Click on the images to see more work
Four decades ago, William Eggleston almost singlehandedly made color respectable in the world of art photography. Since then he hasn’t stood still, and we’re still catching up. “I am at war with the obvious,” he once declared. Judging by the evidence in the retrospective of his work on display at New York’s Whitney Museum (and beautifully reproduced in the book accompanying the show, William Eggleston: Democratic Camera), he is at war with cliches. Put another way, he shoots perfectly ordinary sights, but somehow always manages to find the extraordinary in the ordinary. Anything can be a picture, Eggleston seems to imply. Well, it can if he takes it.
Stephen Shore’s photographs are attentive to ordinary scenes of daily experience, yet through color–and composition–Shore transforms the mundane into subjects of thoughtful meditation. A restaurant meal on a road trip, a billboard off a highway, and a dusty side street in a Texas town are all seemingly banal images, but upon reflection subtly imply meaning.
Joel Sternfeld is well known for large-format color photographs that extend the tradition of chronicling roadside America initiated by Walker Evans in the 1930s. Sternfeld’s projects have consistently explored the possibility of a collective American identity by documenting ordinary people and places throughout the country. Each project he embarks on is bound by a concept that imbues it with subtle irony, often through insightful visual juxtapositions or by pairing images with informational text. Another characteristic aspect of Sternfeld’s work is that color is never arbitrary; it functions in highly sophisticated ways to connect elements and resonate emotion.
Philip-Lorca di Corcia
DiCorcia alternates between informal snapshots and iconic quality staged compositions that often have a baroque theatricality.Using a carefully planned staging, he takes everyday occurrences beyond the realm of banality, trying to inspire in his picture’s spectators an awareness of the psychology and emotion contained in real-life situations.His work could be described as documentary photography mixed with the fictional world of cinema and advertising, which creates a powerful link between reality, fantasy and desire.
Martin Parr was born in Epsom, Surrey. As a boy, his interest in photography was encouraged by his grandfather George Parr, himself a keen amateur photographer.
Parr studied photography at Manchester Polytechnic from 1970 to 1973. To support his career as a freelance photographer, he took on various teaching assignments between 1975 and the early 1990s. At the beginning of the 1980s his work aimed to mirror the lifestyle of ordinary British people, reflecting the social decline and distress of the working class during the era of Margaret Thatcher. He earned an international reputation for his oblique approach to social documentary, and for innovative imagery. In 1994 he became a member of Magnum after much heated debate over his provocative photographic style.
Raghubir Singh (1942-1999) is considered a pioneer of color photography. In the 1970s he was one of the first photographers to reinvent the use of color at a time when color photography was still widely disconsidered. His photographs, acclaimed for their organization of space, reflect the multiple aspects of contemporary India.
David Alan Harvey
Born in San Francisco, David Alan Harvey was raised in Virginia. He discovered photography at the age of 11. Harvey purchased a used Leica with savings from his newspaper route and began photographing his family and neighborhood in 1956.
When he was 20 he lived with and documented the lives of a black family living in Norfolk, Virginia, and the resulting book, Tell It Like It Is, was published in 1966. He was named Magazine Photographer of the Year by the National Press Photographers Association in 1978.
Constantine Manos was born in 1934 in South Carolina to Greek immigrant parents. His photographic career began when he was 13, in the school camera club, and within a few years he was a professional photographer. At the age of 19 he was hired as the official photographer of the Boston Symphony Orchestra at Tangle wood. During this time he attended the University of South Carolina, graduating in 1955 with a BA in English Literature.
After military service, he moved to New York, where he worked for Esquire, Life and Look. His book Portrait of a Symphony, on the Boston Symphony Orchestra, was published in 1961. For the next three years, he lived in Greece, producing work that resulted in A Greek Portfolio, first published in 1972 and an award-winner at Arles and at the Leipzig Book Fair. In 1963 Manos joined Magnum Photos.
Pinkhassov’s interest in photography began while he was still at school. After studying cinematography at the VGIK (the Moscow Institute of Cinematography), he went on to work at the Mosfilm studio and then as a set photographer.
Pinkhassov moved permanently to Paris in 1985. He joined Magnum Photos in 1988. He works regulary for the international press, particularly for Geo, Actuel and the New York Times Magazine. His book, Sightwalk, explores individual details, through reflections or particular kinds of light, often approaching abstraction.
Alex Webb became interested in photography during his high school years and attended the Apeiron Workshops in Millerton, New York, in 1972. He majored in history and literature at Harvard University, at the same time studying photography at the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts. In 1974 he began working as a professional photojournalist and he joined Magnum Photos as an associate member in 1976.