REFUGEE features new photographic artworks that illuminate the global refugee crisis.
In images created solely for the exhibition by five internationally acclaimed artists — Lynsey Addario, Omar Victor Diop, Graciela Iturbide, Martin Schoeller, and Tom Stoddart — REFUGEE will represent the lives of refugees from a host of diverse populations dispersed and displaced throughout the world, through photographs taken in Bangladesh, Cameroon, Colombia, Croatia, Germany, Greece, Mexico, Myanmar, Serbia, Slovenia, and the United States.
With the number of displaced people having reached some 60 million globally, according to UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, this timely exhibition will allow audiences to engage with aspects of the plight of refugees not previously encountered, and to reflect on a full range of current global refugee experiences through singular and compelling images. These images humanize the refugees’ struggles to build new homes and peaceful lives while in flight from dehumanizing and life-threatening persecution and deprivation. A core principle of REFUGEE is to present these diverse populations with both dignity and respect, even as they have endured often unwelcoming conditions and hostile environments in order to find their new beginnings.
Pulitzer Prize and MacArthur Fellowship-winning photographer Lynsey Addario documented the Rohingya people — a disenfranchised Muslim population in the predominantly Buddhist nation of Myanmar. Known for her captivating imagery in such publications as the New York Times, National Geographic, and TIME Magazine, Addario was recently named one of American Photo Magazine’s top-5 most influential photographers of the past 25 years. Her recently released New York Times best-selling memoir, It’s What I Do, chronicles her personal and professional life coming of age in the post-9/11 world.
Omar Victor Diop will present photographs of refugees from the Central African Republic who were forced to flee to Cameroon. Known for his work in fashion photography, Diop’s oeuvre comprises conceptual projects, including staged and self-portraiture with visual references ranging from classical European paintings to postcolonial African studio photography. His creative practice also involves costume design, textile research, and creative writing. His work has been shown at venues including Paris Photo and FIAC (Paris), the Arles photography festival, and 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair (New York and London).
Fine Art photographer Graciela Iturbide photographed settlements of Central American refugees in Mexico and displaced communities in Colombia. One of the most prolific Mexican photographers of any generation, Iturbide has participated in group exhibitions throughout the globe. Her solo exhibitions include the Casa dela Cultura in Juchitan, Oaxaca, Mexico; Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco; the Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego; the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles; the Philadelphia Museum of Art; Museo de Arte Moderno, Buenos Aires; and the Museum of Modern Art in Mexico City, among others.
Martin Schoeller’s detailed, close-range photographic portraits of everyday people, important and iconic entertainment personalities, political and cultural figures, and his photographic essays and books have all made him a distinctive and singular presence in the field of contemporary photographic portraiture. In his work, familiar faces are treated with the same levels of scrutiny as the un-famous. Among his many endeavors, Schoeller has worked on projects for such publications as Rolling Stone, National Geographic, TIME and GQ, among others. Schoeller joined Richard Avedon as a contributing portrait photographer at The New Yorker in 1999, where he continues to produce award-winning images. For REFUGEE, Schoeller has turned his unique stylistic lens to capture portraits of resettled refugees in the U.S for a section of the exhibit entitled “New Americans.”
Tom Stoddart’s contribution to REFUGEE is a photographic narrative of refugees arriving in Greece and traveling through Croatia and Serbia (October 9-23, 2015) to Germany (December 16-21, 2015). Stoddart’s awards and achievements are numerous — his 2012 Perspectives retrospective exhibition at London’s South Bank during the Olympic Games alone attracting 225,000 visitors.