Timothy Greenfield-Sanders

Timothy Greenfield-Sanders

Timothy Greenfield-Sanders (born 1952) is an American portrait photographer whose work is in numerous museums. He is known for his strikingly intimate portraits of world leaders and major cultural figures. The majority of his work is shot in large format, 11x14 inch black and white film and 8x10 color film. His images are widely published and he is a contributing photographer to "Vanity Fair". He gained much attention for his 2004 book "XXX: 30 Porn-Star Portraits" (ISBN 0-8212-7754-5). His 2006 portrait series of injured soldiers and marines back from the war in Iraq, has been reproduced and exhibited worldwide, from the Bjorn Wetterling Gallery in Sweden to the Donnell Library across from the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Greenfield-Sanders' 2007 project, The Black List, is a collaboration with Elvis Mitchell of interviews and portraits of leading African Americans in the U.S. The film premiered at The Sundance Film Festival in January 2008 and the portraits opened in July 2008 at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.


A native of Miami Beach, Florida, Greenfield-Sanders completed his undergraduate studies in Art History at Columbia University, and began his photographic career while in film school at the American Film Institute where he received his Master's Degree in Film. Asked to shoot visiting lecturers, he learned about such things as lighting and framing from well-known actors and directors, including Bette Davis and Alfred Hitchcock. During his ensuing thirty year career, Greenfield-Sanders has become known for being both technically competent and especially adept at making his subjects feel comfortable.


Greenfield-Sanders has photographed such diverse figures as Orson Welles, Monica Lewinsky (his photo was used on the cover of her memoir), George H. W. Bush, George W. Bush, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Madeleine Albright, and the Clintons. In 1999, he exhibited "Art World" at the Mary Boone Gallery in New York City. This show was the culmination of 20 years dedicated to photographing artists, art dealers, art critics, art collectors and other denizens of the art community. Everyone he had photographed from 1979 to 1999 was hung, floor to ceiling, wall to wall, 700 portraits in all. The limited edition sets (no single images were for sale) are now in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

Greenfield-Sanders also makes films including "Lou Reed: Rock and Roll Heart" about the musician Lou Reed (which won the Grammy Award for Best Long Form Music Video in 1999 as well as one on performance artist Karen Finley and for HBO "Thinking XXX" about the making of his porn star book. Greenfield-Sanders latest film, "The Black List" is a collaboration with journalist Elvis Mitchell and explores race, struggle and the seeds of success through the eyes of prominent African Americans in the U.S.

Injured Soldiers Series

In late 2006, Greenfield-Sanders photographed 13 severely injured soldiers and marines for the HBO documentary "Alive Day Memories: Home From Iraq". The images were initially used to promote the airing of the film but have subsequently become widely viewed and discussed. Peter Applebome of the New York Times [http://www.greenfield-sanders.com/biblio/2007/09/27/new_york_times_peter_applebome] wrote, "Mr. Greenfield-Sanders' photographs have quickly become part of the visual landscape of the war..." Nicolaus Mills, an American Studies professor at Sarah Lawrence College wrote in Dissent Magazine Online, "...when it comes to arguing that the time has come to bring the Iraq War to a close, nobody has made the case in a way more likely to convince the undecided than Greenfield-Sanders. His visual politics forecloses debate." A slideshow of the images can be seen on Greenfield-Sanders' website at [http://homepage.mac.com/timothygs/PhotoAlbum119.html] .


Greenfield-Sanders got the idea for the "XXX" project after watching the film "Boogie Nights", about the porn industry in the 1970s. "In general, I found porn stars much more comfortable nude than clothed. They're energized, and more in control. My goal however was to humanize them, to show them as people, not objects". "XXX" included pictures of porn stars both clothed and nude in the same pose, a conceit from the Spanish artist, Goya. The thirty stars in the project were Sunrise Adams, Briana Banks, Belladonna, Seymour Butts, Christy Canyon, Chloe, Nina Hartley, Jason Hawke, Chad Hunt, Heather Hunter, Jenna Jameson (who is on the front cover of the book), Jesse Jane, Janine Lindemulder, Ron Jeremy, Jeremy Jordan, Kira Kener, Reina Leone, Michael Lucas, Gina Lynn, Ginger Lynn, Sean Michaels, Peter North, Tera Patrick, Mari Possa, Lukas Ridgeston, Tawny Roberts, Savanna Samson, Aiden Shaw, Lexington Steele, and May Ling Su. The book also featured essays from Gore Vidal, Salman Rushdie, John Malkovich, Francine du Plessix Gray, Karen Finley, Nancy Friday, Nina Hartley, A.M. Homes, Richard Johnson, Wayne Koestenbaum, Adrian Nicole LeBlanc, JT Leroy, Lou Reed, Whitley Strieber, John Waters and Faye Wattleton.

Greenfield-Sanders produced and directed Thinking XXX, a film for HBO which chronicled the making of the book. It was released on DVD in the summer of 2006. "Thinking XXX" was edited by Lukas Hauser.

The Black List

In the summer of 2008, Greenfield-Sanders, Elvis Mitchell and Freemind Ventures launched The Black List Project, starting with an exhibition at The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston of Greenfield-Sanders' 25 large-scale portraits of leading African Americans. The images include Bill T. Jones, Chris Rock, Colin Powell, Dawn Staley, Faye Wattleton, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Keenen Ivory Wayans, Lorna Simpson, Louis Gossett, Jr., Mahlon Duckett, Marc Morial, Rev. Al Sharpton, Richard D. Parsons, Russell Simmons, Sean Combs, Serena Williams, Slash, Steve Stoute, Susan Rice, Suzan-Lori Parks, Thelma Golden, Toni Morrison, Vernon Jordan, William Rice, and Zane and will travel to other museums nationwide including Brooklyn Museum in fall 2008. On August 25th, 2008, the film "The Black List: Volume One" airs on HBO and on September 16th, 2008, Simon and Schuster's Atria will publish "The Black List" with an introduction by Elvis Mitchell as well as all of Greenfield-Sanders' portraits from the project. A slideshow of the images can be seen on Greenfield-Sanders' website at [http://www.greenfield-sanders.com/portraits/blacklist] .

Books by Timothy Greenfield-Sanders

* "Movie Stars", Skira, 2007 ISBN 8861305229
* "Look: Portraits Backstage at Olympus Fashion Week", Powerhouse, 2006 ISBN 13: 9781 5768 7352 6
* "Face To Face", Rizzoli, 2006 ISBN-13: 9788876245428
* "XXX: 30 Porn-Star Portraits" Bulfinch Press, 2004. ISBN 0-8212-7754-5
* "Timothy Greenfield-Sanders" Alberico Cetti Serbelloni Editore 2001 ISBN-13: 9788 8880 9801 2
* "Art World" Fotofolio, 1999 ISBN-13: 9781584180104
* "After Andy: Soho in the Eighties", Schwartz Publishing Pty, Limited, 1996 ISBN-13: 9781 8639 5049 7

Films by Timothy Greenfield-Sanders

* The Black List, Freemind Ventures and Perfect Day Films, Inc. 2007
* Thinking XXX HBO, 2005
* Karen Finley, Perfect Day Films, Inc. 2004
* Lou Reed: Rock and Roll Heart, American Masters Series, 1998 Grammy Award 1999 Premiered at Sundance and Berlin
* IMDB [http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0339026/]

He is a resident of New York City and has two daughters, Isca Greenfield-Sanders, an artist and Liliana Greenfield-Sanders, a filmmaker. [http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1251539/]

As of May 2005 he has been a contributing blogger at The Huffington Post.

External links

* [http://www.greenfield-sanders.com/ Official Site]
*60 Minutes interview with Greenfield-Sanders [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EoyXG00pbkk]
*Red Cross Pro-bono work [http://www.redcrosshometownheroes.org/celebrity-heroes.aspx]
*The Treatment, radio interview with Elvis Mitchell, [http://www.kcrw.com/etc/programs/tt/tt060920timothy_greenfield-s]
*YouTube [http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=timothy+greenfield-sanders&search=Search]


*Justin Chang. "The Black List: Volume One" Variety (magazine) January 24, 2008 [http://www.greenfield-sanders.com/bibliography/black-list-volume-one]
*Peter Applebome. "Soldier Portraits Make the Costs of War More Visible" The New York Times September 27, 2007 [http://www.greenfield-sanders.com/bibliography/soldiers-portraits-make-costs-war-more-visible]
*Nicolaus Mills. "Soldiers" Dissent Magazine November 22, 2007 [http://www.greenfield-sanders.com/bibliography/soldier-portraits]
*Sarah Valdez. "Timothy Greenfield-Sanders" Art in America April 2005 [http://www.greenfield-sanders.com/bibliography/body-double]
*Lynne Eodice. "The Elegant Portraiture of Timothy Greenfield-Sanders" Shutterbug March 2005 [http://shutterbug.com/refreshercourse/portrait_tips/0305career/index.html]
*David Rimanelli. "Double Exposure on Timothy Greenfield-Sanders". Artforum. September 1, 2004. [http://www.greenfield-sanders.com/bibliography/double-exposure]
*Ann Landi. "Working Habits". Artnews October 2004. [http://www.artnewsonline.com/issues/article.asp?art_id=1609]
*Calvin Tompkins. "Unzipped". "The New Yorker". November 11, 2004. [http://www.greenfield-sanders.com/bibliography/unzipped]
*Mel Gussow. "Photographing Celebrities, Even Those of an X-Rated World". "New York Times". July 29, 2003. B1. [http://www.greenfield-sanders.com/bibliography/photographing-famous-even-those-x-rated-world]

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