Having left his native Florida for New Orleans in 2003, photographer Alan Zakem has connected deeply with his new Louisiana home. While studying at the New Orleans Academy of Fine Arts, Mr. Zakem was moved to photograph the vibrant action of New Orleans nightscapes, and has since created a growing body of work on this subject that defines him as one of the top rising contemporary artists.
A master of both digital shooting and printing techniques, Mr. Zakem pursues images that resonate with the vibrancy he identifies with the regenerative nature of this unique American city. Focusing on the beauty he sees, Mr. Zakem’s full color photography aims to function as visual signifiers of the positive energy that is the flip side of all of life’s challenges. It is this positive, forward-thinking psychology that informs Mr. Zakem’s images with their buoyant energy. Finding these positive visual metaphors in urban nightscapes lends his work a conceptual tension that is difficult to resist.
Prints from this series are in the New Orleans International Airport permanent collection. His images have been published through the Center for Fine Art Photography and Mr. Zakem exhibits regularly in national juried shows, garnering vast critical praise.
Alan is a regular at Jazzfest, and his photographs can be found in Jackson Square on the weekends. Contact Alan to make an appointment to visit his studio at 3725 Dauphine St. Unit 115, New Orleans, LA
Questions & Answers
Describe your art in three words.
Vibrant, colorful, and energetic!
Describe yourself in one word.
What do you love the most about creating art in New Orleans? What particular part of your immediate environment, in your neighborhood specifically influences your work?
New Orleans has been a huge inspiration for my art. It is the most vibrant and colorful city I have ever visited, and I attempt to translate that into my art.
My studio is located in the Bywater Art Lofts. Being around so many creative and motivated artists inspires me to push my artistic potential.
Describe your creative process. Are there any rituals or rites of passage you exercise before you begin a new piece?
As a photographer, my creative process begins with scouting out locations and events that inspire me. I then study the subject matter and determine the best composition for my images. Once I feel that I have adequately captured the scene, I review the images in my studio. After narrowing down the images, I meticulously enhance them to portray the feeling of being at that location.
Where do you draw inspiration?
Most of my inspiration has come from the city of New Orleans. I moved here shortly before Hurricane Katrina and quickly fell in love with the beauty and culture of the city. Following the devastation of the hurricane, I felt inspired to translate what is great about this city through my photography.
Who are your artistic influences or gurus?
I don't have any singular artistic influence, but I draw inspiration from many different artists.
Where can we find you when you are not creating art?
Enjoying live music
What is your favorite time of day/day of the week/month of the year?
Sunset/ Every day of the week/ October
What is something people don’t know about you? A fun fact.
I put a beaded bra on Howard Stern on a taping of America's Got Talent.
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Where You Can Find My Work
All works listed online are available to be viewed at Where Y’Art Gallery by appointment.
Jackson Square or at my studio in the Bywater Art Lofts