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Education and Inspiration Last Updated: Dec 15th, 2012 - 23:02:00

An Interview with Joyce Tenneson
By Photoworkshop Staff
Sep 1, 2011

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© Joyce Tenneson
Every so often an artist comes along who defies the easy labeling that curators and critics feel obliged to stick on everything under their rapacious gaze. In spite of lacking obvious inspirations and role models, these artists manage to create deeply felt, radical works that an extraordinary number of viewers respond to with fervor and pleasure."
- Karl-Peter Gottschalk, photography critic, on Joyce Tenneson

Tenneson is among the most respected photographers of our time, and has been described critically as "one of America's most interesting portrayers of the human character." Her work is a combination of portraiture and mythology-she is interested in discovering the archetypes of our being.

Tenneson's work has been shown in over 150 exhibitions worldwide, and is part of numerous private and museum collections. Her photographs have appeared on countless covers for magazines such as: Time, Life, Entertainment Weekly, Newsweek, Premiere, Esquire and The New York Times Magazine. She is also a much sought-after portrait photographer with clients in Europe, Japan, and the United States.

Ms. Tenneson is the author of thirteen books, including, Joyce Tenneson: A Life in Photography, published by Bulfinch Press in 2008. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the International Center of Photography's Infinity Award, for best applied photography. In addition, she has been named "Photographer of the Year" by the international organization, Women in Photography. A recent poll conducted by American Photo Magazine voted Tenneson among the ten most influential women photographers in the history of photography. Joyce lives and works in New York City.

Tenneson's portraits go beyond a surface recording of her subject's likeness. Her signature-style images attempt to show the inner person who hovers behind the facade. Says Tenneson: "I want to allow others to reveal and celebrate aspects of themselves that are usually hidden. My camera is a witness. It holds a light up for my subjects to help them feel their own essence, and gives them the courage to collaborate in the recording of these revelations."

Joyce Tenneson

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