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Article

Sarah Urist Green

(b Kabul, June 5, 1973).

Afghan video and performance artist and photographer, active also in the USA. After fleeing Soviet-occupied Kabul with her family in the late 1980s, Abdul lived as a refugee in Germany and India before moving to Southern California. She received a BA in Political Science and Philosophy at California State University, Fullerton, and an MFA at the University of California, Irvine, in 2000. Abdul first returned to a post-Taliban Afghanistan in 2001, where she encountered a place and people transformed by decades of violence and unrest. Since that time, Abdul has made work in Kabul and Los Angeles, staging herself in performances and creating performance-based video works and photography that explore ideas of home and the interconnection between architecture and identity.

Beginning in the late 1990s, Abdul made emotionally intense performance art informed by that of Yugoslavian artist Marina Abramović and Cuban-born American artist Ana Mendieta. At the time unable to travel to Afghanistan, Abdul created and documented performances in Los Angeles that probed her position as Afghan, female, Muslim, a refugee and a transnational artist. In ...

Article

Absalon  

Israeli, 20th century, male.

Active in France.

Born 1964, in Tel-Aviv; died 10 October 1993, in Paris.

Installation artist, environmental artist, video artist.

Absalon lived and worked in Paris, where he studied at the École des Beaux-Arts under Christian Boltanski.

Absalon produced maquettes for ‘Utopian’ furniture upholstered entirely and uniformly in aseptic white plastic. Totally impractical, his furniture simply represents a desire to mark a departure from everyday convention. There is a strong element of play in some of his work, as in ...

Article

Ismeth Raheem

(b Jaffna, Ceylon [now Sri Lanka], Sept 26, 1869; d Colombo, July 2, 1910).

Ceylonese photographer. His family had practised photography for three generations. His grandfather, Adolphus Wilhelmus Andree (b 1799), was one of the early pioneers of daguerreotypy in Ceylon, and his father, Adolphus William Andree, had a flourishing photographic business between the 1860s and 1880s with studios in the capital Colombo and the provincial towns of Jaffna, Galle and Matara. At 18, he was already working as an apprentice in the studio of an American photographer at Chatham Street, Colombo, using the ferrotype process (see Photography §I). By 1893 he had established the Hopetown Studio, Slave Island, Colombo, which within a decade was one of the most fashionable and best-equipped in the country. Andree earned several awards at the Exposition Universelle, Paris, in 1900 and at the World’s Fair in St Louis, MO, in 1904. In 1901 the government appointed him as one of its official photographers to cover the visit to Ceylon of the Duke and Duchess of York....

Article

Armenian, 20th century, male.

Active in the USA fromc.1930.

Born 1914; died 1993, in Los Angeles.

Painter. Landscapes, still-lifes. Designs for stained glass.

After emigrating to the USA, Kero Antoyan became a photographer during World War II and then turned to painting. He exhibited mainly in California and devoted much of his time to teaching painting. He is the father of Ares Antoyan....

Article

Mitra Monir Abbaspour

[Fondation Arabe pour l’Image]

Non-profit organization established in 1997 in Beirut, Lebanon, with a mission ‘to collect, preserve, and study photographs from the Middle East, North Africa, and the Arab diaspora’. Its growing collection contains more than 400,000 photographs that date from the mid-19th century to the present. Today the Arab Image Foundation serves as both a public research archive and a repository for its members’ art and scholarship.

The Arab Image Foundation was co-founded by Lebanese photographers Fouad Elkoury (b 1952) and Samer Mohdad (b 1964), and artist Akram Zaatari (b 1966). Executive Director Zeina Arida (b 1970) has since overseen its administration and fundraising. A group of artists and scholar members, along with Arida, form the Board of Directors, which is responsible for the acquisition of photographs, approval of archival projects, and conceptual direction of the Arab Image Foundation. Members of the foundation, including artists such as ...

Article

Japanese, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 1940, in Tokyo, Japan.

Photographer.

Nobuyoshi Araki became interested in photography at a young age. His father was an amateur photographer, and in 1952 the artist received his first camera. In 1964, at the age of 24, Araki won the Taiyo Prize for his photo series ...

Article

Iizawa Kohtaro

(b Tokyo, May 25, 1940).

Japanese photographer. He graduated from the engineering department of Chiba University in 1963 and in the same year received the Taiyō prize for Satchin (Tokyo, 1964), a photographic series whose title was the pet name of a little girl. In 1971 he published the privately printed photographic collection Senchimentaru na tabi (‘Sentimental journey’; Tokyo, 1971) in which his own private life, in particular his wedding and honeymoon, was displayed in diary form. At first glance they seem to be naive records but in fact are staged. He also gave a performance in 1972 called the Super-Photo concert in which these photographs were reproduced on a photocopier, bound and sent, as a collection, by post. He later became very popular through photographs that skilfully anticipated public demand, accompanied by essays written in a risqué style. A prolific worker, he published many collections of essays and photographs, including Otoko to onna no aida ni wa shashinki ga aru...

Article

Armenian, 20th–21st century, male.

Born 23 May 1938, in Kharkiv, Ukraine; died 12 November 2009, in New York City.

Vagrich Bakhchanyan studied with avant-garde painter and designer Vasily Ermilov (1894–1967) at the Kharkov Studio for Decorative Art in the late 1950s. In 1967...

Article

Lebanese, 20th century, male.

Born 12 July 1942, in Beirut.

Painter, sculptor, photographer, video artist.

Kinetic Art.

Roland Baladi permutated various techniques, notably drawings and photographs, to produce the Photograms he exhibited in Beirut in 1962. In 1971, Roland Baladi exhibited a piece entitled Cinetone...

Article

Italo Zannier

British photographers of Italian origin. Antonio Beato (b ?the Veneto, c. 1830; d Luxor, 1903) and his brother Felice [Felix] Beato (b ?the Veneto, c. 1830; d Mandalay, after 1904) were for many years thought to be one person with two names, Antonio and Felice, and only recently has the mystery been solved of the almost contemporaneous presence of a Beato in two different (and often very distant) places. The misunderstanding arose from the fact that both their names (Antonio Felice Beato) appear on several photographs. A closer inquiry brought to light a letter written by Antonio and published in the French paper, Moniteur de la photographie (1 June 1886), in which he explains that he is not the producer of the exotic photographs recently exhibited in London, mention of which had been made in the Moniteur of 10 March; the photographer was instead ‘[his] brother Monsieur Felice Beato of Japan’....

Article

(b New Orleans, LA, March 15, 1873; d New Orleans, 1949).

American photographer. Bellocq is known to have worked as a commercial photographer in New Orleans from 1895 to 1940 and to have photographed for local shipbuilders and in the Chinese sector of New Orleans, although none of this work apparently survives. His photography is known only through prints made by Lee Friedlander from the 89 gelatin dry plate negatives found after Bellocq’s death. These negatives date from c. 1912 and are sympathetic portraits of prostitutes of New Orleans and interior views of their workplaces. Known as the Storyville Portraits, 34 were shown by MOMA, New York, in a travelling exhibition in 1970–71. Bellocq’s life was the subject of Pretty Baby (1978), a film by Louis Malle.

E. J. Bellocq: Storyville Portraits: Photographs from the New Orleans Red-light District, circa 1912 (exh. cat. by J. Szarkowski and L. Friedlander, New York, MOMA, 1970)G. Badger: ‘Viewed’, British Journal of Photography...

Article

Susan Kart

(b Mbarara, 1963).

Ugandan photographer, film maker, and installation artist of Indian descent, active in the UK. Bhimji was born in Uganda to Indian parents. The family fled Uganda to England in 1972 due to President Idi Amin’s expulsion of all Asians and Asian-Ugandans from the country along with seizure of their property and businesses as part of his ‘economic war’ on Asia. Bhimji studied art at Goldsmiths College and the Slade School of Art in London and her photographic work primarily consists of close-up, sometimes abstracted glimpses of seemingly abandoned spaces, objects, and landscapes. Bhimji’s work focuses on India and Uganda, which are treated as almost anthropomorphic subjects that appear restless, unfinished, abandoned, or frozen in her photographs, films, and film stills. Bhimji was one of four shortlisted finalists for the Turner Prize in 2007, and her work has been exhibited alongside such artists as El Anatsui, António Olé, Yinka Shonibare, and ...

Article

Geoffrey Belknap

(b Saint-Hippolyte-du-Fort, March 8, 1831; d Alès, April 9, 1885).

French photographer and photographic printer. Bonfils is best known for his photographs of the Mediterranean and Middle East, particularly his five-volume Souvenirs d’Orient: Egypte. Palestine. Syrie. Grèce (1878). Prior to opening a studio briefly in Alès in 1865, he was apprenticed to Abel Niépce de St Victor (180570). Having travelled to Lebanon in 1860 with the French Army to intervene in the conflict between the Druse and the Maronites, Bonfils decided to return to Beirut in 1867 with his wife Marie-Lydie Cabanis and son Adrian to establish a photographic studio under the name La Maison Bonfils. From there Bonfils began his photographic tour of Egypt, Palestine, Syria, and Greece, and sold his views back in his studio. These views included (he claimed) 15,000 albumen prints and 9000 stereoscopic cards. La Maison Bonfils became well known throughout Lebanon, the Middle East, and Europe as a première photographic studio and attracted many tourists seeking photographs of the surrounding area and peoples. Bonfils’s success was compounded when he presented his photographs to the Société Française de Photographie in ...

Article

Arthur Ollman

(b Mucklestone, Staffs, 1834; d Nottingham, April 24, 1912).

English photographer. He photographed extensively in India between 1863 and 1869 and is known for the elegant compositional structure of his images and for the rugged conditions under which he worked. He began photographing in 1853 in the Midlands. A decade later he moved to India and established a photographic firm in Simla with Charles Shepherd. His legendary Himalayan expeditions in 1863, 1864 and 1866 produced hundreds of dramatic views (London, V&A). His architectural studies were widely sold; his mountain landscapes and ethnographic studies, few of which survive, sold less well. On returning to England in 1870 he left the partnership of Bourne and Shepherd and became a successful manufacturer, although continuing to work as a photographer and watercolour painter until his death.

Article

Chinese, 20th – 21st century, male.

Active in Japan and the USA.

Born 8 December 1957, in Quanzhou City (Fujian Province).

Painter, draughtsman, mixed media, video artist, installation artist, performance artist.

Cai Guo-Qiang trained in stage design at the Shanghai drama institute from 1981 to 1985...

Article

Born 1815 in Calcutta; died 1879 in Ceylon (present-day Sri Lanka).

Photographer. Portraits, literary scenes, allegorical figures.

Julia Margaret Cameron was born in India to a British official of the East India Company, but educated in Paris and London. She married Charles Hay Cameron in ...

Article

Cao Fei  

Chinese, 20th – 21st century, female.

Born 1978, in Guangzhou, China.

Photographer, performance artist. Video, multimedia.

Cao Fei graduated from the Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts in 2001, having attended middle school at the same institution four years earlier. She was a co-founder of the partnership Ou Ning + Cao Fei. Her early photography and subsequent interactive sound and video-game environments, or ‘machinima’, emerged from her initial interest in commercial advertising and electronic entertainment videos. Her works often blur reality by involving virtual cosplay figures who imitate manga superhero figures, often artist friends or youths. These performances take place in the urban environment and engage the art world with virtual economies, as well as linking to the rapid modernization and consumerism emerging within China since the turn of the century. She has become known for her ongoing experimental, animated, ethnographic documentary that engages the online world of Second Life to create the virtual RMB City. The video was first shown at the Venice Biennale (China Tracy Pavilion, ...

Article

Hungarian American, 20th century, male.

Born 22 Oct 1913, in Budapest; died 25 May 1954, in Thai Binh, Vietnam.

Photojournalist. War, historical events, portraits.

In 1931 Robert Capa left Budapest for Berlin, where he studied political science at the Deutsche Hochschule für Politik. He had intended to pursue a career in journalism, but found a position with the German photographic agency Dephot. With the rise of the Nazi government, Capa immigrated to Paris, where he formed lasting friendships with David Seymour (Chim) and Henri Cartier-Bresson, with whom he founded the photographic agency Magnum in ...

Article

Reinhold Misselbeck

[Friedman, André ]

(b Budapest, Oct 22, 1913; d Thai-Binh, Vietnam, May 25, 1954).

American photographer of Hungarian birth. Capa studied political science at Berlin University from 1931 to 1933. A self-taught photographer, as early as 1931 he worked as a photographic technician for the Ullstein publishing house and as a photographic assistant for Dephot (Deutscher Photodienst) cooperative photographic agency. In 1933 he emigrated to Paris, where he and his friend Gerda Pohorylles (1901–37) invented the American-sounding name Robert Capa, initially to publish photo-stories for which she wrote the text. This unsettled period in Paris offered numerous opportunities to work as a freelancer and to publish successfully. Although Lucien Vogel, the publisher of the magazine Vu, had revealed Capa’s use of a pseudonym, he kept the name and flew to Spain as a reporter on the Spanish Civil War. With Pohorylles (using the pseudonym Gerda Taro) he published Death in the Making, which contained his most famous photograph Death of a Spanish Loyalist...

Article

American, 20th–21st century, male.

Born 1973, in Hong Kong.

Video artist, multi-media artist, activist, and publisher. Artists’ books

Paul Chan spent his early childhood in Hong Kong but immigrated to Omaha, Nebraska, in his youth. He began his BFA in video and digital arts at the Art Institute of Chicago in ...