About John Labovitz
Born in Washington, DC, John Labovitz grew up along the banks of the Potomac River in Maryland. At a young age he was exposed to a heady mix of avant-garde contemporary art, folk festivals, and hardcore punk rock, setting into motion a life-long appreciation of obscure and independent strains of artistic expression.
Moving to the Bay Area in his early twenties, he opened a typography & design business, catching the first wave of desktop publishing; eventually this led to helping create the earliest websites. He eventually escaped to the relative frontier of the Pacific Northwest, where he dove into photography, documenting cityscapes around Seattle, developing his technique with early quadtone inkjet processes, and showing prints at galleries around the city and art fairs around the Northwest.
In the early 2000s, Labovitz retreated from the city to the quiet Willamette Valley of Oregon, where he served on the boards of several local arts- and community-oriented organizations. He continued photographing, primarily while traveling abroad to the UK, Portugal, Spain, Turkey, and Japan. Upon moving to Portland, he began what would be a five-year project documenting that city’s flourishing community of circus, cabaret, and burlesque performers.
Labovitz now divides his time between Portland and West Virginia, where he is building a retreat/residency center for printmakers and other artists. He is currently working on a photographic documentary about letterpress printing.