Stephen Crowley: The States Project: District of Columbia
Stephen Crowley grew up in Jupiter, Florida, the last stop on millionaire Henry Flagler’s Celestial Railroad. We met when I was a young newspaper photographer on Capitol Hill, and he had recently been hired at The New York Times. He had already begun to distinguish himself for his adroitness in capturing political nuance in layered visuals. When Aline suggested we feature a political photographer during the DC States Project, I knew of none better to provide a longer view of our current situation, nor of one with whom in work and life I was more intimately acquainted, as we have spent the better part of the last 20 years together.
The selection of photographs featured below represents my own edit of Stephen’s work, an ongoing cull bearing the working title: If I Were Your King. I have only tried to provide a wide survey of his ongoing investigation into political life, leaving out any recent references, with an eye to both the deadly serious, the preposterous, and the poignant. Stephen’s Washington is indeed the D.C. with which most people associate us. This Washington celebrates only its victors and relegates the losers to the outer cloakroom, as former Democratic Presidential hopeful Adlai Stephenson’s visage is at the Democratic National Committee Club on Capitol Hill in the final image. As with so much in life, perspective is everything.
Stephen Crowley, a Washington based staff photographer for The New York Times, has spent most of his career masquerading as a newspaper photographer while producing idiosyncratic projects that push the boundaries of photojournalism and reveal unvarnished truths about Washington politics. His black-and-white images are elegant and precise and employed complex compositions in newspaper photography long before the style became trendy. He often combines the political and personal in diptychs and triptychs, infusing a sharp sense of irony into much of his work.
Stephan has been the recipient of many honors, among them: the Pulitzer Prize, an honorary doctorate from the Corcoran College of Art, and White House News Photographer of the Year. In 2005, American Photo Magazine included Crowley on its list of the 100 Most Important People in Photography. His photography has been exhibited in shows at the Library of Congress, The National Geographic Society, The Griffin Museum for Photography, and the Corcoran Art Museum.
A great deal of politics is artifice and show business — even more so today than when I started. Many voters are angry and confused. There is a lot to be upset about these days, and there are a lot of people to hold accountable in media and politics. There’s a thread of humor through my work, and humor is just a form of anger, if you think about it. And of course, humor is anchored in the other end by tragedy.
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Jared Soares: The States Project: District of ColumbiaNovember 12th, 2016
Tatiana Gulenkina: The States Project: District of ColumbiaNovember 11th, 2016
Louie Palu: The States Project: District of ColumbiaNovember 10th, 2016
Eman Mohammed: The States Project: District of ColumbiaNovember 9th, 2016
Stephen Crowley: The States Project: District of ColumbiaNovember 8th, 2016