Magnum Photos Photographer Profile
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Gregory Halpern 

American, b. 1977 (Associate) 

Photographers have a way of organizing/simplifying the chaos that is the world around us. And it is said that photography is uniquely suited to ‘reflect’ the world around us, but what if our surroundings are complex to the point of being visually and verbally indescribable? That conundrum is the reality I want to reflect, with the creation of a rightfully impenetrable thing. ” 


Gregory Halpern grew up in Buffalo, New York—a place that was a formative visual influence and which continues to be an inspiration to him. When he was fourteen, he had a transformative experience looking at Triptychs, a book of photographs by the local photographer Milton Rogovin, a man who had not picked up a camera until his fifties and who worked largely in obscurity until his eighties. Since then, the photobook has remained a point of fascination for Halpern, and has been the central medium of Halpern’s creative output.

Halpern has published four books of photographs, including Confederate Moons (TBW Books, 2018), ZZYZX (Mack, 2016), A (J&L Books, 2011) and Harvard Works Because We Do (Quantuck Lane, 2003). He has also published East of the Sun, West of the Moon (Études, 2014), a collaboration with Ahndraya Parlato, and he is the editor, along with Jason Fulford, of The Photographer’s Playbook: Over 250 Assignments and Ideas (Aperture, 2014). He holds a BA in History and Literature from Harvard University and an MFA from California College of the Arts. In 2016, ZZYZX was awarded Photobook of the Year at Paris Photo, and in 2014 Halpern was the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship. He is a professor of photography at the Rochester Institute of Technology, in Rochester, New York.

Greg became a Magnum nominee member in 2018 and associate in 2020.