Steve Riskind has an unusual and varied background. He brings to his work a deep knowledge of photography, first film and then digital, many years of running a small business, and a love for things electronic and mechanical. This background gives him great empathy for his subjects’ work, the ability to put them at ease, and the skills to capture their work in photographs.
Photographer Steve Riskind’s first job during high school and college was as an electronics technician at the University of Chicago’s Argonne Cancer Research Hospital. After a first career in organizational psychology, he pursued his interest in science and technology and moved into computer consulting. For over 25 years he owned a firm that developed custom database software used in finance, broadcasting, medicine, and the non-profit sector. More recently, Riskind has merged his technology skills with his early love for and training in photography.
Riskind studied digital photography extensively at the International Center of Photography and then become an active portrait photographer. He is best known for his portraits of classical musicians, including pianists Richard Goode and Ignat Solzhenitsyn and violist Kim Kashkashian. These images can be seen on musicians’ websites and in concert programs. He has extensively photographed food service training at the New Jersey Community FoodBank, including illustrating Doris Friedensohn’s book “Cooking for Change.” In addition, he continues to pursue a lifetime interest in photographing the industrial landscape.
Riskind’s work combines the aesthetic of black and white film photography with his love for the capabilities of digital photography. He lives in Ridgewood, New Jersey with his wife and a well-fed cat.
CURRENT ACTIVITIES (2015-present)
- Portraiture: continued portraits of musician and private clients
- Two new multi-year projects represent a fusion of Riskind’s interests in portraiture and the industrial landscape. The first is a series documenting artisan businesses in New Jersey: building pipe organs – photographs in the shop of the Peragallo Pipe Organ Company in Paterson, NJ, photographs at Jerry Valenta and Sons, a specialty textile mill in Hawthorne, NJ, photographing artisans at Great Falls Metalworking, a Paterson, NJ-based jewelry maker, and photographing Hiemer Stained Glass Studio in Clifton, NJ.
The second new project is photographing visual artists at work. This body of work now includes a sculptor and an installation artist with studios at the Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts in New York City.
- 2014 A Textile Mill in the 21st Century, Cottage Place Gallery, Ridgewood, NJ
- 2014 Cooking for Change, Recent Photographs from the Food Service Training Academy, The Criminal Justice Gallery, School of Criminal Justice, Rutgers University, Newark, NJ
- 2014 A Textile Mill in the 21st Century, Salon No. 5 Gallery, Riverdale, NJ
- 2013 Cooking for Change, Bernstein Gallery, Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton, NJ
- 2013 Warehouse Portraits, Bernstein Gallery, Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton, NJ
- 2013 Cooking for Change, Job Training in an Urban Food Bank, Edward Williams Gallery, Fairleigh Dickinson University, Hackensack, NJ
- 2010 Farnam’s Mill – an Abandoned Factory in the Berkshires & Marlboro Music Festival Portraits, Cottage Place Gallery, Ridgewood, NJ
- 2013 Riverdale Art Center – Second Annual Juried Photography Exhibition, Riverdale, NJ, first prize, landscapes; second prize, interiors; and second prize, abstracts
- 2012 Sixty Years of Marlboro Music, Drury Gallery, Marlboro College, Marlboro, NJ
- 2011 Moment of Recognition, an Exploration of Portraiture in the New Millennium, Rita K. Hillman Gallery, The International Center of Photography, New York City, curated by Amy Arbus
- 2010 Winners of Fort Dearborn International Photo Competition – 2010, Morpho Gallery, Chicago, IL
- 2018 A comparison of two pipe organ builders, Peragallo in Paterson, NJ and A. David Moore in North Pomfret, VT. The article, with text and photographs by Steven J. Riskind, has been accepted for publication by The Diapason, a pipe organ journal.
- 2014 Whose Food Revolution? Perspectives from a Food Service Training Academy, Radical Teacher, No. 98 (Winter 2014), photographs illustrating article by Doris Friedensohn
- 2014 Textile mill photos on display in Ridgewood, by Eileen La Forgia, The Ridgewood News, 10 November 2014, http://www.northjersey.com/arts-and-entertainment/art/photographer-records-beauty-in-textile-mill-1.1106634
- 2011 Cooking for Change: Tales from a Food Service Training Academy, Photographs by Steve Riskind, Text by Doris Friedensohn, Full Court Press, Englewood Cliffs, NJ
- 2011 Kim Kashkashian, The Viola Explorer on her Continuous Quest, The Strad Magazine, May 2011, cover photo and photos illustrating article
- 2010 Photographer returns to craft as second career, by Eileen La Forgia, The Ridgewood News, 5 November 2010, http://www.northjersey.com/arts-and-entertainment/photographer-returns-to-craft-as-a-second-career-1.923532
- Late–1950s photography mentorship with Robert Donald Erickson – Chicago photographer who collaborated with László Moholy-Nagy
- 1965 Swarthmore College, BA, economics
- 1967 Massachusetts Institute of Technology, SM, management and organizational studies
- 1968–72 University of Michigan, Department of Social Psychology and Institute for Social Research, study and research in Organizational Psychology and Organization Development
- 2008–present International Center of Photography, ongoing studies: portraiture, landscape, lighting, and digital post-production