Ralph Gibson American, b. 1939

Ralph Gibson (American, b.1939) is a respected photographer known for his contrasting imagery and erotic subject matter. Gibson was born in Los Angeles, CA, and studied photography while in the US Navy. He later attended the San Francisco Art Institute, and worked as an assistant to Robert Frank and Dorothea Lange. Gibson has worked primarily with a Leica camera since the beginning of his career. His photographs often feature nude models in surreal poses. 

Gibson was enamored with the idea of making books, and, in 1970, Somnambulist was published. Gibson has since completed over 40 books, many of which were self-published under his company, Lustrum Press. His most recent book, State of the Axe, features images of 60 popular guitarists playing their instruments. 

Gibson received three fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts in 1973, 1975, and 1986. In addition, he was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1985. The photographer also received a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Leica Medal of Excellence, and the Silver Plumb Award. He is a Commandeur de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, holds honorary doctorates from the University of Maryland and Ohio Wesleyan University, and, in 2007, earned The Lucie Award for Fine Art Photography. His work has been displayed by more than 150 venues around the world. 

Gibson lives and works in New York.