Danny Lyon

Danny Lyon Biography Danny Lyon is a self-made American filmmaker and photographer. He's also known for his writing skills, which he uses to compliment his images. Danny received a BA in history from the University of Chicago in 1963. He also published his first photographs for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, where he served as a staff photographer in the same year. His photos were featured in The Movement , a documentary book about the Southern Civil Rights Movement. Later, Lyon moved on to writing books. His first publication was The Bikeriders (1967), which is a study of outlaw motorcyclists. In addition to photographing motorcyclists exploring the American Midwest from 1963 to 1967, he traveled with them and shared their lifestyles. He was a member of the Chicago Outlaw Motorcycle club. The series, which he describes as “an attempt to record and glorify the life of the American bike rider' was immensely influential and popular in the 1960s and 1970s. The success of The Bikeriders led Danny Lyon to join the Magnum Agency, where he worked primarily as a filmmaker and a photographer. Participating personally in the lives of his subjects is a significant component of Danny Lyon's photography. He tends to select individuals who deviate from social norms, yet his main goal is to communicate their sensibility and character in a sympathetic, honest, and non-judgmental manner. He ensures to acquire first-hand knowledge of his subject’s experiences. In his early works, Lyon tended to withhold his personality from his images to emphasize his subjects. However, his recent work features more of himself. He has consistently produced sincere and effective documentation of people's lives, which continues to inspire many photographers throughout the centuries. Lyon created The Destruction of Manhattan in 1969. It was a compilation of photographs that illustrated the massive demolition throughout areas in Lower Manhattan in 1967. Although the book initially retailed for a dollar, it became a collector’s item and was reprinted in 2005. Danny Lyon’s outstanding work has earned him numerous Fellowships in photography and filmmaking. They include the Rockefeller Fellowship, an Honorary Doctorate in Fine Arts from The Art Institute of Boston, the Guggenheim Fellowship in film, and the National Endowment for the Arts Photography Fellowship. His work is also included in numerous major exhibitions such as the George Eastman House, Museum of the City of New York, the Photographers Gallery in London, England, Whitney Museum of American Art, Walker Arts Center in Minneapolis, Baltimore Museum of Art, the Art Institute of Chicago and Philadelphia Art Museum. Danny held his first solo exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago. He has also published several photographic books based on the experiences he gathers from a particular place or a group of people. They include Conversations with the Dead (1971), a study about prison life in Texas, and The Movement (1964), about the Civil Rights movement. He has also produced films such as Los Niños Abandonados, Services 127, and Little Boy. After producing the Conversations with the Dead series, Lyon returned to New York, where he met Robert Frank, a renowned filmmaker, and photographer. They formed a film company called Sweeney Films. Danny Lyon relocated to New Mexico in 1970 and later Upstate New York in 1987.

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