About the Photographer
American, b. 1938
For four decades, Burk Uzzle has traveled through small towns and suburbs across the United States, photographing oddly charming displays of patriotism, religious belief, commerce, fantasy, and personal expression. The places and people he discovers in his travels are both idiosyncratic and diverse, but collectively they convey a sensibility that is distinctly American. Uzzle approaches his subjects as a detached observer and works with an unassuming style, making most of his photographs from a straight-on perspective and at eye level. In this way he places the emphasis on his individual subjects, highlighting an inventive spirit and a desire for self-expression that runs deeply through the culture and often surfaces in the most ordinary places.
Born in North Carolina in 1938, Burk Uzzle began his career in the 1950s as a photographer for the Black Star news agency. At the age of 23 he became the youngest photographer ever contracted by LIFE magazine, and he worked on assignment for the publication for five years. In 1967 he joined the photography collective Magnum, serving as a member for fifteen years and as its president for two. Uzzle left the group in 1983 and has been pursuing a variety of projects independently since.