Minor White’s work has been called poetic. He himself has been called a photographic sage. I would tend to agree. White comes from the modernist tradition of photography but he along with Aaron Siskind, and to a degree, Alfred Stieglitz with his Equivalents series, sought to push photography past its depictive nature and use photography as a means to transcend the simple act of seeing.
Siskind’s work is concise –viewing it is almost like getting hit in the head with a stick. When I first started taking pictures, I remember finding his work and being in awe of the way he could morph an object into something so beautifully abstract.
Alex does with color and documentary photography what Siskind and White did with black and white. He has a way of just getting to the heart of the matter. I had the pleasure of taking a workshop with Alex and Rebecca Norris Webb at The Center for Photography at Woodstock in the Summer of 2011 during hurricane Sandy. They were gracious enough to continue to hold the seminar with “impending doom” lurking round the corner and they are both truly as great in spirit and kindness as their work.
Ms. Cox, in my humble opinion, is a pioneer in challenging cultural norms specifically as they relate to the black female body. Her images directly address stereotypes and conceivably pre-subscribed roles of black women in western society. I find her work to be engaging, edgy, if not controversial, but also connected to photographic and art history.
Stehli’s work often challenges gender and power roles. She confronts the way in which power plays out between men and women by playing with who has control over image creation and who has control over self-expression. Her work is more in the vein of performance with the photographs standing as evidence of the performance and how it unfolded.