John Rizzo

category: Visual,

Contact & Info

Website: http://www.johnrizzophoto.com

Phone: 6462216186

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Artist Statement

John Rizzo's photography has been featured numerous times on the cover of Newsweek, as well as on the covers of the Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times Sunday Magazines.  He has produced large projects for commercial clients such as The New York Mercantile Exchange, Corning Inc., and Pfizer.  His photographs have been published in The New York Times, Newsweek (US, Japan, China, Korea, Espanol), The Overseas Press Club, Bloomberg, The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, Fortune and Money Magazine.  He has covered September 11, and stories on the Russians of Brighton Beach, the Maasai of Northern Tanzania, the Joplin Tornado, and many others.  Recent portrait subjects include Judith Jamison (Artistic Director, Alvin Ailey), Paul Rabil (lacrosse player), Tommie Hilfiger (fashion designer), Delia Ephron (author), Julian Niccolini (Managing Partner, The Four Seasons Restaurant), Condola Rashad (actress), Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, James Naughton (director/actor), Rubin Singer (fashion designer), Shelly Tretter Lynch (Sotheby's International Realty), Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney, Matt Lauer (The Today Show), Ruth Reichl (former editor-in-chief, Gourmet Magazine), Kathie Lee Gifford, and Katrina Adams (President of the United States Tennis Association).  He is currently focusing on creating books and multimedia about culture worldwide.  In addition to assignments, he is also teaching and leading photo tours in remote locations.  "Much like how a musician feels about an instrument he has played thousands of times, being behind the camera feels perfectly natural to me and began with my college degree in photojournalism.  I am passionate about bringing aspiring photographers of all ages and skill levels to exotic cultures to teach them both the art of capturing great images and the storytelling challenges of representing the culture in a respectful and true way."  He has covered assignments in Australia, Bolivia, Brazil, Cambodia, China, Ethiopia, Great Britain, India, Japan, Myanmar, Singapore, Sweden and Tanzania.  "Photography is everywhere in today's society, and much more so than at any other time in my life.  This presents an opportunity to use it as a powerful educational tool.  My sole vocation has been as a photographer, and I have worked in different areas of it, as a studio photographer doing conceptual work to illustrate stories using new technologies to create things that were never before possible, as a portrait photographer, and as a photojournalist covering financial news and feature stories.  This gives me a unique palette of experience to draw from to pass on to the next generation of visual artists.  People of all ages today are hungry to get control of their ability to make images and to express themselves.  The Arts, including photography, are an important piece of the rich fabric of our society.  My job is to teach them how to harness that power, to learn how to see, execute, and open the way for them to create their visual stories in both still images and video.  My personal goals are to lead and teach in the field about cultures that are trying to maintain their way of life in the face of the tremendous pressures of encroaching western influences and diminishing resources."

Educational Background

Syracuse University, BA in photojournalism, 1979.

Teaching Artist Experience

Artist-in-Residency: School 17, Yonkers, NY, Grades 3 and 6; Sleepy Hollow Middle School, Grades 6-8; Rebecca Turner Elementary, Grade 4; WestHab PEAK after-school program, Grade 4 to age 19; Mill Street Loft Spring Digital Photography Workshop and Summer Intensive Program at Vassar College, ages 14-19 years; Westhab Bridge Academy at School 13, Yonkers, NY; Grimes Elementary School, Mt. Vernon, NY; SUNY Purchase Young Photographers Summer Program.  Group Photo Tour: 12-day workshop in the Lower Omo Valley, Ethiopia; The Athenian School and Peace of Angkor Tours, 5-day workshop in Siem Reap, Cambodia.  Rizzo has over 30 years experience behind the camera and over 6 years teaching experience.  He was awarded an Arts Alive Grant in 2013 from ArtsWestchester for a project entitled, "Mount Vernon, Prospect For Change," a multimedia and portrait exhibition exploring the rich history of Mount Vernon with interviews with some of its leading citizens.  He was on the masthead of Westchester Magazine for 6 years as a frequent contributor and is now a staff photographer for WAG Magazine.  He was awarded an Arts Alive Grant in 2016 for a project on wounded soldiers, which is currently in progress.