The juncture of art and commerce has always driven my artistic expression. As a child, I loved to take pictures of the powerful flying machines that my father, a fighter pilot and later a test pilot, alongside Chuck Yeager. He loaned me his M3 Leica at age sixteen.
I studied photography at the Newhouse School of Communications at Syracuse University. I received a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and attended graduate school at the University of New Mexico under Beaumont Newhall. My first number of years shooting was devoted to fine art work. I exhibited these images at the Foster/White Gallery in Seattle and two one-man shows at OK Harris and the Charles Cowles Gallery in New York.
I have shot many stories for The New York Times, Life, Fortune portfolios, Forbes, Smithsonian, Paris Match and Stern, as well as many corporate assignments from UPS, to Mead Paper Company and AT&T, including an art series for ExxonMobil.
I began to shoot monuments in the mid-nineties in New York. As I traveled around the world, I sought out religious and folk icons. (Statues under ‘Projects’)
I embarked on a very different series of Animals Out of Focus. Shooting them in color, cross processed the film and printed them myself on large format paper. They have a presence that confronts the viewer and conveys respect to the animal.
In another series, titled Raptor and Ravens, inspired by my watching birds in flight near my home, is my first digital series. I exhibited them in my San Francisco Gallery, Scott Nichols and at Wall Space in Seattle. They both can be found in my Personal section.
I am now working on a series of ancient olive trees in Italy, France and Greece. I travel internationally a few times each year to photograph personal projects and submit work to Getty.
My work is in many major collections, from the Museum of Modern Art, New York, Seattle Art Museum to the San Francisco Museum of Art, and many corporate collections from Chase Manhattan Bank, Goldman Sachs to New York Life. A recently acquired piece is in the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). I am represented by Getty Images for my commercial work.
I have undertaken the funding of the renovation of the darkroom at Newhouse School at Syracuse University into a digital center, titled the Kim Steele Portfolio Center. See section on Charitable Contributions section on my site.
My fascination with Industry continues with a recently published series in The New York Times, titled Machine Age and can be seen on my web site SteeleIndustry.com. I am now beginning a series on Heavy Equipment of mining machines around the world.