UNIX Gallery, in conjunction with Acumen, is pleased to present "Faces Of Change," a solo exhibition by German photographer Martin Schoeller. This exhibition marks the strong continuation of Acumen’s mission to tackle worldwide poverty issues and engender their clients to participate in the global economy with strength and dignity, a mission that is visually represented by Schoeller’s imagery. "Faces Of Change" opens to the public with a reception on March 8 from 7-9 PM. Proceeds from the exhibition will benefit Acumen’s global programs.
A nonprofit social venture fund, Acumen is driven by its mission to build financially sustainable organizations that deliver affordable goods and services to improve the lives of the poor. First established in 2001, CEO and Founder Jacqueline Novogratz has built an empowering network through Acumen of more than 102 social enterprises in countries including Uganda, Kenya, Ghana, Pakistan, India, Colombia, and the United States. These companies have created and supported 60,000 jobs, leveraged an additional $522 million, and brought basic services like affordable education, health care, clean water, energy and sanitation to more than 200 million people.
In May 2016, Martin Schoeller traveled to the field to meet Acumen’s customers to give voice and visibility to some of the poorest communities in the world. Using his iconic austere yet gripping style of photography, Schoeller created up close and personal portraits of Acumen’s customers, pushing audiences to see the poor as individual human beings while simultaneously changing the visual narrative of how “the poor” are depicted. These portraits bring forth the inner and outer beauty and dignity of his subjects. This unique series coincided with #SeePeople, a campaign aimed to change the way the world sees the poor and how poverty is portrayed. #SeePeople was launched in conjunction with the UN’s International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, with activations across New York City and around the world on social media.
Martin Schoeller (German, b. 1968) is an award-winning portrait photographer renowned for extreme close up portraits. Familiar faces are treated with the same levels of scrutiny as the un-famous. The unknown and the too-well-known meet on a level platform that enables comparison, where a viewer’s existing notions of celebrity, value, and honesty are challenged. Growing up in Germany, he was deeply influenced by August Sander’s countless portraits of the poor, the working class, and the bourgeoisie, as well as by Bernd and Hilla Becher, who spawned a school known as the Becher-Schüler. Schoeller’s close-up portraits emphasize, in equal measure, the facial features, both studied and unstudied, of his subjects— world leaders and indigenous groups, movie stars and the homeless, athletes and artists— leveling them in an inherently democratic fashion.
Schoeller’s work gained recognition for its strong visual impact and since 1998, his work has appeared in Rolling Stone, National Geographic, TIME, GQ, Esquire, Entertainment Weekly, and The New York Times Magazine, among other publications. Schoeller joined Richard Avedon as a contributing portrait photographer at the New Yorker in 1999, where he continues to produce award-winning images. His portraits are exhibited and collected internationally, including in several solo exhibitions in Europe and the United States and are included in the permanent collection of the National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.