Sonia Szóstak @ Gdańsk Gallery of Photography

© Sonia Szóstak_01

Sonia Szóstak’s The Age of Innocence exhibition consists of 30 photographs taken in the last five years and includes portraits, nudes, fashion and lifestyle pictures.

Sonia Szóstak makes portraits that present the beauty of the young body in different conventions. The naturalness and shamelessness of the photographed person results from the fact that the authoress doesn’t exceed the limits of intimacy. Her nudes in a natural setting show man inseparably tied with nature. The photos are unobvious, shrouded in mystery, even a bit disturbing. Nature is only the background here, but the essence of the picture is the proximity of the two people. Showing emotions is one of the important aspects of Sonia Szóstak’s work.

© Sonia Szóstak_04

In turn, the nudes taken in middle-class interiors are direct reference to the old canons of painting – Giorgione’s Sleeping Venus or Titian’s Venus of Urbino. Painterly character of these pictures is highlighted by the skilful use of light and colour saturation. In contrary to the original Venus, the contemporary ones are independent and conscious of the strength of their femininity. It is also significant, that the camera is in a woman’s hands. The nude photography taken by a man is differently perceived than the one taken by a woman. What matters is this special relationship and level of trust between the photographed and the artist; it might be the reason, why we can feel lightness and naturalness while looking at these images.

© Sonia Szóstak_03

Aesthetics of Szóstak’s pictures betrays her fascination with Peter Lindberg work and other masters of photography. In her portraits – both, B&W and colour – the artist presents beautiful women thoughtfully looking into the lens. Thanks to her style of building the scene and its atmosphere, she achieves perfection and elegance similar to Erwin Olaf’s images.

The Age of Innocence exhibition is a praise of might of youth, femininity and nature. It results from “the young and beautiful”’s searching for spaces of freedom. Despite of the variety of topics, Sonia Szóstak has sophisticatedly captured the spirit of her generation. She portrays young and happy people, who enjoy life in uninhabited way. This contemporary idyll is presented as the echoes of dreams, longing for paradise, and nature which we are part of.

© Sonia Szóstak_02

Sonia Szóstak (b.1990) | a graduate of Photography at the Łódź Film School | awarded by Le Book for the best cover and recognised by the Fashion magazine as the best debuting photographer (2011) | took first place in the TOP 10 photographers ranking published by the F5 Trendy Rynku i Kultury magazine (2015) | specialises in fashion photography | has published in Vogue, Rolling Stone, Ozon, i-D, Harper’s Bazaar, Interview and K MAG, among others | her photographs have been exhibited in Germany, Italy and Poland | represented by the AFPHOTO (Poland) and Aura Photo (Italy) agencies.

@ Gdańsk Gallery of Photography (Green Gate, 24 Długi Targ St., Gdańsk, Poland)
Grand opening: July 1 at 6.00 PM
The exhibition will be open to the public between July 2 and September 11, 2016

The exhibition is organised under doc! photo magazine patronage.

Summer Meetings with Films on Photography

The second edition of the We Are All Photographers initiative’s summer programme – Summer Cinema – starts today. Within its framework, we will see four films about outstanding and completely different creators. Thanks to Jini Dellaccio we will get to know connections between photography and music, dramatic story of Tim Hetherington will let us understand the contemporary face of war and its consequences, Saul Leiter will show how to celebrate every single moment of life (also with a camera), and Sally Mann will tell us about her work and inspirations coming from her closest environment and family.

The screenings’ program:

Her Aim Is True

Jini (93) in action with a new Hasselblad on location for Her Aim Is True in April, 2010

Jini (93) in action with a new Hasselblad on location for Her Aim Is True in April, 2010

In 1964, 47-year-old Jini Dellaccio, an autodidact photographer, started to spend her time with noisy garage bands like The Sonics. This cooperation resulted in amazing images and innovative, for those times, covers of the LP records. Jini Dellaccio captured extraordinary portraits of Neil Young and early concerts of such bands like The Who, Rolling Stones and Mamas & Papas. In the film, the musicians and photographers connected with the rock scene of those days, join the artist to take an inspiring trip into the past, to the land of her talent, ingenuity and style with the musical subculture of the North-West Coast in the background. But the heart of this film is a universal story of love, creativity and a sense of independence.

The film won the Audience Choice Award at the 2013 Tacoma Film Festival.

Her Aim Is True
Directed by Karen Whitehead | Country: USA | Year of production: 2013 | Runtime: 70 min
Screening: June 23, 2016 at 9.30 PM


Which Way Is the Front Line from Here? The Life and Time of Tim Hetherington

A soldier from 2nd platoon rests at the end of a day of heavy fighting at the Restrepo outpost. The position was named after the medic Juan Restrepo from 2nd Platoon who was killed by insurgents in July 2007. Korengal Valley (Kunar province, Afghanistan), September 16, 2007

A soldier from 2nd platoon rests at the end of a day of heavy fighting at the Restrepo outpost.
The position was named after the medic Juan Restrepo from 2nd Platoon who was killed by insurgents in July 2007.
Korengal Valley (Kunar province, Afghanistan), September 16, 2007

On April 20, 2011, just after the premiere of the film Restrepo and only in six weeks after the nomination for the Oscar, the photographer and film director – Tim Hetherington was killed in the fire in Misratah (Libya), where he had been documenting the war. In his last moments he was accompanied by a Spanish photographer, who was holding his hand and trying to keep him in the consciousness. That is how the life and 10 years long career of the one of the most important journalists of the generation came to the end. In his moving documentary Sebastian Junger, the author of The Perfect Storm, War and a co-director of Restrepo, is following his friend’s work in order to show how talented and remarkable man Tim Hetherington was. The film confirms how dangerous the war journalist’s work is. It also makes us think that hundreds, if not thousands, of such war conflicts are still going on around the world.

Which Way Is the Front Line from Here? The Life and Time of Tim Hetherington
Directed by Sebastian Junger | Country: USA | Year of production: 2013 | Runtime: 78 min
Screening: July 14, 2016 at 9.30 PM


In No Great Hurry: 13 Lessons in Life with Saul Leiter

Saul Leiter

Saul Leiter

Saul Leiter is believed to have been one of the pioneers of colour photography. His style of imaging and looking at the world inspired many artists and was recently, among others, the inspiration for the visual form of Carol, the film directed by Todd Hynes. Leiter himself hardly cared for his fame, preferring drinking coffee and enjoying the life with his camera in hand. Driving force behind his action was to search for beauty. He had collected a huge archive of works fulfilling his NYC apartment. In the film, which is an intimate and moving portrait of the artist, we see over 80 years old Leiter struggling with an attempt to tidy his full of memories apartment, the consequences of fame and the nosy director.

In No Great Hurry: 13 Lessons in Life with Saul Leiter
Directed by Tomas Leach | Country: United Kingdom | Year of production: 2014 | Runtime:  75 min
Screening: August 4, 2016 at 9.30 PM


What Remains: The Life and Work of Sally Mann

At Warm Springs. Taken from the Immediate Family series, 1991

At Warm Springs. Taken from the Immediate Family series, 1991

“The things that are close to you are the things you can photograph the best,” – is the motto of Sally Mann, the American photographer who has gained worldwide recognition thanks to her photos from the Immediate Family series, presenting her three children – Emmett, Jessie and Virginia. The series raised both, admiration and controversy. The limits of intimacy in presenting children was the subject of the discussion. In the Steven Cantor film, we meet Sally Mann on her farm in Virginia. The artist tells about her inspirations, her creative development. She shares with us her thoughts on death, passing and decay, which have become the main themes of her later works. We also meet her husband, Larry, and  their already adult children who comment the photos from their childhood. The film is a deep story on the artist’s life and work, it also puts lots of questions about the role and importance of the contemporary photography.

What Remains
Directed by Steven Cantor | Country: USA | Year of production: 2005 | Runtime: 80 min
Screening: August 25, 2016 at 9.00 PM

All the films (in original language version with Polish subtitles) will be presented in the open air on the Plac Defilad square in Warsaw (Poland).

We Are All Photographers’ Summer Cinema vol. 2 is organised under doc! photo magazine patronage.

Bruce Gilden @ Leica Gallery Warsaw

Terry. Iowa State Fair. Des Moines (IA, USA), 2014

Terry. Iowa State Fair. Des Moines (IA, USA), 2014

Bruce Gilden’s American Made exhibition consists of dozens of portraits, small towns’ landscapes and still life made between 2013 and 2014 in the American countryside on the occasion of state fairs, picnics and other events organised in the western and southern states of the USA. In his interview for the S Magazine (#7, spring 2016) he talked about the beginnings of this project:

“The state fairs are traditional American summer events in the form of picnics. Since the 19th century, residents of particular states come to the fairground around their capital cities to meet friends, have fun and have a drink. My first fair was Wisconsin State Fair in Milwaukee, to where I went in August 2013 to take pictures for the ‘Postcards from America’ project. It was like a godsend: 1,012,552 visitors in 11 days! I took lots of good pictures and I thought it would be a good thing to carry on. In the next months of 2013 and throughout the summer of 2014, I used to go from one picnic to another: Mississippi State Fair, then Ohio, Iowa and Minnesota, visited by 150,000 people every day! Some of the events were more interesting than others, but it was never boring there.“ 

In the Bottoms neighbourhood. Columbus (OH, USA), 2014

In the Bottoms neighbourhood. Columbus (OH, USA), 2014

Bruce Gilden has been hunting with his camera along the streets of New York City for decades. His B&W street photographs draw their strength from the immediacy with which their author approaches his characters. As he says: “I’m known for taking pictures very close, and the older I get, the closer I get.” Such approach led him to the Magnum Photos agency and made him famous.

David. Iowa State Fair. Des Moines (IA, USA), 2014

David. Iowa State Fair. Des Moines (IA, USA), 2014

Gilden worked exclusively on B&W film for four decades. But recently he has started to use colour. His latest project results from that artistic catharsis and proves transformation of his work from the street photography to documentary portrait photography. With his American Made series, he carries on his monumental reportage based project on the contemporary United States, asking questions about the condition of America and veracity of its image, searching for what is left of the great American dream.

The variety of faces by Gilden confirms the fundamental truth: the world does not consists of winners only; there are lots of different things we would rather not know up close. But it is just this diversity of characters, attitudes, places that makes the life so fascinating. The world in Gilden’s photographs is not that retouched one from soap opera or illustrated magazine. The people from his photos are neither beautiful nor spotless. Their houses, cars, their food and lifestyle are not the ideal of the West. But these images are unforgettable, they force us to reflect on how the modern civilisation imprints its mark on us.

Britney Mey at the Minnesota State Fair. Minneapolis (MN, USA), 2014

Britney Mey at the Minnesota State Fair. Minneapolis (MN, USA), 2014

Bruce Gilden (b. 1946) | based in New York City (NY, USA) | a member of the legendary Magnum Photos agency (since 1998) | known for photographing unusual people, far from any canons | has received numerous awards and recognitions all over the world | one of the most recognisable American photographers.

Bruce Gilden – AMERICAN MADE
@ Leica Gallery Warsaw (3 Mysia St., Warsaw, Poland)
Grand opening: June 23 at 7.00 PM
The exhibition will be open to the public between June 24 and August 28, 2016

The Bruce Gilden exhibition is organised under doc! photo magazine patronage.

doc! photo magazine Reloaded!

doc! photo magazine vol. Q1 issue #36 - covers

doc! photo magazine vol. Q1 issue #36 – covers


Mark Twain once said: “The report about my death was an exaggeration.” This statement perfectly matches doc! photo magazine, whose latest edition has just seen the light of day.  

The ongoing Fotofestiwal in Łódź is not only a large presentation of outstanding photography and its creators, it is also a perfect opportunity for the premiere of reworked doc! photo magazine, which came from the vastness of the Internet on… the paper and has become a quarterly publication.

“Just after the first online edition in 2012 the readers asked us about a paper version of our magazine,” – says Grzegorz Kosmala, its Editor-in-Chief. – “Now we fulfil their requests. The paper edition required some changes. We hope they will make our magazine more attractive as a printed photo provides additional emotions. It is a completely different dimension of the photography.”

The first regular paper version of doc! photo magazine is entirely dedicated to this year’s edition of the Fotofestiwal. It consists of selected projects that are presented in Łódź. Part of them refers to the main theme of the festival – Photographers’ Travel, while others represent projects taking part in the Grand Prix competition.

The travel can be interpreted in different ways. Generally we associate it with something nice and done on our own. We travel to enjoy the sun, to relax far away from our everyday hectic life and work. However it is only one side of the matter. There is also another one – a bit darker that makes people leave their homeland to search for a better life, for an asylum. The first kind of travels result in funny photographs of smiling sunbathing and playing in the water people whereas the other ones are the moving pictures of bodies thrown out on the beach by the waves or retrieved by rescue teams.

doc! photo magazine vol. Q1 issue #36 - Kadir van Lohuizen's Vía PanAm: Tierra del Fuego

doc! photo magazine vol. Q1 issue #36 – Kadir van Lohuizen’s Vía PanAm: Tierra del Fuego

This issue starts with the essay Photography and Travel by Alison Nordström, Art Director of the festival, that is a historical view talking about connections between photography and travel and the role played by photographs depicting the trip.

doc! photo magazine vol. Q1 issue #36 - interview with Adél Koleszár

doc! photo magazine vol. Q1 issue #36 – interview with Adél Koleszár

The variously understood travel is discussed by projects by Kadir van Lohuizen (Via PanAm: Tierra del Fuego), Michelle Frankfurter (Destino), Seba Kurtis (Drowned), Yurian Quintanas Nobel (Happy Nothing), Qian Zhao (offcut, the edge) and Nick Hannes (Mediterranean. The Continuity of Man). They are complemented by François DeschampsPhoto-Rapide and Shadman Shahid’s Ajna projects that cover the travel in a more indirect way.

doc! photo magazine vol. Q1 issue #36 - David Fathi's Wolfgang

doc! photo magazine vol. Q1 issue #36 – David Fathi’s Wolfgang

The magazine also includes three interviews with David Fathi – winner of the main prize of the Grand Prix Fotofestival 2016 contest (material Wolfgang and the interview Jokes and Anecdotes Can Be a Weapon), Adél Koleszár – presented in the festival’s Discovery section (material New Routes of Faith and the interview Transforming the Reality into a powerful Visual Experience), and with Kadir van Lohuizen about the making of the Vía PanAm project (Very Long Days, Very Short Nights).

“With this edition we start a completely new chapter of our travel,” – says Kosmala. – “We feel a little like those old explorers discovering new lands. That is why the premiere during the Fotofestiwal, which is devoted to travels this year, takes on additional meaning.” 

The paper edition of doc! photo magazine is available @ doc! store online shop and in selected retail outlets.

Sandro Miller @ The Lumière Brothers Centre for Photography

Salvador Dalí by Philippe Halsman (1954), 2014

Salvador Dalí by Philippe Halsman (1954), 2014

The Lumière Brothers Centre for Photography is pleased to invite to the Malkovich, Malkovich, Malkovich: Homage to Photographic Masters exhibition, a photographic collaboration between Chicago photographer Sandro Miller and actor John Malkovich.

In 2013, after having secured his place as one of the top advertising and portrait photographers worldwide, Sandro Miller set out to complete a series that honours the photographs that had inspired and impacted Sandro and became iconic in the history of world photography. The series contains Irving Penn’s portrait of Truman Capote crouched in a corner, Bert Stern’s photographs of Marilyn Monroe, Dorothea Lange’s image of a migrant mother during the Great Depression, Robert Mapplethorpe’s self-portrait with a gun, Annie Leibovitz’s image of John Lennon and Yoko Ono shot for the Rolling Stone magazine, Diane Arbus’ iconic photograph of a boy holding a toy hand grenade and Richard Avedon’s beekeeper, among many others.

Marilyn in pink roses by Bert Stern (taken from The Last Session, 1962), 2014

Marilyn in pink roses by Bert Stern (taken from The Last Session, 1962), 2014

This project for Sandro Miller is an attempt to go back and get into the heads of photographers, to explore their technical and emotional ways of working, to understand how a particular photograph was created. For John Malkovich it is another opportunity to show the stagecraft and capacity for any transformation of his face and body; an opportunity to “get inside the frame” and to tell viewers a story in one single image. This project involves the viewer into a situation between the real and the imaginary, exploring the power of an image and the photography’s ability to change our memory and perception.

Jack Nicholson by Herb Ritts (London, UK, 1988), 2014

Jack Nicholson by Herb Ritts (London, UK, 1988), 2014

The exhibition also features works from the most recent project released this year – The Malkovich Sessions – the product of a unique, years-long artistic collaboration between two stars – and short films, which have become the natural progression for their work and have gained international recognition. The Malkovich Sessions, accompanied by a book (Glitterati, 2016), represents a profound meeting of the minds.

Jean Paul Gaultier by Pierre et Gilles (1990), 2014

Jean Paul Gaultier by Pierre et Gilles (1990), 2014

Sandro Miller (b. 1958) | based in Chicago (IL, USA) | a commercial photographer, also willingly doing artistic projects | known for frequent changing styles and searching for inspiration in history of photography | has been photographing people for over 30 years | his pictures have been internationally published and exhibited | winner of many prestigious awards, including the Lucie Foundation’s International Photographer of the Year (2014 and 2015) | recognised as one of the top 200 advertising photographers in the world.

@ The Lumière Brothers Centre for Photography (3 Bolotnaya Emb., Building 1, Moscow, Russia)
The exhibition is open to the public until August 28, 2016

Viktor Kolář @ The Lumière Brothers Centre for Photography

Everlasting encounter of gypsy man with horse, 1967

Everlasting encounter of gypsy man with horse, 1967

Viktor Kolář is one of the most important Czech photographers of the second half of the 20th century. The exhibition includes around 60 silver gelatin prints from his Ostrava and Canada series.

“There is nothing more surreal than reality itself” – this quote by Brassaï helps to discern a multitude of meanings in Viktor Kolář’s work inspired by the environment of postwar Ostrava, where the communist present, with its double identity, withstood German occupation, the short-lived Czech Republic and Habsburg empire. Viktor Kolář has been photographing Ostrava for over 50 years.

Montreal. In Place Bonaventure department store, 1972

In Place Bonaventure department store. Montreal (QC, Canada), 1972

His work experience at Vitkovice Steel Works, the ancient mill in the former industrial centre of the Czech Republic, largely influenced his photography. Viktor Kolář says, “The pain and misery some of us go through can often result in creating the best photographs. It is when things are hard, I believe, that we may see what appears invisible, or appreciate the potential of a subject that looks ordinary.”

Photography of Viktor Kolář bears similarities to works of the previous generations of Czech photographers. His talent of capturing the atmosphere of space and the fragility of the unrepeatable moment recall photographs of the interiors of St. Vitus Cathedral from the 1920s by Josef Sudek, “emotive photography” from the 1930s by Jaromír Funke, documentation of the perversity of meaning under state control on the streets of Prague from the1950s-60s by a Czech surrealist Emila Medková.

Young family with glass of bier, 1974

Young family with glass of bier, 1974

Viktor Kolář combines intellectual contemplation of and empathy toward his subjects. Psychological dynamics was central to his work produced in Canada and the USA from 1968 to 1973 where he shot in public places and in the streets of Hamilton, Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver and New York City and continued to capture it after his return to Ostrava. His photographs of the streets of Ostrava in the 1970s-80s reveal the psychological state of people in front of his lens and at the same time bring viewers in contact with the atmosphere of the time formed by the imposed rules of the communist state, destruction of values, loss of the utopia and anticipation of change. In his photographs of the independent Czech Republic, the symbols of a new capitalist society – shopping malls, cheep markets, ubiquitous advertising – contrast with the residents of Ostrava unfamiliar with market economy. Contradictory motifs of this later work trace back to Kolář’s early photographs and derive from his aspiration to embrace all of the multifaceted reality of the city. Kolář says about these photographs: “I have to be as realistic about the new order as I was about the old one. Sentimentality will not save us.”

Coal miner's mother and young man, 2004

Coal miner’s mother and young man, 2004

Viktor Kolář (b. 1941) | based in Ostrava (the Czech Republic) | began to photograph at 13 and had his first exhibition at a local museum when 23 | fled to Canada after the invasion of Czechoslovakia by Warsaw Pact troops in 1968 and returned under the amnesty for Czech immigrants five years later | a winner of the Mother Jones International Fund for Documentary Photography award (1991) | has exhibited his works at solo and group exhibitions in France, Germany, Greece, Slovakia, the United Kingdom and in the USA, among others | his works are included in the collections of The Art Institute of Chicago, Victoria and Albert Museum in London, International Centre of Photography in New York City, Maison Européenne de la Photographie in Paris, Musée de l’Elysee pour la Photographie in Lausanne and Museum Ludwig in Köln.

@ The Lumière Brothers Centre for Photography (3 Bolotnaya Emb., Building 1, Moscow, Russia)
Grand opening: June 15, 2016
The exhibition will be open to the public until September 25, 2016