Michael Benabib

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Michael Benabib
Michael Benabib.jpg
BornManhattan, New York
OccupationPortrait Photographer
RelativesRoberto Benabib (brother), Kim Benabib (brother)

Michael Benabib is an American portrait photographer, known for his portraits of David Bowie, Tupac Shakur,[1] Sean Combs,[2] and Keith Richards among others. Notable portrait photography of public figures include Bill Clinton, Alan Dershowitz and Loretta Lynch. His work has appeared in publications including Vanity Fair,,[3] Vogue,[4] GQ, Rolling Stone, Vibe,[5] ESPN magazine, The Wall Street Journal,[6] The New York Times,[7] NPR[8] and Newsweek.[9] His work was included to photography collections on display by The Smithsonian[10][11][12][13] and MoMa.[1]

Hip-hop photography[edit]

In the 1980’s, Michael freelanced with Rush Management and Def Jam Records;[14] his photography of musicians include Rakim, LL Cool J, Public Enemy, DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince, among many others.

In 2007, Watson-Guptill Publications and Billboards Books published “In Ya Grill: The Faces Of Hip-Hop” the hip-hop photography of Michael Benabib and text by Bill Adler.[15]


In 1995, his editorial photography assignments for magazines include The New York Times Magazine, Newsweek,[9] Rolling Stone, Adweek,[16] Forbes,[17] ESPN Magazine, and Bloomberg Markets Magazine.[18]

In 1997, his editorial magazine photography led to advertising assignments for brands including Heineken, Nissan, Sprite, Lugz, PETA and Planned Parenthood.

In early 2000’s, his assignments include Forbes Life Magazine and Fortune 500 companies such as American Express, CitiBank and Pfizer, among others.


In 2003, The Eyejammie Fine Arts Gallery founded by Bill Adler, largely devoted to hip-hop photography, curated a one-man show showcasing the work of photographer Michael Benabib.[19] In September 2015, the Eyejammie Photo Collection was acquired by the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of African-American History and Culture.[10]

In 2017, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMa) exhibition titled “Is Fashion Modern?” includes his photography of Tupac Shakur.

In 2017, Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of African-American History and Culture exhibition titled “More Than A Picture” includes his photography acquired from the Eyejammie Photo Collection.[20]

In 2018, The Smithsonian exhibition titled “Represent” includes his hip-hop photography of MC Lyte, Tupac Shakur, and Mary J. Blige. This exhibition showcases different photographs than those displayed at The Smithsonian's exhibition in 2017.[21]

In June 2018, Bond Street Print Shop photography exhibition fundraiser to benefit Southern Poverty Law Center including print sales of his portrait photography.

In 2019, The Annenberg Space For Photography in Culver City, California hosted an exhibit entitled |Contact High: A Visual History of Hip Hop, based upon the contents of the book in association with the museum's 10th anniversary. The exhibit included his photography.[22]


  • In Ya Grill: The Faces of Hip Hop. The hip-hop photography of Michael Benabib. Billboard Books. 2007. ISBN 978-0-8230-7885-1.



  1. ^ a b Paola Antonelli; Michelle Millar Fisher (5 October 2017). Items - Is Fashion Modern?. Moma. p. 52. ISBN 978-1-63345-036-3.
  2. ^ Tobak, Vikki (2016-09-29). "Contact High: Photographer Michael Benabib On Shooting Bad Boy's "Family" Portrait". Mass Appeal. Retrieved 2018-08-10.
  3. ^ Vanity Fair. Condé Nast Publications. May 1993. p. 136.
  4. ^ Vogue. Condé Nast Publications. November 1997. p. 348.
  5. ^ Vibe. Time Publishing Ventures, Incorporated. January 2008. p. 28.
  6. ^ Journal, Wall Street (2018-04-11). "On Working With Financial Executives". WSJ. Retrieved 2018-08-14.
  7. ^ Mitchell, Elvis (2000-09-17). "Double Shift Times Six". The New York Times Web Archive. Retrieved 2018-08-14.
  8. ^ "First Listen: Marnie Stern, 'The Chronicles Of Marnia'". NPR.org. 2013-03-03. Retrieved 2018-08-14.
  9. ^ a b Newsweek. Newsweek, Inc. 1994. p. 56.
  10. ^ a b "Eyejammie Hip-Hop Photo Collection Acquired by National Museum of African American History and Culture". Newsdesk. 2015-09-16. Retrieved 2018-08-10.
  11. ^ "See icons of hip-hop at the African American Museum". Washington Post. 2016-09-23. Retrieved 2018-08-10.
  12. ^ Gonzalez, David (2016-02-25). "Photographing Hip-Hop's Golden Era". Lens Blog. Retrieved 2018-08-10.
  13. ^ "From Duke Ellington to Public Enemy: Images of Hip-Hop and Its Cultural Roots". The New York Times. 2018-07-26. Retrieved 2018-08-10.
  14. ^ Bill Adler; Dan Charnas (2011). Def Jam Recordings: The First 25 Years of the Last Great Record Label. Random House Incorporated. ISBN 978-0-8478-3371-9.
  15. ^ In Ya Grill: The Faces of Hip Hop. Billboard Books. 2007. ISBN 978-0-8230-7885-1.
  16. ^ Adweek. A/S/M Communications. November 2000.
  17. ^ Jones, Finn-Olaf (2010-10-22). "Off the Beaten Track". Forbes. Retrieved 2018-08-14.
  18. ^ Bloomberg Markets. Bloomberg, L.P. July 2004. p. 92.
  19. ^ "Altpick.com : News : Benabib's First One Man Show". Altpick.com. 2003-03-20. Retrieved 2018-08-10.
  20. ^ "Photograph of MC Lyte in her dressing room". National Museum of African American History and Culture. Retrieved 2018-08-10.
  21. ^ "Hip-Hop Photo Collection on Display in "Represent" Exhibition at the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture". National Museum of African American History and Culture. 2018-05-03. Retrieved 2018-08-10.
  22. ^ "'Contact High' Photography Exhibit in LA to Showcase Intimate Visual History of Hip-Hop"". Billboard. 2019-03-20. Retrieved 2019-08-04.


  1. Bill Adler; Dan Charnas (2011). Def Jam Recordings: The First 25 Years of the Last Great Record Label. Random House Incorporated. ISBN 978-0-8478-3371-9.
  2. Paola Antonelli; Michelle Millar Fisher (5 October 2017). Items - Is Fashion Modern?. Moma. ISBN 978-1-63345-036-3.
  3. Tommy Hilfiger; David A. Keeps (1997). All-American: A Style Book. Universe Pub. ISBN 978-0-7893-0050-8.

General References[edit]

  1. Sussex Publishers, LLC (1996-06). Spy. Sussex Publishers, LLC. pp. 32, 33, 34, 35, 70. ISSN 08901759
  2. Elinor Lipman (2017-02-14). On Turpentine Lane. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. pp. cover photo. ISBN 978-0-544-80827-0.
  3. Editors of Entertainment Weekly (2015-10-06). The Must List: Ranking the Best in 25 Years of Pop Culture. Liberty Street. p. 560. ISBN 978-1-61893-315-7.
  4. Minya Oh; Andrea Duncan Mao (2005-08-10). Bling Bling: Hip Hop's Crown Jewels. Wenner Books. p. 140. ISBN 978-1-932958-02-7.
  5. Reggie Osse; Gabriel Tolliver (2006-10-31). Bling: The Hip-Hop Jewelry Book. Bloomsbury USA.
  6. Cey Adams; Bill Adler (2008-10-14). DEFinition: The Art and Design of Hip-Hop. HarperCollins. ISBN 978-0-06-143885-1.
  7. Black Enterprise. E.G. Graves Publishing Company. 1999-12. p. 124.
  8. Jay-Z (2010-12-07). Decoded (Enhanced Edition). Random House Publishing Group. p. 349. ISBN 978-0-679-60521-8.
  9. Michael W. Small (1992). Break it Down: The Inside Story from the New Leaders of Rap. Carol Pub. p. 223. ISBN 978-0-8065-1361-4.
  10. Que pasa. D.S. Magazines, Incorporated. 1988. p. 5.
  11. Oneworld. New Image Media, Incorporated. 2002. p. 34.
  12. Linda Saylor-Marchant (1992). Hammer: 2 Legit 2 Quit. Dillon Press. p. 4. ISBN 978-0-87518-522-4.
  13. Andre Stenson; Cloe Anderson; Dan Levine (2006-03). Avant-Guide New York City: Insiders' Guide to Progressive Culture. Empire Press. ISBN 978-1-891603-33-4.
  14. S. E. Cupp (2010-04-27). Losing Our Religion: The Liberal Media's Attack on Christianity. Simon and Schuster. pp. cover photo. ISBN 978-1-4391-7645-0.
  15. Brian J. Robb (2002). Brad Pitt: The Rise to Stardom. Plexus. pp. cover photo. ISBN 978-0-85965-288-9.
  16. Alonzo Westbrook (2002-10-15). Hip Hoptionary TM: The Dictionary of Hip Hop Terminology. Crown/Archetype. ISBN 978-0-7679-0924-2.
  17. Lili Anolik (2019-01-08). Hollywood's Eve: Eve Babitz and the Secret History of L.A. Scribner. pp. Author photo. ISBN 978-1-5011-2581-2.
  18. Ronin Ro (2009-10-13). Raising Hell: The Reign, Ruin, and Redemption of Run-D.M.C. and Jam Master Jay. HarperCollins. ISBN 978-0-06-175069-4.
  19. S. E. Cupp; Brett Joshpe (2009-12-01). Why You're Wrong About the Right: Behind the Myths: The Surprising Truth About Conservatives. Simon and Schuster. ISBN 978-1-4165-6328-0.
  20. Stephen J. Dubner (2009-10-13). Confessions of a Hero-Worshiper. HarperCollins. ISBN 978-0-06-186079-9.
  21. Lauren Groveman (2001–08). Lauren Groveman's Kitchen: Nurturing Food for Family of Friends. Chronicle Books. pp. Author photo. ISBN 978-0-8118-3249-6.
  22. Futures for the Class of ... Scholastic, Incorporated. 1995.
  23. Hip-hop Connection. Popular Publications. 2007. p. 226.
  24. Anne M. Raso (1992-08-01). Kris Kross Krazy: A Biography. Random House. p. 56. ISBN 978-0-553-56179-1.
  25. Derek Winnert (1996). Barbara Streisand. Random House Value Pub. p. 4. ISBN 978-0-517-18450-9.
  26. Television Guide. Triangle Publications. 1991. p. 3.
  27. People. Time. 2005. p. 80.
  28. Jeff Chang (2007-04-01). Can't Stop Won't Stop: A History of the Hip-Hop Generation. St. Martin's Press. p. 528. ISBN 978-1-4299-0269-4.
  29. James P. Othmer (2011-03-11). The Futurist. Doubleday Canada. ISBN 978-0-385-67377-8.

External links[edit]