FotoFest Exhibitions

Jason Lazarus


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For the last six years, Jason Lazarus has investigated individual and cultural obsessions by weaving together personal and public moments of significance; his work humanizes public moments while making the universal personal. These moments range from the splat of bright red blood from a dead bug on his windshield, to a picture of Spencer Elden as a high school senior (Elden was the naked baby floating on the cover of Nirvana’s Nevermind 1991 album), to the aura of light in the night sky above Barack Obama’s election night rally in Chicago’s Grant Park. In lieu of using the camera to address a traditional single topic, Lazarus makes photographs that embrace his long-term commitment to documenting moments of shared public relevance, whether overt or covert, moments that speak to the tensions, conflicts, and ideologies that reveal our personal experience.

Since receiving his M.F.A. in photography (2003), Jason Lazarus has actively exhibited around the country and abroad while teaching photography part-time in Chicago at Columbia College and the School of the Art Institute. Selected exhibition highlights include Black Is, Black Ain’t at the Renaissance Society in Chicago (2008), Image Search at PPOW Gallery in New York (2008), On the Scene at the Art Institute of Chicago (2009). His work has also been shown in solo exhibitions at Andrew Rafacz Gallery in Chicago; the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago; Kaune, Sudendorf in Cologne, Germany;and D3 Projects in Los Angeles. Notable honors include an Illinois Arts Council “Fellowship Award”, 2009; the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Award, “Emerging Artist”, 2008; and the “Emerging Artist” Artadia Grant in 2006. Lazarus’s work is in the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, the Milwaukee Museum of Art, and the Bank of America LaSalle Photography collection among many others.