Russell Frederick is a photographer of Panamanian heritage born and raised in Brooklyn, NY. Russell’s keen understanding of the human condition, global view and upbringing inform his visual activism. He is a self taught photographer with one course of formal training from the International Center of Photography. In the early stages of his career he worked at Magnum Photos and the Associated Press as a librarian and editor. In 2004, Eli Reed invited him to be a member of the prestigious fifty plus year old African American photography collective Kamoinge. In 2016, Mr. Frederick was voted Vice President of the non profit. Russell shoots primarily b/w film medium and large format for his personal projects. His work has been published and exhibited widely across America and the globe. He is a commissioned curator, educator and passionate advocate of diversity & equality in the industry. Mr. Frederick’s twenty year documentation of his hometown Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn has brought him many accolades in the form of grants and awards from the Open Society Foundation, the Innovation Fund, the US Embassy of Ethiopia, the New York Foundation of the Arts, the Brooklyn Arts Council and the Gordon Parks Foundation to name a few. In the past five years Mr. Frederick has taught photojournalism, reporting, editing, photo essay development and documentary photography workshops with the United Nations Educational and Science Cultural Organization to over three hundred Africans in Ethiopia and South Sudan. In addition, Mr. Frederick co-produced a one month media workshop to empower Africans to address the visual and written narratives of Africa. The UNESCO initiative brought ten African-American photojournalists, filmmakers and writers to the continent to conduct this capacity building engagement. The success of the workshop has help springboard the careers of several photographers (men and women) in journalism, art and even a prolific achievement of being Prime Minister’s Abby’s chief photographer. Since then, Russell has taught a series of the”power of photography” workshops in Brownsville and Red Hook, Brooklyn. He is a frequent guest lecturer and artist at NYU and the the International Center of Photography. He has curated and co-curated exhibits “Breaking Point and Power & Grace: Black Women” of Kamoinge photographers for Photoville and the National Arts Club. In 2018, a short film “KINGS” by Sundance Film Festival award winning director Jessica Beshir debuted on Topic Publishing about the life, work and service of Mr. Frederick to rave reviews. A full length doc is in production.
Piggybacking last year’s successes was an assignment to photograph legendary Harlem fashion designer Dapper Dan and his luxury line collaboration with Gucci for Numero Homme Berlin Magazine. Over the years, Russell has photographed such notables as President Barack Obama and Bill Clinton. He has also photographed Oscar and Grammy Award talents Barry Jenkins, Regina King, Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee, D’Angelo, Tedeschi Trucks blues band Saunders Sermons, Eric Roberson and Lauryn Hill to name a few. He has worked with Spike Lee on his Netflix series “She’s Gotta Have it” and he received an invitation to exhibit his Bed Stuy photos at the Brooklyn Academy of Music for Spike’s short film series “Da Republic of Brooklyn.” Russell’s work has been published in the NYTimes, NBC News, the Daily Beast, VICE, the Wall Street Journal, Spiegel Magazine, Slate, the Photo District News, Marie Claire France, the Grio, the Root, Ebony, The BK Reader, the Amsterdam News, the American Society of Picture Professionals Magazine, to be brief. Mr. Frederick has had exhibits, presentations and lectures at NYU, the School of Visual Arts, Columbia University, Penn State university, the International Center of Photography, the Brooklyn Museum, the MOCADA Museum, the Reginald Lewis Museum in Maryland, the Nathan Cummings Foundation,the Aperture foundation, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, the Visa Pour L’Image photo festival in France, he Addis Foto Festival in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the Reportage photo festival in Australia, the Lodz photo festival in Poland, the On the Move Photo Festival in Cortona, Italy, the Angkor Foto Festival in Angkor, Cambodia, the Goethe Institute in Accra, Ghana, the Eyes on Main Street Photo Festival Wilson, NC, and the Shanghai photo festival in China to name a few. Mr. Frederick’s work is in the permanent collection of several institutions such as the NoVo Foundation, the Open Society Foundation, the Gordon Parks Museum, the Brooklyn Public library, the Danny Simmons collection and several private collectors. Lastly, Russell has dedicated a significant amount of his time, wisdom and resources since 2011 to mentoring young men of color in Brooklyn with the Kings Against Violence Initiative where he serves as a board member.