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William Castellana
William Castellana
William Castellana

William Castellana

Country: United States
Birth: 1968

William Castellana is an award-winning photographer whose images have been published internationally in periodicals such as Silvershotz (The International Journal of Contemporary Photography), Rangefinder, Creative Quarterly (The Journal of Art & Design), Newsweek, Time, New York, and others. His photographs reside in the permanent collections of over 40 museums in the US including the Hood Museum of Art, Museum of the City of New York, Museum of Modern Art Library, Yale University Library, New Britain Museum of American Art, Southeast Museum of Photography, and the Hunter Museum of American Art.

About the Series

Street photography, in terms of the "unposed," is a practice that serves the compelling need to distill the ebb and flow of visually complex interactions into static form - forever fixed and with meaning. It is this desire to understand more deeply the rhythms of humanity that takes me to the streets in search of clarity.

In their simplest sense, the images in this series form a social document of a people and a place; namely, a sect of Hasidic Jews known as the Satmars. This sect of Hasidic Jews was founded in Satu Mare, Romania by Rabbi Joel Teitelbaum in the early 20th century. After WWII, Teitelbaum settled in Williamsburg, Brooklyn to lay the groundwork for a religious ideology that would launch one of the largest Hasidic movements in the world. Since Teitelbaum's death, the Satmar community has grown exponentially and continues to thrive economically and spiritually through closely observed traditions and social mechanisms.

Between the fall of 2013 and 2014, I set out to photograph my neighbors in the one-half square mile area below Division Avenue, which demarcates the religious from the secular communities of Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The photographs in this book are constrained to the "neighborhood view," since my outsider status made access to a more privileged look impossible.

As an outsider, what I witnessed through my camera during that period was forever new and unique compared to my everyday routine and what the rest of the city's inhabitants were pulsing to. For me, street photography is about the preservation of time and place - a kind of poetry that distills both in equal measure.
 

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More Great Photographers To Discover

Gautam Narang
United Kingdom
1984
I found photography by mistake, when doing my GCSE, I was sitting in the study room, then heard a teacher describe the subjects they taught at the school. As he was going through the subjects, he mentioned photography. I thought to myself was this a subject? Photography! It's so easy, all you do is click (How, wrong I was, how very wrong) *sigh*. As a child I used to play around with cameras. I always looked through them as was interested In them. So I sat in the lesson and was very enthusiastic to start a creative art. The journey had begun. One of the first subjects I started to picture was boats .....mmm yes boats. I lived near a canal and started to photograph boats. I don't know why I picked boats, it's quite sad when I look back, but that was one of my subjects. I took thousands of photographs, trying to make the subjects look Interesting. I remember one day I took all my photographs and filled up a whole table. The obsession had started but I hadn't known. Pictures now filled my room. From the start I always wanted to show my best. I would keep a box of my best photographs and then throw away all the one's I didn't like. I always feel the next picture is my favorite picture, wanting to create new work. As I progressed through my studies, I became distracted. There were so many subjects to do and I tried them all. One week I was doing art of history, then chemistry. I then dropped them all and just focused on photography. To this day, I follow photography. I have learned a lot but I am still confused on what to do next. I love what I do, but everybody tells me go into other things. Photography is more than clicking a button. From my first trip In India I have learned more about life then I would from anything. It teaches you to look, understand and observe rather then just walk away.All about Gautam Narang:AAP: When did you realize you wanted to be a photographer?Well after high school, I pretty much knew that is something that Iíve wanted to do, and itís pretty much all that Iíve pictured myself doing. Iíve tried office jobs, but they usually donít work, for example being an assistant was not a great experience. Order wold be forgotten and iím not a office type or person, the stress kills me. So iíve always gratiated to something creative.AAP: Where did you study photography?I studied at HND Photography at City and islington. Was the youngest student, out of the program my closet friend was Robert Harper who does amazing fashion photography. We used to chill and take pictures, it was really nice experience. Education to me, especially in the arts isnít what iíve expected it to be. The real learning happens when your out of school, and making friends with like minded pepole, finding who you are, I know it sounds like a really simple question, but you get asked ďWho are you? What is your favorite movie? Favorite Artist and etc.Ē These days things are getting competitive and to really stand out is to have strong connections with people. AAP:Do you have a mentor?Yes, the teacher at my school. He was in 60ís and was my best friend, he taught me a lot on business, being an artist, encouraged me, let me use his studio and gave experience in the studio with while doing still life photography. He would also make all his own equipment, was really cool learning from him. My other mentor was Jasper James, he introduced me to style. He showed me that movies could be arty, before that I didnít really watch any arty stuff. We also traveled around the UK on projects and that was a lot of fun. AAP: How long have you been a photographer?12 years.AAP: Do you remember your first shot? What was it?They were pictures of cannel boats, in England I used to live near a cannel.AAP: What or who inspires you?Well Edward Hooper is a great inspiration. His images feel like movie scenes, they have such a powerful mood to them. Artist have always inspired me. William Eggleston is someone would really inspires me.AAP: How could you describe your style?As simple and bold. Iím a huge fan of bold colors and like to keep things simple.AAP: What kind of gear do you use? Camera, lens, digital, film?I use the Canon 5D Mark II and my iPhone 4, itís great, you can take it anywhere and pepole arenít imitated by it, you look like a tourist. The iPhone has a look, in 20 years when we have images that are so sharp that you canít tell if your looking at something real. Images from are primitive cameras and mobile devices will be called ďRetroĒ they come with a time stamp, the actually medium is a time capsule. Itís not about the quality, itís about the message, that will last longer.AAP: Do you spend a lot of time editing your images?Iím not a fan of editing, iíve never liked it, only the darkroom.AAP: Favorite(s) photographer(s)?Steve McCurry, Willam Eggleston, Dorothea Lange. AAP: What advice would you give a young photographer?Go out and find your own vision, and all this likes and things mean nothing. Itís hard putting yourself out there, and pepole donít usually respond. You start to want to appeal to others and worry if you posting to much. Do it for yourself, who cares about all this fame? Who knows if these websites will be around, this data? One day, you might be recognized.AAP: What mistake should a young photographer avoid?Donít point fingers, point them at yourself first. Donít blame others, really look at yourself first.AAP: An idea, a sentence, a project you would like to share?My work is constantly changing and I like that. To keep evolving you need to keep changing.AAP: Your best memory has a photographer?Working on location in India, working in a old Indian palace, documenting Indian folk singers. Itís an experience the kings once enjoyed.AAP: Your worst souvenir has a photographer?A broken camera lens.AAP: If you could have taken the photographs of someone else who would it be?Steve McCurry he has my dream jobAAP: Anything else you would like to share?Iím into film making now, really want to be a DOP or camera operator. Currently iím based in Toronto.
Marna Clarke
United States
A black and white Kodak advertisement caught my attention. The simple image of a cityscape with a teenage boy leaning against a wall plastered with faded, torn posters portrayed an honest and oddly poignant moment.It was 1972. I was living in New York City, married with two small sons. Inspired by the ad, I started carrying a point and shoot camera and capturing whatever struck me as memorable or unsettling. I soon bought a 35mm SLR camera and began educating myself with classes and exhibitions. At night I would transform my kitchen into a darkroom and stay up late watching the chemicals turn my observations into silver images. After moving with my family to Hartford, Connecticut, I built a legitimate darkroom in the basement of my house. In 1981, I began working professionally with a focus on portraiture, weddings and events. Color landscapes I had done in Europe and America landed me magazine work and eventually architecture/interior design documentation and advertising. I continued to pursue my own projects, receiving a Connecticut Individual Artist's Grant in 1987 for experimentation in B&W portraiture. I taught at the Hartford Art School for a couple of years as an adjunct instructor.In 1992 I stopped photographing, sold all my equipment and most of my possessions, and traveled. I had become certified to teach English as a Second Language and wanted employment in Europe. Instead I ended up in an ashram in India teaching English and learning meditation. I moved to California in 1996, and in 2005 began again to capture the world both within and around me. I had met a man who invited me to live with him, had gifted me a digital camera and told me to get back to work. I'm still with this man and still photographing. Time As We Know It
Laura Berson
France
1987
Laura Gwenaëlle Berson was born in Paris in 1987. She studies Applied Arts, then comedy,script-wrinting and cinema. It is a few years later that she is moving towards a more intuitive photographic, plastic and writing work, enabling her to express everything she doesn't know just as much as the others, with the aim of finding the essence of something. Her conceptualized artistic practice allows her to play on forms, bodies whatever they are, by diving into the heart of the infinitely large and the infinitely small, to try to connect the sensitive but not palpable part that binds the two . Her work oscillates between everything and nothing, here and there, where she moves, like an atom (or electron it depends) free, among others. It is through her raw and spontaneous hypersensitivity that she directs her work towards an intimate questioning, playing on the different strata of reality that accompany it to identify a multi-variable essence. She exhibited solo in 2015 at the Maison de la Mixité in Paris and was present at Fotofever Emerging Talent in November 2016. She got an honorable mention for the Chromatics Photography awards in the landscape section. In 2018, she appeared publicly in a Science Shakers - Mixology session - around the imaging of science, organized by the Institute of Complex Systems in partnership with the CNRS, and won the Moscow Foto awards silver price for her serie Some Seeds. In her series The Intolerante, she tries to highlight the effect of food intolerance on the body, its destructuring of the body see its modification, via its own body damaged and tired by daily pain. Through the Myth of the Endometrium, she traces the course of the disease of endometriosis from which it is reached, passing painful menstruation and infertility to the possibilities of operations in order to be able to transmit life. In her series Silentium, she tries to transcribe relationships to others, difficult, tempestuous, whose links fade or weave over time, in a carnal and organic way.
Barry Salzman
United States
1963
Barry Salzman is an award-winning contemporary artist who currently works in photography, video and mixed media and whose projects have been shown widely around the world. He lives and works between New York City and Cape Town, South Africa. His photographic work in particular, began with a fascination for the practice as a teenager, during a time when it served as a way for him to grapple with the racial segregation in apartheid South Africa. Today, his work continues to explore challenging themes around social, political and economic narratives, often coming down to the core concept of identity. Acutely relevant and brave in its willingness to confront, Salzman's photography garnered the 2018 International Photographer of the Year Award in the Deeper Perspective category at the International Photography Awards for his project, The Day I Became Another Genocide Victim, which endeavors to humaize victims of the Rwandan genocide. For the last six years, Salzman has worked on ongoing projects that attempt to challenge the universal fatigue around the genocide narrative. Mostly, he applies visual tools of abstraction to landscape images shot at precise locations around the world where acts of genocide were perpetrated as a means of reminding us that 'that place' can be 'any place'. In writing about his ongoing genocide landscape work Salzman says, "The landscape witnesses all. It sheds its leaves in cover-up and complicity. But through its rebirth, so it rejuvenates. It carries with it the traces of the past and promises of the future. It triumphs over trauma. It is inextricably intertwined with our darkest moments and brightest days." The following images were made in Ukraine, Poland and Rwanda at precise locations where acts of genocide were perpetrated. For additional information, please see: www.barrysalzman.net
Mike Magers
United States
1976
Michael Magers is a documentary photographer and journalist based in New York City. He is a frequent collaborator with the highly acclaimed team at Roads & Kingdoms and served as the lead photographer on their award-winning books, "Rice Noodle Fish" and "Grape Olive Pig" (as well as contributing to the 3rd book in the series "Pasta Pane Vino") published by Harper Collins/Anthony Bourdain. His images are exhibited both internationally and in the U.S. and have appeared in a wide range of digital and print publications including TIME, Smithsonian, Vogue Italia, Huck Magazine, Outside, The California Sunday Magazine, CNN's Explore Parts Unknown, Saveur, New York Times - T Magazine (Instagram Takeover), Grantland, Barron's, The Guardian.com, and L'oeil de la Photographie. Michael's work documenting craftsmanship in Japan was named a 2016 Critical Mass Finalist. About Independent Mysteries Independent Mysteries (pub. November 2019) is the first monograph from documentary photographer Michael Magers. In it, Magers exposes the persistent tension between connection and disconnection -- a feeling of "intimate distance" -- he grappled with while traveling to places like Japan, Haiti, and Cuba for various assignments and personal projects. Drawing on nearly a decade of work, each image can be viewed as a film-still, with little context other than light brushes of human contact, fleeting intimacy, solitude and vulnerability. Every one of the grainy, black-and-white photographs in this book carries with it a secret to be discovered and explored. Read more about Independent Mysteries here
Ole Marius Joergensen
Ole Marius Joergensen is an artist with a background in film based in Asker, Norway. He is best known for his meticulously staged cinematic photographs. With the use of theatrical light and vivid color juxtapositions, Ole Marius' work emphasizes the mystery and duality of rural life in the modern world. A child of 80s rural Norway, he became fascinated with suburban America, like the popular narratives told on screen by Steven Spielberg and the storytelling of author Stephen King. Drawn to the descriptive narrative and quality of light, he found himself wanting to create his own stories. Influenced by the work of the mid century painter Hopper and the directors Alfred Hitchcock, David Lynch, as well as 19th Century painting traditions of David Caspar Frederic, his work often depicts ordinary situations infused with a unique narrative that unlocks an unexpected mystery that feels both old and new. In 2014 he debuted his first major series "No Superhero," an ode to one of his childhood heroes, and a playful series with dark undertones. Ole Marius views Superman as a metaphor for taking risks and the worry of failure. Each scene is depicted through a lens that captures childhood nostalgia with the hero as an ordinary man. In 2015 Ole Marius made the series "Space Travels" which was his rediscovery of his native country. It was a narrative driven by the feeling of being trapped in a place and yearning for a new adventure that is out of reach. "Vignettes of a Salesman" (2016) is a love letter to simpler times of Scandinavia in the 1950s and 1960s. This series follows the main protagonist on a silent, solitary journey and the complex emotions, from the dark to the eccentric, associated with a stranger's life unfulfilled. Ole Marius' work has been exhibited widely in the United States, Asia, and Europe. His work can be found in private collections in Hong Kong, Los Angeles, Oslo, New York, Madrid and Berlin. His work has been featured on international art & culture websites, as well as in printed publications around the world.
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