Monday, January 20, 2014

Chester Higgins Jr. is an American photographer

Chester Higgins Jr. is an American photographer.
Wrestling with issues of memory, place and identity, I see my life as a narrative and my photography as its expression. My art gives visual voice to my personal and collective memories. It is inside ordinary moments where I find windows into larger meaning. Light, perspective, and points in time are the pivotal elements I use to reveal an interior presence within my subjects as I search for what I identify as the Signature of the Spirit.”
Higgins has worked as a New York Times photographer since 1975 and has exhibited in museums throughout the world. His one-man exhibitions have appeared at the International Center of Photography, The Museum of Photographic Arts, The Smithsonian Institution, The Museum of African Art, Musée Dapper Paris, The Schomburg Center, The New-York Historical Society and the Schatten Gallery at Emory University.
Higgins is the author of the photo collections Black Woman, Drums of Life, Some Time Ago: A Historical Portrait of Black America (1850–1950), Feeling the Spirit: Searching the World for the People of Africa, Elder Grace: The Nobility of Aging, and his memoir Echo of the Spirit: A Photographer's Journey. His most recent book is, "Ancient Nubia: African Kingdoms on the Nile". His work is included in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art and has been included in numerous book collections and appeared in publications such as Newsweek, Fortune, Look,Essence and Life.
Chester Higgins Jr is a photographer on a mission. His mission is to embrace, to reaffirm and to challenge. Higgins believes art humanizes us, the subjects of his photographs are most important to him. Higgins gives voice to the unseen interior spirit. His images resonate with a spiritual echo, which maintains the image and frees it from the constraints of time. Much of Higgins’s imagery is inspired by issues of identity. Over the past five decades, he has produced a vast collection of compelling imagery reflecting a sensitive and in-depth diary of his explorations of the human Diaspora and his concern with his own humanity.
Higgins’ images of ordinary moments enable us to see and appreciate the fullness of humanity. Through his interior portraits and studies of living rituals and ancient civilizations, viewers gain a rare insight into cultural behavior, a window to another place and time. “With the camera I embrace the spirit that is the essence of all existence,” Higgins says. “I search for the signature of the spirit in my subjects, and through my art, I become whole.”
For half a century, artist Chester Higgins has been using his camera to search for the unseen — “that which is innate within all things and informs the appearance of our world.” Higgins’s passion is for ordinary people and the rituals that enrich and give meaning to our lives. “Art is an expression of the soul that gives visual definition to an experience,” he says. Using light, which “energizes and informs everything it touches,” Higgins gives voice to the essence of what he photographs. “When I’m photographing, I feel time begin to shift between the present, the past, and the future — which is the nature of the Spirit,” he continues. “My challenge is to reveal the Spirit’s fleeting presence.
Currently he is researching and photographing monuments and other antiquity sites along the River Nile from the 6,000-foot high mountains of Kush (modern-day Ethiopia) through Nubia (Sudan) down to the ancient land of Kemet (Egypt). In this latest project, entitled Before Genesis, Higgins narrates the story of the African beginnings of spirituality, antecedents of the Biblical world.
He is represented by the Peter Fetterman Gallery of Santa Monica, California

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