Photographer Ira Fox’s background is as unusual and as varied as his work. He studied at the prestigious Manhattan School of Music and graduated from the Culinary Institute of America, and has also been a radio DJ and an actor, having performed in theater and television. But his love of photography since his early teens, has lead him to pursue what his camera captures, always with a nuanced eye.
The diverse, exciting and unpredictable fabric of New York City has been his inspiration and his canvas. He is fascinated with street life and gravitated towards street photography because it offered the greatest variety of scenes, enabling him to portray those who live out loud, comfortable with their appearances, and not afraid to proudly show off. Alternative lifestyles, performance artists, and the quirky behavior of ordinary people are all subject matter.
Fox also studied improvisation with The Groundlings, acting at the Gene Frankel Studio and performed in Off Off Broadway and summer stock. His theater background helps him relate to people and brings a sense of fun to his photographs. “I enjoy seeing the expression of someone’s personality and I’m drawn to exhibitionists and dramatic, theatrical personalities. In the right environment, the characters appear and perform for my camera, sometimes with curiosity, but often with pride and pleasure. I am drawn into their world, which is nothing like my own.”
His work is celebratory and uplifting and he engenders a sense of trust easily with his subjects. From garish mermaids on colorful Coney Island to Orchard Beach’s surly gang members, Fox confronts his subjects with admiration.
Fox has photographed fashion icons, celebrities and artists such as Marc Jacobs, Hilary Swank, Michael Moore, Melvin Van Peebles, Fran Lebowitz and Elvis Mitchell. Additionally, his work has appeared in the New York Times, Theater Week, JCK Luxury, New York magazine, Huffington Post, and the Daily Mail.
Numerous galleries have showcased Fox’s work, including many in New York such as the National Arts Club, Loupe Digital Gallery, Magasin Totale, Shimmel Center for the Arts, Glenn Horowitz Gallery, DFN Gallery, Saba Gallery, La Mama Galleria, as well as galleries in California and Michigan. His work is also found in private collections.
He is married and lives with his wife and daughter and their two dogs Oskar and Beanie, in Manhattan’s Gramercy Park neighborhood.