Alex Majoli (b. 1971, Italy) is a photographer whose work has focused on the human condition and the theater within our daily lives. He has received many awards including the Guggenheim Fellowship in 2015, the W. Eugene Smith Grant
(2017), the Getty Images Grant For Editorial Photography 2009, and the Infinity Award for Photojournalism in 2003. He has been a member of Magnum Photos
since 2001 and is represented by Howard Greenberg Gallery
At the age of 15, Alex Majoli joined the F45 Studio in Ravenna, working alongside Daniele Casadio. While studying at the Art Institute in Ravenna, he joined Grazia Neri Agency and traveled to Yugoslavia to document the conflict. He returned many times over the next few years, covering all major events in Kosovo and Albania.
Majoli graduated from art school in 1991. Three years later, he made an intimate portrayal of the closing of an asylum for the insane on the island of Leros, Greece, a project that became the subject of his first book, Leros
In 1995 Majoli went to South America for several months, photographing a variety of subjects for his ongoing personal project, Requiem in Samba
. He started the project Hotel Marinum
in 1998, on life in harbor cities around the world, the final goal of which was to perform a theatrical multimedia show. That same year he began making a series of short films and documentaries.
After becoming a full member of Magnum Photos in 2001, Majoli covered the fall of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, and two years later the invasion of Iraq. He continues to document various conflicts worldwide for Newsweek
, The New York Times Magazine
and National Geographic
Majoli, in collaboration with Thomas Dworzak, Paolo Pellegrin
and Ilkka Uimonen, had an extremely successful exhibition and installation Off Broadway
in New York in 2004, which traveled to France and Germany. He then became involved in a project for the French Ministry of Culture entitled BPS
, or Bio-Position System
, about the social transformation of the city of Marseilles. A recently completed project, Libera me
, is a reflection on the human condition.
In 2013 Majoli, in collaboration with Pellegrin, completed a massive photographic project in the Congo, which resulted in a his largest book project to date being published with Aperture
, in 2015.
Source: Magnum Photos
At the age of fifteen, Alex Majoli joined the F45 photo agency in Ravenna, Italy, and he graduated from the city’s art Institute in 1991. While in art school, Majoli became a member of Grazia Neri Agency and traveled to Yugoslavia to document the ongoing political conflict. In 1995, Majoli published his first book documenting the patients in a mental hospital that was formerly used as a military hospital in Leros, Greece. That same year he traveled to Brazil where he started the project Tudo Bom
. In this, he visualizes the darker side of a complex society where daily life is often shaped by hardship and violence. Majoli has been working on this project for twenty years. The series Hotel Marinum
that Majoli started in 1998 documents life in harbor cities around the world and was inspired by his life growing up in the port of Ravenna. Majoli has been a member of Magnum Photos since 2001 and has worked on assignments for a variety of publications, including The New York TIME Magazine
, Newsweek, The New Yorker
, and National Geographic.
Majoli has been inspired by the theories of the Sicilian playwright Luigi Pirandello, who believed there is a thin line between theater and real-life and that people take on a role in their daily lives. Over the years, the photographer has examined this philosophy more fully. Majoli does not aspire to document reality. Rather, in his more personal projects, he explores this idea of people as actors in their own lives. In his most recent work, he uses powerful strobe lights to make his subjects aware of the roles they play in the scene that he records. The result is cinematic; the dark surroundings of a scene highlight powerful human emotions.
Source: International Center of Photography