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Shari Kessler

40 years, around the world, living through the lens.

Clients include National Geographic Society, Smithsonian Institution, The World Bank, Thai Airways, BBC, London Times, McGraw-Hill Publishers, Citibank, International Folk Art Museum, Santa Fe, NM. 

From fine art black-white film-work with Minor White at M.I.T. to an international editorial career in Asia and Latin America. From lugging large format cameras up the Andes to shooting corporate Investment guides around Asia, being the first American artist invited to exhibit in Hanoi since the American-Vietnam war and having work purchased as Public Art by the State of New Mexico, Shari’s portfolio reflects her life as an itinerant global photographer.

Shari Kessler runs Head Shots, LLC. in Santa Fe, NM. and is Associate Professor of Media Studies at The New School, NYC. She teaches Visual Storytelling; Visual Literacy & Culture; and Global Lens: World Photography & Film; online courses that she developed for The New School Department of Media Studies, MA program.

Artist Statement

Photography is a journey.

My early years in photography were spent with my hands in chemicals. I studied fine-art b/w printing with American photographer Minor White, my guru and teacher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Minor was quintessential in my development as a photographer and his philosophies about life and the photographic process taught me to be in a state of heightened awareness always.

With the digital age has come a new photography and I have, at first reluctantly and then with vigor, embraced this new art form.

My current work is a combination of in-camera reality and post-production fantasy. I abstract, mix, transform original camera images into something aesthetic that pricks me and makes surface both conscious and unconscious ideas. I cut and slice and digitally fashion images from my original films and files, looking to create something mysterious and magical that transcends the substrate on which it is viewed.

Reality is what we take away from the real thing and photography for me now allows the creation of a new reality that is a visceral and a visual outcropping of the songs in my heart.

From black-and-white film, to color transparencies, photo-fresco assemblages, and multi-images digital collages, I have undergone both a creative and intellectual metamorphosis, from pure photography to beyond photography.

Photography is a journey that never ends…

Head Shot 89