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Mi Zhou
Mi Zhou
Mi Zhou

Mi Zhou

Country: China/United States
Birth: 1962

Mi Zhou was born in 1962 in China, studied Civil Engineering in college. Following graduation, worked for 13 years as a field engineer for Chinese National Railroad Survey and Design Institute. In 1997, obtained Master degree in Communication Arts from New York Institute of Technology. From 1997 to 2004, worked as art director at Y&R /K&L advertising Inc., New York. Since 2004, resides in San Francisco, USA, working as freelance photographer, mainly focusing on personal projects, and working with non-profit organizations on social documentary.

Recognitions:
2011, 500 Photographers, by Pieter Wisse, Netherlands
2009, The Best Photographer, Saint-Petersburg PHOTO VERNISAGE. Russia
2008, Top 50 Photographers, by Critical Mass, an international portfolio review. USA

Selected Exhibitions:
2013, "The Griots of Oakland", African American Museum and Library, Oakland, USA
2011, "Lost & Found", Florence Moll Gallery at Chic Art Fair, Paris, France
2010, "Burning Man", POLKA Gallery, Paris, France
 

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Robert Mapplethorpe
United States
1946 | † 1989
Robert Mapplethorpe was born in 1946 in Floral Park, Queens. Of his childhood he said, "I come from suburban America. It was a very safe environment and it was a good place to come from in that it was a good place to leave." In 1963, Mapplethorpe enrolled at Pratt Institute in nearby Brooklyn, where he studied drawing, painting, and sculpture. Influenced by artists such as Joseph Cornell and Marcel Duchamp, he also experimented with various materials in mixed-media collages, including images cut from books and magazines. He acquired a Polaroid camera in 1970 and began producing his own photographs to incorporate into the collages, saying he felt "it was more honest." That same year he and Patti Smith, whom he had met three years earlier, moved into the Chelsea Hotel. Mapplethorpe quickly found satisfaction taking Polaroid photographs in their own right and indeed few Polaroids actually appear in his mixed-media works. In 1973, the Light Gallery in New York City mounted his first solo gallery exhibition, Polaroids. Two years later he acquired a Hasselblad medium-format camera and began shooting his circle of friends and acquaintances—artists, musicians, socialites, pornographic film stars, and members of the S & M underground. He also worked on commercial projects, creating album cover art for Patti Smith and Television and a series of portraits and party pictures for Interview Magazine. In the late 70s, Mapplethorpe grew increasingly interested in documenting the New York S & M scene. The resulting photographs are shocking for their content and remarkable for their technical and formal mastery. Mapplethorpe told ARTnews in late 1988, "I don't like that particular word 'shocking.' I'm looking for the unexpected. I'm looking for things I've never seen before … I was in a position to take those pictures. I felt an obligation to do them." Meanwhile his career continued to flourish. In 1977, he participated in Documenta 6 in Kassel, West Germany and in 1978, the Robert Miller Gallery in New York City became his exclusive dealer. Mapplethorpe met Lisa Lyon, the first World Women's Bodybuilding Champion, in 1980. Over the next several years they collaborated on a series of portraits and figure studies, a film, and the book, Lady, Lisa Lyon. Throughout the 80s, Mapplethorpe produced a bevy of images that simultaneously challenge and adhere to classical aesthetic standards: stylized compositions of male and female nudes, delicate flower still lifes, and studio portraits of artists and celebrities, to name a few of his preferred genres. He introduced and refined different techniques and formats, including color 20" x 24" Polaroids, photogravures, platinum prints on paper and linen, Cibachrome and dye transfer color prints. In 1986, he designed sets for Lucinda Childs' dance performance, Portraits in Reflection, created a photogravure series for Arthur Rimbaud's A Season in Hell, and was commissioned by curator Richard Marshall to take portraits of New York artists for the series and book, 50 New York Artists. That same year, in 1986, he was diagnosed with AIDS. Despite his illness, he accelerated his creative efforts, broadened the scope of his photographic inquiry, and accepted increasingly challenging commissions. The Whitney Museum of American Art mounted his first major American museum retrospective in 1988, one year before his death in 1989. His vast, provocative, and powerful body of work has established him as one of the most important artists of the twentieth century. Today Mapplethorpe is represented by galleries in North and South America and Europe and his work can be found in the collections of major museums around the world. Beyond the art historical and social significance of his work, his legacy lives on through the work of the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. He established the Foundation in 1988 to promote photography, support museums that exhibit photographic art, and to fund medical research in the fight against AIDS and HIV-related infection.
Steve Toole
United States
1957
"I have enjoyed photography and art since I was young. I was fortunate to have traveled with my family throughout the United States as I was growing up. Taking pictures during those trips was an exciting and rewarding experience. Being semi-retired from teaching, I now have more time to rekindle my artistic pursuits. Much of my work depicts life outdoors, because that is where I spend a significant amount of my time. Capturing moments through photography, whether magnificent or understated, is more fulfilling now than ever. My wife Kim and I live in Ashton, Illinois where we foster rescued dogs, volunteer, teach part time, and enjoy small town life." About Back Roads "There is a sense of timelessness when I travel the back roads of America. Two-lane blacktops and meandering gravel roads are the capillaries that carry me to those places that modernity has mostly ignored. For me, in these places, the sky is bigger, the earth is closer, and the air smells fresher. A feeling of tranquility exists there. Whether a bucolic scene, a sylvan setting or an alpine view, I am transported to a time and place that previous generations might have experienced. Black and white images contribute to that feeling of timelessness, whether depicting a leafless tree, a grazing horse, or an abandoned pick-up truck in a pasture. I hope my photos transport the viewer, even for a few moments, to these out-of-the-way places – sometimes beautiful, sometimes gritty, sometimes simple, sometimes unique, but always real."
Cole Weston
United States
1919
Cole Weston, born on January 30, 1919 in Los Angeles, was the fourth and youngest son of famed 20th Century photographer, Edward Henry Weston. Cole received his first camera, a 4 by 5 Autograflex, from his brother Brett in 1935. Cole graduated with a degree in theater arts from the Cornish School in Seattle in 1937 and then served in the Navy during World War II as a welder and photographer. After his discharge from the Navy in 1945 Cole worked for Life Magazine. In 1946 he moved to Carmel to assist his father Edward. During this time Eastman Kodak started sending their new color film, Kodachrome, for Edward to try out. Cole took this opportunity to experiment with this new medium and eventually became one of the world’s great masters of fine art color photography. In 1957 Cole began shooting his first color photographs of the magnificent Big Sur coast, Monterey Peninsula and central California. At this time he carried on his own portrait business while assisting his ailing father, who passed away in 1958. Edward had authorized Cole to print from Edward’s negatives after his death, so Cole continued printing Edward’s work while pursuing his own fine art photography. In 1975 Cole began lecturing and conducting workshops on his father’s photography as well as his own. With his work in the theater arts Cole was a natural when it came to teaching and lecturing and his many students still comment on what a great workshop he gave. He traveled throughout the United States, England, Europe, Russia, Mexico, New Zealand and the South Pacific photographing and inspiring others with his characteristic enthusiasm and charm. In 1988 after three decades devoted to printing his father’s work, Cole at last set aside his responsibility to Edward’s legacy and refocused on his own photography. Cole had his first solo exhibition in San Francisco in 1971. Since then, his work has been featured in more than sixty exhibitions worldwide and has been collected by museums throughout the United States and Europe. His work has been featured in numerous gallery shows and publications with three monographs and numerous articles having been published on his exquisite photography. Michael Hoffman from Aperture Publications once quoted, “In the history of photography there are but a few masters of color photography, Cole Weston is assuredly one of these masters of the medium whose dramatic powerful images are a source of great joy and pleasure”. Cole passed away from natural causes on April 20th, 2003. Like Cole, who once carried on the legacy of his father’s photography, his children have decided, as a tribute to their father, to carry on printing and offer Trust prints of Cole’s fine color photographs. Cole Weston was a dedicated artist and master of fine photography. Hopefully the availability of modern prints will make it possible for photographic enthusiasts everywhere to continue to enjoy his life’s work.
Loretta Lux
Germany
1969
Loretta Lux was born in Dresden, East Germany and is a fine art photographer known for her surreal portraits of young children. She currently lives and works in Monaco. Lux graduated from the Academy of Visual Arts in Munich in the 1990s, and debuted at the Yossi Milo gallery, New York in 2004. The show put both Yossi Milo and Loretta Lux on the map, selling out and setting prices never before seen from a new gallery. In 2005, Lux received the Infinity Award for Art from the International Center of Photography. Her work has since been exhibited extensively abroad, including solo exhibitions in 2006 at the Fotomuseum Den Haag, The Netherlands, and the Sixth Moscow Photobiennale. Her work is included in numerous museums collections worldwide, including the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum; J.Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Art Institute of Chicago; Israel Museum, Jerusalem; Fotomuseum, den Haag; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid and Musée de l’Elysée, Lausanne, Switzerland, and National Museum of Art, Osaka, Japan. She has had portfolios featured in numerous fine art magazines. The artist executes her compositions using a combination of photography, painting and digital manipulation. Lux's work usually features young children and is influenced by a variety of sources. She originally trained as a painter at Munich Academy of Art, and is influenced by painters such as Agnolo Bronzino, Diego Velázquez, Phillip Otto Runge. Lux also owes a debt to the famous Victorian photographic portraitists of childhood such as Julia Margaret Cameron and Lewis Carroll. Source: Wikipedia Loretta Lux was born in Dresden, Germany, in 1969. In 1989 she left East Germany for Munich, a few months before the fall of the Berlin Wall. From 1990–96, she studied at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Munich. Trained as a painter, Lux began taking photographs in 1999. Although Lux first experimented with self-portraits in works like The Hush (1999) and Self-Portrait (2000), she soon transitioned to images of children and adolescents, typically the offspring of friends who she often used as models. Her subjects, with gazes ambiguously empty yet psychologically activated, assume formal poses and appear in calculated garb and hairstyles. Employing photography, painting, and computer manipulation, Lux alters the images, extracting extraneous details, distorting proportions, and setting the children against mediated backgrounds that exist somewhere between Old Master paintings and cheesy studio-portrait backdrops. Lux's earliest works set children against icy blue skies, for example in Troll (2000), Lois (2000), and Isabella (2001). In 2001, while the skies continued to serve as backdrops in some works, Lux began to increasingly stage her images within barren pale pink interiors; such images include Hidden Rooms (2001) and Study of a Girl (2002). In several works including The Book (2003), Lux borrowed poses from Balthus, endowing those works with the rigidity and sense of perversion that characterized the French artist's oeuvre. Lux moved to Ireland in 2004 and increasingly depicted pairs of children rather than the solitary figures that occupied her earlier work. In her images of siblings like The Walk (2004), The Irish Girls (2005), and Hugo and Dylan (2006), the figures are psychologically isolated and physically interact quite gingerly with minimal and half-hearted gestures, perhaps an arm around a shoulder. Lux photographed the twins Sasha and Ruby (2005), girls who again sat for multiple images the artist produced in 2008. In 2007 Lux created her first self-portrait in seven years, this time occupying the pale blue and pink world of the children and bearing their ambiguous, confounding expression. Solo exhibitions of Lux's work have been organized by Stadtmuseum in Muenster (2003), Fotomuseum den Haag in The Hague (2005), Museo de Arte Contemporaneo de Monterrey (2008), and Kulturhuset in Stockholm (2009), among others. Lux's work has also been included in major exhibitions such as Arbeit an der Wirklichkeit, German Contemporary Photography at the National Museum of Modern Art in Tokyo (2005–06), Global Feminisms at the Brooklyn Museum (2007), Family Pictures at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York (2007), and the Havana Biennale (2009). In 2005 she received the Infinity Award for Art from The International Center of Photography in New York. Lux lives and works in Monaco. Source: Guggenheim
André Kertész
Hungary
1894 | † 1985
André Kertész, born Kertész Andor, was a Hungarian-born photographer known for his groundbreaking contributions to photographic composition and the photo essay. In the early years of his career, his then-unorthodox camera angles and style prevented his work from gaining wider recognition. Kertész never felt that he had gained the worldwide recognition he deserved. Today he is considered one of the seminal figures of photojournalism. Expected by his family to work as a stockbroker, Kertész pursued photography independently as an autodidact, and his early work was published primarily in magazines, a major market in those years. This continued until much later in his life, when Kertész stopped accepting commissions. He served briefly in World War I and moved to Paris in 1925, then the artistic capital of the world, against the wishes of his family. In Paris he worked for France's first illustrated magazine called VU. Involved with many young immigrant artists and the Dada movement, he achieved critical and commercial success. Due to German persecution of the Jews and the threat of World War II, Kertész decided to emigrate to the United States in 1936, where he had to rebuild his reputation through commissioned work. In the 1940s and 1950s, he stopped working for magazines and began to achieve greater international success. His career is generally divided into four periods, based on where he was working and his work was most prominently known. They are called the Hungarian period, the French period, the American period and, toward the end of his life, the International period. Source: Wikipedia André Kertész (1894–1985) has been hailed as one of the most important photographers of the twentieth century. Working intuitively, he captured the poetry of modern urban life with its quiet, often overlooked incidents and odd, occasionally comic, or even bizarre juxtapositions. He endeavored "to give meaning to everything" about him with his camera, "to make photographs as by reflection in a mirror, unmanipulated and direct as in life." Combining this seemingly artless spontaneity with a sophisticated understanding of composition, Kertész created a purely photographic idiom that celebrates direct observation of the everyday. Neither a surrealist, nor a strict photojournalist, he nevertheless infused his best images with strong tenets of both. "You don't see" the things you photograph, he explained, "you feel them." Born Kertész Andor in Budapest, he received his first camera in 1912 and immediately began to make intimate portraits of family and friends, studies of the Hungarian countryside, and scenes of daily life behind the battle lines of World War I. Seeking to make a living through photography, he moved in 1925 to Paris, where he established a successful career as a photojournalist. Buoyed by this accomplishment and inspired by the vibrant artistic community of the French capital, he created some of the most intriguing and celebrated images of the period. In 1936 Kertész relocated to New York in order to further his career. Captivated by the rich visual spectacle of the city and awed by its scale, he used the camera to record both his fascination with, and sense of alienation from, his new surroundings. The images attest to a complicated personal history borne through the political upheavals of two wars and life in three countries. He died at age ninety-one. This exhibition offers a comprehensive overview of Kertész's rich and varied career. Source: The International Center of Photography
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