I've photographed a range of subjects in a variety of contexts for several years. Photographing buildings has provided the greatest sustainability for my practice. Photographing subjects of newsworthy, sociocultural, or historical weight has provided the most meaning within my practice.
I became committed to photography after I began photographing my maternal grandparents. In April of 1998, I made a photo of them that affected me profoundly and began my path in using photography to explore how others persevere through hardship. During this phase I photographed individuals that seemed to be suffering, impoverished, or socially marginalized, and identified as a documentary photographer -- believing cameras captured veritable slices of reality and that depicting social problems was enough to create change.
Although I no longer believe that pictures are solely sufficient to create change, nor believe photographs are inherently truthful (nor inherently deceptive), I believe in the efficacy of photography as medium for reportage and journalism, ethnography, and as sociocultural commentary and discourse.
Amicus Curiae- Cariou v Prince - 2013
I was invited to submit a paper which was transformed into an affidavit as part of an amicus brief in support of photographer Patrick Cariou in his copyright infringement lawsuit against painter Richard Prince in 2nd Circuit Federal Court. My statement responded to an amicus brief in support of Richard Prince.
Connotation / Denotation - 2013
I curated a month-long interactive group photography show with seventeen NYC photojournalists, at Mark Miller Gallery in the Lower East Side, NY. Some participants’ works were from news/documentary work, and others from personal or artistic work. Aside from intent to give exposure to the participants’ work, the exhibit aimed to explore the meaning-making process, and discrepancies between messages received by viewers, contrasted against the message intended by the photographer. Exhibit visitors had opportunity to interact with the exhibit -- through a website -- and share the messages they inferred from the works on display -- explaining the connotation the viewer attributed the work. After inputing their interpretation, visitors were able to access captions by the image-makers learning what the images actually denoted.
San Anto Cultural Arts - 2012
Photography workshop with twenty children, aged 8-14, exploring how photography functions as aesthetic expression, sociocultural commentary, and community inquiry and documentation. Additionally, topics explored included gaining access, trust and permission from subjects; photography as a window into value and symbol systems; power relationships between a subject and photographer; and the strengths/weakness of photography as communication and representation. The workshop culminated with an exhibit.
On The Wall --- Haven Arts Gallery - 2008
Group show participant of fine-art photographic images created by NYC photojournalists.
San Anto Cultural Arts - 2008
I taught a photography workshop for a group of differently aged individuals including children, teens, young adults and middle-aged and older adults, wherein the participants were asked to photograph aspects of their lives and environment that they wished to document from the San Antonio west-side community. The workshop culminated in an exhibit of the student's work.
Bread and Roses Unseen America Projects - 2005
I taught a photography workshop for Unseen America -- a project out of the Service Employees International Union, which gives cameras and photography classes to Americans not visible in media and political discourse -- placing special emphasis on immigrant workers. Unseen America has worked with nannies, janitors, transit workers, homeless, and battered women. My class was intended to integrate the use of photography, writing, and critical thinking to a group of 25 ten-year olds at PS152 in Elmhurst Queens. All of the students were immigrants, or born to immigrant families, from India, Bangladesh, Columbia, Peru, Dominican Republic, Spain, Portugal, Ecuador, Egypt, Greece, and Malaysia. Photographic assignments were designed to explore notions of self and other, race, class, stereotype, culture, and the environment. The class culminated in an exhibit of the students' work.
Historical Society Of Pennsylvania - Latinos Project - 2003
This project documented Good Friday Rites in a North Philadelphia Latino congregation.
Chicano Now - 2002
I created images of music and dance representative of Chicano culture in Los Angeles that were integrated into a multi-media installation modeled after a diner. Visitors would interact with the jukebox, to learn about notable Chicano musicians. Chicano Now opened at the Smithsonian in Washington DC, and toured the US for the following five years.
Urban Libraries and Literacy Project - 2000
This project documented children's usage of library spaces and resources, instances of people reading, and renovations made to eight branches of the Free Library of Philadelphia. Some images were displayed at the White House in connection with Susan Neuman’s work addressing the No Child Left Behind literacy campaign, and published in the monograph, Giving our Children a Fighting Chance, Poverty, Literacy, and the Development of Information Capital.
Core New Art Space - 1997
Juried photography group show, in Denver, Colorado.
Mackey Gallery - 1996
Juried photography group show, in Denver, Colorado.
Core New Art Space - 1996
Juried “social commentary” art show, in Denver, Colorado.
National Center for Atmospheric Research - 1995
Two-month solo exhibition of images made in the Middle East at NCAR, in Boulder Colorado.
Kavod Project - 1994
This projected documented a program run by Temple Emmanuel to feed homeless people.
NY Times, NY Post, Metro.us, Philadelphia Business Journal, Philadelphia City Paper, Westword Magazine, The Photo Review, Washington Post, Think Progress, Democracy Now, Boulder County Business Report, Ebony Magazine, Public Broadcasting System (PBS).
Jeremy Sparig Photography
Phone: 917.676.549 | email: jsparig[at]gmail[dot]com
Copyright Jeremy Sparig 1989 - 2017. All rights reserved.