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Michael Light
Photo by David Hyams, 2014
Michael Light
Michael Light

Michael Light

Country: United States
Birth: 1963

Michael Light is a San Francisco-based photographer focused on the environment and how contemporary American culture relates to it. He has exhibited globally, and his work has been collected by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, The Getty Research Institute, The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The New York Public Library, and the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, among others.

For the last fifteen years, Light has aerially photographed over settled and unsettled areas of American space, pursuing themes of mapping, vertigo, human impact on the land, and various aspects of geologic time and the sublime. A private pilot and Guggenheim Fellow in photography, he is currently working on an extended aerial survey of the arid Western states. Radius Books published the first of a multi-volume series of this work, Bingham Mine/Garfield Stack, in 2009. The second, LA Day/LA Night, was released in 2011. The third, Lake Las Vegas/Black Mountain, was published in 2015. The fourth, Lake Lahontan/Lake Bonneville, was released in September 2019.

Light is also known for his globally published archival works. His first, FULL MOON (1999), used lunar geological survey imagery made by the Apollo astronauts to show the moon both as a sublime desert and an embattled point of first human contact. 100 SUNS (2003), focused on the politics and landscape meanings of military photographs of U.S. atmospheric nuclear detonations from 1945 to 1962.
 

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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 dark room 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
David LaChapelle
United States
1963
David LaChapelle (born March 11, 1963) is an American commercial photographer, fine-art photographer, music video director, and film director. He is best known for his photography, which often references art history and sometimes conveys social messages. His photographic style has been described as "hyper-real and slyly subversive" and as "kitsch pop surrealism". Once called the Fellini of photography, LaChapelle has worked for international publications and has had his work exhibited in commercial galleries and institutions around the world. David LaChapelle was born in Hartford, Connecticut to Philip and Helga LaChapelle; he has a sister Sonja and a brother Philip. His mother was a refugee from Lithuania who arrived at Ellis Island in the late 1960s. His family lived in Hartford until he was 9. He has said to have loved the public schools in Connecticut and thrived in their art program as a child and teenager, although he struggled with bullying growing up. Then he moved to Raleigh, North Carolina, with his family, where they lived until he was 14, before moving back to Fairfield, Connecticut. He was bullied in his North Carolina school for his sexuality. When he was 15, he ran away from home to become a busboy at Studio 54 in New York City. Eventually, he returned to North Carolina to enroll in the North Carolina School of the Arts. His first photograph was of his mother Helga on a family vacation in Puerto Rico. LaChapelle credits his mother for influencing his art direction in the way she set up scenes for family photos in his youth. LaChapelle was affiliated in the 1980s with 303 Gallery which also exhibited artists such as Doug Ait. After people from Interview magazine saw his work exhibited, LaChapelle was offered work with the magazine. When LaChapelle was 17 years old, he met Andy Warhol, who hired him as a photographer for Interview Magazine. Warhol reportedly told LaChapelle "Do whatever you want. Just make sure everybody looks good." LaChapelle's images subsequently appeared on the covers and pages of magazines such as Details, GQ, i-D, The New York Times Magazine, Rolling Stone, The Face, Vanity Fair, Vogue Italia, and Vogue Paris. LaChapelle's work has been called "meticulously created in a high-gloss, color-popping, hyper-realistic style", and his photos are known to, "crackle with subversive – or at least hilarious – ideas, rude energy and laughter. They are full of juicy life." In 1995 David LaChapelle shot the famous 'kissing sailors' advertisement for Diesel. It was staged at the peace celebration of World War II and became one of the first public advertisements showing a gay or lesbian couple kissing. Much of its controversy was due it being published at the height of the Don't ask, Don't tell debates in United States, which had led to the U.S. Government to bar openly gay, lesbian, or bisexual persons from military service. In a long article published by Frieze in 1996, the advertisement was credited for its "overarching tone of heavy-handed humor and sarcasm". In September 2011 when the Don't ask, Don't tell law was finally removed by President Barack Obama, Renzo Rosso, the founder and president of Diesel, who originally had approved and pushed for the advertisement, said "16 years ago people wouldn't stop complaining about this ad. Now it's finally accepted legally." Themes in LaChapelle's art photography, which he has developed in his Maui home, include salvation, redemption, paradise, and consumerism. It is clear that LaChapelle's moving in this, "new direction highlights his interest and understanding of both contemporary practice and art history". LaChapelle's images "both bizarre and gorgeous have forged a singular style that is unique, original, and perfectly unmistakeable." His photographs have been collected in a number of books. LaChapelle Land (1996) was selected as one of 101 "Seminal Photographic Books of the Twentieth Century" and is "highly valued by collectors". His second book, Hotel LaChapelle (1999), was described as a "garish, sexy, enchanting trip". Heaven to Hell (2006) featured "almost twice as many images as its predecessors", and "is an explosive compilation of new work by the visionary photographer." LaChapelle, Artists and Prostitutes (2006), a limited-edition, signed, numbered book contains 688 pages of photographs taken between 1985 and 2005. Artists and Prostitutes was published by Taschen and includes a photograph of the publisher Benedikt Taschen in a sadomasochism scene.Source: Wikipedia David LaChapelle is a celebrated American photographer and video artist. He is perhaps best known for his commercial fashion portraits of celebrities and models, including photos of Amanda Lepore and Angelina Jolie. LaChapelle’s signature blend of colorful, conceptual imagery bears the influence of both Surrealism and Pop Art. Often humorous or provocative, his use of full or partial nudity in numerous advertisements and editorial shoots prompted Helmut Newton to remark, “A lot of the nudity is just gratuitous. But someone who makes me laugh is David LaChapelle. I think he's very bright, very funny, and good.” An avid consumer of pop culture, LaChapelle is also inspired by the breadth of art history, frequently evoking the compositions or poses of Renaissance paintings. Born on March 11, 1963 in Fairfield, CT, LaChapelle’s early work was noticed by Andy Warhol, who then offered him a job at Interview Magazine in the 1980s. His photographs are included in the collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the National Portrait Gallery in London, and the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, among others. He currently lives and works in New York, NY.Source: Artnet
Madame d’Ora
Austria
1881 | † 1963
Dora Philippine Kallmus, also known as Madame D'Ora or Madame d'Ora, was an Austrian fashion and portrait photographer. Born in Vienna, Austria, in 1881 to a Jewish family, into a privileged background and coming of age amidst the creative and intellectual atmosphere of fin-de-siècle Vienna, Kallmus was extremely well cultured. Her father was a lawyer. Her sister, Anna, was born in 1878 and deported in 1941 during the Holocaust. Although her mother, Malvine (née Sonnenberg), died when she was young, her family remained an important source of emotional and financial support throughout her career. At age 23 while on a trip to the Côte d’Azur, she purchased her first camera, a Kodak box camera. She became interested in the photography field while assisting the son of the painter Hans Makart, and in 1905 she was the first woman to be admitted to theory courses at the Graphische Lehr- und Versuchsanstalt (Graphic Training Institute), which in 1908 granted women access to other courses in photography. That same year she became a member of the Association of Austrian photographers. She was the first woman photographer in Vienna to open her own studio and in May 1906, she was listed in the commercial register as a photographer for the first time. She established her studio called the Atelier d’Ora or Madame D'Ora-Benda with Arthur Benda. The name was based on the pseudonym "Madame d'Ora", which she used professionally. Self-styled simply as d’Ora, she initially took portraits of friends and members from her social circle. In the autumn of 1909, an exhibition of her work received a lively response from the press. Critics both praised the artistic style of her portraits and emphasized the prominent individuals who streamed in to view the show. Over the course of her lifetime, d’Ora turned her lens on many artists, including Josephine Baker, Colette, Gustav Klimt, Tamara de Lempicka, and Pablo Picasso, among others. Alongside these commissions, she also photographed members of the Habsburg family and Viennese aristocracy, the Rothschild family, and other prominent cultural figures and politicians. D’Ora had close ties to avant-garde artistic circles and captured members of the Expressionist dance movement with her lens, including Anita Berber and Sebastian Droste. Fashion and glamor subjects were another important mainstay of her business. She regularly photographed Wiener Werkstätte fashion models and the designer Emilie Flöge of the Schwestern Flöge salon wearing artistic reform dresses. When d’Ora moved to Paris in 1925, she shifted her focus to fashion, covering the couture scene and leading lights of the period until 1940. She befriended key figures, such as the French milliner Madame Agnès and the Spanish designer Cristóbal Balenciaga, as well as the top fashion magazine editors of the day. She also helped create and sustain glamorous images for a variety of celebrities, including Cecil Beaton, Maurice Chevalier, and Colette. When the Nazis seized control of Paris in 1940, she was forced to close her studio and flee. She spent the war years in a semi-underground existence living in Ardèche in the southeast of France. Her sister Anna Kallmus, along with other family and friends, died in the Chełmno concentration camp. After World War II, d’Ora returned to Paris, profoundly affected by personal losses. While she lacked an elegant studio in Paris, d’Ora’s lasting connections to wealthy clients remained and many of them returned to her. While she accepted portrait commissions, mostly for financial stability, she also pushed into new, sometimes darker directions. Around 1948, she embarked on an astonishing series of photographs in displaced persons or refugee camps, which was commissioned by the United Nations. From around 1949 to 1958, d’Ora worked on a project, which she called “my big final work.” She visited numerous slaughterhouses in Paris, and amid the pools of blood and deathly screams, she stood in an elegant suit and a hat photographing the butchered animals hundreds of times. She died on 28 October 1963. Four years prior, she had sustained injuries after being hit by a motorcycle in Paris, resulting in her returning to Vienna.Source: Wikipedia
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