Jim Goldberg


Moderator: Jordan Stein


Jim Goldberg is considered one of the most influential contemporary photographers. His long-term projects are informed and inspired by his interest in people and their position in society. Through intimacy, trust, and intuition, Goldberg establishes in-depth collaborations with the individuals he documents, creating innovative visual narratives on difficult topics such as inequality, migration, homelessness, aging and sexual identity, among others.

Goldberg is considered an heir to social documentary practice, which includes artists such as Walker Evans and Robert Frank and an innovator in the art of visual storytelling.


Photographer Jim Goldberg - Palo Alto Photography ForumJim Goldberg’s innovative use of image and text make him a landmark photographer of our times.

He began to explore experimental storytelling and the potential of combining photographs and text with Rich and Poor (1977-85), where he juxtaposed the residents of welfare hotel rooms with the upper class and their elegantly furnished homes to investigate the nature of American myths about class, power, and happiness. In Raised by Wolves (1985-95), he worked closely with runaway teenagers in San Francisco and Los Angeles to create a book and exhibition that combined original photographs, text, drawings, and diary entries with single and multi-channel video, sculpture, found objects, light boxes and other 3-D elements. Open See (2003-2010) tells the story of refugees, immigrants, and trafficked individuals journeying from their countries of origin to their new homes in Europe. Candy (2012-2016), layers archival materials, Super 8 film stills, and text from his childhood in New Haven with new photographs of its urban landscape and residents to build a twisting, multilayered exploration of American notions of aspiration and betrayal.

A prolific and influential bookmaker, Goldberg’s recent books include Ruby Every Fall, Nazraeli Press (2014); The Last Son, Super Labo (2016); Raised By Wolves Bootleg (2016), Candy, Yale University Press (2017), Darrell & Patricia, Pier 24 Photography (2018) and Gene (2018).

Goldberg has exhibited widely, including shows at the Museum of Modern Art, New York; SFMOMA; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the Corcoran Gallery of Art; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; and the Yale University Art Gallery.

His work is also regularly featured in group exhibitions around the world. Public collections including MoMA, SFMOMA, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Getty, the National Gallery, LACMA, MFA Boston, The High Museum, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Library of Congress, MFA Houston, National Museum of American Art, and the Art Institute of Chicago.
Goldberg has received three National Endowment of the Arts Fellowships in Photography, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Henri Cartier-Bresson Award, and the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize, among many other honors and grants.

Jim Goldberg joined Magnum Photos in 2002. He is Professor Emeritus at the California College of the Arts.


Jordan Stein - Palo Alto Photography ForumJordan Stein is a curator based in San Francisco. Preoccupied with animating the archival and overlooked, his practice aims to link past and present through the varied presentation of critical artworks, histories, and ideas. He has realized exhibitions in an array of institutions and scales, including Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, Artists Space (New York), Matthew Marks Gallery (New York), the Renaissance Society (Chicago), Fraenkel Gallery (San Francisco), San Francisco City Hall, and many more. He is a co-founder of the interdisciplinary collaborative group Will Brown, which realized more than three dozen exhibitions and programs in their Mission District storefront before working parasitically with other organizations. He founded Cushion Works, a just-in-time gallery on the second floor of an active cushion making workshop, in 2017. With Will Brown, he is the author of Bruce Conner: Brass Handles, and with Jason Fulford is the editor of Where to Score, a collection of hippie-era classified advertisements.


Click here to view images of the event, courtesy of Kristin Little Photography


February 23, 2020

7:30 pm
Mitchell Park Community Center
El Palo Alto Room
3700 Middlefield Road
Palo Alto, CA