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Michel Kameni
Michel Kameni in his studio 2018 © Benjamin Hoffman
Michel Kameni
Michel Kameni

Michel Kameni

Country: Cameroon
Birth: 1935 | Death: 2020

The work of Michel Papami Kameni tells a unique story of post colonial Cameroon, a period of transition in the wake of a new found independence like in so many other African countries. In his studio in the Briqueterie district of Yaounde, it was the whole of Cameroonian society that passed before his lens.

A mix of stunning portraits and subjects from all social circles and different cultural backgrounds, Christians and Muslims, urban socialites to provincial farmers all travelling through this great city. We see in his images the dreams and aspirations of a nation in transition, new musical influences and western fashions, a natural fusion between the tradition and the modern.

The work of Michel Kameni explores the rapid evolution of a postcolonial Yaounde (from 1963) by portraying its inhabitants with an incredible kindness and passion, these images are more than just a document, they are an intimate study of the relationship between the photographer and his subject.

Studio Kameni is a project that aims to explore, discover and give new life to the photographic archives of this unique body of work brought into public view for the very first time.
 

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More Great Photographers To Discover

Anthony Goicolea
United States/Cuba
1971
Anthony Goicolea is a New York-based fine art photographer. Goicolea's photographs frequently deal with issues of androgyny, homosexuality, and child sexuality. Goicolea, Cuban-American and gay, was educated at the University of Georgia and studied painting, photography, and sculpture at that institution. He holds an MFA in fine arts from the Pratt Institute. He made his debut in 1999, and now shows work with Postmasters gallery in New York and Aurel Scheibler in Berlin, Germany. In 2005, he received the BMW-Award for Photography. Some of his work features photographs of "pre- to barely pubescent boys" (Art in America, Dec, 2001) in elaborately staged tableau settings, commonly showing multiple boys wearing traditional private school uniforms either engaged in school-life or recreation after school — but with often transgressive and erotic twists in their activities. Of great interest in these compositions is the fact that Goicolea himself portrays all of the boys in his photographs through the astute use of costumes, wigs, make-up, and post-production editing via the software Adobe Photoshop; "always looking uncannily like a boy on the edge of puberty" (The Advocate, August 14, 2001). Therefore, despite having numerous figures in them, Goicolea's photographs are actually very complex large-scale self-portraits, and are always done in a flawlessly realist manner. The pioneering fine-art photographer Cindy Sherman is an apparent influence on Goicolea's work, given her own extensive use of self-portraits and emphasis on sexually-charged narrative topics. Sherman and Goicolea have also had several joint exhibitions. His work can be strongly compared to similar manipulated and/or staged art photography featuring children and adolescents, such as that of Bernard Faucon, Loretta Lux, and Justine Kurland. Recently, Goicolea has also been producing and exhibiting his drawings, which follow much of the same subject matter as his photographs. He has also published several books. Goicolea is also represented by Gow Langsford Gallery based in Auckland, New Zealand.Source Wikipedia
Klavdij Sluban
France
1963
Winner of the European Publishers Award for Photography 2009, of the Leica Prize (2004) and of the Niépce Prize (2000), main French prize in photography, Klavdij Sluban is a French photographer of Slovenian origin born in Paris in 1963. He develops a rigorous and coherent body of work, nourished by literature, never inspired by immediate and sensational current affairs, making him one of the most interesting photographers of his generation. The Balkans, the Black Sea, the Baltic Sea, the Caribbean, Central America, Russia, China and the Antarctic (first artistic mission in the Kerguelen islands) can be read as many successive steps of an in-depth study of a patient proximity to the encountered real. His images have been shown in such leading institutions as the Metropolitan Museum of Photography of Tokyo, the Maison Européenne de la Photographie in Paris, the Rencontres d'Arles, the Museum of Photography in Helsinki, the Fine Arts Museum in Canton, the Musée Beaubourg, the Museum of Texas Tech University… His many books include East to East (published simultaneously by Actes Sud, Dewi Lewis, Petliti, Braus, Apeiron & Lunwerg with a text by Erri de Luca), Entre Parenthèses, (Photo Poche, Actes Sud), Transverses, (Maison Européenne de la Photographie) and Balkans - Transit, with a text by François Maspero (Seuil). Since 1995, Sluban has been photographing teenagers in jails. In each prison he organizes workshops with the young offenders to share his passion. First originated in France, in the prison of Fleury-Mérogis with support from Henri Cartier-Bresson during 7 years, as well as Marc Riboud and William Klein punctually. This commitment was pursued in the disciplinary camps of Eastern Europe –Serbia, Slovenia, Ukraine, Georgia, Moldavia, Latvia – and in the disciplinary centres of Moscow and St Petersburg as well as in Ireland. From 2007 to 2012, Sluban has been working in Central America with imprisoned youngsters belonging to maras (gangs) in Guatemala and Salvador. In 2015, he started photogrphing imprisoned teenagers in Brazil. In 2013, the musée Niépce showed a retrospective of K.Sluban's work, After Darkness, 1995-2012. In 2015/16, he was awarded the Villa Kujoyama Residence in Kyoto, Japan.
Flokje Van Lith
Netherlands
1969
Flokje van Lith (1969, Leiden, NL) studied photography at the Royal Academy of Arts, the Hague. Van Lith belongs to the first generation of artists to make full use of the newest Photoshop techniques. With apparent ease, she plays with the different realities that have developed independently of one another within the media of painting and photography. But appearance deceives; the making of the photograph is merely the first in a long line of decisions. The task of achieving the right result takes Van Lith weeks and sometimes months. In her work she explores childhood and its underlying traumas and issues as well as the beauty of innocence and adolescence. The final results, complex portraits of children and young adults, not only have a very aesthetic quality but also seem to tell the story of the subject.The influences of the Flemish Primitives, which can be found in the serenity of the works, but also the personal experience of the artist, resonate from the artworks. Van Lith won several awards for her work, such as the Silver Award (International Photography Awards), Silver Award (PX3 - Prix de la Photographie) and Third Place (Kontinent Awards). In addition her works have been exhibited at photo festivals nationally and internationally, such as Photo Festival Naarden and Photoville, New York. Awards: Kontinent Awards: Third Place, Fine-Art/ Single Image/ Professional, International Photography Awards: 8 x Honorable Mention, Fine-Art/ Portrait/ Professional, Fine Art Photo Awards: Professional Nominee, Portrait/Professional, International Color Awards 2015: Honorable Mention, Portrait/ Professional - International Photography Awards 2014: Silver Award, Fine-Art/ Professional - PX3-Prix de la Photographie, Paris, 2014: Silver Award, Fine-Art/ Professional - International Photography Award 2014: 8 x Honorable Mention, Fine-Art/ Professional - New Dutch Photography Talent 2013 - International Photography Award 2013: 4 x Honorable Mention, Fine-Art/ Professional - Photography Masters Cup 2011: 4 x Honorable Mention, Fine-Art/ Professional - International Photography Award 2011: 7 x Honorable Mention, Fine-Art/ Professional. Exhibitions: (Selection), 2015: Aqua Art Miami (USA), Art Fair COLOGNE (Germany), PAN Amsterdam, KunstRai, Rotterdam Contemporary Art Fair, LXRY (the Netherlands), 2014: Affordable Art Fair Hamburg (Germany), PAN Amsterdam, LXRY, Affordable Art Fair, Raw Art Fair, Realisme (the Netherlands), 2013: LXRY, PAN Amsterdam, Affordable Art Fair, (the Netherlands), 2012, Art Miami Context, Photoville New York, Art Wynwood (USA), PAN Amsterdam (the Netherlands), 2011: PAN Amsterdam, Photofestival Naarden (the Netherlands). Publications: 2015: LXRY Magazine, PF Magazine, 2014: Art Photo Feature (USA), 2013: Gooi en Eemlander (the Netherlands) 2012: Volkskrant Magazine, De Telegraaf, Haarlems Dagblad (the Netherlands)
George Brassaï
Hungary/France
1899 | † 1984
George Brassaï (pseudonym of Gyula Halász) was a Hungarian photographer, sculptor, and filmmaker who rose to international fame in France in the 20th century. He was one of the numerous Hungarian artists who flourished in Paris beginning between the World Wars. In the early 21st century, the discovery of more than 200 letters and hundreds of drawings and other items from the period 1940–1984 has provided scholars with material for understanding his later life and career.Gyula (Jules) Halasz (the Western order of his name) was born in Brassó, Transsylvania, Kingdom of Hungary (since 1920 Brasov, Romania), to an Armenian mother and a Hungarian father. He grew up speaking Hungarian. When he was three, his family lived in Paris for a year, while his father, a professor of French literature, taught at the Sorbonne. As a young man, Gyula Halász studied painting and sculpture at the Hungarian Academy of Fine Arts (Magyar Képzomuvészeti Egyetem) in Budapest. He joined a cavalry regiment of the Austro-Hungarian army, where he served until the end of the First World War. In 1920, Halász went to Berlin, where he worked as a journalist for the Hungarian papers Keleti and Napkelet. He started studies at the Berlin-Charlottenburg Academy of Fine Arts (Hochschule für Bildende Künste), now Universität der Künste Berlin. There he became friends with several older Hungarian artists and writers, including the painters Lajos Tihanyi and Bertalan Pór, and the writer Gyorgy Boloni, each of whom later moved to Paris and became part of the Hungarian circle. In 1924, Halasz moved to Paris to live, where he would stay for the rest of his life. To learn the French language, he began teaching himself by reading the works of Marcel Proust. Living among the gathering of young artists in the Montparnasse quarter, he took a job as a journalist. He soon became friends with the American writer Henry Miller, and the French writers Leon-Paul Fargue and Jacques Prévert. In the late 1920s, he lived in the same hotel as Tihanyi. Halasz's job and his love of the city, whose streets he often wandered late at night, led to photography. He first used it to supplement some of his articles for more money, but rapidly explored the city through this medium, in which he was tutored by his fellow Hungarian André Kertész. He later wrote that he used photography "in order to capture the beauty of streets and gardens in the rain and fog, and to capture Paris by night." Using the name of his birthplace, Gyula Halász went by the pseudonym "Brassaï," which means "from Brasso." Brassaï captured the essence of the city in his photographs, published as his first collection in 1933 book entitled Paris de nuit (Paris by Night). His book gained great success, resulting in being called "the eye of Paris" in an essay by his friend Henry Miller. In addition to photos of the seedier side of Paris, Brassai portrayed scenes from the life of the city's high society, its intellectuals, its ballet, and the grand operas. He had been befriended by a French family who gave him access to the upper classes. Brassai photographed many of his artist friends, including Salvador Dalí, Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Alberto Giacometti, and several of the prominent writers of his time, such as Jean Genet and Henri Michaux. Young Hungarian artists continued to arrive in Paris through the 1930s and the Hungarian circle absorbed most of them. Kertèsz emigrated to New York in 1936. Brassai befriended many of the new arrivals, including Ervin Marton, a nephew of Tihanyi, whom he had been friends with since 1920. Marton developed his own reputation in street photography in the 1940s and 1950s. Brassaï continued to earn a living with commercial work, also taking photographs for the United States magazine Harper's Bazaar. He was a founding member of the Rapho agency, created in Paris by Charles Rado in 1933. Brassaï's photographs brought him international fame. In 1948, he had a one-man show in the United States at the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) in New York City, which traveled to the George Eastman House in Rochester, New York; and the Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois. MOMA exhibited more of Brassai's works in 1953, 1956, and 1968. He was presented at the Rencontres d'Arles festival (France) in 1970 (screening at the Théâtre Antique, "Brassaï" by Jean-Marie Drot), in 1972 (screening "Brassaï si, Vominino" by René Burri), and in 1974 (as guest of honour). In 1948, Brassaï married Gilberte Boyer, a French woman. She worked with him in supporting his photography. Source: Wikipedia
Debbie Fleming Caffery
United States
1948
Debbie Fleming Caffery grew up along the Bayou Teche in southwest Louisiana and still lives in the area. Early on in her career, she was inspired by the work of Dorothea Lange and many of the artists working within the FSA and Federal Arts Project of the WPA during the Depression. Like these forbears, she is interested in telling stories with her pictures, but unlike those earlier photographers, her work is as much artful as it is documentary. Her rich, and dramatic prints are the result of the deep relationships with the people and places she photographs, a visual corollary to the reverence she has for her subjects. Caffery has photographed the sugarcane industry and its community in Louisiana since the late 1970s. She has also photographed in rural villages in Mexico for many years, creating works that draw connections between those communities and the ones in Louisiana that were so familiar to her from her own upbringing. In 2005, Caffery was the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship for the work she made of women working in brothels in Mexico. In 2006, she received the Katrina Media Fellowship from the Open Society Foundations to continue to photograph the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Recently Caffery received a commission from the High Museum in Atlanta for their Picturing the South photography initiative. Her monographs include: Carry Me Home (Smithsonian, 1990), The Shadows (Twin Palms Press, 2002) and Polly (Twin Palms Press, 2004), The Spirit & The Flesh (Radius Books, 2009) and Alphabet (Fall Line Press, 2015). Source: Gitterman Gallery
Castro Frank
United States
Castro Frank is a Los Angeles based visual artist who has translated his personal experiences of growing up in the San Fernando Valley into a signature journalistic and candid approach to photography. Through captured moments that reveal the overlooked details of everyday life, to double exposures that force a viewer to question their perceptions, and now diving into the realm of abstraction to evoke deep seeded emotions, Castro's work defies the limitations of the photographic medium. Even his portraiture takes on a new life by not only capturing the raw essence of his subjects but the vitality of the city they inhabit. As a growing multidisciplinary artist, incorporating painting and other mediums into his work, Castro continually discovers new ways to envelope the viewer in the experiences encapsulated within his work. ​Castro's work has been exhibited in numerous solo and group exhibitions across California with institutions including South Grand, Rvcc Gallery, Communion Gallery, and Embed Gallery. The popularity of his work led to commissions from musicians as well as television networks utilizing his work in their stage design. His work has also been featured in large public installations and charity campaigns with nonprofit organizations, such as INCLUSIVACTION, to benefit the Los Angeles community. Additionally, works by Castro is featured in the Jumex Museum's founder, Eugenio Lopez's, private collection. His work received praise in prominent publications such as The Huffington Post and Los Angeles Times. Castro's work continues to evolve into new mediums, methods, and subjects. Through the development of his practice, he is excited to find new ways to capture the everyday. As he journeys on to create astounding imagery he hopes that his work will inspire youth to pursue their dreams. Exclusive Interview with Castro Frank
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