Speaking of Photography: Chip Simone – A Photographer’s Life

Date(s) - 07/20/2023
Time(s) - 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm


Speaking of Photography: Chip Simone – A Photographer’s Life

Atlanta Photography Group (APG) is pleased to present an evening with photographer and Atlanta resident, Chip Simone. Chip will speak on his life as a photographer and will present a slideshow of his lifetime of work, which spans over 60 years.

Artist Bio

My interest in photography began in the mid-1950s when I found a pocket-size snapshot camera in my father’s dresser, a relic from my parent’s 1937 honeymoon. The Kodak Bantam 828 no longer worked, but it had a two-piece pop-up viewfinder which changed my life. When I looked through the viewfinder everything I saw was transformed. I was mesmerized. I took the camera with me everywhere and looked at everything through that finder. It became my private window on a secret world. By Junior High School I carried a 35mm camera with me every day. My family called me “Casey the Crime Photographer”.

In high school I apprenticed with a commercial photographer who took me under his wing and introduced me to the darkroom, strobes and making sun proofs of portraits. But I quickly realized that this kind of work wasn’t for me. I dreamed of becoming a globe-trotting photojournalist for LIFE magazine, traveling the world with a Leica M3, a passport and a trench coat.

That dream took a radical shift in direction in the mid-60s when I became a student of American Master Harry Callahan at the Rhode School of Design. Callahan was not a journalist; he was an artist. He was a modernist with close ties to abstraction and the American Bauhaus movement. He challenged the status quo and believed that if you experimented broadly and worked with dedication and passion, over time your vision would reveal itself to you. Harry didn’t just teach basic photography. Through his example he taught basic photographer. The search for my own way of seeing continues to this day as an unpredictable and mysterious voyage, a waking trance that excites me and haunts me still.

I have been exhibiting my photographs since 1968. I’ve had three one-person museum shows, and solo shows at Jackson Fine Art, the Steven Kasher Gallery in New York, NEXUS Art Center, and APG. I’ve been in many group exhibitions including the 1980 Winter Olympics, the 1985 Atlanta in France cultural exchange (Sorbonne in Paris, Toulouse, and the Cultural Center of Angouleme).

My pictures are included in several important collections including MOMA, the HMA, MOCAGA, Corcoran Gallery DC, The Houston MFA, LA Center for the digital Arts, the Sir Elton John Collection, and several corporate and private collections. I’ve received both a Survey Grant and a Photography Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. In 2016 I curated EDGE to EDGE, the first comprehensive survey of photography in Georgia for MOCAGA. Two books of my photographs have been published; On Common Ground (Mercer) 1996 and CHROMA (Nazraeli) 2011.

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