Jason Gardner tells stories, using photography and video within the framework of Visual Anthropology. He is passionate about music, culture, totems, and ritual, and how they impact how a society expresses itself. Jason published A Flower in the Mouth, a book of photography and writing about the culture, music and rituals of Carnaval in Pernambuco, Brazil. Jason has also branched out to photograph other manifestations of this festival in Dunkerque, France; Guinea-Bissau; Sardinia; Trinidad; Bahamas; New Orleans; and Cajun country in Louisiana.
Jason is a founder of Visual Anthropology Press, a book packager dedicated to helping independent authors, photographers, and organizations realize and communicate their vision to their audience. VAP recently produced Scattered Among the Nations, [Amazon] a photography book on remote Jewish communities throughout the world.
His work has appeared in The New York Times, Rolling Stone, Photo District News, New York Magazine, NPR.org, and SPIN Magazine. Clients include Con Edison, HBO, Samsung Corporation, N-Y Historical Society, Ogilvy & Mather, Direct TV, Pfizer, and Human Rights Watch.
Lincoln Center hosted an exhibition of Jason’s work at the Out of Doors Festival. New Orleans Jazz Fest has hosted an exhibition and presentation of his work. The Brazilian Consulate General Los Angeles sponsored an exhibition of his work in as well as exhibits in San Francisco and NY. Other exhibitions include BY Chatel Galerie Paris, Mairie XVème Paris, Vienna Photo Book Fair, Rayko Gallery, Photoville, PhotoPlace Gallery, Uma Nota Festival Toronto, Art From the Heart, and the Brazilian Endowment for the Arts (BEA) New York.
Gardner is a board member at-large, NY Chapter, of The American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP), and co-founder of creative networking community Toasted Almonds, having launched a Paris chapter of Toasted Almonds (Amandes Grillées).
Jason divides his time between New York and Paris.
In my practice, I document visually various aspects of a culture, and how it is celebrated, both venerating traditions and looking forward.
I am interested in what constitutes cultures and most especially how they are celebrated, from honoring traditions to envisaging the future. By focusing on cultural manifestations such as music, dance, festival, and spectacle, as well as symbols, street art, glyphs, costumes, or shrines in a closet, I capture the intangible, visually translating the symbolic connections of what might not be visible at first glance.
Placing my photographic practice within the framework of Visual Anthropology, I hope to tell stories by focusing on cultures, traditions and practices which often happen behind the public’s view. I capture things that build up to define the cultural milieu and community’s regional identities. I look for that ineffable moment of transformation in a ceremony, the traditional song or costume epitomizing regional pride and identity, a symbol representing a culture, these all combine to reflect the culture.
I wish to reveal some of the diversity of the spiritual, material, intellectual and emotional landscape of a community. Making the connections among the various manifestations, to show their relationship with each other, and how they interlock, helps to form my view of the culture I am documenting. These displays of culture are significant, to me, in that they represent one of the more profound ways that humans can express themselves.
Grand Central Terminal
The New York Times
Ogilvy & Mather
Human Rights Watch
New-York Historical Society
Big Brothers Big Sisters New York
BRIC / Celebrate Brooklyn
Brooklyn Botanic Garden
UJA Federation of New York
Lincoln Center Out of Doors
NYC Department of Education
Oxford University Press
Shearman & Sterling LLP
Clifford Chance LLP
Forest City Ratner
ADL (Anti-Defamation League)
Abyssinian Development Corporation
The Park Central Hotel
NY School of Interior Design
Stony Brook University
Relay Graduate School of Education
Gatehouse Media / Propel Marketing
AFS (American Field Service)
NESC (National Executive Service Corps)
NELP (National Employment Law Project)
AJC (American Jewish Congress)
Tina Brozman Foundation
Manhattan Neighborhood Network
Eagle Academy Foundation
New York Magazine
Time Out New York
Photo District News
The New York Times
New York Observer
The Washington Post
Rolling Stone Brasil
Metro New York
Studio 360 / WNYC
New York 1 / Time Warner
Harvard University Magazine
Oxford University Press
New Orleans Jazz Festival
United Nations Alliance of Nations
GEO Lino Magazine
Soul Bag Magazine
All About Jazz
Time out Rio de Janeiro
Global Rhythm Magazine
Jornal do Commercio
DPI Australia Magazine
High Times Magazine
“Portraits de Carnaval,” Galerie BY Chatel, Paris, 2018
“Fête de la Musique,” Mairie XVème, Paris
“Water,” group show, PhotoPlace Gallery, Vermont, 2018
“Silicon Valley Plastic Camera Show,” Santa Clara Univ., 2018
Group Show, Rayko Center, San Francisco, CA, 2017
Best of ASMP, Photoville, Brooklyn, NY, 2016
Print Fair, Vienna Photo Book Festival, Vienna, 2017
“Lapa,” group show, Kinfolk, Brooklyn, NY, 2015
“A Flower in the Mouth,” New Orleans Jazzfest, Louisiana, 2014
“Uma Flor Na Boca,” Livraria da Cultura, São Paulo, Brazil, 2014
“Pernambucana,” at Uma Nota Festival, Toronto, 2014
Group Show, Art From the Heart, New York, NY 2014
“Brazilian Identity,” Brazilian Endowment for Arts (BEA), NY, 2013
“A Flower in the Mouth,” Lincoln Center, NY, 2013
“Images of Pernambuco,” Brazilian Consulates of San Francisco, New York, and Los Angeles
AWARDS AND RECOGNITION
A Flower in The Mouth selected Athens Photobook Festival, 2018
Editor’s Selection, Houston Fotofest, 2016
Editor's Choice, ASMPNY Fine Art Portfolio Review, 2016
Finalist, Instagram Flora and Fauna, Featureshoot, 2015
Cultural sponsorship by Brazilian Consulate of Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York
Le Parisien, "Carnaval de Dunkerque," April 2018