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Oliver Berlepsch
Oliver Berlepsch
Oliver Berlepsch

Oliver Berlepsch

Country: Switzerland
Birth: 1960

Oliver Berlepsch was born in Chicago in 1960 and grew up in Basel, Switzerland. Strongly influenced by his parents passion for drawing and painting, he too started being artistic at a young age. Turning his passion into a profession, Oliver decided to study architecture at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich. Since graduation he has worked as an architect and has since been faced with creative and organizational questions, which then are incorporated into architectural structures. In his spare time, he still follows other artistic passions. As such, in 2010 Oliver worked on his first street inspired project. He made collages of advertising posters and printed slogans on them with hand-crafted printing blocks. It wasn’t until three years ago that Oliver was inspired to reach for the camera by his sister and Vivian Maier's work. Oliver particularly likes taking pictures in black and white. In his eyes, it focuses on the essentials adding an artistic lens to surrounding. In addition to street photography, urban spaces and nature also influence his hobby photography passion.
 

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Vik Muniz
Brazil
1961
Vik Muniz is a Brazilian artist and photographer. Initially a sculptor, Muniz grew interested in the photographic representations of his work, eventually focusing completely on photography. Primarily working with unconventional materials such as tomato sauce, diamonds, magazine clippings, chocolate syrup, dust, dirt, etc., Muniz creates works of art, referencing old master's paintings and celebrity portraits, among other things, and then photographs them. His work has been met with both commercial success and critical acclaim and has been exhibited worldwide. He is currently represented by Galeria Nara Roesler based in New York and Brazil. In 2010, Muniz was featured in the documentary film Waste Land. Directed by Lucy Walker, the film highlights Muniz's work on one of the world's largest garbage dumps, Jardim Gramacho, on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro. The film was nominated to the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature at the 83rd Academy Awards. Vik Muniz was born in 1961 in São Paulo, Brazil, as the only child of Maria Celeste, a telephone operator, and Vincente Muniz, a restaurant waiter. Muniz’s grandmother, Ana Rocha, taught him how to read at an early age. In his memoir, Muniz recalled struggling with writing in school which is why he turned to visuals to communicate his thoughts. At the age of 14, his math teacher recommended him to enter an art contest. He won and was awarded a partial scholarship to an art studio. At the age of 18, Muniz got his first job working in the advertising industry in Brazil, redesigning billboards for higher readability. While on the way to his first black-tie gala, Muniz witnessed and attempted to break up a street fight, where he was accidentally shot in the leg by one of the brawlers. He was paid by the shooter to not press charges and used the money to travel to Chicago in 1983. In Chicago, Muniz worked at a local supermarket cleaning the parking lot while he attended night school to study English. In the English class, he learned Polish, Italian, Spanish, and Korean without any improvements to his English vocabulary. Later, Muniz attended culinary and carpentry classes where he learned most of his English. Muniz took his first trip to New York in 1984. There, he visited the Museum of Modern Art and met a woman who changed his thoughts on Jackson Pollock’s paintings. This also influenced Muniz to move to New York just two months after his first visit. Muniz's friend lent him a studio where he started his career as a sculptor. He was 28 when he had his first solo exhibit in 1989. Inspired by works of Man Ray and Max Ernst, Muniz executes simple imagery intricately. Marshall McLuhan’s Understanding Media encouraged Muniz to explore perception in the media through abstraction and manipulating the components of the image. He cites the mosaics in a church in Ravenna as one of his influences and is also a self-proclaimed student of Buster Keaton. He decided to become an artist after seeing the works of the Postmodernists Cindy Sherman and Jeff Koons. Muniz, like both of these artists, reworks popular imagery in his work. Muniz says that he does not believe in originals, but rather believes in individuality. Muniz works to re-purpose themes and showcase them in a different light for the viewer. Muniz is best known for recreating famous imagery from art history and pop culture with unexpected, everyday objects, and photographing them. For example, Muniz's Action Photo, After Hans Namuth (From Pictures of Chocolate), a Cibachrome print, is a Bosco Chocolate Syrup recreation of one of Hans Namuth's photographs of Jackson Pollock in his studio. The monumental series Pictures of Cars (after Ruscha) is his social commentary of the car culture of Los Angeles utilizing Ed Ruscha's 60's Pop masterpieces rendered from car ephemera. Muniz often works on a large scale and then he destroys the originals of his work and only the photo of his work remains. Muniz has spoken of wanting to make "color pictures that talked about color and also talked about the practical simplification of such impossible concepts." He also has an interest in making pictures that "reveal their process and material structure," and describes himself as having been "a willing bystander in the middle of the shootout between structuralist and post-structuralist critique." Muniz says that when he takes photographs, he intuitively searches for "a vantage point that would make the picture identical to the ones in my head before I’d made the works," so that his photographs match those mental images. He sees photography as having "freed painting from its responsibility to depict the world as fact." In Muniz's earthworks series, Pictures of Earthworks, show a strong resemblance to the 1970s Earthworks movement. However, unlike the Earthworks movement, that were influenced by ancient cultures, Muniz's series shows distinct human impact on nature. In addition to sculpting, Muniz experiments with drawing and photography, which is seen in the series Sugar Children, featured in the Museum of Modern Art's New Photography 13 show, alongside Rineke Dijikstra, An-My Le, and Kunié Sugiura, in 1997. In Sugar Children, Muniz photographed the families that worked on sugar plantations on the Caribbean island of St. Kitts. Beginning with Polaroids of several of the children of plantation workers, Muniz "drew" the images by sprinkling sugar on black paper and rephotographed these compositions. This series was met with criticism, where scholars have pointed out that he photographs of subjects continuing to live in poverty and yet can make upwards of 5 figures on these works at auction. After his Pictures in Garbage series, Muniz donated the profits, close to $50,000, from the Marat (Sebastiao) to the workers collective after it was auctioned in the UK. He also tries to make art more accessible through the use of common materials, because of his belief that the art world should not be just for the elite. Muniz stated in the documentary Waste Land, "I'm at this point in my career where I'm trying to step away from the realm of fine arts because I think it's a very exclusive, very restrictive place to be. What I want to be able to do is to change the lives of people with the same materials they deal with every day."Source: Wikipedia Originally trained as a sculptor, Muniz’s work began to take on its mature form with The Best of LIFE; he drew from memory pictures of Life magazine photographs included in the coffee table book The Best of Life after losing the book in a move. He then photographed his drawings and kept only the photographs, thereby establishing his signature working style. Muniz subsequently applied this methodology to works in the art history canon, reproducing Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa as well as iconic photographs of Marlon Brando and Marilyn Monroe using chocolate syrup and replicating a Donald Judd sculpture by using dust taken from the Whitney Museum’s halls and galleries. To make the series Pictures of Garbage, Muniz spent two years working with garbage pickers at Jardim Gramacho, an open-air dump site near Rio. He photographed several of the pickers as subjects of classical portraits, with the background details supplied by the garbage they scavenged. This effort was captured in the documentary Waste Land, which was nominated for an Academy Award. Muniz’s photographs are in many collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art; the Museum of Modern Art; the Tate Gallery; and the Victoria and Albert Museum.Source: International Center of Photography
Sabiha Çimen
Turkey
1986
Sabiha Çimen was born in Istanbul, Turkey in 1986. She is a self-taught photographer, focusing on Islamic culture, portraiture and still life. Çimen graduated from Istanbul Bilgi University with a Bachelor's Degree in International Trade and Finance, and a Masters Degree in Cultural Studies. Her Master's​ thesis on subaltern studies, which includes her photo story titled ‘Turkey as a simulated country’, was published by Cambridge Scholars Publishing in 2019. Çimen has worked on her project entitled Hafız: Guardians of the Quran Çimen since 2017, traveling​ to five cities in Turkey to produce ninety-nine portraits on medium format film. With this project,​ she participated in the World Press Photo Foundation’s Joop Swart Masterclass in 2018 and was awarded 3rd prize in PH Museum's​ Women Photographers Grant. Çimen became a Magnum Nominee member in 2020.Source: World Press Photo About her project: Hafız: Guardians of the Quran Sabiha Çimen’s project, Hafız: The Guardians of Quran, is an ongoing series of medium format portraits shot in conservative Quran boarding schools for young girls in five cities in Turkey. It shows the daily lives of the girls and their hidden emotions as they try to memorize the sacred texts while still retaining the humble dreams of any young woman their age. “I attended Quran school with my twin sister when I was twelve years old, and with that experience I am now able to reveal a world unknown till now,” Çimen wrote in her submission to the Smith Grant. “This story is a rarely seen glimpse into this world, normally hidden and forbidden to most others. My project is about these young women, about me and my twin, the memory of the Quran, and an investigation and portrayal of the hidden power within them acting out with small forms of resistance to find their individuality.” The W. Eugene Smith Grant is presented annually to photographers whose work is judged by a panel of experts to be in the best tradition of the documentary photographic practice exhibited by W. Eugene Smith during his 45-year career in photojournalism. This year, the grant was presented to five recipients with each receiving $10,000 to continue their projects. Smith Fund board member Daniella Zalcman was this year’s lead juror for the Smith Grant, along with judges Teju Cole, a photographer, critic, curator, author, and former photography critic at The New York Times Magazine; and Yukiko Yamagata, the curatorial and deputy director of Culture and Art for the Open Society Foundation.Source: W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund
Ruth Lauer Manenti
United States
Ruth Lauer Manenti received an MFA from The Yale School of Art in painting and drawing in 1994. In 2012, she was given a large format camera and taught herself how to use it. Gradually she accomplished what she was striving for in drawing and painting, through photography. Her mother was also an artist who left behind a legacy of unknown work. Part of Ruth's determination as an artist is to reward her mother for her efforts and to create a continuum. She was awarded a NYFA grant in photography in 2016 and had a solo exhibition at The Center for Photography in Woodstock, NY in 2020. Her book Alms is currently on view on an online exhibition at The Griffin Museum of Photography. Her recent book of photographs entitled Since Seeing You, is a visual diary of the woods behind her house as experienced during Lockdown. The pictures give pause, to process the sorrow of the time, rather than as an escape or erasure. Since breaking her neck in a car crash at the age of twenty, Ruth has developed a spiritual life and practice that has propelled much of her photographic work. She lives in the Catskill Mountains in NY. Shard: This ongoing series of photos called Shard was made over the last 4 years during which time I was wanting to see whether I could place objects on a table as arrangements for unspoken emotions. In 2017-18 I was unwell. It wasn't mental illness but the line between that and trauma was sometimes hard to find. I stayed indoors and at home as much as possible. I spent a lot of time watching daylight enter through the windows in different ways according to the clouds, seasons and weather. The windows are old, and the glass is wavy so that the sun rays come in as ripples. I was interested in using objects as symbols of fragility. I found that the work of making the pictures, and the safe cocoon that I had created between myself and the table, was informed by a kind of benevolent force that accompanied me through my suffering. In some traditions it is believed that when the heart breaks an entrance for Spirit is created. It's a way that trauma or defeat can become a portal; so much so that sometimes people have a nostalgia for the times in their life when they have suffered most. More recently I have been thinking about the process of repairing things rather than throwing them away. I wonder if appreciating something damaged, torn, or saved, even if no longer usable, could have an implied nonliteral meaning for getting through the past year, 2020, gracefully, despite so much loss and depression. I think there is a beauty in the effort of putting one's life back together after experiencing brokenness and I have tried through still life to communicate that.
Jill Greenberg
United States
1967
Jill Greenberg is an American photographer and Pop artist. She was born in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, and grew up in a suburb of Detroit, Michigan. Greenberg began photography when she was 9 years old. According to a 1998 New York Times article, Greenberg's mother was a computer programmer and her father was a doctor. Greenberg took classes at Cranbrook Academy of Art and the Detroit Institute of Arts. In 1984, she attended the Photography Summer Session held by Parsons School of Design in Paris. In 1985, she won a Traub Memorial Scholarship Travel Fund from Andover High School in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. In 1988, Greenberg completed coursework on Semiotics in Media with Mary Ann Doane at Brown University. In 1989, she graduated with honors from the Rhode Island School of Design with a BFA in Photography. She is known for her portraits and fine art work that often features anthropomorphized animals that have been digitally manipulated with painterly effects. Her photography of animals is regarded for its capability to show a wide range of expressions and feelings that are comparable to that of a seasoned actor or actress. Some of the primates she has captured on film are actually celebrated in their own right, having been featured in different TV shows or movies. She is also highly recognized for her distinct, and stylized photography of celebrities including well-known performers such as Gwen Stefani, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Clint Eastwood. She is also known for inserting her own strong opinions into her work. In reference to her work, Greenberg states "They're portraits and they're personal but there's a little twist going on. An edge." In 1992, Greenberg began working for Sassy magazine, doing commercial photography while working on getting her artistic career off the ground. Greenberg is known for celebrity portraits, using painterly effects that are drawn using computer technology. 2011's Glass Ceiling series involved shooting underwater, using scuba gear. She hired professional synchronized swimmers and photographed them in a pool in Culver City. The Glass Ceiling series was featured as a billboard installation in Los Angeles, on the northwest corner of Sunset Boulevard at Fairfax (viewable while driving east). In October 2012, Greenberg published a book of photographs called Horse that features images of horses. Greenberg built photo studios within horse rings to take the photographs. The shooting took place in Los Angeles in an area called Walker's Basin and also in Vancouver at Danny Virtue's ranch, a man who supplies horses to the film industry. In January 2014, Greenberg had an exhibition in Canada of images from Horse In August 2008, The Atlantic asked her to photograph John McCain for the magazine's October 2008 cover. Greenberg said they didn't have enough money to pay her so she gave them a license to use one of her photos for the cover (while she retained ownership of the photo) for free, for one-time use. Greenberg decided to make some personal images of the pictures. "I really didn't want there to be another Republican in the White House, so I decided to put my McCain pictures out on voting day." Saying she saw the work as political cartoons. "I thought it was the Artist Jill Greenberg appropriating the work of the Commercial Photographer Jill Greenberg." Greenberg's End Times, a series of photographs featuring toddlers, was the subject of controversy in 2006 (April 22 – July 8). The work featured stylized hyper-real closeups of children's faces contorted by various emotional distresses. The pieces were titled to reflect Greenberg's frustration with both the Bush administration and Christian Fundamentalism in the United States. The children were either professionally hired or were the children of friends (and included her daughter). All were accompanied by their parents, who assisted in getting the children to cry. The series resulted in active, often heated online discussion and news coverage, and resulted in hate mail which continued for several years. The images, meanwhile, have been imitated and used without permission for unrelated campaigns.Source: Wikipedia
Anne Helene Gjelstad
Anne Helene Gjelstad is an award-winning photographer and educator. After graduation from the Norwegian National Academy of Craft and Art Industry in 1982 she had her own fashion studio in Oslo for 25 years. Among her clients were HM Queen Sonja, Norwegian artists, magazines and the textile industry. In 2006 she felt the need for a change and decided to follow her childhood dream and become a photographer. She took the two-year class in photography at Bilder Nordic School of Photography (2007-08) as well a numerous workshops by some of the leading photographers of our time such as Joyce Tenneson, Mary Ellen Mark, Greg Gorman and Vee Speers. Anne Helene's works has been has been exhibited worldwide; in the National Art Museum of China in Beijing, in Centro Fotografico Alvarez Bravo in Mexico, in Ljubljana in Slovenia, around Estonia including the Lobby in the Estonian Parliament in Tallinn and in the National Museum in Tartu as well as in The House of Photography in Oslo. Anne Helene Gjelstad has her photo studio in an old barn surrounded by beautiful landscape just outside of Oslo. She also gives lectures and teaches portrait photography and postproduction. For her portraits, she is rewarded numerous awards. Statement For eleven years, since 2008, I have worked on portraying the lives of the older women on the small Estonian islands of Kihnu and Manija in the Baltic Sea. Colourful, interesting and friendly, they represent a culture and a way of life that is changing despite the strong anchor of tradition. These robust women are used to working hard, and take care of almost everything. They bring up the children, make the clothes, plough the fields, drive the tractors and take care of the animals. The men spend much time away from home, fishing or working on the mainland or abroad. Life is often hard. This is normal here. Nobody asks questions. You do what you must. This is how you get a big heart and strong hands. The voices of these hushed culture bearers need to be heard and kept for generations to come in a small society that is rapidly changing towards western standards, and where the traditional culture and identity is naturally slipping away. I have aimed to tell the women's stories truthfully and I have photographed their daily lives and activities, clothing and bedrooms, kitchens and farmhouses, the details, the surroundings and landscapes as well as the ceremony held in a deceased person's kitchen only three hours after she had passed away. To tell the fuller story, I have also interviewed some of the women about their lives, their experiences during war and occupation, family life, work, food and thoughts about the future. My book is my contribution to record and help preserve this unique culture for the future and give these old, wise women the voice they deserve as the quiet nation builders they really are.
Monika Macdonald
Monika Macdonald was born in 1969 in Sweden. She moved to Stockholm where she studied photography after graduation. In 2001 she settled in London and worked as a freelancer, primarily making reportage for newspapers and magazines. She returned to Sweden in 2007 and ever since has focused on working on self initiated projects. In her thick photographs, plenty of souls and flesh, inhabited by strength and vulnerability, Monika Macdonald breathes an unusual eroticism into photography that provokes a vision of interiority rather than fantasy. They invite us to observe moments of abandonment as well as introspection where distant (and yet concrete) beings are grasped in their daily lives as desiring subjects rather than objects of desire. Here the intimate is suggested, and something of the neglected order of existence surfaces. Monika Macdonald shows what remains in the absence, the flesh of everyday life: meeting, abandonment, taste for solitude... The bewitchment of her images lets us penetrate beyond the visible and glimpse this intimacy that is usually killed. "I don't like the idea of taking pictures that much. But I always come back to it. There are no words to describe the feeling of being close to something. That's why I keep going. I oscillate between different worlds to which I try to link myself. My images are memories. To access a sense of loneliness and vulnerability. To be admitted beyond reason, far from what is called reality." Source: Galerie VU' In Absence is a series of images portraying women in their strive to find their own identity in a solitary life. Hulls is a photographic essay about my meeting with the man in a space, without limitation. An intimate room for losing self control. Book to be published beginning of 2020 by André Frère Éditions, France. Edited by Art Director Greger Ulf Nilson.
Shelby Lee Adams
United States
1950
Shelby Lee Adams is an American environmental portrait photographer and artist best known for his images of Appalachian family life. Adams has photographed Appalachian families since the mid-1970s. He had first encountered the poor families of the Appalachian mountains as a child, travelling around the area with his uncle, who was a doctor. His work has been published in three monographs: Appalachian Portraits (1993), Appalachian Legacy (1998), and Appalachian Lives (2003). Adams was the subject of a documentary film by Jennifer Baichwal in 2002 - The True Meaning of Pictures: Shelby Lee Adams's Appalachia. This was shown at the Toronto International Film Festival, and at the Sundance Festival in 2003. The film critiques and defends Adams' method in photographing Appalachian people for his previously published books.Source: Wikipedia Born in Kentucky in the town of Hazard, and later living with his grandparents in Hot Spot, Shelby Lee Adams discovered photography and the arts in high school. It was during this time that the Peace Corps sent a film crew to his town to document the poverty of Appalachia, which sparked Adams' interest in the documentary style. He attended the Cleveland Institute of Art, where in his sophomore year he was exposed to the photographs of the Farm Security Administration. These pictures document the debilitating effects of the Depression in the South during the 1930s. Adams was able to relate to the images and the subjects, inspiring him to make the pictures for which he is now best known, his photographs of the people and culture of Appalachia. He began this project in 1973 and although he has done editorial work for publications like Fortune, GQ, New York Magazine, and the New York Times, he primarily focuses on portraits of the people of Appalachia. Shelby Lee Adams works primarily in black and white. He began with a 35mm camera and then switched to a 4x5. His crisp, poignant images show the people of Appalachia in their simple environments, revealing both the heroic and grotesque side to secluded mountain life. Adams photographs his subjects with an emphasis on the unpretty beauty of their immediate surroundings and their worn faces and clothes, their rudimentary living conditions starkly contrasted against the backdrop of a sublime landscape. But they are not depicted as victims; they confront the camera proudly and matter-of-factly. Shelby Lee Adams considers his subjects his friends, which no doubt lends a level of comfort to the shooting sessions, as they face his large camera. In his most recent work, Adams documents the infiltration of progress and media into the folkways of the Appalachian people, capturing the displacement of an agrarian economy. Drawn to the attractions of pop culture and modern life, the Appalachian people are losing interest in living off the land. Adams' work has received a great deal of recognition. He is the recipient of a survey grant and photography fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts (1978, 1992), along with an artist support grant four years running from the Polaroid Corporation (1989-92). His photographs are held in the permanent collections of many museums, including the Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art, both in New York, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C., the Harvard Fogg Museum in Cambridge, and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.Source: International Center of Photography
Alexey Brodovitch
United States
1898 | † 1971
Alexey Brodovitch was a Russian-born American designer and photographer, known for his time as the art director of Harper’s Bazaar from 1934 to 1958. Brodovitch was born in Ogolichi, Оголичи Aholičy, Russian Empire (now Belarus) to a wealthy Polish family in 1898. His father, Cheslau or Vyacheslav Brodovitch, was a respected physician, psychiatrist and huntsman. His mother was an amateur painter. During the Russo-Japanese War, his family moved to Moscow, where his father worked in a hospital for Japanese prisoners. Alexey was sent to study at the Prince Tenisheff School, a prestigious institution in Saint Petersburg, with the intentions of eventually enrolling in the Imperial Art Academy. He had no formal training in art through his childhood, but often sketched noble profiles in the audience at concerts in the city. At the start of World War I at the young age of 16, Brodovitch abandoned his dream of entering the Imperial Art Academy and ran away from home to join the Russian army. Not long after, his father had him brought home and hired a private tutor to help Alexey finish school. Upon graduating, Brodovitch ran away again on several occasions. During the Russian Civil War, Brodovitch served with the White Army. While fighting against the Bolsheviks in Odessa, he was badly wounded and was hospitalized for a time in Kislovodsk, in the Caucasus. In 1918, the town was surrounded by the Bolsheviks, forcing Brodovitch into exile. It was during this retreat to the south through Caucasus and Turkey that he met his future wife, Nina. By good fortune, Alexey's brother Nicolas turned out to be one of the soldiers guarding the refugees in Novorossiysk. Not long after, their father, who had been imprisoned in Saint Petersburg by the Bolsheviks, managed to flee to Novorossiysk in hopes of finding his family. The three were once again together, and arranged for Brodovitch's mother and other relations to join them in Constantinople. Finally reunited, the Brodovitchs made their way to France. In Paris, he lived in poverty amidst the vibrant avant-garde scene of the era, working as a backdrop painter for Serge Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes. Brodovitch embraced technical developments from the spheres of industrial design, photography, and contemporary painting. His broad curiosity began to assimilate the most interesting aspects of all these fields into his work, eventually making them his own. He later instilled this same curiosity in his students, encouraging them to use new techniques like the airbrush, industrial lacquers, flexible steel needles, and surgical knives. By the age of 32, Brodovitch had dabbled in producing posters, china, jewelry, textiles, advertisements, and paintings. Eventually specializing in advertising and graphic design, he had become one of the most respected designers of commercial art in Paris. By 1930, however, Paris had lost its luster for Brodovitch. The once-flourishing spirit of adventure and experimentation was fading away. Although he was offered many design positions, Brodovitch turned them down, presumably looking for new locales to advance his designs. Brodovitch moved to the United States, accepting a post as a professor of advertising in Philadelphia. Only four years later, he was hired as the art director of Harper's Bazaar. During his tenure there, he fundamentally changed the magazine’s aesthetic, hiring a number of unique photographers to provide editorial content, including Man Ray, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Lisette Model, and Robert Frank. Brodovitch left the magazine in 1958, but continued to teach design until his death on April 15, 1971 in Le Thor, France. Today, his works are held in the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, Museum of Modern Art in New York, and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.Source: Wikipedia
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