David Armstrong (photographer)

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David Armstrong is a photographer based out of Monterey, MA.

Personal life[edit]

Armstrong was born in 1954, in Arlington, Massachusetts. He is openly homosexual.


Armstrong entered into the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston as a painting major, but soon switched to photography after studying alongside Nan Goldin, the photographer with whom he became friends with at the age of 14.[1] He attended the School of the Museum of Fine Arts and Cooper Union from 1974–78, and he earned a B.F.A from Tufts University in 1988. Armstrong was represented by Judy Ann Goldman Fine Art in Boston, the Marlborough Gallery and the Mathew Marks Gallery in New York. [2]

During the late 1970s, Armstrong became associated with “The Boston School,” which included artists such as Nan Goldin, Mark Morrisroe, Philip-Lorca diCorcia, Shellburne Thurber and Jack Pierson.[3] Their aesthetic was based on intimate snapshot portraits in saturated color.[4]

Armstrong first received critical attention for his intimate portraits of men, either lovers or friends, in sharp focus.[5] In the nineties, he began to photograph cityscapes and landscapes in soft focus to contrast with the resolution of his portraits. Street lights, electric signs and cars are reduced to a sensual mottled blur, complementing the vividness and tactility of his portraits.[2]

In 1981, Armstrong created a series of black-and-white portraits which he showed at PS1’s “New York/New Wave” exhibition. In 1996, Elisabeth Sussman, curator of photographs at the Whitney Museum, enlisted Armstrong’s help in composing Nan Goldin’s first retrospective. She gained such respect for Armstrong’s eye, she acquired a few of his pieces for the Whitney permanent collection and he was subsequently featured in the Whitney 1994 biennial.[6]

His photographs have been included in numerous group exhibitions including the 1995 Whitney Biennial [7] and Emotions and Relations at the Hamburger Kunsthalle in Hamburg.

Armstrong currently shoots editorials for Wonderland, Vogue Hommes and Purple.[6]Armstrong’s work has also appeared in publications such as French Vogue, L’Uomo Vogue, Arena Homme+, GQ, Self Service, Another Man and Japanese Vogue and he has worked on the advertising campaigns of companies such as Zegna, Rene Lezard, Kenneth Cole, Burburry, Puma, and Barbara Bui.[2]

Although his primary subjects include portraits of young boys and men, Armstrong also released a book of land and cityscapes in 2002, entitled “All Day, Every Day.” [1]

In 2014 Armstrong debuted a series of sculptural work called, The Dark Parade at the New York gallery, Casa de Costa.[8]


  • David Armstrong and Nan Goldin. A Double Life Scalo, 1994.
  • David Armstrong: "The Silver Cord Scalo, 1997.
  • David Armstrong: All Day Every Day Scalo, 2002.
  • David Armstrong: 615 Jefferson Ave Damiani, 2011.
  • David Armstrong: "Night and Day" Morel, 2012.


  1. ^ a b http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jane-harris/homework-photographer-dav_b_1142479.html Interview with David Armstrong, April 12, 2012.
  2. ^ a b c http://www.jedroot.com/photogr/da/armstrong-bio.php JedRoot, David Armstrong, April 12, 2012.
  3. ^ Segade, Manuel. Familiar Feelings. CGAC, Santiago de Compostela, 2009 http://www.mememoi.net/
  4. ^ http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jane-harris/homework-photographer-dav_b_1142479.html Interview with David Armstrong, April 12, 2012.
  5. ^ David Armstrong, "The Silver Cord", (New York: Scalo, 1997)
  6. ^ a b http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/01/fashion/interview-with-david-armstrong-photographer.html?pagewanted=all New York Times, A Portraitist’s Eye Gazes on Fashion, April 12, 2012.
  7. ^ Whitney Biennial, (New York: Whitney Museum of American Art, 1995)
  8. ^ http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tom-wicker/david-armstrong_b_5567282.html?utm_hp_ref=new-york&ir=New+York