About the Artist

Short Version

I've been an artist/photographer for roughly fifty years (depending on when I start counting: yearbook photographer (Stuyvesant HS, 1970), MA in Fine Art (Brooklyn College, 1974) or MFA in Visual Arts (UCSD, 1977). I could also say 1978, when I was hired as a documentary photographer for the NYC CCF CETA Artists Project and really learned how to work professionally.

My studies at Brooklyn College gave me a strong grounding in art history and art practice in a Modernist context. My studies at UCSD gave me a strong grounding in structuralist art theory in a Postmodernist context. These two experiences have set the poles of my practice, as I've attempted to blend a Modernist esthetic with consciously conceptual approaches.

Since my very first efforts at photography, my primary interest has been material culture (defined broadly to include both the small and large-scale products of society as well as cultural manifestations such as parades and festivals). My range has continued to enlarge, becoming international in the 1980s, with extensive travels through the U.K., Europe, China and, most extensively, Italy.

I've exhibited regularly throughout my career, more in academic and nonprofit venues than in commercial galleries. Some of my most notable solo shows have been: Viewpoint Photographic Center (Sacramento 2019), Artspace NC (Raleigh 2018), Hillyer Art Space (DC 2017), University of the Arts (Philadelphia 2016), Arcobaleno Cultural Center (Rome, Italy, 2016), O.K. Harris Works of Art (NYC 2013), Philadelphia International Airport Exhibitions (2009), Phillips Art Museum (Lancaster 2008), Oskar Friedl Gallery, Chicago 2003), CEPA Art-in-Transit (Buffalo 1991), St. Joseph's University (Philadelphia 1991). Notable curated and small-group shows have included: Extensions of Photography (UCSD 2016), American Photography Today (Towson University 2014), Resilient Suspension (Amos Eno Gallery, Brooklyn 2013), Nine (Museum of the Central Academy, Beijing 2012), Conflation (Drexel University 2010), Art in the Open (Philadelphia 2010), Couples (Islip Museum of Art 2008), Conversation at the Table (Fabric Workshop Museum 2006), A Change in Scenery (Silicon Gallery, Philadelphia 2001), Crimes and Punishments (Art Alliance, Philadelphia 1995), American Pie (Painted Bride, Philadelphia 1992), Delaware Art Museum Biennial (Wilmington 1991 - purchase prize by juror Lucy Lippard), Encampments (Randolph Street Gallery, Chicago 1989 - with David Sedaris), Image/Text (Franklin Furnace, NYC 1984), Three Photographers/Three Representations (Phoenix Gallery, NYC 1978).

I have earned my living primarily as a teacher, first in part-time positions at UCSD and Wayne State University and then in a tenure-track/tenured position at Drexel University (1985-2018). I co-developed a major in photography at Drexel and became its first director (1991-97). I then shifted to digital photography and helped found a major in Digital Media, in which I taught for seven years. For my last ten years at Drexel, I was part of the Department of Art & Art History and taught a variety of studio and art history courses as well as courses in Rome (for Study Abroad) and on Urban Theory (for the Honors College). I now have emeritus status.

My studies at UCSD gave rise to various interests that continue until now: the inter-relationships of images and texts, the effects upon meaning of multiple-image associations (pairings, montages, sequences), the truth/non-truth of the photographic image, My MFA thesis addressed image and text relationships and I have continued to do occasional critical writing.

I have always had an interest in making photo book works, and this has become central to my current practice. As well, I have begun utilizing social media for distribution of my images (especially Flickr, to which my "Compilations" page links).

My wife, Virginia Maksymowicz, and I have maintained an artistic partnership since our studies together at Brooklyn College and UCSD. We call it "TandM Arts" and it has had various roles: as a kind of "think tank" for critical evaluation of our individual and joint works, as a "studio/gallery" that has hosted numerous exhibitions.

We have also been the joint coordinators of the CETA Arts Legacy Project (a major focus for us during the past seven yars). This project is dedicated to preserving and promoting the historical legacy of the NYC CCF CETA Artists Project (for which we both worked in 1978-79) as well as CETA's support for the arts nationally. CETA - the Comprehensive Employment and Training Act - was responsible for more than 20,000 jobs for artists and arts professionals in the period 1974-1980. This federal program has almost been lost to history, in comparison with the much earlier WPA arts programs of the 1930s, but it is a more relevant model for current efforts at cultural sector recovery. For more information on this, see the site CETA-ARTS.COM which we created and continue to develop.

 

Philadelphia Fringe Festival 1997 (TandM Arts)

Amos Eno Gallery Brooklyn 2013

Art Alliance 1995

Philadelphia Airport 2009

CEPA Art in Transit Buffalo 1991

St. Joe's University 1991

Hillyer Art Center DC 2017

Vermont Studio Center 2007