Aline Smithson

After a career as a fashion editor in New York, Aline Smithson discovered the family Rolleiflex and never looked back. Now represented by galleries in the U.S. and Europe and published throughout the world, Smithson creates images that are full of humour and compassion, using a 50-year-old camera.

The Magenta Foundation is pleased to be the publisher of the forthcoming Self & Others, Smithson’s most comprehensive monograph to date. Covering approximately 20 years of her portrait photographs, the book begins with her early forays into black and white work,in which she considers the poignancy of childhood, and the pathos of aging and relationships. One of her defining series, Arrangement in Green and Black: Portrait of the Photographer’s Mother, finds her combining humor and family to create a universal expression of motherhood. Other images, such as those from the series Hollywood and Vine, are equally inspired by Hollywood glamour shots of the 40s and 50s, and the artist’s early life growing up not far from that famous L.A. intersection. Her most recent body of work, Revisiting Beauty, combines contemporary subject matter with a nod to the history of formal portraiture, and is inspired by portrait paintings from the 18th to the 20th Centuries by artists such as West, De La Roche, Stroganov, Sargent, Whistler and Hockney. Smithson considers all her portraits a reflection of herself and the stories she wants to tell. In that way, her photographic oeuvre has the feeling of an autobiography.

Smithson’s work has been exhibited widely, including solo shows at the Griffin Museum of Photography, the Fort Collins Museum of Contemporary Art, the Lishui Festival in China, the Tagomago Gallery in Barcelona and Paris, and the Wallspace Gallery in Seattle and Santa Barbara. Her photographs have been featured in a wide range of international publications, including PDN, Eyemazing, Fraction, Lenswork Extended, Shots and Pozytyw.

Aline also founded and writes Lenscratch, a blog that features a different contemporary photographer each day , and is currently teaching and curating for the Los Angeles Center of Photography.

Read more about Smithson and her work, and the Magenta Foundation’s publication, here.


Ho Tam