The Top 10 Must Follow Photographers in 2019

1. LEE JEFFRIES (1971 Manchester, UK)

Born in 1971, this English photographer from Manchester started his photographic journey observing the world of football. Meeting a homeless man in the streets of London transformed into an lifelong artistic endeavour. He has taken a series of portraits of homeless people whom he got to know before photographing them. A way of representing them by giving them a voice to tell their stories.

His portraits have a documentary scope to them with a social dimension. The photographer shoots a humanist look, to see an intimacy that he has created by establishing a relationship with them. It also gives the photos a ironic, or even burlesque look to them. He photographs seemingly forced faces, which create  a raw aesthetic: close-ups of faces with a very tight frame in black and white. The RAW format of the image gives a natural light that enhances the contrasts. Jeffries also employs a process of subjectivation to identify bare faces and accentuate their features.

Lee Jeffries homeless portrait

© Lee Jeffries

Lee Jeffries homeless

© Lee Jeffries

2. KRISTOFFER AXÉN (1984 Stockholm, Sweden)

Born 1984 in Stockholm, Sweden, he trained in fine arts in motion design and photography. It was at the Circulations Festival at the Centquatre art centre in Paris that he was recognised as one of the most talented emerging artists. His series of photographs entitled ‘Events in Nature’ deals with the loneliness of man through depersonalised landscapes that bare no trace of life, creating a timeless frame. He sets up a hyperrealist aesthetic (with great post-production work), close to that of cinema: a staging that is reminiscent of Hopper's paintings with very clear lights and an important work on shadows and silhouettes. Each image creates an intriguing atmosphere, suspended in time with both real and surrealist aspects, escaping any form of logic. A subjective work that leaves everyone appreciating his work. People are isolated and do not interact with one another. With such an approach, Axén proposes a reflection and an introspection on the reality that surrounds us, whilst questioning the relational dynamics of humans.

Kristoffer Axén Escape

2017, Escape
Various Sizes, Archival Pigment Print
© Kristoffer Axén

Kristoffer Axén Sundrugs

2015, Sundrugs
Various Sizes, Archival Pigment Print
© Kristoffer Axén

Kristoffer Axén The Hidden Day

2013, The Hidden Day
Various Sizes, Archival Pigment Print
© Kristoffer Axén

Kristoffer Axén The Man Who Never Came Back

2012, The Man Who Never Came Back
Various Sizes, Archival Pigment Print
© Kristoffer Axén

Kristoffer Axén It Will Come From the Shadows

2012, It Will Come From the Shadows
Various Sizes, Archival Pigment Print
© Kristoffer Axén

3. ANTONIA GRUBER (1993, Remscheid, Germany)

Born in 1993, in Remscheid, Germany, Antonia Gruber takes a new approach to tackles the theme of ‘the face’: dissimulation. Indeed, by playing on the duplication and multiplication of points of view, Antonia Gruber shatters the centrality of the face. He undermines the model by disrupting the face using objects, like tissues, for example. These objects disturb our perception allowing sensations to filter through. By modifying their faces with objects, the models can be interpreted as representing the human psyche, showing the models’ true emotions. Furthermore, the way the model is perceived is altered due to the obstacles, which transform their faces.

Antonia Gruber Selbstportrait

© Antonia Gruber Antonia Gruber Blue Glass Bottle

© Antonia Gruber

antonia gruber photo

© Antonia Gruber

4. MAX PINCKERS (1988, Brussels, Belgium)

Born in 1988 in Belgium, Max Pinckers trained at the KASK / School of Arts University College Ghent. His photography goes beyond the photo frame itself. The artist articulates a discourse around the image and its possibilities, and uses the ritual of gaze and vision as a means of apprehension. The concepts portrayed in his work are truth, vision, belief systems and objectivity.

Margins of Excess (2018) is a so-called documentary project. The artist's photo book is the result of a six-month trip to the United States in 2016. Pinckers describes a time in which truth and lies intermingle and produce a culture of "hyper individual truths". This new approach to deciphering narratives defies our perception of a complex and changing reality, emerging in the midst of our current hyper-visual culture, bombarded with images.

You can follow him on Instagram @maxpinckers

max pinckers the great moment

© Max Pinckers

5. YUNG CHENG LIN (Tainan, Taiwan)

The work of this Taiwanese artist is characterised by surreal images, which can be interpreted in various different ways. Yung Cheng Lin is fascinated by the human body, placing her models in improbable positions in the most delusional contortions possible. She tackles fundamental themes such as fragility, maturity and violence.

Her images are conceptual creating surreal clichés, incorporating everyday objects, or even bananas. Yung Cheng Lin addresses the condition of women with a critical and feminist regard. To further explore this idea, she deforms her models’ bodies, giving them an objective aspect. These images are disturbing to look at and, more broadly, they criticise our society and the expose societal pressures about body image and body perfection.

Yung Cheng Lin bananas

© Yung Cheng Lin

yung cheng lin

© Yung Cheng Lin

Yung cheng lin

© Yung Cheng Lin

6. MIKAEL ALDO (1996, Jakarta, Indonesia)

This photographer, Aldo, is only 22 years old and was born in Jakarta, Indonesia. His images capture the intense emotions of his subjects. The human is at the centre of the action and merges with nature. The artist’s photographic style is a mix of surrealist photography and street portraits.

The scenery in which the photos are shot can be seen in a different way due to the photographer’s revamped choice of perspective. The way the photos are framed gives the images an energy and instills a feeling of movement in the person observing. Whether it’s a desire for freedom or a cry of despair, the energy in the images reflects the emotion of the model.

mikael aldo

© Mikael Aldo

mikael aldo

© Mikael Aldo

7. MARTA BEVACQUA (1989, Rome, Italy)

Marta Bevacqua was born in Rome in 1989 but currently lives in Paris. She started photographing at the age of 16, and not long after was scouted by the Getty Image agency. Her work has been published in fashion magazines, such as Vogue Italy.

Her works have a dreamlike style, creating supernatural images which are on the border between dream and reality. Marta Bevacqua mainly photographs women but she goes beyond the aesthetic beauty of her models and tells a story through them. The images are often close-ups of faces, where no detail is left out. She incorporates nature into the shots, so that the model and nature become one, as if a parallel world has been created between subject and setting. The play of colour and light (both natural and artificial) is present in order to create surprising and mysterious images simultaneously.

© Marta Bevacqua

marta bevacqua

© Marta Bevacqua

marta bevacqua

© Marta Bevacqua

8. SIGNE EMMA (in collaboration with THEODOULOS POLYVIOU) (Copenhagen/London)

This visual artist, who collaborates with Theodoulos Polyviou under the artistic name BLØR, specialises in the production of still images and small films.

They create new, conceptual images by mixing old and new mediums in the creative processes. They investigate the relationship between real and virtual (conceptual approach) by manipulating images, mixing traditional photography and digital 3D technology. The series of photographs changes the style of the still life. It takes the rules of the classical era but changes them to appeal to our contemporary visual culture. On the whole, these are contradictory objects juxtaposed and put in absurd arrangements, making us question our own reality. Furthermore, the title choice is not arbitrary, but rather references great artists such as Salvador Dali (The Great Masturbator), or addresses the disturbing nature of the image.

Signe Emma objects

Illustration for SID Magazine
© Signe Emma

Signe Emma bust


9. LOUIS LE KIM (Paris, France)

Louis Le Kim is a very versatile young French artist (hand drawings, digital drawings, videos, photos). His work shows places that seem suspended in time. They are isolated landscapes, a sort of no man's land devoid of life. Thanks to Google Earth he found industrial sites, military zones, mines, ghost towns, etc. His photographs "urbex" (urban explorations) retrace his visits to these forgotten, empty, abandoned and sometimes dangerous ghosts towns. Louis Le Kim changes the way we perceive the environment in which the images were taken. Furthermore, it brings them to life thanks to a photographic work, playing with perspective and the application of light.

louis le kim photo landscape

© Louis Le Kim

louis le kim

© Louis Le Kim

10. SONIA MADRIGAL (Ciudad Nezahualcóyotl, Mexico)

After studying computer science, Sonia Madrigal began taking photos in 2009 with photographer Mark Powel. In 2018, she was selected to participate in the 18th Biennale of Photography at the Centre of Images. She has participated in exhibitions in Latin America, the United States and Europe.

She highlights the "banal", paying great attention to detail and created an engaged look to echoe her project about violence towards women in deprived areas of Mexico City. Her series The Dead Times discusses the daily commutes of the urban population to work or school. Sonia Madrigal thus develops a collective and anonymous portrait with a social and political critique. These images reflect the ordinary and the attitudes of people on public transport.

Sonia Madrigal girls and dad in van

© Sonia Madrigal

sonia madrigal dead times

© Sonia Madrigal

07 Jan 2019 by Coral Nieto garcia

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