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Rising Photographers / G

Arnaud Gaertner
France
1966
Born in 1966 in Nancy, France. Gaertner moved to Pennsylvania, US at the age of 3-6 (learned arnaud gaertnerto drink milk at school and sing the national anthem, never stopped!). He then spent 5 years in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil from age 10 to 16. Gaertner then travelled all over South America. He moved to Belgium for two years at the age of 16 and spent the next 12 years in in France. He took thousands of photos while traveling in North America, Asia Pacific, Europe, and the Middle East. He has resided in the Bay Area since 2012 with his wife Marine and their four sons. Gaertner is an explorer of California and its wonders.Series “In the middle of nowhere”, 2014In the middle of the Back Rock Desert, Nevada. In that Middle of Nowhere, 70 000 people camp in total autonomy for one week on a 30 million old dried lake, and on the main square, dozens, hundreds of art pieces, static or moving, are there, subject to the weather conditions: extreme heat, wind, dust storm. Most of the wooden art pieces are burned by the end of the week. As we speak all these moments are gone, people have left, art pieces returned into ashes, and I am glad these ephemeral moments are still alive through my photographs. This series is about the Ephemeral nature and Mystical dimension of the American desert.Artist statementBy 16 years of age, I had already visited more than 30 countries and had lived abroad, away from my home country France, for close to10 years in the United States, Brazil and Belgium. This decade opened my eyes to the diversity of the world, seen through its landscapes, people, cultures, sounds and tastes. I love people. I love getting to know others better. I love trying to understand who people are and what it is that makes them who they are. I made my first pictures when my Dad let me borrow his old camera while we were discovering the world, then he bought me a Kodak with Cube Flashes-this was my first camera and I have never stopped taking pictures since then. As an adult, I continue exploring all the continents. Photography keeps me connected to the magic of the planet. During my travels I have taken thousands of photos :f rom nature to cities, from diverse subjects to artists in their studios. This project, “In The Middle of Nowhere”, was born in the Black Rock Desert, Nevada, in September 2014. My son Baptiste had come to me and said “Dad, a friend of mine just came back from a crazy art festival in the desert called Burning Man”. Curious, we researched it and discovered something strange and amazing. For my first time at Burning Man I stayed only 3 days, but I took over 3000 pictures! My camera lens ended up ull of dust, but that probably added to the mystery of my images and the “sense of nowhere” I felt deeply. In the middle of nowhere, under 100 degrees Fahrenheit, cycling on a lake that dried 30 million years ago, 70 000 people live in total autonomy for one week where no money is exchanged, and hundreds of art pieces, static or moving, under the heat, in a dust storm, are admired by visitors in very creative costumes. Everything is burned by the end of the festival in a ritual of true “Ephemeral Art!” I seek to testify for the ephemeral, fleeting nature of these art pieces and unique moments made lasting by the photographic image. I try to capture the place, light, dusty wind that surround this eclectic eccentric happening. For this project I have selected about 30 im- ages out of 3000, helped by my two friends Gino Castoriano and Jules Maeght who are both gallerists. “In The Middle of Nowhere” is about people, places and art—those unique, ephemeral moments I capture through my images and that I want to share with you.
Bill Gekas
Australia
Australia-based photographer Bill Gekas has a real knack for portraiture, particularly the kind that results in an homage to many Old Masters of classic paintings, including artists like Vemeer and Rembrandt. Using his five-year-old daughter as the model, Gekas recreates many mid-18th century settings that are inspired by portraits of adults from famous paintings. He styles the environment and his daughter to fit the time period, and uses strobe lights to maintain the appearance of soft, natural lighting. The self-taught photographer learned on 35mm and has since turned to digital techniques. He uses post-processing to put the final touches on each of his photographs. Through hard work, experimentation, and a grand vision, the talented artist has successfully produced an extensive collection—a tribute to both the well-known artists as well as to his young daughter. As Gekas has evolved as a photographer, so has his unique style. He says "Don’t be scared of taking certain elements from different works and molding them into something to call your own. You might like the lighting from a photo you saw somewhere, a prop from another photo, colors from another. The key is not to limit yourself with the excuse, ‘It’s all been done before.’ Yes, many things have been done before, but with some careful thought you can adjust a concept to give it your signature. Experiment!”From www.billgekas.comMy name is Bill Gekas and I was born and live in Melbourne, Australia. A self taught photographer that learnt the technicals of photography using a 35mm film slr camera from the mid 90's and switched to digital in 2005, practicing the art of photography and constantly refining my style. Source: My Modern Met
Anna Grevenitis
France / United States
1974
French-born visual artist Anna Grevenitis found photography in a meandering way: her formative years were filled with the study and teaching of the English language and literature, but when her daughter was born--and a year later her son--her world naturally morphed into full-time mothering. Drawing on the experiences of the domestic to inform her daily practice, she uses her home as a stage and her body and the body of others in her familial sphere as characters to deliver, in her photographs, the essence of what she wants to express about family and the self. For her work, the act of performing is an essential step in image making. Nowadays she divides her time between research and creation, and she is interested in building long term projects in photography as an act of establishing visual memory and engaging in social visibility. Her photographs have been exhibited both in the United States and internationally. Statement REGARD /ʁə.ɡaʁ/ verb 1. To consider or think of (someone or something) in a specified way. When my daughter was born, I was told that she had the “physical markers” for Down syndrome. A few days later, the diagnosis of Trisomy 21 was confirmed with a simple blood test. Today, years later, Luigia is a lively teenager, yet these “markers” have grown with her, and her disability remains visible to the outside world. As we try to go about our ordinary lives in our community--getting ice cream after school, going grocery shopping or walking to the local library--I often catch people staring, gawking, or side-glancing at her, at us. Even though their gaze feels invasive, I perceive it as more questioning than judging, at least most of the time. With this on-going series REGARD, I am opening a window into our reality. To emphasize control over my message, these everyday scenes are meticulously set, lit up; they are staged and posed. The performers are my daughter and me. The double self-portraits are purposefully developed in black and white, for by refusing the decorative and emotionally evocative element of color, I aim to maintain a distance between us and them. The composition of the photographs expresses routine, domestic acts in which I address the viewers directly: look at us bathing; look at us grooming; here we are at bedtime; this is us on a random day at the beach. In each scene, the viewers are plunged into the outside perspective. At first glance, it may seem that I am offering us as vulnerable prey to their judgment, yet in fact I am guarding our lives, and the viewers are caught gawking--my direct gaze at the camera. My series is very basic in its concept: it shows a child, it shows a mother, it shows them living at home, performing familial acts. Because I believe in the connective power offered by the depiction of domesticity, I hope that REGARD helps the audience rethink some of their assumptions about people living with disabilities and with this, I hope my series finds a humble spot within the movement that helps people with disabilities gain visibility.
Donell Gumiran
Philippines
Donell Gumiran is a Design & Senior Art Director based in Dubai."Every time I press the shutter, it seems like it's an extension of my personality,"- Donell Gumiran. He sees himself as an image-maker who captures and tells a story in a photograph. The Filipino lensman sees his photography as an art form, borne from his desire to create on canvas and his professional training in design, when he worked as a design director in a creative agency. Now based in the U.A.E. Donell is known for his evocative portraits and travel photography. His favorite subjects are those that capture human conditions and emotions in everyday life. His knack for sharing his stories, captured through the lens, has won him international recognitions. He is the recipient of numerous awards both local and international. Donell Gumiran is also photographer & contributor for Asian Geographic Magazine. Recently, He won in Tokyo Foto Award, Japan - Gold 2019, 1st Prize in documentary category 2018 - International Photography (IPA) Awards Los Angeles, USA. 1st Place Winner 2018 The Independent Photo Travel Award, Berlin, Germany - He was adjudged the 2017 grand prize winner of the Travel Photographer Society International Photography Contest Awards in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in 2017 and was awarded as "Portrait Photographer of the Year 2017" for Asian Geographic Images of Asia for its Asia without Borders program in Singapore. Donell Gumiran also awarded as Photographer of the year by the Filipino Times 2017 UAE. In addition, he was also one of the winners in the Life Framer World Travelers Competition judged by magnum photographer Steve McCurry. Most of his works have been exhibited in New York, Tokyo,and Rome. He was awarded also as Curtin Dubai's Photographer of the Year - Urban Art Festival 2018. On the home front, Donell was recently chosen by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts under the office of the President of the Philippines to receive the coveted "Ani ng Dangal Award 2018 & 2019." "I think my real accomplishment was that I was able to use photography as a significant instrument to help the world for the better. My work gives me a chance to capture and preserve memories of our time." He sits on the Board of Directors as creative director of Team Juan Makasining, and uses this position to encourage other photographers to express themselves through their art. "Start as passion, not as a profession." - Donell Gumiran
Sumit Gupta
India
1983
While a software engineer by profession, Sumit has been capturing and sharing the stories of cities and cultures since 2013. He finds the experience of walking around the city streets with a camera almost therapeutic and meditative. Inspired by the human condition, Sumit has photographed mostly in India and Europe. Sumit's photographs are inspired by a personal desire to find meaning in the world around us and attempt to draw attention to the poetic and inspirational nature of human life all around us. All about the project 'The River' The Kumbh Mela is the largest religious gathering of humans on our planet. Over the two month period that this festival happens, once every 12 years in 4 Indian cities, millions of people come from all over the country (and outside of it) to take an auspicious bath in the holy waters of the river Ganga. I'm interested in portraying how the contemporary experience of the Kumbh Mela is influenced by aspects such as globalization, consumption and current trends of social behavior. People from all over India come to this event as a pilgrimage to wash away their sins, but they're also cohabiting with people that see this as a cultural attraction, as a possibility to experience a foreign culture and filter it through social media. What's the impact of hyper-communication and advertising in the collective atmosphere of this spiritual gathering? The project tries to reflect on those ideas by working through the psychological climate of the different people that are present in the event. The images evidence the paradoxical and complex nature of a spiritual event that feeds on tradition when young people seem to drift away from old collective habits. The river, the sacred area where people transcend their humanity, is the perfect metaphor for the current situation; affected by mass production and consumerism, the polluted river is still worshipped as a place for cleansing; time will tell if the memory that holds this identity will keep flowing through the divine water, or if it will drown to the mirage of pleasures that float in the immediacy of today's world.
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