Exhibitions: A Life's Work: Benedict J. Fernandez

Benedict J. Fernandez

The title of this exhibit is misleading. In order to exhibit Benedict J. Fernandez’s body of work, one would have to hang it in Madison Square Garden and hope to have enough space. This exhibit is about images that have become iconic and recognized the world over. Often the observer has no idea of the identity of the photographer. The power of these Benedict J. Fernandez’s images is universal.

What sets Fernandez’s work apart from other photo-journalists is that he always works alone on self-assigned projects. He does not belong to photo agencies and does not shoot on assignment. Throughout his long career, he self-selected projects he considered important and worked on them, unfettered with regard to deadlines, until he was satisfied with his body of work. Fernandez produced portfolios, photo-essays and books. Some of his images have become historic documents in their own right, especially his photographs of the protest movements of the 1960’s.

Benedict Fernandez’s photographs have been exhibited in all 50 states. His shows have traveled to England, France, Italy, Spain, Germany, Russia, Czech Republic, Finland, Japan, Spain and China and his exhibit Countdown to Eternity traveled to 27 African countries in addition to the sites. Through these widely seen exhibitions many iconic images have emerged which form the basis of this show.

Benedict Fernandez’s work is, at least in part,  captured in 14 portfolios which include: Protest, Countdown to Eternity, Mental Poverty, Bikers, Shipyard, Ghosts of Ellis Island, Puerto Rico, The Newark Riots, Growing Up in Harlem, Joseph Papp and the Public Theater, Speakers Corner, Japan, Zahara in Spain and China. Benedict Fernandez’s most recent work, in magnificent color and never before seen in public, is Flowers!

For more information about Benedict Fernandez’s work, contact Siiri Fernandez, Curator and instigator of all future shows, at: [email protected].