Larry Sultan was born on July 13, 1946 in New York City and grew up in San Fernando Valley, near Los Angeles, California. He graduated from the University of Santa Barbara and received a master from the San Francisco Art Institute.
Sultan started his career in 1970 as a conceptual photographer. Seven years later, with photographer Mike Mandel, he published a collection of photos he found in archives called “Evidence”. From 1978 to 1988, Sultan was an instructor of photography in the San Francisco Art Institute. He then, taught at the “California College of the Arts as a Chair of the Photography Department from 1992 to 1999 and as a professor of art from 1989 to 2009. Furthermore, he served on the Board of Trustees of the Headlands Center for the Arts from 1992 to 1998.
In 2004, Larry Sultan, also made an assignment for “Maxim”, an international men magazine, consisting of photos of middle-class residences rented by the porn industry in the San Fernandino Valley. This work led to one of the most famous and recognizable Sultan’s series: The Valley.
It was only in 2001 that Larry Sultan’s work was exhibited, in a group exhibition in San Francisco called “Here”. His first solo exhibition,”Larry Sultan’s Homeland: American Story”, was in Los Angeles, and another one in Belgium during 2014-2015.
All exhibition featuring Sultan’s work took place after his death. While still in life, his work was awarded with several prestigious prizes. In 1976, he won the “Art in Public places grant” with Mike Mandel. One year later, he received the “Photographer’s fellowship”, again with Mike Mandel. Sultan then was awarded with the “Photographer’s fellowship” twice again in 1980 and 1986. In 1983 he won the “Guggenheim Fellowship”, the “Fleischhacker Foundation eureka Fellowship” in 1990 and the the “Biennial Award” in 1991. In 1992 he received his forth “Photographer’s Fellowship”.
Among Sultan’s publication worth to be mentioned: “How to Read Music in One Evening”, in collaboration with Mike Mandel (1974), “Evidence” (1977), “Headlands:The Marin Coast at the Golden Gate” (1989), in collaboration with Miles DeCoster, Mark Klett, Mike Mandel and Paul Metcalf, Sultan’s “Pictures from Home” (1992) and”The Valley” (2004).
Larry Sultan died of cancer on the 13th December 2009 in Greenbrae, when he was 63 years old.
All the pictures in this page are by Larry Sultan. All rights reserved to the author.