Ed Drew grew up in Brooklyn, New York City and joined the military after completion of high school. Drew spent the next 6 years in the active duty Air Force; during his tour of duty he was assigned to an air base near Tokyo, Japan until the end of his enlistment. It was while in Japan he discovered his passion for art and the distinctive aesthetic derived from the Japanese culture.
In 2009 he joined the California Air National Guard as a Combat Search and Rescue helicopter gunner. Deploying to Afghanistan in the spring of 2013, he created his first major body of work there. While in the Air National Guard, he also attended San Francisco Art Institute, receiving a BFA in Sculpture with a minor in Photography where he studied under photographers Linda Connor, Lonnie Graham and Henry Wessel Jr.
His work centers on historical references of varying cultures, through portraiture, with an emphasis on a wide range of photographic processes, and compositional dialogue.
Ed is currently working on multiple series throughout Arkansas.
The truths we all govern our lives by are universal and shared. Within cultural paradigms in America, I seek to understand and share experiences told directly by those who live them, and tell an accurate American story.
As a Social Practice visual artist and humanitarian, much of my artistic oeuvre is differentiated through observation of culture, usually by way involving myself within the lives of individuals and or community. The creation of photographic portraits is both the beginning initiative and product of my interactions. I focus on creating work that seeks to change false representations, and correct ideological misconceptions by communicating the shared human experience.
My work focuses on groups who share a common connection or bond. The means by which I accomplish this is typically a nuanced artistic approach; as a conversationalist, I engage in dialogue, followed by a photograph as the result of an interpersonal relationship created.
I specialize in use of some of the oldest photographic processes such as wetplate collodion (tintype) and the contact print processes. I also use film in 35mm and larger 4x5 negative, formats. My choice of cameras range from field view "accordion style" cameras, to small Japanese SLRs from the 1970's.
Little Rock, Arkansas, United States
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