Barry Elz established prominent commercial photography studios in New York City, Chicago, Boston & St. Louis over the past 45 years. He has photographed primarily sports, lifestyle portraiture, and fashion advertising for numerous national clientele such as Gatorade, Nike and Callaway Golf, the St. Louis Baseball Cardinals and the Chicago Bulls, as well as personal art portfolios.
His work with supermodels including Cindy Crawford, Iman, Kathy Ireland and sports icons Michael Jordan, Alex Rodriguez and Greg Norman led to the publishing of his hardcover Chicago Bulls portrait book which made the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times Best Seller lists. Barry's images have also appeared in publications such as Time Magazine, Sports Illustrated, Vogue, Town and Country, Rolling Stone, Elle, NY Times, and many others.
For Barry, it has been an almost impossible journey. While it would be easy to consider his career a series of fortunate turns, the actual narrative of his career is held together by his philosophy of art - every photograph begins with a dark room, then he sculpts. In other words, every photograph is the careful searching and unfolding of art.
Beginning in his home town of St. Louis as a freelance field photographer for the Baseball Cardinals in 1973, Barry then moved his studio to Chicago and New York City in the 1980’s -1990’s to continue his career in fashion and advertising photography.
The art of Barry Elz is unique. The photographs capture a time when photography meant a strict adherence to detail and craft, as well as a time when photography captured the intimate connections involved in the careful searching and unfolding of art. In a sense his art is the evocation of a time and place; the name of this collection is entitled "Untethered, as a way of noting that these photographs were captured on film. In his photography Barry Elz brings the richness to the word for his art; the word “photography” means to draw with light and these photographs are devoted to sculpting with light.
Jesus Montaño, PhD. Hope College.