Marc Asnin

Marc Asnin

Marc Asnin (born 1961) is an American photographer.

Early years

Marc Asnin was inspired to pursue photography by his father, an advertising photographer. Asnin received a B.F.A. from the School of Visual Arts in New York.


Marc Asnin’s “Uncle Charlie” series is a twenty-five year visual diary that details the life of his godfather and Uncle, Charlie, and his struggles with mental illness, isolation, poverty and familial relationships. With Uncle Charlie abandoned by his first wife and siblings, Asnin finds himself the last family member, at 18, available to embrace his godfather. Motivated by his youthful remembered admiration of Uncle Charlie as a big, tough, tattooed guy with a gun, Asnin reaches out to his Uncle only to discover an anorexic, catatonic, isolated man. “Uncle Charlie” begins as an exploration of the discontinuity between expectations from projecting youthful memories and discovered reality. The detailed, intimate images captured here overcome the unreliable recording of memory and confront the nearly inevitable likelihood of a life too quickly discarded from humanity’s collective consciousness. The family relationship between Asnin and his subjects enables an unflinching closeness and recording of subjects typically beyond images for public consumption including drug usage, sexual relations, mental illness, poverty and death. “Uncle Charlie” captures the genetic and environmental inheritance of mental illness within the family and associated problems of poverty, drug addiction and AIDS. The series depicts an existence devoid of friendship and family bonds stressed to fracture. Stark images of isolation result, but also painful attempts at relationships and the tragic consequences of failure. Asnin has created a poignant description of a stagnant, colorless life within the tiny universe of a single apartment.


* Editors of Phaidon Press (2002). “Blink”. Phaidon Press. ISBN 0-7148-4199-4 (Asnin is one of the hundred photographers presented.)


* Photo New York, New York, New York, 2006
* Moscow Museum of Modern Art, Moscow, Russia, 2004
* International Festival for Photography, Rusia, 2003
* Houston FotoFest, Houston, Texas, 2000
* SF Camera Work, San Francisco, California, 2000
* Maison Europeenne de la Photographie, Paris, France, 1999
* Portland Museum of Art, 1998
* Houston FotoFest, Houston, Texas, 1996
* Ansel Adams Center for Photography, 1994
* Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, California, 1992
* Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore, Maryland, 1992
* Museum of Modern Art, New York, New York, 1991


* Museum of the City of New York
* Portland Museum of Art
* International Center of Photography
* Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American Art
* Queensboro Community College
* Zimmerli Art Museum, The State University of New Jersey at Rutgers

Honors & Awards

* Indiana University Distinguished Citizen Fellowship, 2002
* Alicia Patterson Fellowship, 2001
* Mother Jones International Fund for Documentary Photography, 2000
* Eugene Smith Grant for Humanistic Photography, 1993
* New York Foundation for the Arts Grant, 1992
* Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Artist in Residence Program, 1991-1992
* National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, 1988
* New York Foundation for the Arts Grant, 1988
* LIFE, New Photographers Award, 1987

External links

* [ Asnin's site] (requires Flash)
* [] , online retailer of Asnin's photographs

NAME=Asnin, Marc
SHORT DESCRIPTION=American photographer
PLACE OF BIRTH=New York, United States

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