Photographer of the Week #184: Ian Lewandowski

Ian Lewandowski is a photographer from Northwest Indiana. He presently lives and works in Brooklyn with his husband Anthony and dog Seneca. His work is about histories of pictures, bodies, and communities.

In my photographs, I negotiate a dialogue among several disparate concerns: intergenerational queer trajectories, re-imaginings of family, self-worth as predicated by labor, and illusions of safety. I find that my access exists in a once- or twice-removed capacity.
Poses and gestures in my work directly reference a quasi-image archive I compile from online or print. This archive evades hierarchies, and its images often carry an explicitly or subtextual queer lineage. I position the pictures I take as reenactments of those in this archive, responses to them given expanding contexts. The exacting and laborious sensibility required to operate the view camera setup provides an appropriate platform for the long and meditative analysis I feel the archival images command.
 A radical exchange of generosity and testimony can take place when a portrait is made. While the photographed body at large is, for me, a moment of personal revelation, it is also inevitably a certain vessel. I find I can’t leave pictures alone. I extend the archive, enacting an analogy for photography’s reactionary nature.
In these ways, my role as photographer signifies inherent power. The medium of photography is apt territory for discussing histories of pictures, bodies, and communities, the ways they are mismanaged and abused, ways to resist and recover.

For more information on Lewandowski’s work visit his website.