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Jason Schmidt on Artists

In the photo world, Jason Schmidt is the guy you call when you need a (great) portrait of an artist, many thanks in part to a long-standing series of assignments for W Magazine. He has a knack for capturing artists in their natural habitats—in their studios, galleries, and near their installations—and for making portraits that seem to agree with how the artists feel most comfortable portraying themselves. His first book, Artists, for the German imprint Steidl, collecting his entire series up to 2007 was a massive hit and you’d be lucky to find a copy in print. We have the same suspicions for Artists II, which has just been released. Schmidt’s two books aren’t just beautiful and honest testaments to the artists, they are documents of the art world and of the major players in our time: Quite simply, he wouldn’t be assigned the photograph if they weren’t relevant. If the book sells out quickly, which it undoubtedly will, the best news is that every single portrait and artist’s statement is available for perusing on Schmidt’s site Find KAWS, the Guerilla Girls, Raymond Pettibone, Balint Tszako, and you name it on the contemporary art scene all in one place. It’s a who’s who and a great entry point into today’s art world.