The Sochi Olympics was for me – and, quite separately, the world – a transition.
After years of covering conflict and hard news, I found my professional career taking a turn to sports and features. For the world, the Sochi Olympics seemed to embolden Russian president Putin to throw his political clout behind an invasion of Crimea. Where, incidentally, an earlier war in the 1850s marked the birth of modern-day photojournalism.
My client, Harper’s Magazine, asked me to cover the Olympics in a unique way, to visualize the games in a way others weren’t. Much of that involved me trying to spy new angles, to see the sports and athletes as compositional elements, to see their movements less as competition and more as a grand ballet. It was a brilliantly creative practice that I am honored to have been awarded.
Benjamin Lowy is award winning photographer based in New York City. He received a BFA from Washington University in St. Louis in 2002 and began his career covering the Iraq War in 2003. Since then he has covered major stories worldwide. In 2004 Lowy attended the World Press Joop Swart Masterclass, he was named in Photo District News 30 and his images of Iraq were chosen by PDN as some of the most iconic of the 21st century. Lowy has received awards from World Press Photo, POYi, PDN, Communication Arts, American Photography, and the Society for Publication Design. Lowy has been a finalist for the Oskar Barnak Award, a finalist in Critical Mass, included in Magenta Flash Forward 2007, as well as the OSI Moving Walls 16 exhibit. His work from Iraq, Darfur, and Afghanistan have been collected into several gallery and museum shows, and shown at the Tate Modern, SF MOMA, Houston Center for Photography, Invalides, and Arles. His work from Darfur appeared in the SAVE DARFUR media campaign.
In 2011 Lowy’s Iraq | Perspectives work was selected by William Eggleston to win the Duke University Center for Documentary Studies/Honickman First Book Prize in Photography. The book is currently available and in stores now.
In 2012, Lowy was awarded the Magnum Foundation Emergency fund to continue his work in Libya. In the same year, he received the International Center of Photography (ICP) Infinity Award for Photojournalism.
In 2014, at the age of 35, Lowy received a Distiguished Alumni Award from Washington University in St Louis.
Lowy is based in New York City. He is currently represented by Reportage by Getty Images.
United Photo Industries (UPI) is a New York based nonprofit organization that works to promote a wider understanding of, and increased access to, the art of photography.
Since its founding in 2011, UPI has rapidly solidified its position in the public art landscape by continuing to showcase thought-provoking, challenging, and exceptional photography from across the globe. In its first seven years, UPI has presented the work of more than 2,500 visual artists in gallery exhibitions and public art installations worldwide.