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Brian Finke

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A biography of American photographer Brian Finke with the Parisian gallery owner Philippe Chaume

Philippe Chaume is passionate about contemporary photography, as a galerist, he is always looking for new innovators in this art-form to exhibit in his Parisian gallery.
He continued his search and offered for the first time in France the young American talent Photographer  Brian Finke.

Brian Finke who was born in Philadelphia in 1976, currently lives in New York. Since
1998 he has had enormous success as a photographer, his pictures have been printed regularly in the New York Times, The New Yorker, Details and also Time Magazine. The specialty of this artist is the photography of sporting teams, following their chronological evolution from training to final match. This world can appear somewhat surreal because it can be sometimes extremely tender and tranquil and other times violent and hard.

© Brian FinkeHis Paris exhibition entitled, "2-4-6-8 Cheerleaders", presented the world of Cheerleaders and American football players, symbols of American youth and a veritable social and cultural phenomenon.  Working as closely a possible to the young men and women his photographs capture perfectly the virility that we imagine of players of this game, and the insecurity of their tender age.

They are all large format prints.

Finke spent two years working alongside the best college teams through-out the United States, to ensure the total exploration of this subject, and has clearly been able to produce sensationally revealing pictures showing all the emotions and sensations of this team sport.

Also as Philippe Chaume explains, Brian Finke always uses flash photography when shooting outside, just like the photographers of the 1950’s. This technique allows him to better illuminate the subjects of his shots and to also give his pictures extremely vivid colors.

Each time the pictures of Brian Finke do not just capture the exterior image of the world of American football that we imagine, that of sculpted male bodies and girls with perfect make-up. Brian Finke manages to capture the moments of pressure before a match, the stress of the players, the moments of tiredness for the cheer-leaders after the match, but also the importance of the social links inside these groups of young individuals who are still growing up.

The photographer follows these long -term projects, which are always concerned with human behavior and comportment, in professional or sporting groups as with in the series: Tennis camp, Samurai bears (a Japanese baseball team) and Most Muscular (male and female body-building competitions).
Philippe Chaume was also pleased to discuss his next Brian Finke exhibition on Air Hostesses; September 2007 will be the first time that this series has been exhibited in France.

© Brian FinkeLike all professional photographers, Brian Finke does not like discussing the technical aspects of his work.  He considers himself like a reality reporter, fascinated by color and those who surround it.  He takes his pictures from the position of an observer, always attentive and sincere, it is perhaps for this reason that the collection 2-4-6-8 Cheerleaders : gives the impression of being a report on  adolescence; showing images that focus on sexuality, personal identity and the desire to be part of a group.

It seems that Finke’s is writing himself into the tradition of documentary photography, along with the likes of Weegee(1) or Dorothea Lange(2) whose collections focused more on the human aspects of American life than criticizing American society.

From his perspective Brian Finke captures the humor and tenderness in his portraits of American sporting teams, by undertaking a systematic approach to his work which is influenced by the big names in photographic reporting.

If you would like to know more about him and his photographic art over the past 10 years, FineArtTv invites you to watch the video of this already celebrated young artist.


- World Press Photo Masterclass Award, 2001
- Young Photo Journalism, 2003
- New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship,2004

His work is on display in the following collections:
- Museum of Fine Art,  Houston, United States
- Museum of art, Worcester, United States
- National libary France, Paris
- Kiyosato Museum of photographic Art,  Kiakoma gun, Japon

He has exhibitions running in the United States, Holland, Japan and France.

(1) Weegee is the pseudonym of Arthur Fellig (12 June 1899- 26 December 1968), American  photographer and photo journalist who was renowned for his black and white collections.
(2) Dorothea Lange (26 May 1895 - 11 October 1965) was an American photographer who most well known work was a commission from the Farm Security Administration done during the great depression.


Portfolio by Brian Finke


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