David Akiba

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David Akiba (Oct 7, 1940 - ) is a photographer who lives and works in Boston, MA. His name at birth was David Cohen, but when he was a young man he changed his name because there was already a photographer with that name. He was born in Boston but grew up in Winthrop, MA. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 1961. He began making photographs in 1969. He went on to study with Harry Callahan and Aaron Siskind at the Rhode Island School of Design, and he received a Master's in Fine Arts from there in 1973. He has worked in several formats both in documentary style and in manipulated imagery when he re-photographed his own photographs and then used copy machines to create distortions that heightened the emotional content of the photograph. His work has been exhibited widely at galleries in Boston and around the world, and is currently part of several permanent collections, including in the collections of the Boston Museum of Fine Art, The Fogg Art Museum, The DeCordova Museum, the Brooklyn Art Museum, and others.

He teaches part-time at Emerson College, Babson College, and the New England School of Photography.

He lives in Jamaica Plain with his wife, Jane, and his youngest daughter, Abigail. Jane Akiba is a portrait photographer and also teaches at Emerson College. They have four children together. David also has two older sons from a previous marriage. One of his two oldest sons, Jonah Akiba, became a Hassidic Jew and now lives in Israel with his family. In 2003, Jonah's brother Daniel Akiba made a critically acclaimed short documentary called My Brother's Wedding, which featured some of David Akiba's photographs as a way of telling the story of Jonah's spiritual journey and the impact it had on his family. They held several joint exhibitions of David's family photos alongside screenings of the video.[1] David's son Isaac Akiba is currently a member of the Boston Ballet, having become the first person from Boston's public school dance program to make it into the elite ballet troupe.


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