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Ragnar Axelsson
Ragnar Axelsson
Ragnar Axelsson

Ragnar Axelsson

Country: Iceland
Birth: 1958

For over 40 years, Ragnar Axelsson, Rax, has been photographing the people, animals, and landscape of the most remote regions of the Arctic, including Iceland, Siberia, and Greenland. In stark black-and-white images, he captures the elemental, human experience of nature at the edge of the liveable world, making visible the extraordinary relationships between the people of the Arctic and their extreme environment – relationships now being altered in profound and complex ways by the unprecedented changes in climate.

A photojournalist at Morgunbladid since 1976, Ragnar has also worked on free-lance assignment in Latvia, Lithuania, Mozambique, South Africa, China, and Ukraine. His photographs have been featured in LIFE, Newsweek, Stern, GEO, National Geographic, Time, and Polka, and have been exhibited widely.

Ragnar has published 7 books in various international editions. His most recent, Jökull (Glacier) was published in 2018, with a foreword by Olafur Eliasson. Andlit Nordursins (The Face of The North), was published in 2016, with a foreword by Mary Ellen Mark, and won the 2016 Icelandic Literary Prize for non-fiction.

Other awards for Ragnar's work include numerous Icelandic Photojournalist Awards; The Leica Oskar Barnack Award (Honorable Mention); The Grand Prize, Photo de Mer, Vannes; and Iceland's highest honor, the Order of the Falcon, Knight's Cross.

Ragnar is currently working on a 3-year project documenting people's lives in all 8 countries of the Arctic. At this pivotal time, as climate change irrevocably disrupts the physical and traditional realities of their world, Ragnar is bearing witness to the immediate and direct threat global warming poses to their survival.

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More Great Photographers To Discover

Ed Kashi
United States
1957
Ed Kashi is a photojournalist, filmmaker and educator dedicated to documenting the social and political issues that define our times. A sensitive eye and an intimate relationship to his subjects are signatures of his work. As a member of the prestigious photo agency VII, Kashi has been recognized for his complex imagery and its compelling rendering of the human condition.“I take on issues that stir my passions about the state of humanity and our world, and I deeply believe in the power of still images to change people’s minds. I’m driven by this fact; that the work of photojournalists and documentary photographers can have a positive impact on the world. The access people give to their lives is precious as well as imperative for this important work to get done. Their openness brings with it a tremendous sense of responsibility to tell the truth but to also honor their stories.”Kashi’s images have been published and exhibited worldwide. Another of Kashi’s innovative approaches to photography and filmmaking produced the Iraqi Kurdistan Flipbook with MediaStorm, which premiered on MSNBC.com in December 2006. Using stills in a moving image format, this creative and thought-provoking form of visual storytelling has been shown in many film festivals and as part of a series of exhibitions on the Iraq War at The George Eastman House. Also, an eight-year personal project completed in 2003, Aging in America: The Years Ahead, created a traveling exhibition, an award-winning documentary film, a website and a book which was named one of the best photo books of 2003 by American Photo.Along with numerous awards, including Second Prize Contemporary Issues Singles in the 2011 World Press Photo Contest, UNICEF’s Photo of the Year 2010, a Prix Pictet 2010 Commission and honors from Pictures of the Year International, Communication Arts and American Photography, Kashi’s images have been published and exhibited worldwide, and his editorial assignments and personal projects have generated six books. In 2008, Curse of the Black Gold: 50 Years of Oil in the Niger Delta was published, and June 2009, saw the publication of Kashi’s latest book THREE, based on a series of triptychs culled from more than 20 years of image making.In 2002, Kashi and his wife, writer / filmmaker Julie Winokur, founded Talking Eyes Media. The non-profit company has produced numerous short films and multimedia pieces that explore significant social issues. The first project resulted in a book and traveling exhibition on uninsured Americans called, Denied: The Crisis of America’s Uninsured.“Ed Kashi is intelligent, brave and compassionate. He always understands the nuances of his subjects. He fearlessly goes where few would venture. And he sympathetically captures the soul of each situation. Ed is one of the best of a new breed of photojournalistic artists.”David Griffin, Visuals Editor, The Washington Post
Anders Petersen
Sweden
1944
Anders Petersen was born 1944 in Stockholm, Sweden. 14 years old his family moved to Karlstad in Värmland, where he met the artists ?Karin Bodland and Lars Sjögren.In 1961 he stayed for some time in Hamburg in order to learn German and trying to write and paint. He didn’t take any pictures. Five years later he met Christer Strömholm and became a student at his School of Photography in Stockholm. Strömholm was not just his teacher but also a close friend. Their friendship influenced him for life. In 1967 he starts photographing a bar called Café Lehmitz in Hamburg, close to Zeughausmarkt. He was photographing there for a period of almost three years and in 1970 he had his first soloexhibition over the bar in Café Lehmitz with 350 photographs nailed to the wall. In 1973 he published his first book ”Gröna Lund”, about people in an amusementpark in Stockholm. In 1974 he graduated from the Swedish Filmschool,Dramatiska Institutet, in Stockholm. In 1978 he published ”Café Lehmitz ” in Germany. In 1984 the first book in a trilogy about locked instituations was published. The three books were about people in a prison, a nursing house, and a mental hospital. After photographing the mental hospital for three years he oriented himself towards a more free approach in a kind of diarylike photography. During 2003 and 2004 Anders Petersen was appointed Professor of Photography in the School of Photography and Film at the University of Göteborg, Sweden. He regularly has workshops and exhibitions throughout Europe, Asia and in the USA. He has received numerous grants and rewards since the seventies. In 2003 Anders Petersen was elected the ”Photographer of the Year” by the International Photofestival in Arles.In 2006 he was shortlisted as one of four for the ”Deutsche Börse Photography Prize”. In 2007 he received the ”Special Prize of the Jury” for his exhibition ”Exaltation of Humanity” by the third International Photofestival in Lianzhou, China. In 2008 he received the ”Dr. Erich Salomon Award” by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Photographie, Germany. ”The Arles Contemporary Book Award for 2009? went to JH Engström and ?Anders Petersen’s collaborative book ”From Back Home” by Max Ström.?The book was nominated to ”The Best Photographic Book in Sweden, ?year 2009? and also Winner of Design Bronze Lion in Cannes. In 2010, he was in the jury for the BMW Prize at Paris Photo. In 2012, nominated to the Swedish Photo Book Prize in Stockholm for ”SOHO”, and PhotoBook of the Year award for "City Diary" Paris Photo and the Aperture Foundation. Anders Petersen has his darkroom in Stockholm, Sweden. Source: www.anderspetersen.se Anders Petersen, one of Sweden’s most influential auteur photographers, sensitively blurs the boundaries between madness and normality in his artwork “Mental Hospital”. Petersen, who won international renown with his Hamburg Café Lehmitz series (1967-1970), spent several years photographing patients at a psychiatric hospital just south of Stockholm. His gaze is one of raw tenderness, conveying naked emotions with insightful poetry. Carried by a deep integrity, he takes the viewer to the limits of normality. "It is the naked encounter, the raw, piercing confrontation with the Other and therefore with myself," Petersen said, describing his intention. "I photograph people with whom I can identify and I feel attracted by people who live outside society. In all my photographs, I try, essentially, to create self-portraits." He is neither sentimental nor sensational. Instead, his images show a great respect for that which is enigmatic in people, for that which is hidden under the surface. Petersen’s works have marked the history of photography. In 2003, he won the award “Photographer of the Year” at the festival "Rencontres de la Photographie" in Arles, and he was honored with the German Photography Society’s Dr.-Erich-Salomon prize in 2008 for his life’s work. Source: Grundemark Nilsson Gallery
Henri Cartier-Bresson
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Born in Chanteloup, Seine-et-Marne, Henri Cartier-Bresson developed a strong fascination with painting early on, and particularly with Surrealism. In 1932, after spending a year in the Ivory Coast, he discovered the Leica - his camera of choice thereafter - and began a life-long passion for photography. In 1933 he had his first exhibition at the Julien Levy Gallery in New York. He later made films with Jean Renoir. Taken prisoner of war in 1940, he escaped on his third attempt in 1943 and subsequently joined an underground organization to assist prisoners and escapees. In 1945 he photographed the liberation of Paris with a group of professional journalists and then filmed the documentary Le Retour (The Return). In 1947, with Robert Capa, George Rodger, David 'Chim' Seymour and William Vandivert, he founded Magnum Photos. After three years spent travelling in the East, in 1952 he returned to Europe, where he published his first book, Images à la Sauvette (published in English as The Decisive Moment). He explained his approach to photography in these terms, '"For me the camera is a sketch book, an instrument of intuition and spontaneity, the master of the instant which, in visual terms, questions and decides simultaneously. It is by economy of means that one arrives at simplicity of expression." From 1968 he began to curtail his photographic activities, preferring to concentrate on drawing and painting. In 2003, with his wife and daughter, he created the Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson in Paris for the preservation of his work. Cartier-Bresson received an extraordinary number of prizes, awards and honorary doctorates. He died at his home in Provence on 3 August 2004, a few weeks short of his 96th birthday. Source: Magnum Photos His technique: Cartier-Bresson almost exclusively used Leica 35 mm rangefinder cameras equipped with normal 50 mm lenses or occasionally a wide-angle for landscapes. He often wrapped black tape around the camera's chrome body to make it less conspicuous. With fast black and white films and sharp lenses, he was able to photograph almost by stealth to capture the events. No longer bound by a huge 4×5 press camera or an awkward medium format twin-lens reflex camera, miniature-format cameras gave Cartier-Bresson what he called "the velvet hand [and] the hawk's eye." He never photographed with flash, a practice he saw as "[i]mpolite...like coming to a concert with a pistol in your hand." He believed in composing his photographs in the viewfinder, not in the darkroom. He showcased this belief by having nearly all his photographs printed only at full-frame and completely free of any cropping or other darkroom manipulation. Indeed, he emphasized that his prints were not cropped by insisting they include the first millimetre or so of the unexposed clear negative around the image area resulting, after printing, in a black border around the positive image. Cartier-Bresson worked exclusively in black and white, other than a few unsuccessful attempts in color. He disliked developing or making his own prints and showed a considerable lack of interest in the process of photography in general, likening photography with the small camera to an "instant drawing". Technical aspects of photography were valid for him only where they allowed him to express what he saw: "Constant new discoveries in chemistry and optics are widening considerably our field of action. It is up to us to apply them to our technique, to improve ourselves, but there is a whole group of fetishes which have developed on the subject of technique. Technique is important only insofar as you must master it in order to communicate what you see... The camera for us is a tool, not a pretty mechanical toy. In the precise functioning of the mechanical object perhaps there is an unconscious compensation for the anxieties and uncertainties of daily endeavor. In any case, people think far too much about techniques and not enough about seeing." He started a tradition of testing new camera lenses by taking photographs of ducks in urban parks. He never published the images but referred to them as 'my only superstition' as he considered it a 'baptism' of the lens. Cartier-Bresson is regarded as one of the art world's most unassuming personalities. He disliked publicity and exhibited a ferocious shyness since his days in hiding from the Nazis during World War II. Although he took many famous portraits, his own face was little known to the world at large (which presumably had the advantage of allowing him to work on the street in peace). He dismissed others' applications of the term "art" to his photographs, which he thought were merely his gut reactions to moments in time that he had happened upon. "In photography, the smallest thing can be a great subject. The little human detail can become a leitmotiv." Source: Wikipedia
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United Kingdom
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Ian Teh has published three monographs, Undercurrents (2008), Traces (2011) and Confluence (2014). His work is part of the permanent collection at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH) and the Hood Museum in the USA. Selected solo shows include the Jack Shainman Gallery in New York in 2004, Flowers in London in 2011 and the Kunsthal Museum in Rotterdam in 2012. Teh has received several honours, in 2018 he was awarded a travel grant from the Pulitzer Centre for Crisis Reporting and presented his work on climate change at the prestigious 2018 National Geographic Photography Seminar. He is also the recipient of the International Photoreporter Grant 2016 the Abigail Cohen Fellowship in Documentary Photography 2014 and the Emergency Fund 2011 from the Magnum Foundation. In 2013, he was elected by the Open Society Foundations to exhibit in New York at the Moving Walls Exhibition. In 2015, during the COP21 Paris climate talks, large poster images of his work were displayed on the streets of Paris as a collaborative initiative by #Dysturb and Magnum Foundation. He is a co-exhibitor in Coal + Ice, an environmental group show of acclaimed photographers and curated by Susan Meiselas. It was exhibited at the Official Residence of the US Ambassador to France during COP21. Teh’s work has been published internationally in magazines such as National Geographic, The New Yorker, Bloomberg Businessweek and Granta. Since 2013, he has exhibited as well as conducted masterclasses at Obscura Festival of Photography, Malaysia’s foremost photo festival. He is a tutor at Cambodia's Angkor Photo Festival since 2014. Teh is a member of the British agency, Panos Pictures.Source: www.ianteh.com Artist Statement: "Much of my artistic creativity stems from my interests in social, environmental and political issues. I imagine my work as a series of short films made out of stills. They are narratives that are built on moments of time collected over extended periods. Each story is a woven fabric of compositional and colour threads that come together to create a particular ambience intended to both emphasize my perspective on the subject matter and to, hopefully, encourage the viewer to take the narrative beyond the limits of my frame, into a direction that makes the experience of those images more vivid. My photographs have been widely exhibited and featured in several international publications such as, Time, Newsweek, The New Yorker and The Independent Magazine. I was recently awarded the 2011 EF grant from the Magnum Foundation and also received a high commendation for the 2009 Prix Pictet award. In 2001 I was part of the Joop Swart Masterclass. With some friends I founded Deep Sleep Magazine an online publication and recently we founded our own imprint Deep Sleep Editions to have more control of the publishing process. I have published two monographs, Undercurrents (2008) and Traces (2011)."
Deborah Bay
United States
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Marcel Giró
Spain
1913 | † 2011
Marcel Giró was born in Badalona (Spain) in 1913. Since his youth he was fond of mountain trekking and photography. At the beginning of the Spanish Civil War he enlisted as a volunteer on the Republican side. In 1937, disappointed by the constant fighting between the different factions fighting against Franco, he decided to exile. He walked through the Pyrenees to France where he spent nearly two years doing all kinds of jobs. Finally in 1940 he was able to travel to Colombia with two Catalan companions, where they set up a small textile business. He married Palmira Puig, and they moved to Brazil, where they settled. In Brazil Giró resumed his hobby and ended devoted to professional photograpy. In 1953 he opened his own studio in Sao Paulo, Estúdio Giró. Marcel Giró became one of the leading photographers of the country, an active member of what became known as Escola Paulista. This movement, pioneer of modernist photography in Brazil was born around Foto Cine Club Bandeirante, in the 50s and 60s, with photographers like José Yalenti, Thomaz Farkas, Gertrudes Altschul, Eduardo Salvatore, Chico Albuquerque, Geraldo de Barros, Rubens Teixeira Scavone, Ademar Manarini, German Lorca and Gaspar Gasparian among others. He exhibited his works all over Brazil and around the world. His works are today in collections like the MASP (Sao Paulo Museum of Modern Art), Itaú Cultural (Itaú Bank), the Metropolitan Museum and the MoMA, in New York, among others. Giró was also one of the pioneers of advertising photography in Brazil. In his studio worked young assistants that later become world-renowned as great photographers like Marcio Scavone and JR Duran. After the death of his wife in 1978, he left professional photography and artistic photography. He sold the studio and returned to Catalonia. During the 80's and 90's, he began to paint with a very close criteria to his Photography works of the 50s. He died in Mirasol (Barcelona) in 2011, at age 98. For exhibitions and sales in Europe contact Toni Ricart Giró: toniricart@marcelgiro.com For exhibitions and sales in rest of the world Isabel Amado: isabel@isabelamado.com.br
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