Group Project Amy Hursh-Sudanese girl and vulture,1994 Jaime Messing- VJ Day, 1945 Leanna Leeper-The Spanish Family, 1943
Sudanese girl and vulture,1994 By: Kevin Carter
Kevin Carter Kevin Carter was born in 1960 in apartheid South Africa. He grew up in a middle-class, whites only neighborhood. He witnessed firsthand the brutalities of apartheid. After high school Carter studied to become a pharmacist, but later dropped out and was drafted into the army. Following an attack on the base he was stationed at, he decided he wanted to become a news photographer. He started his career in 1983 as a weekend sports photographer. In 1984 he went to work for the Johannesburg Star, here he aligned himself with a group of young, white photojournalists who wanted to expose the brutality of apartheid. They were dubbed the “Big-Bang Club”, known for capturing violence. Carter was the first to photograph a public execution by “necklacing”. In July 1994, in debt, suffering from depression and haunted by the memories of violence and starving children, Kevin Carter committed suicide.
Sudanese girl and vulture,1994 In March 1993 Carter made a trip to Sudan. He was near the village of Ayod when the high-pitched whimpering of an emaciated Sudanese toddler caught his attention. The girl had stopped to rest while struggling to get to a feeding center. A vulture landed nearby, Carter said he waited 20 minutes, hoping the vulture would spread its wings. It didn’t. He snapped the photograph and then chased the vulture away. He came under criticism for photographing, not helping, the little girl. It was this photograph that won him the 1994 Pulitzer Prize. The months that would follow were filled with bad luck and unsuccessful assignments for Carter. By: Amy Hursh
VJ Day, 1945By:Alfred Eisenstaedt
Alfred Eisenstaedt Known as the “Father of Photojournalism”, Alfred Eisenstaedt made a name for himself as a professional photographer and mastered capturing the perfect candid, spontaneous moment such as with the photograph the VJ DAY kiss in Times Square in 1945. Alfred Eisenstaedt was born 1898 in Germany. He grew to love taking photographs and when he was fourteen he was given a camera that had actual rolling film in it. His love of picture taking grew to a lucrative hobby and in the late 1920s he began to sell photographs that became some of the first photojournalistic photos of that time. An example of this was the photo he took of Adolf Hitler and an Italian leader at the beginning of the German’s persecution of the Jews. Being of Jewish decent himself, he left Germany in 1935 for the United States. In 1989 he was awarded the National Medal of Arts and his last photos were of the Clinton family. He was ninety-six years old when he passed away in 1995.
VJ Day, 1945 Once in the US, he set up a nice living in Queens, NY as a professional photographer for Life magazine. Though he worked there for almost forty years, he best known for this VJ Day kiss photo. The back story to the photo was that he was standing in Times Square when he saw a soldier running through the street kissing every female he could. As he was watching him, he saw the soldier grab something white and he snapped photographs of the moment. There is no known identity of the soldier or of the random nurse, but many people have come forward to claim it was them. His motto was “Keep it simple,” and you can tell that although his photographs are simple and unstaged, he knew how to capture a moment and freeze it in time. He will forever be known for his photographs and the way he took a second in time and turned it into art. By: Jaime Messing
Alice Neel The Spanish Family, 1943 Oil on Canvas
Alice Neel Alice Neel was one of the great American painters of the twentieth century. She was also a pioneer among women artists. A painter of people, landscape and still life, Neel was never fashionable or in step with avant-garde movements. Sympathetic to the expressionist spirit of northern Europe and Scandinavia and to the darker arts of Spanish painting, she painted in a style and with an approach distinctively her own. Neel was born near Philadelphia in 1900 and trained at the Philadelphia School of Design for Women. She became a painter with a strong social conscience and equally strong left-wing beliefs. In the 1930s she lived in Greenwich Village, New York and enrolled as a member of the Works Progress Administration for which she painted urban scenes. Her portraits of the 1930s embraced left wing writers, artists and trade unionists. Neel left Greenwich Village for Spanish Harlem in 1938 to get away from the rarefied atmosphere of an art colony. There she painted the Puerto Rican community, casual acquaintances, neighbors and people she encountered on the street. In the 1960s she moved to the Upper West Side and made a determined effort to reintegrate with the art world. This led to a series of dynamic portraits of artists, curators and gallery owners, among them Frank O'Hara, Andy Warhol and the young Robert Smithson. She also maintained her practice of painting political personalities, including black activists and supporters of the women's movement.
Alice Neel In the 1970s, Neel began to paint portraits of her extended family as well as a major series of nudes. Neel's nudes played with the conventions of eroticism while asserting the female point of view. Neel exhibited widely in America throughout the 1970s and in 1974 she held a retrospective exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. She was regularly invited to lecture on her work and became a role model for supporters of the feminist movement. She was elected a member of the National Institute of Arts and Letters (now the American Academy of Arts and Letters), the highest formal recognition of artistic merit in the USA, and received a number of national awards including the International Women's Year Award in 1976 and the National Women's Caucus for Art Award for outstanding achievement in the visual arts in 1979. She died in 1984. The centenary of her birth was marked by a major travelling exhibition held at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York and the Philadelphia Museum of Art among other places.
The Spanish Family, 1943 The center of the photo shows a lady named Margarita whom Neel has painted many times before, only here, with three children, she is the stabilizing force for the infant on her lap and the two children beside her. Showing the family wedged together in front of the Spanish grillwork symbolizes the poverty they left behind. However, the theme of poverty is secondary to the stability provided by the centralized vertical of the now mature mother. In this painting, the matriarchal family, while vulnerable, is presented as an alternative ideal to the dominant model. By: Leanna Leeper