Daniel Levin

Portrait of the Artist

Daniel Levin is a contemporary artist whose work primarily addresses social justice issues.He holds an MFA in Visual Art from the Vermont College of Fine Art, and a BFA in documentary photography from the Rochester Institute of Technology. He is a tenured Associate Professor of Photography at Cuyahoga Community College.

Current exhibitions include To The Contrary, a film on view at SPACES Gallery, and a solo exhibition in San Francisco, travelling to Sioux City, Iowa and to Chicago in 2023. Levin is working on an accompanying publication, scheduled for a 2021 release. He is also developing If Not Kindness, a series of large-scale tableaus addressing.

Check out Dan: www.levinphoto.com


“For years I have been commissioned to make portraits, many of which were environmental, celebrating the context that surrounded the subject. At times, I preferred the non-environment of the studio. There are a multitude of ways to approach a documentary project. The above parameters are just a few to be considered. Another is eyes to the lens. When the subject engages the camera with their eyes, breaking the fourth wall, a genuine moment of activity shatters.

“The portrait remains valid, possibly embracing considerations of beauty, socioeconomics, gender expression, or the like. Yet there is a loss that occurs, if only quietly. Many of my portraits have celebrated the strengths of eyes to the lens.

“For Cleveland 20/20, I have chosen the more difficult approach of making photographs of people living their lives as if the camera was not within their intimate space. The eyes must not engage for the photographer to work in this manner. The late Robert Frank, Henri Cartier-Bresson, and W. Eugene Smith set the standard in working in this way. My series for Cleveland 20/20 emulates this trend, by framing majestic subject matter with a more challenging photographic approach. There is a rawness, a frankness, a truth–in a moment when truth is too often questioned–in these images which this approach celebrates above all other expressive mediums of art.”