Leica Akademie Workshop in Milan, Developing a Personal Project, Feb. 2-3, 2019

  Leica Akademie Workshop –  Developing a Personal Project February 2-3, 2019 Leica Store Milano Via Mengoni 4 20121 Milano Italy An in-depth personal project is often what it takes to transform a good photographer into a great one. Yet undertaking such a project can seem daunting. What are the required steps to start with an idea and build it…  read more.

Group show

Divided video installation at MoCP Chicago and the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts

Divided, my 2018 video installation about the Mexico-U.S. border will be on display at MoCP, Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Photography as part of the Stateless: Views of Global Migration group exhibition from January 24, to March 31, 2019.

Museum of Contemporary Photography
600 South Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL 60605

It will also be exhibited at Turchin Center for the Visual Arts from 7 December, 2018 to 27 April, 2019.

Turchin Center for the Visual Arts
423 West King St.
Boone, NC 28608


About Divided

Since Baja and Alta California were divided by the seizure of Mexican land by the United States military in 1848, a political boundary has jutted into the Pacific Ocean. Over the years, the border has been reinforced from a simple line to a fence to steel barrier. This single-channel video installation focuses on the timeless repetition of lines of waves as they crash perpendicular into the barrier. The collision of waves is mesmerizing, and we notice unified lines of waves that are divided in two.


Preview video of Divided



About Stateless: Views of Global Migration

While global migration has existed for tens of thousands of years, we are currently facing an unprecedentedly vast movement of people across borders. According to the UN Refugee Agency, 68.5 million people were displaced in 2018, and of that number, 25.4 million have been designated as refugees, 10 million have been left stateless, and fewer than 105,000 have been resettled. 44,400 people each day are forced to flee their homes because of conflict and persecution. Stateless: Views of Global Migrationseeks to humanize this stark data, providing an alternative visual landscape to the imagery typically associated with the current wave of global migration. Through the individual lenses of eight contemporary artists, this exhibition lays bare the contradictions inherent to the crisis, finding beauty and strength in the face of collective trauma. These powerful works of art bear witness, contemplate memory, and explore one’s connectivity to a place, even when one can no longer return. Organized by the MoCP’s executive director Natasha Egan, Stateless: Views of Global Migration addresses the individual stories that define this global human crisis.

Artists featured in the exhibition include Tomas van Houtryve, Bissane Al Charif, Daniel Castro Garcia, Leila Alaoui, Shimon Attie, Omar Imam, Fidencio Fifield-Perez, and Hiwa K.


Praise for Divided

“This work took a very simple concept, a border wall between two countries, and visually infused it with all the complexities of the contemporary American debate. The ‘moving picture’ that tells this story, does so in a leisurely way, but clearly one that was thought out and executed with the utmost care and attention to detail. The ‘reveal’, at the end, lingers in your mind.”

– Keith Jenkins, Director of Visual Journalism, NPR; Juror of the 2018 Producer’s Choice Award from CENTER Santa Fe.


“Van Houtryve filmed a short video from above the wall’s end, entitled Divided (2018), which seems almost meditative.”

– Jacqui Palumbo, Visual Culture Editor, Artsy / New York


Smithsonian feature: The Scars of World War I

One hundred years after the end of the First World War, I retraced the Western Front and examined how the conflict had touched my family. My journal and personal family photos were published as a mulltimedia feature by the Smithsonian to mark the centennial of the November 11, 1918 armistice. The travelogue is copied below.   I. Inspiration   I…  read more.

Group show

Lines and Lineage at Paris Photo, Galerie Baudoin Lebon, stand D02

Lines and Lineage gelatin silver prints will be on display inside the Baudoin Lebon gallery stand (D02) at Paris Photo, November 8-11, 2018.

Paris Photo
Grand Palais

• Paris Photo is the largest international art fair dedicated to the photographic medium and is held each November at the historic Grand Palais in Paris.

• The Baudoin Lebon Gallery was founded in 1976 in Paris. It is a leading dealer of Modern and Contemporary Art, including painting, sculpture and the most significant international photography. The gallery supports radically different works with an enlightened eclecticism.

About Lines and Lineage

We often forget that the boundary between Mexico and the United States was not always where it is today. It used to be 1100 kilometers farther north, following what is now the state line between Oregon and California and running east to Wyoming before zagging southeast to Louisiana. Originally home to the indigenous peoples of the region, much of this land was Spanish and then Mexican territory for centuries before becoming what we now think of as the American West.

Spanish colonists and missionaries settled here beginning in 1598. In 1821, Mexico won independence from Spain, and by the middle of the century, it was in some ways far more advanced than its neighbor to the northeast. It abolished slavery shortly after independence; black Mexicans soon gained prominent positions, including the governorship of California. Indigenous people were given the right to vote. All this came to an end in 1848, when the United States attacked Mexico, seized half its land, and created the border that we know today.

At the time, the war on Mexico was emphatically opposed by prominent Americans, including Abraham Lincoln and John Quincy Adams. Henry David Thoreau penned his groundbreaking essay on Civil Disobedience after his arrest for nonpayment of taxes, an act of defiance of what he called an “unjust” war that aimed to “expand the slave territory.”

Mexican administration was cut short before photographic technology, revealed in Paris in 1839, arrived in the region. The well-known visual record of the American West—dominated by photos of cowboys and white settlers, the Gold Rush and the arrival of the railroads—was created after 1848. Images from the Mexican era, on the other hand, were never fixed in our memory. Using glass plates and a nineteenth-century camera to photograph landscapes along the original border and create portraits of descendants of early inhabitants, this project imagines what that history might look like. It questions the role that photographs—both present and missing—have played in shaping the identity of the West.

Partnership: Paris from Above (with a Leica)

 In October, 2018, I was selected by Leica as the ambassador for the minimalist M10-D camera.  I started shooting with Leica M cameras in 1998, first with an analogue M6 and then switching to a digital M9 in 2009 so that I could transmit images quickly. Although going digital was convenient for my workflow, I soon missed the simple…  read more.

Smithsonian Publication: Is All Still Quiet on the Western Front?

To mark the 100th anniversary of the end of WWI, the Smithsonian Magazine published my photographs of the Western Front in the October issue with an comprehensive article written by William Vollmann. A selection of my images can be seen below. The colour photos were taken with a Leica M, and the black and white photos were taken with a large-format…  read more.

Group show

Blue Sky Days at Albus Lux Contemporary gallery in the Netherlands

Blue Sky Days gallery exhibition 13 October to 1 December 2018.

A large selection of 150 x 100 cm gelatin silver prints from the Blue Sky Days series will be shown in tandem with images from Sebastian Van Malleghem’s Nordic Noir project in the beautiful new location of Albus Lux.

Albus Lux Contemporary
Plantagebaan 232, 4725 AG
Wouwse Plantage
The Netherlands

About Blue Sky Days

Starting in 2013, I traveled across America to aerially photograph the kind of gatherings that have become habitual targets for drone strikes abroad — including weddings, funerals, and groups of people praying or exercising. I also flew my camera over settings where government surveillance drones have been used domestically.

In October 2012, a drone strike in northeast Pakistan killed a 67-year-old woman picking okra outside her home. At a U.S. Congressional hearing held in Washington in October 2013, the woman’s 13-year-old grandson, Zubair Rehman, spoke to a group of lawmakers. “I no longer love blue skies,” said Rehman, who was injured by shrapnel in the attack. “In fact, I now prefer gray skies. The drones do not fly when the skies are gray.”

The images captured from the drone’s perspective engage with the changing nature of surveillance, personal privacy, and war.

The production of Blue Sky Days was supported with grants from the Pulitzer Center, and was first published by Harper’s magazine as a 16-page spread, the largest photo essay in the magazine’s 166-year history.


Artsy features Divided and Implied Lines works about the border

Artsy, the premier online platform for art collectors, features my Divided video installation and Implied Lines drone prints of the Mexico-U.S. border in an article titled 10 Photographers Who Have Told the Story of the U.S.–Mexico Border by Jacqui Palumbo. Leading with my Divided video, the article also explores the works of established artists Richard Misrach, Dorothea Lange and Alex Webb. An…  read more.

Review: Hyperallergic on Lines and Lineage

Zachary Small, staff writer at Hyperallergic reviewed my Lines and Lineage exhibition, part of the Focal Points show at Photoville 2018 that includes work by the other 2017 CatchLight Fellows, Sarah Blesener and Brian L. Frank. The exhibition was curated by Sam Barzilay and Jenny Jacklin Stratton. The full review can be read on Hyperallergic and is copied below.  …  read more.