Will Steacy

"As I lay on the basement floor with my hands tied behind my back and a gun to my head, I thought, 'I am going to die tonight.'  Lying there, with my eyes closed, I felt this sudden, indescribable wave take hold of my body.  This thing inside me proclaimed: 'It is not your time to die. You have not yet done what you were put on Earth to do, you have not even begun it.'  This wave left as quickly as it came and when I opened my eyes the man with a gun to my head was gone.  That cold night in December changed my life forever.  Since then, I have followed this spirit inside me that fought so hard to live that night, doing what I now know I was put on Earth to do, this thing called my art.  All of my work is based on the fight to be alive. I use photography as a method of inquiry; it is a tool for understanding the world. The camera exploits a certain curiosity in me and gives me a reason to explore worlds I normally would not."

Will Steacy


Will Steacy's best-known project Down these Mean Streets is a socially-conscious series of photographs depicting life in rough urban areas. The series examines fear and the abandonment of America’s inner cities. Photographing only at night with a large format view camera, Steacy works in a set routine by walking between the airport and central business district of each city he photographs. America has turned its back on cities; years of neglect have left these cities with limited resources to repair themselves. Neighbourhoods crumble with no local economy, public education systems barely meet requirements and low-income housing is a nightmare as violence and drugs reign, making survival a number-one priority. America is at a crossroads as it struggles to escape the wrath of the Great Recession, laying off teachers and firefighters at an alarming rate in order to balance city budgets, still at war and searching for its place in a changing global economy. By addressing the loss and despair that prevails in the urban communities, Gill’s aim is to reveal a modern portrait of the American inner city, as problems and issues cannot be solved if they are not first identified. The city glows, strangely beautiful but vaguely threatening, as a picture of urbanity and its attendant vices – it is not a forgiving portrait. His work has been compared to that of Barney Kulock and Paul Graham.


Will Steacy is a talent of the international photography scene, writer and winner of prestigious awards such as the Tierney Fellowship and the Aperture Foundation-Illumination Fund Green Cart Photography Commission. He was one of the winners of the 25 under 25 Up-And-Coming American Photographers award from the Center for Documentary Studies and was nominated for the Prix Pictet 2014 and the Discovery Award 2014, which is awarded during the exhibition Les Rencontres d'Arles. His work is represented in major collections such as the International Centre of Photography Library, New York; the Haggerty Museum of Art, Milwaukee; the Library of Congress, Washington D.C.; and the collection of Prof. Dr. Nobel, Zurich.

Education


2003

B.F.A. Tisch School of the Arts, New York University, United States



Selected solo exhibitions


2015

„hw.design Art Project Award Exhibition" Munich, Germany
„Will Steacy" Foundation Vevey Ville d'Images, Vevey, Switzerland


2014
Noorderlicht Foundation, Groningen, Netherlands
„And Now It's Dark – American Night Photography" Djanogly Art Gallery, London, Great Britain


2013
„Down These Mean Streets" Christophe Guye Galerie, Zurich, Switzerland


2012
„Silver Eye Center for Photography" Pittsburgh, United States


2011
„48 Hours Exhibtion, A New Print from Aperture" Michael Mazzeo Gallery, New York, United States
„The Monstropolous Beast" Christophe Guye Gallery, Zurich, Switzerland
„Family Value - Summer Portrait Salon" Michael Mazzeo Gallery, New York, United States

2010
„Down These Mean Streets" Michael Mazzeo Gallery, New York, United States

2009
„Down These Mean Streets" Gulf and Western Gallery, New York University, United States

2007
Peer Gallery, New York, United States
Archinofsky Gallery, Las Vegas, United States
The Woods Gallery, Sun Valley, United States


2006
Bau Gallery, Beacon, United States



Selected group exhibitions


2016

The Print Center, Philadelphia, United States


2015

„Lishui International Photography Festival" Lishui Art Museum, Lishui, China
„Looking for America – Diffusion,
Cardiff International Festival of Photography" Cardiff, Wales
„World Press Photo" Montreal, Canada


2014
Lakeside Arts Centre, Nottingham, Great Britain
„Rencontres d’Arles 2014" Arles, France
„Urban Spirit" Christophe Guye Galerie, Zurich, Switzerland


2013
„Photography Festival" Bienne, Switzerland
„Look3 Festival of Photograph" Charlottesville, United States

2012
Amerika Haus-Pasinger Fabrik, Munich, Germany

2011
Empty Quarter Gallery, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
„Metropolis - city life in the urban age" Noorderlicht Photofestival 2011, Groningen, Netherlands
Ring Cube Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
Philadelphia Photo Arts Center, Philadelphia, United States
Aperture Foundation, New York, United States
Illinois State University, Normal, United States
Michael Mazzeo Gallery, New York,United States
Museum of the City of New York, New York, United States
Haggerty Museum of Art, Milwaukee, United States
Ogden Museum Of Southern Art, New Orleans, United States


2010
„PhotoNOLA - Festival of Photography" New Orleans, United States
HomeSpace Gallery, New Orleans, United States
Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington DC, United States
Christophe Guye Gallery, Zurich, Switzerland
Museum of Fine Arts, Tallahassee, United States
Hous Projects, New York, United States
The Illumination Fund, New York, United States
„Whatever was Splendid: New American Photographs" FotoFest Biennial, Houston, United States
Photo Center NW, Seattle, United States
Ogden Museum Of Southern Art, New Orleans, United States


2009
„F/Stop International Photography Festival" Leipzig, Germany
„New York Photo Festival" Brooklyn, United States
Griffin Museum of Photography, Boston, United States
Michael Mazzeo Gallery, New York, United States
Alexey Brodovitch Gallery, New York, United States
Galerie Art Mur, Montreal, Canada

2008
Kathleen Cullen Fine Art, New York, United States
Lennox Contemporary, Toronto, Canada
Leica Gallery, New York, United States
Michael Mazzeo Gallery, New York, United States
Gulf and Western Gallery, New York University, United States
Rooke Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa

2007
Peer Gallery, New York, United States
African American Museum of Art, Philadelphia, United States
Odessa College, Odessa, Ukraine
Academy of Fine Arts, Warsaw, Poland
Contemporary Arts Center, Abilene, United States

2006
Gulf and Western Gallery, New York University, United States
The Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, United States
Chashama Gallery, New York, United States
Dougherty Arts Center, Austin, United States
Gail Gibson Gallery, Seattle, United States
Houston Center for Photography, United States
Nathan Cummings Foundation, New York, United States
The Center for Fine Art Photography, Fort Collins, United States
Hinterconti Gallerie, Hamburg, Germany
New Orleans Museum of Art, New Orleans, United States

2005
Philadelphia Art Alliance, Philadelphia, United States



Fellowships & awards


2015

Lishui International Photography Festival, Best Prize
Prix Pictet, Nominated


2014

Rencontres d’Arles Discovery Award, Nominated
Magnum Foundation Emergency Fund, Nominated


2013
Aperture Photobook Awards, First Photobook Prize, Shortlist
Dorothea Lange-Paul Taylor Prize, Center for Documentary Studies, Finalist
Prix Pictet Prize, Nominated
Center Awards, Project Launch, Juror’s Choice


2012
Baum Award, Finalist


2011
Santa Fe Prize,
Finalist
PDN’s 30 Emerging Photographers To Watch, Photo District News


2010
Honickman First Book Prize, Finalist

2009
The Aperture Foundation-Illumination Fund Green Cart Photography Commission
(2009–2011)


2011
Magnum Expression Award,
Finalist
Photolucida’s Critical Mass
, Top 50
Hearst 8x10 Photography Biennial
, Honorable Mention


2008
Photolucida’s Critical Mass, Top 50
The Tierney Fellowship

The
Magenta Foundation’s Emerging Photographers Competition, Winner
New York Photo Festival Photo Awards
, Personal Work/Fine Art Series, Nominated
International Photography Awards
, Honorable Mention


2007
American Photography 23, Winner
Warsaw Festival of Artistic Photography
, Honorable Mention


2006
25 Under 25: Up-And-Coming American Photographers, Center for Documentary Studies


2003
Creative Excellence Prize, New York University


2001
Seth Tobias Award, New York University



Selected artist lectures & residencies


2012

Villa Waldberta Residency, Munich, Germany
P.S.1, New York, United States
Photoville, Brooklyn, United States


2011
Haggerty Museum of Art, Milwaukee, United States
University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, United States
PhotoPlus Expo, New York, United States
Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, United States


2010
Parsons The New School for Design, New York, United States
International Center of Photography, New York, United States


2009
Pennsylvania College of Art and Design, Lancaster, PA, United Kingdom, Great Britain


2008
powerHouse Books, Brooklyn, United States


2007
Peer Gallery, New York, United States
Germantown Friends School, Philadelphia, United States


2006
Houston Center of Photography, Houston, United States
M.I.T., Cambridge, United States
New York University, New York, United States
Bau Gallery, Beacon, New York, United States



Selected Collections


Haggerty Museum of Art
Ogden Museum Of Southern Art
Bidwell Projects
Library of Congress
International Center of Photography Library
Annette and Peter Nobel Collection