A PECULIAR PARADISE

About Benn

Born and raised in Miami, Nathan Benn served on the photographic staff of the National Geographic Society from 1972 – 1991

Select Publications —

National Geographic Magazine

Stern Magazine, Hamburg

GEO Magazine, Hamburg

The Independent Sunday Magazine, London

Merian Magazine, Hamburg

Paris Match

Epoca Magazine, Milan

 

Solo Exhibitions

Shelburne Museum, Shelburne, VT  2015

Harnett Art Museum, Richmond, VA  2016

Leica Gallery, Los Angeles, CA  2016

Cape Ann Museum, Gloucester, MA  2017

Minnesota Marine Art Museum, Winona, MN 2017

HistoryMiami Museum, Miami, FL  2018-2019

 

Collections

Rijksmuseum Amsterdam

National Portrait Gallery

Museum of Fine Arts Boston

Museum of Fine Arts Houston

Harvard Art Museums

George Eastman Museum

Peabody Essex Museum

Shelburne Museum

HistoryMiami Museum










The seeming inconsequential subject of Benn’s photographs - which are keenly observed and evocative of a time and place - act as metaphors for American culture and values. Although much of Benn’s work was done for a magazine and not gallery walls, his use of color throughout holds its own with artists of the period such as William Eggleston and Stephen Shore.
— Richard Buckley, Former Editor, Women's Wear Daily, Vogue Hommes International

Nathan Benn embraced color photography before it was considered an acceptable medium for serious documentary expression; he synthesized the intentions of post-World War progressive photo-reportage with modernist aesthetics. The National Geographic Society photographic division recruited Benn, a native of South Florida, immediately upon his 1972 graduation from the University of Miami. Three hundred of his photographs were published in National Geographic Magazine and hundreds more can be found in numerous NGS books.

Benn’s assignments were equally divided between domestic and overseas projects. He typically photographed people in their authentic environment, rarely posing or manipulating the subjects. His reportage for National Geographic included the Netherlands, Dead Sea, Prague, South Korea, Scotland, Florida, Vermont, Massachusetts, Mississippi River, Finger Lakes, Dead Sea, Prague, Hasidic Jews, Jewish Diaspora, medicinal herbs, human physiology, Bible lands archaeology in the Middle East, pre-Columbian archaeology in Peru, and skyscrapers.

While revisiting his archive over the past decade, Benn discovered hundreds of unpublished pictures that vividly depict American culture and diversity. Kodachrome Memory: American Pictures 1972-1990, Benn’s monograph published in 2013 by PowerHouse Books, features over 100 photographs organized by geographic regions and affinities. American Photo magazine honored the monograph as one of the best books of the 2013.

With a uniquely American mix of formality and ease, and a color palette so tart you can almost taste it, Benn makes the past vividly — even painfully — present.
— Vince Aletti, Photography Critic, The New Yorker

After two decades at National Geographic, Benn put down his cameras in 1991 to focus on nascent digital media technology; this lead to his creation of the first online digital asset management and media licensing enterprise, Picture Network International (PNI). Launched in 1993, PNI’s Internet platform and marketplace revolutionized the stock photography industry, creating the archetype for Corbis and Getty Images.

In early 2000 Benn became Director of Magnum Photos, the renowned photographer cooperative founded in 1948 by Henri-Cartier Bresson, David Seymour, George Rodger, and Robert Capa. Under Benn’s leadership from 2000 to 2003 Magnum transitioned from an analog enterprise to a best-of-class digital platform. The cooperative also published award-wining books including RFK Funeral Train and New York September 11 by Magnum Photographers.  Benn lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and Brooklyn, New York, with his wife Rebecca Abrams, a fine art photographer, and their teenage son. 

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Nathan Benn abrazó la fotografía en color antes de ser considerada un medio aceptable para la expresión documental seria; Sintetizó las intenciones del reportaje fotográfico progresivo posterior a la Segunda Guerra Mundial con estética modernista. La división fotográfica de la National Geographic Society reclutó a Benn, nativo del sur de Florida, inmediatamente después de graduarse en 1972 de la Universidad de Miami. Trescientas de sus fotografías fueron publicadas en National Geographic Magazine y cientos más se pueden encontrar en numerosos libros de NGS. 

Las asignaciones de Benn se dividieron por igual entre proyectos nacionales y en el extranjero. Por lo general fotografiaba a las personas en su auténtico entorno, y rara vez posaba o manipulaba los temas. Su reportaje para National Geographic incluyó Holanda, Mar Muerto, Praga, Corea del Sur, Escocia, Florida, Vermont, Massachusetts, Río Mississippi, Lagos Finger, Mar Muerto, Praga, Judíos jasídicos, Diáspora judía, hierbas medicinales, fisiología humana, tierras de la Biblia arqueología en el Medio Oriente, arqueología precolombina en Perú y rascacielos.

Al revisar su archivo durante la última década, Benn descubrió cientos de imágenes inéditas que describen vívidamente la cultura y diversidad de Estados Unidos. Kodachrome Memory: American Pictures 1972-1990, la monografía de Benn publicada en 2013 por PowerHouse Books, presenta más de 100 fotografías organizadas por regiones geográficas y afinidades. La revista American Photo honró a la monografía como uno de los mejores libros del 2013.

Después de dos décadas en National Geographic, Benn dejó sus cámaras en 1991 para enfocarse en la naciente tecnología de medios digitales; esto llevó a su creación de la primera empresa de gestión de activos digitales en línea y licencias de medios, Picture Network International (PNI). Lanzado en 1993, la plataforma y el mercado de Internet de PNI revolucionaron la industria de la fotografía de archivo, creando el arquetipo de Corbis y Getty Images.

A principios de 2000, Benn se convirtió en Director de Magnum Photos, la famosa cooperativa de fotógrafos fundada en 1948 por Henri-Cartier Bresson, David Seymour, George Rodger y Robert Capa. Bajo el liderazgo de Benn de 2000 a 2003, Magnum pasó de ser una empresa analógica a ser una de las mejores plataformas digitales. La cooperativa también publicó libros premiados como RFK Funeral Train y Nueva York el 11 de septiembre por Magnum Photographers. Benn vive en Santa Fe, Nuevo México y Brooklyn, Nueva York, con su esposa Rebecca Abrams, una fotógrafa de arte, y su hijo adolescente.

Mailing address: Nathan Benn, 360 Furman Street #1019, Brooklyn, NY 11201

nathanbenn@mac.com

www.facebook.com/nathan.benn.16

www.kodachromememory.com