Barry Salzman is an award-winning contemporary artist who currently works in photography, video and mixed media. His projects have been shown across the globe and his work widely published and collected. In addition to being placed in prominent collections, including the EKARD Collection and Sanders Collection in the Netherlands, his work was also recently acquired by The Blavatnik Family Archives in New York City. Salzman is the recipient of the 2018 International Photographer of the Year award in the Deeper Perspective category from the International Photography Awards (IPA), for his project “The Day I Became Another Genocide Victim” that endeavors to humanize victims of the genocide in Rwanda.
Salzman was born in Zimbabwe and schooled in South Africa. He emigrated to the United States when he was 21. After an initial business career, he began working as a full-time artist. His interest in photography started when, as a teenager, he was moved to document racially segregated areas under Apartheid, in an effort to understand the racial inequality that surrounded him. Today, his work continues to explore challenging social, political and economic issues, including the increasing universal fatigue around the Holocaust narrative, the fraying of the American Dream and society’s complicit behavior in the recurrence of modern day genocide.
Since 2014, Salzman has worked on projects that address trauma and memory, often related to the recurrence of genocide. He is particularly interested in our role as public witness — “what we see when we look.” His work often depicts abstract landscapes, made at sites of genocide, that he represents in literal and metaphoric ways to reflect on trauma and healing. While the images are shot at precise locations where acts of genocide were perpetrated, his use of visual tools of abstraction reminds us that ‘that place’ can be ‘any place’. Salzman currently resides between New York City and Cape Town.
He has an MFA in Photography, Video and Related Media from The School of Visual Arts in New York City, a Bachelor of Business Science degree from the University of Cape Town, and an MBA from Harvard Business School.