Tom Atwood (born 1971) is an American fine art, portrait, and celebrity photographer, best known for his 2005 book Kings in Their Castles.The New Yorker has praised the "refreshing clarity and modesty" of his work.
Born and raised in Vermont,Atwood is a graduate of Harvard University, where he studied economics. He later earned an MPhil from Cambridge University. Atwood has lived in Paris, Boston, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and currently resides in New York City.
Atwood worked several years as an advertising executivebefore turning full-time to commercial and fine art photography. As a photographer, Atwood is largely self-taught, developing many of his techniques through trial and error. According to Atwood, various cultural influences—including theater, painting, architecture, and psychology—have informed his photographic style.
Atwood is particularly known for combining and balancing the genres of portraiture and architectural photography, so that neither the subject nor his or her surroundings predominate in the final image.Memorable early portraits include astronaut Buzz Aldrin and actresses Hilary Swank and Julie Newmar. Atwood and his work have won many awards: in 2009 he was named Photographer of the Year at the Worldwide Photography Gala Awards, earning first place in the portraiture category.
Atwood was widely acclaimed for Kings in Their Castles (University of Wisconsin Press, 2005), a collection of 71 photographs which featured gay urban American men, mainly New Yorkers, photographed in their domestic environments.Atwood worked for four years on the project, relying on word-of-mouth among New York friends to help find compelling subjects and to convince prominent cultural figures to participate. "I like photos chock-full of visual information," Atwood has said, adding that he prefers to capture individuals doing everyday activities and "in spaces that are built up over time, where everything has meaning to the person." Subjects included the playwright Edward Albee, photographed in his New York City living room playing a miniature piano, filmmaker John Waters, photographed packing plastic food into a suitcase, fashion designer Todd Oldham in his Pennsylvania treehouse, and drag queen Mother Flawless Sabrina (Jack Doroshow) using duct tape to give herself a facelift. Artists Ross Bleckner, Thomas Lanigan-Schmidt and Tobi Wong, choreographer Tommy Tune, creative director Simon Doonan, composers David del Tredici and Ned Rorem, club DJ Junior Vasquez, director Joel Schumacher, drag queen Hedda Lettuce (Steven Polito), U.S. Representative Sean Patrick Maloney, and writers John Ashbery, Michael Cunningham, Richard Howard, Andrew Solomon and Edmund White also figure in the collection. Charles Kaiser contributed the book's introductory essay.
"The art books I had seen about gay men were all nudes on the beach or romping through the forest," Atwood told The Los Angeles Times. "I wanted this to be more about people as human beings, their idiosyncrasies, their daily lives."
Atwood's forthcoming book, Kings & Queens in Their Castles, will be published in 2017 by art book publisher Damiani. Called "the most ambitious photo series ever" of LGBTQ subjects,the book expands on Atwood's earlier concept to include new portraits of some 160 lesbians and gay men, as well as members of the bisexual and transgender community, of whom about 60 are well-known figures. Lesser-known individuals include baristas, lawyers, and drag queens. Subjects were photographed in 30 different U.S. states.
In addition, Atwood's work has been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, the Museum of Photographic Arts, the Center for Fine Art Photography, the Pacific Design Center, the Directors Guild of America, and the George Eastman Museum.
Diane Arbus was an American photographer. Arbus's imagery helped to normalize marginalized groups and highlight the importance of proper representation of all people. She photographed a wide range of subjects including strippers, carnival performers, nudists, people with dwarfism, children, mothers, couples, elderly people, and middle-class families. She photographed her subjects in familiar settings: their homes, on the street, in the workplace, in the park. "She is noted for expanding notions of acceptable subject matter and violates canons of the appropriate distance between photographer and subject. By befriending, not objectifying her subjects, she was able to capture in her work a rare psychological intensity." In his 2003 New York Times Magazine article, "Arbus Reconsidered," Arthur Lubow states, "She was fascinated by people who were visibly creating their own identities—cross-dressers, nudists, sideshow performers, tattooed men, the nouveaux riches, the movie-star fans—and by those who were trapped in a uniform that no longer provided any security or comfort." Michael Kimmelman writes in his review of the exhibition Diane Arbus Revelations, that her work "transformed the art of photography ".
Robert Michael Mapplethorpe was an American photographer, best known for his black-and-white photographs. His work featured an array of subjects, including celebrity portraits, male and female nudes, self-portraits, and still-life images. His most controversial works documented and examined the gay male BDSM subculture of New York City in the late 1960s and early 1970s. A 1989 exhibition of Mapplethorpe's work, titled Robert Mapplethorpe: The Perfect Moment, sparked a debate in the United States concerning both use of public funds for "obscene" artwork and the Constitutional limits of free speech in the United States.
Richard Avedon was an American fashion and portrait photographer. He worked for Harper's Bazaar, Vogue and Elle specializing in capturing movement in still pictures of fashion, theater and dance. An obituary published in The New York Times said that "his fashion and portrait photographs helped define America's image of style, beauty and culture for the last half-century".
Peter Hujar was an American photographer best known for his black and white portraits. He has been recognized posthumously as a major American photographer of the late-twentieth century. Yet Hujar's work received only marginal public recognition during his lifetime.
Mary Ellen Mark was an American photographer known for her photojournalism, documentary photography, portraiture, and advertising photography. She photographed people who were "away from mainstream society and toward its more interesting, often troubled fringes".
Sylvia Plachy is a Hungarian-American photographer. Plachy's work has been featured in many New York city magazines and newspapers and she "was an influential staff photographer for The Village Voice."
Jim French was an American artist, illustrator, photographer, filmmaker, and publisher. He is best known for his association with Colt Studio which he, using the pseudonym Rip Colt, created in late 1967. Thomas parted from the endeavor in 1974 leaving French to continue to build what would become one of the most successful gay male erotica companies in the U.S.
Max Vadukul is a British photographer who is based in New York City. He is noted for his art reportage photography, which he describes as “taking reality and making it into art.” He has a lifelong affinity with black and white photography, a foundation of much of his early work. From 1996 to 2000 Max was the staff photographer for The New Yorker, second after Richard Avedon and is the first Indian photographer to shoot covers for French and American Vogue.. Sting has described his photography as a sort of "On the move style". The National Geographic channel produced a feature documentary on Vadukul in 2000 about the improbable arc of his life after Africa; the documentary continues to air around South Asia today.
Sally Davies is a painter and photographer, living and working in New York City's East Village since 1983.
Martin Schoeller is a New York-based photographer whose style of "hyper-detailed close ups" is distinguished by similar treatment of all subjects whether they are celebrities or unknown. His most recognizable work are his portraits, shot with similar lighting, backdrop, and tone. His work appears in "National Geographic Magazine", The New Yorker, "New York Times Magazine", Time, GQ, and Vogue. He has been a staff photographer at The New Yorker since 1999.
Collier Schorr is an American artist and fashion photographer best known for adolescent portraits that blend photographic realism with elements of fiction and youthful fantasy.
Søren Solkær, is a Danish photographer best known for his portraits of musicians. He is most recognised as the man responsible for various iconic images of Björk, The White Stripes, Franz Ferdinand, David Lynch, Arctic Monkeys, R.E.M. and U2.
Roe Ethridge is a postmodernist commercial and art photographer, known for exploring the plastic nature of photography – how pictures can be easily replicated and recombined to create new visual experiences. He often adapts images that have already been published, adding new, sculpted simulations of reality, or alternatively creates highly stylized versions of classical compositions, such as a still life bowl of moldy fruit which appeared on the cover of Vice magazine, or landscapes and portraits with surprising elements. After participating in the 2008 Whitney Biennial, his work has been collected by several leading public museums, including the Museum of Modern Art, Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, and the Tate Modern. In 2010, his work was included in the MoMA's 25th Anniversary New Photography exhibit.
Blake Little is an entertainment, advertising, and fine art photographer based in Los Angeles since 1982. He has had assignments in advertising, film, television, book and magazine publishing. He has worked with personalities in entertainment, sports and politics. His work has been exhibited in New York, Seattle, Indianapolis, Los Angeles and Japan.
Anthony Friedkin is an American photographer whose works have chronicled California's landscapes, cities and people. His topics include phenomena such as surf culture, prisons, cinema, and gay culture. Friedkin’s photographs have been exhibited in the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the J. Paul Getty Museum. His photographs are included in major Museum collections: New York's Museum of Modern Art, The J. Paul Getty Museum and others. He is represented in numerous private collections as well. His pictures have been published in Japan, Russia, Europe, and many Fine Art magazines in America.
Ida G. Lansky was a Canadian-born American photographer. She was most active between 1954 and 1960, when she stopped publicly exhibiting her work and chose to study library science. Lansky is known as an important pioneer of Modernist photography in Texas, known as Texas Bauhaus.
Michael Somoroff is a conceptual artist, director, and photographer. Somoroff has directed and created work for advertising agencies, publications and cultural institutions. He is also a teacher and cultural commentator who has worked for Stony Brook University, The University of the Arts, The Rothko Chapel and the International Center of Photography.
Harvey Wang is an American photographer based in New York City. He has published several books of photography. He is known for his portraits and short films.
David Bruce Cratsley was an American photographer specialized in still lifes, portraits of friends, and gay life in New York City. He had a reputation of master of light and shadow.
Matthew Leifheit is an American photographer, writer, magazine-editor, publisher, and professor. He is based in Brooklyn, New York.