Richard Frank is a photographer who has lived in Westport, CT for more than thirty years, and is married to the painter, Leona Frank. Dick and Leona were selected to spend a month at Weir Farm National Historic Site in a collaborative Artist Residency. Their now adult children, Hillary and Josh, each a Horizon Arts Award recipient, grew up in Westport, where they attended the public schools. Dick’s interest in photography began at age twenty-two, when he enrolled in Sheldon Brody’s photography class during the semester before he graduated from Queens College. Serendipitously, that class, became the catalyst for his interest in pursuing the discipline of observation and technical knowledge needed to do meaningful and high quality work. He enrolled in the M.F.A. program at Ohio University.
One night, while having a coffee at Jake’s Diner in Athens, Ohio, Dick experienced an electrifying moment when Muhammad Ali entered the diner. Fortunately Dick had his camera and a roll of film, and the champ was agreeable to having his picture taken. When he developed the film, and the negative showed a special moment, it validated Dick’s decision to pursue photography as a career. Shortly after the inspiring evening at Jake’s, Dick was drafted into the U.S. Army. Although his time at O.U. was short, he learned the essence of the craft of photography, and started to establish his style and point of view. The American social landscape and portraiture became his preferred subjects.
After completing his military service, Dick presented his personal photography portfolio to art directors, designers and editors in New York. The content of the photographs and the quality of the prints captured their imaginations, and eventually assignments happened, and collaborative relationships flourished. Dick has continued to produce personal work throughout his career, and selected works are included in this exhibition. Dick worked as a free-lance photographer, specializing in people on location, for over forty years. He is known for his ability to depict his subjects in a natural and authentic style. Dick has done assignments for national magazines, including Time Life publications, New York Magazine, New York Times Magazine, Car & Driver, Esquire and Audubon Magazine. He was the most published photographer of people features for Audubon Magazine, working with the esteemed writer, Frank Graham, Jr.
In addition, he has been the photographer for the Open Family series of children’s books, published by Walker Publishing. Dick has also done photography for annual reports, school capital campaigns and viewbooks for colleges. He is especially proud of being chosen by Michael Bierut as the official photographer for the New York Designers’ Bowling League. Dick continues to do assignments for consulting firms and financial institutions.
Dick continues to challenge himself with visual ideas and content, and... he’s always looking.