Mikhael Subotzky, ‘Self-portrait (with the help of optometrist) R ’, 2012, Goodman Gallery

About Mikhael Subotzky

Mikhael Subotzky documents contemporary South Africa in visually rich, haunting color photographs. Drawing influence from the seminal work of David Goldblatt, Subotzky turns his lens on societal institutions, like prisons and residential communities, with an eye for the mundane and everyday. In “Beaufort West” (2006–08), a series he premiered at MoMA, Subotzky focuses on the Beaufort West Prison, juxtaposing the prisoners inside with residents of the neighboring towns, from sex workers to privileged suburbanites. Another series, “Ponte City” (2008–), depicts residents in the titular Johannesburg residential tower, opposing the claustrophobic, dystopian architecture with poignant scenes of family life taking place within. Subotzky’s works are at once highly introspective and revelatory of the systemic injustices wrought by South Africa’s colonialist legacy.

South African, b. 1981, Cape Town, South Africa, based in Johannesburg, South Africa