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Krzysztof Wladyka
Krzysztof Wladyka
Krzysztof Wladyka

Krzysztof Wladyka

Country: Poland
Birth: 1980

Krzysztof Wladyka was born in 1980 in Olawa (Poland) where he currently lives and works. He discovered photography as an artistic medium in 2006. As a self-taught photographer who is not strictly connected with the photography market, he became appreciated by various curators and galleries.

His works has been exhibited in Poland, United States and Cambodia - during Angkor Photo Festival in 2011. The most popular series Animalies has been awarded in many photo competitions including International Photography Awards (IPA) in 2010 and it has been chosen for group exhibition in New York city as Best of the Show.

Wladyka’s photographs are full of symbols, signs, fragments of living nature, strange props which all are mixed in square frames. They are characterized by pure forms, vivid colors, and impeccable composition. His unique style owes through observation of reality and it is based on the synthesis of his experiences, thoughts, meanings, emotions, and energy.
 

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Laia Abril
Spain
1986
Laia Abril s a Spanish photographer and multiplatform storyteller whose work relates to femininity. Abril was born in 1986 in Barcelona, Spain. She gained a degree in journalism in Barcelona. She moved to New York City to study photography at the International Center of Photography. In 2009 she enrolled at Fabrica research centre, the artist residency of Benetton in Italy, where she worked as a staff photographer and consultant photo editor at Colors magazine for a number of years. Since 2010, Abril has been working on various projects exploring the subject of eating disorders: A Bad Day, a short film about a young girl struggling with bulimia; Thinspiration (2012), which explores the use of photography in pro-ana websites; and The Epilogue (2014), documenting the indirect victims of eating disorders, through the story of the Robinson family and the aftermath of the death of Cammy Robinson to bulimia. Critic Sean O'Hagan, wrote in The Guardian that The Epilogue "... is a sombre and affecting photobook ... dense and rewarding ... At times, it makes for a painful read. From time to time, I had to put it down, take a breather. But I kept going back." Her extended study of misogyny thus far includes A History of Misogyny: Chapter One: On Abortion, about the repercussions of abortion controls in many different cultures. Work is ongoing to produce A History Of Misogyny, Chapter 2: On Rape. Her other projects include Femme Love, on a young lesbian community in Brooklyn; Last Cabaret on a sex club in Barcelona; and the Asexuals Project, a documentary film about asexuality. Abril's books include The Epilogue (2014), which documents the indirect victims of eating disorders, and A History of Misogyny: Chapter One: On Abortion (2018), about the repercussions of abortion controls in many different cultures. On Abortion won Photobook of the Year award at the Paris Photo–Aperture Foundation PhotoBook Awards. In 2018 she was awarded the Tim Hetherington Trust's Visionary Award to work on A History Of Misogyny, Chapter 2: On Rape Culture. For the long-term project A History Of Misogyny, in 2019 she was awarded the Royal Photographic Society's Hood Medal and in 2020 she was awarded the Paul Huf Award from Foam Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam.Source: Wikipedia
Rogan Coles
South Africa/United Kingdom
1954
I was born in 1954. Photography is what I do. The stories lie therein. In presenting this body of work I want to explore something that is often overlooked - as in the intrinsic value of photography. As one of his mantras, Jack Ma, the founder and now former CEO of Alibaba and a person whose tenacity I admire, said this, "I always look 10 years ahead". While I'm not going to suggested that this is what I do with my photography or when I am about to embark on a project. But and quite often, there's something prescient in what I do and how I approach my work as a photographer. When I set out to document Smithfield Market in London, this is more or less what happened. Besides all the talk of closing down the market, there were suggestions that the market was going to be refurbished and, in the process, brought up to European Union health standards. At around this time, I used to take a short cut through the market's precinct as I walked from one side of the city to the other. Of course, during the day, there was nothing there. Well, let me qualify, there were no people there. Working hours were from just around midnight until the early hours of the morning. With these various stories doing the rounds, I wanted to investigate. In the process I made contact with the market's management. As a result, I was granted to two week window to document the market and the activities there. This was back in April of 1991. Yes, nearly 30 years ago. This is what I mean, the "intrinsic value of photography". I don't know what these images are worth. I have never exhibited them or ever had them published in any form. No real reason. Then as now, perhaps I didn't have a compelling enough story that publications or curators could buy into. "Intrinsic value" is not going to see this work through to anything significant. Perhaps something like "British working class heroes", "End of an era" or "Times are a changing" may have done it. But, we live on in hope. I have long admired photography of Vivien Maier and see her work in much the same way - and that is, for its intrinsic value. Through her work, Maier more or less defined the Chicago of a particular era. Another photographer's work who I much admire is Max Yavno. Again, the strength of his work lies in its intrinsic value. Through his work, he more or less defined Los Angeles and San Francisco of an era and, to some degree, Cairo. His work is iconic - just as is Maier's.
Philippe Halsman
Latvia/United States
1906 | † 1979
Philippe Halsman was born in Riga, Latvia and began his photographic career in Paris. In 1934 he opened a portrait studio in Montparnasse, where he photographed many well-known artists and writers — including André Gide, Marc Chagall, Le Corbusier, and André Malraux, using an innovative twin-lens reflex camera that he designed himself. Part of the great exodus of artists and intellectuals who fled the Nazis, Halsman arrived in the United States with his young family in 1940, having obtained an emergency visa through the intervention of Albert Einstein. Halsman’s prolific career in America over the next 30 years included reportage and covers for every major American magazine. These assignments brought him face-to-face with many of the century’s leading statesmen, scientists, artists and entertainers. His incisive portraits appeared on 101 covers for Life magazine, a record no other photographer could match. Part of Halsman’s success was his joie de vivre and his imagination — combined with his technological prowess. In 1945 he was elected the first president of the American Society of Magazine Photographers (ASMP), where he led the fight to protect photographers’ creative and professional rights. In 1958 Halsman’s colleagues named him one of the World’s Ten Greatest Photographers. From 1971 to 1976 he taught a seminar at The New School entitled Psychological Portraiture. Halsman began a thirty-seven-year collaboration with Salvador Dali in 1941 which resulted in a stream of unusual photographs of ideas, including Dali Atomicus and the Dali’s Mustache series. In the early 1950s, Halsman began to ask his subjects to jump for his camera at the conclusion of each sitting. These uniquely witty and energetic images have become an important part of his photographic legacy. Writing in 1972, Halsman spoke of his fascination with the human face. “Every face I see seems to hide – and sometimes fleetingly to reveal – the mystery of another human being. Capturing this revelation became the goal and passion of my life.”Source: Magnum Photos Over the course of his career, Halsman enjoyed comparing his work to that of a good psychologist who regards his subjects with special insight. With his courtly manners and European accent, Halsman also fit the popular stereotype at a time when Americans regarded psychology with fascinated skepticism. In fact, Halsman was proud of his ability to reveal the character of his sitters. As he explained, "It can't be done by pushing the person into position or arranging his head at a certain angle. It must be accomplished by provoking the victim, amusing him with jokes, lulling him with silence, or asking impertinent questions which his best friend would be afraid to voice." In the spring of 1952, Halsman put his signature technique to work when Life sent him to Hollywood to photograph Marilyn Monroe. Halsman asked Monroe to stand in a corner, and placed his camera directly in front of her. Later, he recalled that she looked "as if she had been pushed into the corner cornered with no way to escape." Then Halsman, his assistant, and Life's reporter staged a "fiery" competition for Monroe's attention. "Surrounded by three admiring men she smiled, flirted, giggled and wriggled with delight. During the hour I kept her cornered she enjoyed herself royally, and I . . . took between 40 and 50 pictures." In this widely familiar portrait, Monroe wears a white evening gown and stands with her back against two walls, one dark, the other light, her eyes half-closed and her dark, lipsticked mouth partly open. Yet Halsman deftly avoided any explicit representation of the true subject of the picture. Using the euphemistic language of the time, Halsman's assistant admired the photographer's ability to make "suggestive" pictures of beautiful women which still showed "good taste," emphasizing "expression" rather than "physical assets." And then the assistant added, "Halsman is very adept at provoking the expression he wants."Source: National Portrait Gallery
Francis Malapris
Schizothymic baby-boomer, at the age of 12 Francis takes refuge in computer science and excels in this field despite social and academic failure. In 1996, as he becomes an engineer, he meets the need to preserve memories of the Moment and tries photography. Gradually, this utopia fades to give way to the sensitivity he has so long repressed. 20 years later, he is an accomplished self-taught artist through the study of technique and the masters who inspire him such as Raymond Depardon, Rafael Minkkinen and Daido Moriyama. Key encounters have formed his photographic approach to bring him to social contact and staging. He then abandons computer sciences to exploit his bubbling creativity, full of sensitivity. The human being is then at the center of his work, after the fashion of the "Self" (Freud), which lies between unconscious desires and moral standards. Affected by the death of a friend, he undertakes a strong introspection that will highlight neuroses that he crystallizes through nude photography. In 2011, he begins the IN SITU project about mental escape, a phenomenon that concerns him. In 2014, he develops a shooting process to build the AQUATIC series. In 2017, the images encounter a great success, are published and exhibited at the FEPN in Arles, namely with the festival bill. With his installation in the heart of the Saint Anne chapel, Francis goes beyond photography to offer a contemporary art installation which sublimates female energy. Artist Statement "The human element is a fantastic material. I like observing bodies, their movements and expressions, sometimes with the idea of appropriating them. The part that fascinates me the most, because almost inaccessible, is the soul, at the head of the personality with its tastes, emotions and especially its history. Then comes the complex relationship to society, which evolves with environment and time. I approach the person naturally with openness and sensitivity, on the lookout for singularities that may resonate in me. From object, 'the other' becomes a proper individual, whose distinguishable particles and sub-particles I highlight. The main theme of the work I am presenting is that of the relation to reality: whereas the physical body is submitted to the present, imagination is free to roam without constraint in time and space. The ambiguity of this permanent oscillation between rational and irrational, resignation and escape, motivates me in my research where letting go is the motto. The plurality of my projects illustrates the richness of mental spaces that I have visited. Whether dreamlike or real, I put limits only on the possible interpretation of the codes that I use."
Man Ray
United States
1890 | † 1976
Man Ray (born Emmanuel Radnitzky) was an American visual artist who spent most of his career in Paris. He was a significant contributor to the Dada and Surrealist movements, although his ties to each were informal. He produced major works in a variety of media but considered himself a painter above all. He was best known for his pioneering photography, and was a renowned fashion and portrait photographer. He is also noted for his work with photograms, which he called "rayographs" in reference to himself. During his career, Man Ray allowed few details of his early life or family background to be known to the public. He even refused to acknowledge that he ever had a name other than Man Ray. Man Ray's birth name was Emmanuel Radnitzky. He was born in South Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on August 27, 1890. He was the eldest child of Russian Jewish immigrants Melach "Max" Radnitzky, a tailor, and Manya "Minnie" Radnitzky (née Lourie or Luria). He had a brother, Sam, and two sisters, Dorothy "Dora" and Essie (or Elsie), the youngest born in 1897 shortly after they settled at 372 Debevoise St. in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York. In early 1912, the Radnitzky family changed their surname to Ray. Man Ray's brother chose the surname in reaction to the ethnic discrimination and antisemitism prevalent at the time. Emmanuel, who was called "Manny" as a nickname, changed his first name to Man and gradually began to use Man Ray as his name. I photograph what I do not wish to paint and I paint what I cannot photograph. -- Man Ray Man Ray's father worked in a garment factory and ran a small tailoring business out of the family home. He enlisted his children to assist him from an early age. Man Ray's mother enjoyed designing the family's clothes and inventing patchwork items from scraps of fabric. Man Ray wished to disassociate himself from his family background, but their tailoring left an enduring mark on his art. Mannequins, flat irons, sewing machines, needles, pins, threads, swatches of fabric, and other items related to tailoring appear in almost every medium of his work. Art historians have noted similarities between Ray's collage and painting techniques and styles used for tailoring. His education at Brooklyn's Boys' High School from 1904 to 1909 provided him with solid grounding in drafting and other basic art techniques. While he attended school, he educated himself with frequent visits to the local art museums, where he studied the works of the Old Masters. After his graduation, Ray was offered a scholarship to study architecture but chose to pursue a career as an artist. Man Ray's parents were disappointed by their son's decision to pursue art, but they agreed to rearrange the family's modest living quarters so that Ray's room could be his studio. The artist remained in the family home over the next four years. During this time, he worked steadily towards becoming a professional painter. Man Ray earned money as a commercial artist and was a technical illustrator at several Manhattan companies. The surviving examples of his work from this period indicate that he attempted mostly paintings and drawings in 19th-century styles. He was already an avid admirer of contemporary avant-garde art, such as the European modernists he saw at Alfred Stieglitz's "291" gallery and works by the Ashcan School. However, with a few exceptions, he was not yet able to integrate these trends into his own work. The art classes he sporadically attended, including stints at the National Academy of Design and the Art Students League, were of little apparent benefit to him. When he enrolled in the Ferrer School in the autumn of 1912, he began a period of intense and rapid artistic development. While living in New York City, Man Ray was influenced by the avant-garde practices of European contemporary artists he was introduced to at the 1913 Armory Show and in visits to Alfred Stieglitz's "291" art gallery. His early paintings display facets of cubism. After befriending Marcel Duchamp, who was interested in showing movement in static paintings, his works began to depict movement of the figures. An example is the repetitive positions of the dancer's skirts in The Rope Dancer Accompanies Herself with Her Shadows (1916). In 1915, Man Ray had his first solo show of paintings and drawings after he had taken up residence at an art colony in Grantwood, New Jersey, across the Hudson River from New York City. His first proto-Dada object, an assemblage titled Self-Portrait, was exhibited the following year. He produced his first significant photographs in 1918, after initially picking up the camera to document his own artwork. Man Ray abandoned conventional painting to involve himself with Dada, a radical anti-art movement. He published two Dadaist periodicals, and each only had one issue, The Ridgefield Gazook (1915) and TNT (1919), the latter co-edited by Adolf Wolff and Mitchell Dawson. He started making objects and developed unique mechanical and photographic methods of making images. For the 1918 version of Rope Dancer, he combined a spray-gun technique with a pen drawing. Like Duchamp, he worked with readymade—ordinary objects that are selected and modified. His Gift readymade (1921) is a flatiron with metal tacks attached to the bottom, and Enigma of Isidore Ducasse is an unseen object (a sewing machine) wrapped in cloth and tied with cord. Aerograph (1919), another work from this period, was done with airbrush on glass. In 1920, Man Ray helped Duchamp make the Rotary Glass Plates, one of the earliest examples of kinetic art. It was composed of glass plates turned by a motor. That same year, Man Ray, Katherine Dreier, and Duchamp founded the Société Anonyme, an itinerant collection that was the first museum of modern art in the U.S. In 1941 the collection was donated to Yale University Art Gallery. Man Ray teamed up with Duchamp to publish one issue of New York Dada in 1920. For Man Ray, Dada's experimentation was no match for the wild and chaotic streets of New York. He wrote that "Dada cannot live in New York. All New York is dada, and will not tolerate a rival." In 1913, Man Ray met his first wife, the Belgian poet Adon Lacroix (Donna Lecoeur) (1887–1975), in New York. They married in 1914, separated in 1919, and formally divorced in 1937. In July 1921, Man Ray went to live and work in Paris, France. He soon settled in the Montparnasse quarter favored by many artists. His accidental rediscovery of the cameraless photogram, which he called "rayographs", resulted in mysterious images hailed by Tristan Tzara as "pure Dada creations". Shortly after arriving in Paris, he met and fell in love with Kiki de Montparnasse (Alice Prin), an artists' model and celebrated character in Paris bohemian circles. Kiki was Man Ray's companion for most of the 1920s. She became the subject of some of his most famous photographic images, and starred in his experimental films Le Retour à la Raison and L'Étoile de mer. In 1929, he began a love affair with the Surrealist photographer Lee Miller. She also was his photographic assistant and together, they reinvented the photographic technique of solarization. Miller left him in 1932. From late 1934 until August 1940, Man Ray was in a relationship with Adrienne Fidelin. She was a Guadeloupean dancer and model and she appears in many of his photographs. When Ray fled the Nazi occupation in France, Adrienne chose to stay behind to care for her family. Unlike the artist's other significant muses, until 2022, Fidelin had largely been written out of his life story. Man Ray was a pioneering photographer in Paris for two decades between the wars. Significant members of the art world, such as Pablo Picasso, Tristan Tzara, James Joyce, Gertrude Stein, Jean Cocteau, Salvador Dalí, Peggy Guggenheim, Bridget Bate Tichenor, Luisa Casati, and Antonin Artaud, posed for his camera. Man Ray's international fame as a portrait photographer is reflected in a series of photographs of Maharajah Yashwant Rao Holkar II and his wife Sanyogita Devi from their visit to Europe in 1927. In the winter of 1933, surrealist artist Méret Oppenheim, known for her fur-covered teacup, posed nude for Man Ray in a well-known series of photographs depicting her standing next to a printing press. His practice of photographing African objects in the Paris collections of Paul Guillaume and Charles Ratton and others led to several iconic photographs, including Noire et blanche. As Man Ray scholar Wendy A. Grossman has illustrated, "no one was more influential in translating the vogue for African art into a Modernist photographic aesthetic than Man Ray." Man Ray was represented in the first Surrealist exhibition with Jean Arp, Max Ernst, André Masson, Joan Miró, and Pablo Picasso at the Galerie Pierre in Paris in 1925. Important works from this time were a metronome with an eye, originally titled Object to Be Destroyed, and the Violon d'Ingres, a stunning photograph of Kiki de Montparnasse, styled after the painter/musician Ingres. Violon d'Ingres is a popular example of how Man Ray could juxtapose disparate elements in his photography to generate meaning. Man Ray directed a number of influential avant-garde short films, known as Cinéma Pur. He directed Le Retour à la Raison (2 mins, 1923); Emak-Bakia (16 mins, 1926); L'Étoile de Mer (15 mins, 1928); and Les Mystères du Château de Dé (27 mins, 1929). Man Ray also assisted Marcel Duchamp with the cinematography of his film Anemic Cinema (1926), and Ray personally manned the camera on Fernand Léger's Ballet Mécanique (1924). In René Clair's film Entr'acte (1924), Man Ray appeared in a brief scene playing chess with Duchamp. Duchamp, Man Ray, and Francis Picabia were all friends and collaborators, connected by their experimental, entertaining, and innovative art. The Second World War forced Man Ray to return from Paris to the United States. He lived in Los Angeles from 1940 to 1951 where he focused his creative energy on painting. A few days after arriving in Los Angeles, he met Juliet Browner, a first-generation American of Romanian-Jewish lineage. She was a trained dancer who studied dance with Martha Graham, and an experienced artists' model. They married in 1946 in a double wedding with their friends Max Ernst and Dorothea Tanning. In 1948 Ray had a solo exhibition at the Copley Galleries in Beverly Hills, which brought together a wide array of work and featured his newly painted canvases of the Shakespearean Equations series. Man Ray returned to Paris in 1951, and settled with Juliet into a studio at 2 bis rue Férou near the Luxembourg Gardens in St. Germain-des-Prés, where he continued his creative practice across mediums. During the last quarter century of his life, he returned to a number of his iconic earlier works, recreating them in new form. He also directed the production of limited-edition replicas of several of his objects, working first with Marcel Zerbib and later Arturo Schwarz. In 1963, he published his autobiography, Self-Portrait (republished in 1999). Ray continued to work on new paintings, photographs, collages and art objects till his death. Retrieved August 19, 2022. He died in Paris on November 18, 1976, from a lung infection. He was interred in the Cimetière du Montparnasse in Paris. His epitaph reads "Unconcerned, but not indifferent". When Juliet died in 1991, she was interred in the same tomb. Her epitaph reads "Together again". Juliet organized a trust for Ray's work and donated much of his work to museums. Her plans to restore the studio as a public museum proved too expensive; such was the structure's disrepair. Most of the contents were stored at the Centre Pompidou.Source: Wikipedia Speaking of nudes, I have always had a great fondness for this subject, both in my paintings and in my photos, and I must admit, not for purely artistic reasons. -- Man Ray “I have finally freed myself from the sticky medium of paint, and am working directly with light itself.” So enthused Man Ray in 1922, shortly after his first experiments with camera-less photography. He remains well known for these images, commonly called photograms but which he dubbed "rayographs" in a punning combination of his own name and the word “photograph.” Man Ray’s artistic beginnings came some years earlier, in the Dada movement. Shaped by the trauma of World War I and the emergence of a modern media culture—epitomized by advancements in communication technologies like radio and cinema—Dada artists shared a profound disillusionment with traditional modes of art making and often turned instead to experimentations with chance and spontaneity. In The Rope Dancer Accompanies Herself with Her Shadows, Man Ray based the large, color-block composition on the random arrangement of scraps of colored paper scattered on the floor. The painting evinces a number of interests that the artist would carry into his photographic work: negative space and shadows; the partial surrender of compositional decisions to accident; and, in its precise, hard-edged application of unmodulated color, the removal of traces of the artist’s hand. In 1922, six months after he arrived in Paris from New York, Man Ray made his first rayographs. To make them, he placed objects, materials, and sometimes parts of his own or a model's body onto a sheet of photosensitized paper and exposed them to light, creating negative images. This process was not new—camera-less photographic images had been produced since the 1830s—and his experimentation with it roughly coincided with similar trials by Lázló Moholy-Nagy. But in his photograms, Man Ray embraced the possibilities for irrational combinations and chance arrangements of objects, emphasizing the abstraction of images made in this way. He published a selection of these rayographs—including one centered around a comb, another containing a spiral of cut paper, and a third with an architect’s French curve template on its side—in a portfolio titled Champs délicieux in December 1922, with an introduction written by the Dada leader Tristan Tzara. In 1923, with his film Le Retour à la raison (Return to Reason), he extended the rayograph technique to moving images. Around the same time, Man Ray’s experiments with photography carried him to the center of the emergent Surrealist movement in Paris. Led by André Breton, Surrealism sought to reveal the uncanny coursing beneath familiar appearances in daily life. Man Ray proved well suited to this in works like Anatomies, in which, through framing and angled light, he transformed a woman’s neck into an unfamiliar, phallic form. He contributed photographs to the three major Surrealist journals throughout the 1920s and 1930s, and also constructed Surrealist objects like Gift, in which he altered a domestic tool (an iron) into an instrument of potential violence, and Indestructible Object (or Object to Be Destroyed), a metronome with a photograph of an eye affixed to its swinging arm, which was destroyed and remade several times.Source: The Museum of Modern Art
Ali MC
Australia
A former touring musician and producer, Ali MC is a photographer, writer and lecturer in law and criminology. He is also a regular contributor to Al Jazeera and has had his work featured extensively in a variety of publications internationally. Recent photographic projects include Rohingya refugees in Burma and Bangladesh, Khasi stone labourers in India, marginalised groups in Timor-Lesteand street scenes in Iran. In 2023 he launched H: A Love Story, a long form analogue ‘photographic audiobook’ and AV installation about homelessness and heroin addiction in his home city of Naarm (Melbourne, Australia). His portrait of Indigenous singer Archie Roach was selected in the 2021 national Bowness prize and a portrait of esteemed Indigenous actor Jack Charles shortlisted in the 2022 Australian Photography Awards. A collection of his protest photography was also recently acquired by the State Library of Victoria archives. Working predominantly in 35mm and medium format, Ali's work is grounded in research and academic study, holding a Bachelor of Arts with Honours in History and a Masters in Human Rights Law. Statement Ali MC’s creative and academic practice aims to elevate the voices of marginalised and criminalised peoples globally and tackle social and political issues through extensive, long-term engagement. Using a variety of film and camera combinations, Ali’s often-experimental practice seeks to push the boundaries of documentary photography and photojournalism, often exploring ways to evoke a mood, emotion or experience as much as documenting people and places. Themes of trauma, marginalisation and criminalisation permeate his work, taking him deep into the darkness of the human psyche and experience. Not content to remain an armchair narrator, Ali MC has travelled to countries such as Haiti, Ethiopia, Iraq, Rwanda and Syria (and many more) to meet people first-hand, build relationships and develop the close collaborations that drive his stories. H: A Love Story
Fang Tong
China/Canada
Fang Tong is an awarded-winning photographer based in Vancouver Canada. In 2015, she won first prize in the Nikon International Photography Competition. She had an interview with Canada Broadcasting Corporation CBC Arts in 2019. Fang Tong had solo and group shows in cities such as Paris, Sicily, Budapest, Barcelona, London, Shanghai, and Vancouver. Fang Tong is a cinematic-style photographer, as a spectator of life. Her works are embedded with an implied narrative, which is left to the viewer to resolve over time with their own imagination. Reflecting her background in classical art, photography is carefully planned to control the frame and the expression of details, giving her work an ethos of a painter. As a bystander, Fang Tong captures the potential that photography can embody pieces with an eternal quality, thereby creating a slightly fictional world that resembles reality but transcends consciousness. Fang Tong’s passion is for her work to border on the surreal, yet hold back enough to keep it firmly in the real world. Her photos provoke audiences to create a narrative out of cinematic pictures. There may be no clearly defined story behind the scene, but there is a strong mood and atmosphere throughout the whole image. The imaginary world is strangely familiar while the narrative arc takes audiences on a hyper-visual ride through people's subconsciousness. She nurtures the balance between the real and the surreal that pulls her audiences into the world she created, but she also allows the audience to discover their own answers.
Robert Polidori
Canada/United States
1951
Robert Polidori is a Canadian-American photographer known for his large-scale color images of architecture, urban environments, and interiors. His work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal, Martin-Gropius-Bau museum (Berlin), and Instituto Moreira Salles (São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro). His photographs are also included in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art (New York), New Orleans Museum of Art, The J. Paul Getty Museum (Los Angeles), Victoria and Albert Museum (London), Château de Versailles, Centre Pompidou (Paris), and Bibliothèque Nationale de France (Paris), as well as many private collections. Described as one of "most esteemed practitioners of large-scale photography," Polidori has photographed the restoration of the Château de Versailles since the early 1980s. He has also recorded the architecture and interiors of Havana, the inner-city habitats of Mumbai, Rio de Janeiro, and Amman, the post-Hurricane Katrina devastation of New Orleans, buildings emptied by the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, and shelled structures in Beirut. At the time of the Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal retrospective exhibition in 2009, curator Paulette Gagnon described his work as a "photographic account that invites us to share the historical moments it portrays, making them part of the collective memory." Where you point the camera is the question and the picture you get is the answer to decipher. -- Robert Polidori Robert Polidori was born in 1951 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, to a French-Canadian mother and a Corsican father. At age 9, Polidori’s family moved to the United States where his father worked as an engineer at Air Force bases and NASA installations. He grew up in Seattle, southern California, New Orleans, and Cocoa Beach, and first attended university in Florida in 1969. During his freshman year, Polidori saw Michael Snow's film Wavelength (1967 film) and, inspired to study filmmaking, moved to New York City. The following year, he was hired by the legendary Jonas Mekas and worked as the theatre manager of the Anthology Film Archives. During this time, Polidori worked on four experimental films, exhibited in 1975 at the Whitney Museum of American Art. In 1980 he graduated with a Masters of Arts in film from State University of New York (Buffalo). Polidori became interested in still photography while editing film frame-by-frame. Inspired by Frances Yates' description in The Art of Memory of mnemonic systems requiring the memorization of empty rooms, he purchased a large-format camera in 1982 and photographed abandoned and apartments on New York's Lower East Side. In 1983 he moved to Paris and, interested in how empty spaces revealed history, began to document the restoration of Château de Versailles as a symbol of "society’s superego". In the late 1990s, Polidori was engaged by The New Yorker to photograph Havana’s decaying architectural heritage and joined the magazine as a staff photographer in 1998. Images from his Cuban series were later published in Havana (2001) by Steidl Verlag. Also interested in inner-city habitats or "auto-constructed" growth, Polidori recorded the favelas of Rio de Janeiro, the urban sprawl of Brasilia, the construction boom in Dubai, and the slums of Mumbai. In May 2001, he photographed the closed Chernobyl nuclear power plant and nearby ghost town of Pripyat, Ukraine, and these images were later published as Zones of Exclusion – Pripyat and Chernobyl (2003). In 2002 Polidori was commissioned to photograph Detroit's Michigan Central Station for Metropolis (architecture magazine). Described by editor Martin C. Pedersen as "a keen observer of the built world", the magazine later published his urban images as Robert Polidori's Metropolis (2005). In the wake of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Polidori photographed the damaged homes and buildings of New Orleans, and documented the city's early restoration in 2006. Published as After the Flood (2006) by Steidl Verlag, many of these images were also exhibited at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art as New Orleans after the Flood, a popular and well-attended exhibition. Exhibitions of After the Flood were also mounted in London, Venice, and Toronto, as well as in New Orleans. During this time, Polidori continued to document the restoration of Château de Versailles and these photographs, published in the three-volume Parcours Muséologique Revisité (2009), were included in his retrospective exhibition at the Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal. Polidori returned to Beirut in 2010 where he photographed the damaged rooms of the famous Hotel Petra, abandoned during Lebanon’s civil war. The following year, he traveled to Paris to photograph the stored art collection of Yves Saint Laurent (designer), and to Venice to photograph the fashion label Bottega Veneta's fall 2011 campaign at the Palazzo Papadopoli. From 2011 to 2015 Polidori also revisited and rephotographed Rio as well as Mumbai, including Dharavi's industrial street facade in a series of tracking shots. Exhibited as composite panoramic murals at Paul Kasmin Gallery (New York) in September 2016, these images were also published in the accompanying volume 60 Feet Road by Steidl Verlag. Since 2015, Polidori and his family live in Ojai, California.Source: Wikipedia My photos are physical graphic records. A lot of the places I’ve photographed simply won’t exist – many have already ceased to exist in the state that they were photographed in. They’ve been bulldozed over. Photography is collective memory – that’s its nature... -- Robert Polidori
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AAP Magazine #39: Shadows
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AAP Magazine #39: Shadows

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