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Ed Sievers
Untitled (Self portrait in mirror), Venice Beach, CA, 1976
Ed Sievers
Ed Sievers

Ed Sievers

Country: United States
Birth: 1932 | Death: 2002

Ed Sievers was born in 1932 in St. Louis, MO, the son of a family doctor that made house calls and an aspiring opera singer. He attended Grinnell College, graduating with a degree in Speech in 1954. His first job was as a creative writer for Hallmark Cards. The slogans he penned were notable for the wry wit and wisdom with which he commented on the human condition. At the same time, his interest in the arts was expanding from the literary to the visual, and would ultimately lead him in a new direction.

In 1966 he was accepted into the MFA program at the Rhode Island School of Design to study photography with Harry Callahan. Upon graduation in 1968 he joined the faculty of California State University, Northridge, as a specialist in fine art photography. He took up residence in the Carlton Hotel in Venice Beach and soon realized he had walked into a street photographer's dream.

Originally designed as a resort community modeled after its Italian namesake, Venice had fallen on hard times. Buildings were in disrepair and rents were cheap. Influenced by the Bohemian lifestyle of its poets, artists, students and a struggling lower class, the boardwalk suddenly sprang to life. There were musicians, dancers, jugglers, mimes, magicians, comedians, roller skaters, fortune tellers, gritty street people and colorful hippies. And, of course, there was the sprawling nude beach. Throngs of gapers flocked from throughout Southern California to enjoy the expressive spirit of the moment.

But that was only on weekends. A quieter, more sensitive mood prevailed during the week. The gentle gestures of holocaust survivors at the Israel Levin Center. The recovering alcoholics quietly heading home after Al-Anon meetings. The homeless searching for food and drink. The once cheerful cottages longing for attention. The iconic murals. The myopic murals. The motions of a people not sure of what lay ahead.

Within a decade the Venice that Ed knew had been swallowed up by rampant commercialism and the inexorable influx of the nouveau riche. Upon his death in 2002, the Edwin R. Sievers Memorial Award was established to share his vision with future students; "His approach to photography was straight forward: use the nuances of available light to enhance the subject, whatever that may be: ordinary, quirky, or sublime."

Source: Robert Mann Gallery

 

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Stephen Wicks
United States
Stephen Wicks' attraction to photography began during his childhood. He says he was inspired by the photo essays in LIFE Magazine. Each week when a new issue arrived it seemed like the world beyond his home was in his hands and he had feelings for and wanted to meet the people who appeared in the pictures and visit the places he saw on the pages in the magazine. Wicks has always had a deep interest in all forms of communication. He says his attraction to the visual world and belief in the power of images triggered his imagination, cultivated his intuition, awakened within him a natural curiosity and an instinct to questioning everything. These qualities have been the inspiration for Wicks to follow parallel careers as an imagemaker and visual educator. As an artist Stephen Wicks has been using photography, videography, monologues and soundscapes to tell stories about the things he see's, questions and values. His motivation has been to create picture stories, in print and now also on the screen, to share with others what he has experienced, discovered and captured. During his early career Wicks created traditional B&W photo essays with up close and personal photographs made, often while living with his subjects over a long period of time, and returning many years later to see and capture changes in their lives. More recently, Wicks has been making digital color photographs of landscapes, places and objects found in spaces shared by the natural landscape and built environment. Although these photographs are void of people, he believes a human trace is visible in each picture and, with this in mind, he see's his Nature/Culture images as social landscapes. It is precisely the absence of people along with a sense of their presence, as seen in the marks and artifacts left in the environment, he now finds most fascinating. Stephen Wicks is currently developing two presentation/performance/storytelling projects: PICTURE STORIES: a series of live presentations based on thematic video vignettes, photographs and monologues about American people, places, experiences and events; including a dialogue with the audience (in development / launch: September 2019) BEING THERE: his YouTube Channel - a video magazine about American Culture - including picture stories, video journals and commentary on education, art, communication, politics, economy, media (in development / launch: October 2019)
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He says while he disagrees with the government, he still loves his country and hopes democracy will perhaps prevail in the long-term future. He does not believe his images or the book should be considered anti-Chinese, rather a reminder of the painful past many countries endure during their evolution.Source: Wikipedia
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Zaharia Cusnir
Moldova
1912 | † 1993
Zaharia Cuşnir (1912-1993) was an amateur photographer born in Rosietici village, Floresti region, Moldova. He was photographing people within 1955-1973, and left a collection of negative films 6x6 cm, from which 3751 were discovered in his abandoned house in 2016. The photographs portray groups, landscapes, scenes from everyday life: work in the kolkhoz, weddings, funerals, national celebrations. Life Zaharia Cuşnir was born as the last child in the family of 16 children in Rosietici village, Soroca district. His father was a Moldovan businessman (born 1870), and his mother was of German origins (born in approx. 1870). Zaharia was born in Bessarabia, at that time part of the Russian Empire, educated in Romania (Iasi city), and after WW-II, became a USSR citizen. He went to school to the neighbouring Rogojeni village and later attended the pedagogical lyceum in Iasi, Romania. He began teaching in Rogojeni, then though he worked in kolhoz, performing works as carrying stones, digging the frozen ground, carrying loam, destroying fences, herding cows. Villagers also remember him as a blacksmith. He also built a family of 4 children with his wife, Daria. Zaharia learned photography from his nephew, who returned from the army. The nephew was living in another village, so they decided to split the territory for the photographic activities. So, Zaharia stayed responsible for the surrounding villages: Caşunca, Rogojeni, Țâra, Ghindeşti, Roşietici, and Cenuşa. The first pictures were taken in 1955. Zaharia was photographing mainly portraits of neighbours and then he was selling the photos. He had a bicycle, which he was usually lending to people for a photograph, as well he had a black blanket, which he was using as a background when he was taking portraits. Up to 1973, he had taken around 4000 pictures of the medium format 6x6 cm. In 1993, after he died, the house was abandoned and the pictures were stocked in a suitcase and placed in the attic. Discovery In spring 2016, Victor Galuşca, being a student at the Academy of Arts in Chisinau, Moldova, arrived in Rosietici village to film his documentary film for the bachelor's degree exam. He entered the abandoned house and found several negative films scattered through the trash all around the floor. Victor inquired from the villagers whose house was it and found the daughter of Zaharia Cusnir, living in the neighbourhood. With her permission, within several days, he picked all of them, and together with his photography professor, Nicolae Pojoga started the cleaning and indexing process of the archive. Among all, there were found old documents, among which was an edited request for admission to the school, adjusted to a stilted language used at the time. There was also found a table of exercises written in Russian Cyrillic script, as well as elementary calculus tests designed for primary school. Other documents and archival remnants reveal a struggle between life and death for the majority of the population; these include bread allowances and checks listing debts. Further Development The archive has a high resonance and was appreciated within several exhibitions: at the Museum of Art of Moldova (curated by Cervinscaia Nadejda) and the Romanian Peasant Museum in Romania in 2018, and at the Ethnographic Museum of Transilvania, the Subway Gallery of the House of Arts in Timisoara, Romania and at the Museum of Ethnography and Folklore MARAMUREş from Baia Mare, Romania in 2019. In 2017 a Moldovan Publishing house Cartier published a photo album "Lumea lui Zaharia" ("Zaharia's World"). At the beginning of 2020, was launched the website and facebook page, aiming to give open access to the usage of the Zaharia Cusnir archive. The team is working on few coming exhibitions in Europe in 2020.
Gregory Dargent
France
1977
Gregory Dargent is a French musician and photographer born in 1977 in Argenteuil. A graduate of the Strasbourg Conservatoire, he has an international career as a musician (electric guitar and oud) as well as a composer. His creations have taken him all over the world, from the Berlin Philharmonic to a small place in the Itabuna Church in Brazil, from the Doha Oud Festival to the "Poisson Rouge" in New York, from the Jazz Festival in Cairo to the auditorium of Warsaw Radio. Somewhat belatedly fascinated by photography he discovered it accidentally the day of his 38th birthday, anchored in the temporality of film, committed to the abstraction of black and white and advocating its subjectivity, he created in 2018 the Book H., published by Saturn, his first photographic work. It is an echo in images to the disc H (contemporary trio setting to music the French nuclear tests in the Sahara). This book tells his feelings and his personal awareness during 3 short trips around the seventeenth ground zero French atomic explosions in the 60s, in Reggane and Tamanrasset, Algeria. His book is acclaimed by the press (Christmas selection Telerama for the book + CD, L'Humanité, L'Oeil de la Photographie, L'Interval, "Par les temps qui courent" on France Culture) and became the subject of his very first exhibition as part of the collective exhibition "Le Rêve d'un mouvement" in Paris in January 2019, alongside, among others, Gilles Roudière, Damien Daufresne, Stephane Charpentier and Gael Bonnefon. This exhibition then travelled to Studio Spiral (Grenoble) in March/April 2019, at Retine Argentique (Marseille) in April/May 2019, Sharjah Art Foundation (E.A.U), Galerie VU'(Paris), Dar Abdelaatif in Algiers and will be on view at Studio Baxton (Brussels) in 2020. He is selected in 2019 as a "young talent photographer in residence" as part of the Festival Planche (s) Contact of Deauville for which he will create a new exhibition, L'Echappée, and is currently working on his next personal projects, mixing photography, video super 8 and music. The first project is about spirituality and poetry in Haiti, "Black Venus", the second one is about the feeling of underground life mixed with ancient mythologies in Cairo (with musician and photographer Frederic D. Oberland).
Larry Louie
Canada
1961
International award winning documentary photographer Larry Louie leads a dual career. In his optometry clinic, he is Dr. Larry Louie, working to enhance the vision of people from all walks of life in the urban core of a North American city. On his travels, he is a humanitarian documentary photographer, exploring the lives of remote indigenous people, and documenting social issues around the world. As an optometrist, Larry adjusts people’s visual perception. As a photographer, he seeks to adjust people’s view of the world. Either way, he is interested in things that exist outside the regular field of vision. Larry’s photographs have often been described as realism at its best. There is a story waiting to be told in every image. Sarah Cho, competition director of the IPA/Lucie Awards describes Larry’s photographs as “captivating and sincere and reflect his passion for the medium,” adding, “Larry Louie has a very distinctive style, straddling the fine line of a photo journalist and documentarian. His images are as rich and evocative as the subjects (on) which he focuses.” His photographs show the strength and perseverance that mark people the world over, revealing the light sometimes found in dark places. Larry' s work to document the lives of people around the world has resulted in a vast archive of images. His work has received international recognition and awards including the IPA Lucie Award; National Geographic Photo Essay Award; and Humanitarian Documentary Grant with the World Photography. As an optometrist and photographer, Larry is avid supporter of Seva Canada, an international non-profit organization who is a part of VISION 2020, the global initiative for the elimination of preventable and avoidable blindness in the world by year 2020. Source: www.larrylouie.com Interview with Larry Louie All About Photo: When did you realize you wanted to be a photographer? Larry Louie: I knew when I was about 16 when I received my first real camera and I was experimenting exposures. AAP: Where did you study photography? LL: Self taught. AAP: Do you have a mentor or role model? LL: I do not have a mentor, but I have master photographers whose work I greatly admire and I study their amazing portfolio of works: Josef Koudelka, Sebastiao Salgado, James Natchwey. AAP: How long have you been a photographer? LL: I have been regularly photographing since 18 years of age but in regards to the documentary work, only for the last 8 years. AAP: Do you remember your first shot? What was it? LL: My first shot that I liked was the color image of 2 women taken in Jodphur, India. I call it the Blue City image because of the predominating blue color of the city. This image was placed second in a National Geographic Traveler magazine photo competition. AAP: What or who inspires you? LL: Great work that has passion in the subject. That is why I like the works of the above artists I mentioned. AAP: How could you describe your style? LL: I like B&W documentary work that evokes one's curiosity about mankind and his struggle with the surrounding environment. AAP: Do you have a favorite photograph or series? LL: I like 2 of my latest series: "A Working Day in Dhaka" and my latest series "Tondo, Manila" (will be up on the web within this month). AAP: What kind of gear do you use? Camera, lens, digital, film? LL: I use Canon 5D Mark3 bodies, 24mm f1.4 prime lens, 85mm f/1.2 prime lens, and 24-105mm f/4 zoom lens. AAP: Do you spend a lot of time editing your images? For what purpose? LL: I don't do too much editing. I do not crop my images and very minimal photoshop besides converting it into black and white and some burning and dodging. I do most of my editing the week after I return on a trip. The images are used for my website, to produce prints, calendars for fund raising purposes. AAP: What are your projects? LL: Please go to my website. My latest projects have been concentrated on the working poor and people who are stuck in the bonds of poverty, especially children born into poverty and child laborers. AAP: Favorite(s) photographer(s)? LL: Josef Koudelka, Sebastiao Salgado, James Natchwey. AAP: What advice would you give a young photographer? LL: Photograph what gives you passion. The best work will come through. Shoot, shoot, shoot. AAP: What mistake should a young photographer avoid? LL: Being cliché. One should be original. AAP: An idea, a sentence, a project you would like to share? LL: My wife and I are working presently with an organization named "Philippines Community Fund" whose goal is through education to enable a generation of children to escape from the cycle of poverty to which they are born into, and in doing so create a better and more sustainable life for them and their family. PCF today funs a four storey school in Tondo, Manila providing education, food, healthcare, and other support services for nearly 600 children from the nearby garbage dump and cemetery. AAP: Your best memory as a photographer? LL: To be able to help and raise funds and bring attention to issues that makes a significant difference in the lives of the people we photograph. AAP:The compliment that touched you most? LL: A thank you and a smile from the people who we touched during our visits and who in return touched us with their graciousness. AAP:If you were someone else who would it be? LL: I am happy with who I am and what I do. AAP: Your favorite photo book? LL: "The Sahel" by Sabastiao Salgado. AAP: Anything else you would like to share? LL: No, I would like to thank you for your interest in my photography.
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