Category Archives: Photography

Malick Sidibé : Dolce Vita Africana, documentary by Cosima Spender, 2008, 80min.

Dolce Vita Africana is a documentary about the internationally renowned Malian photographer Malick Sidibé, whose iconic images from the late 1950s through the 70s captured the carefree spirit of his generation asserting their freedom after independence and up until an Islamic coup ushered in years of military dictatorship. The filmmaker travels to Sidibé’s studio in Bamako, Mali, to witness the artist at work and meet many of the subjects of his earlier photographs, whose personal stories also tell the history of Mali.

Commissioned by BBC’s Storyville.

ERNEST HAAS, photographer “I am not interested in shooting new things – I am interested to see things new.”

 

Ernst Haas (March 2, 1921 – September 12, 1986) was a photojournalist and a pioneering color photographer. During his 40-year career, the Austrian-born artist bridged the gap between photojournalism and the use of photography as a medium for expression and creativity. In addition to his prolific coverage of events around the globe after World War II, Haas was an early innovator in color photography. His images were widely disseminated by magazines like Life and Vogue and, in 1962, were the subject of the first single-artist exhibition of color photography at New York’s Museum of Modern Art. He served as president of the cooperative Magnum Photos, and his book The Creation (1971) was one of the most successful photography books ever, selling 350,000 copies.

Haas was uninterested in learning photography as a child, though his father—an avid amateur—tried to share his interest. Upon his father’s death in 1940, however, Haas first entered the darkroom, learning to print old family negatives. His interest grew, and he soon began to take his own photographs.

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MAN RAY :: Rayograph (The Kiss), 1922

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A photogram is a picture made on photographic paper without the aid of a camera. To make this one, Man Ray exposed the paper to light at least three times. Each time a different set of objects acted as a stencil: a pair of hands, a pair of heads kissing (his and his lover, Kiki de Montparnasse), and two darkroom trays, which seem almost to kiss each other with their corner spouts. With each exposure, the paper darkened where it was not masked. Continue reading MAN RAY :: Rayograph (The Kiss), 1922

SALLY MANN :: DEEP SOUTH, 2005

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“To identify a person as a Southerner suggests not only that her history is inescapable and formative but that it is also impossibly present. Southerners live uneasily at the nexus between myth and reality, watching the mishmash amalgam of sorrow, humility, honor, graciousness, and renegade defiance play out against a backdrop of profligate physical beauty.”
Sally Mann, Deep South

GRACIELA ITURBIDE : “The camera is just a pretext for knowing the world. “

 

Mexican artist Graciela Iturbide is considered on of the most important and influential Latin American photographers of the past four decades. Born in 1942 in Mexico City to a wealthy, conservative Catholic family, Graciela Iturbide was the eldest of 13 children. Despite her ambitions to be a writer, family and societal pressure persuaded her to marry at the age of 20 and have three children.

In 1969, she decided to enroll at the Centro de Estudios Cinematográficos at the Universidad Nacional Autónama de México to become a film director. When she took a class with master photographer Manuel Álvarez Bravo, she began concentrating her interests on photography. Bravo was greatly impressed with Iturbide’s talent and invited her to be his assistant. She worked closely with Bravo from 1970 to 1971 and was deeply influenced by his poetic style, however, Iturbide wanted to focus her efforts on what she described as “photo essays” as opposed to individual photographs as works of art. Continue reading GRACIELA ITURBIDE : “The camera is just a pretext for knowing the world. “

GERHARD RICHTER :: OCTOBER 18,1977 The Baader-Meinhof (RAF) Cycle

Gerhard Richters 15-painting cycle, October 18, 1977 is arguably one of the most important works of art of the second half of the 20th century. Now in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art, the collection of black and white oil paintings drew from ubiquitous photographs of the Baader-Meinhof era. Angering the German public when it first appeared in the late 1980s, it has become recognized as Richter’s masterwork.

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