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Ian van Coller
Ian van Coller
Ian van Coller

Ian van Coller

Country: South Africa
Birth: 1970

Ian van Coller was born in 1970, in Johannesburg, South Africa, and grew up in the country during a time of great political turmoil. These formative years became integral to the subject matter van Coller has pursued throughout his artistic career. His work has addressed complex cultural issues of both the apartheid and post-apartheid eras, especially with regards to cultural identity in the face of globalization, and the economic realities of every day life.

Van Coller received a National Diploma in Photography from Technikon Natal in Durban, and in 1992 he moved to the United States to pursue his studies where he received a BFA from Arizona State University, and an MFA from The University of New Mexico. He currently lives in Bozeman, Montana with his wife, children, and three dogs, and is a Professor of Photography at Montana State University.

His work has been widely exhibited nationally and internationally and is held in many significant museum collections, including The Philadelphia Museum of Art, The Getty Research Institute, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Library of Congress, and The South African National Gallery. Van Coller's first monograph, Interior Relations, was published by Charles Lane Press (New York) in 2011. He is a 2018 Guggenheim Fellow and a member of the Piece of Cake collective.

Van Coller's most recent work focuses on environmental issues related to climate change and deep time. These projects have centered on the production of large scale artist books, as well as direct collaborations with paleo-climatologists.

About Naturalists of the Long Now

Climate change has compressed and conflated human and geologic time scales, making it essential to find ways to conceptualize “deep time.” My project, Naturalists of the Long Now, seeks to make notions of deep time comprehensible through visual exploration of glacier ice, as well as other earthly archives. Initially inspired by the 10,000 Year Clock Project of the Long Now Foundation, I have begun collaborating with scientists to make art that challenges viewers to think about the vast scales of geologic time-both past and future-that are recorded not only in the earth’s ice bodies, but in trees, sediments, corals and fossils.

Photography is a unique and powerful visual language. However, what that language sometimes lacks is the information needed to bring about understanding of what is represented in the photograph itself.

In 2015, I was able to accompany a team of geoscientists who specialize in climate science related to Quelccaya Glacier in Peru. I was astonished at the endurance of these men and women. Every day they would climb to the summit of the glacier at 18,600ft, and then work over 10 hours straight, drilling ice cores, digging snow pits, and collecting data. It would be exhausting work at sea level, let alone at altitude. I realized I really had a lack of understanding of what the scientists were trying to do. Where the symbolic conversations in my ice portraits ended, the deep knowledge of ice possessed by the scientists would sustain and expand it.

When I was a young person, I was fascinated by the annotated drawings and paintings of Victorian era naturalists, botanists and ornithologists. These brought together the two things I loved most in the world-art and nature. Since that expedition to Peru, I have started intimate collaborations with scientists by having them annotate directly onto my photographic prints-a contemporary taxonomy of ice and climate-thus re-inventing a genre of naturalist imagery.

Naturalists of the Long Now breaks down barriers between art and science, and creates a dialogue between text and image, landscape and viewer, expert and novice, past, present and future. My intention is that Naturalists of the Long Now is to encourage people to think in terms of longer spans of time, and consider what humanity will look like in 100 or even 10,000 years-instead of just considering our personal and immediate desires.
 

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More Great Photographers To Discover

Wang Wusheng
China
1945 | † 2018
Wang Wusheng was born in the city of Wuhu in China's Anhui Province and graduated from Anhui University's School of Physics. Beginning in 1973, Wusheng worked as a photographer for a news magazine in Anhui Province. He studied at the Art Institute of Nihon University in Japan beginning in 1983 and studied for three years at the Tokyo Arts University. Wusheng currently works as a fine art photographer in Tokyo.For more than three decades, Wang Wusheng has been captivated by the beauty of Mount Huangshan, also called Yellow Mountain. Located in the southern part of the Anhui province in northern China, Mount Huangshan has often been described as the world's most beautiful and enchanting mountain. Over many centuries, this mountain, with its seventy-two peaks, has been the subject of Chinese landscape painters, whose singular works are so haunting make it appear impossible for these mountains to exist in nature. Inspired by the legacy of these paintings, Wusheng has sought to portray Mount Huangshan in his own way, expressing his "inner worlds" through this scenic wonder.Wusheng captures mist-shrouded granite peaks emerging from an ever-changing veil of clouds, sculptural craggy rocks on lofty cliffs and weathered, oddly shaped pine trees. He records the appearance of Mount Huangshan in all seasons and at various times of day. As one critic says, "[Wusheng's] pictures are gorgeous, but their beauty does not come directly from the natural scenery. Rather, the mountain's natural wonders have been transformed into artistic spectacles through the artist's commitment to the medium of black-and-white photography, his insistent pursuit of dynamic movement and metamorphic images, and his deep emotional engagement with his subject. His mountain peaks are often densely dark-a kind of velvet darkness that seems full of color."Source: Robert Klein Gallery World-renowned photographer, writer, and broadcaster Tom Ang wrote in 2014 in his book "Photography: The Definitive Visual History" published by DK this text about Wang Wusheng's art works: Oriental perspectives The fusion of classical Chinese fine art with photography was not achieved until the 1940s. It resulted in a distinctive approach to landscape by combining classical forms with a challenge to the Western representation of space. Photography had reached China and Japan by the 1840s, but long remained an imported art form used primarily by foreigners. Fundamentally it was alien to the aesthetics of Asian fine art. The fine detail of a photograph was at odds with the eastern tradition of depicting a scene with just a few brushstrokes. And whereas Eastern art dealt with symbols-mountains representing wisdom, water standing for the flux of life and so on- photography seemed unremittingly literal and heavy-handed to Asian eyes. Eastern art was also fixedly monochrome: black was Heaven's hue, and too much considered bad for the eyes. Three dimensions in two A further element foreign to Asian minds was the handling of perspective-how three-dimensional space was represented on the flat surface of a print or painting. In Europe, 15th-century thinkers, such as the architect Filippo Brunelleschi, showed that a geometrically accurate way to represent objects in space was to depict parallel sides as if they converged toward a vanishing point on the horizon. Early photography reinforced the dominance of this linear perspective in Western art. Classical Asian art was based on different models of space. It showed space with receding planes, in which a nearer object overlaps and covers part of a further object. This was joined to aerial perspective, which exploits how contrast and clarity naturally diminish the further away things are to express receding space. Asian pictorials By the 20th century. even artists in he West were rebelling against geometrical perspective, most visibly in the Cubist movement, which spilled over to montage effects in modernist photography (see pp. 142-43 and Pp.330-31). Finally, in the 1940s, Long Chin-San (also transliterated Lang Jingshan) in Hong Kong marked the first successful fusion of Asian with European modes. Trained in Photography by a brush-and-ink artist, Long considered a traditional painting "as a composite Image of fragmentary visual memories". From this, Long derived composite photographs using subtle toning and multiple printing techniques to place traditional elements such as calligraphically expressive bamboo shoots, leafless branches, and craggy rocks against a plain ground, suspending his subjects In an indeterminate space. Relationships between elements were defined by aerial perspective and overlapping receding planes. Minimal and calligraphic expressions also came naturally to photographers such as Jiang Peng, but Long's best-known students was Don Hong Qai. Modern interpretation China's Huangshan (Yellow Mountains) is a glaciated mountain range much venerated for its exquisite scenery of 72 steep peaks, often shrouded in mist. The Huangshan inspired its own school of painting, which made extensive use of aerial perspective, Wang Wusheng is a leading modern exponent of the style. Wang was working as a news photographer when he turned his attention to the Huangshan in 1973 In his photographs, he exploited the ultrafine grain of Kodak Technical Pan film to create a modern interpretation of inky-black silhouettes are grouped against the smoothly shifting swathes of mist, their softening tones deftly defining distance. This image is part of the Celestial Realm series, published in book form in 2005. In wang's contemporary interpretation of traditional Chinese black-ink painted landscapes, mist separates the deep velvety darkness of the sharply silhouetted rocks and trees in the foreground from the progressively fuzzier bands of trees and rocks.
Joel Meyerowitz
United States
1938
Joel Meyerowitz is an award-winning photographer whose work has appeared in over 350 exhibitions in museums and galleries around the world. He was born in New York in 1938. He began photographing in 1962. He is a “street photographer” in the tradition of Henri Cartier-Bresson and Robert Frank, although he works exclusively in color. As an early advocate of color photography (mid-60’s), Meyerowitz was instrumental in changing the attitude toward the use of color photography from one of resistance to nearly universal acceptance. His first book, Cape Light, is considered a classic work of color photography and has sold more than 100,000 copies during its 30-year life. He is the author of 17 other books, including the newly released book by Aperture, Legacy: The Preservation of Wilderness in New York City Parks.In 1998 he produced and directed his first film, POP, an intimate diary of a three-week road trip he made with his son, Sasha, and his father, Hy. This odyssey has as its central character an unpredictable, street-wise and witty 87 year-old with a failing memory. It is both an open-eyed look at aging and a meditation on the significance of memory.Within a few days of the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York, Meyerowitz began to create an archive of the destruction and recovery at Ground Zero and the immediate neighborhood. The World Trade Center Archive consists of over 8,000 images, and was created with the sponsorship of the Museum of the City of New York, to whom a set of digital files was donated for their archives and for exhibition. The Archive is an historic, photographic record of the immediate aftermath of the tragedy and the neighborhood as it evolved. The U.S. Department of State mounted 35 exhibitions of this work and they were shown around the globe from their inauguration by Colin Powell in Spring 2002 until 2005. Over 4 million people have seen these shows from Jerusalem to Islamabad, Rome, Paris, London, Kuwait, Moscow, Istanbul, and 200 other cities. Meyerowitz’s photographs from the World Trade Center Archives were also on view when he represented the United States at the 8th Venice Biennale for Architecture in 2002.Meyerowitz created a traveling exhibition of 117 vintage and modern prints entitled “Out of the Ordinary 1970-1980,” which premiered at the Jeu de paume in Paris, France. It has been exhibited at the Museum der Modern in Salzburg, Austria, and the Nederlands Fotomuseum in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, the Musee de la Photographie in Charleroi, Belgium and the Thessaloniki Museum of Photography in Thessaloniki, GreeceMeyerowitz completed the ambitious project of documenting and creating an archive of New York City’s 29,000 acres of parkland. It is the first long term visual documentation of NYC parks since the 1930’s when they were photographed as part of Franklin Roosevelt’s WPA program. Adrian Benepe, Commissioner of Parks and Recreation, has invited Meyerowitz to produce a comprehensive database for future use by the Parks department and to share these images of the parks with communities in all 5 boroughs. Legacy: The Preservation of Wilderness in New York City Parks was published by Aperture in the fall of 2009, accompanied by a large scale exhibition of the same name at the Museum of the City of New York.Meyerowitz is a two time Guggenheim fellow, a recipient of both the NEA and NEH awards, as well as a recipient of the Deutscher Fotobuchpreis. His work is in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art, the Boston Museum of Fine Art and many others.
Bettina Rheims
France
1952
Bettina Rheims is a French artist and photographer. She is the daughter of Maurice Rheims, of the French Academy. After having been a model, a journalist, and opening an art gallery, she began to be a photographer in 1978 at the age of 26. Initially she did many commissioned works such as albums covers for Jean-Jacques Goldman and photos of various stars. From 1980 she devoted herself solely to photography. She made a series of photographs of strip-tease artists and acrobats, which were shown 1981 in two personal exhibitions, at the Centre Pompidou and at the Galerie Texbraun in Paris. Encouraged by this success, she worked on a series of stuffed animal portraits, which were exhibited in Paris and New York. At the same time she took portrait images for worldwide magazines and advertising campaigns (Well and Chanel), created her first fashion series, worked on cover sleeves, and film posters, and in 1986 directed her first advertising campaign. In 1989 her portraits of women were published in a monograph, Female Trouble, and were exhibited in Germany and Japan. In the following year she made a series of portraits of androgynous teenagers, Modern Lovers, which were shown in France, Great Britain and the United States as well as being issued in book-form. Her series Chambre Close, which was realized between 1990 and 1992 in collaboration with Serge Bramly, had an immense success not only in Europe but all over the world. The book is a collection of photographs of nude young women in various postures. It became a bestseller and is regularly reprinted. In the following years her fame began to become worldwide and she is renowned as a one of the most important photographers not only in Europe, but also in the United States, Japan, Korea, Australia and Moscow.(Source: en.wikipedia.org)
Pierre De Vallombreuse
Pierre de Vallombreuse was born in Bayonne in 1962. In twenty-five years of travel to all continents, he made a photographic collection of 41 indigenous peoples, with more than 130,000 photographs, paying tribute to their diversity.In contact with Joseph Kessel, a French author and traveler, de Vallombreuse felt a very early desire to be a witness of his time. In 1984, he entered the École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs in Paris with the idea of becoming a cartoonist. A trip to Borneo the next year, though, changed the course of his life. He shared his daily life with the Punans, the last nomads of the jungle. Normally a sedentary artist, de Vallombreuse decided to become a nomadic witness, and photography became his mode of expression. While still a student at the Arts Décoratifs in Paris, he took multiple trips to the Philippine jungle to stay with the Palawan people. In total, he lived with them for over two years. The first part of his work on this tribe was presented at the photographic festival Les Rencontres internationales de la photographie in Arles.De Vallombreuse was Secretary General of the Association of Anthropology and Photography (association Anthropologie et Photographie, Paris Diderot University). Since then, he has regularly collaborated with leading international magazines: GEO (France, Russia, Germany, Spain, South Korea, Japan), Sciences et Avenir, Le Monde 2, Le Figaro Magazine, Newsweek, El Mundo, El País, and La Stampa.About The Origins of Man (Hommes Racines)Encompassing five years of work, this project represents the commitment of a photographer with eleven indigenous peoples spread across the globe. Its main purpose is to show the intimate relationship between man and his environment. De Vallombreuse presented his work as a testament to the diversity of lifestyles, practices, and traditional knowledge that are embedded in very different environments. These cultures are repositories of knowledge essential to the preservation of biodiversity. De Vallombreuse aimed to promote a reflection on humanity sustainable whose corollary is the protection of nature.Whenever linked to a specific people, the project emphasizes the multiplicity of responses to living conditions imposed by nature and history. It is in this context that de Vallombreuse addresses this root concept. By meeting people entrenched in their territory and those who have been subjected to the test of uprooting, de Vallombreuse analyzed changes in life affecting our modernity. He worked to show how indigenous peoples are often the first victims of environmental disasters: food shortages, deforestation, global warming, pollution, and water war, crucial questions that, far from being local concerns, affect our mutual humanity.Since 2007, this project has resulted in 12 exhibitions and numerous publications.Souce WikipediaAbout SouverainesIn the West, feminists fight for equality with men. But elsewhere? In some traditional societies, women have a predominant social and spiritual part to play. There is equality, mutual respect and freedom for both genders. Amongst these people, women are recognized for their uniqueness and their skills.Pierre de Vallombreuse traveled to four South East Asian cultures where women play a crucial part in the family and in governance itself.In the matrilineal and matrilocal tribe of Khasi in the North-East part of India, children are given at birth the name of their mother and the youngest daughter inherits all the land and family properties.In the nonhierarchical tribe Palawan in the Philippines, men and women live in perfect equality, while emphasizing values such as goodwill, generosity and mutual assistance.In the southwestern part of China, status of women is unique in Moso, a population that practices all forms of matriarchy as children's education is entrusted with their maternal uncles.Finally in Malaysia, the Badjao abolish all forms of hierarchy and advocate for an egalitarian and libertarian civilization that is prominently in favor of women.
Fausto Podavini
Fausto Podavini was born in Rome, where he still lives and works. His passion for photography began when he was 18, first as assistant and studio photographer, then working on ethnological and social reportage. In 1992, he worked at MIFAV, the photography museum at Tor Vergata University in Rome and then studied at the John Kaverdash photography academy in Milan, taking a master’s degree in reportage. Podavini left studio photography to dedicate himself exclusively to reportage, and is nowadays a freelance photographer, collaborating with a number of NGOs. He has covered issues in Italy, Peru, Kenya, and Ethiopia, where he is currently developing personal photographic projects.Italian social reportage photographer Fausto Podavini is honoured this year as both third place winner in the 2013 Sony World Photography Awards Lifestyle category as well as first prize for the 2013 World Press Photo's 'Daily Life' category. His winning series, follows the relationship of Mirella and Luigi as Mirella cared for for husband at home in Rome. Married for over 40 years, Luigi began experiencing symptoms of Alzheimer's disease. For six years, Mirella tended to her husband's needs due to the progressive degenerative illness. After five years of living with Alzheimers, Luigi no longer recongised his wife; he died in May 2011 with her at his bedside. Podavini's intimate and delicate series follows Mirella for four years. WPO's Kaley Sweeney spoke to the photographer a bit more about his experiences developing the long term project. (Source: World Photography Organisation)
Lucas Foglia
United States
1983
Lucas Foglia grew up on a small family farm in New York and currently lives in San Francisco. His work focuses on the intersection of human belief systems and the natural world. He recently published his third book of photographs, Human Nature, with Nazraeli Press. Foglia exhibits internationally, and his prints are in notable collections including International Center of Photography, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and Victoria and Albert Museum. He photographs for magazines including Bloomberg Businessweek, National Geographic Magazine, and The New York Times Sunday Magazine. Foglia also collaborates with non-profit organizations including Sierra Club, The Nature Conservancy, and Winrock International. Source: lucasfoglia.com A Natural Order I grew up with my extended family on a small farm in the suburbs of New York City. While malls and supermarkets developed around us, we farmed and canned our food, and heated our house with wood. We bartered the plants we grew for everything from shoes to dental work. But, while my family followed many principles of the back-to-the-land movement, by the time I was eighteen we owned three tractors, four cars, and five computers. This mixing of the modern world into our otherwise rustic life made me curious to see what a completely self-sufficient way of living might look like. From 2006 through 2010, I traveled throughout the southeastern United States befriending, photographing, and interviewing a network of people who left cities and suburbs to live off the grid. Motivated by environmental concerns, religious beliefs, or the global economic recession, they chose to build their homes from local materials, obtain their water from nearby springs, and hunt, gather, or grow their own food. All the people in my photographs aspire to be self-sufficient, but no one I found lives in complete isolation from the mainstream. Many have websites that they update using laptop computers, and cell phones that they charge on car batteries or solar panels. They do not wholly reject the modern world. Instead, they step away from it and choose the parts that they want to bring with them. Frontcountry The American West is famous for being wild, even though its rural areas have been settled for generations. The regions I photographed between are some of the least populated in the United States. In rural Nevada, there are still twice as many cows as there are people. While the ranchers I met were struggling to survive the economic recession and years of drought, almost anyone could get a job at the mines. Coal, oil, natural gas, and gold were booming. Ranching and mining in the American West have had parallel histories and a common landscape. Cowboys and ranching culture are the chosen representatives of the region. Men on horseback ride through countless movies. Their images are printed on license plates and tourist souvenirs. But, the biggest profits are in mining. Though miners haven't found any raw nuggets for generations, the American West remains one of the largest gold producing regions in the world. Companies are digging increasingly bigger holes to find smaller deposits, leaving pits where there once were mountains. When I first visited, I expected cowboys to be nomads, herding animals on the edge of wilderness. I quickly learned that most ranchers have homes with mortgages. I also learned that all mines close eventually. When a mine closes, the land is scarred. The company leaves and people have to move. Miners are the modern-day nomads, following jobs across the country.
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