The Center Awards: The Editor’s Choice 2nd Place Winner: Charlie Simokaitis
Last week and this week, Lenscratch will be celebrating the 2014 CENTER Award Winners. We are thrilled to align with such a wonderful organization that honors, supports, and provides opportunities to gifted and committed photographers. For 20 years, CENTER has launched careers, provided incredible exposure and inspired photographers to create work that excites and challenges the photographic dialogue.
Today we celebrate Charlie Simokaitis‘ Editor’s Choice 2nd Place Award starting with juror, Cheryl Newman’s, statement.
EDITOR’S CHOICE: Juror’s Statement
JUROR CHERYL NEWMAN, Photography Director, Telegraph Magazine & ST Titles, England
I’d like to thank the all the photographers who entered the 2014 CENTER Choice Awards and for making the judging such an exciting and profoundly thought provoking experience. The passionate photography made the process both a pleasure and pain as great images disappeared or progressed to the next round. The artists whose work I had the pleasure to shortlist are committed to their chosen projects, using empathy and imagination to explore the world though their individual photographic language.
For the past few days I have looked at the work on my short list chosen from hundreds of entries after days of deliberation. I have slept on it, which didn’t help, pondered and reflected the different stories, styles and genres. Truth is the work of all of the finalists is very strong and I now have an attachment to all of it.
Charlie Simokaitis’ curious images are layered and ambiguous which I find the provocative and fascinating.– Cheryl Newman, Photography Director, Telegraph Magazine & ST Titles, England
Charlie Simokaitis Project Statement: With Whom Do I Have the Pleasure?
These images are from the book With Whom Do I Have the Pleasure? a literary account of the psychological and physical state(s) of one rapidly losing the ability to see. Herein a personal visual codex is used to distill the disorientation and confusion of the day-to-day. This shorthand presents small stories within a larger narrative and denotes the heightened sense of reality born of a fateful lived event.
Charlie Simokaitis was born and raised in Chicago, IL. He attended an all-boys Jesuit high school where he was introduced to writers like Albert Camus, Samuel Beckett and Edward Albee, developing a deep love of fiction and an awareness of social justice. He received a BFA in photography from the University of Illinois and an MFA from the Hartford Art School. His projects from Nicaragua, Sudan and involving people who are blind or visually impaired have been exhibited in various galleries and exhibitions domestically and abroad. His commercial assignments for corporations, foundations and various firms have taken him to six continents as both photographer and filmmaker. In 2012 Charlie co-founded Groundifre Pictures, a multimedia production company. Charlie continues to live in Chicago with his wife and daughter.
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