Photographic Alphabet: “P” is for Steve Pyke
By Jing Zhao
Born in England, lives in New Orleans, Steve Pyke is a photographer whose work is a regular feature of The New Yorker and Vanity Fair, and he is recognized for his amazing portraits of authors, artists, actors, and intellectuals.
Came across the book “Philosophers” two years ago, I still remember how impressed I was with all the close-up portraits taken by Pyke. Initially, Pyke planed to photograph 15 philosophers and had them published in magazine. But he ended up spending more than two decades pursuing philosophers around the world. With his Rolleiflex camera, simple black backdrop, always a soft window light, Pyke creates a unique style of photographing faces. “The way we live our lives is etched into the landscape of our faces. We create the face with which we live.” Pyke says. (See the work “Philosophers”.)
Another thing Pyke is noted for is his obsession with still life. Similar with making portraits, he uses a stark white or a black background to isolate the objects, photographing by available light. Pyke believes it as a way to “see the extraordinary ordinariness of things”.
See more of Steve Pyke’s Work here.