Chris Lowell began a career in street photography in 2005, inspired by the photographic styles of the early street photographers: Frank, Erwitt, Evans, Ronis, Cartier-Bresson. He documented urban street scenes across the world – from Paris to Marrakech, Florence to Port-au-Prince – always trying to evoke a sense of relatability and humanity in his subjects. Taking pictures with the same 35mm rangefinders as his influences, Lowell became quickly versed in the ability to shoot without thinking, to let impulse snap the shutter.
In 2009, after re-discovering the early photographs of Robert Mapplethorpe and the library of southern portraits from Sally Mann, Lowell began turning the camera in on his own life. Portraits became his new focus. But rather than utilizing studio lighting and seamless backgrounds, he maintained the intuition-driven style he had been developing in his early work. Still working with film, swapping the Leica for a Hasselblad, embracing the clarity of medium-format, Lowell began photographing his “memories.” Much of his work feels at once ethereal and grounded, part of this world and too good to be true. Like photographs, memories are never the real thing; they’re richer, softer, more romantic. Lowell’s images carry us into the poetic world, while keeping our feet firmly planted in the real one.
All images are printed gelatin-silver in limited editions. Lowell’s most recent show, “Thirty-One Days” opened at Jackson Fine Art in Atlanta. Previous shows include “The Dreamers” at the Stephen Cohen Gallery and “Rendering the Ordinary Extraordinary” at the Walter Maciel Gallery, both in Los Angeles. His work is included in the Sovereign Collection and the Elton John Collection amongst others. He studied photography at the University of Southern California and later at Parsons the New School for Design. He lives in New York.