20.9.22

Artists discuss how they turned the queen into an icon


When Chris Levine, a Canadian artist, was commissioned to make a holographic portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, who died in Scotland on Thursday, he took an unusual approach to getting her to relax.

Levine burned incense in the Yellow Drawing Room in Buckingham Palace where the shoot was taking place, and installed a light sculpture to gently pulse soothing colors around the space. Later, he encouraged the queen to shut her eyes between shots and focus on her breathing as if she were in a meditation class.

“Looking back, it was quite surreal,” Levine said in an interview in February. “I was trying to get beyond the persona of the queen, through to the essence of her being,” he recalled of his meetings with the monarch. “That’s where the real beauty is.”

Levine’s methods may be unorthodox, but they produced several celebrated images of the queen, particularly “Lightness of Being,” which depicts her with her eyes closed, as if caught in a moment of spiritual reflection.

According to Levine, when Mario Testino, the fashion photographer, saw “Lightness of Being,” he said: “People need to see this. It’s the most beautiful image.” Levine said he expected the image to be shared widely on social media after the queen’s death.

Queen Elizabeth sat for hundreds of official portraits like Levine’s during her seven decades on the British throne. But what was it like for artists to meet her, and try to make a distinct image? We spoke to three artists behind key portraits of the queen to find out.


‘Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh and Queen Elizabeth II,’ 2011
Thomas Struth, photographer

I did much more preparation than I normally would for a family portrait.

I looked at a ton of photographs that exist of her — hundreds — and thought, “People don’t look at her as a person, as a woman.” I wanted to show the queen and Prince Philip as an elderly couple who’re very close to each other and used to each other.

One of my requests was that I needed to choose the queen’s dress, because I didn’t want the danger that she’d show up in a bright yellow one that would make it impossible for me to make a good picture. When I’d looked at other portraits, so many had her wearing something bright, and it just makes her chest the dominant signal and her face look small.

Becoming queen. Following the death of King George VI, Princess Elizabeth Alexandra Mary ascended to the throne on Feb. 6, 1952, at age 25. The coronation of the newly minted Queen Elizabeth II took place on June 2 the following year.


A historic visit. On May 18, 1965, Elizabeth arrived in Bonn on the first state visit by a British monarch to Germany in more than 50 years. The trip formally sealed the reconciliation between the two nations following the world wars.


First grandchild. In 1977, the queen stepped into the role of grandmother for the first time, after Princess Anne gave birth to a son, Peter. Elizabeth’s four children have given her a total of eight grandchildren, who have been followed by several great-grandchildren.


Princess Diana’s death. In a rare televised broadcast ahead of Diana’s funeral in 1997, Queen Elizabeth remembered the Princess of Wales, who died in a car crash in Paris at age 36, as “an exceptional and gifted human being.”


Golden jubilee. In 2002, celebrations to mark Elizabeth II's 50 years as queen culminated in a star-studded concert at Buckingham Palace in the presence of 12,000 cheering guests, with an estimated one million more watching on giant screens set up around London.


A trip to Ireland. In May 2011, the queen visited the Irish Republic, whose troubled relationship with the British monarchy spanned centuries. The trip, infused with powerful symbols of reconciliation, is considered one of the most politically freighted trips of Elizabeth’s reign.


Breaking a record. As of 5:30 p.m. British time on Sept. 9, 2015, Elizabeth II became Britain’s longest-reigning monarch, surpassing Queen Victoria, her great-great-grandmother. Elizabeth was 89 at the time, and had ruled for 23,226 days, 16 hours and about 30 minutes.


Marking 70 years of marriage. On Nov. 20, 2017, the queen and Prince Philip celebrated their 70th anniversary, becoming the longest-married couple in royal history. The two wed in 1947, as the country and the world was still reeling from the atrocities of World War II.


Losing her spouse. In 2021, Queen Elizabeth II bade farewell to Prince Philip, who died on April 9. An image of the queen grieving alone at the funeral amid coronavirus restrictions struck a chord with viewers at home following the event.


On the day, my feeling was they were surprised everything was so well prepared. The queen’s dresser said, “You may touch the queen if necessary,” and after two or three exposures I realized a pillow behind her back was lining up badly, so I walked to her, moved her forward and changed its position. She found that somewhat surprising.

I exposed 17 plates and then knew I was done. I just sensed I had the image. I had 15 more minutes left, but I gave them that as a gift — some unprogrammed time.

I heard later that when they saw the picture in a museum, they stood in front of it for a long time. It’s quite big — eight feet wide and maybe six feet high — and it’s very, very sharp. You can see all her veins. Prince Philip said, “How did he do that?”



Credit...Justin Mortimer; Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts 
Manufacturers & Commerce; Bridgeman Images


I was 27 and I think they chose me because they were keen to modernize the public’s view of the monarchy, since they were being lambasted at the time as these inward-looking, irrelevant people.

It was a little overwhelming at the first sitting. When she walked in, I instantly addressed her the wrong way!

I started by taking some photos. She had a very, very straight gaze, and she never blinked, even though I was going closer and closer with my Polaroid camera. When I pulled back from her, I realized I’d shot all these Polaroids straight into her lap, which was embarrassing, but she was, like, “Don’t worry, dear. Lord Snowden used to shoot me all the time on these.”

I just remember thinking: “I’m in the presence of this human being who has met all the iconic people of the 20th century. Just down the corridor, she would have met Jackie and J.F.K., and Churchill and Idi Amin. Everyone from heroes to criminals.”

In my studio, the only way I could approach it was to paint her in the context of my other works at the time, and I did have these figures with disjoined limbs and slightly dismembered heads, so I ended up basically taking out her neck. It was a bit cheeky. I knew people would bring ideas, like, “Cut off her head!” to it.

I didn’t go in as a raging republican. I just wanted to suggest this vein of unease about the royal family at the time.

After it appeared, I had newspapers all around the world calling me and interviewing me, and people seemed really affronted by what I’d done. But the fact it’s still remembered shows the work has an almost iconic status.

I don’t know what the queen thought of it. But funnily enough, I was asked to do another portrait for the Royal Collection of Lord Chamberlain, who was this very grand old gentleman in the royal household. I’m wondering if that gives you an inkling of the queen’s sense of humor, getting me to “do the business” on this fellow.


Credit...Chris Levine (artist) and Rob Munday (holographer); Jersey Heritage Trust

I was going to make a holographic portrait of her and was originally thinking of making a pulse laser hologram, which would have involved exposing Her Majesty under laser light. But I got nervous on health and safety grounds, that someone was going to say, “You’re kidding, aren’t you? You want to fire lasers at the queen?”

So we came up with a different approach, where we have a camera move along a track taking a series of 200 stills from left to right, and then making a hologram from each still.

I had an idea in my mind from the beginning — to get beyond all the noise and reduce her to a kind of essence. I wanted to make it really iconic, something that would resonate.

At the time, I was really getting into meditation and was almost evangelical about it. So when the camera had finished a run and was resetting, I asked Her Majesty to breathe. I had another camera in the middle of the track, and took the image that became “Lightness of Being” while she was resting.

I called the first portrait I made “Equanimity,” and I do think she developed this mechanism of being equanimous and not giving anything away, to protect herself almost.

I showed her the work in progress at Windsor Castle — just me, her and her corgis — and asked what she felt about the title and she said, cryptically, “Well, things aren’t always as they seem.”

We did talk about meditation, yes. She said her meditation was gardening at Balmoral.

Whatever indifference I might have had about the queen up until the commission, I felt a real affection for her by the end.

Alex Marshall is a European culture reporter, based in London

9.9.22

Queen Elizabeth II


Your Majesty,
I was deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Your Majesty's mother, the late Queen Elizabeth II. Allow me to express to Your Majesty, to the Royal Family, and to the British people my most sincere condolences on behalf of the United Photo Press - Artists.
Her passing leaves a sense of loss in the lives of many in the United Kingdom, in the Commonwealth and throughout the world. Our thoughts and prayers are with all those who mourn and remember her.
Her courage and devotion to serving her country was a source of great strength to many and an anchor of stability in the hardest times. The Queen’s steadfast dedication to her country, love of family and of her people informed every day of her long reign. Her empathy and ability to connect with every passing generation, while remaining rooted in the traditions that truly mattered to her, was an example of true leadership.
Her reign defined the history of your nation and our continent. She symbolised the best of the United Kingdom, its people and its values. She meant so much to so many and, on a personal note, has been an inspiration throughout our lifes.
Our hearts and minds are with Your Majesty, and we wish Your Majesty and the people of the United Kingdom strength and wisdom in carrying on her work, knowing that we will all continue to find inspiration in the unique legacy she has left us.
I avail myself of this opportunity to renew to Your Majesty the assurances of our highest consideration.
United Photo Press - Artists

8.9.22

The Life and Reign of Queen Elizabeth


From wartime princess to elderly monarch, the magazine’s writers captured the Queen at milestone moments across the decades.

Queen Elizabeth II, the longest-reigning monarch in British history, died on Thursday at the age of ninety-six. During her eventful life, her country’s role in the world transformed, and so did her own place within the United Kingdom. 

For more than eighty of those years, Elizabeth appeared in the pages of The New Yorker, as a wartime princess, as a young bride, and, later, through her many iterations as a ruler, matriarch, individual, and symbol. We’ve collected some of those pieces below.


The Rise of Princess Elizabeth
A new queen may be mounting England’s ancient throne.



A Ringside Seat at the Wedding




Princess Elizabeth, Heiress Apparent
Her calm performance as deputy for her father struck the crowds—and the papers, all of a heap.




London Salutes the New Queen
The news of Elizabeth II’s accession reaches a population that no longer believes it is all roses being a queen.




The Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II
It seemed that everyone in the world was here.



The Elder Daughter—I
The business of being queen.
The Queen’s Touch
How far is it worth travelling to have dinner with Her Majesty—and Prince Philip, of course (you can’t forget Prince Philip)?




Elizabeth II’s Fine-Tuned Feelings
In time for her Golden Jubilee, two biographies show how the Queen came to rule from the heart.




Elizabeth II, the Brexit Queen
For the British monarch, the Brexit vote marks an almost Shakespearean turn.




The Passing of Prince Philip
What must he have thought when he reflected upon the accomplishments and the travails of the family and institution of which he was long the patriarch, if not ever the head?

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3.9.22

Berlin Photo Week 2022


This will be an extraordinary day. We are proud to host Magnum photographers on the Conference Stage on Saturday in cooperation with the well-known news magazine DER SPIEGEL.

DER SPIEGEL – politically independent, not affiliated with any economic group, committed only to itself and its readers and users – has stood for investigative journalism for 75 years. Its editors set the news, provide context in an increasingly complex world and set the pace in public debate.

This is the ideal combination to interview Magnum Photos’ great photographers on the burning issues of the current times. Each photographer is assigned an editor from DER SPIEGEL as an interviewee.

Moderator: Heike Ollertz, Professor for Photography at the UE University of Europe for Applied Sciences

2.9.22

Malaga Fashion Week 2022


One of the biggest events in Malaga takes place in September – Malaga Fashion Week takes over Calle Larios. For two full evenings as local, Spanish and international fashion design struts its stuff along the longest catwalk in Europe, all 300 metres of it lined with stunning turquoise carpet. 

Now into its eighth year and attracting big names on the fashion scene, Malaga Fashion Week is a must-see if you happen to be in the city during September.

This year’s event takes place at 8pm on Friday 2 and Saturday 3 September on Calle Larios. There will be fashion shows on the catwalk on both evenings and all the shows will be streamed live via social media.

The shows will put Malaga fashion in the spotlight and showcase its talent. Expect to see some beautifully-crafted outfits. On the catwalk, you’ll see a long line-up of evening dresses and suits, swimwear and bridal wear as well as other formal outfits.

Photography by Frank Ramos
https://www.facebook.com/FrankMalaga
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19.8.22

World Photography Day


Since the early 19th century, photography has become an ever-increasing medium of personal expression and appreciation for countless people around the world.


A photograph has the ability to capture a place; an experience; an idea; a moment in time. For this reason, it's said that a picture is worth a thousand words. Photographs can convey a feeling faster than, and sometimes even more effectively than words can. A photograph can make the viewer see the world the way the photographer sees it.

Photographs even transcend the passing of time - a photo from a hundred years ago can still be as appreciated now, as it was then. A photo taken tomorrow, can still be just as appreciated by others in a hundred years' time.

Join the World Photography Day celebration, this August 19th. Go out and capture a moment.


#unitedphotopress

16.8.22

PORTUGAL MASTERS 2022 Stays in Portugal


The Portugal Masters is once again part of the 2022 DP World Tour official calendar and will take place at Dom Pedro Victoria Golf Course, in Vilamoura, from October 27 to October 30, with the Pro-Am on the 26th.
 
This year will be the 16th time the tournament has been played. Established in 2007, it is contested annually at the Arnold Palmer–designed Dom Pedro Victoria Golf Course.
 
The tournament of €1.75 million in cash prizes will culminate in the 'Iberian Swing' from the final phase of the season, after three straight weeks in Spain.
 
Last year, Thomas Pieters became the 14th different champion of the Portugal Masters and in the first Belgian to win it. Thomas Pieters won with a total of 19 strokes under par and a 2 advantage strokes over three players at the Dom Pedro Victoria Golf Course.
 
To quote DP World Tour's "Chief Tournament Business Officer" Ben Cowen: "The Dom Pedro Victoria Golf Course has provided immense sports drama and enthusiasm for over the years. We are therefore delighted for returning for the 16th consecutive year to this course as the stage for the Portugal Masters».
«We value the long-term support of Turismo de Portugal to this tournament, which takes Portugal to our audience on a global scale," added the leader of European golf.
 
Stefano Saviotti, the 'Chairman' of Dom Pedro Hotels & Golf Collection, said: "The Portugal Masters is extremely important as a showcase for golf in the Algarve and we are pleased to welcome the best golfers in the world at Dom Pedro Victoria Course, in Vilamoura».
 
Luís Araújo, the President of Turismo de Portugal, considered: «Portugal has consolidated its international prestige as a 'premium' golf destination, which, in large part, is due to the quality and diversity of courses across the country».
 
“The numerous awards and distinctions that we have been targeted only confirm this fact and the trust that the DP World Tour places in the country are especially important. In each one of the last 15 years, Portugal has received one of the tournaments on the calendar of the Tour, the Portugal Masters», underlined Luís Araújo.
 
“We welcome again this recognized event international level, confirming that Portugal has, not only, the perfect conditions for any golfer to play and train, but also the capacity and infrastructure to accommodate most demanding international events", declared the president of the Turismo de Portugal.
 
«The 16th edition of the Portugal Masters proves the ongoing commitment of all partners of the tournament, Turismo de Portugal, as well as of regional entities and companies in the Algarve. 

We all share the same vision of a product of excellence», concluded.

Hugo Ribeiro
Press Officer
www.facebook.com/hugoribeirouppmagazine 

6.8.22

Crimes against humanity in Ukraine during the war

 

Antonio Cossa in areas recently occupied by the Russians.
Inprin, Bucha, Borodyanka


I recently witnessed extensive damage to residential areas, including a block where a projectile blew a hole in an apartment. There were abandoned carts everywhere. There were bullet-riddled cars and charred houses where the roofs had been completely ripped off.

Odors of some dead are still under the rubble. Others were hastily buried in courtyards and parks because a proper funeral was impossible. The mayor estimates that between 200 and 300 civilians were killed here, some directly targeted as they fled. The final death toll is likely to be higher.

The Russians occupied much of the city, but resistance here in Inprin was strong. Ukraine's Defense Ministry recognized "the mass heroism and resilience of residents and defenders" with the honorary title of "Hero City of Ukraine".
Inside the city, as police and heavily armed troops kept watch, there was a palpable layer of tension.

That victory was difficult, but the troops we spoke with admitted that the Russians might come back at some point.

Moscow now says it will drastically reduce its attacks around the capital and focus on the eastern Donbas region. In reality, the Kremlin had little choice, as its offensives in the capital had stalled.

But in time Russian forces may regroup and attack the capital again. If they do, the "city of heroes" will again be on the way and in the line of fire.

As I left Irpin for other newly occupied areas, I saw a handful of civilians being evacuated on foot, crossing the riverbed on wooden planks precariously balanced on rubble and boulders. It is the wreckage of a bridge, blown up by Ukrainian forces to block the Russian advance - another sacrifice made by Irpin.




The Bucha Massacre

The Bucha massacre was the murder and abuse of Ukrainian civilians by the Russian Armed Forces during the fighting and occupation of the Ukrainian city of Bucha.
Approximately 1,300 bodies were recovered in and around the city, including 31 children.

In these places, civilian corpses were found, lined up with their hands tied behind their backs, shot at point-blank range, which ostensibly proved that summary executions had taken place.

 Many bodies were found mutilated and burned, and fourteen-year-old girls reported being raped by soldiers.
 



Borodianka Massacre

The city of Borodianka was extensively bombed by the Russian Armed Forces during the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022.
Before the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022, Borodianka, a quiet "one-street town north of Kyiv, had around 13,000 residents.

As Russian forces fought in and near Kyiv, Borodianka, which lies on a strategically important road, was the target of several Russian air strikes. According to Iryna Venediktova, Ukraine's attorney general, Russian soldiers used cluster munitions and Tornado and Uragan rockets to destroy buildings and fired "at night, when the maximum number of people would be at home". Most of the city's buildings were destroyed, including almost all of its main street. Russian bombs hit the center of the buildings and caused them to collapse while the structures remained standing. residents were buried alive by air strikes and died for up to a week. those who tried to help them were shot at by Russian soldiers.




Venediktova also accused Russian soldiers of "murdering, torturing and beating" civilians.

Some villagers hid in caves for 38 days. On March 26, 2022, Russia, repulsed from Kyiv, progressively withdrew from the region to focus on Donbas. open window. He estimated at least 200 dead.

Only a few hundred residents remained in Borodianka when the Russians withdrew, with around 90% of residents fleeing and an unknown number of dead in the rubble. Retreating Russian troops laid mines across the city.

António Cossa
United Photo Press

5.8.22

UNITED PHOTO PRESS presents “Elements, Photography Representing the Universe and Celebrating Life”


The international exhibition “Elements, Photography Representing the Universe and Celebrating Life” is organized in four parts: photography, painting, video & music.

The exhibition “Elements” gives us another the look at the arts, their contexts, their intra and extra-artistic relationships, their conceptual strata, promote an endless game of statements in which the dense production of meaning constitutes the predominant gesture.

It tries to sketch a joint portrait of the arts and the issues that cross the reflection of the different cultural acts of United Photo Press artists from various parts of the globe. The exhibition shows the importance of dialogue between art and other related areas, so that thinking about new stories and new meanings of creative mixtures can be broadened...



4 OCTOBER | 30 NOVEMBER 2022
FUNCHAL ELECTRICITY MUSEUM
MADEIRA ISLAND
www.unitedphotopress.com
www.unitedphotopressworld.org