Graeme Williams (1961, South Africa)
Graeme Williams was born in Cape Town, South Africa. Williams, for more than thirty years, has worked on highly personal photographic essays reflecting his response to South Africa’s complex evolution. During the eighties, he produced numerous essays documenting life under apartheid and eventually he joined the collective, Afrapix. Between 1989 and 1994 he covered South Africa’s transition to democracy for Reuters and other news organizations. Since then Williams has concentrated on producing contemporary bodies of work that reflect his complex country.
His work has been shown in solo exhibitions in South Africa, the USA, France, Portugal and the United Kingdom as well as many collective shows including the Figures and Fictions (2011) at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum. In 2014 a set of images from the series A city refracted was included in the Aperture Summer Open in New York. In 2017 images from the series, As the grass grows, were included in the Louis Vuitton Foundation’s Being There, a collective exhibition showcasing contemporary South African art. In 2008, as Barack Obama sought the Presidency and raced for the position against John McCain, Newsweek magazine ran a story asking each candidate to choose an image that best personified their worldview. Obama’s team chose a township image that Williams took in 1991.
Photographic assignments have taken him to fifty countries and his photographs have been published in major publications worldwide, including National Geographic Magazine, Time, Newsweek, The New York Times Magazine and Photography magazine (UK).
His work is featured in several permanent collections including The Smithsonian (USA), The South African National Gallery (SA), The Rotterdam Museum of Ethnology (Holland), Duke University (USA), The North Carolina Museum of Art (USA), The St. Petersburg Museum of Fine Arts (USA), The Finnish School of Photography, and Cape Town University (SA).