Gregory Halpern (born 1977) is an American photographer and teacher. He currently teaches at the Rochester Institute of Technology
and is a nominee member of Magnum Photos
. Halpern has published a number of books of his own work; Zzyzx
won PhotoBook of the Year at the 2016 Paris Photo–Aperture Foundation
PhotoBook Awards. He received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2014.
Halpern grew up in Buffalo, New York. He holds a BA in history and literature from Harvard University and an MFA from California College of the Arts
. He has taught at California College of the Arts, Cornell University, School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Harvard University and the Harvard Graduate School of Design. He currently teaches at the Rochester Institute of Technology. Halpern is married to the American photographer, Ahndraya Parlato.
(2009) is an artist's book portrait of the titular city. Harvard Works Because We Do
(2003) is a book of photographs and text, presenting a portrait of Harvard University through the eyes of the school's service employees. A (2011) is a photographic ramble through the streets of the American Rust Belt
. East of the Sun, West of the Moon
is a collaboration with Halpern's wife, the photographer Ahndraya Parlato. Zzyzx
(2016) contains photographs from Los Angeles. Let the Sun Beheaded Be
(2020) was made over several months in the French archipelago of Guadeloupe.
Gregory Halpern is known for his intuitively rich colour photography that draws attention to harsh social realities as well as the unerring strangeness of everyday life. His work is rooted in both the real and the sublime and this approach has lead him to photograph life in post-industrial towns of the American Rust Belt
, the people and places of Los Angeles and the uniquely unifying experience of a total solar eclipse. “What’s interesting to me about the world is its chaos and contradictions, the way opposites can be so beautiful in relation to each other,”
says Halpern of his practice.
Though Halpern says he is primarily motivated by the desire to “create” rather than “document”, his work is powerfully affecting. A study of working conditions for janitorial staff at Harvard, created while he was a student there, resulted in a successful bid for the minimum wage and was published as a book, Harvard Works Because We Do
(2003). While his images of life in post-industrial towns of the American Rust Belt
were published to critical acclaim in A (2011), and show resilience in the face of harsh social and economic realities. Selected clients include The New York Times Magazine
, Le Monde
, Bloomberg Businessweek, Sports Illustrated and VICE.
Source: Magnum Photos