Den legendariske Ralph Gibson (f.1939) er en amerikansk kunstfotograf fra Los Angeles, California. Han startet sin fotokarriere tidlig, og har studert ved flere fotoinstitusjoner før han ble assistenten til Dorothea Lange og jobbet med Robert Frank på to filmer.
Bildene til Ralph har ofte en erotisk og mystisk undertone. Han bygger en fortellende historie gjennom kontekstualisering og surrealistiske assosiasjoner.
Ralphs fotografier er plassert i mer enn 150 museum verden rundt. Hans imponerende CV viser at han har tatt del i hundrevis av utstillinger.
Han jobber utelukkende med Leica, og har vært en viktig ambassadør for dem i mer enn 50 år. Han har i samarbeid med Leica også utviklet et eget kamera.
Han har hatt en livslang fascinasjon for bøker og det å lage bøker. Når han flyttet til New York å slutten av 60-tallet startet han sitt eget selskap, Lustrum Press, for å kunne ha kontroll over reproduksjon av arbeidet hans.
Han har blitt tildelt den prestisjetunge prisen ”Guggenheim Fellowship”, som blir gitt til de “who have demonstrated exceptional capacity for productive scholarship or exceptional creative ability in the arts.”. Han ble nylig utnevnt til ”Årets Fotograf” under Palm Springs Fine Art Fair.
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Ralph Gibson was born in Hollywood, California in 1939. His father wasassistant director to A.Hitchcockand as a young boy he would visit the set during filming. He also worked extra and acted in bit parts. He was impressed by the power of the camera lens and the intensity of the lights. He studied photography while in the US Navy and then at the San Francisco Art Institute.
He began his professional career as an assistant to Dorothea Lange and went on to work with Robert Frank on two films. Gibson has maintained a lifelong fascination with books and book-making. Since the appearance in 1970 of THE SOMNAMBULIST, his work has been steadily impelled towards the printed page. To date his work has been published in over 40 monographs.
His photographs are included in over one hundred and seventy museum collections around the world, and have appeared in hundreds of oneman exhibitions. He has lectured and led workshops in over 20 countries over the past 40 years. In 2013 he spoke in schools and museums in China, Brazil, Australia and Bali. Gibson's awards include fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as the Leica Medal of Excellence , the Lucie Lifetime Award and the Silver Plumb Award. He is an Commandeur de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres of France, and holds honorary doctorates from the University of Maryland and Ohio Wesleyan University. In March of 2015 he receivedthe Lifetime Artist AchievementAward from the Guild Hall Academy of the Arts.
In 2010 he collaborated with Lou Reed on the film RED SHIRLEY which was screened in 14 film festivals throughout Europe and North America. The High Museum of Art held a retrospective of his work entitled “Quartet” in 2012. He has maintained a relationship to the guitar since his earliest teens. Recently Gibson has incorporated his photographs and musical compositions into film and live performances.
He has performed TYPOGRAPHY and ONE WAY with the wind instrumentalist Jon Gibson at Roulette and the Stone in New York. Recent performances in 2013 include the Burchfield-Penny Art Center Testify Festival in Buffalo NYand The Central China Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing. He is currently at work composing music and video for the Jon Lehrer Dance Company to be presented in the Spring of 2015.
In Sept. 2014 the Goeun Museum in Busan, Korea presented a retrospectiveof his work. He endorsed a limited edition of the Leica Monochrom camera which bears his signature on the top plate. In Dec. of 2015 he delivered a TEDx talk entitled “Finding Your Visual Identity in the Digital Age”. His entire body of work can be seen and heard in depth at www.ralphgibson.com