Whitehot Magazine

Zach Gross on his Journey as a Photographer

Simulacrum, 2024 + Leandro Erlich, 2015

By ZACH GROSS April 15, 2024

I grew up surrounded by cameras. Throughout my childhood home there was a collection of cameras that spanned 20th century photography. The collection originally belonged to my grandfather who was an obsessive creator, photography appreciator and avid collector. When I got to high school, signing up for photography classes was an obvious choice for me. I immediately felt a connection to the medium, I was able to focus my energy in ways that I hadn’t experienced before. Photography opened up the world around me and helped me understand it better. I learned about the works of Man Ray, August Sander, Edward Weston, Margaret Bourke White and others. The images they created became emblems that reshaped the way I looked at the world. I roamed around my hometown and the places I traveled with my family with a new sense of vision and freedom. I created records of what made an impression on me, and it happened often. I became fascinated by perspective itself and how photography could be used to bridge the imagination with the external world. This new process of engaging with life was revelatory for me.  Around the same period of time, I started creating abstract camera-less images in the darkroom that resembled other-worldly natural environments. The darkroom became a mystical space as I observed these territories emerge on the photographic paper. 

Michael Anderson, 2016 + Threshold of History, 2024

After high school I learned a great deal from a formalized photography education but I ultimately gained the most valuable knowledge from the people I met and photographed over the years–especially the artists.

Sharing time with them and learning how they worked with ideas and their materials was really influential to me. Each of them illuminated unique paths that helped me develop my own creative intuitions. The following images are a small selection of those influential figures in conversation with a new body of work that explores the complexities around the ability of photography to represent reality. WM 

Invention, 2024 + James Autrey, 2018



Proliferation, 2024 + Terence Koh, 2022

Jason Moran, 2013 + Composition, 2024

Noah Becker, 2013 + Re-searching, 2024

Averiguao, 2024 + Pepon Osorio, 2023



Sahra Motalebi, 2014 + Lucida Obscura, 2024





Whitehot writes about the best art in the world - founded by artist Noah Becker in 2005. 


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