Erwin Olaf

A widely exhibited photographer, Olaf studied journalism before pursuing a career in photography, first in black and white images and then using colour and computer manipulation. His other series are widely varied in subject and include Mature, images of elderly woman in supermodel poses, Royal Blood, white-on-white portraits to rulers who met violent ends, and Separation, a series depicting a cold and disconnected family in a sterile setting. His work is often provocative and his series that frank nude portraiture and staged violence have garnered controversy, but led to highly successful commercial opportunities. He is best known commercially for his work in advertising campaigns for companies such as, Nokia, Levi’s, Lavazza and Microsoft. Olaf has also worked in film, with works being included in and awarded prizes at international film festivals.

Marcel Wanders

Marcel Wanders was born in Boxtel, Netherlands in 1963. He graduated in 1988 from the Institute of the Arts Arnhem and started producing soon after. Major part of his career he has been focusing on interior and industrial projects. One of his signature works include the Knotted Chair, produced by the Dutch design brand Droog, in 1996.

He has a studio in Westerhuis, Amsterdam. He has been working with brand names across the world, including B&B Italia, Bisazza, Cappellini, Droog and Mooi. He is also the art director and co-owner of the latter. Some of his later projects include Lute Suites, the first ‘all over city suites’, hotel situated in the vicinity of Amsterdam. His interior design projects also involve restaurant interiors. His talent and works have been recognised in a variety of ways. The knotted Chair has been acquired as part of the permanent collection of MoMA. Parts of his collections are exhibited in V&A Museum in London, Museum of Decorative Arts in Copenhagen. His works have been covered by many international editions and he has been used as a juror for various design prizes, such as the Rotterdam Design Prize. In 2008 he was also named ‘Master of Design’ by Fast Company, magazine dedicated to successful entrepreneurs.

George Nakashima

George Nakashima was born in June 1905 in Spokane, Washington where he also completed his studies in architecture. In 1931 he graduated with an MA in Architecture from MIT and went on a trip around the world. He lived n France, North Africa and Japan where he started work for an American architect, Antonin Raymond. In the meantime he travelled around Japan exploring the peculiarities of Japanese architecture and design.

In 1937 he took the role of the primary construction consultant commissioned to build a dormitory in India. During the Second World War he was interned and sent to Camp Minidoka in Idaho, where he mastered to a very high level traditional Japanese hand tools and woodworking. After his release from the camp, Nakashima’s style flourished and focused exclusively on the expressiveness of wood. He chose boards with knots and figured grain. He is considered the father of the American craft movement and a significant innovator when it comes to 20th century furniture design. In 1983 he was presented with the Order of the Sacred treasure, an honour given by the Emperor of Japan and the Japanese government. One of his workshops in Japan has become a gallery and a museum and currently his furniture is hitting sales records being deemed to have become “ultracollecatble”.

Sebastiao Salgado

Recognized internationally as a photojournalist and documentary photographer, Salgado was born in Aimorés, Brazil and initially pursued a career in economics prior to abandoning this career in 1973 for one in journalistic and documentary photography. Salgado worked in agencies, notably joining Magnum Photos in 1979. He left Magnum in 1997 to open a studio with his wife. Salgado is best known for his images of workers in under developed nations, such as his series of miner from the Serra Peleda mine in Brazil. He has also developed projects based on his concern for the environment; his current project, Genesis, examines people and communities that have not been significantly impacted by modern life. He has been recognized both for his work by the Academy of Arts and Sciences in the United States, and also for his social activism, becoming a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador.

Florian Maier-Aichen

Born in Stuggart , Germany, Florian Maier-Aichen studied at the University of California Los Angeles, University of Essen, Germany and Hoegskolan for Fotografi och Film Gothenborg, Sweden. He is known for using both traditional photographic techinique as well as computer imaging in his landscape works. His use of computer imaging to manipulate the landscape, which is often shot from an aerial perspective creates tension in the work and forces the viewer to question the concept of the sublime and beautiful landscape. In 2006, he participated in the Whitney Biennial and his work has been included in many public and private collections. 

Robert Polidori

Robert Polidori began his career as an avant-garde filmmaker, but moved to still photography after having completed his M.A. from the State University of New York. There is an emphasis on architectural studies in his works and these highly detailed and evocative images are often shot from an aerial perspective, reminiscent of the Renaissance use of perspective. He is a regular staff photographer with the New Yorker magazine and his work has also appeared in other publications, such as Vanity Fair. Polidori has received international awards for his photography. A recent series of images taken in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina generated controversy first for an image depicting a victim in their bed, and also when images from the series appeared in an online advertising campaign in Brazil.

Sally Mann

Sally Mann is an American photographer best known for her portraits of her children and for landscapes that reference death and decay. Born in Lexington, Virginia Mann began taking photographs using her father’s 5×7 camera when she was attending the Putney School in 1969. In her early career she took photographs for Washington and Lee University, which led to a first solo exhibition 1977 at the Corcoran Gallery of Art. A second series, At Twelve: Portraits of Young Women attracted controversy and interest, but it was her third series Immediate Family, which has garnered the most critical attention for this artist. This series is comprised of 65 black and white images of her children, all under the age of 10, and touch of themes of typical childhood activity, as well as broader and darker themes such as insecurity and death. Mann has been criticized both in the US and abroad for a perceived pornographic element of her work, as it includes nude images of the young children. Mann argued that the images were seen through the eyes of a mother, a response that critics agreed with. In her later career Mann has continued to use her original 8×10 camera, as well as a wet plate collodion 8×10 glass negatives technique. Subjects of her later series have included landscape, decomposition and her husband’s muscular dystrophy. 

Edward Burtynsky

Edward Burtynsky was born in St. Catharine’s, Ontario and studied at Ryerson University in Toronto and Niagara College in Welland. Early links to his industrial photography can be linked to the General Motors plant in his hometown; he is best known for his large-scale vivid images of industry and nature. His work examines the raw elements of industrial processes in the modern landscape and the resulting images present unexpected moments of beauty. His series Manufactured Landscapes also resulted in a documentary film, and his series have toured internationally and been published in a series of books. A recent series of works included aerial photographs of the oil spill from the Deep Horizon rig. 

Philip-Lorca Dicorcia

Born in 1951 in Hartford, Connecticut, DiCorcia studied at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and completed an M.A. in Photography from Yale University, where he currently teaches. DiCorcia is well known for both his snapshots and highly staged portraits, which attempt to subvert the banality of the image and inspire the viewer to consider the emotions captured in the image. His staged images reference documentary photography, but also include elements of theatricality and advertising. In his early staged images, he would photograph family and friends so as to make the viewer think the images were spontaneous. The subjects of his later works were often random people, but elements of the setting, such as hidden lights, would be carefully planned and would often lead to an emphasis on a particular expression or unintentional action taking place in the image. Dicorcia’s work has been recognized by several awards and fellowships.

Marc Newson

Marc Newson was born in 1963 in Sydney. He was influenced by other cultures and places from an early age. He has worked in a variety of styles, focusing on furniture and design, but he has also done commissioned work for private clients. His style is characterised by smooth lines, lack of sharp edges and is often described by other designers as ‘ biopmorphic’.

After he won a grant for his first exhibition, he dedicated his attention to design and has since been working with prestigious brands. The work which granted him world wide acclaim and distinctions like The Royal Designer for Industry in the UK along with a CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) was undoubtedly the Lockheed Lounge. Marc Newson has also dedicated time to developing his own business enterprises, including fine art watch company as well as managing client companies, such as Qantas Airways. His experience and undeniable talent have gained him a position in the Time magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world. His affluence is also proven by the fact that his work is held by major museums like the MoMA, the V&A, and the Centre Georges Pompidou.