Gordon Parks

American, 1912–2006

2.7k followers

Gordon Parks

Bio

American, 1912–2006

Followers
2.7k
Biography

Considered one of the most influential artists of the 20th century, Gordon Parks was a self-taught photographer, filmmaker, writer, and composer. He is best known for chronicling the African American experience in powerful, poetic photographs. Parks worked for the Farm Security Administration and the Office of War Information before becoming the first black staff photographer at Life magazine. He was the first black auteur to release a major Hollywood film, The Learning Tree (1969), and he later made Shaft (1971) and Shaft’s Big Score! (1972), films that defined the blaxploitation genre. Parks also cofounded Essence magazine. In his photographs, Parks captured both the rich and famous and marginalized communities, especially his own. “I saw that the camera could be a weapon against . . . all sorts of social wrongs,” he said. “I knew at that point I had to have a camera.”

Related Categories
Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
Established
Established representation
Represented by industry leading galleries.
User
Solo show at a major institution
The Studio Museum in Harlem, and 1 more
Group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 5 more
Institution
Collected by a major institution
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 1 more
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum, and 1 more
Biography

Considered one of the most influential artists of the 20th century, Gordon Parks was a self-taught photographer, filmmaker, writer, and composer. He is best known for chronicling the African American experience in powerful, poetic photographs. Parks worked for the Farm Security Administration and the Office of War Information before becoming the first black staff photographer at Life magazine. He was the first black auteur to release a major Hollywood film, The Learning Tree (1969), and he later made Shaft (1971) and Shaft’s Big Score! (1972), films that defined the blaxploitation genre. Parks also cofounded Essence magazine. In his photographs, Parks captured both the rich and famous and marginalized communities, especially his own. “I saw that the camera could be a weapon against . . . all sorts of social wrongs,” he said. “I knew at that point I had to have a camera.”

Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
Established
Established representation
Represented by industry leading galleries.
User
Solo show at a major institution
The Studio Museum in Harlem, and 1 more
Group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 5 more
Institution
Collected by a major institution
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 1 more
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum, and 1 more
Articles Featuring Gordon Parks
New HBO Documentary Connects Black Art’s Rich History and Vibrant Present
Feb 5th, 2021
New HBO Documentary Connects Black Art’s Rich History and Vibrant Present
Gordon Parks’s 1960s Protest Photos Reflect the Long History of Police Brutality in the U.S.
Jun 5th, 2020
Gordon Parks’s 1960s Protest Photos Reflect the Long History of Police Brutality in the U.S.
Gordon Parks’s Color Photographs Show Intimate Views of Life in Segregated Alabama
Feb 21st, 2020
Gordon Parks’s Color Photographs Show Intimate Views of Life in Segregated Alabama
The Role of Fashion Photography in Gordon Parks’s Singular Career
Oct 23rd, 2015
The Role of Fashion Photography in Gordon Parks’s Singular Career
Navigate right