Posts Tagged ‘black and white photography’

Artist of the moment……Philippe Halsman

Philippe Halsman was a wonderful photographer born in Rigi of the old Russian Empire in 1906. His father was a dentist and his mother a school principle.

A fun clip here involves Phillipe Halsman playing with shapes of Dali’s mustache.

In 1928 he went hiking with his dad in the Alps of Austria. His father ended up dying and he was charged with killing his dad. Halsman spent four years in prison and upon his release in 1931 could no longer stay in the country. Halsman moved to France.

When he first moved to France built a reputation of shooting portraits whilst working for Vogue magazine. Halsman was very successful as a commercial photographer appearing in LIFE magazine.

Made some interesting collaborative work with Salvador Dali in the 1940s.

A short detailed biography of Phillipe Halsman.

Halsman shot many celebrities of the day including Marilyn Monroe, Milton Berle, Richard Nixon, and Bob Hope.  Halsman also photographed the royal family of England and other political celebrities Winston Churchill and John F. Kennedy.

Another well renown series of Halsman is that which asks people to jump. The artist loved doing this as it brought the real people out. To quote Halman ,” When you ask a person to jump, his attention is directed towards the art of jumping and the mask falls so that the real person appears.”

Phillipe Halsman passed away in 1979 at the age of 73 years of  age.

Price range information: Works range from $700 to $100,000.

We will close with a great montage of shots from the Jump series of Halsman. As he stated, its easy to see the real personality come out!


Artist of the moment…..photographer Berenice Abbott

Berenice Abbott was a wonderful American photographer born in Springfield, Ohio in the year 1898. Abbott was renown for working with black and white photographs of the New York City. For her collegiate studies Abbott attended Ohio State University. She then moved to New York and studied with Man Ray and Marcel Duchamp. Abbott would eventually be an assistant to Man Ray in his Paris studio.

Abbott studied sculpture for two years in France and Germany.

Published some photographs to help high school physics students learn how a ball bounces with a diminishing arc.

A large influence on Abbott was the photographer Eugene Atgets. Upon Atget’s death Abbott even purchased several negatives and formed a book that celebrated the work of her idol.

In 1929 she visited New York City for the first time whilst looking for a publisher for her book about Atget’s photography.

First became involved with photography in 1919, and to quote her own words took to photography like a duck takes to water!

Man Ray allowed her the full use of his studio so that she could take her photographs.

1926, first solo exhibition of works in Paris.

Below a montage of photographs by Berenice Abbott.

In this fantastic clip we see Abbott’s work of New York as a modern photographer revisits the same locations decades later!

Berenice Abbott passed away in 1991 at the age of 93 years old.

price range information: Most works priced between $2,000 and $40,000.

Be sure and check my other post on my favorite artist’s who have captured New York City including Raphaella Spence and Andy Warhol.


Happy Fourth of July!!!!!! Photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt

Let’s have some fun by looking at images that are part of American culture. Its a very famous work by renown photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt. To refresh your memory the image I am talking about is below, a sailor and a nurse celebrating the end of the World War II in 1945.


Alfred Eisenstaedt was also well known for his images of celebrities. Below are some more examples of his style. He often used a 35 mm Leica camera.

Alfred Eisenstaedt was born in West Prussia in the year 1898. This area is currently now the country of Poland.  For his collegiate studies the artist attended Berlin University. Eisenstaedt also participated in World War I immediately after college.

After war he made his living by working in the garment industry selling belts and buttons.

Got his first camera at the age of 14 years old.

In 1927 sold his photographs to Der Weltspiegal. Whilst working for the Berliner Tageblatt he mastered working with smaller formats.

1935 Eisenstaedt relocates to the United States. Whilst in States he worked for LIFE, Vogue, and Harper’s Bazaar.

His works have graced the cover of Life 92 times and worked for the magazine until 1972.

Eisenstaedt passed away in 1995 at the age of 96 years old.

Below a great montage of work by Alfred Eisenstaedt.

Another short collection of works with the VJ Day photograph at the beginning.


price range information: Most works priced between $2,000 and $40,000. Higher priced works include multi panel works such as the children watching a puppet theater. Eisenstaedt was a tremendously skilled photographer who was among the greatest at capturing emotion in a very natural and without having people pose for him on purpose.

Happy Fourth! I will try to do another posting today provided my computer holds up!


Artist of the moment..Photographer Barbara Kruger

Barbara Kruger was born in 1945 in Newark, New Jersey. Most of Kruger’s art deals with black and white photography with letters and words that express a political or social remark. Kruger does a great job at capturing the contemporary consumer experience in America. My personal favorite is “When I hear the word culture I have to open my wallet!”

Works mainly with the Helvetica type font.

For her collegiate studies Kruger attended Syracuse University and Parsons School of Design. A heavy influence on the artist was the modernist painter Marvin Israel who taught at the University. Below an example of Marvin Israel’s style. Israel was renown for working with the interior and did many works similar to the one below even one with the subject being an electric chair.


Below a great montage of works by Barbara Kruger.

Here we visit the Hirshhorn Museum of Art for a show featuring Barbara Kruger. 6,700 square foot display.

After college Kruger got a job with the magazine Conde Naste working in design. At this point she was more a fiber artist that sewed or did crochet.

Another classic slogan from Kruger, I shop therefore I am!

Kruger also makes installation art.

Over her career she has taught at several prestigious locales including the Whitney Museum of Art and the University of California at Los Angeles.

Based out of New York city and Los Angeles, California.

Price range information: The artist is a hot commodity in the art world! At auction in 2011 Kruger had a work sell for slightly more than $900,000 at Christies. Most works are priced from $10,000 to $50,000.

If you enjoy a laugh sometimes when looking at art also check out the artist Jenny Holzer. Holzer is an American artist renown for her sculptures that have text poking fun at  society in a manner similar to Barbara Kruger. In the work below it reads, ITS CRUCIAL  TO HAVE AN ACTIVE FANTASY LIFE, STUPID PEOPLE SHOULDN’T BREED.


For some art homework think of this artists and add some captions to your own photographs!


Artist of the moment…..Parisian Street Artist JR

JR is a street artist who uses photography as his medium. JR true identity isn’t known but he was born in France in the year 1983. JR is known for his very large black and white portraits of people done on a large scale, many times the photographs are 4 by 6 feet. He often pastes them on tops of roofs or sides of  buildings. His art usually has a message and a cause and the local community helps out by assisting him with the pasting of the photographs.

Price range information:  Photographs of his works sell usually in editions of 3 for $30,000 euros each. What a great business artist.

Winner of the TED Prize in 2010. This award is given to an artist that has a vision to change the world. The artist also receives $100,000.

Started pasting photographs on walls at the age of 17. Then went around the globe to see and learn from other graffiti and street artists.

Refers to himself as an urban activist. Many of his projects have to do with making people aware of what is happening around them, not just what the media reports. Some of these examples would be a series done called FACE2FACE which showed Israelis and Palestinians that held the same jobs, making the same faces. The pieces were pasted on the great Separation Wall. This project was made into a film titled FACES and this movie when some prizes in the film/entertainment industry.

Another well received idea was a series titled WOMAN ARE HEROES. For this theme JR took pictures of women in war zones, places that the media shows on television but most people don’t think about the harsh reality. In this clip we listen to some interviews for this project. These women have had some very bad experiences in life and the interviews are very emotional as are the photographs.

In this clip we see JR at work in Berlin, Germany.

Here we have a great interview with the artist.

The best thing about JR is that he loves to produce works to challenge people to think about their environment and to try and bring art to people who never visit museums.


Artist of the moment…..Fantastic Photographer Ansel Adams….

Lets talk about this artist. Most of my friends and family have at least one print of his in their house.

A quick interview with Ansel Adams and Roy Firestone. See the artist and hear him in his own words.

Ansel Adams was born in 1902 in San Francisco, California. Adams is known for taking spectacular black and white photographs of the American west. He enjoyed taking pictures at the National Parks such as Yosemite and Yellowstone National Park. Adams was similar to Georgia O’Keefes husband photographer Alfred Steigliz, in that both took photography to another level as a business thru their skill and keen marketing efforts. Even today Adam’s work is reproduced on calenders, posters, and post cards.

His parents were of the upper class and he was an only child. His father’s family ran a lumber company. In an odd twist, Adams came to hate these companies that ruined one of his favorite things in life, the redwood tree. It was with his family in 1916 that the artist first visited Yosemite National Park and took many pictures with a Kodak Brownie Box Camera.

For his tools Adams mainly used large format cameras as he liked the end result of their high resolution.

And the most interesting thing about Adams I learned was that his nose was broken during an aftershock of the Great Earthquake of San Fransisco, California in 1906. He was only four years old and unharmed after the initial quake. He was knocked into a wall in the garden. Doctors felt he should have his nose reset when he reached adulthood, but he never did and his nose remained crooked his entire life.

Both father and son loved to study astronomy. His father was a paid treasurer for an astronomy come for twenty five years.

His father help to push Ansel’s love of art and encouraged his photography. His mother did not approve of his photography and as a result the two had a distant relationship.

Growing up the artist was hyperactive, and didn’t have patience to play sports but loved to be out of doors and explore the world. At the age of twelve his father removed him from school and educated him at home.  Also at this age Ansel Adams fell in love with the piano. His memory was so adept it was said he could listen to a piece at night before bed, and play it from memory the next morning.  He chased the dream of becoming a professional musician until 1920. At the age of eighteen,  Ansel Adams decided to pursue a career in photography.

In 1928 Adams was married. His first large commercial portfolio of prints was made in 1927. He felt he had made his photographs to reflect how he felt about an image, rather than just capturing a likeness.  This portfolio brought Adams many new wealthy fans who hired him to take photographs of their land and portraits of their family.
Published first large scale book with his photographs called Taos Pueblo in 1931. Also in this year the artist was given an exhibition at the Smithsonian. Ansel Adams opended his own art and photography gallery in 1933. His first child came in 1933, followed by another two years later.

Ansel Adams did some work with color photography but felt color distracted the photographer from taking a great picture.  Adams also loved the control he had in the development state of his process of photography using black and white vs. color images.

In 1984, Ansel Adams died following a heart attack at the age of eighty two.

Price ranges: Various prints are available in all price ranges. His Gelatin Silver Prints range from $500 to $60,000. Other items like calenders and post cards, commercial items can be found for less than $10.

In closing, I admire this artist and his images are easy to remember. Even I have never been to Yosemite National Park, thru Ansel Adams I feel as though I have been there!

Take some great pictures on your next outdoor adventure!