Jon Michael Anzalone

Location: New York City
Nationality: Queens
Biography: Analog spiritualist. Crumbling cities and strange places. Jon Michael Anzalone works independently on stories of personal interest and significance, carrying out well-studied, politically mature, and humanist photo essays on obscure topics. His... read on
Ambient Reaction
jon michael anzalone
Jan 11, 2017
During a long, affecting political cycle, everyone has something to say about their viewpoints and reaction to things being said and done around us. We may find ourselves in a position when shooting that we feel we have a responsibility to create something beyond a topical critique or polemic, or to be too "on the nose" when choosing scenes and imagery to express ideas. It's easy to fall into the trap of cliches and "meme" but I think it isn't productive to throw work into the churn of media-cycle work, where the morning's outrages are intolerably boring by the afternoon.

In 2016, creating new personal work, I wanted to shoot a meaningful reaction to the year, and I wanted to shoot in America. I've seen a lot of good work about Rust Belt "Trump Towns" or the independent spirit of Bernie Sanders rallies, but I don't shoot that way, and I don't have any grand contribution to the pool of work that could stand out beyond what was being created. 

So then, I consider my new photoessay, NO LAWS, to be an "ambient reaction" to the year. In a few scattered moments that correspond to significant political moments in the year (March, October, New Year's Eve), and two journeys (Montana, and Costa Rica), I shot work that expressed what I was feeling and seeing without ever addressing the subject matter directly. Montana, I considered to be part of an American soul--the freedom, libertarianism, of the West. Costa Rica is a personal locale, where my parents now live. Or, together, even though the locations bear little tangible relation, the connection of an American's soul to America's soul, versus expatriation and untethering from country. My home, where the family I grew up with no longer lives, and not my home, which in my parents' domicile in an unfamiliar place is filled with the iconography and memory of my youth.

I think, as a whole, it creates a message in the negative space of what it chooses to express directly, and what it chooses to not express. It is produced by an ambient reaction, or a way of looking closely at something without looking directly at it.

By Jon Michael Anzalone —


Orzu Bazaar - Revisited

By Jon Michael Anzalone — During a conversation with an editor I met here on Visura, I was challenged to do a re-edit of my 2017 project in Uzbekistan, Orzu Bazaar. I am..

Move with Animals

By Jon Michael Anzalone — I have prepared a new photoessay from my time in Kyrgyzstan during the World Nomad Games. This project is a street photography series shot on film..

World Nomad Games 2018

By Jon Michael Anzalone — I'm happy to share that I have received accreditation as a member of the foreign media by Kyrgyzstan MFA for next month's World Nomad Games..

Portfolio Prep Question

By Jon Michael Anzalone — Question for galleries, or for artists with relevant experience: In preparing a portfolio to send to a gallery's open call, does the gallery..

World Nomad Games III

By Jon Michael Anzalone — In one month, I will be in Kyrgyzstan for the third biennial World Nomad Games. This is a Olympics-style competition of traditional Central Asian..

World Nomad Games & Publishing Query

By Jon Michael Anzalone — This September, I am going to Kyrgyzstan for the World Nomad Games. It is the third biennial hosting of this even, which is a tournament of sporting..


By Jon Michael Anzalone — I can't wait to tell you about my next project.

Orzu Bazaar

By Jon Michael Anzalone — I am very excited to finally share my longform photoessay in Uzbekistan. This work took a long time to create, not just from the time since April..


By Jon Michael Anzalone — As television drones who couldn't find Uzbekistan on a map pose themselves as experts I have a volume of unpublished photography from this past May,..

Visura Consultations

By Jon Michael Anzalone — Thank you to editor Scott Thode, and thank you to Visura for creating the opportunity for editorial consultations. This was an outstanding chance to..

Orzu Bazaar - New Exclusive Project

By Jon Michael Anzalone — I have just shared a ten image preview of my new project, Orzu Bazaar, which I shot this past April/May in Uzbekistan. The project is currently in..

2017 Project

By Jon Michael Anzalone — I'm working on something new. If interested, say hello.

Photography Timeline - 2005-current

By Jon Michael Anzalone — I posted a timeline of my photography going back to 2005. Want an introduction to my aesthetic, and to see where it came from?  Check it out..

Interview: Today's Zaman

By Jon Michael Anzalone — In 2011, I was interviewed about my photography project, Khamra Obscura , by a reporter for Today's Zaman newspaper, an English-language daily from..

Reflection Essay

By Jon Michael Anzalone — I wrote a reflection on the meaning of the nature photos and sequences in my work, NO LAWS.

New Project Pitch

By Jon Michael Anzalone — Howdy, editors. Looks like the winds of fate will take my next project to Central Asia. My next work is slated for a destination I've wanted to see..


By Jon Michael Anzalone — After a long year, I'm happy to announce my 2016 work is now complete. "NO LAWS" is a long read, slow burn photoessay shot in Southwest Montana,..

2016 Project

By Jon Michael Anzalone — Three moments, two journeys, one diary. No laws in my sprawling, disjointed 2016 work, across Pennsylvania, Southwest Montana, Costa Rica, and New..

Paradise Valley

By Jon Michael Anzalone — Looking forward to sharing new work in a couple of months.

Recent Work

By Jon Michael Anzalone — Just came back from a one week trip shooting. For the first time, I went somewhere that had very few people present. What a challenge, trying to..

September 3rd

By Jon Michael Anzalone — It's been a while. It feels likes interminable since I picked up a camera, or since the last project in Armenia. This year has been so overwhelmed..

MIFA Award

By Jon Michael Anzalone — Thank you the Moscow International Foto Awards for recognizing my 2015 photo essay, Ayb. This project is a true culmination of the momentum I put..


By Jon Michael Anzalone — I guess I'm behind the times on this, but I've just opened an Instagram account. Follow me  

Visura's Product Page & Strategies

By Jon Michael Anzalone — I've just opened up my site's web store using Visura's new Product Page in the Site Manager. This has been something I've wrestled with for a while...
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