Richard Allen Frishman
Fellow: Awarded 2021
Field of Study: Photography
Competition: US & Canada
Richard Allen Frishman was raised in Chicago by newspaper-reading parents during the ascendancy of the modern Civil Rights Movement. This mundane background was foundational in his development as a compassionate individual and photojournalist. He was encouraged to be aware of the world beyond their middle-class bubble, to accept a very personal responsibility to address injustice, and be willing to take action when necessary. He was taught that curiosity was more important than knowledge because knowledge was sometimes created from myths, assumptions and opinions rather than objective reality.
Frishman’s photographs explore how the built environment reveals our cultural histories. Since we rarely consider our constructions as evidence of our true priorities, beliefs and behaviors, the testimonies our landscapes offer are more honest than many of the things we intentionally present. Our built environment is our societal autobiography writ large.
His current documentary project, Ghosts of Segregation, photographically explores the vestiges of America’s racism as seen in the vernacular landscape, often hidden in plain sight behind a veil of banality. Fueled by fear and intolerance, these ghosts haunt us because they are very much alive. A compelling traveling exhibition is now available through Curatorial Exhibitions.
Photo Credit: Gabriel Frishman