Matt Black is from California’s Central Valley, an agricultural region in the heart of the state. His work has explored the connections between migration, poverty, farming, and the environment in his native rural California and in southern Mexico for two decades.
In 2014, he began the project The Geography of Poverty, a digital documentary work that combines geotagged photographs with census data to map and document poor communities. In the summer of 2015, he undertook a thirty state trip photographing seventy of America’s poorest places, work that was published as a four part series on MSNBC. Other projects include The Dry Land, about the impact of drought on California’s agricultural communities, and The Monster in the Mountains, about the disappearance of forty three students in the southern Mexican state of Guerrero. Both of these projects, accompanied by short films, were published by The New Yorker.
Time Magazine named him Instagram Photographer of the Year for his Geography of Poverty project. His work has also been honored by the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Foundation, the Magnum Foundation Emergency Fund, the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, Pictures of the Year International, World Press Photo, the Alexia Foundation, the Center for Cultural Innovation, and others. He lives in Exeter, a small town in California’s Central Valley.