Danny Lyon

Datesborn 1942
BornBrooklyn, New York, United States

"Photographers traditionally have worked in silence, putting everything into the picture, that small area, measured in inches, that they have staked out. I have never done that, but have usually presented my photographs in a book with text. In the texts I have spoken through other people's voices, sometimes out of respect for what they had to say, and sometimes as a disguise for myself." --Danny Lyon

Thus Danny Lyon described his philosophy about the accessibility of his photographs for an audience. A staff member of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in the 1960s, Lyon first published his photographs in The Movement, a 1964 documentary book about the Southern Civil Rights Movement. Three years later he published The Bikeriders, a study of the lives of outlaw motorcyclists, and in 1971, Conversations with the Dead, a portrait of prison life in Texas in the late 1960s. Incorporating even more diverse subject matter, in 1989 he published I Like to Eat Right on the Dirt, composed of Polaroid prints of his children. Also a filmmaker, Lyon's documentaries include The Abandoned Children, Little Boy, and El Otro Lado (The Other Side). A recipient of Guggenheim Foundation fellowships for photography and filmmaking, Lyon continues to photograph and to make films.