Mark Steinmetz
Mark Steinmetz
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Mark Steinmetz Biography

Mark Steinmetz (b. 1961) is an Athens, Georgia-based photographer whose work captures black-and-white images of Southern Americana as seen in urban, rural and suburban landscapes. “I like to stress the poetry and ambiance of a place, while still trying to be truthful,” he has remarked, and his candid shots of everyday life reflect this statement. Examples of this sentiment are strikingly portrayed in Steinmetz's new photo series Terminus, showing the everyday moments of people passing through airports. “At the airport, people from all over the world and from all walks of life can be found in the midst of their journeys,” Mark Steinmetz has said. “Though my main subject has been the passengers, I am also photographing the people who work at the airport, the interiors and exteriors of the planes, as well as the hotels, parking lots and neighborhoods that surround and support the airport.” Mark Steinmetz draws inspiration from a number of Southern artists whose talents extend beyond the realm of photography, and has remarked “the South has many great writers—William Faulkner, Flannery O'Connor, Carson McCullers—and they've influenced me.”

 Surprisingly, Mark Steinmetz did not originate in the South. In fact, he attended high school in Iowa and received his MFA from Yale University in 1986. (Though he initially dropped out in 1983 in order to move to Los Angeles and work with photographer Garry Winogrand.) It wasn’t until 1999 that he left shooting freelance in Chicago and moved south for a teaching job at the University of Tennessee. He has remained in the South ever since. “I love the South for the weeds growing through the cracks of its sidewalks, for its humidity and for its chaos,” he has said. Interestingly, Mark Steinmetz has worked with analog since the beginning of his career, and even uses the same camera, film and development process today as he did as a novice photographer.

 Mark Steinmetz’ monographs include South Central (2007), South East (2008), Greater Atlanta (2009) and Summertime (2012). He has also been published in Aperture, Blind Spot and DoubleTake magazines. In 1994, he was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, and in 1998 he participated in Light Work’s Artist-in-Residence Program. Mark Steinmetz has taught at a number of institutions, including Harvard, Sarah Lawrence College, Emory University and Yale.

 Steinmetz’ photos can be found in the collections of The Museum of Modern Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Whitney Museum of American Art, The Art Institute of Chicago and The Los Angeles County Museum of Art.