Justin Brice Guariglia

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Justin Brice Guariglia
A photograph of American Photographer Justin Brice.jpg
Born 1974 (1974)
Maplewood, New Jersey
Nationality American
Education Wake Forest University, Beijing Capital Normal University
Known for Visual Arts and Ecology
Movement Contemporary Art
Awards Howard Foundation Fellow at Brown University; Simons Foundation Fellow; NEA Grant Recipient
Website www.guariglia.com

Justin Brice Guariglia (born 1974) is a contemporary visual artist who over the last two decades has developed a unique transdisciplinary art practice working in collaboration with philosophers, scientists and journalists to develop a more informed, holistic, ontological world view. In doing so, his art has become a research practice to investigate the world, and forge a deeper understanding of important ecological issues of our time.

In 2015, Guariglia began flying on NASA science missions[1] over Greenland as an artist, to gather imagery that would become raw materials for his art.

Guariglia's artist intervention selfie app After Ice[2], which localizes and visualizes sea level rise using NASA science, received 13 million impressions on the iTunes store in its first week. The app was developed unofficially under the advisement of several NASA scientists.

He lives and works in New York City.


Guariglia grew up next to the home of Hudson River School painter Asher B. Durand, one of America's foremost landscape painters of the 19th century. He went on to study Italian art history under the late art historian Terisio Pignatti in Venice, Italy, before moving to Beijing, China in 1996 to study Chinese language, culture, and history at Capital Normal University. In 1997, he returned to the USA to finish his degree at the liberal arts college Wake Forest, before returning to Asia.

Guariglia lived in Asia for nearly 20 years, residing in Beijing, Hong Kong, Singapore, Tokyo, Taipei and Shanghai, first as a student, then as a foreign correspondent and documentary photographer. From 2000 - 2008, Guariglia was a member of the photojournalism agency Contact Press Images, an agency known for representing photographers devoted to lifelong projects. He regularly traveled across Asia on reporting assignments for publications including New York Times, Smithsonian Magazine, National Geographic, Far Eastern Economic Review, Time Magazine, and Maclean's documenting a rapidly changing Asia.


Contemporary archaeological in nature, Guariglia's work serves as a contemplative look at human kind's path towards accelerated modernization, also called by scientists "The Great Acceleration"; from the genesis of a raw and natural world to a civilization reaching the point of a questionable decline.

In 2015 Guariglia began flying a series of missions with NASA scientists in order to make images of rapidly changing glacial land and sea ice on and around Greenland to use as source material in his work, along with working with the scientists to develop a greater understanding of human impact on the ice.

Guariglia coined and trademarked[3] the term "Plasticene™ printing" in 2016, whereby a plastic-like hyperarchival acrylic polymer ink is laid down in multiple layers, which enters itself into the fossil record upon production, due to the long half-life of the material. Occasionally Guariglia will layer the ink so thick that it forms a 3-D image. The name Plasticene™ is a nickname for the Anthropocene due to the large amounts of plastic in the fossil record of the Anthropocene.

On Earth Day of 2017, Guariglia launched After Ice, an artist intervention iOS selfie app that localizes, personalizes and visualizes sea level rise. Inspiration for the app came to Guariglia after flying multiple NASA earth science missions over Greenland with NASA scientists, and talks with NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies scientist and expert on sea level rise Cynthia E. Rosenzweig. The app walks the user through three sea level rise scenarios, using projections from the NPCC and NASA, and was featured on the iTunes store by Apple and received 13 million impressions in the first week. The app was a collaboration between Guariglia, developers Aaron & Adam Fothergill in the U.K., publisher Ian Lynch Smith in Brooklyn, NY, and designer Frances Segismundo from Hong Kong.

Guariglia is currently exploring the science of and flying with the Oceans Melting Greenland (OMG) mission at NASA/JPL working closely with NASA/JPL OMG Principle Investigator, Josh Willis Ph.D. The project is privately funded by grants and donations, and does not receive any financial support from NASA, JPL or OMG.[1]

Awards & Noteworthy[edit]

Guariglia is a Howard Foundation Fellow in Photography at Brown University for 2017-2018; a 2017 Simons Foundation Fellow @New Lab; and his traveling exhibition "Earth Works: Mapping the Anthropocene", which debuted at the Norton Museum of Art in September 2017, is the recipient of a 2017 National Endowment for the Arts grant[4].

In the October 2017 issue of Departures magazine, Guariglia was featured in a story entitled "These Are the Faces of Art Activism Today: Introducing America’s most urgent creative movement—and the people behind it."[5] The issue was edited by Pharrell Williams and Spike Lee.

In 2016, Guariglia was invited to the White House to attend President Barack Obama's SXSL event focused on Climate Change.

In 2006, Guariglia was named a Fotofest Biennale a "Discovery of Fotofest." [6]

Guariglia's previous documentary work won several Pictures of the Year awards, including two awards in POYi60[7] in the General Division/Science/Natural History Picture Story & Single Image categories, and an additional award in POYi65[8] in the General News Reporting category. In 1999, Guariglia was named by Photo District News as one of the top "30 Young Photographers Under 30",[9] and was a recipient of the Eddie Adams Workshop Newsweek award.


In 2018, the Norton Museum of Art is publishing "Earth Works: Mapping the Anthropocene" a catalogue to accompany the exhibition, including an essay by Tim Wride, the William & Sarah Ross Soter Curator of Photography at the Norton.

In 2011, Guariglia collaborated with Time Magazine and Wall Street Journal writer John Krich to produce "JOHOR: Asia Latitude One" (de.MO Publishing) a book about the southern most state in Malaysia - Johor. The book celebrated the ethnic and religious diversity, the working-class people, and the landscape of the little-known state. The book, a commission from the Royal Family of Johor, was named one of the best photo books of the year by American Photo Magazine,[10] and Photo District News[11] in New York, and featured in Communication Arts photo annual,[12] and received an Independent Publishers silver medal in 2014,[13] and a bronze Cube from the Art Director's Club of America in also in 2014 [14]

Guariglia's book Planet Shanghai (Chronicle Books) documented a rapidly changing Shanghai, was published in 2008, and reviewed in the New Yorker[15] and the New York Times Magazine.[16]

In 2007 the Aperture Foundation published Shaolin: Temple of Zen to accompany a 99 piece traveling exhibition. Guariglia is considered the first photographer to have been allowed access inside the Shaolin Temple to photographically document classical Shaolin Kung Fu and the monks that practice it, in the temple's 1500-year history.[17]

Talks & Lectures[edit]


In November, 2017, Guariglia appears in the FOX TV Xploration Station show Xploration Outer Space hosted by Emily Calandrelli in an episode titled “Teaming Up With NASA”.

In 2007, Guariglia appeared in a TV series with music legends Lou Reed and Tony Visconti discussing the Shaolin Temple project and book on the Voom Network Gallery HD series entitled "Aperture." The series was nominated for a New York Emmy Award in 2009[22]

Personal life[edit]

Guariglia is an avid runner and has raced in the TMBT 100 km Ultra-Trail Marathon in Borneo (an Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc qualifying race); the Mount Kinabalu International Climbathon (Skyrunner World Series event); the Kyoto Marathon; Taroko Gorge International Marathon; the Bali Half Marathon; and numerous mountain races across Asia.

On August 29, 2016, in commemoration of the International Geological Congress voting 30 to 3 in favor of formally designating the Anthropocene, the artist had NASA’s GISTEMP (global temperature anomalies 5-year mean) index tattooed onto his arm, on the day of the announcement.


Selected Solo Exhibitions

  • 2018
    • Earth Works, ArtBrussels, Maruani Mercier Gallery, Brussels, Belgium, Apr 19-22, 2018
    • Earth Works: Mapping The Anthropocene. The work of Justin Brice Guariglia, The USC Fisher Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA, Fall 2018
  • 2017
    • Earth Works: Mapping The Anthropocene. The work of Justin Brice Guariglia, The Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach, FL, Sept 5 - Jan 7, 2018
    • Phenomena ad Noumena, The Telluride Gallery of Fine Art, Telluride, CO, May 26 - Jun 5, 2017
    • After Nature: Justin Brice Guariglia, TwoThirtyOne Projects, NY, NY Feb 28 - May 15, 2017
    • Field Notes: OMEGA BLOCK I, Dartmouth College, Russo Gallery | THE JOHN SLOAN DICKEY CENTER, Hanover, NH Feb 6 - Mar 6, 2017
  • 2009
    • Shaolin: Temple of Zen, an Aperture Foundation exhibition, Utah Valley University Woodbury Museum, Utah, Summer - Fall 2009
    • Shaolin: Temple of Zen, an Aperture Foundation exhibition, National Geographic Museum, Washington, D.C., Summer 2008 - Spring 2009
  • 2008
    • Shaolin: Temple of Zen, an Aperture Foundation traveling exhibition, Otis College of Art and Design, Winter 2008
  • 2007
    • Qi, Amelia Johnson Contemporary Gallery, Hong Kong, November 1– December 2, 2007
    • Qi, Gallery 339, Philadelphia, PA, USA, March 16 May 5, 2007
    • Qi, The Aperture Foundation Gallery & The Rubin Museum, Chelsea, NY, January, 2007 (special event)

Selected Group Exhibitions

  • 2018
  • 2017
    • Wisdom & Nature, LeCiel Foundation, PHILLIPS London, Paris & New York City, Sept 4 - Nov 2, 2017 [23]
  • 2016
    • For Freedoms, Jack Shainman Gallery, 513 W 20th St, New York, NY, June 30 - Aug 26, 2016[24]
    • We Live Here, 1 Grand Army Plaza, Brooklyn, NY, June 6 - Aug 28, 2016
  • 2012
    • Terra Cognita, Noorderlicht Photography Festival, The Netherlands, Sept 2 - October 7, 2012[25]
  • 2009
    • Planet Shanghai, Chobi Mela V: Freedom, Photography Festival, Dhaka, Bangladesh, 2009 - 2010 [26]
  • 2007
    • Degrees of Separation, Peer Gallery, July 12 September 8, 2007
  • 2006
    • Recent Additions to the Permanent Collection – Photo Forum, Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Texas, USA, Sept 19, 2006 – Jan 28, 2007 (Curated by Anne Wilkes Tucker)
    • Planet Shanghai, PingYao Photography Festival, PingYao, China, Fall 2006
    • Choreographic, Images of Movement, Minnesota Center for Photography, June 2006 (Curated by George Slade)
    • Fotofest Discoveries group show, Houston, Texas, USA 2006 (Debut exhibition, selected by Alan Rapp)

Residencies, Fellowships & Collaborations[edit]

  • 2017 Howard Foundation Fellow in Photography, Brown University, Providence, R.I., USA
  • 2017 Simons Foundation Fellow, Science Sandbox @ New Lab, Brooklyn, NY, USA
  • 2016 NASA / Jet Propulsion Lab, artist collaboration with OMG (Oceans Melting Greenland) mission (2016 - 2020)
  • 2015 NASA / Goddard, joined airborne science mission flights with OIB (Operation Ice Bridge) mission (2015 - 2016)


Guariglia's work is in the permanent collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston,[27] The Norton Museum of Art, The Spurlock Museum, Urbana, Illinois, and numerous other private collections.

Publication Notes[edit]

  • Earth Works: Mapping The Anthropocene. Norton Museum of Art. 2017.
  • After Nature: Justin Brice Guariglia. TwoThirtyOne Projects. 2017.
  • Johor: Tropic Of Colors. National Geographic Society & De.Mo. 2014.
  • Johor: Asia Latitude One. De.Mo. 2011. ISBN 978-0-9825908-4-3.
  • Planet Shanghai. Chronicle Books. 2008. ISBN 978-0-8118-6345-2.
  • Shaolin Temple of Zen. Aperture. 2007. ISBN 978-1-59711-080-8.
  • Shaolin Temple of Zen (flip book). Aperture. 2007.