“All my work has been created by a desire to engage life in moments of visual intimacy. When I am shooting, my subjects and I are partners in the process of expressing photographically, the aspirations and passions that reside within.” Jonathan Gershon Stark
Jonathan Gershon Stark studied photography at the State University of New York at Binghamton. Continuing to photograph and print images with the requisite “darkroom in the bathroom” approach he then expanded his studies with a Master’s Degree in Film and Broadcasting at Boston University. While securing work in commercial and corporate film Gershon continued his personal photography education with courses at the Museum School of Boston, Mass College of Art, and the New England School of Photography.
In 2010 Gershon studied with Amy Arbus, (amyarbus.com), at the Fine Arts Work Center, FAWC, in Provincetown, MA. Looking to work with more diverse materials and medium Gershon studied at FAWC in 2017 with RISD Instructor Jim Peters, (jimpetersart.com) and is integrating paint and objects into his “Sticks and Stones Project”.
In 1994, while working commercially shooting photographs for educational publishers Gershon traveled to Paris and found the visual magic that captured Willy Ronis, Brassai, Cartier-Bresson, and Eduoard Boubat. He continues to travel and photograph there creating new work and re- visiting favorite place and themes.
From 1995 through 2005 Gershon traveled extensively through Europe, North and South America, Israel, Africa, the French West Indies, and the Caribbean. His ability to honestly engage with people and see and photograph their personal and environmental uniqueness has created a wonderful body of work. The consistent theme in his work has been relationships, and the artistic and personal bonds that can be formed through photography.
Gershon’s personal connection with people has led him focus in recent years on his unabashed enchantment with the human face, form and the interactions and emotions that define us. His first collection the Zipper Project© looks at the surfaces and coverings of our bodies and the interplay of arms, legs, torsos, eyes, mouths as they hint at the opening of hearts and the revelations of physical intimacy.
His work on the , “Zipper Project© has evolved into a collection entitled “Skin Deep” which has been an ongoing exploration of the beauty of the human form and an expression of emotional strength revealed through physicality.
“Stop Traffic” developed from request to create work for a benefit to draw attention to sexual and human trafficking. These images have evolved into work with woman who have suffered physical and emotional trauma and who collaborate on photographs that are part of their healing process. Gershon produced an exhibition and benefit entitled “Hits Back” that raised funds for the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center
While continuing to explore more personal artistic themes in his “Security” and “Beach Ball” series his new project “Stick & Stones” continues his concern for and artistic expression of emotional trauma, focusing on the long lasting hurt that results from emotional abuse. The phrase “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me” is simply not true. The pain caused by words is visceral and the emotional scarring can shape a person’s self image for a lifetime. It is Gershon’s intent to artistically expose the fallacy of this childhood rhyme.
In 2019 Gershon was granted Artist Member status in the Providence Art Club and in 2020 won an award for his piece “Endangered” at their fall juried exhibition. He also teaches photography to high school students in the Providence After School Alliance program.
Selected Photographic Exhibitions:
“Visages et Paysages” – French Library and Cultural Center, Boston, MA. 2002
“ Paris Love Paris” – Cafe Torrefazione, Newbury Street, Boston, MA. 2005
“Zipper Project I” – Stel’s, Newbury St. Boston, MA. 2006
“Realites et Reves de Paris” – French Library and Cultural Center, Boston, MA. 2007
“Zipper Project II” – Pierre Menard Gallery, Cambridge , MA. 2008
“Stop Traffic” – Tantric, Boston, MA. 2008
“Skin Deep” – New England School of Photography, Boston, MA. 2009
“Emergence” – Art Current Gallery, Provincetown, MA. 2012
“Ravishing” – 555 Gallery, Boston, MA. 2014
“Hits Back” – Everybody Fights Gym, Seaport, Boston , MA 2015
“FPAC Group Shows” – Fort Points Artist Community Gallery, Boston, MA/ 2010 – 2016
“Petanqué” – French Cultural Center, Boston, MA. 2017
“Sticks and Stones” – AS220, Providence, RI. 2019
“Providence Art Club summer show” – Providence Art Club, Providence, RI. 2020
“Providence Art Club fall juried exhibition” – Providence Art Club, Providence, RI. 2020
“Providence Art Club fall member show” – Providence Art Club, Providence, RI. 2020
“Providence Art Club winter juried exhibition” – Providence Art Club, Providence, RI. 2020
– Video interview with Gershon
Click above to see an interview with Gershon and read reviews of “Ravishing”.
– “Stop Traffic” was a collaborative show with painter and poet Kurt Eidsvig.
Additional Photographic Credits:
- Bronze and Special Merit Awards in American Society of Magazine Photographers Juried Competitions
- Tour de France Accredited Photographer
- Creator of Foreign Language Database with over 65,000 images
- Member and Exhibitor, Fort Point Artists Community, Boston, MA.
- Resident, The Artist Building 300 Summer Street, Boston, MA.
- Professional experience and expertise in multiple media formats including Film, Photography,Digital Photography, Film and Video Production.