Discover more from THE TRAPERTURE
5 photographers that I've learned from.
Get to know the photographer Part. 1
In 6 years of shooting photography, be its film or digital, I’ve come across 5 photographers I’ve learned from. Throughout grad school, there has not been a day where I did not observe or appreciate the works of art I’ve seen in galleries; whether it be among my cohorts or from the works of renowned artists. However, in this article, I am only talking about photographers that have molded my view as an artist.
In her earlier works, Mariko Mori is imaginative in ways of her everlasting and mutable artistic implements. Her photography is heavily influenced by cosplay, which is what I am interested in because she describes her work as Self-Representation. Her knowledge of fashion is inserted in her photography which gives off a performance as she uses herself as the subject. “Portrait of a Birth of a Star” portrays Mori proclaiming her fame and ascendancy as a prominent art figure in Tokyo during the 1990s. This work was her transition to move into monumental pieces where Mori’s intent eventually was to use meditation to shift away from-self representation.
Carrie Mae Weems
Carrie Mae Weems began showing her interest in photography when she received it as a birthday gift from her boyfriend at the time. She said that this camera was her way to move around the world in a certain kind of way, with a certain kind of purpose. Her Kitchen Table series encapsulates a domestic space in which Weems makes the theme around family. I love the imagery of capturing what black families are supposed to be about because so often back in the early 1940s and 50s we see more white families in portraits. My favorite image from the Kitchen Table series is when she is sitting at the table getting her hair done with a cigarette in one hand, and a cup of wine in another. I would say self-care at its finest.
Malick Sidibe is one photographer that captures the nightlife of carefree people dancing the night away. Going to all the clubs and weddings, Sidibe captures the social life. He takes his subject and sets up positions in his portraits without making them look idle. Like Sidibe, I too come from a drawing background This was his strategy. He has a fond memory of drawing and was able to create a relationship with photography.
Mary Ellen Mark
I went to a collection gallery last year and I was walking around looking at the collections of photos from the likes of Hank Willis Thomas, and Carrie Mae Weems. Throughout my stroll in the gallery, I happened to come across a book of all the works of Mary Ellen Mark. Throughout her subjects, the photographs bring around the social awareness of homelessness, loneliness, drug addiction, and prostitution. She photographs a child who wears a black dress with a veil covering her face. Her body language and facial expressions tell a story of what she's been through. Body language displays vulnerability. Mark does talk about the selectiveness of a photographer when framing the subject. After the editing and publishing, the photographer begins to form a point of view.
Tony Mendoza captured the mercurial character of that irascible, self-possessed, utterly lovable cat, who is named Ernie. The very intriguing thing about Ernie is that he is Mendoza’s assistant. When printing photos in the darkroom, Mendoza uses Ernie as a second eye, because a cat's eyes become like night vision. He featured never-before-published pictures and a few more private thoughts from Ernie himself, Ernie is sure to steal hearts all over again. In an era of art that is often opaque and obscure, Tony Mendoza’s photos celebrate life and what it means to be a cat.
Who are your favorite photographers? Is it one of my favorites, or is there a photographer you know that I can learn about? Let me know in the comments.