Joe Leavenworth (born 1985; lives Los Angeles) works in documentary, narrative and experimental forms of photography. Leavenworth’s work focuses on human connection in order to acknowledge, inquire and reflect on contemporary American experiences. Leavenworth holds a BFA in photography from the Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore and an MFA from the University of California, Riverside. Leavenworth has exhibited widely and has been published in Burnaway Magazine, The Fader, The New York Times Magazine and Photo District News. His first monograph, Native Son, published by VUU Studio, Brooklyn, is in the collections of the Brooklyn Museum, NY; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; and Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. Leavenworth has taught at The Cooper Union and the International Center of Photography, both New York; and University of California, Riverside.
Statement from the Artist:
“Ayngel” works across documentary, narrative and experimental photography to question representation, recollection and affect. Utilizing book forms, print and installation, the work explores the emotional and material construction of personal identity. It reflexively questions the shortcomings and deficiencies of photography to describe a subject and counters the ability of “straight” photographs to reflect an individual accurately or entirely. The work tries repeatedly and elliptically to represent its titular subject, and in the process highlights the fragmentary nature of depiction. “Ayngel” celebrates the potential of human connection and, in rendering it, strives to inspire empathy, engender understanding and reflect on a common creative spirit.