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Alexandro Pelaez
Alexandro Pelaez
Alexandro Pelaez

Alexandro Pelaez

Country: Venezuela
Birth: 1977

Alexandro Pelaez is a Caracas-born analogue photographer based in London with a BA in Communication (Advertising) at Jacksonville University in Florida and was headhunted as an art director in the advertising agency BVK Meka in Miami. Having moved to London in 2001, where he completed his second BA (Hons) in Graphic at Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London, Alexandro has worked over the years on various photography projects with different clients in the UK, Latvia, Germany, Italy, France, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Shanghai and USA.

In 2014 Alexandro received the Highly Commended Award by the London Photographic Association for his "HEROES & VILLAINS". In 2017 Alexandro was the finalist with the "Londoners" series at the ACCI "Art of Living" Photography Competition in California, and won two Honourable Mentions by International Photographer of the Year for both categories of Fine Art: Conceptual and People: Portrait; and by Density Neutral Photography Awards for the category Fine Art: Conceptual.

Recently, Alexandro received three Honourable Mention Awards by the IPA International Photography Awards in New York (2019) with the OneShot Street Photography competition New York (single image) Category: Specials; also received the Finalist Award by the Fine Art Photography Awards (2019) Category: Cityscape (series).

Alexandro received the 2nd place award by the IPA International Photography Award 2019 in New York in the category of: Analogue/ Film, Other.

Artist Statement

"When I am shooting in double exposure with my 35mm film camera, in my way and style, I am trying to capture the true essence of a city or an area. What I want to convey is my perspective of “what you see is what you get" by capturing those unique moments when I catch an image. The double exposure allows me to capture all that but can take my images to a different level where I can be more creative by holding double layered scenarios that will give the viewer a magical, almost surreal perspective and sense of unnatural futurism."

Alexandro Pelaez and the Magical in the Realism
 

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Janette Beckman
United Kingdom
1959
Janette Beckman is a British documentary photographer who currently lives in New York City. Beckman describes herself as a documentary photographer. While she produces a lot of work on location (such as the cover of The Police album Zenyatta Mondatta, taken in the middle of a forest in the Netherlands), she is also a studio portrait photographer. Her work has appeared on records for major labels, and in magazines including Esquire, Rolling Stone, Glamour, Italian Vogue, The Times, Newsweek, Jalouse, Mojo and others. Beckman was at King Alfred School, in Golders Green in north London, from 1953 to 1967. She spent a year at Saint Martin's School of Art, and then three years at London College of Communication studying photography. After initially working for Sounds magazine with Vivien Goldman – her first shoot was with Siouxsie and the Banshees – she had a job shooting for music magazines such as Melody Maker and The Face, with a studio and darkroom in central London. Her primary focus was the UK's burgeoning punk subculture. Beckman moved permanently to New York City in 1982 and continued her career, shooting for her UK clients as well as new ones in the U.S. After moving to New York, Beckman presented her portfolio to American record companies looking for work shooting album covers, but the gritty feel of her work did not fit the "airbrushed" aesthetic preferred at the time. She was passed on to smaller rap and hip-hop labels, where she photographed acts such as Salt-N-Pepa, LL Cool J, Public Enemy, and the Beastie Boys in their early days. In a 2015 interview with American Photo magazine, she recalled "It is amazing, 30 years later, people going 'oh you photographed legends.' I guess I did, but they weren’t legends when I was taking pictures of them".Source: Wikipedia As a child growing up in London in the 1960s, Janette Beckman visited the National Portrait Gallery. Entranced by the portraits of people from distant times and places, she instinctively knew that’s what she wanted to do. “I was always fascinated by people,” she remembers. “I’d see them at the bus stop on the way to school but I was too shy to talk to anybody, so I’d stare at them. My mother would say, ‘Don’t stare,’ but I couldn’t help myself.” Drawn to the irrepressible expression of style, character, and personality, Beckman forged ahead with her dream of becoming an artist. In the early 1970s, she enrolled at Central St. Martins to study art while living in a semi-squat in Streatham, South London, with her classmates. “We lived on four floors, shared a bathroom, and there was no heat — but my rent was only £5 a week,” she recalls. Beckman’s foray into photography happened by sheer serendipity. “We would sit around drawing each other endlessly,” she says. “My dear friend Eddie was a fantastic artist; he could draw as well as David Hockney. I would look at his work, then mine, and realize I was never going to be that good. When the end of the school year came, I had to decide what I was going to do, and I thought, I’ll try photography.” After enrolling in photography school, where she was just one of three women in the class, Janette Beckman quickly realized she didn’t want to learn by instruction — she wanted to do it herself. Determined to chart her own path, Beckman gave herself portrait assignments, and only went into class to learn the things she needed to know, like how to make prints. “I was in my really rebellious stage,” says Beckman, who followed this guiding light throughout her career. Her love for subversives, innovators, and activists is collected in the new book, Rebels: From Punk to Dior, which brings together four decades of photographs celebrating artists, musicians, and movements on the fringe that have redefined mainstream culture and society. Beckman’s photographs have played a seminal role in these seismic shifts — one so undeniable that institutions are finally taking note. In a truly full-circle moment, earlier this year, the National Portrait Gallery acquired four Beckman prints of British musicians including the Specials and Laurel Aitken as part of “Inspiring People,” a major curatorial redevelopment project to represent cultural and gender diversity across both sitter and artists.Source: Blind Magazine
 Nadar
France
1820 | † 1910
Nadar was the pseudonym of Gaspard-Félix Tournachon. Nadar was born in April 1820 in Paris (though some sources state Lyon). He was a caricaturist for Le Charivari in 1848. In 1849 he created the Revue comique and the Petit journal pour rire. He took his first photographs in 1853 and in 1858 became the first person to take aerial photographs. He also pioneered the use of artificial lighting in photography, working in the catacombs of Paris. Around 1863, Nadar built a huge (6000 m³) balloon named Le Géant ("The Giant"), thereby inspiring Jules Verne's Five Weeks in a Balloon. Although the "Géant" project was initially unsuccessful Nadar was still convinced that the future belonged to heavier-than-air machines. Later, "The Society for the Encouragement of Aerial Locomotion by Means of Heavier than Air Machines" was established, with Nadar as president and Verne as secretary. Nadar was also the inspiration for the character of Michael Ardan in Verne's From the Earth to the Moon. On his visit to Brussels with the Géant, on 26 September 1864, Nadar erected mobile barriers to keep the crowd at a safe distance. Up to this day, crowd control barriers are known in Belgium as Nadar barriers. In April 1874, he lent his photo studio to a group of painters, thus making the first exhibition of the Impressionists possible. He photographed Victor Hugo on his death-bed in 1885. He is credited with having published (in 1886) the first photo-interview (of famous chemist Michel Eugène Chevreul, then a centenarian), and also took erotic photographs. From 1895 until his return to Paris in 1909, the Nadar photo studio was in Marseilles (France). Nadar died in 1910, aged 89. He was buried in Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris. Source: Wikipedia
Thomas Annan
Scotland
1829 | † 1887
Thomas Annan was a Scottish photographer, notable for being the first to record the bad housing conditions of the poor. Born in Dairsie, Fife he was one of seven children of John Annan, a flax spinner. After his initial apprenticeship as a lithographic writer and engraver at the Fife Herald in Cupar, he moved to Glasgow in 1849 and worked as a lithographer and engraver for Joseph Swan until 1855. He set up business with George Berwick at 40 Woodlands Road, Glasgow, listing in the 1855 - 56 Glasgow post office directory as calotypists, practitioners of this early form of photography. In 1855, he photographed the ship RMS Persia, under construction on the Clyde, which was probably a commission by engineer, Robert Napier. This photograph was part of a group of images sent to the Photographic Exhibition in connection with the British Association. After dissolving his previous partnership, he established himself in a photographic studio at 116 Sauchiehall Street during 1857. In 1859, the business moved to 200 Hope Street and he was also able to establish a printing works in Hamilton in 1863. First interested largely in architectural photography and then portraits, as well as photographing artworks and maps, in 1866 Annan photographed slum areas of the city. These images were used by Glasgow City Improvement Trust to document the overcrowded, unhygienic conditions ahead of extensive redevelopments. It was this series of photographs, created between 1868 and 1871, entitled Old Closes and Streets of Glasgow, that ensured his posterity. In 1869, Annan purchased the contents of Rock House, which belonged David Octavius Hill, which included many of Hill's photographs and negatives. These were eventually exhibited by Thomas' son, James Craig Annan, and reproduced in photogravure in Alfred Stieglitz's journal Camera Work. Annan's photographs of the Loch Katrine Waterworks were praised in the British Journal of Photography: "The views by Mr. Annan could scarcely fail to be attractive, for in a country so beautiful a clever artist is bound to produce results in keeping with the nature of the subject, and this Mr. Annan has done." Indeed, Annan's work was often praised not only for its aesthetics, but also for its technical virtuosity. Twenty years later, Annan's studio would be singled out by Baden Pritchard for its accomplishments in carbon printing and "beautiful pictures of exteriors and interiors of Scotch strongholds." Thomas Annan purchased the rights to the photogravure process in Britain from Karel Klíč of Vienna in 1883 after visiting the city with his second son, James Craig Annan. James was a noted photogravurist and associated with late nineteenth-century art photography continued in his father's profession, receiving a Royal Warrant as Photographers and Photographic Engravers to Her Majesty in Glasgow. Thomas Annan died on 14 December 1887 at his home in Lenzie. Before his death by suicide, he had experienced a month-long period of "mental aberration". The family business survives to the present day in the form of the Annan Fine Art Gallery, located on Woodlands Road in the West End of Glasgow. A selection of prints from the Glasgow Improvements act 1868 series were displayed in the Scottish National Portrait Gallery from 2011 to 2012. In 2017, the J. Paul Getty Museum curated an exhibition entitled Thomas Annan: Photographer of Glasgow, the first to survey his career and legacy as photographer and printer.Source: Wikipedia
Miles Aldridge
United KIngdom
1964
Miles Aldridge rose to prominence in the mid-nineties with his arresting, highly stylised photographs with references to film noir, art history and pop culture. An acclaimed colourist, he renders elaborate mise-en-scènes in a palette of vibrant acidic hues. These glamorous, frequently eroticised images probe society's idealised notions of domestic bliss where sinister undercurrents swirl beneath a flawless surface. Aldridge has worked prolifically for more than twenty-five years, and today he remains one of the few photographers still shooting predominately on film. His creative output encompasses large-scale c-type prints, Polaroids, screenprints, photogravures and drawings. Born in London in 1964, the son of famed art director and illustrator Alan Aldridge, his interest in photography began at an early age when he was given a Nikon F camera by his father. He went on to study graphic design at Central Saint Martins, graduating with a BA in 1987. Aldridge initially worked as an illustrator and music video director, before turning his attention to photography. In 1996 he began working with Franca Sozzani, the legendary editor-in-chief of Vogue Italia, and their boundary-pushing collaboration would continue for twenty years. In addition to the many international editions of Vogue, Aldridge's images have featured regularly in prestigious titles including Harper's Bazaar, Numéro, W, The New York Times Magazine and The New Yorker. Aldridge develops each new photographic narrative by rendering his initial thoughts in ink or pencil sketches with washes of watercolour and pastel. These drawings and storyboards are an essential early stage in his creative process. He believes that 'fiction and theatricality can be more truthful than documenting reality' and translates his sketches into meticulously arranged compositions to create images reminiscent of film stills: frames snatched from a broader story. Aldridge notes that many of his favourite moments in cinema are, as he describes, "closeups of a woman's face thinking", and he shares Hitchcock's ability to create powerful moments of suspense, turning viewers into voyeurs. In Aldridge's Chromo Thriller (2012) there is a palpable resonance with David Lynch's neo-noir mystery Blue Velvet, where immaculate façades hide darkly strange stories. As one author has noted: "Aldridge's female protagonists recall the glamour and splendour of Isabella Rossellini's character whilst at the same time remaining suggestive of something more sinister." Only rarely does he allow the real world to encroach upon the imagined realm. Through his lens, even reality appears artificial. In the series Capital Gains (2007) and Open Tour (2008) the cities of Washington DC and Paris look cleaner and sleeker than ever before. In The Last Range of Colours (2007), a lone figure in a children's playground evokes both the Technicolor splendour of The Wizard of Oz and the haunting dreamscape of a Giorgio de Chirico painting. A recurring theme throughout Aldridge's oeuvre is the false promise of luxury. Psychedelic interiors are furnished with the trappings of mid-century suburban comfort: gleaming kitchen appliances, candy-coloured telephones and well-groomed pets denote success. The work conflates historic and modern motifs and makes subtle reference to the art historical canon. The project Immaculée (2007) points to Catholic depictions of female saints in ecstasy, whilst his portraits of Lily Cole (2005) and Maisie Williams (2017) draw inspiration from Northern Renaissance masters such as Albrecht Dürer and Hans Holbein. Pop Art tropes feature predominantly: Coca-Cola logos (3D, 2010; A Family Portrait #14, 2011), soup cans and tomato ketchup bottles (A Drop of Red #2, 2001; First Impressions, 2006) all form a striking part of his visual lexicon. His fascination with art history led Aldridge to undertake projects with several significant contemporary artists including Maurizio Cattelan, Gilbert & George and Harland Miller. For the project (after Cattelan) (2016), he was invited by Cattelan to respond to the Italian artist's exhibition, Not Afraid of Love, in the grand neoclassical rooms of the Monnaie de Paris. The resulting series of c-type photographs depicts statuesque nudes dominating Cattelan's hyperreal sculptures in a series of absurdist tableaux. A second series, titled Love Always and Love All Ways after Gilbert & George (2016), was made with the British duo at their London townhouse. Drawing on the conventions of Victorian melodrama, Aldridge devised a series centred around the story of an enigmatic young visitor staying at the house for the weekend. In a further nod to Victoriana, the images were printed using the nineteenth-century photogravure process, whereby an etched copper plate produces highly detailed intaglio prints. The monotone prints were augmented with blocks of bold colour and hand-painted details to create a contemporary aesthetic. His most recent collaboration was with Harland Miller, known for his paintings of imaginary book covers that were partly inspired by Alan Aldridge's 1960s designs for Penguin paperbacks. In a satisfying symmetry, Aldridge transformed Miller's paintings into real books, used as props in his photoshoot. The resulting screenprints evoke the grainy colour supplements of Aldridge's youth and were published by Poligrafa, Barcelona's renowned fine art publisher, who launched them at the 2017 edition of Art Basel Miami Beach. Poligrafa went on to publish the subsequent screenprint series New Utopias, which they exhibited at the 2018 edition of Art Basel. Most recently, Tan Lines, one of Aldridge's largest screenprints to date, was unveiled by Poligrafa at the 2019 edition of The Armory Show, New York. Aldridge's major museum exhibitions include his upcoming retrospective Virgin Mary. Supermarkets. Popcorn. Photographs 1999 - 2020 at Fotografiska, New York, which opened 7th May 2021 having first appeared at Fotografiska Museum, Stockholm (2020-2021), solo shows at The Lumiere Brothers Photography Centre, Moscow (2019) and OCA, São Paulo (2015) and I Only Want You to Love Me at Somerset House, London (2013). In 2014, he was commissioned by Tate Britain to create a photographic installation in response to Mark Gertler's 1916 painting Merry-Go-Round. London's National Portrait Gallery houses a large collection of Aldridge's portraits and his work is held in prestigious museums and institutions around the world including the Victoria and Albert Museum and British Museum in London, the Fondation Carmignac and the Palais Galliera in Paris, the Davis Museum at Wellesley College, Massachusetts and the International Center of Photography in New York. -- Susanna Brown Curator of Photography Victoria and Albert MuseumSource: milesaldridge.com
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