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Sirli Raitma
Sirli Raitma
Sirli Raitma

Sirli Raitma

Country: Estonia
Birth: 1975

Sirli Raitma is a London based photographer. She was born and grew up in Suure-Jaani in Estonia. Sirli's images span portraiture, landscapes and interiors, but portraiture - especially involving ambiguity via costume or displacement - is her heartland.

Project - Eha

EHA is a series of portraits of my mother, portrayed in a series of unusual situations, poses and attire. Eha was born in Estonia in 1950. Widowed, suffering from epilepsy and lacking great command of English, Eha stayed tightly involved in our lives. In 2015 Eha began to suffer from depression. Life became bleaker. Something had to be done. I came up with a plan to give her something new to focus on, beyond her new procession of doctor's appointments and medications. The 'EHA' project was born.

'Eha revealed herself to be a natural model, happy to play along with my increasingly imaginative visual fantasies. The 'EHA' project has had an effect on both of us. It is encouraging to see that the results for us are also having a resonance for others. The project has featured in UK and Estonian magazines. The feedback from readers has been fantastic and is consistent it that it has prompted many to look at their own family situations and how they treat each other.'
 

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More Great Photographers To Discover

Andreas Gursky
Germany
1955
German photographer. Shortly after Gursky was born, his family relocated to Essen, and then to Düsseldorf, West Germany in 1957. Gursky’s parents ran a commercial photography studio, but Gursky had no plans to join the business. He attended the Folkwangschule in Essen (1978-80) with a concentration in visual communication and the goal of becoming a photojournalist, but was unsuccessful with finding work. Encouraged by fellow photographer Thomas Struth, Gursky entered the prestigious Kunstakademie, Düsseldorf in 1980 and in his second year began studying photography under Bernd and Hilla Becher. Although the Becher’s preferred black and white photography, Gursky only worked in color, and with the help of his friends set up a color darkroom in 1981. By integrating the “systematically objective and rigorously conceptual”* documentary style of the Bechers’ photography with his taste for color, Gursky began to explore the contemporary culture of the world. Gursky had his first exhibition in 1981 featuring his series Pförtnerbilder (1981-5), a collection of works depicting pairs of German security guards. After graduating from the Kunstakademie in 1987, Gursky focused on photographing urban landscapes, both interior and exterior, and began to increase the size of his large format prints. Gursky had his first solo gallery show in 1988, at the Galerie Johnen & Schöttle. A rise of interest in the international art market for photography paired with the growing popularity of the Becher’s circle brought Gursky much commercial success. Gursky began the infamous May Day series (early 1990’s) in reaction to the biggest economic slump of recent history. A combination of the collapsing stock market with the growth of a dynamic drug-addicted rave scene inspired this photographic compilation. During this time, Gursky traveled to a number of international cities such as Tokyo, Los Angeles, Stockholm, Cairo and Hong Kong in order to photograph the masses – busy stock exchanges, manufacturing plants, industrial-looking apartment buildings, crowded arenas and swarming clubs. Gursky was one of the first contemporary photographers to use new digital photo editing techniques on his large format photographs. In 1999, Gursky created 99 Cent, the first in a series of photographs of discount stores, which “was quickly recognized as one of his most important works and placed in major museums around the world.”* Gursky’s retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art, New York in 2001, which included the work May Day IV, confirmed him as one of the greatest artistic visionaries of his generation. Source Sotheby’s, London
Helmut Newton
Germany/Australia
1920 | † 2004
Helmut Newton was a German-Australian photographer. The New York Times described him as a "prolific, widely imitated fashion photographer whose provocative, erotically charged black-and-white photos were a mainstay of Vogue and other publications." Newton was born in Berlin, the son of Klara "Claire" (née Marquis) and Max Neustädter, a button factory owner. Newton attended the Heinrich-von-Treitschke-Realgymnasium and the American School in Berlin. Interested in photography from the age of 12 when he purchased his first camera, he worked for the German photographer Yva (Elsie Neuländer Simon) from 1936. Any photographer who says he’s not a voyeur is either stupid or a liar. -- Helmut Newton The increasingly oppressive restrictions placed on Jews by the Nuremberg laws meant that his father lost control of the factory in which he manufactured buttons and buckles; he was briefly interned in a concentration camp on Kristallnacht, 9 November 1938, which finally compelled the family to leave Germany. Newton's parents fled to Argentina. He was issued with a passport just after turning 18 and left Germany on 5 December 1938. At Trieste, he boarded the Conte Rosso (along with about 200 others escaping the Nazis), intending to journey to China. After arriving in Singapore, he found he was able to remain there, first briefly as a photographer for the Straits Times and then as a portrait photographer. Newton was interned by British authorities while in Singapore and was sent to Australia on board the Queen Mary, arriving in Sydney on 27 September 1940. Internees travelled to the camp at Tatura, Victoria by train under armed guard. He was released from internment in 1942 and briefly worked as a fruit picker in Northern Victoria. In August 1942, he enlisted with the Australian Army and worked as a truck driver. After the war in 1945, he became a British subject and changed his name to Newton in 1946. In 1948, he married actress June Browne, who performed under the stage name June Brunell. Later she became a successful photographer under the ironic pseudonym Alice Springs (after Alice Springs, the town in Central Australia). In 1946, Newton set up a studio in fashionable Flinders Lane in Melbourne and worked on fashion, theatre and industrial photography in the affluent postwar years. He shared his first joint exhibition in May 1953 with Wolfgang Sievers, a German refugee like himself, who had also served in the same company. The exhibition of New Visions in Photography' was displayed at the Federal Hotel in Collins Street and was probably the first glimpse of New Objectivity photography in Australia. Newton went into partnership with Henry Talbot, a fellow German Jew who had also been interned at Tatura, and his association with the studio continued even after 1957, when he left Australia for London. The studio was renamed Helmut Newton and Henry Talbot. Newton's growing reputation as a fashion photographer was rewarded when he secured a commission to illustrate fashions in a special Australian supplement for Vogue magazine, published in January 1956. He won a 12-month contract with British Vogue and left for London in February 1957, leaving Talbot to manage the business. Newton left the magazine before the end of his contract and went to Paris, where he worked for French and German magazines. He returned to Melbourne in March 1959 to a contract for Australian Vogue. Newton and his wife finally settled in Paris in 1961 and work continued as a fashion photographer. His images appeared in magazines including the French edition of Vogue and Harper's Bazaar. He established a particular style marked by erotic, stylized scenes, often with sadomasochistic and fetishistic subtexts. A heart attack in 1970 reduced Newton's output, nevertheless his wife's encouragement led to his profile continuing to expand, especially with a big success, the 1980 studio-bound stark infinity of the Big Nudes series. His Naked and Dressed portfolio followed and in 1992 Domestic Nudes which marked the pinnacle of his erotic-urban style, these series all underpinned with the prowess of his technical skills. Newton also worked in portraiture and more fantastical studies. Newton shot a number of pictorials for Playboy, including pictorials of Nastassja Kinski and Kristine DeBell. Original prints of the photographs from his August 1976 pictorial of DeBell, "200 Motels, or How I Spent My Summer Vacation" were sold at auctions of Playboy archives by Bonhams in 2002. I just had a bellyful and realized I had shot enough nudes to last a lifetime. In fact, although I have no idea of the number, I think I photographed too many naked women. -- Helmut Newton In 2009, June Browne Newton conceptualized a tribute exhibition to Newton, based on three photographers that befriended Newton in Los Angeles in 1980: Mark Arbeit, Just Loomis, and George Holz. All three had been photography students at The Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California. All three became friends with Helmut and June Newton and to varying degrees assisted Helmut Newton. Each went on to independent careers. The exhibit premiered at the Helmut Newton Foundation in Berlin and combined the work of all three with personal snapshots, contact sheets, and letters from their time with Newton. Since the 1970s Newton regularly used Polaroid cameras and film for instant visualization of compositions and lighting situations, especially for his fashion photography. By his own admission, for the shoot of Naked and Dressed series that started in 1981 for the Italian and French Vogue he used Polaroid film “by the crate”. These polaroids also served as a sketchbook, where he scribbled notes with regard to the model, client or location and date. In 1992 Newton published Pola Woman, a book consisting only of his Polaroids. Over 300 works based on the original Polaroids were shown at 2011 exhibition Helmut Newton Polaroids at the Museum für Fotografie in Berlin. In his later life, Newton lived in both Monte Carlo and Los Angeles, California where he spent winters at the Chateau Marmont, which he had done every year since 1957. On 23 January 2004, he suffered a serious heart attack while driving his automobile down Marmont Lane from the Chateau Marmont to Sunset Boulevard. He was taken to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center; doctors were unable to save him, and he was pronounced dead. His ashes are buried at the Städtischer Friedhof III in Berlin.Source: Wikipedia
Ferdinando Scianna
Ferdinando Scianna (born 1943) is an Italian photographer. Scianna won the Prix Nadar in 1966 and became a full member of Magnum Photos in 1989. He has produced numerous books. Scianna took up photography while studying literature, philosophy and art history at the University of Palermo in the 1960s. He moved to Milan in 1966 and started working as a photographer for L'Europeo in 1967, becoming a journalist there in 1973. Scianna wrote on politics for Le Monde diplomatique and on literature and photography for La Quinzaine Littéraire. He first joined Magnum Photos in 1982, becoming a full member in 1989. He took up fashion photography in the late 1980s. His first work, in 1987, was to photograph Marpessa Hennink for Dolce & Gabbana's advertising campaign for their Fall/Winter collection, clothing which was inspired by Sicily.Source: Wikipedia Ferdinando Scianna started taking photographs in the 1960s while studying literature, philosophy and art history at the University of Palermo. It was then that he began to photograph the Sicilian people systematically. Feste Religiose in Sicilia (1965) included an essay by the Sicilian writer Leonardo Sciascia, and it was the first of many collaborations with famous writers. Scianna moved to Milan in 1966. The following year he started working for the weekly magazine L’Europeo, first as a photographer, then as a journalist from 1973. He also wrote on politics for Le Monde Diplomatique and on literature and photography for La Quinzaine Littéraire. In 1977 he published Les Siciliens in France and La Villa Dei Mostri in Italy. During this period, Scianna met Henri Cartier-Bresson, and in 1982 he joined Magnum Photos. He entered the field of fashion photography in the late 1980s and at the end of the decade he published a retrospective, Le Forme del Caos (1989). Scianna returned to exploring the meaning of religious rituals with Viaggio a Lourdes (1995), then two years later he published a collection of images of sleepers – Dormire Forse Sognare (To Sleep, Perchance to Dream). His portraits of the Argentinean writer Jorge Luis Borges were published in 1999, and in the same year, the exhibition Niños del Mundo displayed Scianna’s images of children from around the world. In 2002 Scianna completed Quelli di Bagheria, a book on his home town in Sicily, in which he tries to reconstruct the atmosphere of his youth through writings and photographs of Bagheria and the people who live there.Source: Magnum Photos
Artur Nikodem
Austria
1870 | † 1940
Artur Nikodem (1870-1940) was born in Trent, Austria. As a young man, Nikodem studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich, Milan and Florence. He then served in the Austrian Navy before settling briefly in Paris, where he was strongly influenced by the works of Monet and Cezanne. Awestruck by the ability of pigment to rearrange and restructure life on canvas, Nikodem began his endeavors as a painter. His burgeoning artistic career was delayed by military service during World War I. After the war, Nikodem returned to his home in Innsbruck where he began work as a freelance artist. He agreed to test cameras and film for a friend who sold photographic supplies, privately pursuing this means of artistic expression. The modest size and intimate subject matter of these photographs provides a window into the artist's life and mind. After a series of successful international exhibitions, Nikodem emerged as a spokesman for Tyrolean artists. As Nikodem grew older, the changing political climate resulted in his paintings being outlawed in Germany and part of the collection in Nuremberg was destroyed. Unable to secure a teaching position at the Viennese Academy, Nikodem withdrew from public life and lived in seclusion with his wife, Barbara Hoyer, until his death in 1940. Nikodem's photographs were not exhibited or discussed outside of the studio until after his death. Although he worked as a painter for the bulk of his artistic career, he was also a prolific photographer, documenting the small towns and pastoral beauty of the Austrian countryside as well as the women in his life. Nikodem captures these women, his models and lovers, including Gunda Wiese - who died of tuberculosis - and his wife Barbara Hoyer. These sensual portraits portray the erotic tension between the older artist and his much younger subjects. Artur Nikodem's portraits have invited comparison to the paintings of Egon Schiele and the series of photographs by Alfred Stieglitz of Georgia O'Keefe, similarly characterized by both playful experimentation and somber meditation. Source: Robert Mann Gallery
Nanci Milton
United States
1957
Nanci Milton is a primarily self-taught photographic artist. Her experience with the camera, film and image making began at an early age with the gift f an Instamatic from her father for whom photography was his passion though not his profession. Subsequent Christmas gifts of cameras followed, as well as access to his own various cameras. She was smitten. As the only child of artistic parents, both teachers as well, she was continually exposed to writing, image making, art viewing and inquiring into the creative process. As an only child of older parents, she also was included in many adult events, dinners, lectures, visits with artists of many arenas and backgrounds and absorbed the many layers of inspiration and process they possessed. She found it a gift to be an only child as it allowed her the access to a larger world early on and also left her to her own devices to imagine and make without the comparison or competition with a sibling. Everything was available and potent. The ''legacy'' of artists can be heavy though, and even as she continued to make images and write, she struggled to find a form that was her own. That form led to a detour into the performing arts, modern dance and theater which were her university studies. Ultimately, these fell short of what she had been immured in all her life, and the turn back o the photographic arts and writing was undeniable. The detour however undeniably informs her work with a sense of narrative and staging, in addition to a conceptual approach that pushes the images beyond the static. In a world that is in such flux, Milton is attracted to empty, vacated or in some way, disrupted spaces and how our intimately personal or common and archetypal experience layer on and stain that space, be it exterior or interior; she finds a landscape of both body and mind to reveal. There is redemption in that effort and the rescuing of the lost, and in both the symmetry and the chaos found there. Methodology and materials are less important and she utilizes any and all that will support the idea. Milton has been included in domestic and international exhibits at Praxis gallery, LA Noble Gallery, A Smith Gallery, The 9th Annual Koblenzanalog portfolio and exhibit, and was an Honorable Mention in the Fine Art category for the 17th Julia Margaret Cameron Awards.
Laurence Leblanc
Laurence Leblanc was born in Paris in the early days of June 1967. Starting her artistic training early on, she studied drawing, painting, and gravure as a child at the Musée du Louvre’s Ecole des arts décoratifs. Later on Leblanc studied visual art at the Academie Charpentier, at its historic La Grande Chaumiere workshop located in Paris. "Each of us has to tell something that nobody else can tell" -- Wim Wenders. Leblanc always had a deep desire to convey her world a little differently and it was in that spirit that she covered Peter Gabriel’s Secret World Tour in the 90’s, travelling large parts of the world with the British musican over the next two years. In 1999, Leblanc came to the attention of art critic and curator Régis Durand who described her work as : « It exists in these pictures a kind of familiar fantastic, a mix of ordinary poetry and some strangeness » Whatever the medium, the act of creation for Laurence Leblanc comes after gradual impregnation with the subject and his or her environment. The results are often carefully thought-out and reflect both the expansive and minute of the subject and, their context. Cambodian filmmaker Rithy Panh said of Leblanc that: « Her pictures look like souls… the fuzzyness is not fuzzy, the grainy asppearance is not grain, life is not exactly life. Yet it is not death either, and I like being led on this narrow territory between the two » Leblanc is the winner of awards such as the Villa Médicis Hors–Les–Murs scholarship in 2000, and the HSBC Fondation prize in photographie in 2003. In 2003, Peter Gabriel wrote in the preface of her first book Rithy, Chéa, Kim Sour et les autres "Laurence has continued to explore new areas in her work, and I have watched her develop into an extraordinary artist" Leblanc’s second book Seul l’air was published in 2009 by Actes Sud. At the same time her exhibition Seul l’air consisting of work from Africa was presented at the 40th International Photography Festival in Arles. Always expanding her range of learning and creating, Leblanc responded to radio producer and writer Frank Smith’s proposition to create a sound piece for the Atelier de Création Radiophonique. The final 53 minute sound piece was broadcast on France Culture in July 2008. Leblanc also collaborated on the « Sometimes I think Sometimes I don’t think » project with the Domaine de Chamarande. Bulles de silence, a 19 minutes film, written, produced and directed by Leblanc, was selected and premiered at the Museum’s Night in the Niepce’s Museum in May 2015. Laurence Leblanc silently follows her own solitary artistic path which leads her to the field of contemporary photographic creativity, yet her strongest ally is time, the time given (and taken by the artist) to observe and to mature. Represented by the Claude Samuel gallery in 1999 then by the VU’ gallery from 2001 to 2015 Leblanc is a regular at: Art Paris, Art genève, and at Paris Photo since her début there in 1998. Leblanc’s works can be found in collections ranging from the prestigious National Trust for Contemporary Art in France, the Niépce Museum in Chalon-sur Saône, the French National Library, the HSBC Fondation & Collection, as well as in various private collections includng that of Marin Karmitz. We can see one of her picture in the exhibition « Etranger résident » Marin Karmitz’s collection from 15 october 2017 to 21 january 2018 in la maison rouge – fondation Antoine de Galbert. Source: laurenceleblanc.com
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