to be communicated through words." That characteristic has caused "art purists" and "political purists" alike to criticize Lange's work, which Arn argues is unfair: "The relationship between image and story," Arn notes, was often altered by Lange's employers as well as by government forces when her work did not suit their commercial purposes or undermined their political purposes. In his review of this exhibition, critic Brian Wallis also stressed the distortions in the "afterlife of photographs" that often went contrary to Lange's intentions. Finally, Jackson Arn situates Lange's work alongside other Depression-era artists such as Pearl Buck, Margaret Mitchell, Thornton Wilder, John Steinbeck, Frank Capra, Thomas Hart Benton, and Grant Wood in terms of their role creating a sense of the national "We". In 2003, Lange was inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame. In 2006, an elementary school was named in her honor in Nipomo, California, near the site where she had photographed Migrant Mother. In 2008, she was inducted into the California Hall of Fame, located at The California Museum for History, Women and the Arts. Her son, Daniel Dixon, accepted the honor in her place. In October 2018, Lange's hometown of Hoboken, New Jersey honored her with a mural depicting Lange and two other prominent women from Hoboken's history, Maria Pepe and Dorothy McNeil. In 2019, Rafael Blanco (artist) painted a mural of Lange outside of a photography building in Roseville, California.
Khalik Allah
United States
1985
Khalik Allah (born 1985) is an American filmmaker and photographer. His 2015 documentary film Field Niggas and his 2017 book Souls Against the Concrete depict people who inhabit the notorious Harlem corner of 125th Street and Lexington Avenue in New York City. His film Black Mother (2018) depicts people on the island of Jamaica. "He favours visual portraits of people on the street – filming their faces for several seconds as they pose as if for a still camera." In June 2020 he became a Nominee member of Magnum Photos. Khalik was born in Brookhaven, New York. His mother is Jamaican and his father is Iranian. He grew up in Suffolk, Long Island, New York, but moved between Queens and Harlem throughout his childhood. His parents met at university in Bristol, England. He is a dual Jamaican-American citizen. He started making movies at age 19 with a Hi-8 video camera. His first feature film, Popa Wu: A 5% Story (2010), was a "normal, talking heads documentary" about Popa Wu, "Wu-Tang Clan's de facto spiritual advisor" and a member of Five-Percent Nation. It took four years to make. Khalik took up still photography in 2010.Source: Wikipedia Despite challenges early in life, Allah managed to maintain discipline and focus on self-improvement. He credits these qualities, in part, to the teachings of the Five-Percent Nation, a movement whose name comes from its concept that only five percent of the world knows the truth about existence and is dedicated to enlightening the rest of the world. Founded in Harlem in the 1960s the movement emphasizes intellectual growth and enlightenment for black men in particular. Inspired and empowered by their message Allah seriously pursued the study of metaphysics, black history, and literature. Likewise, with no formal art training, he pursued video work first at the age of 14, and then photography, making his first pictures in 2010. He taught himself how to use a camera from videos on YouTube and later devoured books at the library on work of Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Frank, Nobuyoshi Araki, Daido Moriyama, and Bruce Davidson. Khalik Allah finished his first film at the age of 19 and after getting it into the hands of the rapper Killah Priest, Allah went on to direct music videos for different members of the Wu-Tang family. His filmmaking changed radically after he became a photographer. His camera work slowed down and he made prolonged eye contact with the individuals he filmed. His 2015 film, Field Niggas (inspired by Malcolm X's 1963 speech, "Message to the Grassroots”) received high acclaim and numerous awards including the 2015 Le Prix Scribe, Paris. He also served as one of the cinematographers for Beyoncé's Lemonade. His most recent film, Black Mother, will premiere at the True/False Film Festival in March and will have its New York premiere at the New Directors/New Films Festival April 4th at MoMA and April 7th at Lincoln Center. It is easy to walk through a city not making eye contact, but for Khalik Allah this contact is essential. He sees each individual he photographs. And his photographs in turn allow us to see them, to acknowledge who we might ignore, to look through Allah’s eye and into theirs, and to recognize them as individuals. This is the power of Allah’s work: to give us a deeper sense of people as people, to share and enlighten, even when the message may not be clean or easy. Made at night on 125th Street and Lexington Avenue in Harlem, the images in his recent book Souls Against the Concrete (University of Texas Press, 2017), provide a glimpse into a world and people that many choose to ignore. His subjects are often drug addicts, homeless, or both. Using only the available light from shop windows, street lights, or subway platforms, he photographs them with a slow color film, a combination that produces images full of grain and texture, a visual shorthand for the roughness and intensity of life on the street, and his own struggles early in life. The light is also often harsh or even surreal, resulting in figures awash in blues and reds. Luc Sante, in The New York Times Book Review, wrote, "The result is a panorama of human emotion: sadness, passion, bewilderment, pride, suspicion, amusement, exhaustion — all the faces of the night."Source: Gitterman Gallery Allah has led a life of many perspectives; he recounts, as a 20-year-old, walking all night to take portraits before working in a nursing home in Harlem during the day. His work and life is immersed in the teachings and sensibilities of The Five-Percent Nation, a cultural movement influenced by the Islamic faith and founded in Harlem in 1964. When he was nominated by Magnum, Allah told the agency: “The first thing black students are taught is that they were slaves. From second-grade on, your self-esteem is a couple of notches below the white students because you’ve been told you are inferior. That sticks with you and follows you into your adulthood. The Five-Percent Nation taught me not to take anything on face value,” Allah says. “That teaching has bled into my work. This is a spiritual film. And it’s a holographic film; a piece contains the whole and a whole contains the piece. And it’s an experiential film, one that brings you into an environment that most people would avoid.” The New York streets Allah shoots are indivisible with the history of street photography. Allah is working in the legacy of New York icons like Diane Arbus, Weegee, Garry Winogrand and Nan Goldin as well as fellow Magnum photographers Bruce Gilden and Bruce Davidson. But, perhaps unlike some of his current colleagues of the Magnum collective, Allah is deeply concerned with the question of photographic consent. In that sense, Allah perhaps embodies the attitude of a new generation of street photographers; ones who see the camera as a way of being alert and alive to social and racial injustice. “It’s important to speak to whoever you’re working with,” Allah says. “To share your intentions with your subjects. To properly introduce yourself, and to get permission and consent. As photographers, we’re responsible for the work we make, and we need to be conscious of that. That involves not shooting somebody that doesn’t want to be shot. That’s a basic thing. And don’t shoot children without a parent’s consent. That is very important to me.”Source: The Art Newspaper
Thomas Dodd
United States
Thomas Dodd is a visual artist and photographer based out of Atlanta, Georgia who has developed a style that he calls "painterly photo montage" - a method he employs during principal photography and in editing software with which he crafts elaborately textured pieces that have a very organic and decidedly non-digital look to them. His work often has mythic and quasi-religious themes that pay homage to Old Master art traditions while at the same time drawing from psychological archetypes that evoke a strong emotional response from the viewer. Although his artwork resembles paintings, his pieces are entirely photographic in nature, fusing many images into a cohesive whole. His larger works are often presented in a mixed media form that adds a depth and texture that complements the photography beautifully. Thomas has had numerous exhibitions of his works in many cities in the USA and around the world. He has had recent shows in New York City, Paris, Mexico City, New Orleans, Tokyo, San Antonio, Seattle, and in his hometown of Atlanta. Dodd's photographs have been featured in many magazines, on book and album covers and he frequently teaches workshops and webinars on photo-editing and marketing for artists. Thomas began his career as a visual artist in 2005. Before that, he was best known as the harpist and songwriter for the 1990s musical group Trio Nocturna, a Celtic Gothic ensemble that put out three critically-acclaimed albums ("Morphia", "Tears of Light" and "Songs of the Celtic Night") and performed at author Anne Rice's annual Halloween balls in New Orleans, as well as spawning an offshoot band called the Changelings. Thomas also played harp on two albums by Michael Gira (the driving force behind the influential post-punk band the Swans): "the Body Lovers" and the Angels of Light "New Mother". The images that Thomas creates are basically a visual equivalent of the music he composed in the 1990s. Mythic themes and their relation to emotions and psychological states continue to be his primary subjects and motivations. Source: thomasdodd.com Interview with Thomas Dodd All About Photo: When did you realize you wanted to be a photographer? Thomas Dodd: There was a period in my early teens where I was inspired by seeing a gallery show of Ansel Adams’ work, and for a short time thereafter I was compelled to study black and white film photography (of course, digital did not exist back then in the 1970s), but that inspiration quickly was replaced by the kick in the ass I received when I heard the Sex Pistols (in 1977) which made me run out and get a guitar so I could take out my teen angst upon the (non-listening) world! AAP: Where did you study photography? With whom? TD: My father taught me the basics of the camera back in the 1970s. I also took a darkroom course in high school. My reemergence as a photographer in 2006 (after a 25 year musical career playing the Celtic harp) was basically a self-taught one with quite a few online tutorials along the way! AAP: Do you have a mentor? TD: My father was a great influence on me- both as a photographer and a human being. AAP: How long have you been a photographer? TD: Since 2006. My brief dabbling in photography in the 70s barely counts! AAP: Do you remember your first shot? What was it? TD: My first real photoshoot was of my friend (and first Muse) Halley dressed in a beautiful Rococo-themed dress she made. We wandered through the streets of downtown Decatur Ga. at around midnight searching for street light to shoot in. AAP: What or who inspires you? TD: Beauty inspires me. Great painters inspire me. An artistic or chameleonesque model inspires me... AAP: How could you describe your style? TD: “Painterly” photo montage with an artistic approach AAP: Do you have a favorite photograph or series? TD: My favorite photo is always the one I am currently working on! AAP: What kind of gear do you use? Camera, lens, digital, film? TD: I really am not one of those photographers who likes to talk about gear because I think the most important tool that an artist possesses is their imagination... but I shoot with a Sony A57 using a 18-70mm lens. AAP: Do you spend a lot of time editing your images? For what purpose? TD: I seem to spend ALL my time editing photos - What purpose? Self expression and sometimes' client satisfaction! AAP: Favorite(s) photographer(s)? TD: Jan Saudek - for the way he created such boldly erotic personal imagery while hiding from a repressive Communist regime... He also used texture and color in a very painterly way which has influenced me a great deal. AAP: What advice would you give a young photographer? TD: Don't be in a hurry to "succeed", and shun advice like "Fake it ‘til you make it". It takes TIME and PATIENCE to develop your own style. Always follow your own voice and don't be swayed by what is currently popular, and don't forget to ENJOY it - this is not supposed to feel like work! AAP: What mistake should a young photographer avoid? TD: Becoming an imitation or a copy of another photographer. Being in a hurry to get published or displayed in galleries is another common mistake. Take the time and develop your craft for a few years before you start thinking about sharing it with the world! AAP: Any quotes you would like to share? TD: "I am steadily surprised that there are so many photographers that reject manipulating reality, as if that was wrong. Change reality! If you don't find it, invent it!" - Pete Turner AAP: What current projects are you working on? TD: Nothing I can tell you about, but I will drop a hint and say it involves shattering some commonly held preconceptions about a "marginalized" segment of society. AAP: Your best memory as a photographer? TD: There have been so many, it's hard to choose an absolute best but I will say my first solo show, my first print sale and my first publication were all high points! AAP: Your worst souvenir as a photographer? TD: My broken D50 which gasped it’s last breath 5 clicks into a nude shoot! Or maybe the memory card and external hard drive that I irretrievably lost data from. Here is some more good advice - ALWAYS use an online backup in addition to discs and hard drives! AAP:The compliment that touched you most? TD: When my 92 year old Mother came to my first big gallery show in Atlanta (featuring some very large nude images) and said she was proud of me... AAP: Your favorite photo book? TD: Bob Carlos Clarke's "The Dark Summer" and Helmut Newton's "White Women". AAP: An anecdote? TD: I long ago learned as a model photographer that the crucial things to pack in your camera bag are not extra lenses, filters and light meters, They are instead bobby pins, safety pins, hair ties, insect repellent and sun block. Oh yeah, and a few model releases too! AAP: Anything else you would like to share? TD: Please feel free to "like" my Facebook page and introduce yourself.
Christian Werner
Germany
1987
Christian Werner is a freelance multimedia/photojournalist based in Boitzum, Germany. As a teenager he developed his interest in photography while traveling to foreign countries. In 2014 he graduated the photojournalism & documentary photography course at the University of Applied Sciences in Hannover. His main interests are social diversity and global political issues. The areas of interest is mainly the arabic world and culture. Chris worked in various countries in Asia, Africa, Eastern Europe and South America. His work has been exhibited internationally. He welcomes assignments local and overseas. Since 2012, Christian is represented by Agency Laif. Source: World Press Photo Chris, born in 1987, studied from 2009 to 2014 photojournalism and documentary photography at the University of Hanover. He works as a freelance photojournalist and published his photos and stories, among others, in Der Spiegel, Die Zeit, TIME Magazine, The Washington Post and many more. From 2012 -2016 Christian Werner was represented by the German reportage agency laif. In late 2016 Chris is represented by Zeitenspiegel. His photographic focus is the processing of social injustice, conflicts and geopolitical issues. His work has been awarded several times and frequently exhibited internationally. In 2015 Chris participated at the World Press Joop Swart Mastercalss in Amsterdam. 2016 Chris has been chosen in the 30 under 30 Europe Forbes List in the Media category. In late summer 2016 he begins working with MOAS (Migrant Offshore Aid Station). Chris worked in various countries in Asia, Africa, Eastern Europe and South America. Artist Statement "Rubble and Delusion - A Journey Through Assad's Syria With the fall of Aleppo, the regime of Bashar Assad once again controls the country's second-largest city. But is reconciliation possible in the country? A journey through the dictator's rump state. Our journey leads us to the three largest cities in northern and western Syria: Aleppo, Latakia and Homs. Aleppo has become symbolic of the brutal bombing campaign. Latakia, the regime stronghold on the Mediterranean, was largely untouched by the war and is still a popular vacation spot in the summer. And Homs, once the center of the uprising, was destroyed and is now slated to become a model of reconstruction."
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