Benson, Steven

Steven Benson, Orlando, Florida, USA

Steven Benson is a Professor and Assistant Chair of the Southeast Center for Photographic Studies, Daytona State College in Florida. Steven received his MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art. He is the recipient of three Creative Artist Grants from the Michigan Council for the Arts and a NEA/ArtsMidwest Fellowship. Collections include the Museum of Fine Art-Houston, Detroit Institute of Arts, Portland Art Museum, Centre Georges Pompidou and Museet for Fotokunst-Denmark. Feature articles about his work have appeared in European Photography (Germany), Katalog (Denmark), Creative Camera (England), American Photo, CameraArts, Urbanautica, and Cerise Press. Solo exhibitions include the Centre Georges Pompidou and photography festivals, biennials and triennials in Argentina, South Korea, Germany, Syria, Poland, China, Denmark and FotoFest (2004 & 2008).  His book, The Cost of Power in China: The Three Gorges Dam and the Yangtze River Valley, was published by Black Opal Press (2006) with essays by A.D. Coleman and Dai Qing.  His work was the subject of a retrospective at the Southeast Museum of Photography during 2012, “Steven Benson: Space and Time-Forty Years in Photographs”. He has been an educator, fine art and commercial freelance photographer for more than 25 years. He is on the National Board of Directors of the Society for Photographic Education and the board of the American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP)-Central Florida.

Steven has specializations in editorial, annual report and advertising photography.  He has been sent on assignment throughout North America and Europe, as well as, Mexico, the Caribbean, Russia, Brazil, Holland and Japan for clients such as AT&T, Ford, Chrysler, General Motors, Unisys, Borg-Warner, Allied Signal, Hughes JVC Technology Corporation and Canadian National Railroad, among others.

The cultural anthropologist

I think of my involvement in photography is that of a cultural anthropologist. The photograph, "One Love"; Jamaica 2004 is an example of this concept. I frequently use an aesthetic strategy that involves various contradictions within the frame. In this instance, it's the "Ideal" represented by the painted mural, and the "Real" represented by the 'No Urine' sign. It is the information carried by both signs together -- which creates a complex question about perception and society.

Steven Benson, Associate Professor College for Creative Studies, Detroit, (5-2004)


Museum of Fine Art-Houston
Portland Art Museum, OR
Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France
Graham Nash Collection
Michigan Council for the Arts
Grand Rapids Museum of Art, Grand Rapids, MI
Palm Springs Desert Museum, Palm Springs, CA
Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris, France
Pinhole Resource, New Mexico
Brauer Museum of Art, Valparaiso University
Detroit Institute of Arts
American Museum of Natural History, NYC.
Detroit Historical Museum
Musee Francais de la Photographie, Bievre, France
Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI
Alma College, Alma, MI
Carleton College, Northfield, MN
U.S. Government (Currency Bldg., Chicago)
Michigan National Corp.
Saginaw Art Museum, Saginaw, MI
Centre des Bords de Marne, France
Museet for Fotokunst, Denmark
Cranbrook Art Museum, Bloomfield Hills, MI
Southeast Museum of Photography, FL