Old Masters Project, Sylwia Makris

Sylwia Makris is responsible for the photographic realization of the Old Masters project. The Polish photographer began her artistic career as a sculptor before starting to focus on photography in 2007. Through her intense artworks, which have been published in numerous art and fashion magazines, she soon made a name for herself. Her clients include actors and musicians, but also accomplished models, such as Shaun Ross and Melanie Gaydos. Sylwia’s works have an emotional depth which allows the viewer to experience the atmosphere during capture. “A face always tells more, than it knows,” Makris says. “ Photography is never just a capture of what is. It always communicates what has been, what could have been and also the suffering beneath the surface.”
The Old Masters project aims to utilize the capacity inherent in all of us to change and to reevaluate our point of view. We are therefore very pleased to present this ambitious project of Sylwia Makris.
We would also like to thank the Fashiondesigner Nina Athanasiou for creating and providing the costumes.
Old masters’ paintings that have been newly interpreted for this project continue to exert an influence on all of us. Is it possible to freely rediscover universal beauty – if it even exists? This is the question that marks the beginning and end of the Old Masters project. The works shown strive to tackle this question by emphasizing the need for a critical analysis of the often outlandish and exagerrated ideals of beauty of our present times and our society.
The famous painting “Gabrielle d’Estrées and One of Her Sisters,” for example, was recreated for the project with a breast cancer patient after a mastectomy. Models with Down syndrome impressively recreated other famous paintings used for the project. Other participators include the albino models Shaun Ross and Diandra Forrest, the transgender model Garrison Partusch, the completely tattooed Zombie Boy, Melanie Gaydos, who is suffering from a gene defect, collector of morbidities Ryan Matthews and his wife Regina, New York-based influencers like James Gallagher and Brett David, and the model Elliott Sailors, known for her experimentation with gender roles. Berlin and Munich will be represented by David Baum, chief editor of GQ, actress Nora Tschirner, electro visionary DJ Hell, nightlife veterans Frank Künster, Conny Opper and Liz Paige as well as the artist Vera Kochubey, Tanja Siren, Florentine Joop, Tristan Boettcher, author Hasan Cobanli and the siblings Lucas und Frederike von Cranach.
Over a period of one year the picture’s subjects were explored and chosen in close cooperation with the respecive models, in order for them and their personalities to be represented in the best possible way. It is thus no suprise that the selection ranges from Botticelli’s religious motives to Caravaggio, Lucas von Cranach, Gustav Klimt and Hans Baldung Grien.

Dmitri Baltermants

Dmitri Baltermants (1912-1990) was born in Warsaw, Poland, which at that time was part of the Russian Empire. His father, Grigory Stolovitski, was an officer in the Imperial Russian Army, while his mother came from a family of Polish intellectuals. Dmitri’s parents divorced when he was three years old. Shortly after the divorce, his mother married a lawyer, Nikolai Baltermants, who adopted Dmitri and gave him the Baltermants name. World War I claimed the life of Dmitri’s father and drove the Baltermants family out of Poland to Moscow (1915). Dmitri spent his childhood amidst civic dissolution, revolution, civil war, and a drastic reorganization of state, property and society. He lived with his mother, who was fluent in several European languages and worked as a typist, in a cramped communal apartment. After leaving secondary school, Dmitri had odd jobs, including rendering architectural drawings, working as a cinema mechanic, and being an apprentice printer at the Izvestia Printing House, where he developed interest in photography. The printing house sent him to study mathematics at the Moscow State University. After the graduation in1939 Dmitri was assigned to teach mathematics at the Military Academy, where he received a rank of captain. A few months later, Izvestia (the Communist Party newspaper) sent him to Western Ukraine to cover the Soviet invasion of Poland, although no photographic material survived, Baltermants’ future was determined, it was the beginning of a long career in photojournalism.

During World War II, Baltermants covered major battles (including the one in Stalingrad) for Izvestia and for the Red Army newspaper Na Razgrom Vraga. He fought and photographed in Ukraine, Poland, and Germany, reaching Berlin in 1945. He was wounded twice. Many of his most famous images (like Attack, Grief, On the Roads of War) were published only after the war (in the 1960s). Nevertheless, Baltermants emerged from the war with the reputation as one of the brilliant young war photographers. He started working for Ogonyok, popular illustrated magazine, and through his work the Baltermants name became quite well known. He traveled across the Soviet Union as well as abroad. He photographed Mao Tsetung during Khrushchev’s visit to China and Fidel Castro when he traveled to Cuba (and the United States) with Brezhnev. During the course of his career, Baltermants photographed every Soviet leader from Stalin to Gorbachev.

Baltermants considered himself an expert in staged photography, he enjoyed ‘playing with negatives,’ adding details to photographs from other stills (e.g. Grief, in which threatening, black clouds in the background were superimposed from another negative). His perfect compositions, expert use of color gained him praise from both the authorities and Soviet public. His first personal exhibition abroad was in London in 1964 (the same year he became Ogonyok’spicture editor) and in New York in 1965. As his prestige in the world of photography grew over the years, he served as the president of the photography department at the Society of Friendship with Foreign Nations and represented the Soviet Union at various international photo events.  In June 1990, Baltermants became ill from a kidney infection and died a week later. He had a commemorative exhibition at International Center of Photography in New York in 1992.

Sylwia Makris

Sylwia Makris was born in 1973 in Gdynia, Poland. She worked as a sculptor before finding her way to photography in 2007. Today she lives in Munich as freelance photographer.
She photographs people. People who are strong or delicate, broken or dynamic. She photographs faces of our time-and in doing so gives a face to our time. Nakedness is the most natural state. And in our day the most intrusive and common-every-where naked bodies are used to tempt, advertise and sell. Nakedness can only say as much as it is allowed to say. Sylwia Makris respects the nude body as part of a story that must be told. As part of a stroy that tels of people, nakedness regains its original magic, its archaic power and its complexity of expression in Makris’ photos. Until the viewer sometimes feels more naked than the model in the image.

Dreams, Michał Giedrojć

Most of us loves balancing on the border of our own desires and reality. Everyone has own dreams , creates a world, people and places through the eyes of unbridled imagination. That is what concerns the series „ Dreams”. These black & white artistic photographies, infecting an intriguing look at everything that surrounds us, what is or may become a cause of labor of the mind, thoughts, imagination, illusions. In this creative photography series, dreams turn out to be extremely moody frames which combines the minimalism and incredible attention to detail, realism and surrealism, anxiety with aplomb. These are the adversities that are in contact with each other on the border of two worlds, they show various possibilities which open up our imagination, creative vein, and above all, (un)realistic dreams. The main roles in my experimental photography play the photo heroes. Portraits are very physical, tangible indeed, specific, full of expressiveness and individual character. Their existence clearly distinguished in the foggy landscapes, nostalgic entourage, lyricism and intimacy interiors and places to which they were assigned or simply grasp just there. In fact, we can not be quite sure whether the surrounding world belongs to them or perhaps they were placed in it intentionally, specially pushed into another reality. In additional, there are often quite strange attributes with which they have to overcome. It is worth to notice puzzling gestures or specific set of silhouettes. Characters are trying to communicate something, speak with their eyes, signs, they send signals. Looking at the every creative photography you can ask yourself: is it real or dream? Where are these romantic views from, who are these people, why is it made on this way? A lots of questions. Questions can therefore be the basis to reflect on the reality of dreams and how huge can be human imagination, to what does it lead, what do our dreams tell. In this case, the creator of the various worlds is the author of this experimental photography, it is up to him the stay of every person, he is the master each of the perpetuated situations. This kind o artistic photography, seemingly having to be documentation of reality, becomes some reflection of fantasy, fun and stare into each other, making own surrealist thoughts which might have a chance to be represented in the real world. But it only depends on the individual viewer’s gaze to the dreamy theme

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Wladyslaw Pawelec

Generally, the idea of nude [photography] is unambiguously identified with the image of female body. Only naked woman looks naturally. Naked man looks not dressed

Barbara Kosakowska

Barbara Kosakowska was born in Cracow, Poland.

Young photographer and visual artist, interested  in issues of biology, pathology and botany, well fairy tales and novels of somewhere between reality and dream.

Currently studying graphic on Jan Matejko Academy of Fine Arts in Cracow, took part in several group exhibitions in Poland.

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Michał Giedrojć

Age group 1980, artist-photographer from Poland, student of Photography at the University of Arts in Poznań, for many years in the photographic branch. He had so many exhibitions – both individual and group, in Poland and abroad. Publications of his works were shown for years in many magazines around the world. He is a laureate of many competitions – especially those of international importance. He cooparate with various artists, also willingly shares his experience with other adepts of photographic art, leads workshops and meetings.

First of all, he is interested in creative photography. All photos represent his own, subjective view of reality, people, places. In works he gives you the possibility to get to know his visions, his perception of the world, the unreal world. Most of them are based on graphically manipulated images, the vision is filtered by sensitivity. Situation presented in artistic photography never happened and were only created by author’s imagination and dreams. The quality, the consequence, the imagination – this is very important to him in photography, especially experimental photography. He likes this kind of conflict between what is realistic and what constitutes the author’s imagination on the subject of a particular scene.

As he admits, experimental photography is pure passion, the idea of not only creation, but also for life. The uniqueness of moments leads to a subjective presentation of reality, emotions, details. He is not afraid of his own opinion, he is looking for the truth.

The creative process does not start with pressing the shutter button. This is just one part of the whole work. In artistic photography, creation starts with an idea, and the author never stars work without special vision of the photo. Time spent in front of computer monitor is the most important moment in the formation of the world on a particular picture, but the same focus is needed on every creative step.

The artist as his main artistic point consider his dreams visions, however, the creative photography allows him to wider artistic activities. He likes playing with expanse, different situations, or even yourself – his self-portraits. Everything is done without preconceived rules, which gives enormous possibilities. The main thing in his job is to arouse feelings and emotions in the audience, even if this would be a complete denial of all effects. This is just artistic photography – so many hours to create, thenthe final element of surprise, sometimes even for the author.

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Anna Bodnar

I’m born in 1982 in Poland. I’m philologist and a computer graphic artist. Presently, I’m a joint owner of an advertising agency. Since March 2008 I’m also a member of an Association of Polish Art Photographers, and from 1 january 2011 member of Royal Photographic Society.
Visual art interested me always; it shows more than words can ever do. Throughout the years, I have been looking for different artistic ways of expressing myself. What I do is my passion and I am simply crazy about it. This passion, emotions, distaste to the unreal and plastic world are deep down in me. It is understanding myself; it is understanding other people; it is something unspoken of; it is a taboo. It is love to freedom that I have not known yet.. My usual sources of inspiration are day-to-day life and literature. M work and my art expresses who I am and therefore, I have a very emotional about it. I use regular photos, as well as different processing software programs for my graphic works.

Dmitri Baltermants

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Marcin Sobas

 

 

I was born and now living in Poland, Silesia region. I have a master’s degree in economy and at this moment developing my professional career in IT. Ever since I can remember I have always been sensitive for the charms of nature. I believe this is originating from my father who was also the one who gifted me a compact camera. This was the very moment that have initiated my adventure with photography. Next key milestone was the purchase of a professional DSLR camera, from that moment on I started to take photography for serious – and in a much more conscious way. It has become my greatest passion.

I specialize in landscape photography. My favorite themes are rolling farmlands, foggy mornings in the mountains and by the lakes. I do my best to have every single picture to tell a different story where the light and conditions are the main characters. These two factors make the world look extreme and unreal at various times of a day and year. In the future I plan to check myself also in other areas like birds and wildlife photography which I find fascinating.

David Seymour

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David Seymour was born in 1911 in Warsaw into a family of publishers that produced works in Yiddish and Hebrew. His family moved to Russia at the outbreak of the First World War, returning to Warsaw in 1919.

After studying printing in Leipzig and chemistry and physics at the Sorbonne in the 1930s, Szymin stayed on in Paris. David Rappaport, a family friend who owned the pioneering picture agency Rap, lent him a camera. One of Szymin’s first stories, about night workers, was influenced by Brassaï’s Paris de Nuit (1932). Szymin – or ‘Chim’ – began working as a freelance photographer. From 1934, his picture stories appeared regularly in Paris-Soir and Regards. Through Maria Eisner and the new Alliance agency, Chim met Henri Cartier-Bresson and Robert Capa.

From 1936 to 1938 Chim photographed the Spanish Civil War, and after it was over he went to Mexico on an assignment with a group of Spanish Republican émigrés. On the outbreak of the Second World War he moved to New York, where he adopted the name David Seymour. Both his parents were killed by the Nazis. Seymour served in the US Army (1942-45), winning a medal for his work in intelligence.

In 1947, along with Cartier-Bresson, Capa, George Rodger, and William Vandivert, he founded Magnum Photos. The following year he was commissioned by UNICEF to photograph Europe’s children in need. He went on to photograph major stories across Europe, Hollywood stars on European locations, and the emergence of the State of Israel. After Robert Capa’s death he became the new president of Magnum. He held this post until 10 November 1956, when, traveling near the Suez Canal to cover a prisoner exchange, he was killed by Egyptian machine-gun fire.

Daras Bareya

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Patryk Kuleta

 

 

 

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SEBASTIAN CVIQ

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Cezary Swiatloczuly

Katarzyna Widmanska

Katarzyna Widmanska

JURIJ TRESKOW

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Jurij Treskow was born in 1984 in Polozk (Belarus) and grew up in Brest (Belarus). At the age of 17 he moved to Germany. In 2008 Jurij started doing photography in Berlin.

In 2009 he settled in Paris to become a professional photographer.

Treskow’s work is characterised by an intuitive sense of sexuality and attention to detail. In his mostly Black & White pictures, his favorite subject is a woman, a femme fatale – strong, confident and reckless.

Treskow’s photographs have been featured in Numero Russia, Esquire Russia , Elle Ukraine, Interview Russia, Grazia France, OOB Magazine, Sobaka Russia, Fucking Young Magazine, Contributor magazine, Simply The Mag , WAD, Treats Magazine

He has also done portraits of celebrities such as Takado Kenzo, Innez de la Fressange, Natalia Rykiel, Pierre Cardin, Barbara Bui, Anna Valerie Hash, Christian Louboutin, Guy Larioche, Damir Doma, David Koma, Jitrois,
S. Mazaev, Doplhin, Erik Bulatov, D’Ornanos, Alisa Freindlich. Verushka, Rick Owens, Peter Philips, Fanny Ardant, Bill Gaytten, Andrew GN, Gerard Depardieu