Gallery of Fine Art Photography - Atlanta GA

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Mexico – Paul Strand

When Paul Strand first went to Mexico in 1932, at the invitation of Mexican composer Carlos Chávez, he had no clear intentions to photograph. The Great Depression was underway, and Strand was facing a failing marriage and the dissolution of his relationship with his mentor, Alfred Stieglitz. Mexico, which had just emerged from revolution beckoned many artists of Strand’s generation, whose politics leaned left, towards Communism and Marxism. Mexico was not yet industrialized, and seemed full of promise.READ ENTIRE ARTICLE

Woman and Boy, Tenancingo, 1933

Woman and Boy, Tenancingo, 1933

As Strand began to make still images and films, his work shifted towards a more humanistic approach. His subjects included churches, small towns, religious iconography, and the Mexican people. Strand sometimes photographed with a modified camera using a trick lens. A prism feature allowed Strand to photograph a subject off to the side of the scene while the lens pointed straight ahead. Strand wanted the candid feel of a small format camera but the large negative and gravitas of a view camera. He employed this method in his earlier New York portraiture.
“Strand was a kind of iconic figure as far as introducing a modernist type photography in this country,” Strand expert Anthony Montoya said, noting that his images dealt with abstractions and social commentary more common in painting than photography. “There was a movement away from the predominant photography at the time, called Pictorialism, which had a soft focus that looked like Impressionist painting, to the hard-edge grittiness of modernism,” Montoya added. “Strand was a link between the two.”
Strand created over 175 negatives, as well as 60 plus platinum prints during his time in Mexico. His classic film, Redes (The Wave), reflects the post-revolutionary influence of Mexican culture and politics on Strand. The film was financed in part by the Mexican government.
Complete information about Strand’s work, can be found on his Artist Page.

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Richard Pare - Villa Savoye, Poissy, 1928-31, (2012)
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"A great photograph is one that fully expresses what one feels, in the deepest sense, about what is being photographed and is, thereby, a true manifestation of what one feels about life in its entirety."
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This illuminating article explores how Ansel Adams' formative years creating imagery for Yosemite Park and Curry Company's marketing materials influenced his "emphatic and emotional" style as an artist.

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