Matt Black

Matt Black

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.

Archive Exhibitions Featuring Matt Black

The Geography of Poverty

Brooklyn Bridge Park – Emily Warren Roebling Plaza
 archive : 2015

The most vulnerable Americans are being crushed by the grip of poverty, from the deserts of the Southwest through the black belt in the South, to the post-industrial, rusting factory towns that dot the Midwest and Northeast.

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Archive Sessions and Events Featuring Matt Black

Sep 202015

The American Dream: Documenting Economic Inequality in America

This panel gathers veteran photographers who have made it their life’s work to document stories of poverty and inequality with empathy, depth and curiosity. Motivated by their personal experiences in economically depressed areas, they explore and illustrate what economic inequality looks like in the U.S.

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Sep 212014

Land, Labor, Work

Matt Black documents the changing human relationship to food, farming, and the environment. Alejandro Cartagena documents the development of suburbs and the invisible consequences of this 21st century Mexican progress, where the rapid construction of houses outweighs the development of a social infrastructure.

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