Lincoln Clarkes

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Lincoln Clarkes (born 1957, in Toronto) is an award-winning photographer (National Magazine Awards, silver;[1] Western Magazine Awards, gold [1]), who has published three books, Heroines (2002), Views (2005) and Cyclists (2013) and has been the subject of two documentary films. Heroines (Anvil Press) [2] is an epic photographic documentary of 400 addicted women of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, which won the 2003 Vancouver Book Award (in a tie with Stan Douglas), and was the subject of numerous philosophical essays (by Margot Leigh Butler, and Paul Ugor, among them). The London Observer said Clarkes' book offered "beauty in a beastly place." Globe and Mail called it "intimate, compelling and undeniably unsettling," while The Toronto Star called it "incredibly powerful." In the summer of 2017, the Canadian art collector Bob Rennie purchased the entire Heorines photographic collection and archive.

Views, a retrospective of his works (Universal/Northern Electric), included a 17 song original soundtrack, featuring songs by Herald Nix, Rae Spoon and others. [3].

Quattro Books published Clarkes' third book of photography, Cyclists, in 2013. A selection of 150 men and women riding bicycles, the book documents the cycling movement in Toronto.

In 2001, Peace Arch Entertainment produced a one-hour documentary film about Clarkes' Heroines project called, Heroines: A Photographic Obsession Heroines: A Photographic Obsession, which has aired on BRAVO! and Women's Television Network and has screened at numerous festivals.

In 2011 Clarkes was featured in Bob Barrett's television documentary series Snapshots: The Art of Photography Snapshots: The Art of Photography (Network Knowledge Network[permanent dead link]). The program features Clarkes’ accounts of many of his significant photographic series, including Shot in America, Portraits of Women in Texas with their Guns, and Anti-War Protesters. It was filmed while Clarkes was living on the top floor of Vancouver's historical Sylvia Hotel. In 2016, the actor Tony Pantages portrayed Clarkes in director Rachel Talalay's Leo Award-winning film (for Best TV Film), called On The Farm.

Clarkes has had solo exhibitions in Vancouver, Toronto and Seattle. His photographs have been used in the feature films Everything's Gone Green, by Douglas Coupland, directed by Paul Fox, and Atom Egoyan's The Sweet Hereafter. Clarkes' portrait work includes Helmut Newton, Oliver Stone, Vivianne Westwood, Noam Chomsky, Timothy Leary and Patti Smith.

Clarkes dropped out of Emily Carr University of Art and Design, where he was studying painting, to take up photography, for which he is self-taught. He nonetheless had a solo exhibition of his paintings at Heffel Gallery in 1983, largely due to his street-art practice. At the time, he founded a fashion boutique and fronted an art-wave band.

"In the style of Lewis Hine or Dorothy Lange, [Clarkes'] work chronicles a particular segment of society with the intention of educating, affecting change in societal perceptions and, one would hope, influencing social policy," wrote Jesseca White, in sub-Terrain magazine.

A reviewer in arts magazine Border Crossings wrote, "The world would be a better place if there were more noticers: People who take the time to listen hard and watch closely. Lincoln Clarkes is a noticer."

In the London, England, journal Philosophy of Photography, Kelly Wood argues that "the Heroines series’ blurs the boundaries between commercial, documentary and fine art photography."


1. National Magazine Awards: "Past Awards"

2. Western Magazine Awards "Awards History"

3. Anvil Press: "Publication catalogue"

4. Northern Electric: "Publication catalogue"

5. Peace Arch Entertainment "List of Films"[permanent dead link]


• Los Angeles Times: "Light and Darkness in Canada," by John M. Glionna, (June 1, 2003)"

• The Observer: "Macabre portraits haunt nation" by Christopher Reed (June 8, 2003)"

• VICE: "Lincoln Clarkes's Vintage Photographs of Vancouver's Female Addicts Are Incredible, Nadja Sayej"

• Huffington Post (USA): "These Photos Of Female Heroin Addicts Reveal The Power Of Addiction, Nov. 11, 2013"

• Agnostica Lincoln Clarkes: "Cyclists"

• Decoration Digest (Spain): "Heroines internal Strength and Beauty by Lincoln Clarkes"

• Scottish Word Image Group (Scotland): "Failing the Feminine: Photographed Words in Lincoln Clarkes’ Heroines, Nancy Pedri"

• Epi Paideia (Italy): "Lincoln Clarkes: la bellezza svanita nei ritratti delle donne tossicodipendenti, Aneta Ozonek, Feb. 7, 2014"

• Delas Contemporano (São Paulo, Brazil): "Fotógrafo registra submundo da heroína para alertar autoridades; Renata Reif, Jan. 28, 2014"

• Dattualita la Republica (Italy): La fotodenuncia: i ritratti delle donne eroinomani di Vancouver, Frederico Biserni

• (San Francisco, USA): Imagine the Invisible, Naming Suffering: Lincoln Clarkes, Photography and the Women of Downtown Eastside Vancouver, Paul Ugor

•Lifelounge (Australia): The Heroines of Vancouver's downtown eastside by Lincoln Clarkes


• Geist Magazine: " Lincoln Clarkes, The Eastside Portraits," by Patty Osborne (October 15, 2009)"

• The Georgia Straight (Vancouver): Lincoln Clarkes turns his lens on Toronto's Cyclists. Robin Laurence; Oct. 2, 2013

• HuffPost British Columbia: Lincoln Clarkes' 'Heroines' On Display At Vancouver Museum

• Woodsquat (Vancouver): The Hero of Heroines, Photographs by Lincoln Clarkes, Margot Leigh Butler, Dec. 2004

• Maisonneuve (Montreal): Corpus Delecti Media, morality and Vancouver's missing women

• Quill & Quire (Toronto): Heroines by Lincoln Clarkes, Reviewed by Nick Gamble, Feb. 2003

• Capture Photography Festival (Vancouver): An Evolutionary Look into Vancouver Street Photography Jan. 10, 2013 – Jan. 31, 2014

• The Vancouver Sun: Capture Festival puts focus on Vancouver photography scene; Mar. 20, 2013


• The Knowledge Network, Snapshot: The Art of Photography II: Lincoln Clarkes

Heroines: The Photographic Obsession of Lincoln Clarkes; Documentary by Stan Feingold 2001 on YouTube

• Shaw TV, The Rush, Interview re: Capture Photog 9 October 2013 on YouTube

• CBC News, Arts & Entertainment: Glamour of bicycles: Lincoln Clarkes on his new book Cyclists

Official website

  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 12 April 2010. Retrieved 21 April 2010.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)