Paul Greenfield MFA, ARPS

Mitch Epstein (1952)

Mitchell "Mitch" Epstein (born 1952) is a fine-art photographer, and among the first to make significant use of colour.

His work has been exhibited and published extensively in the United States and Europe and collected by numerous major museums, including New York's Museum of Modern Art and Whitney Museum of American Art, The J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the Tate Modern in London. His ten books include American Power, for which he won the Prix Pictet (2011) and Family Business, for which he won a Guggenheim Fellowship and the Kraszna-Krausz Photography Book Award (2004). 
In the summer of 1999, two boys barely in their teens were so bored they started a fire in a boarded-up apartment building in Holyoke, Massachusetts. The fire spread and engulfed an entire city block. Mitch Epstein’s father owned the building and was sued for 15 million dollars he didn’t have; Epstein’s father also owned a once successful furniture store that now faced liquidation. Family Business is an epic work about the demise of a Jewish immigrant dynasty and it traces the fall of a New England town from an industrial giant to drug-dealing capital. Epstein has combined formally rigorous pictures with fluid video clips to recreate his father’s universe. The book’s four chapters – Store, Property, Town, Home – include photographs, storyboards, video stills and dialogues. In Family Business he has invented a unique format: a mixed-media novel. The book’s conceptual ambitions are matched by its fearless humanity. Surprising, hard-hitting and haunting, it resembles nothing seen before.

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