Billy Howard’s John Lewis
20×16 framed archival pigment black & white print
Edition: n/a, signed on verso
Akin to how the photographic icon Irving Penn created striking portraits of the most notable figures, Billy Howard gives us a pensive, bold, and sharply composed image of John Lewis. This image is a legacy in the making.
John Lewis, waiting to open the 2012 Smithsonian Folklife Festival. My work on people with AIDS was displayed on the National Mall during the festival. I was struck by Lewis’ almost granite like countenance as he waited to make the keynote speech opening the festival.
Billy Howard is an Atlanta based documentary photographer and writer. He received a Rosalynn Carter Fellowship in Mental Health Journalism and a National Endowment for the Arts/Southern Arts Federation Photography Fellowship and holds an honorary doctor of literature degree from St Andrews University in North Carolina.
His work has been exhibited with the Smithsonian, the Library of Congress, Vogue Italia, and in a solo five city tour of Japan. He has been interviewed on Good Morning America; CBS This Morning; NPR, and other media on his work with people with HIV/AIDS, children with cancer, the visually impaired, teens battling mental health issues, and the disabled. His images were projected on the stadium JumboTron during the opening ceremonies for the 1996 Summer Olympic Games to accompany a tribute to Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Howard produced the first full-length documentary photography book on the AIDS pandemic: Epitaphs for the Living: Words and Images in the Time of AIDS. His archives of that project were acquired by Emory University’s Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library, and his photographs are in numerous public and private collections including the Library of Congress Photography Collection, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, the Carter Presidential Center, MOCA GA, and the High Museum.