Roe Ethridge

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Roe Ethridge
EducationAtlanta College of Art, Atlanta, GA
MovementPostmodern Art Photography
WebsiteAndrew Kreps Gallery, Gagosian Gallery

Roe Ethridge is a postmodernist commercial and art photographer, known for exploring the plastic nature of photography – how pictures can be easily replicated and recombined to create new visual experiences. He often adapts images that have already been published, adding new, sculpted simulations of reality, or alternatively creates highly stylized versions of classical compositions, such as a still life bowl of moldy fruit which appeared on the cover of Vice magazine,[1] or landscapes and portraits with surprising elements.[2] After participating in the 2008 Whitney Biennial,[3] his work has been collected by several leading public museums, including the Museum of Modern Art, Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, and the Tate Modern. In 2010, his work was included in the MoMA's 25th Anniversary New Photography exhibit.[1]


Born in Miami, Florida, in 1969, Roe Ethridge grew up in the Atlanta, Georgia area. He attended Florida State University and graduated with a BFA in Photography from the Atlanta College of Art.[4] In 1997 he moved to New York City[5] and started his commercial photography career, over time providing catalog images, editorial and fashion shots, and working for publications including New York Times Magazine, Allure, Spin, Vice and Wired.[5] The same year he moved, he also had his first solo exhibition, in Zurich, Switzerland, and participated in the Atlanta Biennial, at Nexus Contemporary Art Center.[4] By the 2011 Deutsche Börse Photography Prize competition, the Jury advanced him to the four finalists.[6]

In 2002, Ethridge married fashion model Nancy Hagen.[7] They live in Rockaway Beach, Queens and his studio is in Brooklyn, NY.[8]


"American photographer Roe Ethridge became a recognizable force in the fine art world with his serene but subversive portraits, still lifes, and landscapes." -James Lim, New York Magazine, 2012[8]

Ethridge is widely regarded to have been influenced by fellow photo artists including Thomas Ruff, Michael Schmidt, and Christopher Williams.[3] Critics have frequently noted his seamless switching between commercial assignments and fine art photography.[3] As a commercial photographer,[9] beyond contributing to many magazine editorials, his clients have ranged from fashion, including Balenciaga and Kenzo,[8] to corporate, such as Goldman Sachs.[10] He often appropriates his own work as commercial photographer — as well as newspaper, catalog and stock photography — for his museum and gallery shows.[11] According to the curators of the MoMA: "The pictures acquire their meaning from the salient way in which they have been shuffled, sequenced, and laid out in nonlinear narrative structures. His prints vary widely in scale and source material.[11] Combining and recombining already recontextualized images, Ethridge at once subverts the photographs' original roles and renews their signifying possibilities."[12]

From 2005 to 2010, Ethridge was commissioned to photograph the construction of 200 West Street, the Goldman Sachs headquarters in Lower Manhattan.[13]

In 2009, Ethridge returned to a studio-based approach after the international location shooting for his project "Rockaway."[14] In his 2012 series "Interiors", he investigates the broad world of personal space, featuring images of his own home and studio, magazine photographs of staged bedrooms inspired by the suburban aesthetic, and billboard advertisements.[15]

Commissioned by automobile manufacturer Mercedes-Benz in 2014, Ethridge directed Special sets the standard, a three-minute short film starring actress Tilda Swinton as the driver of a S-Class Coupé.[16][17]


Ethridge's work has been shown in the United States and internationally, including: Greater New York, MOMA PS1 (2000), The Americans, Barbican Center, London (2001), Hello My Name Is…, Carnegie Museum of Art (2002), Momentum 4: Roe Ethridge, Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston (2005), Whitney Biennial (2008), New Photography 2010: Roe Ethridge, Museum of Modern Art, New York (2010), and Les Recontres D'Arles, France (2011).[18] A major survey of his work, curated by Anne Pontégnie, originated at Le Consortium Dijon, France, and opened at M - Museum Leuven, Belgium.[19]


  • Le Luxe, Mack: London, 2012. ISBN 978-1-907946-08-0[20]


After gaining considerable exposure participating in the 2008 Whitney Biennial, his photographs have been acquired by several modern art museums, including:



  1. ^ a b Karen Rosenberg (October 7, 2010). "Ignoring Boundaries and Borrowing Freely". The New York Times.
  2. ^ Jesse Pearson (July 15, 2010). "An Interview with Roe Ethridge". Vice Magazine. From The Vice Photo Book, 2007.
  3. ^ a b c "Whitney Museum of American Art, 2008 Biennial – Bio Page for Roy Ethridge".
  4. ^ a b "Andrew Kreps Gallery, Biography of Roe Ethridge". Archived from the original on 2014-01-16.
  5. ^ a b "Printed Matter Photography Portfolio IV : New York Photographs, 2001". Archived from the original on 2013-04-15.
  6. ^ "Deutsche Börse AG Announcement, 2011 Deutsche Börse Photography Prize shortlist and winner". Archived from the original on 2013-09-10.
  7. ^ Zach Galifianakis (2008). "Significant Others". Vice Magazine.
  8. ^ a b c James Lim (March 6, 2012). "Photographer Roe Ethridge on Shooting for Dazed & Confused, Kenzo, and Goldman Sachs". New York Magazine.
  9. ^ "Roe Ethridge: Commercial break, by Lucy Davies". The Daily Telegraph. London. March 25, 2011.
  10. ^ Karen Rosenberg (June 16, 2011). "Roe Ethridge: Le Luxe". The New York Times.
  11. ^ a b Karen Rosenberg (October 7, 2010), Ignoring Boundaries and Borrowing Freely New York Times.
  12. ^ "MoMA, New Photography 2010, Roe Ethridge".
  13. ^ Maria Lokke (June 27, 2011), Roe Ethridge’s “Le Luxe” The New Yorker.
  14. ^ Roe Ethridge, February 6 – March 14, 2009, Barbara Gladstone Gallery, Brussels.
  15. ^ Roe Ethridge: Interiors, September 8 – October 12, 2012, Barbara Gladstone Gallery, Brussels.
  16. ^ Mercedes-Benz S/S 2015: Special sets the standard Mercedes-Benz, press release of September 10, 2014.
  17. ^ Anders Christian Madsen (July 14, 2014), Driving the dream: Tilda Swinton, Haider Ackermann, and Roe Ethridge team up for Mercedes Benz i-D.
  18. ^ Roe Ethridge: Le Luxe II BHGG, June 9 – July 22, 2011 Gagosian Gallery.
  19. ^ Christy Lange (October 2012). "For This Thing To Happen". Frieze Magazine. Archived from the original on 2013-01-17.
  20. ^ Roe Ethridge, Le Luxe, Mack.
  21. ^ Museum of Modern Art – Roe Ethridge in Collection
  22. ^ Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston – Roe Ethridge in Collection
  23. ^ Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles – Roe Ethridge in Collection
  24. ^ Tate Modern – Roe Ethridge in Collection