Bio

Ken Schles (CV)
Brooklyn, New York. 1960.


Ken Schles is the author of five monographs:

Invisible City (Twelvetrees Press, 1988/2nd edition Steidl Verlag, 2015 and 2016);
The Geometry of Innocence (Hatje Cantz, 2001);
A New History of Photography: The World Outside and the Pictures In Our Heads (White Press, 2007);
Oculus (Noorderlicht, 2011) and
Night Walk (Steidl Verlag, 2015; reprint 2016).

Nominated for the Deutsche Börse Prize, exhibited by The Museum of Modern Art, selected notable by the New York Times Book Review, cited in four histories of the medium (Parr/Badger, Auer & Auer, 10x10 American Photobooks, New York In Photobooks), Ken Schles' photography books have appeared in "best of" lists in TIME magazine, Mother Jones, Interview magazine, and Vogue Italia. They're considered intellectual milestones in photography (Süddeutsche Zeitung), hellishly brilliant (The New Yorker) and insight into the mind of a great photographer (Hotshoe).

A New York Foundation for the Arts Fellow, Ken Schles has organized and mounted over 18 solo exhibitions (most recently at the Deichtorhallen Haus der Photographie in Hamburg, Germany, 2016) and appeared in over three dozen group shows in over a dozen countries. Wherever he exhibits he tries to give workshops, talk about his projects and/or his process. His work is included in nearly two-dozen museum collections throughout the world including The Museum of Modern Art and The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and The Rijksmuseum in The Netherlands.

Writing on the ecology of the image, his essays have appeared in Vision Anew (University of California Press, 2015), The Photographer's Playbook (Aperture, 2014) and Publish Your Photography Book (Princeton Architectural Press, 2014). He's been the foreign correspondent for the FOAM blog (a museum blog out of Holland), and a guest blogger for Noorderlicht, as well as other sites. He writes occasional original essays for his own blog (Seeing images, seeing things) and for his own published works.

Editorial work has appeared internationally, from The New York Times Magazine in the US to the FAZ in Germany. He's had six covers of Newsweek and worked for dozens of magazines throughout his career. During the 1990s he worked with recording artists on nearly 100 CD packages, most notably Billy Bragg and Wilco, Green Day, Alicia Keys, Rufus Wainwright, Rod Stewart, Natalie Merchant and The Wallflowers. For a more thorough client list click here.

Born (and currently residing) in Brooklyn, NY, he grew up in a turbulent era and has been socially engaged in the issues that have shaped his world. As a student in the prestigious Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, he protested against and revamped an ailing photography department. After graduating and living in what became an abandoned tenement in the East Village (in NYC), he organized his fellow tenants and led the fight to prosecute his landlord resulting in the landlord's imprisonment, the removal of a shooting gallery and the renovation of a twenty-four unit building. He currently lives in his solar powered 19th century Brownstone, where he raises a family along with his wife, a New York City public elementary school principal.