Award-Winning Photographer Kurt Weston

World AIDS Day 2018 - opening night of Kurt Weston's show, Remember: An AIDS Retrospective, at the Orange County Center for Contemporary Art. Photo by Alina Oswald.

Light, Vision and Story – A Post about Award-Winning Photographer Kurt Weston

I mentioned photographer Kurt Weston , one of my first mentors, in a previous post. Here, I’d like to talk more about his amazing photography work.

Journeys Through Darkness: A Biography. Cover design by Alina Oswald. Photo by Kurt Weston.

Kurt Weston is a photographer based in Orange County, California. I became aware of his work back in 2004-2005, thanks to a call for submissions posted in a writing newsletter I was subscribed to at the time. Apparently, they were looking for photography and writing submissions to the Unfinished Works contest–selected works and winning entries later became part of a book with the same name, Unfinished Works. I do have a copy of that book, myself.

And so, when I noticed the Unfinished Works contest, I ended up checking it out. That’s how I discovered one of Kurt Weston’s images, The Last Light, a winning image from previous years. Looking at that image, I knew that I had to find out more about the photographer. That’s how I ended up browsing through his website, looking at stunning, riveting black-and-white portraits. I bookmarked his website and, later on, I ended up interviewing Weston for A&U Magazine–America’s AIDS Magazine. The article was published in A&U’s November 2005 issue. (In 2006, Weston’s work was featured at The AIDS Museum, excerpts from the article was then reposted on The AIDS Museum website)

In 2006 I traveled to DC to attend the opening of VSA Art show featuring several of Weston’s images, including, Losing the Light, from his Blind Vision series of black-and-white self-portraits.

Over the following years I became more and more in awe of Weston’s work, interviewed him several times, and even wrote a book about him and his work–a biography called Journeys Through Darkness which includes and talks in depth about some of his images as well as his journeys through the darkness of the AIDS and of related blindness.

In 2012, Weston won the CNN iReport Award (Personal Story). And again, I had the opportunity to travel to Atlanta, to be his guest at the award ceremony. While in Atlanta, Fredericka Whitfield also interviewed Kurt Weston on CNN.

This past year, 2018, Kurt Weston invited me to attend at the opening of his show, Remember: An AIDS Retrospective on World AIDS Day 2018 at the Orange County Center for Contemporary Art.

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What’s next for Kurt Weston and his photography work? Years ago, when I interviewed him for the book, he shared his thoughts on our goals and our journeys through life, in an attempt to reach those goals. I’ll share that particular excerpt from Journeys Through Darkness here:

“Sometimes, life’s goals change and so do individuals’ journeys through life. For Kurt Weston, creating visual art will always be an ongoing, life-long process. It will continue to expand and change and show itself in different ways. Ultimately, it will remain inspirational and transforming.”


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