Matt Black: The Half King Photography series#28

Matt Black is an American documentary photographer whose work has focused on issues of poverty, migration, and the environment. Black has received a World Press Photo Award, the Robert F. Kennedy Award for Excellence in Journalism and the W. Eugene Smith Grant. He is a full member of Magnum Photos.


Matt Black is a photographer from California’s Central Valley. His work chronicles the decline of traditional farming life in rural California and in southern Mexico, with a long-term focus on the changing human relationship to land, food, farming, and community. And Ed Kashi is a photojournalist, filmmaker, and educator who documents the social and political issues that define our times.

On November 11, Matt Black’s photo exhibit, The Dry Land, opened at The Half King as Photo Series #28. The Dry Land documents, in beautiful, stark pictures, the agricultural effects of California’s drought, now going into its third year. The opening will feature a screening of California: Paradise Burning, a short film shot by Ed Kashi and Matt, created in conjunction with Matt’s still photo project. At the opening, Whitney Johnson, Director of Photography at The New Yorker, will lead an audience discussion with Matt.

Matt & Ed’s story highlights the people—workers and farmers both—who are the face of this worsening drought,” says Half King photo curator Anna Van Lenten. “As well as over $2 billion lost to the economy this year, over 17,000 individuals have no work and can’t feed their families or send money back home. Matt and Ed’s vision is singular and uncompromising about the dire conditions these folks must grapple with.” The Half King Photography Series is dedicated to showing exceptional documentary photography. In tandem with its reading series, it fosters a dialog between photographers and writers that underscores the importance of their relationship. Its curators are Anna Van Lenten, writer and editor, and James Price, Photo Assignments Editor at Getty Reportage.

The exhibition runs from 11th November to 14th December, 2014.

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