Neil Selkirk (born June 25, 1947) is a British-born American photographer known for his portraiture.
Neil Selkirk was born in London, England, in 1947. He studied Photography at the London College of Printing, graduating in 1968. He won a British Arts Council award to photograph New York and moved to New York City in 1970. There he worked as an assistant for photographer Hiro at the studio of Richard Avedon. The following year, he studied with photographer Diane Arbus in her master class. His photographs quickly drew assignments from major magazines including Esquire, The New York Times Magazine, Interview, Vanity Fair, The New Yorker, and the premier issues of Wired, Paper, Colors , and Spy.
By the 1990’s Selkirk was known as a portraitist with a distinctive style. In August 1993, the photographs from his limited edition portfolio were featured in the Minneapolis Institute of Art exhibition, 3 Photographers, 3 Portfolios along with the work of Diane Arbus and Richard Avedon.
Selkirk’s photographs are in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Minneapolis Institute of Art, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and other major U.S. institutions.
Selkirk is the only person ever authorized to make posthumous prints of the work of Diane Arbus. In an article for iPhoto Newsletter, Jeffrey Fraenkel states that the process by which Selkirk came to make these prints, and the arduous decisions that went into their making, are thoroughly detailed in his essay "In the Darkroom" (pp. 266–275 of Diane Arbus Revelations). Selkirk describes his first encounter with an Arbus photograph in a radio interview on Kurt Andersen’s Studio 360 series, “The Aha Moment.”
In 2005 Selkirk directed the documentary film, Who is Marvin Israel, about Marvin Israel (1924-1984), artist, designer, art director and teacher, who influenced many of the important photographers and designers of the twentieth century, including Richard Avedon and Diane Arbus, as well as Selkirk himself. The film explores his life and work through the words of those who knew him. The film premiered at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and aired on the Documentary Channel.
Selkirk's current project, Certain Women, is on display from March 19 to May 2, 2015 at the Howard Greenberg Gallery in New York City.
Neil Selkirk has two children, Alexander (born September 21, 1977) and Zane (born August 3, 1982), by his former wife, Susan Spiller.
- Selkirk, Neil. Certain Women. New York: Limited edition Howard Greenberg exhibition catalog, 2015.
- Selkirk, Neil. Lobbyists. Tucson: Nazraeli Press, 2006. ISBN 9781590051696.
- Selkirk, Neil. See No Evil. Tucson: Nazraeli Press, 2006. ISBN 9781590051559.
- Selkirk, Neil. “In the Darkroom,” in Diane Arbus Revelations by Diane Arbus, Sandra S. Phillips, Neil Selkirk, Elizabeth Sussman, Doon Arbus, and Jeff L. Rosenheim. New York: Random House, 2003. ISBN 9780375506208.
- Selkirk, Neil, photographer. Infra-Apparel by Richard Martin and Harold Koda. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1993. ISBN 9780300201024.
- Selkirk, Neil, photographer. 1000 on 42nd Street by Tibor Kalman and Maira Kalman. New York: powerHouse Books, 1999. ISBN 1576870456.
- Van Riper, Frank. "Talking Photography". Washington Post.
- "Minneapolis Institute of Art exhibition poster of 3 Photographers, 3 Portfolios".
- "The Metropolitan Museum of Art press release on Diane Arbus Revelations".
- ""In the Darkroom" by Neil Selkirk, an essay in Diane Arbus Revelations" (PDF).
- Fraenkel, Jeffrey. "Notes on Arbus Estate Prints". iPhoto Newsletter.
- "Neil Selkirk interview with Kurt Andersen".
- "Who Is Marvin Israel trailer". YouTube.
- "Howard Greenberg Gallery Artist Page for Neil Selkirk".