About JOHN SARSGARD Photographs
People, Places and Me
"We don't take photographs with our cameras; we take them with our hearts and our minds. They are a reflection of ourselves, what we are,
and what we think."
I photograph my connections. Many subjects have caught my attention over the years, and I’ve debated whether I was a portrait, or landscape, or architectural photographer…but never a wedding, fashion or product photographer. Finally it dawned on me that I am drawn to photograph the people, places and situations to which I feel a connection. I am interested both in the chance encounters of what is usually called street photography and portraits made in collaboration with others.
I was born in the Deep South and grew up in a small town in Mississippi. I’ve been an expatriate for many decades but still consider myself a Southerner, although I hope others don’t assume much from that about what I think about things. I did come of age in a strong culture with many visible features. I am fascinated with the uniqueness of individual humans and intrigued by the places and cultures they create and inhabit. I want to be in their neighborhoods, stores, cafes, parks, public buildings and when they invite me, their homes. Being in interesting places and meeting the people there interests me more than going to an upscale place to shop or eating at a famous restaurant…although great local food is a real treat!
Photographs can only suggest relationships among people, places and other aspects of culture, but they can trigger thoughts, questions and emotion. I hope my pictures serve as symbols that suggest, and that the viewer will imagine a little about who this person is, or what it is like to be in their place. Even if the life portrayed is the extraordinary ordinary.
Born Meridian, Mississippi 1946
Grew up and attended public schools in West Point, Mississippi
Received BA degree with special distinction, Mississippi State University, 1967
Received MS degree, Mississippi State University, 1969
Served in US Air Force, 1969-1972
Worked in information technology industry, 1972-2003
Focused entirely on photography, 2003-present
Poets in Platinum, San Diego County Library, 2015
Poets in Platinum, Jane Chancellor Moore Gallery, Frankfort, Kentucky, 2014
Grand Central Portraits: People in a New Town Square, Municipal Art Society of New York, 2006
Selected Group Exhibitions
IMAGES 2017, Fairfield Museum, Fairfield, Connecticut, 2017.
A Sense of Place, PhotoPlace Gallery, Middlebury, Vermont, 2016
Rendering the Spirit: The Personal Image in Alternative Media, PHOTOWORKS at Glen Echo Park, Glen Echo, Maryland, 2016
What’s Old Is New Again: Alternative Photographic Processes, Gallery 136 ½, Manchester, Connecticut, 2015
Portraits of Poets 1910-2010, Poetry Society of America, New York City, 2010
Sun Pictures to MEGAPIXELS: Archaic Process & Digital Process Photography, Williamsburg Art & Historical Center, Brooklyn, New York, 2007
PHOTOGRAPHIC PROJECTS, School of the International Center of Photography, New York City, 2007
Sarsgard, John (photographs), Fagin, Larry (editor). Like Musical Instruments: 83 Contemporary American Poets. Frankfort, Kentucky: Broadstone Books, 2014.