Allan deSouza

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Allan deSouza (born 1958) is a photographer and multi-media artist. [1] He currently works in San Francisco, where he is the Chair of the Department of Art Practice at the University of California, Berkeley.



Born in Nairobi, Kenya, to parents originally from Goa, India, deSouza moved to London, England, when he was seven, and was educated in both the UK and the United States. [2] DeSouza engages with issues of migration, relocation, and international travel in much of his work. [3] [4] [5] His photoworks, texts, and installations examine geography, culture, and personal and communal identity. [6] [7] Much of his work takes up themes and visual vocabulary of migration and diaspora; his series of photographic work, The World Series, for example, was created as a response to Jacob Lawrence’s The Migration Series. [8] [9] [10] [11] DeSouza is interested in movement, travel, dislocation, memory and time. [12] [13] For the photographic series The Lost Pictures, DeSouza placed a number of slides of old family photos around his house, deliberately allowing them to become scratched, faded, and covered in dust. [14] [15] Desouza’s work, in the words of one critic, “explores...both memory and photography as means of recording and preserving the past from aging, loss, displacement, and historical change.” [16] [17] Although often based in historical figures or events, his work also incorporates "fiction, erasure, re-inscription, and (mis)translation". [1]

DeSouza's work has been featured at museums and galleries including The Phillips Collection in Washington, DC, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, International Center of Photography (ICP) in New York, Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, the Museum for African Art in New York, Moderna Museet in Stockholm, Sweden, and Talwar Gallery, which represents the artist, in New York and New Delhi.

Education and career

DeSouza attended Goldsmiths College in London, and earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts from Bath Academy of Art in 1983. [18] He moved to the United States in 1992, participating in the Whitney Independent Study Program in New York and earning a master's in photography from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in 1997. [19] He has written about contemporary art, contributing to publications such as the Los Angeles Times , X-TRA Contemporary Art Quarterly, Wolgan Art Monthly, and Third Text Journal , and has been invited as a lecturer to museums and universities across the globe, including Pratt Institute, Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), Seika University in Kyoto, Japan, and Moderna Museet in Stockholm, Sweden. DeSouza served as an Associate Professor and Chair of the New Genres department of the San Francisco Art Institute (SFAI) from 2006 until 2012, when he joined the faculty of the University of California, Berkeley as head of the Photography Department. In 2012, deSouza was invited to participate in the Rockefeller Foundation Arts and Literary Arts Residency at the Bellagio Center in Lake Como, Italy.

Selected exhibitions

Solo exhibitions

University of Delaware, Allan deSouza, Newark, Delaware, US

The Mary and Carter Thacher Gallery, Through the Black Country, San Francisco, CA, US

Townsend Center for the Humanities, Through the Black Country, Berkeley, CA, US

The Phillips Collection, The World Series, Washington, DC, US. [22]
Talwar Gallery, Trysts Tropicales, New York, NY, US [23]
Fowler Museum at UCLA, His Masters' Tools, Los Angeles, CA, US [24]
Talwar Gallery, Allan DeSouza, New York, NY, US [28]

Group exhibitions

Apexart, Light in Wartime, New York, NY, US

Krannert Art Museum, Champaign, IL, US

The Phillips Collection, Intersections @5, works from the permanent collection, Washington, DC, US

Charles Allis and Villa Terrace Museums, Chasing Horizons, Milwaukee, WI, US [30]
The Walther Collection, Events of the Self: Portraiture and Social Identity, Neu-Ulm, Germany [33]
Centre Georges Pompidou, Dreamlands, Paris, France [34]
REDCat Gallery, An Image Bank for Everyday Revolutionary Life, Los Angeles, CA, US [38]
William Benton Museum of Art, Masala, Storrs Mansfield, CT, US [41]
The Queens Museum, Out of India, Queens, NY, US [44]


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