Volunteer watching, volunteer smiling (Isla de Ons, 12/19/02); diptych from Black Tide/Marea Negra (2002-3)

For his “Black Tide / Marea Negra” series, the late Allan Sekula was commissioned to document the aftermath of the disastrous Prestige oil spill off the coast of Spain and Portugal. More poetic than photojournalistic, his images captured environmental devastation and the human side of the cleanup effort.

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About Allan Sekula

In 40 years, Allan Sekula created a venerated body of documentary work that reflected his interest in global commodity politics and the urban development of Los Angeles. Starting in the 1970s, Sekula worked almost exclusively with photography and film. He considered the camera his tool for continuous social engagement and action, driven by what he called “the very mutability of the landscape, the sense of its ceaseless change and false facades.” Sekula’s work touched on subjects like the Cold War and the industrial economies of countries in Asia and Europe. In the 2000s, Sekula began what he humbly called his “apprenticeship as a filmmaker,” although his films are among his most iconic and powerful works. Sekula was also a respected critic and historian, famous for his essay “Body and the Archive” (1986) which spoke to photography as a political medium.

American, 1951-2013, Erie, Pennsylvania, based in Los Angeles, California

Solo Shows on Artsy

2014
Ship of Fools, Christopher Grimes Gallery, Santa Monica

Group Shows on Artsy

2015
Summertime Love 2, Michel Rein Paris/Brussels, Paris