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EMERGING P H OTO G R A P H E R

volume 10

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table of contents

02

L E T T E R FR O M T HE E DI TO R

04

M I IS HA N AS H, R E VI ST E D

06

Mateusz Kowalik

08

12

14

Arne Piepke GL AUBE, SITTE, H EIMAT

24 Arg us Paul Estab rook

Josh ua Aron son

28 Fab ian Muir

EMERGING

ST I LL FAR AWAY FR O M PA RADI S E

18

J u s t i n B et t man # S E T I N T HE ST R E E T

22 Morukc Umnaber

Jon g h un Le e BEYOND TH E WAL L

A n t o ni o Pri vi t era L A N O STALGI A

Photo © Joshua Aronson

SEARCH ING F OR NORTH KOREA

30 Gab rie l Isak DAZED DELUSIONS

BATTL E OF RAQQA

10

LOSING FACE

33 Portfolio of On e CÉDRIC VON NIEDERHÄUSERN


EMERGING

volume 10

1

PHOTOGRAPHER

LETTER FROM THE EDITOR Congratulations to the ten photographers honored in the Spring 2018 edition of Emerging Photographer. We are excited to present the work

SPRING 2018

SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT John McGeary GROUP PUBLISHER Mark Brown (646) 668-3702 DIRECTOR, CREATIVE SERVICES Moneer Masih-Tehrani MANAGING EDITOR Stacey Goldberg

of photographers who have been chosen as the next rising talent in our

ART DIRECTOR Nora Molina

industry. They now join photographers previously chosen for Emerging, some of whom have have gone on to be featured in The New York Times

COPY EDITOR Elissa Hunter

and ESPN; to shoot campaigns for Coors Light and Lexus; be selected for PDN’s 30; and exhibit in galleries around the world. This year's winners have many things in common—vision, ambition, talent—but, most importantly, they share an unwavering desire to capture life around them through their own lens. Joshua Aronson says of his portrait series of emerging artists (pg. 14), “I want people in 20 or 30 years

CONTRIBUTORS Lindsay Comstock, Matthew Ismael Ruiz, Amy Touchette, Brienne Walsh PRODUCTION DIRECTOR Daniel Ryan CIRCULATION Lori Golczewski

to look back and see what it was like to be a young artist in 2018.” His photos, and those from Mateusz Kowalik and Antonio Privitera, document the beauty in the mundane, and through their images, they craft a visually compelling narration about Góry Suche, Poland, and the Italian coast, respectively, to pinpoint the location's curious identity. Other Emerging winners such as Jonghun Lee, Argus Paul Estabrook and Morukc

SUBMISSION SUPPORT Brad Arshinoff, Brad Kuhns, Reiko Matsuo EMERGING PHOTOGRAPHER JURY Stacey Goldberg, Moneer Masih-Tehrani, Nora Molina, Libby Peterson (Features Editor, Rangefinder), Conor Risch (Senior Editor, PDN)

Umnaber document their subjects—inmates in a Malawi prison, protestors in South Korea and militia in Syria, respectively—from a photojournalistic

SHOW DIRECTOR Mike Gangel (646) 668-3717

point of view, integrating themselves with their cameras to share stories with the intent of having a social impact. “I’m very happy if I see that the work helps someone or spreads the word,” Umnaber says of his series, “Battle of Raqqa” (pg. 22). Their work is presented on the following pages and will also be added

SENIOR ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE Lori Reale (858) 204-8956 ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES David Boone (908) 400-8730 Dennis Tyhacz (646) 668-3779

to the digital archive of Emerging honorees, which you can access for free by visiting pdnonline.com/emerging-photographer. —Stacey Goldberg

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ON THE COVER

Photo © Gabriel Isak

A PUBLICATION OF

Part of Stockholm, Sweden-based photographer Gabriel Isak's series "Dazed Delusions," (pg. 30) which tells the story of a woman who drifts into an imaginary world and interacts with the colors, shapes and lines she encounters.

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Photo © Miisha Nash miishayana.com

Miisha Nash, Revisited The photographer continues to expand her work examining the relationship between wild animals and their caretakers.

I

n the last issue of Emerging Photographer, we featured Miisha Nash for her body of work titled “The Wild Ones Part I,” which documents the unique relationship between parrots in sanctuaries and their caretakers. Nash, who is based in South East London, continues to photograph this subject and is expanding her work by further examining the relationship between other displaced wild animals—tigers and chimps, for example—with their owners. Emerging Photographer: How has the work evolved since the publication of “The Wild Ones Part 1” in the last issue of Emerging? MN: Since last year, I’ve delved further into the human-avian bond by focusing on parrot relationships with human subjects previously photographed. I returned to sanctuaries to see what, if anything, had changed since I last visited. In my latest work, you are seeing an emotional response; an amplification of the

devotion, loneliness and the inherent chaos that comes from being a creature out of one’s natural element. And a testament of the human role as guardians of the earth. EP: Have your plans for publishing the series changed since last year? MN: My plan is still to expand the scope of rescued exotics and construct a book of threeparts, with each part dedicated to a wild animal. Currently, I am focused on parrots as I want to conclude each series one by one. After the completion of the parrots, the next segment of “The Wild Ones” will be rescued tigers as both the subject and idea someone would want to own a big cat is fascinating to me. EP: Over the past year, have you been able to reach new audiences with the work? MN: Since the work appeared in Emerging, several editors have reached out with interest and new

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images were published online with ABC.com. EP: How does this series fit into your overall portfolio? MN: The themes from the series that tie into my portfolio are the exploration of a particular sociology and subculture. However, given the subject matter, the project stands apart from my other work. —Interview by Stacey Goldberg

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— Mateusz Kowalik —

S T I L L FA R AWAY F R O M PA R A D I S E


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Warsaw, Poland-based photographer Mateusz Kowalik first encountered the people living in Góry Suche, a mountain range near the border of the Czech Republic, when he was returning from a climbing trip. Most of the inhabitants of this secluded village had grown up somewhere else, and were living in the mountains to escape from city life. “I decided to photograph them because I am interested in those who exist on the margins of contemporary society,” Kowalik explains.

Shot over the course of a year, the series depicts the bucolic beauty of Góry Suche— as well as some of the darker sides of life there, including poverty, lack of infrastructure and scarcity of educational resources. “Even if you take a gulp of air, you still might end up panting for breath,” Kowalik says in a statement accompanying the work. Kowalik began his career editing a travel photography blog and decided to focus on long-term documentary projects in 2016. After graduating from the yearlong Sputnik

Photos Mentoring Program in 2017, he started focusing on gaining recognition for his work. His images will be included in a book featuring the best projects from his year at the Sputnik Photos Mentoring Program, as well as at the International Festival of Photography in Łódź, Poland, this coming June. Eventually, he hopes to see “Still Far Away From Paradise” published as a book. —Brienne Walsh

Photos © Mateusz Kowalik mateusz-kowalik.com


— Justin Bettman —

#SETINTHESTREET

Gear: Canon 5D Mark II, Canon 24-70mm f/2.8 lens.

Like many young photographers, Brooklynbased Justin Bettman doesn’t have a lot of extra cash lying around to dedicate to personal projects. It occurred to him, though, that much of what he would normally pay for on a set with props could actually be found for free on the streets of New York. “It’s expensive to rent a couch, but people are literally throwing them out on the sidewalk,” he explains. Thus, “#SetintheStreet,” an ongoing series of interiors constructed out of trash, and set up on the sidewalk in the middle of the

night in locations ranging from Bushwick to Moscow, was born. Bettman inhabits the set with cast actors and models right at dawn when the lighting is best. Then, he leaves the set on the street with a note encouraging passerby to take images of their own. The longest a set has lasted, Bettman says, is 12 days; the shortest, 4 hours. From what he’s gathered, over 1,000 images of his sets have been posted on Instagram since the beginning of the project in 2014. Bettman’s aptitude for marketing comes from a background in advertising. After

graduating from the University of Southern California with a degree in business, he worked as an art director for Ogilvy & Mather where he says he was inspired by watching other photographers. His first big assignment was shooting Aziz Ansari for The Wrap and today, his clients include The New York Times, Coca-Cola, American Express, among others. —Brienne Walsh Photos © Justin Bettman justinbettman.com


8 9


— Antonio Privitera —

L A N O S TA L G I A

Antonio Privitera fell in love with street photography as a post-collegiate wanderer, but he always harbored fond memories of the beach in his homeland of Sicily. So for “La Nostalgia,” his latest project featuring blackand-white diptychs, the Italian photographer took his street-shooting style to the beaches along the Adriatic Sea, fascinated by the grotesque beauty of its old, wrinkled bodies. “It's pretty vintage,” Privitera says of the Adriatic coast. “The looks and age of the people, it has a really nostalgic mood.” Privitera captures contemplative yet candid moments. “I get bored after one

second if I ask you, ‘Can I take your picture?’” Privitera says. For the series, he spent countless hours on the beach, but it was in the edit where “La Nostalgia” came alive. Printing out black-and-white contact sheets, he’d spread out groups of images on a piece of canvas he’d lay on the floor, spending weeks mixing and matching images, looking for a connection. He’d play around with shapes, considering the geometry of his subjects and their setting. Each pair of images is in conversation with themselves, creating a single frame from separate moments. It’s not always literal or direct, but

Privitera’s talent lies in drawing emotional connections between images. Privitera plans to spend one more summer shooting at the beach for “La Nostalgia” before compiling his diptychs into a book. But the project’s completion is unlikely to dampen his enthusiasm for shooting candid moments. “I can't predict the reality, the magic of life,” he says. “That's why I am always interested in what's next.” —Matthew Ismael Ruiz

Photos © Antonio Privitera antonioprivitera.com


10 11


— Arne Piepke —

GLAUBE, S I T T E , H E I M AT


12 13

Arne Piepke's desire to photograph Schützenfest, an annual marksman festival in Germany, came in a roundabout way. What brought him closer to his native culture was actually exploring other countries like Norway, Kosovo and Georgia, he says. It was during this period of travel, after graduating high school but before beginning his photography studies at the University of Applied Sciences and Art in Dortmund, Germany, that he began to use photography to document

his surroundings. When he returned to his hometown in 2015, he knew he wanted to photograph the marksmen clubs and their unique tie to rural German tradition. Titled, “Glaube, Sitte, Heimat,” which translates to “Faith, Custom, Home”—the marksmen motto inscribed on their flag—the series documents the shooting competition and festivities. “I had mixed feelings about the marching and the guns, something that you don’t often see in Germany,” Piepke explains.

“I wanted to explore it deeper.” According to Piepke, marksmen clubs began as civil defense in the Middle Ages and haven’t evolved much. “Most of the clubs have strict rules, do not allow women as members and represent conservative Christian values,” he explains. “The series was about examining identity and questioning the necessity and the contemporary exercise of the tradition.” —Lindsay Comstock

Photos © Arne Piepke arnepiepke.com


— Joshua Aronson —

EMERGING


20 21


16 17

Joshua Aronson’s series of emerging artists was birthed from an assignment he shot for i-D Magazine in December 2016. At the time, he was living in Miami Beach after graduating with a degree in philosophy from Northwestern University earlier in the year. “There’s so many talented young artists in Miami, but there’s no real spotlight on them except for the five days when Art Basel comes to town,” he says. Aronson shot ten portraits for i-D and soon after made the move to New York City for an apprenticeship. However, as a personal

project, he continued to seek out emerging artists to photograph. Aronson is drawn to artists who cross boundaries. “They have a predilection for the contemporary moment,” he says. “They aren’t letting themselves be confined to one medium.” Subjects have included Tyler Mitchell, a photographer who also directs fashion films, and Dozie Kanu, a furniture designer who has consulted for the musician Travis Scott, amongst others. Aronson’s portraits have appeared in The New York Times, T Magazine and Dazed.

According to Aronson, the portraits should capture his subjects stripped of any of the mechanisms of their craft. “It’s about creating an image and a world you can get lost in, almost like an installation,” he says. With 40 portraits of emerging artists in his portfolio to date, Aronson is ready to move on. But he hopes the work has longevity. “I want people in 20 or 30 years to look back and see what it was like to be a young artist in 2018,” he says. “My series is a document.” — Brienne Walsh

Photos © Joshua Aronson Joshua Aronson — “Emerging”

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— Jonghun Lee —

BEYOND T H E WA L L


18 19


14 15

Jonghun Lee — “Beyond the Wall"


20 21

In 2013, South Korean photographer Jonghun Lee learned of Makandi prison, a jail in Malawi that allows inmates to pay back their debt to society by growing corn, soybeans and other crops that feed both the prison population and students in nearby schools. As Lee describes it, “The hands of the prisoners, once marked by violence, are turned towards a new purpose: providing for the children and enriching the community.” A graduate of Ajou University in South Korea, Lee received permission from

the Malawi Prison Service and began photographing and filming the prisoners in 2014. The series is ongoing and so far, Lee has met about 700 inmates in the facility. For a sub-series called “Waiting to Return Home,” Lee also conducted in-depth interviews with ten prisoners who had been or were soon to be released. Through images, Lee showcases the conditions in the prison—portrayed as overcrowded and decrepit—as well as the physical labor required from each prisoner

Jonghun Lee — “Beyond the Wall"

on a daily basis. His images capture muddy hands, cramped quarters and impoverished conditions as well as camaraderie and mutual respect among the prisoners. “The story of these inmates provides some inspiration for the kinds of social cohesion that we could help create in our own society,” Lee explains. “I hope that the photographs I take can play a small part in the interest of people who are doing their part in silence at the bottom of society.” —Amy Touchette

Photos © Jonghun Lee leejonghun.com


— Morukc Umnaber —

B AT T L E O F R A Q Q A

Gear: Canon 5D Mark II with a Canon 35mm lens.

For his series, “Battle of Raqqa,” Istanbul, Turkey-based photographer Morukc Umnaber found himself in Syria where he was embedded with the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) while they carried out their campaign to liberate the ISIS capital, Raqqa. Umnaber spent 10 months with the SDF. Gaining access to Syria is a complicated and often dangerous task, Umnaber explains, but he’d taken trips to the country before and he trusted the militia he was documenting. “At times we were walking ten hours straight, navigating mines and explosives dropped on SDF fighters on the frontlines, and sometimes we were in hiding,” he recalls. Today, 300,000 civilians are displaced from Raqqa, and Umnaber's hope is that his work will have a tangible impact. “I’m very happy if I see that the work helps someone or spreads the word,” he says. “It’s good motivation to keep working," especially given a difficult cultural climate. In Turkey, the profession is becoming increasingly risky and, under certain conditions, journalism is considered a crime. In mid-February, six journalists and media employees were sentenced to life in prison by a Turkish court, and according to the Committee to Protect Journalists, more journalists are currently being jailed in Turkey than any other nation worldwide. Says Umnaber, “Any kind of solidarity and support [from the outside world] is incredible right now.” —Lindsay Comstock

Photos © Morukc Umnaber morukcumnaber.com


— Argus Paul Estabrook —

L O S I N G FA C E

“In South Korean society, the damage of having one’s identity lost to shame is so ruinous that it can completely destroy a person’s social standing and authority,” writes photographer Argus Paul Estabrook about his black-and-white series, “Losing Face.” But it does happen, even to the highest-ranking authorities, and in the case of the country’s 11th president, Park Geun-hye, charges of extortion and influence peddling in October 2016 led to protests that demanded she be impeached. In March 2017, she was formally removed from office after a unanimous ruling by the Constitutional Court. Estabrook, an American who was born in South Korea, heard about the protests early on and says he knew he had to be there to capture the fallout. “What I witnessed while shooting around Gwanghwamun was an overwhelming desire for change,” he says. Sometimes numbering in the millions, the protests showed the world that change can be achieved through peaceful means. “It was an incredible historic feat, and something I’ll never forget.” The five-month project taught him how to handle the challenge of endurance and, he says, “go with the flow” by syncing his energy with the protesters around him. His images convey energy and intensity amongst the protestors, as well as quiet reflections on the fall of a once-revered leader. The profound power of unity and perseverance during the protests, Estabrook adds, “became a reallife lesson on how to catch a feeling and stay with it until it’s time to let it go.” —Amy Touchette

Photos © Argus Paul Estabrook arguspaul.com


26 27

Argus Paul Estabrook — “Losing Face"


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— Fabian Muir —

SEARCHING FOR NORTH KOREA


28 29

After leaving a career in journalism, Australian photographer Fabian Muir began traveling to countries that were, to some, unusual destinations: former Soviet Union countries and, as he describes them, “other places that seem to exist outside of our own time and space.” His travels eventually took him to North Korea where, he says, much of what he witnessed was contrary to the stereotypes and his own preconceptions of the totalitarian state. Determined to capture what he perceived of those living in the country, Muir created the series “Searching for

North Korea.” “Discovering that there is a softer undercurrent to North Korean society that is very different from the way the state presents itself on the world stage became one of the key elements of the project,” he says. Instead of the orderly and militaristic vision that comes to mind for many when they think of North Korea, Muir captured families and civilians during a night out, at an amusement park, bowling and performing theater, among other scenes. Muir began photographing the series in 2014. The project continued over a twoyear span that included six visits to the

country. Like all visitors to North Korea, he was assigned two guides who also worked as minders. They determined his daily schedule and, with very few exceptions, accompanied him wherever he went. Yet, despite the constant monitoring, Muir says the guides never interfered with his photography. It was, however, difficult to execute more meditative shots since they require longer periods of setup and anticipation. Instead, Muir turned the obstacle into an opportunity to learn, he says, “how to work much faster and on the run.” —Amy Touchette

Photos © Fabian Muir Fabian Muir — “Searching for North Korea”

fabianmuir.com


— Gabriel Isak —

DAZED DELUSIONS

Gear: Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 24-70mm lens.

For Stockholm, Sweden-based photographer Gabriel Isak, photography is symbolic of his re-entry into the world after a seven-year struggle with depression. His early artwork is inspired by both his internal pain and the external world, he says, and the inspiration he found in surrealism and his Swedish heritage. “Dazed Delusions,” a series he photographed in a playground in San Francisco, tells the story of a woman who drifts into an imaginary world—an abstract and dreamy environment where she interacts with the colors, shapes and lines she encounters. The series was inspired by Isak’s introverted and imaginative childhood, whence he immersed himself in the graphic and colorful world to escape lonely days without many friends in the small and isolated town of Huskvarna, Sweden. “I was always fascinated by the bold colors and strong graphic forms and wanted to incorporate these elements into the project,” he says. Drawing from both the fine-art and fashion worlds, he created the series with a mirror, paper and spheres in various configurations to create an illusionary color-blocked atmosphere. Inspired in part by the photography of Julia Hetta, Nygårds Karin Bengtsson, Todd Hido and Miles Aldridge, Isak tapped friend and stylist Teresa Tran to help him produce the shoot. They used a playground near her apartment building for its graphic elements, bold colors and minimal aesthetic that he’s always been attracted to because of his Scandinavian heritage, he says. “Growing up in such pristine nature and country, design has a big impact on everyday life.” —Lindsay Comstock

Photos @ Gabriel Isak gabrielisak.com


32 33

Gabriel Isak — “Dazed Delusions"


Gear: Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 35mm f/1.4L USM lens.

PORTFOLIO OF ONE

Could you define your work with a single image? Documentar y photographer Cédric von Niederhäuser n gives it a tr y.

This black-and-white photograph was taken at a campaign event for the 2016 Democratic primary. But for its photographer, Cédric von Niederhäusern, the image has very little to do with politics. “For me, this photograph marks the moment I realized how alienated I am from everything American,” von Niederhäusern says. The event depicted in this photograph, the McIntyre-Shaheen 100 Club Celebration, was relatively banal—yet another fundraiser held by the Democratic Party in New Hampshire. It was one of many such events, vehicles for the two frontrunners for the Democratic nomination, Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton, to solicit votes (and dollars) from their constituents. But in von Niederhäusern's photo, drenched in shadow but dominated

by the brightness of a screen, it takes on an ominous tone. With all the subjects’ backs turned, facing the glowing rectangle, the otherwise ho-hum campaign event appears as a haunting ritual, its figures worshipping at an altar. With its yearlong tour of debates, rallies and various speaking engagements crisscrossing the country with the media in tow, the American presidential election is certainly a strange and bizarre ritual to an outsider. For von Niederhäusern, a native of Bern, Switzerland, that yearlong tour just happened to coincide with his first year in the United States. Now based in New York City, he seeks to take advantage of his newcomer's perspective to try to find things a more familiar observer might miss, often

locating symbols of his own estrangement in America in the process. “I usually choose political happenings as my backdrop,” von Niederhäusern explains. “But I think as a whole, my work tries to peek behind a curtain that is closed for me, because I’m not from here. I've struggled to assimilate into the United States ever since I arrived, but this struggle is shown in my ambitions to uncover something that an insider might overlook or is, like in this photograph, blinded by.” –Matthew Ismael Ruiz

Portfolio of One is brought to you by Canon. Visit usa.canon.com.

Photo © Cédric von Niederhäusern

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Emerging Photographer Vol. 10, No. 1  
Emerging Photographer Vol. 10, No. 1  

The Spring 2018 issue featuring Mateusz Kowalik, Justin Bettman, Antonio Privitera, Arne Piepke, Joshua Aronson, Jonghun Lee, Morukc Umnaber...