"Artists today explore ideas, concepts, questions and practices that examine the past, describe the present and imagine the future." -Katie Mitalski
Matthew Brandt: Photography
Matthew Brandt is a living artist that works out of Los Angeles, Caliornia. At the age of 31, Brandt has become consumed with making work that revolves around the "natural world and it's disruptions" (1). Brandt has been experiementing with developing his photographs on salted paper, and developing them in the diluted water that is in the specific photograph (1). Brandt will let the photograph soak in the water for extended periods of time, allowing it to become "a substantial part of the photograph" (2). His most famous series is Lakes and Reserviors (all of the pictures shown on the left are from this series), but even after his lake water experimentations he has continued to work his photographs with a portion of the natural object in the image. For example, his series Honeybees (2007) involved the carcasses of the bees in the images to be used in the emulsion of the prints (2).
Brandt is inspirational as an artist and as an art educator simply by his willingness to experiment with traditional and nontraditional artistic tools and techniques of creating work. He is not afraid to step outside of his comfort zone and follow his gut. This is such a vital trait to have not only as an up and coming artist in the art world today, but also as a pre-service art educator. You can’t make a difference in the world unless you try to be that change.
“It’s having a fuller understanding of nature when working with it.”- Matthew Brandt (2).
 Fredrickson, L. F. (2013, September 27). Matthew Brandt maintains the physical aspects of photography. American photo main. Retrieved January 23, 2014, from http://www.americanphotomag.com/photogallery/2013/09/natures-mark
 Reflections on water: 'lakes and reserviors' by Matthew Brandt. (2013, April 4). Lancia TrendVisions. Retrieved January 23, 2014, from http://www.lanciatrendvisions.com/en/arti-on-water-lakes-and-reserviors-by-matthew-brandt
Wolfgang Tillmans: Photography
Wolfgang Tillmans is a 43- year old working artist moving from city to city (mostly residing in New York, Frankfurt, Berlin, and London). His work mostly revolves around his life and the world around it (including his social and political concerns) as well as engaging the history of the medium (1). When he first started taking photographs, his images mostly consisted of portraits of youth culture (1). After becoming famous, Tillmans has turned to working completely in the darkroom to create his images (sometimes entirely doing so without using a camera) (1).
Tillmans is an inspiration to all artists. He's been lucky enough to establish a name for himself in the art world that has awarded him with continuing to be able to make work. Tillmans may not be addressing social or political issues on a regular basis that can impact the world, but he’s making work that references his life, which is similar to the work that I make.
"I want the pictures to be working in both directions. I accept that they speak about me, and yet at the same time, I want and expect them to function in terms of the viewer and their experience. With these abstract pictures, although the eye recognizes them as photographic rather than painted, the eye also tries to connect them to reality." - Wolfgang Tillmans (1).
Nickas, B. (n.d.). Wolfgang Tillmas- page- Interview Magazine. Interview Magazine. Retrieved January 23, 2014, from http://www.interviewmagazine.com/art/wolfgang-tillmans#page2
Loretta Lux: Photography
Loretta Lux originally worked as a painter but has changed her medium to photography. Lux's images although are true photographs, they seem to have a painterly feel to them representing her old background. Lux lives and works as an artist in Ireland but has been represented in various exhibitions and included in collections in both Europe and the United States (1). Lux's images all consit of a child in a spare location that are "manipulated to create physically charged explorations of the nature of childhood and the process of self-discover" (1). Lux will carefully chose her subject, their outfit and the background (which most times is one of her own paintings) before starting to shoot and then digitally manipulates the images to get them just right (1).
Lux is inspirational as an artist to me because she has shown me that you don't simply have to stick to a specific medium your entire career. She has proved to me that I don't have to consider myself solely as a photographer but yet as an artist. Lux is also an inspiration in the way that she has established a name for herself in the art world and has managed to have her work shown across the globe in exhibitions and collections, which I’m sure is not only my dream but every artists' dream as well.
“Because my style is so different from other work, people regard it as a kind of brand, while I’d rather focus on developing the psychological elements in each image”
- Loretta Lux (2).
 Loretta Lux. (n.d.). Aperture Foundation NY RSS. Retrieved January 23, 2014, from http://www.aperture.org/shop/books/imaginary-portraits
 Rijlaarsdam, J. (2011, July 7). GUP - Guide to Unique Photography. GUP: Guide to Unique Photography. Retrieved January 23, 2014, from http://www.gupmagazine.com/articles/222-interview-loretta-lux
Laura Fisher: Photography
Laura Fisher is a 24-year old working artist in the Cincinnati area. Fisher has made unbelievable images that "quietly deals with the issues of communication, self-awareness, and memory" (1). Fisher has also taken a giant leap to make a career for herself through photographing weddings; connecting the Fine Art world and Wedding Photography industry. Laura has become an expert at catching emotion between subjects that she's photographing, and conveying the exact emotion that is being shared between them to her viewers.
Fisher is more than an inspiration for me simply because of everything she has accomplished. She has been able to take making art and use it in a "commerical" photography job; creating a unique style and portfolio for her clients. I have had an amazing opportunity to work with Laura Fisher for 8 months, which allowed me to experience her work and the wedding photography industry. Both of Fisher's fine art and wedding portfolios are breathtaking and I hope to someday have flawless images to call my own like Fisher.
"I love a good story. It moves you; gives you chills; brings you to tears in the best kind of way. As an artist and a photographer, this is how I approach each wedding- as a unique story just waiting to be captured through emotional, time-less images"
- Laura Fisher (2).
 Laura Fisher. (n.d.). Huffington Post. Retrieved January 29, 2014, from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/laura-fisher/
 Laura, F. (n.d.). Laura Fisher Photography. Laura Fisher Photography. Retrieved January 29, 2014, from http://www.laura-fisher-photography.com
Thomas Struth: Photography
Thomas Struth is a 49-year old artist living and making work in Dsseldorf. "Painter Gerhard Richter and photographers Bernd and Hilla Becher, revealed his intelligent, clear-headed approach to taking pictures' after he studied with them (1). Struth likes to take the ordinary objects, spaces, and interactions we encounter and make them art by hanging them on the wall, starting a conversation about how art was art before it was made for museums and gallery spaces. Struth takes photographs that "makes you believe you are there -- or that you have been there or somewhere else like it" (1).
Struth has become an inspiration by his ability to photograph everyday normal locations and events to make them something extra ordinary. This has been a task I've been trying to tackle for quiet some time, and I've found it's extremely difficult to photograph a mundane object so that it looks new, refreshing and interesting. The impact that Struth has been able to make on his viewers with his images is also an inspiration because it's something else I have been trying to accomplish my work.
"I wanted to remind my audience that when art works were made, they were not yet icons or museum pieces."- Thomas Struth (1).
 Tuchman, P. (n.d.). artnet.com Magazine Features - On Thomas Struth's "Museum Photographs". artnet.com Magazine Features - On Thomas Struth's "Museum Photographs". Retrieved January 29, 2014, from http://www.artnet.com/magazine/features/tuchman/tuchman7-8-03.asp