Jim Goldberg


Jim Goldberg Biography


Jim Goldberg is an American photographer and writer whose work reflects long-term, in-depth collaborations with neglected, ignored, or otherwise outside-the-mainstream populations. Goldberg is best known for his photographic books, multi-media exhibits, and video installations, among them: Rich and Poor (1985), Nursing Home, Raised by Wolves (1995), Hospice, and Open See (2009). Goldberg photographs sub-cultures creating photo collages, including text with his photographs, often written by his subjects.

Goldberg is part of the social aims movement in photography, using a straightforward, cinéma vérité approach, based on a fundamentally narrative understanding of photography. Goldberg's empathy and the uniqueness of the subjects emerge in his works, "forming a context within which the viewer may integrate the unthinkable into the concept of self. Thus diffused, this terrifying other is restored as a universal." (Art Forum, Summer 1987)

A major mixed media exhibition by Goldberg concerning homeless children in California entitled "Raised by Wolves" began traveling in 1995 and was accompanied by a book of the same title. A review of the exhibition at the Corcoran Gallery of Art noted that Goldberg made reference to other artists and photographers; used photographs, videos, objects, and texts to convey meaning; and "let his viewers feel, in some corner of their psyches, the lure of abject lowliness, the siren call of pain." Although the accompanying book received one mixed review shortly after publication, it was described as "a heartbreaking novel with pictures" and Martin Parr and Gerry Badger in their book The Photobook: A History praised it as "complex and thoughtful."

Goldberg is a Professor of Photography and Fine Arts at the California College of the Arts and has been a full member of the Magnum Photos agency since 2006. He lives and works in San Francisco. His fashion, editorial and advertising work has appeared in numerous publications including W, Details, Flaunt, The New York Times Magazine, Esquire, Rebel, GQ, The New Yorker, and Dazed and Confused. He is represented by Pace/MacGill Gallery in New York, the Stephen Wirtz Gallery in San Francisco, and Magnum Photos.

His work is in the permanent collection of The Art Institute of Chicago, The Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore, MD, Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA, The Getty, Los Angeles, CA, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA, Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY, National Museum of American Art, Washington, DC, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Seattle Art Museum, and Whitney Museum, New York, NY.

-- Courtesy of the Oxbow School.