Kwaku Alston has a passion for social documentary photography and is inspired to capture truth and honor, whether in his portraits, landscapes or still life images. Kwaku’s world travels form his work and remind him that encouragement and sincerity communicate beyond words in any language. His current direction and vision is to document human interaction and our role in the natural world landscape. His images encourage the viewer to consider the less obvious truths hidden from view in our normal day-to-day existence. After several years in the New York shooting for The New York Times Magazine, Sony Music, Rolling Stone and Miramax, Kwaku moved to Venice, California in 2000. He has taken portraits of Barack and Michelle Obama, Robert Downey Jr., and Jennifer Aniston. Career highlights include photographing Nelson Mandela, Quincy Jones, and Maya Angelou. Kwaku looks forward to publishing his work and to further exhibiting his photographs in galleries and museums around the world.
INTERVIEW WITH KWAKU ALSTON:
Which work will you be exhibiting? What's the story behind this image?
This image is part of my Venice Beach Series. I moved to Venice beach ten years ago from NYC to study the gentrification and urban development on one of America's last socially diverse beach towns.
What is your charity or cause? Autism Now
Why did you select this? My nephew has Autism
Where does community work fit in with your ethos as an artist?
It’s very important as a human being to give back in as many ways possible. As an artist I can give my work but as a citizen of the world. I try to give my time which is important to help me in my process of self discovery and developing my soul. Helping others can only help yourself.
Edition One Hundred is founded with the idea of providing artists the opportunity to transform new technology into a tool to both produce affordable art while simultaneously connecting to non-traditional art collectors. What are your thoughts on Edition One Hundred?
I love it. Art should be affordable and accessible to the masses. This way we can all learn and experience life through art, which helps us to think outside the box.
How do you see this as a platform to reach a broader audience for your work?
The internet is the best way to reach millions with a single click. I welcome to chance to share my work in this venue.
What are your thoughts on Art in the Digital Age?
It’s all good. The easier it is to produce and get, the better. The digital age has helped artist show their work on a global level.
As an artist, regularly producing work is a manifestation of your distinctive view. Also it has a lot to do with influence by the work of others. Do you collect art? YES If so, who do you collect?
I have a fine art photography collection, which ranges from Contemporary to the classics. Irving Penn, Nan Goldin, Jock Sturges, and found images from flea markets around the world. My best images are from my peers who are also on this photographic life journey. Recently I've started collecting paintings by Kehinde Wiley.
If you had all the money in the world, who would you buy and why?
I don't think I would buy anything right now. I collect things that really hit an emotional chord with me. I would rather build art schools in inner city america and help push art to the next generation and invest in that, not some blue chip painter.
Why should people buy art?
Not for investment but more for the love of what that piece does for you emotionally.
Edition One Hundred is curated, limited edition art available in editions of 100, priced at $100.00. Prints are hand-signed and numbered by the artists in a size and/or print exclusive to Edition One Hundred. More here.