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David Zimmerman: Portraits from the Gulf Oil Spill

David Zimmerman is a photographer based in New York City & Taos, New Mexico.  Today we feature his work in the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon oil spil in the Gulf of Mexico.  David notes that “The explosion of the oil rig precipitated a catastrophic chain of events that endangered the waters of the Gulf and the people of the region.  The devastation I saw on the water was mirrored in the faces of the people, and at that point, the most important story to tell was the story of the people.”

Wanda Jackson.

(Photograph of Wanda Jackson, Plaquemines Parish resident working at Southeast Pass on BP oil cleanup.)

David’s has woven together portraits and audio clips in a short film entitled “Faces and Voices from the Gulf.”  (His description of the project is here.)  Despite the efforts of BP to turn everything in the Gulf into a prop for their own retelling of the story, David recovers both the complexity and the human cost of the disaster.  Not to deny the effect on the beaches, birds, fish, or tourists that were the subjects of so much of the visual coverage, but surely the tragedy has been felt most deeply and persistently by the people who live there.

David is the 2009 recipient of the World Photography Awards L’Iris D’or Grand Prize for his work in the deserts of the southwest U.S.  David’s studio in Taos, New Mexico is built to LEED certified standards for sustainability.  His web site is here.


David Zimmerman: Portraits from the Gulf Oil Spill


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