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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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Ralph Gibson is an American art photographer best known for his photographic books. His images often incorporate fragments with erotic and mysterious undertones, building narrative meaning through contextualization and surreal juxtaposition. Ralph Gibson studied photography while in the US Navy and then at the San Francisco Art Institute. He began his professional career as an assistant to Dorothea Lange and went on to work with Robert Frank on two films. Gibson has maintained a lifelong fascination with books and book-making. Since the appearance in 1970 of THE SOMNAMBULIST, his work has been steadily impelled towards the printed page. To date he has produced over 40 monographs, his most current projects being "State of the Axe" published by Yale University Press in Fall of 2008 and "NUDE" by Taschen (2009). His photographs are included in over one hundred and fifty museum collections around the world, and have appeared in hundreds of exhibitions. Gibson has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts (1973, 1975, 1986), a Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (D.A.A.D.) Exchange, Berlin (1977), a New York State Council of the Arts (C.A.P.S.) fellowship (1977), and the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation (1985). The Rencontres d'Arles festival presented his work in 1975, 1976, 1977, 1979, 1989 and 1994. His book "Syntax" received a mention for the Rencontres d'Arles Book Award in 1983. He was decorated as an Officier de L'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (1986) and appointed, Commandeur de L'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (2005) by the French government. His awards include: Leica Medal of Excellence Award (1988), "150 Years of Photography" Award, Photographic Society of Japan (1989), a Grande Medaille de la Ville d'Arles (1994) and the Lucie Award for lifetime achievement (2008). Gibson also received an honorary doctorate of Fine Arts from the University of Maryland (1991), and a second honorary doctorate from the Ohio Wesleyan University (1998). He has worked exclusively with the Leica for almost 50 years. Gibson currently lives in New York and travels frequently to Europe and Brazil.Source: Wikipedia Having begun his acclaimed photographic career as an apprentice to the great documentarians Dorothea Lange and Robert Frank, Ralph Gibson is known for his highly distinctive vision in still photography. By intensifying contrast and emphasizing the grain of the film in his prints, Gibson concentrates on the minute details: the edge of a café table, the arc of a hip, the glint of a fork. Gibson’s works are both formally vigorous and eternally evocative. His photographs are in major private and public collections worldwide, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Bibliotheque Nationale.Source: Weston Gallery
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Pentti Sammallahti
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